Slughorn's Christmas Party

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Before the War

Hermione left Slughorn's Christmas party upset... What was I thinking... McLaggen? Ugh, Hermione cringed. Hermione allowed a small smile to creep across her face. She mused, at least McLaggen won't chase after me anymore... Professor Snape saw to that after he gave him detention for vomiting on his shoes! Or so she thought...

Hermione was pulled from her thoughts by the second most annoying sound in the world... McLaggen... Lavender Brown was the first.

"Hey... uh umm... Granger... you owe me after getting me detention for a month with Snape."

Hermione sighed, "It is Professor Snape.... And... I do not owe you anything and if You recall, it was you who vomited on Professor Snape's shoes."

McLaggen smirked grabbing Hermione by the arm, "Okay we can do this the hard way... slippery little minx."

A velvety voice rang out, "And... what Mr. McLaggen... Pray tell... is the hard way? Please tell me... On second thoughts, I am sure it would be best for you to return to your dormitory... NOW! Miss Granger, if you would... may I have a moment?"

McLaggen ran like a frightened child to the safety of his dormitory. Hermione still wearing the stunning peach party dress that turned many heads, followed her grumpy potions professor uncertain of her fate. They entered his classroom and passed through into his chambers.
Okay he thought... Lilly always said if a girl is upset... she needs tea... chocolate or something to eat... Geez... why can't I teach at an all boy's school... these girls will be the death of me.
Severus had no ulterior for inviting her to his chambers; he simply wanted to make sure McLaggen had not forced himself on her.

Snape turned to her and inquired, "Miss Granger, Please have a seat. Would you like some tea? Something to eat?"

Hermione was startled but she managed to answer, "No... No thank you, sir. I ate plenty at Professor Slughorn's party."

Snape shook his head in agreement... that makes sense.

Hermione half joked, "As for a beverage... I would need something stronger than tea."

Snape chuckled, "Okay." Damn Granger. I think I seriously misjudged you!

She was completely shocked not only because he chuckled but also because he returned with two glasses and a bottle of fire whiskey. He sat down in the chair besides her putting the glasses down on the table that sat between them. He poured her a glass handing to her then he poured one for himself.

Snape was glad she suggested the drink because asking the Gryffindor princess if the pervert to whom she was talking, accosted her was not how he wanted to spend his evening. Especially with all the Malfoy crap, the Dark Lord, and Albus controlling him.

He took a deep breath, "Miss Granger, are you alright? What I mean to ask is...did Mr. McLadden force himself on you... in a sexual way or otherwise."

Hermione sighed... he just wanted to make sure I am okay... not very Snape like but... still sweet... she told herself. Hermione reached for her glass and replied, "No... He did not rape me... if that is what you are asking but I fear if you had not intervened the outcome may have....."

He stopped her as he noticed the bruises on her arm. Hermione was not certain why he cut her off until she looked down at her arm where McLadden griped her.

Snape's blood boiled; that prick bruised her... he fumed, why had it bothered him so? Perhaps it was because it was his student, he tried to reason.

Hermione was curious as to why Professor Snape was so angry. She decided to thank him for the drink and go to bed. She politely finished her drink and was going to leave when she noticed Snape's anger turned to sadness.

She asked, "Professor, are you okay?"

Snape refocused, "Hm... What? What is it Miss Granger?"

She reiterated, "Are you okay, Professor?"

He snapped, "Yes... fine... it is none of your concern."

She sat back down and confided, "you know... other than being a plain but ordinary girl and a know-it-all, I am also a great listener."

He smirked, "do not forget insufferable."

Hermione smiled, "That too. If I can help..."

Snape grunted, "Miss Granger... as much as I appreciate your... concern... I am quite capable of taking care of my problems."

She laughed pouring herself another glass of fire whiskey, "I see. Well if we are sharing a drink and talking call me Hermione."

He was shocked; he never thought the young Gryffindor would be this casual with him.

Snape smirked, "Okay. Hermione. Drink your drink and go to bed."

Hermione giggled... oh... Merlin did I just giggle in front of the dungeon bat at something he said.

He laughed, "I never thought I would see the day... you of all people would giggle in front of me!"

Hermione's eyes widened, "Sir, were you in my head?"

He raised an eyebrow, "no...Miss... er Hermione... I just know you. Now are you going to bed?"

Hermione challenged, "Okay... You confuse me sometimes Professor Snape. You contradict yourself."

Snape raised an eyebrow yet again, "Is that so please do tell me..." Damn the she is full of surprises tonight.

Hermione pleased with herself stated, "Well you say I am an insufferable-know-it all but you refuse to talk to me. Honestly, who better to talk to about your problems with than a know-it-all?"

He had to admit she had a point but he cannot just tell all his secrets to the best friend of the "chosen one," and a student but then he had a brilliant idea.

He sat back in his chair taking a sip of his second glass of fire whiskey then offered, "Hermione, I will talk to you under two conditions (1) you call me Severus and (2) you allow me to oblivate you after we talk. I ask these conditions because of the importance and sensitivity of the information I share with you.

Hermione was excited, of course, she agreed. Severus told her everything from his days at Hogwarts to the present about his task to kill Dumbledore. Hermione had no idea he was this type of person; she was in awe. It would take a brave man to fulfill Dumbledore's last request. Suddenly, she realized Ron did not deserve her and was all wrong for her but she was not sure she deserved a man like Severus either.
She was saddened that she would have to forget all of this but she knew why. Ron and Harry were horrible at shielding their minds, and she could not risk anyone invading her mind. This information could cost Severus his life and cost the war. If anyone knew all would be lost. After their talk, Severus felt like a weight was lifted from him and as they agreed, he erased Miss Granger's memory. She went back to her dormitory with a new sense of purpose to help Harry not aware how much she helped the war efforts, and Severus left with a little more strength because of Hermione's counsel.

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