A/N: I have just been informed by LadyoftheMasque, that this piece, was not an epilogue, but a continuation chapter. So I have made it the first chapter of this sequel. It was originally posted as a teaser for Part 2. I have transferred it to its rightful place. Those of you who have read it as a teaser, I apologize. But there is some hotter new Snape dialogue, who's calling it as he sees it, in the library scene that you might want to check out. I will have a new chapter up sometime soon, I hope.
-Original Author's Note: 2005
Chapter 1 ~ What Is It You're Pretending Not to Know?
The attack on Hermione's mother was sudden. The protective wards placed on her parents' home were effective against forced entry, but could not protect them from those they invited in. So, when Hermione's mother opened the door to receive an innocent enough package delivery from a pleasant-looking delivery boy on a bright afternoon, she didn't expect the push-in home invasion. Two Death Eaters hidden on the either side of the door rushed in, and tried to grab Mrs. Granger. Luckily, she evaded them long enough to activate the Disillusioned Port Key necklace provided her by the Order for her and her husband's protection. On activation, not only she, but her husband, wherever he was, were transported to a safe house, well out of Voldemort's reach.
If not for the information provided by Severus Snape, warning the Order of Voldemort's plans to target the immediate families of Muggle-borns for extermination, then the Grangers and many others, would have died.
Hermione was at work when a bright flash startled her. A tail feather from Fawkes drifted down to land in her hands. It was a summons from the Order, and she Disapparated immediately to Headquarters. Although Hermione was not yet a member of the Order of the Phoenix, her close association with Harry made her a target, so it was thought best if she were granted direct access to the premises in case the need arose.
When she arrived, she saw a number of Order members sitting around a table, most of whom were talking animatedly. The one who wasn't, was Severus Snape. He was leaning back in a wooden chair, arms folded, listening to the babble with a bored look on his face. He saw Hermione, and gave her a quick sober nod, before returning his attention to the other members.
Hermione hadn't spoken to the Potions master in almost a year. He looked as snarky and untouchable as ever. She smiled to herself. Severus was such a piece of work.
Dumbledore walked in, and the talking died down. He was wearing sky blue robes with orange suns emblazoned across them. He looked over his half-moon glasses around the room, and saw Hermione. His eyes twinkled and his mouth curled upward in delight.
"Ah, Miss Granger. How wonderful to see you. It's been a bit of time since I've seen you last. How are you, my dear?"
Hermione stepped forward and hugged her old Headmaster.
"I'm fine, sir. Just fine. But can you tell me, why was I summoned?"
"Yes, Miss Granger. You were summoned because there was an attempted Death Eater attack on your mother this afternoon. But, thanks to information provided by Severus…"
Here the Headmaster nodded toward the Potions master, who inclined his head slightly,
"… we were prepared and both your mother and father were transported by Port Key to safety before any ill could befall them. They are both fine, although your father is a bit out of sorts…seems he was in the middle of doing something called a 'root canal' when he was transported."
"Poor dad, thought Hermione.
He might be upset, but at least he was alive.
She looked over at Severus, her eyes shining,
"Thank you so much, Severus, for saving my family."
Severus shifted in his chair uncomfortably aware that Hermione was going into her "He's a Hero" mode. He didn't need this today.
"I did nothing special, I assure you Miss Granger," he said dismissively. "Your parents were just one of many targets of Voldemort. The immediate families of all Muggle-born witches and wizards are currently in danger. All have been given Port Keys. It is fortunate that your mother was prepared, and had the presence of mind to activate her Port Key. If she hadn't, she'd be dead now. Actually, your mother saved herself. And, no doubt, your father as well."
Hermione sighed inwardly. It was just like him to avoid taking any credit that would place him in a positive light. She just fell silent.
"What Severus has neglected to inform you," Dumbledore said, eyes twinkling…
No, Albus. No damn you. Severus cursed the headmaster as the dotty old dodger continued.
"Is that he has made the underground rooms at Snape Manor a heavily warded safe house for all endangered families. They have everything they need to live comfortably, as well as his personal protection."
Snape closed his eyes and rubbed his temples with the fingers of both hands.
Hermione turned to look at him.
"That's…that's…really wonderful," she said softly.
That was it. He'd had it. Severus stormed to his feet, robes whirling around him.
"It is not wonderful," he snarled. "The rooms are there warded, and haven't been used for centuries. The Dark Lord doesn't know of their existence, and wouldn't suspect any of his Death Eaters to be mad enough to provide protection for those he has condemned to death. It isn't any problem to house the Muggles. Hell, I don't even have to see them. I had a large enough facility to take them in, is all. It … it …just made sense to do it!"
"Fine, fine, Severus. Calm down, my boy," Albus said, placatingly.
Severus' face turned crimson.
"Don't … patronize … me…Albus," he hissed through clenched teeth. "Anyway, I must go. I have much to attend to. Good day, all."
Severus whirled and exited the room quickly. The front door closed with a loud slam. In the ensuing silence, the members of the Order of the Phoenix all glanced at one another. Then they all burst into raucous laughter.
"Poor guy," chuckled Kingsley Shacklebolt, shaking his head. "He can't stand the idea that anyone might think that he has a heart under all that bite and venom."
Amidst all the mirth, no one noticed that Hermione wasn't laughing.
Hermione visited the rooms beneath Snape Manor. To call them rooms was an understatement. It was like another manor built beneath the ground. There were kitchens, libraries, opulent furnishings, at least fifty bedrooms, and numerous bath facilities. There was also a large common room with desks and dining tables. There was even a game room, equipped with several CD stereo systems, complete with headsets and a huge selection of music varying from classical to funk. Hermione grinned when she picked up a Parliament Funkadelic CD. There were also several functioning large screen televisions. Now, Severus had no reason to have televisions. Obviously, he meant for his guests to be as comfortable as possible.
Hermione persuaded a house elf to tell her how to get upstairs into the manor. The small creature trembled with fright at divulging the information, but said, "Eli tells Miss Granger how to get to Master, because Miss Granger is good for Master. Eli keeps his Master's secrets, but when Master is happy, he is kinder to everyone. Even Muggles."
The elf peered up at Hermione with anxious wide eyes. "And Miss Granger is Master's Best Secret." he whispered with a tiny grin, before winking away.
Hermione wondered just how much the little elf knew. She was good for Master? For Severus? She hadn't even really spoken to him since he left her at the Hogwarts platform almost a year ago. She had honored his wish to be left alone, although she often thought about him, and saw him on occasion at Headquarters. He never stayed long when she was present, saying he had duties to attend to. All in all, he treated her very much like he always had. Except there were no conversations. But she understood, and gave him space. He had his life to live, and she had hers. She had also sent him the "Relaxo" spell. No doubt he had put it to good use in Hogsmeade.
She was right, of course. The prostitutes there now tried to avoid him, since he was now preoccupied with fellatio and rarely had intercourse with them anymore. The delicious days of wild, intoxicating sex with the Potions master was over. Services were certainly rendered, and satisfactorily so as far as he was concerned. Now he left the brothels satisfied with what he paid out, leaving a trail of sore throats behind.
Hermione had climbed winding stone staircase after staircase, brushing away cobwebs, steadying herself by trailing her hand on the damp walls, guided by the small torches that gave off a dim light.. After more than an hour she arrived at the brick wall the elf told her about. She took out her wand, said the Lumos spell, and searched the wall in front of her.
At last, she saw the brick slightly offset from the others and pushed it in. The wall slowly swung outward, opening on a private library. She stepped through quietly, and pushed the bookcase closed behind her.
"Nox,' she muttered, and her wand went out. She slid it up her sleeve and looked around.
A fire was burning low in the fireplace. By the flickering light she saw someone sitting in an armchair facing the flames. A low table sat next to the chair, on which sat a decanter of amber liquid, and a glass that was half full.
A pale hand lifted the glass and a silky, slightly slurred voice said, "I was wondering when you'd show up, Miss Granger."
Hermione walked over and stood in front of the fireplace, looking down on an inebriated Severus Snape.
"Hello, Severus," she said softly.
He lifted his eyes and looked at her, an unpleasant sneer on his face.
"I imagine you bribed one of my house elves to let you in here. You didn't offer him clothes, did you? Hard to find good house elves these days."
"No, I didn't,' she said evenly.
"Good," he said.
He sat forward in the chair, locking his eyes to hers. "So, what brings you here, Miss Granger?"
"Hermione. Call me Hermione, Severus. We are alone now."
"Ah, yes. Private settings and all that," he said coolly. "Well, Hermione, what brings you here? Come to sing the praises of my ill-perceived nobility? Or do you have an itch that needs to be scratched that requires my special kind of …servicing?"
Oh, he was such a bastard.
"I came to see how you are. How you're doing," she responded.
He considered her for a moment.
"You can see how I'm doing. I'm drunk and getting drunker."
"Yes, I see that," she said, disapproval evident in her voice.
Severus allowed his eyes to slowly rake over Hermione. He focused on her hips, and swallowed, then raised his desire-darkened eyes to hers, He licked his lips, his tongue moving from corner to corner slowly, as if savoring some mouth-watering flavor. He dropped his eyes to his glass as if studying it.
"You know, Hermione…" he said, idly swirling the glass in his hand. "I haven't tasted pussy since the last time we were together."
Hermione froze. A bit of heat was rising in her belly at this crass reference to their time together. It was something she worked at not to think about. And now he was pulling it all back to the surface.
Severus stood up, swaying slightly and walked towards her, his eyes holding a dangerous glint. "I was wondering if you might…indulge me, since you have made yourself …so available."
She darted back, as he tried to grab her. He missed, cursed and stumbled. He scowled at her.
"Come here, you tease," he growled as he went for her again.
Hermione ducked under his grasping arms and ran for the great wooden doors. Throwing them open, she turned and said to Severus, "You aren't yourself, Severus."
"Oh yes I am, Hermione. I take what I want and devour it, remember? You want me to be noble. I'm not. I'm not."
He spoke these words as if to himself. Her heart went out to him, but she stayed near the open doors.
"I'm leaving. I'll come back to see you when you are sobered up."
"But I want to fuck you."
"Don't you want me to fuck you, Hermione? Isn't that why you really came here?"
She hesitated. "No," she said, a tremor in her voice.
Severus studied her a moment, weaving slightly before bursting out in loud laughter.
"Woman, even drunk I can smell you from here. Your knickers are soaking wet." Then he sobered a bit, his dark eyes burning with intensity. "I don't want you, Hermione,"…but my cock and my tongue can't seem to forget you. You remember them, don't you?"
Hermione shifted uncomfortably, her eyes dropping for a moment, then returning to meet his gaze defiantly. Her reaction wasn't lost on Severus. His voice lowered.
"Consider me 'on-call', Hermione. If you need me, simply think of me, confess your need for me. I will hear you, and I will come. Then, I will go. Nothing else has changed."
"I won't need you, Severus."
"You've already thought about me, though you try to keep me out of your consciousness. But I am always on the edge of your mind. You pretend that you are just 'randy' like it is some kind of general infection that will pass. But it never really does. There were nights that your desire for me was so strong that I had to take sleeping draughts to keep from coming to you, to give you what you so desperately need."
Hermione moved closer to the door. Her body was protesting…she was going the wrong way.
"I have to go," she said, her voice sounding somewhat strangled.
Severus threw up his arms.
"Go on, get out then. I remember this little game. Go on. Deny yourself. Wrap yourself in that false little robe of propriety you hide behind and twiddle your twat until you're cross-eyed with need. I will wait. I will have you again, Hermione Granger. And again. And again. We both know this. Now, get out of here, you minx, and let me finish my drink."
He returned to the armchair and dropped into it unceremoniously.
Hermione blinked back her tears, exited the room and closed the doors. She walked down the dark hall toward the front gates, aware of the eyes of the portraits watching her.
"Filthy Mudblood," one hissed.
She pretended not to hear.
Reaching the front door, she was surprised to see the house elf, Eli, crouching behind a suit of armor.
"Eli thinks it didn't go well, Miss."
"No, Eli…it didn't," Hermione replied.
"Eli thinks that's because Master's best secret is still a secret from himself."
Hermione walked over to the house elf, bent down and kissed him on the top of his green head. The house elf began to bob in pleasure.
"Hermione thinks, Master is one big, bloody, over-sexed git, who she doesn't want to lay eyes on again," she said softly.
"Eli thinks Miss might need to think again," the house-elf said, trembling at his own nerve.
He looked around nervously as if he thought someone might have heard him.
"Eli must go, Miss. Master is calling him. Goodbye, Master's Secret."
The elf vanished with a pop.
Hermione turned and walked out into the Manor yard. Being admonished by a house elf. She shook her head. She thought about Severus' accusation of her wanting him
Severus is wrong. I'm not ruled by secret desires. It was only one night, meant to draw on his experience, satisfy my curiosity, and learn what sex was about. That's it. He's done his part. I'm free of him, now. I can find my own lovers if I choose. He's wrong. I don't need him. I can fuck anyone I want, when I want, if I want.
But he was right about one thing. Her knickers were soaking wet.
She sighed. Wrapping her arms around herself, Hermione Disapparated. This would be her last visit to Snape Manor proper. She'd stick to the lower rooms from now on.
A/A/N: Originally, I had used this chapter as an end to WWIT Part One. A seasoned fanfic writer, LadyoftheMasque, informed me this was not the end, but the beginning of a new fic. So I used it for the starting chapter fir the first sequel, having no idea there would be more.
This story was written before Snape's history was revealed in the series. Of course, in my Snape-love, I made him a Lord, just as wealthy as Lucius Malfoy, and a pureblood. This AU situation continued throughout the series because, well, I didn't know any better and couldn't very well change it when I did. So he is rich, but still not very social. His money did him no good because of the life he led. He had no time for witches . . . lol.
This was the also first introduction of Eli, the house elf, who has become a beloved OC character in my fics. I've used him in different scenarios as much as Hermione and Severus and he is always powerfully loyal. I hope you enjoyed the beginning of the second fanfiction I wrote. Thanks for reading.