Hermione woke in the morning and stared at the deep blue underside of her canopy. She smelled food.
She wasn’t sure why she smelled food. She pulled back the curtain of her bed to find a tray set with her breakfast, complete with a rose sitting on the tray. Next to the rose was a pair of knitted socks, embellished with Celtic knotwork.
Hermione smiled as she reached for it. She would have to thank Dobby later for his thoughtfulness. As she carefully pulled the tray to her lap, Crookshanks showed sudden interest.
“Shoo, Crookshanks,” Hermione said gently pushing his nose away from her bacon. She tossed a small piece on the floor and he followed it.
As Hermione ate, she wondered if breakfast in bed was going to be a normal occurrence now she was a teacher’s wife. She shook her head at the thought. She would have to speak to Dobby later, although it certainly did give her more time to get prepared for the day.
After she finished, Hermione rose and dressed. After she had buckled her cloak she spoke the word that would open her chamber door.
In her new receiving room she was greeted by the sight of her husbands butt. He was on all fours looking under the coffee table. It wasn’t an unpleasing sight.
She stared for a moment before she remembered herself.
“Do you need help?” she asked inquisitively. She jumped as he banged his head on the underside of the table.
“I seem to have lost my favorite pen,” Snape said, rubbing his head.
“Don’t you use a quill?” asked Hermione.
“I break too many quills,” Snape said, poking his hand under the couch. “This is a glass pen.”
Crookshanks jumped on the couch with something in his mouth.
“Oh,” said Snape, looking pleased. “Thank you,” he took a glass pen from Crookshanks.
Hermione snorted. “He probably stole it in the first place.”
“Don’t steal my pen,” Snape shook a finger firmly at the cat in front of him. Crookshanks sniffed his finger and began scratching himself on it.
“It’s a lost cause, isn’t it?” Snape asked.
“Probably,” said Hermione looking into her bag. “Just keep it safe from now on.”
“Naughty kitty,” Snape said firmly, but continued scratching Crookshanks behind the ears. “By the way, the strangest thing happened this morning.”
“What?” asked Hermione checking her watch. Plenty of time to check in with Ron and Harry before Herbology.
“My breakfast was ready near my bed,” Snape said. “And whoever put it there seems to think I need more creative footwear.”
“Dobby,” Hermione groaned. “I’ll talk to him.”
“Thank you,” said Snape packing a small black satchel. “I’ll see you in class.”
“Until then, Professor,” Hermione said.
“Please call me Severus when we’re not in class,” Snape said quietly, looking in his bag. “We may be together for a time. We might as well get used to the idea…Hermione.”
“Well then,” said Hermione slowly. “Until then, Severus.”
He quirked a corner of his mouth again. “Until then.”
“He didn’t do a thing,” said Hermione in annoyed tone as she approached Ron and Harry. Ron let out a sigh of relief. She shot him a disgusted look. Harry grinned at her.
They entered Greenhouse 5 and put on their work robes.
“Probably nice, having private quarters,” Harry said trying to see the bright side of things.
“It’s actually very nice,” said Hermione, rummaging through her bag for her dragon hide gloves. “Do you know Snape has the quarters Helga Hufflepuff built?”
“Wow,” said Ron, instantly interested. “She was supposed to be really keen on enchantments.”
Hermione nodded. “It’s pretty impressive.” She described her room, complete with yawning cat.
“I bet that’s not even a tenth of it, Hermione,” said Ron excitedly. “I’d poke everything you could in there.”
“I’ll keep it in mind,” Hermione said as the start of class began.
“I’m so sorry, Hermione,” said Lavender at lunch. She looked as if she were going to cry.
“For what?” Hermione asked, startled.
“Having to…” Lavender shuddered, looking at the teachers table. Snape frowned at the Gryffindor table. “You know.”
“He really isn’t evil,” said Hermione. “Just private. With very few social skills.”
Parvati shrugged. “My grandparents’ marriage was arranged. They learned to fancy each other after awhile.”
“Really?” Lavender asked. “I couldn’t imagine.”
“Enough to have 7 kids,” Parvati went on, reaching for a muffin. “You never know. They’re still married.”
Hermione bit into her sandwich. She didn’t want to think of having grandchildren with Severus. Or children for that matter. That would mean they would have to…
“I hope he didn’t force himself on you,” said Lavender.
“He was a perfect gentleman,” said Hermione hotly.
“Of course he was,” said Parvati before anything got started at the table.
Severus Snape sat at the Head Table watching the Gryffindors eating their lunch. The 7th year girls seemed unusually animated. Hermione seemed to be handling the situation well, and it looked like Miss Patil was defending her.
Severus looked at his plate and began pushing his food around on his plate. Once again he was the subject of ridicule. All the students thought he was a pervert and half the staff was being rather formal with him.
“It will pass, Severus,” said a voice near him. Severus looked up into the twinkling eyes of Albus Dumbledore.
“I know,” said Severus, actually taking a bite of his food. “It just seems to get longer every time.”
“There is a Quidditch game this evening,” Dumbledore said. “That will distract them a bit.”
“Perhaps,” said Severus.
“Madam Snape, would you stay for a moment after class?” Snape said as 7th year potions ended.
Neville looked at Hermione as if he were truly sorry before gathering his things and leaving the classroom. The class emptied and Hermione found herself alone with Severus Snape.
“There’s a Quidditch match tonight,” Severus said, grading scrolls spread all over his desk. “You may sit in the staff box if you wish.”
“Pardon?” said Hermione, confused.
“Since Potter and Weasley will be playing I thought you might like a better view,” he looked up from his grading. His black eyes seemed to bore into her. “The faculty box has a space for you, is you should so choose.”
“Of course,” Hermione said. “That would be nice.”
Hermione changed into warmer clothing and looked in her mirror. She twisted her hair back behind her head and arranged a red scarf over her head. She grabbed her warmest cloak and walked into her receiving room to meet her husband.
Snape was sitting on his couch marking scrolls with comments in red ink. He seemed to be making a lot of them. He looked up as she walked into the room.
“Think it might be a bit cold?” he asked looking her up and down.
“Better safe than sorry,” said Hermione. “It was quite breezy today.” She looked at the pile of scrolls in front of him. “Are you going to be able to go at all?”
“Yes,” he sighed as he set his quill down. “Sometimes it’s like trying to push water uphill.”
“What year?” Hermione asked, picking up a scroll.
“Sixth,” said Severus, putting his pen down and rubbing his eyes. “Properties of cardiospermum.”
“Well this one is awful,” said Hermione wrinkling her nose in distaste.
“I think I should make them do it again, but twice as long,” said Severus rising to grab his cloak.
“What do you think that’s going to solve?” Hermione asked, setting the scroll back on the table.
“What?” Severus asked, throwing his cloak over his shoulders.
“It’s not going to do any good to have terrible essays twice as long,” Hermione said. “Give them a project so they can really see it.”
“Those are expensive ingredients,” Severus said, reaching for a black knitted hat.
“So just have one pair do it and the rest of the class discuss and take notes,” Hermione rolled the scroll back up and placed it back on the table.
“Perhaps,” said Severus, pulling gloves on.
“Where’s Hermione?” Lavender asked Parvati scanning the stands.
“Probably with Snape.” Parvati shrugged.
“She is!” Lavender squealed as she spotted Hermione in the staff box. “I don’t know how she can stand it!”
“It could have been a lot worse,” said Parvati. She nodded toward the Slytherin stands where Goyle was glowering at the staff box.
“I guess you’re right,” Lavender said. “Somehow I doubt her other suitors would be as gentlemanly.” She shook her head resignedly.
Hermione watched as Ravenclaw and Gryffindor took the field. The wind had picked up and she and Severus were the only ones besides Dumbledore that weren’t shivering.
“Good call,” Severus said under his breath as he reached under his cloak for a packet of crisps. He opened it and Hermione took a few.
Severus looked up as the whistle blew. Ravenclaw scored almost immediately.
“Blast!” Hermione and Severus said in unison. Hermione looked at Severus.
“I have a galleon riding on this game,” he admitted.
“You bet on Gryffindor?” Hermione asked.
“Professor Sprout insisted Ravenclaw was going to sweep the game,” sniffed Severus.
“So you bet her a galleon Gryffindor would win?” Hermione asked watching Ravenclaw score again.
“Yes,” said Severus, visably annoyed. “It appears she is going to get that galleon.”
“Wow, Harry,” Hermione said to Harry in the Gryffindor common room.
“Where did they find her?” Ron asked blankly.
“She’s a second year,” said Dean Thomas. “She wouldn’t have even been there if Owens hadn’t gotten injured in the last game.”
“She’ll be a permanent team member next year,” said Seamus. “But she’ll be subbing for the rest of the year.” He was tearing apart a paper napkin absentmindedly. No one seemed to be eating the food they had prepared for the victory party that wasn’t.
“Are you OK, Hermione?” asked Neville under his breath as the other boys discussed how to destroy Ravenclaw in the last game of the season.
“I’m alright,” said Hermione giving him a small smile. “He isn’t unkind, you know.”
“That’s good,” said Neville. “You can petition for an annulment after 6 months if you want.”
“But then I’m open for bids again,” said Hermione. “That might end up way worse.”
“True,” admitted Neville. He turned red and spoke quickly:. “But by then most of us will be over age and we can petition for you. At least a few of us are bound to get through.”
“Thank you, Neville,” Hermione said sincerely. “I’ll keep it in mind.”
“How was the condolence party?” Snape asked smirking as Hermione returned to their chambers.
“Pretty normal,” shrugged Hermione, plunking herself on the couch next to Severus. “The Weasleys stole food from the kitchen and the team went over new theories until everyone else went to bed.”
“That’s pretty bad,” said Snape, rolling up the last scroll on the low table and placing it in the bag he packed for his classes.
Crookshanks jumped on the couch between Hermione and Severus and began purring.
“Is he usually this demanding?” Severus asked scratching him behind his ears.
“He usually has a common room full of people to sucker into petting him,” Hermione said shrugging.
“You’ve gotten spoiled,” Severus said to the cat. Crookshanks purred louder. “Well at least you agree.” Severus shook his head and tried to hide a small smile.
Hermione watched as her orange long haired cat walked over the deep black fabric of her husbands clothing, leaving a trail of hair as he went. Severus didn’t seem to notice.
“I was thinking,” Severus said slowly. “Summer will be starting soon and your schooling will be completed. Do you plan on starting a Ministry internship right away?”
“I had thought about taking the summer off,” Hermione admitted. “I know it seems silly, but I thought travel would be good for me for a few months. Maybe I can come up with a clear career plan.” She blushed slightly.
Severus was inwardly pleased. If Hermione was going to be stuck in this situation she was at least being sensible. She was listening to him, even if she came to her own conclusions. She had not had one burst of hysteria, even though he thought it would naturally occur. She had not shied away from him at their wedding, or in their household for that matter. She would make a fine addition to the Order. She seemed to hold up well under duress, Severus concluded.
Voldemort had gone once
again into seclusion. He was severely weakened and had lost most of his
followers, but still he lived, like an annoying germ. He was rumored to be
“I’m going east to do some work for the Order over the holidays,” Severus said, still stroking Crookshanks, who was now settled in a large orange puddle on his lap. “You certainly are of age and by then you will be out of school. You are joining the Order?”
“Of course,” Hermione said sitting up straighter. Severus tried not to grin at her bravery and pride. The young were always ready to fling themselves in harms way. He inwardly frowned. He’d have to keep that in mind.
“Will you join me?” Severus asked, finally looking up from Crookshanks.
“Where will we be going?” Hermione asked, reaching out to pet Crookshanks.
“I believe I will be up for the task,” said Hermione said, proudly. A little too proudly, in Severus’ opinion. “I will do my best.”
“I’m sure you will,” said Severus.