A/N: Yeah . . . so I noticed there weren't many stories for the Severus/Pansy ship, and I wanted to try something new. . . as you can tell, the writing's not really my usual style, but it seemed to fit with Snape's personality (i know it's going to sound awkward in a few places; deal with it or correct me). Anyway, it's just a short fic, gonna be somewhere between 2 and 4 chapters. R&R
There it was, that voice; quiet, so quiet and hesitant to speak up in the frightened silence of his classroom. Hesitant, because everyone around her held their breath with rapturous repose. In such a distinct stillness it was impossible for him not to hear her; but it was not yet the voice he wanted to hear, that special voice reserved for impassioned, urgent murmurings, for the recitation of cruel words, and, more recently, for his classroom.
So he ignored her. He kept his back turned, fingers flying deftly over the labels of the numerous ingredients on his shelves, searching for something that didn't exist quite yet. He waited.
Cautiously, she gave a little cough.
With his back still turned to her, Severus Snape allowed himself a cruel curl of the lip, sneering. A cough? Was that supposed to get his attention? Oh, no; she would have to do much more than that. This little psychosomatic game could hardly be won so easily.
No. She would have to speak. She would have to use that particular voice. Nothing less. Otherwise, she wasn't worth the attention.
Giving a tiny, self-satisfied nod of the head, he let his fingers wander. Truthfully, if someone were to describe to him Pansy Parkinson's voice, they would not have compared it to honey. They would not have said it was as sonorous as a lark's call on a morning in spring, nor would they compare it to the sweetness of silver bells. They would say, very bluntly, very unapologetically, that when the girl opened her mouth to speak, she simpered. Not "crooned" or even "wheedled"— "simpered". She whined adoringly, cattily. It was done, really, for the benefit of others: for Draco, (the prestigious and well-crafted ex-boyfriend) so that he could feel imperious in her presence; for her blood-thirsty posse, so that she might seem to them a deceptively powerful ringleader for their sadistic schemes; for everyone else, so that they may find yet another reason to despise her. And as long as she gave them these tokens, no one was going to say anything different about her. It was that simple. Her simple disguise. It was that manner— so blatantly false, so outrageously poor a mask it was a wonder anyone believed it— that allowed her to maintain her status. It gave her a special place in everyone's book, a character trait they tucked away, cataloged, and cemented into their minds; they used it as a quick reference, a way to sum her up, and she was comfortable letting them do so. This mask-voice was kept in place at all times.
Except in the presence of older men.
Having been forced to attend several of the most recent Malfoy family soirees, Alexander had gotten his hands on a large amount of time during which to observe this. And, through a study, he found not only did her voice have a taste for older men, it had in older men as well— a very exquisite taste, too. If she was forced to converse with the intellectually challenged lackeys of Lucius Malfoy, Crabbe or Goyle Sr. (though "converse" was, perhaps, too educated a term for their mode of interaction) she maintained with an impossibly radiant pride that adoring whine. However, when standing next to the wealthy and notorious Rudolphus Lestrange, her voice changed entirely. It thickened, smoothed its intangible body into something goddess-like. Junoesque. It coated itself with a rich layer of bittersweetness, a dessert so expressly forbidden it might as well have been an apple from the Tree of Knowledge.
And, when Narcissa was entertaining guests and Draco was no where to be found, Miss Parkinson took the opportunity to slink over to Lucius; it was there, reveling in the partial anonymity of the party that they both retreated into a world of intrinsic banter. She might sneak up behind him, casually lean close and whisper into his ear; he would then shoot back a stoic reply from those lips, thin but strangely enigmatic, without turning to her. By this time Severus would manage to be within six feet of them, close enough to hear the overture before the pauses gave way to real conversation. And theirs was an opera in a private language, secret and silky. Lucius Malfoy purred sensually as they danced or meandered about. And, when Miss Parkinson answered him back, her voice was the most delectable of dark chocolates, let to bake in the sun and filled with caramelized ambrosia.
Her voice had a preference for older men: older, attractive, married men— which did little to explain why, lately, he found himself on the receiving end of it with increasing frequency.
Behind him, Pansy Parkinson's petit mouth gave a tiny sigh.
And it was here that class let out at last. Having been jarred by the onset of one of his infamous moods, some of the students were so eager to get out that they were on their feet even before the bell rang; though he didn't bother to call them on it, he knew that some had been craning around to watch the clock, others around them counting down the seconds by heart from their own internal one. There was a resounding scuff of wooden chair legs on high-gloss linoleum floor; the open door let in the rushing sound of students filtering through the hallways, though it was only a matter of seconds before the room itself was entirely silent.
All the students were gone. Only Miss Parkinson remained.
And it was then, as the door closed and cut off the outside sounds, that she dropped the dim guise and let her voice carry over to him:—
His fingers halted. Ah. There it was.
He lowered his hands and turned to face her.
Her gaze was more or less unwavering, blue-brown eyes infused with enough gall to look half-impatient. Her hair, cut short to reveal her long neck, framed a face that at a younger age had been called cute, now with an acquired underlying potential for cruelty. A single strand of inky hair had curled upwards to touch the corner of her mouth, and Severus resisted the urge to brush it away.
"Yes?" he drawled.
Her almond eyes narrowed a fraction and she swiped that tantalizing strand away from her mouth.
Severus' fingers curled.
"I have to talk to you about my test, Professor."
A test. The way she said it, she might as well have been asking him to sleep with her.
"Are you referring to the one that the class took yesterday," he asked lightly, "Or the one that you failed to show up for last week?"
Placing each hand lightly on the desktop, he eased into his chair, settling himself. Without breaking her gaze— without even blinking— he squared his shoulders and, with as much grace as he had taken to sit down, crossed his arms over his chest, leaning his elbows on the desk, hazel eyes calculating.
"You know well that I do not allow my students to make up tests unless they are absent due to illness or injury. It can hardly be helped if you decide not to grace my class with your presence."
That could have been a crease in her eyebrow then, a tiny change as her eyes narrowed another millimeter, which was more emotion than she usually showed. Compared to the results of his impatience, Severus Snape's biting, derisive manner didn't bother the majority of his students, least of all Pansy Parkinson, Draco Malfoy, and the rest of the rich Slytherin elitists. What could possibly be putting her on such an edge?
"I know," she replied, voice sending a tremor through him, like the primary waves of an earthquake. "But I was hoping you'd display some of that Slytherin favoritism you're so famous for and lend me the privilege."
Words become rocks in his throat. He swallowed. Hers was a perfect drawl, more distinguished than even his own. It lilted and stung pleasantly, and. . . .
Had that been a jest in her tone?
If so, it was jocularly voluptuous.
In a subtle gesticulation of entreatment, she pressed against his desk, leaning forward. Probably taking his pensive silence for begrudging contemplation, she implored him, voice like a phantom hand passing through a curtain of fog:—
"Please, Professor Snape?"
He couldn't decide in that moment whether or not it would be entirely appropriate to swoon. It was a tempting notion: the creamy rich syllables were all sugar-sweet morsels she wrapped her tongue around. He had only heard this specific edge once before, once when he was eavesdropping on a duet between her and Lucius. It was her richest secret by far. . . .
And she was extending it to him?
Her unusual eyes, crystal blue with secretive brown centers, engulfed him with their determination.
Exhaling, Severus gave a carefully reluctant sigh. With that sigh he let her know full and well that she'd won, and this alone made her face shine with a private, mirthful triumph. In that instant, the voice disappeared and gave way to a subdued but still girlish gush.
"Thank you, Professor—"
"You may come take your test tomorrow evening at 8:00 sharp, Miss Parkinson. If you are so much as a minute late, you can consider your request denied and you will receive a detention for wasting my time. Clear?"
She sobered instantly.
"Of course, Professor," she said nodding.
And with that, he unsympathetically told her to get out of his sight, leaving him alone with his books and empty chairs, with his thoughts and lingering questions.
Yeah. So he's fascinated, but also kind of annoyed with her. It just seems to fit.