Disclaimer: Not mine, I just enjoy playing with them!
A/N: Hello hello all my lovely little cross-eyed peeps staring at the computer screen! You are probably wondering, 'what the heck is she doing working on a second story?' Well to answer your question, I have absolutely no idea. My little snake muse, Aldous, (y'all remember him) decided to pop this idea into my head at three in the morning when I was trying to sleep, and I loved it so much I decided to act on it! So without further ado, a Hermione/Severus story!
Take Time to Smell the Roses
Hermione Granger was reading the paper. Unusual? Not really when it comes to normal seventeen year old girls. But Hermione Granger wasn't what one could call normal. She was in fact, a witch, and a rather talented one at that.
"I keep forgetting she's actually eighteen because of that time-turning thing she used in, what was it, her third year at school?" Helen Granger commented to her husband from where they were sitting at the kitchen table eating breakfast.
"Sounds right, and she used it again this past year for a few weeks before she helped Ron and Harry defeat that Woldyvort guy or whoever," Marius Granger said absentmindedly, taking a sip of his coffee.
It was a cloudy July second in the Granger household. Hermione was home for the summer after finishing up her sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Currently she was on the porch out back, in her pyjamas reading the personal ads, something that was very unlike her, as she never had expressed a great interest in finding a boyfriend, instead being content to do well in school.
"SWM, NS, looking for SWF, NS for opera, theatre, and possible relationship," Hermione read out-loud to herself. "Oh this is a bunch of bloody nonsense! SWM's? What are those?"
"SWM stands for Single White Male, dear," Helen said coming outside to sit on the wicker couch with her daughter. "What are you doing dear?"
"Debating about whether or not I want to post an add in the muggle personal adds or the wizarding personal ads." She said this matter-of-factly.
"What on earth for dear?"
"I want a husband. Well, actually I don't want one, but society pretty much dictates that I have to have one, at least in the wizarding world. After I finish university in the magic world, if I want to have any chance of getting a high quality job, I need a husband." She continued quickly at her mother's questioning look of disbelief and surprise. "Many employers won't say it, but they will only hire single woman for secretarial positions, with no chance of moving up in the world. I don't want that."
"Yes, and you're too smart for that love, but why the personal ads? Why not just date one of the boys you know from school? What about Harry, or that Ron fellow?" Marius said as he came out to join them.
"Daddy, Harry and Ron and I are just friends, besides, they both have girlfriends. And as for the boys from school, there's a couple of reasons," she paused before going on. "One, they're all so immature. Two, none of them seems to care about school work, just quidditch and Hogsmede trips. Three, none of them are able to hold a decent conversation with me, I know too much. Four, you know I don't believe in all that love non-sense, and Five. I don't want to deal with that entire dating hullabaloo. Hitting the bars and dance clubs isn't exactly my thing, and I don't exactly trust Lavender or Parvarti enough to set me up on a blind date."
"Well, I still don't see why you want the personal ads, there are so many creeps in the world today," Helen commented.
"Yes I know, and that is why I've decided to just use a match-making personal ad service in the Wizard world. I'll be married soon after my interviews most likely, although I might end up waiting a while to see if any new applicants come in."
"Isn't that quick? And how do you go about doing this?" Marius asked concerned.
"Well, I start by filling out an application like this, although this is just an extra I have. I already sent mine in three weeks abo," Hermione showed them the extensive questionnaire she had requested. "Then after I send it in, they use magic to process it, and the top twenty, most closely compatible matches are pulled out. Then the agency sends me an owl and we arrange a day for all the applicants most closely matched with mine to meet me. This will be done at the agency. The applicants will come in one at a time at twenty minute intervals or so and we'll basically get a chance to see each other face to face and size each other up. I'll get to interview the person and he'll do the same to me. If we click, we can go from there."
"Sounds better than personal ads, but I can't say I like the thought of you getting married." Marius said hesitatingly. "And how do you know you'll get along okay with this man in the twenty minutes you talk to him? And what about your final year of school"
"I'm sorry Daddy, but I'm eighteen. This is something I'm going to do." Hermione replied. "And most people use this service simply to find a compatible boyfriend. On the application I have, I've checked off the box 'looking for marriage right away.' Any guys who are pulled also have this checked. There's no love in the marriage, it's just for necessity. Some guys do it to find a mother for their children; some do it to find a woman to bear a child to keep a blood-line going. Some, like me, do it because society dictates it. Everyone in the system is checked out by the ministry. And as for the school issue, one of my requirements is that they allow me to finish through university."
"You've researched this pretty thoroughly haven't you?" Helen asked after listening thoughtfully.
"Yes Mum, you know I would never just do something without making sure it was okay."
"Well, I don't like it much, but like you said, you're eighteen, and I can't stop you," Marius said kissing her on the forehead and going back inside.
"Hermione love, when do you go for these interview things?" Helen asked her daughter as they both stood.
"Um, in about two hours actually, and depending on the men that show up, when I come home this evening, I might not be Hermione Granger anymore. I could be someone totally different," Hermione said with a laugh. Noticing her mother's worried look, she reassured her. "Don't worry Mum, if it should turn out to be a bad marriage, there's always divorce or annulment. But I'm letting you know that probably won't happen. I'm a good judge of character, you know that. I don't think I'll pick anyone bad. And maybe I'll find that theoretical Prince Charming even."
"I guess the only thing I can say is good luck then. And we'll expect you and your husband, potential husband, whatever for dinner tonight at eight then, all right?"
"Sounds good Mum," Hermione kissed her mother on the cheek and went inside to shower and get dressed nicely before apparating to the match-making agency.
Helen watched her go back in, but sat back down on the couch and looked up to the sky.
"Oh Lord," she started, but a few tears made her pause. "She's growing up so fast, yet she's still a child in so many ways, and I can't protect her anymore. I don't know why she seems to think love is only fairy tales, but help her to discover it in reality. Please, I ask you to send her someone special. Send someone to love her, or if not love, at least send someone who will befriend her, care for her, protect her, and respect her and her mind."
Helen collected herself together, and went back inside to get another cup of coffee before going to work. Up above the clouds, someone had heard her prayer, and was even as she spoke, preparing to answer it. However, the answer might come as a shock to Hermione, in the least expected way.
A/N: Okay, that's it for the first chapter. I don't think she's horribly out of character. In the books, she's always someone concerned with school and studying, and she just doesn't seem like someone who would hold high beliefs in love and fairy tales and that sort of thing. So in that sense it's easy for me to picture her just wanting a husband for the purpose of society's whims. And maybe she wouldn't go about this way doing it, but I thought it might be neat to do it this way, so whether you love it, like it, hate it, whatever, review and let me know! Next chapter shouldn't be too far along since I want to get through the "applicants." Anyone want to make up a few guys, or give me a few guy names to use, leave them in a review!