Disclaimer: Own nothing and never will. Thanks for JK Rowling for creating such a wonderful universe to play in!

Find A Gem
By Jasmine_

Chapter One

The Gryffindor sixth years were a glow. By this time next year, they would be finished with their NEWTS and be preparing for their graduation from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. They had taken their last exam that day and were celebrating by throwing a mini-party. The entertainment consisted of Ron Weasley balancing himself on a stool he had levitated. The food was a mixture of various goods from Honeydukes. The excited chatter about summer plans and future seventh year pranks buzzed throughout the common room. Packing could wait for tomorrow. A bell sounded and the Gryffindors eagerly headed to the Great Hall for dinner. There was to be another party later that night, put on by the seventh years.

"So Hermione, what are you going to be doing over the summer?" Lavender Brown asked the curly haired brunette sitting across from her.
"Oh, the usual. A trip here and there. I also want to get a job as well. I am in desperate need for some money," Hermione Granger responded while pushing the mashed potatoes on her plate.
"Where do you plan to work? Maybe I can come visit you."
"I really want to get a job at a bookstore. You know me, the little bookworm," Hermione laughed.
"I can't imagine you working anywhere else," Lavender smiled and turned to speak to Parvati Patil.
"Hermione, do you want to come over to the Burrow this summer?" a tall redhead asked her.
"I don't think I can, Ron. I'm going to be really busy. I'm going to get a job and then I have to look at Universities. I was planning on touring Nottingham, Oxford, Edinburgh,..."
"Ok, ok. I get the point. Just remember. Summer's for relaxing. You'll still have all of seventh year to do it."
"I can't possibly do all I have to during seventh year! There wouldn't be enough time!"
"Well, maybe you should try getting that time turner back," Ron laughed.
"Oh, Ron," she sighed. Hermione glanced at the High Table and noticed that the Headmaster had just finished his dessert. It's now or never, she thought and headed towards the table.

"Excuse me, Headmaster. I was wondering if I could have a few words with you about next year," she asked.
"Of course, my dear. I'm quite finished with my dinner. Would you like to talk now?" he asked jovially.
"Yes, sir. However, I'd prefer to speak in private."
"Yes, yes. Well, come now. Off to my office!" He took Hermione's arm in his and they marched out the Great Hall.

In the Headmaster's office, Hermione took a comfortable chair across from his desk. She looked nervously towards the floor and bit her bottom lip. What am I going to say? she thought.

"Well, my dear. What would you like to speak to me about?" Professor Dumbledore asked.
"Professor, I must ask you for a favor," Hermione began. She paused a moment to search for more words that would help her. She couldn't find any. Instead, she pulled from her romes a worn picture of a herself and a smiling six month old boy and handed it to him.
"It doesn't move," Dumbledore said. Hermione smiled and looked up.
"It's a muggle photograph," she explained.
"I see. Very nice looking baby. Your brother I assume?"
"No, sir. He's not," she looked towards the ground again. "He's my son," she said softly. There was a pause where neither spoke. The Headmaster looked at the photograph again and could see the resemblance between the two. The child already had curly brown hair and big hazel eyes. He could see a glow on Hermione's face that he only saw on parents when they were extremely proud. There was no doubt this was Hermione's son.

"My parents can't take care of him next year," she said interrupting his reverie. "My mother took the past year off from work to take care of him while I was at school. However, she needs to be getting back. The office is in a wreck without her. I don't have anywhere else I could put him. Austin, that is. That's his name. I was wondering if you could recommend any.. alternative magic school? A place where I could finish my NEWTS while being able to take care of Austin?"
"Actually, there is. Hogwarts. Hermione," he said gently. "Do you really think we'd throw out our most intelligent student because she has other obligations? Of course, I was hoping that you'd be Head Girl. But given the circumstances, I'm not sure if that's possible."
"I understand," Hermione said sadly. She had hoped to be Head Girl since her first year. But mistakes were made on her part and she would have to live with the consequences.
"Now, you can't be living in Gryffindor Tower, of course. I'm afraid the baby might prove a distraction to the students. You'll need your own quarters with sufficient room for the child. A kitchen, perhaps. I assume you've given up your cause for SPEW?"
"Yes, sir," she smiled. SPEW was her worst idea ever. The house elves never really liked her.
"Well, good. I can get you a house elf then. The elf can look after Austin while you're in classes. Now, where can I find such a room...," he fell silent. Hermione looked down again. She felt so grateful to the Headmaster for his generousity. She can continue her education at Hogwarts. It was all that she really wanted.

"Headmaster, I would like to ask for a new..." a silky voice began. Severus Snape looked at the girl in the chair and stopped. "Miss Granger, leave. There are some things I'd like to talk to the Headmaster about without your presence."

The nerve of that man! Hermione thought, I was here first!

"Now, Severus. Miss Granger was here first. You can wait. Actually, I have a few questions to ask you. Do you still have those extra guest rooms in your quarters? The ones with the adjoining bathroom?"
"Yes, they're still there."
"Is your kitchen in working order?"
"Yes," Snape said suspiciously.
"Are you still employing that delightful house elf, Wisty?"
"Misty," Snape corrected, "Why are you asking me these questions?"
"Well, Miss Granger. I found you some new quarters!"
"Professor Dumbledore, sir. I'm not sure if this is such a good idea," Hermione said while glancing at Snape. "Actually, I'm pretty sure this isn't a good idea. Aren't there any other place I could stay?"
"Why does she need new living quarters?" Snape asked roughly.
"I'm afraid there's not. Don't worry. Severus here won't bite. He loves children, too. Why do you think he's a teacher?"
"I do NOT like children!"
"But Professor.."
"Don't worry about anything, child. I'll send you a note during the summer to tell you when you can move in.
"Yes, sir," she said, still in a daze. Snape had taken to pacing in front of the fireplace. "If that's all, sir.."
"Yes, it is. I'm sure you're missing a fantastic party in your dormitory tonight."
"Goodnight, Headmaster. Professor," she said and nodded towards Snape. Hermione quietly left the Headmaster's office.

"So, Severus. What did you want to talk to me about?" Dumbledore asked the higly agitated man pacing across from him.
"Don't you dare change the subject, old man!" Snape snarled. "What is the meaning of this? Why is that.. Gryffindor moving to the dungeons?"
"Would you like a lemon drop?" Dumbledore offered politely.

Dumbledore simply handed him a photograph of a smiling Hermione Granger and baby.

"It's not moving," Snape said softly.
"It's a muggle photograph!" Dumbledore beamed.
"What's this supposed to mean?"
"That's Miss Granger's son, Austin. Her parents can't take care of the boy next year and she'll be bringing him to Hogwarts."
"And you enthusiastically gave her my quarters."
"Not give, Severus. It's not mine to give her. Well, technically, it is. But I didn't. She's going to ishare/i it with you."
"I hate you," and with that, Snape stormed out of the office.

Dumbledore remained. Who knew Severus could be such a softie when it comes to babies... He smiled and took a lemon drop. He earned it, of course.