I am a bad monkey :D I know that I've been MIA for far too long, I've actually been trying to work on my own novels to get ready to submit to a publisher. However, my muse is once again on hiatus so I thought I would see about revisiting some of my fanfics. This is yet another rework of the first chapter for this one, I still wasn't happy with the ending. I hope you all enjoy it!
The dank air of the dungeons surrounded Hermione like a cold embrace causing goose bumps to rise along the exposed flesh of her forearms, her raw and aching fingers swollen as she once again thrust her arms almost elbow deep into the cold soapy water. A groan of frustration flowed from her pursed lips as the water sloshed noisily in the cauldron, a great deal of it splashing up over the sides effectively soaking her already cold feet and drenching the front of her school jumper. Wiping a trail of sweat that had trickled down from her brow and over the curve of her flushed cheek off on the shoulder of her jumper she released the stiff bristled brush into the murky water of the cauldron with a little more vigor than was entirely necessary, once again succeeding in sending a wave crashing down onto her shoes.
"Tell me, Miss Granger, are you intent on flooding the dungeons with your petulant tantrum?" came the crooning and caustic voice of the surly man who sat several feet away behind the broad mahogany desk that was littered with the pathetic essays of her peers.
"No Professor," Hermione managed to force out between clenched teeth, her voice pinched and grating as she scowled into the soapy water with such vehemence that had anyone seen it they would have shrunk back from the Head Girl in fear.
"Then do please try to keep at least some of the water in the cauldron. I believe you shall find it much more effective in your effort to clean the evidence of your fellow classmates ineptitude it if is not all over the floor" Professor Snape continued in his usual silken and yet ferociously biting tone.
"Yes, Sir," she replied in a voice that was equally cold and bitter, wiping her cheek once more against her shoulder before plunging her all but blistered hands back into the frigid water, the harsh soap causing the small cracks in her skin to throb and burn with discomfort. Biting back a small whimper of pain Hermione once again lost herself in the tedious chore of scrubbing cauldrons, mentally berating Harry and Ron for getting her into this mess while praying to Merlin that their detention with Filch was just as horrible and painful as her own.
Time seemed to pass with little meaning as Hermione slaved over the veritable mountain of potion encrusted and eroded cauldrons which she was almost positive Professor Snape had been saving for such an evening as this. It would seem that he had saved the most disgusting and foul smelling cauldrons for a detention that involved one of the Golden Trio, savoring each expression of disgust that she showed, each small groan of revulsion that managed to slip past her firmly closed lips, she knew without a doubt that as he sat in comfort behind his desk slashing his quill laden with brilliant red ink across one parchment after another that deep inside he was giggling gleefully like a child that had received precisely what they wanted for Christmas.
A startled squeak flowed over her lips as she jumped involuntarily when the heavy and smoke stained door to the potions classroom was suddenly swept open in a great flourish that almost matched that of the sour man occupying the one comfortable looking chair in the room. Unable to restrain her curiosity Hermione could not help but glance over her shoulder, through the haze of her sweat dampened hair under the pretense of wiping more moisture from her cheek with one of the few dry spots left on her jumper. The sight that befell her left her struggling to hold back a gasp of shock and dread as the always elegant and proud figure of Lucius Malfoy sauntered through the door, his ever-present sneer of superiority plastered across his undeniably handsome face. Sucking in a shallow breath of surprise Hermione attempted to listen over the furious pounding of her heart in her ears as the two men exchanged pleasant greetings.
"Ah Lucius, to what do I owe the pleasure of your visit?" the dark man asked in an even tone, his voice almost light and jovial, if that could at all be possible for a man that took delight in the fear and humiliation of others.
"Severus, I was simply paying a visit to Draco and thought I might stop by perhaps to share a drink with an old and dear friend," Lucius replied as he seemed to glide across the room, his footsteps sharp and clear as they rang out in the cavernous room, a friendly smile softening the pinched features of his face, bringing a small amount of youthfulness to his countenance. As Lucius drew closer to the great desk Severus rose fluidly to his feet, his heavy and voluminous teaching robes fluttering around him, so reminiscent of a great dark raven ruffling its feathers in a display of dominance that Hermione could not manage to stifle a snort of amusement, the small sound instantly bringing the gaze of both men swiveling around to settle most uncomfortably upon her.
Black polished orbs of obsidian narrowed with irritated scrutiny as they closed in on her, their gaze heavy and heated as though the fires of hell burned beyond their surface while a sneer of contempt flowed across the Potions Master's face, his lip curling back in an expression that was all too familiar to the young woman. The other gaze that alighted upon her was not entirely familiar yet just as disturbing, perhaps even more so than that of her Professor. Eyes the color of bitingly cold winter skies focused on her, glittering like freshly cut diamonds in the wan and constantly flickering torch light of the dungeons, that gaze so cold that it chilled her deep to the core causing her to shiver much to her own annoyance.
"Forgive me Severus, I was not aware that you had company," Lucius all but purred, his tone still full of silken promise yet containing less of its former camaraderie. A flush of indignation flooded into Hermione's cheeks, her eyes narrowing with anger as the flippant and barely masked insults flowed from the Professor's lips,
"Ah yes, one of Dumbledore's precious Golden Trio sent to endure suchterrible torture at the hands of the dour Potions Professor. Hardly a fitting punishment I feel for the enduring stupidity and blatant disregard for school rules that they continue to torment teachers with. But alas, the Headmaster will not allow me to dole out a more reasonable punishment, no matter how much the insolent know-it-all may deserve it." All the while Professor Snape firmly maintained eye contact with Hermione, his fathomless inky gaze conveying that he meant each jab and belittlement to the very core of his soul, his boundless dislike of her and hatred of her friends clearly evident in the bitter heat that poured forth in that simple connection.
Clenching her teeth together so firmly that a tremendous grating sound seemed to echo within her head Hermione desperately fought to hold back a scathing response, her eyes all but watering with the effort while her still dripping hands clenched into fists at her sides. Her withering glare aimed at the Potions Professor was effortlessly drawn away towards the light haired yet equally dark natured man at his side as Lucius made a pondering sound. It was barely little more than a soft murmur but enough to pierce Hermione's weak defenses, her warm honeyed gaze quickly settling upon the father of her most despised classmate.
"Sothis is the great and esteemed Hermione Granger," Lucius drawled as his eyes roamed over her appraisingly, his nose wrinkling slightly with a hint of disapproval. "Draco has told me much about her, or rather whined most petulantly about her, quite an unbecoming habit that the boy must be broken of I have to admit. It would seem she is quite the clever little witch," he carried on in dulcet tones, his voice even and smooth almost to the point of being sultry as he spoke, his lips moving fluidly in a way that could perhaps even be described as seductive.
"Indeed," Severus replied with an almost bored air, his arms causally crossing over his chest, one large yet delicate looking hand coming to rest beneath his chin, idly stroking the faint dark shadow that had begun to form over the course of the evening. "Even I must admit that she does possess a sharp wit and more than decent talent for memorizing tomes and lectures, but she lacks the self control and discipline necessary to become anything more than a mere glorified dicto-quill. It's a pity really, I had once thought her so promising but I fear she shall amount to little once her schooling is complete," he continued while maintaining direct eye contact with Hermione, a challenging smile tugging at the corners of his lips while he arched a black brow at her, daring her to speak out in her own defense.
Gritting her teeth ever more firmly until she was certain that she was going to break several of her teeth or at least have a horrible toothache come morning, Hermione curled her hands into tighter fists causing her nails as shortly cut as they were to bite into the flesh of her palms, leaving crescent shaped indentations in their wake.
"Hmm, yes she does seem to lack a certain amount of passion that is needed to truly excel in our world. As you said, such a pity," Lucius easily purred in response as he cast his eyes over her from head to toe once more, those diamond eyes seemingly cutting through Hermione's clothes and defenses as if he could see her completely, physically and emotionally.
A burning flood of heat rushed into Hermione's usually pale and freckled cheeks, the sudden change in color causing her gleaming eyes to stand out all the more against her skin, shinning brightly now like sinfully sweet milk chocolate dotted with tiny glittering flecks of gold. Grinding her teeth in frustration Hermione stood still as a statue, her heavy breaths that caused her chest to rise and fall beneath the confining heat of her jumper the only sign that she was indeed alive and not simply some nymph carved of the finest alabaster.
For several long moments she stood her ground, staring almost defiantly into the face of the Potions Master, the austere and darkly refined man at his side for the moment completely forgotten as a battle of wills was waged in the silent dungeon classroom. A smirk of dark amusement fluidly flowed across the sour man's face, his full lower lip curling back over his teeth while his dark eyes glittered dangerously beneath sleek coal black brows.
"Is there something you wish to say Miss Ganger?" he purred silkily in a tone that was almost soft, though the challenge was evident beneath the liquid cadence of his voice. He was baiting her, and she knew it, knew it as surely as she knew all the details ensconced withinHogwarts: A History, and yet although she knew it unwise to rise to his challenge, Hermione could not deny the overwhelming desire she felt to finally put the miserable man in his place, to stand up for herself and friends. Drawing in a deep breath Hermione clamped down on the urge to let a torrent of curses, berating remarks and accusations rain free from her lips, and instead simply clenched her teeth together all the more tightly and gave a sharp shake of her head.
"I thought not, pity that you lack the conviction to say the words that roil so aimlessly within your mind," Severus mused after making a soft sound of amusement as his hand rose lazily to curl around his chin, rubbing against the rough stubble there. Another long moment stretched out between them endlessly, honeyed brown eyes refusing to back down from glittering black orbs that threatened to swallow her whole, until finally Lucius could hold back his own sounds of amusement no longer. A deep and rumbling chuckle filled the air, rough and manly it floated on the almost non-existent breeze in the cool dungeons, his cold and mirthful eyes narrowed in good humor as he gazed between his oldest and dearest friend, and the young woman across the room, each of them radiating waves of tension and anticipation.
"Perhaps I should leave you two alone," he chuckled, his voice little more than a decadent purr as the wheels began turning in his ever calculating Slytherin mind. A loud and abrasive snort was the first response to come from Severus as his attention was momentarily drawn away from the infuriating and yet utterly intriguing young woman standing across from him. Narrowing his eyes in derision Severus cast a withering glance towards his school-time friend, finding little to laugh about in the situation though Lucius apparently was more than amused by the current proceedings.
"That will not be necessary, I assure you," Severus ground out a little more bitterly than he had intended, his shoulders instantly relaxing a little as he forced himself to take a long and calming breath. Turning cold and belittling eyes back towards Hermione, he said coolly,
"You may pack your things and go Miss Granger. Your services will no longer be needed this evening." Once again Lucius' deep and throaty chuckle hung in the air, bringing a certain degree of warmth to the dungeons, as he watched the young woman nod her head in stiff acknowledgement of her overbearing professor. He watched with keen interest as she moved fluidly about the clutter of cauldrons and buckets of dirty water around her, carefully and yet quickly gathering her belongings and donning the simple outer robe, while also perceiving from the corner of his eye that Severus too was watching the young woman, perhaps a little more closely than was entirely appropriate for a professor.
Lucius surveyed the gently swaying movement of Hermione's hips as she crossed the room making sure to give both men a wide berth as she approached the door, her unruly mass of curls reflecting the flickering torch light in an enchanting dance of light and shadow. It was with much difficulty that Lucius managed to suppress another rumble of laughter as the man at his shoulder said in a biting tone,
"I shall expect you at the same time tomorrow evening, Miss Granger, there are many more cauldrons waiting for you. Make sure that you are not late." A barely perceivable nod of her bushy head and a hoarsely spoken "Yes Professor," was the simple response that she gave before hurriedly ducking out of the door and disappearing into the darkened dungeon hallways.
"Insufferable girl," Severus grumbled as he turned swiftly on his heel once the trailing edge of Hermione's robes had vanished from the doorway, while Lucius lingered a moment longer gazing at the door deep in thought. He had heard many things of the young Miss Granger, her sharp intellect, unfaltering loyalty and ferocious thirst for knowledge were known of and discussed even within his circles of acquaintance. However, as he now stood and gazed at the closed door, the imprint of her visage stamped firmly upon his mind, Lucius could not help but wonder why his dear and long time friend had never spoken of the young woman's beauty.
"Insufferable though she may be to you, Severus, even you cannot deny a certainallure that she possesses," Lucius crooned softly as he turned away from the door and walked around the large dark desk that dominated the room and moved fluidly into Severus' private office.
"Don't be revolting, Lucius," Severus replied snidely as he shed the suffocating volumes of his ink black outer robes, carelessly draping them over the back of the leather chair behind his desk and stalked towards the small liquor cabinet beside the fireplace. "She is the same age as Draco, not to mention one of the insipid and constantly irritating Golden Trio," he continued as he drew two finely cut crystal glasses from the cabinet as well as a decanter of brandy. Pausing for a moment he looked to Lucius who gave a small nod in answer to the unasked question, before pouring equal amounts of brandy into each glass.
Settling himself comfortably into one of the dark green leather armchairs in front of the fire, while retaining an air of superiority and upper class grace, Lucius watched through half closed lids as Severus handed him a glass before seating himself in the opposite chair.
"That may be the case dear friend, but even you cannot deny the curves on that one," Lucius purred with a wicked smile clinging to his thin pale rose lips, his crystal eyes gleaming with mischief. Half-heartedly stifling his snort of disagreement with a long slow sip from his glass, Severus shook his head slowly.
"There are many far more appealing members of the student body I can assure you, Lucius," he replied as he closed his eyes and laid his head back against the cool leather of the chair.
"Been paying close attention to your students have you, friend?" Lucius asked with a smirk of amusement that only deepened all the more as he watched a similar expression blossom on his counterparts face.
"I neither confirm nor deny that statement," Severus mused quietly as he opened his eyes just enough to glance at his blonde friend through his charcoal lashes. Chuckling, Lucius settled farther back into his chair, the leather warming deliciously around him from the heat of the fire that burned brightly in the small grate by his feet.
"And you call me a lecherous old man," he murmured in mock offense, his eyes flashing with mirth in the firelight as he watched Severus chuckle darkly, his full bottom lip glistening with brandy.
"Mmm, and you have never denied it," Severus replied smoothly, his fingers idly stroking the cool crystal glass as it rested forgotten upon his knee.
"Just as you have never admitted it," was the warm laughing reply he received as Lucius rose languidly from his chair and moved to refill his glass, offering a top-up to Severus who remained slouched in his chair, a faint smile of amusement playing on his lips as he absently raised his glass.
After refilling both their glasses Lucius moved around Severus' chair, letting his long pale fingers glide almost lovingly over Severus' black tresses and across his snow white cheek in a gentle caress.
"I know you miss it," Lucius murmured softly as he continued around the side of Severus' chair, passing in front of the fire to stand before his oldest friend, depositing his refilled glass upon a nearby table in the process.
"Miss what?" Severus responded, his voice fluid and loose, baring no signs of the acerbic tone it normally held. He continued to sit slouched in his chair, his legs idly spread as he gazed up at the older man with gleaming eyes, the brandy already buzzing through his system, relaxing his muscles and his typically stiff demeanor.
"The chase, the hunt, the thrill of ensnaring your prey," Lucius answered, his own voice filled with a deep warmth and teasing sensuality as he stepped into the space between Severus' legs and laid his hands upon the back of the chair on either side of his head.
"Perhaps," he said slowly, his tone ponderous as he raised his glass to his lips, the warm scent of the amber liquid swirling just beneath his hooked nose, somehow drawing an imagine of Miss Granger to his mind. The fiery glint of her eyes as she stared him down in anger, the dark cinnamon color of her ridiculously uncontrollable mass of hair, the faint trail of freckles that crept over the bridge of her nose like fairy footprints.
"Come now, there are no secrets between us," Lucius whispered, his voice almost lost in the crackle of the nearby fire as he leant towards Severus, his impressive height casting a shadow over the still slightly distant man. "I can see it in your eyes. That old desire that never goes away, the craving for young flesh. Untouched. Unsoiled. Pure," he continued, each word accompanied by a further descent until his lips hovered barely an inch from Severus, their warm breath mingling in the space between them. "You want her," he added finally, his voice grown rough and breathless as visions of the young woman in question danced through his mind.
"Yesss," Severus hissed, his eyes heavily lidded as he closed the small distance remaining between them, lingering a hare's breath away, feeling the soft caress of Lucius' breath flowing across his face, playing along the edge of his lips.
"We shall take her together," Lucius murmured, his words swallowed eagerly by the man beneath him, a sharp nip to his lower lip the only confirmation he needed as the plan to seduce the delectable Miss Granger began to evolve in his mind.