Disclaimer: Neither Severus Snape nor Hermione Granger belong to me.
It had been a long day.
So, by the time that it was the last class of the day, Severus Snape's nerves were in shreds. His seventh year students seemed to be clumsier than usual with very little success, and it was then that his experiment with Thai food during lunch decided to make a second appearance.
The high-pitched, embarrassing hiccup seemed to echo through the room. Everyone looked up from their potions and looked around, eyebrows furrowed, trying to look for the source. There were a few giggles. A couple seconds later it happened again, and every single student looked up at Snape, trying to hide their smirks and hold back any laughter. He couldn't help it, his face turned beet red.
He hiccupped again, and then everyone burst into laughter.
At that moment, Snape was preparing to give every student in the class detention, but somehow, someone had decided to take that burden upon herself.
Miss Granger's hand shot into the air.
"Miss Gra-" He muffled another hiccup in his sleeve, but that didn't stop the students, besides the very straight-backed, adamant-in-being-heard Hermione Granger, from ducking under their desks and giggling their fluff-filled brains out. Granger, however, rocked on the edge of her chair, waving her hand in the air in a manner that she hadn't taken on since the end of her second year. "Granger. What is it?"
"I have several suggestions for getting rid of your hiccups, sir. May I suggest drinking a glass of water? A good fright might do the trick, too. Oh, and…"
"Detention, Miss Granger. I assure you that I can fi-hick-x this little problem myself. See me after class." The other students stared at him, wide-eyed and startled. After this, they remained quiet.
As for Snape, he sat at his desk, apparently annoyed and trying to forget about his hiccups by burying himself in a stack of second-year essays, which only proved to aggravate him further. He continued to summon cures for his condition, including one or two potions and any of Miss Granger's suggestions that he could get his hands on. After what could be no shorter than an eternity, class was over and the students shuffled out as quickly as possible, only to break into loud peals of laughter as soon as they escaped the confines of his classroom.
A tiny cough distracted him from his wandering concentration on marking, and he looked up expectantly. Miss Granger stood in front of his desk, bushy hair framing her face, books folded against her stomach, and looked at him meekly.
"You wanted to see me, sir?"
"Yes, Granger. I believe I assigned you det-hick-ention."
She frowned noticeably, disappointment tugging downward at the corners of her lips. "Yes, sir, you did. What would you like me to do?"
"Well…" He leaned back in his desk, trying to disguise another hiccup in a sigh. "As you can see, I am having trouble getting rid of these hiccups."
"Yes, sir, I can see that."
He slumped downward in his chair as his words became quieter. "I would like your help in getting rid of th-hick-em. I will give you extra credit if you can do so."
Hermione suddenly appeared as if she had been christened Head Girl all over again. Her books fell to the floor but she made no move to pick them up, and her hands clasped in front of her in a gesture that can only be described as glee.
"Have you tried a potion?" she asked, eyes alight with determination.
Snape rolled his eyes. "No. As Po-hick-tion's Master of this school, I believe I do not have the skill nor the common sense to brew myself a potion when the occasion calls for it." Hermione gazed at him, slightly confused, and he continued, occasionally punctuating his words with hiccups. "Yes, Miss Granger, I have tried a potion. But for reasons unknown to me, it did not w-hick-ork."
Hermione summoned a chair and plopped down in front of his desk, beginning to chew on a nail pensively. "Water?"
"Hmmm…what about being surprised?"
He leaned toward her, his long fingers entwined together as he regarded her with interest. "Are you suggesting that I, a renown spy and former Death hick Eater, can be surprised?"
She met his gaze challengingly, narrowing her chocolate-brown eyes. Her lips folded into a secret smile, and she said, "I believe that anyone can be given a good fright, now and then."
"All right then, if that's how you feel." He again leaned back in his chair, folding his arms across his chest. "If you can cure my hiccups, and by surprising me, not only will I give you extra credit, but I will also award your house fifty points."
She reached out her hand to shake, and he looked at it in bewilderment before taking it and embracing her warm, soft fingers in his own. "It's a deal."
"No, Miss Granger," he replied. "I assure you, it's a detention."
Hermione sat as her table in puzzlement, regarding the Potion's Master with severe intensity. A way to startle him…it might be difficult, but it wouldn't be impossible. Several empty glass vials lined the shelves the side of the classroom, and she then had an idea that seemed to appeal to her rather well.
She could break a vial.
As smoothly as she could, as to not make a sound while Snape marked assignments, she crept through the uncomplicated maze of chairs and tables and reached the desired shelf. With a powerful feeling that was a mix of determination and regret, she picked up one of the tiny glass bottles and threw it on the floor, where it shattered into thousands of pieces.
"Miss Granger…" Snape hadn't even looked up from his desk, and Hermione held back a very un-lady-like swear. "I do not believe that breaking my things was part of the de-hick-al. If you take it upon yourself to destroy any of my objects again, you will find that not only will you have detention for the next week, but your ma-hick-rk in this class will be at stake instead of being preserved. Now, kindly dispose of the mess you have hick made and find another, more effective way of getting rid of my hiccups."
Hermione sighed and levitated the shards and dust into the nearest bin while biting her lip in contemplation. What could she do? He was too used to the sound of breaking glass to be bothered by it, perhaps a different sound could startle him?
After a failed attempt to blow up a brown paper bag that had previously held her stash of Honeyduke's sweets behind his head, she was getting desperate, and Snape just seemed to be getting more and more annoyed, not to mention not even close to getting rid of his hiccups.
"Are you sure that you didn't make a mistake in brewing the potion, Professor?"
He looked up from his work with a glint in his eye that told her that she had just said something that really shouldn't have been said.
Hermione began to pace across the classroom, muttering to herself. He had to let her out of the room sometime. It was illegal to keep her in here for the rest of her days. And she could survive without the extra credit…though her grade was just barely a 96, and seemed to be plunging every day. She wiped her sweaty palms across her robes, weighing the possibilities and outcomes in her mind. With intense thought, she came to the conclusion that each action would hold a somewhat positive outcome, while if she decided not to act, Snape might hate her even more than he did now and her grade could suffer miserably.
But the man was impossible to scare.
A horrible, wonderful idea suddenly struck her.
She walked over to his desk, standing in front of it patiently while she waited for him to notice that she was there. Finally, he looked up with a bored expression, swallowing another intrusive hiccup. "What now, Miss Granger?"
"Professor, may you stand up for a minute?"
With an irritated sigh, he threw his quill on the table and complied to her wish. She walked to his side of the desk and he observed her with a lifted eyebrow, wondering what on earth she was up to. She put her hands on his shoulders and squared his body toward hers, and he noticed that she was no longer quite so much shorter than he.
"All right," Hermione sighed. "Here it goes."
Her lips suddenly crashed to his, her eyes squeezed shut while Severus's grew as wide as dinner plates. Her left hand moved behind his neck and entangled itself in his hair while she pressed her mouth even harder against his lips.
Panting, she jumped away as if she had just been shocked. She looked very frightened and yet very satisfied, and her arms were crossed under her chest in triumph.
It was then that Severus noticed that his hiccups were gone.
"Miss Granger," he said, an edge of breathlessness in his voice as he touched the corner of his lip with a finger and looked at it as if expecting blood. "I think you failed. Let's try that again." He faked a hiccup. "I believe that it should work a second time."
Severus attempted to hide his smile as Hermione Granger leaned in for another kiss.