DISCLAIMER: I do not own Harry Potter.
A/N: Thank you for the support, guys! Your reviews and hatred towards Lily make me happy. Wait, what? Nevermind. Haha.
How's everyone? I hope you are all safe from COVID-19. Please drink plenty of water and ginger tea with honey and lemon. And please always, always wash your hands and better take a bath immediately upon arriving home. I'm the only one who was granted a Quarantine Pass, and taking a bath is the first thing I do when I arrive home. Please separate the clothes, too, and wash them immediately.
January 9, 1976
(nineteen years ago)
"Why the hell do I need to add three blobs of Flobberworm Mucus? The book says two."
"Regulus, language!" Hermione said sharply, her hands on her hips. "It's a discovery of Severus and it worked! We've got full marks."
"Black," warned Severus who was sitting on the sofa with a book in his lap.
"All right," Regulus replied and followed her instructions. They were brewing Sleeping Draught. Once again, Regulus's cauldron exploded during his Potions class and luckily, Professor Slughorn was sick since December (two days before the supposed Slug Club party) and the headmaster couldn't find someone to take over the class. The Potions Master will be back on Monday. Regulus had a lot of time to study and brew several potions with Hermione.
"Now, add two measures of Standard Ingredient," she instructed. "And heat for thirty seconds."
She continued giving instructions to Regulus and he obliged without another word, knowing that Severus would send him out if he cursed again.
"Be careful when you stir, Reggie," she reminded before sitting down next to Severus. He instantly wrapped an arm around her waist, but she did not lean into him because Reg was in the room. Instead, she just rested a hand on his knee and picked up a book.
"I got a letter from Grandma today," he told her conversationally.
"Of course, you did. It's your birthday," she teased and met his eyes.
"She mentioned again that she likes you for me." There was affection in his voice and eyes.
She blushed at that, remembering the image of Lady Prince who looked like a Muggle Royal family member the way she dressed and acted upon their first meeting. But there was warmth in her eyes when she saw Severus for the very first time. She spoke and looked at him like any dotting grandmother - like Hermione's dear grandma.
Lady Prince also treated Hermione with sincere kindness, and she even asked her to call her 'Grandma'. She did, but in her mind, she was still 'Lady Prince'. The old witch thanked her for being there for Sev through the years. Before their lunch meeting ended, Lady Prince invited them to her family home in Cornwall. Severus politely told her that he had already promised the Puckles that he would be staying with them. Hermione knew that her family would be upset if Sev wouldn't join them for the Christmas holidays, but they'd be happy to know that he reconnected with his grandmother. She also knew that Sev wasn't comfortable yet around Lady Prince, that was why he preferred to stay at the Puckles.
And so during the holidays, Mrs. Snape and Sev left Tobias Snape alone. Severus's mother returned to her childhood home to catch up with her mother while Sev happily settled at the Puckles. Christmas was merrier because Mona's boyfriend, Richard, was invited as well and stayed for two days.
"Hermione? Are you even listening?"
Hermione felt a nudge to her side. She drifted from her musings and looked up to her boyfriend. "Sorry?"
Sev gave her a disapproving look.
"Sorry, I was thinking of your grandma," she apologized and Sev's expression softened.
"She's inviting us for the Easter holidays."
She raised an eyebrow. For four years, they always stayed behind for the Easter break to do homework, experiments, and study some more.
"I know, we always stay and I was planning to tell her, but I got another letter from Mother," Sev told her. "She said, I should take this chance to get to know her before it's too late."
She nodded quietly. Of course, Mrs. Snape was right. Sev should take the chance while his grandmother was still healthy and strong. "You're lucky because she's a witch. She could live until a hundred a twenty and that's around sixty more years... Dad's mum died a long time ago... and my maternal grandma is almost seventy. Mum worries about her most of the time because she's old..."
Sev pulled her even closer and kissed her temple, forgetting that they weren't alone. Regulus was still busy brewing. "Will you come with me?"
"If my parents would allow me," she replied. "If they don't, will you still go and visit your grandma?"
Sev was quiet for a moment and there was sadness in his eyes. "I don't want to go anywhere without you," he admitted. "But it'll happen eventually after we graduate. I can't always ask you to stay with me."
Hermione's heart warmed, once more. She knew that Sev loved her so much and he wouldn't go anywhere without her. She felt the same way for him. She didn't want to be with anyone else. Only him. But one thing she liked about their relationship was their trust in each other.
"You're right. But for now, don't worry and don't think about it. I'm sure my parents would permit me to go and spend the Easter break with your family," she assured him.
"Er, Miss Puckle? I'm done," came Regulus's hesitant voice.
Hermione gently pulled away from Sev to inspect Reg's potion. "Congratulations! It's perfect!"
Regulus perked up while Sev raised an eyebrow and went to take a good look at the potion. He didn't say anything and his face was unreadable. He went back to the sofa and opened his book once more.
"Oh, don't worry about him," she assured Reg. "He's not your professor," she giggled. "Bottle this up and I know someone who requires it."
Regulus looked at her with surprised eyes. "Really? You're going to give this to someone?"
She nodded. "Yes, of course. Your potion is perfect! But please don't tell anyone of the alterations we made, yeah?"
Regulus nodded eagerly. "Yes, Miss Puckle!"
She rolled her eyes. "Stop that Miss Puckle thing. It's Hermione."
Regulus blushed and Sev laughed. She turned to the latter. "What's funny?"
Sev met her eyes. "Ask him to say your name."
She turned to Reg, but he shook his head. "Never mind that. Bottle up your potion and clean before you go," she told him gently and went to Sev's side.
When Regulus was gone, she turned to him. "Will you ever tell me why he wouldn't say my name?"
"He always mispronounces your name," he laughed again. "And you wouldn't want to hear it."
She scrunched her nose. She didn't like people who mispronounce her name. "I think I'll stick to Miss Puckle."
"Are you going to give Potter and the gang the potion Regulus brewed?" inquired Sev.
"Yes," she leaned into him once more. "It's the full moon on the 18th. They might not be able to sleep again while with Remus," she explained.
"Are you going to tell Black that Regulus brewed it after the full moon?"
"Yes. He might stop being a coward and be brave enough to approach his little brother."
Sev caressed her hair. "You're hitting two birds with one stone. You should have been a Slytherin."
She looked up to him and smirked. "Well, dating you gave me Slytherin tendencies."
January 19, 1976
(nineteen years ago)
"Hey, Mione, pass the crumpets, please," Amelia asked politely while she was adding jam and cream on her Scotch pancakes. She obliged. "Thanks."
Hermione turned to her friend. "You're in a good mood," she observed.
"Of course," Amelia replied a matter-of-factly. "The dog isn't here."
She was startled at Amelia's words. "D-dog?" she whispered.
"Sirius Black, Hermione," chuckled Alona. "We used to call him a dog."
"Oh, yes. Sorry, he's been nothing but kind to me since September," she smiled.
"But he's an arrogant bastard to me," said Amelia with a hint of annoyance. "Don't feel bad, hun. It's just me, getting annoyed every day with Black."
"I wonder why he isn't here yet, declaring his love for you," teased Alona.
"Oh, please! Don't summon the devil," pleaded Amelia, making Hermione and Alona laugh.
When Hermione was released from the hospital wing in November, she found Sirius declaring his love for Amelia and blatantly asking her out. Amelia ignored Sirius and just rolled her eyes. She didn't shout and threw insulting words to her. Unlike Lily. A lot of girls called Amelia's actions 'classy'. Amelia Bones was beautiful. She had smooth blonde hair that reached her shoulders, electric blue eyes, and porcelain skin. Her nose and cheekbones were some of her assets, too. She didn't toss her hair often, unlike Lily. In fact, Amelia liked her hair either in an elegant bun or in a French braid. She was tall for a girl, and when she wore a dress during Hogsmead trips, her curves showed. She had the body of a Muggle clothing model Hermione knew.
But Amelia was always graceful and polite (except when it came to rude students, she could be a b*tch). Amelia thought Sirius liked her because she was one of the few girls who don't fawn on him. But Hermione knew that Sirius truly fancied her friend. She just didn't know how to tell her because every single day, Sirius annoyed Amelia with his love declarations. Some Hogwarts students were amused and at the same time curious. When Sirius Black started chasing Amelia Bones, James Potter stopped uttering a word to Lily Evans.
She asked him one time why when they were alone in the library. James looked hesitant but still answered her.
"First, you're my friend, Hermione. What she did to you was harmful. I don't want to chase a girl who caused my friends harm. It doesn't seem right. Second, I cannot find a good reason anymore to pursue her. Perhaps it's called growing up?"
And since that day, James treated her with more kindness; like a younger sister. He treated her like how Frank and Remus would treat her. And Sirius, bless him. He became nicer, friendlier, and gentler when he learned about her friendship with Regulus.
"Oh, gods," muttered Amelia who facepalmed. And just like that, her friend's day was ruined.
She looked up and met Sirius's bright face. "Hey, Siri," she retorted. She really hated that awful nickname and she was blaming Remus.
"Thanks for the Sleeping Draught! I slept well! James and Peter, too!" he replied brightly but in a low voice.
She grinned. "Really? Great. But you can thank Reggie for that."
"You know, Regulus," she said casually, fighting her smile. "He brewed that. And he was so happy when I told him that his potion was perfect and that I'm giving it to someone."
Sirius swallowed and nodded. "See you around, Hermione."
"Don't forget to thank Reg. I'm sure it'll make his day."
Sirius looked hesitant when he walked away.
"Hey, what did you tell him? He didn't ruin my day!" said Amelia happily.
"Just something about his brother. Pass the cream, please."
After eating another pancake, Hermione noticed Sirius got up from the Gryffindor table and walked towards the Slytherin table. He stopped behind Regulus who was talking to Sev nervously. Her boyfriend was giving the younger wizard sharp looks again. Hermione wanted to smack her boyfriend's head.
Then, Sirius called Regulus very silently. Regulus looked startled. The older Black muttered something quietly. Regulus stood up and pulled his brother for a hug.
Neither of the two Black brothers made it to their first class that day. But they were seen again together at lunch, pranking some first years.