AN: Hello? Is anyone still out there? Well, to whomever might find this tale, I offer a warning: It's dark. This story has elements of substance abuse, sexual abuse and general angst. However, it also has a happy ending. So for those of you who dislike dark themes, go ahead and click the back button. The rest of you, know that my dark is mostly in your own heads, so it wont get that ghastly. This story is finished, but un-beta'd, no britpick, no spag. So you get what you get, but you get the best I can give. It's a way to pass the time.

Not Mine No Money

Snape stalked into his office, dropped his papers on his desk, and continued straight through to his rooms. Pulling off his outer robes, he hung them carefully in his wardrobe before pulling out a bottle of Absinthe. He indulged rarely, but when he felt the need, he felt it deep. This drink alone wasn't going to be enough.

He took solace in the ritual of preparation. He poured, and as it bloomed, he took the time to snatch off his cravat and pop open the buttons on his cuffs. He emptied his pockets, scrubbed at his face, and then picked up his glass and headed back into his office. Rummaging in his private potions stores, he picked up a small bottle of concentrated alpha-thujone and a dropper. Back to his desk, he measured carefully and doctored his drink. There was a fine line between intensifying the pleasure of his chosen vice, and making himself temporarily schizophrenic. Sitting back, in his chair with its familiar slight creak, he swirled the drink once before taking a sip.


A perfect appetizer for a perfect weekend.

He listened to the blessed silence and smiled, his mind filling in the missing sounds; the yelling and whinging and pleading of the students, the insipid questions and mundane requests of his fellow staff, the incessant arguing of the harpy…

Gone. All of it gone. At least for the weekend. In actuality, he had one more week to deal with the termagant and then it was officially good bye and good riddance, but he was likely to see little of her during that time and nothing of her for the next two and a half days.

He intended to spend the majority of that time exploring the resiliency of his brain cells and the rest of it examining the insides of his eyelids. He hadn't indulged since the Christmas holiday because he was highly disciplined and methodical about his vices. He commanded them with a firm hand so as to not let them think they could ever command him. He chose the time and place, and, as a potioner, he could even chose the degree and duration.

Since the end of the war three years ago, his chem set, as he liked to call it, was devoted to recreation and not survival. So much the better. He'd developed all sorts of interesting effects and affects, some with more success than others. He avoided the more sinister ingredients—history's gutters were rife with potioners who hadn't—and knew his tolerances, so he was a bit smug about having a bit of fun.

He looked at the stack of papers on his desk and sighed. It would take a while before he was completely skulled, so he could still be a little productive. Setting his glass down, he rolled up his sleeves and picked up the stack of applications. Flicking his wand at the candles in his office, he increased the light and set his feet up on the desk.

Cyrano Tremore, was the first on the stack. His qualifications were good, but Snape simply couldn't get around that first name. He detested being ridiculed and couldn't help but think having an apprentice named Cyrano left the door far too open. He liked to think he was above denying a candidate based on something so petty, so he dropped the C.V. on his desk and mentally labeled that stack Potential. He knew at some point before Monday it would make its way into Denied, but at least he didn't have to face his personal shortcomings quite yet.

Alasande duMonde was bright, intelligent and came with glowing letters from her professors at Beauxbatons. Her application was the first into the Denied pile. There was no way in hell he would ever take on another female apprentice. These two years with Granger had been pure, unadulterated hell. Thank fuck it was over soon.

Sergei Thornseed's application went straight into the rubbish. He didn't need to send him a rejection letter since he'd run into the seedy little blighter down in Hogsmeade and put paid to his ambitions. As if he would get anywhere respectable with bribery. Like uncle, like nephew, he thought. Thornseed had been Dolohov's nephew, and Snape snarled, remembering how the smarmy little gobshite had even gone so far as to hint that he would allow any sexual advances, if that was the sort of arrangement he shared with his current apprentice.

As if.

Snape reached out and took a swallow of his drink. Since he was being moderately honest with himself, he could admit that the idea of bedding the bitch was appealing on more than one level, but it had never happened and never would. If familiarity bred contempt amongst compatriots, then what he and Granger shared was something much darker. He hadn't liked her before they grew familiar. Now they despised each other.

He ground his teeth, remembering her non-stop arguing, questioning and demanding—and that had been while she'd still been intimidated by him. Once she grew comfortable with her place, it had got far worse. Now, at the end of her apprenticeship, she didn't respect him or his opinions at all, blatantly ignored him when he spoke to her, and made a habit of not consulting him on a paper until after she'd finished it. He'd taken to reading the Journals in a state of panic, fearing to see his name attached to something truly misguided. Not that it had ever happened.

He sat back, looking at the desk across the room and imagining somebody new there. The idea was both appealing, and yet, not without anxiety. He hated change.

His memory filled in her form at its finest, sitting at her desk lost in thought. He saw her nervous habit of chewing her lip, biting her quill, and twirling her hair around her finger when she was deep in thought. That was always when she was the most pleasant. There was something different about her in those moments, and he could almost call her agreeable. It was what had kept him from skinning her and pickling the hide for potions ingredients.

He smirked and lifted his glass again.

He'd never had an apprentice before her, and in all honesty, she was worthy of being the first. All things considered, he was sanguine about sending her out in the world to represent his reputation in the potions' community. He'd managed to rein in her worst trait, her stubborn belief that she knew what she was doing before she'd even attempted any practical application of her daft theories, and she'd finally become a fairly nuanced thinker. Of course, any possibility for mutual respect had been destroyed in the process of breaking her of her bad habits.

He sincerely doubted there would be any grateful tokens of esteem when she sat her exams next week. He wondered if he should get her something anyway. Better not. It might turn into an expected tradition, and who knew how many bloody apprentices Minerva was going to force upon him.

He sighed and looked at the next application.

Bertrand Espanola was a good candidate. Solid grades in school, although not as good as the French chit's. He had also done a bit of apprentice-work already, until his master had died suddenly. Snape scanned his C.V. and his letters of recommendation and put him in the Potential pile. He seemed likely, but Snape wanted to look into exactly how his former mentor had died. God help him if it had been an accident in the lab.

Another application landed in the Denied pile. No women—and certainly not one that was part Veela.

He knew there was little chance of getting another harridan like Granger, but Granger's propensity for chewing up his nerve endings actually went far toward alleviating the annoyance of Granger's robes plastered to her sweat-soaked tits. Or the memory of the fawn-like glances she'd once given him when she'd thought he wasn't looking. Granted, it had been a long time since he'd received one of those, and there were a million ways to interpret them. Just because he would occasionally call her to mind in the dark of the night didn't mean anything. He was male, and she was… well, a blind man could see what she was, and he was most certainly not blind. In fact, there was a good chance that if she hadn't been a world-class cunt, he would have ended up a complete letch. Best not take chances. He hadn't been with a woman since he'd recovered, and didn't think it likely any time soon. Not with his monk-like lifestyle.

Gerald Speckle was another solid candidate. His application made it into the Potential pile, despite Snape's reservations about being able to put up with his tendency to spit when he spoke. As long as he kept his mouth shut while he brewed, he might work out. The idea of churning out potions filled with Speckle spit made him shudder, but then struck him as wildly amusing and caused a dark chuckle.

Three more women were shunted to the side, and four more young men went with them. In the end, he had seven Potentials, but no clear winner. He would need to have them in to brew and do a more intensive round of interviews. With a heavy sigh, he put the seven applications to the side and pulled his feet off the desk. He drained his drink and went to pour another one before he started writing his rejection letters.

Hopefully he would get through them before his brain started to melt. He made a mental note to not mail them until he'd thoroughly revised them.


He was on his fifth glass and the dark chuckling was flowing. He'd taken the precaution of writing FIRST DRAFT in bright red across all of the Hogwarts letterhead he was using just in case he was daft enough to forget and try to send them. His comments to the women in particular would get him censured by the Ministry Board and blistered by McGonagall for sure. It would seem that his self-addled brain had decided to try out misogyny this weekend.

He was cackling at his own wit when heard the distinctive creak of Granger's door echo through the open classroom. It sounded abnormally loud out in the empty hallway. He tilted his head to the side, confused. She had gone to spend the weekend with her parents before buckling down for the final binge study for her exams. He'd thought himself alone for the weekend, aside from Minerva and Hagrid. The rest of the staff was on holiday now that summer had begun.

He looked down at his childish rejection letters and suddenly felt stupid.

He hated feeling stupid.

He grabbed up the stack and shoved them in the drawer, pulling out clean letterhead and slapping it on the desk.

Blast that woman. She ruined all his fun.

He started in on something vaguely coherent and only slightly peevish for Greta Voorhees, keeping an ear out for his irritating apprentice. He knew he was in trouble when he added one extra o and three extra e's to the woman's surname.


Spying his unfinished drink, he snatched it up, quaffed the rest, and cleaned it with a quick flick. Eyeing it with unease, he then tried to charm it to look like an empty ink bottle. The result looked a bit like a glass sculpture of griffin dung, and he had to struggle against the resulting desire to titter like a firstie. He shoved in it another drawer then dimmed the candles for good measure. Granger hated when he kept the lights low so he did it as often as possible.

Soon enough, the door leading from her private chambers to their office opened. He kept his nose to the parchment and ignored her, hoping she would get whatever it was she forgot and fuck off.

"Professor Snape?"

He gritted his teeth. "Hmmm?"

Her voice was a quavering whisper as if she had to force the words out. "I-I just wanted to thank you. I-I can't begin to tell you how much I have enjoyed working with you these last two years."

His head snapped around and seemed to keep going as he turned to her in shock. He had the sensation of endlessly turning to the left. He narrowed his eyes at her, wondering what sort of joke she was playing at, and if it was actually possible his head was still turning left. Could she see it? What did it look like? Wait. What?

"Excuse me?" His eyes finally focused on her and then sprang wide. "Miss Granger, what the hell are you wearing?"

The answer was not much. She stood before him in a silk nightie that barely covered her pert little arse. It was a light-emerald color, with white lace edging. Absinthe colored. Oh, the green fairy! Come here and let me drink you…

As if she heard his thought, she folded her hands together and walked closer with the mincing glide of a geisha. "I've loved working with you these past two years," she said. Her words were strangely mechanical-sounding to his ears, but then that wasn't unusual at this point in his indulgence. "I know our time is almost at an end, and there won't be time after this weekend to properly express my… appreciation."

Hang on a minute… This is was it? Blast, did I mix a bad batch? Am I sitting here staring at the empty walls again? It used to be Lily… Even Granger makes for a nice change.

He swallowed and blinked several times, but she was still walking towards him half naked and, from the state of her breasts, slightly chilled. "Miss Granger, I repeat, what do you think you are doing walking in here dressed like that?"

She didn't answer. Instead, she reached out and stroked her hand through his hair.

He froze. His hallucinations had never included tactile sensation before.

"I love your hair. I always have," she said in a dreamy voice.

Oh, shit.

Realizing he was eye-level with her breasts, he sprang out of his chair and backed away, alarms clanging in his brain. "Granger, are you feeling alright? Have you been drinking? Or… anything else?"

"I haven't had a drop. I'm perfectly fine," she said, walking around his chair and backing him up against the wall. She reached up and stroked his face. "And I love your nose."

"You do?"

"It's your best quality, you know. Without it, your face wouldn't be nearly as handsome."

"Are you quite sure you're alright?" He was utterly flummoxed. Nothing in her demeanor or behavior these last six months would have led him to believe it even remotely possible that she harbored such opinions. In fact, she'd been so immersed in her studies that he hadn't thought she'd had time for such fancies about anyone at all, never mind him. Aside from those doe-eyed looks when she'd first started, he could only recall one incident that might vaguely have passed as complimentary towards him. He'd overheard her telling the Weasley girl that she rather liked his voice when he wasn't using it to be an utter bastard, which was seldom.

"I already told you, silly, I'm fine. Better than fine, in fact." She grabbed his hand—he only put up a reflexive resistance—and guided it to her waist. "See?"

His mind went blank and he felt the world shift sideways as she guided his hand up to cup her breast. His fingers left vapor trails on the silk. Oh, holy hell. He'd definitely picked the wrong night to try for better living through chemistry. The small kernel of attraction he'd mostly ignored for the last year, exploded into something far bigger. Was it the drink? His loneliness? Or had he really thought more of her than he'd wanted to admit under such adversarial conditions?

All of the above, his conscience whispered.

He shook his head to clear it and pulled his hand away, but not before curling his fingers and testing the heft of her lovely breast. "Miss Granger, I'm flattered—more than flattered, I'm… flabbergasted, actually—but perhaps we would be better off having this conversation after your exams. I know you think I'm a bit of a shit, but in fact, I am mindful of the potential for harm to your reputation if we were to… take this any further tonight."

There. The high road. He'd seized it. Or did one seize the high ground? Whichever, he'd done his duty. If she put his hand on her tit again, he would seize the day...

She frowned. "I don't like your nobility. I always thought that was one of your weaker characteristics."

A surge of anger washed through him, and he shoved her back. "I beg your pardon?" There had been long, lonely years where Snape had nothing but his sense of honor to sustain him.

"There! That. I love that," she said with a small smile, banishing his indignation with a single word. "Your prickly pride." She swayed forward and pressed herself against him, all silk-clad curves and tumbling hair. "I like a proud man," she said in a husky voice. "I love the way you snap and snark."

"You do?" he repeated like a berk. Why did she keep saying 'love'? That word held such potential for self-mutilation for him. Couldn't she just like his snap and snark a lot?

Her hands traveled up his sides before gliding across his narrow chest. He felt instantly self-conscious, knowing his chest wasn't one of his better qualities. He was in better than average shape for his age, he knew that, but a better than average stick figure was still a stick figure.

"I do," she said, leaning in closer. "In fact, I love many things about you."

Oh, gods. There's that word again. This won't end well.

She scraped her nails down his chest and kept going. He honestly couldn't tell if he was elated and aroused or flat-out terrified. The last woman who'd come on to him this strongly was Bellatrix, and that was not a night to be dwelled on.

"Miss Granger, I really think we should—oh, my goodness!"

Colors exploded behind his eyes as she grabbed hold of his bits. He vaguely realized that hadn't been one of the more masculine tones in his repertoire, but as her hand stroked him through his trousers, he stopped giving a fuck.

"I want you to touch me. I want that more than anything in the world," she said with a throaty rumble.

"Not… good," was about the last bit of honor he could scrape together.

She growled in frustration, a sound that brought him to full stand, and grabbed his hands. Pulling them around behind her, she placed them on her arse. Oh, gods above, she wasn't wearing knickers.

Snape groaned and ran his hands over the firm curves of her bum. "You want this?" he asked. Begged? "You really want me?"

"Yes! Yes! I want you to kiss me. Please. I crave your kisses, and I need your touch." She leaned up and planted a soft kiss on the corner of his mouth. Her breath smelled like cherries. "Will you take me to bed?" she asked in a plaintive whisper.

The alarms were now shrieking at him, but he ignored them all. True, this was an incredibly stupid idea, but it hadn't been his idea. Her apprenticeship was over in all but the fine print. He'd taught her everything he knew. She stroked his cock through the fabric again, eliciting a cascade of drug-enhanced sensations. Oh, Circe's teat. He'd always heard absinthe enhanced sex, but hadn't ever had the good fortune to try it before.

He licked his lips, stroking the silken skin of her arse. "Whatever you desire," he replied, pulling her against him and kissing her for all he was worth.

Curiously, despite the nearly over-whelming sensory input of holding a writhing Granger in his arms, his thoughts grew remarkably lucid. If this was some sort of thank you shag—pity shag?—then he'd have to make a good showing to ensure she'd want a repeat performance. Bed. Get her to a bed. Do this right, fool! He scooped her up, away from the more convenient desk, and stumbled to his rooms. She urged him on—"Hurry! I need you now!"—and he nearly killed himself in the dark once he gained his bedroom. He winced at the realization that his bed was unmade and his sheets overdue for a change, and then growled at how stupid this thought was. He never made his bed. What was the point? He was only going to crawl back in at some point, and no one ever saw it. Now it struck him as the proverbial trip to the hospital in dirty knickers. He left the candles out. There was enough light coming through the door, once his eyes adjusted.

Once he reached the bed, she twisted in his arms like a cat. He nearly dropped her on her face—Bad! That was bad! —but she bounced up and snatched off her scrap of garment. When she reached for him, her strength surprised him and he tumbled down on top of her, managing to break his fall without injuring her. Good. This is good! When she grabbed his face and kissed him, he was pretty sure he might have started giggling. Not an unexpected side effect to his indulgence, just several hours early.

Christ, she was beautiful. Even in the gloomy dark, her body was perfection. Her hair tumbled down past her shoulders and just barely hid her dusky nipples. It was the most erotic thing he'd ever seen. He wanted to take his time, but she was having none of it. Her constant demands and commands and her sexy little whine when he took too long getting his boots, socks and trousers off, enflamed him. He laughed, really laughed, thinking that he would normally be irritated by her inability to shut the fuck up. Now? He never wanted her to stop talking. Not when it was a litany of how much she liked—no, loved—his various assets.

Stretched out on top of her naked, he needed a minute just to digest the sensual intensity of so much skin. His drug-addled brain was constantly misfiring and the resulting synesthesia was nearly overwhelming. Feeling her body against his like this was almost ecstasy enough.

"You're perfect," he blurted, between kisses on her neck. "So lovely…" His hand wrapped around her breast and plucked her nipple gently, eliciting a gasp. "Tell me what you like," he crooned. "What do you want, Hermione?" He'd never said her name like that before, and it struck him that her name was as beautiful as she was so he said it again, several times.

She stroked her hands down his back and cupped his arse, pulling him tighter against her as she wrapped her legs around him. He felt the heat of her core and hissed.

"Just fuck me, Snape."

He chuckled. So eager! He denied her request and slid down her body. Her pleasure first, then his. It was only good manners.

It took some nudging and pushing but eventually he got them into the best position. She seemed reluctant to climb on top of him, which only made him more determined. He knew he was good at this. He kneaded her hips and arse with soothing strokes as he feasted on her core; she tasted like heaven. He looked up at her hovering above him, watching, learning what she liked by the movements of her brows. That passion so often looked like pain wasn't a new thought, but in her case, it occasionally looked disturbingly like disgust. Must be the drugs.

He applied himself with renewed diligence.

When her hands slid into his hair and clutched at his scalp, he moaned. There. That's what he was looking for. He built up that fire until she was grinding down onto him, and when she came apart with a quivering cry, he nearly spent himself from the thrill.

He rolled her off and crawled up her body, taking a moment to wipe his face on the sheets. She looked dazed. Surely that hadn't been the first time someone did that for her… Had it?

"Did you like that?" he asked quietly, kissing her neck. "Are you ready for more?"

She shuddered from head to toe and replied in a flat voice, like an order, "I want you to fuck me."

He could only respond with a wobbly nod as he wrapped her legs around him. With a deep moan, he slipped inside and felt his heart stop. The combination of sex and his enhanced drink was too much. She blurred before him, and he realized his eyes were swimming with tears again. She clutched at him, pulling and pushing, and resuming her constant litany of how much she loved his body, his cock, and yes, even his greasy hair and accursed nose. With a slow, painful thud, his heart started again and he felt a rare, blissful smile steal across his face. Alcohol and chemicals took command of his emotions, and he let himself slip free of his own restraints.

Everything came clear to him in that moment. He adored her. Not just her incredible body, or her unleashed libido, but her brilliant mind, her fierce temper, and her incredible loyalty. Even at their worst, and these last months had undoubtedly been the worst, she still wouldn't tolerate even the slightest ill comment about him from one of the students. He sighed, sliding himself in and out of her incredible warmth. It was so obvious now. His resistance in choosing another female apprentice was due to his reluctance to prove this one was easily replaced.

His breath hitched and his chest tightened. "Hermione," he groaned. "You're so magnificent—"

His clarity dribbled away and he lost himself in pure sensation. She was so hot and wet and eager—not to mention flexible. He turned her this way and that, always seeking an angle that would make her fly apart again. He was desperate to give her every pleasure he was capable of. She moaned and writhed, her comments growing more sparse, until she was almost worrying with how silent she'd become. If it wasn't for the way her body responded, he wouldn't have been sure of himself. But she did respond. Her body was gloriously responsive. When he felt her clench around him, pulsing and shuddering another release as her breath hissed out, he felt as if this was his greatest achievement in life.

He rolled with her again, ending up on top of her so he could see the play of light and shadow across her face. He leaned down and kissed her gently, his tongue tangling with hers in languid ecstasy. She stroked her hand down his cheek, but other than that gesture, she seemed utterly boneless beneath him. He deepened the kiss as he drove himself deeper, faster, working toward his own release. They had been more frenzied than prudent, and he worried she might be getting sore. As the end crept inevitably closer, he began to let free with a drug-induced babble he'd never have been capable of sober.

"Oh, Hermione. You're so incredible. I never thought this would happen, but I'm so glad it did. Tell me again. Tell me how much you want me."

"I do," she practically shouted. "I love this! I love when you touch me. I love you fucking me. I love you. I love you so much!"

His eyes flew open and he stared down at her in shock that quickly mutated into a profound elation. "Bloody hell! You do?"

"Yes! Yes!" she screamed.

His heart felt like it was going to burst. "Hermione… My sweet little Hermione, oh lord. I didn't know. I had no idea." He rose up over her, staring down at her in wonder as his heart cracked wide open. "I could love you. Of course I could! What's not to love? You're brilliant… you always were. I'm so sorry for the way I've treated you. I just wanted you to be the best. Oh, and you are. My gods, you're head and shoulders above the rest of those halfwit researchers in the field..."

It finally occurred to him that this was probably not the most romantic line of commentary to pursue while shagging a beautiful woman, so he set about listing off everything about her that he found superlative. He probably overwhelmed her with his admissions. Definitely, by her look of confusion, but these realizations were so newly hatched as to still be wet, confusing him as well.

He closed his eyes, replaying the memory of her telling him she loved him over and over as he shoved himself into her being. She didn't repeat it, but then she might not have intended to blurt it out to begin with. Sucking in great lungfuls of air, he tried to show her how much he could cherish her. He did his damnedest to let her know he would treasure her. She mewled and squirmed under him as he trembled in her clutching arms.

His climax rushed up at him, making his babbled words even more incoherent. When he came, colors exploded around the room as his mind slipped its leash at last and the world faded to black.

When he opened his eyes again, he was crushing her flat to the bed. He couldn't have been out long. Surely she would have shoved him off when he started to suffocate her. He only weighed ten stone, but she couldn't be much more than half that soaking wet. He carefully lifted himself off of her and pulled her tight against him, trying to drag a blanket over them while kissing her all over her cheek, jaw, and neck. He was babbling again, trying to find a way to describe what he'd never had to articulate before. He had no idea what he was saying, but by the gods, he meant every word.

She put her hand up and covered his mouth, surprising him, and he kissed her fingertips and fell silent, smiling at her.

"Stop talking," she said. "I've always found your voice irritating when you weren't yelling."

He went still, utterly confused and flailing to pull his thoughts together. "But—" His body grew cold and numb, the flow of ice curiously reminiscent of Nagini's venom coursing through his veins. "You once said—"

He stopped again.

She'd said she'd liked his voice in the past when he wasn't yelling.

Feeling increasingly ill at ease, he leaned up on one elbow and looked down at her. Again, the sporadic episodes of intuitive clarity that only came with his particular cocktail crystallized his mind and dark suspicion seeped in. He pushed away from her and fished around on the floor for his wand.

"Lumos Maxima!" he hissed. Wandlight flared to life with a blinding vengeance. He squinted and shielded his eyes from the glare.

She did not.

His body shuddered, registering what that signified even as his mind started to retreat from the same fact. Forcing his eyes open, he looked into hers. A low moan escaped him as she stared back at him. One eye was blown wide, barely any of her warm, brown iris showed at all. The other pupil was a pinprick. His mind finally snapped into perfect understanding and his heart seemed to stop with one last, painful bang of a beat.


She'd been cursed. She'd come to him under the influence of a curse, and he'd just—

"Oh, Christ… " he rasped, pushing himself away. The horror washed over him like a wave of burning acid. "Oh, fuck!"

He threw himself out of the bed and scrambled into his bathroom, making it just in time to empty his stomach into the toilet.

Review replies will be sacrificed for expediency. I need to get all seven chapters up before I leave town on Monday.