Title: 10 Things I Barely Tolerate About You
cathedral carver
These characters do not belong to me.

Summary: Let's begin with the least offensive, shall we?

This list will incendio in 60 seconds.



10. The Hair.

I mean, obviously. If I'm going to make a list, and apparently I am, the Hair has to be included. Now, it's not as unbearable as some of her other qualities which will henceforth follow, but it bears mentioning. The bushiness. The frizz. The way she constantly pushes it back from her face when she's working. Does the girl not know how to make a plait? Granted, the colour is hardly offensive. It's rather appealing, in its way, a cross between caramel and tannis root, but I seem to have lost my train of thought. I mean look, just look at her! She's doing it right now, right this very moment as I scribble down all the qualities about her that keep me awake at night, pacing in peripatetic consternation. She's leaning over her cauldron and her hair is falling into her face and she keeps smoothing it back with her hands. Oh. She has a Muggle band aid on her finger. I wonder what happened. Regardless. How on earth can she expect to see what she's doing with that veritable mane getting in the way? Not that she needs to, because I know, as she knows, as every single person in the entire class knows, she'll succeed and succeed admirably. She always succeeds, which brings me most efficiently to my next point.

9. Insufferable Know-It-All.

I didn't bestow that amusing, clever and yet oh-so-fitting moniker on her by accident. Truly, I have never had the dubious pleasure of teaching such a…a person. Every question I ask, every test I set, every bar I raise, every single time I turn around she's there, ramrod straight with her hand clawing at the air, that determined look on her face, desperate to show me, to show everyone, exactly how much she knows. The girl must sleep with her books. And she's always right. Do I care? Does anyone? Well, yes. Yes, I do care. I care quite a bit. I mean, I place great store in knowledge and education, same as all teachers. And to have a student so eager, so bright, so ready to absorb everything you have to impart, to accept it all so eagerly and to seem, well, fervent about the very act of learning, well. It is rather flattering, as any teacher would admit. Any teacher! Don't believe me? Ask Minerva! Ask Cuthbert or Filius! We all find her…intriguing. All of us.

It's not just me.

8. The Bossiness.

Merlin! Just the other day she demanded, demanded, that I set her an assignment for extra credit. And the expression on her face as she said it! Well. It reminded me of myself at that age, all full of nerve and of the certainty of my own intelligence and abilities. Insufferable! (see above). Well, I hemmed and hawed and tried frantically to think of the most difficult potion I could but, embarrassing as it sounds now, I drew a complete blank. For some reason, just standing there, staring into her face, I found it inordinately difficult to think of anything at all. Thank goodness I never blush. It was most disconcerting and I'm sure she noticed, but I flapped my cloak about me imperiously and snapped something about making sure she had her precious extra credit assignment When I Saw Fit and Not a Second Sooner. That will show her! Severus Snape will never be bossed.

Never, indeed.

7. The Inability to Keep Her Eyes on Her Own Work.

There she goes again, whispering instructions out of the corner of her mouth to Longbottom, that idiot. Wait. Is she wearing lipstick? No. It's just the odd lighting above the cauldron. Anyway. She thinks I can't see her. She has no idea how often I watch her. If she did, well. She seems determined to keep that fool from failing my class and I have half a mind to do it anyway, just to show them I know what's going on. Severus Snape is no fool! No one, not even one Hermione Granger, is going to pull the wool over my eyes, thank you very much.

There. I just stood up and positively glared at her. A full five seconds. I even flared my nostrils. I hope that got my point across. Longbottom certainly received the message, loud and clear: he dropped his entire bowl of nosilla bulb cuttings on the floor. It was all I could do not to burst out laughing. Granger looked mortified of course and tried to console the twit but…oh Merlin. No. No! She's giving him hers. What is wrong with the girl? She's hurried back to get another bulb for herself and she's frantically cutting it up right now.

She'll never finish on time.

6. Always Has to Be Right.

Always, always, always! I never win an argument with the girl! Not that I allow myself to enter into many. Oh no, I've learned my lesson. I actually try to converse with her as little as possible, truth me told. I find my voice always sounds slightly…odd when I talk to her, a pitch or two higher than normal and definitely not my usual forceful bray. And she corrects me! She dared to tell me I was wrong about my calculations for brewing an infusion of diplotaxis erucoides the other day, in front of the entire class. Granted, she was right, but still!

Insufferable know-it-all!

Wait. Am I repeating myself?

5. Grows on a Person.

I'm not quite sure where that came from. I'll just scratch it out and continue.

4. Potent Magical Ability.

She's bewitching! There is no other explanation for it, search though I might. And I have. Because despite my irrefutable points 10 through five, despite the hair and despite the teeth (the teeth! I knew I'd forgotten something) and despite all her myriad quirks and quarks and annoying, endearing little—

Despite it all, she is, oddly, mysteriously, undeniably more attractive and appealing than she'll ever realize.

3. Exceedingly Poor Taste in Friends.

Now this point really should have been No. 1, but I let it slide simply because I know she feels it is her self-imposed Duty to keep those two dunderheads in line. I mean, what would they do without her? I wouldn't be surprised if she dressed them in the mornings and wiped their bottoms before bed. And there goes Weasley, looking at her again, all drooly and moony. He thinks she doesn't notice but she does. She just doesn't let him know she knows. She's a smart one, that girl. Too smart for her own good, if you ask me. And Weasley! Please! As if he stands a chance with her! He's a moron! She's a genius!

Just a moment. I'm going to give him a detention.

2. Forms Inappropriate Crushes on Authority Figures.

Now, I'm not saying she has a crush on me, not at all. Despite the fact that she has hugged me every single blasted year since she set foot in this hallowed hall of learning. Hugged me! And I've done nothing to encourage it, I can assure you. There is absolutely no way she knows that I keep close tabs on her, on her progress, her friends, her relationships. She has absolutely no idea she has become, over the years, my favourite student — well, perhaps not my favourite — I mean, I could never favour a Gryffindor above a Slytherin, there is absolutely no way, and yet. And yet. There she goes looking at me again, and biting her lip. She's worried she won't finish before the allotted time runs out. Silly girl! When has she ever been late with a potion? When has she never received top marks for anything she has attempted in my classroom? I just scowled at her for good measure and she looked away. I think she was blushing. I smirk. I haven't lost my touch, at least. I have, over the years, become most adept at covering my true emot—

See? The insufferable girl has just handed in her aequus draught and it looks perfect, as always, just the right shade of vermilion, and Merlin, her fingers brushed against mine and she looked at me in that way she has when she handed it over and smiled, just a little, and smoothed back that untamable mess and said, "What are you writing, sir?" The nerve! As if she was truly interested. And she hovered, waiting anxiously and trying to peer at my parchment until I snapped, "None of your business, Miss Granger!" in my most officious tone. And, oh bother, I must finish. Here comes Potter with a flagon of something that resembles pond sludge and Granger is packing up her bag, getting ready to leave and shoving that hair back from her face and—

1. Not Old Enough to Kiss.