It's All In The Numbers
It had been an ill conceived joke that had gone terribly wrong, typical of Gryffindors at play, and it was the final catalyst that broke the friendship between the so-called golden trio.
Snape had stumbled on it accidentally while returning from collecting mistletoe he’d needed from a particular oak tree, deep in the forest. Hearing an angry female voice and drunken laughing, he stopped before he could be seen to ascertain what was happening. As he watched dispassionately from around the corner in the path, he was almost amused to see the insufferable know-it-all being brought down a peg or two.
That was, until he was confronted by the reality that exactly the same thing had happened to him. Perhaps not for the same reason, these people were just being stupid, taking advantage of a friend; he could smell the Firewhisky from here. They were not doing it because they hated her, but he knew only too well the feeling of being hung upside down like that, and it spurred something deep within him into action.
It was obvious that the two inebriated couples had come into the forest to get away so they could drink; Granger had found them, and had been confronting them when it happened.
Snape’s quick brain was up to its usual tricks, neatly pigeonholing everything as he saw it. It’s just because they’re too drunk to know the difference, and it’s a graduation day party. None of them are my students anymore and come tomorrow they’ll all be gone, there is nothing here that concerns me, he thought with his usual bitterness. Saint Harry will be able to do anything he pleases. Merlin forbid, in ten years he’ll probably be sodding Minister of Magic. The idiot redhead will most likely end up being keeper for the English Quidditch team on Potter’s coat-tails.
Only there was something that concerned him,their victim. The chit is hanging upside down in that pretty summer dress with her even prettier lace knickers on display… He mentally shook himself, oh right… you’re supposed to be a gentleman. She was probably taken in by the fact that she thought them harmless, how very Gryffindor, he thought, as he stalked down the path to take them by surprise.
The troubling thing was that he had the urge to teach the silly girl that friends often turn on you, and an even more troubling occurrence was why he thought her underwear was pretty. He didn’t even want to consider that there was a rather vocal opinion on the tempting sight being registered in his trousers, even if he was starting to feel very mortified on her behalf for her predicament.
Severus Snape gathered his voluminous robes around him to hide any physical reactions and donned the persona of the dreaded bat of the dungeons. “Mr Potter, the apple does not fall far from the tree, I see. Put Miss Granger down this instant, you stupid boy,” he sneered.
Snape was gratified to see the boy jump and pale, but as he did his wand faltered with his concentration.
Severus surreptitiously made certain the young woman landed as gently as possible. He was just about to take her to McGonagall, when Weasley opened his great trap.
“Aww, we were only havin’ some fun,” he asserted, trying to sound soberer than he was, but glaring at Snape.
“Oh, is that so,” Severus’ raven eyebrow rose inquiringly. “I’m terribly sorry,” his voice oozed sarcasm, and a quick swish of his wand saw the four giggling teenagers hanging by one ankle in mid-air. “Well, are you having fun yet?” the Potions master inquired, sounding intensely bored. There was suddenly silence, and Weasley threw-up. “I thought not,” he barked at them, and released them, watching them fall to the ground in a heap. “Come, Miss Granger. I assume you’ll feel the need to report this to you head of house.” It was not a question, but a command, which had the mortified, almost in tears witch hurrying after him.
Four years passed before Severus found he had the dubious pleasure of Miss Hermione Granger’s company once more, it was the Welcoming Feast for the new academic year. He had been preoccupied with his research at the end of the last, and hadn’t thought much of the fact that old Vector had finally decided to retire at the end of the previous year, well not until he saw her replacement.
The teenager had matured into a woman—a stunning woman—his brain told him, and all the time he’d spend quashing any remnants of previous reactions to her, instantly failed, when the response he’d had all those years ago at the sight of her knickers, roared into life once more merely at the sight of her fully clothed.
He watched all the other’s falling all over themselves to welcome the new professor, but he refused to speak, apart from the fact that he didn’t think his voice would work, what would he say to her. Good evening Professor Granger, I see you’re no longer hanging upside down with your pretty knickers on display. Oh sure… and after she slaps me. He rolled his eyes at her most probable reaction, and left the feast as soon as he could.
As term progressed she seemed to be everywhere he was, he went to the library and there she was up the top of a ladder. What damn fool put all the Arithmancy books that high up? Don’t look up, he told himself. Wait a sec, they’re Potions books. What’s she looking at Potions books for; she should stick to her own subject. Oh my giddy aunt, I looked up, oh my word is that what I think it is, no back in them? Shit, she’s seen me… oh… she’s smiling, what a lovely smile. Say something you idiot. “Is Arithmancy not sufficiently fulfilling for your know-it-all tendencies now, do you need to infiltrate my subject as well?” Oh, her smile is gone… bloody fool, why did you speak, now you’ve upset her… just leave.
There was a particular walled garden in the courtyards that he had previously enjoyed some solitude in, until the day he found her sunbathing there. She didn’t see him; he still had stealth on his side. However, the sight of her in just a bikini bottom, with her top undone, laying in the shelter of the garden on her stomach, apparently oblivious to everything, made him simultaneously wish she would turn over, and wonder if he had a pogo-stick residing in his trousers.
His thoughts as he made his way back to his quarter’s to hide, were along the lines of, Merlins saggy balls! Why couldn’t she at least have erected some wards, anyone could have stumbled on her there.
Try as he might to avoid her, he just kept running into her, and he didn’t seem to be able to stop himself from saying the wrong thing. What was the matter with him? He accidentally told her she looked like a grizzly bear, all rugged up as she was, in late October when he’d met her walking in the opposite direction around the lake on a chilly Saturday afternoon. The truth was, he’d been about to ask her if she might like to walk back to the castle with him. But he just couldn’t stop his mouth from spilling stupid things he didn’t mean.
There was only one cure for this. He would stay in his rooms, if he took his meals in his rooms and only went to the library after midnight, surely he could avoid her. If he didn’t see her then perhaps he could forget about her and her luscious curves, or the way her delicious arse swung as she walked... oh Merlin, I’m truly screwed, he thought.
It was during his self-imposed attempt at solitude that the odd little tokens started turning up. First off it was a tin of cough lozenges, via an elf. The little note that accompanied them, in her immaculate handwriting, asked after his health, since she hadn’t seen him out of his rooms for some time.
After this the dreams started and even in the dungeons, in the middle of winter he would wake at night almost fevered, craving release, his cock, rock hard and aching. Try as he might, he couldn’t get back to sleep and he was forced, night after night to take matters into his own hands to try and get some semblance of sanity back.
It was just before Christmas when she showed up in person. “To what do I owe this pleasure, Miss… err pardon, Professor Granger?”
“Are you avoiding me?” she asked without preamble.
His brain instantly panicked. Yes!… yes, I’m avoiding you, and please get out before I say something I’ll regret later. He watched her waiting for her answer. Look at you standing there, so lovely… so touchable, so untouchable, aarrhhh! His mind was working overtime, however, his mouth managed, “No, why would you think that?” His years as a spy were not lost, it sounded casual and bored. Didn’t it?
To his astonishment she produced a scroll and handed it to him. “I ran the numbers to get the answer,” she stated academically.
“Indeed,” he managed to say. Severus was prodigiously proud of himself two sane statements in Hermione’s, ooohhh, Her-mi-one, what a pretty name… no, damn it man, concentrate, and his mind was off again. He pretended to examine the parchment to give his brain time to formulate a response.
It was at this point that it started to go pear-shaped. “Well, so what if I am?” he replied, in a very un-Snape-like way, which had him cringing internally.
“If you are,” she continued smoothly, “I would like to know the reason.”
“You’re so smart, genius, work it out!” Shit, brain-filter on, NOW! he thought, panic increasing. This was the point his brain snapped and he stalked from the room.
It wasn’t until he reached his quarters that he thought, Wait, did I just walk out of my own office? He shook his head. You’re a moron, Snape, and he stood slowly thumping his head on the door in frustration.
After being left in an empty office, as Hermione walked back to her quarters, she sighed, I’m so confused. First he saves me from the twin morons, when I didn’t think he’d bother. I wait four whole years to get back here, hoping he’ll at least want to be friends with me, and all I get is more vitriol.
I’ve tried being nice, that got me a caustic comment. I was researching questions to ask him in the library that night for god’s sake. I tried being provocative, the stunt in the garden, surely any red-blooded man would have taken advantage of that. Why does he have to be so closed off all the time? I just know there’s a person in there, hidden away. How do I get that person to come and play?
By this time she had made it back to her rooms. Hermione looked at her massive oak desk, still with papers strewn all over it. “If he wants bloody proof, I’ll give him proof,” and she sat, swiping the used parchments to one side.
It was now the Christmas holidays; there were no students to be concerned about, and few staff. However, Hermione knew Snape would still be there, she’d seen him sneaking into the library at midnight last night, and she’d wanted to pop out from behind something and yell, “Boo!”
No, he was definitely avoiding her, and she wanted to know why. She longed to sit and talk to this wizard. His mind astounded her; she had admired his intellect for as long as she cared to remember. Then, when she was about sixteen she’d noticed him as a man, and no one else had ever come close to him in her mind. In fact, she thought that this particular wizard fitted the phrase, ‘sex on two legs’ beautifully. He exuded a sensual, highly sexual aura, and she knew she wasn’t the only witch to think so.
Contrary to popular belief, Hermione had sexual experience which currently ranged from bad to mediocre, but she just knew that he would be something special. Right from his wonderfully dry sense of humour and many buttons, to his sinfully wicked voice and fathomless eyes, and she yearned to get to know every facet of him.
She especially loved his dark sense of humour, if she hadn’t been so mortified at showing the world her knickers the day Harry had used Levicorpus on her, she would have roared laughing when her rescuer then did the same to them so easily. In fact she had, once she’d recovered from her embarrassment, and it had actually helped her pull through the experience.
Deep down she knew her erstwhile friends would never mean her any real harm, they were drunk and being stupid, but it had been unforgivable as far as she was concerned. All she’d been looking for was company, she’d always assumed them trusted friends, and just because she didn’t want to get pie-eyed like them, they’d started picking on her.
She’d realised later that what had happened had been a parting of the ways that had been building for some time. They were simply in different places, and were now growing apart. Hermione had always been more mature for her age; well she was almost a year older than the others in her year anyway.
However, the war had irreversibly changed them all, and while her maturity had remained intact, what little they’d had, crumbled in the face of victory. It seemed that all they wanted to do was make up for the childhood they’d missed, but now they were all of age, they could do it with serious side-effects.
To her knowledge they were still in the process of growing up while she was thinking about all this. Hermione bore them no ill feelings, and wished them well. Of course, at the time she’d left them on platform nine and three quarters with some interesting hexes as a parting gift and irritating reminder of her ire. The thing that had hurt the most though was that they had taken the last shreds of her innocence that day, something she had been trying to nurture. As a consequence she now no longer allowed people close unless they earned her trust.
It had been a hard lesson, but Hermione had realised after a lot of hard thinking that Harry and Ron had never earned her trust. She never would have thought she’d need to have her wand drawn when talking to friends, and Harry had taken her by surprise, by the time she’d recovered from the shock of being hoisted aloft, she was too busy trying to hold her dress down… err up to cover at least some of her dignity.
She’d gone off to university as she’d always planned to and left them to it. She’d remained in the wizarding world, but had withdrawn herself from their circle. To start with she’d lived with her parents, but as soon as she’d settled at the wizarding branch of Cambridge University, she’d moved there full-time and moved on completely.
It took her three days to come up with proof to her claim that her friend in black was avoiding her, and what her numbers told her about why, astounded her. It had her checking three times, before she believed herself to be correct. She had even cast a spell she knew, which gave her a revolving hologram type matrix over her desk so she could watch each set of numbers change the outcome.
So, it was on Christmas Eve that Hermione Granger, armed with her floating matrix and the supporting parchment evidence, summoned all her Gryffindor courage and marched to the rooms of Severus Snape.
When Snape heard the knock, he knew who it would be, and he knew his goose was cooked. If there was one thing that this witch was, she was thorough, and ninety nine percent of the time she was correct.
He walked to the door like a condemned man, expecting her to burst in triumphantly, announce to him that he fancied her, and then laugh loudly in his face. The worst part was, it was all his fault. By being his usual rude self, he had thrown down a challenge to her.
Snape opened the door slowly, but there was not a victorious cry of, ‘I knew it’, no uncontrolled laughter bubbling forth. There was merely a pretty young woman, her lip wedged firmly in her teeth. She had a look of great apprehension on her face, and a curious floating sphere of coloured wiggling lines accompanying her. “Well, you best come in,” he managed, still wondering if she would break into peals of laughter at any minute.
Something told him as her breathing hitched when she squeezed past him to enter the sitting room that this, regardless of his mind set, was unlikely. “So, exactly what have you proven?” he asked finally, his eyes still on the revolving matrix, where they both knew he could plainly see her results. Despite his apprehension over the situation he was impressed, he had heard that Arithmancy could be taken to this three dimensional level, but he’d never met and Arithmancer who could do it.
It was at that moment that he realised that regardless of his usual physical reaction to her presence, he also longed to simply learn more about this amazing witch in every sense of the word. Severus watched her square her shoulders and he managed to keep his mouth closed and merely raised a raven eyebrow.
“I’ve learnt that I was correct.”
“Did you now?”
Hermione steeled herself for more unpleasantness, but none came. She was more shocked than she cared to admit, when he said, “So that’s that then.” He sighed and took the scrolls of parchment from her, sending them to the lounge. Taking a step towards her his breath caressed her face as he then asked, “Well, what are you going to do about it?”
“This,” she murmured, and closed the distance between them.
Their first kiss was simply a touching of lips, and Hermione drew back to look at his face. Encouraged by what she found there, she stepped minutely closer and coiled her arms around his neck.
Soon they were kissing hungrily, and Severus was walking her backwards until they were up against his desk. One sweep of his hand cleared everything, and he leant her back over it as then both sets of hands were pulling and tugging at buttons, freeing each other from the confines of their clothes.
The urgency grew with each hungry kiss, tongues raged against one another and hands explored newly exposed skin.
Hermione hissed in pleasure when his fingers finally sank into her aching body, his mouth now suckling at her breast. “Oh, yes… yes…” she cried, “this is what I want… Severus please… I need you,” she all but groaned to him.
“So, wet for me,” he crooned from against her breast. He was suddenly filled with a fire to satisfy himself, surging back up to her mouth he devoured it, while his fingers brought her higher. Then the fingers were gone and his rigid shaft was there, rubbing, making her writhe in pleasure. “Please… in…. in,” she demanded.
They both groaned as he filled her with such gusto that he bottomed out on her cervix. Her legs came up around his waist and she arched up into him.
It had been too long, and she felt so right around him, he was lost. Thrusting with abandon, he felt her orgasm coming, the walls of her deliciously tight little channel started fluttering and he was in heaven. This was what he’d craved, and now he had no problem with his words.
Then all thought left him as Hermione—his Hermione—suddenly dove into that age old abyss of delight. Her screams and squeals were beautiful, he fought the urge to go with her; he wanted this moment to last. It was then that he knew she was his. “Mine,” he told her with every thrust, “the numbers told you, you are mine,” he managed through gritted teeth.
“Yes, yours,” she replied, her eyes were closed and her hands were sweeping her body. Then her fingers found her mouth and she wet them before trailing them down her heated flesh once more.
“Say it again,” he commanded, still managing to hold off his own release.
“Ohhhhh… yours,” she panted, but then suddenly she was rambling as her body exploded around him again.
This time it was too much, he felt his release roaring down his spine, tingling and teasing him. Merlin it felt amazing, this witch felt wonderful, and then he lost it. His thrusts became erratic and his breathing laboured. “Mine,” he affirmed one last time, before his vision saw spots and his ears roared with euphoria.
Severus barely managed to remain standing, his arms were buttressed on both sides side of the witch under him, as he stood there, heart thumping, breathing laboured and his legs burning with lactic acid, but perfectly happy.
One year later when they married, Severus and Hermione invited the Potter’s and the Weasley’s just to see the looks on their faces, and they were not disappointed. Both knew that none of Hermione’s former friends would understand her choice of life partner. It didn’t bother them, but they were eager to get a rise out of the quartet of former Gryffindors anyway.
When they were nearing the end of the evening and the happy couple were saying their good-byes, with his usual tact, Harry Potter finally asked on behalf of all of them, “Why, Snape?”
Hermione wanted to hex him for his inappropriate question, especially because Severus was standing behind her at the time, but it was no use, they would all always be this insensitive. She simply chuckled happily, and entwined her arms around Severus’ as he slid his arms around her waist.
Giving her new husband a blissful glance she replied, “It was all in the numbers.”
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