A thousand times
Before we meet again.
The cooling charm on the shed turned potions lab in the back yard was not holding up against the heat that unseasonably blistering spring day.
Hermione frowned, blowing at a loose curl that had drifted into her face as sweat continued to slide down the back of her neck. She hated the heat. Having already stripped down to shorts and a tank top, there was nothing more she could do than continually refresh the cooling charm as she worked. Spells, even ordinarily reliable ones, were not infallible, and due to the nature of some of the ingredients stored there, a more complex spell could not be used, lest it spoil or tamper with them.
Severus was on the other side of the shed holding a clip folder with a checklist attached, rifling through a crate and muttering to himself as he took stock of his inventory, checking things off as he went. They’d been putting it off for weeks, but had finally committed to going through the ingredients in his lab. This meant taking an inventory of what he had, disposing of things that were too old or spoiled, and writing a list of anything he would need to replace.
It was only fair, after all. She’d forced him to attend a party celebrating the engagement of her friend and former beau, Ron, and his new fiance, Gabrielle Delacour. She and Severus had privately commented on the expediency of the impending nuptials, but at the party Hermione had been only gushing enthusiasm and smiles, while Severus had kept his tongue in check and had been very cordial. It was more than she could have asked for, really.
‘I’m nearly finished with this lot,’ he grumbled from where he stood, hefting the wooden crate down from the bench and lifting another with a small grunt from its weight.
Hermione swiped her forehead with the back of her hand and sighed. ‘I’m nearly finished with the ‘F’s’,’ she told him.
They’d started on opposite ends of his alphabetised ingredients storage system, so they wouldn’t get in one another’s way. She quickly sorted through the remainder of the crate, checking off a few more ingredients before lifting the box back into its place.
‘The party yesterday was nice,’ she commented idly as they worked.
Severus grunted a response, causing her to smile. He really hated going to parties. Dinners with the Potters he didn’t mind so much - hell, he didn’t even complain if they went to Hogwarts and shared a meal with Minerva and Filius. But for him, parties were an intolerably loud waste of time he could better spend reading.
‘Oh, come on you old sourpuss,’ she chided. ‘It wasn’t that big a party. None of the children even cried.’
She was, of course, referencing Teddy and Victoire, and Harry and Ginny’s baby, James. Severus had scowled when he had first heard that the Potter’s were naming their firstborn after his former rival and bully. Hermione had reminded him that it was just a name. Unfortunately, even though he’d been able to get past his animosity towards Harry over the years, he hadn’t yet warmed to the child.
He sniffed in a decidedly undignified manner. ‘The children were fine,’ he groused. ‘It was your affianced buffoon of a friend who was the primary source of my distress.’
Hermione covered her mouth to hide her smirk. There was no love lost between Severus and Ron. Over the past year the two wizards had found a way to become more civil towards one another at social gatherings, but they did not like one another.
Lifting a jar of gnat heads up to examine, she sighed softly. ‘You hardly ever have to see him,’ she said patiently. ‘The next time you have to see him isn’t until the wedding.’
He huffed an annoyed breath. ‘Their wedding is only a few months away,’ he reminded her. ‘The end of Summer is not so far away as you think.’
Hermione rolled her eyes at him. ‘It’s one day,’ she said, sending the jar of gnat heads floating down into the refuse grate by the door.
‘Fine,’ he said, voice clipped. ‘But if I have to attend that blasted wedding, you must agree to attend the symposium in Belgium in October.’
She laughed softly. ‘I would have gone with you without the bribe, but deal.’
Hermione glanced over just in time to catch his satisfied smile before he turned back to his work. They fell into a comfortable silence again as they sorted, categorised and threw out ingredients. Despite the heat, she really loved doing this sort of work. It satisfied the organisational neat freak that lurked just beneath the surface. Just as she was reaching up to reshelve a few things, she heard a rustle of movement to her right, and saw that Severus had stopped working, and was leaning against the bench observing her. Hermione felt her cheeks flush with colour.
‘What is it?’ she asked, almost shyly.
‘Do you think about marriage, Hermione?’
Her breath caught in her throat. ‘I suppose I do sometimes, yes,’ she answered hesitantly.
‘Do you think about marrying me?’
She swallowed, what felt like a ball of lead sliding down her throat and settling in her stomach. ‘Yes.’
‘Was your vacation application approved at work?’ his dark eyes flashing with something that made her already heavy stomach flip-flop inside her.
‘It was approved just last week,’ she answered slowly.
‘I think we should get married,’ he said, matter-of-factly.
Hermione gaped at him slack-jawed before her mind reconnected with her body and the cogs began to whir. ‘Married?’
Severus crossed his arms and nodded. ‘Yes.’
‘The two of us?’
He chuckled. ‘Yes, Hermione,’ he replied. ‘Let’s get married.’
‘My vacation is only two months away…’
‘Are you concerned that is not enough time to plan a wedding?’ he asked.
She snorted. ‘I think that’s rather obvious,’ she said dryly.
‘Do you want a large wedding?’
Hermione paused for a moment to think. Did she want a big wedding? Not really. She had no family to speak of, and neither did Severus. They had a small group of close friends, and she’d never invested a lot of time into thinking about a lavish wedding. Hell, they could probably elope, though she’d never hear the end of it from Ginny or Molly.
‘No,’ she finally answered. ‘I don’t want a large ceremony.’
‘Any other objections?’ he asked with a smirk.
She wrinkled her nose at him. ‘No, and no need for that cheek,’ she replied, before turning a beaming smile in his direction. ‘Yes, Severus. I’ll marry you, you great pillock.’
He pushed off of the bench he was leaning against, and sauntered over to her, sliding his hands around her waist and pulling her roughly to him. She smiled up at him, sliding her fingers into his hair and pulling him down for a kiss, languidly nipping at his lips with her teeth, and soothing with her tongue. Severus sucked her teasing tongue into his mouth, plundering her own and taking possession of her.
Hermione marvelled at his ability to go from snarky and sarcastic to searingly, blindingly passionate. In the blink of an eye, he cast a charm to clear and clean the workbench in the middle of the lab, and grasped the back of her thighs, lifting her up so she was perched on the edge. His fingers went to the bottom of her tank top, easing the flimsy bit of clothing up and off, tossing it aside carelessly. Never a passive participant, Hermione reached for the buttons of his shirt, tearing at them in an effort to rid him of the offending item. He chuckled and helped her unbutton it, peeling it back and shrugging out of it.
The next few seconds were taken up by the frantically removing of clothes, until she was naked on the bench, the grain of the wood a rough texture against her bottom. He stood before her, wiry and tall, his erect cock standing out from him and flushed a deep colour from the intense desire and excitement. Hermione reached for him, grasping his shoulders and leaning up for another desperate kiss as one of his hands plucked a dusky nipple, the other delving between her legs to seek out her little nub of pleasure.
Hermione moaned as he found it, fingers sliding through her wetness, two fingers sliding up into her channel as his thumb stroked her. He was very good with his hands, and soon had her on the precipice of an orgasm. But when he could feel the telltale signs of her impending climax, he withdrew, leaving her frustrated and bereft.
‘Severus…’ she whined, pouting as he released her.
Severus chuckled, lifting the hand he had removed from her up to his mouth. ‘Patience, my little minx,’ he drawled, sliding his fingers into his mouth and sucking.
Hermione felt a responding throb in her loins from the sight. He never ceased to drive her to utter distraction. He smirked as he slid the digits from his mouth and offered them up to her, gently tracing her mouth. She opened her mouth and took the fingers, still fragrant with her musk, deep into her mouth, sucking them hard before releasing them to nip at the tips with her teeth. He hissed in pleasure, withdrawing them and claiming her mouth with his own again. When his lips left hers, he trailed a fiery path down her sternum before crouching and pushing his head between her thighs and sliding his tongue into her channel, his thumb circling her clit.
Strung out on her desire for him, it didn’t take long before her hips jerked towards him and she came apart. He rode out her climax with gentle, soothing strokes of his tongue, before moving back up her body and kissing her fiercely, sliding the head of his throbbing cock into the crevice his tongue had just abandoned.
‘Gods, Severus,’ she moaned as he teased his cock at her entry, his lips travelling across her jaw. ‘Please!’
‘Please what, witch?’ he whispered, his tongue tracing the shell of her ear.
‘Don’t tease me,’ Hermione groaned.
‘Tell me what you want.’
‘I want you to fuck me.’
She could feel him smirking against her neck. ‘Do you want me to put my cock in you, Hermione?’ he growled into her neck. ‘You are practically trembling with need. So wet for me, witch.’
‘Yes,’ she panted, reaching down to where he was sliding through her damp folds teasingly, trying to line him up with her again.
Severus chuckled, his lips vibrating against her collarbone where he sucked, before finally giving in and pushing his turgid flesh into her welcoming embrace. Hermione couldn’t prevent her hips from bucking as he seated himself within. He moved back up to capture her lips as he began to thrust, and the angle the bench provided caused the head of his cock to rub the spot within her that made her dizzy with lust.
Though she had only just climaxed, she could feel another begin to burn low within her. Severus was breathing hard, his face buried in her hair as his hips snapped into her, his movements growing faster as he reached the precipice of his own release. It wasn’t long until her walls gripped him, milking his orgasm from him until they both slumped in a sweaty, panting pile of limbs on the table.
When the power of speech returned to her, Hermione grinned and a small laugh erupted from her. ‘Oh gods,’ she whispered.
‘What is it?’ Severus asked, withdrawing from her and straightening out.
‘We just had sex on your work bench in the middle of your lab,’ she replied.
He smiled a very self-satisfied smile. ‘I see no problem,’ he replied with a shrug, waving a hand to cast a cleansing charm. ‘Nothing was contaminated or damaged. Although, I’ll probably never be able to work here again without remembering this and becoming inconveniently aroused.’
They devolved into a fit of laughter, before dressing hastily and casting a few more cleansing charms on all of the surfaces in the room. Hermione smiled as they returned to their tasks, a fluttering of happiness beginning in her stomach and travelling upwards. And when she glanced over at Severus a little while later, she could see a small smile turning the corners of his mouth upwards.
The house was silent, save for the scratch of quill against parchment as Hermione sat at her desk in the library, hastily scribbling down notes.
She had arrived home a little earlier than normal from work, and decided to get a head start on planning the wedding she hadn’t been expecting. Not that she was complaining - far from it, in fact, when she hadn’t been expecting Severus to ever want to marry. Hermione had been pleasantly surprised - she had never been the sort to dream about her wedding, but she’d always assumed she might get married one day.
Never in a million years had she thought it would be to Severus Snape.
Smiling to herself, she placed her quill in the desk drawer and stoppered the bottle of ink before standing and stretching her back. Galahad was sitting on the window bench, staring out the front window. Hermione joined him, running her fingers gently through the fluffy fur atop his head. He had grown to more than twice the size, and took up a fair amount of her lap when he moved to sit on it. She allowed him, and he curled up just as the Floo activated and Severus stepped out of the flames.
When he saw the two of them, his mouth curved into a small smile. ‘I should have guessed,’ he murmured, joining them.
‘I just sat here!’ Hermione objected with a pout.
Ignoring the slumbering cat between them, he leaned forward and stole a quick kiss of greeting from her lips. ‘What have you been up to?’
Hermione sighed heavily. ‘I tried to start wedding plans, but I don’t really even know where to start, and the time crunch is a little intimidating,’ she answered.
‘Well, we’ve already established it will not be some grand affair, have we not?’ he pointed out, and she nodded. ‘I do not have any family I wish to invite. Your- that is to say, neither one of us- blast.’
Hermione could see he was getting flustered as he attempted to skirt around the uncomfortable subject they rarely spoke about: her parents. After the war, she had gone to Australia to try and find them so she could give their memories back. What she had found instead was that, while she had managed to spare them a horrible death at the hands of Tom Riddle and his followers, they had perished in a motor vehicle accident. She didn’t believe in fate, but there was a rather cruel irony to it.
It had been long enough since the war now that the deep sadness and regret had faded, but she knew Severus would be anxious to bring them up while planning the wedding they’d never be able to attend.
Reaching out a hand to place on his cheek, and simply smiled at him, a little sad but not wanting to linger on the feeling. ‘It’s fine. My parents will not be there, so that really just leaves our friends. The usual crowd is fine, I assume?’
Severus nodded and let out the breath he had been holding, leaning his face into her touch. ‘Must we invite Ronald?’ he asked petulantly.
Hermione shot him a tempering stare. ‘You know that’s not even a question,’ she said dryly. ‘It would be terribly gauche of us not to extend an invitation to him and Gabrielle after they invited us to theirs.’
He huffed, crossing his arms but relenting with a nod. ‘I will endure his presence.’
‘That’s all I ask.’
‘Where did you want to have the ceremony?’ he asked.
‘I’ve never had a place in mind,’ she replied. ‘Do you have somewhere you’d like to suggest?’
Severus nodded. ‘Gretna Green would be ideal. Something small and private, likely outdoors,’ he explained. ‘I would like to have a full traditional Wizard binding ceremony if you are amenable to this?’
‘-Permanent, yes,’ he said, cutting her off and smiling.
She blinked, taking in the implications of his request before a grin split her face. ‘I am extremely agreeable to those terms.’
‘Excellent,’ he said, pushing forward. ‘Now we have a location and guests, so I will leave it to you to send out invitations and I will take care of the marriage application forms. Attire?’
‘Simple - nothing too extravagant,’ Hermione answered. ‘If we are to be barefoot in the grass, I am not likely to want to wear anything elaborate.’
‘A small one at one of the nicer local pubs with our friends?’
‘I love you.’
She felt her breath leave her as she leaned forwards and captured his lips with her own tenderly. ‘I love you too,’ Hermione replied, smiling. ‘How did you manage to make it so easy?’
‘You already knew what you wanted, I just had to tip you off balance enough for them to fall out of that beautiful brain of yours,’ Severus told her. ‘Your mind is wonderfully complex, but you overthink and second guess yourself far too often, my dear.’
She smiled sheepishly. He knew her so well. ‘Let’s get Thai for dinner!’ she announced, realising her stomach was growling - she’d neglected to have lunch that day, having wanted to finish with her work a little early. ‘Or Korean? Ohhh, Sushi!?’
Severus chuckled at her indecisiveness. At work, and in most of the rest of her life, she had a strict schedule and plan to adhere to. She wasn’t overly fond of cooking, so often he would make dinner or they would either eat in or go out. It felt like an ‘eating in night’ that night. Just as she moved to find the takeout menus in the kitchen, she felt Severus capture her wrist and draw her back over between his legs.
‘Our conversation isn’t over yet, witch,’ he chidded.
‘Oh?’ she asked, blushing.
She watched with bated breath as he reached into the pocket of his robe and withdrew a box that was shaped suspiciously like one that might contain a ring. He opened it, presenting it to her for inspection, and she gasped when she saw it. Nestled in the velvet was a stunning platinum ring with a solitaire morganite captured by delicate claws, hugged by two teardrop diamonds that were placed to look like leaves against it. The metal work was breathtaking.
‘It’s beautiful,’ she told him, her eyes becoming blurry with tears.
‘I take it that you approve?’ he asked smoothly, but she caught a trace of nerves in his dark eyes and the way his Addam’s Apple bobbed when he swallowed.
‘Of course I do,’ she said, pinning him with a searing kiss.
She pulled back and held her left hand out to him, and he swiftly removed the ring from its cushion and slipped it onto her finger. It warmed slightly and then shifted to snuggly fit her finger. Severus stole another kiss from her, and she could feel the beginnings of warm spreading through her belly. Their stomachs growled in unison, and he pulled back chuckling.
‘Alright, I give. Let’s order food before we waste away.’
Hermione gazed at him for a moment. The smile of happiness that curved his mouth really transformed his face. He looked younger. Pleased beyond measure, she pulled away from him and went to the kitchen to retrieve the takeout menus with an extra bounce in her step.
Sun beat down, the warm rays slipping through the branches of the trees in the back garden.
Hermione carefully snipped the wilting leaves off the herbs and vegetables with the pruning shears, discarding all of the clippings in a gardening pale to dispose of later. Severus was at St. Mungo’s that afternoon, having been summoned to deal with an emergency situation; she hadn’t yet heard the details. They were supposed to do work in the yard together, both preferring to do it without magic. She had decided to get a headstart so they would have less to do the following day.
As Hermione moved around to the part of the vegetable patch near the back corner of the house, she thought she heard something. Pausing, she listened harder. She felt as though she might be going mad. She followed the back perimeter of the house, until a few loose bits of board around the bottom caught her eye. Odd. Squatting down, she picked up the wood and inspected it, wondering if there might be rotting or termites, when she heard it again: a soft, little meow, followed by a few even tinier voices.
Flattening herself to the ground, she whipped out her wand and whispered ‘ Alohomora ’ to light the tip, pressing up close to the small hole to peer under the house.
Hermione’s eyes widened as they acclimated to the dark beneath the house. There, nestled on some black fabric with five tiny balls of fluff nestled against her, was a beautiful little calico cat, blinking at her calmly with wide blue eyes.
‘Hello there,’ Hermione said quietly. ‘How on earth did you get under there?’
Shuffling back, Hermione pushed herself up into a sitting position and summoned a stick she could see over near the hedge, transfiguring it quickly into a box that would comfortably fit all of the felines currently residing under the house. She used a charm to remove more of the wooden slats, placing them off to the side before lighting her wand once more and crawling into the awkward space beneath the house on her belly, dragging the box with her. When she approached the cat and her babies, she was surprised that the mother didn’t seem at all alarmed by her presence.
‘Good little mummy,’ she whispered, reaching out a hand and leaving it there for her to sniff before giving her head and chin a little scratch. ‘Let’s get you all out of here?’
She got a tiny ‘meow ’ in response, and carefully, Hermione placed one kitten at a time into the little box. When it came to the mother, she seemed to know what was coming, and stood up, allowing Hermione to carefully lift her into it over the babies. Pushing the box out first, she wriggled back out from the crawl space, snatching the warm black fabric on her way. She was filthy with dirt and cobwebs by the time she was back out and crouching beside the box full of cats she’d retrieved.
Hermione replaced the wooden slats with a wave of her wand, tucking it into the pocket of her shorts before hefting what she had recognised as one of Severus’ shirts and the box, into her arms to take inside the house with her.
Hermione cast a cleansing charm, first on herself, and then on each of the cats, starting with the mother. The box she transfigured into a bed, and she turned the shirt into a cushion to fit inside. She sat on the floor in the kitchen and watched as the mother gently lifted her babies into the bed to settle. Smiling, she quickly fetched a bowl with some water and a little bit of Galahad’s kibble for the mother to eat. She watched as the calico gobbled it down greedily, lapping at the water afterwards before curling up with her babies so they could latch on to feed.
‘Galahad?’ Hermione called out, wondering where her little mischief maker had gotten off to.
The cat in question strolled lazily into the room, and on seeing the bed of cats, trotted over with more purpose before climbing into the box and curling up behind the mother cat. That answered that question. Hermione chuckled soft to herself, shaking her head. Of course they were his - two out of the five were fluffy and grey like he was.
‘I should have gotten you neutered sooner, Mr,’ she told him. She only half meant it though; the kittens were really very cute.
Sitting with her back against the refrigerator, Hermione watched as Galahad started cleaning the head of the calico. She must have been a stray - she had no microchip tattoo or collar in sight. And she clearly hadn’t been spayed. Her musings were interrupted before long, when she heard the Floo in the library and Severus called out to her.
‘In the kitchen!’ she called back to him.
His footsteps echoed in the hall until he was standing there, staring down into the bed filled with cats between them.
‘I was only away for three hours,’ Severus commented. ‘How did we end up with six more cats in that time?’
‘Galahad knocked her up and they were hiding under the house,’ she offered in explanation with a wry smile. ‘I didn’t realise he was such a lothario. She is a pretty little thing.’
Severus’ eyebrow shot up at her reply. ‘What on earth are we going to do with them?’
‘Well, they look very young. We’ll have to keep them until they are at least twelve weeks old, and probably have them all fixed before we rehome them,’ she answered.
‘Hrm,’ he grunted. ‘Why are you sitting on the floor?’
‘I just wanted to make sure they were all okay before I went back outside to finish in the garden,’ Hermione answered, smiling up at him.
‘You are such a tender heart,’ Severus said teasingly.
‘They’re lovely, though,’ she insisted. ‘Admit it, you think they’re adorable too!’
Severus snorted, but didn’t deny anything, walking around the cat bed and stretching out his hand to her. She accepted gratefully, stretching a little and rolling her shoulders. Her crawl under the house combined with sitting on the kitchen floor had been harder on her body than she had anticipated.
‘How were things at St Mungo’s?’ she asked, pulling two glasses out of the cupboard and filling them with water from the refrigerator.
Severus rolled his eyes, accepting the glass of water she passed. ‘Thank you,’ he murmured, taking a sip. ‘The usual. A curse they weren’t familiar with, a bunch of interns on duty, and the lazy oaf they had in charge of the ward this weekend had dove out for coffee. A coincidence that he always seems to go missing when a troublesome patient is brought in.’
‘An easy fix for you, I’m sure,’ Hermione said, placing her now empty glass beside the sink.
Severus removed his black robes and frock coat, hanging them in the hall closet before following her out into the yard, rolling his shirtsleeves as he walked. ‘Is there much left to be done?’
Hermione shook her head. ‘I’ll finish up with trimming back the wilted and dead leaves, if you want to harvest some of the snap peas for dinner?’
Severus leaned towards her and stole a quick kiss before summoning a basket to place his harvest in. The two of them worked together in comfortable silence, reaping the rewards that came from their careful tending of their garden.
The wind tousled the grass in the field gently, the sun sat high in the middle of the sky. It was a perfectly clear spring day, thankfully.
All week Hermione had been fretting over the weather. There had been a few rainy days early in the week, and each night that she had returned home from work, Severus had needed to spend ten minutes trying to reassure her that all would be well. She would relent, but the next day she would be panicked all over again. As anyone could have predicted, she had planned their wedding to within an inch of its life; there was a contingency in the case of bad weather, of course, but it would not have been ideal. Luckily, the skies had cleared and things had gone ahead as expected.
Hermione stared at Severus, both of her hands clasped tightly in his larger ones. The officiant was an older gentleman, a wizard who ran his own elopement services alongside the Muggle ones in Gretna Green. When she had contacted him to inquire about marrying them, he’d been quite a strange and amusing man; she hadn’t needed to think it over, and had immediately hired him.
She’s spent almost the entirety of their wedding barely listening - simply staring into the black pools of Severus’ eyes, which in turn had been firmly fixed to her own. When she spoke, it was like an out of body experience - she could barely tell that it was she who had spoken her vows. When the time came, a golden rope of magic appeared and twined around their joined hand, coiling up their wrists and arms before it settled and sunk into their skin.
‘With those present as witnesses, the magics have spoken,’ the officiant said clearly, but with a smile. ‘You are bound now in magic and blood, your souls forever entwined in the blessing of your union. I present, Master and Madame Snape.’
‘What are you waiting for? Give her a kiss!’ Harry shouted, causing Severus to level him with a glare.
Despite his annoyance at the boy who lived, Severus pulled her into his arms and captured her lips in a sublime kiss. It was over almost as soon as it began, her now husband still a little uncomfortable with prolonged public displays of affection. Hermione smiled up at him, a feeling of elation and calm settling over her. Despite the fact that he had been the one to broach the topic of marriage, she had still been paranoid that he’d think her not worth all of the trouble.
Severus leaned forward so that he would not be heard by anyone else. ‘I can’t tell you how excited I am to call you wife in bed later on,’ Severus said quietly, his breath tantalisingly hot on her ear.
Hermione squirmed, heat reaching her cheeks. This man had a wicked tongue and a way with words. ‘I rather like the sound of that,’ she whispered back.
As they had planned, lunch was a polite affair at one of the local pubs near the Green. It was old-fashioned and Hermione loved the stained glass windows there. Directly after lunch they had a portkey to take them to Tuscany for a few days on the continent. Hermione was excited to eat her weight in carbs and traditional tuscan food.
It wasn’t long before their time to leave was upon them, and the two made their way around their friendship group, bidding them farewell. They gave Harry and Ginny the password to their muggle security device, just in case anything happened at the house while they were on their honeymoon. They were taking care of the cats while the newlyweds were away.
Ron caught up to them at the door as they were leaving, looking a little flustered. ‘I don’t have to like him,’ he said, nodding at Severus. ‘I just want to know you’ll be happy.’
Hermione put a reassuring hand on his arm. ‘He makes me very happy, Ron,’ she told him seriously. ‘Best you go do the same for your fiancée, alright?’
Ron nodded, and walked back to join the few other guests that still remained. Hand in hand, Hermione turned and walked out with her husband - her husband ! She could hardly believe that she had just married Severus. He led the way to their Apparation point in a courtyard that was hidden from Muggles, and they stood close to one another, both holding the bookmark he had fished out of his pocket.
When the Portkey dropped them at their holiday location, Hermione felt her breath leave her momentarily.
‘It’s beautiful,’ she said as they surveyed the city from their high vantage point.
When she had chosen Siena in Tuscany, it was because of its proximity to the Chianti region and all the vineyards, and the beautiful medieval architecture. It did not disappoint.
‘You chose well, wife,’ he agreed.
Hermione felt a stab of desire in the pit of her belly. She allowed Severus to escort her to the villa they had reserved for the weekend, and once inside the beautiful old building, he placed the travel luggage down and dragged her into his arms. His lips met hers in a slow, sweet kiss. They didn’t have to hurry - they had all night. Hermione slipped her tongue out to meet his lips, and sampled his mouth when he parted his lips to her. His hands became a little more urgent as they explored her curves, coming up to pluck at the row of buttons at her back.
She gasped when she felt his fingers whisper against the skin of her back with each button he released. Severus chuckled, plucking the last few open and stepping back just long enough to draw the sleeves down her arms, letting the fabric pool on the ground. She’d worn a little pair of white lace knickers and a bra, which he was looking at appreciatively, a smirk twisting his thin lips.
‘Ahhh, I see you bought me a present, my sweet wife,’ he murmured, grazing his fingers over the lacy cup of her bra. ‘There really was no need, though. I much prefer you see your lovely skin when I do unspeakable things to your delectable body.’
Hermione shivered. Even after all this time, she still couldn’t help but squirm when he spoke to her in that low, languid tone. ‘Then you’d best unwrap me,’ she said breathily.
‘I plan to,’ he replied, reaching behind her and swiftly flicking open the clasp of her bra.
The scrap of lace joined her dress on the floor, and he pounced. She was pressed up against the back of the lounge in the sitting room, panting as his lips rumbled down her chest and moved to capture a nipple to suck. She threw her head back, her fingers coming up to grip his hair and hold him to her sensitive flesh. Once he had teased both nipples to hard peaks, his lips travelled back up her sternum so he could leave tiny love bites on her neck and collarbone - good thing there was a charm to disguise them.
‘Take off your knickers, wife,’ he growled into her ear, his hot breath washing over it and sending a shiver of anticipation through her.
He released and stood back from her, his erection very obviously tenting the front of his trousers. As she lowered her knickers, leaving herself completely nude, she kept her eyes on him as he slowly unbuttoned the white linen shirt he had worn for their ceremony. She joined him when he got to the bottom, and helped loosen his pants to untuck the shirt. Toeing off his boots, he let his pants drop and kicked them aside. Hermione was delighted to find he had forgone underwear that day, and his cock surged towards her.
Biting her bottom lip, she took him in hand, swirling her thumb over the tip to gather the little bit of precum that had leaked.
‘Fucking hell,’ he groaned, stuttering in his movements to remove his shirt. ‘Gods, witch, are you trying to unman me?’
Hermione chuckled before quickly casting a cushioning charm beneath her and dropping to her knees, taking the head of his cock into her mouth. One of his hands wove into her hair as he panted and keened above her, unable to stop himself from gently rocking his hips towards her as she began to lick and suck, bobbing over his cock like it was an ice lolly. She hummed and smiled as she took him in, gratified by his heavy breathing and the expletives that spewed from his wicked mouth.
Hermione could feel his balls drawing up tight to his body, and redoubled her efforts, stroking the base of his cock while she sucked on him greedily, and when he came, his hot seed spilled onto her tongue which she quickly swallowed with barely a grimace. She released him once he stumbled backwards, leaning heavily against the wall behind him as he came down from the high.
‘You are far too fucking good at sucking cock, witch,’ he growled, holding out a hand to draw her up to stand. ‘A very naughty little wife. Come, let’s find the bedroom. I can’t do much more of this standing up.’
They walked through the single story villa, locating the bed. She was on her back in seconds and he dove headfirst between her legs so that he could lick her, circling her clit in the way she loved with his tongue, one of his warm hands fondling her tits while he penetrated her channel with the other. When she came, her pussy was gripping his fingers so tightly that she was sure they’d bruise.
‘On your knees, minx,’ he ordered.
Hermione complied, shuffling into the middle of the bed, her arse in the air. Severus leaned towards her and nipped her left buttock, kissing his way up her spine until his newly hard shaft was sliding between her wet folds. Kissing the side of her neck, he drove home, hitting a point inside her she could never reach herself. She felt euphoric, her tits jostling with every single thrust. At this angle, he hit just the right spot inside her, which meant she would not need too much more stimulation to come a second time.
‘I never thought, my swotty little Gryffindor would be so desperate for my cock,’ he murmured low as he bucked hard into her, his thrust deep and slow. He leaned over her, his hands either side of her head so he could kiss the back of her neck. ‘Tell me, wife. Tell me how desperate you are for this.’
‘Gods,’ she moaned. ‘Fuck me harder, Severus.’
‘You have such a pretty bottom, love,’ he whispered, fucking her in earnst now. ‘Now you are mine, witch.’
‘I’ve always been yours,’ she said breathlessly as his rubbing cock alone was urging her towards an orgasm. She loved it when he was possessive.
He reached a hand around them, parting her slick folds and seeking out her clit to stimulate her further. The suddenness of her orgasm took her by surprise, she almost blacked out from the intensity of it. Over her, Severus was not holding back, and even as her body gripped and pulled him in, he was still pumping into her wildly. His own orgasm was long, and he shuddered, almost collapsing on top of her and she came back from his high.
‘That was fun,’ Hermione declared, casting a quick cleansing charm and rolling over to push his long hair out of his face.
‘Fun doesn’t even begin to describe it. You have no idea how utterly magnificent you are,’ he said seriously, pulling her so that she was laying mostly on her torso.
‘I think I’m going to like being married.’
‘As am I, Hermione,’ he crooned.
Exhausted from a long day of wedding activities, and their most recent bout of lovemaking, the pair drifted off to sleep, curled up together in the middle of the bed as the late evening moonlight cast shadows across the room.
The afternoon breeze was a welcome relief, drifting in through the opened upper windows, cooling the house after the heat of the midday sun.
With summer upon them, Hermione was more relieved than ever that the last of the kittens was being rehomed that day. Many of their friends had volunteered to adopt one of the five little creatures, and that afternoon Hermione was expecting Harry to pop by to collect that last of them; the small ginger boy who had been affectionately named ‘Gingersnap’ by Teddy Lupin.
From her spot lounging on the couch in the library, Hermione watched fondly as Galahad snoozed on the window seat which the pretty calico stray they had decided to keep and name Lunete, was cleaning the top of Gingersnap’s head. She was a little sad about having to give the kittens away. If she’d had her way, she would have kept them all, but Severus had made her see reason, and she had reluctantly offered the furballs up for adoption so they could make their own homes elsewhere.
Galahad opened one of his eyes lazily, peering over at her, before jumping down from the window seat and leaping up to join her on the couch. He crept up the length of her before settling on her chest, completely ignoring the book in her hands that she had been trying to read. Chuckling, she kissed the top of his head and simply stretched her arms out further to accommodate him. Just as the two of them settled comfortably with one another, the green flames of a Floo call made the fireplace come to life, and Harry’s head floated into view.
His first reaction was to smile and chuckle at the position she was in. ‘I should have known you’d be reading,’ Harry commented wryly.
Hermione sat up and Galahad slid down onto her lap, making a small mew of disgruntlement at being disturbed. ‘Do you want to come through to collect the little one?’
Harry nodded. ‘I have a little carrier for him,’ he said, stepping through the green flames and dusting off his elbow once he materialised in the room. ‘Where’s Severus?’
‘He’s out in the lab working on something,’ she answered, plopping Galahad on the cushion she’d had propped beneath her back and standing. ‘Want me to fetch him?’
Her friend chuckled and shook his head. ‘Don’t disturb him on my account,’ he said with a grin, walking over to the window seat and placing the carrier beside Lunete and her ginger baby. Harry squatted down and rubbed his hand over her head and addressed her. ‘Do you mind if I take this little one home with me now?’
She purred and rubbed against him before shifting around to the other side of Gingersnap and giving the kitten a nudge with her nose. Harry took this as tacit permission, and opened the top of the carrier before gently lifting the little boy up, and lowering him into it. Once he secured the clips back in place, he left it there for a moment so that the mother and son could sniff one another through the cage front. It tugged at a place in Hermione’s chest. She had no idea how emotional it would make her feel to see the last of the kittens leave.
She placed her book down and walked over to join them, giving Lunete a little scratch behind the ears. Harry slung an arm around her and hugged her to him. He was much better at sensing when people were feeling emotional since marrying Ginny.
‘We’ll take good care of him,’ he promised.
‘I know you will,’ she replied, eyes suddenly burning with unshed tears.
She saw him over to the fireplace, and he took a pinch of Floo powder from the jar, pausing to smack a quick kiss to her cheek. ‘I’d better head home,’ he said with a smile. ‘I have an eager wife waiting, and Teddy is visiting with us as well. Thank you for letting us take this little boy off your hands.’
‘Think nothing of it,’ she replied, stepping back as he tossed the powder in and called out to return home.
Sighing softly, she slumped back onto the couch, picking up her book to read once more. As she stared at the pages, Hermione found herself too distracted to concentrate. She was sad. She felt like a little part of her had been lost somehow. It was silly, really. But the reality was, that two cats was more than enough, and they would likely have plenty of trouble with the pair of them chasing one another around the house.
‘Hermione?’ she heard Severus call out from the backdoor.
‘In the library,’ Hermione said back, raising her voice a little for him to hear her.
She heard his quick strides as he walked down the hall, and soon he was beside her in just his white shirtsleeves, the sleeves rolled to his elbows, shirt neatly tucked into his trousers. Hermione’s stomach flip-flopped as it always did with him nearby. She wondered if this feeling taking flight within her would ever go away. She reached out a hand to him, drawing him around to sit with her on the couch. Once he was beside her, he grasped her legs and brought them up to swing over his lap, and she locked her arms around his neck so she could nestle into him comfortably.
‘So the ginger menace is gone?’
She smiled into his neck and pressed a kiss to the silvery scars there. ‘Harry just left,’ she murmured. ‘He had to dash off - Teddy.’
Severus chuckled and she felt the vibrations through his chest. She loved the sound and feeling of this man laughing. Hermione hoped that he would have many more reasons to laugh and smile throughout their life together.
‘I miss him already,’ she said, allowing a little of her sadness to creep into her tone.
‘I know you do, love,’ he murmured, pressing a kiss to the top of her head. ‘I’d be more surprised if you weren’t upset by this, quite frankly.’
‘Did you finish your experiment?’
She felt him nod. ‘It needs to steep for two days before I’ll know if it is stable or not,’ he answered.
Hermione smiled, burrowing against him and inhaling his smell, enjoying the warmth of being pressed against him even if the weather was warm. She would’ve had no idea how lost she had been in life, had it not been for Galahad finding him and bringing him back into her life. Closing her eyes, she tilted her head backwards and drew his head down to hers for a sweet kiss.
As they lost themselves to the kiss, Galahad jumped down and trotted over to join Lunete on the window seat once more, curling around his mate with a pleased pur.