Disclaimer: Everything is JKR's, I'm just borrowing them.

A/N: Thanks to Sunglow999 for beta reading, my husband for being so patient and to everyone who has reviewed and encouraged me.

Chapter 12 - The Epilogue

"Do I have to?"
"I'm not giving them all back."
"I didn't think you would."
"It's still early in the year. They've still got a chance."
"Does Hell have a freezer section?"
"You can be a hard woman, Hermione."
"I know. I had a good teacher. Now do it."
"All right. 100 points to Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw. 120 to Slytherin and 150 to Gryffindor."
"Good boy."
"I'm not a dog you can pet, Hermione."
"I know, but you still like to be stroked."
"Only you can get away with saying that."
"I know."


There were murmurs in the hall the following morning as the points were added to the house scoreboards. Ginny smiled to herself. It looked like things were working out between Hermione and Severus after all.

Both Hermione and Severus were missing from breakfast, and Madam Hooch raised her glass to Sirius and Remus. It had been a fun evening after Severus had dragged Hermione away; everyone had let their hair down and Hooch had discovered a hitherto unknown talent for 'mixing the decks' as the DJ had put it. It may have had something to do with those shots of tequila she'd downed...


"Do you think they'll mind if we skip lunch?" Hermione asked later that morning.
"I have no intention of being seen until first lesson tomorrow, Hermione. Now come back to bed."
"I've just run a bath."
"You can heat it up later."
"Why don't you join me? The house elves have delivered breakfast."
"And you're going to eat it in the bath?"
"It's mainly fruit Severus...."
"OK, OK, I'm coming." Severus shot out of bed and joined Hermione in the steamy bathroom. He wrinkled his nose.
"You've put bubbles in."
"I know. Don't worry, we can always shower afterwards. Wouldn't want you smelling of flowers, now, would we?" Hermione was already in the water and held up her hand to him. He slid in behind her.
"I don't mind, providing the flowers remind me of you."
"Oh Severus, that's a lovely thing to say." She sniffed
"Please don't start crying again."
"You coped very well last night."
"That was last night. There were extenuating circumstances. But normally I'm not good with tears."
"Don't want to get in touch with your feminine side?"
"The only feminine side I want to get in touch with is yours." He slid his hands around her waist and lifted them to cup her breasts.
"In that case, touch away." She said breathlessly.
"What about breakfast?"
"Sod breakfast." She twisted around, sloshing water and bubbles over the floor. She slid up his chest until her face was level with his and looked at him from under her lashes. His hair was damp from the steam and his cheeks were flushed slightly from the heat. He quirked an eyebrow at her. What?
"I do love you, Severus."
The rare smile he reserved just for her lit up his face, taking years off him.
"I love you too, Hermione." He pulled her forward and teased her mouth open with his. She sighed happily and pressed closer. They'd eat later....


Harry opened the envelope that was addressed to both Ron and him, and grinned when the embossed parchment fell out, together with a handwritten note from Hermione.

Your presence is requested at the Handfasting of
Miss Hermione Granger
Professor Severus Snape
On the evening of 24th December
RSVP Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

Dear Harry,

Severus and I hope that nearly two months notice is enough for Ron to calm down and refrain from starting a fight at the wedding.

Love, Hermione.

Potter - Tell Weasley if he ever decides Quidditch is too tame; boxing may be a more appropriate sport. S. Snape.
PS. Harry, ignore him. His jaw is still a bit sore.
PPS. It is not. I hope Weasley's hand drops off.

Harry chuckled, imagining Hermione and Snape fighting over the quill. He pinned the invitation to the board in the kitchen of the flat he now shared with Ron. He was sure it would be a spectacular ceremony.


The first snow of the season had fallen the week before the wedding, and Hermione was worried her parents wouldn't be able to make it. Albus assured her that he would put their fireplace on the Floo Network and Severus would escort them personally to Hogwarts. They had been assigned rooms in Gryffindor tower next to Hermione's.

She spent her evenings with Severus, but returned to her own rooms before curfew. Severus looked forward to the time when she could officially move to the dungeons permanently.


Two hours after the sun set on Christmas Eve, A nervous Severus Snape stood in the great hall, flanked by Sirius Black and Remus Lupin. He was resplendent in deep green dress robes; Hermione had refused to even consider his usual black, and they'd compromised with the 'so dark green they were almost black'.

All the staff was in attendance, together with Hermione's parents and most of her peers from the previous year. Draco Malfoy held Chastity's hand possessively in his, keeping her anchored to his side. The Malfoy family ring was on her left hand and they planned on visiting her father the next day to ask his permission officially.

The main doors cracked open and Severus swung round to watch his beloved being escorted to him by her father. The breath caught in his throat. She wasn't wearing red, as he had expected. Actually, he was relieved; they'd look like Christmas decorations otherwise. She was wearing dress robes of silver velvet, the wide, deep round neckline a magnificent frame for the necklace that matched her engagement ring that was in his pocket. He'd place it back on her hand after the wedding ring was on her finger.

The tight sleeves ended in a point over her wrists and the hem fell to a train that shimmered as she glided towards him. Her hair was loose and shimmered with tiny jewels placed here and there.

Her gaze locked with his and then John was placing her left hand in his right. Together they turned towards Albus Dumbledore. The ceremony passed in a haze. They registered Albus speaking the traditional words, and felt the ribbon of joining being placed around their clasped hands. Severus slid her wedding band on her finger and Hermione did the same to him. There was a collective sigh as Severus bent to kiss his new wife, changing to applause and whistles as it lengthened and deepened.

"How soon can we disappear?" she whispered when he let her up for air.
"At least three hours."
"Language, Mrs Snape." He murmured.
"Don't tell me you didn't have the same thought."
"At least I didn't verbalise that thought."
"Can we make it two?"
"We'll see."

They made their way towards their guests and they were separated as the women crowded around Hermione to congratulate her. Harry and Ron made their way to Severus and Harry held out his hand. Severus shook it and then turned to Ron. Ron smiled sheepishly and stuck out his hand.

"Sorry it didn't drop off, but if it's any consolation it hurt like hell." Ron said.
Severus shook it reluctantly. "Look after her, Professor."
"I intend to."
"That's all that matters."
"So where are you taking her for a honeymoon?" Remus asked.
Severus smiled. "The Astronomy tower."
"Shit, Severus. Couldn't you take her somewhere warmer and more romantic?" Sirius grinned.
"It's plenty warm and romantic enough, Sirius, and I suggested it." Hermione had escaped to join her husband, who pulled her close to his side.
"You look lovely, Hermione." Harry kissed her cheek and she hugged him back.
"Thank you, Harry."


They managed to escape two and a half hours later, leaving the hall under a shower of charmed confetti that sparkled around them. Almost running to the Astronomy tower, they set the wards to 'do not disturb', and collapsed on the huge bed together.

Severus threaded his fingers through her hair, gently removing the jewels until her hair was spread out on the pillow.
"I don't think I've ever seen you more beautiful." He stared down at her. "I wish I could take a photograph to capture this moment."
"I don't need a photograph, Severus, all I need is you." She whispered and drew him down to her.


"Happy Christmas, Severus." He woke the next morning, his first as a married man, to the sight of a naked Hermione leaning over him.
"The same to you, my love."
She handed him a small, long, thin box with a green ribbon around it. He sat up and pulled her close, staring at it.
"I haven't got you anything." He was appalled he'd forgotten.
"Well, this is really a joint present." She nervously fingered the sheet at his waist. "I hope you like it."
Carefully pulling the ribbon, he flipped the lid off and stared inside.
"What is it?" he lifted out a small white object. "A new type of wand?"
"No. It's a test. A pregnancy test." She tensed by his side.
He looked closer. There was a small window in the middle with a plus and minus sign above. There was a blue line under the plus sign.
"Does this mean..?"
"I'm pregnant."
"Are you sure?" he stared at the little stick again, obviously a muggle device. "I took the potion the next day."
"I think we were too late."
"Are you happy with this?"
"Are you?" she looked up at him apprehensively. It finally sunk into his sleep-fuddled brain that he was going to be a father, and he looked from the stick to Hermione's anxious eyes.
"Am I? I think all my birthdays and Christmas's have come at once! Oh, Hermione." He pulled her into his arms and kissed her, running a gentle hand over her stomach. She melted against him.

It had come as a shock when her period hadn't arrived, but she had wanted to wait until she was absolutely sure before taking the test. She could have checked the magical way, but this was permanent proof.

"How are you feeling? Nauseous yet? Do you want me to get you anything?" he sat up.
"I'm fine. And the only thing I want is you."
"Are you sure?"
"I'm beginning to wish I hadn't told you, Severus. I won't break, you know. And this is our honeymoon." She wiggled her hips against him. He slid down beside her and held her face between his hands.
"No transforming, carrying heavy books around and you're to rest regularly, understand."
"Yes, Professor."
"I'm going to be a father.."
"I want a little boy, just like you."
"No, a little girl, with your eyes."
"Do you want more than one?"
"I want a whole Quidditch team."
"We'd better get some more practice in then..."


Severus sat on the windowsill a few hours later and glanced over to the bed where his wife was sleeping peacefully, her hand curled protectively over her stomach. Then he looked out over the snow-covered grounds of Hogwarts, the smoke from Hagrid's hut spiralling in the distance by the Forbidden Forest.

In his mind's eye he saw a little girl, hair as black as midnight and with cinnamon eyes, taking her first step, reaching for him. Her first word; Daddy. Imaginary potions being brewed in her bedroom, the Sorting ceremony; Slytherin, of course. Graduation, top of her year. First boyfriend.

He frowned slightly, and wondered how long it took for a dragon to mature....

The End?

A/N: OK, lost a little bit of the formatting there, but I had to live with it. Hope you all enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. If I get enough encouragement I may decide to continue the adventures into parenting of my favourite couple later in the year. Thank you again for all the encouragement I received and to Sunglow999 for beta reading. The sequel to her Buffy 'Soul Matchers' story is in the pipeline, should anyone be interested. For now, I have to concentrate my attention on a much-neglected husband. I really should get him back in his motorbike leathers....

Much love, Moonglow.