Title: The Snape Identity
Betas: anna_fay ; serendipity513
Rating: High PG-13 / Low R
Warnings: Fantasy Violence; Implied Sexuality; Language; Murder Most Foul; Spoilers for The Tales of Beedle the Bard.
Prompt: Written for the hh_writersblock fic exchange. SS/HG, amnesia!Snape, SS/HG work together as comrades in some capacity, beginning of a relationship, AU, EWE. Absolutely no mention of SS or HG having past relationships, no Ron bashing, no Dumbledore fatherly figure, careful how you use their names, no overly nice!Snape, Luna is love.[paraphrased]
Summary:Ten years after the fall of Voldemort, Unspeakables Granger and Snape are at the top of their game, and on the trail of a dangerous killer who falls under their jurisdiction. But Snape is injured in a wand fight – his memory of the last few years, and his partner, erased. Pressed for time, Granger and Snape must rediscover the partnership that makes them so effective before another witch is murdered.
Chapter 1: Clear and Present Danger
"Careful Granger," Severus cautioned, drawing his wand as they approached a dilapidated semi-detached house where they believed their target to be hiding.
"Careful yourself, Snape," she answered, squeezing his shoulder.
He stooped without her having to ask, eyes trained on the house as she tapped his head with her wand, Disillusioning him. Their years of partnership had taught them that it was best Severus take point in a fight, and certainly in their lab – but when it came to charms, Hermione should perform them whenever possible. Severus straightened as Hermione Disillusioned herself, and then they crept closer, Severus slightly in the lead.
They could not see each other, and yet they moved easily together, quietly and stealthily making their way to the house. Once at the threshold, Severus let out a long sibilant sigh of air that could have been nothing more than the wind, pausing until he heard Hermione repeat the sound.
They were both ready.
With a twist of his wrist and a silent hex, Severus blasted the door open and they were both moving through the cover of smoke, searching for their target – a madman escaped from their lab in the Department of Mysteries. There was a shatter of glass, and then the smoke was cleared by some wind, likely by Hermione unless their target had gotten his hands on a wand. A red stream of curse fire grazed by Severus' cheek, and he turned, catching sight of a shadowy figure dashing through a doorway.
"Granger, two o'clock!" he called as he followed, giving her the direction of pursuit.
He determinedly did not think about whether or not she was hurt. They had agreed long ago that duty came first – always.
But it did not make it easier.
Sprinting down a narrow hall, he came to a flight of stairs. There were only two doors, presumably leading to bedrooms. "Do make this easier on yourself," Severus said into the sudden silence. "You've nowhere left to go."
He could hear Hermione on the stairs, and was moving to guard her entry point when the door to his right exploded from the hinges, flying down the hall straight for him. He cursed, whipping his wand in a violent arc to shred the door into splinters before it could pin him to the wall at his left. With no time to cast a shield to protect himself from the blowback, Severus crossed his arms over his face, grunting as slivers of wood embedded themselves in his arms. He was raising his wand to cast again, when a deep, snarling voice intoned a spell word he had never before heard.
He had time only to look up and see red lights like blades of blood heading straight for him and hear Hermione's shouted spell of protection before the world went black.
"Snape!" Hermione snapped, eyes trained on the now doorless bedroom. She could see the shadowy figure of their target making his way to a window. "Snape!" she called again, when he didn't answer her.
Torn between duty and her partner, Hermione silently cursed then fired a few ineffectual hexes at the escaping killer. He dodged, or blocked, and was gone, clearing the way for her to see to Severus in safety. They would catch Jack another day.
"Snape, you better be unconscious, because I'm not in the mood for one of your lectures," she said after removing her Disillusionment Charm.
"Homenum revelio. Finite Incantatem."
Once she could see Severus once more, Hermione knelt at his side. His arms and face were spotted with pinpricks of blood, no doubt the result of the cloud of splinters he had reduced the door to. She cast a diagnostic spell, crooning a ward of healing magic under her breath that Severus himself had taught her. Her eyes fluttered shut as the spell did its work, whispering to her all that was ailing her partner.
With a startled gasp, she opened them.
Nothing, not even a puff of white air. The Patronus Charm had always been difficult for her.
Taking a deep breath, Hermione focused, pulling herself from the moment, finding something happy to think of. The day she and Severus had gotten their commendation from the Head of the Department of Mysteries. Severus' rare smile as they were presented with Orders of Merlin, Second Class.
"Expecto Patronum!" With a flare of bright, white light, her sea otter Patronus floated into the night, carrying her cry for help, and her report that Jack had escaped.
She settled in to wait, pulling Severus' head into her lap, her lips quirking as she thought of how embarrassed he would be to awake with it there. He would frown and tell her she was inappropriate, and irritating, and she would call him a prat, and then they would return to their lab and he would stew about it the whole way there, and then pick a fight with her over some silly test tube being blotchy, or some such thing.
The fantasy kept her panic at bay.