Disclaimer: Not mine.
A/N: Hey y'all! Bet you weren't expecting to see another one of these. Nor so quickly either, but I've just been really inspired to write these past two chapters. Anyways…I had a couple of requests for a sequel, and while I won't do that, I thought I should write an epilogue to kind of wrap up some loose ends. I know some of y'all wanted to see a little bit more closure in regards to Percy, and some more Hermione/Severus parts too. So, without further blathering from yours truly, the final installment of Playing Pretend.
Severus and Hermione were brought out of their embrace by several coughs. Severus, having forgotten he was surround by former students and others he didn't really care for, promptly dropped his hands and straightened up. He then turned to face everyone, his customary glare in place. Hermione laughed and elbowed him in the side, taking his hand and lacing her fingers through his.
"Stop that Severus," she chided him.
"Uh, would you care to explain what that was about?" Bill spoke for the group clustered around them.
"Hermione loves Percy. However, she broke up with him the first Hogsmede weekend," Pansy started explaining. "That's when she allowed herself to explore her feelings for Professor Snape. It was rough going, but they seemed to work through it for a while, till they got into a really bad fight the night of the Halloween ball, and broke up. Over Christmas, she became engaged to Percy, since she thought her relationship with Professor Snape was over for good. Now she decided to accept the engagement, because like I said, she loves him, and knew she could be happy with him. However, she loves Professor Snape more, and though she waited until the last…possible…minute," Pansy rolled her eyes. "She finally wised up, listened to her heart, and couldn't go through with it."
"Oh well that explains everything," Ron rolled his eyes.
"Simply put Ron, I love Severus, and I just couldn't go through with marrying Percy, though I do care for him very much," Hermione said, sending an apologetic look to Percy. She hated to hurt him.
"And I told you, I understand, and I accept it," Percy smiled, came over and kissed her cheek, the turned to Severus. "Take care of her Severus."
Severus' glare softened slightly as he looked down at the young woman holding his hand. "I will."
"You know, this is really touching and all," Fred interrupted. "But I'd kinda like to get married, if that's all right with you all."
"Fred!" Molly yelled once again.
"What's happening?" Severus asked Hermione in a whisper as she pulled him to one of the vacant seats before sitting down in his lap, not caring about the odd looks they were still getting from many of her former schoolmates around her.
"Well, when I said I couldn't go through with the wedding, Fred proposed to Alicia on the spot. So they're going to get married now, since everything's all ready for them," Hermione whispered back, just before Albus began the ceremony, for a second time.
It had been two years since Severus and Hermione's reunion, and things had been going well for them. They had eloped nine months after Fred and Katie's wedding, and taken an impromptu honeymoon to Venice. They arrived back in England just in time to greet the arrival of Lauren and Lindsay Weasley, Fred and Alicia's twin girls.
Ron and Harry were still single, though both were chronic daters. They shared a flat, as well as a career; working for the Chudley Canons. Harry was the reserve seeker, while Ron was the team manager. Ginny also shared the flat with them, keeping it tidy and in order, and cooking meals for them when they were home. She had gone into business with Fred and George, taking over the running of their Diagon Alley shop when they opened one in Hogsmede.
Percy had been made Minister not a month later when the current minister was found to have been stealing money. With his promotion, he was assigned a secretary, who just happened to be his former girlfriend Penelope Clearwater. On her first day of working for him, she gave him his daily schedule, and at the seven p.m. slot, wrote in Dinner date with Penelope. They had been dating since then, and Hermione sincerely hoped there were wedding bells in their future.
Severus was still teaching at Hogwarts, though he only covered the fifth, sixth, and seventh years potions classes. Hermione was just about to complete her potions mastery, and had taken over the first, second, third, and fourth year classes, to the delight of the students. With the wonderful job she did of teaching them, they were much more adequately prepared for the upper levels. Not to mention she told them stories about Severus, completely erasing their fear of him, though still leaving a great deal of respect.
"Mmm, I love you," Severus came up behind her, kissing her neck as she graded papers.
"Not that I don't appreciate the sentiment, but what brought that on?" Hermione laughed as she turned her chair around to face him.
While they were indeed married, and very much in love, Severus was still very much himself. He rarely used terms of endearment, let alone saying those three words. He much preferred to show his love for her, through simple actions, such as having her coffee ready, or taking her books back to the library once she was done with them. Not that she minded. She was quite used to his little quirks by now, and loved him all the more because of them. That isn't to say they didn't have their spats and fights, but now there was the pleasure of making up afterwards, something both excelled at.
"Oh, just the OWL class," he sighed, pulling her out of the chair, sitting down in it before pulling her onto his lap.
"Really? What'd they do?" Hermione asked, relaxing against his chest as she settled her arms on top of his.
"Six cauldrons exploded! Not just one or two, but six! And of course today was the day I assigned an invisibility potion, so I had twenty invisible, panicking, Hufflepuffs and Gryffindors."
"I'm sorry, but kids will be kids."
"I know, and that's what I can't stand," he replied, rubbing a hand over his eyes.
"You don't like kids?" Hermione asked after a moment, an odd look on her face, not that he could see it.
"I teach as a favor to Albus, and I keep teaching because there are the few students who make in enjoyable," he answered. "Such as yourself. But overall, no, I can't say I especially enjoy children."
"What brought that on?"
"Nothing," she said quickly, standing up. "Just wondering. I'm going to get a drink, you want anything?"
"I'll have some coffee if you're making a fresh pot," he called as she disappeared into the small kitchenette in their chambers.
"Actually, I'm abstaining from coffee for a while," she said, reappearing in the doorway with a glass of pumpkin juice.
"Why?" He queried, raising an eyebrow. "You usually can't get through the day without at least four cups of it."
"That's exactly why," she replied, looking down at the floor. "I drink entirely too much of it."
"That's not why," he said, standing up and coming over to her. "Now I know something's up, so get it over with and simply tell me already."
"I'm pregnant!" She snapped, promptly bursting into tears.
"Pregnant, with child, a mother-to-be, I've got a bun in the oven, whatever you want to call it."
"Well why the tears?"
"Cause you just said you don't like kids," she cried, still not looking at him.
"Oh darling," he laughed softly, pulling her into a hug. "Others children. Our own is something entirely different."
"Really?" Her voice was filled with hope as she wiped her face, finally looking up at him.
"Really," he kissed her. "The thought of you carrying our progeny is incredibly exciting, not to mention incredibly attractive. I'm simply stunned that in…how long?"
"I'm two months along."
"That in seven months we'll bring a child into this world. Do you know what the sex is yet?"
"A girl," Hermione nodded, a smile on her face as they sat down on the couch.
"Do you have any ideas for a name yet, or is it too early to really be thinking about that?"
"Well, I had an idea, but I don't know."
"Kerensa," she said. "It means love in Cornish. I thought it fitting since it's love that brought us, and kept us, together. I'm not quite sure about a middle name though."
"Eilís," Severus said. "The Irish Gaelic form of Elizabeth, and the name of my grandmother."
"Kerensa Eilís Snape," Hermione smiled, running their intertwined hands over her still-flat stomach.
"Beautiful, just like her mother."
"And hopefully as talented as her father."
"Just as long as she isn't as stubborn as either or us," Severus said with a laugh, leaning in for a kiss.
"Yes indeed. Though I'd argue it's our stubbornness that's probably kept us together with our attitudes," she countered.
"Know-it-all," he retorted.
"You married me."
"Well you started it."
"And how did I do that?" Severus raised an eyebrow.
"Actually, blame it on Albus," Hermione said with a laugh.
"And why's that?"
"Because he was the one who started it all."
"Remind me to send his an aged bottle of brandy then, as thanks."
"I was thinking something more along the lines of honorary grandfather to our baby, since neither of our parents are alive."
"That will work."
"Glad you agree, because it would've happened either way," she grinned.
"Hah, I'm the one who wears the pants in this relationship," he smirked.
"That may be so love, but I'm the one who buys them," she smirked right back, then leapt up and ran from the room.
"Curse you Albus for starting this mess," Severus muttered to himself as he jumped up to run after her.
Meanwhile, in his office, Albus watched the two with a grin, congratulating himself on one of the best ideas he had ever come up with during his lifetime…and as it was a rather long life time, that was saying a lot. Giving a satisfied nod, he smiled as he watched them begin the next chapter of their fairytale together, living happily ever after.
A/N: Okay, that's the "real" end, I promise. No other epilogue, or sequels, or anything else. I hope that gives the closure some of you were looking for. So I hope you enjoyed it, and once again, take care.