A/N This story used to be on another account under the name Dunamis79. That account has been deleted and the story was relocated to this account. There was no stealing of the story involved, I promise.
"Time to find you a wife, Sev."
"No, thank you. And don't call me Sev."
Harry Potter smirked. "So sorry, Se-ve-rus. Still, you should get married and settle down."
"Potter, you idiotic brat. I'm an ex-Death Eater. I don't have a very amiable disposition. I will not marry."
Harry punched his former professor gently in the arm. "Oh, come on, Sev. You're no longer an ex-Death Eater; you're a war hero. Women LOVE tall, dark and mysterious. So you're a bit on the sarcastic side; we'll find you someone who appreciates that."
"You are a menace to society."
"As you've told me on many an occasion, Sev. But really, I'm 22 now and I'm getting married in a month. Maybe I could set you up with someone nice at my wedding…"
"Don't you DARE!"
"I'm sure Ron wouldn't mind arranging that…" Harry said thoughtfully, thinking of his still tactless Best Man.
"If you leave my love life in the hands of a Weasley, Potter, I swear I will skin you alive at your own reception!"
Harry pouted. "Fine, then. So getting the Twins to set you up is out, too?"
He was out of the door before the copy of Advanced Potions Making smashed into the wall he was only seconds before leaning against.
"Hermione…my dear, sweet Hermione."
The witch didn't even bother looking up from her book. "What do you need, Harry?"
The young Savior of the Wizarding World sulked. "Can't I greet my future wife without alterior motives?"
"Of course, love. But you HAVE an alterior motive, don't you?"
Harry squirmed. "Well…sweetheart…"
"Sweetheart, no less. This must be big."
"Hermione…I was wondering…well…canwesetupseveruswithanicedateatourwedding?" he blurted out.
His fiancee stared at him for a second, and then nodded. "Of course, Harry." She went back to her reading.
Harry's jaw dropped. "You…you already arranged something?"
"Certainly," his soon-to-be wife said, "Severus needs a nice date. He is much too convinced that he is worthless and that no one will ever love him. He still doesn't even believe that we care for him. So I arranged things. I found someone that I think suits him, and made sure they are seated together during dinner."
Harry kissed her on the cheek. "Hermione my darling…you are a miracle."
"Hermione my darling…you are utterly insane," Harry said in a fierce whisper when they were enjoying their soup as newlyweds.
"Why?" Hermione inquired.
"You said you'd set up Severus with someone NICE and SUITABLE!" he complained.
Hermione kissed him, which unfortunately combined the taste of his mushroomsoup with her tomato.
"I did, husband of mine, I did," she whispered.
"She IS suitable, believe me."
"But Hermione…she is Narcissa Malfoy!"
Severus scowled. And sneered. And glared. And…conversed politely with the lady on his right.
"I know you can't be happy to see me, Severus," she had smiled sadly when they found out they were seated together, "we have a very difficult history, don't we?"
Severus was momentarily stunned by her directness.
"I assure you, I have every intention of being courteous," he said stiffly.
"I know, Severus," she said, giving the young couple a quick glance, "You know, when Draco was born, I dreamed of the day he would bring home a nice girl to marry."
Severus didn't know what to say. Draco and Lucius had both died in the final battle, fighting side by side.
Narcissa looked at him, her large, beautiful blue eyes shining with unshed tears.
"He never really had a chance, had he?" she asked him.
Severus contemplated relaying to her what Albus had so often said. That it is one's choices that define who they really are, but Narcissa didn't need to hear that. She knew that.
"He didn't," he agreed therefore, "Lucius was training him before he could even walk and talk."
"I should never have married Lucius," Narcissa said bitterly, "but Mother and Father insisted so…"
Then she sat down, all sadness and contemplation gone.
"But this is a joyful day. Who would have thought the two would end up together? I had the impression that they were both more interested in the youngest Weasleys."
Severus sat down as well. "They did once, but came to the conclusion that Ginny and Ron weren't right for them. It was very difficult for Harry, though, when Ginny died, even when they had already broken up months earlier. It was then that Hermione and he looked at each other and realized that they were perfect for each other. You know that Ginny was killed by Voldemort to try and hurt Harry, and bring division between him and the Weasleys. For that reason, he kept his relationship with Hermione extremely quiet, going so far as to even pretend they were drifting apart, to keep her safe."
Narcissa nodded. "It is good to finally talk to someone who does not ignore the war," she remarked, "only too many people are eager to forget…not only the heroes…"
"It is in our nature to repress unpleasant things as soon as we can," Snape agreed, "but this is not something that should ever be forgotten. How are you coping, Cissy? I know there was little love lost between you and Lucius, but you did love Draco."
"And I had hoped to save him," she muttered, "I even forced you to kill Albus Dumbledore for him. All for nothing, in the end. I am sorry, Severus. Truly sorry."
"Don't be," Snape ground out painfully, with the dull, haunted look that always appeared on his face whenever his former mentor was mentioned, "He made me. I wanted to die from the Vow Bella forced on me. He made me go through with it so Draco would have a second chance. He would have, even if he had known in advance it would not work. He did care, Cissy, for all of his students, even if it appeared to be different."
They ate in silence, for a while. Harry got up after the main course.
"Well…You all know how I love giving speeches," he began.
Most of the people in the room snorted with laughter. After he defeated Voldemort, Harry had literally hidden from public view, and in the end had to be put in a body bind and levitated to give his first and last statement on the final battle.
"My life has not been perfect," Harry continued, "Until I came to Hogwarts, I had no happy memories. That first year I met my two best friends, Ron and Hermione. Although we did some decidedly stupid things – for details, please contact Professor Snape, he will be more than happy to inform you of my idiotic Gryffindorish behavior – I loved Hogwarts. But I had a job to do, and working to fulfill that destiny wasn't always easy. Alright," he added, after a pointed glare from his wife and best friend, "it was almost never easy. Today, however, I can honestly say that I do not believe there is a happier man in the world than me. The best wife a man could ever have, who always stood by me in the past, my family, my true family, to celebrate with me today, and a long, happy future ahead of me.
I thank you all. Mr and Mrs Granger, my father and mother in law. I thank you for raising such a wonderful daughter. Mr Weasley, Mrs Weasley, for many years now you have been my surrogate parents. Ron, my wonderful brother. Ginny, the sweetest sister I ever had, that we all loved so much…"
Even Snape felt his throat constrict, and he saw Harry and Hermione hold each others hands. Suddenly he felt a small hand on his own, and meeting Narcissa's eyes, he gently squeezed back.
"…and finally professor Snape, who kept me on my toes all those years. I have greatly wronged him many, many times before finally Hermione managed to get it through to my thick skull what a wonderful man he is. So today, I am surrounded by my family, and I thank you all for that. Thank you, 'Mione," he concluded, slightly softer, as he bent over to kiss his wife gently on her lips.
Loud applause followed Harry's speech. Snape was too dumbfounded that he had been listed with Harry's family to really respond, but the couple knew. They caught his eye, Hermione smiling sweetly, and Harry smirking a bit goodnaturedly, as they raised their goblets to him.
"That was sweet," Narcissa said.
Snape grumbled. "Impudent brat never passes on an opportunity to…to…"
"Praise you?" the witch suggested with a slight smirk on her lips.
She delicately took a bite from a lemon tart that had appeared for dessert. Snape gaped at her, before turning to his own dessert.
"Alright folks," Ron Weasley stood up as the dishes disappeared, "It is my priviledge to be the first to congratulate my friends. Harry…you are one lucky son of a…"
"RONALD WEASLEY!" his mother shrieked, causing the whole room to explode in laughter.
"Alright, alright," Ron mumbled, blushing under his mother's stern gaze, "Harry, you are a very lucky young man. 'Mione, you are a very lucky witch. I wish you both the best. Fine, that said…it's time to dance!"
Harry gently led Hermione to the large wooden dancefloor in the middle of the room. Music started playing, and they seemed to fly over the floor in perfect harmony.
A few minutes into the dance, other couples were invited to join.
Snape bowed to Narcissa. "Do you care to dance, Cissy?" he asked.
"I would be delighted, Severus," she answered, holding out her hand to him.
As they assumed position on the floor, Snape looked at her.
"I didn't even know you could dance," he remarked.
"Of course I can," Narcissa replied, "I was taught to dance the moment I could walk. Lucius's gatherings often required dancing as well, though Lucius preferred not to dance, and would not permit me to take another partner."
A soft walz set in. Snape led Narcissa skillfully, avoiding other couples without feeling stuck in a traffic jam.
"How did you learn to dance," the witch asked, leaning a little nearer to his chest.
"I attended a Muggle dancing school as a boy, and kept up," he responded.
"Muggle?" Narcissa raised an eyebrow.
"Surely you know my true origins by now," Snape responded, "I am a halfblood. My father insisted we lived as Muggles. My mother secretly sent me off to learn as many of what she deemed important skills to have when I would eventually rejoin the Wizarding World as I could. Dancing was among them."
"As were Dark Arts?" Narcissa inquired, but immediately lowered his eyes at his gaze.
"I apologise; that was uncalled for," she mumbled.
Snape sighed. "Yes, she definitely thought the Dark Arts appropriate," he admitted, "and sent me to stay with my uncle – her brother – during the holidays. You may have heard of him. He died in the first war."
"I have," Narcissa admitted, "he was with the teams that killed the Prewitts, wasn't he?"
"Yes. Fabian took him out. I never did mourn for him; he was a very cruel man."
Snape looked over at the bride and groom, who stood close to each other, Hermione's head resting on Harry's shoulder, both completely at peace for once.
"Reminds you of another wedding, doesn't it?" Narcissa softly said.
"Does the boy know you loved his mother?"
Snape was silent for a long time. "He suspects it. And he doesn't hold it against me. In fact, I rather feel he is flattered by it. Lily could never have been mine," he admitted ruefully, "even if she had returned my feelings, which she didn't. I was already a Death Eater and a spy."
"And Lily could never have been a Death Eaters wife, like I had to be," Narcissa said with sorrow, "She was Slytherin, much more than any of us knew. Harry gets his Slytherin streak from her, amidst all his father's Gryffindor boldness."
"Harry is what life made him. A perfect blend of James and Lily, bashed into this shape by abusive Muggles and an equally abusive Wizarding World. It is a miracle he came out of it all so well. I have long resented him; now I am just happy that life is finally giving him what he deserves. I don't resent James anymore."
Narcissa smiled. "Had life been different, Harry could have been yours. Did you never consider, in the years of the Dark Lords dormancy, to marry?"
"I knew he was not completely gone. And face it, Narcissa, who would marry me? I am ugly as hell, an ex-Death Eater, with a nasty attitude to boot. Honestly, I wouldn't even marry myself."
Narcissa laughed out loud. "Oh, Severus, I should hope not, that would truly be absurd! But you debase yourself needlessly; you are not ugly. You just do not care much for your appearance. I won't deny that you can't be considered…pretty…but honestly, would you WANT that?"
"Merlin spare me!" Snape exclaimed indignantly, "absolutely not. But, my looks aside, it does not change my history, or my character."
"I was in love with you at school," Narcissa suddenly admitted, caught between blushing and smiling fondly at the memory, "I was already promised to Lucius, and he didn't…wasn't very attentive to me. I think I fell in love with you when you sneered at Dumbledore himself in our fourth year."
She could feel a shudder pass over his back when she uttered the late Headmasters name, and inwardly she cringed, knowing that she was the one that caused such grief in him.
"I'm sorry, Severus," she said, stroking his back in an attempt to comfort.
"Don't be," he breathed, "I…I don't mind…I don't want anyone to stop saying his name, or forget him. I'm just not over it yet."
When he saw the witch pale, he lifted her chin with a long finger.
"I killed him, Cissy. You came to me for help, Bella forced me to take the Vow, he forced me to kill him, but in the end, I spoke those words. I sent the curse. I am to blame, and only I."
When he saw she was about to protest, he removed the finger from her chin to rest lightly on her lips.
"You wanted to protect Draco. That was an honorable thought, Cissa, worthy of a mother. I do not blame you for that."
"I should never have brought Bella along," she whispered, tears glistening on her eyelashes.
"That wasn't the wisest decision you ever made," he allowed, "but entirely understandable. Let us put this behind us, Cissa. A-Albus certainly would insist on it. Crazy old coot," he murmered affectionately.
"Have you ever seen his portrait?" Cissa asked hesitatingly.
"No," Snape admitted, "I haven't been able to face that. He wrote me a letter, before he died. To be delivered if I were still alive after the war. Begging me to forgive him…when all I wanted was to crawl to him, if that were possible, to beg for HIS."
He stared off into the distance. "Why am I telling you all this?" he wondered, "I never even told Harry and Hermione, and they are the closest friends I have. Ironic, isn't it?"
"Life is full of it," Cissa confirmed, "Imagine being invited to the wedding as a welcome guest of the people who killed your husband and son."
Severus smiled vaguely, but kept quiet.
"Alright folks," Ron Weasley called, "The bride and groom are about to depart on their honeymoon! Let's go send them off properly!"
Fred and George Weasley had worked tiredlessly for this day, creating the most fantastic firework.
Harry helped Hermione on Sirius's old motorcycle, before sitting down himself and starting it.
One of the fireworks exploded over their heads and 'Just Married' floated over the couple until they were out of sight.
Cissa pressed herself closely against her companion in the chilly night air. Snape gasped as he breathed in her scent and felt the soft hair.
"Cissy…" he began, his voice shaking.
"I've never seen your place," she responded, her eyes wide and innocent, "your new place, I mean. Will you show it to me?"
"Here it is," Snape said nervously, waving his hand to show the wards he was home.
"It is certainly…bigger," Narcissa said, actually quite impressed.
It wasn't a huge house like Malfoy Manor, now renamed Nymph's Wood, much to Tonk's chagrine. Narcissa had amended her relationship with her remaining sister after the war, and declared her niece her sole heir, naming the manor after her…in a matter of speaking.
The house Snape had bought was spacious, for sure, but not immense. There was a rather large sitting room and dining room, as well as a huge library with a potions lab underneath on the first floor.
There were several bedrooms on the first floor, as well as a large bathchamber with a poollike bath, much like the prefect's bathroom at Hogwarts.
"I indulged myself there," Snape admitted, "a bathroom like this is something I always wanted. I dreamed of soaking in hot water after a few rounds of Cruciatus sometimes."
"I can imagine," Narcissa smiled, testing out a few of the tabs, "oh, this is a lovely scent! What is it?"
"My own secret recipe," Snape responded, turning around, away from the smell, "Albus loved this. I used to brew it especially for him."
Narcissa stood behind him suddenly, her arms around his waist and her cheek resting against his back.
"Narcissa," he said, regaining his composure as he freed himself from the witch's grasp, "there is something…something you need to know before…before we do anything…we might regret."
He led her out of the bathroom, and back into the sitting room.
"What is it, Severus? What can be so bad?" she asked, running her finger down his cheek.
"Narcissa…" he got up, staring into the fireplace.
"Narcissa, as much as I am attracked to you, I can't…can't live with a lie. I should have told you a long time ago, perhaps, but I…hadn't come to terms with…"
He drew a deep breath.
"Tonight you said that you found it strange to be enjoying the company of the man and woman who killed your husband and son. You did, but you were watching the wrong people. Hermione did kill Lucius when he tried to use the Killing Curse on Harry. But Draco…Narcissa, Draco was killed…was killed by me."
A deafening silence descended on the room as the witch tried to take in what she heard.
"You killed Draco?" she finally whispered.
"Yes," Snape responded, avoiding her eyes, "I did, Cissy…he left me no choice."
"There is always a choice!" she sobbed, "How could you! After you promised…promised to help him…"
"Cissy, I am so sorry," Snape tried, touching her shoulder.
She jerked away, got to her feet and slapped him soundly across his cheek.
"DON'T TOUCH ME!" she yelled, "he was my son!"
She ran out of the house, far enough to Apparate. Then she was gone.
Snape sighed, and touched his burning cheek. Then he poured himself a glass of firewhiskey and drank, remembering the final battle.
His cover had been perfect up until the very end. His many meetings with Potter and Granger had gone completely unnoticed. The Dark Lord had given him command of the many magical creatures he had gathered to him. Needless to say, Snape ordered them home.
The loss of over half his army went unnoticed by the Dark Lord, focussed completely on Potter, who fought with Granger and Weasley besides him.
It did, however, get noticed by the other Death Eaters.
Draco, in command of a dozen Death Eaters, surrounded the finally exposed spy.
"You," he roared, "YOU! How could it have been you? We trusted you!"
"Draco," Snape tried, "I killed Albus for you. Albus died willingly for you. Please, Draco, join me now. The Dark Lord will lose, Draco, all his Horcruxes are gone. Think of your mother!"
"I AM thinking of my mother! If I make my father proud, if I make the Dark Lord proud, they will praise her for having given birth to me! She would become the most important of women once the Dark Lord rules everything!"
"Oh Draco," Snape shook his head, "he will not win. And even if he could, what would be in it for you? Tell me, Draco, how often have you been praised, as opposed to the number of times you have been cursed?"
The youth's handsome face was twisted in rage. He grabbed Tonks off the ground, where she lay wounded from her battle with MacNair.
"Recall the creatures," he threatened, pointing his wand at the witch, "or she dies. I presume, you filthy traitor, that you care about her enough to want her to live?"
"Draco, let her go," Snape said calmly, "this is between you and me."
"You fool," Draco sneered, "you betrayed us all! Recall them!"
Snape looked at Tonks, and read in her eyes her plea not to give in, knowing how many brave people would die if they were recalled.
"No," he said.
"Suit yourself, then," Draco said, "Avada…"
Stretching out the words to see if Snape would give in, he lazily pointed his wand, "Ked…"
"Sectumsempra!" Snape yelled, aiming for Draco's arm, intending to cut it off. Arms could be reattached, he figured, and keeping the boy away until he could be reasoned with would be the best course of action.
Draco noticed the movement at the last moment, and turned to Snape. Had he not chosen that particular direction to move in, he would have escaped unscathed. As it was, the hex slashed straight through him, cutting his aorta. He bled to death within seconds.
Snape cursed. "I wanted to save that boy," he said softly into the fireplace, "I would have done anything to ensure it, Albus, you know that. I didn't want your death to be in vain. If only he hadn't moved when he did…but he did, and now I have his blood on my hands. I failed him, and Narcissa, and most of all you, Albus. I'm afraid of dying, just because I'd have to face you again and admit it, and see the hatred and disappointment in your eyes."
"I doubt you'd see that," a soft voice said, "he will embrace you and tell you how proud he is. As he should be."
Snape nearly launched himself out of his chair. "C-Cissa," he stammered, completely taken by surprise.
She sighed and sat down. "Will you tell me what happened, Severus?"
Slowly, haltingly, Severus relayed the events of the final battle for her.
"I'm sorry," he kneeled before her, "I owe you a son. I offer you my own life in return. It is all I can give you."
The witch gently rested her hand against the still red cheek she had slapped earlier.
"No, Severus. You saved my dear Nymphadora. As much as it pains me to say it, she deserved to live much more than Draco…"
She kissed the trembling lips. "You did what you could. More than anyone had a right to expect of you. You did not fail. As for Draco's death: I forgive you for anything that needs forgiving."
Snape let out a shuddering sigh, and buried his head in her lap.
"Thank you," he managed, "thank you."
Narcissa stroked his hair. "It's ok, now," she soothed, "it is alright, Severus."
He slowly lifted his head. "Did you really come back? Or is this a cruel dream?"
She pulled his head to her breast and laughed lightly. "I am really here, Severus. I went home, and realized it was never my home. I started thinking, and when my anger had subsided, I decided I had to hear your story. So I came back. I'm glad I did," she ended.
"Me too," Severus slowly leaned in further to kiss her, "me too, Cissy…"
"Come," Narcissa said, and pulled him upstairs, to the bathroom. She turned on some taps, and undressed.
Severus's breath hitched as he took in her still perfect body. She came over to him, and started to pull off his robes.
"N-no," he protested, ashamed. But the witch simply continued.
"I took care of you a few times in the past few years, after you left Hogwarts, Severus. There's nothing I haven't seen yet," she teased him lightly.
As she helped him out of his robes and started to unbutton his shirt, he rested his head against her shoulder.
"Cissy…" he managed.
"Shhh, it's ok," she assured him, and let his shirt slide to the floor as well.
He crossed his arms in front of his chest, ashamed of the many scars. Battle wounds, but also the thin, crisscrossed scars on his back that told of his uncle's harsh teaching methods when he was young.
Narcissa simply made him sit down on the closed toilet lid, and removed his shoes and socks.
"No, no, please," he begged, as she started to ease his pants over his thighs.
The witch smiled softly at him. "It's ok. Trust me, Severus." But she didn't continue to undress him until he had himself under control and buried his head against her neck again.
Then she guided him into the tub, turned him to sit against her and started to rub his shoulders.
He let out a soft sob, and she spoke soothing words in his ear, as her fingers found tight muscles to soften.
After a while, she got rid of the water and wrapped them both in bathrobes. Snape was completely mallable by then, allowing her quietly to take the lead.
She pushed him into the bed, and laid next to him, her head on his shoulder and her arm around him. She would not take advantage of him, she thought. This man was not used to being loved. Not used to friendly or loving touches. His sarcastic, impressive appearance hid a very insecure, frightened man that she would have to reassure and calm first before they would even speak of a relationship.
She would try. She certainly would try.
Snape felt completely drained. He had gone through such a range of emotions in a single day, culminating in the attentions of the woman that was now holding him, that he was incapable of movement or even coherent thought. All he felt was a pleasant drowsiness, and the unfamiliar feeling of being sure he was loved. He smiled slightly, and send up a brief 'thank you' for Narcissa's understanding. This woman deserved the best he could give her.
He would try. He certainly would try.
"Tell me, Hermione…how did you know Narcissa was a perfect match for Severus?"
"Easy enough," the witch replied, sipping orange juice. She insisted on the 'muggle way' and not drink alcohol while pregnant, even though Poppy had guaranteed her she could charm the wine so it would not harm the baby.
"He is afraid people will reject him for having been a Death Eater. Obviously, Narcissa has no such objections. Furthermore, she is kind, wise, and loving, even if she was forced to marry Lucius and keep up appearances. What she did for Draco showed that clearly."
"Do you think she knows…that she knows what happened to Draco?"
Hermione rolled her eyes. "Harry, Severus is not a complete idiot. He told her, that night they spent together after our wedding."
"How come you always KNOW these things?" Harry complained.
"Because I talk to them, Harold! Honestly, they've been seeing each other for nearly two years now!"
"Yes," Harry said thoughtfully, "she did change him, didn't she?"
Hermione smiled, her eyes going soft. "She healed him, is the best word, I think. And he healed her. Did you ever notice how attentive he is to her?"
"Yes, but Severus always was courteous, wasn't he?"
"There's a difference, Harry. He dotes on her, really. Showers her with kind attentions like flowers and small presents. Takes full notice of everything she says, and treats her with respects. After Lucius, that's just what she needed."
"And how did she heal Severus?"
Hermione smiled at the head table that held the couple they were discussing. The two were completely focussed on each other, oblivious to being discussed.
"She showed him that it is possible to love him. That touching him is not revulsive. They were intimite, very intimite, but until a year after our wedding, they never had sex."
Harry grimaced. "Mione! Too much info!"
Hermione ignored him. "Narcissa helped him through many of his issues first, without taking advantage, as she called it. I respect them both even more now than I did before."
Snape stood up.
"I am told my first year potions speech is quite good," he smiled at Harry, "but perhaps not entirely appropriate for this occasion. We do not desire fame and glory anymore. What we do desire is right here: our friends and family. Well Tonks…it seems as of today, we are related," he teased.
"Yay for my new Uncle," the Auror cheered him, her eyes warm.
"Thank you, Nymphadora," Snape said gravely, "and I can only say that because I am the groom today, thus preventing you from taking revenge…"
"There's always tomorrow," they heard the slightly insulted Auror mutter.
"Don't worry, dear," her newly married Aunt said, patting her husband's hand, "I have some good ideas…"
"While my wife and niece are plotting," Snape went on, completely unphased by the plans to retaliate, "I wish to thank you all for sharing this special day with us. Harry, my Best Man, and soon-to-be Daddy of another idiotic Gryffindor, no doubt," he sneered, but Harry just grinned.
"Hermione, I am fully aware that it is entirely your doing that Cissy and I were placed together at your wedding. So you are responsible for this." He levitated a rose and sent it over to her. "Thank you so much," he said softly.
"The rest of you, Weasleys, our other friends, again, our thanks for being here. Now, as undoubtedly Harry and Hermione have set up two other unsuspecting people," here, Harry and Hermione went bright red, as did Neville and Luna, seated next to each other, "let's dance!"
He bent over to his wife and brushed a quick kiss on her lips. "Remember that first walz, my love?"
She nodded expectantly. The music started playing, and with tears in her eyes she allowed herself to be taken to the floor, happy in Severus's arms, and hoping for many more walzes to come.