1. the domination of one's thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image, desire, etc.
2. the idea, image, desire, feeling, etc., itself.
Often not a pretty place to visit and, if Severus Snape is involved, it can also be a dark and dangerous place. All of this week's stories deal with the obsession of one person or another. Take careful note of the warnings. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Want to give Hermione a run for her money in the know-it-all field? Simply play the quiz by commenting on this post with your answers at any time over the weekend. All comments with answers will be screened until the answer sheet is posted on Monday morning EDT. On Monday, all quizzlings with the correct answers will receive a pretty banner to prove their quiz prowess. Ready? Set? Play!
Match the quotes to the story titles without picking the red herring titles:
The Progression of Madness by stickleyhunter aka crickie
Beyond Captivation by Herbologist
Dark Ecstasy by Chantal (abandoned)
Epiphany by melusin_79 WIP
If He Were a Better Man by ubiquirk
Forbidden Obsession by Corazon
Irresistible by kabochon
Revenge in Hot Blood by somigliana
Beguiled by cathedralcarver
The Binding of Hermione by rayvyn2k WIP
Captivation and Obsession by _Levicorpus_
Watching Her by Seva
1. She didn't put up nearly the fight I thought she would, given all I know about her. I knew if she had access to her wand she'd hex me into oblivion, so I had to take great precautions on that front. But, Merlin, she is a strong one! And feisty. And of course I startled her. I was wrong, I realized later, to approach it that way. I should have simply walked up to her, as if surprised to see her, ask her how she was doing, perhaps even invite her to tea. She's well-bred enough that she would have agreed. But, instead I blindsided her, and anyone in that position would fight back. I mean, I would assume.
I managed to get her into an nearby alley, put a full body bind on her and whisper to not be afraid. The look she gave me! I quickly apparated us away to my home, where I put her in the spare bedroom, locked the door and warded it until I figured out how to proceed. My heart! I sincerely hoped I would not drop dead from some sort of attack before I had a chance to appeal to Miss Granger's sensible nature and share with her my plan. Surely once she heard what I had in mind she would jump at the chance to accompany me on my journey. Who wouldn't want to mother my offspring? To transcribe my nearly indecipherable handwriting for new and potentially life-altering potions? Who wouldn't want to glean the knowledge I had to impart?
She would not only be ungrateful, but downright insane not to accept.
2. ‘The solitary figure continued his silent quest. Down the hall. Up the stairs. Around the corner. It was not necessary for him to think about where he was going. He knew where he was going. Every fiber of his being knew where he was going. Both his body and his brain. They knew. They knew because he went there every night. Every night that his presence was not required elsewhere.’
There was a time when he was unnerved by his self-induced psychosis. Was he isolated because he was unbalanced, or was he unbalanced because he was isolated? His inner monologue swirled in seemingly endless circles attempting to reach a conclusion. Or at least it used to. Until the moment he finally came to a realization. There was no correct answer to that question. Either way, he was still isolated and unbalanced. Therefore, the catalyst that brought the voices, and took his sanity was unimportant.
‘The solitary figure reached his destination. Even in the darkness he could read the sign marking the door. ‘Hermione Granger, Head Girl.’ For the second time that evening, a smile crossed his lips. His new fascination was just beyond the oak and metal in front of him. He breathed in deeply. He could smell her. Intoxicating. Stimulating. Overwhelming. Even her smell was more satisfying than his own thoughts. He reached for the door instinctively. Eager. He was ready to see her. And she was waiting for him. Even if she didn’t know it.’
3. Severus couldn’t understand whence his fascination for her came. Was it the way her brown hair with its auburn sheen, a bit less bushy than in his memory, spread out on the cushion supporting the nape of her neck? A nape he wanted to touch, stroke, graze with his canines, so much so that he sometimes woke up with a persistent erection if he was unlucky enough to dream about it. Or maybe the culprit was that lower lip she bit so often, a lip so full that he was sure he could drink in gulps from it? Or her feet, that inflamed his imagination, so elegantly flattered by the crimson cushion they were resting on?
It had all begun innocently enough, a few months after his return to England. The announcement of Albus Severus Potter’s birth in the Daily Prophet had irritated him to no end. In fact, it had even re-awakened his hatred for the scar-head idiot. He didn’t have a precise idea of which punishment he would inflict on Potter, but he wasn’t going to let that idiot use his name without retaliating. That was how he’d found himself tailing Potter daily, so that he wouldn’t miss an opportunity to make him pay for his blasphemy. Severus wasn’t in a hurry. He would find the favourable moment for attacking that idiot. Though he was an Auror, Potter’s life was as regular as clockwork. He left his house nearly always at the same hour, kissed his wife on their doorstep, Apparated to the Ministry, which he left nearly always at the same hour—later than the other employees though. Probably the price to pay to be the chief of the Auror Office. It was by following this routine that Severus one day found himself following Potter, his pregnant wife and their elder child on their way to the Weasley home for a friendly Sunday meal. And all his projects of revenge flew out of the proverbial window as soon as he saw Hermione Granger, pregnant up to her eyes and as ripe as a fruit ready to fall from the tree.
4. Severus Snape watched as the seventh years entered the classroom, retrieved their cauldrons and brought them to their tables. It had been an interesting and amusing term thus far. The hostility between between Potter, Weasley and Malfoy had taken a fascinating turn and it was all due to Miss Hermione Granger. He allowed himself the briefest glance in her direction. Snape had to admit, she had blossomed during the summer. Her hair, which used to be an unruly mess, had been cut in layers which allowed it to curl naturally. And even the school robes could not hide the suddenly luscious curves of her body. He would have wagered his fortune against the gangly Miss Granger becoming such a fetching creature.
Malfoy, true to form, had taken every opportunity during the last six weeks during the NEWT level potions class to make crude and often indecent remarks to her, just loud enough for Weasley or Potter to hear. With predictably explosive results. It had gotten so bad; he’d been forced to give detentions to all three boys. After an evening spent scrubbing cauldrons, Malfoy had contented himself with casting long, lecherous looks at Miss Granger’s breasts and the only thing Potter and Weasley could do about it was scowl at him. The young woman herself had taken the high road; studiously ignoring all of them in favor of concentrating on her studies. Snape was impressed with her behavior in spite of himself.
As he prowled the aisles, Snape had to admit he was concerned about Malfoy’s fixation with the Granger girl. Lucius’ son was spoiled and used to getting what he wanted, when he wanted it. He had been over-indulged and was not used to being told “no”. Once Draco decided he wanted something, he either bought it or took it by force.
5. Back at Hogwarts after the summer vacation, she had looked forward to Potions classes with a new kind of excitement. The difference was a subtle one. Hermione had always enjoyed Potions, being probably the only student in the entire school who did. But then she also enjoyed all of her other classes, mainly due to her insatiable thirst for knowledge. Furthermore, Potions, with its requirement for reasoning and analysis, was perhaps particularly appealing for someone from a Muggle background. She soon realised, however, that this new enthusiasm was not so much owed to the subject itself, but the admiration she felt for the teacher.
Still, this had not alarmed her. Notwithstanding his invidious behaviour towards the students, she had always had great respect for Professor Snape. There was no denying that he was exceedingly knowledgeable and skilled, and she was not going to waste the opportunity to learn from someone so brilliant. She also had never doubted his integrity, often berating Harry and Ron for their conspiracy theories around him, and defending him when she felt he was being unfairly accused, or suspected of wrongdoing.
Yet, somehow, her admiration for her professor was no longer just academic in nature. She had started to notice things about his appearance - his hands, for instance. She could not stop watching them when he wrote on the blackboard, or demonstrated how to prepare a certain ingredient. They were fine-boned and graceful, moving with great confidence and dexterity. His black eyes, too, were staggering. Finding their unwavering gaze directed at you always spelled danger for any student, but now the usual rush of adrenaline that such occurrences caused was joined by a strange, but not entirely unpleasant, fluttering sensation in her stomach. Since the summer, the Potions Master held a new, mysteriously dark allure for her.
6. She was his poison. She was his flu. She was his plague and his pain. She was his obsession, and she was his fear of the future embodied. She was far too dangerous.
But she was also his passion. She was his indulgence. She was his morning sun and sickle-mooned sunset. She was a tantalizing mystery. And she was far too beautiful.
He was sitting at the gathering table in the staff lounge. His eyes were scanning the pages of a dusty, leather-bound book. He ran a hand through his slick hair and returned to his habitual tapping of his overlarge nose. He was the bat of the dungeons, the sweeping-robed, mysterious Potions master. He was harder to read than the most dated Potions journal he could find, and he prided himself on it. He was a recluse, the greatest hermit a densely populated castle could boast of. Even the ghosts were more sociable than the dour professor.
His eyes glanced up at the opportune moment to fall on her curvaceous form. The new professor looked just as she had when she had been fresh out of the final battle with color-stained cheeks and bouncing hair. Simply looking at her neck felt illegal, so he chose to watch others react to her. The younger women shifted uncomfortably when she laughed; the older women looked wistful if they noticed her at all. Since there were not many younger men to speak of, the only word to describe the looks the other men gave her was lecherous. It didn’t occur to him to label himself as such until later.
7. It had been extremely satisfying taking seventy points from Gryffindor for Potter’s late arrival before even a single ruby had dropped into the hour-glass. A good start to the term indeed. He smiled to himself with malicious glee. Severus was looking forward to observing Potter’s reaction to his new post.
His eyes were drawn to Hermione. There was something different about the Granger girl, he noticed. She had an air of confidence about her, a subtle grace in her movements and her customary slouching posture, due to the enormous weight of books she normally carried around in her satchel, was absent. He was not the only male present to notice this transformation; Draco Malfoy, for instance, was ogling her, much to the annoyance of one Pansy Parkinson, who nudged him forcefully in the ribs. In fact every boy over the age of fifteen seemed to glance in her direction at one time or another. This barely noticeable difference to the untrained eye, namely a school full of adolescent boys, merely tickled the edges of the subconscious mind.
To Severus, however, she may just as well have been wearing a sign around her neck proclaiming, ’Guess who got laid during the summer holidays?’
So, he thought, I wonder which one of them managed to get into Little Miss Perfect’s drawers?
Weasley seemed the most likely candidate as he was staring daggers at any boy he saw who had the temerity to look at her. She seemed to be very cosy with Potter though; they had their heads together and were laughing over something.
Pity, he thought. That girl has potential. There was raw power inside that bushy head just dying to get out. He could smell it. Shame to throw all that away on a Weasley, he pondered. What a waste.
Then a most peculiar thing happened. Hermione looked at the High Table, saw him looking down at her and smiled. A jolt of arousal shot down his spine to his groin. He looked down at his plate quickly. That did not happen. I am not attracted to Hermione Granger! He turned to listen to Dumbledore’s welcome speech and tried to forget all about it.
8. “Have you seen what’s out there?” he said, flicking his gaze back to Hermione and Draco.
“As I am not looking for a wife, I daresay I have not, Severus.” Narcissa grinned prettily.
“Foolish, insipid women…clearly not to my taste.”
“Severus, you are a war hero! All you need is a woman with a pretty face and a fine figure who will fulfill your every desire.” She squeezed his elbow.
“What I desire is a woman with a brain, Narcissa. I am not impressed by fluff, no matter how fine. You know that.”
“I do,” she said. “But do you ever think you’ll find what you seek?”
The vision of Miss Granger coming down the stairs was impossible to expel, no matter how hard he tried. “Perhaps.”
“Perhaps you might consider looking closer.” Narcissa’s voice took on a husky tone.
He closed his eyes for a moment, reliving the feel of Miss Granger’s soft lips on his cheek, the smell of roses in his nose. “Perhaps I should.”
“Then…perhaps, you might consider me, Severus.” Narcissa’s voice was light and sensual.
Snape closed his eyes again. This was a matter best handled delicately. He knew he had been visiting often; too much, maybe, but that irritating cow Rita Skeeter had started stalking him as of late. Her letters of adoration and gift-bearing owls were more than he could stand. It was only through the skill of his stealth that Rita had not found him here in Cornwall.
And then there was the very real response he had had to Hermione Granger. A mere girl, but she had awakened something he had thought died when Lily was stolen from him. Merlin be merciful, but that something was strong enough to warrant further exploration. Narcissa, as attractive as she was, had never evoked such intensity. But to deny her would jeopardize his visits here, and he really wanted to be around to investigate his reaction to Hermione Granger. Best not to ruffle Narcissa’s feathers now.
“Perhaps,” he said, turning to look at her. She really was lovely. One day, she would find another husband. But it wasn’t going to be Severus Snape. Not after Miss Granger’s kiss.
9. He’s created an entire cast of ‘regulars’ for her by separating and compartmentalizing his various sexual appetites and moods into disparate personas. Polyjuice allows him to house these creations in distinctly different bodies, and a vocal glamour alters his voice and accent accordingly. He smirks, wondering what the Muggle authorities made of the ‘Haircut Harasser’ – The Sun’s appellation for him when he stunned and shaved the heads of a series of men in Manchester a year ago.
Under each jar of hair rests a sheet of parchment with notes in his personal shorthand. They list the name of each particular john, the particular vocal glamour to use, how to dress, how much to tip. After such mundanities, comes the more interesting information: which sexual acts to request, how long to last, how tender/rough to be, how vocal. Lastly, each provides entries on her responses: how wet she becomes, if she ever truly orgasms instead of merely faking. On a separate sheet, he tracks the frequency of each character used because, except for the three who see her every week on the same days – Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays – he varies the visits enough to allay suspicion.
10. She talks, of I know not what, as I watch her lips move, taking the opportunity of her forced speech to observe them closely, with the pretence of an attentive listener. Indeed, she will never find an audience more so.
I long to kiss those lips. In my mind I feel them, I know their softness intimately, and involuntarily my own tighten. She tilts her head slightly, the silken waves of her hair rippling gently. I’m confident I could count those strands of hair from memory. She has exposed the skin of her neck. The neck that has so often been my near-undoing. I close my eyes, nothing more than an extended blink, and in that moment my mouth is upon her. I bite, I suck, I own. I want nothing more.
Then I return. Return to a loud, gaudy room, a room full of back-slapping sycophants, of drunken wizards in hired robes, and fake, tittering witches, squeezed obscenely into tasteless ball gowns. A room I despise, a scene within which I would never willingly become a character, were it not for the promise of her being leading lady.