This is for the Christmas Challenge by 'slytherinprincess02'
I entered the Great Hall, smiling at Professor McGonagall and Professor Dumbledore, and sat at my usual place next to Professor Snape. I had come back to be a Transfiguration apprentice to Professor McGonagall, and was so far a year into my course. Being the newest addition to the staff, I was placed at the end of the table next to Professor Snape. I didn't really mind, because after the war, I was glad to have a chance to thank him for all he did for me, Harry, and Ron. If not for him, we probably wouldn't be here to this day.
"Hello, Severus." I smiled at him politely, and he scowled at the use of his first name, which made me chuckle. Waving my hand over my fork, I transfigured it into a Spork, smiling at the correct use of the charm I had learnt today.
"Granger." He nodded politely, and then he looked at the utensil in my hand. "What is that?"
"A spork. It's a muggle kitchen utensil, like a mix between a spoon and a fork. They're used in some fast food restaurants, like KFC." I waved the Spork at him, then served myself some baked beans and chicken.
He raised an eyebrow at me. "KFC? That doesn't happen to stand for Kentucky Fried Chicken, does it?"
"Yeah. How did you know?"
"The insufferable staff meetings. Albus always orders from there and then goes to pick it up. If you actually bothered to come and save me from the suffering, you would know."
I blushed. "I know, I know, I always forget. Come and get me next time."
He smirked. "Fine, I'll come get you from your quarters later tonight."
I groaned at the fact I had walked straight into that, before quickly finishing my breakfast and heading to the Transfiguration classroom. Today I would be teaching the firsties with McGonagall supervising. Quickly preparing everything I needed, I smiled as McGonagall walked in. She nodded her approval before going to sit in the corner. The children soon came in and filled the seats, and I began the lesson.
I sagged in relief as they left; leaning against the desk, as the 5th years came and Minerva took control again.
At lunch, I only had time to grab a sandwich and rush out, hurriedly explaining to Snape at his raised eyebrow that I had research to do about my animagus form, which was the project I had undertaken.
When I reached the library I practically sprinted to a table in the corner and began pulling books out, making notes, trying to get down as much as possible that would help me. Tonight was the night. I was going to try and transform into my animal form tonight in my rooms. The transformation had to be tried on my own, because if anyone else was there I could get distracted and get stuck. There was a risk I could get stuck on my own as well, and then no one would be able to help me, but I was confident in my abilities.
The bell went and I quickly shoved everything in my bag before legging it out the room and down to the Transfiguration classroom, smoothly gliding in as the students did. McGonagall gave me a bit of a glare, but I just smiled and mouthed 'animagus' at her. She nodded, and got on with teaching the 3rd years.
School hours ended at 4, and I breezed out the room in a whirlwind, going to my room and settling in the lotus position on the rug in front of the fireplace. Breathing deeply, I slowly emptied my cluttered mind of everything turning into a blank canvas. I began to slowly introduce the idea of turning into an animal. The thought took hold, and soon I felt a box of what seemed like contained energy suddenly burst open, taking hold of my limbs and shrinking them, reducing them to something else entirely. My whole body tingled, but there was no pain, and soon I was on the floor, aware of everything around me.
My body snaked over the carpet, my forked tongue flicked out, tasting the air. My mind boggled as I released what form I had taken. I was a snake. Slithering faster over the floor, I wound my way up the arm of the armchair and looked at myself in the mirror I had placed there.
My scales shimmered in the light, a mismatch of green and gold winding around each other. I couldn't wait to tell Minerva, so I quickly worked on containing the box of energy tightly, which led to me becoming human again. I ran out the room, going straight to Minerva's office and pounding on the door. She opened it and was about to yell when she saw the shell-shocked look on my face. I was ushered in and straight into an armchair.
"What's wrong?" She asked me in a kind of voice.
I just shook my head. "I'll just show you." I transformed into my animagus form and heard her gasp.
"A snake? But why…."
I transformed back and grimaced. "I think I know why." Lately, I had had a certain Slytherin that I sat next to during meals on the brain, and I just couldn't get him out of my head. The mega crush that had developed during Seventh Year had just got worse once I became an apprentice and actually began to talk to him. He was everything I had ever wanted, intelligent, witty, good sense of humour when he actually chose to show it.
"Are you going to tell me why?"
I shook my head. "I'm sorry Minerva, but I just can't. I barely believe it myself."
She smiled softly. "Start hanging around in your animagus form for longer. You can try it now if you like."
"Thank you." I once again became a snake, and began exploring. I gradually built up how long I could stay in my form, and while I was sitting around waiting to see if I could last 40minutes Snape came in.
"Minerva, I-" He saw me on the armchair and his eyes bugged. He came straight over to me and lightly ran a finger over my scales. My tongue flicked out and tasted the inside of his wrist. He tasted like a unique mix of sandalwood, herbs, spices, and potions, and before I could help myself I was winding myself up his arm and curling around his neck. "Whose is the snake?"
She smiled, but a mischievous glint caught her eye. "Oh, that's just Hermione Granger. Didn't you know she was trying to achieve her animagus form?"
I hissed at her and practically threw myself on to the floor, sliding away to hide under an armchair, when I was picked up and held up to Snape's eye level. "Granger?"
I nodded my head, and then tried to make another dramatic escape, but Snape quickly caught me. "Where do you keep trying to escape too?" His voice was low and velvety soft, and I lost the concentration I had needed to stay in my animagus form (as I had just gone about 45minutes in it) and turned back into my normal self.
He toppled backwards at my sudden weight in his hands, and we ended up sprawled on the floor, me lying in on his chest, one of my legs caught between his and my arms wrapped around his neck, while his arms were round my waist. I blushed furiously and quickly jumped up, walking backwards and trying to flatten my hair at the same time. Minerva chuckled and we both scowled at her.
Snape stood up off the floor too and flattened his robes, brushing imaginary dirt off them. My eyes stayed glued to the floor just above my feet as he spoke. "Losing concentration, Miss Granger, is never a good idea."
"I know. I'd already managed to stay in my form for 45minutes, and was only meant to stay that way for 40minutes. I was so concentrated on getting away, I lost focus." Of course, I wasn't going to tell him that it was actually the silky drawl of his voice that did it.
"Have you got any idea why you're a snake?"
"Erm…." I shifted uncomfortably as Minerva butted in.
"She says she knows why, but she won't tell me."
"Really?" Severus drawled.
"Er, yeah, I know why, but I'm not going to tell anyone." I looked up from the floor and stared into his eyes. He immediately took the opportunity to slip into my mind. My Occlumency walls snapped up like a ton of bricks, shoving him straight out. "How dare you?" I hissed at him. "You had no right!"
"Severus can't help it." Minerva jumped in, sighing. "Lord knows how many times he's done it to me. It's become so natural he does it automatically."
"I'm sorry, Hermione." Severus muttered, looking at the floor, and I smiled gently at him.
"It's ok. I forgot." I pecked him lightly on the cheek. His heads snapped up and he looked at me, his eyes wide in shock. "See you in the Great Hall." I said to the room in general, and quickly transformed and slid through the halls of Hogwarts until I got to the staff entrance, where I transformed to my normal form, entered, and sat down. Transfiguring my fork into a Spork again, I began eating some chicken in bread sauce. Severus swished in and sat next to me. "How did you get here so fast?"
"Snakes are surprising fast moving creatures, you know." I smirked at him as he began to serve himself.
He smirked back. "I see. You'll have to demonstrate someday."
"How about on the way back from the staff meeting your picking me up for? That way there won't be that many students around."
He nodded, and we finished our meal in silence.
A knock sounded at my door, and I jumped in surprise, having been completely absorbed in the book I was reading. I flicked my wrist at the door and it sprang open, revealing Severus in his normal teaching robes. He stepped in without asking and closed the door behind him. "I assume you are going to go get changed?" He raised an eyebrow at me.
I blushed as I realised I was wearing my pyjamas, which were composed of a too small tank top and short shorts, and quickly disappeared into my bedroom. Moments later I came out to find Severus lounging on my sofa, reading the book I had been reading. He looked up and nodded to me, before standing and offering his arm to me. "May I escort you to the Staff Room."
I grinned. "Of course you may, Severus." I looped my arm through his and we made our way to the 5th floor.
Once there we entered to find everyone already seated around the room. The only seats left were a small red love seat, which we both quickly sat down on, thighs and arms touching. I blushed, and Severus sat incredibly stiffly as Dumbledore addressed the room. I soon got bored, and the combined feelings of Snape's body heat radiating through his robes into me, and the delicious smell that surrounded him, sent me into a light doze against his shoulder.
I was woken to someone shaking me lightly. "Miss Granger. Miss Granger! Hermione!"
My eyes popped open, and I groaned before closing them again. He pushed me forward, and I slumped onto my knees, my body sliding forward until I was slumped on the floor. I jumped up in shock, wand out, but could only see Severus smirking at me.
"You fell asleep on me." He said shortly, amusement glittering in his dark eyes.
"Yes. Now, you said you were going to demonstrate how fast a snake can move?"
I groaned again, before transforming into a snake and slithering up to the door. He opened it, and I shot out, wriggly as fast as possible, and soon I left Severus behind him. When I reached the door to my quarters, I turned back and leaned against the door, smirking as a couple of minutes Severus turned the corner to the corridor. "Was that a good enough demonstration?"
"Yes. I believe that was adequate." He looked quite out of breath and had obviously been walking fast.
"You look quite warn out. Would you like to come in for a quick cup of tea?"
He nodded, and I opened the door and gestured him inside. He lounged on the same sofa as before and picked up the book I had been reading again. I stuck my head in the fireplace and requested some tea from the House Elves, before also slouching on the sofa, my head lent back. A pop indicated the arrival of a House Elf, and I smiled at Dobby as he popped away. My hand reached out blindly and grabbed one the cups, shoving milk and sugar into it as fast as possible before taking a delicious gulp. Soon I had finished it, and ended up curled around the empty mug with a chocolate bar and a romantic novel, completely forgetting Snape was there.
All too soon I was on my third chocolate bar with tears running down my face as I finished the book, snapping it closed with a thud. As I sat up, I suddenly noticed Snape again, and saw that he was looking at me curiously. I smiled at him wetly, swiping the tears out my eyes and forgetting the end of just about the saddest book I read about in a while. "Sorry about that. Sad book and everything."
He nodded. "That's why you read non-fiction."
I laughed, and he smirked at me. "You better get going."
He nodded slowly. "We have a secret Santa and a Staff party on Christmas Day by the way. I drew a name out for you, but I didn't read it." He handed me a sealed scroll.
"Thanks, I'll open it later. And no, I'm not going to tell you who it is. Is the staff party mandatory?"
He sighed. "Sadly."
I sighed deeply. "Well, I probably won't see you until then because I have to see my parents and drop into the Burrow. Also, I have Christmas shopping to do, and I have to write up my report on my animagus form, and loads of other stuff."
He nodded, and I may have seen a glimmer of sadness cross his face before he let himself out.
I was right; I didn't see Severus until the staff party. I grinned at the gift in my hand as I entered the staff room, wearing some green dress robes that my parents had bought me for Christmas. Dumbledore came over kissed me on the cheek and took my present, before handing me off to the other members of staff. Minerva immediately hugged me.
"You look beautiful, dear." She released me and turned to Severus. "Doesn't she look beautiful?"
He nodded curtly, before disappearing. "Let's go get food. I haven't eaten all day." I said, dragging Minerva over to the buffet table and grabbing some cucumber sticks. I took a cup of punch and sipped it, gasping as it burned its way down my throat. "What is in this stuff?"
"I think Albus put in every form of alcohol he could find; muggle and wizard."
I laughed. "That is so like him. You know what? I'm going to enjoy myself tonight." I threw caution to the wind, and drank the rest of the cup, becoming accustomed to the burn, before pouring myself another.
Minerva laughed. "So you're basically going to get drunk?"
I laughed too. "Yup. Even though I'll regret it tomorrow. Actually, I'll get Severus to brew me a hangover draught. I had better go find him…." I set off, hunting in all the dark corners, until I found him standing in the shadow of the edge of the stage Dumbledore had set up, obviously thinking it was a good idea.
"Is there any chance I can force you to brew me a hangover draught?"
"How do you know you're going to need one?"
"Because I've already decided to get absolutely smashed."
He smirked. "What if I say no?"
"Then you'd be leaving a poor, young women with a banging headache. I don't even have any chocolate in my quarters right now."
His lips twitched in an almost smile. "I may be able to drop some round if I have some extra."
"Thank you." I grinned at him.
Dumbledore stood onto the stage. "Now, we will be handing out the secret Santa presents!" He clapped his hands and everyone gathered to the edge of the stage as he drew the parcels out of a red bag and handed them to who they were for.
He handed me one that was wrapped in green and gold, and I smiled, thinking of Minerva. When I opened it I found an intricately carved wand-holder, a breathtaking pattern of a snake slithering over the mahogany wood. I unstrapped my old wand-holder, taking my wand out at the same time, and strapped the new one to my left arm. It fit my arm perfectly and was just the right size for my wand.
Minerva came over. "What did you get?"
I grinned. "You don't need to pretend Minerva. I know you gave it to me."
She shook her head. "No, I didn't. I gave Pomona a gift."
"But…" I gasped in shock. "It must have been Severus then!"
I ran over to Snape and laughed at the shocked look he was giving the Spork that had been my gift to him. It was decorated in red and gold with a lion roaring on the handle. Before he could say a word, I had enveloped him in a hug, gripping him tightly and grinning like a maniac. He went stiff, before relaxing and placing his hands around my waist.
He leaned down to whisper in my ear. "What's this about?"
My breath caught as his breath swept across my neck, and I had to take deep breaths to get myself to come down. "Your secret Santa gift."
"Why do you think it was me?"
"Because you and Minerva are the only ones who have seen me in my animagus form, so it must have been one of you, and I already asked her and she said she gave someone else a gift."
"And I assume I got a gift from you?"
I grinned against his chest. "You guessed right. Though if you say Orphelium Reveloit'll give you an unlimited amount of black feathers."
He chuckled. "Black feathers? Why?"
I shrugged. "I don't know. It was some random inspiration I got."
Music started and he led me over to the middle of the room where a dance floor had been cleared. It was a slow waltz, and we span gracefully. "You're an amazing dancer."
"Thank you. So are you."
I beamed up at him, and he smiled slightly. We stayed quiet until the end of the song when we led me over to the buffet table. I quickly drank down a couple of more glasses of punch, feeling myself get slightly tipsy. "Well, now I'm just slightly tipsy. I must drink more!" I began swallowing down more and more glasses of it, and I was completely out of it.
"You've had enough." Severus growled at me, and I just grinned.
"You know, you have an amazing voice. It's so silky and soft, and it just makes me want to jump you when you use a certain tone of voice."
His voice dropped a couple of pitches and he spoke directly into my ear. "What this one."
I gasped, and said breathily. "Yes. That one. You could make a cake recipe sound sexy."
He smirked and looked directly into my eyes, before leaning closer and brushing his lips against mine. I quickly reacted and kissed him long and hard. He kissed me back and soon had me against a wall, snogging the life out of me. I heard gasps round the room, but didn't care, enjoying the feeling of his lips on mine too much.
Minerva muttered "Took them long enough."
AN: Thank you for reading, and please leave a review!