Disclaimer: I am not J.K. Rowling. I just enjoy playing with her characters.


She awoke before dawn and glanced around her room. He wasn't home. He never was anymore. The man she had fallen in love with was gone. In his place was a man of secrecy, lies and violence. Her face still bore the marks from his last attack. She couldn't deal with it any longer. She quickly got out of bed, crossed to her writing desk, and pulled out her parchment and quill.

I'm tired of waiting for him to change. I won't put up with it any longer. Is your offer still on the table?

-Mione

She pressed her seal into the wax on the letter and handed it off to her owl, Athena. After the bird flew off, she stared out the window into the lightening horizon. She would wait. She knew it would not take him long to respond. It never did. As she waited, she pondered how she had ended up in this situation.

Right after graduating Hogwarts, she had married Ron, just as everyone had expected her to do. What they had not expected was that, after her marriage, she had quit her job. They told everyone it was because they wanted to start a family. And that was partially true. No one needed to know that Ron had forbidden her from continuing to work, claiming that the stress would affect her ability to get pregnant. So, she accepted it, and they were happy. For a while.

Then they watched Harry and Ginny get married and start a family. That is when he snapped. The day Harry and Ginny's daughter, Lily, was born. They got home that night from visiting the happy family at the hospital, and he went crazy. Screaming and cursing about how she was a terrible wife for not giving him a family. She tried to reason with him, and then, he hit her for the first time. He hit her so hard she fell to the ground. It scared her. She had never seen him like that before. A moment later, he calmed down and walked away. She hoped it was over. It wasn't.

Things never got better. He continued to change over the next several months. The beatings became an everyday event, he was barely home and when he was, he never spoke to her, and they never had sex anymore. Then, after a while, he began having an affair. An affair that he, in no way, tried to hide from her.

So, she sought comfort. At first, she didn't know who to talk to. Obviously, she couldn't talk to Harry or the Weasleys. They were oblivious to Ron's actions. She had never told them. Beyond that, it took her a while to come up with someone. Then, she thought of Severus. During the war, they had gotten to know each other while brewing potions to have on hand for the Final Battle. They had reached something close to friendship during that time but had fallen out of touch in the 18 months she had been married to Ron. Until the day she sent him the first letter, that is.

That was six months ago, and they had grown very close. Mostly, they corresponded via letters. She would tell him all the things Ron was doing to her, and he would offer her his support. They talked daily, and two weeks earlier, they had met face to face for the first time in over two years. They had met for coffee and an afternoon of browsing in Hogsmeade. They were sitting on a bench, looking up at the Shrieking Shack, when he kissed her. Just a simple kiss, barely a brush of his lips to hers. Then, he'd extended his offer.

"Mione," he'd called her. "I can't stand the way he treats you. I can see the bruises on your face. Your glamour charm is fading. You don't deserve to be treated this way. You are an amazingly bright young woman. You should be out conquering the world, or at the very least, living and working. Leave him Mione. Leave him, and come to live with me. I love you. I can give you more than him. Treat you better. Please. I won't even ask you to love me back right away. I know that in time your feelings will grow, or at least I hope they will. But if you won't leave him for me, leave him for yourself. If you stay, he will kill you one day. I couldn't stand to see that happen."

At the time she couldn't answer him. She had stared at him for a long moment before beginning to cry and running away. She heard him call her name, but she apparated away before he could catch her. She hadn't spoken to him since then. She didn't know what to say. However, she knew now what she had to do. Awaking alone on this, their second wedding anniversary had made her mind up for her. She was leaving. She was going to someone who deserved her. Who would treat her the way she deserved to be treated.

She was snapped back to reality by a soft nip at her hand. She glanced up, and, sure enough, there was Athena with a letter in her beak. She petted the bird's head softly as she took the letter. As she turned it over to open it, she smiled at the seal. It was very familiar to her, the green wax imprinted with a snake twined into the shape of an "S". She carefully broke the seal and read the letter.

Of course my offer is still, as you put it, "on the table". Two weeks could not diminish my love for you. I have already spoken with Headmaster Dumbledore. He said that you may train under Professor Flitwick for the remainder of the year, as it is already October, and then take over next year. He can prepare separate rooms for you, or you are more than welcome in mine. Whichever you are more comfortable with. I can't wait for you to join me here.

-Severus

She read it twice before rising from her desk chair and beginning to dress. Then, she packed. For several hours, she went through the house and gathered all her things. Surprisingly, she only had enough to fill 3 trunks, two of which were filled with books. She shrank her trunks, pulled on her traveling cloak, and slipped the trunks into her pocket. Then, Ron came home. She stood resolutely in the living room as he came in.

"Where do you think you're going?" he ground out. "It's after 5. Where's my dinner?"

She took a deep breath before replying, "There is no dinner, Ronald. I've been too busy to cook."

He advanced faster than she could react and slapped her across the face. "What could be more important than your husband's needs?"

"My needs, Ronald. I'm leaving. I'm tired of you putting me down. I deserve better. I've found better."

"Slut! You've been cheating on me?"

"Unlike you, Ronald, I have not. We've done nothing more than talk. But that was enough. He helped me realize that I should leave. And I am. You should receive the divorce papers by owl soon." Then, she apparated away before he could hit her again.

When she reappeared in Hogsmeade, she paused for a moment to catch her breath. She had done it. She had left! A smile crept across her face as she moved towards the gates of Hogwarts. The autumn breeze brushed against her face and a light mist was blowing off the Black Lake. For the first time in almost a year, she felt happy. She felt at home.

Reaching the doors to the Entrance Hall, she slipped inside. The low roar of voices from behind the closed doors of the Great Hall told her that Friday dinner was in full swing. She took a deep breath, raised her head high, and pushed open the grand doors.

Every head turned her way as the doors opened and a hush descended over the Hall. She was sure the dim light was highlighting every one of the bruises she hadn't bothered to put a glamour charm on today. Up at the staff table, Professor Snape smiled as he rose to his feet and began moving toward her. She met him halfway, and a collective gasp rang out as she leapt into his arms.

"You did it, Mione," he whispered, holding her close. "You did it!"

She could only smile as he placed her back onto the ground, took her hand into his, and lead her up to the staff table. Dumbledore said nothing as they approached. He just smiled, that ever-present twinkle sparkling in his eyes. Then, she heard a male voice to the Headmaster's right curse. She looked over to see Charlie Weasley, who had taken over the Care of Magical Creatures classes, staring wide-eyed at her.

"Oh Merlin, Hermione…" he breathed. "Did Ron do that to you?"

She swallowed the lump in her throat before replying, "Yes, Charlie. He did. He has been beating me since Ginny had Lily. He said I wasn't a fit wife because I could not bear him a child. As I'm sure your family will soon find out, I am filing for divorce. I can't live like that anymore." She paused, then continued, "Oh, and don't be surprised when he brings home someone new very soon. He's had a mistress for months."

Charlie stared at her in amazement for a few moments before grinding out, "I'll kill him. And I'll have help." Then, he stalked off, presumably to owl his mother.

"Well, my love," Severus quested. "Would you like to stay for dinner or should I show you to your rooms?"

"Take me to our room, Severus." She smiled as his eyes lit up. "I want to relax."

And take her to their rooms he did. Right there, in front of the entire school, he scooped her up into his arms bridal style and carried her from the hall. Once they reached the dungeons, he set her down to remove the wards from the door to their rooms.

After they entered, she paused in the living room to look around at her new home. The stone walls were washed light grey. The whole room was furnished in dark-stained oak and accents of, of course, silver and green. The far wall, opposite of the entrance, was lined with overflowing bookshelves. To her left, a nook appeared to be a small kitchenette.

"Severus," she began, looking over her shoulder at the man helping her to remove her cloak. "This is so wonderful. However, there doesn't appear to be a bedroom…"

The raven haired man smiled down at her. "Oh, there is a bedroom, my dear."

He took her hand, led her across to the bookshelves, and tapped one of the large volumes with his wand. The entire bookcase then began to sink into the floor, revealing a large, spiral staircase.

They climbed the stairs side by side and entered their bedroom. Severus gave her a moment to take in the room, furnished in colors reflecting the living room. Then, he spun her around and kissed her. She responded instantly, opening her mouth and locking her arms around his neck. He, in turn, wrapped one arm around her waist, pulling her close, and used his other hand to unclasp his bulky teaching robes. After shrugging the fabric off his shoulders, he wrapped his free arm around her waist as well and lifted her off her feet.

Hermione, feeling her feet leave the ground, locked her legs around his waist. After a few more moments of feverish kissing, she broke away, gasping for air. Severus tightened his grip on her waist, attached his mouth to her neck, and began moving slowly towards the bed. When he felt his calves hit the mattress, he quickly released his grip on the petite woman. He laughed as she squealed in feigned terror and fell onto the plush comforter.

Looking down at the figure on his bed, Severus realized just how lucky he was. A small smile graced her rose colored lips, filling out her cheeks, and lighting up her eyes. Her chestnut colored curls were fanned out around her head like a halo. Her slender neck led to a slim, toned form. Even the bruises marring her skin could not counteract her beauty. She was a goddess. A goddess that was here for him. Had left another man for him.

"Sev?" She asked.

Snapping out of his revere, he replied, "I'm here, my love." Then, he reached down to her long sleeved button up shirt and began carefully sliding the buttons through their holes. Every opened slot revealed more and more of her skin. He slid the shirt off her arms and looked down at her. Almost every inch of her exposed skin was bruised, painting the pale canvas with shades of purple, blue and yellow. He traced his fingers across her chest and torso. He felt her body recoil slightly at his admirations.

Looking back up to meet her eyes, he breathed, "You're beautiful, my love." Then, he kissed her to stop her from refuting him. As they kissed, he snaked his hand around her back and deftly unclasped her bra, allowing her breasts to spill forth. The skin of her breasts was smooth and unblemished. Apparently they had escaped the wrath of her soon to be ex-husband's wrath.

He leaned forward and took one taunt, pink nipple into his mouth. Hermione moaned and arched her back at the touch of his mouth to her skin. It had been a long time since a man had treated her in this way.

He lightly pinched her other nipple and massaged the soft flesh of her breasts. After a moment, he switched breasts and continued. Then, he kissed his way down her torso to the waistband of her pants. He carefully unclasped and unzipped her jeans and slid them down her body, along with her panties. He glanced up and met her eyes before leaning forward and giving her pussy a long, slow lick. Hearing her sensual moan and feeling her body buck up towards him made him smile. He continued to torture her with his mouth, licking and sucking on her clit until she was right on the edge.

Then, she stopped him. She reached down and pulled his head up.

"Love?" he inquired.

"Severus," she whispered, pulling him up towards her. "Please. I want to cum with you inside me. It's been so long since I've felt pleasure like this. I want to share it with you."

He nodded in understanding and stood up from the bed. Then, with a wave of his wand, he was naked before her. Her eyes traced his body, taking in the dips and planes of his toned chest and the full muscles of his arms. Then, she saw the scars, lacing across his entire form. In some ways, seeing his scars made her feel better. She had worried he would be turned off by the scars Ron had left on her body. Now she could see that he understood.

She let out a small gasp as her gaze traveled below his waist. He was much bigger than Ron. She had always felt Ron was well endowed, having nothing to compare him to, but now, she could see that that wasn't the case.

Severus leaned forward to capture her lips as he pushed them both into the center of the bed. Then, he positioned himself at her entrance.

"Ready, luv?"

"Yes."

He pushed into her carefully, knowing this was her first time in a while. He could tell from the look on her face that it hurt slightly. He paused for a moment, only to have Hermione lock her eyes onto his and thrust up, forcing him the rest of the way in. They moaned at the sensation. They began thrusting together, creating a rhythm all their own.

A few moments later, she couldn't hold on any longer. "Severus! I'm so close. So close…"

"Come for me, my darling. Let me watch you in your pleasure."

And so she did. She gave herself over to her orgasm, crying out his name as waves of pleasure rolled over her. A moment later, He followed her over the edge. He moaned her name as he spilled himself inside her. He collapsed next to her and pulled her close.

"I love you, Hermione." He panted.

For a moment, she didn't reply. Then, with a voice full of passion, she replied, "I love you too, Severus. Thank you for convincing me to leave. And thank you for taking me away from it all."


10 Months Later…

It was the opening feast of a new year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and Hermione sat happily at the staff table as the new Charms professor. To her right, sat the love of her life and husband of eight months. They had wasted no time and married as soon as her divorce from Ron was finalized. She was the happiest she'd been in a very long time.

On down the table, Charlie smiled at her. Ron's family had been furious with him when they found out he had been beating Hermione. He hadn't spoken to his family since the day the divorce papers were signed. He now lived alone in a flat in Muggle London, his mistress having left him after he started hitting her. Hermione, on the4 other hand was closer to the Weasley's than she had been in a very long time. She and Severus had spent last Christmas with them.

Severus met her eyes and smiled at her. Then, he placed his hand over hers on growing stomach. She was seven months pregnant with a little girl they were going to name Destiny.

All was well.