A/N: I don't own the characters, just the story. Nor do I own the Disney quotes.

This is for the Disney Quotes Challenge, the first quote appears in this chapter (twice!) Look for the bold

Read and review, please! Tell me if you like or hate where you think this is going.

"We can't do this," she whispered, pushing him away slightly. He showed no heed to the rejection. Instead he returned his lips to her neck.

"Please, Severus, stop!" she said, pushing him away more forcefully this time.

"What, Hermione, do you want of me?" he growled, his dark eyes meeting her soft brown.

"I just... this isn't right," Hermione murmured. "You're... and I'm..." she couldn't complete either thought, so she ran from the room, leaving Severus Snape standing in the middle of his office, frustrated. Hermione had been his colleague for two years. At first they maintained the icy relationship they had throughout her years as a student, but lately they had become more friendly. She had come to his office that night seeking advice on brewing a somewhat complicated potion that would help restore her father's failing eyesight. He had gladly helped her, and she had stayed behind to talk.

They were sitting on the couch in front of his fireplace when he had started noticing the woman Hermione had blossomed into. When unencumbered by student or teacher robes, Hermione wore clothes that showed off the womanly curves she had developed sometime between leaving Hogwarts and returning as the new Charms professor. The bushy mane had been tamed into a mass of tamed, soft waves. Makeup, which had never been her forte while attending school, was now part of her daily routine. While brainy at school, she was now more intellectual. She had no desire to prove herself to the teachers who were now her peers, her position proved her abilities for her, and so conversations didn't center around what she knew and her sometimes manic insistence that she was right, but rather they were much more rational. Snape developed somewhat of an attraction almost immediately.

After a couple glasses of wine and a long conversation about the best way to gain student respect while not using his usual fear tactics, Severus had made the first move by leaning forward and catching her lips with his. At first she responded somewhat enthusiastically. Her arms wrapped around him and she pressed her body into his. But when he had abandoned her lips to run his along her neck she had a sudden change of heart.

With shaking hands he sat behind his desk. His head dropped to the dark mahogany , causing a momentary shot of pain through his skull that was almost immediately dismissed. Hermione Granger, he thought. The insufferable know-it-all herself. Besides being one of the most annoying students he ever had the displeasure of teaching, she was twenty years his junior. They had a mutual abhorrence of each other from the moment she had set foot in Hogwarts, fueled by an even strong aversion from Potter and Weasley. While he had assumed that their sociable attitudes towards each other meant that their past was water under the bridge, he now realized that he was seriously wrong.

He looked in the mirror opposite his desk, and looked at the sullen, pallor faced man gazing back at him. His left arm twitched slightly, a reminder of the mark that he would carry for the rest of his life. True, Voldemort was long since defeated, and true, he had been vindicated by the Wizengamot, but there was a strong distrust of anyone who had once been in the confidences of the Dark Lord among the wizarding community. He was no more a man, than a monster in the eyes of many. Several parents flat out refused to allow him to teach their children Potions. Rather than fire him Headmaster McGonagall had hired a second Professor for the subject, and gave parents the choice while their children were in first through fifth years. Any NEWT work was still supervised by Snape. The second Professor had no where near his skill level, a fact that kept a good number of students in his classes.

He crossed his office and through the door that led to his private chambers. There he stripped off his teachers robes and changed into his night clothes. The candlelight extinguished as he laid upon his bed. He had been a fool to try to be with a woman the likes of Hermione Granger. She would never want to be with him. She would never see usual his past and his usual demeanor.

Who could ever learn to love a beast?


When she was well clear of the dungeons Hermione slid into a secret passageway and collapsed against the wall. She still felt the surprising tenderness of his lips against hers. No, what was she thinking? This was Snape she was thinking about. The same man whose very name caused fear and hatred to bubble up inside her for several years. Even though she knew now that he was not a faithful Death Eater, that he had been on the side of good in the end, that didn't stop him from being an insurmountable prick during their school years. He was the only teacher who made her feel like she wasn't good enough.

She caught her breath and started down the hallway to her quarters near Gryffindor Tower. It sometimes still felt weird that she was back in the halls, even if it was as a teacher. She had never thought of herself doing anything with her years as anything but a teacher, she had her knowledge, and Ron and Harry could easily attest that she was more than willing to share everything she knew. So after she had graduated college with a Mastery in Charms and Transfiguration McGonagall offered a position taking over Professor Flitwick's job, and she happily accepted. Teaching came almost as second nature to her, though years of teaching her friends anything on the fly might have helped her there.

She reached her chambers and immediately headed to the bath. Lying in the warm, bubbly tub (and hoping Peeves didn't drop in for a sudden bit of mischief) she began to think over her past romances. Or, perhaps, complete lack thereof. After the war she and Ron had dated for a while. Ron was a nice guy, but the same bumbling, somewhat selfish, insecure person he had always been in their Hogwarts years. She put up with it for three years, but his constant suspicions of her while she was away at college made the relationship impossible. They had decided that their friendship would work much better than their relationship, and broke it off. Afterwards she had gone out with Viktor Krum for a while, but the same problem that arose the first time arose the second; Krum was all brawn and no brains, and despite the saying opposites don't always attract. There had been one more boyfriend in college, a smart Muggle at a nearby school studying Literature and Italian, but he had bolted when Hermione had revealed that she was a witch. It was over with no hope of returning when she was forced to hunt him down to modify his memory to make sure he didn't reveal her little secret all over England.

All had been dry on the relationship front recently, and she was perfectly content with it being that way. She was still young, and was more focused on her career at the moment. She figured when the time was right for a relationship, that she would know it and be able to approach it from the logical, sensible side of Hermione Granger that always prevailed in these sort of situations. She had written a list when she was sixteen, added to and subtracted from it as needed, and it now sat in her diary in a highly protected drawer of the desk in her private office. It was a list of everything that she required in a potential boyfriend.

And Severus Snape would never make her list. Sure, he was intelligent. And somewhere in there she found him somewhat physically attractive. And he did have a good, respectable job. But he certainly didn't have a sense of humor that would mesh well with hers. If he had a sense of humor at all. And he was not an outgoing person, not one who would mesh well with her family. Plus he was twenty years older than her, not as bad for the wizarding world, but difficult to explain to her Muggle parents.

She slipped farther into the bath and sighed. Even if he was completely wrong for her, there was something about the kiss that had felt... good. That felt right. She hated herself for thinking it. The man was barely human. There was no way that she could ever love him.

Who could ever learn to love a beast?