“I never took you for a coward, Severus,” the Headmaster said looking at him in mild disappointment. “I hoped you had finally decided to no longer keep secrets from Miss Granger, as we just saw what damage keeping secrets can cause. But no. I see you can’t help it to keep your cards close to your chest.”
Severus looked at the man with a scowl. “Wh at do you expect me to do Albus? Tell the girl that she's my destined soulmate? That she will start feeling unwell if she decides not to constantly seek out my presence? How well do you think that would go down with her? What about her parents? I am nearly two decades older than her and she is underage. Its pedophilia Albus! ” he growled, leaping from the man’s cushioned chair and pacing in front of his desk. “She already wants to undo the connection as it is. Not that she could, mind you.”
Albus looked at him with a shake of his head. “This might be due to her not having all the facts. She thinks the only thing you share is pain. Of course she would not want that. This is why you finally need to talk to her, my boy. And if you do, try to be honest about your feelings.” He said reasonably while completely ignoring the underage problem.
The words were enough for him to choke. “My feelings? My feelings ? I don’t have feelings, least of all for Miss Granger. Merlin Albus, have you finally lost your marbles? The girl is my student . I have no feelings for her, none whatsoever.” He stared at the meddlesome man defiantly. But Dumbledore did not seem overly impressed with him.
“Really Severus? Or is this just what you are telling yourself? Because I certainly think you do," he said and looked at him over the rim of his half-moon - glasses. "I think you decided not to feel, as there was only pain and misery in your life for years. Don't think I'm not aware of that, my boy." The Headmaster's gaze did not waver, but Severus could have sworn that it softened a bit. "But now there suddenly is something else and even though your mind keeps denying it, your heart knows. You do feel Severus, and there is nothing wrong with that. Miss Granger will be an adult soon enough but even then, no one asks you to bed her if you feel uncomfortable doing so. You could, however, try to establish some sort of friendship or companionship with the girl. I can see her appreciating a skilled mentor or even a reliable, mature friend." The old man had even the audacity to twinkle at him. It took all of Severus's willpower not to snap at him. The nerve of that man!
“A mentor, Albus. How well do you think that will go down with the Slytherins?” he asked, but then he suddenly remembered that most of them had probably already heard that he had defected the Dark Lord. That next year would be a nightmare!
“You will no longer be Head of the House Slytherin,” Albus said as if he had read his thoughts. But Severus guessed he didn't need to, as his recent decisions had put him and the Headmaster in quite a difficult position. Still, Albus had not scolded him for it once. Why?
“As you are aware, I will try to persuade Horace to come back to us.” Dumbledore continued. ”He will not only fill your position as Potions Professor, but he can also take over House Slytherin from you. You will take over the position as Professor for Defense against the Dark Arts and there’s another side project I would like to talk to you about - well, two actually.”
At that, he saw Albus’ features turn into a smile, which made him suddenly feel nervous. What would the man be expecting from him now, that he had disappointed him by giving up his position as a spy? “Side projects? What kind of side projects?”
“Well, the first one was actually inspired by your Miss Granger, Severus. She proposed a way to actually get rid of that unruly curse that has befallen my arm. She really is a clever girl, you know?”
Again, there was that blasted twinkle in the man’s blue eyes. He tried not to let it get to him. “What did my clever Miss Granger suggest then?” he asked, while making his voice sound as mocking as possible even if his insides became warm at his voicing of her being his.
Albus looked at him with a smile. “How do you feel about cutting off my wand arm Severus?”
Severus's jaw dropped. He couldn't be serious!
When Hermione knocked at Professor Snape’s office door after dinner, she could not help but feel nervous. The man had not been at dinner in the Great Hall, and neither had been the Headmaster. Had they already talked about her suggestion or maybe even put it into practice? When suggesting it to Professor Dumbledore earlier, she had thought it a good idea to get rid of his cursed arm, especially if that curse was slowly killing him, as he said. But would it even work? What if part of the curse still remained in his body and killed him anyway? Or what if the missing arm could not be regrown? After all, they did not know if Professor Snape’s potion ever worked or if she was skilled enough to brew it, with Professor Snape only watching and instructing her?
She stared at the office door in dismay and before she could finally convince herself to knock, the door opened on its own, revealing a tired-looking Professor Snape. “How long did you intend standing there, staring at my door?” he asked, his face lacking any form of emotion.
Hermione looked at him in embarrassment and mortification . “I was just about to knock,” she mumbled. “I just wanted to finish my train of thought first.” She said lamely.
"You can finish it inside," the man said and stepped aside, making room for her to enter. Hermione could not remember having been to Professor Snape’s office before. It wasn't very comfortable, if she was honest, as most of the shelves were filled with potion ingredients, most of them looking rather unappealing. The middle of the office was taken up by a large desk though, that was covered in various papers, quills and scrolls. Somehow the chaos there surprised her, as she could have sworn that the Professor would have everything neatly organized. But she guessed, she didn't know him very well, not even after reading through his potions book - twice. There was so much she still did not know about him and Hermione realized that she wanted to change that. She just did not know how, without being disrespectful . Right now there was a more pressing question on her mind though.
“Sir? Did you… is Professor Dumbledore alright?" she asked, stopping in the middle of the room and staring at the man in hesitation. He did not answer her right away and instead calmly walked towards his desk. He sat down on his chair, his hand resting in front of his chin as he said:
“Are you asking if the Headmaster could already convince me to chop off his arm?” He smiled darkly, but at the same time, he looked at her with furrowed brows.
Hermione nodded and saw the Professor sigh tiredly in response.
“Miss Granger,” he said and for a moment it seemed like he was struggling for patience. “Suggesting such a thing to the Headmaster or actually to anybody, is considered an extremely rude thing. I know you are nor aware of it, which is why I am explaining this to you now. Cutting off somebody’s wand arm is considered a crime in the wizarding world, as it usually renders the person in question totally helpless. Doing such a thing is considered a taboo.”
She stared at the man with wide eyes. “I… wasn’t aware of that, Sir. Do you think I should apologize to Professor Dumbledore?”
At that, Professor Snape shook his head. “No. But you should probably avoid telling anybody else of your … unconventional suggestion. Professor Dumbledore is aware of your… heritage and your obliviousness of certain wizarding customs. He does not hold it against you. In fact, he was quite taken by the idea and asked me to perform the amputation of his cursed appendage right away."
Hermione looked at the Professor with a hopeful smile. “He did? And is he alright?” She said trying to crush the overwhelming embarrassment she felt at not knowing about the "taboo" she committed.
“Indeed. And he seemed most pleased by the result.”
“Was he really?” Hermione asked, unable to hide her relief. “I’m glad. Now we just need to brew those potions to help you and the Headmaster to recover. Shall we start right away?”
“In a moment,” Professor Snape said and walked to a door to his right. Hermione did not know what was behind, but as the man opened it a moment later, an excited, orange fur ball dashed in her direction, leaping in her arms with an excited meow.
“Crooks!” she shouted, cradling her faithful companion against her chest. “I’ve been so worried about you!”
Her cat answered by licking her hand, before rubbing her head against her chest. Hermione enjoyed his affection for a moment, but then she got aware of Professor Snape’s gaze lingered on her. Reluctantly she let her companion go and Crookshanks leapt out of her arms, climbing on the Professor’s desk instead. Hermione was almost sure the man would shoo him away, but she was mistaken.
“I found him in the neighbourhood of your home,” t he Professor explained, looking at the scene, his face bare of emotions. For a moment she seemed to consider his reaction, but finally, he nodded with a sigh. "I believe we should start with our first brewing session. It will take some experimenting to make the potion work properly and I would prefer to have that arm back, before the new term starts. Follow me into the lab. You can pick up your cat later.”
Hermione nodded eagerly. She couldn't wait for them to start, and as it looked Crookshanks seemed to be quite happy, where he was.
Time of exposure: 2 hours 23 minutes 40 seconds
Physical contact: none
The subject shows sufficient skills in potion making, which will make her useful enough to complete the potion I need to recover. Luckily she can mostly keep her mouth shut while brewing and refrains from asking questions at every chance, like she usually tends to do. It makes her presence in my personal lab much more tolerable.
My missing appendage keeps bothering me and I hope to regrow it soon. I still have problems comprehending, how the stupid girl talked the Headmaster into deciding to simply let me cut off his wand arm. We can only hope that we manage to regrow it, before the new term starts. As soon as the Dark Lord hears of the man's helplessness, he will not hesitate to try assassinating the man. But the little Know-It-All, of course, did not consider that particular outcome, as she tends to be way too naive in her thinking. I hoped her little stunt at the Ministry taught her a lesson, but she, unfortunately, seems to be rather incorrigible.
Severus read through his notes with furrowed brows. Working together with the girl had been… challenging and it wasn't because he found her incapable, or even overly chatty. Ever since she was back to Hogwarts, her behaviour towards him had changed. She had always treated him politely but now it was like she constantly smiled at him and genuinely cared about his opinion of her. But that also wasn't the problem. The girl's presence in his private lab had been most distracting for him. As he stood close behind her to watch her moves, he could suddenly smell the scent of her hair products mixed with something that had to be her . It took all his willpower to not walk closer and sniff her out like some wild animal would probably do. But oh did he want to, wanted to bury his nose in her hair and put his arms around her small body from behind, pulling her close to never let her go. He did not know where those thoughts suddenly came from, but they were unmistakably there and no matter how much he raised his Occlumency shields, they simply would not leave him again.
Fuck! When she came to his office earlier he had considered telling her the truth about their connection, or at least let her know that there was a need for them to see each other more frequently than the both of them liked. But how was he supposed to explain why she had not been unwell during the days she spent with her parents? The girl did not know he had regularly visited her in his Animagus form and it wasn’t that he could just admit it now, could he? And so he had not said anything, even though Albus had strongly advised him to finally spill the beans. But he could not do it, not when he risked driving the girl away by doing so. He knew it was probably a big mistake, as the truth would come out eventually. But maybe the girl had come to like him until his secret was revealed and would not consider leaving him behind. If she just got to know him a bit better, maybe after working in the lab with him for a while, she would hopefully be able to understand his reasoning. As it appeared they needed each other and he did not mean those disgusting thoughts that had started tormenting him a few hours ago. Severus would get them under control. He had not been interested in a woman for almost twenty years now and he would be damned, if he suddenly succumbed to that weakness now. His life was already complicated enough as it was.
When Hermione finally sunk to her bed she felt tired but happy. Ever since she had woken up from her artificially induced sleep, things had been pretty exciting. Having her parents at Hogwarts was great. It had always been one of her dreams to finally be able to show them everything here, and hopefully, it would make them understand why the wizarding world was so important to her. Especially considering the recent attack on their home, her parents would make a decision soon. Hermione could see them leaving Britain behind, as they had many international contacts and friends all over the globe. But would they agree to let her stay at the castle? Hermione hoped so. Showing them everything definitely would make it easier for her to explain to them why she wanted , no needed, to stay behind. Luckily Professor Snape and Headmaster Dumbledore seemed to support this idea, at least when she was going by the bits that Professor Snape had told her.
Hermione had already shown her parents the library and even her father, who has visited many international libraries before, had been impressed by its size. Afterwards, they had been to the greenhouses and even though Professor Sprout was not around to give them a tour, Hermione knew the place pretty well after years of Herbology classes. She had been able to lead her parents to the plants that were sa f e enough to watch. Her mum had loved the place from the beginning, her interest in Botany making her want to stay until they had almost missed dinner. Hermione promised her they could come back another day, knowing that they might be here frequently from now on. Maybe she could even convince Professor Snape to join them, as his knowledge on plants was most likely very impressive as a Potions Master.
Professor Snape… the man continued to be a mystery to her. Working under his watchful eye had been surprisingly hard, as she wasn’t used to him breathing down her neck. He had not scolded her once, only interrupted her when she was about to do something stupid before carefully instructing her how to do better. Still, she had been nervous throughout the whole brewing session. Her skin had tingled all over, while she had been aware of his every move, which was ridiculous, as the man almost hadn't moved at all. She guessed it was because she did not want to disappoint him, at least she hoped it was. But after having had a stupid crush on Professor Lockard and after him Professor Lupin, she wasn't entirely sure. She had admired both m e n before her feelings had grown into something… more. Merlin, she only hoped this would not happen with Professor Snape too, especially if she was going to spend a big chunk of her next weeks with him in his lab - alone. Doing so would provide a multitude of chances for her thoughts to run wild, but with him being a Legillimens ... holy Gryffindor! No, she could not let it come to that, as the man would probably throw her out as soon as he learned about her stupid teenage crush. Unfortunately, it did not help that he was much nicer towards her now, or that he had given her his old potions book. Whenever she opened it now, she could see a young version of Severus Snape before her inner eye, hunched over his desk, scribbling enthusiastically. She had not been able to resist looking him up in the Hogwarts yearbook when she visited the library earlier. At that chance, she had learned that Severus Tobias Snape was indeed a half-blood like his old potions book had suggested. But now the picture of the broody-looking young man haunted her whenever she closed her eyes. He had already worn his hair long back then and his features had not changed much over the years , if anything they had gotten better . He had never been classically handsome, Hermione thought, but then she realized that she did not care about that one bit. The man was definitely not ugly and he wasn’t plain either. His dark, mysterious aura, his dark eyes and his long hair had something that fascinated her - or better would have fascinated her if she had been interested in boys right now - which she wasn't. Hermione groaned. Oh, whom was she kidding right now? Of course, she was interested in him, in a way she definitely shouldn't. The man was her Professor and he had already refused to behave improperly by only staying alone in her room with her. What would he say when he found out about this stupid teenage crush? Hermione could not see him reacting too kindly towards her, which meant that he would probably at least cancel their brewing session, or heaven forbid, talk to her parents! She could not let this happen, any of that, which meant she had to get over those blasted feelings and fast! The question was how?
"What are you doing here, Miss Granger?" he heard himself ask, staring at the girl's petite body that was only clad in a silky nightshirt. It was the middle of the night and he was already about to get ready for bed, his black outer robe already resting in his wardrobe for the next day. But then a strange feeling had pulled him towards his door and there she was: Hermione Granger, clad in a thin white nightshirt, shivering in the coldness of the castle walls.
"I don't know, Sir," she replied, her brown eyes huge as they looked up at him. She should not be here, not at this hour and definitely not in this state of undress and yet there s he was. “It was like I was somehow pulled towards you, like I somehow needed to be here. Does that make sense?”
Of course it did, considering their strange connection, only that the girl wasn't aware of that. Merlin, he should send her back to her room or at least escort her back, but he too found that he did not seem to have a will o f his own. “It does,” he said, his voice deep and mysterious. “But this is not the right place for an explanation and you’re cold.”
Miss Granger nodded, her lower lip trembling. Somehow his eyes could focus on nothing else but that pink, glistening lip for a moment, and it took all his willpower to turn around and lead the girl inside, into his private quarters. There, the rooms were still warm, as he let the fire in the fireplace burn all night. She did not hesitate, but followed him inside, her bare feet making almost no sound on the cold stone floor.
“You shouldn’t have come here,” he heard himself say, offering her a place on the huge leather sofa, before he carefully sat down next to her. “What if somebody saw you?”
Miss Granger shook her head, her lower lip caught by her teeth. “I was very careful, Sir. And I just… I needed to be here, I can’t explain why.”
“There’s no need to explain anything to me,” he said, and somehow his hand found its way to her face, carefully cradling her cheek, while his thumb touched her lips. “I understand the need to … be close.”
Her eyes went wide. “You do?”
"I do." No more words were needed, as his lips found their way towards hers a moment later. It was like none of them could help it, their shared urge to feel each other silencing all rational thoughts. For now, there were only her lips and the soft moans and whimpers that escaped them now. His hands found their way below her nightshirt stroking her tight breasts with nimble fingers. The sensation was enough to make her shiver and press herself stronger against him. He found himself kissing her even harder at her actions. She was so receptive and not shy at all, like he had expected!
Only moments later the girl whimpered below him, her body no longer sitting but lying on the sofa. Severus covered her almost from head to toe, her body trembling with need below him.
“Please Sir, I need you closer,” she whimpered, her pupils blown wide. “I need you inside me…”
That was when Severus woke up, his body bolting upright in his bed. It was only a dream , he realized, even though his traitorous body was pretty much convinced that it wasn’t. It was like he could still feel the girl’s lips on him, her hard nubs below his fingers as he rubbed them making her gasp with pleasure. But no, Miss Granger had never been here. She had never even seen his rooms, let alone asked him to… Merlin’s hairy buttocks! How could his traitorous mind come up with such an absurd fantasy? Now that he thought about it, his dream could have sprung from one of the cheap, nauseating novellas his mum used to read and hide under one loose floorboard in the kitchen. He didn't know, but no matter how absurd that dream had been, his body did not care. His throbbing member demanded its release and ached for the witch from his dream to finish the job. But no, he would not touch himself thinking about this particular student. He was not this kind of man. But Merlin, he wanted to, because he knew that in this state it would be impossible for him to fall asleep anytime soon.