Disclaimer: I do not, of course, in any way, shape, or form own Harry Potter.

Author's Note: Dedicated to I M Sterling for being awesome, and letting me steal the title and do my take on the idea. (See, this is what happens when people idea bounce. Also, yes, Sterling, you will end up owing me homemade candy. You know why.) Sorry, I got off topic.

Author's Note 2: Smut.

Affectionately High

There were downsides to being a hero. There were downsides to being a pariah. And, then, there were the downsides to being both. And "both" applied to the thin, hook-nosed man who pressed his way between Ministry workers, cravat neatly tied between frown and frock coat.

Severus Snape was tired of being stalked by fans and those who saw him as a liar and a turncoat out for his blood. (If he were perfectly honest, he preferred the violent ones – hexing an attacker wasn't as frowned upon.) He was sick of being dragged into the ministry as an "authority" on the death eater trials, but dosed irregularly with Veritaserum for "the sake of fairness".

He was stalked to the point that he'd given in and taken up on Potter's offer of residing at Grimmauld, along with the Weasley boy and Hermione.

"Ah, Severus," said Kingsley as he strode through the door. "Right on time, as usual. Have a seat, we'll get started."

No Veritaserum today, then, Severus thought to himself. He started his mental clock. He hated being dosed with the stuff – he'd tell the truth regardless of a potion – so he'd taken to drinking the antidote before entering the building.

Shame, really, about the side effects of the antidote when there was no Veritaserum in one's system.

Thank Merlin the meeting had ended when it did. He'd been starting to lose focus, thanks to the little pinpoints of light dancing about the room. Kingsley, certainly, had been looking at him oddly, but he'd been the one with a caterpillar on his robes, not Severus. Severus's robes were always immaculate, thank you very much. Always properly buttoned, and, Merlin, they were hot.

Suppressing the urge to remove layers, he figured he'd be best served taking the tube back to Grimmauld. If he was already to that point in the reaction, he really shouldn't be Apparating. And what an tawdry tattoo on the Muggle next to him! What was it, a rabbit? On one's lower back? How low-class.

He wondered if the world would ever stop swaying. He'd made it to the park between the tube station and Grimmauld, and was currently lying on a bench. If he closed his eyes, he could still feel the sway of the car under his feet, and Merlin, it was hot. And he was hungry.

Lurching to his feet, Severus began to pull free his cravat. It was late enough that Potter and his cohort would be down at a pub, and Hermione would be in bed. He wondered if she wore a virginal white nightgown, or comfortable pajamas. Maybe something sexy – No!

He clamped down on his wayward thoughts. This was why he hated the reaction to the antidote. Everything he locked away wanted to come to the surface. Maybe she slept naked.

Damn it.

Severus fumbled briefly with the front door, then staggered down the hall to the kitchen. He nearly bumped into Mrs. Black; that would never do, to wake Hermione... but then, perhaps she'd investigate, and he'd find out what kind of -


Sweet Merlin's saggy eyebrows, he was starving.

The problem with being a hero was that women threw themselves at you. Which was all well and good if one had the inclination to bed every witch in one's path (Weasley), but terrible if one was committed to one witch (Potter), and a royal pain in the arse if one was touted as being 'dark and brooding'. Severus's "fans" wanted to "teach him how to love" and "mend his broken heart".

His heart was just fine. It just preferred to dwell on Hermione Granger.

It had been after much introspection that he'd realised that little unwelcome tidbit, a few months after the Veritaserum-induced questioning had begun. In fact, he'd almost blurted that to her face one of the evenings that the antidote had run out before the serum itself.

That little incident prompted him to up the dose of the antidote. He was not going to walk up to Hermione Granger and announce he was in love with her, and, please, would she allow him to whisk him to his dark, lonely bedroom on the third floor and fuck her into the mattress?

He tripped over a chair that had been left out, and sprawled on the floor against the counter. Somehow, he'd untied one of his dragon-hide boots, and the curve of the laces struck him as funny. He smiled. Then, a giggle escaped. A giggle became a chortle, and the chortle became a full-on laugh.

Figuring he probably sounded a bit mad, he stifled his laughs, tried to stand up, and failed. He giggled again. Really. Him, Professor Severus Snape, sitting on the floor – goodness, that was an awful lot of s's.

"Sev-er-us Ssssssnape," he said. Yes, lots of s's. No wonder the Dark Lord had liked him so much. He'd gotten to hiss without looking entirely pretentious. Severus giggled again and attempted to stand again, this time with more success.

Kreacher had clearly stocked the larder recently, and soon, Severus had a plate that was piled precariously high. He'd pilfered Potter's crisps, and Weasley's "hidden" stock of sweets from his mother. And for some reason, the entire jar pickles.

Severus couldn't remember ever having been this hungry. Not as a child, not upon his release from Azkaban, not in the hospital where he'd refused to eat the filth they called food. He picked the seeds from the pickle spears with the sort of efficiency he used with Potions ingredients.

He wondered how they would taste dipped in chocolate.

He was halfway through the bottle of elf-made wine Lucius had given him last year when he heard footsteps in the hall. Making an inelegant dash into the pantry, he clutched the bottle to his chest.

"Hello?" Hermione's voice was sweet. He wanted to see her, but he knew better in this state. Why, oh why, had he upped the dosage so much?

"What a mess!" There was a clatter as dishes flew into the sink to begin cleansing themselves. "Who's here? Show yourself!"

Severus nearly jumped as something brushed his leg, and he looked down to see the witch's familiar gazing up at him with a rather Cheshire smile. Severus frowned at the menace, just as Hermione pulled the door open.

"Professor?" She frowned at him. "Why are you in the pantry?"

Don't say anything.

"Drinking?" he offered. Hermione narrowed her eyes at him.

"And the table?"

"I'm starving!" He said defensively.

Hermione's look changed to concern. "Sir, are you...high?"

He sniffed. "Certainly not. I am having a reaction to a slight overdose of a potion, is all."

"An overdose." She didn't look at all convinced.

"As I said, Her-Miss Granger." Merlin, it was hard to feel dignified when he wanted to bend his knee and woo her, even as he eyed the bag of crisps on the table.


She was "so lovely..."

"What's lovely?"

Damn it.

Just then, he realised her shirt was sporting a winking chess piece, and he couldn't help it. He giggled.

"So, you think I'm pretty." Her voice was cautious. They were halfway up the stairs to the second floor, and he was leaning on her heavily. She was fairly certain he'd said it at least 5 times.

Somewhere between finished the crisps, wine, and being talked out of the kitchen, his tongue had loosened far too much, and now he couldn't stop.

"Eminently lovely. You're absolutely brilliant, you know, and I admit, it's half the charm alone."

Hermione blushed faintly. It was rare that men – real men, men with brains that weren't dwelling at their waistline – gave her such compliments. It was rarer still to hear them from men she found devastatingly attractive. Well, the man.

"You're brilliant, too," she blurted suddenly. "And handsome, sir."

He flushed and leaned on her more. She stumbled into the railing as his nose nuzzled her neck, making her knees quiver far too easily.

"Severus," he said in a low voice. "You may call me Severus, Miss Granger."

"Hermione," she managed to offer, mouth dry, just as they reached the landing.

"Hermione," he murmured, feeling rather tired. "Such a lovely name, for such a lovely young woman...and she'll never want me, never love me, did you know that? I'll just pine for her – you won't tell her, will you? She'd mock me."

Tears stung her eyes. He didn't think she'd -?

"Are you blind?" she asked suddenly. Her chest felt rather tight. Continuing to speak to him about this, especially when he was clearly not himself, was dangerous territory. Come the morning, he may choose to revile her.

His head lolled back. "Indeed, I am not. My vision is perfect."

"No, I mean, for someone who's so observant you're bloody blind as a bat – no offense, sir – when it's someone who's making eyes at you!" Hermione snapped. "I've done what I can to hide it, yes, I didn't want you to mock me, but I've loved you, wanted you, desired you, for months!"

Severus reared back as if slapped and she pulled on his arm to keep him from plummeting down the stairs.

Just as suddenly, he grabbed her arms and pushed her against the wall, even as the wallpaper seemed to grow and shrink through his haze. "Do you mean it, Hermione?"

She nodded, heart in her throat. "Yes, Severus, I do."

His eyes went from wide and wild to half-lidded, and his tongue darted out. "May I kiss you, please? I've wanted to for so long..."

Hermione nodded and leaned forward to meet his lips. They were thin, and warm, and slightly sticky from the wine, but she really couldn't bring herself to care at the moment. She'd wanted to kiss him for months. She'd lain in her bed, wishing she had the nerve to sneak up to his room and confess her feelings, or wishing he'd steal into her room in the night and take her... needless to say, she'd done a bit more than wishing to thoughts of him. She made a noise of disappointment when he pulled away, and she opened her eyes to see his cheeks pinked.

"So lovely, you're so beautiful, so brilliant, such a vibrant young woman... your kiss is as perfect as I've dreamed..." he pulled her against his body and kissed her once more, twice more...

Severus was in heaven and hell. Her lips were soft and sweet against his, and he wanted to kiss her deeper and savor her at the same time. He wanted her lips on his flesh, around his cock, wanted them shaping his name, wanted them to mouth words of love and affection in front of the world... Hermione tilted her head slightly, opening her mouth to his, and he groaned again. He delved into her mouth with his tongue. She tasted divine, and he buried the long fingers of one hand in her curls.

She was whimpering into his mouth, clutching at the rumpled frock coat. He was delicious (albeit a bit pickly) and he was moaning into the kiss; the rumbles of it made her knickers almost shamefully wet. She had to be dreaming, to have him so, well, not himself, and so affectionate...and neither of the boys were home... oh, please let this be true... she'd fall willingly into bed with him, or ask him to take her against the wall, anything, even if it was just for tonight (she'd prefer forever)...

Panting a little, he pulled away. His eyes searched her face. "Tell me to stop, Hermione..."

"No, no, no, don't stop, Severus, please, I've wanted you for so long." Her eyes were glazed, mouth plump and tempting. "Leave me, take me to bed, I don't care, just please don't hate me in the morning..."

He groaned and grasped her hand, pulling her up the stairs to his room, stumbling slightly. He closed the door behind them.

"Don't let me push you away tomorrow," he told her urgently, unbuttoning his coat and bending to kiss her again. "I do care for you, I love you, I'd spend my life adoring you, but I am not affectionate, Hermione..."

"Yes, you are," she contradicted between kisses. "It's just in a quiet way... or when you're high."

"And slightly drunk," he added honestly. "But it doesn't change that you are beautiful, so clever, and I would court you if I could."

He tilted her chin towards him and kissed the corner of her mouth. "Sweet Hermione, lovely, beautiful Hermione...I love you."

"I love you, too," Hermione said. "This feels so sudden...I've loved you for months, and now I'm calling you by your name, and in your room..."

"It is," he whispered, pushing aside her curls nuzzling her neck above the line of her tee shirt. "Do you mind terribly? I've longed for you – avoided you when I'm like this so you wouldn't find out that someone as ugly as me wanted you...I've desired you for months. I want to make you mine, to keep you..."

"Keep me?" Her head fell to one side, and she brought a hand up to twine in the strands of dark hair.

"Oh, yes. I want to keep you, witch." He bit lightly at her neck and she inhaled sharply. "Forever and always, have you by my side..."

"But you don't know me that well..."

"Shh, Hermione, I've watched you for years. Even before I loved you, before I wanted you. I know what kind of person you are." He kissed her neck, his hands beginning to push her shirt up, bunching it in his fists.

"Your strengths," he kissed her ear, "your weaknesses," he kissed her cheek, "everything." He swiftly kissed her lips and tugged her shirt up and over her head. "As you know mine."

"I do," she breathed, marveling that it was true. At the same time, she was wishing she hadn't worn a bra to bed, but she hadn't wanted to bump into anyone with her breasts dangling.

White. Her bra was white. So simple, so sexy. He touched the front clasp with a single finger, pressing down to see her breasts bounce. He giggled softly. "So lovely, Hermione... please tell me you've done this before..."

She nodded, moving his hand from her bra to unbutton his shirt, pushing it and the frock coat off his shoulders to the floor. "You're beautiful, Severus..."

Her voice was a mere whisper, but she meant it. He was beautiful to her. Lean, not overly-muscled. Thin, but not scrawny. His belly was soft, his chest firm and strong, like his arms. And he had lovely chest hair – she'd hated the fact that Ron'd had a pale, naked, freckled chest – just the right amount, dark and crisp, and, oh, the line down his belly to his trousers was mouth-wateringly lovely.

Oh yes, he was pale. And scarred. And the Dark Mark was a faded silvery-grey on his arm... but all of that paled in comparison to the knowledge that he wanted her. He really wanted her. He was here, he loved her back. No more hiding how she felt, no more shyness. She wanted him, too.

"If you say so." His voice was low, like silk, and he caressed her arms gently. "What type of lover do you prefer, Hermione?"

The word "lover", in his voice, was sex. She flushed, and he marveled at the spread of pink across her chest. "I – I don't have that much experience, Severus."

"And yet, you've thought about me, like this, with you." He kissed her again, sliding his tongue into her mouth briefly, rubbing his lips gently against hers, sweetly, like his words of love. He pulled away to regard her once more, nostrils flaring. "Or perhaps, Hermione, it was like this?"

He plunged a hand into her curls and pressed his mouth to hers again, pulling her against his lean body and hard cock. He devoured her mouth. He didn't taste her – he feasted. He fucked her mouth with his tongue and she moaned – moaned – for him. It was hard, almost brutal but she still felt treasured, desired. He pulled back, eyes glittering, and she clung to his neck, panting.

"Both, Severus, I've wanted both." She pressed herself against him again, kissing him passionately. This was Severus Snape – any doubts she'd had about this, with him clearly not in charge of his full faculties, vanished. The man had had iron control as long as she'd known him. If he didn't mean this, didn't want this, she wouldn't be here, no matter how high or drunk he was.

He made a sound in the back of his throat as she kissed him, and guided her backwards towards the bed. Pulling away from her with effort, he managed, "Last chance."

Hermione's answer was to push her pajama bottoms over her hips, and he groaned at the sight of her knickers, so much bare, luscious flesh... "Don't you dare stop!"

"I won't..." he pushed his own trousers and pants down. "Off."

Hermione wrestled out of both bra and knickers, entranced by the bobbing cock in from of her. They kissed again, naked, skin to skin, hot and smooth and soft and firm, and somehow they ended up on his bed, entwined, kisses moving from sweet to passionate and back again.

He wanted to kiss her, to fuck her, to marry her, anything, everything, all at once. She was smooth, a few marks of her own – the scar on her chest he'd known about, the same with the one on her neck and the ones on her arm – but there was one clearly from a cat's claws, here, one perhaps a skinned knee, and this small pale one on her cheek, only seen when she was so flushed. She was imperfect, and that made her perfect. She had a woman's body, but not heavy. Slim, but not slender. She was normal. Human. Her breasts were lovely, just right for her frame, not small, not large. Just Hermione. Her hair was wild and threatening to devour both of his pillows, but that was alright, too. It was Hermione and she was here and she was willing and she loved him back, and she hadn't abandoned him in the kitchen, or spurned him...

He skimmed a hand down to her breasts cupping one, thumbing the nipple gently. He watched her face carefully in the half-light of his room, watching her lovely brown eyes go dark as he went from gentle to pinching, twisting and pulling.

"Oh," she said, then bit her lip.

"No," Severus said, kissing her mouth briefly. "Tell me what you like, love. I'll remember, even after the bloody room stops spinning..."

Hermione looked up at him trustingly. She certainly wasn't about to tell him she'd never had an orgasm, and that she really didn't know what she liked. She'd had sex, and it'd been...enjoyable, but she hadn't felt what everyone else had described. She'd touched herself, ended up frustrated and hot.

"Never?" Severus raised an eyebrow.

She flushed. "That's cheating."

"How is it cheating, if I can know how to pleasure you? I'm not delving any deeper than that...at least, not in your mind." He sucked at her neck, leaving a little purple bite to bloom on her skin, and kissed his way to her breast.

He licked his lips. He had her, she was in his bed, rubbing her leg between his where he'd trapped it, and she didn't know what to do with her hands but to hold his arm and rub his back, and this was their first time, together, and he was starving for her as much as he'd craved food earlier.

"My Hermione," he murmured in a dark voice, letting his breath wash over her. She shivered and he licked her nipple once, twice. "So lovely..."

A final lick, and he sucked her nipple into his mouth, increasing suction until she arched off the bed. There, that was what she liked... he bit down gently and she whimpered, the hand on his back digging into the muscles there. Oh yes, she liked it.

Cock throbbing, he did the same to the other, then back to the first while his hand toyed with the breast not occupied with his mouth.

It felt divine to Hermione. She forbade herself to think of her own attempts, thinking sex should be sweet and gentle, and closed her thoughts to past fumbling encounters. She was here, with Severus, and he was happily introducing her body to pleasure. She knew she was wet, and tried to move the leg between his to reach his cock with it, but he kept her pinned.

At his mercy, she moaned and lifted her hips a little. She felt so hot, there. She wanted him to touch her, no matter how wonderful his mouth felt.

Severus loved her breasts. They were soft, and the nipples pebbled in his mouth, and they held the imprint of his teeth in a grand way. He was aching, he was ready to thrust himself inside her, and was finding it increasingly difficult to remember that she'd never come, never had an orgasm.

"Please," Hermione whispered, pushing on his arm. He smiled against her breast flicking his tongue over her nipple. This was for her, he reminded himself, sliding a hand down, tickling her stomach.

She giggled, writhing on the bed, and he laughed as well.

"Shh," he said, kissing her nipple farewell and drawing her closer, pillowing her head on his arm. "Tell me what feels good, Hermione..."

Hermione nodded, working a hand between them to stroke his leg, and he edged his hips back. He was having enough trouble as it was. She settled for resting her hand there, and he slid his fingers between her thighs.

Oh, Merlin. She was so slick, so wet, so warm... He didn't slip a finger inside her yet, and lowered his mouth to hers as his fingers began to rub her, testing languid strokes before moving to small, gentle circles.

It was maddening. Fire built, and he sealed her mouth with his as she panted in his arms, moaning, spasming, losing control of her body as he played with her. She needed more...something. He was listening to her whimpers, soaking her curls as his finger dipped down just enough to get wetter when they needed to, then stroking her steadily.

Oh, yes, right there, she thought desperately, grabbing his hair. It was almost too much, and he broke the kiss long enough to pull his hair free before kissing her once more. His breathing steadied hers, kept her relaxed, pliant in his arms as he built her and brought her away from the edge again.

She was close, he could tell. He didn't want her to have a little orgasm that made her feel good and twitchy. He wanted her toes to curl. He wanted her moaning and panting and calling his name. Hermione hadn't tipped over the edge yet, but she was flushed, and an errant curl clung to her cheek, tickling his nose, but it didn't matter.

He edged her closer, and she was breathing heavier now, dangerously near to making both of them lightheaded. Severus slipped his fingers down, teasing her slick entrance, then slid two inside gently. Oh, Merlin... so tight...She was most definitely close.

A wicked thought struck him and he crooked those same fingers, finding the bit of her that was different, and stroked it. Once, twice... four times, and Hermione tore his mouth from his, panting, moaning, digging her fingers into his flesh.

"Severus, Severus, Severus, Severus," she chanted before breaking off with a keening cry. She was rippling inside, pulsing, coming so hard around his fingers she thought she'd faint. Amazing, it was amazing, he was amazing...

In answer, he kissed her again, thrusting his tongue into her mouth, and she returned it, sucking on his lower lip and tasting him in return. She lifted her head from his arm and edged his fingers from her breast, guiding him atop her, spreading her legs so he could fit between them, hot and hard.

"Hermione," Severus growled, guiding himself into place. She was flushed pink, her curls damp, and her opening was tight around the mushroom head. Slowly, he slid in, letting her stretch. Sweet hell, she was tight, and he could feel her rippling still.

"Severus," she whispered, pulling him down for a kiss as he melding himself with her. He was divine. Perfect. He was thick and hard and she decided she loved the way his face went slack, then flushed with pleasure.

Wrapping her legs around his waist, she arched her hips a little, and was rewarded with Severus starting to move. He'd taken her motion as a signal, and he began to thrust. It was heaven. She was heaven. Oh, fuck, she felt incredible, moaning quietly under him, breasts bouncing with every thrust, and he watched her avidly. She was brilliant. She was beautiful...

Hermione couldn't believe how good this felt. It had never felt like this before. Severus felt so good... he was hitting her inside just right, and she wanted to cry with how amazing it was. She felt hot, and she moved her hips to meet him, driving him deeper and deeper... she was fairly certain she was come to come again, oh yes, so certain, so close...

"Turn over," Severus demanded suddenly, withdrawing. She nearly wept with the loss, but awkwardly moved to her hands and knees. He pulled her back to him, and thrust in roughly.

Oh, oh, god, oh, yes, oh god, Hermione thought. Or thought she thought.

"Not god," he ground out. She was even tighter this way, and her body was clutching at him. "Say my name, Hermione."

He was hitting her in deep, hard, strokes, and every time, he hit the place he'd found that had made her come. It was impossible not to moan his name. "Severus! Oh, yes, oh Severus.."

Her voice went deep, then high as she nearly collapsed. Her orgasm ripped through her, pulsing around his cock, and she trembled. This was amazing, it felt so good, so bloody good...

Severus slammed into her harder and faster as she came, his heavy sac hitting her clit with every thrust. He was going to come. He could feel it building in his cock, hot and near bursting. All he could focus on was the feel of her hips in his hands as he pulled her back into his near-brutal thrusts, the rasp of the bed linens under his knees, and every whimper she made as he fucked her through her orgasm, chasing his own.

"Going to.. Hermione, oh, love..." Severus thrust sharply, rhythm faltering as fire seared through his senses and he came in long, pulses, cock twitching inside of her.

"Oh, yesss," he hissed, panting harshly. He buried himself inside her as his breathing slowed and her heart calmed.

Pressing a kiss to her spine, he withdrew slowly, overly-sensitive now. Hermione collapsed onto her side and he followed her, pulling her into his arms. Moving her head to his chest, she kissed a flat nipple and combed her fingers through his coarse hair.

"Thank you," she mumbled. "I do love you, Severus."

Severus made a rough noise of agreement, utterly exhausted.

His head was pounding. Throbbing. And he was sticky-hot where Hermione was pressed against him, sleeping in the curve of his side. Really, he shouldn't have had the wine. His chest burned. Alright, or the pickles.

For once, he was grateful for the antidote. Usually, he hated it. He ate crap food, lost control of half of his, well, self-control... but last night... Instead of cursing out Potter or Weasley, she'd been the one to find him. And it was reciprocated.

Now, all he had to do was hold onto her. But first he would need a headache remedy, and a shower. Exhaling, he tried to move her off of him, but she tightened her hold.

"No," came the voice buried under the impossible hair.

"Pardon?" he rasped. An antacid relief was also in order.

"You said not to let you push me away." Hermione lifted her chin stubbornly, and his eyes were drawn to his mark on her neck. "So I'm not."

"I need to loo, I'll be back." Oh, yes, how he loved her. "You should bathe, as well."

"With you?"

"I don't see why not." A wicked smirk curved his lips. "And perhaps then we should go shopping."

"Shopping? Severus, are you still high?"

"No, and I don't think I'll be taking that much of a dose again, either, so don't bother bossing me, witch."

She sighed. "So why shopping?"

"Because. You're going to be mine. I thought perhaps we'd seal it with a ring."

She looked at him incredulously, a smile spreading across her face. "Really? You mean it?"

He raised an eyebrow. "I do."

Hermione nearly leapt from the bed towards the washroom, then skidded to a halt. "Severus, can we try sex in the shower?"

His eyes burned with sudden lust. "Oh, yes."

"Can I suck you? Please? I wanted to last night, but you distracted me."

Severus growled at her. He'd never been so glad to have been high in his life. "Come on, witch. I'll introduce you to my cock as many ways as you desire."

The end! :)

I hope you've enjoyed the fruits of the plot bunnies! Now, I'll get back to work on Another Dream.

Thanks again, I M Sterling ;)