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Vices

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Apr. 11th, 2007 | 10:13 pm

EDIT: Betaed by kazfiest on 4-15-17

Title: Vices
Ship: SS/HG, PostHBP
Word Count: 2515
Rating: PG-13


Vices


Vice (n.) – an immoral or wicked habit or characteristic


Even stripped naked with her wrists in manacles above her head and her toes dancing lightly across the dungeon floor, she would not break. Even bruised and bleeding from every assault and with tremors in her bones from too many torture curses, she would not betray the Light. Even face to face with an extremely painful and inhumane death, she was always defiant.

Hermione Granger would not give in to those who wished her dead on account of her blood. She would never betray precious Potter though she did use her connection to the boy in order to keep herself alive a little longer.

He couldn’t help but find himself being proud of her Slytherin use of intellect. Perhaps, that was wrong of him – for he had cursed her as well. Nonetheless, she had been his student once.

Once upon a fairytale time before a doddering old fool signed his own death warrant…

Scowling with memories of which he would much rather be purged, Severus shut the door behind him.

The sharp click alerted her to his presence as her head rose from where it had lolled against her chest. The bones of her face seemed to almost shine through her skin. She looked ill and exhausted, staring at him with her eyes burning, daring him to look at her naked body, daring him to be just like them.

He scowled and raised one eyebrow at her. To his surprise, she smiled and despite her emaciation she seemed to gain back her quiet beauty. A rough, scratching laugh came from her parched throat as she rolled her head to the side, gazing at him, mouth grinning at him with an almost crazed smile.

“I thought you intelligent enough, Ms. Granger, to easily avoid these matters,” he gestured vaguely at the stone walls and the filth-covered floor, not willing to think about the events that had so recently occurred in her tiny prison.

Her voice was not bitter or angry but complacent, as if they were simply discussing the weather. “Intelligence, Professor, albeit useful, I cannot cast more than one curse at a time. Thus, stupidity is dangerous when it travels in packs.”

“I once said the same of your house.”

Hermione smiled a little broader before she winced as her lips cracked open. “Yes, I do not doubt that, sir.”

Severus exhaled sharply through his nose. “Miss Granger, I was sent to interrogate you. Firstly, I had to say that cursing you further would create incurable insanity.”

“That’s really lying though, is it Professor?” She whispered, looking so broken that Severus once more cursed what the world had become. How could such a headstrong child turn into a woman who was as shattered as she but yet still keep such strength? How could the world become so cruel? How could the fate of them all rest on the shoulders of a foolish boy? How could anyone have such faith as this?

Severus didn’t. Of this, he was well aware.

But Granger did. He could not help but wonder how?

He walked forward to her until he saw the tears on her dirty face. His hand seemed to rise of its own accord and he wiped at her tears with the backs of his fingers. Her eyes grew wide and she twisted her head as far away from him as possible, only giving her an inch or so. He was surprised to see shame light her eyes.

“Tears are not a crime.”

“Neither is my birth,” she whispered, bitter words being spat from her crusted lips, “…Yet, here I am.”

Severus sighed, placing his hand under her chin gently forcing her to make eye contact and whispered, “Legilimens…”

He barely noticed the widening of her eyes once more before her memories began to swirl within his vision. Blurred images of Potter and Weasley and her parents moved past him, indistinguishable sounds making his ears ring. Until suddenly, he felt a tiny thrusting of one instance into his conscious and he would have ignored it had not been for suddenly hearing his name through the noise. Then the motion stopped and one memory of Granger’s past floated into view.

Long elegant emerald drapes were pulled aside from large spacious windows. Antique marble tables dotted two ends of the room and plush loveseats were placed around a simmering fire. The mantle was dotted with pictures and a few figurines, including Godric Gryffindor’s sword on its golden ruby-crusted holder that had once held place in the late Headmaster’s office. The sword was not as much a surprise as was the painting hanging above the mantle. It was a portrait of Lily Potter curled in a lumpy chair reading from a large tome and it was distinctly muggle as it did not move.

As Severus finally drew his eyes from it to scan the bookshelves lining the walls, he began to realize that he was in the library of Number Twelve Grimmauld Place. It was indeed not the same as the old headquarters he had left behind. He supposed Potter had fixed it up.

Realizing that he did not see Granger in a memory that was so distinctly hers, Severus walked through the memory, boots falling silently on the glossed wooden floor. He found her curled up in the chair closest to the fire. A large book was placed up against her knees and yet, he found her not reading. Her eyes stared blankly and yet hard at the page and her lips were pursed, her breathing erratic and her cheeks flushed.

He looked up as a door opened and softly closed, watching as Ginevra Weasley walked into the room and straight to Granger’s place. Weasley peered at Granger’s stiff form, the girl not even acknowledging her friend’s presence. Weasley simply sat on a large pillow by the hearth and dragged a quilt off a nearby chair, wrapping it around her shoulders.

Both girls said nothing for a while until Weasley looked up at her friend and whispered simply, “Hermione, why did you do that?”

Granger’s voice was frosty as she nonchalantly turned the page in her book. “Ginny, I have no idea what you are talking about.”

Weasley sighed and fingered a loose thread on her robes. “You know very well what, Hermione. You know how Harry feels about him. You know what he-”

Hermione stood straight up from her seat, the forgotten book hitting the ground with a loud thump. “And you know very well, Ginevra Weasley that Professor Snape would never do such a thing unless he was commanded to! There had to be a reason! It would be madness otherwise!”

Severus stood rigid in stock as he took in Granger’s seething form. The girl pursed her lips again and gazed into the fire, blinking back tears. “No one seems to know he’s innocent but me.”

“We don’t know that he’s innocent because he isn’t. How could he? He’s fooled us simple as that. Once a double-crosser, always a double-crosser, Hermione!”

“You sound like Ron,” Granger spat, as tears fell from her eyes and she swiped at them roughly.

“Not really that surprising, is it?” Weasley tried to smile but Granger did not respond, only stared into the flames. Severus noticed that the longer she stared, the more the flames began to grow. Strong magic, soul magic hidden deep within her was raging for him. How was it that this simple girl could turn his world upside down in a matter of moments?

“Merlin, Hermione! It’s as if you’re infatuated with him! That’s all we ever hear you talk about! You spend most of your days stuffed up in this room, pouring over books, hoping to find some way to find that Snape’s innocent! Ron’s even starting to believe that you’re in love with him! Do you want-!”

Because I am!”

Everything silenced. So much so that Severus realized he had stopped breathing because he himself did not hear it. The edges began to swirl again and suddenly it all faded away. Severus realized that he was being pushed from her mind but was able to register her whispered plea.

“Don’t tell anyone, Ginny… Please…”

With startling clarity, Severus found himself back in Granger’s filthy little hovel. Her eyes were hard as stone, determined and yet somehow relieved. He reached up with both hands and grasped her chains, jerking them. She gasped as pain flooded her body and yet she still looked up at him with obstinacy and naivety that made his stomach churn.

“Who taught you?! Who taught you Occlumency?!”

“I taught myself, Severus.”

His face grew fierce as he heard his name whispered softly out of her mouth. “So you wanted me to see it! Why?!”

“Because I’m tired of hiding it!” Her eyes fell to his left forearm and she stared at the place where he knew the mark laid. “You’re not the only one who’s grown sick of lies.”

“Was your only vice, Miss Granger, that you fell for one of your own professors?” His voice was cold, nearly heartless except she saw the fire in his eyes. She searched his face and – while not being as skilled as he – she seemed to read him just as easily.

“No, my only vice is that I never stopped loving him.”

Both were silent as he seethed until suddenly a deeply wicked smirk cross his face. “You realize, Miss Granger, that you have given me a weapon, all the more to hurt you with.”

“Fine,” she huffed, curling a lip at him, “You can be a sardonic bastard. I don’t care at this moment. Kill me that I won’t care about, either. I’d rather die by your hand than by that monster you pretend to serve.”

“You know nothing about me, you foolish girl!”

Her chin raised in pride. “I know enough, Severus.”

“Do you?” he sneered, reaching out his hand to cup her face, thumb gently tracing her cracked bottom lip. She made to lean forward only to have him draw away from her.

His hands began to hover over her skin and he brought his face so close to hers that their breaths mingled together. He let his hands chase her arms as they rose above her head, his skin never once touching hers. A little contemptuous smile played at his lips as she glared at him, cursing him with her eyes – the windows into her heart.

In more ways than one, apparently.

“Why do you toy with me? Do you want me to believe that you are no different from them?”

His hovering hands suddenly gripping her forearms so tight she wondered if her bones would snap. The planes of his face grew dark with disgust and anger and he brought it closer to hers, her damnable Gryffindor insolence mocking him.

“I would never defile you, you idiot girl. I will never be as they are.”

She brought her face as close to his that her bonds would allow, their noses nearly touching. “Then, prove it to me.”

His hard features slowly softened as he gazed into her eyes, no longer needed to breech her thoughts to know what went on inside her head. His fingers on her arms turned to a gentle hold as his body began to tremble with its effort to hold him at bay.

“I’m not afraid of you,” she whispered, her breath caressing his sallow skin.

“You never are,” his words, while meant to be condescending came out as truthful with bitterness lacing them delicately.

He was surprised when her eyes began to once more glisten with tears, darkened pools of sadness that almost beckoned him to plunge once more into her mind. She gulped and tried to lean in closer to him. “That’s where you’re wrong.”

His eyes fell to her dry cracked lips, lingered there before coming back up to meet her gaze. A tear slipped down her dirty bruised cheek and her hands jiggled in the locks, her chains rattling. Her eyes turned pleading and filled with things Severus had never once seen in a woman’s face whilst gazing at him.

Love. Desire. Acceptance.

She stretched out towards him, craning for him to touch her face. His eyes fell once more to her lips and she whispered, pleading and as broken as he had ever seen her. “Please, Severus…”

Something within him snapped at her words. Green light… the sliding of cloth… the hurt at dragging up buried anger for a man he considered his father, to do so in order to kill him…

“You know nothing of what I have done.” His voice was stone and his countenance even more so.

She however was not to be swayed. “True,” she agreed, “but for what I do know, which is perhaps the greatest fault you have ever committed, I do not hold that against you. You saw what I’ve done for you. I know there was a reason.”

He tried to quell the emotions rising within him, tried to stop the grief but still his voice broke traitorously. “How could you?”

“Because if there wasn’t, why would it hurt you this much...? If there wasn’t, I wouldn’t still love you.”

“You shouldn’t at all!” He snapped.

She smiled gently. “And yet, you still hold me.” She was relieved when he didn’t pull away from her, only clasped her arms tighter. “They didn’t call me the brightest witch of my age for nothing. I’ve seen the good in you... I still see it and I love you all the more for it.” This time, it was her eyes that fell to his lips, conveying a message that she had not the courage to voice. “Please…”

It could be described as a kiss of passion and would be aptly so. However, it was as if two souls collided in mere moments and waltzed together within one breath. It was as if the entire world’s forgiveness of a condemned man’s sins had been placed within a woman’s plea for love.

It would be ludicrous to say that it had. It would also be ludicrous to say that it didn’t change anything at all.

Suddenly the manacles holding her wrists broke, and she fell into his strong arms. He tried to ignore the way her tiny hands clenched his robes tightly or the way her head found the hollow of his neck to relax. He tried to ignore the trembling in her skin that he felt under his fingertips. He tried to ignore her sobs as they burst forth from deep within her, as if buried under so much self-control that they seemed to wound her from within.

However, he couldn’t ignore her. His heart – that he had once thought to be wicked and scarred beyond compare – would not let him.

Truly, her only vice was caring for him.

And as he apparated them out of the dungeons without a second thought to his role in that damned war, he realized that she was quickly becoming one of his own innumerable vices.

But, perhaps, the most virtuous of them all.


Comments {17}

(no subject) - (Anonymous)

Natalia Grace

From: write4daheart
Date: Apr. 12th, 2007 07:44 pm (UTC)
Link

Thanks! I've been writing SSHG for a long time but hardly ever post. I'm glad you liked it!

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Fiona Ramirez

From: fee_oh_nah
Date: Apr. 13th, 2007 10:42 pm (UTC)
Link

Lovely! My favorite part is

"“You never are,” his words, while meant to be condescending came out as truthful with bitterness lacing them delicately"

Brava!

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Natalia Grace

From: write4daheart
Date: Apr. 14th, 2007 01:13 am (UTC)
Link

Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)

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From: scent_of_autumn
Date: Apr. 15th, 2007 05:52 pm (UTC)
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I really liked this story. It was ORIGINAL :)

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Natalia Grace

From: write4daheart
Date: Apr. 15th, 2007 06:15 pm (UTC)
Link

Thanks! I'm glad you liked it! :)

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joye the obscured

From: dustthouart
Date: Apr. 21st, 2007 03:37 pm (UTC)
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Came via hp_het.
Loved it! Rawr, definite passionate energy there.

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Natalia Grace

From: write4daheart
Date: Apr. 22nd, 2007 11:51 pm (UTC)
Link

Thanks! Glad you liked it!

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Dayna

From: danu_scathach
Date: Jun. 6th, 2007 03:24 am (UTC)
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That was beautiful, I really loved it

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Natalia Grace

From: write4daheart
Date: Jun. 6th, 2007 02:19 pm (UTC)
Link

Thanks!

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(no subject) - (Anonymous)

Natalia Grace

From: write4daheart
Date: Jun. 6th, 2007 02:20 pm (UTC)
Link

Thanks! I'll definately keep that in mind! :)

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riabhach

From: riabhach
Date: Jun. 6th, 2007 12:25 pm (UTC)
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This was incredible - I liked it very much! Thanks for sharing.

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Natalia Grace

From: write4daheart
Date: Jun. 6th, 2007 02:21 pm (UTC)
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You're welcome! Thanks for reviewing! And btw, your icon is amazing! :)

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riabhach

From: riabhach
Date: Jun. 7th, 2007 01:02 am (UTC)
Link

thanks - Perselus made it!

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From: kayryn
Date: Jun. 7th, 2007 08:30 am (UTC)
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Brilliant!

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Natalia Grace

From: write4daheart
Date: Jun. 7th, 2007 03:01 pm (UTC)
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Thank you!

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Amanda

From: aerinalanna
Date: Jul. 31st, 2007 03:25 pm (UTC)
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I love it. Perfect characterization!

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Natalia Grace

From: write4daheart
Date: Jul. 31st, 2007 09:41 pm (UTC)
Link

*blushing* Thanks!

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