Hermione woke late Saturday morning to the smell of bacon. She shook her head and pulled her bed curtain back.
Her drapes were already opened and sunlight spilled into the room. A breakfast of bacon, eggs, toast, and juice were sitting on a small lap table next to the bed. A scroll tied with a silver ribbon sat next to her breakfast.
Hermione levitated the tray with a wave of her wand. Crookshanks sniffed at the tray momentarily before Hermione shooed him away. She took a sip of pumpkin juice and reached for the scroll.
I was going to make an excursion to Hogsmede today to replenish supplies not available to me last night. You might find it in your interest to join me.
Hermione shrugged and looked at a timepiece she kept around her neck. It was almost 10 o’clock. She wondered when he planned on leaving. She quickly ate her breakfast and went into her bathroom. She submerged herself into her tub and began washing her hair. Her hair was twisted in a towel and she was choosing her robes when there was a soft knock at her door.
“Emicoatus,” she called out. Severus walked into her chambers and looked at her. Her hair was wrapped in a white fluffy towel. Her cheeks were flushed pink from her bath and her eyes were shining. Her White terry cloth robe stopped mid calf and her legs and feet were bare. Severus was instantly reminded of young Weasley’s comment earlier, but quickly pushed it from his mind.
“You got my scroll?” Severus said hesitantly.
“I’m almost ready to go,” said Hermione. “I just need to get dressed.”
“I wasn’t planning to go until after lunch,” said Severus. He seemed surprised she was ready to go so soon. “But we can always get an early start,” he added quickly.
Crookshanks jumped off the bed and began winding his way around Severus’ legs. He purred loudly.
“I don’t think so,” Severus said sternly to the cat. “You get to stay here.”
Crookshanks seemed to understand Severus. He stalked off, seemingly annoyed.
“I’ll be ready soon,” Hermione said.
Severus gave her a short nod and left her chambers.
“It’s not even a Hogsmede weekend!” complained Ron.
“I know,” said Hermione, trying not to smirk.
“Bring us back sweets,” said Harry.
“I will,” promised Hermione.
“And the new book on Bulgarian Defense Strategies,” said Ron, fishing in his robes for money.
“Never thought you’d ask me to pick up a book for you,” Hermione said pocketing his coins.
“Pygmy Puff Treats for
“We’ll need that book to win the cup from Ravenclaw,” said Ron shrugging.
“Just have a good time,” said Harry, ignoring Ron.
“I will,” said Hermione, smiling.
Hermione walked through the door Severus was holding open for her and looked around at the contents of Flourish and Blotts bookstore. She quickly selected the book Ron had asked her to get for him.
“What on Earth is that for?” Severus asked. Hermione told him. Severus snorted.
“It’s going to take more than that to beat Ravenclaw,” he said.
“What makes you say that?” Hermione asked, picking up a book about Egyptian Hexes.
“Connie Watkins’ grandfather used to be the coach for the Hornets,” said Severus.
“Let them think they have a chance,” said Hermione, shrugging. “Is that the replacement girl?”
“Yes,” said Severus picking up a book of Russian history. He tucked it under his arm. “I looked into her parentage after the game.”
“Hello, Severus,” a smooth voice said behind them. Hermione and Severus turned to see Lucius Malfoy standing behind them. “And Madam Snape, what a delightful surprise.”
“Lucius,” said Snape nodding curtly at him.
“Congratulations on your marriage,” said Lucius. “I would have congratulated you sooner, of course, had you decided to stay at your own reception long enough to receive your guests. How like you Severus.”
“I thought a couple was allowed a bit of privacy on their wedding night,” Hermione snapped. Lucius looked at Hermione with mild surprise. To his horror, Severus felt his cheeks going pink.
“It seems I may have misjudged you,” said Lucius to Severus. “It only makes sense you would retire early. It was a school night, after all.”
Hermione felt her cheeks flame with anger. She tasted copper as she bit her tongue to stay silent.
“Arachne sprechen,” said Snape with a wave of his wand.
Lucius opened his mouth to speak a spell of his own, Hermione suspected, but instead a cascade of spiders fell out of his mouth. They scrabbled over his waistcoat and down the front of his trousers. He leaped back in surprise, then glared at Severus.
“Watch your tongue when you’re in the presence of a lady,” said Severus in a low dangerous tone. Lucius glared at the pair of them for a moment before he stalked off.
“What was that?” Hermione asked.
“It will wear off in a few hours,” said Severus, apparently satisfied. “Until then, he won’t be able to speak.”
“That could be handy,” Hermione mused to herself, trying to recall the movements he made with his wand when he uttered the incantation.
“Don’t even think about it,” Severus warned.
“Wow,” said Harry, impressed. He was sitting in a chair in the Gryffindor common room. Ron and Hermione were sitting in chairs nearby. There was an odd assortment of sweets spread in front of them on a low table.
“Do you remember how to do it?” Ron asked excitedly.
“No,” Hermione lied. “It happened too quickly.” She handed Ron a Chocolate Frog and grabbed her new backpack. She reached into it, past beyond where she should have stopped. “I got your book.”
“Where’d you get the bag?” Ron asked abruptly.
“Severus,” said Hermione, handing Ron the Quidditch book he had asked for.
“Severus?” asked Ron. “Getting a bit chummy, are we?”
“Ron,” warned Harry.
“It’s just a question,” Ron said sharply.
“Whether we like it or not, this marriage may last awhile,” said Hermione quietly as she rustled through her bag of sweets. “This really is the sensible thing to do.”
Ron was silent.
“Are you going to petition for an annulment in six months?” Ron asked.
“Probably not,” Hermione said. Ron looked at her in shock.
“Oh, come on, Ron,” Hermione said exasperatedly. “What if I got put in the hands of a Death Eater? By that time I’ll be in the Order.”
“One of us can petition for you,” said Ron, meaning any of the Gryffindor boys.
“That doesn’t mean anything,” said Hermione. “Percy pulled some strings so I’d get a choice this time, but there’s no guarantee I’ll get a choice next time.”
“She’s right, Ron,” said Harry as Ron opened his mouth to protest. Ron closed his mouth and shook his head. He threw the unopened Chocolate Frog back on the table and retreated up the stairs to the Boys Dorm without saying good night.
“It’s a bit difficult for him,” said Harry apologetically.
“I know,” said Hermione quietly. “But it’s not that easy on me either.”
“I know,” said Harry, getting up and putting an arm around her. “Probably isn’t all that easy on old Snape, either,” he added as an afterthought.
“He’s been very generous,” said Hermione, wiping tears away before they fell. “I have the coolest bathroom in the world.”
Harry laughed. “I’ll have to see it sometime. Just make sure he’s in class so I don’t get punished for traipsing through a teachers quarters.”
“OK,” said Hermione squeezing him back. He rose and went back to his chair.
When Hermione got back to her quarters she found Severus asleep on the couch under a pile of scrolls and an orange pile of hair.
Hermione shook her head and whistled softly. Crookshanks popped his head out of the pile and yawned widely.
“Bed, Crookshanks,” Hermione whispered. As he rose a few scrolls fluttered to the floor. She cringed, but Severus didn’t wake. She waved her wand at him and the scrolls gathered themselves up and settled into a neat pile on the coffee table. She approached his chambers. She looked at the door and scrutinized it. She had never seen the inside of them, and decided she didn’t want to challenge any wards he had on the door.
Hermione quietly slipped into her room and picked up a grey blanket thrown over a chair in one of the corners. She slipped back into her receiving room and covered Severus with her blanket. He shifted slightly as the blanket settled on him, but stopped moving, momentarily. A lock of raven hair lay across his forehead, his head tilted back. His face was relaxed in sleep and Hermione stopped for a moment to look at him.
Severus was her husband. He wasn’t unattractive, he was intelligent, and it could have been far worse. She had enjoyed their day together. They had browsed bookstores and potion ingredient shops. She hadn’t seen Severus pay for anything, but watched him sign off invoices wherever they made a purchase. Maybe it was a form of Wizarding credit.
She realized she was staring at him and finally tiptoed back into her chambers to sleep with Crookshanks.
Hermione woke to a loud tapping at her window. She opened her interior shutters to see a large eagle owl outside on her oversized ledge. He was sitting on a fairly large package.
Hermione opened the window, looking at him confused.
“Are you lost, pretty boy?” she asked as she scratched him behind his ear tufts and reached out for the invoice attached to the package:
To: Madam Snape
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Kethols Book of
Hillards Justification of Dark Arts in Modern Day
A Biography of Merlin
Ulf the Amazing Explains Advanced Rune Work
Percivals Examination of Titanium
Paid In Full: Snape
Hermione paled as she looked at the stack of books in front of her. The fungi book alone was 50 galleons. The Biography of Merlin was ‘price upon request.’
She looked at the eagle owl, who was purring contentedly. He seemed to be going nowhere anytime soon.
“Did Severus buy these?” Hermione stared in shock. The owl hooted and flew into her room. He landed on a perch she had not even noticed, near the ceiling. “Well then,” she said, slightly taken aback.
Hermione looked at Crookshanks who was staring at the owl.
“Crookshanks?” Hermione wavered. Crookshanks didn’t move. Hermione decided it was best to get help.
She opened the door to her chambers and walked into her receiving room. It was empty. She tentatively walked to Severus’ door and knocked quietly. When she got no response she knocked a little more firmly.
Hermione was about to knock a third time when she heard a soft scraping behind the door and it was opened.
“Bit early, isn’t it?” asked Severus sleepily, wiping his face with the sleeve of his black bathrobe.
“Tell that to the owl in my bedroom,” said Hermione.
“What?” asked Severus, peering over her shoulder as if he could see into her rooms from where he was. Hermione moved out of his way and followed him into her rooms.
His eyes first fell on the opened package on the table.
“Is this what it brought?” asked Severus, frowning slightly. He picked up the invoice and groaned.
“Yes,” Hermione said. “Obviously there’s been a mistake.”
“There’s been no mistake,” said Severus. His eyes wandered the room and fell on the owl. His eyes narrowed.
“Hello, father,” he sighed resignedly.