Heavenly Angel Chapter 2
“Is Master looking for something?” Severus heard a small voice behind him say.
“Yes, Tinky,” said Severus from under his desk. He crawled out and his voice became clearer. “I had a manuscript here last night. What happened to it?”
“Tinky remembered what Master said about the important secret work he does for Professor Dumbledore,” said Tinky. As Severus realized what the little elf had done he paled. “When Tinky saw it was for Miss he knew it must be important and sent it off at once.”
The tiny elf beamed. Thanks to Hermione, the elves looked a bit nicer in appearance. They were clean and had better living arrangements. She had even devised a way to knit a shapeless object that no one could properly call clothing, but looked far better than a worn out tea cozy. This one was wearing a red ‘uniform’ as the elves had taken to calling them.
Severus found he didn’t have the energy to yell at his servant. He slumped to a sitting position from his crawl.
“Did Tinky do something wrong?” Tinky asked, her bottom lip quivering.
“No, Tinky,” Severus, sounding tired. “You did what you should have. I should have put things away.”
“Was that not supposed to go to Miss?” Tinky asked, rubbing her hands together worriedly.
“It belonged to Miss,” Severus said, dodging the question. “It- wasn’t ready yet.”
“Tinky is sorry,” said the little elf, sadly.
“I’m sure she’ll know what to do with it,” said Severus.
Hermione was sitting at the breakfast table she shared with Ginny Weasley when the thick manuscript thudded in front of her.
“Good Lord what is that?” Hermione exclaimed as the owl fluttered out of the window.
“Gotten a letter from your mum, lately?” Ginny joked as she sat down with plates of eggs, toast and bacon.
“Very funny,” Hermione said as she looked at it. “It’s from Professor Snape.”
“Anyone tell him the war was over?” Ginny said as she began eating.
Hermione opened the package and settled in with her cup of coffee before she began reading.
Ginny was mid-bite when Hermione snorted coffee out of her nose.
Hermione immediately began choking and Ginny leaped to her feet to pound her roommate on the back.
“What is it?” Ginny asked, concerned.
“Oh my GOD!” Hermione spluttered as Ginny beat her.
Ginny snatched the papers and began reading. Then she began laughing.
“It’s not funny,” Hermione said, annoyed.
“He could be working under the Imperio,” said Ginny, flipping through pages. “There’s pictures in here!”
“Where?” Hermione asked, trying to snatch at the pages but Ginny danced out of her reach.
Ginny kept rotating a page as if she didn’t know which was up.
“Can you even do that?” Ginny asked, screwing her face up in concentration.
“Accio!” Hermione cried and the pages flew to her. With another flick she resorted them as they were intended to be read.
“Hey!” Ginny protested. “Oh come off it, Hermione. It’s probably just the boys playing a trick.”
Hermione made a face at her, but let her think what she wanted to. Hermione had worked beside Severus for 3 years and was his pupil for 7 before that. She knew what his handwriting looked like.
“Either way it’s embarrassing,” said Hermione, skittering out of the kitchen. She heard Ginny laughing as she practically ran to her room.
Severus sat in his den, the curtains drawn and the windows open. Overcast light spilled into the room and he sat at his desk, hands folded under his chin, gazing out the window.
What must she think of him?
Hermione finished the last page of the manuscript, her cheeks pink and her heart beating fast.
She had noted the spilled wine and wondered exactly how drunk he was. She wondered how much of the manuscript was him and how much was creative license. Still, she obviously had been the muse.
Tinky had obviously sent it. The knots were sound, but uncomplicated. When Severus sent her things it usually required a half hour of unsnarling or the use of a knife to get the papers free.
Hermione paced the length of her room. The polish of the wood floor was worn where she was walking, as if it was something she did often.
A large white marble fireplace sat in one wall. The alabaster mantelpiece collected pictures of Hermiones family. An urn of floo powder sat in a ring of iron jutting out from the wall.
Her room was about the size of the one she had shared with the Gryffindor girls. A white double bed with a canopy lay with its headboard against one wall. Dark blue curtains were pulled back and Crookshanks lay sleeping in the center of the bed. A dark wooden storage bench sat at the foot of the bed with a quilt folded on it.
Pictures Colin Creevy had taken through her second through seventh years dotted her walls. A few she had thought inappropriate at the time seemed hysterical now, like the one of Ron puking up slugs that she kept tucked away in a drawer.
A roll top desk sat in one corner with the top down to hide the clutter inside.
Her speculation went far and wide but one thing kept nagging her. Perhaps the letter was never meant for her eyes. How embarrassing for Severus.
She flipped back to one of the illustrations.
Somehow she doubted he had the physique of a Greek god but she admired his creativity for a moment. She had no idea he was so artistically talented.
There was a tentative knock at the door.
“Yes?” said Hermione, jumping a little.
“Let me in, Hermione,” Ginny’s muffled voice came from the other side of the door.
Hermione let her in and Ginny sat on the bed, petting Crookshanks. He yawned at her and purred.
“I’m sorry,” said Ginny, trying with all of her might to keep a straight face, but failing.
“Well, if it happened to someone else I’d probably think it was funny,” said Hermione flipping back to the illustration and shaking her head. She turned the page a little in the hopes she’d figure out how it was accomplished. Ginny giggled.
“I still think it might be a trick,” said Ginny.
“I’ll suggest that,” said Hermione. “It’ll give him an opportunity to deny everything if he wants to.”
“You really think it’s from him?” Ginny asked.
“It’s from him,” said Hermione. The page about his desire to creep beneath her robes during the Canterbury stake-out was far too detailed to have been speculated on.
“What are you going to do?” Ginny asked.
“No idea,” said Hermione. “Should probably go talk to him.”
“Might be a good idea,” said Ginny, getting up to leave the room.
Hermione looked at her fireplace for a long time before she tossed a handful of floo powder in.