Hermione, much like her father, was not what anyone would call a 'people person'. Not at all. Hermione had no illusions as to being anything different. Her mother's social graces just weren't for her, no matter how hard the older woman had tried, and that was how it was...even if she was better than her father.
She was not a people person...but she did possess the basics of social interaction. Tact. Understanding. Empathy. That they weren't used all that often didn't matter. She had them and the ability to utilize them when required.
She had enough of these things to realize that Professor Severus Tobias Snape, a full grown man and fully accredited master of potions, possessed none of them...and not even in the oddly charming way Hermione was used to.
He was a petty, spiteful, stain of a man that, from what she could tell, only found pleasure in being intellectually superior to school children. A tall, greasy ball of hate and dark magic, with just the slightest hint of regret so far down inside of him that she'd almost missed it. Not nearly enough to excuse how he acted...nor for him to avoid what was coming to him.
He had no business teaching children and she was going to make that clear in the only way she knew how… MLA format.
"What is the difference between monkshood and wolfsbane, hm?" Hermione spat quietly to herself, all venom and promise as her sextet of pens danced to her thoughts, faster than any human (and most machines) could ever hope to go as it wrote out her revenge… Maybe a little too fast, honestly. She might have smelt something burning, a far too common scent in her home. "Tell me to sit down, will you? Think you're so clever..."
Even if the man couldn't be bothered to be professional, she could. Had to be, really. So, this was going to happen in stages. From the tame to the extreme until a change was done. Either (Professor) Snape cleaned up his act, even if reluctantly...or she saw him gone. And that meant proper MLA format! With every page marked and notations cited! … After this was done. A moment.
Five minutes later, her homework was done. Five different sets at exactly three pages each, perfectly written. In one minute, her strongly worded letter, stamped with the company seal (old habits die hard...) before she pushed it into the nearest envelope. Just nice enough to be official, not so nice as to be considered a museum piece candidate, ready to be sent to the Headmaster.
Really though...the man should have seen this coming, even if only eventually. He was a Professor in the greatest magical school in all of Europe. Not some hedge wizard. He was accountable to a higher power, even if he didn't act like it, and the Headmaster had seemed like a very reasonable sort of man. Not close-minded or stubborn... Or as mad as people thought he was, not purposely so anyway, even with whatever it was in his pocket that smelled like Death .
Judging from how he'd stood and how the shadows had laid on him… She gave him five years. Seven at the most before the curse on the thing ended up violently killing him... Oh, well. He was near that age anyway. When it was time to go it was time to go. Not much she could do about that at the moment, seeing as she wasn't her father, so no use dwelling on it.
As long as he got the message, things wouldn't have to escalate. That was all and...why was no one talking? She was pretty sure she'd heard talking…?
Hermione looked around the common room, her brows furrowed with confusion, to see people looking back and...was he drooling? Dear lord, she'd known the inbreeding around this part of the world had been out of hand for a century or two, but seeing it in action was another thing altogether.
Disturbing was what it was. How anyone thought that having their family tree resemble a ladder more than an actual tree was something to be proud of, she had no idea… Well, this was something she could help in her own way, she supposed.
If anyone needed this, it was these poor souls. Genetic deficiencies were no excuse for laziness.
"What? What is it?" Hermione, after a period of time where all she got were blank stares, put her hands on her hips and readied herself for a confrontation. Sometimes, people didn't do well with this sort of thing and it was just best to be ready. "Have none of you ever seen magic before? No? Is it the homework that did it?" She then started shooing them. With one hand, much like you'd do a cat, if only a good bit more magically charged. "How about, instead of sticking your noses into someone else's work, you do yours, hm?"
With a round of collective nods and an about-face, they did so, leaving Hermione free to enjoy her...free time. Nose deep in a book, and hoping that Snape was an outlier and not representative of the rest of the school… Really though. What were the chances of that being a problem? This was, once again, the greatest school of magic in all of Europe.
You didn't get to be the greatest anything by being incompetent. She had nothing to worry about.
Hermione's eye twitched on its own initiative as she started writing another letter. A much stronger one, set in a pair. The sort that only the painfully disillusioned could put together on short notice.
Verbatim recitations of a book, straight from the mouth of a dead and tremendously boring man was not how you taught anyone anything. Neither was being a coward of the worst sort, in a class where you were supposed to teach people how to defend themselves conducive to a productive learning environment. If it hadn't been for Flitwick, McGonagall, and the library, she'd have been gone already. Gone after leaving a review on the pillow, of course, but still gone.
There were some things that you just had to suffer through if you wanted to achieve your goals...but a terrible scholastic experience was a bit much for an attempt at friendship.
She could be learning at her father's knee instead, learning about the secrets of the universe, but nooooo…
Hermione pinched the bridge of her nose, sighed, and made to write another letter. Something that would probably not amount to much but would, hopefully, make her feel better… Teacher's resources, maybe? Something that she could copy, then disseminate? … Yes. That sounded about right.
If all else failed, she could subscribe them to every mailing list for teachers that she could find and watch as owls swarmed the head table every morning, stealing the bacon and pecking at noses... That would definitely make her feel better.
Okay, she had to admit that this one, this time, was all on her...or, at least, mostly.
That broom had been dated. Obviously so, what with the twigs at the end being a frayed mess and splinters showing up along the shaft...but, really, she should have been more careful… She hadn't been and now look at her. Covered in splinters and sawdust because she'd said 'up' a little harder than she should have.
It had, hit her hand, rolled out of it, zoomed off at speeds you'd see on your average motorway during work hours, and exploded. Gone up in flames, swelled, then popped like an oddly solid balloon. It had been embarrassing...and poor Neville had been traumatized by it, even after all the encouragement she'd been giving him earlier.
Especially with all the encouragement, she'd been giving him earlier. The rocket science analogies she'd made beforehand might have been ill-timed. Not like the brooms were going to explode indeed… Anyway, thankfully, Hooch had rounded out the number of competent staff members by, instead of persisting with the lesson after seeing a broom pop for seemingly no reason (Hermione cursed her inability to whistle convincingly) she'd put an end to the lesson and herded them all off the field, quietly yelling about how the brooms should have been replaced years ago.
Poor Potter though... He hadn't gone much farther a couple of yards before he'd been forced to stop. She might as well have stomped on his puppy for all the difference it made… She'd have to make it up to him sometime. At least before she left if it ever came to it.
Malfoy could jump off a cliff though, that french numpty. Outracing a helicopter? Ha! She'd have heard about it if it was true.
Another run of the hairbrush. Another piece of soggy, after shower wood falling out of her hair and Hermione thought she might have been ready for bed. Or, at least, an hour of reading before bed, as was customary. She drew the curtains, flopped down on the bed, and dug under her pillow for a bit of random, light entertainment.
"Oooh...today's a good one..."
'A Brief History of Time' never failed to bring a smile to her lips, even if it was a little simple…
Hermione sat upright in her bed, awakened from a deep sleep, as fully rested as she could ever be as she set herself to work.
Her mind had wandered as it did for most people. Bounced and danced in nonsensical ways. But, unlike most people, wandering wasn't just a turn of phrase. Reality was subjective, and a chance meeting a couple of steps towards puce with an Anthousai had helped her realize something.
"Asphodel is known to be connected to the Greek Underworld," Hermione muttered to herself. "Homer said that it covered the great meadow of the dead, though he was being poetic with that. Persephone usually is preparing poppies for Remembrance day right around now. Wormwood doesn't really have any connection to Greco-Roman mythology despite its origins and uses in its period of time and geography."
Hermione tapped her fingers on her chin as she fought the urge to get up from bed and pace. "The language of flowers. Asphodel, wormwood, monkshood, nightshade… Bitterly remembered from beyond the tomb? Coincidence, or design?"
"Your tomb, if you don't shut up. No coincidence that..."
Hermione froze in mid chin tap and looked over at a nearby bed. Lavender's, where said girl was busily glaring at her with her pillow over her ears. They then stared at each other for a while until, with a huff, the other girl broke eye-contact and turned her back.
In response, Hermione sheepishly laughed and then quickly laid back down herself, prepared to think things over until daylight now that she had finished internalizing that she was sharing a room with someone. Multiple someones at that… She'd need a silencing spell, clearly.
Maybe something on the curtains? Something to make them more opaque as well? It wouldn't hurt.
Hermione patiently tapped her fingers against the potion bench, waiting to see how things had changed.
She'd sat next to Neville today, the poor boy just about ready to throw himself to the floor as he stared at their, so far, completely empty cauldron like most people would a live bomb. A great deal better than he had been before she'd managed to get him to calm down by showing him how to pin back his robes for ease of movement and safety.
Honestly. Long, flowing robes? In a lab? With multiple open flames and Lord knew what sorts of dyes and chemicals? With children ? How no one had gone up in flames yet, she had no idea.
Kids were stupid. Kids with fire were even more stupid. That was a serious concern.
Down to the very second that she ended her musings on Neville and his drastically increased life expectancy, Snape just about flew into the potion classroom, his cloak swishing dramatically behind him...and Hermione didn't sense a single bit of magic whenever he did that. Which meant that it was all practice and a flair of the dramatic. Impressive.
It left her feeling torn between calling him out for his pettiness, or being filled with petty jealousy. She supposed that she got that need for the dramatic from her mother.
Once again, she found her thoughts broken (focus) when Snape approached the board and swept his gaze across the classroom, causing Neville to jump in his seat with a whimper. It was only Hermione's rock steady grip on the boy that kept him from falling out of his seat. Whether forward or back, she couldn't say...but he was safe for the moment.
"Apparently the only group of Dunderheads greater than you...is whoever wrote your books. So I'll try to explain it even..." He sneered. "More clearly and... slowly ...so that you may keep up."
Hermione felt her eye twitch at that. All that work. All those copies. All that proper citation. And that was the take away from it all? Her bloody notes!?
Her fingers, the ones that weren't holding Neville down to his seat, sank into the hard stone of her bench like it was soft butter.
The letters...so many letters. More. Five this time, yes...maybe with a compulsion to force reading and consideration? Yes… That was the ticket… Escalation and overwhelming force was the family byword for a reason...