Woes of a Potions Master

Severus tossed down his firewhiskey and slammed the empty glass down on the table between the two armchairs in front of the fireplace in his study. Hermione sat in one of the armchairs, listening to her husband rant and rave for the fifth time this week. She had a slight smirk on her face, but was wise enough to hide it.

"Hermione, I can't take this anymore. I realize they are students and have the right to express themselves freely, and that this is suppose to be in some insane and twisted manner an expression of their appreciation of me as their teacher, but I swear to you, if I see one more of them skulking outside our door, or shadowing me on my rounds, I am going to hex somebody," Severus groused, pacing back and forth in front of the fireplace, his robes billowing as his wife looked at him calmly, trying to keep a straight face in the process.

"But Severus, they admire you. You should be flattered." Hermione said in an attempt to defuse the irate Potions Master. He stopped and looked at her.

"Flattered? I am not flattered. I am mortified. This group of misfits is turning my very existence into some kind of travesty," he said, his eyes burning with anger.

"Calm down, Severus. You are going to give yourself a stroke," Hermione said, eyeing her husband. Severus ignored her.

"I wish Albus would do something about them. Any time I complain to him all he does is fix me with that deplorable twinkle and say the students have a right to express themselves, and that he doesn't want to inhibit their self-expression. If the little bastards were expressing themselves some other way, I wouldn't have a problem with it. But what they are doing is…is just plain wrong! And it makes me a laughingstock," the Potions Master snarled, slamming his fist on the wooden mantelpiece.

Severus threw himself into the armchair and stared scowling into the fire.

Hermione sighed. He was in such a foul mood. Maybe a little bouncy-bouncy would cheer him. Or a nice, hot blowjob. She centered herself and looked at her husband, clearing her throat a little.

"Severus…would you like me to take your mind off your troubles?" she asked him in a sultry voice.

Severus looked at Hermione, noting the heat in her eyes, then turned back to stare into the flames.

"No," he said sullenly.

Hermione was shocked. Severus never turned down sex. Ever. Not once in the two years they had been married. He was the original bam-bam man.

"Are you sure, Severus?" Hermione asked him again.

The Potions Master looked at her again, his black eyes angry.

"Pussy isn't the answer to everything, Hermione," he snarled, leaping up from the chair, striding into the bedroom and slamming the door shut.

Hermione blinked after him. Ok, the situation was kind of funny up to now. Now, this shit was serious. When her husband lost interest in sex…her husband, the perpetual human sex toy…there was a very real problem.

Hermione stood up and walked to the bedroom. She tried to open the door and found it locked.

Locked? She rattled the handle.

"Severus? Severus! Open this door!" she demanded.

There was no answer.

Hermione pulled her wand out, and after several tries unwarded the door and walked into the bedroom, to find her husband in bed, scooted over on one side, wrapped in the bedsheets and facing the wall.

"Severus, why'd you lock me out?" she demanded, feeling like hexing him.

He didn't answer her.

"Severus!" she called, approaching the bed.

From under the covers, he answered her.

"Hermione, I am not in the mood for you, or anyone. If you are wise, wife, you will leave me be," he said in a cold, dangerous voice.

Hermione stared at the bundle of coverings that was her husband. He hadn't been this snarky to her in years. The situation was really affecting him. But he didn't have to take it out on her. Hermione walked over to the linen closet and removed some bedding.

"Fine," she seethed at him, "Seeing you're not in the mood for me, I'll sleep in the Spells Mistress' rooms."

The pile of sheets moved slightly, but Severus made no comment. This made Hermione absolutely furious. Didn't he care she was going to sleep someplace else? Well, she'd fix him.

"As a matter of fact, Mr. Severus Snape, I think I will move in there until you can resolve your issues or at least learn not to take your frustrations out on me," Hermione said. "I'm your wife, and you will either treat me with respect or get used to sleeping alone again."

Hermione scowled at the unmoving mass of blanketed wizard.

"And sleeping won't be the only thing you'll have to do alone," she added turning toward the wardrobe.

Severus still didn't respond. But he listened as his wife opened drawers and cabinets, speaking incantations and generally making a big production of packing her things. His stomach was clenching up, but he didn't say or do anything as he heard her leave. Their rooms were silent. He groaned, knowing he had just made a bad situation infinitely worse. Hermione was a terror when she was mad. And he had made her furious. He didn't mean to lash out at her, but he was in a bad place mentally. A certain group of students were driving him mad with their actions, and there seemed to be nothing he could do about it.

Severus had no doubt that Hermione had officially put him in the "No-touching. No-shagging Zone." He was going to have to kiss some serious Gryffindor ass to get her back in his bed. The Potions Master rolled over and looked at the empty place beside him. Shit. He hadn't slept alone in two years.

He had to get Hermione back. That was going to take some work. And he had to do something about those damn students. Soon.

Severus was already seated at breakfast in the Great Hall and cutting into his sausage, when his wife walked in. Instead of sitting next to her husband as usual, Hermione, with her nose in the air, grabbed her chair, carried down past several other staff members and set it down next to Professor Trelawney, next to whom there was always room. Severus scowled at the witch. He had a miserable night, her absence causing him to constantly flail in his sleep. He was so used to possessively throwing an arm or a leg over Hermione, that not having her available threw his whole system out of whack. And what was worse, his morning hard-on had nowhere to go. So he was already in a bad mood when she entered the Great Hall.

His mood was about to get much worse.

As if on cue, the doors to the hall were thrown open, and seven students walked in. The hall went silent for a moment, as it did every morning when these particular students arrived for breakfast. It also fell silent at lunch and dinner as well. Actually, anytime these seven walked into anyplace, silence ensued if only for a few moments.

They walked up the center aisle in formation as they always did, two abreast, three following, then two bringing up the rear. As they walked, they glared at everyone who turned to look at them, including the staff. At first glance, one might assume they were Goths, with their black hair and pancake make-up. But they weren't Goths. They were the Snapelets. Dedicated fans and admirers of one Severus Snape. And they were firm believers in the adage that imitation was the highest form of flattery.

They stalked into the Great Hall, scowling blackly as the titters started, their robes billowing, stopped in the middle of the aisle and broke formation, taking their seats at their respective house tables. Four of them were in Hufflepuff, two in Ravenclaw and one was, unbelievably, a Gryffindor. No Slytherin would dare to emulate Severus. Not if they wanted to remain comfortable in their house. They wisely hid their snickers.

The Snapelets were all outcasts that found they had something in common…a deep, abiding infatuation with any and everything to do with Severus Snape, the snarkiest teacher at Hogwarts. He was their hero. The original Outcast, a wizard who inspired respect and fear in everyone he met, and ruled his classes with an iron wand. The Snapelets emulated the Professor's walk, his speech, his facial expressions, everything…to the joy of the rest of Hogwarts, who found them hilarious. Of course this hilarity also found its way to the Potions Master, who didn't find it funny at all.

These students had gone as far as to change their hair texture and color to match his apparently lanky locks, and every morning applied make-up to try and match the paleness of his skin. They put billowing charms on their robes, so they would rifle majestically as they walked, and they all talked in low, silky voices whenever they spoke. They even wore muggle inventions called 'contacts' to make their eye color black. Initially, they had transfigured their noses to be larger and more hawk-like, but Minerva had Albus ban such 'disfigurement' as she called it, citing that it made them unrecognizable. It was an absolute nightmare for Severus. Two of the Snapelets were female, which made it even worse.

The entire staff was trying to hold in their laughter, cutting their eyes toward the Potions Master mirthfully as he scowled over his breakfast. Well, almost the entire staff. Hermione looked at the Snapelets somberly. The rest of the student body on the other hand, were laughing out loud, as they always did. Severus closed his eyes and pinched his nose in irritation. Why him? Why did they choose him to worship so openly? He hated adolescents with their teenaged angst, rebellious streaks and idiotic inclinations to latch on to the most outrageous ideas possible and express them publicly.

When he had first become aware of the students, he had brought them into his office and tried terrorizing them back to normalcy. They all just stared at him in adoration as he took points, assigned them detentions and dressed them down thoroughly. After he was finished ranting and threatening them, one of the girls said, "You are so cool, Professor. Just…sooooo cool."

If they had been doing this to be funny, he could have handled that. But they were doing this because they identified with him, for whatever reasons and to Albus there was no reason for them to be punished or forced to conform to what wizarding society thought normal. They were sincere in their admiration of the Professor and had a right to express their admiration, even if it did embarrass the hell out of the Potions Master. At least he had managed to stop them from following him around like chicks, though they did follow him individually from time to time, studying him so as to perfect their imitation. He had busted all of them at one time or another after curfew, trailing him on his rounds. But no matter how much he punished them, they continued in their adoration of him.

The smitten students practiced his body language intensely, each Snapelet performing for the others and getting critiques on brow movement, hand gestures and walk. They were also quite rude and snarky, often losing points for their responses to their other Professors. They never smiled either, the best effort a small, thin smirk…just like Severus. The Potions Master smiled for Hermione all the time, but in public he never evidenced much emotion, and the Snapelets were just as cold. Other students goading them had little effect other than getting snarky replies before they billowed off. They didn't care what anyone thought, just like their idol, Professor Snape.

The laughter in the Great Hall finally died down, but little titters arose here and there as the students snuck glances up at the Professor. Initially, the existence of the Snapelets had lowered the fear level in the other students concerning the Professor. If he let those posers get away with imitating him, how tough could he be? They soon found out. A few very cold nights out in the Forbidden Forest, wandless and collecting dead herbs without gloves showed them the Professor was no lollipop, despite the continued existence of the Snapelets.

Albus and the other staff members didn't understand just how upsetting this situation was for the Potions Master. The very presence of these Snapelets was undermining his authority, despite his cracking down on his students. He didn't see the desperate terror in the eyes of his pupils when he emerged from the dungeons like he used to. How would Albus like to enter the Great Hall and see a bunch of bearded, oddly dressed students in half-moon spectacles acting just like him? Or Trelawney enjoy being besieged by a bunch of spooky-speaking, scarf-trailing, bug-eyed students with huge glasses and wooly predictions?


Severus' eyes shifted down the table, looking at all the smirking staff members. How would they like it? His brow furrowed.

Desperate times called for desperate measures. He needed to take a trip to Diagon Alley for a consultation. If Albus wouldn't do anything about this, then it was up to him. There was only one Severus Snape, and he needed no groupies or worshippers to validate and undermine him. He'd make a quick stop at Gringott's, make a withdrawal, then go and take care of this situation himself…with a little help, that is. He knew just who could, in all probability, make this all go away.

Severus looked down the table at his wife, who narrowed her eyes at him and tossed her head insolently, turning her face away from him. This was noticed by quite a few of his colleagues, adding to his embarrassment. She didn't have to make their problems common knowledge. Hermione could be a vindictive little bitch when she wanted to be. There were times when he had to reassert himself with the little minx when she got out of hand. It looked like this was going to be one of those times.

"All right, Mrs. Snape," Severus thought as he looked at his wife with narrowed eyes, "I've got a little something for you too."

He'd get her back in his rooms. Then he'd teach her a little lesson about abandoning him in his time of need.

After another uncomfortable night, Severus suffered through the Snapelets and Hermione's marked disregard of him again at breakfast. He left the Great Hall right behind his wife, and quickened his stride to catch up to her. Hermione's eyes narrowed and she sped up, but her legs weren't as long as her husband's and Severus kept up with her easily.

"I suppose 'I'm sorry' won't bring you back, will it?" Severus said to his wife.

Hermione gave him a look that clearly said, "Go fuck yourself, Severus."

"Well wife, I just want to let you know that I think it is very unfair of you to abandon me when you know the stress I am under. I am entitled to have a bad day now and then," he said.

Hermione kept walking.

"Do you enjoy sleeping alone, Hermione? I know I don't," Severus said, his voice dropping low, "And you're used to being made love to every morning. Don't you miss me?"

Hermione stopped and turned to him.

"I don't wake up with a hard-on every morning. I can go without. Actually, it's a refreshing change," she lied, "I feel my body is my own again."

Severus scowled at her.

"Your body will never be your own. It belongs to me," he hissed. "And I can prove it. Come to our rooms."

Hermione started walking again. Severus was such a turn-on when he was so intense, and intent on proving his sexual prowess. She had to get away from him.

"No, I like it in my rooms," she said.

"I'll come there then, and in a little while, so will you," he breathed.

"Severus, you locked me out of our bedroom. Out of our marriage bed. You didn't give a damn I was leaving," Hermione said as she stopped in front of the Spells office and unlocked the door.

"I was upset, Hermione," Severus said, "You've had days when you didn't want to be bothered on several occasions and plainly told me so. Actually, you get like that at least once a month. What did you call it? PMS? I never left you in a temper because of it."

"That's biological," she said, opening the door. "What you did was just…mean. All you thought about was yourself. You just closed me out completely."

Severus' eyes narrowed. He was going to give her both barrels and something to think about.

"Mean, Hermione? How's this for 'mean'? Having a wife that is laughing at you along with everyone else. Try that for mean, Mrs. Snape. Don't think I didn't see you smirking every time I told you how I felt about this situation. Of course I did. You haven't even tried to understand how I feel about those students emulating me. You think it's funny. You said I didn't give a damn about you leaving? You haven't given a damn about my situation at all. And then when it gets to be too much for me, and I don't want the "band-aid" you offered me for it, because that's truly a shoddy substitute for some actual compassion from my wife, you feel closed out. Well, Hermione…there is no way I could have closed you out, because you were never 'in' in the first place," he snarled.

Hermione just looked at him, then stepped inside her office.

"Bye Severus," she said, closing the door.

The Potions Master stared at the door for a moment, actually considering breaking it in, dragging his wife back to their rooms and pummeling the shit out of her until she admitted how wrong she was for leaving him. But forcing himself on her wasn't the answer. That was the dark side of him trying to take over. He couldn't let that happen. The Potions Master sighed and started walking back to the main hall. He needed to get to Gringott's before it closed. It was Saturday, and they closed at twelve noon. Then he had to go see about ending the Snapelet situation. He needed to get that resolved before he could even hope to deal with Hermione. He exited out the main doors and started walking across the grounds.

Hermione stood in her office, staring at the closed door. Severus was still on the other side of it, probably thinking about breaking it down. She knew her husband well. And he knew her.

He was right, of course. She really hadn't been supportive. Watching those students drive Severus wild had been funny to her. And his reaction to them was priceless. It wasn't often she saw her normally cool, collected husband go into meltdown. His non-reactive nature really irked her sometimes. He wasn't always that way though…when it came to sex he was all reaction, expression and emotion. It was as if he felt the only time he could let loose was when he was being intimate with her. But it was his control and discipline that was part of his attraction for her, and the fact that she could make him shed that coldness when she gave herself to him was something she treasured.

All right. Maybe she should have taken his distress more seriously. But that was no excuse for him locking her out of their bedroom…

Hermione sighed.

Severus hadn't locked her out because he was angry about the Snapelets. He had locked her out because she didn't support him. It was as if she had turned her back on him just like Albus and the rest of the staff. Because she thought it was all one big joke. Her attempt to ply him to complacency with sex was just like trying to make him shut up about it with no attempt at resolution. A band-aid on an open wound, just like he said. Not once did she try to come up with a solution to help him. Normally, when he had a problem they would sit down together and come up with a way to handle it. This time she had left him standing in the cold. His coldness toward her that night was reactionary. Her husband couldn't take anymore of her non-supportiveness. And how did she react? She blamed everything on him and left him alone when he really needed her.

Hermione felt awful, and a little afraid now. Her husband was a good man, but he had no stomach for betrayal. She was the one person in the world that he believed would stand by him when things got difficult. And she hadn't done it. If he didn't feel betrayed yet, he soon would, and that light that she had brought him would go out. She was afraid because it wouldn't take much for the darkness in him to re-emerge if he thought she didn't care anymore. She wasn't acting like a caring wife at all. Shit, she had to do something.

Hermione opened the door and walked back into the corridor and down to Severus' office. She didn't feel comfortable just walking in, especially after she practically slammed her door in her husband's face. She knocked on the door and waited.

He didn't answer.

Hermione tried again, knocking very hard this time, loud enough to be heard in the study. He still didn't answer the door. Severus had a magic mirror keyed to the Potions office's entrance so he could see who was outside of it. That way he could decide whether or not to be bothered with the visitor. He had to know it was her. Obviously, he didn't want to talk to her. She couldn't blame him really. She had been acting like a real bitch. Hermione turned and slowly walked back to her rooms, trying to decide what to do to show him how sorry she was and how make things right between them. It would have to be something very special.

Severus made it to Gringott's bank before it closed for the day. The goblin who served him raised its eyebrows when it saw the amount of money the Professor was withdrawing from his account. The goblin was quite curious as to why the wizard took out so much money. Not that it made much of a difference to his account. Severus had plenty of galleons. It was just that the wizard had never made a large withdrawal in all the years he had been with the bank. But…it was his business after all. The goblin retrieved the money, placed it in a bag and handed it over.

Severus thanked the goblin and exited the bank. Now was the hard part.

The Potions Master walked down Diagon Alley reading the shop signs. He had a general idea where he needed to go, he just had never set foot there before. The wizard had never wanted to either. He felt it beneath him. But, Severus needed help and was almost certain he would find it at this location.

He looked up. Yes, there it was.

Weasley's Wizard Wheezes Shop

The Professor looked around to see if anyone was watching him, then pulled open the door and entered the shop. Gods. Going to Fred and George Weasley for help.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Well, if Severus didn't want to be seen entering the Weasley's joke shop, he failed miserably because the place was packed with shoppers and browsers. His best hope was to be lost in the crowds.

The Potions Master looked around the busy establishment. People were examining and trying out products, despite the posted warning signs of "Try at Your Own Risk" and "I Wouldn't Try This If I Were You."

Severus started as a witch opened a small globe called a "No-No Ball" and began to writhe around as boils and pustules erupted on delicate parts of her body. The eruptions only lasted about two painful minutes before she was restored to normal. The witch quickly dropped the globe back into its box and walked away. Curious as to what such a thing could possibly be used for, Severus walked over and read the sign. "No-No Ball. Teach Snoopers a Lesson. Guaranteed Results." Severus picked up a globe and looked at it closely. A small label taped on the side of it said, "Private. Do Not Open" An image of the globe with a red "X" over it was next to the label. No nosey person would be able to resist it.

For a moment, Severus considered buying one for Hermione. She was a nosey little snooper. Of course, she claimed she was just "inquisitive." The Potions Master smirked at the thought of his 'inquisitive' wife opening the globe and getting what she deserved, but put it back. He was in enough hot water with Hermione.

Severus walked through the shop, his black eyes peeled for either Fred or George. He didn't see either. There were several sales assistants however. Every single one of them was busy with a customer. The line at the checkout counter was several shoppers long, and getting longer every second. Severus hadn't realized that the twins conducted so much business. He had always assumed that Fred and George had made a bad decision when they quit school and started a joke shop. It just didn't seem like a very secure pursuit, plus, the twins were brilliant. Either of them could have become a competent Spells Master and secured a fine position in the commercial or private sectors. Something far more respectable than joke shop proprietors.

But as he squeezed by patron after patron and looked around the wildly successful shop, it was evident to the Professor that the young wizards had been right to follow their hearts. Fred and George had been tricksters and troublemakers throughout their tenure at Hogwarts. If degrees could have been given for creating mayhem, pandemonium and bedlam, the twins would have graduated from Hogwarts Magna Cum Laude.

Next to a display of cellophane wrapped Canary creams, two young wizards of about eight or nine looked around stealthily as one of them surreptiously opened one of the luscious looking pastries and took a bite. Instantly he turned into a large, yellow canary. He flapped his wings wildly and let out a huge squawk of surprise as his accomplice fled.

A red-haired head popped out from a doorway behind the counter and pointed a finger at the distraught bird.

"Oy there! You bite it, you buy it!" Fred said as the bird tried to flutter away. It crashed right into George, who pinned its feathers down as it twittered frantically. Suddenly it molted and the young wizard stood there, wrapped in George's long arms.

"That's seven sickles. Pay up," George said as the boy fished in his pockets and produced the coin. George took the money and escorted the boy to the front door. Fred appeared holding his accomplice by the collar, also ushering the boy to the exit.

The twins shoved them both out the door. The two wizards immediately took off running.

"And don't come back here without your mum or dad!" Fred called after the fleeing boys.

"You do, and we'll use you for test subjects!" George added, watching the two young wizards hastily turn the corner.

The twins looked at each other, grinned and shared an elaborate handshake before pulling their heads back inside and closing the door. When the two brothers turned to go back to their office, they found themselves face to face with the Potions Master. He was looking at them with an arched eyebrow.

"I wondered how you two managed to test your 'products,' the Potions Master said silkily. "Abducting unsupervised children. Not a very Gryffindor-like act."

Fred and George looked at him.

"Actually, the Sorting Hat wanted to put us in Slytherin. It was lucky we got a gander of you first," Fred smirked.

"Yeah," George agreed, "Having you as our head of house would have been like dipping our wickets in ice-water, know what I mean? So we told the hat to put us in our father's house. Plus our parents would have had bugbears if we were sorted into Slytherin So if we're not very Gryffindorish…that's the reason, Professor."

Severus had never known he'd been saved from being saddled with the Weasley twins, but was extremely glad they had 'got a gander' at him and asked to be put in Gryffindor House. He saw what hell McGonagal had gone through trying to keep the boys under control. He would have had them in body binds for most of their school year.

Fred looked at the Potions Master.

"So Professor, what brings you to our shop? I never took you as the jokesy type," he said.

"Everybody's the jokesy type, Fred," George said, eyeing the Potions Master, "I bet the Professor here would go for our "Licorice Whips and Candy Chains" line."

Fred laughed as the Professor scowled at them both. Every one assumed he was into bondage for some reason. Actually he didn't know if he was or not. Hermione often made him mad enough to want to tie her down, but he had never done it. He usually waited until they had sex to work his anger out. He was built so he didn't need a whip to beat her, that was for sure. He had a pole for that. A big pole.

"Actually, I am in need of your 'special' talents," the Professor said. "I have a problem at Hogwarts that I cannot seem to rectify on my own, or get assistance with. I was hoping that if I told you what I had in mind, you could design a 'joke' that could help me."

Fred and George looked at each other. They knew that the Professor had to have his back up against the wall to have come to them for help. They were curious to know what in the world could shake him up so much that he would set foot in their shop.

"All right, Professor, step into our office and tell us what your problem is. We'll see what we can do," George said, gesturing toward the counter. The three wizards headed for their business office, Fred leading the way, Severus following and George bringing up the rear. They entered the office, and George closed the door behind them.

The Potions Master took a seat at a long table with several chairs on either side of it, looking around the office. There were a number of file cabinets filled to overflowing, a number of joke prototypes sitting on shelves, some awards hanging crookedly on the walls, and two desks in opposite corners, presumably where the twins worked when not giving consultations. George and Fred sat on the other side of the table and looked at the Professor expectantly.

"All right, Professor…spill it," Fred said, leaning forward. He just knew this was going to be good.

He was right.

Severus scowled at the twins as they struggled to stand up after tumbling out of their chairs one after the other, gripped by uncontrollable laughter. Tears streamed down their faces as they clutched at each other for support. Just as they seemed to get themselves under control, they looked at the scowling Potions Master, and dissolved against into sidesplitting mirth.

"Sna…Snape…Snapelets?" Fred gasped, holding his gut as if it were about to spill all over the floor.

"Seven Potions Master posers snarking all over Hogwarts, that's just tooooo rich. Man, Fred…I wish we would have thought of that," George guffawed, holding his stomach as well.

Severus dropped his head and pinched his nose, eliciting a new round of hilarity from the twins. If he didn't need their help so badly he would have hexed them quite nastily. The wizards laughed for a good half hour before they were able to begin their consultation. And even then they broke out in snickers from time to time. But as Severus explained exactly what he wanted the joke to accomplish, the twins' eyes went from mirth to interest and respect.

"That is bloody brilliant, Professor," George said, impressed. "Who would have thought you had it in you?"

"What a row that would cause," Fred said, rubbing his hands together in glee. George nudged him in the ribs. Fred sobered and looked at the Professor with slightly narrowed eyes.

"However, Professor…we are pretty backed up in our research…it might be months before..." Fred began.

Severus reached in his pocket, plunked the bag of galleons on the table and slid it over to George, who opened it and whistled. Fred peered into the bag then continued.

"As I was saying Professor it might be a few days before we can get back to you, but we'll get together on this immediately," Fred said, smiling broadly.

George walked to a shelf and picked up a transparent blue ball and brought it over to the table. He offered it to Severus.

"Give us a look, Professor," George said. Severus looked at the globe suspiciously. He wasn't about to take anything from the twin without knowing what it was and what it did.

"What is it?" Severus asked, his black eyes flicking over the ball. It looked harmless, but with Fred and George, you never could tell.

"It's a Legilimency Globe. All you have to do is hold it and concentrate on a thought and we can see it. It only shows what you are thinking about…we can't sift through your mind. We want to see the Snapelets," George said, as Fred nodded his head enthusiastically.

"No," Severus scowled, folding his arms sullenly.

"Aw, come on Professor. It's not like it's a secret or anything. Otherwise Fred and I will have to go to Hogwarts to see them. We have to do research a little. We need to see them in order to tailor this joke properly," George urged.

Severus sighed.

"Very well," he said, taking the globe.

He imagined the Snapelets walking in formation into the Great Hall. He looked down at the globe and didn't see anything. But Fred and George collapsed in great, heavy gulps of laughter, tears of mirth once again streaming down their faces. Then Fred looked back at the globe and his expression got serious.

"How's Hermione, Professor?" he asked the Potions Master, "She doing all right?"

"Yes, she's fine," Severus replied, his eyes going a bit dark.

"Good, good," Fred said studying him as George got a look at the globe and sobered also.

George's brown eyes shifted to the Professor's face for a moment, then he said, "Here, Professor…let me take that." He took the globe out of the wizard's hands.

Both wizards looked at the Professor, and then each other.

"You think we ought to George?" Fred asked him in a low voice.

George looked at the Potions Master speculatively, "Yeah, Fred. We married types got to stick together. He needs help."

Severus' eyes shifted from twin to twin, trying to figure out what they were talking about. Both wizards turned to him.

"Professor Snape, we are going to help you out…not because we particularly like you, but because we are all subject to the whims of our wives, and it seems Hermione has given you a short end," George said.

Severus frowned and was about to tell the obnoxious twins to mind their own business when Fred held up his hand.

"Now wait, Professor. What we are about to give you is something that many men would kill to have. You want to get your wife back, right?" he asked the Potions Master.

Severus scowled. "What do you know about…?" he started to ask Fred.

"It popped up in the globe after the Snapelets. It is surprising how quick a situation shows itself. Your situation seems hilarious at first…but then when we saw how bad it really was, and what happened with Hermione, we thought you'd benefit from something we developed to handle our own sweet but willful, selfish little wives. Before you say no, just let us show it to you," Fred said.

He walked over to a shelf and brought Severus what looked like a doll made out of jade colored wax. It was a pretty big doll. At least eighteen inches tall. He knew it was female because it had breasts, and a cleft between its thighs, but there were no distinct facial features or likeness.

"What is this? It looks like a voodoo doll," Severus said, turning it over in his hands. He noticed that while the entire doll was hard, the belly of it was soft and pliable.

"No, it's not a voodoo doll. It's a joy doll," George grinned.

"Yeah," Fred said, "You can't use it to give the victim pain…only joy. Pleasure."

"From a distance," George said, grinning wider and waggling his eyebrows.

Severus looked up at them for a moment, then back down at the doll.

"It comes in handy when the wife puts you into the 'No touching, No shagging Zone,'" Fred said. "You can use it to get her motor running and throw her into drive. You touch it a certain way, she feels it."

Severus turned the doll upside down and looked between the waxen legs. Sure enough, there was a hole there.

Severus looked up at them, shocked.

"No," he said in disbelief, pointing at the hole.

"Oh yes…she'll feel that too," George said.

"And it won't hurt her?" Severus asked.

"Nope. If you try sticking pins in it or breaking its limbs, or do anything violent to it, the doll simply ceases to work at all. You lose the ability to use it any longer," Fred said.

Severus stared at the doll for a moment, then he looked back up at the twins.

"How do you invoke it?" he asked.

"Well, only married men can use this doll first of all. And you can only set it to your legal spouse. What you need to do is stick something that belongs to her in the soft part of the doll's belly. It will harden and take on some of the physical attributes of your wife, such as her hair color and eye color. The body will conform too, though it will still remain jade colored. Anything you do to the doll that is pleasurable to do to your wife, she will feel it. She won't know it's you however. The idea is to make her hot enough to want to come to you. Or if she won't come…get her off anyway," George said.

George walked over to his desk and took out a doll. It had blonde hair and was quite shapely.

"My wife," he said to the Potions Master. Fred and George had married twin sisters.

"Now watch this," George said. "Show me my vision of beauty."

An image of a witch appeared in front of him. She was blonde, shapely and very pretty. She was sitting at a desk in an office setting.

"My wife," George said again, gesturing toward the floating image. "She's at work."

He grinned wickedly as his wife sorted through some parchments.

Severus was enthralled. This was amazing. He looked down at the doll he held in his hands again then back at George, who licked the neck of his doll.

The image of the witch kind of tilted her head a little, her eyes going hot for a moment. Then she looked around rather startled.

Fred and George snickered. Fred looked at his brother.

"I dare you," he said, his eyebrows raised.

George stared at his wife for a moment, then he slowly looked at Fred.

"All right, but just once. I don't want everyone to see what she looks like when she…you know," George said as he took his finger and slowly inserted it into the doll.

Severus watched as George's wife's mouth dropped open, and her head flew back, her eyes slitting with pleasure. There was no sound but Severus was sure she let out a groan as she shifted sexily on the chair. George removed his finger, his eyes hot as he looked at his wife, who was looking around crazily, and fanning herself.

"I'll have to continue that later," he breathed. Then George cleared his throat and looked at Severus.

"You can take that with you, Professor," he said, his voice a bit hoarse as he looked at the image of his bewildered wife. He had quite an erection going on. The Potions Master had to admit the wizard's wife was quite hot when aroused. It made him think of Hermione.

"My vision is complete," the twin rasped. The image of his wife faded.

"Go ahead and take it, Professor. And don't worry about Hermione finding out about it. If she ever lays eyes on it, it will self-destruct so quickly your wife will think her eyes were playing tricks on her," Fred said.

Severus looked down at the doll. These two wizards were geniuses.

"Are you going to market these dolls to the public?" Severus asked. They would make a fortune if they did so.

"No. Not feasible. Too many wives would find out and they would know their husbands were behind the delicious episodes. The dolls would become useless. We only give them away to husbands who have a need for them, and who are discreet. Our little contribution to the "save your marriage" movement," George said.

"You know what I find interesting?" Fred said, "I've been pleasuring my wife this way for the past year, and she has never once told me about her experiences. She hides it from me." He smiled then. "But that's all right, because then she gives me 'I'm guilty' sex, and lets me do anything I want any way I want. So it all works out in the end."

Severus stood up. He looked at the two wizards.

"I don't know what to say," the Potions Master said. This was a real gift they had given him. Access to his wife.

Fred and George waved him off.

"Then don't say anything. That bag of gold has said it all. We'll contact you by owl when we have the completed product. It shouldn't take more than two weeks," Fred said. "Oh, and when you start using that doll, it's best to start out when she's sleeping. Then she'll think it is a dream and take it better. If you have a light touch, you can get away with some daytime pleasuring. Eventually you'll have her conditioned."

Severus nodded, and then did something he rarely did. He shook hands with both wizards. Fred and George looked a little surprised but shook the Potions Master's hand firmly, smiling at him.

"You better reduce that doll," Fred said as the Potions Master started to leave the office. He was clutching it like it was the most precious object in existence. Severus muttered an incantation and the doll was reduced to pocket-sized. It wasn't lost on either George or Fred that he had done it wandlessly.

They walked the Professor to the door and thanked him for his patronage, reassuring him they would be in contact soon.

They closed the door behind him and looked at each other.

"Snapelets?" they said together before dissolving into puddles of hysterical laughter, Fred swearing he was going to piss his pants.

Severus apparated back to Hogwarts in much better spirits than when he left. He unwarded the gates, entered the grounds and re-warded them. The Potions Master walked toward the castle at a good clip, patting his pocket and feeling the miniaturized doll beneath his palm. What an item to have. He smirked.

As he walked, Severus thought over his situation with his wife as well as with the Snapelets. He sincerely thought it would be wiser to get the problem with the students out of the way before he and Hermione made up. As long as he had this problem he wouldn't be able to focus on his marriage properly. Hopefully Fred and George would have the answer in a couple of weeks. He took the doll out of his pocket and looked at it. What an amazing creation it was. The twins were truly gifted, but beyond that, they had foresight. They could make a fortune off those dolls if they didn't put in the safeguards that they did. There was a type of morality in what they were doing, even though it did place the wife at a disadvantage. At least the dolls couldn't be used to cause injury, or to prey on unmarried witches. The wizards were wise not to put them on the open market. Some twisted wizard would find a way to distort the purpose they were meant for.

Severus decided he would test the doll tonight, just to see how it worked on Hermione. He wasn't going to try to make her come back to the rooms yet. He just wanted to see how she responded to the stimulation. He was sure it would be interesting.

Severus entered the castle. There weren't many students about and he turned down the dungeon corridor and headed for his rooms. As he approached his office, the door to the Spell Labs opened and Hermione emerged, her arms full of books she was about to return to the library. She saw her husband and paused. He had been out, that's why he didn't answer the door earlier. She breathed a sigh of relief.

Severus stared at his wife for a moment. Then he remembered her dismissal of him and scowled. He unwarded the door to his office and opened it, intending to walk in without saying anything. Hermione ran forward.

"Severus," she said.

The Potions Master turned to her wordlessly, his dark eyes unfathomable as he looked at his wife, a slight frown on his face.

"I just wanted to say I'm sorry for the way I acted this morning," she said.

Severus just looked at her.

"Actually, I'm sorry for everything. For not being there when you needed me," she continued, her amber eyes glistening. "I was wrong for leaving."

Severus looked down at his wife. She did look sorry, but he needed time to get the problem with the Snapelets out of the way. And honestly, he was still angry with her for leaving their rooms and being so thoughtless. It wouldn't be this easy. She had to really feel the rift she put between them. Guilt wasn't enough. He had no intention on easing her guilt. Let her feel it a while.

"I'm glad you realize that Hermione. Now, if you'll excuse me," he said softly, entering his office and closing the door behind him.

Hermione stared at the door.

"I've really hurt him," she thought.

Hermione had hoped if she apologized, Severus would just accept it and ask her to return to his bed, but he didn't. Apparently an "I'm sorry" wasn't enough. It was rather ironic, since just that morning she wouldn't accept his apology. She had felt it wasn't enough, until he laid the truth on her. Now it was she who had to do some groveling. Turnabout was a bitch.

Sighing, Hermione started walking up the hallway, heading for the main hall. She needed to come up with something that would make Severus forgive her. She knew her husband. He loved her but he still had a darkness in him that made him rather vindictive. There had been times when she had angered him, and he waited until they were intimate to express his displeasure physically, telling her how angry she had made him while plowing into her body and continuing to do so until his rage was spent. Afterwards, he was tender towards her again. It didn't matter if she apologized, he still had to take his pound of flesh from her. He didn't feel the matter was settled until he did. Hermione didn't complain though. She liked him to dominate her in bed. She believed that sometimes she purposely did things to anger him, subconsciously, to bring out his dark side. Well, everyone had quirks, didn't they?

When she first became attracted to the Potions Master, one of the fantasies she had was that he would be a strong and dominating lover, and he didn't disappoint her. The first night he took her, Severus had been a total animal. She hadn't been a virgin, but he made her feel as if she was. The witch had never experienced such passion or total possession before. The wizard had surprised her. She thought he would be focused, but still restrained and controlled as he was in his classroom. He wasn't. He was focused, but he had no restraint, and was extremely vocal in his pleasure, and his control only went as far as maintaining his erection and holding back his orgasm until he had reamed her body thoroughly in as many ways as possible. He also made her confess every carnal thought she had ever had about him. What a night that had been.

The couple had spats before, but this was the worst so far. Hermione needed to make this up to Severus, and it would have to be in a physical way because that was how her husband got closure. She had to do something that would clearly show Severus that she truly wanted to make up for her wronging him, but it would have to be something that would satisfy him and his dark need for vindication.

Hermione turned into the library. As she entered, a second year student who had his nose in a book bumped her. The boy looked up at her apologetically. He had red-hair, freckles and blue eyes.

"I'm sorry, Spells Mistress," he said, his face turning red with embarrassment.

"That's all right," Hermione replied, remembering her own years as a bookworm. She had bumped quite a few people in her time. As the redheaded student walked past her, Hermione suddenly thought of Ginny Weasley. If anyone could come up with something special in the sex department, it was her.

Ginny was something else. Hermione personally believed that the witch suffered from a form of nymphomania, possibly having something to do with being overprotected by her parents and brothers when she was growing up. Ginny hadn't been allowed to date at all until she graduated Hogwarts, and even then her brothers were constantly harassing and beating up wizards who dared to ask her out. When she hit twenty-one, Ginny broke loose, hexing her brother Percy so badly when he interfered on one of her dates, that he had to be taken to St. Mungo's. Actually, she ended up hexing all her brothers over time, thus breaking their hold on her once and for all. Then she went buck wild, and discovered she loved having multiple partners. Ginny was very careful about protecting herself, and always exercised caution, if not restraint. She had never been pregnant or caught any wizarding STDs.

Ginny made her living as a masseuse, and was quite popular among the aristocracy. She was known as "the witch with the magic hands" and made obscene amounts of money for her services. Ginny was a professional however. There was no hanky-panky happening when she worked. She hankied her pankie during her off-hours. It was not out of the ordinary to visit the witch and find two or more well-built wizard boy toys lounging around her house at any given time. Ginny was a freak, and not ashamed of her sexuality. Hermione would send her an owl telling her about her situation, and what she wanted to do. If anyone could come up with a way to please Severus, Ginny could.

The Snapes were finding the Weasleys quite indispensable.

Ginny had been fascinated when Hermione told her about her attraction to the Potions Master, and admitted she herself had tried to gain his interest, but was turned down quite coldly.

"I guess I wasn't smart enough for him," Ginny said wistfully. "Sometimes being sexy just isn't enough. But I've got a feeling he's something special, Hermione."

It wasn't hard for Hermione to land Severus, because he had been attracted to her for a number of years, even before she reached the age of consent. His frustration about this was a major reason he gave her such a hard time in class. He hated the fact that he was attracted to such a young, irritating witch. She made him feel like a lecher, although he never gave her any indication of how he felt, nor did he try to take advantage of her in any way. She graduated untouched by him. But when she returned to Hogwarts as Spells Mistress, he made no secret of his desire for her, and pursued her relentlessly until one night she succumbed to his dark seduction. Ginny had been right. He really was something special. Hermione agreed to marry him six months later.

Hermione turned in her books. Suddenly, she stretched like a cat as a delicious feeling shot up her spine. Madame Pince looked at her sharply.

"Are you all right, Hermione?" she asked the witch.

Hermione blinked at her.

"I think I had some kind of spasm," she replied. But spasms usually hurt. What had happened to her certainly wasn't painful. Shaking her head, she walked into the library proper and over to the restricted section to find a book she needed. Suddenly, her head leaned to the side and her eyes went half-lidded, as another wonderful feeling washed across her throat. It was as if she was being kissed, and someone had run his lips across her neck.

"What the hell is going on?" Hermione said to herself as the feeling passed.

In his study, Severus was watching his wife with a smirk on his face. After she apologized to him, and he entered his office and closed the door, his heart had softened a little. But not that much. Instead, seeing her made him decide to try out the doll now, rather than wait until tonight.

Severus opened the wall to his study, went directly to his bedroom and into the bathroom. Hermione had left one of her brushes behind, and Severus collected the hair off of it. He returned to the study, sat down in the armchair, fished the doll out of his pocket and restored it to full size. He poked the hairs into the soft belly and watched what happened.

First the belly wax hardened, then the doll began to transform and become more defined, more like a real doll in its dimensions. It developed facial features very similar to Hermione's, and the body conformed to her curvaceous shape. Long, curling chestnut hair sprouted from the head, and the eyes became amber and long lashed, just like his wife's. What was most interesting was that the doll itself softened and became warm. He could move the limbs. Also the sexual organs became more defined. The doll actually had a clitoris. Severus grinned at this as he played with the doll. He hadn't invoked it yet, so Hermione didn't feel anything as he tested it out. If anyone had walked in on him, they would have been shocked to see the Potions Master walking a doll along the arm of his chair as if playing make believe.

"Now let's see if you work," Severus said to the doll, "Show me my vision of beauty."

An image appeared of Hermione returning her books to the library, floating in front of the fireplace. She was standing in front of the check-in counter and had just set the books down. Severus turned the doll over, watching Hermione closely, and took one pale fingertip and ran it slowly up her spine. She loved him to do that to her before they would do it doggie-style. He watched as she responded just as she did when she was with him. She stretched like a kitten, then looked thoroughly put out. He actually chuckled at the confusion on her face. He wished he could have heard how she explained her sudden reaction to Madame Pince.

Severus watched as Hermione walked over to the restricted section, then pressed his lips slowly to the doll's throat and slid his mouth over it, watching Hermione's reaction. It was the same as it always was whenever he kissed her throat. She went hot-eyed and leaned her head to the side. Severus felt a throb in his pants. The doll was fun, but his wife's responses definitely caused a reaction in him. He decided to put it away for now. He didn't want to be pushed to the point he went and tracked her down. There was too much he had to take care of first. The Potions Master looked at the image of the bewildered Hermione and realized that he could use the doll to watch her as well. He didn't have to do anything to the doll. That could come in handy.

"My vision is complete," he said to the doll and the image of Hermione faded.

He reduced it again, then walked into his bedroom, pulled open his sock drawer, and put the doll inside, pushing it far to the back. He would have to come up with a better hiding place when Hermione came back. She'd find it there. As an afterthought, he put a disillusionment spell on it.

The Professor then exited his rooms and entered his Potions class. He had assignments to mark and spent the next couple of hours sighing and shaking his head over his students' shoddy work. They were so dense. Finally it was time for supper, and Severus put away the parchments, rose and exited the Potions classroom, and bumped right into a Snapelet who had been hovering outside his door. It was one of the females, and she held a book in her hand.

"Hello Professor Snape," she said, giving a small smirk.

The Potions Master glowered at her.

"What have I told you about lurking outside my offices, Miss Hedgewood?" he snarled at her. "Twenty-five points from Hufflepuff!"

"I have a reason for being here, Professor," the girl said, blinking her black eyes up at her idol. Snape frowned down at her. Some of her pale makeup was starting to flake near her temple.

"What possible reason could you have for being here in the dungeon corridor except to aggravate me? Miss Hedgewood? I have made it very clear how I feel about your continued emulation of me. Your very presence annoys me to no end," Severus seethed at the girl, really wanting to hex her.

The witch held up the book.

I found this in a second-hand bookshop, Professor. It's a collection of Potions essays written by various Potions Masters. It has one of your essays in it, " she said reverently, leafing through the book and finding the page. "You wrote it years ago. It's about the uses and abuses of Mandrake Root. I was hoping you would sign it for me," she said, looking up into his face hopefully.

The Professor looked at her coldly.

"Miss Hedgewood. I will most certainly NOT sign the essay, or anything else you have. You have no regard for my feelings or my authority. I put this to you, Miss Hedgewood…if you respect and admire someone, and would like that person to conduct himself toward you with good grace, does it make sense to make the object of your supposed admiration miserable by your actions? Does it make a lick of sense to conduct yourself in a way he disapproves of? Because that is what you are doing, Miss Hedgewood. Your 'self-expression' is curtailing mine. I do not want to be emulated. I hate seeing all of you trying to be like me. You have no idea what horrors I've lived through to become the man I am, the dark, snarky bastard of the dungeons. You all have no idea what it is to be a true outcast, the pain that is behind it, the hatred that is thrown your way like stones. You have no conception of what a struggle it was to come back from all of that. You children dye your hair, pat on some makeup, and twist up your faces not knowing that you make a mockery of my life every time you do so."

The Professor locked the young witch with his darkest most piercing gaze, and said in a low voice, "If you knew the truth of what I had to do and be to become the Professor Snape you all so admire, you would go to your dorm, wash off every bit of that makeup, vomit, and curl up in a corner trembling with horror. I assure you, you would most certainly NOT want to be like me, Miss Hedgewood. You or any of your friends."

The witch looked at the Professor wide-eyed and speechless, not knowing how to respond to this.

For a moment the Severus was tempted to share a memory of a particularly brutal Dark Revel with her, and his participation in it. That would be a cure for her all right. The muggles murdered weren't much older than she was. He was the one who mercifully cast the killing curse on the shuddering masses of blood and bone that remained of them after their flesh had been flayed off, and their mutilated, conscious, pain-wracked and bleeding bodies raped repeatedly.

"Miss Hedgewood," Severus said evenly, "Get out of my sight before I show you something that will haunt you and possibly scar you for the rest of your life!"

The frightened Snapelet backed away from the angry Potions Master and hurried up the hall, clutching her book to her chest. Severus leaned back against the corridor wall and closed his eyes. He breathed deeply. Those students had no idea what they worshipped. What he was other than a Professor of Hogwarts. What he had been forced to do in order to serve the greater good and help bring about the destruction of the Dark Lord. He had scars that would never, ever heal, ones much deeper than those that crossed his pale back. Severus contained a darkness so deep, no light would ever reach it. Hermione's love had brought him up out of the worst of it, but still it remained, boiling beneath the surface, a curse that would never be lifted. Every time he looked at the Snapelets, he was reminded of what he lived with.

The Potions Master sighed, pushed himself off the wall and headed toward supper. He had to end this Snapelet problem so his life could return to relative normalcy.

For the next week, Severus and Hermione continued to live in separate rooms, with Hermione making advances toward her husband, and Severus turning her gently away, telling her he needed time to rectify his problems with the Snapelets. She offered to help him come up with a solution and he informed her he had something in the works and he would let her know when he was ready to talk.

This made Hermione quite angry, but she controlled herself. Having a row with him wouldn't help matters any. She was the one who chose to leave. After being turned down by Severus again, she went to her rooms and took out a piece of parchment. She hadn't yet written Ginny, so she sat down and composed a letter telling the witch of her difficulties, and what she wanted to do, asking her to reply as soon as possible because she was desperate.

Hermione didn't know that Severus indeed missed her very much, to the point where seeing her was painful. He spent much of the evening watching her, leaving the doll focused on her image for hours, but rarely touching it. He watched curiously as she composed a letter, sealing it and warding it securely. It was the warding that caught his attention. She placed several on this particular missive instead of the usual one. His eyebrows drew together as he tried to determine who his wife would be writing, and what was contained in that letter that required so much protection.

Severus watched as Hermione exited her rooms and walked through the halls of Hogwarts, taking the shifting stairwells up to the top of the castle, where the owlery was. All right, she was going to send the letter. She would use Raucous, his familiar. Severus would at least be able to see where the letter was being delivered.

Raucous, Severus' raven saw Hermione enter the owlery. He had his own roost up near the ceiling, set off a little ways from the owls. There was a small floo near it, just large enough for him to enter, that led directly to the Potions Master's rooms. It was kept magically lit so the bird had access to and from the dungeons.

Raucous didn't initially get along with Hermione. He felt her a threat because of the Potions Master's attraction to her. He used to shit on her robes at every opportunity. He got in too much trouble for shitting in her hair. But after she married Severus, and began to spoil the bird, saying he was so snarky because Severus half fed him, Raucous decided he liked her very much. She always fed him regular meals and would spend a little time each day talking to him. That was more than his Master had ever done. Severus left him to fend for himself. Raucous was quite good at it too, but he liked being pampered. He fluttered down to Hermione, squawked a hello and stuck out his leg for her parchment.

Hermione's eyes went a little clouded.

"I'm sorry Raucous, but I can't have you deliver this letter. It is very private and I don't want Severus to know where it's being delivered. You're his familiar and he can access that information from you. I'm sorry," she said.

Raucous looked at her sullenly, and returned to the upper rafters, turning his back to her.

"Oh, Raucous, don't be like that," she called up to the bird, who didn't respond.

"Great. Now I've got you mad at me too," Hermione muttered, coaxing down an owl and attaching her parchment to its leg.

Severus scowled as Raucous flew up to the rafters again. He accessed his familiar's mind and heard what Hermione told the bird. She didn't want him to know about where the letter was going. Why was that? He contacted his familiar.

"Raucous, you keep an eye on that owl. When Hermione leaves, follow it to its destination," Severus thought at the bird, who squawked an assent.

Hermione said something to the owl and threw it off the tower. It flew strongly in a westerly direction. She glanced up sadly at Raucous then left the tower. The raven made sure she was gone and took off after the owl.

Severus closed the connection to Hermione with the doll and let his consciousness stay with Raucous. After about forty-five minutes he saw the owl land in the backyard of a large, unfamiliar house with a pool. Around the pool were several, well-built half-dressed or totally naked young wizards. One of them took Hermione's letter, and the owl left. The wizard walked with it into the house.

"Come back Raucous," Severus told his familiar, and broke the connection, scowling. What the hell was going on here? How was Hermione connected with a place like that, crawling with men? Who was she writing there? Severus felt jealousy wash over him. Hermione was his wife. She had no business corresponding with another wizard. How long had she been sending letters to that house anyway? He felt like confronting her, but then she would know he was watching her. He began pacing his study. She couldn't be having an affair…she loved him. She had spent the past week trying to get back with him. Hermione had a strong sex drive, but surely she could last a couple of weeks. She had never been a loose witch. She had resisted him for almost six months, and Severus was quite good at seduction. So what was going on?

The wizard who received Hermione's letter walked into the house, down a long hallway and stopped outside of a door. He knocked on it.

"Who is it?" answered a female voice.

"It's Geoffrey, Ginny. You've got an owl delivery," the wizard said, leaning on the door.

"Come in, Geoffrey," Ginny called.

The wizard opened the door, took one look at what was going on and smiled.

Ginny was dressed in a tank top and knickers, and held two leashes attached to the collars of two very well-built wizards in one hand and a rolled up Daily Prophet in the other. She was sitting cross-legged on her bed and they were sitting on the floor. The wizards were both naked and quite aroused, watching the witch intently with heated eyes. Ginny tossed her shining red locks back, looked at Geoffrey and smiled.

"Hey Geoffrey," she said, putting down the newspaper and holding her hand out for Hermione's letter. The wizard handed it to her, then nodded to the two wizards sitting on the floor, who nodded back at him. They probably weren't allowed to speak. Ginny released the leashes and opened the letter.

"I want to play too," Geoffrey said, eyeing the little red-haired witch. Ginny hadn't shown him any attention in days.

Ginny looked at him. Her brown eyes swept over his body speculatively. Geoffrey got a hard-on immediately.

"What, so you three can gang up on me?" Ginny asked him, her eyebrows raised.

"If that's what you want," Geoffrey said, sitting down on the bed and grinning at her. Ginny chuckled. She adored Geoffrey.

"Go get a collar and leash out of the drawer, Geoffrey," she said, waving a hand toward the little drawer on the other side of the bed. The wizard did as she told him. While he put on the leash and collar, and stripped, Ginny read Hermione's letter.

Dear Ginny,

I hope you are doing well. I have a feeling you are. The reason I am writing you is I need your advice on what I can do to "apologize" for being a bitch to my husband. Currently, we are staying in separate rooms. It's my fault and he hasn't forgiven me yet. I am absolutely miserable and want my marriage back the way it was. I miss him. I want to do something sexy and freaky for him but I don't have much experience in that area. I was hoping you could suggest something that would really show him that I'm willing to do just about anything to have him forgive me. We've been apart over a week now and I'm going crazy. Please help.


Geoffrey sat down next to the other wizards and he too, focused his eyes on the petite redheaded witch. She was small, like dynamite was small. He'd never met any witch like her. If Ginny were willing to settle down with one wizard, he would certainly go for her. But she didn't express any interest in that kind of lifestyle. She lived like a queen who happily kept a harem of men. Geoffrey's brown eyes dropped down to the crotch of her knickers. They were a little wet. Judging by the erections of the wizards sitting next to him, they must have been warming up a little when he knocked. He looked at the other two wizards surreptiously. They were both strongly built, but he had bigger arms. He wondered if Ginny would make them wrestle to see who'd shag her first. She got off on that kind of thing. Maybe he could convince the others to mutiny and help him rush her. She got off on that kind of thing too. But you had to get her wand away from her first. She really would hex them if she could, but if they got her fair and square, she'd cooperate and they'd gangbang her.

Geoffrey nudged the wizard next to him, and began to whisper in his ear. The wizard smiled wickedly as his eyes flicked over Ginny, then he leaned to the wizard next to him and informed him of Geoffrey's plan. He nodded slightly and focused his eyes on the witch.

Ginny reread the letter, but was very aware of the whispering going on. She knew Geoffrey would try to start something. He always did. Whenever she got tackled by several of her toys, Geoffrey was usually the ringleader. Of course, the sex was always great, but Geoffrey was extremely dominant…and didn't just want to be one of her lovers. He was like a lion among the sheep. Any time they did manage to pin her down, Geoffrey was always the first to take her, refusing to relinquish her to anyone until he had made her orgasm and followed her with his own climax, brown eyes locked to brown eyes hotly as he rode her body. Ginny was very aware Geoffrey wanted her for himself alone, but she wasn't ready for commitment to one man. She was having too much fun. She was young, rich and unattached with years of repression to make up for.

Ginny slipped her hand behind her and grasped her wand, then whispered a barricade spell to surround herself and the bed. Let them try to get through that.

No sooner than she got the spell up, the wizards leapt off the floor and tried to fling themselves on her, only to be brought up short quite painfully by the barricade spell. As they rubbed their sore body parts, Ginny smirked up at them.

"Just for that, you're all going to have to wait now. Out!" she said, pointing her wand at the wizards. The two who had agreed to Geoffrey's plan now scowled at him. Geoffrey shrugged.

"If we'd gotten through, it would have been worth it," he told them as they all pulled on their boxers. They left the collars and leashes on and filed out of her bedroom, closing the door behind them. Ginny removed the spell then locked and warded the door. She smiled and shook her head. Geoffrey insisted on trying her. She returned to Hermione's letter.

Because of her lifestyle, Ginny didn't have many girlfriends. Actually, Hermione was the only friend she had that didn't judge her. Her parents had just about disowned her, as had her brothers, with the exception of Fred and George, who felt she had a right to live as she wanted. They had never been hexed by her. They backed off when Percy caught it.

Ginny was aware of how Severus was, because of heart to heart talks she had with Hermione. Hermione felt Ginny could understand her relationship with her husband, and his dominating sexual nature without trying to judge it. Ginny did, and suspected that Severus had sadistic tendencies that went very well with Hermione's masochistic nature. Hermione wouldn't admit to having one, but she did. Ginny thought Severus might get into light bondage. She didn't think he would get off on actually hurting Hermione…the wizard had seen too much of it as a deatheater, and he did love his wife. Severus' needs seemed to lean more toward domination of his wife, rather than hurting her. His way of thinking was archaic. He was the man, she was the woman. He was the biggest and the strongest, she was the weakest. He gave the orders, she obeyed. Of course it didn't work like that. Hermione was no doormat, but in Severus' perfect world that's how it would be.

If Severus was mad at her, he was going to take it out on her in the bedroom. Hermione had made that much clear in their previous conversations. That was a given, like the sun rising and setting, or the tides coming in. That was the wizard's nature. So whenever they made up, Severus was going to seal the deal in his usual manner. However, this rift between them was not something usual, so Severus might not feel closure reacting in his usual manner. Hermione could make the makeup sex something that fed his need to "punish" her in a different way.


Maybe Hermione should look into Fred and George's Licorice Whips and Candy Chains line. Not everything in it was made of licorice and candy, but they had a lot of faux bondage items that didn't really cause pain, but were just as exciting and arousing. Ginny herself used the faux Whip, which was actually a bullwhip that was magically designed to cause only the amount of pain that would be a turn on. It would never draw blood or leave marks. No matter how strongly the whip was cracked, the contact would be relatively light. But Ginny doubted Severus would even want to crack a whip at his wife. She did think he would like to tie his wife up or chain her down, however. The Potions Master would be definitely turned on if he had his wife physically and visually at his mercy, Ginny was sure of it. Plus it was something they had never done before. The name of this game was definitely Domination.


This situation required a visit to Hermione. A letter just wouldn't do it. Actually, they probably needed to go on a shopping spree. Ginny smiled.

Helping the couple make up was going to be fun.

Saturday morning found both Severus and Hermione at breakfast in the Great Hall, still separated by the other staff members. Severus had endured the entrance of the Snapelets and peals of uninhibited laughter from the students and staff once again, while Professor Trelawney was regaling Hermione with dour predictions of her love life, foreseeing a slim, slightly older and very gifted woman coming into her husband's life, also a teacher, and stealing him away.

Of course Sybil was talking about herself. She had taken it very badly when Severus and Hermione became lovers. She had her eye on the Potions Master since forever, and his interest and affection for the younger witch infuriated her. She spent a lot of her time gossiping about how she had heard Hermione had slipped the Professor a love potion, and how it should be investigated. When they married, the Divination teacher went on a three-day sherry binge, Albus having to take over her classes on Monday. Now, Sybil was delighted at the rift between the couple, and spent much of her time trying to lower Hermione's spirits further than they already were. Hermione tuned her out and looked down the table at her husband with longing. Not only did she miss his presence, she was missing his loving as well. Her body was used to frequent sex and now was rebelling against her.

Severus had glanced Hermione's way and caught her hungry look. His wife was in heat. Damn those beautiful amber eyes. He promised himself he wouldn't look at her again and most definitely would avoid her in the dungeons hallway. She might succeed in seducing him if she caught him alone. He was missing her too. His morning hard-on was getting increasingly harder to manage. He hoped Fred and George had made some progress. It had only been a week but it felt like a month since he had talked to them.

There was a stir throughout the Great Hall as the morning owl post arrived. A comically brightly colored bird flopped in front of Severus. It was a cuckoo bird. The Professor didn't even have to think who sent it as he wrestled with the bird to get the message off its leg. A lovely snowy owl landed gracefully in front of Hermione, who took the message off its leg and fed it a piece of bacon before it flew off.

Severus unrolled his message and read it.

Good News Professor,

We have your product ready to go. Please stop by the shop as soon as possible so we can discuss exactly how you want this to play out. We have worked in some interesting safeguards to make it more effective. We will be waiting.

Laughingly yours,

Fred and George Weasley
Weasley's Wizard Wheezes Inc.

If anyone had been looking at the Potions Master, they would have been shocked. He smiled. It was just for a quick moment, but he did it…in public. He looked at the Snapelets who were sitting at their prospective tables and smirked. Soon this nightmare would be over. Despite his promise to himself he looked down the table at his wife. She was reading a parchment, and her face was rather pale. He frowned. What caused that reaction? One thing he truly hated about this separation was his inability to find out what was affecting his wife, and keep track of what she was up to. He wondered if that was a reply from the 'house of wizards" she had a letter delivered to last night. Once again, jealousy reared up inside him. He hated not knowing what was going on. He looked at his own parchment again, then rose from the table. He was heading to Diagon Alley immediately. He needed to get this problem solved and get his wife back where he could keep an eye on her. He exited the Great Hall in a billow of robes.

Hermione read Ginny's letter:

Dear Hermione,

I will be at Hogwarts at around eleven. Meet me by the main gate at that time. We have shopping to do, and since I never gave you and Severus a wedding present, this will be my treat. No arguing. I will win if you try. I will tell you my idea when I see you. It's hot!


Dear gods. She hadn't expected Ginny to show up. There was no way to get out of this either. Circe. A shopping trip with Ginny. Well, she wanted to get back with Severus, so she was willing to do what she had to in order to accomplish it. She needed her husband. She looked down the table and discovered he was gone. She had probably ran him off, looking at him so hungrily when he made it clear that he would let her know when he was ready to talk.

Hermione rose and exited the Great Hall. She had to hurry and get dressed for her day with Ginny. As she approached her office, Severus opened his door and walked out. They stood facing each other, their eyes locked.

"Good morning, Hermione," Severus said softly, willing his voice to remain steady as his eyes swept over her. He felt he hadn't touched her for months.

"Good morning, Severus," Hermione said, noticing his cloak, "Going somewhere?"

"Yes, I have an appointment," he said shortly.

"Oh," Hermione said, her amber eyes gazing into his black ones. They seemed to go blacker.

"I must go," Severus said, striding past her hurriedly. He couldn't stand this.

"Bye," Hermione said, watching him go. Her eyes filled.

"He can't stand to be around me. I'm losing him," she thought as she unlocked her door and entered her rooms. As she opened the wall to her study she steeled herself. She was not going to lose Severus. She would listen to Ginny, let her work her magic and do what was necessary to gain Severus' forgiveness and win his heart back.

Ginny awoke with Geoffrey spooned around her back, one arm thrown over her possessively. He was snoring loudly. Ginny lifted his arm and slipped out from under it. She rolled out of the bed, turned around and looked at him, her hands on her hips much the same way as her mother placed hers. When she finally fell asleep last night, there had been three wizards in her extra large bed. No doubt, Geoffrey threw the other two out once he saw she was sleeping. He did things like that. She really should make him leave, but he looked so peaceful. Pretty delicious too. She decided to let him sleep. If he was able to make the other wizards listen to him, then he deserved his spot as top dog.

Ginny picked up her wand, walked into the bathroom, took a quick shower, washed her hair and douched. Sure, there were easier ways to clean up, but her mother had taught her this. It made her feel fresher. She cast a drying spell on her hair. When she exited the bath, she found that Geoffrey was up. He lay in the bed propped up on his elbow, looking at her naked body with appreciation. His tool was awake too, and pointing straight at her. Ginny smirked at him and headed for her wardrobe, pulling out some knickers, a bra, jeans and a pullover sweater.

"Ginny, you got a minute or twenty?" Geoffrey asked her, his eyes dropping to his hard-on then looking up at her with a lusty grin.

Ginny smirked at him.

"No, Geoffrey. You see I'm getting dressed. I have to meet a friend," she said, stepping into her knickers.

"Witch or wizard?" Geoffrey asked, a little jealousy leaking into his voice.

Ginny turned to him as she put on her bra. She was scowling a little.

"What business is that of yours who I'm meeting?" she asked him, "It has nothing to do with you."

Geoffrey looked sullen. This seemed to piss Ginny off. She pulled on her jeans.

"Geoffrey, why are you in my bed practically every morning when I wake up? You have plenty of bedrooms to choose from," Ginny said.

"I like this bed," he said shortly.

"But this is my bed," Ginny said as she pulled on her shirt.

"I know. That's why I like it," he said, smirking at her.

Ginny leveled her brown eyes at him.

"Geoffrey, you're getting too attached to me. You know how I live. I'm not a one-wizard witch," she said, a little exasperation in her voice.

"Yeah, I know. But I just want to be around in case that should change," he said, his dark brown eyes meeting hers soberly.

Ginny sat down on the edge of the bed and put on her socks.

"It's not likely to change any time soon, if it ever does, Geoffrey. If you are looking for a girlfriend or a wife, I suggest you find someone who will love you, not like you like I do," the witch said, slipping her feet into her shoes. She turned to him.

"And you've got to stop kicking everybody out of my bed like you own it," she said to him. But she smirked a little. Geoffrey had to be pretty tough to get some of those wizards out of there. Ginny liked strongly built men. None of her lovers were lollipops.

"Hey, if they aren't man enough to stay here after you're done with them, that's not my fault," Geoffrey said, "Besides, how do you know I kick them out…maybe they just leave and go find a bedroom somewhere else."

Ginny gave him The Look.

"I just know, Geoffrey," she said shortly, picking up a short cloak and throwing it over her shoulders. She started for the door.

"Can't I at least get a goodbye kiss? After all, I did watch over you all night," he said, pursing his lips.

Ginny laughed as she paused.

"Watched over me? Geoffrey, you were snoring so hard, the whole house could have been knocked down and you wouldn't have heard a thing," she said.

"Pretty please?" Geoffrey said, wriggling his lips a little.

Ginny rolled her eyes up to the ceiling, and snorted. Then she walked over and gave him a peck on the lips.

"Okay?" she asked him.

"Not what I wanted, but it will do," he responded, rolling on to his back so she could see his entire body. He was a beautiful wizard. Tanned, lean, all muscle and tone. His tool was nothing to laugh at either.

"You just be out of here when I get back. As I said, this is MY room. And you, Geoffrey, will not take it over," Ginny said, exiting the room and closing the door behind her.

"That's what you think, Miss Weasley," Geoffrey said to himself as he rolled back over to catch a few more winks.

Ginny walked through the house and was greeted by a number of lounging wizards having breakfast. They knew to clean up behind themselves. None of them were lay-abouts however. They all had good jobs and homes of their own. Ginny didn't support them any more than providing food and drink and a place to sleep if they wanted when they came over. And sex sometimes. She had her pick of them. They all understood she was the queen bee, and if they wanted to be a part of her harem, they had to accommodate her. Which wasn't hard because she was beautiful, clean and a freak. Ginny looked out at the enclosed pool area where a few wizards were skinny-dipping in the magically warmed water. She admired their tight buttocks and muscled bodies for a moment. Gods, she loved men.

Unable to resist, she slid open the glass doors to the patio that led out to the pool area.

"Make sure you pick up out there when you're done! I don't want to see wet towels and boxers all over the place when I come back…or someone's going to get a beating!" she called out to the wizards and was rewarded with scattered cries of "Me! Me!" She laughed. They were all so twisted. She closed the glass and headed for the front door. Once outside, she apparated to Hogwarts. It was a little early but she'd wait.

Ginny reappeared in front of the main gates of Hogwarts with a clap of thunder, startling Severus who had just finished re-warding the gates. The Potions Master's eyes swept over Ginny rather coldly.

"Good morning, Miss Weasley," he said in his silky voice.

"Hello Professor," Ginny said, thinking Hermione was very lucky to have that silky voice in her ear during sex.

"What brings you to Hogwarts?" he asked, curious. Ginny rarely showed her face at the castle. Ginny looked at him. Okay, he wanted to be nosy….

"I've come to pick up Hermione. She's feeling a bit down so we're going shopping. My treat," she said brightly.

"I see," Severus said, not liking this at all. He was very aware of Ginny's nymphomaniac existence, and wasn't sure that he wanted his wife hanging out with her. Then he put two and two together. That house of naked wizards was most likely hers. Ah, okay.

"Will you be going by your house?" he asked her, scowling a little.

Ginny suspected the Professor knew about all the wizards that were on the premises at any given time. She smirked at him.

"We might have lunch there," she said wickedly as the Potions Master looked at her blackly. He didn't want his wife around all those young, randy wizards.

"I will make a standing reservation for you both at the Three Broomsticks so you don't have to trouble yourself, Miss Weasley. My treat," he said sharply. Ginny could have burst out laughing.

"Very well, Professor. Thank you," she said, her smile much wider than it should have been.

Severus grunted a "You're welcome" and apparated.

Ginny nearly collapsed against the main gates with laughter. Gods, what a jealous wizard.

Hermione certainly had her hands full.

When Severus apparated to Diagon Alley, he strode straight for Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, not caring who saw him. He needed to see the twins immediately. He pulled the shop door open and walked straight to the counter. The female clerk behind it looked up at him, and paled.

"I need to see Fred and George Weasley immediately," Severus said, scowling at the girl.

"Y..y..Yes sir," the girl squeaked, "One moment."

She skittered into the back office. In a moment she returned.

"Go right in sir," the girl said as Severus walked around the counter and disappeared into the back room with a billow of robes.

Fred and George were seated on the other side of the long table. Severus pulled out a chair and sat opposite them.

"Professor, you almost made our clerk quit," Fred said, grinning at the Potions Master

"Yeah, she said a vampire was at the front counter. A day walker, and she wasn't working in no store that served that kind of clientele," George said, "We had to assure her that you were human."

Both twins dissolved into laughter.

Severus watched them for several moments, then said, "You sent me an owl saying you had the 'joke' ready. Would you kindly swallow your mirth until after you show me the finished product?"

The twins wiped their eyes and Fred smilingly placed a small bottle on the table. Severus eyed it.

"That's it?" he said. The tiny bottle hardly looked like it would do what he needed it to do.

"Yes, that's it. I know it doesn't look like much but it is highly concentrated. A little goes a long way," Fred said.

"Yep. It's a draught. Goes directly into the air and the victims breathe it in. We've set it to work only on those nineteen and under so no teachers are affected. It will do exactly what you want it to, Professor."

Severus reached across the table and picked up the bottle and eyed it.

"You're certain of this?" the Potions Master asked.

Both Fred and George looked indignant.

"Of course we're sure," they said in unison. "Money back guarantee," Fred added.

"We'll return every single galleon you gave us if that doesn't fix you up," George said.

"You're right about that," Severus growled, still looking at the bottle. "So what am I supposed to do with this?"

"Oh no, Professor," Fred said, waggling a finger at him, "You aren't going to do anything. We need to keep you in the clear. That's part of our service. They won't be able to connect you with the joke at all, though most likely you will be suspected, simply because of the nature of the joke. Now, we did a little research and found out that tomorrow morning at breakfast the Headmaster gives his monthly update to the student body, and it's mandatory that all the students of Hogwarts be in attendance. That will be the perfect the perfect time to let this baby loose. Once it goes into effect, it will be evident at the next meal. The only way to break the spell is…"

And Fred told the Potions Master who was supremely delighted.

"It's perfect, Mr. Weasley and Mr. Weasley," Severus said, giving them a rare grin of approval.

"All right, here's how we're going to get it into Hogwarts and spread around," George said. Again the Potions Master was pleased and impressed. The twins really knew their business.

"I'm certain that by tomorrow evening, your problem will be permanently solved," Fred said.

"That would be wonderful," the Potions Master said, thinking about his wife. He wondered if he could get her to return tomorrow evening. If he could, she was in for a long and exhausting night. He felt himself throb a bit at the thought of it. A silencing charm would definitely be in order.

"Well Professor, that's about it. You can head back to Hogwarts secure in the knowledge that your future happiness lies in our capable hands," Fred said.

Severus' face went deadpan for a moment. No matter what the twins believed, that was not a comforting thought. Then Severus stood up, said, "Thank you" and shook both wizards' hands.

"I just wish we could be there," Fred said wistfully.

"Yes," George said, "But us showing up would give it all away."

The two wizards looked extremely put out about it. Severus looked at them.

"I'll send you a pensieve of it," the Potions Master said.

Both wizards looked at him, broad smiles on their faces.

"That's right decent of you, Professor," Fred beamed, "Right decent."

"Sure is," George agreed.

"It's the least I can do, if you two free me from this travesty," Severus replied, shrugging off their gratitude as he headed for the door. "I'll send it Monday morning."

"Thanks," the twins said in unison. They walked the Professor to the shop door. He exited, heading back to Hogwarts. He wanted to get out the doll and see what his wife was up to with Ginny.

Hermione hurried across the school grounds to the main gates. She saw Ginny standing outside them waving at her with a large smile on her face while she was a good distance away. Hermione was dressed in jeans, a pullover sweater and a jacket. Her hair was pulled back in a ponytail and she wore trainers. Ginny liked to browse about. There was a lot of walking involved when Ginny went shopping. Hermione walked up to the gate, unwarded it and walked through. She warded it back, turned and got an armful of Ginny, who hugged her. The witch stepped back and looked at her friend. She saw the slight circles under her eyes.

"Sleeping alone doesn't agree with you, does it Hermione?" she asked the witch quietly, as Hermione's eyes welled up with tears.

She shook her head, then burst out crying as if her heart would break. Ginny held her, stroking Hermione's hair and rocking her gently as she sobbed uncontrollably. She had held her misery in the whole time. She had no one at Hogwarts to share her woes with, not really. Sure, McGonagal would listen, but it wasn't the same. Ginny understood how she felt about Severus. The redheaded witch understood her attraction to the dark wizard, while everyone else possibly with the exception of the Headmaster, puzzled over it, some even suspecting to this day that the Potions Master may have slipped Hermione an elixir to make her love him. But that wasn't true.

Hermione's sobs gradually subsided, and Ginny transfigured a leaf into a handkerchief and handed it to the witch.

"It's going to be all right, Hermione. You're going to make it right with the Professor. He loves you," Ginny said, helping Hermione wipe her eyes.

"You don't know how he's been treating me, Ginny. He turns away every time he sees me coming," she sniffed.

"I don't think that's because he doesn't want you, Hermione. More than likely it's because he does," Ginny said, smiling at her.

"How do you know that?" Hermione asked her, still sniffling a little.

"Because I saw your husband this morning. He was going somewhere and leaving just as I arrived. I told him I was taking you shopping," Ginny said.

"Did he say anything?" Hermione asked her, her amber eyes focused desperately on Ginny's face, "Anything that makes you believe he still loves me?"

Ginny laughed.

"Well, he asked me if I were going to bring you to my house, and I told him we would stop by there for lunch. He made standing reservations for us to eat at the Three Broomsticks instead," Ginny grinned at her.

"Why did he do that?" Hermione asked her friend.

"Because, Hermione, you know my house is full of wizards. Young, sexy, randy wizards…all the time. They hang out there. Obviously, the Professor knows this, and didn't want you in their company. So he made reservations to keep me from taking you there. Now, does that sound like he doesn't care?" Ginny asked her.

Hermione smiled.

"No. It sounds like he is jealous of me," she responded.

"That's right. And a wizard who didn't care wouldn't go out of his way to make sure you didn't go to my house and be tempted or even be pleasured by my boy toys," Ginny grinned.

"I don't want any of them," Hermione said evenly.

"No, I wouldn't think so. The Professor is one sexy, dark wizard. Plus he loves you and from what you've told me, satisfies you," Ginny said, "Why mess with something like that?"

She straightened Hermione's jacket. Ginny acted more like her mother than she realized.

"Now, listen. We are going to Diagon Alley and getting you what you need to make your makeup sex something special for your husband. He is going to be very pleased after he gets over his initial shock. I'm going to tell you exactly how to act to get the maximum results, and I'm sure that it will appeal to you as well, once you get into it. Trust me, okay? I want to see you happy again with the wizard you love," Ginny said, holding Hermione's hand tightly to reassure her.

"Now let's go," Ginny said. And with the witch still holding Hermione's hand, they disapparated…at the precise moment Severus apparated. Severus looked around. The sound of his apparation seemed extremely loud for some reason. He shrugged and unwarded the gates, warded them back and took off at a good swift walk over the grounds. He didn't trust Ginny at all.

Ginny and Hermione appeared in Diagon Alley. Ginny hooked her arm into Hermione and guided her through the crowds, heading for her brothers' shop. When the sign appeared, Hermione stalled.

"Why are we going here?" she asked Ginny, peering in the window and seeing all the strange items Fred and George released on the wizarding public.

"Because Fred and George have the best faux bondage line in England," Ginny said.

"Bondage?" Hermione repeated, her eyebrows raised almost to her hairline.

"Faux Bondage, Hermione. No one will get hurt. The items are charmed so they are accommodating. They don't cause pain. They are just turn-ons. Now you said that Severus has a thing about makeup sex, where he really lays it on you, almost like payback, right?" Ginny asked.

She was being delicate. She knew that what the Potions Master did to Hermione was definitely payback for whatever wrong he imagined she did him. And she knew that turned Hermione on, whether she admitted it or not, otherwise the witch wouldn't stand for it.

"Well, what you're going to do is let him do just that, but in a very different way than he's used to. He'll get into it, I assure you. You're going to let him punish you. And we are going to get the things you need to make it good for him. Remember, Hermione…this is a big spat…you left him, and he's angry about it. This wasn't a little argument. His normal way of getting satisfaction might not do it for him this time, because this was a real trial for him. You have to show him you're sorry, not just lay there and be passive," Ginny said.

"I'm not passive!" Hermione claimed.

"No, I know better than that. What I mean is you are going to offer yourself up for punishment because you've been a 'bad girl'. You're going to let him know that you've been a 'bad girl'. You are going to admit it, and take what's coming to you. He's going to love it," Ginny said, opening the door and pushing Hermione through.

Hermione looked around at all the doodads in the shop.

"Come on," Ginny said walking to the back. A black curtain stretched across the back half of the store. Ginny parted the curtain and walked through. Hermione followed and felt a pulse of magic wash over her.

"What was that?" Hermione asked Ginny, "That magic I felt?"

"Oh, an age line. No one under eighteen can enter this part of the shop," Ginny replied.

Hermione looked around, her eyes wide. She could see why not.

As soon as Severus returned to his rooms, he retrieved the doll. Sitting down in the armchair in his study, he invoked it.

"Show me my vision of beauty," he said to the doll.

Immediately the image of Hermione appeared before him. She was standing with Ginny in front of a shop. They appeared to be having a heated conversation. Hermione looked a bit reluctant, and he could tell Ginny was trying to convince her to do something. He scowled, desperately wishing that the twins had thought to put sound in the magic that worked the doll. He gazed at the shop. It was the Weasley's shop. What was Hermione doing there? She didn't do jokes. Ginny probably did though. He watched as Ginny opened the door and pushed his wife through.

Suddenly, Hermione's image disappeared.

Severus sat up. The place Hermione should be still floated in front of him, but it was as if someone turned off the picture. It was dark and blank. The Potions Master scowled as he realized what had happened. Fred and George had blocked their own store, so husbands couldn't see their wives' purchases. Those bastards. Smart bastards, but bastards still.

Severus sat there, looking at the blank image before him. Well, he'd just have to watch it until Hermione left the store. Maybe he could get a glimpse of what they bought. He settled in. They were witches. Shopping witches. This could take a while.

Hermione's eyes widened as she looked at the collection of faux bondage items the shop carried. Fred and George were really freaks. There was a large selection of blindfolds, chastity belts, slave collars, gags and muzzles, hoods and masks, leashes and leads, faux nipple clamps and toys, faux bondage restraints, slings and swings, strap on and body harnesses, and faux whips and paddles.

There were also faceless, featureless mannequins demonstrating the uses of many of the items, animated mannequins that began to work when a customer stopped to look at them. Hermione walked too close and accidentally started up two mannequins, one which was sitting in a chair holding a paddle and the other laid out across the first's lap. The sitting mannequin started swatting the behind of the one spread across its lap with the paddle. Hermione scurried away from them.

Ginny laughed at Hermione's reaction.

"When they first opened this part of the store, they used golems. But they were so realistic the voyeurs and the perverts started gathering and wanking off back here. Come everywhere. So they switched to these," Ginny said, pointing at a mannequin that was securely wrapped in what looked like a strait jacket.

"This releases with a safe word," Ginny said. "All Fred and George's items have built in safety features."

The witch strolled through the store with Hermione right on her heels, so close that when Ginny stopped, Hermione bumped into her, making her stumble forward.

"Hermione, relax!" Ginny chided her. "Now come on, we're going to look at the restraints first."

"Restraints?" Hermione mouthed silently, following Ginny down an aisle. Trussed up mannequins abounded. Ginny walked by them looking thoughtful. She stopped in front of each one. She looked over a collar and a set of hasp style cuffs that included a strap to link them together. The straps could be tightened to pull the hands higher up behind the back.

Hermione looked at this and blanched.

"I don't like those, Ginny," Hermione said.

"Their charmed so they can't hurt you, Hermione, no matter how hard the straps are tugged on," Ginny said. "Anyway, that's not what I'm looking for…for you anyway," she smirked. That would be good for Geoffrey. Ginny walked over to a line of shopping carts and took one out. She came back and took the collar/cuff set and dropped it in. Hermione's eyes bulged.

"Come on," Ginny said, walking further down the aisle. She stopped in front of a display of extremely long leather straps with loops on the end. It came with two metal loops that magically adhered to the ceiling and another piece that looked like a crank that attached to the wall. The straps could be tightened with it.

"Perfect!" Ginny said, throwing a box in the cart. "This comes with a safe word, an anti-tightening spell, a support spell and a lightening spell so you feel no strain.

Hermione looked at the display. A mannequin was dangling in the air by its wrists, the straps running through the ceiling loops and to the crank mechanism.

"Ginny!" Hermione gasped.

"You'll be on the ground, don't worry," Ginny grinned at her, "You're a newbie at this. I'm not going to string you up. Now, if Severus wants to do that…"

"Oh gods," Hermione groaned as she followed the witch, who stopped by some collars. She looked them over until she found one that was green with silver studs. She threw it in the basket too.

"Slytherin colors. He'll like that," she said, throwing a leash in the cart as well.

Ginny walked over to the Whips and Paddle section, and browsed until she saw what looked like a riding crop. She picked it up and examined it. It was called "The Tickler"

Ginny turned to Hermione.

"Hold out your hand," she said.

Hermione put both hands behind her back.

"Hermione, your marriage is at stake here," Ginny reminded her.

Hermione reluctantly held out her hand. Ginny brought the riding crop down hard on her palm. Hermione winced reflexively, but where the crop connected on her palm, there was a distinct jolt of pleasure, no pain at all.

"Wow," Hermione said, looking at the crop with interest.

"Feels pretty good, eh?" Ginny grinned at her, "And that was just your palm. On your body…forget it. I have three of these." Ginny tossed it in the cart.

"But if I'm tied up I won't be able to use that," Hermione said, her brow furrowing.

"Oh, that's not for you. That's for the Professor," Ginny said.

Ginny picked out some thin leather gloves, and a black half mask, also leather. Then she walked over to some parchment and selected a large piece.

"What's that for?" Hermione asked.

"I'll explain everything to you later. Come on, we have to select your "costume" designed for visual stimulation and easy access. And I want you to braid your hair tonight. In about fifteen braids or so," Ginny said, looking at Hermione's ponytail.

They walked on. Ginny picked up a small box that had speaker holes in it. There was a stack of small disks next to it. She read a few of them, then smiled wickedly.

"I love this song. It's perfect," she said, placing the box and the disk in the cart.

They walked into the clothing section. There was a large selection of body suits, catsuits, corsets and waist cinchers, dresses, fetish footwear, garterbelts, panties and bras, gloves and stockings, pants and shorts, shirts and tops, skirts and uniforms.

Ginny eyed them all speculatively, until her eyes fell on a dress that was quite specialized. She grabbed it and held it up to Hermione, who stared down at it.

"Another perfect match," Ginny said, tossing it into the cart.

She stopped by the strap-ons. Huge dildos in harnesses abounded, in all shapes, colors and sizes. Some were amazingly realistic.

"No fucking way, Ginny," Hermione breathed. "Severus doesn't need anything like these, trust me."

"I'm just looking, Hermione," Ginny said, stroking a dildo reflectively, "To be honest, I don't need any of these either. I have a slew of real ones at home."

Hermione shook her head. Ginny was something else. She turned to Hermione.

"Well, that's all we need. I'm not trying to outfit you two. We can go and have lunch now as soon as I pay for these," Ginny said, walking to counter at the very back of the store. A very old wizard was behind the counter. He looked up at the women as Ginny piled her purchases on the counter.

"Having a party, girls?" the old wizard wheezed. His eyes were surprisingly sharp for an old man. Hermione blushed horribly.

"Yeah, we are. Want to come?" Ginny said suggestively.

The old wizard cackled as he rang up the items.

"I've heard about your parties, Miss Weasley. I probably wouldn't survive one. Although I'm sure it would be a wonderful way to go, I'm afraid I must decline," he said winking, then smiling at her. He was missing several teeth.

"Aw, that's a shame," Ginny said, "Put those on my account, Rudolph."

"Sure thing, Miss Weasley," he replied. He handed her a slip.

"Want me to reduce these for you?" the wizard asked.

"Yes, Rudolph…thank you," Ginny replied.

The old wizard crooked a finger at the items and they shrunk. He then put them in a small bag for her. Ginny took the bag, kissed two fingers and pressed them to the old man's lips. He grinned.

"See you Miss Weasley," he said as she and Hermione turned to leave.

"Bye, Rudolph. Remember, that's an open invitation. Good anytime," Ginny teased him. The old man's bright eyes glittered.

"If I was fifty years younger, Miss Weasley, I'd give you a run for your galleons," the wizard said a little wistfully.

"I bet you would," Ginny said, fluttering her eyes at him before she and Hermione exited the back area, passing through the black curtain and the age spell again.

"It would be funny if he showed up, Ginny," Hermione giggled.

Ginny scowled at her.

"No it wouldn't. I'd have to shag him if he did," the witch said, "I invited him after all."

"You better hope he never figures that out," Hermione grinned.

They exited the store.

In the office, Fred and George put down their security mirror.

"Well, well George…it seems that at least one of the Snapes are interested in our Licorice Whips and Candy Chains line after all," Fred said, grinning wickedly.

"The Professor's in for some interesting makeup sex, judging by the things Ginny purchased," George said. "I'd sure like to be in his shoes. But with Georgiana, of course. I still can't get her to try any of the line," he complained. His wife just wasn't into being tied up and left to her husband's mercy. George had little enough of it as it was.

"Yeah, old Snape's going to have a red letter day tomorrow, that's for sure," Fred said, "He probably deserves it too. Snapelets. Damn."

Fred and George looked at each other and the laughter started all over again.

Severus watched as his wife and Ginny emerged from the joke shop. Ginny carried a small bag in her hand, but he couldn't tell what was in it. She probably had whatever they bought reduced in size to be easier to carry. The redheaded witch had said that she was taking Hermione shopping as her treat. So he assumed whatever was in the bag belonged to his wife. Damn Fred and George for their safeguards.

Severus looked at his wife closely. She looked excited. There was a flush on her face, and definitely something rather naughty around her amber eyes. It was the sexy kind of naughty too, close to the look she'd give him before she'd go down on him. Gods, he felt like he hadn't had a blowjob in years. He throbbed as he watched his wife walk arm in arm with Ginny. She never looked more desirable.

The two witches apparated, and the image died out for a moment, then returned. They were in Hogsmeade now, apparently heading to the Three Broomsticks Inn. Severus had stopped through there on his way back to Hogwarts and told Rosmerta to put whatever they ordered on his account.

He watched as the witches entered the Three Broomsticks and a smiling Rosmerta walked up and escorted them to an isolated table near the back of the inn. She left them there, then returned with water and two menus. Severus watched as they ordered. Rosmerta brought Ginny a huge sandwich of some type, while Hermione had a small salad. Severus' brow furrowed. Hermione had a large appetite for a witch so small, and her eating salad could only mean one thing. She was extremely nervous about something. Hermione would worry herself to the point where she couldn't keep her food down, and would eat light anytime something was bothering her. He wished he knew what was going through his wife's mind right now. He watched as they finished their food. Rosmerta collected their plates and Ginny ordered something else. Hermione shook her head no, but Ginny pressed her. His wife nodded and Rosmerta left.

After a few moments, Rosmerta returned with two tall glasses of pink liquid. Hermione took a sip, and her eyebrows rose. It was liquor. Uh, oh. Severus would have to be sure to be out of sight when his wife came back to Hogwarts. Liquor worked like a lust potion on her, with him as the target. He just needed to resist her one more day.

The Potions Master watched as Ginny leaned toward her conspiratorially. Obviously she was talking in low tones. They had chosen the table they were at so no one would hear them. Severus scowled. He was burning up with curiosity.

Hermione listened as Ginny explained the scenario that Severus would walk into tomorrow night.

"There are two things you need to do today though, Hermione. One is illegal," Ginny said, her brow furrowed.

"Illegal?" Hermione asked, her own brow furrowing as she looked at her friend.

"Yes, first you have to get an accomplice to sidetrack Severus for at least an hour and a half," Ginny said, "then you have to make me a port key so I can get to his rooms and help you set up."

Hermione sighed with relief. She had made illegal port keys before. And she thought that the Headmaster might distract Severus for her. The old wizard was aware of their separation. He had always supported their marriage. Hermione was sure he would help her.

"Neither is a problem. I'll make a port key for you before I head back to Hogwarts. I know the coordinates to his room. Do you know your house's coordinates?" she asked Ginny.

"Of course. Sometimes when I come home from work I'm tired and have to slip by Geoffrey and the crew, so I use a port key to go directly to my room. If they see me, their wands go up like flags and they bang on my door until I either open it, or hex them. Usually it's both," Ginny grinned. "Still, it's good to be the Queen."

Hermione finished her drink, and Rosmerta instantly brought her another.

"These are pretty good. What are they called again?" Hermione asked Ginny.

"Dirty Sex," Ginny replied. Too many of those and you'll be doing things you never dreamed you'd do."

"Seems I'm heading that way anyhow," Hermione replied, taking a sip of the drink.

"All right. Now what is most important in all this is that your husband feels he has total control, so when he first walks in you…"

Ginny told Hermione exactly what to say to Severus, and how to act when he entered the bedroom. Hermione listened carefully as she finished her drink.

"Wow, Ginny. That sounds so hot," she gushed. Then she looked wistful. "I wish we could do this tonight. I'm so fucking horny for him."

Ginny raised her eyebrows and looked at Hermione's empty glass.

"I think you've had enough "Dirty Sex" Hermione," Ginny said, smiling at her.

"Never," Hermione replied, her eyes taking on a bit of heat.

"Wow," Ginny thought as she looked at her aroused friend, "Hermione looks like she can really turn on the heat when she's feeling it."

She had a feeling Severus was going to really enjoy his wife. Ginny rose.

"Come on, Hermione…it's time to get you back to Hogwarts," she said, pulling out Hermione's chair. Hermione rose. She had a pretty good buzz on. Those 'Dirty Sexes" were strong.

"All right," she said, grabbing the bag of goodies. Ginny had removed her items and put them in her pocket. "Let's go."

The witches left a tip for Rosmerta and left the three broomsticks, apparating to Hogwarts main gate. Hermione looked on the ground and saw a stone. She picked it up and pulled out her wand. Using Ginny's coordinates and the coordinates to her own rooms, she created a port key and handed it to the witch.

"There you go, Ginny. What time will you come?" Hermione asked her.

"I'll be here seven-thirty sharp," Ginny replied, hugging the witch. "Be bathed and ready."

"I will," Hermione said, "Bye."

"Bye," Ginny responded, then she apparated.

Hermione unwarded the main gate, passed through it and re-ward it back again. She walked towards the castle.

Severus was watching his wife. She had that glow that alcohol gave her. She didn't look too bad off though. Maybe he could get a peek at what she had in the bag when she came in, without her trying to seduce him. He watched as she entered the main doors and turned down the dungeon corridor.

"My vision is complete," he said to the doll, turning off Hermione's image. He quickly rose, exited his study and stood in his office until he could hear her footsteps. Not only could he hear her footsteps, he could hear her humming. It was an unfamiliar tune. He opened the door just as she passed. Hermione turned around.

"Hello, Severus," she purred.

Oops. Maybe he had read her wrong. That purr boded no good.

"Hello Hermione," he said, his black eyes shifting toward the small bag she carried, "Been shopping?"

Hermione clutched the bag closed and gave him a breathtakingly sexy smile.

"Yessss," she said, the timber of her voice shooting right to the Professor's loins as she gave him a half-lidded look.

"Strength, Severus…strength," the Potions Master thought as he looked at his wife.

"So," he said, his voice cracking just a little, "What did you buy?"

Again Hermione gave him a rather sly, sexy smile.

"That's for me to know and you to find out," she responded, moving toward him a bit.

Severus' member went solid as his wife's eyes met his. She was in "shag" mode. He had to get out of there. Now.

"All right, Hermione…I will see you later," he said, ducking back into his office and closing the door behind him.

Hermione stared at the door and smiled. It didn't hurt her feelings that he ran off like that. Now, she knew why. He was finding it hard to resist her. She let out a little laugh and walked to her office and let herself in.

Severus returned to his study and invoked the doll again, watching his wife, hoping she would take the items she bought out of the bag. She didn't. She left the bag on her nightstand. Severus watched as she began to undress, his black eyes darkening as she stripped naked. She untied her ponytail and shook out her hair. The Potions Master bit his lip as he drank in the sight of her body, her full breasts and rounded hips. His eyes focused on her trimmed pubic hair and he let out a breath, he hadn't realized he was holding. He watched as she walked into the bathroom and turned on the shower.

Hermione stepped into the shower, immersing herself under the warm water. She was randy as hell, and the sight of her husband had taken her to even higher heights. She needed relief, even if she had to make it happen herself. She let the water run over her body, turning her face up to the nozzle and letting the spray caress her skin. She brought her hands to her breasts.

Severus was standing up now, watching his wife caress her own body. His jaw was clenched. He looked down at the doll and then at Hermione again. He picked it up and watching Hermione, ran his tongue down the side of her throat.

Hermione gasped, still caught up in her self-love, imagining her husband nuzzling her neck. Severus slid a finger between the dolls legs and rubbed it. Suddenly Hermione seemed to spasm, her eyes flying open and she leaned back against the wall, her legs spread slightly. Severus stopped and watched her as she slid her own hand between her legs and continued what he started, her breasts heaving, biting her lip as she worked her fingers over her clit, her eyes closing again.

Severus' nostrils flared as he watched the erotic sight of his wife pleasuring herself. He brought the doll to his mouth and closed his lips over first one breast, than the other, watching as Hermione's eyes flew open again, one hand going to her breast as she brought herself closer to climax. Severus began to lick the doll all over and Hermione started writhing against the wall.

"Oh shit!" she breathed, working her hand frantically. She had masturbated plenty of times before in the shower, but it never, ever felt like this. Her body was completely awash in delicious waves of pleasure, moving here and there…not one inch of her untouched. She groaned deep in her throat, feeling the bubble rising inside her, as the strange, wonderful pulsing caresses continued. Suddenly, she climaxed, shrieking Severus' name, throwing her head back against the wall, her body arching wantonly as she released. Then her head dropped forward, and she lay against the wall, panting.

"Hermione," Severus breathed as he lowered the doll slowly, watching his wife come back to earth, her amber eyes half-closed. Then she lifted them, and seemed to stare directly at him. The Potions Master swallowed at the heat he saw there.

"My vision is complete," he rasped. Her image faded.

He had to break the connection. He was too close to breaking into her rooms, rushing into the bathroom and taking her, his plans be damned. But he caught himself. His erection strained against his boxers. He was so hard it was almost painful. He hadn't relieved himself since his wife left, determined to save every bit of come for her. Severus put the doll down on the armchair, walked to the liquor cabinet and fixed himself a stiff firewhiskey. He tossed it straight down, then returned to the armchair picking the doll up and sitting down. He stared at the likeness of his wife for a long, long time.

Hermione noticed immediately that her husband didn't attend supper that evening. Possibly he had some work to catch up on. She had been hoping to see him, especially after that searing orgasm she had. It was as if she felt his presence. Those "Dirty Sexes" were really something else. She'd have to find the recipe. She saw the Headmaster at the end of the table, and remembered what Ginny told her about getting an accomplice. She stood up and walked down to the wizard.

Albus looked up at her.

"Ah, Hermione, how are you my dear?" he asked. His eyes twinkled but there was a soberness lying beneath them.

"I've been better, Headmaster," she replied, transfiguring a spoon into a chair and pulling it close to the wizard. "I need your help to fix things with my husband."

The Headmaster nodded.

"Just tell me what you need me to do my dear. Yours and Severus' happiness is very important to me," the Headmaster replied, looking at the witch fondly.

"I need you to keep him occupied from seven-thirty to nine o'clock tomorrow night," she said.

Albus smiled at her.

"Consider it done, my dear," the Headmaster said. He didn't ask her any questions…just gave her a rather knowing look.

"Thank you, sir" Hermione said softly. Then she kissed him on his cheek. The Headmaster blushed as he watched her walk back to her seat. She was quite a lovely young witch. He looked over at Minerva, who was scowling at him. Shit.

Dumbledore smiled sheepishly at his lover of over thirty years. Minerva's lips compressed to a severe, thin line. Albus winced. Ooh, he was going to pay for this. But hell, that kiss had been worth it.

Severus lay in his bed in his boxers, his uneaten supper on the nightstand beside him. He had decided to stay in his rooms for the rest of the evening. The Potions Master didn't want to torment himself by seeing Hermione in the Great Hall. After witnessing her orgasm, he felt as if he had no strength left to resist her. Tomorrow, it would be another story. Tomorrow his life would return to normal, and he'd be able to reclaim his errant wife. But tonight, tonight he had to stay away.
The next morning found the Great Hall full. All the students of Hogwarts were in attendance. Severus was already seated at the staff table when Hermione walked in. Severus did a double take. His wife had her head wrapped in a scarf, and her hair looked bumpy beneath it. What in the world had she done to her hair? Hermione's eyes met his for a moment, a bit of heat in them that made his stomach flip over as the memory of her orgasming in the shower returned. He wanted her badly.

Hermione went and took her seat next to Sybil, who looked at the witch's wrapped head and predicted she was going to have a bad hair day. Hermione rolled her eyes and ordered her breakfast. The doors flew open and in stalked the Snapelets. There were only six of them now, Miss Hedgewood having dropped out after her confrontation with the Potions Master. They walked two abreast now, scowling their way to their tables amid the usual laughter and finger pointing. Severus watched them with a furrowed brow. Hopefully, this would be the last day he'd witness such an entrance.

As everyone ate their meals, the morning owl post arrived delivering the usual parchments and packages to staff and students. There were quite a few birds, so no one but the Professor noticed a rather inconspicuous owl with a bottle attached to it leg pull out the stopper with its beak and circle the Great Hall without making any delivery at all. The owl passed over all the house tables several times before exiting the Great Hall. Severus sniffed. He didn't smell anything. He hoped that the draught had indeed worked. The Potions Master looked around and saw no difference in the students' actions. Well, Fred and George said the effects of the draught would be apparent by the next meal. Albus gave his monthly update to the student body. It was quite short and really contained nothing new, but it was required just the same. Severus finished his breakfast, took another look at his wife, then exited the Great Hall, heading for the dungeons.

It seemed like the morning hours had weights attached to them, they dragged so badly. Severus was constantly looking at the clock, impatient for lunchtime to arrive. At five minutes to twelve he exited the dungeons and headed for the Great Hall. The halls of Hogwarts were eerily empty. There wasn't a single student in sight. Normally there would be quite a few students arriving early, but today, nothing. He entered the Hall through the staff entrance and took his seat. He watched as staff member after staff member arrived, also looking at the Hall bewildered as they took their seats. There still wasn't one student at lunch. This was very odd.

The Headmaster was the last to enter the Great Hall. His blue eyes swept the empty tables a bit worriedly as he walked to his seat and sat down. Nonetheless, he ordered his food as if nothing was amiss. The rest of the staff followed suit. Hermione had her brow furrowed. Every single staff member looked baffled…except for her husband, who was calmly eating. But then again, that was standard Severus. He wouldn't care if the students never came to lunch in the Great Hall again. In fact, he would probably claim their absence was better for his digestion.

Suddenly the doors flew open, and the Snapelets walked in. But somehow, they didn't seem as self-assured as usual. Their scowls were absent for one thing, and their formation not as tight as usual. They seemed to be rushing to their seats. This didn't stop the staff from tittering however, and looking at Severus smugly. Most of them enjoyed the Potions Master's distress, he was such a cold, snarky associate. It was as if he had finally received his comeuppance. The Potions Master showed no reaction, his black eyes focused on the door as the Snapelets quickly sat down and also turned their black eyes to the Great Hall entrance.

A sudden rumbling seemed to fill the castle…like the sound of an approaching stampede. The staff looked up startled.

"What in the world is happening, Albus?" Minerva called to the Headmaster from down the table.

"I am sure I don't know, Minerva. But as the noise is getting closer, I suspect we will know soon enough," the Headmaster replied, his eyes on the doors.

Suddenly the doors were flung open and students poured in. At least, they should have been students. Severus started laughing…laughing out loud, a deep rich sound that filled the Hall as the staff members looked at him and the students in shock.

They poured in the doors, an assortment of Dumbledores, McGonagalls, Flitwicks, Hooches, Trelawaneys, Sinistras, Sprouts, and Vectors. There were even a few Hermiones, Hagrids, Pinces and low and behold Filches in the mix. All of the students emulated the walks and facial expressions of their favorite Hogwarts staff member perfectly. It was bedlam as the students took their seats, the bewildered staff not knowing what to do as they watched their imitators act out.

Hermione covered her mouth and looked down the table at her laughing husband. It was easy to see he had something to do with this, though how he pulled it off, she couldn't figure out. Minerva scowled as tight-lipped replicas of herself looked down their noses imperiously at twinkling eyed Albuses, who peered over their half-mooned glasses and pulled lemon drops out of their brightly colored robe pockets. They all wore gaudy robes of stars, rainbows, and great long beards, some braided, others with ribbons in them. The Flitwicks were all rather large, but all had tufts of hair sticking out of their heads from under bald skullcaps, sported handlebar mustaches, and spoke in irritatingly squeaky voices as they asked for the food to be passed.

The Trelawneys all were speaking in exaggerated, spooky divination voices, making predictions of gloom and doom, each trying to outdo the other, scarves trailing in such abundance, they were getting tangled in their arms and falling into the food dishes. All of the Hermiones had their faces in books as they ate, dropping food as they did so. Hermione scowled a little at this perception of herself. Actually almost all the staff was scowling. Albus stood up and tinged a glass with his fork. The Great Hall went silent as all the pseudo-staff members looked up at the staff tables, frozen in whatever position they were in when the Headmaster called for silence.

"What is going on here?" Albus roared, scowling.

Professor Snape looked down the table at him.

"It appears, Headmaster, the students are all indulging in self-expression, and mimicking the staff member of their choice," he said silkily, his black eyes flashing at Albus victoriously, "Certainly they have a right to do so. Who are we to force them to conform to what we consider 'normalcy?' They are just expressing their admiration after all. The staff should be flattered."

Albus looked at the Potions Master with narrowed eyes for a moment, before he shook his head in defeat.

"Ah Severus, you turn my words around on me, my boy," he said, looking at the sea of copycats before him, watching him intently." This situation will never do. It will disrupt classes and lower the moral of our staff," Albus said, as a Flitwick at the Hufflepuff table fell off the bench, mimicking the clumsiness of the real Professor, whose little face was scrunched up in a frown as the poser brush off his robes, squeaked "I'm all right" and sat back down.

Albus sighed. "I hereby make it against school policy for any student to imitate in dress, word or manner any Hogwarts staff member. If you admire your teachers, then simply tell them so. Do not immerse yourselves so totally in their attributes, that you lose your own. Now everyone back to their dorms and change into your uniforms, then return for a late lunch. That is all," Albus said. The student body all rose and filed from the hall. Soon it was just the staff left. Albus looked at Severus.

"I am truly sorry, Severus. I had no idea what it was like for you. If I had, I would have disbanded the Snapelets long ago," he said sincerely. The rest of the staff looked rather shamefaced themselves.

Severus simply blinked at the Headmaster, saying nothing at first. His eyes fell on Hermione, and darkened. Then he said in a low, cold voice, "It's no more than what I am used to, Headmaster. People have never held my feelings about matters in high regard, or shown any great consideration toward me. You all treated me as I have been treated for most of my life, sir. As always it took the boggart being placed in your own closets to make you realize just how unfair and disturbing the Snapelet situation was. Suddenly the humorous situation wasn't quite so humorous when it was all of you who were the butt of the joke. You can all save your apologies. I'm just glad it's over," the Professor said, rising from the table, "Now, if you'll excuse me."

Severus rose from his seat, turned, and with a billow of robes, left the Great Hall, leaving the staff members, including his wife in total silence. Hermione watched him go, great remorse in her heart. She had been just as terrible as the rest of them. Well, at least she would get a chance to make it up to him. The rest of the staff wouldn't. There was nothing they could possibly do to undo the damage done. Albus sat back down in his chair and began to eat moodily. Minerva stared at her plate, blinking. The rest of the staff ate in silence, each looking pensive and thoughtful.

There wasn't a single witch or wizard at the table who didn't feel they had greatly wronged Severus Snape. And that error would never be completely rectified.

Supper was a rather muted affair in the Great Hall. Everyone was much quieter than usual, with the staff members glancing at the Potions Master furtively, as he ate his meal. Particularly Hermione. His parting words to them at lunch had run deep, and each associate felt extremely guilty.

Severus was still angry, though he hid it well. It was as if his short speech to them drove home just how alone he was, how much of an outcast. Even his wife had been part of his humiliation, and that hurt him the most. Of course, Hermione was young and as far as Severus was concerned, still maturing. It wasn't vindictiveness that made her find the situation funny, he knew that, but it was her callousness that affected him. Well, he'd be sure to tell her exactly what she had done wrong tonight as he was driving into her sweet body. He'd found that she rarely made the same mistake twice after his specialized correction. Plus, he saw the guilt and remorse in her eyes before he left the Great Hall. She was sorry, he knew. But his ego required much more than an apology. He needed to remind her she was his wife, and as such was supposed to be supportive of him in all situations. And he would do it, very thoroughly.

Severus looked down the staff table at his wife with this thought in mind, just as Hermione looked toward him. She recognized the look he gave her…both hot and cold at the same time. Her husband was thinking of what he was going to do to her once he got his hands on her. She felt heat rise in her belly and looked away from him. He had no idea how badly she felt, and what she was willing to go through to make things right between them. She hoped Ginny was right. She hoped tonight would be enough to start to repair the damage her callousness had caused.

Severus decided that after supper he would go to Hermione's rooms and retrieve her. The hell with talking first. He hadn't touched or tasted her in over a week. He would drag her to his rooms and back to their marriage bed if necessary, though he expected she would come willingly. If she resisted, so much the better. And after he was done with her, he would go and bring back her clothing and other articles and put them in their rightful place, in his rooms where they belonged.

Severus was so lost in his thoughts about abducting and reclaiming his wife that he didn't see Albus rise and approach him. He started when he felt the Headmaster's hand on his shoulder.

"I didn't mean to startle you, Severus," the Headmaster said, his blue eyes solemn as he looked at the dark wizard. "You look quite deep in thought, my boy."

"Yes, Headmaster. I do have several things on my mind," the Potions Master replied.

"So do I," the Headmaster responded, "I would like you to join me in my office after supper, Severus."

The Potions Master scowled slightly. He had wanted to collect Hermione after supper.

"Can it wait, Headmaster? I have…plans," Severus said.

"I'm afraid I must insist, Severus," Albus replied, turning to return to his seat, "I'll expect you directly."

Severus scowled after the Headmaster. Damn it.

Hermione finished her meal, rose and walked past her husband quickly. It was now seven o'clock and she needed to bathe. She exited out the staff exit. Severus watched her go, his nostrils flared. Suddenly he stood up and exited behind her.

Hermione turned down the dungeon corridor and had just gone several feet, when she felt strong hands grab her by the shoulders and turn her, pushing her back against the wall. She gazed into the dark eyes of her husband. Severus pressed close against her.

"Hello, wife," he said silkily, relishing the feel of her soft body against his.

"Severus," Hermione breathed, feeling desire pool between her thighs at the delicious feel of his hard body pressing into hers. She could feel him hardening against her.

"I was going to surprise you tonight, but Albus had other plans for me…but I am informing you that this separation is officially over. I fully expect you to be ready to perform the wifely duties that have been denied me these past seven days," he breathed down at her, "and trust me, you will make up for every single day and then some."

Severus released his wife and backed away, noting the heat in her eyes and her labored breathing. She was ready for him. Ready for what she knew he was going to do to her. His black eyes glinted.

"I will retrieve you from your rooms whenever I am done with whatever foolishness Albus has in store for me. Be there. Don't make me look for you," he said in a low, dangerous voice. "And be prepared for a long, rough ride, my little wife. I've missed you, and you have a lot to make up for."

Hermione's legs felt as if they were made of Jell-O and she was trembling all over as her husband gave her a hungry look, then strode back to the main hall and up the main stairwell. He was on his way to Albus' office.

Hermione pushed herself unsteadily off the wall, her body feeling as if it were engulfed in fire. Walking rather dazedly, she made it to her office, opened the door and let herself in. She opened the wall that let to her study and walked through, looking at the clock. She hurried into her bedroom, then the bathroom. She needed to bathe before Ginny got here. She was so ready for tonight. Severus' angry declaration had ripples of anticipation running up and down her body. At this point she didn't care what he did to her, as long as he did something. She turned on the spigot and started to undress.

Severus headed up to the Headmaster's office, hoping whatever the old wizard wanted to talk to him about wouldn't take long. He was ready to reclaim his wife, and intended to ride her until her head popped off. Or damn near. By the time he was finished with Hermione, she'd never, ever think about leaving him again.

The Potions Master stopped in front of the gargoyle that guarded the entrance to Albus' office.

"Jelly Slugs" Severus said, his large nose wrinkled in distaste. Why couldn't the Headmaster come up with a reasonable password for once?

The gargoyle leapt aside and the spiral stairwell that led up to the Headmaster's office came into view. The Potions Master mounted the stairs quickly and knocked on Albus' door.

"Come in, Severus," the Headmaster said pleasantly.

Severus opened the door and entered the office. Albus was sitting behind his desk, two large stacks of parchments in front of him. Fawkes trilled a welcome at the Potions Master. For some reason, the Phoenix seemed to adore him. She had from the first time Severus approached the Headmaster years ago and was turned to the service of the Order. Actually, it was Fawkes response to the young, dark wizard that made Albus take the chance on him. The Phoenix had been correct. Severus proved to be courageous, selfless and loyal despite his cold exterior. A pity he had never been recognized for his service by the Ministry.

"Have a seat, my boy," Albus said, gesturing toward the cushioned chair in front of his desk. Severus eyed the chair. This was the "You're Going to Be Here a While" chair. Normally Albus had wooden straight-backed chairs in front of his desk. Whenever this one appeared…forget it.

Severus looked at the piles of parchment on Albus' desk and got a bad feeling.

"So, Severus…you must be wondering while I called you up here. Well, I've been working on the budgeting, and we need to go over next year's budget for your Potions class supplies," he said evenly. Actually, this was the best idea he could come up with to keep the Potions Master in his office for such a long period of time.

"What? Headmaster, you can't be serious. Can't we discuss this another time?" Severus asked.

"No, I have all the other budgeting done," Albus lied, "Yours is the last and I want to get this out of the way. I have the Potions budgets of the past two years here. I am sure we can estimate next year's needs from these."

Severus scowled. Budgeting at seven-thirty on a Sunday night? Sometimes he really wondered if the Headmaster was going a bit dotty. Albus handed a stack of parchments to the exasperated Potions Master.

"All right. Let's start with January," the Headmaster said, his eyes twinkling.

"Hermione! Hermione, wake up!"

Hermione opened her eyes to see Ginny standing over the bathtub.

"I can't believe you fell asleep. Hurry up and finish bathing. We have things to do," she said.

Hermione blinked at her.

"How'd you get in here?" Hermione asked her. The port key had been set to Severus' rooms.

"It took a while, believe me. First I had to get out of the Professor's rooms, then into yours when you didn't answer the door. Good thing I have Fred and George for brothers. They showed me a trick or two. But come on. It's going on eight o'clock. That only leaves us an hour," Ginny said. "I left his rooms open."

Hermione finished bathing and exited the tub as Ginny enlarged the items they bought at the joke shop. She brought Hermione the dress and helped her put it on.

"Wow," Ginny said stepping back to look at the dress, "Oh, you look hot girl."

Hermione looked down at it. Yes…in a wild kind of way she did.

"Come on…let's loosen your hair," Ginny said. Hermione sat on the edge of the tub as Ginny quickly undid her braids. "Now don't comb them out…leave them just like this," Ginny said. Hermione looked at her hair in the mirror. It looked rather strange, falling in long kinky strands, almost like dreadlocks. It looked like a wild woman's hairstyle. Ginny cast a holding spell on the twisted locks.

"That ought to last until morning. He's going to like that hair with that dress," she said.

Hermione felt a little draft.

"What about knickers?" she asked. Ginny looked at her like she was crazy.

"No knickers," she said firmly, "Now come on, we've got to get your bedroom fixed up…your proper bedroom…not this place."

She and Hermione picked up their wands and the packages, then headed out the Spells office. Ginny peeked out first to make sure no one was in the corridor, then they both ran to the Potions Master's office and slipped in, Hermione warding the door behind them. They entered the study, then the bedroom, where Ginny quickly set up the restraints, pushing the leather straps through the rings and attaching them to the crank, then attaching the crank to the wall and levitating the rings until they adhered firmly to the ceiling. Hermione stood still as Ginny put the restraints on each wrist and cranked it a little, then stepped back to look at her. She stared at her up and down and shook her head.

"No, that's not it," Ginny said, and made a change to the ring setup and restrained Hermione again in a different manner.

"Yessss," she breathed. "You look delicious like that. If my boys saw you…."

"No need to finish that sentence, Ginny," Hermione said as the witch released her.

Ginny took out the speaker box and put the disk in it. She set it so it would start playing when Severus entered the bedroom.

"What is that song?" Hermione asked her.

"Sweet Dreams by the Eurythmics. Perfect lyrics for tonight, trust me," she said grinning. It's set to replay. It's your theme music."

Hermione wasn't familiar with the song.

"What are the lyrics?" Hermione asked the redheaded witch.

"You'll see," Ginny smiled. "There's not a lot of words to it, but the words fit the situation."

Ginny picked up the parchment, the mask, gloves and riding crop and went into the study. She laid the items on the table between the two armchairs in front of the floo, walked over to Severus' desk and retrieved a quill. She handed the quill to Hermione.

"Write a short letter to your husband about how sorry you are and how you are waiting for him in the bedroom," Ginny said.

Hermione walked over to the table, knelt and wrote something on the parchment. Then Ginny picked it up, read it and nodded, then held it in front of the floo. The parchment began to glow and the witch let it loose. It floated in mid-air, softly glowing.

"That will be the first thing that gets his attention, then he'll see the mask, gloves and crop," Ginny said.

"Gods," Hermione said, "My stomach is all in knots."

"Yeah," Ginny grinned, "By the end of tonight your stomach might not be the only thing knotted up.".

She looked at the time. It was five to nine.

"Well, it's just about showtime, Hermione," Ginny said looking at her friend, "Now let's go over what you're going to do and say when he comes into the room…"

"And that should do it," Albus said, taking the parchments from Severus and stacking them neatly on his desk. "We're set until next year. Thank you so much, Severus."

The Potions Master looked at the Headmaster. This really could have waited.

"You're welcome, Headmaster," he replied, standing up.

Albus looked at the time. Nine o'clock on the dot. He smiled. He'd done it. Whatever Hermione had planned he hoped the Potions Master would enjoy it. The wizard deserved something pleasant after all he had been through.

"Is there anything else?" the Potions Master asked, already moving toward the floo. He didn't feel like taking all those stairs.

"Yes," Albus said, looking at Severus curiously, "How did you do it?"

"Do what?" the Potions Master asked?

"The students. Today. All the impersonations," Albus replied.

"I didn't do it," Severus replied. It was the truth after all.

The Headmaster looked at Severus. He had never known the wizard to lie.

"But you know who did," the Headmaster observed.

Severus gave a little smirk but didn't say anything.

"Very well," Albus stated, his eyes twinkling, "Let the culprits remain anonymous then, but it was quite an effective way to teach an old wizard a lesson. Again, I am very sorry, Severus."

The Potions Master looked at him.

"I know sir. Good night," he replied. He stepped to the floo.

"Spells Mistress' rooms," he said, and stepped through.

"Good luck, Hermione," Albus breathed as the Potions Master walked through the flames.

Severus stepped through the floo in Hermione's rooms and immediately bellowed for her. When there was no answer, he frowned and walked into her bedroom. He found a wet towel and nothing else. He looked in the bathroom. He could tell the tub had been used. He walked back into the study, raised the wall and looked in her Spells office. She wasn't there either. He checked her lab as well. Nothing. He scowled. He had told her to wait for him to retrieve her. Nostrils flared, he left for his rooms. He would use the doll to find her.

He entered his office, opened the wall to his study and entered it. He stopped immediately, noticing a glowing parchment floating eye level in front of his fireplace. His eyes slid around his study slowly. Who had placed the parchment here? Cautiously he walked around the chairs. He saw items on his table. A mask, gloves and a riding crop. What was going on here? He read the letter.

Dear Severus,

I know I have wronged you and am willing to do anything to make it up to you. The items on the table are for your use if you choose. I am in the bedroom waiting for you.


The Potions Master looked at the items again. A mask? Gloves? A riding crop?

Severus picked up the riding crop and looked at it. Experimentally he brought it down on his palm and jerked his hand back, surprised. Then his eyes narrowed. A riding crop that gave pleasure? He turned his head toward his bedroom. What was his wife up to?

He gathered the items up and headed for his bedroom curiously. He stepped across the threshold and froze, his black eyes going wide first with shock, then amazement. He stared at his wife as a kind of techno beat started playing, and a woman's resonant, alto voice began to sing:

Sweet dreams are made of these
Who am I to disagree?
I traveled the world and the seven seas
Everybody's looking for something…

Some of them want to use you.
Some of them want to get used by you.
Some of them want to abuse you.
Some of them want to be abused.

Severus listened to the song lyrics as he looked at his wife. Hermione was dressed in a rather short, tattered amber dress that showed her thighs, her wrists tied together by leather straps and pulled over her head. She wore a green and silver collar around her neck, and a leash dangled from it. Her hair fell in thick strands around her face and shoulders. He couldn't see Hermione's face clearly because her head was bowed. Suddenly she raised it slowly, looking directly at him, her amber eyes full of lust and longing. The Potions Master felt his chest tighten…she looked so beautiful, wanton and vulnerable. She was completely at his mercy.

The woman's voice wailed in the background.

"I've been a bad girl, Severus," she said throatily, her eyes going half-lidded. The way her husband was staring at her was making her soaking wet. "A very bad girl to you."

The Potions Master swallowed as he got an immediate erection just looking at her standing there, tied up. His black eyes fell on the leather straps tied around her wrists, then followed them through the ring on the ceiling and down to a crank on the wall. He blinked, then his eyes shifted back to his wife, who looked at him with soft eyes.

"I'm so sorry, Severus," she said her amber eyes wet.

Severus tilted his head at her.

I'm gonna use you and abuse you
I'm gonna know what's inside
Gonna use you and abuse you
I'm gonna know what's inside you

"Are you?" he said in a low voice

"Yes. And I deserve to be punished for what I've done to you," she said in a low voice. "Punish me, Severus."

The Potions Master throbbed so hard he gasped. He put the items on the bed and began to quickly unbutton his robes, his black eyes raking over her body as he did so. She looked like a slave girl, and seeing her dressed and bound like this affected him deeply. She had gone all out for him…she knew she had hurt him and sincerely wanted to make it up to him. He never expected this, and realized why she had contacted Ginny.

"You did this for me?" he asked her unnecessarily…just wanting to hear her speak to him.

"Yes," she said.

"Why?" the Potions Master said as he removed his robes, walked over to the chair and draped them across it. He started on his shirt cuffs.

"Because I was terrible to you, just like everyone else…and I'm afraid you won't be able to forgive me. I'm your wife. I'm supposed to love you and support you. Instead I hurt you. Laughed at your situation like it was a big joke. I didn't mean anything by it, Severus. I swear I didn't. I was just thoughtless…stupid. Immature. Inconsiderate. I didn't look at it from your standpoint and I should have. Severus, so many people have caused you pain. I've never wanted to be one of them. But I became one of them any way, and in my case…it's much worse because you've given your heart to me. I don't want you to take it back because you feel I don't care. I made a mistake. And I know how you are about mistakes. They happen but they have to be paid for just the same. I thought giving myself to you like this might help prove to you how much I love you and how sorry I am. That it would help make you forgive me. I don't want you to stop loving me, Severus. My whole world would end if you stopped loving me," Hermione said softly.

Severus stripped off his shirt, revealing his lean, muscled chest. He looked at his wife.

"I'm disappointed in you Hermione, but be assured I still love you. I will always love you. However," he said, walking over to the bed and picking up the gloves, and putting them on, "You are correct about mistakes having to be paid for. You removed yourself from my bed. You are my wife and are supposed to stand by me. It was a blow to my heart and my pride. You still have my heart, Hermione…it is resilient. My heart knows your heart. You love me. My pride, however, requires more. You disrespected me. I have to teach you respect, my love."

His voice dropped low.

"I love that you are so willing to do something like this to try and please me. I intend to take full advantage of it," he said, putting on the half mask, and picking up the riding crop. "I find your vulnerability arousing. Very arousing."

His black eyes flicked over the restraints again.

"Do the bindings hurt you or make you uncomfortable?" he asked her, concern in his voice.

He walked closer to her, standing in front of her. He ran the riding crop gently up and down her thigh. Hermione squirmed a little at the contact of the crop on her skin. Her amber eyes flicked over her husband. She thought he looked delicious naked to the waist, gloved and masked, his black eyes watching her intently. Severus could smell her arousal, and his nostrils pulsated as he waited for her to answer.

"No. They are charmed. They aren't uncomfortable at all. They have lightening charms, support charms, and an anti-tightening spell as well as a safe word to release me if necessary," she said.

"That's good," he breathed, using the crop to lift the tatters of the dress, looking at the patch of chestnut hair between her thighs.

Hermione felt a gush of lubrication drop as he looked at her, his black eyes even more intense behind the mask. He lifted the dress with the other gloved hand. Suddenly he struck her at the vee of her thighs with the riding crop. Hermione groaned as pleasure radiated out from where he struck her. Severus' eyes were fixed to her face as he struck her again in the same place, and Hermione writhed this time, the pleasure intensifying. Severus raised the crop and looked at it.

"An amazing creation. Apparently the more you use it, the greater the pleasure," he observed. Then he looked at Hermione with heated eyes.

Spread your legs, wife," he said with a growl in his voice.

Hermione widened her stance on the floor.

Severus started to walk around her, his hands and the crop clasped behind his back. He stopped in back of her and stepped very close, so she could feel his presence. But he didn't touch her. He stood behind her silently. Hermione tried to twist her head around to see him.

"Keep looking straight ahead," Severus hissed in her ear. Hermione obeyed him.

"How do you think I'm going to punish you?" he whispered into her ear, his warm breath tickling it. Hermione leaned her head toward his voice, hoping to get a touch of his lips, but he drew back just a little.

"I don't know," Hermione replied.

"You don't know? Have I ever punished you before?" he was at her other ear now, and he pressed his body against her back. He had a huge erection. He began to rub her sides slowly with his gloved hands, one still holding the crop.

"Yes," she breathed.

One of the Professor's hands slipped over her breast for a moment, then returned to her waist. She arched a bit, sighing.

"What did I do when I punished you?" Severus asked her, pulling her hair to one side and revealing the collar and her creamy throat. "Tell me what I did."

Severus slid his lips over the available flesh of her throat gently, then pulled his mouth away. He looked at the collar closely. 'THE PROPERTY OF SEVERUS SNAPE" was burned into the leather. He grinned slightly at the declaration of ownership.

"You shagged me," Hermione whispered, her eyes closed. She moved back against him as best she could.

"That doesn't sound like much of a punishment," he said after moving his head to the other side of her, this time resting his lips against her ear as he spoke, his mouth teasing her sensitive lobe as it moved.

"You shagged me to tears. Past tears," she answered softly.

The Professor stuck the riding crop in the waist of his pants and slid both hands around his wife's breasts and began to fondle her with his gloved hands, squeezing her globes roughly as he ground against her lower back. Then he bent his knees so he could press it hard against her soft buttocks.

"Ah, so I punished you with my tool then," he whispered as he moved against her, his hands full of breasts. Hermione began to moan sexily as he massaged her coarsely, her arms flexing against the straps that bound her.

"I hurt you?" he asked silkily, his eyes half closed as he enjoyed grinding against the softness of her body

"Yessss," she sighed, grinding her own body back against his now.

"Good hurt or bad hurt?" he asked her, stopping his motions and making her push back against him urgently, wriggling, trying to keep him turned on. She needn't have bothered. Severus was already as aroused as he could be.

"It was…good," she responded, her voice slurring with need, "Very good Severus."

"So you like being punished," he purred against her hair. "You know what that makes you, don't you Hermione? A masochist. That's why you're all tied up, my sweet. This is as much for you as it is for me," he said darkly, letting his lips fall to her throat again. Hermione shuddered as he let both hands drift down her belly, then lower, sliding his gloved digits back and forth over her inner thighs, the soft leather feeling strange but good against her flesh as she ached above them. She moaned and sighed as he teased her with his caresses. He ground his bulge against her again, forcefully.

"Severus," she said brokenly. Her masked lover continued to work his body against her.

"I can feel your heat through my gloves, wife. You want to be taken, don't you? To be punished by me," he crooned. "You want me to plunge into you until you cry and break apart, don't you?" he breathed, humping against her now, his hands holding her breasts again, using them as leverage to pull himself tightly to her.

"I've been a bad girl," Hermione repeated, remembering Ginny said to say it over and over to him.

"Yes you have," he agreed, a quaver in his voice.

Suddenly, Severus stopped moving against her and released her, watching with pleasure as she struggled back to reach him, held by her bindings. He removed the crop from his waist and walked around the front of her. Gods, she was beautiful in her need as she strained toward him, her hair flung across her face like a wild woman's, her eyes glowing with lust and need. She was twisting against the restraint.

Severus' eyes swept over her. How was he going to get her out of that dress with her tied like this? He looked at it closer.

"Hold still," he snarled, striking her on the thigh with the crop.

Hermione gasped with pleasure, but stopped moving. Severus' black eyes followed a thin seam that went down the front of the dress. There were also seams across the straps on her shoulders. He arched an eyebrow and gripped the top of the dress to the left of the seam and pulled. There was a kind of tearing noise as the dress opened, revealing his wife's succulent body. The fabric wasn't torn however. It was velcroed. She was wearing a tear-away dress.

"How very convenient," Severus breathed, looking at Hermione's partially undressed body, the leash hanging between her breasts. He tore open the seams on her shoulders and the dress fell to the floor. Now she was bound and naked. Severus could have come in his pants.

He took the riding crop and traced it around her breasts, drew down her belly and over her pubic hair. Hermione panted prettily, her lips parted, her amber eyes locked to her husband's face at he watched the crop move over her body. Then he tapped it upward between her opened legs, striking her labia several times in quick succession, the crop sending pulses of pleasure through her body.

"Oh gods!" Hermione cried out, struggling in her bindings, her eyes hot. She was throbbing and tingling. It felt as if her sex had its own pulsing heartbeat. The witch groaned deeply as lubrication poured out of her.

Severus watched her inner thighs get wet, then drew the crop through the glistening juices, and brought it to his mouth, his eyes meeting hers. He tasted it, and growled.

"Sweet as ever, wife," he breathed.

Then Severus began to beat her body soundly with the riding crop.

Everybody's looking for something

Hermione began crying out as wave after wave of pleasure washed across her body, Severus applying the crop powerfully over almost every inch of her, walking around her, striking her flesh over and over his eyes glinting as she writhed, moaned and called his name, straining against the bonds, begging him to stop and continue in the same breath as he whipped her back, legs, buttocks, thighs, belly and breasts repeatedly. No marks appeared on Hermione's body, though the Potions Master laid the crop to her ardently as he told her silkily of her crimes against him, how wrong she was, and declared that she would never leave him again. It was cleansing for the Potions Master, a needed release for his anger, and a definite turn on to whip Hermione like this, knowing he wasn't causing her pain but pleasuring her to her limit. How much pleasure could she take?

Severus got his answer as Hermione began shuddering under the lashing riding crop, biting her lip and whimpering as she climaxed, her husband's dark eyes on her. The Potions Master threw the crop down and dropped to his knees in front of his wife, throwing her thighs over his shoulders and diving into her hot, pink core, his supple tongue and lips adding to the pulses of bliss rushing through her. Hermione hung there suspended, sweat streaming down her body as she thrashed in her restraints, shrieking as her husband's talented ministrations took her back to the heights, then over the edge again, as he sucked and licked her release of out her hungrily, his tongue thoroughly scouring her luscious body until he had swallowed down every creamy drop of her orgasm and felt her trembling helplessly against his mouth. He pulled away from her sex, licking his lips and sighing deeply.

Severus knelt before his wife, her quivering thighs resting on his shoulders, his heart pounding and pale chest heaving from his passionate animal assault on her body. The Potions Master looked up at Hermione, watching her breasts rise and fall heavily as she recovered, her amber eyes staring down at him, heated and full of love. She slipped back a little, now her knees hooked over his shoulders, her arms still extended over her head. Hermione didn't feel any discomfort from the restraints. The protected spells were still in place. She felt fulfilled, rewarded, glad that her husband still had so much passion for her after all she'd put him through.

Severus lowered her legs back to the ground, stood up, pulled her against him and kissed her deeply, hungrily, pressing himself against her, reveling in the softness and heat of her mouth. He pulled back and looked at her lips. She had such a lovely little mouth…such a soft…sweet…

Suddenly Severus let Hermione go, and strode over to the crank. He turned it and loosened the tautness enough so she could drop her bound wrists in front of her…then he loosened the straps even more. He quickly walked back over to his wife and stood in front of her. He began to unfasten his pants, his eyes hot behind the mask as he opened them and pulled out his erection. It was swollen to maximum size, the thick shaft fully extended and the pink head oozing pre-cum. Hermione understood it was her turn to drop to her knees. Her hands were bound so Severus assisted her, holding his organ up so she could engulf it with her warm mouth.

He hissed, and threw his head back as she swallowed him down. Gods, she felt so damn good, and the fact her hands were bound made his pleasure even greater. It seemed everyone was right about him. He did like his wife tied up…he had even enjoyed beating her with the riding crop. But he doubted he would have enjoyed it if it caused her pain. He only liked to give her pain one way. The Potions Master groaned as Hermione dipped him to the back of her throat, and he placed his gloved hands on her head and began thrusting into her mouth greedily.

"I've missed this, Hermione," he breathed down at her as he pumped between her lips, gripping her head gently and moving it over him. Of course she couldn't reply, so she sucked him hard in response, causing the wizard to shudder and gasp.

"Shit," he said, speeding up, watching his glistening organ dip in and out of her mouth. He leaned back a bit so he could better see her face. Hermione's amber eyes were half-closed, he could just make them out beneath her lashes.

"You're beautiful," he hissed, "Make me come, wife."

Hermione flicked her eyes up at her husband…they were soft and willing. The Potions Master felt his heart clench at the look she gave him before she began to apply herself to making his request a reality. His face contorted as her tongue moved over him lovingly, swirling slowly around the head, bathing his shaft tenderly, her mouth drawing him in deeper, coaxing him to release. Severus could feel his wife's love pulling him to the edge of bliss and he held back as long as he could before he reflexively bent over her, pulled her face tight against his pelvis and exploded into her mouth, groaning her name passionately.

Severus shuddered as Hermione swallowed down pulse after pulse of his hot seed. He came for a long time, engulfed in his wife's warm mouth, grunting softly at each spurt of come he released. He felt her throat move spasmodically as she gulped every drop of his climax down. Finally it ended, and his wife slowly slid his deflating organ from between her lips and looked up at him.

"I've been a bad girl," she said softly.

"Yes, you are a very bad girl who is very, very good with her mouth," he replied, drawing Hermione to her feet and kissing her, tasting himself on her tongue before he tucked himself back into his pants and fastened them. His wife looked a little disappointed at this. Severus smirked. She needn't be disappointed. Soon she would see it again. Actually, much more than see it.

Severus returned to the crank and restored her to her former state of restraint, her arms extended over her head. He walked over to his wardrobe drawer, bent down and took something out of the back of it, and slipped it into his pants pocket, the walked back over to Hermione and let his eyes sweep over her body before he leaned down and picked up the crop again, his black eyes glittering. He ran the crop under his wife's chin, lifting it so her amber eyes met his.

"Now wife, I am going to leave you for a bit," he said silkily.

"No, Severus," she whispered, her eyes still hot for him. She strained toward him, and he smirked at her cruelly, striking her on the breasts several times with the riding crop so she gasped, her body jerking against her bonds as she leaned in for more. He backed away from her.

"Severus," she called to him desperately.

He looked at her.

"Punishment, Hermione," he said silkily, turning and leaving the room. Hermione called his name brokenly and he smiled darkly as he entered the study. He walked over to his desk and looked over his quills, selecting one with a very large, broad black feather. He then walked over to the armchair, took the object out of his pocket and enlarged it.

He held the doll in his hand.

"Show me my vision of beauty," he said to the doll, sitting down and watching as the image of his naked, bound and pouting wife appeared, looking good enough to devour. He grinned darkly and ran the feather part of the quill between the doll's legs. He heard Hermione squeal and watched as she twisted suddenly in response to the sudden tickling sensation between her legs.

Severus laid the doll in his lap and pulled the legs apart, so he could see the tiny clitoris between its thighs. He scraped it lightly with his fingernail and Hermione let out a wail and writhed, her amber eyes wide with bewilderment.

"You think you're confused now, wife," he breathed as he placed his pinky fingertip against the doll's entrance. Slowly he slid it inside, and heard Hermione let out an obscenity, then a groan of pleasure. He looked at her image…her stance was wide and her head thrown back. Her pelvis was grinding slowly. He pulled his finger out and slid it back in again a little harder.

"Oh shit!" he heard her cry. Then he gave the doll several quick deep thrusts, his eyes on Hermione. Her hips started thrusting uncontrollably as her mouth dropped open in an 'O" of surprise, pleasure and confusion, her brow furrowed. He removed his finger and she howled his name, her head dropping forward as she panted. Severus felt himself stirring. He looked at his wife and put the doll down. He stood up and walked back over to his desk. He put the quill back and opened his drawer, taking out several lengths of string used to tie parchments to Raucous when he made deliveries. He laid four of them out and passed his hands over them, turning them into four good lengths of soft, strong rope. Picking up the ropes, Severus walked back over to the chair, picked up the doll, reduced and disillusioned it, then put it back into his pocket. Then he picked up the riding crop and walked back into the bedroom.

Hermione lifted her head and looked at her masked, gloved and half-naked husband hotly, lust and confusion battling for dominance on her face. What he had done to her was a horrible tease…she hadn't felt anything inside her for days and although she didn't know what happened, she wanted more. And he was the only one who could definitely give her more.

"Severus," she called to him, her voice dripping with need.

He ignored her…walking past her without a glance and putting the doll back in the wardrobe drawer. He then walked over to the bed. Hermione saw the ropes in his hand and watched silently, her eyes shining as he tied one length of rope securely to each post of their four-poster bed. He pulled on each one, checking them for strength. Satisfied, he turned to her, his dark eyes hard and lustful.

"You've been a bad girl," he said, walking towards her

Severus walked toward Hermione and stopped about a meter away, black eyes looking down into amber. He stroked the riding crop in his hand slowly and sensually, his lips curved into a rather lustful, cruel smile as his eyes swept over his wife. Hermione arched her body towards him.

"Punish me, Severus," she breathed, the ache between her legs about to drive her wild, "I want you to punish me."

Severus felt his erection return with a vengeance. His black eyes narrowed.

"I intend to, wife…but first…"

Severus began to beat Hermione with the riding crop again, particularly around her thighs and lower belly. He was really becoming quite attached to "The Tickler". His wife's frenzied reactions to it was very exciting. He watched her heatedly as she sobbed with frustration while he tormented her body, sending her into overload with pleasure, writhing, arching, begging him to stop, straining to come into some kind of contact with his hard body as he circled her, applying the crop to her flesh with a vengeance.

"It's too much pleasure, Severus! I need some pain! Your pain! Please! Please do me, Severus. Stop tormenting me!" Hermione screamed at him, totally lost to her desire to feel her husband;s body to pounding into hers.

Hermione was at the breaking point, shuddering with need, her amber eyes like twin glowing coals. She strained at the bindings, and even said the safe word, but it didn't work, because she wasn't in pain or true discomfort She didn't need to be freed either. She was just too aroused, and that wasn't technically a danger. Fred and George were something else. The restraints kept her bound.

Severus stopped beating her and walked over to the chair where his robes lay. Hermione spun to watch him, her chest heaving, her body glowing with perspiration in the torchlight as her husband toed off his boots and unfastened his pants. He was slow and deliberate when he removed them, his back to her as he laid them out neatly on the chair. He was in his silk boxers now, and turned to face her before he slowly removed them, showing his wife he was indeed ready to give her the pain she was begging him for. He was completely naked now, and Hermione actually had to swallow quickly to catch the drool that was about to drip from the corner of her parted lips as her eyes swept over him.

"I've been a very, very bad girl," she said in a barely audible voice. But Severus heard her.

Severus couldn't remember the last time his wife looked so hungry for him, her amber eyes focused on his erection as she continued to struggle in her binds. He looked at her consideringly, then walked over to the crank, and twisted it clockwise, raising her from the floor several inches. Not too high though. The support charm came into effect. Although Hermione was hanging from the restraints, it was as if she were standing on a support. There was no strain on her arms.

"What are you doing, Severus?" she groaned as her husband approached her, and spun her body around so she was spinning. He was disorienting her. Severus stopped her quickly, running his hands over her body. He sucked her breasts and slid one hand between her thighs, finding her slick and wet as she whimpered her need to him. The Potions Master growled and spun her again so her back rested against his chest. She could feel his erection pressing against her buttocks.

"Now, my limber little wife," he breathed, grasping her left leg and pulling it upward, almost putting her in a vertical split, his pale hand grasping her calf. He turned her slightly, resting her leg against his left shoulder so he was facing her, and his erection pressed against her sex. She was the perfect height for penetration.

"Severus," Hermione breathed.

The Potions Master began to breathe heavily as he reached down and pressed against Hermione's entrance. With one brutal thrust he was embedded deep inside her, stretching her around his girth and slamming home with a strength that jerked her savagely. She let out a strange, gurgling cry as if she didn't know whether to scream or laugh as her husband filled her roughly, hot and hard.

Severus groaned as he buried his length inside his wife, parting her flesh with one hard stroke and feeling her heat welcome him, her inner flesh sliding around his swollen head and thick shaft, gripping him tightly, caressing him with her pulsing wetness. He pulled back and drove deeply into her again, then again, setting his rhythm, his black eyes locked to her contorting face as he reclaimed what was his, wrapping one pale arm around her lower back, yanking her dangling body towards him, and adjusting her extended leg slightly to vary the angle and depth of his strokes as he took her violently, arching into her as hard and as deep as he could go.

Severus rode Hermione hard, ripping screams from the restrained witch as he slammed into her cervix repeatedly, trying to drive through the small of her back, his expression harsh as he brutally gave her the kind of beating she begged him for, punishing her body with his own, images of her mistreatment of him flashing through his mind. The empty marriage bed, Hermione's nose in the air as she stalked away from him, her secret smirk as he tried to tell her how he felt, her open laughter when the Snapelets first began their impersonation of him. Severus increased his power, tearing into her brutally, feeling gratified as she cried out, stroking her with a vengeance, her small body jerking wildly as he mercilessly plunged deep within it over and over, growling and grunting lustfully, a roaring in his ears as he released his rage, his pain and his desperate need for her. Hermione was his wife, her soul was bound to him, her body belonged to him, she was his witch and his only love. She was the only light in his life and he would not allow her to stray from him again.

As Severus pistoned into her sweetness, jealously reclaiming every delicious inch of her that she had denied him, he dimly registered her screaming his name, before her body went hot in his hands, shuddering around him then clamping down on his thrusting organ, bathing it in a gush of liquid fire, her contractions milking his shaft as he squished through her release, desperate to claim just a bit more of her before he blew, his eyes starting to roll up in his head as he felt the inevitable tightening.

"Promise never to leave me again," Severus gasped as he plunged inside Hermione to the hilt and released with a howl, arching into her body, come pouring through him like a dam had burst, pulsing, throbbing, jetting shot after shot inside his wife. Hermione whispered she would never leave him again over and over, finally soothing the ache in the Potions Master's heart and closing the wound to his pride as she willingly received his release. Her flesh quivered around him and tears fell from her amber eyes as the wizard she loved clutched her to his body possessively, the mark of his iron grip embedded in the fair skin of her calf. Finally his release slowed, then stopped, and he withdrew.

Weak-kneed, Severus lowered Hermione's leg and kissed her passionately, his tongue claiming hers as he clung to her dangling body for support, both arms wrapped around her, listening to her sweet declarations of love as he panted. After a few minutes, Severus let go of Hermione long enough to wave a tired hand toward the music box and it went silent. Then he wound a finger toward the crank, and it turned, lowering her back to the floor. There was no sound but the pounding of their slowing hearts as the Potions Master slipped the leather loops from around his wife's wrists, and picked her up unsteadily, carrying her to the bed and placing her in it, then climbing in behind her, stretching his long, lean body out alongside hers. Hermione pulled the half-mask off her husband's face, her amber eyes studying him as he looked at her, his black eyes glittering slightly.

"Am I forgiven?" she asked him softly, her hand moving to his chest and caressing it lightly.

The Potions Master reached over her, catching hold of one of the ropes he had tied to the bedposts and tickling her shoulder with the end of it.

"Almost," he replied, the glitter in his dark eyes increasing.

Severus spent the rest of the night alternating between shagging and making love to Hermione, taking her over and over in every orifice until he felt her redeemed, suitably respectful and totally restored to him. The Potions Master had tied her to the bed for a few of his ministrations, but ended up having to release her in order to bend her the ways he wanted. "The Tickler" played a major role in Hermione's reclamation as he experimented with what tapped areas seemed to drive her wildest. He finally decided her nipples and her labia were the witch's two hotspots. The riding crop was now Severus' favorite toy. He was sure it was going to get a lot of use in the years ahead.

In the wee hours of the morning, Severus finally rolled off Hermione's quaking body completely spent. Ginny's holding spell didn't survive the rough night, and Hermione's hair was now a mass of damp tangles. The witch was still recovering, still babbling softly from her husband's spectacular finish, her breasts rising and falling as she struggled to return to the world of reason. Severus loved when he made her incoherent with pleasure, and he pulled her closer to him and spooned around her, his face resting on hers, cheek to cheek as he listened to her soft nonsensical utterings, his black eyes seeming to look out into some faraway place. From her jumbled words he could pick out his name, the phrases I love you, I'm sorry, so good, so strong, and a few obscenities.

During their most intense moments of passion, Hermione would cry out that she was a very bad girl, and deserved to be punished, which resulted in the lust-crazed Potions Master taking her harder each time she said it. He figured she loved what he was doing to her, because of the number of times she repeated it, knowing he would oblige her brutally. The following morning Severus informed his aching wife she would be getting no healing potions from him on this occasion and would have to recover from their make-up sex naturally. He had really laid it on her, and wanted to see the results of their night together whenever he looked at her. This was his way of stroking his already greatly inflated male ego.

But Hermione's masochism only went as far as the bedroom, she was sorry for all that happened, and gave herself to her husband's passions willingly, but there was no way was she going to hobble around Hogwarts for the next two days…so she did what most wives would do in this situation. She agreed, then when his back was turned, raided his stores and got relief. She was a good enough actress to fool Severus and he never knew.

Ginny contacted her the next day by owl to find out all the juicy details, and begged her to send her a pensieve of the night's events. Hermione hedged about this at first, but then figured that Ginny deserved to see. It wasn't like anything she did with her husband would shock her. Ginny had probably done it all. So Hermione adapted a tiny pensieve to be a one-shot viewing, and sent her memories to the redheaded witch. After Ginny viewed it, the contents in the pensieve would evaporate.

When Ginny received Hermione's pensieve, she locked herself in her bedroom, stuck her finger in the small bowl, and watched what transpired. She was playing with herself inside of two minutes of watching the lovers, and only made it to the part where Severus removed Hermione's restraints and carried her to his bed, before she put the pensieve on the nightstand, opened her bedroom door and called for Geoffrey. He appeared almost instantly.

"Yes, Ginny?" he asked, looking at her with his brow furrowed.

When Ginny came home from work earlier, she told the slew of randy wizards waiting for her that she was spending time by herself today, and threatened to hex anyone that disturbed her. Everyone knew Ginny never bluffed, so many of the wizards either went home or just lounged about, finding their own entertainment. So Geoffrey was surprised when she called him.

The witch grabbed the startled wizard by the arm and yanked him into her bedroom, closing and warding the door behind him. She looked at him with hot eyes and started to undress, pulling both her button-up blouse and bra over her head, then sliding her pants and knickers off in one easy motion, her curly red bush exposed.

Geoffrey blinked at Ginny until he saw her breasts bounce into view, then he hastily removed his sandals, shirt, shorts and boxers. He didn't know why fortune had smiled on him, because Ginny rarely ever let him have her alone. There was always at least one other wizard with him when he had sex with her. For whatever reason she decided to make him her only lover this time, he was grateful for it.

Naked, Ginny scooted back in the bed and crooked her finger at him to join her. He knew not to enter her bed unless she expressly asked him to. That was one of the Queen's rules.

He joined her, and looked at her closely. She was very flushed, and her body trembled slightly. He could smell her readiness. Something had gotten the witch started. She certainly wasn't this way when she arrived home half an hour ago. His dark brown eyes flicked over her body and he swelled instantly, ready for action.

"What do you want me to do, Ginny?" he asked her. He knew she wanted him to shag her, but Ginny was usually very specific about what she expected from her lovers.

"I want you to do me as hard and as rough and as long as you can, Geoffrey," she breathed.

Geoffrey's eyebrows rose at this. Ginny had never given him free reign before. He felt himself grow even harder, and he sucked in his breath. This was his chance to show her he could satisfy her. Him. Alone. Every muscle in his body bunched at this realization.

"Are you sure, Ginny?" he asked her hoarsely. She looked up at him, lust and need swimming in her brown eyes.

"Yes," she replied, "And don't you dare stop. I need this."

Geoffrey smiled wickedly as he rolled on top of her and lifted her legs to his shoulders.

The wizard looked down at Ginny trapped beneath his body and positioned himself at her entrance. Then he locked his brown eyes to hers.

"You needn't worry about me stopping, " he breathed, adjusting himself. "I've wanted to shag you this way for a long, long time, Miss Ginny Weasley. Just me and you."

Ginny's eyes widened as Geoffrey lifted his hips high and rammed his tool deep inside her, grunting loudly as he tore through her softness and hit bottom, the witch's shrill shriek of surprise and pleasure ringing in his ears.

"Fuck, Geoffrey," Ginny groaned, her eyes glistening up at him as his ache reverberated through her.

"That's just what I intend to do," Geoffrey growled backat her.

Enthusiastically, the wizard went to work.

The Professor dismissed his sixth year Potions class. He had been in a good mood, and only took twenty points from Gryffindor. The students placed their parchments on his desk and filed out of his classroom. He took out his red quill and started grading them immediately. A timid voice called him.

"Professor?" the voice said.

Severus looked up into the blue eyes of Miss Hedgewood. She stood in front of him, her books clasped to her chest. She looked a little frightened. Severus was in too good a mood to frighten her further.

"Yes, Miss Hedgewood?" he asked her, putting down his quill and folding his hands, looking at her expectantly.

"I…I just wanted to say that I'm sorry. I didn't realize how you felt about us until you talked to me in the corridor. I never meant to cause you any distress. You are just someone I admire as a person. When the other students came up with the idea, I just went along with it. I'm really very, very sorry, sir," the girl said, hunching her shoulders and preparing for another onslaught from him.

The Potions Master looked at her consideringly.

"Miss Hedgewood, I realized that you understood my feelings when I saw that you dropped out of the group before Albus put a ban on such activities. You are young, and the young make mistakes. So do those who have the advantage of years. You saw the error of your ways, and rectified them. I accept your apology, Miss Hedgewood. We need never discuss this matter again," he said to the witch, who visibly slumped with relief.

"Thank you, Professor," she said smiling, and turning to go.

"Oh, Miss Hedgewood?" the Professor called to her.

The witch turned back.

"Yes, Professor?" she asked him, her blue eyes searching his face.

"Do you still have that book of essays?" he asked her.

The witch rifled through her books and produced it.

"Yes sir, I always keep it with me," she replied.

"Give it here," Severus said, holding out his hand. The witch complied.

The Potions Master rifled through the book until he found the page he wanted. He picked up a quill and scrawled his name in the lower corner, then handed the book back to Miss Hedgewood.

"There is the signature you asked me for," he said to her, his dark eyes observing her reaction. She danced a little.

"Oh, thank you sir! Thank you so, so, much!" she gushed, staring down at the book, then smiling at him broadly. "Wait until the others see. They are going to be so jealous!"

The witch grinned ear to ear. The Professor arched an eyebrow at her.

"Just don't make them so jealous they start pestering me, Miss Hedgewood. If they do, I will hold you personally responsible," he said scowling at her.

She blanched.

"Maybe…maybe I'll just keep it to myself, sir," she responded. The Professor nodded.

"Good-bye Professor Snape," the witch said, turning and walking toward the door.

"Goodbye, Miss Hedgewood," he replied, returning to his parchments, feeling rather pleased with himself. The witch exited.

Severus marked a few more parchments, then put his quill down and stretched luxuriously. He couldn't think of a single thing that troubled him now. The Snapelets were disbanded, his wife was back in his bed where she belonged, and almost the entire Hogwarts staff was wracked with remorse concerning him. He ought to be able to cash in on their collective guilt for months to come. Severus smirked.

His woes were gone. Life was good again.

And that's just the way he liked it.


A/N: And that's the end of "Woes of a Potions Master" Thanks for reading.