Hey, I am back. Hope anyone still reads my stories. Sorry for being away for this long! I am back!
Pansy was watching her Hermione with narrowed eyes for a good ten minutes. Why did she agree to come to the library when she had no urgent need for that again? The girl in question shifted slowly on the hard wooden stool they were sharing not taking her eyes from the big, no, from the HUGE book she was so engrossed in. Pansy let out a whimper as she herself moved a bit. Her bum was going to die soon and fall off if she was not going to do something.
'Why did I agree to come here? There got to be a reason why I am spending my free time watching Hermione study. While she is my friend the process of seeing her turning pages is not all that fascinating...'
"Hermione..?" Pansy finally scooted herself close enough to Hermione to whisper into her ear.
"Hm?.." that was not exactly the answer she was waiting for and it did not really encouraged to continue, but Pansy pressed it before any part of her anatomy was going to be lost. She was quite attached to her backside.
About an hour ago Hermione walked into her dorm room with that pleading and hopeful expression on her face was at first sight Pansy was lost and just a little frightened.
"Pansy, are you busy for the next couple of hours?"
Pansy smiled politely as the cold drops of sweat started roll down her back. Very alarming thoughts were running rampage in her head.
'Oh Merlin ... does she want me help hide a body?!' she clutched the detective novel she was reading closer to her chest. 'Yes. She would come to me for that because I'm her friend and she knows I am loyal to her.'
"I thought we could study together."
'Oh... okay. That's not as exciting as I have expected. ' Pansy's smile faltered. How such a completely foolish thought did came to her mind in the first place anyway? 'I need to cut down on those mystery books.' That kind of reading material was Pansy's dirty little secret. She enjoyed the chase the investigation the grand finale. It was thrilling and safe. And there was no need for Hermione to know that.
"Of course I'm not busy. You wanna go now?"
~~~~~~~~~~ end of flashback~~~~~~~~~
She wasn't all that sure she did the right thing anymore... The library wasn't her favourite place to be. Especially on Friday afternoon. The classes for the week just finished. She was not a workaholic and there was a reason why you could borrow books and take to your dorm. Hermione knew that right?...
This time there was no answer. To pansy's amazement Hermione was lost in the book and unresponsive to the outside world. For a sec the dark haired girl considered snatching the book from under her friend's nose to see if she would go into shock from a sudden stop of her train of thoughts. Would serve Hermione right for dragging her here on Friday afternoon. On a really lovely Friday afternoon on top of it. There had to be a reason for that Hermione wasn't sadistic in that way. Yet... Snape was rubbing at her little by little, but her bright Gryffindor kindness still shone thru, much to the delight of all her friends.
"So Hermione, what are you going to wear for the big evening?"
Hermione's eyes stopped the top of the page as soon as those words were spoken. Now pansy was sure she had her friend's full and unwavering attention.
"What?" Now she was looking at Pansy.
"What will you wear? You can't really show up in your uniform." Pansy thought of that just now and her mind was spinning with the possibilities. She sat on the edge of the stool in anticipation. The expression on her friend's face was not what she was expecting. It was blank. Than Hermione frowned as if trying to remember something... but had some difficulties. She looked lost and as realization of some kind downed on her signs of panic started to appear.
Pansy was looking at her wide eyed.
"No offence, Hermione, but for such A smart person you do make really stupid mistakes."
"Oh, shut it, Pansy. I can't always have in mind every single detail. "
"I know, but you are close sometimes that it's scary. And back to the topic you wardrobe does contain something suitable for the grand occasion. Right?"
Pansy received a glare for an answer; her brains were trying to digest the fact that somebody could not have an outfit for every possible occasion that might arise in this life. That never ever happened to her. So Despite the look the look that Hermione was sending her Pansy was brave enough to ask.
"Maybe you should check? You haven't been anywhere for a while. Maybe you just forgot?"
Hermione was sure that Pansy could forget having in mind that her wardrobe is nearly as big as her dorm room.
"I'm sure I don't have anything fitting. But I will look at what I got during dinner. This way Severus will not be there."
"I thought you were hungry, Hermione."
The Gryffindor snorted.
"My appetite is laughing itself to death at my stupidity. I can't believe I did not think about it."
"It is not like it is tomorrow. You can just buy something. Just check what you have and we'll decide. Ok? We could meet before the curfew. Just where?" pansy looked nervous as she asked the last bit. She wasn't too enthusiastic about going to Snape chamber's after last time he didn't look happy to see her and Millie there. She didn't want to piss of her head of house more that she already did. It was a bad sign if you wanted to finish your last year in Hogswarts peacefully. Beside she was just a little paranoid after what happened between him and Hermione.
Hermione let out a long suffered sigh. Nobody wanted to come over lately. It was getting ridiculous. Severus did not mind if she had friends over as long as they did not bother him and left before curfew.
"Fine, I will come to your dorm after dinner. Is that ok?"
"Should be. You are not going to tell Patil and Brown?"
"So they could kill me for getting into this mess? Oh, I'm running already to them as you see. And you don't think about even making a peep about it, understood? They are worried about me enough as they are."
"Don't look at me that way. I understood. Maybe we can be going now?..."
"No." Hermione's voice went flat.
"What? Why? What are we waiting for?" Pansy was ready to veil. Her legs were falling asleep.
"Ten more minutes."
"Can't you take that book with you or something..."
Pansy has never been good at being patient. It was not her thing. They were wasting their time!
"Oh there you are, dear!" a pleasant and familiar voice came from behind them. Professor Sprout was coming to them dressed on her usual manner with a big smile on her face. While Pansy found the woman to be nice her constant cheerfulness made her uneasy. "Oh, hello Ms Parkinson. What are you girls doing here on such a magnificent day? Anyway , Hermione. Dearest, will you help me as we have discussed? " and also the way she jumped from one topic to another without as much as a pause.
"Professor Sprout... I am so sorry. But things came up for this weekend that makes me unable to assist with the project."
"Oh, that a shame. He was looking forward to some help with his project... It would not take long are you positive you cannot spare couple of hours?"
Pansy was listening to the conversation with great interest. 'Could it be?... That he is the one that needs help? That is my chance!' Her eyes glinted with pure excitement.
"Professor! I will help!"
After the sudden proclamation there was shocked silence.
"Err... Pansy, that's not..."
Hermione shifted towards her friend slowly Finally completely torn from the heavy tome of 'Use of Moon Stone in Healing Potions of 18th Century.' Her eyes wide and fixed on Pansy with warning lights flashing red behind them.
"Splendid, Ms Parkinson! That's wonderful news. I will let Mr Stonefoot the good news."
Pansy's ecstatic smile froze as she finally caught Hermione's sour expression.
"Why, Mr Stonefoot of course. He is taking care of the Devil's Snare that got heavily damaged couple of weeks ago. My hands are quite full of late so I cannot be of any help. The job is relative easy, but requires at least two. He will be immensely happy to receive your help. I take you are quite good in Charms? "
"Yes... But Professor..." Level of Pansy's enthusiasm was rapidly declining.
"I must be going now. So many things to do! The Greenhouse 3 still needs it's roof fixed, and the water pipe just outside is not working again!"
"Professor I think, Pansy..."
"She will be such a big help I just know it! Will I see you at eight am tomorrow, Ms Parkinson?"
"No, I..." Pansy was not happy.
"Splendid! I need to see Hyacinth before dinner... Good day girls!" The cheerful woman was out the door before Pansy could finish. The slytherin was left standing looking rather comical with her mouth still open and her hand extended towards the exit.
"Hermione we didn't you stop me?!" Pansy quickly turned her furry to the nearest person.
"Because you didn't listen!..." Hermione looked around the empty library. Noone was around. Even Madam Pince. It was spookily empty.
"I can't believe it!" Pansy was ready to tear her hair out from frustration. She had to get up unholy early and probably spend good part of her morning caring for a violent plant that nearly killed someone recently!
"Don't be so down, maybe Neville will be there?"
Pansy sniffed angrily sitting next to Hermione again.
"He better, after I volunteered like that... to play a nanny to a Devil's Snare!"
What was she going to do? Hermione was running thru her things. There was almost nothing in her humble wardrobe that could possibly be fit to be worn for such an occasion.
Every single item of clothing was looked at and inspected. There were couple of things that caught Hermione's attention a pair of jeans that had slightly faded effect and a silken long sleeved shirt that fell loosely around her hips... maybe with a pair of heels that she have seen at Pansy's. She knew Hannah had a west that would look nice with that.
Hermione put everything back neatly. Maybe Pansy could help, there had to be something in that girl's wardrobe that could be suitable, right? She could piece the outfit together if she found something else... if she just could Floo! Thanks to the Potion she was taking she could not make it to London and in Hogsmead there weren't any muggle shops.
The situation wasn't all that bad was Hermione's final decision. Now all she needed was a little help.
Hermione just finished the inspection of her belongings as she heard someone in the hallway.
'Severus? I thought he had some things to do... he wasn't supposed to be back till late.'
The girl walked into the sitting room just to see her husband finish his fire whiskey. She froze, and it was not because of the fact that her husband looked edgy. He looked like that most of the time lately. It wasn't even that he just poured a generous amount of alcohol down his throat like it was water. No that was not it.
She was gaping at what was next to him. Her heart dropped. Big, black and white shopping bags.
'Oh ... my... sweet... Merlin...'
Even from a distance she could read the labels written in bold letters that instantly captured her attention. ARMANI and HUGO BOSSS. Undoubtedly expensive and obviously muggle.
Looking at the sigh Hermione understood one bitter truth. She did not have an outfit to fit with whatever Severus had bought for himself.
'Couldn't he go for something less...? What am I going to do? What have the world come to? Severus out shopping for famous brands... '
I she once again looked from the bag to the man and back. He looked less than pleased at the moment. Her lips twitched. She cleared her throat to stop the snicker that was coming.
The little noise she made got her husband's attention informing him that he wasn't as alone at home as he hoped. He slowly turned around to face her.
"Hermione, I thought you were with Ms Parkinson." The witch gave him a smile and tried not to look at the bags so openly.
"I thought to had a detention to supervise. Don't tell me you slipped out to do some shopping?" wasn't going to say it, but the temptation was just too great to resist.
Severus gave her a glare that could reduce the students and most of the teaching staff to tears. Thankfully she knew better that to take his glares personally. She just smiled back. He directed his attention to the offending items discarded by the armchair.
"What can I say? I have heard it improves ones mood."
"Really? That I am glad I wasn't here before you took of shopping." With that sentence Hermione came closer and tried to peek inside the bags as they were snatched from her. She stood for a sec with her hand extended for them. She stood up straight and looked at the man holding the subject of her attention.
"If you don't mind, Hermione. There are things I need to attend to."
"You already missed a good hour of it."
"There are other things that need my attention."
"Good for you. Can I see what you have in those bags?" she gave her best smile combined with wide oped pleading eyes.
"Hermione, you know it doesn't work on me."
"Pretty please with cheery on top?" from the look he had on his face she guessed it wasn't going to work, but tried it anyway.
"Fine. I give up ."
"You Gryffindors never give up. You retreat, regroup and strike again later."
"funny, and here I thought it was more of a Slytherin tactic."
"We adapt whatever works."
Hermione's eyes narrowed. "And we don't?"
He shrugged in a way that showed he wasn't in a mood for any arguments right now.
"I will see you later at dinner, Hermione."
He swept past her in his usual graceful manner leaving her alone with her unsatisfied curiosity.
'What the hell did he buy? And I am going to wear now?!'
' I really spend too much time in the Slytherin dormitory. Nobody is looking twice at me here. I might as well live here.'
It was true. No one as much as looked again when she entered and made her way to the girls' part of the dorm.
'I wander if Millicent is in? Haven't seen her in a while...'
The door to Pansy's room opened after first knock and Hermione took a step back from the surprise.
"Well? What did you find? Do you have it here? No? Come in!"
Hermione was a little scared seeing in what unusually good mood her friend was in.
'Did someone die?' she wasn't trying to be mean, but Pansy was a rather reserved person. Expressing her emotions in this way was more than a little strange.
While Hermione was trying to decide if her friend had been possessed Pansy dragged her in and kept talking.
"Please tell me you found something! I Looked thru my entire closet and there are only robes or dress robes. You would look weird wearing that in muggle London. I have couple of jeans actually, but they will not fit you. Well don't just stand! There say something!"
Pansy finally made a long enough pause for Hermione to put a word in.
"Whose medication did you drink, Pansy?"
"Don't mind her, Hermione. She's fine. It will pass shortly. Hopefully. " Millicent was sitting on the bed with a wide smile on her face watching the two girls. Seeing Hermione's confusion she nodded in the direction of Pansy's bedside table that was at the moment had beautiful wild flowers in a simple glass vase.
"So what? Big deal! It's not like I have never received flowers before." Pansy's words were in a sharp contrast with her facial expression that went beyond happy. Hermione wasn't sure if she was to point it out or just let it slip this time.
"Okay then... Whatever you say, Pansy. How did it happen anyway?"
"Oh, just after I left the library. I was just rounding the corner as he saw him. He gave them to me. Because I have been looking down lately he said. It's not like he meant anything by that."
Hermione looked at Millicent that was barely holding back the laughter. Never in their lives have they seen Pansy Parkinson so genuinely happy. It was as wonderful as sight as it was disturbing.
Finally the adrenaline in Pansy's body started to wear off and she calmed enough to think rationally again. The first thing that she noticed was Hermione didn't bring anything with her.
"Don't tell me you got nothing to wear... You're muggleborn! You must have something nice for a night out."
"Oh, yes. Pansy, I haven't been in muggle part of London for ages now. Beside I don't wear dresses so naturally I haven't got any. I have long since outgrew the one I wore for Yule Ball in my forth year. And it's not like mum and dad are going to help me anytime soon, they ..."
The Gryffindor left the sentence hanging and looked away from Pansy, so she wouldn't see the tears that shone in her eyes for a brief moment.
Pansy winced at the amount of bitterness that dripped from Hermione's words. She never spoke about them. Even Brown and Patils also never touched the topic now that Pansy thought about it. Sometimes it looked like Hermione didn't have any. But she did, didn't she? Muggle healers, weren't they? She heard about it in her second year from someone. It was the only thing she knew about it. She glanced at her roommate and Millicent shrugged indicating she didn't know anything either. Whatever it was it made Hermione bitter just speaking about it.
" I have to come up with something fast. Severus went shopping for the occasion. I can't believe I thought that I would be able to wear jeans to where ever we are going to."
Hermione simply switched back to the main topic clearly indicating that she didn't want to continue previous line of thought.
"Professor Snape went shopping for clothes? The muggle variety? " Millicent looked curious about it. She couldn't imagine Snape doing anything of the sort.
"Of course. Unless Armani is wizarding brand, which I doubt." Hermione had enormous headache after seeing the bags.
"Ar..ma..ni? What does that mean?"
"More problems for me that what it means. I can't just dress up now. I have to dress up really nice."
"Not good. I mean what are you going to do? You need to go shopping as soon as possible."
"I know. The question is how and where? I can't floo to London or any other city and Hogsmead is, as we all know, wizards only village. I can't wear a robe. Severus would kill me. If I had the skill for that I would gladly sue it myself."
At that Pansy's eyes lit up like with stars.
"What? You know how to sew?"Hermione perked up. Maybe things were improving finally?
"Don't be daft. We have money for that, Hermione. "
"I don't follow."
Pansy was looking at the Millicent and Hermione with triumph written all over her face. She was so pleased with herself! It was a good day after all.
"We can easily hire our very own tailor that will sew whatever your heart desires."