Snape's childhood home holds a certain fascination for SSHG fangirls and authors. Join us as we head off to visit Spinner's End.
Check out Spinner's End in miniature!
Want to give Hermione a run for her money in the know-it-all field? Simply play the quiz by commenting on this post with your answers at any time over the weekend. All comments with answers will be screened until the answer sheet is posted on Monday morning EDT. On Monday, all quizzlings with the correct answers will receive a pretty banner to prove their quiz prowess. Ready? Set? Play!
Match the quotes to the story titles without picking the red herring titles:
Spinner's End by missparker
Improbable Felicity by subversa
Making a Move by ayerf
Triple Viktory by pern_dragon
Survivors by Dyce
Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite by persephone_bound
Spinner's End by silburygirl
Sanctuary by minuet99
Household Accidents by chivalric55
Soul Man by tribunicianveto WIP
Between the Sand and Stone by sshg316 WIP
A Knock On The Door by Severusgirlx
1. It was mid-June, and Harry and Hermione took a day off from helping rebuild Hogwarts to move Snape back into Spinner's End. The past month had seen either or both of them visiting Snape every day while he recovered at St. Mungo's, and the new world order apparently included friendly relations between the older Slytherin and the two young Gryffindors who had saved his life.
Hermione was in the basement lab, carefully putting potions ingredients and accoutrement in their places. Snape watched her from his vantage point on the stairs. Her movements were deft, but her fingers often lingered affectionately on the bottles or cauldrons she placed with meticulous care. Smiling fondly, he descended the last few steps and said, "Everything looks perfect, Hermione."
She whirled to beam at him. "It's all such top-notch stuff! I was thinking that if I had been able to use materials of this quality in class, just imagine how great my potions would have been!"
Snape chuckled and said, "Hermione, you know perfectly well that your potions were outstanding—no matter what you used."
She wrinkled her nose and tossed her head. "They weren't. Harry did better than I did once he followed your instructions in Advanced Potions. I really need to learn all your amendments."
Snape snorted and said, "Well, I'd be happy to tell you whatever you want to know. I'm certain that book burned up in the Room of Requirement, but I do have it all in my head, of course."
Hermione smiled. "I would love that, Severus. Actually, that brings me to something that Harry and I wanted to talk to you about. Could we go upstairs and talk? It's rather important."
Snape's brow furrowed in curiosity. "Of course. Harry's upstairs working on the library."
They found Harry with his nose buried in one of Snape's Dark Arts books, the rest of the boxes still full and stacked around him. Snape crossed his arms and coughed, glaring at Harry.
Harry looked up, eyes round like a deer caught in headlights, and blushed. Rubbing the back of his neck sheepishly, he said, "Oops. Sorry. I got a bit distracted."
Tone dripping with sarcasm, Snape said, "So I see."
2. It was the last evening of the summer holidays. Tomorrow it would be back to Hogwarts and attempting to keep the trolls masquerading as students from blowing themselves up. For the first time in years – if not the first time ever – Severus would miss Spinner’s End.
Virtually every day, he’d had company in the form of the Hogwarts Arithmancy mistress, Hermione Granger. Of course, she was only with him because the school library was closed for renovation over the holidays.
But he could pretend otherwise with the way her face lit up: when she smiled, or when she was discussing something reassuringly intellectual with him over a cup of tea. For a few precious moments, Severus could pretend that she was with him not for his books, but for his own sake. Until reality came crashing down, and he remembered that he was so ugly even his mother had hated him; and that the only reason any woman would come near him was if she wanted something, be it an Unbreakable Vow or his books.
Severus hadn’t looked at the book open in his hands all evening; instead his eyes were fixed on the young woman lounging on his sofa. He was savouring every last moment of Hermione’s presence. Once they were back at Hogwarts, Madam Pince would have the pleasure of her company, and she didn’t even appreciate it. Perhaps he would be able to lure Hermione into his office in the evenings, or maybe even into his private quarters. He did keep some rare books there, and with some strategic book shopping he’d have even more bait …
Lost in thought, Severus’s attention was brought back to Hermione when she heaved an exasperated sigh and tossed her book aside to land on the ragged carpet with a thump.
He blinked, mouth opening to protest this rough handling from a fellow bibliophile.
3. She apparated into what turned out to be the backyard of an abandoned house. Not just abandoned, but actively falling into ruin, actually. She picked her way through the jungly garden, wondering if she'd have far to walk... no. Right in front of her, leaning drunkenly, was a street sign. Spinner's End, it read. This was the right street... and, she realized, looking up along it, at least half the houses were as dilapidated as the one she'd just passed. Her eyes were drawn along and up, seeing the chimneys of a mill in the distance. Even now, in the middle of the day, no smoke issued from them. Ah. A mill-town, probably one of the many in which the mills had closed and the town, starved of income, had begun to die. There wasn't much left of this one, now, although it had probably been a lively enough place twenty or thirty years ago.
And this was where Snape lived. He never gave the angst a rest, did he?
She headed up the street, to the last house. Yes, there was the overgrown stone dragon in the front yard, and the house, though it didn't look especially reputable, was at least not falling down. It was small and shabby, though, despite the little touches that she thought were indications of Winky's presence... clean windows, a carefully swept front step, that sort of thing. She couldn't imagine Snape ever bothering to sweep.
She headed up to the front door, tapping rather cautiously. "Hello?" she called, in case Winky had been told not to open the door to Muggles. "It's Hermione Granger..."
A moment later, the door popped open, and she looked down to see Winky, her clothes shed, now dressed in a clean pink pillowcase. The small elf gave Hermione a deeply suspicious look. "What is you wanting?" she demanded. "Not needing clothes here."
4. Over the next few days, Hermione sufficiently tidied the front and back gardens and dispensed with Winky’s assistance, turning her attentions indoors once more. She wandered from room to room, studying and thinking, making a list. She even forced herself to enter the bedroom she would soon share with Severus, making notes to herself as she went. A trip to Muggle shops and then Diagon Alley with the funds Severus had sent was quite enjoyable for her. For the first time in years, she was shopping and the gold had not been given to her by Harry. Surely when one’s husband gave one gold to shop it was different than living upon the kindness of one’s friend?
Apparating back to Spinner’s End with her purchases, Hermione busied herself making a home of the house which had become hers by the act of marriage. With furniture polish rich with beeswax, she tended to the furnishings, rubbing until her arms ached and the seasoned wood shone with her efforts. Taking the brass fittings from the fireplaces in the sitting room and the bedroom, she cleaned and buffed the metal to a fine burnish. Using a trick of her mother’s, she put old cotton socks on her hands and rubbed the newly-waxed hardwood flooring until it shone, as well.
Occupying herself in this way made her feel closer to her absent mother, who had managed to be an excellent dentist and an exemplary homemaker. After the limbo of living in Harry’s home, on his charity, it filled Hermione with a deeply peaceful self-satisfaction to convert her living space into a home reminiscent of the one in which she had been raised.
She draped the old cloth of the sofa and matching armchairs in a corded dark blue fabric and laboured for hours over an upholstery spell until the ancient battered furniture looked as if it had been recovered by a professional. As the rooms became more her own, her spirits rose; Hermione loved taking the skills she had learnt and applying them to the previously neglected old terraced house. In the evenings, muscles sore from the work of loving the old house into submission, she wielded her wand and sewed cheerful cushions to add colourful accents to the carefully chosen, House-neutral palette she had selected to decorate her home.
5. “Has anyone ever told you that you’re an absolutely horrible driver?” The combination of the light reflecting off a fence and the glow from the rear view mirror made his face glow in the darkness, though even that was not enough to take away the faintly green tinge.
“Says the man who practically wet himself when my father offered to teach him how to drive.”
“I don’t need to drive; I can apparate.”
“Except on those occasions when you let the wards on your old home run wild for a decade, so that they no longer recognise you.” The woman braked to peer at a crooked sign. “Severus, are you sure this is the right street? There was no ‘Wisteria Lane’ on the map.”
“One of the spells I used in the wards was designed to carry any undesirables back to the centre of town,” said the man called Severus. “God knows where they lead to now.”
“Fortunately, we have a map, and know better than to follow our instincts. Straight forward, then?”
The car continued on its journey, bouncing across potholes as the road faded from asphalt into cobblestone into gravel and then grass, making the woman grip the steering wheel until her knuckles were as white as Severus’ face.
“Is this still a road?”
“Just the wards acting up, then?”
“Steady on. We’re almost there—we just passed the playground.”
6. ‘Are you going to go in or what?’ Kingsley interrupted. ‘If we stand out here much longer, we’re going to get soaked.’ He angled his head to look up at the lowering sky.
‘Right.’ Hermione nodded determinedly and climbed the steps. The key turned easily in the lock, and the door glided smoothly open. Her first reaction was one of disappointment: where were all of Snape’s books? For obviously he had possessed many, many books – shelves were built onto every wall, ceiling to floor, and over the spots where the windows and fireplace must be. She could not even see any doors to the other parts of the house.
‘Ooh,’ Kingsley murmured over her shoulder. ‘Creepy dark in here.’
Ignoring him, Hermione lit her wand with a non-verbal Lumos and passed over the threshold into the front room. Originally, this space had been a lounge and a dining area: two threadbare armchairs sat forlornly on the brown shag carpet in the near half of the room; through a wide archway, she could see a scarred oak table that, judging by the ink stains, had probably done duty as a desk rather than an eating surface. Dust motes danced through the air in front of her wand.
‘Erm, Kingsley?’ Hermione asked. ‘Any idea how to get into the rest of the house?’
‘Not a clue.’ He stepped around her and headed for the back of the room, beyond the dining table. She followed, passing her wand-light over the shelves, looking for cracks.
‘Here,’ Kingsley murmured. He was standing in the back left-hand corner of the room. Hermione peered into the gloom and saw a set of hinges. Experimentally, she reached out and tugged on the nearest shelves. With a faint creak, they swung toward her and revealed a staircase that travelled up behind the back wall of the room to the first floor. The stairwell was pitch-black. Are there any windows in this house at all?
7. The streets of the village were entirely devoid of activity, the shops closed down in observance of the coming holiday. Occasionally, they would pass a residential home, the windows glowing warm and inviting with festive holiday lights. Hermione scowled and dropped her chin to her chest in order to keep the snow from her eyes; not for the first time did she curse the man for whom they were making this trek.
Would it have killed him to set the anti-Apparition wards a little closer to his house? or to lift them just long enough for them to Apparate to his doorstep? Lousy bastard, her mind supplied. It always seemed as though he got his way in instances such as these. Instances that left her annoyed and ill-humored, trudging through a snowstorm on Christmas Eve.
Hermione felt a tug on her hand and lifted her head to see that they'd finally reached Spinner's End. She pushed open the low wooden gate, and quickly trotted up the path, her energy renewed at the thought of the warmth on the other side of the front door. The little girl at her side, her excitement visible even through her scarf-obscured face, knocked on the door. Rat tat tat tat Rat tat. It was their special signal.
The door swung open almost immediately, and they both quickly entered.
"I could kill you, Severus Snape," Hermione growled as she made quick work of removing her wet cloak before turning to the young girl and unwrapping the many layers.
"We had a deal," he replied, a low, dangerous tone in his voice. She looked up and found herself struck by not only the firm determination in his eyes, but also the desperation - she knew how much he needed this. He quickly blinked away any trace of those emotions and turned a warm smile to the young girl beside her. "And how are you this evening, my love?" he inquired pleasantly, bending a bit and holding out his arms. The young girl, now freed of her cloaks, sweaters, and hats, grinned and ran into his waiting arms.
"Daddy!" she yelled happily as he lifted her up and hugged her tightly. Pulling back and studying her sweet, pink face, he ran a hand affectionately through her curly black hair. A wistful look on his face, he kissed her head; Hermione could not help but be warmed by the easy affection this man held for his daughter.
8. The slanted handwriting was most familiar and surprising.
"Miss Granger –
Please meet me Saturday at 11:30am at Spinner's End. I trust you know where that is – bring your notes.
– S. Snape"
He'd invited her to his house? She did know where it was, she and Harry had gone there once, the summer after their sixth year, but it was obvious that Snape had known that. Perhaps her potion had worked. She was too curious to decline the somewhat uninviting invitation and so she assumed since the owl did not stay, her silence would suffice as a yes.
She arrived Saturday morning ten minutes early, as was her custom. She was nervous but not scared as she lifted the brass knocker and let it fall. She waited only a moment before he answered the door and stiffly thanked her for coming.
"Your voice sounds so much better!" she couldn't help but exclaim. It wasn't quite right but the painful sounding rasp was gone.
"So surprised that your spray worked?" he asked.
"Just that you used it," she said, honestly. They stood in the dusty, neglected living room. "Why am I here, sir?" she asked, finally.
9. His train of thought was stopped abruptly when the woman in question silently slid to the ground. Snape immediately rushed to her side, turning away any bystanders with a glare and accompanying body language. Resisting the urge to immediately cast a Rennervate spell, he instead felt for a pulse with his own fingers. Finding a weak, erratic beat only solidified his next plan of action. Knowing that his face wasn’t exactly welcome at places like St. Mungo’s, and also knowing next to nothing of Hermione’s current situation, he did the next best thing: he Apparated them both to his house at Spinner’s End.
He laid her gently on the worn-looking sofa in his sitting room. His next step was to conjure a blanket to lay across her body. He removed his glamour first, and then hers. He was startled to discover how frighteningly pale she was. Her skin was almost no different than his own in color. The glamour had not been hiding much of her true appearance, and he chastised himself silently for not recognizing her earlier. Her magical strength, or rather, lack thereof, was even more obvious. Her hair was dirty and more unkempt than usual. It had lost some of its bushy quality, but he wasn’t sure whether to attribute that to her state of uncleanliness or to malnutrition. He scowled and unsheathed his wand.
He cast a cleaning spell on her entire body and a handful of simple diagnostic spells. He was no Poppy Pomfrey, but he was able to confirm some of his suspicions. She had not been eating much, if at all, and her body was crying out for vitamin replenishment. He set the wards in the room to let him know the moment she woke up and headed downstairs to his laboratory. Virtually on auto-pilot, he began to brew Calming Draught and various other potions including a vitamin replenishment potion. He hardly noticed his hands reaching for the necessary ingredients as most of his attention was focused on his own thoughts.
How had Hermione Granger, indirect Savior of the Wizarding World, come to be in this state?
10. Halfway across the room, Snape stopped dead in his tracks, slowly closing the book he was carrying, but leaving his index finger in as a marker. He stared at the door, heart beating fast.
No one but a select few knew of his home - the Malfoys, the Dark Lord. Even Wormtail had been Confounded during his stay so that he couldn't go squealing to anyone prepared to reward him well.
If it had not been so, Snape would never have dared return to Spinner's End. Even though he knew it was only a matter of time before the Aurors found he was connected to this place and came searching, he felt it was safe for the moment.
Enough time had now elapsed for the person to have moved on from his door. A Muggle no doubt, armed with a clipboard and a barrage of sales talk. They knocked from time to time and were ignored.
He had dared to move again; but with his first step, the knock came again, harder, more urgent.
Drawing his wand, he placed the book on the table and made his way to the door, listening and concentrating for any hint of who was on the other side. He could pick up nothing but the lightness of stance. The person was either young or female or both, but with enough skill to block their mind from intrusion.
Still they did not move away.
He heard rustling and a whisper of a simple spell. He glanced down at the keyhole, and within seconds, a slither of parchment began nudging its way in through the only hole in the door - there being no letterbox. The parchment continued until a good ten inches protruded into the room, and then with a 'plip', it fell to the floor.
Performing a simple spell to reveal any jinxes, Snape bent down to retrieve the parchment, taking care not to let the bulk of his body cross the doorway.
He unrolled the parchment - and blanched.