Title: Not His Idea of Winter Fun
Age-Range Category: Five
Character(s)/Pairing(s): Severus Snape/Hermione Granger
Click to View [Warning(s)]Language, Not Canon Compliant.
Note(s): Thank you to my beta for looking this over. I hope everyone enjoys.
Summary: Hermione's idea of a winter date seemed like a good idea at the time, but freezing in an enchanted maze wasn't his idea of fun.
Severus was tired, cold, and aching. With each passing moment, he was growing more and more frustrated. When Hermione had asked if she could plan their next date, he had agreed, thinking it would be something simple — like a visit to a book shoppe or maybe even a Muggle movie theater? When he found out it was actually an enchanted winter maze, he had been shocked, and before he could protest being in the cold for something like a maze, she had dragged him along, all excited, and he couldn't find it in himself to crush her dreams. He loved seeing her smile, and protesting their date definition would have put a damper on things.
Now, however, Severus had wished he had spoken up because Hermione had definitely managed to get them incredibly lost in the damn maze. He crossed his arms, huffing as they walked along the pathways, the snow crunching beneath their feet. "I'm too old for this," he said after a few moments.
"You're not that old," Hermione quipped, flashing him a grin over her shoulder. "You're only forty-five, Severus… you're in the prime of your life!" she reminded him cheekily. She always loved to remind him just how young he was. She wouldn't take any of his negative self-talk.
"Doesn't change the fact that I'm freezing my arse off," he said, pulling out his wand and casting a quick Warming Charm on them both.
"Severus, I said no magic," Hermione said, turning around to face him. That was one of her rules as they had entered the maze. He had hoped, now that they were lost, she would change her mind. Apparently not.
"Your nose is going to fall off from frostbite if I don't keep charming you," he pointed out matter-of-factly.
"I think we're close to the end," Hermione said, turning to face forward, moving her head back and forth as she analyzed her surroundings.
Severus resisted the urge to scoff as they had already come down this path. He noticed their footprints in the snow. "That's what you said ten minutes ago," he reminded her. "Why don't we ask someone from help the next time we pass people? Or I could just fly up a little to get a grip on our bearings."
"Come on, Severus, don't start that again," Hermione said, sighing.
"We're lost, Hermione, and it's freezing out. It's getting late, and I really think we should just call it a day," Severus said bluntly. "You just keep wandering around in random directions, paying absolutely no attention to where we're going. We've repeated paths at least three different times!"
Hermione huffed. "Severus, it's fine," she half-yelled in frustration. "I can get us out of here."
"We need directions," he pointed out, hoping she'd see reason. While she was beautiful when she was flustered — the way her cheeks would turn pink and her eyes would spark with passion — he was getting cold and cranky.
"We're not lost," Hermione countered heatedly. She put her hands on her hips as she glared at him. "This is all just part of the magic of participating in a maze."
"So you're not cold?" He asked, knowing that she was.
"Nope," Hermione said, forcing a smile.
"So, if I remove my Warming Charm, you'll be fine?" He pulled out his wand, looking at her. When he saw the flash of hesitation in her eyes, he arched a brow.
"I'm sorry I yelled," Hermione said quietly after a few moments, moving closer to him. "You're right… I'm cold, and we're lost."
"I know you can be stubborn," Severus said, looking down at her. "Just as I can be stubborn in my own way, too." A particularly strong gust of wind blew past them both at that moment, and Severus could feel himself shivering. Looking at Hermione, he saw her tremble. Pulling her into his arms, he frowned when he felt just how cold she actually was. "You're freezing."
"I know," Hermione said, looking at him. "Sorry this was a lame date."
Severus pressed a brief kiss to her lips. "No, not lame. It's a cute idea, but just a little too chilly for us tonight."
"We can head back to the castle," Hermione said, letting a deep breath.
"How about we have some hot cider in my quarters before you retire for the evening?" Severus suggested, not wanting to end his evening with Hermione just yet.
"Can we also ask the elves for cookies?" She asked in a quiet voice, looking up at him.
He couldn't resist smiling at her. "Of course. But only if they're sugar cookies. You know I have a sweet tooth this time of year."
"Deal," Hermione said, pulling out her wand. She quickly cast the charm that would light up the fairy lights to guide them to the exit of the maze.
Once the lights were illuminating the correct pathways, Severus reached out and took Hermione's hand. Grasping her glove-covered hand in his, the two of them made their way towards the exit.
"You're right, it's freezing," Hermione said after a few moments of walking. "I can't feel my feet."
Severus laughed. "You and me both. The Warming Charms aren't doing much at this point."
"Let's just get out of here," Hermione murmured. "Note to self, enchanted winter mazes are daytime activities, not evening ones."
"Agreed," Severus said, the corners of his lips turning up in a smirk.
The two of them were almost near the exit when small white flurries began to fall around them. Looking up, Severus saw that it was starting to snow. Turning, he saw Hermione was gazing up at the night sky, a look of awe on her face.
"There's just something about snowfall in the night sky," Hermione said softly. "It's beautiful."
"A truly peaceful sight," Severus hummed in agreement. Leaning down, he pressed a kiss to her cheek.
Hermione turned, kissing him briefly on the lips. She smiled up at him warmly. "Severus? How about we just cheat and you Disapparate us back to the castle?"
Severus laughed, but nodded in agreement. "I like the way you think, Hermione." Pulling her into his arms, he wasted no time in Disapparating them from the enchanted maze so they could return back to Hogwarts.
They had cider and cookies calling their names.