Diagon Alley was always a busy place on Saturdays and this warm July day was no exception. Hermione Granger was with her mother today, they were shopping in Muggle London but Hermione had to stop at Flourish and Blotts to get the newest Charms journal. Since they had already had lunch earlier the two women decided to treat themselves to an ice cream at Fortescue's opting to sit outside in the warm sun. They sat and chatted about the purchases they made and Hermione giggled when her mother blushed at the mention of the lovely piece of lingerie she bought in Victoria's Secret. Helen Granger was an attractive woman in her early fifties and still very much in love with her husband.

Hermione was smiling and teasing her mother when she spotted three people walking down the street. The woman was a very beautiful blond with fine porcelain skin. Both gentlemen were tall but one had shoulder length blond hair and the other had black hair that had been recently shortened to show that he truly had finely chiseled features albeit with a large but Roman nose. The last time Hermione saw Severus Snape was two years ago when he had left England to travel the world. She was twenty-two then and engaged to Ron, much had happened since. Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy on the other hand were people she had seen often and had grown to call them friends. You see Lucius had been fighting on the side of the light since the end of the last war.

Albus Dumbledore had recruited Lucius the same time Snape had turned. All these years he was able to play his part perfectly, so perfect Hermione had told him he would have a great career in Hollywood. The debacle with Riddles journal was truly an accident and he caught all kinds of hell from Dumbledore. The fight at the Department of Mysteries was something he tried to avoid and was able to block many hexes but couldn't keep Hermione from being hurt or Sirius from falling behind the veil. Fortunately Black was pushed back out a day later because he wasn't dead. Capitalizing on that incident Dumbledore had Black go into hiding again only this time he was asked to help engineer a new plan.

Knowing that things were happening quickly and Albus would have to spend most of his time working toward victory, he had planned on his "death" before Bellatrix Lestrange made Snape take the vow. So with the help of Lucius, Draco and Sirius the Headmaster and Snape were able to carry out the death scene. Imagine everyone's surprise when Albus showed up at Grimmauld Place flanked by Lucius, Severus and Sirius. The light had pulled one of the best fake outs in wizarding history.

"Hermione it's so good to see you dear." Narcissa said as she gave the younger woman a hug.

"Narcissa, Lucius, you remember my mother." The two greeted Mrs. Granger cordially. "Professor let me introduce you to my mother Helen Granger," Hermione said as Snape shook her mother's hand.

"It's Severus please Hermione, I haven't been a professor in years." Then he did something surprising, he smiled. Hermione knew he had been playing a part all those years but he rarely smirked, this was a true smile.

"Hermione, will you be at the Potters next week for the barbeque?" Narcissa asked.

Hermione smiled, "We all will, Harry is very excited about this barbeque ever since he visited the states. He has become obsessed."

They all laughed and Lucius said, "Good then we'll see you then. Ladies have a good after noon." They bid them goodbye and went off to purchase their own refreshments and found a seat.

Severus Snape couldn't keep his eyes off of her. She was always pretty but now she was beautiful. The twenty four year old was no longer a girl and very much a woman.

"You dear friend are being very obvious." Lucius said to Severus earning a glare from the former potions master.

"I'm being obvious about what?" Snape asked taking his eyes off of Hermione.

"Hermione has become a very lovely young woman hasn't she Severus?" Narcissa asked.

Severus glanced again at the woman in question and was met by her eyes on him. Hmmm interesting he thought.

"Yes she has."

Lucius rolled his eyes, "Severus she is bloody gorgeous and from the looks of it she can't stop looking at you. Don't be a fool go ask her to dinner."

Severus looked at his old friend, "Did you take one too many hexes to the head, I'm too old for her, she's what twenty three."

"Twenty-four, she'll be twenty-five in September. Don't look at me like that you know I was sent to protect her family. I know a great deal about them. Mrs. Granger has an interesting family tree."

Severus Snape was curious now. "What is so interesting about the family of muggle dentists?"

"Helens father is not a dentist; he in fact is a very powerful muggle." Lucius then explained that Hermione's grandfather was the former head of MI6 a fact that the young woman kept from her friends until after the war. Dumbledore of course knew and her grandfather had known about Hermione's magic well before she received her letter. He went on to say that there was speculation that Hermione's grandfather was the inspiration for Ian Fleming's James Bond in his later books. Severus looked over at the beautiful young woman again and was sad to see she was getting ready to leave. At the same moment she looked over at him and nodded her farewell.

Looking back at Lucius and Narcissa Severus said, "That is all very interesting indeed but I am still much older than her, she wouldn't want to date someone twenty years her senior."

Lucius snorted, "Dating and being engaged to someone her own age didn't work out so well. Severus, Hermione may be just twenty-four but mentally she is our equal. You're a perfect match."

That was something Severus agreed with. Intellectually Hermione Granger was definitely years ahead of her own generation. The woman he had dated the past few years though all very beautiful were lacking in that respect. The little witch really was the complete package, beauty and brains.

Hermione went into her small flat and collapsed on the sofa. Shopping with her mother though a lot of fun was exhausting. Kicking her shoes off Hermione thought back to the conversation she was having with her mother after the Malfoy's and Snape left for their own table.

"Hermione Jane Granger, you never said Professor Snape was that attractive."

Hermione had blushed, "Mom keep your voice down. He wasn't always that attractive, he use to keep his hair long to cover his face and made his appearance always look foreboding. It wasn't until after the war he let us see what he really looked like."

"Is he single?"

"Mother!" Hermione tried to keep her voice down. "I think so, why?" She looked at her mother suspiciously.

"Because my darling daughter he looks like a good candidate for a …"

"Do not finish that sentence. You're my mother for Merlin's sake."

Her mother laughed, "Date Hermione I was going to say date. Get that mind of yours out of the gutter but since you brought it up he looks like he would be very…"

Hermione's eyes widened, "Not another word, really mother do you think Molly Weasley talks to Ginny like this?"

Helen laughed, "Honey Molly Weasley lets her children think she slept with Arthur only six times to produce her seven offspring. No love, but your almost twenty-five and I would be awfully naïve to think you never had sex."

"Could you pretend?" Hermione said and they both had laughed as they walked towards The Leakey Cauldron.

Now since she was alone in her flat Hermione was able to think about her former potions master without worrying about someone spotting the blush on her face. The man definitely looked good. She supposed it was the freedom from all the years of spying that made him look more relaxed. The haircut didn't hurt either, you were able to see his face and realize that he was indeed handsome. That voice was amazing too. What girl could resist that purr? And it should be against the law for a man in his early forties to have a physique that good. It was warm today and he wore slacks and a button down shirt, he opted for muggle attire just like she did. His clothes revealed what seemed to be a toned torso and a very nice bum. Yes, she told herself Severus Snape was hot but what would he want with a little know-it-all like her.

Monday morning at the Ministry Lucius Malfoy sent a memo to Harry Potter to meet him in his office at eleven. Harry walked in and greeted the older man with a handshake. Lucius told Harry about their chance meeting with Hermione and her mother.

"You were right they would make a great couple. I know Severus is coming on Saturday, are you sure Hermione will be there?"

Harry grinned, "She said she was coming with her parents. Do you think Severus will ask her on a date?"

Lucius sighed, "He was very interested in her, and he couldn't take his eyes off of her. His only hang up is the age difference but I think he'll get over it."

"Hermione and Severus are two people who deserve to be happy. Let's hope they can see what the rest of us have already noticed, they would be great together."

The following Saturday found Hermione looking at her reflection in her full length mirror. It was a barbeque but she wanted to look nice so she opted to wear a sundress instead of shorts. She wore a white baby doll style sundress that had a black trim at the top that pulled into a bow. The dress ended just above her knee and Hermione decided to wear boy shorts underneath just in case there was a strong breeze. She wore white low heeled strappy sandals that showed off toned legs. Her tan stood out against the white of the dress. Her hair while tamed now was still curly so she pulled it back into a pony tail. She liked the way she looked and realized why she was taking such care this particular day.

He was going to be there. Harry had told her he invited him and he said he would be there. She wasn't thinking about Ron, she had expected him to be there with his new wife Lavender. No she was thinking about Severus Snape. She knew she was really dressing for him. Suddenly she had a horrible thought. What if he was bringing a date. She knew that would bother her more than Ron with Lavender. She had been over him for long time now, his infidelity had erased all the love she had ever felt for him. Oh well she thought, if Snape brought a date at least she looked good. She would have a good time anyway, Sirius and Remus would be there and the two bachelors never let her feel alone at parties.

Just before one in the afternoon Hermione apparated to her parents home where she would drive with them to Harry and Ginny's. Harry had followed his dream and became an Auror after the war, in the last six years Harry Potter was at the top of his field. He was also very wealthy; his parents left him with more than he thought he had. There was another house besides the one in Godric's Hollow and Harry had sold both of them. He bought a large house that wasn't too far from Grimmauld Place but less urban. It was a muggle built home and had a large circular driveway where Harry kept one of his prized possessions, his car.

Hermione's father David Granger pulled his Mercedes into the driveway behind a black Porsche. Hermione was wondering who that car belonged to when the owner got out of the car and turned to see who was behind. He was alone. He was wearing jeans and a fitted short sleeve white shirt. He had on Ray Bans! He was just too damn hot.

Severus turned to see who had pulled in behind him. He smiled when he saw Hermione and her parents. He thought about her a great deal this past week and seeing her in that dress with those legs he decided that at some point today he was going to ask her to dinner. He greeted her and her mother and shook her father's hand after they were introduced.

"Hermione may I escort you into the party?" He offered her his arm and she smiled and took it.

Behind them her mother was whispering to her father that this was the man she told him about. Her father noted the man was much older but also noted his daughter was much more mature than those her own age. He decided to give the man a chance, as long as his Mia was happy he didn't care.

Severus, Hermione and her parents followed a grinning Harry out onto the patio. There they greeted not only Ginny but Remus, Sirius and the Malfoy's.

"Why is everyone staring at us?" Hermione asked him.

He looked at her, "Because I just walked out with a beautiful woman on my arm."

She smiled at him and they greeted Ginny who was walking towards them. Hermione's parents had already started chatting with the Malfoy's.

Severus asked Hermione if she wanted something to drink and went to the bar that Harry had stocked. Remus and Sirius were standing there, Sirius was acting as bartender.

Remus looked at the man who had become a friend, "Well?"

"Well what wolf?"

"You came in with Hermione."

"I'm glad your eyesight is still good. Yes I did."

Sirius barked out a laugh, "Snarky doesn't work for you anymore Snape. So do you care to tell us what's going on?"

Severus glared at Sirius, "If you must know I met Hermione and her parents in the driveway and offered to escort her in to the party."

"So you have no interest in our Hermione as a potential date?" Sirius asked grinning.

"You're Hermione?" Severus asked raising his eyebrow."

"Our Hermione, our Harry, same thing. We're very protective of our Hermione. She was hurt enough by the ginger menace. We were just wondering if you had any designs on her. We're ok with it of course, especially since it looks like David and Helen like you."

"Why the hell don't you two get married, you're already like an old married couple."

Remus laughed, "Sorry but I think I speak for Pads and myself when I say we have the wrong equipment for what we need, but as Hermione's honorary uncles we are just giving our blessing." He looked towards the back door and frowned, "Speaking of the ginger menace there he is with his new wife."

Severus looked in the same direction as Remus and scowled at the couple. He glanced to where Hermione was standing admiring the flowers in Ginny's garden. She hadn't noticed the new arrivals. He however did notice the mischievous look on the former Miss Browns face. The blond made a beeline for Hermione.

Taking the drinks for Hermione and himself he walked over to where the two women were standing.

"Well Hermione I'm so sorry to see you here alone at a gathering yet again." He heard the obnoxious blond say.

"I'm not Mrs. Weasley; if Hermione is alone then it means I have a chance to woo this witch."

Lavender turned around to see her former professor hand a glass of wine to Hermione. The look on her face said it all. She was in shock. Not only that Snape was wooing Hermione but she also gaped at his appearance. Hermione held back a retort realizing that the sexy man putting his arm around her shoulders was more than enough.

"Woo her? You're dating Hermione?" Lavenders high pitched voice made both Severus and Hermione cringe.

Snape never missed a beat, "I'm trying to woo her Mrs. Weasley and hopefully by the end of the day we'll have a date for dinner. Now if you'll excuse us I have some wooing to do." He nodded and then led Hermione towards a bench in the back of the garden that was a bit secluded.

"Woo me?" She said as she sat down.

He shrugged, "Court, pursue, persuade, whatever you would like to call it. I was going to ask you to dinner later but since the new Mrs. Weasley was being obnoxious I had to put her in her place."

Hermione laughed, "Right now she's telling Ron that you are "wooing" me and Ron will ask Harry what that means."

Severus snorted, "You haven't answered me Hermione?" Severus said.

She smirked, "What was the question Severus?"

He rolled his eyes and sighed, "Will you go to dinner with me tomorrow?"

Hermione smiled, "I would love to Severus."

This earned her another smile from Severus and he once again put his arm around her. They chatted a bit more until they heard the arrival of a few more people. Reluctantly they had to join the rest of the party and greeted the newcomers who were the rest of the Weasley family, Albus Dumbledore, Minerva McGonagall and Kingsley Shacklebolt.

Hermione's mother was having a conversation with Narcissa when Molly Weasley came over.

"Helen did you know that Severus Snape asked Hermione out to dinner?"

Helen Granger smiled, "I thought he looked like he was interested in her but I didn't know he asked her out on a date. Well that's wonderful."

Whatever Molly had expected it wasn't this.

"It doesn't bother you that he is twenty years older than her?"

Helen Granger was raised a lady and as much as she wanted the Weasley matriarch to mind her own business she would be polite.

"Molly I trust Hermione's judgment. Severus may be older than her but she is probably his equal in other ways. I understand that wizard's age slower than we do so I don't see a problem. My sister is married to a man fifteen years older than her and she is very happy."

Molly just smiled and walked away to speak with her daughter.

"I like Molly but she is entirely too intrusive in my daughter's life. I appreciate everything she did for her during the war but Hermione has parents who love her very much." Helen vented to Narcissa.

"Molly is still not happy that Ronald married Lavender, she wanted Hermione as a daughter in law and was hoping she would fall for one of the other boys."

Helen smiled, "Hermione needs more than that, and my daughter needs someone who will challenge her. I like the Weasley men but they aren't enough for her."

Narcissa laughed, "Severus is definitely a challenge."

In the end the barbeque was a success for Harry as well as for Severus and Hermione. When he left it was with Hermione's address and phone number. He knew she lived in Muggle London just as he did. He had told her he would pick her up at seven and they would be dining muggle style so they could have some privacy. They were both well known in the wizarding world and there would be little privacy. Promptly at seven Severus rang Hermione's doorbell and held back a gasp when he saw her.

She was wearing a knee length black halter dress that fit her body perfectly, every curve was accentuated. Her hair was pulled away from her face and the curls fell softly down her back. Severus admired her bare legs and had some lascivious thoughts concerning them.

Hermione had to hold back a gasp herself. Severus Snape was wearing a dark grey suit, white shirt and blue tie. He looked delicious.

Severus led Hermione to his car and they went to a small intimate restaurant in an up and coming area in London. Their dinner conversation varied from his potions research to her decision to forgo working for the ministry and follow her dream of writing. He knew she loved reading but had no idea that romance novels were a guilty pleasure and had always harbored the dream of one day writing her own. They talked about the places he had been to the past few years and the wonders he had seen.

Hermione noted that Severus was comfortable in the muggle world and told him so. He said that he grew up basically muggle until he was eleven and went off to Hogwarts. He loved magic and the things he could do but with the freedom he now had he was embracing the world of muggles. And of course he loved his car. This of course was said after he had cast a silencing charm so the muggles in the restaurant did not overhear the conversation.

"I sold my father's house in Spinners End and bought a flat not far from here. I have to admit I have become addicted to the telly and have now recently bought a laptop. The internet is an amazing thing."

Hermione laughed, "Severus Snape surfing the net, now there's something I never thought I would see. When I was with Ron I tried to show him how to use the computer and it wasn't easy. He did however learn how to find porn on the web. I should have realized then that he was a mistake."

"Now Miss Granger are you telling me you never once looked at something naughty on the internet." Severus bated her.

Hermione blushed and Severus thought she blushed prettily. "Well I admit to looking at a few pictures from Playgirl."

Severus grinned, "And what did you think?"

"You know your making me blush don't you."

He laughed, "Yes and it's a lovely sight. Well? Did you like the pictures you saw?"

Hermione lowered her eyes, "Of course I did they were handsome men, much better than the ones in Ginny's Playwitch magazine she snuck into school my sixth year."

Severus's eyes widened, "How did Ginerva get her hands on, no never mind I do know who her twin brothers are. No doubt they got that bit of contraband for her. So the Gryffindor girls ogled the wizards in Playwitch."

"We were curious; anyway Minerva found it and confiscated it. I can still remember the look on her face when she saw the centerfold. It was priceless."

Severus couldn't help but laugh at the vision of the present headmistress thumbing through a magazine of naked men. That year he had been preoccupied with Albus's plan and paid little attention to the goings on in the school. Minerva confiscating a Playwitch magazine would have been a nice diversion from the planning and plotting with Albus, Lucius and Sirius.

The two talked more and didn't realize how late it was getting. After Severus paid the bill he drove Hermione to her flat. He didn't want the night to end and neither did she, she invited him in for tea and they sat together on the sofa and talked some more. Severus was sorry it was Sunday but both he and Hermione had obligations in the morning. Finishing his tea he reluctantly stood to leave and when she walked him the door he bent his head and met her lips with his. What started out as a slow kiss turned into something more passionate. He had his hands on her waist and she had hers around his neck. His hands began roaming and he turned her to press her against the door where he trailed kisses down her neck to the valley between her breasts.

"Oh god Severus," She said wanting more from him.

"Hermione" he whispered and his hands found the hem of her dress and he slowly raised it, he had to feel her skin, those legs were driving him crazy all night. He grabbed her arse and she moaned bringing him back to reality.

"If I don't stop I'm not leaving and I have an early meeting tomorrow." He said trailing kisses back up to her neck.

"I have a breakfast meeting myself." She said arching her back as he suckled on her neck.

"Hermione I have to go but can I take you out to dinner again Friday?"

"Come here for dinner instead, I'm a pretty good cook."

He chuckled and reluctantly pulled away.

"I'll call you, sweet dreams." He said before opening the door and leaving.

Sweet dreams? Did he really think she could sleep after that? Friday couldn't come fast enough.