Okay. Some Hermione/Severus fics make me angry with their stupidity/OOCness. Therefore, here is what would REALLY happen, if they were forced out of character just a nudge into liking each other. Well... I'm not sure Snape's capable of "liking" anyway. Whatever. Just give it a chance. =)

And I don't own the HP universe. Thanks a lot for reminding me. -walks to a corner to pout-

Hermione Granger was distracted.

She was distracted by the constant threat on her life, the lives of her friends, and the lives of her parents.

She was distracted by the idea that in a mere year she would be forced out of the only world she knew, the world of books and studying and every answer being either right or wrong, and forced into the real world in which nothing would ever be as clear.

She was most distracted, however, by a certain individual that caused her great distress. A long curtain of hair obscuring dark, emotionless eyes. Spindly fingers working quickly and efficiently in the dim light of the dungeon classroom. Pale skin with an eerie glow cast upon it by the multi-colored fumes issued by the many cauldrons in the room.

Distracted was an accurate word for the bookish Gryffindor, and she did not like to be distracted.

She finished the brewing concoction set before her and attempted to gather her things and leave the suffocating atmosphere of the dungeons as soon as possible, but was stopped by a glare directed at her from her greatest distraction.

"I don't believe I gave anyone permission to leave yet, Miss Granger," he said, a hint of a dare to question him hidden in the words.

Not trusting herself to answer without a waver to her voice, the young woman nodded and took her seat. She fumbled with her textbook and attempted to start the reading that was assigned for homework. "Why is he affecting me this way?" she mentally cursed. "He's a professor, he's completely unpleasant, and he isn't even attractive," she tried to assure herself.

She pretended it was working.

Finally the bell rang signaling the end of the class. She rushed to put her book away in her bag to finally escape the prison that the room had become. She cursed under her breath when she realized how clumsy she was being, wrinkling papers and crushing a quill with her hurried actions.

That was the last straw. She would not allow herself to be so... so... frazzled by a stupid schoolgirl crush on a professor! Holding her head high, Hermione Granger exited the classroom feeling confident she'd convinced herself to turn a new leaf.

That is until the one voice that could break her reverie decided to do just that.

"Miss Granger, I do believe it is customary to leave your work station looking as though it hasn't been run over by a herd of hippogriffs."

She clenched her fists and re-entered the room, running a new mantra repeatedly through her head.

"I must not like Professor Snape. I must not like Professor Snape. I must not-"

She dropped a vial. "Damn it!" she hissed, using her wand to repair the glass and clean up the wasted ingredients.

"Five points for language, Granger." He practically purred with delight at being able to take points from her house. She glared at nothing in particular until the humiliating cleaning was done. Frustrated at her own actions, the Gryffindor practically ran out of the room.

Snape watched the girl haphazardly straighten the table at which she'd been working, and smirked to himself when she spilled the sopohorous. He practically chuckled in delight when she cursed, just because it gave him an excuse to take points.

He knew that he was cruel, possibly too cruel, but he blamed the girl. It was her fault for being so distracted in his class. He'd be damned if he'd allow that kind of carelessness in a classroom where possibly dangerous substances were being handled on a constant basis.

Once she left, he began to wonder about her seemingly overwhelming distraction. He had noticed that elsewhere she seemed much less preoccupied with whatever it was that was on her mind in his class. Not that he was watching her. That would be inappropriate and downright wrong of him. She was a student, and a Gryffindor at that. He needn't remind himself of how annoying she was either.

He glared at the spot where she'd been working.

No. He was definitely not watching her for reasons other than to figure out why she seemed so inattentive in his class, and only in his class.

That's what he kept telling himself anyway.