A/N: So a while back I popped on the Granger Enchanted Survivors facebook page that I was taking prompts for Snamione (and some other pairings) this first is for the wonderful StrongHermione who prompted 'decorating the tree'. I shall hopefully popping up a few little one shots over the next few weeks up until Christmas alongside work on To Sir…With Love and, hopefully, a new chapter of Divided We Stand.
I hope you enjoy it xx
Goodwill To All
There were many duties, aside from actual teaching, that Hermione had thrown herself into whole-heartedly since she had become the Charms Mistress at Hogwarts. She had not anticipated however that decorating the large tree that always dominated the great hall once December arrived would be her task and hers alone.
Still, on the eve of December first, Minerva had dropped a box of decorations into her hands and informed her that Hagrid had already set up the tree in the Great Hall for her to attend to once the meeting was over.
She had looked around for any of her colleagues to join her once Minerva had called the staff meeting to a close but none had come over to her, instead heading out either to their duties or their quarters. She had frowned at the box in her hands, the reams of garlands on top hiding what she was sure were far more decorations than a box of such a size should be able to hold. When no answer to her predicament leapt from the colourful decorations though, she had huffed her way to the great hall, her heart hitting her shoes as she took in the sheer size of the tree Hagrid had dragged into the castle.
She wasn't sure how long had passed since she had initially seen the monstrosity she was decorating but she knew that night had taken firm hold of the castle and the usual bustle that accompanied the older students coming and going until their curfew had died down. She did not mind the silence, humming tunelessly to herself as she worked, but she could have done with the assistance of at least one other person as her magic began to tire, requiring more concentration to heft the final large baubles and decorations onto the tree.
"You're putting too much on the right. It's not balanced."
The low drawl that met her ears startled her, the bauble she had been charming into place crashing towards the floor but its momentum ceased as the same voice called out a spell to stop it from shattering.
"You really should be more careful."
Hermione turned and glared at the man behind her, wondering just how long he had been sat beside the great fireplace the other side of the room. He looked too settled to have just arrived, one black booted foot resting on his knee and a glass of ruby red wine held loosely in his hand as he regarded her.
"Professor Snape," she said tersely, "Don't you have a dungeon to haunt or students to terrify?"
"Now, now, Professor Granger," he smirked, "What could I have possibly done to be the subject of your ire?"
Hermione fisted her hands against her hips, puffing an errant curl out of her face as she glared at him, "How about sneaking up on me and making me jump?" she said, "Behaviour like that could get you hexed."
Severus cocked an eyebrow at her before he made a point of examining the liquid that he rolled languidly around the glass goblet he held, "I have been here for nearly half an hour," he said, "Hardly sneaking up on you. I did however enjoy your rather tuneless rendition of that old Nat King Cole number. It was like being serenaded by a banshee."
Hermione narrowed her eyes before she turned sharply back to the tree, her robes flaring out around her, "Go away please," she said haughtily, "I have work to do."
She heard him rise behind her but refused to turn, instead she returned to charming the final ornaments into place, careful to make sure that the tree was balanced. She felt rather than heard him come to stand almost directly behind her, his far larger frame looming over her and casting a shadow onto the floor before her but she continued to ignore him, even as he hummed in mock approval.
"Much better," he said, "Though there is distinctly too much red and gold involved but that's what I should expect when the majority of the teaching faculty is currently made up of former Gryffindors."
"The bloody tree is green, Severus," she said, flicking her wand so that a shimmer of silvery sparkles glittered on every branch.
"Oh you're thawing, I'm Severus again," said the man behind her.
"I have an entire arsenal of less pleasant names to call you if you'd prefer," said Hermione, watching as the large star shaped tree-topper sailed upwards without a command, settling in place perfectly.
She couldn't keep the smile from her face as two strong arms wrapped around her waist, pulling her back against the familiar warmth of his body.
"I'm sure you called me many of those earlier," said Severus, his voice muffled as he buried his face in the wild curls of her hair, "But I much prefer it when you call me darling. I'm sorry if I upset you earlier, Christmas is always a sore subject with me."
"As is breaking any habit," said Hermione, covering her hands with her own, "But I shouldn't have sprung the thought of Christmas with my parents on you without warning. They are keen to meet you though, especially considering recent developments."
Severus turned her, taking hold of her left hand and raising it to his lips, pressing a kiss alongside the elegant diamond ring that rested on her finger, "I suppose it is only right that I ask your father's permission to marry his daughter."
"I think you know well enough that I make up my own mind," she said, "Can I tell them you'll be there though? Please darling."
Severus scowled at her but it held only playfulness as he did so, "You do not play fair," he said, "But I suppose, if it will please you…"
Hermione didn't allow him to finish the sentence, wrapping her arms around his neck and kissing him soundly, "I love you."
"I love you too," said Severus, "Can I steal you away for the evening now? Our quarters seemed very empty without you."
"If you'd come to help rather than scurrying off when the headmistress dumped this on me I would have been done a lot quicker," said Hermione.
"It was the fear of having the entire box dumped on my head that had me scurrying off, as you so eloquently put it," Severus replied, "Besides, we'd have only quarrelled over the colours."
Hermione smirked, "Red and gold is traditional," she said, "But you can decorate the one in our quarters in silver if you prefer."
"Tomorrow," said Severus, "I've got other plans for tonight. That is, if I am forgiven enough."
Hermione raised herself on her toes, pressing a swift kiss to his lips before she quickly extricated herself from his arms, heading for the door before she paused to throw a look over her shoulder at him.
"Are you coming then?" she said, "Or shall I run ahead and start without you?"
"Oh I'm not missing a second," said Severus, hurrying to catch up with her.
His arm slipped about her waist as they headed through the doors to the hall beyond, leaving the tree to glitter in the light of the fire and the hundreds of floating candles as a light dusting of snow fell onto the long house tables, ready for the delight of the students in the morning.