Yay for more oneshots :D Thanks to my dear friend Hero for being my beta; you're amazing. This is just something I came up with the other day. Enjoy, all, and let me know what you think!

WARNING: MATURE CONTENT. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Also, Snape is very OOC in this. Don't get me wrong, I am absolutely in love with Snarky Snape. But I just figured what the heck, something different. Hee hee.

Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters belong to JKR and Warner Brothers.

Smile Like You're Actually Happy

Hermione Granger was not easily surprised.

This was the emotion, however, that she chose as she sat in her little cubicle at the Ministry of Magic in the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office, nearly open-mouthed at her boss, who was blathering on about how he finally found an assistant for her. She had worked for the Ministry for five years since leaving Hogwarts, and it was only now that she had received some help in the office. Her dear friend Harry Potter had at last thwarted Lord Voldemort in his final year, allowing her to pursue her ambitions to make the world a better place following the aftermath. Nodding slightly and not paying attention to her employer's words, her eyes were fixated on the outside of her cubicle, the topmost portion of a person's head just barely brushing over the top. She had only known one person in her life who had hair that dark, apart from Harry of course, though she instantly brushed the thought out of her mind.

No…it couldn't be…

"Miss Granger?" The familiar address jolted Hermione out of her state as she glared at her boss, completely transfixed. He rolled his eyes and motioned for the figure to enter the cubicle. Hermione nearly swallowed her tongue in an effort to keep from screaming wildly.

The figure entered her office alongside her boss, his tall, thin frame amusing in comparison to the short and pudgy one of her employer, who was grinning from ear to ear, clapping the man on the shoulder excitedly. Neither of his two staff seemed to mimic the expression, though he attempted to keep the aura about the room bright nevertheless.

"Miss Granger, I do believe you know Severus Snape?" her boss questioned, purposely taking note of the rush of blood to her face. "Ah, it appears that you do?"

"We've met," Snape said rather coldly, his dark eyes piercing Hermione's heart like daggers. She wanted to shiver in her seat, but it would plainly give away the rush of emotions plaguing her mind, and instead chose to straighten her pencil skirt in an effort to hide it. To her dismay, it did not go unnoticed.

"Excellent, excellent!" her boss chortled. "I will just leave you both to organize the tasks that you withhold, Miss Granger. Be sure to give her your full assistance, Mr. Snape, and have fun!" He departed the room, whistling to himself and ignoring the fact that the two employees were glaring at each other in a destructive manner. Hermione snorted at her boss' words as he left, hardly thinking that the word "fun" would describe the actions between the two of them.

"Pardon me," Hermione said sweetly, but her words were thick like honey, "but what is your purpose here, Professor? You do not seem the type to be working at the Ministry, much less in this department."

Snape blinked once, showing no signs of emotion whatsoever. "Since the Dark Lord has been vanquished, I have decided to seek a new alternative for a job, since I no longer wish to teach at Hogwarts. However, this was the only position open at the moment until I find a better one…though I daresay, I did not have the slightest implication that I would be working with one of my former students. Nevertheless, you are no longer my student and are not required to call me Professor any longer." In Hermione's ears, the words held little meaning to them, but unbeknownst to the young witch, Snape was picking his phrases carefully, not wanting to reveal the true reason why he had come.

Hermione fidgeted in her seat restlessly, tremors running throughout her body. It had been five years since she looked upon her former Potions master, though he had not altered much, on the outside at least. His robes were still one dark shade of black, though his cloak was distinctly a darker green. The hooked nose and blackened hair she had been accustomed to was the same as well, and he still stood haughtily, crossing his arms in a protective manner. She took in his appearance with regret, as the mere sight of him was more than she could possibly handle. Throughout the years at Hogwarts, and even now, she was purely terrified of him, though he had a less foreboding nature about him. There was certainly something different about this wizard, and not just in the way he looked. Still, it was difficult to penetrate those darkened eyes of his and find the truth, so she let it be…for now.

Her thoughts were interrupted as Snape continued. "I am willing, however, to put the past behind us, to leave all grudges of Slytherin and Gryffindor behind the walls of Hogwarts, and focus completely upon this work, as it is clearly important to both of us. Am I correct?"

She nodded. "Yes. It reminds me of my childhood, even before Hogwarts began…" Hermione ended up smiling slightly at the end of the sentence, the memories of growing up in a Muggle house still clear in her mind. Snape paid no attention to her reminiscing, but instead proceeded to the doorway of the cubicle. He paused before exiting, turning his head to face the smiling witch.

"Let this be the beginning of our…new acquaintance. I shall return tomorrow, in preparation for working as your assistant. For now, I must depart and send in my official resignation at Hogwarts." His silky voice hit the young woman like an explosive, and the smile slid off her face instantly, her heart doubling in tempo. Before she could say another word, Snape had already departed the cubicle, and it was right then that Hermione decided that she wouldn't, or couldn't, let him go, let him disappear from her life once more. Not again.

"S-Severus?" she questioned timidly, testing his first name and poking her head out of the doorframe. His receding back paused, foot in mid-step. She half expected him to continue, but to her astonishment, he turned around in place, his cloak billowing behind him. "Hold on a moment…" She paused when she reached him, attempting to get the words through. "Since this is the start of…a new beginning, I was wondering if you would like to join me for a drink later. I could educate you in the aspects of this job, if you like." She was sure that her words were shaking with every syllable, praying that he would not become aware of it.

Snape nodded once, and very curtly, though with hesitation. "I shall await your arrival at the fountain," he said quietly. He knew the risks of being with the witch in a confined place, hoping that he could subside his wishes for the duration. He left again and departed with Floo Powder from a fireplace, to which Hermione watched with curiosity. The moment he was gone from her sight, she nearly ran back to her cubicle like a child and sat in her chair, knees pulled to her chest. Immersed in her thoughts, she was nearly ready to break down right then and there.

What were the odds of Professor Severus Snape entering her life for the second time, years after Voldemort had once and for all been defeated, Hogwarts had been reopened, and peace had been restored to humanity? Perhaps, she thought, he wanted to make a new start in his life away from the darkness that had once concealed him and had hidden his true self from the world. Still, his return to her had been completely unsuspected, just as she was beginning to forget…

Shivering slightly, Hermione straightened her body properly on the chair, forcing herself to concentrate on the sneezing clock in front of her. She attempted to cast the correct silencing charm upon it, but her efforts were rebutted. Her mind lingered on her new assistant who so happened to be the object of her desire throughout her schooling years. He was a brilliant wizard, no doubt, and an exceptional potion-maker. Despite her friends' accusations since first year, she had never considered him to be the antagonist in the situations that arose. Constantly in his defense, she had discovered which side he was truly for, being loyal to the resistance, and had been right the entire time. Nevertheless, that was then, and this was now. It was clear that he was seeing things in a newer perspective, perhaps a kinder one than what she had known before. Either way, he was the only thing she thought about for the remainder of the day.

She found it impossible to focus until mid-afternoon, when it was time to depart. The blood flowed through Hermione's veins with such pressure that she felt she would pop a vessel. The more she tried to calm her nerves, the more excited her brain became. Breathing slowly and deeply, she made her way to the center of the Ministry, towards the elegant fountain. Each footstep she made pounded the same mantra into her head, clouding her mind excessively.

It's just to redeem our friendship…nothing more…just to have a small drink and that's it…

The part of Hermione's brain that knew the difference between right and wrong was fighting for control over the other portion, the one which knew the truth and would stop at nothing to uncover it. It forcefully corrupted the lying part of her mind and emerged the truth from it, forcing her to succumb to those deep, inner feelings she possessed, the very same ones that she had held in for far too long.

Are you sure?


"Would you like a cup of tea?" Hermione asked kindly, doing her best to keep the atmosphere light. "Or something else…I've got butterbeer, scotch if you would like something stronger—"

"Tea would be fine," Snape said calmly, and the witch nodded, flicking her wand at the teapot upon the stove. It boiled and whistled instantly, hovering over to the teacups on the small table, pouring the honey-colored liquid in each one. The two of them were sitting across from each other at a small table in Hermione's quaint little house on the outskirts of London. A silver candelabrum hung from the ceiling, flames dancing upon the walls. Neither one of them were looking at the other, and Snape's heart simply would not be able to handle it if he did so, for she was quite a stunning young witch, one that had been unreachable for so many long years now that it was almost unbearable. And yet, here they sat in each other's presence, resentment slowly fading away and being replaced by its opposite.

Hermione then proceeded to pour cream and add two scoops of sugar into her drink, but Snape swallowed it instantly, inhaling the sweet scent of herbs and feeling the scalding liquid burn his throat slightly. His black eyes peered over the cup for a quick moment, watching intently as the young woman brought the fine china to her smooth lips, taking a small sip and setting it down again, but not before noticing his gaze.

"Why, Severus, I do believe you are staring at me," Hermione noted, the slight blush creeping to her face. The flush resembled that of holly berries at Christmastime, and Snape could not help but keep his eyes locked on them. The color was glorious, unlike any other that he had ever seen. Never had there been a time when a woman flushed in his presence, highly unlikely even when he was glancing at them with such an intriguing nature, and even less so when they were the slightest bit attractive, which she happened to be…though, in his eyes, it was more than slightly. His pasty skin would have changed color as well, were it not for the sound that was suddenly emitted from her vocal chords.

Hermione had cleared her throat; in an instance Snape blinked quickly, his fingers wrapped around the handle of the teacup with a firmness to them. Her head was inclined to the side in question of his actions, lips curled into a slight smile. Shiny brown curls graced her shoulders as they did so, gleaming by the light of the candles in the kitchen. A chuckle came from her, and he muttered an apology, finally finding the nerve to avert his eyes.

"It's quite all right," she mused, as though she were reading his mind. The room was silent for a moment, though not awkwardly, but more relaxing and comfortable, hanging in the air with a warm feeling to it. The two were both at a loss for words, sipping their tea thoughtfully, eyes wandering to anything but each other. Amber ones traveled yet again to their solace, the mahogany bookshelves, while the darker ones found a brick fireplace, contents blackened with the remains of previous flames. Snape sighed, his chest tugging at him as the log snapped cleanly in two, dropping to the floor. Looking away from the embers, he focused on the remains of the kitchen, with several doorways leading to a variety of rooms. A hallway, perhaps, or a dining room could be concealed behind one, with the possibility of a bedroom behind another. The house, though small, was elegant in all its simplicity.

"You've changed."

The words were out of Snape's mouth before he could control them, penetrating the silence with redemption. Hermione's eyes snapped back, looking at him with curiosity, a fire he had never noticed. "How do you mean?"

Snape instantly lamented saying anything, coming to the witch's house, implanting himself in her life once more. There was absolutely no way it could solve any of his problems. As his palms turned clammy around the cup, they shook slightly, words struggling in his throat. New phrases were sketched out in his mind, none of which would suit the situation, though he could not leave her question lingering for long. "You just aren't the same as you were five years ago…Hermione." He addressed her without her surname or the proper title for the first time, rolling off his tongue smoothly. Surprise was impressed upon both of their faces, and Snape did not have the heart to look away, pouring himself in her soul. Since the Dark Lord had been vanquished, he felt alive, he felt free, knowing he could say whatever he desired. "You are successful now, with a job at the Ministry of Magic. You have your own place to reflect your personality and your achievements."

Hermione nodded. "Yes, I suppose that's true. I've come a long way now from Hogwarts, haven't I?" She smiled fully now, showing straight white teeth, none of which were out of proportion as they had been before, when she was his clever student. She was still clever in all her endeavors, growing from the small eleven year old to the young woman she was now. The wizard shivered, yet another reaction he had never received in his life, a smile. Hardly realizing it, the words became a murmur now, a finger tracing the edge of the white saucer upon which the teacup sat. Hermione reached for a scone and nibbled on it thoughtfully as he continued, clinging to his every word.

"Your physical features are different as well," he commented, daring to venture to acknowledge her appearance aloud, voice low and husky. Snape's gaze remained upon her smiling lips, taking it in while it was still available for him to perceive. "I see you have certainly done something with those brown curls of yours—" Hermione chuckled at this, "—and overall, you've just grown up…" His voice trailed off, silencing himself before he revealed any more. He forced himself to avoid looking at anything below her slender neck, which curved off nicely into supple breasts and hips, long legs poking out from underneath her skirt. She was certainly very pretty now, as she had always been, though it had been easier to ignore the fact during Hogwarts, as he had to resume the role of professor. However, the characters had changed; she was no longer his Potions student, and therefore just another…friend.

The witch drank her tea once more, studying him carefully. She took note of his position as he sat, the target of his eyes, the way his body was angled as though protective of himself. His fingers drummed soundlessly on a silk-covered crossed arm, and it was then that she spoke up, addressing their proximity, how it had altered from student and teacher in five years. But now, it was equal: simply a witch and wizard with concealed truths hidden beneath the shadows of their lives not knowing where they were headed, but wanting nothing more than for this moment to last.

"You want to kiss me, don't you?"

Snape shot out of his trance the moment she spoke, colorless cheeks now becoming the opposite. "I—I don't…" he stammered, internally smacking himself for his behavior. This was purely tea, a reunion of two acquaintances from school, and nothing greater than that. Severus Snape would not, by any means, kiss this young witch, feel her warmth against his and aid in the joining of their spirits, focusing on nothing but each other's presence in newly explored territory…

But he wanted to. Oh, Merlin, did he want to.

"Don't fret about it," Hermione reassured softly. "I understand. It was merely a thought, since you came here, after all, it would be…" She stopped speaking almost as soon as she had begun, flicking the silver spoon in her teacup idly as she peered at its contents and finishing her scone, not daring to look at her former teacher. She paused, however, actions subsided as his larger, cool fingers encircled hers in a light grasp, the teaspoon plinking against the china as it was released. Her lower lip trembled at his touch, something that she had never experienced yet longed for over the course of many years.

"Yes." Snape's voice was down to a whisper. The hand that was upon hers let go, to Hermione's disappointment, but felt the heat in her body rush quickly as soon as his fingers brushed the warm skin of her cheek, to which she blushed deeper and closed her eyes with emotions wracking her brain. She kept her head cast downward, completely frightened of being captured in his eyes, though it ached inside with the want to do so. His voice was soft as he spoke, almost in a pleading tone, yet comforting at the same time.

"Look at me."

Hermione tilted her head upwards to see that Snape had leaned across the small table, her face still cupped carefully in his palm, eyes glistening with desire. Her own ones widened as he brought himself closer, almost hesitant. Hermione's heart controlled her body as she met him the rest of the way, closing her lids as soon as contact of lips was made. Though his were larger, they were gentle and soft, the kiss light. Snape's fingers caressed her cheek with feathery gentleness, causing a thrill to shoot down her spine like a firework, exploding in the pit of her stomach. It felt different, it felt right, and she almost unknowingly found herself pressing deeper against his mouth, adjusting to the sweetness of his kiss. The moment she regained command of her actions, he pulled away, leaving Hermione with a sense of thirst for that wonderful sentiment again.

It was clear that Snape thought the same, for as he pulled away, the fingers that had been upon her cheek were now brought to her lips, running over their warm tenderness. His eyes were no longer black, but full of life and light, dancing along with the candle flames. Hermione quavered in her seat, his touch like fire upon her mouth, wanting so deeply for her lips to be reunited with his. Snape stood up completely, secretly wishing the same, though he assumed his actions had gone too far already. Hermione's eyes closed as his fingers left, still feeling him there. A sigh was released from her lungs without him hearing, for he was too engrossed in buttoning up his cloak, not once looking at the young witch.

"I should go," he murmured. "I'm sorry."

Snape was moments away from Apparating straight out of the room when he paused, forcing himself to look at Hermione curiously. He could have sworn she had spoken, or perhaps it had been the wood floor creaking under his shoes. She was still glancing downward, chestnut curls shielding her shimmering eyes from view. Once again he readied himself, but froze for a second time, absolutely positive that she had spoken.

"Wait."

The word came cleanly and purely from her lips, reaching his ears with such a forgiving, aspirating tone behind it, and it was at this moment that Snape refused to turn back into his past and accept the future as it came, which he certainly intended on sharing with her. Hermione rose to her feet, each step shaking as she strode over to him, slowly anticipating each step. His eyes were fixated upon her once more with such dire infatuation that he felt as though he would burst. She faced him, lifting her head to see his face, and her heart melted into a puddle in the pit of her stomach. Fighting the tears with every ounce of power she could muster, she knew she had lost as one trickled down her cheek swiftly. For so many years she had depended on him for success, and here she stood now, even after he had disappeared from her life, and she still wanted him. She still needed him.

Lifting one trembling hand, Hermione placed it lightly on his chest, feeling his recklessly beating heart underneath her palm. Snape shivered, trying to hide it from the younger witch, but it did not go unnoticed. An exhilarating breath came as she wriggled into his arms, taking in his sweet scent, sending her brain into a wild frenzy. He pressed her warm body against his, securing her in his hold. The last thing Snape wanted to do was let go; she was the first one to care, the first to desire him for who he truly was. His arms were strongly wrapped around Hermione's petite body, so small and delicate, but sturdy at the same time, muscles tense.

"Hermione," he murmured, burying his face into her wavy locks, mirroring her previous action. Her name was breathless as he spoke, finding it difficult to express himself with words. Eyes shooting open at his tone, Hermione pulled away almost instantly, divulging the secret behind his mask. His eyes were filled with emotions unlike any others that he had ever expressed, overflowing with passion, longing, and pure lust.

"Tell me what you want," she whispered, the fire igniting in her lower stomach as his fingers trailed down her spine, rightfully claiming what was his.

"I want you."

In one smooth motion, Hermione was lifted off of the floor in Snape's arms, a hiss of revelation coming from deep within. His lips locked with hers powerfully as he carried her, somewhat blindly, towards an open door to the kitchen. Opening one eye quickly but not distracting himself from the kiss, his assumptions were correct, as he had entered her bedroom. Her fingers clutched at his black strands as she wrestled him for entry into his mouth, still trusting him as he held her in the air.

Snape set her down on the bed gently, breaking apart from her reluctantly to glance around the room. At least two more bookcases were pushed up against the walls, filled to capacity. The walls were painted pale gold in tribute to her Gryffindor homage with white curtains adorning the windows. The large four-poster bed she sat upon was also dressed in white linen, matching the curtains perfectly. Two small night tables were on either side of it, one of which had a book splayed out upside down, which Hermione was obviously in mid-read. It was a pretty little room, no doubt about it, and certainly reflected its owner.

"Severus…" The whisper came from Hermione pleadingly, snapping him out of his gaze. His attention turned back to the sitting witch, who was twirling a strand of hair around her finger and biting the corner of her lip in anticipation. Hermione's eyes were livid, not angrily, but more with the want to satisfy the blissful pain she had endured for many years. He looked at her, and she at him, and it was unanimously yet silently decided to ease the ache inside the both of them that so desperately needed to be fulfilled.

He sat down on the bed at once, taking her face carefully but firmly in both of his hands and joining their lips together once more in a tangled frenzy for domination. Hermione responded with equal enthusiasm, ensuring that she put every ounce of desire she had suppressed into the kiss. His tongue ran along her plump lips, begging to enter inside of them, and she granted it to him, swirling her own tongue around his in an effort to gain control. Hermione had wanted this for far too long, and unknowingly, so had he, both of whom wanted this more than anything. Fingers twisted in hair, caressed each other's bodies, moved to unknown places. Snape pulled away from their kiss to look at her, to take in her entire body. Amber eyes smiled and gleamed with lust as they stared into the glittering ones of her target, never before seeing this expression upon his face. His cheeks were flushed, lips curling up into a smirk. Oh, how she loved that smirk upon him and how much power it had over her.

Snape tenderly grasped her shoulders and pushed her backwards onto the bed, her head hitting the feather pillow lightly. Hermione looked up at him, chest heaving slightly with adrenaline, His chest tightened, knowing that the release of his ache would come quite soon, and it would be completely satisfying to do so. One trembling hand reached down as he leaned over, sweeping a brown curl out of her eye. She sighed at the contact, lids closing.

"Gods, you are so beautiful," he murmured, tracing his index finger from her forehead down to her cheek and across her lower lip. She kissed it gently, and he felt the breath hitch in his throat with contentment, dragging it down to the sensitive skin of her neck. Snape fingered her collarbone absentmindedly, teasing her ever so slightly. She sighed in pleasure as he leaned forwards, his body completely above hers, and pressed his lips to her neck, kissing her mischievously. Hermione's pulse sped up as he did so and Snape's smirk widened, knowing that he was indeed beginning to accomplish what she had always wanted.

Hermione's head tilted back, allowing him to access a larger range of skin, and as she did so, he sat up, straddling her upon the bed. She whimpered in eagerness as he fingered the buttons on her magenta blouse, wanting to rip it open but knowing it would be worth the wait. She allowed him to remove her shirt and expose her ample breasts, encased in red silk and lace. Hermione smiled at him and tugged on the bottom of his shirt as well, to which he quickly understood her implication and drew it over his head, exposing his bare chest to her. He was paler than most, but the muscles were still well defined, and he sited as she wrapped one hand around his neck and ran the other down his chest slowly.

"You don't know how long I've waited for you," he whispered, leaning down to brush the hair away from her face, kissing her forehead.

Confused, Hermione entangled her fingers in his black locks and gazed deeply into his eyes, looking for an answer. "I'm not sure I understand," she said. "Why me?"

Snape sighed and brushed her cheek gently with the back of his fingers. "Because you are the only one to see me for who I truly am, and have done so since our first encounter…seeing me as not a Death Eater, nor a traitor, but an honest man in search of his place in the world. And now, after the fall of darkness, I'm free…I've found it."

Hermione nearly wanted to cry at his words, for every bit of it was true; not once had she completely believed he had despicable intentions for any of his past actions. He was loyal, brilliant, put his life in danger in order to protect those he cared about, and it had worked in the end. His opposition thwarted, the shackles of guilt and death no longer held him back, and with desire running through every inch of his body, he had to find a way to fill the holes left behind his spirit. Snape's eyes were pleading as he watched her intently, the breath coming more and more restrained with fervor, and she would let him. Hermione needed to let him, needed to resolve the ache in both of their souls.

"Please…" she begged him, heart racing wildly. Snape nodded, locking lips with her again as she allowed him to open up her heart without fear. His hand ran along her smooth stomach and to her back, where he skillfully unhooked her bra and tossed it aside, never once breaking their connection. She kissed him passionately and with no regret as his hand moved once more to her front and over her firm breasts, causing her to gasp in his mouth ever so slightly. He knew well enough that she had never been treated this civilly with a man, and paused before going further, releasing both hands and lips from her skin.

"We don't have to do this, you know," he said softly, ensuring that this was still what she sought after. "You already know how I feel."

Hermione quickly shook her head, curls bouncing around her face and neck. "No…I want to, I need to do this. I need you."

Snape smirked once more. She needed him…this was certainly a change of events. His smirk sent shivers down her spine, which was not overlooked, and he taunted her by rolling one of her nipples between his fingers, sending her into a feral whirl of emotion.

"Your wish is my command," he said.

Hermione's hips lifted into the air as Snape's hands slid along them and to her lower back, where he quickly yanked down the zipper of her skirt and slid it down her finely toned legs, leaving her in only a pair of complementary red underwear that left little to the imagination. He tossed it next to her bra, reaching down to unbuckle his own trousers. However, her hands had already beaten him to it, and were working on releasing the silver buckle from its bindings. She quickly ripped the two portions apart and undid his own zipper, blushing fiercely when she pulled down the trousers and noticed his erection tenting his boxers. Snape sat up properly, peeling them off his legs completely. He could not help but chuckle slightly as she averted her eyes, cheeks rivaling the color of her undergarments.

His hand ran along the inside of her smooth thigh, brushing the thin fabric of her underwear several times. Leaning down, his erection pressed against her abdomen through his boxers and she gasped lightly, the need to be satisfied growing immensely. He brought his lips to her ear, feeling pleased when he heard the breath catch in her throat, making certain for the final time that she would not be repentant for this. "Are you afraid?"

Hermione's answer was firm this time. "No," she said.

This was the only answer he needed to continue, and Snape nodded, sitting back up again. His fingers gripped the elastic band of her underwear and pulled them down swiftly, revealing her dripping arousal. She was certainly in no position to turn back, nor wait any longer, and she had every intention of fulfilling her deepest wishes. Snape growled lowly as she brought his own boxers down to the blanket upon the bed, fingers accidentally brushing his pulsating tool nonchalantly. Hermione saw the gleam in his eyes, the lust brightening and dominating every part of darkness they once held. He positioned himself at her entrance, finding reassurance upon her face that she would not lament it at a later time.

"Do it," she hissed seductively, the craving almost becoming unbearable. Snape's hands grasped her hips firmly, spreading her legs apart with one knee. With one swift movement, he plunged directly into her, joining their bodies, minds, and hearts in a redeeming connection that had taken many years to create, putting the final brick in its glorious place.

Hermione screeched in pain and pleasure, arching her back as small tears spilled from her eyes yet again. Snape stayed perfectly still, not wanting to cause her any more emotional or physical pain that she was already in. Positioning himself above her without disrupting his place, he brought his lips to her cheek, kissing away her salty tears.

"Don't cry, just relax, don't cry…" he murmured, the silkiness to his voice washing over her with a sense of calmness to it, and her muscles loosened. Snape's lips trailed down her cheeks and pressed once more to her lips before removing them from her skin altogether.

Growing anxious, Hermione's hips swiveled to a more comfortable place, eyes begging for him to continue. The pain had mostly disappeared and was being replaced by a rather temperamental feeling, the hunger increasing within. He grunted softly as he penetrated further inside, feeling her internal temperature rise as he did so. She was extremely tight, and had most likely never been with a wizard of his age or ability, though he suspected some experimentation and minor exploration had occurred of her own accord. Hermione's head threw backwards as he slid himself almost completely out of her and back in again, sending an electrical shock up her spinal column.

"Oh gods, yes…" she groaned as he quickened his pace, mewling in satisfaction as he fulfilled the deep intense yearning she had kept secret for so many years. And now, as Severus Snape was ceasing the ache by joining his body with hers, she had never felt so alive in her entire life. His sighs in pleasure mixed with her cries of gratification as he thrust into her again and again, feeling her body quake under his. She clawed at his strong back, clutching tight to him in persuasion for him to continue. Their eyes connected, the undeniable lust bringing them both close to the pinnacle. Each breath that was released from their lips was deliciously sweet, the sweat clinging to their bodies like a beloved sweater.

"Hermione." Snape uttered her name as he drove himself into her wetness, feeling her wrapped around him like a hot sleeve. This, he realized, was better than any emotion he had ever felt, more rewarding than being ordered to rape innocent Muggles under the power of Voldemort, bringing him that rare happiness he coveted so deeply. She was purely everything he could ever desire, breasts bouncing voluptuously as he reached his climax, feeling his juices spill into that of the young witch, knowing that shortly she would as well. Hermione shrieked his name while doing so, nearly digging her nails into him as she released every bit of her that had wanted this, every part that had needed him. Snape's lips pressed against her own in a fierce kiss as he collapsed by her side, running his hands across her waist and back. Their tongues battled quickly, liberating every last bit of energy they had with each other before pulling away, breath coming in short pants.

"Severus…" she whimpered, her breathing calming down slowly. Her hair was matted with sweat, as was his, yet she ran her fingers through it absentmindedly. He kissed her forehead again, pulling her close to his chest. He needed her, and she him, and there was absolutely no force in the world that would change it. Snape had been deprived of someone to comprehend where he truly wanted to belong, the place his heart was set upon. His innocence had been overlooked by far too many, nearly destroying all hopes of him finding his position in life, and had it not been for the young witch in his arms, the likeliness that he would have continued to live in that manner was irrefutable.

She leaned her head against his chest, sighing in ecstasy as she felt his beating heart. His arms were wrapped securely around her body, the place that she had sought after for so long, and it was at last hers for the taking. The lids closed over her amber eyes, feeling exhaustion wash over her. Before drifting off, however, she spoke the phrase that Snape had longed to hear his entire life.

"Thank you."

And it was at this moment, with her in his arms and after the happiest feeling to ever come across him in a great many years, Severus Snape fell asleep with a smile on his face.