AN: Thanks so much for reviewing, reading, putting this on alert, and for favoriting! It means a lot ot me! Here's another request, as well as the sequal to Jingle Bells.
I don't own anything you'd recognize.
"Come on Severus," Hermione insisted. "It won't end up like the last sleigh ride."
"I think I've had enough sleigh rides, thank you very much," Severus replied as he returned to his desk and plopped down in his chair.
"You said that you had fun the last time," Hermione argued as she sat on the edge of his desk and dipped her head to hold his gaze.
"It was, until Minerva and the students discovered us," he replied morosely.
Hermione laughed as Severus feigned irritation. "I'm sorry, but looking back that was hilarious."
"Speak for yourself! Minerva spent the rest of the afternoon scolding me for kissing you in front of the students, and then she started talking about protecting your emotional well-being," Severus complained.
This only elicited more laughter from Hermione. "I wish I could've seen that."
The corners of Severus' mouth involuntarily twitched into a near-smile before he tamed them into his characteristic smirk. "Perhaps we could view that memory instead of going on the sleigh ride."
"Or we could do both!" Hermione suggested.
Severus sighed. "Hermione, surely you could think of something better to do, like stay inside and brew potions with me."
"Oh come on! We can do that any day. It's lovely weather for a sleigh ride," Hermione replied.
He looked into her eyes. They were sparkling with hope and anticipation. Severus exhaled as he realized that his resolve was gone. "Fine, but if we're caught kissing then you can deal with Minerva's speech."
"Deal!" she exclaimed as she leapt off of Severus' desk.
Severus stood up and trudged out behind her, wondering how this witch was able to convince him to do almost anything.
"I don't trust Chestnut," Severus began as Hermione hitched the gelding to the sleigh.
The horse snorted in reply, mirroring the sentiment. Hermione shook her head. "Chestnut is one of the mildest horses you will ever meet. He won't go berserk if a snowball hits him."
"The other one wasn't supposed to go crazy either," Snape replied. He swore the horse was glaring at him. "Besides, I don't think he likes me."
"After announcing that you don't trust him I wonder why?" Hermione grumbled.
"Perhaps I should forgo the sleigh ride," Severus suggested.
Hermione smirked. "Okay. I'll just ask someone else to join me. Maybe Coach Wood… Merlin knows he's easy to talk to. The things we could discuss as we glide through the snow, taking in the scenery…"
"You win," Severus answered. "I'll go."
"Thank you," she answered as she finished her task.
Together they settled into the sleigh. Hermione snapped the reins and clucked her tongue. Chestnut whinnied in response and strained against the harness. Slowly he picked up speed until he settled into an easy trot.
Initially, Severus was nervous, but the steady pace and the soothing sound of runners on snow calmed his frazzled nerves. He began to admire the scenery. Hogwarts was covered in snow, only adding to the beauty and mystique of the castle. A few stray snowflakes wafted lazily on the breeze, completing the scene.
"I told you this would be fun," Hermione replied.
"You were correct, witch," Severus answered before taking her hand. "It's enjoyable."
She scooted closer to him. "Thank you for coming with me."
"You didn't give me much of a choice," Severus replied.
She kissed him on the cheek. "Of course I did."
He smiled and pressed his lips against hers. Just as they were deepening the kiss, Chestnut quickened his pace, almost as if prompted by an unseen hand. Hermione quickly broke away to rein in the animal. When he had complied, she sighed in relief as Severus let out a chuckle. Hermione shook her head and joined in.
"Professor Snape? Professor Granger?" a voice called from the castle grounds.
Hermione turned Chestnut in the direction of the speaker as Severus groaned. "Yes?" Hermione asked as they approached the Headmistress.
"I hope that you two are having fun," Minerva began.
"Very much so," Hermione answered.
"Good!" Minerva answered. "But maintain your sense of decorum. We wouldn't want the students to see inappropriate behavior from their professors. Wait until you're wedded."
"Wedded?" Severus gulped as Minerva smirked and walked off.
"Wedded," Hermione smiled.
They could have sworn Chestnut smirked in Minerva's direction as he continued on his way with an affirmative toss of the head.