When GinnyW’s birthday rolled around this year, I decided to gift her with a small story. I know she’s a sucker for little Valentine tales, so that’s what I’ve decided to use, styled after one of her own, which is titled “Sending a Love Letter.”
Happy birthday, doll.
Hermione looked both ways, thankful that nobody was about, and slipped the card beneath Snape’s office door. As soon as he’d entered the Great Hall, she’d left, knowing she’d have the time she needed to go down to the dungeons and secretly leave the card she’d made for him for Valentine’s Day.
Slipping Harry’s Invisibility Cloak back over her head, she quickly made her way to the narrow stairway that would take her back up to the Entrance Hall. For the past week, she’d been waffling over her decision to make her surly professor a card. After Harry had defeated Voldemort, everything had come out: Snape’s sacrifices, his continued love for Harry’s mother, the way he’d protected Harry, and so much more. She’s always appreciated what he’d been doing, but there was so much more to him that she’d never imagined before.
Everyone had congratulated him, patted him on the back, and then forgot about what he’d done. For months now, the Prophet and other papers talked only about Harry, which he deserved, but what about Snape? He’d been the one to ensure Harry’s win. Couldn’t they mention him from time to time?
It simply didn’t sit right with her, and she wanted him to know that someone still thought about him—maybe a little too much—and appreciated all he’d done for the betterment of the Wizarding world. Hermione froze in sudden fear. Coming down the stairwell at a quickened pace was Severus Snape. She pressed against the cool stones as best she could, hoping he wouldn’t touch her as he passed by.
To her horror, he stopped three steps below her and turned around, gazing towards her, then opposite her. His hand reached out, nearly touching the cloak at her waist, but grasped only air. Shrugging, he turned and continued down to his office. When he was out of earshot, she scrambled away, heart pounding.
Hermione watched him closely for the next few days and saw no change in his demeanor: in the classroom or out. This disappointed her far more than she’d thought possible, as she’d hoped he would appreciate the sentiment, maybe even try to seek out the card’s sender. That hadn’t happened. Deciding to concentrate on the upcoming N.E.W.T.s, she threw herself into revising for the remainder of the school year, trying not to think about Severus Snape.
Two Years Later
Hermione entered her flat, kicked her shoes off, plopped down on the couch, and began to rub her feet. It had been a long day at the Ministry, but she’d finally made some progress in her fight for the rights of werewolves. The smiles of Remus and Tonks and knowing what the victory had meant to them (and other families like them) made all her sleepless nights and research worth it. She hoped that when the Ministry announced that they would take an active part in finding employment for werewolves and distributing funds to help their families, people would be supportive.
With a wistful sigh, she glanced at the calendar on the wall; Valentine’s Day was the next day. Since she and Ron had called things off a few months back, she hadn’t had time for any dating, being so busy, but she wouldn’t have minded male companionship sometimes. Harry had Ginny, Ron now had Luna, and she had no one. Perhaps that might change once things slowed down.
A small noise drew her attention towards the doorway. There was an envelope before the door that hadn’t been there when she’d entered. She got up and walked over to see what it was and opened her mouth in shock. She recognized the envelope immediately. The last time she’d seen it, she’d slid it into Snape’s office.
“What in the world?”
Shaky fingers opened the envelope to find the same card she’d given Snape two years before. By the flap’s condition, it was evident that the envelope had been opened previously. A small gasp escaped her lips as his voice filled the air.
“Two years ago you gave this card to me at a critical point in my life. I said nothing then, but it made all the difference to me. I thank you for that and hope to return the favor.”
Her smile widened as she noted that on the inside, he’d spelled away her handwriting and replaced the same words she’d wrote for him in his own spiky handwriting.
Valentine’s Day is a day of sharing and feeling special.
But sometimes that’s not possible when we are alone.
However, that doesn’t mean someone isn’t thinking of us
Or all we’ve done.
I’m thinking of you today.
I just want you to know that even though you are alone,
It doesn’t mean you aren’t thought of.
I am proud of all you’ve done and will never forget that.
I’m sharing this with you.
I’m telling you that you are special.
Maybe we aren’t really alone after all.
Thank you. Have a nice Valentine’s Day.
Hermione strode to the door and opened it, looking out into the empty hallway. He’d left already. Frowning, she turned to go back into her flat and stopped. A woodsy scent assailed her nostrils. His scent. Him. He was there. And that had to be how’d he’d known she had left the card for him—he’d known it was she hidden on the stairs. Slowly, she looked back behind her, trying to detect his possibly Disillusioned form and extended a hand to find him, though she came up empty handed.
Instead of giving up as he had that time on the stairway, she said, “I’d like you to come in. Show yourself please.”
A few heartbeats later, his head came into view as he pulled away an Invisibility Cloak.
“Potter loaned this to me,” he said quietly and nodded towards the cloak, looking a little embarrassed.
She smiled. “I’m glad.” Stepping aside, Hermione gestured for him to enter her flat, and for the first time in a long time, she felt truly happy and took the time to do something to make herself happy.