WARNING: This story will contain Themes and Topics of a Sensitive Nature! If you are not 18 or older, this Fan-Fiction is not for you! You have been warned!
CHAPTER 22 –The End & The Future
Severus took a sip of his Firewhisky, once again glad that he kept a large stock of the liquor at Prince Manor. He looked around his sitting room, repressing the urge to run screaming from his own house; or even run his guests out instead. The only thing that kept him sane was the brown-eyed witch who sat across from him with her nose stuck in an extremely large book titled The Master's Plentiful Guide to Potion Ingredients. Taking his eyes from her face once again, he surveyed the other occupants of the room—namely the reason he was drinking in the first place.
Remus was conversing with Arthur, Bill, Ron, and Harry about the new Department of Intolerance Control at the Ministry of Magic. Molly was fussing with Fleur about Bill's "extremely long and unsightly hair". It had been two whole days since the last of the wounded had left for their own homes or been transferred to St. Mungo's. With a little nudge from Hermione, the Weasleys, Harry, and Remus were still under his roof.
Severus had had the urge to kick them out before Hermione asked him, those big chocolate eyes staring him down, if they could stay for a few more days before things went back to a new "normal" for them all. The memory of the shocked and pained look in her eyes after the battle as they treated the wounded and made arrangements for the dead was enough to make him grant her anything. So, with his mind now more pleasantly occupied with thoughts of Hermione, he sipped his glass of Firewhisky and listened in on the boys' conversation, which had now shifted to the most recent count of dead or captured Death Eaters.
"It's true, they found—er—parts of him, at least enough to identify that it was Malfoy. I just wish we knew who killed him and how. I would have loved to do in that bastard myself, but I never even saw him at the battle," Ron commented.
"Ronald Weasley, watch your mouth or I'll jinx it and make you taste soap for a month!" Molly exclaimed, chiding him sternly.
When Severus heard what Ron had just said, he looked at Hermione to make sure she wasn't upset over the topic of conversation. Many, seeing her with her nose stuck in that book, would think she hadn't heard a word. But Severus could see that she appeared to have stopped breathing, and her eyes were fixed to one spot.
"Perhaps, Mr. Weasley, it is better to leave the dead…buried. Now, if you all don't mind, I think I will turn in early. The official from the Department of Magical Education will be here at ten. Hermione, may I walk you upstairs?" Severus took her arm when she rose from her overstuffed chair and led her from the room without a backward glance. Both of them heard Molly Weasley light into Ron once again, this time for speaking without thinking.
Severus, sensing that Hermione did not want to talk about Malfoy at all, chatted with her about their appointment in the morning. Tomorrow they would be making her apprenticeship official. Then, of course, he took a few moments to kiss her senseless. With a smile that lit up her eyes, Hermione turned away from him at last and reached for her door. She paused as she turned the knob and turned back to him. She looked down at the carpet cautiously and quietly admitted, "I didn't tell you, but it was I who killed him. Malfoy, I mean."
"Why did you feel as if you couldn't tell me?" Severus asked her just as quietly.
"Because of how I killed him. After everything I did to get myself into that situation and all the trouble I caused you before, and after you rescued me, I knew you had planned some type of retribution for him before he died. But when I saw him out on that field, I just couldn't bring myself to be as cruel and unfeeling as he was. I cast the Avada curse on him moments before Harry triggered the end of it all. I said the words—Draco hadn't even seen me. It was just…over. And I was glad," she whispered.
Severus took hold of her hand that was clenched around the doorknob and turned her to face him. When she didn't look up, he gently tilted her face until they were eye to eye. Severus softly wiped away the lone tear that was falling across her cheek and kissed her. When he pulled his head away moments later, he said simply, "Hermione, I wouldn't have cared how he died, just as long as he was dead and could no longer harm you. I'm thankful that despite the horrid events that brought us here, we found each other. You are the manifestation of my dreams, and I thank Merlin for every moment I get to spend with you. I love you, Hermione Granger."
Hermione smiled up at him, another tear—but a happier one this time—falling down her cheek. "I love you, too, Severus Snape. More than I can say."
~Epilogue – Sixteen Years Later~
Severus Snape walked toward the mirror that doubled as a second entrance to his potions lab. Checking his reflection very carefully, he made sure his formal robes were in perfect order, his hair smoothly hanging around his face, and that his general appearance would be up to the night's standards. Satisfied that he had done his best, he walked away from the mirror and picked up his wand and his notes for his speech. With a wave of his wand, the lights in the room went out as he left the master suite. Before he Apparated, he made sure to stop by the kitchen to speak with the head house-elf, Ramie, and confirm that the other plans for that evening were firmly in hand.
Severus arrived at the summer office just as the few secretaries and potioneers he employed were leaving. He smiled as he entered the research lab and saw his wife, lost in the art of potion making. Hermione Snape was still a beautiful woman, having hardly changed since they'd married fifteen years ago. Many things had changed for them both over those years, but despite the changes time had wrought, they loved each other more with each passing day. Clearing his throat to get her attention, Severus approached her and greeted her with one of those spine-tingling kisses she never quite got used to. "Severus, dear, what are you doing here?"
"Have you forgotten what day it is, Hermione? Tonight is the dinner with the Ministry. They're honoring us both for the creation of the Conceive Potion…does that ring any bell?"
Hermione's eyes went wide and she pulled away from him and walked swiftly to the mirror in their office, which was also connected to the lab. "Oh, no! I don't have time to go home and shower and change—Severus, why didn't you come earlier? We're going to be late! Of all the nights to make a break-through…what am I going to do?"
Severus chuckled and pulled her wand from its sheath and handed it to her. "You take care of your hair, or whatever you need to do. Don't worry; I brought those dark green dress robes you bought for tonight—they're carefully shrunk in my pocket. Besides, there's no rush. They can't very well start without us, can they, dear?"
Hermione smiled at her husband, thinking once again how lucky she was, and went about getting ready. Severus enjoyed the show as she flitted about their office half naked while she got ready. He promised himself he would make good on his improper thoughts prompted by the view and attack her properly when they got home later that evening—after the surprise, of course.
Hermione sighed as she sank onto the couch in their sitting room, took off her heels that matched her dress robes, and rubbed her feet. "That was some evening. I didn't think being honored would be so much work. I hardly got to eat anything… I'm famished."
Severus smiled as he sat down next to her and pulled her close to his side. "Yes, but it was worth it, wasn't it, dear? To see all those witches we helped? Just think: Hogwarts will have a small increase of population for a few years, all thanks to us. I'm quite certain I should retire…" he replied, laughing when she poked him in the side for picking on her.
"So, speaking of kids, where are our own thirteen- and eleven-year-olds? Did Molly and Arthur steal them away from the house-elves for the evening?"
Severus huffed. "As if I would willingly let Carina and Brian stay even for a few hours with those people. No, I made sure Ramie kept them busy at home for a change."
Hermione sighed and snuggled a little closer to him. "Severus, quite being such a grumpy wizard and call Ramie, please. I would like to know that our children had a good night—without getting into trouble in the process…"
Severus kissed her on the forehead and then called Ramie. With a subtle pop, the small elf appeared and bowed to them both. "Yes, master and mistress? Ramie is called?"
"Ramie, I didn't mean to disturb you. I just wanted to check that the children had a fun night and went to bed at the usual time," Hermione stated calmly. One look at the expression that came over the elf's face had Hermione on her feet. Ramie twisted her hands and backed away from Hermione and Severus.
"Ramie told them and told them not to, but they be as stubborn as children their age can be, if master and mistress will please follow me, I will show you what—what they are being up to."
Severus was on his feet just as swiftly as Hermione, making sure his face looked as stern and worried as hers. They followed the faithful house-elf through the house and out of the back door that led to the greenhouses.
"I told them not to play around in there any more, Severus. Please remember to control your temper with them," Hermione said as they reached the door to the largest greenhouse.
They opened the door and Hermione gasped as she took in the site before her. Both Carina, with her bushy black hair and chocolate eyes, and Brian, with his curtain of brown hair and nearly black eyes, stood before them, smiling. The entire greenhouse had been transformed with thousands of balloons and a spell of falling confetti that faded into non-existence as it neared the floor. Above a long table set with all their favorite foods was a large banner that was charmed to say "Congratulations Mom and Dad – To Think It All Began With The Two Of Us!" in flashing green and silver.
Hermione laughed as she walked forward and pulled her children into a hug. Severus smirked as he, too, walked forward and put his arms around his family.
MANIFESTATION OF DREAMS
A Sevmione FanFiction By: EchoLynn
A/N: Whew. I'm sad now. I rewrote this chapter several times, and just now, I am thrilled with it finally lol. I want to say thank you to everyone who has ever given this story a chance, and also for those who stuck with it and gave me such wonderful, helpful, happy-making reviews ;). Also, to my wonderfully talented Beta, Su. You are the secret to my success! Thank you sooo much for all of your hard work, and patience lol.