I Don't Remember

Unbidden

Severus

After Harry had gone I cleaned my rooms, and the effects of the Amortentia (and the day) wore off. I felt more like myself again. With it came my conclusion that Harry didn't know what he was talking about. Whatever strange thing had caused that whole conversation (sleep deprivation, most likely) did not have any bearing on who I was or how I would act. Whatever feelings I seemed to have, I would deal with them in my own time, in my own manner. For now, I would get some sleep.

Climbing into bed, I unbuttoned the silk shirt and hung it on a hook nearby. I was only recently getting used to the fact that my skin was no longer scarred, and it didn't hurt to have the contact of sheets on my body; a truth I relished. Laying my head on my pillow, I closed my eyes to instant sleep, only to sit up in bed panting five minutes later.

I rubbed my head with my palm, looking at the time splayer to make sure. Yes, five minutes. No normal reason for me to be dreaming that fast, but I had. And it hadn't taken long at all for what I thought was a very business prone mind to go back to Hogsmeade, or to Hermione's door where she'd thrown her arms around me.

I shook my head, putting a hand to my chest to calm my heart. It was alright, I'd woken before anything happened. Not that anything would have happened. I checked the time again. Another three minutes had gone by, just talking to myself like this.

Maybe I should take the Potion of Dreamless Sleep...

I clenched my fist. No, I would not do that. I refuse to take that kind of way out. I can sleep just fine, and not be plagued by any more dreams. I started to lay down, the hesitated. I'm just being paranoid. I couldn't possibly dream the same thing twice... but, it wouldn't hurt to take a nice, warm shower, would it?

Yes, I surmised. A shower is exactly what I need, after my day. Toting a student around is hard work. But that's not what happened... said an annoying little voice in my mind. You enjoyed that...

I brushed these thoughts away as I went to turn on the water in my shower. As the water began to get hot, I examined myself in the mirror. My eyes weren't cloudy, my skin wasn't any paler than usual. I turned to the side. No thinner, no fatter. The same sharp eyes looked out at me from my angular face and long, athletic form. I wasn't as skilled a healer as Madame Pomfrey, but as far as I could tell I was fine and showed no change outwardly. If only I could examine my mind...

I felt the air getting steamy, and sighed, pulling away from the mirror. What was happening to me? I still had the memories of my life, the good and bad, the trying and joyous, and the ones that were deep with stabbing pain. Yet with each passing day, I felt less like the Snape I had been, and more the Severous I was. The unsure young man who found peace in school work, and when talking to a certain young woman...

I stepped into the shower, the water hitting me with a jolting splash, but my thoughts weren't jolted. Was that it? Was Hermione just a replacement in my mind for Lily? I thought back, remembering her. Long hair, sharp mind, sharper tongue. The memory hurt, but it also got me thinking. Hermione and Lily were a lot alike. Perhaps not physically, but the comparison was there. Both were very smart. Both had Muggle parents. Both could put me in my place when they turned their temper on me. But, Hermione knew my past, knew what I'd been, and accepted me. Years of being under my tutelage, and she didn't despise me for my temper. She even understood some of the torture I'd gone through.

I felt myself leaning back against the frosted wall, closing my eyes while the water fell on my skin. My mind went blank as I felt myself relaxing. The steam that had fogged up the glass was falling against my body like hot breath. Or was it hot breath? I swore I could feel lips against my neck, hands sliding down my sides, and then a whisper... "Severus..."

I opened my eyes, gasping, to find myself alone in the water. I'd fallen asleep again. My head hit the wall as I tilted my face to let the jets wake me. Catching my breath, I slapped my hand on the wall behind me. No more distractions. I had to finish showering, then go to bed.

I poured the shampoo into my hair, long lines of suds running down my body. Merlin's beard I would be fired if anyone knew what had just happened. I took a long breath. Relax, Severus. No one's around, and no one's spying on you. And even if they were, I'm a master at Occulmency; I could keep them out if I needed to.

Feeling secure, I continued washing my hair, and then skin, with a fairly blank mind. Only a few side notes to myself, certain problem students who might need a last push before finals, reminders to give the allergy remedies to Madam Pomfrey before the week was out, but it wasn't too long before my mind drifted back to Hermione.

I sighed to myself, but this time I was determined. If I was to think of her, then it would be of my choosing. Things I could do for her. Actually, organizing the surprise party would be a good start. I bit my lip, an odd action that I had little control over. I wanted to impress her. The more I tried to deny it, to try and hold myself back until a few more months had passed, being around her nearly every day was too much to ignore. I wanted to help her, do something that would prove my feelings to her, without words. Perhaps if she was falling from a broom, and instead of spell casting I ran under her and caught her in my arms...

I shook my head. The Slytherin in me would never allow something as obvious as that. No, my original plan would more than suffice. And the cool demeanor I would present it with would be enough to get me by if it should go awry. Not that I was expecting that, per se... All things handled in their own time.

Satisfied, I turned off the water and began to dry off. My pale shadow in the mirror moved with me through the vapor covered glass. I ran my hand over it to see my reflection dripping water everywhere. Not even thinking about it, I waved my wandless hand. Instantly the room, and myself, was dry. Pin straight, my black hair hung around my face. A flashed memory of the first dream, where Hermione had not said good-night to me, where she had pulled me close to her in a dark part of the halls and tangled her fingers in my hair, her face and figure getting closer...

A sound in my rooms pulled me back. I looked angrily at myself, inwardly slapping my face to get my head out of that particular cloud, then quickly spelled on my clothes. Grabbing my wand from the counter, I slammed the door open.

I saw nothing. Nothing was out of place, and the fire was out as it had been. I lowered my wand. What had that been? I heard it again, clearer. A faint sound, familiar, but...

Not wasting another minute, I lifted the wards from the door, exploded out of my rooms and office, then re-warded them halfway down the hall. The sound had not been in my quarters, it had been in my mind.

Hermione was calling for me. Somewhere in the castle, something had happened. Something was wrong.



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