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Happy Birthday Broom!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BROOM!

I was planning just a drabble in your honor, but it turned into a ficlet. Happy birthday—one of this fandom’s true pleasures has been getting to know you in chat. May this be a happy day and one of many more in the rest of your life. @@>>~*~>~~~~






Auspicious Day


~o0o~



Hermione gaped when she recognised who sat on the stone steps to Hogwarts castle. Snape? With his head turned up towards the sun, clad only in black trousers and a white linen shirt with the sleeves rolled up, he looked younger than she remembered. She could hardly expect a warm welcome from him, but she couldn’t avoid him, so she steeled herself and called out a too-cheery greeting, “Professor, again, isn’t it?”

He scowled at her – with Snape that had to be pure reflex – then flashed her a faint smile. That tightening of his lips seemed to pain him, as if he were stretching muscles he hadn’t used in years. “Mrs Weasley, isn’t it?”

“No … no, it isn’t.” She grinned shakily at his raised eyebrow. “Narrow escape.”

She bit her lip, wondering what had got into her that those words slipped out. She sat next to him on the steps, so close she felt his thigh pressed against hers, causing a warmth to suffuse her she feared might be visible on her face, but she didn’t want to scoot farther away and send the wrong message.

Hermione had often felt a strange sense of kinship with Snape in the months they’d worked towards Voldemort’s defeat, after it had been revealed Snape was still on their side … had never left it, even. I suppose it’s that I knew he had to feel trapped, between Scylla and Charybdis. If Voldemort had ever doubted Snape before war’s end, it would have meant a torturous death; if the Order still had by then, a torturous life sentence in Azkaban. Merlin knew, she had felt trapped, too, until she finally had found the courage to tell Ron “no”. She’d been terrified – letting go of the only life she had allowed herself to imagine for far too long. She started when Snape’s words broke into her reverie.

“So, you finally slipped the leash. You’re coming out into the sun on your own and not as part of the unholy trinity. That’s a change.”

“You do believe, then … that people can change?” She wanted him to realise she had changed. She hated to admit how much she cared: that Snape stop seeing her as that annoying little girl waving her hand in his classroom.

Looking down, he jabbed at the pale skin of his left forearm, digging his fingers into his flesh. Slowly, he traced the livid scars outlining where his Dark Mark used to be. “I have to,” he murmured, almost too softly for her to hear. He scratched at his scars, leaving the tracks of his fingernails on his skin.

Impulsively, she reached out to grab his arm and – not knowing what else to do to still his scratching – took his hand. For a moment, his hand twitched in hers, and she thought he’d twist it away. She stood up, drawing him with her, as if that had been her intent all along. “Shall we? I believe the Headmistress is expecting us.”

“Bossy Gryffindor.”

“Stubborn Slytherin.” She said it with affection, feeling a tug in her breast, an emotion akin to nostalgia for their shared past, however sometimes harrowing. Yet she also felt a yearning to break their pattern.

For a moment, they stood there clasping hands; then he gave her hand a quick squeeze before letting go.

“Happy birthday, Hermione.”

Her head whipped up at that – both at his first use of her given name and because how could he have known … ?

His lips quirked up. Then he leaned towards her so close his breath stirred her hair. “Minerva couldn’t stop talking about it. That you’d be visiting us today on your birthday and that you had agreed to accept a position as Madam Pince’s assistant. Since we are to be colleagues, I’d say first names are appropriate.”

“You knew I’d split up with Ron, didn’t you? Were you sitting there waiting for me, then?”

“Certainly not. As if I’d waste my time in such a fashion.” He looked affronted, with the same expression on his face as Crookshanks had when she’d tutted at him for scratching the settee.

“Right.” The way his hair shone it must have been freshly washed. Her eyes swept over his uncharacteristic attire. The shirtsleeves had been artfully done; she was sure he had rearranged them three times, at least, trying to get them just so – the way she had always liked them.

He started climbing the steps, then, but not at so rapid a pace it would be difficult to keep up with him. “So, you’re to be a librarian?”

“Well, me, books. Good match.”

“Indeed. And your birthday is an auspicious day to begin anew.” Snape snorted. “Or so Trelawney insists.”

She took his hand again, twining her fingers with his, and this time he didn’t let go.

Auspicious day, indeed. Maybe there was something to Divination after all?


~o0o~

Comments

The ficlet was just perfect. Thank you so much. You even made Hermione a future librarian, very nice touch (along with a few other subtle hints about starting over). :) Maybe I should consult Trelawney about future birthdays. ;) I am overwhelmed by my f-list, and almost speechless.
I'm so glad you liked the giftie;-) I was only going to inflict a drabble on you I swear! But something took over... maybe Trelawney?

Hope you had a great birthday!
I adored this little ficlet, Harmony. So very sweet how Severus was waiting there for her. :D
Aww thanks--I don't know that I'd post it anywhere else--it's soooo sweet it might promote tooth decay--but it was fun to write;-) Thanks for the comment :-)
Very very sweet! This is a wonderful little super-drab, and I really enjoyed reading it. Your Severus was brilliantly done, snarky yet sweet.
I'm glad he remained Snarky at least. How did I ever manage something so fluffy? *shudder* LOL. I'm glad you enjoyed it--thanks for commenting.
Well this is dipped in chocolate its so darn sweet! I liked Snape waiting for her, and the dropping to first names so quickly. Signs. Birthday ficlets are a good thing.
LOL--glad you liked it. Not sure I'll ever post it anywhere else cuz its such a b-day fic;-)

October 2006

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