*I do not own any of these characters. I'm using them without permission.
-Thank you all who have reviewed and emailed me. I appreciate the feedback and I'm thrilled that you like the story. This is the final chapter of Velvet Tears. I will not be adding anymore to it. I'm sorry it took so long and I'm thankful to all the faithful readers who I've strung along for several years. There is a one shot sequel already written to this fiction named Silken Shadows. Is there going to be more after that? I don't know. I'll have to consult my muses and get back to you on it...or not. Thanks again. Enjoy. Cheers! Jasey Cane
Harry woke up to Madame Pomfrey squawking in outrage like a chicken. He opened his eyes and realized the nurse was fussing at the potions master for being mobile with out her assistance or permission. He went to sit up but Ron's arm was tucked around his waist under the blankets. Harry snuggled back down and slipped his glasses on to watch his feared professor take a tongue lashing that he would normally be giving.
"Honestly Severus! Whatever gave you the idea that you were well enough to move, and on your own! Merlin's beard! Who knows what could have happened!" Madame Pomfrey screeched.
Harry snickered as Snape opened one eye and glared at the nurse. "Oh Poppy, do stop with your racket. I was very careful."
"Careful indeed!" the mediwitch huffed. She did a diagnostic scan on Snape's knee with her wand. "Lucky for you there isn't any further damage. Of all the idiotic things! I expect this of the children Severus! You were only carried in here four hours ago."
Snape brought an irritated hand to his face and ran it down in attempt to stifle his temper, "Yes yes yes. Fine. I had a moment of idiocy. Can I have some peace and quiet to sleep now?"
"Harrumph" Madame Pomfrey grunted in equal irritation. Summoning a pillow from the bed Snape was laying in earlier, she propped up his knee all the while muttering to herself. Harry only caught snippets of what she said but had to stifle the giggles at what he did hear. "Thinks he knows better than me. Carried in here and thinks he's well enough…disobey me!" The mediwitch continued to tuck Snape and Hermione into the same bed, and fluff the pillow they shared. If she thought it strange that a teacher and student were sharing a twin size bed she said nothing. Hermione who had awakened at the sound of Snape's voice rumbling in his chest under her ear, didn't move a muscle and scooted closer to the professor to avoid attention.
Harry elbowed Ron and he awoke enough to roll over and free Harry. Climbing out of bed he froze as the Mediwitch turned on him. "Where do you think you are going Mr. Potter?"
"To the lavatory…?"
The witch snorted at that. "Go on then. Then back to bed with you. Don't want you worn out before Christmas Eve feast. When you come back, wake up Mr. Weasley and send him to his dorm. He's scheduled to depart on the train for home. I expect he hasn't packed."
The potion's master snorted and then groaned in pain.
"Serves you right Severus!" Madame Pomfrey said sharply as she walked back to her desk.
Harry returned to the bed he most recently vacated to find Ron sitting on the edge of the bed rubbing his eyes. He yawned hugely and smiled just as big when he saw Harry. "Morning mate, I was worried sick you wouldn't make it back."
Harry rolled his eyes and crawled back in bed. "Clearly worried, Ron. You were dead asleep when Snape and I arrived."
Ron stood up and stretched, "No, I was just you know, conserving energy. I'm headed home for Christmas. Are you sure you won't come?"
Harry remembering Ron's kiss at the chateau thought that it would be interesting to explore the depths of that, but then he did just break up with Ginny. That would be more than awkward, more like suicidal.
"No, thanks mate. I'm looking forward to some peace and quiet. I'm going to try to relax and have a nice normal Christmas." Harry said as he relaxed against the pillow with his hands tucked behind his head.
A snort of skepticism came from the potions master's bed followed by a soft giggle.
Ron just noticed for the first time that one of his best friends was sharing the bed with the potion's master and gestured in disbelief.
Harry shrugged in silent response.
Madame Pomfrey came back on the ward with a tray of potions. "Still here, Weasley? Get on to your dorm! I bet you haven't packed a single thing and the train will be leaving with out you. Out! Out! Out!"
Ron looked surprised but ran out of the ward with a loud, "Happy Christmas!"
Later Harry and Hermione were released to go back to their dorm after drinking several nutrition and vitamin potions. The potion's master was amused until the mediwitch handed him two vials for himself. Harry graciously waited outside the ward listening to Madame Pomfrey's lecture of proper nutrition while Hermione stole kisses from her professor.
Snape smirked as Hermione gently leaned in to press her lips to his. He pulled her down on top of him and ravaged her mouth with his own. She pushed herself up quickly once he released her. "I'm afraid I'll hurt you!" she whispered.
Snape laced his fingers through her hair and brought her down on top of him and placed hot kissed down her neck until he reached his declaration. He ran his tongue over his initials and was pleased with the shiver that ran through Hermione's body. "I'll decide how much pain I can handle where you are concerned." The professor captured Hermione's lips again and left her breathless. "The only pain I can't withstand is you not being here with me. I hope you realize that I intend to keep you. I don't want to ever let you go. It's going to be quite difficult for you to be with me. I'm horribly possessive and incredibly jealous. The only reason Mr. Potter survived the experience of me finding him in the same bed as you was my gratitude for last night. I will not be so forgiving next time. I want you to stay with me, Hermione. Say that you will."
Hermione, on the verge of tears couldn't think of anything to say so she kissed her professor ever so gently on the lips. "I will. I don't know what I would do if you had sent me away." Snape smiled a smile so genuine that it actually reflected in his eyes. "Well, you won't have to dwell upon that now will you?"
Hermione stole one last kiss and ran out to rescue Harry.
There was a very small amount of students that stayed for Christmas including Hermione and Harry. The two Griffyndors had the tower to them selves and spent most of the day exchanging information about the previous night's events.
"What do you think the Malfoy's remember?" Hermione asked in curiosity.
Harry shrugged. "I have no idea, but I'm sure they will draw their own preposterous conclusions about Neville lying there cursed and bleeding. Whatever it is, I hope they all get what they deserve."
Hermione shook her head in disbelief. Harry stood suddenly and ran up to his dorm.
Hermione baffled said, "Were we finished talking?"
Harry replied but Hermione couldn't understand what he had said. He returned in a hurry with a hand behind his back. "I bought you a Christmas present. You have to close your eyes because I didn't wrap it."
Hermione shut her eyes and held her hands, and Harry placed something square in them. When she opened her eyes she saw a nice plain black picture frame with the picture of her and her parents Snape had rescued from her home inside it.
"Oh, Harry! Thank you." Hermione said quietly.
"I didn't want the picture to get anymore creased than it already it is. I know how important pictures become after something terrible has happened."
Hermione smiled through the tears that streaked down her face and gave her friend a tight hug. "It's perfect! Thank you."
Harry gave her a half smile. "Okay, now dry those tears. Snape will skin me alive if he thinks I've made you cry."
Hermione laughed and wiped the tears away.
At Christmas Eve dinner the only table in the great hall was the head table and it was rearranged to be centered with the fire place on the wall. The headmaster, Professors McGonagall, Lupin, Hagrid and Snape sat with a handful of students. The students sat the furthest they could from Professor Snape so conveniently enough; the only space available when Harry and Hermione arrived was next to the potions master. The headmaster declared the feast grand enough for the Minister of Magic but noted that only those who deserve such grandeur are allowed to eat. Harry and Hermione snickered behind their napkins as a couple of Hufflepuffs looked at each other in confusion. Lupin gaffawed into a coughing fit, even Snape's lip twitched.
After dinner, they pulled crackers and wished everyone a Merry Christmas before departing to their dorms respectively. When Hermione stood, Snape put his hand over hers. "Please remain for a few moments. You too, Potter."
After Hagrid, Lupin and the other students vacated, Harry turned to the Potion's Master, "So, how'd you escape the Hospital wing?"
Snape raised an elegant eyebrow, "I didn't need to escape. I simply left."
Harry feeling a bit of trepidation by the arched brow, knowing he was treading in shark infested waters replied, "Yes, but does Madame Pomfrey know that you left?"
Snape looked down his nose at Potter, "No."
Potter smiled ear to ear. Snape decided he didn't care for Potter.
With the assistance of a cane, Snape stood and leaned heavily against the table. "I have an announcement." Snape barely refrained from rolling his eyes at the headmaster as Dumbledore twinkled away. Offering his hand to Hermione, Snape helped her stand and held her hand tightly as he looked to the headmaster and McGonagall, "Father, Step-Mother, Hermione Granger has honored us with joining our family. Please welcome her."
McGonagall was the first to stand and carefully lean up and kiss Snape's cheek and then give a surprised Hermione a tight hug. The Headmaster soon followed. He shook Snape's hand and kissed his cheek and then gave Hermione a hug and kissed both her cheeks. "Welcome my dear. We are so glad to have you as a part of our family.'
Hermione flabbergasted just smiled, "Thank you for having me. I'm delighted."
Snape sat down slowly and exhaled the breath he didn't realize he was holding. He caught a very surprised Harry Potter's eye. "Oh father, I nearly forgot. Please also welcome my intended's friend. In recent events I can see that I will not get rid of him easily."
McGonagall smiled brightly and gave Potter a hug as did Dumbledore. "I love in-laws." Dumbledore said brightly.
Potter looked to Hermione, "I'm Snape's in law?"
Hermione look to Severus and took his hand, "Professor Snape, Harry."