A/N: Much love to all of you who've been taking the time to read and review. I can't wait to see what you make of this chapter, and to share the rest of this story as it unfolds. It's all plotted out, and I'm envisioning at least 25 chapters, but knowing my tendency to waffle on, it will probably end up being more than that. I hope you'll enjoy it.
Darkness and Silence
Hermione held her breath as she entered the store cupboard down the hall from Snape's classroom. She couldn't believe she'd forgotten to ward the one in the classroom against ghosts – knowing that Peeves had a nasty habit of creating mayhem everywhere he went. She'd been so stupid and so distracted, and her cheeks were burning to think that it was entirely because when she'd been in there last night looking for ingredients, she'd been too concerned with her daydreams about being trapped in there with Professor Snape. She'd been too caught up in fantasy of being ravished on the dingy, uneven floor in there by the dour Potions Master to even remember to re-layer all the wards he used to protect the store.
Mortified, and furious with herself for landing in so many detentions as a result, Hermione peered into the cupboard in the hall, relieved to see that this one, she'd remembered to properly ward. Or maybe Peeves just hadn't gotten to it yet, because it wasn't in a mess. Hurrying inside, knowing she wouldn't get any extra time to work on her potion assignment for the day's lesson just because she was dawdling, Hermione collected a few jars of Silver Wings and the small phial of Acromantula Venom that Professor Snape had asked for.
She was just about to leave the room again when she spied a small phial glittering on one of the top shelves and Hermione's stomach flipped. Essence of Ergot. An essential ingredient for the world's strongest contraceptive potion to be ingested after coitus had taken place. Hermione blinked before looking toward the exit and back at the phial. She was going to need something contraceptive, and soon, if she didn't want to end up pregnant in her sixth year with her Professor's baby.
Actually, she was surprised he hadn't already suggested or mentioned it. He really must've been lost in his Death Eater persona last night. Hermione frowned, wondering if that meant she'd taken advantage of him or if it just meant she'd gotten to shag Severus Snape, Death Eater; not Severus Snape, Hogwarts Professor. She didn't for a second doubt that he kept the two sides of his life separated. She'd seen it in the wicked and sensual way he'd looked at her last night and felt it in the way he'd touched her.
No, the Hogwarts professor she'd just been berated by was nothing like the man she'd healed and shagged last night. Frowning to herself, Hermione summoned the phial from the top shelf and pocketed it, making a mental note to find a safe place tonight to brew the contraceptive potion – the wizarding equivalent of a morning-after pill. She could've gone to the Hospital Wing and asked for one that Madam Pomfrey already had in storage, but she knew from Lavender's simpering that being allowed one came at the price of a pap smear and having to reveal whomever you were intimate with for the sake of him being checked over as well. Apparently underage sex could result in magical depletion and while the files were kept private, any student who'd been canoodling and needed one of the potions had to reveal the identity of their accomplice.
Hermione got the feeling that it would be a very bad thing indeed for her to go to Madam Pomfrey for one. She could just imagine the woman's face if she said she'd shagged Professor Snape. Yeah, that would go down well. Rolling her eyes to herself, Hermione resolved to do it the hard way and brew it herself. Of course, the brewing might have to wait until after her detention. She shook her head to herself, furious that he'd given her detention just because he was mentally berating himself for having shagged a student.
She tried her best to clear her mind on the way back into the classroom, knowing the man would be listening to her thoughts, trying to make sure she wasn't entertaining notions of another round with him. The last thing she needed was to bring more of his foul mood down on herself because he was furious that he'd fucked her.
When she entered the classroom, Hermione walked purposefully to Snape and waited for him to turn to her, since he was in the process of breathing down Parvati's neck about the consistency of her Liquid Luck even though they'd barely begun. His eyes were cold when they snapped over to clash with hers and Hermione fought the urge she had to step backward in fear. She also fought the urge to close her eyes when it occurred to her that she'd been less fearful of him in full Death Eater garb than she was right then in his teaching robes.
She knew he heard the thought because he narrowed his eyes hatefully. Hermione held out the Acromantula Venom silently, praying he wouldn't address her wayward thoughts.
"Did you ward the cupboard?" he asked, his voice silky.
Hermione shivered involuntarily even as she nodded. He narrowed his eyes, undoubtedly planning to check the storeroom himself just as soon as he didn't need to micromanage inept potioneers attempting one of the trickiest potions in the world. Hermione made to turn away, intent on getting on with her own brewing of the complicated potion but before she could take more than one step his large, cold hand closed around her wrist and pulled her to a stop.
Hermione closed her eyes, her mind jumping to last night when he'd grabbed her before she could touch his Death Eater mask, standing there at his desk practically naked.
"Sir?" she asked, turning back toward him and trying desperately not to tremble. She tried to squash down the inappropriate memories that surfaced.
He held his hand out expectantly.
Hermione frowned at his palm before looking back at his eyes – so impossibly dark and alluring – and letting him see her confusion. She made to hand him the jar of Silver Wings, but he raised a single eyebrow in silent challenge and Hermione curled in on herself.
Of course, he knew. He'd probably been using Legilimency on her the entire time she'd been gone from the room. Gulping, Hermione's cheeks flushed crimson before she glanced around surreptitiously, not wanting anyone to see what she'd tried to steal. He snapped his fingers once, silently demanding she get a move on and Hermione nearly jumped out of her skin. No one was looking at them. Everyone was too absorbed in their own potion to worry about what she was doing.
Sticking her hand into her pocket, Hermione fished out the ergot phial and slipped it into his waiting hand, purposely letting her fingers brush his as she did so. He darted a glance at the phial, confirming what it was, before closing his fist around it and depositing it into his own pocket. He glared at her and Hermione got the feeling that when she stayed behind to arrange her detentions with him, she would be in even more trouble for trying to pilfer more ingredients that didn't belong to her.
He released her wrist as suddenly as he'd grabbed it, dropping it like he'd been scalded, and Hermione stumbled back a step, paling a little in fear when he curled his lip at her hatefully. Scampering away from him, Hermione returned to her work station, where Harry or Ron had been kind enough to set up her cauldron and her brewing station so she'd be able to dive right into brewing.
"Are you alright?" Harry muttered to her, obviously too concerned about her to worry about her having hit him with a Silence charm earlier to protect him from further drawing Snape's rage.
"I'm fine," Hermione nodded, despite the way her hands were shaking.
She didn't dare look at Snape again, and her mind was immediately consumed by the focus needed for the potion they were working on, so she avoided thinking about what they'd done almost the entire period.
Severus prowled through the room breathing down the necks of his students as they flailed helplessly, their attempts to brew Felix Felicius positively pitiful. He prowled behind Potter's cauldron and narrowed his eyes when he noticed the boy was doing well, for once. When he passed Weasley's cauldron he glared down his nose, watching the redhead cringe, obviously knowing that though his potion should by now be as clear as fresh water, the milky consistency was not acceptable. He had already fudged his first attempt and had to vanish it, so he would be forced to drink whatever he'd cooked up.
Severus was looking forward to watching the bad luck that would befall the boy for the hours following this class. Stalking silently, he crept up behind Miss Granger next, burning with the urge to find fault with her potion. He knew he could make her nervous if he stood directly behind her and Severus couldn't resist. It wasn't unusual. He often did this to her during lessons, both Potions and Defence, because it was the best way to unsettle her. She always second-guessed herself when he was standing there, judging her.
He narrowed his eyes as he peered over her shoulder and into her cauldron, ignoring the faintest vanilla scent that seemed to cling to her hair. She hadn't second-guessed herself last night under his scrutiny when she'd had her mouth wrapped around his cock, he recalled. Maybe she was able to differentiate between him as a teacher and a Death Eater.
He almost smirked when he saw that while her potion was almost perfect, it was just the faintest bit off.
"You will not enjoy drinking this potion at the end of the lesson, Miss Granger," he informed her, speaking almost directly into her ear. She almost jumped out of her skin, apparently too focused to have realised he was behind her.
"What's wrong with it, sir?" she asked in a low voice.
"You used one too many drops of Murtlap essence," he informed her. "It shouldn't have an odour, but your does."
She drew a deep breath in through her nose and Severus cursed himself for standing so close when doing so caused her back to brush against his chest. He loathed the way his body remembered the warmth of her skin even through that faint contact.
"I can't smell anything," she protested.
"And that is why you will not enjoy your afternoon," he sneered. "Remain after class to arrange your detention."
He stalked away before he had to endure any more of her wretched scent, scowling down his nose at Parkinson's potion when the girl stepped back, letting him see what she'd created. He narrowed his eyes on the potion and the pug-nosed witch paled, realising instantly that she'd made an error.
"Too much hellebore, Miss Parkinson," he informed her when she peered into the cauldron, obviously trying to figure out what she'd done wrong.
He prowled throughout the rest of the classroom, eyeing Abbott's pitiful attempt at the brew and shaking his head in disgust. She began to cry once more, and Severus smirked just a little bit. He'd always prided himself on his ability to make others cry without needing to say a word.
When the lesson had five minutes remaining, Severus called them all to a stop.
"Rather than collecting a sample of your potion for examination today, you will simply demonstrate the effects by ingesting what you've created," he informed them.
"Professor Snape?" Granger interrupted when everyone was groaning and obviously terrified. "Begging you pardon, sir, but isn't it against school rules to force us to ingest these potions? Especially when you've indicated we'll be having a test in this afternoon's Defence lesson? The use of Liquid Luck is against wizarding law for any magical test, sporting game, or other competitive activity."
Everyone went dead silent, holding their breath as they waited for him to crucify the witch for her audacity.
"Do you imagine anyone in this room has actually managed to brew anything that would even passingly be considered Liquid Luck, Miss Granger?"
"Perhaps," she retorted, narrowing her eyes. "But should we all have failed – some more spectacularly than others – the effects of the spoiled potion would incur the opposite of Luck. It would be just as immoral and unsporting to force Bad Luck potions on all of us prior to a test, sir. Moreover, the extent of the bad luck incurred by some would endanger their lives. I'm sure you wouldn't actually seek to endanger the lives of those under your care, Professor Snape."
Severus curled his lip, his anger bubbling. He levelled her his coldest, most hateful look – the one he usually only reserved for Wormtail – and she stared back defiantly, certain she was right.
"I doubt you've even an inkling of what I'd seek to do to those under my care, Miss Granger," he replied coldly and everyone was silent. She narrowed her eyes on him, getting the message loud and clear that she'd might've thought he'd never have fucked a student under his care, too, but last night he'd fucked her.
She opened her mouth like she might argue further but Severus narrowed his on her.
"Unless you wish to be subjected to the most pitiful attempt at today's potion – courtesy of Miss Abbott – rather than your own potion, you will hold your tongue on any further protests, Miss Granger," he warned her silkily and her mouth snapped shut.
Severus smirked cruelly.
"All of you will ingest a single mouthful of your potions – which ought to wear off right as lunch ends, thereby negating the effects before this afternoon's Defence lesson. As Miss Granger has showed her eagerness, she will go first," he instructed.
She narrowed her eyes on him hatefully and Severus caught the flash of the thought in her mind that said she ought to have let him bleed out last night, rather than healing him. He stared her down, silently agreeing. She huffed angrily before dipping a phial into the potion she'd brewed and lifting it to her lips. Her friends all held their breath and Severus's smirk widened when the scent she'd claimed she couldn't smell hit her nose just as the first drop touched her tongue.
She gagged before gritting her teeth when the Slytherin students laughed uncharitably. Pinching her nose, she gulped down the rest looking like she was swallowing acid – which she might as well have been. When it was all gone she dropped the phial and wiped her mouth, clamping her hand over it and trying desperately to keep her breakfast down.
"Miss Abbott, you next," Severus smirked. The sobbing girl's hands were trembling as she did as instructed without protest. The minute she'd finished the potion she fell off her stool and managed to tip her cauldron over, splashing her peers, coating her things, and spilling a good deal of it on herself.
More laughter sounded from his Slytherins.
"Miss Parkinson, you next," Severus said.
Pansy was frowning as she did as she'd been told. She coughed as she finished the mouthful, before blinking at him and grinning stupidly like she was drunk. Severus shook his head and continued watching the students all ingest their potions. Many of them would endure terrible bad luck all through lunch and he hadn't been in higher spirits in a good long while. When the final student – Mr Weasley – had drunk his potion, and turned a terrible shade of green before vomiting into his cauldron, Severus dismissed them.
Potter and Granger both waited while the others all tripped and fell and cursed over splitting book bags as they tried to hurry from his presence. Potter was glaring at him defiantly and Granger was still trying to keep from gagging, having fished a water bottle from her bag that she was gargling, trying to rinse the foul taste from her mouth.
"Potter, you will serve your detentions with Mr Filch. Report to him nightly at eight o'clock for further instructions," Severus hissed at the wretched boy who looked so much like his past enemy.
The brat curled his lip like he might argue, but Granger pinched him before he could. Potter nodded with a sharp jerk and Severus glared at him, waiting for him to leave. He didn't. He glared back defiantly, refusing to leave his friend alone.
"If you don't get out of this room in the next thirty seconds, Mr Potter, you will spend the entire year in detention. Is that clear?" he snarled at the boy.
The defiant little shit continued to glare and refused to move until Granger pinched him.
"Go, Harry," she muttered. "I'll be fine. Don't make this worse for both of us."
"You have no proof that it was Hermione's fault Peeves got into the storeroom," Potter said, always forgetting his manners and refusing to call him 'sir'.
Severus curled his lip, intent on ripping the boy a new one but Granger beat him to it.
"Yes, he does, Harry," she said. "I didn't get the Bruise Salve finished last night because Professor Snape caught me in here. He knows I was raiding the storeroom. Just go, would you? Please?"
Severus narrowed his eyes on the girl, loathing the way his stomach flipped with fear that she might mention just what he'd done when he'd caught her in the classroom. She didn't, and Potter glanced at her before frowning and nodding.
"We'll wait for you outside," he said.
"Go to lunch," Hermione told him. "Ron needs something in his stomach after drinking his potion. I'll be fine."
Potter looked doubtful, shooting another hateful look at Severus before picking up his bag and leaving the room without another word. Severus glared down his nose at Miss Granger when the girl met his gaze. She was distinctly less cheerful now, looking weary, rather than chipper.
She didn't dare speak, he noticed, and Severus held her gaze for a long time, loathing himself for the warring disgust and desire he felt as he looked at her.
"What time should I report for my detentions, Professor?" she asked quietly when he didn't speak, unable to find his tongue when every time he tried, he could taste her once again.
"You imagine you will be reporting directly to me for your detentions?" he asked, raising ne eyebrow.
"You want me to re-stock the storeroom, don't you?" she asked, never looking away from his eyes. "I'm responsible for their destruction, after all, and they do need to be replenished. Unless you'd prefer me doing something else, sir?"
Severus narrowed his eyes before diving into her mind, not trusting the conniving little bitch not to be offering herself to him as a means of serving detention. She didn't resist the invasion, letting him see she only meant that she could help with marking for his classes, or do whatever other, menial task he could think up to punish her.
"Are you aware that use of this ingredient in an uncontrolled environment could kill you, Miss Granger?" he demanded quietly, fishing the phial of Ergot Essence from his pocket – the one she'd tried to steal.
"Yes, sir," she nodded, looking wary now.
"What might possess you to steal more ingredients from my stores, Miss Granger? Especially such a dangerous one?" he asked, goading her, suddenly needing to hear her address what they'd done.
She stared at him, her cinnamon eyes dancing over his face, obviously searching for the trap in his words – trying to find the reason for his question.
"I think you know, sir," she said quietly. "I... I'm not on contraceptives right now… I wasn't on them last night."
Severus narrowed his eyes on her.
"How old are you, Miss Granger?" he demanded.
"I turned seventeen in September, sir," she said softly.
Severus breathed out a slow sigh of relief that though she was still a student, at least she wasn't a minor.
"Why aren't you on contraceptives?" he demanded, frowning.
Her eyes widened slightly, and she glanced over her shoulder toward the classroom door, as though fearing they might be overheard.
"The door is warded against eavesdropping," he said.
"Oh. Good. Um… they don't… uh… that is to say… when I tried them in the past they… er…."
"Spit it out!" Severus hissed at her.
Her cheeks flushed crimson and Severus marvelled at the thought that she could suck his cock without blushing, but discussing the effect of a contraceptive on her body was apparently impossible.
"The contraceptive potions I tried interfered with my menstrual cycle," she informed him bitterly, cheeks glowing. "The first one I tried made me too nauseous to eat anything and while that was spectacular for my waistline, people started asking questions when I couldn't stomach anything. The second one I tried made it so that I spent nineteen days of every month bleeding, rather than just five – which made me anaemic – and so I stopped taking that one. The third made me put on so much weight in such a short period of time that Harry asked me if I'd been attacked by a Blast Ended Skrewt because I looked like I'd been stung all over. After that, I wasn't having sex anymore anyway, so I stopped worrying about taking anything."
"And you thought this would be wise?" he held up the phial.
"The potion I had in mind for it doesn't have any negative effects on my system because it's usually a once-off dosage," she admitted, lifting her eyes to his once more and Severus realised she'd intended to make it for the sake of purging her body of whatever he might've planted in her.
He narrowed his eyes on her, having assumed that she would simply be on contraceptives and so not having given the risk of pregnancy a thought.
"Brewing that is extremely tricky, Miss Granger," he informed her.
"Yeah, well I can hardly go to Madam Pomfrey for one that's already brewed, can I? I'd rather not be forced to endure a pap smear from the witch and I don't imagine it would be in anyone's best interests for me to be forced to reveal who I'd been intimate with."
Severus blanched at the very idea.
"You didn't think to simply ask me for one?" he raised his eyebrows. "I stock the Hospital Wing."
"When might I have asked you, sir?" she hissed, her eyes flashing. "When you were chiding me about breaches of the dress code last night? Or maybe this morning at breakfast when you were making seventh-year boys cry because you're in such a foul mood? Maybe I should've asked in class just now, when Harry and Ron, and all the rest of the students could listen in and wonder if I was asking you because I fucked you?"
Severus blinked, shocked by her foul language and the venom in her voice. He'd never heard her swear, least of all at a teacher and he'd have smirked over it if not for the fury glittering in her eyes.
"You knew you would be seeing me after class to arrange your detention. You could have asked now, rather than stealing the ingredients yourself," he pointed out.
"Oh, I'm sorry," she snapped. "Was I supposed to assume it would be alright to acknowledge that you and I had sex when you've been a right bloody dragon spewing fire over everyone in sight all morning because you're furious with yourself? I was just supposed to know you'd want me to mention it when you're throwing a tantrum over the entire thing?"
"Did you imagine attempting the potion yourself, and likely failing, would be preferable?" he sneered. "Your fear of my current temper is but a pittance in comparison to my mood should you fall pregnant as a result of your cowardice, Miss Granger."
"My cowardice?" she hissed, leaping to her feet and glaring at him. "You're the one throwing a tantrum, Professor. There is nothing cowardly about preferring to get myself out of trouble than risking the ridicule I'd face at asking for your help. You are spiteful, and mean, and a downright bastard, and you can take all the house points you want over it, because it's the bloody truth! If I'd come to you this morning like some snivelling first year confused over her first period, you'd have been positively brutal in your attack on me over what I don't doubt you'd deem to be my stupidity for not being on contraceptives before knowingly engaging in sexual activity. You'd have snarled like a mongrel dog trying to warn me away lest the rest of the world figure out you fucked me, and you'd have pounced like a tiger for the throat when I admitted the 'fault' of not being on contraceptives to begin with. You'd have refused to listen to reason and you'd have all but told me to fuck off, likely imagining me some stupid and clingy little swot all hung up over one little fuck. Wanting to avoid all that when there is a viable alternative isn't cowardice, sir. It's just common sense."
She stomped her foot of emphasis and Severus glared at her, wondering when she'd come to know him well enough to figure out how he'd likely have reacted had she tried to speak with him this morning in any capacity other than that of teacher and student. He narrowed his eyes, recalling that it had been her to say she didn't want to go last night, when he'd tried to send her on her way before he could fuck her.
Merlin's nads, she wasn't interested in him, was she?
"You are out of line, Miss Granger," he warned her sternly, refusing to dock points despite being called a bastard because it was what she expected and probably what she wanted.
"Oh, am I?" she snapped. "How awful. It's out of line to back-talk you or call you out on being a git, but it's not out of line to suck your cock, is that it?"
Severus curled his lip and lunged for her before he could think better of it. She stilled instantly when his hand closed threateningly around her throat, his eyes glittering with hatred as he glared down his nose at her. He had to give her credit; when she was riled up, she was utterly fearless. She didn't back down or look away, glaring at him from mere inches away, toe to toe with him despite the hand wrapped around her throat. Severus wondered if she trusted him so very much as to doubt he would hurt her, or if she was simply foolish and reckless enough to push him to violence, just the same.
"Enough!" he hissed at her, lowering his voice to a silken purr that he usually reserved only for sweet-talking the Dark Lord into seeing things his way.
She shivered in his hold and Severus hated that he poignantly recalled the way she'd quivered and shuddered under his tongue, too.
"Last night was a foolish mistake," he informed her coolly. "One that will never be repeated, and one that we will not discuss in any further detail with anyone. Is that clear?"
She narrowed her eyes on him before nodding jerkily.
"You will drink this," he fished a phial of abortifacient potion from his pocket. "You will not continue to break into my storerooms to help yourself to whatever you want, and you will report to my office this evening at eight o'clock to begin replenishing the stores of ingredients that were destroyed today as a result of your carelessness. Was the storeroom down the hall similarly destroyed?"
"No, sir," she answered.
"You didn't raid that one, then?" he asked. "Or you were simply less distracted whilst in that one?"
She tried to look away then and Severus narrowed his eyes, penetrating her mind once more. He recoiled, dropping his hold on her throat and stepping back when he encountered what appeared to be an extremely erotic daydream of being ravished on the stone floor of the storeroom. She looked down at her feet, her cheeks crimson and Severus's brow furrowed in confusion, shocked by the daydream and confused by her reaction.
She… did she often entertain fantasies that starred him?
"You would do well to learn how to shield your mind, Miss Granger," he said sternly.
"You would do well to refrain from invading the minds of those around you without invitation or permission, sir," she retorted.
Severus narrowed his eyes on her. "You would also do well to remember to speak to me like I am still your teacher, Miss Granger," he warned. "Last night's actions do not negate the fact that I am a teacher and you are a student."
"Yes, sir," she whispered, lowering her head deferentially once more, as though she'd never been anything but a dutiful student who hadn't shagged her teacher or called him a bastard.
Furious with her all over again, Severus clenched one of his fists.
"Get out of my sight," he snapped coldly, unable to stand the sight of her any longer.
She nodded, refusing to lift her eyes to his before she turned and hurried back to her desk to collect her things. Severus watched her go, hating the way his mind replayed snippets of last night's encounter, now interspersed with memories of her daydream.
"Miss Granger," he called quietly before she could hurry out the door once she'd slung her bag over her shoulder.
"Yes, sir?" she stopped, not turning, apparently too mortified to meet his gaze.
"You were in the store-room before I returned last night…" he said leadingly, realising with a jolt that she'd forgotten to ward it properly after daydreaming about him in there before he'd returned and fucked her senseless on his desk.
"Yes, sir," she agreed, turning and frowning at him, obviously not yet understanding his point.
"And it was you who refused to leave when I suggested it," he pointed out, his eyes scanning her face. "Do you often fantasize about me doing inappropriate things to you, Miss Granger? Or was last night an exception?"
She went red again, her eyes widening in shock at his blunt question.
"I…You… we agreed that there would be no further discussion of last night, sir," she stammered, obviously unwilling to admit anything further that might incriminate her.
Severus might've laughed at her pitiful attempts to hide the truth from him if he weren't so surprised. She darted a look at him, obviously wanting to leave but knowing better than to flee without being dismissed.
"Very well," he bit out, narrowing his eyes on her once more. She turned and fled the room before he could call her back again, running full-tilt down the hall with her bag swinging and her skirt flying. Severus shook his head as he watched her go, making a mental note that during her detention that evening, it might be prudent to perform a diagnostic charm over her to ensure she wasn't under the effect of some Dark Curse or Potion. No teenage witch in her right mind who didn't have ulterior motives would ever fantasize about him, so he could only conclude that the girl must not be in her right mind.
He scowled as he turned away to clear up the room before he could head to lunch, discovering that in her haste, she'd forgotten the abortifacient potion he'd tried to give her.