How can you stand to watch this…this stupidity of false tears and horrible story lines? Snape asked in the evening, settling down against Hermione's thigh as she watched some soap opera about twin brothers and one girl.
"I don't know. The guys are hot, the girl is actually a pretty decent albeit stupid character, and the score is beautiful," Hermione admitted, chuckling to herself as the episode ended with an extreme close up of one of the twin's pale faces, the girl screaming in the background as she tried to stop the bleeding of his gunshot wound.
Will she stop bloody screaming? It doesn't help the situation at all, even if the love of your life was shot in front of you, Snape grumbled, remaining on the couch as Hermione turned off the telly and flopped down in front of the crackling fire, the glow warming her skin.
Aren't you supposed to have books? Perhaps some on potions? he asked exasperatedly. That reminded her.
"What about your Apothecary?" she asked, sitting up. "I mean, since you're...well...indisposed right now, you can't very well run an Apothecary. I'm quite certain that requires thumbs."
I have a co-owner who's taken over in my absence—a certain Slytherin with blond hair. Ring any bells?
"Lucius?" Hermione muttered, squinting down at the Potions Master wedged against the length of her thigh.
His body shuddered. Merlin, no. I don't even want to imagine that imbecile touching my ingredients.
His head bobbed as he hopped down, grimacing when he connected with the carpet and padded over to her, lying down, pressed tightly against her side. Indeed. He passed with double Es, despite spending most of his time bunking Harry's potions or trying to get others in trouble. You, however, were my brightest and most promising student. I have never regretted teaching you.
Her cheeks burned.
Even as your professor, a Death Eater nonetheless, I knew potential when I saw it. What girl of only twelve can brew Polyjuice nearly perfectly? Even the most brilliant sixth years have trouble with it; hell, Potions Masters as well, namely Slughorn. He huffed, shifting, and rested his chin on her knee.
Of course, you weren't very hard on the eyes as your years grew at Hogwarts. I remember the look on Weasley's face when you descended into the Great Hall on Krum's arm, glowing like you'd received straight Os. You were beautiful; of course, I never acknowledged it. You were half my age; a mere child; it's still hard to believe that this beautiful witch in front of me is Hermione Granger, all grown up.
He rested his chin on his paws, closing his eyes. Hermione, for her part, was still, heart hammering loudly. Stop talking, she begged silently in the part of her thoughts that was isolated from his, quivering.
He kept talking.
When you found me, I intended to stay just a few days until I was well enough to turn back while you were out or during the night and leave but I couldn't…I couldn't change back. At first, I thought it was because of my wounds; being injured makes an Animagus's transformation back to human close to impossible. After I began to heal, I found I still couldn't return back to my former self but it hadn't really bothered me; I had you to keep me busy. I learned a different side of the Gryffindor Princess. She was as kind and as stubborn as she was in class. And, it seemed, that she had feelings for me.
Her breath caught in her throat like a lump of food. No, no, he's going to mock you. Just like everyone else. She pressed her cheek against her arm, turning her head away from him. His cold nose pressed against her shoulder, the chill seeping through the fabric of her shirt. Quickly, she pulled herself to her feet, mumbled something about needing a shower or bath, and fled to her bathroom.
Her entire body was turning red with the searing heat of her blush, making her cringe as she locked the door behind her, ignoring the way the fabric rubbed against her skin, already irritated. Her fingers were shaking as she struggled to pull up her sweatshirt, nails scraping the skin. She felt raw everywhere as she stripped off her bra, letting it fall inside the sink; her panties and sweats followed and hit the floor in a puddle around her ankles.
Have I said something to offend you? Snape's voice rang through her head and she closed her eyes as she ran the water hot as it could go.
No. Yes. No, no. A tiny, broken laugh. The exact opposite, she answered, sitting on the edge of the tub and breathing in the growing steam. It swam into her throat, deep and hot, sticking there.
The exact opposite…are you happy? He sounded hesitant, shy.
She sat down in the water, feeling it scald her already raw skin. Her face burned. "I am, actually. You've guessed my feelings but I'm afraid I can't guess yours."
They mirror yours, consequently.
She sank lower in the water, cheeks burning viciously.
The bath helped clear her head and she felt relaxed and calmer than ever as she stepped out of the shower, damp hair piled high into a towel.
"Are you saying you have a romantic interest in a Gryffindor?" she called to him as she toweled off her damp breasts and thighs. Beads of water ran down her neck, curving to the swell of her breasts, down her soft stomach.
There was silence before he answered. Yes.
Humming to herself, she dressed in a thread-barren sweatshirt and some sweats and then quietly opened the bedroom door.
Of course, given that I'm not in animal form. That would be inappropriate for both of us, unless, of course, you're into bestiality. It was hard to decipher whether or not it was a joke as his dark, dark eyes stared up at her.
"I'm not entirely—"
There was the loud roar of the Floo activating, Crookshanks yowl shrilling over the noise, almost completely drowning it out. "Hermione? Darling?" called a loud, accented voice. Confused, she turned to the sound.
Who is that? It doesn't sound familiar, Snape said, padding down the hall, leading her.
Squeezing her hair with a towel, Hermione followed, her mind flitting through the relative or friends it could be. The only person with a Boston accent was Hannah Abbot. But why would she be at Hermione's house at nearly seven at night?
"Hermione!" sang Hannah as she crawled out of the Floo, carrying a bottle of Firewhiskey under her arm. She was dressed in simple black robes and high heels, teetering in them as she tripped over the hem of her robes and landed ungracefully on her butt.
She looked about, confused suddenly, and then burst into laughter as she fell on her back, kicking her legs wildly. Hermione watched her, her cheeks flushed under the heavy freckling, wisps of red-brown hair falling into her chubby face.
"What are you doing here?" she asked the other girl, watching as the smaller witch rolled onto her hands and knees. The bottle tumbled to the floor and drifted away into the kitchen, glass against linoleum, an irritating sound that grated on Hermione's nerves like the points of glass shards.
"To congratulate you!" Hannah laughed, throwing her arms up as she got to her feet, swaying. She looked more voluptuous in her form-fitting robes, accenting her flared hips and smaller breasts, the fabric draping her body delicately. Her makeup was a bit heavy, with thick, cat-eye eyeliner and long, brush-stroke thick eyelashes and rouge-stained cheeks. Her glossy, coral pink lips peeled back into a grin.
"Celebrate what?" Hermione asked, heading into the kitchen and fetching the Firewhiskey bottle from the ground. It was as she was looking for a space in her wine rack that Hanna Abbot answered.
"Hooking up with Professor Snape, of course!"
The bottle fell and shattered at the curly-haired witch's feet.