Literatti: Fiction By Deslea
Under Your Skin
Deslea R. Judd
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairings: Severus Snape/Nymphadora Tonks, implied Salazar Slytherin/Helga Hufflepuff.
Spoilers/Timeframe: Between the wars.
Summary: Tonks always wanted to get under Professor Snape's skin. This wasn't what she had in mind. Just a bit of harmless fluff written for Trick or Treat 2012 at Rarepair Shorts on LiveJournal.
Keywords: Student/Teacher, flirting.
Disclaimer: Characters not mine. Interpretation mine.
More fic: http://fiction.deslea.com
Feedback: Please. deslea at deslea dot com.
Tonks had always wanted to get under Professor Snape's skin. This wasn't what she had in mind.
She thought this grimly as she tended to his wounds as he lay on the stone floor of the Chamber of Secrets. Who the hell knew the damned thing was even real, much less that she could open it?
True, she was of Pure and ancient ancestry, and she supposed it was possible that a drop or two of Salazar Slytherin's blood ran through her veins. Legend had it that he'd been quite the man-whore in his time - including with Helga Hufflepuff, supposedly, and if by chance she was descended from them both, that might explain how she came to be Sorted into Hufflepuff.
The snake was incapacitated, at least (apparently that was also real, and who the fuck thought it was a good idea to keep a monster in a chamber under a school? She was a Seventh Year and even she could see the stupidity of that). She'd fired every spell she could think of, and finally managed to turn the damned thing into a pumpkin. It sat there harmlessly, smiling at her through hideously carved teeth. She'd have destroyed it if she could, but it resisted all her efforts.
It had seemed like a harmless prank. It wasn't as though she disliked Snape. She saw him as a bit of a stuffed shirt, unnecessarily constrained by being a severe young man teaching children not much younger, and by his really unfortunate looks. Once he'd been convinced of her commitment to Potions - and she was committed; she needed it for the Aurors - he'd been really quite supportive. Granted, in an unsentimental, grudging, and often scathing way; but he was Professor Snape.
So the prank had been done without malice. She just...wanted him to loosen up a bit. Wanted to get under his skin just far enough to extract a smile, or, Merlin willing, a grudging laugh.
But it had gone terribly, terribly wrong, and in her fleeing from his fury, she had stumbled unwittingly into the Chamber. He had protected her, and paid for it, and now the only thing she had to save him was herself.
Finally, it was done.
His wounds were closed as well as she could manage, and his shirt was sodden with blood and her wretched, useless tears - the ones she'd shed, before grimly pulling herself together to do what had to be done. This was her doing, and she would fix it. She owed him that.
She cleaned his shirt, and curled up against him, and waited for him to wake.
Snape's voice penetrated the fog of sleep in her brain.
Her eyes flew open. "Professor Snape!" she gasped, throwing her arms around him. She gave no thought to decorum or what he would think, and probably wouldn't have cared anyway. "Thank Merlin you're all right."
He wrestled her off him, pushing her aside and sitting up. "Get off me, you unruly girl. Where's the snake?"
Wordlessly, she pointed to the pumpkin. It was starting to deteriorate. The Transfiguration charm was losing its hold.
"We don't have much time," Snape said, all business. He'd likely have her guts for garters once they were out and safe, but at this point she didn't much care. "Come on."
He Apparated them to his private rooms; they arrived with a pop. At her raised eyebrow of query, he explained, "All the staff can Apparate to their own rooms. It's the only exception I know of, though knowing the Headmaster, I dare say he has exceptions of his own." He peered at her, and frowned. "You're pale. Sit."
Tonks sank onto his couch, her knees giving way, and her composure too. "I'm sorry," she whispered, blinking back tears. "I didn't mean any harm, honestly. I can be silly, but I'd never be mean. Not on purpose."
Snape was leaning back against his desk, watching her curiously. "I believe you, strange as it may seem, Miss Tonks. People don't turn mean after seven years of...of not. I see a great many mean people here, some of whom grow out of it, and some who don't, and you're not one of them. You never were."
She felt a heady flush of relief at that. His regard mattered to her. It had been hard won from a man who gave it sparingly. She felt the knot in her stomach begin to unwind.
"I still have to punish you, of course."
"Of course," she said meekly. Then, with a wicked wink, she added playfully, "You can smack my bottom if you like."
That raised a flicker of a grin. (There it was! she thought in triumph). "Now you are being silly. Fifty points from Hufflepuff, and mind I don't take more for propositioning a teacher."
"Yes, Sir," she said goodnaturedly. Got to her feet and made her way to the door.
She felt a playful swat on her behind.
Her jaw dropped. She turned and looked at him. Not sure whether to be amused or outraged.
Snape was looking at her with one eyebrow raised and a smirk on his lips. "You shouldn't make promises you can't keep, Miss Tonks. A word to the wise."
Never one to entertain much caution to start with, Tonks threw hers to the wind. "Who says I can't?"
Snape shot her a withering look. "Quite apart from the fact that you're playing with fire, it would be improper."
Tonks said mildly, "I'm surprised it's taken you this long to bring that up." She went on, "Do you think I proposition all my teachers?"
"I should hope not."
"Well, I don't. I like you. I know that seems very suspicious to you because most people don't, but I do." It was the truth, but there was also the thrill of a rising challenge, not that he needed to know that. "You're not that much older than me, really, and you're interesting and sensible. And I'm not sensible, not all the time, but I can grit my teeth and get a thing done."
"Like your Potions N.E.W.T.s? You know, those things that are inching perilously close to conflict of interest?"
"Oh, shut up, you insufferable man. Yes, like them. And once they're done, I mean to come and ask you out on an honest-to-God date. And you'll be scathing and insufferable about it, and maybe you'll tell me you're only coming to shut me up about it, but you'll come."
Snape cocked an eyebrow. Said with clear amusement, "We'll see, then, won't we?" He bowed his head in polite dismissal. "Goodnight, Miss Tonks. And watch out for snakes."
She smirked. "Git." Felt the gentle weight of his hand brushing her back as she left. Felt a secret thrill of triumph.
Tonks had always wanted to get under Professor Snape's skin.
And this was exactly what she had in mind.
1. Written for Trick or Treat 2012 on rarepair_shorts at LiveJournal. The prompts were trick - a prank gone terribly wrong, treat - carved pumpkin, and location - Chamber of Secrets.
2. So, the Apparation exception allowing staff to Apparate to their own rooms? In this universe, Gilderoy Lockhart couldn't do so in Chamber of Secrets because he'd abandoned his post and been preparing to leave - therefore, his rooms were no longer his.
3. As for Riddle being the only one who can open the Chamber, I'm not buying he's the only heir of Slytherin, though he might be the most direct one who could therefore command the basilisk.