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It's No Use, He Sees her

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They sat in silence, mutual, mulling over the predicament. He suspected that Poppy was keeping looky-loos at bay for them while they came to terms with their new reality.

Granger had quickly grown sick of the hard straight-backed visitor’s chair and transfigured it into a rather squashy looking armchair. She’d kicked her shoes off, tucked her legs up, wrapped her student robes around her body, propped an elbow on the arm of the chair, her chin in her palm, and stared out, or at, a window. One bright finger tapping her lips with no real rhythm.

Snape had settled back into the bed to let the potions continue their work, occasionally pulling a hank of hair forward, giving it a look of disgust, then tucking it back behind his ear.

He nearly hexed her when she suddenly exclaimed, “I’ve got it!” and he wasn’t sure if it was because he’d been startled or simply because that would be a fine way to vent his frustrations.

She was looking right at him, gaze sharper than he generally saw it outside of class.

“Got… what?” He finally drawled, trying to sound as disinterested as he felt.

“I know what to do. You need to spin this. You need to make this look deliberate, because while I may be a muggleborn Gryffindor, I’m also Harry Potter’s best friend.”

“That is not a point in your favor,” he pointed out with a sneer.

Her eyes flashed and she sneered right back at him! Impertinent!

“No, but it’s an excellent reason for you to fake a soulmark, isn’t it?” The look she was giving him told him clearly she thought he was an idiot for not immediately following her thought process. When he simply raised a brow in expectation she rolled her eyes and elaborated, “I’ve got a fairly obvious, but mostly standard mark. You were in a situation that you very well could have manufactured that resulted in me touching the one part of your body that could conceivably have a soulmark. Which,” she eyed his hair, “I would not believe if I couldn’t see it myself.”

“Alright,” he huffed, “let’s say I accept your premise that I could have, somehow, set up a plot to fake being your soulmate. Why the hell would I?”

Her look was distinctly unimpressed, which was an unusual feeling when facing a student. He was very impressive, or at least left an impression.

“Because I’m Harry Potter’s best friend and also the primary thing saving him from death and dismemberment, sometimes in that order at least twice a year. If you’re my soulmate and I’m a teenage girl...” she trailed off and gave him an emphatic look.

“...then I can attempt to leverage a soulbond into sway over your information, actions, and ability to keep the boy alive, and thus, a threat to the Dark Lord,” he concluded, “because teenage girls are universally hormone-driven romance-novel-inspired fools.”

“Universally,” she agreed with a smug look. “The whole castle already knows that we appear to be soulmates. If you establish that you’d had a plan in place, that you’d enact if you were given the opportunity, for this exact result… You should be safe.”

She’d said that last bit with a great more solemnity than he’d anticipated from her, given the overall situation. “And what do you care for my safety?” he finally questioned after the silence between them grew uncomfortable.

“You threw yourself between me and a werewolf,” her eyes were surprisingly soft as she looked at him and his own eye twitched in response, “no matter what else you are or do, you’re the kind of person who’ll face down a literal monster to protect someone they don’t even like.”

He swallowed hard and looked away. He’d just been, he’d been doing his job, they were students, he was supposed to protect them.

She sighed loudly, like she was expelling the emotions from the conversation with the force of her breath. “So, we just need to decide how we’re playing this. Because it was so public, and you’re going to be using it to your advantage-”

She ignored his interruptious and rhetorical “Am I?”

“-so we need to come to terms on how lovesick I’m going to look, and how you’re going to get away with not simply assigning me detentions with Filch every time I give you calf eyes.”

“Wait, what?” His eyes felt like they were about to fall out of his head as he boggled at her.

“Well!” She sounded far too perky for this whole bloody conversation, “If you’re telling the Most Loyal Followers of Lord No-Nose that this was all a plot to entrap a silly girl who’s had good luck keeping The Chosen One alive, then it’ll look awfully bad if it doesn’t appear to be working. Won’t it?”

He just gaped at her, and she huffed in frustration.

“Honestly! I thought you were clever!” She exclaimed, gesturing vaguely at his personage. “I’m going to pretend to be besotted, you’re going to pretend to be interested, we’re going to do it publicly enough it will get back to the big cheese via the usual evil gossip routes, and then you won’t be killed or worse for having me as your actual soulmate. Just in case,” she snapped, “you forgot why we’re in this position at all.”

He stared at her for a few moments longer, eyes flicking from her bright hand to her face and back again before he dropped his face into his own hands and muttered with all the emotion he could muster, “Bugger.”