Chapter 1: Returning to Hogwarts
The sun dipped low in the sky and the few clouds present appeared more like smoky mist rather than anything of substance. Hermione looked up at the castle in the fading light, a hint of cool breeze stirring through the trees, and smiled. Tonight would be her first night back at Hogwarts since the war. The renovations had taken all summer and despite the impressive work, the castle still had a tilted appearance, as if the world itself was still slightly off kilter. She was looking forward to starting her seventh year with the hope that it would bring some normalcy compared to the past year. The board of governors at Hogwarts had decided that everyone needed to repeat the previous year given the significant interruptions in their education. Ron and Harry had complained of course, stating that hunting Horcruxes was far better preparation then their missed school year but, in truth, she had missed studying. She found her purpose in the long nights at the library surrounded by the faint smell of parchment. Often Hermione was the last one there at night, before Professor Pince shuttered the doors, and in the faint glow of the candlelight, she felt more at home then in the shouts and laughter in the Gryffindor common room. Ron trailed beyond Hermione as Ginny and Harry walked beside her, speaking quietly with the voice of new lovers. Despite their apparent casual demeanor, the intensity of their passion was quite obvious to any seasoned observer. Their bodies leaned toward each other, heads bowed and faces with a faint flush. Though they were lightly touching hands, their hands caressed each other with small tantalizing slow movements. Hermione was happy for them and their reconnection after the war seemed to give Harry support and strength, the support and strength she felt she was lacking.
Initially, she had hoped she and Ron would have the same connection, the same passion and love but her hopes had quickly been dashed. While they had needed each other to orient themselves in the swirling chaos of violence, once life returned as before, they no longer seemed to understand the desires of the other. Ron spent most of the summer drinking in the pub and playing Quidditch with Harry, Charlie and the other Weasley boys. He did not have interest in talking about anything of substance, preferring to bury himself in whatever activity would give him instant gratification. While Hermione poured over the NEWT study materials and articles regarding the latest in advances of transfiguration and potions, Ron played gobstones and exploding snap with one of his brothers or fiddled with George’s latest gag from the shop. He had tried to continue their physical relationship, not that they had had a particularly passionate one, but Hermione no longer felt any hint of a spark. She wondered if there ever had really been passion or if it had been more to combat their fear that the would be no tomorrow. Now that things were settled, his awkward groping and wet kisses didn’t seem worth the effort. She had never had sex with him despite his best efforts because Hermione had always been mindful of the real possibility of Harry walking in on them in the tent. Now she suspected that even then she didn’t feel passionate enough to risk getting caught by Harry.
Despite their incompatibly, their break-up had been difficult as Ron never handled rejection well. The first several weeks had been the worst as he seemed intent on breaking her with his words but it had confirmed her belief that she was better off being alone. Things had settled down after Ginny and Harry became sick of the endless fighting and sat them down to discuss the situation. Ron’s pride had been seriously wounded though and while they both wanted to be friends again, their interactions still were mostly just awkward silences, biting criticism or overly forced conversation.
“I wonder if Professor Snape will be teaching portions this year or if he will teach Defense against the Dark Arts,” Hermione heard Ginny say. Ron moaned, “I had thought after everything we would be rid of that old bat.” Harry protested, “he saved all of our lives in the end.” “But why did he have to be such an arse about it,” Ron whined. “Remember how miserable he made our lives and how anal retentive he was during class. I can’t tell you how many points I lost just because of stirring clockwise instead of counterclockwise.”
“But that was the point wasn’t it?” Hermione said with a slight edge to her voice. “The tiniest little thing can make such a large difference when brewing a portion, you have to be rather,” she paused trying to find the appropriate word, “precise.” Ron huffed but didn’t respond. “I’m just looking forward to being back on the Quidditch field,” said Harry. “It will be so nice to be flying my broom toward the snitch as opposed to away from certain death all the time.” At that they fell quiet, thinking of how different life would be, now that the war was in the past.
The next morning, Hermione was awakened to a cacophony of sounds. Ginny and Parvati were exciting gossiping about their sex lives with Lavender snorting in the background at the hand motions Ginny was using to describe a particularly fancy position. Meanwhile a brown school owl hooted on the window sill looking very put out for being ignored. Hermione reached up and took the awaiting letter from the owl who shot her a snide look before flying back to the owlery. “Headmistress McGonagall wants to see me regarding my NEWT class schedule prior to breakfast so I will meet you in the great hall.” The girls looked up from Ginny’s animated performance to give her a quick wave as Hermione quickly threw on her clothes and robes.
The silence as she climbed down the stairs to make her way to the headmistress' office felt heavy but she preferred it to the ruckus of the tower. She felt isolated after the war. A thin veil seemed to separate her from everyone else. She thought that coming back to Hogwarts would allow her to feel more normal. However, she realized that the person she was looking for no longer seemed to exist. She felt broken, her innocence shattered by the war, leaving a poorly reconstructed shell of impurities behind. She supposed that was why she was no longer interested in Ron. His constant mindless chatter seemed to grate at her even now; but then again he wasn’t the person he had been before the war either. They all had changed, all struggling to find where they fit in the new world and Hermione was increasingly realizing that she didn’t seem to fit anywhere. Not with Harry and Ron, not with the girls in the Gryffindor tower, not even with her family whose reintegration into her life felt more then a little forced. She sighed, and walked slowly to the headmistress’ office, so deep in thought that she didn’t even notice Professor Snape leaving the great hall until she nearly collided into him.
“Miss Granger, do tell me your head isn’t so inflated from the wizarding world singing your praises that you can’t be bothered to watch where you are going,” Snape said with a low menacing voice. His dark eyes glittered with malice and before she could speak, he had turned away, walking with purpose back to the dungeons. “But sir.” She stopped as there was no point, he was already out of sight. She felt a weight in her chest as she thought back to that evening in the shrieking shack. The evening she had come back for him.
Harry had insisted that Severus Snape was dead, his eyes blank with the blood drained out of him by Nagini’s bite. However, Hermione went back, not really sure what she expected to accomplish but she felt the pressing need to do something. She was in awe of what Harry had told her, how he had suffered and sacrificed for just the memory of Lily’s love. She found him lying on floor, in a puddle of blood, unmoving. Her vision blurred with tears as her fingertips traced his face, slowly trailing her fingers to his pale lips when she felt a ghost of a breath. Her own breath caught in her throat. He was alive. She remembered the panic leap into her throat, her frantic hoarse cries for help, her attempts to staunch the bleeding with her hands. In her fright, she had forgotten her magic entirely for several minutes before her head cleared with the singular purpose to save this man who without whom, the war would not have been won. Hermione summoned blood replenishing potion and dittany from Madam Pomfrey’s office and with trembling hands applied it to his neck, rapidly reciting the wound healing incantation that she had studied in preparation for the hunt for Horcruxes so long ago. She knew she needed help if she were going to save him. So she concentrated on sending her patronus back to the castle to Professor McGonagall, the most powerful witch or wizard capable of helping now that Dumbledore was gone. A faint wisp of mist sputtered out of her wand but it immediately faded, leaving her only with the dim light of the rising sun. She tried again, thinking of the happiness she now felt, the war over and Voldemort dead, but still her shimmering otter had barely taken shape before it faded again. Hermione closed her eyes and searched deep in her heart for any trace of happiness in order to produce her patronus when her thoughts landed on Snape. She imagined how it would feel to be loved the way Snape had loved Lily, how special she would feel with this brilliant man's love and a shimmering otter glided out of her wand to the castle. Had the situation had been less dire, Hermione would have been uneasy about how she had thought about Snape, the professor who had strived to make her time at Hogwarts as miserable as possible. But she pushed it aside and continued working. The faintly rising sunlight cut through the boarded up windows of the Shrieking Shack as Professor McGonagall rushed in the door to Hermione's aid. Hermione's face smeared with dirt and tears, was barely recognizable as she intently focused on the broken man on the floor. As Minerva gently touched her hand, which was still holding her glowing wand, their eyes met. “Please save him,” Hermione pleaded. “I will do everything I can,” she said as she visibly straightening up to take over the task at hand as Hermione collapsed against the wall sobbing.
Meanwhile, Snape walked angrily toward the dungeon, irritated more then usual with Granger’s clumsiness, reflecting upon his current situation. He had come back to teach at Hogwarts because he didn’t have anywhere else to go. He had not planned to survive the war much less to endure the death of both of his masters. Despite all of his plotting to ensure the best chance of Voldemort’s demise, he had never considered for the possibility of his own survival.
Damn Minerva for her heroism, Snape thought bitterly. He knew he should be overjoyed to be given another chance at life, a life free from being under other wizard’s thumbs, but he just felt alone, aimless and without a purpose. During the war, everything he did was calculated to achieve a specific end. He carried his burden without support as he trusted no one. His sharp demeanor and snarky comments helped ensure his isolation. He inspired fear in students and cultivated their disgust for him which allowed him to complete his work without interference. Now, despite being a recognized war hero, he was still universally despised. Everyone still regarded him with the same distrust and fear except for a select few of the Order and even they seemed to unconsciously recoil away from him. Snape sighed, wondering if anyone else felt so lost. He no longer felt indebted to Lily but without that debt, he didn’t have any anchor holding him to this world. This is the brave new world that he had helped save from destruction and he was doomed to live as a mere shadow, without true human interaction and without focus. With that happy thought, Snape slammed the door to his chambers. This was going to be another long restless day alone with his thoughts. He would likely need to take a vial of dreamless sleep tonight if he wanted to get any rest at all.
“You wanted to see me Headmistress McGonagall?” Hermione asked approaching her desk. “Yes sit down please. I think it is important we discuss what happened last year with Professor Snape.”
“What, what, does Professor Sn-Snape have to do with my NEWTs?” Hermione stuttered.
“Oh, your NEWT schedule is fine, overambitious of course, but you will do well. The real reason we are here is talk about last year. Professor Snape doesn’t remember that you saved him and I think it is best that we keep it that way.” Minerva’s eyes looked almost wistful. “He is a true hero, but unfortunately a bitter and angry man. He was never allotted the same human decencies most of us were. To be fair, his father was quite abusive and other than his mother, I am not sure if he ever knew love. However, I don’t want you to suffer any abuse from him so we should keep it quiet,” she was speaking sternly now.
“Abuse?” Hermione said falteringly.
“He gave me a impressive verbal assault when he was awake enough to realize that I had saved him. He wasn’t counting on living and I suspect in many ways, he felt it was easier to die then to try to live with the aftermath.”
“But he is a hero, and finally free.”
“Therein lies the problem,” Professor Dumbledore’s portrait stated knowingly and Hermione was startled to hear his familiar voice so long after his death. “As an adult, he has never been free before to make his own choices and live his own life. He joined up with Voldemort right after his 7th year. He has lived almost his whole life under the instruction of another, even taking on a second master to try to appease his debt to someone else. Now, he finds himself free and I don’t think he knows who he is with the release of those ties that bound him. Professor Snape is likely doomed to wallow in misery of his own creation.”
“If that is true, Professor Dumbledore, shouldn’t we try to save him? What good was saving his life if all I have done is prolong his suffering? Do you not think he is worth saving?” Hermione’s cheeks flushed with anger, that her hero could so easily throw away the life of someone who had done so much good.
“I don’t think he is saying that Professor Snape’s life is not worth saving my dear.” Professor McGonagall said quickly. “But that he is angry and miserable and if we are not careful, he will take it out on you. I have let him continue to teach here to try to give him focus so he can come to terms with himself and maybe one day find happiness.”
Hermione felt the angry heat rise within her. “Has anyone talked with him, tried to help him through the trauma of the war or do you just assume that he will fend for himself, like he always has? I would have thought that he would be treated the same if not better than the other members of the Order who have themselves received extensive help.”
“Snape refused it all and prefers his own company. I know you feel strongly about the situation since you saved him, but I suggest you just treat him like you always have and remain committed to your studies. You only have one more year at Hogwarts, and we should try to make the best out of the unfortunate situation.” McGonagall’s tone was firm, indicating the conversation was over.
“Yes ma’am. I understand.” Hermione said dully with disappointment that everyone seemed to have given up on Snape. As she plodded back to common room, she felt a wave of emotion overtake her. She remembered how fragile he looked on the floor of the Shrieking Shack and how much she just wanted to take him in her arms to keep him safe. I still believe in you Snape, she thought and she couldn’t help but notice the twinge in her heart as she thought of him.
Chapter 2: McGonagall's Order
The following day, Hogwart’s was in full swing with the first years whispering loudly as they stepped into the Great Hall for the first time for the sorting hat ceremony. Each table hooted loudly when the sorting hat declared a student for their house. Though the Slytherin house was more sedate then the remaining of the houses, even they got caught up in the celebration. Despite all the bad press dredged up by the Daily Prophet following the war about the Slytherin house, it was apparent to everyone that the majority of the house, while not the heroes of the war were also not the enemy. Students were anxious to put the war behind them and return to the time in Hogwarts before the suspicions and distrust tainted the school. The professors at the head table were chatting and smiling as the sorting ceremony progressed. All except for Professor Snape who sat rigidly in his chair, scowling out at the excited students.
Ron, Harry, Ginny and Hermione sat cheering loudly for the newest member of their house as the Sorting Hat yelled Gryffindor and she sat down nervously at the end of the table. “I don’t see why you accepted to be a Head Girl on top of all the NEWT courses you are taking.” Ron said through the noise though his voice was tinged with jealousy. “I wouldn’t have accepted if they had asked me. This is our last year at Hogwart’s and without the war hanging over our heads, I intend to have fun.”
“It’s important to help maintain some semblance of order, Ron.” Hermione sniffed. She was secretly proud that she had been chosen to be Head Girl especially since she had thought someone else had already been selected. “But I thought that they usually choose Head Girl before the start of the school year, don’t they?” asked Harry.
“I thought so too,” Hermione said. “But I guess they were just too busy getting Hogwart’s ready for the upcoming year after all the damage from the war.” She showed them the letter that she had received during dinner that explained due to the extensive extra work the Professors had at Hogwarts, the decision regarding Head Boy and Girl had just been made today. “Draco Malfoy as Head Boy. Man the teachers are mental!” Ron exclaimed. An inpatient sigh came from Hermione. “Can’t you just say congratulations like everyone else, Ron.”
“Come on, I’ll help you move your stuff,” Ginny said as she shot Ron a look
“You have your own room, right?” She asked innocently as they got up from the table. Hermione couldn’t help but smirk when she replied as she knew what Ginny was thinking. She didn’t mind letting Ginny and Harry borrow it occasionally but she wasn’t going to be running a hourly hotel in her room. Hermione felt a little sad to think that their hijinks were likely the only action her new private room would be seeing this year. However, she pushed that thought out of head as she began excitedly thinking about how much room she would have for all her books. Then she smiled to herself. If she got tired of studying, she would at least have more privacy to please herself than was afforded in the girls’ dorm. She glanced at the head table as they left the Great Hall and her heart sank slightly in her chest again as she saw Professor Snape sitting unmoving in his chair, staring unblinkingly ahead. She could see the faint slouch of his shoulders indicating a man beaten down by the world.
The following day was the first day of classes and the whole castle was abuzz with nervous energy. Hermione, Ron and Harry stood outside the potions classroom following lunch for their first NEWT level potion class chatting quietly with the other students about their summer. Everyone ignoring the obvious topic at hand regarding Snape’s role in the downfall of Voldemort and his speedy recovery from Nigini’s bite that almost claimed his life. It was quite apparent that even though Professor Snape had been recognized by the ministry with the Order of Merlin, First Class, that his reputation at Hogwart’s remained the same. The door to dungeon swung open and Snape glared at the students. “ I did not seem to get the invitation to the social party outside my classroom but those who wish to have any hope in passing their NEWTs should be setting up their potion station, not participating in mindless gossip!” He shot a withering stare at the golden trio before striding back inside. “You would have thought all that praise from the ministry would have taken the stick out of his ass,” Ron said bitingly and Harry suppressed a laugh. Hermione frowned slightly and walked without comment to an open station toward the back of the classroom. Her heart was pounding in her chest as she observed him. She thought she had given him another chance at a life that he deserved but what if she just had prolonged his misery. She definitely could see him being angry at her for saving him but she always imagined it would be due to his stubborn pride and not because he didn’t want to be saved.
As he strode intimidatingly through the dungeon, reviewing the topics that they would be covering, Hermione watched him closely. Physically, he seemed the same as she remembered. Tall and foreboding, his black hair framing his pale face and obsidian sharp dark eyes. She suspected he had a nasty scar from where he had been bitten despite Hermione’s best efforts but he wore a high button frock coat so if he did, it was not visible. During that harrowing night, she had been very concerned that he would suffer some significant disability if she could save him at all. Looking at him now, he seemed to be completely healed. He stalked smoothy through the class like a predatory feline and cut the gillyweed roots with the same precise knife movements as he always had. Hermione felt a slight shiver down her spine as she listened intently to his silky baritone voice, trying to discern any difference in his vocalization. He had always held the class at attention when talking but today she could almost feel the low vibrations of his voice on her body. She flushed when she realized that the vibrations seemed to be pooling in her pelvis, causing her to be very aware of the sudden increase of moisture in her panties. She shifted slightly in her chair, trying to lessen the distraction. Hermione looked around discreetly but everyone else seem to be focused on the task at hand, scribbling diligently as Professor Snape continued to lecture on the NEWT level potions they would be expected to know by the end of the year. I wonder if I am more attune to his magic since I saved him, Hermione thought. That might explain why I seem to be so affected by his presence. The butterflies in her stomach were taking flight as she suppressed the thought that she might be seeing him in a completely different albeit inappropriate manner.
Class couldn’t end soon enough for the 7th Years as they all rushed out of the door groaning about volume of work Professor Snape had assigned. “Six feet of parchment regarding the research and development of the 10 most important NEWT level potions,” whined Ron. “That alone will take all night and we still have to read and outline the first five chapters of Potent Potions. When will we have time for any of our other classes?” Harry joined in Ron’s dissent but Hermione just nodded along, watching Snape out of the corner of her eye. He looks so tired, she sadly thought.
Snape did feel tired, he rarely seemed to sleep at night. The fear that he instilled in his students and his snarky comments on their lack of skill no longer seemed to bring him the satisfaction it once had. Another year of teaching these dunderheads who can’t tell the difference between a ashwinder egg and a doxy egg, Snape thought listlessly. Minerva had recommended he pick a 6th or 7th Year student to be his teaching assistant to help relieve his burden as the other Professors had done this year. Given the stress of the recent war and nightmares that still plagued him, he had given it a brief consideration before he realized that it would create more and not less work. He couldn’t see himself working with any of the 6th or 7th Years as it would require some trust that the younger wizard or witch would have enough intelligence not blow themselves up. He laughed at the thought of trusting Ron to assist him in any way, imagining the paperwork when the twit destroyed half the newly refinished castle. The only one who was at all qualified and intelligent enough to assist him was Miss. Granger and he would rather eat bulbotuber pus then work with that know-it-all.
“Professor Snape, may I see you for a minute.” He glanced up at McGonagall as she strolled toward him. “What do you need? I have another class in 5 minutes. First Years will likely set fire to the dungeon if they are left alone for any period of time,” he said, with thinly veiled frustration. “I was wondering if you had found an appropriate assistant?”
“I don’t need an assistant,” Snape snapped. “ I have been teaching for years, what makes you think that just because I briefly needed your assistance at the end of the war,” with this he glared at her, “that I now am some invalid who can’t perform basic teaching tasks.”
Minerva took a deep breath. “It’s not that I think any less of you, if anything I have been most throughly impressed with your teaching throughout the years. But the stress of the war has been hard on even the toughest wizards and I think it would be helpful for your healing process.”
“I am fine and I am NOT your project,” spat Snape. “I don’t want help!”
If it hadn’t been for her recent conversation with Hermione, Headmistress McGonagall likely would have given up. It was not worth provoking him. However, she felt guilty with Hermione’s insinuation that she felt Snape’s live was less worth saving then others. She didn’t want to admit it even to herself, but she had given up on Snape far faster then she should have.
“I don’t think I made myself clear, Professor Snape. This was not a request. Please find someone acceptable out of the 6th or 7th Year potion students to assist you as it is quite unreasonable that you are the only Professor without such support.” With that McGonagall turned on her heels and stormed out, angry with herself for how she had handled the situation and furious with Snape for being so stubborn.
Chapter 3: Teaching Assistant Woes
Professor Snape paced furiously in his private chamber that night. How could she insist he take a teaching assistant and subject him to Hermione Granger and her mindless regurgitation all year. She was a fool if she didn’t realize that Miss Granger was the only potion student that would even have a remote chance of success. The other students would likely blow up the stockroom or contaminate his potions within a fortnight. He briefly considered just picking another less capable student as he likely would not have to acquire another one after the first one had failed. But unfortunately, he thought with a frown, he did have an impressive potions stockroom and it would expensive and overly time-consuming to restock it after the explosive accident that would likely occur. And while he was not thrilled to be alive just to continue teaching idiots who were more concerned about their latest crushes then actually understanding the fundamentals, it had taken several months of intensive recovery before he had fully recovered from Nagini’s bite. It seemed a bit idiotic on his part, to put his body in such peril so soon after his recovery just because he didn’t like a student. Gritting his teeth, he quickly penned a letter to Miss Granger, informing her that she had been selected to be his new teaching assistant and sent it via school owl. Snape sat back in his chair and poured a large glass of fire whiskey as he watched the crackling fireplace. Tomorrow was going to test his patience.
Hermione had just finished her Arithmancy homework and was flipping through her new charm course book when a school owl tapped quietly on the common room window. Ginny looked up from her astronomy chart and opened the window curiously. “It’s for you Hermione. I wonder who is sending you a letter so late.” She gave the owl a bit of her buttered toast as he nipped her hand slightly before shooing him out of the tower. “Who is it from, a new lover perhaps?” Ginny smirked mischievously.
“No, it’s from Professor Snape. He wants me to be his teaching assistant though I can’t imagine why. He seems to despise me.”
Ginny snorted, “Personal feelings aside, you are the only student in this whole school bright enough to not destroy his storeroom within the day. Whatever feelings he has for you, he obviously values his potion stores and knows that you are smart enough at least not burn it down.”
Hermione blushed slightly when she realized that by asking her to be his teaching assistant, Snape was essentially saying he considered her to be the smartest student at Hogwarts. Ginny snorted louder at the creep of color on Hermione’s cheeks. “Why are you so surprised? You are the brightest witch, or wizard for that matter, in Hogwarts, including teachers. Except for Headmistress McGonagall and Snape obviously.”
Hermione rolled her eyes, “I’m going to bed now, see you in the morning.” Luckily Ginny had resumed completing her astronomy chart or she would have noticed the slight spring in her step as Hermione climbed up the tower to her room. Ignoring the tiny flutter in her heart as she thought of Snape considering her to be intelligent, she quickly dressed for bed, anxious of what tomorrow would bring.
The next morning, Hermione was a nervous ball of energy, chatting inanely about the required potions needed to pass the OWLs and the NEWTs. “Did you read the entire potion book last night?” Harry sighed. “I just wanted to be prepared for my meeting with Professor Snape this afternoon regarding the teaching assistant position.” “Blimey, Hermione. You are going to be Snape’s potion teaching assistant, Head Girl and take all of those NEWT level classes. When are you going to have any time for fun!” Ron exclaimed munching on a large buttered biscuit. “Ron, think of all I will learn regarding potions as a teaching assistant. This is our last year at Hogwarts, and I think my time will be better served learning and preparing for the NEWTs. Which are much more important to my future then just goofing off.”
“It’s your life, I guess,” Ron said with a shrug as he wandered off to talk to Dean Thomas about the new Nimbus racing broom that was coming out later this fall. Hermione rolled her eyes but said nothing in response. She finished her breakfast, uncharacteristically quiet while Ginny and Harry had a prolonged nonverbal goodbye. “Let’s get to transfiguration, Harry.” Hermione said, interrupting their snogging. Harry and Hermione waved goodbye to Ginny and headed toward the other end of the castle.
Professor McGonagall spent most of the first class reviewing the most important aspects of transfiguration. The class was thoroughly impressed as she turned a thimble into a full sized chair, then five giant dragonflies which morphed into a hawk before shedding its feathers and turning back into the thimble. Hermione tried to pay attention but her stomach felt like she had swallowed a bag full of chocolate frogs as the clock marched forward. Minerva could see that Hermione was nervous and less attentive then usual today. She had been more then a little surprised when Severus had told her this morning that he had picked Hermione to be his teaching assistant. Looking back, she could see now that Miss Granger was the obvious and really the only choice that would meet Snape’s ridiculously high standards. However, she was very concerned this would end badly. Her goal had been to keep them apart and for Professor Snape to never know Hermione’s role in saving his life. Now, she had practically forced them together, and it was extremely unlikely that he would not eventually figure out that his true savior was Hermione Granger and not her at all. He was angry at her for saving his life but he did respect her given her extended teaching career at Hogwarts and acknowledged her intelligence. Despite that, he had taken his rage out on her for her role in keeping him among the living. She cringed to think how furious he would be if he knew that “Miss Know It All” had really been the one to save him. How much damage would he do to Miss Granger when he took out all of his aggression, fear and bitterness out on her?
At the end of the class as everyone was packing up their bags, Professor McGonagall asked Hermione to stay behind for a minute. She knew she couldn’t say much as they would not be afforded much privacy, but she wanted to warn her. “Tread carefully Miss Granger.”
Hermione looked into her eyes and could see she was worried about her. Or more accurately, worried about Snape’s reaction to her if he were to find out of her heroics. “I will, professor. I always do.” Minerva gave a tiny nod and watched quietly as Hermione walked out of the classroom.
Standing outside of Professor Snape’s office, she paced for a few minutes before she worked up the courage to knock.
“Come in, Miss Granger. You are nearly late.”
“I’m sorry, sir…I just…”
“Sit down.” He gestured toward the leather chair in front of his office desk. “We have a lot to discuss if you are going to work as my teacher’s assistant. I will need you to help prepare potions needed for the classes as well as the bases needed for more advanced potions. I believe you are familiar with stewing lacewings.” He raised an eyebrow and Hermione flushed with guilt remembering the illicit polyjuice potion brewing during her second year. “I don’t have time for your endless questions and you will find that reciting pointless facts about potions does not impress me. I know you have read all the potion books. What remains to be seen is if you have the intelligence to use that regurgitated knowledge to brew correct potions. You need to understand the theory to truly excel in potions, not just follow the instructions and read books.”
“I understand, sir.” Hermione said trying to keep the nervous quiver out of her voice.
“Let’s get started then. We need to begin to make the base for Felix Felicis today as it takes over two weeks to brew and the 6th Year students will be studying in three weeks. Also in fact we are running low on stewed lacewings so we will need to start that as well today. Come with me to my personal potions lab so we can get started.” Snape briskly walked out of his office through a smaller door which she had never paid much attention to before. His personal potion brewing lab was small but impressive. Multiple different shaped cauldrons bubbled and stewed on one large counter, while a second counter was covered in beakers, flasks and measuring equipment. A third counter was set up with two workspaces though given then small space, they would be working quite close together. A small obviously warded cabinet sat above the second counter and Hermione could see multiple small vials and containers but couldn’t quite make out the names. “You will stay out of there,” Snape snapped. “That is my private potion ingredient store.”
“But I thought you had all of the needed potion ingredients in the potion class storeroom.” Hermione was a bit confused. Every ingredient that was required in any potion she had made or read about was in the storeroom. Snape couldn’t help but smirk at the rare look of confusion that had entered her face. “There are some extremely complicated potions that require very rare ingredients. Unless you are training to become a potion’s master, it is unlikely that you have ever even read about these potions.”
“But I have read every book in Hogwarts on potion making in preparation for my NEWT level class. Even the books in the restricted section. And I have never seen a potion that required any ingredient that you don’t have in the regular potion storeroom.”
Snape’s smirk grew bigger as he knew the thought that he had read a book that she did not have access to would infuriate her. “There are many potion books that are not available to the layperson.” He emphasized the word layperson as he could see the wheels in her head spinning. “Only a potion master or apprentice to a potion master are allowed access to such complicated potion books.”
“Oh,” Hermione didn’t know what else to say. He was obviously gloating about his superior knowledge.
“Let’s get started then,” he said sharply.
The next two hours they worked in mostly in silence. Snape was begrudgingly impressed with her potion skills and he noticed he found her much less bothersome when he worked with her as a peer. He also noted that she was no longer the annoying child that he remembered from before the war. She had grown up. She was still enthusiastic about learning and seemed even more intelligent then he recalled but some of her exuberance had gone, replaced with a contemplative silence. Her mind wasn’t the only thing that had grown up. Working in such a small space, he could smell the faint hint of her honeysuckle shampoo. Her frizzy brown hair, had turned into more chestnut colored wavy curls that framed her face. Snape prided himself on not caring to notice students but for the first time, he found himself silently admiring her soft feminine curves and rounded ass that despite her robes drew his attention. He mentally shook himself out of his reverie. He had lost his mind, just yesterday he had been berating this know-it-all and now he was finding himself thinking of her in a most inappropriate way. What was wrong with him?
“We are done for today. I will see you back again tomorrow after dinner to help extract and purify the salamander blood for the Strengthening Solution the 5th Years will be brewing soon.”
“Yes, Professor.”Hermione answered, feeling relieved that she had managed to hold her own against Professor Snape. Snape watched her walk out feeling confused. She definitely wasn’t the insufferable chit he had remembered.
Chapter 4: Snape's Realization
The next several weeks went by without incident. The 7th and 5th Years moaned about their ever growing work load as they began to prepare for their OWLs and NEWTs at the end of this year but overall everyone at Hogwarts seemed to be doing well. The students and professors alike without Voldemort or the threat of Death Eaters lurking over their heads felt comfortable. Friendships and romances blossomed and the memory of the war seemed to fade into the background for most students. Hermione and Snape were still struggling with the trauma of the war but Hermione working as Professor Snape’s teaching assistant seemed to help both of them. Over the course of the first month, the original tension between the two had resolved slowly as they had learned to work well together. Snape felt more relaxed then he had been in many years, since before the first rise of Voldemort. He could trace the change of his feelings toward Hermione to the first time she assisted him in preparing potions. He noticed that as the weeks passed, he had gone from enduring her company to enjoying her company. He found he was able to have an intelligent conversation with her and that they actually shared quite a few interests. Her ability to comprehend advanced potions continued to amaze him and he found himself talking more and more as they prepped the potions and required ingredients for the impending classes. He began to appreciate her in other ways as well. He often lingered with his hand on hers while helping her stir the cauldron just right and he couldn’t help but notice how her breath quickened slightly when he brushed against her to get past her workstation. He knew he was enjoying her company a little to much but this was the first time he had felt connected to anyone in so many years. It had been too dangerous to form any personal relationship while he was Dumbledore’s spy and even before he had held most people at a distance. Snape knew he was too bitter for anyone to love or appreciate but he was enjoying this distraction. He tried to ignore the voice in his head that sounded an awful lot like his father criticizing him for continuing his delusion. He needed this but he would have to be careful. It wouldn’t do to forget himself and he needed to maintain his walls for his own self preservation.
With Halloween rapidly approaching, Snape found himself overwhelmed with extra head of house duties. Reluctantly admitting to himself that he has been looking forward to spending time with Granger all day. However, eyeing the pile of papers he still needed to grade, he doubted he would have any time for conservation today. “Miss Granger, I find myself behind in grading these papers given the extra duties our headmistress has found fit to give me. Would you please start on the Cure for Boils potion as Madam Pomfrey needs more for the hospital wing and I will assist you after I am done.” He watched her out of the corner of his eye as prepares the ingredients and begins to add them slowly. A faint pink mist rises faintly from the cauldron and he can’t help but think how beautiful she looks with that determined expression on her face. Suddenly he notices the mislabeled quills. The porcupine quills have been mislabeled by that incompetent 4th Year during his detention last night. They are actually echidna quills, completely incompatible with the current potion. “Miss Granger, stop!” Snape cried out just as Hermione starts to add them to her simmering potion but it is too late as he rushed towards her. The potion explodes and without thinking, he finds himself wrapping her up in his arms to attempt to shield her.
Moments later, they find themselves on the floor, her weight pressing against him, her hands trembling with shock. “You’re bleeding Professor,” she reaches out without thinking and traces a finger across his lips to wipe the blood. Snape inhales sharply, a tingle on his lips as he grabs her wrist and he is brought back to the night when he should have died. He had come to lying in the infirmary with Pomfrey and Minerva at his side with only faint memories of how he got there. Professor McGonagall had insisted that after the battle, she had been searching for survivors when she had found him and brought him back. However, there was a blurry memory of hot wet tears on his face and a gentle pressure of fingertips on his mouth that had never corresponded with the story he had been told. He had pushed it to the back of his mind and assumed it was a dream or hallucination one might get before death because logically who else would even try to save him, the dour portion’s master who was seen as a traitor by all. Except now, he knew the memory was not a dream, she had been there at his side and it was her weeping over his body, caressing his face as one would a lover.
With a sudden realization, he noted she was still lying on top of him, breathing heavily into his neck, her wrist in his hand and her pelvis sinking low into a developing erection. Snape quickly twists her off of him, pushes up and pulls her to her feet. “Get out!” he snarls with a fury surprising even himself. Hermione looks up at him and their eyes meet. He can see the confusion swirling in her eyes as they begin to fill with tears. He quickly turns away and walks without looking back to his private chambers though he is finely attuned to her footsteps as she darts quickly away. His nerves feel so stretched taut that he worries he might break into a thousand pieces. He feels overwhelmed with rage at her for dooming him to his meaningless existence but at the same time his heart is ripping apart his chest with the realization that someone cared enough about him to truly mourn his apparent death. He wants to scream at her for making him suffer while burying himself in her arms allowing her to caress him. He has been pacing his room continuously for what feels like hours when he realizes that beneath all the rage and the shock, there is a glimmer of hope sprouting in his heart. Could this intelligent, beautiful women enjoy his company and actually care for him? He internally berates himself, even if she had cared, he certainly has not endeared himself to her over the years. He thinks about the many times during the years when he had been intentionally cruel. Snape had justified it at the time knowing that it was imperative for Order that he appear to hate all friends of Potter. However, he had taken a tiny bit of pleasure knowing the control he exerted over her, given the lack of control in the rest of his life. If she had been developing some feelings for him, other than distain, he likely had destroyed that with his actions today. He had the irrational thought that he wanted to kiss her mercilessly and beg until she realized she couldn’t live without him. He had never felt as helpless as he watched his tight control slip away, realizing she had become the one drop of color in his otherwise dull life.
Hermione lay in bed, staring at the ceiling, lost in thought. She had been completely caught off guard when Professor Snape had exploded at her early today. He obviously was not used to any caring touch. Over the past several weeks, she had found herself enjoying working with him. Immensely enjoying herself if she was honest she thought as she felt the heat rise in her face. She was no longer able to deny the attraction she felt for Professor Snape. When he dropped his protective layer and relaxed, he seemed like a different person. During those stolen moments, he seemed at ease and they seemed to naturally fit with one another. His eyes seemed to penetrate deep into her soul and body. She had caught a glimpse of this man even before the end of the war which explained her overwhelming drive to find him despite his reported death. She wondered how it must feel for him, to have lived under the mask of a spy for so long. Did he really even know his own true self or had it been lost under the web of deceit that had been weaved to fool the world for so many years. Drifting off to sleep, Hermione wonders if he shares even a hint of her feelings.
Chapter 5: Legilimency
The following day, Professor Snape seems to be back to his previous demanding self but Hermione catches him watching her closely. He doesn’t seem interested in conversation and the potion lab feels unusually silent as they begin cleaning and preparing the rat spleens needed for the Shrinking Solution. Maybe she had just imagined the past month and her loneliness was causing her to invent these inconceivable events. She would have never believed it if she had been told last year that she would enjoy Professor Snape’s company and he would appear to enjoy hers. Let alone would she ever have believed she would be sexually attracted to him. But as she discreetly followed his movements during class later that day, everything he did seemed to increase the heat developing in her core. His silky baritone voice almost whispering the potion instructions like to a lover. The skilled movements of his hands, the almost feline prowl around the classroom and his penetrating gaze was enough to soak her panties by the end of class. Luckily no one else in class noticed her sexual predicament and she was able to rush to the bathroom following the end of their potions class to take care of the problem. Quickly shoving her hands down her robe and up her skirt, she lightly teased her clit as she imagined Snape’s skilled hands on her. It only took minutes before she was flush with a powerful orgasm and she had to cast a quick cooling spell on herself before she left for her next class.
Snape is beyond frustrated at himself though he has been trying all day to behave as he did before he let this witch throw his whole world off kilter. He has been watching Hermione closely all day. It is obvious to him now how mind-numbingly sexy she is, the perfect combination of feminine charm with stunning intelligence. How did he let his happen? He had managed to keep the Dark Lord at bay but somehow he let her slip into his life and into his heart. He bitterly chastised himself. He is acting like a teenager, obsessing over the girl that will just reject him. He needs to cleanse himself of this obsession and what better way then to prove she doesn’t care for him.
At the next potions class, Snape seems slightly distracted and more tense then normal as he waves his wand at the board. Complex equations and detailed theory appear and the students take a collective sigh as they begin to copy down the lengthy notes. “I expect not only for you to understand the theory behind Merlin’s second law of combustible potions but I will except you to use this theory to create the proper equation for the Infindeo potion.” Several blank looks stared at him from the class. He lets out a rather sharp huff. “The Infindeo potion,” he said with his voice dripping with sarcasm, “is a potion that all 7th Years should know. It is used to create combustion within another portion during brewing which allows for the making of significantly more complicated portions such as Veritaserum. I doubt that any of you will be able to actually use this potion correctly as it takes a significant level of skill that is undoubtable lacking, but the theory is always on the NEWTs so I will at least attempt to give you the background.”
As the students all began copying down the notes and trying to figure out the needed equations, he sat back in his chair and grabbed a stack of papers he had to grade from the 1st Years regarding the 15 uses in potions for unicorn horn. He marked the papers with gusto, keeping one eye on the class. Once all the students were deep in thought and unlikely to notice anything was amiss, he trained his eyes on Hermione. She was focused and working hard, twirling one of her hairs as she copied down the theory and then opened her Advanced Potions book to check a particular equation. Snape felt a wave of lust as she slightly bit the edge of her lower lip and crossed out the unwanted equation. He pictured her biting her lower lip as her face became flushed with need, his fingers slowly teasing her wet folds to bring her to orgasm. He quickly pushed that thought out of his head. She did not care for him at all and was certainly not attracted to him. She would be disgusted by his thoughts of her. She had just survived the final battle and likely her tenderness and grief she had displayed when he lay dying was just misplaced survival guilt.
With that sour thought, he quickly used a nonverbal spell to open her mind to him. He knew he had to be careful, as too deep intrusion into her mind would alert her and incriminate him. No one else in class had even basic knowledge of Legilimency and as he was a known expert, it would not be difficult to figure out who had been invading her thoughts. He shifted through her thoughts of him, slowly as to not draw attention. At first it was was all as he had expected, pictures of him lecturing during potions class, snapping at the students for their incredible idiocy but then the memories over the past few weeks seemed to change. He no longer appeared to be as intimidating in her memory and her focus shifted from his bitter face and words to his hands, his long legs, his billowing robes and his mouth. There was a faint tint of lust imbedded in the memory as if she had been watching him with indecent intentions. He took a deep breath, his concentration faltering, he had to be over reading these memories. His growing lust for her must be tainting the memories that he viewed. He concentrated again and suddenly the memories changed. He was no longer in the great hall or potion’s classroom as with the rest of her memories but in a hallway near the astronomy tower. The memory had taken on the fuzzy quality of a daydream but it was not so blurry that he could tell it was more then just a unconscious nighttime dream. He watched as he approached her, his black robes billowing out behind him and engulfed her mouth with his. She moaned as he held her hands up against the wall and his tongue invaded her willing mouth. Her hard nipples strained against her shirt and he could almost feel them pressing into his chest. “Please Professor, make me yours.” With a faint hiss, he watched himself slowly caress her thigh as she parted her legs and cried out as he softly rubbed her clit through her soaking panties. His lips traced a path to her breasts, sucking gently along the way with her quiet sighs of pleasure echoing in the hall. He relinquished her hands and they eagerly found his chest, kneading his muscles with pent up need. Snape took her perfect breast in his mouth and swirled his tongue around her nipple until she was quivering under his ministrations. “Please, I need you inside me,” Hermione let out in a urgent whisper. Her hands had now found his pants and were frantically undoing the buttons. She yanked down his black boxers and his thick pulsing erection sprang out.
Without hesitation, she knelt down and enveloped him with her hot mouth. She continued to moan quietly around his penis, licking the shaft up and down, before ingesting almost the whole shaft in her mouth until the tip was deep in her throat. Then she would slowly pull back and Snape watching her daydream could almost feel her tongue trailing up to the head of his penis before she engulfed him again. It was obviously that her need was too great to delay much longer and she rose, stepping out of her skirt. Gracefully Hermione then peeled off her drenched white panties and handed them to Snape. He smirked and held them to his face so he could take a whiff. “You smell amazing,” he murmured in a deep voice. She smiled an almost innocent smile before guiding his cock to her core. He slide deep inside her depth with no resistance, her moisture dripping around the sides of his dick. He slowly picked up speed, pounding her into the stone wall. Reaching to lightly finger her clit, her breathing increased as she rapidly began to loose control. “Fuck, oh fuck,” her whispered voice betrayed her impending orgasm as she began to tremble in his arms.
He could almost feel her release around his cock as he watched himself come deep inside her with an almost feral growl. His erection was straining against his pants as he left her mind and he felt dangerously close to orgasm. Luckily, the students were all still engrossed in the complex work he had given them, so no one seemed to noticed his increased flush of his cheeks and almost panting like quality of his breathing. No one he realized with a start, except Hermione, who had completed her assignment and was watching him closely through half-lidded eyes.
Chapter 6: Hermione's Talented Spell
Hermione had finished her assignment early as always and as the other students were still floundering through the difficult task, she was letting her mind wander to thoughts of her and Snape. She had been thinking about him a lot recently in very inappropriate ways. No other wizard seemed to spark her attention as much as Professor Snape and she was wondering how she could hae missed her obvious attraction to him before recently. She had always known that he was quite intelligent but his extensive knowledge and talent was easy to miss behind his bitter mask. His hands during portions moved with obvious skill and she could only imagine how skillful his hands would be in other more private endeavors. Alone at night in her bed, she had composed a long list of fantasies involving his hands and mouth bringing her to the heights of pleasure. Thinking of them now, while Snape sat only several feet away at his desk, obliviously grading papers, made her very aware of her body and the growing ache between her thighs. Her mind wandered to a naughty daydream of Snape taking her roughly against the stone wall near the astronomy tower. Tightly crossing her legs together, desperately trying to create the needed pressure to relieve the tension as she pictured him ejaculating inside her, she suddenly realized that she was not alone in her sexual frustration. Professor Snape had stopped grading his papers and was staring at her with the dilated pupils and heavy breathing of a man trying to control his need. Several thoughts came to her at once and she struggled to remain calm. He obviously had used Legilimency on her but she was astonished that instead of looking at her with distain or even smirking smugly at her pornographic cravings, he was extremely turned on. Hermione’s pussy seemed to instantly increase in moisture and she felt a small trickle of fluid run down her thigh. Her desire to touch him was overwhelming and she could barely contain her breathing.
Silently congratulating herself for practicing nonverbal spells over the summer, her heart raced as she cast the needed incantation. She felt her hands grow warm as the projection spell took effect and she lightly moved her fingertips together before concentrating on the goal ahead. Snape had not moved at all since he had realized that Hermione was aware of his desire and only his eyes betrayed the swirling mixture of lust, confusion and horror of being discovered. He had just decided that he would end the class early with some excuse regarding Quidditch duties for the game tonight when he felt a warmth stroking his thighs. For a second, he forgot to breath, and he looked closely at Hermione. To the causal observer, she was just tracing her hands along the desk in an absentminded manner. However, her actions on the desk, mirrored the stroking warm movements that he could feel creeping slowly up his thighs to his erection that was greatly straining at his pants buttons. His hands gripped the edge of his desk on their own accord as he tried to control his increase in breathing. The pleasure was rapidly overtaking the rational part of his brain. He could faintly hear his own voice in his head, protesting that getting involved with a student was beyond foolish, but the roaring of blood in his ears accompanied by the increasingly intense sensations overtaking his penis quickly expelled that thought. Hermione pinched her fingers together with concentration and Snape felt his pants buttons come undone, one at a time, until his desire broke free, with only the thin cover of his black satin boxers protecting him from the cold dungeon air. Snape tilted his pelvis forward under the desk as the warmth began to stroke his cock with languid movements. He grabbed the papers he had been grading and began marking them randomly to create some appearance of control. He tried, almost unsuccessfully, to reign in his rabid desire to knock over his desk and take the instigating witch in his arms for a sweltering kiss before claiming her in front of the whole class as the pleasure swept over his body. Hermione lowered his underwear to his knees with a quick twist of her wrist and continued her relentless pursuit. Snape could feel his body flush with heat as his climax approached. Tiny beads of sweat adorned his forehead as he felt his balls tighten. The warm caressing sensations grazing unmercifully around his rock hard cock were causing him to involuntarily thrust his hips upward as its tip oozed its pearly liquid. Suddenly, with a faint groan, he exploded, shooting a thick wad of cum into the underside of the desk.
Breathing heavily, Snape looked up from his desk. Luckily, no one else had noticed his unfolding predicament as the rest of the class except for Hermione was still trying to complete the portion. The hazy mist and smoke coming from the various attempts at the required portion had slightly obscured the classroom as he scanned the room. He relaxed slightly observing the students intent focus on their mostly abysmal portions as he murmured a Scourgify charm to clean up his mess. Snape was in a daze. He should be appalled at what happened. He had never crossed this line with a student before and now he had crossed it with Hermione. The insufferable know it all who had caught him invading her mind. However, he couldn’t lie to himself that he was impressed with her fortuitous magic which had given him such exquisite pleasure. More then impressed, he thought, though he hated to admit it. He was extremely turned on and wanted more. He wanted to possess her and sexually fulfill her until she could not live without him.
Class was finally nearing to the end and the students were all shuffling to the front to hand in the portions. Snape cleared his mind of his lustful thoughts and put on his best intimating sneer. Most of the portions were only half completed, some still smoking slightly, though he was too distracted to give his normal biting criticism. Hermione specifically hung back so she would be the last to hand in her portion. Her heart was pounding in her chest as she reached out to hand him her portion, her index finger faintly caressing Snape’s hand as their eyes met. He could see the lust mirrored in her eyes and he felt a reoccurring dull ache in his groin. Snape felt the urge again to damn the consequences and claim this temptress for his own. He shifted in his char, but before he could act, he heard a voice call out.
“Hermione, are you coming,” Harry called out. “We are going to be late for dinner and I want to have time to eat before the Quidditch game tonight. Ravenclaw has a new seeker who is supposed to be very good and I want to be at my best.” “Coming Harry,” Hermione shot a glance at the door and then back at Professor Snape. Her mouth turned upward in a faint smile as she walked toward the door, shooting him a ghost of a wink as Snape stared back at her.
Chapter 7: Reflections
Hermione felt a great thrill as she walked to the Great Hall with Harry. She had watched from her chair as the great wizard lost control. All she wanted to do was slip her own fingers in her pussy and tease her clit until she was calling his name. Hermione barely noticed as they sat down at the table, her mind so preoccupied on the previous encounter. She was looking at the ceiling, watching the clouds sweeping through the enchanted ceiling when she heard her name. “Hermione, Hermione?” Ginny looked quizzically at her. “What’s going on with you?” Did you hear anything that I said?” Hermione shook her head guilty. “I was talking about the Halloween concert at the Three Broomsticks, the Weird Sisters will be playing. All the older students are going and it is going to be wild.”
“Especially since some of us are of age to buy fire whiskey and may be enticed to share.” Harry teased slipping a hand up her thigh.
Ron raised his head from the pile of mashed potatoes that he had been inhaling. “It would be nice to meet some of the new witches.”
Hermione glanced at him with a look of bemusement. “Yes Ron, I’m sure that there are lots of witches who are very interested in making your acquaintance. Especially if you ply them with fire whiskey.”
Insulted, Ron fired back with more venom then intended “It will be nice to meet a witch who has some fire in her, if you know what I mean.”
Harry and Ginny held their breath. They had hoped Ron and Hermione had gotten past this stage in their break up. It had been very awkward when they first broke up and on more than one occasion, they had walked in on a screaming match that usually ended with Ron calling Hermione frigid and her sending a well placed hex in return that had Ron constantly casting cooling spells on his balls for the next couple of days. However, Hermione didn’t seem to be very bothered this time with his comment and just shook her head slowly and got up to head to class.
“Ron, you promised,” Ginny hissed. “We are all friends and just because your romance didn’t work out doesn’t mean you and Hermione can’t go back to being friends, I know that’s what you both want.”
“She started it,” Ron pouted and poured more gravy on his already submerged mashed potatoes.
“Mate, she was just pointing out that if you approach witches that aggressively, you will never get anywhere. They will see right through you and never give you a chance,” Harry stated, inwardly cringing at his ineptitude.
“Right, let’s just drop it.” Ron’s ears glowed red as he too got up to leave for Herbology, grabbing his bag with a bit more force then needed.
Ginny smiled at Harry as he put his head in his hands. “Tell me they are getting better. I don’t think I can stand a whole school year with those two bickering.”
“Hermione didn’t seem to be insulted this time, so yes, I think they are making progress. I am a little worried about how she will react when Ron finds someone to snog as you know how he gets.”
Harry groaned. “I wish I could obliviate Ron and Lavender’s face sucking out of my head forever.”
“At least he wasn’t your brother. And I am more worried about those yellow canaries of Hermione. They were vicious and hard to get rid of without her help. I still have the scar on my hand from trying to corral one in the common room,” Ginny held up her hand and Harry gently kissed the tiny scar. “And on that note,” Harry pulled Ginny up “we should get to class”. They walked hand in hand out of the great hall, not noticing the eyes of Professor Snape following them intently.
Professor Snape watched as Harry and Ginny walked out of the hall as he sipped his tea. What was he thinking, letting things get so out of control with Hermione. He had completely tipped his hand to her which seemed like such a rookie mistake for a seasoned spy. She was obviously intelligent, and her previous romantic entanglement excluded, she seemed to also have an astonishing amount of emotional knowledge. She would know that from years of serving others and being involved in complicated double-crosses that he could never believe that someone could have true feelings for him. He was so used to being used for the greater good that he would seek to validate his belief and they only reason he would care to confirm that she did not have any feelings toward him was because he cared if she did. That he would risk invading her mind revealed that he not only did he return her affection but that it was strong enough to override the rational part of his brain.
I am such a perverted bastard, Snape thought as he recalled the warm caresses and his intense orgasm. When I realized what was happening I should have put a stop to it immediately. Instead I crossed the line, with the student who I used to despise. Though even that wasn’t true, he had never despised her, rather he had taken out his angry out of her because she reminded him of when himself. When she first started, she was so anxious to learn and practically bursting with knowledge. Except, he had let the taunting of others, his own jealousy and his own insecurity chip away at him until all that reminded was a bitter shell eager to exact revenge on those who had burned him. It had taken the death of the first girl he had ever cared for to see how far from his moral center he had strayed. He spent years trying to correct the mistakes of his youth and he had suffered. However, Hermione had not let others corrode and tarnish her. Instead, she had continued to flourish and remain strong. Snape thought he had hated her for that. It wasn’t until after the war, when his two masters were dead, that he realized that he never hated her, but hated himself. He hated himself for not being as strong as her and for giving up so much of himself during his formidable years at Hogwarts.
His heart sunk when he realized that he was more than slightly infatuated with her. He couldn’t even afford himself the falsehood that he had ever despised her. He felt stronger about her then even he had realized until now. Underneath all that bluster, he had always admired her tenacity and she had grown to be a very sensual women. Realistically, Snape argued in his head, he wouldn’t have been able to stop her during class without drawing very unwanted attention. His brain had been clouded with lust and if he had been able to utter anything to stop the onslaught of pleasure, he would have only been able to groan her name. At least he had appeared under control to the rest of the students, he thought with relief. Now that he wasn’t distracted by his erection trying to break out of his pants, he could act responsibly. It was likely just a schoolgirl crush, he would avoid her and act normal. Hopefully, she would have gotten her thrill, and move on to more appropriate pastures. Snape finally looked up from his teacup and was startled to see that only a few stragglers were left in the great hall. He got up decisively and walked briskly to the awaiting 4th Years. It was time to test antidotes.
Chapter 8: Halloween Ball
Hermione sat with Ginny in the Gryffindor common room listening to her prattle on with several of her friends about the Weird sisters and how their Halloween concert performances were always spectacular. “I heard from Charlie that during their last Halloween concert, they had Veela-Vampire hybrids singing back up and they did the most amazing light show with their wands.”
“I can’t believe that you won’t be able to come”, Ginny said with disappointment
“I know, but the younger students are going to be having a ball following the Halloween feast and the teachers need the Head Boy and Girl to help with supervision. I can’t wait to hear the details though.” Hermione knew that Ginny wanted her to come, but to be honest, she was looking forward to being alone. Well, not completely alone, she thought, smiling softly. She felt a fluttering in her heart along with a growing warmth in her nether regions when she realized that she would be supervising the younger students with Professor Snape.
Professor Snape cursed again as he got dressed for Halloween feast, slipping into his emerald green dress robes. Why Headmistress McGonagall had thought that expanding on the Halloween feast and adding a Halloween ball for the younger students was a good idea was beyond him. All of the students had been distracted today and he might have well have been talking to the wall. He had more clout then the rest of the teachers given his imposing nature but even he had some difficulties reigning in his class. Luckily he had just been reviewing theory today with the 2nd and 5th Years as he didn’t want to imagine the disasters he would have been cleaning up if they were actually brewing. The older ones couldn’t stop talking about the Weird sisters and the younger students had been giggling all day about possible romances that would develop at the ball.
He walked slowly into the Great Hall, dreading the commotion that would await him. His heart jumped as he saw Hermione on the other end of the hall. She looked…stunningly beautiful. Her hair was sleek and shiny. It was pinned up with a multitude of small magical jeweled butterfly clips which fluttered their wings almost imperceptibly. A stray curl fell just next to her left ear framing her face and highlighting tiny pearl earrings encased in rose gold. She wore dark blue satin dress robes that accented her figure perfectly and made it very obvious to everyone that she was no longer any part a child. Her shoulders were bare as the blue corseted top speckled with tiny white pearls held up her pale breasts. A small Y-shaped necklace made of pearls dipped low into her cleavage, drawing Snape’s eyes. Her almost sheer blue gauzy gown flared at the waist and elegantly flowed to the floor. Hermione smiled as she caught his eye and then turned to converse with Professor Vector.
Snape tore his eyes away from Hermione. You need to remain professional, he repeated to himself. He busied himself with setting several off kilter singing skeletons upright again as he took several deep breaths. I just need to avoid her and continue to appear busy so I am not tempted to talk to her. Or just snog her until she begs for more, a voice in his head countered. Snape ignored that thought and steeled himself as he approached Professor McGonagall to offer his required assistance. He spent most of the night breaking up overly amorous couples and stopping amateur duels. He was lurking on the sidelines toward the end of the ball, completely preoccupied with avoiding Hermione when he heard a bang, followed by a series of louder bangs.
Professor Snape quickly assessed the situation. Someone apparently had spiked the punch bowl with a modified hiccup potion and students everywhere were hiccuping up fireballs. “Fred and George’s work no doubt,” said Professor Vector as she started casting freezing spells on all of the hiccup sufferers. “I would have thought that once they left Hogwart’s that we won’t have to deal with their shenanigans,” Professor Snape muttered. He joined the other Professors in casting freezing charms to prevent the Great Hall from going up in flames. However, he quickly realized that the fireballs were not the only problem. Some of the students were also sneezing uncontrollably, all within close vicinity of the treacle tart. He let out a tortured sigh, this night was rapidly turning into a disaster. The sneezing victims began sneezing soapy bubbles filled with black spiders which were frantically moving within the bubbles trying to obtain freedom. The charmed bats sweeping through the enhanced night sky above the Halloween ball began to fly erratically though no one initially noticed given the chaos below. Professor Slughorn was busy being chased by a fireball across the Great Hall when he looked up and saw the bats straining against his confinement charm. He would have felt a twinge of regret that he hadn’t bothered to use a stronger charm and rectified the situation if at that moment, large fireball hadn’t lit his butt on fire. The ensuring commotion with Professor Slughorn running around the great hall hysterically yelling in a very high-pitched voice, looking like a very overstuffed rocket, distracted everyone. Once the fire had been extinguished with a well placed charm by Hermione, the bats had completely left his mind. He was about to open his emergency supply of crystalized pineapple that he always kept in his robe pocket when the doors were flung open and Professor McGonagall walked in.
Professor McGonagall entered the Great Hall feeling pleased with herself as all the younger students seemed to be enjoying the Halloween ball. This would be a nice post-war tradition to start to help foster inter-house friendship, she thought to herself as she opened the doors only to be greeted by the sheer anarchy. Professors running around casting freezing charms, students screaming running away from fireballs and what appeared to be floating black soap bubbles as stray fireballs lit up small sections of the hall. “Enough!” Professor McGonagall shouted above the din and waved her wand at the enchanted ceiling. The crackling of the thunder, caught Snape’s attention as he cornered the culprits, laughing underneath the punch bowl. His eye’s widened as he realized her intent. “Wait, Headmistress!” His cry was lost in the generalized chaos. He quickly grabbed the two troublemakers by their collars and ran toward Professor McGonagall but not before the pouring rain began. It did extinguish the small fires that were smoldering all of the Great Hall as intended but Snape groaned as he realized that she had not throughly assessed the situation before releasing the rain. The spider bubbles let out tiny pops as they broke and the shouts in the Great Hall, which had quieted as fires dimmed, all of a sudden reached pitch fever again as numerous spiders began to fall from the sky on the unsuspecting students.
Professor McGonagall gaped at the impending disaster as a hurricane of bats broke free from their magical encasement and began to swoop at the spiders. One unlucky Hufflepuff girl yelled loudly as a particularly large bat struggled to untangle itself from her hair after plucking several tasty spider morsels from her head. Shrieks filled the air as the students en masse, began to exit out of the Great Hall, followed closely by scurrying spiders and bats. “I do say, what a success, we should do this twice a year.” Snape said with obvious sarcasm as he approached Minerva dragging two very sullen third year wizards by their robes. “I believe these are the two responsible for our fun evening. I will let you deduct the house points since they are in your house.” He raised his eyebrow with the obvious insinuation that a Slytherin would at least have the decency not to get caught.
“Let’s just get this mess cleaned up, shall we,” said Professor McGonagall. With a flick of her wand, she vanished the remaining spiders that had lingered in the Great Hall and called over the teachers who were trying their best to contain the fallout. “Professor Slughorn, stop eating the retched candied pineapple and help.” Slughorn looked up with shameful expression as he brushed the sugar from his bulbous mustache. “All right, let’s split up and deal with this. Hagrid, please gather the students that are still out and bring them back to the dorms. Snape you can check the dungeons for any miscreant critters. Professor Sinistra please sweep the towers for any stray spiders or bats. Professor Vector, please escort the injured students to Madam Pomfrey for care. Slughorn, come with me, we need to contain these bats. Next time, I expect you will put your full effort into the tasks I assign for you.” Minerva sighed; she should have known better then to trust Horace with anything that required attention to detail.
“I except you two troublemakers to help us straighten out everything.” She stared icily at the restless wizards and proceeded. “In addition to 2 weeks of detention with Filch, I will be taking 50 points from Gryffindor for this unprecedented mess you have managed to create. Each!” The students looked about ready to complain but thought better of it as she continued to glare at them and instead they averted their gaze down and studied their feet.
Headmistress McGonagall gave one last glance at the remaining students with Hagrid and saw that she had forgotten about the Head boy and Girl. “Mr Malfoy, if you go with Professor Trelawney and check the 7th floor, I am sure she will appreciate the help. Miss Granger, please assist Professor Snape in checking the dungeons.” Minerva saw the look of rebellion on his face but even he knew this was not the time to question a direct order. Snape strode out of the Great Hall without looking back, his dark green dress robes billowing behind him as Hermione struggled to catch up.
“Bugger,” Hermione thought, “he doesn’t even want to be near me.” She had assumed that given his curiosity that had precipitated his Legilimency and the following events during last potion class that he at least partially shared her feelings. Not that she pretended to know quite what her feelings were for Snape at this time. Over the course of the past couple of weeks working closely with him alone as his teacher’s assistant, she had seen a side of him that she doubted many others had ever seen. He was still sharp with her and demanding but she had grown to respect him. She knew that she had harbored some deep sexual fantasies regarding him even prior to this year but Hermione had not been really aware of them until after she saved him last year.
It had taken her forever to get ready this evening as she had wanted to entice him to act on his desires in real life. She had used almost a full tube of Sleekeazy’s hair portion for her hair tonight and had charmed each one of her small butterfly clips individually. She knew she looked stunning tonight especially in combination with her corseted gown which hugged her hips and breast in all the right places as the maturing wizards and even some of the witches had been giving her lustful stares all night. Professor Slughorn even had seemed impressed as he was much more flustered then normal. However, Snape had avoided her all evening and she hadn’t even caught him looking at her at all. Hermione felt dejected as she almost ran after Professor Snape as he strode out of the Great Hall without a backward glance.
She caught up with him on the stairs leading to the dungeon but he still ignored her. They walked down to the dungeon and both began stunning and vanishing the loose spiders and bats without conversation. Hermione’s eyes watered as she tried unsuccessfully to push down her feelings of rejection. She had finally found a man who not only was her intellectual equal but who sexually excited her like no other wizard and he didn’t want her. She was just a silly school girl to him despite the events in the potion classroom and she felt the shame well up in her throat. Trying to quell the onslaught of feelings, she plunged ahead of him in the darkness, blasting spiders with unnecessary ferocity.
Professor Snape watched her silently, battling his conflicting emotions. He knew he was more than just sexually attracted to this student and he was completely unnerved. It had been more than twenty years since he had felt this passionately about someone and the last witch he had felt this way about had not only rejected him but married one of his tormentors. Even if she appeared to want him now, he would not set himself up for the inevitable failure. It would wreck him. He had barely survived the last time. Though, honestly his feelings for Lily seemed like a piddly school boy crush compared to the drowning passion he felt for the witch in front of him.
Suddenly a bat dived from the ceiling at a cluster of spiders hiding in the corner reviving Professor Snape from his thoughts. Hermione in her surprise, stepped back on her gown and started to fall. Without thinking, he reached for her as she fell and caught her in his arms just before she hit the floor. The bats and spiders were all but forgotten as Snape looked into Hermione’s eyes. Her eyes were shining with tears but she looked hopefully and scared as well as excited all at the same time. He took a deep breath and tried to get the words out of his mouth that he could not be interested, she was his student and this was highly unprofessional. He could not let himself be controlled by his overwhelming desire for this beautiful witch. But the longer he held her quivering soft body against his, the harder it was to breathe let alone speak. He was fighting against the rising tide of passion and he knew he was lost. A small sigh escaped his mouth as he ran his thumb over her mouth and watched her eyes light up with obvious delight. All rational thoughts left his brain as he felt the rising heat from her gasping breathe. He could bare it no longer as he grabbed her in his arms and his lips crashed into hers. A delicious moan arose from Hermione as he felt her melt into his arms and return his kiss feverishly. Snape gently lifted her up as he continued to kiss her until she was leaning against the dungeon wall. He ran his hands through her hair, releasing her small charmed butterfly clips to join the swooping bats above, as he slipped his tongue into her mouth tasting her desire. He groaned quietly as she responded in turn, feeling her velvety tongue explore the depth of his mouth. Her hands reached up to stroke his face as he continued his assault on her mouth. She let out another delicious moan as she tilted her hips into him, rubbing slowly against his trapped erection. Snape let out an unconscious growl as he doubled his efforts and began to caress her heaving breasts. He could feel her hard nipples through her gown and he slowly teased them with his nimble fingers, feeling her arch her back further into his embrace. Her hands moving from his face and then continuing to move south along his chest until she was teasingly stroking his cock through his robe. Slowly he traced her nipple with his right hand, while in response to their need, his left hand slide slowly over her luscious backside. Her breathing was becoming frantic as he continued to feasting on her mouth and his left hand persisted in its’ journey to move lower, gathering up her sheer dress skirt until he was able to slip his hand over her soaking wet panties. Snape could feel her slippery wetness coating his fingers through her panties and he felt his penis become even more engorged with lust. “You are an amazing sexy witch, so very responsive and eager,” he murmured in her ear. Hermione giggled softly, “You are solely responsible for my overachievement on this occasion.” Professor Snape was more then ready to take her now against the stone wall as Hermione began to unbutton his trousers. However, at that moment, they heard shuffling footsteps and they sprung apart. Snape quickly uttered a straightening charm under his breath. His trousers buttons refastened as Hermione’s dress unwrinkled and returned to it’s previous unmolested state. Rounding the corner, the three students didn’t notice anything was amiss as they quickly passed by in fear of reprimand from Professor Snape. Both Snape and Hermione breathed a sigh of relief after they passed. “We will continue this at a more opportune time,” he whispered slyly in her ear as they walked briskly back to the Great Hall.
Chapter 9: The Ball's Aftermath
“How was the Halloween ball?” asked Ginny nonchalantly. “You heard about the mess at the Great Hall did you?” She knew logically Ginny had no way of knowing about her other more titillating adventure but she blushed unconsciously as she thought about Snape’s hands caressing her against the cold dungeon wall. “It sounded almost as exciting as the Weird Sisters concert, though I think your night involved more flying spiders.”
“And Slughorn rockets.” laughed Hermione. Ginny gave her a quizzical look which quickly turned into a wide grin as she proceeded to explain how Professor Slughorn had turned into a very hysterical shrieking rocket. “You’re back earlier then I would have expected. I would have thought you and Harry would still be out partying”.
“Well, er, we had a little private party of our own.”
“I hope you cleaned up after your event. I was hoping to take a long bath and go straight to bed after the evening I had,” Hermione said with some bemusement.
“No, I promise, everything is completely clean. We scourgified the bed…and the floor,” Ginny smirked. “Thanks for letting us use your room.”
“No problem, just make sure you check with me prior to your little rendezvous in the future.”
“Planning on getting some of your own action?” Ginny gave her a lavish look.
Hermione turned bright red. “No, it’s just my private room,” she sputtered.
“I know.” Ginny turned serious. “Thank you so much, really. Harry and I appreciate it. But you should consider finding someone of your own. My brother is a moron and you could definitely can do much better.”
“Speaking of Ron, is he still partying the night away?”
“He was still at the bar when Harry and I left, trying to buy girls their drinks. Striking out pretty miserably though.”
Hermione found that the thought of Ron with another girl didn't really bother her anymore and she only had one man on her mind as she walked up to her chamber. After a long luxurious bath, she climbed into bed but still felt too pent up to sleep. She couldn’t get Professor Snape out of her head. The way he had touched her had caused her whole body to tremble with lust. She had never been so turned on in her life. Ron had never given her over the course of their whole relationship even a fraction of the pleasure that Snape had given her during those brief minutes of stolen time in the dungeons tonight. She tossed and turned in her bed, remembering in vivid detail his passionate kiss and the feel of his rigid penis underneath his trousers. Her current need was undeniable as she slipped her fingers into her wet panties. Teasing her clit with her fingers imagining Snape’s fingers touching her and feeling her slippery folds. Gasping, she pictured his hard cock plunging into her greedy pussy and slipped two fingers deep inside herself. Still not satisfied, she grabbed for her wand and recited a modified engorgement charm followed by a vibrato charm. Her wand immediately increased in girth and began to vibrate slightly. Fantasizing that Snape was claiming her for his own, Hermione thrust her wand into her cunt harder. She succumbed to the engulfing waves of pleasure of her orgasm as she called out his name. Feeling sated for now, she smiled and closed her eyes for the night.
Professor Snape was also still awake as he leaned against his door of his private chambers well after midnight feeling overwhelmed with emotion. He knew he should feel guilty for what happened but he no longer had the strength to fight his growing desire. As he closed his eyes, reliving her soft moans of pleasure, he felt his erection declare itself again. Still intoxicated by her scent on his fingers, he sniffed them deeply as he stroked himself. It didn’t take long before he spilled his seed picturing her willing body in his arms. He relaxed and crawled into bed, trying to ignore the twinge in his heart as he pictured her falling asleep in his arms.
Chapter 10: Plans and Memories
Hermione enacts plans to snare Professor Snape while Snape recalls his sexual history.
Warning. This chapter is slightly intense but everything is consensual.
Hermione opened her eyes slowly, watching the sun filter in through the castle window. She lazily ran her fingers over her mouth, smiling as she recalled the events from the night before. Her lips tingled at the memory of Professor Snape’s powerful kiss as recalled the taste of him in her mouth. She had been uncertain before regarding his attraction to her but last night his rigid cock rubbing against her hips had left little doubt. The fact that she was a student was obviously a significant ethical factor for him though it wasn’t as if she was a regular student. Between the time-turner and the war, she felt years old than her stated age of 18. Hermione couldn’t help but feel a burst of satisfaction that his desire for her was strong enough to overcome that particular barrier. He was a man that didn’t like to lose control and in fact, before last night, she had never seen him the least bit out of control. Even in his anger, his behavior was calculated and she felt herself grow moist between her thighs with the realization that she had invoked his fiery loss of control. However, as much as he had undeniably enjoyed last night, she wondered if he would allow himself that pleasure again. The thought of not having this man over and over again and giving everything to him was unfathomable. Now that she had a sample of such erotic goodness, there was no way she could settle for less. Clearly, she would just have to seduce him until his tightly wound control exploded. Feeling better, as Hermione always did when she had a plan for the future, she got up to get ready. She had a lot to do if she was going to snag Professor Snape.
Severus Snape watched the sun peak over the horizon, slowly illuminating the forbidden forest from his private spot on the grounds. Its bright rays creating the illusion that the black lake itself was on fire. He had awoken early this morning, his thoughts whirling in his head. His structured day seemed to have fallen to the wayside as snapshots of Hermione’s passionate reaction to him seemed to consume all of his attention. He had never been with anyone like her. Never had he felt so sexually satisfied despite the limited contact that they had experienced last night. Had his whole life been a lie of his own construction? Frowning, he thought back on his rather extensive sexual past. When he had first joined the death eaters, he was for all intensive purposes a virgin. His time at Hogwarts had been marked with only a very few scattered encounters of groping in the Slytherin common room or behind one of the hidden passageways behind the many tapestries that adorned the halls. Usually they were both quite intoxicated on large quantities of fire whiskey that the older Slytherins would always sneak into the common room. The only time he and his partner had not both been drunk was with Lily. She had been slipping away from him even before his awful mistake that alienated her forever. Spending more and more time with her other friends, she left him behind. However, she still would come to him when she needed a comfortable shoulder to cry on. It was during one of those episodes during a break-up with that idiotic Ravenclaw boy she had been dating that he had kissed her. Snape vividly remembered his excitement when she kissed him back and the hope that bubbled up in his chest that maybe something in his life would go right for a change. He had gently held her and kissed her for hours before she left to go back to Gryffindor tower. He hadn’t slept at all that night as he could barely contain his excitement at the thought of being with Lily. But rapidly all of his hopes and dreams came crashing down the following day when she barely glanced at him during breakfast at the Great Hall. When he finally caught her alone before Transfiguration, she awkwardly thanked him for being there for her, but stated that she had made up with her boyfriend. Severus cringed even now how he must have looked like a love sick puppy dog to Lily, starving for the hint of any sign of affection. He had loved her and she had just used him, easily brushing him off at her own convenience.
He had been so angry that night. He had wanted to prove himself and had joined Lucius Malfoy, Evan Rosier, Rabastan and Rodolphus Lestrange in bullying the first year Hufflepuffs after dinner, hitting them with dancing jinxes and a urination hex of his own invention that had made them wet their uniforms. His talent for curses had gotten him their apparent admiration and in turn, the admiration of a Slytherin girl named Megan. They had ended the night with multiple shots of fire whiskey. Lucius and the others egged him on to drink more and more shots. He vaguely remembered getting sick in the corner before an equally wasted Megan had started kissing him. Snape had lost his virginity that night, roughly pounding the girl on the floor of the common room, the girl who was not Lily. His “friends” cheering him on while she eyed Lucius seductively. Obviously wishing that it was him, not scrawny Snape who was invading her but hoping this lewd act would entice Lucius. After Snape had cum, embarrassingly fast despite his drunken state, Lucius had given him an evil grin. “Come here Megan, let me show you how a real man pleases a women”. She hadn’t spared a second look at Snape and began moaning at Lucius’ ministrations. Severus had looked on in dismay with her juices still dripping off his cock at her wanton display. He was just a means to an end. He should have known that Megan was never even remotely interested in him but in Lucius. What better way to get him then offer Lucius not only uninhibited sex but the opportunity to appear as the alpha dog and humiliate Snape in the process. It was devastating, though very Slytherin of her, he begrudging admitted. He had tried to maintain his pride and joined the cheering crowd. He slunk away as soon as he could, but not before being assailed with the image of Megan willingly taking Lucius up her ass as Rodolphus crammed his dick into her moaning mouth.
Once he was a death eater, there had been plenty of opportunities. Even though he was not by any means a handsome wizard, it seemed that women were lining up to be with him. Soured by his previous experiences, he had known that they were not attracted to him but his power and darkness he represented. However, he had thought that it was enough to have his choice of women to satisfy his urges. It was a physical itch that he scratched but the previous humiliation had scarred him. He was determined to keep the upper hand during all of his interactions. He would fulfill his cravings and leave the women begging for more. Snape would always ensure that he gave the women intense orgasms, so they would be the ones intoxicated. He would always leave them needing more, sharply laughing at their debasement as the women would plead for just one more night. Severus Snape had thought he had experienced the heights of sexual satisfaction. Except, it appeared, he had never been so wrong. One kiss with Hermione, was better than all of his previous encounters. It didn’t take a genius to figure out that this was the first time other than with Lily that he had allowed himself to fully participate. To utterly lose himself in her body. To willing surrender to his desire for her. He had never thought he would feel like this again. He had lived with the heavy burden of Lily’s death for so many years. His feelings of love for her as a teenager mixed with his angry at her betrayal had suffocated him in guilt for years. Following the death of Dark Lord, he had finally felt free of that terrible burden. When able to analyze his feelings out from under all of that emotional rubble, he recognized it for what it was, a high school crush. However, it always had stood out as the only source of light in the darkness that enveloped him. It was the only time he had truly felt loved though following that crushing defeat, he had swore he would never allow himself to be vulnerable again. But what did he have to show for it, almost 40 years old? Alone with not a soul who loved him or even considered him a friend. Behind his hardened exterior, he felt empty and vengeful at the world that had treated him with such distain. And yet, with one caring touch of his lips by Hermione, he had broken apart. No one in his life had ever cared about him or desired him like she did. He was willing to prostate himself at her feet for just a small taste more of her. He had never felt such an connection with anyone. It terrified him even more then standing in front of the Dark Lord, occluding his true intentions as he withstood the onslaught of his powerful legilimency. He didn’t know how to proceed. There appeared to be no way to close the pandora’s box he had opened. He stared out at the grounds lost in thought as the sun grow higher in the sky and the birds awakened filling the morning with song. He sighed deeply and started back to the castle, still preoccupied with the regrets of yesterday.
Hermione looked somewhat nervously around the Great Hall for Professor Snape as she walked in with Ginny and Harry for breakfast. Ron was still sleeping it off in his room, having not come back from the Three Broomsticks until long after curfew. He had been very drunk and irritable according to Harry as he had not managed to secure the attentions of any of the girls. Harry had been adamant that they not wake him yet. When she didn’t see Snape at the head table, she relaxed. She wasn’t ready to put her plan in place yet and didn’t want to give him the opportunity to try to reinstate any professional boundaries. She was completely engrossed with her plans throughout breakfast but managed to hide her inattention from Ginny and Harry as they babbled on about the previous night.
“It sounds like I missed a real party,” Hermione sighed trying to act disappointed as Ginny and Harry were finishing their tale regarding Dean Thomas and the Katie Bell who hooked up rather publicly at the concert.
“You probably would’ve died of embarrassment looking at those two,” Ginny stated as she swatted at Hermione playfully. “I mean, you could see his hands all the way up her dress and I am pretty sure she was enjoying it. I don’t think all that shrieking was just for the band.”
“Yea, Hermione, I’m not sure it would have quite been your scene,” Harry muttered, looking rather embarrassed himself with the direction of the conversation.
“Well, you never know, I like the Weird Sisters,” Hermione smirked as both Ginny and Harry gaped at her insinuation. If only they knew what she had really been up to last night with Professor Snape. It definitely would’ve given Dean and Katie a run for their money if they hadn’t been interrupted. “Well, I have a ton of homework to do this weekend. I am already behind in my studying schedule due to last night’s Halloween Ball fiasco.”
“Are you going to spend the whole weekend in the library again?,” Harry whined. “We never seen you anymore, between your studying, Head Girl duties, and whatever crazy potions work you have to do for Snape.”
“Don’t worry Harry, I will make sure to stop by the Gryffindor common room for some of my studying. I know you need some help with the transfiguration homework.”
“I do,” Harry reluctantly admitted “but I also just miss hanging out with you. Honestly.”
“I know Harry, I promise I will try to not spend all my time in the library.” Hermione grinned as she headed back to room. She did have a lot of homework to do, but she was still ahead in all of her classes as always, in case of emergencies. Though, she had never had an emergency like this.
She spent the rest of the morning getting ready. Hermione wanted to appear casual but irresistible and she didn’t want Snape to think she had spent too much time getting ready. A quick hair removing spell on her legs made them smooth in seconds. Hermione was a little more precise with her vaginal hair as the Calvorio charm had been known to cause complete baldness everywhere if used improperly. She wasn’t sure if Snape would like her totally bare but after much thought she removed all of her dark curls down there except for a small patch on top. Luckily, I picked up an extra Sleekeazy potion bottle, she thought, as she attempted to comb through her wild mane of hair. After much work she had tamed her hair and soft sleek chestnut curls cascaded down her shoulders. Perfect, thought Hermione as she gathered her hair up in a slightly disheveled bun. She didn’t want Ginny or Harry to notice anything different about her appearance and become suspicious. Looking through her underwear drawer, she was vaguely disappointed that she didn’t have more adventurous pairs. Finally, she picked up a simple satin white thong with just a hint of lace on the edges and a white lacy bra that cupped her breasts seductively. Smiling to herself, she quickly threw on the best of her usual weekend clothes. It was just a simple coral blouse and dark blue jeans but they accented her figure well.
Hermione grabbed her books and headed the long way to the library so she would pass the Professor Snape’s classroom. She knew he was currently supervising Slytherian’s Quidditch practice so there was no chance of bumping into him prematurely. As she passed the classroom, she discreetly casted a modified cave inimicum spell on the door. She had been able to modify the protection spell after some practice in her room to act as a silent motion detection charm that would alert only her when it was activated. Dean and Seamus had detention tonight with Snape after getting caught sneaking in after curfew and Hermione wanted to know exactly when they were leaving so she could catch him alone in his classroom. Smirking at her cleverness, she then went to the library to try to study. Despite knowing she wouldn’t be very productive as her thoughts were fixated on the events of yesterday night, she knew she needed the distraction to keep her nerves at bay.
After a quick dinner at the Great Hall, she wandered into the Gryffindor common room to spend some time with Ginny and Harry as promised. “Hermione, I thought you said you weren’t going to spend all day in the library,” Harry exclaimed. “I just lost track of time. Don’t worry, I can look at your transfiguration homework now.” Harry looked sheepish but very relieved as he handed her his parchment.
Suddenly Ginny started laughing and she and Harry looked up to see Ron stumbling down the stairs from the boy’s tower. He appeared rather green and swayed slightly before collapsing on the sofa. “I am never drinking that much again. I feel worse then when I spent the whole night vomiting slugs!”
“Why don’t you see if Madam Pomfrey has any Pepper-Up potion. That should take care of the worst of the symptoms,” Hermione said, trying not to roll her eyes at his foolishness. “I don’t think I can move,” Ron groaned. Hermione shook her head but refrained from lecturing him. She continued to mark Harry’s homework silently as Harry tried to help Ginny with her divination homework. “Just make stuff up like I did,” Harry said. “She loves when you suffer a lot of calamities.”
“I could fall off my broom next week,” Ginny said with some hesitation. “No, it needs to be worse then that.” Harry countered. “How about you fall off your broom into the black lake and then almost get dragged under by Grindylows,” Hermione sniffed loudly in disapproval. She was about to comment again about what an absolute fraud Professor Trelawney was, when she felt her wand vibrate slightly. Snape’s detention was letting up and she needed to leave now if she wanted to catch him alone. “I just remembered, I have an Arthimacy assignment that I have to add some finishing touches on. I’ll see you guys later.” Hermione tried not to appear too anxious as she quickly gathered her notes. “Hermione, can’t you just finish it here,” Ron said in a slightly whiny tone. “Ron, I left my Advanced Arthimacy book in my room and I’m not coming all the way back here just to correct your homework.” Ron had the decency to look somewhat abashed as he didn’t quite meet her eye. Hermione inwardly grinned. She had an ironclad excuse to leave as neither Ron nor Harry was taking advanced Arthimacy. No one would suspect that she was really planning on sneaking into the potions classroom to seduce Professor Snape.
Chapter 11: The Seduction of Professor Snape
Hermione catches Professor Snape alone in his classroom......Sexy times follow.
Snape was unsettled as he let the two boys out from his potions classroom. He had sensed the motion detection charm as soon as he had opened the classroom door after detention. He felt his defenses rise. It was unlikely that it was a former death eater come to seek revenge as the survivors from the final battle at Hogwarts all remained incarcerated in Azkaban. Not to mention, it would be almost impossible for them to sneak into Hogwarts undetected. Was it Professor McGonagall spying on him? Did she suspect his inappropriate feelings for Hermione? No student would have been able to cast such a complicated charm and disguise so well that even he could hardly detect it. Well, he mused, one student could but what would be Hermione’s goal in casting such a charm. Why would she care when he finished detention? He was sure she was hanging with her friends in the Gryffindor tower and likely not giving him a second thought. With his thoughts on Hermione, he went to close the door. He stiffened as he detected a flash of movement in the corner of his eye. Without hesitation, he reacted. Waving his wand to seal the door with a Colloportus spell, he then blotted out the candles that lighted the classroom. Using instinct alone, he grabbed the intruder and pushed them roughly against the door, covering their mouth with his hand. A surprised feminine gasp stopped him in his tracks. He slowly removed his hand from her mouth and stepped back, flicking his wand to relight some of the candles he had so rapidly extinguished.
Hermione stood slightly trembling against the classroom door, illuminated only by the candlelight, breathing rapidly. Snape watched her, almost hypnotized by the rise and fall of her breasts as she tried to regain her composure. “You set the charm?,” He asked already knowing the answer. “Why?”
“I want to be with you.” Hermione looked alluringly at him as she freed her hair, allowing her curls to cascade around her face. Those six words set a delicious shiver up his spine in anticipation as his cock leapt to attention. “You don’t want to be with me. I am a damaged old man,” he said reflexively. He still couldn’t believe that this intelligent, alluring witch wanted him.
“Not old,” Hermione whispered as she began to slowly unbutton her blouse. “And we are all damaged.” Professor Snape watched intently as her nimble fingers continue to unbutton slowly down her blouse, catching his breath as the curves of her breasts become visible. She finished the last button and let her shirt fall to the floor. Snape found his mouth watering at the sight of the supple pale bosom encased in her slightly sheer white lacy bra. She smiles almost shyly as she unclasps her bra and deposits it on the floor with her growing pile of clothes. At the sight of her full breasts with their soft pink nipples fully at attention, he couldn’t contain himself any longer. He closed the distance between them and took her up in a passionate kiss. “You are playing with fire, Miss Granger,” he murmured as they break from the kiss. “I’m not the only one playing with fire, Professor Snape,” Hermione whispered in his ear, emphasizing the last two words as she began to nibble on his ear. He groaned into her neck and slowly began to trace his fingers down her sides until he felt the swell of her tits. Hermione let out a little sigh and leaned back slightly against the door, allowing him full access to her awaiting breasts. Snape began to fondle her chest aggressively, catching her mouth in another scorching kiss. Hermione can barely think as she feels his adept tongue warring with hers, his thumb and forefinger gently playing with her sensitive nipples as his palms cup her breasts. His touch is electrifying and she feels the growing heat between her legs. Unconsciously, she finds herself rubbing against his thigh, trying to obtain some relief for her growing need. Professor Snape moaned softly and breaks off the kiss. “You seem to be in need of some assistance,” he smirks as he takes in the sight of Hermione flushed with pleasure and need, staring at him with her vision obviously clouded with lust. “Please…sir!” She gives a coquettish smile and Snape almost growls with desire. Grabbing her ass, he hoists her up and deposits her quickly onto his desk. He brings his lips to her neck, sucking gently as he leisurely begins to work his kisses lower. Hermione feels like ever nerve in her body is on fire awaiting his grazing mouth. She lets out a loud gasp as he begins to feast on her tits. Snape pauses for only a second as he casts a nonverbal Muffliato spell and quickly strengthens the wards surrounding his classroom. “Don’t want any interruptions this time,” he utters in a low baritone whisper, looking at her greedily. Then he returns to ravish her breasts, his tongue tasting each one in turn, lightly nipping at their pink tips. Hermione lets out a stuttering breath as he begins to trail his lips lower down her abdomen, dipping his tongue slightly in her bellybutton before arriving at her jeans. He straightens up slightly, quickly disposing of his outer robe before undoing the buttons on her jeans and sliding them to the floor. He revels at the intoxicating sight in front of him. Hermione’s blushing face surrounded by a halo of chestnut curls with her supple breasts and glistening erect nipples. His jaw tightens as he inspects lower, her legs spread slightly allowing him to see her soaking wet white thong. “My, my, Miss Granger,” Snape says in an almost mocking voice. “I think somebody is quite the teacher’s pet.” She holds her breath with anticipation as he begins to lightly run his fingers over her saturated panties. His deft fingers circling her clit faintly, causing Hermione to thrust her hips towards him in an attempt to increase the contact on her throbbing nub. “Please,” Hermione lets out a futile groan as she continues to writhe her hips with increasing fervor. “Relax, Miss Granger. I intend to enjoy you fully and we have all night. You will be sated soon enough, just savor the pleasure for now.” Snape murmured as he gradually lowered her underwear down, letting out a low moan as he took in her moist folds, shimmering in the dim candlelight with her need. He felt his arousal straining to break free from its’ confinement as he noted the puddle of her juices collecting on his dark wooden desk. Hermione’s warm brown eyes meet his, conveying her desire and he is completely captivated by her. “I think you are overdressed,” she smirked as she propped herself up on his desk with one hand while the other hand seized his neck to bring his face down for a passionate kiss. Whimpering with longing, she made quick work of his shirt throwing it down with disregard. Snape detected her gaze devouring his body and unexpectedly, he felt uncertain. He knew he was not traditionally handsome but he had never cared as his sexual partners always had alternate motives. For the first time, he was concerned that he would not measure up.
He felt her hand gently stroke his chest. “You are amazing,” Hermione purred. Snape looked into her eyes, expecting to see the deceit hidden there but instead he could only see her desire for him. She smiled gently as if she knew his insecurities and begin lightly kissing his scarred lithe chest. Electricity ran through his body as her lips slowly grazed his sensitive skin. He reached toward her and tipped Hermione’s chin up so he could meet her eyes again. Snape felt lost in the wells of passion that stared back at him. “I am not a good man. I have tormented you a thousand times over. Why do you waste even a breath on me?” Hermione continued to stare deeply back at him, leaving him feeling more exposed then he even had. “You are a brave, good man. Everyone makes mistakes. We are not defined by those mistakes but rather what we do to correct those mistakes. You have suffered enough at the hands of others. Don’t spend the rest of your life suffering at your own hands.” Hermione’s tender eyes tore through his soul and he was sure that he was safer at this moment in time with her then he ever had been before. A wave of lust enveloped him as he continued to gawk at her enticing figure. He swallowed hard as he sensed her grasping hands undoing his belt, her hands ghosting over his rigid member still trapped in his trousers. Snape hissed softly as she undid his pants and let them fall to his knees, exposing the large tent in his underwear.
A mischievous grin overtook Hermione’s face as she stared captivated at Professor Snape naked except for his black boxers, his shameless cock announcing his master’s intentions. “Black seems to be your color.” She said teasingly as pulled his boxers down to expose his large penis, oozing precum slightly from its engorged tip. Growling with desperate hunger, Snape gathered her up in his arms, ambushing her mouth with frantic kisses. Hermione’s world contracted until there was only him, tasting her lips and invading her mouth with his tongue. Suddenly, he pushed her back until she was flat on the desk and released her mouth. Whimpering with need, Hermione tried to reclaim him, only to gasp and arch her back as he commenced kissing her other lips. She tried to remember to breath as she was overwhelmed by the sensation of his soft lips grazing her satin folds.
Snape was losing himself in her scorching heat as he tasted her sinful nectar. His cock growing more insistent as his tongue plundered her core. Relishing in her increasing delirious cries, he concentrated on her hardened button, greedily lapping up her flowing juices. He could feel her beginning to come undone as his strong tongue circled her clit. He slipped two fingers into her, rubbing her sensitive spot as he continued to tease her nub with his tongue. A hoarse cry announced her impending orgasm. “You are mine,” whispered Snape as Hermione began to explode. Her inner walls clamping down on his fingers as a trickle of her sweet cum filled his waiting mouth. “Yours!,” Hermione cried with satisfaction as her body shook with wave after wave of pleasure. “Severus, I am yours.”
Snape nearly lost control as he heard Hermione shout his name in the midst of her orgasm. He had never wanted a witch so badly in his life. Reining himself in until she had a chance to recover, he grabbed her off his desk and carried her naked body to his awaiting chamber. Kissing her deeply, he laid her reverently on his bed. She meet his gaze seductively and beckoned him with her eyes to join her. “I want feel you inside me.”
“Are you…I mean have you…,” Snape voice trailed off as he tried to articulate his question. “I haven’t had sex with anyone before. You are my first,” she whispered.
He felt his heart sink to the floor. “I can’t steal that from you.”
“You are not stealing, I am giving myself to you. Very willing.” Hermione meet his hesitant dark eyes as she slowly spread her legs. He could feel his resistance rapidly leave him as he looked at her pussy, her abundant moisture sparkling in the candlelight.
“I kept two masters at bay for years, yet I give into temptation so easily with you,” Snape murmured as he slowly ran his hand down her trembling body, pausing only briefly at her womb to cast a contraceptive spell. His dripping shaft was more the ready as he lowered himself onto Hermione. He shuddered with pleasure as his cock easily slipped into her tight wet cunt. Her walls blistering with heat tightly clamped down on him as he gently pushed past her barrier. She let out a low groan. “Please, more”!, Hermione begged. Emboldened, Snape increased his speed as she writhed beneath him, filling the room with her needy gasps. Angling himself so he could grind his pelvis against her sensitive clit, he repeatedly drove himself into her. Her hands gripping his muscular back, pulling him further inside her. Her desire was breathtaking to watch as she was consumed by ecstasy. He sensed her walls begin contract around his manhood as he continued to pummel her. “Oh, please, oh Severus,” Hermione let out a prolonged whimper as she began to come apart again. The rhythmic clenching of her pussy was too much for him. With one last thrust, he exploded. Gutturally crying out her name as he spilled his seed deep inside of her. Rolling off, he quickly cast a Scorgify spell to clean off their copious juices and then gathered her up in his arms. Hermione gave him a blissful smile as she burrowed deeper in his embrace. I am found, thought Snape as he held her close. Finally sated, they slept.
Chapter 12: Into the Night
Snape and Hermione discuss their relationship.
Hermione woke several hours later feeling chilled despite the heavy blankets on the bed as the cold dungeon air seemed to cut right through to her naked body. Gathering the soft dark green blanket up and wrapping it around her shoulders for protection from the frigid night, she ventured out to his small study. Professor Snape appeared to be immobile in his armchair, staring deeply at the crackling fireplace. “You should go Miss Granger.” He said without emotion, his gaze still lost in the flames. Hermione’s eyes prickled with tears. “Don’t” she whispered. Snape turned slowly and raised one eyebrow. “Don’t hide behind your mask. Don’t push me away.”
“And what would you have me do? You are my student.” He angrily emphasized the last word, feeling ashamed of his weakness. Despite his icy restrained demeanor, Hermione could see the desperation in his eyes. Undeterred by his determination to drive her away, she felt his eyes fan the flames that were growing in her. She slowly walked toward him, letting her blanket fall to the floor, never once looking away from his inky dilated pupils. Snape took a faltering breath but did not speak. He appeared to be rendered speechless as his hungry eyes indulged in the beautiful feast in front of him. His inner conflict fading away again as she bared down on him, her pale curvy body with her stiff dusky nipples demanding his full attention.
“I was your student, yes. But I am more than that now. We have a connection, don’t try to deny it. Hermione stared fiercely at him, expecting a fight but he appeared to be preoccupied with the opposing thoughts in his head.
She’s just a student. He was determined to regain some control in this unorthodox situation, despite his previous error. But you know that isn’t true, an annoyingly logical voice in his head argued back. She is special. He had to admit that over the past month, he had delighted in their conversations. She was more intelligent than the majority of witches and wizards twice her age and he felt more as though he were conversing with a colleague rather than his student. Truth was that she was on the same level as him intellectually. Snape scowled as he realized that he could count on one hand the number of people who held that particular title. Usually even the most intelligent young adults still lacked the emotional maturity that separated them from their older peers. However, Hermione was definitely different in that regard as well. Possibly because of the war or her frequent trips with the time turner but he sensed an oldness to her that he would not have expected. He wanted to run from her and the vulnerability she incited in him but instead he took a step toward her waiting body. Drawn to her, like a moth to a flame, he felt himself fraught with fear at the connection he could not deny.
With his hesitation rapidly crumbling, he stood and carefully inspected her. Standing in front of him naked and unashamed as her eyes peered into his soul.
“I am cruel, but you make me forget myself. I have been wandering aimlessly since the war but with you I feel undamaged. I feel like I could be someone good,” he paused feeling exposed. “We could be something good.” Severus’ heart beat rapidly at his confession, bracing himself for the inevitable rejection. Hermione closed the small gap between their bodies and pressed her lips softly on his forehead.
“You are someone good. The sacrifices you made, foregoing all companionship, to atone for your past mistakes is more than most brave good men could do.” She slowly began trailing gentle kisses down his neck, leaving his skin burning for more contact. “I want you, I need you.” Hermione murmured as she began slowly moving her lips down his chest. Her kisses harsher as they reflected her growing hunger. Snape, for the first time in his life, was overwhelmed not just by his lust but by the faint stirrings of love for this witch now kneeling in front of him. “You don’t have to…” He began to say when she voiced her dissent. “I want to taste you.” His cock already erect under his robes expressed agreement with that course of action and he could feel his blood pulsing as she rapidly divested him of his remaining clothes.
Grinning up at him, proud that she was the cause of his obvious desire, she gently kissed his tender head. Severus let out a throaty moan as she ran her tongue along the opening to lick up his copious precum before engulfing it in her greedy mouth. He trembled slightly at the delicious sensations running through his body as her mouth caressed his eager cock. Grabbing her untidy curls to anchor himself, he surrendered completely to her talents as waves of pleasure coursed through him. Deep feral noises emanated from him as she bathed his penis with her velvet tongue. Far too quickly, he felt his balls tighten signaling the impending climax. “Hermione,” Snape let out her name in a low groan. “I am going to cum.” Expecting her to cease her ministrations, he was surprised when she swallowed the length of his penis. His hips bucking up wildly, he cried out her name as he exploded into her mouth.
Hermione smiled up at him as she licked the last remainder of his seed off his softening penis. “I know you don’t consider me an old man, but I hope you realize that I will need to recover some before my next performance.” Smirking, Hermione stood up and started to laugh. “I am Hogwart’s resident know it all so I do have some knowledge regarding the male anatomy. I hope this means that I wouldn’t have to convince you about our compatibility in the future. Despite her joking manner, Snape could see the concern in her eyes with her own fear of rejection. He had tried for weeks to stay away and deny his need. However, he could deny her no longer. “I am yours Hermione, if you want me.” Her face lit up at his admission and she took his hands. “And I am your Severus.” Snape felt lighter then he had ever been with the thought that this beautiful intelligent witch that he desired, wanted him too.
He watched lazily in a post-orgasmic haze as she transfigured the rug near the fireplace with a flick of her wand to a thick white bearskin. She spread out naked toward the heat with her beautiful rounded ass glowing in the flickering light. Turning, she beckoned him to join her and he felt his lips curved upward in a smile at the mesmerizing scene in front of him. “You look heavenly”. Snape murmured as he settled down beside her and wrapped his arms around her prone figure. “Would you like some elf wine?" “That sounds great.” He quickly conjured up two wine glasses and some of his best elf wine. Pouring carefully to avoid spilling on the white bearskin, he self-consciously handed her a glass. He couldn’t think the last time he had entertained a women. He certainly had never had a women in his chambers at Hogwarts. He was so experienced regarding sexual relations but he was like an bumbling teenager when it came to any form of a relationship. He felt like he was waiting for some magnificent spell to end and reality to brutally claim him. Hermione sensed Snape tense up around her. “Have your thoughts already convinced you that you are unworthy?” Hermione asked gently, turning to meet his surprisingly unsure eyes. Severus took a fortifying sip of his wine”. “I am unaccustomed to this,” he stated, making a sweeping gesture with his arms. “I fear that it will be only a matter of time before you see the light and leave me alone again with nothing but the memories to keep me warm.” Hermione searched her mind, but couldn’t recall a time where Snape had appeared so unguarded before. His honesty was endearing. She slowly took his hands in hers, and looked into his obsidian eyes. “I don’t have much experience either. I am not expecting a fairytale relationship. I want to be with you, not some idealized version of you. We both have our flaws and scars. We will make mistakes, we will fight. However, I think that you are worth fighting for."
“I don’t want to disappoint you, you deserve the best.”
“And what if I think you are the best.”
“Then you are a fool but you are the only fool I will suffer gladly.” He stared into her warm brown eyes and his worries fell away again. His body relaxed again into hers as Hermione’s smile erased his fears. They both turned their attention to the dancing flames in the fireplace, each savoring the warmth slowly spreading through their limbs.
“You are usually so confident, so intimidating. Why does my desire frighten you so?" Hermione asked quietly, determined to learn more about this complicated man that seemed to already occupy her heart completely.
“It is a long depressing tale. You really want to know?” Snape had never had someone really want to know about his life in the past. Lily had always been more interested in his ability to listen. His school year “friends” only wanted information to hold against in him in the future and truthfully Dumbledore had been little better, seeking knowledge only to ensure his continued loyalty. He had never had someone want to just know about him, just because, without a hidden agenda.
“Of course.” She smiled shyly at him. He took a deep breath and began.