Severus approached the store in Hogsmeade. He had a goal in mind. He only had to obtain the needed materials. A quick description of what he needed, what materials, and the right mixture would prove to be everything. Satisfied with the results of his search, he left the store

Continuing on down Hogsmeade, he stopped at another store. Another carefully selected mixture, and he, again, left satisfied and confident.

Completing his tasks in Hogsmeade, he made his way back to the castle and down to his dungeon rooms to prepare for the evening. There would be no worries tonight if all went according to plan.

In his rooms, he set up for the arrival. He positioned candles and incense throughout the room, making sure that he strategically placed everything so that everything would be within reach when he needed it to be. His packages arrived an hour or so later, and he was prepared for the evening. He made the final touches to his days work; just in time too. For, at the moment the last candle was lit, the fire grew large and gave off a greenish hue. Stepping through the fireplace was his wife, Hermione Granger.

She brushed herself off before noticing her surroundings. She looked around the room to see that her husband had been busy today. Candles were lit and grouped in clusters around the room, the table had a bouquet of Heliotrope, white Hyacinth, Myrtle, and Peach Blossoms along with an elegant setting for two. Looking at the table on the right side of the sofa, she could see massage oils and incense. After looking at the room and breathing in the incense, (vanilla, her favorite), her eyes met with the passion filled ones of her husband. He stalked up to her and gathered her into his arms, palms pressing into the small of her back as he took her lips in a heated kiss. When they finally parted, gasping for air, she looked up at him.

"Honey, I'm home." She said, while giggling. Severus raised one of his eyebrows and looked at her.

"Just to be certain that you really are here. . ." he said as he bent his head down for another kiss. When they parted, he played satisfied that she, indeed, was present. "I guess that is proof of that."

She looked back up at him. "But how do I know that you are really here?" She said playfully. Severus looked back at her.

"As much as I would love to prove that to you, we better sit down to dinner before we have dessert." He said with a wicked grin. Not that he'd mind skipping dinner, mind you.

Keeping one hand behind her back, he guided her towards the table, and pulled out a chair for her. Sitting on the other side, he turned to her. "Bet you can't guess what's on the menu tonight." He said.

"What do I get if I win?" She asked.

"A lifetime of the company of the best man you could possibly meet." He responded.

"But what if I want your company instead?" She asked innocently.

"Behave." He drawled.

"I'd rather not." She said, still grinning at him.

"Are you going to guess?" He asked.

"I will guess. Pork souvlaki with taziki sauce, Greek salad, and rice." She said.

"Good guess." Severus said as the plates filled with just that. It had been the meal served at their wedding one year earlier.

"I thought so." She replied, as she picked up her glass of wine. They ate their meal, discussing how their days went. Hermione was now working as the Arithmancy professor. She and Severus still lived in the dungeons at Hogwarts, and Severus maintained his role as potions master and spy. Their marriage was secret to the outside world.

Upon finishing dinner, Severus lifted his wand, and soft music filled the room. The song that played was the song they danced to at their wedding; The Face of Love, by Jewel.

"May I have this dance?" Severus asked, getting up and holding out her hand for her to take. She looked up at him a moment.

"Hmmm. I don't know. I'll have to think about th-" but was cut off when his hand grasped hers and pulled her hard into him. They did not move much. Mainly just stood their staring at the other, holding the other close. After the song finished, some soft classical pieces began. Severus led her to the sofa in front of the fire. They sat side by side, Hermione leaning her head on his shoulder while he rested his head on hers. They sat in silence a few moments, basking in each other's company.

Severus began to move, much to the confusion of Hermione. He picked up his wand, and pointed it at the floor in front of the hearth. Muttering a spell, the floor softened a bit to feel more like a bunch of cushions or a mattress. He turned back to Hermione, "Lay down on your stomach."

Hermione smiled and complied quickly. Getting a backrub from her husband was like getting the stress built up over her whole life out of her. He had excellent hands, and knew exactly where she needed to relax the most. She removed her outer robes and her shirt, and lay down on her stomach. Severus reached over to the table and grabbed the massage oils he had prepared earlier. Unclasping her bra, he poured a bit on her back, allowing the oil to trickle along her spine, and set the bottle aside. He than spread the oil along her back gently, before kneading the muscles in her back, sides, and arms. He found the knots in her back, and worked them out, and earned a contented sigh from the woman below his hands.

After about 20 minutes, Hermione knew that if he continued much longer, she would fall asleep soon. It was their one-year anniversary, and she didn't want to do that. She began to get up, and turned to her husband. "Your turn, Severus." She said.

He nodded to her, and removed his robes and shirt. Assuming the same position she had been in a few minutes ago, he relaxed his forehead onto his folded hands. Hermione picked up the bottle on the floor, and allowed the oil to run down his back. She than straddled his legs, and worked the muscles in his back. The combination of the music, the oils and incense, and the massages were relaxing the couple to the extreme.

Severus began to feel like he would fall asleep if this kept up, and like his wife, did not want that to happen. After about a half hour, he got up and turned to look at his wife. Looking into her eyes, he saw the one thing he had not seen from any other in his life; unconditional love, trust, and need. He brought his hand to cup the back of her neck, and brought her in for another kiss, more passionate than the one they shared when she arrived home. Severus began to trail his lips along her cheeks, collarbone, neck, and shoulders. He moved his way back up her neck to nibble on her ear.

"I have something for you." He said. She pulled back from him and looked him in the eye. Giving one of her mischievous grins, she slowly trailed her hand up his thigh.

"I'm sure you do." She said. Severus looked at her, and chuckled.

"Ok. I have two things for you." He said. Lifting his wand again, he summoned a black velvet box. He handed it to her, and she opened it and gasped. "Happy anniversary."

"Severus, it's beautiful!" She said. Inside the box lay a necklace. It was made of simple platinum with three stones in the middle; two small diamonds and a deep blue sapphire in the middle. Severus came around behind her, taking the necklace out of the box, and bringing it around her neck. Hermione lifted her hair up while he did the clasp up. Before she could lower her hair, he brought his lips down to where her shoulders and neck met, and began to nibble on the skin.

"Wait, Seveus. Don't you want your gift?" She asked, gasping as he hit a sensitive spot.

"I thought you were my gift. What more could I want?" He said, as he continued his activities.

She giggled. "Well, I also have two gifts for you." She said, as she took his wand from his hand, which he sometimes let her do, and summoned another box. Looking at it, he opened the box to reveal a ring with a black stone. The stone seemed to be filled with liquid and he could see swirls moving around it. She took it from the box and lifted his right hand. Placing it on his ring finger, she bent down and kissed it.

"This ring has a magical connection to me." She said. "I worry about you tremendously when you have to spy for our side. When you wear this ring, or have it in contact with your skin, I can feel whether you are all right or not. I won't be able to know what you are going through, but for my own piece of mind, I wish you to wear it for me."

He looked at the ring, and back to her. He would do anything for her. He leaned down, and claimed her lips with his again. When they separated, she breathed, "So, will you wear it for me?"

"I would do anything that is within my power for you." He said, bending down, and kissing her again. His hands trailed her skin, leaving goose bumps as they passed it. She shivered, and Severus smiled. He knew exactly how to get a reaction from her. She knew what would get to him as well, and soon they were panting and gasping, pleading for more from each other.

Severus stood up, and picked Hermione up. Cradling her in his arms, he brought them to their bedroom, another surprise waiting for her.

"Severus!" She gasped. The ceiling had been enchanted in much the same way that the Great Hall had been. She had always wanted it to be.

"I thought you'd like that." He chuckled, as he lay her down on the bed.

They made love under the light of the stars and moon. They came together, and curled around each other, both falling asleep. Both content to remain where they were, in that moment, for all eternity.

~@~

It was at near 2 in the morning that Severus and Hermione were woken. Severus felt a strong burning in his left forearm. Hermione saw the telltale clutch, and both sprang into the routine that they had established over the past few years.

Severus went to his closet and collected his Death Eater robes, while Hermione threw on her house robes. They both entered the main room of their quarters, and Severus muttered a password. A corridor appeared before them, and Severus turned back to his wife for a quick kiss. He looked at her, feeling not only the pain in his arm, but also the pain at being separated from her. He took a final look at her, and made his way to the front gates to appaparate.

Hermione went to the fireplace and threw some powder in. "Albus. He's been called again." She said.

A few moments later, Albus Dumbledore appeared in the room, feeling just as worried as Hermione looked. They took their usual seats in the room, and waited in silence for Severus' safe return.

They waited in vain.

Hermione used her connection with Severus' ring, and became apprehensive as it transmitted the state of his well-being. She could sense the pain of an unforgivable no long after appaparating. It seemed like it lasted forever. She couldn't feel the pain; but waiting for the pain to stop for her husband was almost as excruciating. Eventually it did stop, but the fear that he was feeling was evident to her. She could sense his panic, his anger, his shock, and finally, a feeling of regret. Going through this was taking more of a toll on her than she realized it would, but she had to know. For some reason, she suddenly could not feel his emotions any longer.

It took a few moments for the implications of that to come to her attention. For a moment, she felt absolute panic and shock; her own this time. A few seconds later, the wards around the castle were disturbed, causing Hermione and Albus to rush out of the room to the front gates to a ghastly site. Madam Pomfrey arrived only seconds later.

Severus lay on the outskirts of the castle, covered in blood. His face distorted in absolute pain and sadness.

The mediwitch sprang into action, and Albus shielded Hermione from what was going on with her husband. Poppy checked for a pulse and found an extremely weak one that was quickly dimming. She conjured a stretcher, and brought Severus to the hospital wing. Albus insisted that Hermione not accompany them, and brought her to their quarters. He gave her a dreamless sleep draught, and stayed until the potion took hold.

~@~

Severus appeared at the site that the Dark Lord had chosen for tonight's meeting. When he looked up, however, he noticed something quite odd. He was in the middle of a large star. He could not see anyone around the room he was in. He began to walk to the outside of the star, but was pushed back into the middle when he neared it.

"Ah, Severus." He heard a cold voice say. "I'm glad to see you've arrived." Looking in the direction of the voice, he saw a figure emerge from the shadows - Lucius Malfoy. "Can't play the game if you're missing any of the pieces now, can we?"

"What are you on about, Lucius?" Snape replied impatiently.

"Like I said, we're going to play a game." Lucius replied with an evil glint in his eye. "It's called 'Who Can Make the Traitorous Spy Squeal Loudest!' Doesn't it sound like fun?"

"What are you on about, Lucius? Our master will not be pleased." Snape said. He'd spent years trying to earn the trust of Voldemort, and succeeded a few months ago at one of the dark revels. He'd turned over a 'spy' to Voldemort, who was in actual fact, a loyal follower who made a terrible mistake. It was easy to twist the truth with that one.

"Your master has come to watch the fun." The another cold voice came. Voldemort stepped beside Lucius. "You have been careless, Severus."

"My Lord?" Severus asked.

"I have asked one of my followers to keep an eye on you." Voldemort replied. "And the reports I've received have been rather disappointing. I think I need something to lift my mood."

The next few hours were filled with different 'games'. Some involved target practice. If you hit one of the corners of the star, you scored a hit, and earned points. If you hit Snape himself, you received more. More games were played, and points given. The Death Eater with the highest number got the first choice at the other 'guests'. Before finally sending him back to Hogwarts gates, he was physically beaten and portkeyed out.

~@~

Madam Pomfrey worked tirelessly on restoring Severus to consciousness. It had been 2 hours since his return to the castle, and the state he arrived in held little hope for the concealment of his spy status. If he survived this night, he would not be returning to the Dark Lord again.

Finally, Poppy gave up on trying to wake him, and settled for the fact that his vitals were steady. With the patient cleaned up, she drew the sheet over him, and allowed him to sleep. There would be time for questions later.

As she pulled the sheet, Albus entered the room through the fireplace. "How is he, Poppy?"

The mediwitch glanced at him before turning her eyes to gaze back at the form of the potions master.

"He's still unconscious, but he has a good chance of surviving, despite the state in which he was found. How's Hermione?" She asked with a great deal of concern in both her eyes and her voice.

"I've given her some dreamless sleep draught, and she is resting in their quarters. Once she gets some sleep, she will be better able to deal with the situation and help Severus through it." Albus said.

"No." They both heard the weak voice mutter, and turned to look at the patient. "She cannot know I survived. No one can." He said. Both Albus and Poppy stood utterly shocked.

"Albus, they know of what I have done. They know that I have been giving them misinformation; they know I have been reporting their movements to you." Severus said, voice very strained from the screaming that came from his throat for most of the night.

"Severus, I can understand that your surviving be kept a secret from them, but why Hermione to?" Poppy asked.

"As much as I love my wife dearly, Poppy, I know her well. She is no good at deception. If something slips, and any of Voldemort's followers find that I am alive and that she is incredibly important to me, they will go after her. It is better if they remain completely oblivious." Severus said, his voice giving away his extremely weakened state.

"Sleep, Severus." Albus said. "When you have had rest and are able to think this through thoroughly, we will speak again. For now I will tell Hermione that you are still unconscious and that there is a possibility that you may not survive. Nothing will be definite until you have made an informed choice." He continued with a finality that left no room for argument. Severus rested his head back on the pillow and fell asleep. Madam Pomfrey pulled the curtains around his bed, and the Headmaster went back to his room. He would prepare a speech to inform the students of Professor Snape's death.

What would he tell Mrs Snape though?
A/N: Just a note on the flowers:

Heliotrope stands for devotion

White Hyacinth stands for Unobtrusive Loveliness

Myrtle stands for love, and

Peach Blossoms mean "I am your captive".

I found these on if you're interesting in finding out some more meanings of some flowers.