A War Hero's Holiday Plot

BY : emerald_sparrow
Category: Harry Potter > Het - Male/Female > Snape/Hermione
Dragon prints: 2965
Disclaimer: Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter, etc, etc. no money being made.

"Don't know why they always feel the need to invite that nasty git," Ron snarled suddenly, and Hermione, Harry and Ginny turned their heads toward the front door of the Burrow. They already knew who he was talking about, of course. There was only one man who inspired such disdain.

"Oy, but he's not looking so nasty tonight, now is he?" Ginny purred. Harry shot her a displeased look.

Hermione kept her mouth shut, but her eyes were glued on Severus Snape. His silky hair was pulled back from his angular face. He wore black trousers and a black vest over a green, long-sleeved, button down shirt. He looked healthier than he had in a long time. Something hot curled low in her belly, but she cleared her throat and turned back to her friends.

"Don't you look at me like that, Harry Potter," Ginny warned the Boy Who Lived, a finger pointing at him in caution. "Don't pretend you weren't appreciating Luna's arse five minutes ago."

While Harry paled and gave a sheepish look, Ron continued to glare. "And the nerve of him, to wear those Slytherin colors!"

Hermione rolled her eyes and finally spoke, against her better judgement. "He's a war hero, Ron. More than any of us, except perhaps for Harry. Your parents appreciate that because of his efforts we're able to celebrate another year. And for goodness' sake, they're not Slytherin colors - they're Christmas colors!"

Ron sputtered but could not reply with anything to counter. Ginny threw her hands up and grabbed Hermione's arm.

"Let's go get some punch," Ginny said decisively. Hermione nodded in agreement, happy to remove herself from the drama.

Every year right before Christmas, all of the heroes who had survived the Second Wizarding War gathered together at the Burrow for an evening of feasting, dancing, and general merriment. They mourned their losses with drinks and leaned on each other for comfort, appreciating each other in a more serious way.

It had always been awkward for Snape. Hermione had caught on right away that it was not his scene. McGonagall nearly had to drag him the first year. This year however, he'd arrived on time and in suspiciously pleasant spirits. Truth be told, it put her a bit on the edge. There was something mischievous in his eyes, each time she dared glance at him. Something tangibly wicked was emanating off him. She felt like a nervous rabbit.

At one point, she'd seen him stalking toward her as a slow song started. She'd grabbed Ron and dragged him to the dance floor as he muttered futilely in protest. There was no telling what the man had up his sleeve and she wasn't prepared to find out.

"So like I said, I was telling her she just needs to come here. I bet Dad would get her a job and Mum would definitely let her stay here."

Hermione tore her eyes away from Snape, who was staring at her from behind Ron with a brow raised and an amused smirk on his lips.

"What are you on about?" she asked, looking up at her redheaded dancing partner.

"Hilda!" he nearly shouted, causing her brown waves to flutter. "I'm tired of going to Norway. She comes here or I end it."

Hermione bit the inside of her cheek to stop herself from responding with her gut response. Instead, she took a deep breath and tried to think about her words before she said them.

"Ron," she started, "Has it occured to you that Hilda doesn't want to come here?"

He stared down at her as if she'd lost her mind. "You're always a Negative Nancy. It gets on my nerves, that." He dropped his hands from her waist. "I need another drink."

"Oh, me too!" Hermione nodded in agreement. "I'll get one for you, how about you have a sit?" He had obviously overdone it and was going to end up making a rash decision if he didn't stop. She helped him into a chair near Harry and Ginny who were making doe eyes at each other.

As she turned to move toward the punch table, she was intercepted by Molly Weasley; her cheeks were rosy, eyes bright. She took Hermione by the shoulders and placed a kiss on her forehead.

"I just hate Ron gave you up for Hilda, the two of you look so dashing together on that dance floor," she gushed, adding more and more pressure to Hermione's shoulders.

She'd officially hit the height of awkwardness and wasn't sure how much worse it could get. Was she the only one who hadn't imbibed an embarrassing amount of alcohol?

"I'm afraid that ship has sailed, Molly," she said gently, and began trying to pry the woman's hands off her shoulders. "Hilda will make a lovely daughter-in-law, I'm sure." She was finally released and swiftly moved to the table that was spread with neatly-organized refreshments.

Every single time she saw Molly, it seemed as if the woman had a determined agenda to get her son and Hermione back together. They hadn't been an item in years; he'd met Hilda at a Quidditch tournament in Norway, fallen in love at first sight, and come home to immediately break up with Hermione. Coincidentally, she hadn't much cared. For years after their final year at Hogwarts, their relationship had been an on-again, off-again arrangement borne of convenience and easy familiarity. When Ron was in-between birds he'd met fawning over his status as one of the most successful Quidditch players in the world, he took Hermione out. When Hermione wanted an escort to a Ministry event, she relied on Ron. It wasn't exactly a loss. They were still best friends and would always be there for each other, but a romance wasn't in the cards for them.

It was that time of the evening where she was beginning to wonder when she could politely leave. She craved the feeling of sitting in front of a warm fire, Crookshanks in her lap as she read a book. She stirred the punch idly, wondering when she'd be able to slip out without notice.

"My, my, Miss Granger… how many is that for you this evening? Five? Six?" The silken voice was right at her ear, and it erupted chills all over her body.

She didn't turn, but continued stirring the punch. "Been keeping count, have you?" she asked, trying to sound outraged but failing as the words came out breathy.

"I've been watching you all night," she heard him murmur, his lips grazing her hair. His warmth was intoxicating. He was putting off so much heat against her back that her front felt cold. "And you know it."

Hermione cleared her throat. "I haven't the foggiest idea what you're talking about," she said tartly, and finally scooped from the bowl and filled her glass.

She heard a low growl but his next move was interrupted by the approach of McGonagall and Flitwick. Hermione turned from the table to face them, Snape at her side now. She sipped delicately from her drink, realizing as a haze set over her that perhaps she had been imbibing at the same pace as everyone else.

"My dear girl, when will you come to work for me?" McGonagall pressed. "We need someone sharp to take over Potions; Professor Gaffin is not doing as well as I had hoped. She's a bit outdated, though I'm one to talk." She chuckled softly. "I guess the one good thing she has done is put a smile on Severus' face."

Hermione raised a brow and took another sip of her drink. "Is that so?"

McGonagall's brogue became heavier the more she drank. "Oh yes, I've been quite surprised at how the old bird has pursued him." She took a swig of her punch.

"It's always nice to see you let your hair down, Minerva," Hermione told her dryly. "I always learn something interesting." Interesting wasn't quite the word she was thinking of, but for civility's sake she was biting back other words.

Flitwick giggled, and Hermione looked down at him curiously. Drunk as the rest of them, he held an entire bottle of Pinnock's Giggle Water in his hand. Seeing her stare at it, he held it out in offering to her. She shrugged her shoulders and took it, tilting her head back for a large swig of the liquid. It didn't burn her throat at all, but rather a bubbling feeling spread up her esophagus and then she found herself giggling stupidly. It was odd, feeling irritable and yet giggling as if she didn't have a care in the world. She took another large swallow of it then handed it back to Flitwick.

"I need the loo," she announced through giggles, and left them to head to the toilet inside of the house. She heard the crowd begin to slurredly sing Christmas songs, and was grateful for the diversion.

She had nearly reached it when a hand curled around her upper arm and spun her around.

"Granger," Snape growled, walking her back against the wall of the hallway. "You've been toying with me all night. My patience only goes so far." His hands slapped against the wall on either side of her head, his body caging her in.

She glared up at him, then giggled. Shaking her head, she glared up at him again. "Your patience? Tell me more about this Gaffin, will you?" She crossed her arms over her ample chest and leant back.

He scoffed. "You're the one insisting on discretion. What am I supposed to do, break the poor woman's heart without reason?"

Hermione's teeth clenched. "You're supposed," she hissed out, pushing hard against his chest, "To be," she continued, pushing him again as he edged back, "Unavailable!" She pushed him once more and his back hit the wall.

Both of their gazes fiery, they stood toe to toe breathing heavily until a giggle erupted from Hermione. She gasped and put a hand to her throat for a moment, then stared at him resolutely. Standing up on her tiptoes, she grabbed the lapels of his vest and pulled him closer.

"You belong to me," she informed him, before kissing him with a bruising force.

A deep growl rumbled through his chest, and he wrapped his arms around her and whipped her around so that she was once again between him and the wall. His leanly muscled body pressed into her exquisitely, and she sighed in satisfaction and wound her arms around his neck.

"Claimed me, have you, Granger?" He pressed hot, wet, open-mouthed kisses to her neck, impatiently pulling the straps of her dress down her shoulders. His mouth moved over the swell of her breast, eliciting a moan from her, which quickly became a giggle. He chuckled against her skin, then sucked her smooth flesh into his mouth, not relenting until she was batting at his shoulders with her hands.

He pulled back and studied his handiwork proudly. At the top of her breasts was developing a beautiful mouth-shaped bruise, a symbol of his claim. He grinned wolfishly at her.

Hermione thrust her hands into his hair, grabbing hold of it and pulling his mouth to hers for another deep, passionate kiss. Their tongues dueled for supremacy, both groaning as their bodies rocked against each other.

He took hold of her thighs and lifted her, shoving her dress up as he did so. She eagerly wrapped her legs around his waist, grinding against him with a soft, yearning moan that nearly drove him wild. He nestled his head into her neck and nibbled her earlobe as her hand slipped between them and began unbuckling his belt.

"Are you ready for me?" he whispered against her ear, then nipped at her neck.

She cried out and her hips arched. "See for yourself," she taunted back to him, utterly breathless.

His hand slid down from her waist, over her hip, til his fingers finally found her hot, wet center. Her hands were curling and uncurling in his hair as she sought out his touch with her hips. Smirking against her skin, he dipped a finger into her heat.

"Oh, yes," he breathed against her lips. He kissed her deeply as he thrust two fingers into her; her legs tightened around his waist, and his cock throbbed with unrelenting desire. He wrapped a hand around his length and guided himself to her entrance as she mewled and shook in his arms.

"Fuck," they both whispered at the same time, after he slowly, tortuously sheathed himself to the hilt in her slick heat. They met each other's hooded gaze and shared a smile, and then her head fell back against the wall as he began a pulsing rhythm that had her struggling to stay quiet.

One hand cupping her ass, he used the other to cup her breast as he bent his head and took her pert nipple into his mouth, rolling the bud with his tongue, then sucking til she moaned low in her throat. Her feminine muscles clenched strongly around him, and for a moment he thought he saw stars.

"I'm going to come," she told him in a gasp, fingers digging into his shoulders.

He smirked and reached down between them once more, expertly seeking her clit and rubbing it with just the right amount of pressure. "For me?" he asked her, nipping at her lips.

"Only for you," she replied, grabbing hold of his hair and arching against him. She was gasping over and over, and he knew that usually followed with a shriek of ecstasy as she came. He kissed her and drank in her moan, thrusting harder and quicker to join her in climax.

He held her against the wall for a moment, panting into her neck as aftershocks rocked both of them.

"I was so happy to see you in the clothes I picked out for you," she told him, as he eventually pulled away and began tidying himself.

He helped her right the straps of her dress, and pull the clingy fabric back down her thighs. "I knew you would." He brushed her hair over her shoulder and touched the bite marks on her neck gently. "That's what I want, you know," he told her, then muttered a glamor charm to remove the marks.

She gazed up at him curiously. "What?"

"To make you happy," he replied. Satisfied that she was neatly put back together, he met her widened eyes, determined not to back down or let his insecurities get the best of him. "That's what I want."

The gift of her beaming smile made it all worthwhile. The hiding, the banter, the loneliness when they couldn't be together, all of it. His thumb moved over her lower lip and he bent his head to kiss her softly.

"Let's get out of here. No one will ever notice. Crookshanks has been missing you." She tugged at his hand, leading him down the hall toward the door, where just outside they could Apparate.

He pulled at her hand to stop her, and she turned to face him. "What's wrong?" she asked, brow furrowed.

"One dance," he said, in a voice that brooked no argument.

"Severus." She reached up to cup his face. "We can't. You know we can't."

His hand covered hers. "We never do. One dance. I'll make it worth your while," he promised her, sexy deep voice sending shivers down her spine.

"Oh, you don't play fair!" She nodded and swirled her finger, signaling for him to turn. "You go in first. Come get me by the punch for your one dance," she instructed.

He smirked, and obeyed her - For now, he thought.

"Miss Granger, a dance?" he asked, standing behind her as he had before as she stood at the refreshments table. Ginny was next to her, and the redhead's eyes had nearly bugged out of her skull at his invitation.

Hermione turned, and she looked like a frightened little deer. She set down her glass and took his offered hand, which he quickly folded into his arm. They came to the middle of the dance floor, where only Arthur and Molly were swaying together.

Arranging themselves into a proper and acceptable dance pose, they began to move to the music. Hermione realized she had never danced with him before, and they fit seamlessly together. They moved as if they were meant to dance together. Enraptured by the feeling, she let go of his hand and moved both of her hands to his shoulders.

"Is that what you want, as well?" he suddenly asked her, and his glittering dark eyes met her honeyed brown ones, staring into them intently.

She tilted her head to the side. "Is what what I want?" she asked him. The alcohol, the afterglow, and the beautiful dazzling lights surrounding the dance floor were clouding her thinking capability.

"Do you want to make me happy?" he inquired, his hands on her waist squeezing gently.

She realized there was a slight tremble in his body. As foreboding as Snape could be, he surely had an undercurrent of self-doubt in him that she had been trying to mend for the past year. She rubbed her thumbs along his nape. "Of course I do. You know I do."

He took a deep breath, and his forehead lowered and pressed to hers. He pulled back, and his hands took hers. He lowered before her to one knee, there in the middle of the dance floor.

"Hermione," he began, voice deep and loud and clear in their suddenly silent surroundings. "Will you marry me?"

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