"Really, Severus, why don't you ask Hermione out? You know you want to!"

"Shut up, Lupin. You know why."

"Come on, she isn't that shallow. She isn't going to mind. She already finds you interesting. And not to be rude, considering my own personal problems, but she really isn't one to talk."

"Yes, that rat's nest she calls hair should keep her from commenting to start with, but just wait, we end up in a relationship, and then she will want to know why. What am I to say?"

"Why not the truth?"

"Lupin, how is anyone going to believe I spent twenty years pining over someone who cursed me with this hair, then died before telling me the counter?"

Hermione couldn't keep quiet after that comment. "I would think you would have been impressed, and it just added to her mystique. Am I right?"

Severus looked aghast and Remus just looked amused.

"Miss Granger, hasn't anyone told you it is impolite to eavesdrop?"

"Headmaster Snape, hasn't anyone told you it is impolite to expect people to stay out of a common area of a house? If you wished to keep your conversation with Professor Lupin private, you should have had it in your room and not the kitchen. And it is Professor Granger."

Remus turned his chuckle at her tone into a cough at the look on Severus's face.

"You have yet to teach a class, girl. I may have hired you, but you aren't a Professor yet! And I'm tired of all the rumors that Professor Lupin and I are having a mad love affair, so he is not allowed into my rooms."

Severus turned and stalked out of the kitchen.

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"So, was it a potion, a charm or a combination?"

"I think it was a combination."

"Do you think he would ask me out if I could solve his problem?"

A new voice joined in. "He just might. And why haven't I heard about this mad love affair?"

"I'm sure everyone was just trying to 'protect' you, Tonks!"

"Who said I want or need protecting? Maybe I would want to join in!"

Remus spit his tea all over the table. Tonks cleaned it up with a wave of her wand. "I can't take you anywhere. Let's go home, love!"

Hermione took a bowl of ice cream up to her room and started a series of Arithmantic calculations.

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"Where is Miss Granger?"

"Her room."

"You've been saying that for three days, Mr. Potter. Are you certain she didn't elope with Mr. Weasley?"

"That would be difficult seeing how Lavender won't let him out of her sight. Or did you mean another Weasley?"

Remus didn't bother trying to hide his laughter this time.

Severus turned and glared at him.

"I've got it!" Hermione burst into the kitchen at Grimmauld Place waving a piece of parchment over her head. She had obviously been twirling some of her hair for days, because it looked about thirty seconds from becoming dreadlocks. Her eyes were bloodshot, she was wearing the same clothing from earlier in the week and she didn't particularly smell good.

"What do you have, Hermione? Dragon Pox?"

She turned and whacked Harry over the back of the head.

"What DO you have, Hermione?" asked Remus.

"The solution to Severus's hair problem. I ran every possible combination of runes and numbers I could think of to figure it out, but the only thing that seemed to balance would be that it was done as revenge for an insult. I don't know why, though."

Severus turned to Harry in disbelief. "You never told?"

"I told you I never told. Just asked Sirius and Remus about it."

"I'm sorry, Harry. You really are nothing like your father."

Harry smiled.

"What? What did I miss?"

"You really ran all those calculations for me, Miss Granger?"

"Well, yes. I just said I did. Now, what did I miss?"

"You missed nothing. And I'm surprised that you managed to find out what the problem was not even knowing what might have caused it."

"I couldn't figure out what was missing, then I thought, well, he was a boy and was bound to do something stupid around a girl he liked at some point or another and started plugging in the things Harry and Ron would do to me. The insult finally worked."

Severus took the parchment and smiled. "Well done, Hermione. I think this might work. Would you like to help me brew the potion? I think we will ask Filius to do the counter charm, if you don't mind."

Hermione smiled back. "Of course."

Remus grinned as they walked off.

"What is going on? Did you get lucky with Severus without me again?"

This time Harry spit his tea all over the table.

"No, love. But Hermione and Severus are finally on their first date."

"Oh, excellent. Where did they go?"

"Potions Lab."

"Sounds about right."

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Prompt from Sunny33: We all know Snape's hair is lank and greasy. Give me a reason that doesn't involve the usual: potions fumes, natural oiliness, he wants it that was to look scary/put people off etc. something original

And many thanks to sunny33 for her beta skills!