Recs

Fic Rec: “Learned Too Well” by Oh-Johanna (Minerva/Severus; R)

Link: Learned Too Well
Author: Oh-Johanna
Characters: Minerva McGonagall/Severus Snape
Summary: The unwritten tale of Severus Snape and Minerva McGonagall through all seven books … and just a little bit after.
Prompt: Image; a copy of the prompt pic is embedded in the story
Rating: R
Word count: ~14,711
Warnings: None

There are a few spelling and grammatical errors in this fic, but not so many that you should avoid this 2007 story that fits the relationship between Minerva and Severus into canon corners, using and building on familiar scenes from the book to show the reader the slow, painful development of what is only questionably a romance between two very prickly characters. Oh-Johanna has a gift for portraying the darker (but not necessarily Darker) sides of her characters’ psyches, and as in her other Minerva/Severus stories (“Stolen Moments of War” and “Another Battle Within“), they behave in ways that both make sense from an in-character point of view and make you want to shake each of them. The result is a believable, painful, and somehow satisfying love story.

Excerpt:

She met his eyes, closer than they had ever been. His face screamed of pain, hidden somewhere, too deep for her to see. Hidden somewhere in his grip. She spoke as calmly as she could through her gritted teeth, “You are a remarkable man. Not at all the belligerent boy who I used to see storming through these halls. Though as ever bitter and proud and rarely anything more than cold. But you and I, indeed, have become equals in our chosen profession as well as our understanding of the world. And as such,” She paused, narrowing her eyes just slightly, “You should have no trouble releasing me, nor of entering into a civilized manner of discourse with a fellow teacher.” She stared defiantly at him.

His mind and body had separated. He should release her, should step out of this room without a word. Should be as cold and proud as she had described him. But he had moved closer, and his hold of her had become more forceful. He saw fear flash across her eyes but she held her ground and did not resist.

She almost didn’t hear him. His breath was hot on her neck and his body.. it was so close. She struggled to understand what was happening. Her knees were growing weak as he neared her and when he spoke his voice was low and rough beside her ear, his cheek brushing against hers.

“Trouble… ah, Minerva, that is the trouble.”

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