Title: Mourning Vespers
Team: Death Eaters
Challenge: Graveyard Visit Challenge
Warnings: Character death, language, sexual situations
Length: 10 X 100
Summary: On the morning after the battle, Hermione confronts the third man in her life.
A/N: I really don’t have the hang of this challenge thing. I’m given this tone poem to write for GS100, and it takes me longer to match it to a challenge than it does to write the thing. It isn’t beta’d, and is barely checked for drabble compliance. It also contains no characters that don’t belong to JKR, or means to make me any money from it.
In the hours before dawn, she slipped into the makeshift morgue, and approached his body. Strange that of all the deaths she’d seen, heard or caused, this was the one that hit her the hardest.
He lay so still, where he had always been so restless. So peaceful, when the only time she remembered him even looking pleased was when Slytherin won at Quidditch. Even then it was a grim, satisfied look that read, ‘payback’. Severus Snape had always been one for keeping score.
He looked oddly small. Then again, his presence had always been the largest thing about him.
“You bastard,” she whispered, and wept. She lay her head down beside his on the marble slab. He was no more indifferent to her dead than when he’d been alive.
She remembered when he had come to them in the Forest of Dean, and she had thought herself so clever, sneaking up on him. In blink of an eye she was on the ground, spitting leaves, and he was on her back, wand poised at her temple. He smelled of woodsmoke and whisky.
“Perhaps the Dark Lord would like to see what I’ve caught for supper,” he rasped, and laughed.
He deliberately threw as much menace into his voice as possible. Hermione cowered there like a frightened puppy, too afraid to do anything but breathe. She had never been able to stand up to him, had never shown him the temper for which she was justifiably famous. He had always been able to disarm her with a look. The fact that he now sat on her back, his black-clad knees pressed hard against her ribs; the fact that he was actually touching her, made her feel faint.
He rose, pulling her up by her hair. “Get up, Granger,” he commanded.
He pushed her against a nearby tree, his hand at her throat, and leaned in threateningly. She had never been this close to him before. His eyes were so black they looked unnatural; something in them frightened and stirred her. His mouth drew downward in a sneer that made her heart skip.
“Oh, no you don’t,” he growled, and pushed her so hard against the tree Hermione felt the bark bite into her skin. “The very idea makes me want to vomit.”
“The very idea of what?” she choked out. “What you do—”
“Merlin’s nads, deliver me from Gryffindors.”
In the morgue, Hermione touched his cold cheek. So cold. He had been heat lightning three nights before, when he fucked her for the first and last time.
Strange how she could spew a thousand yards of hate and viciousness at Lucius Malfoy for standing by while his rabid dog of a sister-in-law tortured her, and yet two days later, when he called, a tiny, silver doe with the soft, innocent face of an angel, announcing, “I have potions to heal you,” she didn’t say a word; she just dumbly followed it.
It never occurred to her to say no.
She followed his Patronus to a filthy hovel of a house in the North, a place where she was afraid to sit on the furniture for fear of what she’d catch. He seemed almost angry as he tossed the potions and Healing balms into her lap. “I had heard you were… indisposed,” he said accusatorily, as if he suspected he’d been given false information.
She gathered them, and rose from the tatty sofa, and he caught her arm, a sneer twisting his lips. “What’s wrong, Granger? Afraid I might actually touch you?” His inky eyes issued the challenge; she accepted.
He unceremoniously jerked up the back of her shirt, and smoothed the Healing balm over her aching, twisted back. Tears of equal salts of relief and shame pricked her eyes. His touch had been brusque, all business, until he reached her ribs. Then it eased into a caress, and against her will, she leaned back against him.
She didn’t protest; she didn’t stop him as he slipped his long, warm fingers under her bra, and gave her nipples a tender pluck. His erection, hot and needy, pressed against her back, and he whispered, “Are you still afraid of me, Hermione?”
“What if I’d said yes?” she asked his still form. “Would you have let me go? Would you have spared me this?” she sobbed, knowing the answer.
Even as he pulled her clothing from her body, she knew she could still stop him. One word, and he would push her away. But she stayed silent, even though she expected him to take her virginity like a cuddly toy won at a funfair, and a second-rate one at that.
Instead he was gentle, and desperate. He kissed her afterward. When she asked, “Why?”
He numbly replied, “Because I’m going to die.”
She woke in the same place she had been before the silver doe lured her to his bed, and the night could have been put down to a sad, erotic dream, but for the tiny drop of blood on her knickers, and the potions and Healing balm in her pockets.
“Oh, Severus,” she whispered sadly. She was being a silly girl. If he had survived, did she honestly think he would have sought her out, or even acknowledged what happened between them? Would she have been able to survive his scorn, his derision over a moment’s weakness on his part?
She stood slowly, stiff and aching. She noticed a smear of reddish-brown blood over his eyebrow, and she tried unsuccessfully to wipe it away. Finally she resorted to licking her finger, expunging the stain from his face with her spit and tears, like a doting mother.
A shaft of morning sunlight moved across his body, highlighting the bruising and pooling blood beneath his ashy skin.
Through her waning tears, she whispered, “Severus, it’s Hermione. Please be at peace.” She kissed his cold lips one final time, took a deep breath of morning air, and left him for a new world.