Okay, this is a bit of a shoe-horn job, but it sorta works. In any case, I hope it pleases. Just a fluffy drabble series. Perhaps I’ll take the same concept and turn it into an angst-a-rama drabble series.
Title: The Seven
Team: Death Eaters
Challenge: Seventh book anniversary challenge
Length: 100 X 7 (well, yeah)
Warning: Extreme shoe-horning and fluffiness
A/N: Usual disclaimers apply. Non-beta’d. Just swabbing the deck, so to speak.
She had arrived at Hogwarts exactly seven years to the day she last saw it. In spite of the passage of time, and her own personal mileage, Hermione still felt the same thrill as when she first laid eyes on the venerable old castle.
But that had been a long time ago, and she had changed. Looking up at the ramparts, she also felt the visceral fear of the last time she had been there, with the air full of screams and the scent of death and destruction.
How could one place raise so many diametrically opposing emotions at once?
Familiarity soothed her; she received warm embraces from old teachers and friends like Neville, another new teacher, and everyone seemed glad to have her on board as the new Arithmancy Professor.
Everyone except Professor Snape.
They were now colleagues, of a sort, but he regarded her with the same sneering disdain that he’d once saved for Neville, or worse. Hermione didn’t understand it, and she was too afraid to ask. The very fact that he was still alive stunned her.
How had he survived? No one knew, and she wasn’t about to ask anyone, least of all her former professor.
Hermione gradually slotted in to the summer life of a teacher at Hogwarts. Snape also stayed on the grounds; he kept to himself for the most part, except at mealtime, but at night Hermione heard his footsteps ringing down the long corridors.
She bumped into him on the way to the kitchens one night. He seemed unsurprised to see her.
“Why, Professor,” she said with a smile, “anyone might think you’re… up to something.”
He looked at her in baffled confusion. Her words had meant nothing to him. He didn’t remember their significance.
She couldn’t understand why that bothered her.
The Autumn term started; life became a string of classes, meals, patrols and tedium. She saw Severus often; gradually he became Severus to her, though he always addressed her formally. He was rather quiet when not in class; most afternoons in the Staff Room she found him reading theProphet by the fire.
Hermione always joined him on the battered sofa, warming her perpetually cold feet. On Halloween, she gave him a wide berth, remembering the awful, sad story.
To her astonishment, when she entered the Staff Room that afternoon and sat beside him, he kindled the blaze with a silent spell.
By Christmas, Hermione and Severus were both on a first name basis, and she was infatuated. There was no other word for it; she thought about Severus constantly. She actually avoided him, because she didn’t trust herself not to make a fool of herself with him.
She knew his history, and she didn’t think he saw her as even comparing to the love he’d lost. He kept himself to himself, and rebuffed the brazen witches in the Broomsticks who propositioned him. He studied her avoidance with growing puzzlement.
“I’m not the same man you knew before,” he said, one evening.
They were on patrol, and Hermione stopped in her tracks, her heart beating fast. “What do you mean─”
Suddenly he was pressing her against the wall, blazing over her, filling her vision. “I’m not a coward. And I did remember the significance of your words.” He stroked her face; his palm was warm and surprisingly gentle. “I’m not pining over a lost love. I’m a wizard who can’t get you out of his head.”
She actually stumbled forward as he stepped back. “If I’m wrong, I apologise. But I have to know. Am I deluding myself, or is this real?”
Perhaps she pulled, or he pushed. Either way, they were fused together. Their first kiss was clumsy and awkward and sloppy and it felt marvelous. They eventually found their level, melting into one another. He was strong and solid, not the brittle man she had known, and his desire was evident.
A sound snapped them out of their passion-fueled embrace, and he quickly Dissilutioned them both.
They calmed as the sound faded. “Look at me,” she whispered, stroking his fading erection. “And I’ll show you just how real it is.”
He smiled down at her, and held out his arm.