Lost in the Woods: Predicaments and Resolutions
By Ange de Socrates
Disclaimer: Nothing is mine. Just the extraordinary (I wish) plot.
"Can't I have just one?"
"Not even that little one?"
Hermione pouted at her professor's barked reply. She stared hungrily at the berries that lined the path before her, licking her lips.
"You mean to tell me that we're lost in the middle of the forest, and I can't even have anything to eat?"
Severus Snape stared menacingly at his seventh year student. "You forget your place, Miss Granger," he snarled. "Lost though we are, I am your professor, and you are my student. I am the authority figure in this most unpleasant scenario, and you are to obey my word."
Hermione glared at him with pure hatred plastered on her face.
"Now that we have that all straightened out," he continued, "You are to remain silent until I can determine a way to remove us from this situation."
The frustrated witch sat down under a tree while Severus paced back and forth, hands clasped behind his back.
Hermione sighed. If she hadn't intervened when Professor Snape had tried to murder Harry and Ron after a particularly nasty cauldron accident, she wouldn't have had this dratted detention, and then she wouldn't have had to come out into the woods to find magical herbs with the professor, and they wouldn't have misplaced their wands during a stampede of centaurs, and they wouldn't be lost without a clue of where the castle was.
She heard a noise beside her, and she saw that her Potions professor had dropped to the ground as well. He buried his head in his hands, obviously brooding. She raised an eyebrow at him, and he glared at her.
"What's the matter with you?"
Hermione began making motions with her hands, ending with a dramatic wave across her lips.
"For once Miss Granger, you are correct. I told you not to speak. I retract my command."
"Thank Merlin!" Hermione exclaimed. "I'm sick of being stuck here in the woods with you, and I'm hungry as anything! I want to find something edible, if that's all right with you, Professor."
Severus looked like he was going to explode. "My formerly retracted statement is now back in effect. Twenty points from Gryffindor for your blatant disrespect of power."
The young woman made a face and turned her back to the professor.
"That's mature," he sneered.
She looked over her shoulder to glower at him, and then returned her gaze to the surrounding environment.
Meanwhile, the wheels in Severus' head were whirring rapidly, trying to formulate a plan for escaping from the hell that was the Dark Forest. He recalled vaguely how some of the students called it the Forbidden Forest, which was entirely incorrect. It was the Dark Forest. It was a forbidden forest, a dark forbidden forest, even the forbidden Dark Forest, but not the Forbidden Forest.
The wizard paused in his thoughts to consider how such inane thoughts could pop into people's heads at the most inopportune of times. He quickly mulled over the idea and resumed his plotting.
Almost as if she could hear his thoughts, Hermione laughed.
Severus turned slowly to look at the giggle-struck girl. "Is it simply unfeasible for you to maintain supremacy over your oral cavity?" he asked, exasperated.
"Pardon me, Professor, I couldn't help but laugh at the impossibly ridiculous look on your face."
Severus was too shocked at the Granger girl's audacity to deduct points. Instead, he uncouthly gaped at her.
Hermione shrugged. "Sorry. It's true, though. The only other time I've seen you with that look was when a worm crawled into your soup in sixth year."
The professor almost laughed out loud, but restrained himself. After all, he was with a student.
"I thought no one saw that," he said stupidly.
"I did," Hermione said matter-of-factly.
There was an uncomfortable silence following their exchange in which Severus cleared his throat and Hermione stared out into the trees again. Then Severus spoke.
"I have a plan, Miss Granger."
"Fantastic plan, Professor," Hermione muttered an hour later.
"Silence, Miss Granger," Severus snapped. "It was a great plan until you pulled us into that…that…that portal!"
"As if I knew it was there."
"As if anyone knew it was there! You should have kept your eyes open!" Severus sighed. "We're not even on Hogwarts property anymore."
A wolf howled in the distance, and Hermione shivered, remembering her third year experience with Remus Lupin.
"Get moving," the wizard grumbled. "We need to find out where we are."
Another three hours later, and the two were still in the middle of a very thick forest with the cold night setting in. Hermione hugged herself tightly to keep warm.
"C-can't we f-f-find s-someplace with sh-shelter?" Hermione chattered.
Severus shot her an ironic look. "In the middle of the woods? I'm afraid not, Miss Granger. We are trapped here for the duration of the night."
They sat under a large tree and listened to the sounds of the forest. Severus drummed his fingers on the ground, trying to ignore Miss Granger's shivering.
"Here," he finally huffed, pulling off his cloak and wrapping it around her.
"Thank y-you," she said awkwardly. There was another long pause as Hermione warmed up. "Professor?"
There was a grunt of acknowledgement.
"Can't you do wandless magic?"
Severus snorted. "I used to be able to," he told her. "But I'm afraid the last battle stripped me of many of my talents."
Hermione Granger was sure she was going to die. She was in the middle of the forest with the most inhuman of wizards, the cruellest of all professors, with nothing to eat. The temperature had risen slightly, allowing Hermione to drop the cloak slightly off her shoulders.
"Why hasn't Dumbledore sent a search party?" Hermione wondered aloud.
"We haven't been gone that long," Severus replied.
"We've been here at least six hours!"
"That doesn't hold a candle to the longest detention I have ever dispensed, Miss Granger."
Hermione sighed. This was going to be difficult. She needed a book, and she needed one now.
"I don't suppose you have any reading material with you, do you, Professor?"
The witch fidgeted. No books. This was going to be more than difficult. It was going to be downright painful. Perhaps there was some kind of logic puzzle she could create out of the twigs on the ground.
She began to snap various sticks viciously in the middle and arranged them in a crisscross pattern, probing her brain for some way to fashion a game or puzzle out of the broken twigs. Her normally dynamic brain was at something of a standstill.
No books, no puzzles, no nothing. Hermione pouted. She had no food, no water, no games, no books, and no decent companions. Not to mention the fact that all sorts of animals were eyeing them hungrily and it was still quite cold.
Hermione groaned. "God, I'm going to die a virgin."
Severus' head snapped up at the sudden outburst and raised an eyebrow. "Pardon, Miss Granger?"
Hermione stared up in horror at her teacher. "Nothing," she squeaked, turning bright red.
Severus eyed her wickedly. "Come now, Miss Granger, what was that delightful tidbit? Or did my ears deceive me?"
The shade of red the brunette had turned almost matched the roses surrounding them. "Your ears most certainly deceived you, Professor," she managed.
He raised an eyebrow. "Forgive me, Miss Granger. I thought you said that you were going to die a virgin."
Hermione choked and began coughing furiously, blushing even redder.
"Yes, there is a likelihood that we could die, but I don't know what to do about your other problem. I'm not certain that there is a plausible solution that I could propose." Severus tried to hide his grin as the girl squirmed uncomfortably.
Another half hour later, Hermione's stomach was grumbling horribly and her face had almost returned to its normal colour.
"I'm hungry," she grumbled, rubbing her stomach.
"As am I."
"Shouldn't we try to find food?"
"What do you mean, mm? I'm bloody hungry, and I want food now!"
"Find some, then."
"Ah, yes, send the seventh year virgin out into the woods on her own. Maybe you can find someone to sacrifice me to so you can go home to Dumbledore."
Severus rolled his eyes. "Fine. I will accompany you on your quest for nourishment."
Hermione snorted. "Can't you ever speak using simple words? You always sound so…"
The wizard laughed. "Defence tactic, Miss Granger. Words cause people to panic. Most of the time, I succeed in driving them off. You, however, are another story."
"Teen virgin strikes again."
Severus observed Hermione's face as she uttered those last words. She appeared very distressed about her situation.
Hermione looked up, startled. "Why what, sir?"
"Why are you a virgin?"
The witch considered the question. "Well, I guess for a couple of reasons," she began, looking incredibly solemn. "I've never had the time, I suppose. I'm always studying. And I've just never found anyone worth sleeping with."
Severus nodded. "Good reasons."
There was a reverent pause.
"Why not Weasley or Potter?" Severus surprised himself with his daring.
Hermione looked as if she was going to empty what little there was in her stomach. "You can't be serious!" she exclaimed. "Those two blighters? They're like brothers to me! They piss me off far too much for me to even consider becoming romantic with either of them. Not that I don't love them," she added quickly.
"Not even a younger student?"
"Honestly!" Hermione groaned. "Have you asked enough questions yet?"
"Now you know how I feel in class."
"Good point." Hermione thought about the question. "Younger men don't appeal to me. It's the older ones. More mature ones. The type I can have a serious conversation with."
"You didn't seem to have any serious conversations with that Viktor Krum," Severus sneered.
"I was blinded by the bulbs that were constantly going off around him," Hermione admitted. "Celebrity status can cloud your better judgement. But honestly, it's the older wizards I'm more attracted to." A thought suddenly wiggled its way into the brunette's brain. "Why am I discussing this with you?"
Severus looked startled. "I haven't a clue," he mused, smiling thoughtfully. "Better yet, why did I initiate a conversation pertaining to a student's love life?"
Both looked away and pondered this.
"So it's the older ones," Severus thought out loud.
Without giving it a second thought, Severus spun around on the ground and grabbed Hermione, planting his lips firmly on hers.
A/N: Well, that was entertaining! Perhaps a bit more to... come. ;-)
I actually found this story floating around in an old folder on my hard drive, which happens to be filled with numerous unfinished plot lines and completed short stories. Depending on how much time I have after editing and updating AYTR, I may post more of them. As for this one, I'd love to continue, but I may need to post it on AFF in order to do so. Pardon any errors -- I wrote it a few years ago and did very limited editing before I posted it here.