Valentine's Day Perspectives
Fandom: Harry Potter
Length: One-Shot (1,729 words)
Summary: An SS/HG Valentine's Day fic in response to all the fanfic beginning with the line "[Character hated Valentine's Day." In this fic, a new view is taken of the holiday and the actions surrounding it.
Disclaimer: I am not making money from this fic. I have no affilation with JKR or Harry Potter.
Notes: Written as a gift for harmonybites.
Valentine's Day Perspectives
Severus Snape glared at the first singing dwarf that came his way. The glare didn't stop the dwarf from bursting into a song about Snape's heroic deeds and dark past, so Snape moved swiftly down the corridor, the dwarf flitting along behind him. A faint blush stained the DADA professor's cheek even though his brows were drawn down into a frown. He ducked into the teacher's lounge, slamming the door in the dwarfs' face before he warded the door to keep the lyrical monstrosity out.
"You know he'll just wait you out, don't you?" A voice asked from behind a pile of books.
Snape cast his eyes in the direction of the voice. Minerva McGonagall lifted her head. He favored her with a scowl before heading for the fireplace.
"Accio floo powder," she said.
"Minerva." His voice came out more exasperated than angry, but his meaning was transmitted.
"I know what you did."
"You'll have to be more specific."
"With young William Knot and Sophia Weasley."
"I did nothing."
"You used to be a better liar."
Snape's lips twitched. "I did nothing beyond placing Weasley in the hall while I discussed another student's grade."
"Where she could accidentally overhear Knot lamenting to his friends over losing her just in time to salvage their relationship for Valentine's Day?"
"I cannot be blamed if Weasley chose to listen in on a private conversation."
"Mm hmmm." McGonagall's tone belied her verbal agreement.
"Oh, do stuff it and give me the floo powder." Snape held out his hand.
"After you admit your actions."
"Fine. Fine. I may have known Knot would be with his friends when Weasley was waiting in the hall. I did not know what he would be talking about."
"But you could guess."
"I don't guess. Now hand over the powder."
"Actions, Severus. Plural."
Snape threw a dirty look at the Headmistress and stalked towards the door. He wrenched it open only to be faced with five singing dwarves.
The opening words "Our dark knight slipped under cover" were enough to make him slam the door shut and ward it again only to hear muffled laughter from the other side of the books.
"Did you set those creatures on me, woman?"
"You'd better get a new flea collar."
"You wouldn't dare."
Snape merely arched an eyebrow.
"Don't use that eyebrow on me, young man. I taught you that trick. Besides, I only sent one. You'll have to blame someone else for the others."
"Accio floo powder," Snape said. The gray jar sailed into Snape's outstretched hand.
"I could always announce your deeds all over the school."
"No one would believe you."
"Then you admit to your actions?"
Snape shook his head. The conversation was, at least, better than marking. "I admit nothing." Still, he pulled out a chair at the table and seated himself.
"So, Pomona Sprout's sudden overnight success with roses had nothing to do with a Miracle Growth Potion I know you perfected?"
"I wouldn't waste my time on flowers."
"And Filius receiving anonymous roses from the same garden?"
"I refer you to my previous statement."
"And the catnip for Mrs. Norris?"
"Keeps her away from my office if I place it near Argus's quarters."
"Speaking of Argus. He suddenly figured out how to—"
"That linguistics manual was just lying near the catnip. I had nothing to do with it." His tone was a little desperate, and his eyes had darted away at the end of his statement.
"Oh, Severus, just admit it. You like Valentine's Day."
"You must be mistaken. I told you I had nothing to do with—"
"I didn't realize it before, but the only time these random and secretive acts of kindness ever stopped was during periods where you weren't at Hogwarts. Oh, you bluster and snarl enough to fool everyone else, but I've figured it out. You like the holidays, and you've a special spot for Valentine's Day."
Severus pushed slightly away from the table. "I think I should take you to see Madam Pomfrey."
"Who recently received an invitation to attend a medicinal brewing seminar that she's wanted to attend for years but couldn't get on the invite list. You know several members of the brewing committee, don't you?"
"Gods, Minerva. What do you want?"
Minerva gave Severus a beatific smile. "An admission."
"My memory and to share with one other person."
The singing of the dwarves outside the faculty staffroom door suddenly became audible again. The door opened and closed quickly, but not quickly enough for Severus to miss that five dwarves had become at least a dozen. Hermione Granger quickly reset the wards and then turned to face the room, a bag slung over her shoulder.
"Leave an escape route for the rest of us next time," Hermione said as she crossed to the book covered table and set her bag down. "Research project?"
"I'm sorting new books for the library to repay a favor I owe Madam Pince," Minerva said.
"In here?" Hermione asked.
"You two aren't the only ones escaping singing love notes. Argus has gone above and beyond this year."
"What favor?" Snape asked.
"The none of your business kind," Minerva said.
"Didn't Madam Pince just get a Valentine's invitation to an exclusive book club?" Hermione asked.
"Yes, she did."
Hermione turned to Severus. "Aren't you a member of that book club?"
Snape's eyes widened a fraction before he turned back to Minerva. "I take it this is to whom you were referring with your shared memory?"
"That depends on how badly I need that new flea collar you mentioned."
But Minerva McGonagall was already standing and shrinking down the books to fit into her robes. "We'll have to discuss this later. I've just realized the time and must get to my office for a rather unpleasant meeting with the Minister of Magic. As the door is blocked by our amour-spouting singers, would you hand me the floo powder?"
Severus gave the Headmistress a sour look, but he did relinquish his hold on the little gray jar. The Headmistress took it from him, gave him a pat on the head which caused giggles from Hermione Granger, and then stepped to the fire. She tossed in a pinch of floo powder and announced her office before turning back to Severus.
"But yes, Hermione is the one. She figured it out first, I must admit." Then the Cheshire witch stepped into the fireplace. The last thing Severus noticed before she disappeared was that the jar of floo powder was still in her hand.
"I see I'm paying for that flea collar comment."
"She is vengeful," Hermione said. "How you ever got the mean and nasty reputation if anyone has ever seen her spite is beyond me. Thank goodness she's usually on our side."
Silence stretched between them, and Severus lamented that Minerva had taken all the books as well as the floo powder leaving neither of them an easy or graceful escape.
"I suppose I should thank you," Hermione said in a voice that hinted at sarcasm.
"It wasn't me."
"It most certainly was you. Those little monsters we teach have been pestering me for a week for love potion recipes."
"So, thank you very much for being so forbidding that the moment they get a professor with a kind streak they hone in on it like I've put blood in the water."
"You haven't given it to them have you?"
"What kind of an idiot do you take me for? No, don't answer that. I don't want to know. And no, I didn't give them anything. They can look it up in the library like all good little swots do, or they can remain ignorant."
"I'd award points for agreeing with me, but…"
"Or give gift memberships since I'm a fellow professor?" Hermione moved from the table to the sideboard and began rummaging around in and cupboards.
Snape made an exasperated noise somewhere between a masculine squeak and a groan deep in his throat. "How many people have you foisted your poorly thought out theory upon? Am I to spend the entire day defending my reputation?"
"The 'Snape hates Valentine's Day' reputation or the evil bastard reputation? Those are so hard to keep straight." Hermione turned from the cupboard and held up a kettle. "Tea?"
Hermione silently prepared the tea, while Snape tried not to fidget. She brought cups and saucers and fixed his tea exactly as he liked it without asking. Snape sipped, then nodded his thanks.
"How long before the dwarves leave, I wonder?" Hermione said.
"I agree, and since Minerva took the powder, we'll just have to pass the time somehow. Why don't you tell me what you'd like for Valentine's Day?"
"No, I don't think I will. You can always face the music outside instead."
Snape glanced at the door. He was probably safer outside than in the room with Hermione, but he stayed at the table. "As you have already come to certain conclusions, I might be persuaded to admit to wanting some attention on this day each year, if you promise not to spread your silly theories any further than you already have."
"Then I admit to wanting attention."
"From someone in particular or just anyone."
"I used to want it from Lily, as you already know."
Snape fiddled with his tea cup before taking another sip. "Any attention might do."
"I'd accuse you of lying, but you aren't. I was hoping…"
"Hoping?" His voice cracked.
Hermione folded her hands in her lap. "I was hoping you might say you'd like some attention from me."
"Brash and bold."
"Hardly. We've been colleagues for five years now. I'd call this slow and timid, even shy."
Snape laughed. "Perhaps it is." His laughter faded away to be replaced by a serious expression. "And perhaps I would like attention from you."
"Care to hide from the dwarves with me?"
"Aren't we doing that now?"
"My quarters are more comfortable."
"And how do you suggest getting there?"
"House elves, of course. They can transport us, or had you forgotten about them?" Hermione stood and extended her hand.
Snape reached for Hermione's hand, a little shyly. "Bold, brash, and a good memory. Tell me, do you like roses?"