CHAPTER 17

Yay, another update and this chapter is HOT, HOT, HOT. Enjoy dear readers and review, no flames please :)


*Rose's POV*

Oh no! What have I done? I actually kissed him! He must think I'm a nutter, or easy. Shit! Stupid hormones, stupid effing idiot! I hope Voldemort doesn't detect anything strange and find out about Snape. It would have been all my fault. Oh, please, please, let him be back safe and sound. Stupid hormones! ...

*end*

And so was Rose's current dilemma as she sat cross-legged on the armchair facing the door, biting her nails industriously. She was sick with worry at the thought of Voldemort discovering Snape's secret. She hoped that no harm would come to Snape, recalling her dream the previous night. She also hoped that Snape would not bring any ill news of her friends. She often wondered how they were, what they were doing, if they were safe, but she had no way of knowing. She missed them dreadfully, and longed to hug them and never let go. They were the only true family she had ever known, and she would readily give her life for their safety. Yet here she was isolated from them, worried sick about her friends, the Weasleys, the Order and Snape to boot! At Snape's memory she recalled the kiss. Anxious as she was she couldn't help relish the thought of the kiss which gave her as much pleasure as vexation. She recollected the softness and warmth of his lips, the strands of his hair caressing her face and his nose pressed against her cheek. The kiss had left a tingling sensation on her lips, a sensation which still pervaded. She wondered whether Snape would be angry, and if so, to what degree.

At that moment she heard footsteps outside, a slight shuffling and then the door's familiar creak. There stood Snape. His eyes were downcast and he seemed oblivious to her presence. His brow was knotted in worry and his eyes bore a haunted look. Rose shuddered as she saw him, and was suddenly fearful of any news he had.

As Severus entered deeper into the room he raised his head and finally caught sight of the girl, sitting nervously, studying him. She meekly rose out of the chair.

"What happened?" was all she whispered

Snape was exhausted and sat down in the nearest chair. He messaged his temple, trying to straighten his thoughts, and finally answered.

"The ministry has fallen, the minister was killed today by Voldemort. They have taken over. Hogwarts too is in their power. The dark lord has just assigned me headmaster of Hogwarts."

Rose was taken aback at the news of the ministry and was suddenly even more worried for Mr Weasley, Kingsley Shackleboth and the rest, having to work within such a corrupt and lethal institution, managed by death eaters. The news of Snape's promotion however gave her courage.

" You can protect the students if you are headmaster..." she stated looking questioningly at Snape.

"I can try but Voldemort has made the Carrows my deputies and heads of discipline. Alecto and Amycus Carrow are as sadistic as they come, they will torture and maim at will. I won't be able to stop them completely, otherwise the dark lord will get suspicious. "

"When must you take over?"

"Tomorrow I am to go to Hogwarts and settle some things. He requires me to make some changes at Hogwarts. Abolish muggle studies and introduce dark arts. I have no other choice. You can't stay here either, I won't be able to communicate with you otherwise."

"Where must I go? "

" You must come with me to Hogwarts. You must stay in the room of requirement, and only there. You will NOT go out for ANY reason, do I make myself clear?"

The last was spoken sternly. With a barely discernible bow of the head, Rose consented to his wishes. As Snape rose from his seat he resumed his instructions.

"You are to pack all your things and you are to be awake at 5am, not a minute later. By 5:30 am we must be off. I will prepare a portkey for you, which will take you directly to the castle, whilst I will personally deal with your belongings. You are to wear your invisibility cloak at all times and follow me closely into the castle. Once there you must make your way quickly to the room of requirement and stay there, unless instructed otherwise. Now I suggest that you go to bed. Good night miss Potter."

With those last words, he rose from the chair and brushed past her. She on the other hand, turned and grabbed his arm, stopping him in his tracks. He turned his head towards her hand and asked exasparatedly:

"Is there something else you require? Further instructions perhaps?"

"About earlier, I..." Rose faltered, she couldn't bring herself to mention the kiss.

"There's nothing to discuss, Good night, miss Potter."

With that he shrugged her off and took off in the direction of the mini potions lab. Rose felt suddenly incensed at his dismissal, and against her better judgement followed him down. As she stormed into the lab, Severus Snape had just shrugged off his robes and was in the process of rolling his sleeves up.

"Professor I insist upon talking to you"

At that Snape turned, incredulous at her persistence. His look of disbelief was however quickly replaced by that of irritation.

"What, miss Potter, do you want now? I am exceedingly busy and you insist upon wasting my time with your jibber jabber."

The vein in his temple was throbbing and his pupils were dilated, but Rose was unfazed and strode further into the room, decisively. " I have to explain about earlier, the kiss..."

Snape cut off her words, dismissing her:

" There's nothing to explain, a mistake, that's all, it never happened, already forgotten. Now can I get back to work?"

Rose stood there indignant "It was no mistake professor, I don't regret it"

Snape was momentarily stunned by her assertion. He tried to shrug it off.

" You're confused, it shouldn't have happened. Once more, I insist, go to bed."

At this he grabbed her shoulders and stirred her toward the door. She pulled away, turning to face him.

" Yes, I am confused, about why I survived sixteen years ago, why I can see into Voldemort's thoughts and about a myriad other things, but I am certain of one thing, and that is that I love you. Don't ask me why, but I do. I can't bear the thought of losing you, as much as I can't bear the thought of losing Ron and Hermione. I understand that you can't stand me, but I can't change the way I feel for you!"

At the realisation of what she had just said, Rose clamped her mouth shut. Snape just stood there motionless, his face unreadable. She had never admitted her fellings to herself before, and here she had just blurted them out to Snape.

Severus' eyes betrayed no hint of emotion but just as Rose was about to turn away, he started lowering his head towards hers, his eyes fixed on her own. She did not flich, or shy away, but stood her ground as his face approached her own. She closed her eyes and felt his nose stroke her cheek as his lips brushed her own. The kiss deepened as she felt his hand at her waist, whilst with the other he stroked her neck. She then raised her own hands to grasp his shoulder with one, entwining her other in his hair. She felt elated, lost in this kiss. His warmth and closeness making her weak at the knees, hear mind was a blur. Momentarily she forgot everything, the fear, the ministry, the deatheaters, ... Voldemort. It was just him and her.

As all good things, the kiss came to an end. His lips parted from her own, with his face halting momentarily retaining the closeness. Rose opened her eyes, to look directly into the potion's master's own. His nose touching her own, Rose nudged his playfully. At this he lowered his forehead to rest against her own as he caressed her face with his caloused hands. His touch was surprisingly feather light. Rose turned her face sideways to plant kisses on his fingers, all the while looking into his eyes. He then strightened back up and stepped away from her.

"You must go now, it's getting late."

"I could stay here." She said as she stepped closer to him.

"Please, go, I have limits to my self control but it is currently tethering at the edge. It would be far safer and better for you to leave now, before I do something that both you and I will regret."

With that Rose took his hand in her own, kissing it quickly uttering a simple " I would not regret it" , before turning away to leave. At the door she turned one last time to smile affectionately at him before proceeding toward her room, leaving a bemused and breathless potions master behind.