They headed out after she came clomping back down the stairs, dressed in jeans and a knitted jumper, hair pilled back with a bandanna.
"You look presentable," he said, looking up from reading the back of a cereal box. She flushed, but didn't say anything. He absently delved into the idea of using Legilimency on her, seeing what was wrong, but quickly decided against it. He didn't want to offend her.
"So, are we doing to Apparate?" he asked, curiosity getting the better of him.
She threw him a look over her shoulder. "Drive." Her tone was half confident and half arrogance.
"Driving? You know how to drive?" His voice took on an incredulous note. When he cocked a blocky, black brow, she paused in stride.
"Yes. I function rather well in Muggle society," she answered, reaching into the hideous bag she constantly carried around (almost like a child) and rifling around, elbow deep. He watched the flurry of emotions cross her face before she crowed loudly and, with flourish, pulled out a set of keys.
"Keys…to what exactly?" he asked, leaning closer to examine the metal.
She jangled them in his face. "A shed," she drawled with heavy sarcasm and he shot her a black look. "It's to my truck," she sighed eventually, and he tried not to look startled. Call him old-fashion but weren't trucks masculine, not exactly feminine? He glanced at Hermione's plump figure, noticing her short, bitten-to-the-quick nails and muscular forearms.
"And no, I don't care whether it's feminine or not." She wrinkled her nose, freckles bunching. "It was my cousin's car, so my uncle and aunt gave me it after he died," she continued and paused. They both glanced down at the healing scratches on her arms and she shook her head. "Come on." She grabbed the keys from him and they continued walking.
He followed her; but, then again, it wasn't like he had any choice.
"Rule number one: don't touch the radio. Driver picks the music," she stated while scrambling into the driver's seat. He slid in beside her, squinting down at the tiny witch as his head bumped the ceiling.
"Of course, " he said calmly, folding his legs up awkwardly, knees hitting the glove compartment as he folded himself into the tiny seat.
"Rule number two: no sudden hand motions. It'll distract me." She reached over and grabbed her seat belt, tugging it across her chest. He followed suit. "And that's it. Stare broodingly out the window if you must," she said, squinting as she leaned over the steering wheel.
He laid his hands in his lap, suddenly shy and unsure of what to do. She cast him a quick glance.
"What?" he asked hastily. Her eyes quickly jumped away.
"Nothing," she answered before flicking on the engine and slowly backing the car out.
She drove in silence, muttering to herself as she switched lanes, stopped at red lights, and nearly collided with several hazardous drivers. Every time she did, though, she swore under her breath and he was amused to no ends with how many profanities she knew.
"Shit!" she gasped as she slammed on the breaks; car jerking forward, and Severus smacked his face into the low-hanging ceiling. The seat belt tore into the flesh of his throat and he choked for a moment, struggling to catch his breath. A red Mustang swept passed them, running two red lights as Hermione slowly eased the car forward again, her face bright red.
"Are you okay?" She glanced over at him, quickly, and then turned her attention back to the road. A few curls stuck up, crackling with irritated magic and she muttered under her breath. "No good bloody wanker." Despite the loss of breath, Severus managed a snort.
She looked at him, wordlessly, then back at the road, like she didn't want to be caught staring at him. He rolled his shoulders, adjusted his legs so they weren't digging into each other, and tried to lean back in his seat. The rest of the ride was silent, quiet.
Occasionally, Hermione would mutter something to herself and nibble on a curl, almost absently. He picked at his cuticles, watching his bony fingers dance as he drummed them against his kneecaps. Every time he shifted, the bottom of the glove box smashed into his knees, making him cringe every time.
"Tall people problems," she said with a chortle. He shot her a look with a tiny twitch of his mouth. She smiled at him and then turned away, focusing on driving once more. He stared at her, curls cinnamon-brown in the light, pouting bottom lip sucked into her mouth, feathered coco dust eyelashes casting frayed shadows across the apples of her round, blushed cheeks, until she asked, quietly, "What? Is there something on my face?"
"In my hair?"
"In my teeth?"
More silence. "What is it then?" she demanded suddenly. You're beautiful, he thought dimly, lacing his fingers together in his lap.
"The sky," he told her smoothly.
She put on the blinker, switching lanes and heading down an exit. "You have a window right next to you," she answered, taking a turn.
He nodded, folding his arms. "I know, but I like the way it looks. The negative space of your profile against the positive of the sky," he said, staring at the slope of her nose and the dusting of sunny freckles across her cheeks. She blinked, pulling into the I-Hop parking lot rather quickly. The breaks squeaked.
"The negative of my profile? Really?" Hermione tossed him a squinted look as she unbuckled her seat belt. "In all the time I've known the Reformed Snape, that's the most bullshitted lie if I've ever heard one."
He stared at her as she hopped out, slamming the door behind her. Once her feet hit the concrete, she weaved her way around the pedestrians leaving (sticky kids, exhausted parents, googly-eyed teens) and jumped up onto the curb. Hands on her hips, she waited on the sidewalk for him, ignoring the looks people flashed her and the more obvious jeers of the mocking teenagers. A couple pushed passed her, snickering at her wild mass of curls.
He reached down, tapped the red button gently, and watched the fabric line draw back into its case. "You'll be my sweetest downfall," he muttered as he slowly unfolded his long legs out. The couple from before gave him a wide-eyed look as he stood to his full height, staggeringly tall to them. He mused that he must've looked like Death reincarnated.
He set his stride calmly and headed towards the flushed witch.
As unintelligent as her response had been, he had to agree. It was a bullshitted lie.