At the Bookshop

This came to me a long time ago as I was reading another fanfic. I can't recall now which story brought this to mind. But it was a good one.

I hope you enjoy.

As always, the characters and world of Harry Potter are the property of J.K. Rowling. I make no money from this.

Please read and review. It would be great to know what you think of this little offering.

They emerged from the pub and reached the archway to Diagon Alley without encountering a soul, save for old Tom, the barkeep. He'd merely raised his eyebrows in greeting when he spotted the dour Potions Master and his escort.

Once they'd entered the crowded street Severus offered her his arm, which Hermione took with a shy smile. She tried not to think what his courtesy suddenly meant. She'd longed for his attention for so long. Now that he had personally volunteered to come with her, she felt all trembly with fear and anticipation.

Severus smirked and ensured that he walked as close to her as was possible whilst still ensuring they made their way to the bookshop. He could feel the unsteadiness of her hand on his arm and it filled him with delight. Her reactions to him filled him with hope.

Hermione gasped as her body came into contact with his when they were jostled at the entrance to the bookshop. She had never anticipated that he would take an overheard conversation of her appreciation of his dark and dangerous looks to heart. She had thought he'd call her a fool or dismiss her attraction as that of a silly little twit. Instead, when she'd said she needed to go to the bookshop, he'd volunteered to go with her to keep watch. Given rogue Death Eater activities, it was good to be cautious. The Order had lost too many members to unexpected skirmishes even though the war was officially over and Voldemort defeated.

Severus, never one to let an opportunity go by, followed her into the recesses of the cavernous bookshop and stood closer than necessary as he browsed the shelves, all the while ensuring that they were undisturbed.

He could feel Hermione's gaze upon him. He could guess her confusion. He was supposedly a hermit and a monk in his sexuality, according to the Gryffindor gossips.

He felt his lips curl into another smirk. His little Gryffindor was trying to observe him discreetly, but he was a master spy. He knew when she allowed her eyes to travel over his form, take in the width of his shoulders, then arrow down to focus on his long legs before sweeping up again.

Severus smirked again. He had never thought that courtship and seduction were this easy. He would have paid more attention to the young woman by his side months ago if he had known that his regard of her was returned. It had taken hearing the conversation with the youngest Weasley to make him realise that the ripe fruit he'd been quietly salivating over was ready for the picking. Thank the Lord and foolish Gryffindor boys who couldn't see the treasure that was laid before them.

Sticking to the tried, again he deliberately bumped into her, and once again she gasped. He liked how the hitching of her breath caused her bosom to swell, and his eyes took in the creamy skin so fetchingly displayed by the neckline of her olive robe.

He gently slid his arm around her to pick up a book that was above her head, trapping her between the shelf, the wall and his body. He saw the quickening of her breath, and leaned in. Desire speared through him like lightning and hoarsely Severus whispered, "Is anything the matter?"

She gasped and shook her head. Her cheeks though were fiery with the strength of her blush.

He leaned in even closer. Paying close attention to her reactions, Severus watched her as she licked her suddenly dry lips.

She watched him watching her. Her eyes were caught in his gaze.

He bent his head slowly, giving her ample time to move away if she so desired. Overheard words of admiration meant nothing if she was not serious about getting physical with him. He wanted, and he'd wanted for months.

She instead reached up to meet him part way. She even stood up on tip-toe to reach his lips more easily.

Delight and passion drenched him as their lips met for their very first kiss. It began as a meeting of lips that soon turned to a meeting of mouths that before long was a mating of tongues, of panted breath and raging passion.

One kiss turned to another. Severus had known in his heart that if the woman he wanted returned his regard that he would not waste time. He was no callow youth; there was nothing shy in him this time around. All the mistakes he had made with Lily had been those of clumsy teenage shyness. But now that Hermione was beside him, offering herself to him, there would be no holding back. He meant to claim her immediately and ensure that she was his for all time.

Hermione too seemed to be as desperate for him as he was for her and soon they began to ravenously explore each other. He pushed her up against the bookshelf and ground himself against her as he kissed her with all of his passion. She was panting, her hair wild from where his hands had held her.

"I need to be inside of you," he growled darkly, "right now, this very minute."

"Yes," replied Hermione, breathlessly. She could not think, but only feel.

"Come," he said with authority.

She nodded. She didn't care where he took her just that he was taking her away from this public place to somewhere more private.

The grip that he had on her hand was almost painful, but she was not going to protest. It made her feel secure. His strength made her feel safe.

There was no denying the urgency that charged the man as he ploughed his way through the crowd and exited the bookshop. People gasped to see them; it was unheard of to see Snape holding a woman's hand, especially that of the well-known Gryffindor heroine of the Battle of Hogwarts. But none of that mattered right now. Briskly reaching the alleyway, he yanked her into his embrace. "Are you sure?" he asked desperately. "Once I make you mine, I will never let you go."

"Yes, I'm sure," she said with certainty. "I've wanted you for a long time."

He frowned as though he could not accept her affirmation, but he did not let her go. "If you're sure," he said again.

She only nodded.

He continued to frown, but his need to be inside of this woman was too great. He would do whatever was required to keep her by his side. No magic was too dark, too dangerous. With a final look deep into her eyes, he spun them away in Side-Along-Apparition.

A/N - Love it? Hate it? Tell me what you think. Reviews are the nicest thing you could give me.