Author's Notes:

This story is set post DH and is of course AU as our favourite Slytherin is alive and well. Those who died in the books remain dead, and there will be some OOC, but you will still recognise many of the traits that endear our protagonists to us.

Rated M for naughtiness, language and adult themes handled in an adult way, plus some dark themes and violence.

Please review as I would love to hear your thoughts.

And I own nothing. I thank the great JKR for providing such wonderful muses for my imagination.


A war hero. "The Dark Saviour." Was that genuinely how they thought of him? He very much doubted it.

Severus Snape sat at his desk reading the latest scandalous article about himself in The Daily Prophet. He skimmed the text to find nothing but inaccuracies, lies and holes. The only things that were correct was his name, the fact that he had been cleared of all Ministry charges, and that he was still Headmaster at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Yet another article about The Golden Trio caught his eye. The media's portrayal of their parts in the war angered him. He didn't care about Harry Potter. He'd discharged his duty to Lily and her son. He didn't care about Ronald Weasley, who simply followed like a sheep, but was lauded alongside Potter. No, he didn't care about those two at all. What he did care about, but for the life of him didn't know why, was the treatment of the brains behind Potter and Weasley. That beautiful, intelligent, sensual—

Oh gods, here I go again. Why do I keep thinking about her like that?

Severus tried to snap himself out of this frankly annoying internal monologue, which put Hermione Granger either on a pedestal or in his bed—metaphorically speaking, of course.

For once, he didn't understand his own mind. He hadn't seen Miss Granger since his trial ended nearly three months ago, and before that she was under his protection both as a member of The Order and her professor. He had seen her as nothing more than an annoying student with beautiful curls and silky―

Stop it! She's an insufferable know-it-all, and you never liked her.

But something had changed―and deep down, he knew it. He didn't know how or why, but now when he thought about her, he was on the verge of falling prostrate at her feet and declaring his undying devotion.

He leant forward in his chair, rested his elbows on the desk, and placed his head in his hands. He had to stop thinking about her like this; but although his thoughts were demonising him, he was angry that no one seemed to care about Hermione's role in the war. No one seemed to care that it was her resourcefulness and her talents that had kept Harry Potter on the right track to defeat Voldemort.

According to the papers, Severus Snape was brought back from the dead by the skills of the healers at St Mungo's, but in truth it was Hermione. She'd brought him back from the edge of oblivion–or certainly an eternity in hell–by her quick thinking and her kiss. Of course, it wasn't a romantic kiss. Why would she kiss him willingly? She just needed to ensure that she'd administered one of the potions correctly, so she emptied the vial into her mouth and placed it over his. It was one of her own design, which just shows how incredible that brain of hers actually is.

Oh, shut the fuck up!

As he had lain in the Shrieking Shack, the combination of the slit in his throat and Nagini's venom had damaged and paralysed his vocal cords. After telling Potter to take his memories, Severus had felt his voice leave him. Suddenly, the Granger girl was knelt beside him. All he could do was look deep into her beautiful brown eyes and pray to whatever deity who may be listening that she understood what his black orbs were trying to convey.

As their eyes burned into each other, he tried to thank her for her kindness, warmth and hope. But most importantly, he begged for her trust and forgiveness. He begged that the truth be told; he begged her to stay with him in case these were his last moments.

The intensity of their gaze was such that most observers would have turned away for fear of intruding on such a private moment. And then, after a few moments, he was sure Miss Granger understood him because she smiled and seemed to glow―a sure sign he was dying, he thought―and gently, soothingly she touched his cheek before kissing it softly.

Her voice ghosted over him. "You're not the man they all think you are, and I will defend you to the very end."

A strange, but welcome sentiment, he thought, but that was the last thought he had before there was nothing but a warm, blissful, dreamless sleep which lasted for three weeks.

In those three weeks, Severus recovered remarkably quickly, according to his healers. They were concerned that his temperature was slightly raised, as it was still to this day. The increase wasn't uncomfortable. In fact, despite his lack of inexperience in the matter, he felt as if he were being embraced. And with no signs of infection, he could be detained at St Mungo's no longer, so he was released and returned to Spinners End under house arrest.

His speedy recovery, however, meant that his trial was called for immediately. He stood there in front of the Wizengamot, listening to Order members defend him before all of his memories―not just those he gave to Harry Potter―were brought out before the court.

They had been carefully sorted so that only relevant memories pertaining to the war and his spying activities were presented as evidence. The fact that someone had been rifling through all of them in order to remove the extraneous ones made him feel even more violated than the probing questions he was being asked.

He was angry and wondered who they'd assigned to this task, but his question was quickly answered as his curly-haired saviour stood before the court. She stated that she had witnessed his war memories and could attest that his actions were forced upon him. She called him an honourable man. She spoke of how he had suffered to ensure the freedom of the wizarding world, and how his loyalty had preserved Harry, Ron and herself in order that they could prepare to face―and destroy―Voldemort.

Looking straight into his eyes, Miss Granger declared, "I would have rather died in that war if I thought that this man would be punished for being the best and bravest spy we could have hoped for. We may not have known about the tortures he endured or the sacrifices he made, but we owe this man our eternal gratitude. He should be lauded and exonerated, and, until my dying breath, I will fight to ensure that he is acquitted and returned to his rightful place as Headmaster at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry."

The courtroom and public gallery was in an uproar after her passionate defence, but the ceiling could have collapsed and Severus wouldn't have noticed. To the rest of the room, he appeared almost impervious to what was going on. Only the keenest observers would have seen the fire that burned deep in his eyes.

He was enraptured by her, but it wasn't only because she was a remarkably attractive young woman. It wasn't even that she had defended him―although that would be enough to make any man falter―but it was something else. Something inside her had him captivated. As she stared back, he felt his breath being forced from him.

The Daily Prophet's reporters scribbled frantically to capture her words. She stepped down from the stand and walked past him as camera flashes fired to capture the moment where she stood before him. But those flashes hid an almost imperceptible glow that occurred as her fingers gently brushed his hand. A look of recognition passed between them without a word being spoken. It was the same burning, searching look that they'd shared on the day she'd saved his life. And then she was gone without looking back, and certainly without a following look from him.

But as the weeks drew on, Severus began thinking about Miss Granger more and more, and his thoughts were becoming more and more inappropriate. He felt lost. He felt tormented, and it wasn't getting any easier. He had to maintain his distance for her sake, but he needed news of her, and not just the drivel the Prophet spewed out. Thankfully, Professor Minerva McGonagall, who was returning as Deputy Headmistress, informed him that she had been corresponding with Miss Granger and that she was well and wanted to return to Hogwarts to complete her education.

The War Pupils―those unable to complete their OWLS and NEWTS due to the war―were given the opportunity to return and study. In addition to Miss Granger, others―such as Harry Potter, Draco Malfoy, Neville Longbottom, Pansy Parkinson and Blaise Zabini―wanted to return as well. He could understand why some chose not to come back. Many had simply had enough of Hogwarts, and, if the truth were known, not all the parents were thrilled that Headmaster Snape was back at the helm.

The Board of Governors had become the bane of his life. He worked closely with them over the rebuilding of the school, and they approved his plans to make the school as safe as possible for the start of the new school year. Regrettably, the decision was made that the new school year would be put back to September 28th as the castle seemed to be refusing to cooperate.

If the Board's interference had stayed within the confines of rebuilding the school, the headmaster would have been content. But they requested that the position of Senior Head Girl and Boy be created for Hermione Granger and Harry Potter, whilst a seventh year girl and boy from each house, including the likes of Ginevra Weasley and Luna Lovegood, were made Head Girls and Boys.

Sick of all the unwanted attention he was receiving, Harry turned down this offer, and Draco Malfoy was named as his replacement. His father, newly reinstated Head of the Board of Governors, Lucius Malfoy, was delighted at this development.

Of course, Lucius was Severus Snape's best friend, but even he was shocked when it was revealed that Snape was, in fact, one of the richest wizards in the country. The Snape Estates―or rather the Prince Estates which were thought to be penniless―had been kept secret for years, but much to Severus' chagrin, all the details were dragged up during his trial.

Another thing that surprised Lucius was that following his brief second stay at Azkaban and renouncement of Voldemort, he was becoming particularly fond of Miss Hermione Granger. Of course, he tried to convince himself that his intentions were entirely honourable, and that his fondness grew from her new-found friendship with Draco and her recent visits to Malfoy Manor.

Draco had visited Grimmauld Place not long after the final battle to thank Hermione for helping in his godfather's defence. After a few uncomfortable hours, they began talking, and Draco's usual bluster and arrogance dissolved as he witnessed the most powerful witch of the age talk so passionately about Severus Snape. He was one of the few who truly knew Severus away from all the hell that the war had brought about, and finding someone else to share this knowledge with was comforting.

Hermione soon realised the pressure Draco had been under throughout his school days and became his confidante. At first, she had found it difficult to go to Malfoy Manor given her suffering at the hands of Bellatrix, but soon it became the destination of choice after shopping trips or nights out at the cinema with Draco. Yes, Draco Malfoy had developed a taste for Muggle cinema.

Through Hermione, even Harry had learnt to tolerate Draco. He wouldn't classify them as friends, but he didn't want to hex him on sight any more.

And of course there was Ron Weasley, the love of Hermione's life. He was one of those who had decided not to return to complete his studies. He was more interested in pursuing his Quidditch career, which would have been fine, but Hermione hardly ever saw him. And when he asked her to marry him, after seeing each other for all of three weeks, she asked him to ask her again in a year's time.

To add to Severus' woes, he realised that he needed new Defence Against the Dark Arts and Potions professors. The Board again supplied the solution: because Harry Potter had turned down the role of Senior Head Boy, it was deemed that he should take his NEWTs early―or just be awarded them for being a war hero―and become the new Defence professor. They also had plans to bring Hermione Granger back into the Hogwarts fold. Not only did they want her to be Senior Head Girl, but they wanted her to become a Potions apprentice under Horace Slughorn whilst studying for her NEWTs, and then become the Potions Professor at the end of the academic year.

The headmaster knew he was being backed into a corner, but he needed the Board's support to push through all his new ideas for the school. He soon discovered that the appointment of Potter was non-negotiable, but informed them that he was against Hermione Granger becoming Slughorn's apprentice. Not that he didn't think her capable. Quite the opposite, but as far as he was concerned, Slughorn―who was only staying on until an apprentice was fully trained―wasn't up to the task of training her. In fact, Hermione felt the same. She wanted to be trained by the best, and that meant one person and one person alone.

She'd discussed this with Lucius, who interceded on her behalf to persuade the headmaster to come out of teaching retirement to train Hermione himself. At first, Severus resisted, but after finally running out of excuses, he reluctantly offered her the apprenticeship. He was, however, still waiting to hear whether Miss Granger had decided to accept either position.

Severus stood in front of the mirror in his office. The scar left by Nagini's attack was so sensitive that, for the first time in twenty years, he'd had to modify how he dressed. He could no longer button up the collars on his dress shirts, so he started to wear triple-button collared shirts to avoid irritation. And with the change in collar came a change to his cravat style. But that wasn't all that changed. His change in dress somehow left him feeling more relaxed, and he noticed that his staff seemed to be approaching him without their usual trepidation.

As far as he was concerned, he hadn't modified his behaviour a great deal. He was still sarcastic and snide. He was still measured and seemingly unflappable. He still stalked the halls and corridors with an air of superiority. And as for his commanding voice...well, thankfully his voice had regained its mellifluous yet dark timbre. It still intimidated and beguiled, but no longer instilled a sense of dread. He'd even been told that he'd developed a sense of humour, although he argued he'd always had one. He even found himself smiling occasionally, but that was usually when his thoughts turned to the person he was most desperate not to think about.

He felt younger. He looked younger. His hair was no longer greasy, and although his skin was still pale, it was no longer sallow. He was only thirty-eight, but could easily have passed for fifty-eight in recent years. Yet he'd always stayed fit. He couldn't have survived the numerous tortures he'd had to endure if he'd been weak. He knew that over the years, he'd been slowly losing weight. He'd survived for far too long on all manner of potions to get him through the day to ever enjoy eating―or life, for that matter. Now, however, he could eat more, train harder, and consequently he'd gained weight. And he had to admit that generally he liked what he saw in the mirror―if only he could do something about the nose.

It was just a shame, he mused that there was no one in his life to share this new, healthy body with. After all, Lily was dead and his glorious Gryffindor―

Severus shut up. She's a student, and you will keep your handsand everything elseto yourself. Besides, she wouldn't be interested in you.

As he sat back down at his desk and skilfully tossed the copy of the Prophet into the fire. He let out a long plaintive sigh convinced that his life was always destined to be tormented. Admittedly, he no longer feared for his life, and he no longer had two masters; but between the Ministry, the Board of Governors, everyone associated with the School, and a particular young lady, he felt as if he would never be his own man. And that thought thoroughly depressed him.

He was snapped out of his reverie by the arrival of Draco's owl. He took the envelope, expecting to see his godson's handwriting, but his heart nearly stopped upon recognising the script.

Dear Headmaster,

Thank you for your invitation to become Senior Head Girl and the Potions apprentice under your tutelage.

I am extremely honoured and would be delighted to accept both positions.

I hope this letter finds you well, and I look forward to seeing you at the start of term.

YOURS sincerely,

Hermione Granger.

She'd emphasised the yours by using capital letters. He was puzzled, but found himself stroking his thumb across her name. He needed to have a word with himself tonight―in the form of a bottle of Ogden's finest―about this worryingly juvenile behaviour of his.

He picked up his quill, Summoned a piece of parchment and responded immediately.

Dear Miss Granger,

Thank you for your letter. I am delighted that you have chosen to accept both positions.

I would be honoured if you would join me for afternoon tea on the day of The Sorting Ceremony to discuss your duties as Senior Head Girl and the details of your apprenticeship.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to send an owl.

Your faithful servant,

Severus Snape,


Before he had time to tinker with the wording, he called his owl, Obsidian, and sent him on his way.

"And you can stop smirking, you old bat," Severus drawled, looking in the direction of Albus Dumbledore's portrait.

"My dear boy, whatever is the matter?" Albus enquired.

"I wish I knew."

Snape stood and began pacing the office.

"Ever since Miss Granger saved me, I have felt attracted to her. But, not just in a 'oh, she's suddenly grown up and what I'm looking at is very pleasant' way. I want to protect her and―"

His voice trailed off as he felt himself responding in the trouser department.

"You have thoughts of a more pleasurable nature towards her, don't you?" Albus asked, his eyes twinkling.

"I would say of an inappropriate nature, but, yes, they would be very...oh gods, forgive me!" Severus growled as he sat down to hide his discomfort.

"Yes, I am," he continued, "and I shouldn't be. She's going to be my apprentice; she's Senior Head Girl. I can't just avoid her. What am I going to do?!"

Dumbledore observed Severus carefully, noticing the conflict within him. "Well, she is very attractive and incredibly bright," the former headmaster offered. "She has truly bloomed. Not to mention the fact that she saved your life. And, of course, she is of age. In fact, due to a certain level of recklessness on my part in her third year, where I gave her a time turner―"

Severus looked up at him in shock.

"I know, I know, dear boy, but this means that she is, in fact, twenty. Surely that puts a different complexion on things?"

Severus snorted, staring into space as he tried not to assimilate the information he'd just been given.

Dumbledore narrowed his eyes before asking gently, "Do you wish to act upon these feelings, Severus? Has Miss Granger reciprocated in any way?"

Severus stood up again and resumed pacing the office.

"The simple answer is, I don't know," admitted dejectedly. "I haven't seen her since my trial, and what started as brief musings about her have begun to consume my waking thoughts. I've just received her acceptance letter, and I don't know what to think. She signed off the letter with 'Yours Sincerely,' except the yours was in capital letters. Why would she do that? Surely she cannot mean that she is mine, and I am a fool for even considering that is what she meant. Besides, she's with the Weasley boy, isn't she?"

Dumbledore smiled, realising that there was some kind of connection between the two of them, and answered Severus' question. "I believe that is still correct. However, I would like to inform Minerva of the situation and conduct an investigation into your predicament if you will permit me. Severus, it seems to me that your thoughts―your feelings―towards Miss Granger are driven rather than developed. I'm not suggesting that these feelings aren't real, but I would like to speak to both yourself and Miss Granger about the night which, thankfully, brought you back to the living world. Perhaps you could invite her for tea?"

"I've already invited her for afternoon tea before the Sorting Ceremony. I think if I―" Severus trailed off, noticing Dumbledore had raised his hand to silence him.

"My dear boy, if you don't see her soon, I believe that you will go out of your mind. And if my summation is correct, the longer you leave it―when you do see her―you will be so out of control that you'll end up a tangled, but happy, mess either on the very floor where you are annoyingly pacing or over your desk. No, Severus, the sooner we solve the mystery of your connection, the sooner you can pursue your relationship at a more dignified pace."

Dumbledore's eyes twinkled. He was rather enjoying the look of surprise on the headmaster's face.

"You can't be serious?" Severus snarled angrily. "I will summon all the strength I have to keep my feelings away from her." But then with an uncharacteristically hope-filled voice, he asked, "Do you think we have a future?"

He suddenly had to sit down. The prospect―no matter how outrageous― of having Hermione Granger in his life was too much, and once again he felt a familiar twitching from inside his trousers.

"Oh yes. We've all thought so for years."

And with that Dumbledore moved out of view, and all Severus could hear was the faint sound of his laughter.

The raven-haired wizard paused for a moment, and then quickly began scribbling a note.

Dear Hermione,

Further to my previous letter, Professor Dumbledore has expressed a desire to be present for afternoon tea with you and I at your earliest convenience.

Please advise which afternoon suits you best and I will make the necessary arrangements.

Your humble servant,

Severus Snape

After summoning one of the resident owls and sending it on its way, Severus closed his eyes. He didn't mean to fall asleep, but he'd relaxed a little too much in the knowledge that he might see Miss Granger sooner rather than later.

Oh Sev, don't stop. Oh, please I want to come. Let me suck your fingers. Severus...oh gods...oh...oh...I'm so close...oh, oh, Sev―

His eyes snapped open, his brow lightly covered in sweat. He wasn't dreaming about having sex with her. That was too real; she was in his head.

AN/2 Hope you enjoyed. Please review. Reviews make me very happy.

AN/3 I am constantly updating and refining this story. This chapter was updated on 13/11/13. Please see my profile for explanations