Disclaimer: I’m just having a bit of fun here and not making any money either. Bummer!
Thanks go to CocoaChristy for beta reading this for me.
This is a response to the Potter Place Winter Prompt Challenges. Details at the end of chapter.
Sitting down with a thud, Hermione glanced at the parchment in her hand again and nearly checked it for validity. Severus Snape had written her a letter! For reasons unknown to her, both hands began shaking slightly. What would he say? Surely he wouldn’t send a letter to berate her after she’d finished her apprenticeship with him. When he’d given her the final series of tests to make certain she’d recalled everything from the past year, he’d said that she’d done satisfactorily and would receive an owl from the Ministry that she’d completed her coursework.
She’d already received that owl the previous day and had celebrated with Harry and Ron the night before. Had Snape changed his mind and mailed the Ministry to let them know? Shaking her head, she whispered, “No, he’s serious about his work and the training he gave me. He wouldn’t have passed me at all if I hadn’t earned it.”
But what did he mean by sending her a letter? Opening it slowly, her heartbeat increased, and her palms dampened slightly. A spiky scrawl that could only belong to him graced the page.
I trust you’ve received your missive from the Ministry approving you to work in the Potions field already. I decided to wait until you were completely finished with your apprenticeship before sending this letter to you. It’s very difficult for me to write to you, but I know that if I don’t do this, I’ll always wonder how things might have been had I done so.
Ah, I digress. What I mean to say, Hermione, is that this past year has turned out to be quite pleasant. It isn’t very often that I mentor someone—or have anyone who would like to study under me. As you’ve found out, I’m a hard man at times, though it’s only because I approach my work with the attitude that failure is unacceptable. One wrong ingredient could endanger someone. You’ve showed me many things.
Having someone underfoot can actually be enjoyable, especially if she is someone with the ability to discuss things that interest me and even draw me into a conversation about something that interests her. Honestly, I can say that I never thought much about a house-elf’s predicament until you passionately pointed out why they should at least be given a choice in where they might want to work and live.
You’ve only been gone a few days, but I’ve found myself drawn to the suite of rooms that you stayed in whilst with me, wishing you’d be within. Living a solitary existence most of my life, I can’t convey to you how odd this is for me—the longing of companionship.
First, you were a student. Later, you were a friend, and now, I am uncertain what you are exactly. I know that I have feelings for you that I oughtn’t. This is why I chose to write this after you’d been given the Ministry’s seal of approval. I didn’t want you to think that my craving for more time with you held any sway over your future. Had you felt obligated to have dinner with me or join me on a trip to the continent to next month’s Affiliates of Potions conference, I don’t know that I would have appreciated it or ever been able to accept that perhaps you hadn’t felt duty-bound at all.
That said, I wonder, Hermione, would you have dinner with me? Would you ever want something more? Only friendship? Please respond at your earliest convenience, and I want to stress that your reply will in no way influence how I think of you.
The only sound in Hermione’s flat an instant later was the snap of the door as it closed behind her.
Southern’s Notes: Well, I simply had to respond to this one. When I first saw the prompt at Potter Place, this was what came to mind. Hope you enjoyed it.
Potter Place Winter Prompt Challenge
2.Prompt - Days after Hermione's Potions apprenticeship with Snape is over, and she has left, she receives a letter from Snape. What does it say?