Send Not to Know

Part 2

Chapter 3: Merry Christmas, Darling

She woke in the darkness, confused to find she was not in her bed. Turning her head, she found the ebony eyes of Severus Snape watching her with uncertainty.

"Hello," she whispered, smiling at him.

"Hello," he responded.

She reached with one hand to run her fingertips over the furrow between his brows, and leaning over, she pressed a kiss there.

He reacted as if her gesture of affection had released him in some fundamental way. He rose over her, capturing her wrists and pinning them to the mattress, then he kissed her with fierce possessiveness, until she was breathless with need.

"Are you going to send me packing?" he demanded, glaring into her face.

The bruising kiss had stirred her to passion once more; she wanted nothing so much as to have him pounding within her again. Yet her ability to read him seemed to be returning to her, now, and she heard a different question than the one he posed. "Please don't leave me, Severus," she whispered, seeking to move her hands. He released her immediately, rolling slightly away from her, and she pushed herself up on her elbows. She was not truly afraid that he meant to walk out on her, but intuitively, she answered the question he had not spoken aloud. "I could not bear for you to go."

She pushed him lightly and he lay down again on his back, watching her closely. She leaned in and kissed him aggressively, taking one of his hands and pulling it to her breast. "Why would you ask me such a thing?" she demanded, trailing nips and kisses down his throat.

He moved quickly, tumbling her onto her back and shifting between her thighs, looming over her purposefully, his erection hard against her thigh. "You belong to me," he asserted, allowing the head of his cock to press through her flesh, stopping short of entering her, and rotating his hips as he teased her nerve center. "Say it."

Hermione surprised them both by grasping him and raising her hips as far as she could, engulfing just the tip of his erection. "You belong to me," she told him as he obeyed his instincts and drove into her body. She wrapped her legs about him, gasping, "Say it!"

He said it not with words, but with actions, and she was soon bereft of the power of coherent speech.

Hermione next woke with the dawn, first aware of the soreness below, then opening her eyes to find that she slept in the arms of Severus Snape. He had obviously stirred in the night, for the fire had been built up again, and they were covered with a blanket which he had clearly Transfigured from his jumper, if one were to judge by the luxuriant softness against the skin.

Slipping from his arms, she rolled off the mattress and padded into the downstairs lavatory to relieve herself. The mirror over the sink showed her a tangled mess of hair and the face of a different woman. Her lips were swollen from their insistent kissing and her eyes were … well, they were shining with happiness. It was a cliché, but in her case, it was simply true. She felt as if she had been lit up from within, and the very knowledge that Severus Snape slept naked, coated in the mixed secretions of their lovemaking directly on the other side of the door, filled her with such jubilation that she had to cover her mouth with her hands to prevent herself from laughing out loud.

Contenting herself with a wide, self-satisfied grin, she opened the door to leave the lavatory only to find Severus lounging against the doorframe, naked as the day he was born.

"Have you been listening in to me having a pee?" she demanded in mock indignation.

"No, I only got here in time for the flush and the smothered sniggering," he answered, eying her nudity with complete satisfaction. "Look at this," he said, and turned her so that she faced the mirror, this time with him stepping into the bathroom behind her, and lifting the heavy mass of her hair to expose the left side of her throat. "Where did that come from?"

She surveyed the purplish-black love bite at the base of her throat. "I was apparently attacked by a rabid animal," she said, leaning back against the expanse of his bare torso, glorying in the way his arms came possessively about her.

"I will have to watch you more closely," he said, allowing his hands to move up and cup her breasts before he began to gently pinch and roll her nipples.

Hermione watched his hands upon her flesh in the bathroom mirror and found the sight almost unbearably arousing. She relaxed against him, feeling his sex stirring against her lower back, and closing her eyes, she luxuriated in the magic wrought by his clever fingers.

"Look at yourself, Hermione," Severus commanded, his early morning basso profundo proceeding from his mouth, pleasing her ears as her skin would react to the caress of plush black velvet.

She opened her eyes to see a woman changed by passion, a sultry witch in the throes of arousal brought to her by the wizard who watched her with half-lidded onyx eyes. She watched as one of the long-fingered hands slid up to her throat, then her head was turned and he bent to tongue her mouth, kissing her and nipping at her lips until she was barely able to stand.

"Go to the mattress," he told her, releasing her chin and allowing her to look again at their reflection in the mirror. "Lie upon your back, with your legs opened for me – yes, you will, because you are very beautiful when you do. I will come to you and taste your sweetness."

She did as he asked, and when he came from the lavatory to find her upon her back, as requested, he purred, "Good girl." He knelt upon the mattress and took her ankles, pushing her legs up until her feet rested flat and her bent knees made way for him to recline between her thighs. He caressed her stomach and kissed the tender skin of her inner thighs, speaking to her in such frank, erotic words that his promise of what was to happen very nearly brought her to climax before the first touch of his tongue to her clitoris.

As he nuzzled her curls, reaching with his fingers to spread her inner lips, she said, "Severus – you don't have to – I didn't think…"

In answer, his Slytherin tongue swept out of his mouth, laving her from her perineum to her clitoris, ending the first salvo with a gentle suction of the small protrusion.

"Oh, Nimüe, Circe, and all of the Graces!" she moaned, her hands descending to twine in his long black hair.

She could hear the smile in his voice as he nuzzled her clitoris. "I take it that Weasley and Krum were not proficient at the art of cunnilingus?" he inquired smugly.

"God, no," she whimpered, wriggling her hips to entice him to continue. "I'm sure they never heard of it. Don't stop," she implored.

"Well, neither am I proficient," he confessed, settling his lips around her clit and sucking gently, sliding two fingers inside of her as he did so. Raising his head, he looked up the length of her body to see her face as she craned her head to watch him, and he continued to pump his fingers in and out of her. "However, I intend to practice until I am very good."

Hermione had no objection to raise regarding this projected program of activity, so Severus set about to practice as he listened for her verbal responses to gauge his progress. Three hours later after a break for tea and toast, they were indulging in their fifth such experiment of the morning when the pounding began on the back door.

Severus heard the infernal pounding, but he did not wish to relinquish his place with his face buried in Hermione's delightful scent, her essence a treat for taste as well. She started and made as if to roll away from him, but he growled and tightened his hold on her hips.

"Severus, stop!" Hermione said, bringing up one foot to shove against his shoulder. "Let me get up!"

He released her and she scrambled up, a delightful vision of bouncing breasts and bottom. He rolled to his side, defiantly naked and erect, and leaned his cheek upon his hand. She hurriedly pulled on her long sweatshirt and grabbed her pyjama pants.

"Don't just lie there!" she scolded in a carrying whisper. "Cover yourself!"

He raised a sardonic brow and sneered at her. "What are you planning to do, little one? Invite the visitors in for tea?" He made a sweeping motion with his hand, indicating the discarded clothing and mattress; he did not point out that the very air smelled of sex.

"Hermione! Hermione, it's us!"

Hermione swore and Severus actually laughed. "I wasn't aware that you knew that word, ma petite. You'll have to say it again for me sometime."

"It's Harry and Ron!" she said, imploring.

His face sobered, his expression hardening. "Would you like for me to gather my things and Disapparate before you're caught en flagrante delicto with the greasy old man?"

"Don't be a git, Severus!" she scolded. "I just want them to bugger off!" She was trying to sort out the tangled pyjama bottoms so she could pull them on.

He gained his feet with feline grace, moving over to pull her into his arms, running one finger fragrant with her scent over her lips. "Shall I get rid of them for you?"

"Would you?" she said thankfully. "I'll just wait upstairs."

He watched her flee the room, enjoying the way the cheeks of her bottom peeked out from beneath the sweatshirt, then he grabbed his trousers, disregarding the y-fronts, and after buttoning the fly nearly to the top, he lounged over and opened the door.

It was very nearly worth three years in Bulgaria to watch the parade of emotions that marched across the faces of the two professional athletes on the patio. Severus leaned one shoulder insolently against the doorframe and tucked his hands in the pockets of his trousers, accentuating the fact that the trousers were not fastened all of the way up, as they parted to show the line of dark hair running from his navel downward. His feet were bare, his jumper had been Transfigured into a blanket, so he had no shirt, his hair was rumpled from a night of unfettered passion, and his face was still slightly damp and utterly fragrant with the sexual essence of Hermione.

"What the hell are you doing here?" Potter said, his voice trembling with suppressed fury.

"Let's skip the niceties, shall we, Potter?" Severus said cuttingly. "Why don't you two deliver your message and go away?"

"I had really hoped you were dead," Potter said.

"Yes, well, if wishes were Thestrals then beggars would ride," Severus said condescendingly.

"Where is Hermione?" Weasley demanded belligerently.

"Hermione is in her bedroom," Severus replied, lovingly lingering over the last word. "She is not…dressed to receive visitors."

"We came to see Hermione," Potter said insistently. "If you've hurt her, I will kill you myself."

Hugely enjoying himself, Severus stepped back from the doorway and gestured for the young men to enter. "Please, be my guests," he said.

Potter and Weasley entered the house and stood uncertainly on the rug. Severus flung the door closed and walked over to the sofa, bending down to retrieve his y-fronts and tuck them negligently into his pocket. The dunderheads were taking in the evidence supplied by the room; he could actually see the moment when they realized what they were seeing…and smelling.

"Did you want some tea?" Severus asked.

"Hermione!" Weasley bellowed, walking out of the sitting room. "Hermione, are you up there?"

Potter looked uncertain. "Ron? Maybe we should …"

Severus heard the unmistakeable sound of Hermione's bedroom door slamming, followed by her tread upon the stairs. "Hi, Ron," she said, and she led Weasley by the arm back into the sitting room. "Hi, Harry," she added. "I wasn't expecting you."

Weasley pulled his arm away from her. "That's bloody well obvious," he snarled.

Hermione had thrown on a bathrobe and had twisted her hair back up into the clip, but she unmistakeably looked like a girl who had spent the night shagging, as opposed to sleeping. Her lips looked as if they were bee-stung, she had forgotten the love-bite which was glaringly obvious against her pale skin, and her flesh still smelt of his come. She was well and truly marked; she was his, and he had never seen a sight more beautiful.

Unmindful of their audience, Severus walked past Potter, and ignoring Weasley, he looked down into Hermione's face. "I like your hair better when you wear it down," he told her, his tone low-pitched and intimate.

Hermione flushed and her fingers went to her hair. "I look a mess," she murmured, then flushed more deeply when he chuckled.

"Hermione," Potter said, pushing past Severus to stand with Weasley, "what is going on?"

"Precisely what you are imagining, Harry, I'm sure," Hermione answered him. "This is what happens when you show up unannounced. Why are you here, anyway?"

"You've got a bloody big love bite on your neck!" Weasley blurted, visibly sickened.

Hermione and Potter both ignored Weasley as Potter replied, "We came to take you back with us to the Burrow. Ginny and Neville announced their engagement last night; Ron's mum is having a big party tonight, and the Order members are all coming."

Severus reached out a long arm and pulled Hermione securely to his side. "We will be there if we have no other pressing business to which we must attend," he said to Potter. Glancing at Weasley, he added, "Please thank your mother for thinking of us."

Potter looked entreatingly at Hermione, whilst Weasley looked more nauseated by the moment. "Hermione, are you sure? We can wait while you get ready."

Hermione looked up at Severus with her heart in her eyes. "Oh, Harry, do go away. I'll see you later."

Severus, entranced by the adoration directed at him, swung her up into his arms. "Much later," he added, and they were completely immersed in one another again before the door slammed closed behind the departing intruders.

Though they did not make it to Ginny and Neville's engagement party at the Burrow, the Christmas punch which Severus mixed on Christmas Eve was exceptionally fine, and they were careful to toast the happiness of the engaged couple. If they did not see another living soul until the Grangers returned on Boxing Day, they were at least comfortable enough with one another by then to proclaim their intentions to Hermione's parents with a united front.

On later Christmases, with the assistance of a Christmas-baby girl called Rose, and later, with the added help of a sharp-tongued, gimlet-eyed boy by the name of Fox, the Grangers came to fully understand the aptness of their daughter's adamant decision to become the wife of Severus Snape, Potions master and Defence Against the Dark Arts instructor at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

The Grangers, although bemused at the time by their daughter's choice of partner, could not deny their own joy at the resurrection of their happy Hermione – and in some way, they realised that the dark, taciturn man with the endless black eyes was responsible for her return.

What they did not know, and what Hermione would not tell anyone for many years to come, was that it all began and ended on two different weekends before Christmas, when Hermione discovered what fate lies in store for she who is brave enough to answer the toll of the bell.

A/N: This story was written for the 2006 SS/HG Winter Exchange on Live Journal, for the prompt: A weekend alone for Hermione in the Granger's residence. Suddenly the Potions master turns up on her door step. For whom the bell rings, it rings for you.

Thank you for reading along, my friends. Merry Christmas, if you celebrate, and the happiest of New Years. ~Subversa