Summary: In the ten years since the Battle of Hogwarts, Severus Snape has worked very hard to free himself from his old life in order to become a respected Headmaster. Of course, his wife Hermione loves him regardless, but will an innocent board game change the entire future of their marriage, not to mention Severus’ view of his own kindler, gentler self? Written as a gift for the incomparable Subvers in the LJ 2011 SSHG Exchange.
Characters:: Hermione Granger, Lucius Malfoy, Narcissa Malfoy, Severus Snape
Genres: Drama, Epilogue, What Epilogue?, Erotica, Romance, Smut Warnings: none
This story is for the mighty and wonderful Subversa, whose stories inspire, delight and amaze. If this fic gives you a tenth of the pleasure your work has given me, I will count myself blessed.
Anti-Litigation Charm: The characters in this story belong to JK Rowling and Warner Brothers, who let my entire reason for reading the Harry Potter books and watching the films die twice—once on a dusty floor of the Shrieking Shack, and later in a boathouse we’d never heard of before. You can tell I’m a little bitter about it, but that’s what happens when you mess with my friends.
Special thanks to stgulik – the best beta in the world.
And this story is dedicated to my beloved Dahlra, who is first, last and always, my Father Figure.
This story contains explicit sexual content. And I do mean explicit.
That’s all I wanted, something special, something sacred in your eyes,
For just one moment, to be bold and naked at your side
Sometimes I think that you’ll never understand me; maybe this time is forever, say it can be
That’s all you wanted, something special, someone sacred in your life
Just for one moment, to be warm and naked at my side
Sometimes I think that you’ll never understand me, but something tells me together, we’d be happy
I will be your father figure, put your tiny hand in mine, I will be your preacher teacher
Anything you have in mind. I will be your father figure, I have had enough of crime
I will be the one who loves you, till the end of time
If you are the desert, I’ll be the sea. If you ever hunger – hunger for me, Whatever you ask for, that’s what I’ll be
So when you remember the ones who have lied, who said that they cared but then laughed as you cried, beautiful darling, don’t think of me
Because all I ever wanted, it’s in your eyes and love can’t lie, greet me with the eyes of a child
My love is always telling me so, heaven is a kiss and a smile, Just hold on, hold on, I won’t let you go, my baby
I will be your father, I will be your preacher, I’ll be your Papa, I’ll be your Daddy
I will be the one who loves you, till the end of time
Games lubricate the body and the mind.
“I quite like this game, my dears. We haven’t gotten good enough at it to cheat yet,” Narcissa Malfoy said, pushing down the lid on the board game they had just finished playing. “No, thank you, dear,” she said, refusing another glass of wine from Hermione Granger-Snape. “I’m afraid Lucius has had far too much and I think one of us needs to be compos mentis enough for side-along Apparation home.”
“My dear wife, you wound me. Are you impugning my ability to Apparate after a few glasses of this excellent Muggle wine?” Lucius asked, smiling beneficently. He placed an elegant hand on his breast. “I’m hurt. I am as bereft as a leaf blowing in mountain water.”
Narcissa smiled complacently, and replied very sweetly, “No, my darling, I would never impugn, but then again, water doesn’t blow leaves, no matter how poetic that sounded in your head.” She turned to Hermione with a warm smile. “When he’s in his cups, no metaphor is safe with him.”
Severus Snape caught Lucius’ eye, and the two men smiled knowingly. Lucius drew the tattered remnants of his dignity around him and raised his chin. “I might be a couple of sheets to the wind, but there’s nothing wrong with my metaphors.” He rose to accept his travelling cloak from Hermione and bumped into the end table, sending his other three companions diving to save the breakable items rocking precariously on top.
Hermione looked at her husband, and the deep glint in his eye was a warning not to laugh. It was a futile warning at best, and the quirk of his own lips belied any attempt on his part to quell his own mirth, and the four of them laughed until Hermione felt tears trickle from her eyes.
Finally, Malfoy senior put his arm around his lovely wife and sighed. “I think it’s time we were away to pastures anew, love. Our fair-weather friends tease and mock me.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Hermione nodded, still grinning. “Big bad Death Eater, blah blah blah -”
“You see that, love?” Lucius turned dramatically to his smiling wife. “Reduced to a ‘blah’. Severus, may I please remind you that I, Lucius Malfoy, am the product of over a thousand -”
“ – years of Wizarding perfection,” came the deadpanned answer in unison, from his friends.
“Honestly, Lucius, I’m going to stop giving you wine. You become positively insufferable,” Severus drawled. He turned to Narcissa. “Good luck taking him home, Narcissa, and please remind him while he’s removing his trousers, one leg at a time, like the rest of us, that he does, in fact, put on and remove his trousers one leg at a time, like the rest of us.”
Lucius tried to look offended, but was too pissed. “Enough sordid talk of me removing my trousers.” He shook hands with his old friend. “You really need to have a word with your dear wife,” he whispered, sotto voce, burnishing Severus with alcohol fumes. “She gives me no respect.”
“Oh, I am sorry. I’ll try to do better, Rodney Dangerfield,” Hermione said, accepting his goodbye kiss. It was a smeary, inoffensive smack, wet with wine.
He pulled back, just as Narcissa put her arms around him. “Rodney who? Is he that new chap on the Wizarding Wireless?”
“Goodnight, Lucius!” Severus and Hermione said in unison, laughing. Narcissa joined them, holding her slightly drunken husband steady.
“Come ‘round next week if you can, Hermione dear,” she was saying. “I’d really like a second opinion on the colours for the new wing. I can’t make up my mind.”
“By Merlin, Cissy, you are looking lovely tonight,” Lucius declared, the picture of charming, drunken elegance. He turned to his friends with the complacent smile of a comfortably numb, contented man. “I’m the luckiest wizard in Britain, you know.”
“Goodnight, old friend,” Severus laughed, and put his arm around Hermione as they watched their friends Apparate home.
Severus looked down at his wife, and placed a gentle kiss on her forehead. “Bed?”
She nodded. “We’ll tidy in the morning.” They walked in companionable silence to their bed chamber and undressed, chatting about the evening.
Hermione watched Severus remove his clothing and felt a sweet contentment. She loved to watch him at the most mundane tasks: shaving, dressing, undressing, dipping his soldiers into a runny egg first thing in the morning. He was graceful in all things. He should be; he’d worked hard enough at becoming so. Hermione loved even that: the desire of the self-proclaimed mill trash boy to better himself and rise above his gauche, working class upbringing.
He caught her watching him, and lowered his head, as he always did while aware of being observed. Even that pleased her. Hermione loved her husband dearly; she admired his strength and courage and the way he’d succeeded against all odds to return to Hogwarts as Headmaster four years after the war.
When Hermione had first returned to Hogwarts, it was to replace an aging Minerva McGonagall as Transfigurations Mistress. However, it became quite obvious to all concerned that Miss Granger also went a long way to relieving the loneliness and sorrow in the heart of the newly-reinstated Headmaster. As for Hermione, she had not planned on Severus Snape falling for her, but she’d been all too happy to catch him.
For the last six years they had been happy, and enjoyed each other’s company. Hermione grew more and more fond of her stern, angular husband every day. He had changed; he was not the complete bastard he’d been at school, but she also realized that so much of how she had originally perceived Severus had been through the filter of Harry’s intense dislike for the man, as well as his own insecurities and necessities. The night of the final battle, when Hermione had stayed behind in the Shrieking Shack to keep him alive until help could arrive, had changed all of that.
“Tonight was so enjoyable,” Hermione said, as she brushed her hair. “I’m glad Narcissa suggested it. Who would have thought the two of them could be so much fun when they let their hair down?”
Severus nodded, hanging up his robes. “Lucius was a right laugh when we were lads. Full of pureblood dogma, of course, but not rabid about it. That only came later.” He said the last words with a sigh. He sniffed. “Lucius can be a pain in the arse, but all in all, he’s not the monster everyone thought him to be. He likes you very much, and so does Narcissa.” He smiled at her as he climbed into bed, and propped himself against the headboard with several pillows. “You’re right, though. This was a good idea.”
In marrying Severus Snape, Hermione had soon realized that she had also inherited his friends as well. Hermione, who had developed a warm friendship with Draco Malfoy during her Apprenticeship at Wizarding Cambridge, decided to give them the benefit of the doubt at Draco’s request, as well as Severus’.
As Draco himself had said, “Mother and Father need friends, Hermione. They’ve got a lot of work to do to restore any semblance of normality back in their lives. I know you probably don’t believe it, but Father still has nightmares about having to stand by and watch my dearly-departed aunt Crucio you on their floor.”
Hermione was touched. “Really?”
Draco gave her a look that should have infuriated her. Almost kindly, he said, “How should I know? I don’t sleep with him! But if he did, would you like him any more?”
Laughing at Draco’s completely Slytherin approach to the problem, Hermione said, “All right, but one word about pureblood supremacy and he’s out on his well-bred backside.”
“Ah, I knew you wouldn’t let me down, Granger!” The blond man sobered. “I know this doesn’t sound very tactful, but they went through hell. It was a hell of their own choosing, but they’re not bad people. And yes, having Hermione Granger on their side would be an advantage in political terms, but what’s the harm in finding out that you might actually like them – I mean, you adore me, so it stands to reason you’ll love them!”
“Modest to the last,” Hermione had teased, but she saw the honest hope in his eyes, and she felt touched that the once-proud Draco Malfoy was so doting on his parents. It was that concern that made up Hermione’s mind. She and Severus welcomed the Malfoys into their home and back into their lives, and they never regretted it.
The couples first met for a round of drinks. The next time it was for dinner at a favourite restaurant. They attended a concert together. Soon, they were meeting at one another’s homes for dinner. Hermione often felt a little out of her element, as the three older people had a shared history that had nothing to do with her, but it was obvious the Malfoys tried as hard as Severus to include her as much as possible. After all, she had been the catalyst to bring them all together.
As they toasted the beginning of the New Year, ten years after Hogwarts’ final battle and the end of Tom Riddle, Narcissa said, “I think we should make a resolution for the coming year. Let’s resolve to do something together once a month, even if it’s just to have a lovely dinner together.”
Hermione was the one who mentioned board games. “My family used to play them all the time and they were very enjoyable. There are tons on the market now for wizards, and they’re much more fun to play with four than with just two.”
Narcissa thought it a lovely idea; Lucius, as always, deferred such things to his wife, and Severus scowled. “I’ll agree to it on one condition. None of those silly Muggle games like Twister, and I absolutely refuse to play Snakes and Ladders.” The other three looked at Severus for a stunned moment before Hermione burst out laughing.
It had turned out to be such an enjoyable pastime that they increased the frequency of their get-togethers to every other weekend, and decided to alternate weeks so that each couple played host once a month. Sometimes Draco and his Amour of the Month would join them, but it was usually just the four of them.
They established a routine of meeting around six in the evening for drinks, then eating a lovely meal, playing whichever game they chose (the guest couple always chose the game), and played until they were all too tired, which (except for one particularly drunken Halloween game of Wizarding Monopoly which lasted the entire weekend except for breaks and sleep) usually ended around midnight.
Severus and Hermione enjoyed Wizarding Scrabble, in which the tiles walked themselves to the appropriate squares and kept their own scores. Lucius hated it because he inevitably tried to cheat and the tiles seem to take great pleasure in screaming abuse at him when he got caught (“nkplazq isn’t a word, you ignorant berk!”). He instead preferred Wizarding Cluedo, where the figures pranced around the board wielding weapons and killing each other off with far too much glee for Hermione’s tastes.
Trivial Pursuit was fun, but got a little cerebral (Severus once picked the Entertainment question, “Who was Cecilia Warbeck’s Great-great-great Aunt and what part did she play in the Treaty of the Wand-Switching Inquisition of 1767?”), and the only one of them any good at Win, Lose or Draw Wands was Narcissa, who had a real talent for art under time constraints.
On this particular June night, it was the Snape family’s turn to host, and Hermione had asked the house-elves to help her prepare a really nice dinner, and as usual, they nodded and smiled and said, “Yes, Mistress Headmaster,” a great deal. In the end, Hermione gave in and let them make whatever they wanted to make and it was wonderful anyway.
Tonight, the Malfoys had procured a new game called “What Say You?” (A game of Legilimency if you dare!). In spite of its lurid subtitle, it was quite fun. Each player moved on a board of squares toward an end goal by asking the other three a particular question. The questions, while quite innocent on the surface, could actually produce some quite risqué answers.
The object was to try to match your opponent to their answer correctly, and you moved toward the end by how many you correctly matched. Of course, cheating was employed from square one, with each person trying to throw the questor off the scent. Because Severus was the only skilled Legilimens of the four of them, they tended to look away from him during his turn, to level the playing field.
Some of the answers had been hilarious, and some quite telling. The last question of this particular evening had been a fill-in-the-blank. Hermione had been given the question: My breath smells like ———-?Her helpful fellow gamers had given her the answers: spearmint, fairy farts and magic, and Dumbledore’s arse. She’d not gotten a single correct match, but she’d spent a good ten minutes laughing until tears streamed from her eyes.
At the end of the evening, it was decided that this was the game to beat over the next few game nights. “I quite like this new game, don’t you?” Hermione asked casually, as she changed into her dressing gown. She was still smiling about Severus’ confession that his breath smelled of fairy farts and magic.
“It is quite enjoyable, but I hate that you all look at the floor when it’s my turn. I feel like a pariah, or a cheat,” Severus replied.
“You mean you wouldn’t use Legilimency to discover our answers?” Hermione challenged, teasingly.
Severus smirked. “I would never presume to do something so dishonourable to you, dear. Malfoy, on the other hand -”
Hermione laughed. “I actually wouldn’t blame you – he’s a terrible cheater! Thank goodness he’s not a sore loser, or I wouldn’t play jacks with him. He’s not even good at hiding it.”
“What you must understand about Lucius, my dear, is that he has never felt compelled to hide it. That’s why he’s so unrepentant when he gets caught.” Severus shrugged. “Who knows? Perhaps he wants to get caught so he can use his charms to get out of trouble.”
“That sounds more like him.”
Severus donned his reading glasses and was just delving into a new book from his bedside table when he felt his wife slide into bed beside him and snuggle close. “Your feet are freezing, Madam Snape,” he said to the pages of his book. “Have you been wading in the Black Lake again?”
“Just keeping the Squid company until you got the bed nice and warm,” Hermione replied, taking the book from his hands and removing his glasses. She placed them on the bedside table. “By Merlin, Severus, you are looking lovely tonight,” she purred in a very credible imitation of Lucius Malfoy. She grinned up at the face of her husband. “I’m the luckiest witch in Wizarding Britain, you know.”
Severus looked down at his wife of six years as if inspecting a particularly interesting variety of peach. His large hand slid to her warm breast, and found her nipple pertly erect and waiting for him. He smirked as he lowered his head to hers, and in a voice as soft as sin, replied, “You’re about to get very lucky, Madam Snape.”
Almost two hours later, Hermione lay wide awake, listening to the quiet almost-snores of her sleeping husband. As always, Severus had been a tender, affectionate, very giving lover. They knew one another’s bodies well, and they knew what they liked. Severus had given her two very lovely orgasms, and she’d enjoyed one of her favourite positions, on top, looking down into her husband’s face.
She loved watching him make love; he was observant and he paid attention. In all things, even this, Severus held himself in check, using his iron self-discipline to rein himself in. While he obviously enjoyed wringing every cry of pleasure from her, he himself was quiet, almost desperately so, as if afraid of expressing himself vocally.
It was only at the very peak of his pleasure, gasping, pumping up into her shuddering form, that he would sometimes give her the tiniest peek at what it would be like to watch him truly lose control and give himself over to his passions. His face would be taut, beautiful, and the ecstasy would etch across his face like that of a pre-Raphaelite painting, and Hermione would nearly come again at the look of pleasure and pain on his pale features. And then it would be gone so quickly she could be forgiven for thinking she’d dreamed it. He would come gasping, shuddering, turning his face away, or covering with his dark, shining hair. It was the only time in their marriage he was not an open book to her.
He would be very gentle with her afterwards. Sometimes, in the heat of the summer, he would bathe her with compresses saturated with mint to cool her heated skin, or bring her an iced drink to soothe her parched throat. During the winter months he would cuddle her in front of the large open fire and have the house-elves bring hot toddies. He was always caring, warm and giving in their bed, and when they were done, and cleaned and relaxed, he would spoon against her back, put his long arms around her, kiss her shoulder, tell her he loved her, and drift off.
He had suffered from nightmares in their early days of co-habitation, but as time had passed, the nightmares seemed to diminish, and Hermione wanted desperately to believe she had somehow helped to quell them.
Gradually, he slept longer and more deeply, and the haunted, fagged look he’d carried through most of her student days at Hogwarts smoothed and relaxed. She privately thought he looked younger now than he had ten years ago. He certainly took better care of himself and his appearance. He felt it was important to the student body to see a Headmaster looking every inch the part.
Severus twitched in his sleep, and she put a comforting hand on his thigh, and he settled before the dream could take him further into a place he no longer wished to go. He mumbled something in his rich, beguiling voice, kissed her back, and whispered her name. Hermione sighed. She loved her brilliant, complicated husband very much. His astringent personality appealed to her, and they were good together. He was a good husband, a good wizard, a good provider – a good man.
But Hermione remembered too well the angry, bitter, caustic professor of her school days; he was part and parcel of the man she fell in love with, try as he might to eradicate those parts of himself he no longer wished to be.
Hermione felt a pang of something like guilt. Because sometimes, just sometimes, when she was lying next to the good man she married, she wondered what it would be like to lie in the arms of the bad man he once was.
No human being is innocent, but there is a class of innocent human actions called Games. W. H. Auden
“I don’t care how many damn fools on the Board of Governors approved it, I still maintain it’s a preposterous idea, and I, for one, have no desire to see that over-sensationalised twaddle implemented in this school!”
Severus turned away from the fireplace, angry at himself for losing his temper in front of the Minister of Magic, knowing that others would be with Kinsgley Shacklebolt on the other end; knowing that Lucius, who was attending the meeting here at Hogwarts with Severus, would be thinking of ways he could use this outburst against Severus at a later date.
The Floo call had been expected, but Severus had hoped that Lucius would back him up and use his restored influence with the Governors to discourage the idea. It seemed that either Lucius’ authority was not as compelling as Severus was led to believe, or Lucius was also encouraging this foolish scheme.
“Minister, I propose we table this discussion for now. Perhaps we can return to the motion at a later date. If I could speak with you for a moment in private.” Speak of the spider and the web takes shape!thought Severus, as Lucius Floo-d into the Minister’s office.
He was gone perhaps five minutes when he stepped back through the fireplace, brushing some residual Floo powder from his immaculate midnight blue robe. “I’ve asked them to resume this discussion next week, and they’ve agreed. Minister Shacklebolt’s office will contact you regarding the time and place.”
Lucius stepped forward, shaking his head. For once, his lighthearted indifference was muted. “Severus, why are you opposing this Installation? I, for one, believe it is a good idea.”
“That’s because you will no doubt use it to your advantage to improve your reputation,” Severus hissed morosely, and felt a pang of conscience as Lucius winced.
Instead of growing angry, Lucius merely bowed his head in acquiescence. “As much as that intended to hurt, there is some truth in what you say, old friend. But this is not about my eagerness to embrace a positive concept – this is about your reticence to accept a very forward-thinking idea. Why on earth would you object to the school hosting a permanent Wizarding War Museum commemorating the ten-year anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts?”
Severus ground his teeth. “It’s ghoulish, that’s why! It will be full of overly-romanticised, lurid displays, everything will be exaggerated, the heroes will be deified, the villains will be nothing less than monsters, and the truth will be tucked under a bunch of light shows and embroidered facts because it’s not half as interesting as these idiots seem to recall it being!”
Lucius listened carefully as Severus’ tirade turned pleading. “Lucius, do you honestly think they will portray us – portray me, as anything resembling the truth? I’ll be reduced to some Byronic, brooding hero, who saved the day for Potter with my herculean sacrifice! I’ll come across as looking like some sort of sanctimonious, love-struck, pathetic, martyrdom-seeking arse!”
Lucius rolled his eyes. “I’ve never heard such bollocks in my life, Severus Snape! You’re actually telling me that you are afraid you’ll come across as one of the good guys? Merlin forbid,” he added airily. He shook his head. “You never could take praise for toffee. Has it ever occurred to you that Hogwarts needs you to be a hero? That for once, history has the chance to be rewritten for the right reasons?”
“Don’t talk rubbish, Lucius,” Severus bit back. “The victors always write the history books to make the heroes look properly heroic. Let Potter enjoy his day in the sun. I’ve got a school to run.” He turned away dismissively.
Lucius pursed his lips disapprovingly. He decided to try a different tack. “You do realise, don’t you, that the next generation of Hogwarts students are here, now? That those who saw it first hand, even as terrified first-years, have long since graduated?”
“Yes, thank you, Lucius, I do have a grasp of who is actually attending my school,” Severus retorted testily. “I realise the current student body don’t have any personal memories of those days, and I for one, am glad.”
The chimes of the ancient clock rang five times, distracting the two wizards. Lucius looked at his own pocket watch to confirm the clock’s accuracy. “Merlin, is that the time? Must be off,” said Lucius, smiling.
He waved a careless hand around Severus’ study. “These children don’t remember how frightening this school was that year. You do. You can tell them, you can remind them. Severus, you can enrich the hearts of the innocent with the tales of valour and sacrifice and unspeakable bravery, so that no new Dark Lord can fill the minds of the disenfranchised with prejudice and hatred again. You can be the vanguard for the new generation, Severus.”
Lucius grabbed a handful of Floo powder and left his friend standing by his desk. Before he could cast it into the fire, he turned back to Severus. “You know, that sounded rather good.” He smiled patronizingly. “You should use it in your speech at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.”
He threw the Floo powder into the massive fireplace. “Malfoy Manor!” He turned quickly to Severus. “Oh, by the way, do you mind if we play ‘What Say You?’? again next week? Cissa simply adores that game. We’ll see you then. Love to Hermione. Good night, Severus.”
Severus opened his mouth to launch a withering reply that everything was a game to Lucius, then decided he couldn’t be arsed. It seemed pointless to expend any energy with a retort that would fall on such deaf ears. With a sigh of resignation, he turned to look out the window onto the Quidditch pitch. There was a game scheduled on Saturday, and unless this rain abated, he was afraid his Slytherins might get roundly trounced by Ravenclaw. They were a good team in fair weather, but lacked the stamina for the truly foul stuff bucketing down out there now. He could see Alan Burleigh, the team captain, putting them through their paces, but they were sluggish, uninspired.
He sighed. He knew how they felt. It was his sixth year as Hogwarts’ Headmaster, and he knew he had learned to be a good one. The sweeping changes made the year of his return had taught him more about what not to do, and he was determined that the graduating class as well as the first years received the best magical education the Wizarding world could offer, in spite of the ongoing repairs to the school. It had taken the better part of ten years, but shortly after Severus’ last birthday some eight months past, the Wizarding contractors charged with restoring the ancient castle had signed off the last task, and the school was whole again.
Now that repairs were finally complete, the Governors had come up with this idea to commemorate the milestone by killing two birds with it. Ten years after the battle, they had voted unanimously to allocate a large portion of the East Wing for the sole purpose of building a permanent Museum to the Battle of Hogwarts. Severus knew in his heart it was a good idea, and for once he thought Lucius was right – they needed to be reminded why so many good people lost their lives, so that another Tom Riddle could not get a foothold in Wizarding Britain again.
The problem was that Severus did not want to see his own history romanticized. Already the Governors wanted a complete section dedicated to Severus’ own efforts as the double agent and the lynchpin of the war. It made him queasy to think that his youngest students, who regarded him with a mixture of respect and intimidated awe, would discover just what an utter bastard he’d been in those days. If history was to be written here, under his very nose, then Severus wanted his chapter to be about who he was now, not back then. He wanted to believe he’d changed.
Ten years after the war, the Wizarding world was stable, and as a microcosm of their world, Hogwarts reflected it as such. Each student was treated as equal to the other, and the inter-house relationships were on a par the likes of which the school had never seen before. The Pureblood/ Muggle student ratio was steadily evening out to a respectable sixty/forty split. Severus had personally overseen the push to encourage more Muggle families to embrace their magical children and allow them to attend Hogwarts. He was proud of that.
He watched the weary Slytherins leaving the grounds, looking exhausted and dispirited. Burleigh stopped and spoke briefly with Joan Speckin, Ravenclaw’s team captain, and Severus watched as she gave Alan a commiserate pat on the shoulder. Both teams chatted with each other as Slytherin left the pitch to the Ravenclaw team. Severus almost smiled; he could allow himself to be proud of that small, telling exchange as well.
It was a strange new world. Sometimes, Severus could almost forget those dark years after the end of Tom Riddle, when he was sure of facing a lifetime in Azkaban. His Dark Mark was nothing more than a ghostly shadow on his skin now. When Severus had received his pardon and was asked to return to run the school, he had almost refused, feeling that he didn’t deserve it. But, then Hermione came back into his life. His precious girl. He allowed himself a smile this time. Another perk for being lucky – Hermione.
He had been brutally honest with her in their early courtship. She often teased him of trying to frighten her away, and although that was the last thing on his mind, he truly wanted her to be completely aware of the man she was involving herself with. He didn’t want her to hero-worship him, but she had. He had courted her with every weapon in his arsenal, and she’d surrendered without a struggle. Now she ruled this fine school at his side, as fierce and loyal as her House’s mascot. He sometimes wanted to jab his wand in his leg to make sure it was not all a dream.
But it had a price. Once, he had been a warrior. Now he was a sedate headmaster. These days, his worries consisted of how well his former House’s Quidditch team would perform this year. It was not that he missed the old days, he told himself – often. And yet, sometimes, especially at night…
Yes, the Dark Lord had been vanquished, the opponents of the Light gone or scattered or fawning, but then again, so were the warriors. They were gone; dead or neutered. That’s how Severus felt most days – as indolent as a neutered tomcat.
He chastised himself; it would distress Hermione to hear him say that; it distressed him to think it. He didn’t miss the darkness…
He thought of Hermione, and felt his body long for her sweetness. There would be a thrice-damned installation, he thought. And a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open it, as well. And as Headmaster and hero, he would have to make a speech about what an honour it was to have been part of it. He would be eloquent and use his sonorous voice to emphasise the bravery of the Order and certain individuals, and theProphet would laud him.
It would be an excuse to buy Hermione lovely dress robes, perhaps in a dark wine colour, to bring out the colour of her eyes, her glowing skin. She would look stunning, and he would swell with pride when referring to her as ‘my wife’. She would sit by his side as he spoke to students, dignitaries, press and politicians, and she would smile up at him with that smile that promised so many things a former student shouldn’t know about, much less do to their former professor…
And afterward, they would come together, and he would revel in her, knowing their love would be the cause of their fierce, consuming passion. She would be soft and silky, and passionate and sweet, and her scent would be intoxicating, her touch devastating.
She would smell like lemons and honey, and her virgin-tight pussy would taste sweet as nectar, and she would be so wet and delicious, that he would remind himself it was not a dream, but a gift belonging to him alone. She would cry his name over and over on their bed, and his name would sound like an incantation on her tongue…
He allowed himself a smirk. Amazing, he thought, how the image of his wife panting beneath him drove all thought of anything else from his mind. How she would laugh at his train of thought, starting with his acquiescence of the Museum installation to bedding her with only the briefest detours at speech making and dress buying.
Where Hermione was concerned, Severus had to keep himself in check. She was such a distraction to the detriment of everything else around him. He had once vowed he would never allow his feelings for another woman to interfere with his duty; he should have known that to be a foolish vow, and one he had no hopes of keeping with Hermione. Every time they made love, it was all he could do not to turn into an animal, fucking her into the mattress. She deserved better than his ranging, uncontrollable lust for her.
He felt the tug of darkness whisper to him then, but he wouldn’t sully her with it. He would keep his peace, and not frighten her with his baseness, as he had done… no. Those days were over and gone. He would bury himself in her heat and her desire, and forget that he didn’t deserve it, that he wasn’t good enough to lick her shoes, much less her…
Severus turned from the window with a mental shake. He needed to finish requisitions, and then he would join his precious wife in the Great Hall for the evening meal, and peg together some announcement about this infernal Exhibit. Instead, he returned to his reverie, his dark eyes gazing at the fire, his thoughts drifting to his little Gryffindor lioness, and her lovely warm body, her little mewls and growls, her hungry kisses…
If you’re going to play the game properly, you’d better know every rule.
Of course, Hermione loved the idea of the Museum. “Oh, Severus, I think it’s one of the best ideas I’ve heard in ages! Oh, you have to do it, please!”
Severus suppressed a sigh of resignation. He was a man who seldom disagreed with his wife; she seldom gave him reason to. This would be one of the rare exceptions.
Severus had known she would be as enthusiastic about the Museum Installation as he was reticent. She was, after all, part of the Golden Trio, and was proud to have played her part in the destruction of the Dark Lord. On the other hand, Severus’ emotions concerning the end of Tom Riddle fell more along the lines of grim satisfaction and relief.
Hermione was determined that he, too, would learn to take pride in his accomplishments during the war. “Reminding the Wizarding world what we fought against is a way to ensure it never happens again, Severus.”
“You’re starting to sound like ruddy Malfoy,” Severus grumbled moodily, hating the feeling of being outnumbered.
Hermione rolled her eyes, refusing to take the bait. “Well, we’ll overlook that little implied insult, but I do agree with him here, Severus.” She put a placating hand on her husband’s black-clad arm. “Severus, you are a hero. Now, I know you don’t like that word,” she added hastily, as he opened his mouth to protest, “and you don’t like talking about those days, and I don’t blame you on that account.”
Her voice was gentle and respectful; the hand on his arm warm and caressing. She looked at him with eyes full of righteous indignation for her mate. “Merlin knows those years leading up to the end were simply awful for you. No one deserved being forced to endure what Tom Riddle and Albus Dumbledore put you through. But that’s why I want the world to know about what you did. All of it. I want them to see the fine, courageous, strong man I married.”
Severus turned away. His wife had always had a soft spot for the underdog, and it looked as though he would forever be her pet project on that count. He poured them both a cup of tea. Sipping the scalding liquid, he sighed. “Hermione, I cannot emphasise enough the pleasure it gives me to hear you say those things about me, of all wizards.” Severus gave her a look of frustration. “But I cannot help but feel like a fraud. I was not brave, I was not honourable. My cowardice and betrayal were the catalysts for the deaths of James and Lily Potter.”
It was no longer painful to say her name, Severus realized, and knew that meant something important, but it did not change the fact. “I don’t see why I should be singled out. Many Order members were far more noble and courageous than I.” He swallowed, hating the words he knew he must speak. “I don’t want to be reminded of the fact I was a terrible teacher here. I was not a nice man, Hermione. I was a Death Eater -”
“Was being the operative word – “
“Once a Death Eater, always a Death Eater. It was a magically-binding vow. I shouldn’t have to remind you of this; I’ve told it all before.”
Hermione sighed. Yes, they had discussed this many times, and she wanted to remind him that the Death Eater in him was a distant memory, faded like the Dark Mark that once throbbed and burned like poison tattooed under his skin. He had only hinted at the degradation and agony he’d suffered the night he took it, the shame of enduring it and the horror of feeling it flare back to life after all those dormant years. She also felt he was not telling her the complete truth.
Knowing she was wading into very dark, potentially lethal waters, she summoned her courage. “Severus, you cannot have it both ways.” At his scowl, she swallowed heavily and continued. “You either have to disregard your past and move on, or accept it as part of yourself and live with it. You tell me you don’t want to acknowledge your life as a Death Eater, then turn around in the same breath and declare once a Death Eater, always a Death Eater. Alright, I accept that as fact. But you have to accept it as well, and let the story be told!”
Severus looked at his young wife and felt faintly queasy, knowing she was right, and that he was only fooling himself if he believed that he would ever truly be free of the man he once was.
Hermione was on him like a shot. “Oh, no you don’t, Severus Tobias Snape! Don’t start wallowing in self-recrimination and shame!”
“I thought you said I couldn’t have it both ways,” he grumbled, and looked away. Hermione touched his arm again, but he refused to look at her.
Whenever she caught him in this peevish sort of mood, Hermione knew she had to be careful or he would spiral into a day-long funk. She retorted, “That’s not the same thing and you know it. Severus, look at me!”
Reluctantly, Severus faced his wife. She touched his face, and her hands felt like silk against his skin. Her warm, penny-brown eyes looked into his with absolute trust.
“I was there, Severus. I remember you, and no, you were not a nice man. There were times you actually made me cry, you were so cruel. And don’t lie; you enjoyed it.” He gave her eyes a searching look, but only saw the same sweet love shining through. “But you were also a brave and courageous man, who had to do terrible things. Some of it was a façade, and some of it was real. I forgave you for both years ago; now you have to forgive yourself for hiding behind them or taking pleasure in doing them.”
“I had to do worse than merely insult students -”
“To survive, love! You had no choice!” Hermione shook her head, her lovely face full of empathy. “I know you did things I cannot begin to imagine, and since you won’t tell me, I’ll never know. And I’m fine with that; you don’t have to tell me everything.
“I married the entire package, Severus. The good and the bad, the light and the dark. They are part of you, and what you are to me.” Hermione touched his face again, and her voice was soft. “I may not have liked you very much then, but I respected the hell out of you. You made me think. You made me grow. You challenged me then, and you still do now, and I have loved meeting every challenge you have ever given me.”
Severus looked away, abashed at her passionate declaration, and Hermione felt she had better stop while she was ahead. She tucked her hand in his, and he looked down at the small, slender hand trustingly encased in his palm. “I love every aspect of you, Severus Snape, and I don’t care who knows it. Your integrity, your insecurity, your intelligence, your snarkiness, your sexiness -”
“I’ll not display my sexiness for anyone,” he pouted, but Hermione could see him softening, giving in. She smiled.
“No, I think I’ll keep that aspect of you to myself, thank you,” she said, and kissed his warm lips until he responded to her, bestowing a loving kiss of his own. Hermione looked at him, and her heart swelled, as it always did for this complex, intricate soul. “Accept it, Severus. You’re a famous man in our world. Let them enjoy you; enjoy being given your due.”
He did not protest, but his eyes remained troubled. “I still think I should just be included with the Order.”
“They will have their own display, Severus. I’m not trying to say they don’t deserve it. Tonks and Remus, for example. They gave their lives, and left their son an orphan.” She knelt at her husband’s side. He looked down at her with a mixture of love and uncertainty. It was a look she was very familiar with.
”I keep thinking about little Teddy; how proud he will be to see this tribute to Tonks and Remus. And Neville cried, when he was told there would be a part of the museum dedicated to his parents.” Frank and Alice Longbottom had both died during the past few years, and Hermione knew exactly what this tribute would mean to Neville.
Finally, she played her last card. “But no one, no one did what you did,” Hermione said, smiling up at him. “Severus, I won’t try to make you do something you have no wish to do, but I will tell you this.” She took his hands in hers, and kissed them.
“I adore you; and one day, we’re going to make strong, beautiful, magical, brilliant little black-eyed babies together. And I will not hesitate to tell them every day just how blessed they are to have such an incredible man for a father.
“And when our babies grow old enough to understand, it would make me so proud to show them the exhibit dedicated to you, so they could see what a great man their father is in the eyes of the world they live in, and how great they can be, because they have his blood in their veins.”
Severus looked down at his wife, and was surprised to see tears sparkling in her eyes. Her earnest, lovely face was open and honest, and love shone from it.
Severus reached for her, and pulled her into his lap, and kissed her lovingly. She lay against his shoulder with the trusting attitude of a child. “Sometimes I am fairly certain I don’t deserve you.” His voice was soft and wistful, and all the more beautiful for it.
Hermione smiled as she toyed with the buttons of his robe. “Who, me? The insufferable, buck-toothed know-it-all? Some of your old students would say you got exactly what you deserved.”
“I’d like to see them try,” he growled, but his eyes were soft, and when he brought her hand to his lips and kissed it reverently, Hermione knew he’d made a decision.
Severus conceded with a sigh. “Alright. I cannot fight you and the Board of Governors. I’ll owl them and tell them they can start their infernal Installation.” He gave his wife a sly look. “I’ll give you the happy task of helping me prepare the school for it.”
Apparating onto the grounds of Malfoy Manor always gave Hermione an uneasy sense of déjà vu. In spite of the enjoyable times she’d spent there since, she never forgot what happened there on that hideous day near the end of the war when she, Harry and Ron were brought to the imposing house by the Snatchers.
The Crucio she’d suffered at Bellatrix Lestrange’s wand was something that had haunted her for a long time; the blinding pain, the humiliation of soiling herself as her bladder, bowels and stomach emptied on the expensive carpet, the fear that she would break and give them all away … Being the pragmatist she was, her nightmares had ceased a long time ago, but there were still moments when Hermione would first catch sight of the manor, and her heart would beat faster.
Severus never mentioned the change in her. It was subtle, after all. Instead, he would place his arm around her and protectively envelop her in his cloak, drawing her close as they walked up the path to the door. It was one of his many unspoken gestures of comfort towards her, and it always did the trick.
A house-elf welcomed them in, and Hermione smiled approvingly at the small elf, clad in an immaculate towel with the Malfoy crest embroidered on the front. Draco still teased Hermione about S.P.E.W., as did almost everyone who knew her, but he agreed with her that house-elves belonging to fine, Pureblood families like the Malfoys should at least have nice tea-towels to wear.
Draco had regaled his friends with a lively description of how he had had to remove all the old towels in the kitchens and replace them with the nice new ones, so that the elves didn’t think they were being given clothes. The image of the aristocratic Draco sneaking around, picking up smelly, threadbare tea towels, holding his nose and stuffing the offending rags in a bag still brought a smile to Hermione’s lips.
“Lovely to see you, dear,” Narcissa said, kissing Hermione’s cheek. She looked tired. “Come in to the drawing room; Luc is making drinks. Tiddle!”
A little house-elf with enormous blue eyes appeared with a little ‘POP!’ “Yes, Mistress?” she squeaked, looking up at Narcissa with hope-filled eyes.
“Take Headmaster and Madam Snape’s cloaks. We’ll be ready for dinner in half an hour.”
“Yes Mistress!” Tiddle squeaked, her large round eyes brimming with happiness. She took the garments from Severus and Hermione and disappeared with a cracking noise.
“So, Draco and Astoria are back from the honeymoon now?” Severus inquired, as they walked down the hall to the Drawing Room. The big news of the past week was the wedding of Draco to Astoria Greengrass.
Everyone who was anyone in the Wizarding world had been invited. Severus teased Lucius that they had used the occasion as a massive photo opportunity, and Lucius blithely, unrepentantly confirmed it as such. But the machinations of the festivities had been long and exhausting, and showed on Narcissa’s face. The honeymooners had just returned from Tuscany.
Lucius drawled with a martyred sigh. “Yes, and you should see Draco – brown as a berry! He looks positively common.” He smiled. “Still, he’s happy and healthy, so one mustn’t grumble. Our meal times have suffered, though,” he continued, his aristocratic face wrinkling with disdain.
Dinner that night was an unexpectedly disastrous affair. Burnt roasties, lumpy gravy, sprouts boiled to extinction, and a roast joint that, on closer inspection, could have easily passed for shoe leather. Narcissa was embarrassed but resigned. “I’m afraid our regular cook is currently in residence with Draco and Astoria, getting their household arranged. Tiddle is a very hard worker, but …” she waved her hand as if to say, ‘What can you do?’
“I wouldn’t worry, Narcissa,” Severus replied thoughtfully, sawing away manfully at his roast beef. “Miss Greengrass was a very resourceful witch; no doubt she will soon find her bearings.”
“Yes,” Lucius answered smoothly, familial loyalty winning out. “No doubt she’ll soon find the… umm, her… umm,” Both Hermione and Narcissa were starting to laugh behind their napkins.
“Way to the kitchen?” Narcissa giggled, and the four of them laughed.
“I really can’t talk,” Hermione chuckled ruefully. “I used to cook quite a lot. I never thought I’d hear myself say it, but Hogwarts does spoil you with the sheer amount of house-elves. It makes me feel like the biggest hypocrite in the world, but you can’t argue with their cooking.” Her eyes widened, and she turned to Severus. “Could we ask one of the house-elves to come here temporarily, to help cook, just until Astoria gets…” Hermione rolled her eyes. “Oh, who am I kidding? Could we do that?”
Severus shrugged. “We could ask. What say you, Narcissa? Would you care for the loan of a better cook while your senior elf is off supervising the honeymooners?”
Narcissa beamed. “That would be lovely, Severus!” She turned to Hermione and gave her a warm look. “Awfully thoughtful of you dear! We’d happily accept one of the Hogwarts’ cooks!”
“I’ll see about it tomorrow,” Severus said, elegantly lining his fork and knife upon his plate, to signal he was finished. He looked at his host and hostess. “I think pizza is in order, don’t you?”
“Now, I’m sure you’re cheating, Severus,” Narcissa pouted. “You’re using your Legilimency skills to a very unfair advantage.” She, Lucius and Hermione watched as Severus’ game piece skipped happily to the last square on the board, whistling ‘The Winner Takes It All’.
Severus placed a long, pale hand over his heart, and gave his hostess a withering, offended look. “I assure you, Madam Malfoy, I would do no such thing.” His lovely voice, rolling through the large game room, sounded as oily as his host’s. “Can I help it that my gaming partners are so transparent?”
His wife was unimpressed. “Hmph.” She looked at him with narrowed eyes. “I’m going to wipe that smug look off your face, Severus Snape!” Hermione declared triumphantly. She turned to her fellow players. “Now remember, he has to get all three answers matched correctly to win. I’m counting on you two to use your Slytherin wiles to ensure he doesn’t.”
Lucius eyed Severus with a fiercely competitive gleam in his eyes. “Rest assured, Madam Snape, our slippery friend will not triumph this evening. Do your worst, Headmaster,” he gestured imperiously. “Ask your infernal question.”
Severus, smiling at Lucius’ gauntlet-throwing and his wife’s locker room pep talk, drew his last card with a flourish. He smirked at the card, raising a dark, silken eyebrow. “Ladies, and Lucius, I ask, ‘What Say You?’” With a deep chuckle meant to sound salacious, he purred, “At this precise moment, what is the biggest change you would like to make in…” he waggled his eyebrows like a villain in a Victorian melodrama. “The bedroom?”
His three opponents, he saw, all wore different expressions. Lucius and Narcissa carefully schooled their features – perfect Slytherins to the core. They would play cross and double-cross, trying to deceive with distraction; divide and conquer. Hermione would be the easiest to decipher; she had a terrible poker face.
Narcissa, Lucius and Hermione bent over their parchments and began writing. The game came with its own ‘Recognise-Me-Not’ quills; once an answer had been written down, the handwriting changed, and once Lucius shuffled the parchments under the table and presented them to Severus, each parchment would look as if written by the same person. It was up to Severus to use his ability and knowledge of his fellow players to deduce who had said what, and this time, he had to correctly identify all three to win.
Lucius solemnly handed Severus the pieces of parchment with the air of an undersecretary delivering a bill to the Wizengamot. Severus took them with equal solemnity, and looked down his large nose through his reading glasses. He smirked, and shook his head. Tutting at his companions, he drawled, “Oh, my. This is a broad church.”
Clearing his throat, he announced. “At this precise moment, what is the biggest change you would like to make in the bedroom? And my esteemed and learned colleagues have answered: one, a better view of the Quidditch pitch; two, a new carpet,” he pronounced, giving his audience a sarcastic, eye rolling look. Finally, with a voice pitched with silken sinfulness, he purred, “And three: uninhibited, bondage-and-discipline sex with a very Dominant Daddy.”
Severus looked up, expecting to see three pairs of averted eyes, avoiding the possibility of Legilimency. Instead of looking at the tops of three heads, he saw two, plus the direct stare of the amber eyes of his wife. She had the most unusual expression on her face; it was expectant, almost pleading. He hesitated for a moment, and raised his eyebrow in question. She gave him a little enigmatic shrug, as if to extend the invitation to read her mind. There was a hint of challenge in her look, as well.
Just then, Lucius raised his head slightly. “Well, do I take from your silence that you have conceded defeat and are unable to match us with our answers?” He risked a glance at the couple staring into one another’s eyes and huffed. “Oh that is unfair, Severus! Trying to coerce your wife into revealing her answer. I’m the cheat here, if you don’t mind!”
Severus broke eye contact with Hermione and turned back to Lucius. Smugly, he replied, “There is no need to cheat. The answers are as obvious as I expected they would be.”
Narcissa also risked looking up. “Well, then, Poirot, ‘What Say You?’” she smiled.
Severus pursed his lips. “Well, it’s quite obvious that both you and Lucius attempted to deceive me – one of you with the truth, and one of you by giving an answer that would sound like it came from Hermione. And I anticipated my dear wife would have an answer so off base as to attempt to completely throw me off the scent. Once again, I was correct.”
“Oh, this all very interesting, Severus,” Lucius drawled in his most bored tone. “But the fact of the matter is that you are stalling.”
Severus looked at his old friends, then pointed at Narcissa. “View of the Quidditch pitch.” Lucius. “New carpet.” He last turned to Hermione. “Steamy, uninhibited Daddy sex.”
Narcissa looked perturbed, Lucius resigned. Hermione’s face was unreadable. Severus looked at the trio before him. “Am I right?”
“Yes, I’m afraid so,” Narcissa sighed. Lucius also nodded in affirmation, which apparently shocked his wife. “Did you say that to throw him off the scent?”
Lucius shrugged. “I’m afraid our esteemed Headmaster was right. I was indeed trying to deceive with the truth, my dear.”
Narcissa looked faintly hurt. “Why Luc, I thought you liked that carpet.”
Lucius groaned. “Oh, Cissa darling, I loathe that Aubusson nightmare.” They were both laughing and did not notice Hermione’s gaze drop to the table. Lucius, however, noticed Severus gazing at Hermione. Turning to her, Lucius challenged, “And just who were you trying to emulate so that Severus would think it was one of us? Surely, Narcissa doesn’t strike you as the type who’d need me to be any more Dominant than I already am!” He preened with an exaggerated swagger, and Narcissa caught Hermione’s eye and winked. She leaned forward and spoke quietly to Lucius.
“My dear, I think she might have been suggesting you were the one in need of a Daddy, not I.”
Lucius’ pretended indignation made them all laugh. “Well, I never,” he spluttered. “Cissa, call the house-elves. I’m sending this one packing!” He was smirking as he spoke.
Severus replied dryly, “Of course, Daddy dearest.” He chuckled with his friends. “And on that rather bizarre note, Hermione and I must take our leave. The dunderheads at the Ministry are coming in the morning to talk about this bloody Museum Installation, and I’ve got to show them around and prepare a workspace for them.”
Hermione was strangely quiet as they greeted Mr. Filch, who opened the large doors to welcome them back to Hogwarts. She smiled and nodded as Severus chatted about the meeting on the morrow, but he could see she was preoccupied.
As they prepared for bed, Severus let her be, but experience told him that whatever was bothering her would soon be too much to contain, and she would eventually tell him or burst. Finally, as they crawled under the covers, it was Severus who broke the silence. “What is troubling you, dear? You’ve been acting unusually quiet ever since we left the Malfoys.”
For a moment, Severus thought she wasn’t going to answer. She merely looked into his dark eyes, and he again resisted the temptation to look into her mind. This vague unease worried him. “Hermione, is something wrong? Have I said or done something to offend?”
“No,” she replied evenly, and looked away, biting her lower lip. It was a gesture he knew only too well; it brought to mind a bright young student worrying away at her bottom lip, her only concession to the insecurities she had suffered during her early years at Hogwarts.
Severus frowned. “Hermione, I am starting to grow concerned. Please, talk to me.”
Finally, she asked, “Why did you think the answer about sex came from me?”
Hermione flushed slightly. “Tonight, the last game. You said you knew I had written the answer about uninhibited sex.” She turned the full battery of her forthright stare on him. “How did you know it was my answer?”
Severus gave her a puzzled look and reached out to stroke her cheek. “Are you asking me if I cheated?”
Mildly, he answered, “I promise, I did not. I merely guessed at how I thought the three of you would answer. Lucius would be truthful, and you and Narcissa would try to deceive me by giving me answers that could have possibly come from each other.”
“So, you think Narcissa would want wild, uninhibited sex?”
Severus smiled. “Actually, I was thinking more along the lines that the last thing you would want was any view of the Quidditch pitch.” When she didn’t return his smile, Severus grew serious again. “Hermione, what in Merlin’s name is this about?” He sighed, and replied teasingly, “Surely you didn’t expect me to believe you want us to engage in some sort of sado-masochistic, fantasy sex?”
Hermione took a deep breath. “What if I did?”
Severus propped himself on his elbow. “What? You want me prancing around in a black leather gimp mask, pouring wax all over you while shagging you tied up against the brick wall?”
Hermione made a small moue of consideration. “The mask I could do without, but the wax and the wall sound a bit exciting.”
Severus sat up. He was no longer playful. “Are you trying to tell me I am unable to satisfy you in bed?”
Hermione jumped up and put her arms around her husband. “No! Severus, that’s not it at all! You are a marvelous lover!”
“I see,” he said, his voice cool. He looked down at his hands. “Just not a very interesting one.”
Hermione tried to pull his unyielding body back down on the bed. Pleadingly, she cried, “Please don’t twist my words!” Her voice was frightened. “I was so afraid this would happen. That’s why I’ve never said anything. I didn’t mean that at all, you must believe me, Severus! I would never say anything to hurt you!”
When he did not answer, Hermione jumped out of bed and knelt at his feet. He would not look at her. “Severus, if you don’t believe me, please look in my thoughts. I’ve been trying to get you to do that all night!”
Severus looked down at his wife. He placed one hand on her shoulder and cupped her chin in the palm of his opposite hand. “Legilimens!” He whispered, and entered her mind.
He saw them, making love. He felt her passion, her absolute love and devotion to him. As they came together, another image of himself floated into her consciousness; she was standing behind him, sandwiched between the wall behind her and his broad back. She was pinned between them, and he was saying to an unseen person beyond his shoulder, “If you do not stop me, I can and will do unspeakable things to her, and I will enjoy doing it!”
She was looking at the back of his coat, and her hands pressed against his back, just as he spun around to face her, his expression harsh and unforgiving. Severus saw himself, bearing down on his wife, pitiless and powerful. He felt a sharp pang of desire lance through her mind, watching him…
Confused, he pulled away from her mind, but kept his hand on her shoulder. He was staring down at her as if he’d never truly seen her before. “What are trying to say to me, Hermione? That the idea of me hurting you excites you?”
She put her arms around his knees and drew close to him. “No! I don’t want you to actually hurt me!” She lowered her eyes, and Severus understood. It came to him like a thunderbolt.
She had deceived him in the game with the truth. All her life she had looked up to him; he had been a dominant force in her teenage years as a stern disciplinarian, and of all her teachers, his approval was the one she had desired the most and received the least. He had been an ambivalent character in her later teens, a knight of both the dark and the light. And through it all, she had looked up to him and treated him with respect. She had ever been obedient; even when he fired insults and withering comments, she had put her head down, and obeyed.
Now they were married she had wanted, no, expected him to fulfill the same role in their bed as well. She had expected him to sexually dominate her, and she had wanted it; she wanted to submit to a lover who forced her to succumb to his dark pleasures. She was excited about the possibility that he could hurt her, if he so chose.
The implications of this realisation rocked Severus to his core. He took a deep breath, and schooled his thoughts. In his most neutral tones, he said quietly, “These can be dangerous games, Hermione. I know. I have played them in the past.” He felt her shiver, and he closed his eyes. “Hermione, you’re asking me to rouse a part of myself that I don’t truly know is wise to awaken from its slumber.”
Hermione pulled back and looked at him. “You wouldn’t hurt me, Severus. Letting go and abandoning yourself to sexual pleasure is not something you should be afraid of! It’s simply not in you to hurt me.”
A scowl fleeted across his features. “Isn’t it? You can’t know that. I have hurt people in the past. I was not a nice man, Hermione.” He looked away, and his voice took on a bitter, bleak tone she had not heard in many years. “Oh, yes, I’ve played those games, my dear. I’ve been the Master; I’ve been the Daddy -”
“I don’t want to know what you did with those women!” she said vehemently, and he could see tears glistening in her eyes.
He cupped her cheek, and answered softly, “You see, Hermione? Already, I’m hurting you.”
She rose to her feet and stood over him, angrily swiping away her tears. “You’re not being fair. You want to tell me about these other women to frighten me! I don’t know or care what you did with them! I want to know what you would do with me!” Her warm eyes seemed to burn in the light. “I want to know what it’s like – to see you lose control, to lose yourself with me!” She closed her eyes, as if savouring her words. “I want to hear you say those dirty things to me, to make me call you Master and obey you. To know I’m making you say and do these things.”
Severus looked into the flashing eyes of his wife. “Hermione, you are asking me to say and do things that go against everything I have tried to become! You can’t honestly tell me you want to be married to the hideous teacher of your youth! I don’t want to be that domineering, cruel man anymore! I don’t want to order you around our bedroom like a slave.”
Hermione’s eyes looked huge in the dim light. “Severus, what if I want you to?”
“You don’t know what you are asking of me!” he hissed, and turned away.
Hermione stubbornly held her ground. “Yes, I do. I know you can give it to me. That you can make me feel helpless, that you could make me crawl on my hands and knees to you.” He closed his eyes, and Hermione could feel him wanting to respond. She swallowed and continued huskily, “That you could make me beg you to do things to me. You could spank me, and tie me up and use your voice to -”
“Hermione, it’s very late, and we both have a very full day ahead of us.” He sighed heavily, and pinched the bridge of his nose. His voice softened slightly. “We will discuss this tomorrow, I promise. But I really need to sleep now.”
Hermione, her shoulders slumped in frustration, knew better than to press the point. Blunt insistence only got you so far with Severus Snape. Instead, she nodded, and together they climbed back in bed. Severus spooned against her, and kissed her goodnight, and when Hermione whispered, “I love you, Severus,” he replied in kind.
Hermione forced her breathing to slow, and pretended to drift off to sleep. After a moment, she felt Severus pull away from her, and turn over, so that his back was to her. Both lay awake for a long time.
It’s all fun and games ‘till someone loses an eye, then it’s just fun you can’t see.
“Have you lost what little mind you were blessed with, Orchid?” Severus roared. “Absolutely not! This isn’t a bloody freak show!”
Pervis Orchid, the representative of the Wizarding War Museum, visibly cowed. He was vastly intimidated by the tall, imposing Headmaster, and it bruised his already fragile ego to have the man shouting at him.
The Headmaster had been barely polite from the moment Mr. Orchid arrived, but as he listened to the little man briskly telling him how this was to be exhibited and that was to be displayed, he grew more and more impatient. Finally, out of the blue, the Headmaster completely exploded in Orchid’s face, turned on his heel and strode away from the Museum area.
Orchid followed him, of course. Headmaster Snape must be made to see reason, his supervisor had told him; establish your authority with him and be assertive! Orchid squared his shoulders and scuttled along beside the Professor. A short, dumpy little wizard who remembered Severus from his own school days, Orchid had to scurry to keep up with the taller wizard as he strode down the hall toward his study.
As it became clear that the Headmaster had no intention of shortening his stride, Orchid felt a rising indignation. He was after all, the Undersecretary to the Assistant Director of Satellite Museum Locations in the Greater Scotland Area. The man should at least give him his due, instead of bellowing at him as if he were just another dimwitted student.
“Now, see here, Headmaster – “
“I will ‘see here’ nothing!” Severus roared, incensed, his long strides eating up the corridor. “I’ve been overrun, overturned, and overruled since this fucking thing began!” He turned on the shorter man with such sudden menace Orchid literally skidded to a halt.
Severus bore down on Orchid, his black eyes snapping fire. In a low, sinister voice, he hissed, “My cooperation is essential for this thrice-damned Museum, and you are in peril of losing it altogether. This is exactly the type of lurid shite I suspected this Installation would attempt to foist on the unsuspecting children of this school!” He spun away, leaving the undersecretary to scamper after him again, spluttering excuses as they raced down the corridor.
Neville Longbottom, Hogwarts’ Herbology professor, was chatting amicably with a group of third years as the Headmaster thundered past, his dark robes billowing and snapping angrily behind him. Professor Longbottom froze, as did his audience, as Severus flew by in all of his furious glory.
“Professor, was that the Headmaster?” Morgana Wablock asked tentatively, her blue eyes wide. They stared down the hall, along with the other students and professors the Headmaster left gaping in his wake. “I’ve never seen him look so, so upset!”
Neville watched his former professor, now Headmaster and boss, and shook his head. “Well, I’m not sure, but,” Professor Longbottom laughed shakily, to the concern of his students, “it sure takes me back to when I was your age.”
The Headmaster’s wife was also blown past as she headed in the opposite direction, and as their eyes met, she could see that her husband was angry, but it was more than just fury. It was worry, concern, guilt, humiliation; all the horrible things she associated with her DADA professor during her sixth year in school. Whatever the little tin god scurrying beside Severus had said, it was enough to cause Severus distress such as she’d not seen in almost ten years. Hermione’s alarm soon turned to anger. How dare that jumped-up little jobsworth upset her husband so? Severus rarely lost his temper anymore; it was clear to Hermione that he had.
She bit her lip thoughtfully. Things had been a little strained as they prepared for the day; neither had had the courage to mention the conversation of the previous evening, and Hermione wondered if that factored into his present mood as well.
But time and class wait for no witch; Hermione reluctantly turned away and headed toward her last class of the day. Seeing his obvious distress, Hermione felt her own petty wants and needs were rather immaterial at the moment, and she was prepared to put them away for good if it restored her precious husband’s peace of mind.
Hermione did not see him again until they met in the Great Hall for dinner. It was a tense affair; news of the Headmaster’s uncharacteristic fit of temper had spread through the school, and being the haven for gossip that all boarding schools are wont to be, the Hogwarts’ student body thrummed with speculation that evening. Some said that the Headmaster hated the idea of the museum so much he was sabotaging it; others said the designers had angered him because they wanted a display about the Death Eaters. Still others were certain that he was angry that there was no special exhibit about him.
When Hermione turned to him, the question in her eyes, Severus smiled tightly, and put a reassuring hand on her arm. “Later, my dear. This is neither the time nor the place to discuss my outburst. Our students are already so stirred up that I think my only option is to pretend the whole incident of little import.”
Hermione returned his smile, and returned to her chicken. Whatever had happened, she would winkle it from him if it took all night. She had not seen him that angry since her own school days here. She could not tell him that even in the midst of his fearsome display, she felt a frisson of excitement; nor could she admit, even to herself, that seeing him blazing through the halls had given her a thrill of sheer want that had left her knickers decidedly damp.
It was not until later that evening that they were finally alone. There were a dozen or so important and unimportant matters requiring attention that evening, and it was almost ten o’clock that night before Hermione and Severus closed and locked the door of their bedchamber. As he sat down on the bed, Severus quietly removed his boots and socks. Hermione watched her husband carefully, as he pinched the bridge of his nose and rolled his neck, wincing a little as he stretched.
She climbed onto the bed behind him and began to massage his shoulders. She had a firm but gentle touch, and Severus purred as she found all the knots and kinks in his muscles and soothed them one by one. With each deep breath, he let go of the tension of the day. A loud moan marked the location of one particularly pernicious knot, and Hermione set about to banish it.
“I will inform you when you are allowed to stop,” he groaned, as the aggravations of the day bled from his muscles. “A month or so should do it.” He rolled his neck sensuously. “Ah … I don’t know what I would do if you didn’t rub my shoulders at the end of the day.”
Hermione smiled. “For one thing, you’d look pretty silly with your shoulders up around your ears.” Once she felt him lean back against her, she knew he was completely relaxed, and the movement of her hands changed from massage to stroking. It was usually a prelude to love, sliding her hands over his skin, unbuttoning his crisp, white shirt, feeling the warm, smooth flesh of his chest. Soon his hands rose to cover hers.
“Are you going to tell me what happened, or do I have to force it from you?” she whispered against his ear, and he chuckled darkly.
“I’d be quite interested in knowing how you plan to ‘force’ anything from me, Madam,” he drawled silkily.
Hermione smiled, and slid from the bed until she was facing him. She knelt down between his thighs, and finished unbuttoning his long robes. “It depends on your definition of the word ‘force’, my darling husband,” she replied flirtatiously, parting his robes. Severus smirked, and leaned back, propping himself up with his hands.
“Do your worst, witch,” he said thickly, his eyes growing dark with arousal. He looked at her expectantly, and hummed softly as she slipped his cock from its confines. His eyelids lowered, framing his dark eyes with impossibly thick, black lashes. He allowed himself a smirk as she slid her long, slender fingers over his rapidly swelling member, enjoying the look of anticipation on her face.
The first time she knelt before him and prepared to take him into her mouth, she looked up at him with flaming cheeks and said, “I really want to give you the best blow job of your life, but, I’ve never done this with a man this – this,” she stuttered, “I mean, Merlin, Severus, you’re as big as a house! I’m a little intimidated.”
To her surprise, he had laughed, then dragged her into his arms, kissing any available area he could reach. “It will be alright, Hermione,” He’d smirked. “I would advise you to take it a bit at a time.” It had taken her a while to get the hang of it, but Hermione was nothing if not an overachiever.
Hermione stroked him now with long, deft strokes, hearing his breathing quicken. It excited her to feel his body open to her, and as she flicked her tongue over the head of his cock, it thrilled her to hear him hiss his appreciation.
“I suppose I could tease you into telling me,” she murmured, her breath warm against his sensitive skin. “Are you sure you don’t want to talk about it?” She emphasised her words with light, tickling licks over the underside of his cock. She scraped her teeth gently against the sensitive little membrane, and when he gasped and his hips jerked upwards, she grinned lazily. “Perhaps I should torment it out of you.”
He looked down at his wife with a look that made Hermione’s already-damp knickers sopping wet. Grasping his swollen member with one hand and her chin with the other, he purred, “Let’s do something more productive with that little mouth of yours, hmm?” He pulled her toward him, easing his cock between her warm, plump lips.
Hermione closed her eyes and took as much of his large cock in her mouth as she was able. She was more aroused than she thought possible. He almost never spoke during sex, and hearing him say something so lascivious was unbearably exciting to her. She closed her hand over his, and they pumped his cock into her mouth together.
“Ah, yes, much better,” He sneered, shivering. He moaned as he thrust deeply, until he could feel the back of her throat close against the head of his cock. “Oh, yes, sweetness … fuck, that’s good …” His long fingers tugged at her hair, and he moved in and out of her mouth slowly, enjoying the wet heat of her mouth sucking at his flesh.
Hermione looked up at him, thrilled at how vocal he was. She knew what he wanted. He wanted her to suck him hard, to swoop down on him, devour him, and bring him off quickly. He loved to lie back and let her take him over; it was the closest he came to letting go completely.
Hermione also knew that if she was patient, she would get what she wanted, and sucked hard, her tongue swirling over the slit of the head as it peeked from the foreskin. His hips churned up to meet her, and when she looked up into his face, it was slack and blank, and he was trembling. She pulled his cock from her mouth with a hard, sucking release that made him growl.
“Are you going to tell me?” she purred, licking him, her strong hand on the long, twisting downward stroke, and he whimpered, and began to thrust upwards. Her hand glided over his sac, and he gave a soft cry, a sound so vulnerable and boy-sweet it made her pussy clench. He was fucking her mouth now, his body taut, and his face was so open and abandoned Hermione felt something like power slide into her belly. “Are you?”
“Shut up and suck me!” he roared, and she almost came at his feral command. The feeling of sexual power over him was overwhelming, and she pushed harder.
“Will you tell me, love? Will you?” she cried, pumping his cock hard, rolling his balls in her hand, and his eyes slid closed as they rolled back. He was gasping, his silky brows arched in a scowl, and his tongue slid sensuously over the edge of his top lip. “Will you?” she cried, and began to suck hard, her hand sliding along his shaft with powerful, hard strokes.
Hermione watched him as she licked and sucked and stroked him; suddenly, his glassy eyes widened and his mouth formed a surprised ‘O’ of intense pleasure. She moaned deliriously, and the vibration reverberated through his groin, and he fucked her mouth with abandon. He was coming, and Hermione pulled back just as he passed the point of no return. His face was luminous with erotic intensity. She cried, “Tell me!”
He shouted, “Yes! Oh, gods, yes, I’m come … coming … oh fuck … take it,” he snarled, his voice full of sexual power. “Take… it… all, witch…”
He growled low in his throat as his orgasm raced through his groin, his come hot and pungent as it spurted from his cock into her waiting mouth. He cried out over and over as Hermione took him to the hilt, burying her nose in his delicious-smelling pubic hair. He was clenching her head almost painfully as he rode out each wave of ecstasy.
As the last of the spasms shuddered from his cock, Severus opened his glazed eyes and watched as Hermione leaned back, his milky issue smeared over her mouth. He groaned loudly as she licked it from her lips like melted sugar. She closed her eyes and swallowed the last of it, a smile on her glowing face. Exhausted, Severus fell back on the bed, his chest heaving, a light sheen of sweat glistening on his pale skin.
Hermione sat back on her haunches, watching her husband gasping, his flaccid cock resting against his thigh. Finally, with a heaving sigh, he rose from the bed, pulled her to her feet and over onto the bed with him, and enveloped her in his arms. He placed a fervent kiss of devotion on her forehead.
“Tell me again why I married you, my dear?”
Hermione laughed. “Because of my fellatious skills?”
“That, and I couldn’t have allowed you to waste such an indecently tight cunt on some dunderhead too foolish to appreciate what you have hidden beneath those scandalous little knickers.”
“Ah, I see,” Hermione giggled. He rarely spoke so coarsely. It gave her a little tingle to hear him use lurid words like ‘cunt’ and ‘knickers’. After the previous night, his increased vocality seemed like an apology, a gift of sorts, and she felt herself relaxing.
He tried to renege, of course. “Coercing a man under such extreme interrogation measures doesn’t count,” he said, and tried to cajole his way out of talking about the events earlier in the day. He knew he was stalling for time, but he could no more resist baiting his little lioness than a boy could resist popping a balloon. As she scowled at him, he found himself chuckling. Was it really so bad that he couldn’t talk to Hermione about it? She, of all people, would agree with him.
He pushed himself back against the headboard of the bed and stretched. “That little pillock from the Museum told me they wanted to make the Installation as authentic as possible. I said, ‘I couldn’t agree more.’ He went on to say that they had amassed a whole host of artifacts from the Battle, including some of the destroyed Horcruxes and a fang from the basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets.”
Hermione was very quiet. She herself had used one of those fangs to help destroy Helga Hufflepuff’s cup; she was surprised at the depth of uncertainty she felt, knowing she would see those items again.
Severus watched the emotions play across his wife’s face, and continued reluctantly. “I again agreed that these artifacts would be desirable, not only for those seeing them for the first time, but to those of us who witnessed it firsthand.” Severus face darkened. “Then, he came to my display. I was told that among the artifacts would be a replica of my old Potions book, the one Potter used during your sixth year here -”
Hermione gasped. “Of course! The property of the Half-Blood Prince!”
Severus nodded, “The very one. He showed me various photographs, essays, and Potions journals I had contributed. The setting would be the Potions classroom, since I’d spent most of my career there. There will be a replica of my wand, my Order of Merlin …” Severus’ voice dropped, and Hermione looked at him expectantly.
“That doesn’t sound so bad, Severus. Why would you get upset -”
“They want to have a mannequin charmed to look and sound like me walking throughout the display – wearing my Death Eater robes and mask, giving a lecture about the night I killed Dumbledore!” Severus burst out, with barely suppressed fury. “That gods-forsaken little toe rag from the Museum already has the Minister’s approval to do it, so I was told to hand them over to the Artifacts Superintendent by the end of the week!”
Hermione was stunned. “That’s just – I mean, well.” She was completely off guard. “That’s just tacky.” She looked at him, shocked. “You mean your robes – your Death Eater robes – you still have them after all this time?”
Severus looked abashed. Gritting his teeth, he replied, “Apparently I’m the only Death Eater alive who hasn’t had the sense to destroy the wretched things. After I-” His face darkened, and he closed his eyes to calm himself. “After Dumbledore, I Apparated to Malfoy Manor, and dressed in the robes to face the Dark Lord. When he dismissed me, I went to Spinner’s End. I stuffed them in a box and left them there. I never wore them again.”
He paused, eyes narrowed in remembrance. “When I sold the place, right before I returned to Hogwarts, I just shrank everything in the house down, lock, stock and barrel, and moved it here.” He looked resigned. “Yes, I still have them after all this time.”
Hermione was completely nonplussed. A part of her, the part of her possessing good taste and tact, was shocked and wanted to give the Minister a piece of her mind. Having an effigy of the Headmaster of Hogwarts stalking around in a Museum display wearing Death Eater robes struck her as the epitome of poor taste. It would have been amusing, had Hermione not been aware of exactly how much the idea distressed Severus. Perhaps one day they could laugh about it; not now.
“Well,” she began, having no idea how she planned to continue the sentence, “perhaps … you … could agree to let them use the robes on the proviso that the mannequin remain static. I can see why they would want to display them, but – “
“Why my robes, Hermione? Why does it have to be mine?” Severus let his head fall back against the headboard. “Any credibility I have here will be undermined to the point of non-existence if they do this.”
Hermione bit her bottom lip. “We’ll figure something out, Severus.” She crossed the room and climbed into bed with him. “Please try not get so upset. There’s always a way to fix these things.”
Severus gathered his wife into his arms. “I wonder what it’s like to have a quiet life,” he grumbled, placing an absent-minded kiss on her head. “First our newly repaired gates are scaring away the magical creatures, and now my greasy image is going to be looming about, scaring away the students with ghost stories. Why can’t they just leave me alone?” he hissed to himself.
“Stop. We will fix this.” Hermione said, emphatically. “In the meantime, perhaps your Death Eater robes will meet with an unfortunate accident.”
Severus made a frustrated sound. “I already told him I still have them. I had no idea he was planning such an asinine way of displaying them. I have to loan them out now.”
Hermione rested her cheek against Severus’ warm chest. “Then we’ll just have to make sure the mannequin meets with an unfortunate accident.”
For a moment, Severus was silent. Finally, he turned to his wife. “Are you sure you aren’t a closet Slytherin?” For the first time, a ghost of a smile played about his lips. “You really are the brightest little witch, you know.”
Hermione snuggled against her husband, and breathed a sigh as his arms wound around her. “I married you, didn’t I?”
Severus kissed her deeply. “Thank all the gods you did,” he said, then turned to the lamps and waved a careless hand. “Nox.”
To be great we need to win games we aren’t supposed to win.
Severus had always had a lot of time for Hagrid. The gamekeeper had been a kind and discreet companion in the dark years during Riddle’s return. Many was the night Severus had stumbled onto the grounds of Hogwarts, shaken and bleeding from Voldemort’s Crucio practice, to be carried into the infirmary in the massive arms of the warmhearted half-giant.
On the rare nights he returned blessedly unharmed, Severus would see the huge bear of a man waiting patiently by the gate, lantern in hand. Hagrid’s smile of relief was always a welcomed sight, and never failed to bring some small comfort to Severus’ bleak existence.
However, as tolerant as he was of Hagrid’s less-than-orthodox teaching methods, Severus did not appreciate the aggro he was receiving from Hagrid’s latest specimen. Until the magical signature on the perimeter gates was re-calibrated, Hagrid had permission to bring his newest subjects into the castle, where he could teach in one of the spare classrooms instead of on the grounds. One creature in particular was proving a lot more provoking than Flobberworms.
“Rubeus,” Severus began, determined to hold onto his patience with both hands, “Why on earth is this,” his face pinched with disdain, “thing in my school?”
The thing in question, an obnoxious little ferret-like creature, spat up at him, “Piss off, conkface!”
Severus looked up at his Care of Magical Creatures Professor with an eyebrow arched so eloquently it looked capable of speech.
Hagrid at least had the decency to look a little chagrined. He glanced down at the subject of the day’s lesson and stroked it gently. “Oh, Perfesser, it ain’ nuthin’ but a little Jarvey, ya know,” he rumbled affectionately. “They don’ mean no ‘arm, and they’re dead clever – ain’ you just, lil feller?” Hagrid tried to tickle the Jarvey’s chin, and pulled back with a hiss as the mouthy little furball snapped at his finger.
“I’ll show you ‘lil feller’, you big gobshite!” it squeaked. The large man looked at Severus with a placating look of great tolerance.
“Jarveys are vastly misunderstood creatures, Headmaster,” Hagrid said sincerely, as the sleek little animal thrashed angrily in his large hands. “I think tha’s part of me job, to educate students that there’s more t’ these beasts than just chasin’ garden gnomes.”
“You’re mother was a garden gnome!” shrieked the Jarvey, trying once again to escape from the prison of Hagrid’s huge hands.
“I see,” Severus drawled. “Not only have you brought a potentially dangerous creature into the school, but students can also experience the ignominious joy of being insulted while he attacks them.” Severus felt contrite at Hagrid’s crestfallen expression, and added kindly, “Please make sure the classroom’s protective charms are in place before the students arrive, Rubeus.”
The Jarvey blew a raspberry at the Headmaster, who rolled his eyes. Testily, he added, “Just keep this overgrown ferret out of trouble, Hagrid.” He nodded to the large man, and turned to go.
“Will do, Perfesser,” Hagrid called after him.
“I’ll ‘Perfesser’ you, you cocksucking hairball!”
“Oh, hush up, you,” said Hagrid affectionately, as the Jarvey tucked himself in his arms, sniping all the way to class.
Hagrid and his Jarvey had been the start of a typical day of minor little skirmishes for Severus. As the Headmaster of the world’s most prestigious Wizarding School, his days were filled with petty inconveniences, red tape and administrative bullshit, with occasional passing glimpses of nurturing and education.
Today was proving no exception. He had approved a mountain of purchase requisitions; everything from baby mandrakes to new potions ingredients to various school supplies, and had declined just as many. Hogwarts did not need another thousand crystal balls or broom polishing kits.
He had listened, Solomon-like, to an argument between Sybil Trelawney and Septima Vector, rival candidates for the latest Ministry Research grant, each extolling the virtues of their respective disciplines. He had promised to split the grant in half for each field of study, and the two women who had been nearly at each other’s throats moments before had left his study chatting amicably with one another like old friends. “Glad to be of assistance,” he’d muttered under his breath, watching the two witches cackling together like the old crones they were.
He had patrolled halls, looked in on classrooms, and admired the latest batch of Professor Longbottom’s Acromanta Hydrangeoidus, or Spidergrangea. He had spoken to several board members regarding the Museum, grabbed a hasty lunch, and just happened to come upon his wife in a deserted corridor to steal a clandestine kiss before her last class of the day.
He approved the temporary transfer of one of his house-elf cooks to Malfoy Manor, with the directive of simply cooking something edible. “After Tiddle, they’ll be happy for egg and chips if they’re not burnt to a crisp,” he’d told the plump little elf, who called herself Puffy. She’d been transported with joy at the thought of being able to serve a family again, and tears of happiness leaked from her huge brown eyes at the prospect.
Like so many of the house-elves who’d come to Hogwarts in the past decade, Puffy had once served one of the ancient Pureblood households that had backed the wrong horse. After Riddle’s demise, most of the Death Eaters’ homes were confiscated by the Ministry, their elves given clothes and turned out to wander.
One of Severus’ first acts as the newly-reinstated Headmaster was to renew Dumbledore’s old policy of offering every disenfranchised house-elf a home at Hogwarts; none were turned away. These creatures, with their sense of duty and love of service, had been just as instrumental in the rebuilding and repair of Hogwarts as the wizards themselves.
Having dispatched Puffy to Malfoy Manor, Severus felt the wards shimmer for his last meeting of the workday. He composed his face into tranquil lines as Undersecretary Orchid appeared, timidly poking his head around the corner to Severus’ study.
“Come in, Mr. Orchid. Please have a seat.” Severus waited as the little man settled into one of the visitor’s chairs. Severus steepled his hands together and rested his chin on the pinnacle of his long fingers. After a moment, he spoke quietly.
“I wish to apologise for my outburst yesterday, Mr. Orchid. I’ll admit I was somewhat taken aback by some of the more radical ideas for the Installation, but that is no reason to take my frustrations out on you.”
Orchid cleared his throat importantly, then smiled, “That’s quite alright, sir -”
“I should have never vented my anger on you, Mr. Orchid. We must work together on this project. There should be no animosity between us.”
The dumpy wizard nodded eagerly. “Quite right, quite right, Professor-”
“Indeed,” Severus said, turning the full battery of his large, liquid dark eyes on the younger man. “After all, if I wished to lodge a complaint, I should’ve referred it to the wizard in charge, and not taken out my dissatisfaction on his representative.”
Orchid’s smile faltered. “In – in charge? No, you see, I am actually – “
Severus shook his head regretfully. “It was very wrong of me to chastise the person who has no real authority to make any changes – why should you be punished for something you have no control over? A classic case of hexing the messenger. Inexcusable.”
Orchid began to stammer, “Headmaster you don’t understand, I have the authority of the Ministry – “
“Who have sent you here, no doubt, as a whipping boy for my temper tantrums.” Severus looked sheepishly contrite. His luminous eyes were full of sympathy. He shook his head at the injustice of it all. “It’s not fair, is it? To have to put up with my moods and not be able to do anything about it, while the ones with the power to make the changes I require sit in their ivory towers and let you take the abuse!”
Mr. Orchid puffed up to twice his size. Severus privately thought the man was going to burst. “But – but I have full authority here, Headmaster!” He drew himself up indignantly. “I don’t know what they’ve told you at the Ministry, but I have the authorisation to make any changes to the original plan that you deem necessary, Sir! If anyone tries to tell you otherwise, you just tell them they will have to answer to Pervis Orchid!”
Severus could not have looked more innocently hopeful. “Oh, really? That is good news, Mr. Orchid. You see,” he said, a note of regret in his musical, persuasive voice, “when I asked if you could charm the Death Eater mannequin to be static in my part of the exhibition, they told me you had no power to do so.”
The Undersecretary to the Assistant Director of Satellite Museum Locations in the Greater Scotland Area drew himself up to his full five-foot three. He stuck out his chin defiantly. “Headmaster Snape, if you wish it, I will amend the blueprints this very moment, and you can tell those troublemakers at the Ministry that if they try to change it back – why, I’ll thrash ‘em!”
“Oh, Mr. Orchid, that is a load off my mind,” Severus said, and produced the binding magical contracts. In seconds, the changes were made. Not only would the mannequin not stalk around, telling his tale in Severus’ own voice, but the figure would no longer be in his likeness. It was reduced, for all intents and purposes, to a dress-maker’s rack which bore no resemblance whatsoever to any wizard, living, dead or otherwise.
After Orchid left, Severus sat quietly for a moment. He heard a familiar chuckle and turned in his chair to see Dumbledore’s portrait smiling at him.
“A Slytherin to the core, eh, Severus?”
Severus’ satisfied mood soured a bit, and he glowered at his former Headmaster. “Where manipulation is concerned, old man, I learned from the best.” It gave him a grim sort of pleasure seeing the look of hurt on the portrait’s painted face.
Mr. Orchid was smiling as he tripped down the hallway toward the Installation site. It was only much later that night when he recalled that the animated Snape/Death Eater mannequin had originally been his idea in the first place.
Severus entered the bedroom quietly, and removed his over-robe. He looked around guiltily, as if he were doing something forbidden. Their chambers were empty. As the Head of Gryffindor House, Hermione was meeting with her prefects over an incident during the last Hogsmeade weekend, and hadn’t as yet returned for the evening. Severus decided now was as good a time as any to do this.
He pulled the small box from his pocket and laid it on the bed. “Engorgio,” he muttered quietly, and the box enlarged to its original size. Severus’ hands were steady as he pried the lid off the top, and solemnly looked down into his past.
It was a robe made of fine material, a boiled wool that had held its shape and colour perfectly over the years. It was so black it made other black garments look dark grey; it had been spelled to blend with every type of darkness, from the physical dark night to the absence of light in the soul. It was without any embellishment, save a trimming of deep black velvet around the cowl and pointed cuffs.
The wide belt sashing was silk-lined velvet, garnished with black beaded tassels on either end. It was a decadent, hedonistic garment, and Severus remembered the sensual thrill of putting it on for the first time. Wearing it, he felt powerful, dangerous and alluring. There were nights when women would follow him with their cool gaze, and their eyes had told him they thought so, as well.
Sitting on top of the folded robe was the silver mask, which he’d hated more than anything, and could count on one hand the amount of times he’d actually worn. As a young man, blistering with defiant pride and ambition, he’d arrogantly wanted his face to be seen, to single him out as one of the Dark Lord’s elite Death Eaters. Severus paused, and favoured that angry, lost, bitter young man with a sigh of regret.
In those days, he had been high on domination, and he had used his new-found skills to seduce and subjugate as he himself had been seduced and subjugated. He had learned to use his talents well; smarting from Lily’s rejection and his own crippling insecurities, he’d channeled his abilities with whet-stoned precision, and his appetites and desires had been fostered and encouraged in order to keep him under Riddle’s thumb. In his own lust for power, Severus had unwittingly surrendered all that power to Lord Voldemort, and then afterward, to Dumbledore.
Severus hated thinking back to those dark days. Hermione was right when she told him he either had to acknowledge them, or put them behind forever. He was stuck in limbo; to remember those days was to remember the darkness he’d cradled to his breast like a favourite child. To relinquish them would mean … what? To embrace and cherish the good in himself? Why did he feel so unworthy of that?
And then there was Hermione. When she had breezed back in his life, it was as if she’d swept all the cobwebs from his heart and he could breathe again. He did not have to pretend he was someone he wasn’t; she had known him almost all her life. There was no prevaricating with Hermione.
She never allowed him to wallow or sulk or guilt about the bad old days, as she called them. The first time she’d referred to his life as a Death Eater in such a dismissive manner, it had sounded like something akin to blasphemy. He had felt almost frightened to reduce that time in his life down to such a silly phrase, as if diminishing their importance would somehow diminish him as well. How trivial it all sounded, now.
But he hadn’t been completely truthful with Hermione, either. The first night he had taken her to his bed, he had been determined not to give into those dark desires that had tainted his youth. He had lain down with her, and worshipped her body with his mouth, his hands, his body, and she had worshipped his.
He had been more than confident in his abilities to satisfy his wife without resorting to the coarse, fleshly earthiness that had once excited him. He had told himself that she was better off not knowing exactly what he was capable of doing – what he would love to do to her, if he had the courage to admit those things, even to himself. He had not wanted to frighten or sully her with his dark talents, or corrupt her innocence with his more esoteric appetites.
Her confession after their last games night at Malfoy Manor both frightened and exhilarated him. In every aspect of their marriage, he and Hermione were the best of partners, friends, the most compatible of confidantes. In all aspects, he shared his heart, his mind and his soul. In all aspects but his secret yearning to do those things to her which she thought, in her innocence, she actually wanted him to do…
Severus sighed, and took the robe from the box, and shook it loose from its folds. It was a little dusty from storage, but a whispered charm made it look as if it were newly-made again. He stroked the velvet trim; it felt warm, almost alive beneath his fingers; it was as soft as the inside of Hermione’s creamy, silken thigh. Almost trance-like, he turned and looked into their full-length mirror, and held the garment up to his shoulders. He shook his head at his reflection. That was a long time ago, lad, he thought, and it’s just a sodding robe –
“Put it on.”
Severus whirled around to find his wife standing in their bedroom doorway. She was unsmiling, and her eyes were huge. They met his with trembling intensity, and he felt a burst of spontaneous magic jolt between them. It immediately settled into his groin, and he saw from the look on her face that she felt it as well.
She nodded toward the robe. “Put it on, Severus.” She licked her lips, and her eyes flicked over his body hungrily. “I want to see you … I want to know what it looks like.”
Something in her unsteady voice made his heart decide it needed to beat a little faster to keep up with the latest developments in his body. He stood still as stone as Hermione walked into the room, her steps soft and tentative, as if afraid to spook him. He could see the faint blush of her cheeks, and as she approached him, Severus realised her eyes were glowing, her pupils huge. His sensitive nose picked up the delicate but oh-so-welcome scent of arousal, and when he replied, “Why would you want me to do that, Hermione?” His voice was pitched low, and so deep that it sounded seductive to his own ears.
She stepped closer, and looked up into his face. She bit her bottom lip. “I’ve – I’ve never seen you with it on … before,” she said, her voice husky and soft. She ventured a smile. “Please, Severus?”
Severus straightened. He knew he had about three seconds to make up his mind how far he wanted to take this. He could refuse, or he could comply. He could change the dynamic of their relationship forever. He could enhance it, or damage it permanently, and that frightened him. But something in her eager eyes told him to risk it; he could take the first steps toward something he now knew they both wanted, even though Hermione did not possess the vocabulary to truly name it.
“Very well,” he said, softly, and made a little twirling motion with his finger. “But you must turn around.” When she didn’t move, Severus lifted his chin, and gave Hermione her first command. “Obey me, pet. Now.”
Hermione’s face was instantly wiped clean of expression. She blinked, then lowered her head and turned around. Severus smiled.
For perhaps five minutes, Hermione stood still, listening to the faint rustle of fabric behind her. The room was quiet except for his soft breathing, the sounds of clothing and her heavily beating heart.
Obey me, pet. Now. Hermione felt amazed that four little words, spoken in her husband’s mellifluous voice, could drive such an intense thorn of arousal into her abdomen. It literally made her knees weak, and she felt hot and flushed, almost feverish. It was as if she’d never heard him speak to her before. It was as if she was standing in a room with an exciting, forbidden stranger, and Hermione was Imperused to obey his every command.
His voice made her jump. “You may look now.” He sounded carefully neutral, as if afraid of her reaction, and Hermione took a deep breath and turned around.
Hermione gasped as she looked up into the face of her husband. Coming face to face with Severus as a Death Eater was to come face to face with her past. It was as if she was looking at him over the span of their years together, and she whispered his name reverently.
She saw her husband, but it was more than her husband. Merlin, so much more!
He radiated power. He stood tall and proud; his long black hair, freed from its silver clasp, flowed iridescent and sleek over his shoulders like black water. The robe was so dark it looked as if cut from negative space. It made him look imposing and arrogant. He held the silver mask in his hand, and she was glad he had not put it on as well. Seeing his haughty face, his long, angular body encased in unrelieved black, was frightening and exciting enough.
Severus’ eyes bore into hers, and as she walked toward him, he grew rigidly hard, his erection blindly beckoning Hermione like a divining rod. As she neared him, he reached out and caressed her cheek and her lovely, long neck. The latent power that he had resisted since the night of her confession reared its head, and he could no more deny it than he could his need for her. It was as if the robe itself was imbued with the dark lust that slid into his veins, tattooing his heart with the rich ichors of dominance.
She grasped his hand in hers and kissed his palm feverishly, her eyes never leaving his. She was trembling. “Look into me, please,” she whispered hoarsely, pleadingly. “Look into my mind.”
Severus Snape was, without conceit, the greatest living Legilimens, and he used his ability well. He had learned that invading someone’s mind could be used in any myriad of ways. The mind could be raped, or it could be caressed. It could reveal its secrets to him, each layer revealing more, like Salome’s veils; they could be ruthlessly ripped from the mind without regard for safety. He could and did master the intricate labyrinths of an accomplished Occlumens, who could set up a minefield of mazes and traps so diabolical in design as to drive a skilled Legilimens insane.
And, of course, the discipline could be used to seduce, and to prepare the mind for the midnight-stained joys of submission. This was the first step toward that aim, and the fact that Hermione herself had begged him for it was enough to thrill any dominant Legilimens. It was tacit permission to strip her bare and build her to heights she’d never experienced. It filled him with a desire so potent it made him giddy.
With a faint sneer, Severus stepped closer, until their bodies were touching. She made a soft noise in her throat as his erection pressed into her belly. His face hard and unsmiling, Severus looked deeply into her eyes. “Legilimens.”
As Severus quietly stepped into the highly organised mind of his wife, she opened a door for him and beckoned him through. It was a familiar door, and he realised with a start he remembered this moment well; he had, after all, been an active participant in the memory she wanted to share with him.
All around, he could hear her whisper, “This is what I wanted you to see … this is what I’ve tried to tell you …”
The year before he killed Dumbledore, Severus had finally been given the job he had coveted since his early days as a Hogwarts’ professor: the Defense Against The Dark Arts position. It was the only year as a professor in which he actually felt he was imparting to the students skills they needed to survive, and he was ruthless in his pursuit of their ability to defend themselves against the inevitable. He was still convinced that his teaching had ultimately saved lives; it was the only thing he could recall from that year that gave him any sense of worth.
He’d only had a passing acquaintance with the so-called “Dumbledore’s Army,” but he’d been impressed with the performances of many of his pupils – not that he’d told them. Their improving abilities only made him push them harder.
He remembered Hermione, of course, her brow furrowed, lower lip chewed to raw meat, ducking, diving; her reflexes had been excellent, but her skill was tainted with the tendency to question the moral implications of the spells and hexes she was forced to cast. It was a problem with many in her House. “Integrity,” he told the disgustingly earnest Gryffindors, “will get you killed. Hex first and ask questions later, if you have any.”
She had actually attended the wrong class on this day in her memory. Minerva had asked Severus to excuse her during her regular DADA class for a Careers Seminar, and to be allowed to make up the class later in the day with the Ravenclaw/Hufflepuff sixth years. The lesson was on learning to parry blocking spells. He had paired everyone off, placing Hermione with the odd but capable Miss Lovegood. Luna Lovegood, while perfectly fine at defense and blocking, was atrociously slow on parrying a blocking while renewing her shielding spell.
“Class, stop,” he’d droned, irritated with her sluggish response. “It appears Miss Lovegood doesn’t truly understand the purpose this exercise.” Far from looking embarrassed at being singled out, Luna had turned her rather protuberant blue eyes at him expectantly.
“I think I understand it in theory, Professor,” she answered serenely, “but I’m just not that good at it. Would you please demonstrate it for me?”
Impatiently, Severus had stepped between Hermione and Luna. His voice was the very essence of suave menace as he intoned, “Miss Lovegood, you have been ambushed by a Death Eater, who is kidnapping your friend, Miss Granger.”
He glanced over his shoulder at Hermione, and deftly plucked her wand from her fingers, tucking it into his robe. “She is wandless and defenseless.” Hermione opened her mouth to protest, but a look from him silenced her.
With the entire class’ attention on him, he continued matter-of-factly. “As a Death Eater, I have been instructed by the Dark Lord to bring her to him at all costs. I will stop at nothing, including harming her and you, to obey his commands.”
He raised his wand in a defensive posture and cast a shield charm around himself and Hermione. “Your challenge, Miss Lovegood, is to break down my shields by battering away at them until they fail; I cannot risk Apparation while you do this, in case I splinch myself or Miss Granger, but you must also keep up a steady and unpredictable attack.”
Lune had nodded, and raised her wand. “I think I understand now, sir. Protego!”
Severus allowed the shield to fail, then struck back with a minor hex, which Luna blocked easily. “Now Miss Lovegood,” he said, “Speed and rhythm is vital; I will not hesitate again.” He cast the shield, and they began. Every time Luna threw a spell or hex or jinx, Severus parried it and immediately cast another, which she doggedly blocked, casting her parry at the same time.
“That is the idea, Miss Lovegood,” Severus said. “Now you must keep up your shields and defenses. Nothing will stop me from claiming my prize.” The two of them began to duel in earnest, with Hermione as their ultimate goal.
Lovegood was consistent, her magic strong and at times uncontrollably powerful. As her rhythm and confidence grew, Severus was forced to take a step back, which obliged Hermione to step back with him. When the young Ravenclaw hesitated, Severus sneered. “Is that how you protect your friend, Miss Lovegood? I don’t think you realise what is in store for Miss Granger. As a Death Eater, I do not plan to show her mercy or kindness.”
The blond girl’s eyes narrowed and she increased her speed, making her aim less precise. Severus played with her for a few rounds, then was forced back several more steps as Luna adjusted her grip. Severus felt Hermione stumble as he moved away from Luna. By now, every pair in the class had stopped and was watching this exhibition of parry and thrust with rapt interest.
“Miss Lovegood, you must not think very highly of Miss Granger if this is all you can do to protect her,” Severus had taunted, throwing off her hex easily. “I know I don’t. Once I disarm you, I will take her by force and it will be your fault, knowing you let me have her so easily.”
Two more steps back, and Severus felt Hermione, unyielding, behind him. He had been forced back until he was pressing her against the wall, fending off Luna’s increasingly assertive attack. Still he jeered at her. “You may think you are winning, Miss Lovegood, but I have been ordered to bring Miss Granger to the Dark Lord. I will be rewarded for my exertions, perhaps with Miss Granger herself. I will fight you until I am either outnumbered or you are too exhausted to continue. I am a patient man, and I take what I want.”
By now, Luna was sweating, her aim and magic tiring, but Severus still pushed, secretly pleased at her mulish tenacity. He idly wondered if Granger would last this long. She was standing behind him, sandwiched between the wall and his broad back. She had made no sound, other than her rapid breathing. He could feel her hands pressing against his back to prevent him from crushing her, but Luna was relentless to the point that he barely acknowledged the girl behind him other than to use her as a reference to provoke the young Ravenclaw.
As a final goad, he said in his most menacing tone, “If you do not stop me, I can and will do unspeakable things to Miss Granger, and as a Death Eater, I will enjoy doing them!”
In Hermione’s mind, Severus saw her, her heard gasp at his deliberately sinister declaration, its obvious meaning. She was looking at his back, and he felt the heat gather in her core, and her hand reached up to touch his shoulder just as Luna’s rhythm faltered and her depleted magic left her too exhausted to continue. She held up her wand to concede defeat, and leaned down, winded, hands on her knees, trying to catch her breath.
“Ten points to Ravenclaw for your work, Miss Lovegood. You show potential, but I would suggest you work on your stamina.” He remembered feeling the gentle hand on his shoulder, and in Hermione’s memory he watched himself spin around to face her, his expression harsh and unforgiving. Severus saw himself, bearing down on his not-as-yet wife, pitiless and powerful.
She was looking up at him with eyes enormous and dark. Her breath was coming in pants, as if she, too, had been dueling. Her hands were still raised, as if to push him away, and on her face was an expression of what he mistook for fear. As he returned her wand, he noted the shaking hand that retrieved it from his fist. He scowled at the young Gryffindor girl and snapped irritably, “Merlin’s sake, Miss Granger, it’s just a lesson! Kindly stop gaping at me as if I were the Big Bad Wolf!”
He looked over his shoulder to Luna Lovegood, who was still hunched over, panting as if she’d run a race. She gave Hermione what could only be considered a sympathetic glance, which irritated him further. “Miss Lovegood assessed the situation correctly and responded properly, Miss Granger; I suggest you learn to do the same when your usual class reconvenes.” He turned to the other students, who were watching Luna recover. “Class dismissed! Lovegood, get some chocolate in you, now!”
He had been winded himself from his duel with Luna, and because the air was full of the smell of sweat and the pine-scented ozone of cast spells, Hermione’s scent had not been easily distinguishable or identifiable. He had dismissed her reaction that day as one borne of fear and weakness.
Pulling gently from his wife’s mind, ten years later, he caught the scent again, and he knew. Hermione had not been childishly frightened by his performance that day – she had been painfully aroused by it.
You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else. Albert Einstein
Almost reluctantly, Severus wrenched his will out of Hermione’s mind and stared in her eyes, slightly disoriented, shocked at the revelation of what he’d seen. It was then he realised she did not want the darkness of the man; she wanted the man of the darkness. It was not the robes that excited her; it was him in them. For several seconds, wizard and witch stood, staring at one another, eyes hot and dark, breathing hard. Severus swallowed. “And you never told me.”
Hermione lowered her chin. With a weak smile, she countered, “I didn’t know how to tell you. I certainly couldn’t say anything that day.” She tossed her head in a parody of her teenaged self. “‘Oh Professor Snape, thank you for that impressive display of defensive magic, and by the way, could you roger me in technicolour, because you’re so fucking sexy when you’re scaring me into knicker-soaked oblivion?’ You would have ripped me into so many pieces I’d still be looking for them.” Her smile took the sting out of her words, but her eyes still burned into his.
Severus looked down at his lovely wife. She was so beautiful, and fine and good. Too good for him, he thought, and then decided to stop worrying about her in those terms. She thinks I’m good enough. She’s here, now, wanting this. He would be lying to himself if he said he, too had not been aroused, sharing the memory of that long-ago moment.
He realised had been allowing his own insecurities to draw some rather inaccurate conclusions about her. Seeing her now, sharing her thoughts, he knew he could have her the way he’d always wanted, and that she would allow it because she wanted it as well. He was now convinced a part of her needed it as much as he did.
He favoured her with a slow smile. “So, the good little Gryffindor girl was wet for her greasy professor?” A shard of lust slid into his spine and bloomed, dark and malignant, in his blood, making his heart beat hard and heavy against his skin. It made his voice as sinister and as dangerously soft as the velvet belt of his robe. “Were your wet that day, Miss Granger?”
She closed her eyes in a slow blink. “Yes, sir,” she whispered. She unconsciously swayed toward him. Her eyes flew open as his large hands grasped her arms tightly, and she looked up into eyes that blazed with black fire.
He looked down at her haughtily. “And are you wet now, Miss Granger? Shall I see for myself? Better yet, why don’t you show me?” It was not possible that a man’s voice could hold so many colours, and scents and flavours, but Hermione felt as if she could see and scent and taste them all. She had never felt so much pure, distilled lust trickle-feeding under her skin.
With a hot little smile, Hermione gathered her robes in her hands and slowly pulled them upward, revealing her low heels and her every day, ordinary knickers. She kept her eyes locked on his as she stood, waiting, silently begging him to find out for himself.
For a moment, he looked at her, unsmiling. His hand slid over her skin, down her flat belly, and down to her knickers, where he eased a single fingertip into the waistband, enjoying the satiny skin that rivaled the softness of the fabric. Hermione closed her eyes and waited, breathless with anticipation.
“I gave you an order, pet,” he murmured, his voice deceptively sweet and soft. “Show me how wet you are.”
He could hear her breathing increase as she tentatively slipped her hand down past his, to the dark patch of curls between her thighs, and gasped as her fingers brushed over her slick folds and teasingly flickered across her distended clitoris. She was shamefully wet, as randy as a teenager, and thought she might come with a few whispered words and a single, insistent finger.
Severus scowled. In a mildly reproachful tone, he reprimanded, “I did not give you permission to pleasure yourself, Hermione.” At the sound of her name, she reluctantly withdrew her fingers, slick with the evidence of her arousal. He caught her wrist in his hand, and with a smile of anticipation, he sucked the moisture from each finger slowly, his eyes closed, as if enjoying the most delicious delicacy.
Whimpering, she watched him as he rolled and cradled her fingers with his tongue, the warm slippery muscles gliding over her fingertips with practiced sensuality. The saddle between her thighs grew thicker, and that sweet little ache in her cunt made Hermione shudder. She nuzzled against her husband’s neck, his scent making her mouth water. “Severus, please, make love to me.”
He finished his sensuous repast, then allowed her hand to drop by her side. Looking into her eyes, he cupped her chin, so that she had no choice but to meet his fathomless gaze.
“Is that really what you want me to do? To lay you down like an empty dress, feeding you sweet kisses and ending out the evening with the simple satisfaction of a man coupling with his woman?” His hand on her chin was gentle but firm. “You led me to believe you wanted … more.”
Hermione froze. “You know what I want. You know what I need. You’ve always known, haven’t you?”
“Yes. But I had to be certain you knew, as well.”
Hermione closed her eyes, and an almost painful expression clouded her features. In desperation, she knelt at his feet, and in his Death Eater robes he seemed twice as tall. “Do you want me to beg? Do you want me to be your slave? I’ll do it. I want it, too.” She felt close to tears. The thought that he might spurn her again was almost unbearable.
“Severus, I love you, and I’ll do anything you ask, just please, please allow me in. Allow me to be what you need as well. I want to know what it feels like to completely surrender to you. I want to know what it feels like to be your slave.” When he did not answer, she cried recklessly. “Please say yes, Severus, please! I promise I’ll do anything you want!”
He knew he should stop this; he had vowed never to feed that sleeping tiger again. But this is Hermione, that slow, sludgy voice insisted, the one that still had power over his cock and balls. She wants it, she craves it, give her what she wants she wants you she’ll do anything you ask make her make her fuck get her –
Severus looked down at her for a long time. When he at last spoke, his voice was cool, distant. “What about what I want, Hermione? Do I want to dominate, humiliate and demean you? Do I want to hurt you, break your spirit? Do I want you to crawl to me, so that I may punish you and reduce you to an automaton, existing only to do my bidding?”
She looked at him, her face full of doubt and conflict. Finally, Severus shook his head. “No. I wanted those things once. They were given me, and they were as irresistible as a drug, and I took them. But it is a shallow, hollow power, to force someone to do those things in spite of their will to do otherwise.”
She slumped briefly, and he could see the confusion mixed with worry clouding her eyes. Severus took her by the arms and pulled her to her feet, his heart aching to see her obvious apprehension at the thought of displeasing him. He gentled his trembling wife.
“I would never subjugate your will to mine. However,” he hesitated, and sighed. “I would be lying if I said the thought of playing these games with you doesn’t arouse me. But you must understand it would be on my terms. If you truly wish to submit to me, you submit to me completely. Can you do that?”
“Yes, sir,” she said immediately. “Please give me the chance to prove it. Please,” she whispered, and leaned her head back and closed her eyes. She had done and said all she could. The rest was up to him.
Finally, he touched her face, his fingers warm and familiar, and Hermione turned her head and pressed her lips to them. He made a soft little sound.
“Yes, pet,” he soothed, his voice dark and honeyed, “If you choose to submit to me, I will give this to you. If I deem it necessary to discipline you, you will consent to it or it will not happen. I will spank you and reward you, and give you the pleasures I should have given you long ago. You will be pampered and petted as well as dominated and punished. I have held back in fear and doubt. I will not do so now.”
Weak with relief, Hermione put her arms around him and pressed against him; rubbing against his robes shamelessly, inarticulate with the need to touch him, to be touched. Inexplicably, she felt tears prick her eyes. “So you will do this? You won’t hold back from me?” She pulled back and looked up at him. “Will you be my – my…” Her face flushed. “My Master?”
He brushed a stray curl from her forehead, and traced her delicate brows with his long fingers. “I can be. But you must trust that I know best.” He began to stroke her hair, her arms, her waist, and suddenly he lifted her in his arms, and carried her to the edge of the bed. He sat down and enfolded her in his lap. “Oh, yes, my little one. I know exactly what you want.” His large hand caressed her cheek, and he pulled her down to his lips in a searing kiss.
He had never kissed her this way. In ten years, never like this!
It was a kiss that made her fully aware of her entire mouth, and his possession of it. There was no teasing, cajoling glide of tongue against lips, requesting entrance. It was a kiss that broke her open like a treasure chest bursting with secrets. He plundered her mouth greedily, his tongue hard and penetrating, stealing her breath and her will. There was no pulling away from it; he wouldn’t allow it. She felt lightheaded; she needed to breathe …
Somehow he was laying her down on the bed, punishing her with kisses that tasted of fire and burnt sugar and elf-made wine, and she could do nothing but revel in them and pull him closer.
She made a startled, gasping sound that frightened her, especially when she realized her fingers were wrapped in his long hair, pulling him deeper into her mouth with an eager desperation that left her writhing, held down by his embrace. When he finally pulled away, she tried to follow him, but he would not allow it. They were both panting like runners.
She put her arms around his neck to bring him closer, but he held her back. “My kiss, my pace.” His lips were so close to hers she could feel the movement of them as he spoke; she could feel the soft puff of his breath. He smiled. “I think I’ll have to fuck that mouth.” His tongue flicked across her bottom lip and darted away elusively. “It’s so very sweet; all pink and plump and swollen from my kisses. Would you let me fuck your mouth, pet?”
She tried to insinuate her hand into his robes. “Yes, please, fuck me -”
His large hand closed on her wrist and pulled it away. “It is enough that I know what you want. You have to trust that.”
Hermione undulated against him, and reached for his buttons. Almost gently, he pushed her hand away, his tone mildly admonishing. He had never denied her before.
“No, no, my girl. This is not the time to give in to weakness. We have to talk about this. You must exercise a bit of self-control.”
Hermione opened her mouth to protest, but quickly shut it. She had just declared she wanted him to dominate her, and now she was about to challenge his decisions. She took a deep breath and laughed shakily, again fighting unexpected tears. “Well, you certainly have my attention!”
He nodded sagely, and she could see that he, too, was forcing his needs in check; he was making a much better job of it than she.
He allowed her a few moments to calm herself before he rose from the bed, and pulled them both into a sitting position. When he spoke, his voice rolled through her like the deepest river, and she allowed herself to be swept away, even when his words troubled or shocked her.
“Hermione, before we proceed, I will tell you now that outside these walls, we are the same wizard and witch we were yesterday or the day before. You are a strong, passionate, caring woman, and I would have you no other way. You are stubborn, willful and intelligent, and I will stifle none of that. Those are reasons I love you. But here, in the sanctum of our privacy, you will be my treasured babe, my little one. And I will give you what you need so badly.”
His hands drifted across her skin, and parted her robes with a wandless spell. She shivered to feel his hand caressing her collarbone, her soft thigh. “First and foremost, this about trust. You must trust me to give you everything you need. Secondly, this is about obedience.” He trailed his fingers over her breasts with a touch so feather light her skin goosebumped. “Are you ready to trust and obey me?”
Hermione nodded. “Yes.” She felt painfully aroused. Before she could stop herself, she whispered, “Will you talk dirty to me?”
To her surprise, he graced her with a knowing smile. “I won’t be calling you a little slut, if that’s what you want.” Without warning he pinched her nipple, causing her to yelp in surprise, and he bared his teeth in a lecherous sneer. Purring like a large black cat, he smirked, “I will tell you your cunt smells delicious, and if you are very good girl, I might just have to give it a little lick.”
He pronounced each word with the slow, compelling click of a stiletto on a stone floor, a mélange of tongues and teeth and lascivious intent. When Hermione licked her lips, he pinched her bottom lip between his thumb and forefinger, forcing her mouth open. He sneered as her tongue darted out to lick the tip of his finger.
His eyes narrowed slightly at her flushed face. His voice grew cooler. “Tell me the truth, Hermione. In this bed, do you truly wish to be stripped bare of everything but the desire to trust me, to submit to me?”
Hermione was shaking; she had not been this nervous the first day she arrived at Hogwarts. Finally, she swallowed, and whispered, “Yes, sir.”
Severus hummed his approval. “Very good, little one. And will you consent to be punished and soothed by my hand when I deem it necessary?”
Hermione could barely move. As concerned as she was by this aspect of their games, she spoke as if compelled. “Yes, sir. I promise I will.”
He took her hand, and turned it face up, and placed a warm, soft kiss in the centre of her palm, touching his tongue to her flesh. “I am pleased. You’re a good girl,” he crooned lovingly.
Hermione whimpered at his praise, and Severus knew he had her. Hermione could not resist praise, and when he repeated that she was his ‘good girl,’ her eyes dilated and her nipples grew rock hard.
He leaned toward her, and she moaned softly as he caught her earlobe in his teeth and bit gently. In a voice silvery as smoke, he purred in her ear, “Will you allow yourself to be seduced and rewarded by me? To be subdued and pleasured by my cock? To come at the sound of my voice?”
She felt like a butterfly, pinned to him by a hypnotic, seductive spell. “Please,” she whispered, her voice almost whining with need.
“Very good, pet. I do so enjoy hearing you beg.” He made a motion for her to stand, and Hermione rose to her feet on unsteady legs. Severus held her until she was able to stand on her own. He looked down at her, and began to slowly unbutton his robe. “Then we will begin soon.”
Hermione fell back to earth with a thud. She looked up at him, her eyes bewildered. “S-soon? But-”
The eyes that looked down on her were no longer snapping with fire. They were her husband’s eyes, dark, liquid and patient. “I want you to think about this and be sure, Hermione. If this is what you truly want, I will give it to you. I want only your happiness.”
He stroked her face, his long fingers trailing across her cheek softly. “If you say no, it will be as if none of this had happened. We will be as we always were, and I will love you as I always have and always will – with my whole heart.
“If, however, you say yes, then from now on, when we come together as lovers, you will submit to me. I will give you this gratification, and you will give me your trust and obedience.” He managed a smile. “However, I am not such a bastard as to give you reason to disobey. But if I wish to spank you, I will, with your full consent. You will trust me that I know what you need, and I will reward you with pleasure.”
Hermione shivered. How could one man give one word so many facets and possibilities?
He placed a warm kiss on her forehead, and stepped back. “Three days from now, Hermione. Between now and then, you will do something for me.”
“Yes, sir.” She looked up at him with such breathless anticipation, waiting for instructions, and in spite of all the years that had passed, Severus could still see the eager, young Gryffindor who had irritated him with her endless hand-waving, and had later earned his grudging respect with her relentless, stubborn resourcefulness.
A wave of affection filled his heart, and at that moment, he fell in love with his wife over again. She was such a lovely little swot. Even being assigned homework excited her. It made his heart nearly burst with the knowledge that this gorgeous little witch loved him so much. He came very close to pulling her back down onto the bed with him.
Instead he said. “For the next three days, you will have a writing assignment. If you complete it each day, then we will proceed.”
Hermione bit her lip. Tentatively, she replied, “Yes, sir.” He nodded, then walked toward the bed. Unable to stop herself, she blurted, “Does this mean we won’t – you won’t-”
“Make love to you? No, I won’t. Until you give me your answer, yes, or no. Then we will. The way you want.” He saw her shoulders droop, and he smiled indulgently. “It doesn’t mean I won’t touch you, or kiss you, or be any less of a husband to you.” He held out his arms to her. “Come here, little girl.”
She all but leapt into his arms. He embraced her, enfolding her completely against his chest. His embrace told her so many things; his warmth soothed her and eased her agitated mind. The hands that stroked her back reminded her that he desired and needed her as much as she wanted him. The warm mouth that slid against her cheek promised so many delights, and when she pressed hard against him, he was hard and hot and familiar against her belly.
“Yes, witch,” he crooned, acknowledging the evidence of his arousal. “Yes, I want you. There are moments in my study in which I am overwhelmed at my need, my craving for you. Do not mistake me, Hermione. I have held myself in check for the last six years, afraid of frightening you with my own base urges. I want this as well.”
He pulled away from her, and his cock surged painfully at the sight of her upturned face, her trusting, hopeful expression. At that moment, he wanted her so badly he almost broke his own rule. With a mental shake, he pulled himself together.
He favoured her with an indulgent smile. “Tomorrow evening, I want a foot of parchment. I want you to tell me, in detail, a fantasy you would like for us to enact. I require place, time, dialogue, clothing. Leave out no detail.” He watched her absorb this information, and nod her agreement.
He continued, “Each night for three nights. A different fantasy. I want you to be completely honest. There are no taboos here, Hermione.” He stroked her cheek, “You will be safe in the knowledge that nothing you say or do will shock or repulse me; nothing will be denied you. I will make all of your fantasies come true. There is no safer place to explore your desires than with me.”
Hermione nodded, thrilled at his words. “Thank you.” They were actually going to do it. “I understand, s -” She stopped, confused. “I’m not sure what I’m supposed to call you.” He chuckled, and she felt a little less foolish. “Well, I don’t! I feel like such a neophyte, all of a sudden.” She sobered. “I’m afraid of doing something wrong.”
He tilted his head again, a gesture she found imminently sweet. “Don’t be. Call me Severus.” His eyes grew warm. “I have always enjoyed the sound of my name on your lips, especially when you are coming undone around my cock.”
Hermione felt her face grow warm. To distract him from her blushes, she replied, “Just Severus? Not Master, or Daddy, or sir or professor -”
He smirked. Silkily, he drawled, “Do feel free, my love. Call me as you see me. Call me what fits your fantasies and your need at that given time.” He stroked her cheek. “Whatever I am called, that is how I will respond.
“And how would you like to be addressed? Miss Granger? Pet? Little one?” His voice dropped slightly. “My very good girl?” Her eyes told him his answer. He turned away from her, and began to remove the Death Eater robes.
“At the end of each day, for the next three days, you will turn in your written assignments to me, and then I will ask you if you wish to proceed. If you say no, we will put the matter behind us, and we will return to our old life.”
Hermione chewed on her bottom lip. “And if I still say yes at the end of the three days?”
Severus turned the full battery of his stormy eyes on her. They glistened like hematite in the dim light. “Then we will begin. I confess, pet, I find the idea of presenting our normal selves out there,” he gestured toward their door, and to the rest of the world beyond, “and knowing the unspeakable things I am going to do to you in here, to be very … arousing.”
She watched him hungrily as he dropped the robe from his shoulders, and stood bare-chested in the middle of their bed chambers. The robe still hung from his waist, from the velvet and satin belt. He looked like a decadent, debauched version of Merlin, pale and ascetic, with appetites too deep too fathom, too tempting not to explore. He seemed to glow in contrast to the deep black of the robe, and Hermione looked away.
Sometimes Severus Snape was too beautiful to look at.
That night, when they went to bed, he spooned against her and kissed her gently. “From now on, pet, no knickers under your robes. Not even while teaching.”
He felt her stiffen, and almost laughed. He could almost see the wheels turning in her head, and he mentally counted to five.
At four and a half, she blurted, “May I ask why?”
Severus smiled, and caressed her flat stomach. His fingers slid down to her labia, and it parted effortlessly, coating his fingers with her moisture. She whimpered, and thrust against him. As she rubbed relentlessly against his fingers, he murmured soothingly, “No, no, no. Mustn’t come yet. That will be later. Self-control. Not wearing knickers will remind you that you have been obedient, and you will be rewarded for it. It will also remind you that I will make you come the moment you tell me ‘no’ in the next three days, as well.”
Hermione tried to calm her taut body as his fingers slid from her. She turned to watch him lick his fingers, a look of orgasmic satisfaction on his face. She could feel his erection pressing against the cleft of her arse. He was rock hard. She muttered ruefully, “You’re making it very tempting to say no.”
He smiled and put his arms around her again. “This is one-time offer, Hermione. One ‘no’ is all you get. But if you are willing to be patient and self-disciplined, I promise you I will ensure it will be worth the wait, in every way.”
Hermione grew quiet again, and just as Severus reached nine, she blurted, “This is part of it, isn’t it? You have already begun, haven’t you? This is a test of my submission!”
To her surprise, he laughed. “Is it?” He rewarded her with another warm kiss on her shoulder. “Goodnight, little girl.” She heard his whispered, “Nox”, and the light was extinguished.
Soon after, Hermione heard his breathing slow down and deepen, and as much as she wanted to rest and sleep, she could not. Her mind raced. She thought of everything she knew about her husband. Severus had never disappointed her, never lied, never even looked at another woman. He was quiet, fair and blissfully virtuous. Their marriage was solid, serene and stable to the core.
He had changed since the dark days of the war. He had grown into a calmer, less volatile version of her former professor. It was true, he had never managed to suffer fools gladly, and he could be positively snarky when the need arose. Oh, yes, he could still be the biggest, most belligerent, obstinate, unreasonable git in the Wizarding world, when he so chose. Still, male students sometimes emulated him, and female students often crushed over him.
Did she trust him? Yes, more than anyone – more, even, than Ron and Harry. Did she want to give herself over to his ultimate sexual control? She thought she might. She also thought of his past and realised he might truly be capable of doing some rather degenerate things to her without worrying too much about them.
Three days didn’t seem to be enough time to settle her turbulent mind over something that could affect the rest of their lives.
The next day Hermione and Severus rose with no discernable deviation in their usual routine. They rose and dressed as always, except that Severus caught her arm as they were about to leave their rooms. “Wait, Hermione.”
She turned to him, puzzled, and he held out his hand imperiously. Hermione stared at him blankly, then made a little “oh!” sound, as realization dawned. Sheepishly, she gave him the hem of her robe, and he raised the edge diffidently, almost clinically. Beneath, he saw her lovely little flat shoes, and nothing else.
He nodded. “Good girl, well done. I am very pleased.” The robes dropped from his hand, and he kissed her; soft, enticing, slow kisses that caused her crotch to throb in time with her heartbeat. He pulled away very gently until she was clinging to him. His obsidian eyes were soft, but there was a heat behind them that made Hermione shiver.
He shook his head, and his voice was slightly less steady that he would have liked. “I will expect your assignment to be completed and handed in to me at the end of the day.”
Hermione smiled at him. “I’ll work on it during my break, sir.” She favoured him with a cheeky grin. “I trust I will not disappoint.”
He smirked. “It never occurred to me you would, my little swot.” He kissed her again, and together they headed for the Great Hall for their breakfast.
A game is like a mirror that allows you to look at yourself.
The owl brought the parchment to him shortly after two in the afternoon, and Severus allowed himself a laugh. He might have known she would be too abashed to bring her first fantasy to him herself. Then again, he thought, warding his study door, it might be even more enjoyable to read her fantasies in the solitude of his own study. He recalled that she would often be the last student to leave her assignments on his desk, simply to avoid seeing his often withering reaction to her work. His heart swelled. Reading her assignments had never been this eagerly anticipated.
In her precise, crisp handwriting, she wrote:
It is the dead heat of summer, and the castle is quiet, now that the students are gone for the holiday. I have graduated from Hogwarts, but I have not yet returned to teach. I have come to visit Professor McGonagall and to escape the stifling heat, I wander down to the cool halls of the dungeons, and almost automatically I drift into the Potions lab. I find myself approaching my old work bench, and I look up at your desk and see your robe draped over your chair. It never occurs to me that you might actually be about during this time of year. I call your name; there is no answer.
I cannot help myself. I have seen you in that robe so many times. I think about it floating behind you like angel’s wings as you marched down the hall, how powerful and menacing you were. I look around; no one is there but me. I cannot resist – I pick up your robe. It smells of you: patchouli and cedar and black pepper, and I bury my nose into the collar, intoxicated by your scent and the knowledge that you will never know I was here, shamelessly rubbing your robe over my chest …
“Miss Granger? Might I inquire as to the exact reason why I find you here?” I freeze, and when I look around you are standing in the doorway, glowering at me. You are wearing a crisp white collarless shirt with your black vest and trousers. As I watch, you slowly roll up your sleeves, as if in preparation … for what, I can only imagine.
My mouth is dry. I cannot answer you. I just stand there, watching you approach me, silently pleading for the ground to swallow me, to do anything but what I am anticipating. I fully expect you to rip me to shreds for touching your property. In just your shirtsleeves, you seem at once approachable and more sinister.
When you are mere inches from me, I lower my head, hoping you will take pity, but it does not come. “Answer me, Miss Granger,” you hiss, and I can smell you – it is the same scent as your robe, but with an undercurrent of your own musk, and my mouth starts to water.
“I’m sorry, sir,” I whisper. “I couldn’t help myself.”
“I see. Turn around, Miss Granger,” you command, and I obey you instantly. I feel your hands slide up my thighs and I shiver. I’m so wet, just from the scent of your robes. “What a dirty little witch,” you whisper in my ear, and I close my eyes as your hand slips into my knickers. Your fingers tease my clit and I start to shake. “Such a naughty girl, so very wet.” My knees buckle, and you catch me around the waist.
“Bend over, Miss Granger,” you command, and you force me down onto the desk, face first. The robe is still in my hands and it ends up draped on the desk, and I am lying on it. You throw my skirt over my back and yank my knickers from my body, literally tearing them away, until my bottom is exposed to the room. You place your feet between mine and widen your stance, forcing my legs far apart, and I know you can see and feel how wet I am for you. I can feel you stroking my bottom, and your fingers brush against my clit, and it feels like my pussy is on fire.
You are purring in my ear, “Such a tender little bottom, Miss Granger. I wonder what it would be like to spank it, until it’s warm and rosy beneath my hands? Would that excite you? Your cunt is already dripping wet, my girl. Such a dirty girl.”
Your hand comes down on my backside, hard, and I cry out, and I’m panting. “Oh, did that hurt, Miss Granger?” you say, pretending to be concerned. “You don’t seem too hasty to flee. You can, you know. You can just stand and leave. But that’s not what you truly want, is it?”
When I don’t reply, you smack my bottom again, harder. “Answer me, Miss Granger! Do you wish to leave?”
I can barely speak, but I manage to whisper, “No.”
Another smack. “No, what?” Your hand comes down in a different place, making me cry out.
“I didn’t think so, Miss Granger. What you want, you shall receive.”
You spank me, hard, until I’m sobbing. It hurts, but it feels good, as if it’s something I needed and didn’t know it, or it’s something I knew I wanted but couldn’t ask for. When you finish, my bottom is sore, and you make little comforting noises as your fingers slide into my cunt. “Now, you must be a good girl and come for me.” You are teasing my clit and I’m shaking and it feels so good. “You like this, don’t you, Miss Granger? You like having your professor finger fucking you, don’t you? Say it!”
“Yes, I like you finger fucking me, sir!” A hard smack on my sensitive arse makes me cry out, “I love it!”
“I know,” you say, almost as if you are baby-talking to me. “I’m going to make you come, witch, and when I do, I’m going to fuck you until you scream. Now, there we go … let’s see you come… oh yes, such a good girl … that’s it … come for me!”
You make me climax on command, and as I’m lying on the table, I can sense you are unbuttoning your trousers. I feel your cock against my pussy; it is hot and hard and so big I know it will fill me, and I want it so bad I can almost taste it. You thrust into me, hard, and I scream.
“Take it, witch! Milk my cock,” you growl. You fuck me hard, pounding into me. You are moaning my name, telling me to be a good little girl and come for Daddy, and I scream as I obey your command.
“Are you my little toy? Yes, oh, yes, you are. My tight, wet little toy. I’m going to enjoy fucking you, you delicious tart. Everyone thinks you’re so innocent – what would they think if they saw you, bent over my desk, screaming my name as I fuck your sweet little cunt?”
Suddenly you pull away from me and pull me upright by my hair. “I’ll bet a bad little girl like you would let me come in your mouth, wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t you look delectable with my come all over your face? Turn around, now!”
I turn around to see you stroking yourself. Your eyes are blazing, demonic with lust, and you whisper, “Get on your knees.”
I obey you and I open my mouth like a baby bird, ready for your essence. I am thirsting for it. As you stroke your cock, I reach out and cup your balls in my hand. They are heavy and tight, and I know you will orgasm soon. Your eyes grow wide, and the look of helpless abandon on your face nearly makes me swoon.
You hold onto my hair as you come in my mouth, and the force of it spurts it onto my cheeks and my chin as well. You shout hoarsely as you climax; calling me a good girl. Your face is beautiful with pained pleasure. You pull me to my feet, and grasp my head in your hands. The look on your face is so intense; for a moment, I think you are going to insult me and call me dirty names, and I don’t know if I want you to or not.
Instead, you take a deep breath, and lean toward me. You kiss my forehead and whisper my name, and then you say the dirtiest, filthiest thing you’ve said since I walked in the door.
“Hmm … Outstanding. Ten points to Gryffindor, Miss Granger.”
I whimper with a combination of lust and humiliation. You smirk at me. “While I do enjoy seeing my semen dripping from your pretty face, you may wish to perform a cleansing charm before resuming your visit with Minerva.”
Finally, you move away from me, and I lean back on the desk, trembling. I can feel your spunk on my chin. As you walk away, I can only manage to say, “Sir, I still have your coat.”
You turn back, and gesture to your coat, sneering, “You will return tomorrow night, wearing that. Wearing only that. Be here at eight o’clock.” You turn to leave. “Do not be late, Miss Granger. Tardiness will entail certain … punishment.”
I compose myself, and perform a hasty cleansing charm before I leave. I search the room, but my ruined knickers are nowhere to be seen. You must have taken them.
Severus carefully folded the parchment, his face immobile and calm. In reality, his cock was straining; he’d have to masturbate. He knew from experience this kind of erection would be impervious to thoughts of Pomona in a swim suit or Albus leering in the prefects’ bath. It wouldn’t meekly back down; it had been awakened by the siren’s call of an illicit, dirty fantasy involving his young, nubile wife, spanking, coming on her face and dirty talk. It wouldn’t leave him alone until he either threw her down on the bed or took matters in hand.
He walked quietly into his private loo and quickly took care of his problem, picturing Hermione over his desk, her red arse quivering as he drove into her. In his mind’s eye, he saw her looking up at him, expectantly, readying herself to receive his cum. That vision alone was enough to send him flying over the edge.
As he came, gasping silently, he realized the simple major truth: she might be submitting to him, but he was the slave making it happen.
Later that afternoon, he welcomed Undersecretary Orchid into his study. “Good afternoon, Headmaster,” the little dumpling of a man squeaked. As he took his seat opposite Headmaster Snape, he flinched in anticipation. Everyone in the Ministry had warned him that, even after all these years, the subject of Harry Potter was not a pleasant one for Headmaster Snape.
Orchid pursed his lips primly. “Sir, I wonder if you might consider allowing us to annex a bit more of the school? W-We were hoping to increase the footprint of the Potter display to make room for a triptych, featuring your wife and Ronald Weasley on either side – you know, the Golden Trio?”
Severus thought of his wife, bent over his Potions desk, her luscious arse his to fondle. He smiled.
“Mr. Orchid, you’re in luck today. You’ve caught me in a very … expansive mood.”
That evening, Hermione and Severus sat propped up in bed, reading. Turning a page of her novel, Hermione asked, “Did you receive my parchment today?”
“I did,” was the laconic reply. Hermione glanced at her husband. He was reading a copy of the Daily Prophet, late edition.
She returned to her novel. Three pages later, she asked, “Did I please you?”
Without looking up from the editorial, he answered, “I allowed Orchid to increase the size of the Harry Potter exhibit today. It has its own wing now.”
He turned the page, and she returned to her novel, a tiny, happy smile dancing at the edges of her lips.
On Thursday, as they sat down to dinner in the Great Hall, Hermione placed a folded sheet of parchment on Severus’ plate. He looked at her, a question in his eyes, and after the rest of the room began to tuck into their evening meal, Severus boldly opened the parchment and began to read:
Snow is falling. It has been the reason for a thousand different frustrations this day, involving reckless and distracted students, and I’ve spent most of the day attending sprained ankles and nursing bruised egos. It is late, and I enter our bed chambers tired and irritable. I have had a terrible day; everything has gone wrong, and I just want to have a drink of wine and read until bedtime.
As I enter the bed chamber, you greet me with a kiss. You are naked, and I pause to enjoy the slender planes of your body. You know the kind of day I’ve had; I am looking forward to your special method of relaxation.
“I have a treat for you, pet,” you say, holding me tightly. You give me a deep kiss, and as I melt in your arms, I feel another set of arms encircle me from behind, and I whirl around to see you again!
I look from one Severus to another. I can see little difference, except that one of you is vibrant, warm and alive; the other is paler, quieter, the skin cool to the touch. I turn to the Severus behind me, because I can tell it is you, the real Severus.
“Polyjuice?” I say uncertainly. I don’t like the idea of being shared with another man; more to the point, I am frightened. Are you trying to tell me you want me to share YOU with another man?
“No,” you smile, answering both the spoken and unspoken questions. The other Severus caresses my hair and my arms. “This is a Tulpa, a homunculus. I have created him for one night, to give you pleasure.”
The Tulpa undresses me as you stroke and caress me. The two of you share a silent telepathy that I cannot fathom, and as he removes my clothing, your hands fondle my breasts. I feel the cool skin of the SeverusTulpa against my back; his erection is hotter than his skin, and he cups my breasts as if to present them to you as a gift.
You respond, leaning down, suckling me, licking my nipples until they are so hard they ache. All the while the SeverusTulpa kisses my neck, my shoulders, and my back. Soon, he releases my breasts, and lifts me in his arms, and together you take me to our bed.
You lie on either side of me, and while your fingers slide into my pussy, he is kissing me. His kisses feel like yours, but his skin is still cool. I am almost outside myself, between the two of you. It feels like the ultimate magic, being pleasured by two Severus Snapes.
Two identical mouths close over my nipples, melting my will and my thoughts. As you suck and nip, another set of fingers join the first in my pussy. Knowing fingers tease my clit, while others slide into my cunt, my rectum. The SeverusTulpa mounts me and begins to fuck me. It feels like you, and I am almost mindless with pleasure. I look up into his face, and he smiles at me.
“He is fucking you, my pretty one,” you whisper in my ear, your hand between us, rubbing my clit hard. “And it will be my turn next. He will not cease to be until you beg us to stop, and only then will he disappear.” Your kisses are hard and demanding, and he fucks me harder as you whisper your dirty promises to me.
At an unspoken command, he rises from me, and I beg you not to stop. The two of your turn me over, until I am on my hands and knees, and he thrusts into me again. You kneel before me and guide your hard cock into my mouth. “Suck me,” you say, and you sound decadent, like some pagan prince commanding a slave girl for your pleasure. “Suck my prick, little one. Take it all. Milk my cock with that sweet mouth of yours.”
I can hardly concentrate. The Tulpa is gentle, but I want more; it’s like an itch that needs to be scratched, and you are both teasing me to the point of insanity. You are pleased with how I’m sucking you, but soon you pull away from me, and another unspoken signal is given between you and the Tulpa.
He lies down beside me, and you gently guide me over him until I am impaled on his cock. You push me down onto his chest, and he puts his arms around me and rocks me gently, murmuring soft sounds to me. From behind, I feel your hands parting my bum cheeks, and I almost scream as I feel your breath against my bottom and I know you are about to lick me. It is wrong and taboo and I should feel shame, but all I can feel is your warm tongue flicking against my little hole, and the Tulpa’s cock filling my cunt. It feels beyond pleasurable, and I am moaning your name with each breath.
Soon your tongue is replaced by your long fingers sliding into my waiting rectum. It hurts at first, but you are patient, and so is your Tulpa, who is nuzzling my nipples and sucking at them like a baby.
I feel your cock at my entrance; I cannot imagine I will be able to accommodate you both, but you are rocking against me as well. “Pant,” you say, sliding your hands over my back. You are aroused and your voice is ragged, harsh. “Pant, little girl, like the bitch in heat you are.” Your voice is hoarse, and it has a note of warning on it, which only excites me more. I obey you and pant. Finally I bear down and you slide into my tight little hole, and the two of you fill me until I feel I will die of ecstasy.
You instruct me how to move between you, and the two of you fuck me, moving me like a delicate doll between you. “My beautiful girl,” you whisper, playing with my clit. “You’re such a good girl, letting us fuck your pretty little cunt and your tight little arse, letting me fuck you with my own likeness.”
Your voice is rough and I can hear you losing control, wanting to give over to your need and your pleasure, and I plead with you to let go with me, to do whatever you want with me. You growl, “Use us. Fuck us. Come for us!”
I beg you to fuck me harder, and two sets of hands hold me in place and drive into me until I am incoherent with pleasure, Both of you are thrusting into me, hard, and it feels as if I’m floating between the two of you. I feel my orgasm burst within me, and you hold me against your chest as I scream and shudder with the intensity of this climax.
When you come, I hear your shout of completion, and feel your hot seed pulsing deep within me. I feel helpless, trapped between you, and I collapse against the Tulpa as you pull away, panting, spent. You gently lift me from the bed and take me in your arms, crooning to me, praising me, telling me that I’ve pleased you.
Together we lie on our bed, and I nestle in your arms. I feel the SeverusTulpa nestle against my back. I am surrounded by warmth and love, and I fall asleep in this tangle of limbs and soft kisses, the object of your complete and total domination and concentration.
Severus was at once shocked and thrilled by the audacity of his wife. Coupled with his stunned admiration for her deviant imagination was a certain pleasure in being able to read and absorb this informative missive while calmly tucking into his Shepherd’s Pie. Beside him, Hermione lifted a forkful of spinach salad to her lips, and he watched intently as she licked a droplet of viscous dressing from her bottom lip with both evident enjoyment and false innocence.
You dirty little Gryffindor, he marveled. Imaginative, I’ll give you that. And entirely possible. Not for the first time Severus was grateful for robes. He had risen and hardened almost the moment he started reading the fantasy, and knowing his wife was sitting beside him, nonchalantly eating her dinner as he read her most lascivious thoughts was intoxicating. It smacked of the forbidden, the shameful.
Wicked little vixen. He wanted to fuck her on this table. One day, he would do it. Soon.
His hand drifted under the table, to her robes, and he stroked her thigh gently. She rewarded him with a brilliant smile, and he returned to his dinner. Who would have thought the bookish Madam Snape capable of sexual fantasies involving her husband and a conjured, magical double of himself, pleasuring her in such a depraved, wanton fashion?
He whispered a spell as one finger traced a line along her thigh, and Hermione felt Severus’ hand slide into a newly-made slit in her robe. She obediently parted her legs to give him access to her slick labia. She was almost constantly wet these days; she wondered if she should be more ashamed of it than she actually was.
Severus’ thumb and middle finger peeled back her labia while his index finger circled her clit, then tapped against it gently, causing her to drop her fork against her plate. The clatter went unnoticed in the general noisiness of the Hall, but it served to make his point, and Severus idly withdrew his hand. The slit in Hermione’s robe sealed itself the moment he took his hand away.
On Severus’ left side, Filius Flitwick dabbed his mouth and sat back with a sigh. “Lovely meal tonight, wasn’t it, Headmaster?”
Severus, licking the tip of his right index finger, nodded. “An excellent repast indeed, Filius.” He risked a glance at Hermione’s flushed face, and stroked her thigh soothingly.
Hermione smiled as she sealed the last parchment. For the last three days, she had been in a constant state of arousal. This, she thought, must be how animals on heat feel – restless, distracted, irritable, uncomfortable. She had been perfectly beastly to her fifth-year Hufflepuffs today – she’d even called poor Donall Peasall a dunderhead, for Merlin’s sake! Of course, she’d apologized to the class later, but she couldn’t exactly tell them the reason for her snappish behavior.
I’m sorry, class, but my sadistic husband, your beloved Headmaster, has kept me in a state of heightened sexual frustration since Tuesday evening, and I’m going to spontaneously combust into a cloud of orgasmic confetti if he doesn’t shag me rotten very, very soon.
Oh, Severus had been the soul of sweetness for the past three days. Hermione would have accused him of duplicity, had he not cheerfully confessed that while he enjoyed petting his wife, this was a deliberate attempt on his part to stir her into a state of madness. She couldn’t chastise him or make demands. Wasn’t that the entire point of this exercise – to learn to trust him, to obey and submit to him?
She had been obeying, and the look of promise in his dark eyes at the end of each day had given her a wonderful sense of accomplishment. He had worked very hard throughout their marriage to make up for the lean years during which he’d gone out of his way to deflate her ego, but this was different. This was meeting him on terms she’d never tried to master; seeking his approval and not finding it wanting was heady stuff. She smiled. He knew her so well.
And there were the moments when their eyes would meet, and she could see the fire. It was not a soulful smoldering ember; she had felt that warmth many times in their marriage. This was something uncontrollable, only a little tame, that made his eyes look both darker and more luminous.
It made him look like the professor of her youth. It was the possessive, hungry look of a man who could and would commit acts upon her that few men would dare, and she would submit to them, give in to them, revel in them and thank him for them.
Hermione sighed. Three of the longest days of her life. It never occurred to her to question whether or not it was worth it. Hermione smiled, and shivered at the thought of him.
Severus Snape was always worth it.
Undersecretary Orchid had, in the past two days, completely revised his opinion of Hogwarts’ dour Headmaster. His contemporaries scoffed in disbelief when he defended the taciturn, formerly uncooperative man. Now, he touted him as a helpful, pleasant wizard with a great deal of personal charm, and, Orchid also blushingly mused, a great deal of sexual magnetism. Severus would have torn the little wizard’s arse into new and interesting shapes had he discovered that little revelation, and instinctively the Undersecretary kept that opinion to himself.
He would illustrate his point when next he had a pint with his cronies by describing this current meeting. Here it was, early Friday afternoon, and the Headmaster was relaxed, calm and accommodating. From behind his desk, Headmaster Snape was the very picture of pleasant cooperation, and ground-breaking on the installation would actually commence ahead of schedule.
Unbeknownst to the officious little man, the Headmaster was languidly stroking his swollen cock behind the desk, having finished reading Hermione’s third fantasy only moments before. Severus was practically oozing good will, but there was a certain tension in his face that Orchid mistook for fatigue at the end of a long, trying week. He was not far from wrong.
“Everything seems to be in order, Secretary Orchid. I look forward to the workers arriving a week from Monday. That will give us time to arrange their accommodations.” The Headmaster glanced regretfully to his desk. “Now, I really must give these other documents my undivided attention,” he said, batting his long lashes. “I’m afraid I’ve been focusing all my energies on the Installation, even to the detriment of academic matters.”
Orchid jumped from his chair, apologizing profusely for monopolizing the Headmaster’s time, all the while assuring him that everything would be done according to his wishes.
“Lovely. I have perfect faith in you, Mr. Orchid. I trust you can see yourself out.” Unless you wish to see me with myself out, he thought.
“Of course, sir! Please have a lovely weekend, and do pass on my regards to your lovely lady wife, sir!”
“I will. Good day, Mr. Orchid.” As Severus watched the portly little wizard mince from the room, he sighed, and reluctantly gave his cock a firm, final stroke. He closed his eyes with a stifled groan. If I continue this, I will accomplish nothing, and there is much to be done.
Later that evening, Hermione tried to hurry down the corridor without actually looking as if there was any urgency. Severus had sent word to the faculty that he and Hermione would be unavailable for the weekend. In fact, he had not dined in the Great Hall that evening, but had asked her to preside over the meal in his absence, as he had preparations to make. He had looked at her archly as he said this, making her heart beat a little faster. She had picked at her food and fidgeted for an acceptable amount of time, then excused herself, bidding her colleagues a pleasant weekend.
She could not get to their rooms fast enough. She flew into the door of the suite and warded it with everything she could think of, including several Silencing Charms and Muffliato as well. She was breathless and a little giddy, and tried to calm herself. It would not do to appear like a giggly school girl next to her poised and controlled husband.
She was surprised to find their rooms empty. She felt a bit disappointed, and looked around despondently. It was obvious that Severus had somehow been detained.
As she entered their bed chamber, she spied a small black box sitting on her side of the bed. She approached it carefully and, almost without thinking, whisked out her wand and checked it for Dark Magic. Satisfied that the box was safe, she picked it up to inspect it. It was a stunningly lovely box made of hematite. The lid was held in place by a tiny, silver heart-shaped lock. Finding no key to open it, Hermione tapped the top of the box with her wand and murmured, “Alohamora.”
Nothing happened. Sighing, Hermione was about to try a different, more aggressive charm when something fell from the underside of the box – a letter with her name written on the front in her husband’s tell-tale, spidery handwriting.
Grinning like a kid on a treasure hunt, Hermione set the little box on her bedside table and tore open the letter. Within was a small piece of parchment, and she read it quickly, her heart racing:
My dearest little girl, you have pleased me more than I can say. For three days you have obeyed me well. I have one last request of you – a question. This is the final, most important assignment of all, and you must answer the question aloud, in kind.
Will you, Hermione Snape, completely and utterly submit to my will?
With a pounding heart, Hermione closed her eyes, childishly counted to three, and whispered, “I, Hermione Snape, will completely and utterly submit to your will.” The hematite box began to hum, and the heart-shaped lock sprang open and fell to the floor. The lid flew open with a clicking noise, making her jump a little. Hermione looked inside, breathless with anticipation.
On a bed of deep black velvet lay a tiny silver key. It was intricately wrought, with scrollwork and engravings running down the spine, and it gleamed like a jewel in its ebony bed.
Entranced, Hermione reached into the box and picked up the little silver trinket. The moment her fingers closed over it, Hermione felt the sudden terrifying lurch around her middle, and she was whisked from the room in the split second it took for comprehension to dawn and for the word to form in her mouth: Portkey!
To see an awesome facsimile of the game, What Say You?, check out my lovely exchange BINGO prize by hechicera.