The List Part One



Her brow furrowed in concentration, eighteen-year-old Hermione Granger looked over the list of words she associated with her snarky Potions Professor, Severus Snape with satisfaction. Yes, the list described him all right.

Hermione was in Potions class, smarting from another unfair loss of points by Snape. He was such a bastard. Just because she helped a fellow student pick up some spilled lacewings, he had taken thirty points from Gryffindor. Then, when she protested, he took twenty more, leveling his black eyes at her and daring her to say another word.

The Potions Master represented every single word on her list to some extent. She had ugly down, but he wasn't ugly. He just had a big nose and very fine hair that looked greasy. But it sounded mean and hateful to call him ugly, so she did. Putrid was another stretch, since he actually smelled quite nice most of the time, but right now he stunk of unfairness. Slimy, well he was more like slithery, the way he crept around trying to catch people breaking rules…she'd change that one.

Hermione looked at the last word with a little trepidation. She had run out of nasty E words and wanted to keep the list honest. Despite all his horrible traits, Severus Snape dripped sexuality. At least to Hermione. He seemed like he would take a woman and just swallow her whole. How Hermione came to this conclusion? By watching him. The way he was. The Professor dominated his Potions class, was selfish with his possessions and property, and any project applied himself to was handled with focus, the wizard zeroing in on his task unceasingly until he reached completion.

Hermione imagined with a woman he would be the same way. He'd dominate her, be possessive of her, and when he took her, he'd apply himself unceasingly until he brought her to completion. Hermione tried to control these thoughts about the dark wizard, but it was hard. Even pissed off at him she retained this view of him, wondering if her assessment was right, and what it would be like to be the woman of Severus Snape. To hear him speak in that silky, sexy voice as he ran those long pale fingers over her skin, or look into those black eyes as they hovered over hers. She shuddered.

Suddenly her list was snatched out her hand.

Oh, gods, Professor Snape had it, and was reading it. Shit. Shit. Shit. His eyes scanned down the page, then his eyebrows rose. His black eyes shifted to Hermione thoughtfully. He turned and walked back to his desk, list in hand.

"Detention, Miss Granger. Tonight here in the Potions classroom. Eight o'clock," he said silkily. "Be prepared to discuss your 'list'."

Severus Snape looked over the neatly printed list Hermione had made of his so-called attributes using the letters of his name. He had laughed at a couple of the words, scowled at others, but the one that intrigued him was the last. Erotic. So, the Gryffindor witch thought he was erotic. Interesting. That explained quite a few things he had been noticing about the witch. Nothing too glaring mind you, just a bit on the odd side. Normally Miss Granger was on point in his class, attentive and ready to participate in discussions. Whenever he fired a question at her, she would fire the answer back quickly, taking only seconds to process the correct response. Lately however, he would send a question at her and she would look at him dazedly, and he would have to repeat the question in order to get an answer.

He had also noticed an unusual amount of clumsiness whenever he would stop and observe her working on a brew in class. Her normally sure hands would hesitate and falter, and on more than one occasion he'd had to rescue her work, keeping her from exploding her cauldron. He scolded her scathingly when she made such stupid errors. She was his best pupil. Such sloppiness was completely unacceptable. He would ask her what in the world was wrong with her, and she would look at him with a Longbottomish expression on her face and shrug lamely. This infuriated him. He was harsh on her as far as marks went, not wanting her to get a big head about her abilities, but he found himself actually having to give her lesser marks due to her poor showing. Looking at the list, he saw the young witch was obviously conflicted…about him.

The indomitable Miss Hermione Granger, toppled off her game by something as simple as a case of puppy-love. An infatuation. A crush on her Potions Professor and the Slytherin Head of House, no less. Godric Gryffindor would be doing handstands in his grave. Snape sighed. He was already swamped with dealing with a continuous flow of overwrought Slytherin females and their love problems, passing out tissues and listening to their horror stories of unrequited love. Now he had to deal with Miss Granger's imagined attraction to him. He had to locate her "off switch" and click of the flow of hormones flooding the witch before it got out of hand. This had happened to him once before.

He had put off dealing with the smitten young woman, thinking the infatuation would wear off on its own, and found himself in quite a compromising position several weeks later when the desperate witch marched into his classroom one afternoon, warded the doors, disrobed and begged him to shag her. Snape had been hard put not to do it. The witch was lovely, and implored him so sweetly and passionately…but he steeled himself and flooed Albus, informing him of his situation. The Headmaster dealt with the witch for him, but afterwards reprimanded Snape for not taking action to discourage the young woman sooner. He did not want relive the situation with Miss Granger.

He looked at the time. It was seven forty-five. The initial words on the list would not be difficult to get through. He would make her uncomfortable about them and deduct points for each one, according to how offensive he actually found them. Some of them were apt descriptions, such as sarcastic, rude, vicious, and nasty. He really fit these descriptions, particularly when dressing down someone who raised his ire. The term 'eldritch' had cracked him up. Miss Granger dug deep for that one. He was up in the air about "evil". He did have a very dark nature, but believed he just stopped short of actually being evil, though his students would definitely disagree with his summation. As far as being ugly, that could be applied either to his personality, his features or both. Actually, some women considered him handsome in an intense, dark, mysterious kind of way.

The remaining words were definitely ones that would be applied to him by an irate student pissed off by point loss. Miss Granger had described him as slimy, sickening, putrid and an asshole after he had reduced her house total by fifty points. He could understand her wrath, but still she was stupid enough to wave her little list around and let him get it, so she had to pay the price. The term 'asshole' would cost her.

But the word "erotic." What in the world would a little virgin like Miss Granger know about anything erotic? He would have to discover what her definition of 'erotic' was in order to get to the root of her infatuation with him. This exploration would definitely make her squirm, and he had no intention on letting her off the hook about it. Making her open up about her attraction, then by discussion letting her see how ridiculous it was, would hopefully have the desired effect of getting her back to her former level of work. If she wasn't candid enough, he could always apply Legilimency to see what she found erotic about him and use that as a basis to discourage her. As it was, she was seriously distracted, and in a class as exacting as Advanced Potions, distraction could be lethal. He wondered if this crush on him was affecting any of her other classes. Hopefully it wasn't. Hopefully it was only in his presence that Miss Granger lost her concentration and her cool.

There was a knock on the door. Snape straightened his robes and folded his hands on his desk.

"Come in, Miss Granger," he called.

Hermione opened the door and walked in, her shoulders slightly slumped. She was dressed in her school robes, her uniform under them. She had worried over her detention all day, the last word on the list taunting her. Now the Professor knew that she had impure thoughts about him, and it was embarrassing to say the least. It probably amused him to think of her pining over him like a lovesick billywig. Little Hermione Granger longing for the touch of her Potions Professor. She wished she could find a rock and crawl under it.

She walked up to the Professor's desk and stood in front of it, her eyes on the floor.

"I'm here for detention, Professor," she announced unnecessarily.

Snape's black eyes passed over Hermione slowly as she stood before him with her head bowed. He could tell she had punished herself about the list, probably agonizing over the last word, and embarrassed to death about his discovery of her infatuation with him. He smirked. The darker side of him flared up for a moment, tempting him to take her humiliation to an even greater level. He pushed it aside.

"Sit down in your usual seat, Miss Granger," he said.

Hermione turned, walked around the long table in the first that served as a communal desk for Snape's pupil, and sidled in to the seat located in the middle, directly in front of his desk. She pulled the chair out, sat down and slid herself closer to the desk, folding her hands and looking at him directly now. His dark eyes met hers knowingly, and she felt a tug of apprehension in her belly as he pulled the list out of his pocket. She attempted to soften his reaction.

"Professor, I wrote that list when I was very angry at you. I didn't mean those things I wrote," she said, looking at him with pleading eyes.

The Professor scanned the list, and looked at her. She saw no compassion in his dark eyes.

"Miss Granger, I've found that people are most honest when under emotional turmoil. When you wrote this list, you certainly did mean it. Every word. Don't try to convince me otherwise. You will be wasting your time," he said, frowning at her. "Now, why do you think I'm slimy, Miss Granger?" he asked.

Hermione swallowed, "I was going to change that to slithery, sir," she confessed, "because of the way you slink around trying to catch rule-breakers."

Snape raised his eyebrow.

"Miss Granger, you are not a complete idiot. You know rules must be enforced or the whole system will fall into chaos. My 'slinking' around helps maintain order at Hogwarts and protects the students from themselves. Ten points from Gryffindor for that description."

Hermione just looked at him. So that was his game…she had to justify what she wrote about him or lose house points. Very well. Snape looked down at the list.

"The next word is 'evil'. How am I evil, Miss Granger?" he asked her.

Hermione warmed up to the challenge.

"It depends on the definition used, Professor, " she said. "In this case I define evil as causing ruin, injury, or pain. Something that is a cause or source of suffering. The way you unfairly punish and embarrass your students is as far as I'm concerned, something you do to be cruel."

"Wrong in one, Miss Granger. If the student were acting in a manner that was acceptable, I would not be able to take points, assign detentions or dress them down. And even when I do, that can hardly be called ruin, injury or pain. In the student's mind, perhaps it is hurtful, because they aren't free to pursue their own plans for that evening, or feel badly about losing points for their house, but in that case they mentally cause their own suffering, when the solution is to merely accept their losses and continue on. As far as fairness goes, this is my classroom and I set the rules. I must be able to enforce them. This is not a democracy, Miss Granger. Ten points from Gryffindor for that inapplicable description.

Hermione kept her face immobile. That was two down. The Professor did have a point.

The Professor perused the list again.

"I am going to put the following descriptions in one bag, Miss Granger and save you the trouble of trying to justify them. 'Vicious, Rude, Sarcastic and Nasty.' These are all perceptions of my personality and my preferred mode of operation when dealing with others who invoke my ire or my wrath. I can be particularly vicious and nasty with my delivery if I feel a person needing correction is too thick for reason alone. Most are, and so require the extra impetus. I am also rude to those who assail me with their stupidity or unwanted approaches. I am sarcastic by nature, so you will lose no points for that. But my viciousness, rudeness and nastiness are determined by the way others cause me to interact with them. It is not my nature. So thirty points from Gryffindor.

Hermione frowned at not having the chance to address the descriptions, though once again the Professor had justified himself very well. Everyone had different perceptions of another's motivations for acting the way they do, and there was no way to be sure the perceptions were correct, so the words Hermione used were unable to clearly define the wizard's actions.

The Professor continued going through the list, debunking each description Hermione had used and deducting house points. As far as the term 'asshole' was concerned, that little description was deemed a direct insult and resulted in a fifty-point loss. Hermione winced. Her housemates were going to kill her. Now they were behind Slytherin house as far as the House Cup went. The Gryffindors would have to suck up to a lot of Professors to make up those points, and hopefully win the next couple of Quidditch matches. In total she had lost them one hundred and forty points. And there was one word left.

The Professor rose from behind his desk and walked around it. He stopped in front of Hermione, whose heart was beginning to pound. This was the word that revealed her secret attraction to the Potions Master. A secret he now knew. Snape leaned back against the desk and studied her, watching as she began to blush under his gaze.

The Professor was enjoying the normally unflappable Gryffindor's discomfort and embarrassment because of her crush on him. To see the confident Miss Granger brought to her knees by her emerging sexuality and natural curiosity was, well, satisfying. She was someone who put a lot of belief in the power of intellect and logic, and spent hours upon hours honing hers to the point of excluding the other aspects of life. It really must weigh heavily on her that she found her snarky Professor was arousing feeling in her that had nothing to do with her mind.

He let his eyes flick over Hermione a bit more until the blush that began at her face crept over the rest of her body. Then he addressed her.

"Miss Granger, the word at the end of your list had a much different connotation than the previous. A much more personal one. Much more…intimate in nature. It leads me to believe, Miss Granger that I have aroused your interest in a way not connected with our teacher/student relationship. Am I correct in my assumption?" he asked quietly.

Hermione simply looked at him. She was unable to admit the truth of his statement. She sat at the desk and lowered her eyes.

The Professor looked at her, amused.

"So the mouth that roared goes silent," he mocked, "It seems, Miss Granger, I have finally found the question that you can't answer."

Hermione's eyes flashed at him angrily for a moment, before returning to the desktop. The Professor stood up and walked a bit closer to Hermione's desk, put both his hands on it, and leaned closer to her.

"You described me on your list as 'erotic' Miss Granger. Tell me your definition of erotic, and why you find me so," he said silkily, using the power of his voice on the young witch to make her respond.

Hermione looked up at him. He wanted to know why she was attracted to him. Her attraction was purely physical. She couldn't tell him she dreamed about him doing things to her body that lovers do.

The Potions Master scowled at her.

"Miss Granger, if you do not tell me, I will be forced to use Legilimency on you and see for myself. That is far more invasive than answering my question. At least you can choose what to tell me if you answer me. You will have no choice concerning what I see in your mind," he said evenly.

Hermione looked at him with a shocked expression. If he looked in her mind, he would see everything he thought and dreamed about concerning him. He would know she thought about him having sex with her, worse he would see the fantasies.

"Please don't use Legilimency on me, Professor," Hermione said in a panicked voice, "Please, sir, don't do it!"

The Professor was taken aback by the fear in her voice. She sounded terrified. He became instantly curious. What was she hiding in that mind of hers that made her beg him not to look?

"Well then, Miss Granger, what is your definition of 'erotic' and what do you find erotic about me?" he asked her again. "This is the last time I will ask you. I will find out for myself if you do not answer me truthfully."

Hermione drew in a steadying breath. She was going to have to tell him. Showing him would be so much worse.

"My definition of 'erotic' is…is…sexually arousing," Hermione whispered.

"What? Speak up, Miss Granger. I couldn't hear you," Snape said, his dark eyes focused on her intently.

Gods, she had to say it again?

"I said my definition of 'erotic' is sexually arousing," she said louder.

The Potions Master was silent for several moments. To Hermione, his silence was worse than anything he could have said. He was going to laugh at her. She knew it.

But he didn't laugh. He stood up and stepped back against the desk, folding his arms.

"Miss Granger," he said softly, "I am not going to humiliate you by asking you what you mean by that statement. Your meaning is very clear in that you think I evoke sexual desire in you. I know what that means."

Hermione wished she could turn invisible as she listened to the Potions Master imply that he knew she wanted him to shag her. Or she thought she did. He had purposely inserted that seed of doubt, planning on watering it later on with reason and making it grow. He continued.

"But I will ask you how I arouse you. What is it about me that causes this imagined reaction in you?" he asked her.

Hermione felt a little flash of anger at his implication that her reaction to him was imagined. She felt the urge. She knew it was very real, as inappropriate as it was. Hell, sometimes it kept her awake at night. Damn, she hadn't asked for this.

"I don't know, Professor," she said weakly.

His black eyes searched her face.

"You know," he replied, thinking it might be time to take a look in her mind. Hermione saw his eyes shift to her forehead.

"Your voice," she said quickly.

"What about my voice?" he responded.

The Potions Master was well aware of how women loved the silky richness of his voice. But he was still interested in hearing what Hermione found so erotic about it.

"It sounds like…like what a man would sound like when he's…he's" she started.

"When he's what, Miss Granger?" the Potions Master pressed.

"Talking to a woman while having sex," she concluded, coloring.

"And how would you know what that sounds like, Miss Granger? I think I am safe in assuming you have not yet heard a man's voice in that way," he said.

"No I haven't," she replied, "It's just how I imagine a man would sound. Soft, silky, persuasive. A voice that could make you do anything for him."

"All right. My voice. Is there anything else?" Snape asked her, his eyes watching her for any type of hesitance that would give him the right to invade her mind.

"Your eyes," she said, looking into those dark, knowing pools and feeling a small burst of heat. The Professor noticed her slight pulse of desire because of the momentary heat reflected in her eyes. She was definitely infatuated.

"Your eyes look as if they could see right inside a wom…a person and see every secret. Lay them bare. Worse, they make you want to give up your secrets…give up everyth.." here Hermione stopped, feeling her heart rising in her throat

"My eyes," the Professor said. His throat felt a little constricted. "Is there more?"

He could see the witch was having a hard time with this, but he wanted to know everything about him that she thought moved her to be attracted to him.

"Your focus," Hermione said, her voice cracking a little as she swallowed mid-speech. "Whenever you are focused on something, it is like nothing else exists but that one thing you are occupied with. And it makes me wonder what you are like when focused on a woman, and I imagine it…and…and…the idea of it…of you…does things to me."

Snape went silent for a few more moments.

"Is there more? Tell me everything," he said to the witch.

"Your command. The way you dominate situations. How controlling you are. How you demand to be obeyed. All those things make me feel weak inside…like I want to be dominated…controlled…makes me want to do whatever you tell me to do," Hermione said in a low voice, looking him directly in his eyes now. She looked dazed, as if hypnotized or caught up in a dream.

Before Snape knew he was doing, he had breathed the spell.

"Legilimens," he whispered, and his consciousness was drawn into Hermione's mind. There was first an image of him kissing Hermione violently against the wall of the potions classroom, crushing her body tight to the stones, then flashes of his pale hands sliding across her bare skin, his lips at her throat, her body arching upward, perspiration dripping off a surging pale back, black eyes blazing down, pale fingers tracing a thigh, then the full profile image of the Professor raised up on his arms, staring down at Hermione while stroking her brutally in a bed, her body jerking wildly, her head tilted back, her mouth open, gasping…

Snape pulled back out of Hermione's mind, his black eyes wide at the sheer carnality of her dreams and fantasies. He felt disoriented, his stomach tightened and he fought to retain his composure. He looked at the witch as if seeing her for the first time in his life.

Hermione hadn't felt him invade her mind. She still had the dazed look on her face, and the Professor realized she had probably slipped into one of her fantasies about him and was daydreaming.

"Miss Granger," he said, willing his voice to stay even. The erotic images in the young witch's mind had shaken him. "Miss Granger," he said again, and Hermione's eyes focused on him, and she blushed deep crimson.

After what he witnessed in Hermione's mind, the Potions Master wasted no time in trying to dissuade her from her infatuation, and make her realize her attraction for him was not a true one.

"Miss Granger. You must realize that what you are feeling are not true feelings for me. They are a result of your burgeoning sexuality, and common in all young women. You are not focused on me but a caricature of me, a false projection."

The Professor drew closer to the witch, leaning down over the desk and looking into her eyes almost desperately as he tried to defuse her.

"My voice is nothing special, I just speak in low, quiet tones for the most part. My eyes see no more than any other person's and certainly do not divine secrets of any type. My focus is something I've developed over time because of the painstaking nature of potions making. It is a by-product of my dedication to my art and nothing more. My command is just my use of the authority granted me as a teacher in this school. My control and domination of my classes is employed simply to keep tight reins on my pupils, so I can at least attempt to teach them. You are reading things into me that aren't true, Miss Granger and creating an image of me that does not exist."

The Professor searched the witch's face to see if she were absorbing any part of what he was saying. He continued.

"I am not the man you are pining over, Miss Granger. Think about this. If I were that fantasy man I would be surrounded by women, don't you think? Just the absence of them should tell you that what you are imagining is just that, imagination. A hormonal construct. You have focused on me because I am beyond your reach, inaccessible. As reprehensible as you find me at times, you know my conscience and sense of duty would never allow me to break a student/teacher trust. In other words, subconsciously you know I am safe to fantasize about because it could never happen. This is not true desire, Miss Granger, it is simple projection announcing your arrival into adulthood. You need to remember that when you begin to sink into your belief that it is something more. That I am something more."

He leaned back, away from the desk, his eyes locked to hers, trying to push her images out of his mind.

"You are dismissed, Miss Granger. Return to your house," he said, "Now"

Hermione looked relieved as she quickly rose from the desk, sidled between the rows and exited the Potions classroom without a look back.

The Potions Master stood leaning against his desk, and wiped a pale hand across his face. Merlin's balls. He never suspected the mind of Hermione Granger to create anything as erotic and arousing about him as what he witnessed. He thought he would see strolls by the lake, or hand holding…something chaste and innocent, despite her use of the word erotic. How could a virgin imagine such carnal, lustful acts?

The Professor stood by his desk for a moment, shaking his head, before warding the classroom and making a beeline for his study. And his liquor cabinet.

He needed a drink.

Snape poured himself a stiff firewhiskey and stared into the glass a moment before downing it in one gulp. He gasped as the liquor burned his throat going down, his black eyes watering a bit. He set the glass down, turned and walked to the armchair in front of the fireplace and folded himself into it. The image of himself roughly taking Miss Granger came back to him in glaring clarity. He tried to push it from his mind but it stubbornly remained. He felt himself hardening despite himself. The detention had not gone as smoothly as he had thought it would. He had always been a man of great discipline and restraint. He had experience listening to young women describe their infatuations because of his position as head of house, which over made him a kind of father confessor and sounding board for his female Slytherins. He had felt certain he could hear Miss Granger out and remain neutral, even if the object of her infatuation was himself, and then advise her.

Well, he had succeeded in advising her, pointing out that she was projecting on him rather than actually desiring him. He felt he had been quite convincing, and hoped that the Gryffindor witch absorbed what he told her and would apply her ability to think logically to defuse the situation. But it shook him to discover he couldn't listen to her with his usual detachment. While outwardly he exhibited the control and detachment he always evidenced with students, inwardly her confessions had moved him in a most undesirable manner. His knowledge of her innocence, coupled with the very erotic way she was describing his effect on her had made him realize for just a moment that if he had been so inclined he could have taken the young witch and she would have welcomed it. And the thought did not repel him as it should have.

Unlike the Hufflepuff girl, who although lovely, was not very bright, Miss Granger was a smart, usually very levelheaded witch. She had a formidable mind and a well-developed sense of responsibility. She was also more mature than most of the student body, her dealings with the hot headed Harry Potter and reactionary Ron Weasley having honed her sense of responsibility and right action, if only to keep the twits from getting themselves killed over the years. She was not the kind of witch to involve herself in the trivial, hormone-driven pursuits that afflicted those of her age. She preferred the pursuit of education and knowledge instead, feeling that to be most important at this stage of her young life. It wasn't a popular decision she had made. He himself had heard her being described as cold, frigid, and a bookworm by male students who had attempted to court her unsuccessfully. Snape had always approved of her decision to make knowledge her beau.

If those same male students had heard the Gryffindor witch today, describing her very carnal attraction to her Professor, their perceptions of her would definitely have changed. What Snape hoped was that his own perception of the young witch had not been permanently affected. The image of him ferociously riding her body as if he owned her was something he would not easily be able to forget, despite his control and discipline. And then there were the other images, bits and pieces of foreplay, his lips and fingers on her skin, his own eyes full of lust and desire, and then the image of him kissing her in his own classroom, pressing her body up against the wall and claiming her mouth. Was that what she thought of as she watched him lecture? When he prepared ingredients for demonstration, did she see his hands doing other things? Probably.

The Professor sighed. He had made a grave error in questioning Miss Granger about that last word. His own curiosity and love of dressing down the brilliant witch had done this to him. He should have just given her a blanket punishment for her audacity in writing such a list at all and left it at that. But no, he had wanted to make her uncomfortable. He had succeeded, but in the process had made himself even more uncomfortable than the witch. Up to this point, he had always prided himself on his ability to avoid the entanglements that he had heard befell other relatively young Professors that taught nubile young witches coming into their own sexuality. He had never been remotely tempted to seduce a student, no matter how lovely or willing. He had never before understood how a wizard could take advantage of a student, even if she was the age of consent. But after witnessing Miss Granger's thoughts about him, he could see how the situation could happen if a teacher was weak. He had never been weak, and had no intentions on letting a curly-headed little know it all bring him to his knees, no matter how tempting she was.

Tempting? He didn't mean tempting. He couldn't have.

Hermione walked quickly back to Gryffindor tower, glad to be out of the Potions classroom and away from Professor Snape. It had been humiliating telling him how he made her feel inside…but it had also been exciting because it was so wrong. A part of her had wished that he would become aroused by her confessions and for once thrown all that reserve and control to the four winds and made her dreams a reality. She wouldn't have told anyone. Besides, she was the age of consent…his indulgence would have been well within his rights if she had been willing.

She sighed. The Professor tried to tell her she was over-reacting to very mundane truths about him. That there was nothing remotely erotic about his voice, his presence or his actions. That her perceptions were being colored by her sexual awakening as a woman. But isn't that exactly what desire was? Heightened perception concerning someone you found arousing. To him, his eyes were ordinary, but to her they could see deep inside, pull out the hidden parts of her. He had no idea if his eyes could really do this, he never looked at her with the intention of seeing inside. He saw only the surface. To him, his voice was commonplace…of course it would be. But to Hermione those silky tones reverberated through her body whenever he spoke. Of course he wouldn't see this, but if he ever spoke in those low tones while inside her, he'd know his voice's power then.

Hermione knew the Professor was only saying and doing what he felt right to do in this situation. At least he hadn't mocked her. She thought he might. He had always taken every opportunity to be cruel before. But she hadn't really thought about his dedication to teaching, and to being a help to students, even the ones that annoyed him as much as she did. Maybe she didn't give the wizard as much credit as he deserved. She trembled a little at the thought of him looking into her mind. She was so glad he didn't. Her imagination was so vivid when it came to him. She was a virgin but she knew the mechanics of sex, how it was performed. She had watched porn before, and found it pretty disgusting at the time. She had been in her fourth year then and watched it with her older cousin Patricia while on vacation from Hogwarts.

They had found the video by accident, in the bottom of a drawer. It didn't have a label, so they put it in to see what it was and watched the whole movie, their eyes round as saucers. Patricia hadn't reacted like Hermione did. She was turned on by it. It looked kind of awful to Hermione. The men were so…so greedy and brutal, and the women looked to be in pain the way their faces were contorting, and how they were crying out. Patricia said that they weren't in pain, it just felt so good to them they just looked like that, and they really liked what the men were doing to them. The men were putting their penises everywhere in the women…in fact it looked like sex was more enjoyable for the men. Patricia had informed Hermione that every boy who would try and go out with her, ultimately had the same thing in mind.

This knowledge helped Hermione to make her decision to leave boys alone for the time being, though she did find herself wondering about sex more and more as she got older and witnessed other students experimenting with intimacy, kissing and touching one another. Most of the time they looked clumsy and over-excited, as if trying to do something they didn't really know how to do. Hermione decided if she ever did have sex, it would be with someone who knew what they were doing.

One night Ginny Weasley confided to Hermione she had sex with an older wizard, a grown wizard and how good he had felt banging inside her. She wouldn't say who it was though. Hermione thought she might know him. Then Ginny told Hermione about this thing that happened to her while the wizard was on top of her, like an explosion of goodness, that made her scream and feel better than she had ever felt in her life. She called it an orgasm. The young Weasley also confided that she had had orgasms before, that she had masturbated and made them happen, but it was nothing like when the wizard made her have one. An orgasm with a man was the ultimate pleasure.

Listening to Ginny had made Hermione feel a tickling ache between her legs, and when she went back to her room, she touched herself to relieve it and had a small orgasm, her first. Ginny was right, it was very nice. But Hermione needed a man if she wanted the ultimate pleasure. From that moment on, sex took on a new light to Hermione. She was more interested in it, but her perceptions were colored by Ginny's experience…so she didn't want a boy…she wanted a man. A grown wizard.

She couldn't remember exactly what happened to put Professor Snape in the forefront of her dawning sexuality. How he managed to slip into her dreams. Maybe it was because he was always so sure, so precise, so in control that he filled that niche of fantasy man. Hermione realized that she could see the demanding Professor doing her as if in a porn movie. He was so controlling of course he'd lock her down in some immovable position and take his pleasure. She found the idea of being at his mercy very exciting. She felt sure if any wizard could give her an orgasm, he could.

It was from these humble, naughty beginnings that she arrived to tonight, detention with Professor Snape and her humiliating confession of finding him sexually attractive. But again, at least he hadn't delved into her mind. The pornographic images she had of them together would have shocked him. He wouldn't have been able to understand how she knew so much when she hadn't ever been touched. Then she would have had to tell him about the porno she viewed, which was also pretty embarrassing. What kind of girl watched pornos?

Professor Snape had talked a good game, and made sense. However, making sense has little to do with sexual attraction. Hermione still desired him, and probably would continue to do so, despite his attempts at discouraging her. But he hadn't shown even the slightest indication that she might have a chance to actually entice him. He had listened to her confessions stoically and clinically, as if listening to a description of a dissection. And it was a dissection of sorts. He had made her cut open her desire and lay it open for him to see. He had seen and been unimpressed.

She sighed. She wondered if this would make a difference in class, now that the Professor knew her daydreaming most likely was revolving around being in compromising positions with him. Probably not. Knowing the Professor, he probably expected her to wipe all that nonsense out of her head, since he had a heart to heart with her. The wizard probably thought it was something she could just turn off when faced with the logic of it. What he didn't realize was Hermione was logical enough to see that what she was feeling had no basis in logic, so wouldn't even waste her energy attempting to kill her feelings with reason. She would just have to do a better job of hiding them. Graduation was right around the corner. Once she left Hogwarts, she was sure her attraction to the Professor would just fade away. Maybe she would find someone else more willing and capable of accommodating her evolving desires.

Hermione walked quickly up the main staircase, unaware she was being watched. After catching a few shifting stairwells, she disappeared into the corridor leading to the Fat Lady's portrait and the Gryffindor common room.

Draco Malfoy looked after the mudblood witch, scowling a little. Draco was very perceptive in his own right, particularly with women. His father had taken it upon himself to ensure Draco acquired a very thorough sexual education. He was a Malfoy after all, and all Malfoy men had a way with women. Their sires made sure of it. When the young wizard turned seventeen, his father had hired him a very beautiful, experienced and expensive call girl, who spent several weeks instructing the young and eager pupil in the ways of pleasure, the art of seduction and more importantly, how to read women.

Draco proved to be a natural, and wasted no time in sharpening his skills on the witches of Hogwarts. He had however, learned the importance of discretion. Keeping his mouth shut ensured him of repeat dalliances. He had shagged witches in every house, including Gryffindor, and never received any complaints. He wouldn't. He was one of the few young wizards in the school who truly knew what he was doing. He had noticed subtle changes in Granger that indicated books weren't the only things holding her interest these days. Draco saw how she looked at the Professor. Why she was attracted to the wizard, he had no idea. But the fact was, she had the hots for their Potions Master. It was a waste of time on her part, however. Professor Snape would never touch her. He was too straight-laced and repressed.

Draco would do her however. She was a mudblood, but to his shame he was always attracted to her, even when she was a buck-toothed little chit. He had hated his weakness. She was gorgeous now, and showing signs of thawing out. Maybe he could find a way to utilize her unmet need for Snape to place himself in a position to seduce her. He had no desire to start a relationship with her, on the contrary he would love the opportunity to finally put her in her place.

Draco had suffered years of Hermione's insolence. She still called him "ferret-boy" from the time Mad-eyed Moody had transfigured him into a white ferret for attacking Harry. She had even assaulted him once, punching him in the nose because of a stupid hippogriff. He had never gotten her back for that. The witch also constantly beat him out in marks in every class they shared. Draco was not stupid. He was quite intelligent in his own right, if a little stuck on archaic beliefs of the inherent superiority of purebloods. Granger constantly outdoing him was a sore spot that never healed.

She might be brilliant, but she was still a filthy mudblood, and beneath him. She had the mistaken idea she was as good as he was, and she wasn't. If he could seduce her, he would give her the roughest ride of her life, and treat her in such a way her eyes would never be able to meet his with insolence again. Draco was skilled in lovemaking, but he was his father's child, and completely capable of the same brutality when it came to women. He could use his body as a weapon as easily as an instrument of pleasure. He would make the mudblood scream he was better than she was over and over if he got his hands on her. Hermione would finally learn who was the master and who was the peon.

Draco shoved his hands in his robes pockets, and let his gray eyes sweep up the stairwell again. He had to figure out a way to ease Hermione's suspicions about him. He had to find a way to make the mudblood like him. Once he succeeded in that, the rest would be easy. He sauntered back toward Slytherin house.

He had a lot to think about.

Draco found an opening two days later, when Hermione was rushing through the corridor with an armload of library books she had forgotten to return that morning and were due by five that evening. She had a very good relationship with Madam Pince, the librarian, since she took very good care of the books she borrowed and always returned them on time, but the librarian did not take kindly to books being returned late. That was a sure way to sour the witch. Her books were her children, and she wanted them home on time.

Hermione simply had too many books to start with, add to that she was approaching a group of Slytherins and you had a perfect setup for trouble. Pansy Parkinson stuck out a foot as Hermione passed. The Gryffindor didn't fall, but she stumbled and dropped the books amid uproarious laughter from the Slytherins. She scowled at the group and looked at her watch. She had five minutes. She began to gather up the books.

"Real nice, Parkinson," a familiar voice said coldly. "You have all the couth of a charging bicorn."

The laughter stopped. Hermione noticed another pair of strong hands helping to pick up the tomes. She looked up into the handsome face of Draco Malfoy. Draco gave her a small grin and continued picking up books. Hermione was taken aback and expecting some joke at her expense. Draco straightened.

"Really Granger, you need another set of arms to carry all these books," he said, looking at the pile in her arms. "I'll take these for you."

Hermione looked at Draco incredulously.

"You'll carry them?" she asked, amazed.

He shrugged. "Sure," he said, "You're going to the library right?"

"Yes," Hermione said, her eyebrows still raised in disbelief.

"I was on my way there anyway. So it's no bother, Granger," he said, striding off in the direction of the library. Hermione hurried to catch up. Draco's housemates stared after them, openmouthed.

Hermione walked alongside the tall, blonde pureblood. Draco had filled out the past couple of years. He had an athletic build and broad shoulders. He was devastatingly good looking, with angular, masculine features, and white-blonde hair. He looked straight ahead as he walked, a sober expression on his face. He turned into the library and deposited the books on the check-in counter just as the clock struck five. He turned and looked down at Hermione, who was depositing her armload of books.

"You made it," he said, raising an eyebrow at her.

"Thank you, Draco," Hermione said hesitatingly, "But...but I don't understand why you bothered."

Draco looked at her and sighed.

"Listen Granger, since Voldemort's death and the whole deatheater thing, I've had time to re-evaluate some of the beliefs and attitudes I was brought up with. They almost cost my father his freedom, and almost brought the Malfoy family to ruin," he said, "I've decided that they just don't hold up. A person should be judged by their character, not their bloodline. There are a lot of muggle-borns that are worthy of respect that I treated like dirt for years. They didn't deserve it. You're one of them."

Hermione blinked up at the wizard, speechless as the thought of 'pod people" flashed through her head. Where was the real Draco? This couldn't be him. The blonde wizard continued.

"I can't make up for the things I've done in the past, no matter how much I wish I could, but I can try to be a better person toward you and others starting from right now. Helping you carry your books isn't a monumental change by any means, but it's a start. It's a way to at least let you know how sorry I am," he said sincerely.

Hermione stared at Draco, not knowing what in the world to say to this. Draco Malfoy admitting he had been wrong about muggle-borns. Hogwarts was going to shake on its foundations. The wizard looked down at her, his clear, gray eyes meeting her amber ones, waiting for some kind of response.

She and Malfoy had been enemies for as long as she could remember. His treatment of her as less than a second-class citizen had irked her from the very beginning. He had called her a mudblood at every turn. Now he said he was sorry for all of it. Was he telling her the truth? He certainly looked sincere, and he had carried her books in full sight of his housemates, opening himself up to ridicule by his fellow Slytherins. He didn't look as if he cared however.

"Well, it's good to hear that you've decided to give those who aren't purebloods a chance, Draco," she said carefully.

"Yes," he replied, "I only hope they'll give me a chance and not hold the past against me. I've been pretty horrible."

"Yes you have," Hermione agreed. Draco's face fell a bit.

"But everyone's entitled to a second chance. After all, you were raised up believing only purebloods mattered and it is difficult to break away from the beliefs you are raised with," Hermione said, giving him a small smile. "Even the admission that you were mistaken is quite an accomplishment, all things considered."

"Thank you," Draco said, returning Hermione's small smile with one of his own, "Hermione."

This was the first time Draco had ever addressed her by her first name. Hermione realized this and just stared at him a moment.

"You're welcome, Draco," she replied, rather awkwardly, "Um, I'm going to head down to dinner now."

"I'll walk with you. I'm on my way there," he said.

Hermione frowned up at him. "I thought you said you were on your way here," she said.

Draco sighed.

"I said that so you wouldn't protest too much about me carrying your books, Hermione. I knew it would be easier for you to accept my helping you if you thought I was on my way here anyway. I just wanted the chance to talk to you," he said.

Hermione thought about this. He was right. She wouldn't have wanted him to go out of his way and would have taken her books back. Draco seemed to know her.

"I see," she said shortly.

Both of them headed out of the library. They walked up the hall in silence. A few students did a double take at seeing the two enemies walking side by side without threatening to hex each other.

"Um, Hermione," Draco said, hesitantly.

"Yes, Draco," Hermione said looking up at the wizard.

"I wanted to ask you if we could bury the axe. If others I hurt over the years saw that we could get along, it might make it easier for me to eventually make amends to them as well," he said.

Hermione looked at him.

"I don't know Draco. We have a history of bad blood. It's not that easy just to forget about that," she said.

"I'm not asking you to forget, Hermione. I'm just asking you to give me a chance to show you and everyone else I've changed. Just a chance. I'm not a bad sort, really," he said lifting his eyebrows and looking as innocent as he could.

Hermione smirked.

"All right. I'll give you a clean slate, Draco. But if you put one mark on it, the war is back on," she said, her eyes narrowed.

"Not a mark. Not a smidgeon of one," he agreed, smiling at her broadly.

They approached the doors to the Great Hall. Hermione stopped.

"Do you want to go in first, or do you want me to?" she asked him.

"How about we walk in together?" he responded, looking at her with a challenge in his eye, "Unless, of course, you're afraid the House of Gryffindor will disown you."

Hermione snorted, "Hardly. But your Slytherin housemates might very well shun you."

Draco shrugged.

"Slytherin is not like Gryffindor," he said, "It's usually everybody for themselves anyway. We aren't all that close. Friendships are generally based on what the association can do for you. They won't shun me because of my family connections."

He opened the door for her.

"Shall we enter, Gryffindor?" he asked, bowing slightly to the witch.

"Yes, Slytherin," Hermione replied, stepping into the Great Hall and waiting for him to join her.

They walked up the aisle side by side, clearly in each other's company. Both Gryffindor and Slytherin tables stopped talking as they walked in. Draco stopped and waited for Hermione to seat herself between an incredulous Harry and Ron, before walking to the Slytherin table and taking a seat at the end of the table and helping himself to food, ignoring the stares of his housemates.

Professor Snape had watched the two students enter the Hall together, and instantly wondered what game Draco was playing. The Professor was aware how much Draco hated Miss Granger. That he would escort her to the Great Hall was completely out of character for the pureblood, unless he had some kind of scheme. Which was more than likely. The Professor was also aware of Draco's very active sex life. He had caught the young wizard in rather compromising positions more than once with a different witch each time, and he wasn't particular about what house they belonged to either. Draco had quite a number of conquests under his belt. Was he now targeting Miss Granger?

The Professor frowned. Surely Miss Granger wouldn't be swayed by Draco. They had such a history that she simply couldn't fall for his charm. He looked over at the Slytherin table. Malfoy had already charmed his housemates into ignoring his fraternization with a Gryffindor, and was chatting with them. The young wizard was very smooth. Very convincing.

Snape returned to his meal. Miss Granger wasn't like these other bubble headed females. She wouldn't fall for a handsome face and a handful of compliments. Anyway, she was still focused on him, he was sure. She couldn't have just done an about face so quickly. Or could she? Maybe after talking to him, she decided to find someone to shag just to get it out her system. Knowing Miss Granger, she might see that as the logical thing to do. Draco Malfoy would probably be more than willing to accommodate her, for his own twisted reasons. He was a lot like his father. Once he took a dislike to someone, he never changed his mind about him or her. If Miss Granger fell for his charm, she was probably in for a world of hurt.

But then again, he wasn't a watchdog for Miss Granger's virtue. If she decided to cock her legs for the pureblood, it wasn't any of his concern. She was the age of consent after all, and as long as he didn't catch her at it in some hallway or niche, she was free to do as she pleased. Snape looked at Hermione, who was arguing with Ronald Weasley, probably about her entrance with Draco. Her eyes were flashing, and her face was flushed with anger. She certainly looked every bit the lioness when she was pissed off. Suddenly she picked up a bowl of mashed potatoes and shoved them in Mr. Weasley's face. Then she stood up and stormed out of the hall, amid the raucous laughter of the other students.

Draco smirked at the mashed potato covered Weasley. The Slytherin knew he had won a small victory. If anything would drive the Gryffindor witch closer to him, it would be others telling her she couldn't become close to him. She was a contrary little chit.

Snape noticed Draco's smirk, and didn't like it. The boy was up to something unsavory. The Potions Master would have to pay closer attention to him over the next few days and find out what it was. Not because of Miss Granger mind you. He was just…curious.

Draco realized that his approach to getting closer to Hermione would have to be markedly different than with the other witches he had sex with. Most of the young women were susceptible to being taken advantage of just by his taking an interest in them. He was handsome, rich and charming after all. He was aristocracy. A young lord. So, when he turned on the heat with a few kisses, a few well placed touches and sweet words, then focused those gray eyes on a witch in some quiet, out of the way place and promised whatever they did would remain their secret, generally the knickers came off.

But Hermione would be different. He could not express a blatant sexual interest in her as he did the other witches. It would have to seem like something they just fell into. Hermione would have to be courted without knowing she was being courted and heated up gradually. Other witches wanted flowers, candy, those types of gifts to show affection. Hermione would appreciate books, something that showed he valued her mind, rather than her body, which was quite delicious by the way

Instead of dating Hermione, studying would be the way to get in time and close proximity. . Draco was well read and bright enough to engage Hermione in intellectually stimulating conversation as well. The pureblood was really warming up to this seduction of the mudblood. When she realized that he hadn't changed, after he had humiliated and ridden the shit out of her, she'd be devastated that she'd been such a fool. Draco had always been discrete, but he was considering letting this conquest out of the bag once completed. Her shame would then be complete.

Draco began his approach by simply greeting Hermione whenever he saw her, no matter who was around, and then incorporated the rest of his plan over a period of two weeks. Hermione interpreted his actions as proof of him being sincere in wanting to establish a friendship. Ron and Harry on the other hand were sure he was trying to get into her knickers. Draco was discrete, but still word got around among the males that he was making many conquests, although the details with who were never revealed. Hermione was outraged at this insinuation.

"Draco has never made a move on me," she said to Ron, "unlike you."

Ron turned red as a beet at the reminder of his disastrous attempt at romancing Hermione during their sixth year. He had it in his mind that Hermione wanted to snog him, but just didn't know it, and that once he pressed his lips to hers, she would willingly fall into his arms and respond, thus sealing their secret love for each other. Well, it hadn't worked out that way. He made his move in the common room one night when the three friends had been studying together and Harry retired early. Hermione noticed Ron inching closer and closer on the sofa and was about to say something when he pounced, grabbing her and pressing his lips against hers hard and rather painfully, hanging on for dear life as the witch struggled to break out of his grasp.

Ron was found petrified and covered in bogeys on the common room floor the next morning. Hermione avoided him and Ron refused to tell who did the dirty deed for days, then finally admitted to Harry what he had done. Harry had told him he was lucky she didn't hex his balls off.

"Hermione," Harry said, "Draco is a dog. He's slowly shagging his way through every witch at Hogwarts. There's even rumors he's done Madam Hooch."

Hermione looked at Harry.

"All right. Who has he shagged, besides Pansy?" she asked him, her hands on her hips.

Harry blinked at her. He didn't have any names to give.

"Well, I don't know any names for fact, but the other wizards are saying he has done witches in every single house, including Gryffindor," Harry said a little lamely.

"Yeah," said Ron, "He's really good at getting in the knickers, Hermione. Why else would he be hanging around you all the time if he didn't want to shag you?"

Hermione looked at Ron.

"You hang around me. Why is that?" she asked him, her arms crossed.

"Well, I've always hung around you. I'm your friend," Ron replied.

"Maybe Draco is my friend too," said Hermione.

"Draco hates muggle-borns, Hermione. You should know that better than anyone," Harry said, "He's called you mudblood enough."

"After Voldemort died, and his family went through all that trouble, he's had a change of heart. Everyone deserves a second chance," she said, frowning at the two wizards, "And he's been nothing but nice to me. I'm not going to stop being nice to him because you two are too stubborn to give him a chance to make amends."

"Hermione, he's up to something, I know it," Harry said, "He's going to end up hurting you."

"Stop it. Just stop it. Both of you!" Hermione said, "I'm not a little child. I can make my own decisions on who to associate with, and I'm not going to let you tell me otherwise."

She stormed out the common room.

Ron watched her head up the stairs to the girl's dormitory. He looked at Harry helplessly and spread his hands.

"She won't listen to us Harry," he said, shaking his head.

Harry looked up the empty stairwell.

"I know Ron, but we tried. That's all we could do. You know how stubborn she is," Harry replied, running his hand through his messy hair.

The two wizards stood in the middle of the common room, not knowing what else they could do. Hermione was on her own.

Professor Snape was dismayed to see Draco sitting next to Hermione in Potions. Obviously the two had come to an understanding. Hermione had returned to her usual attentive self in class, once again answering questions and doing an excellent job brewing assigned potions. He figured she must have either gotten over her infatuation with him or Draco was laying pipe to her and she was sated. Neither of the possibilities appealed to him much. He gave the class a reading assignment, to be followed by a one-foot summation of the chapters read. He sat behind his desk and pulled a stack of parchments toward him that needed grading.

From beneath hooded eyes, he looked at Draco and Hermione's body language. The witch was sitting straight up, but Draco was slightly shifted towards her. So the young wizard had an attraction to the witch.

Snape knew what he was about to do was wrong, but he needed to know. He whispered the legilimency spell and looked first into Hermione's mind, then Draco's. Snape discovered he was not gone from Hermione's psyche. He was still in there, still the object of her desire, but a little deeper from the surface than when he first divined her thoughts during detention. She was repressing her urges, somewhat successfully. But they were erotic as ever, if not more so. In the image Snape was witnessing, he was possessing her in a different position than last time. She was on her knees and he was stroking her from behind, holding her petite, jerking body by the waist and arching into her strongly. He could see himself penetrating her and went instantly hard.

"Good gods," he breathed. How the hell did she know about this?

Snape pulled out of Hermione's mind with some effort, then peered into Draco's. He quickly found an image of the wizard practically raping the Gryffindor witch painfully and berating her as he did so. Hermione was crying. The Professor pulled out of Draco's mind and his black eyes flicked up to meet Draco's gray ones. It seemed the young wizard had perceived him. If he had, then he also perceived the image the Professor saw. By the rebellious coldness in the pureblood's eyes Snape knew Draco knew he had seen his plans for Hermione. The boy had the audacity to curl his lip up in a lascivious, conspiratorial smile. Snape's eyes glittered. Draco returned to his reading.

At the end of the class, the students walked up and turned in their parchments for grading. When Draco placed his paper on the desk, Snape said, "Mr. Malfoy, I would like you to stay after class. I'd like a word with you."

Draco smiled. "Certainly sir," he replied. Hermione was waiting for him.

"Hermione, you'd better go on ahead to the library. I'll catch up to you later," he said.

Hermione shrugged. "Ok, see you, Draco," she said, turning and exiting the classroom.

Both wizards watched her go.

Draco turned to the Professor.

"What did you want to talk to me about, sir?" he asked, his eyes indicating he already knew.

Snape's eyes swept over him. He was so much like Lucius, it was almost frightening. From what he saw in the boy's mind, he was just as cruel as his father as well.

"I'd like to talk to you about Miss Granger," the Professor said evenly.

Draco considered him.

"Sir, I would like to request that this conversation be off the record, so I may speak freely," Draco said, drawing a chair out from the first row and positioning it at the side of the Professor's desk. He sat down and waited for Snape's response.

"Of course, Mr. Malfoy," Snape responded. He imagined the pureblood intended to come clean.

If he didn't, Snape would make him.

Draco eyed the Potions Master. He still didn't see what Hermione saw in the dark wizard. He could use a good dose of sun for one thing, he was pale as a corpse. A good shampoo wouldn't hurt either. She was probably attracted to him because he was intelligent. Draco doubted the Professor would even remember what to do with a witch.

"I imagine it isn't common to talk to one student about another, Professor," the blonde wizard drawled.

"No, it isn't a common practice, Mr. Malfoy. But I believe it is necessary we talk about Miss Granger and your intentions toward her," Snape said, his dark eyes glinting.

"Why is it necessary, Professor? My intentions toward her doesn't affect you or anyone else for that matter," Draco said.

"It is necessary because as a teacher I have a responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of all Hogwarts students," Snape replied, "And I know for a fact, Mr. Malfoy, that you despise the witch. Why are you pretending not to?"

"Honestly?" Draco asked.

"Yes," the Professor replied.

"Because I want to do her before she graduates," Draco responded, meeting the Professor's eyes, "She's gorgeous and has a nice body. I want to do her. That's normal, isn't it?"

Snape looked at him.

"For any other young wizard, I'd say yes. But with you, Mr. Malfoy, knowing your feelings about muggle-borns I'd say it is very abnormal. You don't even like to brush against a muggle-born," the Professor said, narrowing his eyes slightly.

"Granger's special," Draco said, "So I've suspended my shudder response when it comes to her."

Snape looked at the wizard. He was hedging around the meat of the situation.

"Mr. Malfoy, I am well aware that you have a way with women, and have quite an active sex life here at Hogwarts. No doubt your father followed family tradition on your seventeenth birthday?" Snape asked him. He was well aware of the Malfoy tradition of providing a thorough sexual education for males.

"Yes sir," Draco said with a leer.

"Most likely you could have almost any young woman in Hogwarts. Why focus on Miss Granger when the witch obviously is focused on other pursuits?"

"You mean like you, Professor?" Draco asked, smirking.

Snape was taken aback. Had Hermione confided her attraction to him to Draco?

"Don't look so surprised, Professor. I could see Hermione has the hots for you. Maybe you want to do her yourself," Draco said.

"I don't get involved with students, Mr. Malfoy," Snape said, "I teach them. I don't sleep with them."

"Well that's your loss, Professor," Draco replied, "I know if I had a pretty piece of legal ass like Granger creaming herself for me, I wouldn't hesitate to do her. A few times. As it is, I have to work for it. And that's what I'm doing."

Draco gave the Potions Master an appraising look.

"Unless you'd like to help me out and give me a hair and some polyjuice potion."

Snape scowled at Draco blackly.

"If you ever impersonate me, Mr. Malfoy I will see you expelled, then beat you within an inch of your life with my bare hands," Snape snarled, his black eyes dangerous.

Draco paled. He had witnessed the Potions Master fight another deatheater. It hadn't been pretty. Draco knew he wouldn't stand a chance against the Professor.

"I was just joking, Professor," Draco said weakly.

"Don't," the Professor responded, "I know you felt me in your mind during class, Mr. Malfoy, and you know what I saw. Explain that to me."

"That's how I plan to treat Granger," the blonde wizard replied.

The Potions Master felt his head suddenly go very hot. He wanted to throttle Draco. He fought the feeling down. He looked at the wizard, willing himself to calm.

"Mr. Malfoy, you will leave Miss Granger alone," the Professor said through gritted teeth.

Draco looked defiant.

"You can't tell me who to associate with Professor. Just because you won't touch her, doesn't mean you can stop someone else from doing what you won't," Draco said sullenly. "You don't want her. Why shouldn't I stick the filthy mudblood if she wants me to?"

Snape stayed in his chair with effort at the slur.

"You have your choice of witches, Mr. Malfoy," Snape said, "Shag one of them."

"I want her, Professor. I want to do her, and I want to break her. No one's going to stop me from paying her back." Draco said, his eyes glittering with hatred, "You have no claim on her, and have no right to try to interfere with this. You are my head of house. You are not my father. You are overstepping your bounds, Professor."

Snape stood up and placed his face close to Draco's

"Bounds or not, Mr. Malfoy, if you abuse that witch in any way, you are going to have to answer to me," he said in a quiet, threatening tone.

Draco leaned back in the chair somewhat, his brow furrowed.

"Why? Why should I have to deal with you? You don't want her," Draco said, his gray eyes narrowed in defiance. Then they widened. He pointed a finger at Snape.

"You do want her," Draco said accusingly. "You want to shag that mudblood. You just haven't got the nerve to do it. You're hiding behind your teacher status. And you call yourself a Slytherin."

Snape just looked at him for a moment. Then he straightened.

"You've been warned, Mr. Malfoy. You may go," the Potions Master said, returning to his seat.

Draco stood up and frowned at the Potions Master.

"My father won't take kindly to you threatening me, Professor Snape," he sneered, "Especially over a mudblood witch."

"If your father has a problem with it, he knows where to find me," Snape replied meeting Draco's eyes.

"He won't come to you. He'll go to the Headmaster," Draco replied.

"In that case, Albus knows where to find me," the Potions Master said, his black eyes hard as diamonds as he looked at the blonde wizard, "Now I suggest you leave, Mr. Malfoy, before I help you leave."

Draco noisily dragged his chair back to the desk and exited the Potions classroom.

Snape pinched his nose. Why had he done that? Threaten Draco? His father would come to Hogwarts and raise a stink about it to Albus for sure if the boy told.

But Draco wasn't going to tell his father.

The blonde wizard made a beeline to the library and found Hermione with her face in a book. She looked up at his face, and immediately became concerned.

"Draco, what's wrong?" she asked him.

Draco dropped into the seat next to her.

"Professor Snape," he replied, scowling.

"Why? What did he do?" Hermione asked, her brow furrowed.

"It's not what he did, it's what he said," Draco replied, looking Hermione in her eyes.

"What did he say?" she asked the Slytherin.

"He told me to stay away from you. I think he's jealous," Draco answered, his gray eyes like ice.

"He what?" Hermione said in disbelief.

"He doesn't want me associating with you. I think he thinks I am interested in you beyond friendship. But that could never happen with us," he said, a little wistfully. "Anyway, he was serious."

Hermione's face went black. "He has no right to tell you that. He has no right to try and manipulate who I associate with…especially since…" here Hermione faltered.

"Since what?" Draco asked, knowing the answer was Snape showed no interest in her.

"Nothing," she said, picking up her books and starting to leave.

"Hey!" Draco called after her, getting a loud "shhhhh!" from Madam Pince. He lowered his voice. "Where are you going?"

"To give one meddling Professor Severus Snape a piece of my mind," she replied, exiting the library.

Draco sat back in the chair and smiled.

Don't fuck with a Malfoy.

Hermione stormed down the library corridor, descended the main stairwell, stalked through the main hall and turned down the dungeon corridor. How dare the Professor take it upon himself to decide who could associate with her? He had nothing to do with her outside of Potions class. He was as bad as Harry and Ron were. What was it with her and men? Why did every male she know try to tell her what to do? Did she have "I don't know how to handle my own life!" stamped somewhere noticeable on her body? Draco seemed to be the only male who could accept her as she was. Professor Snape showed no interest in her after she told him how she felt about him. He showed nothing, no reaction. He simple lectured her about how ordinary he was and her hormonal responses, then sent her back to Gryffindor tower, unrequited. He didn't even address how he felt about her wanting him. But now, he wants Draco to stay away from her?

Draco had to be right. The Professor had to be jealous. That could be the only reason he would try to bar the wizard from her company. She and Draco were only friends. True, he was handsome, bright and enjoyable to be around. Actually, he was better company than both Harry and Ron, simply because he could focus on more than Quidditch for more than five minutes. But there was absolutely nothing romantic going on between them. Draco had been a perfect gentleman ever since they agreed to start with a clean slate. He was a good study buddy too. She finally had someone in her life that she could relate to on equal terms and it seemed like everyone was trying to ruin that for her. Well, she wasn't going to stand for it. Professor Snape was way out of line telling Draco to stay away from her, and Hermione was going to make it quite clear to the Potions Master that she would associate with whomever she wanted, and he was to stay out of it. Lost points and detentions be damned.

She came to the door of the Potions classroom and pulled it open without knocking. Professor Snape was sitting at his desk, marking papers. He looked up and scowled.

"Miss Granger, what are you doing here? Class is over and I'm busy," he said.

"You're busy all right, busy meddling in my affairs!" she spat at him.

Snape put his quill down.

"What in the world are you babbling on about, Miss Granger," Snape said, looking at the angry witch. Her hands were on her hips and her eyes were flashing.

"You had no right to tell Draco to stay away from me. None at all. I have a right to be with anyone I want to," Hermione said, "You're just my Potions teacher. You have no authority over me outside your classroom."

For a moment, Snape's mind went back to the image of him possessing her. He certainly was in "authority" then. Snape swallowed, then narrowed his eyes at Hermione.

"Miss Granger, I suggest you lower your voice and change your tone when speaking to me. I am not Ronald Weasley. Do not presume you can march into my office and scold me as if I am one of your housemates. I will be addressed with respect," he said to her in a low voice.

Hermione was taken aback for a moment, then composed herself and spoke in a more reasonable tone.

"Why would you tell Draco to stay away from me, Professor?" she asked him, walking up to his desk so she stood directly in front of it.

Snape sighed. He wasn't sure why he told Draco to stay away from her, other than the thought of the pureblood abusing her body, hell, even touching her body made him want to break the boy's neck. But he could hardly tell Miss Granger that.

"Mr. Malfoy is not the type of wizard you should associate with Miss Granger. He has a hatred of muggleborns. He could be dangerous," the Professor replied.

"Why won't anyone give him a chance? Draco has been nothing but nice to me since he rethought his attitudes. I see no reason to cut him off," she said, then added, "I'm entitled to some male company."

The Professor looked at her sharply, then stood up and walked around his desk, so he stood in front of her, only inches away. Snape looked down at her.

"You don't need his kind of company, Miss Granger," he said, scowling at her. The image came back to him as he looked at the witch.

"Who are you to decide that? He stimulates me intellectually. No one else does that, except you. And you aren't interested in keeping me company," she said looking up at him. Standing this close to him, with him towering over her and looking dangerous, was doing things to her belly.

The Professor considered the witch.

"It's not my company you think you want from me, Miss Granger. My spending any additional time with you would not be wise, given your infatuation with me," he said, his black eyes looking into her face intently. She was a lovely young witch. He felt a stirring in his loins and silently fought it back. No.

"I can't have your company, yet you want to keep me away from Draco. One might think you were jealous, Professor. Are you jealous of Draco. Think he might give me what you won't?" Hermione said, rather viciously, "maybe I should take it, and let him take care of my 'burgeoning sexual needs" once and for all."

Before he knew what he was doing, Snape grabbed Hermione roughly by the shoulders and shook her hard.

"You will not!" he hissed at her, "You will not let that wizard touch you!"

Hermione stared at the Potions Master, shocked at his loss of control. Snape looked shocked as well, and released her slowly.

"I'm…I'm sorry Miss Granger. I don't know what came over me," he said softly.

Hermione studied him.

"I got to you, didn't I, Professor? The other day in detention. What I said about how you make me feel inside, got to you," Hermione said, looking up at her teacher. Suddenly, he looked quite vulnerable. Then his eyes hardened.

"No. You did not 'get' to me, Miss Granger. I am a head of house. I listen to young witches' infatuations quite frequently. What you told me was not that much different then what my Slytherin charges confide in me," he said.

"Yes…but Professor, this wasn't about someone else. I was talking about you. Wanting you. That is a bit more personal than hearing about someone else. It had to affect you in some way, knowing that I'd willingly have sex with you at the drop of a wand, Professor" Hermione said in a low voice. Her eyes were shining up at him, "I still would. You wouldn't even have to ask me."

Snape swallowed.

"Miss Granger," he said in a hoarse voice, "You are not one of these bubble headed young witches that are easily swept away by sweet words and dreams of romance. You are a levelheaded, brilliant young witch who knows the direction she wants her life to go in. A rarity in any age. Why would you want to give yourself to a wizard who has caused you so many difficulties? You can barely stand me, Miss Granger. Your list showed that."

Hermione looked at him, into his questioning eyes. The Professor looked torn. She could tell he wanted her. She felt her body swaying towards his.

"I don't know," she whispered, "I can't find the logic for it, Professor. But you haunt my dreams, my waking moments…you slip into my thoughts at the worst times. And you don't know what it's like. What I go through. What I see you doing to me over and over. Sometimes I think if I can't do these things with you, I'll go crazy. There's times when I don't even want to come to class because I know these urges are going to torment me the moment I lay eyes on you."

"And what's worse is knowing that no matter what, you'll never relieve me. You'll never take me to your bed. You'll always see me as a student, not a woman who can choose what she wants, who she wants," Hermione said sighing. She stepped back from the Professor a bit. Then she turned away from him completely.

"Maybe I really should consider going to Draco," she said, looking across the classroom as she addressed Snape, who was staring at her back with a tormented expression on his face,

"Go to him and ask him to give me what I want from you, Professor. He wouldn't be you, but I could pretend he was. I could keep my eyes closed and concentrate on the feeling of his body in mine, his mouth on mine, and pretend it was you taking me, pretend it was your voice I was hearing whispering my name…pretend it was your hands touching me," she said, almost whispering, her eyes sad. "It would be better than what I have now. Sleepless nights filled with dreams of things, of acts that will never happen. A poor substitution is better than nothing at all."

The Professor looked at the young witch baring her soul and her despair before him, and felt his resolve weakening.

"Miss Granger, I had no idea…" he began

Hermione spun on him, her eyes flashing.

"Of course you had no idea. When do you ever think about how another human being feels? Never, because you aren't capable of even the most rudimentary feelings yourself. You know nothing about what it is to want what you can't have. You're a cold, hard man, Professor Snape… and I'm cursed…cursed with wanting you.

What the fuck was she talking about? She had no idea how much he wanted and would never have. How many times he'd been passed over…she had no idea how…

Suddenly the Professor spun Hermione towards him and lifted her up as if she weighed nothing at all, crushing her to his body and claiming her mouth desperately, brutally, plunging his tongue into it and sucking on her tongue as if he were starved and it would give him sustenance. The Potions Master walked forward with her until they met the wall, and he crushed his body against hers, moving against her sensually, growling, unable to help himself as he pressed against her soft curves.

Hermione was gasping against his wild possession of her mouth, whimpering in the back of her throat as she felt his hard, lean body rubbing insistently against her own with such ardor she was sliding up and down the wall. He was so urgent, so demanding, so real. Just like she imagined he would be in a situation like this. Underneath all the coldness, he was made of fire.

Professor Snape broke the kiss, and let her slide down the wall, but kept his body pressed close to hers.

"You still say I have no feelings, Miss Granger?" he panted, looking down at her. "I've seen your dreams. What you want me to do to you, and how you want me to do it. I watched myself taking you. Saw how much you loved it. How do you think that made me feel?"

Hermione was panting against the Potions Master, trying to collect herself, steadying herself against the waves of delicious feeling and hunger that were washing over her. He intoxicated her. She managed to register he had seen her fantasies.

"How?" she asked him.

"Legilimency. I looked in your mind during detention. Then earlier today in class," he breathed down at her. "Miss Granger, how do you know so much about the sex act when you are a virgin. Why are your fantasies so explicit?' he asked her, pressing against her again.

"I saw what men and women do on a porno movie," she said, looking up at him. "It looks terrible…but it's not. They like it."

"No, it's not terrible," the Potions Master said softly, the image of his possession of Hermione returning to his mind. .

He pulled himself away from the witch and turned back toward his desk. He was so hard, it was painful. He had lost control and his classroom wasn't warded. Anyone could have walked in and see him in a compromising position with Miss Granger. Hermione remained pressed against the wall, her amber eyes practically glowing as she looked at him.

"You kiss just like I imagined you'd kiss, Professor," she breathed. Snape closed his eyes as she spoke, her very voice making his desire for her try to rage out of control. "I want more," the witch said. Snape clenched his fists.

"Miss Granger, you may have seen what men and women do during sex, but you have no idea what you are asking for," he said, controlling his voice as best he could, "you have no earthly idea what it would be like to be with me."

"I don't care. I ache all over, Professor. I ache every day for you. Relieve me," Hermione said imploring me, "that's all I'm asking you to do, Professor. There are no strings, nothing to trap you into anything else. I need you."

The Professor turned to the witch, his eyes sweeping over her as she rested against the wall, her eyes bright with desire. He could close the door, ward it, place a silencing spell on it and take her until he was satisfied. He was so tempted.

"Miss Granger, I need time to consider…consider what you are asking me to do," he said his black eyes burning into hers.

"Sometimes it's possible to think too much, Professor, " the witch replied.

What? Was this coming from Miss Hermione Granger, who used logic for everything?

He stared at her a minute. He had to make himself stay in place, keep from going back to her. He was losing his composure. He was weakening.

"Give me a little time, Miss Granger. You are asking me to forego all my standards. You are asking me to trample my own integrity," he said, a scowl on his face, "It takes time to destroy a man with his own desires."

Hermione pushed herself off the wall.

"I don't want to destroy you, Professor. As I said, I can go elsewhere…" she whispered. But she didn't want to…she had tasted his passion, and her whole body was on fire for the dark wizard standing in front of her. If only he wasn't so disciplined.

"No!" he snapped, "I don't want you pretending another wizard is me. No other wizard could ever take you like me. But you don't know that. Gods."

The Professor leaned against his desk and looked at Hermione until she was trembling under his gaze. He shifted uncomfortably. His organ was hurting and his nads ached. Snape hadn't been in this condition since he was a student himself.

He looked at Hermione.

"Just…just be patient, Miss Granger. Don't seek anyone out yet. Please," he said to the witch, his eyes entreating her. He was at his last bastion. The castle was crumbling and the wolves were at the gate. He was going to lose this battle. Hermione began to walk toward him. He could see the hunger in her eyes…he couldn't touch her again, or he would break apart and throw everything to the winds.

"Miss Granger, I think you should go now. Right now," he breathed at her, standing up so he could hold her off if she approached him again. But Hermione stopped.

"All right, Professor," she said, her eye blazing into his, "I'll go."

And just like that she left him standing alone in the classroom. He had a distinct feeling of loss.

He looked after Hermione and knew it was no longer a question of if he would sleep with her. It was now a matter of when. He had fallen like all those other Professors he had felt superior to. He was no better than they were. After all his years as a spy under Voldemort, being beaten and tortured almost to the point of death, he had always found a way to rise with his standards and integrity intact. It was ironic, really that a beautiful, brilliant, young witch named Hermione Granger had brought him to his knees.

Draco was waiting near the dungeon entrance for Hermione's return from seeing Professor Snape. Hopefully the witch had given him an earful, and turned off to him as well. If the Professor thought he didn't have a chance with the mudblood, he'd probably back off. He heard footsteps and peered down the dark hallway. Yes, it was Hermione. But she didn't look mad.

Draco peered at her, and scowled. No, she didn't look mad, she looked like she wanted sex. Draco knew the signs of a woman's arousal. Damn. What the fuck had happened in that classroom? Had Snape made a move on her. She looked like she had been snogged. Damn it.

Draco stepped out as she walked to the head of the corridor.

"Hi, Draco," she said, her voice sounding somewhat detached, as if her mind wasn't really focused on what she was saying. Draco stood closer to her and could smell a slight trace of her arousal.

"Are you all right, Hermione?" Draco asked her, seething inside that Snape may have one-upped him concerning the Gryffindor witch.

Draco was desperate to even out the playing field again. Maybe he could utilize the feelings Hermione was experiencing toward Snape to suit his own ends. At least start the ball rolling towards a relationship of a more physical nature and let her know she had a pleasant alternative to Snape if she wanted it.

"I'm fine, Draco," she said.

The blonde wizard took both her hands in his. Hermione looked up, startled.

"Good, because I want to talk to you. Privately. It's concerning this thing with Snape, kind of," he said softly, "There's something I want to tell you, or ask you rather," Draco said sincerely, his gray eyes soft.

"Where do you want to go to talk?" Hermione asked him. Her head was clearing somewhat, but her body still had those delicious feelings coursing through it from her contact with the wizard of her fantasies.

"I know a place," he replied, "It will be perfect."

Snape thought about Hermione's visit. Draco was a piece of work. He had purposely told the witch that he told Draco to leave her alone, making her believe the Professor was interfering in her personal life. What had the wizard hoped to accomplish by doing this? A confrontation certainly. Possibly, he hoped the argument that ensued would be enough to break Hermione's infatuation with the Professor, freeing the witch for Draco's own use.

Snape grinned. Well, that hadn't worked. The sexual tension between he and Miss Granger had proven too strong. The young wizard had inadvertently sealed the deal between the witch and himself, so to speak. Snape would be Hermione's first lover, though he hadn't yet informed the witch of his decision. Kissing her had been mind-blowing. If he had given in to his urges, he'd probably still be doing her, his hunger for the witch was so strong. Hermione had taken Snape over the edge when she said she would use Draco for a substitute and pretend the wizard was him. Snape scowled. Draco might be schooled in the art of love, but he was no Potions Master. Snape was a was a selfish and demanding lover, taking all the pleasure he could from a woman's body, but he never left them wanting. When he was finished, they were always very sated, if not overly sore from his ministrations. Beneath his cold exterior, the Professor was an extremely hot-blooded wizard

Miss Granger was a virgin, but a very hot and ready one if her dreams were any indication of what boiled beneath her surface. Snape was almost sure she would be able to handle him after her initial deflowerment. He certainly hoped so because she inspired a very high degree of lust in him, and if she thought the kiss was something, she had no idea what he was like when the robes came off.

He wondered at the easy way she left. She didn't try to stay to seduce him, though she had to know he was in a weakened state, She definitely was in a state of high arousal when she left him. Any man with any experience with women could see that…

He froze. Draco would probably be waiting for her to find out how the confrontation went, and the young wizard would immediately be able to discern that he had turned on Miss Granger. That brought Snape a degree of satisfaction, but there was a nagging feeling in his belly. Miss Granger was still a young, inexperienced witch, and she was very much a slave to her body's urges, although she had done remarkably well in controlling them. What if Draco tried to take advantage of her aroused state to continue where the Potions Master had left off? Snape wouldn't put it past the boy to make an attempt at seducing the witch in her weakened condition.

Quickly he walked to the floo, cast in some floo powder and contacted Minerva to find out if Hermione had arrived at Gryffindor tower. After several minutes, she informed him the witch was not there. He then flooed Madam Pince, who also gave him a negative. Miss Granger was not at the library. He then flooed the common room of Slytherin house and asked a student if Mr. Malfoy was there. The answer was no.

Well, it was still daylight, and supper was about to start in the Great Hall. She could be there. The Professor exited and warded the Potions class, heading for the Great Hall. If she or Draco weren't there, he would go looking for them.

Draco and Hermione took the stairwells up to the astronomy tower. It was never used during the day and had a beautiful view of the grounds surrounding Hogwarts. You could see for miles. It was quite a romantic, quiet place. Draco had quite a few bouts of afternoon delight up there.

Hermione looked out the window of the tower.

"I've never been up here during the day," she breathed, "it's beautiful."

"Yes," Draco responded, his eyes on Hermione, "very beautiful indeed."

Hermione turned to look at him. She was leaning back against the windowsill. Draco stood beside her, his eyes intense as he looked at her. It was an intensity Hermione had never seen before. She swallowed.

"What did you want to talk to me about, Draco?" she asked him.

The wizard looked at her, then sighed and walked away from her a bit.

"Hermione, have you ever wanted something that you knew you had no right to have, yet it made no difference to you? You still wanted it?" he asked her, knowing full well that was the situation she was in with the Professor.

"Yes, Draco. I do know about that," she replied softly.

He looked at her.

"I mean want it so badly that you can hardly eat, hardly sleep, and it consumes your thoughts at the worst possible moment?" he asked her.

"Yes," she responded.

"And this thing you want, it is always just within reach, but you know you can't touch it, because if you touched it, it might fly out of reach forever. So you have to suffer in silence, knowing if you even speak of wanting it…it could be gone…" he said despairingly.

Hermione looked at the blonde wizard.

"Draco, what are you talking about. What is it you want so badly and can't have?" she asked him.

Draco blinked at her. "It's not a what, Hermione. It's a who," he said softly, "A very special witch who I admire above all other witches. But she doesn't know how I feel. She wants someone else, someone who doesn't feel about her like I do," he said.

Hermione looked at him, an odd feeling in her stomach as the handsome wizard's soft eyes met hers.

"Who is the witch, Draco?" she asked, her voice nearly a whisper.

Draco looked at her, then suddenly strode forward, stopping mere inches from her body, towering over her, his eyes heated.

"Her name is Hermione Granger," he said softly, "She's stolen my heart without even trying."

Hermione stared at Draco, shocked. The wizard swayed toward her, but made no move to touch her. She could feel the heat from his body wash over her, could see the desire in his gray eyes.

"Draco," she began softly. The wizard waved his hand.

"I know you could never want me, Hermione. I've been terrible to you. I regret that so much. So much. But I have to confess something to you, something I've never told anyone. I have always been attracted to you, even when you were young and had buck teeth and bushy hair. That's the main reason I was so mean to you. I wasn't supposed to be attracted to a muggleborn. I was a pureblood. Every time I saw you, I became angry at myself, and lashed out at you. You had no idea what was going on."

This much of what Draco was telling Hermione was true. He had indeed been attracted to her, and this attraction caused him to hate her for making him aware of this weakness, this flaw in his character. But still, he felt it would be a good point to bring up in his attempt to sway her towards him. Draco continued.

"And now that I have changed, I've been able to be in your presence and get to know you as a person. You are beautiful, Hermione, on the outside, but your outer beauty dulls by comparison to the beauty that is inside of you. You are kind and compassionate. You give all you can of yourself to others. You take someone who has been completely horrible to you under your wing and give him another chance. I've heard you defend me against other people, your own housemates, risking them cutting you off because you believe in me. How many people would do that? Risk themselves, their reputations for someone with a history like mine, Hermione? Not many."

Hermione was speechless as Draco looked down at her, passion burning in his eyes.

"How can I help feeling the way I do about you?" he whispered, lowering his head and hesitating, looking in her eyes to see if she would protest.

Hermione was too shocked, too moved to protest anything. Draco leaned in and kissed her. Not possessively, but softly, sweetly, capturing her lips with his own, drawing them in before moving his mouth against hers.

Hermione let him kiss her. He was not fiery like the Professor. He didn't exude an all-consuming hunger. But there was something there, something tender that the Professor was lacking in. But even in the tenderness, there was a bit of fire. She began to kiss him back, hesitantly at first. Draco felt her responding, and mentally pumped his fist as he slowly wrapped his arms around her, and held her gently, accepting her responses, and slowly increasing his ardor.

Hermione's body was already fired by the Professor. Draco's closeness was rekindling the flame that was already smoldering there. She shuddered, and the blonde wizard felt it, and deepened the kiss, allowing some passion to seep into it as he sought entrance to Hermione's mouth, licking at it lightly, hoping she would accept him. She did, the fire in her belly flaring as she felt the wizard's tongue enter her mouth and claim it.

Draco shifted her over from the open window to the wall, never breaking contact, tightening his grip slowly, very slowly as he began to press his body against hers, and felt her arms wrap around his neck. He began to caress her back, feeling her body under her robes. He slid his mouth to her throat and began to suck, and lick on it gently. She moaned.

"Hermione," he breathed, his hands beginning to explore her more. She let him slip one over her hip. Draco began to think he might be able to take her now. She was heating up nicely. Snape must have really got her going for her to respond so quickly.

Hermione was all sensation. Draco's mouth and hands were soothing on her body, easing the heat inside her, even as they caused even more burning. It would be so easy to just give over to him, and let him end this torment she'd been going through for the past few months. The Professor was hedging…he still hadn't said he would let her come to him, though he had asked her to wait. Well, she had been waiting so long already, and Draco…Draco was ready now, when she needed this.

Draco was throbbing. The little witch was so responsive. She must have been holding her need in for a long time. He could feel the heat of her body pouring off her, underneath the robes she wore. Her skin would be blazing against his. The pureblood groaned and pressed his erection against her.

"Hermione, let me," he whispered into her ear, "I'll take care of you. I know what you're feeling, what you need. No one needs to ever know. Not even the Professor," he breathed, grinding himself against the gasping witch.

But at the mention of the Professor, something dimly registered in the witch's brain. Something that gave her the strength to override her writhing, needy body and tell Draco to stop.

"You don't want me to stop, Hermione. Just let it happen," the wizard breathed, still kissing her throat, then returning to her mouth in an attempt to stop her protests.

"No, Draco, we have to stop. This is too much. Too fast," she whispered, pushing him away. Anger flashed across his face. The fucking tease. He wrestled himself under control before he did something stupid.

He stood looking at her, his arms around her waist.

"But I want you, Hermione. I would make you feel so good," he said, his eyes burning into hers. Hermione felt the ache between her thighs pulse in response, but she steeled herself.

"Draco, what's happening here might not be what it seems. I'm not sure that my feelings are honest. It might not be you that made me respond. I'm attracted to the Professor, and I was already feeling randy before we came up here. It could be what is happening between us is because of that," she said softly. "I would just be using you while wanting him."

"Then use me, Hermione," he breathed, going in for another kiss. Hermione twisted her face away, and removed his arms from around her waist.

"No, Draco, I won't do that, even though you are willing," she said, gently pushing the wizard back from her and stepping around him, fixing her robes. Her mouth was slightly swollen from his kisses, and her amber eyes were still full of desire. Draco fought back a groan as he looked at her. He wanted in. Badly. He wanted to shag the witch to tears. Damn her for being able to break away. He never should have mentioned the Professor.

"But, now you know how I feel about you, Hermione," he said softly, "you won't stop seeing me because I revealed it, will you?"

Hermione looked at him. He looked so worried.

"No, Draco…but you're going to have to control yourself. I don't know where I am right now. I'm torn," she said honestly, "I'm not ready for a relationship with anyone."

"I'd take what I could get. I'd be happy if I only had one time with you, Hermione, one time to show you how I feel about you," Draco breathed.

She looked at the handsome wizard and felt a jolt shoot through her. He was so opposite the Potions Master. But she couldn't be sure if what she was feeling was truly for Draco, or the unmet desire for Professor Snape.

"We'll see what happens, Draco. But for now, let's try to remain friends," she said, "Do you think that is possible?"

Draco looked at her, and ran his hand through his white-blonde hair. He licked his lips.

"Now that I've kissed you, Hermione, I can act like your friend, but there is always going to be desire burning underneath it. The desire for more of you. But I can control my actions. I can wait," he said, his heated eyes on her.

Hermione gave him a small smile.

"All right then Draco," she said. "How about we go down to supper now. I'm starving."

"I want to sit with you," Draco said.

Hermione looked at him, her eyebrows raised. "No, Draco. Gryffindor wouldn't accept you at the table. That would be asking too much, and implying too much. We aren't a couple," she replied. Draco's face fell. Hermione felt sorry for him.

"Maybe we can do lunch up here tomorrow," Hermione said, "if you promise to conduct yourself like a gentleman."

Draco bowed elegantly.

"Always, my lady," he responded, then he kissed her hand. Hermione drew it back, and felt like giggling. But she didn't.

"Come on, Draco. Let's go eat," she said, heading down the tower stairs. Draco followed her. Lunch tomorrow eh? Maybe he'd bring a little something extra to spice up the meal. He'd contact his father tonight and ask for his assistance. He wasn't going to wait any longer. It was clear the mudblood intended to do the Professor. There was a good chance they'd become lovers after that, and he'd be pushed aside. He would have to get to her before the Professor did.

"Draco? Are you coming?" Hermione's voice floated up from the stairwell.

"I'm on my way," Draco replied, heading down the stairs.

Hermione would be his.

A/N: An that is the end of "The List" Part 1