Hi guys! This is my entry for the Oneshot Fairytale Challenge on the Facebook group 'Lovers of the Potion's Master.'
I got Goldilocks and the Three Bears!
For anyone who is interested, the name 'Kiara' supposedly means 'dark hair,' so I was going along with the whole 'Goldilocks'… dark hair… yeeaaahhhh…
And without further ado, here is my story! I hope you like it, and if you do, please Review!
The night was dark; as nights tend to be. And an angry storm had fallen upon them. Thunder shook their cozy house as rain pattered desperately against the window. Beyond their sturdy walls, the torrent raged. But inside, they were safe and warm. Hermione leaned against the doorframe and laughed to herself. Not everyone was enjoying this stormy night.
"Daddy, pleeeease!" Kiara wailed as her father leaned over to place her in the middle of the bed. "I want to sleep with you!" Hermione couldn't say that she blamed her. The storm outside was enough to make even her a bit uneasy about sleeping alone tonight.
"You will be perfectly fine all on your own," Severus assured her in a weary voice as he tucked her in. "You are a big girl now, and you will be going to big girl school in just a few days. Don't you want to show your Mommy how brave and grown up you are?"
Kiara caught her mother's eyes and Hermione smiled reassuringly. It was hard to believe her little girl was five years old and beginning Muggle primary school in three short days. She and Severus had been in agreement about her attending, as they had both benefited in different ways from their own experiences attending Muggle children's school. That had been one of many surprising agreements between the two, and Hermione wasn't sure who to thank for their luck in being such compatible partners. Other Decree 263 couples hadn't fared nearly so well.
"Okay," Kiara conceded gracelessly. "But can you at least tell me a story?"
"'Will you,'" he corrected.
"Oh yeah, umm, will you tell me a story? Please," she added as an afterthought. Severus's answering smile made Hermione glow inside. She always felt like she was being privileged to a secret look at the Potions Master's surprisingly existent soft side. And who could have imagined that Severus Snape would be such an adoring father?
"Yes," he told her softly, "I will. And which story would you like for me to tell you?"
"I want the one about the bears."
When the Marriage Law had first been enacted, Hermione had chosen her professor in order to continue her schooling, completely disregarding the interests of a child—should there be one—with the Bat of the Dungeons for a father. In hindsight, she would have chosen Severus because he was an excellent father.
"Alright. The one about the bears. Let's see…"
Now their child was five years old, and the most beautiful, precious thing in the world. Her inky black curls framed a happy, gentle face and she had her mother's eyes. Between her parents, it was no wonder the girl was inquisitive and bright. And yet, watching her learn and grow never ceased to amaze Hermione.
"Ah yes, this is a story about Goldilocks; a snotty, selfish little dunderhead." Kiara laughed happily and Hermione watched Severus's lip twitch in secret amusement. If only she had known years before what a sense of humor the Potions Master had. "Once upon a time," he continued, "there lived three bears in a cottage in the middle of the woods. A Papa Bear, a Mama Bear, and a Baby Bear…"
"Like us!" Kiara squealed.
"Yes, like us," her father agreed, "only much hairier. And far too trusting of their selfish, snotty little neighbors, for they never locked their doors or windows. And one day they decided to take a walk while their porridge was cooling, and can you guess who came and took advantage of their carelessness?"
"That's right. It was Goldilocks; the aforementioned dunderhead. And that particular dunderhead was covered in golden curls; hence the remarkably imaginative sobriquet."
Hermione listened as her husband went through the story with dry sarcasm that outsiders might mistake for impatience. But their daughter laughed along with him, immune to his snarky and sardonic humor. Harry, Ron, and even Ginny had commented on it in the past, concerned for little Kiara's paternal misfortune. But they just didn't understand Severus the way she did.
"The big bowl was much too hot for the little twit, and the middle-sized bowl was much too cold. But the littlest bowl, she found, was just right."
"Really the middle one should be in the middle."
"Are you telling the story, or am I?"
It was remarkable what a difference having a child had made in the life of the aloof professor. To think that they may never have had her…
Hermione had only been pregnant for a month and a half when news of the Repeal made Prophet Headlines. Under the Ministry's intensive program, it hadn't taken long for them to conceive. The news had been at once liberating and devastating. Much as she had prayed for a solution to this wrench in her plans, the answer had finally come too late.
Severus had immediately taken her aside and sat down with her to discuss their options. It was then that Hermione first realized how much she already loved her unborn child. 'Whatever you decide,' he'd told her, 'I will stand by you.' Tears had broken out across her cheek even to consider another option, and she knew just then and there what had to be done.
'Severus,' she remembered telling him, looking into his eyes apologetically, but she would not apologize, 'I want this baby.'
'Then I will be here for you,' he'd told her, 'We will have this baby.'
It broke her heart even imagining how they would have to tell Kiara one day. And how she would react when her parents divorced. Three precious days from now, she would be going to school. How long would it take her to learn that it was not normal for Mommies and Daddies to sleep in separate beds?
"The Papa Bear's bed was too hard for the picky little chit. The Mama Bear's bed was too soft. After all, it is commonly known that Mama Bears are sensitive, delicate creatures who despise the sturdy support of a proper mattress." He smirked over at Hermione and she lifted an eyebrow in mimic of his familiar disdainful expression. "But the Baby Bear's bed was just right, which is why you will be sleeping here tonight."
It was amazing to Hermione that her old professor could still make her heart race with one little glance. As if, after all this time, she still ached for his attention. Although they had not remained physically intimate over the years, raising a daughter together had cultivated a close relationship between them that could not be described with a label. And so many years later, Hermione found it difficult to imagine life without him. They had decided when the baby was born that they would stay together until she went off to Hogwarts. Half of that time was up, now. And Hermione was finally able to admit to herself that she would miss him when they went their separate ways.
"And then Baby Bear went over to his bed, and I think you can guess what he saw."
"That's right. Imagine his shock to find that some silly little blonde thing was asleep in his bed. And can you tell me…" His brow crinkled with forgetfulness, but the quirk of his lip nearly gave him away. "What was it that he said?"
Kiara, of course, was more than willing to supply the answer for him. "Someone's been sleeping in my bed," she giggled, "and she's STILL HERE!"
"Shhh," hushed her father. If anything, his little bedtime story had riled her up even more than she already had been. So much for putting her to sleep. "It's time to go to bed, now. Say 'goodnight' to your mum."
"'Night Mummy," Kiara called, beckoning her over with open arms.
Hermione happily obliged, pressing her lips to her daughter's cheek. "Night night," she whispered, "sweet dreams. I'll see you in the morning. I love you."
"Love you," Kiara echoed, sleepily.
Severus leaned in as Hermione stood up and wrapped his arms around his daughter, pressing his lips to her other cheek. "Goodnight," he told her in a hushed voice, "sweet dreams. I shall see you in the morning. And I love you."
"Love you," Kiara yawned as her father stood up with a grunt. Hermione smiled as she turned out the light and followed her husband from the room.
It was the middle of the night when thunder so loud and scary that it might have been a monster shook Kiara's house so hard it woke her up. The room was dark except for her unicorn nightlight, but that was all the way across the room.
I have to be brave for Daddy, she thought. But another great flash of lightning and booming thunder had her on her feet, running out into the hall. She was too scared to be alone.
Standing out in the hallway, Kiara hesitated. To the left was Mommy's room. To the right was Daddy's. Mommy's bed really was too squishy, but Daddy's was much too hard. But then, Mommy would be far more understanding about her predicament, so Kiara turned left.
"Kiara…" her mum began hesitantly when she slipped into the bedroom, but a horrible crash of thunder cut her off. "Oh, alright, get over here."
Kiara was happy to oblige her, diving under the covers and curling up in her mother's arms. "I'm sorry, Mummy. It's just so loud and scary…"
"Shhh. It's alright, darling. You're safe." Her mother brushed a hand through her raven locks in a gentle, rhythmic pattern that slowly soothed her. Her eyes slowly closed. Her body slowly relaxed. And her breath began to even out as the world drifted away and images of unicorns and bears and golden hair danced beneath her sleepy lids.
Then suddenly an extra loud BANG made her jump awake with a scream. She had clearly startled Mommy out of sleep, too; if the latter's confused and sleepy response was any indication.
There were harried footsteps in the hall and suddenly the door was wrenched open, streaming light, and a bedraggled looking Daddy stood in the doorframe.
Severus stared down at the two girls in bed before him: his wife and child. Years of experience had taught him not to treat screaming lightly, and he wished his daughter would learn not to do that anymore. But for the moment, he was just relieved to see the two of them safely curled up together in Hermione's over-plush bed.
"Everything alright?" he heard himself ask them in a gruff, sleepy voice. He had only just gotten to sleep only to be awakened prematurely by his frightened five-year-old.
"Yes," murmured his wife in an equally sleep-roughened voice that he found rather alluring. "Sorry, Severus. Everything is fine. You can go back to bed." Severus nodded and started to turn to do just that, when Kiara called out to him.
"Come sleep with us, Daddy."
He hesitated. It was always difficult for him to say 'no' to Kiara, but the little munchkin just didn't know what she was asking of him. He glanced up at his wife's face and she smiled uncertainly. Then, remarkably, she scooted over in the bed, pulling Kiara with her, and effectively making space for him.
He made as if to decline, but couldn't invent any solid reason to do so. So he found himself extinguishing his glowing wand and shutting the door behind him. "Alright," he told his daughter, "just this once."
The bed was indeed too soft, but it was wide enough to fit the three of them comfortably if they snuggled a bit. And though Severus had never been one for snuggling, his daughter was an exception. In fact, his daughter was pretty much the exception to every rule in his life. She was his only living relative, after all. And if one didn't count his wife—did that title even suit her?—she was his only family. "Merlin, Hermione, you call this a bed?"
"Yes, Severus, and it's quite a good one."
"I suppose if you like feeling like you are sinking into your own mattress…"
"It's a bed, Severus," Hermione laughed softly. "It's supposed to be comfortable. You're just confused because your own mattress is as hard as your workbench."
"It is solid and sturdy with a good level of support…" He broke off at the sound of light snoring and the two glanced between them at the little girl; their daughter. When he met Hermione's gaze again, she was smiling and the glint of her cinnamon eyes made his chest hurt.
"Perhaps we ought to follow suit," she whispered.
"Perhaps," he agreed. It was suddenly odd to be sharing a bed with Hermione. In fact, he hadn't realized until now that they had never shared a bed this way before. From the very start, they had had their own rooms, only coming together to fulfill the Ministry's weekly requirements. And even that only lasted a few short weeks before she conceived. But never had they spent the night together, in all that time.
"Goodnight, Severus," Hermione whispered. It made the cavity of his chest seem to sink. But perhaps that was just the mattress.
"Goodnight," he responded, Hermione.
It was strange having Severus in her bed. Since the beginning, this had been her space. She had felt like an intruder in his house and in his life, but this one room belonged to her. And now, she realized that he had let her into his home, but she had never let him into her room. It was somehow extremely intimate; her husband experiencing the softness of her mattress for the first time since she'd picked it out at the store. And the child between them was half him. Without their union, Kiara would not exist. And though Hermione had never planned to have a child so young, she wouldn't change it for the world. Kiara was the most precious thing in her life. And he was part of what made her who she was. Suddenly Hermione was having trouble getting to sleep as a tight knot was forming in her throat, clenching her heart, and she had to swallow an abrupt urge to cry.
Soon, however, the storm faded away, and Severus did not leave. The peacefulness of the night settled upon her. And Hermione slept.
It was early morning when Kiara woke squished between her parents. She remembered Rose and Hugo Weasley teasing her about her parents not sharing a bed. They told her that Aunt Lavender was always talking about how strange that was. But her parents were sharing one now, and maybe they would decide that they liked it after all. Quietly and carefully, Kiara removed herself from the bed and slipped out of her mother's room, leaving the door wide open.
When Severus woke to the feel of soft curls tucked under his chin, he instinctively pulled her closer, brushing her soft hair with gentle fingers. But her little moan of pleasure made his eyes pop open in shock. This was Hermione. And their daughter was gone. The subtle, flowery scent of her shampoo filled his nose and Severus's body began to react to the intimate position in which sleep had left them. His instinct was to pull away, but she was still sleeping peacefully in his arms, and he could not bring himself to disturb her.
Hermione woke in her husband's arms and felt an immediate flush of pleasant embarrassment at that realization. Kiara was gone, and the door to her bedroom stood ajar. But Severus's masculine scent and the heat from his body made the lonely witch want to snuggle closer to his large frame. She relished the moment of tenderness with this great wizard whom she respected and admired so very much. Though he had learned to show affection for his daughter, he was never tender with anyone else; even his wife.
He knew the moment that she woke, and was surprised when she didn't pull away. To the contrary, Hermione's reaction to finding herself in his arms was to sink deeper into his embrace, and Severus's whole body stiffened at that. He had barely touched his wife in their near six years of marriage, and this contact was practically sensory overload. It put him on edge and made him feel vulnerable to a tumult of emotion that swept up unpredictably. He was suddenly filled with tenderness for his wife that he had long suppressed. And his respect for her as a brilliant and successful witch, but also a loving mother, blossomed in the light of realization. He not only cared for the witch—as was to be expected given the circumstances, really—but he loved her.
Severus was awake. Of that, she was sure. Yet he still held her close, and made no attempt to pull away. It felt like acceptance, but Hermione didn't want to get ahead of herself. She was imagining things in the early morning peacefulness of quasi-slumber.
But she certainly wasn't imagining the hard length of his erection pressed against her thigh. It made a shock of arousal whip through her body as her face began to flush. Could it be true that her husband actually wanted her? Could it be possible that he had merely kept such feelings under wraps all these years? Maybe it was nothing at all, but maybe it was something. And if he felt something for her… A shiver ran through Hermione at the thrill of her predicament. Suddenly, all of her carefully suppressed sentimentality came gushing to the surface and she was filled with love for the man who held her. She snuggled closer to him.
"Morning," Severus murmured in an attempt to break the intimate silence that was beginning to make him uncomfortable.
"Morning," Hermione responded. But she did not pull away.
"It seems our daughter has run off," Severus continued. He did not intend for his voice to be so low and gruff.
"It seems so," Hermione replied, breathless.
Severus had the sudden impression that something was expected of him and that this was a turning point for the pair of them. Should he push her away? Making any other move would be a great risk to the delicate balance they had established here. And yet, if there was something else at play here… Severus began lightly stroking her hair once more and was delighted when Hermione responded by moaning softly and pressing closer to him. The reaction was so unexpected and wonderful that it wrought a rich growl from deep within him.
Severus's groan of apparent arousal made Hermione gasp with need and she pulled back only far enough to meet his eyes. There, in the dark intensity of his inky orbs, she saw a wealth of emotion that had never before been directed at her. She smiled back at him, willing him to know how she felt in return.
Her cinnamon eyes sparkled up at him and Severus felt his throat constrict at the sight. She was breathtaking; his wife. Somehow, in the past six years, she had changed for him. No longer was she the annoying student he had known. He knew her better now. She was the brilliant woman currently raising his child by his side. Our child. She was his wife. She was his partner. She was his family. And it was with this in mind that he tilted her chin up and lowered his mouth to hers, tasting once again the soft sweetness of her lips.
When her husband's mouth captured hers, Hermione moaned aloud. The current of his affection connected with her own to allow those sentiments to flow. All of the emotion she had welled up inside of her seemed to break loose and blossom to the surface, causing her heart to pound and her eyes to weep, but he kissed the teardrops from her cheeks. Hermione wrapped her arms around his neck, opening her mouth to taste him. His hand ran soothing circles on her back and he pulled her tight against him.
She was so soft and yielding in his arms. Severus groaned in appreciation as his tongue slipped into her soft, sweet mouth. It had been so long since he had touched her, and never had he been able to do so in this way. There was such tenderness between them in this moment, and Severus was filled with such happiness and appreciation for what he had.
The hand at her back moved slowly around her side and Hermione gasped when he tentatively cupped her breast. She arched her back against him and wrapped a leg around his hip, pulling him closer to her. Her heart clenched desperately when he waved a hand toward the door, silently closing and warding it. And when he covered her body with his own, she thought she might explode with the fiery pleasure mounting deep inside of her.
Her body felt glorious beneath his as Severus teased a little nipple through her pajama top. She was so soft and she responded so beautifully to every move he made. They were in sync with one another. Then her harried little hands were pulling off his sleep shirt and he responded by removing hers as well and dipping his head to take a rosy bud into his mouth.
Hermione gasped and arched against him. This sweet torture was driving her mad and she wanted nothing more than to be closer to him. She had never felt such hot desire at any other point in her life, and she knew in this moment that she never wanted to be separated from him. She reached down between their bodies and withdrew his stiff erection, gently teasing him with her warm, soft hand. Severus moaned against her skin and met her mouth with ardor.
Merlin, if the witch kept on the way she was, he wouldn't be able to control himself much longer. It was with this in mind that Severus withdrew from her, only leaving her warmth long enough to remove the rest of their clothing. When he returned to her, their eyes connected, and he could see the love there. He wanted to do this properly this time. He wanted to show her pleasure at his hands. He wanted to make love to her.
"Please," Hermione whimpered as her husband hesitated. "Severus," she moaned, reaching up to him, beckoning him down to her welcoming body. He complied happily, lowering himself until skin met naked skin and Hermione arched against him in a whimper.
Severus met his wife's mouth with tenderness and savored the feel of her body beneath his. For a long moment, he simply kissed her, enjoying the wet softness of her mouth; appreciating a moment of intimacy with Hermione. But the eager witch was impatient and moving anxiously against him. So he lifted himself just enough to meet her eyes once more. And the love and desire there was so apparent that it took his breath away.
As Severus reached down between their bodies, Hermione moaned with frustrated arousal and pleaded with him eagerly as he positioned himself between her thighs. "Please," she whimpered, and he slowly pushed himself inside.
She felt amazing, and every inch of Severus's flesh tingled with electric pleasure at the contact. As much as his body urged him to seek rough relief against her skin, his heart pounded with a swell of love at their connection. He wanted it never to end.
He began to move above her—slowly, but desperately—and Hermione caught his mouth with her own and held him against her; cherishing this man who was her husband. It made her heart ache with sweetness to know that she was bringing him pleasure. She wanted to be able to give it to him always.
"Oh gods, Hermione," Severus groaned.
"Ohh, Severus," she responded, rising to meet his thrusts with enthusiasm that encouraged a faster pace. "Gods, I need you!"
Her confession made his heart clench and sent a jolt of fire to his groin. And his answering growl seemed to have the same effect on her.
"Oh, please, Severus!" she cried, and he thrust harder and faster against her. He would not hold out much longer.
"Gods!" he exclaimed when she wrapped her legs around his waist.
Hermione could sense that he was holding back, losing control, and that thought alone nearly took her over the edge. Then she snaked her arms around his neck and pulled him down to her, capturing his lips as all sensation mounted toward a crest. And suddenly, she wanted nothing more than to give herself to him, fully. She wanted to take that leap over the edge of the cliff and trust that he would be there to help her fly. And with that epiphany, her doubts relaxed away and the enormity of the moment began to crash over her in flames of emotion. "Oh!" she gasped against his mouth as control was ripped away, "Oh Severus!" And his feral growl sent her over the edge as she broke apart beneath him in shattering waves of hot pleasure. And as sensation and emotion pulsed over her, the truth welled up, tears broke from her eyes, and she whimpered against him, "I love you."
Severus met her lips with that fragile admission and something inside of him seemed to click. And as he broke apart, he was breaking free, bursting with overdue acquiescence, groaning into her mouth and shaking in beautiful abandon; liberated for the first time in his life. He trembled from the force of his release and from the weight of her words to him. And as they panted in the still morning air, he brushed a lock of soft hair from her face and kissed her sweat-dampened forehead. Then he met her cinnamon gaze and knew that he had never been happier. "I love you, too," he told her, softly. And he kissed away her tears.
A nasty Bang of thunder had Kiara out of bed and into the hall practically before she even had her eyes open. This time, she did not hesitate, but ran straight to her parents' bedroom at the end of the hall. It was the biggest room; the one to the right; the one that used to be Daddy's. But now it belonged to both of them, and they had a brand new bed to boot.
"Mommy! Daddy!" she cried as she launched herself through the bedroom door.
"Kiara…" her Daddy warned, but Mommy beckoned with open arms and she soon found herself cradled between the two.
"What?" Mommy said, sounding confused and smiling innocently up at the man of the house. "She's doing very well in school. What harm could it do? She's only five years old."
Daddy sighed, but relaxed back against the pillows. "Alright, I suppose," he conceded. And Kiara looked up just in time to see Mommy kiss him lightly on the lips. That was another thing that was new. It made Kiara happy in a way she couldn't quite explain.
Adjusting the blankets and pillows, they all snuggled up together and relaxed in the stable comfort of a loving family.
"Night night," Kiara whispered.
"Night night," her mother responded.
"Sweet dreams," said her father.
"See you in the morning."
"We love you."
And as Kiara slowly drifted off to sleep, nestled safe between her Mother and her Father, she realized with a smile that this new bed was neither too soft nor too hard.
It was just right.
Thank you so much for Reading! Please take a moment to let me know what you think!
Lots of love,