- Nothing Happened -
Kestrel Sempai: FanFiction
When I became aware of Hermione/Snape stories, my first thought was that there was no way to write such a thing and keep the characters true to what JKR had already released. It bothered me so much that approximately 8 hours later, this was the result - contrived circumstances and all.

She screamed as something gripped her leg. Reaching for her wand but not finding it, Hermione kicked hard with her other leg and was rewarded with what sounded like fine bones breaking and a gasp of pain. Her leg was now free, and as she scrambled around in the darkness searching the ground for her wand, she heard a hoarse voice swear, “Fifty points from Griffindor.”

She stopped where she was.

“Professor Snape?”

“Unfortunately, yes. And I’ll thank you to refrain from causing me any more bodily harm, if you don’t mind.”  There was the sound of tearing cloth and movement from her right side. “If you will be so kind as to stay still, I believe I may have located my wand.”  There were more sounds of movement, although they sounded wrong, as if Snape were dragging himself instead of crawling or walking.

Thinking of walking, Hermione stood up and was promptly knocked back down on her rear when her head impacted with the low ceiling.

“As you have just discovered,” Snape said, as Hermione slowly raised herself into a sitting position, “we appear to be in a rather confined space.”  His voice was now behind her.  Suddenly she could see, at least a little bit, as a faint golden light barely illuminated the area in front of her, casting her shadow in fuzzy relief against a solid wall of rocks and sand.  She turned, raising her hand to shield her eyes as Snape lowered his glowing wand. 

Or what was left of it.  The segment he placed by his side was only a few inches long.  And even though the light was feeble and barely reached the short distance between them, it was more than enough for her to see the damage done to Snape’s leg.  The shin had an odd angle to it, a glint of white hinted at exposed bone, and a dull red smear on the ground reached beyond the small circle of light.

“Your leg,” she said, crawling over to sit beside him.

“Will heal,” he answered sternly, seeing the shock in her eyes.  “It will, however,” he said, as he carefully straightened the damaged limb, hissing through clenched teeth, “require some attention at the moment.”  He leaned back against the wall, pushing the pain away into a small corner of his mind.  The light from the wand tip flickered, and he saw Hermione stare at it in fright.

“Miss Granger,” he said, in an effort to keep her attention.  She continued to stare at the wand tip.  At least she didn’t seem seriously hurt.  Her robe was half ripped off her shoulder, and there were scratches and bruises already starting to form. He assumed the blood on her temple was a result of her encounter with the ceiling. Other than that, she appeared to be whole.  Which left them a little bit of hope.

“Miss Granger, give me the three ingredients of the Wit-Sharpening potion.”

She looked at him, but he could tell she did not see him.

“Now, Miss Granger, or I will take another 50 points from Griffindor.”

Hermione blinked and said, “Ground scarab beetle, cut up ginger root, and armadillo bile.”

Snape stared at her.

“Sir,” she finished. 

He nodded. “Good enough. I feared you might not have bothered to learn that one, seeing as how you likely feel you have no need for it.”  He leaned forward over his injured leg as she scowled at him, apparently back to herself. “Now hold up that light while we still have it so I can tend to this.”

Hermione gently lifted the wand tip over Snape’s leg, and then quickly turned her head away, moving the light off his body as she did.

Snape sighed and moved her hand and the light back over his leg.  Turning back, but keeping her eyes off his injury, Hermione saw the last two fingers of his other hand wrapped tightly together in a strip of cloth from his robe.  Thinking back, she cringed.

“I’m, I’m sorry about your hand, Professor,” she said, steeling herself to finally look at his leg.

“Indeed.  I trust you don’t treat all of your teachers with such physicality.” 

He had set the leg, and was now wrapping it with strips he tore from the bottom of his robe.  While still unsightly, it looked as if the bleeding had stopped.  For all the pain he must have been in, Snape worked quietly and precisely, only stopping to lean back once he was completely done with the task at hand.  He closed his eyes, slowed his breathing, forced a calmness to overlay the throbbing pain that was his leg and hand.

Hermione watched him, seeing the tension ease from his temples, the shoulders relax, the breathing steady.  He was certainly less imposing like this, and she found herself slightly impressed that he had the skill to do such a thing given the circumstances.

The light flickered again, this time more violently. She lowered the wand tip and cupped it in her other hand, as if she could somehow protect the failing glow. When she looked up, his eyes were open, staring at her.  Eyes that were somehow different from any other time when they had looked down at her. Then the light flickered again, bringing a shadow across his face. When it left, whatever she thought she had seen was gone, and Professor Snape said, “Instead of coddling it, you might use what remaining magic is left to perhaps find a us a way out of here?”

She didn’t bother with an answer, and instead turned her back on him and began to crawl to the opposite side of the area.  She didn’t get far before coming to a solid wall of crumbled rock, dirt and sand.  Moving to her left, she slowly followed the wall, stopping her crawl to run her free hand lightly along the wall every now and then, feeling for an opening or breath of air, something that would indicate a way out. Sometimes her shoulder would twinge in pain but she ignored it. All too soon, Hermione found herself back by Snape’s side.

Still silent, she moved around him, being careful not to touch his injured leg, and continued her exploration.  A small gap in the wall gave her hope, but it was extinguished as she again found herself enclosed on all sides.  The ceiling in this area, however, was high enough for her to stand up.  Holding the light as high as she could, she felt a heaviness settle inside her stomach as she looked upon what had been the entrance to this cave. 

Placing her hands on the rocks that blocked her way, she remembered running for her life from the Death Eaters. 

***

She had been on her way back from Hogsmeade, skirting the edge of the Forbidden Forest when she felt she was being followed.  Looking back and seeing the masked and robed figures, she had panicked and run into the Forest, images from the Death Eaters’ march at the World Quidditch Cup flashing through her mind. She felt curses fired on either side of her as she ran.

Stopping suddenly behind a large tree, she drew her wand. Pivoting around the tree, she aimed her wand and shouted.  The robed figure fell to the ground in convulsions. Shocked, Hermione stumbled away from the tree, staring at the now still figure on the ground.

A curse burned the tree on her other side. Terrified,  and she turned and ran straight into Snape who was just lowering his wand.  He grabbed her and pushed her behind him as he fired a curse at the Death Eater. Then he shoved her in a different direction and the two of them ran into a part of the Forest where she had never been.   The tall trees became even more dense, the ground more rocky.  Hermione focused on keeping her footing, vaguely aware that Snape continued to fire back at the men closing in on them.  As they neared a rocky outcropping, Snape grabbed her arm and dragged her into a cave. He didn’t create a light, seeming to know where he was going.  They wound their way for several minutes before stopping.

“Stay here,” he said, as he left her and heading back toward the mouth of the cave.  Still trying to take it all in, Hermione had started to follow him when the world was turned upside down and everything went black.

***

Until she had been awakened by Snape grabbing her leg.  An action she had rewarded him with by breaking two of his fingers.  Somehow she felt lucky having only lost 50 points over the incident.

Sighing, Hermione headed back toward Snape, crawling slower than before as the pain in her shoulder became more persistent.  The wand tip had become a faint, constant flicker, as if struggling for breath.  When she reached Snape’s side, she answered his questioning gaze with a shake of her head.

“We’re completely blocked in,” she said, sitting down beside his uninjured leg. The wand tip momentarily brightened and then darkened forever.

“I see,” he said, and Hermione smothered a most inappropriate giggle.  She felt a bit light headed.  Maybe she had bumped her head a bit more severely than she thought.

They sat in silence for a while. Hermione found herself straining to see him, even though there was no way she could.  It was beginning to frighten her, thinking her eyes were closed and opening them again and again to complete darkness.  She needed something to focus on.

“Thank you,” she said, hoping and dreading to have a conversation with him. He was her professor, a teacher at Hogwarts, master of potions and some said most of the Dark Arts, a former Death Eater, and often times tormentor of her and her friends. And the only other person here with her at this time, in this place.

“For what?” he answered, his voice for once seemingly less full of the distain he always seemed to address her with.

“For helping … for saving me,” she said, finding the words difficult to say to this man, even here and now.

Snape was silent for a moment, then he said, “You are welcome.”

Hermione half-smiled in the darkness.

“Lets try not to make it a regular occurrence, shall we?” he finished, and she nodded, then, realizing he couldn’t see her, said, “Yes, yes of course.”

Silence.

“How’s your leg?” Hermione asked, giving in to the need for distraction again.

“Still broken,” he answered, “as are my fingers. Now if you don’t mind, a moment of silence might help to ease the pain.”

Hermione  nodded to herself and looked down. She held her hands below her face, knowing she was clenching and opening them and not seeing them at all. Without her wand, she felt completely helpless.  And while she had been in danger before, especially since coming to Hogwarts and becoming friends with Harry, some how all of those times paled in comparison.  There was always a way out then. Some how, some way, they would always make it.  Here, now, she wasn’t so sure.  She didn’t want to die like this.

“We are not going to die, Miss Granger,” Snape said, his voice loudly shattering the silence.  And while it usually grated on her nerves, Hermione was thankful to hear it again.

“By now, I will have missed a rather important appointment, therefore leading to a search.  They will find us, we will be rescued, and you will have a wonderful tale to tell your little friends about how you beat up that evil Potions Master.” His voice twisted into mockery, and she found herself wanted to defend him.

“You’re not evil.”

Silence.

“What makes you say such a thing?” he asked, his voice suddenly soft.

“Dumbledore trusts you,” she answered, matching his volume.

Again, silence.

“And I trust Dumbledore.” She couldn’t think of what else to say, wanting desperately for him to continue talking to her, even if it meant mocking her, anything to fill the empty darkness around them.

“And if Dumbledore told you to walk out the Observatory window, would you trust him?”  She could hear the emphasis he placed on that word, and she wanted to throw it back in his face.  But she also honestly thought about what he had said.

After a moment, she said, “Yes”.

“Then you’re not as smart as you think you are.”

“I trust Dumbledore’s judgment and Dumbledore trusts you,” she said again.

“And as an extension of that trust, so do you?” Snape asked, the sneer evident in his voice.

Hermione hesitated.  She couldn’t see his face, but she knew he was looking straight at her.

“I trust you to use me to further your own ends, which I believe to be for the greater good.”  She paused for breath, annoyed at how small her voice sounded in the thin air. “Eventually”.

“How very generous of you,” Snape replied. He, too, sounded weaker.

“Well it would be a lot easier to trust you if you weren’t so mean all the time, “ Hermione snapped. “Why do you hate me so much?”

“Because you remind me of her,” Snape said, surprised he would voice such an emotion aloud.  He must have lost more blood than he originally thought. “You have the same admiration of your own intellect, the haughtiness of superiority brought on by massive book-knowledge and little practical application. The same mudblood running through your veins.”

Hermione knew better than to ask who he was talking about. She didn’t want to take any chance of stopping the flow of words.

“I don’t care about that,” she said. “I can say mudblood just as easily as you can.”

“I know.”

There was a pause and then a quick intake of breath as she caught on. “You do it to get at Ron,” she said, realizing again how manipulative Snape could be.

He started to laugh and tried to stop as it turned into a hacking cough. “In point of fact, I’m far more interested in seeing Mr. Potter out of line than Mr. Weasley, although I find it amusing that you think of one before the other.”

“I don’t … that’s not … I mean,” Hermione stuttered.

“Please, spare me an explanation of teenage relationships.  I have no wish to know the intricacies of your little ragtag group.”

“You used me,” she said, anger in her voice. “Again.”

Snape smiled in the darkness. “You are quite reliable in a sense, Miss Granger.  Given any lesson, you are sure to study and master it.  It is, in it’s own way, a useful thing.”

“That’s why you assigned our class the essay on werewolves.  You knew once I’d read the book I would recognize those characteristics in Professor Lupin.”

“As I said, a useful thing.”

“I don’t understand.  Did you think I would tell everyone that he was a werewolf? You want people to know about his condition and yet you help him hide it with a potion. That doesn’t make any sense.”

“From your point of view, I supposed it does not.  Rest assured, however, that I have quite specific reasons for my actions, none of which need to be explained to my students.”

Hermione was silent.  She had heard from Harry a little of what he had seen, of how Snape had been bullied by Harry’s father, Sirius and Lupin while they were students at Hogwarts.  It didn’t make her like Snape, or even feel that it gave him an excuse to behave the way he did.  Mostly, she just felt a bit sorry for him, although she would never say such a thing to anyone.  Her momentary anger gone, she felt cold. Struggling with her tattered robe, she tried to wrap it around her shoulders, but quickly stopped at the pain in her shoulder.

Snape could hear her moving, heard her whimper with pain and then stop.

“What’s wrong with your arm?” he asked.  While he had no particular liking for the girl, he did not want her intentionally harmed.

“It’s nothing,” she answered, sitting still again.

“Give me your hand,” he ordered.

“It’s really nothing. I must have knocked it against a rock or something. It’s fine.”  She was completely still beside him in the darkness, and he couldn’t tell from her voice alone how she was sitting or he would have taken her hand on his own.

“Give me your hand, Miss Granger, it is not a request.”

There was a pause, then he felt her lightly touch his arm, and move down the sleeve to place her hand in his.   Her fingers were cold, although the palm still felt warm, a good sign.  As much effort as he was having to put into packaging the pain from his leg, it left little of his mental resources to block her thoughts and fear.  And while he did truly believe they would be found, he hoped it would be in time to save both of their lives.  Despite her bravado and brains, the girl was still fragile, far more so than he.

Holding her hand in one of his, he slowly felt along her arm with his other hand, working his way up to her shoulder, seeing her flesh and feeling her bones with his fingertips. Everything seems to be unharmed, aside from the occasional scratch, and one particularly nasty cut along the inside of her forearm.  Lighting rubbing the skin on either side of the cut, he felt that it wasn’t deep enough to be concerned about. She trembled, and he felt the goose bumps raise the hairs on her outside of her arm. He slowly moved upward, going over her upper arm, feeling the warmth of it beneath her thin shirt sleeve.

“Professor …” her words caught in her throat.  For such a harsh man, his touch was amazingly gentle. On the few days when he would demonstrate the creation of a potion in class, Hermione always found herself watching his hands, how delicately he would handle the bottle and various ingredients.  Pouring exact amounts of liquids without measuring, handling the most delicate items with grace. She felt the goose bumps on her arms and a flush of warmth take over her face.  For once, she was glad of the darkness that hid her from his sight.

Suddenly pain pierced though her shoulder and she cried out, trying to move out of his grasp. He raised his good leg and used his knee to block her forward movement, his hand dropping her hand and instead reaching around her waist to stop her from moving away.

“Miss Granger, stop!” he commanded, using his other hand to hold her opposite shoulder, so she was effectively surrounded by him.

She struggled harder, the pain in her shoulder becoming more intense.

Snape held her tightly, trying to stop her from moving away from him.  If she fled into the darkness, he would loose the chance to help her.  He should have done a more thorough examination of her while they still had the light.  From what he could tell, she must have a fragment of something that had been blasted by the Cruciatus Curse lodged in her robe.  When she tried to pull the robe around her, it had momentarily came in contact with her shoulder.  And now, during his examination, whatever it was must be directly touching her.  Unless she stopped struggling, there was no way he would be able to find it and remove it. 

He puller her closer to him and put his mouth by her ear, “Hermione! Be still!”

At the sound of her first name, she paused, still straining away from him, her shoulder and side a flaming mass of pain.

Snape took a chance and removed his arm from around her waist.  In one swift movement, he tore through her robe and shirt, splitting the garments down the middle of her back.  The shock of what he was doing momentarily eclipsed the fact that the pain was gone, and Hermione moved to gather her clothes around her.

“Wait,” he said quietly, as he ran his hands through the garments. He gave a gasp of pain as he brushed what felt like a lump of dried mud.  Steeling himself, he picked it up and flung it away from them as far and as quickly as he could. They both heard it strike the far wall and fall to the ground. Taking a moment to file this new pain away with the old, Snape was suddenly very aware of what he had done, even though he couldn’t see the results.

“Let me check that there isn’t any more of it,” he said, although it came out as a more of a question than a statement.  Hermione, still caught between his bent leg and the rest of him, nodded to herself, holding the remains of her shirt across her chest.  When he didn’t move, she realized he was waiting for her answer, and managed a weak “Yes.”

She felt him move through her torn clothing and then pull it back from her shoulders, trying to cover her exposed back. More than once, she felt the warmth of his hands brush against the her skin as he tried unsuccessfully to fix her shirt and robe back in place. 

Muttering under his breath, Snape gave up and ripped one of the front panels off his own robe.  Holding it lengthwise, he wrapped it around Hermione, finding her hands in the darkness and closing them over the ends of the strip of cloth that now separated them.

She held his hands in hers for a moment, and then held onto the strip of robe instead. In the absence of the intense pain, she felt extremely light-headed. As he leaned back away from her, he started to lower his leg, essentially freeing her completely from his touch.  Reaching out, she wrapped her arms around his knee and held his leg to her chest, using it as a support, not caring what he would think, knowing only that she needed something to hold on to.  Everything had happened so fast and so intensely that she was finally overwhelmed. She put her forehead against his knee and cried.

And he let her.  Leaning back against the wall, Snape felt her tears soak into his pants.  The pain in his leg had subsided to a dull roar which left him a few more resources with which to block all the emotions pouring out of the girl before him. Fear, pain, longing, confusion. As he blocked what he could, Snape gave thanks that he was no longer a teenager.

Any of the cutting remarks that sprang to mind he pushed aside. He had made the decision when he saw her run by in the Forest followed by the Death Eaters that he would protect her.  And while their situation was not ideal, it was far better than if the Dark Lord’s servants had captured her, for Voldemort knew Hermione was a close friend of Harry Potter’s, which put her in more danger than she knew.  A danger Snape knew far too well.

The emotional torrent having run its course, Hermione lifted her head, sniffling. She felt something brush her cheek and a handkerchief settled on her shoulder. She grimaced and took it to dry her face and blow her nose, once again thankful for the darkness that hid her from him.

“You may return that after you have thoroughly washed it,” he said, his voice not unkind.

“Yes, sir,” she answered, suddenly extremely tired.

Letting go of Snape’s knee, she felt something should be said, but had no clue as to what was appropriate.  This kind of situation had not come up in any of her studies or books. 

Wanting very much to lie down, Hermione turned, meaning to put some distance between Snape and herself.  In reality, she ended up perpendicular to him so that when she lay back, her head ended up on his chest. As she struggled to rise, feeling the anxiety and fear start to over take her again, she felt his hand upon her shoulder. Not pushing or pulling or moving her at all, merely there. And as much as it confused her, his touch also calmed her.  After a moment, she laid her head back down upon his chest.  She felt his muscles contract, and then relax.  A small part of her was extremely relieved to know she wasn’t the only one who found this situation ... complex.

Feeling the warmth of his body and the gentle rise and fall of his chest as he breathed, Hermione found herself drifting away. She tried to keep her eyes open, but the darkness was still complete, and it was so much easier to just leave them closed.

Again, feeling that something should be said, Hermione breathed a final “Thank you” before succumbing to exhaustion and falling asleep.

Snape heard her breathing slow, felt the weight of her head grow as she completely relaxed.  It was likely she was exhausted from her ordeals, although the lack of oxygen could also be getting to her.  He was finding it harder to concentrate and knew that he, too, was being affected.

Even though he couldn’t see her, he imagined her lying there, frail and abused.  No one so young should ever feel the Cruciatus Curse. And yet, he thought, perhaps she will be stronger for it.  As most of the Hogwarts' staff knew, difficult times lay ahead, and the children in the halls would not be exempt from what was to come.

“Fifty points for Griffindor,” he said to the darkness.

Knowing of nothing else to do, he rested his head on the wall and closed his eyes.

***

Hermione felt something grasp her leg and as she struggled to consciousness, she raised her other leg to kick … and paused.  Opening her eyes, she immediately shut them again for everything was far too bright.  The grip was removed from her leg and a familiar voice said, “Sorry about that, Hermione.  Guess Crookshanks was in a hurry to see you.”

Opening her eyes more slowly, Hermione saw Harry holding her cat on one side of the bed and a rather ragged looking Ron sitting in a chair on the other side.  She smiled, taking in the clean, open space of the school’s hospital room. Gingerly sitting up, she held out her hands for Crookshanks, who fairly leaped out of Harry’s arms at the invitation.  Hermione held the cat close, burying her face in his welcoming fur, feeling her hands tingle as he purred and purred.  She looked up again, letting it truly sink in that she was home. And safe.

“You okay?” Ron asked, looking anxious.  He had dark circles under his eyes and his clothes looked rumpled, as if he hadn’t changed in days.

Hermione smiled and nodded.

“Madam Pomfrey said you were pretty beat up when they brought you in,” Harry said, sitting down at her side, petting Crookshanks.  He looked at her over the top of her his glasses, obviously wanting to ask her something.

She cut him off by exclaiming “Snape!” Ron and Harry exchanged glances while Hermione scanned the rest of the hospital room.  Other than herself, Harry and Ron, and another student two beds down, the ward was empty.

“Professor Snape, is he okay,?” She asked feeling fear rise in her stomach and her shoulders begin to tense.

“He’s fine, Hermione,” Harry said. “He left the ward two days ago.”

“What are you so worried about him for?” Ron asked. “It’s his fault you’re in here, the bloody bastard.”

Hermione started at the venom in Ron’s voice. She shook her head.

“No, I mean, yes, but no, that’s not how it was.” Both boys stared at her.

“Nothing happened,” she said, rather more forcefully than she intended. Inside, she struggled with how much to tell them of what had actually happened.  It’s not that she had anything to hide, it’s just that she wasn’t sure she had anything to tell either.

She was saved from further explanation by the arrival of Madam Pomfrey who shooed the boys out, insisting Hermione still needed rest.  She made the concession that Crookshanks could stay, and that Harry and Ron could come back to see Hermione tomorrow.

Easing the girl back down onto the bed, Madam Pomfrey fussed about Hermione’s pillows and gave her a drink of something warm and bright purple.  Pushing the chair Ron had been using under the adjacent table, she shook her head.

“That boy was here all the time.  He’d only leave when I made him go eat a meal,” she said, looking at Hermione. 

“He was also here.  Gave me a few extra tidbits to help fix you up.  Not that he doesn’t care for the students, but this, this was …” Madam Pomfrey looked at Hermione a moment longer and then left without finding the word she was searching for.

Hermione rolled over on her side and felt Crookshanks nestled up against the small of her back. Feeling suddenly very sleepy, and suspecting the liquid she had just drunk, Hermione closed her eyes and it became dark.  She opened them up again, just to be sure, and then drifted off to sleep to the sound of Crookshanks deep purring.


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