Title: What Would You Do
Author: Unspoken Tragedy
Rating: PG-13 (just to be safe)
Spoilers: A few for book six.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Summery: What would you do, if you were me? If you're pregnant and poor and you know that you have no one to turn to? If you knew that sleeping with perverted old men is your only way to provide for your child?
Warning: This is an AU. Don't like, don't read.
A/N: Wow! I'm writing Harry Potter again! Be proud. The title is from the song by City High.
What Would You Do?
He sat at the bar silently, nursing his whiskey and rye and watching the other witches and wizards. Young girls propositioning far older men, wearing thick make up and revealing clothing, hoping to return home that night richer than they had left it.
The regulars knew well enough to avoid him. He wasn't interested in sex with a far younger stranger. He wasn't interested in paying for sex at all.
Men of all ages in varying states of inebriation, leering at the hookers and sometimes, the other men. Occaisionally one of them stumbled over to where he sat and attempted to engage his attention. He ignored them. It wasn't like he could even tell what they were saying, anyways.
He came here to unwind after a stressful week of teaching idiots and brewing potions. Get a bit tipsy, maybe. But he never really ever finished his first drink. He sighed. He had never been too keen on letting his guard down.
Suddenly, there were small hands on his cloak and soft words were whispered into his ear, "Hey, hun, want some company?" He stiffened, whirled around, breaking the girl's grip.
Then he froze. He could recognise that hair anywhere. "What the hell are you doing here, Miss Weasley?"
"Professor Snape!" she cried, her voice betraying her terror and confusion.
"Sit down," he snapped.
"I can explain…" she whimpered.
Ginevra avoided his eyes, folded her hands atop the bar counter. "A year ago, I would have never considered…" she gestured around them, "doing this, you have to believe me."
"I do." This simple proclamation seemed to bring her the courage to speak.
"At the end of last term I started dating an older boy in Gryffindor," she told him. "At first, it was great, but… after a few months he began pressuring me to go further than just kissing. I thought I loved him." She took a deep, shuddering breath. "He was my first. I didn't know much about protection and he didn't either… or at least that's what he led me to believe. We were lucky for a while."
The young girl sought out his eyes. "Two weeks ago, Madam Pomfrey performed a pregnancy test on me. She promised to tell no one of the results. I guess she didn't, 'cause my mum doesn't know yet."
He frowned. "You're pregnant, aren't you, Miss Weasley?"
She nodded, then started to cry a bit. "I was so scared. I knew my parents couldn't afford to help me raise my child. And they'll be so angry once they learn of it…" He handed her a black hankercief. She dabbed at her eyes. "I knew I had do something. Work's hard to find, for a girl like me."
"So you decided to sell yourself for money?" he bit out. "You have to know the dangers you are exposing yourself and your unborn child to!"
"I have no other choice! No other work has come up… and I can't let my child come into this world unprovided for." The redhead was crying again. "It's just so hard when everyone else has so much more than you. Even my best friends couldn't help but make me feel inferior.
"I don't want that for my child."
Severus was silent for a moment. Then, "And the father?"
She laughed bitterly. "Dumped me as soon as he found out. Told everyone I was cheating." He did remember some drama with the girl a couple of weeks prior, now that he thought about it.
"You must stop this at once, Miss Weasley. I won't let you do this to yourself. Or your child." He locked eyes with her.
"What would you do, if you were me? If you're pregnant and poor and you know that you have no one to turn to? If you knew that sleeping with perverted old men is your only way to provide for your child? Tell me!"
He took one of her hands. She blinked, surprised at the gesture. "I would find another way," he growled. The dark haired man looked down at his neglected drink. When he spoke again his voice was much gentler. "I understand that you are afraid. It'll only get more difficult from here on out, especially without the support of your child's father."
His eyes were on her again. "This is not the place for you, Miss Weasley."
Ginevra clutched his kercheif in the hand that he wasn't holding. "What do I do, Professor?"
"You come back to the school with me tonight. I will not tell the Headmaster of what I have seen here. I trust you will not return."
The girl frowned. "I can't promise you that. Without money…"
"You have always been good at Potions," Severus said. "And you are in your sixth year, which is the first year in which you can start an apprenticeship."
She began to laugh. He felt a stab of worry. "You're offering an apprenticeship to a pregnant whore?"
He shrugged. "You would be paid, of course. For doing real work."
"Thank you," she whispered, squeezing his hand.
Severus nodded as he stood, pulling the girl to her feet. "This isn't the place for either of us." Within seconds, he'd apparated them into the Forbidden Forest. He let go of her hand. "Come along, Miss Weasley. If we hurry we just may make it back by curfew."
They moved through the forest in silence. The Potions Master wondered briefly what the girl was thinking, but he let the silence pervail. He'd be hearing enough from her in the year to come.
They did make it back by curfew. Nevertheless, "Twenty points from Gryffindor for going into the Forbidden Forest."
He looked back at her. She seemed relieved. The professor had just given her a cover story. "We'll speak with Headmaster McGonagall about that apprenticeship tomorrow," he told her as he swept off toward the dungeons.
After he prepared himself for bed that night, he noticed a small note on his nightstand.
Thank you, Severus, it read. He smirked.
You're welcome, Albus. Now, if you could learn to take care of your Gryffindors yourself…
It is Done.
A/N: This story is based on a few major assumptions. That the war is over and Severus survived. That he was found innocent for the murder of Dumbledore. And that he returned to Hogwarts after all that.
Ginny was crying a lot in this fic. Sorry if that seems OOC to you. Blame it on the hormones. -grin-
Please review. Veggies (my plot bunny) would be very pleased if you do.