Severus Snape was angry. No, scratch that, Severus Snape was pissed beyond pissed. What, the old coot, Dumbledore assumed that he, Severus, one of the hardest working men for Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, couldn't handle his own fucking job? Damn Dumbledore to whatever hell that was sure to await himself. Gods, Albus was so manipulating! As if Severus even wanted an apprentice! Much less the "Princess of Gryffindor", Hermione Granger! What was wrong with Dumbledore? Has he finally gone off the deep end? At first, Dumbledore just requested that Severus choose an apprentice that was at top of his class; Severus refused. Then, Dumbledore demanded that Severus choose an apprentice that was at top of his class; Severus just laughed at the old man. Now, Dumbledore had made it a rule that all Head of Houses must have an apprentice from a different house. Everyone but him had a fucking apprentice; leave it to Severus to be the last one left to do something undesirable. Just like fucking childhood. Anyways, McGonagall decided that she wanted Draco Malfoy (HIS FUCKING GODSON!) to be her apprentice, Flitwick and Pomona teamed up and chose a student from the other house. Of course, leave the snarky Dungeon Bat to find a goddamn bleeding heart Gryffindor. The only one eligible was Hermione sodding Granger. Why, oh, why did this have to be this way? Why couldn't he just sit this out like the rest of the things Severus didn't want to do? After all, he was the one who practically came back from the dead after Nagini bit him… with the help of a certain bleeding heart Gryffindor… Hermione goddamn Granger. The one witch who perplexed him and annoyed him into oblivion… however, she was extremely bright and clever. She was almost sly enough to be one of his Slytherins… almost. Severus sighed and ran his fingers through his lank and greasy hair; he was going to ask the Granger girl to be his apprentice. Gods, help him.
Hermione was not having a great day. In fact, she wasn't even having a good day. Hermione was having an abysmally awful day. First, her idiotic, bastard boyfriend-whom she caught cheating on her with the slut, Lavender Brown- "forgot" their 1st year anniversary of being boyfriend and girlfriend. And her "best friend", Harry Bloody Potter, sided with Ron! Even after Ronald claimed that it just "wasn't important enough". Sigh, at least she'd be able to go home in one week.
"Well, if it's not important enough, then maybe we should just break up!" She had screamed at him, and instantly, Ron's face turned bright red and he looked like he was about to hit her, but then, the bitch Lavender came waltzing in and Ron took her to his and Harry's rooms to do Merlin knows what! Anyways, since Hermione was Head Girl, she had her own Private Dormitory, which was right across the room of Draco Malfoy's. Surprisingly, he wasn't that bad; he stopped calling her Mudblood, so she and he became good friends. He was also a very good listener, too! In fact, they just had a talk and he didn't make fun of her or anything about her crying and bitching about Ronald, he just patted her back and said that everything would be okay. Now, most people thought that they were a couple, which made the both of them laugh whenever they heard something as stupid as that; Draco was as gay as the Fourth of July. There was no variation of it. He wasn't bi-curious, he wasn't a transvestite, he wasn't "experimenting", and he wasn't- Merlin forbid- straight. He was purely gay and so nice to her! In fact, he had comforted her when she told him in the beginning of the year that she had a teensy weensy little crush on their Potions Professor, and his godfather, Severus Snape. Yes, she, Hermione Granger, the Gryffindor Golden girl had a tiny crush on a man 20 years older than her. But, to be honest, ever since the war with Voldemort ended, he's never looked better. In fact he looked only 10 years her senior instead. With no warning, three owls came tapping at her window and she recognizes one of them to be Ron and Ginny's owl, but she's more interested in the other, black, dark-looking owl, and the cream-colored one, each patiently holding out its leg. Hermione went over and untied all three letters and read the one from Ron first.
Dear 'Mione, Look, I onestlee dont understand why you are so angrey with me. I meen, Lavender bloddy well caime onto me! I just coudn't kontrole my perfektly normal maile urjes, and I think that you shoud forgiv me. Just owl me bak and I'll no that you trulee do love me after all.
Sinserelly, you're love, Ron.
Hermione snorted in disgust. Even in their Seventh Year, Ronald was too stupid to spell anything right. What a joke! She shook her head and went to the other owl, giving it a treat.
Dear Ms. Granger: Dumbledore has informed me that I must have an apprentice that isn't in my own house, so I have come to realize that you happen to be the only one competent enough for the job. Write back to me, informing me if you will or not. If not, then a simple "no" will be fine. I don't need a lengthy description of why. If you do, then I need to meet with you tomorrow at 5 a.m. precisely and at 8 o'clock p.m. immediately after dinner. Also, you will need to come back to Hogwarts one month early if you do decide to accept. A train will be waiting for you at 8 o'clock in the morning. You'll recognize it.
Thank you, Ms. Granger.
Hermione was overjoyed. This cancelled out anything that happened today! She grabbed a piece of parchment and a quill with some ink and wrote back her answer. Of course she would! She was so happy; she needed to tell Draco about it! But later, right now, it was 9 at night and she was extremely tired. Maybe she would tell him in the morning. Hermione glanced at the last letter and opened it after checking for jinxes or what not. Many of the Death Eaters who haven't been caught by the Ministry could've tried to kill off the brains of the Golden Trio. Hermione wouldn't let that happen.
Dear Hermione, I have written to you to inform you that your mother has passed away. She opened up one of your old "magic material boxes" and something she touched wrong and it killed her. I will pick you up at the Platform 9 ¾. Be prepared.
Hermione screamed and cried and dropped the note, burning it into ashes. She was nearly delirious with anger and fear and shame for her stupidity. Why did she leave all of her magical things around for her mother to find and do something? Now, her only mother is dead! Hermione collapsed on her bed and sobbed herself to sleep for the first time since the battle with Voldemort ended.
Severus Snape heard a tapping at the window and untied the letter from the owl's leg. He opened it and saw Hermione's messily neat scrawl affirming her position as his new apprentice. He almost smiled in relief, but caught himself. Severus Snape did not smile. No matter whatever happened, Severus Snape knew that if he smiled, then he would be labeled weak just like his father always called him. He didn't want a reminder of what his father said or did to him. Tobias Snape was a full-out bastard. Severus knew from experience what sick, twisted things his father was capable of. No one should have to go through what he did as a child.
"Shh, honey, it isn't your fault! I swear that your father doesn't hate you. I mean, how could he? You're quite lovable." Draco was comforting Hermione as she sobbed in his arms in their Head Boy/Girl Common Room. With each sob that Hermione cried out, it felt as if Draco's heart was being ripped out as well. Her mother wouldn't blame her death on her own daughter, would she? No, of course not! Now, with what her father said… 'Be Prepared'… that scared Draco witless. But, a father wouldn't try to hurt his own daughter? His own flesh and blood?
"Draco, it is my fault! My mum wouldn't have died if I hadn't have left out the goddamn magical box! It's not fair! My father has every right to blame me for the incident." Hermione was still sobbing in Draco's arms. Usually gay guys know how to deal with a crying girl, but he was clueless! 'What do I do, what do I do?' ran through Draco's mind as he whispered meaningless words in Hermione's ear.
"Hermione, dear, it's almost 4:30 in the morning. You need to get some sleep, okay?" All of a sudden, her eyes popped open.
"Draco, I need to get dressed! I have a meeting with Professor Snape today!"
"Honey, I'm sure it can wait-"Hermione cut him off.
"No! It cannot wait! I have to meet with him at 5 o'clock!" She was ripping off her shirt and pulling on a bra (she wasn't afraid to undress or shower in front of Draco, since he was gay) and buttoning up her white button down. Then, she pulled on her skirt and put on some boots.
"Hey, Hermione…" Draco began.
"What is it, Draco?" Hermione was in a hurry, but Draco was her best friend other than Harry.
"Well, I kind of like this guy, but I'm not sure if he likes me back…" Draco was nervous, but he needed to tell Hermione; he trusted and loved her.
"Well, my baby is growing up! So, who is the lucky guy?" Hermione was ecstatic. Finally, Draco had a crush!
"Well, you know him…" Draco began.
"Yes?" She prompted.
"You're best friends with him…" Hermione was quiet for a second.
"Wait, you like Harry freaking Potter?" She screeched. Draco blushed. Maybe he shouldn't have told anyone…
"Well, yeah. Hey, can we talk about this some other time? I'm knackered and it's 4:50." He pointed out. Hermione was anxious.
"Right, well, I need to get going! See ya!"
"Yeah… See ya…" But she was already outside of the dorm.
Hermione was almost late, almost. She timidly knocked on her Professor's door.
"Enter," a voice she could barely hear spoke. Hermione slowly walked into her Potions Professor's classroom.
"Good morning, sir."
"Yes… sit down, Miss Granger… now." She did as he asked. Her professor of seven years silently closed his eyes and folded his hands and placed them on the bridge of his oversized nose. She didn't dare say a word unless spoken to by him; she knew better than almost anyone (except maybe Harry and Ron) that Professor Snape could blow up at you for anything, and he would, too. Finally, Snape said something. "I do hope you know that just because you are my apprentice, it does not mean that I'll be nice or even try to be nice to you. Now, since you've taken your N.E.W.T's, you have technically "graduated" and you aren't a student." Then, he said with a much quieter tone, "now, if only the rest of the dunderheads would do the same." Hermione took this as a compliment and softly grinned, despite the whole thing with her mum…. Hermione felt that she didn't even deserve to live anymore. Why shouldn't she be dead instead of her mum? After all, the war was over, Ron didn't want her, no guy wanted her… what was the point in living? What was the point in taking her mother's life instead of her own?
"Ms. Granger! What is so important that you haven't even bothered to listen to me?" His voice had steadily risen while he said the entire sentence. Hermione jumped in shock. She didn't even know that he had been talking to her!
"Erm… sorry sir, I was merely… preoccupied." She was blushing. 'Why am I blushing?' she thought. 'This is Professor Snape! He's the Greasy Bat of the Dungeons!' She gave herself a mental shake back to reality and stared at the ground, knowing that Snape was a great Legillemens and an excellent Occlumens; Hermione wouldn't stand a chance against him if he looked into her eyes.
"And with what, pray tell?" Snape narrowed his eyes. The girl was upset with something, but she wasn't telling him. Not that he cared about her, or anything. He just didn't want an apprentice that couldn't do as she was told; or if she was always "preoccupied", as she put it.
"I honestly don't see how that's any of your business! …sir." Snape just raised his right eyebrow as if questioning her, but said nothing.
"Perhaps not, Miss Granger… now, I need you to understand this in graphic detail. When you leave today, you will need to tell your parents that-"
"Parent," Hermione quickly interjected. He raised his eyebrow again.
"Anyways… you need to tell your parent that you need to be brought back one month earlier. If you are even one day late, then you will be switched out for another Gryffindor." She nodded her head and fought back tears as she once again thought of her mother. Her dad was probably sick with anguish! And she was the reason for it…
"Yes sir," Hermione's voice cracked on sir and she once again lowered her head in shame.
"Miss Granger, are you sure that there is nothing at all going on with your family that has made you so upset? I can't have a distracted apprentice working for me." Hermione looked at him, contemplating whether or not she should tell him anything about the awful thing she did. What if he thought that she was a monster? What if he told Dumbledore? Then he'd take away her Head Girl badge and Snape would take back the offer on the apprenticeship! She couldn't let that happen!
"No sir, nothing too terrible has happened." Yes there has! Her life was crumbling around her in little pieces! Snape knew that the girl was lying to him, but why try to convince the wench to tell him anything if she wouldn't?
"Indeed. Then you may go, Miss Granger. Goodbye," Hermione got up and nearly ran out of the room. The trains were already boarding. How long was she in there?
On the long ride to Platform 9 ¾, Hermione got her own compartment and sat alone, silently crying, but also put up a Silencing Charm so that in case she did start sobbing quite loudly, no one would have to know. It would not do well for Head Girl, Hermione Granger to be caught in the middle of a mental breakdown. Finally, she was there, and she took out her Hogwarts suitcase and walked out of the train. She soon found her father waiting for her. He didn't look happy. He didn't even look glad to see her. She cautiously walked up to him and he snatched her suitcase out of her hands and slammed it into the trunk of her family's Lincoln MKZ. He opened the door to the passenger's side, and she got in, flinching when her father slammed the door shut. The drive back to their three-story Victorian house took roughly two hours, which neither of them talked to each other on the way there.
Three weeks passed. Only one more month and one week until Hermione could go back to Hogwarts. While she was with her father, he would push her into the walls "accidentally", or mention how her mother used to give him blow jobs in the kitchen while Hermione was gone, and "playfully" saying how she should keep the tradition rolling, only saying that he was "joking" when she said no. Hermione was scared; what had happened to the daddy that would sit her on his lap and read her stories? Where had he gone? It was the last week of January, and Hermione was reading in her room. She heard a lot of banging around in the house and rolled her eyes. Her father had come into the habit of drinking and pretending that he was some super strong, athletic superstar. All of a sudden, her door burst open, causing her to jump, and drop her book.
"Father, what are you doing in here?" Her father stumbled into the room and sat down on her bed beside her, making her more than a little uncomfortable.
"You know what, Hermione? I'm so sick of you and your constant arrogance. You need to learn your place," he slurs. Hermione had to strain to hear what he was saying, but nonetheless, she still heard him, and she was terrified.
"W-what do you m-mean?" Her father said nothing, but he raised his arm, and swung at her, hitting her on the cheek, the insignia ring that he always wore cutting and slashing her skin. He repeats the act again and again and again, but he doesn't stop, he won't stop until Hermione cried out in pain and submission. Eventually, she just let him beat her, not really caring what damage he inflicted onto her. Why does it matter? Since it was her fault that her mother is dead, then she deserved every hit, punch, and slap that she was getting from her father.
"You are filth. You are scum. You are nothing but dirt on the bottom of my shoes! You killed your mother! You are the one responsible for her death, you bitch! I hate you! I hate you! You deserve to be the one dead, not her! She should've mailed that damn box to you at Hogwarts and maybe you could've died instead of her!" Her father was practically spitting at her now, but Hermione didn't care. She was too far gone.