So this one shot is waaaaay too long in coming. It's another prize for the 100th reviewer of The Art of War. It took a while because the prompt was...let's just say extensive, so I wanted to do it justice. It's on the longer side for a one-shot, but you'll see why. Hope you enjoy!
Prompt: Hermione accidentally timeturns to the past in her third year. With no way back she has to stay. Will become friends with the Marauders but also with Severus. The lake accident never happens. That causes a different timeline, they will stop Tom Riddle. Maybe Slughorn is so impressed by Hermione and Severus their teamwork that they were there when he was very drunk at a private party. Telling them of the horcruxes. Even Regulus joins in and they all team up. Slytherin and Gryffindor working together. Severus proposes to Hermione in their seventh year. They get married and they all live happily ever after
Despite her newly-acquired timeturner, Hermione Granger was still exhausted most of the time. She had stared like a zombie into her scrambled eggs that morning in the great hall, she had had to fight off the urge to yawn during her charms class before lunch, and now that she was surrounded by the heavy perfumes, stifling heat, and dimmed lighting of Sybil Trelawney's thrice-damned tower classroom, she kept catching her head just before her chin hit her chest in full on slumber. After the third close call she figured out that, if she rested her chin casually on her hand, she could direct her gaze towards one of the crystal balls lying on her table and let her eyes fog over. It wasn't exactly sleep, but in the pinch she was in it would have to do.
Plus, the swirling colors were actually kind of pretty when you stopped trying to analyze them and just let your mind wander. Hey, that swirl kind of looked like Harry, only not her Harry, a much older Harry. She didn't know what Older Harry was doing wandering around in a forest like that, but he looked really worried. Poor older Harry. She wished for a second that he would leave that crystal ball and let it go back to the swirling colors. Here she was, trying to use the useless drivel of the divination teacher to foster her new skill of napping with her eyes open, and this older version of Harry in her crystal ball kept….oh my god ohmygodohmygod!
As she realized where she was, what she was staring at, and just what that must mean, Hermione's eyes suddenly opened quite wide as she slowly slithered in her chair so her back was ramrod straight. She stared unblinkingly into the crystal ball, now completely oblivious to whether or not Professor Trelawney was even talking as she began to watch the strangest events unfurl.
"Hermione, that's mental, you can't actually believe you had a vision, can you?"
Ron's disapproving voice was complemented by a worried head tilt from Harry. "Seriously, Hermione, Sirius Black is a mass murderer, not my wrongfully accused godfather? That's kind of far fetched...And the bit about Voldemort hiding his soul…?" Harry drifted off mid sentence, point well made.
"Plus," Ron added in, "there can't be a reality where the Greasy Git ends up a good guy. It's just not possible!"
Goodness! Why couldn't the boys just believe her for a change? She was always running off to support Harry on one of his wild hunches, couldn't they just give her the benefit of the doubt? She again began ignoring Ron's voice and started planning.
Still in the library at 3am, Hermione had finally found the right spell. She couldn't deal with this by herself and she knew she needed to ask someone's advice on this. She knew that someone was not Harry Potter or Ron Weasley. However, she didn't have a clue which professor to go to for assistance. They hadn't had the best record with people believing their stories and helping them suss out Voldemort's plans. She had two weeks as a half-cat and a solid month as a human statue to attest to that. This spell would, apparently, transport her to the person she needed to see. The one who would help her accomplish her "true purpose". She couldn't think of a truer purpose than helping Harry and preventing the mudblood-hunting megalomaniac she had seen in that crystal ball.
Looking around, she took out her wand and directed it to her heart. Here goes nothing, she thought. Verum propositum. The shot of purple light flowed out of her wand and into her chest, just as the book had said it would, but the bluish white light that was supposed to follow never came to transport her to the person who was supposed to help her accomplish her purpose. Disappointed and tired, she gathered her books, placed them back in her bag, and started fumbling through her robes for her time turner. She'd turn back for a nice early bedtime and start her search for answers fresh in the morning. She turned the dial once, but when she tried to let it go to reset her fingers for a second turn she found she couldn't. The metal began to shake and hiss. She tried in vain to get her hand off it before the imminent explosion took place, but she couldn't. The time turner exploded. When the bluish white poof of smoke finally dissipated, neither time turner nor witch were anywhere to be found.
Hermione landed with a crash on something hard, bony, and covered in black robes.
"Ouch! Where did you come from?" a voice came from somewhere in the black robes as a pair of hands shoved her off and onto the floor.
"Sorry!" Hermione said, beginning to dust herself off. She reached down and offered a hand to the boy upon who, she had landed. "Are you okay?" The boy looked suspiciously at her proffered hand, but took it when she expressed concern for him.
"I'm fine. Where did you come from? Who are you? You're wearing Gryffindor robes, but I'm positive I've never seen you before." The boy said, trying to subtly straighten out his robes and reclaim his dignity.
"I'm Hermione Granger", she said, sticking out her hand to him once more.
"Severus Snape. I'm a third year in Slytherin," he said, suspiciously taking her hand again.
She took his hand, but glanced up at him in shock when he said his name. She tried to form words, but it was too much for even a brain the size of hers and, with that, Hermione Granger fainted. Not wanting to let her fall on the hard, stone floor, a young Severus Snape was left with an armful of unconscious witch and an uncomfortable look on his face.
Hermione's eyes fluttered open to reveal what was quite clearly the ceiling of the hospital wing. What a strange dream that was. Guess I know better than to experiment with spells I find in the restricted section. As the room slowly came into focus, she saw the reassuring flash of color that was the back of Dumbledore's robes.
"Sorry for the bother Headmaster. I know you made me promise I would be careful when you gave me the time turner. I honestly don't know what happened. One second I was in the library and the next…" Her sentence trailed away as he turned around to reveal a much younger, less grey, and more confused version of Dumbledore.
"It sounds like we have a lot to talk about, young lady. May I suggest we start with what your name is and how you knew mine?"
After a mind-bending conversation with Dumbledore, Hermione's head was still reeling. She wasn't sure whether the phrase "more than two decades in the past" or the words "no way to send you back" was the more disturbing part. He had informed her that time turners were, by nature, one way devices and that she would simply have to make the best of it. With a friendly twinkle and a vague "I'll send someone up to take care of you", he swept out of the room.
Hermione thought she couldn't get any more confused until the hospital doors burst open and a loud boy with sandy brown hair raced through, beating a boy who looked like Harry's twin by a hair. They were too busy play fighting to notice her wide-as-saucers eyes, when Dumbledore came in again, followed by a bedraggled-looking boy talking to a pretty girl with long red hair.
Oh sweet baby Merlin in a handbasket, those are Harry's parents. In third year. And Professor Lupin. And Sirius Black...
For the second time in one day, Hermione fainted.
Hermione woke up to Dumbledore again, but could see the faces of the marauders. This time, all the attention was on her and she was left feeling slightly like a museum exhibit must do. Dumbledore finally broke the silence.
"Miss Granger, you have got to stop doing that. You almost frightened poor Lily to death." The redhead gave a blushing smile that looked strangely familiar. "Now I believe it is time for these young Gryffindors to experience what a wand oath to secrecy is like. Shall we, children?" Hermione couldn't believe what she was seeing, but all four took their wands out, Sirius and James with a hint of excitement, Lily and Remus with a bit of nervousness. She watched as Dumbledore wove the magic around them so that all four could only speak of what she would reveal to them to each other, her, or Dumbledore himself.
This is novel. I guess I had always figured if I got sent back in time I would have to keep it a huge secret from everyone. Interesting.
Once she had told her whole tale again, beginning with what she knew of the Marauders' time (Lily and James gave each other awkward smiles when she mentioned them getting married), the horror that was the first wizarding war (Sirius stood up straighter while Remus looked worried), James and Lily's death and Sirius' incarceration due to Pettigrew's betrayal, her years at Hogwarts with Harry (James looked proudest when she mentioned the basilisk, but Lily cried when she told them about the mirror of Erised), and her strange vision in Professor Trelawney's class (James and Sirius gave each other guilty looks when she told them about Snape's heroics). She chose to leave out the reason for Snape's defection and the fact that her spell had landed her quite literally in his lap. She didn't know why, but she wasn't quite ready to share that bit, even with Dumbledore.
After everyone had recovered from her tale, Dumbledore suggested that she accompany them back to Gryffindor tower where the elves would have set her up a bed with Lily in the third year girls' dormitory. Since she was apparently staying in the past, she would be telling everyone she was a transfer from a private wizarding academy up north and that she had been sorted into Gryffindor.
It wasn't until she got back to the dormitory and saw her bed, located across the room from the one in which she had woken up this morning, that everything that had happened hit her. She made her best excuses to Lily and shut herself in her curtains to cry herself to sleep.
Hermione woke up the next morning to the smell of cinnamon. She opened her eyes and Lily and another girl with short brown hair were standing next to her bed with a steaming cup of something that smelled divine and the largest muffin she had ever seen.
It was the other girl who spoke first, "Lily mentioned you had transferred here and had to leave your friends and family behind. I know it's not the same, but we thought we could keep you company for today's classes or just until you get used to it here. My name's Alice." The girl handed her the muffin with an encouraging smile. Lily gave her a sneaky grin and a wink when Alice was back to, and Hermione couldn't help but smile back. Wiping the sleep and dried tears out of her eyes, she couldn't help but feel the same warmth in her chest that she used to feel with Harry and Ron's misguided attempts to cheer her up.
Straightening up her blankets so the two girls could sit at the bottom of her bed and started in on what turned out to be quite a delicious muffin. Beats the hell out of Lavender and Parvati any day of the week.
Hermione felt much better after giggling through breakfast with Lily and Alice, who turned out to be the future Alice Longbottom. Hermione had initially fought back another wave of sadness thinking about what had happened to her in Hermione's old timeline, but pretty soon she found being in the woman's presence quite soothing. She was obviously where Neville had gotten his loyalty and sense of overall camaraderie from, but with Alice it was also accompanied by a razor sharp wit and a bit of a dirty mind that had Hermione and Lily doubled over in laughter.
The three girls now walked arm in arm to potions where, as Lily had explained to Hermione, they had assigned seating due to an unfortunate round of cheating amongst the Slytherin students. Apparently they had all been copying the work of one student, Hermione could sympathize with that, so Professor Slughorn had paired them up at their desks so that each desk had one student from each of the two houses. The only student who had to work alone was the Slytherin student from whom everyone had been copying, so Lily assumed that was who Hermione would be seated with. However, the girls got there first, so Hermione sat nervously at her empty table, organizing the brand new planner Professor Dumbledore had gotten the elves to bring her when they brought her robes, a trunk, schoolbooks, and some other basic necessities. She didn't look up until a familiar yet not quite recognizable voice sounded from directly next to her.
"You're the girl who landed on me. Granger, right?" Hermione looked up to meet the suspicious eyes of a young Severus Snape.
"Hermione. And yes, I am. You're the boy who caught me. Twice, I believe?" She steeled herself and decided to go for it. "Severus, wasn't it?" It was a strange rush calling her former professor by his first name, but she didn't want to slip and call him 'Professor', so she figured it was best to make a clean break. He looked completely taken aback and looked around at the other Gryffindors in the classroom.
"Your housemates usually refer to me as Snape, or something far more degrading. I wouldn't want to get you kicked out the day after getting sorted." She could see poorly masked pain under the joke. Wow, he wasn't as walled up at the age of 14. Interesting.
"Don't worry, I can take 'em, Severus." She said with a conspiratorial wink, leaving him aghast as she resumed her organization of her planner. He sat down just in time for Professor Slughorn to begin his lesson.
Two potions classes later Severus voluntarily shared his knives with her. One after that he spoke to her while they were brewing. Twice. Three classes after that he actually asked her a question. Not a "do you know where the porcupine quills are" question, but one that actually indicated he was interested in and cared about her opinion. That afternoon as class was letting out she chased after him as he was walking out the door.
"Severus, wait up!" He stopped and turned with a look of confusion so prominent on his face she almost laughed, but knowing how badly he would have taken being laughed at she managed to stifle it.
"You know our history of magic essay due next week?" A suspicious nod.
"Do you want to work on it in the library this afternoon?" A blank look.
"Together?" The eyebrows were now getting dangerously close to his hairline as he finally spoke. "Why?"
Hermione now let a small giggle escape. "Well I was hoping that we could be friends, and friends study together, right?" A long pause.
"Not any friends I've ever seen, Hermione. Usually that's the last thing friends want to do." Another lengthy pause. "Alright. I'll meet you in the library after class." He turned and walked off before he could see the brilliant smile spread across Hermione's face.
"Very good, Mister Snape, Miss Granger, very good indeed. Take ten points apiece." The praise of Professor Slughorn sent Severus hiding even further under his lanky curtain of hair, but it brought out a pleased grin on Hermione's face. It was a week since they had officially become friends, and their studying arrangement was, unintentionally, also quite beneficial to their performance in potions class. Severus had a natural instinct that led him to conclusions Hermione struggled to reach, at least to reach intuitively, and Hermione seemed to have knowledge a few years ahead of their syllabus. He asked why once, but she just said, "I had a good teacher at my last school" and then began giggling maddeningly.
They had both received invitations to the infamous Slug club Christmas party, to which they had inverse reactions. Hermione was outwardly pleased, but remained inwardly dubious of her rotund professor, while Severus pretended not to care, but she couldn't help but notice a straightness in his back and a slight puff of his chest when they were invited.
It probably helped that he had watched all of Hermione's Gryffindor housemates go each year, James with the skilled-at-potions Lily and Sirius as the guest of quiet Remus Lupin. While the animosity between the Marauders and Severus had decreased since Hermione had befriended them both, there remained a quiet tension of predator and prey being forced to cohabitate between the two.
And so Hermione became at ease in life at Hogwarts several decades before she was to be born. Lily and Alice helped her pick out a dress for Slughorn's party that made Severus stammer slightly when he first saw her, the Marauders were given a week's worth of detention in March for charming a late snowstorm to follow teachers around the castle, snowing through lectures, classes were taken and exams passed, and pretty soon the summer was upon them. Hermione had long worried about where she could go over the summer holidays, her family being only in grade school themselves, but late one night over a round of pilfered hot chocolate Lily told Hermione that she had asked her parents' permission for Hermione to spend the summer at her house. Hermione wasn't sure that she was excited about spending her summer under the same roof as the woman who would grow up to be so awful to Harry, but as she jumped up and gave Lily a hug, she realized it meant she could also spend a great deal of time with Severus over the summer and felt a surging of warmth in her stomach. Surely it was the hot chocolate.
The summer passed as if in a montage of a typically happy childhood. She and Lily were more compatible than Hermione had ever been with the children in her neighborhood growing up. They played in the park, read more often than either Harry or Ron would have let her get away with, and spent a large portion of their days with Severus. What could possibly have been an awkward Trio turned out to be quite enjoyable. Lily had already developed her crush on James, so she didn't mind the obvious tension that begin developing between Hermione and Severus.
In fact, by the end of the summer Hermione officially had several instances of hand-holding and one innocent kiss (on a day when Lily hadn't been able to come to the park) to her name. Anytime a forward step was taken Severus would hide under the curtain of his hair and Hermione would blush madly, but despite his embarrassment she could tell he was very pleased to finally have someone who fell to the same about him as he did about her. She hadn't divulged his crush on Lily to anyone in this timeline, but she justified this to herself by saying that it might never come to pass, so there is no reason for anyone to need to know.
When school started Hermione had a bizarre feeling of optimism. She used to associate school with another likely attempt on Harry's life, but seeing as the impending school year had already passed by event-free once, she was quite looking forward to it. This optimism lasted exactly long enough to take her to the end of the first Slug Club meeting. She entered proudly on the arm of a Severus who was a full foot taller than he had been the previous year due to a massive summer growth spurt. Height and newfound maturity notwithstanding, he had still stammered when he saw her in her dress, usually messy curls subdued by enough sleakeazy to drown an owl.
The party was going swimmingly for the meal portion, other than a few questions from professor Slughorn about her family, answered in creative not-quite-falsehoods that made Severus fake a cough to cover his laughter and squeeze her hand under the table.
"We'll make a slytherin of you yet," he whispered softly in her ear after the attention on her had passed. She blushed delicately and tucked her hair behind her ear, exposing her neck to Severus in a way that made him gulp.
It was during the desert and networking portion of the evening that she got separated from Severus for a few minutes. She wasn't too worried until she found him again. His face was even paler than usual and his eyes were trained unseeing on some fixed point in front of him while his thoughts appeared to be running a mile a minute. She tried to get his attention, but got a subtle head shake that seemed to indicate he didn't want to talk in front of other students. As soon as was socially acceptable, she grabbed him by the hand and led him quietly out of the room.
"Wait, how do you know what a horecrux is? And why aren't you surprised by this?" Severus asked Hermione with his newly-developing signature eyebrow raise. He had pulled her aside after they left Slughorn's party and recounted to her what Regulus Black had just told him, that the man who called himself Lord Voldemort, the one who had been gaining power amongst purebloods using a steady diet of rhetoric and anti-muggle sentiment, had made a horecrux to ensure even if he died he couldn't be defeated. Much to his surprise instead of shock and horror, she looked nervous and almost...guilty?
"Do you know about the come and go room?" she asked quietly.
"Of course, but how do you know about the come and go room. And Hermione, what has that got to do with-" she cut him off mid-sentence.
"Just...just trust me on this one. Go back to Slughorn's party, grab Regulus, and meet me in the come and go room in twenty minutes. And, Severus," she placed a gentle kiss on his cheek, "try to keep an open mind."
With that and a flurry of her dress robes, she disappeared down the hallway.
Twenty-one minutes later, the room of requirement was a perfect stew of awkwardness and suspicion. Severus was sitting next to Hermione, a perfect stone-face of indifference which Hermione now knew to be a defense mechanism against what she knew all too well was an extremely taxing situation for him, if only for the company he was currently keeping. On Severus' other side, Regulus sat with the look of a cornered prey animal...an incredibly irritated prey animal. Staring petulantly across the room at Regulus sat the other Black brother, who was flanked by a worried-looking Remus and an arrogantly-postured James. On James' other side was Lily, the only member of the marauders who had acknowledged Severus' presence as they filed into the room. She was now looking around the room with an amused look on her face as if she was trying to figure out a puzzle.
As soon as the last person had made it into the room and was seated, Hermione gave an awkward sigh and rose out of her chair, giving Severus' hand a squeeze as she turned to face the room.
"Okay, I know that given the level of trust in this room this might be a bit of an ask, but I need to have a wand oath before we go any further. I know for a fact that everyone in this room is going to end up agreeing, but if anything we say here tonight leaves this room it's literally lives at stake, so…" she glanced around nervously, like a freshman teacher looking for volunteers. Thankfully, Lily didn't hesitate to rise, take out her wand, and with a reassuring nod touch the tip of her wand to Hermione's. A golden glow flashed briefly around the two girls and then Lily took her seat. After the silence began to drag across the room again, Lily growled softly under her breath and shot a dirty look at James, who begrudgingly left his seat. One by one they paraded forward and took the oath and then Hermione took the floor.
"He made seven of these things?" Sirius asked incredulously.
"...and you know this because you're from the future?" Regulus continued in the same tone.
Hermione shook her head slightly, trying not to think of Fred and George's speaking patterns as she listened to the two brothers.
"So what are we going to do about these things then?" asked James.
"What do you mean we? Shouldn't we just tell Dumbledore?" Lily responded.
At this there was silence. Hermione hadn't thought to do this because she had gotten used to her, Harry, and Ron having to take care of everything by themselves back in her own time. Sirius and James hadn't thought of this because they were so established as rule breakers that trusting a teacher was the last thing on their minds. Severus and Regulus both obviously employed the "trust no one" phrase that was an unspoken addendum to the Slytherin code of conduct. Remus was used to not being trusted by anyone due to his condition. Therefore, upon voicing her perfectly logical assumption, Lily received exactly five blank stares and one large silence.
"That's exactly what we should do, Lily," Hermione said definitively, as if a light bulb had gone off. "Dumbledore was always the one wizard Riddle feared. That is exactly what we need to do. Oh, this fixes everything!"
Hermione rose from her seat, but no one else followed. Hermione turned as if perplexed why they hadn't followed.
"You mean now?" James asked.
"In the middle of the night?" Remus continued.
"...and you think he'll believe us?" Sirius finished.
"Yes," Hermione nodded definitively. "Up you get."
Hermione could tell all the boys were surprised at how amenable Dumbledore had been to receiving information from a group of fifth years (and Regulus) about an upcoming dark lord hiding split shards of his soul. He had listened carefully to all their information, taken a second to twinkle maddeningly at them, then requested that Sirius and Regulus make plans for him to accompany them to the Black family vault in Gringotts sometime the next week. Lily still wore an air of superiority for having suggested the idea in the first place. Regulus looked like he was timing out on being in the company of so many Gryffindors, and Severus hadn't said a word in what was becoming an alarmingly long time. When they came to the place where the corridor towards the Slytherin dormitories diverged from the stairs for Gryffindor tower, he pulled her aside to hang back.
"Why didn't you tell me?" he asked, looking down at her with all the intensity of his future self.
"About the Horecruxes? I couldn't. In my vision I knew we had been searching for something, but I didn't know exactly-" he cut her off.
"About you being from the future. About all of this. How could you keep it from me? I thought we were…" he trailed off. She looked up into his dark eyes and saw a vulnerability that had never once been present in his older self's eyes. It hit her suddenly how much losing Lily must have changed him as a person for this caring, vulnerable boy to turn into the hardened shell of a man who taught her potions in what felt more and more like a past life.
She put a hand on his cheek and pulled him close as she looked into his eyes, "I knew you. In the future"
He leaned into her hand, almost instinctively, but his eyes went wide as he heard her speak. "Was I, I mean did we…"
"You were my potions professor. I respected you, but you were...you were so sad. And alone. When I fell on you...I don't know. I just wanted to be your friend. I didn't know if I could trust you, I mean you had joined the Death Eaters in my timeline, but I wanted to be your friend anyway."
She looked like she was about to cry as she finished, "I didn't know I'd fall in love with you until it was too late," she said as a tear slowly rolled down her cheek. Severus' eyes widened again as he heard her use that word, the one he had never heard from his parents, the one he had wanted to hear directed towards him for his entire life. Almost without thinking his thumb rose to wipe the tear from her cheek as he leaned in to kiss her. Her body melted into his as the kiss deepened. She poured all of her apologies and regrets into the kiss, he his insecurities and forgiveness.
At the sound of a throat clearing they broke apart, both panting and blushing to see the raised eyebrow of one Professor McGonagall.
"I understand you are both suffering from youthful indiscretion, but that is no reason to be carrying on in the middle of the hallway, you two." She stepped between them, placing a guiding hand on Hermione's back. "Come now, Miss Granger. I'll walk you up to the tower. Mister Snape, I'd see your way to the dungeons. There's plenty of time for that kind of thing later. You have your whole lives."
As Hermione saw Severus' smirk disappearing down the hallway, she realized that, for the first time in either of her two timelines, Professor McGonagall's words couldn't have been more true. The Dark Lord would soon be gone, his vanquishment would fall to the adults to whom the responsibility for vanquishing Dark Lords should fall, and she was free to live out her life. For the first time, she had a group of friends, a boyfriend whom she loved, and nothing to worry about but finishing her studies. If Professor McGonagall hadn't been escorting her, she just might have skipped up to Gryffindor tower.
Twenty years later, a messy-haired boy was sitting next to a redhead during their first ride on the Hogwarts express when the door to their compartment was thrown open.
"Have either of you seen a toad? A boy named Neville's lost one," asked a girl with masses of jet black curls. Both boys shook their heads. Seeing the redhead's wand, the girl got noticeably excited. "Oh, are you doing magic? Let's see then."
The redhead's pale face flushes to match his freckles as he tries again, "sunshine, daisies, butter mellow...turn this stupid, fat owl yellow!" The owl mentioned hooted in distaste before zooming off across the compartment and seeking solace in the safety of its cage. The girl rolled her eyes.
"Are you sure that's a real spell? Well, it's not very good is it? Of course, I've only tried a few simple ones myself, but they've all worked for me. For example, Oculus Reparo." She pointed her wand at Harry's glasses and they were immediately fixed. "That's better, isn't it."
At this point, Harry reached out and swatted her playfully on the arm, "Come on, Stella. You can't start showing off until we actually get to Hogwarts. As if having both of your parents as professors isn't going to be bad enough, we've got to get it from you too?"
She giggled and sat down across from her shaggy-haired best friend, glad she wasn't having to go into her first year not knowing anyone. "I know, I know, but you didn't expect me to stop being myself just to make a good first impression, did you?"
Harry laughed heartily, "no, not for a second, Stells. Never crossed my mind. Speaking of which, this is Ron Weasley. He's going to be in our year too."
"I'm Stella. Stella Snape, pleasure. You two best change into robes, I expect we'll be arriving soon."
As she was about to leave she turned to face the redhead one more time. "You've got dirt on your nose, by the way. Did you know? Just there."
Ron rubbed his nose self-consciously and Harry dissolved into laughter, throwing a chocolate frog at Stella's retreating back. Her giggles floated down the hallway as she continued looking for the lost toad, not a worry on the horizon.