I own nothing but the plot!

Minerva's Hope

Chapter 1

Minerva sat in her customary place at the teachers table in the Great Hall at Hogwarts, to the left of Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts. It was the welcome feast of Harry Potter's fifth year at Hogwarts and Minerva was dreading it immensely. She loved all of her cubs with everything in her but Harry and his friends seemed to have more than the normal amounts of trouble follow them and with the return of Voldemort, this year would most likely be worse than the others. She had enough of her own troubles to worry about this year without the added pressure of Harry and his friends.

Sighing inwardly, Minerva stood up from the table and swiftly made her way out of the Great Hall. She slowly strolled down the lesser traveled corridors of Hogwarts Castle aimlessly for hours and then searched out the Fat Lady Portrait. Taking a deep breath, she straightened her spine, spoke the password and entered through the hidden doorway. Minerva gave her customary start of the year speech to her Gryffindor cubs and then went to her set of rooms quickly.

Minerva took a long steamy bath to unwind from the hectic day she had endured and to relax her troubled heart. It had been a rough few months for Minerva and it didn't appear as it would be changing anytime soon. The Minister of Magic had sent a High Inquisitor to Hogwarts to spy on Albus Dumbledore and his supports this year and she, Delores Umbridge, would be teaching Defense against the Dark Arts. Things always seemed to get worse, Minerva thought bitterly.

Minerva made her way to her bedchambers and walked to the queen-sized bed. She shrugged out of the tartan robe, settled in the middle of the bed and pulled the covers over her. She tossed and turned hoping for sleep to claim her; however, it didn't appear it would happen any time soon. She kept on reliving the night Voldemort returned but not for the same reason as others frequently did. She relived the late hours of the night when most of the castle's occupants were sleeping.

Unable to sleep, Minerva continued to patrol the grounds of Hogwarts. Voldemort had returned and the Ministry of Magic continued to deny it. They had claimed Harry Potter had been confused, grief-stricken over Cedric's death and had fabricated the entire story. The Ministry of Magic was going downhill quickly thought Minerva as she trekked through the halls. A noise sounded near the main entrance of the castle prompted Minerva to investigate further.

As she silently neared the giant doors, she gasped at the sight that greeted her. Severus Snape was leaning against the stone wall and breathing with a bit of difficulty. Dry blood and mud covered his normally pristine black robes while tears in the fabric showed his hidden injuries. His hair was matted to his head with dry blood and his face was ashen in color. "Severus," Minerva said concerned and compassionately.

The wizard leaning against wall was barely able to look up at the concerned witch. He attempted to stand on his own; however, he stumbled forward. Minerva rushed to his side and supported his weight with her own body. Severus tried to push her away but she maintained her hold on him and helped him to his chambers in the dungeon. He reluctantly accepted her help and inwardly smiled when they reached his chambers. Minerva helped him to the couch in his parlor and magically lit the fire for warmth. "Where do you keep your store of healing potions," she asked softly.

"In the storage cabinet in the bathroom," he panted with difficulty.

Minerva immediately gathered the potions and brought them back to the parlor so she could help Severus. She eased him from his outer robes and removed his clothing from the waist up much to the dismay of the grouchy Potions Master. With caring hands, Minerva applied the potions to his many wounds and watched as they healed before her own eyes. "What happened tonight," she asked, too curious for her own good at times.

Severus looked up at the witch before him with curiosity. He mostly thought of Minerva as an associate, his coworker, his rival during Quidditch season; however, he knew she never considered him afriend and he couldn't figure out why she was helping him. Seeing sincerity in her green eyes, he told her. "Voldemort summoned all of his followers to the graveyard tonight to witness the destruction of Harry Potter and he was furious when Potter managed to escape. He punished all of us that were late to answer his summons to set an example and I apparently was the last one to answer."

"I'm so sorry Severus," she answered softly.

Minerva helped Severus to the bathroom and as professionally as possible helped him removed all his clothes without looking at his manhood. She helped him ease into the bath she had previously run and helped him to wash away the dried blood and mud. She assisted him in washing his hair and was retrieving a towel for him to dry off of when he stiffly asked, "Why are you helping me?"

She sighed tiredly before answering, "Everyone needs a friend at some point Severus."

He accepted her friendship as she helped him out of the tub, dried him off and dressed in a clean set of pajamas. He leaned against her heavily as they made their way to Severus' bed. He settled down underneath the covers with Minerva's help and closed his weary eyes. Just as Minerva had reached the bedroom door, he whispered an unexpected plea, "Stay."

Minerva froze in place when she heard his plea. It tugged at her heartstrings for some unknown reason and at the same time it frightened her. She realized Severus needed her strength and she wanted to provide it for him but his personality was a bit overwhelming for her at times. They were rivals most of the time she silently reminded herself yet the quivering tone of his voice spoke volumes to her. Minerva took a deep breath before she turned around and went back to Severus' side. She transfigured her heavy robes into comfortable pajamas and settled down under the covers near Severus. She turned onto her side facing his back, spooned against him, gently placed an arm around his waist and laid her hand on top of his hand above his heart. "Goodnight Severus," she whispered as she closed her eyes and prepared for sleep to claim her.

He squeezed her hand gently before he closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep. Minerva stayed awake until Severus' breathing evened out telling her he had indeed fallen asleep. She closed her eyes and slowly drifted off to sleep hoping the morning would bring strength for Severus.

A couple of hours later Minerva was awoken by Severus' screaming. He was tossing and turning in his sleep, apparently fighting an unknown assailant. Minerva's heart went out to him immediately as she attempted to wake him from his nightmare. She called his name and shook his shoulder; however, he flinched from her touch and immediately pinned her to the bed with his own body, his fingers biting into the skin of her wrists painfully. Minerva recognized he was still in the mist of his nightmare and didn't know what he was doing. She managed to slip her right hand from his clutches and immediately started to stroke his face as she spoke in calming tones to him.

Nearly ten minutes later he escaped his nightmare and looked at her confusedly although he never made an attempt to move off of her. "Minerva," he questioned, his expression confused.

"You had a nightmare Severus," she said lowly.

Severus finally noticed his grip on her wrist and immediately let go. Dark purple bruises were already forming and he felt horrible about it. "Minerva I am truly sorry," he whispered emotionally.

The tone of his voice caused Minerva's heart to flutter for a moment prompting her to say, "Tell me about it."

Severus gazed into her emerald eyes for a moment before he told her of his nightmare then sobbed on her shoulder. Minerva merely rubbed his back as she listened to him. It broke her heart to hear of the cruelty Voldemort used against his own supporters, spy or not. She hadn't realized until tonight how hard it would be on Severus to be the Order's spy. He would have to endure so much and she knew he would never receive the praise he deserved for doing it. How anyone could think of him as heartless was ridiculous, she thought as she continued to comfort him.

Severus sobbed for what seemed like an eternity before he lifted his head off of Minerva's shoulder to thank her. Before he could thank her, he gazed into her green eyes and wished that he hadn't. He saw her compassion and it melted the ice around his heart. Without thinking of the consequences, he leaned down and kissed her tentatively on the lips. When the kiss ended, they gazed into each other's eyes. "That shouldn't have happened," she whispered emotionally.

"It probably shouldn't have," he agreed lowly before he kissed her again. She responded to his kiss and blocked out the part of her brain that was screaming at her to leave the bed, the room, him. She instead wrapped her arms around his neck and gave into the sensations he was creating in her.

Severus trailed kisses down her pale neck, unfastening her pajama top as he went, listening to her sigh and gasp. Minerva raised herself up off the bed enough to rid herself of her pajama top, leaving her in her scarlet bra, then helped Severus remove his top. He gently pushed her bra strap down her arm and kissed her shoulder softly causing her to purr in contentment. "Severus," she whispered huskily.

He met her gaze, saw lust in her emerald green eyes and felt himself grow harder down below. He quickly moved to her mouth and kissed her passionately. Minerva managed to flip them so that she was on top straddling him and stripped off her red bra before returning to his lips. He gripped her backside and gave a firm squeeze prompting a throaty moan from her. She grinded herself against his manhood, causing him to growl in appreciation of her boldness, before he flipped them to where he was on top once more. "I do believe it's time for you to forfeit the rest of your clothing," he said in a tone that sent shivers down her flushed body.

Minerva didn't trust her voice and merely nodded her head in response. She rose up her hips slightly off the bed while he gripped the top of her pajama bottoms and panties then removed them tantalizingly slow. He tossed her clothing to the floor then claimed her lips once again. Without breaking the kiss, Severus lifted his hips enough for Minerva to push his pajama bottoms and underwear off. He settled himself between her legs then returned to his exploration of her surprisingly curvy body.

Her control was quickly slipping away as he continued to caress her body with his calloused hands and mouth. She gasped in delighted surprise when he started to suckle her chest before running her nails up and down his muscular back. He broke away from her breast and kissed her hungrily. She matched his hunger with her own during the kiss and it left them both breathlessly. "I need you Minerva," he whispered in her ear before he nibbled on it.

Severus gripped her hands with his and intertwined their fingers before pinning her arms against the mattress beside her head. He positioned himself at her entrance then gazed into her emerald eyes seeking permission to go further. A soft smile graced her lips before she nodded her head yes and spread her legs a bit in invitation. He locked eyes with her and held her gaze as he entered her slowly forcing her to feel every inch of him. She maintained eye contact with him but bit her lip as she adjusted to his size. He was rather large she thought fondly.

When their hips met, he bent down and kissed her passionately. She moaned against his lips then moved her hips slightly to indicate her readiness to continue. He began to move inside her with a slow pace and nibbled on her earlobe. She moaned and gasped as she steadily moved closer to the brink. She tried to break her hands free but he held his grip on her as if it was his lifeline. She finally gave up the fight and wrapped her long legs around his waist. He quickened his pace as they quickly reached the brink and they fell off together, screaming their release.

Severus collapsed on top of Minerva after his release and lay there nearly twenty five minutes just reveling in the feel of her soft skin against his. He had finally released her hands and she had wrapped her arms around him offering him all the support she could. She held him into the early morning hours before wiggling out from underneath him and silently getting dressed. "This never happened," she whispered before leaving him alone with his bewilderment.