The Burning Pen
by Ruth Solomon
The story content is adult in nature and can contain graphic sex and violence. Those under the age of 18 are asked to leave this site immediately. You are not welcome here. The author is not responsible for those under-aged who view these works.
Disclaimer: All recognizable characters belong to JKR. All
situations are mine. No $$$ is being made from this fanfic.
Chapter 4 ~ A Candid Conversation
Snape watched as Hermione slowly swam toward him. He rested his back against the pool, holding on to the edge with one hand, treading water lightly as she approached. She stopped about eight feet away, treading water as well.
There was a heavy silence between them, a silence that could hold and swallow the entire world, a silence seeming too large for words to adequately fill. But Hermione wanted, needed to say something. Not knowing what to say exactly or how to continue, she went with a question. It was a weak question, but maybe he would answer it and titillate her a little more.
"You worship women, Professor?" Hermione asked him.
"In those rare moments, yes. But—usually from afar. Women are worthy of worship but most aren't aware of it," he said softly. "They underestimate themselves, or don't understand what it is, or worse, reject it when it is offered."
Snape's face contorted slightly.
"But—you are worshipped, aren't you? The entire wizarding world is at your feet. You are one of the Golden Trio, the brilliant witch that helped to destroy Voldemort. People stop you in the street for autographs. Your presence is wanted at special events and occasions. Fans send you owls, gifts, letters—even marriage proposals. Wherever you go in the wizarding world, you are noticed, praised, revered, almost as much as Potter. You should be familiar with worship. So many people lust after you, your brilliance, your heroism. It must feel good to be so—wanted and admired."
Hermione colored slightly. Although Snape had said nothing scathing, she felt, she felt rather shallow and undeserving. She knew why. It was because despite all Snape had done over the years, his only reward was barely escaping Azkaban and retaining his position at Hogwarts. That, and the scars on his body. Because his work had been behind the scenes, there was no one to bring Snape's sacrifices to light. His true role was ambivalent at best as far at the public was concerned. Add that he was so dark and severe and continued to shun attention; he was nearly a non-entity as far as fame went. He was more—infamous than famous. The man who killed Albus Dumbledore, tormented Harry Potter, served Voldemort and got away with it.
"Not so good," she said softly. "These people don't know me. They know of me. What I did. If I hadn't done what I did, and been with Harry, I'd just be another over-achieving Muggle-born out to prove herself. They could care less who I am as a person as long as—as long as I have fame, as if, as if it could rub off if they're in contact with me. Sometimes—sometimes I wish—"
Hermione's voice trailed off and she looked upward, her eyes shifting to the right to stem the wetness filling her eyes. She blinked rapidly.
"Sometimes you wish," Snape said softly, still treading water, the soft lighting in the room reflected in his dark eyes, "Sometimes you wish they would just see you."
"Yes," Hermione said in a hushed voice.
The water in the pool lapped gently, filling the silence for a moment before Snape spoke again to the witch bobbing in front of him.
"Surely, there is someone who sees you for you, Hermione. Your beau. Ronald Weasley," he responded. "He is—he is your wizard. Your love—even before you became famous—"
"Ron?" Hermione said, her voice breaking a bit. "Ron—Ron and I are seeing other people. We—we still go out, but it's an open relationship. He felt that we were too young to make a serious decision about our future together. That we should 'explore our options.'"
"I imagine this 'open relationship' began after the fame set in," Snape said flatly.
"And after you—physically expressed your attraction to each other."
Hermione's brown eyes filled again. She didn't answer him. There was no need to answer a question Snape already knew the answer to.
"No. I was mistaken, Hermione," Snape said quietly. "You don't know what it is to be worshipped. You have no concept—of your own worth without another to validate you, without another to measure yourself against. You have no idea that you—are without measure. You always have been."
Hermione felt a tightness in her throat at his statement. She slowly swam a little ways down, then joined him at the side of the pool, keeping the cushion of space between them and staying low in the water so only her shoulders and the swell of her breasts were visible. But Snape could still see the outline of her body, rounded, soft, beautiful, her wet, tangled hair dark and untamed as she turned her brown eyes on him. She held on to the side of the pool, nearly matching his motions as they tread water.
"Odd duck!" Snape suddenly hissed at her. "Walking brain! Nightmare! Show-off! Teacher's Pet! Mudblood!"
Hermione physically recoiled from the Potions master as he hissed those hated, well-known words at her. They still stung, still made her stomach feel full of lead and achy.
"The yardstick. The stones," Snape said softly. "Those words. They measured and they hurt. They still do, don't they? Even though you no longer hear them, they sting. Because they still have a hold on you, in here."
Snape placed his hand flatly on his pale chest.
"There are no more perils to hide behind, nothing to shield you or validate you day to day. Soon, you'll graduate and the walls of Hogwarts will no longer protect you. Ah, fame, your fame will be a cushion, but you have already seen the folly and falseness of that, haven't you? No one sees you, and what is sadder, Hermione Granger, you don't see yourself."
Hermione's lower lip trembled.
"It's a pity you don't have my eyes," Snape said softly.
Suddenly, the wizard grasped the edge of the pool with his other hand, and slid out of the water, liquid coursing down his body and limbs, rivulets streaming into his pubic hair and down the length of his foreskin before dripping to the marble tile as he stood up.
Snape looked down at Hermione for a moment as her eyes took his nudity in, then he turned and walked over to the pile of towels, plucking one from the top, and toweling off his hair, neck, shoulders and finally, his body.
It was clear he was leaving.
Again, a feeling of emptiness filled Hermione as he withdrew. This had been so intimate, so eye-opening. The professor was so—
"Wait!" Hermione called out, turning and hoisting herself out of the pool to her knees and rising. She stood there, water streaming over the curves of her body, Snape's dark eyes resting on it. Hermione saw a slight twitch in his nether regions before he turned his back to her, continuing to dry himself.
"I should go, Hermione. Thank you for indulging me. Ten points to Gryffindor," he said tightly as he drew the absorbent towel down one arm and then the other. Hermione's brown eyes rested on the scars on his back. There were so many, but they weren't repulsive. Not at all.
"Please, wait, Professor," she said again. "I want—I want to keep talking to you. I—I don't get much of a chance to talk—not about anything—important."
Snape half looked at her over his shoulder as he once again wrapped a towel around his waist.
"The time for talk is over, Hermione. I've already said too much concerning you," he replied softly, turning and heading for his discarded robe.
Hermione watched him walk past her, desperation rising in her belly. No. He couldn't leave—
"But, I want to know—" she said in a heavy voice as Snape released the drain to empty the pool before picking up and shaking out his robe.
"You want to know what?" he asked, ready to slip one arm into the sleeve.
"I want to know what it is to be—worshipped," Hermione said, her voice slightly strained.
Snape stopped what he was doing and looked at Hermione.
"By you," she added softly.
A/NL Just a little more. The twins will be here at 6 am in about 15 minutes. I will be spending Thanksgiving babysitting. I wanted to leave y'all something nice and tantalizing for the day. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Oh, and that wonderful picture of Snape is called: This "Adorable Snape" and was made by ~Mrs-Severus-Snape aka Missy. Her old website: http://www.fanfiktion.de/u/Missy01 . Her new website is under construction. ***
PLEASE REVIEW "In the Prefect's Bathroom." >>> NEXT CHAPTER
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