I See Monsters
A shrill scream shocked Hermione from her sleep, sending her tumbling from the couch. With a duellist's reflexes, she snatched up her wand and ran into her bedroom, where Ron was supposed to be sleeping, having been stranded at her flat during a storm.
He was still there, thank goodness, but ghostly pale, his eyes huge above the covers he had pulled tightly to his nose.
"Ron, what in Merlin's name is wrong?" she asked, seeing nothing else unusual or frightening.
He pulled the covers down to his chin. "I saw a monster," he whispered hoarsely. "It's under the bed."
"Honest!" Ron insisted, seeing scepticism in Hermione's eyes. "Was horrible. Landed on me, squashing me flat -- a great, black thing -- bigger'n me, even! -- with nasty, staring eyes. And it growled and it scuttled off under the bed. I swear, 'Mione! It must still be there; see for yourself!"
Hermione pursed her lips. A grown man of twenty-seven, scared of... well, in the Wizarding world, monsters under the bed weren't so far-fetched, but in her flat? Besides, was he a wizard or not?
And then the description began to register, and she gazed at the bedskirt with a horrible, sinking feeling.
'Nasty, staring eyes', all right. Severus glared at her accusingly as she lifted the covers to peer underneath. Sorry, she mouthed. Circumstances being what they were, he could only pop in every so often, and what with one thing and another, she'd forgotten his habit of simply Apparating into her bed. But after a moment of true contrition, Hermione had to muffle a snigger. Both men, not just Ron, must've been scared witless. Oh, to have seen the look on Severus' face! Though Ron was bloody lucky to have escaped a thorough hexing.
At her amusement, Severus growled and lunged.
"'Mione?" Ron's voice quavered. His friend was making rather odd noises down there. After some thumps and what sounded like an Apparition, she reappeared.
"S'allright, Ron," Hermione said, red-faced. "No monsters, just, um, a lot of junk threatening to escape."
She nodded. "I'm up early, so it's back to bed for me," she informed him. "If anything was there, it's certainly not now."
"Thanks, 'Mione." Ron grinned sheepishly. "Sorry."
Hermione shrugged as she left. With luck, Ron wouldn't see that the 'monster' had moved to the couch, nor notice the kiss marks she was likely to have come morning.
A/N: Still working on bringing Ashwinder up to date… We'll see how much I can post before I get lazy again. I admit, the inspiring visual for this little set of nonsense was the iconic scene from The Sixth Sense. All part & parcel of living in my head. ^_^;