Continuing Tales

Thirty-One Days

A Harry Potter Story
by keelhaulrose

Part 14 of 29

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Thirty-One Days

Severus didn't come to breakfast the next morning, and Hermione seriously debated going to the Transfiguration corridor to wait for him. The problem with that idea was that McGonagall would be in the Transfiguration corridor. While Hermione was sure she had been forgettable enough in class, she didn't want to draw attention to herself by hanging out in the corridor with no reason other than she had to speak to a Slytherin. They had Runes together after, and she decided that she would force him to talk to her during the class.

She waited outside, but he only showed up moments before the bell, sliding into the room without even a hello. She held her tongue while they were handed passages to translate, then cast the Muffliato spell as the teacher sat to grade some papers so she could talk to him.

"Where did you learn that spell?" he growled, eyes narrowing suspiciously.

"Around," she shot back. "What the hell is going on, Severus?"

"Nothing," he replied shortly, bending to start his translations.

"Oh, no, you don't," she hissed, snatching his paper from him. "What did I do?"

His head shot up, and he looked her in the eye in surprise. "Why would you even think you did something wrong?"

"Let me think- one minute we're snogging in a corridor, the next you're refusing to even talk to me."

"It wasn't you," he muttered.

"Severus, if you're finished with me at least have the decency to tell me."

"I don't want to be finished with you," he said quickly. "I just... I thought we were keeping things a little more secret."

"Cat's out of the bag now, yeah?"

"Potter will have spread it all over school."

"So, what's the point in hiding it now?"

"I'm just not comfortable with doing much of anything in public."

"I'm not, either," she shook her head. "Had I known we would have been interrupted, I would have asked to go somewhere more private. But I don't want to stop now that the school knows. I know all about teenage gossip. We may be a topic for a day or two, then someone is going to do something boneheaded in class, and no one would give us a second glance if we started snogging in the middle of dinner. Didn't you see those two Hufflepuffs in the Great Hall after our Hogsmeade trip? Eating each others faces and no one spared them a second glance. How the teachers didn't see and put a stop to it..." she trailed off with a roll of her eyes.

The corner of his mouth upturned.

"If you want to tone this down, tell me. If you want it to be over, tell me. But I would hope you think more of me than to try to shut me out and hope I take the hint."

"I'm not giving you any hints," he said a little too quickly. "If it was anyone else who caught us..."

"I don't give a damn what James Potter says or does. He wouldn't have been daft enough to try to hex both of us. He knows Lily wouldn't back him up, and by now our duel in Defense is well-known enough he wouldn't want to face both of us when we're upset. He couldn't waste a chance to wreck a moment of your happiness. We'll just have to be a little more cautious about our privacy from now on."

A smile crossed his face and he glanced at her out of the corner of his eyes. "Would you like to work on our assignment after dinner?" he asked quietly.

It was her turn to smile. Their assignment was nearly done. So either their meeting was to finally wrap things up, or it was his way of asking for a little more private time together. Either way, she was excited for the chance, and nodded a little too eagerly, which elicited a satisfied smirk from Severus. She let up the charm and set about translating her runes.

A couple minutes later Severus leaned towards her.

"Can you help me translate something?" he asked, pushing a corner of his paper towards her. She looked at some hastily scratched runes he had obviously written himself moments before. The translation was simple, and a smile spread across her face as she read:

Meet me in the Potions dungeon after dinner? We can go to the secret room, my beautiful.

She felt her cheeks flush at the compliment at the end. She nodded again, licking her lips unconsciously before gently nibbling her bottom lip. Severus pulled the paper back towards him, scribbling something else on the corner before nudging it back towards her and pretending to look up a rune in his book.

Will you have lunch with me?

She pulled out her quill and, after making sure they weren't being watched, wrote her reply in runes.

That's nearly romantic.

He let off a soft chuckle as he read it. With a sly smile he wrote something under her note, then slid it back to her.

Hard to be romantic stuck in this castle. But I could surprise you.

She wrote back: I'll hold you to that.

He didn't write anything back, but there was the hint of a mischievous smile across his face for the rest of the class. When the bell rang he was prepared, springing up and walking out of the room. She rolled her eyes and bent down for her bag, and was surprised to find a single red rose sitting atop her bag. She stared at it in disbelief for a moment, then shoved her things into her bag and ran out of the room. Severus hadn't gone far, he was waiting in the hall, looking apprehensive as he glanced at the rose in her hand. She made sure the coast was clear before pulling him into their secret passage, and pressing her lips hungrily against his.

"If this is what I get for a single rose, I think next time I'll leave you a dozen," he smirked as they broke apart.

"Don't push your luck," she said with a betraying smile as she playfully slapped his arm.

"You can't blame me for trying," he shrugged.

They walked down to lunch together, and without hesitating he moved down the Slytherin table, where he sat next to Mulicber and Avery. Hermione hesitated, but slowly sank down next to him.

"Snape, you have to help me with this potions essay," Mulciber groaned, pointing to a paper with about seven inches of rather large writing on it. "I'm only up to four properties..."

"You managed to cover four properties in that space?" Severus asked, his eyebrow raising.

"Exactly why I need your help."

"That's OWL level stuff. I left all my notes at home."

"You probably know this off the top of your head."

"You know my rates."

"Come on. Can't you give me a room-mate discount?"

"Not if I'm going to be buying Hermione here flower deliveries."

"Severus!" she hissed, face turning bright red, but he only smirked and rubbed her leg under the table.

"Ah. Hullo, Puckle. I don't think we've had a chance to properly meet," Mulciber smiled, flashing a row of half-rotten teeth. "Everyone just calls me Mulciber."

"Pleasure," she forced herself to say, trying to force a smile, though her lips would barely upturn.

"Alard Avery," the other introduced, reaching across the table for an awkward handshake. Severus was studying each of them with curiosity at her open hostility.

"By the way, Severus, we need to finish our Venemous Tentacula diagram," Mulciber said casually, spraying crumbs from his mouth across the table and causing Hermione to completely lose her appetite.

"What the hell do you mean 'we'? I had that damn thing nearly finished. You had half an hour to do ten minutes worth of work. You couldn't finish it in that time?" Severus snapped, sounding dangerous.

"Come on, Severus," he said, seemingly oblivious to Severus' anger. "You said it yourself, it's only ten minutes worth of work."

Severus let off a snarl, but Hermione grabbed his hand, which was clenched in a fist on his lap, and the surprise of it caused him to look at her. "Severus and I have a lot on our plates right now with our potions assignment."

"Potions assignment, is it, girlie?" he asked with a leer and a wink.

She made a disgusted noise and rolled her eyes. "I'm going to go to the library," she said, standing up. "I'll see you later, Severus."

"I'll come with you," he said, glaring at Mulciber before standing and following her out. But they didn't make it to the library. Instead, she took an unexpected turn and walked out onto the grounds.

"Those two are a bit of work, aren't they?" she muttered.

"They take some getting used to. The attitude that someone else should do their work is not uncommon in Slytherin house. Most of them have grown up with servants to do things around the house, and money to pay for anything they need done outside that situation."

"And you're cashing in by being one of those people they pay to do things."

"They can pay me to do their homework, but they can't pay me to sit the tests for them. I would have thought only getting one OWL each would have given them some motivation to start doing the work, but, then again, I make decent money off their laziness."

"Why do you settle for their friendship when you're obviously a lot smarter than they are?"

"In case this may have slipped your notice, I am not exactly a popular student around here."

She bit her lip, but didn't have a retort. Hogwarts could be a very lonely place without friends. "Have you ever tried talking to some of the other students? The ones outside Slytherin? My dorm-mates are very nice..."

He let off a grunt, which made it clear he would be willing to say anything to make her feel better, but he wouldn't be following any of her advice.

"How about you have lunch with us tomorrow?"

"Are you sure you they'd want to?"

"I don't think they'd mind."

He thought about it for a long moment. "Fine," he finally said.

"Great," she smiled. They sat together, working on their potions assignment, until the bell signaled it was time for her to go to Transfiguration. She bid good-bye to Severus and hurried up the stairs to the Transfiguration corridor. She had a feeling James and Sirius wouldn't let her kiss with Severus go unmentioned, and she wasn't wrong, as they both turned towards her as soon as she sat down.

"Please tell me it's not true, Puckle," Sirius groaned, looking disgusted.

"Is there any chance of this being the end of the conversation?" she asked with a sigh.

"You were snogging Snivellous in a corridor!"

"I'll take that as a no."

"Seriously, Puckle, I bet he even tastes like grease."

"If you want to find out, why don't you snog him?"

"I'd rather snog a banshee. They probably look better. From what I've read about them, they sound like they look a bit like old Snivellous. Has anyone caught sight of his mother recently?"

"You are completely intolerable, Sirius Black," she hissed.

"And you could use a check of your eyes. Were you hit with a bad conjunctivitis curse when you were young?"

"That's enough!" she growled. "I've had enough of what you've been saying about Severus. I don't give a rat's arse if you don't like him, I don't give a damn if you'll ever like him, but there is only so much that your supposed good looks can do for you. When it comes to your personality, Sirius, I'd rather spend time with a hundred angry Snapes than one arrogant you."

Sirius shot her a dark look. "Perhaps I've been wrong about you, Puckle. You want to be mental, far be it from me to try to stop you."

"Exactly what I wanted from you," she beamed.

He rolled his eyes and turned to the front of the class, and Hermione let her face fell. She liked Sirius, at least, she liked Sirius in her time, and she hated being short with him, but the more time she spent with him in the past, the more she realized how much he had matured and sobered between his Hogwarts time and the time she first met him. It made her wonder what he would have been like if he had never set foot in Azkaban. Would James and Lily's deaths still have mellowed him? How much of the light in his eyes had he lost because of their deaths, and how much was the result of his imprisonment? Sirius was like Severus, nearly unrecognizable in the future, though she didn't separate him into 'Sirius' and 'Black' quite as easily as Severus was either 'Severus' and 'Snape'. Two decades would make both men unrecognizable, and claim the lives of the majority of the faces she recognized walking these Hogwarts halls.

The contemplations put her in a bad mood for the rest of the afternoon, and by the time she met Snape outside the picture of the giraffes she was downright testy.

"Who got your knickers in a twist?" he asked as they walked towards his private room.

"My knickers most certainly aren't in a twist," she grumbled. "I've just had a lot on my mind."

"Okay. So what's on your mind?"

"A great many things."

"Don't you sound like Dumbledore?" he sighed.

"Fine. If you must know, I've been contemplating how people can change drastically over time."

"Any one person in particular?" he asked, sounding concerned.

"No," she said, looking away, knowing that while it wasn't technically a lie, it was close enough to the truth it felt like one. She caught him eying her like he didn't believe her as he let them into the room, but he seemed to think better of calling her on the lie.

"Anything you want to talk about?" he asked.

She sighed, perching herself on the workstation as she let her bag fall to the floor. "Just thinking about everything that's going on beyond the castle walls, with Vol... You-Know-Who," she corrected when he flinched. "Just thinking that even if we survive this, we're going to be changed. Here, in Hogwarts, we're safe, but out there things are different. And we're going to have to deal with it soon. I'm just wondering if I'm going to recognize myself on the other side."

"How do you think it's going to change you?"

"I don't think I'll be able to not pick a side. And fight to the end."

"No one is going to be forced to fight."

"Aren't they? Is he going to respect those who would rather stay away from the fight, especially those who are Muggle-born?"

He inhaled sharply.

"Exactly. And after the Muggle-borns, it'll be the Blood Traitors, and after them, it'll be anyone who he doesn't like. He wraps his quest for power in a message about blood purity and magic is might, and all that shit, but at the core of it, it's his own personal quest for power, and it's doing nothing but destroying lives. And I see you with Mulciber and Avery and Bellatrix and Lucius... I know which way you're going. I can't stop it if you're determined to go that route, but I don't think it's really in your heart. I think you just want somewhere to belong. You want somewhere your name means something."

His eyes narrowed.

"I don't begrudge you that, Severus. I just wish you didn't see this as your only option to what you want. But I know you have no reason to go down a different path, and I just don't have the time to change that."

"What do you mean you don't have the time?" he asked.

"I won't stay here forever. I can't. Even if I did, I won't follow you down your path."

"You don't get it," he hissed. "Those people, they get me..."

"And I don't? Because I'm not part of your group?" she half-shouted. "Because I'm an outsider? I'm more connected to this than you realize, than I'm willing to admit right now."

"Why should I open to you if you're not willing to do the same for me?" he growled.

"You shouldn't. You shouldn't have to feel like you need to give anyone anything more than you feel comfortable with. But, in case you haven't noticed, I care about you, Severus. If I didn't, I don't think I would have been able to survive the sudden changes of emotions you're prone to. If you want an alternative, there always is one. You don't need to lose yourself to find a place to belong."

He glared at her in surprise. "You care about me?" he asked softly.

"I don't make a habit of snogging people I don't care about," she replied crossly.

He suddenly strode forward, grabbing her face and pulling her into a bruising kiss. She opened her legs so he could stand between them, and he responded by pressing as much of his body as he could against hers. His hands slid down her back, over her rear, and down her thighs. She felt them rest a moment on her knees, then cautiously slid them under her skirt, lifting it up so nearly all of her legs were exposed. His fingers ran along her thighs, and she could feel him growing against her inner thigh. It caused a surge of heat to rush through her body and settle below her waist. She reached up and pushed his robe off, and he didn't seem to mind as it pooled at his feet. Emboldened by her move he lifted her jumper over her head, and started tugging the tie around her neck. Once it was free his lips moved from hers, traveling down her jaw so he could nip and suck at her neck. A groan escaped her lips when he found a particularly sensitive spot and nipped it gently, her legs tightening around his, drawing him closer and making her crave more.

One of his trembling hands slid up her shirt, opening the first button. Her brain told her she needed to stop, but when she opened her mouth only words of encouragement would come. Before long he had all the buttons unfastened, and he pushed the fabric aside, revealing the simple white bra underneath. His lips left her skin with a noise of protest from her, and he leaned back slightly so he could take a good look at her.

"What's this?" he asked in a husky voice, running a finger over the scar she got fighting at the Ministry.

"I got on the wrong end of an errant spell."

"You seem to enjoy attracting trouble, don't you?" he smirked.

"You better kiss me again before you wind up on the wrong end of a not-so-errant spell," she muttered, drawing him back to her to kiss him deeply again. His hands came up to cup her breasts, squeezing and running his fingers over the tops. She moaned into his mouth, pushing her chest into his touch. She craved his touch, craved feeling desired and beautiful, and craved the moment that made her forget everything she had gone through in the past months, and the horror that was waiting for her when she returned to her time. She ran her hands down his chest, pulling his shirt from his trousers so she could reach up underneath, feeling his lean muscles tighten under her feather light touches. His lips left hers to wander her neck and chest again. His fingers found her nipples through her bra, and he began to gently tug and roll them. She bucked her hips against him, and it was his turn to let off a groan of desire.

It was only when he reached around her back and started working on the fastening of her bra that her brain decided to function again.

"Wait, Severus," she panted, hating herself for saying it, but knowing she wasn't ready for more.

He let off a disappointed noise, but withdrew her hands.

"It's not that I don't want it," she said quickly, trying to make sure he didn't feel like she was rejecting him. "I do, but I'm just not ready for that yet."

"I understand," he smiled at her, his chest heaving.

"You could easily make a girl forget where she is," she returned his smile and gave him a slow kiss.

A proud smile crossed his lips, and it was the first time she saw his teeth as he smiled. "You are so beautiful, Hermione. I thank whatever hard surface you hit that made you think it was a good idea to spend time with me."

"Stop," she laughed, pushing against his chest, but he held fast to her. "You need to stop putting yourself down."

"Mmm," he shook his head slightly. "We seem to have lost track of the time," he said, nodding at the clock that showed them it was only fifteen minutes until curfew.

"We should probably get going. I don't relish the thought of what Peeves would do if he caught us out after curfew together."

He laughed, but nodded. She went to button her shirt, but he pushed her hands away, watching her carefully as he did it for her. They put the rest of their clothing back into place, kissed good-bye, and went their separate ways. She had to sprint back to Ravenclaw, entering the common room with a minute to spare. She went up to the dorm, where Jennae was reading a book on her bed.

"Out studying?" she asked, looking suspiciously at Hermione.

"Potions assignment," Hermione replied.

"Right. Well, I may not have read the assignment properly, but you may want to cover that particular part of it up in the morning," she sneered, pointing to a love-bite on Hermione's neck.

Hermione bit her lip and blushed before they both dissolved into giggles. Hermione started changing into her night clothes, turning away from Jennae to avoid her friend seeing the second love-bite Severus had left at the top of her right breast.

"Things are going well, I take it?" Jennae asked.

"Extremely," Hermione nodded.

"Good. And that's about as detailed as I'm willing to get."

"That's about as detailed as I'm willing to tell you."

"At least you both look happier."

"Happier?" she asked, confused.

"You can't tell me you didn't notice the changes in Severus. He looks like he actually doesn't mind being around people at the moment, like he may even want to socialize."

"Which reminds me, he's eating lunch with us tomorrow."

"Fantastic," she pulled a face, but smiled as she continued. "When you first got here you looked like you had to battle your way across the lake to get here, and found death waiting for a fight at the door. You still looked a little lost, tired, and depressed for the first few days. But the more time you spend with him, the happier you both are. You're good for each other."

"Yeah," Hermione agreed absentmindedly. "Yeah. I think we are."

"Almost makes me want to give up some of my valuable homework time for a boy. Almost, mind you."

"One day, Jennae, you'll get lost in some guy for a day, and it might make you have to rush an assignment, but it'll be worth it."

"I'll take your word for it. Good night, Hermione."

"Good night," she yawned, climbing into bed and drawing the curtains. After tossing and turning for a few minutes she sighed, and put a silencing charm on the curtains. The feeling Severus had caused in her abdomen had barely subsided since they parted ways, and she knew she would have to attend to it if she wanted any chance of getting to sleep. She gave into her body's urges, the image of Severus playing in her mind as the ghost feelings of his hands on her helped bring her to climax. The feelings lingered until she finally fell asleep.

Thirty-One Days

A Harry Potter Story
by keelhaulrose

Part 14 of 29

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