DISCLAIMER: J.K Rowling owns everything! Damn her! Wish it was me ;-)

Title: Baiting Granger

Summary: Severus reflects his life and the people in it, while fishing, and comes to an interesting conclusion.

ONE-SHOT!

Severus looked down at his own reflection, not pleased of what he saw. He made a sniffing sound in annoyance and then turned his gaze to a bucket by his side. Empty. Empty, empty, and empty. Where had all the bloody fish gone? He mused and then pulled in his line. Of course, he mused, as he checked the hook. The twisting worm was gone.

Damn those fish!

He picked up another worm from a small jar by his side in the little boat. He didn't like to spear the worms, because the way they twisted made him ill. He looked away and with a swift movement pulled the hook through the worm. Now, on with it! He told himself, and with a quick movement of the fishing rod a buzzing sound was heard as the line flew through the air, and landed with a light plop in the water some metres away. He had promised himself that this time there would be no magic when getting the fish. He could do this without magic! – Or so he would like to believe.

It was, as Severus mused, a nice afternoon. He had left his dark robes in his cabin, where he lived through this mundane summer-sport of his. It was a small cabin with nothing really. The only thing that surrounded him was the nature. The stars above him and the wonderful nature. It was actually quite funny when thinking of it, Severus thought. Who'd ever have thought that Severus Snape, fearsome Potions Master of Hogwarts, to be in a rich natural environment, fishing? People were used to thinking of him as a bat, living in the dungeons of Hogwarts and hater of the sun!

Damn those people!

Not that he minded them thinking like that. No, he actually encouraged them. Hell, if people saw him as… human they'd think it was an invitation for conversation. No sir! Certainly not, Severus had always prided solitude. When fishing and when making potions. Beside, when Severus was at Hogwarts he was a Professor, a Death Eater, a Potions Master, a bat, Snape –and the list went on-, but when he was in the nature there was just him. Severus. Not Severus Snape, just Severus. The name Snape carried on through history of great wizards, wizards who taught him that life is power, and without power you have no life. That fear is respect.

The Dark Lord had turned Severus into a Potions Master when Severus had joined him. He had raped –quite a lot, Severus mused as he pulled in the line, and he had learned his lesson- however, forgiveness is not is not something he'd ever get, -Severus wondered as he threw out the line again- and Severus had gone to Dumbledore, confessed his sins. He had given his life to Dumbledore, and Dumbledore did as he pleased with Severus. Turned him to a spy. Lily and James Potter died -bastards- and Severus was left with an unfulfilled dept to James Potter, after the bastard had saved Severus's life.

His whole life had Severus fought for forgiveness, though knowing it would never get to him. Severus reflected how his life had gone, how utterly wasted it had been. A soft wind blew a hair lock into his face, and Severus removed it and looked around at the nature around him. When being at Hogwarts his thoughts and dreams were unpleasant, but here in the nature he could think, think without feeling haunted, even when he thought about the bad things. When in the nature the Dark Mark was there, but it was nothing more than a tattoo, unlike at Hogwarts the Dark Mark was his hell. He felt cleansed in the nature, and felt tainted at Hogwarts, the wizarding world.

He had always wanted respect, however, he didn't want respect through the way his father had taught him. Fear. He wanted respect because he deserved it, not because people feared him. When he came near people they hurried off. When he looked at people they shrunk away and when he snarled they dissolved in tears. Why should he smile to people, when he never had been taught how to smile?

"Smiling does not make people respect you. Authority is respect, fear is respect!" His father's words reverberated his the back of his mind. It was too late to change it now, and somehow he gave bloody little care about changing it. His feelings for the world and the people in it were unenthusiastic.

They can go to hell!

Or not, Severus decided. If they went to hell he'd have to endure them for eternity. Damn it all!

Severus was aware that his life was going downhill. He was getting old, he was ugly, he was a bastard, and he hated everything, and everything hated him. Really, there was no reason to live. Unfortunately he was too clever to commit suicide. Been there, done that. What would he gain from it, besides the obvious of people being happy, that is?

Severus felt a small tug in the rod and ecstatically pulled in the rod, careful not to lose the fish.

Blasted muggles!

It was nothing but an old tin. The thing was, Severus pondered, and that no one had ever dared to actually approach him. He knew why, though. He snapped, like a maniac crocodile! Albus and Minerva could approach him and survived his anger without getting too affronted. However, no one else did. No one spoke to him, only tried, but gave up after a moment. Everyone knows Professor Severus Snape. Mainly because he's been the Potions Master at Hogwarts since he was 21, and his reputation as the meanest bastard had travelled far by the students' lips. They would tell their parents, who would tell they friends, if the topic of school and teachers came up that is. They'd say: "Why, my daughter says that there's the meanest professor at Hogwarts. She always complain-" and so on. But how could he not be mean, when he had never learned to be otherwise? Rarely did anyone defy the Potions Master. His gaze was black and penetrating, shrinking people away beneath it. It was mainly parents who came to the school to talk with the sour Potions Master on behalf of their child, but they fled right away. – Severus teasingly pulled in his line, hoping he'd catch some fish's attention, but it seemed that the lake was deserted.

There was one, though, whom had yet to burst into tears by his wrath. Damn chit!

Her name was Hermione Granger. The heroine of the Golden Gryffindor Trio, consisting her and her two everlasting and unintelligent friends: Harry Potter, Severus's arch nemesis's son, and Ron Weasley. The three were different, but they fulfilled each other, and Severus wasn't sure if they could be whole without each other. Potter was the fighter, the one leading them. Granger was the one with the plans and Weasley was the strategist. Severus wasn't sure if they would've gotten through the war with one of them missing. Granger had come up with plans and knowledge about their enemies, and made sure they understood what they had to do to keep the upper hand, Weasley had the overall view and in the war called out positions for his two friends as they advanced on Voldemort, and Harry Potter had fought, while his friends took his back. You had to admire the three. A skill they had in common was perhaps their fighting skill. They were brilliant fighters and knew what to do, without Albus having to help them out. Severus knew the Order had underestimated them, but perhaps that was the reason to why they worked so well together?

Strange…

"You're nothing unless you have power," his father had told him when Severus had been a child. At Hogwarts Severus had no power; he was nothing. The Marauders had the power, and Severus had been envious at their group, because they were best friends and they were everything he was not.

Pull in the line, nice and easy. Don't want the fish to jump off. Woohoo, one fish caught! No, no, stay here! Dammit!-

"Use some bait," Severus said to himself.

Weasley had started dating Lavender Brown, and Potter dated the Weasley girl. It was around Christmas, Severus remembered. It left Granger alone with her studies, which became too unbearable. She was used to being alone, but the time she spent with Harry and Ron was precious, and she began feeling the need for company and she had sought out for some company, but realised that people were too noisy, and she had sought for a place bellow the ground, where the noise was low. She had started out in an old classroom at first, sitting on the ground and read, but after Severus had seen her so many times, in the cold classroom, he had decided to let her use his Potions Classroom. Eventually she came there every day after dinner, and stayed there until midnight. She was Head Girl, so she was allowed to be out after curfew. Sometimes she helped with a potion, and then sometimes small talk crept in. Eventually their talks developed into something more serious than small talk, and they talked about whatever came to mind.

No sneering

He mulled over his relationship with Granger… Hermione. She was clever, he told himself, and looked into the water to see his own reflection. He smiled to himself. Well, perhaps he should do something about her; perhaps it was just like fishing?

"Use some bait…" he mulled the words over and suddenly smile slyly. "Yes… use some bait…" there was a strange gleam in his eyes as he thought of how to woo in Hermione. Just like fishing –except that he had yet to catch one fish in this blasted lake. How ironically, he mused, the way fishing and women are much the same. He smirked at his idea and then pulled in his line. Perhaps it was time to get on with life, he mused.

Were women anything like a fish?

Severus had gotten back to Hogwarts, for he had decided to fish a little, he had a bigger fish to catch than those in the lake, and this was most likely tastier. Hermione was staying at Hogwarts throughout the vacation with Potter and Weasley. He wasn't quite sure of why, but it didn't matter, because Hermione was following his bait. Severus smothered a low chuckle as he watched Hermione follow his bait, ending in front of him. A gleam of mirth in her eyes as she watched Severus unhook the bait, a book, from his fishing rod. Well, you got to know your audience, he mused and leaned down and kissed her. She laughed at his skilful wooing, and let her arms around his neck and eagerly pulled him closer.


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