Lend me your love tonight

by Katta (KET on ff.net)

Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters. They all belong to J.K. Rowling, of course, of course. I'm sorry if I've borrowed them for a bit, but I am making no money from it.

Chapter 9: Epilogue

The mild June air played with Hermione's hair as she came out of Flourish and Blotts, laden with bags. She and Snape had taken advantage of the end of term to go to Diagon Alley to stock up on some supplies. She was smiling gently to herself as she walked down the street.

Suddenly a tripping hex was whispered at her from somewhere in the crowd to her left. She was sent flying and all her parcels fell in heaps around her. She looked up to see Michael Corner with a young blonde witch hanging on his shoulder, both laughing gleefully.

Hermione couldn't believe he had been so childish, but the blonde turned to look at him with adoration. With some dignity, Hermione began to gather up her purchases, hoping nothing had been broken. The pair in front of her were so caught up in their merriment, they didn't notice the dark brooding figure bearing down on them, until he clapped a hand on each shoulder.

'Never, ever do that to a member of my staff again!' hissed Snape. 'Or I will hex you so you can't sit down for a year.'

Michael slunk off like the coward he was, and Hermione noticed with satisfaction that the blonde no longer looked so admiringly at him.

Snape helped her up, picked up all the parcels, and began to escort her towards the Leaky Cauldron for lunch. He was chatting away with what in any other person would be described as irrepressibly good humour. But good humour, whether irrepressible or not, was not a state of mind you normally associated with Snape, not even during the last six months as their affair had deepened into a very satisfying relationship. Hermione was surprised but didn't want to dampen his spirits.

When they had sat down at a table in the pub, she asked with mock suspicion, 'What have you been up to while I've been shopping, then?'

'I've been to the bank,' said Snape.

'And has the sight of all the gold in your vault put you in such a good mood?'

Snape looked worried for a moment.

'I'm not a rich man ...' he began.

'I know that,' said Hermione reassuringly.

'But I did get something out of my vault,' he continued.

Suddenly, the good humour seemed to leave him to be replaced by intense nervousness as he reached inside his pocket and brought out a small box. Hermione leant curiously across the table as he opened it. She gasped when she saw that it contained a beautiful gold ring, set with a great many stones, and clearly of great value and antiquity.

Snape cleared his throat.

'Ehr, this is something of an heirloom in my family,' he began and then seemed to dry up. He had to take a drink of water while Hermione's eyes followed his every move. Finally, he summoned up the courage to continue.

'Hermione, my dearest, will you marry me?'

'Of course I'll will! I thought you would never ask!' was her reply.

THE END

A/N: That's it finished, I'm afraid. I wish I could write something longer, but it takes a lot of time, I've found. Sorry about the fluffy ending, but I just upset myself too much otherwise. Thank you for all the kind reviews. To those of you who liked the first half or so best (if you're still reading): if I ever write anything other than fanfiction, I'll certainly stick to that style, but, hey, this is fanfiction and has its own conventions.

LoL – Katta.