Tis a silly plot, but I'm having a crap-load of trouble writing the current chapter of my Dramione fic, and this was my "break". Enjoy!
AU, not HBP-ending compliant. This is my first Hermione/Snape… experiment. lol
"Miss Granger, you are of course aware of the warning I gave you concerning prolongued exposure to time-turners."
"Of course, professor. There is a five percent chance that long-term users of the ministry approved time-travel device will experience an aftershock – a dangerous side effect that involves being sent to an unknown period of time, suspended agelessly for an unknown period of days, months, or years," Hermione recited proudly.
"Then of course, Miss Granger, you recall that great trauma can increase the chances of the aftershock."
Granger frowned. "Professor McGonagall, why are telling me this? It's been nearly three years since the last time I've used a time turner, and one year since I saw them all get destroyed at the ministry."
"Miss Granger, the aftershock can take place several years after a time-turner has been used, depending on the length of use and the severity of the trauma you face."
"I don't understand. Are you trying to tell me that something traumatic has happened to me? I fought Death Eaters in the Ministry of Magic for goodness' sake; how much more traumatic can you get?"
"Hermione, what I am about to tell you is far graver news than you've ever had to bear."
Hermione's heart thumped heavily.
"I regret to have to inform you that your parents were found dead early this morning in their home. It appears to be the work of Death Eaters…"
Hermione's ears began to ring. No… No… No… She could no longer hear Professor McGonagall's voice as the room began to spin around her. Wait, was the room really spinning, or was it all in her head?
She felt an immense pressure, like an invisible wall, closing in around her, and she realized amidst her grief that something more was happening than her own body's coping mechanisms.
At once it felt like she had been sucked into a tight tube, glowing alight with such bright flashes of color that Hermione had to close her eyes. For several minutes she traveled through what felt like the giant hose of a vacuum when finally she was spat onto the floor of a much younger Professor McGonagall's office.
"Good heavens!" A young Minerva screeched. "Explain yourself at once!"
Hermione brushed off her robes and let out a single grieving sigh, "Professor McGonagall? What year is this?"
McGonagall stared at her inscrutably. "1974."
Hermione now sat in Professor Dumbledore's office, while Professor McGonagall attempted to piece together the facts in her mind.
"So you mean to tell me that you come from the year 1997, where you were unceremoniously transported back in time after hearing the news of your parents' deaths – and all this, because I allowed you to use a time-turner during your third year at Hogwarts?"
Hermione nodded stiffly. "That's correct, Professor."
She turned to Dumbledore, utterly nonplussed. "Albus, what should we do with her? We have no way of knowing how long she'll be here."
The headmaster's eyes twinkled. "Yes, it is quite a predicament indeed – suspended in time, ageless, with no need of sustenance – some might feel as though they have simply ghosted away."
"That's it." Hermione's eyes widened. "That's how I'll be able stay here without attracting attention."
"Dumbledore's gaze sparkled in her direction. "And how is that, my dear?"
"Use a translucency spell." She looked up confidently. "Make me look like a ghost."
The most difficult part of playing ghost had to be the flying, but Hermione finally was able to charm her shoes with a series of complex levitation and stability spells to give her the appearance of floating.
After ensuring that she felt comfortable enough to travel in among peopled corridors she practiced dodging the students carefully, as she still possessed a solid body.
It was a last week of school, but Hermione was able to pick up on the names of several students – notably James Potter, Sirius Black, Peter Pettigrew, and Remus Lupin. Hermione was especially astonished to see Lily Evans – Harry's mother – and Severus Snape!
Severus looked much more unsure of himself than his aged counterpart from the future, and it made her curious what had made Snape the hardened, embittered man he was in her time. Of course, she hadn't expected to actually speak with the boy, so she was extremely taken aback when he approached her.
"I've seen every ghost Hogwarts has, but I've never seen you." He glared pointedly.
"Do you make a habit to converse with ghosts?" she snapped back. "I hear that Moaning Myrtle's a real scream." Hermione had to bite down a grin at how nonsensically hilarious she'd found her remark.
"I simply wanted to know how you came by Hogwarts. Have you died very recently?"
Hermione tilted her head, trying to think of a way to portray some semblance of truth. "Not recently at all, actually. I just happened to drop by and thought I'd stay a while." She smiled, adding at the end, "I'm – Hermione, by the way."
Severus sniffed, apparently satisfied with Hermione's story. "A word of advice, Hermione, the Bloody Baron has a tendency to harass the more attractive ghosts in the school. Be sure to keep your distance."
Hermione floated a few inches off the ground, speechless as Snape nodded and strode away. He thought she was – attractive?
Unlike the real ghosts, Hermione was able to taste food when she felt like it. Between that, and catching her walking instead of flying, they quickly discovered that Hermione was not so ghostly as she seemed. Fortunately, with a bit of planning on Dumbledore's part, the headmaster was able to convince them that she was a rare form of poltergeist – an experiment from the Ministry of Magic – and that she was not to be bothered on pain of expulsion.
The summer months passed quickly, and before Hermione knew it the new school year had begun. She watched Harry's parents, Sirius, and the future Professor Lupin with keen interest, but it was Severus who intrigued her.
It appeared he'd suffered a difficult summer. His shoulders hung lower than usual, and the tinge of yellowing bruises scattered across his skin, but she waited until the second week of school to approach him.
The young Snape, sitting alone by a far-off tree, whipped around with surprise, only relaxing when he realized she was not a threat.
"It's Hermione, right?"
She floated close to him and settled in the grass, careful not to let him see that her shoes had been powering her flight.
"It's good to see you again, though it looks like your summer was not quite so promising."
Snape stared at the ground pridefully. "I don't see how my personal life ought to concern an apparition."
For a moment Hermione wanted to reach out to him. This was not the curmudgeonly Professor Snape she'd thought she'd known at all. This was a boy in pain, but she steeled herself against the impulsive desire. She still had no idea how long she would be trapped in that era, and revealing herself as a corporeal being could have devastating consequences.
"No one deserves to be abused, Severus. And I am sorry you had to suffer."
Hermione tapped her shoes swiftly and discreetly with her wand stowed beneath the pocket of her robes. She floated away more quickly than usual, filled with confused thoughts. What was going on with her? Was she actually beginning to care about Severus Snape?
She was careful to keep her distance from Severus when others were nearby – he didn't need another reason to be further targeted by the Marauders, but throughout the Winter and Spring months Hermione found herself growing attached to the unlikely acquaintance. She began to seek him out more often, wanting to know what he thought about certain academic principles, ideals about life, and things that made each other happy. And surprisingly, Severus began to seek her out as well. He'd excitedly tell her about a potion he'd perfected or a fascinating bit of knowledge he'd picked up in Defense Against the Dark Arts. Why, he was every bit as fascinated with learning as she was!
Hermione floated nervously by the lake a particularly lovely Spring day. Severus was taking his Defense Against the Dark Arts O.W.L., and she was chomping at the bit to know how he'd done.
Finally she spotted Severus walking toward the lake, feverishly looking over his exam paper, and her heart gave an unexpected leap. But the excitement was short-lived as she noticed the Marauders also approaching.
She hid behind another tree several feet away, apprehension and suspicion murkily etched in her see-though features. At first the boys seemed utterly unconcerned, but Hermione felt her chest tighten as she spotted Sirius and James peer up at Severus with hungered, trouble-making expressions.
No. Hermione gripped her transparent wand tightly. She'd made certain not to use it in front of anyone, as her cover would surely have been blown, but as the boys closed in on Severus her heart beat in a possessive rhythm. They were not going to lay a finger on her Severus.
"All right, Snivellus?" said James loudly.
Snape reacted so fast it was as thought he had been expecting an attack: dropping his bag, he plunged his hand inside his robes and his wand was halfway into the air when James shouted, "Expelliarmus!"
Snape's wand flew in Hermione's direction, and instinctively she jumped out, catching it deftly in her left hand.
"You're not allowed a wand, specter," James hesitated.
Hermione was filled with a protective fury. Sure, James was Harry's dad, future father to her best friend, but James was not Harry.
"I don't need his wand," she growled, whipping her own wand out so quickly that James had no time to react. "Expelliarmus!"
"What is this?" James gaped at her translucent form in horror as his wand flew twenty feet away.
"I'm different than your average apparition, Potter. Now leave him be, or I'll have Moaning Myrtle haunt your dormitory from now until you graduate from Hogwarts."
A crowd had begun to gather, and James stepped back cautiously. "Come on," he finally called to his friends. "It's not worth it." Scrambling to get his wand Hermione watched with glee as the four boys scurried back inside.
After a few moments she noticed the other students staring at her with awe and fear, and Hermione realized that she was in trouble. Tossing Snape's wand to him quickly, she took off running toward the Forbidden Forest. As dangerous as it was, she knew she'd rather face anything in there than a mob of angry, young wizards.
Hermione heard footsteps trailing behind her, and her pace quickened, desperate to get away from her pursuer, but then she heard his voice.
"Hermione. Hermione, wait!"
In spite of her better judgment Hermione halted, peeking behind her shoulder to see an astonished Severus Snape.
"What are you?" He hunched over, leaning against his knees to catch his breath. "Ghosts and poltergeists don't have the capacity to brandish a wand the way you just did."
Hermione faltered. She didn't want to keep the truth from him – not anymore.
"Severus, I'm a witch." She took her wand, waving it like a lasso around herself until a fully opaque version of herself stood before him, blushing profusely. "The aftershock of a time-turner brought me here. I was just trying to keep out of trouble until I could go back."
Severus took a tentative step in her direction. "So, you're not dead?"
Hermione laughed lightly with a relieved smile. "No, Severus, I'm not dead."
Without warning Severus took several long strides in her direction until she had backed into a tree. "Thank Salazar…"
Before Hermione knew what was happening Severus had grasped the back of her neck firmly in his right hand and kissed her without reserve.
His lips tasted like spearmint, and, in spite of everything in her mind screaming that she should stop, Hermione found herself wanting to discover more of his taste. Timidly she slid her tongue across his bottom lip, anxious how Severus would react.
His animalistic growl surprised her, but as his tongue explored her mouth all she could do was grasp his arms tightly between unplanned moans.
"Severus," Hermione breathed, clutching a low branch behind her as he kissed his way down to her neckline. "Severus, I need to tell you something."
Painstakingly he pulled back, breathing heavily as he stared into her eyes.
"Severus, I told you that I'm here because of a time-turner. Do you – know what a time-turner is?"
He shook his head slowly. "What does it matter if you're here now?"
"Because of the aftershock," she gazed at Snape sadly. "I might be transported back to my time at any moment."
She watch as his eyebrows furrowed, processing the information. "I'd never see you again."
"But I would see you again," Hermione heaved a painful exhale. "I came from a time in the future where you – well, you're my Defense Against the Dark Arts professor."
Severus scoffed somewhat. "Defense Against the Dark Arts? Surely I'd be teaching Potions."
"No, Severus, you're my DADA professor. You're a stoic, strict teacher who has no patience for know-it-alls, show offs, or—" she peered regretfully at the ground, "—or Gryffindors."
He lifted Hermione's chin. "I won't be that way with you, I swear it."
Hermione glanced up at him with shock. "No, you must be! You even called me an 'insufferable know-it-all' once! I wouldn't understand it if you gave me special treatment, because I wouldn't have been to this time yet. I wouldn't have gotten to know the real you."
Severus closed his eyes in resignation. "How will I know when it's time?"
Hermione bit her lip for several seconds until realization struck. "I'll call you Severus. In my time I've only ever called you Professor Snape."
He brought his lips softly to Hermione's, caressing them in gentle way that nearly broke Hermione's heart. "Then I'll be waiting."
Three days later Hermione prepared to say her goodbyes to Severus for the summer. She was all set to meet him by the lake when a familiar spinning sensation caused her to halt in her tracks. No. Not yet! She hadn't said goodbye to Severus yet! But before she knew if she was trapped in vacuum of time and space, where she knew she'd soon be returning to 1997.
Hermione walked timidly into Professor Snape's office, her eyelashes glistening with tears.
"Why so melancholy, Granger? Heaven forbid you should answer an exam question inaccurately."
"Severus?" Hermione's voice cracked.
Professor Snape's head snapped up, forgetting completely about the quill that had just been in his hand as it dropped to the stone floor. "What did you say?" he queried with narrowed eyes.
"I called you – Severus," Hermione swallowed.
Snape's countenance was inscrutable. "Miss Granger, do you know why I applied for the post of Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher every year for the past fifteen years?"
Hermione shook her head.
"It is because of a witch – who told me that in the future I was her Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. And ever since I began teaching at Hogwarts I applied for this very position, hoping to see that witch again."
Hermione's heart thumped oddly. "And did you know – that I was that witch?"
Snape strode around his desk until he was right in front of her, and he held up her wrists steadily. "From the moment you first stepped through these walls."
Hermione's eyes fluttered closed as Severus bent down to kiss her with a passion he'd reserved all the years he'd been waiting, and Hermione gasped with pleasure. His lips still tasted of spearmint, and, though she knew she was firmly fixed in the present day, Hermione lost all sense of time.
Well, that was interesting to write. Still not sure what I think about that pairing, but I see the potential. lol. Thanks for reading! -V