Time in Memory
Chapter 1: Meeting and Mistakes
Severus Snape was in his seventh year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry when he first saw her. She was older than he was, maybe by as little as three to five years. Headmaster Dumbledore had just given his start of term speech and had introduced her as the newest defense against the dark arts teacher, Professor Georgia Hernshaw. From where Severus sat she seemed fair skinned, wisps of her wavy brown hair were falling from where she had pinned it earlier, and her cheeks flushed as the students gave a slight applause in her welcome. She was pretty, and should he be pushed, Severus might have even gone to say she was beautiful that night as she smiled out over the hall.
His thoughts tallied on her only for a moment however, as his fellow Slytherine's pulled his attention away. They were all too keen to share the stories of their glorious summer spent traveling to exotic lands and using their parents' gold to buy insignificant trinkets that Severus was sure would be of little interest to them once they had show it off. No one ever asked of his summers. It was a well-known fact that his parents were of little standing and therefore Severus's summers would also be less then extraordinary.
This suited Severus fine. He was content to sit near his peers and listen to their stories, if only it meant that he would not have to have the painful experience of sharing his own. One of the more interesting stories that he heard while sitting at the house table was from Regulas Black, who was a year younger than he. Apparently, Sirius Black had recently decided that he would no longer be residing with the rest of the family and had abandoned his own home in order to spend the remainder of the summer with the Potters. It was unsurprising, and Severus did not even bother to turn in his seat to take a look at his two rivals.
However, his eyes did drift back up to the new professor when the conversation had turned to her. "Do you think she will be any good?" Regulas asked to no one in particular.
"I don't know. She doesn't look like much, does she?" one of the younger student's put in. "She's so small a slight wind might take her away."
Severus let his eyes travel over the professor. He would not have categorized her as small. She was slim, lean, curved in the right places and as she reached over for her goblet Severus could just barely make out the faint definition of muscles in her arm. Professor Hernshaw would not be carried away by any wind.
"She's a better looker that that lady McGonagall though," Rabastan said, although not pleasantly and Severus could see the way he leered up at her. "Must be a mudblood though. No family caries the name of Hernshaw."
Severus glanced up again at the professor who seemed completely oblivious to the conversation that was taking place down at the Slytherin table as she chatted animatedly to Professor Flitwick. "She is of little use to you then," Severus supplied lazily as he turned his gaze from Hernshaw to Rabastan.
"There is only one use for a mudblood like her," Rabastan replied as he made a rude gesture in Severus's direction.
"Spare us. The only reason you would even consider taking a mudblood in such a fashion is because you are still sore that Bellatrix choose Rodolphus over you."
"And when was the last time you got any, Snape. You don't have ladies lining up outside your bedroom door," Rabastan bit back.
"It would save everyone a headache if you two just stopped this inane argument," Regulus supplied as he reached between the two for a pitcher of pumpkin juice. Severus looked once more up at the staff table just in time to see the professor turn her face fully to the Slytherin table. Her eyes were shining as she grinned at something Flitwick had said and her gaze fell briefly upon Severus and the rest of the Slytherins who were staring straight back up at her. Her gaze seemed to pause a moment before she gave a brief nod in the direction of their table and returned her full attention to the professor beside her.
"I will keep to my argument that she is worth little to us if she is both inept at her art and of less than pure decent," Severus replied as he turned back to Regulus. He might think that she was pretty and that she may even be capable given the chance to prove herself, but it was little use to encourage interest from the other Slytherins, especially in the way Rabastan was thinking. It would be best to just let it go for the time being. "Will you pass those potatoes?" he asked, changing the subject before Rabastan had a chance to reply.
It was the next morning when Professor Slughorn was passing out schedules that the new professor made her way to Severus's attention once again. Defense Against the Dark Arts was the first class of the day, paired with the Gryfindors of course. Slipping the parchment into his pocket he frowned down at his toast and orange. When he had gotten his materials list for this year the Defense Against the Dark Arts book had not been listed. He had of course gone to Flourish & Blotts and asked to purchase the assigned text, but apparently Professor Hernshaw had specifically not assigned a text. It had irked him, not being able to be prepared for the first class of the year. He looked up at the staff table. Apparently the professor had already had breakfast, or had skipped it in preference of preparing for class.
Slipping his orange into his bag Severus stood up and walked from the great hall. If he could not prepare himself through reading an assigned text, he might as well make a good impression and be early for the new professor's class. His thoughts wondered to and fro as he made his way up the stairs to the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom. Would he enjoy the class, or would she be just as incompetent as her predecessor, Professor Ives. How did she expect to keep her classes focused without a text? And for that matter, what would they be focusing on this year?
What Severus had not been expecting when he finally made it to the classroom, however, was his professor bent over at the waist as she riffled through a rather packed looking trunk that was placed at the end of her desk. He could not help but look over his professor, his cheeks reddening slightly as his eyes lingered on his professor's backside. Clearing his throat, he made his presence known, "Good morning, Professor."
He had expected her to pop up and turn to him but instead all he got was a quick hand wave beaconing him forward. "Hello, could you come over here and give me a hand with some of this junk?" Her voice was sweet and low and Severus found himself standing slightly behind her as he peaked into the trunk to see a second rather heavy looking box that was sitting inside of it. "I just need some help getting this up onto the desk."
"Alright," he replied as he stepped up to one end of the trunk with his professor standing at the other end. He bent down and grabbed one of the handles on the other side of the box.
"On the count of three," She said as she looked up into his eyes and Severus could not help but wonder at how her eyes were the perfect shade of brown. "One…two…three!" With a huge heave the box came free of the trunk and landed on the desk. Professor Hernshaw leaned over the box, her face slightly flushed from having been bent down. "Thank you, Mr. Snape." She said as she smiled at him. He did not even ponder the fact that she already knew his name, all he could think was that she was more beautiful than he had first thought when he had seen her at the welcome feast.
"You are quite welcome," he replied, unable to keep the slightly nervous smile that formed on his face. Standing there for a moment unsure of what to say he finally cleared his throat, "What is in the box?"
She grinned a bit as she patted it. "Isn't that the secret," she replied playfully as she walked from behind the desk and back over to her trunk. "You will have to wait until class starts for that one, but until then I have something for you." She closed the lid of her trunk and Severus could now see that it had multiple compartments. He wondered briefly how much it had cost her to get that feature, but his thoughts were cut short as the trunk opened back up and a number of books came into view. "Your textbook, Mr. Snape," She said as she reached in and took one from the top.
Severus took it from her and couldn't help but blurt out the first thought that came to mind. "This is muggle." He knew as soon as the words slipped out of his mouth that he should not have said that.
"Is that going to be a problem?" Professor Hernshaw snapped back, her face no longer as open and as cheerful as when he had first walked in. Severus looked down at the book. The cover was obviously muggle plastic, and the pages looked as if they had been, what was the word, photocopied?
"I will have no problems with it," he replied sheepishly as he opened the book to look inside at the contents. Different texts appeared to have been hand chosen and put together into a collaborated text.
"Good, I would hate to think that we would set out on the wrong foot after we had been getting along so well," The professor replied as she went and sat behind her desk and took a look at the small timepiece that sat face-up at the corner of the desk. "Go ahead and take a seat and look through the first few pages. The rest of your classmates should be arriving soon enough." Severus watched as she took her wild curls down from the ribbon she had used to tie them up. They flooded down around her face and she watched as he went to take his seat.
When nearly all of the students had filed in Professor Hernshaw stood in front of her trunk and whipped out her wand. "As I am sure you are all aware, I am Professor Hernshaw." Her voice was cooler than when Severus had been talking to just her, but he supposed that was to be expected as he watched her survey the students that sat in front of her. "This will be a no nonsense class. I expect each and every one of you to work hard in preparation for your N.E.W.T.S. However, that doesn't mean that this has to be a painful experience. I hope that each and every one of you will find this class an engaging and informative experience that will help you when you are no longer a student here are Hogwarts."
The professor paused and caught her breath before continuing. "Now I am sure that some of you have been wondering about your text for this class." Severus saw a few of his fellow students nod at this. "These," Hernshaw said as she waved her wand and floated the text out to the students, "will be your text. All of the readings will come from this book that I have specifically put together for your use. In addition, all homework assignments have been listed at the end of each section. I expect assignments to be turned in at the beginning of each Monday class." Professor Hernshaw was about to open her mouth to continue, but the door to the classroom was slowly being pushed open.
"Mr. Potter, Mr. Black," Professor Hernshaw commented, sounding none too pleased. Now that the door was fully open Severus could see the two Gryfindors standing guiltily in the doorway. "I see that after seven years of attending this school you are still incapable of finding your way to this classroom. Shall I take this also as an indicator as to your abilities in my subject?"
"Sorry, Professor," Black replied, Severus doubted the truth behind that though.
"Won't happen again," Potter put in. False promises to Severus's ears.
"Make sure that it doesn't," the Professor replied as she floated two more text to them. "Take your seats." She was about to start again when Severus saw that Rabastan had his hand up. "Yes, Mr. Lestrange."
"These are quite obviously muggle, Professor Hernshaw," he began with a pompous drawl as he pushed it away from him on his desk. "Is it possible for you to get books that do not use this infernal material?" he asked as he tapped on the plastic covering. Severus could see the professor's scowl coming back.
"There is nothing wrong with your textbook and I will not be providing you any new ones," came the curt reply.
Severus was not sitting too near Rabastan, but he could still make out his idiotic classmates cursing of the professor. Frowning to himself he turned his attention back to the professor. He was sure that she was able to hear Rabastan, but apparently chose to simply ignore it.
"If there are no more question's I would like to get going with what I have prepared for today. While I think that you are all familiar enough with throwing curses back and forth at each other we are going to be looking at a more subtle technique that your adversaries may use," she paused as she patted the box that Severus had helped her move earlier, "and that is of course, cursed objects.
While you may find the simple revelo a bit bellow you in level, it takes a great deal more patience to be able to effectively negate the effects of the cursed objects. There are a number of spells that are listed within the first chapter of your book. Inside of this box there are also a number of objects that I have cursed. You will each take a pair of charmed gloves and take one object back to your desk and use the information provided within your textbook to try and break the curse. I will of course be coming around to answer questions as you have them." She paused and looked around the classroom, "Does anyone have any questions? Very well, let us begin!"
It was most definitely one of the better defense lessons that Severus had been to in his seven years at Hogwarts. Professor Hernshaw had been quick to help those that were obviously struggling, gave subtle suggestions to those that had a loose grasp on the spell and had been able to prompt further thought from those students that had quickly gotten a handle on the spell. The class had run smoothly and the professor had made it clear that she wanted a section of her 'muggle' book read for the next class period.
Severus was on his way back to his dorms when he heard the cold insulting voice of Sirius Black behind him, "Look there, James. There goes, Snivellus. Wonder if he has been crying because he already misses Mummy and Daddy." Severus stopped in his tracks and turned on his heals to face his life-long rivals as they made ridiculous weeping faces in his direction.
"I heard that your Mummy doesn't love you anymore, maybe it should be you that is crying," Severus hissed back as he fingered the wand that was in a holster around his wrist.
"What would you know about it, I bet your mum doesn't love you anymore than mine loves me," Sirus replied, contempt seeping into his voice before he continued, "I mean, who could ever love a grease-ball like you!"
"A greasy, sniveling crying little boy," James added in as he stepped up besides Sirius. "No wonder we never see you with any girls. Who would want to be friends with the likes of you."
Severus felt the urge to growl as he watched Sirius pull out his own wand. "I have yet to see you convince Lily to be your girlfriend yet, Potter. Maybe she realizes you are just an idiot who will never accomplish anything in life!"
"Why you… Furnunculus!" Sirius shouted. Severus barely had time to get his wand in hand a put up a quick protego, before the spell fizzled harmlessly off of the shield.
"Adustum," James yelled. Severus watched as the burning hex thankful hit the stone wall and dissipated before catching anything on fire. He whipped his head back around to glare at James. It apparently was no longer harmless curses that could be fixed within the day. They meant serious damage, like they always had. Fingering his wand he made the split-second decision. It was time to test out one of the new curses that he had come up with over the summer. He would end this argument with Potter and Black forever. They would never dare torment him again. They wouldn't put him in life-threatening situations as they had last year at the whomping willow. This ended now.
Raising his wand before him and pointing it down at Black, the worse of the two. He muttered the incantation as he pushed all of his magic through his wand and he slashed it through the air, "Sectum Sempra." The curse hurtled out of his wand and before Black had a chance to block it, the curse hit its mark. Severus watched in a mix of horror and satisfaction as he watched Black hit the ground, blood slowly beginning to seep through his cloths while James had dropped down beside him casting every healing spell he knew.
Severus's satisfaction however quickly vanished as he looked and saw Professor Hernshaw running towards them. He felt the adrenaline vanish from his system and felt a sudden weakness in his knees. What had possessed him to act so rashly?
AN: well here I go again. Starting another one. Ever wonder why there are no stories (that I can find) that have Hermione going back and time and not being –exactly- Severus's age. Well, here you go. Hernshaw is Hermione back in time. Older, more mature and an interest to Severus to boot! Hopefully I will be able to get a few more chapters now that I have forced them to have interaction in at least the next few chapters.
Hope you enjoyed the first chapter. Please let me know what you thought of it!