Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author.
Many thanks to VIVAvivacious for her help as my beta and all of her input into improving this story.
Grimmauld Place was filled with chattering and noise as the Weasley family readied to welcome home their missing family member. The whole of the Order had been invited to celebrate the event, including the two antisocial members who had previously avoided attending such events. What most of them were not aware of, including the unbelievably oblivious Weasley boys, was that the two of them had been seeing each other romantically for the past year since just after Christmas the year before. Hermione had been reluctant to visit until she was fully recovered physically, and Severus Snape, naturally, had conceded to her wish.
To everyone's immense disappointment, Ginny had not returned immediately from her trip in America after her holiday. She had instead chosen to live there for a while, not returning for any visits, and insisting she just needed the space. It wasn't until finally, on Christmas Eve night, Molly Weasley had received news Ginny would be returning on Christmas day.
Hermione had been in the kitchen cleaning up after dinner that night when the owl came in and delivered the message. There were a few vague details, and she had mentioned everything would be explained in more detail when she arrived. Molly Weasley had been overcome with joy and burst into tears, leaving Hermione to finish washing dishes while the other Weasley boys' wives attended to the comforting of the emotional Molly. When she had described the situation to Severus later, he had been vaguely amused, even when Hermione had smacked him on the arm for his teasing.
Hermione herself had put on more weight and was no longer so thin that she would be carried away in the next wind. She was still quite thin, with a flat stomach and bony shoulders, but her face was no longer gaunt and was coloured with a natural flush. She no longer needed the glamour. Snape had been there for the most part of her recovery, and it had been he who had encouraged her to stop neglecting herself and move on from past hurts.
It also seemed as though she had taught him a lesson during the time they had been together. He had learnt to let go of his past and love with his whole heart, and she was grateful to have been the recipient. He was happy to know she loved him.
'Hermione, is everyone inside?' asked a voice softly from the back doorway where she had been standing for some fresh air for a few minutes.
Hermione whipped her head around to where the voice had come from and felt her eyes grow wide when she saw the shock of bright red hair and a pregnant belly where a flat one once was. 'Ginny?' she exclaimed before running at her and hugging her fiercely.
'Yes, I'm so glad to see you here!' Ginny said gleefully. 'I thought you never stayed after the first lunch.'
Hermione smiled ruefully. 'I stayed for nearly the whole of Christmas last year, and I intend to stay the entire holiday this year,' she replied with a grin. 'Happy Christmas, Ginny.'
The redhead smiled and turned to the corner of the house. 'Yes, and to you, 'Mione. But there is someone you need to meet, and please don't think badly of me, but there is so much for me to explain,' she answered hastily.
'Yes, I can see that,' Hermione answered, eyeing her stomach particularly.
Ginny blushed and went to the other side to grab someone, bringing him around so Hermione could see. She felt her mouth fall open unattractively when the startling silver-blonde hair came into view along with the pale hand of Draco Malfoy clutched in Ginny's freckled one.
'Mione, I would like to introduce you to my husband, Draco Malfoy,' Ginny announced, blushing a little.
Hermione recovered from her shock slowly but only truly came out of her trance when she felt a hand on her shoulder. She looked at the hand, pale and long-fingered, recognizing them instantly. She turned in the snow and faced Severus, who was looking in just as equal shock at the unexpected couple before them. Who would have thought, a Weasley and a Malfoy?
'Draco, is that you?' Snape asked, staring at the embracing two.
The blonde smirked at that. 'How are you, old man?' he asked teasingly, stepping forwards from his wife and extending a hand.
Accepting his hand and shaking it, Severus was in shock. It was the look on Hermione's face when he had first seen her standing out in the snow from the hallway that made him decide to investigate. He looked over to Hermione for an explanation, but she merely shrugged and smiled ruefully. Next he looked to Ginny Malfoy for an explanation, but she merely gazed back at him, apparently amazed by his friendliness and that he had actually touched Hermione willingly. Or perhaps it was the fact he was only wearing a black sweater with a pair of slacks that had her surprised.
It was Draco who had the answer, though. 'Severus, Ginny and I are married and expecting,' he clarified. 'Actually, seeing as you are both here, would you do us the honour of being our child's Godparents?'
Hermione was the first to answer. Beaming, she hugged Ginny and grinned at Snape. 'I would love to be your child's Godmother,' she replied immediately.
Snape sighed then and felt resigned. 'All right, I might consent to such a thing also,' he said in a reluctant voice, but Hermione could tell that he was glad.
Ginny and Draco went inside first, leaving Hermione and Severus outside alone. He closed the door and went to her in the snow, a curious expression on his face. She smiled at him, and he put his arms around her tightly.
'So, what exactly was that back there? Did I just agree to what I think I did?' he asked into her hair, breathing in the cinnamon aroma of it.
She grinned into his shirt, hugging him back just as fiercely. Eventually, he led her over to the stairs leading back up to the house, but instead of walking them up, he waved his hand and wandlessly cleared the snow from the steps. He sat her down on the top step and crouched down before her, kneeling gracefully on one knee and holding her hands gently. Wordlessly, he brought her hands to his lips and kissed each palm reverently, nuzzling the ticklish flesh with his nose a little.
She smiled, fighting the urge to giggle. He stopped and wrapped one arm around her, resting the hand over the small of her back, surrounding her with his warmth and the delicious spicy smell of him. The other hand still held her hand, and he leaned forwards and kissed her lips chastely, pulling away before she could seek to deepen it. He needed to keep all of his wits about him for this.
'Hermione, we have been running around in circles all year now, and I think we need to do something about that,' he began quietly, sensing the fear in her eyes, and changing tactic swiftly. 'Don't worry, love, I'm not leaving you.'
She sighed in relief. 'If that's not the case, then what is it you wanted to say?' she asked softly, resting her forehead against his.
He smiled then and scooted a little closer until he was wedged slightly between her knees. 'Hermione, I don't want to spend the rest of our lives running around and getting nowhere. I don't want to be alone anymore. I never have, but I had never found the right witch before you,' he said, feeling her tears slide hot across his cheek. 'I want us – this – to be permanent.'
She hiccoughed a little then and bit back a sob. 'Do you mean you want us to…?' she trailed off, unable to finish her sentence.
He pulled back a little and tilted her chin up so that they were eye-to-eye. 'Yes, my love, that is exactly what I am asking. You would make me the happiest man alive if you would consent to becoming my wife.'
She snapped then, and tears flowed from her eyes freely as she clutched him tightly and hugged him as fiercely as she could, showering his face with small, teary kisses. When she had stopped crying, she fisted her hand in his hair, and before kissing him with every ounce of love in her body, she whispered a soft, 'Yes, I will marry you.'
When they broke apart, he lifted her up into his arms and retrieved the ring that was in his pocket. It was a lovely white-gold band, twisted around and framing a glittering diamond, with part of the shimmering metal weaving into a small, but elaborate 'S'. He slid it gently onto her finger, and lifting the hand to his mouth, he kissed her skin just below it lovingly. She smiled and opened the door, slipping in. Severus followed his fiancé closely, not wanting to let her out of his sight again.
She led the way to the loudest room in the house, which she assumed Ginny and Draco were in, and since they had arrived twenty minutes earlier, she assumed the explanations had been sorted through already. Snape walked hand-in-hand with her into the room, which made most of the Weasley boys stop and gawk, save for Ron and Arthur. And then finally, Ron stepped forward, holding a hand out to Snape and eyeing the ring on Hermione's finger.
'It's about bloody time,' he exclaimed, shaking the older man's hand.
Hermione sighed with relief and was not at all surprised to be immediately crowded by those in the room offering congratulations. Eventually it died down, and Hermione was left sitting across the lap of her husband-to-be with her arms around his neck and his arms surrounding her. He leaned forwards and kissed her cheek softly then.
'I love you, Hermione,' he whispered into her hair.
She smiled, never feeling so elated in all of her life. 'I love you, too…'
A/N – Well that's the end of that story now. I hope you all enjoyed it. I know this last chapter had been pure corny fluff. It has been good, bad, long, and boring, and it is finally over.