Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter

Author's Note: Have a very Harry Christmas everybody!

Underneath the Misletoe

Everywhere she walked, there were floating candles, brightening the hallways, invisible qoirs singing 'We Wish you a Merry Christmas' and other Christmas songs, and the hallways, chambers, classrooms and even the Dungeons had all sorts of Christmas decoration.

Most of the students were already inside the Great Hall, dancing together, laughing, singing. She wished for the days where she would be with Ron and Har, studying and following classes as usual, getting into trouble and spending detention together, though those days would never come back again.

Perhaps she had missed Hogwarts, and this was the reason she had accepted the offer Dumbledore had given her. She certainly had thought about becoming a teacher before she had been asked by Dumbledore, to fill up the position of Charms teacher, as Professor Flitwick had retired. She did not mind at all teaching the bright students (well, most of them were bright) that attended Hogwarts; it was great to offer them knowledge she had learned herself before.

She missed Harry and Ron as well, even though they send eachother letters weekly and visited eachother monthly, most times at Hogsmeade. However, they did not see eachother that often as before, and since their graduation, it seemed as if they were all growing apart.

After graduation, both Harry and Ron had gotten offers of several Quidditchteams, but only Ron had accepted the offer of the Chudley Cannons. It had been Harry's dream on becoming an Auror, so he would not give it up. The last two years, he had worked alot harder than usual and his grades were as high as her's, even at Potion's he had become quite good.

It had suprised her greatly when Harry announced at the end of their seventh year, that he and Ginny were going out together. Of course, she had seen it coming, since the two of them were perfect for eachother and by now, they even were betrothed to eachother.

Everybody had been thinking that she and Ron were very suitable for eachother, though she did not have any feelings for him except for friendship. And she did not want to have anything more with him. She never had alot of boyfriend's, actually she just had one; Viktor. For a while, they had stayed penpal's, but that gradually disappeared as well, leaving her single once again.

She didn't mind, she was probably better off on her own.

Wandering down the corridor and heading towards the Great Hall, Hermione felt a certain reluctance on entering the Ball on her own. Last time they had a Yule Ball, she at least had a date, but now she was condemned on spending the evening alone. It was too bad Dumbledore told the staff that everyone needed to come, for 'keeping an eye' on the students. It was nonsense, she tought.

She heard the music very good now, as she approached the Hall, soft and soothing. The door was open and there were some students standing outside, talking, as others were dancing in the middle of the Hall. The Christmas tree, which reached the rooftop, was marvelousley decorrated.

She nodded at some of her students, who greeted her cheerfully as she walked around the Great Hall, searching for one of the teachers. Perhaps she could start a conversation with Minerva, or Poppy, just to try and make the time go a little faster.

However, Minerva was dancing with the Headmaster and Poppy was busy with a student who had bumped his head against a table. The rest of the staff were dancing as well, with the exception of professor Snape, who looked as grumpy as ever.

She knew she hated Ball's like this, and she really couldn't blame him. When she came back to teach at Hogwarts, he had given her a foul look everytime she was coming close to him. At breakfast, lunch, dinner, in the corridors- whenever he saw her, he looked at her as if he could shoot her right on the spot.

Thank God looks can't kill, Hermione thought, as she stood next to him, thinking about how to start a conversation with him.

While still at school, Snape had been Hermione's least favorit teacher. And she had probably been his least favorite student, together with Har and Neville Longbottom. So it wasn't easy breaking the ice with him now she was a teacher herself and his collegue (though none of the other teachers had ever tried to talk with him in a normal way).

"This is truely a nightmare," said the blackhaired man suddenly. He did not look at her, but merely raised an eyebrow at the sight of Dumbledore and Minerva dancing around the Great Hall. She had to surpress a giggle and agreed with him.

"Well, thank goodness it can't last forever," she mumbled. "I dislike this as much as you do." He snorted.

"I honestly doubt that," he replied. Glad she finally found someone she could actually relate to on this dreadfull evening, Hermione smiled at Dumbledore and Minerva as they came walking up to them, their face having a shade of pink and heavily breathing.

"Ah," Dumbledore smiled. "I see you both have found the misletoe." His eyes had their usual twinkle as he looked above them at the little bush of misletoe, hanging above Severus and Hermione. For a second, Severus thought about this and then glanced at Dumbledore, in shock.

"Albus, you cannot be serious about this," he spat, his pale face turning a bit red.

"Oh but I am," the old man replied. "It is tradition Severus, besides, how often do you get an oppurtunity kissing a lovely woman such as her?" Severus and Hermione both rolled their eyes.

"Fine," Severus snapped. "Fine!" He turned, facing her and bend down a bit, giving her a kiss on her lips. Though Hermione had expected him to retreat as soon as he had placed a quick kiss on her lips, he did not retreat that soon. And she did not mind it at all.

His kiss had been loving and gentle, his righthand rested gently upon her shoulder and his body moved a bit closer. Now he retreated and looked around him, trying to find Dumbledore and see if he had seen it. But Dumbledore had gone off and returned dancing with Minerva again.

Trying to find her voice again, Hermione took a step back and cleared her throat. "Well," she started. "Would you like to dance with me?" For a second, Snape looked at her as if she was joking, but then a small smile appeared on his face, for just a second.

"It would be my pleasure."