Disclaimer: It all belongs to JKR. No infringement intended.

Rating: R for language and sexual situations.

Pairing: Severus/Hermione


Lightning Strikes


by Auror Borealis

1 Chapter 11

Snape did not move. "You do not understand what you are playing at, Miss Granger."

"You don't think so? I understand the teacher/student thing. Believe me, Severus, I get it. You want me, I want you, and we can't touch each other. What's not to get?" She circled around him, the smile still there, but tinged with bitterness and frustration. "I want to jump you in the worst way, but it's against the rules in every way anyone can think of."

"Jump me?" He arched a brow.

"Don't pretend you don't know what I mean. I'm in lust with you. I think I might be in love with you. If I thought it wasn't mutual, Severus, I'd just deal with it, I swear. But knowing that you want me too makes it a lot harder."

She plucked the Extemporis out of her robes, and held it up.

"When we undo this, everything will be just like it was before. But right now, we are not breaking any rules. So what if it feels like we are? Technically we're not, and I'll tell you, right now that's good enough for me. When we get out of here, you're right; we'll have to leave each other alone. I see that. So we need to say anything that could possibly need saying for the rest of the term right now."

Hermione placed the Extemporis in Snape's hands.

"If you really don't have anything to say to me that can't be said in the context of our teacher/student relationship, then get us back into time. Otherwise, Severus, work with me here. I can't do this by myself."

He placed the ball carefully on the table and stood, holding out his hand. Hermione took it with relief, and he drew her into his arms. They embraced tightly, each understanding that this would be an oasis, followed by a long trek through the desert of the rest of the school year.

"It will only make things harder, Hermione," he murmured into her hair.

"Not as hard as it would be knowing we could have had this and didn't take it."

"Have it your own way, then," he said, humor lighting the black depths of his eyes. He lifted her chin so she faced him, and lowered his mouth to hers. The kiss was full of passion, but unhurried. They would have as long as they needed, if not as long as they wanted. Her arms encircled his neck, her hands tightening in his hair. One of his hands moved to caress her back, moving lightly up and down her spine. The other wrapped tightly about her waist and pulled her to him, as he had done once before. Again, the evidence of his desire for her was obvious, and it made her knees feel wobbly. Warmth blossomed low in her abdomen, and she moaned into his mouth. He smiled as well as he could when his lips were otherwise occupied. Instinctively, Hermione lifted one foot and rubbed it up and down his leg before wrapping it around his ankle.

He laughed, a contented, mirthful sound, and drew back from her.

"Slow down, love." Hermione searched his face for signs of mockery at that endearment, but found sincerity. Moving slowly, with exquisite tenderness, Snape trailed kisses along her jaw, then moving down her smooth, soft throat. "You wanted to talk, did you not?"

"Uh huh…" She threw her head back to give him better access to her neck. She moaned softly, and the sound made Snape's breathing quicken still further. Her responsiveness to his touch fueled his arousal to feverish heights. With a heroic effort, he pulled away, and guided her to one of the chairs. Ignoring her protests, he pushed her down into it.

"Caledonia will not be conceived for at least three years, Hermione. There is no reason to rush into this."

"You're making a habit of this," she said raggedly, "and it's starting to tick me off just a bit."

He raised a brow questioningly.

"Getting me all hot and wanting you, and then pushing me away. Have I misread you so badly? God knows you're not the easiest person to figure out, Professor. Have you just been trying to see if you could make yourself do it with me, and finding out that you can't?"

Gods, how could she think that? he wondered. His groin ached unbearably. Not want her?

"I assure you, Miss Granger, that wanting you is not a problem." He took her hand and pressed it to his erection. Her gasp was very satisfying, almost as satisfying as the feel of her fingers on his hard length. Reluctantly, he stepped away and sat in the other chair.

"But as I was saying, our daughter will not be conceived for several years. The sensible thing to do would be to wait, at least until you have graduated from Hogwarts." Tears of disappointment appeared in her eyes, and he shook his head. "I am not saying that I will deny you my bed, if you truly wish it. I need to be certain that you are ready for this. I don't want you to be sorry later."

In answer, she rose and moved to stand in front of him. She took his hand and, imitating his own gesture, placed it firmly between her legs. Even through the layers of fabric, the moist heat was evident. She groaned, and pushed against his hand.

"I don't think I can be much more ready, Severus. As for being sorry later, I'm prepared to deal with it if it happens, but I don't think that it will. We know we will be together in the future. That's far more of a guarantee than most people have. And besides, I love you."

She unfastened her robes and threw them heedlessly into a heap on the floor, then began to unbutton her shirt. He sat back and watched with flattering intensity. Bit by bit, she discarded her clothing until she was in her bra and panties.

"Your turn," she whispered.

He didn't move, and she felt her annoyance rising once more, until he spoke.

"Hermione…" His voice held a quality she had never heard before – fear.

She knelt down in front of him, placing her hands on the arms of his chair.

"What's wrong, Severus?" Surely he'd done this before, she thought. Please, let me be the only virgin here.

"I am such an ugly creature…"

She moved to sit in his lap, and put her arms around him. "You're beautiful to me, Severus."

"I love you, Hermione," he said thickly. He held her tightly, then reached one hand up to assist her in unclothing him.

A long time later, he lay on his side, propped up on one elbow, regarding her sleeping form with amazement. After all he had done in his life, cutting himself off from his own humanity one despicable, loathsome act at a time, it was incredible that he should be the recipient of such a precious gift. Careful not to disturb her, he turned onto his other side and pressed his face into the pillow. His sobs were completely silent, the shaking of his shoulders almost imperceptible. Still, he was not surprised when her arms came around him. Slowly, tenderly, she loved him, banishing for a while the ghosts that hovered around him.

Severus touched his wand to the Extemporis, and stepped away from Hermione.

She smiled sadly, but made no move to touch him. You asked for this, she reminded herself, now deal with it.

"I'll see you in Potions tomorrow, Professor." She walked out of his rooms without looking back.