Twenty Four Hours

BY : Dazzlious
Category: Harry Potter > Het - Male/Female > Snape/Hermione
Dragon prints: 6778
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, nor any of the characters from JK Rowling’s fantastic books or films, I’m just borrowing and playing with them for a little while and get no monetary reward for doing so. Original Characters are mine.

A/N: As ever, I'd like to thank my beta, Mamacita, for sorting out the niggly bits that I always forget. Thank you to you, too, for reading, I hope you enjoy the story. Dx

 


 

Hermione sighed as she looked around the table, seeing the rest of her team’s eyes staring back at her. They were looking to her for inspiration. She knew what they wanted and she was still certain she was going to be unable to provide the solution they were all hoping for.

But two years of hard work, not just hers but that of her team of six and that of other similar teams throughout the world would be flushed down the drain unless she worked some magic. He was their last chance — their one remaining hope of finding a cure for this nefarious disease that had spread like wildfire throughout the wizarding world.

It had struck worldwide and it had struck hard, killing young and old alike after robbing them of their magic. No one was safe from the effects and you never knew when you were going to find yourself at the mercy of it.

Hermione and her team had been one of five created across the world who had been battling to find a cure or even a way to slow down the spread of the disease, but although the teams had worked in tandem, sharing every last piece of information and every breakthrough, however slight, they were still no nearer to finding a cure and both funding and time was running out.  

Her team were looking to her to approach Severus Snape, ex-Professor and one-time Headmaster at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Hermione knew she should try; after all his overall knowledge of magic was unrivalled, only bettered by the long-dead Albus Dumbledore, and his skill at potion-making was famed throughout the wizarding world.

If anyone could help them it was definitely him, and to have him working on her team would be the coup of the century. But the truth was that Hermione had absolutely no idea how to approach the snarky ex-teacher.

She didn’t even have a clue where he lived these days.

After he had recovered from the snake bites that had almost taken his life during the Battle of Hogwarts, the climax of the second wizarding war, Snape had left St Mungo’s hospital without telling anyone and dropped out of sight. When the school reopened the following year, he had refused point blank to retake his place as Headmaster despite several personal pleas from the new Minister for Magic, Kingsley Shacklebolt, and he also turned down posts teaching Potions and Defence lessons at the school, the latter being newly re-purposed and no longer against the Dark Arts.  

Snape had disappeared without a trace and hadn’t even turned up at the gala evening held at the Ministry of Magic later that year when awards had been handed out to those who had helped to defeat Voldemort.

He had been awarded the Order of Merlin First Class for his extreme bravery and loyalty, the same award that Hermione, Harry and Ron had also received for their part in the overthrow of the Dark wizard, but although his name remained on the medal he had never come to the Ministry of Magic to claim it nor, apparently, had they been able to track down where he was to send it to him.

Hermione had heard that even the magical owls, who were famous for being able to track down anyone who was still alive, regardless of how well hidden they were, couldn’t seem to find him although over the years many people had tried, sending him letters begging an audience or even sending gifts. But all had been returned unopened and the owls refused to attempt the journey twice.

She thought about her own relationship with the ex-Potions Master, not at all sure that it would help her in gaining an audience with him even if she did manage to find him. He had always detested her for being too clever, and because she was a Gryffindor and was a close friend of Harry, the boy he had always seemed to hate with a vengeance.

They now knew, although Hermione suspected Snape was none too happy about that either, that he had been in love with Harry’s mother, Lily, when they were at school and his extraordinary acts of bravery had all been because of his devotion to her, and by extension to her son who had the misfortune, from Snape’s point of view, to look like his father — although Harry did have his mother’s bright green eyes.

This information had been given to Harry in the form of Snape’s memories at the point when Snape thought he was going to die, and these and several other vital memories had given Harry everything he needed to finally defeat Voldemort forever and clear the ex-teacher of the charge of murder that had been laid at his door with the death of his old friend and mentor, Albus Dumbledore.

Hermione had always respected the taciturn ex-Potions Master even if she didn’t always agree with his teaching methods and his bullying, and discovering what Harry had learnt about Snape’s life had brought her close to tears with sympathy for the poor man. But she suspected that he wouldn’t appreciate that either.

She sighed again, then smiled at the keen yet worried faces.

Sounding resigned, she told the team, ‘Okay, I’ll see if I can find Severus Snape and get him to help us.’ She waited for a moment, seeing the looks of joy spreading from face to face at her news.

Hermione raised her hand warningly. ‘I wouldn’t get your hopes up too quickly if I were you. Even if I manage to track him down, and that’s a massive if, I can’t guarantee that he’ll speak to me nor that he’ll actually agree to come and work with us. In fact, there’s more chance of him not being found or saying no than there is of him joining us, but I promise I will do everything in my power to try to get him to say yes. 

There was hurried and excited whispering as her team left the meeting room seemingly with a renewed sense of purpose. Hermione stayed sitting at the table looking at her notepad where she had scribbled the note Write to SS surrounded by a frame of curling doodles. She sighed again. She was fairly certain this was a pointless endeavour but she had agreed to try, so now she had no choice but to follow through.

Hermione just wished the others weren’t so excited about it as she was sure they were going to end up being disappointed. The only members of the team who had been a little more reserved were the ones who had also attended Hogwarts while Snape had been a teacher there. Like her, they had to be aware of the man’s taciturn nature but they had apparently been able to accept their colleagues’ enthusiasm far more easily than she was able to.

She wondered whether it was because she knew him so much better than they did and was more attuned to the likelihood of him rejecting her request for help that she couldn’t feel that hopeful. Hermione was extremely flattered that her team regarded her and her powers of persuasion as highly as they did, but it would make it that much harder to face them when she finally had to admit defeat.

If only there was someone else she could ask, or someone who could intercede on her behalf, someone to whom Severus Snape was more likely to talk, but she couldn’t think of anyone offhand and time wasted trying to find someone was just putting off the inevitable and brought them ever closer to the deadline and the loss of their budget.

All she could do was try to send an owl and see what happened. Either it would get to him and he would grant her an audience or the request would be returned unopened and she would finally have to admit defeat and face her team with the bad news that their project was going to be terminated without a cure being found.



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