A/N: This little beauty is dedicated to Araeofsomething for her birthday. I'd like to give a huge thanks to JenniferLupinBlack for being my fantastic alpha and to TrisanaChandler13 for being my fantastic beta. There's a pretty obvious Doctor Who reference in here as well… hehe, couldn't resist :P I hope you all enjoy, and April, happy (late) birthday!
Disclaimer: JKR owns the world of Harry Potter, not me. I am making no money from the posting of this story.
Hermione hurried down the hall, thankful that they were empty. She had accidentally overslept this morning and was now late for the class. Her best friend Martha had gone into labor a month early so she was unable to finish teaching the summer baking course she ran at the local community center. Hermione, unable to say no, agreed to teach the remaining two weeks of the course. She was a decent baker so she figured it wouldn't be too difficult. Martha was confident Hermione would be able to handle the class. There were only five people in the class.
But those five people will be angry you're late, Hermione reminded herself, picking up her pace. When she realized she was at the right room, she paused outside the door to collect a calming breath.
Opening the door, she walked inside. "Sorry I'm late everyone!" she said, moving to place her bag on the table in the front. "My name is Hermione Granger and I'll be filling in for Martha. Her little one was born early so she'll be unable to teach. I will finish up the course since she is obviously unable to. I hope none of you object that."
Hermione glanced up for the first time, looking over the people in the class. Near the front was a couple sitting so close together that Hermione thought the girl was sitting on the boy's lap. A middle-aged woman sat at the opposite table. There was a young girl sitting behind the woman, who looked to be no older than fourteen. She glanced at the last person and felt her jaw drop slightly.
No, that wasn't right.
There was no way it was him. There was no way in hell that was Severus Snape staring at her. No, it couldn't be.
She swallowed nervously, her tongue darting out to wet her lips. With the glare she was receiving, she could only assume it was indeed her surly Potions professor. She coughed nervously under his glare.
"Well, today we'll be baking a bay leaf pound cake," Hermione said, her eyes darting around the room. How is it one look from this man made her feel like she was in his classroom once again? "Some of you may be wondering about the bay leaves. Sounds gross, doesn't it?" She laughed. "Well, coupled with the orange, it creates a delicious taste. And as an added bonus, the cake makes the room smell absolutely wonderful."
She walked around, passing the recipe to all the people. Hermione was careful to avert her eyes from Snape as she slipped him a paper. Turning, she walked to the front of the room.
As everyone collected their ingredients, Hermione thought about her former potions professor, Severus Snape. She had not heard of him, or seen him, since the end of the war. After recovering at St. Mungo's, the surly wizard slipped away from the wizarding world. No one even knew where he went or lived.
Yet here he was, Hermione mused. Severus Snape taking a summer pastry course in a small Muggle neighborhood. She would have to ask Martha if she knew anything about him.
The class flew by as she explained step by step what to do. It seemed most of them knew what they were doing so they were able to get through quickly. The only ones who had any difficulty were those two teens that wouldn't stop hanging off one another.
"April, if you can't untangle yourself from Dave long enough to watch your cake, there's nothing I can do to prevent it from burning," Hermione said with a sigh as April continued to cry about her ruined cake.
Oh, to be young and in love. Hermione rolled her eyes. As everyone packaged up their things to leave, Hermione noticed Snape was lingering behind the others. Her heart raced as she wondered why.
Slowly, everyone left the room except for Snape. She watched him, waiting for him to say something.
As the silence stretched between them, Hermione realized Snape wouldn't be saying anything. She sighed, knowing she would have to start the conversation.
"Well, Professor Snape, fancy seeing you here," she said, immediately cursing herself. Why in the world would she say something so cheesy to him? She was an idiot.
An amused expression appeared on his face. He stood, approaching the front of the room.
"Miss Granger," he said with a slid nod of his head. "I did not expect to see you here."
She laughed. "Well, I never expected our paths to cross again." Her eyes widened in horror. "Not that I didn't want them to, it's just, er, wow." She bit her lip. "I'm really making an arse out of myself, aren't I?"
"Yes, but it is rather amusing," Snape stated. He looked at the witch, taking in her appearance.
Hermione squirmed under his intense stare. Those onyx eyes could make a first year shake in fear, but now they were having a different effect on her. It suddenly felt as if the room was too hot. She opened her mouth to say something but he cut her off.
"Not now, Miss Granger. I can see the wheels turning in that head of yours and know you must have questions. Why don't you ask them as we walk to the parking lot. I'm assuming you drove?"
Hermione collected herself and nodded. "Yes, I drove here." She tilted her head to the side, looking up at him. "Did you drive here, Professor?"
"Call me Snape or Severus," he corrected. "I haven't been your professor in six or so years now."
"All right, Severus," she said, testing his name on her lips. "You may call me Hermione, then."
"No," Severus replied, a smirk appearing on his face. "I think not, Miss Granger."
What? Hermione gaped at him. It seemed this man was as vexing and infuriating as ever, just how she remembered him.
"But yes to your earlier question," Snape responded, moving towards the door. "I drove here."
Hermione slung her bag over her shoulder and followed him out. "So, have you been living as a Muggle?" she asked.
He shrugged. "I suppose. It is much simpler. I still brew potions, but I get all my ingredients delivered through the post. I have no use for being seen in public."
Hermione nodded. She knew people still hated him, despite Harry making sure everyone knew the truth. It was quite sad, to be honest.
"But I must ask," Snape said. "Is Miss Jones all right? She went into labor quite early."
"Oh, Martha's fine!" Hermione said. "I just visited with her yesterday. She and the baby are good. They're both home. She named him Jared, Jared Jones."
"How do you know her?" he inquired.
"Martha and I have been friends for ages. She knows I'm a witch. She found out during my third year. We've been inseparable since our childhood. We went to grade school together." Hermione explained walking beside him.
"Miss Jones is the reason I'm in this infernal class," Snape said.
"Oh?" Hermione glanced up at him, taking in his profile. His nose wasn't as large as she remembered it being. Immediately, she scolded herself for thinking that. What the hell was wrong with her today?
"Yes, we're neighbors. She grew tired of me asking her to bake for me."
Hermione laughed. "Sounds like Martha, all right. But you're neighbors? I thought you lived in Spinner's End."
"No, I moved. Wanted to hide from the public, remember?" Severus said as if it were obvious.
"Well, this is me," Hermione said abruptly, pointing to her yellow Volkswagen Beetle.
Snape snorted. "I don't know why I'm surprised you're driving a car with an obnoxious color."
"Hey!" Hermione protested, throwing her hands on her hips. "What the heck is that supposed to mean? Yellow is a cheerful color!"
"For a Hufflepuff," Snape retorted.
"Oh? And I bet you drive a green car, don't you?" she asked snidely.
"Yes, Miss Granger, I do," he replied with smirk. Pulling out his car keys, he pressed a button and a beep sounded out.
Looking around, she tried to spot his car. When she did, she had to stop herself from gaping. He did drive a green car. It was a deep forest green. It was a green Jaguar. Severus Snape drove a green Jaguar.
"I need to go home," she murmured, feeling as if today had been a trip down the rabbit hole.
"Well, Miss Granger, I'll see you tomorrow," Snape said, walking towards his car.
"Bye," she muttered, getting into her own car. She would be calling Martha as soon as she got home.