"I still don't know why you're here." He hoped the glare he affixed upon her would cause her to leave, but as always, she merely stifled a giggle.
"Oh, Severus, please, that look hasn't worked on me in a decade."
He frowned, continuing through the crowded classroom, wand drawn, eyes scanning for evidence of the supposed boggart hiding in its depths—the entire reason they were here in the first place. The classroom, while not as smoky and perfume filled as in years past, was still cluttered with poufs, pillows, and armchairs clustered around short tables littered with tarot cards, crystal balls, and teacups. Midday sun streamed in through the open windows. At least the Lovegood girl was a far better Seer than Trelawney had ever been… And she drunkenly groped him far less often.
Hermione followed after Snape, wand in hand, scanning the room for any sort of life. The tip of her wand suddenly glowed purple.
"I think it's in the drawer…" She trailed off as she approached Luna's desk, wand pulled back in a defensive pose.
As Snape approached the desk, he couldn't help but wonder why she was here—why Luna asked for both of them to attend to the simple removal of a boggart.
"I wonder why Luna wanted me here."
Her question broke through his reverie, and not for the first time, he wondered if she was a Legilimens, as that question had been haunting his mind since Miss Lovegood's request.
"Probably to keep you from doing something to ruin the room's natural feng shui," she sniggered, in a manner unbecoming her age, Snape thought.
"Hush, Granger. On the count of three…"
They both held their breath, and Snape idly wondered what her darkest fear would be.
"One… Two… Three!" He blasted the drawer with too much energy; it hung off its rails and smoke poured forth.
A boggart, however, did not.
He swore vehemently, and Hermione jumped, not quite expecting the vitriol.
"There must be something here, though. My wand would not lie!" she asserted, a look of frustration passing over her face.
He was instantly in a terrible mood, feeling like Miss Lovegood had set him up for humiliation.
"Oh, really? Fine, then. Is it this?" He jabbed his wand just past her head, and a teacup exploded. "Or this?" A crystal ball was reduced to fairy dust. "Is your deepest fear seeing your life play out in a crystal ball?" As he went to attack the stack of papers perched on the desk, his wand lurched from his hand, zooming to her outstretched palm.
He stared at her, mouth open, gobsmacked. "What? But—How dare… Who do you th—"
Hermione grinned at him. "You'll get it back when you can stop blowing up things that do not belong to you. Now help me look through this room. Something is in here, but I think Luna was wrong about it being a boggart."
She stared at him pointedly until he began rifling through the materials on Luna's desk. Placing both of their wands on a chair in what he assumed was a sign of goodwill and trust, she moved to the bookcase.
"Oh, dear, Luna's taste in books is about as good as her taste in jewelry," she groused as she perused the shelves.
He found it more and more difficult to concentrate on the desk as he watched her. As she stretched to pass her hand over the volumes, the back of her shirt raised, showing the smallest expanse of her lower back.
And so her squeal of delight completely took him off guard.
"Severus, do you remember these?"
A gleeful, child-like grin graced her face. Cradled in her hands was a dusty, slightly bent-up Slinky. She walked towards him, nearly skipping from excitement, the Slinky slipping between her hands with that oh-so-familiar whispering sound.
"Do calm down, Granger. Remember yourself." She was getting closer, and he just knew she would attack him with the toy.
"Oh, come on, don't tell me you don't want to play with it!" She thrust the spring towards him, looking up expectantly. With a sigh, he held his hand out, hoping the look on his face passed on the appropriate level of disdain—even if a secret part of him really did want to take the toy from her hand.
Holding the Slinky at one end in her palm, she tipped it so the other end arched into his hand. Before he could respond, he felt a familiar tug behind his navel. Followed by the sounds of her sudden shriek.
They tumbled through space, hands clenched tightly around the coil.
"What did you do?" she screamed at him.
"Well, you must have done something," she insisted. "We were fine when it was just me holding it!"
"Yes, but remember, you took my wand. Clearly I have done nothing."
The look on her face told him she realized he had a fair point. He had to keep focused on her face—the swirling around them was beginning to make him nauseated. He wondered how long it would take for them to land.
The swirling began to go foggy, and suddenly, he could see nothing but her surrounded by white mist. They both slammed into the ground, painfully hard under his body, and his sight went black.
He regained consciousness, lying on a marble floor, that same mist swirling around his body. He rolled to his side, hoping to find Hermione in one piece.
He found her curled on her side, the Slinky off to the side, bent, mangled beyond repair. Her hair was starting to stick to her forehead, her clothes were… missing.
She lay there, clad only in her bra and knickers. For the first time, he looked down and realized he was stripped down to his black boxer-briefs. Yes, black.
Decidedly not enough fabric to cover his response to seeing her in such a state of undress.
He could see her eyes begin to move under her lids and her forehead crinkle in pain. Quickly, he scrambled to her side, hands and knees sliding on the slick marble. Why in God's name is it so steamy? Where the fuck are we?
Hoping she wouldn't smack him out of fear, he began passing his hands over her limbs, looking for breaks or bruises. She yelped when his hands hit her ankle, her eyes flying wide with confusion.
"Where are we? Where are your clothes?" A quick glance down. "Where are my clothes? Why are you touching me?" Her eyes darted from his to their surroundings and back in panic. She made to pull away and winced, his hand still cradled around her ankle.
"I don't think it's broken. Just sprained." His fingers prodded and poked, and he watched as she chewed on her bottom lip, stifling her pain.
"Well, you would know. You're the Healer." She smiled, her teeth still slightly clenched in pain. "Oh wait, no, that's me."
He simply raised an eyebrow, murmuring healing spells as he caressed her ankle.
"That spell only works with a wand, Severus…"
But their wands were back…
"Fuck!" they exclaimed in unison.
A door creaking open echoed throughout the chamber, but the steam caused so much disorientation that they could not figure out which way to turn. Snape scrambled to stand, turning in circles to try to find whatever was coming.
Through the mists, a figure approached, hurrying towards them with a look of concern on her face, a bundle of fabric in her arms.
"Oh, dear," the woman said with a heavy French accent. "Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. No, no, no, you're not supposed to be here. No, not at all. You're to be in the lobby, yes. Here." She thrust the bundle towards them—bathrobes.
Hermione struggled to her feet, and Severus watched as her face pinched in pain.
"Exactly where are we?" Hermione said, leaning against him to keep her balance. He was more than aware of her skin under his hands as he helped her put on her robe.
"Why La Beauté Extérieure Weekend Resort and Spa, of course. Your appointments have been on the books for weeks!"
Snape's eyes narrowed. "What?"
The attendant seemed not to have heard them. "Follow me!"
This was originally written for the awesome ayerf for the Winter 2012 SSHG Exchange on Livejournal. Thank you so much to ayerf for her fun prompts! See the end of chapter 4 for the original prompt.