Disclaimer: If I owned anything at all from the franchise, you can bet your sweet backside that Snape would be alive and kicking today.
A/N: Here is a one-shot that was supposed to be small but, well, Severus was very insistent. A gift for the utterly lovely ArmorLillies; rated M for her very good reason ;-) Seriously, readers, it's M.
I actually had two songs for this. One from ArmorLillies that I used for Severus' mindset, called 'Ghosts Inside our House' by Cloud Cult. Give it a whirl, it's lovely.
For Hermione, I'm not even kidding when I say that it was 'All Around Me' – Savage Garden. Listen to iiiiiit, you'll see exactly what I mean. And, as for the rap, I'm a '90s girl, what can I say?
Next chapter of World Enough etc coming in 1-2 days, you insatiable minxes!
Accidents and Coincidences
Because we'll never give up wishing
That we live on
Baby live on
In our song
A humble song
He still had a picture of Lily above the fireplace. It was Lily at her worst – bleary eyed and fifteen, when she'd had three months of awful spots on her chin and forehead. But she was beautiful to him; not that his teenage friend had ever warmed to the idea.
And on this day, a boring Wednesday, Severus Snape burned that fucking photo in the sodding fireplace while whistling along to 'Disco Inferno'. Enough was enough. It was time for a fresh start.
The evening found him in a nondescript Muggle pub in the middle of London, so pissed that his glasses fell off and he couldn't tell the difference.
It was just his luck, really. He was walking (read: stumbling) home at two AM and had paused to gather his senses in order not to chunder on the sidewalk. Suddenly, a splitting headache arrived in the form of a ridiculously happy sounding chirping voice coming towards him,
"I said: the password is arsetastic! For god's sake, Harry. It's not hard to spell. A-R-S-E-T-A-S-T-I-C. Do you get it? Like, arse. As in: behind, backside, bum, cheeks. Tastic as in… oh, right. Well I knew you'd understand, you've said it often enough. Hang on – oh. Fuck me, is that…? Shit. Harry, give me a minute –"
"Jesus," Severus muttered and turned his face to the wall, planting both of his palms on the dirty surface. No, no, no, in the name of all that is holy and depraved, gods no, don't let it be-
The owner of the voice crouched down to his level, leaving him with a blurred view of horrid hair, a tiny party dress and heels that were surely not part of the uniform code. Not the uniform code… the… whatever. How old would she be anyway? Thirty? Thirty five? How long had it even been since Hogwarts?
Fucked if I know!
Snape groaned and let his forehead rest against the wall.
"Is that you? It is! Severus Snape! What a coincidence! Why, good evening to you, sir! It's me. Hermione. Hermione Granger, remember? Gosh! How long has it been since Hogwarts? Five years? My, you don't look too good…"
A cloud of her strangely enticing yet nigh on suffocating perfume wafted over him and he struggled not to dry retch. "No," he managed after a good five heavy breaths. "No… I am not… S'vrus Snap. No bloody way. And I don't know any Er-nee Ganges. No. G'nightknowitall – oh fucking hell shite, good bye and-"
Giving up, he turned and flailed his arms (suspecting that he might have whacked her on the nose in the process) and Disapparated on the spot.
Days later, he was still unsure how he'd managed to do that without splinching himself. Luck must have been on his side.
The following Sunday saw Severus strolling through Chelsea Physic Garden. It wasn't the best day to have chosen given the weekdays were quieter, but the shop was closed on Sundays and Mondays and so he'd walked out of his front door first thing in the morning to begin his self-appointed weekend.
The Garden of World Medicine held his attention today; it was fascinating to see the plants and how they were employed by various cultures. Even though he no longer worked solely with potions, his bookshop did have the largest range of tomes in Britain as well as contracts with Hogwarts and the major apothecaries, and so he deemed it prudent to enjoy a pleasant afternoon of what Severus called 'fieldwork'.
Hands in his pockets, he stopped and surveyed the Ayurvedic section before crouching down to take a deep breath in with his nose, his stern expression just barely breaking to hint at the delight he took in the fragrant scents.
"Ah, yes," a near, warm voice interrupted his enjoyment. "The pimpinella anisum, otherwise known as aniseed!Lovely choice, Professor."
The lilting tones of Hermione Granger's voice turned his stomach to lead and he rose, ignoring the way his knees complained. He'd hoped to spend the rest of his life forgetting how he'd made such a fool of himself in front of the young woman, but her unexpected presence at his side was not part of that plan.
Squinting in the sun, he cupped his eyes to take her in better. First mistake… gods. He swallowed uncomfortably, aware that she was quite possibly the prettiest woman he had seen in a long time. Oh, her hair was still horrid and wild, chestnut coloured curls flying in every which way, but she'd grown it out and it hung down to her waist as if it was ready to ensnare him at any moment. It complemented her face now, providing a frame for her impish nose and wide brown eyes that were currently staring into his and almost sparkling with pleasure. To see him? Old Snape with the still lank hair? The only concession he'd made was to grow it longer and tie it back, and his thin black rimmed glasses probably made him look older than he was. She smiled widely.
He took a quick look at his clothes – yes, his crisp white shirt was rolled to the elbows in deference to the July heat, but he still looked neat. There was simply no reason for her to look so amused!
"Miss Granger," he muttered, nodding his head.
What comes next? Fucking oath, this is ridiculous.
"Good afternoon, Mr. Snape," she replied with a tinkling laugh that should have annoyed him. It didn't. "It's good to see you again. And in a fitting venue, this time!"
"Hmm?" He eyed her speculatively, checking for signs of head trauma. "A fitting venue? Miss Granger, let me assure you that if I had any idea at all that a former student would be here-"
"Not that," she said dismissively. "The name of this garden. This is the Ayurvedic one, correct? Not my favourite – I much prefer the Indigenous Australian section – but I do recall you calling me Ernee Ganges last week. Ganges, Ayurvedic…" Hermione placed a hand on her hip mid chuckle, drawing his attention to her blue sundress. How old was she again? Too young, no matter the answer. Bugger.
"I can make the connection, Granger," he grumbled, turning away to hide his annoyance behind a curtain of hair then cursed under his breath when he recalled that he'd gathered it into a queue that morning. Remembering his terrible manners, he continued in a stiff tone, "I shan't apologise for being in such a state, but it was not my intention to run into you, of all people."
She stiffened and brushed a stray lock of hair away from her face. "Of all people? All right, sir. You've made yourself clear. Enjoy your day." Hermione began to walk away, then stopped and faced him again. "It was wonderful to see you, though. Really."
He'd meant to refer to how she'd been the one who had found him and stabilised him before Apparating with him to St Mungo's with her wand ready to defend him, but instead he'd cocked it up as usual. It was poor form after all of that to be so inebriated in front of her that her name had come out like a holy river in India, surely. But her crestfallen face was only in front of him for a second before she grimaced and pivoted around, darting off into the crowds before he could even take one step to follow.
Severus could have wished that fate was on his side so he would see her again, but he knew better; the fickle bitch probably wanted him to run into Granger the next time he was doing his morning run so she'd see him looking like a sweaty wraith.
He quickly nipped that thought in the bud; knowing Lady Felicis, that was entirely likely to occur.
It bloody fucking did!
He was jogging around the Muggle park at the corner of his street. He lived in an affluent part of London, mostly out of a deep desire to avoid anything that reminded him of Spinner's End; though he did have a townhouse, it was nothing like his old haunt and he even had a part time house elf. Herbert (yes… Herbert) stayed at Draco's on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and pottered around in Severus' home on the other days of the week, remembering to stay invisible unless Severus was in the mood for a chess match. Herbert was a bloody formidable opponent.
Feet pounding and dressed in what the shopgirl deemed appropriate casual clothing, he followed the circular path that wound through trees of oak and ash. Music blaring from the headphones he'd found on the High Street, he was in a blissful state of ignorance to the world around him.
Until he rounded a corner and ran smack bang into a soft pair of breasts and fell flat on his arse.
"For fuck's sake, Snape!" the banshee shrieked, staring down at her blue and white floral looking blouse that was now covered in her takeaway coffee. "Watch where you're going!"
"Me?" he snarled, tossing inky hair from his eyes. "This is a running trail! Not some place to hold your little one woman tete-a-tete! And mind your tongue; it's not even eight in the morning. I don't need to deal with washing your mouth out at the moment you bloody harpy."
Hermione jumped to her feet and gestured wildly with her hands, sending more of her coffee flying into the air. "I'm going to work, you oaf! And now look at me!"
"Work? Like that? Who goes to work like that?"
Christ, she looks like sin all wrapped up with a bow on it! Tiny jeans and an even smaller blouse. Where on earth does she work?
She sniffed haughtily and jerked her chin up when he managed to stand. "My shrunken robes are in my bag, thank you very much. I felt like a stroll before work-"
"A stroll? We've been through this. You're on a running trail girl. Now be off with you and leave me be!"
Her face fell again, just like a fortnight prior at the garden. Congratulations, you've done it again! Bugger it all to hell.
She took a tiny step forward until there was only a foot between them. "Oh. Are you sure? I mean, all of these coincidences… Why don't we sit down and have a chat, it'd be enjoyable I'm sure-"
Severus was incensed and frustrated all at once; he did not want to listen to her prattle on about the sodding war, and he certainly didn't want these gods damned 'coincidences' from continuing. But for all of that, his roared, "Kindly sod off, Granger!" as he strode away was a complete surprise.
Jesus H. Christ, he hadn't been so rude to a woman in years.
He stopped dead in his tracks and risked a look back to see her looking angry (finally!) and exasperated; fighting the urge to apologise and swallowing his pride, he continued on until the sound of low heels tapping on the pavement made him rub his forehead.
Executing a turn that would've made him billow in robes and even now caused his grey jumper to ripple slightly, he faced her with narrowed eyes. "What is it, Granger?"
She was chewing on her lip. Merlin, he hated how it made her look like a student again. Ignoring propriety, he reached out and prodded her lower lip with his index finger, succeeding in releasing it and shocking himself all at once with the realisation that her mouth was as soft as it looked.
Shit. Was now the time to acknowledge that he'd been thinking of her almost constantly over the last few weeks? No. But her mouth…
Double shit! Soft as it looked? When the hell did I think it looked soft?
Hermione's lips were parted now, and her eyes were focused on his hand that was now shoved firmly into his pocket. "You… er… Severus, what-" she spluttered then shut her mouth with an audible click. A firm huff made her shoulders rise and fall sharply. He should've recognised her determined expression but in his defence, his teaching days were years in the past. "Let's go and have a cuppa."
"What?" Severus barked, staring down over his nose. "I just told you to-"
"I heard what you said, Professor," she spat, pointing at his chest as if it was it that made the remark and not his brain. She was spectacular! Severus blinked, watching her continue and finding it enticingly attractive.
"And I'll tell you something – kindly sod off is ridiculous! Sod off is said on its own, to make its meaning clear. 'Kindly' is reserved for 'kindly come and have a cuppa.' Ergo, let's go and have a bloody cuppa while you apologise for exercising such positively prehistoric manners."
"I don't particularly think-"
"Oh, piss off, Severus," she said while she breezed past him, pausing only slightly to call over her shoulder, "Come on then, you big old grump. I'll even buy you biccies. I'm sure you're hungry after your-" at this she paused and looked him up and down, paying close attention to the nape of his neck that was covered in a light sheen of sweat; he must've looked like a sodding fright "-exercise."
"Wait – Granger," he said clearly. He took a quick breath in, and let loose with an honest spread of his hands while he said, "I've been a right prick."
"Yes you have," she replied dryly. "Are you apologising?"
"I might be."
"Good. Come on. Oh – and turn off your music, would you? I can hear the Beastie Boys from here and I do not particularly feel like fighting for my right to party."
He wasn't exactly sure when he started walking along behind her while grumbling under his breath, though he did notice the way her spray painted on jeans highlighted the soft lines of her arse.
It was a complete coincidence that she led him to the dainty little coffee shop that was directly across the street from his house.
Or, it would have been if she didn't keep shooting furtive glances to the terrace house with navy blue edging that had a shining black plate beside the door containing elegant cursive that spelled out 'Prince'. Granted, he could've used 'Snape', but fuck-all, he loved his Mam.
"Granger," he began when the waitress brought their tea and scones and Hermione had settled herself in her chair, finally halting her fidgeting. "Have you been following me?"
Her obnoxiously cried out, "No!" was all it took for him to nod his head slowly, his trademark smirk painted on all of its own accord.
"Oh. Are you sure?" Leaning forward, he cocked an eyebrow. She swallowed and shook her head quickly.
"Of course not, I mean, what a ridiculous thing to say Snape, I have certainly not been following you! Not at all."
They sat in silence while sipping their tea; he with his Moroccan mint and Hermione with proper Indian chai. He waited until she had finished a scone before rising decisively out of his seat.
"Good morning, Granger," he said politely and took a step towards the exit.
She shot up like an energizer bunny. "Oh! Why? Where are you going? We just got here!"
Chuckling and not even bothering to hide his amusement, he shrugged. "According to you, all of our meetings have been accidents or coincidences or Merlin knows what else. I don't put much stock in that, but you're too much of a Gryffindor to say otherwise, and so I shall bid you farewell." He tipped his head then grinned wolfishly. Gods, she was gorgeous when she was all fired up! Her curls were almost crackling with indignation.
"Oh – Granger?" He took a small step closer, inwardly delighting in the way her breath hitched, not that his expression gave away anything of the sort. She scowled.
"I'll see you next time."
The small thread of uncertainty that he felt when leaving the café with her spitting fire was worth it for the way he knew without a shred of doubt that her tea stained eyes were following his every move as he walked across the street.
Keeping his eyes fixed on the door as he subtly removed the wards, he raised a hand and offered the witch a backhanded exaggerated wave.
Her answering screech had him laughing for days. A year ago, he might've complained. But not now; he hadn't laughed like this in years. Besides – for once in his life, Severus Snape was going to be chased.
And there was no better woman to do it.
"What's the greatest year in Liverpool history?"
"Fuck off, uncle."
Severus raised his pint in a salute to the television and smirked. "Next year!"
Draco shuddered while the rest of the patrons in the pub jeered and laughed at the telly, no doubt at yet another ridiculous stunt pulled by Severus' godson's team.
Severus settled better into his chair, resting his elbows on the table. The pub was packed for the match; for more of an atmosphere, Draco and Severus had come to the working class suburbs, having found a pub that managed to host supporters of the best team on the planet and the worst without back breaking violence erupting.
"What about this one?" Severus cleared his throat. "How do Liverpool fans change a lightbulb?"
"Standing on the bended arse of a Manc boy," Draco shot back, grinning at Severus' guffaw.
"The correct answer is they don't – they just talk about how good the old one was."
"Oh piss off! Our day will come!"
"Not bloody likely."
"Say, uncle – is that… shite! Wow."
"Eh?" Severus turned around just in time to see a newcomer entering the pub, clad in those tiny grey jeans and a Manc shirt that looked like she'd been born in it. Her hair was down and flying in every which way, almost a creature unto itself. He watched her look around, a secretive and utterly female smile playing on her lips and had the strangest wish for her horrid hair to wrap itself around him until they were tied.
Their eyes met over the heads of other patrons, and her mouth parted in an enticing look of surprise. It was so genuine that Severus almost believed that it was true. Almost.
"Is she coming over here? Shite! How do I look?" Draco smoothed a hand over his hair.
"Terrible," Severus drawled, eyes never leaving the figure threading her way through the crowd towards them.
But when she was in front of him, he had no sodding idea what he would say. It was taking all of his restraint not to bellow, "I want to take you back to my cave and not let you out again until my ring is on your finger and my child is in your belly," but he had enough sense in the end to simply cough and say, "Evening, Granger. What a … coincidence."
"A nice one," she countered, eyeing his own red shirt and old blue jeans. Draco offered a half-hearted wave then buried his head in his pint.
"I didn't take you for a football fan," Hermione said after he'd come back from the bar with her beer. Cold, as requested; he was half in love with her already.
"Are you quite sure about that?" he replied, taking a pointed look around the pub. "I don't see any of your companions in here. There doesn't seem to be any reason for you to be here at all."
Turning his question on its head, she grinned. "Oh – no reason? Are you quite sure about that?"
His drink was at his mouth but he had forgotten to take a sip, lost in the feeling of her hand touching his bare arm. He stared at her small fingers as they curled around his forearm, though she did not look away from the screen on the wall at the end of the room. Gods, he missed touch. In fact, the last time a woman had touched him had been this woman, Hermione, when they'd collided at the park a month prior.
Which reminded him.
"Where have you been?" he asked, aware that he sounded like a possessive git.
She looked up at him curiously. He could get used to this – her standing at his side, fingers on his arm.
"Why?" she questioned, her brown eyes wide, then she smiled again. "It's been a busy few weeks at work. I haven't had much time for…"
"For following me?" he supplied, voice all silk. She huffed.
"I am not! Really. But when this is over," she took a deep breath, "do you want to go and get some dinner?"
Severus felt the grin spreading over his mouth before a buzz of anticipation settled in his stomach. He sat down immediately, realising that the slight erection that'd maintained itself since her entrance was not content to remain at half-mast any longer.
Eventually, he worked out what he wanted to say. "Perhaps another time," he said slowly, feeling a faint blush emerge on his cheeks when her eyes darted to his mouth. This time, he couldn't even detect a shred of disappointment; she seemed to be enjoying it as much as he was.
Hermione hummed and turned back to the telly. "Hmm. All right, then. As you wish."
She stayed for the entire match, jumping at the goals and keeping close to his side. If his arm crept around her waist towards the end and her head of awful hair rested on his shoulder for a tiny second before she took her leave, neither mentioned it. Though he was forced to reconsider his surety that she'd planned the whole thing because the publican bloody waved goodbye to her, like he knew her.
He decided he didn't sodding care. He quite liked all of these coincidences.
Tonight was the night. Severus was sure that he would see her again; it had been three weeks after all, and he found that when each day passed with no sighting of his camp follower, he was so frustrated that he'd cleaned the townhouse from top to bottom with Herbert dusting in his wake.
Bugger it all to hell!
He brushed an invisible piece of lint from the collar of his dress robes that were made from the thinnest, smoothest black crepe. Of course it was due to the heat that he'd elected to wear the lightweight robes. It had nothing do with Miss Brown, the owner of the newest made-to-order robes business at the top end of Diagon Alley. And it most certainly did not have anything to do with her comment that the robes 'accentuated the lines of your rather delightful bottom, Mr. Snape!' as… oh bloody hell, he wanted Hermione to look at his arse, all right?
There were witches and wizards everywhere; quite a feat for a community of declining numbers and an ageing population.
Everywhere he looked he saw shining Order of Merlins pinned onto chests or hanging from necks. His own was firmly in his pocket where it was going to stay. Taking what he hoped was a polite sip of his ale (can't take the Manc out of the boy after all), he eased his back against the wall and surveyed the room again, attempting to be surreptitious but knowing that he probably looked like a lovesick git because the only woman he wanted to see was –
"Good evening, Severus."
"Miss Granger." He nodded his head and shoved the overwhelming onslaught of desire behind his Occlumency shields. Merlin, he hadn't needed those for years, but the sight of Hermione with her hair twisted up (he wanted to kiss that neck, oh yes he did) and body clothed not in robes but some sort of golden Grecian one shouldered thing that put her on a pedestal and not the floor… well. He was quite simply besotted.
"Fancy seeing you here," she said, a little accompanying smirk playing on her lips that shone with something that would look fantastic rubbed off on his skin.
"Yes…" he responded, unable to stop his smile. "What a surprise."
"Is it?" she asked, moving a little closer. They were at the back of the room, half hidden by shadows and streamers. "It seemed to me like you were… looking for someone."
He snorted and threw the drink back, then blindly shoved it onto whatever surface was next to him. Later he'd laugh about leaving it on a stand of newly minted medals, but for now he didn't particularly care.
Fixing her with his most nervous grin and an extended arm, he lowered his voice and very honestly said, "Not anymore."
She danced with him all night. The boys (men, really, but he much preferred to continue applying the youthful term considering some were eyeing him quite jealously) approached her at the end of each song, but her eyes never left his. In another lifetime, he might have lorded it over them all (well, he did… a little) but simply dancing with her was heavenly.
She fit just under his chin in slow songs, hair making his neck itch, and on faster numbers her hand on his back travelled down to his crepe covered buttocks while she insisted on pretending that it was because of the 'taxing' steps of the dances. At some point, he made some remark about objectification and the sanctity of one's person, but he forgot all about it when she giggled. It should have put him off – her sounding like a little girl – but it went straight to his chest, marking him a smitten man.
When the evening ended, he offered her his arm, half hoping she wouldn't take it (he'd rather liked being chased) but when she did he grinned like a Cheshire cat. Thanking all of the gods that he'd had his cleaning tizz that week, he escorted her into his sitting room, mentally filing a reminder to thank Herbert's intuition that had the room basked in soft, golden lights and a tea tray complete with exotic pastries on the coffee table.
"Ohhhh," Hermione sighed and looked around at the soft furnishings. Delighted, he watched as she kicked off her shoes to walk on the cream Persian rug with a moan of relief.
"Torture devices," he said, pointedly using his foot to nudge her heels out of sight.
"Oh I don't know about that," said Hermione, sitting down in the middle of the navy couch before the fire. She crossed her legs and arched an eyebrow, grinning when he sat down right beside her. "After all, I think they worked quite well."
"Might have," he mumbled, desperately trying to regain his wits as he took in the way her position highlighted the slit in her gown.
Thankfully, she commanded most of the conversation. He contributed, but it was enchanting enough to watch her speak and lick the sugar syrup from the pastries off of her fingers. He was so close to reaching forward and doing the job himself when he blurted out, "I've burned Lily's photo. It used to be up there."
Hermione looked at the mantelpiece. "Did it?" She turned back to him with a curious look.
Buggeration! Just… why, mate?
"It did. It was like having a ghost inside of the house," he said with a small nod. "Although I'm not sure why I told you that."
"I'm glad that you did," she offered. "I'd have asked you to burn it anyway."
"Oh?" He was in so, so much trouble.
She leaned against the back of the couch and met his gaze. "Without a doubt. Fresh start and all that. Plus I've never really liked her. Maybe I would've burned it myself."
"Surely you jest, Madam?" He uncrossed his own legs and slid closer, letting his arm fall around her shoulders. Those pink lips were beckoning him, but he just wanted to hear one more thing…
"Oh, yes," she drawled. "I would've burnt it. Or maybe even made her watch so I could have the satisfaction of making her jealous."
He was practically purring (and uncomfortably giddy) when he replied, "You think a photo can be jealous? How would you go about making a photo… jealous?"
When she closed the distance between them and firmly pressed her mouth to his, her long fingers sliding into his hair while her tongue slipped into his mouth, filling him with the taste of sugar and honey and woman, he thought that, yes, he rather liked this possessive streak in his witch.
Rather a lot, in fact.
And when did she become his witch? Determining that he didn't really need to answer that, he gave himself over to the kiss, pulling her into his lap.
Much later, he was the perfect gentleman and Apparated her to her doorstep a few suburbs over. Her hair was only slightly mussed, and her lips were plump, but otherwise her dress had stayed firmly on. Not that he hadn't wanted to take it off…
She opened the door and leaned against the frame. "Would you like to come in? I won't turn into a pumpkin at midnight, you know. You could…you could come in. I would really, really like it if you came inside."
Oh, sod it!
He didn't even bother using his tongue to give her an answer, preferring instead to bend his head and lick a line from her bare shoulder to her neck, beginning to earnestly feast on the pearl like skin.
"I'll take that as a yes, then?" she said breathlessly, pulling him inside and throwing the door closed, before pushing him up against it and kissing him senseless.
"Yes, yes, a million times yes," he managed to croak out, coherent speech forgotten when she dug her fingers into his side and ground against his erection. "I'm not doing a Floo of shame in the morning though, Hermione."
"No," she agreed immediately, stopping her ministrations. "No, you won't. Nothing like that."
And he didn't. It was nothing like that at all.
There was nothing hurried about it, though they were both undeniably eager. She Apparated them upstairs to her bedroom and he undressed her like the gift that she was, kissing every inch of skin that he revealed until he was between her legs, suckling on her clit and groaning each time she gasped and pulled on his hair, then apologised for it, then repeated the cycle. Having her fall apart under his tongue was addictive and intoxicating, and he didn't even realise that he hadn't removed even one item of his clothing until she shrieked and clenched her thighs together, and the pulsing of her release was being fastidiously lapped into his mouth.
"This, that, off!" she commanded once she'd regained her senses, and he found himself being hit with an armful of witch. She was all arms and legs, using her fingers to unbutton the robes ("So many buttons! Come to bed with your frock coat next time, I want to count them!") and her toes to push his trousers down.
"No," he groaned, batting away her hands as she curled her fingers around his length, already beginning a steady rhythm. "No more, no more of this, I can't – oh, fuck –"
She didn't remove her hand; instead she guided the head of him until it came into contact with warm, wet heat, coaxing a dark moan out of his mouth that lasted from entering until being entirely consumed.
He began to move inside her, able to concentrate on only feelings – the feel of the hair on his chest being the only barrier between his skin and her breasts, her fingers curling into his arse, encouraging him as convincingly as her voice that was crying out sounds and romantic words and other dirtier things that he would never have imagined could be erupting from such a sweet little mouth as this-
Severus cupped her cheeks, abandoning his slow rocking for kissing all over her face, swallowing her whimpers of pleasure, the little mewls making it impossible for him to say what he wanted to. Sensing his need, Hermione opened her eyes and smiled, wide and open. "After," she breathed, tenderly moving his hair out of his eyes.
"After," he echoed, then gasped, his self-restraint lost when she bit her lip and squeezed those tight walls around him. "Oh gods fuck!"
He couldn't take much more of this – this sweet, wild woman with her hands now holding onto his shoulders for dear life as he changed the angle of his hips and thrust in over and over again, reduced to the sensation of her limbs seizing and silken sensitive flesh convulsing around his cock – there was nothing to it, there was everything to it – his muscles worked furiously as he took the lead from her slow building scream, pounding into her just the way her delectable mouth ordered him to before she came with wails and cries, drowning out his own shouts that were really just her name because fuck-
He collapsed over her, unable to move, unable to think.
She was incredible.
"I'm quite sure that I dreamed you into life," he whispered against the skin of her shoulder after they'd taken turns to run to the loo, her bottom wobbling adorably as she skipped away then back to his side. She was tucked into him, her back to his chest, one of his hands cupping her breast. Her breathing was already heavy, matching the rise and fall of his lungs. He had a mouthful of hair.
He had never been happier.
Her soft, "Don't leave in the morning, Severus. Don't ever leave," sent him to sleep with a smile on his face.
Hermione's flatmate Lavender Brown came into the kitchen entirely by accident the next morning. She was supposed to have slept in the small bedroom above the shop, but had Apparated home at the last minute, preferring her higher thread count sheets.
"Oh my!" she cried out, hands covering her mouth as she took in the sight of Severus cooking breakfast in the nude. He cringed and blushed right down to his balls.
"I was right, you know," she called up the stairs, her eyes not leaving Severus' figure.
"Right about what?" Hermione's faint voice reached them from where she was reading the morning paper in bed, clad in his white dress shirt.
"His arse! It's absolutely divine!"
Severus silenced her with a flick of his wrist and continued to cook breakfast. He was in such a good mood that he didn't really mind giving a show so early in the morning. Bugger that.
He gave up the reins for what felt like the hundredth time in the last six months and allowed her to take the lead, her smaller hand in his as she pulled him along the path. Eventually they came to a park with a willow tree dominating a small lake, barely another soul in sight.
Normally Severus was not a man for frivolous things – at least he hadn't been when he had no choice about it. But now, with this young, bubbling witch, he found that she took him places he hadn't ever imagined he would be in. And he would've hated it in the past.
His arms were full of Hermione as he sat with his back against the trunk of the tree and her body cradled between his legs, facing outwards.
Settling his chin on her shoulder, he ran his fingers over her denim covered legs. "This is… surprisingly nice."
Her musical laugh reverberated through his body, warming his heart. "Of course it is. There are so many things I'm going to show you, Severus Snape. So many things that you never would've thought that you'd like."
He couldn't wait.
They spoke of many things that afternoon. He hadn't known it, but she'd been nursing a broken heart before they'd run into each other so many months ago. All on his own, without being aware of it, he'd apparently managed to put it back together piece by piece, letting her fall apart and mending her at the same time.
It didn't even matter that she had a history, that she'd been hurt by some tosser who hadn't seen how she shined. Oh, he'd kill the bastard (even though it was a simple break-up, he'd still Avada his arse if he met him on the street) but Hermione was quite adamant that anyone who saw them together would know that any of their previous partners were just small change compared to each other.
True. At least on her part. Still, he wasn't about to argue.
He saw her, and she saw him. He'd take her away from everything, fly her away from anything, but it was enough to know that he was what she needed.
When he'd first begun to meet her in all of those well-constructed coincidences (turns out she had, in fact, arranged to bump into him straight after they had randomly met that night while he was half blind – apparently he was still a handsome sod when he couldn't feel his nose and his bookshop had convinced her that he was 'The One'), he knew that he wanted her, but not that he needed her. He'd soon learned, of course.
He needed her like air, like water.
Severus would give it all up for her, relinquish the control he'd relied on for so many years, if it meant he'd always have this woman whose hair itched his neck and fingers that always found their way to his.
There was nothing – nothing – better than knowing that he had her.
Anything that she ever wanted, he could give her. Anything that she wished for, he would do.
Well, this was new.
Was this even wise? He tried to pull his arm down and winced at how the silk scarf restricted his movement. The blindfold meant that he couldn't even look and see how much give he actually had.
"Tell me again why I am the one in this… position."
Hermione's low chuckle sounded from somewhere in the room, drawing an interested twitch out of his cock.
"I can't be tied up without laughing," she answered with a small giggle. His todger frowned, or would have if it could.
"Don't continue," he instructed.
"Oh I wasn't planning on it. In fact, I thought we might make some new memories… I've bought all of this just for you."
He was about to ask just what on earth she meant, when he felt the bed dip. Heart pounding, he hated himself for letting out a high pitched whine when her arse, obviously clad in some form of lace, began to grind down on his recovering erection. With the blindfold on and his hands and feet tied until he was spreadeagled on the bed, all of his senses were trained on the feel of her hands running over his body.
"Just a little introduction for now," she said, her voice breathy and cloaked in sin. "We can try more things later if you're… agreeable. Do you trust me?"
There was no hesitation in his answer. "Unequivocally." And he did. He really, really did. She was the only person that he did trust, apart from himself, though even that was sketchy at times. Hermione was… she was everything.
He was about to make a witty comment but the pressure of her body on his cock disappeared and not long after, her tongue made one lick from balls to head, reducing his intelligence to one word: "Fuuuuuck, Hermione, just – nnnngh fuck, what-"
She licked around his length, her tongue lapping like he was a sweet she'd been denied for an age. Just when he thought he would go mad from her teasing, she took him as far into her mouth as she could, drawing out a loud, choked groan from his chest.
"I'll stay here forever," he promised between heavy breaths as Hermione moved her mouth up and down, sucking and releasing him with a pop before diving down again and again. Somehow, with her lips all around him, she managed to laugh, the tightening of her throat making him shout from the rapture of it all.
He suffered under her for what felt like hours but was probably only minutes. At some point she took pity on him and sank down onto his length, making him toss his head back and jerk his body to meet her, chest heaving as she drew out the best climax that he'd ever had in the entirety of his life.
"God, I love you, Severus Snape," she said much later, when the stars covered the velvet night sky.
He couldn't even form words, much less get any out. Reaching down blindly, he held onto her hand and squeezed it four times: I love you too.
They were married a year later under the willow tree. It was all Severus – for once in their relationship, he commanded the day and organised everything from the guest list (short, thank you very much) to the reception (none, though that didn't stop everyone from hanging about and summoning pints anyway, the bunch of ruddy freeloaders) and the honeymoon (Greece).
She was ethereal in a knee length cream coloured dress, and he stood as if stupefied in a new set of robes.
She was his dream, his wish, his fantasy, all of his hopes, and everything else that he might ever need for the rest of his life.
She was Hermione, and she was his wife.
Severus Snape was one very lucky man.