Originally published at The Maple Bookshelf for TycheSong's August prompts. I chose the prompt, "A man's kiss is his signature" by Mae West.

I own nothing but the plot. The characters, with one notable exception, belong to JK Rowling.

Chapter 1: We Begin

Hermione Granger was, without a doubt, a bookworm. At any given time, she had at least three rather thick novels she was reading. If she was not reading fiction, she was reading technical manuals and science journals as part of her work in the Potions Department at the Ministry. If work carried over to home, then she read there. The only time she was without a book in her hands was while traveling back and forth to work, eating, or sleeping. Or while having sex; never while having sex, unless it was the Kama Sutra and only then for a quick glance to pick a position. Severus was very adamant about that.

Therefore, at 7.30 on the Tuesday morning our story starts, it was very unusual for her to be hurrying through the Ministry to her office with her face stuck in a book, having no clue as to what might be in front of her. She and Severus had gone to a jumble sale at the weekend, and Hermione had found an especially interesting biography of the Muggle movie star and sexpot, Mae West. Her life story was interesting ,and her truisms gritty and delivered with chutzpah. Hermione simply could not put the book down.

Peregrine Matterspitz was new to the Ministry. Fresh from Berlin's Magische Institute, he had been recruited into the Ministry through an exchange program to foster better communication among the magical communities throughout Europe. Unfortunately, he was the undersecretary to Percy Weasley and Percy, true to his toady ways, had Peregrine running all over the Ministry completing errands that even a house elf would find beneath their dignity.

Early on Tuesday morning, Peregrine was scurrying through the Potions Department, carrying a load of boxes in front of him around which he could not see. The hallway he was hurrying through happened to be the same one Hermione was inattentively walking down with her nose in a book. She was contemplating the quote, "A man's kiss is his signature", wondering just what it might mean. Her thought process screeched to a halt when she collided with a large pile of boxes, falling backwards and hitting her head quite hard and blacking out. The boxes that fell out of Peregrine's hands landed on top of her, burying her quite effectively.