disclaimer: Not mine. Willow is of Whedon. Severus and the Hogwarts clan are of Rowling. Sue me not.
note: Pairing #31 on the quickie challenge at WLF. One shot.
dedication: This is in all ways for poor math-boggled Jinni.
The snow was coming down heavily outside the castle. He hated the bloody snow. It stuck to everything, then it melted making said everything damp. It eventually turned into slush which ALSO got all over everything causing dampness.
Very few teachers or students had stayed for the holidays. They were almost over, and the students would be arriving yet again. Severus Snape's eyes strayed to the person he'd been avoiding all term... the new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. He couldn't hate her like he did the others, so he'd settled for avoidance. Minerva had scolded him for a coward. Well, he could be a coward. He wasn't some bloody fool Gryffindor. He could hide and skulk all he liked. He was a Slytherin. Skulking was part of the job. It was expected.
So were hair issues. Exhibit A: Lucius. Who does he think he's impressing with his 'manly' blonde ponytail? He even wears ribbons in it. Yes, yes, they are black ribbons, but ribbons nonetheless. Exhibit B: Draco. He's keeping the makers and suppliers of hairgel in business, that's for sure. It was the best impersonation of a helmet Snape had ever seen. Exhibit C: Tom Riddle AKA the Dark Lord AKA He-who-must-not-be-named. He'd seen pictures. Did the man have to wear that ridiculous flippy do that he obviously stole from the muggle comic book hero Superman? It worked on Supe, not on Tom. Guess one had to don blue tights, red boots, red cape, tacky yellow belt, and red spankie pants for that hairstyle to work... oh and not have the body of a slightly overgrown twig like Riddle. If one was going to have hair issues, at least have evil ones. Black and greasy and just framing the face. Now that was evil hair.
But back to the woman he most certainly would never speak to if she could be avoided. Because she was far too perky and pretty. Face like a pixie with large green eyes framed by masses of bright red hair. Laugh that tinkled like tiny glass bells. It was obnoxious in this attractive sort of manner. Little did she know he'd been very muggle and vowed in this new year to resist her at all costs.
And she was headed right for him. Run Away!
She plunked her bowl of chicken and dumplings down next to his picked over plate. Severus noticed Dumbledore was snickering in his goblet of pumpkin juice. Easily amused old bastard! Snape scowled very hard at the headmaster which only seemed to fuel his giggles.
"I know we've sorta met and all, but we've never really talked so I though I would come over and-"
She arched an eyebrow at him. "My, aren't we a Mr. Cranky Pants."
He scowled at her. "Professor Rosenberg-"
"My name's Willow. The students aren't near, so call me Willow."
"Listen Professor Rosenberg, I appreciate your attempts at friendliness, annoying though they may be, but I would prefer to be left alone."
"Gee. That's too damn bad."
"I'm not gonna let you avoid me anymore, scowly."
"Well, I thought since you didn't seem to be eating anymore, merely pushing the contents of your plate this way and that, that we could, I dunno, take a walk or something. You know. Together."
He arched his brow very slowly at her, so she'd get the full effect.
"Have you looked outside, woman? There's snow. Tons of it."
"That's what's gonna make it so fun and memorable."
"I don't have fun."
"I know." She said with a bit of mock seriousness in her voice. "I've heard. Repeatedly."
He glared, wondering which of his fellow professors had the gall to badmouth him. Likely all of them save Dumbledore. Then again, it could very well have been a student, several of them. Potter and Weasley instantly came to mind. They were all too quick to point out his little 'idiosyncrasies' to others. Brats. Weasley was too blind to see Granger standing before him, and Potter, well, he was meddlesome. And he had hair issues.
Severus realized the redhead was staring at him expectantly. Oh yes, he supposed it was his turn to speak.
"I have no desire to freeze my arse off."
"I think you'd be plenty warm in your fifty pounds of black robe there, Mr. Mix-it."
ARG! Speaking with her was like trying to keep Longbottom from melting a cauldron. All energy was expended there.
"What did you call me?"
"What? Oh! Mr. Mix-it?"
"It's like Mr. Fix-it, you know like a handyman, but you aren't a handyman. You're a potionsman. You mix things, so see?"
Oh. Bloody. Everlasting. HELL!
"What are the chances of your leaving me alone unless I take you for a walk?"
"Take me for a walk? You make me sound like a dog."
"I see certain similarities."
Willow scowled. "Insulting me is not gonna get you outta this, mister."
"So what are the chances?" He sighed.
"Confound you, woman! Can't you keep up in this conversational torture that you instigated?"
"Of course. I just like seeing you get all irritated about it."
He growled. He actually growled at her. And she GRINNED at him for it. What sort of a person grinned when you snarled at them in a menacing manner?
"Ask your question." She giggled.
And the giggling. Great Merlin... the giggling. He knew he'd gotten off way too easy when he'd left the Dark Lord for Dumbledore. This was his punishment. He knew it. Holy hell in a muggle-woven hand basket. You could dislike someone for being cute, right? Cute in the most annoying yet shaggable sense of the word. Severus could see it now. She was his trial by fire, and the damn little pixie was going to burn him to a cinder.
"What are the chances of your leaving me alone unless I take you for a walk?"
"Slim to none."
She was shivering so hard her teeth were making this obnoxious clacking sound.
"I told you it was cold."
"N-no. You s-said that there was lots of sn-snow, and th-that y-you had n-no desire to fr-freeze y-your arse off."
"You're freezing. Let us go back indoors. This is sheer stupidity."
Severus sighed. There was a little bit of frost clinging to her eyelashes, and though her green cloak was quite heavy, he'd noticed she wore a lot of green, she was still shivering quite hard.
"For Merlin's sake you are the most stubborn woman I have ever met."
Then he did something completely out of character. Or perhaps it was more to his character than even he knew.
He opened his heavy black cloak and pulled her inside of it with him. She gasped. He almost did as well because the infernal woman started burrowing against him in short order trying to warm herself.
"This is kinda snuggley-wuggley."
He glared down at her. How was it that a creature so obnoxious and so apart from the way he was could be so attractive to him? Who in the hell said snuggley-wuggley? Honestly. It was not to be....
Was she sniffing him?
"You smell nice."
"All spicy and stuff. Sorta like cloves, but not. Something darker and far more sinister, but nice. Not nice in a goody two shoes way, but nice as in a 'I wouldn't kick you outta bed' sort of way." She blushed. "N-not that you'd ever be in my bed. You know, unless you wanted to be. I mean, uh..."
"Perhaps it would be best if you stopped talking. You'll be less likely to incriminate yourself further that way."
"Well, if we don't talk, what will we do?" She realized her mistake as soon as the words left her mouth. Her eyes went wide.
Severus's narrowed. That one eyebrow traveled a bit closer to his hairline. "What indeed."
She just stared at him with wide unblinking eyes.
"Isn't this what you were after all along?"
He rather foolishly gave into the temptation to kiss her. She shivered. Now, he knew she couldn't be cold still, so it had to be him. That pleased him a bit. It ought not, but it did.
"Oh." She gasped, staring up at him as if he'd hung the moon and all the stars just for her.
"There are no words right now."
"All evidence to the contrary. Well, at least I figured out how to shut you up."
"You aren't as cold as you pretend to be."
"I'm quite warm now. Thank you."
"You are highly annoying."
"Yet you find yourself inexplicably attracted to me."
"Don't flatter yourself, woman."
"I don't have to flatter myself. You do it for me."
Willow reached up and pulled his mouth to hers again. When Severus pulled back, he was heaving for breath, and his heart was pounding.
She placed a hand over his heart. "That is all the flattery I need."
He stared at her, as if trying to peer inside her soul. "Did you... plan this... somehow?"
"From the moment I saw you."
"Why? Surely there were other men, or women, younger men-"
"Who are not you."
He just stared.
"I have never been wrong about the people I was truly attracted to. They've included a werewolf, a witch, and a vampire. I decided to add greasy git to that list."
"So you HAVE spoken to Mr. Weasley. Or was it Mr. Potter?"
"As if I'm gonna tell you that, so you can harass them even more than usual for it."
"Well, if you must know, I first heard the term from Minerva."
Snape's scowl deepened, if possible.
"They all tried to warn me away. What they don't realize is that this...." She made this highly obnoxiously cute stubborn face and pointed at it. "Is my resolve face. No power on this planet, good or evil, can resist the subtle pull of the resolve face. Two of the most feared vampires in all of history have fallen victim to it even."
"So you were resolved?"
"About you? Darn tootin'. I know salty goodness even if it's hidden under greasy git-ness."
He scowled at her, and she giggled again. Severus decided to cut her rather annoying bubble of laughter short by closing his mouth over hers once again. He could definitely get used to this. She tasted a bit like cinnamon. He couldn't believe himself. Outside... skulking, no scratch that, groping and SNOGGING about in the snow... under his winter cloak... with another professor... a very pretty woman professor... a woman professor who was the day to his night.
Well, she'd just blown his New Year's resolution all to hell. So much for being a bit muggle about things. Little did he know hers had been to get him to warm up to her. Oh, he was warm all right. Quite on fire would be another way of putting it.
This woman was going to be bad for his evil image, he could tell.