Spring is in the Air…

By ShadowBallad

A/N: Gahh! I'm so sorry this has taken forever to get out! Life is playing me foul… (cries) Anyway, I am humbled by all the reviews you've sent! This chapter also clears a few things up from last chapter. Thanks so much for the encouragement! A little OOCness; LOTS of implied nudity, so if you no likey, no ready, 'k? Oh, and I'm taking full advantage of the 'T' rating, so be warned! And, there's also a GIGANTIC fluff warning in effect as well! (smiles)

Enough of my chattering; here's the last chapter!

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter and friends (and enemies). If I did, I would be rich instead of dirt poor.

Chapter 5: Discussions, Massages, and Propositions

"You are not a hook-nosed monster," she whispered, barely loud enough for him to hear. She brushed his lips with hers, causing him to jump in surprise and lodging his heart in his throat. "You are Severus Snape, a Potions Master; a brave, intelligent…and beautiful man."

That said, she leaned forward and kissed him gently on the lips.

Although he would never admit it under torture, it was a moment Severus wanted never to end. The kiss was, admittedly, rather chaste; but that was beside the point. Ultimately, it wasn't the kiss that made him feel warm; made him feel wanted.

It was the woman doing the kissing.


Hardly daring to believe that this was actually happening, he tentatively wrapped his arms around her torso. She made a pleased sound in her throat, deepening the kiss and moving her hands from his face to wrap around his neck.

When she finally pulled away, Severus released a breath he hadn't been aware he'd taken. Minerva chuckled.

"For your first time kissing, you did rather well," she said playfully. He tried to smile back, but, gobsmacked as he was, his lips only twitched a bit. Apparently, the brandy currently residing in her brain interpreted this as a desire on his part for another kiss.

The woman obliged – after swiftly plunking herself in his lap first.

He made a startled squeak that was quickly cut off by her lips once again on his. Feeling quite out of his element – after all, there wasn't a cauldron involved – he leaned back against the tiles and let Minerva take command.

Of course it wasn't a permanent thing. The more she taught him, the faster he'd learn and give the woman a taste of her own medicine.

"Mmm," she murmured, smiling against his mouth as she pulled away to break the kiss.

"Not so fast, Minerva," he rumbled, and shocked her by pulling her up against his chest and planting a possessive kiss on her surprised lips.

He was a fast learner, after all.

A few breathless moments later, he released a rather astonished Transfigurations professor and gave her an imperious look. "Have I improved?" he asked silkily.

Severus was rewarded with nothing but silence. Silence, and brown eyes at the widest he'd ever seen them. Slowly she nodded, and let a grin creep back onto her face.

"My, my; aren't we a quick study?" she said. It was very nearly a purr. "Although…" Here she looked at the Potions Master appraisingly. "The finer points of kissing are probably beyond you." Her lips quirked into a smirk not unlike his own usual expression.

He raised his left eyebrow. "Oh? I daresay you'll never know unless you teach me. Unless, of course, you know of a more competent teacher in the subject?" It was a challenge, plain and simple.

Gryffindors are notorious for their inability to back down from challenges. Therefore, Minerva spent the next minutes educating Severus on the "finer points of kissing" discussed only moments earlier.

Severus was delighted to discover that her skin wasn't as soft as he had thought; it was even softer! He let his hands roam the planes of her back as her mouth roamed his own. Fingers well practised in judging potions ingredients based on touch revelled in the feel of her beneath them; the hint of bones and muscle beneath silky skin.

This time, he had no qualms admitting that the experience was absolutely divine.

Minerva was so happy she could sing – although, she thought, that might scare Severus away and completely destroy her past hour's work.

She scratched that idea and settled on exploring Severus instead.

The slender, almost-too-thin body she had admired earlier in the evening was now at her fingertips. While her mouth worked at his, her hands caressed his back, his arms, his chest; everything they could attach themselves to.

It felt so utterly good to wrap her arms around him. Her right hand travelled down his chest, caressing his ribs, while the left buried itself in his silky black hair. Severus was still a bit tense – years of spying could do that to a person – but it was something she looked forward to teaching him to let go of.

He, of all the people she knew, seriously needed to learn to completely relax.

"You know," she whispered against his lips, "being a virgin isn't a bad thing."

"Hmm?" She could tell by his tone that he wasn't really listening. Minerva had enough experience with men to know that once it started getting physical, their ability to think decreased exponentially. As much as it pained her to admit it, she needed to disentangle herself from his arms if she hoped to communicate in a remotely intelligent fashion.

Telling herself that it was only for his own good, she wriggled free of his grasp and slid off his lap onto the ledge.

"Minerva?" he looked at her, disappointment at losing contact emanating off of him in almost visible waves.

He looked so utterly lost and forlorn that she couldn't help but tenderly cup his face in her hands. She was rewarded when his body lost some of the rigidity it had adapted when she slid away from him.

"I said," she began again, smiling patiently, "that being a virgin isn't a bad thing. Not even remotely so, actually."

Severus huffed and made to cross his arms over his chest, but thought better of it and settled them tentatively around her waist. Minerva knew she was beaming like an idiot, but didn't care.

"Try to see the issue from my point of view, Minerva!" he said.

The Transfigurations teacher laughed. "'Issue,' Severus? It's not an issue. I rather think it speaks well of your self-restraint."

"Or perhaps the inability to find someone willing to go that far with me." He looked away, his eyes beginning to cloud with some dark emotion.

"Severus." She tightened her grip on his face and forced him to look at her. It pained her deeply to see the man she cared for – even thought she could love – crushing himself beneath self-loathing.

Minerva didn't need to say anything else as their eyes met. She gazed at him, trying to let him see how much she truly cherished him.

She would have stuffed it down his throat and choked him on it if she thought it would have helped any.

Fortunately he seemed to realise what she was trying to say to him, and the dark emotion passed. One hand left her waist to grasp one of her own, and with his deep black eyes focused on her own, he slowly raised it to his lips and planted a kiss upon it.

"Th-thank you…Minerva…" he whispered, voice filled with as much emotion as she had ever heard before.

She pulled him into her arms in response, fully aware that she was smirking like a cat in front of a saucer of cream. Infinitely touched by his charming gesture, she carded her fingers through her hair and planted another kiss on his lips.

"Just what is the issue, Severus?" she asked playfully as she let him go. To her surprise his cheeks turned a bit pink, and with a giggle she realised he was blushing. She was certain she was the only person to have ever seen such a rare phenomenon.

"Well, you're not a man –"

"Hallelujah," Minerva quipped –

"– so I wouldn't expect you to understand," he finished, glaring at her. She merely grinned back at him, waiting for him to explain himself. When he didn't open his mouth again, she frowned and pursued the issue.

"Do most men believe that any male over the age of thirty-five who is still a virgin is less masculine than he ought to be?" He looked supremely uncomfortable about discussing such an issue with her, but the cat Animagus was pleased that he was comfortable enough around her to actually talk about it. Even though a few terse words and cryptic hints really couldn't be called "talking." Oh, well. It was a start, at least.

"Perhaps," he said noncommittally, snaking his arm around her shoulders.

Now it was Minerva's turn to lift her eyebrow at him. "Trying to distract me, are we?" she said in a mock-angry voice. He shrugged.


She wanted to hit him. Badly. But, figuring that it wouldn't help her in her quest to understand the elusive man that was Severus Snape, she refrained from doing so.

Instead, she curled up seductively against his side and placed her head on his shoulder, her left thumb running smooth circles over his hip bone. She felt him shiver – and not from cold – and had to suppress a grin.

Deciding to get him nice and unguarded, she sighed and snuggled into him, raising her head so her breath played over his ear. The usually stoic, I-am-in-command-of-my-emotions Severus Snape, was now a trembling mess of anticipation.

Minerva delighted in the fact that she was the first one to bring him to such a state, and silently vowed that anyone else who tried would be drawn, quartered, and hung from a tree by their toes.

"So," she said in her breathiest voice possible, her hand still roaming over his hips, "what is the issue?"

"…Issue?" he asked fuzzily, his hands entangling themselves in her hair.

Minerva mentally hit her head against a wall. He was either playing stupid, or he honestly had forgotten what they were talking about before she started trying to "distract" him. Merlin, were all men this incorrigible? Or was it just this particular one?

"Minerva?" He was looking at her, brows slightly furrowed and dark eyes narrowed in concern. "Is everything all right? I'm not hurting you, am I?"

She snorted and resisted the urge to wring his neck, all the while telling him that he couldn't possibly be hurting her by running his fingers through her hair.

"No, Severus," she said patiently, giving him a smile. (She'd decided to write off figuring out what exactly his issue was as a bad job and focus on the man himself instead).

Severus fidgeted and made to draw away, but she held onto him until he settled back into her arms. Wondering exactly what had got into him, she opened her mouth to ask when he suddenly blurted out, "I'm sorry."

The Transfigurations teacher gaped at him. "What on earth do you have to be sorry for?" she asked, bewildered.

He gave her a wry grin. "The usual: being a murdering Death Eater and greasy git to top it off," he said with a smirk. It lacked his usual derision, however, and seemed more sad than scornful.

She stared at him. "You are not a murdering Death Eater!" she exclaimed. "You're our spy, a very integral person to the Order of the Phoenix. If we didn't have you, many more people would be injured, captured or dead! Your information saves lives, Severus." Realising that she sounded rather patronising, she grinned slightly and caressed his cheek. "And you most certainly are NOT a greasy git. I'm not in the habit of falling for greasy gits, after all. I'd rather like to think that I have more taste than that!"

He sighed, then took her hands in his and gazed into her eyes, never breaking contact. Minerva gave a startled squeak at his sudden actions, but didn't pull away. "I'm still sorry for it," he said, then shook his head when she made to speak. "No, please don't say anything. I…need to say this." Slowly the Animagus nodded, unconsciously moving closer to the faintly upset man.

"You see, at one point I truly was a Death Eater, and I did…terrible things. When I became Albus's spy, I still had to do terrible things to keep my cover. And I've had to act like a complete bastard at this school to keep up my image in front of the Death Eaters' children, who could report back to their parents if I ever did not act like a follower of the Dark Lord should. After all of these years pretending, it's just become a part of me. And yes, everything I have just told you does have a point," he added, a small smile gracing his thin lips.

Minerva gently removed her right hand from his and ran her fingers down the side of his face. He leaned into her touch for a moment before pulling away and fixing her with his piercing black gaze once more.

"Because of all of this, I am not sure that I am able to actually love. I am sorry, Minerva, if ever I should fail to meet your expectations of what a…a lover should be."

The look in his eyes was so forlorn that Minerva nearly felt her heart break inside. Leaning toward him, she resumed stroking his face with her fingers and gave him a gentle kiss on the lips. "All of that may be true, but it is in the past. You may never forget it, but at least you can live beyond it." She smiled and then and leaned against his chest.

"It was…very brave of you to reveal something so personal to me," she continued, relishing in the feeling of the way his hands felt as they trailed down her back.

He shifted beneath her. "I would never have said anything if I did not think you would understand…or unless I believed that perhaps something might come of this."

Suddenly thrilled beyond imagination, Minerva sat up and pulled him to her in a gigantic hug. The look of surprised confusion in his eyes after she pulled away made her laugh out loud.

"I would be delighted to have something 'come of this,' as you said!" she exclaimed, laughing joyously and hugging him again.

She lost a little of her enthusiasm when she felt how tense he still was in her arms, and pulled away. Suddenly an idea came to her mind, and with a mischievous grin, she pulled both Severus and herself to a sitting position on the edge of the tub.

"I think," she said, tapping her lip appraisingly, "that what you need is a good massage."

Severus felt his face heat up as Minerva pulled him from the safety of the water. Oh, she had nothing to be ashamed of, what with her gorgeous body, shapely legs and firm breasts and…He mentally shook the thought from his head, knowing that if he allowed it to progress any further, his ability to think straight would slip away.

And if Severus valued anything above his expertise in potions, it was his logical mind.

Of course, having a logical mind did him no good sitting naked in a bathroom with an equally naked female Gryffindor intent on giving him a "good massage."

A naked female Gryffindor whose naked body was rather attractive. And right in front of him. All he had to do was reach out his hands and…

No! Must not think of such things! Must not think of such things! He repeated this over and over in his mind, intent on distracting his eyes from the feast before them.

Suddenly he realised that Minerva was talking to him, and reluctantly tore his gaze from her chest to settle on her face. She rolled her eyes, as if she had expected this reaction of him, and repeated what she had just said.

"I want you to lie on your stomach on this towel and try to relax. Completely relax, Severus," she added. He didn't particularly care for the slightly huffy tone to her voice. As far as he could see, there really was no call for it. Just because his gaze wasn't exactly on her face…Gaah! Must not think of such things!

Not wanting to have an angry Minerva on his hands – he shuddered at the thought – Severus decided to obey. Just this once. He looked at the towel, back at her, raised an eyebrow, and slowly lay down.

"Very good," she crooned from behind him. He didn't care for the I'm-talking-to-a-little-child quality to her voice. He sat up on his elbows to glare at her and let her know just how much he didn't care for it when she shoved him back onto the towel.

"Lay down!" Minerva commanded from somewhere behind his shoulder. Severus glared at the tiles instead; very much aware that if he made her angry he would never find out exactly how good a massage the Gryffindor could give.

As he settled himself into a comfortable position, strains of music suddenly floated in the air. He was no expert in Muggle music, but knew enough to recognise it as a soft, classical piece. Once again he looked over his shoulder at her and raised an eyebrow. Minerva merely twirled her wand, dimming the candles a bit and transfiguring a rag into a bottle of oil of some sort.

"What, you don't like Pachabel's Canon?" she asked cheekily. Severus rolled his eyes and flopped back onto the towel. Obviously he wasn't going to get an answer from the annoying woman.

"Should I be taking some hints from the ambiance you have managed to create?" he drawled in his best I'm-completely-unaffected voice.

Again, Minerva didn't answer. Instead, she dabbed a bit of warm oil onto his skin and began to smooth it around his back.

It felt…odd, to say the least.

"Minerva, what is that? What are you doing back there?" He made to sit up again, but only got a few centimetres off the towel before being shoved back down.

"Lay down!" she ordered, oily hands moving up to his neck and shoulders. "It's just massage oil; not some poisonous skin-eating potion, I assure you."

Severus almost moaned in pleasure at the way her hands felt moving across the planes of his back, but managed to stop himself. Didn't want her thinking he was too eager, did he? Of course not.

"Obviously it is not the latter, as you probably cannot even brew a poisonous, skin-eating potion," he taunted. He, after all, had to actually think to make those nasty, fickle potions; there was no way Min –

"OW!" he shrieked as a well-oiled hand slapped his left buttock. This time he got about five centimetres off the floor before being shoved back down. Only this time, Minerva's hands remained on his shoulders, pinning him down.

"What was that for!" Severus exclaimed, desperately trying to see the infuriating creature's face.

"If you can't lie still, I won't give you a massage," came the reply in an annoying sing-song voice.

New respect (and irritation) at this new, Slytherin side of Minerva growing, Severus huffed and flopped back down onto the towel for the third time in around five minutes. "This better be good," he grumbled, but most of the venom he usually injected into such comments was noticeably absent.

His skin was far too excited about Minerva's hands touching it that he really didn't want to risk her leaving.

"Don't worry; it will be," she said. He heard rather than saw the smirk in her voice.

Minerva studied her victim – er, recipient – with hungry eyes. Her hands itched to touch his pale, smooth skin – and here he was, conveniently waiting for her to do just that. She smiled wickedly, immensely pleased with herself, and knelt astride his legs.

Even Trelawney could have predicted his reaction, and she was just a batty old fraud.

"MINERVA!" Severus shrieked right on cue. Again he tried to sit up, and again she shoved him back down, none-too-gently this time. She was getting rather tired of repeating herself.

"What are you doing?" he asked in a rather pathetic voice a few seconds later. It was rather breathy and shallow, and no doubt due to the fact that she was currently sitting on the backs of his thighs.

"Giving – or rather, attempting – to give you a massage," she replied. "Now stay still!"

This time she smacked the right buttock.

This time he didn't even try to sit up. He just craned his neck over his shoulder and sent her a death glare that would have probably killed the Dark Lord had he indeed been in the room. In all actuality, she thought, the Dark Lord would have been incinerated upon even attempting to get inside the bathroom, what with how body-shy Severus was.

"Well?" he demanded in an oddly strained voice. Shaken from her reverie, Minerva apologised unrepentantly and began the massage.

"Ready?" she asked, knowing full well that he was, but feeling like being irritating at the moment and asking anyway.

He was about to give a (no doubt) scathing reply when she gently placed her hands on either side of his spine, just above his hips.

His body went rigid for a spit second, and not even the music could cover up his sharp intake of breath. Then, just as suddenly as he became rigid, she felt him completely relax beneath her hands and start to breathe again.

Smirking, she gave his hips a little squeeze before applying light pressure to either side of his spine and moving her hands forward toward his shoulder blades. Next, she moved her hands in a curve over his shoulder blades, shoulders, then back along the sides of his ribcage to her starting position.

"Gods, that feels wonderful!" the man beneath her sighed, wriggling slightly in contentment.

"Mm-hm," she agreed, revelling in the feel of his skin as her hands glided across his body. Her fingers delicately dipped into the spaces between ribs as she completed the first motion a second time and started on a third.

"Mmm…Minerva…where did you learn this?" he asked a few moments later, his voice brimming with warm satisfaction. It pleased her that she could give him a little gift like this to make up for all the hardships he'd suffered in his life, from teaching dunderhead students to attending stressful Death Eater meetings.

What pleased her more was the fact that he was letting her do it…and was, for all intents and purposes, enjoying it immensely.

"Let me think about that for a moment," she asked, partly because she didn't quite remember but mostly because her hands were busy tasting the silken skin beneath them. Wouldn't the students be shocked to discover their supposed 'greasy git' of a Potions Master had better skin than most of them?

He chuckled beneath her, a rich, deep baritone sound that sent shivers down her spine. "Come, Minerva. You aren't yet old enough to forget things," he said, his voice teasing.

Minerva smiled at his back as she switched to a different stroke, this time placing her right hand on his lower back perpendicular to his spine. "But I am old," she remarked with a smile he couldn't see but hoped he sensed in her voice. Her hand moved in a counter clockwise, semi-circular motion toward his spine, gently pressing as it made its way closer. After her right hand had moved a few centimetres, she quickly replaced it with her left and continued the stroke up his back.

"You are not 'old,' Minerva, not in the least!" he protested, shifting subtly and almost throwing off her stroke.

She was about to tell him just how old she was to see his reaction, but thought better of it. "Scheming little Slytherin, don't you know it's rude to ask a lady's age?" she taunted, applying a bit more pressure than necessary and making him groan a bit.

"I didn't ask," he said sulkily. "I just said – Ow! – that you're not old."

"But you asked it in such a way that I would be persuaded to tell you my age if I wanted to prove you wrong," she retorted lightly, moving to his other side to start the circular hand stroke again.

"Ah, but that is the beauty of the whole debate: I am not wrong."

"Ah, but you are. I am old. Older than you, at any rate," she said, still teasing him a bit.

Suddenly, what she just said hit home. She wasn't just 'older' than him; she was almost 30 years older! Her motions slowed as her brain processed this thought. Did she truly have any business seeking a romantic relationship with Severus when she was old enough to be his mother?

"Ah, Minerva. Could you go a bit faster?" asked Severus, interrupted her thoughts.

"Oh, forgive me, Severus," she said, giving herself a little shake before resuming her previous pace. "I was just thinking."

"About what?" She was about to reply when he interrupted her. "About how you're much too old for me and, that being so, what the bloody hell are you doing giving a younger man a romantic back massage?"

Shocked beyond words, Minerva stopped the stroke and stared at the back of his head. If she didn't know that Legilimancy worked only through eye contact, she would have smacked him and accused him of doing just that. Maybe he did have eyes in the back of his head, like all his students claimed…

"Let me tell you something, Minerva," he said, completely serious as he twisted around to face her. "You might be older than me, but I do not care. Muggles may think that – well, however old you are – is 'ancient,' but surely you realise that among your own kind, you are in the prime of your life."

"Severus…" She was so moved by his words, she couldn't say a thing.

Instead she found herself draped across his side, capturing his lips in a kiss.

His black eyes were wide in surprise when she pulled away, giving him another small peck on his cheek as she did so.

The two people enjoyed the beauty of the moment before Severus donned his imperious-Potions-Master look and gazed up at her with hooded eyes. "Besides," he drawled, "I rather believe I enjoy having a woman of such incredible experience around instead of a brainless young chit."

Minerva laughed outright at this, and a few moments later her soft soprano was joined by his velvety baritone. "You rouge!" she chuckled, leaning in to kiss the tip of his nose. He blinked in surprise, but didn't pull away. "You know just what to say to a woman, don't you!"

He smirked up at her, his eyes – gasp! – twinkling! Only slightly; but just enough so that she couldn't resist tipping up his chin and soundly kissing him for a few moments before pushing him back onto the towel.

"To answer your original question," she said as she began kneading the muscles around his neck, "I honestly don't remember exactly where I learned to give a massage." He moaned appreciatively under the ministrations of her hands, and she smiled down at his slender back.

"It is a deeply appreciated skill," Severus gasped as she moved to his shoulders.

"Glad you like it," she replied, bending down to give the back of his neck a kiss. He gasped again and shuddered with pleasure. Encouraged by his positive responses, Minerva spent a few moments kissing his neck and nibbling at his ears before moving on to milk the muscles in his upper arms.

The Potions Master sighed happily as the Gryffindor's talented hands and lips nearly made him melt into the towel. He was so relaxed that he didn't even jump in surprise when she repositioned herself to sit on his ankles and knead his thighs and calves.

"Mmm…Minerva…you are a goddess."

The Transfigurations professor chuckled at his breathy comment. "Why, thank you, Severus!" she laughed, letting her fingertips tease over the sensitive flesh of his bum before returning to his legs. "Although I daresay you didn't think that of me a half hour ago."

His deep voice rumbled in laughter. "No; half an hour ago I thought you were a drunken, crazed banshee."

He yelped as she grabbed his bum and gave it a quick squeeze before scooting back up to rake her fingertips down his back.

"Well, I did have a cuppa with Pomona and Rolanda after you kicked me out," she said, a few moments later. "And a little bit of brandy," she added as an afterthought.

Severus snorted. "A 'little bit of brandy,' you say? I think it was a 'bit' more than that."

Minerva resisted the urge to rake her fingernails down his flesh instead of just her fingertips.

Luckily for him, her hands and arms were getting tired.

Instead, she brought her hands back up to his shoulders and rested them there for a second or two. She felt him shift (no doubt to complain about her stopping). Before he could protest, she gently drew her fingers down his back, letting her fingertips run over his smooth skin.

"Perhaps," she conceded as she started drawing little circles and figure eights on his back. It was her way of saying, 'I'm exhausted and you're not getting any more massaging, but I'm giving you a minute to get used to the idea before I stop touching you.'

"Perhaps," he repeated incredulously. "You are quite sure you didn't ingest half the bottle?"

Minerva smiled at his back, too tired to get mock-upset by his comment. Instead, she traced little Gryffindor lions all over his back, shoulders and thighs.

"No, that was Rolanda," she deadpanned.

He twisted so he could see her face, which remained stoically devoid of emotion.

"Now her, I could believe it of," he muttered. "Hooch acts more like a man than a woman most of the time."

Minerva smirked at this before reaching out and grabbing a strand of his hair. "Well, she does fancy you, you know," she reminded him as she toyed with the raven-dark lock.

"Joy," Severus drawled, before taking Minerva's face gently in his hands and turning it so that she looked directly into his eyes. "But she is not the one in here with me, is she?"

Touched by the affection in his dark eyes that was so rarely ever present, Minerva gently turned him over onto his back and settled herself onto his stomach.

"No, she isn't," she said, leaning down and kissing her way from his collarbone to his lips. "I am."

Softly the Slytherin wound his fingers into Minerva's own dark hair and gathered her closer to himself. "And that is exactly what I want," he whispered, leaning up to kiss her flushed lips.

As she settled into a more comfortable position on his chest – ("You're so bony!" / "Deal with it.") – she stroked his hair and sighed.

"You know, I rather think this has been the most enjoyable night I've had for…oh…quite a while, actually," she said, letting her hands explore the small but toned muscled in his arms.

"It certainly was the best bit of advice you have given me for quite a while," Severus quipped, earning his bicep a squeeze.

"I can see myself coming back here quite often," she said. Minerva then rolled off his chest and leaned over him, catching his wrists in her hands and planting a kiss on his forehead.

"Only, of course, if you wish it." She raised her eyebrows imploringly at him, almost daring him to say no. The cat Animagus certainly had strength enough somewhere to give him a frontal massage and change his mind if he indeed said 'no.'

Fortunately for her hands, Severus merely lifted one immaculate eyebrow in his trademark fashion and drawled, "I suppose I am willing to give it a try."

Filius Flitwick glanced over at Pomona Sprout, who was sitting to the left of two vacant chairs. It was the fourth time that month neither Severus nor Minerva bothered to show up for dinner in the Great Hall.

Perplexed, he leaned over to the woman on his right. "Rolanda," he hissed inconspicuously, "where are Severus and Minerva? It seems like they haven't been to dinner quite a lot this month."

Rolanda belched (but ladylike, of course), and dabbed at her lips with her napkin. Flitwick gaped at her in well-concealed disgust when suddenly a thought entered his sharp mind.

"Do you think – maybe – that they're seeing each other in secret?" he squeaked excitedly.

Hooch ignored him for the tasty bit of pudding still on her plate.

The diminutive Charms professor began to get fidgety as it appeared the flight instructor was not going to answer his question.

"They are, aren't they? I knew it!" he exclaimed, sounding like an excited hamster. "Where are they now? Ohh, I bet they're taking a romantic moonlit walk on the grounds! Where do you think they are?" he asked, once again trying to engage Rolanda in conversation.

Instead, Hooch sighed and pushed back from her chair.

Disappointed, Flitwick's excitement deflated and he put his chin in his hands to ponder the mystery on his own.

As she made to walk by, Rolanda bent down close to his ear. Perking up, hoping for a juicy bit of Hogwarts gossip, Flitwick leaned in closer to hear what she had to say.

She gave him a mysterious smile and said, "My lips are sealed."

A/N: Wow, it's finally over! Thanks so much for waiting all this time… (blush) I sincerely hope it was worth the wait.

All the moves Minerva uses are actual massage strokes. I got them off of a site, "So you Wanna: Learn to Give a Massage." The quote about her being done giving the massage and Severus needing to get used to her stopping also came from that site. Heheh…I'm not witty enough to come up with something like that. :D

Thanks for reading!