Meddling with Her Story
All recognizable characters belong to J. K. Rowling, and I am not earning anything by writing this story.
I am not a native speaker of English. Please excuse my mistakes.
Completely AU! Time travel! Partly OOC! Don't like - don't read!
Severus' eyes narrowed, as his thoughts seemed to go haywire. 'Oh Merlin, I hope he'll take it well,' she thought, feeling strongly reminded of her former Potions professor in her old time.
"That's where the Wolfsbane potion comes from," he finally said in a calm voice. "I know that there's no such thing in this time."
"Probably yes," Hermione agreed, smiling.
"But then we can't use that and try to improve it," he continued, his voice laced with anger. "Someone in the future should invent it, and we're going to prevent him from getting credit for his invention."
Hermione smirked. "As far as I know, it was you who invented it, and you never got credit for it. You're known as the youngest and best Potions Master since Salazar Slytherin though. If we manage to develop a cure for lycanthropy, you may take the whole credit for it. I don't mind."
"Did I take the Dark Mark in your future?" Severus abruptly queried, quirking an eyebrow.
"You became a Death Eater, yes, but after something terrible happened, you changed sides and became a spy for Professor Dumbledore," Hermione informed him, looking at him in expectation to assess how he was going to decide. "If you wish to become a spy in the first place, we can go to see the headmaster together, and I can explain about your future activities," she then offered.
"Something terrible happened," Severus repeated, pensively. "And it was my fault?" He stared at the girl with his eyebrow raised.
"Yes," Hermione admitted. "You overheard a prophecy and reported it to the Dark Lord, causing two of our classmates to die. You know," she continued in a lighter voice, "if it's not too late, I think you shouldn't take the Dark Mark at all. Don't join him at all, just keep away from him."
"I believe that it's too late for that," Severus replied, regrettably. "Malfoy has already spoken to him on my behalf, and if I refuse to join him at this stage, I'll surely be on his black list."
"Certainly," Hermione confirmed, letting out a deep sigh, before she added, "Being his follower doesn't mean power. It means being tortured by him every now and then because of failing him." Noticing his shocked expression, she suggested, "Shall we go and speak with Dumbledore then?"
Severus remained pensive for a few minutes, and Hermione was just about to get impatient, when he responded. "Please give me a few days to think about it."
"All right," she agreed, looking at him in concern.
During the following two weeks, Hermione and Severus spent most of their time in the library, where they tried to develop the cure, before they explained what seemed to be a possible success to Professor Vector.
The professor took her time to study the recipe of the Wolfsbane potion as well as their method of Arithmancy to improve the potion as well as the varieties of changes concerning the ingredients, before she nodded in what seemed to be appreciation.
"This sounds very good," she finally said. "I suggest that you brew the first version and see if it works."
To Hermione's shock, Severus let out a snort. "And how, Professor, are we supposed to see if it works?" he asked in apparent disbelief. "It's not exactly as if we could infest some rats with lycanthropy."
The professor rolled her eyes. "I thought you had a friend who was a werewolf. Did you not ask him if he was willing to test any possible potion you might develop?"
"No Professor," Hermione spoke up. "I'm sure that Remus would be willing to test it for us, but we didn't speak to him yet, because we didn't want to get his hopes up. I'll write to him and ask…"
"No, you can't do that," Severus interrupted her, crossly. "What if our potion harms or even kills him? We must ask the headmaster to speak with his parents and receive their consent, before we can even think about talking to Lupin."
"Let's do that then," Hermione insisted, and the professor agreed and accompanied them to the headmaster's office.
Dumbledore, who was aware of Hermione's and Severus' attempt to find the cure, immediately invited Remus and his parents to step through the fireplace into his office, and thirty minutes later, a very excited Remus followed his classmates out onto the grounds for a walk around the lake.
"I can't believe you're investing so much time trying to help me with my furry problem," Remus blurted out, once they were outside the castle.
"It's not just to help you," Severus sneered. "If we succeed, we'll receive the Order of Merlin first class."
Hermione rolled her eyes at her Slytherin classmate. "Well, actually it was my idea, and I suggested it thinking of Remus and his illness," she corrected him in a firm voice.
"Thank you so much," Remus replied, smiling. "I'm also very happy to be allowed to stay at Hogwarts with you until after the full moon."
"Yes, it's good to have you here," Hermione agreed, smiling, feeling truly happy to have her long-time friend join her and their sometimes moody Slytherin classmate at least for some time during the holidays.
Knowing that the full moon was only three days away and that it would be better for Remus to take a possible cure a few days before the full moon, Hermione and Severus spent the afternoon in the Potions classroom to brew what they hoped would become the wolvescure potion. At the same time, Remus returned home to fetch his belongings for his one-week stay at Hogwarts.
After dinner, Hermione and Severus led Remus to the hospital wing, where Madam Pomfrey administered the potion that was the first attempt of curing the boy from lycanthropy.
"Even if this potion works, which is highly unlikely," Severus told Remus, as soon as he had ingested the light brown liquid with apparent enthusiasm, "you must come back to Hogwarts for the next full moon, as we don't know if it's a permanent cure or if it needs to be taken on a monthly basis."
"Highly unlikely?" Hermione mouthed, giving Severus a questioning look, which the boy, however, ignored.
"I understand," Remus replied, glancing at the healer. "I hope that Professor Dumbledore will allow me…"
"Of course, the headmaster will have you come back to Hogwarts for the next full moon," Pomfrey interrupted him, seemingly excited like her patient. "Mr. Lupin, I expect you on the full moon at the usual time. I also hope very much that it'll work," she added, smiling.
When Hermione walked to Severus' room for the holidays, which he temporarily shared with Remus, to fetch the boys for breakfast, Severus informed her that he would be away from Hogwarts until the weekend.
"All right but why?" Hermione asked in surprise. 'I thought he'd remain here with me during the whole holidays,' she thought in bewilderment.
"Malfoy asked me over, and since we've finished with the potion and won't be able to do anything else before knowing if it worked, I told him that I'd visit today after breakfast," Severus informed her.
Knowing that they could not talk about the matter with the Dark Lord, Hermione had to admit defeat to herself and merely wished Severus good luck, asking him to take care of himself.
"I will," he promised, seeming sincere.
After accompanying Severus to the headmaster's office after breakfast, so that he could take the Floo to Malfoy Manor, Hermione and Remus went out to the lake to enjoy the beautiful sunshine of the summer day in early July. Somehow, Hermione felt as if all the energy had been taken away from her.
"Sorry," she apologized to Remus. "I'm just a bit beside myself. Until now, we spent every free minute working on our project, the cure," she added, "but now that it's at least at some stage of finished, there's just nothing to do anymore. Oh well, did you bring your school things? If so, we could perhaps begin with our summer assignments."
"I've already finished everything," Remus replied, smiling. "But I don't mind doing it together with you again. On the other hand, I can imagine that maybe you need a break. Why don't we ask Professor McGonagall if we may go to Hogsmeade for the day?"
"Oh, that's a wonderful idea," Hermione replied, smiling in anticipation. "I just hope she'll agree. Are you feeling well enough though, this close to the full moon?"
"I already feel much better than usual," Remus replied, wearing a happy smile. "I think your potion cured me already, even if we don't know if it's permanent."
"Oh, that would be so brilliant," Hermione said, happily. "Let's go and ask Professor McGonagall."
To the friends' relief, the Gryffindor head agreed immediately. "I was going to suggest that you get some more fresh air now that your potion is finished anyway," she told Hermione, who cast Remus a broad smile and nodded, when they were told to be back an hour before dinner.
In contrary to the time of their last Hogsmeade visit, which was the only time where Hermione had visited the village in this time, the main street was very quiet. The shops were open, however, Hermione had the impression as if many shopkeepers were using the student-free time for maintenance. When they passed in front of the joke shop, which was situated exactly where the future Zonko's was, a small note caught Hermione's eye.
'Due to old age, we are looking for an adequate person / persons to become our successor(s) in the near future, in two years at the latest. Please contact Mr. Arko if you are interested.'
"Remus," Hermione blurted out against better knowledge about changing the future, "wouldn't that be interesting for you and Sirius?"
Remus looked at the note with interest. "Yes indeed. The problem is that I don't have any money to buy the shop from Mr. Arko. Maybe James."
After exchanging a glance, they stepped inside. "Mr. Arko," Remus hesitantly addressed the shop owner. "My friends and I are interested in taking over your shop in two years' time."
"We'd like to enquire about the conditions," Hermione added.
"Very well, please follow me into the back room, which will allow us some privacy," Mr. Arko replied, causing Remus to hesitate.
"Excuse me, sir, may I perhaps summon my friends through the Floo?" he asked in apparent excitement.
"Of course," the shop owner replied, seemingly amused, as he pointed to a small ceramic turtle. "Floo powder is inside the turtle."
Two minutes later, James and Sirius were sitting in the small back chamber together with Hermione, Remus and Mr. Arko, and the three boys began to eagerly discuss Mr. Arko's conditions.
"I wish to retire as soon as possible, however, in two years' time at the latest."
"That would be a good timing, as we're going to take our NEWTs in two years' time," James replied, pensively.
Hermione only half-heartedly listened, as the three Marauders discussed their possible future plans with Mr. Arko. In the end, they agreed to involve James' father for signing the contract as well as for lending them the necessary starting capital. The three friends also promised to join Mr. Arko in his shop whenever there was a Hogsmeade day allowing them to leave for the village.
"Do you think your father will agree?" Remus asked, doubtfully, when they finally left the shop.
"I'm sure he will," James said, confidently. "It seems like a lot of money, but it's nothing compared to the Potter vaults. Moreover, he only needs to sign the contract for us for a year. As soon as we'll be of age, we can make a new contract to replace this one."
"That's great," Remus replied. "I'll see all of you here on Saturday then."
"Wait," James said, as Hermione and Remus were about to turn away. "Why are the two of you here together by the way?"
Hearing that Remus was going to stay at Hogwarts until after the full moon in order to try a potion, his two Marauder friends immediately decided to spend the night of the full moon at Hogwarts in their Animagus forms, causing Remus to smile.
"You're the best," Remus replied, happily.
During the two days before the full moon, Hermione and Remus spent much time talking about the Marauders' new shop and making plans for the development of items for use in said shop.
Hermione was glad to have something to think about, as the thought of what Severus would decide in hindsight of the Dark Lord was pressing itself to the forefront of her mind every now and then. Only when she was lying in bed just by herself, she pondered if Severus was going to become a Death Eater or would accept her idea of working as a spy like he did in her former timeline.
By the time Pomfrey took Remus to the Shrieking Shack for the night of the full moon, however, her thoughts revolved about the question if their cure was going to be successful or if Remus would transform in spite of her and Severus' efforts.
'The question is how to make the potion permanent,' she thought, 'provided that it's not already permanent. Too bad that we're only going to know in a month's time.'
Sleep was hard to come by that night, however, when she finally managed to fall asleep, her dreams were disturbed by werewolves baring the Dark Mark on their forearms whenever they changed back into their human form.
'Oh Merlin, what a stupid dream,' she scolded herself and at the first ray of sunshine walked to the hospital wing to join Madam Pomfrey when she went to retrieve Remus.
Hermione was absolutely delighted upon hearing that her friend had not transformed at all during the night.
"Congratulations Remus," she said, smiling.
"Thank you so much," Remus replied, tears leaking from his eyes. "You can't believe how happy and grateful I am," he sobbed. "Ever since I was small, I had hoped…"
"Shh, it's all right, Remus," Hermione replied, gently putting her arm around her friend's back, when they trailed back to the castle following the healer. "I'm very happy for you."
"Me too. I still can't believe it," Remus replied, happily.
"Did James and Sirius not come?" she remembered to ask, when they reached the entrance doors.
"They came, Peter too, but they left around four in the morning so as not to meet Pomfrey," Remus whispered. "They told me now I'd have to practise to become an Animagus."
Hermione chuckled. "We could try to become Animagi together," she then suggested. "I'd love to become an Animagus. We could ask Professor McGonagall if she'd be willing to teach us."
"No," Remus replied, grinning. "James, Siri and Peter just taught themselves, and I think we'd be able to do the same. It's probably much more fun than being taught by a professor."
"That's true," Hermione had to agree. "Maybe Severus will want to practise together with us. I don't know if he was an Animagus in the future."
During the two days while Remus remained in the castle, the two friends searched the library for information about the Animagus transformation.
However, when Remus returned home for three weeks, Hermione once again began to worry about Severus. Sitting in her own room in McGonagall's quarters, she tried to read everything about how to become an Animagus; however, she could barely concentrate.
'At least today's Saturday, thank Merlin,' she thought, when she readied herself for bed that evening. 'Severus should be come back here tomorrow.'
At the same time, Severus followed Lucius Malfoy into the hall, where Lord Voldemort was holding court.
"Are you ready?" Lucius asked, grinning.
"Yes," Severus confirmed in a firm voice. He had spent the last few days carefully pondering the words which he was going to use in front of the Dark Lord, and he felt contented with himself. On the other hand, he could not help feeling scared, as he did not know how the Dark Lord would react to his proposal.
'I just hope he won't kill me,' he thought, thinking of how Hermione would encourage him if she was with him. 'Tomorrow, I'll tell her about it,' he resolved, before he became distracted, when he found himself vis-à-vis with the Dark Lord.
"My Lord, this is Severus Snape," Lucius Malfoy introduced him to the Dark Lord, while Severus bowed deeply, thinking, 'Almost as if I were a house-elf.'
"My Lord," Severus said, slowly moving his head upwards to view the Dark Lord, whilst being careful to not meet the Dark Lord's eyes.
"Are you ready to take my mark and become my follower?" the Dark Lord asked in a neutral voice.
"My Lord," Severus carefully began to reply, "I came to offer you something."
"And what might that be?" the Dark Lord enquired, raising his voice.
"Since I'm still at Hogwarts and hope to remain at the school even after my NEWTs to teach Potions, I'm in a brilliant position to spy for you. I'd like to become your spy."
The Dark Lord looked at him in apparent surprise. "And on whom are you going to spy?"
"On Dumbledore and his associates," Severus replied, calmly.
"This might be useful," the Dark Lord said, pondering the offer.
"In that case, however, I believe that it would be better to not take the Dark Mark," Severus added, carefully. "In order to efficiently spy on the light side, I'd need their trust, which I'd be more likely to receive if I wasn't bearing your mark."
The instant he finished his sentence, he knew that he was going to die. 'Oh Merlin, Hermione, I should have talked everything out with you before coming here,' he thought, before the Dark Lord hit him with the dark curse.