Hannah knows that he doesn't need to go and see Professor McGonagall.
She appreciates, it, though, she realises as they walk out of his office and through the dark corridors of the dungeons. She doesn't have to worry, this way, about Pansy and the others coming around a corner and the same thing happening again…
Oddly, it isn't actually worrying her either that she might be bothering him, making him feel like he has to walk her back to her dorm. It did occur to her – but she quickly reasoned that this was probably the least bothering part of their evening, after her hysterical sobbing, running off, being attacked and then telling him about her dad…
Her mind does start to worry, however, when it drifts back to her parents. She doesn't know how long it's going to be before they write back – what they'll write back – if they'll disown her, or be angry, or what. She hasn't even had a chance to test the water about it. She's literally just dropped herself in it, and she doesn't know how it's going to go.
She glances quickly up at Professor Snape, just to see what his expression is like, and isn't too surprised to see that he hasn't really got much of an expression at all. He's not smiling – of course not, the idea is slightly absurd – but he isn't actually frowning as he normally does. It's quite nice.
She quickly looks down again when he glances at her in return, blushing slightly in some kind of embarrassment. It doesn't even take a second for her to quickly shift her expression into something more neutral, like his. She's so exhausted that it's tiring to walk.
After a second, she realises that his eyes are still on her, and so she isn't surprised when he speaks. "Would you rather spend the night in the Hospital Wing?" he asks, more quieter than usual, and certainly not as sharply. It's not as if his voice is warm, but she knows he means kindly.
He sighs and then continues, not giving her a chance to respond. "You won't be ill from this evening," he tells her slightly stiffly. "I only mean that it would be understandable if you were upset about what has happened."
She blinks, and feels her face open slightly in surprise – because it's still a surprise, somehow, that he's not being a dick about this. She's almost certain that if it hadn't been for what had happened that evening then he wouldn't be so kind – that is to say, if he had thought she was upset, but hadn't seen why, then he certainly wouldn't be offering her a place in the Hospital Wing.
She hesitates, but then shakes her head. "No, it's alright," she says, shyly looking up at him. "I'll be OK."
It's almost the truth, and Hannah thinks that Professor Snape probably knows it – because she will be OK, but only if Susan doesn't judge her and Phoebe doesn't start a fight. If they do – and she doesn't want to think about this – then she most probably won't be alright. Still, she has to face them sometime.
He barely reacts, and simply nods. "Very well," he says shortly. Hannah's pretty sure that he still thinks it would be better if she did – but she's glad he doesn't push it. She really doesn't want to go up and see Madam Pomfrey and try and explain this to a whole other person.
They continue to walk up along the corridor, and Hannah alternates between awkwardly glancing up at him and awkwardly looks the floor. There's no eye contact, though, this time, because the professor doesn't look down at her at all. Hannah feels bad, almost, for not accepting his offer - it's not often that he's kind, and maybe she should be responding more welcomingly to it.
"Thank you, though, sir," she says softly, after a second, still looking up at his face. "It's nice of you."
He continues not to make eye contact, and nods again, but doesn't speak. It's all becoming slightly awkward, now, and Hannah's almost certain that it's because they're now out of Professor's Snape's office, his space. Of course, all of this has been out of his comfort zone, she has been able to tell, but perhaps now that they're leaving the dungeons, they're moving further away.
They continue to walk, up the stone steps, and into a lighter part of the castle, away from the dark dungeons. While there are advantages to that, and while Hannah certainly feels more comfortable the closer they get to Hufflepuff, there's certainly a disadvantage, in that there are people here.
She feels the curious eyes of the Ravenclaws gathered in a huddle, waiting for an astronomy lesson, as her and the Potions professor pass. Her face starts to colour, slightly – it's not that she's embarrassed to be with the professor, but she knows that it must look weird, and in any case, she still doesn't like that many people looking at her.
Her arms fold defensively, almost by themselves, when she hears a few whispers and giggles start to come from the Ravenclaws. It's just her luck that they're from her year, so they have heard the rumours, and they actually care. It's not even Luna's class, and that would have been the only saving grace.
Her face starts to burn as the whispers continue to grow as they get nearer. She doesn't think that the professor has noticed, still staring ahead as they walk – and she's surprised when she hears a voice next to her say sharply, "Silence, all of you."
It's weird – she's had three years of that voice being so sharp, and yet in the course of one evening she has gotten used to it being slightly more gentle, and slightly more understanding. She flinches slightly – but still, she's glad of it as the Ravenclaws' whispers immediately die down, and she feels their eyes off of her.
Then another pair of eyes are on her, but they're much more concerned this time. She doesn't look up at the professor as he looks down at her, her face still burning, but after a second, she swallows, and speaks, softly. "Thank you."
Professor Snape doesn't respond to this, but only continues to walk, though Hannah rather thinks that she can see a small kind of worry in his face as she glances up at him once again. Still, she doesn't have much time to think about this, for it's only another few seconds before they reach the Hufflepuff common room.
A/N – This will probably be the penultimate chapter. I have a kind of idea for an epilogue but I don't know if it needs it, as it is quite short. Anyway. There'll be at least one more chapter. Not for seventeen years, knowing me, but meh. Also, sorry this one took so long.