I don't own HP at all, although I wish I did. I hope you enjoy!

Chapter 26

Hermione was pleased that her classes for the day went relatively well. Her first years had been terrified of her at first, but after a few minutes of ice breakers, they became more comfortable.

She made sure that she lectured about the importance of safety in the laboratory and how important it was for students to be completely aware of what was going on around them.

One student didn't heed her warning, and accidentally set fire to his robes when he went to turn the heat up. He wasn't burnt, but Hermione made sure he was properly scolded before sending him off to Madame Pomfrey.

Every other class went swimmingly, except for her sixth and seventh years. They all gave her a difficult time because Hermione had known them when she was a student herself. She already knew Ginny was going to start problems.

None of them wanted to pay attention, causing Hermione to become frustrated. It wasn't until she removed fifty points from Gryffindor that people realized she was serious. And to add to injury, Hermione told them to brew Sleeping Draught during the rest of the class, knowing well that none of them would be able to finish on time.

The entire time, the Slytherins sat smugly on the side, watching as the Gryffindor's were berated. Hermione knew they were excited to see she wouldn't be playing favorites to her formal house.

It was sort of cruel, but she ignored it. She wanted to be respected as a teacher, and that was the only way to get her point across.

She smirked, knowing that in the back of her mind, Severus would be proud.

Shuffling her papers, Hermione stood. Glancing at the clock, she figured Severus would just be finishing dinner now. Sure enough, moments later, her office door swung open.

He had a scowl on his face until he saw her. "How was your day?" He asked, his voice still somewhat terse.

Hermione came over, planting a kiss on his lips. "It went good. You'll be pleased to know that I channeled you multiple times throughout the day."

At this, Severus cracked a smile. "Really? And what is it exactly that you did?"

Hermione grinned, pulling him into her arms. "Well," she said, battering her eyelashes at him, "Firstly, I channeled you as I did my beginning speech, scowls and all, and then, when a student failed to listen and burned himself, I scolded him rather well. And then, the icing on the cake, my sixth and seventh years weren't taking me seriously, so I took fifty points from Gryffindor, then assigned a potion I knew they wouldn't complete in the time remaining, so I got to give them all zeros for the day."

Severus was fully grinning now. He pulled her in for a deep kiss, his grip on her tightening. "Brilliant," he whispered, before capturing her lips once more.

Hermione chuckled, pulling herself from his arms. "I had no idea my teaching methods would turn you on Severus," she said jokingly.

Severus chuckled. "Well Hermione, the fact is, the sound of you showing those dunderheads whose boss does turn me on. I'd love to sit in and watch you teach a lesson," he said, giving her another kiss.

Hermione arched her eyebrow. "Only one teacher has ever done that… and she wasn't much of a teacher."

Severus was quiet, remembering the Umbridge fool. He then realized that Hermione didn't read the Daily Prophet, so she wouldn't know. "You'll be happy to know that Dolores Umbridge has been sentenced to 10 years in Azkaban."

Hermione arched her eyebrow, a huge grin spreading out on her face. "Really? Brilliant."

Severus laughed. "I must say, I was rather impressed with your skills that year. Leading her into the forest like that, it was very quick thinking."

Hermione smiled. "So I did manage to impress you when I was a student?"

Severus scowled. "Of course you did, but I wasn't bloody going to tell you so. If you had been a Slytherin, I would have awarded you points constantly."

Hermione gave him a look. "You are so prejudice against other houses!"

He shrugged. "I won't deny it. But Hermione, you were a brilliant student. Taking on a troll with your dunderhead friends, I know you're the only reason Potter made it to the Philosopher's Stone. Second year, you brewed polyjuice potion! I was incredibly impressed, seeing as my N.E.W.T. students couldn't even do that. Your third year, you took so many classes, don't give me that look, I know you had the time turner, and I know you saved Hagrid's beast and Sirius. Your fourth year you helped Potter with the tournament, without you, once again, he would have failed. Your fifth year, you fought at the Ministry, against Death Eaters, helped Potter with Occlumency, and did brilliantly on your O.W.L.S. Sixth year, you helped Potter once more keep a level head, and fought in a battle once more. I know you defended me against him even then, even after what I had done. And last year, well, I don't know all the details, but I know that you fought brilliantly and bravely, and without your brains, Potter wouldn't have succeeded. Hermione," he took her hands. "I may have never verbally supported you, but I know you are a brilliant witch, capable of so much."

Hermione smiled meekly, throwing her arms around him. "All I ever wanted was your approval. All my other teachers encouraged me, but you just shot me down constantly, and I've always wanted to prove you wrong, that I was smarter than just memorizing things."

He kissed her lightly. "Yes Hermione, I'm proud of you. I know you're smart. You've proved it time and time again."

"I suppose," she batted her eyelashes as him. "How was your day?"

The scowl returned. "Fine," he said curtly.

Hermione gave him a look. "Tell me Severus, you're obviously upset about something."

Hermione always knew when something was bothering him. He supposed that was due to the fact they were bonded. "I just really hate teaching sometimes, and today was one of those days. Dunderheads, the whole load of them. Half of them are so frightened of me, and the other half just hate me."

She patted his arm comfortingly. "I'm sure as the year goes on, things will get better. Not everyone knows you're the reason the War was won. Give them some time, they'll come around. If not, then oh well. You're a hero Severus, and I know a great deal of people that respect and love you because of that. Don't let a bunch of children get you down."

Severus hugged her tightly. He was never one for physical touches until he had met her. Hermione had changed his life, in so many ways. "I love you," he whispered.

Hermione grinned, glancing at the clock. "Come on, I'm sure Harry's here by now." Grabbing his hand, the two of them made their way towards the Headmaster's office.