The Wrong Snape At the Wrong Time
Chapter 26: The Stake Out
Ok, I feel like a right fool.
Well, really I am one.
How can you feel the desire for closure when you've already had closure?
And why in the hell would a small woman topping out at barely 5' 4" decide that it was prudent to hang out in the Forbidden Forest and wait for Severus Snape to return?
I am nuts. It was 2 in the morning but I was going to get my closure and have it out with him.
As long as I wasn't bitten by a vampire or mauled by some odd creature that lived in the forest.
Actually, I heard that the centaurs could have an attitude also if you ran into them and there was some type of charmed automobile with an right nasty attitude roaming wild in the forest too.
The stakes were high but damn it, I really needed that closure.
Even if we were over, this not talking to me nonsense really had to end.
So, here I was.
But I wasn't that thick, I had taken some precautionary measures.
I had a long midnight blue robe on with the hood up, hoping I cut a fear-inducing and imposing figure in all my 5' 4" glory.
I had garlic and a copy of a Lorcan D'Eath record to either repel or appease some vampires should I happen to encounter them.
I could just step on the bowtruckles if they went on a rampage and attempted to poke me in the eye, because if I couldn't see, I just might miss Snape in black in the dark forest if he passed me by.
With any other type of creature or the centaurs I was screwed. I had no contingency plans for them besides my brain, my guts, my wand, and whatever wits I had left.
Also, I was clumsy at times which while weighing my strengths and weaknesses, had to be taken into account.
I had been out here for an hour. I've heard noises, the rustling of leaves, snapping twigs, and a few things that made me scream bloody murder in fright.
But I soldiered on. Hopefully, he would appreciate the lengths I went to while waiting to tell him off and get that closure.
I had also decided that my "fort" would be a huge tree in which I surrounded myself with a shield charm that kept breaking when I would lose concentration and scream and drop my wand when I heard any type of suspicious sound, and then I would have to pick up my wand and cast the charm again.
And then there was the barking. Dear Merlin, perhaps werewolves. I ran. Because I missed him, I cared about him, but I was not going to become a werewolfess for him.
And then I heard a "What the ruddy hell? Professor Vector, is that you?"
It was Hagrid, with Fang, holding a lantern and a bayonet.
And I was hugging a tree. I was attempting to climb up so I looked like the biggest fool imaginable. My damn boots kept slipping up the tree and I got bloody nowhere.
"Yes, er, it's me. How are you this evening? Lovely night for a walk, eh." I gave him a sweet smile.
"In the Forbiddne Forest." He looked confused.
"Well, I am waiting for Professor Snape. I have urgent business to discuss with him," I sniffed importantly.
"Oh, Septima, he won't be back for another hour at least. This week he hasn't been turning up here to go back to the castle until at least four or so."
"Really." Oh, shit.
"But if yer need to wait, come back with us and I will make yer some tea."
"Oh, but I wouldn't want to inconvenience you and er, Fang."
"Naw, we aren't doing anything. Only came out here because we heard some right nasty screams."
"Oh, er, yeah, I heard it too. Not sure what it could be."
I wasn't telling him that it was me because I was a big coward.
So I went back and moved my fort or I think I would rather like to call them my surveillance headquarters to Hagrid's hut.
Big upgrade from the forest, let me tell you.
I removed my cloak and drank some tea and nibbled on a rock cake.
If I had become a vampire I probably would have had the teeth to take more than one bite, but what use would that be considering I would only desire warm blood.
But I didn't matter. I dropped the cake by accident because I just saw Snape walk past the hut on his way to the castle.
Hagrid did too, and stood up and almost knocked over the table.
"I'll get him. Finish your cake and tea and grab your cloak and then you can come out side." He went out his door and into the forest.
"Thank you, Hagrid." I called out after him nervously.
Good; a little stalling time so I could compose myself and see what I would say, because I really hadn't thought about it much at headquarters.
I swung my cloak around my shoulders, smoothed my hair because Hagrid didn't have a mirror in his hut which explained a lot, and hoped for the best.
I went outside.
He was standing there looking at me as if he had never seen me before; as if he didn't know me.
"Er, hi, how's it going?" I asked cheerfully.
"Follow me…back to the castle," he said stiffly.
He nodded at Hagrid and swept off, robes trailing behind him.
And he was really tall and took larger strides so I had to struggle to keep up with him.
Very difficult to have a conversation when you are struggling for breath…
I gave it a go.
"Why are you still not talking to me?" I asked breathlessly.
"I think it is for the best. You have done it to me before and now I know why. It really is for the best. I should have heeded your advice earlier," he said simply.
"No it isn't. I was wrong."
"But what is all the fuss about ,Vector.? You loathe me," He kept walking ahead and offered casually.
"I do not." I picked up my pace.
"I apparently repulse you."
"You don't I ,er, thought you did but you don't." Merlin, why did I not like the way I sounded.
"And I have made it clear that this would conflict with my other interests so it is best, as the say, to let sleeping dogs lie," he stated firmly.
"That analogy sucks." I made a face in disapproval.
"And I really can't get past your foul language." He rolled his eyes with a sigh.
"I won't curse again. Er, ever." I tried to sound reassuring. He was asking a lot.
"I find that highly unlikely when you lose your temper, which is quite often lately." He stated it plainly and I couldn't deny that he was right.
I went out in full force. I ran in front of him and halted him by blocking his steps.
"Look at me." I fairly burned a hole with my eyes as I stared at him. "I …I am smitten…with you." And I could kick myself for not coming up with something better due to panic and frustration.
"Very old-fashioned… what does that entail precisely?" He was calm but he seemed to be attentive.
"You know." I tipped my head up.
"No I do not know."
I floundered a bit due to the piercing look he gave me.
"I don't like that we are not talking."
"You give no clear definition for what constitutes smitten in any case." And his expression was stone and made me falter again.
"Stop being a bloody moron!" He wasn't making this easy for me. Did he understand how difficult this was for me? Pouring your heart out and having someone step on it. What did he know of that?
"See? You can't speak civilly and that is why I choose not to converse with you and to drop everything I told you in the Potions storeroom."
"Foul language was not one of the deal breakers if I recall…"
"It is a small part, but there are other reasons that I informed you of." He shook his head.
"But why fight it? It is what it is."
"It was what it was."
"Don't say that. Severus!"
He had moved quite ahead of me. I ran faster.
"Stop! Wait! Are you over me?" I asked softly.
"What do you mean?" He looked at me oddly.
"Look me in the eye and tell me you are over me…for good." I stood firm.
His eyes were guarded but his mouth made a funny movement while closed tightly.
"Yes…."he took his time before answering with a sort of sigh.
"I believe my energies would be better spent elsewhere."
"What? Who is she?" My eyes opened wide in shock.
"Not she…I have work to do for Dumbledore."
"What does that have to do with me?" I blurted out carelessly.
"More than you know," and his voice was very quiet.
"What is with the cryptic bullshit?" I sounded affronted.
"Well, I will tell you plainly."
"Will you think about it?" I wasn't giving up yet.
"I have. I won't do. I can't do it anymore…It's not good for me or for you." He looked very sincere and it killed me. It hurt him too. It had been difficult and he looked relieved to stop backtracking, and to just have an opportunity to clear the air. It scared me.
"Oh…." I was speechless.
The hurt… was it at him, or because I made a mess of everything and botched it up royally?
I turned and hurried past him.
"What are you doing?" he asked.
"I am going. I said what I had to. But let me make it clear that I dumped you."
"No, you did not. If I remember correctly I made myself quite plain in the store room." His eyes narrowed in disbelief.
"Yeah, I dumped you and then you dumped me."
"Oh, no, Vector you are terribly mistaken. Delude yourself as you wish, it was I that broke things off."
"Nope." I shook my head with all the self-righteousness I could muster.
"And besides, how can you dump someone when there was nothing going on to begin with?"
"You just admitted there was something." My face fell.
"Yes, I wanted you quite badly and you rejected any hints or advances I had made. Whether gentlemanly, subtle, or outright throwing it into your lap like the fool that I was."
"And you never gathered that my nonsense was me fighting my feelings for you?"
He grew rigid. I hoped. I never was really sure but I think I got him here. He didn't answer.
"Well, then you will never know than will you? So that is it. We both felt something, we both knew it… but you say just because it was never confirmed means it wasn't real or didn't exist." I gave him a lingering look, held my tears in check.
I sped off…
Five minutes later…
He let her go.
And he stopped dead in the forest. He could go no further. Because the surge of affection for her that rapidly spread throughout his body and soul made it so. And it didn't take very long for the full impact to sink in.
She loved him…she wanted to be with him…she had thought of him…she had missed him and according to Hagrid was waiting in the forest to talk to him like the unscrupulous, rowdy, and risk-taking adorable fool that she was.
And what he had contemplated; the moment had come at last.
He never thought it would come to this but it had.
He walked again his pace picking up.
He stopped again to give them some space. He saw her muttering curses to herself. Her hands waving around as she sped walk with angry purpose. And then he bit his lip to control his laughter. She had stopped and walked back to kick a stone Hogwarts pig that she had passed to make herself feel better as she flung open the castle door and slammed it.
He looked around. He whipped out his wand and thought the spell and the message.
He had sent his patronus to Dumbledore, with a message.
Would he be available? He wished to tell him about his work this evening and they had something else to discuss as well.
He only trusted him. He needed his advice about how they could work things out. He needed to know that he loved her and that he was going to embark in getting involved with her. He would tell him that he made a promise to him years ago and he would not fail. They had to find a way to work around it. He had never planned on falling in love with anyone, but he had. And it would never compromise their work regarding the Dark Lord and his protection of Potter.
Dumbledore would understand. He understood love. He would probably be thrilled, and surprised, because he had kept his love for Vector a secret from him, whom he worked so closely with, for years.
And once he has this sorted out, he would start with her. He would start slow. First, he had to break the ice and appear to be on speaking terms with her again. And the rest would follow all in good time. She would have to be very careful now too. He would have to make that implicitly clear to her because she was sometimes unruly and hardly subtle. But he loved that about her too.
And except for Dumbledore, for right now, they couldn't tell a soul.