It took Hermione one night of crying her eyes out to come up with the idea to use the Room of Requirements for her research. It was one thing for Professor Snape to despise her, to use her, but withholding knowledge about a condition that affected both of them was more than she was willing to take from him , let alone forgive . Hermione needed to know about the Link that connected them against their will because never again would she make a fool out of herself by stumbling blindly to his quarters, not even being aware of what brought her there in the first place . No, if she would have to see him, she wanted to know exactly how often and to what extent, because she would keep their contact at a bare minimum if she really could not avoid it. But there had to be alternatives, right? They could not be the first persons affected by Kindred Magic and somewhere those other cases must have been documented. Unfortunately, Professor Snape had taken all the books from the library, but luckily Hermione knew of another place where she would find answers.
It wasn’t long ago that they had used the Room of Requirements for their DA meetings and by now Hermione knew the best ways to reach it by heart. Therefore going there without meeting Professor Snape was child’s play, especially since he had no reason to expect her anywhere near the seventh floor. Her requirement for the room was clear. “I need a place where I can find everything about Kindred Magic,” she chanted, walking up and down the floor and the room did not disappoint. Hermione was greeted by a cosy little reading room with a soft, red armchair in the middle and a little shelf with about twenty books. It wasn’t much, but way more than she could have hoped to find on her own.
"Thank you," she whispered into the room, even though she was not sure if it would be heard before sitting down, a little smile on her face. She'd probably spend the days until the new school year started here, reading everything the room provided. She was pretty sure the house-elves would gladly provide her with enough food to avoid meals in the Great Hall altogether. It probably wouldn't be possible, due to her unfortunate connection to Professor Snape, but she would very well try.
Time of exposure: none
Physical contact : none
It is the second day of not having seen Miss Granger and I feel myself getting antsier with every second that passes without me seeing the girl. Earlier, I went to her room in the hope to speak to her, because I do have the unmistakable feeling that something is wrong. A plausible explanation is her having read the book so that she is now attempting to avoid me. I do hope I am wrong, but one can only appoint so much of her behaviour to her preparing for school or her missing her parents, which was Dumbledore's excuse for her absence today. I find myself suspecting that the Headmaster knows more about Miss Granger's whereabouts than he is willing to share with me, which is more than a little annoying. But rushing in and demanding answers is rarely the right way to seek knowledge and therefore I am willing myself to stay patient, even though my feet keep carrying me aimlessly through the castle, pacing corridors up and down, before I catch myself and force myself to go back to my chambers. More than once I even ended up on the seventh floor today and Merlin knows that I usually do not even frequent this part of the castle. But it does not matter.
I am sure tomorrow Miss Granger will come down for meals, she has to, or I’ll need another way to seek her out. I am unsure of how to approach her, though, as I am still uncertain how much she knows. Therefore I am better off treading very carefully around her.
On the third day, Hermione found that she could no longer stay away and had to attend at least one meal - maybe even more of them - to satisfy the bond between her and the Professor. She could only guess that he, too, felt the effects of her self-isolation by now but she could not be bothered to care. At least he would be aware what happened to him, much different than herself when it happened to her after her injury. Therefore, she could not feel sorry for him and instead felt some sort of grim satisfaction for being able to pay him back, at least a little. It would only be a few more days until the new term started and when it did, Hermione had to be ready and composed enough, to face Professor Snape on a regular basis, during mealtimes as well as during the lessons. She could only hope that this contact would be enough to satisfy the bond because she really did not want to see him in private, not after she learned that he could barely stand her presence and only did so to satisfy their Kindred Magic.
When Hermione arrived in the Great Hall for breakfast, all of the staff members were already seated and she resumed her position at the small table with a murmured greeting and a nod towards the Headmaster. The old man looked back at her with a kind smile and a twinkle in his blue eyes. Professor Dumbledore probably knew that something was up, as he seemed to be aware of their magic connecting them, but he hadn’t said anything to her and Hermione was thankful for it.
She ate her breakfast as slowly as possible and even though Professor sat across from her at the table, his presence there seemed to be enough to make her feel better, at least physically. She could feel his eyes on her from time to time but she decidedly did not look up or converse, as she simply lacked the energy for polite small talk right now.
When she had finally emptied her plate and felt well enough to retreat again, she got up with a nod towards the headmaster and slowly walked out of the room. She barely made it into the seventh floor, as Professor Snape's voice alerted her from behind.
“Miss Granger,” he called her and she could hear his steps rapidly approach from behind. “A word, if you please.”
Hermione felt herself stiffen, her feet pausing to take another step. She could do this, she told herself and took a deep calming breath. She could face him without embarrassing herself.
“Sir?” she asked, slowly turning around and looking at him with her brows raised questioningly.
It was only seconds later that he had caught up with her, his long legs enabling him to walk much faster than her, without even getting out of breath. “You haven’t been at meals lately,” he said, his dark eyes fixing her intensely.
She willed herself to stay as calm as possible. “I have not.”
That was all he got from her, but he did not seem satisfied in the least. “I was told you were busy with preparing for the new term,” he said evenly.
“I was,” she lied. “And still am.”
He stared at her contemplatively. "I was hoping to continue looking for light crystals before I'll be busy with teaching again. Do you think you could join me for that?"
Hermione did not even blink. “No. You’ll have to continue on your own, Professor,” she said, without much emotion. “As I said, I am preparing for the new term.”
He stepped closer, his eyes never leaving her face as she did. “And you have been lying,” he said, his voice almost a growl.
She forced herself to not back away from him but hastily remembered to hide her thoughts in case he would try to use Legilimency on her. The books also suggested that it would help to keep her emotions in check. He would not intimidate her or agitate her in whatever way. "So have you," Hermione replied, her voice deadly calm. "Good day, Professor Snape."
She tore her eyes away from him and without another word she turned around and started to walk away from him. She half expected for him to hold her back, to demand answers or chastise her for her lack of respect, but luckily he did not. There was no response for him at all, Hermione found, hastily walking around the next corner. Professor Snape did not follow her and she felt nothing but relief at that - she thought.
She knew, Severus thought with an internal curse. Miss Granger knew and probably avoided him as a consequence of reading his fucking journal, a journal he couldn’t even call scientific any longer. Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Albus had warned him that his secrecy would endanger what little progress they had made, and of course, the old man had been right.
The feeling of experiencing Deja vú hit him with a force that made him stumble. He had fucked up, again , but this time things seemed even more hopeless than they had been with Lily. He and Lily had been friends, they had years of history behind them and it still had not helped him one iota to mend bridges with her. And what he had done to Miss Granger - what he had called her - was indefinitely worse. What was he supposed to do now? Memories of him begging for Lily’s forgiveness in front of the Gryffindor common room came rushing back to him. He had wanted her forgiveness so badly and still had not gotten it. No, he had humiliated himself and made himself a laughing stock once, but he would not do so again. He was an adult now, a Professor nonetheless and he could not afford to lose face in front of his students.
Still, he would have to do something to make her understand and forgive him because now that the whole mess had come to bite him in the arse, he realized, what an idiot he had been. Weeks ago he had realized that he wanted the girl at his side, in whichever way possible. Yes, he could not romance her, yet , but he still wanted her close and not only because of the bond that connected them. He had started to genuinely like her, to appreciate her intelligence, bravery and kindness. He still wanted her, as a research partner, friend or lover, someday, and he would take whatever she was willing to give. Right now that unfortunately would not be much. But with time, Miss Granger would hopefully realize that they would have to see each other from time to time and as soon as the chance arose, he would talk to her and explain.
Luckily the girl had a forgiving nature, as several fallouts with Potter and Weasley had shown. Those two idiots had treated her like shit more than once, but the girl had always forgiven them. This let him hope that she would forgive him, too, maybe not right away but with time. Yes, he was a proud man, but for her, he would not be too proud to apologize, after having planned his argumentation very carefully .
The field of Kindred Magic was fascinating, Hermione found while putting the third book on the topic aside. It was some sort of diary written by a young witch named Viola, that must have been about her age when she found out about being connected to a man, Damian, who was two years her senior. There were interesting parallels with her own story, Hermione found, for example, that Viola had been hurt right before their connection was discovered. They, too, had felt the pull towards each other but Damian had left Hogwarts soon after, while Viola was forced to stay.
Somehow those two had survived being parted from one another, Viola stating that she had gotten used to his absence, the pain coming with it lessening day by day.
For Hermione, this information was a good start.
Two books later she discovered, that the relationship of the linked partners seemed to have a strong effect on the bond, too. There seemed to be many influencing factors for its strongness but a certain amount of trust and sympathy seemed to be needed for an establishment and preservation of the bond. Yes, a “kindred spirit”, how it was known and found among muggles, was key, but the more Hermione read, the more she realized that being alike was only one part of the puzzle. There were ways to undo the bond and her having lost her trust in him was probably the explanation of why she had been more or less fine for two days without even seeing him. From what she had read in the Professor’s notes, he hadn’t managed to stay away from her nearly as long. This indicated some sort of progress in undoing the bond, did it not?
Hermione sighed. That information wasn't a solution in the long term, but they were at least a start to make the next days and weeks more bearable. She would only have to see the Professor from time to time, mealtimes would probably be enough and there, Professor Snape barely said a word. Therefore it would be easy enough to ignore him. It wasn't long until the new term started and as soon as Harry and Ron would be back at the castle, things would hopefully be more… normal again.
It was on her way back from the Room of Requirements, that Hermione was suddenly gripped from behind and yanked into a near alcove. She did not even have a chance to resist, her attacker’s grip too tight to have a chance to move away, so all she could do was scream. But as the school was still closed, there was no chance that anybody would hear - not at this deserted part of the castle.
A moment later her back was crushed against the wall, not really hard enough to hurt, but enough to squeeze the air from her lungs. That’s when she saw him. Professor Snape stood right in front of her, his black eyes boring into her with a mix of anger and desperation.
"You've been avoíding me," he growled while gripping her shoulders. "Don't you realize that we need each other?"
Hermione looked at him with wide eyes, her heart racing in her chest. “I don’t need you,” she mumbled, unable to tear her eyes away from him.
“No? Does this mean you don’t feel this ache in your heart? This longing? Because I most certainly do,” he said, his thumb slowly stroking the base of her neck. “And I think you do too, even though you’re adamant to admit it.”
Hermione wanted to tell him to let her go, to stop touching her, but she found that she couldn’t. He was right, she had been longing for him, longing for his presence and for his touch, even though it was complete madness, after what she had recently learned.
“No, it’s true. I don’t need your presence to feel content and neither do you need mine. You can’t even stand me,” Hermione exclaimed and started to struggle against his grip. “Now let me go, Sir!”
“No,” he said, his hands holding her firmly while he made another step towards her so that she could soon feel his firm, lean body against hers. “We need to talk about this, about us, because we know both that you’re lying - that I’ve been lying to myself. I need you Hermione and I want you in ways that I most definitely shouldn’t.”
She stared at him speechlessly, no longer struggling against his grip. “No, Sir, you’re lying,” she said, even though her heart started to believe him. “You’re just saying this because of the bond, you're…”
But she didn’t get any further as a moment later his lips sealed her mouth and pulled her in a hungry kiss. One of his legs snaked between hers and he pressed himself against her, his manhood clearly showing the truth of his words. He did want her and Merlin, she wanted him back.
“I’m done lying, Hermione,” he said, his eyes focussing on her once more. “I’m done denying those feelings, because I’ve decided to no longer hide things from you. God help me, girl, I want you, I want everything you’re willing to give me.”
“I…” Hermione did not know what to say, her mind bussing with this new information and the different feelings that were raging through her: confusion, disbelief, hope, longing… there were so many things she felt and was unable to express. But Professor Snape did not seem discouraged by her lack of verbal response. His hands started to wander from her shoulders up to her face, which he cupped with both hands, his eyes seeking out her’s as if to ask for permission.
"I will not touch you if that is not what you want," he whispered and even though she clearly felt his arousal, she believed him. "Just tell me to stop and I will."
His mouth was only inches away as he waited for her answer. She could feel his breath tickle her, tempt her. It was only moments until she gave in, her mouth closing the small distance that was left between them and he welcomed her with an eager kiss. His mouth opened up for her, his tongue teasing, licking and tempting until she could feel her legs get shaky. But his hands travelled down her sides and cupped her waist, before pressing her against the wall and holding her steady.
It was minutes until they broke apart, both breathing heavily after having deprived themselves of oxygen for far too long. She did not care, because kissing him felt like nothing she had experienced before. And suddenly she realized that she did indeed want him back.
Hermione awoke with a gasp only to realize that it had all just been a dream. Seven hells, and what a dream it was. She could have sworn that her lips still tingled from the kisses Professor Snape had just given her, her heart still racing from the intensity of their encounter. Only that there had been no encounter, to begin with. Professor Snape despised her, the words in his journal being the unmistakable proof.
This dream was probably just her subconsciousness’ attempt to deal with her self-isolation, as seeing him for mealtimes might not have been enough to satisfy the bond. But that did not make this dream any more true.
Merlin. She had really hoped to be over her feelings for her Professor, but it seemed like this link was working against her, tricked her by letting her believe things that could not be farther from the truth.
Well, or maybe those dreams were just her way to process things. She would just have to be careful not to confuse them with the truth and she would definitely not read anything into them. Because Professor Snape admitting his feelings for her was nothing more than wishful thinking.
Severus had hoped that dreaming of Miss Granger was a thing of the past, as he hadn’t had one of those dreams ever since he had allowed himself to vent some sexual energy by taking matters in his own hands - so to speak. It had worked perfectly for weeks and by now he had almost perfected the skill of occluded wanking. So where had this dream come from?
Luckily he'd at least had a few hours of good sleep and after a cold shower, he'd hopefully be able to function for the day. There was still lots of time until breakfast, but he would spend it by reading in his favourite armchair. It wouldn't be long until he had to teach stupid dunderheads again, which meant that reading in the mornings wasn't possible for much longer. So he'd better make good use of the time he had left.