Full Summary: It's been five years since the Last Battle and the victory over Voldemort. The Order of the Phoenix have adjusted to life post-war, and are still working together to better the conditions of the wizarding world. There is still tension between purebloods and muggleborns, and Severus Snape is still (semi-)undercover for the Order, keeping tracks of the pureblood elite which is a major part of the reason why discrimination against muggleborns is still happening. Hermione and Severus are working a lot together, and have over the past five years become friends. One night however, one single song changes the way they see each other...
Author's Note: My first attempt on a fanfic ever! Parts of this short story came to me through listening to "Magnificent" by U2. I just felt that it would fit for a SS/HG story. The story disregards Snape's death and the epilogue of the books, obviously. Also, my first language is NOT English, so bear with me if the language and grammar isn't perfect. Rated M for language and other obvious reasons later on.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, and am making absolutely no profit whatsoever on this.
Severus Snape wondered how his choices in life had led him to this specific moment. He was sitting quite still, in spite of the rhythm of the music that was willing almost everyone else in the establishment to move with the rhythm or at least tap their foot. Lucius Malfoy and a couple of other pureblood elitists were sitting at a table in front of the stage area – they were not exactly his friends, but it was a somewhat necessary evil to stay on their good side.
It had been almost five years after the Last Battle, and although Voldemort was most certainly gone, all was not perfect and idyllic in the wizarding world. The initial reaction of the general public had been a mix of grief and relief – many loved ones had died or simply disappeared, and it was difficult for most to say that the sacrifices had been worth it to finally be rid of Voldemort and the Death Eaters. The majority of the Death Eaters had been contained, put on trial and sent away to Azkaban during the first six months after the last showdown between Harry and Voldemort. However, some of the former Death Eaters such as himself and Malfoy had at least been partly pardoned due to their ambiguous or last-minute loyalty to the "good side".
As life turned back to somewhat normal, it soon became clear that there was still a lot of tension between the liberal wizards and the old-fashioned ones with pureblood ideas. Severus still worked for the ever-active Order of the Phoenix. His new assignment, if one could call it new, was to stay connected to those who were known for their sympathies towards the ideas of pureblood elitism and hostility towards the muggleborn in the wizarding world. They were not and had not necessarily been Death Eaters, but quite a few of them had high positions in places such as the Ministry of Magic, and had considerable political and economical power.
When all was said and done, Severus still felt slightly more comfortable in the presences of these people, rather than being in the company of the "hopelessly idealistic Gryffindor-gang", as he silently referred to the members of the Order. They had been full of hope and determination after the worst grief over those lost had settled, ready to right all the wrongs from Voldemort's time, and to start living in a harmonious magical world. Their disappointment when it didn't turn out as they had believed had only made him roll his eyes and make a few snide remarks whenever they whined about it.
"You can remove the instigators, but it is not nearly as simple to completely remove the ideas and sentiments about the differences between purebloods and muggles. These ideas existed long before Tom Riddle, and they won't disappear overnight just because he's gone" Severus had told Hermione and Harry, about a year after the war when they were sitting together in Grimmauld Place 12. They had kept silent, but replied with stubborn determination in their eyes. As the years started to pass, some of that stubbornness had withered away, but they still did what they could to use their influence in politics and other areas.
These thoughts raced through Severus' mind as he half-listened to his companions' casual talk, half-listened to the singer on the stage. He knew he wasn't the only member of the Order present tonight, and he felt strangely anxious thinking about what he knew would happen after the present singer was done onstage. Finally the music and the following applause stopped, and someone walked onstage to encourage the crowd to applaud for the next singer.
"A big thanks to Neola Withbaker everyone! What a voice, eh? Our next singer is no stranger to you, as she is a recurring guest-singer here. Give a warm welcome to Mione Grenville!" What that, he jumped off the stage, and a young but mature-looking woman walked out on the stage, placing herself in front of the microphone.
For a couple of seconds after the applause died, complete silence filled the room. Severus tightened his grip around his whiskey glass and heard Lucious hiss as the energic drumbeat began: "What in Merlin's name is Hermione Granger doing on that stage?"