Well I have for you here an extra long chapter to make up for my lack of updates this past month :) I hope you like it, I had a TON of fun writing it. Also, I noticed that I can now create a forum for my stories and such so if y'all would like me to set one up I will. That way I could update you more often on how chapters are coming and more readily answer any questions that you may have. Other than that, there's not much for me to say this time round. Next chapter shouldn't take long to get out :) And I hope you all like this. And as always, Read and Review. Hearing for you all helps get the chapters out faster :)
It had been an extraordinarily boring week for Hermione. Severus had sent an owl on Monday saying that there was no need for them to meet up that night since they were going to be doing something different at the end of the week. Although she wanted to find him and ask him what was going to be so different, she was grateful for the break.
At the moment Hermione had more work than she knew what to do with. It was nearly as much as she'd had in third year, though this time she didn't have a time turner to help her out. She hadn't been in the common room much as things with Remus and the others were still quite frosty. She didn't dare go near the library in case she ran into Severus and it was far to cold to be going outside. So she had spent nearly all of her time up in the room she shared with Lily, her nose stuck deep inside of a book.
Dumbledore had been lucky enough to find what he suspected was the code to the journal and so Hermione spent what time she could spare from her homework trying to figure it out. It was going to be a slow process, especially since Hermione couldn't seem to find much time to work on it. Though she had to admit, part of her wanted to take as long as she could. Over the past few months she had grown quite close with Lily and it was difficult to work on a getting back to her time when she knew that she was really working towards going back to a time when her new best friend was dead.
There had been a moment during the week when Hermione had been working on the journal and Lily had come busting through the door with some long story about what the Marauders had done recently to earn detention and Hermione found it difficult not to bust out into tears.
Yes, things were frosty with the boys but how in the world was she supposed to say goodbye to them now? How was she supposed to simply disappear and let Peter destroy all of their lives? It was most certainly going to be the most difficult day of her life.
Though most days it was easy to put those thoughts away in the back of her mind, especially when Remus was refusing to make eye contact. Hermione knew that things would be different once she and Remus broke up, but she never expected things to be this bad. After all, he had been the one to break up with her, he had no right to act as though he was the victim.
"Meeting up with Snape again tonight?" Lily asked as she walked into their room.
"Yeah," Hermione checked the time, "I should be leaving in a bit."
"Remus isn't down there," Lily said as she caught sight of Hermione's worried expression.
"I wouldn't mind if he was," Hermione answered unconvincingly.
Lily didn't respond, only shot Hermione a look that spoke of how much she didn't believe her.
"I didn't do anything to him so there's no reason why I should feel guilty meeting up with Severus."
"Well you are snogging him," Lily smiled.
Hermione blushed instantly, "Snogged. And I only did so after Remus broke up with me so there's no reason why I should feel guilty about meeting up with Severus."
"And yet you do."
Hermione buried her face in her hands. "When did my life get so complicated?" She moaned.
"I think it may have started when you managed to get yourself stranded twenty years in the past," Lily laughed.
"Yes but it was my choice to start snogging my professors." Hermione added lamely.
"I'm sorry?" Lily whipped around to face Hermione looking surprised, "Your professors?"
Hermione let out a groan, "I never told you that, did I?"
"No," Lily smiled, "and now you're going to tell me everything."
"Remus was only my professor for one year so with him it wasn't too bad but with Severus," Hermione dropped off.
"What? Was he a teacher that you always fancied or something?" Lily joked.
"No," Hermione answered back quickly, unsure of how much to tell Lily. She didn't want to give too much of the future away although, Hermione thought bitterly, it wasn't as though Lily was going to be alive to see any of it. "He was always so much more that cruel. He loathed anyone that wasn't from Slytherin but he hated those in Gryffindor most. I usually felt the brunt of it, along with a couple of others. His an old, vile, cruel, untrustworthy man from my time. I know he's not exactly cheerful now, but I still have no idea how he went from this to the man that I've known. If it was just a matter of getting used to the idea of snogging Severus, I think I could. But I'm not sure if I'll ever be alright with the idea of kissing Professor Snape."
Lily was quiet for a while, looking thoughtful, before she spoke up, "Well were you planning on continuing your relationship with Remus once you got back?"
"No," Hermione answered almost without thinking.
"So why should you not have some fun snogging Snape? Whatever he is in the future, that's still twenty years from now. And perhaps it will give you something to tease him about when you do go back."
Hermione smiled despite the sadness that she had begun to feel as she always did when she they talked of her going back. "How do you always manage to find something good in every situation?"
"It's a gift," Lily beamed.
Hermione laughed as she checked the time, she should have left to see Severus five minutes ago.
"I'm going to be late," She said quickly as she gathered her things.
"Don't forget a breath freshening charm before you start snogging!" Lily shouted loudly as Hermione ran out the door.
Her cheeks flushed with red as she walked down into the common room and then immediately drained of color when she caught the look on Remus' face. He wasn't supposed to be in the common room. For a moment it looked as though perhaps he wanted to say something cruel and Hermione quickened her pace out of the common room. Whatever Remus wanted to say, he could keep it to himself. He lost the right to say anything to her the night he sent that letter.
She was a mix of odd feelings as she walked towards her meeting place with Severus. Having to speak to Severus again after the snogging last week was going to be interesting and the idea of having to talk about it made butterflies appear in her stomach. Her conversation with Lily had brought about nothing but more confusion. She did enjoy kissing Severus but she still couldn't get the idea of who exactly he was going to become out of her head. Soon, very soon, he was going to dedicated his life to You-Know-Who and become a Death Eater and there was no way to sugar coat that. And seeing Remus looking like that had made her feel, well, she still wasn't quite sure what that had made her feel. She was angry, yes, but there was something else too. Sadness? Shame? Perhaps even a touch of guilt?
Though she was innocent of ever cheating, she couldn't say that Remus had been overreacting. Yes, he should have trusted her, but everything she had done lately seemed to prove that he had been right all along.
Severus' voice seemed to lack some of its usual sharpness, Hermione thought as she walked inside and avoided his gaze, or was she just imagining it?
"Aren't I always?" She answered back sarcastically.
"Unfortunately yes," Severus shot back.
Apparently it wasn't her imagination.
"So what are we doing?" She asked as she gazed around the room, trying to guess, while still avoiding Severus' face.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Severus wave his wand around and mutter something under his breath. A large table appeared in the middle of the room and as she walked towards it, she could hear Severus rummaging around in a bag. After a few moments he placed a cauldron in front of her and carefully unpacked the rest of the materials in the bag.
"So we're making a potion?"
"Your powers of deduction are incredible," Severus sneered as he began to place a number of ingredients in front of her, some she recognized and some she didn't.
She felt the left side of her body grow warm, reacting to the closeness of his arm as he laid things out in front of her. She loathed the involuntary reaction.
"What are we going to be making?" She asked, trying to sound harsher than she normally would. Even though Snape didn't know what sort of reaction he had gotten from her, she felt as though she needed to compensate for it.
"Does it matter?" He answered calmly.
"Of course it does," She snapped quickly.
He placed a bit of parchment in front of her with directions on how to make the mystery potion. She read over them quickly, thinking that perhaps it was something that she could recognize.
"Unless I am greatly mistaken, you wont recognize this potion."
"You don't know everything about me," Hermione answered lamely as she met his eyes for the first time that night.
Hermione thought how strange it was that Severus was able to smile without ever having to move his lips.
"According to Dumbledore, we should not just be focusing on spells, but potions as well. This comes from a very rare book of mine so unless you have been sneaking into my room at night to read it, you will not know what we are making."
Hermione couldn't think of a smart answer, so she kept her mouth quiet. So Dumbledore thought she should know about potions as well? Perhaps he had found something, a potion, that would help her get back. But if he had, then why hadn't he told her about it?
"You can start if you wish," Severus instructed from his spot beside her.
He was standing too close for Hermione's comfort and at the sound of his voice, the left side of her body began to grow warm again. She moved her head so that her hair hid her blush and she read the first few instructions.
Years of being Snape's student had prepared her for this moment and it was not too difficult to read his nearly illegible handwriting. Though due to recent events, she felt the need to insult Severus as much as she could.
"Are you sure you're not part troll?" She sneered as she moved her face closer to the parchment, as though she was having trouble reading.
"Unfortunately for you, I am not," Severus responded easily and Hermione noticed that he wasn't reading from a parchment, "or else I would have been just your type, wouldn't I?"
Hermione's lips formed a tight line on her face and she tried to keep herself from scratching his eyes out and she went back to focusing on her potion. Though she was angry at the way he was speaking to her, she was quite glad that he hadn't brought up what had happened the last time they had met.
She knew that she should still be angry with him for forcing her to kiss him while she was under his control but she wasn't. Instead she felt nothing but relief that he seemed to want to gloss over what had happened just as much as she did.
They continued to work silently for the next half an hour with Hermonie making occasional glances over at Severus and his cauldron. While his was a deep, thin red that could have easily been mistaken for boiling blood, hers was a pale shade of purple and was nearly as thick as glue. Something had to be wrong but there was no way she was going to give Severus the satisfaction of asking for help. Besides, she was following the instructions exactly, if something was wrong, it was his fault not hers.
"Your potion is off color," Severus remarked, moving closer to her cauldron.
"If it is, it's your fault, I'm following your instructions perfectly," Hermione answered quickly.
A small smirked crossed Severus' face, "You always do."
This time, Hermione could not hide the blush that exploded on her face and she longed to slap Severus smartly across his face.
"You're stirring to forcefully," Severus said finally, though he could not keep the smile off of his face or out of his voice. Her blushing must have amused him greatly.
"I am not!" Hermione defended rather weakly.
"Then show me how you are stirring, about three passes should do." He instructed.
Hermione stirred her cauldron three times, doing her best to concentrate on being smooth. Though that was hard, given the closeness of Severus and the embarrassment she was still feeling.
"As I said, you're doing it too forcefully."
When she noticed Severus making a move towards her she backed away quickly which only made his smile wider. "You have two choices. I could show you how to do this properly or I could curse you again and instruct you that way. Though the first would be quicker, I am quite partial to the second, just as you seemed to be last time."
She couldn't help it. She didn't even remember telling her hand to move. But in a flash it had moved across Severus' face and Hermione noticed happily that his cheek was red now too. Unfortunately her slap seemed to do nothing to darken his mood.
"This would be so much simpler if you just admitted that you want to snog me again," Severus smiled.
"I snogged you against my will," Hermione half shouted, "don't delude yourself into thinking that I want to do it again."
"I may have forced you last time, but you came to me willingly on New Years."
"Temporary insanity," Hermione claimed.
Severus raised an eyebrow, "And tonight? You can't come within twelve inches of me without blushing."
"Did you ever think that perhaps it's simply due to the fact that you make my skin crawl?" Hermione bit back. She did not like the way this conversation was going and she wanted to end it as quickly as possible.
Severus closed the gap between them before Hermione could react or pick up her wand. His hand was gripped tightly on her waist and pulled her tightly against him while the other traced a faint line along her arm. "Do I?" He whispered against her ear.
She willed herself to pull out of his grasp, to push him away, to curse him so harshly he never came near her again but something stilled her hand. She felt the rumble in his chest before she heard the strange noise coming from his mouth. Severus was laughing! The noise hardened Hermione's resolve and she managed to push him away, though she could still not bring herself to grab her wand.
"You're vile." She spat.
"Yes," Severus answered, still laughing quietly.
"You're cruel and unbearable and infuriating," Hermione continued, pouring as much venom into her voice as she could.
"You're vindictive and ugly and an insufferable know-it-all."
"Yes," Severus smiled as he moved towards her again.
Hermione stood still where she was, not backing away, not moving any closer. "I hate you," She sneered.
"As I hate you," Severus replied, closing the gap between them.
She felt his hands on her waist, gripping a bit harder than she would normally like. It didn't seem as though he would allow her to push him away again, even if she wanted to. And although she was loathe to admit it, she didn't want to.
"You're a good snog." She said quietly, her eyes staring right into his, daring him to taunt her.
And once again, she found Severus smiling without the use of his mouth, "As are you," he whispered quietly before putting his mouth to much better use.