Lost in the Woods: Predicaments and Resolutions

By Ange de Socrates

Disclaimer: Characters not mine. Plot mine. Why I would claim ownership to something that pales in comparison to the genius of J.K., I have absolutely no idea. Do enjoy.


"So help me Merlin, if you don't scurry your arses down those stairs this instant…" Hermione shouted threateningly.

Severus came up behind her and rested his hands on her shoulders, gently massaging her neck. "Calm down, witch. We are nowhere near late."

She sighed and let her shoulders drop. "I just don't want them to miss the train."

"You make it sound as if our children's intelligence level is on par with that of Weasley or Potter," Severus scowled.

The twins came tumbling down the stairs, each with a shrunken trunk in their pocket and a caged owl in their hand. "Ready!" they said in unison, looking absolutely thrilled at the thought of their impending first year at Hogwarts.

Severus observed his offspring with a great sense of pride. Oddly enough, the boy twin looked much more like Hermione with his wavy brown hair and wide, chocolate eyes, while the girl twin resembled him with her long, raven hair and piercing ebony eyes.

"You have your cauldron, Jack?"

"Yeah, Mum."

"And you have your wand, Elise?"

"Got it, Mum."

Hermione brought her children close to her for a tight embrace, which the two returned eagerly.

"Let's be on our way," Severus announced, pulling on a coat and opening the door. "It takes a good fifteen minutes to walk to the station, and if we wait any longer, your mother just might go into apoplectic shock."

The witch glared at her husband and smacked him playfully as she ushered Jack and Elise out the door, Severus close behind.

Hermione sniffled softly as she waved at the train, though it was too far away for her children to see her standing there. Severus, too, watched the vessel shrink into the horizon before turning to glare at some former students who had also come to send their children to Hogwarts.

"Shall we return home, my love?" he suggested, snaking an arm around his wife's waist. "I can think of many things to do with an empty nest…"

The witch grinned and nodded. "Let's."

As they walked down the busy streets toward their flat, Hermione rested her head upon the wizard's shoulder and sighed nostalgically. "I really miss Hogwarts, Severus."

He frowned slightly. "I can't say I miss it all too much. Teaching dunderheads year after year gets bloody nauseating."

Hermione laughed and kissed him on the cheek. "If it weren't for Hogwarts and its dunderheads…"

"I wouldn't have the most beautiful wife in all the world and the two most brilliant children in centuries, all of whom I love more than life itself," Severus finished, stopping to kiss Hermione properly. "I am so grateful for the opportunities and blessings that school has given me." He paused, scowling again. "But I'm still glad to be rid of those bumbling idiots."

The witch snickered at Severus' unwavering cynicism. "I love you," she told him, taking his hand as they resumed their walk back.

"And I love you," he replied, squeezing her hand affectionately. They came to a stop in front of their building.

Hermione waggled her eyebrows. "Do you really?" She pushed the door open and made for the stairs. "Then commmme show me."

Severus didn't need to be told twice to chase the woman up to the second floor to give her a proper show of affection. Second chances were rather rare in life, and seeing how he had already been given so many, there was no way he was going to pass up a golden opportunity like this.

A/N: A sweet, sappy ending for my lovely readers! With a touch of raunchiness, of course. I wanted this story to be short and sweet, and though it was a bit longer than I would have preferred, I do like the finished product. A very clean-cut, fluffy little tidbit for you all to snack on.

Honestly, I've tried writing unhappy endings before, but I didn't like them one bit, and neither did the focus group of readers that I tested them on. Though everyone likes to complain about the excess of happy endings in fandom, it turns out to be what we really want.

I've got a pretty dark fic coming out soon, for which I have a preview below. But before I get to that, I wanted to say thank you again to all of my readers and especially my reviewers. To those who have offered your support and constructive criticism, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. And thanks to all, reviewers or not, for taking the time to read my drivel!