We're Married, What Next?

"Wake up, Professor Snape, and let me have my way with you," murmured a woman's low, sweet voice. "It's morning."

A small, determined hand massaged the black-haired wizard's bare back and moved slowly down to caress a more intimate area.

Severus Snape was instantly awake and also instantly aroused. A smirk appeared on his thin lips, but he lay still and let that busy hand continue exploring. He had lived nearly four decades before he was able to enjoy the benefits of married life, so he would take advantage of every delight that she offered. He choked back a groan of pleasure as she parted his legs and skillfully stimulated a very sensitive region.

"Mmm…" she murmured. "You're sooo hot, Sev. What an incredibly sexy man."

She kissed his shoulder softly, making a small tingling trail as she lowered her head and kissed her way down to his belly. Her soft hair tickled his skin and he decided it was time.

In a flash, Severus flipped her on her back and straddled her waist. He stared coolly down at the woman as he pinned her hands down. "How may I help you, Mrs. Snape?" he asked in a deep, silky voice.

Zelda Jean Snape gazed up in delight at the husband she'd only officially acquired the previous night. His black hair swung forward as he lowered his face to hers. When his hooked nose was touching hers, she drawled, "Let's play Hide the Wand, Mr. Wizard. I'll bet I can make yours disappear."

"Really?" he sneered. His mouth twitched faintly, spoiling the effect somewhat. His lips tingled: though her hands were captured, she had softly kissed his mouth.

"I can, really," she offered, smiling earnestly at him. "No hands, even."

"Ah, but I prefer the hands," he said, a faint smile on his harsh face. He began kissing her, teasingly at first, then deeper as she responded eagerly.

"May I have the use of them, please?" she asked, letting her eyes wander over his naked body.

He released them and immediately they were touching him. He chuckled, swooping her into his arms and pressing her against his body. He rolled onto his back, waiting optimistically. She did not disappoint him.

"There!" she crowed triumphantly. "See? Just like magic, it's gone, but look… it's back, and… Uh oh! Gone again."

Severus laughed helplessly and wrapped his arms around her, rolling over until she was underneath him. He kissed her and hissed, "Little idiot! Apply yourself and stop behaving ridiculously," as he thrust firmly into her.

"Anything for you," she murmured, gazing up at him with shining blue eyes. She wrapped her legs around his waist, increasing his access to her, and began kissing his neck, up high, near his ear. His hair fell over her face, so she buried her face under the black curtain and held him tight as their bodies moved together.

To be blessed with such an enthusiastic lover as his wife, was most unexpected and undoubtedly undeserved. However, he mused, as her orgasm triggered his powerful climax, a man would be mad to turn away from such a gift of fate. He held her afterward, his heart pounding wildly, relishing the fact that his previously miserable life had changed remarkably for the better.

&&&&&&&&&

Zelda lay in her husband's arms, utterly sated… For the time being, she thought wryly. After an early, wretched marriage that ended in divorce, she'd planned to be safely single for the rest of her, admittedly lonely, life. Instead, one day last June she'd gone out hiking and stumbled upon a half-dead, naked wizard. The moment she saw into those black eyes to the wounded soul of him, she'd loved him.

"Severus," she murmured dreamily, "It's hard believing this is real. I'm afraid we're heading for a real, sickeningly joyful, happy ending."

She gazed into his eyes. "I finally remember the night we got married, with my own memories. And last night, sharing your memory, I… I felt the magic again, didn't I? "

He smiled gently. "I also felt it. The magic is within us now, the result of our joint intention on that night. If you wish to be married in the Muggle world, we shall do it too, but in the wizarding world, we are husband and wife."

"I can't possibly be more married to you than I am," she said. "When I regain my memories, I'll have a context, so I understand how it all happened. But the magic, Sev… I still feel it. I think I always will."

She realized he was studying her closely and blushed. "What?" she asked, resisting a silly urge to cover herself.

"You're lovely," he said. "You've refused to believe it, but I know you, inside and out. At the start of our life together, please believe I am serious. There may perhaps be women more beautiful, but you're my soul mate and you chose to be my wife. No one can ever be dearer to me than you are."

He ran his fingers softly over the laugh lines at the corners of her eyes and kissed the worry crease between her eyebrows.

Zelda watched him closely, her heart filling with love as he caressed the proof of her forty-two years. When he traced the faint scars of stretch marks on her belly, left by her long ago pregnancies, tears filled her blue eyes.

"Aside from the fact that you're indeed a lovely woman, we must belong together, because you've said often that you find me handsome and charming." His gaze met hers with endearing frankness. "Only you could believe that," he said simply.

"Because my eyes work perfectly well," she said acerbically. "I'm totally infatuated with you, like a crazed teenager. But your presence, aside from making me idiotically horny, is the warmest thing I've ever known."

"It's very early, my sweetheart," he said softly. "We'll talk more later, but now, sleep with me."

She put her arms around him, drawing his head down to rest against her breasts. Until she could remember all of the past summer, she couldn't know why, but he was brave, generous and terribly wounded by his life's experiences. She'd do whatever she could to heal this beloved husband of hers.

As he pressed his face against her and relaxed into sleep, Severus Snape realized that he was now a most shockingly contented wizard. It seemed that life could not get better.

&&&&&&&&&

The sun shone brilliantly, reflected off the freshly fallen snow of the previous day. They were at Michael Fletcher's cabin, where Zelda had spent much of that forgotten summer waiting and taking care of Severus. It was still magically enlarged, a place with fond memories for both of them. Zelda watched their German shepherd, Rowena, frolic in the deep snow and smiled contentedly.

"The first breakfast of our married life," said Zelda, gazing across the table at her new spouse. "It's wonderful. So many firsts, and then we get to do it again and again and again. The future's so bright, my eyes hurt."

Severus used his wand to Levitate the dishes to the sink, and a dishbrush began scrubbing them.

"What shall we do today?" he asked, and rolled his eyes in response to her provocative grin. "Besides that, of course. Will you introduce me to your children?"

"Lily's in Geneva and Eli's in California," she said doubtfully.

His smile was ironic. "Apparating, they can be here in no time at all. I know that they plan to visit you for Christmas, but we are already married, and they should know it. Will they object to you marrying a wizard?"

"I left that part out when I told them about you," she said. "They were skeptical already, worried that I'm needy and lonely enough to fall for almost anyone."

"Condescending little beasts, aren't they," he asked, frowning.

"When they're young, kids think you're god-like, which is… unnerving" she said wryly. "Then suddenly they're teenagers and they realize you're the stupidest, most naïve person on earth, while they're worldly and sophisticated. Obviously they aren't over that stage yet."

"I suppose this will be something of a shock," he said.

"I don't think they'll be crazy enough to tell their father," she mused nervously. "But in the past year or two, he's hung around them more. I don't really know what their relationship with him is."

Severus had never considered before that her ex-husband, the moron that had made her miserable, was still in existence. He felt a fleeting, icy urge to see what he was like, this man who had left Zelda to raise their children alone.

"Shall we see them today?" asked Severus. "We can wait, if you think it better."

"Today," she said firmly. "Now that you mentioned it, I don't want to put it off. But, how can we do it?"

"Phone them and ask when they'll be home," he said. "Say that you wish to talk with them. Then we'll go there. They may be a bit startled, but they'll be hard put to deny the existence of magic. If they wish it, we'll bring them here for a visit."

"Okay," she said, chuckling at the thought of surprising her kids by magically showing up on their doorstep. "If you'll finish here, I'll get dressed and we'll figure out how this'll work."

She picked up the cordless phone and headed for the bedroom, dialing the first number. She returned a few minutes later, looking slightly frazzled. She was dressed in Muggle skiwear.

"We're going to Switzerland, first," she said, shaking her head and laughing. "Have you ever been there?"

"No, but I'm sure it will be delightful, for ten minutes," he muttered sourly.

"How's your French?" she asked, eyes sparkling wickedly.

"Non-existent," he snapped. "Why?"

"Well, if you don't know where we're Apparating to, and I don't, we have to go somewhere obvious and then get to Lily's flat from there," she said. "Don't we? My French sucks too."

"How practical you are," he said. "So in fact, we'll have a small adventure on our first official day of marriage." His lip curled slightly. "Perhaps we should stay here instead."

She stuck her tongue out at him. "So you're willing to risk your life, for years, like a sexy super-spy, but you're scared of a quick visit to Switzerland? Baby!" she murmured mockingly.

She kissed him lingeringly. "It'll be fun!" she said brightly. "Lily's home for the rest of the day, and I told her I had to hang up, but I'd get back to her, so we should go."

"Are you trying to manage me?" he asked threateningly, his black eyes glinting.

"Maybe a little," she said, a tiny smile playing on her lips. "But since you don't know where we're going any more than I do, I thought I'd spare you all the work. Unless you need to do everything…"

Shocked, he realized that being married meant that they would share plans and decisions. "After a life of doing everything myself, it's difficult to stop," he said doubtfully. "I believe I can do it, Zel, but…"

"My poor control freak," she murmured, smiling. "Have you ever screwed up without suffering over it? It's my normal state, my boy, and this tiny adventure has all the hallmarks of a minor disaster. But no one's going to die, and I hope, if we end up doing something stupid, we can laugh about it later."

Severus groaned, trying to imagine surviving some unknown, embarrassing situation. "I, er… dislike being humiliated," he said heavily.

"We'll try to be smooth, then," she said. "You're probably very smooth, but I should warn you that when I'm forced out of my little routine, I'm not."

"Where do you suggest that we Apparate to?" he asked.

"Well, I don't know anyplace specific, where we might not end up on top of some innocent victim, or be seen. But if we can get close to the airport, there's a short train ride into the city. Lily lives about two blocks from the Cornavin central station. We can walk from there."

"Practical," he said. "But we shall make one stop, first. Shall I close Rowena's door, to keep her in while we're gone?"

"I think so," she replied. "We won't be gone long, I hope." She knelt and kissed the dog, who had come immediately when she heard Severus say her name. "Be a good girl," she said. "We'll be back soon."

Severus had put on his black Muggle clothes. He put on the black leather jacket Zelda had given him, the first gift from his sweet girl, he thought. He examined her frivolous looking ski clothes and realized that his Muggle look might not blend in very well in Switzerland. All the more reason for their first stop, he thought.

"Are you ready, Mrs. Snape?" he asked softly.

She stood up, laughing a bit. "I love the sound of that," she confessed. She went to him and put her arms firmly around his neck. He held her close and they were off.

&&&&&&&&&

The Shrieking Shack looked especially forbidding in the foggy, afternoon twilight, and Zelda, having never seen it before, grasped his hand most gratifyingly.

"Where are we?" she asked, clutching him tightly.

He smiled. "This is the Shrieking Shack. Under it is a passage into Hogwarts, so we may avoid a public entrance through the main gates."

"But why are we here?" she asked, confused.

He kissed her and said smugly, "All in good time, my girl. We shall be brief."

He led her into the ramshackle building; still pleased at the way she clutched his hand.

"Lumos," he muttered, lighting their way through the passage.

Zelda found herself in a tunnel, with packed earth and tree roots close over her head. There was no way Severus could know she suffered from claustrophobia, so she stubbornly squelched the panic rising in her. She held tightly to his hand, and quite soon the ground rose, and she saw faint light ahead.

"Wait," he commanded, putting a cautious wand out to prod the knothole on the Whomping Willow.

Then they were out. Severus hustled her away from the tree, before it came back to life and attacked them.

Zelda stared up at the immensity that was Hogwarts, and memories stirred in her. A few lights were appearing in the windows, and the castle seemed powerful and sentient.

Severus sent a glowing white light from the end of his wand, toward the castle and turned to her.

"Do you remember?" he asked, putting an arm around her and leading her toward a small door.

"It feels familiar," she replied, staring eagerly around. "Why are we here, my boy?"

"I wish to borrow something from Potter," he replied. "I hope to avoid making an ass of myself in Geneva, if it can be avoided."

She hugged him delightedly. "Traveling magically is amazing. Can we go to lots of places together?"

He chuckled. Her excitement and her colorful winter clothes made her seem like a happy young girl. "If I'm not required to behave like an idiot."

"Of course not, you're the smooth one, remember? I'll be the idiot."

The door opened slowly.

"Professor Snape?" called Harry Potter quietly, peering out through the fog.

"Here, Potter," replied Severus, stepping out of the fog, holding Zelda's hand.

"Zelda!" said Harry. "Professor, is everything okay?" he asked, frowning anxiously.

"Fine," replied Severus, a tiny smile playing about his mouth. "We are going to Geneva."

"Wow! That's great," said Harry enviously. "I've never been."

"Why are we here?" Zelda asked curiously. She let go of his hand and went to give Harry a hug, studying the black school robes he wore.

Severus stepped close to them and whispered, "May we borrow your cloak, Potter?"

"Er, sure… of course," replied Harry. "But it's in my room, in the Tower. It'll take a couple minutes. Wait here, okay?"

"Thank you," said Severus, watching the boy run hastily down the corridor. He turned to Zelda, who was looking curiously around the dungeon corridor.

"Do you remember the afternoon we spent in my old rooms?" he asked in a low voice.

She thought hard, but finally shook her head. "Was it fun?" she asked, feeling quite dejected. "I hate not remembering."

"It was splendid," he whispered. She'd asked him to put on his own clothes, and then delightedly undone every button and made love to him in his own bed, even while he was a fugitive, hiding in Hogwarts.

Suddenly, her damaged memory gave her a teasing glimpse of her husband, dressed very formally, all in black, with only a hint of white. Her fingers itched to undo those buttons that she couldn't completely remember. "May we do it again?" she asked wistfully.

"Every day, if you will," he replied. His arms went around her and he buried his nose in her soft curls. "Your hair smells delicious," he whispered.

"You make me feel better about my memory," she said, squeezing him. "I promise I'm going to remember everything that's happened when I've been with you."

Harry appeared, running lightly down the corridor. He handed something shining and slippery to Severus.

"Thank you, Potter. How soon will you need it back?" asked Severus.

Harry smiled cynically. "No hurry. My rule-breaking days are behind me. I haven't used it in months."

Severus looked at him piercingly; one eyebrow raised in skeptical disbelief, and was startled when Harry smirked.

Zelda watched them, curious about their odd manner with each other.

"Severus," she murmured. When he turned around she whispered, "Can I tell him?"

He rolled his eyes, looking irritable. "It means three of them will know before your own children," he replied. But the disappointment on her face made him realize he could not deny her, and he believed Potter would be pleased. He nodded.

"Harry," she whispered, gesturing him close to her. When he was very close, she murmured, "We're married."

Severus watched the boy's reaction curiously.

Knowing that they'd all been together the day before, and no mention had been made, he was confused. But Zelda's glowing blue eyes and her blissful smile told him it was true, and his eyes lit up with happiness.

"When?" he asked, throwing his arms around her and kissing her impulsively. "Are you happy? I think it's amazing."

Severus watched the pair, and was shocked at how thrilled Harry Potter was. Then the boy looked shyly into his eyes and smiled.

"Congratulations, Sir," he said. "It's great news, but… when did you do it?" He still had his arm around Zelda's shoulders

"August," said Severus, reluctantly touched. "The last time I saw her. She remembered it yesterday."

Another black clad figure came down the corridor.

"Harry," hissed Hermione, "you're late for Potions! Professor Davis asked me to find you."

Seeing his companions, she smiled and said, "Zelda! Hi, Professor Snape. What are you doing here?"

"I'll tell you in a minute," replied Harry, grinning broadly. He looked quizzically at Severus. "Can I? Ron too?"

He nodded, a faint, resigned smile touching his lips. "No more, however."

"Okay," Harry said. "We're off."

He hugged Zelda again, smiling when she kissed his cheek.

"Wait. Are you very late?" asked Severus, frowning. "Miss Granger, may I have parchment and a quill?"

He took them and wrote a brief note, handing it to Harry.

"Give this to Professor Davis. I won't be responsible for marring your perfect record," he sneered.

"Thank you," said Harry, chuckling. "Have fun today."

Severus snorted as the two walked toward the Potions classroom. He ushered Zelda back out the door.

As he closed the door, Zelda said, "I love that boy. He's so sweet."

Her husband snorted again.

"Identify yourselves at once," said a grim voice, emanating from the fog before them.

"Lumos," said Severus.

"Severus! Zelda?" said Minerva McGonagall. "What are you doing here?"

"So much for secrecy," murmured Zelda. "I told you what happens when I have adventures, Sev."

"We came to borrow something from Potter, and we're leaving now," Severus said stiffly to Minerva.

"There's a permanent watch on the passage from the Shrieking Shack," she replied mildly. "For future reference."

"I shall remember that," he said ironically. He looked into Zelda's eyes and said, "May I tell her?"

"That's four," she said cheerfully.

Minerva had listened curiously to that small exchange, and looked penetratingly at Severus.

"Yesterday, Zelda remembered that we were married on August ninth," Severus murmured softly. "We're going now to tell her daughter."

Minerva's stern face was transformed by delighted smile. "Oh, Severus, I am delighted!" she murmured. "The sight of you joining the human race at last… I'm very happy for you."

Severus flushed as he shook her proffered hand and replied, "Thank you, Minerva."

The Headmistress turned to Zelda and said, "I'm happy for both of you. Is there anything I can do for you now, Zelda?"

"You don't happen to know a place to Apparate to in Geneva, do you?" asked Zelda lightly. "We've never been there."

Minerva smiled at the absurd request. She realized her young colleague might be in for some shockingly ridiculous experiences in the company of his new wife. How marvelous!

"How amusing," she murmured. "In fact, I can assist you."