Disclaimer: The Potterverse and all its parts belong to J.K. Rowling. The Shakespeare belongs to Shakespeare. Snape belongs to Hermione. Everything else is mine. That said, enjoy the story.

Hermione stared with some trepidation down at the brimming glass of Firewhiskey. Tonight was the night. Her date with destiny. Her appointment with fate.

Tonight, Hermione Granger was going to get drunk. It was a grand, dramatic gesture, her protest against the injustice of the universe. She gulped. Hermione was not one for grand, dramatic gestures. The most dramatic thing she had ever done—well, aside from the whole Voldemort situation, fortunately over and done with—was to slap Draco Malfoy in the middle of the Great Hall.

And that, Hermione told herself decisively, was one more compelling reason to get started. She picked up the glass and knocked it back with panache, only to promptly choke and hiccup as the liquid burned down her throat. Her eyes watered. She regarded the next glass with some dread. Being dramatic was not very much fun.

Five or six glasses later, Hermione was feeling much more into the spirit of things. She gazed moodily down at her drink, she gazed moodily at the wall, she gazed moodily back at her drink, and she decided definitively to swear off men and join a convent, where she would live out her days gazing tragically at the stars and healing lepers. She had it all worked out up until the epitaph on her gravestone after she succumbed to the consumption she would undoubtedly contract.

She was deliberating between "She died a martyr to cruel destiny" and "She always loved chocolate" when the banging of the door disrupted her gloomy reverie. She looked muzzily up to see the potions master striding angrily toward her. At least, she thought it was him; she was having some trouble focusing.

"What," he bit off icily, "could you possibly think you are doing?"

Hermione smiled dreamily up at him. "Getting drunk."

Snape growled, and, throwing a few galleons next to her empty glass, picked her up and carried her unceremoniously out of the bar. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she buried her nose in his collarbone. "You smell good," she informed him. He snorted and ignored her, striding out into the snow.

"What possessed you?" he demanded, still holding her as they made their way out of Hogsmeade.

"It was a futile demonstration against the unfairness of the cosmos," declared Hermione magnificently, gesturing expansively. She managed to clip him in the jaw and throw herself off-balance simultaneously. Snape grunted and shifted his grip. "Star-crossed lovers!" she elaborated. "The slings and arrows of outraged fortune! Ginny eating all my cockroach clusters!" She paused and swiped at her eyes. "But it's all for nothing, after all. Our romance is doomed." She looked speakingly at the base of his throat. "You hate my cat. I think you need to shower more. The whole thing was condemned from the start." She sniffed.

"Don't be ridiculous," Snape informed her curtly.

"And the worst of it is," Hermione wailed, hiccupping a little, "is that I can't stop thinking about you, and you can't stand the sight of me!"

"What utter rubbish," Snape said roughly. "Don't you know I'm madly in love with you?"

Hermione turned suddenly shining eyes up to his face. "Really?" she managed.

He nodded. She wiped her eyes, then suddenly covered her mouth, looked horrified, and threw up at his feet.

Holding her steady as she shuddered and wretched, smoothing her hair back, he sighed and pressed a kiss to her temple. "Foolish girl. Of course I love you." He paused. "Of course, your cat…"

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