Pairing: Snuna, others implied
Word Count: 1105
Summary: Severus and Luna have an awkward encounter with Harry, Ron and Hermione.
Disclaimer: This work of fan fiction is based on characters and situations created by J. K. Rowling and owned by J. K. Rowling and various publishers, including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books, Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made from (and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended by) the posting of this fan work.
Author's Note: Written for rexluscus after taking "laundry drabbles" prompts.
"—yours is almost already too big," a familiar female voice protested.
"Hey," Harry whispered, gesturing to Ron and Hermione, "I think I hear Luna in the storeroom."
Approaching the curtained doorway where Harry was standing off to one side, Ron asked, "What's she doing back there?"
"Probably looking for puffskein fur-dye," Hermione quipped, crowding together with the boys and listening, too.
"You've never had any difficulty with it before."
All three of them backed away as they recognized the second speaker.
"That's Professor Snape!" squawked Ron.
"Difficulty with what?" Hermione asked Harry, whose face was beet red.
Luna laughed. "Well, you did show me how to manage it, but it's tricky, sometimes, so I want something smaller for my own—something I can carry around."
Harry, Ron, and Hermione were all blushing now and crept back toward the curtain to listen more closely, in spite of themselves.
"Why in Merlin's name should you need to carry one around?" Snape asked, sounding irritated. "Have I not made it clear to you that you may have the use of mine whenever you wish?"
"Oh!" Luna exclaimed. "Look at this one!"
"That is ridiculous, Miss Lovegood."
"I thought you were going to call me Luna now?"
"Oh my God," Hermione mouthed.
Ron's eyes goggled.
Harry's were closed tightly.
"Only when we are in private."
"This is private," Luna replied, her voice low and inviting.
Snape did not respond.
"What are they looking at?" Ron asked.
"I'm not opening the curtain to find out," Harry said, "but—no. I don't want to think about it."
Hermione suddenly looked furious. "Didn't Fred say that they received a 'special' shipment earlier today—one we weren't old enough to see?"
"Oh my God," Ron whispered. "No. Not even Snape would—"
"See how this one feels in your hands since you are determined to carry it about your person."
"Ooo, it's so smooth, sir!"
"And the weight is correct. Even at your most . . . experimental, you could hardly damage this one."
"Right. I'm . . . I'm going for a butterbeer," Ron said, hastily making for the door.
Hermione caught Harry's arm as he attempted to follow Ron. "Where do you think you're going?" she hissed. "This is wrong. We have to do something about it!"
"It's still a little big, sir," they heard Luna say.
"None of my business," mouthed Harry, almost racing from the store.
"Yes, but your project requires something at least this large," Snape said, sounding amused.
Hermione couldn't stand it anymore. She had to know what her Potions professor and Luna were talking about. She's only fifteen! This just isn't right, she told herself, cautiously slipping her hand over the curtain's edge and pulling it back.
Snape was standing next to Luna, and the two of them were bent over a large, open crate. Hermione could see that much, but, as their backs were to her and they were in front of the crate, she still didn't know what they were examining.
But I can guess, she thought, mortified when Luna exclaimed, "And look! It's self-lubricating! Can you imagine how much time that will save?"
Snape snorted. "I prefer the traditional methods of preparation, Luna."
"Well, of course you do, sir. You're a Potions master."
What does that have to do with anything?" Hermione thought, uncertain as to what to do.
"And you're a capable enough student to understand how to cast your own preparation spells."
"Thank you, sir," Luna said, bending over the crate.
Hermione bit her tongue as she saw Snape turn to stare at the Fifth Year's arse.
"But I think you've given me enough work without having to create my own lubrication charms, too. The inside gets all crusty too quickly, and there's all that stirring, so—"
"Luna!" Hermione exclaimed, dropping the curtain. "Luna, are you in there? Ginny's looking for you."
There was the sound of something heavy being dropped, a clanging, and then the curtain snapped back to reveal an annoyed Severus Snape.
"Miss Granger, there is no need to yell."
"How can you—"
"Oi! Did you find everything all right back there, Professor?" called George.
"Indeed, Mr. Weasley, your stock is more than adequate," Snape replied, returning to the storeroom with a baleful glance for Hermione.
She turned and rushed up the aisle to George, demanding, "You know what it is they're doing back there and you don't have a problem with it? What's wrong with you?"
"Geez, Hermione. It's not like Luna's the only one getting extra attention. I think it's nice of the man, myself," George said, grinning and turning on his heel to see to a customer.
"'Nice'?" Hermione breathed out. "And there are more of them?" Oh my God! I'll have to report the professor for this! she thought, feeling ill and turning around to confront Snape and Luna.
They were standing behind her, and Luna was holding something.
"Is that a collapsible cauldron?"
"What else would it be, Miss Granger?"
"It is!" Luna replied at the same time, clearly excited. "Did you know? Professor Snape's helping me with an advanced Potions project—he knows all sorts of things about cauldrons, too."
Hermione was gobsmacked—and then ashamed. "Oh. Well, I . . . oh."
"Do excuse us," Snape said, walking past Hermione to the counter. "Miss Lovegood? he called over his shoulder. "We do not have all day."
"He just loves teaching the Defense class, you know, but he misses Potions, too" Luna whispered conspiratorially. "Ginny and I thought he's been looking sad lately, so we asked him if he'd tutor us in some of the Sixth Year potions. He says that we're 'most impressive'!"
"I . . . I'm sure that's true. I mean, how nice for you, Luna," Hermione said, watching the girl skip unconcernedly up to the counter where Fred and Snape were waiting for her.
"I'm such a bad person," Hermione whispered, lowering her head in embarrassment and walking smartly from the store.
When Hermione had gone, Fred lifted the lid of Luna's cauldron and smirked. "Right. Seven galleons for the Medium-Sized, Self-Cleaning Cauldron and seventeen for the uh, the 'special accessory'."
"Send the bill in care of me to Hogwarts, Mr. Weasley."
"Certainly, sir," Fred replied, winking. "It's always a pleasure to assist a professor in his educational needs."
As Snape and Luna left the shoppe, Luna said airily, "I don't suppose Fred would be so understanding if he knew that the 'special accessory' was for Ginny, do you?"
Snape, catching sight of Granger, Weasley, and Potter hovering together across the street and looking shamefaced, smirked. "I think the Misters Weasley, given their own . . . proclivities, would hardly wish to deny their sister the opportunity to indulge in hers."