It had been four weeks since Hermione took him in. They fell into a routine that came natural to him after being cooped up with the young girl; in the mornings, she'd wake up at five to go for a jog and bring him along; afterwards, she'd shower while he ate his breakfast and warmed her slippers with his body heat. She'd be dressed, cook herself breakfast and be out the door, working as a part-time editor of a big Muggle newspaper.
For most of the afternoon, Snape never felt uneasy or bored—except today. At five o'clock every day, Hermione walked through the door…except today. Snape paced worriedly and watched the door, listening closely for the scrape of her shoes dragging or sniffing for the smell of her light floral lotion and mint mouthwash. Crookshanks sat by the door, watching through the bay window, his bushy tail swaying from side to side.
"Where is she?" growled Snape as he snapped his jaws at the door, anxious and very angry. He liked routine and hated when it was disturbed. Crookshanks slanted his eyes down at the man-turned-dog.
"Perhaps she got held up in traffic," mused the familiar. The attempt at a joke didn't deserve the dirty look it got. The doorknob turned and Hermione stumbled in, latched onto a man with long, black hair. From his vantage point, Snape could see the resemblance to his human form; long stringy black hair fell nearly to the man's shoulders and was very oily.
Snape snarled and began to bark at the man; how dare he barge into their home and try to take his woman? He lunged at the man's shins and Hermione stumbled away from the stranger, reaching down for Snape; Snape snarled and snapped at her fingers. She gaped at him in shock. "Darcy!"
Snape head butted the man and he stumbled into the door; Hermione was awake now, sober, and was trying to pull Snape off. "Darcy! Get off of Severus!" she shrieked as she pried Snape away from the man. Both males stared at her in shock.
"My name is Richard."
And my name is Severus. Snape stared up at Hermione as the man pushed back his hair and pulled away from her. "Ah, the old substitute for what you can't have. I'm afraid, Miss Granger, I won't be able to substitute for this…Severus…you speak of; I am Richard and will not settle for a woman who doesn't want me as myself. Good night, Miss Granger."
Richard turned and lightly stepped out, leaving the door ajar. Snape stared at the man's long trench coat flapping in the breeze, imagining sinking his teeth into those ankles and hearing him squeal in pain. "Damn dog," Hermione grumbled, her cheeks rose-red and eyes gleaming with the promise of tears.
"Well," meowed Crookshanks. Snape's ears swiveled towards the cat's nasally voice; he'd forgotten the damn thing was there. "For someone who doesn't want her, you sure are protective."
"Of course I am!" argued Snape, "Since I am a dog, I have a dog's instincts. One of them being to protect his home from unwanted strangers, such as Richard-I'm-too-good-for-Hermione." Snape missed the way the cat grinned and mimicked his speech because Hermione had closed the door and Snape realized how much she had needed that…and he ruined it.
Shoving away his dignity, he slinked close to her and rubbed his neck against her leg, feeling the trembling there. He whined quietly, not really wanting her to be upset because of him. She walked away, swiped up the phone and began to punch some buttons. Snape watched her curiously; whom would she call at such an hour? "Hey, Pansy, it's me. You know Richard, right?" She disappeared down the bedroom hallway and he stayed out in the living room, knowing she wouldn't want him to follow, sitting there, watching the black depths of the dark hall.
"I think you're getting attached to her in ways you never thought possible," said Crookshanks from his perch on the fridge top, licking his paws calmly.
"What the hell are you talking about?" the dog snarled sharply, his face warming at the idea of the two of them, kissing, hugging…
"She wouldn't want me anyway. She hasn't seen me in the dark of night, covered in blood and bruised, covered in someone else's blood because of the—"
"That was four years ago, Sevvy." An angry glare made the cat smile more.
"Don't call me that!" he snapped. "Sevvy."
Snape really wished he had hands to strangle the damned animal. He turned away when he heard a sharp, wheezy laugh and decided to leave the cat to his insanity. He trotted down the hallway, his claws clicking, listening to her talking to Pansy.
"I really need to get laid," groaned Hermione as she changed into a simple t-shirt and pink, little-girl-frilly panties. Her t-shirt had a zombie unicorn on the chest and she had her hair in a ponytail, her face red with laughter.
"Hey, guess who's here? Darcy!" She set down the phone, put it on speakerphone, and picked him up. His face pressed against her full, braless breasts and he squirmed, embarrassed as his body reacted.
"That's it! I'm coming over; we're having a sleepover!" There was a click of Pansy ending the call and then Hermione was staring at him with wide eyes, her face turning redder by the second.
"What? Do you think I'm some female dog? Is that why you have a little…okay, not so little…situation going on?" He tried to squirm out of her grasp but she simply plopped him down on the bed and lay down. "I mean, guys don't think I'm attractive so how can you?"
Her nipples were hard against her t-shirt and he filed away the sight for when he was human; she had no idea how attractive she was. She looked so flawless: her hair spilling out of the ponytail, one leg over the other, smooth and long and sexy, the edge of her lace panties peeking out of the hem of her t-shirt, her shirt hanging off one shoulder.
The door slammed open and in walked Pansy, dressed in a t-shirt and jeans and hiking boots. Over her shoulder was a gym bag that had Quidditch team pins all over it and tons of key-chains. "Hermione, who's—" She was staring at him and he was staring at her. "Jesus! Put on some pants! You can't dress like that in front of him!" Pansy said sharply.
"Don't you know who this is?"
Hermione's eyebrows furrowed. His friends—the Malfoys mainly and Remus and Sirius—knew of his Animagus form so it wasn't surprising that Pansy—Pansy knew. He felt his heart skip a beat.
"That dog is Severus Snape, Hermione!"
That dog was out of the fucking bag.