A/N: The plot bunny that wouldn't die. Let me know what you think, please. This is my first posting on Ashwinder. I want to thank Nakhash Mekashefah for being kind enough to correct my errors. Also I am looking for a beta, so if anyone is interested please e-mail me at .

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Saturdays

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Every Saturday he would set aside time to search out a new bookstore. Every Saturday he would return home with no book and no sign of her. She had disappeared after Potter and Weasley had died. She left one night without a trace and now he searched for her. Checking the places she had mentioned in passing that she would like to go and always searching the bookstores. Sometimes he would check libraries, but only large ones that held more knowledge than Albus Dumbledore himself.

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Every Sunday morning he would try to convince himself that the previous day's hunt had been the last. And by every Friday evening he would pull out the maps and scrying crystals and look for a promising lead. She was too smart to be tracked down by the scrying crystal, though; she liked to play her little games of cat and mouse. She would leave her imprint on a place when she would leave and he would sweep in, billowing robes behind him, to find a discarded piece of parchment with the delicate handwriting he had memorized taunting him, "You've missed me again Severus, you're still 'it'. Hermione." And so every week he would add the note to the growing pile and shove forward. One day she would be waiting for him holding the parchment in her hands.

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On this Monday morning Severus held the latest bit of parchment in his hands. She had sprayed this one with her perfume and kissed the bottom leaving the imprint of her lips on the tanned parchment…pink. He never would have taken her for the sort to wear pink lipstick; red perhaps, but not pink. Her soul was too fiery for pink. She had never left such a personal touch on the notes before. He could sense the end was coming near. Tonight the maps and scrying crystals would start to work. He would not wait for Friday this week.

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On Tuesday he still had no clue as to where she was, but he knew where she had been the day before. He thought about procuring a Time-Turner and going to her. In the end he decided against it. When she tired of the chase she would allow him to find her. He had seen her once. It was just a glimpse of her hair, but he knew it was her. She was in a bookstore standing on a ladder reaching for a large tome on the topmost shelf and then when he blinked, she was gone. That glimpse had been enough for him to begin his hunt. He knew some how that she had meant for him to see her. When she left, he knew it would not be forever. She had told him once, as they were working on their potions in the final days before Harry had died killing Voldemort, that if she were to leave, she would return but only if she knew someone would be waiting for her. He always thought she had meant Potter or Weasley, now he knew she had meant him. So he hunted making sure she knew he was looking and waiting for her to tire of her games.

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On Wednesday Severus received an owl during dinner in the Great Hall. It was Hedwig. No one had seen that bird since Hermione had left. Minerva nearly choked on her roast lamb as the owl swooped past her and landed in front of Severus. The owl waited for its reward and then left with out waiting for a reply. The parchment he pulled from the owl's leg was addressed to him in the taunting handwriting. "Severus, I am tired of childish games. I am waiting for you to find me. I won't move this time. Hermione." Attached to the letter was a lock of her honey- colored hair. It was tied off with a silver ribbon. Severus didn't even bother to finish his meal he; stalked off to the dungeons and again settled in front of the maps, scrying crystal and hair in hand. The crystal hovered over the map and settled over…Hogsmeade. He put the maps away and poured himself a brandy. The game was coming to a close. It had begun on her terms, but it would end on his. She would wait until Saturday and he would find her in a bookstore.

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On Thursday morning Severus checked the maps again. Hermione was still in the same spot. He smiled and pictured her in his mind on the morning before the final battle. They were both pouring over cauldrons, adding finishing touches to basic medicinal potions and strength enhancing draughts. A strand of her hair was making its way into the cauldron he reached his hand to her face and brushed it away before it contaminated the brew.

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"Silly girl. For an insufferable know-it-all such as yourself you should know better than to wear you hair loose while brewing," he commented dryly.

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"Sorry, sir. I have other things on my mind," she replied coolly.

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"Such as?"

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Hermione blushed and then blurted out her answer before her courage failed her. "I don't want to die a virgin. I know it is pathetic and stupid. But I don't want to die without knowing what all the fuss is about."

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"You aren't going to die, Hermione."

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"You don't know that," she paused as a sly grin crossed her face, "unless of course you have been holding out on me and truly possess the inner eye." The last words were said in her best Trelawney impression.

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Severus grinned. Hermione gasped, she had never seen his face twist to anything but a sneer. "You know how I feel about Divination, Hermione, but you are too strong to die."

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"But still…" he voice trailed off.

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"Would you like to go and find Potter or Weasley? I won't mind." Really he did mind. He couldn't stand to think of her in the arms of one of those two idiots. Here she was, Hermione Granger, two years out of Hogwarts and remarkably still a bloody virgin. He selfishly wanted her for himself, but said nothing.

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"No…Severus…" she paused, taking a deep breath to build up her courage, "I don't want to be with a boy. It may very well be my only chance and I do not want it to be awkward, and well, awful." Severus had long forgotten about the potion that was simmering in the cauldron before him. She had used his name. He had asked her to on so many occasions, but she would never use it…but now she had used his name and it sounded like the fields of Elysium calling to him; sweet and not of this world. That sound was only reserved for the most pure and he was privileged to hear it once before he died for the Light. His heart stopped beating in his chest, or so he thought, as she spoke the next words, "Severus", she looked him in the eye, "will you please allow me to know what it feels like to make love?"

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He paused for a moment. He didn't want to seem too eager, "Yes."

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Severus had accepted her gift and she had shown him what it meant to be loved. That moment was worth more to Severus than any of the other moments he had ever lived in his life. This would be the moment he would sacrifice everything for; it was because of this moment he would play the game of cat and mouse. It was because of this moment that he was still alive and sane.

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On Friday evening, Severus did not check the maps. He went to Diagon Alley to Flourish and Blotts and purchased the newly revised edition of i 'Hogwarts, A History /i '. He went to Gringotts and claimed a treasure and then made his way back home to prepare for tomorrow. Tomorrow the game would end and she would return home with him. Tomorrow was the Saturday he had been searching out for a little over a year.

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On Saturday morning he woke with the rising sun and double-checked her location and then made his way to the small bookstore on the outskirts of Hogsmeade Village. He entered the store with the tinkling of a bell and searched for her. He saw the snowy owl first; she flapped her wings in excitement. Then she walked out from the stacks…more beautiful than he had remembered in the first place. His heart was beating in his ears now. His palms were sweating. Hermione was reaching out for him; she was pulling him close to her in an embrace. He felt whole in that moment. He now had two moments he would cherish always.

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"Hello, Severus."

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"Hermione." He tried to restrain the happiness and enthusiasm in his voice. He reached his hand out to brush her wild hair from her eyes. "I have missed you."

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"I know. I have missed you, too. Look, there is a reason I wanted you to find me, Severus. Please don't be mad at me." She looked so sad, her eyes brimming with tears. "Please, I don't want to be away from you anymore." Severus thought she look so small in front of him at that moment. She turned her back from him and held a small bundle out to him.

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Severus' face turned whiter than fresh parchment. He unwrapped the bundle in his arms to find an infant, a four-month-old infant, fast asleep. The infant had a great mass of unruly black hair. "Is…"

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"He is your son. I named him Sebastian Snape. He was born June 13." Hermione bit her bottom lip, "Are you angry?"

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"Are you mad?" he teased, "How could I be angry? The only way I will be angry is if either of you leave me again."

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Severus reached for Hermione's hand and led her to the deserted streets of Hogsmeade. He wrapped his arms around his newfound family and Apparated back to the gates of Hogwarts and then led them home.

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That night Severus gave her the book, a reminder of all his trips to the bookstore. And he gave her an emerald and ruby ring. One he had had made especially for her prior to her disappearance. He proposed marriage and she said yes.

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Now Saturdays were happy days where he could remember the day he found something he could only ever imagine in the past: happiness.

-Fin-

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Any comments you could offer would be greatly appreciated. Please only constructive criticism.