A Snape/Hermione fic.

Chapter Twenty-Seven.


Disclaimer: See Ch. 1.


A/N: Thanks so much all the awesome reviews, you guys are great!

Since the majority of my reviewers requested an epilogue to go with this story, that's how I'll write it - don't worry, there will still be the sequel.

And now, the moment we've all been waiting for ...

I hope you guys like this one, I know I'll love writing it.

As always, please read and review, I live for feedback!


~ Previously:

"Should I stop?" Severus breathed out when he was less than an inch from her face, peering down at her through half-closed eyes.

Hermione thought about her answer for roughly two seconds before she gave him her answer. "No," she whispered back, and then there was no going back. ~

The warmth of his lips on hers was the first sensation that filled her body. It was powerful and soothing at the same time, and Hermione felt as though she were on one of those amusement park rides ... you know, the ones with the apples that you sit in, and you turn the table to spin the apple faster and faster, until the entire world is spinning around you? As Severus's lips lit a slow-burning - but by no means cold - fire against her own, she felt as though the table was being turned, ever so slowly. Like it was the beginning of the greatest ride of her life, and it had only just begun.

Hermione slid her hand away from the door handle, pulling his hand with her. Not wanting to give him time to pull away, she turned her hand in his, linking their fingers together.

Severus paused against her lips, blinking his eyes open to meet her soft, brown ones.

Hermione pulled her head away from the kiss, looking down as she tried to get her rapid heartbeat under control.

Severus's hand moved, but not the one held with hers. His right hand came up to her arm, sliding over the skin, up to her shoulder. His hand ghosted over her neck, drawing a shiver from her body and a light gasp from her lips, before he drew his forefinger along the curve of her jaw, his thumb cupping her chin. His remaining fingers just barely touched her neck, and he used just enough pressure to ease her head upwards, making her look at him.

"I lo- ..." he trailed off, looking down.

Hermione waited with baited breath, daring to hope at what he was trying to say.

Severus shook his head, clearly struggling with himself to get the words out.

Hermione closed her eyes, shaking her head and pressing herself up on her tip toes. She placed her left hand on the side of his face, drawing him down until their foreheads were touching. "It's okay," she whispered, keeping her eyes closed. She didn't see Severus gazing at her with soft, open eyes. Eyes that were filled with everything that he wanted to say. "You don't have to say it," she assured him, before she tilted her head to meet his lips once more.

Severus surrendered himself to the feeling, promising himself that one day he would have the courage to tell her how he truly felt about her.

Their hands were still joined at the fingers, the attached limbs bending at the elbows to bring the hands next to one another's faces. Hermione squeezed his hand once, before sliding her fingers free and bringing her hand to his opposite cheek, so that she was framing his face with her small hands.

Severus responded by deepening the kiss, bringing his arms around her and holding her tightly.

Hermione slipped down off of her tip-toes, slightly heady from the kiss, but brought Severus along with her. Her back came into contact with the hard, wooden door to his chambers, drawing a gasp from both of them.

Severus took the opportunity of their parted mouths to flick his tongue into her opening, coming into brief contact with her own.

Hermione sank into the feeling, pressing her body into his. She noticed several things at that point. First, his embrace was quite possibly the most comforting and secure hold that she had ever experienced. Quickly following that, she discovered that certain motions - such as wrapping her in said embrace and holding her against a solid door - caused the muscles that she already knew were firm to tighten into a delectably hard form. Third, and quite possibly the most important observation, was that his upper body muscles were not the only parts of his body that were hard. Her body had arched into his, her smaller frame coming into contact with a part of him that was not nearly as shy as the rest of him, pressing hard against her stomach.

Hermione blinked her eyes wide at the feeling, blushing when Severus pulled back from their heated kiss to regard her in confusion.

It didn't take long for him to realize what had given her pause, and he removed his hands from her body slowly, pressing them flat against the wooden material behind her. "If you wish to slow things down, I completely understand." He refused to put her in a position that she was unprepared for ... he felt as though he owed her so much more than that.

"I want ..." Hermione broke off mid-sentence, looking no higher nor lower than his chest, where her hands had slid down from his face. It was the safest option at the moment. "I would ..."

Severus exhaled in a half-sigh, waiting for her inevitable rejection.

"I'd like you to show me to your bedroom, if you wouldn't mind," Hermione managed to speak, forcing away the blush that crept up her delicate neck.

The older Slytherin swallowed nervously at her request. He'd been in hers more times than he could count, but she'd never once stepped foot into his private bedroom.

"Are you sure?" he asked her.

Hermione pursed her lips together, knowing what walking into that room would entail. After a moment, she nodded her head purposefully. She pushed her body away from the door, bringing her hands away from his chest and grabbing his left hand with her right.

Severus gazed down at her for another moment before turning away from the door, pulling her behind him and leading her through his rooms.

They moved through the living room, Hermione glancing at the spot on the carpet where he'd brought her back down from her panic attack, his hand rubbing her back while his other was linked with hers on the floor. They continued on, past an open door that led to what appeared to be a private library. Hermione leaned her head back as they continued on, trying to get a better look inside.

"I assure you, you may examine the contents within that room at length on any other occasion," Severus stated, giving her a gentle tug and continuing along to his bedroom.

Hermione smiled softly at that, following behind him. She brought her free hand up to grip his upper arm, feeling a warmth seep through her at the tensing of his muscles.

Soon enough, they were standing at the doorway to his bedroom. With a silent spell, Severus lit the lantern-like torches along the walls of his room, providing a warm, golden light for them to see.

Peering around him, Hermione took in the sight before her. A very Slytherin mixture of black and green, with light traces of silver. His carpet was a plush-looking black, stretching across to dark green walls. The silver light fixtures were the only decorations on the walls, lighting the otherwise dark area for their view. Her eyes moved across the room, past the wardrobe in the corner and the bedside tables, and up to the four poster bed in the middle of the wall to their right. The bed posts were a shining silver, gleaming in the light coming from the torches, and outlines of snake etchings could be seen on the metal. Next, her gaze moved to the large blanket covering most of the bed, in all its deep green glory. The thick blanket covered all the way up to the dark, black pillow coverings. Hermione could only imagine the sheets were a similar color.

They moved into the room silently, coming to a stop beside the bed.

Hermione attempted to calm her nerves, sitting down carefully on the mattress - the decidedly comfortable mattress.

"Are you sure you wish to -"

"Would you stop trying to talk me out of this?" Hermione replied, bringing her eyes up to meet his. "I want this. I want ... you. I just ... can we take it slow?"

Severus nodded, sitting on the bed beside her. "Of course," he assured her, bringing his hand up to cup her cheek. He drew her towards him slowly, hesitating briefly before her lips.

Hermione closed the remaining distance between their waiting mouths, pressing her lips against his. She felt the pressure of his tongue swiping against her bottom lip, asking for entrance. She granted it to him, parting his lips and meeting his tongue with hers. Their tongues massaged against one another, Hermione turning her body so that her right hand rested on the bed while the other came up to his chest, dragging over the fabric of his shirt, tucked under his robes.

Severus's free hand came to join hers, his palm settling over the back of her hand. He held her hand against his chest, allowing her to feel the increasing beat of his heart, showing her just how she affected him so.

Hermione pressed her hand further into his chest, bringing her other hand off of the bed to wrap around his back.

Their bodies dipped at the loss of her hand, and Hermione allowed him to slowly lean her back onto the bed. Severus moved the hand that was cupping her cheek, brushing a few loose strands of hair away from her face. He looked down into her closed eyes, leaning forward to softly kiss each eyelid in turn.

Hermione blinked her eyes open as he drew away from her, surprised at such a ... 'loving' gesture. As she looked steadily into his dark orbs, she realized how open they were. She was just getting used to seeing him open up around Samantha, but to see her looking at her like that ... with eyes so open and honest. It was breath-taking. He didn't say anything, but it was as though he was telling her with his eyes that he wanted to make this moment - this night - perfect for her.

She reached her right hand from around his back, bringing it to his forehead and brushing the hair out of his eyes. She let her fingers trail through the silky locks, drifting down his neck to where skin met clothing. Her fingers toyed with the edge of his dark vest briefly before she slowly, purposefully began pulling it off of his shoulders.

Severus assisted her, moving his arms to pull it the rest of the way off. It would be easy enough to charm the rest of their clothes off, but as Hermione's fingers moved towards the buttons of his long-sleeved shirt, he knew that she wanted to do it herself.

Button by button, she relieved him of the burden of his shirt, flicking the cufflinks open to pull the material down his arms.

With his sleeves out of the way, the black tattoo on his forearm stood out brightly against his skin. Severus moved to hide the mark, not wanting to spoil the mood, but Hermione stopped him.

"Don't hide yourself from me, Severus," Hermione spoke softly, pulling his arm gently around. The bed shifted as he leaned on his other side to balance his weight, Hermione bringing the arm to her lips. She kissed the eternal memento of his previous life with her soft lips, burning a path all around the tattooed flesh, until she came back to where she'd started. A part of her wanted to show him that she loved all of him, not just the good parts, and a part of her was stalling. There she was, lying on a bed with a half-naked man ... her heart was racing a mile a minute.

Severus's voice cut through the din, drawing her eyes to his face. "Do you know what you do to me?"

Hermione turned a light shade of pink at that query, the evidence of his affection still pressing against her thigh.

He leaned down and caught her lips in another kiss, searing this night into their memories. His hands came up to her shoulders, sliding under her and easing her back off the bed, pulling them both up into a sitting position once again. At Hermione's confused look, Severus slowly began easing down the straps of her dress, his fingers ghosting over the skin they passed.

Hermione leaned into his shoulder, pressing her lips against the dip beside his collar bone as she felt his hands drift from her shoulders to the back of her dress.

Severus's fingers found the small zipper holding the garment to her body, and with a gentle-burning touch, he lowered it down her back. He felt her tense slightly in response, so he brought his fingers back up, pressing a kiss to her cheek. The few tendrils of her curly hair that had fallen from her braid were taunting him, so he turned his attention to the done-up hair. Starting at the bottom, he removed the tie holding the braid in form, setting it down on the table beside his bed. Next, he moved his fingers into the braided hair, slowly separating the waves as he moved his fingers through, getting higher and higher as he went. With each section of hair released, he pressed a kiss to her cheek, her shoulder, her forehead ... anywhere he could reach. Finally, her hair was free. With a light ruffle from his hand, her hair cascaded over her shoulders, framing her small face.

Severus pulled back to look at her, allowing a small smile to grace the corner of his mouth. "Beautiful," he commented earnestly.

Hermione's mouth parted at his words, and a second later she threw her arms around him, pulling him back to her lips in a heated, frenzied kiss.

His arms wrapped around her, kissing her back with equal passion, letting his hands slide onto the exposed skin of her back, massaging the area.

Not wanting to wait any longer, Hermione pulled her arms free of her dress one at a time, feeling it drop down between them as their bodies moved. She gasped lightly at the feeling of their chests pressed together, leaning further into him. Her mind wondered what it would feel like if her bra weren't separating their skin from searing together. Her hands drifted down to his trousers, finding the buckle of his belt. Not giving herself any time to doubt her actions, she began pulling the belt free from his pants, dropping it down onto the floor beside the large bed. Next, her fingers moved to the snaps on his pants, easing them open.

Once he was able, Severus stood from the bed and pulled his pants free from his legs, leaving them and his socks in a pile on the ground. He turned to Hermione's feet, bringing his hands to the straps of her shoes and releasing each one in turn, pulling them off and setting them down carefully.

With her feet free, Hermione pushed herself back further onto the bed, feeling her dress slide down her body with every movement, until Severus's hands came to her hips to help it the rest of the way. While he was setting the dress on a chair so it wouldn't get wrinkled or disturbed in any way, Hermione pulled the blanket down, discovering the definitely black-colored sheets beneath. As she looked down at the dark sheets under her thighs, the white lines on her skin caught her eye, and she suddenly felt exposed. No one - not even the Weasleys - had seen the scars that her clothes had hidden for so long. She scrambled to grab the blanket before Severus returned to the bed.

He caught her movements, walking around to the other side of the bed to join her under the covers. "What's wrong?" he asked her, hesitant to touch her.

Hermione looked away. "My ... scars," she told him quietly. "I don't want you to see ..."

Severus knew what they'd done to her, he had a fair idea of what those scars would look like. She had seen the scars on his body, and she wasn't running away. He wouldn't run from her, either. Repeating her own words, Severus brought a finger to her chin and made her look at him. "Don't hide yourself from me, Hermione."

She pursed her lips, her fingers digging softly into the blanket clutched to her chest. Hermione blinked a couple of times, looking down at the blanket as she steadied her breathing.

Severus brought his hand up to the blanket, curving his fingers over hers.

Hermione slowly released her hold, letting the blanket go.

Severus eased over top of her under the bed covering, his own dark hair framing both of their faces as their lips joined together once more. Steadying his weight above her, Severus began kissing a trail from her lips to each cheek, and down along the curve of her jaw. His lips moved down to her neck, past her collar bone, sinking into the shallow slope between her breasts. He peered down at her body beneath him, seeing a couple white lines peeking out from the skin underneath her bra.

Severus's lips twitched slightly, but he carried on. He moved further down the mattress, revealing the skin of her belly. As the dim light from the torches hit her newly discovered flesh, more scars could be seen.

There was no particular pattern or purpose that he could glean from the remnants of that night ... just a desire to deform and disfigure.

He didn't travel further down with his eyes; he didn't want to torture her with his gaze. Severus leaned his head down, bringing his lips to a curved scar just above her navel. He felt her sharp, intake of breath when his lips touched the ever-so-slightly rippled skin of the scar, but he pressed on, caressing the skin with his lips and tongue. He repeated the action with the next scar he found, and the next, until he lavished nearly her entire upper body with his sweet gesture.

Severus made his way back up her body after what seemed like hours, noticing the lovely flush that had covered her neck and breasts. Her chest was rising up and down in uneven, rushed movements, her eyes closed and her mouth parted. She truly was a goddess. He wished that he could tell her how much he really did love her ... he wished he could open his mouth and tell her how beautiful she was, how he wanted to be with her forever. There were so many things that he wanted to tell her, but he just couldn't get the words out.

After a moment's debate, he shifted his weight onto one arm, bringing the other to brush across her cheek. "Open your eyes," he spoke in a soft, but still silky voice.

Hermione blinked her eyes open, gazing up at him through hazy, half-lidded eyes.

Once their stares locked, Severus poured into her mind, allowing the words that he couldn't say to seep into her mind. "You have no idea just how beautiful you are to me, Hermione Granger," he spoke into her mind, lowering the hand from her face to slowly slide under her back, unhooking the clasp of her bra. He banished it to the other side of the room with a clever display of wandless magic, focusing his attention back to her eyes. "You don't know how I wish I could go back and prevent the horrible things that happened ... how I wish I could back and stop myself from ever having been so unpleasant to you, my clever little witch. How I could ever have hurt such a wonderful creature escapes me."

Hermione's eyes fluttered in surprise at his thoughts, forcing herself to hold his gaze. She brought a hand to his cheek, praying she wouldn't start to tear up.

Severus faltered a moment before banishing each of their remaining undergarments, settling his body more comfortably over hers. "Are you ready?" he asked her silently.

Hermione stared into his eyes, so open and full of emotion. It was breathtaking. She nodded her head, bringing her other hand away from her side to grip his shoulder.

Slowly, not wanting to hurt her, Severus lowered a hand to her hips, preparing her for him. As his fingers worked her quivering body, his voice sounded in her mind again, giving her something else to focus on. "I should have told you countless times how brilliant you truly were - and still are. I should have told you how perfect your potions always were, should have praised your essays for their genius and attention to detail," he practically purred inside her mind.

Hermione's hands held onto him for dear life, gazing into his dark eyes.

Satisfied that he wouldn't hurt her with his entrance, he moved his hand away and settled it onto the mattress beside her, settling his weight evenly above her. Severus entered her mind and body at the same time, allowing more silent words to seep into her thoughts. "When I saw you again, I was desperate to find out everything there was to know about you. I thought it was mere curiosity at first, brought on by mindless boredom. Then I began to discover the person you really are." His movements were slow at first, allowing her time to become accustomed to the feeling of him within her.

It took everything within her not to close her eyes and arch her neck backwards, but Hermione didn't want to lose the connection that his powers of Legilimency granted them.

Without closing his own eyes, Severus lowered his mouth to hers, kissing her softly on her parted lips and stealing the breath from her. "I learned to know you as a mother, a colleague, a friend, a partner ... and now, a lover."

Hermione moved her hands to his back, her muscles tensing as the friction, and purely glorious feeling of him within her stirred a heat within her that she'd never known.

"Life has given us both scars that we would rather hide, or wish away. But right here, right now ... I wouldn't have you any other way. To me ... you are perfection." His movements within her increased, and he couldn't contain his passion for her. His eyes slid shut as he found her mouth once more.

Hermione had little time to breathe in a short gasp before she was moaning under him, her fingers and nails pressing into his back, clinging desperately to him. She had been a virgin before the attack, and hadn't been with anyone since then ... she'd never known it could feel this amazing. She'd never believed it could ever be this wonderful. Hermione wished that he was still connected to her mind - she didn't have the strength to voice everything that she wanted to tell him. She couldn't have even if she'd had the strength, as his lips and tongue kept her mouth plenty occupied.

The fire within her grew hotter and hotter, and just when she thought that she wouldn't be able to stand it anymore, a most glorious feeling began to erupt within her. Her hazy mind rationalized that it was similar to being struck by lightning, but from the inside, and not nearly as painful. What started as a slow-burning fire from within her lower regions, slowly became a fearsome, blazing inferno. Under his ministrations, that fire was stoked into little sparks of electricity, each one bigger than the last. Hermione's body grew warmer and warmer, flushing red as she arched herself off the mattress and against his firm body. Sweat trickled down her neck, but she couldn't feel such small sensations as the calm dripping of perspiration. Her entire world revolved around the electric surge filling her entire body. The seconds passed, feeling much longer than mere fractions in time. Her body was alight with a passion that rocked her to her core.

When Severus pulled away from the most passionate and heated kiss he'd ever experienced, finally reaching his own peak, four words stumbled from Hermione's mouth without permission. "Gods, I love you."


They lay together on his large bed, their naked bodies hidden by the sweat-covered, dark sheet. Hermione's head rested on his outstretched arm, looking up at him. His other hand was stretched across his chest, covering hers where it rested between his pecs.

"Thank you," Severus spoke finally, breaking the silence.

Hermione tilted her head to look up at him, furrowing her brow and gazing at him curiously. "For what?"

"For allowing me to ... and trusting me to ..." He trailed off, unable to finish.

Hermione shook her head, sitting up carefully in the bed. Severus followed after a moment. "No, thank you," Hermione corrected him. "I never thought I'd be able to do ... this, with anyone. You showed me how wonderful it can be, when you're with someone you ... when you're with someone you care a great deal about." Hermione finished by tugging lightly at a few strands of her hair, looking down. While she had told him that he didn't have to tell her that he loved her, she still felt awkward that he hadn't said it back - especially considering when she'd said it.

"This was the first time I was with someone I ... care a great deal about," Severus confessed, turning his head to look over at her.

Hermione met his eyes hopefully.

Severus wet his lips with a quick swipe of his tongue, opening his mouth to add a final sentiment, but no words came out. He closed it again, clearing his throat. "I want to say it," he told her after a long moment, looking towards the foot of the bed so that he wouldn't have to meet her eyes. "I want to ... give myself to you, completely. But ..."

"You're afraid of being hurt," Hermione finished for him, knowing exactly how he felt. "You're afraid that if you say it, then this will be real, and it will hurt all the more when it ends."

Severus nodded shortly, staring straight ahead.

"Well, I challenge that hypothesis," Hermione informed him, jutting out her chin defiantly and bringing a hand to his cheek, making him look at her. "Instead of assuming the worst will happen, make the best happen. I don't expect a happily ever after where we ride off into the sunset, and nothing will ever go wrong," she stated. "That would be unbearably dull."

Severus's eyebrow quirked lightly at that, in silent agreement.

"Instead of wondering what will end this, think of all the wonderful things that could happen if this were to last," Hermione continued. "I've never met anyone quite like you, Severus Snape, and I will be quite content to never need to look further than I am looking right now," she insisted, staring pointedly into his eyes. "I want to be with you ... always."

Severus lowered his gaze, his eyes falling briefly over his sheet clutched to her chest with the hand that wasn't holding his face. He pursed his lips before admitted, "I wouldn't detest that."

Hermione rolled her eyes at him, leaning forward to capture his lips in a brief kiss. "Is that the best you can do? You, oh terrifying, wicked, evil bat of the dungeons?"

Severus brought his head up sharply at her words, searching her gaze. He saw the teasing tone within her eyes, but also saw the light trace of a challenged.

Quicker than she could have anticipated, Severus rolled them over, tugging her down the mattress until her head rested on the pillow again. His hands gripped her wrists - softly, so as not to actually imprison her - above her head, his gaze keeping her frozen in place. "I would quite enjoy spending the rest of my life doing this with you, my clever little witch," he spoke in a silky drawl before stealing a kiss from her lips.

A smile had formed on Hermione's lips before the kiss was through, her happiness seeping off of her in waves.

A few minutes passed before they pulled apart, slightly breathless. Severus took in the sight of her; sprawled on his bed underneath him, her hair flared out around her on his pillow, her lips pleasantly puffy, her eyes hazy with lust and unmistakable love. Before his brain could intervene and snap his defensive barriers up, three eternal words slipped from his lips, coming through as music to Hermione's delicate ears. "I love you."


End of Chapter Twenty-Seven. Just the epilogue left.

Well, what did you guys think of that one? Like it, hate it?

I hope the love scenes lived up to the story, I wanted to give them the "moment" they deserved.

Can't believe the story's nearly over ... it's been such a long, fun ride!

Reviews are appreciated, flame if you must, but constructive criticism is much more useful.

Until next time ...!