Disclaimer: I don't own anything in the fandom, or Jo's brain for that matter. I'm also not making money.
It started with a fairly innocuous loveseat in the library of Grimmauld Place. It was a unique piece of furniture--one of the few items in the house not oozing with dark magic.
A particularly lonely, lovesick member of the Black family had cast a variant of a Mistletoe charm on the loveseat generations ago. The charm activated if soul mates sat together on the loveseat, keeping them from being able to stand without first kissing.
The loveseat did not care if the persons sitting on the chair liked each other. And Hermione and Snape certainly did not like each other.
“Miss Granger, kindly remove yourself from my loveseat.”
“I fail to see how this is your loveseat, Severus.”
“This has been my loveseat since before you so wisely fixed your front teeth, Granger.”
“Oh give over, Severus. Just sit next to me. We’re working on the same research, after all. We might as well sit together in case we have any questions for each other.”
Snape scowls, but sinks into the comfortable seats, stretching his legs out in front of him and sighing deeply.
“Oh, I forgot my tea in the kitchen! Would you like some, Severus?"
She cannot stand.
“What did you do, Severus Snape?”
“Severus…” She hesitates, fear tingeing her voice.
Severus attempts to stand. After several bodily contortions that would have been humorous in other circumstances, he flops back, rather un-Snapelike, onto the seat cushions.
“Severus, what’s happening?”
“I thought he was joking. I thought Black was joking, I swear. Hermione…”
“It must be pretty terrible if after working together for five years, you’re calling me Hermione for the first time.”
He pauses, taking a deep breath. “Black told me the story of this loveseat years ago. What do you know of Mistletoe charms, Hermione?”
Hermione wonders if it is possible to sink between the cushions of this loveseat. Death by chintz wouldn’t be so bad. Soul mates with Severus? Impossible. He has known her through too many years, since she was a child! He hadn’t even called her by her first name until today and then only under duress. He barely tolerates her presence in his laboratory, let alone in his private rooms. She is utterly devastated. How is this even possible?
And how can I ever possibly admit to him the relief I feel by knowing that my longing for him is real?
He has faced his fears many times: his father, James Potter, Remus Lupin, Tom Riddle, hell, even Albus Dumbledore. He’s lived through the return of his Dark Mark, the death of his beloved, and the persistence of Death Eaters since the Dark Lord’s demise. But facing none of these fears has prepared for the absolute gut-wrenching terror that has entered his body.
What if she doesn’t believe me? What if she doesn’t return my feelings? And how in Merlin’s name am I going to tell her how much I love her in spite of all of our history of animosity?
Hermione lifts her hands to Snape’s face, moving his hair behind his ears and looking him in the eyes. “We’re going to talk about this, Severus. And we’re going to be completely honest with each other. Because there is no way in hell I’m just going to kiss you, leave this room, and act as if this charm never activated.”
His face crumples in sadness. She is shocked by the raw emotion playing across his features. His hands come up to fold over hers.
“But how will you ever believe I love you if you don’t let me kiss you?”
Her shock is evident immediately; her eyes widen, her eyebrows raise, and her mouth falls open slightly. Understanding it’s now or never, Snape leans forward and kisses her. He kisses her with everything he has, knowing this one kiss will determine everything else in his life.
Her hands tighten about his face. One hand slips up into his hair, snaking its fingers between his tresses.
From the first moment of the kiss, they are able to leave the loveseat. And yet forty-five minutes pass before Snape lifts her into his arms, carrying her to the guestroom.
Words were not necessary.
AN: Thanks to my lovely beta, tonksinger, for her awesomeness. This was originally written for the GrangerSnape100 "Magical Loveseat Challenge."