That Certain Urge
All characters belong to JK Rowling. I just take them out for a spin now and then.
Summary: Caught red-handed in a recreational activity frowned upon at Hogwarts, Hermione has no intention of reforming her ways. It comes to Professor Snape to make her fully aware of the consequences. A game played with Wizarding rules becomes a point of honor, competition and temptation. Who shall emerge the victor?
Rating: R (SS/HG pairing)
Note: I have completely revised this story. While the general plot remains unchanged, I have improved weak areas, better flow and, of course, more of the Board.
Hermione Granger sat in the headmaster's office fidgeting in a high back chair. She had been caught, well and truly. She had no defense whatsoever and offered none. She gazed back at the man who held her fate in his hands.
Across the desk, Albus Dumbledore had no idea what to make of Hogwarts' most popular Head Girl. Nothing in her personality or school record could account for her behavior of late. While she had broken rules in the past, those incidents had some rationale behind them however farfetched. Everyone in her year respected her achievements and authority. The younger students looked up to her and her teachers' approval was nearly unanimous. The lone dissenter, Professor Severus Snape, went so far, in a moment of great duress, to admit that he found her agreeable. High praise, indeed.
This perception of universal approbation made her sudden irresponsible behaviour quite disconcerting. What had gone wrong? Wasn't she happy? Where did this unfortunate tendency come from, Dumbledore wondered. "Well, Miss Granger, I cannot let this one pass by, can I?"
"I suppose not, sir. If it's any consolation -"
Dumbledore cut her off with a hard look. "Stop, I can smell false contrition at twenty paces away." The headmaster shook his head. "We had such high hopes for you, my dear. I will owl your parents immediately. I cannot stop you from graduating, your grades have not been affected but I can and will include a notice in your records."
"Yes, sir," answered a chastened Hermione.
"You are dismissed," Dumbledore watched her stand and turn to go but as she got to the door he asked "Have you ever considered therapy? Muggles consider it a curable addiction do they not?"
"It comes and goes, sir. The urge, I mean." Hermione replied back. "I really, really am sorry for everything. I'll try to be better."
Dejected and distracted, Hermione proceeded down the hall to Gryffindor tower. She did not see Draco Malfoy before they collided. For a heart stopping moment they were very close chest to chest, thigh to thigh. Their eyes locked. She felt his hand making its way quickly and surely into her robe. She gasped as he slid his hand sinuously into one of her robes' pockets leaving something heavy behind.
His hand's errand done he stepped away from her and crooned sotto voce "Did the headmaster make you feel all better?"
"Not as well as I'll feel tonight." Hermione fingered the contents of her now full robe pocket. All thought of her promise to the headmaster were pushed aside by the heady thrill of anticipation. "I suppose you'll want this back?"
"Only if you beg me," Draco whispered. "You won it fairly but I intend to recover every bit. Payback is such a turn on, don't you think?"
With a final heated glance, they parted. By the time she reached the tower, Hermione had her breathing back under control and the urge firmly in hand. She said the password "Icarus ascending." She was not entirely surprised to see Harry anxiously waiting for her in the common room. Before he could ask she informed him, "No, I'm not expelled but it was close."
Harry let out a long repressed breath in relief. He still had a chance after all. He smiled adoringly at her. "Hermione, if you're not busy, I'd like another chance to get some -."
"I'm sorry, Harry, I'm booked tonight. But tomorrow night for sure. for as long as you want," Hermione replied. "I promise right after dinner."
"Great! I've been practicing and learning all those tips you gave me," Harry took Hermione's hand in his. After many years of use, his puppy-eyed, apologetic expression was well-honed. "I'm sorry for being so careless and you got caught by Peeves of all things."
Hermione laughed "It's alright, Harry. Not your fault you got distracted. You need to work on your concentration."
The two friends said goodnight and went up to their dormitories. Later that night, Hermione crept out of the tower and headed for the dungeons heading for an empty room by the Slytherin common room. She turned the last corner and lady luck deserted her.
For in front of the entrance to the corridor leading to her destination stood Professor Snape. "Good evening, Miss Granger. Do not blame Mr. Malfoy. I did not give him much of a choice but to tell me the truth about your meeting tonight."
Hermione rolled her eyes mentally. She was not fool enough to actually do so with the git standing right in front of her. "Get it over with, sir."
Snape moved forward closing the distance between them. "If the headmaster's warning has failed to deter you, and that seems to be the likely case, then I highly doubt that a loss of points and a grueling detention will be any more effective. Will such punishments, stop you, Miss Granger?"
Hermione knew that any deceit on her part would be transparent to this particular professor. She held her ground and her tongue.
"What ought to be done with you, then?" Snape circled her with hands clasped behind him.
"I can't be entirely to blame, can I? I do not issue out invitations, others do."
"It is a fact that males cannot resist a challenge. Once word of your dubious talents had spread, well, the result was inevitable. Have I summarized the situation?"
"Yes, sir. Perhaps, imposing a schoolwide ban would be practical."
"Miss Granger, this is not about the school. The problem lies solely with you." Snape felt slightly discomfited that he no longer towered above her. It was one method of intimidation he favored. Sadly, she reached nearly to his shoulders. "I do not so far detect any tones of remorse in anything that has come out of your mouth. Therefore, I am convinced that more drastic measures are called for."
Hermione jutted out her chin bravely. "And those measures would be?"
Given the look of concentrated and frank interest in Snape's eyes, she should have been wary but lacking experience in detecting subtle signals of menace, she was an easy mark. His next words were spoken slowly, each syllable rolling smoothly on his tongue before slipping languorously from his lips. "The measures I have in mind, I assure you,will be thorough, in great depth, instructional and repeated as often as desired. Despite your extracurricular achievements, you have not learned all the nuances available."
She hated herself for her weakness but the wicked imp inside her craved to get a rise out of him. "I've been told that I'm quite well versed already, Professor."
"I sincerely doubt that." Snape looked her up and down before saying, "Boys are strictly for amateurs or girls playing make believe."
And with that he turned and headed down another darkened corridor. He had gone down a few feet when he heard her footsteps running after him. The corners of his thin but sensuous mouth curled upwards for the briefest of times. Gryffindors were so predictable, he thought.
Snape waited for her to catch up. Without uttering a word he led her down the corridor. They paused in front of a painting of an eagle diving down from the sky. Snape said his password and led her inside. He excused himself leaving her alone in his sitting room.
Hermione looked her fill of the professor's rooms. She luxuriated in the deep, tan leather sofa surveying the warm but masculine quarters. Snape returned dressed in gray slacks and a black cashmere sweater. He motioned to Hermione to join him on the table.
"To be fair, I should let you know that you've met your match and then some, Miss Granger," Snape held out the chair for her.
"Let me be the judge of that, Professor. I'm no novice." Hermione sat and gave him her sweetest smile. "Shall we start with five card stud poker?"
"As you will, Ms Granger," Snape placed several decks of cards on the table as well as some poker chips.
Hermione pulled her robes off. I wonder how far he's willing to go. "Oh, no, not chips, Professor. I only play strip poker, deuces wild." At the look of utter dismay on his elegant face, she could not help but be delighted. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. She shuffled the cards expertly waiting for his response.
Too reckless, Miss Granger. If you play the game, you must play all the way. Shall we find out how far you will go? Snape stilled her shuffling hands by enveloping them in his own. His actions caught her off guard and she looked up at him. "In that case, Miss Granger, I would like to know whether I am to play with a woman or a girl tonight?"
A cold frisson of awareness climbed up her spine. Now she was afraid, very, very afraid.