A/N: This one-shot is in response to the 1,000th review of Unquestionable Love: The Prequel, which was captured by two reviewers.
This prompt comes from CutieAnimeGirl19, who asked for a Hogwarts era one-shot in which Hermione is dared to kiss Severus. I admittedly struggled to write something without a lot of back story, so I hope you find this to be a fun read!
Disclaimer: Harry Potter is copyrighted to and belongs to JK Rowling. I'm just playing in her sandbox.
To Dare and Ensnare
This is utterly ridiculous! Hermione huffed to herself as she cautiously made her way down a chilly, darkened corridor of Hogwarts castle, her frizzy curls thrashing against her face. What on earth are you thinking? You should turn around now, Hermione! Why the bloody hell would you let those immature prats rope you into this?
As if she actually needed any validation for turning on her heel and marching straight back to Gryffindor Tower like any sensible fifth year, if nothing else but to tell Harry, Ron, and Ginny off. She should simply inform them that she had—very rightly—changed her mind about this whole absurd idea of theirs; or Ron's, rather.
It was absolutely bonking mad, without question. Childish, reckless behavior she might expect from a much younger student, and daft idiot at that. Certainly not from herself. These witless games were beneath her bright, levelheadedness. They insulted her intelligence and brought her down to the emotional level of, perhaps, a first year. A giggling, foolhardy girl with no sense who would easily jump at the chance to do something so irrevocably stupid, if just to prove to the boy she crushed on that he was wrong; that she had that Gryffindor stamina that their House prided itself on.
Then why are you even toying with the idea, Hermione? Why does it matter?
"Because I'm not going to let Ronald Weasley make an arse out of me!"
Aren't you about to do that all on your own?
"Oh, do shut up!"
Imagine the man's face... Those eerie, dark eyes... That sinister look he'll give you... If you actually get close enough to pull it off...
The picture that conjured up in Hermione's head then and there was enough to suspend her legs from taking another step. She found herself blushing when her consumed mind focused in on the wizard in question; the one with that 'sinister look' about him, who had the ability to make her blood run cold, and yet, bring a scarlet blush to her complexion.
Now why is that?
Hermione had never told anyone, not even Ginny, that she had developed somewhat of an infatuation with the man, and she intended to keep it that way. It was merely misplaced feelings, she had bottled it up as, trying not to interpret it all that much. She couldn't possibly be the only one, could she? At least, that's what Hermione tried telling herself at night when curled up in bed and forcing herself to think on the strapping lad her age with ginger hair and a goofy grin rather than the brooding, older gentleman that everyone despised and feared.
No one would believe her if they knew, anyhow. The idea to so many would be unthinkable, for sure. A crush on a professor? And not just any professor, but...him? The surly, horribly unpleasant thirty-something cad with the extremely pallid complexion and what many considered to be "menacing" dark eyes. They had to be black; they had certainly always looked so. In all her years at Hogwarts, Hermione could never detect any hint of chocolate or charcoal grey. No, they were as black as the night sky, as colourless as her school robes.
Such an unusual colour, Hermione would consider. She found herself strangely drawn to them, like a too-curious moth to a seemingly harmless flame that, in actuality, was ready to spread like a wildfire.
His limp, equally black hair only enhanced his striking features and stand-offish nature, but his snarky demeanour was enough to curdle milk on its own, let alone frighten adults off as well as children.
Most distinctive of the man's facets, however, was his unnaturally large and very hooked nose. Many would say it devoured the rest of his face; that it was nothing short of "beastly," as her freckled friend, Ron, so often pegged it with an amused grin. But what was so terribly unsightly about it? Hermione often wondered. It gave him a bit of unusual charm—still unsettling, to be sure—but distinguishable, nonetheless.
It was the source of relentless teasing from amongst her Gryffindor peers, including her closest friends, and it was only in recent months that the incessant, mean-spirited quips had begun to bother her. Hermione was aware that the jokes were partly due to the professor's nasty attitude and not his looks alone, though she was pretty sure he would still receive the catty whispers about his "greasy hair" and "ugly snout" even if he had actually been a pleasant, appeasing sort of fellow.
Hermione's sharp mind had never quite been able to figure out what she had done in her past life to be on the receiving end of the professor's wrath, but it was unhinging enough to make even the bravest Gryffindors cower, including her. The man could be downright cruel in his verbal monstrosities, shrinking a student's confidence to a speck with just an icy glare in their direction. Hermione was accustomed to it now, having been branded ages ago by the man as an "insufferable know-it-all," who "possessed no magical talent" and "no knowledge outside of a textbook."
So, why was she drawn to such a figure? Why should she be remotely attracted to someone who insulted her and her friends at every turn? Hermione hadn't quite worked out the answer to that.
Any time she found her mind innocently wandering to the dramatic, bitter wizard in black, Hermione had to remind herself as to who she should really be focused on: Ronald Weasley, her good friend for the past five years.
Yes, it's him whom you really crush on, Hermione, she told herself as she descended the staircase to the dungeons, unaware that she had slowed her pace again. He's the whole reason you're even entertaining this madness in the first place... Right?
Hermione halted at the bottom of the stairs, lingering in the darkness of the stairwell and not even fazed by how quiet it had gone in this isolating part of the castle. Most students were back in their dormitories cramming for exams or working on homework assignments. The fact that Hermione Granger wasn't amongst them was a bit of extreme irony; but then, she was already three steps ahead of her peers in her studies, so a brisk walk wasn't about to lower her grade level.
Is that what you're now chalking this up to? her mind reeled. A 'walk'? You should turn around, Hermione. There's no way you're going to get away with this anyhow...
Hermione was glad she hadn't informed Ron, Harry, or Ginny of her intent on visiting the dungeons this evening. They would have only goaded her on and gotten her even more riled up than she already was. She would have surely spun around by now. Instead, the young, freshly timid witch inhaled a deep breath and strolled slowly towards the Potions laboratory, where she would undoubtedly find him. He wouldn't be entirely surprised to see her. She was prone to nagging him for extra credit on a weekly basis, or so he so colourfully termed her frequent, unwanted visitations, unaware that that wasn't the only reason Hermione Granger routinely showed up at his lair on the ground floor.
Hermione herself hadn't quite reached that realization, either. Would she ever?
The oak door to the Potions lab was ajar, so Hermione cautiously stepped in front of the open doorway and was met by a gust of chilly air she was used to as a fifth year. Then again, maybe the frigidness also had something to do with the intimidating figure who occupied it, and Hermione spotted him immediately.
Severus Snape, Professor of Potions and Head of Slytherin House, sat rigidly at a podium desk across the room, scrawling furiously over a piece of parchment with a red-inked, feathered quill. He didn't so much as peer over at Hermione, but somehow, as if by some magical instinct she someday hoped to possess, the cold man sensed her presence before she so much as opened her mouth.
"Is there something you want, Miss Granger, or do you intend to lurk in the doorway like some mindless, skittish first year?" his biting, yet smooth, baritone rang out into the stifling atmosphere, causing Hermione to jerk and step back before she could find her voice, now smaller and less confident than before.
"I - I'm sorry, sir."
"Your apology is an afterthought, Granger. Therefore, I will repeat what I just asked you not five seconds ago: what do you want?"
Hermione swallowed her fears and further entered the laboratory with discretion. Severus Snape may have been her instructor for five years, but familiarity didn't make him any less nerve-wracking to approach. His mood swings, though unpredictable, were virtually always ill-tempered on some level or another, especially with Gryffindors like herself.
What the hell are you thinking, Hermione? her conscience was practically screaming at her by now. You're going to earn yourself a month's-worth of detention for this utter foolishness! Turn around now!
Her shaky legs stepped forward, however, as if in defiance to the screeching warnings going off in her brain. By the time she stopped walking, she was half way across the room, clutching a thick textbook to her chest, and Severus Snape had turned his head fully to stare at her, his dark eyes rather cruel-looking in such faint candlelight. The room was dimly lit, not that Hermione expected anything different, but, perhaps, due to her looming apprehensions, the wizard seemed even testier and more terrifying than usual.
"I... Um..." Hermione stuttered, her mouth having gone dry under Snape's intense scrutiny, even though all he had done was look at her.
"Spit it out, Granger," he hissed in a low, unwavering voice. A few straggly hairs were hanging in his eyes, offsetting that protruding nose. "I haven't got all night."
"I... I wanted to try my hand at a smaller concoction of Felix Felicis for extra credit. I - I know you said I can't earn any more points—"
"No, Granger," he snarled irritably. "You've done six extra credit assignments since the start of term already."
"I - I know, sir, but..."
"You've been badgering me for extra credit since you first stepped into this wretched school," the professor implied with a more scathing air. "I see no reason why I should offer you further opportunities to expound what you've merely acquired through textbooks and unabating trips to the library. You have satisfactory marks as it is, Granger. I suggest you leave well enough alone and be off. I'm engaged at present and can't be bothered with your persistent meddling."
Hermione flinched, biting down hard on her lower lip to find the courage not to run away. "I - I understand, Professor. I just—"
"If you 'understand,' then you seem to comprehend very little in terms of what I've just said!" Snape snapped, turning about in his chair to face her, giving Hermione a direct view of his swashing, black cloak that dragged on the ground and matching frock coat with an excessive assortment of buttons down the front.
"Sir, please, I - I'd really welcome the challenge to give it a try is all! If you don't want to reward me points for the assignment, I'll understand—"
"Still as insufferable a know-it-all as ever," he interrupted in that acidic tone of his, leaving Hermione winded where she stood. "A contemptible gesture to wish to flaunt your skills, Granger? It will certainly not earn you my respect. I would have thought you'd have accumulated that knowledge by now."
"I - I'm not after your respect, sir," Hermione insisted, her cheeks reddening at the repeated slights to her intelligence; they weren't unexpected, but they still stung. "I - I just want to try the assignment is all."
"To prove that you can outwit your fellow fifth years at a sixth-year potion?"
"No." Hermione willed herself to remain calm, hoping the man wasn't about to deduct points at her determination. "To challenge myself..."
"You've already insinuated that, Granger."
Seeing the pleas in the girl's enlarged brown eyes, Snape willed himself not to argue further, despite his inner exhaustion and the fact that he really didn't want to be bothered with the wretched girl tonight.
Hermione Granger was a capable potion-maker—an exceptional student, in fact (not that she would ever afford the luxury of knowing that from him)—and Snape suspected that she could handle a four-hour version of the potion quietly, leaving him to his workload in peace. Her ability to persistently run her mouth, however, was always a gamble in the professor's experience in dealing with her. There were times over the course of term that the young witch acted quieter than quiet as she brewed extra credit assignments in his classroom at night whilst other times, she tried—unsuccessfully—to chat the professor up, spewing off insipid questions and mindless chatter that made Snape's skin crawl.
Snape knew, too, that he had no right to refuse the Gryffindor's wish to try. He may not have liked her, but that wasn't enough of an excuse to refuse any one of his students the chance to earn extra points, or, in this case, give their ego another boost.
"Very well," he spat through clenched teeth. "If you can make yourself scarce and keep your mouth shut, Granger, I will allow you to try the assignment. Make no mistake, however: you will not earn extra points for your efforts this evening. Is that understood?"
"Then I suggest you get started. I won't allow you to stay here past the four-hour mark."
Hermione jumped at her opportunity, breathing a sigh of relief. So far, so good, she thought as she scurried away to put down her belongings and grab the necessary ingredients she would need to get started. How the hell are you even going to get close enough to try this, Hermione?
Spreading her utensils out onto a desk in the fourth row, knowing Snape meant it when he expressed putting considerable distance between them, Hermione unconsciously bit her lip again as she mulled over her dilemma.
You can't back out now, you know. Ron will have a field day if you do, and so will Harry and Ginny. You'll never hear the end of it.
But it's so preposterous!
So, why did you agree?
Because I... I was dared to! And I don't back down from a challenge! Ever!
C'mon... Is that the only reason?
Hermione's eyebrows came together. Because I want Ron to notice me and... And I want to see the utter shock on his face when I prove him wrong; when he learns that I rose to the challenge and actually met his dare...
That's not all of it, Hermione, and you know it.
And because I like him, all right?
Admit it: you've always been curious what the Professor's lips might taste like...
Flushing madly, Hermione chanced a quick glance over at Snape, still hunched over his pile of essays and grading vigorously with his quill. His elegant hand was moving at a rapid, yet graceful, pace. Hermione's eyes moved from those elegant-looking fingers to the man's profile—his unusually long eyelashes, his flared nostrils, his scowl of contentment for whichever unfortunate soul had just earned themselves low marks—and her eyes lingered lastly on his mouth. That thin trail of pink skin, with an overly curvaceous cupid's bow that Hermione inadvertently wanted to suck...
Suddenly aware of her distraction, Hermione blushed redder still and scrambled to get started on a much smaller, though just as complicated, version of Felix Felicis.
It'll be just the sort of miracle I'll need if I have a prayer of pulling this off...
Three and a half hours later and Hermione was actively caught up in her work but quite agitated with how poorly her efforts were turning out. She knew it was a difficult potion to brew, but her haughty conscience had thought she might fare better than she was actually making out.
If her dishevelled appearance was anything to go by then things weren't going at all well. Her curls, already wild and unruly, were frizzed to the max and shooting out of her head in every conceivable direction. The heat from her cauldron, as well as her growing vexations, left beads of sweat on her forehead that were now trickling down her face and neck, leaving her uncomfortably drenched. Her entire face was flushed, too; her expression one of fluster and frustration.
Scanning the instruction manual from her Potions text for the one hundredth time, Hermione pouted and nearly stomped her foot.
Bugger all! Not only is this a disaster, but I won't be able to slip myself any to pull this off with any twinge of success! Damn it!
The professor had been carefully eying Hermione sidelong for the past few hours, watching the girl's aggravation build just as her curls electrified and expanded to twice their normal size. Perhaps another instructor would have taken pity on the young woman, but not Severus Snape. No one earned his affinities—if they even suspected him of possessing any—or a gentle pat on the back. Not even when they performed sufficiently in his eyes.
Foolish, headstrong girl, he snorted, shaking his head mirthfully at the steady blunders Hermione had been making all evening, though unawares.
"Granger, moping like a child won't solve anything," he finally grated to her, causing Hermione to yelp at the disruption. She had become so engrossed in her work that she had nearly forgotten the professor was probably watching her every move, ignorant of the dare she had yet to fulfil.
"I - I'm not moping," she hemmed and whipped a few crimped curls out of her eyes.
"Yes, you are, and your incessant whining is disrupting my concentration. Desist at once."
Hermione sighed away the strong urge to retort back. "Yes, Professor," she softly acknowledged, refocusing on the ruined concoction in front of her.
How on earth was she going to salvage this? She hadn't a clue what she had done wrong, for starters. She had followed every direction in the book to perfection, so why wasn't the liquid turning a molten gold as described?
Hermione's mouth slumped into a frown. She scratched her head with her stirring rod, inadvertently huffing as she set to reading over her textbook yet again in the hopes of catching some minuscule detail she might have missed. The hard slamming of a book interrupted her reading efforts, however. Hermione shook when she peered up, her eyes and ears directed at the noise, and was startled to find the professor stomping towards her, his cloak flaring out furiously and corresponding with the positively infuriated sneer on his face. Hermione gulped and tried to recoil from his advance, but there was nowhere to go, and she soon found Snape towering over her, his large shadow engulfing her in its wake. His neck was sharply bent and those unsettling, obsidian eyes were locked on hers as if they were about to gorge out her very sight with their magnitude and severity.
"What have you done wrong, Granger?"
Hermione blinked hard, her breath catching at the back of her throat. "I... Pardon?"
"You've looked over that ruddy textbook of yours at least a dozen times. Are you familiar with the expression that 'only ignorant dunderheads repeat the same motions over and over again, expecting a different outcome'?"
"I'll take that as a no," he snapped, and Hermione cringed at his biting tongue.
"Yes, sir, I have heard the expression before—"
"Then, pray, tell why you keep insisting on searching your book for the solution to your problem when it hasn't presented itself in the ninety-nine times you've already read the instructions?"
"I prefer creative solutions over smarts now, Granger. If you haven't found the solution at this juncture, it's time to start thinking outside the box, for fuck's sake!"
Hermione startled, the front of her robes nearly brushing his. "Sir?"
"Good god, Granger!"
Growling angrily, Snape snatched Hermione's stirring rod from her hand, and, for the briefest moment, Hermione felt the warm, calloused touch of the professor's excessively worked fingers. She nearly yelped but managed to subdue her reaction by hitching a deep breath.
Apparently not having noticed how Hermione's body went stone stiff at their brief bit of contact, Snape stirred the contents at a much steadier pace than she had, looking over her potion thoroughly with a fixed concentration.
Hermione dared to inch closer, catching a whiff of the man's pleasant scent: fresh grass with a trace of musk.
"You didn't crush the leaves, Granger," he said after only a handful of seconds, leaving Hermione trumped on how quickly the brilliant wizard had sorted out the issue. That had naturally been established in her earliest days at Hogwarts, but it didn't make how swiftly the man reached such conclusions any less surprising to witness.
"What?" she breathed, astonished.
Snape tilted his head down to her with an affronted air. "You are in an unusual mood of needing everything repeated to you at least twice, Granger. Now, why is that?"
"Sorry, sir." Hermione frowned and tried not to narrow her eyes. "The instructions in my textbook said to cut the leaves into three slices each, not crush them."
"Pardon?" Hermione quickly averted her eyes when the professor shot her a heightened glare of annoyance. "Sorry, Professor, I... I just don't understand."
Hermione waited, and, when Snape didn't answer but instead extinguished the contents of her cauldron and began the instructions anew, Hermione was convinced her efforts had officially been for naught. Had she been attempting actual extra credit, she would surely have received none. She wanted to be glum over her failure, but Snape was swiftly redoing the potion before her eyes, working at a speed that left her gaping in awe.
"Close your mouth, Granger, and pay attention," came his snarling command, to which she blushed and conceded. She hadn't even realized she had moved significantly closer to him, nearly hovering over the man as he worked in haste, intrigued as hell with how he was managing to re-brew the potion so effortlessly, and at such tremendous speed and precision.
Taking a handful of leaves left over from her first attempt, Snape extended his arm out and crushed them into the cauldron with his fist. "But... The instructions do say to cut, Professor?"
"If you take everything you read in a textbook as a literal translation of correctness, you will fail miserably at life, Granger."
"Oh... Well... I..."
"Even in following instructions, you may find you need to alter the contents and methods to suit them more efficiently, even if only on a marginal scale. That is what potion-making is; or did you not pay attention in your first year?"
"No, sir," Hermione bit back her desire to say something fresh, "I understand."
As Snape continued to work, pointing out several small mistakes Hermione had made along the way, and all in his usual caustic brand of instruction, Hermione was ready to sink beneath her desk and disappear. By the end of his lesson, her lower lip was trembling despite her best efforts to keep herself from showcasing any emotion. She suspected that Snape was the very last individual who would appreciate her tears. If anything, he would chastise her for being weak and a sissy.
It's just silly extra credit, Hermione. It doesn't matter. And this dare of yours was idiotic at best. You knew that. Enough already—
Hermione stood at attention, sniffling and attempting to conceal her want to break down and cry. She had completely zoned out and hadn't heard the professor addressing her several times in a row. His face was now beyond furious, his nose scrunched unpleasantly and his mouth tight as he glared down at her, ready for a full blown verbal attack.
"What did I just instruct you to do?" he hissed, lowering himself into her personal space, though unmindful of doing so.
Those cold, unforgiving eyes were enough to crumble Hermione's resolve. She drew in a shaky breath and then began to whimper. She didn't answer his question. Throwing caution to the wind, Hermione's hands came up to her face to conceal her tears as best as she could, her cries muffled as she attempted unsuccessfully to stop them from coming. She vaguely heard Snape's repeated demand that she, "Desist!" and "Stop crying at once!" but didn't adhere to any of his mean-spirited wishes.
Hermione felt utterly humiliated for letting her emotions get the better of her, especially in front of him, but she couldn't help it. She was spent with her friends' constant badgering that she "was too much of a 'good girl'" to rise to the challenge and was disappointed in herself for proving such an academic failure in Potions—at least, for the time being. There was also the underlying confusion over her conflicting feelings that had only bubbled up and manifested themselves tenfold in the professor's presence.
There was a twinge of desperation now to Snape's command, and Hermione found herself peering up into the man's visage, his expression a mixture of horror, confusion and irritation. His dark eyes flashed strangely, enough for Hermione to stop snivelling long enough to rest her gaze upon them.
"I - I'm sorry, sir," she mumbled, wiping furiously at her tears. "I - I'm listening."
"No, you aren't," he insisted, though with less severity than she expected to receive. "I think you've had enough."
"What? No! I..."
Hermione moved in to take the stirring rod from Snape's hand, not even sure why she was insisting on carrying on when she was obviously an emotional wreck. She could barely think clearly, let alone work her hands in the precise method that potion-making painstakingly required.
Her attempt to take control of the situation was in vain, though, for the professor, without warning, clamped down on her wrist to prevent her from taking the stirring rod back. Hermione startled and froze where she stood.
"No," he insisted, those intense orbs locked on hers.
"But... Please? Can't I try again?"
Hermione's small frame suddenly leaned in, giving Snape a whiff of the young witch's vanilla perfume. It was light and ethereal and quite...pleasing.
Snape blinked, his shock understated and undetected. Why was she gravitating towards him?
Aware that he still held a firm grip on the girl's arm, he swiftly removed his hand, but Hermione didn't move away. To his utter bewilderment, she took another step closer and was now well within his personal sphere. He wasn't at all comfortable with it. Not one bit.
"I'm so sorry, Professor," she confounded him with her apology, as if she had personally offended him in some way. "I... I don't know why I broke down like that. I guess I just...wanted to do well."
"You always want to exceed everyone else, Granger," he tried to issue snidely, though his cheeks were starting to burn at her unfailing stare; he wasn't used to being looked at. People mostly avoided eye contact with him at all costs. Why wouldn't she? "It's a most irksome quality in you," he added with bite.
Snape was surprised when she had the nerve to smile at his insult—its appearance soft and delicate—and wiped away the remainder of her tears, gazing up at him rather puckishly. It was unhinging, not to mention untoward. Yet it was almost seductive, too; or was that his wild imagination?
"I know, Professor," Hermione confessed quietly. "I - I like Potions. I thought... I thought I could handle this, but you're right: I do need to start getting more creative."
For the first time in recent memory, Snape was nearly rendered speechless. It was a rarity indeed that a student, particularly a Gryffindor, actually took his criticism to heart, or actually paid attention to anything he bloody said, for that matter.
Snape placed his hands firmly behind his back and tried to scowl, even if, secretly, he was nearly impressed. Nearly.
"Then I suggest you take note of your mistakes and learn from them, Granger."
"I will, sir."
Snape nodded towards the various ingredients and utensils on her desk. "Then clean up your station and go."
"It's late, Granger. You've been here for over four hours now."
Hermione had entirely lost track of the time, but she hadn't lost sight of the professor's mysterious eyes, which she hadn't been able to turn away from. Not when she was so close.
Growing perceivably uneasy with the young witch's persistent staring, Snape curled his upper lip and scrutinized her through narrowed slits for eyes. "Granger," he began but was interrupted by her hushed whisper.
"Your eyes really are black..."
He flinched. "I beg your pardon?"
"I always assumed they were a chocolate brown; that they just somehow looked black because of your hair and your clothing. But they really are so..."
"How fascinating and observant you are," he growled, growing terribly uneasy with her bizarre antics. "Now, Granger, I have already asked you once to clean up your area. Do you need to be told twice—"
"No, I was just commenting on your eyes, sir. I... I've never known anyone to have black eyes."
"And what exactly is that supposed to mean?"
He sounded offended, though she hadn't meant it as such. Instead of recoiling, however, Hermione blushed at him.
"They're unique is all..."
"Granger, I have work to do."
Now, Hermione. Now. Then you can run back to Ron and prove him wrong. You know you're curious... Do it!
Snapping to attention, the professor turned on his heel to stroll back to his desk when Hermione's hand unexpectedly tugged at his right arm. Whipping his head around, Snape was properly infuriated, and, perhaps, if Hermione thought she had detected correctly, a little frightened by the mere brush of her hand touching him.
"I'm sorry, sir. I just..."
Now, Hermione. Now!
"What, Granger?" Snape spat at her, any small fraction of patience vanishing beneath the weight of her penetrable gaze.
"Are you daft, girl? For Merlin's sake, what is it?"
Gulping, and with her heart pounding wildly against her chest, Hermione stumbled forward. She reached onto her tiptoes and brought herself upward to meet the professor's face. She witnessed his animated flash of panic, his unsuccessful attempt to dodge her advance by moving backward with his mouth slightly parted, but he wasn't fast enough.
Hermione planted a firm kiss on Snape's lips, almost missing them entirely, and gently pressed into them in the split second that he didn't recoil. She was both surprised and intrigued by how soft they were—warm, slightly wet, and, if she dared to believe, delectable. A strange tingle ran from Hermione's toes up through her chest. Her heart was ready to burst once her mind abruptly caught up with the act.
Aware of what she was doing, Hermione quickly withdrew, fumbling backward out of the man's personal space and making sure to put a wedge between herself and an alarmed Severus Snape standing in front of her.
At first, Snape couldn't withhold his shock at what his student had done. No one touched him or forced themselves on him in way, shape, or form. No one got in his personal space. Not even close. And certainly, no one—ever—kissed him.
"Granger," he whispered, his voice dripping with suppressed fury, his hands clenching into fists at his sides.
"I – I'm sorry, sir," Hermione blurted out, her cheeks now on fire; she was stunned that she had pulled it off, that she had actually attempted and succeeded in kissing the professor on the lips. "I - I just wanted to thank you for your instruction tonight. It was—"
"What the hell do you think you're doing?"
Hermione's mouth was parched at the strained quietude to the man's deep voice. Yet the danger was evident. It bordered on loss of control. If steam could shoot out of Snape's ears, it surely would have at that moment.
You should've known you wouldn't get away with this, Hermione! her mind screamed, panic setting in and causing her to breathe faster.
"I... I just..."
"Don't. Ever. Do. That. Again."
"Y - Yes, sir. I - I was only—"
"Get out of here, Granger!" Snape shouted at her, his temper suddenly flaring beyond measure. His dark eyes, to her knowledge, had never looked more menacing, frightening her into submission without a second thought.
Hermione squeaked, gathered up her book and belongings in a mad rush, and flew past the professor and out of his laboratory, barely able to keep herself from meeting the stone floor as she ran as if her very life depended on it. Her eardrums were pounding, her heart was beating at a rapid pace, and she was absolutely sure that what she had just accomplished was, without a doubt, the most reckless, senseless, brainless, most pleasurable thing! she had ever done.
Hermione didn't stop running until she reached Gryffindor Tower, unaware that she wasn't berating herself or crying or shaking like she surely should have been. In fact, she was smiling from ear to ear. There was a glow to her face that had nothing to do with the exercise she had gotten from sprinting all the way from the dungeons.
I did it! I... I kissed him! And it was... Surprisingly pleasant. She stopped before the Fat Lady to utter the password, her smile extending. Worth a month's detention over, I'd wager.
"Oh, Ron!" she cried out to her friend as she entered the Gryffindor common room where he and Harry were sprawled out by the hearth, struggling through their Charms homework. "Guess what? You owe me five galleons!"
A/N #2: I hope you enjoyed it! Reviews are always greatly appreciated.