A/N: So I was coerced into the SSHG Gift Exchange by GinnyW and Shug. Like... Snape/Hermoine. Who knew I could actually write it. GAH.
Soooo. Enjoy? If you like that kind of thing ;)
"Cor, there they go again."
Oswald Addicock looked up from his parchment to see what his friends and fellow Ravenclaw sixth years were sniggering about. Following their gaze, he saw the retreating figures of Professor Granger - the Transfiguration professor - and Professor Snape - the Potions master. He rolled his eyes. "You and your theories," he muttered.
Ludwig and Dirk Cripps turned toward him. "What?" asked Ludwig innocently. "They should just get it over with is all I'm saying."
"God knows they could do with a good shag." Dirk's expression was dark.. "Might actually put Professor Snape in a good mood, no?"
"Doubtful," the other member of their table - Potter Steward contributed. "Nothing could cure Snape's moodiness, not even a good screw."
"You're biased," Oswald shot. "Snape could be the happiest man on Earth and still have a glower for you. Everyone knows he dislikes all Potters."
"Like it's my fault my parents named me for The Boy Who Lived and all that," Potter lamented for what had to be the millionth time. "There are a lot of Potters and Harrys."
"Not in our year." Oswald shook his head. "Anyway. That just goes to prove my point. Professor Granger is best friends with Harry Potter - everyone knows that. That's why she and Professor Snape are always arguing. Not because they're secretly in love with each other." He rolled his eyes. "I swear. You two are worse than the girls."
The twins - fraternal so thankfully easy to tell apart - waggled their eyebrows at him. "Me mum and dad argue like that all the time," Dirk said.
"Maybe they could use some counseling," Oswald retorted.
The twins snickered.
"They have five kids, mate. I think they're doing all right," Potter muttered.
Oswald stormed away from the Transfiguration classroom, his robes furling around him.
"Mr. Addicock , if you expect to become a registered Animagus, you're going to want to master a spell as simple as transfiguring a teacup into a thimble," he mimicked as he walked.
Professor Granger thought she knew everything, and she'd been especially hard on him since he confessed he wanted to learn how to turn into a mouse.
Well, she probably did know everything, but that was beside the point, wasn't it.
Oswald was so flustered, he could not for the life of him figure out the answer to the riddle to get into the Ravenclaw common room. That was where Potter found him, furiously hurling answers. "Uh, a beetle? The moon?"
Potter listened to the riddle, gave Oswald an odd look, and calmly said, "The sea."
The door came right open.
Grumbling, Oswald stormed through. He looked around furtively, noting there were thankfully few other Ravenclaws lying about. Quickly, he grabbed Potter's arm, pulling him closer. "Listen, mate. I have an idea. You hate Professor Snape, right?"
"Hate is a little strong-"
"Potter!" Oswald groaned. "I'm not going to suggest we maim or kill him. I'm just saying. Professor Granger is appreciative of the clever sort, in the long run. What say you and I have a bit of fun with them?"
His friend looked wary. "What sort of fun?"
Hermione Granger felt... strange.
The other professors would have said her mind was wandering because Neville... Well, Neville could get very distracted when he was talking Herbology theory. Their eyes glazed over. But Hermione typically never had a problem paying attention to a well thought out hypothesis.
But tonight, she had not heard a damn word Neville had said.
She was distracted.
As he spoke, she found herself mesmerized by his lips and then the rest of the face. Good gracious. It wasn't the first time Hermione had reflected that Neville had certainly grown into his looks. He'd been a pudgy, gawkish sort of lad, but his teen years had been kind, and now that he was an adult...
"Have I got a bit of food stuck between my teeth?" Neville asked.
"What?" Hermione blinked, startled.
"You're just staring, is all." He looked down, brushing at his robes. "Have I made a mess of myself?"
Blushing, Hermione looked down at her plate, pushing the food around. What had she been thinking, ogling Neville like that? Neville! He was... Neville and engaged to Hannah Abbott besides.
What was going on with her?
There was something strange going on, of that Severus Snape was certain.
He walked slowly through the Great Hall, his eyes roaming, suspicious. So many years spent amongst the Death Eaters, so many years looking over his shoulder, and it was an old, old habit, necessary for survival. After all, in the world of magic, a well placed charm or a potion slipped in a drink could spell disaster at any turn.
There was just something off about the way he was feeling. His skin felt warmer than usual and there was an antsy sort of emotion that was making him restless. But the strangest thing by far was how that emotion felt. It was off somehow - diluted.
His cursory sweep of the Great Hall revealed no threat. The children talked and gossiped amongst themselves. Romances blossomed and fell. It was childhood as usual.
Frowning, Severus made his way to the head table where the other teachers sat.
Nodding at the others, he saw empty seats next to Professors Flitwick and Granger. He didn't even think about sitting next to Filius, instead making his way over to where Hermione sat.
Theirs was an interesting and, at first, uncomfortable friendship. Hermione was still very young. Teenagers were prone to believing they knew everything about the world. She'd seen enough during the war to know her initial impression of Snape might be built on lies, deceit, and carefully spun half truths. Time continued to teach the lesson that nothing was as simple as it seemed, but it was a lesson not many truly learned.
But, in true Hermione Granger fashion, it was a lesson she took to heart and learned thoroughly. As such, when she was hired on as the Transfiguration professor, she took it upon herself to seek him out, extending the olive branch.
Now that they'd had some time to get to know each other, Snape could grudgingly admit she was... interesting to say the least. There were not many people he could find himself engrossed in conversation with, but she was one of them.
He sat on the other side of her, vaguely curious as to what was going on. Her skin was an impressive shade of tomato red as she stuttered some kind of apology to Professor Longbottom. For reasons he couldn't begin to guess, Severus felt very embarrassed for her.
No, that wasn't entirely accurate.
He easily identified what he felt as embarrassment, but like the odd titillation that had sparked in him earlier, it was strangely removed - a copy of a copy.
How very interesting.
He may have been a wizard, but he was also a scientist. He was beginning to form a hypothesis about what might be happening.
"Professor Granger?" he called her name to get her attention. Anyway, it was obvious Neville didn't know what to say.
He engaged her in conversation then.
As always, Hermione was not merely content with being an expert in her own field. Of late, their mealtime conversations had her quizzing him on some of the finer nuances of advanced potion making. She came to him knowing he had ideas and theories that brought better results than if she followed the book step by step. It was one of the vast improvements between the Hermione he'd known when she was in school and the adult woman she'd become - her willingness to not take a book as gospel truth but to use it only as a base of knowledge.
And other things, he'd begun to notice, had not changed for her but were different for him.
For instance, as they conversed, she interrupted him several times, too excited to contain her next thought. When she was his student that habit had annoyed him. Now, he appreciated how quickly her mind worked - often too fast for his measured conversation.
There was something... different tonight. It took him most of dinner before he figured out what was going on.
The totality of his twenties and the vast majority of his thirties had been given over to the cause. Female attention and sex for some might have been a distraction, but for Snape they were more of an annoyance. What was the point of communicating on that level unless you knew a person, and what woman could really know him if she could not know his life was a lie?
Since the war, he could have enjoyed status as a war hero - Potter had seen to that - but the mindless adoration was, again, an annoyance. He'd retreated to his studies, trying to remember what his passions might have been had his life not been derailed by the cause.
After all, he'd lived practically his whole life waiting for the inevitable return of Lord Voldemort and the war that would follow. Now that he was his own man, for perhaps the first time in his life, Snape was occasionally struck by things he had missed out on or ignored.
Like the positive attention of a young woman, the signals that were there to be read if one was paying attention.
And now that the realization had struck him, Hermione definitely had Snape's attention. There were signs... more than one.
For instance, just then, she ducked her head, looking at him from underneath long eyelashes. When he spoke, her eyes wandered to his mouth and once, she licked her lips whilst staring at his.
And he couldn't help but notice the odd emotions, the far away emotions, were in sync with the flicker of her eyes, the way she inclined her head toward him.
When this last emotion swept over him, Severus felt a thrill go down his spine.
With some surprise, he realized it was not a repulsive thought - that this particular woman might find him attractive, might lust after him.
Because by then, he had a theory to explain these strange half emotions. They felt foreign because they were. They were not his emotions.
They were hers.
And Severus, not believing in coincidences, searched her for signs that her emotions might be manufactured by some other means, some magical means. Her blatant looks, on the verge of flirting, were somewhat obvious. Severus refused to think he had simply missed the signs in the past. And it could not be an accident that it was her emotions he was picking up on. Hers alone.
What would be the point of such a trick? Could there be some nefarious purpose behind this?
Or perhaps more likely, he reminded himself chidingly, this was a child's prank. In these peaceful times, he had to remind himself the simplest answer was most likely the correct one. He was a hard teacher. It gave him no small amount of amusement to know Professor Granger was known to be nearly as tough and demanding as he was.
He'd been rather nasty to the girl in her teens. All with a purpose of course but she had every reason to despise him. There were rumors about the rows they had. And he had to admit, from an outsiders point of view, they did argue on a near constant basis when they spoke. While he couldn't speak for Hermione, he rather enjoyed their arguments.
It was right about then that he caught the flecks of brilliant green in her eyes. He was so startled, his speech faltered.
"Are you all right, Professor?" Hermione asked quietly. She put her hand on his briefly, concerned. They both pulled back at the spark of electricity her unexpected touch elicited.
His throat suddenly felt tight.
It was just that he knew of only one portion that caused flecks of green in the eyes like she had. Amoris veritis - designed to enhance existing emotions of attraction to a point they could not be ignored.
Enhanced existing emotions.
His lips turned up at the corners, an idea occurring to him. "Just fine, Professor," he answered her question silkily.
Testing his theory, he leaned in, ducking his head slightly. A wave of something dizzying swept over him as Hermione's eyes met his. He couldn't help the smirk that played at his lips. "Perhaps, Professor, you might like to visit me in the dungeon this evening."
He felt smugly satisfied when her cheeks flushed in correlation with the flush of desire she emanated. She blinked, her eyes wide, making her look younger than she was.
He almost chuckled. Almost. "I've the necessary ingredients to test your theory down in my office," he continued. "I can show you the correct procedure." He leaned on the last word. "If you desire."
Flustered. That was the next emotion he felt. She wasn't an easy woman to fluster, but she was definitely flummoxed now. "I, um," she stumbled, her voice breathy. "Yes. That would be lovely."
"Glad to hear it."
He nodded at her and retreated, feeling a swirl of confusion and attraction he wasn't entirely sure were her emotions alone.
This was not a good idea.
She was feeling a bit heated. Perhaps she was catching cold. That might explain the constant flush of her cheeks and this haze that seemed to make her normally streamlined thoughts wander. Concentration was her strong point, but it eluded her this evening.
And then there had been that horrid display at dinner. What in heaven's name was wrong with her? First Neville and then Snape? Severus Snape of all people.
Oh, it was true, her feelings about Snape had changed quite a bit since she was a teenager. There was more to him than she'd ever contemplated before. He had a dark sense of humor she'd glimpsed now and again and a confidence that could be rather sexy, objectively speaking.
And if she were being honest with herself, she did enjoy his company. It had taken her a while to ferret out why she did tend to end up seeking him out more often than not. It was just that so few people in her life took her seriously. It had been why she and Ron had never worked out in the long run. Just how long could you stay with a partner who merely smiled and nodded most any time you were speaking, just waiting for it to be over?
What she craved, on a day to day basis, was intelligent, meaningful conversation. Snape had proved himself not only the most willing but the most diverse verbal sparring partner. Unlike Neville who lived and breathed Herbology, Snape's interests covered a wide and varied array of subjects, all of which he was at least moderately proficient in. He could talk magical theory and history with equal ease.
And smart was sexy, after all.
Smart was sexy.
Where in heaven's name had that thought come from?
But just as she'd noticed, truly noticed, how attractive Neville had grown, as she spoke to Snape over dinner, it had occurred to Hermione that he wasn't lacking in the looks department. He was actually rather handsome.
The more he spoke, going over theories, listening to her thoughts and responding, the stronger that attraction became. As strong as it had hit her with Neville, it was... intense when it came to Snape. It had driven her not only to distraction, but had further placed some rather confounding images in her head.
Such as right then, as her measured steps took her closer to the dungeons, her mind played idle fantasies.
She rather wondered what it might be like for him to push her over one of the desks, perhaps the very one she sat at when she was a pupil.
"Oh, for goodness sake," she muttered. This was utterly ridiculous. As if she were a teenager out of control of her own hormones! It was quite disconcerting. True, it had been a while, but...
It didn't matter. She was here to work.
She knocked on the door to Snape's office.
"Enter," he called out.
For reasons unknown to her, Hermione's heart gave a little flutter.
She was struck, for some reason, to find him out of his robes and dressed casually. How could she help but notice the way his simple shirt - black of course - clung to the subtle musculature of his biceps.
It was a good look on him.
He looked up from his work then and a smile spread over his face, slow... alluring. He stood and strode to her as he began to speak. "Best you hang up your robe now," he said, his voice commanding as usual. To her astonishment he stepped up right beside her, into her bubble space. Tilting his head down to her, his next words were spoken in a low, slow tone that had the effect of making her somewhat befuddled. "It can be very hard and dirty work."
"What?" She blinked at him.
"The procedures we spoke of, of course."
He was still so close to her, almost touching. There was some energy in the air between them that was making her thought process a little hazy. "Oh, right," she murmured, shrugging out of her robe.
When she'd hung up her robe, he led her - his hand at the small of her back - over to the table where he had the items they'd need spread out.
She reveled at his unexpected touch - such a surprising, oddly intimate gesture.
Don't over think it, she chastised herself and told herself again it was time to concentrate on work.
Typically speaking, it wasn't difficult for Hermione to lose herself when she was learning something new. From Severus, she was usually particularly enthralled because he would not just talk at her but with her, taking the time to discuss.
Tonight, though, Hermione was distracted, and as time went on, she began to have the sneaking suspicion it was not her wayward imagination at fault.
No. Severus was definitely touching her more than was typical. Actually, that he was touching her at all was completely abnormal.
They were seemingly innocent touches: a tap to her wrist to emphasize his point, a touch to her arm to get her attention, or his hand over hers to guide her. But his fingers lingered against her skin.
And there was the way he was looking right at her, into her eyes.
It was somewhat hypnotizing.
And she had been around Harry and Ron enough that she thought she knew innuendo when she heard it. Snape... Severus was subtle, but not that subtle.
If she didn't know any better, she'd have thought she was being seduced.
And damn if it wasn't working. She had the fervent desire to kiss him several times as the night went on. Each time, when he paused, his eyes flicking to her lips, she thought he might kiss her. And each time, when he didn't, she felt undeniably disappointed.
Hermione was quite worked up by the time Severus asked her to retrieve something or another from his storage room.
He leaned in, as he had been doing all night, ducking his head to speak to her with a cheeky grin.
"Surely you remember where the store is. I seem to remember you and Mr. Potter and Mr. Weasley getting into trouble more than once."
She smirked at him and pointed her finger at him. "Half the time you were suspicious of us, you were wrong," she reminded him.
"And half the time... I was right." He leaned in, and Hermione was frozen. She had to hold her body rigid. If she didn't, she might act on this urge she had.
She didn't think she wanted to stop at kissing.
"I'll, um... I'll get the thing," she mumbled, turning and hurrying toward his store. When she was out of sight, she stopped short, pressing the back of her hand to her lips.
It couldn't be an accident, what he was doing.
And if it wasn't, what was she going to do about it?
Her fingers shook as she tried to concentrate, tried to remember what she was supposed to be looking for. It took her a few minutes to realize she had no idea what he'd asked her to retrieve.
She knew she was taking too long, but she was a little flummoxed. She would have to go out and admit she wasn't paying proper attention, and then...
The air in the little, enclosed space got perceptibly warmer - balmy, thick. Hermione gasped and held her breath, not turning as she felt him step up to her. He reached one arm up, resting the other at her waist as if to balance himself as his fingers brushed the bottles one at a time, lingering.
Hermione closed her eyes, enveloped in his warmth, the scent of him, the feel of his body surrounding hers, made her dizzy with want. Coherent thought was difficult. Actually, it was increasingly difficult not to let her innate desires take over, to give in to the pull in the atmosphere.
"It's just here, you see." His voice was a rumble next to her ear.
Looking up, she watched his long fingers wrap around the bottle. He'd stepped closer to her, so his front pressed against her back. Her skin was on fire. Her blood was on fire, every cell screaming for her to turn.
So she did.
For a long moment, they only stared at each other.
"I can feel it, you know," he said, his voice low, his eyes holding hers. "Your desire."
Her breath shuddered. Her will broke.
In the next second, there was no thought, only motion. Kinetic energy. Pheromones.
And a little bit of magic.
Hermione's hands went around his neck as he ducked down, his lips hard on hers. His hands wound around her back, tight, firm, pulling her body to his.
She had no construct for what was happening here, no basis at all. She had never felt this way - wild, wanton. It was intense and frightening.
And unbelievably erotic.
There was no question this had skipped any kind of innocent phase. Hermione got the sense that, as with everything with Severus, any kind of tryst was all or nothing. That was him: all or nothing.
And hell if she didn't want it all.
The bottles shook as she fell back against the shelves. She gasped, both in surprise and because their lips had been firmly attached for what may have been minutes, hours, days. Time was suspended. She brought her leg up to his waist and he caught it against his side, pushing against her. She moaned.
He pulled back to look at her. "Tell me you want this." His voice was a command, a feral growl.
"I thought you could feel what I want." Her tone was breathy but steady, and she looked him straight in the eye, confident despite the confounding situation she suddenly found herself in.
He tilted his head. "Tell me. I want to hear it."
She pulled his face back to hers, kissed him hard, and released him. "It's redundant to hear what you already know."
Somehow, his snarl wasn't nearly as frightening in this situation. Quite the opposite. She was only more drawn to him, only more turned on when he pushed up the skirt she wore. His grin was sexy and cocky when she cried out. "I do believe you liked that."
Narrowing her eyes, she reached between them, cupping him roughly through his pants. He gasped. "Offhand, I'd say I'm not the only one who likes this." She rubbed him, watching as the desire made his eyes only darker, more dangerous.
His lips were on her again, demanding. She kept up with him easily, just as eager. There were only noises then - no words. The clink and clash of bottles shaking. The rustle of cloth being shoved down or otherwise out of the way. Their hard kisses and muffled moans.
They paused for a moment when he entered her, both panting, needing a few seconds to breathe and acclimate. His breath came out as a shudder, warm on her face, before he ducked his head, nipping lightly at her ear as he began to thrust.
Hermione threw her head back, her hands going into his hair. She tugged, and he thrust harder. She sucked in a breath with a wheeze at the feeling.
It had never been this good before. Not for her, anyway.
Some part of her felt embarrassed. The noises she was making had to be as loud as a baby mandrake and perhaps almost as annoying. But as Severus's thrusts got harder, faster, every other emotion was driven from her.
Pleasure. This was pure, uninhibited pleasure.
She held on tight, locking her legs around him, urging him deeper. She was vaguely aware that the bottles all around them had to be in danger of falling, but if Severus didn't care about his precious potions, Hermione wasn't about to.
When she came, she shrieked. He covered her mouth with his own, muting her scream and his as he jerked once, twice, three times more.
For a full minute, there was only the sound of them panting. He was leaning against her, pinning her to the shelves. His weight was heavy on her, and one of the shelves not so comfortable against her back, but she couldn't care. In fact, she rather thought if he wasn't holding her up, she would have fallen to the floor in a puddle of pliant womanhood.
Satisfied didn't even begin to describe what she felt then.
He scoffed and raised his head, kissing her again, soft this time, slow. He brought his arms down from where they'd been braced against the shelves and wrapped them instead around her waist, bringing her body with him as he stepped backward a few paces. "Me as well, Hermione."
His use of her given name brought a pleased smile to her lips and a fresh flush to her cheeks. She looked at him curiously, logical thought returning to her as she analyzed his words, just then and before, and how his actions correlated to her emotions. He was telling the truth before.. "You really can feel what I feel."
"Ah, yes. I hope you'll forgive me. I'll admit, I should have told you my suspicions at dinner. That may have been the more, er, gentlemanly thing to do." He smirked and put his hand beneath her chin, tilting her face up toward him. "But I rather preferred this course of action."
A warmth flooded through her, both piqued with embarrassment and quite tickled because he had purposefully seduced her.
"I don't understand," she admitted.
He sat her down then and told her about the potion. They theorized about a charm that may have made him empathic to her specifically and hypothesized about exactly who would do such a thing and why.
She agreed their students were the most likely culprits and even had some idea as to whom it might be. There weren't many students who could pull off the charm and potion they'd worked.
"Five points to Ravenclaw and detentions all around, is it?" Severus mused.
Hermione chuckled. "So what happens how?" Hermione wondered out loud when they had each thrown out a few possibilities.
His smile was slow and somewhat devious. He hooked his foot around the leg of her chair, dragging her over to him, and ran his fingers down the curve of her cheek. "What is that Muggle phrase? I say we give them something to talk about."
And then he kissed her soundly.
Thanks to Ginny, Shug, barburella, and jfka06.