Continuing Tales

Just Let it Happen

A Harry Potter Story
by La. Bel. LM

Part 31 of 35

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Just Let It Happen

The room that greeted Hermione was… surprising.

Light was the first thing she noticed—or lack thereof. The room was still amply visible, but neither lamps nor candles were the prominent source of illumination. There were windows, with great pools of moonlight shining in. Windows in the Room of Requirement. Hermione did not know that was possible. She figured that perhaps these windows were some manner of tricky magical illusion—much like the ceiling in the Great Hall—that simply mimicked what lay beyond the castle walls. However, trick or no, they seemed real enough to her, and she welcomed this natural beauty in place of cold stone and fire lamps.

Hermione took a brief glance around the room, managing to notice many things at once: To her right was a large sitting room, with a spacious fireplace (as yet, unlit), a cozy sofa, several bookcases stuffed to bursting with an incredible amount of books, two armchairs, and a very recognizable ottoman. This arrangement, these pieces of furniture, that fireplace… it was all blatantly reminiscent of the study in Pruitt cottage both she and Snape seemed to have found so inexplicably dear.

Next, she saw that the room extended to her left into territory with which she was thus far entirely unfamiliar.

In the left most corner sat a magnificent piano. This corner, well away from the windows, was deeply swallowed in shadow, so she could not make out more than the instrument's vague silhouette. She was certain, however, that Snape would not have "required" anything but the best. Against the wall, next to the piano, was a tall wardrobe, sleek and black. It had shining silver handles that appeared to be molded into the fashion of serpents. Finally, next to the wardrobe, and even further towards the opposite wall, was an enormous four-poster bed framed in polished mahogany. Its covers and draperies were all a dark, luxurious green, lined faintly with silver thread that shone in the moonlight.

What Hermione did not immediately notice was the location of Severus Snape.

"Um… Professor Snape?" she called hesitantly.

Directly across the room from where she stood was an area half-concealed by a very pretty, very ornate, paneled room partition. She could not make out the exact designs painted across its folded surface from this distance, though she could tell that some sort of oil lamp glowed dimly from behind it. In this same moment, she heard a faint splash of water and realized where Snape must be.

"Professor Snape?" she asked again.

"Behind the partition," came the gruff reply.

For some stupid reason, she felt her face grow warm. "Are you… er… decent?"

"Decent is perhaps a relative term. But I am clothed, Miss Granger, if that is what you are asking."

Hermione approached the opposite side of the room, her head buzzing faintly with something she could not quite pin down. It was… an awareness. Or a struggle for awareness, a very deep awareness, trying to take in everything happening around her at once. Perhaps this was what made her head so muddled—the fact that nothing was actually happening. There was the sitting room, fireplace empty; there was the piano in the corner; the dark gleaming wardrobe; the vast bed slumbering peacefully in the moonlight, and…

There he was. As Hermione crept around the side of the partition, she saw the tall lithe figure of Snape standing over a raised water basin, staring into a small gilded mirror on the wall. He was just finishing off the final touches of shaving away his beard. His pale hands moved so slowly—with an effortless grace as always, but slowly. As though he were so tired that even lifting the razor a few inches was a feat of strength almost beyond him.

Hermione simply stood there and stared quietly for half a minute as Snape completed his task. He dipped the razor in the water basin, swished it clean, set it down on a counter to his right, and then picked up a pair of silver scissors. He was apparently going to tackle his long mass of matted hair next.

Before he made a move to begin, however, he turned to Hermione and looked at her in silence, his dark eyes so lined with exhaustion, she did not know what to say in return. Hermione's gaze slipped past Snape for a moment, and saw behind him, up against the far wall (still hidden behind the partition), a clawfoot bathtub, all smooth porcelain and glowing invitingly. There was an oil lamp sitting on the washstand beside it, making everything in the surrounding area appear soft, and golden, and slightly out of focus.

Haltingly, because she was still quite lost as to what she should do next, Hermione said into the silence, "I'll, er… I'll draw you a bath, shall I? While you… finish."

She had the vague impression that Snape gave a nod, before turning back to the mirror, as she slipped past him and made for the bathtub. While she walked, she took a moment to glance more closely at the paneled room partition, and marveled at the delicacy with which it was painted. Mostly muted colors were used, but with splashes of gold here and there. The entire string of panels depicted a magnificent, sweeping landscape scenery: Mountains, and valleys, and forests, and waterfalls. She had never seen anything so beautiful. Had Snape conjured this himself? Or had the Room simply taken an extraordinary amount of initiative and provided this of its own accord?

Hermione glanced over her shoulder and saw Snape raise the scissors to his head, even his neck beginning to bend with exhaustion.

Oh, well, a mystery to be solved at another time. She would ask him about the partition later.

Now, as for drawing a bath…

The tub was free standing, without any pipes to speak of that she could tell. There was a faucet with spigots and everything, so Hermione wondered if—much like most things in this castle—the water mechanics might run more upon magic than logistical plumbing. She turned one of the handles and instantly a jet of clear, steaming hot water issued forth into the basin of the tub. She tweaked the other handle, adding in the cold in small increments until the temperature was perfect. Then she plugged the drain and let the water level begin to rise.

Hermione's eyebrows furrowed when she withdrew her hand and saw that her skin was perfectly clean. It wasn't that the dirt had simply been rinsed away, it was that her skin was flawlessly clean—as though she had taken soap and scrub brush to it and everything. Was this another enchantment?

She looked at her other hand in the lamp light, affirming that it was pretty well caked in dirt (after all their adventures through forests, and decrepit houses, and underground tunnels, she had accumulated more than a bit of grime) before dipping her fingers briefly in the water.

When she drew them out again, her skin was simply glowing with health and cleanliness, not the merest trace of dirt. She searched the water for evidence, but the water was crystal clear as well.

Hm, she thought. Then she smiled gratefully. What a pleasant little spell.

No need to bother with soaps or shampoos, or to sit there and stew in your own filth before changing out the water for a second rinse. Perfectly wonderful.

With that all settled, Hermione got to her feet (she had been kneeling beside the tub) and turned back to face her former professor.

Snape seemed to be making very slow progress. As well as making a right mess of things.

Feeling a rush of tenderness despite herself, Hermione strode forward and reached out to pluck the scissors from Snape's hands.

"Here," she said. "Let me."

"If you must," he muttered in return. Though he seemed grateful all the same.

"Wait here." Hermione popped out into the room again to hunt for a chair. She found a small stool in the corner of the sitting room by the bookcases, evidently meant for standing on to reach hard to reach shelves, and brought it back behind the partition, setting it on the wooden floorboards before the sink.

Snape sank down upon it at once, resting his long arms across his knees. Then he made what appeared to be a valiant attempt at straightening up his back.

Hermione ran her hand delicately along Snape's shoulder and pulled his hair away from his face. "How do you want it?" she asked.

"Short," he said immediately. "I like it short."

His face was so pale in the moonlight, she thought, and so thin. He had been through so much. They both had. She struggled through the silence that followed, trying to think of something to say, while she snipped away at his hair, freeing him as best she could from the evidence of his stay in Azkaban.

Snape was first to speak again.

"I… I did not intend to kill him. Not at first."

Hermione hesitated, with one hand still buried in his hair, and the other holding the scissors aloft. A second later, she resumed her task. "Of course you didn't."

"I'd like to tell you what happened. What actually happened. Before… before I must lie to the others."

"Lie? Whatever for?"

"Allow me to relate the full story, Miss Granger, without interruptions, if you don't mind, and then I'm certain the answer to that question will become apparent on its own."

Hermione breathed deeply, feeling her irritation creep up on her again. "Alight," she said at last. "Go on, then."

"I met Travers at the Admiral Ace's Pub in London, as was requested. The idiot was late and more than a bit rattled—as you can imagine. Still blind as a bat. Though to be perfectly honest, he had never been particularly perceptive to begin with. In any case, I was able to slip Veriteserum into his drink without trouble. It took hardly a quarter of an hour before I learned everything there was to know, and trust me when I say that I needn't take you through the entire conversation, step by step, as it was monumentally tedious. I'll simply relate to you what he told me in a more organized and succinct manner."

"Much appreciated."

"Certainly. And not too short, do you hear? I don't want to be bloody bald, now, do I?"

"I don't know, do you?"

"No, I don't."

"Fine then."

"I'll thank you to watch your tone, Miss Granger. There's no need to get snippy."

"Well I am the one with the scissors."

There was a split second of silence, and then Snape let out a rumbling chuckle, deep and amused. "Touché," he said lightly. "Despite it all, a perfect wit, and sharp as ever."

Hermione felt her cheeks grow warm as she smiled. Then she cleared her throat. "Anyway, I'll do proper job of it. Now, go on, please."

"The matter of it is, Travers deceived everyone. He played sick but recovered quickly while at St. Mungo's. Somehow he managed to acquire one of the night nurse's wands, and then he used the Imperius curse on a whole manner of people—among them the night nurse, obviously, and his doctors, as well as his Ministry guards, so that—"

"But that's what everyone was saying you had done."

"That I had—"

"That you put the Imperius curse on all of Travers's guards and doctors and everyone. Even the guards said so when they were questioned!"

"Shameless, sodding, wanker of a man. And daft as a tree stump. But that was a clever thing, I suppose. He covered his tracks well."


"Indeed. In any event, Travers managed to persuade one of the many guards he had befuddled into sneaking him in to see Frend. There, he tortured Frend, extracted the information, and then poisoned him, leaving behind a scene that suggested suicide. He sent me an owl requesting a private meeting—you remember the letter—and returned to his sick room where he waited for my reply. Then he altered the memories of those he had cursed and promptly escaped to meet me, as I said, at that deplorable pub in London."

"So then why did you—"

"I'm getting to that, for pity's sake."

"Alright, alright."

"We discussed things, important things. Travers delivered precisely as he claimed he would, and shared the information Frend had so graciously relinquished. Of course, the Veriteserum helped that along a bit. In fact, it was due to the effects of the truth potion that he… You see, he continued to talk and… Well, the conversation strayed… into a subject that…"

Snape was struggling mightily, and it unnerved Hermione (as it always did) to see such an articulate man, ever solid and over-flowing with conviction, to stumble with his words in such a way.

"What?" she asked tentatively. "What did Travers say?"

There was another short pause, and then Snape seemed to finally break through whatever mysterious resistance had been holding him back, and blurted it all out at once. "He mentioned your potion, Hermione, said he'd found out about the potion you made in Switzerland, and the incredible thing it could do, and what Frend had witnessed, and before he could stop himself he had told me that his real motivation in meeting me was to get to you. To get to you and that potion, and to… Well, he was going to ruddy kill you, alright? I lost my temper with him. And it was about that time that he realized I had drugged him with Veriteserum…" Snape sighed. "I suppose you know the rest."

Hermione had long forgotten what she was doing with her hands. Her whole body was momentarily paralyzed, her mind numbed with shock. "You killed him."


"Because… he realized you'd drugged him and he was going to kill you?"


"Because you realized he was going to kill me."


Hermione took in a deep breath, and then let it out. "Oh."

"And I would kill him again," Snape said, no longer fumbling for words, his voice stern. "In a heartbeat."

"Okay…" Hermione replied. She'd finished with Snape's hair. She still didn't know what to do with her hands. "Okay…" She handed Snape the scissors, who took them hesitantly, looking confused. "I think… Alright… Alright, then… I… I — OH!" Hermione jumped and scampered hurriedly over to the bathtub, which she had just noticed was moments away from spilling over. Water splashed everywhere as, after turning off the faucet, she reached into the tub and pulled up the plug to allow some of the water to drain.

By the time she had stoppered it again, she was ready with an idea.

"Right," she said, turning back to Snape. "You go on and get in the tub, then, and I'll just pop into the sitting room for a moment while you, er, undress. Call me back in, though, because there's something… er, something I'd like to do for you."

No part of Snape seemed to move, except for his dark eyebrows, which raised extraordinarily high. "You want me…" he began slowly, "to remove my clothes, get into the water. And then… call you back?"

"Um. Yes."

Snape stood up, unfolding his long limbs from his sitting position atop the stool and then looked down at her, half-smiling in that annoying, sarcastic, superior sort of way of his. "You're not going to bathe me are you?"

Hermione stood as well and began to stamp off around to the other side of the partition. "Oh, stop that," she snapped as she passed him. "You're not five, give me a little credit. This is just something my mother used to do for me when I'd, you know, had a hard day." She paused at the edge of the partition. "And I'm not saying that any of those days were in any way comparable to even a fraction of what you ve been through, so I know it's only a small kindness. But if anyone's had a rough time of it and is in need of, well… an act of kindness… It's… You know what, just shut up and get in the tub. You'll enjoy it."

With that, Hermione marched around the partition, into the sitting room, and out of sight.

He was enjoying it.

Hermione felt very at peace with the world, as she lifted the elegant glass pitcher she had found beside the sink and eased Snape's head back so that she could pour warm water from the pitcher and rinse the soap from his hair.

This had been Hermione's favorite thing when she was young (or, at any age, for that matter). To have her hair washed with tenderness and affection. At the moment, she sat on a stool behind the tub, with Snape in the water, amidst a froth of silver bubbles. Despite the fact that the water was charmed so as not to require soap, Hermione had wished mightily for a bit of shampoo, and turned quite suddenly to find some, sitting innocently in the corner, next to the oil lamp (where she could have sworn there had previously been nothing).

The light in the room was growing dimmer now. A cloud had passed over the moon, and the oil lamp was waning.

Hermione gently sifted her fingers through Snape's hair and massaged his scalp, watching his shoulders relax, if possible, even further. As she drew her fingernails lightly up the line of his neck, he made a deep, guttural, almost growl of pleasure in the back of his throat.

"See?" she wanted to say. "Perfectly innocent. I knew you'd like it." But she remained mute. Something about the profundity of the certain kind of silence they so often shared, made her contain her words. Because, she realized, there was no need to speak them.

That's what was so special about their particular silences.

It wasn't that they did not have anything to say, or that they were not communicating, or that they did not wish to interact. It was simply that they understood each other so well—or, at least, as well as either of them could be understood by another—that they somehow happened to know exactly what the other wanted to say. It was like she could play out the entire conversation in her head, while Snape did the same, and in the end, they both wound up in the same place and hardly needed to speak any words at all.

Hermione's hands had stopped moving.

This was not because she had stopped moving them herself, but because Snape was preventing her from continuing.

Seemingly out of nowhere, he had reached up and grabbed her wrist in a tender grip. And now… he was pulling her gently off the stool, around to the side of the tub. There, he pulled her down so that she knelt beside him, so close she could smell the soap from his skin.

Hermione looked into Snape's eyes, seeing so easily and how the clouds of weariness and troubled exhaustion seemed to have lifted. His dark hair was all plastered to his forehead, water still running trails down his cheeks, his nose, his neck and the flat of his chest. The air was so golden and perfumed; it felt like a dream.

Silently, Snape reached out and smoothed away a rampant curl from Hermione's forehead. He made as though to tuck it behind her ear… but then he slid his fingers around the nape of her neck, deep into her wild mane of hair, and with no more sound than a soft exhale of breath, drew her to him.

He kissed her tentatively at first, withdrawn and controlled. Then Hermione put her tongue in his mouth and Snape lost it, thrusting his tongue against hers in return, pulling her closer, kissing her fiercer and longer, groaning.

Water splashed as Snape moved. Hermione suddenly wanted nothing more than to be in the water with him, on top of him and subject to his whims. Before she entirely knew what she was doing, Hermione's hands were at the buttons of her jeans, pulling down the zipper. Hermione felt Snape's hands at her waist. He tugged at her belt loops and pushed up her jumper, the flat of his palms hot against her skin. Hermione held her arms up, and with one perfect movement, Snape slipped the jumper up past her waist, past her neck, off over her head, and then tossed it aside where it made a dull thump somewhere behind her.

Snape yanked again at her belt loops, his kisses so deep and desperate as he pulled her closer. Hermione moved her hips so that the jeans slid down to the floor, then she stepped out of them and kicked them away.

Hermione pulled out of the kiss, breathless, and stood there for a moment, wearing only her underclothes, and feeling… very much alive. Snape's hungry gaze raked over her, fully and unashamedly, just once. Then the corner of his mouth turned up in the merest, smallest suggestion of a smile, and that was all the invitation she needed.

With the assistance of Snape's strong arm, Hermione stepped carefully over the lip of the tub and then slipped into the water's warm embrace, letting it swallow her up. In the confined space, her legs pressed firmly into Snape's on either side. Bare legs. Hermione realized with a jolt that she was clothed and he was not, that he was naked beneath her. Then a calm settled over her as she realized that was alright with her. In fact, she very much preferred it.

Snape reached up and grabbed her by the shoulders. She thought he was going to kiss her again, but instead he gently persuaded her to turn around—move this way, move that way—until she was sitting quite demurely in front of him with her back turned. Then his hands were in her hair and she knew what he meant to do.

Hermione closed her eyes and relaxed, relaxed like she'd never relaxed in what felt like a thousand years, as Snape poured a stream of water over her head and massaged her neck with hands so nimble and firm she thought for a split second she might actually start purring with pleasure.

It would not last long, though, she knew. Her body was buzzing so sharply with desire. Her stomach hot and writhing with it. When she next opened her eyes (it could have been seconds, could have been minutes or hours, she hadn't the faintest bloody clue) the lamp had gone out, and the room sat in a soft, dim haze of moonlight.

Hermione turned in the water to face Snape's dark silhouette. He sat there, just there, waiting for her, more than ready. She leaned down. One of his hands was still closed around her neck, the other was on her upper back, just beneath her shoulder blade. He pulled her close, and then they were kissing again.

And he was such a great fucking kisser.

His mouth was hot and wet, his jaw clean-shaven beneath her fingers as she held him. Their tempo began to quicken and Snape's breath became shorter and more labored, matching her own. Hermione could feel him growing excited beneath her, hard and throbbing, and that was fine with her, great with her, because she was getting excited too.

As things continued, some small part of Hermione's rational brain flashed a warning alarm, reminding her that they were really quite exposed, and that any moment they might be walked in on by very unwelcome company. In that same moment, there came a loud rattle and clank of metal, and the sound of a dead bolt being locked. Somehow Hermione knew that somewhere on the other side of the partition, the door had been barred. The Room had just secured their privacy. But Hermione's anxiety was not entirely assuaged.

Snape's hands were moving lower, and lower…

"W—will that keep them—out?" she managed to ask, her words almost unintelligible through her long, drawn out moan as Snape's hand finally slipped beneath the water and began to caress her most intimate places.

Snape was positively breathless, too busy at that point kissing her neck to attempt multi-syllabic answers. "I don't care," he said gruffly, his warm mouth now attending the skin just beneath her ear. "I don't bloody care. Just don't stop." One of his hands was at her breast, massaging her forcefully through the soaked and flimsy fabric. "Don't bloody stop. Don't leave me now."

"Alright," she whispered back. "If you're going to beg for it…"

Snape pushed her back suddenly. Hermione was startled.

"Out of the water," he said quickly through clenched teeth. "Now. Out you go."

Hermione swallowed, her heart hammering in her chest. "You—you want to stop?" she said, unable to sound anything less than crestfallen.

"Stop, are you mad?" Snape grasped her firmly by the waist, holding her down against him in a most provocative and delicious way. The pressure had her descending nearly into delirium and she couldn't help but let out a soft moan.

"God help me, Granger, I'm merely endeavoring to vacate this infernal wash tub contraption in order to take advantage of what the room has so obligingly offered us. Perhaps it escaped your notice, but there is a bed within our immediate vicinity."

"Oh… Oh, yes…"

Yes, indeed.

Hermione needed no more urging. Her every nerve still screaming with unsated lust, she moved quickly to step out first, feet slipping on the hardwood floor.

Snape stepped out right after her, long-limbed and dripping with soap and scented water.

He only managed to make it two steps before Hermione was on him again.

He caught her up in his arms, their slick bodies melding perfectly as she wrapped her legs around his waist and his arms closed around her back.

Somehow, with a dexterity Hermione found quite simply astounding, Snape unclasped her bra, helped her to slither out of it, and then—at last, for the first time, at long last—she felt his warm, callused palm enclose upon the soft, tender skin of her breast. He kneaded and massaged and rubbed circles with his thumb, grazing her nipple and making Hermione momentarily unable to remember exactly what brain function was required in order to breathe.

Hermione barely even registered that they had crossed the room. Suddenly, they were simply there. Snape threw her down upon the moonlit bed, both of them still soaking wet and uncaring that they were drenching the covers. Snape slipped his hand into the waistband of her knickers. Hermione groaned deeply, feeling him move in exactly the way she wanted, in exactly the place she wanted—only not because she wanted more, and she bucked against him. He stroked and caressed, and built her up until she was all but dying for release. Then he hooked a thumb around the soft cotton waistband again and began to pull down, pausing for a moment in the process, as though silently testing her—asking her if he could. Without a moment lost in thought, Hermione reached down and pulled them fully off herself, throwing them who-knew-fucking-where in the darkness of the room beyond.

Now they were both naked, both hot and writhing and wanting it. Snape's lean, warm body was on top of her. She could feel him position himself between her legs and her mind was on fire with exhilaration for the moment to come, to finally come—and then, infuriatingly, Snape paused again, his breath so labored he could barely form the words as he asked, "Are you certain?"

Hermione all but shouted back, "Yes, for fuck's sake yes!" and before the final yes had even died in her mouth, he was inside of her.

Just Let it Happen

A Harry Potter Story
by La. Bel. LM

Part 31 of 35

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