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 Occlumency, chapter 72

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Anzahl der Beiträge : 42
Anmeldedatum : 25.10.14
Ort : Bodensee

BeitragThema: Occlumency, chapter 72   Do Jun 21, 2018 8:44 am

Chapter beta: Dani
Chapter translator: Aivy




Harry and Ron knew I had detention for the foreseeable future as punishment and luckily didn’t ask more. The Twins had hurried down the secret passageway with me as none of us wanted to arrive late to an appointment with Professor Snape. I had the good sense to wear my training gear under my school cloak as I doubted I would be allowed to use his bedroom as a changing room again. The Twins had already changed as well.

Before I could blink, Fred had raised his hand and knocked with determination. It filled me with a minimal amount of trepidation that I would be so near to him, Snape, once more in just a moment. Although he hadn’t invited us in, we entered valiantly as we were awaited, finding an empty room behind the door. I noticed that the bookcase stood slightly open and decided to take it as an invitation and took the lead. The Twins soaked up every little detail with visible curiosity and followed me over the threshold into the private domain of the resident potioneer.

Confidently, I brushed the cloak from my shoulders, threw it over the back of the couch and walked towards the open door in the back. I beckoned the Twins who were staring with wide eyes to follow me further. They were astoundingly quiet and serious; apparently, Professor Snape instilled respect even in those two. We had closed every door we had passed with diligence. When we arrived in the final room, we found Draco and Blaise standing close to Snape, talking animatedly.

Fred’s and George’s expressions when they spotted Snape in his casual clothes were hilarious. He was wearing the same outfit as last time and presented his Dark Mark just as confidently, which caught the Twin’s undivided attention. They were on the verge to openly stare at him agape. It was rare that they looked so dumbfounded. That way the blood relation to Ron became a lot more obvious. They were visibly intrigued by Snape’s bound-back hair, giving him a much more daring, striking and totally unfamiliar appearance, if the way their eyes scanned him intensively but also anxiously was any indication, taking in every little detail.

Draco and Blaise were wearing training gear as well, displaying their toned muscles. Seeing them standing so close together one had to think of white and milk chocolate involuntarily. I believe the Twins liked what they saw, with Snape also giving an appealing sight. What else could I describe? It must have been a Slytherin thing, all things considered, we looked pretty similar. As if arranged beforehand, we were all wearing black. Very imaginative, I know.

Honestly curious, I was wondering what the evening would bring me. An impish wink from Draco’s grey eyes made me smile lightly. Blaise also nodded in greeting when he saw us and then the professor spoke up.

End of Hermione’s POV.

Snape’s POV

Draco and Zabini were overly punctual, but I was used to that from Draco’s side. He valued his time with me and when he was allowed he always arrived early, and today was no exception. I lead the two of them into the training room and let the doors open. I counted on Granger’s allegedly existent intelligence to close the doors behind her after she had passed through them.

What could I say? Although I would never openly admit it, as anticipated she didn’t disappoint me, she seldom did!

We watched her enter the room self-confidently followed by the red menaces from which there were much too many - how could people reproduce so much? - and striding towards us with determination. She did not seem to notice, or maybe want to notice, the vibrancy she had, but she looked fantastic in her short-sleeved, tight-fitting black shirt and tight-fitting tracksuit pants. She showed a steel-hard and well-trained body, which had everything a man could wish for.

We all looked interested at the arrivals, while she gave us a really nice smile. Sometimes I wondered if she was playing and not realizing or registering the desires she aroused, or if she was really so naive in that regard. Even the two redheads, who, as I'd long suspected, were evidentially gay, stared at her behind.

“Fred, George, how are you?” Draco and Zabini called at the same time and they waved at each other friendly. Such friendship among hostile houses aroused a feeling of aversion in me, the corners of my mouth twisting contemptuously.

“Well, gentlemen, you are here today to learn how to fight!” I snarled, looking around the room disdainfully, suggesting it would be a sheer impossible task to teach them.

“I know what Draco can do! What Miss Granger is capable of I could determine recently! Now the three of you will show your abilities!” I demanded matter-of-factly. Zabini appeared more confident in his stance, something I expected from him as one of my snakes. I was curious how his fighting skills had evolved. The normally boisterous Twins held back with surprising and unusual uncertainty. Jimjams, I thought sardonically, almost wishing that they were more often insecure.

“How are you going to test them?” Granger asked me curiously and I stared at her with an eyebrow raised in consternation at this unwanted disturbance. Her silhouette seemed so thin and delicate, as she wore her hair in a taut braid, as she had last time. At least she was so smart and learned from mistakes.

“If you ask, you may test your housemates!” I offered immediately but got a shake of her head in return.

“I don’t need to, Sir! Those two have a disturbed sense of pain, they cringe when they watch me cut myself with a knife and when they have to let blood ... unbelievable,” she explained to me, widening her expressive eyes and rolling them theatrically, and then Draco jumped in.
“Where she's right, Severus, she’s right. I had to leave the room because they were screaming so much, it was pathetic,” he stated smugly. The two, whose honour was at stake here, stood there quite calmly and said nothing, which was probably already a statement, as I thought to myself. Well, that was going to be fun, I thought resigned to my suffering. Whiny men? What had I gotten involved in? And, most of all, to whom did I owe this? Right, her!

“Miss Granger, when I give a command, you do what I say. Understood?” I growled in a low voice, establishing authority, arms folded in disapproval in front of my chest.

“As you wish, sir, though you will wish in the end that you hadn’t given the command,” she warned me mildly, stepped into the middle of the mat and beckoned to both at the same time, which I had not intended. She should not compete against both at the same time. Alright, her decision.

They got into position in the middle of the black mat and the two boys looked a bit lost. I had my work cut out with them, groaning at the sight before me. I would have to start at zero, that much I realised at that moment and suppressed a tortured groan.

Miss Granger bent her knees slightly and, with a completely blank mask which would have done honour to a Malfoy, she gazed at her opponents, who stood around insecurely and cluelessly.

And then it started, or rather, the suffering began! My fears and worries were met twice and triple.

I could already tell by her lax attitude that she apparently wanted to use something completely different today than in the fight with me. In seconds, she formed a claw with her right hand, her fingers were spread and bent, and the palm of the hand was exposed and could be used as a weapon.

Apparently, Miss Granger wanted to show us her Taijutsu skills today. I had to smile mockingly, the poor Weasleys, should I be sorry? No, I would enjoy the show I was offered.

And then the claw flashed rapidly towards the face of one of the twins and she rammed the chin with her palm. Not only with pure muscle power, no, her body worked in a wonderful harmony and interplay, using her body’s energy and poise, and her perfectly balanced breath control to create a low-pitched, strong punch.

The blow was devastating. As it met its target with force, the twin's head flew backwards, the air left his lungs in a loud huff and you could see how the lights went out in that very second and his body lost all tension. He collapsed less than gently and landed on the mat slightly twisted, where he remained lying, knocked out. In the fraction of a second, everything was over for him.

When she did not stop after her attack, but used the momentum she had from the claw strike to turn powerfully to the next red opponent in her back, who was so shocked by their speed that he didn’t even try to defend himself, and she formed a finger ring while still turning, I thought sardonically, ouch, Miss Granger, ouch. Now her fingers were half-folded over each other and the knuckle of the middle finger would be used as a weapon. She took further advantage of the swing and again aimed for the face of her opponent. We could watch as she put her whole body into this blow, lifted her hand and sent her knuckles straight and mercilessly to their target.

The soft crunch that filled the room when her hard knuckle found its goal was also painful for us listeners. Zabini and Draco visibly twitched in sympathy, as it hurt just by watching, and if I had not stopped to do so such a long, long time ago, I would have pulled a face as well. So I watched outwardly indifferently as this redhead as well landed on the mat with little elegance. Amazing, the twins even fell identically. Granger remained calm in the starting position, without even panting. Wherever from?

A painful whimper echoed from the walls of the training room, as this redhead had not been knocked out like his brother. He pressed his hand against his bleeding and broken nose, letting out a wailing, miserable sound. Tears ran down his pale cheeks, the blood was smeared over his waxy face; he gave a very battered impression. Considering that only one blow had hit him that was impressive.

And yes, Granger had been right, I regretted having asked her to test the two, who now had the shock of their lives. The unconscious one now began to stir again and groaned painfully.

Already on her knees, Miss Granger skillfully started to heal the injuries of the two with a Ferula, magically resetting his nose, resulting in a loud, not to say deafening shriek. I twisted my mouth in disgust; I did not like it if you could not control your pain, but I'd knock it out of them eventually. An Episkey finally healed his nose completely, and so, thanks to heaven, peace returned. Zabini was already helping the other loser and healed his injury. They behaved like the biggest weaklings, pathetic!

“Hey, Fed, wake up,” Zabini said. Oh… so he was the unconscious one, just as well. My snake patted his cheek and he opened his eyes and tried slowly, whimpering, to get upright.

“Whoa, my head is throbbing. What did she do? I didn’t get anything. George? Why is George on the ground too?” he asked perplexed and I rolled my eyes desperately, noticing the dirty grin Draco gave me from his place next to the kneeling Granger.

“I see you have not exaggerated, Miss Granger, hard work is waiting for us! But now get back up already. That was a patting what Miss Granger gave you! Pathetic, but I expected nothing else! So, when I'm done with you, you will redefine pain, gentlemen, I promise you!” I threatened silkily, enjoying it when my threat hit home; the anxious panic in the two pairs of brown eyes made up for many pranks I'd endured.

Meanwhile, two people looked at me very indifferently, while Zabini seemed a bit uncomfortable but tried to conceal it. At last, I believed this could still be fun. Here my sadistic streak came to light.

“Draco, grab Zabini and test him,” I ordered and turned away. “Both of you will perform the movements I am going to show you until you can instinctively and automatically execute them. Until then, I can tell you that now, you will have to train them every day for at least half an hour,” I explained to the Weasleys and showed them the formations they were to learn. They tried hard to overcome themselves, struggling visibly and apparently, they really wanted to give their all to master the first basic formations.

“So, you start with slow movements and gradually increase the speed until you can use the technique lightning fast. You should be busy for a while!” I taught them unusually patiently. In the meantime, Granger watched Zabini and Draco intently. Zabini actually did not do half bad. And Draco, now that lifted my heart! Lucius and I had done a wonderful job with the boy. He was playing with Zabini, not wanting to end the fight immediately, though he dominated it impressively and confidently.

I stepped next to Granger, who was attentively watching the two boys as they moved in a dance, orbiting each other. The punches, kicks and throws of the different, individual styles were executed beautifully and precisely, and not nearly comparable to the dirty fight between me and her the other day, which she and I had relentlessly fought, and no one was bleeding yet. It was a civilized fight.

What should that tell me? That Granger was certainly not delicate and faint-hearted. I chuckled inwardly at my straying thoughts.

“Now, Miss Granger, what are you seeing?” I asked her then and put her to the test, while I got closer and stopped next to her while she crossed her arms.

“Wonderful fighters, perfect bodies, but sir, I wonder why you taught Draco like that? I mean, it has style, is nice to look at, but honestly, in a dark, dirty alley it will be of no use to him. Not that he could not fight back, but he thinks too much. Not that I could allow myself an opinion, was just a thought!” she admitted her doubts. She had seemingly got afraid of her own courage criticizing me and tried to deflect.

“No, no, Miss Granger, do think, even I do not bar you from that! You are right, so far, Lucius has always put a lot of emphasis on the aesthetics of martial arts. But that is what we are here for, for Draco to learn how to strike as nicely as you, right?” I showed myself bitingly ironic, looking down at her little figure to assess her.

“Did he learn to fight with weapons as well?”

“Yes, fencing,” I spat contemptuously. I had always thought it ridiculous to fiddle with this thin steel, but Lucius was fascinated by the sport and did not want to know about anything else, though Lucius was well able to do the else.

I could hear and see Granger giving into a laughing fit, tears forming in her brown eyes.

“Haha… I see Lucius, jumping over the mat with Draco!” she giggled madly.

“I hope you don’t see me as well in your mind’s eye!” I snarled venomously, as I still vividly remembered the pictures she saw in her imagination, for I had to see it with my own eyes.

“No, sir, never. Honestly not. I think you would refuse and rather do something truly disgusting than wave a rapier through the air. But sir ... sorry! Now you've planted the picture of yourself in my head …” She was unable to control herself any longer and burst into laughter, ending the fighting and bringing us to the centre of attention.

I looked indignantly at Granger who was now sitting at my feet, holding her stinging side and laughing heartily. I grimaced as I knew what the reason for her inappropriate cheerfulness was, and it was my own fault, which annoyed me beyond measure.

“Most beautiful, what is it, why are you laughing like that? Are we that bad?” one of the reds asked in consternation, already out of breath and looking worn out with his sweaty, tangled hair.

“No, no, George. The Professor only was so kind as to tell me something very funny!” Apparently, she did not dare to divulge the true cause of her amusement and scrambled back to her feet.

“And, Severus, are you satisfied?” Draco wanted to know as Zabini gasped for breath, lying flat on the mat after a throw, rubbing his aching side.

“Relatively!” I informed him arrogantly.

“What, ‘relatively’?” he shouted agitatedly.

“Draco, don’t yell at me! As I was discussing with Miss Granger right now, you fight marvellously, and you, Mr Zabini, aren’t bad yourself… expandable! However, you fight to pretty. In a show fight, it would fit perfectly. However, out there on a battlefield or in an ambush, you would not stand a chance with your clean, beautiful style, and we have to break you of that, both of you!

“Miss Granger, let's show the gentlemen here how we envision it,” I proposed in a velvety voice and was allowed to witness how she visibly swallowed hard and I knew she remembered our last time - how that sounded - when I had caught her under me.

But then she stepped resolutely into the middle, her head held high. We both got into position, and our spectators moved back to the outer end of the room. Miss Granger gave me another nice smile and faced me again without fear. I had to give her that; she looked even more confident today, showing even less timidity or even fear. She was ready to go back into the fight, even though I had won the last time; I could respect that.

Thus we started circling each other like a pair of predators. No one wanted to get close to the other and give him the advantage when falling into his hands. I could see in her eyes that she was very focused and I would not make the mistake of underestimating this petite woman; because she was good, as I knew from experience.

Suddenly, she attacked with a rapid speed and manoeuvrability, trying to hit me on the shoulder with the taut edge of her hand. I quickly countered with a harsh defense and blocked her attack with the forearm, from the outside to the inside. Her chop went awry and impacted hard on my defense. There was power behind her blows. We both jumped away from each other, as we did not practice fine arts where they stayed in their positions, we always kept moving.

She continued on the offensive, running up to me, lifting her leg and giving me a firm kick to the thigh, but all of a sudden I let myself fall to the floor in a spin, bracing myself with my hands and pulling her supporting leg out from under her in a single, flowing rotary motion with a foot sweeper.

She landed roughly on her behind. In fact, now I could have flung myself at her without mercy and pin her to the floor with a grappling or the like and beat her bloody, but somehow I didn’t want to do that in front of an audience. Not that I had any qualms about fighting and beating a woman, but somehow I did not want the others to see what she and I were capable of. I'm not sure what kept me from battering her just like the last time and preventing her from doing the same to me, as she did not hold back either.

So I decided against it and she jumped back up in a quick move.

“Whoa, wicked. How can you be that fast?” one of the red monsters blared enthusiastically into the middle of our fight.

“And you didn’t even punch each other,” the next one shouted jauntily, straining my nerves dangerously.

“Uncle Severus. Even though I know that the fight technically isn’t over by far…” Draco interjected, glaring at the Twins in a chastening way because of their interruption, “I believe I have understood what you wanted to tell me! You fought in and over three different styles, never remaining in a position for long, always in motion. I think I got it. You have to be flexible, quick and ruthless!” I experienced a miracle as my godson admitted that I was right.

“As always a pleasure to teach a Malfoy. That was exactly what I wanted to achieve, Draco! Well then, Miss Granger. It looks like you will not get a beating today!” I whispered in a velvety voice at the end and she gave me a cynical look in return. Hence, I couldn’t stop myself from adding: “Be glad!”

“Of course, sir!” She quipped sarcastically and I already regretted that I had not stuffed her mouth, grounding my jaw lightly. This woman managed again and again to irritate me.

“Gentlemen, resume your training. Draco, you look after those two as well, whether they're doing it right. Miss Granger and I are in the living room; we still have to work on something to make her happy!” I replied ambiguously sweetly. When I thought of Potter, the bile came up again.

“Um, sure, Uncle…” it sounded bemused by Draco, who was just running a hand through his hair. I watched as she approached him and whispered something into his ear. He put his hand on her back, pulled her closer to him, gave her a kiss, and hugged her, then he raised his head and winked cheekily at me. I frowned indignantly, Malfoys, always so arrogant in their autocratic state of being.

The Twins fooled about, teasing Granger and Draco mercilessly with silly comments and smacking noises; and then I could hear Granger say in a sugary voice:

“Oh, and Draco. I think you, too, should fight against the Twins and kick them firmly, so that they learn a thing or two.” It resulted in immediate silence. She was truly vicious towards her friends.

“I think you are right, darling, I should engage with them quite intensively,” Draco threatened, amused.

“Are you coming, Miss Granger, or are you afraid?” I snarled in an oily voice.

“What did you say the last time? Something along the line that I would be stupid if I wasn’t afraid of you?” she instantly gave me contra. I just thought: clever girl. It was plainly recognisable that she felt more uncomfortable with the knowledge that I would be in her mind soon than when she had been in my arms on the mat.

Politely, I held the door open for her. When she had passed the threshold, I threw an appraising and also threatening look back into the room and was allowed to experience how everybody stared at me as if I wanted to devour Granger. With that, I turned away resolutely.

Granger had already made herself comfortable on the couch and beheld my approaching form calmly. With a fluent motion, I sat down next to her and deliberately came very close to her. I wanted to unsettle her even more and shake her mental defense and would resort to any method available. However, she was not easily intimidated and looked at me with a slight lift of the corners of her mouth. As I said, she was a smart girl and seemed to have expected it.

“Sir? What do you expect of me now?” she asked jovially. At the same time, I realized that she seemed to be a bit cold and I determined that from a distinct physical characteristic since she only wore a tight, short-sleeved shirt. Considering that we were in the draughty dungeons, no wonder. Thus I tried to unsettle her with an outrageous remark.

“First… Are you feeling cold, Miss Granger?” I asked suggestively in a velvety voice, which made her look at me perplexed. Then understanding flashed in her eyes and she looked down at herself and up again with a very serene expression and shrugged her shoulders indifferently. The shot had probably missed its mark, I thought moodily.

“Somewhat,” she said neutrally and I raised my hand, snapped casually once in the direction of the fireplace and the fire lit up with a flicker.

“Thank you, sir!” came her dry reaction. I did not elicit more from her, which was frustrating, given that I had come very close to her and had ignited the fire without a wand, but it seemed that no feeling could penetrate her cold wall. Apparently, she wanted to make it exciting for me, because that was what it was for me: I was curious what she had to offer against me in the magic of the mind.

In the art of mastering and directing the mind, I did not know many who could keep up with me or resist me. I was an accomplished master in this field, and even Lucius had to admit defeat to me here, and Malfoys’ souls coped very badly with that.

Even Dumbledore was not up to me here, which was good. The old man did not have to know everything. And the Dark Lord, well, you could not fool him. At least I could exclude him and show him just what I wanted him to see; but lead him by the nose like all the others, unfortunately, I could not, to my chagrin. The Dark Lord was truly powerful.

“Ready, Miss Granger, to meet our agreement and try out if you will be able to help Potter even remotely?” I challenged her, and if she was nervous, she did not show it. Her mask sat firmly in place, and she gave me a determined nod.

“Then turn to me, look deep into my eyes and try to muster the willpower to shut me out completely, to control it at will and show me only what you want, or even conjure up false images. I'm curious to see what you will offer me, Miss Granger,” I pressed on, but she nodded again, though turning towards me as required.

“Ready, Professor!” she confirmed in a monotone voice. I briefly wondered if she was only pretending, and if it was simmering with nervousness inside her and she was just a gifted actress since she seemed so completely uninvolved, or if that was her defense, so as not to let anything get to her.

I raised my wand and looked deep into her fawn brown eyes. She returned my gaze firmly and with strength, so I spoke “Legilimens” and was immediately sucked with force into the whirlpool of her mind.

The first thing I realized was that I was facing a stable and defensive wall that reminded me a lot of the battlements of Hogwarts. It was more than I expected and more than most would ever accomplish in their lives. It was a massive defense she had built up here, testifying to the irrepressible will this young woman possessed, and made all the more amazing by the fact that she had taught herself independently.

“Miss Granger, a wall cannot stop me!” I breathed silkily into her face, as we had come closer and closer during the constant eye contact. Steadily, I increased my efforts to find a weak spot in her defensive line to break it, however, this wall really stood rock solid. Only a master of Legilimency, as I was one, knew where its weak spot lay. A wall could crumble or collapse.

That was why I preferred to imagine the smooth, flat surface of a lake and buried my biggest secrets on the ground, the smooth surface of the lake becoming my wall. If the Lord himself slipped into the water or dived to poach in it, I could let my thoughts float and push them further away, without him being able to get hold of them. This was the mastery in this field: To create and maintain an impregnable environment! Of course, this wall was an incredible achievement, but not yet the ultimo in this area.

And so I figured the Lord would not let it be with simple rummaging. If he felt that someone was resisting him, he would gladly use torture to mentally weaken the victim and then destroy their mind. I had to break her concentration and so I resorted to unfair methods to make her falter, I just never broke off the intense eye contact.

I raised my left hand - my wand was in my right - deliberately caressing the contours of her mouth, which made her flinch at first, then acknowledge it with a surprised exhalation. Her hot breath brushed my fingers and for the first time, a minimal smile snuck itself onto my lips as I saw the wall crumble slightly in her mind. It had started when I touched her like that. But I had to admit that I, too, had let myself get distracted for a moment by touching her soft and warm lips, which felt so tender and yielding under my fingertip. Slowly and unconsciously but surely, she kept backing down to the couch to avoid me, but I followed, pushing her physically and mentally, trying to make her submit.

I resolutely called myself to order and now stormed the wall with my mind, intent to break it with my strong will. However, it didn’t seem to accomplish anything. She was no longer distracted, and just concentrated on her defense; she was strong and there came a nasty thought to my mind.

Again, I used my fingers to try and get her to make a mistake, moving my hand to her chest and caressing the still protruding buds that I had commented on earlier in a suggestive manner. I didn’t know if they were still standing stiffly because of the cold or if something else had that effect on her body, but her reaction was worthwhile. I was allowed to witness her mauling her lip, biting it less than gently, and she immediately went rigid under my hand.

She glared at me as well but did not say anything. I knew it was wrong. I mean, she was my underage student and dating my godson, who was almost my own son, but I justified touching her breast with having to see if she could maintain her defense under all conditions. I had never been so close to her physically, not even recently in our fight. Of course, I had healed her and seen her almost completely naked during that, but I had never dared to touch her so intrusively.

Thus, I did not pull my hand away from her tight, well-rounded breast. Ah, now, finally, as I ran my thumb firmly over the stiff nipple covered by the thin cotton fabric, she gasped in shock and there was a small gap. I exploited this carelessness immediately and ruthlessly, and flung myself at it like a berserker.

She was good, but I was better!

A series of meaningless images and feelings soon passed in front of me, she as a toddler, in kindergarten, in school, at home, on vacation, then the Hogwarts Express, Hogwarts ... but suddenly the stream faded and I got really angry and furious that she succeeded in resisting me.

This girl opposed me with an unbelievable willpower which was more than unusual, and I did not like it that it was again Granger, who showed herself exceptionally gifted.

It shouldn’t surprise me, she was a person that worked mainly with her brain and mind, similar to myself!

She accomplished to reinstate her once relinquished vigilance and tried to retreat back behind her mental walls. It was extremely difficult and only a few managed such a feat. She struggled hard; it was obvious from the beads of sweat on her forehead and her tense jaw. It was exhausting for her to push me back, banish me to the outside of her protective walls. It took her tremendous strength and even more will to focus enough again to be able to exclude me.

With a furious growl, I took note of their efforts. I could not allow that and so I continued my unfair exploration, putting my hand on her knee now and stroking her thigh demandingly, which made sweat pool on her upper lip. She wound herself like an eel under my body. I pushed my hand higher, besieging her more and more, which made her whimper very softly. I did not know myself how far I would push the immorality and whether I should advance even further when I felt how she outright offered me some memories and proverbially threw them at my feet.

She surprised me with this unexpected offer. Apparently, my attempts to subdue her were successful and this was her last desperate attempt to best me. I hadn’t anticipated this move when I had pushed her farther and farther until it could not go any further. Apparently, she saw her salvation in distracting me, as she kept me trapped by the things she showed me, and to my displeasure, she actually managed to distract me.

Stop, that was not possible! She tried to steer me! How? I saw her having sex with Draco on the Astronomy Tower during sex, a quick sequence of events as he took her from behind. How she had sex with Draco in the shower. But wait, what was that? I did not believe my eyes, she laid naked in the arms of Cedric Diggory, in the Prefect bathroom! When had she had anything with him? I had never noticed. The little girl was always good for a surprise.

Oh and Krum, Viktor Krum. But where was that? On the ship, what had Miss Granger been doing on the ship? It had been forbidden. Oh yes, that's right, she did not adhere to any rules. It left a nasty taste in my mouth. If she had fallen into the hands of Igor ... Stupid girl!

To my displeasure, I saw Black next and relived what I had never wanted to see from Black again. I growled reluctantly, but then the scene changed and I spotted them in the dark kitchen of Grimmauld Place. Black lunged at her abruptly, beating her, over and over again. She fought back fiercely and then threatened him with her knife! Black ... I despised this man!

Then everything changed again quickly and I saw her again in a bed. It almost made me feel like I had been punched into the stomach, and I had to watch with big eyes as Potter dragged her along as he fell and she snuggled up to his side and they both laughed. The words still echoed in my ears. "I love you, Hermione." "I love you too, Harry." As I kept digging in spite of my rising disgust, I learnt that I could not get any further, that her walls were still intact here.
Which meant, I had not yet subdued her; at the moment she was directing what I could see.

I fought bitterly against seeing only what she wanted to show me. She shouldn’t have been able to offer me a selection of her choice. This girl was good, damn it. Where did she get the power from to possess such a strong, unrestrained will? I got angry. This was not described in any book, I had only learned it after a long time of practice. She, as I realised now, pulled me from memory to memory. I paused in my effort to impose my will on her to observe the scenes of Lucius and her during the Christmas Ball of the Ministry.

It was no wonder that Lucius had noticed her the way she looked that night. The dress was a beautiful dream of nothing and her appearance was incredibly desirable. She aroused desires, she looked adorable. Also, she was surrounded by that certain exquisite aura, alluding that she had more to offer than just the gorgeous look.

I experienced how Lucius harassed her and I could feel and see him biting her with relish. Ouch, that must have hurt, the way his teeth ruthlessly pierced that soft, flawless skin and buried into her flesh. Fierce too, that she had the courage not to scream. But Draco too, when he put his father so close to Granger, played the indifferent one very convincingly. It reminded me once again that none of them, despite their youth, should be underestimated!

I pulled myself together and called myself to order. I would not be made a fool by this little miss-know-it-all. But I did not manage, to my shame, to extract the secrets from her mind, however hard I tried. We performed a truly impressive duel of the minds.

I knew that if I wanted to hurt her, then I could do it, for it was no finesse, skill, or knowledge that held me back here, but only irrepressible will, unbroken concentration, and deadly determination not to lose.

Our environment was no longer existent for both her and myself at the moment. Even that I had buried her completely under me by now, lying on top of her with the whole length of my body, our faces only a few inches apart, was not something we realised at the time. The eye contact fervently maintained ... it was as if we were interlocked. Meanwhile, my hand rested on her crotch and was trapped there, immobile, between our bodies. Well, she and I were beyond the point to even notice it. We were too caught in the unrelenting battle of minds and the question of who would win eventually.

What a stubborn, quarrelsome woman. She had to be in pain; what I was doing had to cause great pain and agony in her mind. Her face was a grimace. I growled indignantly and she answered with a deep rumble. None of us gave up.

“Severus!” I could hear a soft call from far away. “What are you doing?” The outraged scream penetrated my consciousness with increasing clarity. I shook my head numbly, and Granger below me also seemed to be aware of our surroundings again as the eye contact broke through my head movement.

“What is happening here?” I now recognised Draco’s cutting voice.

I closed my eyes, exhausted, and ending the eye contact for good, breaking the curse. Astonishingly enough, when I opened my eyes again, I did not look into startled brown eyes, but ones who were staring at me with immense satisfaction because she had been steadfastly resisting me until the very end.

But suddenly she seemed to realize where my hand lay, how intimately and totally inappropriately I touched her. It also became very present to me now, as I could feel her warmth at this spot and realized how completely I covered her. The situation was very compromising and she had to laugh outright. This girl was incredible. I was still lying on top of her as she shook beneath me with laughter. I glared at the small group that looked at us in shock and astonishment, but who could see my anger at them for interrupting us because I would have cracked her eventually.

I, professor of all of them, buried a student under me. That was wrong, I was her teacher and she was my student. I did not even know what had made me forget my principles like that, except that I wanted to show Granger her limits by all means. That this had been unsuccessful did not help to lighten my mood.

Luckily, it was my left hand that I had placed on her crotch, so Draco and the others at least did not see it right away. I got up smoothly and then stood very upright in front of the four boys.

“Severus, I thought you wanted to test Hermione in Occlumency, and not assess her other qualities,” mocked the boy that called himself my godson before dissolving into laughter. Miss Granger still lay draped over the couch. She had stopped laughing, but was now rubbing her forehead; all in all, she looked exhausted, pale and sweaty.

“Very amusing, Draco!” came my cold retort.

“Hermione, are you well?” the Twins asked, worried, while eyeing me with mistrust.

“Mh-hm, yes, oh yes, really good even, only a slight headache. You may congratulate me, I managed to keep the professor out! He did not manage to penetrate my defenses!” she happily told the group. I had to force my neutral mask not to slip. The very ambiguity of her words, that she was so indifferent to my physical attack and intrusiveness but also that I had not been able to break her will, gnawed at me, unsettled me and I wondered what secrets this woman possessed.

Why did she not care when I invaded her private sphere? This question would occupy my mind persistently.

“Instead he penetrated elsewhere!” Zabini replied quietly and drily. I threw him a murderous look from dark eyes, which he actually caught and answered with an apologetic shrug of his shoulders.

“What? I am so proud of you, darling. You can pride yourself on that, not everybody manages that. Though, Severus, why did you have to lie on Hermione for that? Not that I'm saying anything, but the meaning hasn’t fully revealed itself to me yet.” he praised her. Even not taking into account that Draco was not capable of the same, his snobistic behaviour when he looked at me calculatingly with a crooked head was out of place.

“Draco, leave the professor alone! We had a mental duel and there was a lot at stake …” she placated him quickly. It was amazing how she managed to steer Draco and that he allowed her to do so. “I think I have permission now to give Harry Occlumency lessons every Tuesday and coordinate that with your sessions, sir, haven’t I?”

I watched my godson go to Granger's coat, which had slipped to the floor, and start looking for something. He withdrew a vial and brought it to her.

“Here, darling, drink it and your headache will be gone!” he showed himself caring. A Malfoy who was worried about others and cared for them? One should circle the date in the calendar. What had this woman done to my godson? That wasn’t him, that wasn’t the boy I knew, it was astounding. But it also made me seethe with rage. What act did she play for Draco when she was confessing her ‘love’ to Potter at the same time? This bitch should not even try to play a double and triple game. I would not allow her to play with Draco’s heart.

“Of course, Miss Granger, you've done well. Do what you want with Potter. I hope you like it in his bed!” I hissed dangerously and wanted to irritate our lovebirds.

“Professor, everyone knows that I've stayed with Harry last night!” She laughed provocatively and Draco rolled his eyes.

“What did you see in Hermione’s memories that you are so vitriolic?” Alas, Draco seemed to know me a bit as well.

“They confessed their love to each other!” I spat in disgust, sitting down somewhat drained in my chair and casually crossing my legs, wanting to enjoy the show that I expected to see unfold.

“Finally! Hooray! Hooray!” the Twins cheered to my astonishment and I straightened up to my full size sitting down and they quickly fell silent. Draco's jaw tightened. He was clearly not liking that information.

“Hermione, finally, that makes me happy ... that Harry finally says he loves someone and then admits it to your face,” explained one of the reds. It was annoying that I never knew which one. The next time I would mark them magically, so I knew was speaking.

Granger did not look at Draco but smiled benignly, then spoke softly.

“I know, I was very happy that he finally told me that I'm family for him. He said, Sirius and I, we are the ones he loves. And yes, I also told him that I love him because he is a brother to me ... satisfied, Professor?” she hissed irritably at me, looking at me coldly until Draco moved, putting a hand on her shoulder, making her gaze at him instead.

“No, Hermione, I'm glad he told me because you would never have!” Draco confessed softly.

“I think we will leave then. Have a nice evening, Professor, until Sunday!” the twins raised their voices, pulling everyone else out. I hadn’t expected it to go like that. Draco had been demonstratively calm, too bad!

I rubbed my face tiredly, feeling physically as well as mentally exhausted. Finally alone. Why had I mentioned Potter in Draco's presence? Because it had made me mad to experience it in her mind. She had deliberately shown me this scene, I was very sure, and she had done it with the knowledge that it would upset and annoy me. She was a minx, a mean bitch, and so I had retaliated.

I raised my glass to my lips and drank greedily. That had been something else. That her will and mind were so strong and unbending impressed me immensely. I would never admit that; I would sooner die an excruciatingly slow death than give her the satisfaction of showing her how overwhelmed I was to experience what she was capable of mastering and coping with, given her young age. What a witch!

This woman would still be our downfall. Potter, Draco, Lucius, even Black and I, yes, I, too, we were all somehow trapped in her spider web. Where would that end?

I had to seek comfort and found it in the glass in my hand. On Monday, she would be mine again for a few hours. Could I get more information out of her then?

End of Snape’s POV
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