Author's Notes:Many thanks to my alpha reader Kyria of Delphi and my betas Juno Magic and Bunnyhops. You ladies rock!
Lesser Vasa parrots are black. I couldn't resist.
I'm a geek, just in case you haven't noticed. Every time I think of pirates, I see the crew of Captain Picard's Enterprise dressed up and singing Gilbert and Sullivan. I also have a great love of The Princess Bride.
Needless to say, I don't own the Harry Potter characters, the Princess Bride characters or anything written by Gilbert and Sullivan.
Original Prompt: 1. AU: Hermione is or has been captured by pirates. Snape's job is to track her down, either as a pirate or as a 'maiden in not as much distress as he'd imagine.' Magic may or may not exist. Yeah, I have no idea where that one just came from, either.
"I can't bloody believe it! All these years, and I have to deal with this? Merlin, the universe must hate me!"
"Shut up, you crazy bird!"
The black Lesser Vasa parrot whistled provocatively at his wizard then cackled.
"I can't believe I faked my own death for this..." Severus Snape muttered under his breath.
A few hours after the death of Voldemort, Lucius Malfoy had Severus Snape ensconced in a small cottage at the edge of his property. He was provided with the best Healer money could procure and all his needs were seen to until he recovered. It had been Severus who had designed the potion that allowed Narcissa to carry Draco to term and Lucius felt he owed Severus more than he could ever repay.
Six months later, Severus packed up and moved to Tortola.
"Why are you doing this, Severus? We will miss you," Lucius had complained.
"I need to find peace, Lucius. I need to find a way to live with myself, and I can't do that here. Because you've been hiding the fact that I'm alive, I can do that. You do understand, don't you?"
"I do. I won't bother you, unless it is absolutely necessary. But you will still be my potions maker, won't you?"
"Find a bird that can make it to Tortola easily or have another set of Vanishing Cabinets made. I still need to eat. Of course I will provide your potions."
Meanwhile the Hogwarts staff had tried to cover up the reason there was no portrait, saying Severus had abandoned his post. That excuse worked for most of the sheeple known as the wizarding community of Britain, as far as Severus could tell. But at the same time it told him that they all must know he couldn't be dead. Up until he had been attacked, he had done his best for the school. Potter had very publicly revealed all that and more. And all of them knew that Hogwarts always honored her own…
Severus sighed and glanced again at the parchment he held in his hand.
I know I promised to stay out of your life. But I had a dream. You will find your heart's desire at the end of the next quest you under take.
Oh, and by the way, did you hear that Hermione Granger was kidnapped by pirates?
Severus was about to throw the parchment into the fireplace, when he heard a tapping at his window.
He walked over to admit Lucius Malfoy's eagle owl, bedraggled from its very long flight from Britain to Tortola.
Severus Snape had made a name for himself on the island. He had started a small but specialized business, selling exotic and difficult potions to those in Britain and Europe wealthy enough to meet his price. The local voodoo priestess adored him and his potions.
He was content; it was a peaceful life. Though perhaps a bit too peaceful… A small part of him was yearning for adventures again, the kind he had read about as a child, however, of swagger and swash-buckling and pirates and not of crazy Dark Lords or venomous snakes.
Severus removed the scroll attached to the bird's leg and settled it with some rashers of bacon.
After the bird was settled, he unrolled the scroll and sat down at the table to read it.
I am sorry I'm breaking my promise to leave you alone as long as you provided me with potions, but I have need of you.
I don't know if you are aware of the fact, but after the war Hermione Granger came to work for me and Malfoy Industries. I believe it was mostly to rub her success in the face of that obnoxious Weasley who had thought he was going to convince her to marry him.
Working for me she has single-handedly and single-mindedly changed the face of modern potions industry and has become very wealthy, as well as adding significantly to my own assets. The witch is worth her weight in mithril. In any case, she has discovered an ancient tome which seems to contain a cure for lycanthropy. The recipe called for winter-bellflowers. I'll be damned if it didn't work, but the effects only lasted for a month. After more careful research, she realized the writer was hiding a missing ingredient. Not only does the potion require the winter-bellflower, but it also needed the bleeding heart flowers that only grow on the inside lip of the volcano on Black Island.
Narcissa could still access the island, and Potter gave her and Hermione permission to pick the flowers. Two weeks ago Narcissa, Hermione, Potter, Lupin and Lovegood all set off to get the final ingredient for the cure.
Unfortunately, Potter had told Arthur Weasley about the adventure. That criminal son of his found out, and lo and behold, he and his band of pirates kidnapped Hermione. What they want her for, we aren't quite certain; making sense of that note is a bit like reading Bella's mind. But it sounds as if they want to force her to marry the pirate captain in order to create a dynasty of red-headed curly-haired pirates.
Please get her back for me, Severus. Narcissa is beside herself, they have become great friends.
"Noir, which of the bloody Weasleys went rogue?" Severus wasn't worried about Narcissa or the rest – Malfoys never traveled without emergency Portkeys. He wasn't certain why Potter and the rest of his band of do-gooders weren't doing the rescuing, though. Of course their combined incompetence wouldn't help with that.
Severus could just imagine the scene…
"Why isn't the Black Portkey working to get us back to the island?" shouted Harry frantically.
"Because I had to use the Malfoy Portkey to escape. Do you actually revel in your ignorance, Mr. Potter? The Black Portkey doesn't recognize me as family any more," snarled Narcissa in return.
"Then we need to get a rescue team together and find a way out there."
"You can borrow one of our yachts. Get yourself and your team of idiots to France, you can sail from there." Narcissa huffed as the Hero of Hogwarts nodded frantically and left her home. "That boy is not the brightest of candles, is he?"
"More luck than talent, I believe. I better contact Severus," replied Lucius. "Unfortunately for him, he's in the neighborhood…"
Severus snorted. The parrot cocked his head at his wizard but didn't reply to his original question.
Severus shook his head at the lack of response, and started to go through the back issues of the Daily Prophet that he had heaped in a pile.
"Bloody hell! I always thought pompous Percy was ambitious enough to be a Slytherin. I certainly didn't think he'd have enough sense of humor to base himself on a pirate ship."
Severus stared down at both parchments which were lying forlornly on his table.
"Bah! I really should disregard all of this mess. But one thing bothers me –– how did that batty witch know I was alive?"
"You should be dead!" squawked the parrot.
"And you are supposed to be my familiar, stupid. Not my conscience!"
The next morning, after responding positively to Lucius, Severus set out for Road Town and the waterfront.
"With those damned blood wards, I can't reach the island by magical means. I'm going to need a ship!" Snape was muttering under his breath while he strode along the pier. The smells of cooking seafood and the ocean wafted after him.
An attractive young man with blond curls must have heard him. The young sailor scrutinized him – black robed, ugly scar and all – and nodded appreciatively. "Sir! I say, sir, I may have an answer to your prayers."
"What could you possibly offer me?"
"A ship, a crew –– and a reputation!"
"Excuse me?" Snape was trying to figure out if he could get away with hexing the idiot.
"I am Wesley, currently known as the Dread Pirate Roberts. However, I am set to marry the woman of my dreams and I am quite ready to hang up my cutlass and raingear!"
"The Dread Pirate Roberts? Truly?" Snape asked, stunned. Presumably, the Dread Pirate Roberts had stolen a prototype of the Flamel's Philosopher's stone. It was one of Severus's favorite stories as a boy.
"Yes. The original Roberts has been dead for almost a century, of course, but a few acts of truly dreadful piracy are enough to keep the legend alive. You would be the seventh since the original."
Snape grinned. Maybe I should send Sybill a nice bottle of rum. Or a rum cake. I would never have thought that batty old witch could see more than the dregs in her teacup."Very well."
"Wonderful!" The blond man turned to the beautiful but vapid-looking woman next to him.
"Buttercup, this nice gentleman is willing to be the Dread Pirate Roberts. We are free to go!"
"Lovely. Can we go shopping now?" Buttercup asked.
"As you wish!" declared Wesley.
"Oh, I do hope I'm not expected to say THAT." Snape looked horrified.
"No, never," responded Wesley.
"Never?" Snape asked.
Then the parrot cut in, singing in a beautiful baritone. "Hardly ever!"
Snape stared at the parrot and the grinning blond man in disbelief. "Why couldn't I just stay dead?"
On Black Island
"Percy, I don't care how isolated I've been or you are. There is no way I'm procreating with you. If I wouldn't have Ron, what makes you think youare an improvement on the younger model?"
"For Merlin's sake, Hermione. What makes you think you have any better prospects?"
"Who says I don't? I'm rich, famous and smart enough to have learned to play dumb on occasion. I've turned down marriage proposals from Ron, Viktor, Draco and Neville, just to name the ones you might recognize, you pompous idiot. If I'm lacking a bed partner at the moment, it is because I don't feel like having one," Hermione responded.
She remembered all too clearly her last fight with Ron …
"I can't bloody well believe you are going to work for Malfoy!"
"What, did you think I would be happy at the Ministry? I would get stuck in a dead end job. The world hasn't changed that much, Ronald!"
"You are leaving me!"
Hermione rolled her eyes. One impassioned kiss and a few horrible snogging sessions did not make a relationship. But this was Ronald Weasley she was talking to. "Yes. Yes, I am. You paw me like an animal, you have no manners or consideration for anyone, and the best I can say about your kisses is that they are wet! And you have the audacity to ask why I won't sleep with you?"
The argument would have been bad enough anywhere. But in the Atrium of the Ministry, after their mandatory NEWTs, it was like setting off some of Fred and George's fireworks in the Great Hall. "You know what really finalized it for me, Ronald?"
Ron nodded. He was certain Hermione would say she had been sleeping with Draco.
"Your whinging about these tests. The international wizarding community refused to acknowledge that Britain would allow uneducated idiots to become Aurors and none of them were going to accept anyone without NEWTs as an apprentice. You don't deserve to be recognized as a full wizard. You need to earn it. You needed to earn me. You didn't do that, either."
Even Molly knew Ron was never going to end up with Hermione after that. To add to her discomfiture, Percy stalked out of the Minister's office, flinging his official badge at the guard and yelling that he would rather become a criminal than be stifled by official procedure ever again.
Now Percy stood there agog and stared at her. "I-I-I thought you were a virgin."
"Oh, let me guess, one of your little pirates found that stupid Diary of Circe and you decided you needed a twenty-five year old virgin sacrifice to power your bid for taking over the world?"
Percy turned a shade of puce that clashed horribly with his hair, and Hermione reflected on figures of speech, particularly the one about the progress from frying pan to fire…
"Why do I need all of you to go with me? I can take care of myself!" she had demanded at the outset of the venture.
"We know that, Hermione," Remus Lupin had replied, "but Lucius wants us along to protect Narcissa."
"Fine. But get it through all your thick heads, I'm not sleeping with any or all of you. Got it?"
Luna, Harry and Remus had all nodded.
But Remus' sigh had alerted her to the fact that Tonks had still not given up on wanting to "get a bit of Hermione's luck." And while Remus certainly wouldn't mind a threesome, Hermione was definitely not willing to muck about in someone's marriage…
Minutes later, Percy still didn't know what to say, and Hermione started laughing.
Finally, Percy just glared at her and then stalked out, calling for his first mate, otherwise known as Seamus Finnegan. "She's not a bloody virgin! This is a waste of time!"
"Aye, I know, mate. But she's here, and I've heard she's a tiger in the sack."
"You fool! You knew, and you went along with this in the hopes she would fall in bed with you?"
"Yep. Every guy she's been with has made his fortune. I figured it would be a piece of cake."
Once again Hermione couldn't keep from rolling her eyes. Cake had not been involved, but definitely magic, and thankfully good fortune …
Years ago, Hermione and Luna had been enjoying one of their regular research sessions when they had discovered a book titled: Luck and Sex, the Magical Way.
"I wonder why they won't teach any of this stuff at Hogwarts?" asked Hermione, after paging through the rather erotic text.
"They used to. Then Headmaster Black discovered he could channel the students' sexual energy into the wards. He made it very difficult to teach sex magic. It had been one of the electives prior to that," answered Luna.
"This isn't hard, and it seems to bring extra energy and good luck to the user. So why did Ginny end up in St. Mungo's?"
"Same reason lots of people do. Misusing anything can result in addiction or overdose or whatever you want to call it. Also, sex magic is inherently neutral. If your intent is good, then the magic reflects that. If your intent is to harm or bewitch or enslave, it works like the darkest of the Dark Arts."
Both witches were pensive for a while after that. Hermione vowed to herself to only use the magic for good and to better her and her lover's life.
She couldn't have known where her magic would take that…
"Bloody hell! Now I know why the Dark Lord tortured his minions!" Percy gave Seamus one last dirty look then stalked out of the room. From the hallway he could still hear Hermione giggling.
Meanwhile, back on the pirate ship Revenge...
"So, boss, what are we stealing today?"
Snape looked at the rather cheerful yet completely disreputable pirate grinning at him with lots of missing teeth. "A girl. Stealing her back, actually."
"Ooh, that Granger girl? I heard those bumbling gits what work for Pirate Percy the Pompous stole her. Looking to get rich quick?"
"What in the hell do you know about the Granger girl?"
"She's s'posed ta be a tiger in the sack and any man what's been with her has made his fortune right quick," responded the sailor with a wistful look. "Not like she'd have the likes of me, but you, Cap'n, I'll bet she'll have you!"
Snape looked thoughtful for a minute, then nodded. "As you were... "
"Bobbin, then. As you were."
Severus realized quickly that the crew was delighted to have some real piracy to accomplish. That, and apparently Percy the Pompous was a blight on any pirate worth his swashbuckling.
"Well, Noir, it seems that boy can't manage to do anything properly. I've always wondered if he was really Arthur's. None of his drive."
Lucius never mentioned Miss Granger's becoming a good luck charm between the sheets... But then again, Narcissa would not be her friend if the chit had seduced Lucius, or let herself be seduced. She must have figured out she would not be happy as another Molly. She has made a name for herself and apparently is delving into sex magic as well as potions. This may be more fun than I had originally anticipated.
Thus, Severus decided to enjoy this adventure. After all, even if Miss Granger wasn't willing to fall into bed with him, he got to be the Dread Pirate Roberts. It was far better than being the bat of the dungeons.
"Cap'n, land ho! Black Island off the port bow!" His favorite pirate hurried to report to him in his cabin.
"Thank you, Bobbin." Snape dismissed him.
Then he checked himself in the mirror of his cabin. Gleaming black dragon hide boots, black leather trousers, a flowing black poet, no, make that a proper pirate's shirt and a black silk bandana capped off his look. He nodded. Maybe his cloak didn't quite equal teaching robes, but he could still billow with the best of them.
When he came on deck, his crew had prepared a rowboat and lowered him and Noir into the water.
"Bye, bye, Cap'n! Have fun storming the castle!" Bobbin called out cheerfully.
The crew was used to unusual orders, so being told to stay on the ship and keep an eye out were easy enough to carry out.
Once he was out of hearing, Snape surreptitiously cast a rowing spell on the oars, so that he could reach Percy the Pompous's headquarters without losing his breath.
The boat pulled up to the shoreline and Severus jumped out, pushing it up the beach and tying it to a nearby palm tree. Then he cast a cleaning and drying charm on himself. He looked down at the map he held in his hand and tapped it, transporting himself to the most likely place for a pirate to have a headquarters. Sure enough, at the top of the bluff overlooking most of the island towered an ostentatious castle.
Snape cast a couple of spells to determine the strength of the wards. "Hmph. He really is pompous. Finite Incantatem!" With that simple spell, he dropped all the protective spells on the castle. "For Merlin's sake, his brother is a curse-breaker. He should have better wards than this."
Snape drew a deep breath. Then he stormed up the walkway and burst through the tall doors into the castle.
The double doors to the decrepit castle burst open and Snape burst in, sleeves billowing and hair blowing. He surveyed the room as he entered, trying to decide where the worst threat might come from.
Hermione was sitting in an armchair next to the fireplace, laughingly fending off an obvious advance from Seamus Finnegan on his knees before her. Percy was pacing in front of the fire. A couple of nondescript wizards in pirate garb were sitting at the long table playing Exploding Snap.
Snape shook his head. "Really, Weasley – a pirate lair and the most dangerous person in the room is the prisoner?"
Percy's glare wouldn't frighten a Hufflepuff firstie. "You think I don't know that?"
"Good to know that you agree with me. Therefore, hand over the hostage." Snape extended his hand in Hermione's direction.
"What do I get in return?"
"Get?" Severus asked, incredulous. "In return? In Merlin's name, why?"
Percy blustered. "After all I am a pirate. And she's my prisoner. It's a tradition."
Severus rolled his eyes. For a moment he considered hexing Percy and his merry men three ways to Sunday. But they were really too pathetic to make the effort. "Fine," he said. "Just to honor pirate tradition … I don't tell your mother where you are."
"Fair enough," Percy muttered and focused on his scuffed boots.
"Let's go, Miss Granger. I've secured your freedom from... Percival the Pirate."
"Oh, must I? Really? This was just about to be fun."
"Fun, Miss Granger?"
"Yes, I was trying to see how many absurd things Seamus was going to offer me to get me into bed with him."
"Ah. Well, your reputation precedes you. I'm certain my crew of dreadful pirates will keep you entertained."
"Oh, okay. Sounds good." Hermione smiled up at Snape. "By the way, I'm very pleased you aren't dead, Captain."
"Captain?" Momentarily he was taken aback by the form of address.
"You have your own ship, your own crew, and a nice big sword." Hermione smiled. "I don't think Professor fits anymore."
Severus swallowed. "Ah, yes. Well. Let's return to the Revenge, shall we?"
Hermione squealed. "You're the Dread Pirate Roberts? Excellent!"
Severus shook his head. "I should have stayed dead."
"You should be dead!" squawked Noir.
"Why are you grinning at me like that, Miss Granger?"
"You know, I thought your billow was sexy with those overly buttoned robes. But the pirate shirt, wow. And call me Hermione. I am your captive, after all."
"You are my rescue, silly chit, not my captive. As such, you are an honored guest on board the Revenge. And as the Captain of the ship, I shall have to entertain you to the best of my abilities," stated Snape.
Hermione beamed. "Really? And what kind of entertainment can I hope for on a pirate ship?"
"You know, I'm not quite certain, Hermione. Would you like to retire with me to my cabin to see what we might find?"
Hermione threaded her arm through his in response, letting him lead her down to his cabin.
"Let's see, then. There is the wardrobe… and there the table…"
Severus looked at the table. "On the table, there is... a map."
Hermione leaned over his shoulder, pressing herself against him suggestively. "Is there a long way back to Tortola?"
Severus turned his head. He found himself staring at Hermione's lips for a heartbeat. Then he simply kissed her. Passionately. Like a pirate captain is meant to. When they broke apart, he answered, "If there wasn't before, there will be now!"
"And here is the bed!" Hermione giggled as he threw her onto the covers.
She pulled out her wand and with a wave, all his clothes were gone and folded on the dresser – except for his boots, which she admired.
"Impatient, are you?"
"I've been stuck on an island with Narcissa Malfoy and three of my closest friends, up until they all caught a hold of that emergency Portkey, none of whom I have a sexual relationship with. Then I ended up kidnapped, on the other side of the island with Pompous Percy and Seamus the Satyr. Yes, I'm bloody impatient!"
Snape grinned his best pirate's grin and pushed her onto her back. He reached under her skirts and pulled off her knickers. Then he bent over her and proceeded to kiss her senseless.
Long minutes of scorching kisses later Hermione's skirts were completely ruched up by her hips and her blouse was unbuttoned. She was full of anticipation, enjoying the attentions of her ex-professor. She laughed delightedly.
"Am I amusing you?"
"I'm certain you've taken away enough trashy romance novels from your students to know every girl has fantasies. I've always wanted to be kidnapped and ravished by a dashing pirate."
"Who am I to keep you from fulfilling your fantasy," he responded. Then realizing that this adventure had become even more enjoyable, he set about making the witch in his arms writhe in pleasure.
He enjoyed watching her fall apart in his arms at his deft manipulations. "Would you like more, my dear?"
Hermione just spread her legs in response.
Severus took her up on this unspoken invitation and pushed into her slowly. Once he was fully sheathed, he began to move, revelling in the fact that Hermione grabbed a hold of the headboard for leverage while she was bucking up under him, giving as good as she was getting. Much later, when they were both sated, Severus pulled out his wand and waved it over the two of them, cleaning them up for the next round.
Late in the evening Severus remembered that the polite thing to do would be to send a message by Patronus to Lucius. "Expecto Patronum!" he ordered. But instead of the expected doe, out of his wand flowed a silver Lesser Vasa parrot. He stared at it disbelievingly for a moment, before he gathered his wits and told it to inform Lucius that they were going to take the long route back to Tortola.
Back on Black Island …
"I think you got lucky, Perce," said Seamus after he watched Severus leave the castle with Hermione in tow.
"You don't think I've realized tha—" Percy started to say when the doors to the castle burst open again.
"Give us Hermione back you fiend!" yelled Luna, brandishing a sword. She was followed by Harry and Remus and Tonks, all of them brandishing weapons of some sort.
"That's it. I surrender. Take me back and punish me by making me work for the Ministry again, all right? Torture. Minions. I so get it now."
The four of them shrugged at each other.
"Fine," said Harry. "We would have gotten here sooner, but once Narcissa used the Malfoy emergency Portkey, the Black wards wouldn't let her through. We had to take the long route. Why don't you all pack up and we'll head back to England."
"Darn," said Luna. "I kept hoping I'd be able to poke someone with this sword."
"Took you long enough, didn't it Severus?" asked Lucius, when Severus and Hermione entered his mansion three weeks later.
"We took the long way back."
"It is a straight line from Black Island to Tortola, if you know where to sail," Lucius objected and pounded his cane on the floor for emphasis. "There is no bloody long way."
Severus looked at Hermione, who gave him a saucy wink.
"There is now."