When the dust had cleared, Hermione found herself gasping from the weight of two men atop her.
"Ow." A bedpost had landed squarely on Lucius's back.
"Get off me, you oaf," said Severus, with no real venom.
Gingerly, Lucius withdrew from Severus, casting a Vanishing Spell with a wave of his wand.
"Where did you get that?" asked Hermione.
"Unlike your Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, I practise what I preach and keep a wand on hand at nearly all times."
"Get stuffed, Lucius," said Severus, not bothering to lift his head from between Hermione's breasts, which he was kissing languidly. "That's my wand."
With Lucius's weight gone, Hermione wrapped her legs around the backs of Severus's and kissed him. "That was amazing, Professor."
"It was my pleasure," replied Lucius.
Severus pulled his mouth reluctantly from Hermione's. "Shut up, Lucius."
"Honestly!" huffed Lucius. "I sometimes wonder why I bother fulfilling your deep-seated fantasies if this is the thanks I get."
"Correction," piped up Hermione. "I think that this sort of thanks is exactly why you bother fulfilling his deep-seated fantasies."
"I've no idea why I'm considering attaching myself to such an insufferable know-it-all," said Severus, securely fastening his mouth to her neck.
"Correction," said Lucius, fondly sweeping loose tendrils of Severus's hair behind his ear. "This is exactly why you're attaching yourself to an insufferable know-it-all."
He kissed both of them fondly, and then stood by the bed. "If you'll excuse me for a moment, I'm going to take a shower. I'd invite you to join me, but I have a conditioning treatment that requires the utmost concentration. I trust you can keep yourselves occupied in my absence?"
Severus waved him off, as his mouth was far more pleasantly occupied.
"Bravo, Severus," he murmured slipping into the bath.
Fifteen minutes into his conditioning treatment, Hermione joined Lucius in the bath and asked him if it was really pleasurable to receive attention from the rear.
Fortunately, Lucius had brought the proper implement to demonstrate.
Five minutes into the lesson, Severus joined them and offered Lucius the opportunity to make love to his witch, provided Lucius was willing to offer up compensatory entertainments.
"I thought you said you only had one good one in you this evening," commented Lucius.
"You were right," said Severus, smearing the waterproof contents of the jade jar on all appropriate surfaces, "I underestimated myself."
The next morning, the three of them awoke in Severus's ruined bed.
"Oh!" groaned Lucius. "I haven't been this sore since Bellatrix Lestrange made me stick an entire cucumber up my-"
"I remember that," interrupted Severus. "The Dark Lord rewarded Rodolphus extravagantly for each impression that he did of you sneezing out the seeds."
Hermione raised her head, eyes bleary. "Please tell me this is a bad dream."
"Sorry, my dear," said Lucius, kissing her tenderly. "Last night, you made love in every conceivable way to two Death Eaters, and you enjoyed every minute of it."
"Not that," said Hermione, batting Lucius fondly across the arse. "I meant the image of you with a cucumber up your nose.
"I guarantee, my dear," said Lucius with a smirk. "One not-too-distant-day, you will be amazed at the plasticity of the human body. And speaking of which, you did remember to take precautions? I don't think Severus would enjoy seeing you swell with my progeny, as brilliant as they would undoubtedly be."
Hermione stiffened. "Apart from the fact that we are not in the correct phase of the moon, I took a potion in addition to my usual Muggle method, thank you very much!"
Lucius gave his friend a sidelong smirk. "There you have it, Severus. Should she ever become unexpectedly with child, you will know that you were the only unsuspecting one."
Hermione kicked Lucius's leg off hers none too gently. "And now if we're finished discussing my reproductive status, I'm going to take a bath!"
"That was crude, even for you, Lucius."
"You're welcome, Severus. You'll make her a proper husband, irritable as you both are."
Severus stretched languidly on the bed. "That reminds me. I've been meaning to ask you a question or two, old friend."
Lucius idly traced his hand up and down Severus's side. "Do tell."
"Since you obviously do not intend to marry Miss Granger, as you had previously led me to believe, are you at liberty to disclose your true motive in bringing us together?"
Lucius insinuated his stiffening member against Severus's. "Simply the pleasure of having the two of you at once?"
Severus rubbed his erection against Lucius's. "I don't buy it."
"Then, I'm afraid you shall have to wait to find out," said Lucius. "But in the meantime, I should be most obliged if you would put that in me."
"Your arse or your nose?" asked Severus with a smirk.
"You are a frightful tease," proclaimed Lucius.
"Before I give you satisfaction," said Severus, "I must ask what you think we should do. It really is improper to be shagging a student."
"There's a very simple answer to that," said Lucius. "And it involves neither of us losing face."
Severus frowned. "We expel her?"
Ezekiel Tofty's face broke into a grin upon receiving resignation letters from Severus Snape and Lucius Malfoy.
He filled in the date on the letter he'd prepared on Minerva McGonagall's advice, claiming that nobody would teach the N.E.W.T.s preparation course if even the Death Eaters had to quit and recommending that all the students be allowed to sit their N.E.W.T.s immediately.
Two days later, the students sat their N.E.W.T.s. Tofty himself was pleased to reward each eligible student an 'Outstanding' in Defence Against the Dark Arts.
The only lingering effects of the breach in testing protocol were occasional suspicious looks from the Senior Undersecretary to the Minister- not that she could have any proof of disloyal activity- and occasional complaints from the magical families that lived in the immediate vicinity of Caer Brech, claiming that their connubial affairs had been interrupted by a poultrygeist. These Tofty forwarded to the Spirit Division of the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures with a shake of his head. Whoever heard of a poultrygeist with a moral conscience?
Hermione and Severus waited a few weeks after the close of the school at Caer Brech before allowing themselves to be spotted in public. As predicted, the papers were full of speculation, which the pair brought to an end by announcing their engagement several weeks later.
The Weasleys hosted their engagement party at the Burrow, which provided ample bushes and trees for couples wishing to avoid being asked when they would be following Severus's example to hide behind, and an opportunity for Lucius Malfoy to insinuate himself among the heroes of the past war.
Late in the evening, after Fred and George had managed to turn everyone at the party into a goat at least once, much to the delight of Aberforth Dumbledore, Hermione cornered Lucius over the punch bowl.
"I've been meaning to ask you a question, Lucius. Two questions, really."
"Won't you have another glass of punch?"
"No, I've had enough. I'm sure it's been spiked with something undetectable and potent. Veritaserum, knowing Fred and George."
"Then ask away, knowing I can't lie."
"Fat chance," snorted Hermione. "You haven't had a drop all evening. I've been watching you."
"Then ask your questions, my dear. I should hate to keep you from your fiancée. Unless you desire another tumble for old time's sake."
Hermione rolled her eyes. "Two months ago is hardly old times."
"It's long enough," said Lucius, caressing her midsection.
Hermione pulled away. "Stop trying to distract me! I have serious questions!"
"Then ask, my dear."
Hermione grinned. "What is that tattoo on your hip?"
"You don't recognise it?"
"It looks really familiar, but I haven't been able to place it. I checked all my Runes textbooks, but I can't find it. It's been bothering me ever since."
"Well," said Lucius, leaning in conspiratorially. "I got it right after I sat my N.E.W.T.s. Severus and I decided to go bar hopping through Muggle London. I had a bit too much vodka, and we ended up in a tattoo parlour. I asked the artist to give me something transcendent. Something iconic. Something that would be meaningful the world over. I think it's really quite attractive."
"Did he say what it was?"
"He said 'pink,' but there's no pink in it. Just the triangle with the rainbow coming out of it."
Hermione frowned. "Do you remember anything else about it?"
"I may be mistaken, but I thought he said something about the moon."
"Well, if you got it in Muggle London, then I don't think Ginny's going to recognise it if it's anything really dated or embarrassing."
"You're probably right," said Lucius. "Exposing it to you was the part of the evening that I'd feared the-" Lucius shut his mouth suddenly. "Brava, Miss Granger. How did you know?"
"Simple," Hermione said with a grin. "You obviously wanted me to be open to the possibility of future engagements, but you also knew that Severus would never share his wife unless you had something equally precious to offer him in exchange. That led me to conclude that you did wish to take a wife. And not just any wife, an extraordinary wife. The other question in my mind was why you would be so helpful in getting me and Severus together. The obvious answer was to divert attention from your own pursuits. And with my friends and adopted family bending over backwards to accept me and Severus, your burgeoning relationship with Ginny would seem tame by comparison."
Lucius's eyes darted from side to side, trying to ascertain if anyone was eavesdropping on their conversation. "A brilliant deduction, as usual, Hermione. But what do you plan to do with the knowledge?"
Hermione blinked in surprise, and then allowed a sensual smile to play across her lips. "Nothing. If you can manage to successfully court Ginny after the diary affair, then my hat is off to you. And if, once you are married, you can convince Ginny to pursue Severus and me, then more than my hat is off to you."
Lucius gave her a warm smile. "My favourite kind of challenge: one with a marvellous reward. Now, my dear, if you'll indulge an old man with a question in return."
"By all means."
"How on earth did you persuade Severus to share?"
"Just an idea I picked up from a book," she replied airily, removing a Shrunk object from her pocket and slipping it into his hand. "I thought this might prove useful in your pursuit."
Lucius examined the tiny cover. "Perhaps it's my weakening old eyes, my dear, but I believe you've given me Animal Training and Husbandry by mistake."
Her eyes sparkled with mischief. "Trust me."
Lucius pocketed the Shrunk book and raised his glass. "Hermione, I've said it before, and I look forward to saying it again: you are an extraordinary witch."
Hermione tapped the rim of her glass against his. "Here's to success in marriage."
"To success in marriage," agreed Lucius, "for many, many years to come."
Notes: I'm neither the first nor last to use the word "poultrygeist," though this incarnation was inspired by Robertson Davies's ghost story, "The Ugly Spectre of Sexism."
The alliterative potions revision session was inspired by Dr. Seuss's "Fox in Socks," and Hermione's sexually transmitted curse owes a great deal to Glynnis John's turn as Captain Jean in "The Court Jester."
Severus's line "Hastily lead away" is the last line from Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale. The story title comes from the same source.
Mage-O-Stims exist, although Muggles know them, ironically, as Violet Wands. They also run on eckeltricity instead of Magic.
Many thanks for reading- I hope you enjoyed the story!