Chapter 1: Mistake
Hermione loved her job as an Unspeakable. Every day brought a new challenge and kept her mind busy. After leaving Hogwarts with seven NEWTs, she received job offers from most departments within the Ministry. She had spent a long time deciding between Department of Magical Creatures and the Department of Mysteries, but in the end decided being stuck behind a desk fighting for creature rights would not be engaging enough for her.
After working for the Ministry for the last five years, she knew she had made the right choice. While she still loved to read and spent days researching, growing up with Harry Potter had left her with a need for adventure; something fighting the Wizengamot just couldn’t give her. At least as an Unspeakable she was able to go out into the field occasionally. The hardest part of her job was not being able to tell her friends what she worked on all day, especially when it was something really exciting like today. Luckily, she could talk to a few of them who had security clearance to enter the Department of Mysteries.
Like Minister for Magic, Kingsley Shacklebolt, who was currently down in her office looking at a new item that had been given to her two days ago. Bill Weasley had brought it in on Wednesday. After the final battle, he had started working for the Ministry as an Unspeakable. Kingsley had to pay him handsomely to get him to leave Gringotts, but the Ministry was in desperate need of curse breakers and Kingsley trusted Bill. He had dealing with a cave in Scotland when he found the amulet and a tome that, from what Hermione had discovered in the last two days, covered the powers of the amulet.
According to the book, the amulet was created by Morgana Le Fey when she was practising Necromancy. The power of the amulet was palpable, even when you weren’t touching it. Magic seemed to pulse from it. The amulet was about half the size of Hermione’s palm, and was made from goblin-wrought silver. From everything Hermione had read, it was safe to touch, but you had to be careful what you said while touching it.
“Well, Hermione, what is it you wanted to show me that was so urgent?” Kingsley asked as he looked over the items on her desk.
“This appears to be the amulet of Morgana le Fey so she could resurrect people.” Hermione explained. “From what I read, it is not like the Resurrection Stone. As you know, that only brings back a shadow of the person. According to this book, this brings the person back in perfect health. It clears them of all magical ailments or any curses they might have been under.”
“Fascinating. And scary if it falls into the wrong hands.” Reaching down, Kingsley went to touch the amulet before pausing to look at Hermione. With her nod of approval, he picked it up. “It can bring anyone back from the dead?”
“Correct.” Hermione replied. “I have not been able to find anything that states the person has to have died recently. She wrote about bringing back her sister who had died thirty years before.”
“Thirty years? And her sister was healthy?” Kingsley asked, looking amazed. He turned the amulet over in his hands.
“According to this tome she was. Morgana’s sister is who wrote it. She said she was free from the blood curse that was placed upon her by her father’s neighbour.”
“So it could bring back anyone? I could say ‘I want to resurrect Severus’? Or even Vol-”
“Fuck!” Hermione screeched, cutting him off before he could finish saying the Dark Lord’s name.
“You have to Apparate us to the Shrieking Shack. Now ,” she yelled.
Her heart was pounding. They needed to get to Hogsmeade right away.
“Hermione, what is going on?”
“I’ll tell you in a second. We have to go. Now . Kings, you’re the only one that can Apparate from here.”
Damn Ministry and their rules.
She knew Kingsley had no idea what was going on, and hoped he trusted her enough to do what she said and not ask questions. Wrapping her in his arms, he dropped the amulet on her desk before turning on the spot.
Landing a few hundred meters from the shack, Hermione took off towards the dilapidated building at a run. Kings pulled on Hermione’s arm, urging her to slow down.
“Hermione, tell me what is happening,” he demanded.
Hermione didn’t break stride. They had no time to spare. “I told you that amulet is old. Older than the standard spells we use now. The tome explained how the amulet works. All you have to do it think of the person you want to bring back, picture them in your mind, and speak their name.”
“Are you telling me I just brought Severus back from the dead?” Kingsley blanched.
“Yes.” Finally he gets it.
“My sentiments exactly.”
“But he died six years ago.”
“I know he did. I was bloody there wasn’t I? I told you it can bring back people who were long dead,” Hermione explained.
They were getting closer, and while she still ran towards the shack, Hermione wanted to turn and run the other way. What if something had gone wrong? Would she see his broken body, blood pouring from his mangled neck? She still had nightmares about his death.
Lifting her wand, Hermione blast the door to the shack open. Sitting on the floor, exactly where he had died, and not looking any happier than he had last time she had seen him, was Severus Snape.
Severus’ eyes popped open. He looked around, terror gripping his heart. The last thing he remembered he was laying in a pool of his own blood, pain tearing through his body, as he looked into Harry Potter’s eyes and gave the brat his memories. Now he was clean, pain free, and alone in the shack. Looking down, he took in the lack of blood before realizing it was light out. The Dark Lord had set that blasted snake on him at night. How long had he been asleep for? And where was all the blood? Had he survived and Potter just left him here to rot? While he could believe that Potter and Weasley would do that, he couldn’t imagine Ms. Granger doing it. Damn Gryffindor had a bleeding heart.
He thought he was a dead man; no one survives an attack from Nagini. He thought he heard footsteps coming. Or was it just noises from the old shack? Was someone coming to take him to Azkaban? Or were they coming to verify he was dead and finish the job Voldemort started?
Suddenly, the door to the room was blast open and he jumped to his feet. Glaring, he saw Hermione Granger and Kingsley Shacklebolt walk in. Severus took in their appearance as they stood there, staring at him. How is it that they are both so clean? Hermione was an emaciated, dirty thing last time I saw her. Wasn’t that only a few seconds ago? I swear she looks older too. Kingsley looks the same though. What is going on?
“Hello, Severus,” Kingsley said, his deep voice cut through his musing. “You must have a lot of questions.”
Severus nodded to Kingsley at his greeting. “I do. Is the battle over? Are you taking me to Azkaban?”
“There are a great many things that have happened since I last saw you,” Kingsley said. “First, you are not going to Azkaban. Why don’t we go get tea and we can tell you all about it.”
“How about you tell me now?” Severus said, giving him a hard stare. “Last thing I remember, you and your band of misfits broke into Hogwarts and tried to kill me. Or do you not remember McGonagall saying that?”
“Damn, I forgot about that” Hermione started as the two men turned to her. Oops. I thought I said that in my head. “Hello, Professor Snape.”
“Ms. Granger, either tell me what is going on, or kindly shut your mouth,” Severus snapped. He didn't have time for niceties. He needed to know what was going on.
Hermione gave Kingsley a look that Severus couldn’t decipher before turning back to him. Hermione was half amused, and half terrified of the man, if she was being honest with herself. How many times had she wished he survived the war? And now he was in front of her, alive and (from what she would tell) well. It seemed even death couldn’t make him nicer though.
“I will tell you everything, Professor, but we can’t talk about it here,” Hermione said. “This building isn’t secure.”
Hermione wanted them to get out of the shack as soon as possible. What if someone had noticed the Minister and her running into the shack? The press could be here at any moment.
“Severus, would you mind if we went to a safe location?” Kingsley asked. “Hermione and I will give you a wand oath to settle your mind about us attacking you or taking you to Azkaban.”
Severus thought it over. He realized he still had his wand on him, he could feel it in his arm holster where it always was. He was confident he could take these two in a dual if he had to. Obviously, something was going on, and as much as he didn’t want to, he trusted the two people before him. Ms. Granger may be a pain in his arse, but she was as honest and loyal as a Hufflepuff. And Kingsley was a Hufflepuff and had always supported him during Order meetings.
“Fine. I want the oath.” Better safe than having to kill them.
After they gave their oaths, magic swirling around all of them as it took, Kingsley spoke. “Hermione, it isn’t safe for him to be seen in the magical community. You live in the Muggle world, can we go to your house?”
Just what I want, an irate Snape in my house. I may be in the Muggle world, but Kingsley’s place is Secret-Kept, just like mine. It is not like anyone we don’t trust can get in there. I bet Kings hasn’t cleaned his house and that is why we can’t go there.
“Of course,” she replied.
“Perfect. I have to go back to the Ministry and have my secretary clear my schedule. I will meet you there in a few minutes.”
Turning towards Professor Snape, she gave him a tentative smile. “I will have to take you by side-along Apparation, sir. Would you allow me to?”
Severus hesitated, he hated giving up control. Did he really trust an eighteen year old girl to not splinch him? He looked down as she stretched her hand out to him. “If you splinch me, I will hex you.”
Hermione chuckled. “I haven’t splinched anyone in seven years.” At his raised eyebrow she continued, “I promise to be extra careful, sir.”
With a deep sigh, he took her hand. “You better be.”
Happy Birthday to our favourite snarky professor!
The smell of saltwater assaulted his nose and his hair began to whip across his face as they stopped spinning and Hermione released his hand. Opening his eyes he took in the ocean view before him. They seemed to be on top of a short cliff, as he could hear the crashing waves close below but they weren’t on the beach. Turning his head, he saw nothing but a few low bushes and rolling green hills behind him.
“Hermione Granger’s house may be found at Blacksea Cottage, Cornwall,” Hermione whispered in his ear.
Within seconds, a two-story stone house appeared before him. The front of the house faced the ocean, and Severus couldn’t help but wonder if Hermione had picked this home because it looked like something out of a Jane Austen novel. It was a boxy house, with large windows flanked by emerald green shutters, and a matching door. There were four large chimneys that sat at either end of the house, and he could just make out a set of French doors on one side that led to a garden. Without conscious thought, he started walking towards the garden, noticing some potion ingredients were growing.
“Would you like to take tea in the garden, Professor?” Hermione asked.
She couldn’t help but smile as she watched Snape take in her potions garden. When she first moved into the house after Hogwarts, she had Neville come over and plant everything she would need to make her own potions. It wasn’t visible from here, but she had a greenhouse in the back garden, as well as a potions lab that she had built in a basement below it.
Severus gave a small shake of his head. For a moment he had forgotten why he had come to Ms. Granger’s home. He was here to get answers, not to inspect her plants. When he had become Headmaster last year, he had to give up brewing. There just wasn’t enough time between running the school, trying to control the Carrow twins, and being at Voldemort’s beck and call. His fingers were itching to make something, even if it was just a simple boil cure.
“In the house is fine,” he said.
As she took a step towards her home, he noticed her hair suddenly stopped blowing in the breeze, but his was still whipping around. Walking towards her, he felt the tingle of her wards, and the wind ceased. Confused he turned to her.
“How did you get the wind to stop?” he asked.
Pausing she tried to figure out what he was asking. “Oh, I forgot about that,” she said. “I modified some weather charms and added them to the wards on my property. I wanted to grow my own food and potion ingredients, but the weather wasn’t conducive to everything I needed.”
Pointing towards the far side of the house she continued. “That is my kitchen garden over there. I have sections that receive full sun and dry soil, and some that need wetter soil,” she said, her words coming out faster. “Every plant bed has a charm around it for optimal growing conditions. I didn’t want to use magic in the soil because, as you are well aware, it can have negative impacts when brewing. So Filius, Professor Filtwick, helped me put permanent weather charms around the boxes, but they don’t touch the soil so everything I grow is untainted.” She shrugged.
“The wind was bothersome when I wanted to eat outside,” she said. “So I added that charm to the wards about a month after I moved in.”
Severus watched as she explained everything like it was no big deal. He had spent time at the homes of Potion Masters around the world who didn’t have anything close to what she had around her gardens. How was it possible that she was able to do all this during the middle of a war? He knew she had been living in a tent with Idiot One and Idiot Two. And when did she get on a first name basis with Flitwick? Wait, ‘a month after I moved in…’ how was that possible? Didn’t the war just end? And she said she hadn’t splinched anyone in seven years. She was only eleven seven years ago. How could she have Apparated?
“Enough about your damn garden. I want to know what is going on!” Severus snapped.
Blood rushed to her cheeks as he chastised her. “Of course, sir,” she said. “Come in, and I will explain everything when Kingsley gets here.”
Thank you to everyone that has commented out left kudos. I love them!
Chapter 4: Veritaserum
After I posted chapter 3, I realized those first chapters are way too short for my liking... Even if they are all at natural stopping points.
To make up for it, here is chapter 4.
Walking in, Severus took in the home. They entered into a long hallway that went all the way to the door at the back of the home. There was a staircase just to the right that led to the upper level. Glancing through the open door beside the last step, he noticed a room filled with floor to ceiling bookshelves. At least the swot has one good room. It reminded him of his sitting room at Spinner’s End. To the left, there was an opening to another room. Poking his head in, he noticed it was open all the way to the back wall. It was set up as a sitting room and had two fireplaces that were currently empty. She had grouped a couch and two armchairs around the far fireplace, but the one nearest one had a large chaise lounge that was big enough for three people. Where a normal person would have wainscoting or a chair rail around the room, Ms. Granger had built in bookshelves that wrapped around the room.
As he followed towards the back of the house, he noticed a couple of doors that led off the hallway to what he assumed was a bathroom, cupboard and basement. The end of the hall opened on either side. There was another opening to the sitting room from back here, and to the right, a large kitchen with a table that sat eight. Out the back door, he could see a utility room with a Muggle washer and dryer, a rack of coats, and a few pair of muddy boots. I wonder who she lives with. There is no way all those boots fit her.
Hermione hurried to the stove to make tea as Severus followed her. She could tell he was taking in the details of her home and hoped he liked it. She had modelled her library after the sitting room in his home. She had gone there are he died to clean it out and fell in love with it. Well, not the dirtiness of it, but the wall to wall books. She had even put in a hidden door from her kitchen to the library as he had.
“If you want to have a seat at the table, I will get tea ready,” Hermione said. “Hopefully, Kingsley will be back soon.”
“Thank you, Ms. Granger,” he replied as he moved to sit down.
An awkward silence filled the room as she made the tea. She had a hundred questions for him, but was holding them all in. Severus watched her make tea and hoped Kingsley would hurry. He had a lot of things he needed answered. And he was feeling overwhelmed and wanted to go to bed even though, according to the clock on her wall, it was only six pm.
The kitchen fireplace roared with green flames and Kingsley stepped out right as she was setting the milk on the table. Spelling the soot from his clothes, Kingsley turned and shot a spell at the fireplace.
“I closed your Floo connection, Hermione,” Kingsley said. “We can’t have anyone coming in. I had my secretary send a note Harry letting him know you and I were going to be working late at your place tonight. I know you normally have dinner with the Potter’s on Fridays.” Kingsley smiled as he sat down next to her. “He probably thinks we have started having an affair again.”
Severus watched as Hermione blushed and took a sip of her tea. Ms. Granger slept with Kingsley?
“As much as I love you Kings, I think one failed try at a relationship is enough.” Hermione nudged him with her shoulder.
“I agree, love,” Kingsley said as he turned to Severus. “Now, we have a lot to tell you.”
“Yes, you do.” Severus took in the looks on their faces and, while he kept his face calm, his insides were crawling with anxiety.
“What is the last thing you remember?”
“I was bleeding out from a snake bite on the floor of the Shrieking Shack. Ms. Granger was there with Potter and Weasley. How long ago was that?”
Kingsley and Hermione exchanged a look. Kingsley went to answer him but stopped when Hermione mutter a quick ‘hang on’ and moved to a cupboard door. Severus had a quick glance of her pantry before she returned with a vial filled with a clear liquid.
“Professor, this is Veritaserum,” she said, turning towards Kingsley. “Don’t look at me like that Kings, you know I keep some in the house, legal or not. Professor, I want you to trust us, so I will take some of this if you want me to. We are going to tell you some things that I know will be hard to believe.”
“I will take some too, if you want,” Kingsley said.
Severus reached out his hand and Hermione handed him the vial. Like I am just going to blindly trust this isn’t water. Inspecting the potion, he was impressed by the quality.
Handing it back to her, “I would prefer if you both took three drops.”
Potion swallowed, Hermione and Kingsley started talking. She told him how he had died on the floor of the shack after giving Potter his memories. How Potter had faced the Dark Lord after destroying all but one of the Horcruxes and lived. How Neville the witless wonder had killed Nagini. She described how she felt when Molly Weasley killed Bellatrix before Harry spilt all of his secrets to the Wizarding world, idiot boy!, before killing Voldemort for good.
Severus wanted to interrupt her a few dozen times as she spoke, but he kept his mouth shut. How was it possible he had died but was still alive? Had he been in a coma? But if he was, how did he get back to the shack this afternoon?
“So,” Kingsley said. “That takes us to the end of the Final Battle, as we call it.”
“So that was the second of May. What day is it today? It feels a little warm to be mid-June, but Ms. Granger said she has lived her for over a month.”
With a nod from Kingsley, Hermione answered. “It is the middle of July, Professor.”
“So I was in a coma for over two months?” Severus was trying to process what she had said.
“No, as I said, you died.”
“Do I look dead to you Ms. Granger?” he quipped as he stared at her. “Or is this the afterlife? Am I condemned to hell like my father used to tell me? And this is my punishment; to spend eternity having to listen to you.”
“Severus, stop being an arse to Hermione and let her finish,” Kingsley snapped at him.
“It’s fine, Kings.” Hermione glared at him. “You are not in hell. It is mid-July of 2004. You have been dead for six years until you were accidentally brought back to life today.”
“What kind of knuckle dragging idiot accidentally brings someone back to life? Not that I believe you by the way.”
“The ‘knuckle dragger’ as you so nicely put it, would be Kingsley. The current Minister for Magic.” Hermione couldn’t keep the smile off her face as Kingsley looked sheepish.
“To be fair, I didn’t mean to.”
“So,” Severus began. “You two are telling me I have been dead for over six years, but somehow the Minister for Magic practised necromancy without meaning to and brought me back?”
Hermione made a show of taking three more drops of Veritaserum before answering. She explained to him how Bill Weasley had found the amulet and the tome, how she had studied it and realized how dangerous the amulet could be. That it wasn’t safe to keep, even in her department. How when she was explaining it to Kingsley he had picked it up and brought Severus back.
“Honestly Severus, I don’t know what to tell you,” Kingsley told him after Hermione finished. “But you are here now so we have to figure out what we are going to tell people. Because we can’t tell them the truth; It will cause panic.”
“I don’t give a flying fuck what you tell people, Minister. ” Hermione flinched at the disdain dripping from Snape’s mouth and was glad it wasn’t directed at her. “I didn’t ask to come back. You let a silly child play with adult things and this is what happens.”
“I. Am. Not. A. Chidl,” Hermione growled at him. There was no way she was going to let him blame her for this. “I wasn’t playing with anything. I was studying what I think is a dangerous object, and brought it to the attention of the highest ranking official as soon as I knew what it did.”
“You are eighteen yea—”
Hermione cut him off. “I am twenty-four!” Taking a deep breath she stopped yelling. “I am sure it is confusing, but I am not a child anymore Professor. I have been out of school for five years. I am damn good at my job, and you will not blame me for this. Kingsley made a mistake, but does not deserve your ire.”
“A mistake? A mistake is adding the wrong ingredient or stirring the wrong way. HE BROUGHT ME BACK TO LIFE!”
“I know he did. And I am sorry. But unless you want me to Avada you right now, there is nothing we can do about it.”
The only sound in the room was Snape’s heavy breathing. He was furious. He didn’t want to be attacked by Nagini, but he also never meant to, or wanted to live past the war. He was tired and he deserved death.
“Professor, if you plan on ever going in public, you will have to stick to whatever story we come up with,” Hermione spoke to him calmly. “Do you have any ideas that would be believable?”
Taking a few deep breaths, Severus tried to calm down. He knew it wasn’t her fault, but he was confused and wanted to lash out. “Well I would say to just tell people I was in hiding and decided to come out, but is it even safe for me to be in public? I killed Dumbledore.”
“Thanks to Harry telling everyone your memories, you were given a court hearing,” Kingsley told him. “Dumbledore’s portrait backed up everything Harry said you did and confirmed it was all done while in the service of the Order. Officially, the Ministry posthumously cleared you of all charges and awarded you an Order of Merlin, First Class.”
“You are considered a hero by everyone, Professor. I think only Harry is more beloved than you are,” Hermione added.
Severus didn’t answer her, just sat in shock at what they had told him. Could it be true that he wasn’t hated by everyone? Hermione and Kingsley were being nice to him, but they could be lying to him. Except they took truth serum.
“Will people believe it if we tell them I was in hiding then decided after six years to return home? Didn’t people see the body?” Severus asked.
“I think people will believe it. Your funeral was done before your charges were cleared so it was a small service. Everyone there can be talked to.”
“Then that is what we will tell people.”
“Severus,” Kingsley gave him a searching look. “You have to be checked out by a healer.”
“Kingsley, we can’t have him just walk into St. Mungo’s after being gone for six years. He would need a reason to go there. It isn’t like magical people go in for annual check-ups.”
“Ms. Granger has a point.” Severus was loath to admit it. “Do you have any ideas?”
Hermione thought for a moment. “Well, you were always close to the Malfoys. Draco just became a healer. He specializes in dark curses and would probably be the best. Plus, I know we can trust him.”
“You trust Draco?” Severus was sure he heard her incorrectly.
“Draco and I both returned to Hogwarts after the war to complete our NEWTs. We worked together on a few projects and talked about the war on multiple occasions. He can still be a prat, but we are friends and I trust him.”
Kingsley stood. “I have to get back to the Ministry. While I agree we have to keep the actual events a secret, there are a few people who will need to be told the truth. Arthur and Harry for one.”
“Why does Mr. Potter need to know?”
“Harry is the Head Auror now, Severus. And Arthur Weasley is the Deputy Minister. Hermione and I will have to work with them to see what we should do about this amulet.”
“And you’re sure telling a boy whose parents died when he was a baby that you are in possession of a magical object that is able to bring them back to life is a good idea?” Maybe Kingsley wasn’t as smart as Severus thought he was.
“I can answer that, Kings,” Hermione said. “Harry has come to terms with his parent’s death. He was able to talk to them before he went to Voldemort, and he is at peace with it. He won’t try to use it.”
“A mature Potter. I will believe it when I see it.” Severus snorted. “So, I am free to leave?”
Hermione and Kingsley looked at each other. She hadn’t thought about that. Where was he going to stay?
“Severus, you are not being held, but where would you go?” Kingsley asked.
“I have a home, don’t I?” Severus replied.
“When they had your hearing, sir, they realized you didn’t have a will. Because you sacrificed so much for Harry, the Wizenagamot deemed Harry as your rightful heir. All of your belongings, including Spinner’s End, were transferred to him.”
“Are you telling me the Potter brat lives in my house?” Snape was fuming.
“No! He has his own house. A few months after you di— after the battle, he received a notice that the whole area your house was in was being sold to developers,” Hermione explained. “We went to your home and packed everything up. He placed everything that was worth saving, mostly your books and potions things, into a vault at Gringotts. He took the money from the sale of your house, and some of your own gold, and started a scholarship for underprivileged children that attend Hogwarts. They use it to make sure the kids aren’t going to school with second hand robes or books.”
“So where will I live? What will I live on?” He asked.
He thought the scholarship was a great idea, Merlin knew he hated going to school with used books in ratty old robes. And as a professor, he saw how mean the children could be to the poor ones. But still, he needed money to live on.
“Your estate receives royalties for the potions you invented or improved still so there is income coming in. That has been replenishing the scholarship fund.” Hermione hesitated not sure how to continue. Clearing her throat, “And, because the court named Harry your heir, he was given the contents of the Prince family vaults. Your grandparents had a clause that you couldn’t inherit it, but your heir could. Harry left most of it alone, but he did donate a sizeable amount in your name to Hogwarts. He gave towards replacing the potion related books that were damaged in the library, and to repair the parts of the dungeons what were damaged.”
“And Potter will just give me everything back?” he asked.
The Prince family wasn’t as well off as the Malfoy or Black families, but he knew the vault would be enough for at least one person to live on and not have to work. Well, they used to have enough. Now that Harry had donated to Hogwarts, who knew how much was left.
“Of course he will! He has enough money from his parents and Sirius. Not to mention the salary he and Ginny make.”
“That still doesn’t solve the problem of where I am going to live.”
“Well, Hermione has two spare rooms upstairs, Severus. I am sure she wouldn’t mind you staying here until you figure it out,” Kingsley offered.
“He’s right. I don’t mind at all.” Would have been nice to be asked privately first though, Kings. Way to put me on the spot.
“Thank you. I will need clothes though.”
“I will leave you two to get settled. Hermione, I am going to go seal your office. Come see me when you get to work on Monday.”
“Thanks, Kings.” Getting up, Hermione hugged him goodbye before kissing him on the cheek.
Chapter 5: Morning After
After Kingsley was gone, Hermione took Snape on a tour of the house. Upstairs there were three bedrooms. The master was the same size as the sitting room below with large walk in closets and a bathroom that was clearly magical. ‘I decided to spoil myself’ she had told him when he noticed the bathtub that was large enough for six and even sported a waterfall in the far corner. The shower was large enough for four. He noticed the both of them had rock floors instead of the tile that was laid around the rest of the bathroom.
The other two bedrooms were large for a Muggle house, and shared another magically enlarged bathroom. The bath would only seat two, but it had jets and Severus couldn’t wait to try it out. He picked the room that looked out over the ocean. The white walls and light blue accents were a far cry from the dark decor of his rooms at Hogwarts, but he thought they matched the house.
“Would you like to go shopping for clothes and get something to eat?” Hermoine asked. “We can Apparate to London, or there is a town, St. Ives, not too far away.”
“I know we are in Cornwall, Ms. Granger, but can you tell me a little more about where we are located?” Severus asked.
“Of course. We are a little north of the village of Zennor on the north coast of Cornwall. St. Ives is about four miles away.”
“I think St. Ives will be fine for dinner and shopping for tonight. As soon as I am able to access my vault, I will pay you back for tonight and any other expenses. As well as rent until I find a place of my own.”
“I will let you pay me back for the clothes, but I don’t need rent money,” she said. “The house is paid for. You can just chip in for groceries and help me with cooking.”
“I can do that.” He grabbed her offered hand and allowed her to Apparate them to St. Ives.
“Shopping or food first, professor?”
“I am no longer your professor. You can call me Severus. And food first, please.”
“You can call me Hermione if you like. Indian okay?”
After Snape, Severus , was in bed for the night Hermione made a cup of chamomile tea and thought about the day. When she had shown Kingsley the amulet, she thought that figuring out what to do with it would be the hardest part. How was she supposed to deal with being responsible for a human that was brought back to life? Even if it was for just a few days before he left her house.
Sighing, she placed the cup on the table and went to the fireplace. One thing at a time, Granger. Throwing Floo powder into the fireplace she stuck her head in and yelled “Malfoy Manor!”
As soon as her head stopped spinning, a small house elf appeared. “How’s may I be helping yous?”
“Hello. May I please speak to Draco?”
Without a word, the elf was gone and Draco appeared.
“Hermione?” he asked, shock on his face.
“Hello, Draco. Are you working tomorrow?” she asked.
“No. Astoria and my mother are gone for the weekend so I am home with Scorpius. Do you need something?”
“I do. I have a top secret project I am working on for the Minister and we need a healer with your training,” she told him. “It will only take a few minutes of your time and you can bring Scorpius. Can you come over tomorrow?”
“It can’t wait until Monday?” Draco asked. “Or I can get my boss to come help you. I was really looking forward to spending the whole weekend with my son.”
“It really can’t wait, and I only trust you with this, Draco.”
Hermione watched as he swelled with pride at her declaration of trust. “Okay, I will be there around eleven tomorrow. What is your Floo address?”
Reaching her hand out, she gave him a paper with her information. “It’s secret kept, so please make sure you are alone when you come through and destroy the paper.”
“See you tomorrow, Hermione.”
She watched as he used his wand to light the paper as her head was whipped from the room.
It took Severus a few moments after he woke up to figure out where he was. He lay in bed for a few minutes, bright sun shining on his face, thinking about the previous day before the scent of coffee coming from the kitchen pulled him from bed. As he stood and stretched, he was shocked that he had no aches and pains from his sleep. Before he died, he awoke in pain every morning. Most of it was lingering nerve damage from repeatedly being exposed to the Cruciatus curse.
After getting cleaned and dressed for the day, he made his way into the kitchen where Hermione was just finishing up a pan of fried eggs.
“Good Morning, Severus. Did you sleep well?” Hermione asked.
“I did. That mattress is very comfortable,” Severus replied.
“I’m glad. I wasn’t sure what you liked for breakfast, so I just made coffee, eggs, and toast. But I can make you tea or something else.”
“This is perfect. Thank you.”
They ate in silence for a while until Hermione spoke. “Draco is going to come over around eleven. His wife is out of town, so he is going to bring his son with him.”
“Draco has a son?” he asked.
“He does. Little Scorpius is a few months old,” she told him.
“I remember when Draco was a few months old.” The idea that Draco had a baby made him feel old.
“Have you always been close to the Malfoys?” she asked, trying to imagine what Severus would look like with a baby in his arms.
“Lucius and I met when I was a first year and he a fifth,” he said. “He was the one that introduced me to the Dark Lord. When Draco was born, he and Narcissa named me godfather.”
“So, what was Draco like as a child?”
“You went to school with him Hermione. I am sure you remember. He was that way from about age five on. Before that, he was a sweet boy.”
Hermione tried to imagine Draco as sweet, but couldn’t. They were friendly with each other now, but he was not a warm and fuzzy kind of guy. Taking a sip of tea, she asked “Have you noticed anything strange this morning? Any lingering side effects from what happened?”
“You mean from dying then coming back to life six years later?”
Hermione blushed. “Yes. I mean that.”
“I feel better, physically, than I did before I died. Also, I don’t feel as angry as I used to be. Even the thought of Harry Potter doesn’t make me mad. Before if I heard his name, I felt rage.”
Taking notes, Hermione wrote down everything he said. “I want to see if this matches up with anything in the tome we found,” she explained. “I haven’t finished with it yet, but I skimmed it and didn’t see any side effects listed.”
“Are you able to bring the book here so I can look at it?” Severus asked.
“I should be able to. I will talk to Kingsley about it. If not, he should be able to get you access to the Floo in the DoM so you can go in with me.” Seeing that he was finished eating and they still had a couple of hours until Draco arrived she asked, “Would you like a tour of the gardens? Or we can go to the beach. It is a lot closer than it looks.”
“I think the gardens first.”
Severus was impressed with not only her kitchen garden, but her potions garden too. She grew enough here that she could work as a full time potioneer if she wanted to. Bending down, he looked at the aconite.
“Hermione, this is excellent quality,” Severus said, not hiding the awe in his voice. “What do you do with it? Sell it?”
“No. I brew Wolfbane every month for children that were bitten by Greyback,” Hermione told him. “Actually, I need to give it back to you, but in one of your books there was a recipe to improve it. I have been working on it for the last three years. So far, I have made it taste better, but that is all. I think I am close to improving the shelf life though. I was surprised how many improved recipes you have that you never published”
“Have you sent your findings in to be peer reviewed and published?”
“No. I didn’t know I could, I am not a Master.”
“It doesn’t matter,” Severus explained. He could feel himself getting excited like he always did when there was an advancement in potions. “Anyone can do it. If the reviews are successful, you are given royalties for it. If you want, next time you brew, I can help you.”
“That would be great, Severus,” she said. Excitement filled her at the thought of brewing with someone as experienced as him. “It is a lot of work and if you’re helping it will be so much easier. Obviously my other friends aren’t able to help.”
“I wouldn’t trust them in my lab,” he told her. Hermoine may be bright, but her friends were idiots.
“Draco wouldn’t be too bad,” Hermione said, half to herself and half out loud. “Why didn’t you ever submit your improvements?”
“I was always too busy with students during the school year and the summers were filled with conventions,” he said. “I always thought about it, but never did. Speaking of labs, where do you brew?”
“Oh, I can’t believe I haven’t shown you!” Hermione exclaimed, then led him towards the greenhouse. “I was going to put it in the basement of the house, but I figured if I blew something up, I would rather it ruin just the greenhouse and not my home.”
“Have you ever had something blown up?”
Hermione opened the door to the greenhouse, then another door made of steel, before leading him down a flight of stairs.
“No, but just in case,” she said. “I have it warded as well, but I didn’t want to take a chance.”
Severus walked through the steel door at the bottom of the stairs and stopped as he took in the lab. Just like the main house, Muggle lights turned on and he was able to see everything. He would have to ask her how a secret kept house was able to have electricity. The lab was nothing short of perfection. The walls were made of stone, but Hermione had painted them white. There were exhaust hoods, reminiscent of chemistry labs he had seen on television. The workbench was probably ten foot by five foot, enough to have multiple cauldrons going at the same time. The far wall had built in cubbies that held cauldrons of multiple sizes, at least twenty of them. The fifteen foot wall to the left was a bank of small cubbies, each filled with potion ingredients.
“How do you make sure the ingredients are fresh?” he asked. He had a lot of questions, but that was the one that came out first.
“Each cubby is designed for the specific ingredient. I have charms to alert me when one is going bad, or if I put it back in the wrong place. Here, let me show you.” Moving towards the wall she took out two bottles and placed them in opposite spots. As soon as she moved her hand, a red light appeared around the cubby. “If something is bad, it will light up orange.”
“And you only brew once a month? You have done so much in here.”
“I brew at least once a week. I brew all of my own potions, as well as potions for my friends,” she explained. “I also brew healing potions for the werewolf children, and when I can, I donate potions to the orphanage that was set up, Lupin House. Chopping is a good stress reliever.”
“You are welcome to use the lab anytime you want. I already added you to the wards.” Hermione gave him a shy smile. “Plus, all the potion books, cauldrons, stirring rods, and most of the ingredient jars are yours.”
“Minerva gave me everything that you had at Hogwarts. The new Potions Master they hired wanted to use all of his own equipment so she had no need for it. In return, I brew her Sober-Up potions for the staff.”
“I have been itching to brew for a while. If that makes sense. I didn't get to brew much the last year I was alive. I think I will come down here after Draco leaves.”
“Speaking of Draco, my wards just pinged so it is either him or Kingsley,” she said. “Give me about ten minutes to prepare him before you come up?”
Severus nodded, but didn’t watch her leave. Instead, he turned to examine the lab in more detail. If he could design a lab, this is exactly what he would have created. It was as if she had plucked his dream from his head and brought it to life. The right hand wall, unlike the left, was left blank except for a large trough sized sink, and a small picture frame. Walking towards it, he tried to take it from the wall before realizing it was attached with a sticking charm. Moving closer, he recognized the drawing she had framed.
It was a drawing of a potions lab he had done right before Voldemort came back. He had drawn it up one night when he was sick of students and wanted to quit Hogwarts to brew full time. He had put everything he wished he had into the drawing. No wonder this lab is perfect, she made it to the specifications I created.
Chapter 6: Health
“There you are,” Draco said as he walked out of Hermione’s house, Scorpius on his hip.
“Sorry, I was in my lab,” Hermione told him, reaching out to take Scorpius from him. “Hello, gorgeous. Have you been a good boy?”
“So, what is this top secret thing you need me for?”
“Draco, when I say this is top secret, I mean it. I will have to have you agree to an Unbreakable Vow before I can tell you more.”
“Are you serious, Granger? An Unbreakable? I thought you said you trusted me.”
“I am serious. I can't tell you why now, but after I show you, you will understand.” She paused as she saw his hesitation. “I do trust you. You know I wouldn’t ask you of it if it wasn’t necessary.”
“Fine. We’ll need a bonder though.”
“He is here, just in the lab. Before you see him, I just need a Wizard’s oath that you’ll take the Unbreakable before you leave.”
The magic swirled around them and Scorpius giggled at the colours, trying to reach out and grab them.
“Now spill,” Draco demanded.
Hermione explained all about Morgana’s amulet and Kingsley’s error without telling him who had been brought back. Just that it was someone that died in the war and he would need to give them a full exam to make sure nothing was wrong.
“Hermione, the Ministry has to be careful,” Draco said with concern and worry clear on his face. “What if that fell into the wrong hands? They could bring Voldemort back.”
“I know. It scares me,” Hermione agreed.
“So, who did it bring back? Obviously, someone we know if they died six years ago.”
Hermione looked up at the motion that caught her eye. Behind Draco she could see Severus walking towards them. “It is someone you know. I am going to leave you two to talk. Scorpius and I will be in the house. Take all the time you need.”
She heard Severus’ deep voice call out his name and she heard Draco call out “Uncle Sev?” and a deep sob escape his throat before she closed the door to the back garden. She hoped that they would find her before the exam, she was fascinated to see what the scans would show, but she wanted them to be able to reconnect privately.
More than an hour later, she was laying on the sitting room floor playing with Scorpius when Draco and Severus entered.
“Uncle, this is my son. Scorpius.” Draco said, leaning down to picked him up from the floor. “Scorpius, say hi to your uncle.”
Severus reached out and pulled Scorpius into his arms. “Hello, young man.”
Scorpius was still too young to talk, but he reached out and grabbed Severus by the nose then smiled as the adults laughed.
“He is a good looking baby, Draco. Looks just like you did at that age. Who is his mother?”
“Well done, son. She was a smart girl and never fell into the blood supremacist crowd.”
“We are very happy together, Uncle,” Draco said as he turned to Hermione. “We figured you would want to be present when I do the exam. Merlin forbid you miss an opportunity to take notes.”
“I know you’re teasing me,” Hermione said, “but thank you for letting me be here for it.”
Draco scanned Severus for half an hour, checking for everything he could think of. Occasionally he could stop to write something down, but other than that he cast spell after spell at his godfather.
“Are you done yet, Draco?” Severus was quickly losing his patience. He had always hated going to the doctor or healer.
“Almost, I just want to check something, but you will need to remove your shirt.”
“Why in Salazar’s name do I need to take my shirt off? I don’t know a single diagnostic spell that requires me to be undressed.”
“Stop being a pain in my arse. I want to check something with my own eyes.”
Severus huffed but took his shirt off. Hermione was impressed with the muscles he was hiding under his clothes. He had always seemed so gaunt to her, but nothing in his physique showed that. He was wirey, but the muscles were there. Almost like a body of a swimmer. Looking at him I closer, she realized his skin was no longer sallow, but a healthy shade. His hair was also not the greasy curtains she remembered, but a shiny, healthy black.
“Well, you are in perfect health, Uncle,” Draco said. “And you didn’t age while you were dead. The scans came back that you are thirty nine and a half years old.”
“But?” Severus knew he was holding something back.
“Well, I remember you had a bright purple scar on your back from a hex you said you received from the night you joined the Dark Lord. It’s gone now.”
Draco waved his wand an conjured two full length mirrors so Severus could see. The scar on his back was gone. Strange. “Was there anything else?” he asked.
“Yes, your Dark Mark is gone as well.” Draco rolled up his sleeve to show the light grey mark that was still on his forearm. “See, mine is faint but you can still see it. Look at your arm.”
Severus looked and his arm was unmarked, no trace of a Dark Mark. Glancing at his hands, he noticed he still had the scars from potion accidents throughout the years, cuts and minor burns. “I still have my other scars, so it just cleared up any magical ones?”
“It appears so.”
“Was there anything else, Draco?” Hermione found this intriguing.
The tome had mentioned that all magical injuries or curses would be healed. She had not heard about it healing old curse or hex scars though. Even though most of what Draco had said she had been expecting, this was still interesting to see.
“Well, I ran one test that scans for past curses. It tests the tissues in your skin for the last year and gives me back a reading about what curse you might be under, how long ago it happened, things like that. I am hoping it will help the Aurors be able to test if someone’s was under the Imperious when they are committing crimes. Now, I wasn’t sure if it would work on you since your body was gone for so long, but I did find a few that were attached to you, but have been removed. Some of them were placed on you a long time ago.”
“What were they?” Severus felt his anxiety heighten. Who had cast a long term curse on him?
“Well, the oldest one was from the seventies.”
“From when he was at Hogwarts?” Hermione asked, shocked.
“That is what I am reading.” Draco replied. “It seems to be some kind of beauty charm, but it is not one I am familiar with. It looks to be a simple one, but I am not seeing a break in it. It has been working on you since it was cast.”
Hermione stood up to look at his paper. She recognized the spell at once. It was one she used frequently on her own hair. “That is a spell that makes your hair produce more oil than normal. It is for people like me who have dry hair.” Hermione thought for a moment. “I bet it was one of the marauders. They would have thought it was funny to give you greasy hair.”
“Those fucking arseholes!” Snape was livid. He had spent years washing his hair twice a day and nothing he tried would keep his already fine hair from being so oily. If James Potter and Sirius Black weren’t already dead, he would kill them. “What else?”
“Let’s see. There were just two others. Both from around eighty or eighty-one. And both very powerful. A compulsive and an obsession curse each. The compulsion curse appears to be attached to the caster, while the obsession to someone, or someones, else,” Draco said, frowning at his paper. “I am still working on perfecting these diagnostic scans, so I am not positive.”
“I think you are correct in your assumptions, Draco.” Hermione’s tone was icy.
Severus glanced up at her, confused by her anger. “What are you thinking, Hermione?”
“I think Dumbledore placed both of them on you.”
Draco turned to look at her so fast his neck popped. Rubbing it, he asked, “What makes you think so?”
“Well, the timing for the curses is right around the time Severus came to Dumbledore for protection,” Hermione said and Severus agreed with her. “And, Severus you can be mad at me or Harry if you want, but we watched your memories. Lily Potter was a sweet girl when she was a child, but she cast you aside like you were trash when you made a mistake. After being bullied and humiliated in front of half the school, mind you. Your obsession with her never matched the tone of your memories. It was too strong. I never understood why you would risk your life for her, get tortured for her memory, even fifteen years after she died. It never added up for me.”
Draco glanced at his notes again. “The person who cast them had them tied into your magical core, Uncle. It would have been a powerful person.”
“I think you might be right Hermione,” Severus said.
Severus had listened when Hermione was talking and trying to find that need for Lily, the desire to do anything for her, and it was gone. He still felt the pain of a long lost friend, but nothing like the pull he had towards her before. It was just a dull sadness he felt when he thought about her. Had Dumbledore been manipulating his feelings the entire time?
“Do you still feel the pull towards her? Or a hatred towards James?” Hermione asked.
“I don’t feel the pull towards Lily. But I still hate James.” Severus hesitated, really looking into his feelings so he could explain it. “Somehow it feels different though. It is the same hatred I felt towards Sirius Black. I hate them because they were bullies. I no longer hate him because he married Lily.”
“Did you find anything else, Draco?” Hermione asked.
“The only other thing of note was your nervous system,” Draco replied, looking at Severus. “I know you received more Crucio’s than any Death Eater, but you have no nerve damage at all. It is like you were never hit by the curse at all.”
The trio sat and talked for a long time after Draco was finished, Scorpius sleeping in Snape’s arms. Severus had acted as bonder for the Unbreakable Vow, even though he didn’t think it was necessary. Hermione had made them salad from her garden for lunch, but it was nearing dinner time.
“Before you leave, Draco,” Snape said. “I was wondering if you could help with one more thing.”
“What do you need?”
“We need a cover story for me for the last six years. Do you have any properties outside of England that your family hasn’t used? One that I could have been living at?”
Draco thought for a minute. “I have a property in Iceland that was given to me from the Blacks,” he paused before continuing. “My parents have been on house arrest until last year and I know they haven’t been there since. My father has never been there actually. I went with my mother a few times, but not since my fourth year.”
“That is perfect. May I use that as a cover?” Severus asked.
“Of course. I will command the house elves to lie for you, just in case.”
“Thank you. And thank you for coming over for the exam.”
Draco took his son from Severus before pulling him into a hug. “I am glad you are alive, Uncle. I have missed you.”
Hermione smiled at the two men. “Draco, you, Astoria, and Scorpius are welcome to visit anytime. No invitation required.”
Draco nodded before covering his son’s face with a blanket and Flooing back to Malfoy Manor.
Severus turned to face her. “Hermione, thank you for having Draco over. It means a lot to me that you would open your home for me.”
“Of course! But Severus, don’t start saying ‘thank you’ too often. I will start to think you are a nice person who likes me,” Hermione told him as she winked at him.
“Well, I don’t hate you,” Severus said, stopping for a moment to think. “In fact, I don’t hate Harry anymore either. I feel like all the anger I was carrying around with me before is gone."
Yesterday, he'd let his temper get the better of him. He'd been rude, but he was more frustrated than angry. He was a man that liked control and order. Suddenly waking up and being told he had died then been brought back was jarring. Luckily, it didn't look like Hermione would hold it against him.
“Do you think that is because both of your masters are dead, or do you think you were so angry because of one of the curses on you?” Hermione asked.
“Probably both, but mostly I think it was the curses. When the Dark Lord was gone before, I was still angry. And during that time, Dumbledore wasn’t demanding of my time like he was after the Dark Lord returned,” He paused. “Do you really think Dumbledore would have cursed me like that?”
“I think Dumbledore would do whatever he thought would create the outcome he wanted,” Hermione said. “That includes cursing you to be obsessed with a dead woman and a compulsion to do whatever he asked of you.”
“It sounds like you are not a fan of his,” Severus said, surprised.
He thought all Gryffindors worshipped the man and that rainbows shot out of his arse.
“Well, I know he did what he thought was right for the Wizarding world. But when a man you thought was your leader sends the boy you love like a brother to die with no warning, you tend to not like them. If you hadn’t have given Harry your memories, he wouldn’t have known what to do.” Hermione was getting angry just thinking about it. “Not to mention sending three children out to hunt horcruxes with almost no information.”
Severus didn’t answer her. He sat at the table, lost in his own thoughts as Hermione prepared dinner. After they were done eating, Severus stood, ready to head to the lab.
“Hermione, are there any potions I can make for you today?”
“Ready to get to work?” Hermione asked, making her way to the pantry. “Let’s see. I need hangover, headache, and contraceptive. I am low on all three. Do you know where the recipe books are or do you need me to help?”
“I will be fine, they are easy potions.” Severus hesitated, not sure if they were friendly enough for it to be appropriate. “Speaking of contraceptives… You and Kingsley?” He raised an eyebrow.
“Yes, me and Kingsley,” she said. “It was about three years ago now. We tried dating for about a year, but it didn’t work out. We were both too busy with work to dedicate energy to a relationship with each other. It would have worked if one, or both, of us weren’t workaholics, I think.”
“And now you two are?” he trailed off.
“Now we are friends that dated once,” Hermione shrugged. “Other people don’t believe us, but we both know we’ll never get back together.”
Severus was just finishing up the last potion when Hermione entered the lab. She said nothing, just started putting the cooled potions into vials, spelling the labels onto them. Thinking back to the last time he watched her in a potion lab, he was surprised she wasn’t assaulting him with questions. Looking at her, he could see she had grown up and was no longer a child but he was having a hard time wrapping his head around it.
Hermione had always been one of the boys at Hogwarts, not just mentally, but physically as well. There had been nothing feminine in her straight hips, flat chest, or wild hair. Severus didn't think anyone at school realized she was female until the Yule Ball. Her transformation had been shocking enough that she was even the talk of the staff room the next day.
To look at her now, you would never be able to tell. Her hips had spread, and her chest developed. She was still thin, but had gentle curves in all the places he liked. Watching her, he couldn’t help but notice that her denims hugged her arse and showed off that, while small, it was a great shape. Severus turned his eyes back to the contraceptive potion, extinguishing the flame. It wouldn’t do for Hermione to catch him checking her out. Am I checking her out or just cataloging the difference? Damn, I was checking her out. It has been too long since I’ve been laid. Do I count the six years in my dry spell?
“Thank you for brewing for me, Severus,” Hermione said.
Her words broke him from his inner thoughts. “You’re welcome. Thank you for allowing me to brew. And…”
He hesitated, not sure how to continue with what he wanted to say.
“And for… Well, thank you for letting me stay here. And for bringing Draco over today. It was great to see him,” he said.
“You’re welcome. I was being honest when I said he and his family are welcome to come over anytime as long as you are here. I know you will want to find your own place soon, but you are welcome to stay as long as that takes.”
“You don’t mind having a guest in your home?” Severus had hated it when Wormtail was sent to live with him. He figured Hermione must feel the same way.
“Not at all.” Hermione magicked the empty cauldrons in front of her to the sink and jumped up to sit on the workbench. “It is nice having someone else in the house. I have lived alone for a long time so it is a welcome change.”
“It is a large house for one person. When did you move in?” he asked.
Severus wanted to ask how she could afford to buy a place this big, but thought better of it. She had mentioned the house was paid for, but he couldn’t figure out how one as young as her could have enough money to do it.
“I moved in a few months after I left Hogwarts.” Hermione could tell Snape had wanted to ask her more about the house but wasn’t going to so she gave him more information. “This place used to belong to the Black family. Sirius’ uncle Alphard left it to him. After the war, Harry and I went through the full contents of his vaults and properties. He said he didn’t need the four houses that had been left to him so he offered this one to me.
“It wasn’t much more than a shell of a house filled with old things. No one had lived here for about twenty years. So I ripped everything up and remodeled it. I was able to put in everything that I wanted, Muggle appliances like I am comfortable with and wards on everything. Neville came and helped me plant the gardens.”
“Neville Longbottom?” Severus was surprised he could hold a shovel, let alone create the gardens around her house.
“ Yes , Neville Longbottom.” She glared at him and spoke in an icy tone. “Neville may have struggled in your class, mostly because you were an arse to him, but he is a genius at Herbology. He just quit the Aurors to apprentice with Madame Sprout.”
“I am not used to thinking of your class as adults yet,” Severus said.
That was as close to an apology as she was going to get.
“I can’t imagine how hard this must be on you, Severus,” Hermione said. “But you will have to accept that six years have passed and even the first years you had as Headmaster have finished their NEWTs and are adults now.”
Severus thought about that for a minute. “I would say that makes me feel old, but since I didn’t age while I was dead, I guess I still feel thirty nine.”
“It’s strange. When you were my professor I always thought of you as so much older than I was. Now, you are the same age or younger than some of my closest friends. Even if you had aged the six years.”
“Well, everyone else will still think I am forty-five, so I guess it doesn’t change much.”
“Magical humans, that don’t have to fight in wars, live to be around a hundred and fifty, so six years don’t make too much of a difference in the long run.”
“True.” Severus cleared his throat. He didn’t want to talk about his age and coming back to life anymore today. “This lab, you built it from my drawing?”
Hemrione’s face lit up at the change of subject. “I did. I found it in one of your potion books and I thought it was perfect so I built the lab to your specifications. And I have to say, it has been a dream to brew in here.”
“Did you do all the building and renovations yourself?” he asked.
“No, while I can do wonderful magic, I didn’t just want to conjure or transfigure everything,” she said. “Since this place is secret-kept and Unplottable I couldn’t hire Muggle contractors so I talked to Ms. Figg, do you remember her?”
“The crazy cat lady from the Order?”
“Yes.” She chuckled at his description. “I asked her if she knew any squibs that I could hire. Then I used the money I received from the Order of Merlin to complete the house, greenhouse and the lab. On days when magic was needed, I would come over and do it while they worked. It was nice when they didn’t question me when I did spells. Or when I magically enlarged the bathroom.”
“What kind of magic did you do while they were building?” Severus asked.
Most people he knew were Purebloods and lived in old manors so he had never talked to someone who had gone through the process she was describing. It was good information to know because he would have to do it to his next place. He had left Spinner’s End as a Muggle dwelling, not thinking it was worth the effort of improving.
“Things like channeling magic into the walls so I can have electricity. And I imbued wards into all the walls and floors. Sound dampening spells, air freshening spells, temperature control, permanent dust repelling spells. Things to make life easier.”
“When I buy a place would you be willing to show me what you did?” He hated to ask for help, but that kind of magic was beyond anything he had tried.
“I will be more than happy to assist you.” She hesitated for a moment. She wasn’t used to this nicer version of Snape yet and wasn’t sure if it would be welcomed. Biting the bullet she continued. “If you want, I wouldn’t mind going house shopping when you are ready.”
“Ms. Granger, it sounds like you are hoping we will become friends and you want to do things friends do together,” Severus said, keeping a straight face. If she really wanted to be his friend she would have to get used to sarcasm.
“Actually, I only wanted to go so I could hex all the toilets to pinch your arse,” she deadpanned.
Severus gave her a large smile. “Well, you are smart enough to understand my humor.”
“ Professor,” she stressed his title. “It almost sounds like you just agreed to be my friend.” She smiled at him.
“I’ll never admit it.” He gave her a half smile. “You mentioned an Order of Merlin. Was that from your actions during the war?”
“Yes. Harry, Ron, and I were given First Class, along with you, Minerva, Kingsley, and Moody. Most of the Order were given Second Class, along with the rest of the Weasley’s except Percy, and Remus and Tonks. Members of Dumbledore’s Army were given Third Class.”
“Will you tell me more about the Final Battle? Who didn’t survive, what happened after I was attacked?”
Hermione jumped off the workbench. “Let’s finish bottling that potion then go in the house. It is a long story and I will need tea, and possibly firewhisky.”
Severus lay in bed thinking about his conversation with Hermione. So many people had died during the war. The Lupins had orphaned their son, and George lost his twin. Guilt filled him as he thought about how Kingsley had brought him back, even if it was an accident, when he had no one that missed him. The Weasley’s surely deserved to have Fred back. And Merlin knew Remus should be here to raise his son. Why had Kingsley thought of him when he held the amulet?
Hermione said he was beloved in the Wizarding community. The welcome he received from her and Kingsley proved that at least they didn’t hate him. And Draco had welcomed him with open arms. Could it really be that the rest of the world would too? What about people like Harry Potter who he had bullied for years? The urge to be horrible to the boy was gone, but why would he forgive him? Just because he had loved Harry’s mother?
He drifted to sleep, anxiety filling him with what would happen in the days to come.
I know this is short... This section was supposed to be posted with the last chapter but I missed it.
I'll be posting the next full chapter on Thursday.
The warmth of the sun upon her face woke Hermione up on Sunday morning. Stretching, she made her way to the window that looked over the ocean and saw it was a cloudless day. The weather charms around her house kept the outside temperature pretty steady, but if the temperatures outside of her wards were anything like they had been on Friday, it was the perfect day to go to her beach.
When she first saw the location of the house, she had been happy that it had an ocean view. When she realized Sirius’ uncle had made the beach below the cliff part of the unplottable land, she told Harry she would take the house on the spot. It had taken Harry a few weeks to convince her to even look at, and agree to move into one of the properties he’d been left. She didn’t feel right taking a house from him, even if he was offering. It wasn’t until he told her that he was never going to live in them so they would sit empty that she agreed.
Harry and Ginny, who had married three years earlier, lived in the old Potter Estate, taking the year after the war to renovate and decorate it. It was a large home in Ottery St. Catchpole, not too far from the Burrow. They had done a great job on it, and the Weasley family Sunday dinners had moved to their house as soon as it was done. Hermione knew Molly agreed because she loved the large kitchen, but the rest of the Weasley’s loved the Potter Estate because it had a half size Quidditch pitch in the backyard. Most weeks, Hermione, Fleur, and all the young children would sit and watch them play.
Speaking of the Weasleys… Hermione went to the desk in her room and wrote a quick note to Molly letting her know she would not be able to attend dinner this week. Arthur and Harry would already know the truth, but today wasn’t the day to spring Severus on the Weasleys. Or was it too soon to spring the Weasleys on Severus? Either way, Hermione was not going. Her plans for the day involved a good book, a soak in the sea, and some much needed rays of sunshine.
Severus was sitting at the table drinking tea when Hermione walked into the kitchen. Seeing her clad in tiny denim shorts and a vest was enough to make him choke on the hot liquid. He could see the straps of a teal swimsuit tied around her neck. Well, if I wasn’t checking her out yesterday, I sure as hell am today. Sweet Salazar.
“Good Morning, Severus,” Hermione greeted him before turning to pour a cup of tea. He didn’t miss the opportunity to see how nice her arse looked in her shorts while she did it, averting his eyes before she turned around. “I am going to go down to the beach today. It is protected by the Fidelius charm so no one can get in, and the water is charmed to be warm in the little inlet. Would you like to join me?”
“I don’t have a swimming costume. I think I will stay here,” he said.
Before he could react, Hermione pulled out her wand and he was sitting at the table in black swim trunks and a tight, long sleeved shirt. The material seemed to be made out of the same stuff women’s swimwear was made from.
At the lift of his brow, she giggled. “Problem solved, Severus. I figured you burn easy, so that is a swim shirt.”
“Yes, because a long shirt is more comfortable than a sunblock charm?” Sarcasm dripping from his tongue. He pulled his wand and changed the shirt to a regular black tee shirt. “Let me go get the notes you have made for Wolfsbane and then we can go. I am interested in seeing what you have come up with and can read while we’re at the beach.”
Walking to the lab he thought over the interaction he had in the kitchen with Hermione. Teasing her came so naturally to him, even though being that carefree with anyone was not something he had ever done before. His childhood had been full of abuse, both towards him, and towards his mother in front of him. Then Hogwarts had been one fight with the marauders after another. He hadn’t been out of school for more than two weeks before he joined the Death Eaters. The only ‘normal’ time in his life had been the ten years between the Dark Lord disappearing and Potter coming to Hogwarts.
Was this how he would have been if he wasn’t cursed all those years? Was this ‘new’ Severus who he really was? Again he had awoken this morning with no pain, and no hate in his heart. No obsessive thoughts of a woman long dead. Grabbing the notes he wanted to read and leaving the lab, he made up his mind. He was going to live his life without worrying about how he used to be, or how he thought he should act. He was just going to be happy and act whatever way made him feel best. If someone didn’t like it, they didn’t have to be around him.
Severus joined Hermione in front of the house and they made their way to the path that led to the beach. The path was against the side of the cliff the house sat upon, and like Hermione said, the beach was closer than it appeared from the top. Within five minutes they were down on a sandy beach. The sun was shining off the light blue water and the tall cliffs that surrounded the alcove protected them from the wind howling above.
“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” Hermione asked while looking out over the water.
“I feel like we have left the country,” Severus replied.
The color of the water caught him off guard. He knew they were still in England, and this was the Atlantic Ocean, but the water was so clear and blue it looked like the pictures he had seen of the Caribbean.
“I felt that way when I first came down here too. But I have been to a few of these small inlets around Cornwall, and they all look similar. It has to do with how shallow and sandy it is between the cliffs.” She smiled as she turned to him. “Now the water warming charms Alphard placed on the cove do make this beach different than the other ones. You can swim down here anytime of year. The water is always a perfect twenty-nine degrees.”
“Do you come down here often?” he asked.
Severus’ eyes lingered on her as she removed her shorts before he snapped his eyes back to the water. Hermione had conjured up some towels and an umbrella when they first arrived and was currently in the process of folding her clothes. The sight of her in a bikini was enough to make his knees weak. How long had it been since he had seen a woman in so little clothing?
“Not as often as I would like, but at least once a month,” Hermione replied, pulling her hair into a top knot. “When I first moved in, I would be down here every sunny day after work.”
She had noticed Severus watching her as she stripped down to her bikini but couldn't tell if the shocked look on his face was because of the Muggle suit or because of how much her body had matured since she was seventeen. Her 'womanly curves' as her mother called them, had finally come in after leaving Hogwarts. While she never had issues with her body before, she loved it now.
“Do you like it?” She kept her question vague, the opportunity to mess with him was too good to pass up.
Little chit was teasing him. Well, two could play that game. He turned towards her, letting his eyes slowly take in her body. “It’s very beautiful. I can’t wait to get in.”
She felt a brilliant blush bloomed across her cheeks, spreading down towards her chest. Butterflies filled her stomach at his double entendre.
“You are a wicked man, Severus.” She giggled, then took off running towards the water.
Staying at the umbrella, he watched as she ran into the water, diving under with no hesitation. Deciding to get in, he removed his shirt, shoes, and wand before casting the sunblock spell on his pale skin, He walked slowly towards the water’s edge, allowing the small waves to hit his toes. Hermione hadn’t lied when she said the water was a perfect temperature.
Severus had never really learned how to swim. There was never the money or opportunity to learn before he went to Hogwarts, and it wasn’t like there was a swim club to join once he got there. Once he became a professor, he had tried to teach himself in the prefects bathroom, but he couldn’t do more than thrash about, trying to stay afloat. Standing in the waist deep water, he watched Hermione swim with ease and a flare of jealousy filled him.
“Are you just going to stand there or are you going to swim?” Hermione asked as she swam next to him and stood up.
That was the first time he noticed how small she was. The water that was currently lapping at his waist was chest deep on her. She must be a thirty centimeters shorter than his one hundred and ninety three.
“Dignified men don’t swim,” he replied.
“I call bullshit, Severus. Kingsley swims and so does my dad. They are both dignified.”
“Lucius Malfoy doesn’t swim.” He knew that was a lie. The Malfoys had an indoor swimming pool at the manor. Severus had watched Lucius and Draco swim many times.
“Wrong again. Draco has been here swimming and told me his dad taught him in their pool.” She hesitated for a moment, hoping Severus wouldn’t get angry with her. She didn’t know how to handle this less-angsty version of him. “Do you not know how to swim?”
His first instinct was to lie. Or call her an insolent child for her blunt question. Remembering what he decided earlier, he answered truthfully. “I don’t know how. I never had a reason to learn before.”
“A lot of people don’t know how to swim,” she told him. “But if you are going to be staying here a while, or visit me often, you might want to learn. I can teach you.”
“And you think I will be staying here, or visiting you often?” he asked, raising his brow.
“Of course I do. I am a delight to be around.” Smirking, she continued. “And if my charms don’t keep you here, my potions lab will.”
Severus couldn’t hold in his laugh at her words. She wasn’t wrong. Between her bright personality, and her state of the art lab, he was hesitant to look for his own place to live.
“Your,” he paused, taking time to look at her, “lab certainly holds my attention.”
Splashing him she laughed. “If you say so Severus. Now, lesson number one. Floating.”
They spent a long time in the water, and true to her word, she had taught him a little bit. He was able to float on his back and tread water while she swam around him. His stomach started to rumble and called to her.
“Hermione, I am going to get out. I’m feeling hungry.”
“I’ll come with you.” Making their way towards the shore, she sighed. “I love being in the water, I could swim or float in it all day.”
“You’re like an otter, aren't you?” he quipped.
Hermione stopped and stared at him. “How did you know that?”
“Know what?” Severus was confused. “Are you actually an otter but just pretend to be human? Like some kind of otter Selkie?”
“No, I am an otter animagus though. It matches my patronus.”
Severus stopped and looked at her, taking a mental list of what he knew about otters and her personality. “That fits you very well.”
“The first time I saw my patronus, I wasn’t sure about it. But then I looked up more about otters and realized it made a lot of sense. When I did my animagus training, I knew it was the animal inside me from my first meditation.”
“When did you train to be an animagus?” he asked.
It was a hard bit of magic, and he always thought that while Hermione was gifted in most magic, she was better at charms than transfiguration.
“My last year at school.” Hermione smiled thinking about the hours she had spent in McGonagall’s office. “I was ahead on all my studies, so Minvera gave me private lessons.”
“How long did it take you to complete the change after you left the leaf in your mouth?” Severus had looked into doing it, but never seemed to have the time.
“Even with the leaf it only took me six weeks from start to finish. Minerva was a great help. I applied a sticking charm to the mandrake leaf so I didn’t have to worry about it and Hagrid used his knowledge of the forest to tell me where to find the untouched dew. When the night of the full moon came, it was cloudy in Scotland, but I Apparated to a few different places until I found a clear bit of sky.”
“That would make it easier.” He was impressed with her thinking. Most people just started the mandrake process over if the full moon appeared on a cloudy night.
“Then all I had to do was wait for a storm. I got lucky and there was one two weeks after I made the potion. Have you ever thought of doing it?”
“I thought about it, but never seemed to have the time. And then I learned that your animagus is the same as your patronus. I didn’t fancy turning into a doe.”
Hermione couldn’t help the laugh that escaped her. Trying to imagine tall, intimidating Professor Snape as a delicate doe was nothing short of hilarious. They had just entered the house and made their way up the stairs. Severus stopped before making his way to the bathroom.
“I am glad you find that so funny,” Severus sneered.
“Oh, don’t be like that. You are so opposite of a doe.” Hermione paused before adding. “I wonder if you will have a new patronus now that the curses Draco found have been removed?”
“I will have to test it when I create happier memories,” he said.
Severus wasn’t sure why he was so comfortable sharing his thoughts with his former student, but something about her made him feel safe enough to open up to her. “When I think about the memories I used before, they all seem weak. Not that I can’t remember them, but they aren’t happy enough to create a patronus.”
“Well,” she smiled at him. “We will just have to make some happy memories and see what happens.”
Hermione was just about to crawl into bed that night when her owl, Persephone, tapped at her window. Letting her in, she scratched her head while she removed the note.
“Thank you, gorgeous.”
Persephone butted her head against her hand before leaving through the still open window. Hermione had tried keeping her owl inside when she first got her, but Persephone was a headstrong girl and hated being in the house. She would knock over her perch and leave ‘presents’ on all Hermione’s seats. Finally, Hermione gave up and told the owl to live in the tree out back. Their relationship had improved immensely since that day.
Please bring Severus into the office with you tomorrow if he is up to it. I had my secretary cancel my 8:30 appointment and I have opened the Floo connection to your house. Once you are here, I can Apparate us directly to your office. I think this will be the easiest way to get Severus in without being seen.
I will try to hold them off as long as possible, but Arthur and Harry are looking forward to seeing him again. Maybe a dinner is in order?
Grabbing her dressing gown, Hermione wrapped it around herself and made her way to Severus’ room. Knocking, she waited for him to answer.
“Enter,” he called.
Severus was stretched out on his bed, long legs crossed at the ankles. She recognized his potions journal and her notes sitting on his lap.
“I just heard from Kingsley. He wants you to come in with me tomorrow,” she said as held the letter out to him.
Severus read it over before handing it back to her. “That will be fine. If you are agreeable, we can have Arthur and Potter over for dinner tomorrow. I am happy to cook.”
Hermione knew he didn’t actually want to have the two men over, but appreciated that he was willing to go through with it anyway.
“I will talk to them. And don’t worry about cooking. Arthur is still obsessed with everything Muggle so I always pick up a pizza or Indian when he is coming over.”
“I haven’t had pizza in years,” he said.
Severus thought back to the last time he had eaten it. It must have been the summer before fifth year when he went shopping with Lily and her parents.
“Pizza it is. I will let you sleep.” She reached out and placed a hand on his ankle. “Good night, Severus.”
Severus placed the journal and notes on his nightstand and thought about the girl, woman, who had just left his room. He had never been an approachable man, he knew that. But Hermione was so warm with him. When was the last time someone had touched him casually, like a friend? Sure he had dialiences with witches in the past, but they were just flings. Both of them there for sex and nothing more. The only touching was sexual, nothing like Hermione. Yet today, she had touched him like it was second nature. Holding his back straight while teaching him to float, grabbing his arm to keep herself upright when he made her laugh in the water, her hand on his shoulder as she stood from the table to clear the dinner dishes. This witch was like no person he had ever spent time with.
I posted a couple of pictures to my Tumblr (tridogmom) of the house and beach.
As always, than you for every comment!! 🥰
Severus awoke on Monday morning and stretched. For the third night in a row he had slept deeply, not waking, and greeted the day feeling refreshed. Before he died, he had always had trouble sleeping. His nights had been plagued with nightmares, pain, and very little sleep. He idly wondered if most of the world slept this good as he checked the time and decided he should get out of bed. He stepped into the hall and couldn’t hear movement from Hermione’s room so he made his way to the kitchen to start breakfast.
Flipping the bacon to make sure it was done, he heard a chair slide across the kitchen floor and turned his head to see a sleepy Hermione at the table. He grabbed a large mug from the cabinet in front of him, poured hot coffee into in, and set it in front of her. She gave a slight grunt of acknowledgement before drinking deeply.
Moaning, Hermoine sat the mug on the table. “You, Severus, are a gift from the gods.”
“Not a morning person?” Severus was surprised. She always seemed to put together at breakfast when she was at Hogwarts.
“Normally I am, but I was up all night.” She yawned deeply. “Being back in that damn shack has made my nightmares of the war resurface.”
“I could brew you some Dreamless Sleep if you don’t already have some,” Severus said. He knew how hard it was to function on little to no sleep.
“No, I’ll be fine,” Hermione replied. She never kept Dreamless Sleep in the house because it was so addictive. She had to take it for awhile right after the war, and within two weeks could feel her body and mind craving it, so she stopped and promised herself she would only take it if there were no other options. “If they don’t go away in a few days, I’ll look into taking something.”
Severus sat a plate of eggs, bacon and toast in front of her before grabbing his own and sitting across the table from her.
“So,” he asked, “what should our day at the Ministry look like?”
“I am sure Kingsley will want to meet with us,” she told him. “And then I know he will have Harry and Arthur come down. So far only two other people in my department know about the amulet. Bill Weasley because he found it, and Luna Lovegood, well now it’s Luna Longbottom, because she was in my office when Bill brought it in. We’ll need to tell them about you.
“I don’t know if you remember Luna. She was always a little odd, but she is so smart. And she sees things that no one else does. I am not sure if she is seeing magic physically manifested or what, but she said she could see the magic around the amulet pulsing as it sat on my desk.”
“I remember Ms. Lovegood,” Severus said. “She was the strangest person I ever taught. She once told me that I had greasy hair because the nargles didn’t like me.” He gave a quiet snort. “I have no idea what a nargle is.”
“She has talked about nargles multiple times around me, and I have no clue what she is talking about either.” Hermione shrugged.
Luna was odd, but she loved her anyway. They had grown close after working together for the last five years. “By the way, how many house points did Ravenclaw lose because of that question?” she asked.
“Twenty-five.” Ravenclaws were lucky he was in a decent mood that day or it would have been fifty points.
“And how many would you have docked if she was in Gryffindor?” Hermione smiled at him.
“Probably a hundred.” Severus laughed. “I had to keep up appearances with the Pureblood families, but at the time I really did dislike most people in your house. Loud, obnoxious bunch of shites; the whole lot of you.”
“Hey! I wasn’t that bad,” she cried in indignation.
“You must be joking,” Severus said as he stared at her. “You were one of the worst students I taught over my entire career.”
“What?” Hermione sputtered. “How can you say that? I had the highest grade in your class, and scored an Outstanding on my OWL.”
“I can say that because I had to grade your damn homework,” he replied. “For someone as bright as you, you don’t know what twelve inches means. Fucking things went on forever.”
“Severus Snape, I can’t believe you. Every other teacher loved me.”
“They may have loved how smart you were and how quickly you caught on with spells and such, but every single teacher you had complained at least once a month your first five years about how long your essays were in the staff room. It did lessen in your sixth year.”
Mouth hanging open, Hermione stared at him. She had thought all of her teachers loved her. Only to find out she annoyed them all the entire time she was in school.
“Oh don’t look so wounded, Hermione,” he said. “They all still loved you and worshiped the desk you sat upon. They just wished you would have turned in shorter things for them to grade.” He couldn’t help but be amused by the hurt look on her face.
“I feel like my entire school career was a lie,” she whispered.
If she was being honest with herself, what Severus told her had really hurt her feelings. She had always thought everyone adored her. They always praised how smart she was.
“It wasn’t a lie. I told you, they loved you. Just hated your essays.” Standing up he made his was towards the sink and placed a charm on them to clean themselves. He walked back to where Hermoine was sitting and placed a hand on her shoulder. “Now that they don’t have to grade them, I am sure you are everyone’s favourite student of all time.”
Leaning her head against the hand Severus had resting on her shoulder, she sighed. “Well, that is something. I do adore all of them. Well, all of them except Professor Trulawney. She is a crazy, old drunk.”
“I know she has given a couple of prophecies,” said Severus, “but I have to agree with you.”
Stepping out of the Floo, Severus moved out of the way so Hermione could follow and took in the large circular room. He had never been in the Minister for Magic’s office, but it was as opulent as he expected. The floors were covered in thick purple carpet and the room was filled with a dark wooden desk and expensive looking chairs and couches. Kingsley was not in the room, and as Severus looked around he noticed a bookshelf, with one entire shelf full of pictures. Making his way to them, he looked them over.
There was a picture, of what he assumed, was Kingsley’s family. He looked to be around seventeen in the picture. Then there were a few of him with different Aurors from his years serving. The largest of these was a picture of him and Tonks. The moving picture showed them smiling, then Tonks morphing her nose to match Kinglsey’s much larger one and the two of them bursting into silent laughter.
On one side of the shelf, a picture of Kingsley and Hermoine dancing at what looked like a Ministry ball stood. It was larger than all the other pictures he had displayed and Severus felt a surge of envy. He couldn’t think of a single time in his life when he had a women look at him the way Hermoine was looking at Kingsley. He couldn’t tell if they were dating or not when this picture was taken. Nothing in her look spoke to being in love with him, just being comfortable.
“That was taken at one of the Victory Balls the Ministry held,” Hermione said. He hadn’t heard her enter the room.
“They have a ball to celebrate the end of a war?” Severus asked.
He wasn’t sure if he was disgusted by the idea, or felt that it was par for the course when it came to the Ministry.
“Well, it is a celebration,” she explained. “But it is also a charity event. Every year a new charity is selected and all ticket sales are donated.”
“Is this when you and Kingsley were dating?”
“No, this was at the first ball. I was still attending Hogwarts when this was taken.”
“I know you were both in the Order, but you seem to be friends, even in this picture. I didn’t think you spent that much time together during the war.”
“Well, that first summer when we were at Grimmauld Place, he was always around, but we didn’t speak too much,” Hermione said. “But then the summer when we escorted Harry before he turned seventeen. Well, you remember it I’m sure. It was the night a bunch of us took polyjuice potion to look like Harry?”
“I remember it well,” Severus replied.
He hated that night. He had accidentally removed George’s ear when the Death Eater he was targeting moved at the last minute and his curse hit George instead.
“I was one of the Harry’s in the sky that night. Kingsley took me on a thestral with him.”
“And if it wasn’t for Hermione’s great spellwork, I am not sure we would have made it to the Burrow alive,” Kingsley said, having silently come in, and walked over to join them. He wrapped his arm around Hermione, dropping a kiss on the top of her head. “I knew from that moment on, I never wanted to be on her bad side.”
Watching the ease at which they interacted had another wave of envy crashing over Severus. It wasn’t that he wanted Kingsley to keep his hands to himself, or anything like that. It was that he wanted to have that kind of friendship. One where you weren’t afraid or embarrassed to let the world know that you were friends.
Sitting in Kingsley’s office, they went over an agenda for the day before he Apparated them to Hermione’s office, letting them know he would be back later once the rest of the people that would be working on the amulet arrive at work. Deciding that no more people should know about the amulet, he had told her boss that she, along with Bill and Luna, were working on something confidential for him and not to mention it to anyone else in the department. Luckily, this wasn’t too strange of a request for the Department of Mysteries.
Hermione’s office reminded him of a professor’s office at Hogwarts. The walls were a grey stone and it was void of windows. It had a large desk with a comfortable looking chair for her and two wooden chairs facing it. There were bookshelves that were close to bursting on two of the walls. One of the other walls had a fireplace and a door that was currently closed. There were two black leather couches in front of the fireplace with a long table between them. The last wall had a sideboard with a tea service and decanter on top as well as another closed door. This one was bigger than the other leading him to believe it led to the hallway.
“Where do the doors lead?” Severus asked.
“That one,” she pointed to the larger door, “leads to the hallway. My office is close to the time room.” Turning slightly, she pointed to the other door, “that one is a bathroom. Unlike the upper floors, each office here has their own. It is pretty nice.”
“And the couches?” Before Kinsgley’s office, he hadn’t seen an office with couches any other time he had been to the Ministry.
“We have a lot of group projects in this department. We found couches more comfortable than conference tables. Plus, sometimes we work odd or long hours and it is nice to have a place to nap. We are given a lot of leeway on how our work environments are set up down here. I think it is to make up for putting us below the Atrium.”
Severus had just sat on the couch as Hermione started preparing tea when there was a knock at the door. Severus quickly disillusioned himself so she could see who was at her office. Opening it, Hermione stepped aside to let Harry and Arthur enter.
“Good morning, Harry. Good morning, Arthur.” She gave each of them a side hug as they walked by her. She shut the door and Severus dropped his charm, coming into view.
“Hello, Potter, Arthur.” Severus stood, making his way to them and shaking their hands.
“Nice to see you again, Severus.” Arthur said. “I hope you know that as soon as Molly knows you are alive, she is going to want you to come over so she can feed you.” Arthur grinned at him.
“She wouldn’t be Molly if she wasn’t trying to feed all of Britain.” Severus replied.
Severus had always liked Molly, even if he was caustic towards her in the past. It was hard to hate someone that cooked as well as she did. During the war he never ate at Headquarters, but Molly always found a way to sneak a shrunken bundle of food into his cloak when he left.
“Hello, Professor Snape,” Harry said.
Severus could see that Potter was about to burst with whatever her was holding in. Sighing, he figured he might as well get this over with.
“I am no longer your professor, Potter. Feel free to call me Severus. And you might as well get out whatever it is you are holding in. It looks like you are about to void your bladder.”
Harry grinned at him before beginning. “I just wanted to say thank you for everything you did for me, well for all of us, before you died. And,” he paused, looking sheepish. “I wanted to apologise for being such a pain in your arse all those years. I am very thankful that you didn’t kill me, even though I know you wanted to.”
“I am not sure I wanted to kill you, I just didn’t want to ever see you again.”
Severus looked at the man before him. He still looked just like his father. Or how his father would have looked if he hadn’t been killed. His eyes were so like Lily’s, but the shape was slightly different. It was strange, before looking at Harry had been painful. Every time he saw him it was like a kick to the chest. He had been a physical reminder that he had lost Lily and someone else had won her heart. Looking at Harry now, he saw a different child than the one he thought he had taught before. He now saw a young man that had lived through horrors, but was a good person. He wasn’t the arrogant, attention seeking boy he had always seen him as. Had Dumbledore’s curse caused that?
“Can I get anyone tea?” asked Hermione. At their affirmative answers, she levitated the tea things to the coffee table and motioned for everyone to take a seat. “Now that we are all here, let’s go over a few things. If you two are able, why don’t you come around my place after work? Severus is staying there until he and Harry get the vaults sorted out. I thought we could order pizza and then come up with what we are going to tell people. We already have a story on where he was, but we need something for why he came back.”
“Also,” Severus added. “We will need to round up anyone that was at my funeral. We will either need to get them to agree to an Unbreakable, or we will have to Obliviate them so they don’t remember going.”
“I will write out the list of people that were there,” Harry spoke. “I have a pretty good idea about who will agree.”
“Also, I will talk to Kingsley,” added Arthur, “but it would be easier for me if Molly knew the truth. She can always tell when I am lying.”
Severus nodded. “That is fine with me.”
The two men stood and walked towards the door, both confirming that they would see them at dinner.
Severus and Hermione arrived back at her place with matching pops of Apparation. They had spent all day in her office meeting with Bill and Luna. Draco had also owled the full results from his scan over the weekend so they could all go over it. So far everything about him was matching up with the tome. He was perfectly healthy, and everything he had wrong with him before he died was gone.
Spending the day with Luna had stretched his patience and he was even more impressed with Hermione than he was before. He had no idea how she was able to put up with her random thoughts and talking about creatures he was positive only existed in her head. Luckily Bill was sharp as he had ever been. Bill had started Hogwarts when Severus was in his first few years and he wished all the Weasley’s could have been as easy of a student as Bill was. His work was always perfect, and he never acted out in class. And unlike Percy the Pompous, Bill was friendly with everyone. Even Slytherins.
“Do I have to be here for dinner?” Severus asked. All he wanted to do was go to the lab and brew something.
“Well, since they are coming over to see you, I think you should probably be there,” Hermione said, glancing at her watch. “They won’t be over for at least another hour. Why don’t you go to the lab. I will call for you when they get here.”
“How did you know I wanted to brew?”
“Because you are an introverted Potion’s Master. What else would you do to decompress?” She looked at him like he had asked what one plus one equaled.
“Hmph.” He said nothing as he walked out the door towards the lab. Somehow the chit had figured him out.
A day early for my lovelies! 😘
Chapter 10: Il Meridiano
Because I haven't said it enough: Thanks to MrsRen for her beta skills! Check her out if you like well written stories!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
A week had passed since Severus had returned and tonight he and Hermoine were going out with Harry and Ginny for dinner in Diagon Alley. While he knew he would hate the stares he would get, he wanted to get it over with. Draco had recommended a newly opened restaurant. Il Meridiano, Draco had told him, placed a high emphasis on privacy, and once the two couples entered the restaurant there would be no chance of press seeing them.
He had just reached the bottom of the stairs when two pops of Apparation sounded in the front garden. Opening the door, he saw the two Potters walking towards him. Harry was dressed in a black suit, and Ginny in a tight fitting, emerald green cocktail dress. Severus raised an eyebrow at the small bump between her hips but said nothing.
“Good Evening, sir,” Harry said, shaking his hand before dropping it to sit on Ginny’s stomach. “We figured tonight would be as good a night as any to announce that we’re expecting.”
Snape hadn’t heard Hermione come down the stairs, and her screech of excitement made his eardrums vibrate.
“Sixteen weeks today.” Ginny beamed at her friend before she was pulled into a tight hug.
“Congratulations, Harry,” Severus said as he watched the two girls hug and talk about… well whatever it is women talk about when they find out one of them is pregnant.
The women turned to him and his breath caught at the sight of Hermione. She had tamed her wild curls into long, loose waves. While he could tell she was wearing makeup, it was light and looked natural. She was wearing a steel grey satin dress that flared slightly from her hips before ending a few inches above her knees.
“Wow, ‘Mi. You look…” Harry seemed to lose his ability to speak.
“You look beautiful, Hermione.” Severus agreed, suddenly feeling that being seen in public and photographed wouldn’t be too bad with her at his side.
“You do look great, ‘Mi. I love that color on you.” Ginny motioned for her to turn in a circle. “After I have this baby, I want to borrow it.”
“Ginny, you are too tall for this dress,” Hermoine said. “It would stop a good six inches above your knees.”
“I don’t mind that.” Harry had regained his ability to speak. “Ginny has great legs, might as well show them off. You do look beautiful Hermoine.”
“Thank you.” A dark blush had spread across her cheeks and Severus couldn’t help thinking that she looked even better with it. “So, our reservations are in about a half hour. I told Parvati that we would be leaving the Leaky around seven so we should probably get going. She said she would have a photographer there, so be prepared for the flash.”
“What did you tell her, ‘Mi?” Ginny asked.
“Just that she would see something she wouldn’t want to miss. Severus and I already figured we would talk to her for a minute and tell her the story we came up with. Once people see the flash from the pictures, they may start to come over so we will want to be quick to avoid it. Everyone ready?”
Harry and Ginny walked outside, but Severus hesitated for a moment before following them. He wanted to wrap the woman beside him in his arms and tell the Potters to go to dinner without them while he worked on getting her out of that dress. Knowing that wasn’t really an option, he used his Slytherin skills to get the next best thing.
“Hermione, I remember the Apparition point, but just in case. Do you mind taking me via side-along?” Internally he smirked at his cleverness.
“Of course, Severus.” Hermione smiled sweetly at him before wrapping her arms around his waist.
Arriving in the alley two buildings away from the Leaky Cauldron, Hermione kept her arms wrapped around Severus. She had been pleased when he asked her to side-along him. The sight of him in his well fitted Muggle suit was enough to make her knees go weak. Now that he no longer had oily hair, his black locks looked soft and well loved. He had pulled it back into a low queue, and reminded her of the period dramas she liked to watch as a child.
“You smell amazing, Severus.” Hermione said. “I’ve never noticed you wearing cologne before.” She leaned in, smelling him.
“That is because I don’t wear any. It can interfere with the potions,” Severus told her. “What you are smelling is the new soap I created yesterday. I am glad the scent is pleasing to you.”
Severus couldn’t help but feel happy. Hermione only had floral smelling soap in her house, and he had tried a few combinations before finding a mixture he liked best.
Stepping back from her, he offered her his arm to escort her. He didn’t want to release her from them embrace they were in, but figured the Potters would come looking for them if they didn't get a move on.
“I didn’t know you made your own soap. Is it difficult?” Hermione asked. She had never thought about making her own skincare before.
“It is a simple process. The hardest part is finding ingredients that work together and still smell nice.”
“Who smells nice?” They had reached Ginny and Harry and the pregnant lady was eyeing their linked arms.
“Severus does. He was just telling me he makes his own soap.” Hermione started to laugh as Ginny moved towards Severus and sniffed at him.
“That’s lovely,” Ginny said. “You could make a killing selling that.”
Severus thought about what she said as they made their was into the pub, trying to move as quickly as possible through it. The Wizarding world in England really only sold unscented soap and a couple of shampoo scents. If he started a line of hygiene products that worked well and smelled good, he probably could ‘make a killing’. Something to think about.
“That is a great idea,” Severus told her. “Thank you, Mrs Potter.”
“You will call me Ginny, or Gin. Never Mrs Potter, or Ginerva.” She glared at him with mirth in her eyes.
“As you wish, Ginny.”
They had made it through the Leaky without anyone stopping them and they were now in the courtyard behind it. Harry pulled out his wand before turning to look at them.
“Is everyone ready?” Harry asked.
At their nods of approval, he counted three bricks up and two over before tapping it with his wand. The hole in the bricks started to expand.
Tightening her grip on Severus’ arm, Hermione took a step forward. They had made it about five steps before she heard someone gasp ‘holy fuck’. Looking up at Severus, they grinned at each other before a flash of a camera blinded them.
“Hermione? Professor Snape?”
Glancing around, Hermione saw Parvati standing next to her photographer standing with her mouth open and quill poised over her notebook.
“Hello, Miss Patil,” Snape said, nodding to her.
“But you’re dead,” Parvati said.
“Obviously, I am not dead,” he drawled, emphasizing every syllable.
Hermione giggled and Parvati’s eyes snapped to hers. “Hermione, I owe you. Big time,” she said, straightening her shoulders, Parvating tightened her grip on her quill. “So, Professor, we all thought you were dead. You even had a funeral. Where have you been?”
“As you are aware, the body, which was assumed to be me, was cremated within hours of the end of the battle.” Severus said, going through the story they had agreed on earlier. “Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ronald Weasley were in the room when they thought I was attacked by Voldemort’s snake, Nagini. What they really saw was me faking my own death with Muggle makeup covering up a pouch of blood I had spell-o-taped to my neck. As soon as I had given Harry my memories, I fell to the floor as if dead.
“When they left the room, I took a piece of wood from the floor and transfigured it to look like myself. Not knowing who would win the war, I wanted to make sure Voldemort and his followers would think I was dead. In the haste to hold funerals for all the brave people who died that day, no one examined my body close enough to notice it wasn’t actually me.
“I fled the country, taking refuge in a friend’s home in Iceland for the last six years. I was living wholly in the Muggle world, cut off from all magical contact. I did not know who had even won the war. Not knowing that Harry had revealed my true alliance during the Final Battle, I didn’t think I would be welcomed here, either way.
“It wasn’t until my friend, who’s home I was living in without his knowledge, had a house elf who told him. He wrote to me asking me to come home and meet his young son. I reached out to Minister Shacklebolt who spoke to me about coming back. I arrived in the country late last week.”
"Whose house were you staying in?" Parvati asked as she flipped her long hair over her shoulder.
"Draco Malfoy." He continued at her shocked expression. "I am his godfather and we had worked out a plan to use his house if either of us were in mortal peril during the war."
“And what do you plan on doing now that you are back in England?” Parvati’s quill was racing across her notepad.
“I have started working on an improved version of Wolfsbane potion. I hoping to help the many people attacked by Greyback live a normal life again.”
“I notice you are here with Hermione Granger. Are the two of you dating? How did you reconnect?”
Severus hesitated, they hadn’t talked about this. He looked down at Hermione and she gave his arm a squeeze and smiled.
“We reconnected through our mutual friendship with the Minister,” Severus said. “And, as you can see, we are on a date. In fact, we need to be on our way so we don’t miss our reservation.”
Hopefully she's okay with me telling everyone we're on a date. We never discussed it.
“Before you leave, Hermione, how do you feel about Professor Snape being back in England?” Parvati asked, turning her attention to Hermione.
“I am happy that I have been able to reconnect with someone I admire so much,” Hermione said. “And while I am looking forward to his work with potions and how it will improve the lives of everyone in Britain, right now I am mostly looking forward to enjoying our date.”
“Thank you for your time, Professor, Hermione.” Parvati was just going to turn to leave when she noticed Harry and Ginny behind them. “Ginny, are you expecting?”
A flash from the photographer blinded them again. Ginny placed her hand on her small bump and smiled. “Harry and I will welcome our first child in five months.”
“Harry, how are you feeling about impending fatherhood?”
“I am over the moon,” Harry replied. “Ginny and I have been looking forward to starting a family for a while and we can’t wait to meet our newest addition.”
“And now the two of you are off to dinner with Professor Snape and Hermione?”
“We are. We are thrilled that Severus is back in the country and we are able to spend time together.”
Leaving Parvati and the blinding flash of her photographer behind, they made their way into the restaurant. Upon entering, they were greeted by a young man who spoke to them as he showed them to their room.
“You’ll notice all the doors off this hallway,” he explained. “Each one leads to a different area so our guests can dine in private. We offer intimate rooms for small groups as well as large groups. Our largest room can accommodate a hundred people. Our owner, who will come in to greet you, wanted each person who entered to feel at ease. He knows how frustrating it can be when you are worried about who will overhear you, or if the press are watching.”
Opening the door, he led them into a small room that had a circular table surrounded by four chairs. He allowed Harry and Severus to seat the two ladies, and stopped beside Hermione.
“Miss Granger, this note was left for you.”
Taking the note from him, she opened it.
All the house elves are rescues from abusive households or they applied and were hired to work here. They are all paid for their work and they are happy. Please don’t try to free them as they are already free.
She turned to the young man who was just placing a napkin on Ginny’s lap. “This mentions house elves?”
“Figures Draco would warn you.”
Everyone turned as Blaise Zabini walked into their room, ushering the young man from it. Draco must have told him the publically approved story about Severus because he did not look surprised to see him.
“Hello, everyone,” Blaise greeted them. “Thank you for coming to my restaurant.”
“I was not aware you owned it,” Severus said, reaching out to shake his hand. “I am pleased to see you are doing something productive with your life, Blaise. I always assumed you would be a playboy.”
“That was only fun for the first five years, sir.” Blaise told him, smiling.
Hermione watched the interaction between Severus and his old student. Once again she was amazed at the ease he seemed to have with people like Draco and Blaise. She had always assumed Snape had been as rude and standoffish with his Slytherins as he had been with the rest of the school.
“Since Draco has already warned Hermione, let me tell you how our service works here,” Blaise said. “We employ a group of rescued house elves from here in Britain, as well as Italy. They will come in and take your orders, serve the food, and get you anything you need.
“I decided to employ elves after watching one of my stepfathers abusing his elves. When I talked to the elf, she said even if he freed her, she would stay because she had nowhere to go. This elf, who works in the kitchens here, made the best Italian food. So I got the bastard my mother had married drunk and convinced him to set all his elves free. Now, they all work here.
“By employing them, not only did I get to help the elves that needed it, I also get to ensure my guests eat in a private setting with no humans eavesdropping. Do you have any questions?” Blaise looked around.
“That is such a great thing you are doing, Blaise," Hermione said, beaming at him.
Harry chuckled. “Better watch out Severus, Blaise’s love of house elves might lure your date away.”
“Well, in order to save your date, sir, I will be on my way.” Blaise shook hands with all of them. “Thank you again for coming in. I hope you enjoy your dinner. Have one of the elves find me if you need anything from me.”
Hermione was stuffed. Il Meridiano served all the Italian dishes family style, and the four of them had consumed about three families worth of food and wine. The had just finished the best tiramisu Hermione had ever tasted.
“I am pretty sure my baby bump doubled while we were here,” Ginny moaned as she rubbed her belly.
“I have never had food that good,” Harry said, rubbing his stomach as well.
Hermione nodded. “I agree, Harry. I think is my favourite place now. Did you like it, Severus?”
“It was better than the food I had when I went to Italy for a potions convention. I had no idea risotto could taste like that,” he answered.
Coffee and the check appeared on the table in front of them. Hermoine found it interesting how sometimes the elves would appear in the room, but other times they would just magic the food onto the table. It was like they could tell when the guests wanted to have privacy.
Harry tapped his wand to the bill before anyone else could look at it. “Since we still haven’t sorted out your vault, and I did give a lot of your money away to charity, the least I could do was pay for dinner.”
“As long as you authorised that charge from your vault and not mine, Harry,” Severus said, causing the two men to laugh.
“So,” Ginny asked. “Does Ron know the truth about your return Severus?”
Ron was currently playing quidditch for the Chudley Cannons. He had made the team four years ago after being a reserve player for two. Right now the team was on a world tour. He had left at the beginning of July and would be gone for most of the next year.
“I am not sure what he was told,” Severus said, looking to Hermione for an answer.
“We only told him the public story. Since he wasn’t at the funeral, we didn’t see the point in telling him the truth.” Hermione sipped her espresso before continuing. “We sent him a letter earlier in the week.”
Harry and Hermione had attended the funeral for Severus, but even after hearing the truth about Snape, Ron still did not want to go. He didn’t feel that helping Harry because he was obsessed with his mum was a good enough reason to forgive him for years of ‘being a git’. Severus’ funeral had been a very small affair. The only people that had attended were Hermione, Harry, Ginny, Minerva McGonagall, Filius Flitwick, and Poppy Pomfrey. Even though the entire Malfoy family was on house arrest, Draco and Narcissa were also able to attend, with Kingsley as their personal escort. The Ministry would not allow Lucius to attend. They felt that he was a flight risk, even with Auror escort.
On Wednesday, they had met with everyone from the funeral to tell them the truth of his return and give them the option of obliviation or Unbreakable Vow. Hermione had cried when she watched Severus be greeted warmly by his old coworkers and friends. The sweetest reunion had been watching the always composed Narcissa Malfoy sob into his chest. That night he had explained how close his friendship was with the Malfoy matriarch. Hermione finally knew why he was willing to take the Vow to protect Draco in sixth year.
“Are you ready to head home?” Severus asked, placing his hand on Hermione’s knee. Butterflies came to life in her stomach at his casual touch.
“I am,” she told him. Servus stood, pulling her chair out for her. “Thank you, Severus.”
An elf silently appeared to open the door for the four of them. “There is an Apparition point in the lobby you may use.”
Severus thought for a moment before talking to the elf. “Thank you, sir. I think we will leave through the front door.”
Nodding, the elf hurried ahead of them to open the door onto the street.
“Severus, you don’t want to use the Apparition point in here?” Hermione asked. “It would be easier.”
She couldn’t understand why he didn’t want to use it. They had already talked to the press, so they didn’t need to be seen again.
“Blaise just opened this place. If we leave through the front, it might give him some publicity. I am sure he could use it.” Severus shrugged.
He knew what he had seemed to the outside world, but the truth was, he loved his little snakes and would do anything he could to help them. That applied while he was their Head of House, as well as when they left Hogwarts.
Ginny agreed with him. “I want to come back here, so I am happy letting people know it is here. He can’t stay open if no one knows about it.”
The elf opened the door, and they were instantly bombarded with camera flashes. From what Severus could tell, every publication in Britain had someone outside waiting for them. He felt Hermione grasp his arm as they started to walk out. Reaching over, he placed his free hand on top of hers.
Questions were being thrown at the four of them and he could hear Harry and Ginny answering a few. Severus assumed they must have gotten used to this kind of reaction from people when they went out. He spotted Ms Patil in front of them and decided to answer a couple of her questions.
“How was dinner, Professor?” Parvati asked.
“It was lovely, thank you,” Severus answered. “Mr Zabini has created a wonderful restaurant. We will be returning.”
“And how was it having dinner with the Potters?”
“Mr and Mrs Potter where great dinner companions.”
“And how was your date with Hermione? Will you going on more dates with her? Are you Britain’s new power couple?”
Severus turned to look at Hermione and smiled at her. “My date with Hermoine was just as good as the food. I am not sure about being a power couple, but I hope there are more dates.”
Hermione had a grin on her face, and answered Parvati as the reporter repeated her question. “I had a wonderful time, and I am looking forward to more nights like this. But it is late and we must be going home. Thank you for your time, Parvati.”
As they walked away, they could hear Parvati yelling. “Wait, are you two going home together?”
As always, thank you for all your comments! I absolutely love them!!
I've posted a bunch of one-shots, mostly funny ones, as part of a rare pair fest. Check them out!!
Severus Snape, Former Hogwarts Headmaster, Slytherin Head of House, Potions Master, and war hero returns, writes Parvati Patil, Special Correspondent.
Even though he had been assumed dead for the last six years, Headmaster Snape appeared in Diagon Alley last night to the shock of all who saw him. All except Miss Hermione Granger who looked gorgeous on his arm in a grey dress, and Mr Harry Potter and Mrs Ginny Potter who accompanied them. (See page 2 for the Potter's baby announcement)
Snape told me in an exclusive interview that he had not died at the fangs of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named’s snake as earlier reported. He used Muggle techniques, presumably learned when he grew up in a Muggle neighborhood, to trick everyone in the room that he had died. Others in the room included Mr Potter, Ms Granger, and Mr Ronald Weasley.
After the Golden Trio left the room where Snape was presumed dead, he transfigured a stick to look like him and fled the country. He spent the last six years in isolation in Iceland, staying in a house owned by Mr Draco Malfoy. I spoke with Mr Malfoy about finding out his godfather was still alive.
“He was unknowingly living in my Icelandic home. When my house elf told me, I was shocked. I immediately wrote to him and begged him to come home. Britain has been missing a wizard of his skill and talent.”
When asked what he was doing in Diagon Alley, he confirmed he was on a date with Ms Granger. They appear to have been on a double date with the Potters as the group then made their way to the brand new Il Meridiano restaurant, owned by Snape’s former student, Blaise Zabini.
Upon leaving the restaurant, which all four claimed to be delicious and expressed a desire to return, Snape and Granger stopped to speak to me again. Snape said his date was as good as the food and both of them confirmed that they were looking forward to more nights out together before side-along Apparating away.
The Dark Hero and the Golden Girl looked at ease with each other. Are we looking at Britain's next power couple?
Severus looked at the pictures that had been taken the night before and were now gracing the front page of the Daily Prophet. There was one of the four of them, but his favorite was the large picture they had printed of him and Hermione. It was from when Parvati had first asked if they were dating and he had looked to Hermione to gauge her answer. The camera perfectly captured her small smile, and the smile he gave her in return.
“I’m going to ask Parvati for a copy of that picture. I love it,” Hermione said as she looked over his shoulder.
“I was just thinking to myself that it was the best picture I have ever taken. It helps that I had someone so beautiful next to me.” Severus glanced over his shoulder to see her cheeks flame.
“Thank you, Severus. But you looked very handsome last night. I don’t remember if I told you, but I thought it.” Butteries had reappeared in my stomach at his words. “Parvati did a nice job with the article I thought.”
“She did. Well, except the part where she called me The Dark Hero. What an idiotic name.” Severus scoffed.
“That term was actually coined by Rita Skeeter. Along with my moniker, the Golden Girl.” Hermione rolled her eyes. “She also came up with the Golden Trio for Harry, Ron, and I. We hate it.”
“What ever happened to Ms Skeeter?”
“Oh, she wrote a horrible article about Kingsley. So I told him she was an unregistered Animagus. She is now in Azkaban surrounded by anti-animagi wards. She is also not allowed to report or write stories in Britain after her release.”
Hermione smiled. The day of Rita’s sentencing was one of her favourite days.
“Serves her right. She reported nothing but lies.” Severus folded the paper in half before turning to look at Hermione fully. “What do you have planned for the day?”
“The full moon is a week from today so I have to brew the first batches of Wolfsbane and take it over to the Lupin House.”
“Do all the infected children live there?”
“A few of them do. Some have been adopted, or they live with their families if Greyback didn’t kill them. It’s just easier for me to drop it off at the orphanage and have everyone come take it.” Hermione hesitated for a minute. “Would you like to help me brew?”
As Hermione Apparated away with the Wolfsbane, Severus cleaned up the lab. The last week had been surprisingly nice. He had accompanied Hermione to work on Monday, but after that she had brought the tome home and spent her days in her library studying it. Occasionally she would ask his opinion, or see if he was experiencing the same symptoms as Morgana le Fey’s sister, but other than that, she worked in silence.
He would either work in the lab, or grab one of the many books on her shelves that had come out while he was dead. He mostly stayed in the house, but a few times he took his book to the beach to read. After this first trip to the beach, Hermione had shown him a second path that led to a beach that wasn’t enchanted. From there he could watch the large waves coming in and crashing against the tall rocks.
Severus found he liked living with Hermione and knew he would miss her presence when he moved out. He was meeting with Harry on Monday to sort out his vault and knew he would have to start looking for a place to buy soon after. Even though Hermione had said he could stay as long as he wanted, he didn’t want to overstay his welcome.
Walking out of the lab, he saw Hermione in the kitchen talking to another man. He was hesitant to walk into the kitchen in case this was someone she was dating. She hadn’t mentioned having a man in her life, and had said last night was a date, but they never really talked in depth about her love life.
Deciding that, even if she had a boyfriend, Hermione wouldn’t mind him coming in he entered the kitchen to see Neville Longbottom.
“Hello, Severus,” Hermione greeted him. “Can I get you a cup of tea? Neville just stopped by to check on my gardens.”
“Hello, Professor Snape. It is nice to see you,” Neville said, standing to shake his hand.
Severus shook his hand, but inwardly he was shocked. Who was this good looking, fit, man before him? What happened to the chubby cheeked imbecile he had taught? He kept looking at him, trying to find some resemblance to the boy he had known and just couldn’t do it.
“It is nice to see you as well, Mr Longbottom. Do you come over often?”
“Every couple of weeks. I check on the gardens and make sure everything is going well. Sometimes I bring Pomona with me. She will be happy to hear that I have seen you.”
So, the extra boots must belong to Neville and Pomona.
“The gardens are very nice. I told Hermione the potions garden was one of the best I have ever seen. The quality of the ingredients is top notch.”
Neville beamed at being complimented. “Thank you, sir.” Standing, Neville set his cup on the counter. “I have to be off, Hermione. Luna and I are celebrating our anniversary tonight and I don’t want to be late.”
“Give Luna my love, Neville,” Hermione said as she hugged him goodbye. “I’ll see you soon.”
After Neville left, Severus turned to Hermione. Nerves filled him as he spoke to her. “Last night you said you would go on another date with me. What do you think about going to the cinema tonight?”
Staying composed on the outside, Hermione was ecstatic that Severus had asked her out. “That would be wonderful. I have been wanting to go see this one film called ‘The Notebook’. Would that be okay?”
Relieved she had said yes, Severus agreed right away. Even if the film had the dumbest title ever.
“Severus, wasn’t that just wonderful?” Hermione asked as she turned to him, tears still wet upon her face.
“Um… No. It was complete shite,” Severus said honestly.
He had hated the movie. And what kind of line was ‘If you’re a bird, I’m a bird.’? Complete and utter rubbish.
“How can you say that? It was so romantic.”
Hermione had loved the movie. The love story was so beautiful. Standing up, they started walking towards the exit.
“It has been a long time since I took in film, but I seem to remember that I liked action movies more than I like romance movies.”
Bumping him with her hip, she lightly chuckled. “You are such a man, Severus.”
Severus had no idea what that meant. Of course he was a man. What did she think he was? A woman? But what did liking action movies have to do with his gender?
“I am not sure how to take that, but thank you.”
They were walking down a street somewhere in Muggle London. Steadying himself, Severus took a chance and reached for her hand. Having almost no experience with dating, he hoped he wasn’t about to get smacked. Instead, Hermione just squeezed his hand and turned to smile at him. Sighing in relief, he gave her fingers a slight squeeze back and tried to keep the stump grin that wanted to break out on his face.
“Severus,” Hermione sounded shy. “Would you, maybe like to go to the pub before we head home?”
She almost hadn’t asked him. They were having such a good night that she didn’t want it to end. But she didn’t want him to think that she was trying to take over the date either. Maybe she shouldn’t have said anything.
“That sounds wonderful. Do you have one in mind?”
He wasn’t sure if it was because he was slightly nervous over his growing feelings for Hermione that he drank too much, or if it was because Muggle alcohol was stronger than Wizarding alcohol, but Severus was wasted. Looking at Hermione, he realized she wasn’t in much better shape than he was. He wasn’t going to complain though. With every drink she downed, the more she would grab his leg or lean up against him.
“Alright, Little One, time to get you home,” Severus said, putting his hand on her elbow to steady her.
“I’m not that little!” Hermione yelled as they made their way to the door.
“You’re little compared to me. Now come here.”
Severus directed her into a deserted side alley. Pulling her body close to his, he wanted to kiss her, devour her. Instead he turned on the spot and Dispparated towards home.
Landing in the entryway, he reluctantly let her go and started for the kitchen.
“I’ll get us some hangover potions for the morning,” he called over his shoulder.
Hermione was still waiting for him at the bottom of the stairs when he returned. Taking his hand, she led him up the stairs until they stopped in front of the bedroom doors. Taking courage from the spirits she had consumed, Hermione moved onto her tiptoes and kissed Severus.
Pulling back after a few seconds, Hermione leaned her head against his chest.
“I’m sure you’ll hate me in the morning for that, but I have wanted to kiss you for a while.”
Grabbing her by the face, he tilted her head to look at him. Snape leaned down and gave her a few quick kisses.
“I won’t hate you in the morning, I promise,” he told her. “I would love to continue this, but I know you will regret this in the morning. You have been drinking too much to make an informed decision.”
Severus sighed. He wanted nothing more than to take her into her room and have his way with her, but he was a man of honor, and honorable men never had sex with women who weren’t in their right minds.
“Maybe you can kiss me again sometime,” she quipped before turning into her bedroom. “Good night, Severus.”
Severus stripped out of his clothes, and crawled into bed. For the first time since he had been back, Severus felt his cock stir as he thought about Hermione. Closing his eyes, he pictured Hermione until his orgasm spilled over his belly. Waving his wand to clean himself, he closed his eyes and drifted into a dreamless sleep.
Across the hall, Hermione was thankful for silencing spells as she yelled his name in ecstasy.
To celebrate my 1 year anniversary as a fanfiction writer, I am posting chapter 1 of my new story on Friday!! I hope you check it out.
Chapter 12: Scents
Severus was already in the lab when Hermione entered the next morning. She wasn't sure how he would feel about her in the light of day. Last night he said he had wanted to continue kissing her, but he was sober now so she wondered if he regretted what they had done. Deciding she'd let him make the next move, she gave him a smile, a quick greeting, and got to work on the potion.
Watching her enter the lab, Severus returned her greeting but didn't say anything more. He wanted to bring up last night, ask her if he could kiss her now, but he didn't. He had no real experience with women, except ones he met, shagged, and left the same night. That was not what he was looking for in Hermione. Deciding he wouldn’t say anything until Hermione brought it up, he went back to brewing.
“Hermione,” Severus called. They had just finished brewing and were currently siphoning it into vials. “Can I get your advice on something?”
“Of course you can,” Hemrione answered.
“On Friday, Ginny mentioned that I could make a killing selling my soap. I know that there aren’t a lot of superfluous scents in the Wizarding world when it comes to personal hygiene. Do you think Ginny is right? Is there a market for scented soaps?”
Hermione thought about it. When she had started going to Hogwarts, she had relied on the soap they provided and was surprised it had been unscented. After a few weeks, she had asked her mum to send her scented Muggle soap, and that was what she had done the rest of her time there. Parvati and Lavender had liked the smell, so they used it as well. She remembered Lavender complaining more than once that witches needed good smelling things.
Hermione relayed the story to Severus. “I do think there is a market, but I am not sure how big it is. Lavender actually just opened a beauty shop in Diagon Alley a couple of months ago. She sells hair care products, things like that I believe. I haven’t ever been there, but Ginny has. I think she would be the best person to talk to.”
“I wonder if she is there today.”
“Are you thinking making soaps is what you want to do?” she asked.
She wasn’t trying to be rude, but Severus Snape, Prince Of Soaps, just didn’t seem right to her.
“Not full time,” he said. “But the idea of not having something to do will drive me crazy.”
“Why don’t you start working on all the potions you had improved on and send them in? That should keep you busy right?”
“You seem to be trying to dissuade me from making soaps,” Severus questioned. “Is there a reason?”
“Not at all. I think you would be excellent at it,” Hemrione said. “I just don’t think it would be enough for you. You are like me, we need things that keep us intellectually engaged. I just don’t see soap as being that thing for you.”
“But I am used to teaching, brewing experimental potions, and serving two masters. So the idea of only working on the potions doesn’t feel like it will be enough for me,” he explained. “Making soap will be something that relaxes me.”
“Then I think it is a great idea,” she told him. “Do you want to come drop this stuff off at Lupin House and then we can go to see Lavender?”
They were on their way to Lavender's shop and had just entered the Leaky when Severus asked Hermione. "Do you think I could buy some potion ingredients from you?"
“I told you that you could use whatever you need from my stores or garden.” Hermoine said. “Why would you ask if you could buy it?”
They had made their way into the courtyard and Hermione was tapping the brick to get into the alley before they stepped through.
“I know you told me that, but that was when I wasn’t really using anything,” Severus answered. “I talked to the orphanage director while you were dealing with the wolves and promised her I would brew her all the potions that they need. They were low or out of almost every one.”
“You’re going to help them?” Hermione asked, stunned.
She knew that Severus wasn’t the biggest fan of werewolves, almost being mauled by Lupin twice. He had told her he would help improve the Wolfsbane because he would rather not have ‘full grown hairy monsters trying to eat everyone’.
“They are children that did nothing wrong, of course I will help them.”
What did she think he was, a man that liked to make children suffer? Well, I guess I can’t blame her, I was a right bastard when I was a teacher. But that’s only because the little fuckers were a pain in my arse every damn day.
Severus grunted as Hermione flung herself into his arms, squeezing him tightly. A flash from a camera went off right as she kissed his cheek.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you!” Hermione exclaimed. “You can use whatever you need from my stores, no charge. Thank you so much for doing that. You are the best, Severus.”
“Well, Hermione, you two sure move fast. One date and you’re already being affectionate in public,” Parvati said as she came towards them. “Anything you would like to tell your readers?”
“I would prefer you keep my personal life out of the paper, Ms Patil,” Severus snapped, giving her his worst sneer.
“Your ‘Professor Snape’ routine isn’t going to work on me, sir,” she shot back. “I’m not going to follow you around, but when you are hugging and kissing right in front of me and witnesses, I have a duty to report it.”
“Parvati, we weren’t hugging and kissing,” Hermione said with exasperation. “Severus had just told me about some good news and you know how I am, I get huggy when I am happy. That is all.”
“And what was the good news?”
Severus sighed. Stupid, nosey, reporters.
“Just that I’ll be donating some of my time to make potions for a Lupin House, the werewolf orphanage,” Severus answered.
“That is a great cause Professor.” Parvati had gone quiet and solemn. “Thank you so much for helping them. I’ll see what I can do about losing that picture.” Severus stared at her, not sure what was happening. “You must not know. My best friend, Lavender Brown, do you remember her?”
“Yes,” he replied. “We are actually on our way to see her right now.”
“Are you really? Oh, you must tell her what you are doing. Anyway, Lavender was attacked by Greyback during the Final Battle. He ripped her up pretty bad, but it wasn’t the full moon, so she only has some wolf traits. She spends a lot of time at Lupin House and will be pleased you will be helping the children.” She paused for a moment. “How about I take a picture of the two of you coming out of Lav’s shop? Then I could use that for the story instead of the one we took before.”
“Fine,” Severus sighed.
Maybe if he did start selling items at Miss Brown’s store this article would help.
“Thank you, sir. Hermione.”
Parvati started to walk away before Hermione stopped her.
“Before you leave,” Hermoine asked her, “can you send me a copy of the picture you took of us on Friday?”
“Of course. And thank you again for giving me a heads up,” Parvati replied with a huge smile on her face. “My boss gave me a bonus because I had the exclusive interview.”
“Thank you, Parvati. I am glad it worked out for you.”
Lavender, it turned out, loved his idea and thought there was a market for it. She was currently selling Muggle soaps and they were moving off the shelves pretty quickly. Evidently the magical community wanted it, but weren’t willing to venture into Muggle London to get it. Lavender thought that they would sell more if the cost came down from her current prices. As it was, she had to go buy the soap at a Muggle shop, then markup the price even higher so she could make a profit. Severus offered to send her a few samples by the end of next week.
Severus had expected to spend at least one whole day in Gringotts going through his vault. Hermione had said Harry kept his vault separate from the Prince vault where they had stored Severus' things, but he had assumed they had just thrown everything in there. He was surprised when he walked in to see everything in labelled boxes, piled neatly around the vault. He recognized Hermione's handwriting on all of the labels. Merlin bless that woman.
Looking through the box that said Important Papers , he found his passport and driver's license. He wanted to set up a Muggle bank account and knew he would need them. Thankfully he had renewed both right before he died so they weren't expired yet. He figured if he had lived through the war he would be on the run in the Muggle world so he had wanted to be prepared.
Before he left the house, Hermione had loaned him a messenger bag she had placed an undetectable expansive charm on. Opening it, he filled it with a few dozen books, and a sizeable amount of Galleons. Taking the cart back to the main floor, he had the goblins exchange most of them into pounds. Grabbing a few items from the stores in Diagon Alley, he headed towards a bank Hermione had mentioned that was nearby and opened a new account and ordered a bank card.
On his way home he stopped in St Ives. He had noticed a boutique that sold all kinds of Muggle bath products last time he was here. When he walked in he was overwhelmed with the conflicting scents of all of the items. Grabbing a few bars of soap and some bottles of something called shower gel, he Apparated home.
He spent the next few hours in the lab trying to duplicate some of the scents and figure out which ones worked well together. Magical soap wasn't much different from Muggle soap in terms of how well they cleaned. The biggest difference was that magical soap used plants with magical properties. That caused a problem when he wanted to add different ingredients to change the scent because the additives could make the soap not work anymore.
After spending two long days in the lab he realized that he could make the soap with a combination of the magical and Muggle way, but improve the quality over the samples he had purchased in St. Ives. The recipe was basic and he was able to create the same base in bulk, then add scents to smaller batches.
By Tuesday night he had created what he thought was a perfect base. Splitting it into a few different cauldrons, he scented each soap with ingredients that he thought would go well for Hermione, Ginny, Harry, Draco, and Narcissa. Borrowing Perphesone, he sent each of them a bar asking them to try it out and let him know what they thought by Friday.
Wednesday morning he was sitting at the table drinking coffee before heading back to the lab again. Hermoine entered and smiled at him.
“Severus, your soap is amazing,” Hermione told him. “It has great lather, my skin doesn’t feel dry, and I loved the smell. How did you know I would like coconut?”
“You like the water, and the cove here looks like it is in the tropics,” Severus explained. “Thinking about those two things brought visions of palm trees to my mind, so I picked coconut.”
“Thank you. It is perfect. I will let you know tonight if my skin feels any different.” Grabbing a mug, she poured herself a cup of coffee.
Standing, Severus made his way over to her.
“Would you mind if I examined the scent? I want to see how it smells when it is applied to your skin.”
Hermione blushed and thought about telling him he could examine her whole body if he wanted to. Since they had kissed over the weekend, she wanted his lips on every part of her.
Pushing her hair out of the way, Severus leaned down and placed his face by her neck. He let his lips slide over the skin as he took in the smell of coconuts. Keeping his face there, he spoke, lips ghosting over her neck.
“You smell perfect.”
Hermione placed her hand on his face and was pulling him towards her lips when her fireplace roared to life. Son of a bitch! All I want is to kiss this man. Can’t people just send owls?
“Uncle?” Draco stuck his head through and raised his eyebrow at them snickering. “Sorry to interrupt.”
“What do you want?” Severus growled. Stupid, annoying kid. Can’t he see I’m busy?
“Mother was hoping she could talk to you about your soap,” Draco said, “but I can’t bring her through. Would you like to come over for tea? Father would like to see you too.”
“Fine. I will come over soon,” Severus replied.
Draco disappeared from the fire and Severus leaned his forehead against Hermione’s. “That boy has horrible timing.”
“Yes, he does,” Hermione agreed. “I have to get to work. I’ll write down my house location so you can give it to Narcissa. I don’t mind if she comes over. But,” she paused hoping she wouldn’t offend him. “I don’t think I am ready to have Lucius in my home. I know he is your friend and you live here, but I think I need some reassurances that he isn’t a Muggleborn hating bigot anymore before he comes over.”
“I understand. I will make sure only Narcissa sees it. And Astoria if you want. I know you told Draco she was welcome here.”
“Thank you. Astoria is fine.”
She wrote her information down quickly before handing it to him. Stretching, she placed a lingering kiss on his cheek and left.
Chapter 13: Charming
Brunch at Malfoy Manor was different than what Severus had expected. Narcissa was the same engaging host as always, but the family was much more relaxed than they had ever been. Astoria had grown up to be a wonderful young woman and Severus loved watching her interact with Scorpius. Unlike the elder Malfoys, Draco and Astoria raised him with almost no help from the elves and Severus was pleased to see how well they were doing.
Most things in the world had stayed the same during the time he was gone. One thing that had changed dramatically was Lucius Malfoy. They had exchanged a few letters since his return, but Severus was still expecting the old Lucius when they met in person. While still impeccably dressed and intimidating looking (to people who weren't Severus Snape), he had mellowed out. Speaking to Severus in his private study, he explained how he had worked with Ministry mandated Muggle trained therapists to help him become more tolerant and control his anger.
"My choices and hatred for others almost killed my son and my wife," Lucius said. "I needed to change, and luckily the Ministry decided to give me the opportunity instead of sending me to Azkaban."
"I am happy for you, Lucius," Severus said. "How are you and Narcissa doing? Has she forgiven you for the events of the war and your involvement?"
Even though Bellatrix always accused Severus of having a crush on Narcissa, he had never seen her that way. To him, Narcissa was the sister he never had. Her happiness was something he always looked out for. He knew that she had suffered greatly the year the Dark Lord lived at the manor.
"She has. After I was in therapy for about a year, we started going to a marriage counselor to help repair the damage I had done." Lucius took a sip of his tea. "We also had family therapy with Draco. Honestly Severus, we are closer than we have ever been."
"I am very pleased for you, Lucius."
"And you, Severus? I see you went on a date with Hermione Granger and then you were spotted out together again. Anything you would like to share?"
"I am staying with her until I buy a new place. She lets me brew in her lab and use her potion ingredients."
"And in exchange for living with her and using her lab, you take her on dates?" Lucius gave him a look that clearly said 'stop lying to me and yourself'. "How very magnanimous of you."
"You are not my therapist, Lucius," Severus growled. "I don't need to talk to you about my feelings."
"So you admit to having feelings then?"
"Fine. Yes I have feelings for her. How could I not? She is intelligent, fun, and easy to be around." Severus sighed just thinking about Hermione. She was everything he had ever wanted in a partner.
"Not to mention gorgeous."
"Who is gorgeous?" Narcissa asked as she walked into the room.
"Hermione," Lucius answered. "Severus likes her."
"Oh, Severus. That is wonderful," Narcissa gushed. "She is perfect for you. Do you need help wooing her?"
"I will let you know, but I think I am doing alright on my own."
Most people in the world assumed Narcissa was a trophy wife; only there to look good and toe the line. One reason Severus enjoyed her company so much was because she was actually very smart, and very witty. Her skills in Herbology were rivaled only by Professor Sprout, and possibly Neville Longbottom. Severus stayed and talked to Lucius and Narcissa for a few hours until it was time to return to Hermione.
"Narcissa, you must come and see Hermione's gardens. I have never seen such perfect potion ingredients," Severus told her as she walked him to the Floo.
"I would love to come and see them." She took the paper containing Hermione's address. "Maybe she would like to have tea with me and Astoria sometime. Astoria is still great at potions and would love to see the lab she has. We have been meaning to re-do the one here for her."
"I will talk to Hermione and have her send you and owl. Now, what did you think of your soap?"
Narcissa had loved her soap, and shared it with Astoria and they both gave him rave reviews, promising to buy some bars as soon as they were on the market. Draco had shared his with Lucius who was also impressed with the quality. Narcissa handed him a piece of parchment with their thoughts on the soaps before he left. Encouraged by the support of his friends, he left their house and went to the lab to make more.
Arriving home, Severus had received an owl with positive feedback from the Potters. Severus went down to the lab and created one more custom soap. Even though it made him slightly sick, he colored the soap purple and added lavender and vanilla. Gathering all the inventory he had made, he took the soap to Lavender's shop.
She instantly fell in love with the color and scent of her own custom soap. After reading the personal recommendations from such high profile people, she agreed to stock his products. They went through the different scents he had already created and, after sniffing each one and gushing over them, she took his entire inventory.
Handing over his stock, he rolled his eyes at her marketing ideas. She planned on putting little cards with each person's review next to the soap and naming them after their scents. He thought it was absolutely ridiculous, but knew it would help them sell.
Agreeing to her terms of a 60/40 split in his favour, he left her shop feeling good. Having something to do, even if it was selling soaps to a overexcited Gryffindor, gave him purpose.
Severus had just come into the kitchen to have lunch with Hermione on Friday when an owl tapped on the window. He had been in the lab since sunrise completing the potions for the Lupin House. Letting the bird in, Hermione watched as Severus opened his letter frowning.
"Bad news?" she asked.
"Not at all," Severus replied. "It's from Lavender. She has already sold out of all the soap I gave her and would like me to send her more as soon as possible."
"That's excellent news. I am done working for the day, would you like my help in the lab?"
Hermione was still researching Morgan le Fey's tome, but had reached an end of her current research and didn't want to start something new before the weekend.
"I would love your help. I still have one more potion to finish before I can send everything over to Lupin House. Would you mind brewing it so I can work on the soap?"
"That works for me," she said as she sat the salad she had been preparing on the table. "We'll head down as soon as we're done eating."
Severus started two large cauldrons of his soap base while he surreptitiously watched Hermione brew the healing potion for the werewolf cubs. He had to admit that Lucius was right, Hermione was gorgeous. Severus found her attractive all the time, but there was something about seeing her in the lab he designed brewing beside him.
Hermione was wearing a pair of tight muggle jeans that showed off her pert arse but what was really catching his attention was her neck. She had pulled her wild curls into a loose mess of a bun on the top of her head and small curls had escaped to lay on her neck. It took every ounce of strength Severus had to keep stirring his base and not walk behind Hermione to kiss that deliecible neck. As she turned to place the next ingredient into her cauldron, Severus noticed a shiny, white scar that ran horizontal under her chin.
"How did you get that scar?" Severus asked.
"What scar?" Hermione had more than her share of scars from her teenage years, plus a few more she had earned as an Unspeakable.
Her favorite scar was a small one on the middle toe of her left foot. She had been wearing sandals when visiting Hagrid with Harry one day and one of his niffers had tried to bite her toe ring off. It had hurt when he clamped down, but even to her, the sight of the niffler hanging from her toe was hilarious.
"The one on your neck."
"That one was from Bellatrix Lestrange."
"The night Harry, Ron and I were captured and taken to Malfoy Manor. I assume you heard about that."
"I heard you were captured and escaped, but I didn't hear anything about what happened to you."
"Once the snatchers brought us to the manor, Bellatrix and Lucius were determining which of them would call Voldemort. Lucius was about to touch his mark when Bellatrix noticed one of the snatchers holding the sword of Gryffindor.
"Since it was supposed to be in the Lestrange vault- thank you for bringing it to us, by the way- Bellatrix told Lucius to wait. She decided to 'question' me because I was a Mudblood. Long story short, she used the Cruciatus curse on me until I passed out. Harry and Ron tried to rescue me, but Bellatrix held her knife to my throat and pressed into me a little too hard when the boys hesitated too long for her liking.
"Obviously we escaped and I recovered from the curses. But there was nothing Fleur could do to stop the cut from healing." Hermione shrugged. The scar was not noticeable and she hardly thought about it anymore. "Bellatrix probably cursed the blade so they left scars. Seems like something she would do."
Severus listened to her story in shock. Voldemort had visited Hogwarts the morning after Hermione and her friends had escaped Malfoy Manor in order to retrieve the Elder Wand from Dumbledore's grave and had told him Draco and Bellatrix had lost their wands, but said nothing of the events leading up to it. Severus knew first hand how powerful Bellatrix was when using the Cruciatus curse on someone. He had been on the receiving end of that curse more than once in his lifetime, and Bella's was more painful than even the Dark Lord.
"How many times?" Severus asked.
"How many times what?" Hermione inquired.
"How many times did she curse you?"
"I tried to keep track. I'm not sure why, I think my mind was just trying to think about anything to not focus on the pain. I was up to nine when I passed out."
"Nine? Merlin, Hermione. I'm surprised you're not in St Mungos sharing a room with the Longbottoms."
"I probably would be if the boys hadn't rescued me."
Hermione turned back to work on the potion, and while Severus was making his soap, his mind was still on the story Hermione had just told him. He had always known Hermione was stronger than she looked. Hell, the girl was attacked by a troll her first year and didn't let it slow her down. But to be tortured by the craziest witch that ever lived and be able to talk so calmly about it was something else.
Severus sighed. If he wasn't careful, he was going to be in danger of falling in love with the woman across from him.
Having loaded all the new bars of soap into the borrowed messenger bag, Severus and Hermione Apparated to Diagon Alley. Remembering that Parvati was likely to be around, they walked near each other, but not too close. Hermione would have loved to grab Severus' arm while they walked, but she didn't want people to know how she felt about the man next to her. Too much of her life had been splashed across the papers as it was.
"The fuck?" They had just walked towards Lavender's shop when Severus stopped, cursing.
"Oh, that is brilliant," Hermione giggled.
"That is not brilliant. That is horrifying," Snape snapped at her. "Of all the things she could have called it."
Lavender had placed a large poster in her window. It had the picture of Severus smiling at Hermione from the paper, but she had cut Hermione out, so it looked like he was smiling at passersby. She had printed an advert for his soap on the poster above his picture.
NOW SELLING: PRINCE CHARMING CREATIONS
Now that Severus had full access to his vaults, he knew he needed to go out looking for a new place to live. He had already been back and staying with Hermione for three weeks. The problem was he didn't actually want to leave. Even if it was making his dick raw from how many times he had to wank everyday, he would miss seeing Hermione in her tiny sleep shorts, or in her skimpy bikinis. But even more than that, he would miss the great conversation and being in her company.
Looking through the Gringotts statement, he knew he had enough for a modest house if he shopped in affordable areas. He could buy a much larger house if he decided to close the charity Harry had started with his money, but he decided the needs of underprivileged children were greater than his own. The biggest issue was that, even if he had the extra money from closing the charity, he wouldn't be able to afford a house and a lab. At least not yet. If the soap business continued to do well, and he was able to submit and start getting royalties for more of his potions, he could build a lab in a year or two.
"Morning, Severus," Hermione said as she entered the kitchen. "Any plans for today?"
It was Wednesday, and his only plans were to work in the lab. "I am going to make more inventory until lunch," he said, "then I am going to experiment with Wolfsbane again."
"Sounds like a full day."
"I wanted to talk to you," He told her. "I have been looking into my finances trying to determine my budget for a house. I have figured out that I won't be able to build my own private lab for a while with what I currently have. I have decided to continue to make soap, but also to start selling potions to local apothecaries; one's that I have, or will, improve but haven't published yet. I was wondering if you could be agreeable to possibly renting out your lab to me. As well as allowing me to purchase ingredients from your gardens."
"Severus Snape, you are a smart man, so when are you going to get it through your head that you can use anything in my garden as long as you leave enough for me?" Hermione huffed. "And you don't have to pay to use my lab, it is open to you anytime."
"I know you keep saying that, but I am talking about running a possible business from your lab," Severus explained. "That means I would be using everything you grow. And I would be in your lab all the time. If I am busy enough, I might even have an employee or two depending on how well it does."
"I knew you wouldn't stick to just soaps," Hermione said as she moved to the table and sat down. "I don't grow enough for what you are talking about. Where will you get the rest?"
"I was hoping to buy from you and a few other suppliers to get what I need."
"If I am being too forward, let me know, but how do you plan to buy a house and start a potions business? The start up for that will be expensive."
"You have already been through every personal thing in my home and I'm sure you've seen my finances, so you aren't being too forward," he told her. "I was planning on getting a business loan. There are only two other potion masters in Britain. Slughorn, who no longer brews, and the other teaches at Hogwarts. That means apothecaries are having to import all master level potions and any they don't want to brew themselves. I will be able to sell it to them cheaper, so I am positive I will be successful and be able to pay the loan back within a few years."
He had done research over the last week and had a business plan already written to give to Gringotts for them to approve his loan.
Hermione listened and thought over what he was saying. She knew potions were imported in and were expensive, that is why she brewed as many of her own and her friend's potions as possible. If Severus could sell them cheaper to the apothecaries, the public would get them at a lower price as well.
"I have a proposition for you, Severus."
"And that is?" he asked.
"I think you like living here, and I like having someone else in the house. What if you continued to live here and used the lab? That way you don't need to get a loan, and when you outgrow the lab, you will have enough capital to build one."
Serverus could see how much he would benefit from her suggestion. He would be running a business and living in a nice home for almost nothing. But what was Hermione going to get out of it? As much as the Slytherin in him liked getting the better end of the deal, his moral compass wouldn't allow him to take advantage of Hermione.
"And why would you allow me to do that? I have a lot to gain from your idea, but you would get nothing out of it."
"Well, I would want you to make all my potions for me," She said. "And honestly…"
"Yes?" he questioned as she trailed off.
"Honestly," straightening her shoulders, she looked at him. "I don't like living alone. Having you here the last few weeks has been great. I sleep better knowing there is someone else in the house. And I like spending time with you."
"So you get a few potions a month and a flatmate?" Severus clarified before continuing.
"That is all I need. I make enough money at the Ministry, and the house is paid for so my bills are low."
"And when you start dating someone in six months and they don't like the idea of you having a male flatmate?" he asked. "What will I do then? Uproot my business?"
His stomach twisted at the idea of her dating someone that wasn't him. He hadn't told her that his feelings for her had grown into something more than housemates or even friends.
"The entire country believes I am dating you, so I don't foresee that being an issue." she replied.
Hermione wanted to tell him that the only man she was interested in dating was him, but her courage failed her. Even after living together and a few drunken kisses, Severus was the most intimidating man she had ever met.
"But if it happens?"
"If the man I am dating can't trust me, he won't be dating me."
"Let me think about it and get back to you."
Severus wasn't willing to commit to anything right away, even if the offer was better than anything he could ever imagine.
"I don't know why you want to start your own business. I have told you for decades that I will pay you more if you come and work for Malfoy Enterprises," Lucius said.
Severus was over at the Manor having lunch with Lucius the day after speaking with Hermione. He wanted his opinion on Hermione's offer. Lucius was the consummate businessman, and since Severus was starting out on his own for the first time, he wanted the advice of his oldest friend.
"I want to own my own business because I never want to take orders from anyone ever again. And that includes you." Severus sighed as he rubbed the bridge of his nose. "Just tell me what you think of Hermione's offer."
"Obviously you would be a fool to refuse her. She is offering you housing, work space, and materials at no cost," he said before continuing. "But Severus, you would have to make it a legally binding agreement. You have to protect yourself. Just because she says you can use it, doesn't mean she won't change her mind later."
"I may be new to being a businessman, Lucius, but I am still a Slytherin. Of course I would make sure I am protected."
Did Lucius think he was an idiot?
"And you will have to pay her. Even if she doesn't want it."
"I was thinking the same thing. Is ten percent of my profits too low?" Severus asked.
He refused to use Hermione the way she was asking him too. It would feel too much like he was taking advantage of her, even if she was the one setting the terms.
"I think that is fine as long as you have a clause that she won't receive anything once you move to your own facilities."
"Thank you for your help, Lucius."
Severus stood. He had a lot to think about and wanted to get home and start writing it down.
"Anytime, old friend," Lucius paused. "I know Hermione won't want to come to the Manor, but maybe we could go out to dinner, the four of us. I know Narcissa respects her."
"I'll talk to her," Severus promised as he made his way towards the entryway.
"Oh, Severus," Lucius called from the doorway into his study. "Before you leave. That new lavender soap of yours is simply charming."
Severus' only reply was to flip him a two-finger salute before stepping into the Floo.
Severus watched as the waiter pulled the cork from the bottle of champagne before pouring a glass for Hermione and himself. After a few days of negotiations, they had finally come to an agreement on his new business and were out in Muggle London celebrating. They had picked a quiet, yet nice restaurant for the night.
Hermione had flat out refused his initial offer of ten percent. She kept insisting that friends don't pay each other for favors, even if they lasted for years. After many hours going back and forth, it was agreed upon that he would pay Neville monthly for his part of the upkeep of the gardens until he hired someone else. He would also give her one percent of all profits as long as he owned the company. Severus had fought her hard on this, he wanted to pay her more, but she wouldn't budge.
They also agreed that he was allowed to expand the amount of ingredients he grew, including adding more greenhouses, as long as he didn't grow anything between the front door and the beach. The house sat on more than one hundred acres, which was more than he would ever need. She had explained that she loved being surrounded by gardens so the more he grew, the better.
Hermione's only real demand in the negotiations had to do with him hiring employees. She wanted to be part of the interview process. Another point she was firm on was that when he hired employees, he had to build facilities for them. She didn't want people she couldn't trust on her property, and she sure as hell didn't want people coming into her home to use her bathroom.
"To your new adventure!" Hermione raised her glass and clinked it against his.
"Thank you." He drank deeply, enjoying the bubbles on his tongue. "We have been talking about my work so much, that we haven't really discussed your work lately. Have you found anything new?"
"Not really. I have read through the book a few times." Hermione was happy that Kingsley had given her permission to speak with Severus about her current work. It was nice to have someone outside of the Ministry she could talk to about it for once. "Everything says that after coming back, she lived a long and healthy life. There were no effects beyond the obvious one."
"The obvious one being the fact that she was no longer dead?" Severus asked.
"Yes." Hermione smiled at him.
"And does the amulet have any other powers that you have found?"
"Not that Luna and Bill have told me. They have tried a few experiments with it, stuff like cursing rats and then trying to heal them, but so far nothing has really worked. Unless they kill the rat, then they can bring it back. But they haven't found any other use for it, nor have I."
Bill and Luna had been hopeful that the amulet would be a 'cure all' for magical maladies when they saw that it cured Severus when he came back. Nothing in the tome supported this idea, but Hermione could see the appeal. They could use the amulet in St. Mungo's for any case that couldn't be cured by potions and spells. But Hermione didn't think that killing everyone who walked into the hospital only to bring them back to life was a good idea.
"And if it only has one use?" he asked.
Severus personally thought it was too dangerous of an item to be studied. His thought was it should be destroyed before someone picked it up and brought the wrong person back to life.
"Then I am not sure." Hermione said. "It depends on what Kingsley thinks. I told him we needed to destroy it the day after you came back. Don't get me wrong, I am happy you are here, but I think it is wrong to mess with the natural order of things. And I worry that someone will use it for their own gain."
"Do you worry about Bill or Luna doing that?"
"To an extent. I know Bill misses Fred and would love to bring him back. And Luna's mum died when she was young, her dad a couple of years back. They make sure not to touch the amulet as much as possible. And use occlumency when they do."
Bill had talked to Hermione at length about how tempted he was to use it. He agreed with her that it should be destroyed. Luna had been tight lipped about her thoughts, only saying that everything magical was created for a reason.
After finishing their bottle of champagne over dinner, they moved to a nearby pub. Hermione was glad Severus agreed with her when she told him she wasn't ready for the evening to end. The place they had chosen was loud and while normally this would bother Severus, he was glad for the noise tonight. Trying to have a conversation meant that Hermione had to stand close and talk directly in his ear. The feel of her body pressed against his while his arm was wrapped around her waist was sending bolts of pleasure through him.
Finishing his drink, he pulled her closer and whispered. "Ready to head home?"
Heat rushed through Hermione, settling between her thighs. The feel of his breath on her ear was doing her in. All night she had been moving closer to him until they were currently standing with his arm wrapped around her and her free hand on his chest. Setting her now empty glass on the bar, she nodded.
Walking to a nearby alley, Severus wrapped his arms around her and Apparated them into the kitchen. Standing intertwined, they looked at each other until Hermione took a step back.
"Can I get you a glass of wine?" she asked.
That wasn't what she wanted to ask him. She wanted to ask him to take her upstairs and have his way with her, but her courage failed her. Even with the champagne and two gin and tonics had consumed, she just couldn't get the words to leave her mouth.
He was already tipsy and didn't really want anymore, but he wasn't ready to say goodnight to her.
Grabbing the two full glasses, he followed Hermione into the other room. Instead of sitting on the sofa like he expected her to, she made her way to the large chaise, patting the seat next to her. Severus had not sat on it since moving into her home, but as he sat the glasses on the table next to him and settled in, he could see why she bought the chair. It was the most comfortable piece of furniture he had ever sat in. Having a beautiful witch cuddled up next to him only made it better.
Hermione smiled. She wasn't sure he would agree to sitting with her, and was glad when he did. Turning her head, she saw he was looking at her. They gazed at each other for a moment before she leaned forward and kissed him.
Severus' mouth responded instantly. There was no thought, just the desire to have her lips on his, her body pressed against him. Opening his lips, he pressed his tongue against hers and was granted access. He had wanted to kiss her as soon as they had stopped kissing last time, and moaned as their tongues met.
Encouraged by his response to her, Hermione moved to straddle his lap. He pulled his face away from hers and grabbed her by the hips.
"Severus, are you about to tell me we have to stop because I am drunk again?" she said with a pout.
He pressed his forehead to hers, trying to clear his head. Sometimes he really hated his moral compass and was trying to decide if he should just throw it away. Sighing he moved his face to kiss the top of her head.
"Yes. Even though I don't want to."
"I hate you right now, you know that, right?" Hermione said as she removed herself from his lap.
"Not as much as I hate myself." Severus muttered under his breath.
Did I mention this is a slow burn?? LOL
Thank you all for your response to my last chapter!! I had no idea everyone would like Prince Charming Creations so much!
Chapter 15: Swimming
A/N: A day early because I'm bored... Now, everyone go get in your smut corner!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Severus was frustrated. He had been in the lab all day working on the wolfsbane improvements and it just wasn't working the way he wanted it to. Studying Hermione's notes, he was able to duplicate, then improve the flavor. Instead of tasting like rotten eggs mixed with rancid meat, or even her improvement of lavender, it now had a raw beef flavor. While it wasn't his favorite, he assumed the inner wolf of the werewolves would like it. Deciding he had had enough of the lab he waved his wand, transfiguring his trousers and button up shirt to swim trunks. It was a warm day today and he could do with a float in the water.
Stepping into the ocean, he laid on his back and closed his eyes. He was grateful that Hermione had been teaching him to swim or else he wouldn't have felt comfortable being out here alone, even if there were almost no waves. Suddenly he felt something furry rub against him before jumping onto his chest.
Shrieking, he jumped to his feet and threw the thing away from him. Looking about, he saw the ripples where the animal had hit the water, some three meters from him. Suddenly a small brown and white head poked out of the water. Then the animal stuck out its tongue and blew a raspberry at him. What in the hell? The creature shook its head slightly before its form started to shiver and suddenly a very wet Hermione was there in its place.
"I didn't mean to scare you, Severus." Hermione was laughing at him as she pushed the hair out of her face. "But you didn't need to throw me like that."
"I didn't know what in the hell you were. I had my eyes closed." He glared at her, but her smile didn't fade.
"Lucky for you, otters like playing so I thought it was fun."
"Why were you an otter anyway?"
The only other animagus Severus knew was Minerva, and she wasn't in the habit of changing into a cat unless she had a good reason to.
"No reason really," she told him with a shrug. "Sometimes I just like to play in the water as an otter. That's why I have such a large bathtub and that waterfall in my bathroom. If I've had a really stressful day or it is too cold to be at the beach, I'll play in there."
Being her otter self was the best stress relief in the world. All of her troubles seemed to melt away when she changed.
Without warning, she changed back into her otter form and started swimming around him, diving in between his legs. Floating to the surface, she put her paws on his chest and pushed. Thinking he knew what she wanted, he laid onto his back again. This time he was ready for her as she crawled on his chest before chirping at him and sliding back into the water. He was shocked by how soft her wet fur was as it slid over his body.
He couldn't help but laugh as she laid next to him in the water and started rolling over. Lifting her paw she squeaked at him and pushed against his side. He mimicked her, rolling in the opposite direction she had. Clapping her paws together she gave him excited sounding chirps. The two of them continued to play in the water until she crawled back on him, laid down chest to chest, and closed her eyes. Continuing to float he smiled at the little otter on his chest.
He wasn't sure how long they stayed that way, but he felt the weight of her start to shift and suddenly instead of an otter, he had Hermione laying on him. He tried to stay afloat but instead he started to sink, his face dipping below the water. Keeping his arms wrapped around Hermione, he stood up.
"Did you still want to play?" he asked.
He wasn't sure what made him ask that, but as he looked at her in his arms, he wished she was still laying with her chest pressed against his.
"As nice as it was being on top of you, I wanted to hold you with my human arms."
My human arms? What the hell does that even mean? You might as well have told him you carried a watermelon, stupid girl.
Hermione had been working up the nerve to take things further with Severus, but couldn't do it. They had shared a few drunken kisses last night, and a few weeks back, but never went any further. When he entered the water today, she decided that if she started by initiating physical contact while she was an otter, she could work her way up to doing it as a human and it wouldn't be as scary. Instead she had just made an arse out of herself.
"Figures you would want to be on top," Severus muttered.
Severus couldn't believe he was actually flirting with a woman, let alone Hermione. He had never been able to do it very well before. They had shared a few drunken kisses a couple of weeks ago, but other than when they were interrupted by Draco, nothing had happened between them sober.
"Does that intimidate you, Severus?"
She moved closer to him, her arms dropping slightly to wrap around his bare waist.
"I like a woman that knows what she wants," he replied. He hesitated for a fraction of a second, hoping he was reading her right. Lowering his head towards, he stopped when his lips were centimeters from hers. "What is it that you want, Hermione?"
Hopeful that she was understanding him correctly she moved forward so their lips were just brushing against each other.
"You, Severus," she said. "I want you."
Suddenly his lips were crashing against hers. She tried to pull him closer, but couldn't seem to. No matter how tight she held him, he was too far from her. Throwing all caution to the wind, she jumped up and wrapped her legs around his waist. One of his hands moved from her back to grasp the hair at the back of her neck, holding her face against him.
Reaching up, she pulled on the tie to the top of her bikini before reaching to the back to pull the lower string and tried to remove the offending item from her body. Severus loosened his grip on her, allowing her to pull the top off and wrap it around her hand. Looking down, he admired her breasts and the dusty pink nipples that topped them. Had he ever seen tits so perfect? He was positive the answer was no.
"You are perfection."
Hermione blushed. "You aren't too bad yourself. Where did you get muscles like these?" She asked, running a hand down his stomach.
"I lift the cauldrons by hand, not magic. It's a nice workout." He gave her a little smirk that made her stomach flutter. He kissed her once more before pulling back. "Would you like to take this inside?"
Nodding she wrapped around him tighter. "Hold on."
Spinning them in the water, she Apparated them right into her shower. Untangling herself from him, she turned on a few different handles. Water started to pour from multiple shower heads.
"This is some shower," he told her as he took in all the showerheads and handles.
"Like I said before, I wanted to spoil myself."
Now that they were out of the ocean, her confidence was slipping away. Turning, she grabbed her shampoo from the shelf. "Sit, let me wash your hair."
He scoffed at her. "I am capable of washing my own hair."
"Oh, don't get all huffy on me," she quipped. "I wasn't making a comment about your hair. You need to wash the salt water out, and nothing feels better than someone else washing your hair. Now sit."
She pointed towards the bench in the shower.
Sitting, he felt her climb onto the bench behind him before her hands slipped into his hair. He couldn't think of a single time anyone had ever washed his hair. He assumed his mother had done so when he was a small child, but he had no memory of it. Severus was pretty sure Hermione was right; having someone else wash his hair was spectacular. He tried to hold it in, but a moan escaped him as her nails lightly scratched his scalp.
"I told you it was wonderful," she leaned down and whispered in his ear.
Now that she wasn't facing him, her nerves had lessened again. Reaching up she grabbed the detachable showerhead and rinsed his hair before running conditioner through it. As soon as his hair was done she replaced the showerhead and picked up her body wash. She placed a large amount in her hands and ran her hands from his shoulders and over his chest. He moaned again and leaned slightly back into her. She finished his back and chest then stood, reaching her hands out to him to pull him up.
Pouring more soap in her hands, she placed them on his waist. "Would you like me to keep going?"
She was pretty sure the tent in his swim trunks was a sure sign he was enjoying himself, but she wanted to be sure. He said nothing, just looked into her eyes as he reached down and slid his swim trunks down, kicking them across the shower.
Her hands slid down until she was grasping his arse and she gave it a squeeze. He lightly laughed before placing a hand under her chin and lifting her face to his. His lips met hers with the same force as they had in the ocean. Her naked chest slid against his soapy one and she started to explore his body with her hands. Rubbing them all over his arse, she made her way to the front and lightly grasped his cock. He pulled his face from hers and leaned his head back, moaning loudly.
Watching his face, she grabbed tighter, starting to slide her hand up and down his shaft. Using her other hand, she cradled his bollocks in her soapy hand.
"Hermione, if you don't stop, I am going to cum."
Hoping he had a short refractory period, she sped up her strokes.
His head snapped down to look at her. Was she really going to jack him off in the shower? Removing her hand from his bollocks, she took one of his hands and brought it to her chest. She closed her eyes as he squeezed it and rolled the nipple between his fingers.
"Open your eyes, Little One," He said, using the name he had drunkenly called the week before. Her eyes opened and stared into his. "Your hand feels good on my cock. Do you like knowing you are going to make me cum?"
Severus knew she was a fan of his voice, and took a chance that she would like dirty talk during sex.
Hermione felt her arousal flood her swim bottoms, even with the water that was cascading down her back. His voice was like sex on steroids.
"Oh, you like it when I talk to you. What else do you want to hear?" He smiled at the glazed look in her eyes. "Should I tell you how much I am looking forward to coming all over your body?"
The pressure on his cock increased until it was almost painful and her speed increased.
Groaning as his orgasm overtook him, he looked down to watch strand after strand of come shoot out and cover her hands and stomach; the cream a bright contrast against the teal of her bikini bottoms.
"Sweet Salazar, woman." He closed his eyes, but opened them again as she began giggling. "And what are you laughing at?"
"Sorry, it's just that I made you orgasm." Severus stared at her. Did she think he didn't know? It was his cock she had been playing with. "It's stupid, but I was just thinking about how controlled you were before, and to see you lose control like that… Well, it is incredibly sexy."
"Turn around," he said, rolling his eyes at her. "It's my turn to clean you and wash your hair."
"Oh goodie. I love having my hair washed."
He couldn't help but smile at the little dance she did in her excitement. The sweet moans escaping from her as he washed her hair had his recently spent cock stirring back to life.
As she was washing the conditioner from her hair he reached down and pulled the strings on either side of her bikini bottoms, letting it fall to the floor. Wrapping his soapy hands around her, he ran his hands up and down her torso, paying special attention to her breasts.
"Gods, Severus, that feels so good," she said as she pushed her hips back against his hardening cock.
"Do you like my hands on you, Hermione? Where would you like me to touch you next?"
"Please what, Little One? Use your words. Tell me where you want me."
Teasing her like this was so fun, and such a turn on, he wasn't sure if he wanted her to answer or not. If she stayed in this state he was pretty sure he could tease her for hours.
"Everywhere, Severus. Touch me everywhere. Please." She leaned her head back to rest on his shoulder.
"I do love to hear you beg."
Taking pity of the poor, writhing girl, he moved his hand down and cupped her sex. His hands were still soapy and he wanted to feel her wetness so he moved her under the stream and quickly washed all the soap off. Rubbing his fingers on her outer lips he leaned down to kiss her neck.
"I need more, Severus. Touch me, please."
Hermione was going crazy. His hands on her body felt amazing. All she wanted was for him to either make her come with his fingers, or bend her over and fuck her. Right now she was willing to take either. As long as something filled her pussy.
"I am touching you. Would you like me to touch you somewhere else?"
"Yes. No." She stopped, taking in deep breaths. "I need you to…"
"You need me to what?" Severus asked. "Tell me what you need Hermione, and I will give it to you."
As much as he wanted to keep teasing her, he wanted to be inside her even more.
Jackass knows what I want. Why won't he just give it to me? "Finger me. Put your fingers inside me and make me come."
He didn't hesitate to follow her orders. Pushing two fingers into her, he groaned as he quickly searched for that spongy strip of flesh inside that he knew would drive her mad. Continuing his torture on her he whispered in her ear.
"You are so tight. I can't wait to get my cock inside you. I want to feel you come all over my fingers. Get this tight little pussy ready for me."
"Oh yes, I am so close," she cried. Severus continued his ministrations until her pussy contracted around his fingers. He continued to finger her through her orgasm, prolonging it. "Oh fuck, Severus. I need you."
Turning the tabs off, he waved his hand and they were both instantly dry. Picking her up, she wrapped her legs around him as he carried her to the bed. Laying her down in the middle, he crawled between her thighs and wasted no time. Slipping his two fingers back inside her, he leaned down and licked her clit.
Hermione's hips lifted off the bed, trying to get more contact with that tongue.
"Stay still, Little One," Severus said as he placed a hand on her hips.
"Please Severus, please." Pulling back he cocked his eyebrow at her, encouraging her to use her words. "Put your mouth back on me. Lick, suck, bite. Anything. I am so close."
He leaned down and sucked hard on her clit and rubbed his fingers back and forth inside of her. He felt the fluttering in her pussy walls again and he knew she was seconds from coming. She was moaning and he was having a hard time keeping her hips still. Right as her cunt clenched, he pulled his fingers out. Her cry of disappointment changed to a pleasure as he slammed into her.
Holy fuck! Hermione was seeing double. He filled her completely. Within seconds of his cock entering her, she screamed out an orgasm. Severus moaned at how tight she became against his cock and had to take a few deep breaths to keep from cumming again.
"You feel so good, Little One," he panted as he kept his fast rhythm. "You think you have another orgasm in you? I want to feel you tighten around my cock as I spill my come in you." Her pussy spasmed around him at his words. "Oh, you like that do you?"
Hermione was almost delirious with pleasure. His words were driving her nuts. They were pushing her towards her third orgasm almost as fast as his cock was. She could tell he was close by the way his rhythm was starting to change. Reaching down, she started to rub her clit, knowing it would push her over the edge.
"Oh fuck. You look amazing rubbing your pussy. Keep playing with yourself. Make yourself come. I'm so close."
Severus could feel the tell tale feel of her muscles squeezing him and he prayed she would finish soon. He was holding on as hard as he could.
He growled as her pussy tightened and he could hardly thrust in and out anymore. Pushing in as deep as he could, he let go and emptied himself inside of her.
Hermione came hard and felt his cock twitch inside her before the warm flood of his orgasm filled her. It had been so long since she had felt something so good, a small orgasm rolled through her.
"You're going to break me if you keep clenching me like that." Severus grinned at her.
He slowly slid out of her, and waved his hand casting a wandless cleansing charm on them before dropping to the bed next to her. Yawning, he pulled her close to him before shutting his eyes.
A/N: About fucking time right?
Chapter 16: Break In
Hermione had just stepped into the Ministry when she felt the wards on her office ping. She knew Severus was still at home, having kissed him goodbye in her room less than five minutes ago. Harry and Kingsley wouldn’t enter her office without sending her a patronus first. That left only Luna or Bill that could enter without her presence. I wonder what they are doing at work on a Saturday. Normally she wouldn’t be here, but she had been working yesterday when a few ideas for the wolfsbane potion popped into her head. She had written them down, but accidentally left the paper on her desk and couldn’t remember what she had written.
As she stepped into the lifts and watched the door close, she felt her wards alert her that the person in her office had left. Something felt off, and she wished the lift would go faster. The doors opened and she quickly made her way towards her office. She thought she felt something brush past her, and a few moments later, she heard the lift start again.
Had someone entered the lifts from here? Or had it been called back to the Atrium? Quickening her steps, she half jogged to her office. At first glance, nothing looked out of place. Had Bill or Luna just entered to borrow one of her Muggle pens they loved so much? No, the three she always kept on her desk were still there.
Looking around again, she noticed the tome for Morgana’s amulet was missing. She knew she had left it on the shelf behind her desk because she always glamoured it to look like Sense and Sensibility, her favourite Jane Austen novel. Growing frantic, she scanned the office to see if it had been moved. It was sitting on the table between her couches even though she knew she put it back on the shelf. Panic was starting to move in.
They had installed a safe that required a blood sacrifice to keep the amulet in. They wanted to make sure that even if it was discovered, no one but the six of them could get to it. Cutting the tip of her finger with her wand, she dropped the wards and swore loudly as it opened to reveal it was empty. The amulet was missing. There was no reason for Bill or Luna to have the amulet. Thinking of the night she had spent with Severus before, she called forth her patronus.
“I need you to go to Kingsley, Severus, Harry, Bill, and Luna,” she spoke to her otter. “The amulet is missing. Meet me in the Atrium.”
Five streaks of light sped through the open door, and she followed them. Running towards the lifts, she punched the call button and bounced with anxiety as she waited. The lift opened in front of her and she jumped on, slamming her hand on the Atrium button before repeatedly pressing the close button until the doors finally closed and she felt the lift move up.
The doors opened and she ran towards the wall of Floos, knowing that is where everyone would arrive. She was halfway there when Harry, Bill, and Severus (still pulling on his shirt) arrived. A pop of Apparation sounded behind her and she turned to see Kingsley.
“What do you mean it is missing?”
“Are you sure?”
The voices of the four men echoed around the vast room, but Hermione didn’t answer them.
Looking around she asked, “Where is Luna?”
“Neville said they were spending the day with his parents today,” Harry answered. “Hermione, what happened?”
Everyone who had access to her office, but Luna was here. Had she taken the amulet? What for? What need did she have of it? And why would she take it out of Hermione’s office? The rules they had been given were very clear, the amulet was never to be talked about or removed from her office. Not even her boss knew about it.
“Why are you here today?” Kingsley asked.
“I forgot some notes I wrote for an updated wolfsbane potion Severus and I have been working on in my office last night. We were going to work on it today so I decided to come in and grab them. When I got here, I felt the wards on my office ping. By the time I made it there, I noticed the tome had been moved.” Hermione took a deep breath. “I checked the safe, and it was empty. Were any of you in there?”
A chorus of negative replies met her ears. Kingsley took charge of the situation. “The only other person that could have taken it is Luna, and she is missing. Harry, are you sure Neville said they would be with his parents today?”
“Positive. He told me that he and Luna are pregnant and he wanted to tell his parents this morning. He was really excited about it.”
“Okay, that is our only lead. We have to get to St. Mungo’s.”
Hermione felt Severus’ magic caress her body and looked at him. He had added a glamour to himself. Glancing at the rest of them, she realized he had glamoured all of them.
“It will attract too much attention if we all go running into the hospital at the same time. This should help us blend in.”
Hermione couldn’t help thinking that she was dating- sleeping with? Living with? Hmm, maybe think about this at another time, Hermione- a very smart man for thinking of that as they all took off towards different Floos before being deposited in the toilets above. Running out of the Ladies, Hermione latched onto Severus as he turned and Apparated them to the alley beside the hospital. They didn’t speak and didn’t wait for the others. They took off running towards the entrance.
“Fourth Floor,” Hermione hissed as they made their way to the stairs.
They made their way into the hallway Hermione had only visited once in her fifth year. Severus’ magic rippled over her as he removed the glamours. Pushing on the door to the Janis Thickney ward, they made their way to the Longbottom’s private room and she wasn’t surprised to find it warded. Harry, Kingsley, and Bill burst through the double doors at the end of the hall and ran towards her. She and the four men pulled out their wands and started to dismantle the wards.
They had just finished and she was about to push open the door when she heard Neville yell.
“Luna, what in the hell are you doing?”
His screams filled the hallway, and the group forced their way into the room. Luna was standing with her wand drawn, the sunlight from the window silhouetting her. At her feet lay a dead Alice Longbottom, Neville’s arms wrapped around her. Before any of them could disarm her, Luna put up a powerful Protego before turning her wand on Frank.
Hermione couldn’t hear what spell Luna used over Neville’s screams but watched as green light shot from her wand and Frank Longbottom fell to the floor, dead.
Hermione was frantically trying to remove the shield Luna had erected when she saw Luna pull the amulet from her pocket. Time seemed to slow down as Hermione watched Luna's mouth move before Alice and Frank came back to life.
She wasn't sure which of the people around her said 'fuck' but she couldn't have agreed more. The shield finally dropped and Kingsley disarmed Luna before Harry placed a silencing charm on her and then the magic equivalent of handcuffs.
"What is going on? Alice? Is that you?" Frank's voice filled the room. "Sev— Severus? Severus Snape?" Frank had turned to look at their group and recognized his old classmate. "What happened? Why do you look so old?"
Alice was crying, trying to push Neville off of her. Hermione's heart wrenched as she realized Alice had no idea that it was her son holding her. Feeling like a first year all over again, she pointed her wand at Neville and hit him with a Petrificus Totalus. She hated to do it, but it was going to be hard enough explaining what was going on without Neville being able to talk. She would have stunned him, but with the body-bind he would still be able to hear what was going on around him and Hermione thought he had the right to know what had happened.
Kingsley waved his wand and Hermione felt his powerful magic swirl around them. He must have placed every ward he knew around the group of them. The door to the room slammed and the lock clicked loudly.
"Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Longbottom. I'm Kingsley Shackelbolt, the Minister for Magic."
Neville's parents stared at him as he explained everything that had happened to them twenty two years ago. He told them of their torture at the hands of Bellatrix and her companions and how they had lost their minds. The Longbottoms sat and listened to everything, holding hands, not talking, but with shock clearly written across their faces. He left out what Luna had done to heal them.
When Kingsley finished Alice spoke. "What happened to our son? Our Neville."
"Hello," Hermione answered, stepping forward. "I'm Hermione. I'm a friend of your son's; we went to Hogwarts together. I am sorry, but he is the one on the floor. I didn't want to hex him, but I knew this would be easier if you didn't know who he was first."
Both parents turned to look at their grown son as Hermione removed the charm.
"Mum? Dad?" Neville sobbed and rushed into his parent's arms as they nodded at them.
"Neville, mate," Harry spoke. "We'll give you privacy while we deal with Luna."
"Wait," Neville stopped them before they could leave the room. "Luna, why did you do it?"
Harry sighed but removed the silencing charm from Luna. Hermione assumed he was annoyed as she was at the blonde, but it was a question they were going to have to ask her anyway.
"Hi, Mr and Mrs Longbottom. I'm Neville's wife. Sorry I killed you. I knew I could heal your mind damage if you died and I brought you back with the amulet. Neville and I just found out I'm pregnant and I wanted my children to know their only living grandparents. Both of my parents are dead now, but you're still here. All I did was fix your brains." She turned to Harry, "I am not sure why you have me in restraints, it's not like I did anything wrong. They're still alive."
Silence filled the hospital room as everyone looked at the blonde. Hermione knew Luna was incredibly smart, genius level even, but was she serious? She couldn't understand what she had done wrong? Normally Luna's way of looking at things was helpful in their line of work, but this was out there, even for her.
"Well, Luna," Frank said, breaking the silence. "It is nice to meet you. I am sure we will speak again soon, but I think these nice people need to speak with you first."
They left the room and Kingsley turned to Hermione, pulling her and Severus aside. "Harry and I have to get her to the Ministry. Do you mind getting a hold of Draco and asking him to come check the Longbottoms over?" He gave a deep sigh. "We'll also have to figure out what to tell the public about them. We'll need a reason that, after more than twenty years, their minds have suddenly been healed."
Hermione leaned into Severus as the rest of the group left, Bill leaving to spend Saturday with Fleur's family that was visiting from France. He had taken the amulet and contoured a bag to carry it in, promising to put it back in the safe first. She didn't calm down until she felt her wards ping letting her know he had entered and left her office.
Hermione was still in shock over what Luna had done. She pulled out her wand to send her Patronus to Draco, but it wouldn't come. After the third failed attempt, Severus took pity on her.
"Would you like me to send it?"
"Yes, please." Hermione was frustrated. "It is the only piece of magic I have ever struggled with. Half the time I'm stressed I can't do it."
"You can't be perfect all the time," He said as he smiled down at her.
He let the feeling of waking up next to her that morning fill his mind as he waved his wand. He hadn't cast a patronus since coming back to life. He and Hermione had discussed it, but he had put it off. He wasn't sure which would be worse, if the doe remained, or if it had changed. There were so many nights when he would cast his patronus just to keep him company, and he worried that if it changed he would feel like he had lost an old friend.
A burst of white shot from his wand and hovered in the air before them. The wings made it easily identifiable as a bird, but it wasn't one he was familiar with.
"What kind of bird is that?"
"That, Severus," Hermione giggled, "is an African Grey Parrot."
"My inner animal is a parrot?"
Severus didn't know what to think. Who in the hell has an inner parrot?
"It is perfect for you." Hermione held her hand out and the patronus flew over to stand on it. "African Greys are the smartest of all parrots, possibly of all birds. And – this is why I think it fits you – they are known for their speech. They can learn hundreds of words. You have such a great voice, it is only natural your inner animal would be known for their voice as well."
"But it's a parrot."
Severus couldn't get over the fact that his patronus was a bird. A goddamn talking, pirate shoulder sitting, bird.
"Parrots are smart, birds of prey, and have great voices. Just be happy it isn't a pretty little female deer anyone."
Severus thought about what she said, then held his hand out. His patronus hopped from Hermione's hand into his. They stared each other down for a moment before Severus decided he liked the parrot.
"Go tell Draco we need him at the Janis Thickey Ward," he said and he watched as his bird flew down the corridor and through the door.
"What now?" Draco pushed open the double doors at the end of the corridor a few minutes later and made his way to them. "Don't tell me someone else is back."
"Well," Hermione started. "Yes, and no."
Hermione launched into the story about Luna stealing the amulet, killing Neville's parents, then bringing them right back to life. Draco just stared at her with his mouth open as he listened. When she finished he made no indication that he had been listening until he shook his head, disbelief clear on his face.
"Shitting Salazar on a scone," Draco said, still shaking his head in disbelief. "What was Loony thinking?"
"Nice language, Draco. We are in the presence of a lady." Severus glared at his godson's choice of language and pointed to Hermione.
"No we're not. We're in the presence of Granger. She grew up with the Weasel. He is the most foul-mouthed person in Britain. Nothing I say will be any worse than what he has been saying since the first train ride to Hogwarts."
"You're not wrong there," Hermione agreed. "Ron has quite the mouth."
Hermione continued telling Draco about Luna and why she had decided to murder then resurrect her in-laws. She was pretty sure his brains would fall out of his head if he kept shaking it like that.
"I guess I should go check on Longbottom's parents." He paused before he walked through the door to their ward. "By the way, nice parrot, Uncle. Going to get a peg leg like Moody now?"
Draco slipped through the door, shutting it before Severus could respond or hex him but Hermione heard him mutter, 'fucking wankstain' from beside her.
After Draco had given the Longbottoms a clean bill of health and left, Kingsley and Harry returned. The Minister pulled everyone that was still there into the Longbottom's room. Neville immediately asked after Luna. He had whispered to Hermione when they first walked in that he was nervous they were going to send her to Azkaban and didn't know how that would impact her pregnancy.
"Luna should be arrested and tried for murder," Kingsley said, "but since not a lot of people do, or can, know about the amulet, we can't take her to court. We would have to tell them how Luna was able to kill two people, but have them still be alive and healthier than ever. And that would cause more problems than we need. There would be panic if information on the amulet got out."
"So what will happen to her?" Neville pressed for more details.
"She has been fired from the Ministry effective immediately. She will never be able to work for us again but we will not block her from any other jobs outside of the Ministry. Her boss will write her a letter of recommendation to give to prospective employers." He paused, looking at Neville. "We're not giving her any severance pay. I'm sorry, but it was just too big of an infraction."
"I understand," Neville said while nodding. "I'm just happy that she's not going to end up in Azkaban."
After Kingsley finished telling them about Luna, he explained everything about the amulet to the three Longbottom's. To say they were shocked is an understatement. Like everyone else who had been told about the amulet, Kingsley required an Unbreakable Vow. Hermione couldn't help the tears running down her cheeks as she watched the joy on Frank's face when Neville handed him his old wand to complete the Vow. She silently wondered if Neville would return it to his father or if Frank would get a new one.
"We have to come up with something to tell the public about how you recovered. Any ideas?" Kingsley asked, looking at the group.
"Legilimency," Snape spoke. "I've been thinking about it since we came in here. We could say that Neville asked me to perform legilimency on them. Then we can tell everyone that Bellatrix had placed a curse on them that mimicked the insanity caused from the cruciatus curse. We'll say I went into their minds and found the only way to undo the curse was from the inside. That should stop people from asking me to help others with memory charms since they're normally not caused by curses."
"Will anyone actually believe that?" Harry asked, looking between Snape and Neville. "Anyone that knows the two of you would never think that Neville would talk to you, let alone ask you to help him."
"There is nothing I wouldn't do for my parents," Neville said. "Even when I was at Hogwarts I would have asked Snape to help me if I thought it would have cured them. Some things are more important than your fears."
"Why would people think you wouldn't talk to Snape, son? It sounds like he was your professor." Frank asked. He looked between Neville and Severus.
"Frank, I was a very angry man for a very long time," Severus explained. "While Neville has other talents, he was abysmal in potions. I am not proud of how I acted towards him. I constantly ridiculed and put him down." He turned to Neville. "I apologise for how I treated you, Neville. I've seen the work you've done to the gardens at Hermione's. I've never seen a potion's garden that was so well done. The plants are some of the best quality I've ever seen, and that includes things Professor Sprout grew for me."
Neville turned a bright shade of pink but didn't drop his eyes from his once hated professor.
"Thank you, sir. Your approval means a lot to me."
The group stayed a little longer before they decided to let the Longbottoms work on getting discharged from St. Mungo's. As they were walking towards the door, Hermione overheard Harry talking to Neville.
"We need to find a boggart and see if it's changed. After Snape was nice to you, I bet it's someone else wearing your grandma's hat."
Happy Tuesday! I loved all your comments on the last chapter - Thank you so much! Each one makes my day. Let me know what you think about Luna and Neville. And Snape's parrot :D
"What a shit storm," Severus said as they returned home from St Mungo's. "Hopefully Kingsley listens to you now and destroys the damn thing."
"I am sure I will have an owl from him later today setting up a meeting so we can talk about it," Hermione said as she walked into the sitting room and collapsed on the chaise. "I thought Luna would be tempted by her parents, but I never imagined she would kill someone just to heal them."
"I don't think anyone expected that. Did you watch as she killed them? It was like she had no emotions about it."
Severus had been shocked by the calmness that was on her face as she raised her wand at her in-laws. As someone who had cast the killing curse before, he knew first hand how hard it was to get the words, and the magic, out.
"Luna doesn't think like other people. I honestly don't believe that she thought what she was doing was killing them. I am guessing that in her mind she thought she was healing them. The same way she had been killing the rats in the lab."
"Well, she did heal them, I guess. But still…" Severus trailed off.
He had hoped that now that they were so far past the war he would never have to watch another person be murdered in front of him. Even though the Longbottom's were alive and healthier than ever, seeing that green light had shocked Severus.
"I agree." Hermione didn't need to be a mind reader to know what Severus was thinking. She didn't think she would ever witness a friend killing someone again. Even though the circumstances were different, it still brought back memories of her own wand cutting down masked people during the Final Battle. "Severus? Are you a cuddler?"
"What?" Severus stared at her. What the hell is a cuddler?
"Are you a cuddler? Do you like to cuddle? Because I could use a cuddle right about now."
Severus moved towards her, slipping on to the seat next to her.
"I have never been with someone long enough to cuddle, so I am not sure."
"Well, all you have to do is wrap your arm-"
"I know what cuddling is you silly girl," he snapped without heat. "I was just explaining that I haven't done it before so I am not sure if I actually like it or not."
He wrapped one arm around her and felt her sink into his side.
"Well, I love to cuddle," she told him. "So if we're going to be together, you better get used to it."
Lifting her leg, she placed it over his thigh, moving as close to him as possible.
"So, we're together now?" Severus asked.
"I would like to be." Hermione looked up at him, hoping he felt the same way.
"Alright then," Serverus said as he pulled her closer. If this was cuddling, it wasn't so bad.
"Alright then." Hermione grinned as she let her eyes close.
"Good morning," Hermione said through her yawn.
After cuddling on the chaise for a few hours, she and Severus had worked on the wolfsbane potion before going for a swim to burn off extra energy. Hermione had chased him around the water in her otter form before Severus promised her if she changed back he would wear her out in a different way.
When they arrived back at the house, Persephone was sitting by the door, letter attached to her leg. Hermione took the letter and scanned it as Severus went inside to grab a treat for the owl.
"Anything important?" he asked as Persephone took the scone he offered her and flew back to her tree.
"Kingsley wants to come over with Bill tomorrow and discuss destroying the amulet," Hermione told him as they walked in the house and up to her room to shower. "He thinks, and I agree, that it is time to destroy it. After what happened today with Luna, he doesn't want to take anymore chances."
"It should have been destroyed as soon as you found out what it did."
"I agree. Well… after Kingsley brought you back. I will never be upset about that."
Severus led her into the shower and leaned down to kiss her. "Neither would I. Even though I don't want it to happen to anyone else, I am glad I was given a second chance at life."
Even though Severus had no concept of life after death, he was thankful that he was no longer dead. Being brought back to life had been the best thing that had ever happened to him. He was free from all the stupid curses and pain he had lived with before and was free to be happy. It also helped that he was currently naked, with a very sexy witch in his arms. A witch that was currently rubbing her hand over a hard piece of his anatomy.
Bill and Kingsley stepped through the Floo in the kitchen and after catching Bill up on everything that had happened after he left the day before, they got down to the business of destroying the amulet. Hermione scoured the tome and was unable to find any instructions on how to destroy it. Not wanting to have her home damaged in case something went wrong, the four of them went to the beach and took the amulet out of the bag, placing it on a large rock.
They all took turns firing blasting and fire spells at it, but nothing was working. It sparkled in the sun as if nothing had touched it. Hermione growled at it as she sent a powerful Reducto at it. The beach around it exploded, but the stupid thing looked brand new. Fucking thing is just as bad as a horcrux.
A horcrux… Maybe it needs to be destroyed beyond the help of magical repairs, just like a horcrux.
"Accio beaded bag," Hermione called. Everyone stared at her as her bag flew through the air and handed in her hand.
"You still keep that?" Bill asked.
"What is so special about your bag?" Kingsley asked the question on Severus' mind.
"Of course I keep it. It's cheaper than a storage unit," Hermione said as she stuck her hand in, waiting for the metal box to present itself to her. "This is the bag I carried when the boys and I were on the run. It has an undetectable extension charm on it and I keep important things in here. Things I don't want displayed in my home. Aha!"
Hermione pulled the metal box out of the bag and kneeled down. Setting her bag aside, she placed the box on the ground and opened the latch and lid to reveal six Basilisk fangs.
"Are those—" Severus began.
"Basilisk fangs?" Hermione cut him off. "Yep. During the final battle Ron and I went to the Chamber of secrets and pulled the seven remaining fangs from the skeleton down there. We used one to destroy a horcrux, but I kept the rest because there were more to destroy. After the battle I placed them under a long lasting stasis charm so the venom wouldn't dry out."
"And you think they will destroy the amulet?"
"I was thinking about how horcrux could only be destroyed if they were damaged beyond magical repair. Since only phoenix tears can counteract Basilisk venom, I thought we could try it."
"What else destroys them?" Severus asked. Seeing a box of Basilisk venom, the hardest potion ingredients to find, he selfishly didn't want to use one unless all other options were tried.
"Gryffindor's sword can because it is imbued with the venom, and Fiendfyre works. I am not aware of anything else that would work." Hermione stopped, putting her finger up for silence as she thought. "Now that I think about it, Severus, your spell Sectumsempra, may work. Is there any way for someone or something to be healed without your song-like healing spell?"
"No. What makes you think it will work?"
"When you used it on George's ear, my mum wasn't able to grow it back because of the curse," Bill answered. "I think we should try it. I can cast Fiendfyre, but I would rather not."
Severus turned his wand on the amulet and quietly spoke the incantation. They watched as the amulet split into three pieces. The metal on it started to blacken, as if its age was starting to show.
"How do we know if it worked?" Severus asked as he levitated the pieces up and cast a Repairo on them. It didn't go back together, but he could still feel magic coming off of it.
"I think the only way is to test it," Kingsley said when no one else spoke.
Bill took a deep breath and locked eyes with Hermione. She knew he was thinking the same thing she was. We could try to bring Fred back. Hermione shook her head and conjured a mouse and named it John before snapping its neck.
Grabbing the amulet pieces from Severus, she held them together before thinking about the mouse John. The mouse on the ground moved slightly, it's body moving up and down with laboured breathing before it squeaked and didn't move again. Hermione could feel the power in the amulet getting weaker.
"I think it's dying," she told them. "Or maybe it isn't as strong because it's broken? Severus, can you hit it again?"
She placed the three pieces on another rock and Severus slashed his wand at it. They each held their hands over the pieces and just the slightest hint of magic was there. Hermione was convinced it would never work to bring anything back again.
"We'll have to use the venom or the Fiendfyre to get rid of it for good," Kingsley said. "We can't take any chances that it can be repaired. Bill?"
They all moved back away from the rock and Bill squared his shoulders before pointing his wand at the broken pieces. The thin stream of fire from his wand burned hot and Hermione saw the flash of a dragon biting the rock before she turned her head away from the heat. As soon as it had begun, the heat was gone.
Opening her eyes, Hermione looked at the smoking ground before them. The rock and surrounding sand was red and glowing like lava on the ground. Kingsley cast a cooling charm over it and they watched as the glow faded until it was nothing more than a shiny black glass oval. Bill and Hermione cast a few magic detecting spells over it but nothing came back.
Kingsley asked Hermione and Severus to watch over the area and when it had cooled enough to remove it from the ground and report any findings to him before he and Bill left. Severus returned to the house, preparing lunch and they had a picnic on the beach, recasting cooling charms through-out the day. By dusk, Hermione thought it had probably cooled enough and, using some spells used in Archaeology, she slowly removed the sand from around it.
Levitating it into the nearby ocean, Hermione hovered it in the water to clean it before Severus cast a charm to check the temperature. Once it was cool enough to touch, they placed it on their blanket. It was about the size of a salad plate and was flat on the bottom, but jagged on top and looked like a mountain range. The black glass was streaked with silver ribbons.
"What should we do with it?" Severus asked, running his hand along a silver streak.
Hermione leaned into him. "I think it would look nice on our mantle. A piece of art to remind us to be thankful for magic."
"Now about that Basilisk venom…"
Ex-Aurors Frank and Alice Longbottom have been released from St. Mungo's as of yesterday after spending almost twenty two years in the Janus Thickey Ward, writes Parvati Patil, Special Correspondent.
They were seen leaving the hospital escorted by Frank's mother, Augusta Longbottom and their son, Neville. Neville was raised by his grandmother while his parents were hospitalized. He was a little over one year old the last time his parents were home.
In November of 1981, just a few weeks after the first fall of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, Frank and Alice were tortured and driven to what appeared to be insanity by Bellatrix, Rudolphus, and Rabestan Lestrange and Bartimus Crouch Jr. Neville only escaped a similar fate because he had been spending the day shopping with his grandmother when the Death Eaters entered Longbottom Manor.
Healers at St. Mungo's have tried many treatments on the Longbottoms in the last two decades but none were successful. So how are they finally healed? With the help of Britain's Dark Hero, recently returned Severus Snape.
"After talking to Severus about my parents he offered to help." Neville told me in an exclusive interview. "I consented on their behalf for him to perform legilimency on them and see if there was anything he could do. Upon entering their minds, he found that they had been cursed and it could only be unlocked by a skilled Legilimens. He was able to neutralise the curse within minutes."
It is a well known fact that Snape is the most skilled Legilimens in England. When asked about his work with the Longbottoms, Severus played down his role in their recovery. "I really didn't do anything. But I am happy Neville has his parents back in his life."
One can't help but wonder if Snape offered to help Neville as payback for Neville killing the snake, Nagini, that attacked him during the Final Battle. When asked about his thoughts on Neville killing the snake, Snape said, "I'm just glad someone killed the monster."
Frank and Alice, while never having the chance to raise their son, will have the opportunity to be grandparents in six months time. Neville and his wife Luna née Lovegood are expecting their first child in January.
Severus, who has been seen multiple times with Hermione Granger on his arm, has made a big return to England. Besides healing the Longbottoms, he is donating potions to Lupin House, currently selling specialty bath products at Lavender's Luscious Lather, and has just announced a plan to start a company to brew potions for public sale. No news yet on when they will hit the shelves.
This writer can't wait to see how our Dark Hero will improve the magical world next.
"Well, Severus, you sure are the talk of the town lately," Lucius said as he pointed to the article that had been printed in the Daily Prophet that morning.
"You know I hate it," Severus sneered looking at the paper. He wished he could just live his life in peace, making love to Hermione and brewing.
"I know you do. But it is better than being hated by everyone."
"I just don't see why people care about my life so much. There is nothing interesting about me."
"Don't lie to yourself," Lucius said. "You went from the bastard teacher to Death Eater Headmaster, only to be redeemed by the words of the Golden Boy himself. Harry Potter sung your praises, and the entire world forgave you. Then when people finally stopped talking about you, you return as if you've come back from the dead. And the icing on the cake, you are dating the most eligible witch in the world."
"Yes, well. I still hate it." Severus thought over his words.. When he put it like that, he did seem interesting.
"It is great advertising for your new business. People will be crawling over each other to buy anything with your name on it. Did you and Hermione come to an agreement?"
Severus told Lucius what they had agreed on. Lucius told him he questioned Hermione's intelligence for wanting so little.
"You seem happy, Severus. Are you pleased you came back?" Lucius asked.
Severus thought back over the events that had taken place since his return and compared them to the life he had lived before. It was like he was a new person. He had his freedom, was able to do what he loved, and every night had a beautiful woman in his arms.
"Very pleased, Lucius."
And that, my beauties, is all she wrote! Well, except the epilogue that I'll post next week. THANK YOU SO MUCH for all the love you showered on me in this stor
Severus looked up as his six year old twins, Imogen and Rhys, entered his private lab.
He had returned from the dead eight years ago, and in that time, he had married Hermione and then ten months after their wedding they welcomed a set of twins. Deciding that was enough for them and Hermione's wish to stop worrying about taking a monthly potion, Severus had gone to a Muggle doctor and had a little snip and tie done.
His business, STS Potions, had expanded rapidly within months of opening. Their first big breakthrough had come one month after they destroyed the amulet and had been the improved wolfsbane potion. It tasted like rare beef and Yorkshire pudding (according to his clients) and only had to be taken once a month instead of once a day for seven days. It had been called a 'cure' by papers around the world, even though some of the older werewolves still transitioned during the full moon.
Like the original, anyone who did transition kept their human mind during the change. Severus was still trying to improve it so no one transitioned. From all the research they could find, the less time that had passed between infection and drinking the potion, the better. Anyone who had been bit less than ten years didn't change at all. Those between ten and twenty years stayed human but fur sprouted from each hair follicle. Hermione had forced Severus to watch an 80's movie called 'Teen Wolf" after he didn't get her reference between their study and the movie. Anyone infected over twenty years turned into a wolf, but mostly slept through the night.
Severus had hired Astoria Malfoy at first, but it was clear they wouldn't be able to keep up with the demand. He had built a large lab and offices on the back acre of their property and now had twenty full time employees. STS was the number one supplier of potions to the British's Isles, Canada, Italy, and Spain. He had small contracts in other countries as well.
Wanting to keep the family home separate, they had moved everything work related off the ten acres that surrounded their house. He still brewed in the lab near the home, but only for personal potions. They had changed the greenhouse above it to grow food instead of potion ingredients.
Hermione had stayed on at the Department of Mysteries until a week before the babies were born. Deciding that she would rather be home with her children, she never returned. Not one to sit idle, she started helping Severus with order forms and other office work when the children were napping. By the time the babies were two she had become the head of Marketing and Distribution.
Their second breakthrough, and the one that had secured their contracts around the world had been when Severus decided to experiment with the Basilisk venom. He had added some to the improved wolfsbane potion and after three old, and very brave werewolfs took it, a true cure for lycanthropy had been found. Taken once, the venom in the potion killed the wolf inside while leaving the human untouched. Within six months, every werewolf found in the world was given a dose and cured.
Putting his potion under a stasis charm, Severus leaned down and picked up his children, setting them on the workbench. He smiled as he looked at them. They were the perfect mix of him and Hermione. Imogen had inherited Hermione's caramel colored eyes and thick hair. But instead of wild honey curls, she had stick straight black hair. Rhys had Severus' black eyes and hair, but Hermione's curls. Severus thanked all the gods that neither of them had inherited his nose.
"We have an idea, Daddy!" Imogen said.
"Yeah," Rhys cut her off. "A soap idea. Mummy said it was good."
"A soap idea?" Severus asked.
His company still made Prince Charming Creations, even if he still detested the name. It was a surprisingly good seller and, just like his potions, was sold all over the world. Over the years they had expanded the scents they offered. Severus still made a lot of the soap himself, finding the ease of it calming.
"Yeah. Mermaid soap!" Imogen yelled.
"No, Imogen. Dragon soap! No one wants to be a mermaid." Rhys glared at his sister.
The two of them got along well, but they were constantly in competition with each other.
"I want to be one!" Imogen pouted.
"Children, instead of fighting, maybe you can tell Daddy what you came up with?" Hermione asked calmly as she walked into the lab. "Hello, dear. I brought you lunch."
Severus leaned down to kiss his wife on the head while wrapping his arm around her waist as she set his lunch on the workbench.
"Thank you, love." Looking at his children, he said, "Now, explain your idea."
The children talked over each other at first before falling into sync. He had only seen this type of behavior with the Weasley twins. His children were constantly finishing each other's sentences. It was like they shared one brain in two bodies.
"Soap that will give you scales."
"Scales with glitter, but—"
"Only for girls. Boys don't want to—"
"Sparkle. I know Rhys."
"And scented to be manly—"
"So, you think I should make soap for children?" he asked. "And when they wash it will make it look like they have dragon or mermaid scales?"
Severus pondered what they said as they nodded and had to admit it was a good idea.
"But it has to smell manly, Daddy. Like Uncle Charlie," Rhys said. "Like fire, and woods, and grass."
He was obsessed with Charlie Weasley and had been begging his parents to take him to visit the Dragon Tamer for the last few months. They both agreed he was too young, but Severus was contemplating taking him just so he didn't have to listen to the begging anymore.
"But not the mermaid soap. I want to smell like that drink Auntie Astoria likes. Penis something," Imogen added.
"What drink?" Severus asked, looking to Hermione for help.
Surely his daughter didn't want to smell like semen. What was Astoria teaching his sweet child?
"Pina Coladas. I introduced Astoria to them when we went to Jamaica," Hermione explained. The Snape, Potter, and Malfoy families had gone on holiday to the Caribbean island during the summer.
"Yeah, Penis Coladas! I want to smell like that."
"Pina, Imogen. Not Penis. Pina." Hermione had to work hard to keep the smile off her face.
"Penis sounds better," She muttered. "I think the soap should smell like Pina Coladas, daddy."
"I think you two have come up with an excellent idea. I'll work on it. Now, aren't you supposed to be with Grandpa Lucius today?"
With Hermione and Astoria becoming close friends when he hired her, and his friendship with Narcissa and Lucius, the two families had spent more and more time together. By the time Hermione was set to give birth, Narcissa had said she was going to treat them like she treated Scorpius. It didn't matter to her that she was only five years older than Severus. With his parents long dead and Hermione's still in Australia with no idea who she was, they were the only grandparents their children had ever known.
"He's taking us to the Manor so we can ride horses." Imogen smiled widely. She loved her 'Grandpa Lucy' and had him wrapped around her little finger from the moment he had first held her. "He said if we're good we can ride the flying ones."
"You two go get ready to leave. I am going to talk to daddy for a few minutes," Hermione said as she took them off the workbench and pushed them towards the door.
"We love you."
As soon as the door closed behind them, Severus pulled Hermione close.
"Thank you for giving me such good children," he said.
Lifting herself onto the bench where her children had just been, Hermione spread her legs and pulled him between them.
"They are only good kids because they have such a great father. I am so thankful Kingsley brought you back. Even if he didn't mean to."
Putting his hands on her hips, he pressed into her. "Best mistake ever made."
Thank you to everyone who read, commented, and left kudos my story. I'm so sad it's over, but now I can write another one 😊