Understanding your Allegiance

Workshops and Whispers

Through the doorway was a small darkly lit room, the walls covered in books and potion ingredients, some tomes and boxes so unused whole shelves were covered in inches of dust. Other shelves were bright and clean, showing a more constant usage.

"This is my workshop." Said Snape quietly. This room is in fact Salazar Slytherins potions lab. The potions masters of Hogwarts, when Slytherin, are led here in a dream."

"Its beautiful." Whispered Hermione, and she walked forward slowly to caress the books.

"But why doesn't Dumbledore know?" Snapping out of her reverie she rounded on Snape. "This is a Slytherin bolthole, obviously of much power. There's bound to be information here to do with Dark Wizardry. This could be invaluable in the fight against you-know-who."

"You may take my word for it Miss Granger, there is nothing here which would help the order."

Not entirely satisfied with his answer Hermione sat down on the cleaner of the two desks.

"I'm ready then Sir."

"I beg your pardon?"

"It said in your note that you had watched my 'ill founded attempts at finding information' and that you were willing to help me."

"Of course." Snape sat down opposite Hermione and then paused watching her. Hermione felt naked under his gaze, but resisted the urge to squirm in her seat.

"Your investigation is on why wizards allowed muggles to be burnt at the stake during the witch trials of the 16th century is that correct?"

"Yes Sir."

"I'm afraid this investigation has one major flaw, which will upset the entire project."

Hermione looked obstinate. "I know about the lack of research matter professor, I know none of the other teachers will help me, and I'm incredibly grateful to you for taking it upon yourself to mentor me personally. I can overcome these issues."

Snape smiled wryly. "Those are mere obstructions Miss Granger. The flaw in your argument is that no muggles were burnt in those witch trials. They were all witches, just like you."

Hermione sat still for a moment, and Snape could see the cogs turning in her mind. "You must be mistaken Sir." She replied slowly. "Some witches were 'burnt', but they performed a simple flame freezing charm and enjoyed the tickling sensation whilst screaming in false pain."

Snape stood abruptly making her jump. "If you are calling me a liar Miss Granger you may as well leave now, as I will have nothing more to say to you." He stalked over to the door and wrenched it open. "I obviously over-estimated your intelligence and maturity. Perhaps a safer less controversial project might suit you better, like the teething habits of mandrake roots."

Hermione flushed. "I'm sorry professor, but springing such a theory on someone so suddenly is not going to make them believe any sooner. Would you be satisfied with such a statement without any evidence?"

Hermione stood and picked up her bag.

"I'm sorry to have troubled you Sir."

She was stomping thought the door when he reached out and grabbed her shoulder, spinning her round so she was pinned against the side of the doorway.

"Sir what?"

"Shhh you stupid girl." He whispered urgently.

He took hold of both her shoulders and moved her past him back into the room, while he moved closer to the doorway. By his face Hermione could tell he was listening intently so she tried to quieten her breathing, which was made increasingly difficult because she was pinned very close to her professor, who had forgotten to let go of her. And she was still very, very horny after her encounter with Ron.

She could hear someone moving around in the classroom next door.

"Professor, won't they see the open door?" she whispered.

"No, I spent hours on counter-charms so that you could see the door and enter. That old fool Dumbledore won't be able to see us. But he might hear us so shut up." His voice was a murmer, she could hardly hear him.

Hermione shut up, but was near bursting with questions. When Dumbledore had given up on whatever he was doing in the classroom Snape visibly relaxed. It was also then that he realised he was still physically restraining her and dropped his grip quickly.

"What was Dumbledore doing Sir? I couldn't see from where I was standing."

Snape arched an eyebrow. "Still taking an interest Miss Granger? Because Dumbledores behaviour is very much linked to your project, and the little chat you had with Minerva."

"I am still interested Sir, I'm sorry for my outburst."

Hermione sat down on the edge of the desk and took out paper and parchment. "I'm ready to know."

Snape smiled and sat down on the other desk. "No interruptions this time? I'd like a general ground rule to be put in place, that I automatically know more than you on this subject. Or won't the know-it-all be able to keep schtum?"

Hermione said nothing.

Snape smirked. "Very well, and listen carefully. It's actually a fairly simple concept. The witches burnt in that period were not muggles as I have said. They were real witches. Witches and indeed wizard's polyjuiced to look like women, from our world. They were sentenced to death by muggle fanaticism because the wizards convicting them didn't have enough backbone to perform the quick and painless Adava kedavra. Death by muggle was less staining on their moral conscience. "

"They would however go so far as to brew a potion that would suppress the witches magical ability. They were separated from their wands and rendered incapable of verbal or even non-verbal magic. They died an ignoble, painful death."

Hermione hadn't been able to put quill to parchment. Her jaw hung open and her eyes were bright. "Why don't we know this? Why the hell isn't it taught! I mean why isn't it taught Sir?"

"Its not taught because history is written by the victors Miss Granger. Surely you learnt that from History of Magic? The only person to listen in that subject ought to have figured that out at least."

"Well yes that true, it's why so many magical races are subservient to us. But surely those people didn't win?"

"They won and continue to win Miss Granger. And you are not asking the right questions."

Hermione bunched her hands into fists in frustration. "Why were those wizards sentenced to death in the first place Sir?"

"Ah, now that is the question I am after. But I will not answer it tonight." He held up his hand to stem her angry retort. "No Miss Granger, I will wait to see how you react to this particular bombshell before I continue. I told you this subject would not be palatable to you, and I intend to take it slowly so you understand each and every nuance of the facts. The classroom is clear, I will see you in class tomorrow."

Hermione counted to ten in her head as she gathered up her books and left the study. She counted to ten as she walked up from the dungeons and she counted to ten several more times on the way back to her rooms. She counted to three when she got to her bedroom, and only three because on four she had taken the roses from Ron and set them alight.

Apparently all the men in her life were hell bent on keeping her frustrated in every way.

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