Hello to all my lovely readers!

A quick oneshot I wrote because FTOH was being a bit frustrating and I have to get through plot bits before I can get to any yummy Severus/Hermione bits and I needed some smutty angst.

Characters belong to JKR, and I was listening to Hozier (To Be Alone) and I pulled a few great lyrics and general feels from that song so I'm crediting that too.

This story takes place post DH and obviously Severus lived. It also contains what is probably the most explicit smut I've written, so fair warning ahead. It's not outright smut, but it gets close.


She took her tea across from him, that was all. Drinking tea in the library of Number 12 Grimmauld Place. An explosion of heavy curls bent over a book with a steaming tea cup next to her and both of their fates were sealed. It was the beginning that led to the end.

Tea and silence led to tea and a few dropped words. He was annoyed by her at first. That should have been his first clue- she got under his skin in an uncomfortable way. Muggleborn girl with eyes like sunlight through whiskey and an intellect that was sharper than a knife. He should have known she was trouble from the start.

The first time she brought two cups of hot tea up and set one next to him he didn't touch it. As the thin tendrils of steam stopped curling above the cup she sank deeper and deeper into her chair, and when it was bone cold she closed her book with a thump and walked off, determination lining her chin and anger in her eyes. That he actually noticed the hurt on her face and let it bother him should have been his second clue.

That he actually drank it the next time should have been the third.

Books and tea and then words- both were helpless to resist.

It was night and the moon was high and ominous in the sky, making his skin crawl. His thoughts- his memories- were keeping him awake even though he was bone tired. Summer was dragging on too long. At Spinner's End he would have left his house and stalked the streets, walking to the park where he met Lily or to the river. But Spinner's End had been destroyed by Death Eaters furious at the death of their lord and Severus' part in it all. Furious that he had survived Nagini's bite. Furious that he had been a spy for seventeen years and they had never figured it out.

So there he was. In the library of a dead man he still hated. At least in a library there were books and solitude.

Therefore, when the door creaked open, a rise of hot rage rose deep in his chest. When she saw the light and his shadow, her hand made half of the motion for a spell before she released the intention. She hadn't squeaked like he thought she might.

"What are you doing here?" he snapped.

Hermione raised one eyebrow on him, a trick she didn't seem to realize she had learned from the man in front of her. "I couldn't sleep. What are you doing here?"

His instinct was to snap at her, to scathingly ask her what could possibly be keeping her awake, what she had done in the dark days of the war, the war that had left bodies that were not yet cold in the ground. But he- Severus Snape, observant spy- saw the tear tracks she had missed and the blood where she had bitten her lip hard and the way she was clutching her wand tightly with hands that shook.

So instead he replied, "I couldn't sleep either," with only a hint of waspish irritation in his voice.

She slid into her chair- the one across from his on the other side of the heavy wood coffee table, the one with a rickety side table stacked high with books next to it and piles of books on the floor around it- and picked up a book from the stack, opening it and sinking into it.

Severus frowned. He had wanted her to stop talking yes, to leave him to his peace, but he also wanted to know why she couldn't sleep.

The curiosity pricked at him, bothering him so much he couldn't fully concentrate on the book in front of him. When the old leather of her chair creaked and she stood, his eyes snapped to her immediately.

"Tired already?"

If she heard the bite in his voice she didn't react. "I could use a cup of tea. Do you want one?"

"Not asking me hasn't stopped you from making one for me before," he growled, glaring at her. To his surprise, she was smiling.

It was only a small curve of her lips on the right side of her face, making the apple of her cheek and the freckles there prominent. Still, it caught him by surprise.

"Yes, then," she said, a hint of a laugh in her voice.

When she returned and handed him his cup, their fingers brushed and his belly clenched and confusion settled in the back of his throat.

"Is it the dreams?" His question was abrupt, rude.


"I asked, is it the dreams? Or can you not fall asleep?"


"There are potions for both." The unspoken, I could brew them for you, hung in the air.

"The potions would cover and not heal. I don't want anything holding me down like that. I'd be trading one master for another. Addiction sinks it nasty claws into you and doesn't let go."

"I know."

"From experience?"

There was a moment of hostility as her gaze met his unflinchingly. He wanted to say something biting about how he was a Potions Master, of course he knew this, but he didn't.


"Then you know I don't want to deal with addiction on top of insomnia and nightmares."

"Both? Lucky girl."

"And are you a lucky boy?"

The look he gave her did nothing to the small smile on her mouth.

"You could call me that."

The first time they came together in an explosion of teeth and tongue and lips and hands was the culmination of weeks. He could blame it on sleep deprivation or a desperate wish to avoid the memories. Either way, Severus Snape pressed Hermione Granger against the Transfiguration bookshelf of the library of Number 12 Grimmauld Place and kissed her.

He had taken her face in his hands and shoved a knee between her legs and pressed her into the wall and it had taken all he had not to devour her there. And for her part Hermione kissed him back just as strongly and when he gently nipped at her lower lip, she responded by biting him so hard she drew blood.

When he would recall it later, the first part of the memory was hazy except for the taste of blood in his mouth and Hermione's red lips spread in a feral smile and the knowledge that he wanted her more than he wanted air.

In the moment he could see the way her breasts heaved and how she was quivering, poised, ready to spring.

There was a sudden noise as thunder burst and rain began to splatter against the glass of the windowpanes. The sound made them freeze, breathing hard.

Severus regained his senses for a moment, began to pull away, but her face hardened and she pulled him to her and slanted her mouth over his and he was lost again.

Hermione didn't act like a girlchild, she wasn't timid, she didn't shrink away from his touch. No, she pulled his shirt out of his trousers and was so hasty in undoing the buttons that half of them scattered across the floor. She growled- growled- at him when he raised her shirt over head because she had to take her lips off of his body.

From there it was the glory of her breasts and the foreign feeling of another human being's hands on his body, so unused to being touched. It was the the feeling of her curls against his forehead as he sucked at her neck and the sharpness of her nails as she drew them down his back. The glorious feeling of his cock parting her slickness and the way she bit his shoulder when he slid in to the hilt and groaned in her curls.

A thousand thoughts were racing through his head- she's a lioness with claws and teeth like that, oh she's glorious, she's my student, fuck oh god fuck she's tight, god forgive me, she's so beautiful- but he didn't say a word, not even her name he emptied himself inside of her. Then, Fuck. She didn't come.

He brought his hand between them and touched her skillfully until she gripped his shoulders hard and squeezed her eyes shut and she shuddered in his arms. The look on her face as she fell apart was glorious, she was nothing but glory to him in that moment, glory, glory, glory.

"That was wrong."

"It was not."

"I'm your professor-"

"I'm of age. And you honestly can't tell me that after all I've gone through you consider me a child."

There was silence. The library was quiet, they did not turn their pages, they just looked at each other. In her face he could see the steel beneath her eyes daring him to call her a child.

"Don't beat yourself up over it, Professor. If you hadn't kissed me then I probably would have kissed you sooner rather than later." She tilted her head, considering him. "I might have waited until after graduation, but..."

"Don't call me that," he growled. "Not when you've had your tongue in my mouth."

The grin she gave him was wicked. "So what should I call you then?"

"Severus," he replied.

She stretched, and he heard the faint sounds her back made as it popped. "Well then, Severus. That was the first decent night of sleep I've had in weeks."

Again, she was commanding him. Again.

"And I as well," he murmured.

The next time he made sure that she came before he did, so that he could spill himself unapologetically when his climax came. Together they sank to the floor of the library, breathing hard.

He traced the scar from the Ministry, the shape of her breasts, the lines of her collarbone and the rise of her hipbone. Scars on her arm, where that bitch Bellatrix had carved letters into her arm. Mudblood. She had scars from his whole miserable thing, just like he did.

As their sweat cooled she shivered, and he wrapped an arm around her.

"A bed might be nice next time," she said, looking at him directly. Are you in or not?

He shrugged, trying to look indifferent. "Easier on my back."

The sleep that night was drugging and heavy and the only dream was one of her and her glorious breasts and her glorious curls and her glorious eyes.

He didn't think the sex could get better than it had been in the library those first nights, but as Hermione moved over him Severus chided himself for being so foolish- and then promptly lost himself to her hips and the smoothness of the skin of her waist.

Who would have thought he would find peace in Hermione Granger of all people? But as she slumped over him, as he pulled the covers over the two of them, as he held her, all he could feel was how right it was.

"Is this addictive?" she asked her breath still coming hard. "I didn't want to be addicted to anything, Severus."

He was silent for a long moment. "It has a shelf life," he said finally. "When we're back at Hogwarts in the fall, this is over."

She nestled back against his front, her lithe fingers stroking his arm. "Good."

It didn't feel like a lie as he spoke it, it didn't feel like a lie as he told it to himself every time Hermione slipped into his room and every time he could see it in her eyes when she recovered herself after orgasm.

"This is it then, isn't it?" Her back was to him, her feet on the floor. She hadn't stood yet, she didn't want to stand and leave the bed. He could feel from the tension in her shoulders and the way her hands clenched at the sheets.

"Look at me, Hermione." She turned so he could see her face. He pretended not to see how hard she was biting her lip, how she was holding herself rigid against her body's borders.


"You were right. It's a crutch." Your mouth is my crutch, your thighs, the glorious words that spill out of your mouth when we just talk and talk and talk. I need your weight in arms I've never used or else I can't sleep.

The moment when her face hardened and she straightened her shoulders hit him hard in the gut. "Yeah. Let's actually go deal with our problems."

She reached out a hand and cupped his raspy chin, and kissed him gently, and he let her. Saying goodbye properly would put it all to bed.

The Dark Lord had been vanquished and the halls of Hogwarts were seeped in the kind of normalcy that had been strangely absent since Harry Potter had stepped into a gently swaying boat on the lake. This, their seventh year, would be peaceful.

It didn't feel normal, though. It didn't feel peaceful, it didn't feel like the days between when the Dark Lord fell the first time and Harry Potter entered the Great Hall one September 1st, it didn't feel like that at all. It felt haunted, it felt empty.

He didn't like the emptiness. Everything felt empty, his office, his rooms, his bed. Everything except his head. That felt too full, too full of memories of nightmares.

The students hated him for what he had done on their behalf. The faculty hated him for what he had done. Everyone hated him for what he had done, everyone except her.

In class she didn't look at him, she stared at her parchment as she took notes or she stared at her cauldron as she brewed. He didn't call on her, she didn't raise her hand. No one questioned her acting oddly- they had all gone through war and back, it made sense that she had changed. Hermione Granger was a bouncy little know-it-all no longer, and a part of him mourned that loss of innocence as another part of him was relieved that the annoyance that had been Granger in his classroom was gone.

Gods, it was odd to be in a classroom again. It was fucking weird to see a woman he had fucked repeatedly in a schoolgirl's uniform, in a tie, in a pleated skirt, in fucking knee high socks.

He was so fucking relieved that the next time it happened was on a weekend and she was wearing her own clothes, not the stupid uniform that she shouldn't have been wearing because she was nine-fucking-teen not eleven. She was nineteen, she had killed people, she had been tortured, and all of it haunted her and she walked through the walls of Hogwarts with dark circles under her vacant eyes.

It happened in the library, of course. It was raining too, like the first time it had happened. He had stuck out until November. It was a Hogsmeade weekend, and all the older students were in the town trying to pretend like everything was normal.

In the Alchemy section there was a window that looked out onto the lake. She was leaning against the bookshelves, one arm wrapped around a magical ladder, staring out at grey surface of the lake. It was being pummeled by raindrops. The sky was furious and the lawn was a mess of mud and dead grass. Wind howled so loud that she didn't hear him until he was behind her.

"You look tired." He brought a hand up and caressed her cheek, letting his hand go down to her shoulder.

"Why do you care? You were supposed to stop caring." Her voice sounded sad, close to tears.

He sighed, moving closer to her, until his front was almost touching her back. He lowered his head until he could smell the clean scent of her hair. "I want you."

"You want sex."


"I told you I wanted to fix my problems."

"I want that too."

"To fix my problems or to fix yours?"

"Why not both?'

She turned around, looked up at him. "What we did this summer was really fucked up." A warm hand was laid over the hand that was on her shoulder.

He raised an eyebrow. "Was it?"

"Yes, it was, Professor," she hissed. "Gods. It was so stupid. It hurt more than it helped-"

Severus frowned, using his other hand to cup her chin, to make her keep looking at him. "How did it hurt?"

Tears were welling up in her eyes. "Because now I need you," she said "And you are my teacher and twenty years older than me and you hate me and were using me for sex."

"If I was using you then you were definitely using me," Severus said, a warning in his voice. "I tried to stop it-"

"You didn't try hard enough!" Hermione hissed. "You-"

"You were- you are- an adult," Severus replied icily. "I thought you had the mental capacity to make these decisions for yourself. You were hurting, but you weren't the only one."

"I know," Hermione whispered, looking down. He took his hand off her chin, releasing her. "You were- you are- hurting too." Suddenly she reached up and wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling his head down to hers so she could kiss him.

He responded to the kiss, dazed by how much he wanted it, how hard it made his cock. Turning them so that she was pressed against the bookshelf, he pressed Hermione to his body tightly, relishing the familiar way her body fit against his.

When she tried to undo his robes he stopped her, pulling away from the kiss. "What do you want, Hermione?" he asked, breath ragged.

"To make it better," she replied, staring into his eyes.

"Your hurt or mine?"


"How?" He didn't see anyway of making it better, just covering it up for a bit.

"This," she said, touching his chest. "But with more. With talking. With sorting through it all."

"Talking isn't going to make me less fucked up."

Her eyes flashed, and she sighed. "It'll make you feel less alone."

"Why do this?" he asked, frustration taking over his voice. "If fucking is what you need, Potter or Weasley or hell, even Longbottom could do that. If you need to talk, see a shrink. Why me?"

"I want you," Hermione said carefully. "I like you. I've missed you. I-" She sighed and squared her shoulders. "I need you and you need me, so get over it and I will too" she said finally. "Kiss me."

He did.

He kissed her lips and then her chin and then her collarbones, and then he sat her on the ladder and kissed her breasts topped with sweet pink nipples. He kissed the skin on her abdomen and then he kissed the pale skin on her inner thighs and then he kissed her center. He kept kissing her when she grabbed his hair and muffled her gasps in the crook of her arm.

When she finally shuddered and came, he lifted her from the ladder and pressed her against the bookshelves and thrust into her, and when she came again it was biting his shoulder and when he came he groaned her name into those damned curls and held her for a long moment.

"Someone could have seen us," she said finally.

He gave her a crooked smile, surprising himself. "A bed next time, I promise."

"And tea before bed," she told him sternly. "We. Are. Talking."

He ducked down and kissed her swiftly. "A bed, I promise, and tea before."

Her neck- marred with a love bite from his mouth- was long and elegant and glorious as she swallowed her sip of tea. He couldn't tear his eyes off the small red mark, his small red mark, the mark he had made on her. He liked the idea of those marks better than the scars.

"I talk to the Headmistress today," Hermione said quietly, looking him in the eye. "I told her that I was going to approach you with an independent project, and that if you accepted I would do that instead of sitting through lectures of N.E.W.T. material I already know."

Severus sighed, looking into his cup. "So that if this ever got out no one would accuse you of sleeping with teacher for the grades?"

"And independent project is easy for others to audit, if need be," Hermione answered carefully. "And I do have an idea."

He crooked an eyebrow. "Oh?"

"Scar removal potion," Hermione answered promptly. "But in relation to a calming drought and something for positivity. Small doses, of course. Something that would take away scars and soothe the soul at the same time."

"Cosmetic," sneered Severus. The scar tissue on his neck prickled.

Hermione countered with a raised eyebrow of her own. "So? After wars especially something to heal is important. And combining everything would be tricky enough to make it an independent project."

He narrowed his eyes at her. "Fine."

She beamed at him, a brilliant smile that dazed him in its light. "Thank you."

"I would have done if even if we didn't have-" he flapped an elegant hand at the space between them- "this. It doesn't make any sense for you to sit in that classroom when you know the material backward and forward."

They were quiet for a while, sipping their tea. Rain still lashed at the walls of castle, but this far underground, in Severus' rooms, they couldn't hear it.

It felt good to see her in his rooms, among all his things. It felt good to be alone with her, alone in the sitting room with its fire and its tea and its lovely woman. Some of the tension in his shoulders leaked away.

"There are questions I can't answer," he said after a long silence had lingered. "There are things I can't- won't- bring up."

Hermione nodded. "I know. But we can talk a little. We don't have to talk about the war or about- about him, but we should talk."

"I hate this place," Severus said suddenly.

"Not a trace of me would argue," Hermione answered. "I would hate it too if I were you."

"I want to run away sometimes," he said, looking at her with dark, dark eyes. "Sometimes I wish I could run away."

"Why not?" she asked. "Why not leave?"

"Because I've never known anything else. I've been here since I was eleven. I left for four years for my Mastery, and then I was back here teaching." His eyes met hers. I've made my admission, now you make yours.

"I dreamed of being back here every single damned night in that tent," she said, holding his gaze. "I dreamed of a warm bed and of classes and of the food in the Great Hall- and now that I'm back I just can't wait to leave. I hate being treated like a student after finally being treated like an adult." Her eyes turned hot on his. "You've been the only one to treat me like a woman and not a girl. And I can't for the life of me figure out why."

Severus tilted his head a notch, considering it himself. "You brought me tea."

Confusion met her face, an expression not frequented much by Hermione Granger. "Sorry?"

"You brought me tea," Severus said simply. "You talked to me. No one else in that damnable house would have even wanted to be in the same room as me and yet you came very day this summer. You came and you brought me tea and you spoke to me and you were kind."

Realization lit upon her features. "Everyone thought you wouldn't want to be talked to," she said finally.

"I didn't want anyone else to talk to me," Severus said quickly. "Not even you, at first."

How could he explain this feeling he had in his ribcage? The feeling like he hadn't wanted her to get near him, how he hadn't wanted her to bring him tea, he didn't want it and yet he craved every single crumb of human contact he could get because he needed it so, so much? That he had been- that he was- hurt and broken and without a master for the first time in his adult life and he needed something, someone to latch on to? That his heart had chosen her because she was kind and because she brought him tea?

"But then I did," was all he said.

She understood.

"I'm done with my tea," was all she said.

He glanced at his cup. "I am as well."

She put hers aside, then reached up and stretched. The now-familiar pops of her spine made him want to smile. That position was lovely- her back was arched and her breasts her pushed out and all he wanted was to taste her. So he did, so he stood and so he knelt at her chair and kissed her mouth, her neck, unbuttoned her shirt and tasted her. She tasted of salt and sweetness and Hermione and he loved it.

He didn't know if her friends knew and he didn't care all that much. What they had worked for him. Tea, sex, talk, love, healing.

Severus just knew that he needed her. He needed that head of bushy curls on his pillow, he needed her mouth against his, he needed her soft eyes and soft words and soft skin.

He could see that she needed him too. It was in the way that she clutched at his shoulders and constantly marked him and told him things she had never told anyone. The way that she never wanted to leave in the mornings or at night or every. How she traced patterns on his skin when they lay together, how she said his name with a certain lilt in her voice.

A Christmas spent apart was miserable. He sat in front of his measly fire, drinking Muggle whiskey, and being irrationally mad that she had agreed to go the Weasley's for Christmas. They didn't see each other everyday (the brief eye contact in the Great Hall at mealtimes did not count as seeing each other) but at least they saw each other every day. As Christmas Eve turned into Christmas Day he was bitterly and irrationally upset with her, and more than a little drunk.

When the students (and Hermione- to him she wasn't a student, couldn't be a student) returned it just cemented his plan in his head, although he didn't present it to her for months, until a week before graduation.

They were sipping tea in their Friday night ritual. The talk was light- N.E.W.T.s were over, Hermione was far less stressed than she had been in days, and he had an odd feeling of peace as well. The only thing that marred that peace was the reminder that she would leave Hogwarts in days.

"What are you going to do next year?" he asked suddenly, abruptly. "Go to Uni, get a Masters, work at the Ministry?"

Hermione had not been anticipating the question. Slowly she lowered her cup, placing it on the saucer. "I've been offered a lot of positions. Four at the Ministry, a Transfiguration Mastery in Salem, a Potions Mastery in Berlin, a Charms Mastery in Paris..." her voice trailed off. "I haven't replied to any yet. I told them I would want the results of my N.E.W.T.s first."

Severus nodded. The words he wanted to say had seemed so easy a few moments ago, but now they did not spill from his tongue was easily as he had thought they would. "I-. Hermione-." He gave a short frustrated sigh, and set down his cup. "I'll follow you," he said bluntly. "If you want me too. I'll quit teaching here at Hogwarts and I'll follow you wherever you want to go. Salem, Berlin, Paris, London- wherever. I'll do my own Potions research, I'll do Owl Order potions, I'll work for a hospital. I'll figure something out, because if you say that you want me I'll follow you."

There was silence, only broken by the clattering of china against china. Hermione's hands were shaking so badly she set the cup down, pressing them into her lap. Her eyes were closed and she was looking down, and immediately the world began to roar in his ears.

Fuck. Shit. Fuck. I screwed this up.

"If- if you don't want me, if you say no, I understand," he said quickly, trying to force himself to sound calm and nonchalant and not succeeding. "You are- you are a young woman, with your life ahead of you and I am an old man, and ugly old man-"

"Oh, stop it!" Hermione cried, leaving her chair to sink into his lap, holding his face. "Please. Please come with me."

He kissed her then, catching her half by surprise. Emotion roared through him, the hot tight emotion he felt at her mouth which tasted of tea and the feeling of her shoulder blades against the palm of his hand like the fragile bones of a bird and the softness of her curls.

When he moved his mouth from her lips to the line of her neck, she kept talking to him. "I need you, Severus, I need you. I didn't want to lose you, I was waiting because I want you and I was beyond hoping that you would want me too."

"I need you too," Severus said into her ear. "I need you, Hermione."

When her friends found out they did think it was weird and the Weasley boy didn't talk to her for months, but he certainly didn't care and she didn't mind so much because they were abroad and by the time she finished her Mastery the redhead was more mature and willing to be friendly again.

She got her Mastery and he made potions and at night there was always tea and sometimes sex and always, always, there was the quiet sort of love that healed rather than hurt, that didn't always need to be spoken.

And so the story ends.

I hope you've liked it! I have other one shots and short stories that you can read!

Of course, I have not neglected FTOH, you should be getting an update in a week or two. Reviews give me inspiration!

Please review! Have a lovely day!