Disclaimer: I do not own the characters. I'm playing with them and then putting them back in the toy box for the next person to play with them. JK Rowling owns them. She rocks.
AN: This is in the Snape/Hermione section not because of them having oodles of lovey dovey moments, but because of the friendship. This is a Ron/Hermione fic, but that part is on the back burner. Enjoy, and please don't kill me for not including lovey dovey moments.
Hermione looked at the box, five sides visible, the last one covered in blankets, with werewolf hair all over them. As part of an ongoing test, Severus Snape was trying to perfect the Wolfsbane potion. The energy expended during transformations left the patient weak, too weak to fully recover before the next full moon; he was trying to make the change less arduous, although there was never anything easy about a human skull elongating to that of a wolf's. Hermione was a note keeper, each new ingredient noted with the amount used, making her grateful for the opportunity to help with a major magical breakthrough. Her mind was in hog's heaven.
"Have you readied the study area?" the professor asked, coming through the floor of the Shrieking Shack.
"Yes sir. Everything is in place for tomorrow night."
Snape looked into the box. It was a plain box made of shatterproof glass, with air holes in the walls and a lock that wouldn't disengage until the next morning. "Good. Go."
Hermione nodded, and walked towards the trapdoor, but as she walked she tripped over the threadbare rug. Falling over wasn't as fun or comedic as the old Carry On films made out, especially when the falling over was into a Potions professor with a bad attitude into a locked glass box.
"Blasted girl, what have you done?" Snape asked, eyes blazing, spittle flying.
"I'm sorry sir! I didn't mean to trip!" Hermione explained in a rush, trying not to panic. "The rug must have curled up on itself. I really didn't mean to!"
"Oh hush your blathering. Where is your wand?" Snape asked in a very annoyed tone. Hermione pointed to it, in the satchel next to the trapdoor. Snape sighed and then explained how his was on top of the box.
"So we're stuck?" Hermione asked dejectedly.
Hermione sighed. "Ron isn't going to be happy."
Snape rolled his eyes. This is exactly what he expected, a discussion on the intrinsic details of her love life. Sighing, he sat as far away as possible from the exploding mattress head.
And that's how they sat for hours. The silence wasn't awkward, or wholly uncomfortable, just odd, as if something should be said, but neither knew what.
"What were you planning on doing tonight sir?" she asked politely, tired of the silence between them.
"Not being here for longer than necessary," he replied tersely.
"Oh." That was all she could say.
He sighed. "And yourself?" He really didn't want to know but he was (dare he say it) bored.
"Dinner with Ron."
Snape eyed her pensively. "You don't seem enthused at the prospect."
"Yes, well, you've seen Ron eat." Hermione fiddled with the hem of her robe. "I'd have rather read a book than watch him get gravy down his robes."
"How long have you been stepping out together?"
"Stepping out?" She laughed gently. "This isn't the sixties sir." Seeing his arched eyebrow, she quietened down. "We've been together now two and a half years."
"And you've yet to give him a bib?"
Rolling her eyes, she let go of her robe hem. "I don't think he'd appreciate the gesture." She closed her eyes. "And he warms up his cold feet on my legs. Wake me up every time!"
"Why not use a spell?"
"Would you, in your sleep riddled mind, think of a charm to warm cold feet when a warm body is so close?" She laughed derisively. "A bed, cold night, wind howling, warm blanket, warm socks, long pjs and his big blasted cold feet. He has more socks than me, yet will he wear them?" Grabbing a blanket that wasn't being used as a cushion, Hermione covered her tights clad legs. "Bloody cold," she muttered.
"Wouldn't your darling other half be looking for you by now?"
"He… uh… Doesn't particularly like being in the same building as you, sir."
Snape smirked. "We wouldn't want to change a habit of a lifetime."
Nodding, they went back to the silence, slightly more comfortable than before.
"Why Mr Weasley?"
Hermione shrugged, eyes downcast. "Just… what everyone expected of us, I suppose."
Shrugging again, she started picking at the blanket.
Sitting around doing nothing wasn't in Severus Snape's activity list. On his knees, he stuck his fingers through the closest air holes to his wand. At that very moment he felt very vulnerable.
"It won't work. It's too far away and your knuckles are too big."
Snape glared at Hermione. "And obviously the know it all would know."
"Merlin, I'm just trying to help."
"I don't want your help."
Growling, he went back to vain attempts at wand retrieval. He even tried a wandless, wordless Accio, followed by a very soft, 'Damn.'
"I really wouldn't say this under normal circumstances, what with you being one of the most powerful wizards of the generation but… I told you so?"
Snape's eyes narrowed as he crawled from the wall.
"I'm sorry sir." This was said almost instantly. "I shouldn't have said it in the first place."
He said nothing as he arranged his blankets. Damnable girl.
It felt like hours before Hermione said, "I'm hungry,"
"You should have eaten before setting about your tasks."
"I thought that I was going to dinner with my partner."
"I thought that I was to have a night of peace and quiet. It seems like neither of us will be happy."
Unable to argue with him further, Hermione tried curling up to sleep. For a few minutes Snape watched as she balled up some spare blanket, tried resting her head on her arms and, this being the method that baffled him, tried to sit cross legged with her head on her right knee.
Hermione looked up, shocked to hear those words from a teacher. "Why?"
"If you sleep in a knot you'll wake in a knot. I won't hurt you." At Hermione's confused glance, he explained. "I have no wish to be yelled to death by your… boyfriend." Here he sneered slightly.
"Please, we're adults. You are not Mr Weasley, and neither am I the Dark Lord vanquished."
Reluctantly, Hermione moved to where he sat, and rested her head against his shoulder. It wasn't as hard as she imagined, the material of his robes thick enough to cushion her head from his collar bone. And he didn't smell too bad either. Ron always smelt of grass, sweat and Quidditch (the sport left a tangy smell), Snape smelt of nothing exciting. But his cleanliness rang through her nose, which made her a bit happier, as smelling clean was always good in Hermione's book. "He'd be at dinner smelling of grass."
"I'm sorry?" Snape asked, trying to hide his confusion.
"Ron. He and Harry were meeting today, which, usually, is an excuse to play Quidditch. He'd have come to dinner smelling of grass." She snuggled closer to the professor, grateful for the cushion. "Goodnight professor."
"Goodnight Hermione," he whispered gently.
"I'm sorry, what?" she mumbled, Morpheus already cradling her head.
"Nothing. Sleep Miss Granger."
This was how they sat for the next three hours. "Stop it… No Ron… Blue and yellow always make… Red's ruining the green… Ruining it…"
"Hermione?" Snape whispered, shaking her slightly.
"You were talking."
Hermione blushed. "I've not done that in a while."
Snape shook his head as if to dispel the cloud around his brain. "Why make green?"
She looked at him with confusion marring her features. Then realisation dawned. "We were looking after Charlie's iguana when the iguana wanted to paint. So I fetch the painting things as Ron made sure that Edward didn't drown in his milk. We start painting when we run out of green. Ron gets his wand out whilst I start mixing some blue and yellow. He gets upset that I can make green so he ruins it by adding red. And then you woke me up…" She shook her head. "I seem blighted with weird dreams. Don't mind me. I'm sorry if I woke you up."
"You didn't, Miss Granger."
She smiled. "If you want to sir, you can call me Hermione. It's been two years since I finished school."
Nodding he acquiesced.
"What time is it?" she asked, not expecting an answer.
"Near two o'clock. You should sleep."
"But you need your sleep too sir," Hermione argued, pushing back slightly to look him in the eye.
"I do not need as much sleep as you."
"Sir, if anything, you need more. You have to teach in the morning and Remus will be here in our place tomorrow night, with you watching him. The most pressing thing I have to do tomorrow is take a book back to the library and find a decent journal to write in. We both need our sleep." She rested her head against his shoulder. "Anyone who tries to kill you has to kill me first, which (yawn) would give you enough time to run…" Another yawn. "Goodnight sir."
She smiled sleepily. "Goodnight Severus."
"And just what in Merlin's name do you call this?" an angry voice asked the sleeping couple.
"Stupefy!" was Severus' first word of the day, followed by, "The door!"
"No. Why are you curled up with my girlfriend?"
"Go back to sleep Ron. The sun's not up…" Hermione mumbled, before getting cosier against Severus.
"Hermione…" he whispered.
"Shush. Alarms don't talk…"
"Miss Granger! Your Potions essay is due this morning!" Severus barked.
"I gave it in! What was it on? Why am I in the box? And you're not Ron," she finished lamely.
"No he's not, but I am wondering why you decided to spend the night with him."
Rubbing her eyes, Hermione tried to explain.
"If you didn't want to meet for dinner, fine. I understand that. But Snape?"
"Mr Weasley? My wand, on the box's top." Severus pointed to his wand, so close and yet so far.
"Oh, sure sir. Why Hermione? What did I do wrong?" he asked as he handed Snape his wand.
Slyly, Severus cast a silencing spell.
Stepping out of the box, he dismissed her words. "It was to save my own ears. Good day Miss Granger."
"Have a pleasant morning Severus," she replied, getting out of the box herself.
Nodding, he finished the silencing spell and then walked out of the Shack's trapdoor.