Disclaimer: I don't own the poor unfortunate fictional souls that I torture in a voodoo-like way.
Sleeping On It
Severus sat up with a grumble and pulled the covers away in disgust. There was no way he was getting any sleep tonight.
No matter how many times he'd gone over the events of the previous day (it was two in the morning, as he very well knew), he still couldn't settle in his mind what exactly was going on. He had a case he couldn't crack, a riddle he couldn't solve, a conundrum unsettled (you get the picture), in the form of one Miss Hermione Granger. The way she looked, before she had, as he'd said that day to her, 'accosted' his person, was so mixed that he couldn't tell whether or not she was genuine in her actions, or forced by some unknown factor to do such an thing.
Then, to have a stuttered admission of affection come from that very same young woman, it was baffling. How very curious; Hence, the sleeplessness.
Severus stood from his four-poster, wincing at the cold of the stone floor, but nevertheless, starting to pace. Maybe he could wear himself out enough to sleep a little before dawn broke. He'd never been in such a situation before. He needed advice.
That's it! He smirked as the idea came to him. He would go to the Headmaster, let him worry over it. Surely he and Minerva would have no wish for their brightest student to get tangled with the snarky old potions professor! Then Severus wouldn't even have to do anything. He'd just sit back and enjoy the histrionics. Surely they would turn the girl's affections in a different direction.
Sighing with relief, Severus felt that, if he lay abed for a while, he might actually get some sleep this night.
First thing the next morning, Severus headed to Dumbledore's office. "Drooble's Best Blowing Gum," He muttered, glancing around to make sure no one else heard. It wasn't so much that he didn't want the password known. He just didn't want some student hearing him speaking about candy with an old stone gargoyle.
The statue admitted him with a smirk, and Severus subdued the impulse to curse it. Sometimes he thought Dumbledore used such ridiculous passwords just for the knowledge that the sour potions master would have to say such things each time he wanted admittance, if not for the fact that he knew very well how bonkers the Headmaster already was without this sadistic side.
"Come in, Severus, my boy!" The old man called from behind his cracked door, and Severus pushed it open to see the Headmaster beaming at him.
"Albus, as I'm quite certain you know, I haven't been a boy for decades." This only brought a cheery laugh from Albus. Severus felt certain that he was getting a cavity just being in this place. He glanced around, seeing all the various whirligigs, the bowls of candy ever present on the desk, and a small, unfinished game of Gobstones going on right in front of the Headmaster. "I can see you're awfully busy."
This brought out another laugh, and Severus steeled himself to keep from cringing. "Severus, you were always a funny one. Anyway, what was it you wanted?"
Severus rolled his eyes. "Undoubtedly, the situation I'm now in will most likely humor you as well. Miss Granger has found that she has feelings for me that are unsuitable, considering our respective situations."
Albus looked a little surprised. "Surely you are used to such feelings being displayed towards yourself by now, Severus? You are the one that induces them. I am surprised though, that our Head Girl would do anything so disrespectful, after all this time being your personal champion. I'm sure you've noticed before how she defends you to her friends?"
Severus sighed and pinched his nose. "Quite," he replied, commiserating with his self in the fact that he would have to speak more plainly to the Headmaster. "Miss Granger has not expressed hatred towards me. It is, in fact, the opposite. A … crush." Saying that word made his mouth shrivel a bit, as though he had bit into a lemon.
He watched as the eyebrows rose on the old man's face, and the almost ever present twinkle seemed to get a bit brighter. "Well now, that's quite a different situation."
"Something needs to be done, and immediately. I don't want Miss Granger to have to suffer from unrequited feelings and do badly in class from distraction." He stood up and walked towards a closet door. Severus was surprised and pleased that the Headmaster was taking such a serious interest in his situation. He might not even need a headache potion later.
"What do you plan to do, Albus?"
"Patience, my boy," The old man got out a ring of tinkling keys and sorted through them until he found a small brass one. He stuck it into the keyhole and turned it, the click of the door coming unlocked sounding throughout the room. Turning the knob, he opened the door to reveal –
"Miss Granger! What are you doing in Dumbledore's closet?" Severus took a few steps back in surprise and confusion, looking from the Headmaster to the young woman, and back.
"Ah, Severus, you really are an odd duck! She's here for the wedding, of course!" The man chuckled, while Miss Granger blushed and looked away shyly.
Severus' mouth was opening and closing, but nothing was coming out. He mentally scolded himself. Why was nothing coming out? He stumbled back a bit more and ended up in one of the cushy red chairs that were always situated before the desk. Finally, he got his voice back. "Albus, I don't—I don't understand."
Albus smiled. "No need to get nervous, my boy." He waved his wand and Severus looked down to see himself in deep purple dress robes with potions bottles depicted in various places on them. "I'll walk you down the aisle." Severus was grabbed by the arm and dragged to Miss Granger's side. She looked up at him and he froze, gulping. She had a slight smile on her face, along with a light flush, and he found it oddly … bewitching. "You may now kiss the bride."
Severus looked sharply at the Headmaster, who was now standing on his desk amongst his forgotten Gobstones, which were sporadically spouting liquid in every which way, like a fountain show. "Wha—what?"
He felt a tug on his robes and looked down to see Miss Granger with an impatient look on her face. "The Modica Novus, also known as the refreshing potion, revitalizes whatever it is applied to for a limited amount of time. Depending on the brewer, the potion usually lasts between two and four hours. Many people have tried to make the potion permanent, but-"
Severus had heard enough. He wrapped his arms around her waist and covered her mouth with his own, if only to get her to stop talking! Her lips were soft and slightly more wet than he was expecting, but before he was able to explore that impertinent mouth more in depth, he felt a splatter hit his cheek. He pulled reluctantly away and lifted his head to reprimand Dumbledore for inviting the Gobstones to the wedding—
And found himself to be belly down on his bed, head lifted a few inches from his pillow, which had a small puddle of drool slowly soaking into the fabric. He blinked and used his hands to lift himself to his knees, staring at his headboard in confusion. Shaking his head, he wiped the spittle from his cheek and the corner of his mouth and headed for the bathroom. A shower would clear the fogginess of his mind.
As the hot water warmed and woke him, he thought about his dream, and how real it had felt. Well, up until Miss Granger popped out of the closet. No matter. He was still going to the Headmaster's office this morning.
"Come in, Severus, my boy!" The Headmaster's voice rang from behind the cracked door. Severus pushed it open to see the old man beaming at him.
"Albus, I—no!" Severus walked over to a closet to the right of the Headmaster's desk and opened it wide, relieved to see nothing more than inanimate objects. He checked the other two closets in Albus' office, just to be sure.
"Severus, are you quite alright?" The Headmaster was bemused, but his eyes still twinkled.
"A dream, Albus, just a dream," Severus sighed, not knowing whether it was in relief or exhaustion. Quite possibly it was a combination of both.
"You'll have to tell me about it sometime," The Headmaster suggested with an interested smile.
"Not in this lifetime," Severus muttered. He ignored the old man's query after what he just said. "I have a … situation, Albus."
Severus tromped out of the office in a foul mood. The Headmaster was no help. No help at all.
After reaching the great hall and throwing himself into his chair at the head table he munched on his bacon and eggs with a vengeance, ignoring Minerva's raised eyebrow.
A/N: This is what happens when you are inspired at three in the morning. Instead of having weird dreams, you write down one for your character of choice to suffer through. Anyways, I know I said I'd put a bit more of Hogwarts in this one, but things didn't flow in that direction. I felt I needed to work on Severus' side of the story a bit more. Next chapter I promise to put some match-making scheme by that cheeky old castle, even if the characters won't notice it for what it is! I hope you like where this is going so far, and make sure to review, so I can know for sure! By the way, am I the only one who thinks only Dumbledore could ever get away with calling Snape an odd duck? Lol. Just food for thought. Anyways, enjoy!