Disclaimer: This is a work of fan fiction. Harry Potter is owned by J. K. Rowling. This story is purely for entertainment purposes, no money is being made from it.

A/N: Thank you all for your support, kudos, comments, and klicks. Thank you for staying with me and this story all this time.

No beta, so all mistakes are mine as always.

Severus glanced with the corner of the eye at the door. His back screamed from the pain, he was too long in this bent position, pouring over the parchment. In retrospect, it would have been much smarter to sit behind the desk, but he stayed next to a simmering cauldron.

A flash of black appeared and swiftly pulled back behind the door frame. The tip of his lips danced a bit treating to drag into a grin.

He straighten with a groan and forced his feature into a frown.

"What do you think you are doing there?" he asked in a strict voice.

The patter of small feet moved away then neared again. One curly head peaked from the safety of the doorframe, just a bit. It took all his strength to stay frowned.

"Nothing…?" the soft voice replied.

Head fully emerged, followed by the rest of his daughter. Black riot of curls hid her face with a button-like nose and thin lips.

"Annabel?" He raised an eyebrow.

"I was just checking if you are bored, daddy." She beamed at him, mischief glinting in her caramel eyes.

"Mhm, and where is your sister?" Severus still tried to maintain serious façade.

His youngest daughter looked so much like her mother, the little troublemaker had him wrapped around her little finger. She made a motion like she is going to enter the Laboratory, her bare foot hovering in the air. She changed her mind at the glance to his face.

The sound of running came along with a panicked cry.

"There you are! I was looking all over for you!"

Slim girl with long hair in a dark brown shade and almost black eyes came to the door. She had mellow eyes that suited her soft nature.

"I'm sorry, father, she snuck out again." The girl smiled at him, picking up the little girl.

"It is fine Eileen." He lost a battle, cracking a smile at his older daughter.

Looking at her no one would ever know that she was about to start Hogwarts in a few months.

"I-I was reading Hogwarts: A History and I…" the girl still lowered her eyes.

"And you lost yourself in the book." He smiled again, nodding.

Severus forced his stiff limbs to move and took a little girl from her sister's arms.

"Yes." The older girl blushed.

"You may look like me, but you are like your mother in so many ways." He patted the girl, snuggling the one in his arm closer. "And for you, I have no idea to whom you took out to be."

"Uncle Harry!" the girl giggled, plastering a wet kiss at his cheek. "That is what Uncle Draco say every time I visit."

"Is he now, well- I'll have to have a little conversation with you late uncle Draco then." Severus grumbled. "Let's find your mother. Where is she?"

Eileen blushed directing her eyes over his shoulder, Annabel giggled and pressed both of her hand over he mouth, shaking her curls.

"Answers. Me. Now." He growled. "Where are your brothers?"

"They are outside, by the forest. Practicing their flying." Eileen smiled.

"Eileen?" Severus frowned.

"They plan to try out for Quidditch team this year, and they took the gift uncle Harry gave them." She lowered her eyes.

Severus gave a soft sigh of relief. His sons, a twin trouble, born just two years into his marriage were now in their second year in Hogwarts. Or at least they will be if their mother don't turn them into a toads as she often threatened.

"Very well, and where. Is. Your. Mother?" he glance at his daughters.

Eileen mumbled something. Severus felt true anger emerge.

"Eileen…" his voice lowered to a dangerous hiss.

Annabel leaned in his arms, to press her small hands over her sisters mouth.

"In the kitchen." Annabel fired out the moment she covered her sisters mouth. Eileen widened her eyes at her sister, frowning at the same time.

Severus laughed. He extended his arms to give the little girl to her sister, landing a soft kiss on each of their heads.

"I'll go and see what survived in the kitchen. Eileen take care of your sister, don't lose her this time."

He headed to the kitchen thinking of his children. The boys, Elis and Edwyn, a menace to the world- both in Slytherin. In only one year they managed to chunk a considerable portion of points as Weasley twins of the Slytherin, they also gained a fair share of the same in classes.

Eileen was a source of the bets ever since she could walk between him and Hermione. They were betting between Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw. The girl had such a soft nature and a big heart, but also had shar and bookish mind. So far, she shown talent for potions but also for Ancient Runes, Transfiguration and Arithmancy. Neville claimed that she has a green thumb but not the heart for herbology.

Annabel came much later; she was four now. She came as a bit of surprise after the batch of bad ingredient and the botched contraceptive potion. Lucky for them they didn't sold any of it before they discovered the problem. She was Gryffindor through and through.

He had a life now, better than he ever thought he will, or that he believed he deserved. Hermione and him even to the day stayed a bit of pariah's, not really gladly received in the wider social circles. On the other hand, their Apothecary bloomed and had a few very lucrative exclusive contracts.

Hermione was a whiz in a Potions lab but a disaster in the kitchen. Severus was almost afraid what he's going to find in the kitchen. His fears confirmed when he saw Misty swaying and whaling in front of the kitchen door. He pressed the finger to his lips and Misty vanished with a relief. Opening the door, Severus engaged all his skill to stay on his feet. He did double in belly shaking laughter.

"It's not funny, you know." Sniffed Hermione battling with a rather manic electric whisk. "And this is supposed to be a secret."

"And when did you plan to inform me that you decided to tear down the part of the Manor?" he managed to choke out through laughter.

The kitchen was a war zone, flower, eggs, and batter everywhere. Hermione insisted on charming house appliances which never ended well. This time, as all times before, it seemed that appliances won. The Electric whisk- a mixer as his wife called it, was attacking her sending slops of batter all over the place. The coffee maker was engaged in a strange dance with juice-maker, or perhaps they were trying to commit suicide by jumping off the counter.

After the initial round of laughter, Severus managed to pluck the wand out of his sleeve and cast a loud Finite incantatem. All the appliances clanged to the ground, lifeless once more.

Hermione leaned on the counter; eyes full of helpless tears.

"I wanted to surprise you. It is anniversary, and I…" she sniffled.

Severus tossed the wand on the table and rushed to hug his wife. Her tears still pained him, and he made it his life's mission not to cause them or see them in her eyes, not if he could do anything about it. Rocking Hermione in his embrace he tried to remember if he forgot something.

"What anniversary?" he finally asked ready for new onslaught of tears or a hex.

"Fine, well, not an anniversary, but we never managed to celebrate, and I don't know if we are going to have time next year…" Hermione hiccuped at his chest.

"To celebrate- what?" Now he was confused. "What did you conjured up under that thimbleweed you call hair?"

Hermione sniffled and raised her head to look him in the eyes.

"Twenty-four years ago, today, you woken up from in the hospital in Hogwarts. Today is the day I got you for myself."

"If I remember correctly, Hermione, and my memory still serves- I wanted to kill you and myself. And not necessarily in that order." He arched an eyebrow.

"True. Nevertheless, you didn't do either, and I-and we…" She leaned in to kiss him, but her lips quivered next to his.

"To celebrate something so trivial is pointless, you do realise that?" Severus huffed, his heart trying to rip open his chest. Only the witch in his arms could make him feel this way.

She blinked at him with a watery eyes.

"If you are planning on start to celebrate events like that, our kitchen will be in shambles every other month. Then you'd have to celebrate the first time we start doing exercises, and the first time you force me to bathe me, and when we moved to the Malfoy Manor. Not to forget the first time you kissed me, the first time you attacked my dignity, the first time we…" he continued, watching her face brighten with a smile.

She mock slapped him, leaving the sticky trail of batter on his cheek.

"Not to forget, the first time I had to rescue you from the house appliances." He teased, leaning to properly kiss her. She sighed, melting in his arms, and leaning into him.

"Ewwww…" a choir of voices interrupted them.

They moved apart but only a bit, pressing his forehead to hers, Severus growled and grinned.

Live was not easy and not peaceful, but…



Live was good.