A Snape/Hermione fic.

Chapter Two.


Disclaimer: See Ch. 1.


A/N: I'm happy you guys liked the first chapters, thanks for the great reviews!

Here's the next installment. I don't know how many chapters this is going to be, but hopefully I can stick with this fandom long enough to finish the story without any long breaks.

As always, please read and review, I live for feedback!

Hermione paced back and forth in her room, avoiding the larger "cat" and trying repeatedly to change back into her real self. It wasn't working, and was beginning to cry.

Crookshanks spoke through his mind to her, "Please don't be upset. You'll get used to it, I promise."

Hermione shook her head furiously, frustrated with the entire situation. She realized that twelve years as a cat without no one to talk to had warped the wizard's mind, and she still wanted to help him, but she didn't think she could deal with this. "I don't want to get use to it! I want to be a witch! I want to be a girl again!"

The cat she had trusted and loved for so long looked forlornly at her, stepping away. "I think it's best if I give you some space. You'll come around eventually ... let me know when you want to talk." And just like that, he was gone. He took off out the door, and Hermione wasn't used to her new body enough to catch up to him.

She knew it was late, but she padded across the hallway in search of Harry's room.

Her mind was racing as she fumbled along the corridor in search of her best friend. She desperately hoped he would be able to turn her back, or at least find an Order member who could. She heard voices coming from a door that was cracked open and pushed her way in, seeing Ron and Harry sitting on two beds facing each other while they talked in hushed voices.

"Harry!" she called out, but all that came out was an excited meow as she tried to leap up onto the bed.

Harry scooped her up, pulling her onto his lap. "Who do we have here?" he wondered while scratching her head. "I don't think I've seen you around here before."

Hermione struggled, trying to find a way to tell him who she was.

"It's just some cat Hermione found on the street or something," Ron spoke from the other bed. "As though one menace wasn't enough."

Hermione whipped her head around, shaking it furiously back and forth while glaring at Ron. It did not have the desired effect, as Harry only began chuckling. "Oh, come on, you gotta admit: that's pretty cute."

Hermione turned around in Harry's arms, stood on her back legs and gripped his chin on either side with her paws, making him look into her eyes. Come on, Harry, it's me! You know these eyes! Hermione thought in silence. Damn, I know I should have told you what I was doing in case something like this happened. I promise, if you fix this, I'll never let something like this happen again.

Harry stared down at the cat's odd behavior, happy that claws weren't currently digging into his face. The cat certainly didn't look like a stray, and he couldn't quite put his finger on it, but there was almost something familiar about the way she was looking at him.

"Harry, mate, I really am worried about Hermione. I think she may have left or something," Ron interrupted, and Harry looked away from Hermione.

"Look, we'll check around for her first thing tomorrow. If she's still nowhere to be found, then we'll sound the alarm," Harry suggested. He wasn't too worried about his friend; he just figured she was hiding from Ron ... not that he could blame her. He loved his friend, but he was a bit daft sometimes.

Hermione groaned in frustration, but was mildly comforted by the fact that they would be looking for her tomorrow. They would discover that she was gone and her wand was missing, and someone would figure out that the cat that had shown up out of nowhere was actually Hermione. They had to.

Hermione followed the group of people into her room, waiting for someone to figure out what had happened. They had spent the last hour and a half searching the mini-mansion for any trace of what had happened to her, but no one had found anything yet. And unfortunately, no one had found her wand either.

Hermione knew that once they saw that all of her stuff remained, and she had not left a note telling them she had left, that they would realize she was missing. She felt herself starting to relax.

But then she broke through the crowd of people and saw what had become of her room. Her dresser drawers were open and the clothes were missing, as was the trunk that held all of her school items. All of her research on becoming an animagus. The only thing that remained was the letter from her parents sitting on her empty dresser.

Harry looked down at the letter, examining it with a sad expression.

Mrs Weasley was among the adults crammed into the room. "What does it say, Harry dear?"

Harry blinked up at them all. "It's from her parents, asking her to come home," he answered. "I think ... I think she left."

Hermione shook her head, shooting forward and clawing at his legs. It wasn't possible.

"Ow!" Harry hissed, looking down at the cat.

Mrs Weasley pulled the cat into her arms, looking at her in sympathy. "Oh, you poor thing, you look just starved. Let's get you something to eat." She left the rest of them to figure out what to do, knowing that if Hermione had left, it was because of her son.

Harry and Ron looked at each other with confused expressions on their faces. Ron couldn't comprehend why Hermione would want to leave, and Harry couldn't believe she would leave without at least telling him. She wasn't the running away type.

"What are we gonna do?" Ron asked him. "Go after her?"

Harry shook his head. "None of us know where her parents are ... that was the point of her sending them into hiding."

"So, she's just gone?"

Harry didn't want to believe it, but he couldn't see another alternative.

Out in the hallway, Severus Snape mulled over the fact that the Golden Trio had lost the only member of the bunch that had any semblance of a brain, and wondered how Dumbledore could have so much faith in any of them.

Hermione looked miserably at the bowl of milk in front of her, trying to figure out how Crookshanks had managed to take all of the stuff out of her room and hide it. She could barely run without tripping over herself, and he ... she nearly smacked herself in the head. He has my wand ... he can change back by himself. Not only did he not want to turn back into a human, he went to great limits to keep both of them as cats.

Hermione growled in frustration, smacking the side of the bowl with her paw and dumping the contents onto the floor.

"Oh, goodness!" Mrs Weasley said in surprise, rushing forward to clean up the mess.

Hermione felt bad for a moment, but was too mad about the fact that no one realized she wasn't a stray cat.

"Now, you don't have to drink it if you don't want to, but don't you go making a mess every time I try to get you something to eat," Mrs Weasley told her. "There are limits to my patience and hospitality." Hermione caught the warning, and realized that if everyone at Grimmauld Place thought she was a stray, they had no reason to keep her around. She would be stuck as a cat forever if they kicked her out of the house. Trying to do what she figured a cat would to get people to like them, she tentatively moved forward and sniffed Mrs Weasley's hand, poking her pink tongue out and licking a couple of times. The action didn't feel as disgusting as she'd thought it would.

The older woman's face softened, and Hermione relaxed, trotting out of the kitchen and trying to think of something pro-active to do.

I need to get my wand back, Hermione reasoned. If Crookshanks can turn back with my wand after all these years, it should be no problem for me. I just need to find out where he's hidden it. She left the kitchen and made her way back up the stairs to her room. The door had thankfully been left open, and she stepped inside carefully. Crookshanks was nowhere to be seen, so she began to inspect the room. She didn't think that much time had passed between her transformation, and when he had come to see her by the mirror, so he couldn't have gotten far with her wand. But, Hermione reasoned, he might have hidden it somewhere else last night when I was asleep in Harry's room. If he hid it while he was out of his animagus form, he could have put it in any number of places that I can't reach ...

She tried not to let herself become defeated, but the task ahead of her was daunting.

She searched everywhere she could find: under the bed, in the bathroom (getting back out of the tub had not been a fun experience), in the closet ... she even batted at her curtains for a while, half-convinced he'd tucked them away somewhere. Hermione resigned herself to the fact that wherever her wand was, it wasn't in her room. She would have to search the entire manor, and that could take weeks ... probably even more.

A shadow fell across the bed she had jumped up onto to rest, and she looked over at the door to see Snape standing in the doorway, blocking the light from the hall.

Hermione rose to her feet - all four of them - and stared at the Potions Master / spy for the Order. He looked steadily at her but didn't say a word, and she cocked her head to the side, gazing back at him. She wished that she knew Legilimency so she could tell him what was going on ... she wished she could somehow tell him to use it on her.

Finally Snape stepped into the room, glancing around before settling his gaze on her. "So, Miss Granger went and plucked you off the street, and then left you here for us to deal with?"

Hermione's eyes widened but she forced herself not to make any sudden movements ... she didn't want to do anything to upset anyone in the house for fear that they would throw her out.

Snape sighed, looking down at her with an expression that Hermione had never seen on him before. "Well, we can't have you loitering in some empty room." With that, he picked her up off the bed and carried her out of the room.

Hermione fidgeted but his grasp was firm - not uncomfortable, but there wasn't a lot of wiggle room. She wasn't sure where he was taking her, and could only imagine what Harry and Ron would say if they knew she was being carried by the professor they despised so.

End of chapter two.

Hope you guys enjoyed it, I know I loved writing it.

Reviews are appreciated, flame if you must, but constructive criticism is much more useful.

Until next time ...!