Disclaimer: Thanks JKR for creating Severus…what great character! And thanks for the loan…I owe you one!

My plot has been inspired by "Worry About You" by Ivy – Such a cute song…must resist urge to hug someone!

A/N: I only like Hermione/Severus stories that centre on Hermione being out of her ordinary 'student' role…otherwise...it's a bit weird. I do hope you enjoy this story…it is set 5 years from GoF so Hermione is about 20 years old. For the purposes of this story the canon events that occurred in OotP and HBP didn't happen. Severus is still a spy for the Order and everyone's favourite muggle-sweet-loving Headmaster is still among us

Worry About You

"Severus!" I yelled, shooting up right in my bed. I was breathing heavily, my face drenched in sweat. I sighed in relief, thankful I hadn't woken up Ginny who was still peacefully asleep in her bed on the other side of the room.

Five years, I thought as I lay back down on my bed, Five years I had been having the same nightmare. I never told anyone how I felt about him or divulged the content of my nightmare. I knew it wasn't healthy to keep it bottled up inside me but no-one would understand why I dream about him let alone the fact I dream of his death. I could just hear Harry and Ron's voices in my head.

"Hermione, I don't get it, he was nothing but horrible to us at school."

"Snape! Blimey Hermione! I think you're really off your rocker. Who cares about him?"

There was no way I could tell anyone, sometimes I suspect that Professor Dumbledore knows. It has been five years since the return of Lord Voldemort. Five years since that night after the Triwizard Tournament I figured out Severus was a spy. I don't think he has any inclination of the close attention I pay to him, for one, I haven't got the nerve up to call him Severus to his face. My silent and private admiration had turned into something of an obsession. I could not get him out of my mind.

Every time he would go away on a mission for Professor Dumbledore, my heart would ache with worry for him. I would wait concealed in the shadows of the entrance hall of Grimmauld Place, every night he was away, waiting for him. He never noticed me there when he did arrive back home, I always scurried back to my room before he could catch me. On those times when he was away for what seemed like an age, I would often cry my self to sleep over him, desperately wishing I could be there for him that he didn't have to return home and be all alone.

Today was not one of the good times, Severus was due back a week ago already and he still wasn't home.

"Don't worry Miss Granger, Severus can look after himself." Dumbledore would answer whenever I pressed him for news of his return. How could I not worry? I always asked myself, it frustrated me to see everyone going about there normal business without a thought for the danger he must be in. I always feared the day he would not return, I don't think I could bear it if that were to happen. If nothing else, today I proved to myself how much he means to me. I could not focus on anything at all; I spent most of the day glancing towards the front door hoping he would walk through at any moment. Now I definitely suspect that Dumbledore is aware of my feelings for him, I saw the Headmaster and Lupin exchange knowing looks over dinner when I jumped up and ran to the door when I heard it open only to find it was Nymphadora Tonks. I tried to hide my disappointment as she greeted me enthusiastically.

I knew this was much more than respect for him as a fellow member of the Order, I just knew it was… No! I interrupted my thoughts, berating myself. There is no way he would feel the same way. In reality, we hadn't spoken very much over the years in part due to my fear of him finding out I cared for him. Anyway, in his eyes I am probably still a child. My twenty years isn't that old compared to his forty. I sat up suddenly and slipped off my bed quietly, mindful of Ginny. I need to clear my mind, I thought as I slipped my robe over my pyjamas. I stepped out into the hall and made my way down to the deserted kitchen.

"He should be back already." I muttered to myself as I slumped down in the nearest chair.

"He will be here soon, Miss Granger, don't you worry." A voice spoke gently from the opposite end of the table. I jumped in surprise; I had not seen anyone on my way in,

"Professor Dumbledore! I didn't see you there."

"Quite alright, Miss Granger, I know you're worried about Severus." He paused before continuing, "As am I." My cheeks burned red, this confirmed my suspicion he knew how I felt. "Your attempts at subterfuge were admirable." He remarked, amusement lighting his eyes. "However nothing much gets past me or Severus for that matter." My eyes widened in shock, did he mean what I thought he meant?

"Yes Miss Granger, he has noticed that you wait up for him every time he goes away." I didn't respond, not knowing what to say to the fact that there's a chance that Severus knows how I feel and knowing Dumbledore it was highly likely. I buried my face in my hands in embarrassment and therefore didn't register when Professor Dumbledore's eyes darted to the kitchen door which had opened, admitting someone before clicking softly closed. As I sat there with my face in my hands, I could feel the words tumbling out before I stop them; but I knew he would understand me.

"I really admire him Professor." I stated, "He makes me proud to work alongside someone like Professor Snape. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one besides you sir that noticed the immense strain of doing what he does. He constantly looks like its all getting too much for him and sometimes I feel like running up to him, hugging him and telling him that I am there for him. Yes he can sometimes be not very nice, but that's just how people treat him, with complete and utter disregard for everything he has done for the Order. I hate it, he deserves so much more!" I paused and kept my head hung. Not wanting Professor Dumbledore to see me cry.

"I am glad that someone notices me, Miss Granger." A deep voice spoke up from behind me. My head snapped up, to my shock I noticed that Professor Dumbledore had disappeared. I slowly turned in my seat.

"Professor Snape!" I exclaimed, standing up, "You're back!" I resisted the urge to throw my arms around him.

"I knew I'd find you here." He remarked. I blushed, recalling what Professor Dumbledore had said earlier.

"Did you now?" I replied, trying to keep my cool, something which wasn't easy when his eyes were piercing my own waiting for a response.

"The thought of you waiting in the shadows for me to arrive whenever I was away, kept me going." My heart leaped, I was so glad I could offer him that small comfort even if it was indirectly.

"How did you know?" I asked, softly, my heart still hammering in my chest.

"Please, Hermione, I am not a spy for nothing, I could hear your deep ragged breathing from a mile away." He replied, emphasizing the last part, his voice dropping even deeper. I felt a shiver down my spine. That voice, I thought, the sound of my name in his voice was something I could get used to. I could feel my heart speed up, Could he possibly..? No thought self-deprecatingly, it would never happen.

"Did you mean everything you said just now?" he asked suddenly, his piercing gaze fixed on me once again.

"Yes, yes I did! I meant every word!" he reached out his hand tentatively and gently touched my face. I closed my eyes and unconsciously leaned into his touch, I could almost feel my heart break. He will never know just what he means to me.

"I do, Hermione." He commented answering my unvoiced thought. My eyes snapped open and I looked incredulously up at him. He couldn't possibly mean…

"What you said earlier proves it." He continued.

"It does?" I replied, knowing what he meant but I needed further clarification.

"Yes, the question now is: Do you know just how much you mean to me?" he stepped closer, placing his hands around my back.

"You shouldn't read my mind you know." I commented as I brought my hands up around his neck.

"Why not?" he replied with a slight grin, "It tells me what I need to know." He inched closer, till our noses were almost touching.

"Not a fair exchange seeing as I can't do the same."

"Then I'll show you." He whispered as his lips met mine in a searing kiss. I all but melted in his arms as he brought his hands up to cup my face.

"Definitely much better than Legilimacy, Severus." I managed a few minutes later when we broke apart. Severus just looked at me, a smoldering passion burning in his eyes.

"Thank you." He said simply before pressing his lips almost desperately against mine once more, holding onto me as if he was afraid if he let go I would disappear. I knew what he meant by his thank you, all he needed was someone to worry, to care about him. Five years of my pent up emotions and desires over Severus poured into that kiss. There was no need to utter any words of love, our actions spoke far louder that words, all he needed to know right now was that I was not ever going to let go.

As we stood in the kitchen of Number 12 Grimmauld Place embracing passionately, we didn't hear a soft chuckle come from the door on the other side of the kitchen.

"My dear Remus, they finally have said what they have meant to say to each other for years." Remus nodded in response, a small smile gracing his lips as they left the doorway, their job done for the night.