"No?" The priest asked confused and Hermione felt her heart dropping. What am I doing? She wondered. "No what?" He urged her to speak.
"I'm sorry, I can't participate in this wedding," Hermione spoke uncertain. Everything felt so surreal. "I –"she met Severus's eyes and hoped he would pick up her wordless apology, "I love Severus," her words seemed so distant and quiet, and then she left the ceremony with people gaping after her surprised.
At first Hermione had no idea of where to go. Her first thought was going back to Hogwarts, back to her private rooms, but then she decided to go to the Burrow where Ginny would probably be.
"HERMIONE!" Mrs Weasley shrieked as Hermione entered the house. Many of the Weasley were there, spending their vacation together.
"Hello," Hermione greeted and felt her mood lighten a bit.
"What are you doing here?" Mrs Weasley asked and gestured for her to take a seat in the living room, with all the other Weasleys.
"Well, I just... felt like dropping by..." Hermione said breathing out heavily.
"Hermione!!" Harry hugged his best friend. "Have Ron apologised?"
"What did he do?" Mr Weasley asked strictly eyeing Hermione.
"He cheated on her!" Ginny informed and Hermione blushed a dull red.
"What?" Charlie Weasley asked incredible.
"It's okay, he did me a favour, and it's over two months ago," Hermione informed and ended the conversation.
"You want us to talk to him, Herm?" Fred and George asked, they had taken a seat next to her.
"No. Really, I'm fine. I'm glad it happened. It gave me a chance to discover myself," Hermione smiled smugly.
"So why are you here? Not that we're not glad to see you!" George asked happily and offered her a cookie.
"Oh I don't know, just felt like seeing you all," she smiled and leaned back into the chair, she didn't accept the cookie.
"Aren't you supposed to attend Severus's wedding?" Asked Mrs Weasley as she emerged from the kitchen with lots of brownies.
"Yeah, did it go well? Is it over?" Harry asked interested. Only the Order had been told that Severus was getting married, well, not only the Order. There were a few others too.
"No, it's not over... I left it the middle of it all..." Hermione got up and brushed away a tear.
"Hermione, are you okay?" Ginny asked and walked over to her.
"You know, I did something really stupid," Hermione let out a small laugh, in a weak attempt to cover up her sadness.
"What?" They all asked in unison. Hermione walked slowly over and grabbed a brownie from the plate. She ate it slowly before telling them.
"I stopped the wedding," she smiled, but it was a frustrated smile instead of a happy one.
"YOU DID WHAT?" They all asked surprised and Mrs Weasley dropped another bowl of brownies.
"Yep!" She said trying to stay strong. "Speak now or forever hold your peace..." She pursed her lips, "I don't know what came into me. I really care about him, so I stood up and objected! I have no idea what to do!" Hermione sat down in the chair. "It feels like a dream. When he returns from his honeymoon I'll apologise," Hermione informed tiredly. "I didn't know where to go, didn't want to go to Hogwarts and, well..." she trailed off with a heavy sigh.
"Hermione, that's incredible!" Fred suddenly blurted out. Hermione looked at him surprised.
"Yeah! Never thought you were capable of ruining a wedding!" George added and Hermione shook her head lightly from side to side in disbelief.
"George, Fred, don't make her feel any worse!" Ginny snapped annoyed. "C'mon Hermione, let's go for a walk," Ginny took her hand gently and followed her away from the house and out on the large field surrounding the Burrow.
"Tell me about it, Hermione," Ginny requested.
"It started when Ron asked me to marry him, I've had cold feets about it all the time, but I figured it was normal," Hermione breathed out heavily and tried to steady her voice. "But then I found them together, that woman and him, I felt relieved. It was my chance to get out of the engagement," Hermione looked intensely at Ginny. "I never realised it before it was too late. I sat watching Severus stand at the altar, waiting for Petra," she sank a lump, "I love him," she said simply and Ginny widened her eyes surprised. "I don't understand why I didn't see it before, but I do. I should've realised it long time ago, before he asked her to marry him..." Hermione looked at Ginny. "You don't understand me, do you? My relationship with him, we have so much fun..." She looked at Ginny hoping that she would understand. "What am I saying?" She sighed sadly, "no one will ever understand me. I love the 'greasy git', the 'evil potion master'..." she played with some grass.
"No, I understand you. Almost every girl has had a crush on him, every single Slytherin. I have. Never you. But then you became him apprentice and you changed, your opinions. I've seen you and him talk at Hogwarts. It's not like it used to be. You remember telling me about the changes? You started to be able to lead decent conversations without him sneering at you?" Hermione nodded sadly. "It's incredible!" Ginny suddenly exploded happily.
"Ginny, no, I spoiled the man's wedding. He deserves to be happy more than anyone, and I ruined the perfect day of his life," Hermione informed dull and let the grass tickle her palm of her hand.
"Maybe, but at least you told it before the wedding was completed. Now when he comes back from his honeymoon, well he might look at you differently, nervously," she let out a giggle, "but that's that. Tell him that if he feels uncomfortable working with you, you'll leave. Tell him that you wont make a pass on him, just something..." Hermione nodded by her friend's word.
"Why didn't it work out with Ron and I?" She asked after some silent minutes. "It was so clear, you and Harry and Ron and I..."
"Well, Ron's a bastard," Ginny concluded and both girls chuckled lightly.
"God, I just ruined my potion masters wedding, my tutor..." she let out a small laugh. "Who would ever have thought that about me, Hermione Granger, to do such an incredible thing?" Both girls laughed and Hermione ended up crying.
"Herm, don't cry," Ginny comforted.
"Gin, how can I not? I've never had a friend like him! Our conversations are so varied and intellectual, I've ruined it all. He'll hate me or... look funny at me. It'll never be the same. I can't even lie to him and tell I've lost my feelings..." Hermione cried and lay down on the grass field.
"Well, we all have to make sacrifices in our lives, yours is telling professor Snape your feelings..." Ginny padded her gently on the back.
"I still don't know how it happened. I was having a raging conversation inside my own head about telling him or not. Telling him before it would be too late. I just yelled 'no' all of a sudden. You should've seen people's faces, puzzlement and confusion..." she closed her eyes and let the hot sun warm her and dissolve her tears.
"You just yelled 'no' all of a sudden?" Ginny laughed by the mental picture.
"Well, I raised from my seat too. What should I do? It was meant to be said mutely, in my own head, but instead I blurted it out..." She narrowed her eyes and scanned the blue sky.
"Okay, let me get this strait. You had a great arguing with yourself, inside your head, whether or not to tell professor Snape your feelings, whether or not to stop the wedding. Suddenly you find yourself standing up while yelling 'no'?" Ginny let out another hysterical laugh.
"Maybe I can get a job in Bulgaria?" Hermione questioned.
"Come on Hermione, laugh with me. In some months you'll be able to look back and laugh frantically," Ginny informed and dried her eyes.
"More like years, maybe," She straightened herself.
"It's not the worst part of it all though," Hermione suddenly said and Ginny looked at her with using her hand to block out the sun.
"What do you mean? Did you do something else? Ran up and kissed him?" She let out a giggle
"No," Hermione said in a quietly thoughtful voice, "Dumbledore was sitting next to me, he was encouraging me to stop the wedding," Hermione spoke softly and the smile on Ginny's lips faded completely.
"Yes, he told me that it was all wrong, that I should do something about it. Then we were interrupted by the wedding music," Hermione got up from the ground. "Maybe I can ask him to help me cast for memory charm upon people? Just get them to forget I ever said anything," Hermione smiled greatly. "Otherwise I'll do it myself," she extended her hand towards Ginny, which she accepted.
"Come on, Herm, that's illegal to use memory charms towards other people like that," said Ginny knowledgeable.
"Yes, what a shame," she smiled dryly and the two girls made it back for the Burrow.
"You think I can stay here through the night? I really don't feel like going back to Hogwarts, not now," she yawned, it was already four-thirty; the wedding had begun at one in the afternoon.
"Sure," Ginny responded with a smile.
"You're finished with school, wonder if your mom would have anything in mind if we go get wasted," Hermione said darkly and Ginny let out a great laugh.
"Come on, Hermione, you know better than to drink away your sorrows," Ginny gave her a wry smile, "Hermione, you'll get through this..." Ginny promised and Hermione wouldn't want anything else, than to believe her. Unfortunately she didn't. Quite sad, Hermione really wanted to believe that it didn't change anything, but it changed everything. Not to the better, but to the worse.
"Hey, there's professor Dumbledore."
"Miss's Granger and Weasley," Dumbledore greeted them outside the Burrow. Hermione grimaced wryly. "Oh miss Granger, it was quite a performance today," Dumbledore smiled even greater and Hermione sighed heavily.
"I don't think so. I've ruined everything," Hermione informed as they entered the Burrow by the kitchen door.
"Lighten up, Hermione. Every sacrifice has its consequence, good as bad," Dumbledore said cheerfully.
"Professor Dumbledore, how can you be so happy, I don't see any good in this! I ruined his wedding and I've ruined my relationship with him! It'll never be the same again!" Hermione felt close to tears as she looked at the extremely cheerful man in front of her.
"Damn right you are," a soft voice spoke and Hermione gasped surprised and turned to see Severus Snape, leaning up the doorframe with his arms crossed across his chest casually.
"Professor! I'm sorry! I didn't mean it! It just happened to blurt out of me! I am truly sorry!" Hermione yelled and felt the urge to fall on her knees and beg for forgiveness.
"Are you sure?" He asked still in a dangerous voice.
"Yes, yes, very much!"
"Pity..." He spoke and examined his hands. Hermione opened her mouth to response, but closed it again.
"Excuse me?" She asked confused. Wasn't he mad at her?
"Miss Granger, Hermione. You ruined my wedding. The, supposed, best day of my life," he informed her coolly and Hermione pressed down the urge to cry. "But also doing so, you made me realise something..." There was a short paused where he examined his hands again. Hermione played with her own hands fretfully. "That it is not Petra Williamson I love, it's you..." Hermiones jaw dropped and vaguely she registered that Dumbledore left along with Ginny, leaving them alone in the kitchen.
"Um..." she said trying to figure out what to say.
"Not very suitable answer coming from you, Hermione," he smirked and moved closer. "How about responding to this," he took a deep breath. "I've never thought about our relationship until today, when you stopped the wedding. When you told me you loved me, I realised, I love you too. You left and Petra looked at me confused. I told her that I could not marry her, my heart lies elsewhere," he stood right in front of her, looking into her eyes. "She, of course, didn't take things very good," a small smile flickered across his lips, "but that doesn't matter. A brilliant young lady once told me, that life is about finding happiness. I believe my happiness lies with you," he stopped speaking and Hermione felt numb. "Hermione Granger, I should've realised this a long time ago, but I didn't, and for that I apologise. I ask you know," he got down on one knee, "just after talking with Petra, Albus dragged me to a jeweller where I looked for the perfect ring to the love of my life. You. Will you marry me, Hermione Granger?" He opened a small box where a beautiful ring glinted from the light in the room. Hermione gasped surprised and widened her eyes. She nodded frantically and Severus took the ring out of the box, and placed it on her finger. Then the two of them hugged and shared their first kiss.
"I love you, Severus," Hermione informed as she threw herself into his arms.
"I love you too, Hermione."
A/N: Please review...