Chapter 1: Severus' POV

Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or any other characters used in this story. I just borrowed them for a while. I'll put them back.

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Severus Snape loomed over the terrified class as they filed out the door. There was simply no challenge to scaring first years, let alone Hufflepuff first years. The day had been a total wash. It had started with Slytherin and Gryffandor first years. (Why Albus continued to threaten his sanity with that particular combination of students he would never know.) It could have been worse he supposed. The real violence between the houses had graduated with Malfoy and Potter. There had only been a bit of name-calling, a small threat of a duel. Nothing that an evil, intimidating glare couldn't remedy. After he was blessedly free of students Severus had hoped to work on his Wolfsbane research. Granted that meant helping Lupin. However, curing lycanthropy would also make him one of the most famous potion masters ever. That made it almost worth the hassle. Of course he had just gotten out the materials when Albus chose to 'visit' him. He offered candy, mentioned something about inter-house relations (Which Snape chose to overlook.), and generally rambled for around 20 minuets. When he left it was time for another class. Second years this time. Again no chance to strike real terror in the hearts of his student. And when they were gone just as he was about to begin his more private research Albus would stop by for a chat. It happened three more times through the day. All the while he just kept feeling his left arm get more and more tender.

So not only had there been no students to really terrorize, he hadn't been able to do a bit of research, Dumbledore had "stopped" in for a chat five times, and his dark mark was beginning to get sore. (Always a sign of an impending calling.) So as the last student filed out and he locked the door all he wanted was his warm chair, a warm fire and something very alcoholic. Snape swept down the hall (a move he was hoping to trademark)and paused only to unlock the wards on his door and once inside re-lock them. Inside he immediately notice that there was something amiss. All over the sitting room clothes (Not his) were tossed haphazardly about, a pair of muddy boots were dropped by the door, and a bag over flowing with books was carelessly placed on his leather sofa. He sighed and stood in the door to his bedroom.

"When did you get here?"

A sleepy head poked up from the mounds of pillows. Uncontrolled curls sticking out at strange angles. She stared at him a moment before answering. "About two hours ago." She climbed out from under the heavy blankets and walked toward him.

He studied her as she walked across the room. Barefoot wearing nothing it seemed but an over-sized shirt. "I believe that is MY shirt." he gently ran a hand down her arm.

"Yes, it is." She took a step closer and was enfolded in his arms. "I'm sorry, Severus. I know I wasn't supposed to come until next week but I couldn't wait."

"Don't apologize." he whispered into her hair. "I missed you so much, Hermione."

"Come back to bed with me." She pulled gently on his hands.

He kissed the tops of her hands. "I'll join you in a moment." Severus ducked quickly into the bathroom. Inside he shed his thick school robes and heavy clothes until he stood naked before the mirror. He whispered the spell and watched the charm covering his face melt away. Satisfied, he walked back into the room and slid into the bed next to her.

Hermione rolled over and gently ran a hand over his face. "So love, how was you day?" She toyed with a piece of midnight hair as she spoke.

He stopped her hand. "It's getting better." Severus lightly trailed kisses along her palm and fingers. "Hermione?"

"Hmmm"

"Why do you have purple spots on your hand?"

"I don't want to talk about it."

"Bad day?"

She sighed and cuddled against his chest. "Ask me later."

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