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Ever Cuddle a Slytherin?

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It was mid-afternoon and Hermione entered the living area, tossing her robes on a chair, to begin getting Master Snape's tea ready for his break time between classes. She drew up upon seeing him slouched in his leather chair by the fire, his hands limp in his lap. He had removed his jacket and waistcoat and was in shirtsleeves. The sight of him thus in the daytime seemed so incongruous that it took a moment for her to process that his eyes were open and he was not asleep.

"Sir?" She walked closer to him and bent down to look at his face. She had never seen him look so morose, or so…sprawled. He looked as if all the starch had been taken out of him, leaving him wilted. His eyes drifted lazily to hers, but were dull and did not pierce as usual. He almost looked desperate. She wondered if he was ill and began to straighten, thinking to call Poppy to come see him.

"Come here," he said and held out his arms. She was already standing within arm's reach of him, so she simply stared uncomprehendingly until he beckoned again and repeated more sharply, "Come here."

She drew closer, stepping between his spread knees and he pulled her down gently to sit across his lap. One slim arm snaked around her waist and pulled her closer, and he took a deep shuddering breath. She thought for a moment that he might start crying. She felt if that happened then surely the castle would begin falling around their ears next.

Hermione’s mind was whirling, but she knew he would never ask anything of her that he did not need and she was perfectly willing to give this man whatever it was that he did need.

He plucked at her blouse. "Take this off. I want to feel skin." She did as he asked, pulling the blouse over her head and chucking it on the floor. She was wearing a camisole underneath and he ran his hand flat across her belly feeling the silky fabric. “What is this?”

“A camisole, sir.”

He raised his eyebrows and nodded, then drew both his arms tightly around her and buried his face in her neck and chest, breathing deeply. She hesitated only a moment before wrapping her arms lightly around his shoulders. She felt herself relax, vertebrae by vertebrae until she was leaning all her weight on him. After a time, she began to stroke his lank hair, combing her fingers through the silky strands. They sat in silence, their breathing slowing and their bodies melting against one another.

Groggy, Severus wandlessly summoned a small blanket from the settee and covered them both. More time passed and she realized that he had fallen asleep, his large nose buried between her breasts. She sniffed his hair curiously, enjoying the herby smell of him. His next class didn't start for another several hours, and she decided to enjoy this unexpected cuddle while she could. She soon let herself follow him into warm sleep.