Disclaimer: Harry Potter belongs to Ms. J.K. Rowling. Believe me, if I'd written the books, they'd be about ten pages each. :P

A/N: So, being that it's January 9th – happy birthday, Severus Snape! And in honor of the day, here's a bit of a more lighthearted take on SS/HG than is typical from me – rather more of a "happy ending", for a change...so let me know what you think, yeah?

On the Upside of Things

He is the kind of man who doesn't answer the telephone.

Not that she would dare announce this to his face, of course; she suspects he most certainly would not appreciate the association with something so Muggle, assuming that he even chooses to remember what a telephone is (and he has reason enough to try and forget, for all that his father once probably owned one). There is little doubt in her mind, however, that he is the kind of man who would ignore the buzzing quite religiously, had they a telephone to ring. He is not fond of small talk, after all – nor is he fond of simpletons, and least of all making small talk with simpletons – and he certainly isn't one to be patient with bodiless voices calling to sell you useless products or demand you pay your bills or just to chatter, "Hi, how are you?"

He is also not a mower of lawns (she can hear him now: "Why do what you can hire the boy down the road to do? Or better yet, just let it grow over – a bloody wizarding garden is supposed to be unruly and wild."), or a watcher of television ("Ridiculous, really, to fry out your retinas while simultaneously reducing your brain to little more than stew"), or a thrower of block parties ("I'm already paying the dunderhead to cut my grass – I have no desire to see him for more than the necessary hour on Thursday afternoons!").

He is, however, the kind of man who will offer to help cook dinner – cooking being a means of mixing and experimenting, and thereby a bit like Potions, the Great Love of his life (apart from her, of course). And he is also the kind of man who will, despite the blow dealt to his ego by the slightly overcooked noodles and rather flaky chicken, offer to help clean up the dishes after the meal (provided she does the drying and puts things back on their shelves).

He is the kind of man who doesn't really mind lending his favorite book for her to read, so long as she promises not to dog-ear any of the pages (and who is he to talk, when he scribbles in the margins so?). He is the kind of man who will grudgingly accompany her to Madam Malkin's to pick out some new maternity robes, but only if she swears to please not go all sentimental on him, and only if she lets him stop in the apothecary on the way home (a deal with which she can't complain, really). He is the kind of man who will sit for half an hour with her in his lap, carefully combing out of the tangles of her hair, his hands gentle even as his tongue mocks the bushy and the frizzy and the overwhelming brown.

He is the kind of man who both barks and bites at strangers (for all that he hates dogs), and who, for that matter, can barely tolerate even his friends. He scorns and he sneers and he "bloody well cannot stand an insipid, idiotic fool!" – and the day that he hands out compliments is the day that Voldemort pops back from the dead (alright, so that's happened before) and starts forking out slices of lemon-meringue pie (no, definitely not).

He is the kind of man who can give her a row like nobody's business (or like everybody's business, rather – they do tend to get fairly loud about it, at times). He is the kind of man who makes her smile to see him scowling at some unknown inanity (most likely Harry or Ron, but who's to tell?). He is the kind of man who makes her laugh outright, when he (now teasingly) calls her a know-it-all.

He is the kind of man who makes her feel – all things considered, above and beyond everything else – most like herself.