HP/Severus Snape: Divergence – Chapter 1 – Sixth Year Ends

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may
Old time is still a-flying
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.

~ Robert Herrick, To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time

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Arelia
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It was almost over: the last day, the last agonizing moment. Then she could spend the summer vacation tortured by boredom – unlike Carine, who probably had something wonderful, if malicious, planned.

She glanced quickly over at her friend, two desks up and one over. The wild honey curls were spilled on the desktop as Carine leaned over her paper, guarding it from sight. She was surrounded by her Slytherin housemates, so that wasn’t surprising.

Arelia finished writing her last answer with a flourish. She didn’t really care if one of the Slytherins beside her was reading her parchment or not. The boy was hopeless in general and might need all the help he could get.

Movement caught her eye and she saw Carine smirking at her from under her thick curtain of hair. The mischievous emerald wink made her smile. History of Magic wasn’t Carine’s favorite subject and she eternally teased Arelia for enjoying it.

Then it was over. She felt a little depressed as she obediently put her quill down. Three months with no school loomed.

Outside on the lawn afterward, Carine gave her opinion of it all as Arelia followed, listening in silence.

“I fell asleep twice. What a waste of a subject – and did you see Rogere and Garland trying to steal answers? I guess it’s an improvement – they’re usually seeking a peek down a blouse.”

They went down toward the lake and sat on the grass. The lawn was full of students, most of whom looked happy that it was all over. The crushing stress of O.W.L.s for the fifth years, and N.E.W.T.s for the seventh years, was lifted at last. Yet for them, the sixth years, it had been normal exams in individual classrooms, like the first four years of school. Arelia sighed. The tests had been too easy but next year, she’d have N.E.W.T.s, at least.

“Are you going to mourn the end of school – again – or pay attention to my evil plot?” Carine asked, smiling.

“What evil plot?”

“You have to come visit me over the summer.”

“My parents won’t go for it. They never see me as it is.”

“Exactly. They’ve probably already forgotten what you look like. And you won’t know unless you ask. If you don’t at least ask, I’ll come visit you. Invited or not.”

“They’d mind that less.”

“Fine. I’ll come down to Bristol – but London’s a lot more fun.”

Arelia didn’t mean to tune out the rest of the evil plot, but a familiar figure was striding up to the castle – someone who always stole her attention. Professor Snape.

“Damn it, I know there’s a brain under that chocolate mop, what are you – oh.” The Slytherin smile bloomed on Carine’s coral lips. “Snape. I wonder where he’s been.”

“How do you know he’s been anywhere?”

“He’s just Apparated back, that’s why. You don’t see him outside the castle otherwise, do you? He likes his damp caves too much, the bloody bat.” Arelia looked scandalized, and Carine laughed. “Still harboring that ‘respect for teachers’ bullshit? It’s summer, kid, lighten up. Besides, if you were in Slytherin, you wouldn’t be so afraid of him.”

“I’m not afraid of him.”

“The hell you aren’t. You shake in your little boots in his class, so I’m told. Or … is it love?”

“Don’t be ridiculous.”

“Well, give up if it is. He’s not known for inter-house unity. The only skirts he hikes up are dark green ones.”

“Carine!”

“What? It’s true. But I guess you can’t help noticing him. Not much to moon over in a runt like Flitwick.”

“Professor Flitwick is a genius,” Arelia replied, looking away from the castle. Professor Snape had disappeared inside. Hoping to deter the other girl from her favorite gibes, she added, “I’d love to have you over, and I don’t think my parents would mind an extra. It’s me leaving they wouldn’t agree to.”

“That’s settled then.” Carine inspected her fingernails, which were painted silver. Then she looked up slyly at her demure friend. “But I still think you either love him or loathe him.”

“Who?”

“Snape. Can’t blame you, seriously, if it is love. He’s a sexy bastard, plus points for dark and mysterious. Although I never realized you were attracted to bad boys.” She laughed again. “I’ll go ask him if he likes you.”

“Are you mad?” Arelia watched in horror as Carine got up and sashayed toward the castle. She wouldn’t really – would she?

*******************************
Carine
*******************************

At the bottom of the dungeon stairs she saw Snape go into his office. She walked boldly up to the door but paused before knocking. What’s a good excuse? Carine jumped when the door opened. The Potions master loomed over her, scowling.

“What is it, Miss Lachlan?”

Shit! “I was curious, sir,” she began, but faltered under his dark brooding gaze.

“An admirable thing to be, I’m sure. Why are you here?”

“I wanted to ask you something,” she blurted out.

“Then I suggest,” he said, his right eyebrow rising as the frown deepened, “you ask it and be on your way.”

“Yes, sir.” She swallowed. “Do you ever give extra lessons over the summer?”

“No. And you are not one of the hopeless masses that desperately need it, which begs the question – why are you wasting my time? The school year is over – go and frolic like the rest of your idiot peers.”

“I’m sorry, sir, but I heard Rowan Fletcher say you did give extra lessons – after classes.” If she was lying, I’m about to fail my Potions exam.

“Miss Fletcher should appreciate the interest I have taken in her education and keep – her – mouth – shut.” He moved forward and she retreated out into the center of the hall. “As should you,” he added as he passed her.

“Yes, sir,” she muttered. She watched him go down the hall deeper into the dungeons, probably to his private chambers. When he was out of sight, the irrepressible smile she often got in trouble for spread over her lips again. Rowan can’t have lied or he wouldn’t have been so defensive.

She turned and headed for the Slytherin common room to find the older girl. Rowan Fletcher was leaving school, bound for a new job at the Ministry.

Maybe she’ll give up the gory details of her so-called tutoring before she leaves?

Avoiding the seventh years’ dormitory rooms, she headed down a short flight of dark stairs to the right of the common room’s entrance. The door to the sub-level private bedroom suite was open and the tall, pretty girl who had lived there was moving quickly around the beautifully appointed room, packing her school trunk early. Carine called a cheerful greeting and started helping her.

“How did your exams go?” Rowan asked. “I barely survived N.E.W.T.s.”

“Fine.” She shrugged. Everyone knew tests were easy for her. “I just ran into Snape, though. He’s in a mood. Do you think he’ll miss you?”

Rowan smiled bitterly. “No, he won’t.”

Carine sat on the girl’s bed. “Is he worth messing with?”

“If you like it rough.”

Score! She set her expression into a look of compassionate understanding. “I’m sorry. Did he hurt you?”

Rowan studied her in silence for a moment. “No, not the way you think. He’s – talented, no argument about that.” She sat beside Carine and touched her shoulder. “I’m not sure what you know about him but if you think you’re interested in that man, trust me – don’t go there. You’ll only get hurt. He’s the coldest, most unfeeling bastard I’ve ever known.”

“You loved him?”

“For all the good it did me, yes. Just once, if someone could make him give a damn, I’d like to see them treat him the same way. See how he likes his own little games.”

“Ever thought of reporting him? You are a student.”

“I’m also past the age of consent – and I did … consent. He’s never pushed me and he’s very well protected. Our entire house worships him, too. No – I’m glad I’m leaving. The post of Slytherin Tutor is now open, but I don’t recommend trying out for it.”

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Severus
*******************************

Retreating from the noise and bustle of the corridors, Severus entered the cool dark of his private chambers. He didn’t light any candles. Stepping to the black suede couch with practiced confidence, he stretched out on it in the enveloping blackness. As usual, when he attempted to seek oblivion, the events of the day crowded in.

What to do about Miss Lachlan’s impudence? The image of the blonde Slytherin prefect shimmered in his mind’s eye. She is exquisite and intelligent; but perhaps too bold. Miss Fletcher, have you been spilling secrets? To what purpose? Our fellow Slytherins already know everything but they don’t speak of it – not openly. Yet Lachlan had seemed almost eager. Fearful? Yes. Perhaps enough, perhaps not. He grunted and sat up. It was a question that would have to wait for next year. For now, before the current pet slips away…

~ ~ ~

He summoned a house-elf and asked it to deliver a message to Miss Rowan Fletcher. She was to see her Head of House in his office before the evening meal. The tiny creature disappeared on its errand, and Severus rose to return to the office. He’d know her mood by how quickly she arrived. If it was soon enough, he could take his time.

If not – or if she ignores the message? His abrupt frown faded into a smile. She was a weak fool. She would come to him, as she always had.

~ ~ ~

Half an hour before the evening meal, a tentative knock sounded on the office door.

“Enter.” He leaned back in his chair behind the massive mahogany desk. Holding his fingertips together in front him, he rested the index fingers against his lips.

“Professor Snape, I got your message, but I’m still packing, and –”

“Shut the door, Miss Fletcher.”

She shut the door slowly and turned to face him. When he indicated the chair in front of the desk, she perched on the edge of it. “Why did you want to see me?”

The slender body was almost too tall, but the face was pretty. She’d been crying and fresh tears threatened now, glittering in her wide blue eyes. Her thick black hair was bound in a tight, untidy braid, and she was dressed in a simple cotton sundress, appropriately Slytherin green.

“Rowan, I’m surprised. You must know why. You leave this school soon. Weren’t you planning to say goodbye?”

“Sir, I –”

“Hush…” He rose and went around the desk, his pale fingers touching her cheek in time, as calculated, to catch a falling tear. “Though we cannot pursue this clandestine affair further, it seems a shame to part without … saying goodbye.”

He traced the moist finger down under her jaw and the slightest pressure there induced her to stand. Then he removed his touch and watched her, studying her. When he finally leaned his mouth down toward hers, it was she who moved forward. Her arms rose to reach up around his neck, clinging to him as she kissed him ardently.

Severus drew her in, his hands sliding over her body, feeling the slight line of her undergarment. Her fingers, practiced over the past year, found the buttons of his black pants and undid them swiftly. When her hands freed him, he gripped her shoulders and turned her toward the desk.

As he bunched the dress around her waist and swept the panties down to her knees, the sight of the gooseflesh on her pale smooth skin in the cold room fired his passion so intensely that he gasped. Her hands struck the top of his desk just before he entered her, and her tears only made the act sweeter.

Her whispering voice floated up to him, intruding as he took his pleasure. “I love you … oh, God, I do … please … please…”

He leaned over her back to murmur in her ear. “I give you what I can, Rowan – all that I can. You’re a fool to love – this is purer, simpler … it is all … you should ever seek…” And when you are gone, there will be another. Perhaps the next one will not be so foolish as to love.

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Author’s Note: This story is completed but since I originally wrote it around 2004 and edited it the last time back in 2016, it needs a fresh edit. I plan to post chapters as I edit them. The chapters get longer as the story goes on. Thanks for reading! – AnonGrimm  (@MET_Fic) (anongrimm.tumblr.com)
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