The world of Harry Potter belongs to JKR. I do not make money from this. A chocolate-cake and home-made gnocchi for my wonderful beta, Dreamy_Dragon, without whom my stories would never be fit for posting.
Opicina, near Trieste, May 2012
The man fiddled with the longwave button of his wizarding radio transmitter. He never indulged in listening during his brewing, but now he was in the kitchen about to prepare his dinner. His favourite program would start in twenty minutes, but by then his hands would be covered in dough for the gnocchi he was making tonight – and to his endless irritation his transmitter refused to react to wandless magic.
" ... and the Hogwarts Board of Governors have finally agreed to a comprehensive course of wizarding studies for Muggle-born or Muggle-raised wizarding children. Its curriculum will cover almost everything we talked about earlier. This, together with the amendments in the International Statute of Secrecy that allow Muggle parents an earlier knowledge of magic, will go a long way towards a smoother integration of Muggle-borns into wizarding society."
Mashing the still warm potatoes, he tried to place the voice. He was sure he knew the woman who was speaking, but couldn’t put a face to it.
"Thank you very much, Ms. Granger, for an enlightening hour of discussion. Allow me one last question."
Ha! Granger. So she hadn’t married the youngest Weasley after all. But then, she might have kept her name. No wonder he hadn’t recognised her; fourteen years ago when she had been speaking to him, her voice had either sounded flat with suppressed emotion or rather shrill. He just heard the interviewer’s final question.
"Was there ever a situation – besides the obvious ones when you encountered prejudices against Muggle-borns – that would have turned out differently had you been raised by wizards?“
There was silence – and then a small sigh. One could almost hear the cogs in her mind turning. From the overall relaxed tone of the interview, he assumed that she trusted the interviewer but now wondered whether to answer this question honestly.
He was hooked.
"Well, yes, there is."
"Ms. Granger, you need not answer. If however—"
"I know, and I will tell you. He deserves it. At the night of the Final Battle Harry, Ronald and I were hidden in the Shrieking Shack when Voldemort set his snake Nagini loose on Severus Snape … There was so much blood … a Muggle would have been dead for sure, but a Wizard might have had a chance if he'd been treated immediately … but at that moment I had forgotten everything I knew about Healing. I was absolutely sure that he was beyond help. Over the last thirteen years I have been convinced that we could have saved Headmaster Snape if only I had kept a clear mind."
Cooking forgotten, he sat stunned. There was no mistaking the emotion in her voice, the real sorrow. And to call him Headmaster…
"You were still almost a child then, fighting a war, forced into impossible situations constantly. Surely, you must realise that. No one could blame you for not trying to help Snape in that situation."
"Nevertheless, I think had I not been Muggle-born, I would have acted differently; I would have known that a wizard could survive even such a horrendous injury."
Her composure had apparently returned, but there was an underlying tremor still audible.
The host said his farewell, but Snape was no longer listening. Chopping parsley needed no attention, but the habit of reining in his thoughts and emotions he'd practised for decades made him focus on his gnocchi again.
After he had finished eating his dinner and poured the second glass of wine, he analysed what he’d learned, and why it was affecting him more than he would have thought.