I'm sorry about this chapter being on the short side! I've been working on chapter 10 parallel with this one and it really slowed down my progress, but at least I expect the next update to come much sooner.
Also, a bit of a warning so that you don't get confused mid-chapter with the canon divergence – I'm adding my own flare to how Legilimency works.
Severus Snape was rarely ever wrong, and he had found himself in situations where he would have to apologise for something he'd said or done only a handful of times in his entire life.
The last time he'd found himself to be mistaken was three years ago, when he insisted to Pomona that the especially rare root usually grown by the handful of the remaining Welsh druids had to be planted during the night-hours. The Herbology professor, on the other hand, insisted that it had to be done at dawn if one wished for it to be an ingredient of acceptable quality. Not heeding her advice (because how could someone possibly know better than him?), he planted the silvery seeds (acquired on the black-market for a small fortune) in a clay pot on his windowsill - at midnight. The plant grew out successfully, all right, making him feel very smug, and he lorded his success over Pomona for weeks on end. Though still offended, the plump professor took the celebration of his victory gracefully, almost without comment, which should have clued him on that something might still be amiss. There was nothing graceful about Pomona, ever; she was the kind of woman that never goes down without fuming and arguing, and he should have known that with her silence and humility she was just her pretending to have accepted defeat.
He became aware of his mistake three months after the planting. On a sunny Tuesday afternoon, and after six hours of brewing, the cauldron in which he added the chopped root exploded, much to the Potions Master's horror and disbelief. He found himself, as well as his laboratory, covered in green goo, and it was Pomona's turn to be smug.
The Potions Master's last apology was tied in with his last error – it had to be given to Libby, who was the only person in the entire castle skilled, capable, and willing enough to clean up the mess he had made without having to throw out half the lab equipment.
The lesson was only partially learned, though, as he had acquired some humility after it (but nowhere near enough), and now his three-year-old record was finally broken, with Miss Granger being the one to blame.
"You were bloody right," Snape ground out after he pulled out his consciousness from her mind, his hand flying to his forehead in an effort to ease the headache with which he emerged, his tone of voice indicating that he was having a hard time believing his own words.
He shot a quick glance at the clock to see how much time had passed since he immersed himself in Miss Granger's mind. He frowned deeply when he realised that they were at it for a little less than ten minutes, which was about five times more that he would have guessed. Where in Merlin's name did all that time go?
Certainly nothing like Legilimency.
Before the two of them started their connection, the sun was well hidden behind a cloud that seemed to make its life's goal to charge towards it; having reached it, the sounds of the critters outside the window came to a nigh hush due to the change, and when Snape was entering Hermione's mind, the room was almost completely silent. Now that they've resurfaced from the quicksand that their first mental connection was, and since some considerable time had passed, the warm sun shone upon the castle once again, setting the communal buzz of the critters back into action and making the room bright and annoyingly loud again.
Snape watched Hermione on the couch next to him intently, but his close attention was not awakening discomfort within her, since she was not in the state to notice it, feeling as weary as she was. Her breathing was more rapid than it should have been and her pupils were strangely diluted. She was also visibly much paler than she was before they've started the mental connection. She looked up at him after a while, meeting the ill-concealed concern in his gaze. She tried to brave a smile at him, but couldn't manage even that, let alone a reply, before she felt that she was going to be sick. She abruptly sprung up to her feet, running out of the room and towards the bathroom.
Snape cursed loudly.
He was well aware of what was happening to her, having seen it plenty of times (and having been the direct cause in most of them), so he got up to his feet and was right at her heels as he hurried to follow her.
It wasn't uncommon to be sick after having one's mind violated, but with how many times she'd emphasized that the approach with the merging (as opposed to regular Legilimency) was supposed to be gentle, he really should have listened. His own distrust in the success of the experiment led him to approach her mind in the usual harsh fashion of reading another's mind with Legilimency, and she would not have been ill if he hadn't done so. In fact, the only reason she was going to be sick was because he decided to be a prick about it, and with what was happening now, that mistake stung. Hard.
Experience should have taught him to know better, but apparently, it didn't.
Hermione, as she ran, could hear the sound of Snape's heavy footsteps following her, and she wished for the floor to open up under her and swallow her whole from mortification. Just why was her body betraying her this way? Already her mind was flooding with fear that he was going to say that this reaction was proof of an incompatibility issue. It couldn't have been, she was sure, though what the real reason for it was, she did not know. Once she reached the bathroom, she fell down to her knees in front of the toilet bowl and was hovering above it while trying her best to gather all of her hair with both hands until the first wave of sickness hit. It was proving to be a difficult feat, having there been so much of it. As soon as Snape arrived at her side, he reached to grab the remaining loose strands that were putting up a fight, but was met with her embarrassed resistance.
"Damn you, girl," he growled at her as he fought her flapping elbows, trying his best to gather the rest of the chestnut-coloured locks that were going to get into the toilet bowl unless he did something about it.
Soon after she had no choice but to allow him to help her, as she started retching and heaving, and continued to do so until the acid started burning her throat and tears of both physical pain and humiliation coated her pale cheeks. She was a mess, but he was right there by her side all the while through it, fussing over her uncharacteristically, wiping her chin with a tissue and handing her a glass of cold water after the convulsions stopped, which she had accepted with a muffled 'thank you'.
He crouched by her side after she had finished drinking her water and reached absentmindedly to start gathering all of her hair with his hands again and twisting in order to keep it in one place, just in case she'd misjudged that her stomach had finally settled down. In normal circumstances, she would have instinctively jerked away from the touch again, but by then she felt so weak that she barely registered that his hands were back at her head, and so he was allowed to do it.
He knew that she was purposely keeping her head turned away from him. He knew she was a young girl, and though he'd usually find such behaviour to be silly, in this moment he was too humbled by the sight of the distress that he had unnecessarily brought on to be judging her for anything, let alone her embarrassment.
The most he could see of her profile were the long, thick, tear-coated lashes over half-shut eyes and her slightly glistening cheekbone. Her back and shoulders were slumped; her hands lay limp in her lap. He guessed that if he moved to look into her face he'd find her with a gaze that blankly stared into the distance. Now, after it had been confirmed that she was right all along, and if only for a moment, he wished that he wasn't always such a bastard. He knew that his pride was one day going to be the death of him, but he would really have to find a way to put a leash on it, unless he wished for it to be the death of someone else too.
"Are you finished?" he asked softly, letting go of her hair and allowing it to rest on her back.
Though he'd never let her know it, her humiliation paled in comparison to what he was feeling as he watched her body painfully contracting as her stomach emptied itself. His main argument against attempting the McGreen merging was that they were most likely going to end up hurt in some way, but even after their first attempt (even though he was too rough in his approach of her unsuspecting mind), he could already tell that their minds were in tune more than enough to be able to go through with it without any foreseeable complications. And yet, in spite of that, only due to his colossal pride, he still managed to hurt her.
"I am," she said, taking deep breaths and keeping her head hung low as an extra effort to calm her body down, more or less certain she was not going to start retching again.
He got back up to his feet and stood himself behind her, reaching for her forearms in order to help her get up to, but the hand flapping started again as she nervously refused the help.
"Miss Granger," he growled in a low voice, less than satisfied by her insistence to keep sitting on the cold tiles of his bathroom.
"I'm all right!" she exclaimed, lying more to herself than to him.
Along with feeling completely worn-out, she was also burning with shame that she had just made a display of such weakness (retching as professor Snape held her hair, for Merlin's sake!), and she didn't want to add to it by looking up at him and showing him her tear-stained face.
"Are you, now?" he asked, arching up a cynical eyebrow. He was not going to judge her for her embarrassment, but he was also had no intention of humouring it. "Stand up then," he ordered pointedly, crossing his hands on his chest as if to form a physical shield against her unreasonable stubbornness, knowing there was more to her unfortunate state than she was aware of right now.
Hermione didn't respond to the command, but remained sitting on the floor, not even attempting to get up, knowing instinctively that she would faint if she did so - though for the life of her, she could not understand why it was so. She could feel that her blood pressure was probably at the lowest it had ever been; her head felt as light as a feather. What is going on? she wondered, growing more and more worried that it actually might be an incompatibility issue, having no way to know better.
Snape, refusing to budge from her side, sighed deeply, shortly pinching the bridge of his nose and closing his eyes. He was understandably frustrated. He knew that she wished for privacy, and even more, that she was in need of answers to questions yet unasked, but first there was some healing to do before those needs were satisfied.
Having reached a decision on the course of his actions, he leaned down, and with a sweeping motion of his arms, picked Hermione up bridal-style. Surprised and panicked protests could be heard from the armful, but they were ignored as he carried her back into the living room. For a man as big and strong as he was, her lithe body fit into his arms, and she wasn't too much of a weight for him at all. The walk was not long enough (thankfully) for her to decide where exactly her hands were supposed to go, so they remained rigidly pressed against her chest while she kept her gaze fixed over his shoulder. Due to such physical proximity she could smell the clean scent of his aftershave, and she could only imagine how she now smelled to him, sweaty and filthy as her spell of nausea had made her, the thought of which set her cheeks blazing red.
Upon arrival to their destination, Hermione found herself unceremoniously dumped back onto the couch she sprung up from mere minutes ago like she was a sack of potatoes, after which professor Snape (without delaying to actually say anything to her) walked out of the room and left her alone to wonder at what the hell had just happened.
Snape walked over to his private laboratory in a couple of quick, determined strides. He knew that the girl was in need of two potions: one that would settle down her stomach for good (along with fixing the damage her previous spell of nausea brought on), and another one that would restore her magical reserves (which he had depleted with his brutish attack on her mind). Though she couldn't be aware of the nature of the state her magical circuits were currently in without attempting to cast a spell, if she'd tried to even lift up something magically at that moment, she'd find that the object wouldn't even budge.
One wall of the Potions Master's private laboratory was entirely covered with shelves and cabinets that contained finished potions. From common burn-healing slaves, Swelling Solutions and a vast number of Pepper-Up vials (more than even the Hospital Wing contained in that moment), to antidotes to some of the rarest poisons known to man; that was the range of the potions stored on those shelves.
Snape reached for the two required potions from two separate cabinets. One potion was in a round glass vial that contained a liquid with an orange hue that could've been mistaken for caramel, while the other was in a small, square, dark one; its semi-hidden content looked like muck. Though, as it usually goes with potions, it was the pretty, inviting one that would make Miss Granger wish that she was drinking the Drought of Living Death instead, if not even something worse.
Having acquired the vials, he walked back to Hermione. Without offering an explanation, he handed her the vial that looked like it had a miniature swamp contained inside of it. Hermione, still feeling a bit queasy, reluctantly accepted it. She drank its contents without bothering to ask what it was that she was given, since she recognised that it was the Bitterroot Potion; the cure for nausea. She had read about it in the fourth-year Potions textbook and memorised its description; brewing it had been skipped since it was an uncomplicated one to brew for a fourth-year (according to Professor Snape, at least), and Hermione remembered wondering about why it was even in the textbook if that was the case. Upon drinking the foul-looking liquid, she found herself surprised that it tasted nowhere near as bad as it looked; a bit earthy, and surprisingly salty, but not too much. It even left a minty aftertaste.
While she drank and pondered at the potion, professor Snape stood above her; he was unspeaking, like an ominous statue, as they awkwardly waited for half a minute to pass from Hermione drinking the potion (for it to reach its full effect) until it was good for her to drink the other one. As he handed her the pretty-looking vial, she was tempted to ask what it was (having not recognised this one), but refrained from doing so and tilted the vial in order to drink again. As soon as the liquid touched her tongue she made a grimace of disgust, but continued drinking until the vial was empty, surprising Snape with her resolve, since he knew it to be one of the most foul-tasting potions in existence.
Hermione, having decided that she had been unprotesting enough, deemed it a good time to finally ask professor Snape some questions. He obviously seemed to know why she was still so weak, hence the second potion he had given her. She guessed correctly that it was meant to repair the rest of the damage, but what she really wanted to know was what the hell the said damage actually was. Nothing like this had occurred when she was practising the merging with Harry, and the irregularity took her by surprise, actually frightening her quite a bit.
But, as it turned out, all questions would have to be saved for later.
Before Hermione could become aware of what was happening to her, without there even being enough time to turn her head towards the professor and shoot him an accusing glare, the effects of the potion had kicked in. Her consciousness shut down in the blink of an eye and she was knocked out cold, her body slumping lifelessly onto the couch with a dampened thud. The bottle and cork fell out of her hand and onto the couch as well, from there rolling off and falling onto the carpet, the glass too thick to fear breaking.
Snape, still standing over her, smirked, pleased that the potion was working as it should.
Now there was nothing left for him to do but wait for it to do the rest of its magic, and for Miss Granger to wake up from her induced slumber.
He walked over to the floral armchair and sat himself down, sighing deeply as he did so, crossing his legs as he leaned his head back into the headrest. He waved his wand to close the window soundlessly; the buzz of insects outside was becoming overbearingly loud and annoying. With another wave of the wand he drew the curtains a bit, dimming the light in the room. He closed his eyes and brought his fingers to his temples, trying to knead away the headache that was still hanging on.
But most importantly - he needed to think, and he was in luck, because an opportune window of time had presented itself for him to mull over what had happened ten minutes ago.
Miss Granger's mind was a mess when he'd entered it.
There was nothing unusual there; the mind of a Legilimens' victim is always frantic when the reader starts hacking away at it, but with the initial panic all similarity to any of his previous experiences ended.
After his forceful entry, which was executed quickly and with deliberate force - instead of allowing her mind to howl in pain and continue to put up a fight as any other normal person would, Miss Granger, after only a few moments of fright and disorientation, forced her mind into a calm.
Though she must have felt ravaged by him in that moment, she was no longer offering him any resistance. Snape remembered himself losing his sharp edge right then and there, along with becoming temporarily at a loss as to how to actually navigate. Her mind suddenly felt like no mind he had ever encountered before. Most invaded minds have tracks of thought that could usually be followed, but Miss Granger's all disappeared; instead, he found himself standing in a seemingly endless field. He could feel her rooting him in, and it was a strange sensation, since no one had ever made an effort to make his or her mind accommodating for him; no one ever tried to make it cosy.
He'd never been given the permission to go anywhere he wished and to look at anything he chose to. Naturally, he didn't give into the temptation to do those things. That wasn't the point of the exercise, after all; the point was doing the exact opposite. Still, the power she'd given him in that moment felt intoxicating, but she left him with no time to bask in the feeling.
Before he knew it, she managed to focus her mind on only one thought, and his own mind was brought along for the ride with it. She chose the experience that was the most fresh, and so he found himself reliving her previous evening - sitting in his own living room, in his own armchair, ogling his own bookshelf, practically salivating with the desire to get up and reach for one of his own books. He was studying Arithmancy, but Merlin, how badly he wanted to grab that Damocles!
Having read over a hundred minds in his lifetime, Snape found himself astounded by the level of self-control the girl possessed in order to be able to immerse him so accurately, as well as by the trust in him that she had displayed. Even a person who had neverhad any Occlumency training protects some thoughts from the reader without even being conscious of doing so, but she managed to forfeit it all in a matter of seconds.
She allowed herself to be completely at his mercy; she became a willing victim.
But even with all that, his Occlumency shields remained up. They were not supposed to, since it was an exchange that they were going for. He had to remind himself that this wasn't regular Legilimency, that it was a two-way process. He wasn't reading her mind, he was pulled into it, and he wouldn't remember anything he experienced unless he opened up his shields and let her through. He was hardened by the war, the interrogations he'd conducted, the Dark Lord's countless strolls through his mind, and it was impossible for him to do the exact same that she had done, to allow himself to unravel completely. The most he could do, at least for today, was to will his mental barrier to crack just a bit, and allow himself to experience just a glimpse of what it was to share his mind with that of another.
Hermione woke up fifteen minutes after she had fallen unconscious, but it took over a minute for her to fully come to her senses.
Since her consciousness was tiptoeing very slowly as it was getting back to her, she woke up believing that she was still it a hotel in Venice, and tried to remember groggily whether she'd had wine the previous night. Her parents had taken her along for a wine tasting in the beginning of their Italian tour, and the experience made her vow never to touch the ruby liquid again. So why would she have drank it again last night if she knew how badly she reacted to it? She wasn't feeling well, and she could tell that she was severely dehydrated. With the desire to get up and chase that feeling away, she made an effort to make her eyelashes flutter softly in order to allow a bit of light through, but her eyes felt too sensitive. With a deep groan, she began to turn her head away from the source of light.
She didn't succeed in getting much movement out of her body, but it was enough to realise that the pillow beneath her head was all wrong; it was very thick and hard, as if designed to invoke a neck ache. Why in Merlin's name would any reputable hotel choose to put it in their bed, and why had she chosen to sleep on it? When she thought about it, the bed she was laying on wasn't the most comfortable one either. It was too short, for one. There was not enough room for her to stretch out her legs. It actually felt more like she was sleeping on a couch that on a bed.
A couch, the thought started echoing suspiciously throughout her brain.
Am I on a couch? she started wondering, and was beginning to get very confused.
Wait a minute…
Hermione started forcing her eyes to open, ignoring the sensitivity issue. They took a lot more persuading than she was used to, and she was beginning to suspect that something was terribly wrong with her. Though her body seemed to be completely out of her control, Hermione's mind was quickly rebooting itself. Alarm bells started blasting off in her ears after she was met with the realisation that her movements were so limited that she was practically paralysed. Her suspicion about there being something seriously wrong was proven true when her eyes finally agreed to open and instantly locked with professor Snape's keen, obsidian coloured ones. The facts that she was not in a hotel-room and that she couldn't move her body paled in comparison with the realisation that the Potions Master was sitting in his floral armchair opposite her, watching her as she slept.
"What..?" she asked in a slur.
She planned to add a lot more words to the question, but speech failed her after the first one. She was also supposed to sound panicked, but the most emotion she managed to put into that single word in her weakened state made her sound only mildly interested.
"Did you sleep well?" he asked, sounding mockingly sweet. He chose the worst time to pretend he'd developed good manners.
Snape had been in need of the potion he had given Hermione more than once in his lifetime, so he knew from experience that the girl was waking up with something resembling the worst hangover anyone had ever had. It's why couldn't help but find the situation entertaining, and he was doing his best to fight down a smirk so as not to let her know it.
Hermione, not feeling able to grace him with a reply, shot him a dirty look in order to let him know exactly how she felt about his question. He was not used to her pretty face pulling such ugly grimaces, and it drew a chuckle from his throat. He could tell that she was both disgusted and furious at him, but he couldn't help but agree that he deserved it. After all, who gives a girl a potion that practically drugs her into a stupor and then proceeds to tease her about it?
"Do you know of the White Oriole Potion, Miss Granger?" he asked, genuinely curious as to what the girl's answer will be. It was a potion very rarely called for in today's world (after Veritaserum had replaced Legilimency as an interrogation method), and so he wondered whether there was a limit as to how big of a know-it-all she could be.
It took another twenty seconds for Hermione to pull herself together enough to be able to form a reply.
"Natural magic replenisher?" she ground out with a furrowed brow, making Snape fight the juvenile instinct to roll his eyes, because, of course she knew of it.
"If I had the ability to do so at the moment, I would have to give you points for knowing of it," he said, pinching the bridge of his nose, trying to rub his newfound frustration away. "At least twenty of them. It's a rare one, not mentioned once in Hogwarts' study program. I expect you've had dig pretty deep in the library to have read about it. Once you get better, you'll have to tell me what you were looking for in order to have stumbled across it."
How does she know the answer to every single question I ever ask her? Snape found himself wondering for the umpteenth time, and couldn't believe that he was still fuming about it after six years of being her professor.
Not that she would have, but Hermione wished she had the ability to throw something at him. She didn't have the energy to grace him with the full 'professor, would you please tell me what is going on' reply; instead, she had to settle on continuing to stare intently at him with a facial expression that bordered on a glare, awaiting the explanation he owed her.
The hard part had arrived for Snape - having to admit that he made a mistake to someone, especially since that someone was the golden know-it-all of Gryffindor over whom he'd lorded over his infallible superiority for years on end. Infallible until now, that is.
Well, all things must come to an end someday, I suppose, he thought, comforting himself. His ability to remain without blemish in her eyes had come far, but it shall go no further.
"I've fried your magical circuits completely by entering your mind as violently as I did," he said grimly; his tone of voice finally serious; his shoulders starting to hunch as if he was feeling physical discomfort from just saying the words he spoke.
As a reaction, yet another rush of panic started flooding Hermione's 's read so much on Legilimency that she could have been considered an expert by some; she knew full well that it could be very strenuous on the body, but had never read even a mention on the depletion of a person's magical stores by the practice.
"You see," he started, placing his elbow on the armrest of the chair and leaning his forehead into his hand for support while rubbing at it with his fingers. It had been a long time since the Potions Master had put himself in a situation that made him fidget and noticeably struggle to find words, but he continued. "After over two decades of only using an aggressive approach to another's mind, I've…failed to restrain myself," he said with a weary sigh.
Even through half-shut eyes and while laying on her side on his couch, Hermione could see the anger and disappointment with himself on his face, as well as his regret that he'd done as he' just explained.
Feeling like it probably wasn't going to be enough of an explanation for the girl, he continued, though he still sounded very reserved, as if it pained him to volunteer so many words to her. "When I had been assigned to teach Mister Potter his Occlumency lessons," he said, saying Harry's name as if something bitter had touched his tongue, "it took weeks of preparation for me to…smooth my edge, or so to speak. I felt convinced that I still knew how to use such an approach before I'd entered your mind, but, as it is obvious from your current state, I've failed us both miserably."
He'd said it.
And just how hard it was for him to say it.
Well, that makes sense, Hermione thought as she used the little energy she had acquired by her rest to turn her head away from him so that she could stare at the ceiling instead of at him.
She wasn't mad at the professor anymore, or disappointed in him, or anything, really. She accepted his explanation since it now all made perfect sense to her; both her sickness, weariness and the need for the White Oriole. She couldn't understand, though, why he was so obviously beating himself over it. If it couldn't have been helped, then it couldn't have been helped. The only thing that mattered was that it was a mistake that could be learned from, so if there was to be a next time, he would know how to do better.
If there was to be a next time, but from how it all went down, she wasn't so sure about it. He said that she was right after they had finished, but she couldn't understand what he meat by that. She could always feel Harry inside her mind after a while when they'd break their connection; she couldn't feel professor Snape at all. Though her mind was still in a bit of a haze when it came to details, she realized that her memory of last night, the one she was certain she had showed him, was seemingly still intact.
Have we done anything with this first session? she wondered nervously, taking her lip between her teeth.
"You didn't take my memory away," she said quietly, and sounded bitter about it.
Ever since the idea of merging her mind with professor Snape came into her head, Hermione began hoping that in some miraculous way, due to her vast previous experience with Harry, their success would be instantaneous – memories would be able to be given and taken as easily as it was to breathe. It was a dream (and was now a broken one), but she was not to be blamed for hoping for so much. She made the simple mistake of believing that professor Snape being a skilled Legilimens would be a benefit, and she couldn't have known that it would actually prove to be a drawback.
"No," Snape answered her with a frown, and in a tone of voice that implied that he didn't even understand why he was being asked such a question. "I did not take the memory away from you."
It was now his turn to glare at her, but that was the natural reaction of a pessimist when life presented him with an optimist.
"However," he grit through his teeth, "I did emerge from our connection with the need to desperately read again a book that I've read half a dozen times before and that I already know by heart."
Not only did he put himself in a situation where he would have to admit that he made a mistake today, at the same time he had to admit to the girl that she had been right all along. As frustrating as it all was for him, he was well aware that he put her through quite a hell before she'd gotten to this point, so he found that he couldn't begrudge the little warrior the happiness that was beginning to flood her mind as she processed what he'd just said to her.
She was still unable to speak properly and the most she could do to acknowledge his words was to fix her eyes on him with a delighted but questioning look. In order to provide her with proof to his statement, he nudged his head in the direction of the coffee table.
A shabby-looking book lay there. With a faded purple cover with black trimming and a handwritten name on its spine, it was a perfect copy of Professor Damocles' notebook on the creation of his Wolfsbane potion.
It was the same book Hermione had been ogling the entire previous evening.
The look of childish delight on Hermione's face succeeded in breaking a small crack through Snape's foul mood, and shadow of a smile managed to creep into the corner of his mouth when he saw how elated seeing the book had made her.
Though it was certainly a lot less that she had hoped for, it was still success.
"It worked," she said with a deep sigh of relief, closing her tired eyes before they started filling themselves with tears again.
"So it did," he answered her quietly, and watched her consciousness leave her again, this time as she fell into a natural, deep and absolutely necessary slumber.
A/N: Thank you for reading! I need some help again – now that we've had a decent amount of our two protagonists interacting with each other, could you please tell me if it all feels right? This story is an attempt at an in-character romance (though I'm well aware of the fact that romance between these two is the furthest thing away from being 'in-character'), and my biggest fear at the moment is that I'm writing Snape as too agreeable. I'm not going for a version of Snape that torments Hermione all the time and makes her miserable, but should he be a bit more snarky? Please let me know what you think!