Hermione woke up feeling warm and comfortable. She felt Severus's body pressed up against her from behind and she smiled. She slowly cracked open her eyes and saw that it was nearly time to get up and get ready for the day. She felt Severus kiss her neck and she giggled in response. "Good morning, love."
Severus grunted and cracked open his eyes. He smiled down at her and gave her another kiss this time on her lips. "Good morning. How do you feel?" His question reminded her of her behavior as of late. The moment of bliss she felt was shattered. Tears stung her eyes and she fought to keep them at bay. He scowled when he saw her demeanor change just because of the question he asked. "Don't cry, Hermione."
She turned around in their bed so she was facing him. "Do you really think we will find out what is going on with me?"
"We will Hermione. I won't stop searching. I will tear down the Hogwarts library if I have to. I didn't mean to ruin the nice moment we shared this morning." He reached out and caressed her cheek with his thumb. She leaned into his hand and smiled at him.
"I know you didn't. I'm actually feeling well today. I feel well rested and I don't feel angry anymore. As I said maybe it was just an off day."
As much as he wanted to believe her it was difficult. The way she acted yesterday was not just a bad day. It wasn't just her being grouchy. It was something more and he just couldn't figure out what it was. Instead of speaking it aloud he pulled her closer to his chest. He buried his face into her neck and breathed in her scent. He kissed her neck and suckled on the skin there. He didn't want to get up. He wanted to stay in bed and hold her close.
She giggled and arched he neck offering more room for him. "We have to get up soon, Severus."
He pulled away from her soft skin reluctantly. "What time is it?" He asked tiredly.
"It's nearly 7. We should have showered and gotten dressed by now," she complained. She hated to be late. She always was on time everywhere she went, but she loved staying in bed with him as well. Unfortunately duty calls though. They had work to do.
He smirked and wiggled his eyebrows at her. "We can always shower together."
Her cheeks burned in embarrassment. No matter how many times they've been together he always knew what to say to make her blush. She pulled the blankets off of her and stood up baring her nude body. "Alright you win, Severus. It will be quicker if we both showered together."
He also got out of bed and approached her. "You know that's not the reason I offered that," he said seductively. He grabbed her arm and pulled her into the bathroom with him. He turned on the shower and waited for it to get hot before they both got in. "I forgot to ask you this morning. How did you sleep? I didn't give you the potion last night."
"I already told you. I slept well last night. It's strange. Some nights I sleep horribly and other nights I sleep great. I don't know what causes it."
The water was finally hot enough and they both stepped into the shower. Severus went under the water spray and wetted his hair. He pulled Hermione under the water with him and kissed her soundly on the lips. She grabbed the rag and wetted it under the water. She grabbed the soap and lathered the rag. She started to scrub his chest. While she scrubbed along his broad muscles she stared into his dark hooded eyes. She continued to wash his whole body, her eyes never left his. When she finished washing his body he took the rag from her and started to scrub her body. He was slow and very thorough. He took his time washing every inch of her and spent extra time on her special spot. They went back under the water washing away soap. She grabbed the shampoo bottle and squirted some into her palm. She started to scrub his hair and scalp. Severus closed his eyes and leaned back into her hands. It felt amazing and he nearly groaned aloud. She started at the top of his hair and slowly worked down to the ends of his hair. When she finished washing his hair he started to wash her hair. He held her close to him as he washed every curl.
They walked out of the shower. He grabbed a warm fuzzy towel and wrapped it around Hermione's body. He continued to hold her close to him as he dried off each part of her body. She leaned back in his arms enjoying the contact. Now it was her turn. She turned around and began to dry him off gently. They could have just dried each other off with a spell, but the feeling of the towel and the intimacy between them was worth it. They walked back into the bedroom and started to get dressed.
She looked over at the time and started to get dressed even faster. "Severus, we are going to be late for breakfast."
"No we won't. We'll make it. We still got fifteen minutes before the student's arrive."
"It takes at least five minutes to walk all the way there. We should have woken up earlier," she argued. She quickly walked back into the bathroom and started working on her hair in a hurried pace. She used her wand and her frizzy hair serum and in two minutes flat her hair turned into lovely little curls that framed her face. She pocketed her wand left the bathroom. "Are you ready?"
"Yes, let us go. You know our time this morning was worth it."
They left their rooms and walked down the hallway. "It was worth it, but you now I hate being late. I don't want to walk in there and see everyone's eyes on us."
"Who cares what they think? Many Professors before us have been late before and no one batted an eye."
She sighed and slowly let it go. There was no point in arguing about it. If they were late they couldn't change that. They reached the secret alcove and walked into the Great Hall. She nearly groaned aloud when she saw that yes they were late, very late. So late in fact that every Professor and student were already seated and started eating.
Severus didn't seem bothered by it. He kept his head held high and reached their side of the table. He pulled out her chair for her and sat down in his chair. He started eating immediately not bothering to say a word to anyone.
Professor McGonagall looked at Severus and said, "You two are late. What took you so long?"
"We overslept." He didn't bother to explain all the dirty details. It was their personal life. No one else needed to know what they did behind closed doors.
"Well whatever the real reason is it definitely agrees with the two of you. Hermione seems better today."
"Yes she hasn't snapped or gotten angry. She claims that she doesn't feel angry anymore, but I'm not too sure myself. Have you ever heard of a spell that can make people not control their emotions? She says it feels like someone is taking over her. We tried last night to read through some books, but we didn't find anything yet."
"I don't think I have, Severus, I'm sorry. I wish I could be more of help for you and Hermione."
He nodded at her and continued eating his breakfast. His mind continued to think about Hermione's "symptoms" what this could mean.
Hermione looked over at Hagrid and smiled at him. "I apologize Hagrid for my behavior yesterday. I hope you can forgive me."
"Of course, 'Ermione. How are you feeling today?" He asked.
"Wonderful actually thank you for asking." Their talk was pleasant, but ended quickly when Severus whispered to her that it was time to head to class to get ready for the day. She bid him a good day and followed Severus out of the Great Hall.
"This morning we are teaching the seventh years. It's Gryffindor's and Slytherin's. I am going to be testing them on a very difficult potion that they should have learned in their fifth year. It takes over an hour to make so they have the whole class period to recreate the potion. While they are brewing, you will walk around the room. If you see something that is wrong you may acknowledge it, but do not help them. They aren't first years. If they got into Newt Potions then they should no longer need my assistance."
She pursed her lips together not really agreeing with his viewpoint. If a student needed help she was supposed to ignore it? He was her Professor though. She was just an apprentice. She had to listen to him and do as he asked. "Yes sir."
"Do you not agree?" He asked mildly, not wanting to upset her.
"No I don't. Even if they are seventh years they should be able to ask for help if they need it and you should provide it for them. Haven't you ever needed help with a potion?"
He scowled and shook his head in denial. "When I was a child yes, but when I was a seventh year I never needed help with anything unless it was a partner potion. If you are in Newt Potions you should not need assistance. If you do then maybe you weren't cut out for potions." His explanation was harsh. She knew he was a difficult man, but his mind-set was wrong.
"But you are a teacher, Severus. We aren't dealing with students who are a master at potions. We are dealing with students who want to learn and in order to learn they might have questions that need to be asked. Do you expect every student to be just as smart as you are?"
"I don't want to argue with you Hermione, but I stand firm in my beliefs. They should know how to make potions this far in their life. As I said, if you see something that is wrong address it, if not then move on."
She scowled slightly at his dismissive attitude. Instead of continuing the argument she pressed her lips together and decided to stay silent on the issue.
They walked into the classroom and Severus sat down at his desk. He shuffled his papers around and picked up his lesson plan. While reading over his notes for the class he muttered at Hermione, "Don't forget Ms. Weasley will be a part of the class. Do not show her any favoritism."
"I am aware of that thank you." She was still angry at him for his dismissive attitude. She never will understand his teaching philosophy. She understood his reasoning, but to expect all his students to not need any help was ridiculous. Even a smart witch like herself needed help sometimes.
He stood up from the desk and turned his head to the front door. With a lazy flick of his wrist the door swung open and in walked the students. Hermione stayed rooted to the spot. She scanned the familiar faces and her eyes flicked towards Ginny who sat close to the front. She quickly looked away from her remembering what Severus told her.
"Today I will be testing you on a difficult potion that you have learned in your fifth year. You have the whole period to recreate it. You cannot use your books or notes during your potion making. You are relying on memory. The potion that you are brewing today is Draught of Peace." Every student let out a groan knowing how difficult the potion was. Even Hermione was shocked by what he was making them do. Without instructions that was nearly impossible. "Silence! You all are seventh years and we are in Newt potions. You should know how to create a potion without needing to read a textbook. You have until the end of the period. Begin."
They all took out their potion kits and began brewing their potions. Hermione, as directed, began to walk around the room. She saw that some students weren't sure how to even start. She bit her lip and continued on walking. If Severus didn't want her to help them then she wouldn't. She reached Ginny's cauldron and smiled at her when she correctly added powdered moonstone to her potion. Ginny discreetly smiled back at her and continued on making her potion.
Hermione walked over the Slytherin side and saw a black-haired boy adding way too much moonstone. "Mr. Murray, way too much powdered moonstone. You're not even using the correct measurement." She took out her wand and tapped the cauldron. "Start over and this time, watch what you are doing."
Severus was pleased by how she handled the situation. She saw exactly what the boy was doing wrong and she made him redo it.
She continued on walking down each row of tables and checking on every potion. She came to another boy, this time a Gryffindor, who was confused on what to add next to his cauldron. It was a beautiful pink color and Hermione knew that he needed to add syrup of hellebore. She winced slightly at the memory of Harry when Severus gave him a zero for forgetting it. "Forgetting what else to add Mr. Smith?"
The boy looked up at her and nodded. "I am trying to remember, but I can't. Can you help me Mistress?"
"You must've taken way too many bludgers to the head then Mr. Smith," Severus boomed from the other side of the room. His eyes flashed at Hermione in warning, reminding her that she was not allowed to help them.
"You have to do it yourself Mr. Smith I'm sorry." She moved on from his table feeling bad that she couldn't offer him any help.
She continued on the rest of the period like this. She came across 5 other students that needed help, but she passed their cauldron leaving them alone. She ended up back at Ginny's cauldron and saw that she was almost done. It was currently grey, which meant that she had 3 more steps to go before she was done. She wanted to congratulate her, but she quickly moved her feet away from her table.
Fifteen minutes passed and the sound of a bell was heard. "Class is now over. Please bottle up your potions, label it, and set it on my desk. Tonight's homework is to write a two feet long essay about the effects of Draught of Peace. You are dismissed."
One by one each student brought their potion to the front of the room and set it down on his desk. Each student left the room besides Ginny.
"Mrs. Weasley I did not ask you to stay behind. Now leave."
Ginny frowned at Professor Snape. She wanted to check in on Hermione after hearing her blow up at the poor first year. "I understand Professor, but I wanted to talk to Her- I mean Mistress Granger."
"That is not appropriate at this time Mrs. Weasley. Write her an owl. We have work to do. I will not tell you again. Leave now or I will take away points."
Hermione watched her friend leave the room quickly, not wanting to lose any points for her house. "That was rude, Severus. She just wanted to talk to me."
"She can write you an owl then. We are in the middle of school Hermione. She is not your friend while you are at Hogwarts." He turned towards his desk and picked up the first potion he saw. "Help me look at each potion. We are going to organize what grade level each one gets."
She helped them categorize each potion from Outstanding all the way to a Zero. "Some of those students truly did awful." She stared at the table and grimaced at how many students ended up on the failing side. "Why did you make them do such a hard potion the first day of class?"
"It's what they should expect. I always start with a hard potion to set the mood for the rest of the year. By the looks of it, some of them were able to complete the challenge. Even your friend Weasley was able to create a perfect potion."
"Doesn't it concern you though that half of the class couldn't brew it?" She asked.
"No it doesn't. I expected half the class to not be able to brew it. It is in fact one of the hardest potions to make. Every detail counts and when you don't have a book in front of you it is nearly impossible."
She gaped at him. He knew that half his students would fail? "Why would you give them a task they couldn't complete?"
"To see who is going to make it in the world, Hermione. Half of them are not cut out for Potions, obviously, but the select few that succeeded will do great. Newt Potions was never meant to be easy and it will continue to be difficult. I expect a lot out of my students and they respect me for it. I am not changing my standards just because a few students aren't up for the challenge." He took a deep breath. "I am sorry if you are having difficulties agreeing with the way I teach. Are you sure you want to keep working with me as an apprentice?"
Even though she hated the way he taught she loved Potions. She wanted to teach it. "Yes I am sure, Severus. I won't argue with you anymore with the way you teach."
He felt remorse for making her feel bad, but this was his classroom. This is the way he ran the class, but he also realized that he loved her and he hated when they fought about anything. "I am sorry if anything I said upset you, Hermione. I am a different person when I teach, you know that. I shouldn't have argued with her."
She smiled when she saw that he meant what he said. She hugged him and pressed her cheek on his warm chest. "I am sorry for arguing with you, Severus. You are right. It is your classroom and you can teach it whatever way you see fit. I shouldn't have initiated it."
He pulled her closer to him and kissed her on her forehead. Being partners in Potions apparently wasn't as easy as they thought it would be.