A/N: This was written for the Pick-a-Plot Challenge by Paris in December.

Prompt: Hermione has been magically confined to Severus' quarters at Hogwarts. This is because they were hit with an ancient bonding curse that has no appreciable effect on Severus, but forces Hermione to obey anything he phrases as an order and to feel pain if he does not touch her regularly.

Hungry, green eyes roved over the page of the book, eagerly taking in every ounce of information. A set of pink lips twitched upward into a satisfied smirk as the book, "Spells from the Medieval Ages", was slammed shut overzealously.


Hermione sighed in aggravation as her inkwell tipped, sending the black ink oozing across her Ancient Runes essay. As she removed her wand to clean up the mess, she caught a flicker of movement by the shelves that made up the Restricted Section.

She arched a brow as she watched a Gryffindor boy peek his head around the end of the bookcase. The boy glanced around to make sure no one was watching, and then nonchalantly walked from the shelves. An excited grin rested on the boy's mouth as he looked over a piece of parchment in his hands.

She recognized the boy, of course. A fourth year Gryffindor boy by the name of William Oakby. She had never liked him much. Will had always admired the Weasley twins, doing his best to follow in their footsteps. Unfortunately, Will's pranks were often humiliating for all involved, and most times bordered on sadistic and cruel. He just didn't seem to know when to quit. How he was sorted into Gryffindor, she would never understand. He seemed far better suited to the serpentine ways of the Slytherins.

She studied him unobtrusively as he came to sit at the table next to her. Every few seconds he would glance down at the scrap of paper in his hand and smile gleefully. Hermione had a nagging suspicion that he was up to no good.

Pushing her feelings down, she turned her attention back to her essay. She was supposed to theorize on the possible symbolic meanings of the number 7. It wasn't due for another three days, but she had had some free time and wanted to get it out of the way.

"Mr. Oakby, I'm sure that you are aware that you are, once again, late for your detention," a smooth voice drawled.

Hermione startled, quickly looking up at the Potions Master who stood only a few short feet away. Snape had moved so silently that she hadn't heard his approach. She leaned as far away as she could in her chair, intuitively knowing that the situation was going to get very ugly, very fast. She did not want to be caught in the middle of it.

"Quite aware, Professor," Will said, his eyes sparkling wickedly.

Hermione's eyes widened at his complete disregard for authority. Professor Snape's jaw clenched in anger and his mouth dipped into a sneer.

"50 points from Gryffindor, Mr. Oakby."

Hermione made a small, indignant noise in the back of her throat. They did not seem to notice her presence though, as neither of them looked away from the staring contest they were now locked in.

"The Headmaster's office. Now." Snape looked almost venomous now, and Hermione had no doubt that if he had been allowed to jump across the table and throttle that arrogant boy, he would have. Instead, he settled for turning and stalking towards the library's exit.

Will, however, chose not to move. He mumbled something, but even Hermione, as close as she sat to him, could not understand it. A disturbing grin crossed his face, but it was gone as fast as it had appeared.

Suddenly, Hermione's body was filled with an odd tingling sensation. It felt as if every part of her body had abruptly fallen asleep. Then came a rush of lightheadedness, and she swayed dizzily in her seat. She frowned in confusion, clutching her head until the sensation had passed.

Looking up, she noticed that Snape had frozen in place, and stood staring suspiciously at Oakby. After a moment, he seemed to shrug the feeling off, and continued on his way. "Mr. Oakby, follow me."

This time, William relented and followed Snape from the room. She pursed her lips thoughtfully as she watched them leave, wondering what exactly he had done to garner so much trouble with the Potions professor.

Once again turning back to her essay, she scrawled a few more lines in her neat handwriting before pushing the paper away in frustration. She was no longer in the mood to do schoolwork. Packing her things, she stood and headed towards the door.