A/N: Good news! Not dead! Here's a chapter!

Warnings: Language from start to finish, and dirtyness throughout the second half. I swear I'll eventually be able to convince them to get on with the plot, and stop stripping naked. Next chapter. I promise.

I own nothing you recognize, despite spending a great deal of time obsessing over it. Thanks to Aurette for the alpha read! She's the bestest.

Chapter Twelve

When I finally tracked him down, he was in his office speaking via Floo with Ginny. I had a lovely shot of his arse as he leaned into the flames. I leaned back against his desk and waited for him to notice me.

"You are not in my good graces, Mrs. Potter." The arctic chill in his voice cast a shiver down my spine. "I won't have my privacy invaded in such a manner. My relationship with Ms. Granger is not for public consumption, and the last thing I want is for her to be subjected to lewd speculation by the mouth-breathers that subscribe to the Prophet! You had best figure out who took the photo. I want his or her name, and I want it immediately."

"Not a problem, Professor," Ginny said, her face solemn. "I can't believe someone at our party would be so indecent as to take a photo like that and then sell it to trash like Rita Skeeter."

Severus' voice was dry as a spinster's panties as he replied, "Really? I can think of any number of people who attended your party and are just that indecent. Your brother is at the top of that list, of course."

"Yes, well. All right, that's probably true." She bit her lip. "Do you really think he was sober enough to take such a clear, high-quality photograph?" Ginny frowned, then brightened. "It really was fantastic. The kiss was really hot, and by the time Harry pried it away from me, it was all rumpled and sweaty from my hands. Tell me, Professor," she leaned forward, her eyelids at half-mast, "have you ever heard of swingers?"

"Ginny!" I shouted over Snape's horrified exclamation. "Stop mewling after my boyfriend!"

Severus jumped and slammed his head on the mantel. "Fuck! Goddamn that hurt!"

"Oh, Hermione. Put down the hackles. You know I like to tease. Plus, I was testing him for you. Now you don't have to worry because you know he won't cheat on you."

"I wasn't worried about that in the first place! Severus is an honorable man."

The look he cast over his shoulder at me was smouldering. He turned back to face my friend and snarled, "Don't contact us again until you have news to report on the idiot who thought he could paint a target on our backs." He ended the Floo call with that abrupt command and stalked over to me.

Slipping an arm around my waist, he growled and yanked me against his chest. "I'll have you know that I am not your boyfriend. I am your lover." He placed his mouth below my ear and inhaled deeply, setting all the tiny hairs on my body tingling.

"That's all well and good, but one doesn't just go about announcing that. It's off-putting." His tongue swiped my jugular, and I squealed. "People find it… creepy. Saying 'this is my lover' immediately makes everyone think about us having sex."

He pulled back confused, anger fading from his eyes. "What?"

"You know…" I rolled my eyes. "When someone says something like that, you can't help but picture them in improbable sexual positions."

Snape's eyebrows tented. "I've never had that particular experience."

I shrugged. "If it makes you feel less like a dirty old man to lie about it, that's fine."

We stood staring at each other for a few minutes, his hands on my waist, thumbs rubbing small circles. The worry lines in his face faded slowly, and he pulled me close so he could rest his cheek on my hair.

"You left me upstairs alone to face Minerva's prurient curiosity and a gaping student body." I said it quietly, trying to make light of it.

I felt his chest expand and contract as he sighed. His hand slid down my back and rubbed. "Yes."

"That wasn't fair."

"No, I suppose not."

We stood in silence pressed chest to chest. "If you do it again, I'll kick you in your Quaffles."

"Duly noted." He pulled back and scrubbed his hands over his face. "I didn't even think of it, honestly. I was filled with such…" His fingers slide back into his greasy hair.


"Fear. Gods, the fear, Hermione. You have no idea the absolutely craven terror that flooded me when I saw our… closeness blasted across the headlines of that piece of trash rag." He sank into his desk chair, and pinned me with his dark eyes. "I have avoided personal entanglements for nearly two decades for this very reason. My life was devoted to our cause." Snape huffed. "Solely. I couldn't allow myself a lover, because to love someone was to put her in danger."

My stomach immediately pitched, and I felt blood rush to my face. Did he just imply he loves me?

"I do understand," I said and was proud I sounded so mature when all I wanted to do was scream and stomp and smother him with my breasts until he admitted that he had feelings for me.

"The war is over, it's true. However, I am aware that there are people who still embrace the Pure Blood doggerel. I have made you… a mark." His fears haunted his eyes, and he reached out a hand to me.

"Oh, Severus." I took his hand and allowed him to pull me into his lap. "You are so smart, but so narcissistic."

His mouth compressed into a tight white line, and when he tried to push me off his lap, I wrapped my arms tightly around his neck. He snarled, "If I am so objectionable, I wonder that you see fit to spend your time in my company."

I began to giggle. "You are also delightfully Victorian sometimes." I laid my head on his shoulder. "Severus, I was already a mark. I'm the Muggleborn third of the Golden Trio. There are oodles of people who would love to punish me for my role in the Final Battle." I pressed a kiss into his neck, taking a moment to smell his spicy aftershave. "Mmmm," I hummed against the point of his jaw, letting my tongue flick out to taste his earlobe.

He sat still, his arms threaded around my waist. He wouldn't meet my eyes.

I turned and straddled him. "I'm strong, Severus. You don't need to worry; I can defend myself." I ground down on his hardening erection. "Besides," I said, saving the best for last. "I'm probably safer dating you."

At that he tipped his face up and looked into my eyes. "How so?"

"You've been a spy for twenty years. You've got instincts that I haven't. You're like a human Sneak-o-scope!"

I watched his gaze sharpen. Felt his hands curl around my hips. He licked his lips. "You know, that's true." He tilted his pelvis ever so slightly to give me more room to rub against him. "I could protect you."

"Hey," I said, wrapping my fingers in his hair and pulling his head back to receive my open-mouthed kiss. He received it with enthusiasm, tilting his head so his nose brushed my cheek. I pulled away and said, "I don't need a protector. I don't want a protector. But I'd be very happy if we could… look out for each other."

He nodded, looking poleaxed.

I kissed him and then pulled away. It wasn't easy because he wasn't particularly keen on the idea of me getting up off his lap, but I smacked his hands away and said, "Behave. I've got an idea."

"So do I." He gave his tented trousers a significant look.

"You'll like this." I cocked my head. "Well, I hope you will, because I'll certainly get off on it. Stay there."

I stepped outside his office and transfigured my robes into a Gryffindor Hogwarts uniform with a few minor adjustments. My skirt was significantly shorter, and my sweater tighter and made of cashmere. I pulled the pins out of my hair and flipped it over my head and back so it regained some of its former frizzy glory. With that, I knocked on his door.

"Enter," he said gruffly.

I pushed open the door, my lower lip pinched between my teeth. He sat facing the door, legs splayed wide, rubbing his erection through the wool of his trousers. "Oh!" I said, whirling around. "I'm so sorry, Professor Snape. I've obviously confused the time. I thought you wanted me to come work on my special project. I didn't mean to interrupt you…"

When he didn't respond, I peeked over my shoulder to see him staring at me, his mouth quirked. I couldn't tell if he was amused or annoyed. "Is this what you think I fantasize about? Having sex with my students?"

"What? No!" I turned to face him. "This is my fantasy, not yours."

"You fantasize about having sex with my students?"

"No!" I wanted to stomp my foot. "When I came back after the Final Battle and redid my seventh year, I… had a crush on you. I used to think about coming into your office, and…" I felt the blood rush to my cheeks.

His expression was considering as he used the tip of his finger to trace his lips. "When you came back after the Final Battle? A year after you would have normally graduated if there'd been no war."

I nodded.

"You'd have been eighteen?"

"Nineteen because of the Time Turner from third year."

"Ms. Granger, you are two minutes late." His voice cracked between us causing me to jump. "Explain yourself." He was still sitting splayed in his chair.

"I… I'm sorry, sir." I watched in interest as his erection, which had flagged during our conversation, once more pressed against the placket of his trousers. I licked my lips. "I have no explanation."

"Five points from Gryffindor for being late. Proceed through to my personal laboratory and immediately begin crushing the doxy wings with the marble mortar and pestle."

"Yes, sir." I'd intended to stay in his office, maybe try a little mundane blow job fantasy, but he'd obviously worked up something more elaborate in his head, and I was more than willing to play. I rolled the top of my skirt so that the bottom edge was nearly indecently high, and then walked into his potions lab.

I moved to the top cabinet where his mortar and pestle were stored, and bent down far lower than necessary in order to pick up a step stool kept on hand to reach the upper shelves. Ignoring his heated gaze, I stepped onto the stool and stretched to take down the implement.

"Ms. Granger, surely you are aware that I can see your bottom."

"Oh! I'm so sorry, Professor!" I attempted to demurely smooth my skirt down with just one hand, as the other was wrapped around the mortar and pestle. Instead, I only managed to stroke my hand over my quim and moan.

His open robes framed a now truly impressive erection. He pointed to the worktop where he'd placed the container holding the ingredient and ground out, "Doxy wings, Ms. Granger. Now."

I sashayed to the table and measured out an ounce of wing into the mortar. Choking the pestle with a tight grasp, I gleefully mutilated the ingredient, crumbling it into uneven chunks. Within seconds, his heat crept across my back, and his voice rumbled by my ear.

"Application of proper potion technique, please. Wrap your fingers a bit more loosely around the shaft…" He choked on a laugh. "I'm afraid the metaphor fails after that to some extent. I'd really prefer if you didn't use my cock to grind things to powder."

"Severus, stay in character," I hissed.

He cleared his throat, and I could hear the smile in it. "Let me help you, Ms. Granger." His hand covered mine as he stepped in even closer. I could feel the bulge at his trouser front nestle between my arse cheeks. He used his chin to push back my bushy hair and laid his cheek against mine. The bristle of his scruff brushed lightly, so lightly against my jawline. "Now slow. Steady. Rhythmically, Ms. Granger." I struggled to follow his instructions through a rising haze of lust, but it became almost impossible when he turned his lips to my ear and growled, "Oh, that's very good."

He stretched the r out. Verrrry good. With his hot breath against my ear and washing down my neck, my brain became fuzzy, and I became far less concerned with my potions preparation than I was with the fact that my nipples had become so tight they ached.

"Good girl. Keep going. Focus on your technique. A good Potions master or mistress must be able to focus on his work no matter what is going on around him or her. Can you do that, Ms. Granger?"

"Yes, sir," I lied happily, knowing that I was going to fail abominably. He hadn't even really touched me, and it was all I could do to ensure that I didn't grind my own fingers into paste with the pestle.

"Good." He said it on an exhalation of air, and his praise wrapped around me just as his hands slid to my waist. "Keep going." His fingers tucked under the hem of my cashmere sweater and coasted up my ribs, stopping for just a moment to circle my belly button.

"Oh, Professor Snape, I don't think…"

"You shouldn't be thinking right now, Ms. Granger. You should be focusing on your technique. It's gotten remarkably sloppy. I haven't even touched your tight little nipples, and you've already slowed down until you've nearly stopped. And look there, you've just spilt a little."

"I'm sorry, sir. I'll do better," I panted.

"By the end of this lesson, I expect you to have perfect execution of this grinding technique, even if my tongue is buried in your pussy." He nipped my ear, and then laved it with his tongue. "Just as an example, of course, Ms. Granger."

I swayed, unable to help myself. His hands steadied me. "Of course, sir."

"Then proceed." So I began to grind the doxy wings once more, and his hands slipped up my ribs until he was gently cupping my breasts. I knew he could feel how tight my nipples were even through the weight of my cotton bra, because he moaned and petted them with his thumbs. "Grind, Ms. Granger." So I rubbed my arse against his erection, and though he flexed against me, he gasped, "The wings, if you please."

He flicked the front clasp of my bra open, and I spilled into his hands. "I'm going to pet and stroke your pretty tits. I'm going to pinch your nipples until they're red and ripe, and you're begging me to put my mouth on them, Ms. Granger."

I said nothing. Doggedly, I ground the damn wings.

"Oh, good girl. Verrry good." Snape leaned over and pressed his mouth against my neck. His wet tongue snaked from my shoulder to that hot spot behind my ear, and then he rolled my nipples between his thumbs and forefingers. My legs wobbled, and I couldn't help it. I dropped the pestle, and it rolled, knocking the bottle containing the rest of the doxy wings onto the floor.

Immediately Snape's heat was gone from my back. I turned to see him austerely tucking his hands into his sleeves. "Clumsy. We'll have to get more from the storeroom. Follow me."

A/N: Could it BE? The titular storeroom? TUNE IN TO FIND OUT. I'm on a fanfic writing binge, children. I solemnly promise to finish this story before finishing and posting any others. Also, as I am slowly writing the final chapters, I'm going to be hacking and slashing at the first ten or eleven chappies. Baby needs a good edit.

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