Thank you to all who have taken the time to read this story so far and review it. I appreicate all of your support, and hope you continue to enjoy it.
Thank you to June for all of her suggestions, and help with this chapter.
Chapter 4 â€“ Donâ€™t leave my side.
Hermione woke up to the sound of screaming. She sat up and gathered the blankets up to her chest, as she looked around the room. The room didnâ€™t look familiar; sheâ€™d had such odd dreams that night.
First, she dreamed that Ron turned her and Professor Snape into children. Then, upon taking her to Hogwarts, Professor Snape put glue in her hair. Hermione jumped as she heard the scream again. Thatâ€™s when she realized what she heard was not part of her dream, but her dream was in fact reality. She had been turned into a child, and Professor Snape had put glue into her hair. She then realized it was him who was screaming now at the top of his lungs.
Hermione threw the blanket from her six-year-old body and ran into his room. As she entered the door, she saw his small body illuminated by a candle on his nightstand.
â€śNooooâ€¦stop it. Leave them alone!â€ť screamed Severus.
Hermione climbed onto the bed and scurried over to him. He was thrashing about as she grabbed him by the shoulder and shook him.
â€śSeverus, wake up! Youâ€™re dreaming,â€ť she called out.
Severus was still asleep as he began to push her away from him.
â€śIâ€™ll kill you; Iâ€™ll kill you, you bastard.â€ť Severus then screamed once more as he pinned Hermione to the bed. He clenched his fist and drew his hand back, ready to punch her.
â€śSeverus! No!â€ť Hermione blocked her face as she readied for his punch, but it never came. She uncovered her face and looked up at the panting and very shocked Severus.
â€śIâ€¦Oh, Godâ€¦Iâ€™m sorry,â€ť he said as he moved off of her. â€śHermione, Iâ€™m sorryâ€¦I didnâ€™tâ€¦â€ť He sat back against the headboard and tried to collect his thoughts and steady his breathing.
Hermione sat up and moved next to him slowly.
â€śItâ€™s all right. You didnâ€™t hurt me.â€ť She studied him as he sat there quietly now with his eyes closed. â€śThat was some nightmare.â€ť
â€śYou should be around when I have a really bad one.â€ť He chuckled and tried to make light of what she had just witnessed
â€śYou mean that was a good one?â€ť she asked, not even wanting to know what a bad one was like.
He looked at her and ran his hand through his tangled hair.
â€śIâ€™m sorry I woke you,â€ť he said.
â€śItâ€™s all right. I wasnâ€™t sleeping very well anyway.â€ť They sat silently for a few moments, neither knowing what to say. â€śWell, I suppose I better get back to the couch.â€ť Hermione started to climb down the bed when Severus stopped her.
â€śWait.â€ť Heâ€™d told her that his nightmare wasnâ€™t bad, but in reality it was one of the worst heâ€™d ever had. Heâ€™d dreamed that Voldemort had gotten into Hogwarts and was killing everyone while he watched helplessly. Severus wasnâ€™t looking forward to falling asleep again. When heâ€™d had nightmares as a child, his mother would come and lie next to him and hold him until he fell asleep.
â€śI know that couch isnâ€™t very comfortable,â€ť he said as he looked at her. â€śIf you want, you can sleep here. Itâ€™s a big bed even when Iâ€™m fully grown.â€ť
She smiled at him, and then climbed further into the bed.
â€śYou know itâ€™s not because Iâ€™m scared or anything, itâ€™s justâ€¦â€ť
â€śOh, yes, I know. Thank you, I really wasnâ€™t looking forward to sleeping on that lumpy couch.â€ť She tucked herself under the covers, all the while knowing that her presence was bringing him a bit of comfort.
Severus was glad she stayed. He hadnâ€™t slept with anyone in his bed for several years. When he wanted a womanâ€™s company, heâ€™d quench his thirst with one of several shag buddies. He never liked going to prostitutes, and thanks to the few potions symposiums he used to go to a few times a year; he met a few women who caught his eye. He never had a relationship with them, however. Heâ€™d go, shag, and then come back to Hogwarts. There was also a matter of trust. Other than his mother, he just never felt comfortable enough to close his eyes and fall asleep next to anyone.
Hermione turned to her side and faced him.
â€śAre you really going to Hogsmeade tomorrow?â€ť
Severus turned to face her as well.
â€śYes. If the Dark Lord is attacking Hogsmeade, then that means heâ€™s close to finishing this.â€ť He pushed himself up on his elbows.
â€śThis war has gone on long enough,â€ť he said. â€śThe despot is attacking one of the central hubs of the wizarding world.â€ť Severus looked at her and knew the wheels in her mind were spinning wildly.
â€śHe wants to make an example of Hogsmeade,â€ť Severus guessed. â€śTo show the rest of the wizarding world what happens to their own, if they donâ€™t join with him.â€ť
He lay back down, stared at the ceiling and took a deep breath.
â€śI canâ€™t in good conscience just sit here and wait to see what happens.â€ť
â€śThen Iâ€™m going with you,â€ť said Hermione.
â€śNo, absolutely not.â€ť Severus now sat up and looked at her angrily. â€śLook at you! Youâ€™re a child.â€ť
Hermione sat up also and made it a point to take her time looking at his entire body.
He noticed her looking at him from his head to his blanket-covered toes.
â€śFunny, you look rather childlike yourself, Severus.â€ť
â€śHermione,â€ť he said as he shook his head, â€śyou have no idea what happens on a raid like this. People get hurt; they die in very unpleasant ways. Itâ€™s far too dangerous.â€ť
â€śLook, Iâ€™m going with you, and you arenâ€™t talking me out of it. Itâ€™s just as dangerous for you. Why, itâ€™s probably more dangerous for you. I know what Voldemort did to you when he found out you were a spy.â€ť
â€śIâ€™m not arguing with you about this. You are not going with me and thatâ€™s final.â€ť Severus lay back down and turned away from her. â€śNow go to sleep.â€ť
â€śIâ€™ll tell Albus,â€ť she said.
Severus looked over his shoulder.
â€śNo, you wouldnâ€™t,â€ť he said.
â€śYes, I would.â€ť
He scowled at her.
â€śYou know, Severus, you look kind of cute looking at me all mean like you are.â€ť
â€śOh, all right!â€ť He punched his pillow and dropped his head heavily on it. â€śDo you ever shut up?â€ť
â€śOnly when I get what I want.â€ť With that she lay back down, and they both finally fell asleep.
They slept the night with no more incidents of Severus screaming.
Severus had a window in his bedroom that looked over the cliffs. The morning light began to stream through the small window and began to illuminate the two figures cuddled up against each other, like two little kittens, sleeping soundly in Severusâ€™ bed.
Slowly they both woke up. They both immediately realized they were holding on to one another. Had they been adult-sized, their position would have looked compromising to anyone who walked in.
Severus cleared his throat.
â€śYouâ€™re awake, arenâ€™t you?â€ť he asked.
â€śUhâ€¦yeah,â€ť answered Hermione.
Severus slowly unwrapped his arm from around her waist and moved back slightly. He thanked his lucky stars nothing was standing at attention; that would have been beyond embarrassing.
Hermione began to get up out of bed. She glanced behind her and noticed that Severus was also getting out of bed. She noticed his small pale body and wondered what he looked like getting out of bed when he was his normal size. Her guess was that he was thin, but she wondered if he was well muscled. Shaking her thoughts away, Hermione got down from the bed and went to the bathroom.
As she was walking away, Severus turned to look at her retreating from his room. He wondered what she was like in the morning when she woke up in her adult form.
â€śLike youâ€™ll ever find out,â€ť he muttered to himself. He stretched and hopped down off the bed. After he ordered breakfast for both of them, he took his turn in the bathroom. They both then sat in his room, next to the fire, and ate their breakfast.
Severus found that he enjoyed her company. She was witty, intelligent and had a bit of a dark sense of humor to go along with a hint of sarcasm. He found himself hoping she would come and visit him once in a while after the counter-potion was ready and they were back to normal size. He hoped, but knew she would most probably go on and finish her schooling, then get a low-paying job at some horrible place, working for people who didnâ€™t appreciate her.
Hermione also realized she hadnâ€™t ever had as much fun with anyone as sheâ€™d had while staying with Severus. They talked about everything â€“ potions, spells, wizarding politics, and theories for improving existing potions. She almost wished she could stay this size forever, just as long as she could be with him.
As they finished their breakfast, she noticed him becoming slightly pensive.
â€śAre you thinking about later?â€ť she asked.
He looked at her and smiled.
â€śDoes nothing escape your keen skills of deduction?â€ť
Hermione rolled her eyes. She liked him childlike. His walls were down, and he seemed almost free to be himself.
â€śI donâ€™t want you coming with me, Hermione,â€ť he said. Hermione opened her mouth to protest, but he held his hand up to stop her.
â€śBut, since you are adamant about it, we will be leaving after supper.â€ť
She smiled and sat back in her chair.
â€śIt should be easy enough for us to blend in.â€ť Severus got up and began to pick out some robes and his usual black frock coat and trousers from his armoire. He Transfigured them into a smaller size and began to walk behind a large screen he had, that Hermione hadnâ€™t noticed until now.
â€śYou arenâ€™t wearing that outfit, are you?â€ť asked Hermione.
â€śWhatâ€™s wrong with it?â€ť he asked defensively.
â€śWell, nothing if youâ€™re a six-foot-two Potions professor. But youâ€™re supposed to be six years old.â€ť She stood and walked towards him. She took her wand from the table and Transfigured an outfit a six-year-old would wear.
Severus looked at his new outfit and frowned. She had made him a pair of dark gray baggy jeans, and two long-sleeved shirts, meant to be worn one over the other. He despised his new look.
â€śI hate being six. Iâ€™m going to look like a homeless wizard,â€ť he protested.
â€śThatâ€™s how most kids dress like now,â€ť she said. â€śThis way, tonight in Hogsmeade, you and I will blend in better with real kids.â€ť
â€śMy clothes are baggy. Your clothes fit?â€ť he pointed out.
â€śGirls are different. We have more class.â€ť
Now it was his turn to roll his eyes in her direction. He decided to shut up and just get dressed. There was no use arguing with her.
The day went by quickly for them. They read for a while, practiced a few hexes, and then took some time playing hide-and-seek in the castle and tying a few tin cans to Mrs. Norrisâ€™ tail. At one point, Mr. Filch nearly caught them, but they managed to duck into a niche in the wall. Being small did have its advantages. This was how they prepared for sneaking around Hogsmeade.
They finished their dinner of apple pie a la mode and readied themselves for their trip to Hogsmeade. Before they went through the Floo, Severus looked to Hermione. She took his hand in hers and squeezed it.
â€śWhat do we do when the raid begins?â€ť she asked, her small voice shaking with fear.
â€śWe take a position near the Three Broomsticks. We can see most of downtown Hogsmeade and observe things from there.â€ť He kissed her hand and looked at her with worried eyes. He was afraid for her. In the little time they had spent together as children, he considered her his friend, something heâ€™d never really had. Albus didnâ€™t count, as the old wizard was more like a father or uncle to him. But Hermione and he could be friends, if not more. â€śWhatever you do, Hermione, donâ€™t leave my side.â€ť
I hope this chapter wasn\'t too boring for you. I hope to have another one up in the next few days. I hope you enjoyed this.
Sometimes the best things come in small packages by ancientgir