Disclaimer: All characters belong to JK Rowling. I am just having fun with them. Thanks to Sylvia Potter who beta read this for me. Visit my LJ: www,livejournal,com/users/florws

I wrote this story in response to the Valentine's Day challenge. Severus and Hermione are not exactly fond of this special day, but will they spot each other and find happiness in the end? One shot.

When Severus met Hermione.

The night was beautiful and the stars shone in the sky of blue like diamonds. It was an evening of rejoice for many: of kisses, caresses and love but not for them- and they couldn't care less.

Valentine's Day, that meaningless tradition invented by the Roman's thousands of years ago to celebrate fertility- even though it probably did not respond to a saint's name at the time- had no real sentimental or emotional value for them. They were not interested in such things, they were not seeking for love, and thus there was no point in commemorating such a day.

A stroll in the park, they thought, would suit them fine. They wanted to escape from the ball Dumbledore had organized because they knew that the awful music, the monotonous crowd and the dreadful outfits would ruin their night. And it was such a beautiful night... I dare say a magical night in more than one way.

He lighted a cigarette; he needed to relax. He seriously believed in those muggle antidotes for stress and a cigar would sedate him in a way no potion could. He pressed his back against the cold stone pillar at the Entrance of Hogwarts Castle. Yes, those shinny dots in the sky represented a lovely sight indeed. He had made the right choice in not attending that ball. As if life wasn't bad enough...

Severus Snape was not a man of many words, many friends or many manners but that night was surely going to change his perspective on the world.

Hermione Granger- Gryffindor Head Girl and the most brilliant mind Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry had ever seen- was walking through the school's gardens when she noticed him and decided to hide behind the bushes. She could not believe her luck; why was he there if all the staff had been invited? Why was Severus Snape there?

He tightly pressed the cigarette between his lips and sucked the soul out of that tobacco tube, as if licking a woman's nipple. He smirked. He could not remember the last time he had been with a woman. He was a professor first and a man second, despite what Albus kept telling him. Still, he missed the sweet perspiration of a woman after making love, he longed the beautiful sensation of waking up in winter wrapped in warn legs but above all those things that were absent in his life the one he wanted the most was someone to love.

He was not a child anymore and those grey hairs growing in his chest were there to remind him everyday. The problem was that his dark past, his uncommon taste, his odd personality and his lack of experience represented obstacles between him and happiness.

He doubted many women would consider him attractive. Mysterious; perhaps but he was certainly not handsome. Not in comparison, at least. His large hocked nose, his greasy hair, his sallow teeth, his pale complexion and his thin expressionless lips were not characteristics often associated with appealing men and yet, he had managed to enchant a seventeen year old girl just by standing against a pillar and smoking a bloody cigarette.

"What a wonderful night," he sarcastically said out loud for no one to hear- or so he thought. What a fantastic night it had been so far: he had finally accepted the fact that he was alone in the world, that he was a workaholic, a snob middle aged man and a horrible spinster- yes. He was a spinster even if such a word does not apply to men.

He closed his eyes in resignation; he ought to return to the dungeons where a pile of essays awaited him. Little did he know, however, that fate had something in store for him even if he failed to believe in such things.

"Happy Valentine's day, Professor Snape," Hermione Granger said, smiling slightly as he opened his eyes.

"Miss Granger," Severus stated while rubbing his eyes with both his hands, "what in earth are you doing here?" he rhetorically asked, of course. Why would he care about the whereabouts of Hermione Granger of all people?

"As a matter of fact..." she started to explain, believing that he meant every word. However, she could not be more wrong and for that she would be forever sorry.

She could not quite explain what had dragged her out of the bushes; she only knew that an almighty force had made her legs walk all the way to where he was and had obliged her mouth to pronounce the words.

"Miss Granger, I think you have mistaken me for someone who cares," he confessed while throwing the cigarette to the floor, "twenty points from Gryffindor," he shouted, not hiding his real voice.

Big mistake; Hermione was not sure whether the chilly weather or his professor's manly voice were responsible for her erected nipples. She blushed; the latter, she was afraid, was to blame for her body's unusual response.

"Why are you staring at me, Miss Granger?," he asked, looking intently at the lighted cigarette laying on the floor.

Her smile curved a beautiful path of happiness through her rosy cheeks while her right foot smashed the cigar, instantly extinguishing it.

"I was wondering if you would like to run away from the noise of the party," she indirectly enquired, stretching her hand for him to take it.

"I did not quite comprehend your last statement, Miss Granger," he asked, staring at her with hesitation in his eyes. Where were her other twenty four Gryffindor schoolmates waiting for him to extend his arm to squeeze her hand? Where were they secretly hiding to laugh at him when he was no longer around?

"Professor, don't worry," she calmly said, caressing his long fingers with her palm, "everyone is at the party,"

He said nothing. He did not even respond to her caresses which were driving him to the edge of madness. For some reason- some may call it an almighty force- he was unable to speak his mind about her inappropriate behaviour. When he failed to open his mouth for the seventh time, he surrendered to temptation.

Walking through the silver grounds of Hogwarts Castle, far away from the hall in which the ball was being held, utter silence wrapped them with its hoary cloak and to their surprise, they found it not as unpleasant as they thought.

"I find this fresh air fantastic, professor. Do you?," she asked, looking up at him to study all his reactions.

"Certainly, Miss Granger," he said, and then added, "but I think that winter is much more than fresh air,"

"What do you mean, sir?," she wondered as they stopped walking to sit under an enormous fig tree.

"Miss Granger, winter is the most romantic of seasons. That may sound strange coming from your Potion's professor and even more strange when your generation has made every attempt to destroy romanticism but, if you reflect upon my words you will find that they hide some truth. You are a smart woman, Miss Granger, or at least Minerva thinks you are. In any case, you are capable of deducting why I believe in the power of winter," he stated, pressing his back as hard against the tree bark as he had done previously near the castle's entrance.

"Yes," she answered, "it is pretty obvious,"

"Is it?," he enquired, sceptically looking at her. He noticed that she was shaking under that thick winter cloak of hers so he covered her shoulders with his own, "Please, enlighten me," he challenged.

"For instance, winter is the only season in which you would be more than glad to offer a young lady, like me, your winter cloak expecting of course, something in return. You are after all, a man. You cannot be untrue to your nature, professor" she explained, very matter of factly.

It didn't take long for Severus to fully understand Hermione Granger's words but when he finally did, a long rude laugh escaped from his lips. What was this girl speaking about?

"Miss Granger," he said, grinning like she had never seen him before, "I would have offered you my cloak under the same circumstances in any other season," he admitted, then added, "In any case, a lady such as yourself would not have refuse it even in the summer,"

"Touché," she declared, pressing her back against the tree bark as well, sitting just centimetres next to him.

"Why aren't you in the ball, Miss Granger?," he asked, after a while of peaceful silence in which he lighted another cigarette.

"I wasn't feeling very cheerful, professor," she said, rubbing her knees above her white tights. "Why aren't you in the ball, Professor, when all the other professors attendance was requested?,"

"I wasn't feeling very cheerful," he shortly answered, too focused in Hermione Granger's white tights to think of a better answer. She had beautiful perfect calves covered in white nylon which he wanted more than anything to rip apart, only to reveal her naked skin. A mental image of Navokov's novel- Lolita- appeared in his mind clouding his judgement completely.

"Are you a virgin, Miss Granger?," he asked, placing a hand above her nylon covered knee. Shockingly for him, she opened her legs a bit letting him rub the inner part of her leg which was quite warm.

"I am, professor," she answered, closing her eyes and pressing her skull against the bark with all her might.

Even before asking, he was sure of the answer and still, he couldn't stop caressing her smooth skin. If only...

"Miss Granger, I am very sorry," he apologized, standing from the ground and cleaning the grass from his dress robes, "I am truly sorry,"

"But, sir, why are you leaving? I thought...," she started to say, but he interrupted her in the spot.

"Miss Granger, please, do not think. My presence here was out of place. Make no mistake: this will never happen again," he stated while slowly walking towards the place in which he had met Hermione Granger that night.

"Professor...," she softly said, running the short distance that separated them, "You forgot your cloak," she whispered; their faces only inches apart.

"Miss Granger... this is wrong," he muttered, breathing heavily.

"I am a virgin because I wanted my first time to be with a man whose intellectuality stimulated my sexuality and not a boy whose youth stimulated my hormones," she explained with her big cinnamon eyes filled with hope. He had never seen eyes glittering with anticipation for his caresses.

He wanted to say something more, but found that his throat was dry. He cleared it several times until a thin whisper escaped his lips.

"You were right," he confessed, caressing her rosy check fondly with his big right hand.

"In what?," she asked, not interested in his words but in his touch.

"Men who offer their cloaks to young ladies such as yourself often expect something in return," he jokingly said, grinning a bit.

"I can get used to his smile," she thought while kissing his neck, slowly and sweetly.

Grabbing her jaw with both his hands, he opened his mouth and kissed her deeply, like no man had kissed her before. Their tongues rustled with one another in a wild game of passion and lust while their bodies responded to the other's movements perfectly.

"Miss Granger," Severus said, later that night with blood stained sheets covering both their sweaty bodies, "Happy Valentine's day".