A/N: After the war, Snape lives. EWE

"How do you play?" asked Hermione.

"You roll the dice and whatever color square you land on, you take a card from that pile and you have to do whatever the card says. Blue are "truth questions", green are silly things like sing a song or dance a jig, and so on."

"Of course, red is the most fun to see someone land on!" giggled Ginny, "The Romance cards! I'll go first!"

Ginny rolled a three and landed on a blue square. "Who was your first kiss?" Ginny giggled, "Neville Longbottom after the Yule Ball in third year." Everyone laughed with her except Harry who pretended to glower but then joined in the laughter. George landed on a green square and sang a dirty little ditty that had the women blushing and the men gaffawing.

Hermione rolled a five…red square.

"Give every person in the room a kiss that shows how you truly feel about them." Well, that wasn't so bad she thought as she walked around the table and dropped a kiss on the forehead of each Weasley as well as Harry; so glad that she truly considered them all family. When she went to sit down, she couldn't. Frowning as she tried again, she looked at George who was laughing at her.

"Didn't the card say 'everyone in the room'? Dad and Snape are in the room," he chuckled, indicating the two men sitting at the far end of the long table.

Oh, God, Hermione pleaded as she was magically propelled towards them. She dropped a kiss on Mr. Weasley's forehead before looking at Snape. He raised an eyebrow at her, almost daring her to touch him. As she leaned down to kiss his forehead, the magic shoved her lips onto his. Within seconds, her tongue had darted into his startled mouth and she was straddling his lap. Feeling him responding to her, his hands on her butt, pulling her tighter to him, she mewled her desire.

Suddenly she shrieked as ice cold water splattered across her back. She turned to glare at whoever had cast the spell.

"Um, Hermione?" said Harry softly, "You…um…"

"Damn, I hate magic!" she uttered as she jumped up and ran from the room.

Snape followed her; everyone else just stared after them.

Snape watched the young witch as she sat curled on the corner of the couch. Her face was buried on her knees and she was rocking slightly.

"Miss Granger…Hermione" he said softly.

"Please, I just want to sit here and die. I'm so sorry, sir. It was the magic. I never would have forced…" she broke off with a strangled breath.

He walked across the room and sat down next to her. When he said nothing more, she chanced a glance at him and saw that he was staring into the fire. Feeling her focus on him, he lifted his arm and draped it across her shoulders as he pulled her head onto his shoulder. After a few tense moments, her body relaxed against his. At least he hadn't hexed her, Hermione thought, and he did kiss her back. Of course he did, it was probably just shock at having her jump him! Oh God, she was so embarrassed!

Snape stared into the fire as he contemplated the witch curled up at his side. He had never been as shocked in his life as when she had crawled onto his lap and started snogging him. He had responded instinctively and was, begrudgingly, grateful that Potter's aquamenti spell had stopped them from going further in front of the others.

He had never expected to survive the war. Hermione had brought mediwitches to the Shrieking Shack and his recovery had been surprisingly quick. The Order had spent the last six months rebuilding Hogwarts, testifying at trials, and mourning their dead. Snape had spent a great deal of his time brewing potions for St. Mungo's and the Hogwarts hospital wing. The final battle had depleted both infirmaries. Hermione had often helped brew and they had developed a friendship of sorts. It always astounded him that she was the only one who seemed to be able to see beyond his role during the war to the man underneath the subterfuge. Others treated him as either hero or villain, or more often ignored him.

In the weeks after the final battle, he had met with Minerva McGonagall. She had forgiven him for his part in Albus' death and encouraged him to leave the past behind him and start living a life that he chose, one that would make him happy or at least content. He wondered if she'd be quite so supportive if she knew that it was her little Gryffindor princess that he was considering more than he should. He had become enchanted with Hermione's intelligence, bravery and loyalty. In the year that she'd been away she had physically grown into a beautiful woman. If her magically-propelled kiss was any indication, it seemed that she was at least mildly interested in him as well.

Hermione wondered what he was thinking. They had become friends of a sort during the last seven months but he was still a complicated man and often retreated behind his trademark glower. It didn't seem as if he was offended by the kiss and he was holding her. Maybe there was a chance that he returned her feelings. Of course not, she thought, he's just trying to find a nice way to tell you to stop crushing on your teacher…er...former teacher.


"Do you think he's killed her?" asked Ginny timidly.

Mr. Weasley, who had been the only one sitting close enough to the couple to see Snape's heated response, answered, "I don't think so."

"Blimey, that was a shock," stated George, "Didn't know anyone felt that way about the git!"

"It's just gross," moaned Ron. Even though Hermione had refused to date him after the war, he had still been holding onto hope that she would change her mind but nothing like a magically compelled kiss to kill that dream.

"What I don't get," said Bill, "Is why she didn't just cancel the spell instead of snogging him?"

"You can cancel the spell?" asked Harry, "You never explained that!"

"Of course you can cancel the spell! This isn't a Dark Arts game! You just say "finite incantatum" and the compulsion ends, course you lose a turn but that is sometimes better than doing the challenge! Everyone knows that!" explained Ginny.

"I don't think Hermione knew that," murmured Harry, "Remember, Muggle-born…"


"Why didn't you just cancel the spell?" Snape asked without looking at her.

"Cancel the spell?" queried Hermione. Then she added in exasperation, "Of course there would be a way to cancel the spell! I didn't even think about that!"

"Clearly." His voice was tinged with amusement as he wrapped his other arm around her, pulling her closer to him. She slipped her arm around his waist without thinking as she closed her eyes and just enjoyed being held.

"Hermione, I am not interested in a casual relationship."

"Oh, I understand," she said softly, disappointment flowing over her.

"If we are to explore a relationship, I would expect that we would both take it seriously from the beginning," he explained.

Stunned, she raised her face to look at him. "Of course," she agreed quietly. He lowered his face to hers and gently kissed her sparking the passion between them.