Trickie Woo and Grey_Eminence as well as everyone reading this story. Even if you don't review, the quantity of reads makes my day. Of course, I don't know if you finish it, but that's okay.
I'm not sure how the story took this turn... it just happened. Well, you'll see what I mean.
Chapter Twelve: The Second Problem
Mara ran down the hallway, hair whipping in the wind that she created, and came to a screeching halt in front of Hermione's rooms. The door opened at her hand and she turned away automatically. She heard two uncomfortable coughs and a short growl.
"Hi, Hermione, Remus!" she said brightly, a flush growing on her neck. "Sorry about this but I sort of just realized something and it's rather important. Hermione, could I talk to you alone?"
"I'll get you for this, Alexandria," Remus hissed in her ear as he walked by her, back straight. She gave Hermione an apologetic glance and she shrugged.
"What is it?"
She sat down on Hermione's bed as she laid a hand on her softly curved stomach. "I was doing the section on Moon Charms and it hit me that your child might... haveRemus'werewolfgenes," she finished in an unintelligible rush.
Hermione arched an eyebrow in a vaguely Snape-like way. "What?"
"I thought that Sirius James might have Remus' werewolf genes," she said slowly.
Hermione shook her head at me. "Impossible. Lycanthropy is spread through bites, not sex."
"Hermione, have you ever had sex with Remus the day before full moon?" she asked her as she stood up and walked to a window, opening the curtain.
She tilted her head. "No. He's never even come into my room."
"That's because he locks himself somewhere, takes the Wolfsbane, and reaches a dangerous level of testosterone." She rubbed her forehead and imagined saying this to a room full of first years. The sight wasn't pretty. First years... damn, even Snape told me. I am so damn dense. "It's so dangerous, that he will force anyone, male or female, to have sex with him and then he'll end up marking them." She felt sick. "Wolfsbane or no. It's... strong." She shuddered. "If you were eight weeks along at the end of September, your child was conceived somewhere around the beginning of August or the end of July. There was a full moon that week, and testosterone levels start increasing. The more testosterone, the more like a wolf his DNA and nerve structure is, meaning the more wolf-like his semen is."
She looked over her shoulder at Hermione, who held a possessive hand over her stomach. Mara laid one hand over Hermione's.
"I can find out if they're a werewolf, but it'll have to be done when you go to find out their gender."
"And Hermione?" Mara leaned against the doorframe. "Don't tell Remus. It'll kill him. We aren't even sure yet. It hasn't been proven. It's just... a theory based on facts."
When she closed the door, she looked around for Remus. Not seeing him, she walked moodily down the hallway and into the Great Hall, where several Slytherins greeted her cheerily. Hufflepuffs shot her looks of deep loathing and accusation. When Mara sat down next to McGonagall, the Transfiguration professor leaned over to her.
"I've found out what happened."
Mara looked over at her, curious.
"Apparently, the students believe that you and Severus were... kissing in the dungeon corridor last night."
"WHAT?" she yelped, her voice reverberating across the Great Hall. The students looked up at the professor, whose chair was once again lying on its back.
"Sit down!" Minerva hissed and Mara did sit, rather sheepishly, and she buried her face in her hands.
"Exactly what I needed," she muttered. "I had hoped that I was wrong."
"I'm not done yet. Supposedly, a Slytherin saw him leading you to his chambers."
"I woke up in my own bed," Mara said, looking up from her position.
"There are modes of transportation throughout this castle."
"Damn it," she growled deep in her throat. "If you'll excuse me, I have to go talk to someone and hope to hell he can remember exactly what happened."
Mara stalked out of the Great Hall, sweat dripping down the sides of her face, hands trembling. She made her way to the dungeons, looking around and avoiding the knowing looks of passing Slytherins. She found the door to his office and, with a bit of hesitation, knocked lightly. She was rewarded by a growled 'Enter!'. She opened the door and peered around it, at the man hunched over his desk, nose almost touching the paper he was reading. She heard him scowl and he slashed it ferociously with red ink. Mara winced.
"Whose paper was that?" she asked in an attempt at humor.
He gave her a look of vast annoyance. "I don't see what business it is of yours, Alexandria. What do you want?"
She shrugged and got right to the point. "Supposedly, you... deprived me of my virginity last night, and I don't mean by force."
The look he gave her could have murdered armies.
"According to the general student population, of course."
"I have no idea what you are talking about," he said stiffly.
"Snape, do you remember last night at all?" she asked, leaning on the back of a chair in front of his desk.
"Of course I do," he told her haughtily. "We were awarded by that infernal man Dumbledore and then we went to drink some wine..." he trailed off. A look of horror crossed his face and Mara nodded.
"What do you remember after that? Just flashes, right? Any signet rings? For some reason, I remember signet rings."
His left hand touched his right and fiddled with the ring finger. "I wore a signet ring last night. It was gone this morning and I thought that I had merely sent it to be cleaned."
Mara frowned and looked down at her left hand, lifting it experimentally. It did feel heavier, but she had merely put it down to her hangover. She muttered a Revealing Charm and then showed him her hand. There was a silver signet ring there, with two embossed snakes in S-form. It was slightly too big for her.
"Is this it?"
She heard his intake of breath and a sharp, foul word from between his lips.
"Here, take it." She pulled it off her finger -- or rather, tried to. She yanked and frowned and yanked again. It seemed to be glued to her finger. "What the hell?"
"Apparently," he said dryly, standing up,"someone had decided to play a trick on us and it went foul."
"What do you mean?"
"The wine we drank last night -- did you notice that we were actually the only ones drinking it? It was dark red, seemingly from a very good year. It was laced with something and it caused us to – "
Mara interrupted him. "No it didn't. I'm still a virgin."
"And how do you know that? Cleaning Spells and Pain Potions are remarkably effec -- "
"Remus. I met Remus earlier and a freshly deflowered virgin is something Remus could smell in another country."
Snape frowned and stepped in front of his desk, leaning against it and crossing his arms. "Well, something happened to do this and I don't like it one bit."
"But why do I have your ring and why can't I take it off?"
A dangerously amused glint entered his dark eyes and he pushed an errant strand of hair out of his face. He looked not only amused, but vastly irritated, worried, and angered.
"Clearly, you are now my fiancee."
*frowns* See what I mean? Oh well.
I really need you to tell me if this is okay. I'm not sure how this happened... *is terribly confused as plot bunnies cackle evilly*
Next chapter: Mara prepares for the conference, which has dawned at last, and Dobby provides some of that infamous help of his...