Continuing Tales

Past Imperfect

A Harry Potter Story
by Vitellia

Part 18 of 27

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Hermione has a headache. Severus – the portrait who behaved like a decent person, not the man who lacks even a shred of human decency – told her she might get headaches if she stayed in the past too long. She asked Snape – arsehole human Snape – to work on improving the potion so she could stay longer, but of course he didn't. He wants her gone, and isn't going to lift a finger to do anything that might keep her here any longer than necessary.

It's time to take her next dose of Time Turner potion. Maybe that will help with the headache. She doesn't want to take a headache potion because Severus wasn't sure how any other potion might interact with the Time Turner potion. She rummages in her bag for the bottle, but can't find it. "Accio Time Turner potion," she says, but nothing happens. She frowns. She knows there was one in here. There's another in her bedside table drawer, so she gets up from her desk and walks into her private quarters to get it. Only it's not there. Her frown deepens. What are the odds both bottles would be gone?

She tries summoning the bottles, but nothing happens. She walks down to the dungeons and stands in the hallway outside Snape's rooms and tries again, in case proximity helps. Still nothing. Snape, you dirty, buggering bastard. He obviously summoned them, and now he's warded them so she can't summon them back. But why? It could only mean that he wants to talk to her. And of course he can't just come tell her that like an adult with normal social skills, can he?

She snatches up a piece of parchment scrawls, Give it back and heads up to the owlery.

No response, naturally. She tries to concentrate on her marking, but her headache is getting worse. She picks up her wand, conjures her Patronus and hisses, "Give. It. Back."

Severus is waiting for his students to arrive when her Patronus comes. He ignores it, as he ignored her owl. If she wants her sodding potion, she can come and ask him for it. Naturally it's the fourth year class he's waiting for, the class where fifteen-year-old Granger will look at him with those big, innocent brown eyes, having no idea that she's going to grow up and turn his life inside out.

"Mr. Malfoy," he says, beckoning, when Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle come in.


"You may partner with Miss Parkinson – or whomever you like – today."

"Why, sir?"

"Because I said so, Mr. Malfoy," he says in a voice he doesn't normally use with his godson.

"I'd just as soon keep working with Granger, if it's all right, sir."

"As you prefer."

Ungrateful brat. He whinged about having to work with Granger in the first place, and now he doesn't appreciate being told he doesn't have to.

Severus notices Pansy Parkinson glaring at Draco, and then casting an even darker look at Granger when she sashays in with Weasley and Potter. As Granger passes by on her way to sit with Draco, Parkinson fires a poorly concealed hex at Granger, who shrieks as her front teeth start growing down past her lower lip, headed for her chin.

Severus casts a quick Finite and says, "Mr. Longbottom, take Miss Granger to the infirmary. Miss Parkinson, twenty points from Slytherin." The students gape at him. "As much for being clumsy enough to get caught as for the hex, which is easily undone," he says, but the damage is done. He'd better hope the Dark Lord doesn't come back, because if he gets a reputation for fairness to Gryffindors in general and Potter's sidekick in particular, he is so very, very fucked.

Severus is walking around checking the messes in his students' cauldrons when the door flies open and bangs against the wall with a resounding crash as Granger charges in. Not a dentally incapacitated teenage Granger, but an adult Granger radiating as much fury as the avenging goddess Nemesis.

"Class dismissed," she announces.

"Class is not dismissed," Severus replies coolly, then charges toward her looking anything but cool after she vanishes every potion in every cauldron.

"Out!" she growls at the students then casts a non-verbal Muffliato around her and Severus, not waiting for the students to leave before she rips into him.

"Are you a child? Can you not simply tell me you want to talk to me?"

Tell her you're sorry. Tell her you couldn't face sitting outside yet another angry woman's door begging for forgiveness, he tells himself. Instead he says, "I have no idea what you're talking about."

"You do know that I'll die if I don't take that potion?"

"Always with the drama," he says with an exaggerated sigh. A rather theatrical sigh, truth be told, he realizes with annoyance.

"Either I take that potion or I go back to my time without destroying the last Horcrux."

"I'm perfectly capable of destroying the Horcrux on my own."

"By taking a basilisk fang to Harry? No, thanks."

"You're hardly the only virgin in Britain," he says, then adds, "perhaps just the oldest."

That one hit home, he sees with less satisfaction than anticipated. She struggles to compose herself, then says, "The base needs to rest for at least 24 hours. Brew it and I'll bring you the ingredient. As soon as Harry takes it, I'll be gone."

"Going to a bar to pick up some Muggle to fuck?"

She gives him a cruel smile. "Oh, I'm sure Sirius Black would be glad to help."

Severus feels her words twist like a knife in his gut, and before he recovers sufficiently to formulate a cutting response about dogs and fleas, she's already slammed the door behind her.

It is not his concern what she does. He is not responsible for what happens to her if she doesn't take that potion. She can go back to her time and let him sort out the Horcrux. And he can, quite easily. There must be plenty of virgins who are of age, unattractive ones he'd have a shot at seducing, since Imperius is out of the question. Or he could ask Lucius, tell him it's for some Dark potion or other, nothing to do with the Dark Lord. Lucius wouldn't even have to Imperius a girl, since women – even very young ones – seem to like him. Even Granger, who hates Lucius, seemed like she was attracted to Severus when he was Polyjuiced as Lucius. Until she remembered it was him underneath the flawless features and gleaming teeth, of course.

He broods until lunchtime, when he sits at the end of the high table and broods at his steak pie. Granger isn't there. Not that he gives a tinker's damn.

After lunch he has a double free period that's long enough to for him to brew the Horcrux potion base. He works even more carefully and meticulously than usual, concentrating on the process, not on the source of the final ingredient. This potion, if it's brewed right and works as the book says it does, will free him from the Dark Lord – and from Albus. If it works. His future self thought it would, but he doesn't want to get his hopes up. If it doesn't work, he really can't take a basilisk fang to Lily's son, can he?

Utilitarian debates about the good of the many versus the good of the one he can shut out easily, but thoughts about Granger going to see Black tomorrow – he hopes she's bluffing but she may be just that stubborn – require his Occlumency shields to shut out.

When the base is finished, he sets a timer to tell him when the 24 hours are up and cleans his lab thoroughly. He returns to the classroom with about ten minutes before the Slytherin and Gryffindor sixth year class begins.

"Right in the middle of class," one of the Weasley twins says as he walks in. "She just stops talking mid-sentence, and kind of sways, then falls over in a dead faint."

"Is she going to be okay?" Angelina Johnson asks.

"We called Pomfrey –"

"I cast the Patronus," Lee Jordan cuts in. "Good thing she finally taught us how after that wanker Crouch wasted the first part of the year."

Severus snaps to attention at this. "Who collapsed?" he demands.

"Professor Greene."

"Where is she?"

"The infirmary."

Severus flicks his wand at the board and Three feet on the uses of dragon's blood in healing potions appears. "Leave your essays on my desk," he calls as he all but runs to the door.

Poppy is casting a diagnostic charm over an unconscious Granger when Severus reaches the infirmary. He uncorks the bottle he's pulled from his pocket and puts his arm behind Granger's shoulders, pulling her to a sitting position.

"Severus Snape, what do you think you're doing?" Poppy demands.

Ignoring her, he tips the bottle to Granger's lips and whispers, "Drink."

Her lashes flutter a little and she moans something sibilant that he thinks may be his name.

"Please, pet," he murmurs. "Just a little."

She swallows a little, then a little more. She opens her eyes and takes the bottle from him, swallows the rest of the dose and sets it on the bedside table.

"Stupid, stubborn girl." The words sound more like an endearment than a rebuke. "Is it really worth dying just to show me up?"

"What did you give her, Severus?" Poppy asks.

"It's for a condition I have," Hermione says, rapidly coming back to herself. "I ran out of it and Professor Snape was kind enough to brew some more for me."

"What condition?"

"It's kind of personal," Hermione says.

"I am a medical professional, you know," Poppy huffs, casting another diagnostic spell. She frowns. "That's odd."


"Your readings are almost back to normal."

"Can I go then?"

"I'd like you to stay a bit longer so I can observe you," the Mediwitch says.

"All right."

"Rest," the Mediwitch says. "And you need to go now," she tells Severus.

"Five minutes, Poppy," he says. "I need to speak with Professor Greene."

"Two minutes, and I'll be back to check."

"Harridan," Severus mutters and looks at Granger, but she's turned to lie on her side facing away from him. He walks around to the other side of the bed. Removing another full bottle of the potion from his pocket, he sets it down next to the half finished bottle and casts a Muffliato. "I'll brew more tonight."

"Don't bother. I'll be gone in a few days. Have you brewed the base?"

"Granger –"

"Have you?"


"Then we're nearly finished. Soon you'll only have to put up with one of me being insufferable." She turns on her other side, facing away from him again.

He tries to think of something he can say to make things right, but sees the Medi-harridan charging down the row of beds at him and ends the silencing spell. He's halfway to the door when he notices young Granger sitting in one of the beds watching him. "Are you quite recovered, Miss Granger?" he asks her.

She looks startled at his politeness, considering what a bastard he's been to her since he's been in a strop with her older self, but she recovers and replies, "Yes, thank you, Professor."

"Teeth good as new?"

"Better than new," she says, showing teeth that look like adult Granger's.

"You'll have to owl Parkinson a thank you note," he says, leaving both Grangers behind as he heads back to see what the unsupervised Weasley twins have gotten up to in his classroom.

Past Imperfect

A Harry Potter Story
by Vitellia

Part 18 of 27

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