Headmaster Snape sat his desk facing the large iron wrought window that overlooked a lovely little garden. Summer was in full force and with it came sunshine that filtered through the windows and directly onto his face. A face which as of right now was contorted into a fierce look of concentration. His shoulders were hunched over and his nose almost touched the parchment.
He had been at it for hours and save for his quick breakfast of black coffee he’d had nothing to nourish him. Not that it mattered; his entire focus was on the parchment before him. Spidery writing crossed out words and small notes lined the margins.
The Witch in the Tower was the bestselling romance of the decade, even outselling Pansy’s latest efforts. As such, Hooch had been contacted by the desperately clamoring publishers and given an ungodly sum to pen a sequel. Snape had been most irritated to find Hooch had agreed when she showed up to his flat in London with a large bag of galleons insisting he start the sequel.
He’d wanted to turn it down of course, he had other things to occupy his time (such as a certain sexually voracious Gryffindor) but he realized that there had been a freedom in penning the tale. He was finishing the last few chapters of “Odin’s Revenge” when the hearth behind him sprang to life and the disembodied voice of Hooch reached out to him.
“Severus are we still on for Friday? The Three Broomsticks?”
“Yes yes,” he threw over his shoulder, not bothering to turn around. He grumbled a bit to himself, frustrated that his concentration had momentarily been broken.
“Is Hermione coming?”
“Good, Minerva is as well, I’ll make reservations.”
With that, Snape assumed that Hooch had closed the fire-call connection and he turned his full attention back to his pages. He continued to edit hurriedly, his hand starting to cramp when he heard her again.
“Are you almost finished? I need to submit the latest chapters to the editors,” she reminded him sharply.
“I will be if you stop interrupting me!” Snape barked, turning in his chair and fixing her with a glare. He could see her head there in the fire, dancing along the embers as she fixed him with her most mischievous gaze.
“You said they’d be done Saturday.”
“And the last time I consulted the calendar, it was Friday,” Snape bit off with a scowl.
“But last time-“
“Rolanda, if you want these pages, you’ll leave before I give up this duplicitous venture altogether.”
“Severus,” Hooch soothed. “It’s not duplicitous! I’m simply the face of your brilliant writing so you can continue to write best sellers without a hint of your true identity. If you’d like to change our arrangement...”
She trailed off, giving a coy smirk within the flickering embers.
“You know very well I do not.”
“Then stop being a grumbling arse and finish those pages.”
Before Snape could say something acidic, her golden eyes were gone from the flames and he was finally left in merciful peace. He turned back to the pages, making notes and revisions here and there until the sun began to lower in the sky.
Hermione came into the office a short while later, a steaming cup of tea in her hand. She placed it to the left of his parchment and balanced her hip on the side of his desk. Beneath his lashes Snape covertly took in her shapely body and felt his mouth go dry. Six months later he still couldn’t get enough of her. His palms itched to grab her.
“I’m here to remind you that we’re to have dinner with my friends next weekend,” she said sweetly, pressing a kiss to his forehead and leaning back. “Somewhere new and Muggle so you’ll have to leave the robes at home.”
Snape exhaled loudly through his nose.
“I can only assume the feckless Potter-Malfoys will be there?” Snape grumbled, giving a sardonic look in her direction. “Talking endlessly about their upcoming nuptials?”
“Are you nervous I might start pressuring you?” Hermione teased. “Asking when we’ll be stalking down the aisle?”
Hermione Granger was the last witch in the world to ever care about something like that, and they both well knew it. Still, it hadn’t stopped Snape from covertly visiting the jeweler in Hogsmeade last week for the engagement ring sitting in the bottom drawer of his desk.
He shook her off of that train of thought. “Any others joining us?”
“Ron and Luna,” Hermione started and Snape raised a brow in question.
"If you’d let me finish,” Hermione started playfully. “I would have told you that’s she's coming as well. And she’s bringing a date!"
"I hope this one is better than the last," Snape scoffed. "Duller than gillyweed water that one."
"Now now," Hermione scolded playfully. "I'm glad she's getting out there! She can date a female Professor Binns for all I care! But I think this one may be the one. I haven't seen her this happy since I've known her."
"I'll concede that," Snape nodded. "There has been a noticeable spring in her step.
After all that had happened, Snape would always have a soft spot for Millicent Bulstrode. A woman he could see himself in.
When she had returned to Hogwarts she had done so without the glamour she had previously lived in. None of the students remarked on it – many were just overjoyed to have her back teaching Alchemy.
Hermione stared at Snape a moment, memorizing the lines of his face, the curve of his mouth. So strange to think that this man was her lover and friend, as well as employer. Of course they’d kept things fairly hush hush, but Snape was eager to retire at the end of the school year. Seems he had a new literary career ahead of him… One that only a handful of people knew about. But still. It paid handsomely.
Hermione glanced down at the marked parchment, smiling at the sight of familiar spidery scrawls covering the page.
“How are revisions coming along?”
Snape gave a noncommittal sound in the back of his throat, suggesting displeasure. Hermione smirked, bending forward to wipe away his knitted brows with a kiss. As expected they smoothed under her ministrations and Snape leaned back in his creaking chair.
Hermione gave a girlish squeal as he reached out his long arms before pulling her onto is lap. He brushed back a heavy curl and began kissing her bared neck. Hermione groaned, shuddering under the moist heat of his lips on her flesh.
“Headmaster Snape!” Hermione admonished playfully, arching back from his eager mouth. “This is most inappropriate!”
Snape gave a good-natured growl before his hand came to slide between her shirt and skin.
“I’m having a bit of trouble with the lovemaking scene,” Snape purred against her neck. “I may need some. . . Inspiration.”
“I suppose that could be arranged,” Hermione sighed as her head fell back under the onslaught of his kisses on her neck continued. “I am your muse after all.”
Her mouth found his and as her arms wrapped around his neck, Severus couldn’t help but think that his life wasn’t anything like the sweeping romances he wrote about.
It was even better.