Title: Paranormal Snape
Age-Range Category: Five
Pairing/Characters: Severus/Hermione, several OCs, Minerva, several Hogwarts' ghosts
(Highlight to View) Warning(s): None.
Note: Even though this will be posted in the New Year, I wrote this in October and of course, October means spooky and scary. I don't think I got quite spooky or scary, but I hope you will laugh at little.
Summary: Severus Snape is much too old to be traipsing around cold Scotland in October, but when his wife promises him a sexual favour in exchange for attending a rather iffy Muggle event, traipse he does…in total Slytherin style.
The door to the kitchen of Grimmauld Place burst open, and in tumbled a laughing Hermione, Severus Snape following more sedately in her wake, yet laughing richly as well.
"Severus, Hermione; you're late for brunch," chastised Minerva.
"We're so sorry, Professor," said Hermione.
"Why don't I believe you?" asked Minerva, an amused smile on her face. "Would it have something to do with the fact the pair of you went missing at the Ministry's Halloween Ball last night?"
The other couples around the table sniggered into their cups of tea and coffee.
"If you must know, Minerva," replied Severus, holding a chair out for Hermione and then sitting in one beside her. "Hermione dragged us to a Muggle event last night." He reached for a platter of bacon as he spoke.
"A paranormal hunt," interjected Hermione, "and you won't believe what happened…"
"You want to what?" Severus asked from behind his newspaper.
"I want to go on a ghost hunt."
"Hermione, we live in a castle filled with ghosts. You simply need to step into the corridor and call one. You just better hope it's not Peeves," Severus answered, flapping The Daily Prophet as he turned the page.
"But Severus, it'll be fun watching the Muggles' reaction."
"Didn't I tell you it was a Muggle paranormal group?"
"No, you most certainly did not." He dropped the paper to his lap with a crunch.
"Oh, well," she replied a little down heartened. However, she recovered quickly, "Muggles are really into looking for ghosts and spirits. It's just a group of about ten people, including us, and we'll visit a location as chosen by the group leaders. I'm sure it'll be filled with a lot of anticipation over absolutely nothing. It'll give you a chance to sneer all you like."
"Hermione, I'm fifty-five years old; I do not wish to traipse around freezing cold Scotland at midnight."
"I'd be happy to warm you up later," Hermione purred.
Severus' interest was suddenly piqued. "And just how would you warm me up?"
Hermione stood on tip toes to whisper in his ear; she didn't realise that his eyebrows could go that high.
The couple met the paranormal group at a pub in a small village. The members chatted among themselves, some pointing out locations on a map, others checking that they had enough batteries for the strange looking devices they held in their hands.
Severus whispered to Hermione that he felt uncomfortable among the group; they were all so young and he was…well old enough to be the father to the lot of them. He was especially wary of the leader of the group, a skinny bloke with a dark beard, wearing square glasses and a jacket Severus was sure he remembered being popular in the early 1970s, and hadn't been washed since its purchase—in 1970—who was smiling at Hermione the entire time.
"Severus, don't be ridiculous. You're very young, comparatively speaking, given that you're a wizard. You'd run rings around this bunch."
Anything Severus would have said was interrupted as the leader of the group, Lewis, called for their attention. As he began to speak, he moved closer to Hermione and placed a friendly hand upon her shoulder. A small stinging hex quickly removed the offending appendage.
Shaking his hand, he said, "Okay, mates. Let's get our gear together and go. We have a few guests with us, so let's do our best to explain what we're doing and how the equipment works on the drive up so they'll understand what we are about. Tonight's location is an old ruin, about twenty miles from here. We'll park at the edge of the forest and then hike in, only a mile or so. I've scouted the location; it looks like an old castle and not one worth restoring. Probably bombed in the war. There are remains of an old village as well, but we've not time to explore that tonight."
Lewis stopped speaking to look at his group. "Artie and Lisa have the equipment van. Andrew and Emily, if you'd take Mrs. Parker in your car; Sam, you take Mr. Dietrich and Mr. Snape, and I'll take Miss Snape," he finished, smiling widely at Hermione.
"Please call me Louise," said Mrs. Parker to the group in general.
"And I'm Ted," said Mr. Dietrich.
Severus did not care for the way Lewis was eyeing Hermione and said quite firmly, "I will ride with Mrs. Snape, thank you."
Lewis stuttered a bit but said, "Very well, mate. So…well, then." He rubbed his hands together and said, "Let's go!"
To Severus' mind, the drive was excruciatingly long, but Hermione seemed to enjoy speaking to Sam, their driver, about his experiences with the paranormal. She only had to jab him in the ribs three times to stop a sarcastic remark from bursting forth. Soon, the group was walking through a small, not very dense wood.
Severus kept looking around, as though he'd been there before. "Hermione," he said in a low voice, "doesn't this forest look familiar?"
"You know, love, I was thinking the same thing."
The pair followed the others as they stepped out of the forest into the clearing, facing the ruins.
"There it is," exclaimed Lewis. "Doesn't look like much, but I bet we'll find something. Come on!"
"Merlin!" Severus and Hermione exclaimed together and then Hermione began to giggle.
"Oh, Severus," she whispered through choked laughter. "No wonder we didn't catch on straight away. Hardly anyone comes through the forest on the east side because they are usually west of it to begin with!"
"You know," said Severus slyly, "we could have a bit of fun with this."
"We could give them a real good haunting…"
"You aren't suggesting…"
"After all, who better than we to give a little nudge to the paranormal?" Severus wiggled his fingers in air quotes as he spoke.
Hermione giggled again and took Severus' hand, trailing after the group as they made their way to what the Muggles saw as ruins, but what the witch and wizard knew and loved as Hogwarts Castle.
"So how do we do this?" asked Hermione.
Severus thought a moment and said, "I'll Disapparate and head into the castle. I'll call the ghosts and let them know what we'd like them to do. I'll let Pomona know what's going on since she's filling in for Minerva, who as you know, is also at the ball this evening. Since the castle is warded against Muggles, it will hide the students and rest of the staff, but they may get a good laugh from this too."
"I'll say you had to have a wee and went into the forest."
"That will work," Severus laughed. He looked around. "Okay, I'm off." He quickly kissed Hermione and dashed back into the wood. A muffled pop sounded as he Apparated away.
Hands clapping drew Hermione's attention to the group. "Are we all here?" asked Lewis. "Hey now, where did Mr. Snape go?"
"Oh, he needed to…erm, find a handy tree. He'll be back in a tic; I'm sure he'll find us."
Lewis gaped a moment and then pulled himself together. "Right. So before we enter the ruins, I need you all to remember to stay with your leader. We will eventually go to what upper levels appear safe, but only a few at a time…"
Severus had Disillusioned himself just before he had arrived in the Entrance Hall. He had spoken to the ghosts and, because they were really rather bored of late, they agreed enthusiastically. Severus had cautioned that since the group were Muggles, the ghosts needed to remember they saw the castle as a ruin; they would perceive they could get hurt if they ran off what they thought was a ledge, but the magical beings saw as a staircase, so it would be a good idea to guide their run away from the castle and back the way they had come.
Before appearing by Hermione's side, he watched the paranormal group gathered around and heard Lewis giving instructions. He could see Hermione at the back of the group, her shoulders shaking as she suppressed her giggles. He was sure if he were beside her, her eyes would be bright with amusement.
He smiled. He loved his wife more than life itself; trite saying, yes, but it was quite true. She had wakened something in him that had died when he was a teenager, and every day since Hermione re-entered his life, he felt absolved of all he had struggled with, all that he had done. Oh, he had to deal with it, that was certain; there was the trial at which Albus' portrait corroborated his testimony, there was the long recovery from his snake bite, and there was reconciliation of old friends to obtain—mainly the staff at Hogwarts—in order for him to begin to live again. But living really didn't happen until that day ten years ago…
She had breezed into the patent office that day, knocking him over (his left leg was still a bit gimpy from the venom), apologising and then offering to buy him a drink in recompense. He remembered he had accepted with a sneer, and they arranged a meet up at the Three Broomsticks.
He had been determined to keep the female third of the Golden Trio at bay…just drink his pint and be off. She surprised him, however, with worthy conversation and the to-the-point questions and answers, so when she asked to meet him the following weekend for lunch and a drink to talk about a few articles in Ars Alchemica, he agreed. He kept up the sneering and insults during their meetings, but she was not to be put off; she kept inviting him round for drinks and conversation, and for some unfathomable reason, he kept accepting. He could not explain why he accepted them, but accept them he did.
One night, about four months into the drinks invites and persistent sneering, he simply leant over and kissed her; she kissed back, and he woke up rather pleasantly tired the next morning in her bed. In the following months, something that had been hidden behind a well-closed heart opened again and when it did, it burst through.
Minerva was the first to notice it; 'Severus, you're smiling!' she had exclaimed one night at dinner. He knew that Madam Pince had told it round that the students had said he was taking fewer points and was kinder in class. One student was overheard telling his mates that Snape had actually blushed while seated at his desk during an exam (the blushes were more than likely caused as Severus reminisced about the skimpy little maid's costume Hermione had surprised him with just that past weekend).
He was more…impulsive, more… free. He was still stern in his classroom simply because to do otherwise would result in disaster what with hormonal teens mucking about, using the wrong ingredients, stirring one too many times. But he was free to teach as he really wanted to—with passion and strength, to recognize a student's good work—and a tiny witch with a mass of unruly curls and bright eyes bought him that freedom with her easily given friendship and love.
Smiling, he moved up to Hermione and kissed the top of her head. She startled, and he chuckled. "Fear not, pet; it is only me."
Hermione quickly whispered, "Did you get it all arranged?"
"Oh, yes," Severus breathed into her ear. "You just wait."
"What do you know about the history of the castle?" asked Louise.
Lewis answered, "Most of the ruins appear to be pre Norman, so it's conjectured that this castle has been here for centuries, most probably as a home for some feudal lord. I would speculate that through the ages, it has been added to in the manner of the architecture of the time; I imagine modern architects would cry if it were still standing."
Severus snorted and murmured, "It's like someone designed it from a child's crayon drawing, truth be told." He then jumped a little as Hermione pinched his bottom in admonishment. "It's true!" he whispered.
Lewis continued, "Historians say that the ruling family fell on hard times and more than likely sold the castle for a song. There is some conflict as to whether it became a private school or sanatorium; no one is sure which. If it were a sanatorium, then there are probably tortured souls still here, so I hope we get some good readings. As I said earlier, it was probably ruined by the bombings of World War Two. The locals say that about fifteen or so years ago there was some sort of atmospheric disturbance here, lots of lightening and the aurora borealis appeared for hours. It was spring… May they say, and when the authorities investigated the next day, they felt that a localised wind disturbance had gone through; there was a lot of ground and tree damage."
Severus let Lewis' words flow past him. He knew exactly what had happened all those years ago; seventeen to be precise. He had been dying in the Shrieking Shack while all around him, witches and wizards fought for a cause they believed in. When it was finally over, he was alive, many he knew were not, and Hogwarts was never the same. He pulled Hermione closer for a moment, and she wrapped an arm around him; there was no need to ask any questions about the event; both knew and comforted each other quietly.
"Now," said Lewis authoritatively, "each team has their assignment. Do not go to the upper levels until I give you the go ahead. There's plenty down here to…ahhhhh! What was that?"
The group gave a gasp—although Hermione and Severus stifled their lreaction—as a cold chill went through them. Hermione surreptitiously waved at Sir Nicholas as his ghostly image hovered slightly to the left of the group.
"I felt a spirit!" called Sam.
"Me too! Did it reg on the metres?" asked Lisa.
Giving Hermione a great wink, Nicholas flew through the group again and came to rest at Hermione and Severus' side. "Just wait until the Baron gets a hold of them!" he said to the magical couple.
Severus nodded and then guided Hermione toward the group heading to what they knew as the Great Hall, but what the group obviously saw as a broken down staircases and fallen walls as they walked.
As Lewis led the team, Severus saw Sir Nick weave in and out of the group, most flinching and ducking, thrusting their metres in the air.
"Did you see that? A flash of white!" someone exclaimed.
"I saw something over here. My EMF is pinging!" answered another.
Nick suddenly materialised and wheezed out a few words in a deep and mournful screech. Lewis cried, "Did anyone get that on tape? Sam! Play back the recorder; see if we can understand what the apparition said." Lewis turned to where he assumed Nick's image was standing. "You are among friends here, spirit! Who are you? Can you tell us what happened?"
Nicholas was happily jabbering away about his beheading and while Severus and Hermione could clearly understand it, Severus was sure it sounded like the mourning of a tortured soul to the Muggles, or so he figured they would say when they discussed it. He suddenly had to turn away, choking back his laughter. He was able to manage it until Hermione poked him in the ribs and it burst forth, deep and loud. Sir Nick disappeared, laughing as he did.
"Mr. Snape!" hollered Lewis, "You've lost us the apparition! I must beg of you to be more respectful and quiet. We can help the spirits who are trapped here move on the next plane, but you must be quiet."
Severus sobered up quickly and sneered at Lewis. "I highly doubt that you will be able to tell anyone to move on. It's clear you know very little about the afterlife or you wouldn't utter such tripe."
"I'll have you know that I've studied under the paranormal greats and have helped several spirits move on!" Lewis challenged indignantly.
Hermione interrupted the pair in an attempt to stop her husband from verbally eviscerating the young man. "Look, let's just move on to the next area, shall we? Perhaps the apparition we witnessed has caused our nerves to become unsettled."
Lewis breathed deeply. "You're right. Let's split up; one team head over to what looks like a dining hall over there, another take these stairs to the west; they lead down, and I suspect there may have been a dungeon or vast wine cellar below stairs, so to speak. If there was a dungeon, there may have been torture chambers in which case, you may find quite a lot of energy."
Severus and Hermione followed the group heading toward the dungeons. As they trailed behind the others, they watched the investigators running metres and audio recorders as they walked.
Hermione giggled as she watched the portraits follow the group frame by frame. She waved at a few she knew, winking conspiratorially with them; the ghosts had taken Severus' plan and run with it, informing all non-corporeal beings in the castle.
"Do you think Peeves will show up?" whispered Hermione.
"Peeves never comes to the dungeons, at least not since the early years of my teaching career. The Bloody Baron, however…"
"Oh, Severus, you are naughty!" Hermione exclaimed with a peck on his cheek.
"I hope they don't shite themselves," Severus mused.
"I suspect they will run amok with their gear and then claim it was all part of their usual way of operating."
Severus was about to say something when a pale image floated out of the stonework.
"Good day, Professor Snape," intoned the Bloody Baron. "I understand we are to partake of a bit of Muggle scaring?"
"I would not be so Slytherin as to call it that, but perhaps you and your colleagues would be amenable to persuading the Muggles that their tomfoolery is not welcome here?"
The Bloody Baron scratched his goatee. "Demonic voices and howling apparitions suit?"
Hermione smiled as Severus replied, "Do what you feel is the most Slytherin thing to do, Baron. I leave you to it." He hooked his arm around Hermione shoulders, and the couple moved away while the Baron laughed heartily. They approached the group that had come to a stop just outside what Severus knew was the door to his classroom.
"Now, I think we should split up here. Sam, you take the Snapes and Ted back to the main entryway and then check out the dining area. Artie, Lisa; go ahead and set up the review equipment in the entryway and then head to the dining area with Sam. Andrew and Louise; with me here in the dungeons. Remember, no one is to go to the upper areas until we gather together again."
As the group climbed the stairs to the Entrance Hall, they heard the other shouting about apparitions.
"They see something!" said Lisa as she turned to head back to the dungeons. Sam and Artie stopped her.
"We have our assignment, Lis," said Artie. "Lewis can handle it. Although I can't wait to see and hear what they may be seeing!" he exclaimed excitedly.
As they moved toward the Great Hall, Peeves mischievously flew by. For once, he did not annoy the magical duo, but instead began to pelt Artie and Ted with apples.
It took everything within Severus and his well-ordered mind not to laugh and in fact, he had to cover Hermione's mouth with a hand as she was just moments from laughing. "Shhh," he whispered in her ear. "Let Peeves do his worst."
Peeves, at his worst, was complete chaos. Once the pair had been scattered to avoid the projectiles, each exclaiming over the corporeal form of the apples, they soon had their metres measuring and their cameras recording. Sam noticed that as he moved closer to the Snapes, his metre would go off the spectrum.
"Whatever it is," he exclaimed, "it's concentrating on the Snapes! Do you two ever feel as though you've walked into something cold?" he began peppering questions at them. "Do you ever feel as though there are others in the room with you? Do things move without any explanation? Do you think you see spirits…apparitions?"
Severus snorted and mentally answered the questions: Yes, Yes, Yes, and Yes. "There are times when I feel as though I am not alone, and I have observed things moving without explanation." The explanation being that I live in a castle full of real ghosts, and I am a wizard who can actually make things move. "What do you suppose that means?" he asked Sam and surprised himself by keeping the condescension out of his voice.
"Some people are naturally attuned to the supernatural. You may be one."
"I doubt it; however, if you wish to continue your investigation, we may want to move into what was once a dining area." Severus gestured vaguely in the direction of the Great Hall.
The group entered the Great Hall, Peeves bounced along above them. Severus could see that it was set up for breakfast, the gold plates glinting in the moonlight. Curious as to just what of the castle the Muggles could see, he ventured, "I see nothing. Do any of you see anything?"
Sam answered, "Other than debris and dust, I see nothing that would indicate what this hall was used for."
Ted said, "My field of study is architecture, so your guess, Mr. Snape, is correct. One could easily see that, since the hall faces the west, the main table would be toward the west wall and raised above the others." He pointed toward what Severus knew was the platform for the teachers. "The guests," Ted turned and pointed in the general direction of the four house tables, "would be seated in longer tables perpendicular to the main table. I would also hazard to guess that banners and tapestries would have hung from the walls and rafters."
Severus nodded to Mr. Dietrich. "A very educated guess, sir."
Ted shrugged. "I have a knack for things like that."
For the next half hour, the group stood or sat on piles of debris—that were in actuality the benches of the house tables—and listened, Sam and Lisa asking the occasional question. Peeves, bored of just watching, had disappeared, but not for long.
"Uh, oh," Severus murmured.
"What?" Hermione asked quietly.
"Look above the staff table."
Hermione looked toward the table. "Oh, no! Water balloons. Oh, Peeves!" she hissed in horror.
The first one splattered at Sam's feet. He leapt away from the mess, although he was not aware that it was just water. When the second one landed on his shoulder, he shouted, "Ectoplasm! We've got a live one! Lisa, call Lewis and the others, get them up here!"
Lisa fumbled for her mobile and quickly called Lewis. "He's on his way!" As she finished, she was hit on the head.
Severus and Hermione knew they had to fake concern and interest, but it was hysterical watching the Muggles hop around, trampling through the dust on the floor, knocking cutlery and dishes to the floor as they leapt away from the projectiles, even though they couldn't see anything. Peeves kept up a seemingly endless supply of water balloons and as the others came running into the hall, they too were pelted.
"Is someone getting this?" screamed Lewis. "Are the cameras rolling? Anyone videoing on their mobiles?"
"Mr. Canton," Severus calmly addressed Lewis after giving Peeves a signal to desist. "As you pointed out earlier, you've lost us the apparition by yelling."
Lewis sobered up. "Yes, you're correct. I'm sorry; totally unprofessional." He dusted himself off, and stepped closer to the group. "Okay. Artie and Lisa, take what we've got and see what you make of it. Be sure to take note of the time references of any apparitions or EVP. In the meantime, I'll take a small group of you up to one of the upper levels that appears to be stable. Erm…Ted and Sam, of course, Mr and Mrs Snape?" Lewis smiled again at Hermione, causing Severus to sneer.
The group carefully made their way to the second floor. By chance, or so it seemed, Severus led them carefully up a few crumbling steps and then along the passageway. He guided them to a door he knew that opened into Moaning Myrtle's bathroom. As expected, Myrtle was not best pleased her toilet was being disturbed. She floated over to Severus and Hermione and whinged at them.
"Why are you in my toilet?"
"Hermione," said Severus, "keep them occupied a moment while I talk to Myrtle."
"Okay. Oh, Lewis, I felt something cold over here. Can you bring your metre thingy?"
Lewis practically tripped over himself to get to Hermione. "Of course, Mrs Snape. Let's see…"
Severus spent a few moments pretending to be looking at an old sink when he was actually telling Myrtle what he wanted. With glee, she agreed and began to work her 'magic'. Severus watched as she hovered near Lewis, who was altogether standing too close to Hermione, and began to screech at him.
"Holy cow! Did you hear that?" cried Lewis. "I hope that caught on the tape. And my EMF is going crazy." He began to call out, "Are there any spirits in here? Can you answer? Are you afraid to go to the other side?" He turned in circles as he watched his equipment and making murmuring comments as he went. Suddenly, he bent over and brushed his hands along his front. "Oh my gods! I was touched! Was anyone else?"
Severus moved closer to Hermione, pulling her towards him as he did so and watched in amusement as Myrtle ranted about troublemakers in her toilet. She went on and on about being taunted about her glasses and about Olive Hornby regretting her teasing all those years ago. He tapped Hermione on the shoulder and nodded his head toward the tableau before them.
Hermione and Severus watched as Myrtle first floated around Lewis and then ruffled his hair. She then ran her hands down his back and pinched his bum. Hermione fairly danced with glee as she watched Myrtle run her hands around the front of Lewis' trousers. Hermione was sure that to Mr. Dietrich, it looked as though Lewis was either having a seizure or doing some sort of wild dance, but when she looked at him, she could only see placid amusement on his face. She nudged Severus. "Mr. Dietrich seems to be a bit of sceptic, don't you think?"
"Perhaps." Severus wandered over to the man. "You don't seem to be as enthusiastic as the rest of the group. I've been watching you for most of the evening and you seem quite blasé."
Mr. Dietrich smiled and said nothing. Severus shrugged and moved away.
A shrill shriek caused the trio to turn and watch Lewis doing some sort of crazy dance. Severus and Hermione could see Myrtle grasping at the fly on Lewis' trousers. "Help, help,' he hollered.
Severus realised that Lewis was truly scared, but he was not sorry Myrtle attacked him. He did, however, call out for the 'ghost' to stop. "Spirit among us, stop your attack. This man is an innocent."
Myrtle screamed at Snape that he was a spoilsport, flew into her toilet and flushed herself away, causing a spectacular geyser that sprayed all of them.
"It's too bad we didn't have a camera," said Hermione. "I would have loved to see if it was a spirit causing your distress, Lewis."
Lewis was straightening his clothing. "Well, yeah, that is too bad, but I hopefully got some voices on the tape."
"Perhaps we should end the night," suggested Severus. "It is late, or rather early. I imagine your group has a lot of material to review."
Hermione interrupted, "Will we get to hear about the results of your readings?"
"Sure. What say we meet again at that pub in a week? That'll give us time to review and document our findings."
"Shall I call you to set up a time?" asked Hermione.
"That'd be brilliant!" exclaimed Lewis.
Severus gestured to everyone to leave the bathroom. As Lewis led Ted and Hermione, Severus followed alongside. He very carefully dropped his wand into his hand and flicked it. When the entire group had gathered for a quick debrief in the Entrance Hall, Severus again flicked his wand.
It wasn't until they were walking back toward the woods that Ted approached the Snapes. "You erased all their tapes, didn't you, Mr. Snape?"
"Why would you say such a thing?" asked Severus.
"You know," interjected Hermione, "You did not seem as excited as the others in the group. It's been my observation that most fans of the paranormal are rather, erm…fervent about their field. You seemed quite sceptical."
Ted laughed. "When I met you at the pub, I could hardly believe my luck. Severus and Hermione Snape, heroes of the war. And when I saw Hogwarts, I decided to have some fun as well."
"You're a squib," Severus said.
"Yes. All my family are; we can trace our magical heritage back to the late seventeen hundreds in Germany. We had a witch in the family but there was never again a magical child born of the line. Many of us have some ability to see magical things, but not perform magic unless in the most dire of circumstances. Rumour has it a few uncles managed some feats in the Muggle wars, but nothing could be proved. It is an honour to have met you, by the way."
Severus and Hermione both murmured 'thank you' and the three continued walking. "So what do you think Lewis will do when he discovers he's got nothing on his tapes?" asked Ted.
"I suspect he'll chalk it up to something ghostly," said Severus.
"Indeed," said Ted.
"So there you have it, Minerva. The story of our Muggle ghost hunt," Severus concluded.
"I can't wait to hear Pomona's version of the story when I return later today," chuckled Minerva.
Hermione laughed, "I could see some of the students sitting on the staircases as the group was 'hunting'. I had to hit a few of them with silencing charms, but I'm sure Lewis and his friends would have chalked up the laughing to something spooky anyway."
Minerva returned to her meal. "So what plans do you have for today? Are you returning to the castle?"
Severus poured himself a cup of coffee. "We will return to our cottage for the rest of the weekend, if you don't mind. Hermione promised me a surprise if I attended the hunt last night."
Hermione spit her tea out. "Severus!" she chided. "Hush!"
"Ah, young love," murmured Minerva, causing several of the others to laugh as Hermione turned bright red.
Severus picked up Hermione's hand and kissed it and then smiled. "Yes, Minerva; it is love indeed."