Blind love

Disclaimer: I own nothing, nope nothing at all

Summery: AU story based from Beauty and the beast with my own little twist of course *grins* Severus Snape is the cursed man living alone in a castle, and Hermione is the blind maiden come to break the spell. Hope you enjoy and please if you would R&R so I know if it's any good. Thanks.

...Light shall burn thee, thy servants far from thee, until the day love sets thee free...

Snape sat; a large ancient looking tome in front of his crooked nose, greasy black hair falling into his sallow cragged features. The room he sat in was dark except for the occasional torch on the wall giving a flickering yellow light, adding to the sallow-ness of Snape's skin. He growled at yet again failing to find a potion to break the curse. In his anger he threw the heavy tome across the room not bothering to pick it up as he stalked from the dungeon room the scowl on his face deeper than usual. For twenty bloody years he had searched every tome in his infinite library trying to find something to break this damning curse, so far he had failed souring his already sour mood. He passed a mirror covered in a black cloth, something he had done soon after this curse had come upon him.

Pausing at the mirror he hesitated in looking at his reflection but found a horrified fascination in what he usually saw there, finally pulling the cloth from the reflective surface Snape looked at his reflection, he was a tall too slender man with skin that was far too pale for its own good, a slightly too big crooked nose which framed two cold and glittering black eyes, that held no warmth or kindness. Overall he looked a sour old man with greasy black hair that fell lankly to his shoulders, though the creases on his face were more pronounced than most people's were almost nonhuman. Overall he was a scary sight to behold whether it was the intimidating emotionless glare or the fact that he could not be called attractive whatsoever. Growling unpleasantly he flicked the fabric back into place hiding his reflection again. Seeing his reflection once again triggered the memory of the night that he was cursed, his eyes grew distant as it played out.

Lord Severus Snape sneered at the crooked backed old man before him holding a simple cup as an offering to stay in the castle for a single night. The windows shook with the ferocity of the storm outside. Only a monster would actually consider turning this man on his ear in weather like this. He sneered at the old man and ordered him out of his sight saying something along the lines of "I have no reason to help you old man go back to the mud where you came from." He then turned to leave expecting his guards to extract the old man from his sight. The sound of a soft smooth voice stopped him, the old man had had a gravelly weak voice but this one was strong and full of authority. Lord Snape turned and saw that before him was no longer a stooped and sickly old man but a tall regal looking one with a long white beard, wearing elaborate robes with stars and moons in gold on red fabric, he could have been a king it wasn't for the wand in the old man's hand. "You must learn better manners Lord Snape, your heart is stone and your personality for lack of a better word needs vast improvement, I think I can help with that." The man's soft voice echoed into Lord Snape's ears filling the younger man with dread and before he could do anything to stop it he heard the old wizard speaking a chant his wand glowing.

"For a heart so cold you shall seem old, your true self shall shine with this spell I bind, Light shall burn thee, thy servants far from thee, until the day love sets you free. So it is and so it shall be." A flash came from the wand like a wave of light hitting the room and Lord Snape who found himself suddenly on the ground writhing feeling his body change his youthful handsome face became cragged with lines his lips thinned to pale lines to match his suddenly sallow features. His once slightly curled black locks became lank with an oily substance that would not leave him and over all he felt horrible as if all of his grace and strength had been taken from him. Looking up around his now crooked hawk like nose he saw that the wizard was now gone and in his place the cup was left, a pensieve Lord Snape recognized with regret with a single thought swirling in the cups depths. Crawling carefully he looked into the cup and relived the horror he had just gone through, a memory he would visit often during his more macabre moods...

Shaking himself to awareness again Snape continued on his way through the dungeons, if he had judged his timing right, night should have fallen, allowing him the small chance of stepping outside of the manor, even if he could not go past the perimeter he could at least get some air. Fortunately for him when he climbed the stairs to the first floor moonlight shone through the few cracks he allowed in the otherwise covered windows, it was the only way he could safely go through his manor. Hurrying as much as he could to his balcony he threw the covered doors open allowing fresh warm air to filter through his lungs moonlight bathed the whole of the broken stone balcony and the slightly twisted forbidding figure that stood on it looking over the primeval forest that he could no longer touch.

For the most part Snape, as he now referred himself as, was quite alone, his servants had disappeared the night of the curse though as if by magic he still got fed, true his meals were very simple, but by now he didn't care, it was food. The manor was not the cleanest thing in the world, dust lay everywhere and pieces of it were crumbling, just like the balcony. One of the lessons he had learned quickly was that Servants really made things work the right way, a thing he had not even thought of before. The few times he did have company it never lasted long, the girls who had come to apparently break the curse had run from the manor screaming at the sight of either him or the manor itself, which had taken a sudden dislike to these girls. It had been years since he had been visited by these foolish children and yet he yearned for any contact even if it was from a silly chit of a girl. He felt his mouth twist in a bitter smirk; he was stuck in this manor having to depend on the consideration of the villagers to send their daughters as companions, who never stayed long anyway, irony at its bitterest.

He gave a small shake of his head and turned going back into his manor carefully closing the doors, he no longer wanted to think on his loneliness, it was his lot in life now to be cursed and alone, he was becoming resigned to that now. Sinking into his now worn chair beside the cold fireplace he steepled his surprisingly long slender fingers in thought pursing his lips allowing his mind to wander to his large library in which he had searched for twenty years trying to find something that might help him, he had searched most of the books there and he was losing all hope of finding a solution to his curse, it seems he really had to depend on a chit of a girl to save him, now if only she would come to try. With that final thought he sighed and fell into quick sleep in his chair not even bothering to make it to his bed. He was so tired, of everything he wished for Oblivion of course it never quite came and he woke again the next morning as grumpy and sour as ever.
* * * * *

"Hermione, where are you, you blasted girl!" Her mother shouted her dark brown eyes gazing about the farm looking for the young woman who had a tendency to disappear at the most unfortunate times. Hands on her hips Mistress Granger, wife to the mayor and head midwife in the village of Dorselle; stalked around the lands which her family had owned for centuries looking for a patch of reddish hair among the green of fields. Finally sunlight glinted off something brown and shining as Mistress Granger made her way towards it she saw her only child curled up against a tree petting a ginger colored fur ball that turned out to be that pesky cat of hers, Crookshanks. It was beyond Mistress Granger why her daughter had chosen to keep the mangy animal, he wasn't that pleasant to look upon, his hair was frizzy and orange his back legs were bowed, probably living up to his name, but of course his looks mattered little to her daughter, who was in fact blind.

Hermione paused in her stroking of the large tom and tilted her head before smiling slightly she spoke softly getting up after Crookshanks leaped from her lap. "Hello mother, is there something I can help you with?" She knelt down enough to allow her feline to leap to her shoulder and sit on his usual perch of upper back and neck it now looked as if she had a large hairy orange collar.

Mistress Granger frowned and looked mystified and perhaps a little annoyed that her blind child knew when someone approached and exactly who it was, even after all this time it was a little spooky to say the least. She shook the thought from her head and spoke her voice brisk and commanding.

"I have been looking everywhere for you Hermione, the matchmaker is coming soon and you will need to look presentable for her, especially if you want the best match."

Carefully she took Hermione's arm though the girl looked ready to protest she kept silent and allowed her mother to lead her home where she bathed and was helped into an attractive powder blue dress with empire waist and a flowing skirt, despite this Hermione could only really be considered pretty, not beautiful or even delicate as most of the other village girls strived to be. Her hair usually rested at her waist and though normally brushed carefully it did occasionally snag a tangle which she didn't think about getting out until the next morning, so she always had a slightly distracted look her hair occasionally wind blown to add to the fact that she could care less how she looked. Her eyes despite their blindness seemed to shine with intellect, this was no fool of a girl, thanks to the books which had been read to her as a child and the writings she had learned to read using a special code of dots in exchange for the actual words.

Sighing softly Mistress Granger carefully braided Hermione's hair, to give it at least the illusion that her daughter took care of it. Her daughter's slender frame added to the illusion that she cared nothing for her appearance many asked her mother often what she was being fed or if the girl was ill, the popular style for this day and age were full figured girls; unfortunately despite her mother's curves, her only child had very few and would always be considered too skinny. Shaking such negative thoughts away Mistress Granger kissed her daughter's forehead and let a tear fall from her eye, despite her earlier annoyance with Hermione, she really did love her daughter dearly, this child was the only one that lived despite all the obstacles against her and now she was going to be taken away to some other family that perhaps did not understand her as well. As if sensing her mother's silent fears Hermione stood carefully and embraced her murmuring reassurances, though she herself was unsure about her fate it was time to comfort her mother, always thinking of others, that was Hermione's way.

The sound of horses approaching warned them of their impending guests and last preparations were made so that Hermione looked presentable. Soon the matchmaker made her arrival. Madame Trelawney appeared before them her large glasses and thin frame giving the impression of an insect. She wore beads and necklaces of every type showing her status as seer and matchmaker. Taking a delicate look around Trelawney smiled mysteriously and then looked at the blind girl before her. She spoke her voice light and airy as she approached her slender fingers tilting Hermione's head up taking careful examination of the girl's features looking into the dark brown eyes there.

"This is the future bride I see, very interesting; very interesting indeed. Quite a challenge but my sources will reveal it to me do not fear." then taking the girl's palm and reading it, she hmmed to herself often muttering under her breath as she apparently read Hermione's future, Hermione's slight frown told that she was skeptical of this woman though she said nothing patiently waiting, knowing that it would do no good to peeve the seer.

Finally Trelawney smiled again looking up her large green eyes sparkling in triumph. "I have seen your future child, you will marry an older man whom is not how he appears, you must travel to a crumbling manor on a high hill there you will find him." She grinned at Madame Granger obviously pleased with herself.

Madame Granger frowned slightly in thought thinking of the possible place where this man could be. Suddenly her body stiffened and she walked out the door looking westward, in the distance on a dark rocky hill sat Snape Manor, a place that for 20 years had been the subject of many horror stories usually spoken by the girls who had gone there during the years of the lottery. It was said that a monster lived there in the form of a man, that his cruelty was infamous. She looked at her daughter whom sat quietly on the bench near the entrance with Trelawney blabbering away in mysterious tones obvious to the look of utter boredom on the younger woman's face. If Trelawney was right in her sight, which usually she was, at least when it came to love, then Hermione, precious intelligent Hermione would some day marry the beast of Snape Manor. She felt ill in her stomach as she slowly approached Hermione and the matchmaker sitting silently beside her own child.

Hermione frowned in thought sensing her mother move to the seat beside her she carefully gauged and rested her head on her mother's shoulder sensing that the woman needed comfort; apparently the thought that Hermione would someday marry had upset her mother. She did not seem to realize exactly who, according to the matchmaker she was destined for, if she had, perhaps she would have needed more comfort than her mother.

Trelawney was paid her fee and promised that they would go find the future groom as soon as possible, satisfied the seer left her beads and things causing music as she walked. Moments later a pale haired young man appeared a superior look on his face.

"I am here to see Hermione, it is vital I speak with her." Draco Malfoy's cold gray eyes looked around the entranceway searching for a curly headed girl. Though Madame Granger did not like this boy, she had to be polite to him, his father being a member of the village council and a very successful Merchant, the only people richer than the Granger's themselves were the Malfoy's.

Letting him in they both looked for Hermione, but she had disappeared. Madame Granger allowed herself to feel some amusement at this, it was obvious that Hermione knew exactly who had come to the door and had done one of her near famous disappearing acts to avoid him. Draco frowned and began walking through the room until finally he smirked in triumph and moved in for the kill.

Hermione sat curled up on the long couch a book on her lap. It did not seem to have any words and yet she passed her hand over the pages reading it a soft smile on her face. Her smile quickly disappeared as Draco sat, beside her, attempting to wrap an arm around her waist. She flinched away and scowled

"Draco Malfoy don't you dare touch me, what is going through you mind that makes you think you have any right." Hermione's voice was a harsh whisper; as she pulled firmly away from him if looks could kill he would be six feet under despite her lowered lids temporarily hiding her dark brown eyes.

Draco's pout was lost on Hermione but he moved closer to her again letting an arm drift to her shoulders lightly his warm breath on her neck.

"You are all dressed up today, almost as if you knew I would be coming to visit." She felt his smirk against her skin and she squirmed away, Crookshanks seemed to sense his mistress' distress and hissed at Draco scratching at the young man's calves. Draco howled and kicked at the animal that leaped at him scratching his arms obviously going for the eyes. Cursing and bellowing the young Malfoy ran out the door it was only moments later that Crookshanks returned looking smug as he sauntered over to his mistress and curled up at her hip. The young woman smiled pleased that Draco was no longer there and scratched behind the cat's ears.

Mistress Granger had to stifle her laughter when she saw Draco being told off by the cat, perhaps Crookshanks was better than she thought he was, though she knew that Draco and probably his father would come for a visit demanding retribution. Though not wanting to Mistress Granger knew that Hermione needed to be taken to Snape manor before then, taking one last fond look at her daughter she made preparations for the day long trip.

It did not take many hours to prepare Hermione for the trip though her father wasn't very happy with the prospect of his little girl being sent to places unknown, his wife wasn't specific of where Hermione was going only that she would be gone for some time. When Hermione heard the news of leaving she accepted it well, knowing that she would never have to deal with Draco again, and that more than anything gave her incentive.

Just after sunset Mistress Granger slipped her daughter away from home and into a carriage taking only the fundamental necessities, Hermione was a minimalist by choice, and left the village before even Draco Malfoy could return for his revenge on the house feline. Mistress Granger left alone with only her daughter and the cat as companions as they traveled. At dawn they were halfway to crumbling keep, they would arrive at sunset if there were no delays. Hermione contented herself in reading her books and petting Crookshanks, not seeming to note the passage of time, she rarely did.

Finally as the sun was touching the horizon they pulled up to the drive of the manor house and were met by a benign looking old man in simple blue robes. He reassured Mistress Granger that her daughter would be well looked after and not to worry. He then led Hermione into the dark manor while her mother watched a tear in her eye fearing that she would never see her daughter again.

Hermione found herself guided by gentle hands she had heard the man speak to her, his voice kind she had asked him who he was and he simply said that he was no one of consequence and that her future husband was within. Puzzled she said nothing more allowing him to lead the way into the manor.

She could not recall how long they walked in silence but she realized that they were going down a slant and as the air got colder she realized she was in some sort of dungeon, the small of damp walls confirmed it. Crookshanks brushed against her ankle as if to reassure her that she was not alone. Finally the man stopped her and told her to wait there, before she could ask him why; she knew he was gone. The absence of his comforting presence by her side caused her to shiver. Only Crookshanks soft purrs reassured her that she wasn't completely alone.

The sound of heavy cloth moving caught her sensitive ears and she turned her face to the sound but it stopped as she moved, the air smelled different though she could not explain how, but now she knew she had company her head held high she spoke softly.

"Who's there? Are you the one who led me here, or the one I am supposed to meet?" Crookshanks stayed close to her ankle his breathing causing his fur to tickle her skin though she ignored it still listening in the direction of the other presence. The sound of a deadly quiet voice with a hint of gravel as if unused to speaking met her ears, from the sound the person was moving.

"I could ask the same of you little Chit, why have you come here, and what do you mean by Led here? I am the only one in residence." She could almost feel his sneer as he came closer.

Hermione's face turned towards the sound her sightless eyes hidden by lowered lids and long dark lashes.

"I believe I asked you first sir, and indeed you are not the only one here, there was a very kind man before who led me here, and he said his name was of no consequence but that my future husband was within, he brought me here and then told me to wait." A small smirk tugged at her lips as she lowered herself to allow Crookshanks to climb to his customary spot on her shoulder his familiar weight a comfort in such strange surroundings.

A thoughtful silence came from the man nearby she could almost feel his piercing gaze upon her but her face was expressionless as she waited for him to speak again.

"Why would you come here seeking a husband, don't you know that only the beast of Snape Manor lives within these walls? There is no one here who would be fit as anyone's husband, I suggest you leave now girl, just like the others." He sounded almost bitter but he sneered again coming closer as if waiting for her to cringe as approached the expressionless look on her face puzzled him somewhat.

Snape paced the girl noting the glowing amber eyes of the feline with her wondering why she was not shaking from fear yet. He wondered if there was something wrong with the girl, she wasn't stupid, she sounded more educated than many of the other girls who had come. He growled softly and allowed himself the luxury of gaining her scent, sunlight and fields with an overtone of parchment. Finally the girl spoke again her voice calm and confident, it seemed to him that she had no fears.

"Now at least I know where I am, and whom I speak to, but there is the problem of leaving, it took many hours to travel here and that was by carriage, it would take me days to walk, and that is for a normal girl. I am not like other girls, and traveling, by myself; in the woods would be my death, since I am in fact, blind." She almost sounded amused by her lot in life. "So unless you can guide me back home I am quite stuck here." She actually smiled her amusement very evident now. Snape blinked surprise evident on his face for the first time since his transformation; fortunately for him the girl did not see it. This girl was perplexing, first she had no fear of a strange place and once she found out, who he was she still had no fear towards him. Perplexed he approached tilting her head up with slender fingers firmly under her chin to look into her lidded eyes, though they were darkest brown he could see the gray in her pupils which meant blindness, he cursed softly seeing the truth of the situation. Stepping away he growled again and noticed the dangerous look that the cat gave to him.

"Very well, since you seem to be stuck here until I can send to packing again come with me I will put you somewhere out of the way." Snape sneered, his voice dripping venom in the softness of his tones. Looking about to bound off he remembered her sightless condition and took her hand roughly putting it on his shoulder and telling her to not fall behind.

Hermione frowned at the man's gruffness but obeyed not looking forward to getting lost in this place. She kept up as best as she could, Crookshanks had leaped from her shoulder the moment they had begun moving and she could sense his comforting presence brushing against her leg every few feet. This time she felt her body going up and automatically counted the steps, in case she needed to find her way again. She felt Snape slow down, now that she knew who he was, and slowed accordingly. Finally he stopped and spoke again his voice less rusty than before and to her there was an undertone of velvet though the acid still dripped through.

"In here is where you can sleep, I don't suggest you go wandering off elsewhere, you could fall into a crack or something and then where would we be? Sleep well if you can, I am going to find a way to get rid of you as quickly as I can, with luck you will be merrily on your way tomorrow morning." His words were soft and nearly in her ear she felt him pull his shoulder away from her hand as soon as he pointed her into the direction of the room in question. Then he moved away and Hermione entered the room silently wondering at the crazy woman who had done this to her in the first place planning on doing something rather foul to the matchmaker.

Hermione walked into the room slowly, allowing herself, to find the dimensions before she sat on the bed testing the strength finding it surprisingly soft. Feeling suddenly sleepy Hermione slipped her shoes off and placed them under her pillow so that she could find them again and curled up falling instantly to sleep, she didn't even sense when the blanket moved to tuck her in and Crookshanks wasn't planning on informing her.

...TBC...

Author's note: well this is the first chappie; I promise it will get more exciting in the next one just tell me what you think of it and I shall update as soon as possible the same goes for my other stories. Let the updates begin!