(no subject)

Happy Birthday, Pascaline. I missed your time zone and barely made it in mine. I hope your celebration was filled with love and happiness

Hugs,

Lois


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

Archive: Sycophant Hex: Ashwinder (Alternate Universe)
Title: Chapter 8b Finding Their Way
Characters: Harry Potter World
Pairings: Severus Snape and Hermione Granger
Rating: R - Explicit
Summary: Hermione tests her boundaries, and Severus helps her restore her memory of their afternoon.
Word Count: 1697
Disclaimer: Not my characters. I’m just borrowing some of JKR’s characters for a little story.

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8b Finding Their Way

“Did you…do that before…you know…earlier…when…we…uh...?” There was a look of concern in her eyes.

“I did," he replied emphatically.

At first, his answer appeared to satisfy Hermione, and a look of relief showed on her features. But the perplexed look on her face told him she had unanswered questions.

"What is it?" he asked, a hint of irritation in his voice.

“Have you performed a 100 percent effective contraception spell before?” she asked, biting her bottom lip.

“Is that your way of asking me, if there were other witches before you?” he asked acerbically, his lip curling in a sneer.

“It was not.”

“Do you want to know?” he asked mischievously.

“Only, if you want to tell me.”

“Since we are being honest with one another, I will, unless….”

“Yes, you can tell me. I don’t need to know how many. You can just answer yes or no.”

He laughed. His eyes lit up. Hermione realized she had rarely seen him smile let alone laugh. She liked his laugh. It was genuine.

“Are you laughing at me?” she asked incredously.

“Not at you, my dear. I am only laughing at what you said. I find it quite amusing that you would think that I, the ‘greasy git’, would have had numerous opportunities for romantic interludes.

“There was only one other witch, and she was a casualty of the last war.” Sadness came over him, and he turned his face away from her.

“Severus, I am so sorry.” She laid her hand on his arm and gave it a squeeze.

He placed his hand on hers and gave her a weak smile. “I have finally made my peace with the whole senseless situation, but it has taken me a very long time. I will admit that I felt conflicted when I realized I had feelings for you. My demons have since released me. The memory of her is sweet, but she no longer haunts my every waking moment.” He hugged her to him. “You are with me now,” he whispered, nuzzling his face in her hair.

“Wait, that was fifteen years ago!" she retorted, pushing back to look him directly in the eye. "You mean you haven’t…not once?”

“Hermione, any attempts I may have made at wenching were thoroughly trounced upon,” he responded, giving Elf a dark glare.

Elf returned his stare with a bold stance, arms crossed over her chest, chin pointed up, and eyes defiant.

‘Thems witches not being right for Master Professor!’

Hermione followed Severus’ eyes. When she saw Elf, Hermione could not keep from laughing.

“Ha, ha…you mean…Elf?” she managed to choke out, between bouts of laughter.

“I did not find it humorous at the time. I assure you. Do you recall your first night here? Remember how Elf treated you?”

“Yes. I thought her behaviour strange. What I thought even stranger was that you tolerated her attitude.”

“Elf and I are accustomed to one another’s oddities. Compared to the treatment my other guests received, you were treated with the utmost respect.”

“Is that so?”

“Did you sustain any cuts and bruises or have any terrifying experiences? Are you missing any body parts?” he asked as he ticked a count off on his fingers.

“You mean…she…Elf can be violent?”

“Elf would say she is being protective of me.”

“I guess I should feel honoured that she allowed me to stay?”

“Very honoured indeed, Miss Granger.”

She pulled him closer to her in a tight embrace and soothingly rubbed her hand over his back.

“You didn’t answer my question. Do we or do we not have a potion?” she whispered in his ear.

Severus pulled back from her and looked her directly in the eye when he answered.

“We do not, but the spell is effective. I promise. Trust me.”

Trust you? What if it fails? What happens then?” she asked in a raised voice.

“I cannot imagine my casting a spell that fails,” he answered, an incredulous look on his face.

“But, if the silly wand waving, as you like to refer to casting, did fail - what then?” she persisted.

If – and that is a very big IF – we will face it when the time comes – providing it ever does.” He crossed his arms over his chest, a stern look on his features that said the subject is closed.

Her questions were beginning to ruffle his feelings.

“Ummm,” she said softly.

“Yes, Hermione,” he responded irritably, his lips pressed in a thin line as his eyes darkened.

“What would you do if…if I did…get pregnant?”

“Hermione. Your question is absurd. You are NOT going to get pregnant!” he snarled. Dear Merlin, she could try a wizard's patience. He stood up and started to pace in front of the fireplace.

“Professor Dumbledore doesn’t seem to agree with your statement,” she responded calmly.

“Oh, for the…I don’t know what I would do!” he said vehemently. He stopped pacing long enough to level a look of exasperation at her.

Hermione came to attention. 'Perhaps, I pushed too much,' she thought.

He saw her face cloud over and added more softly, “I know I would not abandon you or our child.”

“You are saying you wouldn’t force me to…"

A look of horror crossed his face as he went to her and pulled her to him. “No, little one, no, never. I would never force you to give up our…no, Hermione, no. I may be a lot of bad things, but I would not harm our child.

“When order is restored to the wizarding world, we will make plans for our future and a family, if that is what you still want.”

“Yes, I do want that, but now is not the time.” She leaned up and kissed him lightly on lips.

The spontaneity of her action pleased Severus. In his mind, it meant their relationship was moving away from their academic beginning. He was pleased that Hermione was feeling more at ease with him.

“I want that, as well. With you.” He surprised himself at how easily those words spewed forth from his mouth. Anyone who knew Professor Severus Snape knew that he barely tolerated the students in his classes. The idea that he might want children of his own was totally inconceivable.

His words should not have come as a shock to him. The words came from his heart. He and Hermione had been travelling in the same direction for five years. It was only this past year that their paths had merged. Now they were walking side by side, hand-in-hand.

He had allowed himself, for one brief moment, to believe that he and Lily could have a life and family. It was the night of the Halloween Feast, 1979. However, she married Potter the next day. He learned later they had had a son. Ever since that time, he pushed any thoughts of having children so far from his mind that the very mention of children brought the word dunderheads to his lips.

A few times over the years, a female student attracted his attention, but he never acted on his thoughts. The student graduated believing that Professor Snape was thoroughly pleased to be rid of her. But Granger had been different.

His and Hermione’s connection had started the first day she sat down at her desk in his Potions class. He could still picture himself, ignoring her frantically, waving hand, as he interrogated Potter.

The more she annoyed him – the more he chastised her. Still, he looked forward to seeing her. But he had been able to keep that knowledge to himself until that fateful day in Potions class when she fanaticized over him.

Yes, spells and guide spirits had given them a push. But even then the spells and spirits could not have gotten the two of them together without each of them recognizing the spark of interest in the other person.

Their eventual coupling was the result of shared interests and the enjoyment of each other’s company. It was not the result of a spell gone awry or a randy professor masterminding the seduction of his nubile student.

He easily scooped her up in his strong arms and carried her in the direction of his bed chamber. Hermione’s breath caught as he pushed the door open with his foot. ‘This is Severus’ room!’

As he pushed open the door he said to her, “Tonight, you’re mine completely. Mine. All mine. You are completely and utterly all mine. You will forever belong only to me – and no one else! I will share you with no one!” he promised.

He gently deposited her on the bed and whispered softly, “Tonight you are going to experience what it feels like to be loved completely.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"I hope we’ve done right, Albus. They do love each other. Finally, he is willing to admit it," she said solemnly.

"No more meddling, Nim. They are in Merlin's hands now. My fear is Hermione will be recruited," replied Albus gravely.

"The snitch has been caught, Albus. Is our side winning? My fear is that we won’t be so fortunate this time," she moaned.

"They came together sooner than either of us planned. Will they last? It is too bad they did not have the time to build a proper relationship. Without the foundation that couples build as they begin to learn about each other, the odds are against them. I must believe they will survive and save the wizarding world," he replied softly.

The twinkle in Albus' eyes was gone. He clenched his jaw, and his face went white. The poison that was eating away at him took more of his strength each day. He knew his time was short; it was doubtful he would live to see the outcome. The wizarding world's hopes were pinned on The Chosen One and an oddly paired couple.


"You are wrong, Albus. They have had five years to build a foundation and one year of foreplay,” Nim chided humorously.

“One year of …? What?” asked Albus, snapping back to the present.

“Foreplay! That is what I said. Foreplay. They have been musing about each for more than a year. It began in earnest the night of detention. You remember the intense argument, ending in the passionate embrace, which forced him to seek your counsel.
“Surely, you cannot have forgotten the search of the Enchanted Forest, the Ministry attack, and how night after night, he sat by her bedside, in hospital?”

“Ah, yes. I never thought of it in those terms.”

“Have you forgotten the girl child has previously spent two nights in his quarters?”

The thought crossed his mind that Nim should cease referring to Miss Granger as ‘the girl child’. He chuckled.


“What is so funny, Albus?”

“You, my dear.”


“Me?”

“Nim, you must refrain from referring to Miss Granger as ‘the girl child’. Now that she and Severus are engaging in…uh…inappro…extracurricular activities, you should use a more fitting term - one that does not imply she is under age,” admonished Albus, a bit flustered.

“Right you are, Albus. Would 'young miss' be more appropriate?”

“Certainly more so than 'the girl child',” he chuckled as the twinkle returned to his blue eyes and his demeanour calmed.


(To be continued...)

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

Archive: Sycophant Hex: Ashwinder (Alternate Universe)
Title: Chapter 6 An Afternoon Lie-in (chapter 6 of 23)
Characters: Harry Potter World
Pairings: Severus Snape and Hermione Granger
Rating: R - Explicit
Summary: Hermione goes to the Headmaster’s office. At first she does not understand what he wants to talk with her about. Then Dumbledore comes to the real question he called her to his office to discuss. When Dumbledore learns the reason that Hermione did not take Madam Pomfrey’s health class for sixth year girls, he asks her another question. She leaves his office upset that Severus didn’t warn her. Hermione returns to the dungeon to find that Severus and Elf have had an illuminating discussion. When Severus touches her hand, it awakens Hermione’s feelings.
Word Count: 5085
Disclaimer: Not my characters. I’m just borrowing some of JKR’s characters for a little story.

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“Come in, Miss Granger,” called out the Headmaster.

“You wanted to see me, Professor Dumbledore.”

“Yes, Miss Granger. Thank you for coming. Lemon drop?” he asked cordially.

Hermione politely waved it away.

“Did your little chat with Professor Snape go well?”

“Professor Snape said we would discuss how our spells intertwined when I return, sir.”

“Good. Good. It is better if Professor Snape discusses that with you.

“Normally, Madam Pomfrey would be addressing the mechanics with you, but in light of the circumstances it is best we not involve a fourth party. I must ask you to not divulge any of our conversation to anyone except Professor Snape.”

Hermione shifted nervously. ‘Madam Pomfrey? Mechanics? What is he talking about? Has there been a problem with a potion I brewed? Surely, Professor Snape would have told me if there were. He would not send me to see the Headmaster.’ Hermione felt her cheeks flush.

“As Professor Snape has probably told you, I know everything that goes on in this castle – everything. Sometimes I give the impression that I am trying to learn something when I ask a question, but I always know. What I do not know is if the person is going to answer me truthfully. That is good advice for you too, my dear. Never ask a question unless you know the answer. One must also take care and not ask the question, if one cannot handle the answer. Oft times, we wizards make that mistake. We ask for the truth and then punish the honest answerer.”

Hermione swallowed. She had no idea where this was going.

“This may sound blunt to you, but we can ill afford to beat around the proverbial bush and risk not understanding the other’s intentions. Answer me honestly and completely.”


‘Did someone spike the pumpkin juice, at breakfast, with a dose of straightforwardness?’ What was up with all these ‘let’s be open and honest with each other’ conversations going on this morning? ‘Dumbledore said he already knows the answer. So, why am I… Oh, he wants to see if I will be honest with him. He could probably care less about being open and honest with me.’

Hermione nodded numbly. This was unlike any other conversation she had had in this office. On the other occasions, she had felt in control of herself. Today she felt as if her life was an open book and the Headmaster was going to leaf through the pages and peruse whatever subject he saw fit.

‘Merde! This is about last night!’

“There have always been forces present in our world and at Hogwarts that are beyond our control. The gods and the Fates, at times, step in to guide us in the direction in which we should go. You and Professor Snape have been heading in a path that has not been solely of your own doing. Your paths have been directed and intertwined by guide spirits and the forces of nature that shape our world – The Ancients. Have you not felt something in the past year that seemed off to you?"

“Yes, Headmaster, but I thought it was caused by me using the spell book.”

“I can see how you might believe you were the catalyst. And, before you jump to conclusions, it is not the same thing as being under the Imperio curse. The forces I speak of are benevolent.” He smiled at her.

“I think, sir, that is what Professor Snape was referring to as I was leaving.”

“Ah, yes, Professor Snape. He is a little too close to the action to give you a detached explanation, but he will be able to help you make sense of it all. Did he tell you that you will be addressing your house tonight?”

“No, sir.”

“He will upon your return.

“I was surprised that you signed the contract last night. Did you take your time and read it carefully?” Dumbledore leaned back in his chair, steepled his fingers, and looked over his half-moon glasses. His twinkling blue eyes locked onto her. Hermione felt as if she were under a microscope.

“I did, sir. I have desired an apprenticeship with Professor Snape since last year. I have dreamed about it. This is a dream come true that I could not refuse!”

Her eyes lit up and sparkled.

“The fact that you were a student complicated the situation. We had hoped you would stay in Gryffindor Tower, but it seems Professor Snape has already transitioned you to your new lodgings.

“As you know, there is to be no fraternizing with the students. You will be treated like the other members of the Hogwarts’ staff. You will have free time, but it is not to be abused and before you ask. Yes, you are monitored. We know where you are and with whom you are every hour of every day.”

Hermione’s eyes grew wide at that titbit of information.

“The two of you will be working closely together. You will play a vital role in developing the potion that Professor Snape has been commissioned by Voldemort to create.

“Voldemort may go so far as to request a meeting with you, but do not worry. It is unlikely that he will harm you as he values your skills as a witch too highly. He will not want to run the risk of losing what he desperately needs in order to succeed.”

“But sir, is that not running counter to our cause? How can I help Voldemort and The Order at the same time?”

The Headmaster smiled at her affectionately and said, “Appearances, my dear. Professor Snape does it every day.

“Did Professor Snape explain anything to you about the spells and how they intertwined?” he asked.

Remembering to answer honestly and completely, she replied, “Not really. His exact words were, ‘we will discuss the intertwining of your Soul Mate spell and my locket potion.’ ”

Dumbledore smiled. “I take it that you are referring to the locket on the chain you are wearing?”

“Yes, Headmaster.”

“Allow me to give you an overview of what the professor is going to tell you. The intertwining has literally whacked you both over the head with a relentless emotional and physical need for one another that will not go unheeded.”

“Are you saying, sir, that we are besotted with each other?”

“Besotted is putting it mildly, Miss Granger,” he chuckled, his blue eyes twinkling.

“That explains last night. I thought I had done something to attract Professor’s Snape’s interest.”

“Miss Granger, you attracted his attention a long time ago. It is only now that he willingly admits to it.”

“Really?” she squeaked. The surprise was evident in her voice.

“Not to fear, Miss Granger, it was not in a prurient sense. The professor is enamoured by your skills as a witch. He admires you very much, you know, but you also reminded him of someone else. She was also a Gryffindor. They were childhood friends. She was sorted into Gryffindor and the professor was sorted into Slytherin. They rekindled their friendship during sixth year in Professor Slughorn’s Potions…”

“He did mention her. She was a lot like me,” interrupted Hermione.

“Yes. Like you. Professor Slughorn paired them in class and expected great things of the duo, but sadly she was a casualty of the last war. Professor Snape became embittered and blamed himself for her death, refusing to get on with his life.”

“Was her name, Lily?” asked Hermione.

“Yes. Lily. Lily Evans. But, my dear, if you require any more information you must ask Professor Snape. He is a very private man.”

“Lily Evans was Harry’s mum, was she not?” persisted Hermione.

“Miss Granger, I have already told you more than is prudent. I cannot discuss the matter further. Now, let me see…” he replied, looking over his half-moon glasses. His look said the subject of Lily was closed.

“Back to the subject of mechanics,” he continued, perusing the sheet of parchment in front of him, “Have you taken Madam Pomfrey’s health class for sixth-year girls?” The Headmaster looked up to meet Hermione’s eyes.

‘Cripe!’ Hermione thought. ‘If he already knows the answers, why does he keep asking me the questions?’

“No, sir. I did not think it necessary. I am sure that I have read about everything that she is going to say. I didn’t think I needed it,” she answered matter-of-factly.

“You THINK you know everything you need to know?” He paused before continuing.

“Tell me, Miss Granger. Do you know how to brew an effective Contraception potion or cast a 100 percent effective Contraception spell?” he asked candidly.

Hermione cringed and her face flushed as she heard the portrait behind her let out a loud groan. ‘I do not want to be having this conversation with the Headmaster!’

“No, sir,” she said in a barely audible tone as she lowered her gaze to the floor. She could not meet the Headmaster’s eyes. Professor Snape had conveniently left this out of their conversation.

“I am sorry, Miss Granger. I did not hear your answer.”

“No. But do you really think I need to know?” she asked glumly.

“Sooner than you think, Miss Granger,” he replied, patting the parchment on his desk.

“Dumbledore! I refuse to remain silent on this matter. I have a duty to the school and to you. This would not be happening if you had not insisted on having your own way!” bellowed Phineas.

Hermione jumped at the sound of the portrait’s voice.

“Phineas, this is no longer Hogwarts’ student business. This is Hogwarts staff business. I must kindly ask you to refrain from interfering.

“Miss Granger, if you do not want to see Madam Pomfrey then ask Professor Snape for the potion.”

There was a pained look on Hermione’s face. ‘This will be awkward,’ she thought.

“Do I have to ask him? Won’t he automatically know and take care of it… himself?” she asked hopefully.

“You are assuming that he is thinking with his brain. Tell me, Miss Granger, was Professor Snape thinking last night? Was there any indication that he even thought about contraception – or for that matter – did you?”

Hermione felt her cheeks grow even warmer. She bit her lip and shaking her head, stammered a reply. “I… no… he… no… but we didn’t…."

“You may not have needed it last night. But, that is precisely why you cannot wait until you need it. You must be prepared,” he replied, a little impatiently.

Hermione heard the tone of his voice and nodded her head in agreement.

“Hermione, do you want me to ask him for you?” he asked more gently.

“No, Headmaster. I… I… I will… I will ask him,” she replied.

“Very well, Miss Granger, unless you have any other questions, I believe we are finished, for now.”

“Thank you, Headmaster.”

Hermione made to stand up and leave.

As she closed the door behind her, Hermione’s ire started to surface.

‘How could Professor Snape do this to me? No warning. He sends me off to a meeting with the Headmaster to discuss… oh… I am so furious with him… I could hex his… Wait till I get my hands on him. He will regret not telling me… ’

‘Uh uh uh, Hermione,' the little voice in her head said. 'Remember what happened the last time you tried to enact revenge on the professor. Go to him – talk civilly. It will go better for both of you.’

“I will,” she said huffily and stomped off.

She fairly flew down the stone steps to the professor’s quarters. Once at the door, she wasn’t sure if she should announce herself or knock. This professor, former student, now apprentice position made for difficult decisions. She raised her wand to tap the door, but it flew open before she announced herself. Professor Snape was standing in the doorway smiling at her.

“Please come in, Hermione.”

Hermione flounced into the room and gave him a dark glare.

She stared at him for several seconds endeavouring to bring her feelings under control. She wanted to throw something, scream at him, or hex him – something. As she stared into his eyes, gleaming with a happiness that she did not know him capable of producing, her feelings towards him softened.

‘I do love him, and I do not want to hurt him. I would rather he held me close and…. Be careful of thought transference.’

The professor smiled and said, “Hermione, please sit down. You look as if the meeting with the Headmaster was exhausting. I have asked Elf to prepare food.

“In your absence, Elf and I have been having an illuminating discussion and worked out a compatible living arrangement."

Hermione gave him a half smile and accepted his offer to sit.

“Professor, you should have warned me.” she said in a controlled tone. Inside she was still seething, but she tried not to show it.

“Do you have any idea how humiliating it is to sit there and discuss intimate details of your private life with him?” Hermione’s eyes widened then darkened with anger. The gold specks flared brightly.

“You have no idea. He seems to take perverse pleasure in watching his staff members squirm with embarrassment,” he replied nonchalantly.

“Did you KNOW he was going to have a SEX talk with me?” she asked incredulously. “And on top of that… the… the… the portraits chimed in with their two pence worth,” she added in a huff.

“I am so sorry, Hermione. You did not need one, did you?” The professor’s face paled even more than for usual.

“Obviously, I must have needed a talk because I could not give him satisfactory answers to his questions!”

“I did not think he would…”

“That is what HE said – that you weren’t thinking. Then he went so far as to say I should ask you for a Contraception potion!”

Hermione fumed over reliving her encounter with the Headmaster.

The professor quirked an eyebrow.

‘Albus is not as out of touch as he appears. Dear Merlin! Dear Merlin! Does that mean? Do not show how excited you are over this revelation. Why did Albus give ME a lecture, and then turn around and practically give Hermione his consent to consort with me?’

At that moment, Elf appeared with a tray of sandwiches and tea.

Elf smiled up at Master Professor as the tray gently settled on the tea table. Turning to Miss, Elf bestowed the brightest smile she could summon. Elf was overcome with joy at the news that Master Professor be having happiness.

“Hello, Elf, you seem to be in an extraordinarily good mood. What is making you so cheerful?”

Hermione accepted a cup of tea from Elf.

‘The tea will calm my nerves.’

“Oh, Miss! Master Professor and Elf be talking. Elf be telling Master Professor how Elf be helping Master Professor. Elf want family. Master Professor want family. Master Professor be saying having happiness.” Elf beamed with delight.

“I believe, Elf, you asked if I wanted happiness with Miss. Of course, I want happiness with Miss.” The professor smiled amusingly.

Looking at Miss, Elf asked, “Miss be wanting happiness with Master Professor?”

Elf’s light-hearted mood was catching. Hermione temporarily forgot her irritation with the professor.

“Uh, what is happiness, Elf?”

Professor Snape chimed in before Elf could answer. “It is a euphemism Elf uses... ”

“Well, of course, I want happiness with Master Professor!” she snapped.

“... for mating,” he continued, as if he had not been interrupted.

Hermione choked on her tea.

‘Is the whole bloody, wizarding world talking about sex today? I should have heeded the Headmaster’s advice about asking questions.’

To cover her embarrassment, Hermione reached for the teapot to refill her cup, but her hand was shaking so badly, she returned the teapot to the tray.

“I can’t let this upset me,” she muttered, tossing her curls out of her face.

Taking a deep breath, she tried again. There was less shaking, and she was able to pour a wobbly stream to refill her cup. As she moved to fill the second cup, the professor interrupted.

“Hermione, let me help you,” he said, putting his hand over hers to steady the teapot.

“DON’T touch me,” she snapped.

The professor persisted. He did not want to see her become more upset over spilt tea.

His hand closed over hers. A spark coursed over her hand and tingled in her wrist. It was the same wrist that the professor had injured then promptly healed. The memory of that night came rushing back to her – the feel of his hand on her wrist, the desire she had felt for him as they exchanged flirtatious banter over the boxes. She felt the beginnings of arousal as the familiar whiff of notes of patchouli and musk wafted towards her. The musky, male scent of him mixed with the desire looming deep within her and produced a heady sensation. It began as soothing warmth in her belly and spread to her heart. Hermione moaned softly.

At that precise instant, Hermione knew.

‘Severus, I choose to be bound to you throughout eternity. From this day forth, it is only your name I will cry out in the night. It is only your eyes I will smile into each day. It is only your bidding that I will obey.

‘I choose to desire you and to be desired by you and only you. The love that resides in my heart is pure. I want nothing more than to possess you and be possessed by you. I will love you wholly and completely without restraint for as long as we both shall live. Our love will transcend time and conquer all.’

The warmth lingered as she closed her eyes and sighed. Teasingly it trailed a path along her collarbone before moving upwards to become warm fingers caressing her neck. She leaned into the feel of it and allowed herself to enjoy the seemingly innocent touches as they transfigured into a single, moist caress of her ear lobe. The caress quickly tired of the lobe and moved to lick delicately around the shell-shaped ridge of her ear.

“Ahhhh,” moaned Hermione, hunching her shoulders. Her eyes opened wide as sensations, as yet foreign to her, overcame her body and sent amazing tremors of pleasure to her core.

The single caress multiplied into a thousand points. They moved to tickle at the nape of her neck, slink protectively over her shoulders, traipse slowly down her spine, dance lovingly across her belly, and teasingly torment her thighs. Hermione shivered and moaned.

“Sev-er-us?” she whispered breathily.

“Yes, Hermione,” he answered shakily.

The caresses, no longer content to saunter gently, swept down her back, swirling and twirling into hot, flaming fingers that licked at her sensitized skin. Hermione closed her eyes. Her body shuddered. Her breathing quickened.

Feeling a white, hot heat throughout her entire being, Hermione freed herself from her confining clothing. The feeling of hands cupping her breasts and thumbs gently encircling her already hardened nipples were Hermione’s undoing.

She moaned and arched her body. “Oh, Dear Merlin… oh… uhh… Severus... ”

He could feel the raw energy from her body. It flowed into his fingertips, travelled up the length of his arms before it slowly gathered to dance along his collarbone. The air in the room was hot and suffocating. He loosened his robes; Hermione leaned back.

She brought her hands up, lifting her riotous curls from her neck then dropped her arms behind her back. Curiously, her inexperienced fingers explored the hollow of his lower torso, and the hot, burning desire ravaging her every fibre became overwhelming. Her body begged to be held, to be touched, to be claimed – by him.

“Uh…uhm…Severus… I think… we are going to… need that potion,” she said haltingly. Her voice was low and sultry as her fingers deftly manoeuvred the folds of his robes.

The gentle kneading of her puckered nubs turned into pleasant torture.

Her breathing turned to panting as she breathily cried out, “That’s it… yes… oh… yes…!”

A white heat pooled within her. Gentle caresses returned to nuzzle her neck and nibble her lobe. A moist, warm feeling prodded at her ear. Hermione leaned into the feeling as it continued to snake around her ear and nip at her neck.

She brought her hands up to her face, sifting her fingers through her hair. She arched her back; her deep breathing caused her breasts to rise and fall. “Severus…please…take me.”

Her hands returned to the warmth pressed against her back and found more arousing pursuits. Fingers teasingly tormented his sensitive pelvic region.

She whimpered when her fingers met with a firm male organ. Fingertips sent mental images to her brain that spurred her body to action.

Hermione turned to face him, her hands slowly brushing over her breasts and belly before resuming their urgent quest for the hot, hard shaft nudging at her belly.

Mesmerized by her hypnotic movements, Professor Snape gazed into her desire filled eyes.

Unsure of what to do, she gently squeezed her fingers around his throbbing member.

He groaned. Her touch fanned the glowing embers of his desire to be wholly encased deep within her soft folds. He rocked against her, his manhood probing her entry.

“Hermione, what do you want?” he whispered, his voice raspy.

“I… want you!”

“What do you want… me to do? Tell me. I have to hear you tell me what you want me to do.”

He guided her hand on his penis. Wrapping her fingers around the base, he slid her hand up his length and whispered softly, “Show me what you want me to do, little one.” He allowed her hand to slide back down before releasing it.

She continued to mimic his motion as he thrust in her hand.

“I want to please you. What do you want?” he gasped out.

“This.”

“Show me.”

Hermione hesitated. Shifting her weight, she carefully straddled him, her arms braced on his broad shoulders.

She looked down at him
, her gold-flecked brown eyes shining with love and an undercurrent of desire, an
d she whispered her longing. “Severus, I want you to make me yours. Now. I want you… inside me.” Her voice was soft and barely audible, but audible enough to make his cock twitch in anticipation.

"I will Hermione. I will make you mine," he replied huskily as he moved to lift her off him.

He leaned over her, the fine hair on his chest barely grazing her breasts, and gently kissed her passion swollen lips. He delicately suckled at her lower lip as the memory of last night's first shared kiss and the breathy whisper of his name spurred him on, forever burned into his sensory receptors.

Her tongue furtively snaked over his lips – exploring, testing, tasting. She glorified in each new discovery.

Severus interpreted her movements as an invitation to enter and frolic in one of her most sensitive areas. The soft, whimpering sounds she made as he tasted her spurred him on to bolder ventures.

By all indications, before long, he would be enjoying the pleasures of her other sensitive area, as well. It was obvious to him that she was relatively new to the art of lovemaking.

Slowly his tongue parted her lips, searching for its mate. Pushing further into her mouth, their tongues met and sparred resulting in waves of pleasure shooting straight to his groin. Their tongues tangled in a heated, passionate kiss, imitating the inevitable joining of their bodies. He retreated to nuzzle and caress her other erogenous zones: her neck, her ear lobes, the hollow of her throat, her delicate shoulders. She squirmed beneath him as he gently cupped her breast and thumbed her puckered nub, before taking it into his mouth.


His weight on his knees, he held himself over her, his erection bobbing against her belly, giving her a hint of what was to come.

The promise of what his kisses were capable of awakening lured him back to her now swollen lips. He lowered his mouth to hers. Kissing her passionately elicited the hoped for response: arms wrapped around him, her body arched into him, warm, belly pressing against his hot, hard shaft.

Fiercely gripping him, fingernails digging into his back, she cried out, “Oh, oohhh, gods... oh… yes…. Now! I want you now!”

He watched her body trembling below him as he used his hand to slowly rub the tip of his turgid length in the slickness of her nether lips.

His dark eyes blazed with passion; she was all he wanted. Her kisses were burned into his memory. They were addicting. He would never tire of kissing her. He moved to position himself over her, the tip of his penis pressing into her, and leaned down for one more delectable kiss.

Obviously, she was more experienced than he had originally thought. Suddenly, he felt her stiffen beneath him. Her hands pressed against his chest. 'Has she changed her mind?'

'I thought you would know. Do I really have to tell you?' she thought as she gazed into the dark, obsidian orbs burning with passion.

As he pushed into her, his eyes glazed over, he asked huskily, "Hermione, love, what is it?"

Hermione bit at her bottom lip.

He watched her carefully and stilled his movements, his eyes questioning her.

"Well, this is going to hurt at first, but I will be as gentle as I can."

He brought her fingertips to his lips and kissed them. “Do not worry, little one.” He leaned back and gently inserted one finger, then another, moving in and out. She was very tight, but well lubricated.

“Does that hurt?”

“No.”

He added a third finger and watched her eyes grow wider.

“Relax your muscles,” he replied, continuing his movements. He felt her muscles relax and smiled. “Do you still want me?”

“Yes, Severus, I still want you – inside me.”

He leaned down and kissed the tip of her nose. “For a little know-it-all, there are areas of your education that have been neglected.”

Hermione gave him a look that said, ‘I feel offended by that remark,’ but raised her knees.

His first thrusts were slow and shallow. She was tight. He watched her face; her eyes were still glowing with passion. He pushed in deeper and felt her stiffen.

“Keep going. I’m fine.”

He moved slowly, giving her time to adjust to him. Hermione moaned, and Severus bent to kiss her gently. He made one final push.

Severus stilled his movements and focused on caressing her lips and mouth. His lips and tongue moved slowly over hers. His tongue gently prodded her lips, teasing them into allowing entrance. Her lips parted, and he gave her a sloppy, open-mouthed kiss. The libido-raising testosterone in his saliva had the expected effect. Hermione shivered and moaned her desire. Soon he felt her stir below him; he knew he could proceed.


He raised himself up to see where their bodies joined. He watched his glistening member slide in and out of her slick folds; his breath hitched.

He knew he was close. That first touch of her juicy folds had been his undoing. 'Acromantula: monstrous eight-eyed spider…originated in…Borneo…. Rumoured to be…rumoured to be found -moured to be found in Scotland… Scotland …dense…jungles; Ashwinder: thin…pale-grey – serpent…eyes – red – glowing…throughout – magical…fire…burn…long – too…long; Augurey: bird…black…thin…green – greenish…black – Britain…Ireland; Basa…Basa…Basilisk: serp…fifty – fifty feet…. Dear, Merlin, Hermione! Come! Come with me!’

The once gentle caresses turned insistent as they spread to cover her belly yet again. From their vantage point, they were poised to spread over her lower body. The unobtrusive pathway was lined with slow, meandering strokes across her hip bones and thighs transporting her to a realm of wonder and ecstasy. They slithered down her calves and beyond until they reached her toes. She wanted to scream from the sheer pleasure of the sensation.

The pleasant torture of her breasts turned sweeter as the kneading became nibbling and then suckling. As the pressure continued to build, Hermione felt a magical force pushing her upwards into the night sky, a sky filled with bright, shimmering, shining stars. The magical force was demanding – demanding her surrender.

"Severus, I love you!"

As the orgasmic waves engulfed her body, Hermione arched her back and pulled Severus closer, her fingernails raking his back.

He felt her muscles clenching his cock, he tried to speak... to cry out his love for her, but no sound came forth. His climax continued to build; his balls tightened. The tingling in his spine quickly built to a pleasurable tension, his body demanding more with each thrust. As his sensations heightened, he felt the need to drive deeper into her warm, moist, welcoming depths. With each stroke, the pleasurable torment intensified, taking him higher and higher, cresting in the sweet bliss of his orgasm. Clinging to her as his release came, his body jerked spasmodically.

‘Sperma Cautela!’

Raising his head, he squeezed his eyes shut as a second wave of pleasure rolled over her. A cry left his throat as her muscles clenched and released, milking him dry.

She felt his warm, liquid semen shoot deep within her, and her body shuddered again.

"I love you, Hermione!"

Breathless, Severus fell back on the divan pulling Hermione over with him as ripples of pleasure continued to roll over them.

Severus breathed a deep, contented sigh and reached for the afghan that Elf had thoughtfully placed on the back of divan. Cradling her in his arms, nuzzling his nose in her curls, he whispered in her ear, “I am yours, and you are mine – for eternity.”

She turned in his embrace to look up at him. Through half-lidded eyes, she smiled and said in a hushed voice, “I'll never leave you, Severus.”

She nestled her soft body against him and listened to the soothing beat of his heart. Cradled in his arms, she felt loved, safe, and protected.


Looking down at her, he smiled. It was Friday afternoon; he had cancelled his classes. As Severus serenely, drifted into sleep, he thought, ‘I hope I cast that spell in time’.

He wanted nothing more than to lie here and hold his witch, his Hermione. He wrapped his arm around her protectively, his hand cupping her unfettered breasts.

Elf smiled. Elf happy. Master Professor and Miss be having happiness.

(to be continued… http://joannie3.livejournal.com/2888.html)

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

Archive: Sycophant Hex: Ashwinder (Alternate Universe)
Title: Chapter 4b A Night to Remember
(second half, chapter 4 of 23)

Summary: Professor Snape presents Hermione with the apprenticeship documents and cautions her to wait until morning to sign them. Hermione works up the courage to talk about the Pensieve memory that is causing her embarrassment.
Word Count: 5107
Disclaimer: Not my characters. I’m just borrowing some of JKR’s characters for a little story. This Chapter is out of order if you use the arrows at the top. This chapter is the second half of Chapter 9. It was too long to fit in one post.

* * *

Her enthusiasm dimmed as she realized it covered every aspect of her daily life. Oh, no…she had not thought she would be required to sever friendships. However, there it was – she would be taking lodging and meals in the dungeons. Hermione's brow furrowed as she continued to read the curiously worded paragraph near the bottom:

‘Duties of said Apprentice are subject to change should the wizarding world be thrown into upheaval and turmoil.The contract may be terminated by written consent of all parties involved or in the event of the demise of the said Apprentice.
In the event of the demise of her said Master, the terms of said contract will be renegotiated with the Potions Masters of Bang and Gore Pharmaceuticals, London, England.’


Hermione bit her bottom lip. The phrasing hit a raw nerve and rubbed her nose in reality. Harry, Ron, and she had been involved in several dangerous escapades in an effort to thwart Voldemort’s plan to take over the wizarding world. They had encountered close calls – like the night Dumbledore’s Army invaded the Ministry. Harry had taken Sirius’ death very hard. Now she was forced to face the hard reality that she and her friends might not survive.

“Is there a problem, Miss Granger?” he asked, a hint of irritation in his voice.

“Yes. This contract requires that I disassociate myself from my friends! I cannot do that! I am being isolated from everyone!”

“Then perhaps I have not chosen as wisely as I thought. If that is a problem for you, sign the refusal now and be done with it,” he responded coolly, his lip curling in a sneer.

He reached out to retrieve the parchment. Cautioning himself to remain in control of the situation, he fixed her with a dark look of proper contempt mingled with a dose of pure loathing. He was adaptable and quite capable of practicing detachment with an air of authority. His years spent in the company of Death-Eaters served him well in moments such as this. To all outward appearances he was the epitome of a cruel, cold-hearted, and unfeeling authoritarian. This persona could not be farther from the truth; his outward calm appearance and constraint belied the passionate turmoil boiling below the surface.

Hermione felt caught between her desire for the apprenticeship and her desire to be with her friends in Gryffindor Tower. She mulled over the alternatives. She understood why it was required, but it did not make it any easier.

“Will I be given free time to spend as I please?” she asked, protectively hugging the contract to her chest.

“Miss Granger, you will be an indentured servant - not a house-elf! Of course you will have private time,” he snarled. Sometimes she tried his patience.

“Very well. I accept,” she answered, picking up the quill to sign.

Professor Snape let out the breath he did not realize he had been holding. ‘She accepted. Thanks be to Merlin!’ Still he found the need to goad her one more time.

“Miss Granger, are you not being a tad hasty?” interrupted the professor. “After all, it is a seven-year contract, covering every aspect of your daily life, and it is magically binding.

Resolutely, Hermione picked up the quill and signed her name to the documents with a flourish.

“Thank you for the opportunity, Professor,” she replied, handing back the parchments.

The professor accepted it without a word but gave her a long look. It had been too easy. He had been certain she would argue over the terms, but she had surprised him.

“I have a birthday present for you,” he said, scraping back his chair. Snape went to the sideboard and picked up a small, delicately wrapped package in Slytherin green wrapping paper and a silver ribbon.

“I wanted you to have this, and I thought your birthday would be the perfect opportunity to present it to you. I hope this…” he said handing her the small box.

Hermione accepted the present. Looking up at him, she smiled. “Thank you, Professor. The supper…this whole evening…it’s been…delightful. I didn’t expect a present.”

She opened the box and saw the necklace of filigree chain with a pendant in the shape of a golden snitch. She lifted it from the folds of the cloth and started to examine it, but Snape took it from her fingers saying, “This is a very special piece. It was custom crafted especially for you.”

He whispered what sounded to Hermione like an incantation, under his breath, as he moved to fasten it around her throat. Hermione could not hear the words, but she felt heat radiate throughout her body. The warm sensation started around her neck, then up over her face, to the very tip top of her head before slowly spreading over her shoulders, then slowly flowed down her arms, midsection, and down her legs, spreading to her toes. It felt like something warm was flowing over her and slowly seeping into every pore of her body.

“Promise me that you will never remove this chain,” he said in a hushed tone.

Hermione thought this was an odd request.

“Promise me!” He hissed into her ear, his fingers digging into her shoulders.

Hermione hesitated. His breath was warm on her neck.

“Promise me!” he said more insistently, his voice filled with raw emotion.

“Yes, Professor, I promise not to remove it.”

“And don’t allow anyone to remove it from you.”

“Yes, Professor.”

“Do you understand me?”

“Yes, sir.”

A tingling feeling began in the tips of his fingers then slowly spread throughout his entire body. She had accepted his gift – he was satisfied.

He turned to face her. Taking both her hands in his, he looked deeply into her eyes. “Do you know why Hermione?” he asked softly, staring into her hypnotic brown eyes.

“No, sir.”

“That surprises me.”

“I am sorry, sir.”

“The pendant contains a potion brewed specifically for you. It is more than a potion; it is an essence – that will restore you to full health should you suffer a fatal injury.”

Hermione looked confused.

“Well, if I have suffered a fatality, how is it I will be able to partake of the potion?”

“You do not have to do anything. Once I have placed it upon your person, all you have to do is believe.”

“What would happen if I removed it?”

“Removing the chain would be a figurative slap in my face. The potion would lose its power and become inert. It would mean you no longer believe in me…in my ability to save you.”

Hermione looked up at him and swallowed hard, her heart pounding. Her eyes misted as she stared into his dark eyes.

“Thank you, sir. I don’t know what to say. This must have…you must have…” She felt his hold on her tighten as he pulled her to him, and she knew. She knew what this had cost him. There was more to it than the giving of his essence to ensure her survival. He had made a magical commitment that could not be broken.

The warm sensation she had felt as the professor fastened the chain around her throat began again. Only this time, intense warmth radiated to the very tips of her fingers. She felt energized. It was electrifying. ‘If I touch something, will there be a spark?’ she wondered. Waves of warmth travelled over her again, and Hermione experienced the feeling of protection. It was euphoric and made her eyes light up. Hermione was having difficulty focusing on the professor’s words. ‘Get hold of yourself,’ she scolded.

“Hermione, you must survive the senseless war looming on the horizon. It is coming, and it will not go well for the wizarding world. I must do whatever I have to do to keep you safe and see that you survive…not like…” He stopped and swallowed hard, but he continued to hold her close and stroke her hair.

Hermione unconsciously snuggled closer to him and closed her eyes. Her world was perfect. He was everything she had ever dreamed about. She knew she was where she belonged, with whom she belonged. Hermione breathed in deeply and exhaled slowly as she nestled into the softness of his jumper. His familiar aromas intoxicated her mind. There was a smell of masculinity about him. It was a warm, earthy, musky smell with a hint of patchouli and something more…a familiar, pleasant smell of sweat and musky maleness. Breathing in his intoxicating scent increased the intensity of her feelings for him.

“I doubt that I will live to see the end,” he said softly.

The implication of his comment hit her like a Bludger. She tried to focus on happier thoughts, but her eyes teared.

Hermione could not imagine Hogwarts without Professor Snape. As much as she thought she disliked him, now she knew differently. Her admiration had turned to loving affection. The room was closing in on her, and she could not breathe.

Refusing to believe his words, she gazed at him a moment then looked away, lowering her head. “No, Professor, please…don’t say that. You cannot mean it. We need you…I need you.” She closed her eyes as a single tear trickled down her cheek.

"Please, do not cry, little one,” he said, wiping the tear away with his thumb. “Our destinies were written before we were born, and the saga will play out as intended.” He held her close, his arms around her shoulders, gently rocking her, tenderly rubbing her back, and stroking her hair. He felt her shudder as she leaned into him. He brought his lips close to her then lightly kissed her forehead.

“Hush, little one.” he whispered. He had a reason to want to survive, but would he?

Hermione tried to hold back the tears. Her lower lip quivered. She wiped her cheek with the back of her hand. When she thought she had herself under control, his softly spoken words echoed in her mind, ‘I doubt that I will live to see the end.’ She frantically wiped at her eyes and cheeks. Shaking her head, she whispered, “Please, say it is not so...please…please…. I…I cannot lose…you. Life will not…be the same without you.”

‘My regards for you stretch the boundaries of what is considered proper behaviour towards a professor. I pray to Merlin to find the courage to tell you that I desire you in the way a witch yearns for her wizard. I want to feel your lips on mine, your body pressed against me, and your arms holding me tightly. But I fear you will reject me or worse yet – ridicule me.’

Hermione bent her head and sifted her right hand through her curls, her fingers stopping to investigate a small bump at the hairline. As her fingers explored the lump, she felt it pulsate and grow warm.

Professor Snape placed a hand under her chin. He brought her head up to face him. Hermione looked into his eyes and saw a look of pure adoration. Delicately, he traced the outline of her lower lip with his thumb. He could hear her voice as if she were speaking to him. He felt a flutter of hope in his heart. There was a remote chance he could find happiness.

‘I, too, have fantasized, but I never dared to dream you might reciprocate my feelings. I would neither reject nor ridicule you, little one. I care for you deeply, and I was a stupid git for blurting out that insensitive remark. It was unthinking of me. Dear Merlin, what have I done to deserve you? How have I evoked such emotion in you?’

“Little one, please don’t…nothing has happened yet…. We don’t know for certain…. Please, do not look sad.

“Hermione, I am sorry that I was a prat and upset you. Today is your birthday. Only pleasant thoughts should be running through your beautiful mind!”

His comment took her quite by surprise. It made her smile. She took a deep breath and nodded.

‘I just signed away the next seven years of my life to a wizard who responds by saying that he doubts he will live that long. Is he really that insensitive?’

Right this very minute, she felt very alone.

‘I don’t belong anywhere. I can’t go back to Gryffindor Tower. I have no home. Perhaps I was a bit hasty to sign. But, it is a dream come true opportunity. Me – an apprentice to Professor Snape! I will take whatever I can get, for as long as I can have it!’

Her smile faded prompting him to ask, “What is wrong, Hermione? Are you having second thoughts about signing the apprenticeship documents?”

She looked at him and then at the floor. “Yes and no. Yes, I am sorry I did not plan better. I should have said good-bye to my friends, packed my belongings, made arrangements for Crookshanks, and then signed the contract. And, no, I am not sorry, because I have been dreaming of being your apprentice since we brewed the Wolfsbane Potion together,” she finished, looking up at him shyly.

There was adoration in her eyes that made the professor swallow hard, as he looked into those chocolate brown pools of liquid loveliness.

Holding her wrists, he spoke calmly to her, “Hermione, please…” His eyes were inches from hers. He saw concern and fear in her eyes and felt her body tremble.

“I know what you are going to say. You are right. I didn’t think.

“Please…. I don’t want to go to Bang and Gore. I only want my apprenticeship with you. Only YOU!” Her eyes possessively locked onto him. Gold flecks sparkled in the brown pools urging him to seek a solution that would ensure his survival.

“You won’t have to. I will be here for you, Hermione. I will find a way.”

‘I wish I had known I was going to meet Hermione Granger before I took that vow with Albus.’

His breathing quickened, his heart pounded, as he watched the rise and fall of her breasts – the same breasts that he had watched spill out of her nightdress.

He coughed and said, “You have had a very tiring day. I think it best if you get a good night’s rest. Perhaps, a Calming Draught is in order.” ‘On second thought, perhaps I need the Calming Draught.’

Hermione’s eyes clouded as the professor let loose of her wrists; she did not want to be medicated. She wanted Professor Snape to hold her and tell her everything was going to be okay. ‘Why can he not see that I want him to hold me and tell me what I want to hear?’

“What...what about tonight?” she persisted.

“What about it?” he asked, turning towards her with a puzzled look on his face.

“Where am I to sleep?”

Looking at her, his gut clenched in response to the question. 'What is she asking? Surely she doesn't expect to....' Elf had readied the room, but he had not counted on Granger signing the contract tonight. He had assumed she would take it back to Gryffindor Tower to study. Damn it! The document was signed. She was officially his apprentice, and he was responsible for her every need. That need at the moment was a place to sleep tonight.
“Well – uh - I...guess...stay, of course,” he managed to choke out, his voice husky and strange sounding to himself.

“Then I do not need a Calming Draught. But I would like one of Elf’s luscious looking, chocolate covered strawberries,” she said brightly, her brown eyes glistening in the firelight.

Staying the night had not been on her mind when she left the Gryffindor common room.

“And, you shall, but first, you might want to change into something warmer. You have goose bumps on your arms, little one,” he laughed nervously.

“I did not bring anything – not even a wrap.”

“I believe you signed a document that stated, ‘Said Apprentice will be provided food, clothing, shelter and an education as deemed necessary by her said Master.’

“Yes.”

“Well, then. Go to your room. You will find clothing suitable for the cold, dank dungeons.”

“My…my…my room?”

“Yes…your apprentice lodgings. You haven’t forgotten where your room is located have you? Because, if you have, Elf can….”

“Oh, of course…my room. It had not occurred to me that my room would be in your rooms.”

Hermione turned in the direction of the red and gold room with Elf at her heels. ‘My room! Oh, gods!’

As Hermione opened the door, a ball of ginger fur leaped off the bed and ran towards her.

“Crookshanks! How did you get here?”

“Elf be fetching Crookshanks. Master Professor be saying Miss be coming to live with Elf. Elf be fetching Miss’s things.”

“Thank you, Elf,” she said as she opened the wardrobe.

“Miss, Elf be saying Miss pretty.”

Elf grabbed Hermione’s hand and led her to the bed where Elf had laid out an outfit.

“Miss be keeping warm. Miss be wearing this,” she said authoritatively.

She heard the bolt on the other side of the door to the lavatory slide. ‘The next thing I know, he will be making a list of house rules for me to sign.’

Hermione laughed. “Oh, Elf, you do have an eye for fashion. All right. It certainly is warmer than what I have on. I almost forgot how cold these dungeons are at night.”

Hermione quickly changed. When she heard the bolt to the lavatory slide again, she decided to freshen up before returning.

She was greeted with a note stuck on the mirror. It read: Lavatory Rules

‘I will study them tomorrow.’

When they returned to the sitting area, the professor was seated comfortably on a cushion near the fireplace. He stood up gracefully as Hermione and Elf entered the room.

“Thank you, professor. You thought of everything – even Crookshanks.” Hermione’s brown eyes sparkled with excitement as she made a flirty twirl to show off her new skirt and jumper.

“You are welcome, Hermione. I must say you look lovely. Are you warmer now?” A slight smile played around the corners of his mouth as he watched her.

“Thank you. Yes, I am."

He placed the dish of strawberries on a low table and refilled their glasses.

“I probably should not drink any more champagne. I think the bubbles are making me a bit dizzy.”

“Yes, fizzy champagne has the same properties as elf wine – the bubbles – pure carbon dioxide. Would you like a strawberry instead?” he asked, offering her the dish.

“That would be a more wise choice,” agreed Hermione, remembering the scene in the laboratory the evening of Slughorn’s dinner party, as she selected a berry. She seated herself in one of the wingback chairs near the fireplace, closed her eyes, her tongue gently caressing the fruit, savouring the flavours of the slowly melting chocolate, before gently biting into it - releasing its juices.

“These are delicious!” she exclaimed as she delicately licked chocolate from her lips. She opened her eyes to see Professor Snape unabashedly staring at her. She started to speak, but the warm, passionate gaze he was bestowing on her person made her feel self-conscious. It conjured up memories of the evening they brewed the Wolfsbane and more recently the evening of Slughorn’s supper when they exchanged lively, provocative banter over the moving boxes.

He dropped his gaze and moved to place more cushions on the floor near the fireplace then lowered himself to the floor, taking great pains to face away from her.

“If you live in the dungeons long enough, you will be accustomed to the chill, damp air. A well-built fire helps keep the cold at bay,” he explained, sipping his champagne.

“Hermione, there is a little champagne left. Would you like a refill? It pairs beautifully with the strawberries,” he suggested, trying to remove the mental image of Granger tonguing the luscious fruit.

“No more than halfway, please,” she responded languidly, “I would not want to repeat the mistakes I made that night in your laboratory,” she finished mischievously the golden flecks dancing in her eyes. ‘Dear Merlin! Why did I mention that?’
He kept silent, but reached up to top off her glass then turned his attention to the glowing embers.

An awkward silence crept over them. The professor, oblivious to his surroundings, stared into the flames as they licked up the walls of the vertical fireplace.

Hermione contemplated the bubbly liquid in her glass. She caught herself wishing she were back in the Gryffindor common room comfortably ensconced in her favourite chair reading - anything was better than this odd silence.

She found herself focusing on Professor Snape seated by the fireplace. He appeared to be mesmerized by the flames licking up the interior walls. She had many unanswered questions but did not feel comfortable enough to ask him. She would have preferred to be sitting on the floor next to him and not have this distance between them.

She caught herself wondering what it would be like to sit next to him on the floor - close - close enough to lean her head on his shoulder. ‘Maybe he would raise his arm and draw me close to his body. Closing her eyes, she imagined how it would feel to gently nuzzle his neck - that area of exposed skin above the roll neck of his jumper - breathing in his intoxicating scent. The tip of her tongue reaching to delicately lick at his ear lobe would interrupt his fascination with the flames, and he would turn to look at her, his eyes filled with burning desire. Her breath would catch as they stared at each other in full recognition that each desired the other. Drawing her roughly to him, her neck arched to allow full access to the hollow of her throat, he would pull her jumper to the side and press a kiss on her neck...then another...and another....’


Hermione moaned softly, but audibly. Her eyes opened wide; her pupils dilated. She realized she had been having an erotic daydream about her professor. The object of her affection turned in her direction, and his eyes locked onto hers.

“It is an art…much like the brewing of potions,” he said in a hushed tone, intently studying her facial features. His eyes bored into her.

“What...is...an art?” she asked breathlessly. A feeling of euphoria and warmth quickly spread over her body. ‘This is not the way I imagined this evening would progress,’ she thought, trying to suppress the feelings of desire bubbling just below the surface.

“The art of building a fire,” came his silky reply.

“Oh,” she breathed, not trusting herself to say more.

“Building a successful fire requires the same practices as does brewing a successful potion: proper ingredients, correct equipment, adherence to prescribed procedures, awareness of the rules of nature, and a gift for minding the particulars,” he explained pedantically.

“You build your fires without using magic?” she asked in a whisper.

“I do,” he replied, taking a sip from his glass. “Why not join me here, Hermione,” he asked, in a seductive tone. “I will tell you how I learned to build a fire,” he added, patting the pillow next to him.

Hermione looked at the place he indicated and then back at him. Earlier in the day he had been her Dark Arts teacher, and she had been addressing him as Professor Snape. Fantasizing about sitting next to him on the floor was one thing, but it was quite another to actually do what she had been thinking. What if the situation got out of control? What would she do then?

He sensed her hesitation and said, “Hermione, we are going to be working and living in close quarters, and this new arrangement is going to feel awkward at first. How can we expect to work closely in the laboratory if you cannot even bring yourself to sit next to me? Have I somehow offended you?” he asked, incredulously.

“No, sir. It is me. I’m not sure I can…. All right.” As she sat down she wondered since he was using her given name, what did he expect her to call him? Now that they had a contract there was most certainly a protocol to follow. She was sure it did not consist of her calling him by his given name.

Seated on the same level, their shoulders barely touching, Hermione felt the need to explain dissipate.

He proceeded to explain to her how his father had taught him as a very young boy to build a proper fire.

“I enjoy the beauty of a well-built fire. The vertical design of this fireplace provides an interesting visual effect. See how the flames lick up high and then higher.” He pointed out the dancing patterns and the shadows they created.

Hermione watched the flickering flames cast their mesmerizing, dancing shadows. “It is beautiful,” she whispered. “Your father must have been very proud of you.”

“He was until the day I disappointed him,” he said curtly.

“How did you disappointment him?”

“We cannot have secrets from each other, Hermione. That is why I am going to tell you the rest of the story.

“I discovered, quite by accident, that I could create a spark and light a fire without the lengthy preparation. Eager to show my father, I ran to find him. I was excited. When I showed him, he became very angry. Needless to say, he was not impressed.”

“Why? I would think he would have considered your accomplishments remarkable, for your age.”

“Not if you are a Muggle, Hermione.”

A look of deep disappointment clouded his eyes. She saw in them the hurt he had felt as a young child. It touched her tenderly.


“A…Mu…Mu…Muggle. You are a….”

“…a half-blood,” he supplied.

“Oh,” she breathed, almost inaudibly. “I never knew. I always thought you were….”

“After that my father could not stand the sight of me.

“I am a half-blood. I am telling you this because it is important to me that your apprenticeship is based on honesty. Likewise, I expect you not to keep secrets from me.”

“I won’t,” she promised.

He lowered his head; his lank hair swung forward to cover his face.

“Childhood trauma can mark a person for life, Hermione,” he said sadly.

‘I know it took courage for him to tell me that. He must be feeling at ease with me. Now that he has shared that story, I feel closer to him. I also sense the loneliness of his life.’

Without thinking, she leaned over and gently brushed the limp strands of hair from his face. Her arm brushed against him. Instantly, she felt a sudden shock.

He made a small, choked sound and inclined his head. He stopped himself as he was about to act on an impulse. Instead, he wrapped his fingers around her wrist and leaned into her.

‘I may not get another opportunity to tell her how I feel. Perhaps it is high time I take a chance.’

She heard his intake of breath and moved closer. She felt his body stiffen.

Without thinking, she lifted her face to him and brushed her lips against his forehead. “Sev…Sev…Severus,” she murmured. ‘Dear Merlin, did I actually say that out loud?’

He brought his arms around her and hugged her to him, resting his head on her shoulder. The delicate aroma of jasmine combined with the bubbles in the champagne made him feel light-headed.

He knew what he wanted to do. But regardless that she was now of age, it would not be fair to put her in that position. She was no longer his student, but she was still in a subservient role. He raised his head and pressed his forehead against hers.

“Professor?” she said in a tiny voice.

“Call me Severus. I want to hear you call me Severus,” he said, his voice husky. He could not help himself. He wanted her – not as an apprentice. He wanted her as a wizard wants his witch. ‘This is not how I imagined this evening would go. But it is the same way I felt the night of her detention. Merlin help me! I do not trust myself with her.’

“Sev…Severus?”

His breathing came heavier, and he bit his lip. Her words sent a quiver over him and went straight to his core. His grip tightened as he answered, his voice ragged, “Yes, Hermione.”

“I saw a memory. A memory that I think…I think you put it into a Pensieve the night the Dark Lord called you.” Hermione squeezed her eyes shut. It was easier to talk when all she saw was blackness.

His breath hitched.

“Ah, it was…uh, uhm…you and I were there. We were in the Potions classroom. This is not easy for me. I have been haunted by this vision for some time.” ‘Just say it Hermione. Get it out in the open.’

She felt the professor’s breathing quicken, and his arms tightened around her.

“I am not sure exactly what happened, but we were very close…physically very close…and I think we….”

Without thinking, he lowered her to the floor and placed a tender, passionate kiss on her mouth.

His face buried in her hair, he broke away long enough to whisper against her neck, “I am sorry, Hermione. I didn’t mean for this to happen tonight.”

Hermione brought her mouth near his ear and murmured back, “I wanted it to happen. The moment I saw you in the doorway…I wanted you…wanted you to hold me…kiss me…and….” She brushed her lips against his.

As he pressed into her, giving her a slow, open-mouthed kiss, she felt the heat from his body and felt the evidence of his desire. His nearness, combined with the heady aromas she associated only with him, caused Hermione to respond to his touch.

As Hermione arched her back to press against him, Severus groaned audibly before rasping out a response. “Little one, no…you don’t want this. Please…no....”

Hermione slid her hands slowly down his back and pulled him closer. “Prof…Sev…Severus…I know what I am doing.”

Severus looked at her with glazed eyes and hugged her close.

‘Elf magic good.’ Seeing the happiness look on Master Professor’s face, Elf hugged herself with delight, smiling from one perked up elf ear to the other. “Elf have family.” She sighed contentedly as she curled up on a cushion in a corner of the room.

Chapter 10:
http://joannie3.livejournal.com/2405.html

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

Archive: Sycophant Hex: Ashwinder (Alternate Universe)
Title: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry Apprenticeship Documents

Characters: Harry Potter World
Pairings: Severus Snape and Hermione Granger
Rating: R
Summary: The apprenticeship contract.

Word Count: 600
Disclaimer: Not my characters. I’m just borrowing some of JKR’s characters for a little story.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

This Indenture, made the nineteenth of September in the year nineteen hundred and ninety-six, by Professor Snape, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, extends an offer to Hermione Jane Granger to apprentice herself to Professor Severus Snape, Master of Potions as recognized by the European Potions Guild established circa 900, with the consent of Professor Albus Dumbledore, Justice of the Peace.
During this time, said Apprentice may not seek any other form of bonding, matrimonial engagement, education or apprenticeship without the written consent of her said Master.
Said Apprentice will be provided food, clothing, shelter and an education as deemed necessary by her said Master in exchange for working as an apprentice for a term of seven years. Her said Master will provide lodgings in close proximity of said Apprentice’s place of work.
All meals will be provided by her said Master within the confines of said workplace and lodgings. On occasion, the said Apprentice will accompany her said Master to meals in the Great Hall or other location as deemed appropriate by her said Master.
Said Apprentice will come to fully appreciate the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron with its shimmering fumes and intoxicating scents, the delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins, bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses.
Said Apprentice must cast aside dependence on classroom learning and evolve into a true artist, able to express herself unconsciously and unselfconsciously, unburdened by psychological blocks. The common thread found in the pursuit of mastering her chosen craft is true passion, which, when ignited, will enable her mind and body to transcend the reliance on books and knowledge. Said apprentice must look deep within her soul for that innate spark of desire that kindles passion, yearning, and dedication to the achievement of excellence. Only then will she experience the thrill of the exhilaration of combining intellect and intuition.
Said Apprentice will obey all written and oral instructions given by her said Master, without question.
Said Apprentice will not steal, waste or wantonly destroy her said Master’s potion ingredients.
Said Apprentice will adhere to a work time table as designated by her said Master.
If said Apprentice suffers any temporary condition that renders her incapable of fulfilling the terms of the contract then said Apprentice will be required to work additional time until such time as a term of seven years work has been completed.


Once said Apprentice has completed the apprenticeship and has shown to possess the knowledge of the delicate balance between the subtle science and the exact art of potion-making, said Apprentice will submit to her said Master for an examination.
Upon satisfactory completion of examination by her said Master, the said Apprentice will rise to the level of journeyman and earn a labourer’s wage while working under the Potions Masters of Bang and Gore Pharmaceuticals, London, England.
Once said Journeyman has shown to possess the self-efficacy and the exacting standards required to create her unique potion masterpiece, said Journeyman may petition for consideration of title of Master of Potions. Once the European Potions Guild has been provided verification of said masterpiece and said Journeyman has provided proof of wealth and social standing in the wizarding community, the title of Master of Potions will be bestowed.
Duties of said Apprentice are subject to change should the wizarding world be thrown into upheaval and turmoil.
The contract may be terminated by written consent of all parties involved or in the event of the demise of the said Apprentice.
In the event of the demise of her said Master, the terms of said contract will be renegotiated with the Potions Masters of Bang and Gore Pharmaceuticals, London, England.



Signed: Professor Albus Dumbledore                               September 19, 1996
Headmaster, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Justice of the Peace
Sealed:
Signed: Professor Severus Snape                                        September 19, 1996
Master of Potions, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Sealed:
Signed in the Presence of:
Witness: Professor Minerva McGonagall                  September 19, 1996
Deputy Headmistress, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Signature of said apprentice demonstrates acceptance of this contract.
Signed Apprentice:

Reason for refusal of contract by said apprentice.

Signed Apprentice:

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

Archive: Sycophant Hex: Ashwinder (Alternate Universe)
Title:
Chapter 4a A Night To Remember

Characters: Harry Potter World
Pairings: Severus Snape and Hermione Granger
Rating: R
Summary:
Professor Snape gives Hermione the apprenticeship documents to read and cautions her to wait until morning to sign them.
Hermione gets up the courage to talk about the Pensieve memory that is causing her embarrassment.
Word Count: 2326
Disclaimer: Not my characters. I’m just borrowing some of JKR’s characters for a little story.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


“Elf, we’re right on…”

Hermione looked around. Elf had disappeared right before her very eyes. Standing alone in the hallway, in front of the Professor’s door, Hermione suddenly felt very nervous and out of place. She had to have been out of her mind to have accepted this invitation. What had she been thinking? Merde! She felt the chill air of the dungeons on her bare forearms and shivered. She wished she had worn her normal attire or at the very least had the good sense to bring a wrap.
She took a deep breath, raised her wand and tapped it to the door. And she waited. Shifting her weight, she pondered her options: knock again, go back to the common room, or go to the laboratory.

She glanced around nervously. What if one of Snape’s Slytherins came looking for him and found her standing in front of his door dressed like this?

“Come on, professor. Open the door. Please. Please. Please. Open the door. Now, please,” she pleaded, bouncing lightly on her toes. What was taking him so long to answer her knock? Maybe she should rap again. No, if he was indisposed, her impatience might upset him. Moreover, she did not want to start out the evening on a wrong foot.

“Professor, please,” she said softly, furtively looking down the dungeon corridor. She didn’t want it to look as if she had been waiting for him. ‘Act natural Hermione. Raise your hand as if you are just about to tap the door, and when the door…’

Suddenly, the door swung open startling Hermione, and her wand arm dropped to her side.
As their eyes locked, they stared at each other as if each was seeing the other for the very first time.

Swallowing, Hermione became conscious of her breathing and the pounding of her heartbeat in her ear. Her knees felt weak, and she was sure her legs were trembling as she stared into the obsidian depths that burned with an intense passion. She had seen this intense, heated look before in his dark eyes. Determinedly, she met his sultry gaze with all the innocence she could muster.

Hermione was a vision of serene loveliness dressed in the gown she had worn to the Yule Ball. Over the summer, she had transformed into a captivating, beautiful young woman. The loose tendrils framing her face lent a look of innocent sophistication to her youthful face. He wanted to speak, but his tongue felt glued to the roof of his mouth, and he was not able to articulate a sound.

Though he was weak and barely able to stand, her beautiful, shimmering eyes compelled him to action. Her naiveté held him captive. The raw energy radiating from her body coursed through his entire being, centring itself at his core. ‘Dear Merlin, lay bare my soul. May she see me as I am and know that I desire her, and her alone.’

Unabashedly staring at Professor Snape, Hermione’s eyes travelled appreciatively over his body, taking inventory of his attire. Her eyes piqued with interest as she noted he was not wearing his customary robes and frock coat.

Tonight, he appeared ruggedly handsome in black, woollen trousers and zippered, black jumper, a look she was unaccustomed to seeing on him. A slight opening at the neck of the jumper revealed a white shirt underneath - the undone buttons piqued her interest. The scent of the musky, earthy Forbidden Forest wafted towards her, assaulting her senses, as an air of dangerous mystique surrounding him. Looking into his dark eyes, which spoke of hidden passion, she became aware that she desired him above all others.

The professor could not take his eyes off her as he watched her eyes move slowly over his form.

Staring at her, he found himself unable to act the part of the gracious host. He hoped she could read in his eyes how much he wanted her here tonight. He gave a slight nod of his head in a gesture he hoped she would interpret as inviting.

Hermione felt goose pimples as she realized what she was seeing…masculine, ruggedly handsome, dangerous, mysterious, virile...exuding sex appeal.

The spell was broken as Professor Snape finally managed to ask hoarsely, “Are you going to stand in the hallway gawping at me, or are you going to come in and join me for supper?”

Self-conscious, blushing with embarrassment, Hermione lifted the hem of her dress. As she made to step over the threshold, she froze, ‘Did Lily feel the same way about him as I do? Lily! For a brief moment, she had forgotten what she had seen the night she sought sanctuary from McLaggen. Of course, Lily! After all this time, does he still think of her, care for her…love her?’

She was jolted from her reflections as her eyes travelled slowly around the festively decorated room. ‘This is nothing like I expected,’ she thought. Turning to face the professor, she felt a soft brush against her cheek. Startled by the unexpected caress, she defensively raised her hand. A low chuckle near her ear caused Hermione to quickly turn and face the professor.

"You appear to be as nervous as a first-year – called to be sorted,” he said softly, “or has the kneazle finally gotten your tongue?” he asked, drily.

“N – N-No, sir, it’s just, so perfect, no one has ever…oh, professor, I can’t get my breath,” she breathed, bringing one hand to her bosom as her eyelids fluttered shut and a smile crept over her face.

“This will be a birthday to remember,” she added in a hushed tone.

She could do this. ‘I am an adult,’ she thought as she composed herself. She opened her eyes and found herself gazing into the dark, obsidian orbs that fanned the embers of her suppressed passion and fuelled her heart’s desire.

‘In more ways than one, Hermione,’ he thought, staring into the iridescent brown eyes that he wanted to be lost in forever. A seductive smile played around the corners of his mouth as he ushered her into the dining area.

Elf stood by the fireplace watching the interaction, and a big smile came over her face. ‘Master Professor have happiness look. Master Professor be having happiness. Elf have family.’

Hermione thought, ‘Come into my parlour said the spider to the fly. I best be on my guard tonight lest my true feelings for Professor Snape surface and betray me.’
“You look lovely tonight, my dear.” His voice was hushed, and his words were soft. The soul-stirring pronunciation sent a shiver down Hermione’s spine. His words, the whisper of silk, stirred her desire.

She couldn’t take her eyes off of him. Her heart was starting to race, and breathing was becoming difficult. She had a vivid impression of what she was seeing: masculine, ruggedly handsome, dangerous, mysterious, virile…exuding sex appeal.

At that precise moment, Hermione knew she was looking into the eyes of her soul mate. He was the tall dark stranger that had captured her heart with his eyes.

Hermione answered him with a nervous smile. Now, that she was here, she felt like a first-year. Glancing around the room, she wished she had declined the invitation.

“Elf has prepared a delicious meal in recognition of your special day, and we must not keep her waiting. Before we sit down, I would like to make a toast in honour of your 17th birthday,” he said, turning away to retrieve the champagne bottle nestled in a silver ice bucket.

Hesitantly, Hermione nodded her head in acceptance. ‘I am dining with Professor Snape! I am going to wake up and find this is all a dream.’

“Have you had champagne before, Hermione?” he queried, giving her a sideways glance, as he removed the wire hood surrounding the cork.

Caught off guard at hearing Professor Snape use her given name, she swallowed anxiously and stammered a reply. “I…I think…once…with my parents. It tickled,” she said, twitching her nose at the memory.

“Ah, yes, the bubbly will do that. Never turn your back on the bottle once you have removed the muselet. You must remain ever vigilant,” he continued as he skilfully coaxed the cork from the bottle. With the faintest of hisses, he expertly extracted the cork. He slowly filled their champagne flutes and handed one glass to Hermione.

Lifting his glass, he waited a moment to watch the tiny bubbles rising.

“Six years ago you were a student striving for knowledge and acceptance. You have made friends, excelled at potion brewing beyond my expectations, and progressed from being an insufferable know-it-all first-year to the attractive young witch standing before me tonight.

“Your presence in my classroom, at first a minor irritation that grew to a general dislike, was not welcome from the onset. Eventually, I began to see your potential, admire and appreciate your skills – you are someone whose brewing prowess rivals my own. To your past, present, and future – may they all come together to bring you the happiness you so richly deserve. Happy Birthday, Hermione,” he said sincerely, as he raised his glass and smiled at her before taking a sip.

Hermione was speechless. Mesmerized by the tiny bubbles rising in her glass, she realized although she had heard him speaking, she did not remember exactly what he had said. She recalled a word here and there, but her concentration was lacking. ‘Oh, why did I come? I feel out of place, and I do not know what to do. Now Professor Snape is actually smiling at me – well sort of a smile – at least for him it would be considered a smile. I thought this was what I wanted, but now I am not so sure.’

Hermione ducked her head shyly, feeling her face grow hot. “Thank you, Professor,” she replied before taking a sip, not certain what was expected of her.

He dripped sophistication and oozed sensuality.

‘Professor Snape is older and more mature than I am. He must think me a silly school girl to have dressed as if I were going to a ball. What can he possibly see in me?’

Hermione lifted her glass and smiled, “To Professor Snape…you are…you are a man I have always respected, but…I have not…always trusted,” she gave him a half-smile. “These past months while I have been working with you…I have learned…that I…I made an error in judgement,” she said, looking apologetic. “You have shown me compassion…kindness…and…provided comfort…when my world went wonky.” Hermione’s smile broadened as her confidence increased, “You have demonstrated integrity…shown responsibility…and…you have my sincerest gratitude,” she said, feeling her cheeks grow warm.

The professor, a look of shock and disbelief on his face, started to say something then thought the better of it.

“Know that I am by your side until the end,” she finished. “I will never leave you…Se…Sev…Professor,” she added, in a barely audible whisper. Hermione took a sip from her glass.

“Hermione, for once I don’t know what to say. That was unexpected coming from you. Thank you. Now. Come. Elf is waiting,” he said as he moved to stand beside her, placing his hand on her upper back. In a smooth move, the hand caressing her bare shoulder casually slid down the side of her breast to encircle her midriff as he forcefully propelled her to the dining table. His nimble fingers traced the outline of her ribcage as his thumb gently grazed the underside of her breast. As he seated her he felt her body tremble. ‘My conduct has caught her off balance. Dare I hope she will sign the contract tonight?’

Hermione moved to the table in a daze. Did she really know the professor? Here with him now, she was not sure – the champagne, the candlelight, his arm firmly guiding her….

'Did the professor just fondle my breast, or did I imagine it? Hermione thought to herself.

Hermione's eyes glanced in Elf's direction. Elf was standing in a corner of the room, her face beaming with delight. Hermione hazarded a look at the professor and gave him a half-smile. There was something off about the way he was looking back at her. It was as if he was seeing more than Miss Hermione Granger, student/potions assistant. Maybe she was overreacting, but she wished she had told someone where she was going.


Professor Snape held her chair as she sat down, and then seated himself at the opposite end. He lifted his glass one more time and said, “Here’s to celebrating many more birthdays.”

Hermione sipped and smiled bashfully. Before glancing down at her lap, she looked around the table. It was beautifully set with crystal and china.

“Hermione?”

“Yes, sir.” As she answered, she noticed he winced, almost as if she had slapped him. The moment passed quickly, and the professor regained his composure.

“I was under the impression we had a harmonious working relationship. So, tell me. Why do you seem nervous tonight? One might think I was about to bite you.”

“Oh, no, sir! It is just…all this…is so unexpected. I am overwhelmed and yes, I am a little nervous. I didn’t know what to expect for the evening. It’s uncomfortable to uh…uh…perhaps I should…maybe…I have overdressed…uh, not dressed…” she stopped speaking, realizing she was talking as if she had imbibed a Babbling Beverage.

“Hmm hmm heh,” he said, shaking his head as his lip curled in amusement. “Au contraire, Miss Granger. I would think you must feel very comfortable here…in the dungeons…with me. After all, you are the same Hermione Granger who, on more than one occasion, concocted a scheme to procure accommodations in my quarters.” Professor Snape cocked one eyebrow and gave her a knowing look.

Hermione felt her cheeks burn. He had some nerve to say that she had plotted to spend the night in his rooms.

Hermione straightened up in her chair, head held high, took a deep breath, and responded, “I did no such thing,” she replied. Then a little voice in her head said, ‘Or did you?’

Snape stared into her eyes for a moment, and Hermione feared he might be hearing her thoughts. She swallowed but did not break eye contact.

The professor cocked an eyebrow and said knowingly, “So you say.” Then he raised his glass and downed the contents, leaned back in his chair, and called, “Elf, you may serve.”

She set her glass down, surprised to see it was almost empty, and sank back in her chair. ‘That was close,’ she thought.

Elf brought the first course, poached oysters on the half shell with a chive sauce. She set one plate for the professor and gave him a big smile. Then she set a second plate in front of Hermione and smiled shyly.

“Hermione, Elf planned this menu especially for you. I believe you will find she has prepared a delightfully, simple yet elegant supper.”

“It looks delicious,” she said, waiting to see how the professor was going to eat it.

Elf turned to Hermione with a hopeful look on her face.

“Thank you, Elf. You are very thoughtful.”

Elf continued to stare at Hermione waiting for her to the special disk she had prepared. Hermione smiled at her and then looked back at the plate.

She glanced at the professor and watched him deftly spear the oyster with a small fork, dip it into the sauce, and then pop it into his mouth in one bite.

The corners of Elf’s mouth began to turn down and disappointment clouded her eyes. Hermione realized the little creature was waiting for her approval, so she took a deep breath and bravely picked up the fork, emulating the professor’s example.

Hesitantly, she put the oyster into her mouth and swallowed. It was delicious. Her eyes widened in surprise and she said, “Elf, you made a wonderful choice for the menu. The oysters are delightful.”

A broad smile on her face, Elf puffed up her chest with pride. “Elf know what Miss need.”

Elf disappeared to fetch the next course.

Hermione watched as Elf attentively served a carrot and ginger soup, followed by a sea bass with lemon potatoes. As she set each dish in front of her master, she gave him a loving look, adoration in her eyes. Hermione realized that Elf enjoyed being here, and she loved her master. Maybe not all house elves were treated badly, but that did not make it right. Should they not be allowed to be free to work as they pleased?

In an attempt to make polite conversation Hermione asked, “Professor, how long has Elf been with you?”

Professor Snape looked over at Elf. “Elf has been here as long as I have.”

“Oh, and before that? Where did she come from?”

Elf began twisting the corners of her tea towel nervously. She remembered talking with Miss before. Master Professor not being happy. She set her mouth in a grim line, determined not to utter a word.

The professor looked at Hermione with a hint of exasperation in his eyes. She could be a pain in the arse. “What does it matter where she came from? Elf is here now.” He turned his attention back to his plate and refused to make eye contact.

Hermione felt as if she had ruined the mood. When Elf brought out a plate of chocolate covered strawberries, the professor looked over at her and smiled. There was a look in his eyes that said, ‘I am sorry I was upset with you.’

He asked, “Did you enjoy your birthday supper, my dear?”

“Yes, sir. Everything was delicious. Thank you very much for this surprise celebration. No one at Hogwarts has done anything like this for me before.”

Hermione pushed back her chair. As much as she wanted to bring up the Pensieve memory, she couldn’t bring herself to broach the subject. “It is getting late; I should be going.”

“What a pity you must leave. I had hoped to speak with you about an offer.”

Hermione’s interest piqued, she asked, “Offer? What offer would that be, sir?”

“Your talent for brewing potions has become widely known in the wizarding world. Paired with the proper Potions master, it is believed that your potential could be limitless.”

“Do you really believe my potential is limitless?” she asked breathlessly.

Professor Snape ignored her question and continued. “I have been authorized to oversee your education and offer you an apprenticeship,” he said as he silently summoned the sheaves of parchment from the sideboard.

“But, I am still a student!” she interjected.

“You are not just any student, my dear. You are a brilliant student. You can take the exams at the end of the school year and still graduate. The only difference being, you would be apprenticed to the Hogwarts Potions master and thus exempted from classes.”

Without hesitation, Hermione replied solemnly, “Professor, I would like that very much.” ‘I would be a blithering idiot to pass up this opportunity.’

“Tsk, tsk, Miss Granger. It is a seven-year contract,” he cautioned. Glancing over the documents, he added, “It is unwise to act in haste.”

He handed Hermione the documents. “These are the official documents outlining the obligations and responsibilities of the apprenticeship,” he said, caressing each syllable. “The required signatures and seals have been affixed. The second copy is for you.”

Hermione put out her hand to accept them, but he pulled back slightly, giving her a sardonic look. “Always the eager one, aren’t you, Miss Granger. May I suggest that you read the contract carefully? Take your time before accepting the offer – because it is a magically binding contract. I do not want to hear any complaints that you were coerced.” Warmth no longer showed in his dark eyes. The amicable mood that had permeated the room had disappeared. The atmosphere was downright chilly – and it had nothing to do with being in the dungeons. The warmth in his eyes was gone, replaced by a sinister stare.

“I suggest you study them in the morning. Should you decide to refuse the offer, only the bottom parchment requires your explanation of refusal and your signature. I expect your answer no later than noon tomorrow.”

Severus allowed himself a sigh of relief. He delivered his speech with the exact amount of discouragement and warning that he felt would persuade her to do the exact opposite of what he suggested.

Hermione gingerly lifted the parchment and eagerly read:

Click to read the contract:
http://joannie3.livejournal.com/1855.html'

Click to continue reading Chapter 9 A Night to Remember
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Source used for information on medieval guilds:
http://www.ancientquest.com/embark/guilds.html
Ancient Quest Official Website of author Karen Ralls