DISCLAIMER: I do not own Harry Potter.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: All is well on my end. I hope you are all safe and healthy.
Thanks for the wonderful reviews! Please support my other fanfic as well: "Erasing My Past - Their Future".
This story was inspired by the following fanfics:
1. Bewitch, Ensnare by Kittenshift17
2. Aurelian by BittyBlueEyes
3. The Dark Lord's Daughter by AmandahLeigh
July 24, 1995
"Leontes Robert Snape."
"Merlin's beard," Ginny managed to say.
"Oh, fuck me," muttered Sirius with a facepalm.
"But... how..." She couldn't ask the questions in her mind. She turned to Professor McGonagall who was sitting directly across her.
"Miss Weasley, would you mind taking little Leo to your room upstairs while we speak with Miss Granger?" asked the headmaster.
Ginny nodded but Hermione stood up. "I'll take him, Professor..."
"But, Hermione, we have to open the envelope," Mrs. Weasley reminded her gently.
"I'm sorry, Mrs. Weasley, but I feel that I'm not ready to know what's in there. You see..." she trailed off, not sure what to say next.
"But, Miss Granger," the headmaster began.
"Let her be, Albus," said Professor Snape sternly.
She turned to face her Potions professor, expecting a scowl, but he gave her a friendly look, much like the look he would give her in the Hogwarts hallways when she was alone. No Harry, no Ron.
Hermione gave her an appreciative smile. "You can open the envelope without me." With Leo still in her arms, she left the kitchen, followed by Ginny.
"Mummy, where is Dada?" asked Leo when they settled in her bed.
"In the dining, dear," she replied gently. "He has to speak with the headmaster and the others."
"But Mummy, he's Mr. Dumbly-dorr," said Leo with a frown.
"Oh, right. But now, we call him 'headmaster' or 'professor'," she explained. Maybe he was no longer a headmaster in Leo's time, she shrugged inwardly.
"We go home later with Dada?" he pressed.
Hermione sighed. "I don't know, Leo. Let's see, okay?"
Leo frowned. "Bad guys coming again?"
Hermione nodded. "Yes, Leo. Your Dada has to work and fight the bad guys."
Mrs. Weasley entered the room quietly and ruffled Leo's curls. Then, she sat at the edge of the bed. "Hermione, we suggest that you look for more information about Leo and the future in that bag of yours," she said carefully.
Hermione bit her lip and nodded. She grabbed Leo's body bag and searched for other papers. She saw a folder - not sealed. It had only one document: Leo's birth certificate in the magical community.
True to Leo's words, his full name was 'Leontes Robert Snape'. He was born on October 21st, 2002, at St. Mungo's Hospital, to Severus Tobias Snape, a Potioneer, and Hermione Jean Granger, a Healer. His parents got married on December 8th, 2000. His magical godmother was Ginevra Potter.
Hermione couldn't believe her eyes. She did the maths. She got - will be married at twenty-one and be a mother at twenty-three. She never imagined it happening. She wanted to establish a career in Charms, or magical creatures' rights - not healing. She wanted to work for the Department of Regulation of Magical Creatures and probably get married after earning a mastery, which probably would be at twenty-four years old.
"Sorry for putting pressure on you, Hermione... but your older self was the one who sent Leo here." Mrs. Weasley placed a hand on her shoulder.
Hermione turned to her. "Mrs. Weasley, do you know or do you have any idea why Leo's father is Professor Snape?"
Mrs. Weasley looked hesitant. "I think I have an idea, but it's better if he'll be the one to tell you. Wait for him, dear, will you?"
She nodded. "All right. Thanks, Mrs. Weasley."
The Weasley matriarch left to check on the boys on the third floor with Ginny. She has left with Leo again who pulled out a familiar book: Tales of Beedle the Bard. But it wasn't written in Runes, to Hermione's shock. It was written in English and was translated by Hermione J. Snape.
Hermione closed her eyes. "Oh, Merlin. Is this true?" she asked herself.
"Mummy, you okay?" asked Leo innocently.
She opened her eyes and met Leo's brown orbs. "I am fine," she smiled rather forcefully.
"I can read it, Mummy," he informed her and gently grabbed the book from her.
That made her smile. "How old were you when you started to read?"
"Three years old, Mummy."
"Just like me," she whispered.
To her surprise, Leo nodded. "Yes, Mummy. Nana Rose said."
Nana Rose? My grandmother? So, she's still alive in 2006 and met Leo!
She was pulled from her musings by a gentle knock on the door that was already open. Hermione subconsciously held her breath at the sight of her Potions professor. Unlike earlier and his usual attire, Professor Snape ditched his billowing robes and Potions Master knee-length jacket. Instead, he was dressed in a plain white button-down shirt and black trousers. He was still wearing the same black dress shoes. Hermione's heart jumped again when she saw the curling of the corner of his lips. It was the closest thing to a smile. He wasn't frowning nor sneering. His face was calm.
"May I come in, Miss Granger?" he asked gently.
"Yes, Professor," she managed to say, not moving from her sitting position in the bed, her back was resting on the headboard. Leo was on her lap, still holding the book, but as soon as Professor Snape entered the room and sat on Ginny's bed, facing her, the little boy moved and went to the other bed.
"Dada, I miss you." He climbed on the older wizard's lap. Professor Snape welcomed the boy in his arms. Hermione, on the other hand, sat properly on the edge of her bed.
"Leo," he said gently, giving the boy a small smile. "Do you mind if I speak with your mother?"
Leo's smile widened and he nodded. "Then, we'll go home, Dada?"
Professor Snape shook his head lightly. "I'm afraid not. You are safe here with your mother," he explained patiently.
"You will stay here too, Dada?" asked the boy innocently.
Professor Snape gave the boy a hesitant look.
"Please, Dada. I don't want the bad guys to catch you... Please don't leave me and mummy..." The boy started to cry silently, clung to the professor's neck and buried his face on Professor Snape's shoulder. The older wizard stiffly wrapped his arms around the boy's tiny body.
"I... I will come back tomorrow, I promise," Hermione heard Professor Snape said solemnly.
Leo continued crying silently on the professor's shoulder.
"Leo, Mummy will be here with you," she called gently.
"Okay," Leo sniffed and pulled away, just enough to look at the professor's face. "You will come back tomorrow, Dada?"
Professor Snape nodded. "I promise. Now, I have to speak to your mummy. Will you be all right here?"
"Where are you going, Dada?" asked Leo, now calm.
"In the library. Is it all right?" asked Professor Snape.
Leo nodded. "Okay..." Then, he settled on Hermione's bed.
Professor Snape stood up and turned to her. "The library, Miss Granger, if it is all right?"
Hermione smiled tentatively and nodded. "I'll send in Aunt Ginny," she told Leo before leaving the room.
On their way to the library, Hermione saw Ginny in the hallway, speaking to her mother. She asked her if she could join Leo in the room. Ginny quickly and happily agreed.
Professor Snape opened the library for her and she muttered her thanks after entering. He closed the door and warded it non-verbally.
Hermione sat on the nearest couch and Professor Snape took the wingback chair directly across from her.
She folded her hands in her lap and fixed her eyes on the arm of Professor Snape's chair.
"Miss Granger," he began in the gentlest tone Hermione has ever heard from him.
She summoned her Gryffindor courage to meet his obsidian eyes.
"I know you have some questions. You may ask me anything," he said with encouragement; a kind of encouragement she never heard from him.
Hermione inhaled. "Professor, I saw Leo's birth certificate in the bag... He was born in 2002 and his parents... erm, got married in 2000. Do you think, there was some sort of Marriage Law? If not, why do you think you and I ended up married in the future?"
"Miss Granger, to answer your first question, I don't think there was a Marriage Law. Albus and I, together with some Order members, have read the newspaper clippings from the future. As for your second question... I may have courted you before you turned twenty-one."
Hermione's mouth formed a small 'o' and her heart started beating so fast. She gripped the arms of her chair, afraid that she might faint as her knees started to feel weak. Professor Snape? Courting me? What? How?
"I know that for you, it sounds impossible right now, Hermione," he said gently.
Hermione's heart jumped at the sound of his voice, calling her first name.
"But I am... open to the possibility of courting you in the future when you are of age and much matured," he admitted.
"Professor - "
"I beg your pardon?" she asked carefully. Did I hear it right?
"Please, Hermione. Call me 'Severus'. I feel uncomfortable hearing you calling me by my title, knowing that a boy who calls us his parents is just waiting for us in the other room," he explained carefully.
"Oh. Erm, right. Severus... What made you certain, or at least, believe that you might be interested in me in the future?" she asked hesitantly.
"Hermione, I am sorry that I was cruel to you and everyone at school. But I have to maintain a reputation; a Death Eater reputation. Otherwise, the Dark Lord's loyal servants would have questioned my loyalty even before the Dark Lord came back. My Slytherins, they're not all that bad, but some of them are children of the Dark Lord's members of the inner circle. One mistake, one kindness to any Gryffindor and Muggleborn and I would be questioned."
Hermione, to her surprise, processed the professor's words quickly. Something similar to his explanation to her now was her explanation to Harry and Ron last year when her two best friends insisted that 'Snape's evil'. "I understand, Professor - er, Severus. Sorry."
Severus nodded and gave her a small smile. "I am glad. You are a bright and compassionate person, Hermione. You are not... difficult to be with."
"Thank you," she replied sincerely. "Although, it is still hard to believe that you would... marry someone like me in the future, not because of how you treated me in school, but..." She trailed off.
"What is it?" he asked gently, with a concerned look.
She met his eyes once more. "I heard Sirius and Remus talking about your former fiancee," she admitted and Severus's face hardened. "I... I've heard enough to believe that you loved her - still loves her, so after that, it never occurred into my mind that you would end up marrying someone else."
Severus sighed heavily. "Remind me not to kill Black after this," he said calmly. "Hermione... it's... complicated. And I am not ready to tell you everything. Not yet."
"I see," was all she managed to say with a hint of sadness.
"No, you don't." He was still calm. He rested his elbows in his lap, clasped his hands and looked down, probably thinking how to explain things better. Then, he ran a hand in his hair before meeting her eyes. "Hermione, take it this way... I am starting to see something in you that will make me court you in the future and I want to kill Black for speaking about my past because he was an ungrateful mutt. Still is."
Hermione accepted this, so she nodded. She felt a small amount of joy in her heart, knowing that the only wizard whoever stole her heart was starting to notice her and was considering courting her years from now.
"Thank you," she heard him say. "Well, we should probably talk about Leo."
She met his eyes with a smile. "Yes. About Leo."