Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Harry Potter characters, and I am not making money from this. I am writing simply for my own enjoyment.
This story is a response to the "And Thou Shalt Not" challenge from WIKTT. Hermione and Severus must have had a history of some sort in the past, and now she's married to someone else for at least five years. Severus decides he wants her back. Moral dilemmas, gossips, kisses in the rain, and other excitement then ensue. Complete rules are on WIKTT.
This story includes a SS/HG 'ship, so if that bothers you, don't read! It is my first fan fic, so please… be gentle. Constructive criticism is greatly appreciated – positive and negative – so please review! I hope to update at least weekly, most likely more often.
And now, on with the story!
WendyNatTime Does Not Heal All Wounds
"I'll wait for you – I'll wait for you until this is all over, S-"
"No. I won't allow you to hold off on your life – for someone like me."
"I just don't understand - why can't we just… just keep it a secret? How hard could it be? I don't want to lose you – I can't, not when we just found each other!"
"We can't risk it –"
"I'm willing to take the risk."
"I'm not. I can't risk you – now, go."
"Just go." His eyes closed, in pain. "Please."
The door shut quietly behind her as she left.
Hermione Krum woke slowly, the chill of the morning air outlining the tears that seeped from her eyes during the dream she had just awakened from – No, not the dream… the memory, she thought. That particular memory had been resurfacing in her dreams more and more lately. Sighing heavily, she looked over at the pillow beside her. It was empty.
Still half-asleep, she was momentarily confused until another memory returned, this one more recent. Ah, yes. Viktor had gone to London for the weekend to spend time with his fellow Quidditch-crazed friends and see the Cannons play. She had come up with a convenient excuse to avoid spending a weekend surrounded by testosterone-saturated Quidditch fanatics. Viktor had humored her, knowing that their endless discussions of tactics and great players of the last 100 years bored her to insanity. I imagine he feels the same about my Potions conferences, she acknowledged to herself with a small smile. He, also, had had a convenient excuse ready the last time she had a conference to attend.
Wiping her face, she pulled her wand from beneath the pillow and muttered a quick incantation to relight the hearth fire. The dream was still bothering her. Why now? Hermione was content, even happy, with her life. Why must her subconscious remind her of the most devastating moment of her romantic life? It was over seven years ago now… five of those years she had been married to Viktor. True, she didn't have quite the same feelings for her husband that she had had for her… what was he? Not ex-boyfriend, really – she didn't think the man in question would be very pleased with the term "boyfriend." Ex-lover, perhaps? But that term didn't truly cover the depth of feeling they had had for each other, the devotion –
Shaking her head slightly to clear it, she firmly shoved the memory to the back of her mind and rose from the bed. She needed to get to the laboratory today, and it wouldn't happen if she lolled about in bed all morning. There were only four weeks left before the European Potions Conference, and she had work to do.
* * * * *
"So, you've finally done it, Severus! Congratulations!"
Severus Snape turned to look at the wizard standing at the door to his laboratory. A fleeting smile crossed the Potion Master's face as he nodded slightly, acknowledging the commendation from the Headmaster. Years and years of work had finally come to fruition, and despite Severus' normal unfortunate luck, the timing was perfect. The Potions Conference wasn't for another month, giving him ample opportunity to finish the paperwork and prepare a presentation for the potion.
"You will be coming down to the Great Hall for dinner this evening?" Snape nodded his assent, but was unable to keep a small sneer from forming. "Excellent! The staff and I have missed your smiling face and sunny disposition at the table these last few weeks," Dumbledore winked at him, smiling at his Potion Master's expression, and left the room.
Severus let his breath out slowly, scowling. He had originally planned to spend the evening organizing his notes, but he supposed it was time to make an appearance. During the summer months the professors who stayed on Hogwarts grounds generally were involved in research of their own, but they all tried to make it to the Great Hall for meals at least once a week. The inane chatter drove him to distraction while he was engrossed in a project, and he had been taking his meals in his rooms or the lab. Now that the main work was completed his handy excuse had deserted him. Shaking his head, he went about cleaning his worktable. After making sure his notes were locked and warded, he swept out of the lab and made his way to the Great Hall.
* * * * *
I really must find another project to work on, and soon, Snape thought to himself an hour later while listening to Trelawney drone on about someone's certain death. He had forgotten who it was this time. If it wasn't a vision of his own death, he really wasn't interested. To be truthful, he was beginning to wish it WAS a vision of his own death – at least that would spare him the necessity of being in the auditory range of that ridiculous goggle-eyed palm reader.
Seated next to Snape on his right, Remus Lupin was quite carefully NOT looking at Trelawney. He had learned long ago that eye contact with the Divination professor during meals was a recipe for disaster – usually your own, according to her visions. He had spent most of the meal speaking with Professor Sprout about her house's chances for the Quidditch cup the coming year. Now that she had left the table to check on some new plants that had been delivered that afternoon, he decided to take pity on Snape. After all, the man HAD cured him of lycanthropy. And Snape had promised Dumbledore that he would "behave" around Trelawney, after one very eventful mealtime discussion at the beginning of the summer. Remus covered his grin with his napkin – even weeks later the episode hadn't lost any of its humor.
"Excuse me, Sybil, for interrupting, but I have something I need to discuss with Severus," Remus began, noting the look of intense relief on Snape's features. Trelawney nodded wisely, muttering something about seeing it in the tealeaves, and turned to accost her new victim – Flitwick.
Snape raised an eyebrow to Lupin, waiting. Lupin cleared his throat, and said "I believe Professor Dumbledore wants to speak with the both of us after the evening meal."
Hearing this, the Headmaster turned to Snape and Lupin. "Yes, Remus, thank you for reminding me. Would it be convenient for you to meet with us this evening in my office, Severus?"
"Certainly, Headmaster," Snape said. Anything to get away from that crazy bat. Albus' eyes twinkled, causing Snape to wonder once again whether the Headmaster could read minds.
* * * * *
"The Ministry is delighted."
Snape sneered. "Of course. My precise reason for these years of toil was to delight and astound the great minds of the Ministry."
The Headmaster chuckled. "Ah, Severus – I must say I've missed my daily dose of sarcasm from you these last couple of weeks." Severus had been working feverishly to complete the newest potion before the full moon, and the Headmaster had been loathe to disturb his concentration.
Snape allowed himself a small smile. The smile grew as he said, "I hope it was worth a couple of weeks without my witty repartee to see that fool Fudge's face when a known werewolf shook his hand under a full moon." At this, the Headmaster laughed outright. Another voice joined in his laughter from the doorway.
"Professor Lupin – please, take a seat," Dumbledore said, waving him to a chair. "We were just discussing the Ministry's reaction to the lycanthropy cure. They are –"
"Delighted," Snape drawled. "Of course, they have no true feel for the amount of work, inspiration, and pain that went into the cure. They also fought against funding the project since it involved muggle science, but now that it's complete… they're delighted."
Lupin shook his head, settling himself in the seat next to Snape. "I think we all know how the Ministry works, Severus. It's just politics. The actual researchers in the Ministry are excited about the project, and have been since you began sending status reports to the Ministry."
Snape looked at Lupin with curiosity. "I didn't realize you associated with many Ministry researchers."
At this, Remus shifted in his seat uncomfortably. "Not many – just one, really. An old friend. She speaks about her work quite often and keeps me up to date on projects she thinks I'd find interesting."
Snape froze. Could Lupin be referring to… no. Certainly not.
Dumbledore spoke, "Ah, yes. Hermione has been working on a number of projects that look quite promising. She has a difficult time getting approval for many of them, since she also prefers to pursue solutions that involve muggle science and magic."
Lupin nodded, relieved that Dumbledore was the one to say her name. "Yes, but she is very persuasive. She's gotten the Ministry officials to approve some projects that I would have bet galleons against them approving."
Snape stared into the fire. "Yes, she is very persuasive." It was said in a low voice, almost to himself.
The other two men shared a look, and Dumbledore nodded slightly, clearing his throat. "Well, we're not here to discuss our former Head Girl. Remus, will you be available at the end of the month to attend the Potions Conference with Severus? Severus and I think having you there for the question and answer session would be beneficial."
Remus agreed readily, and the three wizards began to discuss the presentation and other arrangements. When Remus noted that Severus stared into the fire at times with a pensive look on his face, he sighed inwardly.
Time truly didn't heal all wounds.