Continuing Tales

Past Imperfect

A Harry Potter Story
by Vitellia

Part 17 of 27

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"Legilimens," he snarls, and then he's in her mind, sees her talking with his portrait, snatches of conversation, one leading to the next.

Because you're going to go back in time and shag the bat of the dungeons?... What are you going to do, give me detention?... I learned a new trick…. plotting my deflowering….what a Dark Lady you'd make… you might leave me in peace…or I might not…

The way she looked at his portrait, blushing, the way a woman looks when she wants a man. He watches more of her and his portrait, but now Draco is there, too, and he sees the way his godson looks at her, and then she and Draco are by the lake.

So. You and Severus It can't be helped, Malfoy I want to still be in love with you… And then she's in Draco's arms, kissing him, a voice in her head whispering that there is more….

That whisper of more takes him to another time when Granger is with Severus, alive, not his portrait. They're dueling. She's younger, maybe seventeen, in a school uniform. They're in the Defence classroom and the Gryffindor and Slytherin students watch them duel. He's goading her, trying to get her to do something. He feels her resistance to – gods, he's trying to get her to cast an Unforgivable! What the fuck?

She's getting angrier and angrier – but it's more than anger. She's aroused. He can feel the way his magic coils around hers, seducing, beckoning, and hers answering in kind. Her anger and her desire feed each other. He can feel the Dark Magic building in her, the way it did during her demonstration duel, but more intense, so much more.

I could Imperius you, his voice rumbles in her ear, and the feel of his breath against her neck makes her memory self shudder with want. You could rot in Azkaban, too, she says. I could Obliviate you, he says. You could try. When he murmurs, I could use Legilimency, he feels her panic, her abject terror at the idea of having her mind invaded. Memory Severus knows he's found her weak spot and raises his wand, but before he can finish the incantation, Memory Granger screams, Crucio! And then she's confused, because her wand is gone and he's not writhing on the floor like she wants him to.

Severus pulls out of her mind, stunned. Her eyes are filling with tears, and she's looking at him with so much hurt and betrayal that he feels physically struck by it.

"Granger," he says, his voice coming out in a strangled cry that doesn't sound at all like him. "Hermione –"

She blinks away the tears and the blue eyes that aren't Granger's go cold, dead. "I don't believe I gave you permission to use my given name." Her tone is clipped, mocking, as she throws his own words back at him.

"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have done that."

"No, you shouldn't have." Her voice is steady even though tears trickle down her cheeks. She seems unaware of them, doesn't bother to wipe them away.

"You could have closed your eyes, the way you did before." He wants to pull her into his arms, wipe away her tears, but doesn't dare.

"I wanted to see if I could trust you," she says. "Now I know I can't."

"But you do." His tone is almost pleading. He hates himself for it, but not as much as he hates himself for invading her mind. "I saw –"

"I did. Not anymore. Now get out."

"Granger –"

"Get. Out."

He does. And as the door closes behind him, he realizes he's done it again. She looked at him just the way Lily did that day at the lake, and things were never right between them again.

How could he fuck this up so badly? How could he have known that Granger was so terrified of Legilimency that she was actually willing to use an Unforgivable to prevent it? Rape of the mind, she called it the day she arrived. And there had been no need for him to do it. She trusted him – past tense – and he could have just fucking asked her.

Students scurry out of his way as he stalks through the halls toward the dungeons with more vehemence than usual. His face is a mask of fury that they would be surprised to know is directed entirely at himself.

The ridiculous irony, of course, is that he didn't see what he expected to, what he was so certain he would. She hadn't been putting him off about the Horcrux potion all this time because the idea of harvesting the missing ingredient was abhorrent. She wasn't avoiding the topic because she didn't want him, but because she did.

Needing to be sure, he pulls out memories, one after the other, and watches them in the Pensieve. She was embarrassed, and it really did seem like it was because she was attracted to him. Severus, you stupid bastard.

He apologized. She might forgive him. She said Lily should have forgiven him, that she had forgiven Weasley and Malfoy worse. Malfoy. Malfoy, whom she kissed by the lake, her hands tangling in his platinum hair, her body pressed against his. Her Malfoy.

It means nothing that she felt attracted to him during that duel, Severus realizes. It was all Dark Magic and hormones, nothing more. She's curious, wants a fling with the dark, dangerous Death Eater before she goes back to the future and her Malfoy. That's all. He'll give her that, if she asks – maybe – but he won't go running after her apologizing again. She's not Lily. She dared to mock his feelings for Lily. She's not worth one hair off Lily's head, and he's damn well not going to sit crying outside her door begging her forgiveness.

Past Imperfect

A Harry Potter Story
by Vitellia

Part 17 of 27

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