A/N: I decided to post this early because I know many of you were eager for Severus to pull his stuff together. Well, here it is! I hope you all enjoy it. I had so much fun writing this little story, and am so pleased that so many of you liked it. A huge thanks to JenniferLupinBlack for being my fantastic alpha and to TrisanaChandler13 for being my awesome beta.

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or the characters from it. I am making no money from the posting of this story.

Chapter 8

It had been a week since she had spoken to Severus. It was with a heavy heart that she realized she probably wouldn't hear from him again. She could only hope that he had learned his lesson and if he found someone else, he would not make the same mistake twice.

The phone rang and Hermione answered it, assuming it to be Martha.


She froze, not believing it. "Um, yes, this is Hermione," she said into the receiver.

"It's Severus." There was a pause. "I was wondering if you'd like to come over tonight for dinner."

She smiled. "Yes, Severus, I'd like that very much."

"There's much to discuss."

"Indeed," she retorted. "What time shall I come over?"

"Six, if that works."

"Okay, see you then."

"Good-bye, Hermione."

She grinned at the sound of her name. "Good-bye, Severus. See you later." She hung up the telephone before doing a small dance.

Immediately, she dialed up Martha.

"Hermione, did he finally call you?" Martha's voice came through the receiver.

"Yes!" Hermione said excitedly. "I think I really got to him."

"You did," Martha responded. "He told me he'd invite you over for dinner a few days ago. I guess it took him some time to gather his courage."

"I guess so. Martha, I'm excited."

"I'm excited for you. The two of you are perfect for each other." Martha told her truthfully. Martha knew the pair was made for one another.

"Well, there's a lot I need to do before tonight. Thank you, Martha." Hermione said with a huge smile spreading across her face.

"You both just have fun tonight." Martha laughed at how excited her friend was. "I'll talk to you later, Hermione. Bye."

"Bye, Martha" She quickly hung up the phone going to the fireplace to floo Ginny.

Hermione spent the afternoon prepping. She got a manicure and pedicure with Ginny and shaved her legs when she got home.

She had one goal in mind and that was to seduce Severus.

Pulling into his driveway, Hermione collected her nerves as best as she could. She could do this. She wanted this.

Walking up to his door, she gently smoothed her dress. She had decided on a little black number. It stopped right above her knees, revealing just enough leg to tempt. It had thick black straps on the top and there was white lace around the middle. A pair of black kitten heels accompanied the outfit.

Knocking on the door, she waited patiently for Severus to open it. He did moments later, a small smile on his face.

"Hermione, come in," he said, stepping aside for her.

She smiled at him stepping into his house. "You look a lot better than you did the last time I saw you."

"Thank you, I feel much better."

"If you want to move into the dining room, I have dinner set up."

"What did you make?" she inquired as she followed him in that direction.

"Spaghetti and meatballs," he retorted. "Would you like red or white wine with dinner, Hermione?"

"Am I Hermione permanently, now?" she asked, turning to face him.

Severus paused. "I think so, yes." He smirked. "Now answer the question, witch, red or white."

"White, please." Hermione took a seat at the table. The lights were dimmed to the perfect level and there were candles on the table. It was utterly romantic, and not something she would have expected from him at all.

He handed her a glass of wine before taking a seat across from her. "I hope this is all right."

"This looks perfect," she said honestly. "Severus, I'm quite impressed. I've never had anyone romance me like this."

"Well, I've never had, wait, did you just say you've never been romanced properly?" He looked at her, his eyes wide.

"Nope," Hermione said with a shrug. "Suppose this is my first date." She laughed nervously.

"But, no." He shook his head. "Someone must have. Weasley?"

Hermione burst out laughing. "Oh, sweet Merlin, no. I've been single since Hogwarts. Not a single date. I suppose I'm too intimidating."

"Well, you are intimidating."

"But this is nice, Severus. I really appreciate it." Hermione held up her glass of wine, toasting him. He did the same. After taking a sip, she looked at the food on her plate. "This looks delicious. Did you make it?"

"I'm an excellent cook," Severus replied. "It's baking I have difficulty with."

"That must have been hard to say," Hermione said, smirking. Severus gave her a small glare. "Well, your skills would have improved if you had stuck with the lessons."

"Perhaps I could get private lessons," he said, his dark eyes peering into hers.

She swallowed nervously. "Perhaps, Severus. We'll have to see how the evening goes."

He smirked. "And how would you like this evening to go, Hermione?"

"Ask me again once I've had more wine," she said, laughing.

The two of them made small talk during dinner. Hermione talked a bit about what she had been doing since the war ended. She explained that she preferred to stay at home, writing. She had a lot of unpublished material about her experiences during the war, and hoped that one day, she would publish a book. Severus, in turn, talked about his newfound love for gardening and how he brewed potions in his basement.

After dinner, the two of them retired to the couch where they continue to talk and drink wine.

"So after that incident with Kreacher, I never once again tried to free a house elf," Hermione finished with a laugh.

Severus couldn't help but chuckle. "That is amusing. I'm very surprised that Kreacher did that to you."

Hermione nodded. "Oh, I'm quite sure Harry gave him permission, that little bugger."

"And Potter is good?" Severus inquired. He enjoyed the look of Hermione sitting on his couch, her feet tucked beneath her. He imagined the two of them sitting here beside the fire, reading novels together.

"He's doing well. He and Ginny are expecting their second baby."

Severus snuck her a look. "Are you jealous?"

Hermione looked confused. "Jealous? Why on earth would I be jealous?"

He shrugged, making a noncommittal grunt.

A sly smile broke out onto her face. "Severus, if that's your way of asking if I want children someday, the answer is no. I can't have children due to the torturing I received from Bellatrix. Not that it matters," she added hurriedly. "I never wanted children to begin with. I'm happy just babysitting everyone else's children."

He nodded, the gears turning in his head. She laughed, putting her wine down on the table. She scooted close to him, taking the glass from his hand and putting it down as well.

"Severus, if you haven't noticed, I'm very interested in you."

He cleared his throat, gazing at the beautiful witch in front of him. "Oh, I've noticed."

"And how do you feel about it?" Passion burned in her eyes, drawing his gaze into her. He felt as if he was looking at her soul. "Hmmm?" she prompted.

"I feel quite well," he stammered out before clearing his throat.

"Why don't we try that kissing thing again?"

Severus smirked before he covered her lips with his. She was just as soft and sweet as he remembered. Wrapping his arms around the small witch, he pulled her into his arms.

Hermione deepened the kiss. She tangled her fingers into his hair and adjusted herself so she was now sitting in his lap. Her dress had bunched up and was now showing an obscene amount of leg.

He broke away, nuzzling her nose with his own. "My petit croissant," he purred.

She smirked. "I think I'd like to see your petit croissant."

Severus chuckled as he placed a kiss to her neck. "I assure you, witch, my croissant is anything but petit."

Hermione blushed, wriggling in his lap. She bit her lip when she felt his now hardened member. Her hand dipped low, gently rubbing it.

He let out a hiss of pleasure. "Hermione," he groaned.

"Please, Severus. Let me in. Let me know all of you," she whispered, planting small kisses along his jawline.

"Yes," he replied, his hands moving to her hips. "Oh, sweet Merlin, yes."

Pulling away, she smiled at him. "Severus, you are a wonderful man." She gently kissed him.

He pulled away, kissing her neck. "I've wanted you for so long," he growled, gently biting at the sensitive skin there. She let out a soft moan, her hands gripping the front of his shirt.

"Severus," she whispered, wanting to feel him. She wanted his hands and lips everywhere.

"Want to take this to the bedroom?" he asked between kisses.

"No," she said. "I want you here and now."

Severus growled in response. His hands landed on her thighs as he gently caressed her creamy flesh. Slowly, his hands moved up and under her dress.

Her fingers quickly began to undo his buttons. Despite wearing Muggle clothes, Severus still had buttons everywhere. She vaguely wondered if the man had a button fetish.

Severus' fingers gently rubbed her slit through her lace knickers. She wriggled in his lap, wanting more. His lips moved to her neck, gently kissing and teasing the skin there.

"Severus," she cried, fumbling with the buttons. "You have too many damn buttons." Unable to wait any longer, she ripped his shirt open. Buttons went flying as her eyes widened. She saw scar upon scar on his chest. "Oh, Severus." She moved her hand towards his chest, but his hand grasped her wrist, stopping her.

"Don't pity me," he said, his voice flat. "My life has not been kind to me."

Hermione looked at him. "Severus, your scars make you beautiful."

He snorted, casting his gaze away. "They're ugly."

She looked at him sympathetically. "I hope you don't think my scars are ugly," she whispered softly.

Severus' gaze snapped towards her. "You have scars?"

Nodding, Hermione stood. Lifting the hem of her dress, she pulled it up and over her head. She stood before Severus wearing nothing but her lace bra and knickers. Her tongue darted out, wetting her lips.

"Here," she said, motioning to the scar that ran across her chest. "This is from Dolohov from my fifth year." She then showed him her arm. The nasty word stood out on her pale flesh. "This was a gift from Bellatrix, when she tortured me."

Severus frowned, letting the pad of his thumb run across the raised letters carved in her arm. "I knew you had been captured, but I had no idea."

She shrugged. "My scars are part of who I am. They don't bother me anymore. I used to hate them. I thought they made me ugly." She smiled at him, returning to her place in his lap. "But now I know they aren't ugly. My scars are a part of me. They show the world how hard I fought and how brave I was." She placed her hand on his chest. "And that's what your scars say to me. They tell me how hard you fought in both wars. They tell me how brave you are and how far you went to protect me and everyone else. Your scars are a sign of strength, Severus, not weakness."

He looked to her, astounded by her words. Emotion bubbled up within him and he quickly closed the distance between them.

"You are perfect, witch," he whispered between kisses. "So perfect, so wise."

Hermione returned his affections eagerly. "Please, Severus, I don't want to wait anymore." She looked to him with pleading eyes. She wanted him inside of her. She wanted all of him.

Grabbing his wand, Severus murmured something under his breath.

Cool air hit Hermione's body and she realized that he had vanished their clothing. Her eyes widened as she eagerly took in the sight before her. He was beautiful. Her hands ran up and down his arms, taking in the feel of his smooth skin. She smirked when her gaze landed on his hardened member. He was right…no petite-ness there.

Wrapping his arms around her, Severus maneuvered them so Hermione was now lying back against the sofa. He lowered his head, gently capturing her nipple in his mouth.

She hissed, arching her back. Tangling her fingers in his long hair, she let out a soft moan. His tongue swirled around the stiff peak, as his hand gently palmed the other breast.

"Please, Severus," she whispered. "I'm more than ready for you. Please."

He smirked against her breast. "Please what, witch?"

"Take me!" Hermione practically sobbed. Her entire body was aching with desire. She needed him. "Please, Severus."

He moved his head lower, planting kisses across her taut stomach. "But I want to enjoy you, Hermione," he purred.

She wriggled his hips. "There will be plenty of time for that later, I promise."

His lips moved back towards her neck. "Are you quite sure?"

"Yes," Hermione moaned. "Severus."

Severus' hand trailed down her body to the place between her legs. He gently slid a finger into her, closing his eyes. "So wet," he murmured.

"Please." She bucked her hips against his hand.

He quickly withdrew his finger and placed his member at her entrance. Without any further hesitation, he pushed inside of her. Severus hissed in pleasure as her hot warmth surrounded him.

Hermione gasped, her hands wrapping themselves around his neck. Closing her eyes, she savored the feel of him stretching her.

Severus slowly began to move, pulling out slowly before plunging back in. Hermione bucked her hips, meeting him thrust for thrust. Eventually, they found a rhythm and began to increase their speed.

"Oh, Severus," Hermione panted, her nails digging into his shoulders. Every thrust of his was driving her closer and closer to the edge. "Severus."

He closed his eyes, savoring the sound of his name falling from her lips. He pushed everything from his mind but her. All that mattered was Hermione and how she tasted… how she felt…

"Severus," she whispered, her walls contracting around his member. She let out a gasp as she came.

Severus claimed her lips in a kiss. He reached completion quickly, moaning her name as he did. She swallowed his moans, kissing him tenderly as he finished.

They collapsed in a tangled heap on the couch. Chests were heaving as the sounds of heavy pants filled the air.

"Oh, Severus," Hermione said, turning to face him. "That was wonderful." She nestled against him.

Severus was quiet, allowing himself to take in the moment. He felt wanted for the first time in forever. He felt loved and accepted. He finally had someone who wasn't afraid to see every part of him. He wrapped his arms around her, holding her against him tightly.

"Are you all right?" Hermione asked after a few moments when she realized Severus wasn't going to say anything.

"Fine, Hermione," he replied, nuzzling her neck. "I was just enjoying myself."

She smiled. "I rather enjoyed myself right now."

Severus inhaled her sweet scent. Maybe Martha had been right all along? Maybe the two of them would be good for each other? Looking at Hermione, he saw she had fallen asleep. He chuckled as he summoned a blanket for them both. He fell asleep soon after.

The next morning, Hermione groggily opened her eyes. She felt a solid body next to her and immediately smiled as she recalled where she was. Propping her head up, she saw Severus was awake.

"Good morning, sleepyhead," she said, grinning at him.

"Good morning," Severus replied. "Did you sleep alright?"

She laughed. "As good as I could have sleeping on a couch." Her stomach growled. "What's for breakfast?"

"Go make something," he retorted.

"Nope," she said, giving him a hard push off the couch. He fell to the floor. "Go make breakfast."

He looked at her, a murderous expression on his face. "Why, you little vixen. I should—"

"Go make breakfast," Hermione finished for him. When he didn't move, she frowned. "Please, Severus, I'm hungry."

He arched his brow at her.

Smiling, Hermione lowered the blanket, revealing her nakedness. "The faster you make breakfast, the faster we can have a repeat of last night."

Severus huffed but stood. "You drive a hard bargain, wench."

She laughed. "Don't forget to wear your apron, dear!" she called after him teasingly.

He flicked his wand at her while walking into the kitchen, grinning when he heard her small yelp from the stinging hex he sent her.

Things would definitely work out between the two of them. They were like ingredients that meshed together to make the perfect cake.