A/N: Goodness, what has it been?! A month again, sorry. I was just really lazy and I got to reading other HP/DM fan fiction and then I was like "Oh, I'll finish typing this tomorrow." And lo and behold I never did. Anyways, as you guys voted: Snape is to unclasp Hermiones legs (But it's not gonna be that easy)
Disclaimer: The usual.
Pristine. He wished he could say this moment was perfect, but it wasn't. Snape was fighting against his better judgment and he'd never had to fight his better judgment. As it was now, he should have been finished correcting papers and making the potions that Dumbledore had requested and lord knew he had to make a lot. Nobody knew what would happen in the upcoming war, but Snape knew that it wouldn't be easy to win. People would die; people would squirm in pain and all Snape could do was make potion after potion in order to keep busy – for both sides.
If he was in the war, Voldemort would see what side he was actually serving. He couldn't risk that. He wasn't ready to die. Years ago, he was ready to lay down in a coffin, but now that he had a common purpose, he wanted to live through it.
It made sense, didn't it?
"Miss Granger, please…" It had been long since he's pleaded and for different reasons. He'd pleaded to be trusted, to be saved, and to help and now he was pleading for a woman to get off him. He honestly, didn't think his life was a joke right now, but that was all sarcasm. His life was becoming a bigger joke than he could handle.
Her head was pressed closely against his cheek. She could feel the bristles on his face scraping against her face, but that brought a comfort she wasn't willing to give up as yet. Her arms were wrapped loosely around his neck and getting tighter by the minute while her legs were weakening considerably because of his squirming.
Sensing his obvious distraught, she spoke in a comforting tone. "Please, what?"
"You bloody well know what! Just-just get off, will you?" It wasn't a question. It was a command, but it was obvious, he had no authority right now and he didn't like that fact.
When neither of them moved, the rooms silence felt complete. There was a distant sort of serenity, the two of them in this awkward position. One wanting this moment more than the other. And like that, the silence was severed, by the tiniest of whimpers.
"Miss Granger, you can forget about these private lessons!"
Though, now that he thought about it, he was almost regretful that he was revoking it. Prior to telling her she'd be taking private lessons, he'd had no intention of teaching her with a purpose. He already knew she was knowledgeable in things having to do with potions, although a little iffy, but now, with what Dumbledore had told him, he had to put what he'd just said into perspective. He couldn't simply push her out of the private lessons. This wasn't optional and Dumbledore had made that very clear when they'd sat down in his office the day before. It was only Dumbledore, Harry and himself, spaced out amongst the round table.
Snape could remember it as if it was just a couple of hours ago. It was still fresh in his memory and it would be hard for him to forget with the girl who would face her doom unexpectedly.
"I understand you're giving her private potions lessons." The old man said, his elbows heavily on the table top and his fingers intertwined.
"Yes. She's knowledgeable but she could do a lot better. I'm sure she wouldn't pass up the chance to get better."
"Although your purpose is quite aimless, Snape, I have a preposition for you," Dumbledore looked between the two men at the table, his wise eyes focusing on Harry. "And you."
The room remained silent and it seemed that the old man was stalling simply to build up anger in both men. Just before Harry was beginning to get impatient, Dumbledore spoke; his plan elaborate but coming at a cost.
"Snape, I need you to teach Hermione all you can about Potions and what you know of Defense against the Dark Arts. There will come a time where you will have to make a choice and unfortunately, that choice is set in time. You will have to kill Hermione Granger," The headmaster paused, but it wasn't for the effect, he was simply taking a much needed break.
Simultaneously, Harry and Snape spoke, very close to being in unison. "WHAT?!"
Harry continued to shoot a glare across the table. "Him? Honestly, Dumbledore, he wouldn't hesitate!"
"You're out of line Potter. Tread lightly." Snape said, his tone clipped and his eyes shooting daggers. He didn't understand what the old man was getting at, but nobody ever did until it all played out.
"You see, he's not even denying he wouldn't-"
Dumbledore held up his hand, his lips pursed and the boy immediately quieted. "Let me explain clearly. You will win the girls trust. You will kill her. I need you to brew up a set of healing potions and I also have a list of potions I'll need you to brew for other reasons I can not disclose as yet. And you Harry, I'll need you to draw three vials of centaur blood. You will aid Snape in any way you can. I will need you two to trust me. This plan depends on you. In the end, you'll understand."
Harry was visibly distressed, rubbing at his eyes to avoid the tears that would surely come. Snape had his arms crossed on top of the table, otherwise his gaze was neutral. He trusted Albus, but the death of another Hogwarts student? Sighing, he stood to leave, but was stopped. "Snape. Harry, you may return to your classes. You will be summoned in a fortnight."
Harry walked away slowly, the protest evident on his face and trepidation even stronger in his features. When the door closed, Dumbledore turned to Snape with a solemn look.
"Now, I will tell you the whole truth…"
Dumbledore had given him a fortnight to finish over two hundred potions. Seventy five percent of them were simple old school potions that he didn't need a book for and the other twenty five were spells so dark he would surely need someone else's help. Dumbledore had thought this out, Snape knew that much. That someone else was to be Hermione Granger, who was still holding onto him as if her life depended on it.
"Professor. Professor? Are you all right?"
No, he wasn't all right! He had to kill a student all while trying to make sure his allegiance was veiled. But, Dumbledore had told him; he needed her to trust him or this wouldn't work and they all needed this to work.
He said nothing in response. His hands were still firmly wrapped around her ankles. He pulled out, feeling her arms tightening even more around his neck.
He was finally able to get her legs free of him; he felt them kick against his leg. He quickly went to work, prying her hands free of his neck.
He watched her fall to the ground as he let go of her arms. He looked down at her. He wasn't getting off on a good start.
"Now, keep your sentiment or physical callings – whatever you would like to call it – to yourself. Granger, you will be helping me with a list of potions it seems. You'll be dealing with healing potions and I will deal with the other ones. Understood?"
"What are the other potions?"
"I can not disclose that. Do you understand, Miss Granger?" He said more firmly.
"Yes, I understand Professor."
"Good. You will report to me each day after your last class of the day; this includes weekends, so don't try to skip out tomorrow. I will have dinner brought down to you if you deem it necessary." He spoke icily, trying to keep his tone even, but failing miserably. He was always good at the threatening tone, but whenever he wanted something a bit calmer to show he was in control, it never worked.
"But – wha – what are they for?"
"Madame Pomfrey needs a supply of potions. Normally, I brew them, but I will be quite busy in the next couple of days. I need…Dumbledore didn't want me to strain or rather, mess up on the potions he gave me. Is that explanation enough, Granger? We will start tomorrow. Don't be late." It was something Snape would say regardless, but he'd rehearsed those words in his head repeatedly.
And so, the plan began.
As she walked out, Snape instinctively clutched at his arm as a stinging sensation coursed through it. No, it wasn't just stinging him, it was burning his inner being, causing him pain. He was always good with masking pain, but he was visibly weak today, considering just a few days ago, he'd seen Voldemort and had to deal with the subtle affect of the cruciatus curse still.
Then he remembered – Voldemort had requested him to bring Harry to him, but he couldn't. Not now. Not so soon. He'd have to figure something out. He knew he'd have to prepare himself for more pain, but his excuse for not bringing Potter had to be plausible; unquestionable.
The pain became insistent and he crumbled to the ground, scratching at his arm. He'd made sure to keep the watering of his eyes and the shaking to a minimum – waiting for that familiar sound of a door closing.
He crawled miserably as the pain in his arm intensified. Traveling cloak pulled from hook, floo powder in hand, Snape made his hurried exit, this time being transferred to a graveyard.
He didn't land as smoothly; he landed crouching on his hands and knees, his fingers tightly curled into the dead soil.
He shivered internally, but stood anyways on very shaky legs.
"I see the Potter boy is not here. Why?"
Snape still hadn't come up with a reason as to why. Snape was too busy closing his mind off to note the deadly tone that was clear on Voldemort's tongue.
"WHY IS THE POTTER BOY NOT HERE, SEVERUS?"
And just like that, it clicked.
"Dumbledore is making him search through the Forbidden Forest for materials for these healing brews he'd like me to make. Dumbledore sent him off today, and has strengthened the barriers solely for Potter's sake. It would be impossible for me to pull Potter away considering some of the ingredients, I will need for you, my lord. I thought then, I would have the potion done and be able to lure the boy to you, using that potion."
Bloody hell, thinking back a second, what he'd said was complete bullocks. Firstly, Dumbledore would never let Harry do a drop off; Secondly, his explanation kind of made sense until he got to the last part.
Voldemort seemed to be thinking on, his anger forgotten.
"Severus, if you do not bring me the boy in a fortnight, I will see to your death; a very painful one. Your mind never does tell much, but I can understand that. You are skilled in occulmency. Don't let me question your loyalty to me, Severus. There are many who would like to be in the position you are. Just remember, your position at the top can always be brought down to everyone's level. I will not hesitate to kill you, no matter how valuable. "
Of course, Snape knew all this. He wanted to roll his eyes, but could not; out of fear.
"Yes, my lord." Snape dared a look up into those cold, emotionless slit-for-eyes. He could didn't feel like looking, it made him quite uncomfortable, but he had to prove his loyalty. Eye to eye contact was the only way.
"Remember, a fortnight." Voldemort finally said, before laughing softly under his breath and vanishing in his same manner; in a haze of clouds.
Snape was surprised he had gone with no injury but upon further inspection, he noticed the arm that bore the dark mark was swollen red. It had never been this worse.
Standing to his feet, he shook visibly as he tried to muster the strength to make the trip back to the castle.
With one last attempt, Snape raised his wand and apparated, thinking of his soft bed, covered in his dark-hued duvet and that's where he landed – and he appreciated the soft landing. He looked around the similar surroundings but was barely able to do anything – his eyes were slowly shutting, despite his protests. He stripped each article of clothing off his body – well besides his boxers.
Seconds after snuggling into the duvet, he fell into a deep slumber; and even in sleep he was able to maintain that same scowl he held 24/7.
Snape could feel someone tapping him. It was irritating. Where was he? The graveyard? No, he'd made it back. He was in his bedroom chamber. Who could possibly be in here?
Perhaps it's Albus.
That was his initial thought.
Slowly, he opened his eyes, his vision blurred, but his vision wasn't that impaired that he noticed this wasn't Albus. Firstly, Albus didn't have bushy brown hair and such big brown eyes. Secondly, Albus wasn't a girl or young. That basically factored him out completely.
"Hermione." He sneered out; forgetting himself and addressing her by her first name.
Without thinking, he sprang from the bed to check the time; he would ask questions later.
"What the bloody hell are you doing in here Granger? This is my bedroom chambers." He said, emphasizing strongly on the last two words. He hugged his chest tightly.
"I-I. Well, I-I, Professor Snape?"
"WHAT IS IT!? I ASKED YOU A QUESTION MISS GRANGER."
"You – you're only wearing b-boxers." A magnificent hue of red colored her cheeks as she backed herself into the corner, but not leaving.
Snape looked down. His facial expressions went through a variety of shock, anger and rage.
"Answer my question." He sounded so sinister. It was almost frightening.
"I-you told me to be here to make the potions."
She was right, he hated to admit it.
"Get out and wait in work station." He bit out. She hurried out, closing the door behind her.
Scowling, he went into the bathroom, taking a quick shower and getting dressed in his usual attire. No matter what he did, he could not get rid of the wet, earthy smell he carried with him.
When he was ready, he closed his chambers with a slam of his door.
In his usual manner, he put his head up high, his nose in the air and walked into his work station – lined with potions, cauldrons, spoon and the likes.
"You've been working closely with Madame Pomfrey, so I don't think I need to explain the healing potions on the list."
He put the potion list on the table she was working at and walked briskly across the room to obtain the ingredients for the list of five potions that would take him endless days to complete.
They worked like this for hours, the silence dwindling on. Snape made no effort to talk, although he was suppose to be gaining her trust. Well, did Dumbledore honestly expect Snape to be kind to this pest? No, Dumbledore was planning something and though he knew the whole truth, there was something the old man wasn't telling him.
A/N: All righty guys, I need your help once again. I'm not feeling very creative and I need a bunch of creative names that can be the names of the five potions Snape is making. I also need a list of creative ingredients that can be found in the Forbidden Forest, the black marker (of the wizarding world), and from the muggle world. Mind you, these ingredients don't have to have been mentioned in the HP books. If you'd like to help me PM on here! Oh, R&R. I hope you like this chapter…Trust me, when the end comes, you'll understand why I couldn't tell you what Dumbledore said..until the end. It'll mess up the surprise and all.