Hello, Everyone. I know, it's been a long time with the exception of a few one-shots since the last book.
I know I've been gone for a while, and I do apologize for that. I sort of fell out of sorts for a time after a messy break up and watching two of the eldest members of my family weaken and pass away. For a time I turned to the Andromeda fandom, or more specifically the Steve Bacic fandom, shelving Potter and his friends. I know I have several irons in the fire from before, and I am trying to steer my muse towards them for completion, but I've had difficulty stirring up sufficient interest in Antigone and the Wiggentrees. I do hope that I haven't lost them for good, but they just can't seem to get themselves in order in my head.
Another problem is an overabundance of plot bunnies from other realms, such as this one. I've been posting it elsewhere so as not to cause a fuss from this site, but have been encouraged to post it here, too. It's a crossover story between Harry Potter and the Necroscope series by Brian Lumley. Don't worry if you haven't heard of it before, because I find that most haven't which leaves me with a little more flexibility with both universes and their timelines. If you're curious, I understand that there is an entry about the Necroscope series on Wikipedia that can give you the basics.
As always, I own nothing. Not even a house (I live in an apartment). JK Rowling is still the genius behind Harry Potter and Lumley is the master behind the Necroscope. I'm just a strange woman who thought they might mesh well together. I hope you enjoy the fevered ramblings of my imagination.
June 29, 1993
Hermione Granger took a deep breath and raised her hand to rap on the door.
She quickly lowered her hand again and resumed her pacing back and forth in front of the rather creepy looking house at Spinners End.
The pacing continued for several more minutes before she screwed her courage to the sticking place and marched right up to the door. She raised her hand and hit the door with several firm, sharp knocks before she could chicken out.
It seemed like an eternity before the door was jerked open. Her courage quickly fled her as she stared up, wide-eyed, at Professor Snape.
Black eyes looked down at her with surprise that quickly turned to anger. "Miss Granger, how did you find this place?"
"I… I… uhm…"
"For that matter, why are you here? I am not required to tolerate you until September, nor do I intend to do so."
With that, he slammed the door shut in her face. Hermione's jaw snapped shut as she stared at the now closed entryway. That hadn't gone very well, though her inability to get a full sentence out might have had something to do with it.
She took a breath and knocked on the door again. This time it didn't take as long for Snape to answer the door. His eyes narrowed as he looked down at her. "Do you have a death wish, Miss Granger?"
"Professor, I am sorry to bother you at home, but I have to speak with you. I have a message to deliver."
"It is from the Head Master?"
She blinked. "Uhm… no, Professor. It's fr…"
"Then I have no interest in your message, Miss Granger. Now leave." He slammed the door shut again.
This was ridiculous. Her fear had been replaced by irritation. Hermione gave a stamp of her foot, glared at the door and knocked again, this time with every ounce of strength she could muster.
Snape yanked the door open with a snarl. She opened her mouth to speak but he surprised her by gripping her wrist and dragging her inside his home. The door slammed shut behind them.
Severus pulled the girl through his house, his irritation growing. "Miss Granger, I have asked you more than once to leave my house and you have refused. If you hold so little regard for me as your teacher, perhaps you'll listen to a higher authority!"
"Professor, I'm sorry, but I have to speak to you abou…"
"Silence!" He had pulled her into the den where the hearth was burning in spite of the summer heat. With a wave of his wand he dismissed the charm that kept the warmth of the flames at bay. Taking a bit of floo powder from the mantel, he tossed it into the fire and shouted "Ministry of Magic" before pulling Hermione with him.
He knew the girl was trying to get him to listen to her as he pulled her through the throng of witches and wizards inside the Ministry. Fortunately the crowd overpowered her pleas, a constant buzzing inside his ears that let him ignore her and carry on with his current idea.
It's not that he held a personal grudge against the girl, but he did find himself frustrated with her. True she had all the answers in class, but her fellow students were becoming too dependent on her to do their thinking for them. And the thought that she shackled herself to Potter and the youngest Weasley boy rather than cutting them off like the dead weight they were did not bear mentioning. He didn't wish her any true ill will; he just wanted her to be more responsible.
And to leave him the bloody hell alone during the summer.
He gave her arm a yank as he reached the front desk. "I would like to file a complaint."
A bored looking wizard looked up at him, then over at Hermione. "And the nature of your complaint, Sir?"
"Trespassing and harassment."
"But, Sir, I can expla…"
"Silence, Miss Granger!" He glared down at her, giving her arm another tug. The wizard gave them a cursory glance before directing them to the proper department. Severus yanked on the student's arm again, dragging her towards the lifts.
He had no sooner pulled her with him out into the hallway of the proper floor when a voice called out in their direction. "Professor Snape? Hermione?"
He heard Miss Granger sigh in relief as Arthur Weasley drew nearer. He was obviously confused by the sight of Hermione in the grip of Professor Snape. Severus squared his shoulders, not willing to back down but secretly grateful Weasley was there to play the white knight. He'd certainly scared the little chit badly enough by now.
Arthur stopped a few feet from them. "Severus, has something happened?"
"Nothing has happened other than Miss Granger is guilty of trespassing on my private property and I intend to see to it that she is brought up on charges."
The redhead gaped. "Ch... charges?" He looked at Hermione and back to Severus. "Surely there is some sort of misunderstanding."
"I doubt it. I requested that she remove herself from the premises and she refused to comply." He waited for Arthur to step in and take the girl by force. He would, of course, 'listen' to the man and 'reluctantly agree' to drop all charges. Surely he had made his point.
His nice plan was disrupted by a cold, cultured voice. "Severus, what brings you to the Ministry today? You usually do not set foot outside of your home until the very end of the summer break."
Severus turned to meet his 'old friend's' gaze. Arthur took this opportunity to pull Hermione free from his grasp and clutch the girl tightly to his side. Leave it to the Weasleys to start adopting children who already had perfectly good families. It was bad enough that they had latched on to Potter. "Good afternoon, Lucius."
The wizard stopped next to him, his cold eyes going to Miss Granger who was currently allowing herself to be gently prodded to stand behind Arthur. "Did I hear correctly, Severus? Did this… child force her presence on you?"
Weasley's chin lifted defiantly. "I'm sure that this is all a big misunderstanding and Hermione will be glad to offer her sincerest apologies. Won't you, Dear?"
"Oh, I rather think that it's high time she's taught to respect her superiors." Lucius' voice was a cold drawl. It didn't help that this was Arthur Weasley, his exact opposite in all things. In appearance. In wealth. In mannerisms. The hatred between the two ran deeper than anything Severus held for his own school-year enemies.
He was about to open his mouth to stop this before it got any further out of hand when yet another unwelcomed party joined them. Of course Lucius would be here to meet with the Minister. "Ah, Fudge, so fortuitous that you arrive at this time. It appears that this girl," Lucius began with a flick of his cane towards the partially visible Miss Granger, "has seen fit to spread her school yard pranks against her teachers into the summer. Severus caught her trespassing on his property and has brought her down for charges."
Fudge blinked owlishly to Lucius then to the girl. "Trespassing? Hardly a reason to drag her to the Ministry. Wouldn't that be better handled at school?"
"Normally, but school is out for the summer. She falls under Ministry jurisdiction now." Malfoy's lips twisted into a smirk as he met Arthur's eyes. "I would think expulsion at the very least."
Bloody hell! He couldn't let Miss Granger be expelled over this. She was the school's brightest student! Not to mention Minerva would have his bollocks in a vice for costing her her most highly prized student. Arthur also shouted his objections to that, but Fudge waved them to silence.
"Now, let's not be rash. Perhaps we should hear Miss… I'm sorry, child, but I didn't catch your name."
"Her name is Hermione Granger, a Muggleborn." The distaste was thick on Malfoy's lips. Fudge nodded.
"Very well, Miss Granger, perhaps you could tell us why you saw fit to trespass on your professor's property."
Hermione swallowed, looking at the three wizards before her, still close to Arthur's side. "It's… it's personal, Sir. It's for him only."
"Now, girl, this is a serious matter. Surely there's nothing you could have to say to him that you can't tell the rest of us." The Minister gave her what he surely thought was a gentle, harmless smile.
Severus looked at the girl, waiting for her to stay something. Miss Granger, however, flicked her eyes from the Minister to Lucius Malfoy and… shuddered? She shook her head and looked back to the Minister. "I'm sorry, Sir, but I can't. It's for Professor Snape only."
Malfoy gave a disdainful snort. "As you can see, Minister, the girl is incorrigible. Doubtless due to her near constant companionship to Weasley's band of delinquents."
Arthur's face turned purple and he looked about ready to strike his long time enemy. Cornelius, ever the politician, stepped between them. "Now, now, let's not let this devolve into a brawl." He studied the girl clinging to Arthur's side. "Perhaps it would be best to bring Dumbledore in on this matter. After all, it does involve both a student and a professor. Yes, I think that would be for the best."
The Minister escorted them all to his office and asked his secretary to clear his calendar as well as invite Dumbledore to join them on a matter involving the school. This was quickly becoming a farce, and Severus was already regretting his temper. With Lucius involved, keeping the chit from being expelled would be tricky.
Minerva was going to flay him alive.
Arthur spoke to Miss Granger softly; trying to coax her into just telling them whatever was so important so that they could, perhaps, get on with things. She still refused, no longer even trying to meet Snape's eyes. Finally, Dumbledore arrived but that seemed to make her all the more miserable.
The headmaster was clearly surprised to see his student in the same room with four grown wizards. "Miss Granger, what are you doing here?"
Fudge cleared his throat. "Sorry to trouble you, Albus, but according to Professor Snape Miss Granger was caught trespassing on his property. Something about a message she is to give to him, but she refuses to discuss it with any of us."
Dumbledore frowned and looked from Severus to Hermione. "Minister, perhaps I could speak with Miss Granger in private?"
"Of course, Albus. There is a spare office across the hall. Please feel free to take as long as you like."
Albus nodded. "Thank you. Miss Granger, if you please."
Severus watched the girl rise from her secure spot in the crook of Arthur's arm, the man really was a natural father figure, and left the room with the headmaster. The door shut behind them.
"What do you think this is all about, Severus? I was under the impression that you had those idiot children thoroughly cowed."
Snape shook his head and wondered if he should just get out from between Lucius and Arthur and watch whatever blood bath ensued. The Minister's assistant brought them tea and he accepted a cup out of good manners but did not drink. Instead he sat in silence, mentally cursing himself for his own lack of control.
The door opened again, Dumbledore allowing a rather stone faced Miss Granger to enter before him. The aged wizard leveled a somber look towards Snape. "Severus, your wand, please. And I'll need you to roll up your sleeve."
Snape rose from his seat and pulled out his wand. He handed it over to the headmaster and rolled up the sleeve covering his right arm. Albus pressed the tip of his wand to the soft underside of his arm. There was a sharp pinch against the skin, but in spite of a shining drop of blood now gracing the tip of his wand, there was no mark on the skin.
Dumbledore turned towards Miss Granger. "Hermione, your wand, please." The witch took her wand from her pocket and extended it to the headmaster, also rolling up her sleeve. Albus took a drop of blood from her as well.
Severus' blood ran cold. Surely he couldn't believe…
Albus brought the tips of the two wands together. There was a strong flash of light that made all but Dumbledore flinch, then a high pitched, tinkling sound. When their eyes had recovered from the flash they saw that hovering above the joined wand tips was a teardrop shaped, faceted crystal, a soft rose in hue. It would have been blue had Miss Granger been a wizard instead of a witch.
Lucius rose to his feet, unable to hide his own shock. "Severus?"
Dumbledore lowered the wands, the crystal still hovering. "You should have heard her out, Severus." He cleared his throat and offered their wands back to them. "You see, Minister, last week Miss Granger was informed that she is a Granger by means of adoption rather than by birth. She was completely ignorant of that fact before, but her birth mother had made arrangements should anything happen to her before Miss Granger came of age. Among those arrangements was information as to the identity of her birth father."
Snape slid his wand back into the hidden pocket within his sleeve, not daring to try and speak just yet. He did not meet the headmaster's eyes, but he could feel the sympathy in the old man's gaze like a crushing weight. "It has taken her the entire week to work up the strength of will to attempt to speak with you about it, Severus. You are not always the most approachable of people."
His eyes moved up to look at Albus before flicking over to Miss Granger. The girl was still unable to meet his eyes. She seemed to want to look anywhere but at him, though considering how badly he'd handled this entire matter so far he could hardly blame her.
Albus cleared his throat again. "I trust that given this new revelation the charges will be dropped."
Not even Lucius could argue with this one, and it was a perfect out that he could use to save face and keep his body parts from being transfigured into cacti by an enraged Scot. Well, near perfect. "Of course, Headmaster."
Fudge shook himself from his state of shock. "Yes, well. Congratulations, I suppose. I… perhaps we could leave the two of you alone so that you can… discuss matters. You're welcome to use my office, of course. Much more comfortable here."
"No, Sir. Thank you." Miss Granger had decided to speak at last. Snape watched as the girl's spine straightened, her chin lifting. She met his gaze at last and he could see the anger there, not even hiding beneath the surface of her gaze. "This errand wasn't supposed to take so long, Minister. It was supposed to be a simple matter of delivering a message from… from my birth mother to Professor Snape. I don't have time to linger."
"But surely you have much you wish to discuss together."
"No, Minister, at the moment I have nothing at all I wish to discuss with him. And at any rate, my parents," she put a strong emphasis on the word, her eyes daring him to say anything against it, "and I have a planned holiday to France. We're to leave in the morning and I have a great deal of packing yet to do."
Dumbledore nodded. "Of course, Miss Granger. Please forgive us for keeping you so late. Minister, I do hope you can spare Arthur for the rest of the day so that he may escort Miss Granger home. I assure you that she'll be quite safe with him. She is a friend of his children and the Grangers already know Molly and Arthur well."
Cornelius looked a bit discomfited, but there was nothing to be done to make this situation any more comfortable. He agreed, waving Arthur off. The red headed wizard gave the girl a supportive hug and invited her to leave with him. She held back only a moment, pulling a crumpled envelope from inside her jeans pocket and extending it towards Severus.
"Your message, Sir." Her words were tense, her lips barely moving as she spoke. Severus reached out and took the envelope without a word. Task accomplished, Hermione gave him curt nod. "Happy Summer."
He watched as Miss Granger left the Minister's office with Arthur Weasley, slipping the envelop into the pocket of his robe. Thought it couldn't have been more than a few ounces, it pulled at him with all the weight of a fully-grown hippogriff.
He really could have handled this entire day far better.