Description: Severus yearns for freedom from his latest masters. Hermione yearns for the freedom to pursue her own dreams. When their worlds collide, they must cross the ocean to find true liberation.
Characters: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive WarningsHermione Granger/Severus Snape Hermione Granger/Ron Weasley Draco Malfoy/Ginny Weasley Luna Lovegood/Harry PotterSeverus Snape Hermione Granger Ron Weasley Harry Potter Luna Lovegood Minerva McGonagall Molly Weasley George Weasley Original CharactersGangsters Emotional/Psychological Abuse On the Run Wisconsin – Freeform Fish out of Water Engagement Muggles Gambling Airports Angst and Humor Corruption Mystery Lake Michigan Cars Driving American Football Chicago (City) Milwaukee Fake/Pretend Relationship fake identity Ron Weasley Bashing
Severus yearns for freedom from his latest masters. Hermione yearns for the freedom to pursue her own dreams. When their worlds collide, they must cross the ocean to find true liberation.
(See the end of the work for notes.)
Hermione didn¡¯t belong here.
When Severus accepted her application for an apprenticeship, it was solely because he owed Minerva a favor. He¡¯d done everything in his power?to dissuade Ms. Granger from becoming his apprentice, but she would not be denied. Minerva, meddling witch she was, stepped in and reminded him exactly which of his colleagues had testified on his behalf during his trial. After a little grumbling, he agreed to employ Hermione.
It was a mistake. From the beginning, he knew she did not belong in his apothecary. There were things of which she should be blissfully unaware. She shouldn¡¯t be aware of the clientele who snuck in after hours, the same ones who kept the apothecary open in its early days, a favor he was still repaying.
Hermione shouldn¡¯t understand the kinds of people who sought out his services. She belonged in Hogwarts, or at least in an apothecary without dirt encrusted windows. The floorboards under her feet should not creak, nor should the walls appear as if they needed a good scrubbing fifty years ago.?
¡°I¡¯m about done,¡± Hermione announced.
His attention turned to the witch peering over a cauldron, filling vials with Polyjuice. The only light in the room was that of the orange from the setting sun. It brought out the natural brown of her recently tamed hair. He tried not to notice. Merlin he tried not to notice how she¡¯d grown into a woman, but he did.
¡°Do you have any plans tonight?¡± She glanced at him as she set a vial into a rack with ten others.
¡°I plan to catch up on some brewing,¡± Severus answered.
¡°Perhaps I can help you,¡± Hermione kept her eyes on him.?
¡°I do not require your assistance.¡±?
¡°Yes, but I want to help.”?
¡°I can manage on my own.”
¡°I know, but I was hired to learn and help you.¡±
¡°Admittedly you do an adequate enough job of that. These potions, however, are a bit more,¡± he paused. ¡°Advanced for your level.¡±
¡°Isn¡¯t the goal of my apprenticeship to create more advanced potions?¡± She asked.
¡°The goal is to keep you from blowing yourself up and keep Minerva from sending me a howler.¡±
¡°If those are the only goals, I¡¯d say I¡¯ve done a pretty decent job.¡±?
¡°You have indeed.¡±
Silence fell between them.
¡°I still wish you would allow me to brew,¡± she spoke up again. ¡°The sooner I become a master, the sooner I can go about working on a few projects I would like to get off the ground.¡±
¡°Patience is a virtue. In time you will be able to brew any potion you would like.¡±
¡°I look forward to that day, especially if it means I can conduct my own research.¡±
¡°Are you that eager to be rid of me?¡±?
¡°No.¡± She put the stopper on her last vial. ¡°But the goal was for me to become more independent. At some point, I do have to strike out on my own.¡±
¡°That being said, I don¡¯t like seeing you work yourself to death,¡± she continued. ¡°It would be good of you to take a break every once in awhile.¡±
¡°Given that I am no longer brewing and spying, I am hardly working myself to death.¡±
¡°Perhaps, but I still worry for you. It doesn¡¯t seem like you do much else than work. Surely you would appreciate some type of social life.¡±
¡°A social life is overrated.¡±
¡°Perhaps to a recluse like you.¡± She cast a spell, cleaning the cauldron. ¡°But I quite enjoy getting out every once in awhile.¡±
¡°So I¡¯ve noticed,¡± he couldn¡¯t help but feel a pang in his stomach. He knew all about her social life. Everyone in Wizarding Britain did. Every moment spent outside his apothecary was catalogued in The Daily Prophet, each headline more of a dagger in his heart than the last.
¡°Anyway, we should set a schedule for me to help out every once in awhile. I can¡¯t help you brew tonight, but I am free this weekend,¡± Hermione said.
¡°You should take your own advice and have a social life on the weekends, not ask to spend your time here.¡±
¡°I can balance my social and work lives just fine.¡±?
¡°Would¡¯t Mr. Weasley be upset if he felt the big bad potions master was keeping you longer than required?¡±
¡°I suppose he would.¡± She looked at a clock. ¡°Speaking of Ron, I had better get going. I¡¯m supposed to meet him at Caponi¡¯s in an hour.¡±
¡°That¡¯s a rather pricy restaurant.¡±
¡°It is a little more than I’d like to spend on an evening,¡± she admitted.?
¡°Is there any special occasion?¡±
¡°None that I can think of,¡± she removed her black lab coat. ¡°But he seemed really excited about it.¡±
¡°You should not keep him waiting then.¡±
¡°No.¡± She walked across the room and put the coat onto a wooden peg in the wall. ¡°He gets quite impatient when I¡¯m late, especially if he thinks I¡¯ve been brewing for too long.¡±
¡°Which means you shouldn¡¯t spend time helping me catch up on my brewing, if only to keep him happy.¡±
¡°Oh I¡¯m sure I can persuade him to let me spend more time brewing with you.¡±
¡°You shouldn¡¯t have to persuade him to do anything regarding your career.¡±
¡°¡®Persuade¡¯ may be a strong word, but compromise is important in a relationship. If we aren¡¯t acting as a team, then the whole thing falls apart.¡±
For a fleeting moment, he considered asking her to brew this weekend, just to see if her Jenga tower of a relationship could withstand the slightest of touches. He expelled the thought from his mind. The last thing he needed was to further enmesh himself in her life.
¡°Anyway, I do need to leave, but if you need my help, I can make the time,” she concluded.
¡°I¡¯m sure you can.¡±
¡°I mean it,¡± she locked eyes with him. ¡°Please, don¡¯t hesitate to ask me to help with your brewing. I don’t want you to make yourself sick.¡±
¡°If I ever feel as if brewing is too much for me, you will be the first person I contact.¡±
¡°Good.¡± She gave him a soft smile before exiting the backroom, leaving the laboratory door open behind her. He watched as the main door closed behind her, staring at it for longer than he cared to admit.?
Severus took a deep breath before pulling out a key. Then, he whispered, ¡°arata-mi u?a secret?.¡±
To his left, the wooden wall faded, revealing a steel door. Unlike the rest of the apothecary, it shimmered in what little light the sunset had to give. If Ms. Granger ever saw it she would be shocked to know it was an original part of the building.
In silence, Severus opened the door and stepped inside. In front of him was a cauldron, simmering purple potion inside. That potion would be ready in two days.? The potions in the wooden crate were ready today.
He raised the crate and shut the door behind him, careful to lock it and recast the spell hiding it. Then, he carried the crate to the main area of the store, hiding it behind the checkout counter.?
Right on time, a man in a powder gray suit approached the door and knocked upon it.
Severus pointed his wand at the door. ¡°Alohomora.¡±
Within seconds, the man in a suit stepped inside. His predatory grin almost reflected the twilight. For a brief moment, Severus considered asking the man how he kept his teeth so white.
¡°Do you have my shipment?¡± The man folded his hands as he stood in front of the counter.
¡°Indeed I do.¡± Severus lifted the crate and put it on the counter. ¡°There are ninety vials of amortentia, one hundred vials of insulin balancing potion, one hundred bottles of murfa, one hundred vials of otrava somm, and one hundred vials of pu?in? otrav? stomacal?.¡±
¡°That all sounds good,¡± The man pulled out his wand, his smile now gone.
¡°Do you still doubt me?¡±
¡°Personally, no. Still, distrust is required for this job.¡±
¡°So it is.¡±
¡°E adav?rat?¡± Yellow sparks came out of the man¡¯s wand. After the crate glowed blue, the man relaxed. ¡°Thank you, Mr. Snape. Ms. Sorellia will be most appreciative of your generous services.
The man reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a bag of galleons. ¡°You are a very good friend to Ms. Sorrelia. She deeply appreciates all you do for her.¡±
¡°I appreciate her as well.¡± Severus opened the bag, giving the galleons a cursory glance.
¡°Ms. Sorrelia takes care of her friends,¡± the man picked up the crate. ¡°And you are a very good friend.¡±
He nodded, not looking up.
¡°I¡¯ll be back on Friday with a new order.¡± The man lowered his voice. ¡°One which will prove more lucrative.¡±
¡°I do relish in a lucrative deal.¡± Severus met his eyes.
¡°I know you do.¡± The man walked to the doorway. Severus lowered the wards. Then, the man turned around. ¡°La revedere Mr. Snape.¡±
¡°Same to you,¡± Severus said.
When the door closed behind him, Severus sighed.
The sooner Hermione got out of here, the better.