Thanks, That Was Fun Chapter 5
Hermione woke to a scrabbling at her windowsill. She grumpily rubbed her eyes and slowly got out of bed.
The sun was filtering through her curtains and she wondered what time it was. Maybe it was a proposal from the Ministry again. The Minister of Magic, a fellow named Hiram O’Connell, seemed to think a lot about her opinion and had independently contracted her for research projects before.
However, she had been married to a capable potions master at the time.
When she opened the curtains she saw a small package on the sill. She frowned and undid the latch, letting a brisk wind into her room.
“Blast,” she protested as she quickly grabbed the package and slammed the window shut. She rattled the box and felt something light and solid bump the sides of the container.
Hermione reached for her wand and gestured at the box. It blossomed open and Hermione lifted a silver bangle bracelet out. She looked in the box and saw nothing else.
She had never received anything like this from Severus before. Perhaps it was part of his counseling. She shrugged and put the bangle back in the box. Better check it for hexes, just in case.
Hermione padded to the kitchen, pocketing the box in the folds of her robe.
“Good morning, Hermione,” Ron said, unusually cheerful for this time of the morning. Hermione frowned at him and sniffed the air.
“Sausages?” Hermione asked.
“And buns, bacon, tea, and eggs,” Ron said happily, gesturing towards plates of food on the wide wooden kitchen table.
“Did your mother stop by?” Hermione asked in a confused tone.
“Kala came by,” Ron said, looking at Hermione as if she were stupid. “It’s your anniversary.”
Hermione felt as if her feet had been glued to the floor. Her stomach felt heavy and her face felt flushed.
“Are you alright?” Ron exclaimed, looking alarmed. Hermione swayed slightly and he stepped up to take her arm.
“What’s going on?” Ginny asked as she walked into the kitchen and saw Hermione. She looked at the food and back to Hermione. “What is all this?”
“Hermione’s breakfast,” Ron said.
“It’s my anniversary,” Hermione said weakly. Now there was no doubt who the bangle was from.
“You did what?” Severus asked the small house elf, cowering before him.
“It was Master’s anniversary,” Kala said in a tiny voice. “It was just a small trinket. A silver band for the wrist. And food for the morning.”
“I suppose it will be fine,” Severus said, wincing as he drew in his temper. He hoped Hermione wasn’t in a mood. He didn’t want to hear from a lawyer this early in the day.
Severus went about his day. He drank his coffee, went over his notes for the Minisrer of Magic, and walked back to his rooms to dress for the day. As he finished buttoning his collar he heard a scrabbling at the window.
The Weasley owl, Pig, was fluttering outside his window. When the latch was released the small bird fluttered in, dropped a small card, and fluttered out.
Severus shrugged and reached for the card. A familiar handwriting was on it. One that was usually cramped in the margins of his notes, scrawled over his theories, looped on tablets in the kitchen listing groceries and potions ingredients.
Severus felt a mad desire to kiss his house elf.
Hermione ate dinner alone in her room that night. A single candle burned and she ate slowly. Her steak was rare, perhaps a bit more than she would have liked. Her potatoes were a bit undercooked as well. The carrots were slightly crunchy. It was almost as if she wanted to spend as little time in the kitchen as she could.
She had completely forgotten it was her anniversary. Goodness knows, it was the first time Severus had acknowledged it. The bangle felt cold against her wrist. She had placed an empty chair next to her. Somehow she thought it was fitting.
A small knock came at her door.
“Yes?” she called out.
“Are you OK?” Ginny asked, as she cracked the door to Hermione’s room. “Oh for pity’s sake!”
Hermione lowered her eyebrows.
“You’ve been around him too long. You wallow as much as he does,” Ginny said, throwing a look to the empty chair.
Hermione put her fork down and began to sob.
“I’m sorry!” Ginny said, quickly moving into the room and giving Hermione a hug. Ron poked his head in the room, shook it and disappeared.
“I miss him,” Hermione choked out.
“Of course you do,” Ginny said. “You love him.”
“But I’m not going to take it anymore,” Hermione insisted, wiping at her tears angrily.
“He knows that,” Ginny said softly. “It looks like you’ve really gotten to him this time.”
“I’ve thought that before,” Hermione said.
“He’s never made this much of an effort before,” Ginny reasoned.
“Because I’ve never pushed him this far before,” Hermione protested. Ginny sighed.
“Either have some faith or cut him off,” Ginny said. Hermione’s head snapped up. “It’s not fair to make him do all this if you’re just going to discard him.”
“It wasn’t fair of him treat me poorly, either,” Hermione said angrily.
“Revenge doesn’t suit you,” Ginny sniffed. Hermione’s shoulders slumped. “You aren’t very good at it, either.”
“Not when it comes to him, at least,” Hermione said with a sniff.
“Thank heaven for that,” Ginny said, with a small smile. “I think we’d have to move if you were.”