I open my eyes slowly, groaning at the feeling of pain at the back of my head. My body feels sore and I can feel the muscles in my legs tensing.
What has happened to me? Where am I?
As I take in my surroundings, panic starts to build inside my chest. I do not recognize the place. It is dark and damp and cold. Unbelievably cold. It appears as if I am lying on a mattress. Quickly I pull myself up, taking in short breaths and trying to get accustomed to the darkness. My eyes scan the room and then I notice a small window. No, not a window. It looks more like a small hole in the wall. And there are bars on it.
I can feel myself trembling, cold sweat slicks my body, I shiver. The window is too high for me to reach. Perhaps if I could stand on a chair –
Something moves and I freeze completely.
The room is too dark to see anything. It did not occur to me that someone else might be in the room with me. I stand completely still, holding in my breath. A few long moments pass and the only sound I am hearing is the sound of my own heart beating uncontrollably.
My whole body is shaking with anticipation and fear.
And then suddenly someone speaks.
I flinch at the sound, feeling as if someone just dropped a bucket full of ice-cold water on my head.
Should I answer? Who is he?
He is a man, that much I can tell. But why is he calling me Miss Granger? Where am I? Who is he?
"Y-Yes?" I stutter, my ears listening carefully for any sign of movement.
"Finally you are awake."
A sigh of relief leaves my mouth as I realize who the voice belonged to.
"You have been unconscious for quite a few hours," he states calmly.
I can barely see him through the darkness. He is sitting on something, facing me.
"What's going on, Professor? Where are we?"
I need answers.
"Has it perhaps escaped your notice that we are in a dungeon, Miss Granger?" he asks, his voice dripping with sarcasm.
I am too confused and scared to get annoyed by his snarky remarks. And I can't help but feeling a bit safer knowing I'm not alone. Wherever I am, whatever has happened to me, at least I am not alone. Professor Snape is here as well.
"What happened?" I ask, trying to stay calm, "I can't remember anything."
I can hear him take a deep breath and then he speaks.
"It appears we were caught by Death Eaters. I was brought here yesterday and only a couple of hours later they brought you as well."
"W-Why?" I ask, feeling panic rising in my chest.
"Use your brain, Miss Granger," he barks at me, "What could they possibly want from us?"
"Possibly," he agrees, then adds, "Perhaps a trade. You for Potter. Or they simply wish to harm Potter by harming you."
I absorb his words and take a deep breath, thinking hard about my question. I don't let myself think about the horrible situation we are in. I decide the best would be to focus all my attention the the salvation of the problem.
"When are they going to save us?"
"They?" he asks.
"Yes, the Order. By now they probably now what has happened to us and-"
"Do not get your hopes us, Miss Granger," he interrupts me, his voice cold and icy,"Even if they do know what has happened to us, the chances that they know about our whereabouts are very slim."
I am shaking. The mere thought of not being rescued is too much to handle.
"I-I don't understand," I admit quietly, "What are you saying?"
"I am saying that you should not get your hopes up," he repeats emotionless.
I shake my head furiously, even though he probably can't see it. Of course they will save us. Instead of arguing with Professor Snape, I decide to put the pieces of the previous day back together.
"The last thing I remember is...getting a detention. From you, because I was helping Neville and I had to serve detention with Filch," my voice strengthens up, "That's it! I was captured while serving detention or returning to my dormitory."
"Miss Granger," he starts slowly, "I did give you a detention. But that was four days ago."
I take a few steps back and slowly sit back onto the mattress, trying to understand what he was saying to me. I could feel all the blood leave my face. Silence fills the dungeon and all I can hear is my own heartbeat.
"How is the injury on your head?" he suddenly asks, pulling me out of my thoughts.
My hands flies up to the back of my head and I can feel the slight bump there. It hurts, but it is nothing serious.
"It's fine," I answer, "They probably hit me or I hit myself..." I trail off, various scenarios playing in my head and a few moments later I finally snap,"Damn it! Why can't I remember anything?"
"You cannot rush these things," he says in his teacher voice, "Your amnesia is temporary, very likely a result of a mild head injury or concussion."
I simply nod and try to calm down. I remember reading about such things. The lost memory tends to return when people least expect it. The harder they push and try to remember by force, the less success they have.
Then something accurrs to me.
"What about you, Professor?" I ask quietly, "Why are you here?"
I can hear him let out a deep sigh and then he finally speaks:"It would be...imprudent to discuss such things with you."
I open my mouth in protest, but then realize I don't know what to say. Perhaps he is not allowed to tell me why they captured him as well. I know some things. Things we never really spoke about, but there were always whispers. Whispers that Professor Snape is still a Death Eater, but at the same time he's the member of the Order. Dumbledore trusts him and that is more than enough for me to trust him as well. There is a connection between Professor Snape and Voldemort. But perhaps he cannot speak of it while being held captive by them.
"Do you think there is a way they could be listening to our conversation?" I ask carefully, wrapping my arms around myself.
"No," he answers, "But the less that you know the safer you will be."
I accept his answer. For now.
We are both silent for a few long minutes. It seems like forever. And I wonder how could he be so calm? Why is he not panicking like me? He perhaps isn't that worried about our situation and that is a good thing, right? But what if he is simply pretending not to be worried? Perhaps he feels the need to be strong. Because of me. After all, he is the grown up and a teacher. What if he is simply pretending not to be worried? That frightened me the most.
"What do you think they are going to do to us?" I ask, breaking the silence.
"Do I look like Professor Trelawney to you, Miss Granger?" he replies sarcastically.
I start to get annoyed by his behavior. This isn't my ideal situation either. And I hate the way he is talking down to me, like I don't know anything about anything.
I lean against the wall and pull my knees up, resting my head on them. Neither of us spoke for a very long time.
I open my eyes and realize it's day already. How could I have fallen asleep? I am in a mortal danger and I fell asleep. Feeling embarrassed and angry at myself, I look around and notice Professor Snape standing in the corner or the dungeon, leaning against the wall, his arms crossed over his chest, his face unreadable.
I can't help but wonder if he had gotten any sleep last night. It seems weird imagining Professor Snape sleeping. I've never thought about it. It would seem more normal to me if he never had any sleep.
Pushing that though aside, I take the chance to look around and observe the dungeon for the first time. It's small and there are two mattresses, on opposite sides. There is only one chair in the middle of the dungeon and…nothing else. Absolutely nothing else. Not even a pillow or a blanket. Not even a bathroom.
I look down at myself and realize I'm wearing my Hogwarts robes and it doesn't look like I have any injuries. I force myself to look at Professor Snape. He's wearing his dark teaching robes and it doesn't seem like he's injured either. That means he did not fight his captors. Or perhaps they used a spell on him before he could do anything. That theory seemed a bit unrealistic. I am positive Professor Snape is a good duelist and I seems strange someone had taken him down that easily.
"Merlin," I start nervously, "How long-", I stop mid sentence, then start again, "What are they planning on doing with us? How long are they going to keep us here?"
"As long as necessary," is his only reply.
I start to get annoyed by his emotionless behavior. Even though I don't know what I would do if he started panicking, it still annoys me that he is so calm by everything that is happening. It puts me in a bad light, like I am doing something wrong simply by being worried by our situation.
He says nothing for a long time and it seems as if he is lost in his thoughts. I don't wish to disturb him and try to concentrate on other things instead.
I'm thirsty. Really thirsty. Thankfully I am not hungry yet and don't have to worry about that. But there's one problem as well. I have to go to the bathroom.
I look around, convincing myself there has to be something. Doors to the bathroom for example. I probably missed it before. But as I look around, I realize I didn't miss anything. There were simply two mattresses, a chair and a window. Too high to reach.
I let out a deep breath. Things could not get worse.
"Have you tried wandless magic, Sir?" I ask.
Deep sigh, then an answer, "I have."
"As you would expect, Miss Granger."
"No kind of magic is possible here."
"Where do you think we are?"
"I haven't got the slightest idea," he says with difficulty in his voice.
It's probably hard for him to admit ignorance about something.
"Have you tried to reach the window?"
"It's too high to reach, even while standing on the chair."
He raises a brow in interest.
I continue slowly,"You could stand on the chair and I could-"
"I will not have you climbing all over me, Miss Granger," he says coldly.
"But it might work, Sir," I insist, raising my voice a bit, "We could see where we are."
"And that would help us how?" he asks, looking at me, expecting an answer.
I have nothing to say. He is right. It would not help us.
How can he stand there? He's been standing in the same spot for the last couple of hours. Why doesn't he sit down?
A loud thud pulls me out of my thoughts. The dungeon doors open and I reflexively stand up, my whole body tensing.
A man enters. He's wearing black robes and there is a wand in his hand. I look at his face, but there is nothing familiar there. I have never seen this man before. He has to be forty-something.
"You," he points at me, "Come with me."
I freeze at the spot.
"Leave the girl," Snape speaks, "Take me instead. I demand to be taken to the Dark Lord."
I open my mouth in shock at hearing that. Why does he want to be taken to Voldemort?
The man shakes his head and then he smirks, "Your demands will have to wait," he looks at me again, "Come with me."
"Where are you taking me?" I ask, keeping my voice strong.
"You will see," he answers, then his tone gets threatening,"I will not ask nicely again."
I shiver at that statement, but my face remains emotionless. I look at Professor Snape and there is a hard look in his eyes. We both know what it means. I cannot turn to him for help. He is as helpless as I am. I cannot expect him to do anything to help me, because it would prove useless and it could get us in bigger trouble.
Without words I walk over to the man and he grabs my arm, leading me out of the dungeon.
I am pushed back into the dungeon and the doors slam shut behind me.
"What happened?" Professor Snape asks, walking closer to me.
I look up at him and find myself surprised to find concern written over his face.
"You have only been gone for a few minutes," he adds, his brows frowning.
"He took me to the bathroom, it was only that," I explain, "He said we are allowed a visit to the bathroom twice a day and that he'll be coming soon for you."
He simply nods at that, walking away from me.
An hour later, perhaps more, the man comes again and this time takes Professor away with him. The moment I am left alone in the dungeon, the reality of the situation comes crashing down on me. My throat closes up and I find it difficult to breath.
All the horrible thoughts make their way into my brain and I can see myself dying in this very dungeon. Dying at the hands of the Death Eaters or from starvation. Perhaps am I never going to be found and my corpse will be left here for centuries and centuries.
I miss my friends and my family. I miss Hogwarts. I miss feeling safe.
Tears start to build in my eyes and I don't even try to stop it. I allow myself to cry, to weep loudly and at the same time I know I only have a couple of minutes. I use that time to allow myself a complete breakdown.
Professor Snape returns a few minutes later. By then there is no evidence of my breakdown on my face. He must never know about it.
"Does the Cruciatus curse have long-term consequences?" I ask, breaking the silence.
He shots me a glare, "I hardly think that is an appropriate conversation, regarding the situation we are in."
"I want to know, because…if they…"
"If they decide to use that kind of torture, you will not be worrying about the long-term consequences. You will be worrying about surviving every next second."
His words cut through me like a knife.
It's starting to get dark already. I can't believe it's been one day already.
The doors open and there is a small elf this time, carrying a small platter. Both I and Professor Snape simply stare at the small creature as he leaves the platter on the floor and leaves, not even looking at us. We both know it would be usless trying to get any information from the elf.
I walk over to the platter and notice there is a small piece of bread and one glass of water on it. Just one glass of water.
I lick my dry lips, thinking hard about what to do. Looking up at Professor Snape, I realize he did not move from the spot where he is standing.
I clear my throat and start speaking, "I guess we should split-"
"You can have it all, Miss Granger."
"What? No," I argue, "You've been here longer than I, Professor. If anything, you should get a larger part."
"No need for sympathies," he barks at me, "You will need your strength. Eat."
I realize there is no chance of convincing him with my words, so I simply take the small piece of bread into my hands, splitting it into two parts. I then grab the glass of water and bring it to my mouth. It feels wonderful as the water slides down my throat, but after three drinks I put the glass down. It takes a lot of mental strength to decline myself the rest of the water, but it is the right thing to do. I turn all my attention to eating my piece of bread.
"I've left half of it for you," I say, ignoring his glare, then walk back to my mattress and sit down, enjoying the taste of bread in my mouth.
He does eventually drink the rest of the water, but leaves the piece of bread untouched. I decide not to question it, because he seems to be in an awful mood. And I can't blame him.
Soon the darkness takes over and I force myself to lay down and close my eyes. It would do me no good staying awake the whole night. If anything, while sleeping I can't think about the horrible situation we are both in. Sleep is the only escape I have now.
Hey, guys! This is my new story, obviously.:) I'm not sure where I want to take it, but I know how I want it to be written. The story will be happening in the dungeon only, it's like an experiment. How is the relationship between Snape and Hermione going to change day by day while being locked together for exactly 30 days? Oh, and the story is happening sometime in the sixth year.:) Tell me your opinion on it and if you'd like me to continue.:)