Notes & Disclaimers:

This story is STRONG R, for explicit depictions of consensual sex.

It's my response to the Seducing Severus Snape Challenge, and I owe a HUGE THANK YOU to Susanna/Pigwidgeon37, with whom I agonised over the logic of this story.

I own nothing, I want nothing, I claim nothing, in fact, JKR is welcome to this story if she promises to print it VEG!

In Short Measures Life May Perfect Be
by SilentG

It was the last staff meeting before the end of the school year.

Examinations were over, congratulatory letters were sent, essays were marked and the warm June sun was very busy drawing the scent of wax and wizard's ink out of the old oak table in the staffroom. Severus Snape sat, back against the wall as always, caught up in a daydream – two, actually. In one mind, he was a lovely, silvery fish lazing in the dappled green light of a cool stream, buffeted by the wakes of passing frogs and buffeting on the grubs of mosquitoes and dragonflies; in the other, he was looking out a window, gesturing with a rude Muggle hand signal towards Harry Potter's retreating back.

"…so, to that end, I have invited the Dryads to the Leaving Feast," Albus concluded with a satisfied smile. "There is only the matter of appropriate… er, housing for the duration of their stay, but they assure me that it will be a simple matter to sort out when they arrive." The Headmaster dismissed the assembled teachers with a wave of his hand.

The Dryads, Severus thought as he got up, must be the music group he's booked for the Feast.


The Feast itself was a staid affair. The would-be Marauders aside, Harry Potter's year had been an unusually serious one, which suited the Potions master just fine.

He had been present, under protest as usual, during the private ceremony wherein Dumbledore handed out a British Wizarding Certificate to each of the departing students. Snape stood in the receiving line with the other teachers, his black look unwavering as he shook each doughy, sweaty hand and tried not to shudder at the thought of what was being unleashed on the wizarding world with the conferring of the magical passports now being handed out.

Ah well, this is the nineteenth year I've stood in this very spot, had this very thought, and I and the British Wizarding world are still here, intact. It's a miracle. Or perhaps a pity.

Now at his customary spot at the High Table, Snape watched glumly as, if by some Muggle camera trick, the plates, then the tables, then the benches disappeared in preparation for the dance.

"May I have your attention please," Dumbledore rose and spoke to the assembly. "Before we begin the dance, would the following people please go with Professor McGonagall," he gestured towards the huge doors at the back of the room, where the Transfiguration teacher was waiting. "It's nothing untoward, and it won't take long. Pansy Parkinson," he nodded at each person as he read, "Ginny Weasley, Ronald Weasley, Susan Bones, Hermione Granger, and Professor Sinistra." The Headmaster smiled and sat down.

Those whose names had been called made their way towards the back of the Great Hall, and as the doors closed behind them the band struck up a lively, if somewhat creaky polka. The Three Wise Guys, Snape thought as he regarded the mouldy trio. I remember them from my graduation. His moment of unpleasant reminiscence was interrupted by Albus, who was inquiring after the Potions master's plans for his summer research.

"Where are The Dryads," Snape asked after enduring the Headmaster's one-sided small talk for some minutes.

"Oh they're here, just not in the Hall. Not to worry, they'll be joining us shortly." Albus gave the Potions master an encouraging smile and squeezed his shoulder as he arose. Snape sat alone at the High Table, in blessed silence.


Dumbledore's mysterious group returned without fanfare, and Snape being an incurious person when he couldn't deduct points, didn't spare them another thought.

Towards the end of the evening however, Snape had a very odd conversation with, of all people, Hermione Granger. She looked lovely, womanly, and Snape thought fleetingly that he would probably miss the girl. Not as much as he would have if she'd been sorted into Slytherin, of course – but he didn't waste time on speculations of that ilk.

Granger cornered him during a break in the admittedly grating musical entertainment and he resigned himself to an assault of either maudlin farewells or recriminations – the latter being infinitely preferable of course, and infinitely more likely too.

The girl stared at him for a few beats, with a look of – appraisal? – on her face. Snape shifted uncomfortably in his stiff-backed chair, looking over her shoulder for something he could spring up and attend to, finding none.

"I need to speak with you about the Dryads," she said quixotically. "Headmaster Dumbledore told me to." Snape clicked his teeth in impatience and irritation. "The Dryads are staying here tonight. Did he ask you?" Hermione locked eyes with the Potions master's with a fervent gleam.

"Ask me? Ask me what?" Snape said.

"If she can stay with us," she replied.

"Stay with us? The Dryads? But if they already have the Headmaster's permission, why ask my opinion?" He said incredulously, frowning at the thought.

"Not all. Just one. Dumbledore said to ask you. Is it alright?"

Snape shook his head in annoyance. "Oh for Heaven's sake. If I say yes, will you go away?" Snape glared at his ex-student, who nodded triumphantly.

"Yes. Thank you! It will only be for one night." With an absurdly grateful smile that made her look almost… well… the Granger girl departed.


Snape sat in his frayed armchair in front of the fire, toying with a snifter of warmed brandy. With the fire's warmth chasing away the damp air of the dungeons, he let the cognac's heady aroma lull him into a cosy reverie.

When a knock came at his door, he thought of just not answering it. At this late hour, with the school year over, there was nothing he could think of that would warrant his attention. When the knock repeated, he arose with a sigh and attended the unwelcome caller.

"What is it," he growled menacingly as the door swung open.

The sight that beheld him made him stop mid-glare and stare, open-mouthed, at the figure outside.

Hermione Granger stood before him. But not any Hermione Granger he had ever encountered before: Instead of robes, she was dressed in a lovely light-blue peignoir, which loosely covered a thin matching gown that dipped in a low V between her breasts and clung to her soft curves. The fabric seemed to shift and shimmer, and he had to blink to keep his eyes focused. Hermione's hair was combed out into a soft brown veil that draped over her shoulders to her waist, and mingled with the sweet, heady scent of her he could smell the tantalising array of fruit, cream and chocolate on the tray she held.

Her pale, clear skin was glowing, and on her face was an expression of gentle welcome, of … Gods! What is she doing here! Say something!

But at this most vital test, Severus Snape's powers of speech failed him; and in the magical moment of silence as he stared at her, she smiled and slipped past him into the room. Her fragrant hair brushed against his shoulder as she passed, and after placing the platter carefully on the side-table, she turned and said cheerfully, "I'm here!"


Snape's clever, scathing retort died somewhere between his brain and his tongue. What killed it was no doubt the growing awareness of his rebellious body, which was reacting to the physical realities of the current situation, rather than the circumstances.

There had never been a woman in Snape's quarters, in the many years he had been teaching. That had to be the reason why he couldn't take his eyes off his visitor; why his breath came in shallow, jagged gasps; why his belly was tight and his knees weak, and why he had to surreptitiously tug at the sides of his trousers to ease his growing erection. He tried to frown, but found that, with his eyes as wide as saucers, it was impossible. He opened his mouth to speak, but Hermione had been too quick for him – while he was gasping for air like a fish out of water, she had transfigured his armchair into a loveseat, and one of her own slippers into a little table. She placed her laden tray there, along with his brandy, and patted the seat beside her with an amused, almost seductive glance in his direction.

"May I have a glass of brandy," she asked in a soft voice. "It will go very well with the fruit. I hope you like chocolate fondue."

She looked at him over her shoulder, her lips parted, and Snape noticed that the skin of her neck was almost translucent – and that the material of her gown was a little see-through, too. Where her negligee had come loose, he could see the shadows of her nipples through the thin fabric, the little dark pearls straining against the…

With an inward groan, he realised where he had been staring. From the amused smile on her face, he discerned that she realised it too. With a little pout she ran her hand back and forth across the cushion beside her, and Snape couldn't help but imagine her palm brushing back and forth across his…

"Miss Granger," he croaked, even as he sank onto the cushion beside her, "I must ask you what you are doing here at this time of night." He cringed at the foolishness of the question, wishing that his tongue and brain could cooperate with each other, but she did not answer. Rather, she reached out and speared a strawberry with a long fondue fork, dipped it in the magically-warmed chocolate and then into the dish of whipped cream, tilted her head back and slipped it into her mouth. As she chewed, she looked at him and slowly licked a spot of cream off her upper lip.

Snape stifled a gasp. "Do you…" he swallowed, "Do you want to…" He knew what he wanted to ask, but he just couldn't say the words. But he didn't need to. With a seductive smile, Hermione answered him.

"Of course! Why do you think I'm here, silly!" She dotted his lip with the thick cream, then leaned over and licked it off. Before he could respond, she leaned back and said, "What about that brandy?"


Severus sat next to her, as if dreaming. He was 'Severus' now, thanks to one of the many quite un-Hermione-ish statements his visitor had made during the course of the evening.

"May I call you Severus," she said as she wiped a tiny drop of chocolate off her décolletage. "It's what I've always called you in my mind." The movement of her baby finger between the curve of her breasts released a waft of lovely scent, her perfume mixed with something else… desire, maybe? Oh, he hoped so.

"Yes," he mumbled distractedly, wondering in retrospect what he was really agreeing to. "Yes, Hermione." Just saying her name was enough to make his erection swell and twitch, and he coughed and cleared his throat to cover the movements of his shifting hips.

They didn't speak much. Although there was only one fork, Hermione managed to keep them both busy enjoying the delicious marinated fruit, which she fed to each of them in turn. There were whole strawberries and grapes, tender chunks of melon, tiny, sweet bananas different from any Severus had ever tasted; cubes of peach, mango and nectarine, and quartered peeled kiwis.

The chocolate was warm and velvety, just thick enough to tremble seductively from the fruit as it made its way to Hermione's lips – each swollen, glistening droplet quivered as it gathered, threatening to fall. It seldom did, but when occasionally a tiny, rich globe fell from the fruit, Severus groaned as Hermione's tongue darted out to catch it mid-air, before transporting the sweet cargo to her mouth.

For each of them, she alternated – one chocolate, then one cream. The cream was delightfully thick and rich, and thankfully unsweetened. Severus detected a hint of cognac in the mix, but despite the addition, it clung to each sweet morsel of fruit distractingly, and drew his thoughts irresistibly towards the image of the closed, sun-warmed petals of a luscious flower, springing open at his touch to coat his probing fingers with thick, creamy, musky…

"What?" she said quizzically.

"Hmmm?" he replied, inhaling sharply to banish the alluring but dangerously inappropriate train of thought.

"You said 'Oh!', and I wondered if you were speaking to me," she answered, smiling a secret smile – as if she knew exactly what he had been thinking… and approved of it.

"I'm… I'm still wondering what you're doing here," he whispered. For a long moment he held his breath, and he felt as though his heart must have stopped beating. Her warm, soft body almost touching his – her sweet, heady scent driving him to distraction – the curve of her arm and hand as she dipped the fruit – and most of all, the look of pleasure and enjoyment on her face as she coaxed him to eat: it was so… so unlikely, he almost couldn't take it in. He could honestly say that he would never in a million lifetimes have imagined desiring Hermione Granger in this way, but now that she was here… the craving he felt for her was so strong, he wanted… no, he needed to know where this was going, or he feared that he would embarrass himself beyond misery.

Hermione carefully placed the fork up against the edge of the tray, and turned to him. "Are you?" she said softly, taking his hand in both of hers and raising it to her lips. She bent and kissed his palm. He groaned as he felt the tip of her tongue tracing the lines and calluses of his hand. When she looked up, her eyes were full of desire and promise – but she made no further move towards him. Suddenly he realised: she was offering herself to him. She didn't want to force herself upon him – she wanted to let him come to her voluntarily.

In an instant, he knew that he wanted her very much – and while a tiny corner of his brain swam with reasons and arguments, he found that he really could not resist reaching for her. He heard her happy sigh as his hand crept around her waist – and when he allowed his fingers to trail across her thighs to rest on her knee, he felt her legs open a little as she leaned towards him.

I can't believe this is happening to me, he thought with a groan as he leaned down to kiss her. She turned her face up to him and returned the kiss hungrily, meeting his tongue and caressing it with her own as he explored her mouth.

He noticed with a blush that she didn't close her eyes when she kissed him – in fact, she seemed to derive great pleasure from looking at him, particularly when he was most overcome with desire and longing. She seemed to be gauging him, measuring his responses to her actions. The thought excited him immeasurably, and he kissed her more deeply while caressing her back and thighs through the thin, silky fabric of her negligee.

He didn't even know if she was – experienced – although her behaviour would certainly indicate that she was. He wanted so much to touch her breasts, to gather up the hem of her gown and lay her back on the cushions…

As if she'd heard his thoughts, he felt her place her hand over his and guide it to the ribbons fastening the front of her gown. With a shudder he slowly undid the pretty bows, as she looked at him, her eyes clouded with desire. As the garment fell open he slid it off her shoulders, caressing the bare skin reverently. At this touch she groaned and arched herself like a cat – the first real sounds of pleasure she'd made; sounds that excited him so much that he took one of her arms in his hands and began to kiss and lick it, from fingertips to palm, nibbling the fleshy mound of her thumb - then up the inside of her wrist, smiling to himself at her cry of pleasure. Nipping and soothing the tender flesh of her inner arm, placing several soft kisses in the crook of her elbow, and making his way up to her rounded shoulder.

When his lips met the nape of her neck, he reached up and took her breasts in his hands, inhaling the unique scent of her skin as he gently squeezed and caressed and teased the soft globes. She sighed and reached for him: one hand went to his hair, the other to the back of his neck. Her touch felt wonderful – soothing and exciting at the same time. At once, Severus was overcome by a desperate urge to please her.

He curled one arm around her to hold her close to him, and placed his other hand hesitantly in her lap. As he had hoped, she responded by parting her legs unmistakeably, and as he leaned down to kiss her again, he began to ease the fabric of her gown up over her knees. "Shall we go… to the bed," she asked awkwardly, speaking almost into his mouth as he kissed her.

"Oh Gods yes," he said and gathered her easily in his arms.

She smiled happily and wiggled her feet as he carried her to his bedchamber. Severus's head was swimming with lust and anticipation as he placed her on the bed. Hermione didn't lie back, but rather sat on the edge with him and wrapped her arms around his neck. "This is much better," she sighed as she pulled him down on top of her. Instantly, her gown was up around her knees and Severus carefully probed the warmth between her parted thighs. With his mouth on hers, Severus almost bit her lip when he felt the creamy moisture clinging to her swollen folds. He drew back from the kiss to watch her face as he gently caressed her. Her open, wet lips and drooping eyelids told him that his touch was pleasing her, and he let himself move to the rhythm of her rocking hips.

She held her breath and his gaze for an impossibly long time, then with a soft 'Oh' and look of anguish, her body stilled and relaxed.

Severus found himself dumbfounded – unable to move or speak. This creature was so exquisitely beautiful, so desirable: and she melted at the touch of his hand. "You are so lovely," he managed to say. He could hardly bear to look at her.

"Thank you," she replied, the depth of feeling in her eyes telling him that her gratitude was for more than just the compliment.

He slid the skirt of her gown back down her legs as he bent to kiss her again. She sighed and stretched, then smiled up at him mischievously. "What do you want," she asked.

He opened his mouth but couldn't form the words. "I know what I want," she said after a beat. "I want to play a game. Lay down on the bed," she commanded, before waving her wand to summon the tray of food they had left in his sitting room.


Severus removed his shoes and his frock coat and did as he was told. His hands shook so much that he almost couldn't undo the buttons – but he was fortunate in that Hermione was busy organising something on the food tray and didn't look his way.

He looked at her, though. Something, her climax perhaps, had lent a new sensuality to her movements and expressions – she slowly, methodically arranged the contents of the tray, sighing and smiling a private smile. He noticed her touching herself – brushing her palms down her thighs, stroking her arm, trailing her fingers along her collarbone – seeing her made his chest tighten so much with desire for her that he almost couldn't breathe.

Then she lifted the tray from her lap and carried it over to the table on the other side of his double bed. The little piece of furniture was covered with candles and books, so she had to pull the drawer out and place the tray on that. It wouldn't sit properly – there was something in the way. She reached into the drawer and pulled out a small jar. The handmade sticker on it said 'Edible Body Paint' and underneath was the inscription 'To Severus Snape, from Santa. Use it well.'

Severus closed his eyes and groaned with embarrassment. "It was a gift," he said.

"Obviously," Hermione replied with a smile. "From… Santa Claus, I presume?"

"Ugh. No. From Gilderoy Lockhart. He erm, he…"

"Fancied you?" Snape nodded. "Well, I fancied him. Which is maybe why I fancy you!" she said with a laugh, before planting a playful kiss on the tip of his nose. "Severus, did you…"

"NO!" He almost shouted, much to her delight.

"Well, good then. I fancy you, but I don't fancy taking Gilderoy Lockhart's leavings!" She smiled and began to unbutton his shirt.

"Er, Hermione…" he said and she raised her eyebrows. "What do you have in mind?" At this point, there was nothing she might think of that he could imagine saying 'no' to, but laying on his back with a huge, throbbing erection and a plate of fruit by the bed was leaving him feeling a tad apprehensive.

"You'll see," she said in the most seductive voice he'd ever remembered hearing. He breathed in sharply when she touched his bare chest with the palm of her hand.

That was another reason for his apprehension. While delighted that he had pleased her so easily, Severus knew that he was no prize, and she was so beautiful that…

He needn't have worried. The look of joy and adoration on her face was enough, more than enough, to tell him that she liked what she saw. She opened the remaining buttons and helped him shrug out of his shirt. She then, to his delight and great anxiety, swept her fingertips down the trail of curly dark hair to the front of his trousers, then brushed them lightly across the waistband. He didn't know whether he was more relieved or disappointed that she moved no further, but all thought was chased from his mind when she began to unfasten his buttons.

Severus just closed his eyes and breathed as Hermione fiddled, probably on purpose, with the little fastenings. He lifted his hips to let her pull the trousers down and off - and he felt her hook her fingers over the waistband of his shorts and lift them over the throbbing tip of his cock.

She just exposed the tip, leaving him partly covered. He opened his eyes to see her looking approvingly at him. "There," she said. "Now we can begin."

As he trembled beneath her, she speared a bite-sized piece of fruit and dipped it in whipped cream. Carefully, she placed it in the hollow of his throat and withdrew the fork from the morsel. "Don't move," she whispered. She then took another piece of fruit (she seemed to have shrunk the larger pieces so they were all a uniform size) and dipped it in the chocolate. High on his breastbone that piece went. The next was cream again, between his nipples. Two more on his ribcage, alternating; one on his waist, one in his bellybutton, one – Dear Merlin – at the top of the trail of black hair, and finally - he felt rather than saw it because he didn't want to move - she scooped a dollop of the cream with her index finger and smeared it onto the tip of his erection.

Severus ground his teeth to keep from arching into her touch – he was determined that nothing would stop her from doing whatever she wanted to him – if he had to sell his soul (assuming he still had one) to keep his composure, he would do it.

Hermione seemed to appreciate his determination – she smirked, but it was a kind smirk. "Now that's perfect! You see, it isn't going to be a long game. I'm not that mean." She got up and sat on the other side of the bed, where she could make use of the room. She shook back her hair and rolled her shoulders, then tied her hair in a knot at the nape of her neck.

"Since you are so familiar with quizzes, this is going to be a little test, Professor." Hermione grinned wickedly and Snape blanched. "I think you'll find it quite easy, but I'm not going to make it too easy. Are you ready?"

Since he couldn't nod, he was forced to answer, and his voice was hoarse with lust and longing. "Yes, I am."

"Good. OK, first question: Who was Head Girl at Hogwarts this year?"

Snape sighed with relief. Oh, it's going to be that kind of test. "You were, of course."

Hermione clapped by tapping two fingers into her opposite palm, then slowly leaned down over Severus. He held his breath as she let her lips trail down from his forehead to his chin, then slowly sucked the piece of fruit into her mouth. She chewed and swallowed it, then licked the cream out of the hollow of his throat. He couldn't suppress a groan of appreciation, which earned him another kiss on the nose.

"Remember Professor, it's not going to be too easy! Next question: What is my cat's name?"

"Severus groaned again, this time in frustration. "I don't know," he was forced to admit. Damn! Now I'm paying for a lifetime of disinterest. "But I'd like to," he said with what he hoped was a winning smile.

She grinned sardonically. "Hmmm… Well, it's Crookshanks. Don't forget it." She leaned back and cupped her breasts in her hands, teasing the hardened nipples with her fingertips. "Maybe this will help your memory," she said wickedly. Severus closed his eyes and suppressed a moan.

"Next. What are the names of my two best friends?" Severus started to smile. "Their middle names."

Severus stared at the ceiling for a moment, lost in thought. "James and… Wedgwood, I believe." Hermione smiled.

"Good, very good! Know thine enemy, I guess, right? OK, next:…" She trailed off as he made a face. "Oh, sorry! Forgot our reward!" She leaned down and delicately removed the chocolate-covered morsel with her lips and tongue, then cleaned the spot of smooth skin with a sigh.


Slowly, she made her way down his body. She kissed and sucked his nipples, leaving a cream lip outline on them; she purposely tickled his belly with her hair when she got there, and with each passing nibble, his agony of anticipation grew greater.

Dear Gods! He was terrified that he would come in her mouth the second her lips touched him, but he couldn't stand the suspense of waiting for it. He felt that there had been nothing he had wanted more in his lifetime than to feel that wet tongue gently scrubbing cream off him… Aaah, it was almost impossible to bear.

A chocolate-covered cherry, the only one on the tray apparently, lay between him and the most exquisite pleasure of his life. It sat innocently on his lower belly, inches from his cream-tipped cock, and Severus looked at his beautiful instructress with pleading eyes.

He had already gotten three questions wrong. It was obvious that she was teasing him, and he could feel the cum leaking from his erection in anticipation, and Hermione was constantly tormenting him by caressing and squeezing her own breasts.

The look on her face betrayed no sympathy. "Why was Rita Skeeter out of commission for a year," she asked diffidently.

Snape's eyes gleamed with triumph. "You should have known I have an omniscient gossip for a boss, Hermione. You had her locked in a jar in her Animagus form." He practically panted with anticipation as she smiled at him, then leaned down over his belly. First she let her tongue rove in a circle around the little fruit. Then she lowered her mouth onto the cherry and rolled it into her mouth with her tongue. She sucked up the chocolate that had melted in a pool on his flat stomach, and lifted her head, munching happily.

"And finally: What is the name of the teacher whom I've fantasised about for the last two years of school?" She didn't look at him when she asked this question – rather, she bowed her head and fastened her gaze on the coverlet.

"Was it…" He had to swallow, he couldn't get the words out. "Was it - me?" He whispered so softly it was almost silent. Wordlessly Hermione nodded, and when she looked back at him her eyes were glowing. With a wicked smile, she shimmied over to him and leaned over his trembling hips.

Severus cried out as she began to lick the cream that had settled around the tip of his erection. When she took him in her hands and lowered her mouth over him, he growled her name deep in his throat. She moaned with pleasure while she slowly licked and sucked every drop off him, and the sound of her voice almost put him over the edge.

The feeling of her mouth was exquisite – more amazing even than he had imagined. The experience of her attending to him, cleaning him, pleasing him, was unbelievable. The warmth that enclosed him, the delicious friction of her tongue on him, the firmness of her soft lips moving up and down on his shaft, made his heart soar and every nerve in his whole body sing. His back arched as he felt himself getting close, and he panted, "Hermione! I'm so close, you should…" He couldn't continue. Instead of pulling back, which he both expected and dreaded, she gripped him tightly in both hands and worked her tongue over him furiously, catapulting him into the most intense orgasm of his life.

When his spasms eased, Hermione gently licked the tip of his softening cock and smiled up at him from his lap. "Better than chocolate," she said.

While Severus regained his composure, she busied herself tidying the room and disposing of the remaining fruit, then went on a candle-extinguishing mission to prepare them for bed. She seemed to assume she was staying, which was fine with him.

When she returned, he was under the covers waiting for her. He held his arms out to her and she crawled in. I came in her mouth and she liked it. And now she's sleeping in my arms, were his last conscious thoughts.


He awoke later in the night, hard again, to find Hermione playing with him. Wordlessly he rolled on top of her and kissed her deeply. She seemed like a woman possessed, caressing his chest and kissing every available inch of skin. With her arms around his neck, she whispered "Make love to me," and pulled her nightie up around her waist.

She was still wet from their earlier play, and he slid into her easily. At his entry she gasped and arched her back, and he worried momentarily that he had broken her maidenhead – but she simply growled into his ear and said, "Please, Severus. Don't hold back," before wrapping her arms and legs more tightly around him.

With her holding on to him for dear life, he clamped his mouth over hers and played with her lips and tongue. He slid one hand down between them and brushed her clit softly with his thumb. He felt so close to her that he almost couldn't tell where each of them began and ended – his whole world was her mouth and voice, her body wrapped around his neck and hips and cock.

When he felt that he couldn't hold on any longer, he felt her body shake under his and she whispered his name. With relief he allowed himself to spurt into her and they kissed deeply once more. Hermione sighed and said, "Thank you." Her voice was thick with emotion, and when Severus bent down to kiss her face, he felt tears.

"What's wrong?" he asked. "Did I hurt you?" He slipped out of her and held her close in his arms.

"No," she said, snuggling to him. "It's just that you feel so good – better than I ever imagined. That's all."

He kissed her forehead. "I know exactly what you mean," he said.

For a few moments they lay together in silence.

"Severus," she said.

"Mmm," he replied sleepily.

"Did you enjoy this evening? I did," she whispered.

Severus laughed. "I don't think there are words in the dictionary to describe how much I enjoyed this evening!"

"Good. Hermione will be back tomorrow – if you wish," she said cryptically, already drifting off.

Poor thing, she's knackered. "Are you mad," he whispered in her ear, "This is the best thing that's ever happened to me. Of course, I want you to come back tomorrow night. Come back every night!" With those words, the Potions master closed his eyes and was immediately asleep.


A/N: When the fic is finished.

Kudos or flames? Please review!!!