A/N: This is my second fanfic, the first is still currently in progress though I'm taking a brief break from it to rethink some elements of the plot. But anyway, in the mean time I'm posting this, not sure what it will develope into, but please do read and review if you like it. Thanks!
Dappled sunlight fell through the gently swaying branches overhead creating a softly glowing green canopy above the Golden Trio as they lay sprawled upon the cool silken grass in a tangled heap. Soft barks of laughter floated on the gentle warm breeze from beneath the sprawling branches of the large oak tree beside the lake, as once in a while Ron reached over with long nimble fingers to deliver a swift tickle to Hermione's ribs. Squealing madly she would flail and jerk as her eyes closed tightly in laughter while she vainly tried to fight off his unbidden attacks. All the while Harry simply laid there, his long arms folded behind his head as he watched the enigmatic couple wrestling playfully in the soft light of the lazy afternoon. With a languid roll of his sparkling green eyes he chuckled under his breath before letting his eyes slid shut slowly, content to simple listen to the unabashed happiness of his oldest and dearest friends.
Emitting a shrill squeal Hermione looked pleadingly to Harry as Ron proceeded to rise to his knees, pinning her wildly kicking legs with his own. His unruly mop of fiery hair fell into his warm brown eyes as he grinned devilishly down at her.
"No, Ron no!" she cried out through a suffocating bought of laughter as his fingers snaked over her ribs, heading dangerously close to the overly ticklish spot on her hips. Throwing her head back in another loud peal of laughter she managed through her tears and ragged breath to implore pitifully at her friend who lay still and musing only feet away. "Harry! Help me! Please!" she yelled as Ron dove in for the kill, his own deeper laughter mingling with the light and airy sound of her own. Rolling his eyes again in feigned exasperation, Harry rolled onto his side, resting his head upon his hand as he gazed at the two of them.
"Oh if I must" he said in a playfully sarcastic tone before rising to his knees and quickly tumbling into action beside Ron. A pitiful sounding wail erupted from Hermione's lips, the only indication of no real harm caused by the rippling laughter that continued to cut through it.
"Harry!" she protested loudly, pausing for a moment to frown darkly at him for aiding Ron and not her, her chocolate brown eyes warming instantly as she saw the beaming smile spread across his face that all too often showed an age far beyond his few years, an age that made her heart ache with sorrow and despair.
Several long moments were spent with the trio rolling and tumbling across the grass in a childish bout of play wrestling, their laughter and squeals drawing a few amused glances their way, before the observer would simply shrug and continue ambling by with a chuckle. Neither of the young adults noticed the dark and sour looking figure striding purposely across the lawns towards them, nor did they notice the dark gleam in his eyes as those shinning black orbs settled upon them, his typically dour expression twisted into one of disgust and extreme displeasure at the pathetic and debase "mission" he had been sent on. A gruff clearing of his throat caused the three friends to freeze suddenly, his long slender shadow falling over them as he sneered in contempt at the sight before him. Sprawled upon the grass, her hair a mass of tangles, fallen leaves and grass was Hermione, Harry and Ron pinning each of her legs between their own as there hands hovered, poised over the exposed flesh of her belly and ribs.
A deep flush rose in Hermione's cheeks as she realized what a picture it must appear to be to a casual passerby, especially one as renowned and despised for his complete lack of joy and understanding as the man now glaring down at them with his arms stiffly folded across his chest.
"As much as I hate to break up your ménage e trios, your presence Miss Granger, has been requested by the Headmaster" Professor Snape sneered scornfully. Quickly disentangling themselves, the trio rose as one, Hermione brushing the leaves and grass from her jeans and attempting to arrange her mass of honey hair into some semblance of control. As the three friends took several steps towards their glowering Professor he swiftly held up a pale hand and his expression all but dripping with a considerable amount of dark pleasure as he looked from Harry to Ron and purred silkily,
"Your attendance however Mister Potter and Mister Weasley, is not required. I am sure that you can somehow manage to survive without Mister Granger's company for a few moments." Both boys immediately scowled and sneered at the Professor standing before them, the awfully smug, grin of pleasure of his face prompting Ron to take a threatening step forward. Professor Snape's grin quickly melted into a scowl as he hissed "Don't be a fool Mister Weasley."
"Merlin, if you were not a Professor…" Ron began coldly, his typically warm eyes darkening with hatred.
"You would what, Mister Weasley?" Snape questioned with an air of calm amusement. "Unleash that rabble of red-haired buffoons you call family upon me? I tremble with dread before you" he sneered, fighting to keep the laugh from his voice and the smile from his face. Scarlet instantly flooded Ron's cheeks as his brilliant red brows came down in a severe frown, his hands curled tightly into fists as his sides as he took another step towards the elder man, a deep growl rumbling in his throat.
"Ron!" Hermione quickly interjected, stepping in front of him, laying her gentle hands upon his burning cheeks and guiding his darkly flashing eyes to her own. "Don't be a fool and get yourself expelled" she whispered urgently as she stroked the uncontrollable mop of hair back from his face. Ron's shoulders instantly sagged beneath her warm and tender gaze, a small impish smile tugging at the corners of his mouth as he bowed his head slightly.
"Mum would kill me if I got expelled now" he said somewhat sullenly though his tone held a spark of lightheartedness that made Hermione smile.
"Yes she would and so would I" she replied with a soft laugh. "Now don't worry, I'm only going to see Dumbledore, I'll meet you and Harry in the common room before dinner. Don't worry" she repeated again with a laugh when she saw Ron's eyes drift over her shoulder to look at the dark Professor behind her back, watching the darkness seep into his soft expression once more. Placing a soft kiss on Ron's cheek she smiled warmly at Harry lifting her hand in a small wave before she was swiftly pulled around by a strong grasp on her upper arm.
"Come along Miss Granger, no need to dawdle" Professor Snape crooned darkly as he began dragging her up the slight slope towards the castle. Once they were out of sight of Harry and Ron, Snape quickly released his grip on Hermione's arm as if she were something dirty, the mere touch of her a great displeasure to him. Falling into step beside the man she both respected and despised she turned dark eyes to him and said with great disdain in her voice,
"Must you always be so rude Professor?" Shocked by the sudden and rather disrespectful outburst Professor Snape froze and grabbed her arm once again, spinning her around to face him leaving her stumbling and unsteady. Bracing herself with a firm grip on his solid arm she waited for the world to once again steady itself before she looked up into the eyes that glared down at her malevolently.
"Rude Miss Granger?" he sneered, "I treat Mister Potter and Mister Weasley with as much respect as I think they deserve." Glowering Hermione released his arm and quickly pulled her own from his grasp, proceeding to cross them both over her chest defiantly.
"You treat them with no respect!" she exclaimed hotly.
"My point exactly" he replied coolly before turning sharply on his heel and continuing on towards the castle, pausing only briefly to glance over his shoulder at the young woman who continued to stand with her arms folded over her chest. "Do come along Miss Granger, the Headmaster is waiting" he scowled before once more storming off. Bowing her head and gritting her teeth against the string of curses that hung like acid on her tongue Hermione hung her arms at her sides and trudged up the small hill and into the cool shadows of the main hall.