Disclaimer: Everything belongs to JKR.
A/N: This is in response to The 2003 Valentine's Day Challenge on WIKTT
One Room - Survival Pak: Required items:Hermione and Snape are stuck in one place for 27 hours. Filch makes an appearance. Someone has to burble incoherently. Handcuffs have to be mentioned in the story.
Rating: PG13, bordering on R for implied smut only.Operation Valentine
Voldemort was defeated at the end of their 6th Year. An air of euphoria still hangs about the scene of the defeat. Certain relationships have developed.
February 13th, 9pm, Astronomy Tower, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
"Are you sure this will work?"
"Have I ever failed you Harry?"
"Well, the handcuffs spring to mind, Draco."
"How was I to know Ron had charmed them to only open on his command?"
"That will teach you not to snoop in other people's trunks."
"I only thought it might bring a bit of excitement to our liaisons." Draco whined.
"Liaisons? That's what you're calling them now?" Harry put on his best 'wounded puppy' look. Draco smirked at him.
"What would you have me call them?"
"Shagfests?" Draco looked hopeful.
Harry shook his head. "Why do I put up with you?"
"Because I'm the best-looking guy in the school, and you love me to bits."
"Not according to Hermione."
"Which brings us back to the matter in hand."
"How are you going to work it?"
"They both hate Valentine's Day."
"They'll do anything to avoid it."
"Did that fight with Voldemort affect your brain so you can only ask one word questions, Potter?"
"All right, Malfoy, I'll humour you. How do you propose to get Hermione and Snape together? And without Ron freaking out too much, by the way."
"Don't worry, Lavender is going to keep him occupied. You just get Hermione down to the dungeons in…" Draco checked his watch, "12 hours time."
"And how am I supposed to do that?"
"Just tell her Snape asked me to ask you to ask her for her assistance in cataloguing his stores."
"She'll never go for it."
"Last time I trusted you, Ron had to rescue me." Harry shuddered at the memory of his best friend catching him 'in flagrante' with their former enemy, handcuffed to Harry's bed.
"But wasn't it fun to watch him burble incoherently while he undid them?" Draco flashed his winning smile that usually avoided him detention or loss of house points.
Harry shook his head again. Being with Draco these last six months had got him into more trouble than in all his six and a half years with Hermione and Ron put together.
"And I gather you will handle Snape?"
"Trust me, now let's synchronise watches. Operation Valentine is about to begin."
February 14th – 7am.
Down in the dungeons, a very disgruntled professor was prowling the potions classroom. He hated holidays, particularly Valentine's Day. This was the time of year when lovesick idiots, giggling over the patron saint of lovers, made his life hell. He wondered if he could get away with flooding the dungeons with a short-term noxious gas so he could spend the day cataloguing his store cupboard. A tampered dungbomb, perhaps. Musing ways to achieve this, he didn't notice Draco entering the classroom.
"What is it, Draco?"
"I was wondering…"
"Spit it out, boy!"
"Do you have anything special planned for today?"
"What?" Snape's voice was dangerously soft.
"Well, it's Valentine's Day."
"And this means something to me?"
"So you don't?"
"Is there a point to this conversation?"
"So it's just cataloguing again, Sir?"
"Are you offering to help?"
"No, but I know someone who will." Draco tried his winning smile.
"I'll tell them to be here after breakfast then, shall I?" Draco was backing towards the door, slid out and was running towards the great hall before Snape could ask too many questions.
Sauntering into the hall, he caught Harry's eye and winked imperceptibly. This was Harry's cue and he glanced at his other best friend, Hermione Granger, who was sitting next to him, a scowl on her face.
She hated Valentine's Day with a vengeance to rival Professor Snape. If she could hex it out of existence, she would have. Everywhere she looked, couples were pairing up. Ron and Lavender, Ginny and Neville, Harry and Draco (ye gods, if ever that was a pairing she hadn't seen coming!). After the debacle with Viktor in her fourth year, there hadn't been anyone else. Was she destined to be the only virgin left in her year? Mind you, her choices were limited. Both Seamus and Dean were known to swing both ways, and she certainly wasn't that desperate. Yet. Her one fantasy was way out of reach, especially today when she knew he wouldn't venture out of his dungeon.
She felt a nudge in her ribs and looked up to see Harry smiling at her. It was his angelic, butter-wouldn't-melt-in-his-mouth smile. She didn't trust it one bit.
"Are you doing anything today, 'Mione?"
"Actually, I've a line of strippers waiting to take me out later."
"So you're not."
"And you very well know that."
"So you won't mind helping Snape to catalogue his stores?"
"He wants me?"
"Well, Draco sort of volunteered…"
"And now he wants to get out of it?" that sounded like Draco, she thought.
"I've got something planned…" he tried out his puppy dog eyes on her. It worked.
"What time?" she sighed, secretly thrilled.
"After breakfast? 9 o'clock."
"Give me a lot of warning, why don't you?" she checked her watch. She had an hour.
"I hope this works."
"Just think, we will earn the undying gratitude of all the students tonight, when Snape can't patrol the corridors."
"There's always Filch."
"Don't worry, I've got something planned for him too."
"Draco, I am seriously worried about you."
"That's the nicest thing you've ever said to me, Potty."
February 14th – 9am.
A soft knock on the potions classroom door alerted Severus Snape to the fact that his 'help' had arrived. He wondered who Draco had blackmailed into this, and hoped whoever it was could write legibly and knew their a-z, which ruled out Crabbe or Goyle.
"Come." He snarled. His eyes narrowed as Hermione Granger entered the room. How in Hades had Draco persuaded the Gryffindor Goddess down here on Valentine's Day? Who the hell cared?
"Yes, Miss Granger?"
"Draco said you needed some cataloguing done, Sir?" Hermione let the door click shut behind her.
"He didn't tell me you'd volunteered."
"Oh, didn't he?" it looked to Hermione that Draco was rubbing off on Harry, the devious little sod. Thank the gods! And thank you, Harry and Draco! Perhaps this was one Valentine's Day she might get to enjoy, if only for a few hours.
"Well? Are you going to stand there all day, or do we get started?" Snape's voice snapped her out of her daydream. What was the girl thinking of, he wondered. He led her over to the store cupboard, picking up a roll of parchment along the way.
"Here's the list. A complete inventory needs to be taken, plus a list of items that need to be restocked. I hope you didn't have plans for today."
Hermione looked at the size of the roll. This would take more than a few hours.
Neither of them noticed the faint shimmer as they entered the storeroom, nor the way two disembodied heads appeared from nowhere. As the door clicked shut after them, the smaller, blond one muttered something and a faint blue haze settled over the handle.
"How long will it last?"
"What about food?"
"Already taken care of."
"Won't they be missed?"
"It's Saturday. He never appears until Valentine's Day is well and truly over."
"I hope you're right."
"I'm always right."
"Do you think Dumbledore will find out?"
"He already knows."
"Who do you think gave me the idea? And the spell?"
"That is seriously perverted."
"So what? They're both of legal age, and by Merlin, they could both use a shag."
"But..Dumbledore?" Harry was speechless.
"I love that blank look of yours, Harry. It really turns me on."
"Come on, I'll have you over that desk if you don't get your arse moving." Draco leered at him. Harry's brain was still trying to process the thought that Dumbledore had anything to do with this, so it was a while before it caught on to the fact that Draco's hand was squeezing said arse. He looked at Draco, who grinned and dragged him to the door.
February 14th – 11am.
One shelf down, ninety-nine to go; Hermione had never seen the full extent of the potions store cupboard. It was like the Tardis inside. Rows upon rows of ingredients stacked on shelves; it was like Aladdin's cave. She had been given half the list and told to start at the far end. She had a warm feeling inside her as it showed he had a measure of trust in her. Either that or he couldn't stand to be anywhere near her.
He'd sent her to the far end of the cupboard, hoping that it would help to keep his mind off her enticing scent. He'd realised over the last few months why he'd felt so restless over the summer. It was all down to the fact that he'd missed a certain know-it-all Gryffindor. It had been too quiet; no incessant questions, no presence in the library, no swish of chocolate curls as she entered his classroom. Possibly, today would turn into a torture session for him, but he'd been unable to resist spending a few hours with his obsession. Mentally awarding Draco with twenty points, he went back to his half of the list.
February 14th – 12pm
Hermione's stomach growled. She'd not had much to eat at breakfast and it was telling now. It was quiet in the storeroom apart from the rustling of their robes. It growled again, and she glanced up to see if he'd heard. He had. He was looking at her, an eyebrow raised. She shrugged at him in apology.
"Go and get some lunch, Miss Granger. I will not have you fainting and cluttering up my storeroom."
"I won't be long."
"Don't be. We still have a lot of work to do." Anything to keep her here a little longer.
"The door's stuck."
"No it isn't."
"Yes, it is."
"Here, let me try." He tugged on the door handle. It was definitely stuck. Alohomora didn't work; neither did a number of other charms. He didn't want to know how Hermione knew how to pick a lock with a safety pin, but that didn't work either. Was it getting warm in here or was it his imagination? He eased the top button of his coat open, trying not to notice the way her blouse gaped open a little as she bent over.
"Is it worth shouting?" she asked, sitting back on her heels in defeat. Her stomach growled again.
"How many people would come willingly into my classroom on Valentine's Day?"
"Don't worry. You'll be missed sooner or later."
"Oh, Yes. Harry knows I'm here." She bit her lip.
"So does Draco."
"Harry had a plan that involves Draco."
"Don't tell me you don't know that Harry and Draco…"
"I see. And it's Valentine's Day."
"Which means they won't be in any fit state to remember anything." She shuddered.
"Merlin, I hate this day." He sighed and sat down next to her against the wall.
He looked across at her, but she had her eyes fixed on her shoes.
"Oh? No secret admirers?"
"Hardly." He snorted. "I'm no Gilderoy Lockhart."
"Thank the gods." She muttered. Her stomach growled yet again, joined by his this time. He stood up and held his hand out to help her up. She wondered why he was being nice to her. Was there some mind-altering substance at that end of the stores that could have affected him?
He led her to the far end of the storeroom and she noticed a door there. It swung open into a small sitting room.
"You should reach the main corridor through that door over there." He pointed to another door. She went over to it and tried the handle.
"No, it isn't."
"Yes, it is." She had a feeling of deja vu; hadn't they recently had a similar conversation? She reached into her robe pocket for the safety pin again.
Severus went to the fireplace and waved his wand. Nothing. It was blocked. He glanced at the mantle and spotted a piece of parchment.Severus, I know how much you hate today, so here's a small gift for you. I've ensured you will have total privacy until noon tomorrow. Enjoy your solitude, Albus.
P.S. There's an enchanted basket of food by the table.
"Shit." his muttered curse caught Hermione's attention.
"We're stuck here." He waved the parchment at her "Courtesy of the Headmaster."
"Does he know I'm here too?"
"He assumed I'd be on my own." He showed her the P.S.
"Good, I'm starving." Knowing she had something to eat restored her natural good humour, so she walked to the table and lifted a surprisingly light picnic basket onto it. Opening it, she looked inside and raised her eyebrows, slanting a look at him.
"Did he by any chance enchant it to your tastes?"
"I never took you for a quiche man, myself."
"What sort of man did you take me for, Miss Granger?" was she flirting with him?
"More of a meat and potatoes man, Sir." Was he flirting with her?
February 14th – 2pm
After a surprisingly pleasant lunch, where Hermione came to the conclusion that he definitely did have mind-altering substances hidden in the storeroom because he'd been so pleasant to her, they made their way back to pick up where they'd left off. This time, they worked side by side; after all, two heads were better than one. Conversation was limited to him calling out the stock and her checking it against the list, together with the quantity needed for restocking.
February 14th – 4pm
Outer robes had been shed; it was definitely getting warm in there. Hermione's enticing scent kept distracting Severus, together with the occasional glimpse of a lacy bra when she bent forward. Perhaps he should have left those robes on after all…
Still February 14th – 6pm
"Are you all right?"
"I will be when I get this cursed catch undone."
"Thank you. Why do women wear such contraptions?"
"Better a bra than a corset. Anyway, I should be the one complaining, the amount of buttons you've got."
"Just rip them, I can always fix it."
"Thank you." There was a sound of buttons popping in the sitting room.
"Shame we can't have a fire."
"I'm getting plenty warm, thank you, ooh, a bit lower please."
February 14th – 8pm
"Does this mean I can call you Severus?"
"You can call me anything you want after that."
February 14th – 10pm
"Can you transfigure this into a bed?"
"I am top of my class, you know."
"Merlin be praised for know-it-all Gryffindors."
"Any more of that, Severus Snape, and you'll be on that sofa and I won't be making use of those éclairs."
"For a virgin you have a very creative mind, Hermione."
"Ex-virgin, thanks to you."
"Heavens, No! I've been lusting after you for two years now."
"Really?" he preened a bit.
"I wish I'd known, I'd have given you a detention."
"I did try to hint on occasion."
"Oh. I thought that was a nervous tic."
"Well a lot of my students have them."
"Didn't you notice my tops getting lower?"
"I thought that was for Potter's benefit."
"Thank Merlin. Now about those éclairs…"
February 14th – 11.58pm
"Happy Valentine's Day, Severus."
"Same to you, Hermione. Thank you."
February 15th – 8am
"That will teach you not to attempt that position again."
"I think I've sprained something."
"Do you want me to kiss it better?"
"Aren't you sore?"
"It's not my mouth that aches."
"In that case…"
Same day – 10am
"I'd love a bubble bath."
"Meet me in the prefects bathroom tonight, midnight."
"You're going to corrupt me, Severus Snape."
"Too late, you've been friends too long with Potter and Weasley."
"Where are we going with this, Severus?" she asked. He didn't pretend to misunderstand her.
"Where do you want to go with it?"
"Can we still see each other when I leave?"
"And when I finish at Hogwarts?"
"And after that?"
"Let's take it one year at a time, shall we? If you still feel the same way while you're at university, we'll discuss it then."
"Can I owl you?"
"I'll look forward to your letters."
"Perhaps I can have extra tuition while I'm here still?"
"Will we get any work done?"
"It's just as well you score consistently high marks in my class."
"Will they get any higher now?"
"It was worth a try."
The door clicked open and Hermione turned to face her lover. He bent to kiss her goodbye until later that evening. He drew slowly away from her and allowed her to open the classroom door fully.
"Thank you for your help, Miss Granger." Just in case there was anyone around.
"You're welcome, Professor."
They heard a faint noise and turned as one towards it.
"What in blazes are you doing down here, Filch?" Severus growled. He heard a faint whimper in response as Argus Filch slid into view, hugging the wall behind him.
"Sorry to bother you, Professor, Sir. I had a bit of trouble with young Malfoy last night." His oily voice whined.
"What sort of trouble?"
Filch whimpered again, not wanting Hermione to see his anguish, but not knowing how to avoid it. She was standing right next to his salvation.
"It's Mrs Norris."
"What do you take me for, a vet?"
"No, Sir, but I thought you might have something to help her." He lifted his pet from behind his back and both Hermione and Severus had to struggle not to laugh.
There she was; a ratty, bedraggled cat, with pink fur and flashing red hearts emblazoned all over her.
"You'd better take her to Dumbledore, Filch. Looks like they'd match perfectly."
February 14th, 8am 12 months later.
As the owls flew in to the great hall of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry it was noted that Severus Snape, Potions Master and all-out bastard of a teacher looked up expectantly as well.
The huge Great owl swooped down onto the top table and landed elegantly next to him, a narrow box attached to its leg. He fed it a piece of bacon and removed the box. Minerva McGonagall peered over his shoulder nosily as he peeked inside and snapped it shut again. The other teachers watched in amazement as he sauntered, grinning, out of the hall.
"Who on earth would send him an éclair on Valentine's Day?" she enquired to no one in particular.
A/N: Thanks for reading, just point the cursor on that little review button!