A/N: For those who've read already, just doing some editing.

Disclaimer: Just borrowing the brilliance of JK Rowling.

Enjoy!

Chapter 10: Bubblegum Pink

Remus was in his quarters still mad about the situation, and to make matters worse it turned out that they weren't being very discrete about it either.

The whole staff knew. The last thing he needed were his colleagues whispering behind his back…or worse if it got out to the students. His reputation would be ruined especially if she chose him over Snape. What if he was viewed as a pedophile or a creeper? No. Don't think about any of that. Don't think about what might happen…Just go to sleep Remus!

And so he did. Tossing and turning.

Visions of Snape and Hermione chased him and taunted him. In the other direction was the student body laughing at him, and staff and the rest of the wizarding world to his left. He was surrounded and no one was going to help him. Suddenly, he saw a flash of pink but it faded away in an instant. "Wait!" He called. The figure turned around. It was a girl, a women. She was too far away and he couldn't make her out. Then she gave him a small smile and walked away. He tried to follow but soon he lost her in the crowd.

Remus Lupin woke up in a thin coat of sweat. He laid back down and frowned. He shook himself awake and went to take a shower.

The next night he had the same dream, the only difference was that she appeared earlier than before. And, like the night before he woke up before he could identify her.

By the end of the week Remus had circles under his eyes. His dreams caused a lack of sleep that was beginning to show. Minerva came to him on Friday evening and told him he needed to visit Poppy.

"Minerva, I only need a couple of restful nights and I'll be fine."

"Nonsense, you've had all week to get that. You will go to the infirmary so Poppy can check you. We don't want a bug to get loose. Half the students will get in within three days!" She was almost yelling now.

"Hold your Hippogriffs woman! I'll go! Blimey."

She narrowed her eyes and gave him the stare that made anyone feel like they were a first year again. She watched him until she was sure he wouldn't turn back.

"Well, Remus you look fine to me you just need a couple of potions." Poppy said as she started cleaning up her tools. "However, my stocks aren't due to be replenished for a couple of days. You need to take them now you're going to have to ask Severus if he can whip them up for you really quick."

"That's not fine."

She turned around from her job and looked at him. "Remus it is fine. Your not terribly sick so you can get them yourself. I am awfully busy here. You know that."

Remus didn't answer.

"Remus Lupin. Do I have to check you again? Maybe your not feeling well. You're usually so agreeable."

"Usually, Poppy, I don't like a girl who is my best friend's, son's, friend! Usually, I don't like a girl that could be my daughter, and usually I'm not jealous of Snivellus!"

"Lupin, you definitely need that potion. Now shoo!"

Remus sighed. Nobody got it. There was something wrong with him. He fancied Hermione Granger. Part of the Golden Trio, half his age…of course, Severus was the same age as him. He argued with himself all the way down there. And what he would find-or what he will think he found-did not make his day any better…

Hermione and Severus were in the lab working in comfortable silence. At least, Snape was. Hermione was tense ever since that dream. She still hadn't told Severus and she wasn't sure if she should. Once Lupin found out (and the whole Wizarding World)…well, she didn't really want to think about that just yet.

Hermione was in her own little world that day and she was running on auto pilot. Luckily, Severus was there and they were only doing simple potions for Madam Pomfrey or she would have been in big trouble.

It was the worst timing imaginable, but with Hermione in her dream-like state and Remus boiling over the top, something was bound to happen sometime…and it did.

Hermione was reaching over her caldron for an ingredient when her sleeve caught on a lace wing that had attached itself to her robe.

Severus had always been an observant man. He used it to his advantage, but he never fully appreciated it until that day. He was watching Hermione out of the corner of his eye all day. She had been in some kind of daze all morning. He just hoped that it wouldn't affect her potion brewing. So far she was doing well. That's when it happened.

He saw Hermione reach for an ingredient and glanced down her arm. There at the end of her sleeve was a small lace wing that was dangling precariously. He reacted as soon as possible. Right as he was moving towards her it fell off and dropped into the cauldron. He flung himself at her, and they both flew backward. Snape simultaneously threw a shield around the potion. They crashed into one of the benches and landed in a heap.

This is how Remus Lupin found them.

Lupin was walking down the corridor towards the dungeons, when he heard a sudden yell. Thinking the worst he rushed to the door. Snape's classroom was open, but there was no one there. Another door was ajar and he ran inside to find himself in Snape's private lab. To the right was a potion bubbling dangerously with a protection charm around it. Remus looked to his left, but didn't see anything until he looked down. His face went from bewildered to suspicion, which then turned into furry in a matter of seconds. There lay Severus Snape and Hermione Granger. Together. On the floor.

Now, the reasonable Remus Lupin would have guessed right away what really happened. But alas, at this moment in time Lupin was not up to his usual standards and he didn't consider the reasonable scenario. What he saw was the man he hated and the women he liked together, lying on the floor looking flustered.

As soon as Hermione landed she tried to get up, which was impossible at the given moment because there was a huge body lying on top of her. She laid back and groaned. They had slammed into the work bench and her head was throbbing.

They didn't even have time to move when the door burst open and none other than Remus Lupin was looking down at them, red in the face. Hermione struggled to sit up, but Snape wasn't exactly a scrawny school boy.

"Severus." Hermione shook him. "Could you get off of me please? I can't breathe."

He groaned and rolled over. Rubbed his face, sighed and sat up. "Are you okay, Hermione? Nothing got on you?"

She shook her head. "Nope, we got lucky. You have fast reflexes, and brilliant aim. Nothing gets past you."

"Ahem."

They both jumped. Hermione out of fright, and Snape…he thought for a moment that the Umbridge woman had come back, and was going to scold him for being less than a foot away from another person. He looked up to see Lupin staring at them. He slowly got to his feet dusted off his robes, held out a hand for Hermione, and waited.

"Y-you two were on the floor…I want to know why." Lupin stuttered a bit, but stopped when he regained his anger and with that, confidence.

Severus sighed. "Lupin, we were brewing and a stray ingredient fell into one of the potions. I saw it and cast a shield charm and threw Hermione and myself back. If the charm hadn't worked then we would both be covered in a potion that would have done who knows what with the wrong ingredient added."

Lupin still didn't looked convinced so Hermione stepped in. "Remus, it was my fault. I've been tired and I should have been paying attention. A piece of stray lace wing caught on my robe and fell into my potion. If Severus hadn't acted so quickly I would have more than just a bump on my head. Thanks to him we are both safe and most of the lab is unharmed. And who knows how long we would have been set back if the lab got ruined."

"You two are conspiring against me! I don't know what I ever saw in either of you! I have been nothing but civil to you all these years Snape, why do you choose to torment me? And you! Hermione. How could you do this to me? I thought you had more sense then that! I have always been there for you. We have so much in common. I could protect you. We have always been friends, why can't we be more? Can you at least give me a chance?"

Out of no where Snape lost it. He stood up to his full height and his eyes burned hole into to Remus. "How dare you speak to us that way! We are not conspiring against you if that's what you really think! And you being civil to me? That doesn't have anything to do with this either! And I can't even imagine that you, Remus Lupin, would loose your head. Hermione is a brilliant witch! She has been through the war and 7 whole years right along side Harry Potter and every one of his adventures. You are just insulting her when you say you can protect her. She will probably become more powerful than you can ever hope for. She deserves the best and if that isn't with you, or me then so be it!"

He turned around. "Hermione. You can have the rest of the day off." She gave him a watery smile and swept away into her chambers. "As for you, your bloody werewolf, get out of my dungeons, get out of my sight!"

Lupin had seen the look in Hermione's eyes when Snape defended her. He knew that she didn't need protecting, and he knew that she had not chosen him. Finally, he admitted defeat and with his head hung he trudged back to his quarters. Today was just not his day.

"Thank you Severus. I never knew you held me in such high regards." She gave him a smirk. "You better be careful. You don't want it to get out that you're getting softer. What would the students think?"

He smirked right back. After all, it's what he did best. "Not so Gryffindor now are you? Am I turning you into a little Slytherin? Not that I mind of course, but it might come as a bit of a shock to the other two thirds of the 'Golden Trio'."

"Na, don't worry about them. If they can handle Draco Malfoy and become his friend, then they can handle my Slytherin side."

They had returned to the lab to fix the benches that they had crashed into and examine the potion, all the while continuing their friendly banter.

Snape had stopped. Draco Malfoy was Harry Potter and Weasley's friend? Wait, did that mean that he was seeing Hermione? After all how else could they have gotten to know each other. I must visit Draco, and soon. On the inside he may have been edgy, but on the exterior, he kept it smooth.

"Of, course. If Potter can handle Lord Voldemort then surly he can handle a sly Gryffindor." He gave her a sideways glance. "Then again, I have been reminded before of how…difficult women can be."

"Difficult? You of all people are calling me difficult?" Her voice rose and octave. By that time they had retired to their quarters and were standing in the middle of the room. "Severus Snape, you are the most stubborn, most difficult man in the universe! And don't you deny it. There are probably centuries of memories and proof to back me up on this one!" She smirked at him triumphantly.

Severus raised an eyebrow in an attempt of an offended look. "Centuries? How old do you think I am Miss. Granger? Surly only Dumbledore is centuries old."

"…Do you really want me to answer that question, Professor?" She shrieked and ducked when a pillow came flying at her. It hit the wall with a thud.

Severus decided to play along. "That just earned you a detention Miss. Granger. Fifteen points from Gryffindor." As he threw another pillow at her.

There was silence, and Hermione didn't come out from behind the chair. He stood there, waiting. "Hermione?" He finally said.

She, on the other hand wasn't behind the chair. While he was talking, she had cast a disillusionment charm on herself and snuck out from behind the couch so that she was standing right behind him. She laughed to herself. If only my friends could see me now. They'd either faint or cry with tears of laughter.

Next she cast the disillusionment on a piece of string and loosely tied it around his feet.

"Hermione?" She smiled and waited. Snape took a hesitant step forward. Or at least he tried to. As soon as he stuck out is left leg he fell in a heap on the floor, landing with an 'oof'.

He groaned and rolled onto his back to sit up. Her charms had worn off and she was giggling madly from above. He could now see the string that was around his feet. Scowling he banished it and got up. He started towards her, giving her his most menacing look, while trying to hold in a laugh.

"You little minx." He advanced on her. She took a step back to every one of his forward.

"What are you going to do…Professor?" She raised her eyebrow and smirked.

Just as her back hit the wall and Snape was closing in on her the door burst open.

They both froze and Hermione's eyes widened when she looked over Severus' shoulder. Severus sighed and whispered.

"Hermione, who is it?"

She tore her eyes away from the person at the door and looked at him. "Severus, I want you to keep calm okay?" Before he could respond she stepped out from behind him and said, "Hey, Ron, Harry. What are you guys doing here?"

Ron was looking from Hermione to Snape, gapping like a fish. Harry on the other hand was looking at her with a twinkle in his eye. He reminded her of Dumbledore and glanced warily at him, thinking he might be Dumbledore in disguise.

"Y-you, what are you doing with Snape?"

"Um, Ron, I'm his apprentice." In a voice that said that she thought that that would clear up everything. As everyone knows by now that didn't explain anything to Ron.

"…And?"

"So, one of the terms of agreement in our contract was that I had to live down here. I live here Ron."

"We were going to his classroom, and we heard a shriek and then nothing. We thought he had killed you or something, so we started throwing curses at the door, nothing worked." He said helplessly.

"Then how did you get in, Weasley? No one can penetrate my wards."

"Sir, we heard a thump and Ron started going crazy. That's when Professor Dumbledore appeared. He let us in, Sir."

Severus scowled. Albus was a meddling fool, but he never thought he'd see the day when he'd stoop this low. To think, Potter and Weasley in his private quarters!

"…I see, and what was so important that you find yourselves here?"

"Well, we needed to talk to Hermione about something."

Hermione looked from one to the other. "Well, lets hear it then." She said expectantly.

"Well, Ron needed to talk to Hermione." Harry corrected. They both fidgeted slightly. Unsure of what to do with themselves.

"Okay. Severus, Harry, please don't kill each other. Ron and I will be right back."

At that, Severus glanced swiftly at Harry, who eyed him nervously. When the door shut behind the two, silence filled the room.

"Have a seat, Potter." Severus gestured to the couch. "We mind as well start off on a civil note. I would assume you know what Hermione is like when she gets pissed off, but I on the other hand would like to be kept in the dark on that one."

Harry chuckled a little. "Professor, I would have never dreamed that you of all people would have a sense of humor. It just proves how little I know about you. The real you."

Snape cleared his throat. "Well, I don't think I knew you either. I guess…we both made assumptions about each other." He waited uncomfortable for a response.

"I know that it might be too late, but I was wondering if we could meet in the middle…"

Snape studied him for a moment. "That seems like a reasonable request to me. I guess I must make an effort, for Hermione's sake. Especially if you and Weasley will be coming around unexpectedly." As he mentioned Ron's name he scowled. He didn't like the thought of that git with Hermione, alone. Not at all.

Harry smiled. And Snape noticed that it was genuine, and after a while he realized that Harry Potter-most of the time-was a genuine man. Even in his school days, his emotions were written on his face. Typical Gryffindors. Harry held out his and they shook on it.

"So, now that we are off on the right foot…What did you come down here for Potter?"

"Oh, well, um….Ron wanted to talk to Hermione about something. He's been meaning to for a while now, and well…I guess it's better now than later, for him anyway."

"Potter, what does he want?" Snape didn't like where this was headed. He seemed to be avoiding the point at all costs. It seemed it was what Severus feared.

"Well, he wants to date Hermione." Before Snape could say anything Harry started rambling again. "Ginny and I told him to do it a long time ago. And especially, now that she's living at Hogwarts again we tried to make him see that she will never like him in that way. They are like brother and sister. Hermione is too smart for him, of both of us. She needs someone who won't roll their eyes when she mentions something besides Quidditch. We told him not too, but he wouldn't listen. He's convinced that Hermione is the one and she'd agree with him. And-"

Snape couldn't take it anymore. His head was going to explode. "100 points from Gryffindor!" That made Harry shut up.

"What, Sir?"

"I won't blame you, but it doesn't mean I don't like it. I mean that Weasley barged in here and disrupted our work."

"Um, Professor…I um know that you like her."

He looked at him like Voldemort had come back.

"Well, you see, Remus is my friend and well, he is a Gryffindor and very obvious. And sometimes he mumbles about someone who was 'stealing her away' and other clues, which give a clear answer to anyone who pays attention that the other person is you." He added hastily, "But don't worry, Sir, I won't tell anyone and Ron doesn't know."

Severus looked at him for a moment, calculating the situation. He guessed that he could trust Potter. After all he was sure he would be able to tell if he was lying. He was always a bad Occulmens. "Very well Potter. I will trust you."

"I think you'd be good for her. She would be able to match your wit, mind and temper." He seemed to nod to himself. "Yes, you'd make a good couple." Then Harry looked at his watch. "They've been at it for a while." The look on Snape's face gave way to his fear. "Oh, don't worry she'll reject him for sure. But he'll either be boiling with rage or he'll get super depressed….any minute now."

Hermione walked in, her expression was in between a look of bewilderment, anger and a flicker of amusement. She walked past the two men and disappeared into her room.

"Well, that seemed to go pretty well. I'll see you around, Professor." Harry walked out the door in search of Ron and Snape started to gather ingredients to continue brewing Madam Pomfrey's order. He guessed that Hermione would need some alone time right now, and he didn't plan on making the witch angry.

In her bedroom Hermione was almost fuming. The nerve of that Guy! How could he be so thick headed? How does he not see that we are grown up and that I don't feel the same as I did in 6th year. How anymore brainless can someone get? After her ranting she had calmed down a bit. At least he doesn't know that Remus likes me, or worse, Severus…

Severus. She smiled at the thought of their fun, until the boys had come. She still didn't know how she was going to tell him, or when to tell him. He had already confessed his feelings to her and now it was almost plain cruel to let him wait on pins and needles. She decided to make it up to him…but how? She needed just the right situation, then, she would just kiss him. It sounded brilliant to her. With that attitude in mind she pranced happily back to the lab to help finish the potions.

Remus was mad, once again. He couldn't even remember the last time he had been this mad. It was a record. This year was the most stressful he'd ever had. He went to bed, his mind unsettled with thoughts of Hermione and Snape all cozy and happy. His dreams were once again invaded by the chaos of a battle and the mysterious woman with the pink hair that kept leading him to safety. When he awoke in the morning he was finally able to put a name to the striking color. Bubblegum pink he had decided.

Halloween was also fast approaching and since the Headmaster was Dumbledore who could have expected anything less than more festivities. Once again to the delight everyone but Snape, Dumbledore had planned another party. The students were buzzing with excitement and Hermione as equally so, because Dumbledore had invited almost the whole Order Of the Phoenix. The Headmaster officially announced the plans at dinner one evening.

"Attention, students. I have decided that in order to properly celebrate the up coming holiday, a masquerade ball will be held on October 31st. Everyone is allowed to attend, however there is a curfew for all. The ball will be held here in the Great Hall. 1st-3rd years can only stay up until 10pm. 4th-5th years until 11pm, and 6th-7th year until 12am."

Groans and shouts of protests were heard though out the hall. "Not to worry, not to worry, since we will be combining dinner with the occasion it will start at 6pm. That gives everyone a decent amount of time to have fun. And to add to the spirit of house unity you are allowed to bring a partner and it's encouraged. House points will be given if you go with someone from another house. Students with older partners may stay until the later curfew." He sat down and the students started to disperse to their common rooms. Everyone was talking to their friends already planning for the dance.

Back in their quarters, Snape was ranting on about the 'old crack pot' and his twisted idea of fun.

"Hmm, I think you're the one with a twisted idea of fun, Severus."

He scowled at her. "And what gives you that idea?"

"Well, anyone but you would be thrilled to have a party thrown on Halloween. Besides, your forgetting that these are teenagers. They'll love the prospect of a great chance to ask someone they like out."

Snape stopped. Was she hinting that she wanted him to ask her? Or, was it just his brain going into overdrive?

"…Severus?"

He was still staring at the fire lost in thought. So, Hermione walked up to him a waved her and in his face.

"Hello? Earth to Severus. Come in. Are you there?"

His immediate reaction took over and he jumped out of the chair in surprise, being jerked out of his trance. At the same time neither had realized how close Hermione was standing, because she fell over, grabbing Severus' sleeve for balance and ended bringing him crashing down with her. After the initial shock was over, Severus came back to his self and became aware of the small warm body underneath his. His elbows went under him to prop himself up, so he wasn't squishing her, but he didn't want to move, not yet. He loved the feeling of her, beneath his entire length.

Hermione opened her eyes and they widened when she saw how close they were. She took deep breath, relishing the smell of Severus. His eyes bore into hers with such intensity that it held her captive. She couldn't help but to stare right back at him. His eyes were pools of black, that she could lose herself in and be overwhelmed with a sense of calm, and at the same time feel the life and energy in him.

He was so close, but in his mind a nagging feeling kept him from claiming her lips. The thought that he didn't want it to be like this. He wanted it to where they were both on even ground, and he didn't have an advantage over her…at least for the first time. "So, what is it that you were going to ask me?" He had sat up and was leaning against the chair.

"I was saying that the only person who thinks celebrating with a party is a twisted idea is you. Even Voldemort would have been up for it, although I don't think the activities would have been as…appealing." She gave him a teasing smile.

He quirked his eyebrow her and smirked. "No, probably not." They sat there for some hours discussing nothing and everything. Both of them went to bed that night, wishing it didn't have to end.

That week was a nightmare for the teachers and agony for the students. They were so excited for the dance that a record of house points were lost from each house, a pitiful attempt from the teachers to keep their classes under control. During a Friday afternoon, many of the staff were in the staff room, chatting with fellow colleagues and relaxing after a stressful week. Hermione was talking to Professor McGonagall and Remus was sitting a chair by the fire sipping tea. He was waiting for a chance to get Hermione alone and ask her to the ball, before Severus. Finally after what seemed like hours of waiting he saw her bid Minerva farewell and walk out the door. He followed and tried to catch up.

"Hey, Hermione!" She turned around to see Remus, and stopped to wait for him.

"Hello Remus." She greeted him warmly. "How were your classes?"

He stared walking with her. "They were a hassle, I'm sure the same can be said for all the other staff as well."

"Yeah, they're just so excited. Don't you remember when something really big was coming? How can we expect them to be interested in learning when they could be day dreaming about Halloween? You can't blame them."

"Well, that's what I wanted to talk to you about. I was wondering, if you would accompany me to the dance." He waited in earnest for her answer.

Hermione, however, was trying to keep up with her brain in overdrive. He asked me to be his partner. Do I want to go with him? What about Severus? Would that be like a rejection to him? Would it tell Remus that I'm interested? What do I do?

Hermione had stopped walking but now continued, if only to give her a little more time. No, she couldn't to it. She already knew that she liked Severus. Besides, the Order would be there and they'd keep him busy for sure. Not to mention Harry.

"Remus. I'm sorry. I can't go to the ball with you."

His smile faltered. "W-why not?"

"I-I already promised that I'd take Severus. Dumbledore said that it was mandatory for him to come, and well, you know him, so I told the Headmaster, and he suggested that if I asked him to come with me then he wouldn't have to threaten him." She knew it was a lie, but maybe it would spare him his feelings and maybe what was left of his self-esteem.

"Oh, okay. I understand. Maybe next time, Hermione." He turned and walked away with out so much as a good-bye. She watched him go, and hoped that he would soon realize that they just weren't meant to be.

When she walked into their quarters Severus was sitting in his office, grading papers. "Hey, um Severus?" He just grunted and kept marking. She decided to continue. "Well, Remus just asked me to go to the ball with him and…" At this statement Snape's head snapped up and he looked at her. "Well, I suspect that he asked you and you said yes?"

There was a deadly tone to his voice that scared her. She got all defensive and huffed. "Well, if you must know I turned him down. Then when he wanted an explanation I had to give him something otherwise he'd assume the worst so…so, so I told him that Dumbledore made me ask you so that you would go to the ball…" She trailed off. "I'm sorry I didn't ask your permission first, but now you have to go with me. If he sees us and finds out I was lying…please go with me, I'm really sorry."

Severus got up and walked around his desk so that he was standing right in front of her. "Hermione, I can't say that I'm pleased that you used me as an excuse. I will tell you right now that I am not to be used. However, I am…flattered that you thought of me instead of, Hagrid for example. I will come with you this time, if only to see Lupin put in his place, but if you ever decide to ask me to something like this again, I would like it to be because you want to be with me and not because you don't want to be with someone else. Am I clear?"

"Yes."

He took her hand and kissed it lightly in a teasing way. "Then I will gladly accompany you to the ball, Miss Granger."

There was only an hour until the ball and Hermione was freaking out. She had just realized that she had nothing to wear. This was bad. She wanted to look good, but at the same time make it look like she wasn't trying to. Being a girl was complicated. So, she decided to get crafty. First she contemplated on a color. At last she chose to go with the Halloween spirit and wear black.

She asked Dobby to come and help her with her dress. She decided to go all out, since it was a masquerade ball. She altered her previous dress to one with thicker straps. The dress was fitting from her chest down to her hips, where it started to flare out. It was floor length and when it started to get wider it overlapped itself making elegant creases. On her right breast there was an outline of a rose in little silver sparkles. Small spirals were surrounding it and ended with the small sequins planted like stars across the lower half of her dress.

She transfigured the basic shape of her mask from a piece of leftover silk. Above the right eye she added more sparkles. And she painted on designs in silver paint. Above the sparkles she added some silver and black feathers to finish the mask. Satisfied with her creations she turned her attention to her hair. She decided to put it all up into a bun. She left some curls to frame her face. With one last glance in the mirror she smiled and hoped that Severus would notice the subtle but careful work she had put into her appearance.

Ten minutes before the ball, Severus knocked on her door. "Hermione, are you ready?" Taking a deep breath she opened the door. She had to suppress a gasp as she looked Severus up and down. He had lost his cloak and wore simple black slacks with his regular black heeled boots. He wore a simple black frock coat that went to his knees. Again, she appreciated his nicely toned body. When she reached is face she saw that he'd tied his hair back at the nape of his neck. Hermione thought he looked absolutely dashing. She caught his eyes and he smirked.

He himself was left somewhat speechless when she walked out. His breath caught in his throat as he took in the sight of Hermione in the slim fitting dress. It was black, much to his liking, and the jewels brought attention to some aspects while not throwing them in his face. Hermione was simply elegant. Her hair was in ringlets around her face and there was a faint blush on her cheeks. Oh, gods. I could just ravish her right here…No! Stop that Severus. You have a horrendous ball to attend. Not to mention the fun of walking past Lupin numerous times.

"You look lovely, Hermione."

"Not so bad yourself." She smiled as he offered her is arm.

"Shall we?"

"We shall." She stated simply.

Since the majority of the people were there they made quite an entrance. The student body had gotten used to seeing them together, but it dawned on them how perfect they seemed to be for each other. They were both glowing, although only those who knew Severus well could see his glow. Hermione was beaming and waved to some that she recognized. Dumbledore soon got everyone's attention, thankfully for Severus.

"Ahem. Welcome staff and students of Hogwarts. Miss Grander and Professor Snape are not our last guests, however. I have invited the Order of the Phoenix here tonight as well." The crowd broke into whispers. "Very well, you know the rules, so let the dance begin!"

The music started up and everyone began mingling around.

Remus scowled as he saw Severus and Hermione walk in. Why couldn't it have been him? He walked over to the punch hoping for something to do. He was scowling and a thought popped into his head. Ha! It seems that you and Severus have switched places. I didn't know how highly you thought of his behavior.

"Ah, shut up."

"Pardon me?" A young women in a navy blue dress was looking over at him in confusion.

"Huh? Oh, nothing. I was just…never mind." He turned away a little embarrassed with himself.

"Hey, Lupin, wait."

He turned around again and came face to face with the same girl.

"Wotcher, Remus. I didn't think you were old enough for memory loss."

"Tonks! I'm sorry I didn't see you there. How have you been?"

"Oh, just fine and dandy. The office gets a bit tiring after you've lived through a war. How has your post been? Getting along with old Snape alright?"

"Ha! Yeah, I suppose so. But it's nice to be back here. I'm grateful that Dumbledore offered me the post again after Harry's third year."

"You know him. Did you notice Hermione and Snape come in together? It was rather a funny sight, but I dare say that Snape looks fairly attractive once he cleans up a bit."

Remus choked on his drink. Tonks cast a amused look at him. "Aw, come on. He's defiantly not my type but he has the dark mysterious aura about him. Some girls go for that thing, ya know?"

"I-I guess so. I don't know much about guys and attractiveness though." He looked over at her again and couldn't shake the feeling that her hair was very familiar. "Say Tonks. Why did you choose your hair color?"

"What? This? I get tired of seeing everyone else look exactly the same. When 'normal' people see it they freak out and they are able to be persuaded more easily."

"You're way more dangerous then you look Tonks. I'm not sure if that's quite a good thing though…-Hey watch it!" Tonks had just punched him in the arm (moderately). She stifled a giggle.

"Sorry, but you deserved that one Remus. Say, you want to dance? I know I'm not exactly quick on my feet but it is a slow enough song." She was looking at him with twinkling eager eyes.

Damn, she reminds me of Albus . I guess it couldn't hurt. He spotted Severus and Hermione on the opposite side of the dance floor and sniffed.

"Of course Tonks. I'd be happy to."

"Great!"

Severus and Hermione were having the time of their lives, although Severus would never admit it. He could watch her dance all night. The way her hair shone in the light and the light blush in her cheeks from dancing. He felt as if he were falling all over again, but twice as hard. He could never have imagined that she would be laughing and glowing with him of all people. He didn't know what he'd done to deserve this angel but he'd be damned if he was going to let her slip away.

Albus and Minerva were a sketchy pair. They would never own up to it but everyone knew their hobby was meddling. Especially match-making. They glided around the dance floor observing and conversing.

"I think that Hermione had outdone herself this time. I have never seen Severus so happy in all my years, we may have accomplished the impossible. She had done a wonder to this school."

"I do agree, Minerva. It couldn't have turned out better. Although I do feel bad for Remus, but I just know that it wasn't meant to be."

In response to his statement she lead him closer to where Remus and Tonks were swaying back and forth. "On the contrary Albus, I think our young Auror will take good care of him."

"It seems you are right once again my dear. I think it has been a good days work."

"I think it's more like 40 years Albus ." He chuckled.

"Indeed my dear, indeed."

At midnight, things began to wind down. There were only a few more 7th years scurrying off to bed. The lights in the hall were dimmed and the house elves were starting to clean up.

Remus had walked Tonks to the Entrance Hall.

"Thank you for the lovely evening Remus. It was good to see you again."

"I was delighted to have my evening graced by your presence. We must not let our contact fade away again. Maybe we could see each other soon?"

"Yeah, just stop by the office anytime. I should be in. We could go out for lunch or something."

"That sounds nice."

As Remus watched her walk away he gave a light gasp. Her hair was the same color as the flash of pink in his dream. She was the girl! He smiled like he hadn't in a long time. He still liked Hermione, but he could now picture another future for himself and realized it was time to move one. Apparently he hadn't like her all that much.

The journey to his room gave him enough time for him to come to a new conclusion. He would never tell anyone, less they thought him un-masculine but his new favorite color had become-for some unknown but glorious reason- bubblegum pink.

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