admins (southernwitch69, keladry_lupin, sshg316 and deemichelle), coding monkey (mollyssister), pinch hitters, betas and... well, everyone who made the Winter 07 round of the gift exchange possible.
It's not much, but here is a small expression of my gratitude for well over a month of SSHG goodness. Probably Mature, and it might need a crack!fic warning.
AN: Thanks to septentrion1970 for betaing.
“Hermione Granger.” His voice deceptively calm, Severus Snape glared at the young woman almost nose-to-nose with him. “Perhaps you would care to enlighten me why I find myself trapped in the middle of the Forbidden Forest up a tree.”
Hermione blinked, startled out of her deer-caught-in-the-headlights impression. “Severus, you were there.” She began to look rather worried. “Did you hit your head?”
“No, I did not.” Although it was a miracle that he hadn’t in the mad scramble up the tree. “Tell me how it is that a virgin can anger a unicorn so much that it’s trying to kill you.”
The tree shook, rammed by the enraged unicorn. Snorting, the beast shook its horn free and cantered off, presumably to run up to ramming the tree again. Thundering hooves heralded the arrival of the others in the unicorn herd, drawn by the screaming roars of the stallion Hermione had approached for clippings from its hooves. Something had gone badly wrong, and it had attempted to first gore and then trample her.
As unicorns were wary of boys, let alone men, Severus had managed to briefly scare the unicorn off long enough for them to climb the nearest tree.
Severus tightened his hold on both their sheltering tree and Hermione as the unicorns charged at it again and again, a veritable cascade of leaves and insects falling.
“Did you lie to me?” he demanded, leaning close to her ear so that she could hear him over the rumbling of hooves and sharp cracks of contact between horns and tree trunk.
“Of course not!” Hermione screeched, causing him to wince, his ears ringing. She saw this and had the mercy to lower her voice, hissing: “If I wasn’t a virgin, that unicorn would have fled, not attacked me.”
“Then why—” An ominous creaking groan interrupted him. The tree was beginning to tilt over, the trunk slowly splitting with each impact of the unicorns’ horns.
“Brilliant. This tree is going to fall, we dropped our wands when climbing, we’re within the Anti-Apparition wards, and there’s no other tree near enough for us to get to before we’re poked and trampled to death,” Hermione recited in one breath. “And I’m going to die a virgin!” she wailed.
“Perhaps if we remove what is angering them they will leave,” suggested Severus, grazing her cheek with his lips.
She turned her head to face him. “That might work… and I think I know why the unicorns are so crazed. It’s probably because I’m not an innocent; I killed people in the Final Battle™.”
The tree shook harder, almost causing Severus to lose his grip and hurl them down to be trampled underhoof.
“It’s earlier than we planned.”
“Only by a few hours! We’ll just have to buy some unicorn hoof clippings for our Crucio-cure potion.”
“You think I care?” Severus asked, his voice thick with emotion. “Your safety is the most import—”
Hermione muffled him with her lips. She pulled back slightly to say, “Severus, the tree’s going to fall any minute.”
Ah. Not the time for a declaration of eternal love, then.
Severus quickly let go of the tree with one hand to undo his trousers and free himself. The combination of Hermione’s nearness and her kiss had him at half-mast… but not hard enough. The sudden contact of Hermione’s hand quickly began to change that.
He decided to return the favour, pushing up her skirt, ready to push her underwear out of the way, only to find that she was knickerless. Convenient. She was already wet, perhaps due to being in his arms since climbing the tree?
Taking hold of one of her hips with one hand and his erection with the other, he lubricated himself as much as possible by rubbing himself against her and carefully positioned himself, bending to claim her mouth as he did.
Before he could, Hermione slipped her hands onto his shoulders, digging her fingernails in to attract his attention. “Er, Severus? What are you holding onto the tree with?”
Scrabbling to get a grip with his booted feet on the gnarled bark of the tree branch supporting them, Severus realised too late that he should have reached to hold on with his hands again. The next impact of unicorn against tree knocked them off their branch, Severus’s feet scraping futilely against the bark. They fell, both out of the tree, and him into her.
The unicorns calmed instantly, stayed long enough to break the couple’s fall, thankfully keeping either of them from ending up with a broken neck.
Winded, it took a moment for Severus to heave his body up so that he wasn’t crushing Hermione beneath him. “Are you hurt?”
“Give me a minute,” she wheezed. “Stings a bit.” She squirmed. “And there’s a tree root sticking into my back under all this moss.”
He rolled over onto his back, running his hands from her hips to her back, soothing her. Just when the bumpy forest floor underneath him began to get uncomfortable, Hermione began to move.
“Severus?” Hermione asked, stroking her hand over the stubble on his cheek, her head pillowed on his chest.
“You planned this, didn’t you? You knew perfectly well that as a virgin murderess, that I’d need saving from the unicorns.”
He chuckled. “As you knew, too, O knickerless one. I knew you were too impatient to wait until tonight.”
“You’ve got me there. Still, I didn’t quite picture losing my virginity upside down in a tree.”
Severus snorted. “Technically it was while falling out of a tree.”
“You think that makes it any better?” she snapped. Rolling over, Hermione scrambled to her feet. While straightening her clothes, she glared down at him. “I need a nice hot bath, and then I want to go to bed. If you want it to be your bed, you had better make it worthwhile.”
He did. Neither of them got much sleep, and if not for the Hogwarts house-elves, they would have starved to death.