In the Shadow of Dreams

By PineappleLumps

Summary: Hermione is in her thirties when she starts having bizarre dreams. She can never remember them, but the one time she does recall her dream, it is only because she wakes up to find someone in her bed…someone that isn't her husband…someone that died seventeen years ago. And he is very much alive.

Chapter One:

Cool air pressed against her and she strained to open her eyes as a bright light surrounded her. She raised her arm to try and block the light but she was unable to lift her heavy lids against the acute brightness. She blinked to try and adjust.

"Ronald, what are you playing at?" she muttered as her vision slowly returned. She lowered her arm and blinked profusely a few more times as the room she was in swam into view. It was strikingly familiar; cold shudders worked down her spine as she realised this was not a room in her house. She swallowed thickly—her mouth suddenly dry—and turned towards the desk she knew was on her left.

There, sitting behind the desk with a surprised expression that rapidly gave way to an indifferent mask was none other than her old Potions Teacher, Professor Snape. His wand was clutched in his hand and his hair covered his face in layers of shadows.

"What kind of fucked up dream is this?" she asked, more to herself than the stern man glaring at her from behind the Headmaster's desk. She rubbed her eyes but still, he remained. But now he had pushed his greasy tendrils back behind his ears so she could see the contours and planes of his face more clearly.

"Language, Miss Granger," he scolded, with a raised brow. She was about to correct him on her name but given this was a dream, she decided not to.

Her attention was redirected from the man in front of her to her cold feet. She glanced down seeing her lilac painted toes on the stone floor. Where were her shoes? She wriggled her feet and then noticed she was in the black silk negligee that she had worn as she crawled into bed that night. Odd, that her dream self would choose to remain how she dressed for bed. She ran her hands through the tangled mess of her curls and glanced back up to Professor Snape.

"Why are you in my dream?" Hermione asked, annoyed, moving onto the carpet to ease the numbness of her feet.

"Dream?" He gave her a pensive look and shook his head. "Why are you in my office?"

"Because I'm dreaming." Then she stepped closer to his desk, noticing his eyes narrow as she did so. "I wouldn't volunteer to come here."

The castle suddenly rumbled and shook as if it was under attack. Hermione rushed to the window and saw the towering Dark Mark in the sky confirming the inkling—that had wormed into her mind—of when she was. She gasped and stepped back from what assailed her vision.

"Oh no, I am having a nightmare."

"Miss Granger—"

"I need to wake up," Hermione said, wringing her hands. "I can't stay here and see all this again."

Snape cleared his throat. "Miss Granger, you are awake and this is not a dream."

"Of course it is." She laughed hollowly. "Otherwise why the hell would I be back in 1998?" She glanced down at her chest, ignoring the goosebumps that prickled her skin, to notice there was no time turner hanging around her neck. "No time turner," she confirmed out loud.

"Back in 1998?" He seemed to look at her more closely at this point. His brow furrowed and his lip curled. "Miss Granger, you are not a teenager anymore."

She snorted. "No, I am thirty-five." She sighed heavily as she stepped back to the window to observe the dark sky. "Please tell me it's not May the 2nd."

"It's May the 2nd," he replied bluntly.

Hermione closed her eyes. It was his last day alive. It had been seventeen years since the Battle of Hogwarts. Why was she back there now? She peered at Snape from the corner of her eyes. If she was correct, then right now was just after Snape had fled from McGonagall and before he went to the Shrieking Shack.

"It is 2015," she said, feebly. "Yet, all the counselling in the world can't stop me from thinking of this day. That's all this is—just my brain processing yesterday's therapy session."

"How did you get into my office?" he snapped.

Hermione shrugged. "I went to bed after a rather harrowing talk with my husband and woke up in a dream here."

She pinched herself but when she felt pain, her stomach plummeted. She couldn't really be back in 1998, could she?

"It's not a dream."

"Bloody Ronald has put something into my tea and made this seem realistic." She shivered from the cold lapping at her bare arms and legs. "Why is your office so cold?"

"I was just popping in to tie up a few loose ends," he muttered. "I haven't lit the fire."

She searched his face, noticing how pale and drawn he was. Bags hung heavy under his dark eyes and Hermione could see the weight of his last thirty-eight years weighing on him. She mused that he was actually answering her questions with a modicum of politeness and without his usual sarcasm. It cinched the dream theory over his theory of reality.

"This must have been a very trying year for you," she remarked, casually as her fingers skated over the ebony wood of a potions cabinet.

"It hasn't been easy," he concurred.

"Aren't you going to tell me to stop asking so many bloody questions?" she asked, mimicking his tone.

Snape arched his brow. "I haven't decided if this is just a stress hallucination or not yet, so I will reserve my usual sour disposition for when I have more time to perfect my scathing remarks."

Hermione did laugh at that. "My brain is working overtime to give you, of all people, a sense of humour."

He didn't say anything but he lowered his wand and scribbled something on a piece of parchment before gently slotting it into a book. Then with a swish of his cloak, he was rising from his chair, his hand grabbing his left arm suddenly.

"Now if you don't mind getting out of my office, I have somewhere to be," he said, seemingly ignorant of her comment.

"Of course you do," she said, sadly. She turned to him with her eyes glistening.

"Snape—Professor Snape?" she started and tugged nervously on her negligee. It was just a dream, she could warn him of his death in a dream. It wouldn't change anything. She had felt an overwhelming urge to inform him of his death, whether it was compassion or just sheer desperation to undo the past, she didn't know.


"I don't know why I am dreaming of you, but maybe if I tell you what is about to happen, then at least you won't have such a needless death without first knowing what happens after."

He paused mid-stride and turned to her. "My death?"

She noticed his pallor increase at her words. He either wasn't expecting to die, or he suddenly feared its inevitability, she wasn't sure. She strongly suspected that he was prepared to die but needed to get the memories to Harry first and that unfinished task was weighing on his mind.

"Well, divination was never my strong point so I can't really work out the meaning of this dream," she explained. "I can only guess my subconscious mind wants you to know how it all ends before you die. Maybe so you can go to your death feeling victorious instead of panicking about the tasks you still had to achieve." Like finding Harry.

He wasn't looking at her. "I haven't got time to work out why you're here tormenting me with your incessant chatter, Granger, but I suggest you spit it out quickly as I have a meeting with the Dark Lord."

Hermione took a deep breath, steadying herself before another rumble hit the castle. It's just a dream.

"I have already told you this is not a dream," he snapped impatiently as if he read her thoughts consoling herself.

"Your death isn't in vain and everyone knows you were always on our side," she blurted out frantically. "Harry tells everyone how you were never Vol—the Dark Lord's servant, and you are pardoned by the Ministry for your mercy killing of Professor Dumbledore."

All trace of colour was removed from his features; it was like looking at a black and white photo of him.

Snape blinked and then closed his eyes before turning his intense stare onto her one more time. "Tell me how I will die."


He nodded and waved his wand wordlessly at a nearby cabinet. A wooden box flew out and he hid it within his billowing robes.

"I give my thanks for your warning, Miss Gran—"

"Harry kills him and we win," she interrupted. "Your sacrifice was worth it."

Snape shook his head. "Do not try to romanticise my death. I am no hero."

Hermione laughed. "No; you are…were a cruel, spiteful bully but you still did a very brave, commendable thing."

Hermione didn't know why it was so important that he knew that, but it was.

"I am a Death Eater," he said quietly.


"A leopard can not change their spots, no matter how hard they try," he whispered more to himself than her, but she knew he was talking about the ugly mark on his wrist.

"Lily would have been proud," Hermione countered, staring at her toes again.

He hissed. "What do you know about how she would feel?"

Hermione glared at him undaunted. "I am her son's best friend, and I am telling you this, not because I knew Lily, but because you made it your life's work to undo your wrongs at great personal cost. She would have been proud. Harry is proud of you, despite how much you both…hated each other."

"You don't know Lily!" Snape spat. "Forgiveness is not her strength."

"Is it not enough that you saved her child when you could not save her?" Hermione suggested. "You're about to sacrifice your life for—quite frankly unnecessary reasons—so you can not tell me that she wouldn't be proud that her friend selflessly saved her son's life."

Snape wasn't wearing his usual cold mask, so she saw pain skitter through his eyes and sorrow tug on his lips. "His life is forfeit."

Hermione nodded. "Harry did die, but it wasn't permanent. The Horcrux inside Harry was destroyed but because Voldemort used Harry's blood, it stopped Harry from being killed. Lily saved him again, just as you are about to save the entire magical community."

For a few minutes, only their breathing and the soft tick of a clock could be heard.

"What reasons does the Dark Lord have for my death?" Snape asked, his jaw tense and his eyes flinty. "You mentioned them being unnecessary."

"He thinks he needs to kill you to master the elder wand, but Draco is the current master at this precise moment." Hermione let out an agonised sigh. "A totally pointless and unnecessary death. Especially, given that you were his most loyal servant and he threw you away without a smidgen of remorse."

"I was not loyal to him," he snapped. "I was loyal to Lily."

"Yes, but he didn't know that." Hermione could see that the usually controlled and emotionless mask was completely abandoned as his entire body trembled. Such a strangely vivid dream! "Not until Harry tells him that you were never his."

"So I don't even die with the satisfaction of telling him myself? Potter has that bloody privilege." Snape's fists curled into balls and he growled lowly. "Potter of all people."

"I am sorry."

"Stay in here, Ms Granger," he said without taking his eyes off her. "You are a Muggleborn and your death, even as an adult from 2015 would be celebrated tonight" His lip curled again, but this time it looked like disgust.

"I am sure I will wake up anytime now in the sulky arms of my husband." Hermione pulled herself up to sit on a cabinet. "I can't let Harry see me when he comes with your memories. Dream or not, it would be a bit weird for him."

"And it wasn't a bit odd for me seeing a student half-dressed in my office, no longer a child and roughly the same age as myself?"

She shifted on the cabinet, feeling mildly self-conscious in her nightgown. "You're a bit more controlled than Harry."

"And he gets the memories? He gets the key to Voldemort's undoing?"

Hermione nodded. Relief seemed to soften his harsh features before his mask slipped back on.

"Tell me one last thing," he said with a silky edge to his voice. "Your name."

"My name?"

"You said you were married."

"Why do you need to know?"

"Because despite the bully I have been to you all these years, I am not foolish enough to not recognise your talents and intelligence." He walked towards the door. "I am curious about what you make of your life."

Hermione scrubbed her hand over her face. "Then why start with my marital status? I am not exactly the type to hold marriage as my crowning glory."

"Well, start with your marriage and build up to your career."

"I am Hermione Granger-Weasley and I work in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, where I am dedicated to eradicating old laws that were biased in favour of pure-bloods."

His eyebrows soared. "Mr… Ronald Weasley?"

Hermione gave a curt nod.

"I imagine your discourse is most… fascinating."

She ignored his blatant sarcasm. "I…we have a daughter named Rose and a son named Hugo. They're ten and seven years old."

Snape didn't react before he breezed out the door. She didn't know how long it would be before Harry returned and something screamed at her not to let him see her; something that didn't seem to have an issue with Snape seeing her. Not that she could have avoided it as she had been dropped right in front of Snape sitting at his desk. She curled up in an alcove in the side of the office and waited, only accompanied by the shouts and rumbles of the war below.

Sometime later she sat in the shadows and watched Harry pull out the Pensieve to watch Snape's memories. She watched him leave again after pulling himself off the carpet. She sighed and climbed out of her hiding spot to stretch her limbs. Arms raised above her head, she was grateful to be alone as her negligee rode up at the back.

Without warning, she heard the door slam behind her and she spun around to see the very last person she expected to see.