The Burning Pen
You Promised It Would Be Forever
by Ruth Solomon
The story content is adult in nature and can contain graphic sex and violence. Those under the age of 18 are asked to leave this site immediately. You are not welcome here. The author is not responsible for those under-aged who view these works.
Disclaimer: All recognizable characters belong to JKR. All situations are mine. No $$$ is being made from this fanfic.
Chapter 20 ~ Therapeutic Role-Play
Hermione's next therapy session was held in her rooms with Gwendolyn on a Saturday. Severus saw the medi-witch arrive and hurried to his room to turn on the speaker box and listen.
The healer and Hermione arranged two armchairs to face each other. Gwendolyn sat in one and Hermione sat in the other. The healer saw that Hermione was on edge and for a while they discussed how her new class was going until the witch relaxed. Then Gwendolyn reiterated how well Hermione had done with her therapy and how she was sure she could get through this final situation if she were honest and sincere with her ex-husband.
"Now Miss Granger, this is going to be role-play. I will be you and you will be your ex-husband and respond to me as you think he will respond to you. Is that clear?" the healer asked the witch.
"All right, I will begin with approaching you to talk," the healer said. "Um, excuse me Severus? I'd like to talk to you in private."
Hermione scowled at the healer.
"What could you possibly want to talk to me about, Hermione? The divorce papers you gave me said it all," she said snarkily.
"I just want to explain what happened. Why I did what I did. To say I'm sorry," Gwendolyn said.
"Hermione, I'm not interested in why you did what you did. The fact is you did it. You divorced me and publicly humiliated me. Sorry will not cut it. There is nothing you can say to me that will ever make me forgive you. Ever. Now if you will excuse me," Hermione said.
Her amber eyes were glistening with tears.
Gwendolyn sat back and studied the witch.
"Surely he wouldn't react like that, Miss Granger," Gwendolyn said.
"You don't know my ex-husband. He knows people make mistakes but believes they have to deal with the consequences of them. He'll think that I'm just making excuses," Hermione said sadly. "He won't forgive me. I hurt him too badly."
"Hermione," Gwendolyn said softly, "I want you to understand something. This apology is for your healing. Whether or not he forgives you is secondary. You need to attempt to tell him anyway. If he refuses to listen to you, then at least you would have tried. That will be your closure."
"But I want him to forgive me, to understand that I wasn't myself…I want him to know that I still…still…"
"Still love him, Hermione? Surely you weren't intending on tacking that on to your apology? It would be too much. You would be opening yourself up to rejection. If you think he won't accept your apology, what makes you think he would accept your love? You are trying to work past your hurt, not add more. What you are focusing on is telling him what happened and that you are sorry to have caused him pain. That is what you need to say to him, and that is all you need to say. Don't give yourself false hope that there will be anything more. Actually, you are closing a chapter of your life, and not trying to reopen it," the healer said rather strongly.
She needed to make Hermione understand this apology was not going to be a magic fix-all.
Severus listened to Hermione's imitation of what she imagined he would be like when she came to apologize. A few months ago, that might have been exactly the response she would have received from him. But he had come to understand what had happened with her through the sessions. He would not be that cold to her now. He already knew she was deeply sorry.
For the first time Severus found himself at odds with the healer's advice. If she still loved him, he felt that she should tell him and put it out in the open. He might not tell her he loved her back, but still she would have let it out. He frowned a bit.
To be honest, he had an apology or two to make himself. She wasn't totally alone in the dissolution of their marriage. He shouldn't have said he wanted to walk away. He didn't have to sign the divorce papers. He could have refused. But he had been so shocked and stunned that she wanted to divorce him, he simply did what he thought she wanted. He had second thoughts afterwards and tried to reconcile, but it was too late.
He continued to listen.
"Let's try this in a best case scenario. I'll be your husband and you be yourself," Gwendolyn said.
"But you have no idea how he is," Hermione protested.
"This is role-play Hermione, just go along with it, all right? Neither of us is going to capture him perfectly," the healer replied.
"All right," Hermione said, taking a deep breath, "Excuse me, Severus. I would like to talk to you in private about what happened between us. I want to try to explain to you what happened. I never meant to hurt you."
"Where would you like to talk?" Gwendolyn asked her.
This brought Hermione up short for a moment.
"In my study," she said.
"Certainly," Gwendolyn replied. "Lead the way."
"Severus would never be that reasonable about this," Hermione complained.
"Stay in character!" the healer hissed, scowling.
Hermione composed herself.
"Please sit down, Severus. Can I get you something? Pumpkin juice? Firewhiskey?" she asked.
"No, I'm fine," Gwendolyn said.
"Severus, I just want to say I am so sorry for the way I treated you. After Jacob's death, I fell apart, I just didn't realize it. I blamed you for things that you had nothing to do with, and made demands of you that you couldn't possibly fulfill. I was selfish and self-centered. Nothing mattered but how I felt and laying blame. I treated you horribly. I left your bed, I called you names, and I made you miserable for two and a half years. I don't even know why you stayed with me. I was a horrible wife. Then when you got fed up and said you wished you could walk away, I ran with it and managed to get the Ministry to grant us a divorce. If I had been myself I would have never treated you in such a way. I just want to say that I am sorry I destroyed our marriage and hurt you so badly, and want to ask for your forgiveness. Please forgive me, Severus. Please," Hermione said, her eyes glistening.
Gwendolyn waited a few seconds.
"I forgive you, Hermione," she said.
"Severus would never just say 'I forgive you.' He'd have more to say than that even if he did forgive me, which he won't," Hermione sighed.
"But what you said was fine, Miss Granger. That is exactly what you need to tell him. Short and honest. If he doesn't respond, then that is all you can do," the healer said.
"I shouldn't tell him I still love him?" she asked the witch.
"No," Gwendolyn said flatly, "There are two reasons actually, Miss Granger. The first is, as I said before you opening yourself up for rejection and even more pain, and the second…I don't quite know how to put this delicately…is that your ex-husband might be unscrupulous and take advantage of your vulnerability to initiate…intimacy without giving you any commitment."
Hermione didn't respond to this. She was thinking she would be willing to have sex with Severus if he wanted her, commitment or not. She missed his passion and had been dreaming about him in that way. Hell, even if it were payback sex she would be fine with it. She owed him for hurting him.
Severus smirked a bit as he heard the healer's warning.
Yes, he really was that unscrupulous. But he already knew Hermione would be willing, that she was willing to let him fuck her. Considering her masochistic streak, she probably thought he owed her a payback fuck for putting him through what she did and if she did feel that way, she was definitely turned on by it. Hermione was a twisted little witch.
The problem was, if he did fuck her, what would that mean? Would she take it as they were back in a committed relationship? Would he? Did he want that? The witch loved him, and if he were intimate with her, she might take that to mean he returned her love, rather than he was just sating his lust for the familiar.
Hell, he didn't even know if the connection was still there. The subtle link that made sex with Hermione meaningful beyond just sticking his cock in her warm body. It might be wise just to accept her apology, forgive her without going any further.
"Well, Miss Granger…now it's up to you. I suggest you see your ex-husband as soon as possible before you lose your nerve. We will have a follow-up session to see how everything went. If you've gotten closure and feel you have done all you can do and are satisfied with that, most likely your treatment will be over. If not…then I will continue to see you as long as need me to."
Hermione looked up at her.
"Gwendolyn, who is paying for this treatment?" she asked the witch.
Gwendolyn looked at her.
"That is confidential information, Miss Granger. Suffice it to say I am well paid for treating you. But even the individual who pays me is not privy to anything we discuss. All of our sessions are private," the healer said, extending her hand to Hermione, who stood up and shook it. Gwendolyn headed for the door and pulled the torch.
"Good luck, Miss Granger, and remember time is of the essence," she said, exiting.
Hermione sunk back down into the armchair.
"He's never going to accept my apology," she said to herself, "but Gwendolyn's right. I have to try. I'm a Gryffindor. I can't just give in to a Slytherin without even trying."
Severus arched an eyebrow at her comment. She was going "House" now. That meant she was garnering her courage to face him. She would most likely approach him tonight, after supper, waiting until the last possible minute.
He'd be ready for her.
A/N: The moment is approaching. Hermione did a pretty good imitation of snarky Snape. Wonder what he's going to decide? Questions. Questions. Next chapter ought to hold some juicy answers. Please review.
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