AN: I normally write fluff. I love it and it suits me. I don't write a lot of bloody violence. Ok…I don't publish a lot of bloody violence. I cleaned this up a bit, but those with tender sensibilities might want to avoid it. For once the M rating is not for smut.

Severus winced as he heard the unmistakable sound of a hushed argument from her office. He had thought that this was over, now that the divorce decree had been signed.

"You owe me…you know you do. After everything you put me through, after all the publicity…"

There was the sound of the desk moving slightly, a muffled sound from Hermione.

Enough.

Hermione Granger, business partner and (strangely enough) friend, was a bright, caring witch. She might actually believe that tripe her ex-husband was spouting…and now that she had finally rid herself of the leech, Severus would not allow him to get his hooks in her again.

Randal J. Smith had used her fame as a war heroine. He had courted the bloody press…used it to launch has so-called career as a celebrity commentator. When everything went to hell because he was a buffoon, he had (of course) blamed Hermione.

No more.

Severus entered her office open in much the same way he had once entered his potions classroom.

Hermione jumped, looking flustered and (Merlin help him) guilty. That was a sure sign she was allowing Mr. Smith to sell her some sort of guilt-trip about how she had ruined his life by merely existing. Someone had to be accountable for the state of things (and Circe knew it wouldn't be Randy Smith since the bastard never took responsibility for anything).

Said bastard glared at Severus for the interruption.

The oaf did not see any reason to be alarmed.

He was, without doubt, a fool.

The divorce decree had changed the situation entirely. Severus would (of course) have stepped in to help before, had Hermione asked. But she never had. The witch had always fought her own battles, and since those battles had been mental and emotional, Severus had watched, feeling that his hands were tied.

She hadn't asked for his help today either, but she was no longer married.

Smith had no idea how much protection he'd lost when he signed the divorce papers.

"Hermione, leave us."

"Severus…"

He sent her a sharp look. She sighed, shrugged slightly, and left her own office, head held high. He'd have to apologize later…

The lout eyed him with unconcerned disdain as Hermione swept out. "Did you need to talk to me Snape, or was that one of your pathetic attempts to follow my wife around like an ugly mutt?"

Severus' smile should have alarmed the man…but he didn't really know who Severus Snape was. He thought this was a normal situation.

Severus put a non-verbal silencing spell on the door. Then he turned around, extended his pale fingers, and gave the lock a deliberate turn. The click of the lock sliding into place was loud in the quiet room.

Severus turned to the prey that still didn't seem to understand.

"Ex-wife." His voice was like a whisper off a grave.

The little man laughed. "Do you think that gives you a chance with her?"

Severus knew the look on his face. He could feel the feral grin stretching his mouth. It was the look he'd worn at seventeen when he'd blocked his father's backhanded slap and proceeded to pummel him into the dust. It was the same grin that Greyback had seen when Severus killed him. It was the grin he wore when he had watched Harry Potter kill Voldemort.

"I think that it gives me the chance to do this."

Severus didn't waste any more words. He balled up his fist and slammed it into the other man's jaw, quickly followed it with a series of damaging jabs to the body. He heard a rib crack; it was fractured but not yet broken. Perfect. His goal was not to kill this fool. The other man swung clumsily, Severus dodged and landed a blow on his overextended elbow, causing another fracture and a high-pitched yelp of pain.

Severus rolled away from blows to the body as he re-positioned himself. Then put the full force of his punch behind a strike to the oaf's unprotected stomach.

An open-fisted blow to the ear finished any resistance, pitiful as his attempts had been.

Severus flung the man into a high-backed wooden chair in the corner of the office.

A simple binding spell rendered the bleeding man unable to move; the next second his wand was in Severus' hand.

"I'm going to enlighten you on a few important details Mr. Smith." The man opened his mouth but Severus' spell was quicker than whatever drivel he'd planned to spew.

Severus dropped his voice into a rumbling hiss, barely more than a whisper. "Hermione Granger is no longer Hermione Smith. You betrayed her with a cheap Knockturn Alley tramp." Severus allowed himself to slap the man's unprotected face…just once. The sound of his teeth rattling and the blood at his nose were every bit as satisfying as he'd imagined.

"The divorce proceedings gave you far more than you deserved. Granger owes you nothing…nothing but the pain and angst you've given her." It was difficult to restrain the urge to hit him again, but Severus didn't want to risk actually losing his temper. He was closer to that precipice than he'd been since the war ended, fueled by three years of enforced inactivity on this subject. He took a calming breath and found his center, imagining a frozen chill over the roiling emotions that threatened to overwhelm him.

"She is not the sort to repay you." Severus leaned closer, baring his teeth in a mockery of a grin "But I am." The fear was finally blossoming on the other man's face.

Finally.

Severus was not a nice man. He'd never pretended to be.

He leaned to the man's ear. "Heed me well, because this is the only warning I will give you. I will take great pleasure in doing unspeakable things to you should you ever have the temerity to visit this premise again…and if I find that you are pestering Hermione when she is alone, I can promise that no one will ever find your body. I highly doubt that anyone besides your bookie will look."

Severus pinched the man's face in his hand and forced his head up to so he could look him in the eye.

"Do not test my resolve Mr. Smith. The results would be…unfortunate…for you."

Severus snapped the man's wand, tossed it in his flabbergasted face, and released the spell holding him to the chair.

"Get. Out. Before I remember that you most certainly do not deserve a second chance at living your miserable life."

The man was a fool, but he did not linger. A quick look into his mind showed that he had no intention of returning at any point. His mind was mostly involved with how to put his bookies off until he could find a way out of the country. Good. Perhaps someone else would kill him and spare Severus the trouble.

"Severus."

Here it came. The part where she told him to keep his ugly, over-large nose in his own business. He wasn't sure their friendship would survive the blatant act of violence against the man that she had once loved.

Thus, he was nonplussed to find himself engulfed in a warm hug.

Whiskey-brown eyes stared up at his. She rested her cheek against his chest.

"I could have dealt with him myself you know. He was my problem."

"If you think the man has not been a thorn in my side since before your marriage, then you are sadly mistaken."

She looked down, obviously embarrassed. "I'm sorry."

"Don't be ridiculous. Finally getting to thrash him soundly was the highlight of my week."

She glared at him and inspected his knuckles. Severus rolled his eyes as she healed a minor cut and the light bruising that was only just forming. It had been a small price to pay to feel the other man's flesh give way under the force of his blows. He could have used his wand. He didn't normally indulge in such physical retaliation, but occasionally the situation demanded it. Such as in the case of a dunderhead who managed to convince the brightest witch of the age to marry him…and then proceeded to do everything in his power to make her miserable.

She was looking at him again. "Thank you."

He allowed himself a small smile. "You are most welcome."

AN: So there you go…just a little something that proves I am (in fact) very much alive. Well…wait…technically I guess this only proves that someone is still posting to the account. I guess everyone will just have take my word for it.