Sorry for the delay in publishing this chapter, real life got in the way.

As usual only the story is mine all things Harry Potter belong to J. K. Rowling.


Severus walked across the landing, his eyes never left hers as he stopped in the doorway to her room.

"I take it from the look on Weasley's face as he left, things did not go well here." his voice was heavy with concern. "Are you alright?"

To her horror Hermione felt the familiar sting as her eyes filled with tears at the question. Hurriedly she turned her back and quickly wiped her eyes, desperately trying not to break down. Behind her she heard the bedroom door close and Severus approached her. He gently placed his hands on her shoulders, she felt the heat reaching through the thin material of her top.

"What is it, Hermione? What could be so bad that you had to leave?" he said. "What did the idiot do to you?"

"You don't understand, it is what I have done to him. I have hurt him so badly, I have fallen in love with someone else and I came back to tell him it is over between us. I'm not the person he should be with." She tried to keep her voice level as she struggled to keep it together. "He actually took it much better than I expected him to. I think he in some way he knew that we were not right for each other. He is free now to find someone that will love him."

"And what about you? This man you love, are you going to be with him?" he replied.

"Oh no!" she gave a half laugh "The person I want to be with doesn't even know how I feel and probably never will."

How she wished she could muster up the courage to turn and tell him how she felt. She would hate for him to laugh at her or worse pity her for being foolish in thinking he could ever be with her. The thing that scared her most was that she may lose the friendship they had. At least if she kept quiet she could still be a part of his life.

"Tell him, Hermione. You have to take the chance. I have been in your position and both times I did not have the nerve to admit how I felt." She felt his fingers as they tightened on her shoulders. "Look at you, you are an intelligent and beautiful woman. Anyone would be an idiot to let you go."

Confusion swept through her mind, did he say both times he had been in her position? She knew about Lily, everyone knew about Lily. She knew how much he detested the fact that his love for Lily was public fodder, to be gossiped and used as ridicule against him.

She wracked her brain, trying to think of who the other woman could possibly be. Had she ever seen him with anyone? When they were at Hogwarts he rarely left the confines of the school. The same could be said of when he was at Grimmauld Place, he was always around when she needed to talk to him. He never brushed her off and seemed to enjoy it when they would spend time together.

Could it be that Severus had feelings for her? She knew she was probably grasping at straws but if there was even a slim chance that he did she must take that leap of faith.

"Both times?" Hermione asked turning to face him. His hands dropped from her shoulders and he took a step back."You said both times, Severus. Lily was one but what about the other." She watched as he flinched at the sound of Lily's name.

"Yes, once with Lily. The other is of no consequence, just put that down to the foolish dreams of an old man." He said dismissively.

"I don't think you are old at all, for a wizard you are just coming into your prime." She said "You should have someone in your life who you care about and who will care for you too. Someone who will share you highs and your lows and will love you without question."

"Well, I do not seem to have the same appeal as the ginger haired, side kick from the golden trio. Women are not exactly beating a path to my door." He raised an eyebrow as he spoke. "And even if they were I couldn't care less but just in case you find any let me know."

"Oh Severus, don't you see that is what I am doing." Her heart felt as though it was going to burst from her chest, it was beating so fast. "You said I should take the chance and tell the man I love how I feel. Well, here I am! Taking that chance."

As she watched his face as the mask she had always known him wear melted away and she could finally see the real man underneath. His dark eyes sparked into life as he looked into hers.

"I also said that any man would be an idiot to turn you down." He lifted his hand to cup her face, his thumb gently stroked her cheek. "I am many things Hermione but I am not an idiot."

"You have feelings for me?" Hermione asked "Why didn't you say something."

"What good would telling you have done? You were happy with Weasley or so I thought." He said. "It was pathetic really, I would hang around the corridors hoping to catch you on your rounds. I have lost count how many hours I have sat in that draughty library downstairs waiting for you to walk in. I was no better than a lovesick schoolboy."

"Lovesick?" she could scarcely believe what he was telling her. "You love me?"

"Yes, lovesick." He raised an eyebrow at her in exasperation. "Do I have to spell it out for you girl, of course I love you."

"All the time I was away, all the scenarios I went through in my head." Hermione smiled at him. "I never once imagined you saying that to me."

Dropping his hand from her face, Severus took a small step toward her. Standing centimetres from each other, their bodies not touching. She had never seen him look this way before, his eyes had come alive. The way he held her gaze reached down through her body and pulled at her very core.

"So what did you imagine, Hermione?" His voice deep and rich brought a blush to her cheeks.

Should she tell him of all the ways she had imagined them together? Of all the nights she had laid in her bed, imagining what he would do to her. Of how she had brought herself to climax night after night with only the thought of him on her mind, with only his name on her lips.

"I imagined what it would be like to be held in your arms," She placed her hands on his chest, the heat from his body radiating through the thin material of his shirt. "To lay my head against your chest and listen to your heart beating."

He lowered his head, his lips virtually touching hers. His eyes seemed to burn with desire and she felt his breath on her lips as he spoke to her his voice low and seductive.

"What else?" He said. "Tell me."

"I imagined what it would be like to have you want me, need me in the same way that I need you." Emboldened by his declaration of love, she slowly slid her hands up and around his neck. "I imagined what it would be like to have you take me completely, to make me your own."

Severus let out a growl, his arms encircling her pulling her tight towards his body. His mouth finally claimed hers and she surrendered to the passion that coursed through her. Their tongues danced round each other's mouths, desperate for more. She knew there would be other times to take things slowly but now all she wanted was to be totally possessed by him.

He straightened up, lifting her feet from the floor. Stepping backwards toward the bed, she raised her legs as he sat down. She could feel his arousal straining against his trousers through the fabric of her jeans, her knees sank into the soft mattress as she ground herself against him.

Breaking the kiss she pulled back from him, her hands reached for the hem of her top and she removed it in one fluid movement, discarding it on the floor. Her gaze never left his as he began to unfasten the buttons of his shirt, he pulled it free from his trousers and it joined hers on the floor.

Hermione slid her bra straps from her shoulders and then reached around and unclasped her bra. His hand came up and cupped her full breasts, his thumbs grazing over her already stiff nipples causing her to gasp with pleasure.

He lowered his head, she gasped as he pulled first one nipple into his mouth, then the other. Her hands reached for his shoulders, her fingers digging in as she clung on. She let out a ragged groan as she pushed her breast against his mouth, wanting more.

"Are you sure you want this, Hermione?" His hands went to her hips, as he pulled away from her. "This will change everything, there is no going back for me."

"I have never been more certain of anything in my life." Hermione replied.

His hands tightened on her hips and she found herself being expertly flipped onto the bed. She sank into the soft mattress as Severus began to place fevered kisses along her neck. With one arm supporting his weight the other began to travel down her body, taking in each contour as it slowly headed for its destination.

Hermione could barely breathe as she felt the first tugs of his fingers on the buttons of her jeans. For a second it crossed her mind that it had been so long since she had been with anyone. The rushed, fumbling encounters with Victor could have hardly prepared her for what an experienced man like Severus would expect. Any doubts were swiftly swept from her mind as she heard Severus quietly muttering a spell and their remaining clothing vanished.

She could feel his erection pressing against her thigh as his fingers gently probed between her wet folds. There would be time to take things slowly, to get to know what pleased each other but right now she just needed to be possessed by him completely. She reached for his head, her fingers entwined in his hair as she pulled his face to hers.

"Fuck me, Severus." He gasped and a brief look of shock passed over his face. She had no idea if it was from her coarse language or the wanton desire that was in her voice but she did not care all she knew was that she wanted to be his completely.

His mouth captured hers, eagerly she parted her lips allowing his tongue to explore every crevice of her mouth. Swept away by the passion in his kiss she arched her back toward him, needing more. She moaned as she felt the head of his erection pressing against her entrance. She pushed her hips against him urgently, wanting him to be inside her.

Bracing his arms beside her head, he sank into her with a groan, filling her until he could go no further. She gasped as he began thrusting, his movements fast and hard. She wrapped her legs around him, pulling against him with each thrust. Dragging her nails down his back he threw back his head and let out a guttural growl.

She closed her eyes and allowed the sensations that were building through her body to take over. A burning sensation began to build in her, wave after wave of pleasure ran through her body. Each one gaining in strength as she neared her climax. Her walls clenched around his length, her legs tightened around him as she lifted her hips, trying to pull him deeper.

Severus groaned as he increased his speed, pounding into her as she climbed higher and higher. Pulses of delight rushed through her body, she began to shudder on the edge of orgasm. She felt his thrusting becoming erratic and she knew he too was close to release.

He shuddered as he released his seed into her and breathed her name into her ear. The raw emotion in the single word he uttered drove her over the edge as she broke apart beneath him.

Their bodies' slick with a sheen of perspiration still joined together, Hermione could feel Severus's breath on her ear as they both fought gain control. Slowly tracing lazy circles on his back with the tips of her fingers, she relished the feeling of completeness she now felt.

She opened her eyes and let out a gasp. Their bodies were surrounded by a golden fog, tiny pinpoints of bright lights swam amongst the rolling clouds.

"Severus!" Her voice contained a slight panic. "Look."

"That's impossible." He said as he raised his head, a look of confusion crossed his features. "It can't be!"

"What is it?" she asked.

"I think it is Glonwir's Mist!" he said incredulously "But that's impossible."

"What's that? Are we in any danger?" She raised up her hand fascinated as the lights played around her fingers as she moved them.

"I thought it was a myth, an old witch's tale that had been passed down through generations. Many years ago a poor village boy befriended the local squire's daughter, they grew up together playing in the fields and woods. As they grew older the friendship turned love, they knew that their relationship would be frowned upon and so kept it secret. As with most secrets eventually the truth came out. The Squire horrified at the thought of his only daughter marrying beneath her, spirited her away one night. The boy was devastated, spending months searching for her but to no avail. Until one night he received a message from the girl's father urging him to come quickly. Pining for her lost love the girl was now gravely ill and the father hoped seeing the boy was her only hope. He apparated immediately, servants showed him to the girls room but on entering he knew that he was too late. He went to the bed and gathered her up in his arms, pleading her not to leave him. He swore he would do anything if they could be together again. The only sound in the room was of the two men sobbing." Severus explained. "After a few moments the father realized that the boy had stopped crying and he approached the bed only to find the boy too had passed away, they say from a broken heart. As he stood beside them he saw their magic leave their bodies, a swirling mist combining and raising upwards."

"Oh, that's so sad." Hermione said. "But why is it here?"

"It is said that when two magic beings are so completely compatible, the first time they consummate their union their magic leaves them and mixes together before being reabsorbed." A small smile played around his mouth. "Thus joining the couple together for eternity. So it seems my love, you are stuck with me."

"I would not want it any other way." As the last of their magic disappeared back into them, Hermione cupped her hand to Severus cheek. "I love you, Severus."

"I was wondering when you were going to get around to telling me that." His dark eyes seemed to dance with joy as he lowered his head and kissed her.