SS who will be soon changing her name
When Severus Snape decided to take a midnight stroll to deduct house points and relieve some tension, he was not expecting to be knocked a few steps backwards as something slammed into him. On further reflection he realised he probably should have expected something similar; one of the downsides of living in a magical castle. He made a mental note to add that to his growing list of downsides, and also to be more prepared for things running into him.
It was at this point he realised he was still holding the thing that had flown at him in his arms and he made a mental note to train his reflexes back into action after long disuse. He regained his sanity and pushed the thing away to arms length.
"Miss Granger!" he said in astonishment and took in her appearance. She was dressed for bed in matching kneazle pyjamas, her hair was even wilder than usual, her eyes were scared and wide, and most unusual of all, she was shaking.
"What on earth are you doing here?" he demanded, "Have you no sense? Where are your robes?"
Hermione stared blankly up at him and continued shaking. Severus sighed heavily and unhooked is heavy black cloak and settled it around her.
"Granger," he said in a kinder tone, "what are you doing here? Has something happened?" he was suddenly alarmed, but he had seen this witch face down a murder of Death eaters without a tremble; she wouldn't fall apart in an emergency. Still …
"Hermione Granger," he barked suddenly and was pleased to note she jumped and a flash of annoyance registered in her eyes. "Would you care to explain what you are doing?"
"I – there's – it's horrid," Hermione mumbled.
"Merlin give me strength," Severus sighed. "Alright, Hermione," he said speaking very slowly, "Show me what the problem is."
Hermione's eyes widened in terror.
"You can't make me go back there," she hissed and grabbed fistfuls of his robe.
"What is it?" he asked again, his alarm returning. Hermione's brown eyes stared desperately up at him. Her lips trembled as she opened her mouth to say one single word.
"Spider," she whispered and squeezed her eyes shut.
"Miss Granger," Severus said and removed her hands from his robes. "Do you mean to tell me that you have turned into a quaking jellyfish over a spider?"
"Well, you needn't be so mean about it!" She snapped back defiantly, herself for a few seconds.
"You have faced down Voldemort's most deadly allies and creatures, you have assisted at the triage station at the final battle, you are an accomplished animagi, have advanced degrees in potions, transfiguration, ancient runes, and charms, you have an Order of Merlin and you have put up with Potter and Weasley all your life … and you are terrified of a spider that is more scared of you than you are of it? You really never cease to amaze me."
"Thank you, Severus," she said happily.
"With your stupidity," he finished and she dimmed.
"Surely there's something you're afraid of," she said. "Your Achilles' heel?"
"No," Severus said snidely and turned to walk away but something grabbed at his robes.
"Would you … dispose of it for me, Severus?" Hermione asked him in a small voice, and he realised that he had lied to her. Perhaps he did have one small weakness. He whirled back around with his usual skill of flapping robes, and stood facing her.
"Well come on," he snapped. "Lead the way oh fearless Gryffindor."
"Shut up," she said, and stalked out in front of him.
He followed her in silence, trying not to think about the fact that this was the first time he had been invited to a woman's quarters in quite a long time, under whatever circumstances. Obviously she didn't have a terrible secret she was hiding. He was almost a bit disappointed.
But he was very pleased to see, when she opened the portrait hole, that there was not a single shred of burgundy or red in sight anywhere. He didn't comment, but a slight twitch of his mouth showed he had noticed. Hermione concentrated on not flushing red. That was while she was not concentrating on the fact that this was the first time she had invited a man to her quarters in quite a long time, under whatever circumstances. It was also the first time Severus Snape had been invited to her quarters, and that was the most terrifying bit of all.
Apart from the spider, that is.
"It's over th-there," she said, hating the slight quaver in her voice. "I didn't know what spell to use on it because it's a living thing, and I couldn't get near enough to it with a book, and wizards don't have bug spray, so I thought I'd just go and sleep in the staff room or something, and get a house elf to move it tomorrow."
She was babbling.
Severus ignored her and surveyed the room with apparent cold indifference.
"I don't see any spider," he said finally, standing in the middle of the room. Hermione peered cautiously inside, afraid it was going to attack her.
"Oh dear," she said, "It must have moved."
"It certainly has no lack of hiding spaces," Severus said mildly, referring to the thousands of cavities and caves she created with her books and parchments of research. Hermione began to look scared and nervous again. A pinched look appeared around the corners of her eyes.
"I don't know what to do," Hermione told him. "I can't sleep in here if I don't know where it is. You can't summon it because it's alive. You can't banish it because you can't see it."
Severus thought for a moment.
"I'll send out a spray of toxin," he said finally. "But you'll have to sleep somewhere else tonight."
"That sounds good," Hermione said thankfully and backed away quickly in case he changed his mind. A moment later there was a green mist oozing out from under the portrait hole and Severus emerged holding his breath.
"There," he said with an exhalation. "All gone."
"Thank you," she said thankfully and shamefacedly. "I guess I'll just go to the staff room now…."
"Don't be silly," Severus said gruffly. "You can share my bed."
Oh god. Had he just said that?
Oh god. Had he just said that?
"Your bed?" Hermione asked timidly.
"Yes, my bed," Severus returned in annoyance. "You don't suppose I'm actually nocturnal do you? Bed is where I do my sleeping. And where, tonight, you shall do yours. Unless you'd rather the staff room floor …"
"No, no," Hermione said hastily. "Your bed will be … well, lead the way."
Severus gave her a sideways glance and then did so, storming off in the other direction.
Severus tried not to think that this was the first time he had invited a woman back to his quarters … ever.
Hermione tried not to think that this was the first time she had been invited into a man's bedroom since … well, almost as long as it had been that a man had been in her rooms.
They swept majestically into the bedroom off the dungeons and Hermione paused for a moment in the doorway. She was not surprised to find that the chambers were decorated in green and black – but not hardly so much as she might have expected. And – oh my – was that a red bedspread? And they were … oh dear, they really were … black sheets. Oh my.
"Take a photo, it lasts longer," Hermione suddenly heard from somewhere on the other side of the room.
"Sorry," she muttered.
With a very due amount of awkwardness, Hermione crept into the bed on the side closest to her. The right. She lay curled on her side and listened to the sounds of him in the bathroom. And she did not – repeat, did not – think about the fact he would at some point be naked in there.
She was grateful for the fact she was almost asleep by the time he finished. She would never know what took men so long in the bathroom. She felt him slip in beside her, and heard him mumble something about his side of the bed, but he settled quickly, and the sound of his breathing next to her was very comforting after her horrid scare.
When Severus woke, he found that he couldn't move. That is, the right side of his body was paralysed. And he also had an urge to sneeze. He waited for a moment for his body to catch up and then looked down.
Hermione Granger lay sleeping soundly with her head on his shoulder and her arm around his waist. How bizarre. Severus contemplated sitting up suddenly and tossing her away from him, as he probably should do. Instead he reasoned that she would be repulsed enough when she woke up that she would do the tossing away, and instead stroked her hair gently as he thought about the questions that were going to follow at breakfast.
"That's nice," Hermione muttered at some point, but Severus assumed she was dreaming. He didn't want to know about who. Probably a dashing wizard from Hogsmeade who had a Ministry job and wanted to settle down and have kids. Then he thought about Hermione and realised this was highly unlikely and tried not to smile smugly. He did have a woman in his bed, and in his arms, after all.
"Good morning, Severus," she said later on, and moved a few inches closer, if that was possible. Severus was caught for a six.
She was awake?
She knew where she was?
She knew who with?
And she moved closer?
"Good morning, Hermione," he returned cautiously. He watched as she cranked one eye open, then the other and tilted her head up to look at him.
"Hmm," she said sleepily. "That's nice to wake up to."
At what point had hell frozen over and why wasn't he informed?
"You're not awake yet," he pointed out.
"No, not quite," she agreed. "In which case, allow me to do something we can blame on sleep later on."
Severus didn't know what she meant and took too long to respond. He wasn't quite sure what happened, but apparently Hermione had tilted her head up further and caught his lips in a good morning kiss.
"Always wanted to do that," she said happily and tucked her head back down into his shoulder.
"You can stroke my hair again, if you like," she said some time later. "I liked that."
Without knowing why, Severus obediently picked up his hand and began to gently run it through her frizzy mess of curls.
"Hermione," he said eventually. "I'm assuming that by now you are awake and aware of that fact you are in bed with me."
"Five points to Slytherin," she returned, and he thought he heard a smug smile.
"As such," he continued. "I assume you are also aware that you just kissed me."
"Yup," Hermione agreed. "What's the problem?"
"Erm," Severus suddenly realised he didn't know. "I don't suppose you'd like to do it again?" He blurted out.
This time there was definitely a smug smile.
"Anything for my gallant rescuer," she said with a wink and leaned up again. This time he didn't let her go away so easily. When he let her go, he looked up contentedly to the ceiling and found himself a little bit worried when he saw a hairy brown household spider perched happily on his ceiling.
"Uh, Hermione," he said carefully, "I'm going to reach for my wand now and I suggest you not look at the ceiling."
Which she promptly did, of course.
"Oh, Severus," she said with a slight slap to his arm. "You're not scared of a little spider, are you?"
Severus paused in his ministrations of creating a restraining hold on her. She was by now almost underneath him.
"Granger," he said in a dangerous voice. "There was a spider in your room last night, was there not?"
"Yes," Hermione said and reach around him to her pyjama pocket. She pulled out a small, dead spider by one of its sickly legs. She gave him a wink and tossed it away.
"Please," Severus said with his forehead pressed to hers. "Don't ever bring spiders into the bed again."
"Deal," Hermione said. "You're more fun than spiders."
"So glad to hear it," he said. "Now shut up."
She did.Author's Note
Um … yes. Don't ask.