The characters and canon situations in the following story belong solely to JK Rowling, Scholastic and WB. I am not making any money from the publishing or writing of this story.
A/N(updated May 2, 2012): I wrote this one day after playing around with a anagram generator. Can't figure it out - see the A/N at the end. ~Meladara
Damn! Why did that have to be the best anagram? She chuckled. She really wanted to have a great anagram for what she wanted to say, but come on, overvalues penises. I think not!
"Lets see what else I can find." she thought, "Hmm. . .maybe something with three words. Two certainly is not working." She wrote quietly for another moment or two.
Venereal Vises Soup
Venereal Vises Opus
"Oh! For Merlin's sake, this is not working," she grumbled.
She needed to find some reasonable anagrams not this filth.
No Persuasive Elves
Easier Evolves Puns
Evasive Elopes Runs
Evasive Lures Peons
Leaven Erosive Puss
She growled in frustration and threw her notebook from her lap. It landed with a thud on her floor.
She was struggling to find a fun way to tell him how she felt. They had been colleagues for over 2 years and friends now for a whole year. As she'd expected, he'd been cold and vile to her when she had started as the Arithmancy Professor but she wore him down. Slowly but surely, she won him over to her side. Now, after a year of friendship and 3 grueling months of trying to hide that fact that she was madly in love with him, she'd decided it was time to come clean. It was a new school year and she knew that her acting skills were sorely lacking. She'd only managed to keep it from him over the summer because their contact had been limited and almost always in the company of others. However now, he would expect her to sit next to him at meals, she would have to banter about which subject was better (Arithmancy or Potions), they'd have their yearly battle over who could take the most points away from the rival house. When truly all she really wanted to do was gaze lovingly at him and snog him senseless.
"Argh!" she groaned in frustration.
She was disgusted with herself. Of all the idiotic situations she found herself in love with Severus Snape and her brain reduced to the functional capacity of a teenager.
"Damn it all to hell," her lips muttered.
It was terrifying. Sincerely, she would gaze lovingly at him every chance she got and there was nothing she could do about it. He'd think that she'd gone barmy.
Hermione ran her hand over her eyes and then through her hair, frustrated and then picked up her note book and started again on her project.
Sometime ago they'd found that they shared a love of anagrams. They had spent many hours laughing over the ridiculous anagrams they found for their friends and colleagues.
Ronald Weasley had become Analysed Lower or if she was feeling particularly frustrated with him Anally Resowed.
Harry Potter was now Prayer Troth when he was good and Harpy Retort when he lost his temper.
However, their most enjoyable anagram session had been when they had dubbed Minerva McGonagall: Manacle Lovin' Gram. It was an apt description of the tight arsed grandmother figure who ran the school.
Somewhere along the way he had become Aver Suspense and she Her Angrier Gnome.
There has got to be at least normal one or two normal anagrams that she could put to use here.
She struggled at her notebook for another hour and still found nothing suitable. Then it hit her, maybe suitable was not what she wanted. These could work, maybe. She could use the raunchy anagrams as well as clever clean ones. Over the last year she'd been exposed to enough of his humor to know that he certainly wouldn't be offended. Of course he'll still think she's insane, but it was all for a good cause. Wasn't it?
Pleased and excited with her new plan she got out a fresh sheet of parchment and started writing.
It was the first day of classes and Severus Snape swept into the Great Hall with the power and presence that he always afforded. He took his place at the table and began to pour himself a cup of coffee. She wasn't here yet but then, she always moved slow in the mornings. Looking down at his plate he saw a small note in the center of his plate. It was address to Aver Suspense. Apparently, she'd already come and gone. That was odd, she never made it to breakfast early. Taking the note in hand, he looked up and scanned the hall to see if any one was paying particular attention to him this morning. Luckily, the hall was filled with 20 or so bleary eyed students who studiously avoided his gaze. Probably fearing that they'd lose points for just looking at him wrong, he mused to himself. It was probably a reasonable fear on any other day, honestly. Today however, he was more concerned about the note in his hand and his missing meal companion.
Assured that he was not being observed he quickly opened the note and read:
Just wanted to let you know that there are No Persuasive Elves. I have tried but it cannot be avoided and I do not know what to do.
What on earth was the chit talking about. House elves? He remembered her campaign for the elves from her school days. It had been a excellent point to tease her about on numerous occasions but what on earth did she need persuasive elves for?
Severus refolded the note and tucked it into his pocket. He proceeded with his breakfast and then left as quickly as possible for his office to puzzle out what she was talking about and form a proper response.
As he entered his office he settled into his chair and drew the note out of his pocket. He read it once again and then thoughtfully set it to the side. Then he opened the drawer with parchment and pulled out a piece. As he went to lay the parchment on his desk he was startled to find that there was a new note centered on his desk. It too was addressed to Aver Suspense.
Eagerly he opened the note, perhaps it would enlighten him as to what she was talking about it.
I apologize for my intrusion, however I had a thought and wanted to tell you as soon as I could. The potion we spoke of, I believe that if you were to Leaven Erosive Puss you may find that your results are more desirable.
Severus dropped the note on his desk in confusion. Perhaps she's been hit with a confundus or babbling curse and doesn't know what she is saying. Why write him notes about it though? Had we spoken about a potion recently? No, not one that could ever reasonably need leavened erosive puss, what ever that was suppose to be. This certainly was shaping up to be an odd morning.
His thoughts were interrupted by the morning bell. He had 2 minutes before his first class of the day started. The notes would have to wait until later. Carefully, he folded the two notes and placed them in his pocket. During his free period he would be able respond to her; although, what to say he wasn't quite sure. Perhaps, before heading to class he would floo Poppy and have her look in on Hermione, just to be sure she was okay.
Just after her second class of the day Hermione was surprised to be greeted by Madam Pomfrey.
"Why hello Poppy, what can I do for you?" Hermione asked, amiably.
"Oh, nothing dear. I was in the neighborhood and thought I would check in and see how your first day of classes in going." Poppy said with a smile. Severus had sounded rather concerned about her mental health but she seemed to be perfectly fine; from what she could tell with out doing an exam, at least.
She smiled and said, "That was thoughtful of you Poppy. My classes have been fine, nothing spectacular. The students are always a bit flighty the first few weeks of school. They will settle soon enough. And you, how has your day been?"
"I've had a quiet time of it so far, but you never know when the little blighters are going to blow themselves up. I better head back, as I said, I just wanted to pop in and say hello. Have a lovely afternoon, Hermione."
"You as well Poppy." Hermione said as she watched the woman leave the classroom. That was odd. Poppy Pomfrey has no business on this side of the castle. The Arithmancy class room was located in a rather remote area of the castle. She wondered why she had come to talk to her. "Oh well," she muttered as her next class came into the room.
When he'd entered his classroom that morning he'd found another note from her. What is the girl up to? The third note was the strangest of them all.
This has been quite the morning. Busy, busy. You know, I discovered something and it has greatly troubled me. I really wanted to share it with you but I fear you may not feel the same. Then again of course you do not feel the same! You see I am one that Overvalues Penises. Truly, until this summer I did not realize that it was even so, but alas, it is true Her Angrier Gnome can honestly say that Aver Suspense could describe her as one who Overvalues Penises.
This revelation has me whirling - you know. It is not like me to be so brash and forward. HAHA! I can hear you now, "Gryffindor, blah blah." But honestly, when have I ever just plowed into something? I always think things through and approach situations intelligently.
Although, I have found that I do enjoy that fact that I can be one that Lures Evasive Peons, they really do help me out so, ahhh – but I find myself off track.
Nevertheless, I have taken up enough of your time this morning.
Before I close I must say that I am still having problems with the fact that there are No Persuasive Elves and the party for which this chiefly involves is most ignorant of that fact. Leaving me often dismayed and agitated. Yes, most certainly agitated! I know, I shall just have to do the persuading myself.
From the bottom of my heart.
So, what do you think, will Leaven Erosive Puss work?
That's it, that girl has lost it! Someone must have hexed her. She overvalues penises, what is that supposed to mean? Well, I mean I can understand that obvious meaning, but it is unlike Hermione to share something like that with me. Then realizing that it was 3 minutes into class time and he'd yet to start it he quickly put the note away and put the class to work.
Severus Snape spread the three notes on his desk. It was now his break period and he would see no one, student or colleague, until lunch. Perhaps he could figure out what was going on during that time.
What did he know? He pulled out a piece of parchment and started making note of the things that he knew.
1. Poppy after visiting Hermione had declared her mentally sound. Or rather as sound as she could tell without running a diagnostic spell.
2.. Three notes received.
3. The notes are from Hermione.
4. The notes were all delivered prior to his 8:30 am class.
5. Addressed to Aver Suspense: therefore personal in nature. She never addresses me as such in official business.
6. The notes made no sense.
Well, this was getting him no where. He decided to try a different tactic. Questions and conclusions.
1. Why 3 notes? Why not 1? Most likely they'd been written at the same time. Thus, she wanted to draw her message, what ever it was, out into three notes (or she was simply crazy).
2. If this is a personal and not professional matter, what was she trying to tell him? Because obviously either she is crazy or there is a hidden message here.
3. So, she wanted to write out 3 separate personal notes and draw out the delivery. Why? For what purpose? His enjoyment?
4. Perhaps this was simply a perverse attempt at confusion or to puzzle him.
Suddenly, the proverbial lumos spell lit up his brain, it was a puzzle for him. She loved games, puzzles, anagrams, etc.; they both did. So, what was the puzzle? Grabbing fresh parchment he looked at the three notes for clues. He scanned the first note, the only thing odd about it was the fact that she says that there are no persuasive elves. Hmm. . .okay, maybe that is the clue.
Quickly, he wrote that down on his paper and then turned to the second letter. Well, if he followed the pattern set by the first the clue in the second should be Leaven Erosive Puss. Then he saw it, the first letter of each word in his clues were capitalized. After going through the third letter he had a list that read as follows:
No Persuasive Elves
Leaven Erosive Puss
Lures Evasive Peons
"So an anagram then," he thought, "What is she trying to say..."
She sat nervously at the head table waiting for him to appear at lunch. It wouldn't take a genius to figure out her game. Especially where Severus was concerned, he had an uncanny ability when it came to anagrams. Where was he? He never missed lunch during the week. It was tradition for them to eat together.
As the minutes passed, her stomach started to sicken. Oh No! In her haste and fervor she really hadn't spent much time considering the consequences of her actions. Her thoughts had been centered on "I love him" and "I must tell him." Now though, facing the reality of her self inflicted predicament, her thoughts were strikingly different. There was a chance he didn't feel the same! Holy Merlin! What if he didn't feel the same way?
"Good one Hermione," she thought, "You've single-handedly ruined your most important friendship."
She waited and watched the door. With her luck that was exactly was had happened; she'd found a man who thought she was funny and made her happy and then, in one fell swoop, she'd just run him off.
Appetite gone now she passed the time pushing her food around her plate and waiting. Still, she held some small hope; in the last six months he'd been uncharacteristically open with her. He was a true friend. Surely he wouldn't cast her aside, even if he did not share her depth of feeling.
"Damn," she muttered, as she threw her head back, hitting on the back of her chair.
How could she have been so stupid?
Lunch was now half way over and true panic set it. Bubbling in her stomach like a sickly potion, she started to flush and her eyes began darting across the room to see if anyone had noticed her agitation.
Maybe he had a reason to be late. Right? She tried to convince herself that it was reasonable, he'd been late before. Though the wicked self doubt growing in her head mocked her by reminding her that it was only the first day of classes, what reason could he have to be late so early in the school year.
Who was she kidding? She wasn't good enough for him anyhow.
With a great sigh, she threw down her fork a bit more forcefully that needed, drawing a glance from the Headmistress Manacle. Giving a mental groan she realized that she was going to have to stop doing that now. It wasn't nearly as funny when it wasn't shared with him.
This meal was complete failure. Figuring it was time to put it behind her and hope that at the end of the day (or month, or year, or really just someday) that she'd be able to look at herself and find some shred of dignity left.
Just as she was about to cross the threshold of the door her body was met with a hard dark object that knocked her completely to the ground. She looked up to find one Mr. Severus Snape glaring down at her.
Such was her embarrassment that she completely missed the slight softening of the scowl on his face as he realized exactly whom he'd knocked to the floor. Formally he reached down and offered her a hand to help her up.
"My apologizes," he said stiffly as she stood. They were in the Great Hall after all. He quirked his head to the side, his mouth firm and taut. His black eyes stared at her intently. In an instant he could see that she was upset. He could see the embarrassment and mortification growing in her eyes.
Brushing her robes clean and straight with her free hand, she looked down and mumbled, "Thank you." She felt his hand give hers a gentle squeeze just before he dropped it. At that her stomach flipped. Perhaps there was some hope, or at the very least he did not look as though he hated her. That was something. However, it was not time for that hope or intense conversation, not here with eyes of the entire student body watching. Indeed, it was rather too much for her to be suddenly thrust into his presence and afternoon classes would be starting soon. This would have to wait for another time. She motioned toward the door, indicating her desire to pass. His eyes widened and then he quietly inquired, "You are leaving?"
Quietly she answered, "I thought it best. Indeed, it was a move to save what dignity I had left, but apparently even that was for not, as I find I have left it on the floor. If you will excuse me, I must prepare for my next class." Once again she made for the door, this time with more force and purpose. Escape was what she needed right now.
As she walked out of the Great Hall she felt him touch her shoulder. Turning to look at him, she saw that in his hand was a note and on his face a small smile, a smirk really but with him that was about as much as you could hope for.
Her eyes widened with surprise. Her heart screamed, "He wrote you a note!" With a gentle outstretched hand her fingers grasped the note and took it from him.
"Ummm. . .," she mumbled.
"Always the great orator Hermione," he teased. "I am for lunch, whilst I can." Then he turned and marched himself militantly into the Great Hall.
If she weren't so emotionally confused she would have found it humorous, his militant stomping about; however, every thought she was capable of producing at that moment was centered on the note in her hand. She flew to her office as fast as her feet could take her. Quickly, she unwarded the door and rushed inside. As she settled into the chair she began to read:
Her Angrier Gnome
The topic(s) you have presented to me today has been much intriguing, if I do say so myself. You are correct in your assessment that I in fact am not one that Overvalues Penises. I suppose that it is part of my inherent broody and sulky nature to be as such. However, I find that it is most surprising and refreshing that you are one that does. Indeed, if you must know, I rejoice at the discovery that there are No Persuasive Elves as well. Is it crass to be so joyful at your misfortune? Alas, I must say that your loss, is my gain. No?
As to the peons and potions, I do not wish to go further into it; I loathe redundancy, as you well know. However, I must thank you for a most interesting and unforgettable morning. I do believe it shall go down as the most memorable start to a school year, ever. In return I offer you the ode you find below. I grant that I am no poet, so - please, I beg your forgiveness in advance.
Ode to a Rhino
Oh, Rhino Menagerie, Grovel
Negligee Overarm, Rhino? Indeed!
Rhino, A Reemerging Love
Niggle A Rhino Evermore
A Neglige Remover Rhino
As far as Hermione was concerned there had never been a longer afternoon of classes. When she first read his note she was surprised and then apprehensive. What if she was deciphering it wrong? Then as she read the note several more times, she decided it was clear. He was accepting her advance. More than that, he returned her sentiments! Then before she could process anything more she was met with a rush of students. She pushed down her excitement and questions until they could be more properly addressed.
The days classes complete she now found herself standing outside his office door, her Gryffindor courage flagging. She halted her hand just before it could sound on the door as doubts once again filled her head. Her eyes closed as she took a deep breath and pushed back the doubts. In her mind she pictured his note. The note was real, he'd meant the words he wrote, however cryptic and ludicrous. In fact, if he'd had enough confidence to accept her cryptic words, she could do the same. Finally, she mustered just enough confidence to open her eyes as she placed one hand on the door knob and the other moved to knock. Suddenly the door flung open and before she could even look up she found herself once again sprawled on the floor, this time covered in a mass of black robes and limbs.
"Severus, you've really got to stop doing this," she groaned.
She rested her head against the floor as she felt him roll off of her. Then as they moved to right themselves she felt his hands grasp her waist. Quickly, she raised her head to look at him, her face full of shock. Severus' eye brow raised as he leaned to her ear and whispered, "Overvalues Penises?" His voice, though quiet was full of teasing mirth.
She rolled her eyes and huffed, though the smirk on her face showed the she really wasn't put out by his teasing.
"Have you got a problem with it?" she challenged.
"Not at all. I find it most acceptable." he said as he pulled her closer to him. She could feel the warmth coming from his body and smell his familiar scent of sandlewood and potions.
"Soooo..., " she teased with a chuckle, "Rhinos?"
He laughed quietly as he wrapped his arms around her. "Give me a break, Hermione," he said, "You know very well that I had little time and I must confess the knowledge you had so graciously imparted to me left me lacking in cognitive ability. To be frank, it was sometime before I could produce words at all."
"Ahh... I see. Well, despite your tardiness, which - I might add left me feeling rather distraught and stupid, I am pleased with the outcome. It is a rather nice little ode and I think I shall have it framed," she said playfully with a smile. Then she her brow dropped and she added seriously, "You do realize that we are in the hall and decidedly NOT in your classroom. Right?"
Severus looked up from her face. Several student were looked at their teachers who had only moments before been sprawled on the floor. "Indeed," he quickly released her from the embrace and then formally he took up her hand and motioning to open door he said, "Shall we?"
Hermione rolled her eyes at him. "Drama queen," she chimed at him as she walked past him. She made her way over to his office door dragging him behind her by the hand. As they entered the office she stood facing away from him listening to the sound of him closing and warding his office door. Then as she heard him finish she turned and launched herself into his arms. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she kissed him soundly on the lips.
Severus was surprised to find himself with arms suddenly full of witch and his mouth under assault, however there were worst ways to spend an evening, he figured. Indeed far worse ways.
Once again he brought his arms around her waist and drew her closer, deepening the kiss. For sometime they were lost in the wonder and thrill of finding and exploring their newly confessed love. Then, when they found that they could no longer deny themselves air, they broke apart, breathless.
He felt her temple rub against his cheek as she nuzzled the side of his face. Then he heard her voice, now husky and breathless whisper in his ear, "I love Severus Snape." His heart pulsed with excitement, he'd known the message but to hear it from her lips, openly and freely stated; she was more than he'd ever hoped for in life. Overwhelmed but content he squeezed her tighter, then he dropped his mouth to her ear and whispered back, "and I love Hermione Granger."
A/N Update May 2, 2012 : So, I've gotten quite a few PMs from non-native english speakers confused about this story. I thought I'd clarify a bit for those who need it. The story in and of itself is a puzzle. In each note, as the story tells, Hermione has hidden an anagram. As does Severus in his ODE. That should be clear if you read the story, even if you disregarded (or were completely confused by) the notes.
An anagram is word or phase that has been scrambled into another word or phrase. A good of example of an anagram would be Listen = Silent. You can use the letters in one to make the other. See? Got it? No? Try googling "anagram generator" that may help. Beside they are fun to play with!
So the challenge is to figure out what Hermione and Severus' messages are...
If you still can't figure it out, leave a review or PM me and I'll just tell you what they are. Keep in mind - you are looking for only two phrases; one from Hermione and one from Severus. ~Meladara