From the Past

A HariPo fanfic

by mew-tsubaki

Note: The 1st of To the Future's companion stories is here! I'm borrowing J.K. Rowling's charries once more and giving them a delighted storyline to star in. So let's start a little before when To the Future begins, and with another special pairing. And REVIEW!!!

*P.S. –Humphrey Blethyn is an O.C., as are Struther Calle, Clee Calle, Amasso Ronan, Tamsin Ronan, Femia Gibbs, and Laurel Windmere.*

Word of Caution: The end of this chapter contains some sexually graphic content, one reason for the mature rating. Read at own risk (But I'm sure most of you will enjoy it).

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The First Epic (& the Seventeenth Tale)

Christmas morning was perfect. A fresh blanket of ivory snow covered everything outside, and the cold crept in a bit.

Hermione rolled over, expecting to feel the warmth of Harry's chest. However, his spot was cold and empty. She woke up fully and sat up. Their bedroom was empty, but she could hear sounds from downstairs. She smiled, grabbed her bathrobe, and went to see her boys.

At the bottom of the staircase, the first boy nearly tripped her. Crookshanks gazed coyly up at her before ducking under her robe to wind in and out of her legs. After a minute or two, she figured it was more likely that the cat was just searching for warmth.

The witch picked Crooks up and entered the kitchen, where Harry was at the stove. He glanced over his shoulder and then brought his attention back to his cooking. "You weren't supposed to come down here," Harry stated. "I was going to surprise you with breakfast in bed."

"I think I've had my fill of surprises," she retorted, looking at her engagement. She put Crookshanks back on the floor. "Happy Christmas, Harry."

"Happy Christmas, Hermione." He paused for a quick kiss. "Hold on, this is just about done." He squirted something onto two plates and turned around. "Belgian waffles with strawberries."

At that moment, the witch's stomach growled. "Good timing." She poured some dry food into Crooks' food bowl and then ate with Harry. When they finished, Hermione put the dishes in the sink and ushered Harry into the living room.

Harry laughed. "I take it that we're lacking in patience this morning."

"Meh." She shrugged her shoulders and passed him a gift. "Let's start!"

In about an hour or so, Harry and Hermione were only through half of the presents. Amidst the barking cat flap from Fred and George and the usual hand-knit sweaters from Mrs. Weasley, there was chaos. Most of their friends had sent them at least one or two things; it was a miracle it had all fit under the small evergreen.

Truly, they had been unwrapping for several hours, so they stopped for a small lunch. After, Hermione stretched and cracked her neck. "God, listen to that. Um, how about we go for a walk? I need a bit of fresh air."

"We can even don our new sweaters," her fiancé remarked, raising his eyebrows.

"Yes, you can. I'm gonna change. Please feed and brush Crookshanks, and make sure he has fresh water," Hermione asked as she went upstairs.

"Will do," Harry yelled from the first floor.

Hermione nodded to herself and entered their room. She brusquely pulled on her jeans and was rummaging through her shirts when a sound scared her. A tiny 'eep!' escaped her, but when she turned around, she didn't see anything. The witch resumed her search and ended up pulling out an old, purple long-sleeved turtleneck. She dragged it over her head, and she tossed her sleep shirt onto her spot on the bed. And then she paused.

My eyes must be playing tricks on me, the genius observed. Still, she took a step closer to the bed. On her pillow was a black jacket. A very familiar-looking black jacket. Her breath caught in her throat, and she grabbed the cloth. Immediately the mixture of sweet and slightly musky permeated Hermione's senses. Her hands involuntarily brought the jacket to her nose, and she inhaled deeply. The bitterness from the roots and the sweetness from the herbs he used in potion-making, complemented by the hint of musk that was just his scent –it was sensory overload.

She was so caught up in the aroma that she almost didn't notice the note on her pillow, which she supposed had been tucked inside and had fallen out when she had grabbed the jacket. She swiped it up, too:

To Hermione-

Shakespeare may have said we'd reach the heavens on the wings of knowledge, but Beacon said that lazy is one who spends too much time in academics. Figured you'd need something in which you could laze about.

Happy Christmas, 'Mione'

-Severus

Beside his name was a print, showing that he'd used the seal she'd given him. While she was the teensiest bit annoyed at how he had signed with just his name at the end, she was overjoyed that he had written 'Mione'. Okay, she was overjoyed she had gotten anything from him. Best of all, she now had a piece of him, something that carried his scent.

The door squeaked then, scaring her. Hermione turned and saw Crooks enter, so she sighed with relief and folded up Severus's jacket. She placed it in an empty drawer, grabbed her own coat, and scooted the cat out of the room.

"Don't you dare get into that drawer," Hermione scolded the feline, and Crookshanks looked up at her with feigned innocence.

"You ready to go?"

"Ah!" The witch stopped short. "Don't scare me like that!" she told Harry. "And I thought you were downstairs."

"Bathroom," he answered flatly, and he led the way outside.

Hermione's collar grew very hot. She felt lucky that Crooks had alerted her and she had stashed Sev's present before Harry could see it. If he had seen it, she knew there would be a lot of explaining to do.

Outside, the snow crunched under their boots. Many other couples and families had decided to take in the fresh air, as well, so the streets were just this side of crowded. Snowmen lined the roads and guarded houses, and dogs chased children and created plenty of yellow snow. The Yule spirit had most definitely infected everyone.

Harry took Hermione's left hand as they walked, and he smiled at their engagement ring. "I saw your interview with Rita Skeeter in the Daily Prophet. The picture of you was nice."

Hermione shuddered. "Are you kidding? My hair looked like a lion's mane on a lion's bad hair day."

"I also saw photos from your two signings. A lot of people showed, huh?"

"Yeah, I guess. It's only been a few years, but I have a large fan base. That, and people will sometimes buy just because I'm a hero."

"Yeah…" Harry sounded kinda indifferent, despite the fact that he had brought the subject up. Hermione left it alone, thought, because things were fine otherwise.

Before they knew it, the sun began to droop in the sky. The snow glinted with the magentas and crimsons and orchids of the sunset, and Hermione found her feet grew sore and tired. She watched some of the neighborhood children shriek with delight at a few extra snowballs and then run into their homes for dinner. The witch turned to her fiancé. "Let's head home," she said.

"Yeah," he replied.

They returned home to a yowling cat. Hermione gave Crookshanks a few treats and then nudged his tush out of the living room. She and Harry finished unwrapping the gifts, and she noted that Harry almost seemed himself again.

"What do you want for supper?" the witch asked him once that time came. "We have the ingredients for just about anything."

Harry groaned. "I dunno… After all those Chocolate Frogs, I don't think I want to even hear the word 'food' right now."

Hermione softly chuckled and brought Harry a glass of water. She sipped at her cider. "Y'know, Ron would've helped you with those if…if he were still here."

"I know." He clinked his glass to hers and they drank a silent toast to their lost best friend. A moment passed, and Harry grimaced. "I think I'm just gonna turn in early. Good night, Hermione."

"Um, good night… I'm gonna work a bit on my half-blood theory, so I'll try not to disturb you when I come up later. Happy Christmas, Harry," she added as he ascended the stairs.

"…Happy Christmas."

Once the house quieted, Hermione got to work on her theory, stating that since a half-blood had only one magical parent, there would be a lack of control and more room for the power to grow. She got lost in her references and cross-references until her eyelids grew heavy, and she was soon fast asleep on the couch.

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Like Christmas morning, Hermione awoke the next day, very cold. She found her feet fine and toasty under a sock called Crookshanks, but the rest of her body was chilled to the bone. It was surprising that no blanket covered her, because she could smell the coffee in the kitchen, meaning Harry was up. But usually when he woke before her and she had spent the night in the living room, he would check on her and put a jacket or blanket on her to warm her. This morning –nothing.

Curious, the witch sat up and heard something tiny clatter on the floor. She pushed her notebook and books aside and picked up her bracelet from Ron. Examining it, she saw it wasn't damaged. I wonder why if fell off?

At that moment, Harry came downstairs, dressed for work. He headed directly into the kitchen, and Hermione followed after putting her bracelet down next to her things. But she again grew worried when she saw Harry pacing by the coffee pot.

"Harry, what's wrong?" she asked, her brow furrowed.

He grimaced or winced –he looked like he was physically injured, but from what Hermione could see, he was in perfect health. Abruptly, he strode up to her. "Hermione-"

"What?"

The Boy-Who-Lived looked away, as if his words were summoning disaster. He paced some more before stopping again in front of her. "Are you…hiding something from me?"

Hermione froze. What little warmth Crooks had given her fled her now. She had always wondered what she would say in this situation; she had never expected to be confronted with it. She quickly regained her composure. "No, I'm not, Harry," she lied.

"Then why? Why in all the pictures I've seen of you in the papers aren't you wearing your engagement ring?"

"Harry, you know I don't like flashy things-"

"So it's just some flashy thing?" He angrily grabbed her left hand. "This is a symbol, Hermione! It means we love each other so much that we're going to spend the rest of our lives together! It's not just another piece of jewelry!!"

"Harry, you're hurting me…" Hermione winced and blinked, her eyes tearing up. After he let go, she rubbed her hand. "Besides, how does not wearing my ring in public suddenly equate to me hiding something?"

He exhaled heavily, trying to get a hold of himself. "Hermione, you understand our status in the magical world. If you wore it, everyone would know that we're going to get married."

She looked at him incredulously. "So this is just a big 'hands off' sign to you?"

"No!!" The wizard sighed. "But I don't get you, Hermione! When we were at the Christmas party, you showed the garnet off. Yet you can't do that to the wizarding world? And what about the weekends when we've planned dinner, and you come home late, just brushing me off by saying you lost track of time?"

"Now you're keeping tabs on me?!" Hermione closed her eyes. Everything had been so perfect yesterday; this was just a dream…if only it were a dream.

"What I'm saying is you need to be fair to me," Harry finally stated.

The genius witch glared at him. "'Fair' as in tell you where I am and what I'm doing twenty-four seven."

He sat down at the kitchen table. "Look, maybe we should just postpone our wedding details until we figure things out. I mean, the wedding's still months away, so we have plenty of time to both sort this out and finish planning things."

"Screw you! 'Planning things'?! I'm the only one who's done anything, like the invitations and getting the church! Sure, I had my mother's help, but I've been writing and planning our wedding while you run around doing Auror things, staying up late into the early morning or not coming home at all!!" Hermione tore her ring from her finger, ignoring her scraped knuckle, and dropped the gem into a surprised Harry's hand.

"Hermione, I didn't mean-"

She shook her head. "Sod off." And then she Apparated right on the spot.

It was a miracle for two reasons: a) She hadn't Splinched herself, and b) no muggles had seen her poof onto the front step of her house. But her mind was elsewhere, so she didn't really care as she began running from their house. She ran a long, winding course through the streets, over a bridge or two –the witch glumly realized it had been a while since she had last sprinted this way. Hermione slowed once she saw the street sign:

Spinner's End.

Her feet paused while she caught her breath. After a few seconds, she trudged down the path until she saw Severus's old house. Only then did reality hit her and she remembered that he was at the school. Defeated, she plopped down on his front step and drew her knees up to her face to cry. What an idiot I am…

Crunch, crunch. "Hermione?"

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She snapped her head up. "Severus?"

The gravel crunched a bit more under the Potions teacher's next few steps. He stopped and looked down at her. "What happened?"

"Heh, funny story…," she said, wiping her tears away. He touched her left hand, and she let him take it.

"There's a bruise beginning to form, and this knuckle is bleeding severely." He eyed her disheveled figure before resting on her puffy eyes. "What else did he do to you?"

Hermione shook her head. "The only thing he did was grab my hand. I scraped my knuckle when-"

"-you took your ring off," Severus finished for her, looking at the bare hand in his.

She nodded. "Then I threw it at him and told him to sod off." She giggled a little at her casual curse.

Sev raised an eyebrow and stood, towing her along. "Come inside. We need to bandage that."

It had been a long while, too, since she had last seen the dark interior of his house. He had her wait in the sitting room while he got a washcloth. The witch sat on the couch and looked at her surroundings. There were no pictures. Any decorations on the walls were paintings of landscapes. Several pictures depicted a kind of ranch-style house in different seasons. One particular image drew Hermione's attention: It portrayed the house under the shadow of a large oak whose orange and red leaves were littering the roof and ground.

Several minutes had passed, and Hermione wondered where Severus could have gone. She walked around the first floor, searching to no avail. Then she heard him upstairs, so she timidly climbed the stairs. But once she was there, she had to listen for him again.

The sounds came from the last door at the end of the hallway. Hermione peeked in and saw Severus bowed over some drawer. While his back was turned to her, she glanced around and realized this must be his bedroom. It was very neat, and the furnishings were mainly black, neither of which surprised her.

"Didn't your parents ever tell you that curiosity killed the cat?" he said without turning.

She jumped at the sound of his voice. "Er- Sorry, I… What are you doing in here anyway?" she asked, changing the subject.

He straightened and closed the drawer, two items of clothing draped over an arm. "Getting what I originally came home for. Some idiot first years destroyed my long jackets with sorry excuses for potions." Sev scooted her out and closed the door behind him.

"Both jackets?"

"I'm wearing the third. Unfortunately, after I waved the damaged one away, my second one became the next victim." Sev stepped past her and disappeared into the next room on the right. She followed and saw it was the bathroom. He dampened a cloth. "Give me your hand."

She did as he asked, and leaned against the door jamb. His fingers held hers gently as he cleaned the wound.

"So this is really the extent of your injuries?" he prodded again.

Hermione nodded and smiled. "Harry wouldn't do anything, Sev. I'm not an evil person, but he doesn't want to be betrayed or disappointed again." She paused. "Our argument began when he asked if I was hiding something from him. I…lied, of course. God, maybe it is that simple."

"What is?" Severus asked after he muttered a quick spell and repaired her knuckle.

She looked at her hand –ring-free –and suddenly leaned her head on his shoulder. "Severus, I love you." The witch felt him tense and she suppressed a laugh. "Yes, yes, I said the big bad words. But I'm not just attracted to you. I can see the real you, who does give a damn about what happens to those he loves, though the number of those people may be small. I also understand that those times when you're ice cold you aren't actually cold or indifferent; you're angry or upset and just trying to stay in control of yourself. And then…," she continued, holding his hand, "…there are those times when you do lose control, and your emotions rage like they do in anyone else. And I just…love the fact that you're normal, just like anyone else." She picked her head up and smiled. "But you're different at the same time."

Though he wanted to, Sev couldn't hide the blush that doused his cheeks. He roughly pushed past her, but she didn't really move.

"Two people can't go through the doorway at the same time," she pointed out.

He eyed her as if she were an anomaly.

"If you expect me to be hurt because you didn't reply to my confession, then you'll be disappointed. I know better by now to not expect anything from you," she stated casually.

That irked him. "So you expect nothing?"

Hermione blinked. Okay, bad choice of words… She blinked again as his face drew near hers and he kissed her with the same fervor he had possessed that first time he had kissed her. She was so surprised that she stumbled backwards, but she did not hit the wall. Severus held her waist and kicked the door shut behind him.

If anything, he kept on surprising her. The kisses became more heated than she thought was possible –or imaginable. Amidst the hormones, her fingers undid the buttons of his jacket, and he slid her turtleneck top over her head before she unbuttoned his white shirt and tossed it on the floor with his jacket. She traced his pale scars with her fingertips, taken in by the damage he had received while in Voldemort's service and during the war. His hand covered hers when it stopped over his heart, and he gave her a sweet kiss then.

Then the passion was not merely passion anymore. It carried with it certain intentions, certain feelings Hermione knew Severus would never ever voice. Riding that emotion, the rest of the clothes were removed and each stood before the other, naked and vulnerable. Sev twisted a tendril of Hermione's hair around his index finger and again neared her, occupying any personal space that might have been left.

He tilted her head up to kiss her again as his body pressed against hers, and she almost turned to putty in his arms. With one of his hands he traced a looping path down her spine, causing her to shiver and arch her back. Her breasts grazed his chest, arousing him. Then his hands grasped her buttocks, and he guided her onto him. Their lip lock never broke as they built up a steady rhythm that picked up speed. She climaxed right before he exploded inside her, but that did not stop them.

She numbly reached to the side and turned the showerhead on. Though ice cold at first, the water partially brought them back to the present before it warmed and steam began to fill the bathroom. The heat messed with them as the hot water flowed over them, and Severus caught the rivulets of water traveling down Hermione's breasts on his tongue. She gave a little gasp, and another gasp escaped her when his fingers found her down below.

It was utter ecstasy, finally knowing every last part of one another. Once Sev straightened up, Hermione's hand hovered down his chest until it came to rest on his member. He kissed her neck as they gyrated, and she eventually guided him back inside her. The number of peaks was too many to count, and somehow they expended all their energy and built up a reserve of exhaustion. Severus turned off the water and bent down to be eye level with Hermione before kissing her again. He kissed the top of her head before picking her up and carrying her to his room, where he tucked her in for some much needed rest.

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How…explicit. …and hot! YAAAY!!! Things are fine, things are awkward, a fight breaks out, one confesses her love –which leads to a bout of screwing. Heh, Sev. As Mel Brooks said, "It's good to be da king." Please review. If you don't review, Snemione will cry. See you in 18!

-mew-tsubaki

P.S. –Maybe I should dub this chappie "NC-17". Heh.