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Five years after the war ended the unrelenting surge in unwed parents (and the continued dip in marriage license requests) had spurred the older generation into action.  A ridiculous “moral measures” law had passed, buried deep in another piece of legislation.  It was signed and had gone into effect before most of the Ministry even knew what it’s complicated language hid, or how the penalties for non-compliance would affect those still suffering the after-effects from the war.

The law would be repealed in less than a year, but that wouldn’t help Hermione.  Non-compliance meant living without magic, and for Hermione (and many others who had been tortured or cursed in the war) that would mean death. So, thanks to Antonin Dolohov and Bellatrix Lestrange, Hermione, along with every single witch and wizard under the age of 60 who would die without magical assistance, had to register with the Ministry for marriage.  This was all quite a coup for the Director of Marriage Records, as her department had now expanded to handle impounding all of the wands and binding of magic for those who chose not to comply, as well as the matching program for single witches and wizards who followed the law but did not find a partner on their own.

Harry and Ginny were safe, as they were already engaged and would be married within a month.  Ron was planning to live as a muggle, probably assuming Hermione would do the same. Despite their short-lived relationship she was sure he didn’t really know that she would die without the healing spells that kept her healthy and relatively pain free.  She kept her compliance with the law to herself as much as possible.

*

After round upon round of questionnaires, matching from mutual selections of lists of hundreds of names, and sitting through a personality sorting with a very annoyed repurposed sorting hat, she had been shocked to find her final choice brought down to two.  Severus Snape or Draco Malfoy. 

She had agonized over the choice, knowing that both wizards needed magic to live, just as she did; Snape because of the after effects of Nagini’s bite (at the least, she assumed) and Draco because of the Sectumsempra Harry had cast on him (if not more).  She spent a guilt-ridden night, worried that whichever Wizard she did not choose would be left to die.  She went so far as to appeal to the Minister to confirm that anyone not matched by the required date would be allowed an extension, and would not be made to suffer a penalty which would result in their death. It brought her some comfort at least.

Hermione sent the final owl and closed her eyes. This was it; she had made her choice.  Accepted her fate.

*

Less than an hour after Hermione sent the owl with her final answer Severus Snape knocked on the door of 12 Grimmauld Place.   He had been shocked when the notice came that he had been Miss Granger's final selection. He was sure that no witch would choose him, and so had registered, assuming he would end up alone.   At every stage he had chosen Hermione Granger, and only Hermione Granger, sure that of all of the witches in Britain she would never select him, allowing him to live out the extension and see this horrid law abolished.

But then she had chosen him.

Just when he thought nothing else could shock him, the door was clumsily jerked open by a very drunk Harry Potter.  The boy held the door open wide (and held himself up) with one hand while he held a throw pillow to his groin with the other.

*

He had followed Potter into the drawing room. Severus couldn’t believe his ears as Potter drunkenly rambled on, “ . . . so she comes downstairs, all in a strop, s’no bloody reasoning with her when she’s like that, and she says ‘I’m gonna try a spell on you Harry,’ s’then she flicks her wand at my lap and bam, I’ve got a huge fucking hard on.  S’fucking rude, that.  Didn’t even wait for me to say s’was ok.  S’not ok at all.  And of course that’s right when Ron comes through and sees, and she has to explain she’s going to get married, and she needs to have sex with the bloke, and she, Hermione, thinks that maybe he won’t get hard with her.  With Her! I mean, she’s my best friend and I’d never, but she has no idea how hot she is. No bloody idea, believes all that shite Malfoy and those boys used to say about her being flat-chested or, or whatever, doesn’t think anyone would . . .  and then Ron gets all red and mad, and yelling, and Hermione is crying and then, cause it’s not bad enough, Ginny comes through and she sees me and what does she do? What does she do? She laughs. S’not funny I tell her, I need her to just, you know, but she’s offended when I said she could just help me out a bit. S’not like I don’t already know she gives a fucking amazing blowjob.  Fucking amazing.  So she’s mad at Ron for making Hermione cry, and she’s hexing him, and now she’s mad at me, and then she and Hermione stomp upstairs, and Hermione’s still crying, and Ron storms off, and I’m left with a fucking painful hard on and wanking’s not helping.  So I thought if I got drunk enough it would go away . . .”

Severus regarded the boy with the same dismissive look he had through his entire tenure as a Professor.  This is my future wife’s best friend, he thought, this is the wizard who defeated Voldemort and saved the world. He signed and pointed his wand at Potter’s groin, uttered the counter spell, and then obliviated his entire visit from the drunken boy’s mind.

Chapter Text

Two weeks later Harry and Ginny escorted Hermione to the Ministry.  She was relieved that Snape had agreed to her request for a private ceremony in the Minister’s office.  They arrived late in the day, when nearly all of the employees had already left. When they entered the Minister’s office, Hermione was surprised to see that Snape brought Draco and Narcissa Malfoy as his witnesses.  

She had worn a nice dress, had Ginny help her with her hair and her makeup, hoping to convey to her new husband that she took their marriage seriously.  Severus thought she was a vision.  He wasn’t sure why she had bothered taking such care for him; he still wasn’t sure why she wasn’t marrying Weasley, or even Draco, instead of him. She was so polite and formal though, and he made sure his actions matched hers. 

Neither of them quite believed it was actually happening until the ceremony was over and they exchanged a small spark of a kiss.

At the Minister’s proclamation that they were officially wed Narcissa came over and kissed Hermione on the cheek, “Congratulations, dear” before moving on to congratulate Severus.  Hermione was momentarily shocked and so when she looked up at the sound of a soft chuckle she was suddenly looking directly into Draco Malfoy’s silver eyes.  “Good luck, Granger.” He said gently before bending to her ear to whisper, “I have never been more sorry for being such a horrible shit than I am today.” He left the lightest kiss against her cheek but didn’t meet her eyes again as he walked away to shake Snape’s hand.

The Malfoys left, and the Minister offered Snape and Hermione his floo to avoid the reporters his assistant had informed them were lurking downstairs.  Hermione said goodbye to Harry and Ginny, and was surprised when Snape shook Harry’s hand before gesturing to Ginny that he would carry Crookshanks’ basket. Just as Hermione was starting to say, “He’s very particular, he scratches . . . “ Snape was already holding the basket, a loud purring sound now emanating from inside.

*

Snape escorted Hermione out of the floo and into a beautiful living room.  The house was spotless, with dark wood floors and neutral walls and furniture.

“I selected the basic furnishings, but thought you might like to complete the decorations in your own taste,” he was watching her as she took in the room.  He showed her the large open kitchen, the back garden with an outbuilding he said was his lab and office, a guestroom, and finally a beautiful sun filled room he said was her office.  Hermione felt numb from the ongoing shocks of the day.

“Does the house displease you?” he asked, genuinely concerned that she would not like his choice; he would never admit it but he was nervous. He set down the basket, and Crookshanks promptly jumped out, twined around his legs twice, and then hopped onto the cushioned window seat in Hermione’s new office and curled up in a patch of sun.

“I don’t even know what I expected, but this . . .” Hermione said as she looked at the room again, “It’s absolutely perfect. Everything is absolutely perfect.”

She followed him up the stairs, unaware of how her approval of the house had pleased him.  He showed her into a huge master suite, again done in neutral colors, unbleached linen, and lovely dark woods.  This time the room was also decorated with a number of bowls of colorful fresh flowers.  

“I was not aware of your favorite” He said when she smelled one bouquet after another; first a vase of pink roses, then one of huge white peony, and on and on.

“I don’t think I have a favorite, they’re all so lovely.” She said.

They stood there awkwardly for a moment before he started to say, “You are aware that we’ll need to-“

“Right. I thought tonight would be best.“ She said, fighting a bit of shyness.

“Quite.” He said.  “I’ll let you unpack and then perhaps-“

“Yes, agreed.”  She nodded.  The law gave them 48 hours to complete the consummation, but Hermione was not one to procrastinate.

*

When Snape returned a few hours later Hermione had unpacked most of her beaded bag.  She was sitting on the low cushioned vanity seat, admiring a bunch of wildflowers in a small vase on her dressing table.  She hadn’t heard him come in and was startled when he asked, “Do you like them?”

“Oh! Yes, very much, I think I may have found a favorite.” She was smiling as she turned to face him.  He was freshly showered, wearing black slippers, black pajama trousers, and a stiff looking black dressing gown that looked so new she could see the creases from when it was folded (probably less than a minute ago).  None of it fit him properly and he looked uncomfortable. It was clear that the whole ensemble was all being worn for the first time just now.

“They’re from the garden.”  He was trying not to ogle her as she sat there in a short shimmering nightgown and robe, her hair twisted into a bun on top of her head.  He couldn’t help the ogling when she stood.

Hermione caught him staring and assumed he was looking at her outfit.  “Ginny gave it to me, for my hen-night.” She fingered the lace edge, making the silken material shift over her upper thighs.

“You . . . you had a hen night?” he asked.

“Just Ginny and me,” she replied, looking down for a moment as she screwed up her courage. “This is a real marriage to me Severus - I am going to call you Severus, and I would like it if you called me Hermione. How it came to begin doesn’t matter, what’s important is that we are honest and respectful.”

“Of course.” He nodded.

The awkward silence that came after made her feel as if he were standing further and further away as the seconds piled on.

Severus finally cleared his throat and began to ask her the question he was most dreading.  “I think before we begin, I think it would be best if you told me –“

“Not a virgin.” She interrupted, “and I know you hate interrupting but in this instance it seemed the best choice.”

He took a few steps forward, coming to stand close to her and lifting his hand as if he was going to touch her shoulder before drawing it back and letting it fall again.  “Thank you . . . Hermione,” she smiled at the sound of her name coming from him, liking the way his deep voice caressed the letters.

“Have you,” she started, blushing. “That is to say, if there is something that you find especially . . . pleasant –“ Hermione didn’t want them to pretend to be in love, the way she and Ron had forced things forward and tried to ignore the awkwardness between them had only hastened the end of their attempt to be more than friends.  She didn’t want to start her married life on such a footing, and so she thought that a straightforward approach to the task at hand would be better.

Severus had given this quite a lot of thought. He didn’t want to disappoint his new wife in this either.  He had scrubbed himself in the shower, and had made sure his hair was very clean and lay like silk, brushed straight to his shoulders.  He had purchased a dressing gown and pajamas, neither of which he had previously owned.  He wasn’t used to sleeping much, and never before allowed himself the pleasure of soft fabric against his skin. 

His skin, that worried him greatly, full of scars that proved painful from time to time.  The obvious damage was much more than anyone knew, for he had hidden so much of it.  Even Madam Pomfrey had only seen the damage adjacent to his neck wound when she closed it as he lay in the infirmary.  He had left as soon as he was able, thankful that she was too busy to stop him. He chose to complete the healing on his own, under his own care, taking the risk half because he trusted no one and half because he was ashamed at the idea of anyone seeing his body, as he lay there helpless.

“The law is quite complex, but it is only the most basic . . . contact, which is needed to fulfill the requirement. Perhaps, completing the . . . connection, in a manner that allows you to determine the duration and . . . amount of contact, would be the best choice.” Hermione nodded as he spoke, she wondered if he could possibly be as nervous as she was.

“Whatever you think is . . . practical.” She finished with a smile.  “There is also the child-bearing requirement, which negates the use of potions or spells for the first year of marriage, but as usual the Ministry hasn’t accounted for muggle contraception.”

“Yes, I discovered the same loophole.” Severus was quite pleased with how she was handling the conversation thus far. “I purchased some muggle . . . protection, in case you prefer me to use one.”

“I have an IUD, and I was negative on all of the tests, both muggle and magical, so if you prefer not to wear one we can do without.”

Severus nodded; grateful for her forethought and also for the fact that he wasn’t sure he remembered how to put on a condom without fumbling it.

“I was negative as well.” Severus said before broaching his final concern, “I thought perhaps –“ he was at a loss as to how to continue, unsure of how to tell her that he didn’t want to make her look at him.

Hermione had considered the idea that her husband might have specific likes and dislikes, after all everyone does, but their current conversation cemented the idea for her that he liked something he wasn’t sure she would be alright with.  She had thought this could happen, and so she dove in, hoping to make sure he knew that she would support his preferences.  Well, probably, there were some things I'm not about to allow, husband or no, she thought.

She reached out and took his hand, touching him for the first time since their brief glancing kiss at the ceremony. “If there is something you prefer then I am happy to try it with you.”  She looked up at him, trying to convey as much acceptance as she could with just a look.  Her brow furrowed for a moment as her mind ran through the possibilities, causing her to clumsily add, “The only ground rule I will mention is that nothing larger than a finger goes into my bum.”

Severus’s mouth dropped open, he had not expected that.

“I WOULDN’T!”  He stammered, “I’m not . . . Is that the sort of thing?!?!” He had pulled his hand back in shock at her statement.

“NO! I, well, someone once mentioned they would want to, but I never did!  Never. I just wanted to make sure you didn’t want-“ Hermione tried to clarify.

“NO! No, I don’t.” He interrupted.

Hermione smiled after a moment, “Well, whatever you would like to do, I think it’s alright to assume that I am amenable.”

“Quite.” Severus said, still shocked. He was happy to find his wife wasn’t entirely innocent, but couldn’t help wondering what oaf had ever asked . . . he couldn’t believe that her generation was so straightforward. The way he had been raised he was rather ignorant of such matters, and being friendless plus the abysmal sexual education available at Hogwarts . . . he realized she may well be the more experienced of the two of them.

He found that in his shock he had come to sit on the padded stool at her dressing table.  The very place he had thought might make the best location for their . . . coupling, he thought to call it.

He cleared his throat again and looked up at her, deciding that just asking was perhaps best.  He tried to be as blunt as he could and still be a gentleman.

“I thought perhaps if I sat here and you . . . stood, facing the same direction, and you could . . . control the amount of time and of . . . well, if you wished to end the . . . contact, you would only need to straighten and –“

Hermione came to stand next to him and smoothed her hand over his hair, halting his ability to speak as he tried desperately not to rub his head into her hand like a giant cat. 

“Whatever you like, Severus.” She smiled at him. It was a bit of an odd request but she noted how much control it gave her, and she was grateful to see that he was indeed proving to be as much of a gentleman as she had hoped.

“I’m ready enough I think, if we go slowly. It’s been some time, you see.” She dropped the small robe from her shoulders, making Severus suck in a breath.

“For me as well.  Some time.” He blurted out, trying to cover his reaction to seeing even more of his young wife’s golden skin on display.

Hermione noted that though she had removed her robe he hadn’t moved to do the same.  In fact, he seemed to be gripping the sides of the cushioned stool for dear life.  She didn’t want to be naked while he was nearly fully clothed so she left her very short nightgown on as she stepped between his legs, placing her hands on his shoulders and lowering her lips to his for one sweet kiss. 

Time stopped for Severus, he couldn’t move, couldn’t stop her, couldn’t reciprocate.  She kissed him so sweetly and then stood again, pushing a lock of hair behind one of his ears.  She touched him so easily and it was throwing him entirely off guard.  No one touched him, no one had for decades, not in any way that wasn’t violent. 

Hermione wanted to continue kissing, but it seemed to make him uncomfortable.  He reminded her of Harry, when they first met.  Touch-starved, she thought. It brought something out in her, and she couldn’t stop her hands from reaching for him, caressing him. 

“I’d like to keep my nightgown on, for now, if that’s alright.” She said as she continued to gently stroke his hair with one hand while resting the other on his shoulder.

Severus swallowed, “of course.” He tried to regain some of his composure, but she kept touching him, her small delicate hands were so gentle.  He employed everything he knew as an Occlumens. “Your comfort is paramount, and should you wish to stop at any time please do so,” he said sincerely.

She smiled at him like he had just given her a great gift, and leaned down to kiss his cheek. “Thank you, Severus.” She moved her hands to hold his face, smoothing her thumbs over his cheekbones, “Now, what can I do to help you get ready?” and she looked down to his lap.

Occlumency failed him.  His sweet beautiful wife was looking at him with her lovely brown eyes, not a hint of malice or scheming in them.

“Ready. I’m ready.” He stammered.

“You-“ she looked down at his lap, covered by that awful huge dressing gown, she couldn’t see anything but fabric.

“Turn around!” burst from his mouth.

Hermione indulged him and turned her back. She heard a rustle of fabric and then his hesitant voice, “Your . . . um, your knickers.”

“Oh, I’m not wearing any.” She heard a sharp intake of breath with the hint of a whine. She was glad that she had been thinking about sex basically all day, and as a result was more than physically ready.

“Right,” he said, sounding strained.

Hermione released her hair from the bun on top of her head and the scent of apricots hit him.  She shifted back, starting to lower her hips until she felt the silken skin of his erection on the back of her thigh.  He cried out at the touch and she stilled, half sitting on his lap.

“Severus!?” she tried to turn her head to look over her shoulder at him.

“I’m fine . . . umm, continue.” He sounded like he was in pain, but she did as he said.

She widened her legs slightly; she rocked her hips back and then forward, feeling his penis fall between her labia and glide through the wetness there.

“AHHHHHHHH!!!!” he cried out.  Too much, too much, he thought, he couldn’t, can’t, the sensations were overwhelming.

“Severus!” Hermione jumped up, breaking contact and eliciting a pained howl from him.  “What?!  What did I do? I’ve hurt you!!!” she cried, afraid to touch him.

His face was frozen in mid-cry before he finally sucked in air.  One of his arms had risen on it’s own to grasp for her, but it held only air.  With the intake of air came tears, so many uncontrollable tears broke forth.  He was unbalanced on the cushion and slid to the floor, Hermione immediately moving to kneel next to him.

“Severus! Severus tell me what’s happening!” she pleaded, trying to remain calm so that she could help him.  She reached for him, for his shoulders, and before he could stop himself he grabbed her, holding his face against her chest as sob after sob convulsed through him.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry” she could make out, but the rest of his words were unintelligible.  She put her arms around him and held him, stroking his hair and cradling him in her arms, curving her body to support him.

“Shhhhhh, it’s alright.” She whispered, hoping that it really was, hoping that he wasn’t in pain.  She kissed the top of his head and rocked him as he wept.

“ . . . felt too good, I didn’t . . . “ finally caught in her ear as his words became clearer and sobs began to abate. She held him close to her chest and reached one hand up to the dressing table to retrieve the tissue box. She set it on the floor and began to wipe the tears and mess from his face.

Severus felt that something had broken within him. He knew it must have, because a part of him was aware that he was laying on the floor with his prick out and tears and snot all over, and Hermione was wiping his face.  This felt surreal; it was all too surreal.

“Severus,” she said very softly as she cleaned his face, “you need to tell me, when did you last have sex?” she said it so gently, but it was also almost a command.  He couldn’t help but answer.

“In the Spring.” He felt like this was all happening outside of himself, “of, ummm, 1980.”

Hermione sighed; she smiled sweetly down at him as she finished cleaning his face.  “Now, that’s the sort of information I would like for you to tell me from now on.  Alright?” She nodded as she asked the last word, still holding him as he lay on the floor.

Severus found himself agreeing, nodding, “alright.” He echoed.  She kissed his forehead and he allowed himself to feel it, to accept the sweetness. More tears leaked from his eyes.

 

Chapter Text

Severus continued crying softly, his head lying in Hermione’s lap. She stroked his hair, wiped his tears from time to time, and she hummed quietly to him.  She stayed calm throughout, smiling sweetly to him when he finally looked up at her.

“Twenty-three years is a long time.” She continued stroking his hair as she spoke.

“I was having a drink one night, and some . . . People quite dislike me.  She saw them, she made them leave, and she brought me another drink even though I didn’t ask. Then after closing . . . She felt sorry for me.  I stayed away after that. Didn’t return to the Three Broomsticks for almost seventeen years.” He said it all with his eyes closed, fighting the headache that came from crying.

“Madam Rosmerta?” Hermione tried not to let her voice betray her shock.

He nodded.  Hermione reached up to the dressing table and took her wand, waving it to lower the lights in the room before setting it back where she found it and lowering her hand to gently rub circles above his eyebrows.

Hermione was silent for a minute before asking, “She wasn’t the only-“

He shook his head before she could finish the sentence. “No.” He took a deep breath, eyes still closed.

She rubbed his head until the ache from crying became duller and duller.  When he finally opened his eyes she gave him the same sweet smile she had displayed all evening.

 “I don’t deserve-” his eyes closed again as a sob shook through him before he could continue.

*

Hermione took a deep breath, “Severus, please sit on the bed.”

They stood slowly, stiff from being on the floor for so long.  He held his robe closed and walked through the bedroom’s side door, a confused Hermione followed. The small room they entered was unpainted, barely the size of the master bedroom closet, with sparse shabby furniture. He sat on the cot-like bed like a scolded boy, eyes on his knees.

“Severus, I asked you to sit on the bed,” she gestured to the other room.

“This is my bed. The other is yours.” He said simply, still not back to himself.

Hermione looked at the tiny bed, an uncomfortable looking combination of twin bed and cot.  It was far too short for his height, and covered with a small flat pillow and a thin blanket. 

“Severus, how long have you owned this house?” Again, Hermione kept her voice neutral.  Her emotions had already been heightened by the events of the day and they were threatening to break through, but she knew she needed to be calm for him.

“Two weeks.” He finally looked up at her instead of at his knees.

“And you’ve slept in here the whole time?”

He just nodded in reply.

She took his hand, pulling him back into the comfortable master bedroom.  She sat him on the edge of the huge, plush bed and said firmly, “This is your bed now; yours and mine.  You will stay in here with me.”  Her hair crackled, a sign that she was losing control of her emotions.

*

All at once the man before her became the Severus Snape she knew. All vulnerability was gone; his posture, his expression, even the air in the room changed.  The lights flared back on.

“You’re bleeding.” He said, taking her arm and turning it to look at the source of the blood with one hand while he held the other arm out in the direction of the bath, a flannel flying into his waiting hand.

“Oh!” she looked down, “Damn Bellatrix bloody Lestrange!”

Severus held the flannel to her arm, stemming the flow of blood.  “Cursed knife.” It wasn’t a question.

“Yes.  It opens sometimes.” She placed her hand on the flannel as he raised her arm, bending to look more closely at one end of the scar under the cloth. “I’ve been saving ever since I heard of a new balm Skin Spinners is coming out with.”

“Stay here.” He commanded as he left the room. Hermione sat on the bed in the place he vacated, looking down to see that her nightgown was a disaster. The small garment had spots of blood on one side where her arm had touched, the mess from Severus crying wetting the front.

He returned to the room and was back at her side in two long-legged strides, kneeling next to the bed and pulling back the flannel. He examined her arm closely before he began to apply something from an unlabeled glass jar.

The residual pain that was ever-present in her arm was suddenly gone; before her eyes the scar closed completely. The angry red letters grew smaller and smaller until they were thin pale lines.

“You’ll apply this once a day for the next week.” He was still examining her arm as he spoke.  “Are there others?” He asked clinically.

“N-no. It doesn’t hurt.” She looked from her arm to his face and back again, “It has hurt every day, every moment, and it suddenly doesn’t hurt.”  Tears welled in her eyes from relief.

“The pain won’t return.” He said, placing her hand in her lap.  She blinked the tears back.

“You made this?” she asked, looking at the jar.

He smirked, “I make every Skin Spinners product. That's a new prototype designed to heal wounds with lingering dark magic signatures.”

“You-“ her eyes were wide and round.

“-own the company? Yes.” He drew out the words.

“Severus I had no idea.” She leaned forward and kissed his cheek, “Thank You!”

“Of course.” He stood very quickly, taking the glass jar and stepping away to place it on her dressing table.

He remained there, a few feet away, and silence fell between them again.

Minutes ticked by.

“I should take this off.” Hermione said decisively. She grabbed her discarded robe from the end of the bed and headed towards the hamper in the bathroom. She was already grasping the hem of her nightgown with the other hand and Severus caught a brief glimpse of her pert bottom before he forced his glance to the ceiling.  When he was sure she was through the bathroom door his gaze lowered, only to fly up again as she came back through the door while still tugging her robe on.  He saw half of one breast, a toned belly, and what seemed to be miles of golden smooth skin before his vision was filled by painted plaster.

“I think that we should talk,” she sat on the side of the bed again, lovely legs and thighs on display.

“Must we?” He asked.

“We still need to have sex.” She informed him primly.

He walked out of the room.

Chapter Text

He returned a moment later, a large tumbler of what looked like whiskey in one hand and a glossy black carrier bag in the other.  He set the bag next to her on the bed, took a great gulp from his drink and started pacing.

“I . . . I haven’t been with anyone since before you were born and I . . . You should have someone who knows how to please you -“ he cut himself off with frustrated a wave of his arm as he paced in front of her.

“I was born in 1979, “ she corrected.

“That is not helpful,” he said, taking another drink. She smirked as she started looking through the bag.

“You went to a sex shop! A muggle sex shop!” She gaped at him as she peaked through the bag.

“I used polyjuice to disguise myself.” He told her.

“Polyjuice?” she asked, “As who?” 

“Lucius Malfoy.” He said simply.

“Lucius Malfoy?  You went to a muggle sex shop as Lucius Malfoy?” Hermione couldn’t stop the smile, or the laughter, from blooming, “Oh, Oh Severus, Oh that’s brilliant! Lucius Malfoy!”  She nearly fell over laughing.

He stopped pacing as he joined her in her laughter. Hearing and seeing him laugh for the first time brought a spark of warmth to Hermione’s chest.

“Severus! Your teeth!” she jumped up and grabbed for his jaw and looked into his mouth.  She hadn’t noticed before but when he laughed she saw that his teeth were perfect. They weren’t large or flashy or overly white, just simple straight rows like perfect pearls.  “They’re perfect. When did you have this done?” she asked sweetly, pulling him with her as she sat back, meeting his eyes again.

He blushed as he looked down to the bedspread, “I did it, this morning.”

“Severus,” she whispered, realizing he had done it himself, and for her, she cupped her hand and caressed his jaw. He would not raise his face though.

“Hermione, I will, as your husband, provide for you, try not to embarrass you . . . “ his voice became quieter and quieter as he spoke.

Hermione shushed him as she pulled him into her arms, stroking his hair and kissing his forehead.

*

She pulled at one side of the carrier bag and looked in: condoms, a book on the female orgasm, lubricant, a cock ring, a small plastic clitoral vibrator, and laying at the bottom a band of silk. She pulled the silk out of the bag to examine it.

“A blindfold.” She said the word slowly as she looked at the scrap of fabric in her hands.  You will not cry, you WILL NOT CRY. She told herself.

“That’s . . .” She couldn’t look at him. She squeezed her eyes shut to force the tears to retreat. “You’ve been so kind,” her voice shook with emotion, “I certainly won’t deny you if your wish is to not see me.“

He moved closer to her, closing his hand over hers where she held the silken fabric tightly. “I thought you would want it.”

“Whyever would I wish to be blindfolded?” She looked to him in genuine curious confusion.

He gaped at her before glancing down at himself.

“You are my husband and I will look at you,” she said sternly.

“Looking at me will make . . . coupling, unpleasant for you.” He kept his eyes down.

“Scars.” When he nodded she continued, “Everyone has them.  But you know that, your company and all.”  She paused, “The balm doesn’t work on yours?” 

“I haven’t used it.  I deserve-“

Hermione’s emotions flared again, “Severus, you do NOT deserve the pain of magical scars, or sleeping in that awful little bed, or any of the other ways you’ve been punishing yourself!” Her voice rose at the end, magic crackling through her as she thought of him suffering, forcing himself to suffer.  The idea of it pained her, deep in her chest.  It hurt so much she pressed her hand to her breastbone.

 “Hermione!” he grabbed her shoulder, “Where?” His eyes searched her chest for the source of the pain.

“It hurts, to think of you all this time-“ she sobbed, “All this time you’ve tortured yourself.”

She fell against his chest; his face caressed by wild soft curls and the scent of apricot.  She wound her arms around his neck.

“Shh,” he soothed.  He lifted one hand and splayed it across her back; the other still held his nearly empty tumbler.  He set the drink on the nightstand and moved them both so that she lay half sitting against the pillows as he sprawled horizontally towards her. As he moved to sit up he saw that in their movements her small robe had fallen half open.

He froze at the sight of her creamy, golden breast. He pulled his pale hand around her body, sliding it from her back around her ribcage so that the valley between his thumb and first finger framed her breast.  Without thought, he bent his head and caressed her dusky pink nipple with the tip of his long nose, and then with his tongue.

Hermione arched, the look on his face had left her feeling so wanted, needed, desired.  All that, from this man, for just a breast? She thought.  She slid one hand into his hair and the other around his back, holding his head and shoulders to her.  She gasped as his mouth closed over her nipple and he began suckling.

It was both erotic and comforting for him, laving his wife’s breast as she held him to her.  His cock grew hard again as his sexual need increased even while his long unmet need for caring, for intimacy, was finally fed.  He allowed it, he let himself have this, for long minutes he lay in her arms and let himself go.

Hermione squirmed beneath him, thighs falling open even as she held his mouth to her chest.  It all felt amazing, time ticked by and she was aware that this was unusual, the amount of attention, of worship he gave her. His tongue flicked and his lips sucked, his hand closed around her breast and gently caressed and squeezed.  She moaned at that, and bucked her hips up once.

Severus broke contact, surprised at what he had done.  Hermione’s hand was in his hair again, making it hard to think.  Her naked breast jiggled inches before his face as she writhed, the nipple erect and wet with his saliva.  The silken tie of her robe made a stripe across her small waist, the rest of the robe fallen open to reveal a small patch of short curls and bare lips below, the sight and the scent of her caused a tremor to shoot through Severus, his cock jumping hard.

He inhaled, asking himself, when had he become this person? When had he become a man driven beyond reason by the simple sight of a breast? A piece of his mind answered, But her breast, her body, my wife, my beautiful wife. She chose me. At that thought, Hermione heard that pained whine again, the same sound he made during their earlier attempt.

“Don’t you dare stop,” she breathed.

“This,” he grabbed the small plastic vibrator from the bag, “On you, I want to watch you-”

“Kiss me,” she said as he pressed the device into her hand. He lowered his head tentatively and touched his lips to hers.  Her mouth opened immediately, tongue licking and then she was sucking on his lip.  He cried out, the sound reverberating through her mouth.

She broke the kiss, looking at the object in her hand. She pulled him further onto the bed, the other side of her robe completely falling away.  He didn’t even know his hand was moving until it closed over her breast, caressing, gently.

“Please,” he whispered, eyes flicking to the device and then back to her face, “please,” he pleaded.

She pressed the button and felt deep vibrations in her hand.  She pulled him closer with the arm around his shoulders and he pressed himself tightly to her side. 

“Oh! This is going to be quick,” she said at the first touch of the rumbling plastic to her body.

He watched her drag it between her lips, circle it at the top, he didn’t even realize he was massaging her breast and rubbing his hard on against her thigh as he watched her hand move the small vibrator on her wet quim.

Hermione was dripping from his long and adoring exploration of her breast and as she bucked her hips and pressed the rumbling plastic to just the right spot next to her clit she could feel her orgasm seconds away.  She turned to look at her husband’s pleasure filled face, her movement catching his eye and drawing his gaze up to hers just as she cried out in pleasure; a long cry, varying in pitch and then finally ending in a laugh that sounded to Severus like tinkling bells.

They panted together as their hips, matching in rhythmic thrusts, began to slow.  She smiled at him with glazed satisfied eyes and he smiled in reply.  It was easily the most intimate sexual experience Severus had ever had.  She stretched towards him for a deep, wet kiss.

“I have never seen anything so beautiful,” he said when the kiss broke.

Hermione suddenly turned away with a small snort, breaking the moment.

“Has no one told you that you’re beautiful?” He asked.

“Severus, you don’t have to-“ she was blushing, sitting up and pulling her robe closed.  Rising as well, he stopped her hands, shocked at his own boldness. He pulled the end of the tie at her waist and pushed the garment from her shoulders. 

“Hermione,” he said even as he saw and felt his own large, thin hands caressing her, “you are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen.”

She flushed again and looked away.

“Has no one told you that you’re beautiful?” He asked again, confused and surprised and angry at all of his wife’s previous partners.

“Neville.” She finally said softly, looking down as the memory flashed in her mind.  “He was always sweet though, and kind.  That’s why I wanted it to be him.  The first time,” She blushed as she finished, not sure why she revealed that bit of information.

“Longbottom?”  He said in surprise.  She nodded.

“Neville Longbottom?” he asked again.

Hermione laughed, “Don’t be so surprised. He slept with half of the girls in my year.”

Suddenly he chuckled for a moment, “I feel entirely relieved of any remorse I held for my prior treatment of Mr. Longbottom.”

“Severus,” she admonished, but he was back to looking at her, his hand again rising and the back of his fingers running along her shoulder, onto the side of her breast and up to the lovely pink tip.

He was so distracted that he didn’t realize she had untied his dressing down and was throwing it open.

 

 

Chapter Text

Severus felt cold air against his chest and hunched back in shock, tugging the sides of his dressing gown closed.  The lights in the room lowered all the way, leaving them in shadows.

“Severus,” she said sadly.

“My appearance is not enjoyable, it will not please you, Hermione.” He said, hunching his thin shoulders inward.

“Honestly!” She sighed, “We have met before, Severus. I was previously aware that you are tall, and thin, and pale.  I assumed that you would have scars, as I said, everyone has them now. And while I’m sure yours are severe, I knew all of that and I chose you, so-“

“You chose me.” He echoed as he looked to her. She cupped her hand and held his chin as she looked into his face in the moonlight and saw such need, intense longing in the black eyes looking back at her.

“I. Choose. You.” She said slowly as she climbed, naked, into his lap. She pushed the oversized dressing gown off of his shoulders and he made no effort to stop her.

“Again,” he begged, his bare arms rising to hold her.

“I choose you,” she started moving, grinding against him, feeling him hard through the soft, thin material of the pajama trousers.

“Again,” he whined, almost pained, holding her tighter. She shoved her hands down between them, pushing the fabric out of the way, freeing his aching, hard, flushed cock.

“I choose you, Severus.” She whispered against his panting mouth.

He cried out as she let his cock slip inside of her. She sank down onto him and then went still.  They held each other tightly, her seated in his lap and him, panting, cock pulsing with his heartbeat inside of her.

She leaned in, almost shyly, and gave him a sweet, nearly chaste kiss before whispering again, “I choose you.”

The lights in the room gradually brightened and Hermione looked around.

“Quite a lot of wandless magic.” she observed.

Severus just nodded, his gaze intently focused on her chest.

With mischief in her eyes Hermione reached towards the nightstand.  She dipped two fingers into his discarded glass, gathering some of the remaining whiskey. She drew her hand back, bringing her wet fingers to her own chest and depositing the whiskey onto the pink peak of one nipple.  When Severus gasped she brought her fingers up to sit against his lower lip, he began flexing his hips reflexively.

He didn’t waste a moment before sucking her fingers into his mouth.  His eyes never closed, always focusing somewhere on her, on her face, her breasts, her small waist, her hips, the heavenly warm and wet space between her legs where his cock was tightly hugged.

As he sucked her fingers she gently began to move, grinding just a little. She rose, and then as she began to lower he released her fingers to lean forward, groaning, to draw her whiskey-coated peak into his mouth.

“Ahh!  Oh, you feel lovely,” she gasped, starting to move faster.

Severus hummed deeply, mouth still on her breast; she felt the sound travel, warming her deep into her chest.

She clenched around him, hard, and he released her flesh with a gasp.  Hermione smiled, and started really riding, feeling his large thin hands smoothing over her back, to her ribs, and her hips, and then around again.  He was as she expected, long thin limbs, pointy elbows and knees, pale with some sparse black hair.  He was scarred, but nothing she saw put her off. Rather, it was his face that urged her on, his reactions, Severus Snape unguarded and consumed by pleasure which SHE was freely and happily providing.  She began to ride him at a gallop, making him throw his head back and cry out, tears leaking from the side of each eye.

He grasped onto her hard, trying to anchor himself in this unfamiliar place where he knew only pleasure.  He couldn’t breathe, and then he exploded, surging up and holding her so tightly she couldn’t move.  His hips pounding his cock up into her from below before he froze, pulling his face back just enough so that his black eyes looked into her sweet brown ones.

She smiled and pushed her weight forward so that he was on his back with her above, still joined, as they caught their breath and aftershocks surged through him.

“You make me forget.” He said after a moment as he looked fondly into her eyes

“Forget what?” She asked.

“Everything.” He smiled and he kissed her.

*

Severus woke slowly in the morning, dragged from a warm, beautiful dream.  His mind felt fuzzy from sleep but he was snug, lying on a soft surface, smooth fabric touching his bare skin.  This was all highly unusual.

He opened his eyes to see a giant flat face of ginger fur.  The furry face butted itself against his nose, he startled and the volume of loud purring increased significantly, filling the room.

“Crooks, go to your bowl” was muffled against the pillow.

Warm smooth skin shifted next to Severus’s own, and a slim arm slid around his belly, delicate fingers toying with the sparse hair upon it.  Severus looked down at a mass of brown curls, realizing that the cat had come to half-stand on his wife, kneading her shoulder with his front paws.

“Crooks, go now or you’ll get only dry food all day,” she said clearly before pressing her face to her husband’s chest and kissing over his pectoral muscle, making him gasp.

The huge half-Kneazle jumped down from the bed and trotted out of the bedroom only to yowl loudly in the hallway.

“I’ll be right back,” Hermione leaned up to kiss his jaw, rolling out of the bed and stretching.

Severus watched in disbelief as his wife stretched, naked, in streaks of early morning sun.  She grabbed her discarded robe from the floor and followed her cat out the door.  Severus could hear her talking to the animal in the hallway, her voice fading as the two continued down the stairs.

Severus fell to his back, wiping his hands over his eyes.  Am I awake? Is this real? I have a wife! I am naked! He heard her back on the stairs and he pulled the sheets up to his chin, practically to his ears.

Hermione returned a moment later, smiling shyly as she approached the bed despite the fact that she was removing and dropping her small robe, climbing back into the bed with him. She slid her naked body against his. Ignoring his attempt to hide himself, she settled beside him and began kissing the side of his face, raising one slim leg to lie over his thigh. 

Again!? His mind wondered joyfully as his prick gave a hard throbbing jump.

Hermione ran a hand down his torso, over his belly, and down to cup his bollocks before sliding around the base of his cock and giving a light pull.  Severus gasped loudly, his belly drawing in deep when she cupped him, he was fully hard before her hand reached its destination.

“Hmmm, someone seems to like this idea” she drawled as she dragged her lips against his skin.  He already had one hand kneading her pert bottom, unsure of when it had even moved, the other hand slid up her back, into her hair and pulled her mouth to his to kiss her deeply.  He followed as she rolled them so that she was on her back, the swollen head of his prick already nudging at warm wetness, his new favorite place in the entire world.

Severus decided he liked being married very much.

Chapter Text

They had been married just over five weeks and to his surprise, Severus had enjoyed all of it.  He hadn’t expected to become so attached, but then he had never expected Hermione to be so tactile. Even if he was only bringing her a cup of tea or passing in the hall, she caressed his hand or his arm or even kissed his cheek.  He also hadn’t anticipated that she would be so . . . welcoming, even enthusiastic, and, creative, regarding their physical relationship.

He hadn’t expected her to look after him, to bring him tea and a plate of biscuits or a sandwich when he worked late in his lab. Even when he cooked dinner she always brought out some beautiful desert, lovely cakes or tarts from the bakery in their neighborhood.  She made him stay at the table as she brought a piece to him with a proud smile. He wondered if she noticed he had put on weight.

He hadn’t expected to enjoy hearing her say ‘we’, and ‘us’. Hearing, ‘We will be happy to attend’ or, ‘We’ll bring the wine’, made it worth the increase in social obligations.

*

They had been married for only 10 days when she came home in the evening to find him on the sofa, clutching his shoulder and stiff with pain.  She realized quickly that it was because he still hadn’t attempted to heal his scars and he found himself on the receiving end of a nasty glare, though she brought him a whiskey and helped him to bed to rest.

The next day he arrived home from a meeting, walking through the living room as he reviewed a stack of letters.  He heard her come downstairs and started talking about dinner.  He was mid-sentence when he looked up to find his lovely young wife wearing a healers cap and an indecently short variation of a healers apron, and nothing else.

She was holding a jar of his experimental balm as she said, “Mr Snape, I’m the assigned healer for your appointment today, do follow me to the examination room,” and she turned, pert little bottom bouncing up the stairs.

He had half of his clothes off before he reached the bedroom door.  In minutes she had him naked and begging, his cock pulsing in her sweet mouth even as she looked up at him, her delicate little fingers rubbing inside of his thighs and stroking his bollocks.  He screamed and convulsed as if possessed when he finally came.  She allowed him a few minutes of blissful rest before she jumped at the opportunity to have him docile and happy. She turned him this way and that as she rubbed the balm over him, stopping only when he pulled back his left arm.

 “Not there,” he said, “I must remember, I must not make such mistakes.”

“Dark magic?” She asked quietly, moving to apply the balm to scars on his chest instead.

“Being cruel to my friend.” He said sadly. She stopped, laying next to him and holding him, curling her small body to fit against his. Everything hurt less that night.

*

Not long after that she brought him to Potter’s wedding.  At the reception he was lingering around the edge of the crowd when he overheard someone greet her as “Miss Granger,” and his wife cheerfully said, “It’s Mrs Snape now, just a few weeks ago actually.” His boney chest was bursting with pride.

It was the same evening he saw her hug Neville Longbottom.  Granted Hermione hugged everyone, including Longbottom’s wife, Luna.  That didn’t stop Severus from glaring at the boy, wondering just when exactly Neville Longbottom had had the unconscionable gall to become handsome. 

He felt sure he was quite intimidating, until Mrs Longbottom asked in her dreamy cadence, “Severus, are you glaring because Neville took Hermione’s virginity?  I’m sure he would give it back if he knew of a way,” prompting the boy in question to spit out his drink all over some poor passing Hufflepuff.

*

They had been married three weeks when he came home to find Hermione curled up in bed before it was even dusk.  She would only say she felt tired, and reposition the half-kneazle who refused to leave her side.

He counted the days since their wedding and when he brought her tea he heated his large hands on the cup as he carried it upstairs. She let him rest his warmed hand low on her belly, she sighed and told him that he was better than a hot water bottle before shyly asking him to run out to Honeydukes.

*

They had been married a month when the worst of the editorials appeared in the Prophet. Ever since news of their marriage had broken in the papers theirs seemed to be the main example the media referenced regarding the ‘suspicious unions created by the Ministry’. The articles were always negative, often accusing him of treating her horribly, spurring people to talk about ‘poor brave Hermione’ and the horrors they were sure she had to endure.

That night he had a nightmare in which she had to testify before the Ministry.  In his dream she was crying and telling them how awful her ordeal was. She shook him awake, holding him and muttering, “it’s a dream, I’m here, I’ve got you.”   She stroked his head and cradled him when he crawled into her arms and pushed down her camisole and suckled at her breasts until falling asleep again.

When he woke in the morning she kissed him and told him she was making breakfast and that he should have a lie-in since he’d had a hard night. She made all of his favorites, bringing it up on a tray and sitting with him and chatting as they ate off of the same plate. She tasted of syrup and jam when he made love to her in the mid-morning sun.

*

Just over five weeks after their wedding; he cut flowers for her that morning, the wildflowers she liked from their garden.  He left them on her dressing table in the vase she liked best.  He was just tidying up, planning to spend the day in his lab, when the Ministry owl arrived with the letter.

The controversial Moral Measures law has been fully and unanimously repealed as of today. Furthermore, due to overwhelming pressure from the public, petitions will be accepted to immediately end marriages enacted between couples matched by the ministry . . .

Chapter Text

He was standing in the kitchen, staring out of the window with the parchment dangling from one hand.  It was beginning to grow dark, but he remained as he had for hours, staring out into the garden.  The floo flared in the living room and Hermione emerged. He sunk into a corner in the shadows.

“Severus? Are you home? I have a pile of reading I want to start on, I might work through dinner . . . “

He smiled, ‘might work through dinner’, he knew that meant she would work until she got dizzy, emerging to eat an enormous sandwich and whatever was in the cupboard and required little to no preparation, all while floating an open book in front of her.  He had been trying to be sure to always bring her a plate when she got like that, trying to learn the right timing and to remember to bring her things she could eat with her hands as she read.

His smile faded.  He left the letter from the Ministry on the counter where she wouldn’t miss it, fading back into the shadows of the house before he silently went out to his lab.  He sat in the dark, letting it get late.  He assumed she would be packing and he didn’t want to watch.

*

The house was dark and quiet when he finally gave up waiting. He wondered if she would return in the morning to tell him in person or if she left a note instead. He found a sandwich on a plate on the counter, some fruit next to it under a charm so it wouldn’t brown. She had also left a piece of cake out for him. He nearly sobbed when he saw it.

The letter was gone.  He didn’t see a note.

He made his way upstairs but couldn’t bring himself to go into the main bedroom.  He went to the small room instead, the one he slept in alone when he bought the house. Hermione had painted it and had set it up as a reading room with two comfortable chairs.  He sat in the one she said was his, she told him it was deep seated to be comfortable on his long legs.  Looking across at the empty chair she claimed as hers he finally broke.

He slid onto the floor at the same time tears began to stream down his face.  Her huge ginger cat interrupted his misery.  Crookshanks used his head to butt Severus in the arm before placing his front paws up on Severus’s shoulder and kneading.

“She’ll be back for you, old boy,” Severus said as he scratched the cat behind his ears.  He pulled the cat into his lap and held him, feeling the rumbling purr through his thin chest, letting the cat push up at his chin. Did she leave the cat tonight to comfort me? Perhaps she will continue to be friends; perhaps she would visit . . . he thought for a moment before abandoning the idea.  He let out a wracking sob.  Crookshanks yowled and Severus let him go.

*

“Crooks, what are you on about?” Hermione came in from the bedroom, following the orange cat that decided that she absolutely needed to get out of bed and refused to be sent away.  Severus immediately sat up, quickly waving his hand over his face to vanish any mess from crying.

“I thought you had gone.” He said as he stood. He moved a few feet away, his posture suddenly very formal.  The great ginger cat rubbed against his legs. He noticed that Hermione was wearing a set of the tiny shorts and camisole she wore to bed.  “I’m sorry that I woke you.”

Hermione shook her head at him, half asleep. “Severus, it’s late, come along to bed.”  She took him by the hand and led him into the bedroom, sat him on the bed and stood in front of him and started unbuttoning his coat as she spoke through a yawn, “I left you a sandwich, did you see it? I wasn’t sure if you were having a dinner meeting so I took the chance and made you some-”

“Hermione, Hermione, stop.” He took her hands away from his buttons, holding them in his, marveling again at the difference in size between his body and hers.  He wished he could kiss her little hands, just one more time. 

 “I . . . there was a letter today, from the Ministry.” Tears leaked from his eyes, just saying it hurt.

He saw the process as she woke fully, mouth opening and then, “OH! The letter! I, I threw it away, I thought it was trash, I didn’t realize - Severus, you’re- You want -” Her hands came up, covering her mouth in shock as she took a step back from him. 

“Me?! No! But you-“ he said.

“Me?!” she looked hurt. 

He was silent for a moment, then he looked down as he said, “it’s your right, if you wanted- . . . but, Hermione, please,” he pleaded, “please, never leave.  I thought I could, but I- Hermione, I love you,” he pulled her close, wrapping his arms around her, his face burrowing into her hair.

Her hand came to his cheek, she pressed her forehead to his as she said, “Severus Snape, I love you, you bloody stupid stubborn man. I started falling in love with you the first night,” she confessed, whispering it sweetly into his ear.  “I love being your wife.“

“Oh! Oh thank Merlin!” he called out as he clung to her. “Precious girl.”

She laughed, the sound garbled in a few tears, “I think the politically correct term would be ‘precious woman’, but I’ll admit that it doesn’t have the same ring to it.”

He laughed as well, “Precious wife, then.”

“Yes,” she said as she kissed him.

*

In the morning Severus sat at the table slowly finishing his breakfast as Hermione began tidying up.   He looked up every few minutes to watch her move about the kitchen, smiling because she had thrown on his discarded shirt from yesterday.

“Now, this is our secret, right old boy?” Severus whispered as he gave the great orange half-Kneazle a bit of sausage.

“Severus Snape if I catch you feeding that cat from the table I swear I cannot be held responsible,” she said over her shoulder. Severus straightened before she could turn around.  He came up behind her and shyly put his arm around her, slowly in case she wanted to move away.  Hermione stilled, a wide smile on her face, it was the first time he was initiating something, and even if he just wanted to hold her she wanted to encourage him, to give him the time he needed to be comfortable.

When his arms crossed in front of her she relaxed against him with a sigh.  When one of his hands dropped to the hem of the shirt and began to explore underneath she made an excited, “Oh!” sound.  When he sat her on the counter and stepped between her legs, kissing her, rubbing against her, easing into her and leasurely thrusting against the perfect spot, she laughed out, “Oh! I am grateful for your long legs,” making him laugh his deep laugh.

*

The same morning the wizarding world waited for word of Hermione Granger’s petition.  By lunchtime, with no news, the number of reporters waiting at the Ministry had decreased by half.  The day after that the number was halved again. 

The following day one almost-lucky photographer snapped a shot of Hermione Snape in a bakery with her husband.  She hexed him when she caught him taking the picture, but let him keep it as long as he swore to caption her with the correct last name. The photograph showed her feeding Severus a piece of croissant as he pretended to look annoyed before he smiled down at her and quickly pecked her cheek as she giggled.