Disclaimer: never did and never will own it. J.K. Rowling does.
Spoilers: Goblet of Fire
~ Knocking At Her Door ~
He knocked at the door.
“Severus…? What is it?” asked the sleepy voice of the silhouette at the door.
“Can I sleep in your room?” he asked.
“Again? It’s already the third time this week!”
“It’s not that I mind much, but I can’t sleep when Black is over there…”
“Which is something like seven days in a week. Alright, come in.”
She closed the door behind him and he shifted uncomfortably under her gaze.
“Sev… better say it now, I’d really go back to bed.”
“May I… sleep in your bed? I’m tired of sofas.”
“This is not happening to me…” she muttered, rolling her eyes.
She looked at him and grumbled.
“You bet. Nothing but sofas for six months! I don’t care, Sev. Just as long as I can sleep.”
She crawled back under her covers while he lay down on the other side, careful not to touch her.
“Now, Sev, please tell me how this happened. I’ve known you for, what? Twelve years? For nine years, you’ve reduced me to a puddle of fear with words and a mere glare and now, you are a puddle of fear! Care to explain to me?”
He looked at her back, at her hair spread of the pillow. She knew better than to look at him while asking such a question. He sighed.
“Clara is a nightmare. You would have thought Voldemort was bad. Well, the combination of my parents and Clara is worse.”
“Honestly, Sev,” she groaned. “The whole school knows she spends more time with Sirius than with you.”
“For once, I’m grateful to Black.”
“Well, he owed you for saving his life, after all. But it shouldn’t lead you to sleep four nights a week on my sofa and the three remaining nights in the Shrieking Shack. Frankly, Sev, just tell your parents that if she ever has a child, it’s not yours in any way. Maybe they will let you divorce her.”
“Mia, my parents care only for one thing: for me to have an heir. Someone with the name Snape. After that, if the child is not a Snape, I don’t think they really care. Clara is a pure-blood and her family was willing to sell her to the infamous former Death Eater.”
“Stop that, Sev. I’m tired of hearing it.”
“Anyway. You must understand that the only case my parents would let me go away with divorcing Clara would be if I presented them another woman.”
“Well, just do that,” she said, yawning, nuzzling her pillow. “Go to them, tell them Clara is unfaithful – to say it politely – and present me to them. I don’t mind.”
“I can’t believe I’m letting you talk me into this. Are you unconscious?”
“Of course. I’m a Gryffindor, after all. Sev, I’ve faced Malfoy’s insults for seven years, a basilisk, your scorn for nine years, Peter Pettigrew’s interest and his metallic hand inches of my skin, Voldemort’s sight and curses and Lucius Malfoy kissing my hand at the end of the war. What on earth could be more terrible? Compared to all that, Clara doesn’t frighten me the least.”
“If you’re sure you don’t mind playing this game.”
“Don’t worry. Sleep, now.”
“Good night, Mia.”
A loud bang at her door startled Hermione from sleep. Loath to leave the warmth of her bed, she groaned and buried her head in her pillow. Another bang at the door was heard.
“I can hex them to next year and back, if you want,” murmured a sleepy masculine voice behind her.
“No, thank you. Stay here, I’ll deal with it.”
Eyes still closed, she walked to the door, picking up a dressing gown on her way.
“Where is my husband?” shrieked a feminine voice as soon as she opened the door.
“Good morning to you too, Clara,” replied Hermione, opening an eye. “What, you’ve lost Severus? You should put him on leash. Oh, hello, Sirius.”
“I know my husband’s with you!”
“I didn’t see him since yesterday,” Hermione mumbled. “Now, if you don’t mind, it’s the first day of the holidays and I would have loved not being awakened at five in the morning. Bye, see you for lunch.”
She closed the door at a very irate Clara’s face and went back to her bedroom, shedding the dressing gown on her way, eyes closed again. A soft chuckle welcomed her.
“I can’t believe you lied to Clara and she believed you. A Slytherin like her should never fall for the lie of a Gryffindor.”
“I didn’t lie to her. I really didn’t see you since yesterday: I didn’t open my eyes till I opened the door.”
He chuckled again as she wrapped the covers around her.
“How did you sleep?” she asked, yawning.
“Wonderfully well. My best night in six months, thanks to you.”
“Glad to hear it.”
“Mia… how is it that you’ve never found someone for you?”
She sighed and turned the head to look at him in the eyes.
“Because as much as everybody loves to be around me while I sleep,” she said sarcastically, “they just can’t wait to go away as soon as I speak.”
“Shut up, Mia.”
“See? Nobody wants a know-it-all, Sev. Alright, discussion far too high for my mental state right now, so I’m back to sleep.”
She felt him settle behind her.
“You’re staying too?” she said sleepily.
“Yes,” he breathed in her ear. “You’re so cute when you sleep.”
She growled in frustration. He chuckled and wrapped his arm around her waist, his hand flat against her stomach. She leaned her back against his chest, her hand resting on his, and fell asleep again.
She awoke with unusual warmth in her back. Her eyes opened immediately as they did during the year. There was an arm around her and a soft breath caressing her cheek. She looked down and recognised the hand under hers immediately.
“Oh, great!” she groaned. “What did I drink yesterday?”
“Nothing happened, Mia. Except that you did give me a wonderful idea for getting rid of Clara.”
“What time is it?”
“Are you telling me that we both will show up for lunch? Oh Gods, our absence won’t look too good…”
“Coffee?” he said.
“That’s what I love when you sleep here. I have the best coffee in the world first thing in the morning,” she murmured, stretching.
Only minutes later, he was handing her a steaming mug of coffee.
“Alright. What did I say last night?” she said after swallowing half the mug, burning her tongue and palate heartily.
“That I should present you to my parents as my future wife, provided they let me divorce Clara.”
Her eyes opened wide.
“I didn’t! I’m Muggle-born, Sev, they’ll never let you marry me, even if you wanted.”
“That’s beside the point,” he said with a smirk. “You gave me some other ideas yesterday. Would you help me in a game against Clara?”
“How can you ask? Of course, I will. I hate this woman. She delights in letting the whole school knowing she cheats on you. I even saw her trying to seduce Gryffindors, who would have been only too happy getting back on their hated Potions teacher.”
He raised an eyebrow and she giggled softly.
“What did you do to them?” he inquired.
“I’m afraid they had to serve detention with Filch for a week,” she admitted. “I wish I could have sent Clara instead!”
He shuddered with feigned concern.
“You’re the only one who could even feel sorry for Filch!” she exclaimed indignantly.
He smirked in answer.
“Sev, you seem to feel better. I haven’t heard you chuckle or see you smile so much in the last six months.”
“Must be because I just slept with a beautiful woman next to me.”
Hermione felt herself blush.
“Sev!” she exclaimed, fighting the warmth invading her cheeks. “Don’t you start on the subject!”
“I’m hurt, Mia!” he mock-protested.
He came to her, took her empty mug from her hands and murmured in her ear:
“You gave me an idea for getting back at Clara. Maybe you don’t know, but she hates you. Probably because she thinks you’re trying to steal me from her – never thought I would have women fighting over me!”
“We’re not fighting! At least, I’m not fighting. She isn’t either. I mean–”
“Don’t interrupt me now! Clara hates you even more than she hates me, I think.”
“I hate her too,” muttered Hermione.
“So what better than making her jealous with you, hmm?”
“Sev! You can’t mean that! I never did–”
“Hush. Let’s talk to Albus.”
“Oh Gods, you found back your spirit! Curse me.”
Clara was walking in the corridors, when she heard a sound that flushed her with anger.
“Oh Sev… Gods, Severus!”
There was only one person daring to call the Potions Master ‘Sev’ without him being ready to hex them into next year and back. Clara’s eyes narrowed.
“Harlot!” she hissed.
Quickly, she went looking for Sirius and anybody she could find on her way. She would humiliate her rival in front of the whole staff!
Severus and Hermione stifled a laugh when they saw her leaving abruptly. They had cast a spell on Hermione’s door, so that they could see what was happening outside.
“Mia, you’ll always surprise me! If I hadn’t seen you while you were moaning like this, I would have had suspicions too!”
She grinned a bit guiltily.
“Thank you, I guess…”
“Second round coming, we’re having witnesses!”
Clara was coming, almost dragging Sirius who was protesting vehemently. Remus followed, obviously none too happy being part of whatever included Clara. Albus and Minerva were present also.
“I’m dead,” murmured Hermione.
“Nonsense,” grinned Severus. “Here we go, they’re ready!”
Behind the door, everybody’s eyes widened when they heard a masculine voice growl.
“Don’t stop, Mia, don’t ever stop… Yes, oh yes…”
A sultry feminine voice answered:
“Oh… Oh, I like that! Ooh, Sev, where did you learn to do that?”
Inside the room, Severus couldn’t contain his laugh any longer.
“Don’t laugh!” Hermione whispered fiercely.
But it was already too late. Severus’s rich laugh filled the room. Hermione rolled the eyes before grinning evilly.
“Are you ticklish, Sev? Oh Sev, do you know what your laugh is doing to me? Ooh…”
Severus stopped laughing suddenly, looking at her in wonder, eyes wide opened, and she gave him a wicked grin.
“I think I have a faint idea…” he whispered hoarsely, his voice strained. “Gods, Mia, I’m so close…”
“This is it!” shrieked Clara’s voice outside. “Alohomora!”
The door opened wide. Severus looked above Hermione’s shoulder, just before she sighed:
“Sev… oh, you’re a god…”
“Mia, we’re not alone anymore,” he said, sounding exactly as if he was teaching Potions to unruly first years, ignoring the funny sensation of his insides melting at her last sentence.
She turned the head and looked at the five people standing at the door.
“What is it?” she asked, opening wide her brown eyes.
Albus chuckled, a merry twinkle dancing in his eyes.
“We heard some… interesting noises outside.”
“Frankly, Mia, how could you?” exclaimed Sirius.
Remus nudged him in the ribs.
“Sirius… before you say anything you’ll regret later, please notice they’re fully clothed,” he muttered.
Hermione stood up and crossed her arms on her chest.
“How could I what, Sirius?” she asked belligerently.
Sirius looked at the Wizard Chess board that was on the table she had just been sitting in front of. One of the pawns stepped ahead, moaning:
Remus tried to turn his laugh into a cough, only partially succeeding. Minerva didn’t even try. Sirius looked at Severus, then at Hermione and a huge grin appeared on his face.
“You were playing Wizard Chess? This is hilarious!”
“I heard you saying he was ticklish!” accused Clara.
“I asked him. Maybe I should ask you, since he didn’t answer. Is he ticklish?”
“How should I know?” she replied disdainfully.
She turned on her heels and left the room.
“Where did you find such a chessboard?” asked Sirius, his eyes glowing with curiosity.
“Finite Incantatem,” muttered Hermione, with a quick wand wave.
“Mia! I can’t believe you came up with this spell!”
Blushing, she said something under her breath that nobody understood.
“I haven’t laughed like this in a long time,” admitted Minerva. “Good performance, you two.”
They left the room, Remus finally releasing his laugh. Sirius was grinning evilly and Severus had the suspicion that spelled Wizard Chess boards would soon appear in Hogwarts.
Hermione sighed in relief, sagging on her chair.
“Gods!” she moaned in despair. “I will never hear the end of this!”
He squatted by her side.
“Do you regret it?”
“Do you think it helped?”
“I don’t know, but the look on her face was priceless.”
“Then I don’t regret it.”
“You… you impressed me earlier. My laugh would have ruined everything. I can’t believe how you saved the act.”
“Comes from being a bookworm, Severus,” she replied primly, grinning.
He looked up at her, a smile tugging at his lips.
“I never thought you could have such a sultry voice,” he noticed thoughtfully.
She closed her eyes.
“Please!” she groaned.
“I wonder if you would sound like this if it was for real.”
Her voice was muffled when his lips brushed against hers. He kissed her again, gently, feeling her trembling as his arms came around her. When her hand hesitatingly came to rest on his chest, he deepened the kiss and smiled against her lips when he heard the small moan in the back of her throat.
“Oh Gods, I’ve wanted to do that for so long!”
“Was it… why you asked… yesterday?”
“No! No, I wouldn’t… I won’t do anything you don’t want, Mia. But just moments ago, seeing you putting your reputation in jeopardy, just for me, it was too much… I had to make you understand.”
“That you don’t want Clara? I knew that.”
“No… That I want you and that I would marry you… if you want me.”
“And present me to your parents?” she said, slightly smiling.
“I’m serious, Hermione. I don’t care for my parents, for Clara, for anyone, but I care for you.”
She looked down, her lips oddly twisted.
“Mia… if you don’t want, I’ll understand. I don’t want to lose you in any way–”
“No, Severus… I… I love you, but I didn’t know you felt the same.”
“Gods,” he murmured, pulling her to him and claiming her lips. “I don’t know why it took me so long to realise it. I could almost thank Clara for the insight.”
“I’m sure she would love to be kissed thank you!” Hermione giggled breathlessly. “Do you realise we are incredibly mushy?”
“True. Let’s start. We have thousands things to do before tonight!”
“We do?” she asked, surprised.
The following morning, Hermione woke up with the aroma of coffee filling the room.
“Sev, you’re a wonder,” she murmured, eyes still closed.
He began to place little kisses on her face, breathing the scent of her sleep-warm skin, delighting in her tousled hair and the soft sighs of pleasure his kisses were inducing.
“If I had known that it was so agreeable to wake up next to you, I would never have let you stay so long with Clara!”
“I could say the same. Time to get up, we have things to do.”
“Again?” she protested half-heartily.
One hour later, Severus and Hermione Apparated in front of a large manor.
“I see why you like the dungeons,” she teased him.
He scowled at her and knocked at the door.
“Severus? What are you doing here?”
“Hello, mother. I’d like you to meet Hermione, my wife.”
“Hello, Mrs. Snape. Pleased to meet you,” said Hermione, smiling brightly.
“Where is Clara?”
“Married to Sirius Black. You know, the ex-convict on the run from Azkaban? Mother?”
“Sev, I think she fainted.”
“Oh! Then I think she’ll take relatively well the fact that you’re Muggle-born.”
Hermione rolled her eyes.
“Do you really think so?”
“No. But it will be a sweet revenge for six months of Clara,” said Severus with a smirk.