Hi, well here is the first chapter for my new HG/SS story! The title comes from a song of the same name by a brilliant band called Anberlin, who I highly recommend! I thought up the idea for this story whilst listening to it, and it fits in with the plotline later on, so there you go! Also, just to say, this is an 'eventual HG/SS' story, so I won't be plunging right in there with the Hermione/Severus action, it'll take some back-story and plot building, but when it does come, there'll be lots of it, I promise you!
I hope you enjoy the chapter and reviews are more than welcome!
Disclaimer – I don't own Harry Potter, I'm just playing around with JK's creations.
Chapter 1 – Achieving the Impossible
Smiling smugly to herself, Hermione sat down at her desk and picked up that morning's copy of The Phoenix, a thrill of pride rushing through her as she read the headline that she herself had written.
PHOENIX SALES SOAR ABOVE PROPHET'S
It was simple, but catchy, she liked to think. Not to mention the satisfying truth that sat comfortably behind the words. It was true; since The Phoenix had been set up a year ago by Hestia Jones, Bill Weasley and herself, it had quickly managed to sell far more copies than The Daily Prophet, thus becoming the Wizarding population of Britain's favourite mainstream newspaper. She smiled again, thinking of Rita Skeeter's face when she saw the headline. Where was Colin Creevey when you needed him?
Here at The Phoenix, we are delighted that our reader's appreciate the honesty with which our journalists write, our unbiased approach to the news and the individuality that the paper possesses. We, unlike The Daily Prophet, are not influenced or pressurised by the Ministry or any other organisation, and many readers have written to us to express their admiration for that fact. We cover every side of every story and are dedicated to presenting the news to the nation, and that, we've been told, is the secret to our success. And if you want to know our honest opinion, we think so too.
So today, on the one year anniversary of The Phoenix's launch, we would like to thank each and every one of you for reading, subscribing to and supporting the paper over the past year. We hope there are many more successful years to come and we will, as always, endeavour to get the news to you as quickly and as fairly as we always have.
Hestia Jones. Editor.
"So, what do you think?"
Hermione looked up to see Hestia, her good friend and boss, stood in front of her desk with a smile just as wide as her own. "Brilliant," she said, standing up. "Just brilliant; couldn't have said it better myself."
Hestia laughed, smoothing back her long, raven coloured hair. "Well, here's to another year of writing till two o'clock in the morning and spending tedious hours organising interviews with anyone and everyone."
Nodding, Hermione glanced at her watch. "So, in light of recent achievements, do you think I can go early to lunch?"
"Hm..." Hestia pretended to look thoughtful. "Meeting up with Carl, are we?"
Feeling slight colour rise in her cheeks, Hermione smiled and began gathering her quill, ink and parchment into a bag. "Possibly," she replied, shrinking the bag and placing it into her pocket.
"You better go then," she told her with a knowing wink. "But I want you back here in two hours, I need that article on new wand cores for tomorrow's paper!" she called as Hermione hurried towards the door.
"I'll be here," Hermione replied before she disappeared out of the door, a whirlwind of unruly curls and sapphire cloak.
The bitter January air hit Hermione mercilessly in the face as she left The Phoenix offices, biting at her face until her skin felt raw. Drawing her cloak tighter around herself and casting the best warming charm she could, Hermione set off at a brisk walk towards Diagon Alley. The Phoenix building was situated pretty much in the heart of Wizarding London, very close to Diagon Alley, but far away from any Ministerial influence. It was the perfect location: close to all the action, but far enough away from anything that could restrain it. She smiled again, feeling almost euphoric at the success the newspaper had achieved. Setting it up with Hestia and Bill was one of the best things she had ever done.
Hermione soon found herself outside her favourite cafe - a warm, cosy sort of place, tucked away down a small street just off Diagon Alley. As she pushed the door open, the warm air hit her freezing face like a blow to the head, making her feel slightly dizzy for a moment. Blinking, she pulled off her cloak and made her way over to the table where a broad-shouldered, light-haired man was waiting.
"Hestia let you go early then," he said, smiling as Hermione dropped her cloak over the back of the chair and sat down.
"Yeah," she said, a smile automatically springing to her lips as she met with his turquoise eyes. Leaning across the table slightly, he pressed his lips to hers, one hand gently cupping the side of her face.
"Missed you," he told her quietly, their faces still inches apart.
"Carl, you saw me this morning," Hermione replied, laughing slightly.
He shrugged, kissing her again. "It's been a busy morning, though something really interesting has happened."
"Oh yeah?" she asked, sitting back to look at the lunch menu. "What's that then?"
"I can't tell you here, but it's really exciting. I'll tell you all about it at home tonight."
Frowning, Hermione looked up to see a genuine excitement dancing in his bright eyes, the familiar easy-going smile spread across his face. "Why can't you tell me here, if it's so exciting?"
"That's the thing though," he groaned, quite obviously itching to tell her. "It's kind of a secret. As in, I'm allowed to tell you, but where others can't overhear." He gestured subtly to the other people sat at the neighbouring tables.
Curiosity was beginning to bubble in the pit of Hermione's stomach as he smiled excitedly and rested his head on his hands, eyes fixed on her. "Okay then, fine...but this better be good," she told him, setting down the menu. "You'll have me trying to guess all day now. You know I don't like not knowing things."
He laughed, reaching out a hand to wrap around hers on top of the table. "Tell me about it," he sighed, "I was two years above you in school and in a separate house, but I still knew what a know-it-all you were."
"You can't talk," Hermione said back, narrowing her eyes at him. "You were in Ravenclaw."
"And?" he retorted with a raised eyebrow.
"And...Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw, if you've a ready mind. Where those of wit and learning, will always find their kind."
Carl raised the other eyebrow. "Whoa, did you remember everything the sorting hat said?"
"Nah," she replied, chuckling. "Just the important stuff."
"Either way, it proves you're a know-it-all," he said, eyes sparkling as she pursed her lips in annoyance. "Oh come on," he laughed, squeezing her hand. "I know you love me really."
Sighing, Hermione's lips lifted slightly at the corners as she smiled, meeting his gaze. "You should think yourself lucky that I do bloody love you, or I'd have sent a very good bat-bogey hex your way by now."
"Aw," he said, sarcasm laced through his voice, "How romantic of you." He pulled back his hand from hers to prop his head up on it again. "Although, I do actually think myself lucky that you love me, and not just because it saves me from your bat-bogey hex, which I do happen to know are pretty nasty."
She smiled again, feeling a little self-conscious under his intense gaze.
"I mean it," he said in a low voice, his face deadly serious now. "I love you."
"Love you too," she replied instantly, coyly bringing her eyes back up to lock with his again, "And not just because I get twenty-four hour care if I'm sick."
In that moment, sat in his London apartment reading Potions Weekly and treating himself to a generous measure of Firewhiskey, Severus Snape was about as close as he could get to being what most people would call happy. He was certainly extremely satisfied, if nothing else. Yes, without being arrogant, he was quite proud of himself. He had just achieved what many Potioneers had been trying to achieve for centuries, not to mention dozens of magical specialists and charm investigators. He, Severus Snape, had achieved the impossible.
Setting down his now empty glass, Severus glanced around the tastefully decorated lounge and sighed. If only Lucius could see him now... Not that he was ever going to see the light of day again after being condemned to a cell in Azkaban for the rest of his days.
"Good riddance," he muttered under his breath as he got up off the couch. Following the war, a great number of people had fought to have his name cleared and amazingly, they had won. Potter, of course, had been amongst them, trying to do his bit for the man who had loved his beloved mother. Well, he could take his pity and shove it up the arse of that wretched sock-loving house elf of his, because he had achieved the impossible. He didn't need pity.
Wearing something dangerously close to a smile, Severus picked up his empty glass and made his way over to the drinks cabinet, deciding that he more than deserved a refill. A few unopened letters sat on his windowsill, some yellowing from the exposure to the sun they had been forced to suffer over the few weeks they had been sat there. He would ignore them for the time being. Most of them would be from Minerva, and the last thing he needed was that woman's incessant nagging to dampen his unusually high spirits. He'd reply to them in a few days, or weeks...what did it matter?
No, nothing mattered. Because he'd done it. He'd finally done it.
As I said, reviews are more than welcome and I'd love to know your thoughts; constructive criticism or otherwise! Thanks for reading and a special thank you to TheFatalIllusion for being so awesome and for encouraging me with this!