Disclaimer:  Nope, nothing is mine… the Harry Potter-universe belongs completely to J.K. Rowling and all the others she decided to share with. I'm not making any money with it, so please don't sue me.

This is a re-upload of my response to Maenad's challenge. It's a one-chapter story and no sequels are planned. It turned out to be quite depressing, so if you are easily brought out of balance, you might shouldn't read it. However, I've edited the story so that it fits the 'R'-Rating of ff.net.

I wrote a big deal of the story while listening to 'Closer to God' by Nine Inch Nails and 'Ware Fleisch' by Schock (a German band) - and if this story had a soundtrack, these two songs definitely belonged into it.

The idea of the challenge is that Voldemort has won (although not totally), and most of the Mudbloods either have been killed or are enslaved by the Dark Lord. Hermione in particular is being owned by the Malfoys and forced into prostitution… What should happen if Snape buys a woman for the night, only to discover that he has slept with Hogwarts finest mind? … for further information on the challenge, please refer to the notes at the end of the story.

Furthermore, please note that I'm no native English speaker, and this is the first story I have actually written completely in English without writing it in German first and then translating it… But, thank Goddess, there are beta-readers, and I therefore would like to say thank you to my two absolute marvellous betas; Autumnmist and Eirian à THANK YOU!!!!

And now? Yeah, enjoy the story!

-~*~- A Goddess For A Night -~*~-     (by Faris-Eirin@gmx.ch)

"What in Merlin's name am I doing here?," he asked himself for at least the hundredth time, staring at the façade of an unremarkable, light-green painted house near Knockturn Alley and rereading the flashing sign above the entrance saying '24/7 Goddesses' for an equal number of times.

Snape shook his head and forced himself to continue his way towards the front door of the building, repeating his reason for coming silently in his head: he was supposed to meet a new ally here. Another link in the long chain of middlemen, through which the information he gained at the Death Eater gatherings was delivered to the heart of the resistance. To Harry Potter.

Shortly after Voldemort's victory, Snape had got in touch with some survivors of the war, namely Harry Potter, Dean Thomas and Susan Bones, who still had the will to fight the Dark Lord. Together they set up the resistance with Snape as their most important and reliable spy. Out of sheer luck he hadn't been discovered by Voldemort as a spy, a turncoat, and therefore, he still belonged to the inner ranks of Death Eaters. "Yes, sheer luck and Ron Weasley's life…," flooded through Snape's mind, but he immediately suppressed this unwanted train of thoughts. He could still feel the soft twinge of guilt in his throat when thinking about that particular day, although he had never really been fond of Ron. He owed his life to that mischievous redhead - and would never be able to repay the debt.

This was one of the reasons he had decided to keep up spying for the other side, the good side. It wasn't really to make amends after all, but it helped him to feel less guilty about how everything had finally turned out. At least a little bit.

In the beginning, meeting Harry Potter and the resistance in person was quite easy, but as Voldemort's power and influence grew, it became more and more dangerous for both parties; captured members of the resistance could have been able to identify him, he could have been seen with the wrong people in the wrong place at the wrong time, or - what he didn't like to even think about, but what nevertheless happened occasionally -  a member of the resistance could have changed sides and became a Death Eater himself.

Therefore, they started to forward the messages through a third party, but soon even that wasn't safe anymore. Too much depended on only that one connecting link, who knew both him and Harry Potter.

But luckily another middleman could be found - or in this particular case a 'middlewoman'. A whore who was owned by the Malfoys and worked for them in one of their brothels. What better cover could there be? Snape, although he hadn't had any sexual affairs with anybody for more than a decade, wouldn't arouse any suspicion when visiting an establishment owned by one of his comrades. He was a man, after all, and a Death Eater.

And the whore? Well, she had to serve many customers, and so she could deliver Snape's messages fairly easy to another middleman, who would then inform the resistance. Although he didn't like the idea of another person being drawn into the chain of middlemen, he could see the additional security it gave them. They all walked on thin ice, and if it broke, he didn't want to be the one drowning.

So there he stood, finally at the entrance of the brothel, stepping up to the counter and asking the receptionist for the best whore in the establishment. He hadn't been told the name of the ally he was due to meet soon, but the words of his middleman echoed in his mind: "Ask for the best whore in town… and remember the game."

Snape snorted. He only hoped that the taste of the ones deciding who was a good and who a bad prostitute didn't change too often, otherwise he would be wasting an entire night with the wrong person. He had let two weeks pass after receiving the hint about the new contact, just to be sure that it wasn't a trap.

"That would be Aphrodite, I guess," the receptionist slurred. A wave of alcoholic breath reached Snape and instinctively he moved back a step, wrinkling his nose in disgust.

"Yeah, Aphrodite, for sure. Room number 13, first floor…" he continued without even noticing Snape's antipathy towards him and the establishment. "How long do you need? A quarter hour costs 1 Galleon, half an hour 2 Galleons, three quarter hour 3 Galleons, one hour 4 Galleons, one hour and a quarter…" he started to rattle off as soon as he had found Aphrodite's price list.

"The whole night," Snape interrupted the other's monologue.

"Huuu?" the receptionist replied with surprise, staring at him open-mouthed.

"The whole night," Snape repeated with a scathing, annoyed voice, "How much?"

"Well… mmh..." looking at the bottom of the list, the man finally declared with a smutty grin plastered over his face, "That will be 50 Galleons, Sir."

Not really cheap. Actually, it was far more than Snape had intended to spend, but he didn't want to bargain. One more word from this filthy, still-grinning wreck of a receptionist and he would kill him with Avada Kedavra himself. Information had its price, and as long as the resistance was willing to pay for it, he was willing to give them what they wanted. Not forgetting that dept of his which still hadn't been paid off.

Without a further word he dropped the Galleons onto the reception desk and stepped into the corridor, leading to the staircase up to the first floor.

If Snape hadn't already paid a small fortune for Aphrodite, he would have turned around immediately and walked straight out again. It was the first time he had entered such an establishment, and it only took a few steps into it to come to the conclusion that he didn't like it. Not at all.

The doors in the corridor were all closed and nobody could be seen, but he could hear them. Oh yes. The groaning of both men and women behind some of the doors, every now and then a muffled scream, laughter or just the creaking of a bed. Disgusting, how anybody could come here and enjoy this.

The smell of unwashed bodies, sweat, sex and dirt instantly made him sick. Snape didn't want to know how it smelled in the rooms themselves, but he would soon be able to find out for himself. Again he was close to turning around and never coming back, but his feet kept going on and on.

In addition to the smell and the appearance of the brothel, both of which made him feel uncomfortable, came the names on the doors. He wasn't a religious person, not at all, but this visible lack of respect for any religion made him furious; each and every door was marked with a number and a Goddess' name. Room No. 1 was Yoni, room no. 2 was Hathor, room no. 3 was Erda…

Trying to block out the images, he finally made it up to the first floor and headed to room no. 13, Aphrodite. "My personal sex-Goddess," his inner voice mocked.

Logically, the room was situated between no. 12 and 14 - Ostara and Ceridwen. Reaching the door in between, he found it ajar and was about to push it open when he heard a familiar voice inside. Immediately he stepped out of view and leaned against the wall beside the doorframe, eavesdropping.

"Well, well… What did I have to hear, my dear Aphrodite? You have been sniffing after me like a dog?"

*slap*

"THAT is not very nice of you, is it?"

*slap*

"IS IT?"

 "But I…."

*slap*

"Shut up!… You know, if it wasn't for my SON - who seems to enjoy your company quite a lot - I would have killed you myself a long time ago… I see now, it had been a mistake to give you to him as a present for his twentieth birthday. You really ought to be thankful for that."

*slap*

"I said, BE THANKFUL."

"Thank you."

"Mmmh. I'm afraid that didn't sound really convincing."

*slap*

"Be as it may, the fact that you do not belong to me anymore shall not prevent me from beating some respect into you, shan't it?"

*slapslapslap*

"You should be glad I'm in a good mood today, my sweet… and if I ever hear anything of that sort again, you can be sure that not even my son will stop me from doing what should have been done when we found you."

*slapslap*

Snape was equally torn between leaving immediately or staying to listen to this one-sided conversation. Lucius Malfoy must be really, really pissed off to loose his patience in such a way. But then again, he was an unstable person and it didn't come as such a big surprise at all.

He wondered who this Aphrodite was, how she could endure Lucius' outburst with not even screaming out loud at least once, only wincing and moaning every now and then. A strong woman, no doubt… and his ally.

And, last but not least, he felt a slight arousal creeping through his veins. "Damn," Snape cursed his own weakness of being turned on by what he heard. It was definitely time for him to leave, and turning around he began to flee the brothel, but was stopped in his tracks by a voice behind him.

"Well, hello there, Severus! Who would ever have thought I'd see YOU here!"

Turning around again, he looked into the lightly reddened face of Lucius Malfoy.

"Good evening, Lucius."

"Tell me, Severus, what brings you here?"

"What a stupid question!," Snape thought, but instead of saying it out loud, he just raised his eyebrow and glared at the elder Malfoy, who immediately realized what he had said.

"Oh, ahem… who is the happy one, then?"

Pointing at the door marked '13 – Aphrodite' he answered the question.

"You know, I'm not really sure if she is the right one for you and also, whether she's… uhm… in the state to receive any visitors at the moment… but maybe you would like to try out Venus in room no. 27?" Lucius suggested.

Glaring at the other man once again, Snape replied blandly, "No, thank you, Lucius. I have already paid for Aphrodite… and besides; I do not want just anybody, I want the best."

"Point taken," Lucius let a fake smile flicker over his lips, "But be careful with her. We don't want to upset Draco by breaking his favourite toy, do we?"

"No, of course we don't."

Still staring at Lucius, knowing that it unsettled him, Snape waited patiently until the other one shifted and started to move, patting his shoulder on his way and wishing Snape 'a pleasant stay'.

Left alone in the corridor, Snape smoothed his clothes and entered the room. The smell nearly sent him reeling out of the room again. It was much stronger than in the corridor, where the air could circulate at least minimally. Everything reeked; the pink, soft floor, the pink, fluffy furniture, the pink chiffon-curtains, the pink walls, even Aphrodite, dressed with not more than a pair of pink fishnet stockings, lying on her stomach in the middle of the pink bed.

But there was something else, too. Something familiar, but Snape could not identify what it was. Was it in the smell? A hint of vanilla and cinnamon?… Or the whore on the bed? The colour of her hair?… He dismissed the thought again, certain that there was not even the faintest possibility that something or someone in this place could be familiar to him.

He felt his arousal awaken at the look of her even more, despite the surroundings. Her legs were slightly spread and gave free view up to her pubic hair and beyond. She had her head buried in a pillow and from the slight trembling of her body, Snape knew she was crying silently. "Better leave now," he said to himself, but his feet wouldn't obey. He was glued to the floor.

Lucius had not been kind to her - the regular pattern of whip-stripes matched the colour of the room, and went from her neck onto her thighs, where other marks were visible, too. Her other customers seemed not to have handled her too gently. Bruises in various colours, new and old, covered the inside of her legs, and scars showing that her hands and feet had been tied more than once could be seen.

What should he do? He felt like his best piece would burn a hole through his trousers any moment, and the only thing he could think about was the whore on the bed in front of him. His whore, at least for this night. However, she also was his ally, his contact to the resistance. He couldn't have sex with her, could he? No way… but then again, she was said to be the best whore in this establishment.

Various ideas floated through his brain at once, but he dismissed most of them immediately. He could have sex with her, then leave and return again after a few minutes, pretending he's somebody else… silly. Don't fuck her… impossible. Have sex and forget about the whole ally/spy stuff for this evening… stupid. He could cast Obliviate afterwards… dangerous. Or be honest… why not? She was just a whore, after all. But what first? Pleasure or business? Business or pleasure?

He hadn't noticed that while thinking about the different possibilities, he had walked up to the bed and now stood next to her. She hadn't moved a bit and was still crying into her pillow. As if his arm had a life of its own, it stretched out and his hand touched her neck lightly, gliding down her spine to her arse, carefully avoiding the red stripes on her skin. They probably burned like hell.

Aphrodite shivered under his touch and tried to turn her head to him, but he let his hand come up to her head and softly pushed it down again. "Shhhshh, it's okay," he whispered gently. His hand found its way back to her arse, caressing her soft skin and then moving lower between her legs.

His mind cringed as he realized what he was doing, yet he had lost control over his body and couldn't stop himself. After abstaining from sex for more than a decade, it had seemingly decided it was time to change, and primal instincts took over. He slowly opened the fly of his trousers, staring down on to the bed. His body was running on autopilot, and he couldn't find the button to turn it off.

Who cared? She was just a whore.

Although his body acted on its own, his mind still worked somewhere in the background, and looking at Aphrodite he realized, that he couldn't just flip her over and take her, without causing more pain due to the bruises on her back. Again, his body proved it knew exactly what it wanted and how to achieve it: Kneeling onto the bed between her legs, he grabbed her hips and pulled, forcing her to get up on her knees, too, while the weight of her upper body rested on her elbows.

Just a whore - his new mantra.

And then he entered her forcefully. A groan escaped from his mouth before he could stop it. He had forgotten how good it felt to be inside a woman, filling her completely. He remained still for a moment, letting the lust and desire flood in hot waves through him, before pulling back and thrusting into her again. Yes!

Aphrodite was paralysed. She hadn't noticed that somebody had entered the room after Lucius left, until he touched her back, trailing her spine with his fingers from her neck downwards. Surprised by his gentle touch, she had wanted to take a look at her next customer, but had been pushed down onto her pillow again with only a few murmured words. So gently.

She had thought he would be different from the other ones. And in one way he was, but then again not. She had thought she might be tied to the bed again, be forced to do things that made her choke. She had waited for him to speak up and put in words what he wanted. But he had said nothing. He had just stood there, touching her oh so gently. So different from the other ones.

But then the hope she had built up was being crushed an instant later. He had come up behind her, pulled her to the knees and thrust into her hard. Not that it hurt physically - she had been beyond that point for a long time now - but it made her feel dirtier than usual and somehow unwanted. It was like she was not regarded as a human being, a woman, a whore, but as an animal, a thing, a toy. Be used and then thrown away.

Like fast-food for the body. His body.

She kneelt there and let it happen, until her owners came to her mind. They wouldn't be pleased at all, if she let him do the whole work and not behave like what she was: A whore, nothing more. She knew what would happen, should they hear from a customer that she hadn't been satisfying enough. She already encountered that particular treatment in her first days at the brothel. And it was nothing she longed for.

At the moment, she was Aphrodite, the best whore in town, and storing her personality in the back of her head, she started to think like Aphrodite, act like Aphrodite and feel like Aphrodite.

She started to rotate her hips slightly, picking up his pace and following his movements, while thick groans left her mouth. It sounded false in her ears, but she knew that her customers never recognized it, not while their complete blood supply was concentrated in one single area of their bodies.

"Stop that!" he hissed and grabbed her neck with one hand.

"What?" she asked puzzled and wanted to turn her head around to look at him, but sensing her intention he tightened his grip and made it impossible for her to move. She moaned painfully, but he didn't pay attention to it.

"Don't move and shut up!" he said through clenched teeth.

She nodded as good as possible and let her head drop between her elbows again, as soon as he had let go of her neck with a push.

This short exchange of words made his mind slip back into his body. Up to then it had merely been sex, nothing else. He had loosened the ties which normally controlled his body and let his instincts take over. But then she had started to move, and he was forced to recognize her as a human being, not just a thing. He didn't want that. He didn't want to become aware of what exactly he was doing to her and with her, and therefore forced her to stop and be quiet. Just a whore… And, moreover, he could hear the falseness in the sounds she had made, and it made him sick.

She was glad in some way to be ordered to remain silent and unmoving. At least she wasn't forced to pretend she was liking it. She could wait for it to end, while her mind was allowed to be everywhere but there. Never mind that she couldn't take a look at him - he could finish his business and leave her alone with her demons.

As much as his body enjoyed the encounter, it was hard for him to find relief. He plunged into her without taking a second thought how she might be feeling or whether he hurt her. All the hatred and pain that he had been confronted with since Voldemort's victory, he put into his movements, like she was the enemy. Even when she started to whimper slightly he didn't change his persistent and relentless thrusts.

And then, finally, he reached his climax in silence. Not the faintest sound left his mouth. He released himself inside of her, and then pulled back, letting himself drop on the bed next to her.

Reality crashed into his consciousness and he covered his eyes with one hand in self-disgust. What had he done?

He felt a physical relief, surely. But satisfaction? No. He was a monster, and this encounter did nothing to lessen that - more the opposite. He had simply used her, abused her to release his anger and the lust cumulated over the years.

What use was it, if he now left her to come back after a few minutes, pretending he was somebody completely different. Or that he cast Obliviate? It wouldn't change what he had done. Never. Not even if he left now and never came back again. It was only another piece added to his pile of sins.

Turning his head, he looked at the mass of brown hair. She had simply dropped herself onto the bed afterwards, her face turned away from him. It was quite clear she expected him to leave as soon as possible. But he wouldn't go. The business part was still outstanding.

He waited until he could be sure to have his voice fully under control again, cleared his throat and spoke the watchword: "Can you play Quidditch?"

He hated this part of the business, especially because Harry Potter usually came up with some silly ideas what to use as a password. No difference this time… remember the game… Yes, he was a brilliant mind and a good head of the resistance, but his Quidditch obsession unnerved Snape since the Boy-Who-Lived had been chosen to be Gryffindor's Seeker. Sometimes Snape couldn't help feeling that Harry Potter did this on purpose to humiliate him in front of his contacts.

"W-what?" came a croaked reply from the other side of the bed, and he could tell that she had most certainly been crying anew.

Clenching his teeth, he repeated the much despised words: "Can. You. Play. Quidditch."

Again it took a moment for her answer to come, but then she replied with a relatively clear voice: "Like a rogue bludger escaped from a Quidditch match."

At least it was the right whore… but something in her voice let the hair on his entire body uprise immediately. Looking at her stiff and unmoving figure, she seemed to have sensed something, too. Hesitantly, she lifted her head, pushed herself up on the elbows and turned around to face him for the first time this night.

Their eyes grew wide upon recognition of each other, shortly before they jumped out of bed simultaneously, glaring at each other from the opposite side of the bed. Aphrodite - no, Hermione - had immediately grabbed a corner of the bed sheets and now tried to cover her body as good as possible, while for a brief moment Snape's face reflected shock and surprise, before gaining control over himself again.

Snape's face had rapidly turned from pale to pink, as soon as the knowledge that he had slept with Hogwart's most brilliant mind sank in, and now matched the colour of the room and Hermione's cheeks perfectly, who realized which man had just had sex with her.

'Rape, rape, rape, rape, rape, rape…'

"YOU are the… ", they both began at the same time, but while Hermione's sentence ended with "… spy!", his next word was "… whore!".

That was not what he had intended to say. He had wanted at least to use a somewhat appropriate designation, such as 'ally' or 'contact', but as if insulting people was imbedded in his genes, he had not been able to stop his tongue.

Hermione didn't reply, but the word 'Bastard' was clearly written on her face. Nevertheless, she maintained her posture, not willing to give ground to Snape. She was a Gryffindor, after all, but she quickly pushed away that thought, as it brought back happy memories of her school days. Yes, her schooldays - and in front of her stood her Potions teacher. Her former Potions teacher, to be exact, once Hogwart's Potions Master and now Voldemort's.

An uncomfortable pause filled the next few seconds while they were staring at each other. It had just been sex, nothing else, after all she was nothing else than a whore anymore - but still, in her mind an nasty little voice continued to scream: '… rape, rape, rape, rape, rape, rape!'

Not wanting to let him see her insecurity, she nonchalantly sat down on the bed, leaning against the head board and crossing her legs. Looking up, she spoke with a cold voice: "Get to the point and leave."

"A Gryffindor through and through," Snape thought, as he sat down on the edge of the bed. She looked like she had accepted her situation a long time ago, but he was sure it was only a mask she wore. She was the last person he would believe to have capitulated and gave up. Her fake coolness unnerved him.

Pressing something cool into Hermione's hand, he said: "Here. Give this to your contact."

Curiously she gazed at the strange object he had given her: It was a black, smooth stone, about the size and shape of a chicken egg. "What is this?"

"A stone?" he teased her with a mocking voice, and when she didn't react, he continued, "And a black stone, it is!… I choose it because I thought that such an object - you know, what women of your profession do with such stones, don't you, Aphrodite? - would not rise any suspicion at the working place of a whore, but looking around your room, I guess next time I should prefer pink Rhodonite to black Onyx."

Without being aware of it, Hermione had brought up her hand to slap his face, but was stopped inches away from his cheek, as his own hand shot up and grabbed her wrist.

"Watch your hand, Miss Granger, or it might slip and hurt someone," he stated emotionlessly.

Angrily she pulled herself free and glared at him. Only know did she realise how strong her desire to hurt him was. How dare he! And again, the little voice echoed in her head: 'Rape, rape, rape,…', but this time she managed to ignore it more or less.

Her lips trembled slightly, but nevertheless Hermione held her head high and looked him straight into the eyes, wanting to prove to him that no matter how much he insulted her, no matter what she had gone through, nobody could take away her pride. Her eyes filled with tears, but she blinked them back, refusing to cry in front of Snape. No way would she show him how deeply his words had cut.

They looked at each other for what seemed a small infinity, until Snape sighed and explained what she held in her hand: "It is a Memodings. The object, in this case the stone, accumulates the information I feed into it, and reveals it solely to the person I designate it to."

"Harry," Hermione stated.

"Somebody from the resistance," he tried to generalize her statement.

"Harry," she insisted.

Snape shrugged. Did she always have to have the last word?

Hermione's eyes glowed, and trying not to sound too expectant, she asked: "Can I also add information to it?" She had no direct contact to the resistance and was sure she would never be able to get in touch with them, but now she held a key in her hands to reach them, reach Harry.

"No," was Snape's brief answer, and her eyes instantly went dull again, as if all hope had finally died within her.

"Then you do it," she said, holding the Memodings in his direction, "Let him know I'm still alive… that I'm here. Please!" her voice rising a pitch higher and sounding more and more like pleading at the end.

"No."

"What do you mean no?" she nearly screamed. "No? NO?"

"Look… You know what will happen, if Potter finds out where you are?" she nodded vigorously, "And do you realise the implications of it?" Her head dropped to one side, unsure what his point was. "Silly girl! He won't hesitate to get you out of here…"

"And? Where's the problem? I WANT to get out of here, damn you!"

"Ah, and get killed by trying? Risk getting Potter killed or captured? And the other ones coming for you? Risk that everything - EVERYTHING - they, you and I have accomplished up to now in our fight against Voldemort is in vain? Do you really want that?" he asked heatedly.

With every word he said, she became more and more pale. Now she just sat there, looking at him with wide, lost eyes, knowing that he had said nothing more than the truth. The truth she had tried to ignore and deny all the time. The hope which had held her together up to that moment.

Snape watched her inner conflict. She was strong, she would pull herself together, he was sure.

Hermione managed to fight back the tears a second time. And then, his words repeated themselves in her head.

Her mask crumbled. First, the tears found their way unhindered down her cheeks, then her mouth opened in a silent scream and finally she buried her head in her hands, sobbing violently.

It came completely unexpected for him and he was at a loss what to do. He never found it easy to handle women, but a crying woman was far more than he could manage. Tentatively he stretched out his arm and touched her softly on the shoulder. Her head shot up immediately, and for a moment her crying stopped, but instantly started again forcefully.

She used his arm as a guide towards him and crawled onto his lap, burying her head in the joint of his neck, wetting his clothes with her tears and saliva.

"Great!" he swore inwardly, "And what now?" He hadn't realized her intentions until she already was seated on his legs. His primary reaction was to push her off again, but he refrained from it. Not after all he had done to her. He didn't know where to put his arms, and after trying out various positions to support both their weights, he decided to lay them around her.

It seemed to be exactly what she had been waiting for, for she cuddled herself into his embrace and buried her head even deeper in his neck. Her sobs continued, but at least she sounded less hysterical than only minutes ago. However, no calming words passed his lips. What chould he have said to her, anyhow? That everything would be fine? That nothing could be so bad to cry like that? That tomorrow the world would look better again?

Snape knew neither how long they sat there, nor when he had lost the feeling in his legs. It was as if somebody had cut out a piece of their time. He noticed Hermione's sobbing and weeping had stopped, and looking down at her, he realized she had fallen asleep.

Not wanting to awaken her, he picked her up and laid her on the bed, covering her body with the filthy sheets. Only then did he notice that she had been naked the whole time, apart from her fishnet stockings.

Looking back once more and assuring himself that she hadn't woken up, he left her room, the brothel and that particular street, hurrying to his flat at Knockturn Alley. He felt a strong desire for a shower. A scalding hot one -  as if it could wash away what he had done this night.

He entered his flat and headed straight to the bathroom, but never reached the shower. Falling to his knees in front of the toilet he threw up.

"Nope… no shower for the moment," his mind agreed, and somehow he managed to reach the sofa in his living room. Dropping himself onto it, he stretched out his arm to grab the whiskey bottle and one of the glasses placed on the near table.

The first glass shattered on the floor as it slipped out of his grip, but the second one he managed to drop into his lap just before he lost his grip again. He filled it with single malt whiskey, saluted to an imaginative person and emptied the contents of the glass at once.

He repeated the procedure, but before he could bring the glass to his mouth, he noticed the flames in his fireplace, which always lit itself automatically when he came in, had turned from bright yellow to dirty green.

Only seconds later, a head popped up in the flames.

"Good morning Severus!… I hope you had a … er… pleasant night?"

Lucius Malfoy. Snape growled inwardly, but nevertheless looked at the other man with an unfathomable face: "I do not know why this should be of any concern for you. Pray tell me when you started to become interested in my private life."

The other man seemed to twitch slightly, but it also could have been just the flames.

"I mean… Did you… like her?"

"Ah, that is your point… and I honestly thought this was a social call." Snape noticed Lucius' growing impatience and decided not to try him any further.  "Calm down, Lucius. I haven't broken Draco's toy, if it is that what you wanted to know… She had even been… quite appropriate, for my taste."

At that, Lucius grinned broadly.

"I might even consider coming again one day…" Snape added, and received something like "you're welcome any time" in reply.

"... But under one condition only: Make sure she is there."

--- The End ---

Reviews welcome :-)

----------------------- Notes ------------------------------

The challenge:

Voldemort has won, but not totally. There is a resistance within the wizarding world, led by none other than Harry Potter. Much of their information about the enemy comes through Snape, who has never been discovered as a double agent.

The losses, however, have been great. Most of the Muggle-borns have been captured and enslaved by Voldemort. Among these is Hermione Granger, who has been forced into prostitution by Draco and Lucius Malfoy. What should happen if Snape buys a woman for the night, only to discover that he has slept with Hogwarts finest mind?

The conditions:

All entries must abide with these rules:

1) The story must be strictly S/H in nature, i.e. neither of the characters may end up with someone else.

2) The story must include one OR all of these things:

a) Someone wearing fishnet stockings (not necessarily Hermione),

b) The line "...sniffing after me like a dog...",

c) A rogue bludger escaped from a Quidditch match.

3) All entries must be in by September 1st (that gives you two months, folks!). Please upload entries to Maenad's Challenge in the Fic Challenges file of the Files section. (i.e. next to these rules!)

The story can be a one-off or a serial - the decision is up to you, but the items to be included must be present in the first chapter. After that, you can do what you like.

Have fun!

Maenad.