Continuing Tales

Thirty-One Days

A Harry Potter Story
by keelhaulrose

Part 13 of 29

<< Previous     Home     Next >>
Thirty-One Days

During the week, between classes and homework, Hermione and Severus couldn't find more than a few stolen moments together, but that suited Hermione well. It was much easier to keep themselves in check if they weren't able to spend private time together. Still, she relished the moments they did have together, and how she would often look up during their joint classes to find him looking longingly at her hand, her lips, or, when he could meet them, her eyes. It was odd, Snape acting like a normal teenage boy. He seemed like one of those people who sprung into existence, fully-grown, and had been the same ever since. Severus had become separate from Snape in her brain most of the time, and it was only the occasional mannerism or action that would remind her that they were the same person.

"He's looking over here again," Danielle whispered with a mischievous smirk during their Herbology lesson as the group were huddled together, diagramming the parts of a Venemous Tentacula and labeling which parts were used in potions.

Hermione glanced up to see Severus was looking over. He rolled his eyes with an almost imperceptible nod of his head to Mulciber and Avery, who looked to be about as much help in his group as Crabbe and Goyle would have been with her. He mouthed the word 'Playwizard' at her, pointing a skinny finger at Mulciber's book.

She chuckled and turned back to her group. "He just wanted to alert me to something amusing," she said nonchalantly as she added a few leaves onto their diagram.

"It's just weird to have him looking," Danielle shrugged. "I don't think he ever noticed us before."

"He noticed, but he's indifferent. Ravenclaws and Slytherins aren't usually on the friendliest of terms."

She looked up to see her roommates giving her a collective look.

"What?" she tried to sound surprised. "This may only be my seventeenth day here, but I can tell the Slytherins don't do much socializing outside their own house. Everyone is kind of limited to their houses, though there is a little mixing. I haven't seen many good inter-house friendships."

"The exception is sitting before us," Selena said with a nod towards her.

"It's easy for me to not get sucked into the house rivalries, I'm an outsider," she lied, though living in Ravenclaw really did make her feel like an outsider. It wasn't her house, she hadn't had cause to visit, and she really only knew and spoke to Luna in anything more than an academic capacity. It was interesting, how much this Hogwarts didn't feel like it did during her time as a student.

"Well, there's Quidditch this weekend, Ravenclaw versus Slytherin, so you're required to pick a side, and it best be ours. You may be seeing a Slytherin, but we know, and have access to, where you sleep."

"I will most certainly be supporting Ravenclaw," she laughed. "I have no desire to wake up with a mustache or something of the sort."

"Oh, I never thought of giving someone a mustache in their sleep," Jennae said with a smirk.

"And you better not start with me," Hermione warned.

Nearby several boys started throwing a paper airplane to each other every time Professor Sprout's back was turned. The airplane would do a trick, sometimes two, before landing neatly in front of a boy, who would quickly hide it under his cloak. Hermione barely noticed them, instead she busied herself scribbling a few notes by the roots on their diagram. Each time the boys threw the airplane it did more difficult stunts, looping and twirling, going higher and farther so the boys would have to lunge to catch it. At just the moment Hermione reached up to stretch the airplane flew over her shoulder. The boy who had lunged for it couldn't stop, and Hermione was knocked backwards. She felt something puncture her right arm, and instinctively jerked it back, but realized a moment too late that she had made a mistake. Her arm had landed in a fanged geranium, which had immediately taken hold, and by trying to jerk her arm from it's mouth she had only succeeded in helping it take a large chunk of her flesh. She cried out and fell to the ground, blood running down the appendage as she struggled to wrap her cloak around it, already feeling light-headed. As the blood quickly poured from the wound she found it harder to concentrate on wrapping it up, and the outer parts of her vision became blurry.

"Miss Puckle!" she heard Professor Sprout shout, but her voice sounded distant.

"Hermione!" Jennae was next to her, trying to help her wrap her cloak around the wound, but she was suddenly shoved aside by, to Hermione's surprise, Professor Snape.

"Stay still," he ordered.

"Yes, sir," she replied automatically.

"Stop that," he replied with a soft chuckle. He pulled the cloak away from her arm and ran his wand over the wound, repeating the words, "Vulnera Sanentur," in a singsong voice. Slowly she felt the blood slow to a trickle, then stop completely. Her eyelids fluttered as she leaned backwards in relief.

"Thank you, Professor," she managed, though the words were slurred.

"Oh, dear," Professor Sprout's voice came from her other side, and she tried to tell her she was okay, but managed only a half-hearted groan. "She sounds like she would benefit from a little blood-replenishing potion. Mister Snape, would you please escort her up to see Madam Pomfrey?"

"Yes, Professor," he replied, and she felt several hands hoist her to her feet.

"Come on, Hermione," she heard Professor Snape mutter into her ear, and she was confused for a second. Did Professor Snape just call her by her first name? They left the Greenhouses and headed up the lawn towards the castle.

"Does it hurt?" he asked her.

"Not really, though I'm sure once my head stops swimming it'll hit me."

"Is that why you called me 'professor'?"

"No," she replied, as if her answer were obvious. "It's because you're my Professor. It would be quite rude for me to call you otherwise, not to mention you'd probably dock me fifty points."

He chuckled. "Did you hit your head as well? I know I may have taught you half of what you've learned since you got here, but I'm hardly a Professor."

"Is this an attempt at humor, sir..." she trailed off as her legs wobbled and she stumbled. Snape grabbed her around the middle and hoisted her back up. She managed two more steps before stumbling again. Suddenly she felt lighter, and her feet left the ground as he hoisted her into his arms to complete the trip up. She opened her mouth, and found words failed her, so she rested her head against his shoulder and feebly wrapped an arm around his shoulders, afraid of slipping away from him.

"Good heavens!" she heard Madam Pomfrey said, as there was the sound of rustling as she readied a bed. She was lowered as gently as possible into the bed, and she heard Snape collapse in the chair next to the bed, breathing heavily.

"What happened?" she heard the healer demand.

"Got a bad bite from a fanged geranium," he replied. "She tried to pull her arm away, and it just made things worse. She forgot you have to push into it for it to let go."

Hermione felt her arm lift up, and turned several ways as it was examined.

"Who did the healing spell on this?" Madam Pomfrey asked.

"I did," Snape replied, a hint of pride in his voice.

"Excellent job, young man. I'll be talking to Slughorn, and making sure you get ten points for your quick thinking. You may return to class, if you wish."

Hermione's brow furrowed in confusion. What did Madam Pomfrey think she was getting at? Professors didn't get awarded points, and Snape would be a horrid DADA teacher if he couldn't heal a bite wound.

"May I..." he started cautiously. "May I stay?"

There was a long pause, then Pomfrey answered, "Yes, of course. I'm going to give her a blood replenishing potion, and something for pain, as that will probably return when she's got enough blood in her. If you would like to help, I'll give you some dittany to dab onto the wound, that should prevent the worst of the scarring, though she'll probably have a little of that as well."

"Thank you, ma'am."

Hermione felt something press to her lips, and she obligingly tipped her head back and let the first potion slide down her throat. A few seconds later she was given another one, and she felt Snape gently pull her arm towards her and start running a cloth soaked in dittany over the wound. She sank into the pillow behind her, exhaling heavily as she felt a surge of strength rush through her. Within minutes the room stopped spinning, and she felt her reason coming back to her. And as she did, she was grateful that there still wasn't enough blood to completely blush, because she quickly realized that she had mistaken the young Severus for her cantankerous old Professor. She really hoped he wouldn't remember everything she had said any longer than a few days or he might find it a very odd coincidence that she was so insistent he was a professor when it actually came true. Slowly she opened her eyes, to see Severus looking at her in concern.

"How are you feeling?" he asked softly.

"Like I made a bloody fool of myself," she replied honestly, then she felt a throb of pain in her forearm. "And like I'm in too much pain to have you give me shit for it."

He smiled, examining her arm by running his fingers over the faint scars. "I'll just hold off now and ridicule you when you're let out of here."

She sighed dramatically and acted faint. "I may have to stay in here a few days. Maybe a week or two."

"I have a long memory."

"I'd believe it," she replied.

"Mulicber and Avery aren't going to be very happy you're making them complete their own assignment."

"Mulicber and Avery can kiss my..."

"Such immoderate language," he smirked.

"I've been attacked by a bloody plant. I should be allowed to curse a few times without repercussions."

"What kind of repercussions am I supposed to give you? Despite your insistence to the contrary, I cannot really take points."

"Which is good, because Gryffindor would never have a ruby in their hourglass if you could."

He smirked. "I may be a little biased."

"Just a little," she smiled.

"Feeling better?"

"Much. I wonder how long I'll have to stay up here?"

"Probably not long. I think she's going to want a little more color to your cheeks. You're still looking as pale as a ghost."

Hermione instinctively looked around, knowing if Nearly Headless Nick would be affronted if he had overheard their conversation, but there was no ghost in sight. "That spell you use earlier, the one that healed my arm. What was it?"

"Vulnera Sanentur?"

"Yes, that one."

"Something I discovered playing around one day. It means 'may the wounds be healed'."

She thought of asking why he would need to know such a spell, but the thought of the Marauders passed through her mind, and she decided she could hazard a good enough guess. Instead she asked, "You have to say it kind of singsong?"

"It works best that way. More a low chant than a quick shout or anything causual."

"Three times?"

"That depends on the severity or number of wounds. You run your wand along whatever wounds you want healed. Sometimes nearby minor wounds will be healed as well, but more severe wounds will need their own attention. A minor cut will usually be healed in one chant, I've seen wounds that need up to five chants."

She felt her heart sink, and she placed a hand on his. "How long have you been healing yourself?"

His jaw tightened for a moment, and he looked down at their entwined fingers as he murmured, "I first managed late in my second year. I was proficient by mid third."

She sighed, squeezing his hand.

"I wish I had known it earlier."

"You shouldn't have had to know it as early as you did,"she whispered.

"Don't. I don't need sympathy."

"What? Because you don't think I know what it feels like?"

His eye flicked to the scars on her arm. "It's different."

"It is. And yet, the results are similar."

"You did nothing wrong."

"I put myself in a poor situation."

"That seems like a poor excuse for what happened."

She bit her lip, not wanting to goad him. "How're my cheeks?" she asked lightheartedly.

"You're almost back to color. Would you like me to pinch them so they're nice and rosy?"

"Pinch my cheek and I'll curse the hand you use to do so," she warned.

Madam Pomfrey came back into the room. She checked Hermione's wound, her temperature, then her pulse. She gave her a glass of juice to drink, and said once she had finished the drink she'd be able to go, then hurried off to attend to a first year who had fallen off a broomstick. Upon seeing a bone sticking through the students leg Hermione quickly downed the juice, and stood up to leave. Severus led her quickly away.

"Some first-years should never be trusted on broomsticks," he said as the started to wander towards the Great Hall, where lunch would soon be served. It was still a little early, so she didn't object when he pulled her into a secret passage. She stumbled a little on a trick stone, and he grabbed her around the middle to keep her up, though her weight knocked them both off balance, and her back hit the wall behind her, his arms still tightly holding her.

"Still feeling a little wobbly, or are you just naturally uncoordinated?" he asked with a smirk.

"Shut it," she shot back. "How in the ruddy hell anyone is supposed to remember every single vanishing step or slippery stone in this place? It's like this castle is testing your magic by trying to kill you."

"What a way that would be to go. I'd put it on your headstone. Hermione Puckle- Killed by a castle. Muggles would be trying to figure it out for years."

"What makes you think you'd have any say on what goes on my headstone?"

"Because I'm obviously going to outlive you. You seem to be a magnet for trouble, whereas all I have are annoying Gryffindors to worry about. If I survive to graduation, I'm home free."

"You better not go before me, or I'm going to put exactly what everyone is thinking on your headstone."

"Is that a challenge?"

"Why must all our challenges be horrid?"

"Because you're insufferable."

"There you go with the compliments again. How is it you don't have a giant trail of panting witches following you wherever you go?"

"My devilishly good looks are too intimidating for them," he sneered, and she burst out laughing.

"I think you're good looking."

"You must have hit your head, then," he muttered before leaning down to kiss her. Her body relaxed as the kiss deepened, one of his hands was on her face, holding her to him, the other roamed up and down her body. She couldn't help but smile and mold herself to his body. Soon she felt weak-kneed, and it had nothing to do with her injury. She would have happily spent hours alone with Severus in that passageway if they weren't interrupted.

"Oh, Puckle, you could do so much better," a voice groaned and she broke her embrace to look over at James, who had a disgusted look on his face. Lily was peeking around his shoulders, looking concerned. Surprisingly Severus didn't seem to have a witty retort; one glance at Lily and he looked pointedly away. Seeing Harry's parents together, alone, made Hermione extremely uncomfortable. She wanted nothing more than to leave as quickly as possible.

"I beg to differ," she weakly shot back.

"James, let's just go," Lily said, tugging on his arm towards the way they had come, but James ignored her. She looked at Hermione, then pointedly turned her back on the situation.

"Puckle, you're intelligent, pretty, and one of the most alluring witches in this school. You could get anyone you wanted, why in the name of Merlin are you settling for him?"

"I would hardly call it settling," she replied with as much strength as she could muster, though she knew it lacked the edge she normally had when dealing with the Marauders. "He is nothing like what you make him out to be." She felt Severus' grip tighten painfully on her arm, then slacken dejectedly.

"What we make him out to be is a greasy, self-absorbed, mean-spirited git. He earns that reputation. You are the exact opposite, and I don't care what the saying is, opposites don't attract in real life. Come on, how could you stand to touch him? How does your hand not slip off him from all the grease?"

"Grow up," she hissed, grabbing Severus' sleeve, but he didn't need any further encouragement, quickly taking the lead as they hurried from the passageway and towards the Great Hall.

"He's the definition of arrogant prat," she grumbled when they were out of earshot.

"Yeah. He is," Severus replied, not looking at her.

"Severus, what's going on?"

"Nothing. I'll... I'll see you later."

"Oh. Okay," she murmured at his retreating back as he slouched towards the Slytherin table. She started walking down the Ravenclaw table towards her friends, but chanced a glance back at Severus before sitting. He was sitting alone, his back to her, shoulders slumped, with no food in front of him.

"How's your arm?" Jennae asked as Hermione sunk onto the bench next to her.

"Totally healed," Hermione said, rolling up her sleeve to show a small scar, which was all that remained from the fanged geranium.


"Snape certainly rushed in to play white knight," Danielle said with a mischievous smile.

"He knew a healing spell. Sprout wasn't using anything, and I was losing a lot of blood," Hermione defended.

"He looked very concerned."

"We are seeing each other. I think he realizes that I'd ditch him in a heartbeat if he looked at me and laughed while hemorrhaging. Don't worry, he got some of the snark out of his system once I was recovering in the hospital wing."

"What did he say?"

"He insinuated I either had to have hit my head, or I'm not as smart as I let on."

"You did call him 'sir' in front of the whole class. We had to quash rumors that there was something more to that other than your recent trauma," Jennae told her.

"For some reason I confused him with one of my professors."

Selena suddenly had a horrified look on her face.

"What's wrong?" Hermione asked, concerned.

"I just thought about what class would be like with Snape as the Professor. It wasn't pleasant."

"You have no idea," Hermione muttered under her breath, but no one overheard her.

Severus was acting distant for the rest of the day, showing up at the last second for their Defense class, and leaving the moment the bell rang, saying there was something he needed to do. Hermione had a free period, so she went to the library alone to work on some homework. She had completed half her Transfiguration essay when someone sat across from her. Looking up she locked gazes with a familiar set of eyes- Harry's. With a pang of homesickness she realized it was not her friend, but Lily who had just joined her.

"Hullo," Lily said quietly.

"Hullo," Hermione replied, trying to look unconcerned as her stomach tied itself in knots. Even if she wasn't friends with Harry, it was widely known that Lily had given her life for her son, but because of her close relationship with Harry she felt guilty spending time with his parents knowing his time would be cut short before he could really remember them.

"I know we've met, but we haven't really gotten to talk away from the boys."

"James doesn't seem to like to let you out of his sight."

"Yes, well..."she blushed and shook her head. "How is everything going for you?"

"Very well. It's a nice school. Now that I've gotten into the swing of things, I feel like just another student."

"Good," she murmured, fingers nervously drumming on the table. "So... You and Severus are seeing each other." It wasn't a question, and Hermione simply nodded once in acknowledgment. "He and I have quite the history."

"I heard you were good friends, but had a falling out," she replied softly.

"Yes," she said, straightening up. "Did you hear what caused it?"

"I heard he used a word as a culmination of some tension between the two of you over the company he was keeping."

She nodded vigorously. "It's that company I'm wanting to warn you about. They're not a nice lot."

"I know. I'm trying to encourage him to broaden his horizons, but I know I can't fully drive him away. They're the ones who have shown him friendship during a tumultuous time in his life."

A look of guilt crossed Lily's face, but it only lasted a fraction of a second. "He pushed me one step too far."

"He had been humiliated and emasculated in front of a crowd of people. He would have picked any fight he could win at that point."

"You weren't there..."

"No. I wasn't. But I understand that sometimes people say things out of emotions that they really wish they could take back almost immediately."

"He and his friends have been saying things like that for a while now," she said, starting to sound frustrated.

"He despises that word, and I think I know why. He paid a terrible price for using it, and he'd give anything to take back what he said."

"He wouldn't. He doesn't need me anymore."

"He'd give me up in a heartbeat if you offered your friendship back. His behavior in front of you when you came across us in the passageway proves it. Had it just been James, he would have probably hexed him. You catch us, and he suddenly becomes quiet and distant from me. He's still hurting."

She was silent for a moment. "It doesn't change anything."

"I didn't expect it to. But you should know. All he has right now is his pride, and he can't afford to beg forgiveness again."

"Why do you want to be with him?"

Hermione thought a moment. "Because I know he's so much more than what he appears. And the more I get to know about him, the more I realize we're a good match. I think I'm putting more into it than he is at this point. Because his heart is conflicted."

"I can't..."

"I'm not asking you to. I just hope you'd think about it."

Lily stood, looking conflicted. "I hope he snaps out of it, the distance and silence towards you. Because he has exactly what he needs already, and it's not my forgiveness." Before Hermione could say another word she had disappeared into the stack of books.

Hermione tried to continue her essay, but after twenty minutes and no progress she gave it up as a bad job. She quickly packed up her things so she'd have time to drop them off at her dorm before going down to dinner, determined to catch Severus and talk to him. There was only two weeks left before she returned to her time, and she didn't have the time for him to mope.

Thirty-One Days

A Harry Potter Story
by keelhaulrose

Part 13 of 29

<< Previous     Home     Next >>