A/N: Usual Disclaimer Applies. This is a short chapter, I know, but it's a linking chapter, so it's supposed to be. Mayhaps I'll have more soon.
There was an uncomfortable silence, in which Hermione looked on as Professor Snape stared vacently into space. 'He looks as if he's trying to make an important decision. Either that or he's stoned.'

Hermione suddenly found herself struggling to keep giggles from bursting from her mouth as she picture Snape stoned. After a couple of seconds of struggle, she couldn't contain herself anymore, and a giggle erupted from her lips. She quickly covered her mouth to cease the noise, but it was too late. Snape was out of his reverie and regarding Hermione with cold eyes.

"Something amusing, Miss Granger?" Snape asked coldly.

"No!" Hermione said quickly. Snape's eyes narrowed, and Hermione gulped. 'Shit!' thought Hermione, 'This is all I need. The man of my dreams thinks that I'm laughing at him.'

Snape was silent for a moment, before nodding and relaxing just a tiny bit. "Yes, well, Miss Granger, I suppose that it's a convienence that we ran into eachother as such. I had wanted to talk to you."

Hermione peered up at her professor curiously. "About what?"

It seemed to Hermione that Snape swallowed nervously before continuing, "I am planning on undertaking quite a laborious project soon. The Headmaster insists that I seek an assistant in the project. And, since you are the most advanced in your year, I naturally thought of you."

'That was definately a compliment!' Thought Hermione excitedly, starting to blush. She smiled (a tad bit goofily) and said, "Of course! I'd love to help!"

It might have been Hermione's excitement at the prospect of spending so much time with 'the man of her dreams', but she could have sworn that she saw the flicker of a smile cross Snape's face before he said sharply, "Good. Come to the potions classroom at six A.M. sharp on saturday morning."

And, with those words, he spun on his heel and swept down the hallway. Watching him go, Hermione's smile, only a tad bit goofy before, went all the way.