*Shimmies out from behind the computer screen* Hello! Yes, it's been over a year, hurtling along towards two, and yes, I know I've been promising new chapters and I haven't been fulfilling the promises – a bit like the British Government – buuut, look, a new chapter! And I have the second one half written, I promise. This would have been up sooner, however, my laptop (the brand new one I got less than a year ago) decided that it no longer wanted to work for me and broke three times in two months, then gave up and didn't turn on at all. Sooo, I have a new laptop, a new time table (I'm at Uni now!) and a new writing place. I hope all of you are well. :)
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, and various other publishers. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
"-but I think our best bet at finding Hermione is your mother, Severus."
There, he had said it. Albus had voiced the pink elephant in the grounds.
"Call her," he groused, "but don't expect me to be civil towards her."
"I wouldn't dream of it, Severus, are you coming?"
"No, I'll be ten minutes, Albus."
"Very well then, I'll see you inside, in ten minutes."
As soon as Albus was out of sight, Severus let out a sigh; he couldn't do this. It was all too much for him to handle; first Hermione nearly dies, and then she knows he is the one who brewed the potion that nearly killed her, and then she goes missing, and now his mother is coming to track her down. It was too surreal. How could so much happen in one day?
Though it took a further ten minutes for Severus to arrive back in Albus' office, no word of his tardiness was mention when he did arrive as Albus could understand his hesitation; Selina Snape was an imposing woman.
"All set, my boy?"
Severus shot him a withering look, "Why don't we Floo your mother and see how you feel?" he muttered.
"It won't be that bad-"
"Have you even met my mother, Albus? People breathe a sigh of relief when she's left the room; the Minister is even scared of her!"
"Nonsense, I'm sure she's a very kind, loving person-" Severus scoffed at his words; Albus Dumbledore knew exactly what his mother was like, but he said nothing further.
"I guess the honour of calling her falls to me, does it?" His question was met with no answer.
As Albus opened the Floo connection, Severus seethed internally; his mother knew nothing of his engagement. Not one word of Hermione in regard to a romantic prospect had ever passed his lips when in the company of his mother. And, at the thought of Hermione, the pain in his chest flared to life again. This time the pain seemed to feel as though his chest was burning, as though he had pressed himself against a hot stove.
The burning worried him; he didn't know whether the burning symbolised emotional pain … or physical pain. The emotional pain he could handle; after all, when was he not the cause of her emotional pain? But, if she was hurt, if she had been hurt by someone else - by Potter - he didn't know if he could take it … the knowledge that because he hadn't observed her; hadn't taken a few seconds to look at her, he had caused her pain; raw, lasting, physical pain, that knowledge would kill him. His contemplations over Hermione's state were cut short when he heard his mother in the background.
"Selina! How nice of you to accept this call-"
"What is it, Albus? I'm a busy woman," she snapped.
"Could you spare a minute of your time; it's to do with Severus."
There was a pause on the other end of the fireplace, and Severus could vaguely hear his mother yelling at some poor sod about the 'art of wand strokes'.
"Very well. I shall meet you at the school entrance in six minutes. I expect you both to be there to greet me."
The Floo shut with a snap and both men turned to look at each other. Albus was the first to voice his thoughts, "That went surprisingly well."
"Yes, congratulations, you've managed to guilt trip mother into visiting the school; you're a regular magician."
The annoying glint that Severus usually associated with Lemon Drops shined in Albus' eyes, "That I am, my boy! Now, to the gates!"
As soon as Harry had left, Hermione had tried to escape. And 'tried' was the key word in that sentence; every attempt was met with failure – her most spectacular one had been when she had the bright idea to climb up to the windowsill, above the stove, and attempted to break through the glass. Needless to say that plan had backfired and she now had a signed patch of hair on her chest that still smarted when she moved suddenly. It had taken a good hour for most of the pain to go, and she did not wish to make it worse, so she had butted the handle of the tap until the water turned on and made herself a little pool of water to lie in an attempt to lessen the pain.
It was time to face the facts; Hermione Granger was stuck in her cat form, without a way to escape.
Short, but there will be a new chapter up tomorrowish hopefully.