Disclaimer: Everything in the HP universe belongs to JKR, not me. But I wish it did.
A/N: Thanks to Sunglow999 for beta reading and to everyone who gave me such wonderful reviews for the previous two stories in this trilogy, Hermione's List and Union of the Snakes. I bow to public pressure, and dedicate this next attempt to everyone out there who's in love with Severus and Hermione. This picks up from where Union left off - the Honeymoon (which means a few loose lemons).
Sev and the Family Snape
Chapter 1 - Prologue
Hermione woke from her nap curled against Severus, his hand splayed protectively over her belly, his thumb rubbing gently to and fro. She cuddled closer and his arm tightened around her.
"How are you feeling?"
"Fine, absolutely wonderful."
"None at all."
"Do you want anything?"
"I don't know. Anything strange?"
"You mean do I have any cravings?"
"Only for a certain potions professor."
"Is it safe?"
"Only as long as you don't refuse me."
"You know what I mean."
"Yes, it's safe. I have read one or two books on the subject."
"Providing the mother-to-be is in perfect health, relations can be continued right up to the ninth month." she quoted. "Although how a blimp can be attractive to any man, I'll never know."
"You'll be a beautiful blimp to me, my love." he nuzzled her neck.
"You're only saying that so you won't go without." she smiled at him.
"Sex has nothing to do with it, Hermione."
"I know that. It's just in a few months I'll be waddling like a penguin."
"A pregnant penguin. A beautiful, waddling, pregnant penguin."
"It's a good job I love you, Severus, or I'd hex you right out of this bed." She grumbled.
"I've been thinking of names." He thought it best to change the subject.
"Haven't you thought of any?"
"Not really. I'd rather be surprised than know what we're having."
"We're having a baby, not kittens."
"Or snakes." She giggled.
"It's tradition that the boys names start with the letter 'S' in my family." he said softly, frowning slightly. She looked up at him.
"You've never told me about your family."
"Perhaps we should have some breakfast." Severus sat up and Accio'd their robes.
Hermione looked up at his closed face apprehensively. This was not the way she'd expected to spend Christmas Day. Tying her robe, she slipped off the bed and went to sit beside him by the fire. Summoning a tray of tea, she poured them a cup each and waited for him to begin.
"Where do you want me to start?"
"How about the beginning? Do you have any brother or sisters? Are your parents still alive?"
"I have two brothers, Sage and Saxen. Twins; four years my senior. I believe my parents are still alive. I haven't heard to the contrary."
"When was the last time you saw them?"
"Twenty years ago."
"Oh Severus! What happened?"
"I was a foolish boy, blinded by jealousy." he stared into the fire. "You have to understand, Hermione, that all my life I've been an outsider. Saxen and Sage were always so close; my parents had each other, and I was always the odd one out. When I got my Hogwarts letter I couldn't wait to go. Saxen and Sage only had two years left and then I would have been the only Snape here. I was always being compared to them, you see, the Perfect Pair. It seems very petty and stupid now, but what child wants to be compared with their siblings all the time?"
"I think I understand. Ron had a similar experience growing up too."
"Oh Merlin! Please don't tell me I have something in common with Weasley." he groaned.
"Carry on, Severus. So what happened?"
"I was still compared with them even after they left. The main thing I excelled at was Potions and Defence Against the Dark Arts. Lucius Malfoy was in the year above me, and 'guided' me towards Voldemort. By the time I realised what was happening it was too late. I have no excuse, apart from being seduced by his image of a better future. I saw my chance of finally emerging from my brothers' shadows. I cut myself off from them and I haven't heard from them since." he shrugged, but Hermione could see the hurt in his eyes. What sort of family turns its back on one of its own? What mother could do that?
"Have you tried to contact them, now he's gone?"
"Have they contacted you?"
"Don't you think that's strange?"
"No. Father was one of Voldemort's opponents. I imagine they would have gone into hiding when he started gaining power. I was too ashamed of myself to contact them again."
"Wouldn't they have fought on our side?"
"The Snape family have never really taken sides. Father didn't openly oppose him, but would have taken steps to protect his family."
Hermione snorted. "He didn't protect you very well."
"As soon as I picked sides I was on my own."
They sat quietly for a little while, each lost in their thoughts. Hermione sipped her tea pensively.
"Would you try again? For the sake of the baby?" she asked hesitantly.
"I don't know. It may be too late. After all, we got married without them knowing."
"Would Albus know where they are?"
"If it's too painful, we can leave it."
"No, I think it's time for new beginnings. Perhaps if I'd talked to my parents about how I felt my life would have been different."
"Yes. You probably wouldn't have taught here, met me and be having a baby. You would probably have already been married and had children before now. You also wouldn't be anywhere near like the man I fell in love with," she reasoned.
"So our whole destiny was determined by my one act of defiance?"
"No. I'm saying our choices define who we are. Please don't start talking about destiny, you're beginning to sound like Trelawney." she shuddered and he laughed. Hermione smiled back; it had been her objective to lighten the atmosphere. She licked her lips and watched his eyes darken.
"I'm experiencing a craving, Severus," she murmured. He arched a dark eyebrow at her and her eyes smouldered back at him.
"Tell me and it's yours."
She leaned forward and whispered in his ear. His eyes widened slightly in surprise, then he shrugged. It was their honeymoon after all. He stood up and swept her into his arms, carrying her back to the bed. Hermione grabbed her wand and murmured a few words. Something small smacked into her hand and she watched as Severus shed his robe and lay back on the sheets.
Kneeling next to him, she smiled wickedly and he rolled his eyes at her.
"Chocolate is not a breakfast food, Hermione."
"It is when you're pregnant. And you do make a perfect dish, Severus." she scooped a finger of the sticky liquid and held it above his chest, letting it drizzle backwards and forwards, working her way over his flat stomach, pouring a little more into his navel. She licked her finger, holding his gaze with hers as her tongue cleaned the chocolate off.
She leaned forward and kissed him, letting him taste the sweet on her tongue, but before he could hold her there she moved away, licking a path down his neck and over his chest, gathering the chocolate trails as she went.
Hermione could feel his heart pounding, the rhythm matching her own, and his hands were clenched in the sheets in an effort not to reach for her. Her mouth reached his navel and she circled around it, dipping the tip of her tongue in occasionally and teasing him. Her left hand slid from his knee to the inside of his thigh, feeling the slight tremble as he tried to keep a tight rein on his reaction to her and she smiled against his stomach.
She wondered how long it would take for him to lose control and she risked a peek at his face. His eyes were shut and his teeth were clenched, a film of perspiration on his brow and upper lip. His thigh trembled again under her hand. Gathering her hair up with her right hand, her left slid higher and curled around his erection. His eyes shot open and he watched as she licked the moisture there as if it were the finest chocolate.
He groaned and she held his gaze as her mouth engulfed him.
"Enough!" he growled when he could stand no more of her ministrations and sat up, pulling her round to face him. Hermione straddled him, positioning herself above him.
"Do you still think chocolate isn't a breakfast food?"
"I'll concede you may have a point."
"So generous of you to agree with me, Severus." She lowered herself onto him and he hissed in pleasure. She rocked slowly, leaning forward to brush her mouth over his, and didn't stop him this time when his hand held her there. Running his tongue over her bottom lip, he tasted the remnants of the chocolate there. She was constantly surprising him, and not only in terms of sex.
Then his mind went blank as she tightened around him, sending delightful shivers up his spine. Pleasure wound higher and higher and he arched off the bed, holding her hips in his hands. Hermione shuddered in release above him and sank onto his chest in exhaustion.
"I think I'm stuck." She murmured.
"A downside of chocolate for breakfast."
"You'll have to see Poppy about arrangements for when you give birth, Hermione." Severus said much later over a proper breakfast.
"I know. I'm not sure about wizarding procedures, though."
"Just like muggles, witches give birth the same way." he said dryly.
"I know that! I meant that muggles have scans and blood tests etc."
"So do witches. It's just they don't use those machines to do it with."
"I still don't want to know what we're having."
"Fine. Poppy can shield you from the result if you want, but I would like to be there when you go."
"Did you think I wouldn't want you there?"
"Most wizards aren't really involved in the birthing process."
"Well you're not most wizards." Hermione leaned forward and brushed a kiss across his mouth.
"Just don't tell me what we're having."
"I can keep a secret, you know."
"I think I know that by now. She said dryly.
"So when will you see Poppy?"
"How about we make an appointment in a few days, while everyone is still on holiday? Do you want to tell Albus?"
"I suppose we'd better. We'll have to see about extending our quarters."
"Not for a little while. The baby will have to sleep in our room for the first few weeks. Be prepared for some sleepless nights."
"I'm used to it, after all, you certainly caused me some."
"Ha, Ha, very funny." She lunged at him suddenly, surprising him, and they fell to the floor in a heap, Hermione's fingers digging into his ribs, finding a particularly ticklish spot.
Severus rolled her on top of him, holding her wrists away from his ribs, which brought her nicely against his chest. Raising his head, he caught her mouth with his.
"Have I said Thank You, today?" he murmured.
"For marrying me, loving me."
"You're welcome, Professor Snape, and Thank You."
"You're welcome, Mrs Snape." He smiled.
A/N: OK, OK, just a little OOC, but who cares? Just a taste of what's to come. Further chapters will include Draco & Chastity, a month-by-month breakdown of Hermione's pregnancy and, of course, the introduction of Severus's family. Please don't hassle me for updates as this may take me a lot longer to write. If you want to be notified of updates, please email me separately and I'll create a mailing list. I am working on chapter 2, but it's taking a lot longer than I expected. I do have a family, you know!