"I'm going to tell!!"
Hermione heard the familiar whining voice of her youngest ring through the living room. She was sitting at the kitchen table preparing a fresh crop of sunflowers she harvested earlier that day.
"Mommy, tell him to leave me alone! He keeps taking my ribbons!" Madeleine pouted as she pointed at her brother with an accusing look.
"Remus, are you bothering your sister?" Hermione continued to work on her ingredients without even looking up to assess the situation.
"She started it! I was just minding my own business, when she came over and stomped all over my plants." Remus looked at his younger sister with anger and fumed.
Hermione knew that Remus was quickly starting to show signs of taking after his father. Remus Sebastian Snape, was the middle child in their little merged family. He was born only a year and a half after their binding ceremony. Now at the age of six, he showed interest in revenge and the dark arts. Hermione has already had a couple of talks with Severus about teaching him the right and wrong way to learn about those subjects and how to deal with his anger.
"Madeleine, did you ruin Remus's plants?" Hermione watched as Madeleine looked down to the ground as she tried to think of an excuse for her actions. "Madeleine, you know that Remus has been working on those plants for a long time to grow the ingredients for his potions. If you hurt them, you are taking away from his lessons with Daddy. I am very disappointed in you. I want you to go to your room and think about what you've done. Tonight, if you are ready to apologize to Remus and Daddy for your actions, you may come out."
Madeleine huffed in annoyance that she didn't get her way. She stuck out her tongue and stomped her way to her room. Madeleine Elizabeth Snape was the spitting image of Hermione and had her intelligence as well. At the age of four she was already showing signs of controlling her magic and is able to understand the basics of potions when she watches her parents brew. At times she would shock both Hermione and Severus with her insightful questions.
Hermione turned back to Remus to address him about his teasing of Madeleine. "Remus, you shouldn't tease your little sister like that. I know she hurt your plants, and it made you mad; but I want you to try and forgive her and come to me instead of trying to get back at her on your own." Hermione watched Remus closely to see if he was taking what she was telling him to heart.
"Okay…I'll try." Remus reluctantly gave in to her request. He then ran to the door to go outside and check on his plants again.
After seven years of marriage, Hermione and Severus were always busy with their three kids, working at Hogwarts, and keeping up with the demand for Wolfsbane. They perfected the transfiguration and spell-work needed to brew a perfect Wolfsbane without any human interaction. They would simply set out all of the ingredients and supplies in a secure section of the lab and put the whole process in motion. In about three weeks the result was a cauldron of perfect Wolfsbane.
They patented the process and tried to market it to other potions masters and transfiguration specialists so they could have Wolfsbane on hand easily. But, what they didn't expect is for everyone to ask Mr. and Mrs. Snape to provide them with the Wolfsbane, and not the process. They just wanted the final product, without the fuss. So, these days they brewed over 400 regular orders of Wolfsbane on a monthly basis. It has become a profitable side business for them over the years.
Hermione finished up the last of the sunflower preparation just as Severus came through the door.
"You have been busy my love." Severus walked over to Hermione at the table and leaned over to kiss her lips quickly. "Were you able to harvest enough of the sunflowers for this month's supply?"
Hermione stood up from the table and flicked her wand to send all of the newly prepared ingredients to the locked storage cabinet they had for the brewing supplies. "We calculated the need perfectly. We should be able to keep up with the demand if we continue to plant the same amount of flowers."
Severus went over to the storage cabinet as it closed and locked itself in front of him. He looked through the glass to count the jars of pure powdered sunflower that Hermione just finished preparing. "It was genius of you to think of setting up that climate controlled greenhouse on the side of the school. Being able to plant and harvest our own sunflower will cut down on our production costs considerably."
"Well, I didn't graduate top of my class for nothing." Hermione smiled at Severus with an invitation in her expression.
"You always were sure of yourself." Severus swooped over to Hermione by the kitchen table and trapped her against the table with his body. He wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her close for a heated kiss.
"Severus…the kids." Hermione warned him about the presence of all three of his kids in the house at that time.
"Oh, Hermione…let's take this somewhere more private." He moved his attentions to her neckline and used his tongue to tease her with tiny circular motions that he knew drove her wild.
"We can't, dinner will be soon." Hermione moaned as she felt Severus move his hand slowly down her back to her lower regions. "I haven't even started preparing anything. Not to mention all of the preparations that we have to finish for the start of the new school term."
Severus calmed down in his attentions and moved back up to her lips to gently show his affection. "Tonight. You are not getting out of this that easily."
Hermione laughed as he let her go and went over to his desk to check on the list of arriving first years.
"After over seven years of marriage I am amazed at how insatiable you still are. I would think that you would become tired or bored with me after awhile." Hermione talked as she went over to the cabinets in the kitchen to pull out some ingredients for their dinner.
"I can never tire of you my dear. My blood begins to boil every time I see you. You are my muse and my constant desire." Severus smirked as he continued to look over the paperwork he had for the new school year. "You will just have to suffer my insatiable lust for you until the end of our days."
"Then I shall gladly take up my cross of suffering and own it with pride." Hermione laughed.
Severus picked up all of his papers and moved them to his satchel. He wanted to be prepared for the next day. "Are you prepared for this school year my dear?" Severus asked.
"As ready as I'll ever be. The students are always the same. It will just be different this year because one of our own will be in the class."
"Yes, that reminds me, where is Teddy?" Severus looked around the living area to see only the signs of some dirty footprints running through the room. From the size of them, he was sure they belonged to Madeleine.
"He's in his room packing. He's so excited to be moving to the dorms. He has been going over everything he needs and all of his school supplies all day." Severus and Hermione had decided that in order for Teddy to have the best experience at Hogwarts, he needed to be immersed in the student life. So they are letting him move out of their expansive quarters in the dungeons, to the dormitories of the house he is sorted in to.
"I still say he will be a Slytherin. He has cunning and he is one hell of a Quiditch player. Slytherin could definitely use a seeker like him on the team." Severus walked over the kitchen to watch his wife prepare the family dinner. He always loved watching her work; whether it be research, brewing, cooking, gardening, or just reading. She was always so beautiful to him when she was concentrating on something.
"He's a natural born Gryfindor. Remember he was sired by a Gryfindor…besides Gryfindor could always use a good seeker as well." Hermione never stopped chopping her vegetables for dinner as she talked to her husband. She could feel his gaze on her backside, and it amused her that he still watched her all the time.
"Care to make a bet on that, my dear?" Severus left his post in the doorway to stand beside her next to the counter. He used the hand closest to her to run his hand up her side as he lightly massaged her.
"What do you have in mind?" Hermione ignored his distractions and continued to work on her task.
Severus nosed his way closer to his bride as he inhaled the unique scent of her. "If he's sorted into Slytherin you have to wear that little leather number in the window of Rosie's Randy Reed for me."
"And if he's a Gryfindor?" Hermione paused in her chopping to lean her head back and enjoy the closeness of her husband.
"Well, you tell me. What do you want?"
Hermione put down her knife and turned around to face him completely. She thought about her options for a while before she pulled him close to her body to whisper in his ear. "I want you to take me on a romantic vacation; with no children. And on that vacation you will have to do anything I ask of you."
"Deal." Severus smiled at her with a knowing look. "Although it is not much of a bet for me…either way I win."
"We'll see if you're singing the same tune when you're naked, bound to a wall, and completely at my mercy." Hermione then turned back around to her vegetables and picked up her knife to finish her chopping.
"Why you little vixen. You're such a tease…I like it!" Hermione let out a loud laugh and squeal as Severus pulled her backside firmly against him and leaned down to kiss and lick at the nape of her neck.
"Mother, what are we having for dinner?" Teddy came out of his room and called out to his mom as he made his way to the kitchen. Just as he rounded the corner to enter into the doorway of the kitchen he saw his mom and dad jump apart like two randy teenagers caught making out in the halls. "Ugghh! You two are disgusting. Don't you ever stop?"
Severus laughed at his son's reaction. "I can't help it Teddy…I still love her as much today as I did the first time I fell in love with her."
"Yeah, but at your age, it's just gross." Teddy walked over to the kitchen table and took a seat.
"I hope that when you are my age, Teddy, you still have as much love for your wife as I do for your Mother." Severus left Hermione's side to sit across the table from his adopted Son.
"So are you all ready for school tomorrow?" Severus was excited to have Teddy enter the gates of Hogwarts as a full time student for the first time.
"Yes. I can't wait for tomorrow! Ravenclaw, here I come."
Hermione turned around and looked at her Son with shock. "Teddy, what makes you think you will be sorted into Ravenclaw?"
"I have scored the highest possible marks in all of my schooling to date. It only makes sense that I would be sorted into the house that is known for its intelligence."
"Do not be so sure, Son. I believe the Slytherin House is in your future."
"No, he's a Gryfindor if I have ever seen one." Hermione interjected her opinion in the conversation.
Teddy sighed at the usual house politics that raged in their house. "When will the two of you give up your house loyalties and just get along?"
Both Hermione and Severus looked at each other and said at the same time, "Never."
"It will be good to get away from all of this and be in a room where I don't have to deal with Remus and Madeleine when I am studying."
Severus smirked at his Son as he thought about how things were going to change significantly in the house. "But don't forget…as you lose us as your constant family, you are gaining your Mother and I as your new Headmaster and Professor."
"I guess I will never escape it all."
The next evening the sorting feast was about to begin. Hermione stood outside the Great Hall with the first years, ready to enter. As soon as she heard her queue from Severus she led them all in a single file line to the front of the Great Hall.
The Sorting ceremony went fairly quickly. Up until it came to Teddy's turn to sit under the sorting hat.
"Theodore Lupin-Snape" Hermione called out his name without any change in her voice to acknowledge that he was her Son.
Teddy ran up to the stool and took a seat with pride. He was certain of his actions…he had seen this ceremony for many years as a spectator, and was excited to be a part of it all.
Hermione sat the sorting hat on Teddy and waited anxiously to hear the decision. She looked over to Severus and caught his eye. Severus winked knowingly as they both waited to hear who would win their little bet.
"Gryfindor!" The hat shouted with glee at the decision. Teddy looked a little confused at the decision, but happily ran to his house table to join his new life-long friends.
Hermione smiled as she turned to her husband to see his reaction. He raised one eyebrow at her as she mouthed the words, "You are mine!"
They were going to have one interesting year…and one intoxicating vacation.
A/N: I want to thank everyone for taking the time to read this entire story. I loved all of your reviews and comments. I hoped everyone enjoyed the journey this little story took. I hope to find inspiration for another story soon…and maybe Remus will get to stay around and play longer in the next one.