Since 1970 @francehufflepuff
Chapter 16

DISCLAIMER: I do not own Harry Potter.



Happy birthday, Lee Kadivar!

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Chapter 16:

September 1, 1972

(twenty-three years ago)

"Here we go again," said Mona with a sad look in her face.

Hermione hugged her only sister, her first best friend. "I'm going to miss you, Mona."

Mona hugged her tightly. "I wish Hogwarts is just in London, not in Scotland."

She chuckled. "You'll be fine. Maybe it's time you turn your attention to boys so that you won't miss me anymore," she teased.

Mona faked a sneer, so similar to Severus's. "Continue doing that. Sev's got that from you."

Mona laughed. "I'm his role model," she replied proudly.

"I heard that, Mona," came Severus's voice from behind.

"Stop bickering, children," came their mother's voice. "The train will leave in five minutes."

Hermione's father helped them again with their trunks and Severus took the lead in finding an empty compartment, then, they leaned towards the window to bid their goodbyes to her parents and sister.

"Sev, look after Hermione!" called Mona. "Make sure she eats well."

"Always, Mona," the young wizard replied.

"Don't spend too much time in the library, Mione! Try to play Quidditch," teased her father.

Then, the train finally moved and turned to a curve. Hermione's family was out of her sight. Severus gently pulled her to his side and placed a comforting hand on her shoulder.

"You'll see them in Yule break," he said softly.

She looked up to him and offered a small smile, then nodded.

The compartment door slid open and Lily Evans entered. She was wearing a gold headband and a baby blue summer dress. There was no denying that she was very beautiful. Not a single strand of hair was out of place. She took the vacant seat opposite them. "Hello, Hermione, Severus."

"Lily," she nodded politely and Severus ignored her. His left arm was still wrapped around her shoulders and his right was holding a book he started to read.

Lily ran her eyes to Hermione's, making her raise an eyebrow. "Problem, Lily?"

"Denim trousers are uncomfortable for girls," she said coolly. "Why don't you try wearing dresses? Most girls in Hogwarts wear beautiful dresses."

"All pureblood girls wear dresses, you mean?" she countered. "I'm a Muggleborn and I'm used to wearing trousers. Mind your business Lily, will you?"

Lily huffed and stomped, leaving the compartment.

"I will never understand her," she muttered.

"She's trying to fit in," commented Severus. "She's the only Muggleborn in her house, in our year."

"So am I," she replied.

"And you're nicer than her. That's why your roommates like you," he said with a hint of pride in his tone. "She should work on her social skills, instead of trying to act like a pureblood girl."

"That's not nice."

"She's not nice."


September 19, 1972

(twenty-three years ago)

"Happy birthday, Hermione!" Alona and Amelia sang at the same time when Hermione came out of the bathroom, already dressed in her school uniform.

She was startled, causing her to place a hand on her chest, but she smiled. "Thank you, Alona and Amelia!" she replied gratefully.

"Presents for you!" Amelia said, holding out a wrapped gift. Alona did the same.

"Oh, you didn't have to give me anything, really," she replied rather bashfully.

"Nonsense. You're too patient in tutoring us in Potions," said Alona.

"That's right, Hermione. And you're our friend!" quipped Amelia. "How about, wear my gift already?"

Hermione accepted the present. "Thanks." She tore the pink wrapper and opened the box. Inside were two gigantic pearl clips. "Oh, Amelia, they're beautiful!"

Amelia smiled. "Glad you liked it. Get that hair serum from Severus and we'll style your hair."

Hermione obliged. She went to her dresser to get the hair serum. Amelia and Alona applied serum onto her hair and put on the pearl clips in her hair.

"Time for my present," said Alona, handing her a present wrapped in periwinkle paper.

Hermione gave her friend a fond look and opened the present. It was a vanilla scent perfume. "Try it on!"

"This must be very expensive, Alona," she hesitated.

"Oh, Mum doesn't mind. She was very pleased when I got good marks in Charms last year. Because of your tutoring."

The two girls made sure her hair was in place before sending her out. "Aren't you two coming with me?" she asked with a frown when the two girls sat on Hermione's bed.

The two grinned. "Nah. Surely someone's already waiting for you downstairs," replied Alona.

Hermione blushed. Of course, Severus would be waiting. He always waited for her. "All right. Erm, thanks again."

True enough, when she opened the entrance to the Ravenclaw common room, Severus was leaning against the opposite wall, patiently waiting for her. He was holding a bouquet of sunflowers.

He looked ready to scowl at her but suddenly froze when their eyes met. Hermione frowned and stepped forward, handing him her bag. Severus still looked taken aback when he slung her bag on his shoulder.

"Are those for me?" she asked quietly, eyeing the bouquet.

Severus inhaled sharply. "You smell..." he trailed off.

She cocked an eyebrow. "Good?" she smirked.

Severus snorted. "You smell like marshmallows. Did you eat sweets before breakfast?" he asked and started to walk, taking her hand.

She rolled her eyes. "And you smell like cayenne pepper tea, like always." It was true and Hermione was so used to his cayenne pepper smell. She loved it. "Just so you know, I'm wearing Alona's present to me, a vanilla-scented perfume."

"And your hairclips are gifts as well?" he questioned, eyeing her hair.

"Yes, from Amelia. I know the clips are really big, but believe me, they hold my hair. Don't worry, I won't be suffocated by my - "

"Beautiful," he cut her off, but not in a rude way.

Hermione's mouth opened a small 'o' and she looked at him with a shock expression in her face.

Severus squeezed her hand. "Close your mouth. you'll look like a fish."

Hermione pressed her lips together and looked away.

"I mean it. You look beautiful."

She did not dare to look up to meet his eyes. She looked down and pretended to check the soles of her shoes. They continued walking side-by-side, and as usual, they talked about everything - their classes, her parents' letters. When they reached the second floor, they were laughing again and insulting each other. Severus was just about to place an arm on her shoulders when someone broke them apart and stood in between them.

"Hey, you, little rascals," greeted Toyin with a boyish grin, wrapping an arm to each of them. "Arguing already before breakfast?"

"Nothing serious, Toyin," assured Severus.

"Good morning, Toyin," greeted Hermione at the tall, British-Russian wizard. He was as tall as Severus and just like her best friend, he had long black hair and dark eyes.

"Oh, Puckle. Happy birthday!" Then, he pulled back his arm from her shoulders to reach into his trousers pocket. He pulled out his wand, too, and enlarged the small box of Sugar Quills from his pocket to its normal size. "Here."

Hermione grinned at the other Slytherin. "Thank you, Toyin."

"Salazar knows how much she likes them," chuckled Severus.


When they arrived in the Great Hall, Toyin went straight to the Slytherin table while Severus walked her to the Ravenclaw table. Just like any usual day, James Potter was once again, declaring his love for Lily, in his loud voice.

"Evans, you are the most beautiful witch I have ever met. Please do the honor of being my girlfriend."

"Never, Potter! I'd rather date a..." she trailed off.

Hermione turned to glance at Lily and Potter. The Gryffindor wizard was giving Lily a triumphant look.

"A Slytherin!" exclaimed Lily. "I'd rather date a Slytherin than be with you!"

Hermione cocked an eyebrow at Lily's statement and saw that Potter was taken aback.

"A Slytherin?" snorted the wizard beside James Potter, Sirius Black. "You wouldn't want that, Lily-flower."

Hermione scrunched her nose at Black's audacity.

"Slytherins are evil, Evans," muttered James Potter.

"Hey, watch your words, Potter!" came a Slytherin fifth-year prefect Hermione identified as Yaxley.

"Potter has no shame left in his body," muttered Severus in disapproval. He gently placed an arm on her shoulder and led her to an empty seat at her house table. Her fellow Eagles muttered their birthday greetings and some fifth-year wizards gave Severus appraising looks.

"Eat well, Hermione," Severus reminded her, like always, and patted her head before taking his seat at the Slytherin table.

Owls arrived when Hermione was just finishing her porridge. There were two parcels delivered for her: one was from her parents and sister, and the other was from Severus. He gave her another bottle of hair serum, but the packaging and the scent were different. She took the note.

Made it myself, under the supervision of Professor Slughorn. I added sunflower. I hope it's to your liking.

Hermione beamed and she felt the butterflies in her stomach again. When she looked up at the Slytherin table, Severus was talking quietly to Evan Rosier, but his eyes were on her, and he winked.


November 16, 1972

(twenty-three years ago)

"Hermione, suppose I have injuries... what healing potion do you think I can take?" asked Alice while they were in the library, writing their Potions essays.

"Hmm? The Wiggenweld Potion," she replied, not looking up from her essays.

"Oh, right. I think Professor Slughorn mentioned about it, but we won't be brewing it until the next term."

"Sev and I tried it already," she informed her friend.

"Oh, really?" asked Alice with a hint of excitement.

Hermione looked up and frowned. "Why? Are you in need of a healing potion?"

"Do you know Remus Lupin?" asked Alice, craning her neck to look behind Hermione.

Hermione turned to look behind her. At the next table was Remus Lupin, alone and looking haggard. He had a few fresh wounds on his face and neck. He didn't seem to notice them because he was busy writing an essay.

Hermione turned to her friend again. "What happened to him?" she asked.

"Frank said he went home for a few days because of his sickly mother. Family emergency, you know, that's why the headmaster allows it. Always. Then, when he returned... he looked like a mess," whispered Alice. "Do you think his father beats him?"

Hermione frowned. "You said the headmaster allows him to go home always?"

Alice nodded. "Since last year. Sometimes once a month, sometimes twice..."

"And when he returns, he always has injuries?" she inquired.

Alice nodded again. "Frank said Remus would spend the first two days back in the hospital wing... So I guess madam Pomfrey's been healing him. But do you think he needs more healing potions?"

She frowned. "I think Madam Pomfrey knows what she's doing. Maybe she has given Lupin some healing potions to take before bedtime..."

Alice's eyes widened while looking behind her and Hermione hear footsteps. "Hello, Alice. Hello, Miss Puckle," came a male voice.

Hermione looked up and gave a curt nod to Remus Lupin. "Please, call me 'Hermione'," she said in a friendly tone.

Remus Lupin's smile widened. "Then please call me 'Remus', Hermione."

"Pleased to meet you," she said, offering her hand.

Remus shook her hand. "Likewise." After he let go of her hand, Remus turned to Alice. "May I borrow your Magical History notes, Alice? I believe I'm four classes behind," he asked sheepishly.

Alice sent him an apologetic look. "Oh, I'm sorry, Remus. I don't take notes in that class..."

"Oh, I see." Remus's smile faltered. "That's all right. I was working on an essay about the International Warlock Convention of 1289. But it's all right. I can just ask... erm, maybe James?"

"I can share my notes with you," Hermione offered shyly.

Remus looked surprised. "Really?"

Hermione nodded and offered him a small smile. "Do you... want them?"

Remus nodded. "Please?"

Hermione reached for her History notes in her bag and laid it on the table, then cast the Gemino Charm. Remus and Alice gasped.

She handed the second copy to Remus. "Here."

Remus Lupin looked amazed and glad when he accepted the notes. "That's a very advanced spell, Hermione! No wonder you're in Ravenclaw... But I don't think all Eagles can perform such advanced magic."

Her cheeks blushed at the compliment. "Erm, thanks."

They heard the bell rang, signaling that it was time for dinner. Alice and Hermione began packing their things and Remus once again muttered his thanks before collecting his things on the next table.

"He looked like he wanted to kiss you," whispered Alice with a giggle.

She was about to retort when a very familiar and angry voice came. "Who wanted to kiss Hermione?"

They turned around and saw Severus standing behind them, wearing a scowl.


"I'll see you tomorrow, Alice," she said to her friend kindly.

Alice sighed in relief and muttered a quick 'hello' to Severus before running away.

Hermione moved towards her best friend and laced their arms. "Don't mind Alice. How's your brewing?"

Severus looked relaxed when their arms touched. He took her bag from her and wrapped an arm around her shoulders in a protective manner. "Fine. I'll show you the finished product tomorrow if you're not meeting someone else."

"Of course! Anytime, either before, in between, or after classes!" she said happily.

Severus stared at her. "Really? Any time of the day?"

"Yes. I'll always have time for you."

Severus looked pleased and squeezed her shoulder. "You're the best."


December 15, 1972

(twenty-three years ago)

"We should brew Polyjuice Potion for our final practicals," suggested Hermione to Severus, bumping her shoulder to his. They were on Hogwarts viaduct, overlooking the snow-blanketed grounds.

"I'd say Felix Felicis. Professor Slughorn would be more impressed," replied Severus.

"Nope. Polyjuice is more impressive. It takes a month to brew and it's more complicated."

"Felix Felicis."

"How about we work on our own?" she teased. "You brew Felix Felicis, I'll make the Polyjuice."

Severus gave her a stern look. "You want us to work individually? Partners no more?"

Hermione laughed and smacked him. Of course, she was just teasing him. "Of course not. I - "


Hermione and Severus turned around at the owner of the new voice. Remus was standing behind them, looking hesitant.

"Oh, Remus," she greeted casually, ignoring Severus's questioning look.

Remus stepped forward shyly but stopped a few feet away from her. "I'm sorry to disturb you two. I just want to give you something Hermione, before I go home tonight. I'm... leaving earlier than the rest of you because of a family emergency." Then, he handed her a present.

Hermione took a few steps forward, causing Severus to remove his hand on the small of her back. "Thank you, Remus. I have a Christmas gift for you as well, but it's in my trunk."

"It's okay," Remus smiled. "You can give it in January when we return. I have to go. See you..."

"See you, Remus," she replied with a sad look on her face. She felt a little anxious for Remus. Is he going to have fresh scars when he comes back next month?

"Why are you exchanging gifts with Lupin?" asked Severus sharply.

Hermione startled and turned around to Severus. "Oh. Er, we became friends last month through Alice," she replied casually and hooked her arm to his.

But Severus slowly removed his hand. "Keeping secrets now?" he sounded hurt.

"It's not like that," she replied. "Sev, maybe I just forgot to tell you."

Severus shook his head and walked away.

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