AN: Interesting factoid. This was yet another attempt at a PWP. See if you can spot the flaw in the plan...

"This is the part I hate," he muttered, wrapping his muffler tighter around his head.

"The cold?" she asked.

"No. The walk. It's uphill the whole way back. I can barely keep to a straight line as is."

She laughed and slipped her arm through his. "Come on, we're in this together."

He looked down at her, his muffler covering his lower face. "Is this the bonding ritual you spoke of?"

"Most definitely. Us against the elements. Together, we will gain that hill or die trying."

He huffed a breath and started them up the road. They bounced off each other several times and would have careened in two separate directions had she not been clinging to his arm. Eventually they managed to sync up their sways and achieve forward motion.

"How the devil did you ever make this trek alone?" she asked once they had passed the last cottage and were headed towards the train station.

"I never remember, although several times I've woken in what was left of Hagrid's old hut. Once or twice I've woken up on a couch in one of Rosmerta's sitting rooms. But I was always far more drunk than this. I think I'm getting too old for it anymore."

They reached the train station, and he broke the hold she had on his arm. "Hang on; I need to use the gents."

"Don't be long," she said swiping her mitten along the seat of a bench and plopping gracelessly down on it. She was definitely going to pay for this indulgence in the morning.

He stomped off around the corner, and she pulled out her wand and began creating all sorts of creatures out of ice and snow. A pride of little lions stalked ice gazelles around a slushy watering hole shaped like Snape's boot print. She was about to add a few elephants when she heard Snape start swearing up a storm.

"Buggering hell! Who locks a bloody public toilet?"

"Well, it is the middle of the might," she called out. "Break in."

"I tried that. It's fucking warded! I'd have to break the damned seal, and I'm in a bit of a hurry."

She heard him deliver a kick. "Did you try the women's?"

The sound of boots on concrete was swiftly followed by another kick. He stomped back around the corner, accidentally kicking one of her gazelles across the station. The lions took off after it and the rest of the herd scattered. He looked down at them and then back at her and just shook his head. "Come on," he snapped, reaching down and grabbing her elbow. He set a brisk pace up the road and Hermione struggled to keep up.

"You're not going to try and make it to the school, are you? Good heavens. Find a tree."

He scowled at her. "I am not going to relieve myself behind a tree. I leave such behavior to uncouth louts. Walk faster."

"Severus, you're being ridiculous. We're surrounded by things to hide behind, and Hogwarts is too far away." She pulled her arm away from him. "In fact, all this talk has made me need to go. I'll be right back. I need to be an uncouth lout." She skipped off the road and dashed behind a wide, old oak and began fumbling with her skirts. Shimmying her knickers down with mittens on was a bit of work, doing so while the world pitched and heaved was nearly impossible.

He heard his muffled curses and then the sound of him stomping off to the other side of the road.

It was the devil that made her do it. Once she was back on the road, she found what tree he'd picked by the sound. With a giggle, she pulled out her wand and zapped it. The tree shivered and dumped its load of snow.

"FUCK! Oh, damn it all! Fuck! I've pissed myself! Argh… gods. Tergeo!"

She burst out with a laugh and darted up the road a way, scooping up some snow as she went.

He appeared a few moments later with his wand in his hand. "You did that on purpose!"

"I know!" she said, laughing. "I wish I could have seen your face! Oh! That was priceless…"

He growled and bore down on her, and she threw her snowball and took off.

"What the devil has got into you?" he shouted. "And you missed! You throw like a girl."

"I bet you do too!" she taunted over her shoulder. Seeing him aim his wand at the ground, she shouted, "No magic!"

He reached down and scooped up some snow, and she let out a peal of laughter and hightailed it for the trees. It turned onto a whoop when she heard the sound of him running after her. A wet splat knocked her hat askew, and another exploded on the trunk of a tree right by her head. With a squeal, she darted behind a shrub, furiously gathering up more snow. She popped up and threw another one, nailing him square in the chest. He reached down and snatched up more snow taking cover by a fallen log. After that, it was a blur. Snow flew through the air, occasionally scoring. Mostly, it just flew. They were both too drunk to aim very well.

There was a long pause, when he didn't throw one at all, and she peeked up over her shrub. When she saw him, he was in full billow, bearing down on her with an armful of snowballs and an honest-to-goodness smile. She squealed, threw the one she held, and took off, darting in and around trees as he wasted ammunition. Reaching the end of the woods, she took off over the field, realizing her mistake too late. From his triumphant shout, he had caught on as well.

Snape's legs were a hell of a lot longer than hers and the snow was much deeper in the field. She hiked up her skirts, but it was no use. He was actually cackling by the time he drew close, and she screamed in frustration when he took her down with a flying tackle. He twisted them in midair, and they landed on their backs in the snow with a muffled thump.

She tried to catch her breath, but was laughing too hard. He groaned and rose up on one elbow, looking down on her with a rueful smile that changed his whole face. "Does that meet our quota of 'get a wild idea and do something daft?' Because I think I might have crippled myself."

She giggled. "It certainly meets the requirements. However, I don't believe there's a quota."

He reached down and swiped a lock of wet hair off her face with his a leather-covered hand. "Would you ever be?" he asked in a quiet voice.

"Would I ever be what?" she asked, trying to swipe the rest of her hair out of her face with a sodden mitten.

"Drunk enough to fuck me?" he replied.

She went still. His face was pale as the snow in the moonlight, and his eyes didn't hide their poignant longing.

She smiled up at him. "I would say your chances are looking pretty good at the moment," she answered.

His warm breath ghosted over her face as he sighed. His face twitched into an unfamiliar smile as his eyes grew warm and tender. Her heart gave a thump and then went into overtime as the moment stretched.

…and stretched…

…and stretched…

"I think this is the part where you kiss me," she said. He blinked, and his brows rose in surprise. He licked his lips and looked suddenly nervous. "Or I kiss you, the rules are a bit hazy," she added, leaning up and capturing his cold mouth.

He made a noise that seemed caught between a grunt of surprise and a groan of pleasure and pressed his lips firmly against hers. The kiss started out awkward and hesitant, but after she captured his bottom lip between hers, it turned into something almost savage. He rolled over on top of her, crushing her into the snow, and his arms wrapped tightly around her. When his tongue swept into her mouth, she couldn't have stopped the whimper of pleasure that bubbled up from her throat.

He tore his mouth free and pulled back, nostrils flaring from his labored breathing. "Granger, are you really going to let me get under your skirts?"

She swallowed and nodded, trying to find her voice. It wasn't as if she hadn't been contemplating this exact scenario for the last couple of years, but that it had always been on her list of 'things that would never happen in a million years.' It had never occurred to her to get him drunk. She hoped the morning would be kind.

He looked almost triumphant as he leaned down and kissed her again, pressing his body along the length of her.

She returned the kiss with enthusiasm, and then shoved him back. "But not here. My arse is getting wet, and I'm cold."

He blinked and then practically jumped off of her, reaching down and snatching her up to her feet. It was too fast. The world spun wildly, and they both ended up windmilling their arms trying to catch their balance. She fell back down when he let go, and he staggered several feet before catching himself.

"Damn. I'm more pissed than I thought," she said, from where she was crouched in the snow on all fours.

He came back over and hauled her up again, slower this time. "Please don't tell me you're too drunk to fuck."

"Are you that eager? You can't be that desperate." she said with a laugh as the world spun.

"You have no idea," he replied, zapping her with a Warming Charm.

Something clicked in her head, and she peered up at him. "Snape, are you really still a virgin?"

The moonlight already bleached the color out of his face, but she didn't need it to know he was blushing. The answer was right there in the way he pulled his shoulders up to his ears and violently shoved his hands in the pockets of his robes.

She squealed and shouted, "This is fantastic!" She danced in a small circle and nearly fell over again for her efforts. "I've always wanted to be someone's first!"

She looked back up at him in time to see his face morph through several different expressions before finally settling on confused, with a hint of defensiveness. "I'm sensing I didn't exactly put you off, but I can't say I understand your enthusiasm. Is this part of the rules? Did that work in lieu of a teary revelation? Are we best mates now? Not to rush things, but I'd like to get laid while it's still my birthday. I'd hate to lose the symbolism."

She tromped through the snow to his side and shoved her arm through his, steering him more or less in the direction of the castle. "Let's hurry then. We have to beat the clock!"

He let her drag him and then picked up speed, shooting her confused looks. "Are you going to explain that little outburst?"

She let out a rapid-fire burst of laughter. "I think that's a fair request. You see, I've never been anyone's first in bed. Ron had already shagged Lavender, and Neville had been with Luna. Ernie, well he was a manwhore. I think he was trying to overcompensate for the fact that his prick was just a short, skinny thing—"

"A little less stress on size, if you will. I'd hate to disappoint."

"With that nose? Please."

He snorted and shook his head. "I thought it was hands."

"True, but I've no worries there either. I've been mesmerized by your hands for years."

He jerked to a stop. "You have?"

"Of course. They're amazingly sexy hands."

"Since when?"

She blinked. "Well, I assume since you finished growing. I can't speak as to how sexy they would have been when you were a child, but I hardly think that was the case. Can we keep moving? The clock is ticking, as they say, and that bloody castle doesn't seem to be getting any closer."

"I could fly us," he boasted. She heard the echoes of the young boy he'd been in the pensieve, trying to impress Harry's mother.

"Have you ever flown drunk?"

He grimaced. "I can't remember, but the odds are fairly good that I've tried."

"Let's just try running, shall we? I'd like to get there in one piece."

"Running's a bit undignified, don't you think? I've already made enough of a fool of myself tonight."

"Did you want to get laid on your birthday or not?"

"That's a valid point."

Together they broke into a stomping run through the deep snow that wouldn't have shamed a tortoise. They found they made better time if they broke apart and just held hands. Once they gained the cleared road, it was much easier going, but they had to stop anyway because neither of them could breathe.

"Gods, I'm out of shape," she said, gasping.

"We're not even halfway," he said in annoyance, bent double with his hands on his knees. "At this rate, by the time we get there I'll be in no shape to get your bloody knickers off."

"Oh, no. That won't do at all. We simply must fuck. I'm so looking forward to it." She grabbed at his arm and started tugging him up the hill.

He trudged along, his left leg seeming to want to go one direction, while the right clearly wanted to go in another. "Although I'm flattered by your keen interest, I have to question your motives at this point. You seem almost more excited than I am. You never finished explaining why you were so excited to be my first."

"Didn't I? Sorry. As I was saying, I've never been anyone's first. I always thought it would be a bit, well, wonderful, for lack of a better word. I mean, to be the object of all that desire finally attained. There's only one first time. With how long you've gone, I think it will be incredible."

He snorted again. "With how long I've been waiting, it's more likely to be incredibly short-lived."

"Oh, but that would be a part of it, don't you see?"


She sighed and stopped, pulling him to a halt. "I just think it would be splendid to be a part of it as someone discovers how wonderful it is. To be the cause of them losing control would be…" She looked around, but no one had left the needed words lying around where she could reach them. "It would make me feel special," she finally said. She shrugged, feeling silly all of the sudden, and turned away.

He pulled her back. "Hermione," he murmured. "You already are special. You don't have to sleep with me for me to think that." He reached up with a gloved hand and swiped at the hair in her face.

"I don't?"

He narrowed his eyes. "No. But you're still going to. There's no backing out now, it's my bloody birthday, after all, and you said you were up for it."

She giggled and broke into a grin. "Right. We're almost there."

She turned and started off, but he snatched her arm again and pulled her up against his chest. He leaned down and kissed her soundly. She clutched at him, thinking she was falling, but when he broke away with a throaty chuckle, she realized they were flying.

"Not too high!" she squealed, shutting her eyes in fear. She wrapped her legs around him leaving her hat and her dignity on the road somewhere behind him.

He laughed darkly and landed with a slight jolt. "We're here," he murmured in her ear.

She opened her eyes and let her legs sag to the ground, noticing his weak attempt to hold her in place. Seeing the doors to the castle looming in front of them, she graced him with her biggest smile.

"Well done," she said.

He smirked and pulled open the door with a bow and a flourish. "After you," he said.

She curtsied and entered.

The heat from inside the castle hit them like a blast furnace, and they both staggered.

"Come on," she said. "We'll be fine once we're naked."

"Which way?" he asked as they reached the stairs. "Up or down?"

Her rooms were on the fourth floor, and he'd kept his in the dungeons to be closer to the Slytherin rooms. His were obviously closer.

"Up," she replied. Her pretty knickers were upstairs what she had on needed to stay hidden at all costs.

He grabbed her arm and started up. By the time they reached the second floor they'd begun to strip. It wasn't lust, they were about to collapse from the heat and exertion. She snatched off her mittens and began clawing at the catch of her outer robes, while he pulled at his muffler in quiet desperation.

He threw off his heavy cloak and staggered a few feet down the hallway. "Urgh," he groaned. "I don't—"

That was all the warning he gave before he doubled over and hurled the contents of his stomach all over the floor.

She dumped her cloak on top of his and hurried to help.

She got one hand on his back and was reaching for his hair when the smell hit. "Oh, Gods!" She shoved away from him, nearly sending him sprawling, and threw up as well. Which made him sick again, which made her sick again.

Ten minutes later, they were both stretched out on the floor, retching occasionally, gasping for the most part, and taking turns with badly aimed Evanescos.

She accidently Vanished his boots.

He didn't seem to care.

"You broke the rules," he said with wheezed indignation. "You were supposed to hold my hair, not shove me into a wall."

She stared up at the ceiling, bemused by the fact that after all these years, she'd never seen the ceiling from this angle before. "I tried," she answered. "What the hell did you eat for supper? That was just… eughch!" She rolled to the side and gagged uselessly.

"Eel pie. It was the special tonight down the pub."

"You are never allowed to eat eel pie again."

"I like eel pie," he said defensively. "You have no control over what I eat."

"If I'm going to be your girlfriend, I get some say in the matter. You can eat it, but I absolutely refuse to allow you to vomit up eel pie again."

"Who said anything about being my bloody girlfriend? What if I only wanted a quick shag?"

"Oh. Right. I'm getting a bit ahead of myself, aren't I?" She flopped onto her stomach and pushed herself up. "Well, if we're going to shag, we'd best be about it."


They clambered to a stand and staggered toward the stairs again, leaving their cloaks, mittens, and mufflers behind. It took ages to reach the third floor.

"Would you even want to be?" he asked, between desperate attempts to breathe.

"Want to be what?" she gasped back.

"My girlfriend?"

"Huh? Oh, that. Yes, absolutely. I've fancied you for quite a while. Would you want me to be?"

He stopped and dropped his hands to his thighs and bent over, huffing. He gave her a glazed eye through his stringy hair and simply nodded. When he'd caught his breath, he pushed on. "I'm not sure if I'm on board with such things as menu planning. Would you make a habit of setting rules?"

She waved a weak hand in the air and struggled after him. "Too much effort. However, I would take it as a kindness if you better planned what you spewed." She grimaced. "Gods, my mouth tastes like I've licked a rubbish skip."

He snickered.

They finally gained the fourth floor corridor by leaning heavily against each other and pushing each other up the stairs. He slid his arm around her shoulders, but it was a little unclear if he was being demonstrative, or trying to stay upright. She took advantage and slid her arms around his waist, garnering a pleased rumble from his chest.

"I have, too, you know," he said in a deep voice. How could such a narrow chest produce such a rich sound?


"Fancied you. I have these last four years."

She pushed back so she could see his face. "Really? Why on earth didn't you say something? We could have got this virginity thing done with years ago!"

"Shhhh!" he hissed. "Do you mind? I'd rather not have that echoing through the school corridors!

"Oh. Right. Sorry."

They were turning the corner leading to her rooms when she jerked to a stop. "Oh, damn it!"


"Birth control!" She looked up at him in a panic. "I don't have any!" She grimaced. "It's… been a while."

"Isn't there a charm?"

"I don't trust them. Ginny relied on them and—BANG!—hip deep in nappies." She looked around. "I know! We could break into the infirmary!"

She started off in that direction, but he stopped her with a hand on her arm. "Best not. Half the Ravenclaw Quidditch team is still up there, and I'm in no shape to Obliviate all the little buggers once they catch the two of us trying to nick some birth control potion."

She nodded. "Well, there are other things we could do. Physically, I mean. It wouldn't be quite the same, but—"

"Not a bloody chance," he snapped, grabbing her hand and dragging her back toward the stairs. "I'll brew the stuff myself."

"Are you sure?" she said as he started back down.

"It's my birthday, and I'm going to get a proper shag. It will only take about twenty minutes."

"True. That's sounds like an average shag."

"No! To make the potion!" He stopped and looked back at her. "Really? Twenty minutes? Is that all?"

"In most cases. We could drag it out with lots of foreplay if you'd like."

He grimaced, obviously in unsure territory. "I'll follow your lead." He tugged on her hand and set off again.

It occurred to her that it would have been far more efficient, not to mention quicker, to continue on to her rooms and use the Floo, but going down was much easier than going up and they were already almost to the third floor.

"Oh, but my knickers!"

He jerked to a halt. "What?"

"I wanted my pretty knickers! These simply won't do!"

He shook his head and continued on. "I don't give a toss about your knickers, Granger. I want what's under them."


"But nothing. Keep moving. We can discuss knickers at a later date."


"Anytime after I get a leg over."

"Oh, alright."

They headed down to the dungeons at a respectable pace, stopping to pick up their discarded things along the way.

She followed him onto his office and through to his private lab. She'd only been here a few times over the years and found herself smiling all over again. They dumped their outer garments on his desk in a heap, and she collapsed into a chair. "Oh, gods it feels good to get off my feet."

He looked at her with ill-disguised nervousness and then busied himself with snatching up utensils and a number ten cauldron.

"Can I get you something while you wait?" he asked.

"Toothpaste," she replied without a pause.

He jerked upright and looked at her. "Good idea," he said. He gestured, and she followed him past a wall hanging into his personal rooms. They were sparsely furnished, but relaxing. Obviously Snape wasn't one to dwell on things. There were a thousand books, an easy chair, a cluttered desk, and a comfy-looking bed. There wasn't a single portrait. She did a mental comparison of his rooms and hers and realized his lab was actually his sitting room. Very efficient.

The bathroom was the same as hers, but he obviously didn't share her love of decoratively packaged bath oils, potpourri, and plushy towels. Snatching open the cabinet over the sink, he pulled out a new toothbrush and handed it to her before snatching his own out of the holder by the basin.

They set to work sanitizing their mouths.

"Good heavens! That's no way to do it," she blurted after she'd spit. "Up and down, not like that. You're not scouring a cauldron, you know. Here."

She took hold of his toothbrush and tried to demonstrate proper brushing technique, only to accidentally gag him. He smacked her hand away.

"Can you not do that?" he snapped. "We'll be in here all night if you keep making me vomit and brush my teeth over and over again."

She giggled at an indignant Snape who was literally foaming at the mouth. He glared at her and leaned over to rinse and spit.

"Sorry," she mumbled.

He gave her a beady stare. "This girlfriend thing might not pan out," he said as he stalked past her.

"Don't judge until you see some of the benefits," she replied, following him back to his lab.

He snorted and began pulling out ingredients. "I've got on all these years without them."

"True, and only you can speak to the quality of those years. But I rather like having someone to cuddle and kiss and care about. I think you might get to like that part as well."

"Don't look to me for cuddling, Granger. You might want to see about getting another cat."

"Oh, I think you might like it if you try."


"Call it a hunch." She walked over to where he was laying out ingredients. "Can I help?"


She sighed and watched as he set a flame under the cauldron and began chopping. Within a few minutes, his sour expression evaporated and a small smile took its place.

"What has you smirking?" she asked.

His smirk grew, and he gave her a conspiratorial smile. "Do you know how many years I've been brewing this for hormonal brats? This is the first time I'm making it for myself."

She grinned at him. "This calls for a celebration! Do you have anything around here to drink?"

He nodded towards his desk. "There's port, and I think I have some gin as well. Christmas gifts I've never opened."

"No time like the present," she said heading to inspect the shelves over his desk. She found two mismatched glasses and scoured the dust out with a spell.

He took his glass and sipped, before setting it to the side and resuming his dicing. "Toothpaste and port make a ghastly combination," he drawled.

"True, but not as bad as toothpaste and grapefruit," she replied taking another sip. "I propose a toast. To your imminent deflowering!"

He snorted and stepped back, lifting his glass. "Huzzah," he deadpanned. "Only forty years or so late."

"Better late than never," she said, waggling her eyebrows.

He smiled, another real smile, and sipped his port before turning back to his project. "You really are looking forward to this aren't you?"

She grinned. "I am."

"I hope it meets your expectations."

"I know it will. I just hope it's everything you want it to be."

He snorted. "Have no fears there." He set the ingredients into the cauldron, along with two and a thirteenth cups of distilled water and began to stir. "Tell me about your first time, Granger. Was it as special as you say? All that desire finally meeting reality?"

She wrinkled her nose. "Not exactly. It's a bit different for us women. One needs to know how to navigate to be able to make a woman climax, so the first few times tend to be a bit underwhelming on that one point. It was lovely to be sure, don't get me wrong, but definitely something that gets better with practice."

His shoulders stiffened, and she caught a glint of something she didn't understand on his face. "What?" she said, setting her glass down and moving closer.

He darted a look at her from behind his stringy hair. "Nothing. That is—" He shrugged his shoulders. "I just assumed you would enjoy it as well. However, the chances of that seem to be slim, since I hardly know how to 'navigate,' as you say."

She moved behind him and slipped her arms around his waist, careful not to impede his arm movements. "Don't worry. The fact that I actually have my hands on you is fairly swoon-worthy. The fact that I didn't have to knock you over the head and tie you down makes it even better. Besides, I'm older and bolder and have no problem navigating for the both of us. One does eventually learn their partner isn't psychic."

He rapped his stirrer against the side of the cauldron and twisted around in her arms, pulling her firmly up against him. "That needs to come up to a boil. Now, what's this about knocking me about the head?"

She giggled. "That was one of my more violent scenarios for getting you in my bed. The idea of you actually being willing wasn't ever a possibility."

He graced her with an amused smile. "I had assumed the same, although I don't recall ever resorting to violence upon your person in my fantasies. I preferred trickery. Usually Polyjuice."

"Oh! I thought of Polyjuice as well! Not that I ever would have. Far too unethical."

"As opposed to violence?" He smiled down at her. "Lovely how it actually worked out, isn't it?"

She beamed at him. He was incredibly charming when he wanted to be. Who knew?

"May I kiss you again?" he asked in a soft voice.

"Of course! That's one of the benefits to making me your girlfriend, you know. You can kiss me any time the urge strikes you."

He frowned but didn't loosen his grip. "I don't recall making a final decision on that point yet."

"You haven't, but we're giving it a bit of a test-drive, so to speak."


He leaned down and kissed her, gently at first, but with increasing fervor. Their tongues tangled, and with a low rumble in his chest, he pulled her even tighter against him. Pushing her hips forward, she ground herself against his obvious excitement. The kiss went on and on, each of them seeming to need the other's lips for continued existence. She clutched at his shoulders and he kneaded the muscles of her back.

He pulled his head away with a growl that made her insides turn to liquid. "Birth control," he rasped, letting her go and turning around again. He wobbled, and she kept him upright, using that as an excuse to keep her arms around him. Resting her head between his shoulder blades, she sighed.

"Are you sure about the efficacy of a potion brewed while drunk?" she said, enjoying the way his body moved under her arms and the tautness of the stomach under her hands. She popped open a button and slipped her fingertips inside to feel his warm, silken skin. She was rewarded by a harsh breath escaping him. One of his hands kept stirring, but the other gently covered hers, urging her exploring fingers on.

"I've been brewing twenty gallons of this glop a year for thirty-five years." His voice was a low rumble under her ear. "I can do it in my sleep and frequently have."

"Oh, good," she murmured against his back. "I really don't want children this week."

There was a pause, as she listened to the lulling sound of the potion being stirred.

"But you do someday, correct?" he asked.

She smiled and nodded her head. "Mmmhmm. Two," she added. "A boy and a girl."

He sighed contentedly, and she closed her eyes, listening to the sound of his steady heartbeat. Her thoughts dwindled to nothing more than how nice he smelled and how good he felt in her arms.



"What are you doing?"

"Test driving the cuddling feature of your potential relationship."

He snorted. "Really? Because you haven't made a sound in almost eight minutes, and with how heavy you've become, it feels suspiciously like you're sleeping against my back."

"Noooo. Then I'd be drooling. I drool when I sleep."


"I assure you, I'm a very delicate drooler."

He said something, but she didn't quite make it out. It wasn't until she almost fell that she realized he was asking her to move. He caught her with one arm, while holding a vial of potion in the other hand. She looked up into his glittering black eyes. "You are going to stay awake through this, aren't you?"

She gave him an admittedly sleepy smile. "Absolutely," she said. "I've been waiting too long for this to miss it." She plucked the potion out of his hand and drank it down in one go.

He smiled and swiped a bit of potion off her lip with his thumb. "Well, then. Shall we?"

He took her hand and led her back toward his private room.

"What time is it?" she asked.

"Almost one in the morning."

"Oh, no! We didn't make it in time!" She squeezed his hand. "I'm terribly sorry."

He pulled her close, and together they ducked under the tapestry. "I've decided it's my birthday until the sun comes up."

"Good idea." She smiled up at him, and he leaned down and kissed her again. The kiss turned carnal in a heartbeat. They began tugging at the buttons on each other's robes as he backed her toward the bed.

She caught the backs of her knees against the bed and fell onto it. He followed her down faster then he intended, based on his blurted, "Oof!"

He caught himself awkwardly and rolled to the side, trying to drag her legs up off the floor with clumsy grabs. They eventually ended up more or less on the bed with her skirts pulled up to her waist.

"What the hell are you wearing?" he said. His shocked laugh made her grin despite the fact that she should have been mortified.

She snorted and looked down at her bright-red, woolen long pants. "Not my pretty knickers." She tossed her skirt down to cover the offending undergarment and rolled toward him, feeling the bed roll with her. "I wanted to make sure you were okay. Dressing warm was more important than dressing for success."

He smirked and pulled her close. "In that case, I approve of your atrocious choice in lingerie, since you thought of me when you put them on."

She smiled. "I did, didn't I?" She pulled his face close and kissed him, then grimaced. "Is the bed moving to you?"

He nodded grimly. "The whole room is moving. It's making me nauseous."

"Me too." She cuddled up into his arms. "Let's just rest a minute and wait for it to stop."

"That sounds like a prudent idea. We have hours yet."

"They say the best things are worth the wait," she said with a yawn.

"Then you're going to be bloody spectacular, aren't you?"


He tightened his arms around her and rested his cheek against her hair.

They were asleep in no time at all.


"Gods, I hate her!" yelled Annette Parisi, slamming her book bag down. "Three feet of parchment by Tuesday? Who the hell does she think she is?"

"I would have thought she'd be nicer now," said Martin Sturgess.

"Why?" asked Dalia Martingale.

"Because she's getting it regularly. Isn't that supposed to make a woman more biddable?"

Dalia glared at him. "Where do you get these ideas? Just because she's married now doesn't mean her brain has turned to oatmeal."

"He has a point," Parisi said. "One would think she'd be less of a bitch now that she's married to Snape. Maybe they're not doing it at all. What if it's just a marriage of convenience? Maybe she's frigid!"

"No way. Not with the way he walks around smirking all the time. And Jones said he caught them cuddling when he snuck down to the kitchens last week. Snape cuddling, can you believe it? Uagh. It puts me off my food just thinking about it."

"Good," a voice intoned. "Then you won't mind having detention through your dinner hour. Will you, Mr. Sturgess?"

The three Gryffindors turned pale and spun around, staring in horror at Professor Snape smirking down at them.

"And Miss Parisi and Miss Martingale as well." He lifted his wand and sent a patronus flitting off through the library. "Mr. Filtch will be expecting you. I suggest the three of you get a move on."

He watched as they packed their things back up and trooped out of the library, before returning to where his wife was giggling behind the shelf. He wrapped his arms around her. "Now, where were we?" he said with a very different kind of smirk before he leaned down and kissed her again.

She slid her arms around him and smiled. "If I remember correctly, we were cuddling, of all things," she replied.

"Ah, yes. Indeed. Carry on."

She giggled again as he kissed her once more.

Ta da!

Did you spot the flaw? *gigglesnort*