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a/n: Thanks to Tiff, Scrib and Jackie for reading over this. Huggles.
This is not a betaed work. This is just a wild plotbunny that wanted out. Excuse the little mistakes. Enjoy.


Snape woke just as the sun rose and it's rays filtered through the crisp autumn leaves. He winced from their brightness and drew the sleeping bag over their heads and tightened his arms reflexively around the naked woman beside him. Rubbing his face into the bushy brown hair he kissed the top of her head as he sighed. Hermione snuggled closer in her sleep and he felt her breath on his chest.

With the daylight came regrets. She'd been untouched and he hadn't expected that. She was beautiful, intelligent and was worth so much more then a has-been professor who had spent the totality of her lifespan as a killer and a spy. Associating with him would ruin her chances at a successful career.

Snape felt her move as she kissed his chest, his neck and finally he moaned as their lips met. His hands moved across her back as he crushed her into his torso; their tongues dueling. He was lost in Hermione's love.

“Good morning, Severus.” She said sleepily as they broke apart, aroused once more in their senses. Severus wanted to roll her over and fill her with his need once more, but held back as he groaned and breathed in their mingled scent deeply.

Suddenly there was a scratching and a hopping on their sleeping bag. Whatever was out there insistently pecked at the covers, poking through.

“Dammit,” Snape said as he clasped his wand and threw back the bag to greet the intruder.

“Hedwig!” Hermione cried happily as the small owl hooted a disgruntled greeting. “Severus, no!” She laughed as he pointed the wand menacingly towards Harry's familiar. She took the note from Hedwig's outstretched talon and watched the snowy owl fly off.

“Harry says Draco's awake and is asking for you.” She read as she unrolled it. Hermione looked up at Severus to see a look of concern on his pale, worn face. “If he's asking for you that means he's all right!” She threw the note onto the covers and drew his face down for a kiss.

Snape pulled back from her. He knew he couldn't undo last night, but hopefully he could repair the damage by day.

“Let's go,” He said ignoring her look of pain. He gathered up his clothes from hers, his hand clasping her bra for a second too long before handing it to her. He practically sprinted off into the trees to dress as Hermione held her clothes to her chest in bewilderment.

Daddy Remus was going to kill him.


~*~



They arrived at St Mungo's an hour later. Snape led them through the hallways and as they past the Longbottoms room he looked in and sighed with regret. They'd been a happy couple, just starting out in life with a new baby, Neville. Their Auror careers going successfully when Voldemort and his Death Eaters ripped it all away from them. He had stood by and watched as they slipped into a lifetime of insanity. More for his list of mistakes that he could never rectify.

Snape had never really hated Neville, but the sight of the poor boy brought back the painful memories. He'd actually cheered when Neville, against all odds had stood by Harry's side with Hermione, Ginny and Ron as the combined powers of their magic twisted together and shot Voldemort into a smoking pile of ashes on the battlefield. The sounds of Death Eaters disapparating in fear sounded like the heavens opening up in a lightening storm.

“Hello, son.” Snape said, an odd feeling passing through him as he saw Draco look up and smile at him. The boy was still pale, and a long cut marred his face. He had done what he had promised Narcissa before she died, he had drawn him out Voldemort's and his father's influences. They even had forged a bond through it all, and Draco had adopted him unofficially as his father.

Snape had been floored the day Draco had first called him 'Dad' with a defiant but unsure look on his face. In Draco's face he saw his former lover's, and but from a twist of fate this boy could have been his, should have been his.

Last week as Lucius had bound him magically and made him watch as Bellatrix and Lucius tortured Draco with spells and physical attacks had almost killed him. Unable to move or intervene, Severus had screamed silently in his mind in the horror until the Aurors' arrival had the duo flee. Their maniacal laughter still filled him with remorse. He'd almost failed the boy, and Narcissa.

“You look better,” Hermione said as she kissed Draco's forehead and tucked a lock of blond hair behind his ear.

“Eh, I feel like a hippogriff walked all over me, than sat down for a nap.” Draco grimaced as he laughed.

As Severus watched the two, he felt his misgivings of this morning bloom once again. “I'll be back.” He told them both as he caught sight of Remus at the door.

“How did it go?” Remus asked as he watched Snape walk warily towards him.

“No sign of Bella or Lucius yet, just some unconfirmed Death Eater sightings.” Snape scratched at his head tiredly. It had been a long week, and Hermione's youth had been their driving energy in the hunt.

Remus watched Snape as he stared through the glass window at the two young ones. No, he's staring at Hermione, and with a look of- Remus growled as he grabbed Snape by the collar and dragged him down the hall and entered an unoccupied room.

Severus had been waiting for this. He felt his back slam against the wall, hard enough to crack the plaster. He grimaced as he waited.

Remus sniffed, for once glad of his werewolf senses. He almost howled in outrage at what his nose told him. “What did you do?” He asked, already knowing the answer.

We did just what you are thinking we did.” Severus answered. He looked Remus in the eyes. “If I could go back and change it I would.” His head bowed.

“Do you love her?”

“What's love?” Severus felt Remus's nails dig into his shoulders as he faced his own fears.

“Love is an abiding passion that fills you with joy each time a certain person enters a room.” Remus answered.

“Than yes, I love her.” Severus answered.

“I've watched you both for a year now dance around each other, smiling when one walks in the room. Worry when the other is out in the field. Neither of you admitting to it.” Remus pushed Snape tighter against the wall. “You've told me your dream about the faceless woman. Is she the one?”

“Yes,” Severus spat out.

“What are you going to do? Keep the dance up till you lose Hermione?”

“I'm going back out to hunt down Lucius and Bella on my own.” Severus's eyes closed as he said that, images of the duo imprinted in his mind.

“And Hermione?” Remus asked as he watched the emotions flit across the dark wizard before him.

“Hermione is too young for me. I'll ruin her.” Snape answered, his voice filled with regret.

“That's not what you said about Tonks and me. You told me to give Tonks a chance, that she was a strong woman and could handle it. Hermione's a grown woman, Severus. What are you going to do, push her away?” Remus gasped at Severus's confirming look. “Going alone will get you killed!”

“Better one old wizard dying than another innocent.” Snape said bitterly, remembering the scar on Draco's face. The pain he would feel if either of them died ripped a hole in his heart.

“So, you're going to decide for Hermione? How noble of you.” Remus sneered.

“She's young, way too young for me. I'm old enough to have sired her, for Merlin's sake. She deserves a young wizard without the life I have led. I can't even walk Diagon Alley with out getting spit upon. Is that really what you want for Hermione?” Severus felt Remus's grip loosen as he turned away to leave the room.

“Remus?”

“What?” Remus turned back with feeling of remorse. His plan of getting them to face their feelings had backfired. He had sent Hermione with Severus in hopes they'd talk and admit their attraction, not act on it.

“I'd prefer if you'd keep your knowledge to yourself.” Severus asked in a quiet tone. “And for her sake, get her to finish school. She's the brightest witch, the most annoying know-it-all I had ever taught, and she's wasting it.”

“So, who's going to pick up the pieces this time?” Remus asked, not caring if Severus answered, as he slammed the room's door.


~*~


“Where's Severus?” Hermione asked with a smile as Remus entered the room.

“Dunno.” He mumbled. “Look, I'm pulling you off the Death Eaters cases. It's time you went to University.” Hermione made a sound of protest. “No girl, it's time.”

“But who is going with Severus until Draco is better? I could at least wait till then.” She asked hopefully.

“Severus has decided to go alone.” Remus held a hand up to their objections. “It's his choice.” He felt a tug at his heart when her face fell. Knowing what he did made him want to kill Severus. Stupid, hard-headed git.


~*~



Months passed as Hermione waited for Severus to contact her. She'd started to borrow Hedwig a few times to send her own letter, but held back. She now had a stack of unsent letters sitting on her desk, tied with a black rawhide string she had found tucked in her pants that fateful morning.

Severus had been correct about the University accepted her application with no questions. He'd have laughed at her joyous dance into Headquarters as she held it in her hand, screaming with delight. Since her field work had dealt with healing, she applied for a healer's curriculum.

Remus posted the weekly reports Severus sent in. Viciously and with no remorse it seemed, he hunted down his former colleagues throughout Europe. Finally, after a four month search, Severus had found the infamous duo in Bulgaria. This time they had been surprised, and died for it.


The ending for this chapter is now chapter 3. Thanks jackie!

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