Disclaimer: Hermione and Snape belong to JKR; not mine, never were/will be/etc. so please don't sue.

Snape walks into a bar. It's not one of those particularly stunning establishments with top of the line service, but it's not one of those particularly seedy places either. It's one of those back alley hard to find places tucked far away from the hustle and bustle of London tourists.

Snape eyes the place warily as he orders his drinks and notices one Hermione Granger staring at him from a nearby table. After paying for his scotch on the rocks and vodka he walks to her table and sits down. They sit in silence for several minutes, Hermione still staring at her former professor.

"Too shocked for words, Miss Granger, or are you practicing for a staring contest with a dog?" he says with his usual venom.

She blinks and looks down at her drink as if contemplating it: rum and coke, nothing special really. She doesn't respond for several moments, swallowing the comment. Instead, she opts for a question.

"Why did you sit her, sir?"

It's obvious no love has been lost between the two since her graduation from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Deciding not to indicate his initial surprise at finding her in such a place, one he walked into nonetheless, he simply states "A familiar face and curiosity." As if having to clarify further and remain true to form he adds in a harsh tone 'and to get you to stop staring rudely." She avoids his incessant gaze and shifts uncomfortably. He smirks slightly not wanting to give away his enjoyment of her obvious discomfort too much.

"I, um," she clears her throat. "I didn't mean to stare, sir. I just didn't expect to see you, or anyone I knew for that matter, here." She knows she is on the verge of losing her courage, but she tries to cover it up as best she can. All truth be told, he scares her more now than when he did in her time as a student. Her protection is gone, but a small part of her knows she should not be as afraid as she is. He is only trying to intimidate her. Knowing his success pleases him, she does her best to calm down and steady herself.

They continue to drink in silence. Occasionally she feels his eyes on her: watching her, studying her. She tries her best to not show him that it is getting to her.

"Miss Granger, do stop fidgeting," he commands sharply.

"Sorry, sir," she says in response. "It's just that you make me nervous." She knows she shouldn't have told him that. It'll only lead to further trouble, but it just came out.

He scowls deeply at her comment. Picking up his glass, he realizes it is empty. Noticing her glass is empty as well, he stands and inquires after her poison of choice.

Simply she states "Whatever you're having." An eyebrow raises at the statement, but no question follows as he wanders off in the direction of the bar.

Without his immediate presence, it as if she has woken from a spell. Hermione wonders how she got to the point of drinking with former professors, well, former professor, singular, at a bar in the middle of muggle London no less. As he makes his way back, Hermione finally takes notice of his dress: black trousers and a white button down shirt, untucked. His hair is shorter than she remembers, just as greasy looking, but also tinged by hints of grey. He does not appear any older though, and she is sure he is looking more worn than he did when she was still his student.

"Is there a problem, Granger."

"I was just thinking," she says as he hands her another rum and coke. He places a shot of vodka in front of her which she downs immediately.

"You should be careful with that, Miss Granger," he says in a rough tone.

She chuckles. "You're one to talk," comes the quick response.

"I was merely alluding to the fact you shouldn't trust what's in that drink you swallowed without pause."

Hermione looks at him suddenly worried. "You didn't . . . did you?"

He smirks nastily. "I might have, but what would I have to gain from date raping my former student? Of course, this isn't a date to begin with and you're a Gryffindor. Our kind don't mix for a good reason." She looked a bit relieved but carefully inspected her rum and coke anyway. "I should hope you don't just accept drinks unquestioningly from strange men on a regular basis."

She nearly chokes at the statement. It is very unlike her professor but so like him at the same time. The trademark look of resentment and disgust covering his face tells her everything she needs to know.

"What did I tell you about staring?"

She avoids him by looking everywhere else. He takes the opportunity to really take in her appearance. She has changed little from the girl who graduated several years back, except that she is more timid and reserved. This Hermione Granger is less confident. He saw the fear in her eyes when she first saw him. He could have left then, but he chose not to. It was not that he wanted companionship, especially not from someone he spent seven years hating. And it was not out of curiosity like he previously told her. It was because he wanted to show her she didn't need to be frightened of him . . . of them.

She excuses herself to the loo and finds he has refreshed their drinks again when she comes back. She tries to give him five quid, but he refuses it. He gives no reason, and she decides not to ask. For awhile it is merely enough to sit in silence, but eventually she caves.

"Professor, why are you here?"

"I needed a drink," he responds knowing that wasn't really the answer she wants.

"No, why are you in muggle London?"

"I needed a drink."

"Fine, but I'm not as stupid as you look." He head snaps up as soon as she says it. She knows she is staring again, but this time it is out of shock at herself not him.

"You have a very low thresh hold for alcohol, Miss Granger," is his only response; however it is delivered with more than the usual amount of sarcasm and menace indicating his initial displeasure.

"I'm sorry, sir. I didn't . . . I don't . . . I'm sorry."

Suddenly, he chuckles. It is a sound foreign to both of them, but it does not feel entirely misplaced. Hermione cannot help laughing a bit too. By now she is wondering what has gotten into her. A thought is beginning to form in the back of her mind, but she is inebriated enough for it to get no further. Snape offers to buy the next round, but Hermione insists she pay since he bought the previous two rounds. By this time they are both becoming pleasantly drunk. Hermione's inhibitions loosen faster than Snape's despite the differences in their drink choice.

Slurring her words, she asks, "Were we really that bad, Sev . . I mean, Professor? You always seemed like you hated teaching potions, but were we that bad?"

He is drunk enough to not care if he is telling the truth or not. "The students, Granger, yes. Most you lot with a few exceptions. But teaching potions . . ." quietly he says "I enjoy teaching potions."

"I knew it!" she exclaims happily.

He scowls in his typical manner at the outburst. "Granger, shut up."

"Yes, sir." Several seconds later she giggles. He glares at her. "Sorry, sir." She cannot help smiling at him anyway. He downs the rest of his drink and slams the glass down. He gets up to leave and walks several steps before she calls to him. He stops and waits as she catches up to him. "Walk me home?"


"Because it's not safe for a young woman like me to go home alone when drunk," she explains quite clearly despite her drunken state. She does not intend the double entendre; however, he does not question her.

"Fine," is his terse response. He allows her to lead the way until she stops at a corner and looks confused. "Lost are you, Granger?" he inquires mockingly.

Sarcastically she responds "No. Just give me a pizza. I can use it as a compass to lead me home."

They stand on the corner for several moments. "Granger, I have half a mind to leave you here."

"Only half, sir? What's the other half doing?"

He smiles a bit maniacally. There is a mischievous glint in his eyes.

"On second thought, I don't want to know." She looks around and makes a decision. Turning right, she says "It's this way." He follows her again, not feeling nearly as drunk as he did when they left. She teeters toward him a bit and he puts a hand on her shoulder to steady her. "Thanks." They walk for several more minutes, and she says out of nowhere "I need a kebab." He keeps his stony silence. Quietly, she says "Just thought you should know." Again he gives no response. His quiet is obviously getting to her, so, in order to amuse herself, she sings "Show me the way to go home . . . I'm tired and I want to go to bed. I had a little drink about an hour ago and it's gone straight to my head . . ." She no sooner finishes and they have reached her apartment building. "Ooh! This is me!"

"Thank Merlin," he says, raising his eyes to the sky in thanks.

She fumbles with her keys for a moment before finding the right one to unlock the door. She lets herself in and turns to see him walking away. "Thank you," she calls out adding quietly to herself "Severus."

End Chapter 1

A/N: Will update soon and certain things will be answered in time, also it shifts to past tense in future chapters. Please review. And thanks for the challenge Vamps!

Experimental use of present tense as set up by the first sentence. My response to "Snape Walks Into a Bar" challenge at the Hideaway. Must include:

The words 'Snape walks into a bar' must be contained fully with the first three sentences of the fic.

Hermione must be one of the following: - in her last year of Hogwarts
- working at Hogwarts

- studying at a university

- Or training with Ron and Harry to become an Auror.

Hermione and Snape hate each other to begin with but with the help of alcohol they begin to become very flirtatious friends.

Must have parings are: - HG/SS

Harry and Ron don't disown or hate Hermione and Snape's relationship.

Hermione and Snape don't fall in love with in the first week.

If you choose to have Voldermort alive you must at some point in the fiction kill him off.

Snape must secretly enjoy teaching potions

Someone must say three of the following (at any point in the story) :

'I'm not as stupid as you look'

'give me the pizza, I can use it as a compass'

'I need a kebab'

'You can't drink that its glowing'

'Can I eat your nose?'

'Can I bite your shoulder?'

'I must have BOOZE!'

Someone must sing: 'Show me the way to go Home...I'm tired and I want to go to bed, I had a little drink about an hour ago and its gone stright to my head.' (credit to film Jaws for that one. and you can use the full song if you know it)