joannie3 (joannie3) wrote,
joannie3
joannie3

Fic: "Tonight You're Mine Completely II" (Harry Potter)

Archive: Sycophant Hex: Ashwinder (Alternate Universe)
Title:
Chapter 7 The Morning After (chapter 7 of 23)
Characters: Harry Potter World
Pairings: Severus Snape and Hermione Granger
Rating: R
Summary: Severus admits to himself that he has feelings for Hermione. He becomes agitated when he discovers she is not in the laboratory cleaning the next morning. Elf misinterprets his comment and Apparates Hermione to Snape’s quarters. Snape is summoned by Albus to a meeting that also includes Professors McGonagall and Slughorn. They make him a proposition. He returns to Hermione and proceeds to lecture her on her misconduct at Slughorn’s dinner.
Word Count: 3202

Disclaimer: Not my characters. I’m just borrowing some of JKR’s characters for a little story.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Severus awakened with the ominous feeling that something horrific was going to befall him today. He would never allow himself to forget that he was responsible for Lily’s death, but the message that she had delivered to him last night gave him hope for a future.

He brushed at the dampness on his cheek. Her ethereal visit had triggered emotions he was not prepared to sort out.

The encounter had been surreal. He could feel himself touching her. He could feel Lily touching him. In all the years since her death, never once had he experienced this level of intimacy upon recalling her memory.

He saw the burst of silvery green particles floating around them. He thought he had died and was having an out of body experience – until he heard Lily speak to him.

Her words played over in his mind.

‘Here is your opportunity. I want you to take it, Sev. Do it for me. Together, with the one with whom you are destined, you will defeat the Dark Lord. Your descendants will bring unity to Hogwarts.’

“Ha! My descendants –doubtful that. Life is playing yet another cruel joke!” he snarled.

This strange turn of fate was forcing him to reconcile his past and confront his future. He did have a choice. He could continue to torment his soul with the sins of his youth and the guilt of his adulthood, or he could follow a different path and allow himself to be deluded into believing he had a future. Neither option appealed to him at the moment.

Damn! He was miserable. And, he wanted everyone around him to be miserable, as well.

He ignored the breakfast tray. Instead, he picked up the oil lantern and made his way to the laboratory. Granger was probably already waiting for him to remove the wards on the door.

Elf trotted along behind him. She had a worried look on her face. Master Professor was acting strangely. She had to protect him. Last night did not go the way Elf had planned.

As he was about to step over the threshold into the laboratory, Snape did a quick turn and scowled at Elf. “Do NOT come in here!” he barked. The look in his eyes told her she would be sorry if she disobeyed.

“Yes, Master Professor.” She dropped her head, her ears fell back, and she paced in front of the doorway.

The professor ignored Elf. Instead, he thought about Miss Granger as he lit the iron wall sconces.

Severus admitted to himself that he found Granger captivating, and he could no longer repudiate his feelings for her. He enjoyed her company in his laboratory, and he wanted her to continue as his assistant.

A pall settled over him. The idea that Miss Granger might find him appealing was so far from reality that it was not worth considering.

‘Do you not remember the parchment she wrote your name on?’

He argued that it was only a silly, school girl musing. Not only was he mean tempered and twice her age, but she was also his student. At least he and Lily had been contemporaries.

No, it was not possible, he decided. There were too many obstacles to overcome. Miss Granger would never be anything other than his student or potions assistant. Anything other than that would require a miracle only Merlin could perform.

It was unwise of him to pursue her, even surreptitiously. Though he could not prevent himself from wondering, what his life would be like if she were in it. For that matter, what would his life be like if she were not in it?

The candles flickered and gave off a soft, dim light. The room was well-lit enough for him to see that the floor was still covered in a layer of dirt. ‘What in blue blazes was she doing last night? She cannot even accomplish the simple tasks of drawing water and sweeping the floor.’ Why he ever thought she would make an ideal assistant was beyond him. He marched towards the fireplace to see if she had managed to fill the cauldron.

He snorted. It was only half-full. He knelt down to begin building the fire, then became further annoyed when he realized she was late.

“Granger! What time is it? She is late! If she is not here in two minutes, she will get a detention!” he barked. He said it loud enough to reach Elf’s droopy ears.

Outside the doorway, Elf’s ear’s perked up. ‘Master Professor being angry Miss not here. Miss be getting in trouble. Elf help.’
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

A loud popping sound and an invisible hand, pulling away her coverlet, awakened Hermione.

Instinctively, Hermione seized the retreating covers and grumpily mumbled, “Go… away.”

“Miss gots to go. La-bor-tory. Master Professor be saying, ‘Miss late.’ Gots to hurry,” said Elf, yanking the coverlet completely off Hermione.

Hermione bolted to an upright position and rubbed her eyes. “Gods, Elf! What the…!”

Sunlight streamed through the windows and caused her to squint at the creature. Elf, a death grip on the coverlet, stared back defiantly. ‘Master Professor being upset Miss no come.’

“I haven’t had breakfast! I am not even dressed! No! Not going anywhere,” snapped Hermione, yanking the coverlet and dropping back onto the bed. ‘I feel as if I had been tossed about on the Knight Bus.’

“Elf be making Miss breakfast. Gots to go,” insisted Elf boldly, as she reached out to Hermione.

Pop!

Dizzy from the unexpected Side-Along Apparition, Hermione put her arm out to steady herself as the room spun around her. Staring down at her toes, she realized she was still wearing her nightgown.

‘All those books! I’m in Professor Snape’s quarters! I cannot face him after seeing us together in that memory. Please, let the floor open up and swallow me.’

The winds picked up, but she fought to stay righted as their velocity increased, buffeting her about, threatening to topple her. Somewhere, far off she heard Professor Snape’s voice, but she couldn’t see him.

Then she saw him enter from the direction of his laboratory. He was staring at her, and he did not look pleased. Her pulse quickened at the sound of his voice. Her breathing became laboured as a vortex of activity spun around her, weaving a multitude of past events into a seamless tapestry.

Annoyed, Professor Snape snarled, “Granger! What is the meaning of this disturbance?”

Straight from the arms of Morpheus, she was a vision: tousled curls, sleepy eyes, and bare toes peeking from beneath the ruffled hem of her nightdress.

‘Granger, you are an infuriating pain in my arse.’

Her nightdress had slipped low, exposing one shoulder, and the top buttons had come undone. The scooped neckline revealed the soft swell of her rounded breast.

‘I must remain in control. I cannot allow her to send me around the bend.’

“For Merlin’s sake, Granger! Have you no shame? Cover yourself up! A witch cannot go traipsing about the castle in revealing nightclothes.”

The Potions classroom spun around her. Cauldrons, bottles, jars, and books whizzed by her head. There was a loud roar, but above the roar she could hear snatches of conversations. Hermione squeezed her eyes shut and put her hands over her ears to block out the sounds, but she was unable to stem the avalanche of memories.

‘Liberacorpus.’

“No!” shouted Hermione. “Leave me. Stop. Please, stop.” Her voice was drowned out by the raging tempest.

‘You will regret this juvenile attempt at retaliation, Granger.’

“Please, no more...stop! I didn’t mean to harm anyone. Please, believe me,” she screamed, terrified that whatever spirits she had set free with the soul mate spell were causing this torment. She opened her eyes. Winds whipped at her hair and tore at her clothing.

Professor Dumbledore flew by on his broom, hovering just inches from her face.

He is a gentleman, my dear, and respectful of a lady's dignity. Especially if the lady in question is a Gryffindor...’

The speed of the vortex picked up as new objects came onto the scene: bedpans, bandages, Madam Pomfrey...

‘My responsibility...complicated...of course if you want...experimental treatment...’

‘Your moves were innate - quick - precise - brilliantly performed - and had your natural instincts not surfaced...’

‘Stopper the bottle immediately, Miss Granger.’

Molly Weasley floated in front of her holding out a hand mirror, a worried look in her eye.

‘Sometimes young people can get caught up in the heat of the moment and do not consider the consequences.’

Hair flying in her face, she tried to respond. “I am sorry for what I did to Professor Snape. Please...”she pleaded. The winds whipped her words away.

'Professor Snape's robes...’

‘I would like to be more than your assistant, sir.’

Just as suddenly as it began, the winds stilled, leaving Hermione weak, her legs trembling, unable to support her weight.

The last words she heard were those that Professor Snape had spoken to the Dark Lord last night.

‘My Lord, I followed your strategy for disciplining her.’

‘Her reactions demonstrate that her mind can be easily manipulated.’

“I will never experiment with unknown spells again. Never. I promise,” she said, with contrition in her voice.

“Professor, I am sorry for everything I have...”

Professor Snape rushed forward. His strong arms caught her before she collapsed on the cold, stone floor.

He gathered her to him, caressing her gently, calling her name, “Hermione, Hermione... ” He spoke softly, an uncommon hoarseness in his voice.

The winds had torn at her clothing to the point that the neckline of her gown had slipped even lower, exposing her full, rounded breasts.

Life is always happening to me at the most inopportune times.’

“If I allow it, you will be my downfall and my ruin, Miss Granger.” He forced his eyes to focus on her face.

‘I can ill afford to allow you to remain here in my quarters in this state of undress.’

She was in no condition to clean. He was going to have to do her work.

Deciding the safest place for her was with him, he carried her into the laboratory. He placed a coverlet over her and made her as comfortable as possible on the settee. The situation dictated that he monitor her before administering a Calming Draught. ‘The body itself is a powerful healer,’ he reasoned, ‘when given the time to heal.’

Elf followed Master Professor. This time his attention was focused on Hermione, and he took no notice of Elf.

He welcomed this brief respite. It gave his mind an opportunity to process and rearrange the thoughts and emotions he had filed in the drawer labelled: ‘Dead to Me’.

An owl flew in the open doorway and unceremoniously dropped at envelope at the professor’s feet. He recognized Dumbledore’s seal. He removed the parchment. The message was short and to the point.

Professor Snape,

My office. Now!

Albus



A glance in Granger’s directions confirmed she was still asleep. Standing between the unconscious girl and the fireplace, Elf, a frightened look in her big elf eyes, stood watch over the girl. She cowered, wringing her hands, when she saw the dark look he was giving her.

“Elf, you are to notify me at once if Miss Granger awakens. Nothing more. No magic! If you disobey me, I will give you clothes!” he snarled. He was already behind schedule, and this side trip to Albus' office, no doubt precipitated by Granger's thoughtless scheme, would cost him precious time that he could ill afford to waste. The Dark Lord was expecting to see the results of the potion he had requested.

“Yes, Master Professor,” croaked Elf, still wringing her hands and glancing nervously at Miss.


‘What could the old fool possibly want now?’

As he approached Albus’ door, he heard the Headmaster call out loudly, “Come in!”

The Headmaster’s voice sounded as if he were is a less than charitable mood.

Severus entered to see Professors McGonagall and Slughorn.

It never boded well for him anytime he arrived in this office and found the two of them waiting for him.

Albus silently indicated a chair, but he did not offer tea or even a lemon drop. Over his half-moon glasses, he stared at Severus.

The silence, broken only by the scratching of a magical quill and Fawkes’ occasional chirp, was becoming unbearable.

‘If this is about Granger’s sudden appearance in my quarters, I have a good explanation,’ he rationalized to himself.

His palms resting on his knees, Severus contemplated the fine-weave of his woolen trousers.

‘If that is what this is about, Albus would have said something already. No, he is quite upset. Whatever it is, it must be serious. All three of them are staring daggers at me. What in Merlin’s name did I do?’

Finally, Albus broke the silence and spoke in a controlled tone. “Professor Snape, thank you for being prompt.”

Severus rolled his eyes. ‘So, it is Professor Snape. This is not going to go well.’

“Horace has brought it to my attention that there are rumours circulating throughout the student body concerning your questionable conduct with a female Gryffindor student.”

Severus fixed Slughorn with a dark glare.

Albus, finger reading a parchment lying on his desk, occasionally looked over his half-moon glasses to fix the wayward professor with an admonishing look.

“Miss Granger was quoted as saying, ‘Professor Snape has come to rely upon me rather heavily to lessen his workload, especially now that he has taken the Defence Against the Dark Arts teaching position.’

Severus groaned at being on the receiving end of a dressing-down and started to speak, but the Headmaster raised his hand and continued reading.

“and…’Professor Snape and I have developed a professional working relationship.’

Albus sat back in his chair and shook his head in amazement.

“What Hogwarts professor, in his or her right mind, would give a sixth-year, underage student of the opposite sex the impression that a professional working relationship had developed between them?” he snapped irritably.

Minerva fixed him with one of the disapproving looks she reserved for miscreant Gryffindors, tight lipped, a look of disdain in her eyes. Her glances alternated between Professor Snape and the Headmaster.

Slughorn, feeling wrong footed at being identified as the person responsible for this uncomfortable situation, squirmed and tried to force a smile.

‘I felt I had an obligation to inform the Headmaster about the conversation I overheard between Miss Granger and Miss Bobbin when I heard it repeated to Mr. McLaggen.’

“This is absurd,” Severus said dryly, his thin lips pressed in a straight line. He felt the onset of a headache as the muscle of his right cheek began to twitch.

“Severus,” Albus replied, a little less harshly, “Minerva, Horace, and I have been discussing an opportunity. We would like your opinion.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Professor Snape left Albus’ office in somewhat of a daze. “From my mouth to Merlin’s ear!”

As he made his way along the winding, passageways of the dimly lit dungeon, he took no notice of anyone he passed. He was anxious to return and check on his charge. He was relieved to find her still asleep and Elf hovering nearby.

Swish...swoosh...swish...swoosh.... The rhythmic sounds were soothing to her ragged nerves as she groggily awakened. Gingerly, she felt around with one hand and determined she was lying on a small divan. Her head felt like a Bludger had hit her. Her eyes fluttered open to reveal a dark space. Turning her head slightly, her eyes had to focus for several seconds before she was able to make out the stone fireplace looming in front of her. Her body felt drained and just wanted to be left alone – to go back to sleep. Her eyelids closed and her arm slipped down beside her.

Swish... swoosh... swish... swoosh.... The soothing sounds gently lulled her back into a state of semi-consciousness.

Sometime later Hermione awoke to the sound of silence and the feeling that she was being watched. She turned her head just enough to see a dark shape, arms folded across its chest, wearing a scowl.

“Good afternoon, Miss Granger,” said Professor Snape sarcastically, his lip curled in disdain. “You have successfully managed to foist your chores onto me as I had to finish the cleaning duty you were assigned yesterday.”

Hermione hoisted herself on one elbow. Massaging her temple gingerly, she peered through one half-open eye and replied sleepily, “Cleaning... me... what are you on about?”

“Silence! I made excuses for your morning absence. Now, that you are awake, I suggest you return to your common room immediately before my reputation is further sullied.”

“What, sir?” asked Hermione, registering a look of total confusion.

“It seems there are rumours flying about this morning that you and I have a harmonious working relationship. This morning the Headmaster called me to his office to answer to charges brought against me by Professor Slughorn. He took perverse pleasure in pointing out that you are my student and I am to treat you as such,” he replied, scowling.

“But, sir, I don’t understand. I’ve no idea as to what Professor Slughorn is referring.”

“Come now, Miss Granger. Loose lips. If you and I are to work closely together in my laboratory, you must start comporting yourself in a mature manner. Take care in what you say and to whom you say it.”

‘He’s staring at me! Do not think about the Pensieve. He can see my thoughts. I know he can. I wish a hole would open up and swallow me. Let me leave, please.’
Hermione made ready to leave.
Before she could move, Professor Snape bent low and stared into her eyes for several seconds as if he were searching her soul. “If we are found out by the Dark Lord, it will not go well with either of us,” he whispered softly.

Hermione, self-conscious of her attire, slowly stood up, crossed her arms over her breasts, and shifted nervously from one foot to the other.

“In the future, dress appropriately before leaving your room,” he sneered, looking down his long nose at her.

Hermione brought her arms closer around herself, swallowed hard, and nodded. There was a penitent look in her eyes as she obediently answered. “Yes, sir.”

‘You will be of age on your next birthday, and plans are afoot to place you in a perilous role in the defence of our world. The Dark Lord is determined to have you, Hermione.’

“You are an insufferable know-it-all and a pain in my arse. For more than a year, you have managed to make my life a bloody hell!” he snarled.

“I am sorry, sir,” she answered meekly. “May I please... leave… now?” she asked, hesitantly. She could not meet his eyes.

“You may go,” he replied.

‘Thanks be to the gods!’ Hermione ran towards the door.

“Miss Granger, is it your intent to run from my quarters in your night dress as if a herd of Hippogriffs were at your heels?” he called out, his voice smooth and silky.

Hermione’s cheeks flushed.

“Elf, Miss Granger is ready to return to her common room.”


(to be continued… http://joannie3.livejournal.com/1377.html)
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