In Your Memory
Hermione was distraught as she lay crying when they got back home.
One of the Ministry officials had seen her running after the guards who were taking Snape out of the courtroom and when she almost reached them, the guard had raised a concern and soon enough Harry arrived at the scene.
“Harry, you’re hurting me,” Hermione complained, trying to remove Harry’s claw-like fingers. He halted and rounded on her. “Harry—“
“And what do you think you’re doing to me?” Harry spat at her. “What do you bloody think I’m feeling right now?”
"I just wanted to-"
"You just wanted to what?" he asked through gritted teeth. "You just wanted to what Hermione-"
"Harry, my arm-"
"You don't get to decide how you will just-"
"Mr. Potter." a voice cut in.
Harry and Hermione looked up and saw a member of the Wizengamot walk up to them.
He quickly let her arm go.
"Kindly keep your voice down. You are still within Ministry premises."
The wizard had witnessed the whole scene and had decided to cut in when he saw how Hermione was being painfully dragged out of the room.
Harry didn't know how to react to being reprimanded.
"I need some air." Harry blurted out and before he could do any further damage to his image, he stormed away from Hermione and the wizard.
"I'm fine." Hermione quickly said, concerned at Harry and at the official's expression towards Harry. "He's just.. it happens. It was my fault. I know this is hard for him."
"And more so, for you." the wizard kindly reminded him. "Miss Granger, forgive me. But in case you are unaware, during trial proceedings you have a choice to ask to be kept in a special house as both victim and witness to a crime that will keep you away from parties in order to have a better and calm environment."
Hermione didn't know what to say.
She wasn't that aware of the choice but at the moment, she knew that the best place to be was with Harry after everything that he had gone through.
"I understand." Hermione simply replied. "We have the same witness protection program in the Muggle world. Thank you for the offer, sir. But.. I feel Harry needs me more."
The wizard nodded at her in understanding.
"Mr. Oswald." he offered his hand to shake hers. "My wife is Muggle-Born too. In case you need anything, please know you can reach me. She works here as well in the archives section. Good day, Miss Granger."
The offer had been lingering in her head until dinner time but she didn't dare bring it up in front of Harry.
"Dinner?" she asked him entering his small office studio.
She's only been there twice since they moved back to his apartment.
It was a small room and a little eerie to her taste.
It was decorated with nothing like the Harry she knew.
Although the walls were paneled with books of his line of work that she quite liked, it was dimly lit.
The only window was boarded up and locked, his table was toppled with books and papers that didn't look like he has touched in weeks or even months, and his wall was plastered with photos, sketches, notes, and maps of cases he handled.
"I'm not hungry." Harry coldly responded to her looking away from her and turning back to the notes he had been reading. "Go ahead and eat."
She hesitated before entering the room with a heavy sigh.
"Harry. I apologize for how I have.. acted earlier." Hermione began looking at him moving around the room and not paying attention to her.
"It's fine." Harry simply said shoving the parchment in his hand in one of the boxes and rummaging for another. "You had to tell the truth and if that's the truth, we can't change it."
"It's not that.." Hermione started, "I meant.. after the trial.. when I.."
Harry intentionally dropped a large book back over his table.
He stood there, eyes fixed on the book, hands clenched over the table.
"I don't want to talk about it." Harry heavily breathed after a moment. "But you must know that as the trial proceeds you are not allowed to see him. That is by the law. It's not something I'm disallowing you to do."
The glint of hatred in his eyes was visible as he looked up to her when she reached to him.
"I know." Hermione sincerely apologizes as she moved to him. "I know that. It's me.. I'm sorry."
She leaned her face to him in a reluctant way as she attempted to rest her face against his.
But Harry mistook it for another.
He quickly captured her lips to his and moved her against the table.
He was quick and he was far from gentle as he kissed her, his arms locking her against the table.
"Harry, wait - no - I can't-" Hermione murmured in between the kisses as he moved her arms around her, his fingers fidgeting for the buttons of her blouse and skirt.
"Hermione.. I just need you." he whispered against her neck, nipping her gently with his lips. "Hermione.. I just need you."
Hermione struggled against him as his knees parted her legs apart and she felt his hard-on between her thighs.
"Harry, please stop." Hermione whispered her hands blocking him from removing her clothes. "Stop! STOP!"
She screamed at him as she bit his lip to halt his advances and roughly pushing him off her.
Harry angrily screamed back in pain, staring at her wide-eyed in disbelief.
She stood frozen at the spot, eyes tearful after throwing Harry off her.
Her hair and clothes were both disheveled and Harry's trousers were half-open already.
"I'm sorry..I'm sorry..I'm sorry." Hermione gasped in panic and in fear as he saw the enraged look over Harry's face.
She had never seen him that angry since she returned to him three months ago and the look upon his face was far from unnerving.
"I didn't mean - I didn't - " she cried, torn between walking to him and just staying where she stood.
Harry gave him a hard expression over his face before breathing heavily and looking away from her.
When he turned back to her, the look of anger had disappeared from his face.
Hermione stared, afraid of the sudden change of expression from him.
"It's fine." he simply whispered closing his pants back and straightening his shirt. "I'll be late. Don't wait up for me."
Hermione watched in silence as he straightened up his clothes and grabbed his cloak and wand from behind his desk and stormed out of the studio without another word.
Hermione listened as the apartment's silence settled from Harry's absence.
She heard him storm out of the apartment's main door with thoughts racing through her head.
Bill and Fleur once mentioned in one of their earlier dinners since she's arrived that Harry had developed sudden or abrupt tendencies of storming out of meetings or dinners when the topic offended or didn't suit his ideals. And it took them months to discover where he went.
Harry had become a regular at certain bars around London including several pubs at Diagon Alley.
He didn't draw attention but it had spread that he would be frequently seen drinking alone for hours until morning at the corner of bars he frequented.
She knew that she was tearing him apart, but she also didn’t know what to do. She understood his misery and anger, but she also couldn’t let an innocent man go to Azkaban.
“What are you thinking about?” she asked in a soft voice.
She was staring at his quiet silhouette next to her on the bed.
"I'm not thinking of anything. Go to sleep." Snape answered her turning to his side with his back to her.
Hermione scooted closer to him and placed her arm around his bare body, tightening his grip around his waist.
"It's cold." she softly kissed his left shoulder blade. "Please keep me warm."
But he didn't move and continued to ignore her.
Hermione could sense the indifference and she wondered if it had something or anything to do with what took place a while ago.
"I'm still having the dreams." Hermione sighed after a while, moving herself from him, she lay on her back. "I still keep having them."
"I'll make you a potion to put you to sleep." Snape quickly offered as if he had been waiting for a reason to be excused from the bed.
Hermione turned her head to see him putting back his white shirt over himself.
"I don't need a potion." she said halting him mid-way from dressing up as he moved to him.. "Don't go."
Hermione reached for him but he was quick.
Snape grabbed her wrists and stopped her.
"Something's wrong," she commented her brow creased in confusion. "I knew something's wrong.
He looked away from her and turned quiet.
He didn't know what to say or do.
This was a very big mistake.
He knew it was and yet his body and emotions told him otherwise.
He just couldn't hold himself any longer from doing something he had tried to avoid for the past eight months.
He should not have let his emotions get the better of him.
Now he couldn't even look her in the eye.
Snape felt her warm touch on his left hand. He tried to control his breathing but he could feel his body reacting to that minimal skin contact.
He wanted to burn the goddamn idea out of his head.
"Miss Granger, please." he quietly whispered gently pushing her hand away from him. "This shouldn't.. happen again. It's not.."
"It's not what?" Hermione demanded her expression quickly changing. "It's not what exactly?"
Snape looked back at her and despite the anger in her face, he could feel the fear rising through her.
Ofcourse she would be afraid of his sudden change after what had just transpired between them.
"I'm sorry," Snape said suddenly realizing his insensitivity towards her. "Miss Granger, you know.. you know that this isn't right. It's a mistake, to begin with."
She blinked in disbelief.
"A mistake?" Hermione incredulously reacted. "A mistake, professor?"
There was a hint of hurt in her voice and tears quickly filled her eyes.
He felt that pinch in his stomach when she addressed him.
"Hermione, that's not what I meant - what I meant was-" he reached for her out of fear of the hurt she was unable to suppress from him.
"No, don't touch me!" Hermione angrily said, swatting his hand away from her and withdrawing back against the headboard and dragging the blankets to cover herself from him.
The look of fear and anguish filled her eyes.
"Hermione, please. I only meant-please let me explain"
"I think we both know what you meant!" Hermione angrily said. "You don't have to explain yourself!
He couldn’t explain himself.
He knew what he sounded like—a bastard with a very special place in hell. His eyes softened at the sight of her crying.
"I want to go back to them," she cried, "just bring - just bring me back - you got what you wanted - you got -"
"Love, please.." Snape whispered determinedly reaching for her despite her struggles against him. "I'm sorry.. I'm sorry."
He stared with a softer gaze, almost pleading to her.
Silence took over the room and after a moment and look of contemplation from Hermione, she dived back towards him, crying with all her heart.
Her arms clung heavily against him and he wrapped his strong arms around her to comfort her.
Hermione buried his face in his chest, crying as hard as she could.
Snape closed his eyes in relief and he tightened his grip around her to reassure her.
"I'm sorry, love. I'm sorry." was all he could utter as he kissed her forehead to soothe her worries away.
Several hours ago, he was Severus Snape—the professor of Hermione Granger. But now it was different; he was Severus Snape—the lover of Hermione Granger.
Or was that what he should call it?
Were they lovers?
Heaven knows he had tried her best to avoid this very situation with her all the months they've been cooped up and isolated together and from the world in the cottage.
The process of controlling himself around her was such a struggle and he did his best until he could. But he was weak - just like any other man. He had given in to what he had been longing for.
With only the two of them staying in that cottage, he knew something was bound to happen. And the worst part was that it wasn't that she was the only available witch to the hunger he needed to fulfill in himself.
He knew deep down that he'd wanted her even before they had been thrown together.
Snape recognized the unspoken feelings for her that he had first been having since seeing her that one summer at Grimmauld Place.
He wasn't sure what he had come across that afternoon but the house had been empty except for her and for that Potter boy and Weasley.
He arrived at Grimmauld Place in hopes of bringing a message for McGonagall who had arrived later than he did.
He clearly recalled that out of surprise and irritation, he was greeted by a laughing Hermione on barefoot running down the stairs to race against Harry to get to the door out of expectation that it was Lupin who arrived.
He remembers being livid at seeing them both in that behavior - Harry was wearing an open shirt while Hermione was wearing nothing but a very short summer dress that had one of its straps barely hanging on her shoulder.
But that was also the very day he knew that she was no longer the child he taught throughout all those years but that she had grown into a woman.
It was wrong in every sense, and yet here he was now with that very Gryffindor woman in his arms. He knew she was still confused about her feelings for him, but there was no confusion on his part.
He knew that this was a point of no return.
He was sworn to protect her, and he had failed miserably; now he needed to face the consequences of his actions. Whatever she was feeling for him, he was still the one responsible for everything that has happened. He was the only one to be blamed, and he should have known better.
He was a man to be detested.
He abhorred himself, and he could think of no reason for her to love him. And yet here she was in his arms. She had agreed to stay with him for several months without question. Yes, she had tantrums at times, but she still stayed with him. He knew she was smarter than she let on; she could have escaped. But she did not. She stayed.
And now he knew that there would be a change of dynamics in their relationship. He could no longer command her as a professor, and surely she would no longer follow his orders the way she had before. She would no longer look at him the same way ever again; he knew that her respect for him had altered.
Was he that stupid and weak to have come to this decision?
He should have been stronger. How was he going to handle the task given to him if feelings were now involved? It was the golden rule he lived by—never become entangled with anyone else.
He had never slept with such a woman, and he knew that she was not just any woman. That night he had discovered that he was her first.
He hated himself for having to do it—but she did not hesitate.
She completely trusted him—with all her heart and soul.
She was Gryffindor, best friend, and lover of Harry Potter, but still, she had given up to him what no other man had ever had and would never have.
Snape knew he was going to hell, and he was going to rot there, if not in Azkaban first. He did not belong in her gentle world; he had taken her innocence and everything there was to take from her. And she had allowed it. She had trusted him without question. She had succumbed willingly.
He had completely lost track of his plans now that this had happened. But to hell with it, he was going to die anyway. And that thought complicated things further. How was he ever going to leave her now?
“Food,” called a guard’s voice.
Snape completely ignored the sound of the tray being pushed beneath his cell’s door. He wasn’t hungry. He didn’t want anything.
He closed his eyes and counted the seconds.
How long had it been?
Three months he recalled. It had been three months since he had been cast into the depths of Azkaban as one of its most highly-guarded prisoners.
He was facing a death or life sentence.
He was charged with the killing of Muggles and the ambush of Harry Potter and his friends on the night of his transfer. But the most grave of all charges was the one that had been placed by Harry Potter—charges against him for abducting and keeping Hermione Granger for the past ten years.
Did he regret any of it?
He closed his eyes and turned over in the bed, remembering the face of the Gryffindor girl and how she had smelled beneath him.
He had seen her several times at the trials, and he knew that she would be attending each hearing. He had tried to avoid her gaze as much as possible. But today, he had heard her clearly going after him.
He’d done his best to ignore her.
He had her captive for the past ten years, and after the first few days of separation from her, he thought he would go completely insane.
These three months had been rough. At night he knew that he would be screaming for her, and even in his weakened state, he was still constantly thinking of her.
She would always be a part of him, and that would never change.
He would die without her. But what did she really feel for him?
No, he should not think of it.
He was a bastard, and he had destroyed her life. Yes, he was successful in keeping her alive, but he felt as if he had still failed his mission. He knew that Hermione Granger would never understand the consequences of his actions. But it didn’t matter—none of it did. He would rot and die in Azkaban.
He breathed deeply, closing his eyes and trying to lose himself in the memory of her. She was the only good thing that ever happened to him after Lily Evans. She was the only woman to ever accept him for who he was and what he was despite the consequences. She had stayed true to him, and now he must live with the regret. He could not tell her why he was doing everything he was doing now, and he wouldn’t allow her to know his true intentions ten years ago. No, she was safe now, and she would soon learn to forget him and be happy with The Boy Who Lived. It would take time, but she would heal and move on.
After all, she wasn’t being kept within four walls of a cell, awaiting nothing but death.