a melody en passant
Lm. Samiko

.

Epilogue
Two Years Later

.

Hermione was a pushy witch.

But Severus was a stubborn wizard.

They were well-matched, their friends and acquaintances agreed, once they'd had a great deal of time to assimilate the idea. And they agreed that when the two were united on anything, they were an absolutely terrifying force of nature.

This was an impression that pleased the both of them.

But the effect of the irresistible force and the immovable object together was a relationship that was slow, deliberate, and anything but dull. Hermione pushed, Severus resisted. She snapped, and he sniped. He made unilateral decisions, which she then countermanded. He banned her from the tower, and she resolutely camped upon his doorstep. (That incident was the talk of the colleges for weeks, especially once a visually fascinating array of hexes began to mark the Terranmores who tried to break into Hermione's tent.) She shut the door in his face, and— well, in that instance, Hermione had to immediately open it again and use her wand to fix his broken nose, all the while apologising profusely.

Severus, at least, had never had quite so much fun in his life, with the added bonus that such a lengthy courtship assuaged his conscience. And he had been quite right: Granny Snape had a ball with Hermione. She teased her grandson a bit about the age difference (not too much, as the boy was more sensitive than he ought to be), but made no bones about the fact that she approved. Hermione's parents were as yet still charmed, so he could only pretend to believe Hermione when she said that her parents would be accepting. Though if they could accept that their daughter had given them a four-year enforced vacation, then Severus thought his chances to be relatively good.

Hermione found everything a thoroughly worthwhile challenge, once she was able to subdue her impatience and come to terms with the fact that she needed the time as much as he did. She was an adult, but still new to the status, and she had to feel her way through all of the emotional pitfalls that came along with dealing with such a close-mouthed, labyrinthine man as Severus. What truly frustrated her was the time it had taken to uncover the reason Severus had been going to the museum, for how much time had been wasted when she could have been helping him? She threw herself into the project unreservedly, and when he tentatively offered to recompense her for the monies she lost by not busking, she nearly bit his head off. (After a circuitous inquiry, he learned that her musical income was, in essence, superfluous, as she had effectively bullied, berated, badgered, and guilted the Ministry into paying for her higher education. He was quite proud of her.) But as he did not feel comfortable 'owing' Hermione anything—a feeling he knew she would dismiss as absurd, and maybe it was—he resolved to repay her in other ways. He began to play for her.

She cried the first time, though she tried to hide it by burying her face in the fur of that immense cat-creature she owned. He asked her why, and she answered, "Because it's the first time I've ever heard you speak of hope." He could only stare in reply, as he realised that she was right. And when she asked, he promised her a transcribed score.

From listening to her, to playing for her, to playing with her. He followed this seemingly organic path, and he could think of no reason to deny her request when she made it. So here they were, at Hermione's usual pitch, ready to begin playing for the masses of people hurrying by.

And he found he didn't give a damn. He was here with Hermione, and he was playing for and with her, and looking forward to having a bloody good time at both. If their audience liked them, well and good. If not, it made no never mind to him. He had good music and a good lady, and that was more than he'd ever thought he'd have.

And, well, if their audience hated them, Hermione had a mean collection of hexes. She was protective that way.

With a twinkle in her eye, Hermione began playing 'Sovay.' With an answering gleam, Severus joined in.

.

.

.


A/Ns:
For those of you reading as I post, my apologies; I never meant to make you wait this long but that RL, as it has a habit of doing, got in the way.

Severus's 'song of hope' is Yoshiki's 'Seize the Light,' a slight anachronism that I doubt anyone would notice except for me pointing it out. But when it comes to music that moves me, Yoshiki is one of the few who can make me cry. And the final song, 'Sovay,' is traditional English folk, wherein the lady tests her lover's affections in a manner similar to Shakespeare's Portia. The version here is performed by Paisley Close, which has some fun with the fiddle accompaniment. Both have been added to the YT playlist. (suffix: playlist?list=PLgBL0tjCoLKSdWRBIuPxSHdyYwWnHtMBF)

Thank you all for reading; I hope you've enjoyed this little jaunt. If you feel inclined, please leave a token in the little box below.