A/N: Those of you who know me are probably thinking, "wtf? Harry Potter?" And rightfully so. I have after all, up until now, been solely a Lie To Me writer. What can I say? Severus Snape is an incredibly complicated character, and I think the ending he got in The Deathly Hollows is pure crap. That being said, if you're an HP fan, read! If not, well don't read. Or you could just because you're a faithful follower… ; ) If you don't know me at all, welcome and thank you for stopping by!
FYI - This story is 98% written and only needs a few touch ups here and there. I will be posting one of the (right now) 15 total chapters every few days as I polish them up.
Enjoy. : )
Walking out of the headmaster's office, Hermione Granger turned and said, "Thank you, Professor McGonagall."
Minerva McGonagall had taken over as headmaster of Hogwarts after the war ended. Everyone at the Ministry and on the staff agreed she would be best suited for the position, even Severus Snape. He'd had quite enough of the duties while doing the Dark Lord's bidding; and the position did nothing but remind him of a time in his life that he wished to forget.
"Oh, Hermione! There's no need to be so formal," the new headmaster told her. "You are no longer one of my students. Please, call me Minerva. And you're welcome – you will be an outstanding addition to the staff."
"Thank you…Minerva," Hermione said again, this time using her former professor's first name. It felt odd, but strangely as though she'd just moved up in the world – no longer considered a former student, but rather an equal. She smiled to herself as she followed a house elf to her quarters. It was just a few days before the students would arrive and she was looking forward to settling in and organizing her plans for the year.
As they turned a corner and her ears took in the familiar dull echo of her feet on the castle floor, she spotted the back of someone she could only assume she would always be merely a former student to – Severus Snape.
"Hello, Professor Snape," she greeted him as she and the house elf approached.
Turning quickly on his heel at the sound of a familiar know-it-all voice, he said, "Miss Granger. I heard you would be joining our staff this year. Charms instructor, is it?"
Hermione couldn't help but notice he hadn't changed a bit since she last saw him at the end of the war. He still wore a scowl, stood tall and somewhat rigid, and looked down his nose at her. He was still clad in midnight black from head to toe, with dark eyes, long black hair, and a flowing cloak to match. And he still wanted to intimidate her.
"Yes, sir. I'm quite excited about it," she said confidently, a sparkle in her eyes.
He simply looked back at her, wondering what the sparkle was all about…
The house elf cleared his throat, wondering when they'd be finished so he could get on with his day.
"I will be seeing you, I'm sure," Severus told her, crossing his arms and moving only his eyes to take in the casual clothing she was wearing. "Hopefully in more…suitable attire," he added, glancing down at her shirt once more and thinking she was dressed more like a student than a teacher. He couldn't, however, help but notice that she was no longer the teenager he'd taught before the war. Now, she was a woman. There was no denying that; and he scolded himself for not being able to deny it.
Hermione didn't miss the quick flick of his eyes down to her chest once more, causing her eyes to widen slightly and him to quirk and eyebrow at her. After their silent exchange, Severus again turned on his heel and walked away.
"I'm sorry for the delay," Hermione said to the house elf, wondering what the hell had just happened with Professor Snape. Did he just check me out? No… Definitely not. Still, the corners of her lips curled into the faintest smile as she looked after him. There was something so darkly alluring about being noticed by an older man.
The house elf rolled his eyes, muttered, "Come on," and finished leading her to her room where he assured her all her things had already been delivered.
He was right – everything had arrived and was waiting to be sorted. Opening her trunk, she began putting her clothes away, noticing to her dismay that her robes didn't seem quiet good enough for the welcome dinner they'd be having in a few days.
…Hopefully in more suitable attire…
Severus's words echoed in her mind as she held her robes at arms' length, shaking her head with disappointment in herself. How could she have not thought about the welcome dinner? Hermione furrowed her brow, thinking she'd just have to go shopping.
A couple hours later, there was a knock, or more of a peck really, at her door. She opened it to find an owl perched on top of a rectangular brown box.
"Well thank you," she said to the owl before it flew away. She smiled after the creature, so happy to be back at Hogwarts.
She took the box into her room and laid it across her bed, finding a card attached in the top corner. She opened the card and read:
Because I know you came unprepared, as much as that pains you.
At this, Hermione scowled. Unprepared. Really! I've forgotten one set of robes. That does not at all make me unprepared…
She then looked at the card again. S.S.? Severus Snape?
A flood of emotions came over her. First of all, how dare he automatically assume she would forget her dress robes for the welcome dinner! Based solely on what? Her current choice of clothing? And secondly, how dare he act so passive-aggressively nice. She'd always found such behavior to be quite annoying and confusing.
Sighing with irritation, she set the card aside and opened the box, pulling aside the paper within that covered its contents. Her mouth dropped open when she saw the elegant, deep purple robe within. She ran her hand over the fabric, not even daring to think of how expensive it must have been. Gently, she reached inside and pulled out the garment, putting it on and looking in the mirror at herself. As she adjusted it, something on the lining inside caught her eye. She looked down at the robe and opened it, finding an elegant H.G. scrolled there in black threads. Resituating the garment once more, she looked in the mirror again and said, "Perfect." She held her arms out in front of her to check the length of the sleeves, and again, "Perfect." How did he do that? But more importantly, why?
A short while later and after she'd organized a few more things in her room, Hermione looked at the time and noticed she was running late for dinner. She entered the kitchen where only a few staff members were still finishing up. She supposed it was silly to make use of the Great Hall when there were so few people there.
"Hermione, dear. Did you finish unpacking?" Minerva asked her.
"Yes, just. I hardly noticed the time all afternoon until I was finished, and then decided I'd better get down here before all the food was gone," she said, looking around and seeing there was still plenty to eat, but not before noticing one S.S. was seated just across from Minerva.
"Good evening, Professor," she greeted him, not quite sure how to thank him for the robes, but knowing now was definitely not the time – not with other people around.
"Miss Granger," he responded flatly, not bothering to look up from his plate.
Minerva, squinted her eyes at Severus regarding the formality of their greetings to one another. She supposed it shouldn't have surprised her. What was it that he always called her? An insufferable know-it-all? Yes, she supposed it might be a while before they were on a first name basis, if ever.
After feeling her eyes boring into his skull, Severus simply gave Minerva a long stare, so she decided it best to leave it alone. He will address it in his own time, she supposed.
She did not, however, miss his short glance in Hermione's direction as she filled her plate. He, unfortunately, also did not miss Minerva not missing his stolen glance. A knowing smirk rolled across her lips as she raised her eyebrows questioningly at him.
"Really?" she asked, quite interested. Never once had she witnessed a stolen glance from Severus Snape, and certainly not for someone so young.
Severus simply rolled his eyes, his denial evident, and dropped his face to stare at his plate, noticing the well-formed Granger coming to sit next to the hew headmaster.
"Really, what?" Hermione asked as she sat down.
Severus held his breath, praying Minerva would leave herself out of it.
"Severus was just telling me that he ran into you earlier today," she lied.
He slowly released the breath, thankful for the deflection she'd given but still not looking anywhere but his plate. He found the situation to be awkward enough without someone else making it more awkward. There was something so very wrong about him noticing his former student in the way he was. He hadn't taken the time to tally up any reasons, but it was clear to anyone with a brain that it was just flat out wrong – never mind the way her hair fell over her shoulders, the soft elegant smell that followed her, the way her voice sounded as it hit his ears, or the ridiculously fitted clothes she wore. No, it was just wrong.
"Oh. Yes, we did come across one another while on the way to my quarters. The house elf was quite annoyed at the brief delay," Hermione added, more to herself than the others. "Anyway, Professor Snape was very…"
She trailed off, causing Severus to look up at her and Minerva to turn her gaze to her as well. She looked between the two, curious at the interest they both had in such a simple statement.
"…very….Professor Snape. You haven't changed at all, sir," she said, clearly directing the last part of her statement to the wizard.
"Yes, well I have been this way for decades. What is the point in changing anything now?" he asked her flatly.
"I didn't mean to say a change was necessary," she said feeling rather nervous, but unable to tear her eyes from his. "I just simply meant…that you're consistent. Sir." Consistent? What am I talking about?
He raised an eyebrow at her, watching something akin to bewilderment crossing her face. He stood and without saying a word, cleared his plate and left the room.
"Consistent?" she said aloud to herself.
Minerva laughed, causing Hermione to turn her bewildered look to her boss.
"I'm not sure this is funny, Minerva," Hermione pleaded with her.
"Don't worry, Hermione. Severus is," she stopped, searching for the right words, "not a typical wizard. But then I'm sure you remember that." She patted the young woman reassuringly on the back and excused herself from the table.
Hermione ate her dinner in silence, and decided that even if it was uncomfortable, she needed to thank Professor Snape for her robes.
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Thank so much for reading!