Hermione's head was throbbing with a vengeance as she moped over a steaming cup of freshly brewed coffee the next morning. How could she have said those things to him? Moaning, she buried her face in her arms in hopes of shutting out the world and regretted making the noise as pain pulsed through her brain. Damn. She took a tiny sip of black coffee and cringed as someone pounded on her door. Who the hell was up at—she squinted at the clock above the stove—at seven o'clock in the morning? On a Monday? Besides the entire working population.
Grumbling softly, she rose and the pounding grew even louder, making her head pound like it was trying to break dance off her neck. Anger spiking dangerously, she yanked open the door and hissed, "What the hell do you want?" She was not expecting to see Severus Snape standing on her doorstep, dressed in a black sweater with his overgrown hair pulled back into a ponytail, looking immaculately not hungover and severely sexy. "Shit," she groaned, wincing when the early morning sunlight pierced her eyes. She waved him inside and he slunk in, like a black shadow—an extremely masculine, sour-faced shadow.
"It's Monday," he said as she quietly closed the door behind and shuffled back to the kitchen table.
"I know. Coffee?" she replied, feeling a tiny bit unprofessional and undesirable in her ratty pajama pants and tank top and no bra.
His eyes flitted to her chest. "Yes, if you will." He sat down gracefully as she made her way to the cabinet for cups.
"Two lumps of sugar, right?" she asked, reaching for a ceramic mug on the top shelf of her cookware cabinet.
A moment of silence and then, "Yes. You didn't come in this morning for work."
She swore. "I'm sorry. It—"
When she turned to him, he raised a slim, graceful hand. The image of him sitting there, hunched over her kitchen table, wearing Muggle clothes, talking to her about coffee nearly made her burst into hysterics. Was this a big, crazy dream?
"I figured you were…ill from intoxication so I brewed up Hangover Potion," he explained as he reached into his trouser pocket and pulled out a little vial full of purple. She relaxed. "It seems my godson and Harry made fools of themselves last night," he went on casually as she set about pouring him coffee.
Hermione sat down gingerly, her headache threatening to tear her skull in two now as he handed her the phial. While he sipped patiently on his coffee, she threw back the contents with ease. Relief rushed through her as the headache abruptly stopped mid-pound. "Thank you, Professor," she whispered as she plucked at her shirt, painfully aware of her lack of clothing. "I'll be right back. Make yourself at home."
The first she did was pull on a bra. Switching her pajama pants to jeans, she made her way to her wardrobe and pulled on a sweatshirt with her Muggle college logo. After rinsing out her disgusting morning breath and washing her face to get rid of the sticky sleep residue, she headed back down to the kitchen.
"Are you quite done?" he asked her, startling her as she hung in the doorway.
She jumped. "Yeah," she replied as she settled down at the table, feeling better, more human. "I'm sorry. I got drunk and the headache was killing me," she said quietly. He snorted.
"That's why I brought you the potion, Hermione," he said. "Now let's go." He stood and Hermione stepped close.
"Where?" she demanded.
He raised an eyebrow at her demand. "To my Apothecary, of course."
She was floored. He thought that after a night like that that she was going to go at the drop of a hat? She scowled at him. "I know I said Monday but I don't think I can do it today. What about tomorrow?" she said.
"So you're going back on your word?" Snape's eyebrows rose mockingly high.
Hermione flushed. "No," she argued, "I'm just thinking it's not a good idea."
"Why?" He was in her face now, warm skin and hypnotic eyes. She shuffled back and slipped over the pant leg of her jeans. He lunged and all she could see was his dark form coming at her, hard, fast.
Crookshanks darted into the room, yowling loudly as the Floo activated. "'Mione?" a woman's voice called.
Hermione cracked her eyes open and the breath rushed out of her lungs. Her ex-professor was above her, looking down worriedly almost and his black eyes filled up her vision like the starless, night sky.
"Hermio—oh." It was her mother's voice. "W-we—" Jean Granger was stammering absurdly, looking wide-eyed down at her daughter.
"Hello, Mrs. Granger," Snape said conversationally, as though he hadn't been caught with their daughter on the floor, in a very inappropriate position.
Hermione was mortified.
Doctors David and Jean Granger sat on Hermione's worn sofa, sipping tea and eating biscuits while they apprehensively eyeballed the black-haired man beside Hermione.
"Hermione, dear," David began awkwardly, clearing his throat as he set down his saucer. Crookshanks hopped up onto the love seat and settled into Snape's lap, shooting the man a smug look.
Hermione bit into a biscuit to keep from laughing obnoxiously. "It's, ah, good to see you with a man," her father said and she wanted to crawl into the Veil and die.
Her eyes widened in shock as she burst out, ignoring the spray of cookie crumbs, "Oh god! No! We aren't…it's not…"
Realizing everyone in the facility was staring at her like she'd gone bonkers, she shrank back and wiped her mouth with the inside of her forearm. "We aren't…he's my professor."
Jean's face went red. "Surely, now, Hermione, dear, this wouldn't be the man you spoke so fondly about? The one you were convinced was like a dark angel? I know how much you adored him—"
Snape, much to her shock, started laughing. Her cheeks were on fire as she moaned and hid her face in her hands. "I'm sorry, madame, but it's nothing like that." Hermione felt a jolt as he glanced at her, his eyes dark and alive and smoldering a hole into her soul as though he knew she'd had a fancy for him during her school years and blathered about him, a dark angel she'd called him, for weeks on end during her calls to her mother.
"I've offered your daughter a job at my Apothecary and, when she didn't show up, I came by to make sure she was okay. It isn't like her to be untimely."
Now she was wishing she was a cat…at least Crookshanks could walk away from this awkward, horrible conversation without being chastised.