Winner of the LJ SSHG FanFic Awards 2104, Best Drabble/Ficlet

January 6, 2002

To his recollection, Severus Snape had never experienced a winter as cold as the one that had descended upon the hills and mountains of Scotland. Polar vortex? More like the polar ice caps had slithered downward and encased the island with no sign of letting go.

The castle was not up to the weather either. Ill fitting windows, and in some cases, missing windows, kept the castle at a steady 3°C in a regular winter, but the near record temperatures of 1°C and below over the last two weeks meant that classes were cancelled and meals were served in the common rooms so that students did not have to travel through the frigid corridors.

Severus grumbled as he thought about the accommodations made for the students because even though the little anklebiters were warmly ensconced in their house common rooms, the staff still needed to patrol. He was fecking freezing and hadn't felt his toes in the last half hour. Warming charms did little to mitigate the severe cold, seeming to last only minutes.

He had the late patrol, midnight to two a.m., and he was nearing the one fifty-five mark. He figured one last lap around the fourth floor—where there were actual windows—would do nicely and then he'd hurry back to the dungeons and his bed where he would settle under three thick blankets and next to the 5'2" oven that was his wife's body. She was always delightfully warm and had a habit of sleeping as close to, if not on, him as she could. It was a little too much in the summer, but during the winter he encouraged her.

He entered their quarters quietly and quickly removed his outer wear, dropping the items on the sofa as he passed it. Carefully opening the door, he looked at the bed to see Hermione on her back, the duvet, fleece blanket (bless the Muggles and their innovations!), and his old wool blanket pulled up to her forehead. When he removed his boots, his toes began to tingle as they warmed up. Quickly taking off the rest of his clothes, he dashed to the loo and then, as he returned to bed, an evil smirk crossed his face.

Only Hermione got a glimpse into the boy-like happiness that Severus could display when he would tease his wife or play small pranks on her. For all the more stern professor he was outside his quarters, he was delightfully free and unburdened by his past within its walls, and he had given Hermione the rare gift of his penchant for jokes and pranks. She thanked him with smiles of delight and merry laughter as she often fell for each prank and that was a balm to his soul. He knew he'd pay for this one, but it simply must be done.

Biting his lip so as not to laugh and give it away, he slipped under the covers, arranging them warmly around himself before moving his feet slowly toward Hermione. He wasn't sure which part of her he wanted to press them against; he should probably pick a part that wouldn't get tangled up with him when she shot out of bed, which she was more than likely to do. He settled on pressing them between her thighs.

The response was instantaneous and more than Severus had hoped for. Hermione shot out of bed, screaming. He was pretty sure between the screams of 'your feet are freezing' and 'fucking bastard' he heard her laughing and threats of 'I'll get you for this'. Because he was laughing so hard, he did not see her leap back onto the bed until she landed on him. She began to tickle him, and he tickled her back and the pair struggled against each other, laughing and begging the other to stop. With a final heave, Severus flipped them so that Hermione was on her back, and he was nestled between the cradle of her pelvis. The laughing stopped quickly, and the pair regarded each other.

"That was not nice, Severus. You're feet are freezing!"

"I'm sorry love, but I just had to do it." He laughed and then kissed her. Ending the kiss and looking at her, he pressed his toes against her feet. "Are they warming up yet?"

Hermione shivered but replied, "A bit."

"Perhaps you should kiss me some more," Severus suggested.

"Oh, I think I'll do a little more than just kiss you, my dear," she answered, bucking her hips slightly against his.

"Really now?" he hedged and with a bit of wandless magic, the Wizarding Wireless came on. The couple enjoyed a particular station that played what Muggles would call 'soft rock' which played in the background as they made love. The song, Baby It's Cold Outside filled the room, despite it being considered more of a Christmas season song. The couple laughed at the irony, but settled down to some serious love making.

On October 12, 2002, Margaret Eileen Snape was born, just one baby amongst a small explosion of births to hit the Wizarding and Muggle worlds.

The Snapes named their baby Margaret in homage Margaret Whiting who, along with Johnny Mercer , was one of eight people to record and release Baby It's Cold Outside in 1949, each couple on a different record label. Dinah Shore also recorded the song that same year, but Severus wanted a more traditional name and thought Dinah a little too Yankee Doodle for his tastes; he's is a closet romantic and all, don't you know.