In her mind, they had been having an affair for months. Yes, they were an odd pair. People would say he was too old for her or that she was too chatty for him. The only thing they really had in common was the odd turn each of their lives had taken all these years after the war.

He seemed to be lost in limbo - too young to retire, too old to start anything new. A war hero now? Much like the rest of the wizarding population, he had not planned on surviving the final battle. And what good was an ex-spy in a time of peace? He was still feared by many but also respected. However, he was never a charmer and no one was really interested in the snarky, old man who still made everyone's potions' careers a nightmare.

And her - a brilliant mind. She had flourished at the university. She could have worked for the Ministry, she could have done anything she wanted. A hero herself, people had followed her every move after the war. She married another hero (who turned into a Quidditch star) and had the brightest future ahead of her. Yet, she had returned to teach at Hogwarts. Away from her husband and the public eye.

Of course, none of that concerned her, at least not in the way of her illusion of their torrid affair. She imagined it was a slow aching burn that one day had been ignited. Perhaps they were in the middle of an argument over house points - yelling and throwing insults back and forth. Her chest would start heaving and his eyes would rake over her before neither of them could contain their lust any longer. Sometimes she imagined it had all started in the library. She was reaching for a book on the tallest shelf when suddenly he was there behind her, bodies pressed together as his long fingers helped her reach the volume that had simply been out of grasp.

In her mind, they had had sex in every room of the castle, including McGonagall's private quarters. She imagined him to be a wonderful lover - not one who was overly enthusiastic, but one that took his time and never left her unsatisfied. That nose, those hands, the velvet of his voice...

"Is that good, love? Does it feel good like this?" This was not the velvet voice she was imagining.
"Yes, yes - it's good, Ron." She could feel her fantasies slipping away.
"Well, I know how hard it is for you to, you know, so I just want to make sure." Yes, they were officially gone now.
"Okay, but I need you to stop talking about it and just do it, alright?" She tried to say this as sweet and gentle as possible, but even to her it sounded clipped and unhappy.
"Oh, okay love."

She lay on her back and looked up at her husband. He was really trying. However, Hermione couldn't help but think that after 5 years of marriage he shouldn't still have to try this hard. She knew marriages took work and for the last 5 years she had done nothing but try. She loved him. But perhaps love just wasn't enough. Hermione always prided herself on the fact that she had married her best friend. But throughout their entire relationship she always had this fear deep within her that perhaps their love was only that of best friends. That, maybe, they did not have the chemistry to be lovers. And at times like this, she felt even more as though this might be true.

"Are you close, love?" He was panting above her and she could tell he was having a rough go at it - trying to keep himself together. She closed her eyes and mentally prepared herself.

"Almost, don't stop!" She purred.

Afterward, they laid together side by side. She wanted to cry but felt that it would be inappropriate. She knew she should say something to him. The best solution to a problem was to talk about it. She needed to tell him her feelings.

"Ron..." she whispered. She rolled over to look at him. A soft snore rumbled his whole chest. Perhaps it was a sign that tonight would not be the night to talk. She scooted over to her side of the bed, trying to put distance between them. She spent the rest of the night imagining where Severus would take her on their first romantic holiday.