Part XII: Sweet Circe!
Severus woke to find himself lying beside a mop of bushy locks. He smiled gently to himself as he smoothed back Hermione's hair to reveal her slumbering face.
She looks so young, he thought, then frowned, realizing she was young. His doubts began rearing, but before they could take off, a pair of cinnamon eyes opened and smiled at him.
"Good morning," she croaked lovingly.
"Yes, it is, isn't it?" he replied, more cocky than he felt.
"Indeed," she drawled, doing a fine impersonation of him. Before he had time to respond, he was engulfed in her love, once again.
They woke up gradually that afternoon, happy, but hungry. Severus forced himself to get out of bed to floo the kitchen while his love dozed contentedly.
He donned a bath robe, and made his way to the living room.
"Good afternoon, Severus," a familiar voice said, stopping him cold. Very glad he had tied his robe, he turned around to look at the headmaster.
"Albus," he said, hoping he would get a chance to say good-bye to Hermione.
"I was worried, seeing as you missed both breakfast and lunch. I imagine you and Hermione must be very hungry by now."
Snape's stomach plunged.
"Headmaster..." he started, wanting to explain.
"Now, now, Severus. You have broken my heart, but I will survive," Dumbledore said with an insidious twinkle in his eye. A chortle from behind alerted Snape to another presence in the room.
"You told her," Severus accused Dumbledore.
"My dear boy, how could I lie to my Lady?" Dumbledore responded beseechingly.
"The issue," Circe interrupted with authority, "is what your intentions are toward my granddaughter."
Snape looked at Circe earnestly. "I would like nothing better than to have her as my wife."
A gasp from behind made him twirl around.
Hermione stood there gaping, too shocked to do anything else. She and Severus looked at each other for an interminable length of time, before she rushed into his arms.
"Is that a yes, then?" Snape asked into Hermione's uncombed hair.
She looked up at him, her eyes watery, but happy. "Was that a proposal?"
He nodded slightly, his jaw tightening with fear.
She smiled, and said, "Then, yes."
Severus relaxed and enveloped Hermione in his arms, holding his world to him closely.
"I suppose a wedding could count as their final date," Circe murmured to Dumbledore on their way out.
Many people were scandalized by the wedding of the Head Girl of Hogwarts to her Potions' Professor the day of the Leaving Feast, but that didn't prevent them from eating the food, or drinking the wine that was served.
Hermione guessed that someone had slipped a little something into the punch, because by the time she and Severus left for their honeymoon, no one could find a reason to object to the pairing.
As they made their final rounds, Severus whispered, "Do you think Circe will make pigs fly tonight?"
Hermione sniggered quietly, then turned to say good-bye to Circe.
"Grandmum," Hermione said.
"Dear, what have I told you?"
"That without love, knowledge is useless?"
Circe smiled down at her granddaughter. "Definitely," she said, then turned to Severus. "Take good care of her."
"Nothing less," he replied.
Hermione turned to go, but Severus held back to ask, "How did you guess my true feelings?"
"Amoratherapy isn't for the feint of heart."
Severus blushed, but said, "It could have been for Albus."
"Honeysuckle isn't really his style. Though I must confess, in my jealousy I forgot that fact," she explained.
"Dumbledore?" Hermione asked.
Circe twinkled. "I always have fancied younger men."
AN: Okay, so this was the last part. Thank you very much to all who reviewed; I'm glad you had as much fun reading this piece as I did writing it. For those of you who read and didn't review, I hope you got some enjoyment out of it as well.
I will be writing more on my other stories (Marry a Choice will be updated within the week) if interested, though for those of you either without a very black sense of humor or not into angst/drama/messed-upness, I would suggest you take a miss. I don't know when I'll next get around to writing humorous fluff like this...