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Professor Snape's bushy-haired apprentice had a bad feeling when he began teaching the 5th years a newly-invented potion that used Phalangium opilio parts. Phalangium opilio, often known as 'daddy longlegs'.

Hermione had spent several hours the evening before removing legs from the gangling arachnids, all the while darting her eyes to another pair of gangling legs in the room. She saw the possible problem on the horizon, but said nothing and hoped for the best.

It was with great trepidation that she met him in his office after the first class, bearing a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit.

*

Snape slumped into his chair with a stormy brow. She noted that he immediately pressed his bony knees together and stuffed them underneath his desk out of sight. She longed to stroke his hair and soothe him. She again wondered to herself how a man so strong and brave could at the same time be so sensitive, even to the taunts of children.

"Want to talk about it?" She asked and began ordering some bottles on a nearby shelf to spare him possibly unwanted eye contact.

"There is nothing wrong." He seemed to pull himself together and sat up straighter.

*

Hermione stoked the fire and the room grew a bit warmer, still not losing its dungeon chill. She bustled around his office tidying for a few more minutes then settled at her little desk to the side and began marking 3rd year dragonwort essays. The quality of them stunk as much as the flower did, and she was soon covered in red ink and feeling peevish.

She jumped as his deep voice rumbled unexpectedly behind her, "I rather prefer 'Bat of the Dungeons' as far as nicknames go." Snape said quietly.

Hermione sensed him stepping near behind her and shivered.

*

"Those rotten children." She said indignantly, trying to keep her voice steady as she felt his hand ghost over her hair. She did not turn, but when his nose grazed her cheek, she gasped.

"How did you know, witch? Were you thinking it, too?"
"No! It's just, I know how cruel children can be. All authority figures have nicknames. They call me -- "

"The Harridan, I know."

"What?! I was going to say Miss Danger. Damn them!"

Snape's laughter sounded like a growl against her shoulder. His hair slid forward and fell like a silk scarf down her chest.

*

She flushed, the dungeon feeling hot all of a sudden. "Daddy Longlegs isn't so bad of a nickname in comparison, you must admit."

"I admit nothing! It's outrageous. Those little buggers should be a lot more frightened of me for Merlin's sake!"

He scooted her chair backwards until she was ensconced in it between the aforementioned long legs. Hermione's heart was beating so fast she thought she might faint and didn't trust herself to speak for the moment. Snape took that for tacit approval and dragged his lips up the side of her neck and whispered seductively,

"Besides, I'm nobody's……..Daddy."