Continuing Tales

One Day Like This

A Harry Potter Story
by Hannah_1888

Part 7 of 23

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Still ‘Miss Granger—what on earth are you doing?’

Hermione’s eyes flew open in surprise, and she surreptitiously moved her wand inside her sleeve. Swivelling round, she found Severus Snape was standing at the entrance to the grounds.

‘Oh, nothing,’ she answered nonchalantly.

Snape crossed over to her, shutting the gates behind him. Several days had passed since that to-do with the letter. He hadn’t mentioned anything further about it, and so they’d gone on as if nothing had happened, much to Hermione’s bewilderment. In her experience, one didn’t just ignore such incidents, but she considered it might be best to play by his rules—for now.

‘Miss Granger, you were standing in the undergrowth, very still, with your eyes closed. I defy anyone not to find that behaviour questionable.’

‘Well, in actual fact I was just admiring the... the, um... Oh, all right! I agree that I must have looked rather strange. If you must know, I was debating whether to try and Apparate into Hogsmeade.’

Hermione hadn’t wanted anyone to know—it was something she’d wanted to try in private. She could conjure her Patronus, and now she wanted to Apparate.

Snape nodded in comprehension. ‘Has Poppy permitted this?’

Hermione coughed. ‘Not quite, but I didn’t ask, so...’

‘You were going to attempt this by yourself? In many ways, this is like trying Apparition for the first time, and you would do it unaided?’

‘I know how to Apparate... and it’s only down the road.’

‘But what if something went wrong?’

Hermione expelled a noisy breath. ‘Nothing was going to go wrong.’

‘You know that for sure, do you?’ He raised a disbelieving eyebrow at her.

She grimaced. ‘So, what do you suggest, then?’

‘Well, I am off to Hogsmeade, so I will Apparate there as well and be on hand to collect up any bits or pieces that you may, or may not, leave behind.’

Hermione chuckled. ‘So, if I leave my leg behind, you’ll chivalrously return it to me?’


‘Fine; all right, I’m going to Apparate to the alley by Zonko’s.’

Snape nodded.

Hermione closed her eyes and concentrated with all her might on the alleyway—there was no way she was leaving anything behind!


She stood with her eyes closed for a few seconds, breathing deeply. She was there, by Zonko’s, and by all accounts, in one piece.

A further crack sounded, and Snape appeared a few paces behind.

‘Look,’ she said happily, lifting her arms, ‘all body parts are present and correct.’

He surveyed her. ‘Indeed, they are,’ he agreed.

Hermione lowered her arms and smoothed down her robes, a little self-consciously. She wasn’t sure why it was, but she found his appraisal oddly suggestive. Feeling a little heat rise into her cheeks, she mentally shook herself.

She’d imagined it, surely?

‘You don’t feel any side-effects? Apparition is a highly complex use of magic.’

‘No, I feel perfectly fine, thank you.’

He nodded.

Hermione smiled a bit awkwardly at him. ‘Right, then, ah, I’m going to buy a book to celebrate, so I’ll see you later.’ As she walked away, however, her thoughts remained more with him than on the achievement of having successfully Apparated after months of magical impotence, so to speak.

It was disconcerting, to say the least.


Hermione was cleaning her cauldron at the sink when Snape came marching into the room, rubbing his temples with a weary hand. During her first week, she’d had to suffer through a lecture on the advantages and disadvantages of using cleaning spells versus old-fashioned elbow-grease. She could use cleaning charms easily, now, but she found something almost therapeutic in scrubbing her cauldron, regardless of which method was more effective. Still, she did not envy those students who landed the task of scrubbing cauldron after cauldron.

Out of the corner of her eye, she watched him down a vial of Headache solution and sit heavily at his desk. Hermione made sure to carry on her task a little quieter, believing that he required silence.

She flinched in surprise, therefore, when he unexpectedly spoke into the silence. ‘I’ve had some bad news,’ he said.

‘What do you mean?’ she asked, turning round with a concerned expression on her face.

He moved his chair back with a screech and hefted his feet onto his desk, crossing them at the ankles. Hermione automatically frowned, as she always did, at his cavalier treatment of the furniture.

‘The worst news,’ he stressed, pinching the bridge of nose.

She took several steps towards him. ‘What news?’ She felt rather anxious; it must be bad if he felt he had to share it with her.

His head was tipped back against the chair and he sighed, looking up at the ceiling. ‘Our inestimable Headmistress, in all her infinite wisdom,’ he began, with his voice full of distaste, ‘has offered the use of the Great Hall to the Ministry for their annual dinner.’

‘Oh, is that all? The way you were going on I thought something really bad had happened!’

‘You don’t understand, Miss Granger. There was no dinner last year, as the Ministry was still getting back on its feet, but they will want to make up for that this year. You will be expected to attend. All those who played a part in the War will be invited; all of the useless bureaucrats; everyone!’

Hermione felt her face fall. ‘Everyone?’

‘Yes, and they are the most tedious events known to man—you thought the Order of Merlin service was bad? Just wait until you have to suffer through all of this posturing, Miss Granger. Now, of course, I have no excuse to get out of it—not while it’s being held where I bloody live!’

‘I see.’ Hermione could now understand his irritation perfectly. She hated those events, too. The Daily Prophet was always hanging around, trying to get interviews, and people she’d never met before would come up to her, and... Oh, surely this meant Ron would be there, too.

‘Is there no way of getting out of it?’

‘No, Minerva will not hear any of it. “It’s one night, Severus!” “Live a little, Severus!”’

There was such a look of fury upon his face that Hermione almost laughed.

‘When is it going to be held?’

‘Sometime during first week of the Easter holidays, I believe.’

‘Oh dear,’ said Hermione sadly. ‘Didn’t I mention that that’s when I’m going to France for a week with my parents? It’s all arranged.’

Hermione sent him a sympathetic smile as she turned back to her cauldron. He might have no avenue of escape, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t save her own skin. It wouldn’t take much to convince her parents to take a week off to visit the south of France.

In a flash, Snape was on his feet and standing behind her. She looked up at him in surprise.

He was smirking. ‘Funny, that; I actually don’t recall you mentioning anything of the sort.’

‘Must have slipped my mind—silly me.’

A look passed over his features, and he brought his hand to his mouth. ‘Oh dear, I’ve made a mistake, did I say the first week? The dinner is being held during the second week, not the first—silly me.’

Hermione stared at him in disbelief. ‘What?’

‘What luck—you’ll be back from your sojourn on the continent.’

The corners of his mouth lifted slightly in triumph, and Hermione narrowed her eyes. Git!

‘Well, thanks for that.’ She shook her head grimly at being so comprehensively outfoxed.

‘If I can’t escape then no one else is, Miss Granger.’

‘I can still arrange with my parents—’

‘I will go and see Minerva this instant and inform her of your plans. She will be most upset that the girl she sees as a surrogate daughter would go to such lengths to deceive her.’ His tone was mockingly soft and sad.

Hermione gaped like a fish.

‘Fine! Fine!’ she spat, eventually finding her voice. ‘You win.’

Ugh, she’d never met anyone so smug.

‘And no faking illness, either.’

‘How do I know you aren’t going to poison yourself or throw yourself down the stairs just to get out of it?’

‘I do not fall down staircases, Miss Granger, and what kind of credibility as a potioneer would I retain if I managed to poison myself?’

‘Fine; I guess we just accept it then. Besides, thinking about it, it might be an enjoyable evening.’

She ignored his frown and went back to her cauldron. Actually, she really wasn’t looking forward it. Did she want her reunion with Ron to occur in such public circumstances? Or would it be a good thing?

Not to mention that she would have to go out and buy something new to wear.

Why couldn’t she just stay in with a good book?


Hermione, with a little trepidation, crossed the length of the staff room to where her Potions master was currently sitting. For the umpteenth time, she wished she could just ask McGonagall to do it.

‘Sir, I wondered if I could speak with you a moment?’

Hermione sat down, clutching her scroll of parchment tightly.

He sighed. ‘What is it, Miss Granger? People have been badgering me all day, and I’d like to finish this article sometime this century.’

She inwardly groaned; she had definitely picked the best time to approach him.

‘I’ve been thinking about what I’m going to do, once I’ve finished here.’

She noted that he had the grace to look mildly interested. ‘Oh, and what have you come up with? Didn’t you naively suggest at one point that you wanted to teach? You need your head examined; I’m sure Poppy wouldn’t mind obliging.’

Hermione sighed long-sufferingly. ‘You know, you always go on and on about how you hate teaching—what an annoying job it is—yet, you obviously love it.’

‘I beg your pardon?’ he spluttered, looking fairly scandalised. ‘How dare you suggest such an idea.’

‘So, why are you here, then?’

‘Isn’t it obvious? Clearly, being a teacher is not the most enjoyable occupation; however, being a teacher at Hogwarts, well, it’s a cushy little number if one can get it. All of my meals cooked for me, no cleaning, all of my laundry done, students on-hand to do my dirty work, and ingredients and supplies available for my potion-making, the cost of which is often covered by the Ministry. Having to teach the ungrateful brats is just a regrettable downside, but we all have to pay our dues.’

Hermione wasn’t sure if he was being serious or not. ‘Well, it does sound rather comfortable when you put it like that...’ If not a little superficial, she added silently, with a little disapproval. ‘One day I would like to teach, but something else has caught my eye, for now. There is a position available in St. Mungo’s in the research and development department. It was mentioned to me while I was doing my work experience. I have the application form here; I was wondering if you would agree to write a reference for me and send it to this address?’

He took the parchment she proffered to him. ‘Hmm, Edwin Godolphin...’

‘Do you know him?’

‘Only vaguely—he’s well respected, I believe. When do you need me to send it off?’

‘I’m going to owl the form soon, so as soon as possible—if that’s all right?’

‘Very well.’

‘Thank you, sir.’

Hermione left the staff room in higher spirits than those which she’d entered with. She really liked the sound of working in St. Mungo’s—research was what she did best, after all.

A few hours later, after meticulously going through the application form, she attached the scroll to the foot of one of the school owls. Once the owl had disappeared from view, she found herself sincerely hoping that something would materialise from her application. She knew that a lot of it would come down to what Snape put in her reference. She prayed that no one had managed to put him in a foul mood in the time since she’d left him. The last thing she needed was for him to attempt to write it whilst dealing with his infinite frustration at the rest of the world.

It was not a prospect that inspired confidence, but there was nothing to be done but to wait and see.


As the end of term approached, Hermione was ready to hex someone.

‘Sir, can’t we conspire to cause an accident that would get us out of going to this stupid dinner? I don’t mind taking the blame.’

‘Miss Granger, are you blind? Can you not see that I am trying to brew a potion, here?’

‘That’s the point.’

‘You will not distract me into making a mistake and blowing up my cauldron. Besides, I don’t know what you have to dread about this—all your little friends will be there, much to my everlasting displeasure.’

Hermione huffed. ‘Everyone keeps banging on about it...’

It was driving her nuts. Not a day went by without someone mentioning how excited they were, or worse, what they were going to wear. The other day, Hermione had nearly hexed Reigate’s mouth shut after hearing for the millionth time about her new shoes. Then, there was Ginny who kept sending Floo-calls, asking if she knew what she was going to wear, and if not, did she want to go shopping? Or “Hermione, do these robes look nice?” “How should I do my hair?”

Hermione had half a mind to go in her work-robe, potion stains and all, in a fit of anarchy. Then, however, she remembered that her anarchist streak was very much a sliver compared to her conformist streak. So, no, there wouldn’t be a work-robe, but it was a nice fantasy, nonetheless.

A scratching at the door sounded, and Hermione looked at in surprise.

‘If that’s your bloody cat again...’

Hermione meekly got up and opened the door. In trotted Crookshanks, who leapt up onto the nearest bench.

‘He just gets lonely sometimes. Either that, or he’s hungry.’

‘Well, he shouldn’t be in here—cat hair gets everywhere, as well you should know.’

She glared at him. ‘Ha ha—my poor aching sides.’

Snape glanced up from his chopping board. ‘How can you even mistake cat hair for human hair? I recall Miss Bulstrode having rather long hair.’

‘Well, she must have had a long-haired cat, all right? Besides, I was twelve. Also, do you have to keep bringing that incident up? I’d successfully blocked it out.’

‘Just curious...’

‘You’ve never made a mistake with regard to a potion before?’

She’d wondered about this previously. She didn’t think she’d ever seen him fumble accidentally with an ingredient, or knock over a vial, or cut his finger, let alone actually brew something wrong.

‘Put it this way, I’ve never turned myself into a cat.’

‘Yet,’ she muttered stubbornly, under her breath. So, he was going to be cryptic about it—what a surprise.

Another noise distracted them and they both looked to see an owl tapping at the window.

‘It’s becoming like a blasted menagerie in here,’ Snape muttered as he crossed the room to open the window.

‘It’s for you, Miss Granger.’

‘Oh.’ She took the letter off him, and there was an unreadable look upon his face.

Glancing at the address on the front, she automatically froze. Clearing her throat uncomfortably, she stuffed the envelope into her pocket. She wouldn’t open it here.

‘How is Weasley these days?’ Snape asked as he returned to his cauldron.

Hermione frowned; she should have known he’d recognise the handwriting as well.

‘Do you care?’

He smirked. ‘No, I really don’t.’

She’d thought as much.

‘I do care, however, when I have to suffer his gormless countenance splashed all over my morning newspaper. I can assure you, bacon has never tasted so bad.’

Hermione was impressed. From what she’d seen over the last several months, not much could come between Severus Snape and a bacon sandwich at breakfast.

‘Ron doesn’t like having his private business aired in public any more than we do.’

‘Of course not; that’s why he’s always available to give his own comment on matters.’

He was right; Ron had given an interview to the Prophet the other day. Hermione shrugged. ‘Some people are interested, I suppose—a Quidditch player, friend of Harry Potter etc. Hell, people are even interested in what you get up to.’

Oh dear, she’d said that with a bit too much incredulity.

He snorted darkly. ‘Oh yes, I know very well what they’re interested about.’

Hermione was sure she hadn’t imagined the bitterness in his tone, but she was unsure as to his meaning. Was he referring to his problem with the Ministry? Were the vultures at the Prophet waiting for him to make a slip-up, as well?

‘Things will die down, eventually,’ she offered diplomatically. ‘The novelty of it all will soon wear off and people will stop caring.’

He didn’t say anything, and Hermione knew it was not worth pressing the issue any further.

She felt the weight of the envelope in her pocket, and she sighed. ‘Come on, then, Crooks.’

The ginger cat dutifully followed her as she left the office for the privacy of her rooms.


Dear Hermione,

You know what I’m like with letters, but I just wanted to say that I’m sorry that we have not spoken in such a long time. I never wanted to stop being friends with you, and I miss having you around. We’ll all be at Hogwarts for the Ministry’s dinner, and I hope that we can talk properly and sort things out.

Harry told me that you are feeling better, and I couldn’t be more pleased for you.

See you soon,


One Day Like This

A Harry Potter Story
by Hannah_1888

Part 7 of 23

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