AN: Thank you for all the support! It is very deeply appreciated!
"It's no use." Hermione threw a red dress onto a pile of other discarded dresses. "I'll never find something to wear."
"That's not true," Luna pressed a sleeping James closer to her chest. "You just need to think how Severus would think."
Hermione watched as a pile of ten dresses slipped off her bed. Great, now she had a mess to clean up. What a wonderful start to the evening!
"What color you think he would find appealing?" Luna asked.
"I suppose he likes my black dress." Hermione muttered.
"Then why don't you wear that?"
James clucked as if to agree.
"No." Hermione shook her head. "He's seen me in that too many times."
"Has he ever objected to it?"
"No." Hermione pushed some hangers to her right and resumed scouring her closet.
"Then wear your black dress."
"What about this?" Hermione pulled out a pastel pink dress.
Luna opened her mouth.
"No," She threw it onto the pile. "He'd think I was a dunderhead if I wore this."
"I don't think he'd think you were a dunderhead." Luna adjusted her son so she could pull out her wand. "But he would prefer you in black."
"Why do you insist on black?" Hermione pulled out another dress. She cringed upon seeing the color. Why had she thought pumpkin orange was an attractive hue? At some point she needed to go to the homeless shelter and give them this.
"Because Severus likes it." After Luna muttered a spell, the dresses on the floor returned to the top of her bed.
James opened one silver eye.
"That dress has meaning for both of you," Luna continued. "It was the first one you wore for him, and it was the one you wore when you reconciled from your first fight. It is perfect for your first night together."
"I'm not sure." She glanced at the purple dress at the bottom of the pile.
James squirmed in his blue blanket.
"Wearing black seems so predictable and boring," Hermione replied.
"Don't think of it as boring. Think of it as familiar."
"It's comforting that you are not changing who you are." Luna approached.
"He won't reject you." Luna touched her friend's hand. "He loves you for who you are. Nothing will change that."
"How can you be so sure? He hasn't seen my scars yet," Hermione whispered.
"And you haven't seen his. What's the issue?"
"I don't think he has scars."
"Spirits have scars."
"How would you know?" Hermione raised an eyebrow. "You've never seen a spirit."
"True, but you haven't seen a spirit naked either."
"Still, I know the scars exist. Even if they aren't visible then they are within them."
Hermione felt her heart pound against her chest.
"He isn't perfect, nor are you. I do believe you are perfect for each other though."
Hermione sighed and relaxed. "How could I have ever imagined you were a delusional airhead?"
"You prejudged me like almost everyone else did, but I forgive you."
"Thank you." Hermione embraced Luna, careful not to squeeze James. "I'm so glad you're my friend."
"I am glad you are my friend too." Luna returned the embrace as best she could.
Hermione broke away and bent until she was at eye level with James. She squeaked. "You have a very wise Mummy. Yes, you do."
James gave her a lopsided smile.
"Do you have only one black dress?"
"No, that's perfect." Luna replied. "That means you won't spend the next half hour choosing which one to wear, which is perfect because the last thing we need is for you to come out to Severus wearing only a fuzzy bathrobe."
James's face turned red as he began fussing.
"Okay," Luna breathed. "You need to put on that dress and some Sleekeazy's. When I get done feeding this little imp, I'll help you with your makeup."
"I can put on my own makeup."
"I know you can." Luna adjusted her shirt as best she could with one hand. "But you dress like a businesswoman. We need something more ethereal."
"Yes." Luna positioned James to nurse.
Hermione looked at her as if she'd just begun to speak about starlight nymphs.
"Don't worry, many people have said I appear ethereal." Luna covered James with her shirt as he latched onto her breast. "I know how to pull off the look very well."
Hermione could have said something, but the words did not reach her tongue.
"Do you want to still be talking to me when Severus comes?"
"Then get ready so I don't have to continue helping you."
Hermione darted towards her bathroom. Once she stepped inside she turned around. "Thank you again for not telling Harry about this."
"Seeing, Severus is your truth to tell, though I'd suggest you do it soon."
"Because Harry's been pestering you about it too much?"
"No," Luna frowned. "Because he and Severus need peace."
"That can wait for another day though."
Hermione did not move.
"Don't wait on me," the light returned to her eyes. "Put in your Sleekeazy's."
"Right." Hermione shut the door behind her.
James startled at the sound. Luna chuckled as she readjusted him.
"Don't worry about your godmother," Luna whispered. "She and your godfather will be just fine tonight."
James continued nursing, certain his mother was correct as she usually was.
"Oh this hair," Sirius groaned as he looked over at the table of supplies St. Pete had loaned him. All he had to work with was a brush, a black hair tie, and a hand held mirror. No matter how much Sirius asked, St. Pete refused to loan him scissors, saying he shouldn't change Severus' essence. Sirius had argued that a little makeover never hurt anyone's essence. Then, St. Pete claimed that most spirits would be grateful they got as much as he did, but Sirius couldn't help but feel as if he was working with very little. Did St. Pete really believe women went crazy for overly stringy hair?
"What is wrong with my hair?" Severus scowled as he buttoned his cufflink.
"It's still long and appears greasy even in the afterlife."
"Greasy hair seems to be who I am. I was the greasy git after all."
"Don't remind Hermione of that. She doesn't need to remember you yelling at her."
"I did not yell at her. I only used an acerbic tongue on a few unfortunate occasions."
"Those occasions were too frequent."
Sirius examined Severus' head again.
"If Hermione is supposed to love me, she should love the greasy hair, correct?"
"She should, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't put effort into appearing presentable." Sirius picked up the purple hairbrush and ran it through the other spirit's hair again.
"I swear you're fussier about my hair than my own mother was." Severus turned his attention to his other cufflink.
"If she was fussier about your hair I might not be having the problems I am." Sirius held up the brush.
"Do you truly think my hair is the most important thing in the world right now?"
"It is the biggest problem in my world anyway."
Severus rolled his eyes.
"Hermione would appreciate dancing with someone who appears presentable, not someone who looks like he hasn't cared for his hair in years."
"You do not think my hair would make her change her mind about me." Severus turned white. "Do you?"
"No." Sirius' glow dimmed. "I simply want things to be as perfect as they can be."
"Indeed." Severus stared into space, thankful Sirius hadn't given him the mirror yet.
"Okay," Sirius whispered before brightening. "I got it!"
"I'll just take this hair tie." Sirius styled Severus' hair into a ponytail. "And voila!"
"I had better not look idiotic," Severus growled.
"See for yourself." Sirius handed him the mirror.
Severus held it up to his face. His lips twitched upwards. "I must admit, I do not appear hideous."
"I made you look downright handsome, and you know it." Sirius grinned.
"We'll let Hermione be the judge of that." Severus stood up straighter.
"Now." Sirius patted Severus on the back. "How are you feeling?"
"Honestly," Severus' glow went blue. "Like she is going to back out at the last second and tell me to go to hell."
"The good news is you can't go to hell, and even if you could, you'd look fabulous doing so."
"You'll be fine." Sirius took the mirror from him. "She loves you, and you love her. Just remember that tonight, and you'll do fine."
"Will she remember we love each other?"
"Is she the brightest witch of her age?"
"Not if she's in love with me."
"Give yourself more credit." Sirius set down the mirror. "You aren't as terrible as I said you were."
Severus' lips curled upwards.
"Oh don't think I like you or anything," Sirius replied. "But I will admit that I gave you too hard of a time in life."
"You did give me too hard of a time."
"I know," Sirius turned light blue.
"That being said, you are not as intolerable as I initially believed you were," Severus admitted.
Silence fell between them.
Sirius' eyes grew. "It's about time for you to leave."
"So it is." Severus' glow was white.
"Have fun down there, and remember." Sirius' glow intensified. "She loves you."
"I will try."
With that, Severus was gone.
Sirius took another look at the items on the table. He hummed before brushing his hair. Then he gazed into the mirror.
Just because he was in Purgatory didn't mean he couldn't take time to admire his gorgeous face.