CHAPTER 9: When You Say You Love Me
For as long as he could remember, Severus Snape had never been a happy man. It was his nature. He’d learned long ago that when good things came his way, they often came with a price that was too great to bear. He did not hold those good things too close for he refused to be ripped apart when they were taken from him. He had learned to live with the disappointment, hopelessness, and loneliness that had marked his life since he was a teenager. Sometimes, he wondered if there was any possibility for him to believe in joy again. Lately it seemed as if the fates were smiling on him, taking pity after all those years of hard, harsh living. As callous as he was to all other things, Severus had given in whole-heartedly to the ray of hope that was Hermione Granger.
She was what he lived for these days, nothing more, nothing less. He woke up each morning for the moment he could take her into his arms and tell her he still loved her. He trudged to meals with the sole purpose of seeing her, even if from afar. He kept extra hours in his office in the hopes that she would show up after dinner, as she was want to do these days. So often would he be sitting at his desk, grading the myriad of pathetic and sickening essays he was forced to endure, when her head would pop around the cracked door.
“Are you too busy for company, Severus?” she would ask brightly, smiling her heart-melting smile.
He would try to look annoyed and sneer, but he always replied with, “Not for your company, little one.”
It had become an evening routine for them. She would always appear after dinner, a bag over her shoulder with essays or samples to grade. Sometimes she simply brought a book, and, by the end of the night, had read so many bits of it out loud that he would give up his grading in order to have her read to him. It was very domestic, and a bit disconcerting for him. Severus had never been a domestic creature, but in the here and now, with Hermione curled up in an expanded armchair, it was right.
Hermione had come to love her evenings with Severus, even when they were sitting in silence, each absorbed in their own tasks. His presence was comforting as the smell of leather, books, and brandy wrapped around her. The scent still clung to a few of her jumpers even after being washed. She secretly slept with one beneath her pillow. This was true intimacy, sitting in such complete comfort and seemingly knowing the other’s every thought.
Intimacy. The images that single word conjured were enough to make her blood boil in her veins. His nearness made her body sear with fire, and his touch shot electricity through her every limb. The sheer maleness of him, his height above her, those broad and sturdy shoulders, that utterly masculine smell, made the insides at the pit of her stomach rush hot and wet. And yet his kisses and his touch seemed to frighten her as well. She didn’t know why, she only knew that she wanted it to stop. She wanted to be ready to really be intimate with him, to know him inside and out, and for him to know her as well.
“Severus,” she asked timidly one evening near the end of February. She had been there for nearly two hours, curled in her chair and reading Pride and Prejudice. He was grading third year essays on grindylows.
“Yes, little one?” he replied, without glancing up from his work. Hermione marveled at his ability to almost wholly devote his mind and attentions to two completely separate tasks.
“Why do you call me that? ‘Little one?’” She folded her book in her lap, keeping her finger inside to mark her page, and looked up at him with questioning eyes.
Snape looked up from his papers a little startled. He seemed lost in thought for a while before he locked her eyes with his. “What would you prefer me to call you? Hermy? ‘Mione? Granger? Miss Granger? Something else perhaps?”
She giggled slightly. “It’s not that I don’t like it. I just want to know why you use it. And for heaven’s sake, none of the others please. I am a different person than the girl who answered to those terrible nicknames.” Her eyes sparkled at him, and she smiled.
He gazed at her intently for a moment, taking in her crackling honey eyes, the faint blush on her cheeks, the way her grown up curls rested over one shoulder. “I honestly don’t know where it came from, Hermione. In my mind it just seems to fit you. Perhaps it is because I have this overpowering urge to protect you. Maybe it’s because you are much shorter than I, and you seem to fit in my arms perfectly. I cannot give you an answer other than that.”
Hermione opened her book and put it face down on her chair to hold her place. As if he’d taken that move as a sign that she was finished talking, Severus went back to grading his essays. He didn’t hear her as she came up beside his chair and wrapped her arms around his shoulders. He stiffened for a moment, and then relaxed into her touch as she rested her chin on his shoulder. Her warm breath tickled his neck when she spoke.
“Say it again, Severus,” she whispered softly before beginning to press gentle kisses along what she could reach of his neck. Something akin to a purr rumbled low in his throat, and his shoulders began to rise and fall in time with his rapid, shallow breaths. “Call me your little one again.”
“Little one,” he murmured huskily. She was getting braver as one hand came up to undo the tiny buttons at his throat. Soon, she had the collar of both his coat and the white linen shirt open. He groaned softly as her fingertips began to stroke the skin where neck and shoulder meet. Her lips soon followed, flicking her tongue tentatively to taste him. Severus twisted his head to the side slightly to give her more room. “My little one.”
“Yes,” she murmured against his skin, sending shockwaves of pleasure through him. Her fingers began dipping lower into the collar of his clothing, the tips grazing against the sparse black hairs on his chest. She scratched her nails lightly over his skin as she pulled her hands back upwards. Gently, she began kneading the tense flesh of his shoulders as she kissed her way from his neck, pausing at that sensitive spot behind his ear, to the crown of his head. She placed a chaste kiss to his hair and sighed. “Severus, would you do something for me?”
It took him a moment to find his voice, lost as he was in the soothing ministrations of her hands. “Anything, Hermione, anything your heart desires.”
Her hands stilled and were removed as she walked around to stand at his side. He pushed his chair back from the desk when she pushed his shoulder slightly. Severus blinked, and found Hermione moving the papers on his desk. When she had safely gotten them out of the way, she turned to lean against the edge of his desk in front of him. A bright blush colored her face, and her darkened honey eyes were staring nervously at her hands.
Severus reached out to her and stroked her hips soothingly. Hermione jumped visibly as the heat from his palms seeped through her clothing and running straight to her core. Her breath came in quick, shallow gasps as she tried to get up the courage to make her request. She squeezed her eyes shut and chewed her bottom lip as she focused on the feel of his hands. Her voice was thick and hoarse when she spoke. “I want to feel your hands…”
He applied a little more pressure as he stroked her hips. “They are here, Hermione,” he purred. He felt her body shiver beneath his hands and smirked. Perhaps the point had come… “Would you like them somewhere else?”
She nodded stiffly, unconsciously shifting to get his hands where she most desperately wanted them. Hermione almost groaned in frustration when his hands moved away from her tender core as they slid beneath her arse. He lifted her slightly and planted her swiftly on his desk. “Where would you like my hands, my Hermione?”
Hermione squirmed until her thighs were splayed open. Severus sucked in a started breath when the musky scent of her arousal hit his sensitive nose. When he realized what she was asking him for, Severus felt the rush of blood to his groin. His trousers were unbearably tight as he thought of sheathing himself in her dripping heat. His usually steady hands were shaking as he reached up to undo the clasp of her robes.
The black work robes, so similar to the ones she wore as a student, slipped from her arms and pooled like ink on his desk. She wore a pale pink jumper and a loose, knee length black skirt. Soft, black leather sandals dangled precariously from her feet. Severus deftly removed the sandals, and let them fall to the floor as she perched her bare feet on his chair on either side of his knees. She looked as if she were shaking.
He bent slightly and kissed each of her knees in turn. “It’s okay, little one. I promise you that I will not hurt you,” he purred as his hands began slowly stroking her legs from ankle to knee. “Let me give you what you seek, Hermione. I promise it will be an overture to greater pleasures.”
Hermione opened her eyes and stared down into the velvet depths that were gazing so lovingly at her. She cupped his cheek, feeling her fear start to ebb away. Severus loved her; he wouldn’t hurt her or turn her away as unsatisfactory. Not like Ron. No, don’t think of him now. It’s Severus who is here with you. It’s Severus whose hands are working such magic. He isn’t rejecting what you offer to him, he wants to make you feel pleasure, to make you feel loved beyond all else.
Severus saw the momentary flicker of fear in her eyes before it rolled away. Encouraged, he stood up and captured her lips with his. His kiss was demanding and possessive, his tongue darting out to demand entrance into the hot recesses of her mouth. She returned the kiss with as much passion as she could muster, and felt a new rush of liquid fire where she so desperately wanted him to touch. He pulled back from the kiss to breathe, but continued fluttering gentle kisses along her jaw and over her neck, hoping to distract that part of her that was afraid from the hands that were sneaking up her thighs.
One long finger stroked teasingly along the crotch of her knickers. She shuddered around him and opened her legs wider. Severus hooked his finger into the crotch of her knickers and slipped them from her body. He wrapped the other arm around her back and pulled her closer until her chest was pressed flush against his. Her taunt nipples seemed to sear into him through their layers of clothing, evidence of how desperately she wanted his touch.
Her knickers fluttered to the floor at his feet as his hand returned to its place between her thighs. He rested his palm over her mound for a moment, allowing her to adjust to the feel of him so intimately. His dilated eyes raked over her face, her bottom lip plumped from his kiss and her constant habit of nibbling on it, a hot blush rising in her cheeks. Her breath was coming in quick gasps as she stared up at him lovingly.
“I will not do anything you do not want, little one,” he murmured reassuringly, resting his forehead against hers. “Are you ready? Are you sure?”
Hermione’s eyes drifted closed and she nodded slightly against him. Severus began to remove his hand, letting his ring finger dip between her folds as he brought his hand forward. Her juices coated his finger as he passed lightly over her opening, across her labia, and onto that deliciously sweet spot begging for his attention. He swiped his finger over it gently, curling it and letting his fingernail graze slightly as he ended the stroke. He repeated the entire motion a second, then a third time before adding his middle finger.
Her breath coming in shallow pants, Hermione fisted her hands in the open collar of his jacket. She shivered every time his fingers grazed over her opening, making her feel desperately empty. She prickled with liquid fire as his fingers rubbed her clit, pushing her higher and higher upwards toward her breaking point. Her head fell forward against his shoulder, her mouth hanging open.
“Please,” she begged softly. “I need something… something…”
He kissed the top of her head and murmured in her ear, “What do you need, little one? Tell me.” He continued teasing her, increasing the pressure at the top of each stroke.
She gasped as he hit that sensitive bundle of nerves and arched provocatively into his hand. “More… I… oh… I’m empty.”
He groaned at the thought of sheathing himself deep into her at that moment. Repositioning his hand, Severus slowly slipped his index finger into her opening and growled at the tightness grasping at him. He pushed into her gently and rubbed her clit with his thumb. She keened into his shoulder, her teeth grasping the wool of his coat. He pumped his finger into her with long, curling strokes, drawing out her shivers and cries. She was positively dripping over his hand, and he was sure there would be a stain on his desk by the end of this.
“More,” she pleaded, slipping her hand beneath her skirt. She clasped her hand over his and positioned two fingers at her opening. He let her guide his movements until he had two fingers sheathed in her tight opening, his thumb still pressed against her button. He thrust his fingers into her until they hit a barrier. Holy fuck! he thought desperately. She’s still a virgin!
His resolve to please her strengthened, and he began his ministrations with renewed fervor. Soon she was digging her fingers into his arm and panting against his chest. Her hips bucked toward him, adding to the pressure on her clit. Her rational mind shut down, the only thought running through her was a keening cry for more. She felt as if she was teetering on the edge of a precipice as he gave one last, long stroke and murmured huskily in her ear. “Let go, little one. For me.”
It was her undoing. She fell over the edge of her precipice with a crash into a million pieces. She came apart in his arms, keening out his name and fisting his jacket until her knuckles were white. He was painfully hard as he felt her slump forward against him and wrap her arms around him as she came down from her climax. She pressed fleeting kisses along his throat and sighed against his chest.
Severus slipped his fingers from her and brought them to his lips. He lapped at the juices coating his fingers, longing to taste her firsthand. The knowledge that she was a virgin ran through his lust-fogged mind as he held her close. “Are you alright, little one?”
Hermione nodded against him limply. She had never felt anything so spectacular in her life, not even when she had tried this herself. A new feeling of desire washed over her when she felt his hard cock against her thigh. “Severus, are you…?
He smiled down at her when she turned her face upward. “Yes, little one, I am. But I’ll take care of that later. You’ve had enough for one day,” he murmured sweetly. “One step at a time, Hermione.”
A soft, sated smile washed over her face. She pressed her lips to his in a tender, chaste kiss. “I… um… I love you, Severus.”
He expelled a long breath and kissed the tip of her nose. “And I you, little one. And I you.”
A/N: This is my first attempt at writing smut, so please forgive it if it’s really bad. Suggestions are welcome! Thanks to everyone who reviewed. This wasn’t the way this chapter was supposed to go, but after reading a few of the reviews I thought I’d explain Snape’s nickname for Hermione and why she’s been so shy. House Points to whoever figures out what Ron did, the stupid prat! As with the previous two chapters, Clay Aiken brought the original bit of this one out. You can find the lyrics here: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/clayaiken/whenyousayyouloveme.html
You Are Not Alone by ladysnarky