Since 1970 @francehufflepuff
Chapter 22

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.


Author's Note: Thank you for your continuous support! How's everyone? Stay safe and healthy!

Good news! In my country:

COVID19 Recoveries: 435

(Deaths: 362)

A lot of people are recovering! Yay!

Sorry for early update. I'm afraid I will be very busy until Saturday. Working on Hermione and Severus's sixth year.


And by the way, my Patronus is a dolphin. What's yours?


Chapter 22:

October 5, 1974

(twenty-one years ago)

"Are you sure it's all right to spend time with me?" Hermione asked Remus and Frank for the third time that day. "I mean, your Gryffindor friends surely want you to join them."

They were walking in Hogsmeade. Severus encouraged her to go to Hogsmeade with the two Gryffindor boys while he practiced Quidditch. Alice went to the village with her fellow Hufflepuffs and assured Hermione that she was fine and that they had to pretend to get back to Lily.

Sometimes, Hermione wanted to stop the hoax they created, but whenever she would remember Lily's words to Alice and how she was trying hard to get Severus's attention, she became eager to make the redhead a fool.

"Of course, Hermione," replied Remus. "James, Sirius, and Peter don't listen to me when I tell them to stop pranking and hexing others anyway, so I'd rather spend time with you and Frank."

Frank slung an arm on her shoulder innocently - or in a brotherly manner. "Don't worry about us, Mione. We want to visit the bookshop too, you know."

She laughed. "All right, all right. Let's go to Tomes and Scrolls, then," she said eagerly.

They entered the bookshop and browsed. Seeing that Remus and Frank were also interested in checking out new titles, she took her time looking around. A book on Patronus Charm caught her attention. First, because of the lovely cover of the book. It had a picture of a beautiful silver dolphin over a lake. Second, the title: Discover the Animal in You, by Flavius Belby.

"Wow," she whispered in awe. "The Patronus Charm..."

"That's an interesting charm," came Remus's voice.

She turned to smile at him. "Indeed. Pity, they don't teach it at Hogwarts."

Remus grinned. "Perhaps they would if there are Dementors around."

"I don't think there ever will be. Plus, the headmaster won't allow it... Unless there's a murderer on the run." She chuckled and opened the book. "I think I'll take this," she announced.

Remus eyed the book she was holding and then looked at her. "Would you like to learn how to cast a Patronus?" he asked kindly.

"Of course! We never know when you need them, plus, those able to produce corporeal Patronuses were often elected to high office within the Ministry of Magic," she informed him, making Remus chuckle.

"Well, I think it's time to payback for the potion, you know," he said. Hermione gave him a questioning look. "My father taught me the charm even before Hogwarts... and I've been practicing since the first year."

"Oh, wow!" she exclaimed. "That's fantastic, Remus! And you're willing to teach me and Sev?"

"And Frank and Alice, too, if they like," he grinned.

Hermione threw herself to him for a hug. "Oh, wonderful! Thanks, Remus!"

Remus returned her hug in a brotherly manner and patted her back. "Sure."

"Hey, what did I miss?" asked Frank who had just finished paying for his books.

Hermione was about to answer when she saw Lily outside through the glass wall looking smug while her green eyes were on them. She whispered something to the Gryffindor girl who was walking with her. Hermione gave her a disapproving look before yanking her friends.


November 9, 1974

(twenty-one years ago)

The two of them were snuggling on the transfigured couch in their shift potions lab. It was a Saturday, and Frank and Alice decided to meet off somewhere. Remus had just finished teaching them the Patronus Charm. They haven't produced a corporeal Patronus yet, but Remus said they were quick learners.

Hermione's arms were wrapped around his waist and her head was on his chest. Sev's left hand was around her waist as well while his right fingers were in her hair. Hermione felt sleepy, especially when she could smell his sandalwood scent.

"What's your happy memory?" he asked, breaking the silence.

"Last Christmas with you, Mum and Dad, and Mona," she replied.

"Christmas at your house is always wonderful. Your mum's Christmas cookies are the best." She heard him smile.

She looked up and rested her chin on his chest to meet his eyes. "You never talked about your grandparents. Are they even planning to meet you?"

Sev gave her a sad smile. "Only Grandma Prince is supportive. Mum's father isn't keen to see me. He only cares about the family reputation, that's why he's letting Grandma send me money."

"I don't think I will ever fully understand pure-bloods," she admitted.

Sev chuckled. "We don't have to understand everything about them, Toyin told me once."

"I like him. He's a good guy," she commented.

Sev gave her a hesitant look. Hermione waited for him to say something. "He used to like you."

She raised an eyebrow. "Toyin? You're kidding."

Sev chuckled. "Last year, before your birthday, he asked me if I was ever planning on asking you out because if I wasn't, he would."

"He's nice, but..." she trailed off.

"But?" asked Sev.

She gave him a playful smile. "But I fancy someone else."

Sev gave her a contented look and kissed her forehead. "Good."

"So, what's your happy memory?" she asked afterward.

"Lupin said it wasn't enough to produce a corporeal Patronus, but it's when we first met and you smiled at me..."

She grinned at that. "Maybe there's something happier than that."

Sev's eyes twinkled when they met hers. "Maybe," he said with a smile.


December 2, 1974

(twenty-one years ago)

In Transfiguration, Hermione, to her dismay, was paired with James Potter, simply because he was the best among the Gryffindors. She wanted to work either with Remus (who was looking relaxed, even if it was just three days after the full moon) or Frank. They were friends, after all. Plus, she could feel Lily glaring at her, like always.

They were asked by Professor McGonagall to transfigure the guinea fowl into a guinea pig.

"Ladies first, I guess," said Potter softly, surprising Hermione again.

She nodded politely and again, with just one wave of her wand her guinea fowl turned into a guinea pig.

"Fantastic, Puckle!" Potter clapped his hands and looked up to Professor McGonagall who was standing near them, watching. "She did it on the first attempt, Professor."

Professor McGonagall gave her an appraising look. "I guess it's your turn to impress Miss Puckle, Mr. Potter," said the teacher.

It took three tries for Potter before his guinea fowl turned into a guinea pig, but the professor still praised him because only four out of twenty students in the class were able to perfect the transfiguration.

Remus called her after the class, just before they leave the Transfiguration classroom. "Hey, Hermione."

She turned to her friend with a smile.

"Er, can you lend me your Arithmancy notes?"

"Oh, sure." She reached for the notebook in her satchel and cast the Doubling Charm, giving the second copy to Remus.

"Puckle," gasped Potter whom she didn't notice watching them because he was waiting for Remus with Black and Pettigrew. "That's in the fifth-year curriculum!"

Hermione blushed and ducked her head, but Remus and Frank clapped her back. "She's been doing that since the second year. It's how she helps me catch up," said Remus proudly.

"What's next, Puckle? You'll turn into an Animagus?" grinned Potter.

"Don't be surprised if she does that next year," commented Frank.

"You look like you're about to kiss her, James," chuckled Remus and walked towards his group of friends. "Let's go. Thanks again, Hermy. You're an angel."

Hermione rolled her eyes. He'd been teasing her with that horrible nickname since last week. "See you around, Remy."


December 9, 1974

(twenty-one years ago)

Hermione was hiding behind a bookshelf near the Restricted Section, listening to Alice and Lily. Her friend was fully aware of her presence, of course. But Lily was not.

"You made the right decision to ditch Hermione," Lily told Alice. "She's not just flirting with Frank now but with Potter as well! Next, she'd be flirting with all the Gryffindor boys!"

Alice gave Lily an unreadable expression and looked up at the ceiling. "Yeah, right. But why does it matter to you? You never liked James Potter."

"I don't like Potter, you're right," snapped Lily. "He's an arrogant toe rag. Just because he's good at Quidditch, he prances around like he owns the school. But that's not the point. Someone has to tell Hermione to stop flirting!"

Alice gave Lily a boring look. "Why don't you tell her? You know her more than I do. You've been to the same Muggle primary school, right? And now you're in the same Transfiguration class."

"I can't. Her friends are mean to us, Gryffindors."

"Alona and Amelia? Really now?" Alice sounded bored than ever.

"You don't believe me," said Lily angrily. "It was me who told you about her and Frank. You, ungrateful girl!"

"You told me about that, thanks. But still, I don't like you."

"You're making her bored, Evans," came Sev's voice. "Sod off."


January 9, 1975

(twenty years ago)

"Hermione, sorry!" Sev was panting when he entered their Potions lab.

She put down the book she was reading to greet her wizard. She walked towards him and flung her arms around his neck. "Happy birthday!"

Sev relaxed and leaned into her embrace, placing his hands on her hips. "Thank you."

She yanked him gently to press a chaste kiss on his lips. He wanted more, she knew by the look in his eyes. And she wanted to do other things with him, too, but they knew they couldn't. They could never look at her parents' eyes the same way again if they crossed boundaries.

Hermione released Sev's neck but took his hand to lead him to the table where the food and her present were waiting, but Sev pulled a chair for her and allowed her to take her seat first before sitting on the other chair, across from her.

"So, what took you so long?" she asked casually. "Not that I mind."

Sev sneered. "An annoying Gryffindor waited for me outside the common room."

She raised an eyebrow. "Lily?"

He nodded unhappily.

"Did she get you a gift?" she chuckled, amused by his reaction.

"Never had the chance to know. I asked Evan and Toyin to distract her. She was babbling about walking to the Great Hall and studying in the library together. Let's not talk about her."

"Right," she grinned. "Let's eat and then you can open the present later."


"Can I open my present now?" asked Sev, looking and sounding hopeful after finishing his meal. His fingers were tapping the gift box on the table. He looked like a small child on a Christmas Day.

"Not yet. I have another present," she said, standing up.

Sev cocked an eyebrow. "I'm getting two presents this year? I must've been a good boy," he said with a playful smirk.

"Yeah, you've been a good boy," she laughed and went to the open space in the room. "Now, tell me about your Patronus again."

Two nights ago, while she was in her Astronomy class, Remus and Sev had a one-on-one lesson on the Patronus Charm.

"An otter," he replied. "It had a bushy tail and two large front teeth."

Hermione blushed again and her heart was beating rather erratically. "Right. Well, last night, something happened while I was trying the charm in the dormitory," she told him.

Severus cocked an eyebrow. She pulled out her wand. "Expecto Patronum!"

A silver mist erupted from the tip of her wand. It grew longer and longer until it formed a four-legged animal.


"This ancient and mysterious charm conjures a magical guardian, a projection of all your most positive feelings." - Miranda Goshawk's overview of the Patronus Charm.

Severus gaped at Hermione's Patronus. It was an otter, just like his! But it did not have a bushy tail and large front teeth. Its mane was in place and it was taller than his otter. It stood up rather elegantly.

We have the same Patronus! he thought with a smile. He retrieved his wand as well and cast the charm to summon his otter. A few seconds later, a shorter otter with a bushy tail was sitting in the room, chasing its tail.

Hermione grinned at him. "I guess my happiest memory includes you, then."

Severus's heart swelled with joy. Hermione was his happy memory and he was hers. There was no doubt that they feel the same for each other. He felt so happy that he scooped her into his arms and gave her a chaste kiss.


February 9, 1975

(twenty years ago)

"Hermione, is it true that Fawley and Longbottom broke up because of you? Is Longbottom courting you now?" asked Natasha Rowle, a fifth-year Ravenclaw, over breakfast, getting their other housemates' attention.

Hermione was in the middle of eating her porridge when the question was asked. "Huh?"

"Oh, Natasha, don't believe the rumours!" said Amelia promptly. "Who even told you?"

"Evans was telling everyone. You know, the Gryffindor girl," Natasha answered.

"Oh, please! Even Alice finds Evans annoying. She doesn't believe her," quipped Alona who was sitting on Hermione's other side.

"Then why are you no longer friends with Fawley and Snape?" asked Peony Burke, another fifth-year girl.

Hermione shrugged. "We have our own reasons," was her only reply.


February 14, 1975

(twenty years ago)

Lily Evans was standing beside him at their desk inside the Potions classroom, tossing her hair and batting her eyes.

"Sev," she called softly.

He sighed and continued working on their potion. "For the hundredth time, Evans, it's Severus."

"Severus," she called again, ignoring the annoyance in his tone. "Did you receive my Valentine's card?"

"I did," he replied nonchalantly, stirring their potion using Hermione's present to him years ago.

"Well, erm... Did you forget that it's Valentine's Day today? Did you forget to send me a card?"

His eyes widened when he turned to the witch. "I didn't forget what day it is today, given the horrible decorations at the Great Hall," he snapped. "And I am not planning on sending you a bloody Valentine's card. You already got how many? Fifteen? Bloody fifteen and you still want one from me? Sod off, Evans!"

Evans looked like she was about to cry and Severus thanked Salazar Slytherin that Professor Slughorn was not around, or else he would surely be reprimanded.

Evans turned to the person behind them - James Potter, Severus knew. He was expecting Potter to yell at him or hex him, but nothing came. Evans cried and left the classroom.


February 27, 1975

(twenty years ago)

"You've hurt my feelings, you know," Evans was telling him when she made it to his side. He just left the Great Hall to the library.

Severus did not even look at the silly girl beside him.

"But you can make it up to me," she said hopefully. "You know, Hogsmeade weekend is coming."

He sneered. He didn't want to say hurtful words towards Evans for Hermione's sake.

"Hey, Sev, I'm talking to you!" she said loudly and grabbed his arm.

Severus pulled back from Evans's hold and he sneered at her. "You disgust me," he drawled before walking away.


"I'm tired of this game," he announced once he made it to their shift potions lab after dinner.

Hermione was lounging on the couch with Alice. Frank was working on an essay in an armchair near the girls.

"Well, hello to you," Hermione greeted him with a hug. He inhaled her vanilla scent and just like that, he felt calm.

Hermione pulled back, but he rested her hands on her hips. "We need to talk. We have to stop this joke on Evans."

Alice stood up and went to Hermione's side. "We have to plan it smoothly."


Two days later, a Saturday, the Slytherin played its first Quidditch game for the year against Gryffindor. Severus Snape and James Potter were both playing as Chasers. Everyone was expecting Potter to get back on Severus for 'making Evans cry'. The redhead Gryffindor even had a playful smirk on her lips before the match began. Surprisingly, Potter played a clean game and did not yell insulting words at any of the Slytherins, even if his favourite person to taunt and hex was there.

The match ended with the Slytherins winning. Hermione quickly went down the stands to the grounds, Frank and Alice were running behind her. Severus saw her and opened his arms to welcome her in an embrace. Alice and Frank stood beside Sev and clapped his back. Four friends from different houses were seen by the whole school laughing and exchanging polite touches.

They were told five minutes later, by Remus Lupin, that the Gryffindors gave Lily questioning looks when they saw that Hermione, Sev, and their friends have made up.

At lunch that day, Hermione and Alice walked arm-in-arm at the Great Hall and passed by the Gryffindor table. They stopped at where Lily was sitting.

"Time to stop making lies, Evans. We never believed you in the first place," said Alice. "Frank and I never broke up and Sev and Mione have been together for many months now, behind your back."

Hermione gave Lily an exaggerated sweet smile. "Sorry, Lily, but the joke's on you."

Behind them were Amelia and Alona who broke into peals of laughter.


*Author hides under the desk*

Don't bash me, please.

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