Disclaimer: I neither own any of the characters referenced in this work nor do I make any profit from their use.

Story:

I sat by the window watching the blizzard rage outside. An environmental reflection of my thoughts at the moment. Today was the day I tell him and I have it all planned. I just hope the house elves didn't go overboard.

"The weather outside is frightful," he says causing me to practically leap out of my skin. I hadn't realized he was so near. I cover my blush by moving to the fireplace.

"But the fire is so delightful," I reply flashing my most brilliant smile. It's the smile I use when I want something. When I want him to know that I want something.

He raises a quizzical brow. The subtle upturn of the corners of his mouth is almost imperceptible but I have come to interpret this expression as the beginnings of flirtation when it comes to Severus Snape.

"It's a good thing we've nowhere to go," he purrs and starts towards me with a look in his eyes that is part playful and part predatory. Like taunting a panther cub with a feather duster. It's cute until it gets its paws on you.

I back away slowly a smile spreading across my face as I watch his advance. We have often played this game. Infact I'm quite sure this is how my current predicament came to be. It is only fitting then that this is how I should reveal to him that he's won and barely above a whisper I say, "Oh boy, here we go."

I dash off around the large Christmas tree gracefully side stepping presents as he gives chase. I hear him stumble over something in his pursuit. Giggling like the carefree girl he makes me feel that I am, I girlishly skip through hallway taunting him. I successfully make it to the kitchen and grabbing the edge of the island I slide and whip myself carefully around to the other side before he burst through the door with an uncharacteristic laugh. I love to see him so lit up with mirth. It is such an uncommon sight that my breath is as lost as his when he see's the floating letters above me.

"Congratulations," they read, surrounded by enchanted pacifiers that sparkle like tree ornaments and rattles that tinkle like bells.

He gives me a stunned look. I give him a small, shy smile and nod slightly as if to say "I'm not kidding." In a daze he rounds the island and pulls me into the tightest hug I think he's ever given me. Then I feel him shudder. I don't hear any sobs but the dampness on my shoulder is enough of a tell. I hug him a bit tighter and in the softest voice I've ever heard him use he says, "Thank you." I try to pull way to look at him but he won't let go. He can't stand to be seen as weak and so I know he won't release me until the tears are dry and he can replace his mask. I stay silent and just hug him. I've learned in these last 3 years that on the rare occasion that his barrier is broken it is best to remain silent. Like all humans both muggle and magical in these moments he is at his most beautiful and also his most vulnerable.

Eventually his shuddering stops and he kisses me. Long and sweet and seemingly trying to convey all the things his pride won't let him say in that one agonizingly blissful kiss. Then he sweeps me into his arms and carries me back to the fireplace. "I would appreciate you not endangering our child by running through the house, Mrs. Granger-Snape." His features are firm but there is no bite in his voice as he settles me with a blanket and hands me a present. I unwrap it quickly to find a signed copy of "Cauldrons and Constellations: A Collection of Classic Wizardling Tales by Auria Elphicks".

Astonished I gape at him, "You knew?" I whisper is disbelief. "No," he smirks, "But I hoped," he said as he sat behind me and pulled me to into his chest and I began to read aloud the various stories contained therein.