Author- Fayth,

Disclaimer- All characters belong to Mulit-millionairess JKR. Hey Jo- thanks for Snape!

A/N- Hi, this is my first foray into HP ship but not my first attempt at writing. feel free to leave constructive criticism. Many thanks.

Huge thanks to WIKTT and Princess Incognito.


Mirrored Hesitations.

The mirror doesn't say a word but the reflection that stares back at him paints a thousand of its own.

The sharp brow indicates anxiety. The set of jaw indicates stubbornness and yet the mouth curved just so hints at a sensuality that is buried deep.

He straightens himself and nods again curtly.

"Miss Granger… I agree that your project proposal is…"

He falters and a lock of black hair is swept behind his ear.

"Miss Granger, it has come to my attention..."

He clears his throat and tries again, conjuring up his appreciation for her sharp mind and her thirst for knowledge. The privilege that the entire staff room is fighting for which dropped into his lap this morning.

"Herm—no! Miss Granger, it would be my pleasure to supervise your…"

He leans back and glares at the ceiling before standing straight again in front of the mirror. Trying desperately not to sound like a giddy school boy wanting her brains on his side he decides that maturity and authority is required.

But gently.

"Yes, Miss Granger I will take on your apprenticeship. Your proposal was fairly sound. Come by my office to discuss this, this afternoon."

He nodded, finally satisfied with the words, as he walked out of his room leaving his silent mirror the only witness to his swishing robes.

----

Nerves show on that noble brow and the thick eyebrows meet over the dark eyes.

"Miss Granger I would like… no, Miss Granger perhaps we could continue this discussion."

He glares at the silently mocking mirror. "No."

He takes a deep breath. "Miss Granger I have enjoyed this conversation, perhaps you could come to my rooms to… No. Miss Granger. Miss Granger, perhaps you would be so kind as to…"

Another sigh.

"I could… perhaps we could… that is to say we… I'd like for us to. We have much in common perhaps we could be friends, would you like to…I would like to talk more with you on this Miss Granger, would you come…"

His head shakes. No.

"I was amused by your strictures on Decante, I have a book you might find interesting in my office. Some tea, Miss Granger?"

Yes tea.

A hesitant smile.

"Tea. I can do tea."

A billowing of robes before the door shuts with a satisfied air.

----

His hands tremble at the unthinkable. His eyes shine with something other than menace and he dislikes the trepidation that lingers.

"Miss Granger, a… dinner… would be… Would you care very much to join me for...?"

He scoffs at himself. Care very much?

"Miss Granger, perhaps a luncheon in Hogsmeade would…"

He tries again desperately searching for the right words.

"Miss Granger, what are your plans for… are you seeing? No."

He rolls his eyes in exasperation at himself and calls himself a hundred types of fool.

"Would you care for dinner Miss Granger?"

No, too open for interpretation.

"Allow me to take you to dinner this evening Miss Granger."

Better, much better.

"Miss Granger… would you like… would you care to accompany me to dinner in Hogsmeade this evening?"

He loses the stutter and the mirror seems to smile in approval.

"Miss Granger… Hermione, would you care to accompany me to dinner in Hogsmeade this evening?"

Yes, that'll do nicely. He straightens his robes as he stalks away.

The mirror watches in smug appreciation.

---

The months have been kinder to him than any would have thought and despite the hollow look in those war- ravaged eyes there is a new gleam of hope. That's her.

"Hermione, I have enjoyed our dates… no."

Sounds too much like a precursor to breaking up. He takes a breath.

"It's been four months… no."

That sounds like he's been counting.

"Your kisses intoxicate me,"

He hisses at his own folly. To soppy.

"Would you care to further our…"

He groans aloud this time, that sounds too clinical, even for him.

Time for honesty. "You make me crazy."

Well, that much is true.

"I want you."

Oh, that's good!

"I need you."

Okay, not as good. He doesn't want to sound pathetic.

"Stay the night."

Perhaps the simple ways are better after all.

---

He stands in front of the mirror once again and bites down hard on his full lip. This is something that he isn't sure how to say at all. Where to start? How to get it out? He stands straighter now, his face set in a smile that would have been too scared to grace his face a year ago. He carries himself with an assurance that is as new as it is delightful and he bites down on that full bottom lip before he starts.

"Hermione, I…"

The words catch in his throat and the mirror watches in amusement as he almost chokes.

A deep breath.

"I need to tell you… to let you know."

Not exactly the tone he desires.

"Hermione, please…"

Ugh, no.

Another deep sigh and the hands tremble nervously.

He closes his eyes and thinks of her face so expressive; thinks of her sweet smile that makes his stomach knot; of her unassuming ways and mannerisms that drive him crazy. He thinks of her hands that touch and her hair that tickles; her eager questions and her soothing giggles.

She makes him calm, she makes him nervous but through it all she makes him feel.

His eyes flutter open as he stares into the mirror.

"I love you."

A smile races over his features as he knows it's the truth. The mirror glances at the room behind him and flickers in approval at the candles and soft light. The scene is set and so are the words.

----

He wonders if charming the mirror to silence was the best plan. He could really use input on this one. His back is straight and more than stubbornness helps him. That there is pure pride and someone has helped him to achieve that level of self that makes his eyes sparkle. Knowledge that he has her, even for just now, makes him stronger, makes him more a person than the shadow he once was. His lips often curve unbidden in a half smile and his hands, once twitchy and stern, soothe and stroke. His voice melts steel.

More than one student has seen the change and crushes on the Potions Master are more common, something that makes her laugh and him cringe.

"Would you please…?"

Hell, no, that doesn't work at all but the voice that could melt gold is halting and shy. The mirror is intrigued.

"You know we've been together for almost two years, perhaps it's time..."

Well, if that doesn't scream 'reluctant duty' nothing does.

"I adore you," that's true. "I would want you forever," also true. "Stay by my side." He's making himself ill.

"Hermione, I would ask…"

Silence.

Perhaps not.

"Do me the great honour… Do you ever think of settling down?"

Clichéd!

"Hermione Granger would you do me the honour of being my wife?"

Elaborate. Overdone?

"Marry me?"

Simple, elegant. Effective?

"Hermione, I'm not a man of flowery words." That's a fact. "But believe me when I say that my world revolves around you. I want to grow old with you and have children that aren't dunderheads." Like they could be with their genes. "When I think of my future I think of you. Hermione Granger, I love you. Will you marry me?"

Fervent, precious and perfect.

Please Gods, let her say yes.

----

He stands in front of the mirror a different person to what he was three years ago and the differences are startling as they are welcome.

The severe face is still the same but there is something else there, some sort of astonished gratitude and devotion that compels the heart and face to smile back at him.

Of all the times that he has been here, this is the most important and yet, somehow it's the easiest.

The uncertainty is gone, to be replaced by wonder. The pain has lessened and he knows that there is someone there to cosset him when he comes home; someone to talk to and fight with; someone who understands him and loves him.

He smiles as he strokes his brand new robes and the glisten of silver on his left hand.

There is nothing that he has ever been more sure of.

"I do."

----

She stands there with her eyes firmly fixed on her own face, the dancing eyes making her beauty shine and she bites her lip. The love shines from her face and with every breath it's plain to see why he loves her and she him. The mirror approves and flickers for her to show her what lies inside.

"Um, honey, can I just say…"

No, stupid.

"Guess what?"

No, childish. Plus, if he's had a bad day then that'll just annoy him.

"You know I've been sick lately?"

No! No! No! that'll scare him. Remember last time? Do you want to spend a month in the hospital wing for nothing?

Though, admittedly, it was funny to see him panic.

"Classes were great, my parents miss you. Oh and I'm…"

Too random.

"You know how you said that you couldn't be happier?"

Close, but no cigar.

"How about an extra room? Why? Funny you should ask."

Not enough.

Hermione grinned

Perfect.

"Congratulations, Severus, you're going to be a father."

The End.