It wasn’t easy for Snape to put Jessica out of his
mind. It was as if an image of her innocent blissful face was tattooed to the
back of his eyelids. Every time he closed his eyes he would see her standing
there in front of him wearing the most inconsolable look he had ever seen
before. His harsh words had truly hurt her, partly because she didn’t deserve
the slander, and partly because she was only trying to be a friend to him. It
was foolish for him to have blown her off so insensitively. Perhaps he would
have taken pleasure in having her company for part of the day. At least then he
wouldn’t have had to sit there alone all afternoon and all evening.
For the simple purpose of avoiding Dumbledore and
his impeccable sense of the all-knowing, Snape remained down in the dungeons
for the rest of the day. If truth be told, Snape was feeling unusually guilty
for the way he had treated the Headmaster’s grandniece and had no intention to
allow Dumbledore to confront him about the incident until after he’d had a
chance to put it straight.
So instead of joining the rest of the professors for
an appetizing meal in the Great Hall, Snape sat behind his desk in the Potions
classroom trying to think of an appropriate way he could give Jessica the
apology she deserved. It had been ages since Snape had apologized to anyone for
anything and the task therefore came as a great challenge. It was just
something he never felt was necessary before. His angry words were always in
order… or at least he thought they were.
This time, however, Snape knew his words were
inexcusable. Whatever had gotten into him back in the Slytherin corridor, Snape
knew he had to make up for it. He couldn’t let Jessica go on thinking he
believed all of those things about her.
Sure she was sarcastic, but her puns were never
meant to offend him. She was a sweet girl and Snape knew it. She was perhaps
one of the sweetest young women he had met in a long time, and not to mention
the most attractive one, too. Snape remembered how enthralled he was when he
first laid eyes on her. His mind was blown away and he felt his jaw nearly
dropped to the floor. And when he saw her smile and speak those first words to
him, he could have sworn he felt himself float a couple of inches off the floor.
For the first time that evening, Snape found himself
wanting to see that image of Jessica when he closed his eyes. With a long sigh,
he leisurely fell back into his leather chair and crossed his arms over his
chest before closing his eyes.
Immediately he could see Jessica, and sure enough,
she was wearing that broken-hearted look he last saw before driving her off.
Even his stone heart shattered at the image. Snape would have done
anything to turn that frown upside down. As much as he hated to admit it, he
enjoyed seeing her smile. Jessica had a beautiful smile to go with a beautiful
face. Everything about her was perfect, right down to the fine dimples in her
Somewhere in the middle of a dream, Snape imagined
all of the things he could have said to Jessica back in the corridor. Instead
of being the epitome of abysmal as she so called him, he could have been
the gentleman he scarcely opted to be. He could have shown Jessica the way back
to the Hospital Wing, or he could have invited her to his quarters for a little
while. They could have shared a drink or two and he would have asked to hear
more about her life. Besides Dumbledore, there wasn’t a single soul living at
Hogwarts whose existence had ever intrigued Snape. Now Jessica’s existence had Snape
curiously wanting to know everything about her. Where had she come from? If she
wasn’t a Muggle, but rather the heir of the greatest wizarding family in the
history of wizards, why didn’t she know any magic? And why was she so
Maybe if he had been kind, or at least tolerable,
Jessica would have given him an opportunity to get a closer look at those rare
green eyes or permission to touch that creamy ivory skin. There was no fooling;
he knew he wanted to feel whether or not her skin was as soft and smooth as it
looked. He’d give his wand if it meant he could have a single moment to hold
her warm flesh against his. He’d pamper her face in his hands and smooth his
lips across her own.
Although many found it hard to believe, Severus
Snape was capable of feeling affection for others just as any other normal
human being. He certainly didn’t feel affectionate as often as other people,
but as often as pigs could fly, he did.
Jessica knew he had blood flowing through his veins.
She’d seen it the first time they’d met. He had his share of masculine need,
too. His desire to have a woman by his side or in his bed wasn’t exactly a
priority, but he was just as hot-blooded as any other man on the grounds of
Hogwarts. Perhaps right now he was becoming even more hot-blooded than the
rest. He had a fixed vision of himself with Jessica exploring the many
fascinating destinations just one warm and passionate kiss could take them.
The image seemed so real it had his blood soaring
through his veins at top speed. Every time he pictured Jessica lips gliding
over his own, Snape’s body temperature kicked up a notch. He could feel his
body starting to sweat. The drips of perspiration tickled his skin as they
slowly trickled down his forehead.
Snape imagined he could feel Jessica brushing her
fingers along his brow and then gazing into his eyes with a look of utter
delight. Her lips curved into a smile and she began to speak.
“I love you, Severus,” she whispered to him
as she pulled his body even closer to her own. “Hold me until I die.”
“I will,” Snape spoke aloud.
Still unwilling to wake from his trace-type fantasy,
Snape held his eyes shut and continued to imagine himself beginning to make
love to Jessica. Being with her was a wonderful feeling. Being able to touch
her and kiss her was an even greater feeling. Nothing Snape had ever
experienced before felt this wonderful. It had been a long time since he’d last
held a woman, and none of those women held a candle to Jessica.
The gentle touch of her fingers to his skin and the sweet
nectar of her lips was nothing to be compared to the tainted intimacies of his
past. The memories of all the other women were left behind along with the
memories of his past life. They were all like that; just Death Eaters, or women
who were only in love with the fact that he was a Death Eater. Snape knew
Jessica was more than that. She had to be. Her kiss was too pure to be a simple
feeling of lust. The intimacy of their nude flesh pressing against each other
in the most sensual embrace felt so right, Snape was certain she was meant to
It all felt so real right up until the moment Snape
felt a firm hand tap against his shoulder a couple of times. Snape’s head
bobbed up immediately and he opened his eyes. All images of Jessica shattered
and Snape realized it was all just a dream. He was still at his desk in the
Potions classroom and Argus Filch was standing there to his right.
“Excuse me, Professor,” the caretaker began,
ignoring the stunned look on Snape’s face. “The room’s due for a cleaning.”
Snape wiped the sweat from his forehead and then
looked around the classroom. He saw the assembly of cleaning supplies behind
Filch and then looked back at the caretaker. He nodded his head and then stood
up from his desk. “It’s midnight already?” Snape asked, knowing that was the
time Filch arrived to clean the Potions classroom.
“Aye,” Filch confirmed. “A bit after.”
Snape nodded and then politely left the classroom to
go to bed. It was too late to do anything else. Jessica was probably already
asleep. If Snape wanted to apologize to her, it would have to wait until
* * *
The next morning Jessica was up bright and early
again. She spent a couple of hours in the Hospital Wing looking after a couple
of students until Madam Pomfrey arrived. They ate their breakfast together and
then Jessica left to do some more exploring of Hogwarts… far away from where
her curiosity had taken her the day before. If Jessica never saw the dungeons
of Slytherin again, it was all peaches and cream to her.
After walking through the gardens for a few minutes,
Jessica found herself a bench and took a moment to sit and relax. She nestled
her back up against the arm of the bench and lifted her feet up onto the
opposite end. She picked the bottom of her dress up to cover her legs and then
crossed her ankles over each other. She took one long deep breath and then
closed her eyes as she sighed.
Jessica kept her eyes closed for a moment and took
the time to listen to everything that was happening around her. The birds were
chirping, the breeze was blowing and the gentle flow of a stream ran quietly
beside her into a small pond. It was a bit lonely, but at the same time Jessica
felt more at peace than she had in a long time.
Jessica knew her uncle was right in
suggesting she try to make some friends among the staff, but Severus Snape
certainly wasn’t going to be worth another attempt. He had already made it
perfectly clear that she’d only be wasting her time. It may simply have been
due to the fact that Snape was prejudice against the way Jessica was raised, or
perhaps it was just because she was the Headmaster’s grandniece. Either way,
Jessica was certain Snape had no interest in befriending her.
Dumbledore may have been one of the
most intellectual wizards of all time, but this time Jessica knew he was wrong.
He had to be! There was no magnificent man lying beneath that hideous shroud of
black who called himself Severus Snape.
Even if such a man did exist, it wasn’t
worth the time it would take to find the friendlier side of him. In fact,
Jessica thought it was a waste of time just thinking about him. He wasn’t worth
a fraction of her thoughts. Jessica didn’t think she needed to worry about what
had happened with him yesterday. He was just a miserable man who lived a
miserable life devoted to making everyone else feel like they should be
miserable, too. What he said to her was just a routine act. Jessica had a way
of knowing it was nothing to take personally. So why did she still feel so hurt
“Good morning, Jessica.”
She jumped at the shock of hearing her
name being called from thin air. Jessica quickly turned her body around and
then saw him standing there a couple of feet behind her. She groaned quietly
and then rolled her eyes away from him.
It was Snape, and as usual, he was
dressed in black from neck to toe. Jessica looked down at his overcoat and
noticed that the hole he had burned into it yesterday was gone. Such a thing
didn’t surprise her though. She wouldn’t have even been surprised to hear that
the pants he was wearing were the same pair she had torn on Halloween night.
“What brings you out here?” Jessica
finally asked. She saw Snape taking a couple of steps closer to her and
instantly took her feet off of the bench.
“You did,” he said and went around to
sit next to her. He folded his arms over his chest and stretched his legs out
in front of him. A couple of jet-black strands of hair fell from behind his ear
and covered most of the side of his face. Although he didn’t look at her, Snape
continued speaking to Jessica in a moderate tone. “Madam Pomfrey told me I’d
probably find you out here.”
Jessica raised her eyebrows like she
didn’t care and then crossed her legs away from him. She gently began to bounce
her foot up and down. “Then that means you were up at the Hospital Wing looking
for me?” Jessica asked, even though she thought the answer was quite obvious.
“I was there,” Snape assured, still
refusing to look her in the eye.
“Why did you bother?” Jessica asked.
“We’ve got nothing to say to each other.”
Snape began to nod and then tucked his
hair back behind his ear before finally turning his head her way. “You’re wrong
about that,” he said. “I do need to speak to you.”
“About what?” Jessica asked.
“About what happened yesterday.” The
look in Snape’s eyes was cold and serious, but at the same time seemed
remorseful. Jessica looked back at him and gave him a very curious look. For a
few moments their gaze remained fixed. Snape made sure he had Jessica’s full
attention before he spoke again. “I want to tell you that some of the things I
said to you were untrue and uncalled for.” Although Jessica swiftly turned her
head away from him, Snape kept his eyes fixed on hers to help guarantee his
sincerity. After a moment of her silence, Snape tilted forward slightly until
he could see her face again.
The array of emotions he saw flash
across Jessica’s face made him unsure of whether or not his apology had been
accepted or if it had just angered her further. She crossed her hands over her
shoulders and then blinked her eyes as if she were expecting a couple of tears
to be there to blink away.
“Only some of the things?” she finally
asked and looked back at him.
Snape nodded his head and turned his
body to face her. The corner of his mouth turned up into a smile again. “Right,”
he told her. “I do find you annoying, and even you can’t deny that you are
sarcastic and meddlesome.”
“I’m not angry with you because of the
things you called me,” Jessica said. “I know I tend to be sarcastic at times,
but I’m not arrogant and I’m not spoiled. I don’t even know how you found out
Albus is my uncle, but if I ever did decided to mention it, it wouldn’t have
been in order to gain advantage over you or anybody else.”
Snape nodded in agreement. “I know,” he
said. “I don’t believe you are spoiled like I once thought. I shouldn’t have
said anything of the sort.” His eyes finally turned away from hers. Snape
thought of all the things he still wanted to tell her but found himself lacking
the courage to do so now that she was really here in front of him. He’d thought
of everything he wanted to tell her earlier that morning, only now his mind was
“Is that all you have to say to me?”
Jessica asked, knowing that he needed the encouragement to continue with his
“No,” Snape began. “I’d like to take
back what I said about not liking you. When I told you up at the Hospital Wing
that you’re all right, I meant it.” His sentences were spoken slowly and in an
almost broken pattern. Jessica watched him carefully knowing that his struggle
to speak was completely due to the fact that everything he was telling her was
coming from the bottom of his heart. Although he couldn’t quite look her in the
eye, Jessica knew Snape was telling her the truth. He did like her.
“You had no right to say those things
about my family,” Jessica continued, remembering that those were the words that
had truly hurt her. “You don’t know anything about my parents nor anything
about how I was raised.”
“No, I don’t,” Snape agreed and turned
his head to look at her again. “But I’d like to know. If you want, I’m willing
to listen and learn. We can trade stories with each other like we would have
yesterday if I hadn’t gone off on you.”
“What makes you think I want to tell
you anything about myself?” Jessica asked crudely. “You’re a perfect stranger,
and you haven’t quite given me a good enough reason to forgive you for all that
was said yesterday. A simple apology isn’t going to cut it.”
“Then what will cut it?” Snape asked
decisively. He bent his arm over the back of then bench and leaned himself
closer to Jessica so that his face was only a couple of feet away from hers.
The closeness forced Jessica to look him in the eye and answer his question.
“Well,” she began. “Maybe you could…”
His face was very still. All of a
sudden she couldn’t think of anything more she wanted him to do to make up for
what he said yesterday. Jessica saw it in his eyes that he truly wanted her to
accept his apology. Although she couldn’t explain why, Jessica knew she had to
forgive him and honour her uncle’s request to search for the real Severus
Something in his gaze had a way of
drawing her attention to him like a magnet. She forgot about how much he had
hurt her and then disregarded her demand for another apology. After all,
Jessica knew right from the start that he didn’t really mean those things he
said. He deserved to be forgiven without further ado. Something forced Jessica
to put a hint of a smile on her face and then she started to feel strange, as
if she was now seeing him through someone else’s eyes.
Snape’s gaze remained fixed on hers. He
moved his hand over to touch the soft velvet sleeve of her dress and slowly
began to caress the purple material between his fingers. At that same instant,
Snape noticed that Jessica was slowly moving towards him, closing the small gap
Other than the sudden fierce pounding
of his heart, Snape’s entire body stopped moving when he realized exactly how
close she was going to come to him. He watched Jessica close her eyes and then
gently tilt her head to the side before she touched her warm lips to his.
At first, he met the beckoning of her
lips with hesitation - hesitation that quickly turned to ecstasy after he took
a half second to realize that she was kissing him!
Jessica held still for a moment and
then smoothly stroked her lips once over his. Her lips were softer than he ever
could have imagined. And when she reached her fingers up to touch his face,
Snape could feel his entire cheek numb and tingle with pleasure. It was all too
perfect. Jessica’s kiss was nothing like he had imagined last night. This kiss
was real! Jessica’s touch of warmth and feeling was nothing to be
compared to the weary imagination of Severus Snape.