Author's Note: As I am currently waiting to begin my first year of university, I have absolutely loads of free time and, like Hermione, I am incredibly bored! Therefore, this crazy little idea sprung to mind. It's a multi-chaptered fic that's funny, fluffy and in parts a tiny bit OOC; if you aren't looking for any of these things, this story is definitely not for you! The book that is referred to throughout is real, and is called 211 Things a Bright Girl Can Do, written by Bunty Cutler! Every single thing that Hermione attempts throughout this fic is included in this book, and I think it's definitely worth a read! Anyway, on with the story. I've posted both the prologue and the first chapter, just to get it moving. Please read and review!
How to Keep a Bright Girl Entertained
Hermione Granger was bored. It was an entirely new phenomenon which, at first, had been unrecognisable by Hermione. Ever since she had discovered the Wizarding World, the opportunity for boredom had never been presented to her – there had always been homework to complete, duties to be done, or Dark Wizards to overthrow. Therefore, when she found herself sitting on her bed with nothing to do, she wondered what on earth was going to happen to her. Several hours later, she discovered the answer – absolutely nothing. For three hours, Hermione sat on her bed in absolute discomfort; she crossed her legs and uncrossed them, folded her arms and unfolded them, and even took to making paper aeroplanes out of tissues from the box on her nightstand. Boredom had well and truly set in, and the very thought of it was driving her insane.
That morning, the students had left for the Christmas break. In previous years Hermione would have left too, but this year was different – she was an apprentice. After the war, Professor McGonagall had taken the position of headmistress following Albus' retirement, and had persuaded Professor Snape to offer her the first apprentice that Hogwarts had ever seen. She was about to complete the third year of her apprenticeship, and at the end of January it would be complete – she would become a fully-fledged Potions Mistress – and thus far she had enjoyed her work. The only downside was that, as an apprentice and therefore a member of staff, it meant that she had to stay at school for the holidays. She supposed that it would not have been that bad, were the students interesting or the staff tolerable for a long amount of time, but neither of these things were true. The only person whose company she did enjoy was Professor Snape, but he did not seem to share the sentiment.
With a sigh, Hermione stood up and left her bedroom. She knew that this would be a futile attempt but, in the desperate situation she found herself in, it seemed like an excellent idea. At least it was something to do that was a little more interesting than staring at the pattern on her duvet. Opening the door, she stepped into the sitting room that she shared with Professor Snape. He was sat on the sofa in front of the fire, his head bent over a thick book, and did not look up when she entered. Even when Hermione threw herself down next to him, his eyes did not move from the book. She gave an irritated sigh, throwing her head back and closing her eyes.
"What do you want?" He mumbled quietly, finally succumbing to her attempts at distraction. "I know you will not leave me be until I have appeased you a little, so make your request quickly and be on your way."
"Severus…I'm bored." He looked up at last, staring at her blankly with his dark eyes.
"And what, Miss Granger, do you expect me to do about that? I am your employer, not your babysitter." She gave a sigh and shifted petulantly in her seat.
"I don't know…talk to me or something? You're the only person in school who doesn't have the mental age of a six year old or isn't at least half a century older than me. Please." She tried to look at him with what she imagined were 'puppy-dog' eyes – Lavender had always sworn that they made a man do anything she wanted him to. It seemed that Snape, however, was not included in this. She filed that away for future reference – Severus does not respond well to womanly wiles.
"I am busy and have no burning desire to converse with you, Miss Granger. I can, however, suggest something that may reduce your boredom a little."
Without a further word, he placed his book to one side and walked out of the sitting room and into his office. A moment later he returned, carrying a pink book that appeared to be of muggle manufacture. He handed it to her unsmilingly.
"211 Things a Bright Girl Can Do." He stated. "I confiscated it last week. Perhaps you can find something to entertain yourself with in there, seeing as you are a self-professed 'bright girl'." Hermione flicked to the contents, and saw that there were several different sections: The Queen of Cuisine, The Compleat Homemaker, and The Perfect Hostess, How to Be Completely Gorgeous, Jolly Hockeysticks and How to be bad. Hermione was certain that there was more than enough to entertain her there.
"I think this will do perfectly." She said, grinning at him. "In fact, I intend to complete a different task every day until New Year's Eve – starting tomorrow!"
"Fascinating." Hermione noticed, with a grin, that he had already retrieved his book and had buried his head in it.
"I may need your assistance now and then though, Severus."
"No." He flicked the page over testily.
"Unfortunately, sir, you don't have a choice! This was your idea after all, and tomorrow my challenge shall begin!"