Title: Recovery
Recipient: voxangelus
Pairing(s): Hermione/Severus (pre-romance)
Summary: Severus Snape heals old and new wounds. Hermione Granger brings him tea.
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Word Count: 386
Author's Notes: What? Het? Thanks vox, for the nifty prompt! I liked reminiscing with my old OTP!


She brings him tea in a funny plaid thermos every Wednesday. He does not tell her that there is perfectly warm tea every day with his afternoon potions. Whether it is that the tea really is of an impressive blend or the fact that she looks on the verge of tears every time he gulps at the warm drink, pressing against the bandages around his neck so the movement of his muscles won't displace the salve in his jagged wound, he does not care to investigate.

Today the tea is lemon ginger with just a hint of honey, and it soothes his dry throat as he stares resolutely out the window, at the boggy expanse of earth that is Dumonia, in a secluded infirmary for the wounded in Devon, nestled in the Dartmoor and surrounded by prickly gorse bushes, their yellow flowers sunny and bright in the height of summer. The wind makes waves of the dazzling countryside and rattles the windows of his hospital room. He sips quietly at the sweet drink until he hears a clink of glass hitting the marble of his bedside table. He looks and his hands tighten around the teacup until his knuckles are white. The memories swirl, white and pearlescent in the small phial.

He looks to her next. Her brows are furrowed and she fiddles with a loose string on her sleeve while her bushy brown curls cover what expression he could otherwise read from her face, for once not looking at him. He can read the set of her shoulders well enough. She is nervous of his reaction. And she is sorry, burdened with guilt that she is not responsible for. After several minutes, of him clutching a teacup and her staring resolutely at her hands, she stands and strides toward the door.

"Miss Granger," he rasps.

She whips around so suddenly that she knocks the standing vase, the gaudy one by the door, over and it spills stale water and days old flowers to the floor. She flinches.

"Bring this one again, next time." He lifts the cups gingerly. "I… quite enjoyed it."

She smiles, her eyes crinkling, and nods. "I'll see you next week, Professor."

As soon as the door closes, he looks to the phial, glinting in the sun.

He does not pick it up.