Severus Snape was a creature of habit. After being on the edge for so long – abusive family life, exploding cauldrons, two wars, one very temperamental Dark Lord – he treasured his orderly new life: working in his extensive garden, brewing, cooking, sometimes meeting the select few people he called friends.
While he had mulled Ms Granger‘s revelations over for a while, he had no intention of doing anything about it. The former Gryffindor had the tenacity of a Hufflepuff if provoked; if he contacted her, his cover might get blown.
Blame it on St. Laurentius. Several weeks after listening to the interview with Granger, Severus Snape did some accounting after dinner until the night sky was inky dark. Then, he took a half finished bottle of vitovska, the local wine, with him and a blanket and settled down comfortably some yards uphill from his cottage.
He filled his glass and watched the sky. Falling stars were visible frequently. In Italy this phenomenon occuring round the 10th of August was called Lacrime di San Lorenzo – Tears of St. Lawrence. The unfortunate martyr had been roasted to death by the Romans for his refusal to disavow his faith. The 10th of August was his name day. The scientist in Snape of course knew about the Perseides and meteor showers, and not even alone out here, two miles from the next dwelling would he be caught wishing on a star, but nevertheless watching the spectacular phenomenon had become some sort of yearly ritual for him.
When he was still teaching at Hogwarts, the date had also marked the end of his holiday.
After midnight, he made his way back into his home. He rinsed his glass and – since he wasn't sleepy at all – booted his laptop. On a whim, he typed "Hermione Granger" into the search engine. Over the past weeks, Snape hadn't dwelled a lot on what his former student had said in that interview. He had been pleased that someone remembered him without rancour. Knowing about the devastating effects of festering guilt, he had briefly contemplated contacting Granger and putting her at ease. After further consideration he judged her state as not serious enough for risking his cherished obscurity.
It was unlikely that Hermione Granger suffered from soul-crashing despair because of her inactivity at his "death“ fifteen years earlier. The occasional twang of guilt was probably more like it.
Snape hadn‘t really expected that many results. Granger had studied at Balliol College in Oxford, was still publishing about basic research in mathematics. And there was her personal homepage, simple and functional, where she offered her services as a free science consultant, plus her e-mail adress.
Maybe Severus Snape would have written an e-mail to Ms Granger. Eventually. But without finishing off the bottle of wine while watching St. Laurent‘s tears, he would not have sent it.
Subject: Being Muggle-born
At the end of an interview two weeks ago you blamed your Muggle-upbringing on not having tried to save Severus Snape after Voldemort‘s snake bit him.
I grow rare herbs and prepare related potions ingredients near Opicina, Italy. Severus Snape usually spent a part of his holidays in the area. I had come to know him quite well.
Of course he didn‘t talk about particulars of the war, but I can state with absolute conviction that he would not have blamed you for anything that you, a child caught in a war, may have done or not done in a terrible situation. He truly loathed the fact that this war was fought by children - be it a boy and his friends or the little Slytherins of his house, torn between expectations of their families and their own convictions.