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Title: Misplaced
Author: Twinkledru J.
Rating: R, to be safe. Very dark, hints at sex (but not much more than hints, as I suck at straight and m/m sex scenes).
Notes: I know, I know, I'm going to hell for writing Snape/Ginny, even if she's a sixth-year. *shrugs* I'm going to hell anyway, I might as well not stifle the muse.

"You let me desecrate you/You let me penetrate you/You let me violate you/You let me complicate you/Help me/I broke apart my insides/Help me/I've got no soul to sell/Help me/The only thing that works for me/Help me get away from myself..."
-Nine Inch Nails, "Closer"


When he found the girl in the gardens that night, she was crying the tears of one ashamed to reveal their grief. When he startled her, she looked up at him, and for a moment, it flashed onto her face, clearer than it had been for weeks.

Weasley had looked increasingly upset as the last few years had gone by. But her distress had been unique from that of her classmates in one aspect. Her pale, worried face wore not only fear and tired determination, there was something intriguing there: guilt. A quick look of guilt -- no, *shame* -- flashed over her face when she looked at her housemates. There was shame in her eyes when she looked at McGonagall.

But he saw it the most when she looked at him.

Apparently, teachers made rounds of the Hogwarts grounds during the Ball, on the lookout for young Eaters-in-Training ganging up on Muggle-borns, or simply for couples who'd snuck off for a bit of privacy. Snape had stumbled upon her there, and the two of them had stared at each other for a few moments.

"Are you -- all right?" he asked awkwardly, seemingly more out of obligation than concern -- after all, her family was a pure-blood one which had never given in to Voldemort; a Weasley was as good a target as a Mudblood like Hermione.

She sniffed, cursed herself at having been found like this. She knew Snape was a double agent, of course, but what if it had been Malfoy or one of his little compatriots?

"Fine," she said quietly. "I'm sorry, I just -- needed a little time to myself."

"The Ball's almost over," Snape said coldly. "You'd better get back inside or you'll be missed."

"Yes, sir," Ginny whispered.

Perhaps teachers had drinks at the Ball, stronger than those the students were allowed, and that was what had prompted him to do it. Perhaps the stress of his double-agent status had finally gotten to him. Perhaps it was just the weather.

He kissed her then and it was everything she had ever imagined from a kiss and nothing she had ever imagined from him. He was gentle, careful, almost sweet. As he pulled slowly away from her, he reached up to brush a lock of hair out of her face, but drew his hand back, and seemed to realize what he'd done.

Snape opened his mouth -- for the first time since she'd come to Hogwarts he seemed visibly shaken and without a proper retort -- and seemed to be ready to say something.

She kissed him back. Harder than he had her -- she could feel all of the fear and confusion she had inside of her bubbling to the surface and intensifying now, and it gave her a sudden burst of adrenaline (though *not*, apparently, survival instincts).

What could possibly have prompted her to confess it she would never really understand. Maybe it was a search for some weak explanation, maybe it was an offer of what he could have had.

But at that moment, she had confessed the words that had haunted her for years, the words she heard Tom speaking in her nighmares still though she'd never even told him this. "The Hat -- six years ago, when I was being Sorted -- it wanted to put me in Slytherin."

Snape said nothing, just stared at her some more.

"I asked it -- I told it that I wanted to be different from my brothers," she fumbled out. "And it said to me -- "

(And even as Ginny was standing in the gardens confessing this darkest of her secrets -- something she'd never even told to Tom Riddle when he was in her diary -- she was back there in the Great Hall and could feel the teachers' eyes burning into her back as the Hat sat on her head.)

"It said I had honor -- "

'Enough pride and honor to make Godric Gryffindor proud -- "

"And that I was smart, really smart -- "

'Yes, there's wit in this brain of yours, little Weasley...plenty of intelligence here, you'd do Ravenclaw no small amount of justice...'

"But then it found something -- "

'Hmm...oh, my, *this* is interesting...'

"I wanted to be different from them -- from Bill and Charlie and Percy and Fred and George and even poor Ron -- "


That word had been like a blow to her stomach, and she knew that it had found everything she had hidden from her family, every need for greatness and wish for power and fame and new things and *recognition*.

"And it told me I'd be -- "

'A brilliant chapter -- '

"In Slytherin's history."

But she'd been afraid at that moment, terrified, and suddenly begged every deity whose name Mum had ever invoked in anger or fear to change its mind, her parents would disown her and Ron would feel like she'd betrayed him and what would *Harry Potter* say?

And it had worked; the Hat had called out "Gryffindor!" and that had been the end of that.

The first Friday after the Yule Ball, he knew that there was a table reserved for him in Hell. Even repenting to Dumbledore for his crimes as a Death Eater couldn't redeem him from this sin.

But it was hard to keep that all in perspective when she snuck down into his office that night.

The girl had tried to kiss him again, but he had stiffened against her, resisting the expression -- he wasn't fool enough yet to try to convince himself that this was anything nearing the purity of romance for either of them. For her, it was hormones, hormones and fear and the idea that he was the one person who might be able to start to understand her. For him -- she was quiet, and she was willing, and he needed some kind of release.

When he hadn't kissed her back, Ginny had seemed offended, hurt, and pulled away. "I'm sorry," she whispered, blushing madly and turning to leave.

"Januam," he snapped, and the door slammed shut in front of her. Weasley froze, and he could see her shoulders heaving, her breath laden with fear, lust, anger, maybe all of the above. He could practically *hear* her body shaking as she stood there, her back to him.

Carefully, Ginny's hands moved up to her neck, and she tentatively unfastened her cloak as he strode across the office and wrapped his arms around her tiny waist. She stood, trembling like a leaf against him, as he pulled her cloak off of her shoulders and let it fall to the floor, pooling between their ankles. He laid a hand on her abdomen, pressing her lightly against him, and with the other hand brushed aside her hair and kissed her softly at the base of her neck.

Ginny's fingers fumbled as she reached up and began to unbutton her blouse, but finally it was open. The girl sucked in a breath as he kissed her neck again, further forward now, closer to her pulse point, even as he slid the hand on her stomach down the tiniest fraction of an inch. She was shivering less now, but he could feel her pulse racing against his lips, could sense how tense she was.

He fought, for several moments, with the urge to wrap her up in a gentle embrace, to carry her back to her dorm or to simply let her leave, to make love to her here, tender and gentle, and try to make up for some of the pain she's had to feel during this losing war.

It wasn't his place.

It wasn't what either of them was here for, and she would understand that eventually.

So instead, he pulled her to face him as she shed her blouse and bra, and avoided his eyes, as though this were another test in class and she was certain she would fail. Ginny seemed to lose her strength as he kissed her again, this time at the tiny hollow at the base of her throat, between her collarbones. She fell against him, his arms, wrapped around her shoulders, the only thing keeping her standing. In that moment, he straightened a bit and, trying not to remain stationary for fear of giving into that nurturing instinct, guided her the last foot or so until she was leaning against one of the cold stone walls.

Mentally, he would curse her later for not bringing him to his senses by crying or simply taking it or giving him any kind of sign that she felt this was wrong.

(because it was it was it *was* dammit and if he didn't remember that...)

Instead, damn her, she had actually seemed to *enjoy* it of all things.

(and that was *wrong* because people weren't supposed to enjoy his company in the least let alone sex with him)

She had panted and whimpered and, he got the impression, would have screamed had she not been afraid it would give them away. And when it was over, she had even

(crime of all crimes)

seemed to understand what this was now -- that this had only happened

(be honest now, Severus)

*would* only happen because they fit each other's needs.

After all -- he was a warm body for her, someone who would from here on out restrain from judging her for who was he to judge, and someone who might be able to begin to understand her.

And she --

she was quiet.

And she was willing.

And she was real.

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