By the time Hermione had reached the common room, she was not in the best of moods. She stomped up to her dorm and plonked her self down on the bed, head in hands.

"Oooh! He makes me so mad! How come he always manages to avoid the questions he doesn't want to answer!"

She decided she was much too mad to deal with him that night, so thought he could wait until the next day. She needed time to think anyway, how she could get him to admit how he really felt about her?

Ginny came up about an hour later and was curious about what had been so important. Hermione told her about her run in with the Slytherin boy, but left out the bit about Severus, as she knew that her friend didn't really approve that much and it was now a bit of a sore subject between them. She merely told her that she had wanted to see a teacher that was leaving early. Ginny had nodded in return, but Hermione didn't think she looked that convinced.

After lunch she spent the afternoon talking and having a laugh with friends from her year, something she seldom did, so it made a nice change. She had by now definitely decided, that shewasn't going to see Severus again that day, so she went to her own bed that night and stayed there.

Getting up the next day, she went to sit by the window, feeling the need to do some serious thinking. It was a rather dull drizzly morning, compared to the previous week, but it seemed to match her mood. She was making a mental list of all the pros and con's of a more permanent relationship with her dark eyed lover and it was quite extensive. The con's were many, including – his deatheater status, his age and his temperament! But so where the pro's – his intelligence; the fact she wouldn't have to explain everything to him when they were talking, as she knew he would already know or understand. His life experience, the voice that sent shivers up her spine, the fact that she now fancied him like mad and that he was a really good lover! And most important of all, that quite simply, she knew that she loved him very much and didn't want to let him go. She kept trying to think logically – how could she feel this way about someone who was old enough to be her father? She had no idea, but just decided that the heart didn't use logic and that she'd learnt that sometimes it was best just to follow it and trust it's judgement.

Her morning was spent as nearly every Sunday before, the past year; down at Hagrid's cottage, with the rest of the gang. He was quite inconsolable and kept sniffing into a very large handkerchief, which would have made a decent sized tablecloth for a normal person! He kept going on about how much he was going to miss them, how fast time went by and how it seemed like only yesterday that he had gone to pick up Harry from his Aunt and Uncle. Hermoine and Ginny spent most of their time putting comforting arms around him and patting him consolingly, while the boys tried to cheer him up by telling silly jokes. Hermione had found this trip difficult as Ron was still avoiding her as much as possible and had done his best to pretend she wasn't there at all. Even Hagrid had picked up on this atmosphere between them and had questioned it, but Hermione explained that they had split up only recently and Ron still hadn't got over it yet. The way Ron had glared at her when she said this made her worry that he might tell Hagrid the truth, but he didn't - much to her relief.

All through lunch that day, Hermione tried to formulate a plan in her mind; she needed to make Severus tell her how her how he really felt once and for all. She had to know soon, she hated feeling this insecure; he was really messing her about and messing with her head! Once she'd finished her sandwich, she decided to go up to her dorm room alone for a while to continue mulling over the problem in peace. She lay on her bed and stared at the canopy with its Gryffindor shield, which had always seemed to help her think.

What I really need is to get him so that he can't escape, so he can't avoid my question again. Huh! I think I'd have to tie him up to do that! Wait a minute, YES! That's it! I'll tie him up! Hermione's stomach fluttered with excitement at the thought of doing something so naughty. But how? It needs to be with a good spell; or else he'll be able to get out of it in no time! Hmmm, I wonder...she said out loud, pursing her lips and squinting in deep thought.

She decided to go to the library to find out the answer to her problem, to look up binding spells and try and find a really strong one!

When she got to the library that afternoon, unsurprisingly it was empty, apart from Madame Pince as usual. As Hermione walked past her desk Pince gave her a disapproving look, before going back to her filing. Hermione was used to this, even someone as book-loving as she had always been, was given short thrift by the bespectacled witch, who seemed to think the library would be much better off if everyone just left it alone.

Hermione headed straight for the restricted section and began to look up and down the ceiling high shelves, which were literally groaning under the weight of the many books piled upon them, some of which weremaking strange noises too! After browsing for a while, one book in particular caught her eye; it was almost hidden in amongst all the others as it was quite small and she would have missed it, had it not vibrated and slid forward a little when she had looked in it's direction. The book seemed to want her to pick it up, so feeling slightly nervous, she obliged and took it down from the shelf. After a quick flick through the pages, she realised immediately that it was full of spells and hexes concerning matters of the heart, most of which she knew to be illegal. She wondered how come a book like this had come to be in the school, but just guessed it had been brought in by a student sometime and put in the library by mistake - or for a joke and had managed to stay unnoticed!

Along side the text were erotic but tasteful drawings of intimate couples , which seemed to imply that if you used the spells in the book, then you would end up doing the same! Flicking through more slowly, she soon came upon exactly what she was looking for and began grinning triumphantly. She went over to sit at a desk, to study the page more closely in candlelight, as the restricted section was always dark, no matter what time of day it was.

"Devincio." She read quietly to herself, leaning her chin on one hand and creasing her brow in concentration.

"A binding hex - particularly useful for love play, as the receiver will suffer no pain or injury in the wrists, but will not be able to get free unless the caster of the spell utters the anti-hex from their own lips. To make the spell effective, simply say 'Devincio' while pointing your wand straight at the receiver. The receiver should preferably be near something to bind them to and holding your chosen rope or fabric for the spell to be most effective"

There were more instructions and suggested uses, locations and quite graphic sexual descriptions. Hermione read the lot; well it didn't hurt to be well informed!

After saying the spell word a few times, and the anti-hex, she made a mental note of the correct intonations, which were always at the top of the page, next to the spell. She then read the rest of the book, just for curiosity's sake and found some very interesting tips such as 'how to tease your lover' and 'how to find out your lover'strue feelings for you'.

She was getting quite nervous now at the thought of doing this! She'd never tied anyone up, or for that matter, seduced anyone before! She'd never had to, as Ron had always been the one that had begged her for sex and Severus, well, she hadn't exactly had to do a lot to encourage him either! This time was going to be different though and she sincerely hoped that she wasn't going to make a complete fool of herself!

After looking around a little guiltily, to make sure no one was around to see what she had been reading; she put the book back where she had found it. Once back on it's shelf, it seemed to vanish out of sight again and she wondered how it had read her mind and had known exactly what she had wanted. Strange! She thought, then she had a dread feeling that it could be something to do with dark magic. It hadn't said anything on the cover though and seemed pretty harmless stuff really, as long as it was between two consenting adults, but at the back of her mind she did wonder.

Even so, she couldn't stop smiling to herself all the way back to her dorm; Severus wasn't going to know what had hit him tonight!

Her only concern now, was that he might not even still be around! Even though he had said he would be, she worried that he may have just decided to make a quick getaway and disappear! To reassure her self she had sneakily asked Miss MacGonagall as if in passing. After a curious glance, the old transfiguration professor had given her the answer she sincerely wanted to hear -yes, he was! He wasn't going to be leaving until the next day as he had to help make sure all the younger Slytherins got up and out on time in the morning.

She had to spend the rest of the afternoon until dinnertime packing her trunk, magically shrinking everything so she could get it all in. She felt very emotional, as she was doing this for the very last time and the only thing that cheered her up was the thought of what she was going to do later that night.

That evening, it was still warm, as the day had been sunny after the rainy spell that morning, so she spent the rest of it outside. She, Ginny, Ron and Harry sat talking with other friends in the 7th year, reminiscing and alternately feeling both sad and happy at their imminent departure. She had to smile when people talked about their memories of Professor Snape. When somebody mentioned how terrified they had once felt when they were called to his office, she had to stifle a giggle, her memories of that place were somewhat different to most peoples! At about 10.00, MacGonagall called them in and they all reluctantly walked back up to the school to get back to their dorms

Hermione began to get very nervous; she kept going from certainty to uncertainty, what if it went wrong? What if he got really mad? Then she thought, "NO! I have to make him tell me once and for all and I'm not going to be fobbed off this time!"

Later that night while Ginny was in the bath, she made her preparations. After searching through her trunk, she found what she wanted and changed her clothes. Instead of her usual t-shirt and shorts, she put on a very slinky see through slip and matching panties. It was black with lace edging and fitted quite tightly to the body, showing off her lovely figure very nicely. It had been a favourite of Ron's so she thought it might work for Severus too. She had a quick look in the mirror and after doing what she thought were a few sexy poses, giggled softly to her self and looked away. After finding the pendant that Severus had given her, she slippedthat on too, hoping that it still worked. Then she climbed into bed to wait.

When Ginny eventually came out of the bathroom, she dried her hair roughly, dressed in her nightclothes and climbed straight into bed. After a quick chat with Hermione, she was soon asleep.

Hermione lay awake in the dark, waiting for time to pass, her belly churning with nerves and excitement. She kept repeating the spell word with the correct intonation over and over quietly to herself. When the clock turned to 1 am she could wait no longer.

She put on her old school robe over her sexy underwear and tucked a long silky neck scarf into the pocket, then she put a silencing spell on her feet so she could sneak quietly out of the dorm.

Making the long descent to the dungeons, she kept talking herself into what she was about to do, even so, by the time she had got there she had begun to lose a little confidence. She knew that she really did have to be brave and stand up to him though, as the spell probably wouldn't work if she was too nervous.

Once she reached the door to Severus's office, she stood there for a while, taking deep calming breaths.

Hands shaking a little, she held up the pendant and to her relief it glowed and the door swung open with a little squeak, she walked in to the darkened room and closed the it behind her.

After telling it to illuminate, she held out her wand in front of her and began to walk forwards, her tummy now totally clenched up solid with nerves. She began to worry again that she was going to lose her nerve completely and stood in front of the place in the wall, where the entrance to his bedroom was and hesitated so she could psyche her self up.

"You can do this Hermione! Come on, you can do this! If you don't stand up to him now you never will! He has to stop messing you about like this! It just isn't fair! He deserves this, you know he does!"

Then she held up the pendant again and the wall vanished revealing the bedroom beyond. Like the office it was in complete darkness, apart from the light from her wand.

She held it up to see if Severus was in bed and to her dismay he wasn't, but she knew he had been, as the covers were pulled back and his pillow dented. But where was he now?

Hermione heard an almost silent footfall behind her, then she screamed when someone suddenly grabbed her from behind. There was a tussle, as Hermione began to panic and try to get free. Wasthis Severus? She thought.He wasn't saying anything yet, so she couldn't tell for sure. When she was pushed face first down onto the bed, her fear rose even higher, but soon turned into relief, however, when she heard a familiar voice call out

"Lumos!"

She was roughly turned around onto her back and a lit wand was held over her face, blinding her momentarily.

"Oh Hermione, it's you! Why didn't you tell me? You weren't trying to sneak up on me were you? Bad idea! I've had better people than you try that and fail!" he said, looking directly into her eyes. Hermione knew immediately thatSeverus was searching her mind for answers and had to act quickly.

"What the...!" he exclaimed suddenly and his own eyes widened in surprise, when, before he could react Hermione had already pointed her wand at him and confidently shouted "Devincio!" She then stuffed the tie into his hand afterpulling it out of her pocket and held up her still lit wand, to see him being thrown back up to the top of the bed. His hands were yanked back over his head and Hermione watched, fascinated, as the tie wrapped itself tightly around his wrists and the ornate wooden bedstead, holding him firmly.

"Illuminate!" she shouted into the room, causing the candles to ignite and they both blinked for a while in the brightness. He looked at her curiously, but did not look in the least bit worried and to her annoyance smirked as if mocking her efforts.

Now he was tied up and pretty much helpless, she had a sudden rush of adrenaline and felt more confident. Now she was the one with the power for a change! Smiling triumphantly she snatched the wand from his unresisting hand and put it down on the bedside table, but to her disappointment this seemed to have little effect on his demeanor.

"Been reading up on binding spells have we? I know this one well! It is not the first time I've had it used on me, believe me! I've also employed it a few times myself and I must say I'm impressed! It is quite a difficult spell for a novice!" He remarked, raising one eyebrow and still smirking.

Hermione merely raised her eyebrows in return and pursed her lips, then moved to sit between his legs. He was wearing his black silky dressing gown and as she had always thought he looked quite sexy in it, she flicked her eyes up and down his body briefly, before leaning back on her now curled up legs. Very slowly, she slipped off her school robe and tossed it to the floor, then bent her head down allowing her hair to drape over him. When she brought her head up again, she flicked her hair back, smiled wickedly and licked her lips suggestively. His eyes traveled up and down her body, and she could see that he definitely approved of her appearance, as he was already making a tent under his robe.

"So, what are you going to do now?" he purred, smiling

"Well..that depends on on you" she replied cryptically in return

"Oh?"

"Yes, if I like what I hear I may treat you to something really nice, but if I don't..." she said haughtily

"Hmmm! This is a whole new side to you isn't it Miss Granger! Getting very kinky aren't we? I didn't know we had those sort of books in the library!" he replied mockingly

This incensed Hermione, even though it was true this time, he had always used her love of reading against her as if she should already know it all or something! Of course she had got it out of a book! How else would she have learnt something like this - in a bordello?

She decided to ignore his mocking, as she knew that it was after all, his way of trying to control people and she wasn't going to let him get to her that easily.

She reached out her hands and began to rub the top of each of his thighs gently, sliding under the silky robe, going further and further up with each stroke. Then she stopped suddenly, as the book had mentioned that a good way of teasing was to start to do something, make them think you are actually going to do it, then stop.

He looked at her expressionlessly, only narrowing his eyes a little.

She flicked her hair back again, pushed it all up towards the top of her head, giggled, then released it again to let it cascade over her shoulders. Then she settled back and got comfortable

"Now I've got your full attention and you have no way of getting away... or distracting me! I want some answers!" she said purposefully. "Firstly... I want to know why you wanted to be with me in the first place, was it some kind of ego trip? Or is it a hobby of yours to seduce young girls?" she asked raising her eyebrows

Severus shifted a little uncomfortably and tugged uselessly at the tie that bound him.

"I have no idea what you mean by an 'ego trip', but if that means that you think I am with you to make me feel like I am still attractive to women, then the answer is.. no." He said, his tone suggesting that he did not like being asked this question, "I have no need to prove myself to boost my ego, I already know what I'm capable of" he added

"Have you ever done this before? Or am I the first? Or am I just one in a long line of Snape conquests at this school? After all you certainly seem to know what you are doing!" she continued, pouting slightly at the last statement

"Haa! I should have known that one was coming! Well...if I told you the truth, it might incriminate me, so I cannot reveal that information!" he said, starting to smirk again.

Hermione pouted in annoyance and puffed a breath loudly out of her nose.

"You know I won't tell anyone! I have a right to know if you make a habit of this, so I know where I stand!" she said, folding her arms in front of her crossly.

He looked her up and down briefly, smiling, before answering.

"Well...I may have done this before a few times, but believe me when I tell you, that I have never gone after the girls - they have always pursued me! They, unlike you though, have always been happy once they had got what they wanted and then gone on to their next victim. Well, they were all Slytherin girls and we Slytherins expect that sort of behaviour! But you're the first Gryffindor I've shared a bed with and you are not what I expected at all, I thought you Gryffindor girls were all so prim and proper!" he replied. "And would never dream of doing half the things that you have done with me!" he added a little sarcastically

"Well, it just goes to show you doesn't it! You shouldn't judge a 'bookworm', by its cover!" Hermione replied, smiling,

"Hmm! Maybe you are right!.. Well, now I've answered your questions could you perhaps...do something with that?.." Severus smiled; indicating with his head the erection that had now pushed it's way through the flimsy dressing gown

"Oh that!" Hermione said, as if she'd only just noticed and smiled back. She bent her head down low, tucking her hair out of the way behind her ears, then looked up with just her eyes to smile at him again. Shecarried on going downtowards his waiting manhood and opened her mouth as if she was going to take him in, but then at the last minutemerely pursed her lips and blew outgently overit instead.

"There! How do you like your blow job?" she asked, feeling quite pleased with her self

He merely narrowed his eyes and pursed his lips in frustration.

"That's all you are going to get until I get what I want" she said confidently, then continued her questioning

"I want to know if you had noticed me before we kissed that time or if it was just a coincidence. I thought at first that all you wanted from me was sex but you must feel something for me now other than sexual attraction, because I'm sure you wouldn't keep on taking the risk otherwise! I want to know what those feelings are" she demanded, leaning back and folding her arms
He pursed his lips once more and paused before saying, "I had never thought of You as anything other than another student before that kiss, that is the truth. Even though I must admit I had noticed your rather...attractive physical assets before then... I am a man after all!" he smirked."But it was only after you kissed me that everything changed. I began to see new possibilities, a new challenge to interest me. I never expected it to go this far, because as you remember, I tried to end it many times,as I did think it wastoo risky, but you just refused to let godidn't you?" He explained, "I admit that I am impressed with your determination though" he added

"It's because I know you feel more for me than you let on! I know how I feel about you, I've already told you.." Then she lowered her eyes before adding; "I once read that you should never give up on true love once you find it, as you never know when or if you will ever find it again"

Severus just sniffed out a breathin answer, then they were both silent for a while. Hermione had expected him to mock her when she had said that, but to her surprise he didn't and she looked up to see his expression had softened slightly

"I had just wanted to see how far I could push you before you would tell me to stop, but you went a lot farther than I expected! I will admit... that things are now different between us...but don't ever go thinking we can ever be more than just casual lovers, as anything more would be impossible! You realise that don't you? We must stay a secret, as too many people know already!" he explained, his tone and expression more serious.

Then after looking her up and down again, he brightened considerably.

"Now are you please going to do something with this erection, before I go insane?" he asked indicating downwards. "Seeing you in that outfit and you being so...well, domineering, is very arousing!"

Hermione smiled wickedly again, as she definitely wasn't finished yet! She shifted her position so that she was sitting on his lower belly, then leaned forwards to kiss him gently on the lips, enjoying his warm response. As they kissed she rubbed her hands up and down his arms, enjoying the feeling of the tense muscles through the silky material of his sleeves. She definitely wouldn't feel nervous about doing this again if she could; it was so much fun! Moving away a little reluctantly from his mouth, she covered his face in soft kisses andworked her way down his neckthenstopped when she gotto the top of his chest. She leant up a little to look at him

"I don't care about us going on in secret... as long as I can be with you" she whispered breathily, "I love you", then she carried on kissing his chest

"You only love who you think I am" he replied cynically, making her pull away again. His eyes were now looking downward and his brow was furrowed in the middle.

Hermione leant back down and resumed her kissing, biting his nipple, just hard enough to make him jerk his head up in surprise.

"Maybe... but I still do nevertheless.." she said smiling, "that's whyI can't wait to find out more about you; as you are the most fascinating man I have ever met! I could only love you more when I do! Now, just one simple thing left to answer!" shedemanded "...how do you really feel about me? Do you love me? Or.. ...are you just stringing me along? I need to know Severus! It's time to stop avoiding the question and just be honest with me!"

He looked directly at her and studied her expectant face for a while, while she played with the now erect nipple, as she knewit wouldprobably irritate him, Ron had always hated it

"Hermione?.."he said, getting her attention

"Yes?" she replied expectantly, stopping what she was doing and looking up

"...If we are not going to have sex, do you think you could let me out of this now? My arms are really starting to acheand itgetting is getting most uncomfortable!" he moaned, wriggling uselessly against his bonds again

"NO! Not until you answer my question! We'll stay like this until morning if need be!" she retorted angrily, leaning back and folding her arms.

"What if I need to relieve myself?" he asked, raising his eyebrows

Hermione pursed her lips thoughtfully

"You'll just have to hold it won't you! Like I said I'm not budging!" she stormed, "If you answer me to my satisfaction, then and only then will I relieve your frustration and give you satisfaction! That's a promise!" she urged

He looked at her, his eyes narrowed, then they widened again suddenly. At first he wore an expression of shock, then began to screw his face up, as if in great pain. He made a strangled cry and sighed loudly.

Hermione was worried, what was wrong with him? Was he just playing with her or was he really in pain? She just didn't know

"What's wrong? What is it?" she questioned nervously

"It's just something I get now and again..(wince) I have a potion that will take it off (wince)...please let me go (wince)..it's only just in there" he managed to say

Hermione wasn't sure, he really did look as if he was in pain, but he could still be trying to fool her. She bit her lip indecisively

"Come on (wince)..what are you waiting for! Do you enjoy seeing me in agony?" he grumbled

He was starting to sweat and thrash around; he looked really convincing.

"I'll get it for you.. where is it?" she asked getting up and standing by the side of the bed

"No...I haven't labeled it yet, you might get the wrong one and poison me!"

"Just tell me! I do know a bit about potions you know!" she was starting to get agitated her self now

"If you would just let me go! I'd find it much faster on my own!" he shouted back, grimacing

"You're just doing this to avoid my question!" Hermione retorted

"You think I would suffer this agony on purpose! I am not that much of a martyr!" he snorted. "Come on, hurry up and let me go!" he asked, now sounding quite desperate, then carried on thrashing around

She hated seeing him like this, but she still felt unsure. Then she made a decision, maybe against her better judgement.

"Laxo-are!" she said, pointing her wand at his hands

He got up immediately, looking strangely well all of a sudden

"Oh.. I knew it was just an act you pig!" Hermione said as she hung her head in defeat, but Severus walked over towards her and lifted her chin. He was smiling

"So did you really see through my little act? Or are you going to just admit defeat at last?"

She didn't answer, she was feeling too hurt and was frustrated that her plan had gone awry. Tears welled up in her eyes and ran down her cheeks silently. Severus wiped them away with his thumb, then shook his head, rolled his eyes back and snorted

"Oh very well then...I will give you an answer, but the way I feel about you is... complex. Truthfully, I'm not sure how it feels to be in love with someone, as I neverhave before, at least I don't think I have. I have seldom had any love directed at me in my life also, so it is difficult for me to recognise it when it does. All my previous relationships have been for mutual benefit, sexual or otherwise. Maybe the best way to describe my feelings towards you is that ...I feel the same way about you ...as I do about.. breathing.." he answered awkwardly

"Breathing?" Hermione asked incredulously; seriously unimpressed. Then she thought about the words more carefully -breathing? If he didn't breathe, what would he do?.. Ohh!

Hermiones face lit up and her heart leapt with excitement as she suddenly clicked

He pulled her close

"I warn you though, I expect full commitment from you and I will not tolerate betrayal of any kind! Even if we only see each other on a casual basis! Do not think you can get the better of me Miss Granger, more experienced women than you have tried and failed!" he growled, looking her in the eye, holding her head firmly

"Are we going to talk all night or are we going have some kind of sex? I didn't wear this for nothing you know and I've got to be up early in the morning!" she smiled, blanking what he had said, the way he did to her. She sniffed away her tears and raised her eyebrows expectantly

He just smirked in return, kissed her, then lifted her up under the thighs and took her over to the bed.

He climbed on top, then removed her flimsy panties andhis robe. She moaned as she felt himpush inside of her, pushing up her hips to meet his. It was getting easier now and more comfortable for Hermione, as they were getting used to each other. They kissed passionately and Hermione was so happy, she didn't even care that his stubble was scratching her!

Very soon after making love, Severus fell asleep, well it was about 3am! They lay there spoon like, Hermione comfortable with his arm curled around her and buzzing with the feeling that she had just received the best Christmas present ever.

She linked her hand into his and couldn't stop smiling, even though she knew things would be difficult for them like he had said. She agreed that they would definitely have to remain a secret, at least for the near futureanyway, soshe'd have to learn to be learn to be even more covert and secretive about their relationship. Yes...that information would definitely remain in the 'restricted section' for the time being!

Very early next morning she sneaked back up to her dorm and climbed into her bed to make it look like she'd slept there all night. She lay there feeling anxious, she couldn't see him again now until she left and hoped she wouldn't have to wait too long.

Later that morning,just as she was getting into the carriage that would take her to the train station, a large black Raven came swooping down towards her suddenly. Seemingly unnoticed by anyone else, it dropped a note at her feet and she picked it up immediately

She smiled when she read the message, it said simply

"See you at Grimmauld Place"

She tucked it down her top and climbed aboard the waiting carriage, with a curious glance from Ginny, but she just smiled then looked out of the window. She had decided to ride with Ginny and her friends from the 6th year -including Luna, this time instead of Harry and Ron. Shedidn't feel thatcomfortable being around her rather angry ex at the moment andshe dreadedthe fact that she was going to beliving with him for the next few weeks!

As the carriage rolled down the long drive to the gates Hermione was feeling both sad and happy at the same time - she was leaving forever, but hopefully a part of the school was going to be staying with her for long time to come!