Chapter One

The Big Apple

Hermione Granger, nearly twenty one walked across the University Campus of Avalon to her Potions lecture. Today was the first day of her third and final year at the University of Avalon in New York. After the War, Hermione had taken her N.E.W.T's and then applied to University and by the September of 1998 she was out of England and in New York starting her Potions and Charm combined degree. Getting out of England after the War is what she needed. She needed time to be on her own, to get over the horrors of what she had seen. Not only had she seen some horrible things throughout the War she also had to grieve for her beloved parents.

Moving to New York was the best thing she ever did. The first few months in New York were difficult; she thought of coming home frequently but stuck it out and now loved it. She went home in the holidays and stayed with Harry or the Weasley's; she owled them weekly and got Harry to introduce Ginny and Ron to a muggle laptop so they could speak to each other through webcam and messenger.

Also my being in New York, she missed out the media hype of being a War Heroine. Hermione hated the attention; she wasn't one to bask in it like Ron who used it to his advantage to shag as many women as possible. Hermione wanted to hide away and lead a private life.

New York was like London, her home town. It was busy, it was noisy and it felt like home. She loved going sightseeing on the weekends and sitting in Central Park and writing. She also loved the shopping, after all she was a girl; Ginny loved coming to New York to see Hermione, they would often go to Fifth Avenue and have a shopping spree.

Today, Hermione's first lecture of the semester was with Professor Glover however they had a famous Potions Professor from England coming to give them a talk. Hermione was quite excited of meeting the British Potions Professor; she thought she might be able to make a contact for when she went back to England and started working.

Unlike her usual self, Hermione was normal on time but today her alarm hadn't gone off and her body wasn't adjusted back to New York time. She quickly rushed around getting ready chucking on her skinny jeans and her University hoodie and rushed off to her lecture.

She arrived ten minutes late and she could hear Professor Glover already speaking. She made her way towards the back entrance to the lecture theatre and hopes to sneak into the back. She pulled opened the door slowly trying not to make the old creak unfortunately for Hermione it did and everyone turned around to see who the late student was.

Hermione bowed her head and quickly made her way to her usual seat next to Daniel, her potions partner and friends.

'Morning.' Daniel whispered.

'Morning. God that embarrassing.' She said as she opened her text book and note pad.

'Don't worry we haven't started yet.' Daniel replied as he looked at the front of the threatre.

Hermione smiled at Daniel and then turned her head towards Professor Glover. It took her a few seconds to realise who was sat at the Professor's desk but when she did her eyes went wide with surprise. She knew that man...

'Now, let me introduce our visitor for today, Professor Severus Snape. Professor Snape is a renowned Potions Professor and creator in England. He works at Hogwarts school of Wizardry and is also the Deputy Head as well as their Potions' master. I believe we have a Hogwarts Alumni in here?' Professor Glover said as he looked around at his students.

'Hermione went to Hogwarts!' Daniel shouted out and everyone turned to look at Hermione.

'Oh yes, thank you Daniel. That's right Hermione you did so I suppose you know Professor Snape.' Professor Glover said with a smile as he motioned for Severus to stand up to begin.

'Thanks Dan.' Hermione said through gritted teeth which made Daniel laugh.

'Good Morning as your Professor said, I am Professor Snape, I come from England and teach at Hogwarts School of Witch and Wizardry and yes I did teach Ms Granger when she was at school and not gallivanting around fighting dark wizards.' He said with a slight smirk as he looked up at a grown up Hermione Granger.

'Wasn't he a Death Eater?' A student at the back of the theatre mumbled not quite quiet enough because everyone whispered and looked towards Professor Snape who looked slightly bored.

'I'm here today to talk you through the new inventions of Polyjuice Potion.' Severus said as he walked across the floor. 'Ms Granger please explain what Polyjuice Potion is first of all.'

Hermione was infuriated; how dare he pick on her because he knew her. Why was he trying to embarrass her? Hermione sighed and looked towards Professor Snape. She looked right at him and told him.

'Polyjuice Potion is a very complicated potion that allows the drinker to assume the form of someone else. While it can account for both age and gender, Polyjuice Potion cannot be used for a human to take an animal form or for a half-breed to assume human form.' Hermione said as she crossed her legs.

'I see you're still talking like a book Ms Granger but of course that was correct.' He said as he turned to the board where Professor Glover had put up a presentation.

'Bastard.' Hermione whispered to herself but Daniel heard her and snickered.

'Now the new invention allows a person to take the form of an animal in a short one hour period. The potion should now be able to be brewed in a short week period instead of a month.' Professor Snape said. 'Trials have been done and we can now say that from our conclusive results that using the potion to become an animal will not hurt the body or its organs.'

'Excuse me sir but how can you reverse the affects when a person becomes an animal?' Hermione called out.

'Well as you well know Miss Granger from turning yourself into a cat in your second year, it normally took a month however due to new research and new ingredients added to the antidote it can now be reverse in an hour.' He said smirking.

'A cat Hermione?' Professor Glover asked in front of the other students.

'Ms Granger was suppose to impersonate another person however got the wrong hair and turned herself into a cat. It took me nearly a month to get it reversed so Ms Granger lived effectively as a cat for four weeks. Ms Granger also brewed the potion at only thirteen years of age.' Severus said as he smirked once more.

Hermione swore if he smirked again or told anyone else about her she would kill him at the end of the lecture.

'Thirteen years of age. Impressive Hermione.' Professor Glover said. 'Sorry Professor Snape please continue.'

Two hours later and Severus had finished his lecture. Throughout those two hours he had embarrassed Hermione a further three times by telling her whole class about her time at Hogwarts. He then went on to award her ten Gryffindor points when she answered a question correctly which made her blush to her roots.

'I will see you on Wednesday when we will try to make the new Polyjuice Potions. Please be on time.' Professor Glover said.

All the students packed up their belongings and went on their way. Hermione put her note pad and book back into her bag and stood up. Daniel followed suit.

'I'll meet up with you in the Library Dan; I want to speak with Professor Snape.' Hermione said as they walked out of their row.

'Okay. I'll meet you in our usual spot.' He said as he walked off.

Hermione walked down the stairs to the bottom of the theatre and walked towards Professor Snape. He hadn't changed much in three years. He did however look healthier and stronger than when she last saw him but the last time she saw him he was unconscious and near death.

'Professor Snape.' Hermione said as she approached him.

'Ms Granger.' He said as he turned around towering over her. 'I wasn't aware you were at Avalon University. You didn't tell me that when you asked for a reference.'

'I wasn't sure where I was going but somehow I ended up here.' She said as she looked up at him saddening realising how much taller he was than her.

'You like it Ms Granger? I'm surprised you didn't stay in England to be a celebrity.' He said as he collected up his notes of the desk.

'I love it here but I sometimes do miss home. I go back in the Holidays to see my friends.' She said. 'And as for being a celebrity I am nothing of the such.'

'Your friends seem to think they are. Ronald Weasley is constantly in the press.' Severus said with a distasteful tone.

'I know. I've told him he should put himself out there too much but he doesn't listen.' Hermione said as she pulled her bag onto her shoulder.

'Ah Hermione, you're still here.' Professor Glover said as he walked back into the lecture theatre. 'Would you be able to take Professor Snape over to the coffee shop?'

'Of course Professor.' Hermione replied with a smile.

'Severus, I will see you at 3pm. Ms Granger if you could show Severus where my office is please.'

'Okay.' Hermione said as she watched Professor walk out leaving her with Professor Snape. 'Coffee?' she asked.

'Are you asking me on a date Ms Granger?' Severus said with a smirk.

'No...ummm...I...' Hermione mumbled as she blushed.

'It was a joke Ms Granger. I do joke occasionally.' He said.

'Oh. Oh right.' She said as she giggled slightly.

Hermione walked with Severus over to the University coffee shop. She got them a table and then went up and ordered them drinks. Once she had the drinks she walked back over to the table and sat down giving Severus his coffee and keeping hold of her ice drink.

'What is that?' he motioned to her drink.

'An Ice coffee. I'm not a fan of hot drinks, I'll occasionally have a hot chocolate or coffee if I'm studying but I'd rather have an ice coffee. Do you want to try?' she asked as she offered him the first sip of her straw.

'No thank you.' He said as he picked up his coffee. 'I thought Scotland was cold in September but it's even colder here.'

'I love it.' Hermione said. 'It reminds me of Hogwarts. I miss it.'

'You are welcome back anytime; I'm sure your mother hen Minerva would love to see her star pupil.' Severus said as he placed his coffee down.

'I know. I said I would visit next time I'm home. We write sometimes.' She said as she sipped her ice coffee. 'I haven't seen Hogwarts since the rebuild.'

'It's practically the same.' Severus said. 'Although the teacher's rooms were made slightly bigger which I was thankful for. It is hard to entertain when you haven't got a kitchen or proper study.'

'And you entertain often? Have you got a witch in your life?' she asked and then sudden realised she was asking her former Professor about his love life. 'Sorry, that was out of line.'

'You are not longer my student Hermione, if I may call you that.' He said to which she nodded. 'And no I do not entertain witches.'

'So you entertain men?' she said with a slight giggle which made him chuckle.

'No I don't do that either and have never.' He said with a smirk which looked slightly like a smile to Hermione. 'And you Hermione are you entertaining any wizards while you're here or are you still lusting after Weasley?'

'Ron? Never! I've had boyfriends here, nothing to serious but I've dated. American men are very forward.' She said as she sipped her ice coffee. 'Anyway I have too much work to deal with petty affairs.'

'I was once the same Hermione; don't push everyone away from you. Everyone needs a someone.' He said seriously as he looked into her eyes.

'Hermione!' Daniel called out as he walked towards them breaking eye contact between Severus and Hermione. 'I thought you were coming to meet me?'

'Oh sorry Daniel. I totally forgot. Professor Glover asked me to take Professor Snape to coffee.' She said.

'Oh no problem. I've got to go now, got to meet Alyssa. See you back at the flat.' He said as he walked off.

'Bye.' She called after him. 'That's Daniel, he was in the lecture, and he's my lab partner.'

'Well he looks a step up from Longbottom.' Severus said.

Hermione giggled and smiled. 'He's a good lab Partner, I've learnt a lot from him and I hope he's learnt something from me. Daniel is from New York so he and his family have taken me in. They remind me a bit of the Weasley's.'

'When are you next going back to England?' He asked.

'Not until early December time.' She replied. 'If there's an emergency I go home on the weekend but that's only happened once. It's not just a floo away it's a portkey.'

'Of course.' Severus replied. 'What are you hoping to do after you get your degree?'

'I'm hoping to move back home. I have money to buy a flat or a small house probably and hopefully find a job or an apprenticeship.' She said. 'I've looked at a few apprenticeships so I'll be contacted the Potions masters or Charms masters in the next few months.'

'And will I be receiving a letter?' He asked as he finished off his coffee.

'I didn't think you took on apprentices.' She said as she looked at him.

'I don't usually but I may make an exception.' He said to Hermione. 'Your scores are top of the class and Professor Glover describes you as the best student he has come across, I believe I would like to be part of your success Hermione if you would allow that.'

'You'd really take me on as an apprentice?' she asked.

'If your scores meet my expectations then I will take you on. Minerva is thinking of retiring in a couple of years therefore I will take over as Headmaster once again and my position will be open.' He said. 'If you were my Apprentice you could take over as Potions Mistress if that is what you would like to do.' He said.

'Really? Are you being serious?' she said as she looked at him with excitement.

'Very.' He replied with a small twitch of a smile.

'I would love that, I really would.' She said smiling. 'Thank you...Severus.'

'Get the grades and you'll be my apprentice Hermione.' He said.

'I will.' She said. 'I'm really sorry but I have to go I've got a charms lecture in about five minutes.'

'Of course. I will contact you soon Hermione.' He said as he stood up.

'It was nice to see you again.' She said as she stood up.

'And you.' He said as he took her hand and placed a kiss on the back of it.

'Bye.' She said as she walked off towards her lecture with one last glance at Severus.

After Hermione's Charms lecture she walked across the campus back to her flat which she shared with four others including Daniel. As she walked in she was met by Daniel and his girlfriend Alyssa who lived with them and also their fourth flat mate Kyle.

'So how was your coffee date with the Professor? You looked very comfortable with one another.' Daniel said from the sofa where he was sat with Alyssa.

'It was hardly a date.' Hermione said as she put her bag down and sat down on the small arm chair. 'It was like catching up with a friend. I haven't seen him since the War.'

'He was a Death Eater right?' Daniel asked.

'He was a spy. He was a Death Eater when he was really young and then he went to Professor Dumbledore and he became a spy. I don't think we would have won without him. He nearly died for us.' She said as she thought of Severus in the shrieking shack.

'He was still a Death Eater though. He's a killer.' Alyssa said as she looked at Hermione.

'He was.' She said as she stood up. 'I have finish off that assignment to do and then I have to go to work.'

'Okay, well I'm cooking tonight so I'll leave you a plate in the over.' Alyssa said.

'Don't worry I'll get dinner at work, but thanks.' She said as she walked into her room.

Hermione spent the next two hours on her assignment longer than it usually took her but her mind was on other things; Severus Snape.

He was different from how she remembered him. He had a sense of humour; he had never shown that before. He had a nice side it seemed. When Hermione was at school he was harsh and difficult to approach but today while they were having coffee it was like he was flirting with her; well she thought he was. He looked good too. His hair was still dark, no sign of grey, his eyes still as dark as the night but he looked so much healthier and happier.

She wondered what it would be like if she was his apprentice. What would they work on together? How would they work together? Would they be friends or just colleagues? If she took the opportunity he would be her boss.

He mentioned he would write to her, how soon would be too soon for him to write she thought. She wondered whether he was still in New York or had he left already. Why was she so concern about him? Hermione shook her head and closed her books and started to get ready for work.

When Hermione came to New York she found a part time Waitresses job at a local restaurant. It was quite an expensive restaurant; it was a place Hermione would like to be taken on date but no one she had dated her had taken her anywhere as nice as there, she could only wish.

Hermione put on her black trousers and white shirt which clung to her chest and waist and then grabbed her Mac coat and started her short walk to work.

She arrived at the restaurant just before her shift started. She grabbed her apron and note pad to write orders on and then looked at what tables she was waiting on.

'Table six are waiting for their drinks order to be taken while they decide what to eat.' Hermione's boss Jessica said as she walked towards the kitchen.

Hermione made her way through the restaurant and arrived at table six.

'It seems I am following you around today Ms Granger.' A deep voice said.

Hermione looked up and saw Severus sat with a few Professors' from the university. She smiled softly and replied. 'It seems you are Professor Snape. What can I get you to drink?'

'A jug of water, three beers and a bottle of your best red.' The Dean of the University said to which Hermione wrote down the order.

'Of course. I'll bring those over to you.' She said as she walked away. As she walked away she felt his eyes on her; he was watching her.

Hermione prepared their drinks and walked over balancing a tray on her hand. She carefully bent down and placed the drinks on the table and then vanished the tray; this after all was a Wizardry restaurant.

'What would you like to eat?' she asked politely as opened her note pad.

Respectively all the Professors told Hermione their choices. She wrote them down and then walked towards the kitchen to order their meals. Throughout the night, Hermione could feel eyes watching her. She often would turn around to find him watching her but surly that was just her imagination.

The Professors' were the last to leave conventionally at the same time Hermione finished. Hermione was putting on her coat when she heard the Dean and the University Professors' say goodbye to Severus. She made her way out the front to walk home in the dark to find Severus stood waiting.

'Was your meal alright?' she asked.

'Perfect.' He said. 'I wasn't aware you were a waitress.' He said with a slight smirk.

'It's a part time job to help with money.' She said rolling her eyes. 'It was this or work in a factory.'

'Well you choose correctly; ten points to Gryffindor.' He said smirking.

Hermione rolled her eyes and pulled her scarf around her tighter. She looked up at Severus and smiled and then yawned.

'Are you leaving soon?' she asked.

'In about half an hour. My portkey is due at midnight.' He said. 'Where are you off to now?'

'Home. It's about a ten minute walk from here.' She said as she pulled her bag over her shoulder.

'Let me walk you home. You shouldn't be walking alone in the dark.' He said. 'And before you say you're fine, I insist.'

'Thank you.' She said shyly. 'Kyle normally comes and meets me and we walk home together.'

'Kyle? You boyfriend?' he asked as they walked along the path.

'No, I already told you I didn't have a boyfriend. Kyle is my flatmate. He works across the road in a bar. He's not working tonight though.' She said as they walked side by side. 'Do you have classes tomorrow?'

'I do but not until eleven o'clock so I get a lie in after my short visit.' He said. 'I would have liked to have stayed a week.'

'You'll have to visit again.' She said as she smiled up at him.

She was so much shorter than he. Severus was over six foot while Hermione was only five foot two. She felt protected and safe with him.

'I will hopefully.' He said. 'I have agreed to come back and do another lecture for Glover in a few months.'

'Is that with the first years?' she asked.

'No I believe it's for you.' He said. 'I hope to be here for a weekend then.'

'That would be good.' She said. 'Maybe I could take you sightseeing if you haven't got anything organised.'

'I will keep a day open for you Hermione.' He replied with a twitch of his mouth.

'That would be good.' She said with a smile. 'Will you be attending Draco's Wedding in the Christmas Holidays?'

'I will. I will be standing with him and his father actually at the Wedding.' He said. 'Have you been invited?'

'I have. I can't believe Draco is getting married. I couldn't imagine being tied down now but I suppose if you find the right person then that's what you do.' She said with a shrug to her shoulders.

'It's an arranged marriage.' Severus said as he looked at Hermione.

'Really? I didn't think they still did that?' Hermione said.

'They do. Well the Malfoy's do. If Draco had his way he'd stay single forever and never have children and the Malfoy's need a male heir to carry on the name and business.' Severus replied. 'In all honesty, I think Draco loves Ms Parkinson.'

'Well those two always had something going on. Apparently she use to sleep in his private room every night.' She said as she looked at him.

'That is true.' Severus replied.

'And you let it happen even though you knew?' she asked.

'There was little I could do. I chose my battles wisely. I couldn't win everyone Hermione, you will find that when you become a teacher.' He said.

'I suppose.' She said as she crossed her arms over her chest. 'Well this is me.' She said as she looked up at the tower block.

'What floor are you?' he asked.

'The fourteenth.' She said with a smile. 'I think that's what I'll miss about going home not being high up.'

'We'll have to put you in a tower then like a Princess.' He said with a smirk.

'Maybe.' She said with a giggle. 'I'd just be happy to be at Hogwarts. Hogwarts is like home to me. It was the longest I have ever stayed in one place. My parents were always moving about when I was younger so ever summer I went to a new house and it wasn't home to me.'

'I can understand that feeling.' Severus replied.

'So I shall see you early December time.' She asked.

'I believe so. It might even be earlier than that. When I know I will owl you.' He said.

'Alright.' She said with a smile. 'Have a safe journey home Severus.' She said as she looked up at him.

'And you Hermione, look after yourself.' He said as he grabbed hold of her hand again and kissed the back of her hand.

'I will.' She said as walked towards her building glancing back once more to look at Severus.

Authors Notes:

Thank you for reading the first chapter, please leave a review with your thought and opinions. This will be a long running fic which I will dedicate myself to. I will upload a chapter (or two) every week.