Chapter 1 - Potion Memories
"Now, as I was saying, I prepared some concoctions this morning. Any ideas as to what these might be?"
Hermione could barely believe her eyes. No…no, it couldn't be. She leaned in a bit…yes, it was. Her hand shot up and Professor Slughorn looked at her with a curious look.
He nodded and she explained. "That one there is Veritaserum, a truth telling serum. And that one's Amortentia, the most powerful love potion in the world. It's rumored to smell differently to each person, according to what attracts them. For example, I smell freshly mown grass and new parchment…spearmint toothpaste…"
She was suddenly flooded with a memory of the beginning of that summer just before leaving Grimmauld Place. She had gone to get her toiletries from the bathroom so that she could pack them away, but instead had been greeted with a sight that would be forever seared in her memory…
There was Severus Snape, standing at the sink wearing black jeans that were unbuttoned and an open and un-tucked black dress shirt. He was in the middle of brushing his teeth, and she stood there in shock.
She had always assumed, wrongly she could now see, that he wasn't all that attractive…but this sight, oh gods, this sight proved otherwise.
His eyes suddenly snapped up at the unexpected sound of the bathroom door opening and their eyes met. Hermione stood there gaping, not a single sound passing her lips although her mind was pleading with her to come up with something. He glared at her, but unable to speak at that moment as his toothbrush was in his mouth.
Suddenly, in a few lightning fast movements, he pulled out the toothbrush, spat into the sink, and then turned on her, whipping out his wand with his empty hand from…no, it couldn't be…his back pocket? How many times had he warned all of his students that leaving a wand there was asking for trouble, that too many magical accidents had happened from witches and wizards accidentally hexing their own buttocks off?
Still, she found herself utterly at his mercy…and a brief thrill of excitement ran through her, a reaction that she didn't care to analyze too closely.
"What…are…you doing here, Miss Granger?"
Every word was filled with an almost dangerous inflection, and Hermione knew that if she gave him an answer that he didn't approve of, she would be in big trouble. Oh dear, oh dear…how was she going to get out of this one?
"I-I was just…g-getting my things, P-Professor…"
She motioned towards what should have been where her toothbrush lay, but then realized that the one that he was using was her own. He was using her toothbrush! How dare he!
He looked down at the toothbrush in his other hand, as though aware of the fact that she was staring at it. He lifted it up towards her, an odd look on his face.
"Is this yours?"
She nodded and then blushed as she realized the full implications of the situation that they were in. Here he was, half-dressed, and holding his wand towards her…and suddenly she remembered that all she was wearing was her underwear with her flimsy robe that had been hastily and carelessly thrown over it, as she was planning on changing later in this very bathroom.
She could feel her blush deepen, so she dropped her eyes, completely unaware of the fact that he was now lowering his wand, casting a quick cleansing charm on the toothbrush and then walking towards her.
She suddenly looked at up at the faint feel of heat coming off of his body from his proximity to her. Hermione stared at him, frozen as he placed her toothbrush on the counter just to his right, and then looked at her, almost apologetically. And then she heard the words…
"My apologies, Miss Granger. I've had…a long night, and was merely cleaning up after…shall we say, some activities of a sort?"
She finally snapped out of it, and then realized that he was talking about the Death Eater meeting that he'd left for yesterday afternoon. She'd been certain, though, that he'd be gone for several days, as was his usual pattern. He avoided coming back to the Order's headquarters because of the fact that it was Sirius' house…or so she assumed.
He gave her a look that she couldn't quite decipher, and she was suddenly extremely self-conscious. She wrapped her robe more tightly around her, even though it already covered her completely, paranoid that he might know and be utterly mortified at being in such a situation with a student. Her hand unconsciously went to her hair, smoothing it down and attempting, though failing, to tame her tangled mass of curls.
He took a step forward, putting him uncomfortably close and she glared at him. "Sir?"
He motioned towards the door behind her. "I would like to leave the lavatory, if you don't mind, Miss Granger? Or are you planning on keeping me captive until you've recovered your senses? Because if that is the case, then I fear I will be stuck here for the next century."
His last words were biting and she tried not to show her hurt, instead lifting her head and glaring at him defiantly.
"It's not a problem…Sir."
With that, she moved to the side, but the bathroom was so narrow that he still brushed by her as he made to leave the bathroom, and the scent of spearmint suddenly filled her nostrils as he had partially turned and his breath had brushed against her neck and cheek.
As soon as he was gone, she let out a deep, shaky sigh, and was suddenly aware that her sides hurt slightly, as though she had been holding her breath throughout their entire altercation. She wouldn't be surprised if she had. It had been one of the most intense moments in her life. And as she began to put her few things into her bag, she suddenly realized at how dangerous it had been as well. She had been staring at the business of a wand of one of the most powerful wizards in all of Britain. She was lucky that he hadn't hexed her on the spot.
After she got dressed, she stood in the bathroom, reliving the moment. Something had happened…something that she'd avoided thinking of when he'd been there, but something had happened. When she'd seen him half-dressed…when his breath had brushed against her.
Hermione took a moment to analyze the feeling. It had been the same both times. It had a faint similarity to what she'd felt when she'd first seen Viktor at the ball…no.
She shook her head trying to deny the feeling. No, no, no. This could not be happening. He…He was her professor, for goodness sake! But…it was what it was, and she couldn't deny it. She was attracted to him. Very attracted to him. It had much stronger than what she'd felt towards Viktor. It had been…intense. No, that was too weak a word.
It had been…she just couldn't think of a word for it…
The memory flooded through her at once as she smelled the potion, and she quickly pulled back at some snickers that she could hear coming from the back of the group.
She dared not look anyone in the eye afterwards, especially not Harry or Ron. They would immediately know that something was up, but she took no chances. She suddenly realized that there was another memory associated with toothpaste, and it involved Ron, but that was not the first memory that had surfaced, so she assumed that the potion triggered the memories that were associated with the person she was actually attracted to.
She didn't want to dwell on the thought, but then her mind drifted to the other memories that had surfaced but had been suppressed by the sheer strength of her particular memory of being with Snape that particular time.
During the first class of fifth year… Pulling out new parchment at the beginning of his lecture, barely able to contain the butterflies in her stomach at the idea that she was having the chance to listen to his voice for a whole hour. His velvety, chocolate tones washing over her as she wrote across the clean parchment, all of her senses seemingly heightened and drugged at the same time, making her wonderfully confused as her hand wrote on automatic.
During the first game of fifth year… She could smell the freshly cut grass of the Quidditch pitch and barely breathed as he brushed by her, his cloak briefly intermingling with her own as he made his way to the teacher's box. He was like a strong breeze across the grounds, and her body had an almost physical reaction to the smells that he stirred up in his wake. Grass, grass, and more grass…it was wonderful…
She inwardly groaned. She couldn't escape him, no matter what. She cast a lingering gaze towards the cauldron, and for a moment, only a moment, she briefly wondered what he smelled when he was near it. Did he smell her perfume? The ink that was almost permanently stained on her fingers from writing for hours on end? No…that was merely wishful thinking.
Hermione sighed. She would simply have to let things be…