EPILOGUE

It was a snowy Christmas Eve afternoon when Severus and Hermione said their vows. Dumbledore had been thrilled to offer the Great Hall and his services for the joining. Severus had caved in and consented to wearing a rich velvet set of green dress robes, while Hermione harkened back to her Muggle heritage and wore an ivory lace gown for the ceremony which she capped off with a delicate, ivory silk robe for the dinner reception and dance.

Severus smiled as he looked at a wizard photo of them, taken during their first dance as husband and wife. They were swaying slowly and looking lovingly into each others eyes. Occasionally, photo-Severus would lean down to whisper into his bride's ear, causing her to blush prettily. He remembered now, almost a full year later, exactly what he had been suggesting to his new wife. Despite their extremely enjoyable sex life during the rocky courtship, he was surprised to see that they both had a few tricks up their sleeves for the wedding night. Their first night as husband and wife was spent in a small cottage in Italy. It was romantic and rustic - and very well suited for the passionate night. He smiled again and placed the wedding photo back on the shelf in their living room. Just thinking about that perfect night was enough to arouse him, he mused, chuckling to himself.

Then, reality hit him and he wondered if he'd ever have sex again.

Last night, Hermione had made it very clear that if he ever touched her again, he would be given a free castration. She said she didn't love him anymore. She told him to leave and never come back. She looked at him with pain and -and, disgust.

Severus shook his head slowly and went to sit in front of the roaring fireplace. He looked around at the house he and Hermione had spent so much time making into a home and sighed. He knew she didn't mean any of it. He knew it. He heard a door click shut and his head sank to rest in his hands.

"Severus, she didn't mean it," chuckled Dumbledore, patting the younger man on the shoulder.

"I know."

"But?"

"It's hard to hear anyway," sighed Severus. "I waited a long time for all of this and -"

"Severus, almost all women react that way during childbirth. You were the one that was so enthusiastic about an unmedicated, unspelled, natural birth. Didn't anyone warn you how she may react to the overwhelming pain?" asked Dumbledore, smiling gently.

"No. Yes. Well, it just -"

"Hurt your feelings?"

"Yes."

Just then a rather angry male voice sounded from their master bedroom.

"SNAPE! Get your ass up here! Now!"

Exchanging a look of concern, Dumbledore and Snape clasped hands and apparated quickly into Hermione and Severus' room. Hermione was lying on the bed; giggling and munching on a bowl of popcorn while the great Harry Potter struggled with -

"A diaper?" laughed Dumbledore. "You yelled for that?"

Severus smiled at the young man as Harry delicately wiped poop from his fingers. Walking to him, he swiftly cleaned Harry and the squirming newborn with a charm and then expertly diapered and redressed the baby. Harry just looked at the new father in awe.

"You'll get the hang of it someday, Harry," Severus said. "I have many nieces and nephews, so I have had plenty of practice."

Dumbledore gestured to Harry that it was time for them to go. Harry kissed the baby and Hermione and followed the old wizard out the door. Severus carefully carried his son to the bed and stretched out next to his wife.

"I love you, Severus," Hermione sighed, leaning to him and snuggling on his shoulder.

"Are you sure? You're not mad at me? I mean, it's my fault you were in so much pain yesterday," Severus said, refusing to meet her eyes.

"I'm sure. It was awful, but I wouldn't change a thing. Just look at our little angel," she said, cooing to the baby. "We never did agree on a name, Severus."

"I don't want him to be named after me," he said, calmly. She pouted. "No, Hermione, that won't work. Quit batting your eyelashes!"

Hermione giggled again and popped some popcorn into Severus' mouth.

"How about William?"

An eyebrow quirked at her in surprise.

"I was sure you would suggest Harry," he said.

"William Harry?" she teased.

"No. Gods, no."

"Willam Severus Albus Snape?" she asked, timidly.

He just smiled at looked down at his sleeping son. Then he nodded.

"He looks like a William, don't you think?" he asked.

"He looks like you, Severus. I couldn't ask for anything more."

"I do love you, Hermione."

"And I love you, Severus."



End.