Disclaimer: All things regarding HP belong to JKR! The rest is mine! Also Happy Thanksgiving Day! This year I am thankful for my family and my son. I have been blessed with a healthy little boy who is now 2 1/2 years old and I just can't thank the Lord enough.

*Later that Evening

The manor had been relatively quiet for the majority of the day as most of the occupants remained locked away in their rooms.

Severus himself had moved from the master bedroom to another room down the hall, unsurprised to see it fully furnished with an entire closet of clothing for him to select from. He'd taken time to finish his grooming; deciding at the last moment to leave a van dyke goatee for the time being and trimming his hair to just above his shoulders. He didn't have it in him to cut off his signature long lanky hair. After he'd finished, he had attempted to have a lie down but 6 months of being dead left him surprisingly wide awake.

Leaving the thundering silence of his room, he'd roamed aimlessly around the manor and its surrounding grounds. The chill of the November air felt good against his skin and served as a strong reminder that he was alive. Moving slowly amongst the decorative shrubbery in the expansive grounds he took a seat on one of the many benches and let his mind roam.

He didn't really know how to be apart of this world anymore. Severus had spent a portion of the early part of the day scanning through the last six months of the Daily Prophet, a suggestion by Lucius to help catch him up on all that had occurred in their world since he died. Many things had been printed about him but the most shocking had been his title of Hero rather than pariah. Where he believed the murder of his mentor and deadly deeds performed as Death Eater under Voldemort's reign would surely disgrace him in life as well in death. He now found himself portrayed as the hapless victim of circumstance and unsung dark hero, whose tragic demise seemed to be a cruel and unjust end to such a selfless man.

He was no longer Severus Snape: Double Agent for the light. No longer was he Potion or Defense against the Dark Arts professor, or Headmaster of the most prestigious wizarding school in England. He was now just Severus.

The loud screech of an owl interrupted his thought process, his head automatically turning to locate the offending noise. Coming from the distance was what looked to be an eagle owl, traveling quickly it swooped low and landed on the windowsill on the second floor. Severus stood and moved to get a better view of the window as it was thrown open and SHE appeared.

There before him was Hermione Granger; greeting the bird with what looked to be a small snack and accepting the mail it delivered for her. After their transaction was completed the owl flew off leaving just the two of them. As if she could feel his presence, Hermione glanced below scanning the gardens until she located him. Neither moved and nothing in their faces betrayed anything that was currently going on in their minds. The stare between them was intense and full of questions from both sides.

Severus couldn't understand why she had chosen him. Why she had risked so much to save HIS life when so many others were much more deserving then him. He'd never treated her kindly or acknowledged her intelligence. He lumped her in with her two bumbling companions and the rest of her retched house as a lost cause. Although h did take great pride in every one of her successes in both Potions and Defense after he'd pushed her to reach further then just memorizing and regurgitating facts. He had always known how bright and truly talented she was. If he wanted to be completely honest with himself he would have to admit he was impressed with the young woman.

Just as the thought had crossed his mind he finally felt the intrusion, it had been shallow and short but he'd felt it none the less. How dare she use legilimency against him! He'd left his guard down and his mind unprotected and she'd had the audacity to invade his mind like it was just one of her little experiments!

A growl erupted low in his throat as he sneered at her and stormed towards the mansion hell bent on heading directly for Hermione's room.

Hermione sat on the edge of her bed and starred blindly into the room before her. She'd spent the entire day documenting and mapping out every second of the spell from the moment she woke up that morning until the minute she passed out and then woke again. She'd tried everything she could think of to heal the wounds on her arms, finally giving up and sending a message to St. Mungo's spell damage department for some insight.

As the hours passed she felt the familiar hum of magic begin to slowly seep back into her body, she hadn't been so excited to perform an accio spell since she'd first arrived at Hogwarts. That simple mindless spell left her completely drained and it was some time again before she even felt any stirrings again.

Just as darkness rose the familiar tapping of an owl at her window caught her attention, she moved quickly to the window to greet the eagle owl. After providing the beautiful creature with a treat she removed the reply she had been eagerly awaiting, excited to see it had the St. Mungo's seal holding the letter closed.

It was then that she felt it, the feeling of being watched. She was all too familiar with that feeling from her time on the run the year before the final battle. It was like someone was gazing intently at her attempting to see directly into her soul. Before she could stop herself she began scanning the grounds below for the source. It didn't take long for her eyes to fall onto her target: Professor Snape stood in the gardens below starring directly up at her. She didn't dare look away. If only she could understand how he was feeling, know what he was thinking after being brought back from the dead. Did he hate her for what she did? Was he grateful? Figuring it to be a moot point she couldn't help herself as she whispered, "Legilimens…"

The tug was instantaneous as she saw his foremost thoughts floating right before her, "He had always known how bright and truly talented she was. If he wanted to be completely honest with himself he would have to admit he was impressed with the young woman." As quickly as she had entered she'd been thrown out unable to sustain her magic for more then a few seconds. It was then she saw the sneer cross his features as he stormed out of sight.

"Oh no!" She groaned closing the window quickly and moving to gather her materials from the surrounding area. She didn't even think for a moment she'd be able to perform such a complex spell on a master occlumens with her depleted magic and he'd caught her! "Bloody hell, I'm such a stupid git!"

Severus stormed through the mansion in a silent rage, as he approached the stairs he took them two at a time. The anger fueled his progress but hindered his logic, his only rational thought was he was done being someone's little play thing!

His body seemed on auto pilot arriving at Hermione's room within minutes, he tried the door knob only to find it securely locked. Grasping the handle he shook the door in his rage, "Open the door now!"

Hermione watched the door shake and knew without a doubt who it was and what he wanted. "I'm sorry Sir, but I'm quite tired." She called out, staying far away from the door.

Releasing the handle Severus took a calming breath before concentrating on the lock and smiling as it clicked open. A small sneer graced his features as he pressed the doors open and quickly closing them behind him. His scowl quickly slipped back in place as he glared across the room at the young woman who was doing her best to keep as much distance as possible.

When the doors to her room flung open Hermione cursed her depleted magic, right now she was truly just a Muggle at the mercy of one pissed off wizard. The only logical approach would be to try to calm him before he blew up on her. "Sir, I'm so sorry! It was completely an innocent mistake I-"

"I distinctly remember you saying you could not perform any magic, Miss Granger," He practically growled as the click of the lock slipping back into place seemed to echo in the quiet room. The two stood opposite each other with Hermione refusing to meet his gaze. "Who taught you how to perform legilimency?" He asked, beginning to stalk forward.

At his movement forward she took an involuntary step back, "I-I taught m-myself sir."

"You taught yourself..." His graceful movements were reminiscent of an animal stalking its prey as he moved towards her; "Now I'm only going to say this once!" As quick as lightening he grabbed her by the upper arms and shoved her roughly against the wall causing her to cry out in surprise. Bringing his face within inches of Hermione's face he starred directly into her eyes, "Let me make myself perfectly clear to your deluded little brain: I DO NOT want anything to do with you! I didn't ask for you to bring me back and if you ever invade my mind like that again I'll make you regret you ever performed that spell!" He hissed as she attempted to shrink away from him.

Hermione turned her head away from his face as he berated her, his long fingers dug into her upper arms so hard it was sure to leave marks. She was shaking with fear at his proximity and anger. She couldn't control the tears that slipped from her eyes, "I'm so sorry Professor…I just thought." The whole scene playing out before her was eerily reminiscent of her dream and it was beginning to frighten her.

"NO YOU DIDN'T THINK!" He roared at her unable to control himself. "Did you ever stop to think once that I might have been happy were I was? Did you?" When she didn't respond to his rant he continued the verbal assault, "You unbelievably arrogant… selfish, insolent little chit!" He growled as he shook her once more and pushed her away stalking across the room towards the door. "Insufferable know-it-all!"

Something inside her seemed to snap as he continued to mumble insult after insult at her. Using the back of her hand to wipe away the stray tears that fell, Hermione set her shoulders and pulled herself up to her full height and took a deep breath. "Professor!" She called out, unsurprised to see him continuing to the door. "Severus Snape!" She shouted and saw him pause to turn and glare at her over his shoulder, suddenly she felt something inside her flare to life. "You will listen to what I have to say!"

Severus immediately felt the effects of the immobulous spell; he tried to snap at Hermione for the audacity of inflicting another curse on him when he realized that nothing would come out of his mouth. He felt himself lift from the floor and spin towards the fast approaching witch. He glared daggers at her and noticed something different in her almost immediately. Gone was the little upset mousey witch only to be replaced with this strong and dominating presence.

Hermione approached her former professor, "I have given this entire situation months of careful thought and planning! I researched things that were possible, then impossible and finally ending on spells that were unthinkable because I knew I could do them! This little Muggle born witch accomplished what others only DREAMED OF!" She shrieked at him, balling up her fists so tightly her knuckles turned white.

Starring at him for what seemed like forever she tilted her head to the side, "Don't you want to know why?" She asked sharply, her dark eyes burning into him. "Don't you need to know why I choose you? You: the heartless bastard git from the dungeons saved by the Princess of Gryffindor over every other well deserving person who died in this wretched war?" She watched him intently, letting her words sink in.

The crackling of power permeating the room was palpable and Severus was beyond surprised to say the least. He watched her closely and observed every little tick about her. Gone was the bushy haired buck-tooth walking encyclopedia. Now before him stood a strong and vivacious lioness who had finally come into her own. He felt it such a pity her wraith was being exerted on him. If not for the immobulous he would have nodded to her hence he settled for blinking once at her intense gaze.

A sly grin slipped on her lips as she looked him over once more; silently removing his immobulous charm but still standing toe to toe with him. Feeling the release of the spell, Severus caught and righted himself, continuing to stand before her awaiting her answer.

Hermione clicked her tongue as she met his gaze once more, "Because I could!" With that, a violent force shoved him backwards through the now open doors. He cleared five feet before his body hit the floor and he skidded through the hallway crashing against the opposite wall. Shaking his head to clear his vision he caught of glimpse of her before the door was fiercely slammed before his eyes.

AN: Ok I wasn't completely happy with this but I played with it for a few hours and decided it was as good as it's gonna get. Somewhat reminiscent of 'Hell hath no fury'. I hope you enjoyed our first prolonged meeting of Severus and Hermione; it's been a long time coming.

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