westernredcedar: (Draped Arm)
[personal profile] westernredcedar
Title: Meddling
Author: [livejournal.com profile] westernredcedar
Summary: Hermione has noticed many things about two of her professors, including that they both seem lonely and might enjoy some companionship.
Pairing: Remus/Severus
Rated: NC-17
Warnings: None
Length: ~2800
Notes: Repost! Written for [livejournal.com profile] miss_fatigue at Snupin Santa 2011.



Sunday Afternoon, after tea

"Do you think Professor Lupin is lonely?"

"Huh?" Ron looked up from his reading, mouth full of crisps.

Hermione sighed and brushed a scattering of crumbs off of Ron's book. "Professor Lupin. Do you think he's lonely?"

Ron was silent for a moment, his brows knit. "Dunno. I never think about him," he replied, spraying a fine mist of crisps as he spoke.

"Well, think about him now," Hermione said. She grabbed Ron's book out of harm's way.

"Hey!"

"What do you think? Does he seem lonely to you?"

Ron chewed slowly, then pulled himself up onto his knees, eyeing Hermione askance. "Um…Yes?" He grabbed another handful of crisps.

"Are you just saying that?" Hermione asked.

"Um…" Ron stuffed the crisps in his mouth. "No?"

Hermione sighed. They had been reclining in front of the common room fire all afternoon, finishing a massive amount of dreary work for Potions the next day. For the last hour, Hermione's mind had been half on her essay and half on her new favourite professor.

"Well, I think he might be," Hermione said, pointly ignored Ron's eye rolling. "I've never seen him even chatting with anyone besides Professor McGonagall. He's new this year, and he doesn't know anyone." Not to mention she'd noticed he never spoke about anyone else in his life, or his life at all really. And she'd noticed other things, too, things that had given her this idea in the first place.

"So?" Ron grabbed his book back and flipped it open.

"I thought we might help him," Hermione replied.

"Why? He's a grown-up! I don't know how to help him!" Ron said through yet another mouthful of crisps.

Hermione stared at the ceiling for a moment and reflected again that she really needed to find some girl friends now that she was a third year. Where was Harry when she needed him? At least he would stop eating for a moment to listen.

"I know you don't, Ron. But I do, and I'll need your help. And Harry's."



Monday evening, dinnertime

"You know him best of the three of us." Hermione had grabbed Harry's sleeve at dessert and led him to the far end of the Gryffindor table, where they could speak in confidence.

"I just think it's weird," Harry replied. "He's our teacher."

"When you're at your next private lesson with him, just ask. Tell him…" She paused, considering how best to get Professor Lupin's attention. "Tell him the person doesn't want to reveal their name yet, but they are eager to meet him for supper."

"Hermione, I would like to help Professor Lupin, but…"

"Perfect then, that's settled." Hermione took a huge bite of her trifle, and smiled at Harry.



Tuesday afternoon, between classes

"Professor Lupin?"

"Yes, Harry?" Lupin was putting away his wand and the other supplies he'd used in the day's Patronus lesson. He didn't look up.

"I, um…" Harry could feel his ears burning red. Why did he let Hermione get him into things like this? "Do you have a girlfriend?"

Lupin was quiet for a long time, carefully placing objects back into his kit bag.

"Why do you ask, Harry?" he said at last.

"I'm just…wondering. About you." Harry stuttered out the words.

Lupin got a thoughtful look on his face, like he was about to say something, so Harry blundered on. "I know someone…or my friend knows someone, who wants to meet you for dinner. At six o'clock on Thursday. In that little room off the Transfiguration hallway? The one with the marble pillars in front?" Damn Hermione, anyway.

Lupin was quiet, and then looked at Harry with a distant, unreadable expression. Harry quickly occupied himself with his own school gear.

"Harry," Lupin said at last, and Harry let out a breath. "If you wish to ask me about anything, you can any time…"

Harry grabbed his bag and bolted for the door. "No, no, Professor. I just want you to go to that dinner, Thursday at six o'clock!"

"Harry, I'm not…"

"Bye, Professor!" Harry ran, his face aflame.



Tuesday evening, Common Room

"All you have to do is pass this note to him during class."

Ron drew back. "I'm not doing that."

Hermione grabbed Ron's hand and shoved the scroll into it. "It's simple. Tell him you were asked to deliver a note to him. He'll assume it is from another teacher or from Dumbledore."

"He’ll hex my bollocks off is what he'll do, Hermione. What do you want with Snape anyway? I thought you were trying to help Professor Lupin."

Hermione sighed. "Are you going to do it, or not?" she asked.

"Why don't you do it?" Ron asked, starting to unroll the scroll. "It's your idea."

"Because, it should come from someone whose father works at the Ministry. It just makes more sense that way."

Ron read the note, "Professor Snape, The Ministry is sponsoring a dinner with L. Snodgrass, author of Potions, Salves, and Ointments, tomorrow evening at six o'clock, in the Doric Room. Doctor Snodgrass is beginning research for his new book. Please attend. Bloody hell, Hermione, is this even true?"

Hermione looked at the ceiling. "Not exactly." She sighed. "I needed a reason to get Professor Snape to that room for dinner tomorrow, and this was the best I could do."

"Is this dinner with Lupin? You aren't hoping Snape will become friends with Professor Lupin, are you?" Ron asked.

Hermione bit the inside of her lip. "No. Not friends."

"Good. I'd worry you'd gone round the bend." Though he was still protesting, Ron had tucked the note into his pocket. "Oh wait, you have."

"Just give it to him tomorrow in class, Ron."

"Your funeral. If he asks, I'm telling him you wrote it."



Thursday evening, six o'clock, that little room off the Transfiguration hallway, the one with the marble pillars in front

"What is the meaning of this?"

Remus was perched on the edge of his seat at the small table, nervously picking at the linen napkin that was clumsily folded into a swan. When Severus blasted through the doors, he started up from his chair in shock.

"Severus! I'm…just…"

Remus saw Severus take in the scene – small table laid with dinnerware, tall candles lit, single red rose in a vase – and then glare back at Remus with a look of utter horror. "What is this?"

Remus felt color flush his neck and chest. "I was…meeting someone here."

"I can see that." Severus's voice had an icicle edge to it.

"What are you doing here?" Remus asked, trying to keep his voice light.

Severus's dark eyes darted around the room, narrowing to thin slits. "Someone has misinformed me. I am obviously in the wrong place." He grabbed his draping robes tight around him and glared at the candlelight. "I'll leave you to your…meeting."

Remus took a step towards the sulky man in black. "Severus, wait. I'm only here to let someone down. I think Harry meant to be kind, and set me up with a date of some sort. He doesn't know…"

Severus spun towards Remus. "Potter told you to come here?"

"Yes."

Severus closed his eyes, shook his head ever so slightly and then sighed. "And I assume you have not been authoring Potions texts in your spare time, under the name Snodgrass?"

"What?" Remus asked, perplexed. "No."

"Damn. I was given a message by Weasley. Potter and Weasley." He spit their names.

Remus took a moment to process this information. "So…you think they wanted us to meet here on purpose?"

"So it appears." Severus eyed the table again. "Was- that- here when you arrived?"

Remus nodded, and they both fell to contemplating the romantically-arrayed table for a moment. "You don't suppose," Remus said at last, "Harry and Ron meant for us to have dinner together?"

Severus's eyebrows raised and he gave Remus a withering look. "Are you suggesting," he sneered in his velvet drawl, "that Harry Potter and Ronald Weasley, two students who would fail to notice an entire wing of the castle if it wasn't pointed out to them, have come to the conclusion that you and I are, first of all, both homosexual men, and second of all, remotely interested in each other's company? Then do you imagine that they contrived to orchestrate mysterious messages, set up this scene, and light bloody taper candles together to set the mood?"

Remus sucked in his lips to contain his grin. "You know, put like that, it does seem unlikely."

"Unlikely to the point of preposterous." Severus folded his arms. "No, this must be the work of Granger. That girl is far too observant for her own good."

Remus looked at the dining table again, with its single rose and saggy swans. "You may be right. This set-up does scream 'thirteen-year-old girl' doesn't it?"

Severus eyed the swans with distaste. "Indeed."

"So, Hermione Granger thinks you and I should have a dinner date," Remus concluded, allowing amusement into his voice at last. "And she went to extraordinary lengths to make it happen."

"So it would appear."

"Well," Remus retreated to the table and pulled out a chair. "We wouldn't want all her hard work to go to waste. Here," he went on, "I'll even remove the rose. Oh dear, and brush away all this glitter…" Remus didn't look up, but he could hear Severus snort. "There, now I think it is safe." He turned to Severus. "After all, Hermione is too observant for her own good." He strode towards Severus, who still lurked near the door with his arms folded. "And," he added in a whisper, "I haven't seen you all day."

Remus folded his arms around Severus, and placed a teasing kiss on the soft skin below his ear.

"What do you think she knows?" Severus asked, still stiff and alert in Remus's arms.

"Not a thing about our taste in romantic dinners, that's for certain," Remus muttered into Severus's hair. Then he pulled away enough to cup Severus's cheeks and meet his dark eyes. "And not enough to worry us. If she knew more, she would not have tried to set us up on a blind date."

Remus allowed his hands to drift down Severus's back while his lips trace a pattern along the stubble of his jawline.

"I don't like this," Severus sniped, still stiff.

"I'll lock the door."

"That would be advised."

It was only after Remus had cast his fourth locking spell that Severus finally gave in, shoving Remus against the wall and stealing his breath. Remus took a moment to wonder how Hermione was going to get them their food – was she somehow watching them?- before he gave in to Severus's onslaught and stopped thinking at all.



Friday morning, Defense Against the Dark Arts

Hermione had hardly been able to sleep the night previous, she was so excited about her matchmaking.

Very little could go wrong with her plan, she thought. She was 95% certain that Professor Lupin was interested in men. Her proof was in many little things- how much he reminded her of her gay Uncle Stan, that certain shelf of books in his office, that corner of Attitude she'd seen peeking out from the papers on his desk (Uncle Stan read Attitude, as well).

Even better, she was 100% certain Professor Snape was gay. In a sour mood one day after a dismal Potions class, he'd ordered a small group of Gryffindors to clean out one of his store cupboards. Eager to please, Hermione had not been discouraged by the small locked cabinet in the corner. With several firm Alohomoras she had it open, only to slam it shut again after a long moment of shock. She'd never seen such a pile of pornography, all muscular men without clothes, and though she'd heard of sex toys, she wasn't sure why a man would want another one of those. That was, until she figured it all out for herself later.

They both seemed so lonely. It was sure to work.

She arrived in the classroom early. A couple of other students were there, getting their books out and chatting. She attempted to casually approach Professor Lupin's desk, but he saw her coming.

"How can I be of assistance, Miss Granger?" he said. She thought he seemed to have a bit more color in his cheeks than usual.

"You seem to be in a very good mood this morning, sir," she said hopefully.

He looked up at the ceiling for a moment. "No better than any other day," he replied with a smile. "I do try to be in a good mood every day."

She swallowed hard. Had it all gone awry? "Did you have a good evening?"

"Yesterday?" he asked, and again took a moment to stare at the ceiling. "An average evening. Thank you for asking."

"Oh." Hermione's heart sank. What had gone wrong? "Nothing special happened?"

"No…" Professor Lupin looked as if he was biting hard on his own lip as he thought. "Just…the usual."

Hermione tried not let her disappointment show on her face. "Oh," she said. "Well, I'll just get out my books then…" She turned to take her seat. Then she stopped herself. This didn't make any sense. She spun back to Professor Lupin.

"Sir, did Harry give you a message? About yesterday evening? He told me that he had."

She could see Lupin take a deep breath before her turned back to her. He said quietly, "He did, Hermione."

"Did you go?"

"Yes."

"And did you meet someone else there?"

"Yes. To both of our…confusion."

Hermione paused, and then felt her face blush red. "Oh." She swallowed hard. "Oh dear."

Lupin looked at her with a small smile. "Indeed," he said.

"I have Potions next. Does he know it was me?"

Lupin nodded. "We worked it out."

"Is he very angry, do you think?"

Lupin paused and rubbed one finger along his upper lip. "I wouldn't call it angry…I imagine your best course of action will be to pretend none of it ever happened."

Hermione nodded, burning with shame. Professor Snape would have her in detention until she was fifty. She turned away and started back towards her seat.

"Hermione," Lupin called softly. She turned back, but couldn't meet his eyes. "It was very thoughtful of you to think of me, but don't trouble yourself." She looked up then, into his kind, smiling eyes. "If you must know, I'm already in love with someone. I just don't talk about it to my students."

"I see." Hermione attempted to smile, then stumbled back to her seat. Ron was there, and she burrowed her face in his shoulder.

Ron shrugged away from her. "Oy, what's that about?" he asked.

She dropped her head onto her arms, and only allowed herself to breathe out when she felt Ron's hand pat her gently on the shoulder. "Never again, Ron. I shall never try to help anyone ever again."

"Yeah, I wish," Ron mocked, with another small pat to her shoulder. Somehow, though, it helped her feel a little bit better.



Friday evening, late

"So she has no idea?"

"None." Smooth skin slid under Remus's hands and he sucked hard on the skin of Severus's throat as he thrust in again. Beneath him, Severus let a shallow growl escape, and Remus thrust harder.

"She did not look up from her cauldron for an entire double period this afternoon." Severus bucked upwards with his hips and pinched Remus's thigh, hard. "Do that again."

Remus pushed himself up to increase his leverage and pounded into Severus for several heated moments, then collapsed back down onto hot skin and sweat. "I believe we've put her off matchmaking forever," he panted.

"Well, she is obviously a miserable failure at it," Severus went on, all the while doing something with his fingers that sent fireworks shooting to the tips Remus's toes.

"Obviously," Remus managed to say. "How could she ever think…" he wrenched Severus's arms apart and pinned them to the bed as he pounded away once more, "…that we would even like each other?"

"Indeed," Severus replied, then silenced Remus with a long, slow, filthy kiss that dragged him over the edge and into sweet oblivion.

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