Since 1970 @francehufflepuff
Chapter 63

DISCLAIMER: I do not own Harry Potter.


Chapter 63:

February 14, 1996

(present time)

Hermione was re-reading the book she found in the Prince library nineteen years ago during her first visit. It was about a healing potion for the mind. Seeing Alice and Frank a few days ago for the very first time in that state was heartbreaking. She just couldn't accept the fact that there was no cure for their condition. Bellatrix Lestrange and the others tortured them to insanity. But if in the Muggle world they had effective treatments for mental illnesses, perhaps there could also be one in the magical world.

She was an aspiring healer. She was one of the best in her year then. She wouldn't stop until she tried hard.

It had been two weeks after the Final Battle, sometimes called The Battle at the Department of Mysteries.

That day, while Harry and Professor Dumbledore were duelling Voldemort (she no longer called him the Dark Lord), Minister Cornelius Fudge and his junior assistant, Percy Weasley, arrived and witnessed the scene. Minister Fudge swallowed his words and admitted to the public that Voldemort was indeed, back in June and had Cedric Diggory killed. He finally told the public that everything Albus Dumbledore said was true. Of course, Amelia, Moody, Tonks, and Kingsley attested as well. Even the head of the Department of Mysteries, Mr Arturius Brown.

Another good thing that happened that day was for the Weasleys. As soon as Fudge apologised to Harry and Professor Dumbledore for not believing them, and Percy realised that his family fought for what was right and that he was wrong, he approached his teary-eyed mother and father just on the other side of the Atrium. He walked to them and begged for their forgiveness like the prodigal son in a Muggle story. Bill silently watched his younger brother knelt in front of their parents. Hermione cried at the scene, too, but she was very happy for the Weasley family.

As for Umbridge, she was removed from Hogwarts and also investigated for using Blood Quill on the students. The headmaster quickly offered the DADA post to Remus again.

It had also been two weeks since she stopped attending classes. When Voldemort's body was collected by the Aurors to move it somewhere, Hermione asked Sev to take her home; to take her to Leo.

For two weeks, there were investigations and trials. Severus stayed at Hogwarts for work (when not summoned by the Ministry), and she stayed home with Leo. However, she was also called to the Ministry a few times, leaving Leo to Eileen. She was questioned about being Hermione Puckle and how she came to Hogwarts for the second time.

Even if she had proven her efforts during the First and Second Wizarding Wars, the Winzegamot still gave her a hard time. Her only consolation was that Fudge and Umbridge were no longer part of that, and Amelia's former boss, Rufus Scrimgeour, became the interim Chief Warlock and Minister for Magic. Albus Dumbledore was asked to come back as Chief Warlock and Supreme Mugwump. However, the headmaster was also busily attesting for Severus and Lucius, and other investigations.

It was a shock for Ron when he learned that almost his entire family knew about Leo and Hermione's real identities and that they were all working together to fight against Voldemort. He was offended at hurt at first. He thought Harry and Hermione didn't trust him enough, but Molly stepped in. Mrs Weasley told Ron that she was the one who told Hermione to keep things from him. The fewer people knew about Leo, the safer he was.

Neville, Lavender, the D.A. members, and the rest of the Hogwarts student body were shocked upon learning that it was her second time attending Hogwarts. She had not seen Neville yet after she left Hogwarts, but Sev said he wanted to see his godmother. He wanted to meet her as Hermione Puckle, one of his parents' best friends. Sev also admitted that he had gotten soft towards the students and he was trying his best not to scare them.

Of course, she told the Ministry (the public) that even before 1991, she already had a recollection of her old life - before she was cursed to infancy. Hermione, Sev, and the Order also made up a story that Hermione and Severus rekindled their romance in 1990, and she gave birth to their son, Leontes Robert Snape, later that year. They also said that Leo was raised by the Puckles and the Grangers.

Just last weekend, Hermione took Leo to the castle to visit Severus. This time, they waited at the front gates for Hagrid to let them in.


February 10, 1996

(four days ago)

"Mummy, is that Hagrid?"

Hermione waved at her half-giant friend. Her other hand was holding Leo's. "Yes, sweetheart, that's Hagrid. Were you friends with him?"

"Not yet, Mummy. James was, though. Unca Harry and Aunt Ginny used to visit him here once a month."

"Maybe this time you can be friends and visit him when you're staying with Dada."

"'Ermione!" the half-giant greeted as he opened the gates. "I reckon this is little Leo?"

"Hey, Hagrid. Yes, this is Leo."

"Hello, Mr Hagrid," said Leo politely, offering his tiny hand for Hagrid to shake.

Hagrid held Leo's tiny hand with three fingers and shook it gently. "It's nice to meet ya, young Mr Snape! Come on. Your friends are excited to see you.

True enough, Harry, Ron, Ginny, Neville, and the twins were waiting at the entrance. Harry and the Weasleys were waving at them, calling for Leo. But Neville...

Neville was looking at her rather emotionally and he was walking toward her slowly. It was as if he was studying her appearance. She was no longer in her 16-year-old body. She no longer had any reason to de-age herself. She was contented in her 36-year-old look.

"Hey, Neville," she smiled at him.

He returned her smile. "You look different."

"It's good to see you... and I'm glad that we could finally tell you. I was there when you were born. Alice chose me to be your godmother," she said rather emotionally.

Neville swallowed but looked happy. "Will you tell me... or show me memories of my parents, too? Harry said you were friends with his dad, too..."

"Of course!" she replied promptly and pulled him into a hug. "I'm your godmother. You can ask me anything."

Neville hugged her as well, and Hermione patted his back as he cried silently.

They arrived at lunchtime and had time to say hello to their other friends at the Gryffindor table before going to Sev's quarters. After lunch, Hermione and Leo walked around the school grounds. Leo was very happy to finally go out of the castle without fearing 'the bad guys would catch' him. Hermione and Severus were also at ease.


February 14, 1996

(present time)

Around lunchtime, Hermione left the library to prepare food for her and Leo. Eileen was taking a break from taking care of Leo, letting Hermione spend more time with her son. For that, she was thankful. Eileen was back at Prince Manor, where Hermione could borrow as many books as she could, and Leo could run around with the house elves.

She found her son flying with Sirius outside. Since she returned to their Blackpool home, Sirius, who was also alone at Grimmauld Place, had been visiting her when she and Leo weren't visiting her parents - the Puckles.

Sometimes, Sirius would stay for lunch. Sometimes, he would not, and instead, he'd go to the Ministry and have lunch with his brother. He had stopped chasing Amelia, believing that the DMLE head was busy after everything that happened. His cousin, Tonks, on the other hand, got a couple of dinner invitations from Remus in Hogsmeade. And for that, she was glad. There would be a Teddy Lupin born in 1998, if ever. Hermione was still hoping that Amy would finally admit to Sirius that she still loved him.

When she started moving around the kitchen, she heard a faint pop of Apparition outside, followed by Leo's loud voice. She smiled, realising her wizard was home. A few seconds later, the backdoor opened.

She turned around and saw her wizard removing his outer robes. "What are you doing here on a Wednesday, Professor Snape?"

Severus gave her a flirtatious look and Conjured a bunch of roses. "Wouldn't want to spend Valentine's Day without seeing the love of my life." He handed her the flowers and kissed her hungrily. Hermione's legs felt like jelly, and she swore she could have fallen on her butt had Severus not been holding her against him tightly.

"Hmmm," she moaned when they broke the kiss. "That was a good appetiser," she winked.

"Too bad you won't get that kind of appetiser every day," he teased. "Come back to Hogwarts with me. You and Leo. You can train with Poppy. Now that the evil wizard's gone, poor Poppy wants to travel to the continent and leave Hogwarts for good."

A few days ago, Madam Pomfrey sent her a letter of invitation to train with her if she was interested in being the next school nurse. While she wanted to be with Sev and Leo every day, and it would be nice to live at the castle where she could see her friends until they finished their education, being a nurse wasn't her endgame. She wanted to be a healer. A full-fledged healer at St. Mungo's.

"Come on, dear," he encouraged. "Just two years until I find someone fit to be Potions Master, and then you can go back to St. Mungo's, and I'll stay at home and do my research... and probably brew for Black."

She raised an eyebrow. "I'm sorry, I must've misheard you. You'll probably brew for who?"

Severus chuckled and caressed her face. "Black. Sirius. He's been thinking of buying J. Pippins' Potions Shop in Hogsmeade. Dear old Pippins is leaving, too, now that the war is over."

"People are leaving to explore the world, it seems," she commented. "So, Sirius wants to be a businessman now?"

"He can easily provide Lupin the Wolfsbane Potion even when he's not at the school."

She smiled and hugged her fiance. "I'm so happy we're friends with them again."

"So, are you going back to Hogwarts?" he asked. When she still didn't answer, he gave her a pleading look. "Please, my dear... Let me be with you and Leo. I'll do anything."

"Anything?" she teased.

"Anything," he replied solemnly.

She gave him a serious look. "Help me with my research."

"That's what's keeping you busy here?" he asked.

She nodded. "Yeah. I want it done as soon as possible. And anyway, I really need your help because you're the best Potions Master I know."

Sev chuckled. "You already know that I'll do anything for you, dear. What is it?"

"I found a book in the Prince family library many years ago... During my first visit. I just remembered about it when I visited Alice and Frank at the hospital... It's about a healing potion for the mind..."

Sev gave her a surprised look. "I haven't heard of that."

"The books in your family library are very old. Some of the spells and potions in those books haven't been used in centuries," she explained.

"So, there's a way to treat Alice and Frank?" he asked, hope evident on his face.

"Still researching," she said. "Help me?"

"We've established that already. I'll do anything for you," he replied affectionately. "So, when are you going to pack your bags?"

She laughed and yanked him for a kiss. "Give me a few hours, yeah?"

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