A/N: This is my first attempt at writing fan-fiction - or any story at all in fact. I've been a huge fan of SSxHG stories for the last 8 years, and I've wanted to write something of my own for a long time, but I'm only just getting round to it! I thought I would combine a couple of my favourite tropes to make a story that I always wanted to read.
This story will involve time-turner use to age-up Hermione, and she will be an adult by the time a relationship begins. There will be a Marriage Law that takes place during the later chapters. This story begins at the start of Hermione's fourth year at Hogwarts, and it will be a 'Coming of Age' story for her, as we follow her from 15-going-on-16 into adulthood. The romance is a slow burner.
I encourage anyone to leave me a review with their thoughts and any constructive feedback. This story is important to me and I want to do it properly.
Albus Dumbledore sat in his office reflecting on the previous year that had past. It had been a long summer and he was preparing for the students returning in just under one month. His mind kept drifting back to Harry and what had transpired in the last few months. After all these years of believing that he had wrongly placed his faith in Sirius Black he had found out that all along he was to be trusted and had only tried to do the right thing by James and Lily Potter.
If he had not given Hermione Granger her time-turner during her third year at Hogwarts, then Harry and herself would have been unable to rescue the innocent man. It had been a fortunate coincidence for there was no way that he could have anticipated such a turn of events. He did not like using children to fulfil what needed to be done but sometimes there was no other alternative, and really it was for the greater good. Sirius would be an asset to the Order once he managed to get it back up and running. All in good time, he thought to himself.
Hermione Granger had taken Dumbledore by surprise during her three years at Hogwarts so far. It was not an uncommon occurrence for a muggle-born student to be over zealous in their studies however he struggled to recall the last time he saw a student who was so quickly adaptable to her surroundings; her intelligence and intuition shone. The more he thought on the subject the more it made sense to him to try and figure out a way to use Miss Granger's talents for the cause. He did not know when Tom would return but he would be willing to bet a large number of galleons that it would be soon; it was prudent that he began preparations quickly.
He needed Miss Granger to continue to stay close with Harry Potter. She would be able to encourage him to stay focused on his studies – the more Harry learnt the more powerful he would be, and the more powerful Harry was the stronger chance the Order stood against defeating Tom. Hermione Granger would no longer need her time-turner for academic purposes as she had declared that she wished to drop Divination and Muggle Studies. However, it could be beneficial to the cause if she retained the device to enable her to have the time to tutor Harry. Yes, he could write up a timetable for the two of them to follow and this way he could ensure Harry received a bespoke education that could greatly affect the outcome of the upcoming war.
On the second day at the start of term Hermione found herself being called into Dumbledore's office. She had assumed that he had called her in to collect her time-turner. She had not expected that she would be allowed to hold onto it for the duration of summer, but she was pleased that she had been entrusted with the responsibility.
She had worked out that after dropping two subjects there would no longer be any need for her to continue to use it; this had been disappointing to learn as at some point during her third year she had grown rather attached to the necklace. Perhaps this was not surprising as according to the notes she had made regarding her use of the device, she had in all actuality taken two years of her life to complete her third year. The diagnostic spell she performed on herself the previous night had confirmed that she had aged an additional 368 days, meaning that on 16th September she would be turning 16 years old. She had spent the last two months of summer desperate to perform such a spell to confirm that her calculations had indeed been correct. It had already felt as if she was more mature than many of her peers, and so learning that she would now be almost two years older than some of the other students in her year had not been a comforting realisation.
"Ah Miss Granger, how lovely it is to see you again. I trust you had a nice summer?" asked Dumbledore as she walked into his office.
"Yes, I did thank you. I spent much of it staying at the burrow with the Weasley's." She replied, awkwardly rubbing her hands together as she was unsure on how to hold herself.
"How nice to hear." Dumbledore smiled, before then gesturing for Hermione to take a seat. "Lemon drop?" He offered as he reached into the wide pocket of his robes.
"I'm okay, thank you Sir." She said as she walked towards the offered chair and took a seat.
"You may be wondering why I have called you into my office today Miss Granger?" He asked. Hermione nodded, wishing that they could move past the small talk quickly.
Dumbledore proceeded to explain that he planned for her to start tutoring Harry, and confided that it was imperative that they started to plan strategically for them to stand a chance once Voldemort eventually returns. He informed her how significant her actions were at the end of her third year, and told her that he believed her help would be invaluable to the cause.
Hermione felt a little taken aback by the Headmaster's revelation. "I'm sorry Sir, I'm not sure if I understand. Are you saying that you think I should be tutoring Harry? I'm not qualified! I haven't tutored anyone before, in fact the most I have done is simply nag the boys to study. I don't know if I'm the best choice. With my lessons I don't think I even have the hours spare in the day! Surely another teacher must have some spare time to lend a hand?" Hermione asked.
"That is exactly what I'm asking of you, Miss Granger. I'm afraid that you are the best choice for this task. You are close to Harry, meaning he will listen to you. I have heard from your teachers that you are impressively quick to learn new material and I firmly believe that you will succeed. If it is time that is concerning you, I believe I am correct in saying you still have your time-turner from your third year?"
"Well yes… but I had expected that due to the number of subjects I was taking this year that I would not be able to hold onto it?" Hermione queried, her voice small as she furrowed her brow.
"The cause is far more important than you participating in all of the classes that Hogwarts has to offer Miss Granger. I allowed you to gain access to the time-turner for the latter, of course you would be permitted to retain the device if you choose to aid me in this."
Feeling a little silly Hermione simply nodded again, not entirely sure what to say to the Headmaster.
"The tutoring will be simple. Each term I will choose a topic for you to research and then later teach to Harry. At the end of the term I will check in with you both in separate meetings to ascertain whether the target has been reached. Where possible I will provide you with one-to-one sessions with some of the teachers if I believe they can help you. Think of this as not only an opportunity to greater the cause, but also a chance to expand your learning. You know the rules surrounding time travel, I trust that if necessary, you will find suitable times to go back in order for you to revise the material. In addition, following the incident with Sirius Black, Harry is aware of your time-turning privileges, so this need not be something that you keep secret from him." Dumbledore explained as he leant forwards, his hands coming together to form a steeple.
The more Hermione considered his argument the more sense it made, and who was she to turn down the opportunity of developing her education? In fact, the more she thought it over the more excited she was as the prospect of offering her hand. Besides, if the subjects were to rotate around topics that would be beneficial in battle then it was probable that some of the material would be pulled from Defence Against the Dark Arts – her worst subject. It would be foolish to turn down a chance to expand on this key area of her education. She was never one to shy away from academic challenge.
"Okay then, I'll do it." declared Hermione. Dumbledore smiled widely in response.
The next day Hermione was in the common room before breakfast waiting for the boys to meet her. She was stood near one of the chairs that had a good angle of the stairs leading towards the boys' dormitories. This way she could ensure that she did not miss them. A few other students were buzzing about in the room, but many had already made their way downstairs.
"Hermione!" Harry shouted out, he was standing on the top of the stairs just outside the fourth-year boys' dormitory. "Can I have a word? Quickly?"
"Of course, but I think you'll need to move a bit closer to me, you know I'm not allowed up those stairs." Hermione smiled warmly as she gestured towards where he was stood.
"Right, yes!" Harry exclaimed as he ran down the stairs and pulled Hermione towards a quiet corner of the room. "Has Dumbledore had a chance to speak with you? About tutoring me?"
Hermione was nervous. Until this moment she hadn't actually given much thought to what Harry's reaction would be. "Yes, he spoke to me yesterday evening. Did he speak to you? I said I would do it, but if it's not what you want then don't worry, I'm sure we could go find him now and we can stop this. You're my friend Harry and I don't want you to-"
"Hermione slow down! I told him I was fine with it." Harry said, interrupting her. "I mean, it was slightly insulting at first that he didn't think I was progressing quickly enough, but once he explained his reasoning it all made sense. Naturally there would be some things that would not be touched upon in class, and it is important that I am ready for him. After all, it's Dumbledore? If he thinks something is a good idea it must be. I trust him." he said firmly.
"Okay yes, I thought similarly! I'm looking forward to it personally." She began excitedly, but faltered for a moment before continuing, "He's allowed me to keep the time-turner too." Hermione looked down nervously at her mention of the device. She pulled at the loose thread on the hem of her jumper to distract herself, not feeling bold enough to look Harry in the eye.
"He has? As long as you're careful with it 'Mione." Harry said looking slightly uncertain. "Although, come to think of it, you're always careful with everything so I'm sure it'll be fine." He continued, breezing past her doubts. "I'm just glad it's you that's tutoring me. Could you imagine if it was a teacher - like Snape! Can't think of anything worse." Harry laughed before shaking his head, clearly uncomfortable from just thinking about the dour man.
"Harry please, it's Professor Snape." She chastised. "Anyway, it's getting late. I don't want to miss breakfast. Grab Ron so we can head there quickly." Hermione ordered in a no-nonsense tone. "Also, don't tell him about this? At least not yet. You know how funny he can get if he thinks he's being left out, I'd hate for it to cause an argument." Hermione pleaded, looking a little unsure. Harry simply nodded, understanding how hot-headed their friend could be.
Severus Snape had been called into a meeting with Dumbledore. It was the third day of term and he had just spent the last 40 minutes of his time listening to his godson. Draco had been ranting about his mistreatment the day before at the hands of Mad-Eye Moody - the lunatic had turned him into a ferret. Although he was of the belief that the auror had lost his touch a while back, he had not expected that. Whilst he did care for Draco, he had far more important things to be getting on with than listening to a teenager indulge their ego for the better part of an hour. However, it wouldn't be deemed proper for him to be turning the boy away. He didn't have the patience to listen to Lucius berate him for not making time for his son. Draco had certainly inherited his father's ability to drag on a bland conversation.
It was now 8pm and he still needed to finalise his lesson preparations for the following day. The first two weeks of term were always hectic as he ensured that the first years in his house were settling in nicely, all whilst setting aside some of his time to catch up with the older Slytherins.
"There you are Severus. Punctual as always. Please take a seat." Dumbledore said in greeting, gesturing towards the velvet chair that sat in front of his desk, a small smile present on his lips. The old man was already seated in the chair that was behind his desk.
"No need, Albus. Will this be quick?" Snape said shortly, standing rigidly just a few steps away from the door. Dumbledore looked displeased that Severus was planning on being difficult.
"I thought it would interest you to know that I have arranged for Harry to receive private tutoring from a fellow student. Hermione Granger will be taking on the extra-curricular task of guiding him through material that I believe will better his chances of survival in this war. He has already shown an aptitude for Defence Against the Dark Arts, but I fear the school curriculum will not suffice in preparing him for the upcoming war." Dumbledore said.
"With all due respect Albus, I'm not certain what this has to do with me." Snape replied tersely, disgruntled that he had been taken away from his free time to discuss the brat Potter and his bothersome bushy-haired friend.
"Well Severus, for Miss Granger to teach the material she first needs to learn it. Whilst she will be able to take up additional reading to help with some of the load, I think it would be beneficial for her to have one session a fortnight with you to spend two hours going through whichever topic I wish for Harry to learn a little more thoroughly. I thought we could start with defensive spells." Dumbledore informed him.
"You have surely got to be joking? I can barely tolerate that insufferable chit in class, let alone give up two hours of my spare time every other week to teach her a subject that reportedly isn't even her strong suit! Whilst I find it difficult to believe that either child could be considered adequate in comprehending the delicate nature of the Dark Arts, why would you have Miss Granger tutor Potter in a subject that according to the rest of the faculty he is more proficient at than her?!" Snape shouted, disapproving of what the headmaster was asking of him. He was incredulous that it should be he that takes up this responsibility.
"Are you saying Severus that you would rather teach Harry instead?" Dumbledore said calmly, knowing full well that this would hit a nerve with him.
"Of course I'm not!" Snape spat. "I think this whole idea is half-baked and I cannot fathom why in Merlin's beard you think it is worth going through with! I appreciate that you have placed an awful lot of faith in the boy, but I really don't see why he needs this level of special treatment, or why you trust his rather wearisome little friend to deliver it."
"Don't forget to whom you are talking with Severus." Dumbledore said pointedly, leaning forwards in his chair, a coldness present in his blue eyes. "You will be meeting with Miss Granger. You will be providing private tuition to her. I expect your first lesson to begin the third week of term; you may arrange with her the finer details of your sessions."
Snape's nostrils flared, his hands clenching and unclenching next to his side. He was used to Dumbledore not considering his opinion, he had made it rather apparent last year that Severus' concerns were of little consequence to him. He hadn't quite forgiven him for what had happened at the end of last term when Black escaped. He had no proof, but he was certain that Dumbledore, Potter, and Granger had some sort of play in the events that occurred that evening. He knew not to argue the point any further though, as he recognised when a conversation was futile.
"Fine. Is that all Headmaster?" Snape spoke brusquely, glaring at the grey-haired man sat in front of him.
"Yes Severus. You may leave." Dumbledore said as he brought papers that were sat on his desk closer to him and picked up his quill to begin writing, not sparing an upwards glance at the younger professor as he left.
Snape spun on his heels and walked out of the room and down the stairs, cloak billowing behind him. Upon exiting the Headmaster's office, he saw two Hufflepuff girls standing at the end of the corridor giggling amongst themselves.
"5 points each from Hufflepuff for loitering" He thundered with an ugly sneer on his face.
He knew that he was being unjustly harsh, but he couldn't quite bring himself to care. After all, these students did not belong to his house. Merlin help any student that crossed his path as he headed back towards his rooms - he was not in the mood to deal with children tonight.
Hermione was sat in double potions on Friday 5th September. It had now been three days since she had sat in Dumbledore's office agreeing to tutor Harry. Nothing had been said between Harry and herself since the morning when they spoke in the common room before breakfast. Yesterday, the fourth-year student body couldn't help but discuss little else other than the awful Defence Against the Dark Arts lesson that they had with Mad-Eye Moody - Hermione included. Those present for the lesson still could not quite believe they had witnessed all three unforgivable curses take place in a classroom.
Hermione felt bad for Neville. Not only did he have to witness the cruciatus curse during the first lesson of the year for Defence Against the Dark Arts, but only a day later he had double potions with the teacher he feared the most. She was grateful that today's lesson was entirely theory based and so there was no practical for Neville to make a mistake in, which would only serve to anger Professor Snape. She suspected that he would not make anywhere near as many mistakes if he felt more comfortable around the rather foreboding professor.
"You have two weeks to provide me with four parchment sides on an introduction to antidotes, their benefits, and an explanation and insight into three antidotes of your choice. Class dismissed." Snape said, addressing the class. His eyes landed on her as he watched her put her books into her satchel. "Apart from you Miss Granger, please stay behind. I need to have a word with you."
Ron immediately made a face of indignation. "What's his problem now? You've not even done anything!" he muttered crossly under his breath, looking between Harry and Hermione. Harry looked confused, wandering what on earth the professor would want with her.
Hermione exchanged a look with Harry and Ron. "Don't worry, I'm sure it won't take long. I'll meet you at dinner."
"If you're sure 'Mione. We'll make sure to save you a seat." Ron said looking uncertain. Harry nodded in agreement with him.
"Let me know what he says." Harry whispered to Hermione as he made to leave the classroom with Ron.
"I don't have all day Miss Granger!" Snape snapped, a half second away from interrupting Harry. His eyes were narrowed after watching the conversation between the three friends.
"Yes Sir, I'm sorry! What do you need to talk to me about?" Hermione said, edging closer towards her teacher.
"Since you've agreed to tutor Potter, I've now found myself in the rather undesirable position of being forced to ensure you do it properly." Snape said, contempt oozing from his voice as he looked down his rather large nose at her.
Hermione didn't really know what to say to this. Dumbledore had told her that she would be receiving additional help from her teachers, however she wasn't expecting it to be so soon, and certainly not her potions professor.
"Well do you have a voice girl?" Snape barked at her, irritated at her lack of response.
"Yes of course, sorry Sir. Dumbledore said that it was a possibility that I may be receiving additional support from my teachers, however I was unaware that you would be the one… well, helping me." Hermione stammered, audibly unsure of herself. It was highly unusual that she would have a one-to-one conversation with Professor Snape and she certainly had not been planning on making it a regular occurrence. He was indeed rather intimidating when he was looking directly at you.
Snape curled his lip. "Believe me Miss Granger I hardly found myself jumping for joy at the… prospect of teaching you privately" He said silkily. "You will meet me in this classroom on Wednesday 17th September at 8pm precisely. I will terminate this little deal you have made with the Headmaster if you are so much as a second late. I expect you to meet me at that exact time every fortnight."
"Yes Sir. I understand Sir." Hermione said nodding her head quickly up and down.
"Good. You are excused." He said, his larger than average nostrils flaring at the young girl stood before him.
Hermione did not need to be told twice. She left the classroom promptly and headed towards the great hall for dinner. Dread was beginning to grow in the pit of her stomach. What on earth have I gotten myself into, Hermione thought. I really hope I can pull this whole tutoring thing off and make it out in one piece. Whilst Hermione had the greatest of respect for Professor Snape, she most certainly did not feel comfortable or familiar around him. He was one of the few teachers that did not respond to her performance in class with praise, which quite frankly, threw her off kilter. He had mocked her for showing enthusiasm, and at times he had just outright ignored her. I think I might actually have a better rapport with Professor Binns, which says it all. No, you've always welcomed challenge Hermione; now is not the time to back down. Harry needs you. The cause needs you. I will find a way to make sure this works. She made her way through the doors leading into the Great Hall, and her friends beckoned her over gesturing towards the seat that they had saved for her. She grinned widely, momentarily forgetting her exchange with Snape, and quickly walked towards them.