Why Severus Snape is exactly what it sounds like; it's Hermione trying to explain to her friends and acquaintances why she chose to be together with Severus Snape. I have already written Ron, Harry, Ginny, Mrs Weasley and Luna, after that it's up to you! Tell me who you want to see, and don't consider death. I'm sure Sirius will be more than happy to come back from the other side to tell Hermione not to marry Snape.
There will be one chapter for each conversation. Rated T for sexual themes, and for some violence in a much, much later chapter.
But first, a prologue…
*OBS* Updated the seventeenth of February: Dumbledore is now alive! Hard to have a conversation with him otherwise, huh? ;)
The war had changed Hermione Granger.
It had humbled her. When she returned to do her last year of Hogwarts, it had finally dawned on her that she didn't know everything. She wasn't perfect in any way. Perhaps she was more intelligent than most. Perhaps she was the brightest witch of her age. But she wasn't perfect. And the urge to show off all her knowledge in all her school subjects was gone. Oh, she still answered to questions, more than anybody else, but she did it in a much humbler way. She simply wasn't such a know-it-all anymore.
She and Ron had broken up soon before she left for Hogwarts. They had realised that whatever had happened during the war, they weren't such a good match. They were fighting more than ever before, they had no common interests, and in the end, they realised they were better off as friends than anything else. It had been a mutual break-up, no hurt feelings.
When she returned to Potions for the first time, she realised how much she had missed Professor Snape's teaching during her sixth year. Of course, Professor Slughorn had been a good professor, but that natural talent for potions that only Snape had… It was quite mesmerizing.
Severus Snape, who had been bitten by Nagini in the final battle, had been very close to death. He had had just been about to draw his final breath, when Fawkes had swept in and saved him with a couple of tears; thanks to what later had turned out to be a last-minute decision made by Dumbledore.
Then everything had happened very fast. Voldemort had been defeated and Hermione and Ron had been let in on Professor Snape's life story.
Professor Dumbledore had retired directly after the war. He had said he was tired of being in charge, and since he was well past a hundred years, everybody had thought it was understandable.
Professor Snape had returned to Hogwarts to teach Potions one final year. Headmistress McGonagall had had her hands full trying to restore Hogwarts; she said she didn't have the time to search for a new Potions Master yet.
So in the end, both Hermione and Professor Snape had returned to Hogwarts for one final year. Professor Snape still thought of her as a know-it-all, but perhaps not as insufferable as earlier. And Hermione still thought of him as snarky and sarcastic, but perhaps not as mean as before. Though he could still keep an entire class quiet with a look, he hadn't scared any first year Hufflepuffs to tears this year.
And then weird things started to happen. Hermione started to notice how elegant his hands were, when he was brewing in front of the class. She started to notice how deep, smooth and silky his voice was when he was lecturing. She started to notice how entrancing his eyes were when they were focused on her. They were black, and deep enough to drown in.
With the presence of Lord Voldemort gone, his hair and skin regained the health it should have had from the very beginning. Gone was the sallowness of his skin. Gone was the greasiness of his hair. And though he was still thin, he didn't look unhealthily so anymore. He finally looked his thirty-eight years; not ten years older.
Nobody could call Professor Snape a good-looking man, what with the big, hooked nose, and his thin lips, but he most certainly looked better than ever before. And even though Hermione couldn't explain why, she noticed these changes.
Strange things happened to Severus Snape, too. He realised he began to read Miss Granger's essays with more interest than ever before. He found himself admiring her neat writing, and the way she approached the subjects she was writing about. She no longer wrote several inches of side-tracking, but kept to her subject admirably which made her essays interesting to read. More often than not he found that he had to give her an O for her efforts; her potions as well as essays were always without fault.
And as if that wasn't enough, he often found his eyes wandering to the Gryffindor table. There she sat, laughing with her younger friends, acting as if there was no troubles left in the world. Perhaps that was true. She was a brilliant young witch, part of the Golden Trio, about to take her NEWTs with no doubt straight O's, and with her whole future ahead of her. Lord Voldemort was gone and everybody loved her. Of course she wouldn't have any trouble with the rest of her life.
Those wild, chocolate-brown curls, those big, cinnamon-coloured eyes, that pretty face and her famous intelligence would attract some young male, hopefully more worthy of her than Weasley, and she would have two bossy, intelligent kids and a successful career.
Why did that thought fill him with such a strange feeling?
As the year continued, they began to think more and more about each other. Nobody else noticed anything amiss, and neither Snape nor Hermione realised that the subject of their thoughts was thinking about them too. Snape, ever the spy, made sure Hermione didn't notice him staring at her during the meals, and Hermione knew that it was perfectly natural for her to look at him during Potions.
This fragile balance was kept to the end of May. It was Friday afternoon, and both Snape and Hermione had had their last class for the week. Hermione decided to occupy herself with some revision for her fast approaching NEWTs, and decided on Potions. Soon, though, she bumped into a problem she couldn't find a solution to, and the more she searched for an answer, the more frustrated she grew. In the end, she realised she would have to search out Professor Snape, and ask for his advice. The thought made her stomach flutter.
Meanwhile, Snape was pacing his office. He was thinking about Hermione Granger again. Had the professor ever used the word pretty, he would have though her pretty during lunch today. It was getting increasingly hard to ignore.
Suddenly, his office door slammed open, and the subject of his thoughts rushed in. She looked both frustrated and angry, but that was no excuse for rushing in like that without knocking. He opened his mouth to take away points, perhaps even give her detention, when he saw what she looked like.
Gone were the heavy school robes. She was dressed in a white shirt with the two first buttons undone, hinting of a cleavage, and a grey skirt. Her hair was a curly mess, and her cheeks were bright red.
She had never been more beautiful in his eyes.
'Professor Snape! Sir, I have bumped into a problem and I can't find a solution anywhere and I need your help-'
She was interrupted by his lips crashing down on hers. She yelped with surprise, not prepared at all, but after a second of shock, she responded eagerly.
Two more seconds, and Severus Snape realised what he was doing. He was kissing a student, and not any student; Hermione Granger. He broke away from her immediately. She looked at him with wide eyes, wondering confusedly what had just happened. Professor Snape felt a blush creep across his cheeks; a very rare occurrence.
'Miss Granger. You must excuse me; I wasn't expecting you, or I would never have kissed you. I can assure you it will never happen ag-'
This time, it was him being interrupted, and her kissing him. He knew he made the wrong decision when he chose to respond, but he couldn't help himself. She was kissing him.
Then Hermione broke away from the kiss and smiled softly.
'You have no idea for how long I've wanted to do that,' she said, and Severus Snape stared at her in wonder.
'You… You have?' he asked, trying to keep his face and voice as impassive as ever, but failing. Hermione nodded, biting her lower lip with uncertainty.
'Yes… I don't know how it began, but…' she trailed off. Severus was quiet, waiting for her to continue. He didn't trust his own words at the moment.
'Anyways… Now, that I know it was just as good as I thought it would be, even better, I… I don't want to stop,' she mumbled, not meeting his eyes. Severus was starting to get control of himself again, when he didn't have to look into those cinnamon eyes. It dawned on him that the girl must be confused. Somehow the image of him had been mixed up with a bunch of teenage hormones in her brain, because that was what she was; a teenager. Not a gorgeous young woman he could barely keep his hands off. He had to remember her age, her inexperience. He knew he looked better after the war; he was still ugly, but if you compared to what he had looked like before, it wasn't too strange some girl or another had started to imagine she had feelings for him. But it was his responsibility as her professor to free her of those illusions. However much he wanted the illusions to be true.
'We cannot continue this,' he said, occluding as best he could. He had to keep his feelings at bay.
'Why not?' she asked, beginning to blush. 'You kissed me, so you can't be utterly repulsed by the thought,' she said meekly. Severus stared at her. Repulsed?
'You daft girl! No, of course I'm not repulsed! You're not the problem, I am,' he spat.
'Sir, if you'd please not give me any clichés, I'd be thankful,' Hermione said a little stiffly. Professor Snape gave her a bewildered look.
'Whatever these 'clichés' are, I'm not going to give you any,' he said, sounding confused.
'Oh – just a muggle thing,' Hermione mumbled.
'Well, as I said; it's not you, it's me. I'm twenty years your senior. I'm your professor. I'm scarred from the war, both mentally and physically. I'm snarky, sarcastic and emotionally crippled. And both you and I know there is nothing appealing about my looks; I'm ugly. You're simply confused, Miss Granger. Whatever you're feeling, it's just teenage hormones mixed up with my… Remotely improved looks,' he said sternly. But his words didn't seem to have the right effect; she rather looked more determined for every word. Severus fell silent. Hermione replied.
'I'm not confused! I was confused when it came to Ron; all my feelings for you are crystal clear. And I don't feel like nineteen. Boys my age are immature and childish; why do you think things didn't work out with my former boyfriend? Because I feel like it's much more than half a year between us.
'I know you're my professor, but only for two more weeks. Then you won't be anybody's professor, and I won't be anybody's student.
'I don't care about physical scars, and everybody are mentally scarred from the war; if I want somebody who isn't, I will have to choose somebody who is twenty years my junior, or a muggle.
'Sure, you're snarky and sarcastic, but I like that. When you aren't directly targeting me, it's really quite funny. I actually like your humour, you know. And about being emotionally crippled; bullshit. I don't buy that. Nobody who is emotionally crippled could do what you did for Lily.
'And really, Professor, you aren't ugly. You're not too thin anymore. Your skin isn't sallow. You're hair isn't greasy either. Anybody could drown in your eyes, your hands while brewing are almost too elegant, and your voice…' she trailed off, blushing. She hadn't planned on defending him from his own criticism so thoroughly, and she felt embarrassed for showing exactly how infatuated she was with him. Surely, he would laugh at her. Surely, he would mock her. Surely, he would send her away and tell her to stay away from him until she left school. Surely…
And then he kissed her. This time, none of them broke away, and they spent several minutes kissing deeply, before they parted again.
'Are you sure?' he asked, his face not as impassive as usual. 'You should know I'm… Quite possessive. I have a temper. I will be angry with you sometimes. I will yell at you for no apparent reason. I will be jealous; I will be in a mood every time you've spent time with Potter, or Weasley. Especially Weasley. I will be snarky and sarcastic towards you, even if we're together. I will be the man you've known and hated for eight years. I will still be me. Am I really somebody you want to spend any time with, not to talk about your life?' he asked, his eyes burning with intensity. 'You know I don't let go.'
'I know who you are. You're the one I fell in love with,' she mumbled, before she realised what she had said, and blushed beet red. Severus stared at her.
'Love?' he asked.
'I… Well… Yes,' she sighed, still blushing. Severus kissed her softly again.
'I can't say I love you,' he answered. 'But that's because I am emotionally crippled; I don't love easily. I think, though, that if you'd actually be willing to continue this… With me… I think what I'm feeling for you may very well grow into love. But Miss Granger-'
'Hermione,' Hermione interrupted.
'Hermione,' Severus continued, 'you really do deserve better,' he said. Hermione shook her head.
'Younger wouldn't be better. Dafter wouldn't be better. Handsomer wouldn't be you. There isn't anyone better out there,' she argued, and for the first time ever, she thought she detected something similar to a genuine smile in Severus Snape's face.
'In that case,' he mumbled, before kissing her again. Not much NEWT revision was done that afternoon.
The first time he told her he loved her was the day of her graduation. She had never been so happy in all her life; it was only beaten by the following night, when he told her again, in the middle of other activities.
They reached the mutual decision not to tell anybody; not her friends, not his. They knew their relationship wouldn't be well received, and therefore they wanted to wait as long as possible before they dropped the bomb.
Hermione had a well-paid job at the Ministry, and she and Severus shared a flat in London. He worked as a private potioneer, and was soon making even more money than Hermione with all the orders he received.
Since they both, but especially Hermione, wanted to invite friends sometimes, they made sure the other was never home when that occurred, and also developed a spell that concealed every sign of the other living in the flat. It was a clever spell, and quite hard to achieve, but they were both intelligent and managed to invent it.
When Christmas began to close in on them, both of them received invitations to Christmas parties, but both denied. Hermione said she wanted to spend her first Christmas in her new flat, to get that homey feeling she hadn't quite achieved yet. Severus said he hated Christmas and didn't want to go to some silly Christmas party. Both of them lied, of course. Hermione already loved their new home, and Severus didn't hate Christmas. The truth was that they simply wanted to spend it with each other.
Severus asked Hermione to let him fix everything for Christmas and New Year's Eve. She wanted to help with the decorations, but she agreed to let him do the cooking. The skilled Potions Master was just as skilled in the kitchen, while she was… Not. It didn't matter, though. Both were content to let Severus cook.
Christmas was nicely spent, eating, drinking a little, exchanging presents, and finishing the day in the most pleasant of ways.
New Year's was a little different, though. They were eating, drinking, having a wonderful day, but Severus seemed tense, different. He wasn't as relaxed as he usually was. Hermione wasn't sure what was wrong.
Soon, it was almost midnight. They started the countdown, or at least, Hermione did.
'Ten… Nine… Eight… Seven… Six… Five… Four… Three… Two… One… Happy new year!' Hermione exclaimed, turning to Severus to get a New Year's kiss. He wasn't standing upright, though. He was on his knee, holding a box. Hermione's breath hitched. Severus looked incredibly nervous.
'Hermione… I… I'm… Would you like to marry me?' he asked, looking even paler than usual. For a moment, all Hermione could do was to stare. Had he really asked her that? Had Severus Snape asked her to marry him? Yes, he had. And she knew just what to answer.
'Yes!' she gasped, tears filling her eyes. For a moment, she wondered if he had heard her barely audible answer, but then she felt him slipping the ring on her finger – she hadn't even looked at it yet – and she knew he had heard. The next moment he was kissing her passionately. She kissed him back, happy beyond words. She was to marry the man of her dreams! She couldn't wait to tell everybody…
'We have to tell everybody, don't we?' she suddenly asked, after breaking away from the kiss. His mouth twisted into a small grimace.
'…Yes,' he confirmed, after a pause.
And there we go! I hope you like where this is going; I just had this idea the other day and I had to try. So, the next chapter the conversations will begin. Remember to review and tell me what you think about this, and to tell me if there's anybody special you'd like her to talk to.
First up: Ronald Weasley