Disclaimer: I obviously don't own it. It's all for fun.
Mak is of course my beta; who is amazing.
The last chapter; let me know what you think by giving one last review. I might be up for a sequel if there is enough interest. Again, I need your feedback. Check out my other stories as well. Thanks.
"Hermione…" he began not really knowing where to actually start. He wanted this, but if she wasn't sure, then they would go no further. It would kill him if she didn't want him. She has to want this, she started it.
"Mmhmm…" she said as she cupped his cheek with his hand and gazed into his eyes.
"Are you sure you want this; me?" he asked doubtfully.
Hermione smiled softly up to Severus before answering. "Of course, I do."
Hermione chuckled as she shook her head in disbelief. "What will it take for you to realize I want you?"
"More than you think," he replied seriously.
"Severus, if it hadn't been for Dumbledore sending me to help you, then I wouldn't know the little bit of you that I do. I'm thankful for the fact that he sent me on this journey. I want to know more about you and what I do know about you now; is just intriguing."
A dark expression passed over Severus' face and Hermione figured he was thinking that she only wanted to see what he was like. "We have great conversations when we aren't arguing don't we?"
"That is what I've wanted my whole life. Someone I could talk to about anything; from something as trivial as the colour of the grass to something as significant as potions research. Never before have I met someone I respect so much and who can challenge my mind."
Severus sat there in a stupor for a minute taking in her words before he looked back at her. "Good," was all that he could conjure to say.
That sent Hermione into a hearty laugh which made Severus smile. "You have a nice smile. You should do that more often."
"We'll see," he joked with her. It was something he hadn't done in so long, but it felt right with her. They kissed again before his insecurity arose again. "Are you…"
"Oh, shut up," she said as she pulled his head down into another kiss.
Hermione and Severus spent the next couple of days getting closer to one another. They spent their days reading, sharing research ideas, and meeting the little old lady in the pink house. Vika Bankova was a small lady with pure white hair. She spoke no English and Severus had to interpret for Hermione. Vika loved Hermione from the moment she laid eyes on her.
The bone crushing hug Vika gave Hermione was shocking and she had to take several deep breaths to regain control of her breathing. The three had been sitting at the table drinking tea when Vika said something to Severus in Russian, causing him to spit some of his tea out and turn beet red in the face. Hermione asked him what she had said and he blew it off as some off colour Russian joke.
Hermione didn't really believe him, but she would get it out of him eventually. Whatever it was definitely caught him off guard and embarrassed him. That hardly happens. I have to know now. Vika had fixed them dinner and gave Hermione a lesson in cooking Russian meals. It was definitely enjoyable and Hermione really loved getting to know her.
Once they were back in Severus' home, he fell onto the couch in exhaustion. "Did a little old lady tire you out?" Hermione joked.
He turned his head lazily to her and looked at her through hooded eyes. "She loves to talk about everything. It gets quite tiring translating about how her granddaughter did this and that and everything in between. If you had to hear everything she said, we wouldn't have left until tomorrow morning."
"What did she say to you that made you blush so horribly?"
"I don't think you want to know," he said with a tired voice.
"I do, so, tell me," Hermione said seriously as she laid her head on his shoulder. She noticed he clenched his hands together and took a deep breath before continuing.
"Very well. Let me start off by first saying that Vika is more of a mother to me than my own was. She thinks of me as a son, and therefore I receive 'motherly' advice from her, whether I want it or not."
He paused for a moment and Hermione prodded him along, "Mhmm."
"In a nutshell, she asked when I was going to get married and give her grandchildren."
Hermione started laughing. The thought of Vika telling him to give her grandchildren; oh how she wished she knew Russian. Severus was watching her seriously before he added, "She was insinuating you as well."
She stopped laughing and stared at him for a minute to see if he was joking. He wasn't. She started laughing again, throwing her arms around his neck and giggling into his shoulder.
Severus couldn't see what was so funny about the situation. Vika had practically asked when he was going to marry Hermione and give her grandchildren. It was something he really hadn't given much thought to; other than the fact that he did want to be with Hermione. Never in his thoughts had he contemplated marriage, or children. It was rather disturbing to him. Children, his children; no, his possible children with Hermione. Now that was even more vexing.
But, the inevitable happened and he started to think what their children would look like. What kind of people they would turn into. Would they be smart? Funny? Or have his nose? He certainly hoped not. If that was one gene he could get rid of, that would be it. His musings were interrupted by Hermione who said, "She has good intentions."
"Indeed," was his only reply before he delved back into his thoughts. What would our children look like? This is folly. Damn you Vika for putting these thoughts in my head. Our children. Hell, we aren't even married. Shit! Married?! Preposterous. Hermione wants me now, but once she figures out who I really am, she won't want me.
His self deprecating thoughts continued until he practically made himself depressed. He didn't even realize Hermione was holding his hand, talking to him. All he was conscious of were his thoughts. Nothing was getting through to him and he eventually stood up without a word and went into his bedroom, closing the door behind him.
Hermione didn't know what happened to get him in that kind of mood, but it disheartened her that he looked so sad. Did the thought of them having children scare him? Why was he thinking about that now? They had just accepted each other. As confident as he seemed he had some serious self-confidence issues.
She couldn't just let Severus lie in his room and get himself even more depressed than he already looked. Walking to his room, she steeled herself before she silently opened the door. Looking at him, she found he was asleep on his back with his hands behind his head. Even in his sleep, he looked uneasy; worry lines creased his forehead and he had a small frown on his lips. She lightly touched his forehead and tried to ease the lines away. After a few minutes, she was successful and smiled as he looked a little more relaxed. Whatever had been on his mind had troubled him deeply. She sat on the bed as gently as she could; trying not to disturb him. Hermione kissed his cheek and then his lips. When he didn't respond she laid her head on his chest and put her arm around his chest. "Don't do this to yourself, Severus," she said quietly.
Unexpectedly, she felt a rumble in his chest and heard him say softly, "Why?"
"Because you deserve to be happy," Hermione replied as she squeezed him.
"Why don't you think you deserve happiness?" she questioned him.
A long sigh escaped him. Severus never felt like he deserved to be happy. He had killed his mentor along with a host of other equally horrible deeds. Nothing he had done in life had been right. His years as a spy for the Order, in his mind, did not make up for what he had done in his life. Nothing could make up for it. "I have done some terrible things in my life, Hermione."
Hermione turned over, so she was facing Severus. "You have done plenty to make up for anything you are not proud of. You were a spy for the Order; you were forced to do something you desperately fought against. I know that the Headmaster asked you to do the impossible, and you did it. You were a hero in his eyes and you're a hero to me."
He stared into her eyes, looking to see any deceit, and found none. "I'm your hero?" he questioned with a smirk. Just having her here with him seemed to drag him out of his self-induced misery.
"Of course," Hermione answered with a smile as she kissed his nose.
He made a sour face as she leaned back from the kiss. "Your friends must be worried about you by now."
"They are big boys, I have faith they will be alright without me for a while."
"You give them far to much credit," Severus said with a playful sneer.
"They aren't that bad you know," she replied. "I know you still think of them as the annoying little boys you taught. I will have you know they have matured to annoying men."
"Again, you give them too much credit. Have you given any thought to what they will think of us?"
Hermione cocked her head to the side before she shook her head, "It doesn't matter what they think. Besides, if they are my best friends, they will support me. If they don't I'll hex their balls off."
"I think you should do that anyways. Neither of them needs to procreate."
Hermione laughed and laid her head on his chest.
"Eventually, you are going to have to return to Britain," Severus said warily.
"Not without you," she said firmly.
Severus smiled as he stared at the ceiling. Hermione had saved him from Azkaban and she was determined to save him from himself. He was thankful for small miracles and brave Gryffindors. If he could keep Hermione with him, then he felt he could be happy. A feeling of relief flooded his body and he wrapped his arms around Hermione. He could live the rest of his life like this; and he promised himself that he would try his hardest to keep what he had with Hermione.