What Severus loves about Hermione: her hair, her knees, her frown of concentration
and the way she sticks them out when she leans against the counter to flirt with him, although she vehemently claims it’s not flirting
her solutions to impossible problems,
Never mind. Everything. Everything about Hermione bewitches him.
When they make love (and when they fuck, but that’s a different thing altogether) Severus sometimes can’t breathe when he registers whose hair is spread out over his pillow, whose nipples are hard against his chest, whose little fingers roll the silly Muggle condom over his erection. (Of course she insists it be done this way and her on the potion to boot. Severus doesn’t want children yet either, but he thinks it’s overkill. But he knows better than to voice that aloud to her.)
He kisses her, then, and she laughs and tries to twist away, to get the stupid Johnny on him without catching any pubic hairs in the process, but he doesn’t let her go. Sometimes he’s overwhelmed by her (by everything) and can’t stop himself.
He slides in, careful, and she protests, saying she won’t break, just do it, she wants him, and her voice is half-breath, half-whine and god he loves that voice (it’s part of everything).
But he can’t be rough. He’s done rough, in the past, with others, when he’s never cared so much before. He wants to care for her all the time, this woman in his arms, to hold her close as they make love (as they fuck, whichever) and he’s torn when she wants it rough, torn between breaking her and giving her what she wants.
Lust wins out. It always does in the end, and Hermione gets what she wants, and she never breaks. Severus thrusts into her, bracing himself against the pillow so he can watch her face as she touches herself below him and comes, gasping, her hair tangling like smoke on the pillow, her pink lips parted, gasping, little white teeth like—and oh god there, she’s touching him between his legs and he’s coming, too, into the stupid Muggle thing when he should be coming inside her, filling her with his essence and fuck never mind now it’s too much...
and he slips out, rolls off, trying to breathe, and he reaches over and touches her face, takes a fistful of her hair.
She’s his anchor. His harbour of tranquility and beacon of light and hope.
The Muggle thing goes into the rubbish bin and Severus is up and asking her if he can bring her anything. She stretches like her thrice-damned kneazle, her breasts heaving with the great breath she takes, and she smiles and asks for a glass of water. He pushes her hair from her face and just holds his hand on her forehead for a moment, marvelling at her, at Hermione, at this woman of his.
He laughs at himself as he goes to fetch the water.
This wasn’t supposed to happen. Severus had his potions research and his hard-won solitude, and then she blustered into his life once more and ruined it all.
Severus never knew shattered dreams could make a man so happy.
He hands her the water—she’s up and has her robe on; has presumably cleaned herself as she likes to do afterward—and he flops onto the bed, still naked, his prick deflated between his thighs. She drinks the water down, watching him the whole time, and smiles down at him and wonders aloud if he could go another round.
Severus groans and says she’ll be the death of him.
* * *
It’s a Tuesday when she takes the test, her little hands shaking, and he promises he’ll stay right by the door until she’s finished.
It doesn’t take long and they wait together. The Muggle stick thing and the little flask of (probably far more reliable, Severus thinks) potion sit side by side on the table. Severus tries to speak once, and Hermione twice, but mostly they just watch and wait.
I’m sorry, he finally says when the stick goes plus and the potion turns green.
I'm sorry - a recurring theme in his life.
She starts to say something again, but her lower lip trembles, and she turns away, and Severus just takes her and pulls her from her chair into his lap and she breaks, then, though he’s been so careful all along, so careful with his girl. Strong woman to everyone else, but Severus knows. He knows her, has seen her break like this before, rarely, and only ever in private.
When she finishes crying, she raises her pink-rimmed eyes and says they’ll do the logical thing, of course, they’ll get rid of it.
Severus’s heart sinks, and he doesn’t know why. He nods and smoothes her hair back, puts his hand on her forehead.
Yes, he says, we’ll take care of it.
* * *
In the end, they sit in the waiting room for an hour, and when Hermione’s name is finally called, neither of them can face it, and they return home, silent the whole way. They get into bed together with all of their clothes still on and Severus frowns and says they’ll have to get married, probably.
Hermione is having none of it. She’ll get married when she damn well pleases, she says, and not a day before. She puts her hand on her belly and splays out her fingers. This was never part of the grand plan but plans change and this feels right.
Severus moves towards her, lifts her blouse, and kisses the still-flat belly that holds the child he never wanted, until now, that is.
* * *
What Severus loves about Hermione:
When she breaks down in front of Ron and Harry, her two best mates, she shouts at them and befuddles them with logic. She defends Severus (and her decision to keep their child) like a lioness defends her cub.
She is fire and passion, she is love and redemption.
She is his warrior queen and delicate rose rolled into one.
When she breaks down in front of Severus because her belly’s getting too big or her feet ache, or she’s just overwhelmed with the task of creating and nurturing life, she lets him take her in his arms and she cries, and she falls asleep in his arms and her breath shudders, humid against his shoulder, and her hair catches in the corner of her mouth and Severus’s heart is so full he feels he might break, too.