THE EIGHTEENTH CHAPTER

By: Scatterheart

Section Twenty Four

Hermione met the golden late-spring dawn sifting in through her window with a dry and frozen gaze. The winter months had passed and the days brightened earlier now; three or four more hours would pass before her first class would start. Maybe if she could manage an hour or two of sleep before stumbling off into the halls of Hogwarts like a drone…

Once again, the kiss replayed itself over her mind again, over her tingling skin.

Oh, Merlin.

She burrowed her head under her pillow. It was ridiculous to think that she could forget all of this in a sleepless night – it was foolish of her to try to convince herself that she wanted to. His firm mouth, his shapely nose pressed against the side of hers. Perhaps she had felt a lock of his hair fall coolly onto her feverish cheek as well.

"Snape," Hermione said aloud, her hoarse voice muffled by her pillow. She needed to hear the detesting sound, she needed to hear it grate like metal into her ears so that she could conjure up all the vile and beastly imagery that could possibly be associated with that awful surname.

Crutiatus or not, it was over. He was alive once more, and it didn't bloody matter who had cursed him because the most important thing was that he was alive, so now everything could go back to the way it was before, all the way back to that lovely paradise before the winter vacation, when Snape was a cardboard villain to her, not a man, and owed her nothing more than some snide corrections scrawled over her potions homework and a final end-of-term grade.

You bastard, you owe me, Hermione snarled to herself.

He owed her. He had kissed her – kissed her! – and when he felt that the kiss had continued for long enough, he had simply torn himself away, quite frankly not giving half a thought to what the party on the receiving end had wanted. Because she had barelytasted –

No.

Hermione curled herself into a furious ball, hugging her knees to her chin.

Merlin, aside from the fact that he was a thoroughly unappealing git that no wholly sane person should be craving kisses from, he was her professor.

Former professor, Hermione reminded herself.

But he was a professor just the same, and she was a student, and what he had done was wrong; he had stepped miles and miles beyond the line of decency, he had flaunted England's and Hogwarts' time-honored laws in their faces, and he had –

The thought struck her like a photographer's flash igniting the midnight blackness. Hermione found herself bolting up in her bed.

Oh God, Severus Snape, that bastard, she had him now.

And suddenly she was hopping out from the sheets with an energy she was sure she had lost somewhere among the mess of the past few weeks, pulling on her rumpled uniform and stuffing her feet into her shoes.

Running out of the door, Hermione could almost swear that were it any other day, she would have smiled.

--

To be continued.

Note: After 9 months of absence, this fanfic is back. Sorry for the wait, everyone.