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Rumor Has It

Rumor Has It: A One Shot for MistressSnape87. BY SEXYSLOTH

The hallowed halls of Hogwarts were no strangers to gossip. Anyone would tell you that Albus Dumbledore was the worst gossip of them all, but in a castle filled with hormonal teenagers and vulnerable young witches and wizards learning to hone their craft in a secluded environment, everyone had their weak moments. Even teachers.

Professors Rolanda Hooch and Septima Vector were walking down the hallway on the way to the Great Hall for lunch. It had been several years since the war, and all of the staff were happy to be alive and well, and all felt the lightness that had come over the castle. These two witches were chattering back and forth between themselves when all of a sudden their inattentiveness to the path in front of them caused them to collide against something hard and dark.

"Good gracious!" Rolanda cried as she was thrown back in her steps.

"Oh dear!" Septima muttered as she was thrown off balance and into the wall. The two women took a second to collect themselves,and when they looked up they were met with the cool stare of Professor Severus Snape, war hero, potions master, and consummate bat of the dungeons.

"Ladies…" came the dark, silky voice that sounded like velvet on their ears. His gaze had no malice on it, as the war had softened his persona just a bit…but still, he was certainly intimidating. Septima, who had always found herself speechless in front of Severus from the day she’d met him was gaping open mouthed and speechless. Rolanda clapped her friend on the back awkwardly and glanced apologetically at Severus.

"My sincerest apologies Professor Snape. We must pay more attention to where we are going." Severus quirked one dark eyebrow and smirked.

"Indeed," he replied, crossing his arms in front of him, still staring at them pointedly. The two women looked up at him uncertainly. Why was he still standing there not moving? "Were you going to let me pass, or were you interested in some kind of stand-off in the corridor?" Severus asked dryly. Septima blushed and turned to Rolanda who had clamped her mouth shut, turning up her nose at Snape, her oddly colored eyes boring into him.

"Well my goodness!” She said and she led her friend around the potions master and off to the great hall, not sparing him one more glance.

Severus rolled his eyes and continued on his way to the loo, not looking forward to yet another staff meal in which he would be subjected to those two silly bints and their idle chatter.

….

Hermione Granger, Spells Mistress and head of Gryffindor House was reading the Daily Prophet from her spot at the staff table enjoying her glass of pumpkin juice and turkey sandwich when two high pitched voices reached her ears. She rolled her eyes. At it again they were.

"Yes, absolutely atrocious behavior in a man. I never! So impolite." came Septima Vector’s voice from her left.

"Most assuredly so! Did you see that sneer? Goodness gracious." was Rolanda Hooch’s affronted response.

Hermione suppressed a groan from behind the folds of the newspaper. She was going to ignore their monotonous chatter when all of a sudden she heard something that perked up her ears.

"Professor Snape is most certainly the most disagreeable man I’ve ever met. I mean, is it any wonder he’s still single?” Septima half-whispered half spoke to her partner in mischief.

"Perhaps it is because he’s single that he’s so grim all the time.” Hooch responded derisively as she tucked into her savory pudding.

Septima giggled. “Do you think?” Hermione kept her face hidden behind the Prophet and did her best to keep a grin off of her face. From the corner of her eye she saw Rolanda move her seat a bit closer to Septima’s and whisper loudly:

"Well, rumor has it," Rolanda said to her captive audience of one, "that he’s never actually been with anyone!" Septima gasped in shock and then giggled in a very un-ladylike manner.

"You mean to say, that Severus Snape is…a virgin!”

"That is precicely what I am saying my dear Septima." Rolanda cackled and then quieted herself when Hermione pointedly flipped her paper down and fixed them with a glare.

Rolanda and Septima scooted farther away from Hermione and continued their gossip. Except, Hermione thought with amusement as she smiled wryly, I can still hear them.

"…yes I was at the pub speaking with Poppy Pomphey once over a couple of butter beers," Hooch babbled, "and she was the one who treated him after he was injured during the war, you know.

"Really? So that means…."

"Exactly! That Poppy Pomphrey saw Severus Snape in his altogether!" Hooch exclaimed triumphantly.

"Well…what did she say?" Septima encouraged her friend to go on. It was really getting juicy now. Neither one noticed Hermione’s smile as her eyes were kept trained on her now flat paper on the surface of the table. And they also didn’t notice Severus Snape’s stealthy approach to the staff table.

"Well, Septima, Poppy told me that he’s absolutely huge! I think her exact words were "hung like a Hyppogriff in heat!""

"Discussing the latest Romance Novel ladies?" Came Severus’ voice from Hermione’s side. He had sat down next to her and had been interestedly eavesdropping on this bit of conversation.

"Professor Snape!" Septima cried in surprise and alarm and her eyes flickered from the man in question to Rolanda who had her mouth shut tight now, and then she nervously cast her gaze upon Hermione who was smiling lightly. When she met Septima’s frightened look Hermoine raised her eyebrows.

"Don’t look at me!" She said. "I don’t usually put much stock in rumors. I like to get my answers straight from the source." Hermione said indicating the newspaper in front of her. She raised her eyebrow in a frighteningly similar manner to Severus and challenged them to question her further.

"I believe we’ve all had enough gossip for the afternoon." Severus spoke then, settling down more comfortably in his seat. "I prefer my meals without nonsense."

Rolanda Hooch and Septima Vector rose abruptly and left the Great Hall, glancing back at Hermione and Severus as the two strange professors continued to eat their meals. Niether one took notice of Professor Snape’s right hand below the table…and if they had, they most certainly wouldn’t have connected it with the fact that Professor Granger’s left hand was out of sight as well.

"You’re the hot topic of the afternoon Severus." Hermione intoned quietly, her voice barely able to hold back her laughter.

"Indeed. What is it this time? My hair? My teeth? Or were they speculating on whether or not I turn into a bloody vampire at night and roam the castle in search of a good meal?" Severus returned, just as softly, his voice amused and light.

"No actually, this time I believe they were speaking of more personal aspects of your nature. Mainly your sex life."

"Oh really. And how do they say it’s going, dare I ask?"

"Not very well. You’re a virgin, you know. Untouched by woman’s hands."

"Oh dear. A forty-one year old virgin? How unfortunate."

"You’ve got a huge cock though." Hermione said, a grin spreading across her face.

"Well, that’s a plus." Came Severus’ dry reply.

"Have you got rounds tonight love?" Hermione asked. Their voices were so quiet, their demeanors so benign that not one soul at the table noticed that they were even conversing.

"Yes. Till ten."

"Ah, good. I’ve got to proctor a detention until then, so it’s just as well."

"I’m sure I’ll have rounded up plenty of snogging students groping each other behind suits of armor by then."

"Hmmmm," Hermione replied smiling gently, "That’s good."

"Good how? For them or for me, the virgin?" he smirked.

"Good for everyone! They’ll get the detentions they deserve, you’ll get the satisfaction of being able to deduct more house points from my house once more, and I’ll be happy because you’ll come back in a good mood."

"Indeed. I do so enjoy taking your precious points away from your esteemed house, Hermione."

"I know. But perhaps you’ll go easy on my beloved Gryffindors when I tell you what I’ll be wearing for you tonight."

Severus’ eyebrows rose a slight amount at this. “Do tell.”

"I’ll give you a hint…it’s green and silver….and very, very, small. And tight." She smirked when she heard the soft groan beside her come deep from within his chest.

"Good Gods woman, are you trying to kill me?"

"Hardly. I’d rather fuck you darling." Severus chuckled in response.

"I’d better get going. My third year class is about to start. Wouldn’t want to be late."

"If you were perhaps then I’d have to give you detention, witch." His voice was in her ear, smooth and silky like liquid chocolate.

"Looking forward to it…" Hermione sauntered off down the center aisle, no one paying her the least bit of attention.

…..

Professor Granger was walking down the deserted corridor home to the Charms classroom. She’d sent the student serving her detention back to their dormitories a half hour ago, ensuring that they would be back by curfew. With a sigh she made her way, her heels clicking lightly on the stone floor. Suddenly she became aware of a disturbance off to her left. Hermione drew her wand, thinking that a student was out of bed when suddenly an arm came darting out of the alcove and pulled her behind a hanging tapestry roughly, causing her to gasp in surprise.

Hermione’s whole body was tensed for battle when she heard a rumbling chuckle coming from her captor and she exhaled in relief.

"Severus Snape! You gave me a terrible fright!" Hermione huffed angrily, straightening her robes about her person and replacing her wand back into her pocket. "You are far too good at sneaking around." Severus grinned like a madman and chuckled some more and he reached behind her to pull the clip holding back the heap of her hair out allowing it to fall softly down her back with a swish.

"I’m sorry love. It was just a bit of fun."

"Indeed," she replied, sidling herself closer to the tall wizard. Then her brow furrowed. "What are you doing in the charms hallway anyway? I thought your rounds were on the seventh floor tonight?" she asked as she wound her fingers through his silky, shoulder length hair.

Severus leaned his head into her touch as he replied: “Indeed they were, but I was asked by Professor Flitwick to cover his rounds this evening. He was feeling a bit peaked after his meal this evening and I came to his recue. It proved to be quite promising actually. Did you know this particular alcove is a favorite of many a Gryffindor sixth year?” he asked as he brought his face closer to hers, his hot breath in her ear causing the fire in her belly to roar to life and she pressed her hips suggestively against him, moaning when she felt the evidence of his arousal pressing insistently against her.

"You don’t say? I gather, then, Severus, that you’re in a very, very, very, good mood." she slid her lips against his neck, swirling her tongue against his hot skin in a whirling pattern causing him to hiss in delight as he slid his hands down to cup her firm buttocks in his hands.

"Yesssss. A very good mood."

"You know if we do this here, you won’t get to see the present I was going to wear for you," Hermione stated between kisses, alternating the pressure of her lips from gentle to ardent as she fisted her hands in the folds of his robes, grinding her body against his.

"There’s no rule that states we can’t have a round two…." Severus ground out as his hands found purchase under her skirts. His long fingers found what they were looking for and he gasped when he felt the dampness between her soft thighs. "So wet for me alread, Hermione?"

"Mmmmmm yes, love. So wet." She moaned as she began to fumble with the fastenings of his trousers, taking a moment to cup the considerable bulge that felt like a hot iron beneath the rough material of the pants. "Gods you’re so hard." she gasped as she finally freed his aching hardness from its’ confines. Severus’ moaned as she palmed his generous manhood and he grinned when she ran her small thumb over the swollen, leaking tip of him.

"Mmmmph, Hermione, I love it when you do that."

"I know," she breathed, pressing her lips against his in a searing kiss. He broke it briefly to mutter a silence and ward their little love nest, and then he returned his lips to hers full force, probing his tongue inside of her soft lips, kissing her like a starving man at a feast. His right hand came around her lower back and he lifted her up, her legs clamping around his waist as he hitched up her skirts higher, exposing her. She inhaled sharply when she felt two of his long fingers slide deep inside of her hot wetness, instantly finding her weak spot and thrusting his digits in and out, finding a rhythm that he knew made her scream his name.

"Oh fuck Severus….." she grunted as she felt him add a third finger into her tightness and he smiled at her irreverent language.

"Such words from such a sweet young thing…." he spoke quietly, but his voice held serious intent. "Gods Hermione I love it when you say ‘fuck’."

"You’re depraved…" she ground out as her body began to overheat, the coil of pleasure in her belly was tightening to a nearly painful level, so desperate was she to cum.

"And you love it." He responded roughly, thrusting his erection against her, mimicking what he’d like to be doing with his cock rather than his fingers. Suddenly, Hermione threw her head back so hard that he though her neck would snap, and she emitted a scream that shook the walls. She would surely have woken up the castle had not a strong silencing charm been in place. Severus grinned ferally as he watched her come undone before him, around him. Then, without warning, he withdrew his slick fingers from her pulsing sleeve and in one hard thrust he entered her body, claiming her fully as his own.

"Gods!" she shouted hoarsely as he hit bottom with a grunt of satisfaction.

"You feel so good around me…so tight…so wet," he moaned as he began to shift his hips slowly, drawing out their pleasure, each forward thrust pressing her a little bit harder into the wall. Their hips were meeting with a smacking sound as he increased the force of his movements, their mutual moans and grunts of enjoyment echoing off of the walls of the small alcove. "I love being buried so deep inside of you…so good…so warm…" his face was pressed into the damp curve of her neck and shoulder and he could feel the pressure starting to build within him. He would not last much longer and his movements became more erratic and hastened.

"Severus….love….my love….I’m going to…." she bit her lip and held back a loud moan as she felt the white begin to blot out her vision again as she began to see stars. Severus was pounding into her and dimly she realized that her back would be bruised in the morning, but she decided, as her second orgasm of the evening came upon her that she didn’t much care.

"Yessss," he grunted into her ear as the tightening in his bollocks signalled his inevitable climax, "Cum for me my sweet witch….my Hermione….I’m right there with you love….." and with a guttural groan of pleasure, he thrust hard up into her once more and emptied himself within her, pressing his hips against her as hard as he could, the muscles in his arms protesting the slack weight of her sated body, his legs beginning to grow weak from his release. With the last of his strength he lifted her off of the wall and turned with her still wrapped around him, sliding slowly to the ground. They rested there for a few minutes, breathing heavily, their sweat slicked bodies beginning to tingle and prickle in the cool air of the castle.

Hermione pulled her head away from Severus’ firm chest and looked into his dark eyes which were heavy lidded in satiety. “I thought that was pretty good for a virgin.” she smirked at the quirk of one black brow and giggled when he pretended to look affronted.

"Pretty good? My dear woman, if that had been my first time, I’d say that it was a positively stellar performance."

Hermione laughed, the sound of it bringing a smile to Severus’ lips.

"I’m not the only one who’s got mad rumors about them floating around this castle." Severus said, twirling a twisty lock of Hermione’s long curls between his fingers.

"Is that so?" she responded, "Do tell."

"Well," Severus lightened his voice, mimicking the gossipy tone of his colleagues, "Rumor has it that Professor Granger is such a bore in the bedroom that no one will have her! Furthermore," he continued, enjoying the sparkle of amusement in her eyes, "I heard tell that Professor Granger’s such a frigid bitch that she froze the family jewels off of the last man she had! Is it any wonder that she spends all her time with all those books?" Severus chuckled at Hermione’s look of mock surprise.

Hermione grinned and shook her head. “It really was such a shame. That man had such lovely ‘jewels’” She giggled when Severus frowned. “Oh do relax, Severus, love. I’m only kidding.”

"You think we should ever reveal our relationship to everyone?" Hermione asked after a beat.

" I don’t know. It’ll be awfully fun to see their faces when we do."

"When?" Hermione questioned, her face serious now, joking aside. They’d never really discussed this.

Severus grinned at his beloved, ensconced in his arms. “Yes when, you silly witch. Unless you’d rather wait until we’re really, really sure we want each other?” He asked, raising his eyebrows questioningly at her. Hermione smiled and rolled her eyes.

"You mean you weren’t sure when you asked me to marry you?"

"Well, I don’t know…after hearing some of those rumors…." she swatted him playfully and he guffawed against her, pulling her close to him again.

"The rumors weren’t all false, you know." Hermione smiled against his chest, enjoying the feel of his even breathing against her warm cheek.

"Really? How do you figure that one?"

"Well, dear, you are hung like a Hippogriff." She smiled and Severus threw his head back and laughed long and loud. Once he’d calmed down, he spoke, his voice still affected by his amusement:

"You know, Hermione, we really should get back to our respected chambers." Severus said after a time.

"Indeed. We wouldn’t want to fall asleep here and have anyone find us like this in the morning."

"What a scandal that would be!" Severus stifled a yawn. Hermione grinned.

"Are you too tired for round two, my love?" Severus grinned at her query. "I shall never be too tired for round two of anything with you witch." And so the couple dressed quickly and made their way back to their respective quarters. It was funny how no one had ever questioned why Professor Granger had moved in next to Professor Snape. But rumors are funny that way.

….

The next morning in the Great Hall, Rolanda Hooch and Septima Vector were chatting animatedly with Professor Dumbledore about the next Quidditch match, and he was doing his best to listen to their nattering, a pleasant smile on his face, when the doors banged open with a loud crash. Rolanda and Septima nearly fainted at the sight. Right before their very, very, surprised eyes, was Professor Severus Snape and Professor Hermione Granger….walking arm in arm down the center aisle of the Great Hall. And what was more, the two women noticed when Severus pulled out Hermione’s chair for her, Hermione was wearing a ring! A white gold engagement ring with a diamond and two large emeralds on either side. The two women could not keep their mouths from gaping open as they watched Severus Snape push Hermione in towards the table and then kiss her lightly on the forehead.

"Thank you, Severus my love." Professor Granger said, the corners of her mouth twitching with suppressed glee.

"You are most welcome dearest Hermione." Severus said, a small smirk of delight on his face.

Dumbledore stood up with a smile and a gleam in his eyes behind his half-moon glasses. “Your attention, everyone. I have the pleasure of making a very wonderful announcement on behalf of two of our most beloved staff members. I would like to wish my greatest congratulations to Severus Snape and Hermione Granger on the occasion of their impending nuptials to take place in the spring of this year. We all wish you the best!” And Dumbledore raised his class as a toast to the pair who were looking serenely out at the very surprised and very silent crowd. Suddenly the Great Hall burst out in applause and Severus quirked his lips into what appeared to everyone to be a small smile. Hermione looked back at him, joy clearly written all over her features. Once things calmed down and breakfast had resumed, the students moving on to other topics that took precedence over two of the most strict professors engagement, Hermione and Severus turned to the still speechless Rolanda Hooch and Septima Vector. Severus spoke first.

"So, ladies…" he raised an eyebrow at the pair. "Hear any good rumors lately?"

THE END.

Author’s Note: MistressSnape87, I do hope you enjoyed this little romp. Have you heard any good rumors lately? I sooooo wish that I could have a rumor about myself and Severus Snape going around my place of work….I suppose that’s probably unlikely. REVIEW PLEASE! And thanks for reading. :)

SexySloth

Secret Relief by Sexysloth. Please do not re-post. Reblog!

Chapter 1: Chapter 1


AN: Another quick one shot between my favorite couple. This fic suspends the reality of the books a bit for obvious reasons…Severus would not actually be alive at the final battle, and while I try to keep most of the characters canon, there will be deviations, so if that really bothers you, don’t read it! If you disagree with a choice I have made, then you can simply close the fanfiction window and never read this again. So no flames. :) Thanks! Finally, I don’t own a thing! JK has the rights to it all. I am simply having my way with them. If I owned Severus Snape, I’d certainly be somewhere other than writing about him on my computer. ;) Enjoy! Review! And see you at the bottom.

Her heartbeat was quick, her step light as air as she made her way down the steps of Hogwarts. Harry had just left to look his fate right in the eyes, to brave the final part of the quest he’d started, to get to the end of the path that had been laid before him when he was really only just a baby. And Hermione felt more afraid than she had in all her years. She’d just said goodbye to her best friend, her brother, had hugged him tightly then watched him, let him walk to his fate, perhaps never to see him again. Ron looked at her questioningly, his eyes speaking of many things, but she knew that she could not answer them now. She knew what he wanted, and she knew that now was not the time. It would never be the time. There was too much he did not know, too many feelings inside of her, too many secrets she had kept. All would be revealed one day, that is if they survived this night. She thought back to two months ago, back to those endless, mindless nights spent in a tent with her two best friends, one of whom was still a boy in so many ways, and the other who had, out of necessity, grown into a man too fast.

Flashback: Two months earlier…

Hermione stood watch. Well, not stood really. It was more like stooped. She was leaning hard against a large, fallen down tree, suspending all of her weight on it. She was exhausted, emotionally and physically. The boys were asleep in the tent, and she had watch for the next six hours till day break. She knew that Harry and Ron would never venture out into the cold winter air to check up on her. They relied upon her too much. They also didn’t know that she put up her own wards, silencing charms, and warming spells around her own little area for watch. They could not know. It was her secret, one of many during this terrible war.

Suddenly, a muffled pop sounded somewhere close by and Hermione straightened up, her wand at the ready, just in case. One could never be too careful now. That much had been made clear to her long ago. But she needn’t have worried. He came towards her and was allowed through the wards, his magical signature programmed perfectly into the circle of magic so that it would recognize him. Hermione allowed herself a slight smile at his arrival, but it quickly fell when she saw how much thinner he looked, how much paler his skin was, how deep the hollows were beneath his eyes, his deep, soulful eyes that to anyone else were cold and hard. But to her, they held a heat that knew no bounds. Their relationship had started out of necessity. She had been the one to tell him of their original departure, sending him message by anonymous owl. A raven had returned with a message.

"My Raven will not wait for a reply and this message will incinerate in three minutes upon being read. You will be under my protection. SS"

He would come to her at night, bring provisions, clue her in on where the Death Eaters were searching for them next. And most of all he listened to her. He listened to her as she lamented over her agony at having to obligate her parents, he listened to her rant about the boys frequent cluelessness, he listened to her talk of happier times. And then, not long after Ron had left them, he had embraced her. And it had started.

"We cannot do this Hermione" He had said, using her first name as he had recently begun to do. It is too risky..danger…."

"Don’t you dare tell me what is risky, what is dangerous!" She spat. "You know what I’ve been through, what I’ve sacrificed, what I’ve risked," the word came out like a hiss. "Please Severus," her eyes bore into him, fiery amber and brilliant as a sunset, "Look me in the eyes and tell me you don’t love me. Look straight at my eyes and tell me honestly that you feel nothing for me, and then you can just go and leave me, be the honorable one, the hero, let your honor be saved by your holier than thou deed." She had stood there, breasts heaving with emotion and he had stood opposite, looking into her eyes.

"I cannot look into your eyes and tell you those things Hermione. Because you know how I feel." His face turned pained and agonized, his dark brows fused together and his shoulders slumped. "I do love you. I love you painfully so and that is why we cannot do this, why I cannot do this. For Hermione, you must know, I will surely die."

Hermione had put a hand to his lips and fused her mouth with his, and then they found, in their own little bubble of warmth, that they did not need to talk anymore.

This night was like any other. They felt first and talked later. They were both too much in need of physical attention to talk of important things at hand. They would be dealt with. For now, there was the soft whisper of unbuttoning robes, the breath in the ear, the sweep of hands across warm, naked skin.

"Hermione…" he groaned softly, his voice sounding haggard and his breathing labored.

"I know, Severus, Please no more talking." Hermione responded as he lowered her to the blanket below them.

His eyes closed in exquisite bliss as he sunk his hardness inside of her, feeling her tight wetness surrounding him, losing himself in her soft, pliable body. Hermione took pleasure in kind, reveling in the sensations this man, this belabored, wonderful, mysterious man that only she knew the heart of, she moaned as his lips found the sensitive spot on her neck just below her ear, and she gasped in satisfaction when his long, tapered fingers found purchase on her buttocks, hoisting her upright as he sat on his knees, pressing her to him tighter as he thrust up and into her body over and over and over again, his hands kneading her flesh as he brought her to him. She wrapped her hands around his firm torso, clutching him to her tighter as she rose higher and higher in her pleasure. She never wanted to let him go, but as the world around her faded to dimness and her body gave in to the white hot pleasure that he was making her feel, and as she felt him respond in kind, she knew in that moment of orgasm, inside of that “little death”, that she would have to let him go, that she would be forced to let him go. And then the tears began to flow.

They lay there entwined, listening to each other’s breathing. There was no need to keep watch at the moment, for with Severus, there was no worry. He would protect them all, as he had been in secret for nearly two decades.

"Sleep now, Hermione. Get some rest. You look more tired than I am, and that worries me." He placed a soft kiss on her damp forehead and he covered them with the vast expanse of his warm cloak.

"Mmmm Severus…thank you love."

Hermione was already deeply asleep and did not hear the quiet response. “You’re welcome my love.”

End Flashback:The Present Time

The protections had been breached. That much was clear to Hermione as she ran as fast as she could to the courtyard where scores of her classmates, former professors, and parents of her good friends were all standing together. They were silent. They were strong, their faces resolute. They knew what was to happen, and they accepted their fate, but they were not going to go down without a fight. Hermione took a deep breath as she swallowed the nausea down,forcing herself to focus, forcing herself to be prepared, be organized, be smart. Brightest witch of her age, and this was what she knew. She knew spells, she knew charms, she could out battle and outsmart her way out of any situation. But this was very different. No longer was she a child caught up in a few protections set up by her teachers to safeguard an item. No longer was she a young woman on a mission to set house elves free from slavery. This was a very grown up situation. And then it was upon them.

The crack of the first spell that made it’s way through the wards was like lightning, and suddenly there was a mass of wizarding kind battling for survival. Spells flew this way and that, and it was hard to see, so many were the blasts.

Hermione shot spell after spell, first taking down Dolohov with a well placed Petrificus Totalus, then Lucius Malfoy with a rather potent STUPEFY. When her area was cleared for the time being, she looked through the crowds of battling wizards and for a moment she thought that he had not come, but then Hermione found who she was looking for. Severus Snape had outed himself to Hogwarts and had given back his position as headmaster to Minerva. He had then gone immediately into hiding, which was understandable, considering that he had not informed Voldemort of his treachery. He had constructed the perfect memories to show the Dark Lord, came up with massive amounts of false information about the order and Hogwarts. And now he had shown himself for what he was. And Voldemort saw, and Voldemort became enraged. His most loyal servant, proven to be a traitor, right under his almost non existent nose.

"Severussss Snape…." She heard the Dark Lord hiss. "You have displeased me greatly." Voldemort appraised him, turning up his chin and looking down at Severus he pointed his wand at the man whom he had thought so loyal. "AVADA KED-"

Suddenly, a loud cry of EXPELLIARMUS was heard from behind Voldemort. So distracted was he at the idea of his best and most loyal death eater being a turncoat, that he had not realized that Harry had come around from behind. Voldemort’s wand flew up in midair and was caught by one Severus Snape who turned his self made curse upon the evil snake.

"Sectumsempra!" He bellowed, his voice dark and deep as he watched slashes of disgusting dark green blood pool at Voldemort’s feet. But Voldemort was not to be done in yet. He saw Severus raise the wand again, preparing, no doubt, to perform the Avada, and he also saw in the corner of his eye, the slithering movement of his faithful familiar.

"Nagini..enjoy him…"

Hermione looked on in horror as the snake recoiled behind Severus, preparing to bite, preparing to kill, preparing to devour. In an instant she was behind him, reaching her wand arm out, crying : “Sectumsempra!” Nagini flailed and writhed and the wild movements were more than Hermione could have been prepared for, and without warning the snake’s head sunk deeply into her shoulder, it’s poisonous fangs releasing their venom into her bloodstream. Severus took one agonized look at Hermione but she shook her head weakly.

"Kill him" She whispered. And then everything went black for Hermione.

Voldemort looked in horror as Severus raised his wand. Harry Potter came as well, standing next to Severus, his wand pointed straight at Voldemort’s black heart. As one the two former enemies, but now bonded together in fighting, they uttered the curse. The curse that this time, was not and would not be considered and unforgivable.

"AVADA KEDAVRA!" The Dark Lord exploded in a flash of green light, the explosion causing shock waves throughout the crumbling courtyard. The onlookers, both good and bad stood stunned and then the wizards on the side of light began to cheer. All except Severus. While others rounded up the reaming death eaters, Severus Snape slumped to the ground beside Hermione who lay unconscious, her breathing labored.

"Pomphrey!" He cried as he began to tear the seam of her shirt off of her upper body, not caring that he was exposing her. "She needs help! For the love of God she needs help!"

Madam Pomphrey, Minerva McGonnagal, Albus Dumbledore and the rest of the order ran to Severus and Hermione. Poppy immediately began performing healing spells and extracting the venom from Hermione’s body.

"I don’t think it’s gone to her heart yet, but we shall just have to wait and see. As for her other injuries, they seem minor at best. We need to get her to the hospital wing." And then the Order of the Phoenix stared in complete shock as Severus Snape scooped Hermione up in his arms tenderly, placing a fervent kiss on her forehead.

"I’ll carry her." he said.

Hermione became aware of voices around her. They were fuzzy and unclear, but they were growing more and more understandable as her consciousness returned. Her eyelids fluttered, and the first thing that greeted her sight was that of her best friend Harry, looking battered, exhausted, and haggard, but the heaviness that had been resting on his shoulders for the last months seemed to have been lifted. Hermione groaned as she tried to sit up but immediately the pain in her right shoulder forced her to slump back against the pillows.

"Don’t try to move ‘Mione. You’ve been through a lot." Harry said, his voice soft and caring.

She looked to her left and saw that Ron was sitting next to Harry, his face a mix of concern and…something else she couldn’t place. “What happened?”

"You were bitten by Nagini." Ron replied, gulping as he relived the memory in his head. "It was bad ‘Mione. We’d thought you were a goner for sure…but then Snape…"

And suddenly Hermione remembered. She remembered everything. She looked at Harry who smiled slightly and jerked his head to the right, and looking she saw that Severus Snape, her love, her life, was deeply asleep in a makeshift chair at her bedside.

Harry looked at Hermione with a mixture of tenderness and irony. “He hasn’t left your side in three days. Wouldn’t even submit to a diagnostic spell until Pomphrey threatened to hex his balls off.” Harry smiled at his friend. “Hermione, you love him too don’t you?” Harry asked with the look of someone who was trying to understand something very difficult.

Hermione sighed. “Yes Harry. It’s a very very long story, but yes. I love him too. Very much. We both do.” Harry smiled and his eyes flickered down to her stomach covered by the sheets of her hospital cot.

"Pomphrey says the baby is okay. It wasn’t harmed by Nagini’s venom." Hermione felt tears prick her eyes as she looked from Harry to Ron, who had turned his face away for a moment, his mouth twisted.

"Ron…" she started, but he put out his hand to stop her.

“‘Mione don’t. It’s ok. I…don’t really understand how you could love someone like Snape…but I have known for a while that it wasn’t going to work out between the two of us. We’re just not right for each other. It’ll be okay. Still friends though, right?” He asked, a small half smile appearing on his amiable features.

Hermione grinned. “Yes Ronald. Definitely still friends.”

Jus then Severus began to stir. Harry cleared his throat and made to get up. “We’ll leave you two alone. I’m thinking that you have a lot to talk about and er…we’d just be in the way. But we’ll see you later Hermione. Get well soon.” Hermione nodded as she watched her two best friends leave her alone with Severus who was just now awakening. His eyes opened slowly, and when he saw two honey colored depths looking back at him, he gasped and flew to the side of the bed in an instant, bringing her body close to his in as tight a hug as he dared give her.

"Oh Gods…I thought I’d lost you. Why did you do that for me, you stupid stupid girl!" He moaned into her hair.

"Severus, look at me." He released her a bit and stared into her eyes, coal black melding with honey bronze. "You know why I did what I did. I did that because I love you. I hope you feel the same."

Severus sighed in exasperation. “You are an insufferable know-it-all, infuriating….wonderful amazing woman, do you know that Hermione? And yes. Gods yes I love you. But now I have a question for you.” Hermione smiled gently and nodded her assent. Severus moved his eyes down from her own to her still flat stomach. “Why didn’t you tell me about the baby?”

"Oh Severus, you have to know that I wanted to. When I found out, it was so inconvenient! We were far away and there was no end in sight to this awful war. I wasn’t sure if I would ever even get the chance to tell you, much less be alive myself at the end of all of this. So I waited. I’m sorry you had to find out the way you did, but" she took his hand and placed it gently on her belly. "Severus, you are going to be a father."

She watched, her heart filled to bursting as his eyes closed in happiness as he pressed his hand a little more firmly against her abdomen. “Hermione Granger, I love you more than I can say, and I love this life as well, more than words can express. You have truly given me new life.” The two once secret lovers shared a kiss, and together they knew they could face the world and all of its criticisms and judgements be damned. They had love.

FIN

AN: Annnnnd here we are. The end. For now. I may add another chapter depending on the response I get. If I get enough requests to continue I may post a follow up chapter or story, so if you haven’t already put me on author alert, and put this story on alert as well so that you can read any further additions. And finally REVIEW PLEASE! To quote Professor Lupin: “It helps..it REALLY helps!” Helps inspire me even more that is. :)

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Chapter 2: Chapter 2


AN: Yeah I know. I said it was a one shot…but what can I say, a plot bunny kidnapped me and is holding me at ransom until I bang out a few…addendum’s to this story.

DISCLAIMOR: BREAKING NEWS! Fanficton Author SexySloth is accused of owning the Harry Potter franchise. Author was available for limited comment only . Interview with reporter went as below:

Reporter: “SexySloth, we hear that you have been accused of being the soul owner of the Harry Potter book series, its characters, and all other franchise copyrighted material. You’ve denied such claims, is that correct?”

SexySloth: (One eyebrow quirked in annoyance.)”Yes”.

Reporter:” And you have no qualms about proclaiming your innocence on the matter?”

SexySloth: “Obviously.”

Couldn’t resist. Enjoy!

Part 2: An Inconvenient Secret

Hermione crouched at the edge of the stream deep in whatever Godforsaken forest she’d apparated them to this time. Her hair was hanging loose over her damp forehead and her body shuddered as she retched once more into the gently bubbling water, only just beginning to freeze over in the winter temperatures. Her belly was aching from her ordeal and her eyes were swollen and bloodshot. It had been this way every morning for the past three weeks. Dawn would break and the nausea would take over, all consuming, sending her running from her post. She considered herself lucky to have the late watch that went into the early hours of the morning. It made it that much easier to hide.

Hermione sat back on her heels, her sore muscles protesting the position and her legs gave way from weakness, her body falling to the ground as she landed on her are with a soft thud. She was no fool. She knew what was wrong with her. Hermione didn’t have to be a wiz at books to know that she was pregnant.

It had been two weeks since her period was supposed to have come, and for three weeks there had been the persistent nausea, the overwhelming fatigue, the dizzy spells that rendered her almost helpless at the worst moments. Like when she was on watch. Ron hadn’t noticed a thing, consumed as he was in his newfound “passion” for finding the horcruxes now that he’d come crawling back, tail between his legs. After what he’d done his earnest words rang on death ears for her. Harry had forgiven him, but she hadn’t. Couldn’t. Something had broken between them.

Harry on the other hand, well, he’d noticed something. He hadn’t said anything yet, but he would. She could see it in his eyes that he knew something was amiss. She would not tell him. She could not tell him. It was all too inconvenient. The wrong timing, the wrong place. The wrong everything. But not the wrong man.

Hermione thought back to the last time he had come to her. Counting back in her head, she realized that nearly a week had passed. It had been a quick meeting, all business, no time for anything else. He’d given her the information and the rations that she needed to keep the three of them going, he’d kissed her desperately, hurriedly. She had felt his need for her, had felt his agony, but then he had to go. There would be time for that. But not then. He’d had a meeting with Voldemort that night…and one did not keep the Dark Lord waiting.

Hermione sneered at the stream in front of her. How wretched she felt, and how alone. But she would keep her secrets, out of necessity. For him and for her. And for her boys, who as clueless as they were sometimes, were like her brothers.

Just then she heard the crackle of leaves behind her and she knew, without looking that Harry was coming to relieve her. She would nod to him, give him any information, and then go on about the arduous task of cooking their breakfast over an open fire. Then she could escape. Then she could close her eyes and fall into an exhausted sleep, burdened by her own deception, and by his.

"Long night?" Harry asked as he sat himself down beside her, for once not asking her if there was anything new to share.

Hermione let the barest hint of a smile cross her features. It was all she could bear just now. “Yes. Very long.”

"Hermione," Harry said, and he looked at her curiously, and she knew with dread that he would ask her what was wrong, that he would want to know what was going on. That he would want them to talk freely as they always had for the last seven years of their friendship. Hermione looked at him desperately, begging him with her eyes not to probe.

He nodded in acceptance. He would let her have her secrets then. He trusted her to keep them safe. “Get some rest Hermione. Ron and I can figure our own breakfasts out.” He said placing a comforting hand on her arm as she rose to go.

Hermione smiled truly this time, so grateful was she that someone, anyone had been there to share just a moment of her pain. “Thanks Harry. Stay warm.” And then she left, making her way back to the tent.

She collapsed on her cot, her body giving in to her exhaustion, her mind on many things, her hands pressed secretly over her abdomen beneath her blanket. Her secrets were her own that night.

Fin…for now. Couple more maybe coming your way, who knows. I’m just going to wait for the mood to strike me. This one seemed angst ridden to me, but it all just sort of vomited out of me…so who knows. REVIEW my lovelies!

S


Chapter 3: Chapter 3


AN: Another little one-off chappie for my lovely reviewers. I’ve had some requests to turn this into a full blow story. The idea is there, but for now it will be a series of interludes. I say this because I feel the need to point out that the may not be in sequential order. They could-in effect, be taken and re-arranged into their correct sequence, but I will leave it as is for now. Without further ado: ENJOY AND REVIEW!

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Interlude: Harry’s Point of View

It had not escaped his notice that there was something afoot with Hermione. It had not gone by the wayside, her secretive actions and harried demeanor as of late. He was not angry or hurt that she would keep something from him, merely curious as to what exactly it was that she felt she had to hide. They had been friends for so very long, and they had always told each other everything. It had been going on for nearly a month. It was time to do some detective work.

He looked at the moon as it drifted across the sky and noted its position. It was nearly time. Soon she would remove herself from the tent and pretend that she had not been crying. She would walk over to him and place a thinning hand on his own bony shoulder and nod silently to him to get some sleep, communicating with her eyes that he needed his rest. She had always put his needs, Ron’s needs before her own. She had taken charge remarkably, so remarkably, in fact, that for the longest time he hadn’t thought to question her where she got the food she prepared, for all of it could not have been stowed away in that miraculous bag of hers. It had nearly escaped his notice that she seemed to always know exactly what was going on in the outside world, though they had not had access to The Daily Prophet or any other newspaper for months. When he began to notice these things, an inkling of doubt had seeded itself into his brain. Now he would see, he hoped. And whatever it was, he had promised himself that he would do his best to understand. She had been burdened enough by his moods and his emotions over the last seven years. It would not do to cause her more distress over his person.

The shifting of the earth behind him signalled her approach and he stood on his own accord this time. He smiled softly at her in the dim light from their fire, and she returned the smile in kind. He noticed that the smile did not reach her eyes. She was not often happy anymore. She was most content, it seemed when she would come to relieve him from his watch, and then inexplicably whatever small joy she had was gone in the morning. “I’ll leave the extra blankets out here for you Hermione. It’s starting to get cold at night.” he offered. She nodded, her smile blooming a bit on her face. She wrapped her arms around her body and shrugged.

"Thanks Harry. Get some good sleep. You look as if you’re dead on your feet."

"Right. Have a good night Hermione. Let us know if you need anything." He said, knowing she would not.

"Yep. No problem. Night Harry."

He looked at her one last time and then retreated, leaving her facing away from him and the tent. As silently as he could and as quickly as he could, he slid the invisibility cloak from under his shirt. He’d packed it with him tonight, knowing of his plans, hoping it would aid him. He did not want to deceive her, but he did not know another way, so closed off was she. He put the cloak on and it covered him instantly and, after checking to make sure his feet were sufficiently hidden, he whispered a silencing charm on himself for extra caution. With that he was free to walk closer to her, and he positioned himself against a nearby tree. It was only a few minutes and he was glad he had been quick about his business, for he saw Hermione glance back at the tent warily, making sure he was inside. With one more careful look around her she began to set up wards, not the ones that she’d already set up around their perimeters, but smaller ones, encompassing only an area of about ten feet by ten. He had been lucky. A few feet further away and he would have been outside of the small circle.

Interesting. He thought. These were not wards to keep out enemies. They were meant to keep Ron and himself out. Once she was finished, she sat, looking impatiently at her watch, her wand in hand. Harry stood by with her. He did not have long to wait. A small pop indicated that someone had apparated inside of the small enclosure and Harry was instantly tense, his wand, under the cloak, at the ready. Although he knew that Hermione would not let someone untrustworthy just apparate so near, he was still uneasy at the though of someone else knowing their location. When the figure spun into view, Harry could not stop the gasp that came from his throat, and he was immediately glad of the silencing charm he had cast upon himself.

What in the name of Merlin’s balls was Severus Snape doing here….with Hermione? But he did not have long to wait for this answer either. Severus, upon arriving, dropped a small parcel on the forest floor and Hermione was on her feet instantly, her arms wrapping around the black clad professor. To Harry’s shock and immediate discomfort, Snape’s hands came around her body in return. Harry did not have much experience, but he knew enough to know that this was an embrace of lovers, not of mere friends or acquaintances. Snape’s hands were far too firmly planted on her lower back, and Hermione was far too deep into his embrace for this to be platonic.

"Thank God, Severus, I was going mad without you." Hermoine said, and Harry’s brows creased at the informal term. When had all this happened? When had Hermione become close enough to Snape to refer to him by his first name? This was…definitely not what he expected.

"Yes, well, I’d have been here a hell of a lot sooner had those Weasley twins not spent the Order Meeting goofing about. It took forever, and you know how Albus blathers on. At least the Dark Lord has the ability to be concise." He drawled, his voice exactly as Harry remembered it…but perhaps, softer. "And you Hermione, how are you?" Harry watched as his most hated teacher’s inky eyes took in Hermione’s appearance, not missing a thing as usual. But Harry noted the look of concern held there, the care with which his hands were gently cupping her elbows. "You look like you’ve lost weight. Am I not bringing you enough food? You’re not giving it all to those boys are you? You need your strength too."

Harry watched as Hermione sighed and pressed her head into his shoulder. Snape could not see her face, but Harry could. And then he watched her lie to him. “No Severus. I’m fine. I’m just…overwrought is all. This is all getting to be rather mindless. I feel like we’ve gotten nowhere. We’re still out in the godsdamn wilderness for fucks’ sake.” She pulled her head back and looked the professor in the eye. “I’m sorry I don’t mean to be so cross. But I feel weary. What you are bringing us is more than enough. Thank you again.” And she knelt, then, to open the package he had brought with him. He sat with her, and it struck Harry as so odd, seeing Severus Snape…lounging on blankets with his friend.

"Oh you found them! I’m so glad, I was craving them terribly!" She cried out in glee as she removed two items from the stash of what looked like food and potions. So that’s where she’s been getting them, he thought. He was glad that Ron was not one to question things like this. He’d be…angry to say the least at this particular development. Since Hermione had thwarted all of his efforts to ingratiate himself back on good terms with her, he’d been quite edgy.

"Yes." Snape intoned, and the smile on his face nearly knocked Harry off his feet. "They were rather difficult to find. I had to search four stores in Muggle London before I came across them in an ailse dedicated to American specialties. Oreos and peanut butter. I’d no idea you had a sweet tooth." he smirked, and she slapped his arm playfully as she clutched the treats to her breast with the other arm.

"I can’t thank you enough Severus. For all you have done. I just wish…"she spoke then, and her voice held a note of sadness, despondency.

"I know. But we can’t tell anyone. No one can know. It is too dangerous…for me and for you. And for Harry that matter. If the Dark Lord got wind that I even had an inkling about where you three were located you’d be dead faster than you can say Slytherin. I know it is hard but it is better this way. Safer."

Hermione nodded and put down the packages in her arms and then threw herself into his arms. He accepted her embrace willingly, eagerly. “Be strong, my brave little lioness. It will all be over soon.” He murmured, running a pale, long fingered hand through her mess of curls.

Hermione sobbed against him. “But how? But when? None of us knows a thing. The only reason I know half of what I know is because of you. Gods Severus, I feel so wretched, keeping so many secrets. I hate this.”

"I know. But please understand that when I tell you soon, I mean a matter of weeks….a month perhaps. It’s all coming to a head. It will happen soon."

Hermoine pulled back and looked at him, her eyes shining with unshed tears. “And us, what will become of us?”

Harry saw the hesitation in Snape’s eyes. “Hermione, I will do whatever is in my power to keep coming to you. And…if I end up being the godsdamned luckies son-of-a-bitch on this earth and I manage to live through this, then I will not stop coming to you…ever Hermione. I’ll shout it from the damn rooftops, witch. I love you.”

Harry nearly pissed himself. He sagged against the tree. So this is what Hermione had been harboring for all this time? Good God how had she kept it to herself? He wondered, a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he knew he should be repulsed…but he was surprised to find that he was not. It all made sense really. Hermione was never going to be the kind of girl to just fall hopelessly in love with some generic bloke off the street. And it was never going to happen with Ron, not after all that had passed between them. Hermione needed someone who she could be an equal with-someone who could take her for what she was…absolutely fucking brilliant. Perhaps, he thought, this was really the best thing for her. And just as Harry was about to consider his endeavor a 100 percent success, he found himself witnessing something that caused him to turn a little green.

Hermione’s mouth was now fused with Snape’s and they were…devouring each other. His hands were all over her body, and hers were returning the favor wholeheartedly from what he could see.Oh dear…he thought as the first article of clothing hit the blankets. And so Harry turned his back, willing himself to block out the sounds that were clear as day to him, thinking of anything to erase the images from his mind of his best friend shagging their greasy haired professor not five feet away from him.

It was times like these when a reverse muffliato charm would have come in handy, he thought. He had to wait, what he thought, was an obscene amount of time before he unwillingly recognized the sounds of completion. As soon as he noticed that they seemed asleep, he made to move out of the wards, hoping his passing through them wouldn’t trigger a noticeable alarm. He had just made the first of his movements away from the tree, his back and legs stiff from standing still for so long when he heard his name.

"Mr. Potter." came Snape’s silky voice, and suddenly Harry felt like he was eleven years old again, caught with his hand in the cookie jar. With trepidation he turned around. "Take off that blasted cloak and face me. She’s asleep. She’s practically passed out from exhaustion…and not from any of my personal efforts, mind you." Snape intoned not unkindly, but not without the usual healthy dose of snark.

Harry removed the cloak and faced his professor, whom he tried very hard not to notice was wearing absolutely nothing. Snape pulled a blanket over his hips indifferently and then set his gaze upon the boy who lived. “Potter, I trust that you are very very aware of the absolute necessity of this little secret?” Harry nodded. “Well, then, I do not need to inform you of the dangers it would bring if any of this were to slip out. I am fully aware of your lack of skills when it comes to occlummency. None of what you saw here tonight has ever happened.” Snape said sharply. “That said, Harry,” he paused, and it was not missed by Harry that Snape had used his first name. “Please take care of her. Since you have seen fit to put your nose in, you now know several things of a very personal nature. It is eating her up inside to not tell you, but I will not take kindly if I hear you are giving her any sort of trouble. You two dunderheads give her enough consternation as it is from what I hear.”

"I promise, sir. Not a word. And…"Harry paused, shifting uncomfortably, "thank you. For what you are doing for us…and for what you are doing for her."

Severus Snape looked at Harry, and his normally severe eyes grew a bit soft. “Yes, well. We are all in this together, Potter. We take our joy when we can, with whomever we can. And some of us are lucky enough to find goodness in this whole damned mess. When her watch is over, I will be gone. Until then, get some sleep. You will need it. I will keep watch until then.”

With that, Severus turned his body away from Harry, and Harry took that to be his dismissal. He headed back to the tent with his brain buzzing. But he was glad that he knew Hermione’s secret. And he was glad that she was being looked after. Even if it was by Snape. He sincerely hoped that they could find some kind of happiness together if this mess ever got sorted out. And then he sighed. It was all in his hands really.

Fin…for now.

Updates for Forbidden are coming in soon as well. Stay tuned! Review please! They make me happier than Oreo’s and Peanut Butter…and really are less messy to receive over the internet. Send them along my dears!

SexySloth


Chapter 4: Chapter 4


AN: For your reading pleasure…another little…interlude of sorts between my two favorite characters. As previously mentioned, these interludes are not necessarily in chronological order, and they can, in essence, be read on their own, I suppose, although one should really read the first chapter to get the big picture. I only own the plot of my stories. All recognizable characters/details are the property of the lovely JKR. I just enjoy playing with her world. :) Enjoy and review! They keep me going.

SS.

Interlude # 4: Sleeping Beauty and The Beast

Severus’ heart was pounding in his chest as he made his way as swiftly as possible to the hospital wing, his lover, and love of his life Hermione Granger was limp in his arms, her shirt torn and covered in blood, her hair limp and dry. He did his best not to let the panic he felt in his veins take him over. Much had happened in a very short span of time. The Dark Lord, one of his hated, despised masters, a maniacal bastard bent on enlacing the wizarding world to meet his own dismal and devious ends, had been vanquished with the help of Harry Potter, the resident boy wonder since his birth. Lord Voldemort’s insidious familiar Nagini had been ready to kill Severus, but Hermione, wonderful, brilliant, amazing Hermione had foolishly jumped in front of the snake, taking the bite for him. And that brought them here, now, rushing through the halls of Hogwarts with Hermione in his arms, unconscious.

His heart clenched at the thought that he could be dead right now and she could be safe and healthy and whole. She had sacrificed herself to save his wretched, damned soul. She had done this for him. The mere thought of it sent him reeling. He did not take the time to notice that he had a bevy of colleagues following him at his heels, attempting to keep up with his long strides. He didn’t care anymore who saw him or who knew about his relationship with Hermione. It was all over now, and none of it mattered anyway. Persecutor’s be damned. His only aim was to get Hermione well.

They reached the hospital wing, and Severus took no notice of the destroyed archways or massacred beds. He conjured a broken, listing cot into a standing position and as swiftly and as gently as he could, he placed the Hermione’s battered body onto the mattress, letting his fingers trace the line of her jaw gently as he removed a stray hair out of her face. “Please darling. Please…I need you here. How could you do something so foolish…for me? Please Hermione, love. Please be okay.” He spoke softly, his voice a mere whisper on the air. But he was overheard. They all overheard.

Minerva glanced at Dumbledore with alarm in her eyes, but Dumbledore returned her gaze with a quelling look. Dumbledore was not about to take this tortured man’s happiness away. It seemed the days had not been completely void of light these past months. Harry stood next to Ron and took in the young man’s distressed appearance. When Severus uttered those words he had to grab Ron by the shoulders to keep him from attaking their former potions professor.

"What the bloody hell are you talking about? You? You and….and her? Bloody ridiculous, in’it Harry?" Ron turned to Harry who just looked at him soberly.

"Ron…there are some things you don’t know." Harry responded. Ron shoved Harry’s hands off of his person as he glared incredulously from Snape to Hermione to Harry once again.

"You mean…they….that they’ve…." Ron gulped and exhaled sharply. "You knew. You bloody well knew this whole time?" He pointed a finger at Harry accusingly.

"Ron, calm down. Now’s not the time. Right now we should be worried about Hermione." Harry said pointedly, trying to take the focus off of the elephant in the room. Madam Pomphrey was busily casting diagnostic spells on Hermione who was laying still as stone on the gurney, her skin pale as milk, her hands cold as ice. Hands which Ron and the others noted were wrapped between Severus Snape’s two larger ones.

"Severus, I have to ask you…" Madam Pomphrey started as she began to extract the venom from Hermione’s wound and transfer the sickly green substance into a kidney pan, "Severus, were you and Hermione….very familiar?" She blushed slightly as she took in the Potions Master’s visage which was not it’s usual unctuous stare. It was…softer? Filled with pain. Visible pain. He had the look of a man who was in the middle of a massive amount of emotional turmoil. He turned his stern gaze upon the mediwitch.

"If you are asking what I believe you to be asking, then my answer is," he paused for a moment to glance at Dumbledore whose gaze upon Severus was steady and kindly. Minerva smiled wanly and encouraged him to go on with a nod. "Yes. We were…involved. Intimately."

Harry tightened his grip on Ron’s body once more, and watched as Ron’s face turned a frightening shade of purple. He looked like he was going to explode.

"Get ahold of yourself Ron," he hissed, attempting to keep the peace. Harry fully intended to share all of what he knew with his redheaded friend, but now was surely not the moment for such conversations.

Poppy sighed and looked to Minerva and Dumbledore. Both esteemed and tenured teachers looked on sympathetically as Severus desperately tried to keep himself under control. He was visibly shaking, and obviously affected, something most people weren’t used to seeing from the normally smooth as silk spy. It was rather disconcerting.

"Well, then," Poppy said resignedly "then I suppose you’ll be extremely happy to know that the baby has not been harmed by Nagini’s venom."

The whole room froze. Severus’ head shot up and he looked into Madam Pomphrey’s eyes sharply. “Excuse me?” came his icy response.

Harry’s expression matched everyone else’s in the room. It was true, he had been in on most of the secrets Hermione had about the Potions Master and her relationship with him, but this secret she had most definitely kept to herself. Baby? He thought. No wonder she was so sick lately.

"Oh dear." Poppy intoned softly as she began to magically stitch Hermione’s broken skin back together. "Erm, I take it that you were…unaware of the pregnancy?" She said a bit sheepishly. It hadn’t occurred to her that Severus might not have known about Hermione’s condition. She quickly finished her stitching and transfigured Hermione’s clothes into a hospital gown, and brought the sheet up to cover her. Severus hadn’t moved and Poppy looked at him a bit guiltily.

"Hermione is pregnant?" Severus asked, his voice was suddenly hoarse and his eyes felt hot with unshed tears. This was…unexpected.

Poppy placed a small hand on Severus’ slumped shoulder, feeling the muscles there rigid and taut with stress and anxiety. “Yes Severus,” she replied. “Hermione is indeed pregnant.”

Severus sighed softly and placed a hand tentatively on Hermione’s still flat belly, feeling the warmth from her body emanating under his fingers. A baby…he thought. He was going to be a father. Never in all his wildest dreams did he imagine that he would ever have the privilege of becoming a father. And now, all at once, here it was. A dream come true. And the tears fell.

"How far along is she?" He asked softly, stroking his fingers gently across Hermione’s sheet covered abdomen.

Poppy smiled. “Two months, give or take a few days. The baby appears to be strong and healthy. Just like its mother. Hermione is going to make a full recovery in time. She’ll need lots of rest in the meantime though. Not too much exertion, and not too much physical activity, but she will be back to normal in no time.”

Severus nodded and to everyone’s surprise a slight smile spread across his features, softening them. Harry realized that Snape looked years younger when he wasn’t glowering. He was almost…handsome. “Thank you Poppy.” He then set his features back into his normal bland expression of mild derision. “I suppose you’ll be wanting a word, Minerva? Albus?”

Dumbledore stepped forward slightly, Minerva McGonagall at his side. Minerva looked at Dumbledore, imploring him to speak what was now on both their minds. “My boy,” Albus said softly, “You have risked your life for the sake of the wizarding world, have lived in mortal fear for your life and your soul, have committed numerous heinous acts under duress due to your role as a spy, and have shown more compassion, more loyalty, more passion for everyone else around you than I have ever seen in any man I’ve ever known. Minerva and I both feel that it is high time you fight for something that is yours and yours alone. You deserve happiness more than any wizard I have had the pleasure of knowing. I think all would agree that Miss Granger and you are more than suited for each other. She is, after all, the brightest witch of her age.”

Severus blinked a bit at the headmaster’s words. He was the closest thing Severus had ever had to a father, and his approval meant worlds. “Thank you Albus.”

"Mind you, Severus," Minerva piped in, a small smile of her normally severe features, "If you do anything to hurt my most promising student, you’ll have me to answer to."

"Dully noted." Severus responded, a wry smirk on his face.

"Right. Well, now that that’s all settled, I think I’d like to walk about the grounds to begin the restoration process. Back on the horse and all that, you know." Dumbledore prattled. "Minerva, Poppy, care to come along? I’m sure that there are many students and staff members in need of your services." The two witches nodded in assent and followed the headmaster out of the hospital wing.

Ron was calmer now, his arms limp at his sides, his eyes lowered, his mouth in a dissatisfied moue. Harry accioed a few extra chairs and he sat down in one next to Ron and pulled them up closer to Hermione’s bedside. Harry looked up to find that Severus was staring intently at him.

"Sir?" he asked.

"Did you know?" Severus questioned, his voice soft, only slight concern laced in his words.

Harry shifted in his seat and clasped his hands in his lap. He looked Severus straight in the eyes. “About the baby?” Snape nodded once. “No. I didn’t . Honestly, I didn’t even think about it. I knew she wasn’t feeling well. But I thought it was just all of the stress, the exhaustion. None of us were in top form these past few months.”

Severus nodded. It was not surprising that two boys hadn’t noticed Hermione’s symptoms. He doubted that his own keen eye would have picked up on them, given that there were so many things happening. He frankly hadn’t been able to see Hermione often enough to have picked up on it. He wished that she had felt like she could have told him.

"Sir, Hermione kept a lot of secrets from us all," Harry said. "But she did it to keep us all safe."

"Damned Gryffindor honor." Severus sneered playfully. Playfully, Harry thought? But he was not going to pass judgement on Professor Snape anymore.

"She loves you, you know." Harry intoned, his eyes on Hermione’s still face, frozen in repose.

"I love her too." Severus said quietly, his onyx eyes gazing steadily at Harry.

"This is…"Ron spoke suddenly for the first time, his expression wan, his eyes wary, "bloody weird." He huffed out a puff of air and slunk down further into his seat. Then he looked up at Snape, his eyes untrusting. "But if she loves you, then you’d better treat her right or I’ll…" Severus raised an eyebrow at the ginger before him. "Well…nevermind. But she deserves the best y’know."

Severus lowered his eyebrow. “Yes. I know.”

"Bloody bizarre…." Ron muttered.

The group was silent for a long while, and Ron dozed off after a time, leaving Harry to keep watch with Severus. Suddenly the professor spoke: “Thank you, Potter.”

Harry started in surprise at the comment. “Er…for what sir?”

Severus tilted his head to the side as he gazed down at his love. “For taking care of her when I could not be there. For keeping her safe…even with all of your impudence. You did a great deed for me. And for that, I owe you…Harry. Thank you.”

"It was my pleasure sir. After all, she’s my best friend. She’s pretty important to me too." Harry replied.

"Then we agree on something then." Severus’ mouth twitched into a smirk, which Harry returned with a half-grin.

"Yes. We agree on something.

Fin….for now. :)

As always thanks for hit that button! Reviews are my drug of choice. :D

SexySloth


Chapter 5: Chapter 5


AN: So, I’m taking a wee little break from my other story Forbidden to bring you the newest installment of Secret Relief. As always, this is a vignette, so it may or may not directly follow the previous chapter. I want to take the time to thank all of my wonderful readers and reviewers. You truly make this story possible and getting those little notices in my inbox is a joy. READ AND REVIEW! And as always, enjoy!

I don’t own it…but I sure love to play with it! I’d willingly play with Severus Snape for free. No Galleons required.

SS

Chapter 5: A Moment of Bliss

Severus rolled over in bed and reveled in the feeling of another warm body against his own. Hermione Granger lay beside him, his love, his life, his wife. Wife. That word still astounded him-the fact that she was really and truly his, the fact that she had given him what he had never dreamed possible after his wretched existence-he was grateful every day. They had married as soon as she had been well enough to leave the hospital wing in a small ceremony with only a select few colleagues and friends in attendance. Remus Lupin served as his best man, Albus presided over the ceremony, and Hermione had walked down the center aisle of the newly restored Great Hall in a vision of white on the arm of her best friend Harry Potter. Ronald Weasley and family were in attendance as well and they looked on with happiness and pride at the beautiful young woman. The news of Hermione’s pregnancy had not been announced yet, and unless you were looking for it, the small swell of the child growing within her was practically unnoticeable in the flowing gown she wore. She had looked like an angel.

His hand slipped down her smooth arm and slid around to cup the large swell of their child. Their wedding had been six months ago, and Hermione was now eight months gone in her pregnancy. He marveled every day at the changes her body was going through, all for him and their child. He would stare in wonder at the gentle undulations of the skin on her stomach as it moved and shifted with their child’s activities in Hermione’s womb. He would gaze in appreciation at her round, full bosoms that had become heavy with milk. And he was most appreciative of how incredibly randy she had become with her pregnancy. Now that there was no threat of a slithering maniac ready to conquer wizarding kind at their backs, they were free to indulge in the carnal aspects of their nature without haste, without secrecy, and they were heartily enjoying making up for lost time. He looked around their chambers-no surface of their rooms at Hogwarts had been left unchristened with their passion and he shifted his hips as he felt himself begin to grow hard at the thought of last nights activities against the bedroom door…and on the floor…a small groan left his lips unwittingly and he was surprised when he felt her turn slightly towards him, her golden hued eyes still heavy with sleep…but sparkling with something more.

"Mmmmm what a lovely way to wake up." She purred, and he gasped aloud when he felt her warm hand slide down his stomach and grasp his thickness, sliding up and down his erection in a most enjoyable manner, causing the tiny prickles of arousal to shoot up his backbone and make him shiver in pleasure.

"I would have to agree….wife" he growled and captured her lips with his own and he shifted closer to her, pressing his hardness against her hip, one hand caressing her burgeoning belly, the other tenderly cupping her soft cheek. She moaned in appreciation as he slid his tongue inside of her mouth. He was bent on claiming her fully and she was more than ready to accept him completely. Her core was wet and heated with desire, a desire that she felt almost constantly due to her raging hormones. Pregnancy had treated her well, and once her morning sickness-more like all day long and all night long sickness- had subsided, her libido had skyrocketed to astounding levels. There were times when she plum wore Severus out-and that was a hard thing to do with a man who had been unwillingly celibate for two decades.

She turned to the side and pressed her bum against his rock hard cock that was pressing insistently against her wetness, vying for entrance into her welcoming warmth. They had long since had to forgo the missionary position…the up against a wall position….and standing up in the shower position. She had just become too unwieldily with her heavy belly and ever growing breasts that Severus took so much pleasure in. She groaned as she felt him slide inside of her from behind, both of them on their sides. He could go quite deep this way and she enjoyed the sensation of his bulging head nudging at her cervix, hitting that sweet spot inside of her that made her cry out. He cursed as he felt her tight sleeve enveloping him so tightly, so completely and he brought his hands up to squeeze her firm breasts in his hands as he began a slow and torturous rhythm in and out of her, his fingers plucking at the hardened nubs of her rosy nipples, loving the mewls and cries of delight coming from her sweet lips, getting high at the fact that he could do this to her with his hands.

"Gods woman, you are so ripe for me." He whispered urgently into her ear as his tempo increased, his hips shifting faster against her. "So tight, so wet…uhhhhhggg" he grunted as the sensations overwhelmed him as they always did when he was buried inside of his goddess of a wife, this wonderful, insatiable woman who had captured his heart. The fire in her belly was growing larger and more intense with each movement Severus made and her moans were becoming desperate, ragged, one of her hands reached back and slid into his hair, the other pressed against the one cupped around her breast, pressing his long fingers further into her heated flesh.

"Harder, Severus….ohhhhhhh yes yes yes harder please…Gods I need it as hard as you can fuck me," Hermione cried out as she felt the coil of her orgasm beginning to reach its breaking point.

Severus was only too happy to comply, his balls were heavy with cum and they were rock hard, ready to explode. He was not going to last much longer and he began to piston his cock in and out of her as fast and as hard as he could go, his deep guttural grunts and low growls punctuating each movement of his sweat slicked body.

"Oh Gods!" Her cry echoed thought the room as she exploded and convulsed around him, her walls pulsing around his thickness, her back arching up as the world around her disappeared and her orgasm took over every part of her being.

"Hermmioneeee….my Hermionee" he sighed as he felt her reach her peak and then with a growl that came from the tips of his toes he thrust into her sharply and emptied himself deep inside of her, spurt after spurt of his hot seed pouring into her, as their hearts beat as one.

Severus clutched his wife’s fertile body against his own as he calmed down, his heart rate slowly returning to its normal state, his breathing labored and unsteady. His head was spinning with the violent feelings he always experienced with their lovemaking. It was incredible, and he had never felt another thing like it in his whole life. Hermione was his whole life, his whole world.

"Do you know how incredible you are my love?" he asked her quietly when he had found his voice again. She turned her body in his arms and pressed her gravid stomach against his own flat one. He looked into her smiling face, taking in the lust laden eyes, the high spots of color on her cheeks.

"Only as amazing as you are to me Severus." Suddenly the both were made aware of a third presence in their bed as there was a firm tap tap tapping against Severus’ lower abdomen. Hermione giggled and placed a hand against the mound of their child. "We woke the baby up love."

"I suppose we’ll have to get used to that. Once this little one is born we may have to be more discreet." Severus smiled the sated smile of a lover contented with his life and placed a reverent kiss against her damp forehead.

"My dear…that’s what silencing charms are for."

TBC

Hope you enjoyed! Please click that button below and make my day!

SS


Chapter 6: Chapter 6


AN: Here’s a sweetie for you.

Usual disclaimers apply.

REVIEW AND ENJOY!

SS

Chapter 6: A Conversation

Harry slowly walked down the halls of his school and home for the past seven years. Well, six if you didn’t count the full year spent traipsing about the countryside on a mission that he’d been almost certain would have ended in his death. But here he was, dodging pieces of rubble, evading toppled bookshelves and suits of armor, stepping over smashed busts and ripped tapestries. His footsteps echoed in the hallway, there was no one about. The school was deserted, the students that had remained alive were either on the train for home or in the hospital wing. The staff had all gone down to Hogsmead a while ago for drinks, and a celebration. Harry didn’t really feel much like celebrating. He was…relieved to be sure. That much he could discern from the many complex emotions that were running through him just now.

There were so many things that had happened in such a small span of time that Harry knew he would have to file most of them away and deal with them at a later time. Right now, he was on a new, if comparatively mundane, mission. To find his friend.

After He and Ron had left the hospital wing, leaving Hermione and Snape to their own devices, Ron had taken off. Harry had let him go. He’d known his red headed friend long enough to understand Ron’s need to go and blow off some steam elsewhere…and alone. In the meantime, Harry had been walking, looking at the remnants of a childhood long past. He’d passed the burned Quidditch pitch, the once brightly colored flags soot blackened and tattered, blowing gently in the soft Scottish wind. The sun was so bright, it belied the tragedy that had only recently occurred.

He made his way a little further outside of the grounds and found Ron sitting on an overturned pumpkin carcass, his elbows braced on his knees, his ginger head down, face to the ground. He must have heard Harry approach, but he made no move to get up or acknowledge him. Harry grabbed a rusted, overturned cauldron and set it on its end and sat down next to his friend, and they remained that way for a time, watching the crows pick at the smashed squash in Hagrid’s desecrated garden.

"How long did you know mate," Ron’s soft spoken question almost startled Harry. He turned to his friend and saw that he looked as if he’d been crying. His nose was red and raw looking, his eyes bloodshot and watery. And the unmistakable flush of emotion was well up onto his cheeks all the way from his neck. The pleasures of being a redhead, Harry thought affectionately.

He sighed and responded, equally quietly. “Quite a while, I suppose, but not as long as you’re thinking.” He smiled wryly and thought back to his rather unfortunate attempt at being Sherlock Holmes. “It wasn’t until I noticed her wards were different that I actually began to suspect something strange was going on. Before that…well, I’d noticed…things.”

"Like what?" Ron asked, his eyes stared at Harry in earnest, wanting to understand something that was quite beyond his measure.

"Little things, really. The way she was always happy just before going on watch. The way she always seemed to know where to apparate, what to do."

"I wondered that too," Ron said, turning his gaze back to the ground. He reached down and picked up an abandoned snail shell and toyed with it absently, scraping the dirt out of the whorls with his fingernails. "But thick me, you know, didn’t put two and two together." Suddenly he threw down the shell as he rose violently from his seat. With clenched hands he kicked the pumpkin as hard as he could, but the resulting squelch of the rotten squash didn’t seem to do much to quell his anger. "How could she possibly have managed to just find all that food she made us out in the sodding woods? I’m such a numpty, really. Stupid Ron. Thickheaded Ron. Can’t do anything on his own Ron. The least desirable of the Golden Trio Ron."

Harry let him fume, and just sat there, looking at him benignly from behind his glassed, waiting patiently for his friend to calm down. They’d played these parts before. They knew their roles. Ron raked and hand through his hair and sighed, plunging his hands into his pockets, and then looked thoroughly sheepishly at Harry. “I’m acting like a git aren’t I?”

Harry grinned. “I thought Snape was the git?”

"Yeah, well…" Ron kicked at a few bits of gravel on the ground in front of him. "I suppose I should be happy for her, right?" Harry nodded solemnly, the small smile still in place.

"Right."

Ron nodded and seemed to mull this over for a time, and then he looked up at Harry with an expression that took Harry back to the early years at Hogwarts…before Ron had begun to feel second string, when his best friend was simply…his best friend. “You’ve got to admit, though, it is a mite disgusting to think about.”

Harry laughed quietly and rose then, patting his friend on the back. “Trust me when I say this, Ron…you don’t want the details.”

Harry would never tell anyone of the night he’d witnessed Hermione and Snape in the forest. Mostly because she was his other best friend, and whether it came to unfortunate accidents involving turning into a cat-girl, or a night of passion with their former potions master…there were some things you just didn’t spill. The other part was…it really did make him green around the gills to think about.

:)

Hope you enjoyed. I really wanted to explore this relationship a little deeper. Comments are always appreciated. Flamers will eat slugs.

S


Chapter 7: Chapter 7


AN: And just continuing on in that same vein…. Sometimes, the things we must do…are the things we really wish we didn’t have to do…

Also…fluff galore! And a bit of humor, hopefully. I like to think I’m funny sometimes. :p

Disclaimer…sigh. We all know who owns HP, right? Right. So I don’t need to write anymore about that.

Enjoy and review!

Chapter 7: Coming into Being

Hermione Granger Snape stood at the kitchen counter of Snape Manor with her arms buried elbow deep in dough. Though she enjoyed cooking with magic on occasion, (it was a great help when trying to do several things at once,) sometimes there was nothing like using your hands to create a culinary masterpiece. Plus, Severus had modeled the kitchen somewhat similar to his labs-the idea in his mind being that cooking was much like potion making. He really was a rather proficient chef when he was so inclined. Now that she was in the final stages of her pregnancy, due any day now to be exact, she found that she had a penchant for baking. Right now she was on her third batch of scones-blueberry this time. Resting and cooling on two trays nearby were raspberry ones and some experimental vanilla bean ones. Pausing for a moment in her kneading, she took a second to enjoy a bit of the raspberry treat and she giggled to herself as she noticed the crumbs that had collected on top of the round sphere of her heavily pregnant belly. Her laughter made her belly jiggle slightly and she absently brushed the stray crumbs away, knowing that Crookshanks would find them eventually. Spoiled rotten, that half-kneazle was.

Suddenly the floo activated and Ronald Weasley poked his head through the flames. “Mione, you there?”

Hermoine grabbed a tea towel and wiped her flour caked hands on it before waddling over to the fireplace. “Yes, Ronald. After being practically housebound now for the last two weeks, I am, without a doubt, here,” she smiled at his cautious look in the green flames surrounding his already fiery red hair. And to be completely honest, Ron had every right to look cautious. Several months ago, on a night when Severus and Hermione had been enjoying the more intimate aspects of their marriage on the kitchen counter-rather aptly the perfect height for such activities when one was six months pregnant, Ron had flood right on in and had gotten the shock of his life. Finding Hermione and Severus mid-coitus, Ron had turned beet red from his ears to ,(most likely) his toes and after spluttering incoherently with a few gagging noises here and there, he made to leave, knocking over several jars of spices, a cauldron of in-stasis headache remedy, and a bowl of floo powder to boot. Severus had sighed and paused ever so slightly in his movements to grab a hand towel to cover his rather firm buttocks and had clutched and equally embarrassed Hermione to his chest.

"Hasn’t anyone ever told you to pause for invitation before simply flooing into someone’s home?"

"Right…got it…sorry Snape…er, Professor….Mione…ugh…" and with a flash of green he had gone. Severus had turned back to his deliciously naked wife and had quirked an eyebrow at her as if to say: ‘Where were we?’ They continued on as if nothing had happened, but Ron had been careful from then on to make sure that everyone in the Snape household was fully clothed before flooing his friend.

Ron entered the kitchen, gangly limbs and all, brushing soot away from his shirt and pants, and then grabbed a scone from the tray on the counter. “Hey Mione, how’re things. Woah…you look….”he trailed off as he caught sight of the swell of her pregnancy.

"Huge?" Hermione supplied. "Like a whale? As big as a hippogriff? I know. I love being pregnant, but honestly, I’m really, really ready to have this baby." She sighed as she slapped his hand away from the tray as he was about to grab for another scone. "Those aren’t cooled off yet. You’ll burn your tongue," she admonished, beginning to add the blueberries to the dough in the bowl.

Ron looked appropriately cowed and shoved his hands in his pockets. “Sorry.”

"That’s all right. I suppose I shouldn’t be one to comment on anyone else’s eating habits right now. I feel like I’m inhaling everything in sight. And peeing all the time. That’s really not a very pleasant aspect of this whole ‘mother to be’ thing."

Ron looked a tad uncomfortable and then supplied: “Well, Mione, at least you’re…glowing.”

Hermione barked out a laugh. “That’s because I’m sweaty! I swear, the cooling charms aren’t having any effect anymore. I’m nearly alway burning up, and poor Severus has been freezing. He’s been wearing his teaching robes around the house, although he’d never admit that he’s uncomfortable. Quite sweet actually.”

"I know we’ve sort of got past the ‘weird’ factor of you shagging, being married to, and being pregnant by Snape by now, but Mione there are some things that I don’t want to know about. Snape being sweet is one of them.”

Hermione slapped him with the tea towel and moved to put the now fully formed scones in the oven. “Don’t be a git, Ron.”

Ron rolled his eyes and then took a seat. “So…” he said, “Er…when are you due? You look like you could pop!”

"Ugh. I know. Any day now, I suppose. I’ve been ‘imprisoned here’ for the last few weeks due to Severus’ constant concern over me. I swear, I have one false contraction and the man became an absolute nutter. I honestly didn’t know that someone could hover that much. Although" she mused, "I suppose he was known for his hovering when we were in class." Hermione shifted a bit as she rubbed the knuckles of her thumbs on the small of her back and groaned when she received instant relief from her ministrations.

"You okay Mi?" Ron asked, looking a bit concerned. He was still a bit dodgy around pregnant women, and the idea that it was Hermione that was pregnant squicked him out even more. Particularly since it was Snape’s spawn. He shuddered at the thought.

"Yeah, I’m fine. My back is just killing me. I guess it’s no surprise since I’m carrying another person around in my stomach, but still, I feel like my back’s going to break in half lately." She rubbed the sore spots gingerly. " All right, time to check the scones. I’m hoping these will turn out better than my vanilla ones," she muttered as she bent to open the oven. "Those weren’t my best eff….oh!"

Ron turned from where he was inspecting several glass vials of pre-made potions on the counter at her exclamation. “Oh? Oh what? Did you burn them? That’s rotten luck. You know me mum never burns things when she cooks with magic.”

Hermione didn’t respond with her usual scathing remark, which was Ron’s first clue that something was amiss. Instead, she rose slowly and silently, one hand braced below the swell of her child, the other holding a spatula half-hazardly suspended in the air. Her eyes were wide and her lips had turned an odd shade of white. Ron frowned as he looked at his friend. Surely burnt scones weren’t anything to get quite so upset over…although he knew pregnancy hormones were sometimes irrational and violent. When his mum had been pregnant with Ginny, he’d always been on her shit-list for one reason or another. And he couldn’t count the times Fred and George had gotten in major trouble when his mum had had one of her mood swings. He decided to approach this one very, very carefully. “Erm…it’s all right if they are burned. And… there’s nothing wrong with you wanting to be domestic…” he trailed off at his friend’s expression. Her eyes were closed, and she was biting her lip, clutching her belly even tighter.

"Ron," she said evenly, her voice quiet but hard as iron, "I’m not upset over a bloody scone. My water’s just broken."

Ron froze. Oh. “Your what? But I’m not supposed to be here for that! Where’s Snape? I can’t deliver a baby!” Ron was panicking now, pacing wildly around the kitchen. Hermione opened her eyes and relaxed a bit as she felt the contraction subside. Rolling her eyes at her friend’s behavior, she scourgified the mess on the floor beneath her feet and performed a quick cleansing charm on her clothing. Ron was still muttering incoherently. Men, she thought as she summoned her bag from the bedroom.

"Ron,"

"Always in the wrong place at the wrong time…"

"Ron…"

"Of all the days to come for a visit…"

"RONALD!" Her friend stopped in his tracks and gaped open mouthed at her, his blue eyes wide and fearful.

"Mione…I don’t know how to help you."

"Ron, it’s okay. I’ve got loads of time before the baby actually comes. I’m not exactly going to just squirt it out on the kitchen floor! I need you to listen to me, okay?" Ron nodded. "Okay, first things first, I need you to floo Severus and tell him that it’s time. He’s at Hogwarts meeting with Minerva and Albus, so you should be able to get ahold of him no problem. I’m going to take a quick shower."

"A shower?” Ron nearly screamed at her. Hermione frowned at her friend.

"Yes, Ronald, a shower. I feel a bit disgusting after basically pissing my pants, so if you don’t mind I’d like something a little more thorough than a tergio. Plus the warm water will help my back," she winced slightly as she arched her spine a bit. Ron looked at her abdomen as if it were an alien thing. "Ronald…the floo call…to Severus…now?"

"Right. On it. Got it." In a flash of green he was gone, hopefully to the headmaster’s office. Sighing in slight annoyance, she switched off the oven and waddled slowly to the stairs, cursing the day they had decided to have a two story house. She didn’t think she had the energy to apparate, her back now felt like it was in a vice, and the sensation of pressure had moved along into the lower parts of her body in a most uncomfortable way. She felt like she had a bowling ball pressing on her pubic bone. Finally she reached the top step and with a sigh of relief, she entered the bathroom. The hot water was like a balm for her aches and pains and she moaned in satisfaction as she felt the steam rising around her, wrapping her in comfort. After a few minutes, she thought she’d run the tap to fill the bath for a few moments. Sitting, rather than standing, at the moment sounded like a good idea. As she reached for the chain, another unexpectedly harsh contraction ripped through her body, and her scream echoed throughout the tile walls of the bathroom.

….

"So, you are saying, Severus, that if we started this…"buddy system" as you call it, the inter-house relationships would be improved?" Albus was sitting behind his desk, his half moon glasses reflecting the light from the lit sconces on the walls around them. Fawkes was perched on his stand and squeaked appreciatively.

"Indeed," Severus responded. "It will at least keep the levels of impertinence down, and as I mentioned-" the rest of his sentence was cut off by the rather loud and untimely appearance of Ronald Weasley tumbling through Albus Dumbledore’s floo. He hadn’t apparently braced himself for balance at the end, and ended up face first into the tapestry rug in front of the hearth.

Minerva, Severus, and Albus stared at the young man, wearing almost identical expressions save for Severus, who had one eyebrow quirked in his typical, trademark show of scathing derision, though there was no heat behind his eyes.

"Mr. Weasely," Albus intoned, "Do please get up on the floor and tell us what the meaning of this…visit is for?"

Ron scrambled to his feet, his face looked pale-well, paler than usual- and his brow seemed to have a sheen of sweat on it. “Sorry. Late. Ended up in the wrong fireplace. Had to evade Peeves. Needed to tell you….”

"Tell us what, Weasley?" Severus ground out, his patience for the young ginger still quite thin, even after his marriage to Hermione.

"It’s Hermione, Sir. She’s in labor."

"Ah." Severus said quietly. "I believe, we shall have to finish this discussion at a later date. I must attend to my wife." Severus said, his voice calm and quiet, his manner as poised as usual. There was no hint of nerves, no indication that anything was amiss at all. It seemed, to Ron, that he could have said, "Tootaloo! I’m just off for a spot of tea!" in rather the same manner.

"You…you’re not…worried or surprised?" Ron asked, wiping his hand across his sweaty forehead. He felt nervous enough, and he wasn’t even going to be a father.

Severus looked down at his former student and, in a rare show of affection for the boy, placed a long fingered hand on Ron’s shoulder. “Ronald, my wife is nine months pregnant. She’s probably been in labor all day and not known it. Had she been complaining about her back during your visit with her?” Ron nodded. “I thought as much. It’s been getting worse the last three days or so,” he told Minerva and Albus who were both smiling at him. “Thank you for coming to tell me, but my boy, we’re quite prepared.” He turned to Dumbledore and Minerva. “I shall let you know what happens as soon as I know anything.” The two professors nodded at him and then he was gone, leaving Ron there, staring blankly at his two former teachers.

"Mr. Weasley…could I interest you in a lemon drop, perhaps?"

"Albus, delicious as your lemon drops are," Minerva intervened, looking affectionately at Albus, I think what the boy needs right now is a stiff drink. Would you like a spot of whiskey my dear boy?"

…..

Severus stepped out of the floo with as much ease as one could and brushed off his robes distractedly. He wasn’t nervous, per-say, but he was quite apprehensive. He was ignoring the fact that those two words really meant the same thing. He felt more in control that way, and Severus Snape didn’t like feeling like he wasn’t in control. Every aspect of this pregnancy, this marriage, even his love for Hermione defied all reason and logic for Severus, given his past experiences and his usual way of thinking. He had had to change a lot-for the better- he realized, but he was still getting used to the softer side of himself. He glanced around at the kitchen and almost chuckled to himself when he noticed the batches of scones piled around the countertops. He’d felt like a bastard, insisting that Hermione stay at home rather than work till the end of her pregnancy, but after that frightening episode of Braxon Hicks, Severus wasn’t going to take no for an answer. He knew his wife well, and if Hermione was left to her own devices she would have gone right on teaching from the delivery bed if she had a mind to.

He didn’t have to look far for his laboring wife. He heard her. Severus apparated to their chambers with a crack and saw the vision of his panting, sweating, almost feral looking wife on the ground next to the bed. She was decidedly naked and her hair was soaking wet-whether with sweat or water from the shower that was still running in the adjacent room, he could not be sure. Kneeling at her side, he placed his hand on her back and murmured low in her ear.

"What can I do for you love?" Hermione was writhing underneath his hand, her teeth clenched as she groaned loud and long. Severus placed his other hand on the surging swell of their child was was shocked at how hard and hot it felt. He could feel the motion of the contraction and he stayed with her there, waiting it out.

"You can get me the hell out of here and over to St. Mungo’s immediately, Severus. Unnnnnnnnngh I don’t know how much more I can take! I think…I think I need to push. I didn’t know it would be this fast! I thought I had hours," she said breathlessly, letting Severus lift her up onto the bed. Severus felt a moment of panic. He’d been reading-actually, devouring, the baby books that their healer had given them, and he knew that if Hermione was already feeling the urge to push, they didn’t have a whole lot of time. He prayed to any Gods he thought would hear him and quickly grabbed Hermione’s most comfortable maternity robes.

"All right, love. I’m going to carry you, okay."

"Im….too…..heavy….." she panted out, as another contraction made her keen in agony. Severus hastened then. Sweet Merlin she sounded like someone was murdering her.

"Nonsense," he whispered in his soothing, velvety voice, and with a loud clap of thunder, they were gone.

"Push! Push! That’s it! That’s it Mrs. Snape, you’re almost there!" Hermione was trying very hard not to concentrate on several things. One, that Healer Aaron was practically up to his elbows inside of her vagina. Second, the fact that her feet were in the air, exposing her whole lower half to the four or five other healers she’d never actually met before today. Thirdly, the fact that she was pretty sure she’d taken a shit on the gurney. And lastly…oh yeah, the fact that she was trying to push something the size of a watermelon out of something the size of…well at this point she didn’t want to think about how much she’d stretched.

Severus was being an angel. If it had bothered him that she was squeezing his hand within an inch of its life… so hard, in fact, that she thought bones may have been broken, he hadn’t said a word on the matter. If he was completely and totally terrified for her as she screamed, cursed, farted and snarled her way through her, surprisingly, short labor, he hadn’t said a word on that matter either. It was what he had said that had been important.

"I love you." He’d said simply, over and over. "I love you, you’re so strong. Keep going my brave little lioness. We’re almost there. Almost there love. I love you." It was like a prayer, a mantra, a litany of strength that had kept her going through the whole mess. He was behind her, his hands on either side of her, letting her squeeze, letting her writhe against him, letting her scream in his ear. Gods she loved this man. And she planned on telling him just that after….

The burning, searing, ripping tearing pain in her nether regions reached an all time high, and the odd and,certainly unfamiliar sensation of something very large passing through her body. There was a feeling of sudden emptiness, a cry of relief, a gasp from behind her that sounded very much like her husband…but most importantly of all, the best thing of all, was the sound of her baby crying for the very first time.

It was red and scrunched, with a wild mop of spiky black hair, and it looked mad as hell. Well, now that she looked, her eyes blurred with tears, it wasn’t an ‘it’ anymore. It was a she. They had a daughter. A little girl. Absently, she realized that she was sobbing uncontrollably, and when the healer placed the baby, now cleaned and wrapped up in a tiny pink blanket with a tiny pink hat, and she felt her milk begin to flow in response to her child’s nearness, she had never felt so…complete than she did at that very moment.

"Oh Severus…" she murmured, ignoring everything else but this tiny being in her arms that they had created.

Severus was just staring, his eyes wide and dark. Oh boy, she thought as she looked at her husband now. This little one is going to have him totally and completely wrapped around her little finger."Come hold your daughter, Severus."

For a moment, a flicker of fear and reluctance passed through Severus’ eyes. Hermione smiled encouragingly at him, nodding fervently. “Go on. You won’t hurt him. You already know everything you are supposed to do. Now, you can put it into practice.” Hermione almost began to cry once more at the sight of Severus Snape holding this tiny squalling baby, but her eyes lit up and her smile widened when all at once the little girl quieted in his arms and looked up at him with eyes that matched his own. “Looks like she’s going to be a daddy’s girl.”

Severus smiled gently and traced a finger slowly and carefully along the delicate and small bridge of his daughter’s nose. “Thank the Gods she has your nose, love.”

"And thank the Gods she has your hair." Hermione giggled and then winced. Wow, she hadn’t realized how sore she actually was. Hmmm. No exciting activities for her for a while, she supposed. "What should we name her?"

"Davinia." He said quietly. "That was my favorite of the alphabetical list you compiled," He smirked at her slightly, but keeping his eyes on his new progeny.

"Davinia. I liked that one too. It means beloved."

"And she is." Severus said quietly. "She most truly is."

…..

Ron, Albus, Minerva, Harry, Ginny, and several other family members were sitting in Dumbledore’s office waiting for news from the Snapes. It had only been an hour or two, and Molly Weasley had assured everyone that the first baby usually took a long while to be born. They had settled down to a lovely tea, when all at once Severus’ patronus came bounding in through the open window.

"I’d like to let you all know that Davinia Velia Snape was born healthy and happy about a half and hour ago. Mother and baby are doing fine. Hermione wishes to thank everyone for their support. Visiting hours begin tomorrow at noon. See you all then. Oh, and tell Weasley…thank you."

The patronus fizzled out before them and a great whoop of joy and applause was heard all around. Harry looked and noticed Ron who was seemingly in a daze.

"Ron, what’s the matter? Aren’t you happy for Hermione?"

Ron blinked wearily at him, and belched, the stench of whiskey making Harry grimace in mild disgust. “Course Im ‘appy, mate.” And with a hiccup and a sigh, he fell forward onto the desk. Dead to the world.

"Oh dear," Said Professor McGonagall as she took in the sight of the prostrate Weasley on Dumbledore’s desk. "I suppose I should have regulated how much Ogden’s I gave him."

:)

Hope you enjoyed! Comments are appreciated. Please don’t flame! Flamers will be hexed first and questioned later…if I care enough to ask anything! Love and kisses to all of my lovely reviewers!

SS