Hi everyone, this is a SS/HG fanfiction. If you've got issues with the pairing please don't read. This fic is definitely going to be rated R, later it might go up to NC-17, so if you aint supposed to be here shoo. All the characters and such belong to the one and only JKR (all hail!) Anyway, I really want to thank all the people who took the time to review. It was inspiring. Hi Alley Cat, so you are all alone in our room as I'm writing this, and you can't throw anything at me tonight!! Mwahahaha.   Also to everyone else at WIKTT!!! Authors notes are at the end. Ok people here goes nothing!!

The Predicament of Marriage

Chapter 4: Thrice

{Bold italics, and standard italics are the two different mental voices of the characters internal monologues}

Dumbledore's words resounded like a clap of thunder through the room.


      "Tsk, tsk Severus. You've been remiss." Dumbledore turned his kindly manic gaze on Hermione, " do you remember what happened Madam?"

      "N-n-n-o Sir."  Gods Hermione, where's your Gryffindor courage now? It left when I married a Slytherin. "I only remember You Know Who chanting, and then a bright light," It was warm, and comforting. "After that I was…"

      "Yes, " Dumbledore prompted. Hermione felt as if she were betraying a secret with her next words.

      " I was in Professor Snape's mindscape." Everything froze, Dumbledores eyes widened in appalled shock. With dread in her heart, she turned to Snape, feeling him flinch. The expression on his face terrified her, simply because there was none. His blank face was monstrously inhuman. That flat, acrid gaze bore into her, triggering a reflexive safety mechanism. Hermione was facing nature's most dangerous predator, and she knew it. Run—RUN.  That thought in mind, she disentangled her limbs from the black mire of robes and silk. With strength lent by desperation Hermione ripped free, and skittered backwards. Just as she breached their binding barrier Severus commanded,

      "Hermione, Stop!!" As if someone had flipped a switch in her mind, Hermione halted. She ached- she craved- she lusted- to do whatever Snape commanded. Her world narrowed until she only existed to fulfill his wishes. Slowly, in a motion akin to his herald snake, Hermione came forward—ready to do anything her master bid.


       All mirth had long since fled from Dumbledore's eyes, "What is happening Severus?"  Every now and again Severus was reminded that Dumbledore did not grow up steeped in the world and traditions of the wizarding aristocracy. Contrary to speculation Dumbledore was not a Lord. Noble in nature, but not in birth—and thus naïve to their atrocities. Any Lord worth his blue blood would understand what had happened, even the Malfoy heirling could tell you. The evidence was in her eyes—Relegatio Voluntatis. With a thankful sigh at Dumbledores innocence, Severus prepared to tell him the barest of facts.   

       " Voldemort cast Relegatio Voluntatis. Up until the overthrow of Grindenwald, it was common practice among the nobility to cast this spell on their servants to ensure loyalty. The Fidelius spell is actually a variation of it. Essentially whatever I command she will do. The collar on her neck is a symbol that she is owned, and incase she disobeys it will tighten until she follows her orders. Relegatio was also used by husbands on their wives, at least until the heir was born, guaranteeing that the first child was theirs."  Severus almost felt bad about deceiving the old man. Almost, until he recalled the proverbial 'collar' that Dumbledore had held over his head for years. You would assume that Dumbledore was a kinder master than Voldemort. Voldemort was a crazy fuck, but a predicable one. You knew what the repercussions were, a well aimed Crucio. However, Dumbledore's insanity was masked by kindness. He literally killed you with it, making the guilt of one wrong choice become a tool of self-flagellation, until years down the line you were nothing more than a poor wretch of a soul. No longer. Now he had her. Hermione was his in a thrice fold manner. His wife, his property, and now she was a part of him. Some small, primitive element in him unfurled and rejoiced. Mine. 

      "How can it be undone Severus?"

      "Only if the caster of the spell willingly removes it or dies, will the spell end." Mine, mine, mine.  A small flicker of shame washed through him as Dumbledore's shoulders hunched under the burden of fighting a never-ending war.

      "At least Voldemort chose you Severus. Imagine her in the hands of Malfoy." Albus was no fool, he realized a small part of what this meant. Severus had command of her power, her magic. As Albus looked into the studiously blank eyes of his spy, a snippet of the future shimmered before him. Ever since he was a student, he had always realized Severus' power. Albus knew that the blood of warriors long past flowed through him. Severus was the epitome of centuries of selective breeding. Many a time the child of such pureblooded marriages either ended up with extreme intelligence, or extreme power. It was fate's way of keeping the scales balanced, until recently that is. Like Arachne at her loom, fate seemed ready to supercede the universal pattern, weaving a tapestry of gruesome beauty. As the pattern stretched before him, Albus saw what should have been.

       Hermione was to marry Ronald Weasely, each balancing the other to produce happy yet only slightly above average children. Harry Potter would not even have lived long enough to reproduce, neither would Draco Malfoy. That had all changed. For once the future had no set pattern or stitch. Thrice had fate set herself against the known. Harry, Draco, and Snape's existence were proof. Three wizards with pureblood, power, and intelligence. Snape and Draco had been inevitable, but Harry had been forced. The Boy Who Lived, the irony of that name dug into Dumbledores soul. Harry should have died when he was a babe, and the balance tried again and again to reassert itself. Fate had chosen her champions well, she wanted to wipe the slate clean, start anew. With Hermione by his side, Severus now had the means to focus his power. All of the magically inclined had power, but the strength of their will determined how much. The hardship of many years had worn Severus down, confusing him, making him question his purpose. Severus had become gray, neither good nor evil, a keeper of the balance. When Harry continued to survive (against the best laid plans of the balance and the general scheme of things), Draco was made into his anti-thesis. The balance was fulfilled. For each servant of good there was one of evil, and so the universe had said 'have at'em kids, fulfill your destiny.' The universe should have paid attention to Murphy's Law. Hermione would give Severus a new found direction, a reason to choose a side. Better yet, a will strong enough to make his own side. They were already one, one soul, one power. With two very, very strong wills to control it. All they needed was a united purpose. If Voldemort had his way in a year they would have a cute, wrinkly, crying, smelly purpose. My God.


           Hermione realized that something was dreadfully wrong. Slowly her mind unwillingly struggled out of its pleasant haze. Years of pouring through libraries, and inching through ancient tomes let her through the maze of sensations to the knowledge she sought. This can't be. Who have I become? Silly girl, you know who you are. Hermione Vianne Snape!

           "Professor Snape, I don't understand. Even with the two spells, we should be able to separate. Why- I don't- I don't understand. I don't understand…..I…DON'T ……understand."  Severus could feel the anguish in her, even worse was the confusion that gnawed away at her. She needed rationality, and reason. For the second time that night Severus came to her rescue.

           "I can explain it all. You need not panic." His unforeseen kindness snapped Dumbledore from whatever bleak vision he was enthralled by, leaving him eying Severus with a gleam of hope in his eyes.

           " Normally, the Relegatio Voluntatis would cause you pain every time you try and leave the side of you Master. The pain you feel is your own longing to return to my side. The Anima Coalescere is a very ancient, marriage spell. It joins the souls of the –ahem- participants and creates one soul. This creates a link, allowing strong emotions to be felt and eventually telepathic speech. For this reason I feel your longing when I attempt to move away from you." The knowledge was akin to Prozac for Hermione. Severus could feel her ingest the information, and slowly relax as her brain siphoned through it. Dumbledore sat quietly at the edge of the bed, waiting for Snape to continue. " In all witches or wizards the source of their magic is the soul, our two souls have been combined. Our magic is double in power. For this reason both of us must re-learn, or at least re-calibrate much of what we've learned."

            "Is there a way to stop this? I can't be married to you. You are Snape. You're SLYTHERIN! I WONT DO IT." An unholy fire licked through Snape's eyes, and Hermione remembered her earlier fear.

            "You've no choice. I've no choice. It is done, and we must plan how to go on."


            "I am sorry Hermione. The Relegatio Voluntatis will only break when Voldemort is defeated." Dumbledore watched Severus watch Hermione. Ahhhhh, there is still much hope. I should have known once the Anima Coalescere worked. Hmmm, do I tell them the truth or let them learn? Let them learn you goody goody. Go home, suck a lemon drop, and see a cosmic joke unfurl. Come now, I will give them a small hint. Severus never was good with visuals; it will take a while for him to figure it out. Ahh, and we watch 'em squirm. For a fool you have good ideas. Yes I ---- excuse me, it would do you well to remember that we are the same person. Ha- I'll be damned if-----

            As Dumbledore continued his mental diatribe, Severus was fighting a previously nonexistent instinct to console Hermione. The poor girl was painfully silent as acid tears burned down her face. Just as he was about to foolishly hug the child, whom was unceremoniously draped on his chest, the iron will that had kept him sane for so long rushed to the fore--- he patted her back consolingly. Suddenly he realized how precarious their situation was. Voldemort on one end, Dumbledore on the other, and now two of them were stuck betwixt the two. He had to protect her. The Snape's were a feared family, enmeshed for centuries in the politics and powers of the land. Though notorious for their connections to the Dark Arts, they had a fierce sense of honor. Severus was the head of his family, and well aware of the power and duty that came with it. Before, as the blunder of his youth ate away at him, he'd forsaken everything. He had intended to die young in atonement, and leave his nephew as heir. That had all changed, for better or for worse he had a wife. It was time for the snake to sharpen its fangs, and brew his poison. Fate had matched the Snape Lord with a Lady. The world was cozily snuggled in bed, unknowing that it was about to be forcibly punted off its axis.


Newt Scamander: thanks for getting me to move my A$$ and post faster.

Marston Chicklet: Mwahahaaaaaa, oh if you really want it I can make you a Slytherin in this fic. But only if you reaaaaly want it. Mwahahaha

Aurora: yeah Hermione is very lucky. She even gets *luckier* later

Jeminia Auborn (I luv spiffy): I love you too.

Spike Lover: darn guess you figured that out. HEHE

Goddessnmb1: Thank you for the insightful comments. There will be ways to lessen the affect of the Relegatio spell. But the Anima Coalescere turns out to be a good thing, and thus they stay married.

Pearly Jammer: In this chap. Dumbledore "see's" the seriousness of it all. Thanks for the review.

Becky468: if you like that, then u r gonna love this story!

Candy Cane: glad you liked the line!! More to come!!

Honey666: ummmm, I just wanted to say hi!!!!!

Stonecoldfox: I tried to make this longer for you. I'm a slow writer. Sorry.


Sooooo, the plot thickens. I want to thank all of you that have reviewed so far. I said I would not, but I must answer some of your reviews. They were so wonderful the response was highly unexpected. OH!!! Thanks to all who caught the translation error of Belle Soir, it means beautiful evening—not night as this author so badly translated. My apologies. In the next chapter, we see a soul, McGonnals reaction, and how HG and SS work through their first few days of married life. Oooooo, what does Dumbledore know dum …dum … dum ...tune in next week to find out! After that we'll be picking up the pace. Please feed a starving college student and review!!

Love you all,