Beta(s): hikorichan and adelaidearcher
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(Highlight to View) Prompt: Recently divorced Hermione Granger is hired by Minerva to be the new Muggle Studies professor. Severus steers clear of her, but is shocked when he overhears two staff one day discussing how he was the reason she and X got divorced.
Summary: A glimmer is all it takes to bring Hermione to Hogwarts, and our happy couple together.
Daily Prophet 20th June 2005
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry announces search for new Muggle Studies Professor for the new school year. Interested witches and wizards should send their curriculum vitae to Hogwarts' Headmistress Minerva McGonagall by 20th July. Headmistress McGonagall wishes to fill the recently vacated position by the start of the autumn term.
Hermione Granger read the article in the Daily Prophet as the train to London sped through the French countryside. She was on her way home, after a quick and quiet divorce from Viktor Krum. Four years of marriage had ended when they realised they both were in love with other people.
After the end of term at the Muggle School in which she had been teaching, Hermione packed up her things and left to return to England. She had no idea what she would do for work when she arrived, and then the Daily Prophet fell in her lap, almost miraculously. By the time the train arrived in London, she had two letters ready to send as soon as she got to the Owl Post office in Diagon Alley. The first was to Minerva requesting an interview for the post of Muggle Studies Professor. The second was to Luna to request the use of her spare bedroom for a few weeks; she hadn't told anyone she was coming back to England and it was sure to be a surprise.
Later that same week as she sat in the Longbottoms' garden watching Neville tend his many magical plants and sipping tea with Luna, an owl landed on the table in front of her.
"That looks like a Hogwarts owl," Luna observed dreamily.
Hermione took the heavy parchment envelope from the owl and offered it a bit of scone. Turning it over she saw the Hogwarts seal. She rushed to break it open and read the official looking letter it contained.
Dear Ms. Granger,
I am pleased to inform you that you have been accepted to the post of Muggle Studies Professor at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please report to my office on the 1st of August to begin discussion of your curriculum and to arrange your lodgings here at Hogwarts.
I hope you have a pleasant summer,
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Hermione looked up at Luna with a beaming smile. "I got the position!" she explained excitedly.
"That means you'll be teaching with me at Hogwarts," Luna said. "When do you have to report to Minerva?"
"First of August. Is that the usual time for teachers?" Hermione asked.
"It is. You may stay with Neville and me until then, if you wish. We've enjoyed having you as our guest," Luna replied. "We can go up to Hogwarts together."
Severus Snape, Potions Master and Deputy Headmaster, was walking down the corridor towards the staff room at Hogwarts when he heard voices coming from the other side of the slightly ajar staff room door.
"He's avoiding me, Fleur," Hermione's voice carried, "I've been teaching here for two months already and I can't even get him to have a conversation with me."
"Perhaps you should try a more direct approach," came Fleur's slightly accented reply.
"It is obvious that he feels for you. He does not avoid anyone else as he does you," Luna said softly.
"Severus is very private man, no less so now in the years since Voldemort's downfall," Minerva's voice came next.
"I left my unhappy marriage because all I could think of was Severus. There was one moment, at the Ministry Ball to celebrate the downfall of the Dark Lord, our eyes met across the room. There was something in his eyes, a spark or glimmer, and I felt attracted to him. I put it from my mind as part of the excitement.For years afterwards he has haunted my dreams and been the central figure in my sexual fantasies. I need to talk to him, to just have a conversation, him and me, to see if my feelings are totally unrequited or if they have any chance of being reciprocated. I am certain he despises me just as he did for all those years when I was his student." Hermione's voice was tight and he could hear the desperation in it.
He could not believe his ears. Hermione Granger, one third of the Golden Trio, bane of his existence while she was a student at Hogwarts and most recent addition to the Hogwarts staff had left her internationally famous husband because of him, Severus Snape. He had been avoiding her since the staff dinner on the night of her arrival. His traitorous body had reacted in a quite unseemly manner to the adult, very much woman, Hermione Granger in beautifully tailored robes showing curves in all the right places. In the years since he had last seen her, she had lost the look of a little girl and learned to tame her curls. In short, she was a woman and he wanted her as a man wants a woman. He could not take the chance of this sudden wave of desire being detected by the always astute witch, so he studiously avoided her.
Now it seemed she had come to Hogwarts for him, entirely for him, and because he had been acting like an embarrassed teenager with his first crush, she thought he despised her. He had to do something to set this to rights before they both spent years in this castle with the elephant in the room.
Striding purposefully towards the staff room door, he pushed it open. "Professor Granger, if I could have a word with you, in private, if you please," he asked in his silkiest voice.
Four sets of startled eyes stared at him, but he only paid attention to the caramel brown orbs in the face of the witch he fancied. He saw her gulp and waited for her reply.
"Of course, Professor Snape," she finally said after what seemed to Severus like hours, but was only seconds.
He turned and walked from the room, listening intently to the sound of her footsteps as she caught up with him. He said nothing as he continued to lead the way down the corridors towards where he knew Hermione's chambers were located.
"If it pleases you, I would appreciate having this conversation in your sitting room, over tea," he said when they stood outside the painting of a library, which he knew to be the entrance to her rooms.
She stepped forward and traced her wand along one of the books in the painting and suddenly it dissolved to show a comfortable looking sitting room: squashy couches and arm chairs in tasteful chocolate and cream colours, dark wood coffee and side tables, and a roaring fire in the grate,. He could not see what colour the walls were as every inch that wasn't door or fireplace was covered in bookshelves. This place was most certainly the sanctum of Hermione Granger… bookworm.
"Please have a seat," she gestured around her. "Twill," she called out. A house elf popped in and bowed deeply. "Tea for two, sandwiches, and whatever Professor Snape usually takes with his tea, please." The elf cracked out of the room before Hermione had even finished the last word.
She turned to face Severus, nervous to have him here, in her rooms, but unendingly curious about what he could possibly want to say to her, and mortified that he might have overheard what she had said to her friends in the staff room.
Hermione waited until Twill popped back in with the tray of tea things and then she sat across from Severus to pour the tea and wait for him to begin whatever it was he had come here to say.
"I heard what you and the other ladies were discussing in the staff room," he blurted, "and I think it is best if under the circumstances we dispense with formality and use each other's given names."
Hermione blushed scarlet to the very roots of her hair. "Eavesdropping is not polite," she said quietly. "I suppose you're here to tell me that I had you pegged correctly, that I am the bane of your existence, and you'd prefer it if I left you alone?" She said all of this very fast while staring down into her teacup.
"Hermione." The sound of her name from him brought her chin up and she stared at him. "I will concede that eavesdropping is not polite, but might I suggest," he added silkily, "to be sure the door is closed before broaching such topics of conversation so as to avoid being overheard in the future."
"Point taken, Severus," she replied curtly.
"I must be frank and assure you, Hermione," he said her name softly almost like he was savouring the chance to finally have it on his tongue, "that I do not despise you and that you are NOT the bane of my existence. Rather the opposite. When you arrived at Hogwarts all grown up, I was overcome with a reaction to you. It was unexpected and confusing, for you were previously my student, and I had trouble reconciling the student to the stunningly beautiful woman you have become." He was staring directly into her eyes as he said all of this.
"You can imagine my surprise then, at hearing that you came back to England, and pursued a teaching post here, at Hogwarts, simply to be closer to me. To see if I could desire you as you have been secretly longing for me." He paused and allowed his words to sink in.
Comprehension dawned in her eyes and it was a lovely thing to see. Severus loved to watch her expressive face, and while she may not have noticed it, he had been watching her from afar during required interactions, staff meetings, meals, and such.
"It would seem we have gotten off on the wrong foot," she said. "Perhaps we should begin again."
"I do hope so. You'll forgive me for being old fashioned, and do understand that my desire for you as a man desires a woman is indeed great." His eyes were smoldering black coals, his voice deliciously warm and inviting. "However, I desire to do the thing properly and that means that I shall ask you to accompany me to dinner in Hogsmeade next Saturday night."
Hermione smiled warmly at him. "Oh Severus, I'd be delighted."
They passed the rest of the evening in quiet conversation about their classes, likes, and dislikes, and long stretches of silence, broken only by the clink of tea cups or the crunch of a sandwich.
Six Months Later
Minerva McGonagall stood looking out at the grounds from her office window, her eyes following two of her staff as they walked hand in hand around the lake.
"Minerva, my dear, what has captivated your attention?" The query came from the portrait of her predecessor Albus Dumbledore.
"Severus and Hermione, strolling hand in hand around the lake," she replied, turning to look at the portrait's twinkling eyes and smiling face.
A large grin broke out on Albus's portrait's face, "About time Severus has a witch who will bring him profound happiness."