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Title: Possibly Maybe
Author: Twinkledru J.
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: Rowling/Bloomsbury, not I. Summary, title, and occasional lyrics belong to Bjork.
Summary: how can you offer me love like that?/my heart's burned/how can you offer me love like that?/I'm exhausted/leave me alone
Notes: Snape/Hermione.

She thinks if she tries hard enough tonight she can remember why she was here in the first place, or maybe other such silly details as where she came her from, and perhaps (miracle of miracles) who she is.

Her last clear memory of Before is of a dark room -- fear and anger and hopelesness and of knowing that it was all lost, and there are dead, too many dead (she doesn't remember their names either, or even who they are, but they are dead and they were dear to the person she remembers being and that might bother her if she remembered being that person). And then there is a high, cold laugh she knows too well (or knew too well) and a flash of hope after all the pain because now it might end, and someone whispers something, and there was a flash of light, and then she woke up in a hospital.

Ran from the hospital because of an uncontrollable knowledge that *they'll* come after her (without even knowing who they are but *that* makes no difference), only to realize she has no idea who she is and knows only the basics of this world.

And it seems that there might once have been another life and a world where the things in the films were real, but this she assumes to be only another sign of her own insanity and more evidence of the fact that her amnesia is only a side effect of said insanity. She's held down a few trivial jobs in bookstores and restaurants and people always whisper wherever she works about the sad strange girl.

The police came to her once calling her Granger, but the people they brought her to were strange, and she ran from them too, and disappeared into London and started just calling herself Lily, a name she remembers from Before the laughter. Lilies, she knows, in some trivial store of useless information apparently undamaged by the laughing man, are symbols of resurrection in general and one Resurrection in particular, so it's appropriate in some way (though she can never quite decide which way -- in the sense that she's been given a new life or in the sense that she's seeking a rebirth to her old one).

She goes into clubs sometimes -- the stranger, the better. She is drawn to the strange one and feels closest to home (whatever home may be) in the ones filled with glitter and colored lights and eerie makeup and if need be drugged-out kids. It is in them that she is closest to that feeling that maybe all the fairy tales aren't tales after all, and she wonders if maybe just maybe her insanity isn't insanity after all and maybe one day a white knight will come riding and sweep her out of the bookstores and back to the castle to be locked away with more books for the rest of time, happily ever after. And when she's here the daydreams don't seem quite as silly, because the kids around her are stoned enough to believe that they can fly then she can believe that the stories are true.

It's Valentine's Day when she meets him there, finds him at the bar. Actually, that's not quite right, more like he finds her. He is checking her out, and she knew walking out that she must look incredibly silly in her black corset with a single, tiny red rhinestone in the shape of a heart on one of the straps, and the slinky red satin skirt and silver, glittery platform shoes, but in here it doesn't feel quite as silly.

He is brooding at the bar, staring out at the world with general contempt on his face, but when she meets his eyes, he seems to almost maybe possibly gasp in surprise? As though she's someone he knew long ago and never expected to see her again or maybe he was here looking for her but never truly believed he'd find her. And she almost wants to say she knew him Before, but that would just be too easy, and she's learned that all these that the only places all those leads really lead to is to her being lied to again.

But he's still good-looking in an 'angst-ridden dark avenger old enough to be her father' sort of way, so she continues to check him out and feel him checking her out in her corner and finally she sashays over to the bar in time to the music, wondering why it is that she should fear him as though he was a teacher and she ought to be ashamed of her behavior (the obvious answer to that, because she should, she ignores because it's one of those *un*helpful responses remaining in her from Before).

He seems startled at her certain approach but the surprise is gone by the time she sits down and orders some ghostly girly drink which arrives neon purple in the black light. She downs it quickly, and passively notices his reaction of puzzlement and intrigue.

But he finally turns to her and gives no indication of familiarity and she doesn't pursue the matter, because it's Valentine's Day after all, and it would be nice to at least entertain the notion of having her white knight for now (or maybe her beast, she's not yet certain which).

And she nearly fell out of her chair in shock when out of thin air he conjured a red rose, which he handed her without changing his expression of contemptuous intrigue. "You are?" he asks, his fingers lingering just a little too long on hers for her not to feel a giddy little thrill and another shiver as though this were a violation of some ancient taboo.

"Lily," she says, distracted by the rose. Some sleight-of-hand trick, no doubt, but he can't have many roses hidden up his sleeves and it's flattering that he wasted this one on her.

He seems even more startled by her name than she is by the rose, and he stares at her in an obvious expression of familiarity.

"Lily," he repeats, voice shaken.

"Uh-huh," she responds, toying with the rose (its long stem totally thornless).

And then he grabs her by the wrist, hard, and she stares at him in concern, wondering if she oughtn't to fear for her safety, if he might not be a bit mad

(but some tiny little part of her mind is telling her that no, this is actually It, that He is from Before)

but he breathes deeply and releases her just as quickly. She pretends, then, that it never happened (because this is a crowded place and she's in no danger from him as long as they're where the bartender and the bouncer can see them).

She wants to ask who *he* is now, and the question is forming in her mouth and that tiny little part of her brain is screaming ask him ask him you worthless wretch, but she cannot handle another no and can't take him snatching his rose back and disappearing into the crowd again.

At that moment, though, one of this deejay's favorite songs comes pumping over the loudspeaker

*possibly maybe probably love possibly maybe probably love*

it's the remixed version of the Bjork song, but this one seems to get to her more than the original, and she jumps right now for it always seems to nag at that part of her mind which remembers all of the dreams which fade when she wakes and showers in the morning and which remembers Before (but it's not the part which is screaming at her, this is important to remember).

She wants to pull him onto the floor where people are grinding more slowly, rhythmically, it's less of a craze and closer to an actual *dance*.

But at that moment, a young man who looks more like a fairy than any of the fully Ordinary people here practically appears out of nowhere, and he *does* recognize her, she can tell, and something in her recognizes him and screams and screams and wants to get away because he's not the laughing man but he is *close*.

"Dear God," he whispers, a predatory look in his gray eyes, and she wonders how a man as skeletally skinny and effeminately beautiful as he could evoke such terror in her. "They'll let *anybody* into this place nowadays."

"Draco," the dark man says, "this is Lily."

And the blonde man narrows his silver eyes at her and laughs a little and it's a short caustic cruel laugh but it's not *that* laugh. "Right," he says. "Lily."

*possibly maybe probably love possibly maybe probably love*

The blonde (the Dragon, she remembers), holds out his hand with the same cruel smile. "Well, *Lily*," he says mockingly, "care to dance?" It's not a request, but an order; he's an aristocratic young prick but she cannot refuse him, though she can feel a silent rage in the dark man behind her (still nameless). The Dragon seems to see it on the nameless man's face. "What's the matter, Sev?" he asks mockingly. "Slip her some of your famous Love Potion in a drink? Well, we all know how *you* tend to fuck things up for us, so leave this to me, lover boy," he snickers, pulling her away already.

There is something hypnotic about the Dragon though she hates him with a fiery passion which she cannot recall feeling ever After. It stays there as he pulls her onto the dance floor and she follows because the almost familiar anger is better than the semi-contented cluelessness.

And they go with the rhythm but there is a certain *off*-ness to it as he moves her, not really grinding against her but rather letting her do the grinding, a slow motion in time with the beat, and there's an even deeper contempt on him than there was on the dark man as he wraps his arms up around her back and grips the backs of her shoulders and begins to *thrust* up against her, as slowly as the beat of the song about possibly maybe probably love. His pants are a strange leather, almost like reptile skin, but like no reptile she's ever seen, and she is so drawn up in the hate of him and the *aliveness* she feels for the first time in years as she is hating him that she can't help but be drawn to him further. The Dragon pulls her closer, his fingers gripping her individually and locking her in place here as they get away with things clothed that would get them arrested if they did them naked -- he leans down towards the end of the song and bites her shoulder, not hard but hard enough for her to feel like if she tried anything he didn't like he might rip her throat out.

Then she's yanked away from him by someone behind her and finds herself pressed against the dark man again, and this time there's a more pronounced glimmer of recognition and dislike but not the *hatred* she feels for Draco.

"Get out," the dark man says, and his voice is rough rough rough almost too rough for her nerves but still smooth and low and sweet and she could stay there all night listening to him reciting the most dull of documents and putrid of poetry. "Go have your fun somewhere else, Draco."

"Why should you have all the fun?" the blonde asks, pouting all sultry like. "Tell you what, Sev, we'll share. After all, I don't mind getting a little mud on me at an opportunity like this -- "

The dark man mutters something she can't quite understand, latin maybe and she *knows* it she knows she knows it but she *doesn't* know it, not really. But it makes the blonde give a little scream or squeal (screal, maybe) of pain and maybe even fear, and he spits at them both and says something about his father not letting the dark man get off easy this time, but he leaves and even though she wishes he wouldn't because the hatred brings her so close to Before, she's glad because it's such a non-balance between the horrible contentedness and the knowing hatred.

He is holding her gently now, tensely below the skin she can feel but gently on the surface, and seems to want to comfort her but feel that it's not his place, but he reaches up and strokes her hair, leans down and kisses her ear, sucking on the earlobe just enough to make her shudder and feel some similar recognition (but knows she *never* felt this for Whoever He Was when she knew him Before) in that extreme of shivery lust.

And a new song starts, this one twinkly and sleepy and mysterious and still Bjork (this deejay she's met a couple of times, she recalls, a redhaired dimpled girl who reminds her still of someone she knew Before but *isn't* that boy, but she's obsessive over Bjork), and suddenly "he invents a charm that makes him invisible" has a whole knew meaning as he summons another rose out of the air, this one an even deeper bloody red which he traces along her collarbone and she remembers the story of the girl who asked for a red rose just blooming and found herself trapped in a castle with a beast who swore unending love for the woman who would make him less beastly, and she wonders if she ought to swoon to make the fairy tale complete.

When she wakes up in the morning her bed is cold and all traces of him are gone except for more frustration and anger and terror, real terror because he was part of the Laughter, this she knows and she screamed when she saw his tattoo last night and locked herself in the bathroom naked and he used his sleight-of-hand to get in and calm her gently, but kept that arm away from her.

And for all of that, she feels more alive than she has in years and wonders if its possibly maybe because she's afraid or possibly



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