A/N: If you've read my other stories, you will soon discover that this is very different from what I normally write. This is my attempt at writing a darker fic. Although I am posting these here in groups of three, I wanted to include the titles for each of the twelve sections as they are the only way the story relates to the challenge. They are not included in the word count.

A huge thank you to the members at GrangerSnape100. Your enthusiastic response to this story gave me the courage to post it here.

The Twelve Dark Days of Christmas
by sshg316


Twelve Ashwinder Eggs

The ill-lit room was silent but for the hissing, sputtering brew in the small black cauldron. After turning down the flame, the hook-nosed man began to meticulously add the next ingredient.

"It is vital that the Ashwinder eggs be frozen, Miss Granger," he intoned, "and exactly twelve in number. Any less, and the Amortentia will not be effective. Any more, and the consumer will perish. Tempting though it may be, death is not the objective of our work this evening."

He turned to face the frightened, young witch he had magically bound and silenced.

"No, that wouldn't do at all."

Eleven Self-Recriminations

Hermione was terrified. She should have known that dealing with Severus Snape, former Death Eater and Head of Slytherin, would be disastrous. She had believed he…. Well, it no longer mattered what she had believed. Now, she was in this squalid cellar, trapped inside her own body, thanks to an amazingly strong Body-Binding Curse, completely at his mercy. Amortentia. What was he planning to do with that? She had already said she loved him, and he had immediately withdrawn from her. Why was he doing this?

"Because, my darling," he drawled, having obviously read her thoughts, "it will never last."

Ten Leaves of Peppermint

Severus smirked grimly at the astonishment in Hermione's eyes. "Surely you don't believe that such a fickle thing as love would last forever." He shook his head in mock reproach as he prepared the peppermint leaves. "We both know that you would have eventually recognised the sort of man to whom you had so foolishly chosen to bestow your affections, and then where would we be, hmm?"

After adding the peppermint to the brew, he Charmed the stirring rod.

"The potion must be stirred for several minutes." His black eyes glittered menacingly. "Whatever could we do to pass the time?"