A note from Jackpot-kun


Another potential title for this chapter is "The First Fight".

Same Morning.

Monday, Sept. 16


Hagrid’s hut was, as always, cramped, despite being big enough to comfortably fit a dozen men.

The reason for it, Hermione knew, was because of the gamekeeper’s prodigious size; Hagrid was over eleven feet tall, and consequently, most of his possessions were supersized to match, which meant that, no matter how much one tried, when you put the man himself, his huge dog, and two small, but still sizable tweens in the hut, the available space shrunk faster than a deflated balloon.

While Hermione and Harry settled in, Hagrid put a kettle on for tea, and Fang came to place his huge head on Hermione’s lap, but a warning hoot from Hedwig, who was perched on the windowsill, caused the big dog to pad away fearfully and sit in an unobtrusive corner.

Hermione felt a bit bad for the dog, who looked forlorn at being denied its preferred perch, but unfortunately, he drooled an awful lot, and she would really rather not smell like dog slobber if she could help it, so she gave Hedwig a look of silent thanks instead.

From Hedwig, Hermione looked to Harry, and it was quite telling how saddened the boy was by the news of Sirius that he hadn’t even reacted to the little drama with Fang.

Hermione took his hand.

“So,” Hagrid said, returning from the little kitchen with a tray of tea, and biscuits that thankfully didn’t look anywhere near as hard as the rock cakes he’d given her and Harry the last time, “what’s got yeh so down?”

Hermione took the tray from the huge man, and as she served herself and Harry, she answered; “We just found out that Sirius Black is dead.”

Hagrid blinked his beady eyes in confusion, and Hermione belatedly realised that her words didn’t make much sense without context, so she elaborated: “Sirius didn’t betray Harry’s parents, Peter did. It’s all a big misunderstanding.”

Hagrid blinked again, this time in disbelief. “What? No,” the big man argued. “That’s not possible. Black killed Pettigrew. Blew him up. Left only a finger, he did.”

“Yeah,” Harry growled bitterly, “really lucky how that one finger managed to survive, isn’t it? How it somehow managed to dodge a spell that vaporized the rest of Peter’s body. You could almost say it was convenient.”

Hagrid looked taken aback by the amount of vitriol in Harry’s voice, and the boy must have noticed, because he sighed and said: “I’m sorry, Hagrid. It’s not your fault, I’m just...” the words needed seemed to fail him.

“It’s alright, Harry,” the half-giant said affably. “Besides, if Black really is innocent, then...” the man paused, looking like he was, for the first time, truly appreciating the enormity of the revelation.

“Huh,” was all he could say in the end.

Despite herself, the look on the man’s face made Hermione smile, and she caught Harry’s lips quirk upward too, just a little.

“Have yeh told Dumbledore?” Hagrid asked, and Hermione nodded.

“We were just leaving his office when you met us,” she said.

“Ah, good then. If anyone will know what to do, it’ll be him,” Hagrid said, voice full of confidence.

“Sirius is dead, Hagrid,” Harry said. “There’s nothing to do.”

“Right,” Hagrid said, his expression dimming as a somber atmosphere settled in the room.

This wouldn’t do, Hermione decided. She’d brought Harry here in the hope that Hagrid could cheer him up, but it seemed like they were just making Hagrid sad instead.

Eager for a distraction from the morose mood they were now in, Hermione remembered an idle thought she’d had some time back, and voiced it.

“Hagrid, why don’t you build yourself a bigger house?”

Hagrid looked at her with a perplexed frown. “Why would I do that?” he asked, and Hermione stared at the man, feeling just as confused as he seemed to be.

“Well,” the girl said, “it’s rather small, isn’t it?”

“It is?” Hagrid asked earnestly and Harry chuckled.

“Yes, Hagrid. It is,” the boy said. “Not to mention your toilet’s so far away. How do you do it at night? If it were me I’ll probably just hold it till morning. Or maybe use a bucket.”

Ew! Hermione thought, shooting the boy a disgusted look.

“What?” he asked defensively. “It’s easier.”

“It’s disgusting, Harry.”

“Not really,” Hagrid said. “I’ve had ta pee in a bucket meself, once or twice.”

Hermione slapped her hands over her ears in horror, but even through them, she could still hear Harry laughing.

They spent the next couple hours with Hagrid, laughing and trading stories, though the older man had many more to share than she and Harry combined.

It was nice, and quite relaxing, but then it was all ruined when a small, paper bird flew in through the window.

The paper bird perched right on Hermione’s lap, and then, almost like a movie on rewind, it unfolded itself into a folded note on her leg.

The girl stared at it blankly.

“It’s from Dumbledore,” Harry said. “The one he sent me this morning was like that too. Apparently, he’s too cool to send an owl like everyone else.”

“But why would Dumbledore send me a note?” Hermione asked Harry, even as she picked up the note and opened it.

Hermione, it said, in The Headmaster’s lovely penmanship.

Myself and the professors will be a holding a funeral for Prof. Snape tonight, and considering the circumstances of his death, I believe it is only proper that you and Harry attend, regardless of whatever history you may have had with him.

I suspect that Harry will refuse, but I ask that you encourage him. I would do so myself, but I doubt that he would want to hear anything I have to say at this time.

“He’s got that right,” Harry, who was reading over Hermione’s shoulder, muttered.

Nevertheless, the letter continued, seeing as he is likely reading over your shoulder right now, I shall take this opportunity to say that Harry, it is always better to let go of anger than to hold onto it, no matter how familiar it may feel.

Hermione virtually heard Harry’s teeth grind.

If you do decide to come, then be at my office by 5:00 PM.

I hope you will be there.



Hermione folded the letter, then she looked at Harry.

“No,” Harry said, before she could say anything.


“No, Hermione. I’m not going.”

“He saved our lives, Harry,” Hermione said, a little irritated at being repeatedly cut off.

“And you think he did that for us?” Harry asked her.

“It doesn’t matter why he did it, Harry. He saved our lives. And he’s dead. The least we can do is go to his funeral.”

“Actually, the least I can do is not throw a party that he’s dead. That man killed my parents, Hermione.”

“I know that, Harry, but—”

“No, you don’t. You think you do but you obviously don’t. Because if you did then you wouldn’t sit here telling me this rubbish.”

“It’s not rubbish, Harry. It’s the right thing. Will you stop being difficult?”

Hermione knew she’d said the wrong thing when she saw Harry’s expression change.

The boy had been angry before, but it was different now. Deeper, somehow.

Instead of exploding though, Harry got up and began to leave.

“Harry, where are you going?” she asked, and without breaking stride, the boy said: “Somewhere you’re not.”

The words hit Hermione like a blow to the heart.

Harry slammed the door behind him as he went, and Hedwig, still perched on the window, looked from the retreating boy to Hermione, to him and back again, then, with an apologetic expression, the owl took off and went after Harry, and somehow, that was what did it for Hermione.

Before that, she’d been hurt by what Harry said, but she hadn’t been angry. Now though, after being (at least in her mind) spurned by Hedwig too, Hermione was angry. She was angry because she knew that she was right and Harry was just being too stupid to see it.

“Well, er... I’m sure he just needs to clear his head a bit,” Hagrid said unsurely, and Hermione remembered for the first time in minutes that the man was present, and that she was still in his home.

“What was all that about anyway?” the groundskeeper asked.

“He doesn’t want to attend Prof. Snape’s funeral,” she explained and Hagrid’s eyes bugged out.

“Snape killed Lily and James?” the man asked, astounded. “I thought that was You-Know-Who?”

Hermione sighed. “It was, but... It’s a little complicated, Hagrid.”

“Oh. Well, whatever it is, I don’t think you should make Harry go if he doesn’t want to.”

Hermione scowled, but before she could make a rebuttal, Hagrid continued.

“Think it misses the whole point, it does, if he only does it cause you made him.”

The words fell on Hermione like a bucket of cold water on an open flame, completely dousing her anger.

“But—” Hermione said, struggling for something, anything, to support her stance. “But I’m right.”

Hagrid shrugged. “Sure,” he agreed easily, “but it’s not always about who’s right, is it?”

Yes, it was.

... It was, right?

Sensing an opportunity with the new, somber mood and the absence of Hedwig, Fang rushed over to “console” Hermione by placing his huge head on her lap.

The dog whined piteously when she looked at him, and, with a sigh and tumultuous thoughts, Hermione pet him on the head as he drooled all over her robes.


Hermione stayed with Hagrid for sometime, but Harry’s absence was a gaping wound in the atmosphere of the room now, so, after a quarter-hour of semi-awkward silences interspersed with brief bouts of meaningless conversation, Hermione thanked Hagrid for the tea and left.

She made her way to Gryffindor Tower, partly in the hope that she would meet Harry there and they could resolve whatever this was, but mostly because she didn’t really have anywhere else to go, and Hermione Granger had never been the sort for mindless wandering.

Upon entering the common room, Hermione found Harry sitting with some of their fellow first-years, Hedwig watching nearby.

As though he could somehow tell that she was staring at him, Harry turned to look at her, and then he scowled a little and looked away.

Now, on the way here, Hermione had had every intention of making peace, but Harry’s reaction to her presence, and Hedwig still taking his side, just made her anger flare up all over again.

So, with a scowl on her face, and lots of irritation in her heart, Hermione matched up the stairs to dorm and angrily sat in her bed.

Stupid Harry, not wanting to listen to her.

Stupid Hedwig, always taking his side.


Hedwig flew in through the window, and Hermione watched in surprise as the owl came to land beside her on the bed.

“What do you want?” she groused, but the bird simply stared at her, unimpressed.

Finally, Hermione huffed in defeat. “Why can’t he see that I’m trying to help him, Hedwig?” she wondered.

Unfortunately, as amazing a bird as Hedwig was, she couldn’t really talk, so Hermione got no answer to her question.

Not long after, Lavender and Parvati walked in, and from how they made a direct beeline for Hermione, it was quite obvious that they’d come here for her.

“Okay,” Lav began without preamble, “are you and Harry fighting? Because he won’t say anything.”

“He just keeps frowning,” Parvati added.

Hermione said nothing and kept frowning.

Lavender and Parvati looked at each other, some silent communication passing between them.

“Hermione, what’s wrong?” Parvati asked, as both girls came to sit on either side of her.

“Harry’s being stupid,” Hermione said.

Both girls blinked, then Lav said: “Well, that’s not really a surprise, is it? He’s a boy.”

“Yeah,” Parvati added, “they’re all stupid.”

“Harry isn’t stupid,” Hermione said, irritation clear in her tone.

“... But, you just said—”

“I know what I said,” Hermione said, cutting Lav off. “But Harry isn’t stupid. He’s just... being stupid.”

The girls stared at Hermione like she wasn’t making sense, but Hermione knew that that was only because they didn’t understand what she meant.

Regardless, her comment had taken the wind from Lavender and Parvati’s sails, but while, for most people this might spell the end of the conversation, it wasn’t so for these two young women.

Soon enough, Parvati had brought up some other topic, and the girls lost themselves in it.

Well, Lav and Parv lost themselves in it and mostly talked around Hermione, but they at least tried to make her a part of it. And while Hermione certainly wouldn’t want to be spending most of her time engaging in pointless (and probably false) gossip about people she didn’t even know, the girl had to admit that it was rather nice, talking with Lavender and Parvati.


The rest of the day was spent without exchanging a single word with Harry.

It was strange.

Over the past two weeks, Hermione had gotten very used to having the boy around, and his suddenly not being there was quite noticeable for her.

There were several moments where she found herself expecting him to be there, right next to her, only to remember in the next that he wasn’t.

Whether by stubbornness or sheer willpower though, Hermione persevered, but at 4:40 PM, when she began to head for Dumbledore’s office, she didn’t feel victorious.

No, she felt angry and sad, and eager to get it over with.

At the bottom of the stairs to the girls dorms, Harry approached her.

He looked like he’d been waiting.

“You’re going,” he said without preamble.

Hermione nodded. “Yes.”

“Why?” the boy asked.

And Hermione answered. “Because he saved our lives, Harry. He saved your life.”

Harry jaw worked for sometime. “I’m not coming with you,” he said finally.

Hermione sucked in a breath and let it out. “I know. I’m sorry I tried to make you.”

She meant it. Trying to make him was what had started this stupid fight in the first place.

Hermione thought she might understand a little now what Hagrid had meant when he’d said that it wasn’t always about who was right.

Harry looked surprised, then sad.

Finally, he said: “I’m sorry for what I said.”

Hermione nodded.

“I’ll wait for you,” Harry said, then walked off back to where Hedwig was perched, watching.

Hermione stared at them for a few seconds, then she walked on to Dumbledore’s office.

As soon as she opened the door, The Headmaster took one look at her, then said: “Harry isn’t joining us, I take it.”

“No, sir,” Hermione said.

Dumbledore looked sad for one moment, but then he recovered and rose.

“Very well then,” he said coming around his desk, “let’s—”

Hedwig flew in.

“Hedwig?” Hermione asked as the owl found a perch for herself on something that looked like a coat hanger. “What are you doing here?”

A hopeful thought came to her then.

“Is Harry coming?” she asked, and the owl nodded.

With wide eyes, Hermione rushed back to the door and opened to find... no one coming up the staircase.

...Oh, right, owl’s can fly much faster than people can walk.

Undeterred, the girl rushed down the stairs and began to retrace her path from Gryffindor Tower, and before long, she ran into Harry.

“Harry,” she said and hugged him. He hugged her back, and Hermione took several moments to luxuriate in the feel of him again.

It sounded silly, but she'd missed him.

“What made you change your mind?” Hermione asked when they finally separated.

“Snape,” Harry said, and at her obvious confusion, explained: “I realized that half the problems in his life would have never existed if he’d just let go of his anger and hate. Half the problems in my life too.”

Harry looked at her.

“I refuse to be like him, Hermione.”

Hermione smiled with teary eyes, then she hugged him again.


The ceremony was small and quiet; the only attendees being the co-workers of the deceased and two preteens.

No one cried.

No one truly mourned.

His employer and the closest person he had to a friend, was the only one who spoke, everyone else simply watched, and when the short ceremony ended, they went home.

None would be visiting.

In the end, Severus Snape died as he lived, alone and unloved.

A note from Jackpot-kun

Two more to go.

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