Severus couldn’t recall exactly when his feelings for the Gryffindor witch had changed. It was strange for him to even admit that he, Severus Snape, previously a death eater, a double agent and now once again the dour Potions Master, the bat of the dungeons of Hogwarts allowed such a slip of a girl – no, woman to find a way into his heart. How she managed to do that, he did not know, but somehow she did.
Should he be bothered by it? Of course he should, but was he? Well the obviously answer was no, not when he couldn’t keep his obsidian eyes off of her twirling form, swirl around the Great Hall from where he stood.
She was no longer his student, no longer the woman who was considered off limits. But still to him, she was in a way.
The past year had been a challenge for him. He had returned to his old post at Hogwarts, forever haunting him of his past memories. It was a reminder that he was to forever remain alone. A sad pitiful man, who wished for death to welcome him once more and very soon.
He had wished for it day in and day out, wished for this life he lived to have ended that fateful day in the Shrieking Shake. A day that had not had happen, instead he was reminded every waking minute with the presence of a bushy hair witch who had sat in the very front of his class.
Hermione Granger, one third of the golden trio, the princess of Gryffindor, the one who plagued his life these past several years. The one who was responsible for his survival during the war. The one who he had despised right from the very day he had regain consciousness at St. Mungos.
He had learned that she was the one who saved him from bleeding out, the one who contacted for help and the one who was able to stop Nagini’s venom from further spreading through his blood stream. It was because of her, that he was once again living in this retched world. Living this pitiful existence he called life. And to make it worse he had to deal with her once again at Hogwarts for one more bloody year.
Why she had returned was confusing on its own. He knew for a fact that she was classified as a war hero. Was given a choice to any type of job of her choosing, without the need of her N.E.W.T scores like so many in her class. It was an easy path she could have chosen, but it wasn’t what she had decided in the end. And somehow he knew that she would never accepted such an easy way out of hard work and dedication with nothing to show for it.
As the year went on, Severus had noticed quite a difference in the witch. She was no longer the annoying insufferable know-it-all, waving her hand obnoxiously in the air when the class was asked a question. Even so, she was no longer insufferable, there was no way to erase the fact that she was still a know-it-all. Just a know-it-all without all the aggravating additions from her younger self piled on.
She had changed, he could see that now, see it in her eyes, see how the way she perceived everything around her. She was more alert to her surroundings and that was all thanks to that ungodly war. Many lives were changed that day. Everyone had lost someone close to them. Whether they were fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, lover or friend, everyone was affected from it. And still with the knowledge, knowing that she as well had suffered, he couldn’t seem to act any differently toward her. In fact he did not act any differently to anyone else now as he thought about it. He was still cranky, still moody and always constantly ripping into a dunderhead student who was not paying attention in class like normal.
Severus’s treatment did not change towards Hermione as days went by, though his disgust for her was no longer there. He had forgiven her in a silent way of his. There was no words he spoke to say that he did, only actions.
He was no longer sneering at her, or tearing apart her essay that was still three or five inches over the required amount needed. There was no venom laced in his tone when she spoke to him, it was instead replaced with cordial one. In all his entire attitude changed around her.
It was halfway through the school year when she had come up to him unexpectantly at the end of class asking him if he would take her on as an apprentice after graduation. Her question had startled him to say the least. It was quite unexpected coming from her. Every professor in the school knew she was more passionate about Charms and magical creature rights and no one could forget her S.P.E.W. campaign her forth year. He truly believed that she would have chosen a career in one of those areas, but potions? Well that never crossed his mind, nor did he pinned her down as one to pursue a master in such a field.
He had never taken on an apprentice, and he knew he should reject her. His mind was telling him that was what he should do. It had gone through all the pros and cons, listing everything that would end up happening, stacking them in neat little piles for him to sort through.
Sure he knew he was sort of getting along with her now. They were on good standing terms, but to be prolonged in her presence and teaching her for another two years on top of teaching dunderheads, who had not a care for the art of potion making, was asking a little too much.
The determination he had seen in her eyes that day, had told him right away if he was to reject her, she was bound to keep asking him until he caved in. So he had agreed only by setting terms down. If she was able to pass the trial period, consisting of the remainder of the school year, he would consider allowing her to study underneath his tutelage.
Severus had made it a task to sway her from wanting to pursue such a
path. Trying to keep her heart from being set on wanting to apprentice
underneath him by making this trail annoyingly boring. He had made her
clean out the storage cabinet several times the muggle way. Relabel
jars and replace expired ingredients with newly fresh ones. He denied
her the use of her wand, the use of muggle rubber gloves, he had stunted
any attempt from her doing so. Not only did he do that, Severus had
her scrub the all the first and second years’ cauldrons and so forth.
As much as he tried to make it hard on her, to coax her from this choice, she still pushed forward. Biting her tongue whenever she thought one thing to another was unfair. And he couldn’t help but admire the persistence she had. Hermione’s keen determination radiated off of her in waves day in and day out, regardless that she was doing the same old thing over and over.
When April had arrived, he had decided to teach her more difficult potions. How slicing or dicing certain ingredients were better for some and while not for others. He had shown her some of the older, more ancient complex potions that only a few potion masters were capable of doing. Involving a series of chants while stirring, or even adding a complex charm, all of which he was surprised that she had grasped quite fluently, as if it was almost second nature to her.
As the days went by, Severus was noticing Hermione more as a person and not just one of his students. He slowly started noticing all the familiar signs of affection for the young witch. Affections that he knew were wrong.
He no longer seen her as a child but a woman grown. There were no signs of the child he once knew her to be. She was no longer knees and elbows, but curves and feminine grace. Her smell was enticing, and the look in her eyes were very alluring.
His affections for her was clearly wrong, even if he never pursued them. He was her teacher and not only that he was also twice her age, old enough to be her father. But still it did not stop his feelings for her from growing. What befuddle him was when did she find a way to creep into his soul and grasp on to his heart..
Lily had always been the one who had a hold on his heart, even after death. But now, the friend he loved so dearly was slowly being replaced by another. One who did not judged him for his past deeds, one who forgave him and knew that he did not mean what he did, the one who cared enough about him to come back and save his miserable life.
Hermione was different from Lily by far. There was some similarities to them, but they were still different in many ways.
Severus had believed he could keep such frivolous feelings at bay. Though as time went on his fondness for the witch kept growing more and more. And he knew that he couldn’t be her mentor.
Being in her presence was hard enough. The bright smile she gave him, the musical laughter he had somehow coaxed out of her pretty little mouth, enlighten his darken soul. His heart would race, beating wildly behind his rib cage when they touched hands as he showed her the proper way to stir an intricate design in a particular brew. His mind always commenting internally how soft her skin felt underneath his fingers. And the very last day in May did his mind wander off, question if the rest of her body felt as soft as her touch.
It was that final thought that made him decide to cease this so called trial period.
Hermione was devastated that it had happen. Severus remembered the look in her eyes that day. Tears forming in her eyes, threatening to spill down her cheeks, though they never did in his presence. He had wanted to scoop her up in his arms and hold her tight and explain his reasons why. But if he did that he did not know how she would react. And if she did not care for him in that way, well to say the final days of her school year would be quite awkward.
So instead of acting his normal cordial self he reverted back to his former foul self. He berated himself for acting such like a bloody arse to her, especially when she pleaded for him not to discontinue teaching her. And as hard as she tried, he did not bugged with his final decision.
After that day Hermione and he did not speak to one another. It pained him, hearing her laugh ringing out in the halls, knowing that he was not the cause for such a lovely tune. That when he looked at her, she did not smile that beautiful radiate smile of hers, his way. The look he had received was one of hurt and he cursed himself for making her feel that way. And here he was sipping champagne on her graduation day, watching her twirling around the dance floor in different men’s arms.
He felt a twinge of jealousy, one he did not deserve to have when he was the one to have pushed her away. It wasn’t as if they were an item, but seeing all the different drooling dunderheads fighting to get her attention, he couldn’t keep such a feeling tampered. As the music came to an end, Severus finished his drink and strolled over to where she stood with a purpose.
“Miss Granger, may I have the next dance?” He asked, holding out his hand.
He waited silently, looking at the witch as she timidly nodded her head at him with her bottom lip trapped between her teeth. The young man standing beside her glared at him when he walked away with her hand in hand, knowing full well that he had been pushed aside for the greasy git.
There was only silence between them during the first couple turns around the room. Severus could tell that she was nervous, and did not know how to act around him after their last interaction.
Letting out a subtle sigh, Severus took the initiative to speak. But before he could, he was cut off by Hermione soft voice.
“Sir, I want to apologize for whatever I had done to make you angry with me. I know I can be obnoxious, insufferable and all around a know-it-all and for those reasons I believe is why you do not want me to apprentice under you. Which is fine, I don’t think I could handle someone like me as well.” She said, chuckling lightly.
“It’s just that I really had believed that you had truly considered keeping me underneath your tutelage. But seeing as I was wrong, I cannot stop wondering why. I won’t ask you for your reasons since you made it quite clear that no matter what I say will not persuade you to change your mind.”
When the music died down and they stopped moving. Hermione drifted her gaze downwards, removing her hands off of him and clasping them in front of her.
“-I really am sorry to anger you in any way, sir. But thank you, thank you for allowing me an opportunity to learn from you even how short it was. For putting up with me all these years and thank you for saving me countless of times when you did not have too. I know I never said it before, but you are truly a wonderful professor and person.” She told him, giving him a wavering smile.
Hermione started to turn away from him, and he knew if he allowed her to leave without saying something, he would never get a chance as he would never see her again.
Throwing all caution to the wind, he reached out turning her back around to face him and tenderly lifted her chin so she would look up at him. There were tears forming in her eyes. Tears that confused him on why they were there in the first place. He hated seeing such a look on her face. He wanted her to know the true reason why he couldn’t mentor her. The thought to let her leave here thinking that she had done something wrong to get his ire did not suit him well.
“Miss Granger….Hermione.” He said, his eyes locking on her own soft amber hues. “You did not do anything wrong. You did not make me angry, on the contrary it is I who I’m mad at, not you. My reasons for not continuing your apprenticeship with me is because of my feelings for you. If word got out about how I felt, it would not bode well for you when you are able to take your test in the end. There would be questions, suspicions on what is going on between us. And that alone can ruin your chances of becoming a Potions Mistress.”
“Please let me finish. My feelings for you go beyond those of one a teacher should have for a student. And even though you are no longer a student of mine, I still feel this way towards you. For these reasons are why I rejected your apprenticeship.” He released her chin, his dark eyes gazing down at her.
The Gryffindor averted her own away from his while he had spoken. Her face was flushed and no doubt by embarrassment that a man such as he would confess his feelings for her.
Running a hand through his hair, he closed his eyes, letting out a heavy breath of air. He had said what needed to be said, and decided to take his leave. A leave that never happened when the feel of gentle soft velvet lips press against his cheek out of the blue. Eyes opening quickly, Severus stared down at her smiling face with a startled look upon his own.
“Thank you, for telling me. I must agree, trying to study underneath you for another two years was going to be a challenge for me as well, sir. I must admit my feelings for you go farther than infatuation a student has for authoritative figure.
“I enjoyed our conversations we had, they were quite exhilarating even though sometimes we argued, but I still enjoyed them. I loved listening to you speak as well. I could listen to your voice all day, to tell you the truth. It’s alluring, and smooth like dark chocolate.” She paused looking into his dark liquid eyes. “There is so much I want to know about you. I want to know more about your youth, your young adolescent years and so forth. I know your past is dark and full of things that you might believe I do not want to hear, or what you do not wish for me to know. But I want to hear it all.”
Looking away from him again, a small smile danced upon her lips as she continued. “I must admit something now to you. Just in case you don’t believe what I just said. Those days when you were showing me a new potion and we brewed it several times and I couldn’t get the intricate stirring technique down right. Well, I purposely stirred it wrong so you could show me how. I already knew how, and I know you knew it doesn’t really take me long to get a grasp of something right away. Even so, I did act as if I didn’t know so I could feel your hand on mine.” She said sheepishly, peering at him through her lashes as a pastel crimson hue dusted her cheeks.
“You’re saying that….that you like me?” He asked in a shocked voice. His mind hardly believing what his ears heard her say. She liked him more than admiration that she, Hermione Granger was in fact in love with him.
“Not like, but love. I know it’s too soon to say, but yes my feelings for you run quite deep.”
His eyes never swayed away from her face, he stood there in silence, processing all this in. Feeling one corner of his mouth curve into a smirk, he placed a gentle hand upon her face, caressing her smooth cheek bone with his calloused thumb.
“Well it seems our feelings are mutual.”
“It seems so, sir.” She replied, tilting her head into his palm.
“Call me Severus. Sir doesn’t sound right, Hermione.” He told her as he leant forward, his face mere centimeters away from her own.
“Severus.” Hermione purred his name, smirking mischievously and giggling musically. “I agree again. Sir doesn’t fit, especially in this situation.”“No, it doesn’t. Especially in this situation.” He whispered, closing the remaining distance, and kissing her sweetly and passionately on the lips. Not caring that everyone in the room were staring at them with wide eyes and gaping mouths.