Amidst the smoking ruins of Miss Smythe-Hayes' cauldron, Severus stood, his hand thrust towards his student. "I'll have that periodical."
"I'm sorry, sir. It's just—"
"That a Muggle magazine is more interesting than Po—"
Severus gaped at the witch upon the cover of the American edition of Vanity Fair. "That's Granger," he said without intending to do so.
Several female students tittered, and one remarked, "I think you mean Mrs Granger-Weasley Zabini, sir."
Severus would have snapped but for Archibald Pratt's call of "Turn to page—"
Aural stimuli faded before the oracular feast before him. Granger—and it was Granger, would always be Granger—was fucking fantastic so lightly arrayed.
The racous laughter of the classroom at last met his ears, which flushed. "Shut it!" belted Severus. "Have you never seen a pair of breasts before?"
"Not ones like those, er, sir."
"Indeed, Mr Pratt," said Severus, making a mental note to find, confiscate, and destroy almost all copies of the magazine, "but we wouldn't expect anything less from such a distinguished alumna, now would we?"
"Enough! Clean this mess up, Miss Smythe-Hayes and get back to work, all of you!"
With that, Severus took himself back to his desk to read the article about "Miss Watson" and wondered just what Granger thought she was about.
Brightest witch of her age, my arse! Severus thought, slamming down the periodical. He continued aloud. "How she can play at Muggle acting when she has one of the finest minds I've ever—"
"Outside voice!" admonished a portrait.
There was no tittering of any kind.
Severus raked his eyes over his students' stunned faces. "Well, what have you? She belongs here!"
Smythe-Hayes raised a hand.
"Yes?" Severus snapped.
"Why don't you ask her to come back, sir?"
"Why should I do that?"
"Well, because you and she—"
"Worked together. Nothing more. If Granger wants to—"
"Parade that magnificent alabaster set before the eyes of the world, that's her business," cut in Pratt.
Severus' nostrils flared. "That's enough!"
"It is, isn't it, sir?" asked Smythe-Hayes sweetly. "It's the outside of enough."
Suddenly, Severus knew very well that his Gryffindor-Slytherin Sixth Years had orchestrated Smythe-Hayes' cauldron explosion to bring to his attention the fact that Hermione's breasts were on display for an international audience, and he was . . . proud—and infuriated.
"Sir!" the large, quiet boy at the back of the room replied.
"See to it that my lesson is followed to the letter. I'm off!"
His students erupted into cheers as a house-elf appeared to hand him a basket and a paperweight. "Food," she squeaked. "And Portkey!"
Severus snorted and took both basket and weight, the tinny cry of "For to be hiding the Hermione's breasts!" ringing in his ears as he Portkeyed on his way.
He didn't question how the elf had known how to find Hermione; he already knew that.
Severus issued a short, sharp laugh. "'S a jumper. Mipsy thought perhaps . . . you might . . . cover your magnificent . . . boobs with it."
"They were . . . covered."
"They . . . were not," Severus insisted, smiling to feel Hermione pull him towards her.
"Cover them now. Use your mouth."
"With pleasure, Mrs Snape."