"To sleep, perchance to dream-ay, there's the rub."

–William Shakespeare, Hamlet

"Bollocks!" Severus cursed as he jumped to his feet. Even though he was no longer a spy, this was one of those 'perks' left over from his psychological baggage. "Bully for me", he murmured to himself sarcastically.

For the eighth night running, Severus found himself jarred awake from the uncomfortable feeling of falling. He wasn't quite sure if it was an automatic response of many years of insomnia, but it felt as if his body was conducting some kind of munity against any sort of relaxation.

Bleary-eyed, he stumbled over to his wardrobe and began dressing.

If he was going to be awake, he might as well do some rounds as the DADA professor, the position that Minerva handed right over to him, saying that the job was rightfully his.

He knew his brain was playing tricks on him, since he could still hear the crackle of the curse he threw, again, at Albus for the millionth time in his nightmares. This last time, he figured that he, himself, was Albus falling from the Astronomy tower.

In his dreams, he-as-Albus was still alive in his descent, but as he buttoned up his collar, Severus reminded himself that Albus was dead before his feet ever even left the ground. Ah, there it was...that was it…I was just about to hit the ground when I woke up.

He brushed his jacket flat in the front as he stepped into the hall and let his feet direct him. Occasionally he would squint in disdain as he approached a torch here or there, but the candles lighting the path just annoyed him slightly.

He stopped for just a moment as he thought he saw a ghost. Hmmm, how odd, he thought to himself knowing that what he thought he saw looked just a little too real as opposed to the opaque ghosts commonplace in the castle.

He thought he should investigate.

Severus rubbed his eyes and looked back down the hall to the library door, which he saw still in mid-swing. Even if he was hallucinating about what he saw, he knew that he saw something enter. He caught a flash of scarlet red just as he rounded the corner, and it moved like waves as it escaped beyond the library doors.

Silently, he approached and slipped inside before the door swung shut. As his eyes adjusted to the dim light, he saw the figure—and thought for certain he was hallucinating.

There she was, the newest professor teaching at Hogwarts, in a spaghetti-strapped silk negligee and nothing else.

Her bare feet silently took her toward bookshelves at a slow but even pace. Severus couldn't help but watch as her hips naturally swayed in slow motion.

Chuckling to himself silently, he decided that if this was his mind playing tricks on him, then play on! This was the kind of dream he wanted to have on a regular if not nightly basis.

He supposed that the dreamy movements of the woman were appropriate. Her head never moved as she lifted her hand and Accio'ed a book from the shelf. She continued her hip-sway down the hall which he was most inclined to follow and enjoy.

In his mind he had, Severus admitted, thought of Miss Granger in that way since she took up the position of Potions Mistress. They had come to terms with each other, and he no longer was able to look at her as a student in the least. They had recently fallen into mutual understanding of each other, and even realized that they had a similar sense of humor.

They had too much shared common ground.

His sniping at her only made her snicker now. The more cutting, the more her eyes twinkled as she bit back laughter. How utterly enticing

He felt the throb of expectation as his body decided he was, in fact, dreaming again and wanted to follow the quickest path to fulfillment as usual. But this scenario was odd. Unlike the stuff of typical dreams, this dream-Hermione just kept walking away.

Severus followed, mesmerized by the highlights on the fabric that skimmed over her hot little bum. His eyes watched as her thumb traced the wording on the binding of the book she carried, wishing it was his aching member receiving the attention.

Before he had a chance to recover from that thought, his dream-Hermione opened a door which happened to be his old classroom in the dungeons, and then turned to face him. "I'm glad you came, Professor." Her voice slightly lilted, insinuating something he didn't quite understand.

She reached out for his hand and pulled him inside. "It has been so long, Severus." She began as she slid her hand deftly up his leg, rubbing his full, hardened length possessively.

Her other hand slid up his chest as though it had done this before, finding its way up his neck, her nails scratching deliciously over his scalp as it combed through his hair. Severus's eyes rolled behind their suddenly heavy lids as she tugged his hair lightly and her mouth demanded his for a kiss—one he was more than willing to give.

Her lips parted for his kiss, urging him to explore her mouth. "Yessss," he exhaled into her mouth as he kissed her. He felt her knees slightly buckle from his voice and that prompted him to raise both of his hands to steady her.

His thumbs were in the right place at the right time, he mused. His hands had glided up her hips and he held her by her ribcage…one thumb glancing a pert nipple only to have her groan into his mouth, his other thumb then following suit as she slid her tongue boldly against his…the palm of her hand stroking him even more insistently through his slacks.

"What are you waiting for, Severus, you know what I want…what I like..." She breathed into his ear as her hand released his aching need and hitched up the silk fabric higher up her thighs.

Even though he hadn't the slightest idea what she was talking about, he wasn't about to cock-block himself in this dream, he thought.

His hands found hers and he guided her hands behind her back slowly, lacing her fingers together behind her. One of his hands enveloped her wrist while the other hand skimmed slowly—achingly slow—up her arm, up her neck, and then as he straightened to watch her responses, his hand descended down her neck, skimming over her collarbone, caressing her breast, dragging the silk just low enough to expose a nipple for him to tease, then leaving it rigid and bare, he continued slipping his hand lower over the silk to her hip, her thigh, and then scooping up the fabric, his fingers sliding up her inner thigh as she moaned.

He stopped and watched as the beautiful Hermione of his dreams arched her back, begging for contact anywhere…her nipple, her inner thigh…her whisper, now hoarse with need, pleaded, "Please, rub me…I need you to touch me now….right there in my little, tight-!" to which his own voice groaned in a feral response, his hand immediately complying and his mouth stopping her sentence.

His mind tried to catch up, realizing that had she finished that sentence, he might have had an earlier release than intended, his dream-Hermione saying things that he would never expect during the day, adding to the delectable turn this hallucination was taking.

His fingers encountered her wetness, she was on the tips of her toes on one foot as she raised her other knee trying to allow him more room to move, better access to her core. He felt her stomach muscles ripple, her body shaking with desire and bundled nerves, nerve endings she wanted thoroughly worked, stroked, thumbed…her head fell back, only to snap forward again, her eyes making the most smoldering contact with his. Her hands unfolded and she brought one hand forward, to help him by spreading herself, her little nub exposed for his heated attention.

He grunted at the sight, his mind far too entranced for higher thought. Quickly, his slickened fingers started strumming the sensitive spot which was directly linked to his dream's vocal chords, her little high-pitched mewls which in turn sent jolts of electric straight to his aching cock.

"I need you now." He ordered as she began jerking in spasms from his lightening-fast fingers on that nub. She was cumming, and he wanted to have his first experience of this dream-Hermione's tightness.

Her hands began tugging at his trousers, freeing him as he continued to work her, beginning to coax another spill of tremors to come.

He looked around quickly and found the right spot to maneuver her. The last table in the back, just the right height, he noted with satisfaction. Just as her arse hit the lip of the table, Hermione lifted her knees up and parted wide as she guided him to her center.

Her mouth made the most perfect "o" as he filled her, the look of pleasure on her face made Severus push deeper and deeper until she was completely filled.

She leaned back onto the table and her hands found their way to her breasts. Severus watched with fascination as she kneaded them, tugging the silk under them both, rolling her hard nipples between her thumb and forefingers.

Severus was mesmerized with her hands and the deliciously wicked things they were doing as he began stroking himself in and out of her. Hermione's head lifted up from the table to watch him move where they were both joined, her fingers tugging harder on a nipple here, her other hand dipping down between them, her fingers tickling, cupping then drawing his attention to how she touched herself...that glistening little button as he rocked into her harder and faster.

Feeling his balls tighten almost to the point of pain, Severus couldn't remember if he had ever had such a vivid dream. As the hint his own spasms started, Hermione whispering the most heated words he had ever heard out loud from someone else.

"Come in me, please…I want to feel you empty into me, do you like filling my little-" Her sentence was cut off by the most jarring shuddering deep within her, her exhortations for him to join her nothing but shivers and keening.

He strained as he released deep in her, the heat and friction setting off all new flutters in the hot little witch's depths, draining him completely and leaving him with dry spasms, his whole body quaking with their force.

His one hand stabilized himself above her, his other hand gently cupping her chin.

Severus lowered his lips to hers and whispered to them, "Thank you, you beautiful goddess," before kissing her slowly and thoroughly.

….

He awoke in his chambers with the sun streaming though the curtains, refusing to be ignored. Severus smiled, not remembering the last time he felt so refreshed. "I'll be damned!" He exclaimed to the room only to hear the gasp of a very alarmed Hermione Granger.

"What the bloody hell?" He roared as she replied in a squeak.

"That wasn't a DREAM?" She looked around for clothes that were folded neatly in her own rooms.

"I wasn't hallucinating?" He replied to her question.

They both stared at each other in a split-second of horror and embarrassment. Then that second passed, and neither of them moved in the large, rumpled bed.

Hermione looked at Severus' bare chest, and a small smile crept up on her flushed face.

"What?" Severus grumped.

"What, what?" She giggled.

He drew his lips into a thin line and waited for her to answer. Severus could smell her delicious scent all over himself and he inhaled deeply again, just to commit it to memory. He prayed silently that memorization wouldn't be necessary, though.

She eyed him from head to bed and then back, leveling his gaze with her own. "So last night wasn't a dream." She said it more to herself then to him. "And if that's the case, I'll be the first to admit that reality is so much better than dreaming." A mischievous look spread across her face.

Hermione's hand slid deep under the sheets and found him again as she wet her lips in anticipation. "Care to help work me to exhaustion again, Severus? But if this is just a dream, don't wake me."