Chapter 26 ~ Big Mistake

After several minutes, Hermione returned to the cabin, her brown eyes still watery. Snape looked at her soberly.

"Are you ready for breakfast?" he asked, indicating the runny eggs on toast.

"No, I don't want that. Some tea will do fine," Hermione responded tersely.

"It's on the stove," Snape replied, pulling out the chair and sitting down. There was no need to let a perfectly good breakfast go to waste.

Hermione retrieved a cup, then walked over to the stove and poured herself a cup of tea. She sat down opposite Snape, frowning as he lit into the food. She didn't bother adding either sugar or milk to her brew.

There were a few minutes of silence as the wizard took the edge off his hunger. Then he looked across the table at Hermione and said, "You shouldn't drink."

Hermione scowled at him.

"Why not?" she asked.

Snape cut another forkful of eggs and toast, then inserted it into his mouth, his dark eyes resting on Hermione.

"You just shouldn't," he replied.

"Why? Did I do something wrong?"

"No, thanks to me."

"What the hell is that supposed to mean?"

Snape studied her.

"It means you shouldn't drink. You lose all sense of decorum."

"What did I do?"

"As I said, nothing."

Hermione's lips tightened.

"I had to have done something for you to say that," she pressed.

Snape didn't reply as he swirled a piece of toast in the bright yellow yolk on his plate.

Hermione's eyebrows drew together into one furled snarl of glower, then she stood up and walked over to her discarded robes, rifling through them. She turned to Snape, who was sitting with his back to her.

"Where's my wand?" she asked him.

"On the nightstand next to the bed," the wizard responded.

Hermione slowly walked past Snape and over toward the nightstand. Her wand lay on top of it. Snape's dark eyes narrowed as they followed her, and he tensed slightly.

Hermione picked up her wand, turned and pointed it at him, flicking it quickly. Already standing, Snape made a slashing movement with his own wand. They stared at each other and Snape's face contorted with fury at her attempt to blindside him.

"Don't you ever . . ." he said in a low, dangerous voice, "ever try that again. My memories and my secrets are my own. If you try and get inside my head again, Hermione Granger, it may very well be the last thing you ever do. Now, shower and get ready to work."

Snape whirled with a billow of robes and stormed out of the cabin. Hermione stood there, her wand now pointed at empty space.

She sighed and dropped her arm.

"Why did I do that?" she groaned.

A/N: Another short scenario. Sorry, but I'm making the effort. So, we have a little standoff using voiceless magic. For those of you who might not have an idea what the spells were, Hermione used "Legilimens" and Snape used "Protego" to keep her from penetrating his mind. Wow, it seems these two won't ever get to first base, does it? Still, it's kind of fun (for me) to keep the conflict going while I figure out how the hell I'm going to make this happen. One thing is for certain, Snape is TOTALLY pissed right now. Hermione must still have been drunk or something. Lol. Thanks for reading.