Where Words Fail: Chapter 1

by Alena111

Hello, everyone! I am SO excited to start this story with you... I've been wanting to do a Snamione fic for so long, and now it's finally happening! Expect a slow burner... Like, VERY slow. But bear with me, you're in for a good one!

In a way, me writing as Snape is sort of like a writing exercise for me. He has such a unique personality that I think a lot of authors have a hard time capturing, so I honestly hope I do it justice (when the time comes, no Snape this chapter, sorry).

Please give me reviews! They're what give me the courage and initiative to keep writing, and I take my reviews to heart! If you love something, tell me, and I'll put more of it in the story. If you hate something, tell me, and I won't. If you have suggestions, tell me, and you may very well get what you wish!

***IMPORTANT*** This fic may end up being very musically influenced. I will reference certain songs and pieces that certain characters are playing... If you're interested, I can give you guys the names of the specific pieces I reference and you can listen along. Like, for example, in this chapter, Hermione plays a Schummann piece called Of Foreign Lands and People. Let me know if you guys want to know other songs further along in the story!

Without further review, let the story begin. :)
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"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to remain silent."

Victor Hugo
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"Come on, little dove," Her father only half-admonished while laughing.

"Yes, Papa," A young Hermione Granger giggled, once again settling down on the bench. Hermione treasured these moments more than any others, those she got to spend making music with her father.

Daniel Granger was a master of the piano all throughout his youth, and had always dreamt of doing it professionally. That is, before he was steered in the direction of dentistry by his peers and family members. He had always known what joy it was to bend melodies to his will, to sway emotions with a simple pressing of ivory keys.

As a result, his heart nearly stopped with joy and pride the day he found his little Hermy at the Perzina in their living room, poking curiously at the keys.

At 6 years of age, Hermione Granger, too, had developed a love and passion for the art of music, and it was an art that she quickly found that she excelled in. To her young mind, the piano was almost synonymous with the cold winter nights spent in front of the fire, listening to the calming melodies flowing from the fingertips of her father, those hours spent sitting at his side trying to shake herself from the clutches of sleep, lest she miss one note that might be played while she slept.

Now, at age 9, she smiled in contempt as she played the F major scale with finesse, her father gazing proudly. Hermione's mother stood at the door, beholding the lovely scene in front of her. A father and daughter, bonding over their mutual adoration for music.

Mr. Granger, upon noticing his wife's presence, turned to Hermione, asking, "Now, love, what are you going to play for us tonight?"

"Hmm…" Hermione had a wide range of songs that she loved to play for both of her parents, but the question was, which one to play? Contemplating thoroughly, her eyes flashed as she thought of the perfect piece.

As her father joined her mother and wrapped a loving arm around her waist, the two parents gazed proudly at their daughter as she began to play her favorite Schummann work.
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Not one year later, Hermione sat at that same bench, tears falling upon the untouched keys. Her mother stood alone at the door frame once more, a sympathetic and mutual welling in her eyes as she said, "Come on, darling, it's time to go." Holding out her hand to take hold of her daughter's, they entered the black car that awaited them.

It was a simple service, for Daniel Granger was a simple man. A handful of his most trusted friends and family were there, all mourning the life of the man with such a large heart. Highly ironic, considering the cause of death.

His aortic valve hadn't been working properly, which in turn caused a heart attack. The attack then led to a coma, one with which Daniel Granger never woke up from. The death was so sudden, so completely unexpected. The day he died was the day that Hermione changed forever.

Any composer or musician could tell you that a happy song could still be played in such a way that the listener could hear the pain that lies beneath. And that is exactly what happened to Hermione's once so happy songs. There was a true emptiness behind her notes that, despite how perfectly they were played, still could communicate exactly how broken she felt.
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Hermione had never been well liked by her peers in elementary school. There was always something for the children to tease her over, whether it be her strange name, the poofy hair, her bookworm-ish tendencies or her two buck teeth, there was always something. The teasing and mockery at school had already become a part of everyday life by the time her father died, but until that point, she had never cared. But now, without her father there to reassure her… the bullying had successfully made her feel hopelessly alone.

And on one fateful day, several days after her 11th birthday, one of her fellow schoolmates took the bullying too far.

Hermione had been in a hurry walking down the hall that led to the music room, arms full of sheet music. Ever since her father's passing, she had sought the comforting solitude of the empty music room nearly every day. It was quickly becoming habitual.

The anticipation of playing was beginning to fill her, when a girl several years her senior purposely rammed into her shoulder as she walked past. Her sheet music went flying, and with a horrified gasp, Hermione instantly fell to her knees, trying to regain some order amongst the stray papers.

But, sadly for her, the bully wasn't finished. She cast her eyes to the distraught girl on the floor, saying with just the right amount of malice, "Just what makes you think you're so much better than everyone else, Granger?"

Hermione did as she was always told by her parents to do, and wisely ignored her assailant. The older girl, not getting the reaction she would have liked, continued.

"You think you're so special, playing your music as if you had any real talent…" Hermione's clenched her fist tightly on the papers she was currently attempting to sort, the reddening of her cheeks giving her rage away.

"Ooh? Finally got a rise out of you, eh?" The bully paused, a malevolent smirk coming to her features. "What are you going to do, tell on me to your precious daddy?"

After years of baring the relentless teasing, this was the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back. Something instinctual took control, and Hermione sent her flying back into the wall with a wave of energy that she didn't know she possessed. Taking a moment to scramble off the floor and shake the dust from her shoulders, the girl shouted as she ran off, "You're such a freak!"

Hermione was mortified.

Did I… Did I do that? She thought. That's entirely impossible...
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But the impossible became possible the very next day, when a man with a rather large, white beard rang the doorbell at 32a North Street. He asked to speak to Hermione, and Mrs. Granger assumed that he was perhaps a representative of the school that had come to discuss the incident that her daughter had told her about. She invited him in, and said that her daughter would be down in just a moment.

It was a rather comical sight. A man who most would describe as looking as similar to Father Time as could be imagined, sitting directly opposite the very young, slightly shaken child, as her mother poured them both tea.

Hermione was suspicious. This man had not introduced himself, and he had this odd..."twinkle" in his eye. He had a look as if he was always one step ahead, and always knew something that you didn't. It made her uncomfortable.

The old man seemed to realize this, as his lips turned barely at the edges at his amusement.

She's very perceptive, this one... He mentally noted.

Now that everyone was seated, the man with the beard began to ask questions to Hermione. These were relatively normal questions to ask a child; the obligatory "How are your studies?" and "What is your favorite subject?"

The questions, however, ceased normalcy as his questions began to derail.

"Miss Granger, have you ever had things you couldn't explain happen around you? Strange occurrences, things that normal people cannot replicate?" Hermione nodded hesitantly, and her mother placing a warm, assuring hand on her knee. Mrs. Granger looked to the man inquiringly before speaking.

"Sir, it's very odd that you happen to mention that, actually. Another girl at school was teasing her just yesterday, when the strangest thing happened..." Mrs. Granger looked at Hermione. "Hermione insists that the other girl was "blown back", as if a gust of wind came in... The school tried to tell me it was a fist fight, but I know Hermione would have never done such a thing. She would never hurt a fly."

Albus took this information in, nodding his head as if this were the most normal thing in the world. Choosing his next words very carefully, he cleared his throat before speaking.

"I apologize profusely for my rudeness, Mrs. Granger. I believe it is about time that I introduce myself fully to you both. My name is Professor Albus Dumbledore, and I run a school. This school is intended for very special children like you," He glanced at the girl, who's eyes were quickly widening, "-Miss Granger, who possess talents that very few children possess."

Mrs. Granger spoke up, looking skeptical. "Special talents? What talents are you referring to, Mr. Dumbledore?"

His lips pressed together briefly before answering with an assured smile to the two women, "Mrs. Granger, Miss Granger, I am referring to magic."

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