She obeyed and led the way down to the dungeons, but after a few minutes of companionable silence, she turned to him and stated, "You know, you really shouldn't be mentioning the color of my knickers."
He sneered along side her but didn't turn his head as he kept walking. "I don't think I need a lecture from you about appropriate behavior."
Hermione took that for what it was, but rejoined after a few moments. "You have to give me some leeway, Professor." She banked on him not looking and rolled her eyes, "Even you have to admit I've had a crap day."
She got an eyebrow out of him for that one. "Even I? And what is that supposed to imply?"
Backpedaling what he may have possibly taken as an insult, she quickly explained, "I mean that you've been there, seeing quite a bit of...um...of what's happened to me." And he'd seen quite a bit of her undergarments, too, but the less said on that, the better.
He grunted in a non-response and waved his wand to open the classroom door. "In."
Ducking her head in defeat, she stepped into the classroom to await her instruction for detention. As he closed the door, she stood still, taking in the familiar surroundings of the Potions classroom. It surprised everyone when Professor Snape took back his old position, but the rumor mill stated that he'd only wanted the DADA position because he wanted to prepare the students for what was to come. She turned to look at him, wondering what the real answer to that question was.
When she did see him, it was to find him looking back at her with an evaluating, calculating stare. Hermione was caught by surprise at this and blushed. What could he possibly be thinking about? Surely there were cauldrons to scrub or ingredients to sort. A little demon in the back of her mind chattered that he wouldn't have so much left to do in his labs if he'd take on an Apprentice, but she quickly shoved that imp back into its box and blinked innocently back at her professor.
It was, perhaps, a full minute of standing there before he inhaled sharply, "Yes, I think that will do."
Perplexed, she watched him swing his wand arm deftly, moving the first row of worktables to make room for sliding the chalkboard more into the room, widening it, and cleaning it. That done, he turned abruptly and pointed his thumb behind him to the chalkboard, indicating she walk up to it.
She was still confused, but went up and took the chalk in hand, looking at him expectantly.
He nodded slightly and explained, "I want you to write the word 'fuck' on the board as small as legibly possible, then fill the entire board with it."
Her eyebrows hit her fringe. "P-pardon?"
He glared at her and she turned back to the very large chalkboard, then proceeded to scratch out the word 'fuck' in half-inch letters. She looked to him for approval and he peered over her shoulder. Her heart beat a bit harder with him so close and she blushed, but looked directly at the board to avoid looking at him.
"You may continue."
She glanced to him, nodded and started writing as he backed slowly away to sit at his desk in view of the chalkboard. He'd know if she fudged on the writing. Sighing in defeat, she kept at it.
It was quite some time later, and the board was almost half-full, when she heard the casters on his chair squeak, indicating him standing up. He stalked back towards her, capturing her attention, and she faltered on the tail of the 'k' she'd been drawing, pulling it a bit down the board.
Professor Snape snorted and she belatedly realized her verbalization of the word. She bit her lips together, erased the long line with her fingers and pointed to the board, "Can you blame me? You're kind of programming me for it, now."
There went that eyebrow again.
"Tell me, Miss Granger, how many uses of the word 'fuck' can you think of?"
Firstly, she was confused by the question, but that wasn't what froze her in her tracks. It was his use of the word, the way he strung it out like it was honey on a spoon, that had her unable to talk.
His eyes focused on her like a snake stalking its prey. She swallowed and looked over to the board, then back to him.
Her mind raced to answer what he was asking, but could do nothing but blush again and again in answer. The word kept rolling around in her brain and the more she thought about it, and the more she thought about him, the more she thought of the sexual meaning of the word.
"Answer me, Miss Granger. How many uses of the word 'fuck' can you think of?"
Quickly latching on to what he was saying and not what he was implying, she counted and replied, "S-Seven."
His expression at her avoidance was not amused, "Explain them."
"As you keep writing."
She let out a shaky breath, "oookay." Writing a few 'fucks' down before speaking, she started with the easiest, "Expressing Surprise, as in 'Oh, Fuck', as I did earlier."
She looked to him and he nodded to continue. "Um...Emphasis. Also, like I said earlier, as in 'you've got to be fucking kidding me'."
She glanced at him again and he was leaning back against his desk, with his arms crossed over his chest. "Go on."
"Right...um..." Her brain flicked through different meanings, trying desperately to avoid the obvious meaning of the word. Maybe he wouldn't make her say it. "Descriptive, like 'he's a fucker'."
"Insulting, as in 'motherfucker'."
"That doesn't count, it's the same derogatory descriptive. Three."
She cleared her throat and continued, "Confusion, as in 'what the fuck?'."
"Shock, as in 'fuck me'." She blushed hard at that one.
"Expressing despair, as in 'well, I'll be fucked'."
"Six. What else?"
Fighting through panic, she cast through all the possible uses and finally came up on one she'd not used that wasn't sexual in meaning, "Exclamatory, as in 'fuck you'."
"Seven, very good. You've even left the obvious out, that's impressive."
She looked to him with a weak smile, shocked that he was actually complimenting her in detention. He nodded to the board for her to continue. "Now...say it as you write it and don't pretend you don't know what I mean." His eyebrow made for no misunderstandings.
The capillaries in her face were going to burst with all the blushing she was doing tonight. She scratched out the next word and said, "Fuck."
Scratch, scritch-scritch, screek, screek, scratch, stritch-screek. "Fuck."
Over and over she wrote and spoke, drawing out the lone vowel as she wrote it, "Fuuu-uuuck." She experimented with intonation, emphasis, length, speed, every possible variation of the word she could think of.
And it all made her think more and more of sex.
Now, Hermione was no virgin. God, after a year on the run with two teenage boys, who'd have even expected her to get through that with her virginity intact (she did, but that was an easier explanation than 'well, it just sort of happened one night and I have no recollection of the drunken incident and neither does Ron'). To tell the truth, she really didn't have a memory of having sex, but that didn't mean she didn't have a very vivid imagination, and right now the center of that imagination every time she repeated the word 'fuck' was the man standing not ten feet away, leaning on his desk and listening to her repeat the same word over and over again.
She felt her voice change, darken, deepen, turning into something hoarse and tired, but at the same time, husky with want. Her words changed into pleas, commands, entire dissertations on desire as she explored the different ways to say the word 'fuck' to Professor Severus Snape.
It was liberating, this exploration of the word...this compounded sexual invitation wrapped in layers of inuring repetition.
She glanced over at him and noticed that he was paying attention to what she was saying and how she was saying it. Fuck. She smiled, knowing the word would forever have a different meaning for her, now. It would mean being caught by Professor Snape doing something naughty. It would mean him letting her get away with it and seemingly enjoying watching her do it.
She was nearing the end of the board and for no good reason, started elaborating on the word. "Fuck... fucker, fucking, fucked, fuck you..." She looked over at him as she finished the last word, "Fuck me."
Sitting the chalk nub in the bottom tray of the board, she dusted her hands together and wiped them on her skirt. Her smile faltered as she looked back up to him, his concentration fully on her. Suddenly, she wasn't sure why the fuck she'd ever even tried a verbal seduction of any kind, much less a single-worded attempt during a detention that she still wasn't sure whether or not it was the effect of bad luck...or good.
He stood perfectly still, no longer leaning up against his desk, arms wrapped around himself and robes draping dramatically like a tucked-in bat. Her breathing increased, became staccato, and her blush returned.
When the silence was finally so charged, she was sure she would burst with it, he broke it, saying, "Say it."
After the last hour, she really didn't need to ask him 'what'. "Fuck."
He stepped towards her, slowly, intently, "Again."
"Fuck." She gave particular care to the hard consonant at the end.
He kept walking closer, but stopped about two paces away. "What if I were to say to you that: it is my fault you haven't heard from Rowan University, yet."
Her little blip of unsure flirtatiousness faltered dramatically. What did he mean? What was he saying? He said 'what if', not that it was his fault. A bit of panic spread through her heart at the thought, though. Why would he have done such a thing?
He stepped closer still and stopped only one pace away. "Well? What would you say to that?"
All her mind could think was, "Fuck."
He nodded. "Precisely." Looking down to her from his superior height, he continued in spite of her begging look of denial. "Now, what would you say if I told you I had a perfectly good reason for that? That I didn't want you to go to Rowan? Hmm?"
She shook her head, still denying the damning words coming out of his mouth. "Fuck."
He nodded again. "As I thought."
Somehow, without moving his feet, he was suddenly closer to her, leaning into her space, stealing her air and she could smell his aftershave...bergamot and something like cloves. She took a deep, shaky breath and waited for him to speak again.
He didn't disappoint her. "Taking that into consideration, I understand you have a ridiculous number of acceptances from wizarding universities from around the world. I also understand that all of them are acceptances into their Potions Mastery programs." He paused and she didn't dare to respond. If she said anything other than 'fuck', would he somehow stop those other universities from accepting her? Would he stop...whatever this was?
Her body was quickly becoming drugged by the tension, lack of air, and overwhelming presence of Severus Snape.
He continued. "What I don't understand, is why you never once took advantage of the most favored and quickest way to obtain a Potions Mastery: an apprenticeship."