Disclaimer: I am, most unfortunately, not J.K. Rowling, nor am I a member of Fun... so if you recognize something, it's not mine.
Song: We Are Young, fun.
A/N: Listening to this song one day, a scene began to play out in my head - so I wrote it down. At first, I attempted to change the characters around to make it more believable, but nothing seemed to fit. In the end I decided to stick with the characters I first saw, and let them tell the story... and this just sort of happened.
It's definitely AU. I don't want to give away to much background - it's important in the story - but I'll let you know that this is set at least six years after the final war and the defeat of Voldemort.
There was an awkward pause as he stepped up to the booth she was currently occupying. She had yet to look up at him, but she knew who he was as soon as he'd entered the pub an hour and a half ago. After another moment,
"May I?" He gestured to the seat across from her, which was currently empty. She sighed, set down her glass, and gave him a small nod. Only after he had settled into the seat did she raise her eyes to meet his.
"What do you want?" Her hostility was evident, and he knew she had every reason to be. He knew this would be his only chance.
"Please, just… hear me out." He sounded sincere, and while she was surprised at the truth in his voice, she had already decided not to make anything easy for him. She scoffed and took another drink from her glass. He watched her, and a half amused, half worried smirk crossed his face. "Scotch? You know what that does to you." She met his eyes quickly this time with a glare.
"As do you." She retorted, her lips thin. He knew she wasn't going to cause a scene, but he also knew that she had many ways she could get rid of him – in any sense of the term. His 'please', however, was not lost on her, and she knew it was an extremely rare occurrence to hear such a word uttered from his lips. She frowned and gestured for him to continue, focusing on what was left of her drink.
"I want to… I want to talk about what happened. I want to explain – "
"I hardly think there is any need for you to explain, Severus." She cut him off, vocalizing his name as if it were a curse word. She glanced around the pub quickly, eyebrow raised in a condescending manner not unlike his own. "What, no backup this time?" She mocked him. The pain in her voice was evident, however, and that struck pain in his own chest more than her words had. He let out a frustrated sigh.
"They're in the back, minding their own. I didn't want them to come here. I told them I didn't want them around. They seem to think that I'm making a grave mistake, coming back here." He paused, waiting for her eyes to catch his again. "Talking to you." He added. She scoffed.
"As if this were an amiable conversation. We are hardly what one would call friends, Severus. When have we ever been?" Her words were biting, and under any other circumstance – had she been speaking to anyone else besides him – he would have almost felt proud of her.
"Okay," He conceded angrily, "Obviously we have never been on the best of terms. But I never would have… you know I never would have…" His voice trailed off and grew softer. She chewed her lip for a moment, a nagging thought telling her that his words held truth, but…
"Lucius is waiting for me. I need to go." She looked up to the bar and watched as the tall, blonde-haired man ordered a drink from the bartender, cracking some sort of joke and causing those around him to laugh.
He really was a good person now – still a bit of a coward when it concerned his death eater days, but she didn't let that bother her. He was good looking, now that he'd cut his hair and at least had some sort of tone to his skin. He was also an excellent lover, but she wasn't going to tell Severus that. He knew well enough what she and Lucius were up to, and that was enough for her. To throw it in his face would just be…too Slytherin for her tastes.
Then again, she did seem to have a taste for Slytherins…
Severus' gaze followed hers to his old ex-comrade, and he scowled. She took note of the rigid posture of the man across from her, and smirked to herself. Good.
"Hey, Miss, the guy at the bar says this is for you… do you know him?" A waiter that she hadn't seen previously during the night set a butterbeer on the table in front of her. "I mean, it's just that I've noticed him flirting pretty obnoxiously with most of the ladies in here, and…" here he directed his words to Severus, "with that dirty look you're giving him, I kind of assumed he may have been the one to, ah… you know…" The man – no, he wasn't quite a man yet, just a boy – gestured to her exposed neck and shoulder.
Severus stood quickly and snarled at the young man, who stumbled over an apology and hurried back into the kitchen.
She subconsciously brought her fingers to the right side of her jaw, and traced the scars there that led down her neck and across her shoulder. Severus looked pained as he slowly sat back down. It had been months since the... incident, and it was in fact the same incident as to why he was now trying to reconcile with her.
All she wanted to do was forget about the whole thing – but who could, when one had scars as she did? Scars that told the world that she should have died from the injury that had caused them, and scars that no amount of magic could hide or take away. She sighed roughly and pushed the butterbeer toward him.
"You have it. I think I'll stick with my Scotch." She took a rather large gulp from her glass, almost as if to prove her point. It burned harshly as it went down her throat… burned like the memory of her wounds that she was forcing herself to never forget, no matter how much she wanted to.
There wasn't much talk between them as he went through his glass, and then ordered another one. From an outsider, it may look as if they were two coworkers having a drink after a long day, sharing a time when they didn't have to talk or explain anything to one another. However, explaining was exactly the thing that these two should have been doing.
"I'm not sure how I could apologize for something like this. You know that if I could find a way – any way – to fix what has happened, I would do it." As both of their glass counts were mounting, his emotions were becoming less guarded and she was becoming more resigned. She rested her head against her left palm, elbow on the table. He was simply sitting in front of her, hands relaxed to his sides. Only she could see that he was relaxed; his posture no longer rigid and his brow no longer furrowed. Well, at least not as much as it usually is.
"You act as if you had no part in this! As if you weren't the one – " She halted, getting too close to speaking point-blank about the topic at hand, and changed course, "As if you couldn't help what had happened to me!" She was not yelling loudly enough for the other patrons to hear them, but just enough that he could feel how angry she was.
No, if she admitted it to herself, angry wasn't the right word. As much as she tried, she could not be angry with him. She was disappointed, and hurt. Yes, she was severely hurt – and not only physically. He'd cut her right down to her soul; a thing that only he could do. It wasn't even so much that she was bothered by the physical evidence left behind – lord knows she'd had enough issues surrounded her appearance earlier in life; she could care less about it now.
He did not reply; just stared at her with a sad look on his face, and she said, "The fact that it was you. You were the one that let them in, and you knew how much they hated me…"
"I thought that by now they would have gotten over their stupid ideals! You-Know-Who had been the real powerhouse behind us, and of course you know that! I thought that they would have renounced themselves, like they had the last time…" He trailed off, aware of how childish and stupid his words sounded, and he took a long drink of his beer in disgust with himself.
Since when did Severus Snape ever sit there, whining like a child, about ideas that even the youngest of Hogwarts students knew to be downright stupid? He waved the waitress – the previous waiter had not been seen since his comment about the scars, and neither of them certainly minded – over for another glass.
"Scotch," He said, his eyes on the woman across from him. She was staring into her now empty glass.
"Sir…" The waitress began timidly, "I think you should probably lay off the alcohol for a little while…at least for a few – "
"Scotch." He hissed at her, slowly turning his gaze to meet hers. She took a step away from the table before quickly nodding and walking away. He knew he was using his 'snarky git' status to get away with this, but he didn't care at the moment.
"Tis not fair," Hermione mumbled, once more resting her chin in her hand. She played with the water droplets on the table, refusing to meet Severus' eyes again. "I already get cut off, and you can just scare them into submission." His jaw clenched, but he didn't reply. He looked off toward the bar, watching the other patrons for a few moments.
"Why couldn't you have used that power then?" She asked him calmly. His gaze snapped back to hers, which now met his with an honest curiosity.
"You know… you know I'm trying hard to get your trust back." He told her quietly, guilt and sorrow the only thing she could see in his eyes. She knew that he would normally never show such emotion in public, or ever let her see him drunk enough to relax in this manner. She looked back at Lucius and said very quietly,
"I know." She continued to watch as her lover chatted with the bartender. As if he felt her eyes on him, he turned his head to look at her, a question in his eyes. She subtly shook her head and offered him a small smile, and he smiled warmly at her in return before resuming his conversation.
He'd known Severus' intention as soon as the man had entered the pub, and allowed them time and space to talk – whether either of them initially wanted it or not.
"I'm glad…" She jerked her gaze back to the man across from her, perplexed. "I'm glad that you… that it's him. I may not like it, but… at least it's him." Severus told her, gritting his teeth. She knew that there was some truth in his statement. She also knew that he was the jealous type. Extremely so.
"Severus, I must admit," She sighed, leaning back into the booth, "that the majority of my time spent with Lucius is to simply punish you." She told him straight faced. He looked as if he'd been slapped, and he leaned back into his seat as well.
No physical pain could ever truly hurt Severus, not with his years of experience being one of Voldemort's closest. She knew that the one thing that would hurt him the most was herself; her rejection of him. He'd once told her that, and she had not taken it lightly. He could see that now. Unfortunately, the pain that she could see so clearly in his face cut into her own heart almost as badly as 'The Incident' had.
He nodded, almost to himself, and reached forward to the glass of Scotch recently placed in front of him. He downed almost the entire thing in one gulp, reveling the burn it caused in his throat as he swallowed. Merlin knew he deserved every bit of it.
By the time the bar closed, she knew she was in no state to get to her apartment on her own, by way of floo or apparating. Severus was hardly any better than she, but nevertheless she allowed him to grasp her elbow to steady her as they stepped into the night. Lucius held the door open for them silently. He hadn't yet said a word to the other man all night.
"Here," he pulled a small vial from his pocket and pressed it into Severus' free hand. "Take this. Merlin knows you've had enough to down a full-blooded giant, but this should help you enough to get the two of you home safely." He waited until Severus downed the entire contents of the sobriety potion before stepping away from the two of them. Severus sent him a questioning gaze, and Lucius laughed without much humor. "I knew what my job was to her. You're one of my closest friends, Severus, but this… well, I was willing to do this for her."
"And no Malfoy would turn down a free shag then, would he?" Severus retorted dryly, but with a small smirk on his lips. Lucius flashed a grin.
"She's a beautiful woman, Severus Snape. I think you'll find her quite hard to say 'no' to." He rested his hand on his friend's shoulder a moment before apparating away with a small 'poof' of wind around them.
"I never liked it when you two would talk about me as if I weren't right in front of you." She whined, leaning heavily into Severus. He sighed and lifted her arm around his neck, picking her up to cradle her close as he carried her home.
"I've told you before, and I'm telling you again; you are the death of me, Hermione Granger." He murmured into her hair, sniffing deeply before apparating away. When morning came, she would hate him all over again, but he would deal with that when the time came. His spirit was renewed by the familiarity of the wonderful scent that was all her own, and he knew – he promised – that he would do absolutely everything in his power to win her back.
A/N: Reviews are greatly appreciated!