A/N: Okay, here's my shot at the Who's My Soulmate Prompt Challenge. The idea is that everyone is born with a phrase on somewhere on their bodies. Something that their soulmate will say to them. This fic is the result of that idea. Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.
It was a beautiful wedding. The whimsical bride Luna Lovegood-now Potter, was stunning in her magenta dress. Hermione was surprised when she was asked to be maid of honor, but she took on the position with all the zeal she would have had she'd been studying for NEWTS or for a more recent comparison, her Potions Mastery. Right now she was eating her third piece of wedding cake and she hoped no one noticed. "Save some for the rest of us," a delicate purr traveled to her ears and her cheeks tinged pink. Of course he would. He seemed to notice everything.
"I had no idea you liked sweets," she replied, hoping she hadn't gotten any icing on her gold gown. Hermione really didn't want to embarrass herself further. Especially not in front of him.
He drew closer, coming to sit next to her in one of the white wooden lawn chairs. Instantly his manly, woodsy scent filled her nostrils and she had to physically keep herself from leaning in. His dark eyes seemed to linger of her curvy frame, but Hermione told herself that it was just her imagination. "To be fair Miss Granger, there's a lot you don't know about me."
And then he took her fork and ate a piece of her cake! "Mmmmm," he moaned and the sound went straight to her knickers, "that is good."
"Yes it is," Hermione agreed, coming to her senses and snatching the fork back from him. She grabbed her plate and shifted so that it was out of his reach.
He chuckled. A deep sound that made her stomach tighten, "Nothing is THAT important, you know. Certainly not a piece of cake."
Hermione froze, feeling the words that had been inscribed below her left breast since birth, burn. Her soulmate. She wanted to laugh and cry at the same time. As unbelievable as it was, her soulmate was Severus Snape. His beautiful deep voice had caressed those sacred words: "Nothing is THAT important, you know." Glancing at the dark wizard she debated on how to proceed. He of course had no idea of what just happened. She wanted to tell him, but given his past she was sure it would run him off. Plus, they had only just begun a tentative friendship. A bomb like that could ruin everything. So instead she smiled and said, "You're right," shifting back, she broke off another piece of cake, offering him the fork.
Instead he bent forward and ate the cake right off the utensil. And then his lips stretched into an alluring smirk. "On second thought, something that good is important. How about the two of us grab a few more slices and then abandon this sap fest."
"Hey! This is sap fest happens to be my best friend's wedding," Hermione defended although her grin gave her away. Taking his offered arm, they headed straight to the dessert table. Piling a plate and nabbing a bottle of champagne on their way out of the garden where the Potters got married.
When he wrapped his arms around to apparate, she used that moment to savor being in his arms. That utter perfection of feeling whole. Of hope swelling in her chest. I have found the one whom my soul loves, Hermione's heart sang. Now she was only left with the trouble of how to actually get her soulmate.
Four shared slices of cake, an entire bottle of champagne, and countless laughs later, Hermione Granger was slumbering in the arms of Severus Snape. He; however, was wide awake and worried. Worried that he may do something foolish. Something that would ruin the rocky friendship he had started with the young woman.
It was a secret he kept guarded close to his heart. Buried so deep. Hidden. And yet, it was always there. Bubbling under the surface. Simmering like a potion. Severus could still remember when she uttered those fateful words. The words scrawled down his inner left thigh. "I have never done such a thing." It was the same day that she had saved his life.
Voldemort slashed his throat and that damned snake was left to finish the job. Only it didn't. And he woke, hours later with a curly haired young woman clutching onto his hand. And he knew. He knew before she even spoke the words. He listened as she explained everything she'd done to preserve his life, the details unimportant in face of the reality of actually living. Of having breath in his body.
His first words had been in line with his usual git self. "I suppose that now that you've saved my life, you'll have satisfied your Gryffindorish need to play hero and go back to hating me now."
She looked at Severus with those lovely cinnamon eyes and said, "I have never done such a thing. Hate you, that is." Then she pressed a soft kiss on his forehead and left.
And now a year later, he could still hear those words, and still feel that kiss. Tonight, it was Severus's chance to return the favor and he did so as he held Hermione in his arms. And he'd keep holding her as tightly as he dared until he too, fell asleep.