HOW TO DISMANTLE AN ATOMIC BOMB

Disclaimer: Neither Harry Potter nor U2 are mine (bugger, eh?). I only own the books and the CD's, and can quote almost anything from the books and know all the lyrics to several of the CD's. I need help. Urgently.

OH, and I own a laptop. My preciousssss… M8 shall never takessss you again, preciousss! Fat little M8 staff, they are. What's wireless, precious? What's wireless, aiy…?

Summary: Now, I'm not really sure where this one is going. It's a bit hazy. BUT it is HG/SS, possibly DM/HP, but Hermy and Snape will be the focus. That's why it's in the Hermy/Snape section. Like, duh. I really need help.

Rating: Hmm, I think this is an R, for language, nothing sexually explicit in this. I just can't right that sort of thing. Especially not with my friends reading coughGHASPyouallsuckcough

A/N: Well, I don't think much more can be said for this.

It's going to have 11 chapters, one for each song on the U2 album "How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb" and maybe, just maybe, an epilogue of sorts. But I'm never any good at those, so it's probably best if I don't.

Anything else? Nope, I don't think so… Oh, and don't take the lyrics at the start of each chapter too literally, they are lyrics. Metaphorical bloody things, they are.

So, now that that's all cleaned up…

ONWARD HO!


'Lights go down, It's dark

The jungle is your head

Can't rule your heart

A feeling is so much stronger than

A thought

Your eyes are wide

And though your soul

It can't be bought

Your mind can wander…'


"Severus?"

Severus Snape's head snapped up at being called by his first name.

"I ask you to address me accordingly, Miss Granger." He said through gritted teeth. Ever since first year this girl had been on his nerves, and now that she was his colleague- it only worsened.

"We work together. Every other teacher has asked me to call them by their first name, even Minerva." She looked rather smug at this. "So, I assume I can call you Severus."

"You 'assumed' wrong. You will call me by my proper title." He snarled.

"What, Severus Dimitri Snape, Order of Merlin 3rd class?" she grinned. "Oh I can see that. "More porridge, Severus Dimitri Snape, Order of Merlin 3rd class?" or maybe "Severus Dimitri Snape, Order of Merlin 3rd class, could you pass me a tissue?""

"First of all, you are being dim. Of course I do not want you to refer to me in such a way at all times. Professor Snape will suffice." He said. "Second of all, I do not like porridge. And third; in what instance would I need to hand you a tissue?"

"You tell me." She smirked.

He shook his head. "And I thought Potter and Weasley were bad…" he sighed, and immediately regretted it. Hermione's face fell and she looked down at the floor. Weasley had died the year before in one of Potter's duels with the Pretentious Git who calls himself 'Lord' Voldemort. Took an Avada Kedavra in the chest when he jumped in front of Potter.

"I am sorry." Snape said awkwardly. "I didn't wish to… remind you."

She looked up and gave him a weak smile. "No, it's alright." She sighed. Suddenly she took on a much more confident manner. "Anyway, I was wondering if you could brew me a potion."

"What for?" he asked suspiciously.

"A healing potion. Normally I would do a charm myself or go to Poppy, but it was a Lobalug, and their poison can only be treated by potion." She explained.

"Why, may I ask, were you handling a Lobalug. If my memory serves me, I seem to remember they are found at the bottom of the North Sea." He frowned.

"I was studying it with the fifth years in class. Any other questions?" she asked, smiling.

"Yes. Where is the rash the poison caused?" he asked.

She blushed a little. "Down my top." She said quietly.

He raised an eyebrow. "And how, pray tell, did it get there?" he suppressed the urge to snicker.

"The poison went through my shirt." She explained, still blushing. "I only just managed to get back to my office before it completely disintegrated." She said.

He forced his face to remain impassive. "Very well. I shall bring the potion to you in approximately two hours."

She nodded and said her thanks before leaving his office. He sighed and stood up, fetching a small cauldron and the appropriate ingredients.

- "Hello, hello… I'm at a place called Vertigo" -

Hermione sighed as she lowered herself into a steaming bath, the smell of lavender thick in the air. The red rash on her chest tingled as the water hit it, but after a moment it numbed.

The warm water soothed her aching body; she"d been doing practical exams with her students all day, as it was the last week of term before the students left for home.

A few minutes later she was interrupted by a knock at the door.

"Go away." She moaned, but started to climb out of the bath anyway. She pulled a towel around herself and opened the door to see Harry standing there.

"Do you treat all your guests like that, or do I get special treatment?" he teased.

"Harry!" she squealed, swinging wide the door and launching herself at him.

"Whoa, there, girl!" he laughed, stumbling inside the door. "How are you?" he asked.

"Fine, same old, same old, really. Nothing ever happens around here; I don't know whether that"s a good or bad thing!" she laughed, heading off to the kitchen to get some tea.

"Well, considering what we used to get up to when there was something going on, I'd say for a teacher, that's a good thing!" he said, following her and hoisting himself up onto the small wooden table in her kitchen.

"True," she smiled. "But it would be nice to have a little excitement now and then…" she sighed, pouring the kettle that she had magically heated into two cups with teabags in them.

"What you need, Hermione Granger, is a boyfriend." Said Harry, accepting his cup with a nod of thanks. "Which is why I'm taking you out tonight. Neville, Ginny, Lav, Parvati, Seamus, Dean and I are going on the pull. And we decided you needed to come." He grinned.

"Harry, I can't, I"ve got heaps of work to do, and-"

"Herms, you're twenty-two and haven't been out of this castle in three weeks. Plus, we've got an extra guy so we need another girl. You're coming out with us." He said firmly.

Hermione sighed. "Okay Harry. You win. But you'll have to wait. Snape's coming over."

"Snape, eh? Looks like someone doesn't need to come on the pull… Well, don't let me interrupt you and "Sevvy"." He laughed.

"Oh, bugger off. He"s bringing over some potion. I got squirted by a Lobalug in class today, and he made the antidote." She said, hitting him on the shoulder.

"Ouch. Where"d it hit you?" he asked.

She lowered the towel enough for him to see the red rash that covered her chest and stomach. He burst out laughing.

"What? It's not that funny…" she frowned.

"No, no, it's just that- You do know how the potion has to be taken, right?" he laughed.

"How?" she asked, worried.

"Weeell… Maybe I should just leave that up to Sevvy to explain," he laughed harder still. "Anyway, I may be going now, pick you up at seven? Great. Thanks for the coffee!" he all but ran to the door.

With a quick "accio!" her "Defence Against Dark Creatures" was in her hand and open on the page she wanted.

"The lobalug antidote potion must be administered directly to the affected area with a cotton bud or the like. Rub the bud along the skin until the reddening disappears. This may take several minutes." She read aloud, before dropping the book and opening the front door.

"YOU GET BACK HERE RIGHT NOW HARRY POTTER!" she yelled at Harry's retreating back, now running full pelt down the hall. Had she been dressed in something a little more modest, she would have given chase, but she just sighed and settled for going back inside muttering obscenities and death threats.

As soon as the door was closed behind her there was another knock.

"That"s right, Harry, come crawling back to-" she stopped as she saw Snape there, disdain evident on his face.

"Sorry to disappoint, Miss Granger." He snarled.

"Sorry, I thought you were Harry," she blushed as she opened the door to let him inside.

"Obviously." He said.

She spied the potion in his left hand. "Thank you for making the potion." She said.

He just nodded in reply. "I take it you know how to apply it?" he asked, somewhat uncomfortably.

"Yes. But, I err… I need someone to do so." She blushed deeper.

"It's called a mirror, Miss Granger." He snarled.

"I"ve thought of that. But you see, my mirror is broken." She said.

"Whatever for?" he asked.

"It was perverted." She said simply. "It'd make crude comments when I got changed. I bent over one time and he said something and I decided I'd had enough. I threw my hairbrush at it." She smirked at the memory of hearing its yell when it shattered.

"I see. So go ask Minerva. Potter. Dumbledore. Whoever." He said.

"Minerva"s got night patrol; Harry"s gone til seven, and Dumbledore? Okay, I don't even want to think about that…" she shuddered. She looked up at him. "Please?"

"Miss Granger. You can't possibly want me to." He reasoned.

"I don't, not particularly. But you're the only one who can." She said. "Please, Severus?" she pleaded. "Pleeeease?"

"Bloody hell… I'm not going to win, am I?" he asked, running a hand through his hair.

"Nope." She grinned.

"Fine." He gave in. "But you owe me. Big time."

"Great." She agreed. Suddenly she realised just what she"d gotten herself into. "Okay, well, erm. I"ll go change into something more comfortable. I mean, not that- I mean, like, a dressing gown or something. Not that sort of comfortable. Not that I wouldn"t. I mean, not that I do… Or anything… I"ll just-" she motioned towards her bedroom and all but ran in, mortified.

She closed the door, leant against it and sighed. "Nice one, Granger." She shed her towel and pulled on a white silk robe that reached her knees. "Breathe… Breathe… Okay, Hermione, get. A. Grip. It's Snape, administering a potion. Nothing more, nothing at all more." She took a deep breath and opened the door.

Snape was sitting at the table, the bottle of potion and cotton buds on the table.

"Erm… Where?" she asked him.

He shrugged. "Where does the rash go down to?"

"My stomach." She said.

"Then you should probably lie down." He answered.

"The couch." She said, moving towards the maroon coloured couch covered in suede like fabric, warm and soft to touch.

She lay down and Snape sat down on the edge, dabbing one of the buds into the liquid.

She took a deep breath and pulled the robe down from her lower body. Snape stared at her stomach, not daring to move his eyes from it. He started working on her rash and they were silent until her reached her chest, which was covered in a plain white bra.

"You may need to remove your underwear." He said, looking straight from her stomach to her face.

She nodded and reached behind her to undo the clasp. She slid it off and Snape had to talk to keep from focusing on what he was doing.

"So, erm… Why"s Potter picking you up tonight?" he asked.

She gave a snort of laughter. "And you care, why?" she asked.

He glared at her, before resuming his work.

"We"re going out, probably clubbing. He thinks I need a boyfriend," she snorted with laughter again. "Though I highly doubt that. I spend most of my time in the castle, I hardly have any spare time. So, if anything, I'd need someone to stay with me at Hogwarts."

"Well, the seventh years are looking very disappointing this year, I'm sure." He smirked.

"Yeah, well, I'm not that into students." She grinned.

"Anyway… anyone special in your life?" she teased.

He glared at her. "If there was, do you really think I'd be sitting here administering potion to a colleague on a Friday night?"

She laughed. "I guess not. Though, if you were one of those guys who goes to the pub to boast to his mates, you could say you got a twenty two year old topless and on her back before seven." She laughed, then realised what she"s said and blushed.

"Yes, well, luckily I'm not. For your sakes and mine." He smirked.

"Ah, well, nothing like a good teacher/teacher relationship to end the year." She laughed.

"Yes, well, the idea that Snape, greasy bastard of the dungeons has a girlfriend may just shock the students into muteness. One can only hope." He said. "You're done." He put the used cotton buds on the table and the cap on the bottle.

"If those students were quiet, even for a day… It'd almost be worth shagging you." She pulled her robe back around her, but not before he saw a flash of skin above her thigh, creamy skin with a small mole.

She turned her head to the side to find her bra, and he saw a splash of red on her neck.

"Wait a minute," she he grabbed her chin, holding her head to the side.

She tensed up.

"Let go." She said quietly.

"Just a second." He kept one hand on her neck gently, the other reaching for the bottle of potion.

"Let go! Now! Let go!" she screamed, pushing him away.

He recoiled from her in shock.

She breathed heavily a moment. "Sorry," she said, calming down. "I don't like people touching my neck. It freaks me out." She managed a small smile.

"I didn't think anything freaked Hermione Granger out." He said.

"It always has. It just, startles me, you know? All my nerves tense up, it's hard to explain. But is there more?" she asked.

"Yes, just there." He pointed to the red on her neck.

She took a deep breath and smiled at him. "Okay."

He lifted her head slightly to the side and started work on the rash. He felt her tense up, the hairs on the back of her neck raise. He was careful to touch it as least as possible; not only for her sake, but also for his- She had narrowly missed hitting his face when she had pushed him away before.

"Done." He said after five minutes or so.

She breathed deeply and massaged her neck for a moment, before standing up.

"Well, thankyou." She said, smiling at him.

"Just doing my job." He answered.

"Thanks anyway." Then she did something neither of them was expecting: She hugged him. Just a quick one, but a hug all the same. Snape stiffened, and she let go, blushing.

A cough came from the door and there stood Harry and all the others, each with rather odd expressions on their faces. Harry looked like he was trying not to burst out laughing and looking smug at the same time, which ended up with him looking a little constipated, to tell you the truth. Dean was halfway between shock and anger, and the others were all somewhere in between.

Both Snape and Hermione jumped apart, Snape grabbing the bottle as he did so.

He nodded at Hermione once before brushing past the others and out the door.

She just stood there glaring at them.

"You are all so dead." She hissed at them.

"Funny, she doesn't seem to have the same aura of power when she"s half naked and has just been caught making out with Snape." Smirked Lavender.

Hermione pulled the robe tighter around her, and answered Lavender scathingly.

"We were not making out. I was thanking him. Just a friendly hug, that"s all." She steamed.

"And since when do you give Snape friendly hugs?" exploded Dean.

"Since he"s my colleague, a very respectable man and a friend." She threw back at him. "Now, if you'll all excuse me, I'm going to get dressed." She huffed and stalked into her rooms.

""Cause we all know who helped you get undressed." Whispered Seamus, and they all burst out laughing, say for Dean who just glared at them all.

- "It's everything I wish I didn't know" -

"Okay, guys, here"s the deal. We all roll a number on these," he produced two small green dice from his pocket. "And they are magically charmed so none of us get the same number as the other. Then whoever"s one, has to try- emphasis on that word, try- to pull the first person of the appropriate gender to walk through the door. The person who rolls a two gets the next person, and so on. Everyone got it?" he asked. They all nodded.

"Okay, I"ll go first." He rolled the dice and came up with a five, then passed it on to Neville who was sitting next to him. He rolled a two, then passed it on. Seamus got twelve, Dean- seven, Ginny- three, Parvati- eleven, Lavender- eight and finally it came to Hermione.

"Please don't be one… Please don't be one…" she whispered to herself.

They all looked at her expectantly and she rolled.

"Bullocks"" she said angrily, pushing the dice back to Harry.

"Okay, so up first is Herms. Everyone, stare at that door." Instructed Seamus.

They all sat there, sipping their drinks and staring intently at the door, everyone wearing grins except for Hermione and Dean, Hermione staring at it anxiously, and Dean doing the same to her.

It was several minutes before someone came in, and she was almost getting hopeful that maybe that was it for the night. But of course, it wasn"t.

There was the sound of the magical bell above the door signalling someone was approaching the door, and a moment later it opened.

Everyone exploded into laughter as they saw who it was. Snape. Of course, who else could make her friends tease her more? She should have expected it. Yup. This wasn"t her day.

"Shit!" she cursed, turning around and banging her head on the bar.

"C"mon, Herm"s, you have to." Smirked Harry.

"But it's- I can't- fuck!" she said, sitting up straight and taking a deep breath. "I won't." she said finally.

"You have to." Retorted Ginny gleefully.

"No."

"Yes."

"No."

"Yes."

"No!"

"You're just afraid you can't pull." Said Ginny.

"Afraid? No. The fact that I don't want to, yes." Hermione answered.

"No, you don't think you could do it. Tell you what: I"ll bet you ten galleons you can't pull him." She said.

"I can bloody well pull!" she hissed at her.

"Prove it." Smirked Ginny, knowing this would work. Hermione Granger could never back down from a challenge.

"Fine. You're on." She said angrily, shaking hands with her across the table. She downed her drink quickly, took a deep breath and turned around. She checked her hair, pulled down her top a little and set of across the bar towards where Snape was now sitting, ordering a drink.

"Hi," she said, sitting on a stool next to him.

He glanced around at her.

"No." he said quietly.

"What?" she asked, confused.

"I heard your conversation. And I am not going to be "pulled" by you." He said, taking his drink from the barmaid with a nod.

"Bugger. Okay. Well, if I go back straight away, they will think I didn't try. So, I have to stay and talk." She sighed.

"If you must." He said, and took a sip of his fire whisky, letting the liquid roll around his mouth before burning down his throat.

"Wanna sit down?" she asked, indicating the small leather booths around the pub. She would be glad to be out of direct sight from her friends.

He nodded, bought himself and her drinks and they headed off to one of the booths.

- "Except you give me something I can feel, feel" -

"Good work, Gin." Grinned Harry.

"I"ve perfected the art of Hermione baiting." She smirked. "Okay, who"s next?"

"Me." Said Neville quietly. On cue, the door opened and in came a witch about their age with pale skin and black hair. She wore heavy eye make-up and black clothes with Doc Martins on her feet.

They pushed him off his chair and towards the bar where she was standing and started on the next one: Ginny.

"Male or female, Gin?" asked Seamus.

"Either. Whoever"s best looking." She grinned.

"Okay…" they waited for the door to open.

First it was a group of guys, all over 50. "Ew, no." Ginny crinkled up her nose. The next one was more successful. A brunette girl walked in wearing a halter neck top and tight jeans. "That"s my cue!" she said, jumping up.

"My turn. We"re going guy here, people." He said, turning to the door expectantly. The first two people to walk in were girls, the third a couple.

"Okay, Harry you're taking too long. You get the next guy who comes in. No questions asked." Complained Parvati.

They waited a few more minutes before the door opened again and in walked-

"Draco Malfoy? You"ve gotta be shitting me…" sighed Harry.

"Well, it's not as bad as it seems. He"s gay, and hot." Reasoned Seamus. "Now, come on. Some us are hoping to get laid tonight."

Harry hopped off his stool and headed off to where Draco was leaning against the bar. One by one each of the others went off to the appropriate "pull".

- "Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!" -

"So, Dumbledore decided you were better at potions than Defence Against the Dark Arts? Classic…" smirked Hermione.

"Apparently, and I quote, "it was what the fates wished me to do"." Snape sneered.

"What a load of complete and utter tripe!" laughed Hermione.

"My sentiments exactly." He agreed. "By the way, I hope I didn't cause too much… conversation when I left earlier." He smirked.

"Not at all. They mocked, I shouted, they cowered. It was great, really." She grinned.

"And then as soon as you were out of the room, they burst out laughing." He said.

"Probably." Sighed Hermione. "As Lavender said, "Funny, she doesn't seem to have the same aura of power when she"s half naked and has just been caught making out with Snape". Not that we were making out or anything." She laughed.

"No, thank god. No offense, but I generally try not to "make-out" with colleagues. But then, all my other colleagues have either been old school enemies, three times my age, clueless bastards, Ministry lackeys or end up having Voldemort sticking out the back of their head." He gave a snort of mirthless laughter.

"And let"s not forget Moody." Grinned Hermione.

He shook his head. "Oh, please, let"s." they both grinned. "I"ve had enough of that old coot. So, feel proud; you're the best looking member of our staff. Not that there"s much to compare to."

"Flattery will get you no where, Severus." She chided, smiling. "However, another drink will." She lifted her glass.

"But I got the last round!" he said.

"I did." She said.

"I assure you, I did."

"Look, just get the drinks, will you?" she asked.

"No!" he said, laughing.

She glared at him. "If you don't get them, I"ll do something evil. Very evil."

"Like what?" he scoffed.

"Kiss you." He looked stricken for a minute, then burst out laughing. "You wouldn"t."

"I would." She cocked an eyebrow.

"With all you friends looking on? I don't think so!" he smirked.

"Wanna bet?" she challenged.

"What"s in it for me? I bet you won't do it, and you will. That leaves me losing money and being pashed by you in front of Potter and Co." he said.

"Well, if you're not sure…" she baited. He looked at her closely.

"Okay, you're on. I know you wouldn"t do that in front of your friends, they"d bag you too much." He said confidently.

She reached over the table and grabbed his face, kisses him straight on the mouth. Immediately whistles and cheering went up from the direction of the bar. She broke the kiss, still holding his face and looked over; there were the others, Harry, Neville, Dean, all of them sitting at the bar looking at her and grinning. She blushed and let go of Snape, sitting back in her seat.

"Shit…" she said, and looked over at Snape, who was trying not to laugh. "You knew they were there, didn't you?" she asked.

He just nodded and downed the last of his fourth fire whisky that night.

She glared at her friends and decided to get back at them. Somehow. She looked back at Snape, who was now looking at her shaking his head, a small smile on his face.

She leant forwards and said to him quietly. "Will you help me with something?"

"What?" he looked at her suspiciously.

"Will you? I'll by drinks." She grinned.

He looked at her threw narrow eyes for a moment. "Okay." He said finally.

"Great!" and she leant forward and kissed him again, this time running her hands through his hair. He sat still shocked for a minute. "Work with me." She said, moving around the table to sit on his lap. She continued kissing him, just on the lips, before pulling him to his feet and getting her bag.

"That drink will have to wait." She said, smiling slightly. She led him to the door and he broke out of his reverie and spun her around.

"Where are we going?" he asked her.

"Back to Hogwarts. Don't worry. It's just getting back at the others." She said quietly. "Now, come on."

She pulled him to the door but he spun her around again.

"What?" he asked incredulously.

"Look, you agreed to help me. Anyway, they'll have new respect for you." She said, tugging him towards the door. He let himself be pulled there, but at the last minute he decided to have some fun. He turned her around once again and pulled her tight and said, loud enough for the others to hear, "Your rooms or mine?"

She just grinned. "Who has the bigger bed?"

He cocked an eyebrow at her. "My, my, Miss Granger. Whatever are you thinking?"

She pulled him out the rest of the way and they both burst out laughing when the door was shut behind them.

"Ta," she said.

"My pleasure…" he said.

"My, my, Professor. Whatever are you thinking?" she laughed. "Here, keep this here. They'll be watching, I know they will. My friends don't trust me enough." She pulled one of his hands around her waist and let it on her hip, placing her own on top.

They walked up to Hogwarts, parting ways in the Great Hall.

"Thanks. For the potion, and tonight." She laughed.

"Well, I enjoyed shocking Potter a little. And you never know. He could be shocked into muteness. One must only hope." He said.

She just shook her head. "You never change, do you?" she asked.

He took a minute to ponder this. "No."

She laughed. "Okay, then. Goodnight." She said.

"Night." He replied, and she gave him a quick peck on the cheek before hurrying up the stairs to her rooms on the sixth floor.


'The night is full of holes

As bullets rip the sky

Of ink with gold

They twinkle as the

Boys play rock and roll

They know that they can't dance

At least they know…'


Chapter one finished. Didja like it? I'm quite happy with it, and it's ten pages long, so that's gotta be a good thing. Riiight?

Anyway, I know Sevvy and Hermy were a little out of character at the pub, but you must remember, they had both had several drinks. And here's the proof:

"downed the last of his fourth fire whisky". And if they shouted each other, like they had talked about, she would also be on her fourth. So ha, it's all worked out. But never fear, more of our snazzy snarky sexy shag-a-delic Severus Snape next chapter. YAY!

Oh, and the whole neck thing? That's inspired by me. I can't stand people toughing my neck. I gave my friend a black eye once, when she came up behind me and put her hand on my shoulder and I pushed my elbow backwards by instinct and it hit her. I felt so bad…

Toodles, oh quokkalicious reviewers.

A/N: buy the U2 CD. On second thought, buy all of U2's CD's. They are all uber quokkalicious.

You can't go wrong.

Seriously, you can't.

Really.