Past Hands Hold Desperate Hearts


She was warned that time was a tricky thing to mess with. She'd been very careful when she used it for her extreme amount of classes in third year, but after the third year, she no longer bothered with it. It had proven to be too much work. Out of habit, however, she still wore it just in case she might need it. It was a small comfort to know that she could go back in time if she really had to.

Hermione Granger was sitting outside on the grounds of Hogwarts when a shadow fell over her. She looked up to find Ronald Weasley looking down at her. Her heart skipped a beat when she saw him. Hermione had developed a small crush on the boy over the last year, but had never acted on it. She knew that if she really compared herself to him, they were not a match, but she ignored the voice in her head because she was lonely and she wanted someone to show her that there was more to life than books and school. Hermione knew that this crush had developed because Ron was her friend and they had spent a lot of time in each others company.

"Mione, why are you out here?" he asked.

"Just thinking," she said evasively.

"It's getting cold out," he said.

She merely shrugged her shoulders and looked back out at her surroundings. Hermione wondered if now was the time to tell Ron that she had feelings for him. However, uncertainty was heavy in her mind. After a few moments, she decided that maybe she should tell him how she felt so that they could see where the relationship goes.

"Ron, I wanted to ask you something," she said, looking at him.

"Actually, I wanted to ask you something too," he replied. Hermione looked up at him expectantly, her stomach fluttering.

"You first," she said, hoping that he was going to say he had feelings for her too.

"I was going to ask if you would give Lavender this letter for me," he said, pulling it from his robes. Her stomach plummeted and she stared at Ron in disbelief. She felt as though her heart was being painfully squeezed. He gave her a quizzical look. "What? I know she fancies me, but I can't bring myself to give it to her personally. Besides, I figured since you're kind of friends with her that it would be alright if you did it."

"But…but…wouldn't you be better off with someone you know better?" she asked, hoping that he would see reason.

"Um…the only two girls I know well enough and who know me are you and Ginny. Ginny is my sister so that's a no and you're…well you're you," he said, completely missing the look of hurt that crossed her face.

"What's wrong with me?" she asked quietly.

"Mione, you're just you. I don't know. I mean you're not ugly or anything, but Lavender is a beautiful girl who isn't stuck in books all the time."

Hermione felt as though she had been slapped across the face. She couldn't stop the tears of shame and embarrassment that clouded her eyes. Her self-esteem was quickly diminishing.

"You are so insensitive," she snapped angrily.

"What? I wasn't tryin to insult you, Mione. You act like you want to be with me. I think Lavender would be a good match," he said defensively.

"You're right, she would be! You deserve to have someone whose just as arrogant and ignorant as you are!" she yelled and stomped away from him. Ron could only watch with a dumbstruck expression.

Hermione wasn't paying attention when she rounded a corner and ran right into a black-clad figure, knocking them both to the ground.

"GRANGER!" the cold voice boomed. She cringed when she recognized it.

Why did I have to run into him?

Hermione hardly recognized the position they were in when she sat up and looked down at him. His expression was murderous. For the first time, she felt afraid of her Potions Professor because there was something in his expression that frightened her.

"Sorry sir," she said quietly.

"Obviously, you're not very sorry since you haven't bothered to remove yourself from my person," he snarled.

Hermione's eyes widened when she realized that she was sitting on top of her Professor in a very inappropriate manner. Her face went crimson and she scrambled to get off of him.

"I'm so sorry, sir!" she exclaimed in embarrassment. He sneered as he got to his feet.

"Indeed. What do you think you are doing running through the halls like a blubbering idiot?" His tone was cold and harsh, causing Hermione to back away slightly.

His words seemed to cut right through her causing her to flinch and back away further. Tears spilled over her cheeks and she refused to meet his gaze. She didn't look at his face so she missed the brewing fury in his eyes.

"I asked you a question!" he snarled, his eyes blazing. She swallowed hard, looking up at him uncertainly.

Why is he suddenly so angry with me? I didn't do anything to him…

"I said I was sorry. Why isn't that good enough?" she asked and instantly wished she hadn't. His eyes narrowed dangerously and that was not a good sign.

"Twenty points from Gryffindor for disrespecting a teacher. Another twenty for running through the halls and knocking me over!" he said in a low hiss.

"That's forty points!" she cried.

"Well, I'm glad the little know-it-all knows how to count," he replied coldly. Hermione stared at him in disbelief.

"It was an accident!" she yelled, her anger finally surfacing.

"Keep up this little tirade and see how many points I can take, Miss Granger," he said indifferently.

"Why are you so mean to me?" she asked bluntly, the hurt evident in her voice.

Professor Snape hadn't been expecting that at all. He looked down at her, almost uncomfortably for a brief moment before his face became a mask of cold indifference.

"You, of all people, do not need to know my reasons for anything I say, do, or act on," he snapped viciously.

Hermione scowled through her tears and literally pushed past him, wanting nothing more than to go to her room and cry. Unfortunately, Professor Snape wasn't going to let her get away with shoving him the way she had. She yelped when she felt his iron grip on her arm as he dragged her roughly with him.

"Let go!" she panicked.

"Do you honestly think you can get away with what you just did? You do not leave my presence until I dismiss you and you certainly do not do so in the manner you just did," he said dangerously.

He pushed her roughly into an empty classroom and locked the door. His black eyes looked at her with such malice and hatred that she actually cowered from him. Fear coursed through her as she stared at him in fear.

"Why did you lock the door?" she asked, clearly frightened.

"So no one hears you scream, Miss Granger," he said silkily. Her face paled and she backed away as he approached her.

"Are you going to…hurt me?" she asked uncertainly.

"Honestly Granger, do you think me to be so stupid?" he asked, condescendingly. "I am your Professor. Of course, I'm not going to hurt you."

Hermione was slightly relieved, but that was short lived when she found herself against the wall. Snape placed his arms on either side of her head and looked directly into her eyes. She didn't understand why, but her stomach flipped and she felt strangely warmed by his proximity.

"I should hurt you, Miss Granger," he whispered. Her eyes widened in horror.

"I didn't mean to run into you!" she pleaded.

"That's not it at all," he replied in a hauntingly quiet voice. She frowned this time, uncertain of what he was talking about it.

"Then…is it because…I fell on you?"

Professor Snape shook his head and never took his eyes off of her. She frowned. She looked searchingly into his eyes, trying to figure out exactly what was wrong. She had never been so close to her Professor until now.

"Then…is it…because I pushed you?" He merely shook his head, never taking his eyes off of her. Her frown deepened.

Hermione didn't know what to think. She stared back into his onyx colored eyes with a look of confusion and uncertainty. All the thoughts of Ron had left for a moment as she tried to figure out the most complex man she had ever met. Suddenly, those dark eyes became hard and cold.

"You'll discover soon enough what you have done, Miss Granger." His voice had a bitterness that she hadn't heard before. There was something more in his expression that she didn't recognize or understand and it bothered her to think that she had done something wrong to the man, but she couldn't remember what.

"What do you mean, sir? I haven't done anything that I know of," she whispered. Snape leaned in so close to her that his lips were a mere inch from hers. His breath tickled her face and the sweet scent of mint caused her body to react to him and his proximity. She was almost certain that he was going to kiss her and part of her suddenly wished he would.

No! He's my Potions Professor!

"You'll find out," he whispered back and just as quickly as his lips had been so close, they were gone.

Hermione watched him leave the room, confusion clouding her judgment. Her whole body began to tremble as her encounter with Snape really set in. She had never been so close to that man in her life. She had never been so terrified nor had she ever been more confused. What had he been talking about? What had she done that she was so completely unaware of? Especially to him of all people. Too many emotions were going through her all at once that it made Hermione want to hide in her room for a while so on shaking legs, she made her way to the door.

Hermione walked quickly, not paying attention to her footing, causing her to trip and crash to the floor. She gasped as the time-turner shattered and the room began to spin. There was nothing that she could do to stop it. Panic gripped her as she saw flashes of students and teachers through the bright yet translucent light that surround her until finally, it stopped. Hermione's heart was hammering in her chest as she looked around to find an empty classroom, but it was different from the one that she had just been in. Her breath caught when she discovered that she wasn't completely alone.

"Professor…McGonagal?" she asked meekly. The woman looked much younger than what Hermione had remembered, but still looked as though she had her firm expression. However, at the moment, the Professor was staring at her in total shock. It took a moment for her to recover.

"My dear, who are you and how did you get in here?" she asked, approaching Hermione cautiously.

"Professor, it's me, Hermione Granger. My time turner broke…"

"Time-turner?" she gasped in surprise. "Oh dear!"

"What? What time is it? How far back did I go?" Hermione asked in panic.

"It is October 3rd, 1977," McGonagall replied softly.

Hermione's face paled so much that Professor McGonagall had to quickly reach out to steady her before she collapsed.

"Oh no…this can't be happening…" she whispered, her breathing labored. "Twenty years! I went back a whole twenty years."

"I think we'd better go see Professor Dumbledore," Professor McGonagall said worriedly and slowly led the girl out of the classroom.