Hermione Granger strolled along the corridor in high spirits, occasionally humming the odd Christmas carol and carrying her usual load of various tomes. She just loved the holiday season! Especially when celebrated at Hogwarts, she mentally added as she glanced around at the festive decorations in the hallway. The smell of pine was thick in the air due to all of the pine trees Hagrid had placed about the castle, and it seemed rather pleasant to Hermione. It reminded her of all the times she and her family had gone skiing and had spent time in the Forest of Dean, which happened to be Hermione's favorite place—other than Hogwarts, of course. So immersed was she in her thoughts that she did not realize that she had stopped in the middle of the corridor until the stack of books in her arms seemed to topple onto the floor for no apparent reason at all.
Surprised, she squeaked as one particularly large volume narrowly missed her right foot by mere inches. Hermione then quickly bent down to gather the books, knowing that she had dawdled for far too long and would be late for class if she did not hurry. Just as she had finished getting all of the books off the floor, the bell rang, signaling the beginning of the class. "Damn!" Hermione swore loudly, and by doing so, she did not notice the tall black-clad figure behind her
"That will be five points from Gryffindor for profanity. Oh, and another five points shall be deducted for tardiness. Really, Miss Granger, one would expect much more from the much-lauded Head Girl," hissed a voice that Hermione would recognize anywhere.
She jumped about a foot into the air, the volumes swaying precariously, but she managed to keep them upright. Whirling around, she said, "Professor Snape, I was just getting to class, but my books slipped out of my arms. Surely it is unfair—"
"It is not up to you to decide what is deemed 'fair' and 'unfair'. Head Girl or not, the rules still apply to you, even if Potter seems to be above them with that over-inflated ego of his," interrupted Snape, smirking the trademarked Slytherin smirk.
"Harry does not have—" Hermione started to object hotly, huffing slightly when Snape cut her off… again.
"Watch your tongue, Miss Granger, before I deduct even more points from Gryffindor House. What a shame it would be if Gryffindor didn't win the House Cup this year," he snapped. When Hermione did not speak, Snape continued. "Now get to class! I'm sure Minerva would love to have her prize student back. Good day, Miss Granger."
Hermione tried to walk away, she really, truly did, but she found that she was unable to move; it was almost as if her feet were glued to the floor. "I said, 'good day, Miss Granger,'" Snape repeated irritably, giving her his best death-glare. When all she did was squirm under his gaze, he added acidly, "That means move, you daft girl!"
"I can't!" Hermione cried, panicking slightly.
"What do you mean you can't? You possess two legs and two feet, don't you?" Snape mocked, obviously trying to goad her.
"I mean, that I am stuck, as in my feet. Are. Glued. To. The. Floor!" snapped Hermione. Snape raised an eyebrow skeptically, and she added a little more calmly, "It's true. Why don't you try to move, then, since you do not seem to believe me?"
"As you wish, Miss Granger," he responded with just a hint of his infamous sarcasm. Snape attempted to step back, but when he found that he could not move as well, Hermione noticed that his eyes widened almost unnoticeably in surprise, and she would not have caught it had she not been paying attention. Just as quickly as the surprise had come it had disappeared just as quickly, only to be replaced with a murderous expression that was directed at her, which made Hermione gulp involuntarily.
"What have you done? I swear, if this is from any trickery of your doing, you are going to pay dearly," he hissed softly in his most dangerous voice.
"But I haven't done anything! Why do you automatically assume that I would want to be stuck like this with you, or that I would find this amusing in any way?" Hermione protested logically.
Just as Snape opened his mouth to respond, he was interrupted by a cackling Peeves, who had just made himself visible and was floating over both of their heads. "What have we got here? Sevy and Hermy together at last. Aw, how sweet! Yes, Peevsie knows just what this situation needs! A kiss-y!"
Much to both Hermione and Snape's horror, Peeves held up a piece of enchanted mistletoe. Hermione automatically knew that was why both she and Snape were stuck in one place, and she mentally cursed the witch or wizard who had thought that enchanting mistletoe to hold someone in place until they were kissed was a good idea. What had she gotten herself into?
Severus cursed whatever entity existed for letting him be in this situation. There he was, just minding his own business, contemplating how much he despised the holiday season (oh, how he loathed those glib Christmas carols, the false sense of "cheer," and all of those stupid Christmas bobbles!), when Miss Granger had been kind enough to make a huge racket by first dumping her books all over the floor and then by swearing loudly enough so that anyone a few corridors away could hear. Now, that pest Peeves was going to make him kiss a student. A student. And Miss Granger, no less! Severus was consumed with rage that the stupid poltergeist had the nerve to do something like that to him. When he got out of this predicament, which he was determined to do, he was going straight to Minerva (who was the Headmistress now that Dumbledore had died by Snape's hand) about Peeves so that the pest could be sent far away from Hogwarts. Permanently. Still, that solution would not fix the situation at hand. No, he must think in the present for the time being. Severus knew that he would not kiss Hermione Granger under any circumstance, but he—for one of the very few times in his life—was at loss as to what else to do.
Peeves was still floating above both he and Miss Granger in an irritating fashion, and he clucked his tongue in mock disappointment. "You two have to share a kiss-y sometime, you know. Hermy and Sevy sitting in a tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G—
This made Severus snap. "I swear to every deity that has ever existed, if you do not cease this repulsive, childish behavior AT ONCE, I shall have you thrown out of Hogwarts! IMMEDIATELY!" he roared.
Usually, Severus knew that Peeves would back down after such a threat, but he did no such thing. Instead, Peeves cackled and did a somersault in mid-air. "You can't do that, Snapey-Poo! Only the Bloody Baron and the Headmistress can. Besides, I am under orders," he mocked in a singsong voice.
"Pray tell, under whose orders?" Severus demanded, his already foul mood worsening by the second.
"I am afraid that I can't tell you, Snapey-Poo," Peeves stated cryptically, and with a wide, mischievous grin, attached the mistletoe to a hook on the ceiling that had been "conveniently" placed over where the pair stood. Then, cackling once more, Peeves zoomed down the corridor and out of sight.
Bloody poltergeist, he thought furiously.
"Great. Now what are we going to do?" Miss Granger groaned. Contrary to his skills as a spy, he had forgotten her, and he started at the sound of her voice. After a few seconds of silence, Severus thought it best if he did not dignify this with a response since he was trying to come up with a solution to the problem that did not involve kissing Hermione Granger. Anything but that.
"I'm still waiting for an answer, you know," the annoying chit stated impatiently, crossing her arms over her chest.
"Do you ever cease your incessant chattering? I am trying to find a way out of this, and your whining makes that happy task impossible," Severus snarled. Miss Granger made a strangled noise out of what seemed to be irritation, and opened her mouth to say something but closed it almost immediately. "A smart move. Unless Miss Know-It-All has something constructive to add?"
Putting her hands on her hips in a defiant gesture, Granger proclaimed, "Yes, in fact, I do, sir."
"And what is your brilliant idea, then? Enlighten me with your divine wisdom," he quipped sardonically.
Much to Severus's surprise, she did not look irritated or angry at his sarcastic statement. Instead, Miss Granger looked nervous and embarrassed about what she was going to say next. Severus knew this would not bode well, and his stomach was roiling with dread.
"Iathinweshodkis," she mumbled quickly. So quickly, in fact, that Severus did not catch it.
"In English, Miss Granger."
Her cheeks were a bright crimson that Severus thought only Weasleys could summon, and her doe-like eyes were resting on anything but him. She seemed to consider her words carefully, and then said more clearly, "I, um, think we should kiss."
Severus felt his eyebrows shoot up to his hairline. For one of the only times in his life, he was shocked into being speechless. After a very pregnant silence, he bellowed, "WHAT?"
Hermione winced at the volume and vehemence of Snape's exclamation. Oh dear. Perhaps she shouldn't have said that—or at least so bluntly. Hermione could not think of anything else that they could do to break the spell. It was the only way.
"You heard me, Professor. Look, to be perfectly honest, I don't like the idea of kissing you, either, but it's the only available option. Unless you want to be stuck like this for Merlin knows how long?" Hermione said. Although she was normally an honest person by nature and usually only lied in order to save other people, she had just lied about one little thing in her small speech. Hermione did not mind the idea of kissing Snape. She had harbored a small schoolgirl crush on him ever since her fifth year (it had diminished slightly when he had killed Dumbledore, but Hermione had always secretly thought that he was innocent even if it seemed impossible at the time), even though she would never tell—and had never told—a soul about it, let alone him.
It had all started when Hermione was doing her nightly rounds as a Prefect, and she heard a groan of pain from around the corner of the next hall. To her utmost shock and horror, she saw a black, motionless lump in the middle of the floor lying in a growing pool of scarlet. After kneeling next to the lump to check the pulse and other vital signs, Hermione soon recognized that it was Professor Snape who lay on the floor. As soon as she got up to leave so that she could get help, the injured Potions Master had grabbed her hand and whispered pleadingly, "Stay. Please stay, Lily."
Her first thought had been, 'Lily? Who is Lily? Well, he's obviously delirious.' However, Hermione said, "I will. I won't leave you."
"Good," he had murmured weakly, and was soon unconscious once more. Hermione conjured her otter Patronus and told it to fetch Madam Pompfrey. Hermione stayed with him until the Mediwitch had arrived and then Hermione left. Hermione remembered that she had cried herself to sleep that night because she was so concerned about him and angry that he rarely received recognition for spying for the Order and putting up with what those… monsters did to him.
After that incident (which he, thankfully, did not remember), her eyes always wandered to him during Potions, and she started noticing the strangest things. Like how long and thin his fingers were; how elegant said fingers were when he chopped and diced ingredients with a dexterity she had never seen before; how his long, dark hair no longer looked greasy to her but soft; how kissable his thin lips looked; and how his obsidian eyes seemed to hold so much depth that one could just drown in them.
Now said eyes seemed to be staring at her in disbelief and shock, which made Hermione want to shift uncomfortably but she held her ground.
"Of course I don't want to be stuck here, silly girl. However, why don't we just send a Patronus to Minerva or wait until someone stumbles upon us?" Snape argued.
"You know just as well as I do that no one, not even Minerva, could free us. Additionally, even if someone could free us, it might take ages for someone to come down this corridor," she countered. Professor Snape opened his mouth to say something else, but Hermione added, "I think we both know what you're trying to do here, Professor, and let me tell you now, it's not going to work."
"And what am I trying to do exactly?"
"You are trying to find excuses and false solutions, all the while ignoring the problem at hand," accused Hermione.
"I am not 'ignoring the problem at hand'! What you are suggesting is ludicrous! I am your teacher and you are my student, and it must stay that way. There are lines and boundaries that must not and cannot be crossed, and this is one of them," objected Snape hotly, pressing his thin lips into an even thinner line.
"If this were any other situation, I would be inclined to agree with you. Yes, I am your student, but not for much longer. Being nineteen and well over-age, I think that I can make my own decisions. Besides, it's not against the rules. According to the school rules, the student has to be of age, and it has to meet the approval of the Headmaster/Headmistress, but those are the only restrictions. I'm sure that Professor McGonagall wouldn't mind. During Order meetings and such, she kept saying that she thinks that you should find some 'nice girl and settle down' because 'that man deserves that after all he has done in war,'" Hermione babbled. She noticed that during her monologue, Snape's expression had gone from furious to incredulous to merely annoyed.
"Far be it that that women be as interfering as Albus," he muttered. "School rules aside, it is immoral. I am old enough to be your father."
Hermione's patience had reached its end. Throwing her hands up in the air, she said, "Oh, honestly, Professor! It's just a kiss. It's not like we're getting married or something!" She regretted the last sentence almost immediately after it flew out of her mouth. Snape looked positively murderous.
"Just a kiss?" he mocked. "It isn't that simple, Miss Granger. It may be among your foolish friends who wear their hearts on their sleeves, but it is not with me. If word of this got out, it—"
Hermione did not know what compelled her to close the tiny space between her and Snape, and place her lips softly on his, interrupting his tirade in mid-sentence. Although he was most likely far too surprised to struggle, his thin lips were, at first, hard and unyielding, but then he hesitantly started to move his lips against hers after a minute, sending pleasant tingles up her spine and making butterflies appear in her stomach. Not wanting to scare him off, Hermione kept the kiss soft. However, when she started to pull away, Snape growled, "No," and pulled her back, nearly attacking her mouth with the passion and urgency of the kiss. His fingers wound through her bushy locks, and her hands rested on his chest.
This was exactly what Hermione had fantasized about since her fifth year, and now that her daydreams had become reality, Hermione was determined to commit every single detail to memory (like the feel of his chest against her hands, and the way the scent of sandalwood and herbs seemed to surround her to the point of being overwhelming), since she knew that the chances were very slim that she would ever get to kiss Severus Snape again. He nibbled and sucked on her bottom lip, and she moaned slightly in response, which made Snape (Severus, she corrected in her mind) freeze as if finally coming to his senses. He detached himself swiftly from Hermione, and she almost groaned at the loss of contact, the frigid air replacing the warmth that his body had provided.
He looked at her emotionlessly, and hissed, "You are to tell no one about what just occurred. If you do, I shall know, and the repercussions of such actions will be dire. Understood?"
Before Hermione could respond, he whirled around with a swish of his robes, and strode away from her as if she had been afflicted with the plague. Hermione tried to taper the hurt that was rising within her at such treatment, but what did she expect from a man like Snape? Flowers and chocolates? Serenades and tender words of affection? Just because they had kissed didn't change anything. Oh, who was she kidding? The fact that they had kissed changed everything and had made their relationship even more complicated. Oh, Merlin. She had kissed Professor Snape. She, Hermione Jean Granger, had actually managed to kiss—and be kissed in return by—Severus Snape and survived to tell the tale. That in itself was momentous. Hermione pressed her fingers to her still-tingling lips in fascination and awe, his taste still lingering on the tip of her tongue.
It was then that she realized that she had barely moved a muscle since Snape had left, and that classes had just ended, meaning that there were now other students in the corridor. Not wanting to draw attention to herself, Hermione finally moved from her spot, her legs feeling rubbery and limp, and she made her way down the corridor and to the Gryffindor Common Room. In her dazed state, she never noticed the pair of bright blue eyes watching her in amusement and triumph.
Author's Note: This is my first attempt at this pairing, so please let me know how I did. I tried to keep the characters as in-character as possible, and I know that the idea is a bit on the cliché side, but oh well. I decided to try something different from my usual stories (which are either dark/angsty or general), and I went with fluff. This is the first of three parts, and I know this because it is all planned out. I was planning to post this around Christmas, but I simply couldn't wait to share it! I will try to post the other two parts as soon as I possibly can. Please, please review, because they make me a very happy author! Thank you so much for reading!
Oh, and by the way, can anyone guess as to who put Peeves up to it?