Blue-Bound Beginnings
Ladymage Samiko

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Severus blinked tiredly, a swish of the wand extinguishing the laboratory's lights. A careless swipe plucked his blue-bound notebook from the table as he swept out of the room and back to his chambers. He nodded briefly to the few students he encountered in the hall before slipping into his chambers. Teaching robes were tossed over a chair before he slumped into its twin.

He flipped open his notes, rifling the pages until he noticed the discrepancy. Photographs had been pasted on several pages. Pages which were covered in a plain, round, school-girlish hand.

Dear Diary…

He stared.

'Oh, shite.'

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Snape frowned at the blue leather in his hand. Ostensibly, this volume was no different from his. But instead of potion trials, it was full of some child's adolescent maunderings. For the moment, he assumed honest error; what kind of imbecile would exchange proof of her own guilt for his grimoire? Certainly, there were more Slytherin possibilities, but nothing was so sensitive in his book that he could not wait until dinner to find and recover it.

'Let us see at whom I shall be glaring.'

Sincerely,
Hermione.

The corners of his lips lifted slowly, and Snape began to read.

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'Happily ever after' is crap. There's no Prince Charming or white horses or sunsets to ride into. There isn't even a Prince Decent Bloke. What there is is an immature imbecile who can't keep his dick in his shorts. An unmitigated bastard who can't be arsed to talk to me. After everything I've done to keep bothhis heads attached to his body.

I'd never want him to stay with me from gratitude. But can't he bloody well TELL ME HE DOESN'T WANT ME ANYMORE? Can't he be grateful enough to NOT make me look like a bloody stupid cow?

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Prince Prat came waltzing up to the castle today. I told him to sod off.

He didn't take that well. Which I thought was pretty rich, considering all the times he's gone off to sulk, telling us the same thing. He said Prince Arsewipe missed me awfully, and couldn't we kiss and make up?

I asked him how he'd feel if I told him Ginny was whoring around with every Gryffindor of age and half of Slytherin House— in the spirit of inter-House relations, of course.

He didn't take that well, either.

I guess I'd better not tell him, then.

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Snape remembered the days of adolescent drama. Hell, some of his contemporaries had never actually left them. But he could find a tiny spot of sympathy for the girl. She should be receiving a massive karmic payoff for winning against Evil. Being sucker-punched in the heart instead was…

Bloody, fucking painful.

And while Granger was an insufferably bossy sort of bint, he greatly doubted she'd done something to actually deserve it.

Not like he had.

Well, life generally chose to bugger whomever it pleased. And Weasley Minor should be an easy idiot to replace.

Perhaps she should consider a Hufflepuff…?

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Christmas hols. Can't go to the Weasleys', obviously. Mrs. Weasley's calmed down enough to be understanding— but not enough to tolerate a full-on row at her dinner table. Mum and Dad… We're still piecing the bits back together; I think staying on would be too… intense… for all of us. So it's to be a Christmas with ghosts.

Brilliant. I'm sure it'll do wonders for my 'Healing Process.'

Too bad you can't express sarcasm in a diary.

Though if Prof. Snape were writing this— provided he indulged in such lame pursuits —I'm sure the pages would be drenched in sarcasm.

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I'm going nutters. Rattling around the halls, being bombarded with 'conversation', rattling around the halls again. That must be it, right? Otherwise…

Otherwise, I'm most horribly sane. And therein lies the road to madness.

Or Hell. I'm not sure.

I think I'd rather be mad. Then, I might become a happy madwoman. As it is…

As it is, I'm being entirely incoherent. I'm not sure but that's a preferable state of affairs.

What has me in a knot?

I found myself at dinner listeningto Prof. Snape. And then realising how long his fingers are.

God. I'm fucked, aren't I?

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She didn't— couldn't —mean what he thought she meant.

Either Granger was severely sexually frustrated, or he was a filthy-minded old bastard.

Quite possibly both.

Merlin's drawers, he was very close to acting an utter moron. She'd noticed a feature which she'd found attractive in a male. (Snape spared a moment to examine his hands; nobody had ever thought them attractive before.) That they were attached to him had shocked her. He'd feel the same if he suddenly noticed, say, Pomona's breasts. ('Perish the thought,' he shuddered.)

The girl would eventually digest the thought and move on.

As would he.

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I'm trying to analyse what the hell's going on in my… well, 'head' isn't quite the right word, is it? But I find myself listening more and more often. I guess the hols are the best time for that, aren't they? He's not teaching, he's talking.

He's still a pretty surly git, but… I hope I'm not romanticising… but he often flinches slightly when he talks to the other professors. I think that… last year… hurt him dreadfully. How do you handle the knowledge that people— friends, even —you've worked beside for years and years had no faith in you?

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The day before Christmas and we actually talked. It was pretty stilted on my side to begin, but after… Well, I wanted to see if his usual (for me) acidity would do something to discourage this… infatuation I seem to have developed. But… no. He was civil, and later… Well, it was a pretty broad discussion.

In spite of those damned hands of his.

I apologised. For a lot of things. We didn't talk about that last day. He made one of those dry comments; I laughed, and he looked startled— then pleased.

I could kick myself.

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Severus remembered that day. He'd assumed the girl was desperate for company, her friends absent and Minerva occupied.

He'd been feeling rather lonely himself. Granger had been right, curse it; he'd forgiven his colleagues, but it was another thing entirely to trust them again. He'd taken to secluding himself in forgotten corners of the castle and grounds. When she'd approached him with apologies for her missteps (that bloody flame spell!) and some awkward attempts at conversation, he'd taken them at face value. He'd intended to accept them brusquely and brush her off.

But, damn it, he'd enjoyed that conversation, too.

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I fucked up. But maybe it's for the best. After all, this is a silly schoolgirl infatuation, isn't it? It's impossible for it to be anything more, so it's probably better that he never speaks to me again. This way, I'll have to get over it, and my pride won't be in shreds from him finding out.

He'd probably laugh.

No. He wouldn't laugh.

But right now, he'd use it to slice me into tiny, little pieces. And he'd be justified. I was angry, and I shouldn't have been. I said so many things to him that were cruel and unfair.

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Day before classes resume. I've avoided him since That Day, but I'm still enrolled in Potions, and there's class tomorrorow. At least he'll only have the opportunity to humiliate me in public. That I think I can deal with. That's… normal.

God. What's wrong with me? Why do I have to choose Snape, of all people? I could probably list his bad points by the page.

The list of his good points would be a lot shorter.

Wouldn't it?

I was right: happy endings are crap.

I just wish… I wish that he can find someone to talk with.

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The war had not changed everything. Snape was still willing and able to strike terror into students simply by stalking into the Great Hall.

The student body was collectively relieved when his target was revealed to be…

"Granger. I believe you have something of mine in your possession."

She blanched when he presented her journal to her. Diving into her satchel, she retrieved the blue book's twin. He plucked it from her hands with a sickly smile and glided away.

Expecting something awful, Hermione flipped through the pages.

There.

Just below her last entry.

Café Arabica
3:30pm
Day after graduation.
Severus

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ANs: So there you are: my first (posted) fanfic in a while, written for the GS100 'twin' challenge. 'Twin' usually implies a person, which goaded me into finding another interpretation—without using Crooks, my usual fallback when that happens—which led to the choice of an inanimate object. I admit, the visual for the blue journals was the TARDIS diary from Doctor Who's 'Silence in the Library'. And, completely unintentionally, I seem to have paralleled Darcy's first proposal to Elizabeth (Pride & Prejudice, no zombies) in Hermione's attitudes to her feelings for Severus.

Anyhow, just a little fluff to brighten your day. Tokens of gold, brass, or even lead in the little box below are all welcome, an it please thee.