Snape had been teaching for just more than a year. As he patrolled the hallways, he heard the soft padding of familiar steps. Professor McGonagall’s feline form rounded the corner. In the beginning, Snape had suspected that she was keeping an eye on him, but soon he’d discovered that she too was restless after a day of teaching and needed to walk and clear her mind. It soon became their routine to start at opposite ends of the castle and meet midway between Gryffindor Tower and the Slytherin dungeons.
“All quiet in the tower tonight, Minerva?” Snape asked as she became upright.
“As quiet as the dungeons, Severus,” she answered.
One of the first things that had attracted him to Minerva was her ability to hold her own against his acerbic nature; he felt he could be himself around her, speak his mind, and in turn, he valued her opinion.
Taking her arm in his, he asked, “Care to take a turn around the Astronomy Tower?”
“Did you have such a bad day that you feel the need to look for students to take points from?”
“It was a five cauldron day.”
“Four melted, one exploded.”
“Come, let’s take a walk down by the kitchens for some biscuits, and then I’ll make you some tea.”
“Could you make it firewhisky?”
“If you can find some chocolate-covered biscuits in the kitchen,” she conceded.
They made their way down the stairs in companionable silence, Severus pausing and holding Minerva’s hand as she stepped over the vanishing step. He let her tickle the pear as she still seemed to find it amusing, her smile lighting up her usually stern features.
With their midnight refreshments tucked under their robes, they made their way the short distance to Severus’ quarters undetected. Minerva tsked as they passed through his office.
“Must you keep those awful flasks and jars on display? You know you are earning quite a reputation among your students.”
“Am I?” Severus said with a hint of mirth in his voice. “Just what are they saying?”
“They say that all those jars on your shelves are the disembodied bowels of past students that melted cauldrons and that you keep them on display as a reminder.”
Severus let the fullness of his laughter reach his voice. “Well, it’s a wonder they keep melting them then, isn’t it?”
Minerva suppressed a giggle. “I also see you have been putting that Self-Grading Quill that I lent you to good use. You know, it was just supposed to be for occasional use, Severus. The students are complaining about how hard it is to get a good mark in your class, and I warned you about how overzealous that quill gets with red ink.”
“I know Minerva, but really, I get to the point where I just can’t read another foot of parchment about the properties of moonstone or the differences between asphodel and wormwood.”
“Assign shorter papers.”
Severus turned from pouring their drinks, catching a glint of amusement in Minerva’s eyes as she bit into a biscuit.
“I have to be tough; the older students don’t respect me. They remember me from when I was still a student here.”
“You have to earn their respect from the very first day, Severus. Every year I still enjoy the looks on the faces of the first-years when I transfigure from my feline form. It’s amazing what you can learn about the students when they think they are waiting for you to arrive. Just don’t be too hard on them.”
She reached out her hand to him, urging him to sit next to her. Severus took her hand in his—her paper-thin skin belying their softness and warmth—and kissed her palm. Minerva’s arms encircled him, and he leaned into her kisses, letting the harshness of the day fade around him.
Everything had seemed to fade around him. He had been so cold, and now there was warmth. A flicker of consciousness returned, and Minerva was standing over him, healing his wound.
Author's Notes: Exactly 750 words written for the LJ Community Romancing the Wizard's "Bring Out Your Dead!" Challenge. My prompt was, "Very First Orgasm."
Thank you to gelsey for proofreading.