The Human Cure
Chapter 1: Leave It All
Warnings: Non-Canon, character death, supernatural, angst, romance, and non-HP compliant
I have always loved stories that involved Severus Snape being a vampire. Drawing inspiration from the great ones, and the not so great ones, along with various movies and televisions shows, I decided to try creating one. (I wanted to write "sink my teeth into," but that would have been a little too clichéd.) I hope you all enjoy it!
I love feedback and it helps to keep the writing engine going. I greatly appreciate it.
Chapter 1: Leave It All
"I lay down my life. I open my arms, embrace the night, and with no wings to fly, I fell. I leave it all. I leave it all." Orenda Fink
For two months now he had been watching her, even though according to muggle law it would be considered "stalking." He had memorized her schedule - her daily routine.
Hermione Granger awoke every morning at 6 a.m. before heading out for her daily jog. After an hour, she would return home and get ready for her day that included classes at the University of London. Through his own research of her, he discovered that she was working on a PhD in Chemistry of all things. She would usually return home around 4 in the afternoon. Sometimes she would join friends for dinner and drinks, but most of her nights were spent at home.
Through his "stalking," he discovered that she didn't own a television. Rather, she listened to the radio often and on a daily basis used what he learned was a computer. She was one of the top students in her class, and there were a few people in the program with whom she hung out with. Never one to invite people over very often, Hermione Granger had become a loner. If push came to shove, she could defend herself, but her posture was one that spoke volumes of her. She had experienced a lot. She was one who couldn't be fooled easily.
When shopping, she almost always purchased the same products. Severus wondered why she never became a full-fledged vegetarian, but for the most part, she lived frugally. He had heard through various sources that her parents left her everything, but rather than stay in the area that her parents were slaughtered in, she sold the land and used the money to buy a flat in a part of the city that didn't require her to use the tube five times a day. She was close to everything that was important to her in this new life. She seemed happy, but more or less content with her life. Anyone could tell that she experienced a lot in life, but only a few knew what the real story was.
Severus remembered being there when she discovered her parents were killed. As if it happened yesterday, she was brought into a room at Grimmauld Place where, surrounded by only a few, the news was revealed to her. She almost collapsed right there on the spot. If it weren't for Potter and Weasley, she would have completely fallen. While the deaths of her parents gave her drive to defeat Voldemort, it was also at the cost of her two best friends. After the war was over, the bodies strewn everywhere, she broke her wand and returned to the muggle world. No one tried to convince her otherwise, and ever since that day she left everything behind that tied her to the magical world she once was a part of.
He supposed he could relate to her. Even though Nagini's bite did injure him, he was able to recover in given time. He knew it would be better to have the world think he died that night rather than come back and explain how his condition had hampered it. He liked the new freedom he was granted in not having to answer to anyone anymore. He was finally his own man, allowed to walk the streets of muggle London undisturbed. Adjusting to the changes involving technology took him a little longer than he would have liked, but it didn't take long for him to again adapt to such a world. He bought a flat in Bloomsbury, paid taxes, and was content with being left to his own devices. While he could stroll around in the day if the day was cloudy enough, he had to take extra precautions. Sunglasses were required in the summer, along with some form of sunscreen. He usually built his schedule around the weather. If the sky was gloomy, he could actually be a productive citizen. The summer months were the worst, but it afforded him the excuse to stay inside and catch up on reading.
While there was a part of him that was angered by the idea that Granger gave up so much after fighting to make sure that the magical world remained intact, he couldn't really blame her. It was the idea that Hogwart's would be a constant reminder of what ultimately had to be sacrificed for the greater good. Even now her eyes still held the weight of the war.
From his sources he learned that she was able to enroll in a prestigious muggle university in California, and was able to complete a B.A. program in three and a half years. (She attended classes in the summer.) Deciding her time in America was enough, after graduation, she returned home to London and pursued her studies further.
While she still looked exactly the way he remembered her all those years ago, the years did add onto her unconventional beauty. She was toned, and Severus figured that her daily workout routine was something she used to fight off the stress of being a full time student. He would sometimes visit the University of London campus to get a better feel for her new world. Besides, he could easily blend in as a professor if he so chose to. He never tried to seek her out when she was alone, but there were times when he would dare to observe her in the library. Deliberately choosing spots in the library where she wouldn't be disturbed, there was a time or two when he thought she busted him watching her. It was his favorite place to get a feel for the person she had become. He observed her through the spaces between bookshelves as she picked out books. He watched her type information into her computer. There were days when she would sneak in a sandwich and a bottle of water and enjoy those while compiling research. He even saw her sometimes put her head down for a brief nap every now and again. Each time he attempted to move a bit closer, and one time he was close enough. She had fallen asleep, and daring to try something, he lightly brushed his fingers through the ends of her hair. Hermione immediately woke up. Checking her watch, she cursed under her breath and she gathered her things and headed back home to her flat. He knew that she would brush her hair moving as a dream. Severus wished he could forget the smell of the perfume she wore that possessed hints of rose and vanilla.
He was jealous of the undergrads that had her as an instructor. He would sometimes sneak into the library to read up on the latest science journals, and on some occasions he would find work that she had co-authored. It was when he read a report about her thesis pertaining to stem-cell research and hemophilia that he realized that she was truly the only one who could help him. She was still determined, and if there was a cure to be had, he knew she would be the one to find it. He lost the adjective of "insufferable" in describing her ever since he found her, but he knew the spark was still in her somewhere.
Once when she was attending the birthday party of a friend, he snuck into her flat. It was cozy, yet sparse at the same time. Her degree from Berkeley hung from the wall. There was a picture of her standing in front of the Golden Gate Bridge next to a picture of her at Pier 39, along with pictures of her parents and her on holiday in New York City. A picture of her wearing a lovely hunter green dress with some muggle was on a coffee table next to a book about the Romanov family. There were post it notes on certain pages, and while Severus tried to suppress a smile, he was reminded of how voracious of a pupil she was when it was to acquiring knowledge. There were more pictures of the places she traveled all over her flat, but no traces existed of her life before. It was almost as if she obliviated herself. There was one picture of her with Potter and Weasley that looked like it was taken in their fifth year, but it wasn't a magical one. He knew that it would be a potential problem in explaining why such portraits "moved," but he also figured that it was another tie to the magical world that she wanted to forget ever existed.
She had a huge bookshelf that appeared to have been built into her living room wall. All of the books were by muggle authors, many of whom he had read. Her collection was impeccable, and in alphabetical order. It was as if she tried to recreate the Hogwart's library in the room. He found an empty cup on a side table; the coffee stain at the bottom. He was tempted to sit in her furniture to get a better feel of her, but he knew that would be crossing the line.
He climbed up the stairs, passing the loo, in search of her bedroom. As he thought it would, the room almost looked as if no one slept in the bed. It did look worn in, but she was someone who liked to have a daily order to things. He smelled the familiar scent that was her perfume bottle, noticed that her wardrobe mostly consisted of clothes that she wore when she was at Hogwart's, only they were matured. Jumpers, trousers, scarves, jeans, and flats were a staple in her wardrobe. However, there were dresses that one would wear to a special occasion. He then noticed the dark green, capped sleeve, taffeta dress that she had on in the picture downstairs. He touched the fabric, hoping that it would give him a better understanding of who she had become.
She didn't know that he watched her sleep at night. He could almost hear her breath enter and exit her in a steady cadence. It provided him some sort of odd comfort. He would leave his flat in the early evening to take care of his business, run some errands, and he would usually end up outside of her flat around midnight. His years as a spy kept his stealth skills at moving around undetected in top form. Hermione Granger had running to thank for keeping her in shape; Severus Snape had spy sessions in muggle London.
Tonight she had gone out with jeans, heels, and a simple maroon jumper. It was her classmates thirtieth birthday. A group of no more than four was going to "paint the town" as her friend Carla described it earlier that day in the library. The night would include dinner, dancing, and all the things that one such as herself was entitled to. He had plans to observe her at the disco they were going to after their dinner. He knew that would be the best way for him to still remain anonymous.
The building was dark and the lights made the room appear as if everything were red. There was loud music blaring to a point where one wouldn't be able to hold a conversation. As Severus sat at the bar, nonchalantly drinking whiskey on the rocks, he felt her presence close by. The club was perfect in allowing him to conceal his identity, and it proved itself positive when she stood right next to him at the bar as she ordered drinks.
He listened to her order with a keen interest, knowing that she wasn't the one who wanted a Heineken, or a Guinness. When he heard two dirty martinis as part of the order, then he figured that was her weapon of choice, drink wise. The bartender mentioned that he would have someone bring the drinks to the table that she was at. She never did give him any notice.
As she walked away, Severus noted how she good she smelled. She smelled clean, new. It was the only way he could describe her at that very moment. It was then that he grabbed his drink and exited the bar, hoping to find some corner in which to observe her. The perfect location was spotted as he looked at the stairs. Climbing them at a steady pace, he checked at the table she and her friends sat at just to make sure that they were still there. By the time he found a spot upstairs, the drinks were delivered to their table.
He couldn't hear exactly was being spoken, but another girl that was in their group toasted Carla. Hermione held up a dirty martini and smiled at her friend, not saying anything as the glasses and bottles met in the customary cheer. Carla sat next to a man that Severus would only assume was her boyfriend if he didn't know any better. A fellow PhD candidate named Glen sat next to Hermione. It was obvious to anyone watching that he had a thing for her, and while a slight flare of jealousy ran through Severus, he smirked at the fact that she didn't reciprocate such feelings. He wanted to slam him against the wall whenever he saw Glen place his hand on the small of her back. Two other ladies were with the group, but Severus didn't care for anyone else besides Hermione and the man, no boy, that was trying to win her over.
The original plan was to observe her for a few more months. He didn't just want to knock on her door and ask that she help him. After all, he was supposed to be dead. Still, that was the big hurdle that awaited him. She could deny him. She could go over the edge due to the shock of it all. There were so many possibilities, but he knew that she was the only one he truly trusted to help him. If not cure him - maybe she could make his condition somewhat more bearable.
The opportunity would come three weeks later.
Hermione had come down with flu like symptoms, but still went about her normal schedule. However, before lunch rolled around, one of her advisors insisted she go home and rest. He didn't witness the conversation, but he could imagine Dr. Sovay telling her that by going to class, she was putting others at risk.
It was cold outside; the clouds were gray, and rain was on the horizon as he watched her enter her flat. She looked like shite if he had to be honest with himself, and hoped that she was able to take proper care of herself. Before heading home, she decided to stop her doctor's office, just in case. Armed with medicine, and an order to get plenty of rest, for once, Hermione welcomed the idea of not having school to throw her energy into.
The first thing Hermione did as soon as she entered her flat was removed her shoes, wrap a blanket around herself, and crawl into her bed. She was too tired to bother taking any medicine, even though she knew that was what she was supposed to do. Giving into sleep was the easiest thing to do, and that was what she did.
It wasn't until after nine o'clock that night that she heard a knock on her door. Hoping that if she ignored the knocks, the person would go away, but the person at her door was ever the more persistent.
"Shite!" She uttered as she got out of bed and walked towards her door. She didn't care if her hair was sticking out in various directions. She didn't care if her face was as swollen as a balloon from all of the coughing and sneezing that she suffered with.
Not bothering to see who it was, she opened the door, frustration on her face.
"Glen! What are you doing here?" Hermione asked, slightly annoyed.
"Carla and Dr. Sovay told me that you were ill, so I came to check up on you." Glen said, entering her flat without her expressed permission. "I figured you might have wanted some of your books and notes, so I brought them."
"Thanks Glen. I do appreciate it."
"How do you feel?"
Without trying to be rude, replied, "How do you think I feel? Look at me! I look like death warmed up." She couldn't help it; she was tired and didn't want to deal with company. Hermione made a note to apologize for her tone once she felt human again.
"Well, I also brought you some chicken soup." Glen replied.
"It's not necessary Glen, but thank you. Could you please tell Dr. Sovay that I probably won't be in for the rest of the week?" She said, inching towards the door, hoping that he would get the hint.
"Sure thing!" He stated as he brought everything into her kitchen.
Not bothering to say anything, Hermione waited for him to walk back into the living area.
"This is a nice flat Hermione! I wouldn't think someone who is a graduate student would be living here."
"Glen, look, I don't mean to be rude, but I was in bed when you came over, and I'm really not up for conversation right now. I do thank you for my notes and the food, but I really am tired and…" Hermione couldn't finish because a rough coughing spell hit her.
All the while, Severus was listening in to their conversation outside of her flat window.
"Oh, sorry" Glen stated as he moved in closer to Hermione. She tried to suppress her coughs, but it was difficult. Glen then tucked a few strands of her hair behind her ear and whispered, "Would you like me to tuck you into your bed?"
Mildly offended, Hermione quickly withdrew from him. "No Glen, I just think you should leave."
Not taking her rejection lightly, Glen's true colors began to come out.
"I don't get it! For months I've been trying to drop hints for you to pick up. I really like you Hermione, and now when I do something out of courtesy, you treat me like this!"
"Glen, I like you too, but only as a friend. I have no romantic intentions towards you, and I can't think of anything that would have made you believe that in the first place. This just isn't the proper time to talk about this. As soon as I'm feeling better, we can discuss things. I would just like for you to please leave."
"You're such a cock-teasing little cunt! I think now is a perfectly good time to talk about it!" Glen started. "What, you think you're too good for me? You think that because you have been published before and won a few fucking grants then you are superior? You know, I am beginning to see why everyone in the department calls you the queen of bloody winter! You're probably a fucking virgin too!"
Hermione had never heard Glen take that sort of tone with anyone. She was seeing a different side that frightened her.
"Glen, I'm not ASKING you to leave. I'm TELLING you to leave NOW!" Hermione turned around to grab her phone when all of a sudden she was pushed into the wall.
"YOU FUCKING BITCH!" Glen raged as he grabbed her hair.
Hermione was too weak to fight him off, but as soon as he turned her to face him, she slapped him as hard as she could before screaming at the top of her lungs, "GET OUT! GET OUT! GET OUT!" He was trying to place his hands around her throat all the while.
Hearing everything, Severus decided that now was the time to make his presence known. As he burst through her window, he saw Glen punch her so hard that it knocked her out. The last thing Glen felt was someone grabbing him as if he weighed five pounds. Hermione didn't hear his scream.
She remembered the metallic taste of blood on her lip and then falling to the ground. Then, as if in a slow motion dream, she felt a pair of arms pick her up and carry her. Wanting to fight, and thinking it was Glen, she mumbled whatever curses she could muster from her lips. It only came out as gibberish. However, her fear was quickly replaced by comfort. She had the gut feeling that nothing bad was going to happen to her. This person was helping her. This person would make sure that she was safe. She felt the softness that could only be a pillow, her cough bringing her back to reality. Her vision was blurry, and all she could feel was the fever. There was a black figure slowly walking away, but before she could say anything, she closed her eyes and gave into sleep.
The next thing she remembered was the feeling of a cold cloth being placed on her head. She could have sworn the figure was speaking to her, and while she wished she could see it, her eyes wouldn't allow it. She barely could hear the words, but "Hermione" in a low and oh so familiar drawl was distinct.