Disclaimer: None of this here is mine, except for maybe the plot.

A/N: This is a lovely little one shot, dedicated to Coven Mistress, who was my 200th reviewer for Child Without a Name. This is a fun little Hermione and Severus story, with a little bit of drama for good measure. rated M for sexual scenes, you have been warned.

thanks as always for reading. Hope you enjoy.

*fresh new lily*

Hermione fell back onto the bed, her body slicked with her own sweat as well as that of her lovers. It had been nearly ten years since she had found him stumbling blindly across the Hogwarts grounds badly injured from the battle and barely clinging to consciousness. She had staunchly refused to be swayed from her determination to help him although she agreed that it had to be elsewhere.

He couldn't speak, and she could easily see why – she had known that he wouldn't be able to answer even before she had asked but she tried anyways. "What have you taken to help with healing?"

His answer had been to produce a few empty vials that weren't even labeled from his tattered and bloodied robes and weakly toss them at her feet.

Hermione had picked up the vials and without even bothering to think about it she uncorked each and using a pinky finger to scrape the rims she tasted what was left clinging to the glass. "Blood Replenisher, with something else, something unique to this batch I would guess. Invigoration Draught, Dittany, and what I can only assume is an Anti-Venom seeing as I have not had cause to use that myself," she said as she replaced the corks on each of the vials and respectively handed each back to him.

He nodded, if with some difficulty, and she went on talking. "We need to get you to Pomfrey. Or St. Mungo's, I don't think the castle is the best place for you at the moment actually," she considered out loud. He had shaken his head and grunted out the word 'no' so roughly that her heart nearly broke for him. He wouldn't get the care he deserved anywhere. She knew what only a select few did at that point. Severus Snape was a hero and they all owed him their lives. In a split second decision she would come to regret time and time over the years Hermione grabbed him by the arm and turned on the spot. When the world had stopped spinning Hermione was standing in her childhood home and Severus Snape was unconscious at her feet. That she hadn't splinched him like she had Ron when they had been on the run was a miracle in itself.

Hermione took a look at the man lying near death on her living room carpet and saw the blood slowly seeping from beneath him to stain the dusty carpet. She knew that the only way to see where the blood was coming from was coming from was to strip him naked. She had had to do the same to Harry after they had left Godric's Hollow. Setting her resolve Hermione took her wand firmly in her hand and pointed it at the man lying lifelessly before her and whispered "Divesto."

There was so much blood and though most of it seemed to be coming from the wound at his neck where Tom Riddle's familiar and Horcrux had done her best to take his life there were wounds covering his body that were in various states of healing and at first glance several seemed to be infected. Hermione had gained plenty of experience healing small wounds in their year living in a tent, but she was far from prepared to easily heal the dark man in front of her, and looking at him stripped bare in front of her she was quite certain that he would have preferred to die than have her see him in such a state. Hermione knew that the wand she was using didn't respond to her as well as her own had, Bellatrix's wand was not suited to her and healing this degree of wounds with it was a daunting thought. Hermione decided to do as much as she could the Muggle way.

Decision made she cast 'Moblicorpus' on Snape and levitated him up the stairs to the bath at the end of the hall and proceeded to prepare a bath for him, figuring it was the best way to clean all of his wounds and that it would also do his tired muscles good to relax. She filled the tub with hot water and slowly levitated his body into the water. When he still didn't stir as his body submerged into the water she began to worry about his unconsciousness and performed a few charms to check his vitals. When it became clear that he was indeed alive even if he didn't look it she proceeded to take a flannel and some citrus soap she had found in the cupboard and began to slowly run it over his body cleaning the dirt and blood away.

It was more than a little difficult not to notice how toned he was without his robes on as she ran the flannel over the hard planes of his torso, taking extra care as she ran over the cuts that seemed to cover his stomach. On closer inspection it became obvious that the wounds on his stomach were self-inflicted. They were tally marks she could easily see he had counted to sixty-four, but she didn't want to ponder what he was tallying. She could see that the older ones had healed and it was obvious that he had been keeping a tally of something for some time, though she didn't dare ponder what it was knowing what his role had been and what kind of a life he must have led. There were other scars that were obvious hex wounds though and that seemed to need no explanation.

Hermione moved from his torso down to his legs and marveled at the obvious strength that they held and suppressed a giggle when she came across a wizarding tattoo of a Dementor. She didn't figure her old Potions master as the type to have a tattoo on his hip bone, but it was there moving subtly. Tearing her eyes away she managed to finish washing his lower half.

Once most of the blood and grime was washed away from his body, Hermione once again levitated Severus Snape's body to the bed in the guest bedroom down the hall. She cast drying charms on him and grabbed a towel from the linen closet to drape over his hips and groin in an attempt to offer him some sense of modesty. Hermione grabbed her beaded bag that was still full of supplies from her time hunting Horcruxes with Harry and Ron and began pulling out what few healing potions she had left. She was relieved to find a vial of Dittany and several Blood Replenishers. Hermione put her hand into her ex-Potions Master's hair, and was assaulted by the feel of his sticky, dirty locks and wished she had bothered to properly wash his hair while she had the opportunity. Time was of the essence though, she realized, and in the end greasy hair was not going to be detrimental to his health so she tipped his head back as gently as she could and poured two vials of the Blood Replenisher down his throat using her other hand to massage his larynx to help him swallow the liquid that would hopefully help to save his life. She felt herself release a breath she hadn't realized she had been holding as a tinge of color returned to his ashen skin. Pleased that he was reacting to the potion she went to pull her hand from behind his head and let him rest again on the pillow when she noticed that the sticky feel of his hair was not caused by grease but by blood that was seeping from a gash to the base of his skull where she guessed he had hit his head after receiving the bite that should have ended his life.

'Was there anything that isn't wrong with this man?' Hermione thought as she made the decision that she was sure would have earned her his reputed wrath if he were conscious and able to fight. Hermione grabbed a pair of scissors from a desk in her old room across the hall and proceeded to cut away all of the dark hair that was so very much a part of the persona that was Severus Snape. When his hair was trimmed as closely to the scalp as she could manage Hermione turned his head to further inspect the wound as was happy to find that the cut was not nearly as deep as the blood had suggested and decided that she could get away with cleaning the wound and using very little of the dittany to close it, enabling her to utilize the remainder of the potion on the vicious tear in his neck.

When Severus opened his eyes his first thought was that he had to be dead for certainly this was what hell would look like. He was in a room he had never seen that was painted a canary yellow and there were floral prints on every possible surface. He was lying in a bed, that while much more comfortable that that to which he was accustomed (although he would never admit to such a fact), was covered with a green duvet that had gigantic English Tea Roses printed all over it in pinks and yellows. It was a ghastly sight. His second thought was that he was obviously naked.

As he continued to glance around the room he was in, stretching out tired, stiff muscles in the process, he noticed a bench and the foot of the bed had his robed laid out on them, apparently having been laundered. His head was pounding as he attempted to sit up to reach for his clothes so that he could get himself dressed. He realized then, as he placed a hand on the side of his head to rub absently as if it would heal the throbbing pain he was experiencing, that his hair was gone. It was one more thing to add to his reasons to kill whoever had brought him to this floral hell to apparently recuperate.

He wasn't even sure how he was alive, even the potions he had taken were not enough to have kept him alive long. It was obvious to him that someone had been caring for him, and obviously a witch or a wizard. This room was certainly not belonging to anyone he knew, and he had most definitely not been there before. He wracked his brain for a detail that might give him a clue anywhere in the room and in the end it was a tray sitting on the dresser that gave him the detail he was searching for. The room had been set up with guests in mind. On the dresser was a silver tray holding a vase that had long dead flowers in it, a small sized, possibly sample's his brain supplied, set of high end toiletries, including lavender glycerin soaps that had lavender clearly visible through the translucent soaps, lavender hand lotion, and a shampoo and conditioner set. It was however the porcelain cup adorned with roses that held a set of toothbrushes and a tube of toothpaste that was ultimately the give-away. He had heard mention that Hermione Granger's parents were muggle dentists. It was a tidbit of information that he had filed away in his brain like so many other seemingly useless factoids and bits of minutia.

It was then that he remembered running into a bushy haired brunette as he attempted to escape the aftermath of the battle. She had saved him. Severus Snape just wasn't sure he had wanted to be saved. He thought of all the effort he had put into his survival and realized that he had worked too hard to be alive to regret her intervention, assuming no one else was aware of his whereabouts.

When Hermione had found him awake not long after he had figured out where he actually was she informed him that he had been unconscious for three days since the battle had ended but that she had kept her knowledge of him to herself. Severus hadn't quite believed that she had even kept it from The Boy Wonder or her rumored beau but after some convincing she had assured him that not a sole other than her knew of him.

"I can't stay long. I have been working to help out with the cleanup of the castle and Hogsmead while you were in your little coma, or whatever it was. I had some charms set to alert me if you awoke. No one knows where this house is and I don't intend on staying in it if you wish to use it for a while. I'm afraid that your home is no longer really an option for you," she told him as she gathered her things into her bag. She noticed a question in the quirk of his eyebrows and decided to expound. "Well you see when you just disappeared there were some people who were upset that you had possibly escaped and someone figured out where you lived, likely through someone on the school board unfortunately, and they burned your house. I'm sorry Professor. Just think about it. You are welcome to stay here as long as you like. I do have to leave though." She never gave him an opportunity to respond to the information she had given him as she turned and practically ran out the door.

When Hermione had returned to the house that night and found her ex-Potion's Master still there, although slightly more dressed to her great relief, neither of them could have expected where things between them would end up. As Severus slid into the bed next to her Hermione turned on her side and threw a leg over one of his to seek more contact between their bodies, having grown accustomed to sleeping intertwined with her lover. She ran her hand over Severus' chest, entangling her fingers in the small patch of hairs there as she found herself doing so often over the past seven or so years since they had first gone from odd friends to lovers. She knew that she needed to talk to him then, before she lost her nerve and while he was nicely sated and in a good mood.

"Severus," Hermione said sweetly as she began to nervously chew on her lip, knowing full well he wouldn't like what she was going to ask of him.

Severus looked at the naked woman in his arms through lidded eyes, his face slowly forming into a light scowl. "Out with it Hermione. What atrocious request is it this time? The last time you waited until after sex so that I was too exhausted to argue and then proceeded to give me that innocent look of yours, which isn't fooling anyone anymore by the way, you informed me you had invited Potter to dinner. So tell me Hermione, is it the entire Potter hoard this time? Shall I have The Boy Wonder changing nappies on my leather sofa?" Severus asked her, his voice devoid of the anger and frustration his words had implied. He had long ago come to expect her late night requests that were certain to be something he had no desire to do but he loved her deeply and had long ago decided that she was worth whatever ridiculous requests she made of him. After all she had never tried to change who he was and she never asked him to do anything truly awful.

Hermione leaned up a bit to capture his lips with hers knowing that he wasn't really angry with her, and honestly the dinner with Harry hadn't gone that bad. "Well you see, Severus, it's just that the Ten Year Anniversary Dinner is next weekend and it would mean a lot to me if you would come with me. I know you hate these things. Though really, how can you say you hate it when you have never gone? Please Severus? It really means a lot to me. I want you there."

Severus' good temper was quickly dissolved. She knew he avoided those events and the people that would be in attendance. "To what end Hermione? So that you and I can sit at different tables and sneak glances at one another? So that we might steal a dance after you have danced with a suitable number of other men so that no one draws too much from it? I think not dear. I have no desire to attend this farce of an Anniversary Ball where I will yet again have to hide the fact that you and I are far more than ex-Professor and pupil. I have grown tired of all the subterfuge Hermione, surely you know that by now," he bit out at her. All the secrecy surrounding their relationship had been a point of contention for the two of them for years. And he truly hated those events.

"You know why I haven't told anyone other than Harry. And it isn't as if I actively lie about it. It's just that no one asks me directly and I don't offer up the information. What is so bad about wanting privacy? Surely you understand that," she responded, her words becoming heated as her emotions built.

Severus sat up and leaned against the head board. He rubbed the bridge of his nose to attempt to stave off the building migraine that was threatening to make his night even worse than it had just gotten. "Why is it so bad, Hermione? You cannot be serious. You keep your flat for Merlin's sake! And we both know you never go there unless you need to pick something up. And that is a rarity since all of your things are here. We have lived together for over four years and have been sharing a bed for seven. Seven years, Hermione and there are only three people you have allowed to know about this. What does that tell me? Have you considered that I am sick of being your secret? I am sick of hiding this to spare the feelings of Weasley or anyone else for that matter. I love you. You know this. And I know that you love me. But there is a limit Hermione. Why would I want to go? One good reason Hermione," he seethed.

Hermione was crying by the time he finished. She knew he was right and she hated that she hurt the man she loved, and she did truly love Severus. In the beginning it was necessary to keep things a secret and as time went on it just grew easier to keep it to herself what he meant to her and frankly she liked having her privacy. She was ready to be open about their relationship this time however. "Severus, please? You know why I kept it a secret in the beginning. I left Ron at the altar. I didn't want to further hurt him and his family by telling them I ran straight to you. It was hard enough. My parents don't know I exist and I lost his parents too that day. I am sorry that I let it go on this long." She was trying hard to keep from sniffling through her words as she tried to explain herself. "But you misunderstood me Severus. I want you to come with me, as my date. As my lover and my partner. Please? I need you there," she cried as she buried her head into his chest and clung to him seeking comfort from his warmth.

Severus wrapped an arm around her automatically. He always hated it when she cried and he knew deep down that she didn't hide the truth of her feelings for Severus to hurt him but because it was just easier. "It has been seven years of secrecy and dining in the muggle world where no one will recognize us together. Why now, Hermione? Why not after Weasley wed that Bones chit? Why not five years ago when I received my Order of Merlin for the advances I have made with the Wolfsbane? I would have very much liked you there with me for that, you know that. So why do you want me there now Hermione? Why does it have to be this infernal event? I would rather just take a page out in the Prophet in all honesty." Severus knew how much Hermione hated the Prophet; he hoped she would get the point. He often found her to be completely exasperating, despite his love for her.

Hermione knew he was right about so much. When she left Ron at the altar and arrived on Severus' doorstep with her bag packed she knew what she had been doing. She had somehow fallen into bed with Severus one time, about three months before she was due to be wed. They had gotten together to discuss her acceptance of the Potions Master post at Hogwarts, a position she never would have been qualified for without Severus' help. He had agreed to take her on as an apprentice, originally because he felt indebted to her for helping to save his life, but in time he grew to enjoy sharing his passion for the art of Potions with someone who was as enthusiastic and bright as Hermione. When Severus told her that night that he was proud of her accomplishment Hermione felt the Earth shift and when she looked up into his eyes, as they sat side by side on his favorite leather sofa sharing a celebratory bottle of wine, she could no longer deny her growing attraction to the man.

Hermione was eager to blame it all on her third glass of Elf made red wine, but it was not the deep, full-bodied flavor of the wine, but the deep, smooth tone of Severus' voice as he spoke. "I'm proud of you Hermione. You have become a fine Potions Mistress. When you do not have to focus your energies on saving us all from dunderheads such as Longbottom you are more that proficient," he quipped.

She didn't even hear the jibe about Neville. she could see the sincerity in his eyes as he told her he was proud of her, and by the time he finished speaking she was leaning in towards him. When her mouth first collided with his she knew it was a mistake but as she felt him respond to her actions she couldn't find it in herself to care. His lips moved against hers and Hermione could feel a passion she had never before experienced with Ron. Hermione wondered how much more passion awaited her with this man if those first few tentative seconds of a kiss could have her toes curling in delight. Severus was not a wizard who believed in doing anything half-heartedly and as he moved to wrap an arm around her waist to pull her closer causing Hermione to part her full lips in invitation she could not have been happier.

His tongue darted out to taste her lips and she let out a low moan. Severus needed no further incentive to deepen the kiss. Hermione's tongue met his and the flavor of him sent a shiver down her spine. He was all spice and wine and something that was Severus and the combination was intoxicating and she could only want more. As their kiss went on, tongues tangling in rhythmic movements, things went from sweet and exploratory to heated and frenzied. Severus tightened his grip around her waist and hoisted her easily onto his lap and she squirmed in delight. He groaned into her mouth as she wiggled her pert bottom on his growing erection. The feel of him hardening beneath her was empowering, to know that she was capable of eliciting such a response from the usually stoic man made her want to know how much control she could make him lose. Before she could even contemplate the thought further Severus' lips left hers and began to move at a sinfully slow pace along her neck and jaw, licking and nibbling as he went. Oh, dear Merlin the man is full of hidden talents, she thought to herself as laved the hollow at the base of her throat.

Severus' deep chuckle informed her that she had perhaps spoken at least a part of that out loud in her lust fueled haze. As he continued his ministrations she forgot to be embarrassed and simply reveled in the passion she felt with him. It was unlike anything she had ever experienced and far more passionate than any of Ron's quick and fumbling movements. She may love her fiancée but he had never lit such a fire in her core. She didn't notice that Severus had been working on the buttons of her silk blouse until she felt his hot tongue delve into the valley between her rounded breasts. She suddenly wondered when he had laid her back onto the couch but as his strong hands moved to brush away the fabric of her top caress her silken skin she lost all ability to think straight. His touch on her bare skin was electric, reminding her of licking a nine-volt battery as a little girl to experience the little shock, his hands left a trail of tingling skin in their wake.

Hermione didn't even notice when she moaned his name as his hands undid the front clasp of her bra feeing her creamy breasts to the cool air. She never saw the gleam in Severus' eyes as he looked upon her half naked form lying beneath him on his black leather sofa. The contrast of her skin against the crisp leather was a lovely sight, and her hardened and pebbled pink nipples begged him for attention. Hermione gasped as the tip of his tongue traced a line from the bottom of her right breast to trace around her areola, further hardening her small nipple, before moving to flick over the small bud. Not wanting the other breast to be neglected Severus moved one hand to trace patters over the milky flesh, never applying much pressure. Every so often his thumb would graze her nipple and Hermione arched into the contact wanting as much of his touch as she could have.

Hermione sunk her fingers into his hair, one hand releasing it from the black ribbon that had been securing it back throughout the night. As his hair fell down to frame his face it crazed her flesh and she whimpered. It was all too much and not nearly enough. Hermione's fingers were massaging his scalp and twisting in his dark locks encouraging his attentions. One of her hands left the back of his head to travel a path down over his shoulders and spine to release his shirt from his trousers. She craved the feel of his skin against hers. He realized what she was attempting and moved to accommodate her.

Severus sat up and quickly divested himself of his button-down and vest, leaving him bare before her eyes. Hermione could see a hint of fear flash across his eyes and she was momentarily confused before she realized that he was likely worried she wouldn't like what she saw. He was covered in scars, some worse than others, but Hermione was scarred too and all she had noticed initially was his toned body that was paler than her own but no less appealing. Sensing that he was quite insecure about his scars she did the only thing she could think to do and moved to prop herself up so that she could trace a particularly nasty looking hex scar with her tongue. Severus moaned loudly at the contact and without warning he pounced. Hermione soon found herself pinned beneath his strong body, his hands and mouth working to drive her insane with need.

Hermione loved the feeling of Severus' strong hands running down the length of her bare sides and over the rough tweed of her skirt, bunching the fabric up over her hips as his hands moved to glide up her silken thighs, causing her to spread her legs further in invitation without even realizing she was doing it, she just needed more of his touch. She was too consumed with the feel of him to notice his appreciative smirk and hungry gaze. Severus was placing hot open mouthed kisses from sternum to navel and back again, and the combination of his mouth and tongue on her belly and his hands caressing her thighs had her rapidly approaching the precipice. Her hands were exploring the scarred flesh of his back when she felt his long elegant fingers slide beneath the elastic of her black lace panties and seemed to lose all ability to think coherently or do much other than moan and writhe.

Severus sat up slightly as he hooked his thumbs through the leg holes of her panties and began to slowly draw them down her legs. When he had them stripped off her body and thrown across the room somewhere he moved to admire her long lean legs, still bearing the simple black pumps that served to highlight the elegant curvature of her defined calves. He decided that those could stay, but the skirt, the skirt would have to go. Looking upwards from his positioning down by her feet he could easily see the crux of her thighs and the shadow that was a small tangle of dark curls. He wanted her more in that moment than he could remember ever wanting a woman. He was painfully erect now, and the desire to feel himself sheathed in her tight wet center was driving him mad. With a predatory glint to his gaze he moved to trail a path of kisses up one of her legs as he approached her glistening core. When he reached her thighs he nibbled slightly, first on one and then the other, and Hermione's moan was like music to him. Severus moved his hands to the buttons that secured her skirt at the side and began to deftly pop each mother of pearl button through the hole. When he was finished with the row of buttons Hermione easily lifted her hips upwards so that he could more easily slip the skirt from her body.

It was the work of seconds and she was nude before his eyes. A more beautiful creature he was certain he would never see. Severus smoothed his hands over the creamy length of her legs slowly traveling up her body. His hands made their way up her calves and over her thighs to curve around and skim her hips and then came back together over her stomach where he proceeded to move upwards, separating again to cup each breast briefly before moving to trace along her shoulders and slender neck and finally burying in her hair.

"You are exquisite Hermione." I was all he offered her in the way of words. There was no discussion, no talk of desires or what was so obviously wrong about all of this. There were no whispered words of adoration or praise from Severus Snape. That one compliment summed it all up and was the single most complimentary thing he had possibly said to anyone.

Hermione was speechless, for what seemed like the first time. He was toying with her. He was driving her absolutely mad with his light touches and his piercing stare. His words were quite easily the most wonderful thing anyone had said about her and not something she would have usually believed, but Severus Snape gave no praise lightly and she was certain that for whatever reason he thoroughly enjoyed what he saw. When his lips sought hers once more it was somehow demanding and soft at the same time and the way his tongue swirled in her mouth with hers was perfect. He was a truly excellent kisser.

Hermione's heart was beating wildly in her chest as he moved to kiss a path to place she was most desperate for his touch. When he first reached his destination he placed a light kiss just atop her little bundle of nerves that made her squeak in delight. Emboldened by her reaction Severus slowly slipped his tongue from between his thin lips to taste her. His tongue lightly traced her slit from top to bottom and back again, playfully flicking over her clit, causing her to buck under him. Severus placed his hands on her hips to hold her down while he proceeded to taste her fully. His tongue swirled and teased her to oblivion and when she finally came it was unlike any orgasm she had had before, with Ron or alone for that matter.

Hermione's body was still shaking with the force of her orgasm when she noticed Severus was suddenly as bare as she was. Her breath caught in her throat at the sight of him in all his glory. He truly was a man with nothing to be ashamed of his physique. His legs were like sculptures, so perfectly defined and strong, yet lean much like the rest of him. She followed her line of vision from his toned calves up his solid thighs, muscled from years of lifting heavy cauldrons, to that of his hardened member, longer and slightly less broad than that of her fiancées, and Hermione could feel her mouth water at the sight. She never wanted to feel a man buried within her more than she did at that moment.

Hermione reached up and grabbed Severus on the backs of his thighs and pulled him back down on top of her. "Please," she begged, not entirely sure what she was begging for. Was she begging for him to take her, to plunge his hardened length into her until she screamed? Was she begging for him to free her from a future she was terrified of, a future devoid of the potions she loved and filled instead with a dozen red-headed babies and knitting needles? Was she begging him to give her hope?

When she felt his cock pressing into her swollen flesh all she could think was a resounding 'YES!' She wasn't sure what this was, but she felt certain in that moment that she needed it. He must have sensed it too, or perhaps she said it aloud because a moment later he was sheathed within her and Hermione felt herself become carried away by the rocking of their joined hips as she rose to meet him.

Severus thrust into her over and over again, filling her deliciously in ways she had never been full before. When he ran a hand down the length of one of her silken legs and grasped her ankle firmly in his hand, drawing the limb up to rest on his shoulder Hermione was struck with the force of passion. The new position allowed him to hit a spot inside of her that Hermione had no idea existed previously. Surely Ron had never found it.

Hermione briefly let the thought flit through her mind that it wasn't fair to compare her fiancée to this dark Adonis that was rapidly turning her into a heated ball of mush. A rapid thrust of Severus' hips brought her mind and eyes back to him. Their eyes met and she could easily see the heat behind his gaze before he crashed his lips to her and her eyes fluttered closed.

Hermione felt the force of her orgasm rip through her body, from the tips of her toes and out through her fingertips, like an errant bolt of lightning coursing through her veins. It was amazingly powerful and her whole body quaked with delightful jolts of pleasure. She was still writhing under Severus' sweat slicked body when he let out an animalistic growl and spilt his seed deep within her and collapsed onto her body, holding her as she rode out the pleasure of her orgasm.

Hermione awoke the next morning and found that she was lying naked in bed with her mentor. Scenes from the night before flashed before her eyes and she felt horrid and ashamed. She was engaged to be married and had spent the night with another man. She couldn't deny that it had been incredible; she hadn't been so drunk that she couldn't remember the way he seemed to set her world on fire. All she could think to do in that moment was run.

Later that day an owl found Severus as he was perched over a steaming cauldron, his brow furrowed and a scowl firmly on his face. He unrolled the small slip of parchment and read Hermione's neat script.

Dearest Severus,

I have thought long and hard about what I would write to you. First and foremost let me extend my deepest apologies. Not for last night, because even though I know that it was wrong – that I am to be married in just a few months' time – I cannot find it in me to regret last night. I am however terribly sorry for running out on you like that this morning before you awoke. You deserved more than that. I was simply confused and scared. I don't know what has happened Severus, nor do I know what to do. I am sure that last night was nothing more than good sex to you, and it was good, it was amazing really. It is just that to me, it is everything I am giving up. It was the chance to be woman I want to be and not Molly Weasley's clone. It was the chance to feel swept away with passion and not just feign it. It was a chance to be with you. I don't know why I have decided to be honest with you after all this time; I suppose I have nothing left to lose. I know that I will never be more than a silly little school girl turned colleague to you, Severus, but know that to me you are so much more than a Professor. I am truly sorry.

Yours –


Hermione never heard back from him, nor had she expected to. She had laid herself out to him, knowing full well that she wouldn't hear from him again, that he would return to his life as a recluse Potions Master, and she would move into a grand castle and take up the post of Hogwarts Potion's Mistress.

It was three months later when an impeccably dressed Severus Snape stood outside the doors to a little church in Ottery St. Catchpole when her world changed forever.

She had tried to forget the feel of his hands and mouth on her body. She had tried to forget the way he thrust into her bringing her to orgasm. She tried not to compare him to Ron every time Ron touched or kissed her. Mostly she tried to stop missing his company, to stop wanting to tell him something she had done that day or read in a Potions Journal.

Seeing him on the steps of the church as she stood there, resplendent in her fine white dress robes that seemed to mock her in that moment, her resolve not to run to him nearly broke. But it was her wedding day, and a good man was awaiting her at the altar. As she approached the doors, and ultimately Severus, she couldn't help the way her body had tensed. Her caramel colored eyes locked briefly to his dark stormy ones and she felt her body shudder.

Severus looked into her eyes and muttered the words that brought her world crashing down. "You were wrong, Hermione."

It was all he said before the music started up and Hermione was ushered into the small church. Hermione moved by sheer force of will down the aisle as his words played over and over in her brain. She wanted to know what he meant. Was she wrong about what it had meant to him? Was that why he was there this day? Did he feel more for her than she had believed?

The thoughts were still playing through her mind as she reached the altar. She was mechanically going through the motions while her brain continued to focus on Severus' words to her, and inevitably on the last time she had seen him.

She briefly registered Ron speak his vows but didn't think of it until she felt Ginny prodding her back. "Hermione…" she heard Ginny say.

Hermione turned to thank Ginny for snapping her back to reality when she caught sight of Severus now standing just inside the doorways, a scowl darkening his features. Her eyes met his and she was sure she had her answer.

Without further thought to what she was doing she turned to face Ron. "I am so sorry Ron," she muttered quietly, just loud enough for him and Ginny to hear, before she turned on the spot and was gone.

That had been over seven years ago, and now laying in her lovers arms, she couldn't feel happier for the decision she had made then. She knew that Severus was growing impatient waiting for her answer. She wasn't sure how he would take it, to be honest.

Hermione turned to face him and looked deep into his eyes. She tried to show convey her love to him in her gaze as she prepared to tell him her news. "I know you don't want to go Severus, but I had been hoping you would be there with me when I announced my pregnancy," she said with a quiver of fear in her voice.

His reaction couldn't have shocked her more. Severus looked deep into her eyes and could see the trepidation, the fear that he would now reject her. "Pregnant?" he asked, his voice seemingly devoid of emotion, but Hermione knew better. She could see the smile tugging at his lips.

Hermione offered him an enthusiastic nod, her lips pinched tightly together as a fresh wave of tears overtook her. He wasn't screaming. He wasn't demanding she leave.

More quickly than she could really react too properly, Severus crashed their lips together, claiming her in a fiery kiss that warmed her to her core. "Marry me Hermione?" His voice was steady and calm but the tables had turned and this time he held his breath while he waited for her to answer him.

When Hermione kissed him she poured all of her love and feeling into that single moment, willing him to hear the simple word she couldn't utter.

The following weekend Hermione and Severus arrived by carriage to the gates of Hogwarts Castle where the ball was to be held. Severus stepped out first, dressed elegantly in dark grey dress robes that Hermione had talked him into after hours of fittings, his hair was tied back neatly at the nape of his neck and he looked very different from the last time he had wandered the halls of the school. He offered his hand to the woman sitting in the carriage and Hermione took it and stepped out. She was dressed in decadent green dress robes that fit to her form perfectly and accentuated her curves. It dipped rather low in the back, barely skimming the top of her bum, and Hermione had never felt more beautiful. It was, if she was honest, a fair trade. Severus looked wonderful in grey and all he asked was that she had to wear the 'slinky green one'. How could she refuse?

They had arrived a little late, and were among the last of the stragglers. Severus, for all of his hatred of these events, loved to make a dramatic entrance. They walked arm in arm to the doors of the Great Hall, passing very few people on their way that were all too deep in their own conversations to notice the newcomers.

When they arrived at the doors to the Great Hall a Wizard in bright red robes asked for their names and then preceded them through the doors. Casting a 'Sonorous' on himself the wizard intoned "May I present: The Masters Severus, and Hermione Snape."

All eyes in the room abruptly turned to the couple standing at the back of the room. The room was dead silent, thanks partially to a silencing hex placed on a flailing Ronald Weasley by his sister. Suddenly the sounds of clapping and shouts of congratulations could be heard coming from Harry Potter. Soon others at his table joined in, and eventually the whole room erupted into riotous commotion, congratulations and questions were flying all around, but Hermione didn't hear any of it. She simply looked up into the eyes of her husband, and felt his hand brush over her still flat stomach, and saw the love that he held for her. None of the rest of it mattered.

Hermione never did get to announce her pregnancy that night, there had been much talk of her relationship with Severus. Ron had made a horrible scene, as had his mother, but lying naked in her husband's warm embrace; she couldn't find it in her to care that some things hadn't gone according to plans. She decided that she quite liked it when life surprised her. The contented smile on Severus' face told her that he quite liked some surprises too.

A/N: Hoped you enjoyed it!