He saw her at the ministry-sponsored victory party. She looked older than he had remembered her, but then again, it had been a year since he had seen her. He couldn't take his eyes off of her. At times, he liked her personality- intelligent, witty, mature, but most of the time, she had this know-it-all personality that irritated him in a way that no one else seemed to. He had always hoped she would grow out of it. At some point there was an announcement that the students who had missed their final year of school, would be returning to take it and their N.E.W.T.S. That meant he was still her teacher, that meant he had to look away. Later, he stepped outside with his drink to get away from the party for a few minutes, to be alone. He found her out on the terrace alone, staring off into the dark. She didn't turn around. He didn't know she had heard him come outside until she spoke.
"I heard you were found innocent of Dumbledore's murder" She turned and smiled at him.
"I knew you were innocent."
"Of course you did, You know everything don't you?" he sneered at her, causing her smile to disappear. He hated to do it, but he needed to push her as far away from him as possible, so he continued to taunt her.
"Little-miss-know-it-all always knows. You're supposed to be the smartest witch of your generation aren't you?" He snorted.
She turned from him and started walking inside.
"I'm not as smart as everyone says I am," she whispered under her breath, barely loudly enough for him to hear, "You're the only one who ever noticed."
Two months later….
Severus sat at his desk making notes. He was exhausted. He had been proven innocent of the murder of Albus Dumbledore, and the ministry had asked him to help with some of their brewing. The Wizengamot was holding a formal inquiry of the Final Battle in order to sort out who had played what part in the destruction of Voldemort and his Death Eaters and who had ended up on which side. None were exempt. He had spent his summer brewing Veritaserum for the ministry and was getting very little sleep. He should have said no to the ministry, but with everything going on, it seemed wise to stay on their good side. His thoughts were interrupted by a soft knock on the door.
In walked Hermione Granger in muggle attire, a thin white blouse and a mid-length brown skirt. He noticed small differences in her appearance, shaking hands, pale skin. She was visibly upset. He raised an eyebrow at her and then looked back to his notes.
"It's summer Miss Granger, I have another month until I have to deal with insolent brats like you. Now either state your business so we can get this over with or leave."
She approached his desk, stopping along side it.
"I need... help. I needyour help."
"Again, what is it that you want?"
"I can't testify under Veritaserum in front of the Wizengamot"
He had never seen this look of desperation in her eyes before. She had always seemed to confident, so in-control.
He scoffed at her.
"It's not like Miss Goody-two-shoes could possibly have anything to hide."
She got paler at this.
"I can not testify."
"Trust me, anything you might have seen, anything you might have done, I'm sure it's not as bad as you think it is. The ministry will understand."
He looked back down at his notes, expecting her to leave.
"No, they won't"
He stood up and crossed his arms, glaring at her.
"And what is it that you expect me to do about it?"
"I know that you are the one brewing the Veritaserum that will be used and measuring out the doses. I want you to make mine weak enough that I will appear to be affected but will successfully be able to fight it and succeed."
He snorted at this statement.
"I've just been cleared, this could get me in a lot of trouble. What makes you think I'd be willing to risk Azkaban for you?"
"I can not testify," she repeated, sounding more determined than before. She took a step closer to him and stared intently into his cold eyes, "I'll doanything."
He raised one eyebrow again, she surely couldn't be suggesting what he thought she was suggesting.
"Anything," she whispered, taking another step towards him so that they were almost touching, looking into his eyes with the same desperation as before.
"Anything you want."
He had to admit it was tempting, oh god it was tempting. She was tempting. He had found her tempting for the last year or two, but had been able to restrain himself. But now here she was, offering him everything he had fantasized about. He closed his eyes for a second, weighing his options. He couldn't take advantage of her like this of course. He was her teacher after all. He knew he had to throw her out of his office and do his duty for the ministry. He opened his eyes to tell her to leave, but looking into those desperate brown eyes staring up at him, he felt all willpower leave him. He wanted to help her, damn him. He walked to the back of the room, and took a small vial of clear liquid off the shelf. Turning back towards her, he spoke,
"Before I even consider doing anything illegal, I need to know what it is that you're hiding. If I helped you and then it was found out that you had been a Death Eater or something, it would be my ass on the line as well. I can't risk that. This is the only way I would even consider helping you."
She nodded reluctantly, took the vial from him, and downed it in one gulp.
He returned to the chair behind his desk and she sat in the armchair facing it. In another second, her eyes got a glazed look in them and he began with the routine questions that every Veritaserum questioning began with before any serious questions were asked.
"What is your full name?"
"Hermione Jane Granger."
"Where do you reside?"
"Currently, Grimmauld Place, but in another month, Hogwarts."
"How old are you?"
He was about to go on to the next question, when her previous answer hit him.
He looked up at her and repeated the question.
"Miss Granger, how old are you?"
"Twenty-five," she repeated without blinking.
He shook his head, not understanding what was going on. He knew that her use of the time-turner had aged her, but it couldn't have added more than a year to her age. He decided to try a different approach,
"What is your birth date?"
"September 19th, 1972."
His eyes narrowed as he stared at her in disbelief.
She got up suddenly.
"See, now you know my secret. I'm not a Death Eater of anything."
She turned around and made quickly for the door. Her hand closed around the knob and began to pull it open when an arm behind her reached past her head and slammed it shut, pinning her against it. A silky voice whispered in her ear.
"Not so fast Miss Granger. You have a lot of explaining to do."
She was pressed harder against the door.
"Now tell me this. I have known you since you were eleven. How is it possible that you are twenty-five?"
She struggled, fighting both his hold on her body and the Veritaserum's hold on her tongue.
"I am an auror, and for the past seven years, I have been undercover at Hogwarts."
He let go of her and took a step back, flustered.
"But….you couldn't have ….been using polyjuice….. this whole time, or a spell….. It's not possible."
Defeated, she slowly relaxed and turned around to face him.
"Maybe I should start at the beginning. I am not muggle-born. My parents were wizards. They had very little connection to the rest of the wizarding world and decided to teach me magic at home instead of allowing me to attend a wizarding school. They were killed when I was sixteen. The ministry took me. Once they saw my powers, they put me into a specialized auror training program. I was intensely trained for the next two years. Then I was put on an undercover mission to protect Harry Potter. They developed a potion that could turn back aging on a person's body. Since I was the youngest auror, and unknown in the rest of the wizarding world, I was the perfect candidate. I was eighteen at the time, the potion de-aged my body seven years. This is not any sort of a disguise, this is what I truly looked like when I was eighteen before. I started Hogwarts on my mission to befriend Harry Potter and keep him safe while keeping my true identity a secret from anyone."
He stared at her silently shaking his head.
"So you being an annoying know-it-all…"
"An act, so that no one was surprised if I had knowledge of spells that I shouldn't by that age. It also ensured that Harry would think of me as intelligent and listen to my suggestions."
The realization hit him.
"In my class….you purposely pushed my buttons."
"Yes. I'm sorry, but I couldn't have you liking me like the rest of the teachers if I wanted to make friends with Harry and Ron. But I have to admit, it was pretty entertaining to make you so mad."
She gave him a sly smile.
All these years he thought she had desperately wanted his approval, but she had merely been playing with him.
"People have surely met your parents."
"Muggles I put under Imperious one day to think they were my parents."
He shook his head in disbelief at her again. It was all so incredible, if she hadn't been under Veritaserum, he might not have believed her, but in a way it did make a certain amount of sense. He had always felt there was something different about her, a sort of maturity that her peers didn't have. He had thought that this was an act, but he know realized that this was the true her and that all the rest had been an act. A very good act.
"If it was the ministry that put you up to this, why do you want to keep it a secret from them?"
"Only three people were even aware of my involvement in the program, only two of those knew of my mission. When the mission was initiated, all records of my true identity were destroyed. These three people have all been killed in an attempt by somebody to find out who I was. There is no way for me to prove my involvement with the aurors and revealing my true identity would only put me in danger. It would put a shadow of doubt over my entire future. It would sacrifice my friendships. Harry and Ron would never forgive me if they found out who I really was and that I had been lying to them the whole time I knew them. That our entire friendship was built on lies. I know you don't think much of them, or of the rest of the Order, but my family is dead and I have no one from my previous life. If they found out…I would have no one."
He nodded. If there was one thing he understood….
"I told you I wasn't as smart as everyone said I was," she whispered, looking up at him sadly.
He took her face in his hand.
"The things that you have known, the things that that you have been able to do, I would have been impressed by from a wizard fifty years older than you. Your age just made it all the more incredible. You have a bright future, regardless of anything."
They stayed like that for a moment, his hand on her cheek, staring at each other until she broke the silence.
"So? Will you help me?"
"Yes," he sighed.
He stepped away from her and walked back over to his desk. She followed him. He had thought their deal had been made, why was she still here?
He heard her voice from behind him.
"I meant what I said earlier. Anything you want."
He froze. He had already agreed to help her. Why was she still trying to seduce him?
He didn't turn around, trying to keep control.
"I know you want it," she continued, "I've seen the way you look at me when you think I'm not looking. I saw the way you looked at me at the ministry party this summer."
"I have self control, you know." He snapped at her.
"How much?" She whispered, stepping up behind him.
He felt a chill go down his spine.
"Just….barely….enough," he whispered back, squeezing his eyes shut and trying to slow his breathing.
She reached out and ran her finger down his spine.
"I liked you since the moment I met you. I respected you, I was drawn to you. As soon as my body got old enough for my hormones to start working again, I wanted you. I've spent years fantasizing about you and not being old enough to do anything about it. My body is eighteen now, inside I'm twenty-five. I'm old enough to have what I've wanted for so long."
He turned around slowly, still trying hard not to look at her.
"I'm still you're teacher."
"School doesn't start for another month as you pointed out at the beginning of our conversation."
She started unbuttoning her shirt and smiled.
"Come on. I only get an eighteen-year-old body twice. I really should take advantage of it this time. And I have all these raging teenage hormones."
He felt his self-control snap and he picked her up and placed her on the edge of his desk, letting her unbuttoned blouse fall off her shoulders and moving himself between her legs. She leaned back, and he leaned over her, placing his arms on his desk and trying to catch his breath. She could feel his erection pressing up against her and his hot breath on her bare shoulder. She let out a moan as his lips met hers and his hand pushed her skirt up against her waist. She closed her eyes as his fingers reached under her panties and started stroking her.
"Even if you're twenty-five," he breathed, "I'm still to old for you."
"You're not that old," she replied breathlessly, "and I really don't care."
She unbuttoned the top button of his pants
"I've been waiting for so long."
His erection fell out of his unbuttoned pants and he pressed it into her, groaning at the contact. He stroked into her harder and faster until he felt her climax and followed close behind. They both fell against the desk trying to catch their breath. He zipped up his pants as she put her blouse back on.
She turned to leave, but his voice stopped her.
"If you need someone this year…some time to be yourself again, to get used to your real personality again, I'd really like to get to know you."
She turned to face him, "I'd like that."
"And if you would ever like anything physical again…I'll be waiting here until you graduate."
She frowned for a second, he really wasn't going to budge on this teacher-student thing.
"Fine," she said on her way out the door, "I'll wait, but when I graduate you better make sure it was damn worth waiting for."
As she stepped out the door, he whispered,
"Oh, I will."