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Chapter 5: "The best is yet to come."
Her stomach was rumbling while she and the others waited for Professor Snape's entrance. She did not feel this nervous for a long time. What would happen if she saw him again? Would she blush or the worst would she not be able to talk to him? She did not know and that almost killed her.
Finally, the door was dashed against the wall and the potion master rushed in. With a small wand's swing he unclosed the blackboard.
"Morning," he hissed turning his back against them to write something on the board.
While he was doing so, Hermione was trying to fight back the countless stimuli which flowed to her – his odour of herbs, his mystic aura, his dark eyes which had looked at her shortly, his... Her mind was taken over by him as soon as he had entered the room. It took all her strength to regain her composure. Fortunately, nobody noticed that she was out of it and when he turned round, she had recovered again.
"Today I want you to brew the 'Draught of Living Death'," Snape said looking daggers at them. "You find the instructions on the board and the ingredients are as usual in the storeroom. I want you to work in silence and precisely."
To escape him for least a moment she was the first who went to the storeroom. She sighed with relief as soon as he was out of sight and tried to focus on the shelves to find the right ingredients. Of course she knew them by heart and there was no need for her to copy them like the others down at first.
"'Sopophorous bean' – where are you?" the girl whispered searching the right corner of the room for it.
"Here you are," Hermione burst out in triumph but before she could catch it, she got distracted by a cauldron at the bottom of one shelf. The flavour of herbs reached her nose and suddenly, Snape's face appeared on the surface of the potion. She was transfixed to the spot for a moment, not able to move or breathe.
"Are you all right?" Padma asked who just entered the room. Slowly she recovered. "Yes, I'm okay," Hermione muttered.
"Oh, I see, you discovered the Amortentia. I'd love to know why Snape has got one in his storeroom where everyone can see and even steal it," the black-haired stated.
"I've no idea," Hermione replied vacantly. "Strange – I can't smell anything. The last time I appeared to it, I was attracted by it. Maybe it start to lose its effect," Padma guessed shaking her head in astonishment.
"Could be," she answered grabbing hastily the required ingredients.
Even so she was pretending to be uninterested, her inside was in turmoil. Why did the Amortentia not exert a pull on Padma? Why did she smell Snape's odour and moreover, why did she saw his face on the surface? And why the hell has he some Amortentia in his storeroom where as Padma mentioned everyone could steal it? There was no doubt that someone stole some of the Amortentia to charm her. Now she was intent on talking with Snape after class.
It was a hard thing for her to concentrate on brewing the potion. While she prepared the ingredients, she tried to ignore Snape's present. Stupidly, he approached the one or other time to have a look at her doing. Moreover, to brew the 'Draught of the living Death' was at least the most difficult task she have ever done in a potion lesson. Twice, she was just about to fail because the consistency of the potion was too thick and the colour too dark, but she had read some tricks she could use to recover the potion.
Finally, she managed it. Her potion looked like it was described in the book. At any other time she had loved to be the only one who did the perfect potion, but today she was shocked by the fact that everyone was watching her and her result. On that matter Snape was literally forced to come closer to her. He raised his eyebrows while checking her result and she tried to breathe as few as possible to withstand his attraction.
"Good work, Granger," he hissed and she was sure it was meant as a compliment. "Thank you, Sir," she replied and was relieved when the school bell started to ring.
While the others were leaving, she went to his desk. At first he did not take the blindest bit of notice of her and pretended to read some essays, but then he suddenly raised his head.
"What do you want from me?" he asked and seemed on edge.
"It is about the Amortentia accident some days ago, Professor," she said nervously.
"Go on", he answered pretending interest.
"Well, you gave me the antidote as a precaution...," she continued hesitantly.
"What is your point, Miss Granger? I don't have all day," Snape wanted to know eagerly.
"Sir, the antidote did not work, I mean, it worked by Ron, but not by me," she stumbled.
"Really? I can not see any symptoms that you are influenced by love potion, Miss Granger. So what is the problem?" he stated.
"I have those dreams and thoughts," she whispered blushing.
"Dreams? What kind of dreams?" he asked. "Dreams of you, Sir", she ejaculated with pain.
For a moment he just gazed at her, but then he said: "I see no reason why the potion did not work by you."
"But there have to be a reason!" Hermione interrupted him desperately.
"Do you call my potion brewing skills into question?" he asked threateningly.
"No, of course not, Sir", she replied hastily. "So what are you referring to?" he wanted to know.
"Can it...,I mean, could it be that someone stole some Amortentia out of your storeroom?" she ventured her guess carefully.
"Impossible, stop the nonsense! I won't stand for that, 15 points from your house for offending a teacher!" Snape shouted angrily and pointed at the door: "Leave!"
Deeply embarrassed she went out. She should have known better, as if Snape would ever help her! He hated her.
As soon as the girl left he reached to his storeroom. There was only one chance to steal the potion unknown to him - someone changed the effect. When he was forced to brew the Amortentia a week ago he had seen no other choice than to store it there. The flavour which reached his nose every time he get closed to it almost killed him, so it was impossible for him to leave it in his private rooms. He did not know why Albus need love potion and especially the strongest version, but he hated him for forcing him to brew it. The headmaster only knew too well why it was a torture for him.
He was surprised when he entered – he did not smell that painful flavour. Something was wrong. He cursed himself for being such a coward and avoiding the room for some days. Granger was right – there was no doubt.
He pulled out the cauldron from the shelf and backed off in the next moment.
"Merlin's beard!", he uttered. The face of Miss Granger had appeared on the surface for a second. There was definitely something wrong with the potion – something terribly wrong! But who did that and what did he?
The potion master took some samples of the potion before he cleared the cauldron.
Entering the common room Hermione was just about to cry when she noticed Ron, who took the stairs at a run.
"Ron, wait", she called, but he did not listen.
Frustrated she ran after him. She had to talk with him. Maybe he had those dreams, too. The girl could understand him. Everyone in Hogwarts knew that he had called Snape "honey" and nobody cared that he did that because he was influenced by love potion. Even his own house mates were bullying him. Ron had not left his room for days.
"Ron, please let me in!" she yelled while knocking at his door.
"Go, I don't want to see anyone!" he shouted back. But she stood pat.
Finally, he opened the door and let her in. "What do you want?" he asked.
"I'd like to talk, Ron. I drunk that potion, too", she answered.
"You drunk it? But why had you not any symptoms?", he wanted to know.
"I do not know, but although Professor Snape gave me the antidote,too, I have those dreams...", she explained.
"Dreams...?" he said questioningly. "Do you have them as well?" she asked hopefully.
"What kind of dreams? I have nightmares" he said.
"You have?" Hermione replied in relief. "They are disgusting, aren't they?"
"Of course they are, but why do you have nightmares? The others did not bother you and I can not remember that you called Snape ho.. - you know what I mean", he said.
"Oh I see", Hermione sighed - Ron was not talking about the same nightmares.
"So what are your nightmares about?" he pressed her on.
"Well, actually, I can't remember...", she stumbled looking at her watch hastily. "Oh, do you know what I have to go to my next lesson, now. See you." She jumped on her feet and rushed to the door before Ron could stop her.