A/N: A huge thanks to Shinigamioni and TrisanaChandler13 for looking this over.
Disclaimer: JKR owns the world and characters of Harry Potter, not me. I am not making any money from the posting of this story.
Beauty of Nature
I am so sick and tired of hiking up this hill. Hermione bent over, breathing heavy. "Are we almost there?" she shouted up the hill.
The older man stopped, turning to face her. He had no problem walking up the hill.
"Hermione, you are the one that wanted to come collect potion ingredients with me." The two of them were in Romania looking for the leaves of an elusive plant. The plant was the Caltha palustris, and it had bright yellow flowers with wavy leaves. It only grows in the mountains, which was why they were hiking upwards. The leaves could be crushed into a paste, used in his potions regarding skin irritations.
She huffed. "Severus, you made it sound like it was going to be more fun!"
He rolled his eyes. "We are having fun, aren't we?"
She grumbled something under her breath.
"Did you say something, Miss Granger?" he asked, glaring at her.
He always reverted to Miss Granger when he was mad about something. "No, Severus, I didn't say a word."
"And let's keep it that way," the Potions master said, sending his apprentice a glare.
As soon as his back turned, Hermione made a sour face at him.
"I saw that," he said softly.
Her eyes widened. That man was impossible! How could he have known? Vaguely, Hermione remembered Ron making a comment about him having eyes in the back of his head. Maybe it was true?
"Hurry up, Hermione; we need to climb higher before night falls."
Hermione hurried up her steps. The forest creaked around them, sending chills up her spine. When Severus had told her he was going to Romania to gather potion ingredients, she had jumped at the opportunity. She loved to spend time with Severus, and couldn't wait to spend the weekend alone with him, away from Minerva's prying eyes.
Although the two of them hadn't voiced their feelings, they both knew how the other felt. The sexual tension between them would attest to that.
After hiking for another hour, Severus stopped. "We will set up camp here, and then continue in the morning." He reached into his bag and pulled out a bottle of water. He handed it to her.
Hermione grabbed the water, thanking him quietly. She took a quick sip, thankful for the refreshing liquid. The two of them set up the tent, Hermione taking the bedroom on the right while Severus took the one on the left. After getting everything situated, Hermione moved outside. She clutched her jacket around her tighter; the wind chill was making it cold.
They had stopped near a cliff. Hermione gazed outward, taking in the beautiful sight. The sun was setting, causing the sky to become a mixture of blues, pinks, and oranges. It was truly breathtaking. She glanced down the cliff, not fully realizing how high up they had made it.
Severus exited the tent, coming to sit down next to Hermione. He reached into his knapsack, pulling out a sandwich. He handed it to Hermione. "Thanks," she mumbled before taking a bite.
The two of them ate in silence, watching the sun set over the horizon.
Hermione finished her dinner quickly, wiping the crumbs off her face. "I always forget how much beauty can be found in nature," Hermione said softly.
Severus cast a glance towards her. "There is beauty in everything; you just need to know how to look."
Hermione nodded in agreement.
After the War had ended, so much had happened all at once. First and foremost, Severus Snape had survived, despite the Trio's initial beliefs. Snape had been brewing an antidote that contained some of Nagini's venom, and he had been prepared. Harry and Ginny eloped, much to Mrs. Weasley's displeasure. And then Ron moved to France, unable to cope with the grief he was feeling at the Burrow due to Fred's death. It was there that he met up with Gabrielle, and the two of them got engaged soon after.
Hermione had immediately returned to school, determined to finish. Upon getting the highest N.E.W.T.s anyone had ever seen, Professor Snape had offered her an apprenticeship in Potions. Hermione immediately took it, excited to work with one of the most brilliant minds the wizarding world has ever seen.
The two of them were in the lab almost every night, and eventually all of their time together began to mean something. Severus wouldn't make a move though, because she was his student and it was improper. Illegal, no, just incredibly improper.
However, looking out towards the sunset sitting next to him, Hermione couldn't help but wish things were different. She had another year before her apprenticeship would be complete, and she wasn't sure if she could wait that long.
Severus must have heard her sigh, because at that moment, he reached over and grabbed her hand. "Patience," he whispered, so softly that Hermione almost didn't hear him.
Hermione's heart fluttered. Maybe coming on this weekend trip was a good idea. She squeezed his hand in response.
Neither of them said anything, already knowing how the other felt.
They held hands, watching as the sun set and the moon rose. The beauty of nature surrounded them, allowing them a small bit of peace before they had to return to civilization.