Here we go... Last chapter. Hope you like it. I've included the title of the sequel at the end like I promised.
Last Ride On The Hogwarts Express
Severus lay awake early the next morning, watching Hermione's face as she continued to sleep. He raised a hand that, to his dismay, was a bit shaky, to touch her face. Waking up in the beautiful young witch's arms was comforting. He could hardly believe that she could care for him. Severus noticed that around her neck was the gold necklace that he had given her at Christmas. His long fingers stroked the delicate chain gently. It seemed so long ago, and at a time when he was still denying that he cared for her.
He smiled slightly when Hermione's eyes opened slowly. She simply gazed at Severus for a moment before she flashed him a sweet smile. He kissed her softly, and was pleasantly surprised when she returned it enthusiastically. Realizing that they were still undressed, Severus covered her body with his and kissed her neck. Hermione giggled softly. "Now, that's what I call a 'good morning'," she said running her hands down his back. Severus chuckled, but the sound was muffled slightly since his face was still against her neck.
Severus caressed Hermione's body gently, smirking as her breathing hitched. Her face was flushed and her skin was so warm under his skilful hands. He finally whispered a contraceptive charm and pushed himself into her, sighing at the intense pleasure. Moving slowly, he gently thrust in and out of her, watching her face to monitor her reaction. She still seemed to feel some discomfort, but she appeared to be enjoying herself. When she climaxed, he held her close to his body as he felt his own release approach.
Breathless in the afterglow of their lovemaking, Severus and Hermione simply turned onto their sides to face each other. His arm was around her waist, keeping her against him. Hermione's hands were tracing small circles across his chest. "This year would have been so much better if every morning started out like that," Severus commented gruffly. Hermione giggled softly. "However, I must go to my own chambers to change into fresh clothing."
Before Hermione could protest, Severus got up and dressed quickly. He pressed a gentle kiss to Hermione's forehead before sweeping out of the room. Hermione smiled slightly and slipped out of her warm bed.
After taking a quick shower, Hermione dressed herself in a pair of blue jeans and a pale pink shirt. A knock at the door drew Hermione's attention, and she turned in time to see Ginny pop her head inside the door. "All alone?" Ginny asked slyly.
"Severus had to go change his clothes," Hermione replied casually.
"Right," Ginny said with a smirk. "Well, I'm going to go get Harry and Ron. We'll all walk down to the Great Hall together."
"That sounds great Gin," Hermione said with a smile. With a quick wave, Ginny stepped back and closed the door.
Hermione turned back to her mirror and gazed critically at her reflection. She pulled her thick hair into a loose ponytail, tugging at a few strands to allow a few wispy curls to hang about her face. She smiled in satisfaction.
A rich, velvety voice behind her made her jump. "I never suspected that you were one to bother with your looks," Severus said silkily. Hermione opened her mouth to retort but Severus cut her off. "You don't need to," he said with a smirk.
"Don't need to what?" she asked.
"Bother with your looks," he said folding his arms. Before Hermione could thank him or even blush, he added, "Your incessant chatter prevents people from ever noticing what you look like anyway."
Hermione's mouth dropped open in indignation, making Severus chuckle. Hermione's scowl faded a bit. "Overgrown dungeon bat," she muttered, turning away from him with a smirk.
"Gryffindor brat," he returned sleekly.
She turned to face him stubbornly. "Arrogant bastard," she retorted, although a smile tugged at the corners of her mouth as Severus stepped closer.
"Insufferable know-it-all," he grumbled slipping his arms around her slim waist and pulling her closer. "Silly witch," he murmured softly. Before she could respond, he captured her lips in a sweet kiss.
A sharp intake of breath and a loud pronouncement of "Oh gross!" made the couple pull away from one another and look around. Harry, Ron and Ginny were standing in the doorway. Ginny had her hands clasped firmly over her mouth to prevent her laughter. Harry looked as if he wasn't sure if he should be amused or disgusted. Ron had his lips pressed together and looked horrified.
"Did you want something, or is it your intention to gape at us like idiots all morning?" Severus snarled impatiently.
Harry and Ron turned to glare at Ginny. Ginny frowned. "I'm sorry Hermione," she said guiltily. "I didn't know Professor Snape would be here."
Hermione laughed nervously, casting a glance at Severus. "Just go down to breakfast," she said hastily. "I'll meet you in the Great Hall in a moment."
Ginny nodded and proceeded to shove Ron out of the room. She tugged at Harry's sleeve and scowled in frustration when he didn't move. He was staring at Hermione and Severus and shaking his head. "No amount of therapy will ever make that moment acceptable," Harry remarked ruefully. Ginny snorted with laughter and then pulled Harry from the room, casting an amused look at Hermione.
Hermione giggled softly. "Dunderheads," Severus muttered.
"I'm sorry," Hermione said softly. "She came in after you left saying that Harry and Ron wanted all of us to walk to breakfast together. She didn't mean to walk in on that."
Severus rolled his eyes, but leaned forward to kiss her lips. "Shall we?" he said opening the door for her. Hermione smiled and went through the door.
Sitting at the Gryffindor table next to Ginny, Hermione smiled apprehensively at Ron and Harry. Harry raised one eyebrow at her and then said, "Well, I assume you're having a good morning." He chuckled when Hermione blushed. "I really wished that we had knocked," he muttered shooting Ginny an accusing glare. Ginny just grinned at him, unabashedly.
"Well, it's all over," Ron said hastily, glad to lead the conversation away from the subject of Hermione and Professor Snape. "We've finished with our time at Hogwarts. That is, except for Hermione. She's the nutter that's willingly sticking around longer."
"At least I'll have someone to talk to," Ginny said smiling at Hermione. "I'd like to keep an eye on Hermione and Professor Snape anyway." Harry rolled his eyes and Ron wrinkled his nose in distaste.
"To each his own," Harry muttered to Ron out of the corner of his mouth.
"I heard that," Hermione retorted, laughing. Suddenly, her smile faded. "What will we do when we can't see each other?" she asked Harry and Ron sadly. "It just won't be the same."
"Don't worry Hermione," Ron said with a smile. "It's not that easy to get rid of us. We'll come here to see you."
Harry grinned. "I talked to Dumbledore about that," he said casually.
"What?" Hermione asked looking at Harry.
"I went to Dumbledore's office last night," Harry answered with a smile. "I wanted to get permission to come and visit you. He said that I could come and see you through the Floo. Also, we're all going to headquarters," he added quietly.
"Really?" Hermione asked in surprise.
"Yes," Harry responded quietly. "We'll go to the Burrow, and then on to headquarters from there. I think we may be able to join the Order now that we're out of school."
"That would be bloody fantastic," Ron said excitedly.
"Maybe for you," Ginny grumbled. "I still have another year of school."
Hermione gave Ginny's shoulder a comforting pat. "It'll be here before you know it," Hermione said gently.
"Let's get going," Harry said, standing up. "We should all enjoy our last ride on the Hogwarts Express together." He walked around the table to where Hermione and Ginny stood and draped his arms over their shoulders. He led them, with Ron following close behind, out of the Great Hall.
Hermione was surprised when she saw Severus while she was in line to board the Hogwarts Express. Harry, Ron and Ginny stepped back in an attempt to give them a bit more privacy. Hermione looked up at the Potions Master's face shyly. "What are you doing here Professor Snape?" she asked with a small smile.
Severus smirked and handed her two thick books. "I thought perhaps you would benefit from looking through these," he said a bit stiffly. Hermione glanced down at the books and then looked back up at him, raising an eyebrow. "Or perhaps I just wished to see you off," he muttered, looking slightly ruffled.
Hermione blushed with pleasure and smiled. "Thank you," she said quietly. "I think I'll be seeing you again fairly soon," she added, knowing that Severus would return to headquarters for meetings with the Order.
"Yes," he said simply. Severus gave a small polite nod and then turned on his heel and walked away in his swirling black robes.
Hermione boarded the train with her friends and they found an empty compartment together. "It's finally over," Ron said, smiling triumphantly. "We're on this bloody train for the last time." He looked over at Harry who nodded fervently.
Hermione smiled. She was finally finished with being a student. Life was about to change quite a bit. Her mind wandered back to Severus. She wasn't sure where that relationship would lead, but she felt certain that she was up for the challenge. In her heart, she knew that he was worth it.
"In A Different Light" is the title of the sequel. Watch for it. Thank you for being so supportive. You're all just so great.
SuperMuggle: I agree... The whole "Dark Lord wants Hermione" thing is too predictable. So, that's gonna fly right out the window in the sequel. You'll see.
MadAnge: I'm not handling it very well at all. I'm a nervous wreck and my fiance and I have been fighting a lot. It's a lot of pressure. We're just ready to get it over with. He suggested the other day that we just go to the Justice of the Peace... But after spending over $800 dollars on a wedding dress, I don't think so. lol It'll be worth it in the end. Good luck with your wedding planning.
Paranoid Sarcasm: I just love your reviews! The wedding is October 29th. 8 weeks to go. deep sigh I like your mixed up words.
Humanity74: Well... I wrote that based on my own experience. My hips were killing me. That's from having a rather small bone structure. I've got the rounded hips and all that, but that, umm... extra pressure caused a lot of pain afterward. Hmm... I might have to check out that site. lol
ProfessorJaySnape: Oh the sequel is going to be so much fun! Voldemort will have a new little plan... All of our favorite characters will be back. I'm still plotting out some of the details, but I'm working on chapter 1 now. I don't want to give too much away just yet.
Wiily: I don't know if I should be sorry that my story was a distraction or not. lol Anyway, thanks for being such a faithful reviewer. I'd be happy to distract you anytime. :)
Portkeys Miss-Mione: I kinda like the AD/MM thing. I think they'd be cute together. Especially considering the way they are in my story. Would I personally ever write anything sexual between the two? No. I would make it obvious that they were together without all that intimate detail.
RangerBlack: The review was a little depressing, but I don't mind. My thoughts are with all those people that were effected by Hurrican Katrina. I'm planning on donating some food and other things. There wasn't much "meat" in this one, but I was wrapping it up. Chapter 1 of the sequel should be better though.
Akasha Ravensong: You know I forgot about the contraceptive the first time... Silly me. I don't know how I can forget something so important. But, I added it just for you. :)
FallinINlust: I'll have to go read your story. I'm so glad you like it.
slytherinsess: My alerts weren't working either! I think they're ok now though.