Disclaimer: Harry Potter, the universe (the HP one, not the actual one) and all its characters are owned by J.K. Rowling, and various publishers including, but not limited to Bloomsbury. I make no money from this, and the story is written purely for my own personal enjoyment.

This story - although not any recognisable characters or settings - is the copyright and property of the author. Please do not post, archive or in any way reproduce this story. Links to this page are fine.

Rating: NC-17

Notes: PWP plain and simple. Written in response to a time challenge – produce PWP and post within 48 hours of challenge being made. Minimal plot, little attempt at character development and much smut. In short, no redeeming social virtues whatsoever. Hopefully fun <vbg>.

 

THE FOURTH UNFORGIVABLE

 

Professor Hermione Granger came back to herself with a start, and realised that she had just spent the last ten minutes staring into space. Reluctantly, she refocused her attention on the pile of parchments in front of her. Each one denoted an Arithmancy assignment that needed reading, correcting and grading. Her heart sank a little further.

It wasn’t that she didn’t like the subject. She was as passionate about Arithmancy at the age of 25 as she had ever been at fifteen. It wasn’t even that she didn’t enjoy teaching it – mostly. It was just that even she got tired of the relentless grind of wading through the same errors, repeated time and time again. Looking down, she sighed, and dipped her, now dry, quill into the pot of red ink on the table. Concentrating on the symbols in front of her, she began to add her own patches of red hieroglyphics. She tried her best to remember that her students learned at different paces, but on occasion she was forced to wonder how hard it could be to remember that both sides of an equation had to balance. Especially since they had all opted for the subject, which suggested they felt they might possess some aptitude for it.

She felt a brief flash of empathy with Professor Snape. After so many years, no wonder he was short tempered with his classes. And his were compulsory. She wondered, if she were still here in twenty years time, whether the students would regard her with the same mixture of terror and hatred that they directed at Snape. And whether she would regard her students with the same attitude of contempt and loathing.

She hoped not.

But, the way she was feeling at the moment, she rather suspected that she might.

The thought of Professor Snape raised some interesting questions in her mind. Returning to Hogwarts as a teacher had been a disconcerting experience, to put it mildly. On the whole she had got on well with most of her teachers, even counting some of them as her friends in an odd sort of sense. However, there had still been a certain strain as both sides adjusted to a relationship of peers. Curiously enough, that adjustment had been less with Professor Snape than for some of the others. He had barely tolerated her as a pupil, and made that fact quite clear. Now, it appeared, he barely tolerated her as a colleague, and continued to make the fact clear. But he seemed to extend the same level of intolerance to all of his colleagues, not just her.

If you analysed it back in a certain way, you could almost argue that he had always treated her as an equal.

She snorted.

Now, that was a deeply twisted line of reasoning. Very appropriate to the man himself.

But still… there was definitely something about him. Every so often, she thought she noticed him watching her, although he always looked away if she caught his eye. Occasionally, when he wasn’t thinking, the sneer would fall from his voice, just leaving that soft, silky undertone. And once, when she had needed a particular potion made for her, she could recall standing in his classroom, transfixed by the deft, graceful movements of his hands back and forth across the workbench, his precise and intense concentration on the physical actions of potion making.

And in those moments, she was aware of a uncomfortable lurch in the pit of her stomach, and she found herself imagining those deft hands trailing over her body, and that intense concentration focussed only on her.

Her fifteen year old self might have been able to dismiss these thoughts as yucky, but her twenty-five year old self understood that part of relating to him as a man meant accepting that he was just that – a man. An intelligent and strong man, with a foul temper and a vicious tongue, and the social skills of viral pneumonia. But also a man to whom she felt a strong physical response, whether she liked it or not.

And sometimes, when she moved past him at dinner, or when she took the seat next to him at staff meetings, she felt him tense and withdraw. As if he responded to her equally strongly.

Speculating about Snape – she supposed that her status entitled her to call him Severus, but it still didn’t come easily to her – was preventing her doing any useful marking. Sighing again, she decided to take a coffee break.

Standing by the window, with her hands curled around her hot coffee mug, she let her gaze travel idly over the Hogwarts grounds. From her rooms, she could see across the great expanse, almost to the lake. To the left her view was bound by the Forbidden Forest. She was not really looking at anything in particular, when a dark movement caused her vision to focus. A black shadow, moving towards the castle. Slow. Halting. Painful. Familiar.

Snape, she realised with a jolt of shock.

The figure passed out of her line of sight, presumably into one of the entrances to the dungeons.

She wondered if he needed any help. Of course, she had no idea what he might be doing or what might have happened to him. And if he was in trouble, she was pretty certain that she was one of the last people he would want to see.

Nevertheless.

It was not in Hermione Granger’s nature to turn away from any human being when they were in trouble. Regardless of her own feelings – or, indeed, those of the person she intended to help.

Pausing only to shrug a set of robes over the baggy shirt and trousers that she had been working in, she headed for the dungeons.

**********

Arriving at the potions classroom it was clear to Hermione that something was very wrong. The heavy, iron-banded door was ajar. Something that Snape never allowed to happen. Cautiously, she pushed it open, and peeked inside. There was no sign of him, or anyone else for that matter. The classroom was still, nothing obvious out of place.

Carefully, she moved down the classroom to the door of Snape’s office, wand out, just in case there were any wards or other unexpected surprises.

Nothing.

The door to his office was closed, but the latch clearly hadn’t caught fully. A push with her finger and it swung open. Again, highly atypical behaviour for Snape, who was almost pathologically protective of his inner sanctum. It was dark inside, and she entered  slowly, allowing her eyes to adjust to the light. Sneaking in like this gave her an eerie sense of déja vu. Swallowing the feeling, she carefully examined the room, trying not feel like a trespasser.

Again, nothing.

Maybe he had just gone somewhere else.

Maybe there was nothing to worry about.

But the sloppy security told Hermione a different story. There had to be some access to his private chambers from here. Leaning against his desk – clear of all paperwork, she noted – she surveyed the room consideringly, trying to detect anything out of place. Eventually, she moved to one of the sets of shelves lining the wall. On first glance it looked no different from the others, but on closer inspection it seemed fractionally out of alignment. Holding up her wand, Hermione murmured “Alohomora”. Her guess was spot on. Obediently, the shelves swung back to reveal a door.

An open door.

Not a good sign. Not a good sign at all.

She moved to stand in the doorway, getting her first sight of Snape’s private chambers. As she took her first step over the threshold, the shelves closed smoothly behind her. She pushed down any concerns as to how she might be going to get out of here, and looked around for the man himself.

Still, nothing. The room itself could be described as falling somewhere between spartan and uncluttered. The actual decor was surprisingly pleasant – chairs and a sofa in warm earth tones, a thick, geometrically patterned rug in front of the fireplace, an actual fire in the hearth, further warming the room. Nothing that could really be described as ornaments, but lots of books and scrolls, and one or two interesting looking items, that could have as easily been obscure potions ingredients as works of art. And two doors leading off the main room.

However, a notable lack of Potions Master.

She stood very still, trying to get a sense of the environment. Which was when she heard it.

A faint, high keening.

The sound of something in pain.

A sound which was coming from the other side of one of the doors.

Quietly, she moved across the room. The sound did not get appreciably louder, but rather simply increased in intensity. This time, when she reached the door, it was quite firmly shut. She tried the handle, and was curiously disturbed to discover that it was only shut. Not even locked, let alone warded.

Seriously worried now, she entered the room.

Snape’s bedroom.

Again, despite the man’s tendency to project as a caricature from a Gothic novel, the room was comfortable. No four poster beds with claustrophobic hangings. A simple wrought iron double bed, with a quilt thrown over it, in an attractive burnt orange. A soft chair again in earth tones. Another geometric rug. Some chests of drawers in mellow cherry wood. A full length mirror on the wall. And a large painting on the wall – African, perhaps, she thought – all sunset colours and vivid blues.

Who would have imagined such a dark man surrounding himself with colour?

And then she saw him – monochrome against the carefully constructed background – a curled up ball of black, huddled on the floor at the end of the bed. He radiated something … pain perhaps… maybe something else. The sound was coming from him.

Hermione’s mouth went dry. Tucking her wand back in her sleeve, she took a few steps towards him, hand instinctively outstretched. Then she stopped in confusion, not quite certain of her next move.

“Professor Snape?” she said tentatively.

There was no response – nor let up in the high, insistent sound.

She took another step forward, and placed her hand gently on his shoulder.

“Severus,” she said softly. “What is it?”

He jerked back as if he had been burnt, raising his head to look at her. His face was drawn with the strain of controlling something – she couldn’t tell what – and his dark eyes were haunted. She watched him visibly comprehend who she was, and the expression in his eyes became overlaid with a sort of horror. She made a conscious effort not to flinch away.

“What is it?” she repeated.

“Get out,” he hissed at her. “Now.”

His voice was thick with something and the pain was now apparent.

“Do you want me to get Poppy?” she asked, reasonably, trying to conceal the worry in her voice.

“No, you stupid girl. I want you get out.”

“Not until you tell me what’s wrong, or let me get someone for you.”

“You can’t be in here. You have to go.”

“Why?”

Hermione had no intention of budging so much as a foot without an explanation. However, instead of telling her what was wrong, he just buried his head in his arms again, apparently unable to look at her.

“I should have thought that your own intelligence would give you that answer, Miss Granger.” The words were harsh, but the tone was ragged, and his voice nearly broke on her name. “Get out,” he repeated. “That should be clear enough for you.”

Hermione had begun to narrow the possibilities down.

“Cruciatus…,” she began, but was cut short by his mirthless laugh.

“Nothing so simple.”

“Oh.” Clarity was beginning to dawn.

“You understand now, do you Miss Granger?”

“Priapus,” she said evenly.

“Precisely.” His voice was biting, raw, humiliated. “Now your curiosity has been satisfied, get out of my rooms.”

Slowly she backed away from him, out of the bedroom, and into the living room. Then she let out a long breath, and ran her hand through her hair in blank confusion.

Priapus.

The fourth Unforgivable. The one people forgot about. The one that they sniggered at. The one they told dirty jokes about. Cast on a man it brought him immediately to a high state of sexual arousal, but denied him release. The only way to neutralise the curse was for the victim to have sexual relations with someone. Full, penetrative intercourse to get technical about it. Simply jerking off wouldn’t do. To get rid of the curse you needed another person, willing or unwilling.

Imperius, Cruciatus, Avada Kedavra – everyone recognised them to be appalling abuses of magical power. But Priapus? Surely that was the world’s most effective chat up line? If you don’t make love to me. I’ll die. Really. Young wizards joked about casting it on each before they went on dates. Hell, she’d even heard Harry and Ron do it.

Except that it was far from a joke. Denied release, the arousal did not subside, but continued to mount. At first it was simply uncomfortable, then it became painful, culminating in sheer agony. A flood of hormones disrupted the body’s sensitive chemical balance, leading to increasingly aggressive and destructive actions. The victim’s blood pressure increased until small blood vessels began to rupture, and then the larger ones. The final stages of the unrelieved curse were madness and death.

Not even remotely amusing.

And someone, or something, had cast it on Severus Snape.

Hermione felt her throat tighten. That explained why he was so keen to get her out of his rooms. He knew what would happen if she stayed too close to him. And he hadn’t wanted to put either of them in that position. Which was all well and good. She could walk out of here, and get Poppy Pomfrey, or Albus Dumbledore - hell, she could go and get bloody Hagrid -  and it wouldn’t do a blind bit of good if he wouldn’t let them physically near him.

Her earlier speculation about his reaction to her resurfaced in her mind. Did he respond to her? She certainly thought that he did. Which led to the rather disturbing conclusion that she might be the only person who could get through to him enough to do something about the curse. And he was also obviously already in pain. She also didn’t know how long she had before he started to suffer irreversible physical damage.

It didn’t look like convening an emergency staff meeting to consider the problem was going to be an option. Either she had to deal with it, or he was going to die. She had no choice, really. And a faint tension in the pit of her stomach told her that she was finding the prospect ever so slightly exciting.

Resolutely, she began to unbutton her robe.

**********

When Hermione went back into Snape’s bedroom, she was wearing nothing but her underwear, with the baggy shirt over it. He hadn’t moved, and the high sound of pain hadn’t lessened either. She walked over to where he was huddled, and crouched down in front of him, placing her hand firmly on his shoulder. He shuddered.

“Severus,” she said firmly. “I can help you with this.”

“Why are you still here?”

“Because I care far too much about you to walk away and leave you to die, when there’s a simple way for me to prevent it.” And she was astonished to discover that that was nothing more than the truth.

“I don’t want your help.” The words rejected her, but his arms had already uncurled to reach for her.

She knelt within his embrace, and leant forward to place her lips on his, intending to be as gentle as possible. His response was immediate and savage. His right hand came up to tangle in her hair, grasping the back of her head, as his mouth claimed hers with bruising passion. She felt the kiss searing into her as she opened her mouth to let his tongue thrust inside, exploring, tasting, biting at her lower lip. Fire exploded within her and a hot pulse began to throb between her thighs. All thoughts of gentleness gone, she pressed her own tongue into his mouth, stroking and exploring, tasting the mint and spice of him.

He groaned into her, and she felt his other hand grasping for the front of her shirt. She heard the fabric tear as he ripped it away from her body. His mouth left hers to burn down her throat, pausing to worry the sensitive spot at the base. She threw her head back with a small cry. Her excitement had now blossomed into an aching red-hot need to feel him touching her. She pressed herself into him, nipples already hard, trying to stimulate herself against the rough cloth of his robes. His hands were now running up her back, finding the catch on her bra and releasing it, still deft, despite the driving urgency of the curse and their mutual desire. She shrugged off both her undergarment, and the remains of her shirt, leaving her body exposed to him. His hands slid round to cup both of her breasts, running his thumbs across her taut nipples, drawing inarticulate sounds of pleasure from her. Then one hand left her breast, to be replaced by his mouth, sucking and biting at her nipple. She arched and cried out again, burying her hands in his hair, holding his head into her.

His free hand now snaked down to pull at her panties. She took one hand from his head, and, awkwardly, fought to help him. The pressure between her thighs was nearly unbearable now and she needed relief, needed to feel him inside her. Somehow, she got free of the sodden piece of cloth, and moved to straddle his lap. She fumbled with the fastening at his groin, aware of the hot hardness of him and the coarse material of his robe chafing the sensitive area between her legs, triggering white hot bolts of sensation.

He made an odd sound of pain against her breast, as she rubbed against his erection in her efforts to release his clothing.

“I have to have you now,” he choked, his hand fighting frantically with hers at the buttons.

“Yes,” she managed, “please, Gods, do it now….”

Then he was free, and she could lower herself onto him, both of them crying aloud at the moment of joining. She couldn’t quite tell if it were pain or pleasure or part of both, but as she moved up and down along him, he made sharp, breathy sounds, in rhythm with their strokes. His fingers dug into her hips and his face was buried in her breasts as they rocked together. Some part of her was trying to hold on for as long as possible, but Hermione was losing control at the rapidly spiralling ecstasy within her and as his thrusts became more desperate, the exquisite friction drove her closer and closer to the edge. His breathy sounds were now closer to sobs and her fingers clenched on his shoulders as the world broke apart inside her. His hips drove up into her, his body went rigid, and any sounds she made were lost in his anguished cry of pain and release.

Still breathing heavily, Hermione pulled Snape towards her, to hold him as shudders of physical reaction ran through him. She was feeling a little shaky herself after the explosion he had just triggered within her. Feeling him slide out of her, but not moving from his lap, she let him rest his head against her chest, and closed her eyes, simply waiting. Neither of them moved for a long time.

Then she felt him stirring against her again, just the faintest twitch against her thigh. He felt it too, for he moved to look at her for the first time. The wildness had gone from his eyes, although they were still heavily shadowed with something.

“Hermione,” he murmured. She couldn’t tell if it was a question or a statement or a plea.

“It’s all right,” she whispered in reply, not really knowing if it was, but needing to say something to reassure.

He nodded.

This time, he kissed her. It was a much more giving kiss, but no less intense or demanding. As if the curse had been countered, or at least dramatically weakened, by their first coupling, this time he was slower, taking her bottom lip into his mouth, sucking gently and tracing the outline of her lips with his tongue. Cupping her face with his hand, and letting his thumb caress along her cheekbone, fingers stroking her jaw. Now, she could let her own hands feel the contours of his face, learning the stark planes and angles of his features. Letting the sensations within her begin to build, inch by inch, instead of erupting in a violent conflagration as they had earlier.

His mouth left hers and began to taste its way along to her ear, tongue finding the sensitive flesh, and making her shiver, one hand running through her hair, the other between her shoulder blades, pulling her to him. The contact with his body reminded her that he was still almost fully clothed. This time she wanted to feel his skin against hers, and she reached for the buttons of his robes. As she moved, he suddenly stopped and held her closely. Then she felt him shift position under her, and he stood up, still holding her. She was pulled up with him, and then he turned, and laid her down, very gently, on the bed behind them. The mattress was firm, and she pushed herself backwards, to watch him quickly shedding his clothes, never taking his eyes off her. Even in the present circumstances, he was graceful and sure of his actions, not hesitant, but not rushed either. He was lean and well muscled. A fine dusting of black hair covered his chest. He had hair of the same colour at the top of his legs around his penis and balls. In fact, his growing arousal was evident, but she realised, with a surge of excitement, that he had also regained a large measure of his self-control.

Naked, he lay on the bed beside her, covering her mouth with his again, running one finger along her jaw, down her neck, and across her breast to circle her nipple lazily. She made a small sound of pleasure into his mouth. He broke the kiss to murmur:

“You like that don’t you?”

“Mmm,” was her only response.

“How about this?”

His mouth replaced his finger at her nipple, taking his time now, swirling his tongue round the hardness, teasing at the pebbled flesh, and suckling gently.

“Oh. Yes,” she breathed, twisting to keep as much of her flesh as possible in contact with his mouth. Abruptly, he released her, and she gave a small squeak of protest, which became a gasp of delight as he blew on the wet flesh. His finger returned to its circling as his mouth claimed her other nipple, lapping it to a equal pitch of sensitivity.

He trailed his free hand across her belly to tangle his fingers in the dark, curly hair that covered her mound, caressing her, but never quite getting to the point she desired. Shifting at the sensations, she pushed her hips up against his hand, seeking release from the building pressure within. One finger slid into the warm wetness between her legs, and she opened herself to allow him free rein. Gently exploring, his mouth still on her breast, he stroked her swollen folds, dipping into her, spreading her own wetness over her thighs, and her tight, aching nub. She had lost any pretence of restraint now, breath ragged, body and mind reduced to a single, simple craving for his touch.

Then he was trailing hot kisses across her belly, as he traced a path down through her curls. Any protest at leaving her nipples died, as his mouth found the shrieking bundle of nerves between her thighs, and began to tease her again. He moved slowly around her, tongue investigating every inch of her, lapping up inside, making her jerk against him every time he hit a sensitive spot. He was leading her little by little, letting the feeling build gradually, always pulling back just when she thought she couldn’t stand it any more.

She knew her breath was coming in sobs now, but she couldn’t stop them. Her breasts were aching, hypersensitised and she ran her fingers across her own nipples, toying with them, arching into her own hands, needing to feel some skin contact. There was a pause in his ministrations between her legs, and she looked to find him watching her play with herself with an intense expression in his eyes. The shadows had gone, to be replaced with naked desire. Not the uncontrolled raging she had seen earlier, but something much more focussed and directed. She was beginning to wonder whether, in fact, he was still under the curse, but the thought fled almost before she could grasp it.

She found she had regained the power of speech.

“Do you like that? Watching me?”

“Oh yes.” His voice was a low growl. “Very much.”

“How about this?” One of her hands slid down her stomach, to bury itself between her thighs. “Do you like watching me do this?”

He pushed himself back on to his heels. She could see he was rock hard, and fluid was glistening on the tip of him. Eyes fixed on his face, she spread her legs a little further, so he could clearly see her fingers as they circled her nub, and then disappeared inside her, making her gasp and close her eyes as she touched her own sensitive flesh.

“Ah, Hermione….”

She opened her eyes at that – his voice sounded thick and almost close to tears. But his face betrayed no such expression, only undisguised want. She withdrew her hand from herself, and smiled at him a little wickedly.

“Or this,” she suggested in a low voice. “Do you like to watch me do this?”

She swiftly turned herself round, and took the full length of him into her mouth. His hands buried themselves suddenly in her hair, and she thought she heard him choke out “Gods.…” Slowly, she drew her mouth along him, caressing his balls with one hand as she tasted and licked, savouring the musky, maleness of him. There was another taste as well – herself, left from their previous coupling. The combination made her own arousal spiral upwards again. He was making sounds deep in the back of his throat that told her he was unmistakeably enjoying what she was doing to him. His hands ran over her head, and down to knead convulsively at her shoulders.

There were few things that felt better than giving pleasure to someone that you care about, she thought fuzzily, as she felt hot wetness flood her thighs again.

From the salt taste, she didn’t think that he could be too far away from his own release. As if he had sensed her thought, Snape moved his hand to push her head away.

“No. I want to be inside you. Please.”

To hear him ask of her like that sent a fierce wave of… something… through her. She reached up to pull his head down to her and kiss him passionately. His arms went round her, and together they fell backwards on to the bed. Propping himself on his elbows, he positioned himself between her thighs, still kissing her. She bent her knees, tilting her pelvis so she was brushing against him. With one hand she reached down, and dragged her fingers teasingly along him. At his guttural sound, she relented and guided him into her.

This time he was slow, entering her so carefully, that she swore she could feel every inch of him moving up her.

“Does it feel good?” he asked softly, as he slid inside.

“Oh. Yes,” she managed as he finally sheathed himself fully.

He held still for a moment, and then began to pull out very slowly, almost to the point of releasing her. He paused again for a moment, and then returned, as slowly as the first time. Hermione ran her hands down his back to caress his hips and cup his buttocks, urging him into her. He bent his head to kiss one of her nipples, sucking on it briefly.

“Patience, sweet. There’s no rush,” he murmured silkily, velvet tones enfolding her.

He kept up the slow rhythm of retreat and return until Hermione’s entire consciousness was centred on the agonisingly slow friction between her legs, igniting flames of sensation throughout her body. Then just when she really thought she could bear it no more, he began to increase the pace.

“Oh yes,” she breathed again.

“Yes?” His voice was rough and choked now, velvet snagged over something much sharper.

“Yes. Please.” It was her turn to ask of him.

“Ah, sweet,” he responded, as his thrusts became harder and more insistent.

And then there was nothing but him and her and the fire between them, and blinding light and falling into warm, satiny darkness.

**********

When sight and hearing returned, he was holding her tightly, and she had managed to wrap her own arms around him as well. She moved her head slightly, partly to get more comfortable, and partly so she could drop a light kiss on his collar bone. He shifted at the contact, and began to run a hand gently up and down between her shoulder blades. She snuggled in closer to him.

“Are you cold?” She felt the question through his chest.

“No.”

“We can get under the covers if you want.”

“I’m fine. It’s up to you.”

A pause. Then he spoke, not exactly nervously, but a little diffidently.

“I suppose I should thank you.”

“Believe me when I say it was my pleasure.” She managed to put a slightly seductive twist on the last words.

That got a small chuckle out of him. Good. About time too. Then another pause.

“Hermione?”

“Hmm?”

“You know that it only took the first… encounter… to release the curse, don’t you?”

He sounded like he was expecting her to be angry. She smiled against his chest.

“I wasn’t exactly certain, but I was beginning to suspect something of the sort.”

“You’re an extraordinary woman.”

“And I thought you didn’t like me.”

“Do you have any idea how difficult it is, sitting in a staff meeting, next to someone, trying to discuss late homework, when all you can think of is how badly you want to strip off all their clothes and make love to them?” he growled.

“Maybe. At least, I certainly think that I’m going to be finding out.”

“Vixen.”

 

END