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She was the last person he would have expected to see here.

Then again, Severus would never have thought to find himself here either.

He'd been lucky enough to escape Azkaban, he supposed. It'd taken Potter speaking before the Wizengamot on his behalf, and a Penseived record Albus'd had the forethought to leave in his Gringotts vault.

Still, the wizarding world was not a forgiving place when it came to former Death Eaters, and the best outcome Severus had managed, even at that, had been the loss of his wand and total restriction placed upon his magic, hobbling spells keeping him from using even the most basic wandless charms easily performed by a child.

In effect, he was a damned Squib.

However, he was alive. And Severus was sensible enough to realise the benefit of that condition.

With no practical training on Muggle technology, and no proper education traceable since leaving primary school at eleven, Severus had discovered himself to be utterly unemployable in the Muggle world. He'd drifted through a series of impossible positions, including a brief stint brewing herbal infusions for an idiotic occultist in Halifax even more twitterbrained than Trelawney.

That had not ended pleasantly.

Draco had found him then, sitting in his near-empty library at Spinner's End, contemplating what else might be sold for food, and Severus had discovered the boy's punishment had been comparable to his own. With the exception of the Ministry taking the Manor and all Malfoy Gringotts accounts throughout Europe.

Lucius hadn't been a fool, however, and Draco had access to several accounts that his father had established in secondary banks in Tokyo. The funds had easily been converted to Muggle pounds and wired into a London account.

It would run out soon enough, though, and Draco was as little a fool as Lucius had been.

"Sex sells," Draco had said calmly, and Severus had experienced the momentary horror that the boy was going to suggest operating a brothel. "And so does alcohol. I've spent the past three months studying Muggle businesses. And if you can't manufacture something—" he'd rolled his eyes "—and I'm bloody well certain with no magic neither of us could manage that…well, Muggles seem to spend a great deal of money entertaining themselves. If you can offer them the opportunity to get pissed and shagged, they'll throw their pounds at you." He'd smiled faintly. "And if there's one thing I'm an expert in, it's getting pissed and shagged."

"And you're coming to me for what reason?" Severus had given the boy an even look.

"Because you're my godfather." Draco had shrugged. "And if I must live as a Muggle, then I'm damned well going to enjoy it. I'm tired of eating tinned soup and living in a flat with rats. You should be too." He'd looked around the library, taking in the empty shelves and grimy windows, and his jaw had tightened. "Do you really want the Ministry to have the best of you, Severus?"

Draco'd had numbers and charts and notes and it'd only taken him a few hours to convince Severus that the idea wasn't entirely mad.

He'd poured the last of his savings into the venture, selling his father's house to help finance the purchase of a shabby building that happened to be in a Camden Town postal code seeing the first whispers of gentrification. Now, four and a half years later, he had no regrets.

Sex and alcohol did indeed sell.

Very, very well.

Severus had been most surprised to find he possessed a finely tuned cutthroat skill at business. Along with Draco's aesthetic sense and disturbingly acute ability to trendset, Dionysus had become a rather popular spot for London's chavs to congregate.

Last weekend Severus had tossed Harry Windsor out on his ear. For the fourth time in as many months.

It seemed Slytherins could indeed survive anything should they wish. Even life as Muggles.

Lights swirled across the walls, a kaleidoscope of circles and lines sweeping over the crush of bodies, Muggles writhing idiotically against each other to the cacophonic music pulsating loudly through the open room.

 

Severus had long ago learned to block the din out. He preferred to leave work early, long before the crowds began to queue up outside, escaping to his quiet Bloomsbury townhouse for a bottle of wine and the occasional British Journal of Potionbrewing and Herbology he could manage to lay his hands on. Draco, however, insisted that he spend at least one night a week in the club itself, both for practical business reasons and because Draco was a wretchedly meddlesome twit who had no concept of the need for solitary silence and thought socialisation would do Severus good. After six months of constant whinging, Severus had reluctantly agreed, despite his utter loathing of people in general and Muggles in specific.

There were benefits, he supposed.

On those nights he might even take a girl upstairs to his office.

Alcohol was a potent potion in its own right, he had discovered. And combined with the aphrodisiac of power, even a man such as himself could claim a shag or two across the desk, should he wish.

Not as frequently as Draco, of course. It was a rare night that he didn't disappear with one (or sometimes two) of the pretty lads that fluttered around him all evening. Occasionally a truly spectacular boy might find his way home with him, and the next afternoon Draco was guaranteed to arrive late, hungover but highly pleased with himself.

Severus leaned against the bar, sipping his whisky sour, and watched her.

He hadn't recognised her at first, but the way she'd moved caught his eye. She was dressed as a Muggle, in faded jeans that hung low on her hips, a silk top as iridescently lavender as a Vindictus Potion swirling around the waistband as she danced. The straps were tiny, curving over her bare shoulders and the silk was fitted tightly around her breasts, flaring out beneath their curves. She'd twisted her brown curls up, only a few escaping to slip around her neck, and her throat was long and pale as she threw her head back, laughing.

Potter was with her, surprisingly enough, and it was only when Severus had caught the glint of his glasses, the pale pink-white of his scar, that he'd known who she was.

Hermione Granger.

She draped an arm across Potter's shoulder, and his hand was on the small of her back, pulling her closer as their hips gyrated together. Severus turned away.

There were certain things he had no wish to know about the Savior of the Wizarding World.

Draco was at his elbow then, holding a wineglass out to Edward, the young bartender Severus had hired two months ago. They exchanged smiles and Edward's hand lingered on Draco's for just a moment, thumb stroking across the inside of his wrist. Severus sighed and made a mental note to hire only women from now on. Draco was going through the staff too damned quickly these days.

"Have you seen who's here?" Severus said, sipping his whisky, and Draco turned around, leaning beside him, elbows on the bar. He shifted slightly as Edward set a glass of merlot next to him. His black jacket hung open, draping perfectly on either side of a dark red t-shirt imprinted with Lenin's visage. He ran a hand through his tousled blond hair, letting it swing back against his jaw.

"Tell me it's Beckham. I'd kill to shag him."

Severus snorted, setting his empty glass aside. "Not bloody likely and you've not a chance in hell of that happening." He nodded towards the crush of Muggles. "Try Potter."

Draco blinked. "As in Harry?"

"With Granger in tow," Severus said. Edward handed him two paracetamol and another whisky sour. The damned music was killing his head. "No sign of Weasley."

"Pity." Draco scanned the crowd, rising up on the balls of his feet to see. "Bloody hell, he cleans up well, doesn't he?" He chewed his bottom lip. "He's a poof, you know."

That Severus hadn't. He raised an eyebrow as he lifted his glass to his mouth. "And you know this how?"

"Zabini keeps up with the gossip through his mother." Draco was watching Potter dance with Granger. "He just broke up with some Quidditch player a few months ago too."

Severus gave him a sharp look. "Don't even think it, Draco."

"What?" Draco smiled and he took a sip of wine. "I'm not thinking anything other than perhaps I might like to dance."

Severus sighed. "Draco."

But Draco was gone, leaving behind half a glass of merlot.

Idiot.

Severus reached for the wineglass and drained it.

***

Alcohol was the only method of making it through these evenings.

And billiards.

Severus was very, very good at billiards. He'd learned to be—if nothing else, it kept him away from that damned crush of idiotic fools downstairs.

He did not dance, under any circumstances. The very thought was repulsive to him. Vulgar, even.

And Severus was never vulgar.

Draco mocked him--no surprise there--and Severus endured his barbs with the amused patience he reserved only for members of the Malfoy house. At least the boy had a modicum of wit.

He could waltz, of course, and did so on appropriate occasions. Every wizard of his generation had endured lessons in one form or another, and his mother had been a patient and graceful teacher. It was one of his fondest memories, actually, of a space cleared in the library of Spinner's End and his mother's bright laugh and shining eyes as he stumbled over her feet.

She had loved to dance. Until his father beat it out of her.

Severus set his cue aside and took another whisky from the waitress. Alice, he recalled, a medical student at Queen Mary's. She had impressed him in her interview with her ability to withstand his questioning. It was rare he didn't send one of the idiots into tears, and she had been hired on the spot.

"Long night?" she murmured, and he snorted. His head was just beginning to buzz in that pleasant, numb manner.

"I despise people." Severus looked around. The billiards room was packed, mostly with men attempting, as he was, to avoid the indignity of dancing. A handful of women milled around, drinks and cues in hand, some in the vain attempt to convince their intended targets to venture downstairs into the throng with them, others just grateful to escape the crush themselves. "I don't suppose you know where Draco's disappeared?"

Alice wiped down the table in front of him, the wire from her earpiece swinging forward. "The usual." A red curl fell across her shoulder, hanging between her breasts, and Severus took a moment to enjoy the glimpse of soft curves and pale skin when her top gaped open with each stretch across the table. Pity she preferred women. "New bloke this time. Dark hair. Nice arse."

"Bloody Christ." Severus downed half his whisky in one gulp. "The boy ought to be castrated."

"I think he'd disagree." Alice looked down at Severus' nearly empty glass. "Another, then?"

Severus shook his head. "I'll get it myself." He needed sex tonight, he thought, particularly if he was ogling the staff and jealous of Draco's antics. It'd been three weeks, after all, and tossing off in bed at night was beginning to become a bit grim.

Perhaps it was time to pick from the birds.

Another swallow of whisky, pleasantly burning down his throat, and he pushed himself away from the wall and set the glass on her tray. "On with you."

He only stumbled once on the curved staircase, catching himself easily on the iron banister. Definitely not pissed, he deduced, merely relaxed. Comfortable. He brushed his fingertips surreptitiously across the placket of his trousers, thinking of the smooth curve of Alice's breast. His cock twitched.

Excellent.

Edward had his whisky waiting for him—good girl, that Alice, calling downstairs. A raise might be in order for such initiative, he thought, and he'd just lifted the glass to his mouth when a body slammed into his back. Whisky sloshed across his hand, down the front of his black jacket.

Severus swore.

"So sorry. Oh, God. I didn't mean—that bloody cow pushed--" Pale white hands dabbed at his jacket with cocktail serviettes, and Severus pushed them away, turning with a scowl.

Granger blinked up at him. "Oh." She looked gobsmacked. "I didn't—oh."

Her eyes were too bright, her cheeks flushed, and Severus had been in this business long enough to recognise the signs of being entirely off one's tits.

Granger laughed and then her eyes widened and she pressed a hand to her mouth, paper serviettes still crumpled in her fingers. "I'm sorry."

Severus rolled his eyes and he set his glass down. "Another, Edward." The bartender nodded and Granger looked over at him.

"And a tequila for me, will you? With lime, please."

Severus raised an eyebrow. Somehow he'd seen her ordering far more of a girl's drink. Something frothy with fruit and cream. He was impressed. Perhaps he shouldn't be surprised, however. Granger always had a certain amount of bollocks that most girls her age had lacked.

It was a trait that had been useful during the war. He'd seen Granger, face white, mouth set, do things that would have given a man twice her age pause.

The music twisted around them, loud and bright, and Granger was moving with the rhythm, almost unconsciously, her fingers tapping lightly against the marble bartop.

"Nice club," she said, and Severus gave her an incredulous look. Surely she had no intention of carrying on a conversation with him. "Dean said it was, even if you were running it, and Harry wanted to come," she continued, blithely. "He fancies Malfoy a bit, you realise, and he's been so gloomy since he and Oliver split that I thought it might be good for him—"

"Granger," Severus snapped, his head pounding again. "Do shut it."

She glared at him as Edward set their drinks down. "Four quid, love," Edward said, and Severus held his hand up as Granger began to dig into her pocket, pulling her jeans dangerously low.

"On the house," he said, his eyes on the sliver of black silk just beneath Granger's hipbone. He took a sip of whisky, and pushed a stray lock of lank, dark hair behind one ear.

She gave him a bright smile. "Thanks."

With a grunt, Severus watched her lick the inside of her wrist. It was delicate, pale, and he couldn't help but wonder what she tasted like. She sprinkled salt over her skin, licked again, then tossed back the tequila, following it with a quick suck on the lime as she grimaced, turning the glass upside down.

It was ungodly erotic.

And he should not in any manner be thinking those thoughts about any of his former students, much less Granger. There were other opportunities tonight. Other women. Easier, less complicated women.

Still, he found himself standing at the bar, loath to move.

Perhaps he was a touch more pissed than he had originally judged.

"Shots?" Severus asked over the rim of his glass. "Seems rather unlike you."

Granger shrugged and ordered another shot of tequila. "There's a lot you don't know about me."

True. He supposed he must grant her that point. He rubbed his thumb over the rim of his glass and she flushed slightly, glancing away.

Interesting.

He moved closer, and he could smell the faint scent of rosewater and almond soap on her skin, the sharp hint of tequila on her breath. A wisp of brown hair curled around her throat, lying against the delicate jut of her clavicle. She looked at him then, and her eyes were appraising.

"Pity Potter left you alone," Severus said, leaning back against the bar. He pushed his whisky away. "Rather rude of the brat. Not unexpected, however, given his lineage."

Granger picked up her abandoned wedge of lime and sucked it gently, her small, sharp, white teeth scraping against the flesh. He remembered a time when her teeth were far more rabbit-like and a hex that'd gone astray. She rested a booted foot against the rail. "Told you. He fancies Malfoy." She tossed the lime down, crossing her arms on the bar. "They were dancing. If Harry's any common sense, he'll be off shagging now." She propped her chin on her fist and looked over at Severus. "That was the whole point of tonight, after all. If not with Malfoy, then with someone."

Severus decided he was most definitely pissed. To hell with it. He reached for his whisky and drained the glass, setting it down with a thump. He wiped the back of his hand across his mouth. "And you, of course, play the dutiful friend." His lip curled. "Idiot Gryffindor."

The corner of her mouth curved up, a slight, mocking tilt, and she raised an arched eyebrow in a perfect imitation of him. Bloody bitch. "One might think, I suppose." She leaned closer, and Severus could see the soft swell of her breast down the deep neckline of her top.

He didn't recall her having such lovely tits in school.

Then again, those damned robes hid a multitude of graces.

"Eyes up here, professor," she murmured, and he could feel her breath warm against his jaw.

Severus flushed at her small smile.

He felt disturbingly off-kilter, discombobulated, and he hated that as much as it excited him. This was Granger, for God's sake, the irritating know-it-all who had infuriated him for six years—

Edward set the tequila down with a soft cough. "House again?" he asked, a knowing smirk twisting his lips, and Severus waved him off, annoyed. Damned imbecile had best be careful or he'd soon enough find himself out of a job.

"You really should stop buying me drinks, you know." Granger dipped a finger in the salt and licked it clean. "I might get the wrong impression."

Severus shifted, and he pulled his jacket tighter, buttoning it. "You're pissed."

"I do believe so," Granger said cheerfully, and she grabbed his hand, slipping her fingers between his. They were soft and warm and her pink nails were clipped short and buffed to a shine. "I want to try something."

She pushed back the sleeve of his jacket, ignoring his sharp "what are you doing, Granger," as she unbuttoned the cuff of his shirt, and Severus had the distinct feeling that he was a fool for not pulling away.

"Hush," she said, "scientific experiment here," and then her tongue was on his skin, dragging hot and wet across the inside of his wrist once, then twice, and Severus' breath caught for a moment, bursting out with a quiet huff.

She smiled up at him as she sprinkled salt across his damp skin before licking again, this time with a tiny nip of her teeth at the ball of his palm.

He couldn't think—had no damned intention of doing so, in fact, and when she downed the tequila and pulled the wedge of lime through her teeth, he stared at her, watching, his breath coming in sharp, short pants.

This was not what he had expected.

At all.

Granger licked her wet lips and tilted her head to one side. "I think," she said with a tiny laugh, "that I like the way you taste better."

And when she pulled him away from the bar, fingers still twined with his, he let her.

He wasn't a complete fool, after all.

***

They ended up in a back hallway, between a supply closet and the lavatories, with him pushed up against the wall, Granger's mouth on his neck, her body pressed against his.

"Do you ever," she murmured, her teeth grazing his jaw, "just need to fuck?"

She kissed him then, and he could taste the tequila on her tongue, and he had a moment's pause. They were both rat-arsed, and that condition usually indicated that behaviour along these lines was an utterly wretched idea.

He twisted around, pressing her into the wall, catching her hands and pulling them up above her head. "Why me?" he asked roughly, and her mouth was swollen and pink and all too damned distracting.

Granger breathed in sharply, and her tits swelled above the silk of her top. "You're here. And I know you." Her hips moved restlessly against his. "And it's been almost a year since I've—" She broke off. "And you're here."

Severus pushed against her, stilling her hips. His cock pressed into her hipbone and he groaned softly, barely stopping himself from rubbing into the firm pressure. "A greasy git like me."

"At least you're intelligent." She licked her bottom lip and it was almost too much for him. "Haven't you ever heard that smart is sexy?"

Severus snorted. "That falsehood, Granger, is something that ugly swots use to comfort themselves on the frequent nights spent alone."

Granger shifted again, deliberately rocking her hips forward. "Maybe. But this ugly swot wants to be shagged." She bit her lip, twisted her hips, causing him to groan again. "By you."

Really, there was only so much Severus could be asked to resist.

He kissed her, his hands dropping to her hips, pulling her roughly against him.

It was all the permission she needed. She caught his bottom lip between her teeth, biting it gently and he moaned, retaliating by sucking her tongue into his mouth, dragging his teeth lightly across it.

She had one hand in his hair, fingers tangling in the dirty locks, and the other was pulling at his shirt, jerking it out of his trousers.

"Merlin," Severus breathed against her mouth, and she laughed softly. Her fingers were on his belt, then his zip, and he could hear a gaggle of those idiot girls brush past them in one of their regular migrations en masse to the loo, could hear their mocking comments. He didn't give a damn because Granger's hand was in his trousers, pulling his cock free from his pants and it'd been three damned weeks since someone else's fingers had been curled around him.

It felt amazing.

Granger slid her thumb over his foreskin, pressing it back lightly, and he tensed, his fingers digging into her hips. "You like that," she murmured, and he kissed her roughly, pushing her back into the wall as she slid her hand down his shaft, smoothing his foreskin back over his cock, then pulling it gently forward.

Severus bit her jaw, sucking and nipping along the sharp angle. "Don't stop," he growled into her ear, and her hair smelled like freesia and cigarettes.

She stroked him, fingers firm and solid, and with each gentle tug he groaned, pressing his hips forward into her hand.

The girl had hidden talents.

And then she was on her knees, looking up at him with a mischievous smile and his breath caught, his hands flat against the wall in front of him.

Granger's tongue flicked at his head, slid beneath the stretch of his foreskin, and his hips bucked. "Fucking hell," he gasped, and she sucked lightly at the head, pulling the folds back with one hand, her thumb massaging tiny circles across the sensitive skin.

"I definitely like the way you taste," she murmured, and her breath huffed warm against his cock.

Severus dug his fingers into the plaster, leaving shallow gouges, and his hair tumbled into his face, sticking against his heated cheek. He was in the damned hallway with Granger on her knees, sucking him, and the only thing keeping his cock from view was his jacket, loose and swinging forward with each jerk of his hips.

He wanted to come on her face, wanted to pull her up and slam her against the wall, fucking her hard and fast, wanted to come down her throat—

He wanted all of it, all of her, and when she closed her lips around his cock, he wanted to fuck her mouth in long, slow strokes.

Granger's fingers slid around his balls, rubbed lightly beneath, and he caught her head with one hand, holding her still as his hips thrust forward, his cock sliding thick and wet into the warmth of her mouth.

And then she pulled away, and he swore, his cock bobbing free in the air as she stumbled to her feet.

"Touch me," she gasped, and she pushed his hand into her open jeans. He could feel the smooth dampness of her silk knickers, and he shoved them aside, fingers eager for crisp curls and slick warmth.

Granger groaned and trembled against him, and he could smell her with each stroke of his fingers through wet folds.

Severus wasn't certain how he managed it, but they stumbled into the supply closet, and he pushed her back onto a flat of wine cases. He tugged her jeans down over her hips, and he vaguely realized the door hadn't quite closed, and he kicked at, not entirely caring if it shut because her knickers were there, a tiny scrap of black silk and lace.

His jacket was on the floor, and his shirt, and his trousers slid low on his hips, gaping open beneath his hard cock.

Granger kicked her boots off, and her jeans followed, her wand tumbling out of the pocket and rolling across the floor with a clatter, and Severus had her knickers at her knees when he bent down to lick through her wet, brown curls.

She tasted incredible. Tangy, sweet, and he pressed his face to her cunt, breathing her in.

Her hands were in his hair, pulling gently as her legs moved beneath him, impatiently. "More," she groaned, and he spread her legs, pushing her knickers off, his hands on her wet thighs.

Severus licked her, long, quick strokes, dipping into her folds, and he sucked at her clit, sending her scrabbling at the cardboard cases beneath her.

"Snape," Granger cried out, and her thighs shook beneath his hands, she arched up, her nipples hard against the silk of her top, and he wanted to feel her around his cock, wanted to rock into her, to take her.

He jerked her to the edge of the cases, and he bit at her nipple, sucking it through the fragile fabric. She gasped.

"Tell me you want me to fuck you," Severus said, looking down at her. She was flushed and sweaty and the silk top was twisted around her waist. Her hair had fallen loose, and her eyes were bright and heavy.

She was damned beautiful.

"Oh, God, yes," she whispered, and her fingers stroked across one nipple, pinching and twisting it lightly. "Please fuck me."

Severus slid his cock over her clit and she arched up again with a groan. "Please," she choked out, and Severus pushed into her, his fingers gripping the edge of the cases.

Granger was tight and hot and his cock was thick, if not long, and she writhed beneath him for a moment, pressing her hips up.

His strokes were quick and rough, and they lifted her arse with each thrust. She grabbed his arms, digging her fingernails into his skin.

"Harder." Granger's breath was coming in sharp gasps, and Severus shoved into her, his hair swinging forward, his balls slapping against her arse.

She was wet and slick and he knew damned well he wasn't going to last much longer. He slid a finger over her clit, flicking lightly, and she twisted beneath him, hips bucking up for more.

"Snape, oh, God—" Granger tightened around him, and he pressed his finger harder against the hard little nub, rubbing small circles, and when she cried out, shivering wetly around him, he slammed into her with a grunt.

He lost all sense of rhythm, his only need primal, thrusting wildly, wanting only that release building up inside of him, coiling around his spine, more, oh God, don't stop, yes, please--

It was the hardest he'd come in years.

Severus fell onto her, his breath ragged, and he could hear the steady thump of her calming heart. She ran her fingers through his hair, twisting a lock around her thumb, and they stayed there for a moment, silent and sated.

He kissed her throat.

Voices brought them up, chatter drifting from the hallway through the cracked door, and Severus handed Granger her jeans and wand silently. The wand was heavy and cool in his hand and the sudden spark against his skin was familiar and aching. He missed that quiet burn, the twist of magic deep within. He rubbed his palm against his trousers, then fastened them and slipped his shirt over his shoulders.

There was an awkward silence as Granger slid off the wine cases. She twisted her hair up again, sliding the pins into it and securing them with a charm.

Severus picked up his jacket, brushing the dust off the arms. He'd have to remind Edward to mop in here it seemed.

"I should go," Granger said, her hands in her pockets. "It's late, and—" She drifted off, a faint flush staining her cheeks.

Severus hated the discomfort of the aftermath. Sex was messy when it shouldn't be. It was physical release, oftentimes much needed, and should be simple enough to extract oneself from without graceless inelegance.

That seemed impossible, however.

"I would suggest Pepperup in the morning," he said dryly, slipping his jacket on.

"Yes." Granger smiled at that, and she leaned forward quickly and kissed him. "Thank you."

Severus snorted. "For the love of God, go. I have work to do, and you're keeping me from it."

Granger left, without a backward glance.

Damned cheeky bint.

***

Severus refused to go near the supply closet.

It wasn't that he didn't think of that night often. After all, in his desk drawer he had the knickers she'd left on the floor that night, and more than once he'd locked his office door and wanked, coming hard and fast in the scrap of black silk.

He felt the twinges of what he supposed should be guilt.

Oddly it felt more like arousal.

Draco had discovered his transgression, of course. There was no possibility he wouldn't, particularly as he appeared to be seeing Potter on a regular basis at the moment. Severus was surprised by that. As long as he'd known Draco, the boy had never spent more than a few nights with any one man. Potter currently held an impressive record of three and a half weeks and had begun arriving at the club each night, a fact which at first had annoyed Draco until he realised that Potter intended to shag him senseless.

Potter, it appeared, was not as vanilla as he seemed.

And Draco, Severus suspected, had, for the first time in his life, fallen for someone. Whether in love or in mere infatuation, Severus was not yet certain. Nevertheless, the relationship suited the boy. Calmed him.

Merlin knew Draco needed to be calmed.

"Harry says she never mentions you, you know." Draco sat down in the chair across from Severus' desk. He pulled a chip from the wad of newsprint in his hand and chewed it slowly.

Severus looked up from the ledger. He'd yet to become accustomed to those Muggle machines, despite having one on his desk that beeped and whirred at him when Draco insisted he turn it on. He preferred to do the accounts longhand, a practice which had the added benefit of annoying their accountant. "Who on earth are you talking about?"

"You know exactly who." Draco held out the fish and chips. Severus curled his lip and waved it away. Horrid stuff and Draco doused it far too liberally with vinegar anyway. "Your little bird. You do realise that there's still a stain on that last wine case, yes?"

"There most certainly is not." Severus reached over the desk for Draco's bottle of beer. He took a swig, making a face. "Can you not pick a better lager?"

"I only drink it because you despise it." Draco took the bottle back. "It's a vain attempt to keep you from nicking my beer."

Severus grunted and turned back to the accounts.

"I know what you keep in your second drawer," Draco said with a grin, licking grease off his thumb, and Severus's head snapped up. "Maybe you should shag her again. Gryffindors do have certain talents, I've discovered. You know she's not slept with anyone since Finch-Fletchley cheated on her with the Patil twins?" He bit off the end of another chip thoughtfully. "Never would have guessed it of the two of them."

"Stay out of my damned desk, you wretched little prick—"

Draco leaned over the desk and pushed a piece of fried cod in Severus's mouth. Severus chewed and swallowed, glaring balefully at him.

There were moments when the brat overstepped his bounds, godson or not.

He swiped Draco's beer again, draining the bottle.

"How many girls have you shagged since?" Draco wiped his fingers on the newsprint.

"That is none of your damned business," Snape snapped, and at Draco's raised eyebrow he sighed. "Three."

Three very boring, very uninspired encounters. The most that could be said of them was that Severus, at least, had gotten off. Previously, that had been the only thing that interested him.

"And yet you keep her knickers in your drawer." Draco shook his head and put the fish and chips down on Severus' desk. Grease immediately spread out across the blotter. "You know, maybe you should just shag her again instead of tossing off in here by yourself. It's rather pathetic, really."

"I am not taking relationship advice from you of all people." Severus pushed Draco's fish and chips to the side, suddenly annoyed. "You've been dating Potter less than a month."

"It's not relationship advice; it's sex advice." Draco shrugged. "I should think I know quite a bit about that. And Potter and I are not dating. We've decided that we're exclusively mutually shagging for now with the possibility of those terms being renegotiated at a later date should someone more spectacular come around."

Severus rolled his eyes. "The point of the matter, Draco, is that I have no desire to be exclusively shagging anyone."

"Then unexclusively shag her." Draco ate another chip. "Honestly, Severus, at times you are so bloody thick."

Severus grabbed the fish and chips and tossed them in the rubbish bin.

***

It'd taken another week of Draco driving him round the twist before Severus finally decided that perhaps the idiot had a point.

That and a series of highly erotic dreams that woke him in the middle of the night, wet and achingly hard.

It was worse than being a bloody teenager.

There was only so much silent abuse one's pillow could take after all.

Potter had given up Granger's address readily enough, although Draco claimed he'd been forced into an evening of blowjobs that made his mouth ache.

Severus was not sympathetic.

Granger had a small flat in Chelsea, in a wizarding building owned by the head of the Ministry's Muggle-Worthy Excuse Committee. Severus had gone to school with Wickham and considered him an utter idiot.

He suspected Granger was paying far more for her flat than it was worth.

She had installed a doorbell, an odd addition to a wizarding flat, but he assumed it was for her parents. He buzzed it, waiting impatiently.

It took several minutes for her to answer, and when she did, her hair was wrapped in a towel and if he wasn't mistaken, by the press of nipples and hipbones against fabric when she moved, she wore nothing under her t-shirt and pyjama bottoms.

"Oh," she said, and her face flamed. "I didn't expect…I mean, after…" She trailed off.

"Neither would I." Severus crossed his arms over his chest. "I'd like to speak with you."

Granger stepped back then, letting him into the flat. It was neat—spectacularly so, with everything in a certain order, and the furniture was an eclectic mix of Mayfair and Portobello Road.

He supposed one might call it cosy.

She closed the door behind him. "Tea? I can put the kettle on—"

"It won't be necessary." Severus sat on the end of the settee, and after a moment, she joined him silently.

"I have a proposition," Severus said. It was best to get it out of the way, avoid idle chitchat.

Granger raised an eyebrow. "I see."

"I do believe we've proven ourselves to be sexually compatible." Severus watched her closely, noting the faint blush and the subtle shift of her hips. "It strikes me that there is a certain opportunity we might extend one another. If you're willing, that is."

Granger blinked. "You can't be suggesting—"

"Whyever not?" Severus gave her an even look. "Unless, of course, I was mistaken concerning the sounds you were making that night?"

She flushed pinker and looked away. "I was drunk. You were drunk. It was a one-off. That's all."

"At the time, yes." Severus leaned back into the settee. "However, I think we should explore the possibility of continuing the experience."

She blinked. "You've lost your mind."

"On the contrary. It makes perfect sense. We both enjoyed each other, or so it seemed."

Granger laughed, then covered her mouth with one hand. "You can't be serious. Are you actually suggesting that we—you and I—be shag buddies?"

"I don't suppose I would use that terminology," Severus said dryly, "but yes. Sex with no strings."

Granger pulled her bare feet up onto the cushion. "None? For either of us?"

Severus shrugged. "Entirely open."

"Contraception?"

"You do use a monthly potion, do you not?" He hesitated. "I would prefer not to use Muggle methods. I find them uncomfortable to say the least. Therefore you would be responsible in that regard."

She frowned at him. "And I'm fully aware that Muggles have other sexual complications besides pregnancy, you realise."

Severus sighed and scowled. "Should I choose to sleep with another woman, I will utilise some form of protection. There are potions I could tell you how to brew, of course, that would be of benefit for both of us."

He could see her consider it, weigh her options, as she chewed on her bottom lip. "I won't be pushed around," she said finally. "You'd have to accept that. I went through that already with Ron and Viktor and Justin too. I'm definitely not putting up with it from you."

"Fine." Severus scowled at her. If it weren't for the opportunity of getting inside her again... "And I won't put up with your cheek."

"You will if you want to get fucked." Granger slid closer. "Oh, and if I don't want to shag, you can't whinge—"

Severus's mouth thinned. "What sort of fool do you think I am?" he snapped, and she grinned at him, pulling the towel from her head. Her hair tumbled down, damp curls twisting around her shoulders and Severus had the urge to bury his face in it, breathing in her smell.

"I think you're a man," Granger said calmly, "and it's been my experience that men whinge when it comes to their cocks."

Her hand slid over him then, her palm circling lightly across the zip of his trousers, and Severus breathed out, his cock hardening.

"I take it you'd like to fuck," he said, eyebrow raising, and she unbuckled his belt, fingers pulling at the button of his trousers.

Granger slid his zip down. "If I'm going to agree to your suggestion, I'd like to find out how compatible we are sober, I think."

Severus pulled her closer, sliding his hands up underneath her t-shirt. "In the nature of scientific inquiry, of course."

Her breasts were soft and warm and she breathed in sharply as his thumbnail slid over a nipple. The shirt was tossed across the room—he wasn't certain if he or she sent it flying—and she was straddling him, his mouth on her tit, sucking lightly.

Granger had her hands in his hair, twisting and pulling as she rocked against him.

Severus slid back and he jerked at his coat, wanting to feel the slide of her skin against his.

"Yes," Granger murmured, and she pushed the jacket off his shoulders, her fingers tugging at the buttons of his shirt. He grabbed her, leaning forward to slide the sleeves off, and the warm press of their skin together sent a jolt through him.

"Bloody fuck." Severus bit Granger's throat, and she slid her hands down his back, pulling him closer, their hips rocking up against each other. He was hard—fucking hard—and he wanted to taste her, to feel her, to thrust inside her so bloody deep that she arched against him, clawing at his back—

Granger pushed at her pyjama bottoms frantically, shoving the soft cotton down her thighs. "I want you in me," she gasped, and it was only then Severus realised what he'd groaned against her skin.

She was naked in his lap, and he could smell her, could feel how wet she was with each press of her hips against his.

He lifted his hips. "Help me," he snapped, and she slid off him, pulling his trousers and pants down, tossing them aside. She crawled back on him, and he bit at her nipple, sucking it roughly until she moaned, rubbing her slick folds against the head of his cock.

She was on him then, sliding down his cock, and Severus grabbed her hips. "Christ, Granger," he choked out, and she rocked her hips forward, leaning in to kiss him.

"Fuck me," she murmured against his mouth, and he groaned and rolled her onto the settee, pressing her into the cushions with a rough thrust.

Severus nipped her throat. "Like that?" He pushed her leg up, wrapping it around his waist as he rocked into her again.

"God, yes." She gripped his shoulders. "But harder."

He slammed into her, fucking her hard and fast, and she arched beneath him, urging him on with each gasp and moan and choked "Snape," and when she came, her fingernails dug into his tense back, scraping over his shoulder blades and it was just enough to send him shoving into her erratically, his cock thrusting deep and hard, his hair catching on his damp jaw with each jerk of his body.

"Tighter," Severus moaned, and she clenched around him, biting his shoulder, and he came with a sharp cry, his body shaking as he rocked into her, his hips slowing.

They lay silently for a moment, breathing hard. Severus' cock was still in Granger, and he was loath to shift. He kissed the side of her throat, sucking gently, and she made a soft noise.

"Well?" Severus supposed he should wait to ask, but he had never had a great deal of patience.

Granger smoothed his lank hair back, tucking it behind his ears. "Adequate enough," she said, and he smacked her hip, sending her into peals of laughter.

"Wretched little cunt."

"You seemed rather fond of it." She slid out from beneath him, and he caught a glimpse of pale thigh and dark, damp curls. "I'll put the kettle on, and then perhaps I can show you the rest of the flat."

Severus rolled onto his side. "Is that a yes, then?"

Granger's footsteps faded into the kitchen, to be replaced by the rattle of pots. "I think so," she called out. "For now at least."

Severus stretched, sliding his foot across the soft chenille of the settee. That, he thought with a smirk, was acceptable.

For now at least.

The rattle of the Floo sent him reaching for his trousers. A bottle rolled out of the fire, tumbling across the polished wood floor to rest against an armchair.
Severus picked it up.

"What's that?" Granger came back in with two teacups, steaming. She set them on the sidetable.

He held up the bottle of Tesoro de don Felipe. A note was attached, in a spiky handwriting familiar to Severus from his days of teaching. Potter's nearly unintelligible essays had always given him fits.

About damn time.

Granger's cheeks flamed. "I'm going to kill him."

"Later."

She raised an eyebrow. "You can't be serious."

"Oh, do believe I have every intention of helping dismember both of them," Severus said grimly. "However…" He glanced down at the bottle, then back up at her. "As I recall, you owe me the opportunity of a proper shot."

"Really." Granger slid her fingers between his. "I do?"

"Indeed," he breathed across her throat, and when she pulled him down the hallway, whispering promises against his skin of exactly where he might drink tequila from, he gripped the bottle tightly and followed. Potter and Draco be damned.

Although perhaps, he thought, stumbling down the hall, his mouth against hers, it might do to send the damned fools a bottle of their own.

A thank you might indeed be in order. Granger bit his lip, sucking lightly, and he moaned.

Yes. Most definitely in order.

Severus kicked the bedroom door shut behind them.