Author's Note: JKR owns all.
Read the A/N at the end of the chapter for a surprise!
After Hermione had been fully "shown" her new quarters (which consisted primarily of walking around with her right hand stretched expectantly out in front of her), she hesitantly walked to where she thought Snape had mentioned a lounger's presence. When he fingertips finally met with the scratchy fabric of the chair's back, she slumped into it exhaustedly.
Snape, watching her, spoke up, "Perhaps you should rest before dinner. I'm confident it will be quite an ordeal with the students making their intolerable dissonance as usual, and not to mention the staff asking their tedious and repetitive questions."
Hermione looked up at the sound of his voice with distaste, "Would it be terribly rude of me to request dining here this first night? I just don't know if I'm up to being bombarded just yet. I'm aware that it would impose upon your own supper plans, and-"
"You would be providing me with an excellent excuse to avoid my…nettlesome…colleagues."
Hermione smirked in response. This man never changed.
"Good, then. And…rather than rest now…I was sort of hoping to be able to.." She turned her head into her lap.
"You wish for me to perform the brail charm, now, I suppose?" His tone revealed nothing, so flat was it.
She nodded eagerly.
Snape sighed and walked over to his bookshelf, "Have anything in mind?"
Hermione could tell his patience for the day was running thin and asked for the first thing she could pull of the top of her head, "Hogwarts: A History. Do you happen to have a version from the last five years? I'd like to catch up on all I've missed."
She heard the scraping of leather-bound books as accio-ed her selection. He walked up to where she sat and gingerly placed the book on her lap. Before she could ponder more in depth the shocking gentleness he had been applying with her, she became totally enthralled with the tome resting upon her. She stroked the cover lovingly, tracing the indented words with care, relishing the weight of the words. She opened the book with softly, and ran her hands along the smooth planes of the parchment.
She had never felt so in love with a book before. And she had yet to feel so upset at her blindness. She knew there were words there that begged her to be read and devoured, and yet she could not grant them their wish. She turned the pages with distant affection, but knew that no matter how hard she tried, the mysteries would not appear before her unseeing eyes.
Snape watched the girl curiously as she practically fondled his book. She was quite intriguing, his new charge. She chose that moment to look up at him imploringly, begging him to allow her to see this unremarkable bit of literature.
He spoke the charm so softly, it was only with her recently enhanced hearing that she was even able to pick up on it, "parole nascoste appaiono nella mia mente".
Hermione took a sharp intake of breath. Italian. She had, for some reason, expected the words to be in Latin, like the majority of the charms wizards used everyday. The way his deep and soulful voice spoke the beautiful words was enough to make her go weak in the knees. Hermione shook her head and looked back up to where she had just heard his melodious voice.
"Surprised, Miss Granger? I did mention the 1500's being the date of this charm's invention. The Italian Renaissance's achievement was not limited to just muggles, you know."
Hermione smirked once again and then turned her attention back to the book on her lap. She reopened the cover slowly, and placed her hands upon the first parchment and felt the raised bumps that were brail.
She gasped, loudly this time.
As she moved her hands across the page, the text appeared fully in her mind. It was the first bit of new information her mind's eye had taken in since she had woken up. The words trailed across the blackness of her vision in stark contrast, and she read, "Hogwarts: A History. Revised Edition 2608 from the bestselling author of Hogwarts: A History. Revised Edition 2511."
She could have shouted with joy.
Later in the evening found the unsuspected pair in a somewhat cozy situation.
Snape was marking essays, spreading the red ink of his fury across the dunderheaded students' work.
Hermione had been in the same position for hours, ever since Snape had cast the brail charm, she had not pulled her hand off of the large book since.
Occasionally he would hear her surprised reactions or fits of laughter at recent events that she was just learning of now. It gave him a certain…feeling of satisfaction to have provided the girl with such happiness, though he would never admit it.
When the house elf who he had flooed dinner instructions to earlier appeared with a pop!, Hermione shrieked in surprise.
"What was that? Professor? " She asked worriedly from her spot on the couch, book forgotten.
"A house elf bringing supper, Miss Granger. Honestly." He rolled his eyes. He could only feel empathy for so long.
Hermione raised herself from her seat, but forgetting the coffee table in front of her, took a giant step into it and slammed her shin into the wood.
She crumpled to the ground and huffed in agony.
Snape rushed over to here in concern for the second time in one day.
"Foolish girl! We went over the layout of the room twice!" He castigated as he helped her into a standing position.
She glared at his shoulder, clearing aiming for his face.
"I've only been here a few hours, Sir! You cannot expect me to have the place memorized!"
Her face heated up with her frustration, and Snape released his hand from her shoulder hastily. She could feel his stony glare. Not many people spoke back to Severus Snape, no matter how justified.
She cleared her throat, immediately regretting her outburst. Things had been going well until this little skirmish. She wanted to act quickly to remedy it.
"My apologies, Professor. I should not have lashed out just now. I was just frustrated that you expect me to know your…our…these rooms so soon."
She waited expectantly for him to apologize, but he did not. He only took her arm once more and led her to the dining table where she could smell the delicious food. He pulled out her chair silently, sat down, and they began to eat in awkward silence.
Until Snape decided to break the uncomfortable quiet with news, "Tomorrow, I shall begin researching your curse and its possible cures. You are free to do as you wish during that time."
Hermione was so distracted with this bit of information that she did not register his sudden desire to speak.
"I am not to be assisting you in the lab?"
"Merlin, no! You can barely find your way around this room, how would you expect to survive in a room filled with deadly potions ingredients!"
She was a little hurt by his blunt refusal, but she understood his logic, having recognized it earlier. She had hoped though.
She heard the scraping of wood on wood as he pulled out of his chair and stood up. "Come, now, it is time for you to rest. You have had an extremely stressful day."She hated being treated like a child, but she truly was tired. She allowed herself to be helped up and walked to her bedroom. Hermione felt for her bed when the entered the room, and sat down.
Snape cleared his throat awkwardly and made his way out with haste, not wanting to remain any longer in the woman's bedroom.
Hermione touched her locket after she heard the door shut softly and looked down. It was not going to be easy, living with this man. But she would make the best of it.
CeliaEquus-1. Well it may have just escaped Ron's limited attention span that Hermione is in fact blind and could not write an owl, but I have a feeling Hermione assumed meant for someone to scribe the letter. Although, I believe Ron was just trying to make a point to make Severus jealous J2. I believe this is answered in this chapter. She doesn't know brail, but it translates into her mind's eye.LauraFlowi-Their arguments are fun to writeJ
I've decided to offer a story to my 60th reviewer, just to have a little fun. I'll mail the reviewer a request form to fill out and write a one-shot or a drabble with the plot line of their choice. After said mailing, if the 60th reviewer does not respond or chooses not to have a story written, then the 61st will be chose, and so on.