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If she wasn’t floating in a cloud of sensual nirvana, Hermione would probably still be shocked about the turn of events that had led to her mouth being explored in the most wicked fashion by one incredibly brilliant and brave ex Death Eater.

But she was, so her mile-a-minute brain was currently on holiday from the knowledge that she’d finally succeeded in curing Severus Snape and that in only ten minutes of conversation, she was suddenly being kissed by a former teacher that used to treat her like an annoyance and her best friends like dirt. In fact, her brain was nearly entirely on hiatus regarding everything. The only thought that seemed to be featuring was, Good, good, so freaking good.

Because Severus Snape was good at kissing. Really good. So very thorough and deliberate in every one of his actions. His lips moved over hers with the fine touch of a master and his tongue caressed hers like a connoisseur of everything that made her nerve endings explode with sensation.

He put Ron’s overly wet and enthusiastic kisses to shame.

And Victor’s too forceful ones that left her lips feeling bruised.

And that wizard from the accounting department that had thought she was desperate enough to want the kisses of a Merlin wannabee with the arms of an octopus and a mouth like a sucker to match.

In short, Severus was proving himself to be just as good a lover in reality as he was in her dreams.

Or maybe I’m dreaming right now.

If that’s the case, I really, really don’t want to wake up.

She whimpered slightly with disappointment when he removed his mouth from hers. His deep chuckle had her opening her eyes to look directly into his bottomless obsidian ones. “More,” she whispered, clutching the back of his head.

He stroked her cheeks with large thumbs, smiling in a way she was sure she’d never seen from him before. “Of course I’ll give you more, but I was hoping you would first join me inside the tub. My knees are starting to hurt from kneeling on the porcelain and this would be so much better if we didn’t have the barrier of a hard bathtub between us, don’t you think?”

The deep rumble of his voice was like a shot of bliss to her ears.

And other parts.

Which is why it took her brain a few seconds longer than it should have to actually process his words and come up with an appropriate answer.

And also why she acted like a wild person in the next moment.

Hermione blinked and then lunged over the tub and on top of him with a squealed out, “Gods, yes!” that had them both tumbling into the water and all but drowning him before they managed to readjust with much splashing, sputtering, and flying limbs so that she was kneeling around his thighs as he reclined against the back of the tub.

With his hands on her waist, hers on his shoulders, and their hair floating around them in the deep water like soggy masses of brown and black seaweed, Hermione gasped out, “I’m sorry!”

Severus snorted, his black eyes twinkling and his perfectly shaped mouth twitching with amusement as he shook his head at her. “I should have known you’d get in with your usual Gryffindor enthusiasm and been better prepared.”

She shook her head back at him. “I’m still sorry. You made me lose all sense of reason for a minute there.”

His eyes gleamed. “I’m going to take that as a compliment.” He ran his hands up and down her sides overtop of her drenched nightgown, making her gasp at how amazing that felt, as he rumbled out, “Do you want me to do it again?”

There was only one correct answer to that question.

And ‘no’ wasn’t it.

“Yes please,” she whispered in a tone as polite as can be.

“Good,” he husked back, ebony eyes flashing with an inner fire that lit her own even hotter.

Severus drew her closer to him, sliding her forwards so she was over his narrow waist now. Her hands tangled in his wet hair. And then his mouth was feathering over hers again with a groan of pleasure from deep in his chest.

His long fingered hands on her back that hugged them together and caressed at the same time was everything she could hope for. He was gently insistent but not demanding or pushy. He didn’t try and force their hips together before she was ready for that. Nor did he grab at her arse like a, well, arse.

He was being a perfect gentleman considering he was naked and she was all but.

He hadn’t even flicked his eyes down to gawk at her chest in her nightgown that must be see-through now.  

There was definitely something to be said for taking a lover who was older and possessed some actual self-control.

“Severus,” she murmured reverently into his caressing kisses. “Everything I dreamed, I swear.”

He pulled his mouth from hers and their eyes met for a moment before he turned his attention to laying butterfly kisses all over her face and neck. Kisses that made her want to giggle and squirm, but the words he said back in between his kisses kept her still. “I must admit that it does crazy things to me to hear you say that, but I can’t say the same about you. The last memory I have of you is of a school girl with too much responsibility on her young shoulders, forced to grow up too soon. And no matter how mature you were for your age at the time, I never let myself fantasize about school girls. What I can say is that the beautiful woman I woke up to is everything I could wish for in a witch for my very own; smart, dedicated, sexy as hell, and best of all, not revolted by my past sins.”

She thrilled at his description of her, since there were very few who would actually call the insane hair that came with her (in her opinion) average features and body ‘sexy as hell’, but her heart broke yet again for him when his most important requirement was that a witch not be turned off by the things he’d done in the past. Things, for the most part she was sure, had been done in the name of the greater good for all of wizardkind.

Hermione let go of his silky wet hair to cup his hard jaw and bring their gazes back together. Then she told him very seriously, “Severus Snape, there is nothing you could confess about your past that would make me leave this tub right now, or your life anytime in the future. Even if we eventually come to the conclusion that we’re not compatible as lifelong partners, it would be my honour to always be your friend if you’ll let me.”

His hands tightened on her back convulsively before he tensed almost to the point of being a carved-in-stone statue under her. “Hermione,” he breathed, her name sounding like a prayer in his amazing voice that could drip honey or scorn with equal finesse. “That’s too much to ask. You don’t even really know me. Or the things I’ve done.”

“I know enough,” she refuted. “I know that you hate teaching children and yet you always gave your students one hundred percent of your attention. I know you have a noble, self-sacrificing heart. I know you love books and knowledge as much as I do. I know you’re a brilliant and powerful wizard with a talent for inventing potions, curses, and spells that was frankly wasted as a teacher. I know you're loyal to the point of obsession to those who earn your respect. I know you'd rather be alone than in a crowd. I know you have the dry wit and intelligence of Sherlock. I know you're really a Prince and should be just as haughty as the Malfoys but you aren't. I know your Patronus is a doe in honour of your first love. I know that you must be a good person whether you act like it or not simply because you can actually manifest a Patronus. And finally, I know from the scars on your body that you endured terrible abuse for most likely your entire life. Which means your home life must have sucked and your stint as one of Voldemort’s minions must have sucked even worse.”

He sighed, sliding down into the tub a few more inches and letting his head bump back against the rim as he looked up at the ceiling. “That is all very true. Especially the last part. I did terrible things as a Death Eater that made me sick, but I had little choice. Failure to comply with my Lord’s wishes left me near death on dozens of occasions over the years, and those were just the occurrences where I thought I could get away with interpreting his orders creatively.”

Hermione stroked his pained brow in sympathy and he tilted his head forward to look at her again, capturing her hand and grasping it gently before saying, “I suppose it was all worth it, though, if we won in the end.” He paused and looked at her with widening eyes. And there was more than a hint of panic in his tone when he said, “We did win, didn’t we? We’re not living in a land of oppression and misery?”

Hermione smiled reassuringly, lacing her fingers with his, absently marvelling at how much larger his hand was than hers. “Yes, we won. I doubt I would still be alive if we hadn’t.”

Severus sighed in relief as he squeezed their laced fingers together carefully in gratitude and acknowledgement, then placed their linked hands over his heart. “That’s good. And you’re probably right. Voldemort had no intentions of letting any muggle-borns live. And the half-bloods such as myself were looking at short lifespans as well. Or taking infertility potions at the very least so we couldn’t further dilute the gene pool.”

Hermione shuddered. “Merlin. I’m so glad that Harry beat that evil, evil man.”  

He raised a sharply winged eyebrow. “So Potter survived then?”

“He did.”


“Well, he did have to die first, but I have a feeling you knew that, didn’t you?”

“I was aware, yes. I just didn’t know that the Boy Wonder would perform even more miracles and resurrect himself.”

Hermione laughed softly at his put-upon tone and pinched look of disdain. “I’m sorry you’ll have to suffer through more of his presence in your life, considering that he’s still my best friend.”

“Lovely.” His dry tone was anything but impressed. “I may just pretend to still be comatose whenever Potter comes around.”


They both turned to look through the open bathroom door from where the distant echo of her name had come from.

“It’s like I just magicked him here,” Severus muttered under his breath, scowling.

“Hermione?! Where are you?! Don’t you know what day it is?!”

Hermione squeaked and scrambled off of her wizard in a slightly more graceful fashion than she’d fallen on him and ejected herself from the tub. “Crap, crap, crap!” she whisper-cursed as she dripped all over the floor.

A whoosh of warm air came from beside her and suddenly she was dry from head to toe. Hermione looked at Severus in surprise. “Did you just do that without a wand?” she said as in quiet amazement.

Severus shrugged his broad shoulders casually. “Why not?”

“Blimey. You just woke up after being all but dead for eight and a half years.”

He wiggled his fingers at her. “Doesn’t make a difference apparently. You either have magic or you don’t.”

She blinked. “Good to know.”

“HERMIONE! Stop hiding! You’re getting out of this house for once whether you like it or not!” This was from the less than dulcet tones of one Ginny Potter.

Hermione looked from Snape to the door that led into her bedroom (she was very grateful that door was closed, at least) and back again. “I have to go. Unless you want them to see you awake?”

He shook his head quickly. “No. Not yet. I think I like being essentially dead to everyone else for the moment.”

She smiled at him softly. “I understand. I won’t tell them yet.” She moved a step towards the door and then looked back at him. “Enjoy your bath. I’ll hopefully be back in a few hours.”

“I will, thank you.” His smile was genuine, full of white teeth, and made her heart skip again. Then he tilted his elegant (if prominently nosed) head slightly. “What day is it, anyhow? It can’t be Christmas.”

She snorted. “No. It’s my birthday. And my friends refuse to let me forget it.”

And with that, she hurried out of the bathroom to change into something suitable for a night on the town. Hopefully an abbreviated one.

Because she had no desire to dance or meet new wizards or get hopelessly wasted. All she wanted to do was rush back into the tub with Severus and continue where they’d left off before they’d started talking.