Chances Chapter 4
Hermione took the longest route possible to get to her rooms. Her mind chewed over all that had happened in the last couple of hours.
Term hadn’t even started yet.
‘Well,’ Hermione thought as she turned the corner. ‘At least life isn’t boring.’
Hermione stopped at a portrait of Sir Ulrich of the Thistle. The hidden door was cracked open slightly.
She frowned and pulled her wand out of her sleeve. The war was over, but that didn’t mean there were no grudges.
Hermione kicked her door open and cried: “Lumos!”
The idea of calling for backup crossed her mind too late as the room flooded with light.
A tall figure dressed in black shielded his eyes. His hands were empty and the lower half of his face was wincing.
Hermione relaxed a little and said: “Finite Incantatum.”
Her wand faded out and her eyes adjusted to the single candle that had lit the room before she had burst in. The door clicked softly behind her and she tucked her wand away.
“Can I help you?” Hermione asked, sounding slightly annoyed. The room was mostly dark now and she hoped she had the ability to recall the layout of her parlor. It would really annoy her if she tripped in the dark.
The man didn’t answer, but leaned back on the desk, blocking out the little light and silhouetting himself.
Hermione fumbled until she felt the knob on the wall that turned up the gas to her wall lamps. Soft yellow light filled the room and Severus Snape threw her a dirty look.
“Honestly,” Hermione said, shaking her head. “One of these days you’re going to get jinxed, skulking around like that.”
“I wasn’t skulking,” he snapped.
“Fine,” she said. “Breaking and entering, for starters.”
He rolled his eyes at her and she crossed her arms at him.
“Loitering,” she said.
“Whatever,” Hermione said dismissively. “I take it there’s a reason you’re here?”
“I think we both know,” Snape said levelly. “I can count as well as you.”
Hermione let out a breath.
“Yes,” she said walking to a brown ceramic tea service in a corner. “I suppose you can. Tea?”
“Is it necessary?” Snape asked stiffly.
“Yes,” said Hermione over her shoulder.
She threw a quick glance his way and saw him slump for a moment, as if someone had placed a heavy weight on his shoulders. She felt a pang of pity for him. She fixed a pot of tea, waving her wand at the pot to get the water hot. She heard the leather of her couch crinkle as he sat down behind her.
When she turned around his severe demeanor had all but dropped. His face was plastered with a half-hearted sneer, but his skin was slightly green and his eyes seemed to be staring off into space.
“Severus-,” Hermione began.
“Which one was he?” Snape asked flatly.
“Severus-,” Hermione said her voice a bit insistent.
“Which one?” Snape focused her beetle-black eyes on her.
“Drink your tea,” Hermione snapped as she sat beside him, handing him a cup and saucer.
Snape looked a bit startled as he took the cup from her. He sniffed at it suspiciously and watched her as he took a sip.
“I can’t prove it, but I think the child arrived tonight,” Hermione said stiffly.
“My son,” Snape said levelly.
“Yes,” said Hermione.
“What makes you think so?” Severus asked, placing his teacup on the low table near the couch they were sitting on. Hermione suspected it was destined to become stone cold and
“I should have borrowed a pensieve from Dumbledore,” Hermione muttered. This was not going the way she imagined at all.
“I have one,” Snape said. “Does it matter who it belongs to?”
“Of course not,” Hermione said thoughtfully. “Is it in your office?”
“Yes,” said Snape slowly.
“I’ll get it,” she offered, leaping to her feet. Snape frowned at her.
“I could use the exercise,” Hermione said a little too off-handedly. Really, she just wanted to flee or storm around a bit more. She wasn’t prepared to deal with Snape yet.
“Exercise later,” Snape said levelly and with a wave of his wand, conjured a pensieve.
Hermione stared at the stone bowl for a moment before she sighed and reached for it.
“You act as if this is a chore,” Snape accused.
“I just did this for Dumbledore,” Hermione said, not caring about Snapes reaction anymore. He raised his eyebrows suspiciously.
Hermione ignored him and began putting thoughts in the bowl. When she was done she passed it to him and waited. He looked at her warily, but placed the bowl on the table and lowered his face to it.
Hermione sipped at her tea and waved her wand at his to heat it up a bit. He may want it in a moment.
“Malfoy!?” Snape thundered as his face shot up out of the bowl.
“Tea?” Hermione offered, motioning to his cup.
“Have anything harder?” Snape asked, his face a kaleidoscope of emotion. Hermione pointed her wand at his cup and a shot of Firewhisky poured into his tea from its end.
He drained it in a gulp. Hermione shook her head and refilled his cup with tea and Firewhisky.
“Won’t do to be hung over the first day of term,” Hermione said warningly.
“I doubt anyone will notice,” Snape said snapped sarcastically, but he sipped at his second cup.
Hermione sipped at her cup, praying she could make it last. She didn’t want to pour herself a second cup, but knew she tended to sip when she was nervous. She certainly was nervous now.
She looked at him over the edge of her cup. He scowled at her.
“I don’t remember the name ‘Malfoy’ coming up when we were choosing,” Snape muttered and took a deeper drink from his cup.
“Now’s not the time to fall off the wagon, Severus,” Hermione remarked.
“Good a time as any,” Snape said as he waved his wand and enlarged his cup to the size of a small fishbowl. Hermione waved her wand and shrunk it back to its regular size.
“At least wait for the weekend,” Hermione said annoyed. “I don’t want to have to cover double classes the first week of term.”
Severus placed his teacup on the table near the bowl and slumped down in the couch. Hermione reached over and retrieved her thoughts. She placed them back in her head and watched Snape scowl in silence.
“At least he’s a Ravenclaw,” Snape finally said.
“Yes,” Hermione said placing the pensieve down with a thunk. “Flitwick is a good man. He’ll keep a sharp eye on anyone named ‘Malfoy.’”
She thought for a moment before putting a shot of Firewhisky in her own cup. She sipped it slowly, feeling it warm her up. Snape watched her, but didn’t comment.
“I’m sorry,” Snape blurted out.
“I beg your pardon?” Hermione asked with a frown on her face.
“This whole mess is my fault,” Snape rubbed his eyes with one of his hands. Hermione couldn’t believe how old he looked, for a moment.
“Hardly,” Hermione said, looking at him as if he were showing signs of madness. “We were both under the Imperius Curse if I remember right. I’m just as much to blame as you.”
“I should have been able to resist it,” Severus muttered, more to himself than to Hermione, she suspected.
“There were five Deatheaters and two of us,” Hermione said, raising an eyebrow. “I was amazed you managed to get off a lubrication spell before-“
“Yes, yes,” Snape said uncomfortably.
This was the first time they had talked about what had happened. Other than Hermione showing up at his doorstep, informing him of her pregnancy and informing him she was having the child and giving it up. He was too startled to object and a bit amazed she had decided to carry the child. They had never talked of the incident itself.
“Anyway,” Hermione said shifting her weight. “It was both of our faults, if you want to think of it that way, and over a decade ago. Stop being so morose.”
Snape grumbled something Hermione couldn’t quite make out and drained his cup.
“He looks happy, Severus,” Hermione said as she reached for a fluttering paper airplane that darted down her floo.
She unfolded it and scanned her schedule of classes. She wouldn’t see the boy until Tuesday. It looked like Snape would have him tomorrow. She prayed he wouldn’t be strange around the boy. She passed the schedule to Snape although she knew he probably had his own copy waiting for him in his own rooms.
“Well,” said Snape, clapping his hands to his knees and rising after he studied the schedule. “We’ll see who he takes after before long.”
Hermione wondered what that meant as he stormed, staggering slightly, out of her rooms.