General Disclaimer: I do not own any part of the Potterverse. I am not making money off this one-shot. In fact, I own very little and have no money, so suing me would be pretty pointless, wouldn't it?
He purposely banged open the door to his classroom, just as he had for every class he had taught in the dungeons of Hogwarts. As he strode down the aisle and stepped up unto the dais that held his desk, he knew he presented a rather chilling figure to even these students who had spent seven years under his tutelage. Today was just another day, after all.
Stepping up to his lectern, he swept his gaze across the room. On his right, were his three Slytherin studentsDraco Malfoy, Pansy Parkinson and Blaise Zabini. Snape allowed a slight smile play on his lips.
He turned to the seats on his left side. Darius Rooks and Eugenia Kettle, two Ravenclaws sat waiting. He merely looked at them expressionlessly. Then, allowing a slight sneer to cross his lips, he turned to the two who sat in the front row. Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived-And-Lived-And-Lived, glared up at him, his green eyes seeming larger behind his glasses. Next to him, Hermione Granger, the Brain of the Golden Trio merely looked expectantly at him, eager to begin, happy to learn.
"Open your books to page 493," he intoned, looking away. "I am certain if anyone besides our resident Know-It-All has read the assigned chapter, you will realize today we will begin brewing the Restful Restorative Draught. This potion is unique because it can be given to those who are grievously injured and why is that?"
Of course, Miss Granger's hand was in the air almost before he could finish asking the question. He chose to ignore her however and fortunately, for once, Draco had his hand raised.
"Mr. Malfoy," he acknowledged with a tilt of his head.
"Because it doesn't interact with any other potion?" Draco answered arrogantly and smugly.
Snape waited a moment, eyebrows raised, to see if Malfoy could actually give the complete answer which, of course, he couldn't. "Very good, Mr. Malfoy. Five points to Slytherin. And why does it not react with other potions?" he continued smoothly.
This time, no hand was raised and Miss Granger's head was bent over her book as if trying to find the answer. Silently, he moved down to stand in front of her desk and placed his palms on either side of the textbook. Leaning over her in his most intimidating manner, he watched her as she slowly raised her head to look at him.
"Miss Granger," he said in a low voice, "is there really a question you cannot answer? Why does this potion not react adversely to other potions?"
"Because it lacks poppies, Sir," she answered timidly, but he caught the gleam of triumph in her eyes. It had taken her nearly seven years to force him to allow her to answer a question, but she had finally done it.
He did allow a slight smile play on his lips. "Five points, Miss Granger," he said silkily and watched as she smiled back, "from Gryffindor." Her smile faded, but he could nearly see her internal shrug. "You should have raised your hand if you knew the answer."
Turning back to go to his desk, he nearly missed the restraining hand she placed on Potter's wrist as the young man opened his mouth to protest that reasoning. She shook her head at her friend and Snape saw the word "no" forming on her lips.
"Five more points from Gryffindor for talking in class," he murmured, ignoring the smirks of his Slytherin students. Seating himself, he said, "The directions are on the board. You will work in teams on this."
As the students began filing to the supply stores, he barked, "Potter, you will team with Mr. Zabini on this potion." In his most condescending tone, he continued, "I am sure Miss Granger can do this potion by herself."
Hermione straightened her shoulders and gave Harry an apologetic look. Snape pulled the essays he had left to grade in front of him and uncapped his red ink. Bending over the scrolls, he watched her surreptitiously.
The past two years of his NEWT-level Potions class had been unexpectedly pleasant. Longbottom, Crabbe, Goyle, and Weasley had dropped Advanced Potions. He had been forced to take Potter in, but the young man was proving himself to be adequate. Snape thought that was due to the tutoring ability of a certain Miss Know-It-All rather than Potter's natural abilities.
Miss Hermione Granger. Unconsciously, he sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. She was an extremely intelligent student. One of those rare jewels in an instructor's career who wanted to learn and was glad to do it. She was also growing up to be a pretty woman.
Her hair was less bushy the longer it got, the weight probably pulling it down straighter. She was a little taller and much thinner than before. No one could accuse her of being a great beauty, but her looks were fair enough. Especially when her large brown eyes gleamed with excitement… or triumph as they had earlier. She had a very expressive face.
Snape looked around the classroom. Malfoy was letting his girlfriend do most of the work again. If only he had managed to get rid of that smug, toadying prat when the rest of his crew dropped out of Potions, Severus thought and realized he was grinding his teeth again.
Potter and Zabini were working together as much as they could without being near each other or speaking to each other. That could be an amusing spectacle. The two Ravenclaw students were harmoniously performing together as an efficient team. And by herself, Miss Granger toiled, a slight smile on her face as she added the first ingredient to her cauldron.
He bent his head back to the scrolls and watched her covertly. She was brilliant. She was pretty. And he suspected she was a more powerful witch than anyone suspected at this point.
There were other points he could consider. Hermione Granger was fiercely loyal to her friends. She understood logic and the benefits of hard work. She also, was the only one of the Golden Trio who understood the multi-faceted role he played day in and day out. Oh, certainly, she would bristle under his unfair comments and point system, but she understood the need to placate the children of Death Eaters.
Give her a few years and she would be a good match for any intelligent wizard. A few years to mature and blossom. A few years to take the stigma of student from her. So far, no male student saw her as more than a tutor. If Snape could manage to keep that an on-going practice with her, he would. What did she value more than companionship, he wondered. Well, learning obviously. And a thought came to him that would keep her safe at Hogwarts, away from the Dark Lord and under his protective custody.
The rest of the period droned on as the students worked in near silence. Finally, he looked up.
"You should be finishing step four by now," he said, letting everyone know that if you hadn't, the consequences would be severe. "Put the stasis spell on your cauldrons and move them to the shelves. We will finish this potion next class. Then clean up your workspace."
Healing potions, strengthening potions, weaponry… did no one understand they were actually preparing for the war that was inevitable. Almost unconsciously, he rubbed the sleeve covering his left forearm.
If she survived, if he survived, then he would give her time to finish growing up. Snape was confident in his powers of manipulation that he could play any positive feeling she had for him and turn it into something more. He didn't care she was Muggle-born, he dropped that nonsense years ago. She was an intelligent, powerful witch who was good-looking. Once she matured, she would make him a fine wife. All he had to do was wait and make sure they both survived.
The students were through cleaning up. Potter moved back to his regular seat next to Miss Granger. Snape glanced over the class again, looking for any infraction. Malfoy was lounging in his chair, a bored yet smug look on his face. Everyone else was looking at him expectantly.
"Two rolls of parchment on the difference between this draught and those that utilize poppies," he said. "Due next class." No one dared groan. "You are dismissed."
As the students began filing out, Snape called out, "Miss Granger, if you would remain."
He saw the look she and Potter exchanged before she motioned Potter on. Carrying her ridiculously overstuffed book bag, she returned to stand in front of his desk.
Snape waited until the door creaked closed. "Miss Granger, what are you plans after the NEWTS are over?" he asked smoothly.
"I'm not really sure yet, Sir," she said in an unexpected, timid candor. "I'm hoping to be taken on as an apprentice, but…"
He arched his eyebrow in silent question as he set his elbows on his desk and templed his fingers under his chin.
"You don't take apprentices," she finished in a rush.
"Miss Granger, do you realize the importance of the potions these classes are making?"
Hermione bit her lip for a moment, a habit he hoped age would cure. "Yes Sir, we're… we're preparing, Sir. Preparing…" her voice dropped, "for the war."
"Very good, Miss Granger," he replied calmly. "Should the Headmaster recommend you apprentice with me, I could hardly fight the suggestion."
Her eyes brightened and she held her breath for a moment. "Do you really think I could… I could become a Potions mistress, Sir?" she asked hopefully.
'And more,' he thought before speaking. "Yes, Miss Granger, I do. Though if you should repeat that, I shall be forced to deny it."
"Yes, Sir. I understand," she said, her eyes shining with exuberance. "Should I speak with Professor Dumbledore, Sir?"
"I shall suggest it to the Headmaster, Miss Granger," he replied. "You should know though, I have plans for you."
"Thank you, Professor Snape!" she said exuberantly. "I promise, I won't let you down."
"Very well, Miss Granger. I shall hold you to that. You may leave." He watched her depart as he twirled a quill in one hand.
'Yes, plans,' he thought. His mind conjured images of them, together, working over a cauldron. Then later, returning to their quarters, reading over Potions texts and Ars Alchemica before retiring to their marriage bed. And if she wasn't a particular lusty female, well, there were potions for that.
Hermione Granger was remarkably easy to manipulate with her love of learning. All it would take was safeguarding her for a few more years.
If they both survived, that is.
"Yes, Miss Granger," he whispered to the closing door. "I have great plans for you."
end chapter one
Author's Note: This is a first. It's my first trip on the Good Ship HG/SS and it's my first story that's not an NC-17. My muse is happy and hasn't killed any plot bunnies. Life is good.Remember, if you read, it's nice to review. If not here, then review someone else's work. Make it worthwhile for us who are forced to write by psychotic muses and scared plot bunnies. This story is completed in eight chapters and will be posted regularly.