A/N: Explicit content warning for all my fics folks. MA 18+ readers only. DSx

Severus Snape hitched his stockings out of his arse with one hand and cinched the mouldering stole around his neck with the other as he tottered unsteadily up Diagon Alley.

"Fucking Lupin," he growled. If that slimy bastard ever pulled a stunt like that again, he would kill him.

"Fuck!" The heel of his shoe caught between two cobblestones and he nearly fell. Yanking it out, he continued winding his way past sleeping shopfronts, jaundiced here and there by the murk of a streetlamp.

He'd been having a perfectly acceptable evening in his chambers, indulging in a firewhisky or three and settling in for a long and productive night of wanking when he had been whisked away, literally, to a foggy room, smelling like Merlin's armpit, in the middle of Diagon fucking Alley. And, worse than that, who should he find, staring at him like a goose choking on one of its own eggs, but Neville fucking Longbottom.

He was so furious he could barely see straight. Or maybe it was the firewhisky. Whatever it was, he was severely pissed in more ways than one. He straightened the floppy hat that was slipping down over his eyes and squinted into the distance.

The Leaky Cauldron. Yes, that's what he needed. Another firewhisky to set him straight. He had a long trip home and he would need something to warm his cockles. And perhaps his cock. Actually, dressed like this he'd have to pay more for kink. Fuck that. He'd down enough firewhisky to take his cock out of the equation entirely.

Setting his sights on the distant beacon, he flung his purse over his shoulder and set off as fast as his skirt would allow.

Peering into alcoves as he went, he wondered if he'd find Longbottom cowering somewhere. He'd certainly given the knut-job a fright when he'd suddenly appeared in place of the boggart he'd ridikkulused into octogenarian drag, and proceeded to punch him in the face.

It was Lupin's fault. He'd taken on Longbottom as an apprentice despite Snape's assurances that the boy had all the intellectual capacity of a flobberworm on weed. And, worse than that, he'd clearly been fucking around with Black Boggart magic.

Boggarts were generally a pretty piss poor version of the real thing. But, if fed something owned by the real thing, they became increasingly more like it. Clearly, Lupin had been attempting to give Longbottom a bit more practice in the 'real' world and had likely stolen something of Snape's for the occasion.

Well, the problem with that, as everyone had just discovered, was that the boggart transformation would sometimes cause a straight physical transposition with the real thing. And hence, his untimely whisking (he'd been about to get his cock out) and his timely face punching.

They would be unlikely to risk such a thing again, but that was little comfort to him as he staggered, in heels (a perfect imitation of his mother), without his wand, and attempted, with a brief but necessary detour, to get back to Hogwarts.

Pulling his hat down against the bleary stares of the drunks meandering outside 'the Cauldron' he stumbled inside. The gabble of patrons and smell of stale beer instantly lifted his spirits. Despite the discomfort of the stockings that had ensnared his balls and were looking to sling-shot them out of his bloomers, he knew he'd made the right decision, instantly ordering himself two firewhiskys before homing in on the dark corner that beckoned him to imbibe and perve.

Flopping down heavily on the stale seat, he heard a sharp rip and realised that his velvet skirt wasn't quite up to accommodating the build of a six-footer. Still, it wasn't like he'd be wearing it for a second longer than absolutely necessary.

Throwing back the first glass, he grimaced in bitter appreciation of the fiery fluid. The second glass could enjoy a slightly more protracted existence. But only slightly. Drawing a deep breath through his significant nose, he enjoyed the sting of the lingering fumes singeing his nasal hairs. Sometimes it was only pain that made him feel alive. That and . . . Merlin's scrotum!

A groan escaped him as a denim-clad arse leaned over the bar directly in front of him. Unfortunately he hadn't had enough of the whisky to stay his cock, which was suffering from attention deficit after the disruption to the evening's plans, and which could never resist a perfect pair of cheeks. They wiggled. It twitched. Like a spring-loaded trap inside those infernal fucking stockings.

He reached down to try to disentangle his tackle, when the owner of the arse suddenly turned and stumbled toward his table carrying a sloshing pint of something that looked like butter beer. Too busy trying to avoid a butter beer bath, he ducked and the person landed beside him.

"Oh shit! Sorry!" A giggle burst from her. "I saw you were the only other single woman here and thought I'd join you."

His Adam's apple bobbed like he'd swallowed a snitch. He'd know that fucking voice anywhere.

"Actually, I shouldn't assume that you're single. What I meant was. You're not here with anyone. So . . . sorry if you aren't single. And . . . you know . . . I made you feel like you were."

Snape rolled his eyes. She hadn't improved. Tediously verbose. Self-indulgent. Perfect arse. What? Where had that come from? He threw back a large gulp of firewhisky.

"Anyway, my name's Hermione." She held out a butter beery hand to him, a warm and slightly pissed smile lighting her features.

He should end this now. Just call her an insufferable know-it-all and push her out of the way, disappearing into the night like the giant malodorous bat they all thought he was.

But she continued to smile at him. Her eyes bright with a sort of . . . kind innocence . . . like a rabbit or a deer or something . . . He found himself being drawn into them. Then suddenly shook himself. Oh no you don't Bambi fucking Granger!

But he'd waited too long. The moment to storm out into the quiet solace of the night had passed. There was nothing else for it. He took her hand and wordlessly shook it before necking the rest of the whisky. He needed another . . . bottle.

"I wasn't going to come out tonight," she continued, drawing a finger through the spilled remnants on the sticky table. "But I said to myself, 'You know 'Mione, you're never going to meet anyone stuck inside all day. You haven't seen your friends in months and, even though they're all married and busy, they are still your friends'." She nodded as if convincing herself of something. "And, you know, even though I'm not absolutely desperate to meet a guy. Not really. I still could do with a . . . well, you know. Even just some company. But, when I saw you sitting over here quite happily by yourself. I thought, 'who needs a guy?' I could just as well spend the night talking to another strong, independent, woman, comfortable in her own skin, just enjoying a drink." She eyed the two glasses clutched in his hands. "And so I came over. I hope you don't mind?"

As she peered at him through the gloom, he tried to recede further into the corner like some shy nocturnal animal, dressed in a ridiculous green velvet two piece and being strangled by a fur stole. He dipped his floppy hat further over his eyes before briefly shaking his head. What else was he supposed to do? Tell her to fuck off? Yes! His mind screamed.

"Oh, I'm so glad!" She smiled warmly again, taking a large swig of beer and wiping her mouth on her sleeve before allowing her hand to drop casually, disconcertingly, on top of his. He flatted his fingers against the table like a Greco-Roman wrestler, petrified of being turned over.

But she just continued to talk. Prattle. Lifting her hand up and down, allowing it to flop all over his as part of her rambling gesticulations. What was she doing? He couldn't focus on her words, on anything really. Although it was probably just more pathetic tales of being lonely and abandoned. . . He frowned. The whisky was going straight to his head but the blood was going straight to his cock. Her hand and its nonchalant gymnastics, twisting and stroking and . . . He had to stop her before his cock lifted the table and started spinning it like a plate.

He gradually edged his hand away, until it was clear of hers and he felt ready to help it escape, back to his lap—although, admittedly, there wasn't a lot of room there for it to hide.

Despite her obvious inebriation, she noticed.

"You have the most beautiful hands," she crooned, picking one up to study it closely.

He closed his eyes as his stomach clenched. He wondered what she would look like with eight glasses of vomited firewhisky trickling through her gratuitous mane. Still unruly, unkempt. And what was that stuff spattered through it?

"Do you play the piano at all? Or the clarinet?"

No, of course he didn't. The closest thing he played was the clitoris but he wouldn't be sharing that particular piece of information.

Instead, he satisfied himself with shaking his head in mute rejection, starting to feel agonisingly trapped inside a world of feminine exchange that he didn't understand and, as a man with needs, desperately didn't want to be part of. How the hell was he going to get away?

"Actually, you have really young hands." She held one in both of hers like she was admiring a fine bottle of wine. "Can I ask what sort of hand cream you use?"

He barely suppressed a snort. The only hand cream he used was the stuff that came out of his cock. Again, a piece of information to be judiciously excluded from the conversation—if his gormless nods and shakes could be considered conversation. He added a shrug, just to complete the Twat Trifecta.

It didn't seem to matter. She simply smiled at him. "My hands get so dry these days. It's the paints I use. I'm an artist. Well . . . trying to be." She looked shyly down at the table. "I actually work for the Ministry of Magic in a job I couldn't describe to you because it would put you to sleep. But what I love most in the world is painting." Her face transformed, alive with her obvious passion for her passion. "I don't care what the medium is—oils, acrylics, watercolours, pastels. I even use make-up and sometimes . . ." She looked around conspiratorially, "I use food. I paint with it, just squishing it through my fingers. Sometimes I paint it all over my body, just to see what it will look like."

Her words nibbled away at his resolve like a rat nibbling away at a rope . . . holding up a swinging baby grand piano. What was this? Some kind of test? A prank? Would Lucius be popping out from around the corner at any moment to point his cane and laugh at how gullible he'd been and how ridiculously hard his cock was?

"But . . . " She shrugged. "Painting doesn't pay the bills and so I have to work. You never know. I could get a break one day—have a successful show. An exhibition somewhere—London or Paris." Her smile held a tinge of sadness, like it was already a lost hope.

She must be in her early twenties, he thought, hardly time to start giving up on her dreams.

Listen to yourself Severus! His inner voice piped up. Giving up on her dreams? Have you lost your fucking mind?

"Anyway." She glanced down at her watch. "I should be getting home. It's getting late and I have work tomorrow. Hopefully, I have a spare hangover cure in the cupboard." She winked. "It's been so nice talking to you." Then she caught herself and gasped, looking mortified. "But I've been prattling on so much, I don't even know your name. I'm Hermione Granger and you're Ms . . . ?"

Her brown eyes captured him again. So open and magnetic. They were pulling at him, sucking at him. He tried to resist but he couldn't . . .

He cleared his throat and croaked out the first thing that came to mind.

". . . Grape."

Merlin's arsehole! Are you serious? A rhyming fruit? You Twat!

She beamed. "Mrs Grape! I'll remember that! Listen, I haven't had such a fun night in ages. I'd really like to catch up with you again. You are such a good listener. How about I owl you? Can you write down your address for me?" She shoved a beer coaster and pen in front of him.

No Severus! His mind warned. Make up something! Anything! But his hand scrawled down the address of an abandoned house, not far from his childhood home at Spinners' end. He could ignore it. He would ignore it. He wouldn't even think about it.

Hermione gleefully snatched the coaster out of his hand like he'd just presented her with the Quidditch Cup.

"Wonderful! See you soon Mrs Grape!" She leant down and kissed him on the cheek. "You smell wonderful. Like peppermint and vanilla. I could just eat you up!"

Oh my fucking God! His cock felt like it had just garrotted itself.

As she breezed out the front door he realised what that stuff in her hair must have been—paint. Tiny flecks of gold paint. And he simply stared after her. Slumped and drunk. Until he realised what a dumb cunt he was and practically tipped the table over on his haste to get up, to get away.

Tottering along the dungeon corridors, he finally landed, heavily, against the door to his chambers. With some effort, he flung the door open and immediately kicked his heels across the room so they landed with dull thuds against the far wall. Peeling off layer after layer of ridiculousness, he finally stood in the middle of the floor, naked, breathing heavily and still rock hard.

He would be putting this night behind him. He would be killing Lupin when he next ran into him and he definitely would not be catching up for another 'pleasant evening' with Miss Verbal Diarrhoea.

No. Fucking. Way.

He squinted at the velvet skirt that now hung off the arm of a chair where he'd thrown it. The tear in the rear seam was huge.

Fuck! He grimaced. He'd have to sew that up before next time.