Written for the 2012 Bring Back the Bastard fest at the Deeply_Horrible Livejournal.

Title: Like a man starved
Author: lyre_flowers on LJ / Anna Scathach on FFN
Beta Reader(s): Tuesday November, Sixpence_Jones
Word Count: 1400
Rating: R
Pairing(s): SS/HG
Warning: Thoughts about underage sex.
Prompt: #34 He had always tended to obsess over beauty where he saw it.
Summary: He watched her beauty like a man starved, even though her eyes were cold steel as she unblinkingly stared at him.
Notes: Can you spot the spell I made up? Also, to prevent confusion, Hermione's canon birthday is 19 September.

Like a man starved


Her hand waving in the dungeon air like an errant pigeon above the parchment-straight plains of her back, she had appeared in his Potions classes. Her brown eyes had been bright and eager.

From the first moment, he had known that she yearned for knowledge like he once had. The same yearning for knowledge, he recognised, that had led him to discover Levicorpus and Sectumsempra and Disicaintestina. Spells to lift people high in the air and to slice them open and to slit their intestines inside of them. This yearning for knowledge they shared usually didn't amount to good deeds, or further knowledge of White magic.

He almost sighed for brown-haired Hermione Granger that day. So young, so naïve, so innocently eager.

Muggleborn on top of that. He knew he should hate her. Clever like Lily Evans had been – his Lily, ever his – her eyes burning with the same academic eagerness and her friends precisely the same sort Lily's friends had been: gullible, Gryffindor, a far cry from her own genius. Useless, in the end.

He watched her as she turned twelve.


Far too mature for her years, she was bossy, knowledgeable and enthusiastic about anything that wasn't dunder-headed Quidditch and hare-brained first year jokes. A know-it-all, they called her.

When he heard that name for the first time, his lips twitched in amusement. Seeing the hurt look in her deep brown eyes as she noticed his reaction, he sneered viciously in self-defence.


Another year turned. Another evil passed. Another annual observation went over unnoticed.

He watched her like a man starved. Beauty was hard to find, hard to find at a Scottish boarding school, hard to find in a bitter recluse's life. And yet her mind was so beautiful to him.


Werewolves were his subject of choice and he saw her eyes glimmer with curiosity. Barely one day later, her gaze was full of knowing, of the innate knowing of a truly talented child witch, and full of steel when she looked at him. Holding his gaze, she stared unblinkingly.

He thought her body beautiful then. She was fourteen, a mere slip of a girl, were it not for the enormous mop of hair that preceded her into rooms and that undulated around her when she moved, like Kneazle fur scattering in the Scottish wind.

He licked his lips. If his students noticed, they passed it off as typical evil Snape behaviour.

He licked his lips to the thought of a fourteen-year-old student before him. All alone with him. Still a child, he thought, a child and your student. Off limits. And yet, she was so beautiful to him, inside and out.

Had he once obsessed about red hair and green eyes and the faint rest of a smile when her gaze swept over him after perusing her infernal Potter's messy hair, the current object of his affections had impossibly curly hair – he wanted to bury his hands in it, to smell the messy mop for the ever-present scent of innocently alluring strawberries, to moan his appreciation into her tiny ears.

Yet, her eyes still turned to him with the same stone-cold look they had had in previous years. She thought him ugly, a greasy git, a bloody bastard.

He wondered fleetingly how he could chase that look from her eyes – did he truly desire to? Wouldn't fear and loathing be a more appealing look for this child who had bewitched him so? Fear and loathing as his hands touched her shoulders and the barely-there muscles of her defenceless arms, as his lips skated over her cheeks and were eagerly pressed into her hair, as his cold-hearted body was close to her innate warmth.

He couldn't stop watching her: How she casually twisted her hair into a bun or carefully wrestled it into submission in a neat plait, how the air shifted when she moved around her cauldron in class, how the child-woman scent of vanilla and strawberries wafting from her skin and hair reached his nostrils and tickled his senses entranced him.

By fifteen, she had grown into the curves nature had so graciously granted her.


School robes and Quidditch scarves were nothing compared to the lovely blue robes she had clad in for the Yule was a vision. Her skin looked luminous and perfect in the ballroom light, her movements studiously graceful and meticulously planned. The way she sipped her pumpkin juice and licked a stray drop from her lips with her wonderful pink tongue – oh the things he wanted to do to that tongue – distracted him from any semblance of intelligent conversation with his colleagues.

She was lovely, far too lovely to be swept off her feet by the likes of bear-like, uneducated Krum who had the good sense of a Flobberworm. Jealousy raged up inside his belly and twisted around his spine when he saw her in the Bulgarian dim-wit's arms.

Her dress robes twirled around her legs, emphasizing their shapely elegance and the way her feminine derrière seemed to strain against the blue fabric with each step. She was radiantly beautiful.

He had always tended to obsess over beauty where he saw it. But never like her. Lily Evans was to Hermione Granger as a simple Boil-Cure Potion was to Veritaserum. Hermione Granger, even at the tender age of eleven, had been Amortentia to his senses, which he had subsequently lost to her charms – dusty books, school robes and vanilla.

It had been far too long since he had last seen such beauty, years since that beauty had died, and he was starving for this child witch's attention, longed for her beauty, craved the gaze of her deep brown eyes.

And although he had once insulted her teeth, it had been purely out of spite. She was far too beautiful for him, and he had intended to make her suffer for it, even if it were only for a minute or an hour. Sometimes, it was hard to not abuse his position of power when in his obsession he wanted nothing more than to insult her for being too beautiful or to knock stray herbs into her potion like he had done periodically in the past few months. Those were the times he didn't think. But when he saw her again at the ball, all he could think of was her, his fascination.

That night, he blasted rosebushes in blind jealous rage. She was far too beautiful for a cantankerous old git like himself, he knew, and yet he wished he had the guts to approach her. Sometimes he had fantasized about luring her to him.


Luring a sixteen-year-old innocent into his lair wouldn't be difficult, he knew. A word, a glance, a book, a potion. He only needed to convince her that, in order to further advance her studies, she needed him. He had never considered sexual favours from a student before. Nevertheless, seeing her eat a banana in the Great Hall one day, the youthful perfection of her face evidently happy, had been his undoing.

And sometimes, in his deepest dark fantasies, those that scared him awake at night, he took her against his potions desk. Ingredients were rattling and her innocent face was a mix between fright and intense concentration. Sometimes she sank her nails into his back and bit at his throat.

At seventeen she was even more beautiful than before.


Her mind was a wonderland, one Alice – and Severus – would gaily lose themselves in, a brilliant labyrinth of knowledge, deduction and memories, a Devil's Snare reaching out for a victim.


He watched her still. Watched as her eyes became unfocused and her smile dreamy. Watched as her eyes became heated with lust. Watched as she read romance novels in the library.

He worried she was turning into one of the vapid idiots that ran aplenty in Gryffindor especially and in all of Britain, obviously.

Until the day she turned her brown eyes, her deep brown eyes to his and looked at him. His starved, lovelorn mind thought he could see her beautiful soul in the crystal-clear depths that were Hermione Granger's eyes, and fancied he would gladly bathe in this look for all eternity. Admiration, confusion, concentration, fright. Then, inside his feverish brain, he knew.