Disclaimer:Harry Potter belongs to JKR. Destiny du Maurier, who is mentioned, belongs to my dear friend Milla (drama-princess).
Author's Note:Here I am at two thirty in the morning, properly exhausted and attempting at a semi-coherent author's note. I'll give you the basic S/S author's note:
This has references to many other S/S fics my friends and I have composed, and some aspects of it may not make sense unless you've read them. Such fics are my own Lamentations of a Starry Eyed Twit and Not Just a River in Egypt, Gedia Kacela's Diaries of a Dungeon-Dwelling Moron, and drama-princess' A Fair Bet, which isn't actually referenced, but inspired this fic in the first place.
And now that I'm properly exhausted and am going to fall asleep at the keyboad any second now, I'll leave you to read the fic. :-)
There was, indeed, no denying that Sybil Trelawney was a rather...eccentric woman.
Or, as a certain Mr. Ronald Weasley had once proclaimed, 'a mad old cow'.
But now Auriga Sinistra had to seriously doubt the Divination professor's sanity. After all, any individual who retained at least a fraction of an ounce of mental normalcy wouldn't do what Trelawney had just done. Yes, she had made the ultimate error that most Hogwarts professors would go to drastic measures to avoid.
...She had called Sinistra and Snape up to her classroom.
Now, it was a commonly known fact that Auriga Sinistra and Severus Snape's being placed in a room together could only result in hurled insults, multiple acts of violence, and a vast amount of broken valuables. (And Trelawney did own a rather impressive number of teacups, as well. Auriga really did have to worry about her. It was true that the Astronomy professor did her best work with coffee mugs, but teacups would certainly suffice if the occasion called for such.)
And Trelawney hadn't even given the slightest explanation as to why she was performing this act of madness, either. She had simply requested that she 'needed a word with the two of them'.
Now, Auriga would have simply refused and made her way back up to the Astronomy Tower (and Snape would have undoubtedly done the same...Except he would go to the dungeons, of course. Because she and Snape would surely never go up to the Astronomy Tower together, on account of its being a rather popular place to snog. And she didn't even want to think about snogging Snape. Disgusting, really. Yes. Right.), had it not been for Albus Dumbledore. The Hogwarts Headmaster (who seemed, Auriga noticed, to dote upon her misery) had said, eyes twinkling brightly, "I really do find it wonderful that the staff chooses to interact with one another outside meetings. It really does go to prove that Hogwarts has a truly wonderful board of educators. Don't you think so, Severus? Auriga?"
To which Auriga had muttered a 'oh, yes' reply to her feet and Snape had flashed what she recognized as his 'I-am-quite-tempted-to-kill-you' sneer.
Enthusiastic, they were not.
And yet here they were, silently making their way toward the Divination Tower. She snuck a side glance at the Potions master only to discover that the vein in his temple was throbbing with flourish.
Ah. How delightful. He was clearly loving this just as much as she was.
"This is ridiculous," she muttered bitterly to herself.
"I'm inclined to agree with you, Sinistra," Snape replied, sounding just as thrilled as she felt.
"You agree with me?" she gasped in feigned shock. "The world must be flat!"
He sneered at her. "Original."
And so they continued on in silence.
Sinistra was far from delighted to be forced into Trelawney's classroom - the last time she'd been there was during a rather disastrous event where she'd asked to borrow a necklace for a masquerade ball and had ended up trapped there for hours. The rich, muggy air always sent her into a little drunken stupor, and the incense never failed to trigger her allergies.
This alone was enough to make the place one of her least favorite in the world. But putting her there with the one person she truly loathed (and absolutely was not romantically interested in. No, of course not. What a ridiculous suggestion!) was downright torturous.
Feeling rather Snape-esque, she scowled to herself as she climbed awkwardly up the ladder and through the trapdoor into the Classroom of Doom. A wave of sickeningly sweet air hit her straight off, and she sneezed violently.
"Attractive," Snape sneered, his words laced with sarcasm.
"Bastard," she muttered.
"Really, Auriga," he said, his silken tone unable to hide his contempt, "I'd have thought that you would have come up with another word with which you can refer to me by now. I assure you, I have an assortment reserved for use towards you."
"Thank you, Severus," she deadpanned. "That's incredibly touching."
"Ahhh," Trelawney's misty whisper interrupted them, lazily drifting through the sultry air. "My dear colleagues. Severus. Auriga."
"Sibyl," Auriga returned weakly.
"Trelawney," Snape growled, his left eye twitching rather violently.
"You no doubt wonder why I've asked you to visit me today," Trelawney continued, "As your aura makes it clear that you wish to be somewhere else."
"Oh, no," Auriga said before promptly sneezing again. "We're...er, thrilled to be here, Sibyl."
Snape smirked at her, and she pointedly ignored him. (Though felt compelled to think, rather malevolently, bastard.)
Trelawney fixed her with a Look that seemed to dare her to admit that she would, in fact, rather be in hell, purgatory, or Snape's bedroom (this was a thoroughly negative comparison, remember. Under no circumstances would she want to be in Snape's bedroom. Really.) than this overly-scented cesspool.
Well, she wouldn't.
She widened her eyes a bit, hoping to appear the picture of perfect innocence. The fact that Snape was snickering to himself next to her was not at all helping the situation.
Trelawney, however, seemed satisfied, and she went on. "The reason that I have called you here today, my dears, is....fate."
. . . Fate.
(Snape snorted. This time, it was Auriga who felt rather inclined to agree with him.)
"Fate?" Auriga repeated weakly.
"Yes," Trelawney confirmed. "Fate."
"You see, my dears, last night I was consulting the orb, searching for impending darkness that no doubt approaches with the return of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named..." she paused for a moment, and added, rather dramatically, "Dark times will surface."
This was apparently too much for Snape.
"Thank you, Sibyl, for making that so wonderfully clear," he sneered. "Because I assure you, never in a thousand years would I have expected that dark times would surface with the Dark Lord's return."
Auriga felt compelled to snicker appreciatively. (Not that she thought he had a sense of humor or anything. Because he didn't. Bastard.) Trelawney fixed them with a most unamused glare (which ironically looked quite amusing, on account of the fact that her glasses tripled the size of her already-large eyes) before continuing.
"Yes," she proclaimed, with many a sweeping gesture, "The Fates have informed me that you two are...soulmates."
And, just for variety, more silence.
Auriga found herself wishing that the world would open up and swallow her whole.
Because, naturally, that was the most ridiculous thing she'd ever heard in her entire life.
She and Snape?
It was funny.
And...quite shocking. Because she'd certainly never thought of it before.
Of course not.
Rather uneasily, she glanced at Snape. He appeared to be just as shocked as she was; sheer disbelief had taken over his face, replacing the sneer that she had been expecting.
It was a rather frightening sight: Snape without a sneer. It was quite like a human face without a nose. Completely unsettling and disgusting...
And yet oddly alluring.
...Except for the minor fact that there was absolutely nothing alluring about a face with no nose.
She had never been any good at analogies.
Er. Wait. Yes. It did make sense. Because...Snape without a sneer wasn't oddly alluring either.
"Um," she said articulately.
"What?!" Snape demanded in quite the violent hiss.
"Yes!" Trelawney said in what she apparently thought to be a very dramatic and exciting manner. (In actuality, it was simply quite hilarious.) "You must imagine how surprised I was when I discovered that what lies underneath all of the heartless comments and fiery hatred is a passionate, unbridled ardor!"
"Are you sure you didn't...hear the Fates wrong?" she suggested delicately.
"Or perhaps go completely mad?" Snape added scathingly.
She elbowed him in the stomach, and he swore under his breath, fixing her with a death glare that she ignored.
"Now, Sibyl," she said, a bit nervously, "I really am flattered that you've taken an interest in our...romantic happiness-" (Cringe.), "- but perhaps now that you've pointed out our...feelings for each other-" (Her own 'inner-eye' told her that Snape was, in fact, doing the dreaded TwitchShudderSneer right about now), "- perhaps you can leave us to sort them out on our own."
"But Auriga, dear!" Trelawney protested, "The Fates have informed me specifically of your secret love, which in turn ensues that I must be the one to seal it!"
"Oh, dear God," Snape muttered.
"You see, my dears," she said, "I cannot bring myself to allow you to leave this room until you have truly embraced your love for one another."
"Um...peachy?" Auriga said meekly.
"I don't care if it means that we shall spend the rest of eternity in this room!" Trelawney continued fervently. "Confessions of your eternal devotion will be made!"
At that moment, Auriga found herself detesting the blasted 'no - Apparating - or - Disapparating - on - Hogwarts - grounds' with the passion that she apparently loved Snape with.
(Which she didn't, of course.)
Quite numbly, she watched as Trelawney made her way over to Snape and grinned rather coyly at him.
"Palm reading, Severus?" she breathed.
Not only was The Vein throbbing with reckless abandon, but TwitchShudderSneer was now flourishing in all its disgusting glory.
Auriga almost pitied the woman.
But not quite.
She had, after all, gotten them into this lunacy, and now there was only one possible way out that she could see.
And never, ever, in a million, trillion years would she confess to Snape that she loved him.
Because she didn't, naturally.
And it was ethically incorrect to lie.
"And in your fifth past life, you were the mistress of a great Egyptian pharaoh," Trelawney continued in a misty whisper, smiling rather (someone, please, kill him now) coquettishly at Snape. "You pleased him greatly with your feline movements and-"
Auriga sneezed again, with unusual vigor this time, and Snape couldn't help but feel a rush of gratitude toward the starry-eyed twit.
Really, this was getting ridiculous.
This had far surpassed ridiculous; words could not describe the sheer and utter foolishness of this situation. Things of this nature simply weren't done. Insane old bats with too much jewelry, lurid scarves, and spectacles that made their eyes unnaturally large did not tell Severus Snape that in his past life he had been a woman with vast sexual abilities! It went against the entire code of the known universe, goddammit!
And it was, in short, scaring him.
He was tempted to do sacrifice all of his dignity, to do the completely and utterly wrong. Yes, only an hour had passed, and already he found himself studying Auriga Sinistra - his sworn enemy, the bane of his already thoroughly unpleasant existence, the most disgusting excuse for a female that he'd ever laid eyes on - with yearning.
And Severus Snape, quite frankly, did not 'yearn'.
(After all, it generally wasn't an evil bastard sort of thing to do.)
But this woman, this abominable woman was his key out of here. All he had to do was start spewing a maudlin sentiment or two, and they were free. It would be quick, yes, and next to what he was being put through right now, relatively painless.
There was, he decided rather gravely, no other alternative.
He had to proclaim his undying love to...
(Twitch. Shudder. Sneer.)
Snape had witnessed indescribably formidable, terrifying events throughout his life - he had, after all, been a Death Eater, and generally such things were bound to occur. He had seen gory deaths, foul curses, mutilation and destruction evoked by the hands of his comrades as well as himself.
And yet right now, none of that seemed even nearly as terrifying as the prospect of 'wooing' Auriga Sinistra.
It was ridiculous, really; she wasn't at all intimidating. She stood at barely five foot two, and with her unruly auburn curls and glasses that never failed to slide down the bridge of her nose in a most agitating manner, her personage was not at all imposing. On the contrary, it was actually rather ridiculous.
And this woman scared him.
He may as well grit his teeth and get on with it, then. It was obvious that there was no escaping this hellhole they didn't do something, and Sinistra apparently wasn't intending upon making the first move.
He started to rise from his chair, lips set in a thin line of grim determination, when-
"Tea, Severus?" Trelawney offered, smiling at him as she pushed forward a teacup. "It's a special brew concocted by ancient potionmakers...said to awaken..." she leaned closer to him, fluttering her lashes in a most ridiculous manner, "...passion."
Merlin help him.
He was being seduced by a bracelet-wearing, bug-eyed mental case.
"I'd love some, Sibyl," he returned evenly. "But I fear..."
Here went nothing.
"I fear that it will do me no good," he invented, attempting to put a bit of feeling into his voice, something that didn't come at all naturally to him unless it was scorn, derisiveness, or anything equally appealing. "Because...passion has already sparked its...vermilion flame in my soul."
Trelawney raised an eyebrow. "...Oh?"
Auriga blinked at him in an absolutely bewildered manner that he found quite unnerving. The least the unbearable wench could do was play along a bit. Of course, that was expecting too much of her - she doted upon seeing him suffer, after all. (Which, he supposed, was fair, as the feeling was completely mutual.)
"Yes," he said, a bit louder. "I find myself blinded by the...iridescent beauty of my...sweet-" (TwitchShudderSneer) "-Auriga, who enchants me with her starry eyes and...captivating...allure. She awakens a scintillating passion within my...alabaster soul that I never could have dreamed existed."
He felt, for the first (and what would undoubtedly be the last) time in his life quite thankful for that hellish year in which Destiny du Maurier, a (God knows why) successful romance novelist, had served as Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. Yes, the woman's frightening infatuation with him and violent overuse of adjectives to describe aforementioned frightening infatuation had quite easily scarred him for life, but at least they'd greatly expanded his vocabulary.
Though he had to admit, he never would have expected that knowing the word 'iridescent' would have proved to be helpful later on in life. On the contrary, when she'd referred to his eyes as 'liquid iridescent obsidian' or some other ridiculous nonsense, he'd only wished that he could permanently eliminate the blasted word from the dictionary. (And, if possible, the face of the Earth.)
Auriga, meanwhile, was staring at him quite blankly. How very like her. Apparently, she didn't want to escape this dismal situation enough to make up a flowery sentence or two.
He really did loathe the detestable woman.
And then, quite unexpectedly, she replied. "My secret passion for you has surfaced with the crystalline truth belonging solely to lovers; with this fiery tempest of emotions comes the evanescence of my insincere hatred."
He studied her in surprise, and she fixed him with a defiant smirk for an instant before replacing it with a saccharine smile.
"I can resist your incandescent radiance no longer," he proclaimed, vaguely wondering just how he would torture and kill anyone, were they to hear about this little episode. "My lips crave your sweet touch."
. . .
He'd just done something undeniably and completely stupid. To the point where his sheer idiocy reached the league perhaps belonging to a Gryffindor.
He'd set himself up.
And Snape did not want to kiss Auriga Sinistra.
In the least.
Hell, he would rather kiss Potter!
. . .
All right. He wouldn't rather kiss Potter. But really, that was perfectly understandable, on account of the fact that he detested the boy with every fiber of his being.
It still did not mean that he wanted, in any way, for Auriga Sinistra's lips to come in contact with his own.
Because he did not.
. . .
She was, apparently, thinking along the same lines, judging by the indescribable expression on her face.
But Trelawney was watching them with rapt attention, apparently judging whether or not they would pass her little test of sorts so she could release them.
He would kiss Auriga Sinistra.
But it was completely against his will. It was for his own benefit. He didn't want to kiss her. It simply had to be done. Like....taking points from Gryffindor.
Which was not at all enjoyable.
....All right, it was quite enjoyable indeed.
But that didn't mean that kissing Auriga Sinistra would be.
Because kissing her and taking points from Gryffindor House were two very different things. As a matter of fact, he didn't even know why he'd compared them in the first place.
Yes. Er. Anyway.
Taking a deep breath, he crossed the room and did not stop walking until he was barely a foot away from her. (Revolting, really. It was simply impossible to enjoy such a thing, after all. There were no circumstances under which this situation could be even slightly pleasant.)
Her eyes widened slightly, and she fixed him with a rather sinister glare that took him quite by surprise. Where the hell had she learned to do that? No one should be able to create such affects with a simple facial expression!
Perhaps he was spending too much time around her.
Which was perfectly fine with him.
Because he certainly would enjoy spending less time with the damnable woman.
But now, he could not reflect on that.
No. Now he had to focus on one thing.
Which he surely would not enjoy in the least.
But he had already established that.
So now there was only one thing left to do.
...Actually kiss her.
Gathering all his resolve, he leaned down (it really was ridiculous, how short she was - she could at least stand on her toes, for God's sake. This was insanely uncomfortable.) and tilted her chin gently upward with one finger.
'I hate you,' she mouthed rather violently.
"Likewise," he returned in a whisper before leaning down a bit more, therefore getting rid of the remaining space between their mouths.
It was, in short, one of the strangest things that he had ever experienced. He had kissed many other women before her, of course, but always with an urgent insistency, a carnal sort of hunger that had seemed to constantly course through his veins during his time spent on the dark side.
She kissed him shyly, almost. Tentatively. As though she wasn't quite sure that she was doing it right, but she wasn't about to surrender and give him the satisfaction of knowing her insecurity. Confidence seemed to build, but there was still something...soft about the kiss. Gentle. And then a strange sort of passion - quiet, playful - seemed to awaken within her, and she draped her arms over his shoulders as her tongue teasingly traced his top lip.
Somewhere, vaguely, he realized that this was quite enough of a show to put on for Trelawney, and that she would no doubt be satisfied. And still, he couldn't bring himself to break the kiss.
It was disgusting, really. Completely illogical and downright mad. Perhaps the blasted fumes in this abominable room were finally taking their toll on him. Because, quite frankly, he could not discover another reason that would justify his kissing Auriga Sinistra for longer than absolutely necessary.
The situation, he decided, was completely out of his control. He was brainwashed, hypnotized, somehow ensnared by this ridiculous woman. If his brain were functioning properly, he would have gotten out of this troublesome embrace long ago.
But clearly, his mind was not working correctly.
And there really was no point in dwelling upon it.
It was apparently incontrovertible.
And so he continued to kiss her.
This wasn't supposed to have happened.
Auriga had been expecting a peck on the lips, if even. Never, never had she even begun to fathom...
And yet here she was, standing in the middle of Trelawney's classroom (of whose inhabitants happened to include a very wide-eyed Trelawney) sharing a very unexpected, very steamy liplock with quite possibly the most detested man at Hogwarts.
Life could surely be interesting sometimes.
She had to hand it to him (but only because she was in a very dazed state of mind and couldn't bother with the layers upon layers of denial that usually filled her head), the man could kiss. For quite sometime, she'd been only too aware of the dark, intense sort of allure that he possessed, and she'd always imagined that kissing him (not that she'd ever imagined kiss- oh, sod it) would be similar. And yet, strangely, it wasn't. Yes, there was an intense passion, but not the kind that she'd expected - the darkness seemed strangely absent. Instead, the way his mouth explored her own seemed almost...soulful. (She did manage to realize, through her almost overpowering sense of dreaminess, that being referred to as 'soulful' in any way - especially in the ways of romance - would no doubt make Snape furious. Which was, indeed, always a plus.)
This was, she reflected, rather nice indeed. If he weren't a complete bastard whom she hated passionately (though at the moment she couldn't recall precisely why), she may very possibly consider kissing him again sometime.
Of course, that was assuming this particular kiss would ever end. She decided that she wouldn't feel too compelled to complain if it didn't.
As a matter of fact-
They pulled apart at Trelawney's rather insistent shriek, and Auriga felt a surge of hostility toward the blasted woman. Couldn't she see that they were in the middle of a bloody moment?
Rather timidly, she looked up at Snape.
He looked down at her.
"Er. . . hi," she said weakly.
"Hello," he returned, looking vaguely dazed.
She didn't remove her arms from where they'd slung casually around his shoulders. Nor did his hands seem intent upon leaving her waist anytime soon.
"My dears," Trelawney said, sounding rather alarmed indeed, "I'm afraid that the Fates have brought me false information?"
"Whatever do you mean?" Auriga asked, not bothering to look away from Snape.
Well, this was interesting.
And quite unsettling as well.
But sooner or later, sometime, she had to go back to detesting him....didn't she?
Oh, don't be ridiculous, Auriga, she lectured herself, Of course you will. It's just the way that the world works.
And yet she felt eerily...devoid of hatred toward him.
But it would return soon.
"Suddenly, during the middle of that little..." Trelawney wrinkled her nose, "...Display, my Inner Eye informed me that you, Auriga, aren't Severus' soulmate after all?"
"Yes," Trelawney said, nodding gravely. "Rather, it is I who am destined to spend eternity with him!"
Quite suddenly, Snape burst into a fit of coughing that was most likely accompanied by a rather fervent TwitchShudderSneer.
"Oh, dear," Auriga said at once, holding back laughter. "Severus, are you all right?" Without waiting for a response, she continued, "He must be ill. The incense, and all. I'll take him down to Madame Pomfrey right away."
"Auriga, dear, I'm sure that I can-"
"No, no, Sybil," Auriga said, smiling sweetly. "We really should leave now. But I assure you, he'll return and you can discuss your being...soulmates."
Snape promptly stepped on her foot.
She yelped in pain and retaliated by swatting violently at his arm. Trelawney watched this exchange with something curiously like hope shining in her eyes.
This really was too much.
"Come on, Severus," she urged, looping her arm through his own and leading him out of the Divination classroom before further damage could surface.
The two walked rather hurriedly down the winding staircase, stopping only when they'd reached what Auriga supposed was a safe distance away from Trelawney.
"Well," she said, a bit faintly, "That was...eventful."
"One could certainly describe it that way," he returned evenly.
She nudged him. "You could sound a bit more enthusiastic about it. You are my soulmate, after all."
"Really? I thought I'd replaced you with Sybil," he said, smirking at her.
She glared at him. "Funny."
They approached her quarters in a rather uncomfortable silence, and she began to worry. What if they could never bicker senselessly again? What if that one kiss (amazing as it had been...not that it had been amazing....or...oh, denial was going to drive her insane) had completely destroyed their loathing of one another?
"So," he said, breaking the silence, "I suppose that you're quite awed over that ridiulous show that we put on back there."
If he was going to act like a snarky bastard about it, so be it.
Two could play at that game.
"Oh, yes," she purred. "Severus, I never knew that you could kiss so....soulfully."
His left eye twitched.
"I assure you, Auriga, your absurd descriptions are nothing near flattering."
"Oh, but I'm not trying to flatter you!" she protested innocently. "I'm simply telling the truth!"
"Please, don't throw your maudlin adjectives around so carelessly. I severely doubt that they can even begin to apply to me."
"Oh, you'd be surprised," she said, grinning. "Kissing you is almost like...poetry, Severus."
He looked vaguely repulsed.
"Like...poetry," he repeated blankly.
"Poetry," she confirmed, a devilish smile playing at her lips.
"Well," he said tersely, "Apparently you felt something that I certainly did not, judging by your foolish descriptions."
She paused for a moment, almost stung by his words.
Don't, she told herself angrily, Don't get upset. That's quintessential Snape. He's not Prince Charming. You should have expected that.
Luckily, they had reached her quarters. Taking a deep breath, she summoned her most professional demeanor and said, very calmly, "Good afternoon, Severus."
"Good afternoon," he returned curtly.
She could still feel his eyes on her as she muttered the password ('Ophiuchus') to enter her rooms, but tried best as she could to ignore the strange shiver it sent up and down her spine.
Bastard, she thought bitterly, preparing to step inside. Bastard, bastard, ba-
"Auriga," he said, the faintest trace of urgency seeming to linger in his cold voice.
She sighed in exasperation and turned around. "Wha-"
And then he was kissing her again, with a heated intensity that made her weak at the knees.
He was, she decided, still a bastard. A royal bastard. Prince Snarky Bastard.
But Prince Charming was, after all, quite overrated, anyway.
A/N2:Ah. Delightedly OOC fluff. One must love it.
But really, darlings, give me a break. It's two thirty in the morning, and I'm sacrificing valuable sleep time merely to write this! It's all for you, honestly.
So naturally, that's reason enough to pretend it doesn't suck, non?