Disclaimer:  Anything you recognize belongs to the goddess, JKR.  And the title doesn't belong to me either but I think you probably already knew that.  This is not romance.

Lead Me Not Into Temptation

Always so tantalizingly out of reach.

The thing I covet the most…desire with all my heart.

So close.

I linger outside the classroom.  It is late and any student wandering the halls at this hour will certainly lose more than their fair share of points.  Touching the door, I close my eyes, drinking in the sound of that blissful silence…unsullied by the constant prattle of irritating children.

He will never let me have this.  Not now.  There is too much danger.

And I suppose he fears that I will be lost again.  Consumed by my thirst for forbidden knowledge; the original reason for my error in judgment so many years ago.  Yes, I learned a great deal…more than most of my colleagues here…but the price was high and I pay it yet.

I pay it yet with no end in sight.

Quietly, I open the door and step into the darkened classroom.  Softly murmuring a Lumos spell, I move down the rows of desks and chairs…everything has been neatly put away…and walk over to the instructor's table.  I cannot help myself…I sit down at that desk and look out over what few desks and chairs I can actually see.

The things I could do here.  The knowledge I could impart.  What use is the ability to stopper death or bottle fame if you cannot defend yourself against the evil that plagues our world today?  I could teach them.  I could help them.  Perhaps I could save a life.

I feel so weary and rest my face in my hands.  Is that why I want this position so much?  Do I need to make up for the lives that were destroyed because of me?  Is this my only chance at redemption?

Albus does not think so.  He feels that here would be a temptation to delve into magic that is best left alone.  And perhaps he is right.  Perhaps I am safer with Potions.  Safer from myself.

But, when the darkness has passed, I hope that I will have the chance to make this classroom my home.

The sound of the door opening makes me look up in alarm.  I quickly extinguish the light of my wand and crouch down behind the desk.  Who could be here of all places at this hour?

"Hermione, are you sure you left it here?"

That is Ron Weasley's voice and Hermione Granger is with him.

"I've looked everywhere, Ron, and this is the only other place it can be.  I can't finish my Potions essay without those notes."

Miss Granger's voice has a bit of bite to it.  Apparently, young Weasley was not a willing companion in the search for her notes.

"You'll pass that essay even without those notes," his whining voice grates against my nerves.

"I don't want to just pass…it's not enough for me and it's not enough for him."

An interesting comment. 

"Honestly, Hermione, you worry too much about this sort of thing.  We are almost done here.  Seventh year is almost over.  What more is there for you to do?"

"I want to come back and teach Potions."

That surprises me.  I always thought she would choose Transfiguration or Charms for her career.  But it is her next statement that frightens me.

"I want to know everything that Professor Snape knows."

Child, you do not want to know all that.  You do not want to take on that darkness.

"So you're just going to waltz in and take his job?"

Really, that Weasley boy has the tact of a mountain troll.

"He'll get the Defense Against The Dark Arts position one day.  I know he will.  When this is over and Voldemort is finally gone.  He will finally get the one thing that means anything to him.  Ah, here's my notebook!"

"You're crazy, Hermione."

"We'll see, Ron.  While there is darkness in this world, Dumbledore won't dare to give him the position even though he is probably the best qualified for it."

"Why not?  Maybe he'll leave Hogwarts after a year and spare future students."

"You are such a prat, Ron.  Don't you see?  Dumbledore is trying to protect Professor Snape."

There is a confused silence.  I can only assume that Weasley can't imagine why anyone would want to protect me.

"Protect him from what?"

"Himself."

Another confused silence.

"I don't know what you're talking about."

A sigh.  "I didn't think you would.  Let's get out of here.  I have my notes and I have about two hours work ahead of me before I can get to sleep."

Quiet footsteps.  Rustling of robes.  The opening of the door.

"Hermione?"

"Yes, Ron?"

"Do you think he would be a better professor if he were teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts?"

Silence once again.  And this time I am the one who is anxiously awaiting her answer.

"Absolutely.  Now let's go before we get caught."

The door closes and I am alone once again.

Shakily I mutter a Lumos spell and stand up.  I cannot remain here and I have much to think about.  Walking to the door, I take one look around the classroom; which will be mine one day.

I smile slightly.

Yes, one day.