Continuing Tales

Thirty-One Days

A Harry Potter Story
by keelhaulrose

Part 16 of 29

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Thirty-One Days

"Hermione?" Jennae called, cautiously opening her curtains. When she saw the tear tracks running down Hermione's cheeks she pulled the curtains wide and enveloped her in a hug.

"What happened?" she asked. "Did you guys fight?"

"No. I came to a realization about something, and ran away from him."

"I thought something might be up. He's stalking around the bottom of the tower, but he won't ask anyone to find you. He looks really hurt."

"I've hurt him worse than he realizes."

"Do you think sitting in here and refusing to talk to him about it is doing either of you a favor?"

"No. But I don't know what to say. There's nothing I can do that won't hurt him."

"Even staying with him?" she asked, confused.

"That could possibly be the worst option right now."

Jennae sat up straighter. "What's going on? What aren't you telling me?"

She looked pleadingly at her friend. "Please don't ask. I hate lying, but I can't tell you the truth."

Jennae studied her. "Hermione, I'm speaking as your friend here, and I hope you count me as one. If there's something more to you being here than you can tell me, that's fine. If there's something big going on between the two of you, that's fine, too. I understand that there's some things people don't want to talk about, and if that's the situation, I'm okay with that, since we don't know each other well enough for me to expect you to let know your secrets. So you may ignore my advice if you don't feel we're good enough friends for me to be so stark, but you need to talk to him. It's not fair to him for you to run off like you did. You need to work this out with him, whatever conclusion it may come to."

Hermione wiped her eyes and nodded. She had nine days to make things right. She had no idea how to do so, but she had to try. After a moment to compose herself in the bathroom she slowly went downstairs, composing what she was going to say to Severus in her head, but knowing that he had a tendency to force her off-script. This time proved no different. She wanted to say something as soon as she saw him, but he had a different plan.

"Severus..." she whispered as she exited the tower to find him shrunk against a wall.

Before she could react he grabbed her wrist, dragging her into a secret passage. He cast two spells in either direction to prevent them being disturbed or overheard.

"If you are going to give me a lecture about talking to you if this is finished you should damn well have the decency to return the favor!" he growled.

"I don't want it to be finished," she managed in a murmur.

"Calling yourself a monster and running out is not usually the behavior of a woman who wants her relationship to continue. What is going on, Hermione?"

"I wish I could tell you, Severus. But I can't."

"Why don't you try?" he hissed through clenched teeth.

"I really can't."

"What kind of fool do you think I am?"

"I would think that I, more than anyone else in this school, would know you are not a fool."

"So why the hell did you run away?"

"Because I was scared!" she shot back.

"Do I scare you? Does my confession about thinking of joining the Death Eaters make you fearful of me?"

"I'm not afraid of you, Severus," she shot back.

"Then what are you afraid of?"

"The way I feel for you!" she snapped, unable to stop the words flowing from her mouth. "You told me that I'm the most important person to you right now, and it made me realize that you're the same to me. And I wasn't ready for that realization!"

His facial features softened, and they both took a few breaths before she continued.

"I didn't come ba... I didn't come here thinking that I was going to find someone who makes me feel the way you make me. And I'm a monster for letting this get to where it is. Because I'm not staying. I can't stay. And it's not fair to you for us to continue this, because I won't be here much longer."

"Shouldn't you let me have a say in whether or not it's fair for this to keep going?" he asked quietly.

"I'm leaving, Severus. As soon as my grandfather dies. And we've been talking about going into hiding for a while. My family isn't fond of our pro-Muggle leanings. I don't know if they'd go so far as to join Voldemort..." she clenched her teeth as he flinched, "however, we don't want to take the chance."

"Then I'll come with you. We'll find somewhere safe, out of the country..."

"Stop," she raised her hand, fighting tears again. "You have no idea how badly I want it to be like that."

"Then why can't it?"

She looked up into his eyes. "I wish I had a good answer for you. But I don't think it's possible."

"I don't understand. If you want it to be like that, why can't it be?"

"It goes back to me being a monster. My pare..." she trailed off, unable to lie to him any longer. "When I disappear, I'm going to be gone a very long time. No one will be able to find me, and I can't stop it from happening. It's really out of my hands. But I'll be back. And when I return, you'll realize why I'm such a monster. You may not even recognize me at first, but I don't doubt you'll figure it out quickly. You're too smart to ignore everything that's going to happen. And you'll figure out how I got here, and probably why I'm here. And I know it'll make you furious. You have every right to hate me, I realize that now, because I know I'm going to hurt you when I leave."

"I don't understand, Hermione. If you know we're going to be together in the future, why leave me behind now?"

"I can't stop it. I'm bound by what brought me here."

"But we'll see each other in the future?"

"It is going to be a long time."

"And when we meet again?"

"At first, it'll be different. But there will come a point in the future when everything will fall into place. And I want things to be like this again. I want you, Severus, for as long as I can possibly have you, but I understand if you can't bear to look at me by the time that happens."

"How could I not be able to look at you? There's nothing I want to do more."

She smiled, though a tear escaped and fell down her face. "If only you could always feel like that," she said sadly.

"It's how I feel right now."

"I'll take it."

He used his thumb to wipe away the tear. She bit her lip to stop any more spontaneous confessions.

"Did you mean it? When you said you feel like I'm the most important person in your life right now?" he asked, sounding vulnerable.

"Yes," she whispered. "I hope you'll be the most important person to me for a long time to come."

It didn't take even a heartbeat for him to kiss her, wrapping his arms around her to draw her as close to him as possible, and she clung to him as though the moment would be their last together. The desire she often felt while with him swept through her, but it was quickly overcome with something else. Need. She knew she was lost to him.

"Can we go back to your lab?" she asked him.

He studied her face for a moment before slowly nodding. He grabbed her hand and led her through the castle. As they descended towards the dungeon a thought came to Hermione. Perhaps her memories of Snape weren't changing because it wasn't about preventing him going to the shrieking shack. Perhaps it was more about trying to make it so he'd fight for his life. Snape was a force to be reckoned with, anyone knew it and Voldemort would be a fool to take his fighting skills lightly- and that Voldemort had proven himself a fool to that point. He had talked to Slughorn about Horcruxes, and left the memory in tact for Dumbledore to retrieve and use against him. He had, several times, trusted others with important jobs, and always failed. He refused to let others help him kill Harry, and that was probably why Harry was still alive. And it was why he misunderstood the bond that would be created when the Potters died saving their son. It cost him his body, and set his war back. If Snape would just fight in that Shrieking Shack he might buy enough time to escape- saving his life. It would buy them more time to kill Nagini so when Harry faced him he would be the last Horcrux, and there would be enough fighters around even Voldemort, in his mortal state, might fall. Or, she didn't dare hope, if she managed to get a message to Severus telling him she knew Harry was a Horcrux and she could tell him, that if he managed to get out of the Shack and draw Voldemort away from the battle she'd have enough time to read the parts of the books about Horcruxes she had only skimmed before out of her complete distaste for the subject, and maybe, hidden in their depths, was the key to how to separate the Horcrux from Harry and he'd survive. If they could do that perhaps a fight against Harry, Severus, and herself would be too much for even Voldemort. It sounded crazy, but there had to be a reason she was back. A reason she wasn't trying to save Sirius, Remus, James, or Lily. Because Severus had a chance. He just needed a reason to fight in that shack. The others had all died fighting, Severus didn't. He didn't have a reason to fight. The others did. Maybe she was going back to give Severus a reason to fight. If he just thought someone who cared, someone who wanted him...

He pressed his wand into the stone that concealed his lab, and stood aside for her to enter. She steeled herself as she entered the room, said a quick thanks to Merlin in her head that Severus kept things so clean, and pointed her wand at the empty lab table, turning it into a bed. Slowly she turned towards Severus, who was staring at her in wide-eyed surprise. Reaching out for his hand she pulled him towards her, pressing a lingering kiss to his lips.

"I need this, Severus. We won't if you don't want to, but..."

She was cut off as he pulled her roughly to him, crashing his lips onto hers as she began to fumble with the clasp on his cloak, pushing it off his shoulders until gravity took over and it fell to the floor. It was his turn, and he shed his jumper before pulling hers over her head, and his hands dropped to her sides, sliding up and down her soft skin as she cautiously unbuttoned his shirt. As she pushed the fabric off his chest he fumbled for a second with the clasp of her bra, and she let it fall down her arms and land softly between them. She could feel his hands start to tremble as he broke their kiss, but didn't open his eyes until he had created enough room between them he could look over her properly. She took the opportunity to study him as well. He was lean, anyone who looked at him knew that, sinewy muscles tensed in anticipation under pale skin. There was a dark line of hair from his navel trailing downwards. An angry pink scar ran across his right shoulder, disappearing towards his back. She reached out to trace it, and the shock of her touching the spot drew his attention from her body.

"What happened?" she asked softly.

"I stepped in to stop my father from killing my mother. He got one hit before I hit him with a stunning spell. It happened three days before the start of term. I ran, caught the Knight Bus to Diagon Alley. Lucius helped me to Kings Cross to catch the train. He gave me the money to stay at the Leaky Cauldron, too."

"Is your mum okay?"

"She left him enough liquor to make him forget it, and went to stay with a sympathetic cousin for a while. She's already back with him. He's good at telling her what she wants to hear to get her to come back. As soon as I'm seventeen I'm leaving. He's going to kill her, and she's going to let him."


"I don't want to talk about them. I don't. I just want to spend time with you. You make me forget."

"Whatever you want," she smiled, leaning forward to kiss him passionately. He pulled her to him, and she responded by throwing her arms around his neck and desperately clinging to him. She pulled him towards the bed and gently pushed him onto it. She kicked off her shoes, wiggled out of her jeans, and pulled off her socks before she moved back towards him. Looking at her body in awe, he reached for her hand, pulling her towards him. She sat astride his lap, and he kissed her neck. One of his arms snaked behind her back to support her as he began to kiss lower, and she had to bend backwards to give him better access. He paused as his other hand came to her breast, thumb lightly brushing her peak, smiling as it immediately started to perk under his attention. A purring noise erupted from her as his hand cupped her, massaging her, rolling her peak while he peppered her neck and chest with kisses. After an agonizing wait and a few whispered pleas he finally lowered his head to her breast, and kissed around her nipple before running his tongue over her peak. The combined sensations of his hand and his warm mouth caused her to buck against him, and she became aware of his cock, straining against his pants, begging for contact. One of her hands moved between them, running up and down his length, causing him to groan and grip her a little tighter. He moved his mouth to her other breast, lavishing attention on her, and she managed to unfasten his pants so she could reach under the fabric. She was surprised by the feel of him, the skin soft and silky, though firm, and it bucked against her hand as she touched him. She cautiously worked him up and down until she found a rhythm that caused Severus to forget what he was doing so he could feel her.

Suddenly Severus grabbed her wrist, pulling her off him and pushing her down onto the bed. He started kissing her breasts again, then moved lower, down her stomach until he reached her knickers. He hooked his long fingers into the sides, pulling the fabric slowly from her body, unabashedly staring at her. He ran his fingers back up her legs, skimming her inner thighs as he gently pushed her legs apart. He felt the short curls of hair between her legs, and found them damp with her excitement. He backed off the bed long enough to rid himself of his pants and shorts, and she found it was her time to stare. She had never thought of Snape as a sexual being, but with him standing nude in front of her she realized there was nothing she wanted more than to feel him against her and inside her. He climbed back onto the bed, positioning himself over her, and they shared another long, slow, passionate kiss as he positioned himself at her opening. Without warning he entered her with one quick, hard thrust, and she gave a surprised yelp as he broke through her barrier.

He stopped, staring at her in shock. "You're a virgin?" he whispered.

"Yes," she replied softly, keeping her breathing even as the pain dissipated and she got used to the feeling of her core being stretched.

"Why didn't you tell me?"

"I didn't know when I would have. And it doesn't change anything."

"Yes, it does. I would have been more gentle. I would... are you sure?"

"I wouldn't have offered if I wasn't."

He kissed her again and whispered, "Just let me know if I'm hurting you?" against her lips.

She nodded, and rocked her hips against his to let him know she was ready. He lowered himself onto his forearms so he was closer to her, kissing her deeply as he began to move inside her. When she felt comfortable she began to rock her hips in rhythm with him, letting off a content moan when their motions caused him to hit her sweetest spot. She let her inhibitions go as his lips wandered over every inch of her skin he could reach. The fingers of her right hand wandered aimlessly over the skin of his back while her left played with the silky locks of his hair. He hissed in pleasure as she raked her fingers across his skin as she felt her body start to tighten. His thrusts came faster as her breath came in ragged spurts, she clamped around him, and her head rolled back as with his name on her lips. Her release washed over her as she desperately clung to him. After a few more thrusts he spilled into her, panting against the skin of her neck.

After a few seconds to catch their breath he shifted so he could look at her. She lifted her head to catch his lips, and refused to break the connection as he moved to lay next to her, taking her in his arms. One of his hands came up to brush her face, thumb running over her cheek, and when they finally broke apart they barely moved away from each other.

"Stay with me, here, tonight?" he whispered.

"Of course," she replied.

His hands slipped around to her back, pulling her closer to him. He produced his wand and conjured a blanket, pulling it up to their chests to protect against the cold air of the dungeon that was starting to creep over them. She closed her eyes and rested her head against his shoulder, inhaling his scent, committing the moment to her memory.

"Thank you," he whispered after a few quiet moments.

"For what?" she asked, looking up at him.

He looked at her as though the answer were obvious. "I didn't deserve to be your first," he muttered.

She scoffed and kissed him. "Don't talk nonsense. You deserve happiness, Severus."

"Happiness isn't forever."

"You may not be happy all the time, but that doesn't mean you life has to be unhappy."

He huffed.

"Stop that, Severus," she reached up to touch his face. "Life isn't going to always be happy, I'm not naïve enough to think differently. But that doesn't mean it has to be an unhappy life. I'm sure there are things that make you happy, memories you can draw upon during the unhappy times."

"Now there is," he ran his hand lightly up and down her arm.

"I know it doesn't mean much, and I don't expect anything in return, but you should know I love you. Not as deeply as I could, this is young and still growing, but enough that you should know."

He stared at her in surprise. "Doesn't mean much?" he managed in a choked voice. "It means everything."

"Do you think we'll be able to survive a separation?"

"I would give anything to keep this for the rest of my life."

She smiled and kissed him, then settled against him again as he waved his wand so all the lights went out save for a single candle. As she drifted to sleep she counted days. When the sun came up she'd have less than eight days before she returned to the battle. It was no longer eight days just to convince Severus to live and show him a path how to survive, it was now eight days to convince him that what they had would hopefully survive their separation, and that they'd be able to be together after Voldemort was dead. The task seemed a little daunting, but as he kissed her forehead she was resolved to fight for him.

Thirty-One Days

A Harry Potter Story
by keelhaulrose

Part 16 of 29

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