(Based on the 'How Hermione came to live at Spinner's End' challenge at grangersnape100)

Disclaimer: I don't own anything from the Harry Potter world; J.K. Rowling does. No copyright infringement is intended; I am only borrowing these characters.

When the war was over, Hermione was startled to discover that Snape's terse will had stated she was the most sensible person to leave his book collection to, as well as his house at Spinner's End that contained said collection.

Guilt came over her… Believing Snape to be a traitor, she had not prevented him from literally dying in front of her. Could she really accept his house?

Ron waded in… No way was Hermione living there. Snape might have been good, but he had been greasy. Greasy man, greasy house.

Temper flaring, Hermione accepted the house and rejected Ron.

Snape's home was dim and quiet. Dust was everywhere, though his books were clean.

Donning apron and attitude, Hermione started cleaning the house from top to bottom, the place becoming much brighter.

She was aware of being observed at times... One night when sitting down to read a book, a shadow moved at the corner of her vision.

"Thank you for leaving me your house, Professor," she said aloud. "I should have realised sooner you were never a traitor."

The shadow stilled. The next morning, she found a small flower on the kitchen table, and she felt she was forgiven.

Hermione never felt threatened, though when Ron tried again to persuade her into leaving, she sensed growing anger behind her. Ron looked beyond her, blanched, then fled.

Hermione turned to see nothing, only sensing an odd tenseness now.

"I'm not going," she said patiently, and perhaps she imagined hearing a sigh.

That night, she dreamed she stood on a railway platform by a train ready to depart. Snape was there in front of her, looking younger though his eyes were still a piercing black.

"I had to be sure you were the right one for the house," he said stiffly.

"You're leaving," Hermione said stupidly.

Snape looked amused. "I've already stayed too long, Miss Granger."

"Don't go," Hermione found herself saying.

Snape stared at her and then shook his head. "Houses are for the living, not the deceased," he said dryly, an oddly gentle look in his eyes. "But I will carry your words with me.

"Promise me one thing, though," he added abruptly.

"Yes?" Hermione asked.

"Bring some happiness into my house… There was precious little of it there when I was alive."

Hermione blinked. "I will."

She was then swiftly embraced before waking alone to a new day.