Severus stood in the corner of the kitchen at twelve Grimmwauld place; he was watching the trio of Mr. Potter, Mr. Weasley and Miss Granger talk among themselves before the Order meeting started. This was the first time the three children had been back since the Death Eaters had attacked during Bill Weasley's wedding.
They had been hunting the Horcrux's that the Dark Lord had created; Severus watched Miss Granger extra close. He could see that she was still dealing with some of the after affects of the Bellatrix's Cruciatus Curse; he hoped that he could help her with the side effects.
Soon the Order meeting started, the threesome didn't know that Severus and Minerva had told the rest of the Order about the Horcrux's. So when Minerva brought it up, all three of them gasped; "Albus shared everything with Severus and I. In return we shared with the rest of the Order last week after we found out that you had been captured.
Severus was the one that got the Sword of Gryffindor to the three of you. We have also found Rowena Ravenclaw's diadem and it is a Horcrux. We will need the Sword of Gryffindor to destroy it. That means we just need to destroy Nagini and all that will be left is to kill Voldermort."
Severus sat back he knew something that even Minerva didn't know; he was sure that Harry himself was a Horcrux. But, he wasn't going to say anything until the bitter end; he had promised on Harry's mother's grave that he would protect her son and he was going to do his best. He had been searching for a way to get the Horcrux out of Harry and he thought he might have found a way.
Severus continued to listen to the meeting and think about Miss Granger. He watched her and noticed that she was extremely thin and that her body was shaking and occasionally she grabbed the table to keep herself still. He didn't understand why he couldn't keep his eyes off of her; but, he knew that she needed help. She needed food; vitamin potions and the potion that would help regenerate the nerves that Bellatrix had killed.
The meeting finally wound down and Severus walked up to the Granger girl, "Miss Granger I have noticed that you are still dealing with after affects. If you will follow me to the basement I have something that might help."
Hermione looked at the Professor, when Minerva had told them that Severus had brought them the sword, Hermione had somehow already knew that. The night that Harry and Ron had brought it back she had smelled Sandalwood and cedar on the air; that was the scent that she had always associated with Professor Snape. "Thank you sir I would appreciate that; they seem to be getting worse instead of better."
Severus opened the door to the basement and indicated that Hermione should go first; watching the young woman Severus realized that he was thinking of her as Hermione not as Miss Granger. When they reached the bottom of the stairs Severus walked to a cupboard and waved his hand to unlock it. He reached inside and brought several vials of potion out of the cupboard. "Miss Granger this vial has a nerve regeneration potion that you will need to take at least every other day for this week. We will have to wait and see how the tremors react to know if you will need it longer. The blue is a vitamin potion that I will give you the recipe for and you can brew for yourself after the tremors start responding. And the last is a potion that should help you with the nightmares I hear you suffering from."
Hermione looked at the Professor he was actually being nice to her. "Thank you sir; how often should I take the vitamin potion and where will I be able to brew it I wouldn't want to be in your way. "
I want you to take the vitamin until you start eating better and gaining some of your weight back; you are suffering so bad from the tremors because of your bodies need for food. I am hoping that once you start eating better that you can help me with the brewing for the Order so you will be using my lab. I was exposed as a spy to the Dark Lord last week, when we helped rescue the three of you; so I can no longer help the Order except to brew and eventually fight."
"Professor, I am glad that you are no longer reporting to him, I know that you suffered for years to protect all of us. And, if you think I am capable I would like to help with the brewing."
"Miss Granger you are more than capable as you well know; I'm sure by now you have realized that I had to play the part when I constantly put you down in my class."
Hermione nodded, "Yes, sir I recognized that during my fourth year when we learned that you were a spy for the Order."
Severus nodded and the girl took the potions that Severus had handed her and then he pulled out his wand and conjured a cup of tea for her to wash away the terrible after taste of the potions.
"If I can be so blunt Miss Granger you must start eating, I noticed this morning that you played with a piece of toast and your egg."
"I try sir but my stomach rebels every time I try to eat; it's been doing this since, well since I was cursed."
"I think you will find that the potion will help but you need to eat some try some fruit and toast now and then for lunch try some more fruit and maybe some vegetables."
Hermione nodded, "Thank you sir I'll go up now and try some toast and fruit."
Severus nodded and moved over to his caldron that was sitting under a spell so that he could continue the brewing.
Hermione started up the steps and at the top turned and looked at the Professor, she wasn't sure why but she really wanted to spend more time with him."
Hermione returned to the kitchen and cut an apple up into slices and slowly nibbled on it while she finished the cup of tea that Severus had conjured for her. While eating she thought about what had happened in the basement and the fact that she was thinking of him as Severus not Professor.
The rest of the week Hermione got better every day she took the nerve potion every other day and the vitamin potion every day. She found that by the end of the week she could keep down an egg for breakfast and typically could keep down a light lunch and dinner. By the time she took the potion for the 4th time she was feeling good enough that she stayed in the basement and helped prepare ingredients for the potion that Severus was preparing.
Harry and Ron were still unhappy with the Order knowing everything and even more angry that they had taken Severus back in. They still didn't trust him even when they found out that he had provided them with the sword.
By the fourth week of living in Grimmwauld Place Hermione had enough of the nastiness of Harry and Ron and blew up with them one evening when most of the Order was in resident and they had been exceptionally nasty to Severus.
Standing up Hermione smacked Ron and then let both of them have it. "I can't believe either one of you! Professor Snape has done nothing but help us for the last year while we were on the run and for that matter for the last 6 years. He brought us the Sword so we could destroy the hrocrux's, he helped us escape from Malfoy manor, he has been all but killed making sure that the Order has been aware of what the Death Eaters have planned and then you act like this. If you two don't grow up and grow up soon; you can forget about me being your friend. I absolutely will not take any more of your nastiness or your mean words! Now Grow UP!"
With that Hermione walked out of the room and stormed up the stairs to the room she shared with Ginny. What she didn't see on her way to her room was the smile that Severus had on his face as she stormed past. She also missed Molly and Minerva along with Sirius and Lupin agreeing with her and telling them that they owed Hermione and Severus apologies.
The next morning Hermione entered the kitchen to find Severus and Molly the only two in the room. "Good morning Molly, Professor."
"Miss Granger since I am no longer your professor and since we are both in the Order I think you should use my given name of Severus."
Hermione nodded, "Only if you will call me Hermione."
Severus nodded and Molly sat a cup of tea in front of Hermione. "Will you eat some pancakes this morning Hermione?"
Hermione nodded and sipped her tea, "Can I help you Molly?"
"No dear sit there and talk with Severus, you are just starting to put some weight on and get some color back. Let me spoil you a little."
Severus watched Hermione as she sipped her tea and read the potion book that he had left on the table.
"Severus if we bring you know who down this summer do you think that we will be able to finish our last year?"
"It will be up to the Board of Governors', if they allow it you will be able to if not I'm sure that now that the Ministry believes he's back they will make arrangements for you to take your NEWT's you could have passed yours at the end of your fifth year."
"I doubt that but I would like to get my NEWT's and then do an apprenticeship."
"Do you know what you want to apprentice for or who with?"
"I don't know for sure I've thought about Arithmancy. It seems to be what I keep coming back to."
Molly sat down with Severus and Hermione, "Severus are you going to go back to teaching after the war is over?"
"I doubt I'll live through the war but if I do I would like to start a private potion practice. I've never liked teaching; most of the students don't want to learn. Occasionally, you get one like Hermione who loves to learn; but they are the exception to the rule. If I could be guaranteed a class full of Hermione's I could continue to teach!"
Hermione was surprised to hear Severus so open and actually talking about her as a good student. "Severus did I just hear you say that I was a good student?"
"Yes, Hermione you did you were and are an exceptional student. You amazed me every day with what you could do with Potions and you have shown me that you have a great understanding even with experimental potions."
Just as Hermione got ready to say something else Ron and Harry came into the kitchen and Severus's whole attitude changed. He went from someone that was open and had a half smile on his face to the sneering Potions Professor in moments.
Hermione finished her meal and headed to the basement, Severus followed her within a few minutes and the two of them began brewing. Hermione was working on medicinal potions while Severus was working on some experimental potions that he hoped could block some hexes and curses. By the time Hermione finished with the potions she was working on Severus was working on some equations to figure out number of stirs and what direction along with how long a new potion needed to cook.
Just as Hermione was getting ready to see what else was needed when Severus threw down the quill he was using and started rubbing the bridge of his nose. "Can I help you with that Severus?"
"I would appreciate it, Arithmancy never was my strong point; I can do it but I normally have to figure it at least three times to get the same answer twice."
Hermione smiled at Severus she never would have thought he would open up to her the way he had. "Well let's see what I can do."
Hermione quickly worked the equations and then double checked her numbers; then handed the parchment over to Severus. "Thank you Hermione you worked that in half the time I would have been."
Hermione smiled at Severus, "do you want me to start another potion? Or would you rather I leave you alone for a couple of hours?"
Severus smiled, "If you would like I would enjoy your company, you have the medicinal potions pretty well caught up."
"I would love to spend some time with you, could I help with ingredients?"
Severus handed Hermione some ingredients and told her what he needed done with them. All the time wondering why he was opening up to her. She was a student; she hadn't even finished her NEWT's. But, his mind kept telling him that she had lived through this war and was more mature then many women much older than she was.
The two of them worked the afternoon away; they stopped shortly for lunch and then continued until dinner time. After dinner the two of them went to the basement and tested the new potion. It was supposed to block the Body Bind Curse. Hermione fed the potion to a rat and then Severus threw the Body Bind curse on the rat. The potion worked so well that it rebounded and hit Severus and bound him. Next Severus took the potion and had Hermione cast it on him and told her to make sure she stayed out of the way of the rebound. It worked perfectly, Severus was hoping with just some changes in ingredients he could come up with a potion that would block a bunch of different curses.
The winter drug on and the people holed up in Grimmwauld place became more and more restless. There were a few skirmishes throughout the winter but for the most part the Death Eaters seemed to be in hiding.
Severus found himself growing more and more attached to Hermione. He also watched her pull further and further away from the Weasley boy; but as she pulled further away from him she seemed to grow more attached to Potter. It really worried Severus that when the final battle came that she might sacrifice herself for Potter. He also still hadn't told the Potter brat that he was carrying a piece of Voldermort's soul. He knew the time was approaching that he was going to have to tell Minerva and the brat about it.
Severus decided that he really needed to talk to Minerva; he stood and went over to Minerva and asked her if he could talk to her. The two of them went to his room where he locked and warded the door and made sure there was no way anyone could hear them. "Minerva I've got something I need to share with you, I should have told you sooner but I knew it would upset you greatly."
Minerva looked at Severus with a scared look in her eye; she knew if Severus looked scared it was bad. "What is it Severus you are scarring me to death!"
"Minerva, Albus and I both think that Mr. Potter is a Horcrux!"
Minerva stared at Severus like he had just told her she would die tomorrow. "NO Severus please tell me no!"
"I am sorry Minerva, Albus told me to not tell anyone till the final battle, but I think I might have found a way to get the Horcrux out of Mr. Potter without killing him."
"We will have to give him the Draught of Living Death, then cast the Avada Kedavra on him and then hurry and give him the potion to counteract the Draught of Living Death."
"I didn't think there was a potion to counteract the Draught of Living Death?"
"There wasn't until I invented. I've tried this several times on rats and they have survived every time. I'm sure it will work!"
Minerva shook her head, "I truly don't know how to tell Harry that we are going to have to do this."
"If I may suggest Minerva I would talk to Hermione and have her help you talk to Mr. Potter."
Minerva sighed, "I'm sure you are right but we will also have to tell Sirius he is Harry's Godfather."
The two of them talked for a few more minutes and decided that they would call an Order meeting for later in the week and that they would talk to Harry, Sirius, Lupin and Hermione the next night.
The next night was a nightmare for everyone involved. Severus decided he wanted Hermione there for himself as much as Harry. He had a feeling she had already worked out for herself that Harry's scar was a Horcrux.
After dinner the next night Minerva asked Sirius, Lupin, Harry, Hermione, and Severus to join her in the library. After they all were seated in the library she nodded to Severus who warded the room with the strongest spells he could and placed several silencing spells on it.
Minerva started the conversation, "I have something to share with you that I know is going to cause upset. For that reason I want each of you give me your wands and then your promises that you will sit and discuss this as adults."
Each person handed Minerva their wands and promised her that they could sit and discuss this as adults. She then went on to tell Harry that they thought that he was carrying a piece of Voldermort in him. Severus watched Hermione closely and saw that she really wasn't surprised and was surprised to find that Potter wasn't surprised either.
Potter finally spoke up, "Hermione had figured that out during our search, we have talked about it and we had planned on him killing me and then either Hermione or Ron would kill the Dark Lord. We know that Nagini has to be killed first."
Severus finally decided that it was time for him to speak up especially since Lupin and Sirius both looked so stunned that their mouths were hanging open. "Mr. Potter I think I might have discovered a way to get rid of the Horcrux in you and for you to survive. I've tried it with rats numerous times and it seems to have worked every time. Of course I've not had a Horcrux in the rat but for all purpose it should work."
Hermione and Harry both stared at the Professor before Hermione finally asked, "Severus how?"
Severus wasn't sure what surprised the Potter boy more his saying he might have a way to remove it or Hermione calling him Severus. "First Mr. Potter will have to take the Draught of Living Death, then I'll hit him with the killing curse to kill the Horcrux; then I'll give him the potion to reverse the Draught of Living Death."
"But there is no potion to counteract the Draught of Living Death!"
"I'm afraid you are wrong Hermione I've came up with a potion that works every time."
Hermione was amazed, but she was worried about her friend, Harry was looking at the two of them with interest. Harry was thinking about what the Professor had said. He was afraid to die just like everyone but he also wanted to make sure that Voldie was killed and he knew if even one Horcrux was left he could not be killed.
Sirius and Lupin finally found their voices, and were throwing a fit about the fact that Harry was a Horcrux. They didn't believe it and when Harry finally got mad and told them that he was sure that he was they started arguing that they couldn't do what Severus wanted.
Harry looked at his friend, "Hermione do you think this will work?"
"I don't know Harry this is the first I've heard about it. But, if anyone could brew a potion to counteract the Draught of Living Death it would be Severus. But, I really need to see and hear how this works on the rats."
Harry came to a decision, "Professor would you show us how this works? Also how do you know it will work on the Horcrux?"
"I can't promise it will work but it stands to reason if you are dead the bit of soul will try to escape, either when it escapes or before it escapes if we kill it with a killing curse and then give you the potion it should work."
Harry nodded and looked again at Hermione, "Severus can you show up how it work? I think we need to see that before Harry can make a final decision."
Severus was interested in how Hermione had taken control of the meeting. "Mr. Potter do you feel the same as Hermione?"
"Yes sir, Hermione and I have talked about this for hours when we were on the hunt. We came to the conclusion that I was a Horcrux early in our hunt, but couldn't figure out how to get rid of it."
For some reason Severus wasn't surprised that the witch had figured this out. She was an amazing woman, and smarter than anyone else he knew. "So shall we go to the basement and I'll show you how this works on the rats?"
Harry and Hermione both nodded and the group followed Severus to the basement. Once again he warded and silenced the room; then pulled a rat out of the cage and gave it a dose of potion. Within moments the rat for all purpose looked dead; Severus pulled his wand out and with no words spoken a green light came out of his wand and hit the rat. Its body jumped slightly and then settled back down on the potions table. Severus picked up another bottle of potion and put a couple of drops in the rat's mouth and rubbed its throat so the potion would go down its throat. Within just seconds the rat jumped up and ran towards its mates.
Hermione and Harry both had been holding their breath without realizing it; and from the sounds around the room so had the rest of the people watching. Harry looked at the Professor, "So it works on the rat do you really think it will work for us?"
"Yes I do, I think that when you take the Draught of Living Death it will cause the piece of soul to release and we can all at the same time throw a killing curse at it. Then it will just be a matter of getting the second potion down your throat.
Harry looked at Hermione, "Well let's get it done!"
Sirius and Lupin both screamed NO, but Harry gave them both no chance to say more. "I'm the one that has this in me. I'm the one that has had to live with him in my head; seeing what he has done to people. I've felt his hate and rage, I've seen him kill and destroy, and I want him out! And this puts us one step closer to defeating him."
Hermione looked at her friend who was her only remaining family; he was her brother in all sense of the word. "Harry are you sure, I couldn't bear losing you; you are all the family I have left."
"I'm sure Hermione we have to do this I can't take seeing in his head any longer and if I don't survive this you and the rest of the Order will have to finish this so that life will go on."
Hermione nodded and Sirius and Lupin stepped back they knew that they would never change Harry's mind after it was made up. Minerva looked sick; she hadn't said anything since they had came down the stairs. Severus got the stuff out that was needed and then looked at all of the people in the basement.
"If as I think will happen I want everyone standing on this side of the room, we will all cast the killing curse on the entity that I expect us to see rise out of Mr. Potter. If nothing comes out I will be the only one that will cast the curse on Mr. Potter's body. As soon as we are sure we have destroyed the horcrux I'll give Mr. Potter the antidote and we should be finished. Hermione I would appreciate if you would look over my calculations to make sure that I have the proper amounts for the antidote before we start."
Hermione picked up the equation that Severus had worked on; she checked it and double checked it. "As long as your numbers are correct in the original numbers the formula is correct."
Severus nodded and signaled everyone to move beside him and had Harry sit in a chair in front of them. He handed Harry the vial of the Draught of Living Death and waited for him to drink it.
Harry looked at his friends and smiled with a sad look in his eyes, "Well bottoms up!" and he drank down the potion. Within seconds he dropped the vile and his eyes rolled back in his head. Harry was dead!
Hermione started crying softly and just as quickly a black cloud began to form from Harry's scar, it continued to grow until it seemed to shutter and look for some place to go. Severus raised his wand and started to cast the killing curse which brought everyone else out of their stupor and the four cast the curse together. The sound when the curses hit the black cloud was indescribable, it sounded like a roar and a scream all in one. Hermione had never heard such an evil sound; but as quick as it started it stopped and nothing was left but dust on the floor.
Severus quickly grabbed the vial of potion and pried open Harry's mouth, Hermione ran over and started massaging his throat as Severus poured the potion into his mouth. Hermione was chanting under her breath wake up Harry please, please wake up. Severus glanced up at the woman he had come to respect and to be honest with himself was beginning to love. He could see that Harry Potter did mean the world to her but he could also see that it was as a brother and nothing else.
Just as Hermione was ready to start screaming and shaking Harry he took a gasping breath and started chocking on the potion. Hermione dropped to her knees and laid her head on Harry's lap and sobbed so hard that her whole body was shaking. Harry looked down at Hermione and put his hand on her head, "Hey Hermes I'm ok, see! Now quit crying and get me some water that stuff tasted horrible."
Hermione jumped up and hugged him with all her might. "Oh Harry Potter I'm going to hex you into the next century."
Minerva gasped when Hermione let loose of Harry, everyone else looked at Minerva and then at Harry. Minerva stuttered a couple of times and finally got out, "Your scar is gone!"
Sure enough the scar was gone there was nothing left but a red and burned looking spot where the scar had been. The group that was in the basement talked for several more minutes and then decided it was time to call an Order meeting.
Minerva pulled out her magical galleon and called a meeting of the inner circle. Severus pulled down the wards on the basement and the group moved up the stairs to the kitchen, within minutes the sound of apparition could be heard outside of the house; along with the sounds of people coming down the stairs. Hermione walked over and prepared tea and coffee for the group. Severus took his normal spot in the back corner of the kitchen and soon Molly was bustling around the room delivering coffee and tea to the members. Hermione made sure that she sat at the end of the table closest to where Severus sat with Harry sitting next to her.
Minerva started the meeting she told everyone about what had happened in the basement, and then she wanted ideas about how to get the Dark Lord out in the open. When Minerva finished her speech everyone started talking at once. No one could believe what had just happened in the basement but they could all see the truth of their words by looking at Harry.
There was a lot of talk about how to pull Avada Kedavra Voldie and Nagini out into the open; but, no one seemed to have anything concrete. Getting Voldie out wasn't the big problem it was making sure he brought Nagini with him.
Finally Tonks spoke up, "I know you guys are going to me angry but I've been in touch with Draco. He's who has been slipping me information about when the Death eaters are getting ready to attack. I think he could help us."
Ron started before she finished talking, "Malfoy are you crazy he's just using you, he is trying to figure a way to take you out. I can't believe you are trusting him."
Remus got very angry with Ron, "Don't talk to Tonks like that! You either speak to her nice or don't speak to her at all."
Ron got huffy and Minerva broke up the brewing fight and then asked Severus, "Do you think that Draco really is going against the Dark Lord?"
Severus thought for a few minutes, "There is a good chance he is. He didn't want to take the mark when he did. The Dark Lord was really nasty to his mother even before I was exposed, and if there is one thing I know about Draco he loves his mother. I think I would let Tonks talk to him and see if he could help us. Maybe offer a safe house for his mother to stay in?"
It was decided that Tonks would contact Draco and see if he could help them in regards to Nagini. Kingsley was going to see if he could find out anything from doing some snooping around some known Death Eaters houses. Those that were stuck in the house would continue to brew and work on learning new curses and hexes.
Spring was fast approaching the weather was warmer even if most of those living in the house wasn't allowed to be outside. Hermione was getting cabin fever and very grumpy; even with brewing and reading everything she could get her hands on she was still quick to anger. Ron and Harry had been on the receiving end of her wand more than once in the last two weeks. The only person that had not been on the wrong end of her wand was Severus.
The two of them were growing closer and closer, Severus was basically having Hermione starting to serve a mini apprenticeship with him. He was also working with her on her other studies; if she went back to school she was going to be so far ahead that she was going to be bored. But, on the other hand if she didn't get to go back she would be able to pass her NEWT's by taking the tests at the ministry.
Hermione was going on the assumption that they were all going to survive and that they would need to pass their NEWTs. Because of that she was constantly on Harry, Ron, Neville, Luna and Ginny to study, the only ones that ever even occasionally listened was Neville, Luna and Ginny and most of the time Ginny was curled up in a chair with Harry.
One afternoon when Hermione was once again nagging the other students to study Tonks came stumbling in the front door with Draco and Narcissa; the entire time calling that Nagini was dead.
Soon the front hall was full of people and Mrs. Black was screaming at the top of her lungs. Severus quickly stunned the painting and then led everyone to the kitchen. Tonks, Draco and Narcissa sat down at the table, Draco and Narcissi both looked like they had been tortured, both were filthy dirty and their robes were torn and Draco was holding his arm like it might be broke.
Hermione went to Draco and checked his arm, Poppy was out with some of the Order since they were doing a hit and run. Draco tried to pull back but, Severus growled, "Let her look at it boy, she's an excellent healer."
Draco let Hermione run her wand over his arm and then say a spell over it, soon the arm was wrapped and in a sling; she then went down stairs and came back caring a vial of potion for Draco. He looked at his Godfather who nodded, Draco drank down the vial.
Minerva finally came through the floo just as Hermione finished, "What is going on why did you call an emergency meeting?"
Tonks spoke up quickly, "Draco sent word to me that he needed some place safe for him and his mom, he killed Nagini this morning."
Minerva looked at Draco, "How did you kill her?"
Draco looked at Minerva like he didn't want to answer and then so quiet that everyone had to bend forward to hear, "Fiendfyre."
Severus nodded his head, "Good that means that the Horcrux would be killed; so now all we have to worry about is to get the Dark Lord out!"
Narcissa was sitting at the table quietly sobbing, Hermione felt bad for the woman she couldn't figure out why but she did. She moved over next to her and pushed a cup of tea into her hand and rubbed her back. Narcissa slowly quieted and then looked at Hermione, "Thank you Miss Granger."
Hermione nodded and continued to listen to everyone discussing what the next step would be; Draco finally looked around the table. "He's living at our Manor; I think we could break the wards if you wanted to confront him there."
Minerva and Severus both didn't want to meet him on his home ground. Minerva talked some more, "I wonder if we could get him to come to us if we challenged him?"
Severus thought, "We might be able to, but where will we want to have the battle? We want it someplace where we have room to move; and no one can be hurt that's not involved in the fight."
They continued to discuss and finally it came down to the having to happen at the school; it was the only place that was not near muggles and no one was living at it at the present time.
Less than a week later all of the Order and any Auror and others that wanted to help were at the school. Poppy had the hospital set up and Ginny was ordered to help with the hospital along with Narcissa. Hermione, Harry, Ron, Neville and Severus were all planning on heading straight to Voldermort. Everyone else was to protect their backs and take out as many Death Eaters as they could.
Arthur was very unhappy that his son was at the front of the battle but there wasn't much he could do about it. Of course his whole family was going to be involved with this battle; he would be lucky if they all come out of this safe.
All the planning was finished now they were just waiting to see if Voldermort would take their challenge. In the meantime Severus was worried sick about Hermione being at the front of the battle. While at the same time Hermione was having the same thoughts about Severus.
Late at night on what might be the night before the final battle Hermione was sitting in the darkened Library. She couldn't take being with the Weasley's and Harry she needed to be alone. Severus saw a single candle glowing softly at a back table in the library; he had no doubt who it was in the library. He quietly glided into the library making sure Hermione didn't hear him come.
"Hermione what are you doing here in the library by yourself?"
"Trying to get away from the Weasley's and the rest of the bunch; I needed some time away from them."
Severus sat down beside of her, "Hermione I honestly don't know if any of us will survive tomorrow. Even though you are almost twenty years younger than me I want you to know that you are very special to me."
Hermione smiled she had been wanting Severus to say something to her all spring, "Severus, I feel the same about you. If we survive this war I want to take the time to get to know you better."
Severus pulled the young woman into his arms, "Oh God Hermione I just pray that we get to live to do this!"
Hermione curled up onto Severus's lap, "I know many people think I'm still a child since I've not finished school; but I've always been older then my age."
"Yes you are, and I just hope that your friends and others don't make you change your mind when all is said and done." Severus lifted Hermione's chin up and gently touched his lips to Hermione's; when their lips touched blue sparks flared out. Both of them quickly pulled back and then laughed and reached for each other again. When their lips met this time the blue light engulfed them both and they sighed into each other's mouth.
Severus tucked Hermione's head under his chin and settled back in the large wing back chair and sighed. "Hermione I really shouldn't be doing this but I want to spend the night right here with you in my lap. But, what I really want to do is carry you off to my dungeon and never let you out."
Hermione smiled into his chest, "I would love to be carried off to your dungeon but, I've made myself a promise that I would not sleep with anyone until my marriage night. As much as I love you I'm afraid that we are stuck here for tonight."
Severus smiled, not only would he get the women he loved if he could live through this god awful war his wife would be a virgin. "I think that is the most amazing thing I've heard, especially in this day and time." Severus pulled Hermione tighter into his lap, pulled a handkerchief out of his pocket and transfigured it into a blanket that he laid over top of Hermione.
Hermione settled into Severus arms and they talked a little occasionally one or the other would kiss the other. Eventually, Severus felt Hermione relax and her breathing even out as she fell asleep; he was happy that he had been able to calm her and that she could sleep. But, he knew it would be a very long night for him, hooking his foot around the chair that Hermione had sat in Severus drug it closer and put his boot clad feet up in it.
Settling more comfortably he thought about what the blue sparks and then the blue light meant, in muggle terms it meant that they had found their soul mates. What it really meant was that their magic had recognized each other and had mated; even in the magical world it was very rare. There had only been about twenty times this had been reported in the last 100 or so years. Severus sighed as he went on to think about it, if the two of them survived the war they would have an amazing life together.
He could already feel her magic in himself it was a softer magic then his but no less powerful, he hoped that by their magic mating that it would make both of them stronger when the final battle came. He felt in his bones that it would be tomorrow; but, he couldn't promise that when you were dealing with the Dark Lord.
Continuing to worry and think Severus wondered if they would be able to work out everything, he wanted Hermione to finish school and go on and do her apprenticeship. He wanted her to use that amazing mind of hers, but at the same time he didn't want to be stuck at the school for the rest of his life. He had a rather large bank account; he had many potions that he had invented that brought in money every month. Even if he never worked again he would not run out of money in this life time; and Merlin knew he could not survive without experimenting and brewing potions.
Sighing once again he pulled his beautiful, caring, loving woman closer and tried to shut down his mind for a few hours so that he would be ready to fight. His last thought before he fell into a light but restful sleep was that he hoped he could spend the rest of his life falling asleep with Hermione in his arms.
Severus felt like he had only been asleep a few minutes but in reality had been about four hour when all hell broke loose in the library. Severus was awake with his wand drawn and Hermione shoved behind him as he woke; but the hell that was breaking loose was Weasley and Potter having a fit because they had found Hermione in his arms.
Severus looked down at the woman he loved with all of his heart struggling to free herself from the blanket and realized that he had never seen her so angry. As he turned around to give the troublesome duo an earful he realized that the boys were backing up; he grinned an evil grin and moved to help Hermione untangle from the blanket and his robes.
Then Severus stood back and watched his witch give the Potter and Weasley boy a piece of her mind; she was amazing in her fury and he loved watching every minute of it. By the time she was finished both boys had their arms up in the air and were begging her to forgive them. Her parting shot before she turned her back on them was to tell them that she would be with whoever she wanted and they would deal with it or they wouldn't have her as a friend. Then she turned and walked into his arms and said "Severus is who I chose so either deal with it or not."
Severus gave the boys an evil smile as he leaned down and pulled Hermione into a hug. "I believe Mr. Potter and Mr. Weasley that you have been dismissed."
Since they were awake Severus suggested that Hermione go up and shower and put on what she could fight easily in and that he would meet her in the great hall in 20 minutes. As Hermione turned to walk out of the library Severus grabbed her by the wrist and pulled her into a soul searing kiss and then walked her to the door watching her go towards Gryffindor tower. When Hermione walked out of sight he turned and headed towards the dungeon for his own shower and change of clothes. He knew that everyone thought he was a greasy git, but truly he wasn't, he showered at least once and many times twice a day, his hair was just extremely heavy and limp.
In less than twenty minutes Severus was entering the great hall; most of the Order was up and having breakfast. The bumbling duo were sitting at a table in the midst of the rest of the Weasley clan, Severus went to the table where Minerva, Remus and Sirius were sitting along with several other older members of the Order as he sat down Hermione entered the room. She looked around and started towards the boys until Severus stood and motioned her to sit with them. Hermione was surprised that Severus was being so open; she knew he was a very private man.
Hermione walked over to Severus and took the hand he offered; he moved so that she could sit between him and Minerva. Minerva greeted Hermione and gave Severus a meaningful glance. Sirius, Lupin and Tonks all had their mouths hanging open.
Severus looked at the threesome and smiled, "I think you three should shut your mouths, it's not a pleasant sight, seeing you looking like fish out of water."
Hermione let a little laugh out, and looked to see how Minerva was taking her being with Severus. Minerva looked at the two of them and then squinted her eyes and gasped. "You two are soul mates I can see the blue aurora where your hands are touching."
Severus looked down at the plate of eggs and sausage that had appeared in front of him, "Yes, we discovered it last night while talking in the library. I knew that I was drawn to Hermione but didn't understand why until then."
Everyone around them had stopped talking by this point and all were looking at the two of them; Severus worrying that it was too much for Hermione put his arm around her and pulled her closer. As he did this the blue aurora grew larger and everyone could see it; there were more gasps. No one in the room had seen such a strong aurora even those that had seen soul mates before.
Harry not understanding what was going on was asking Ron questions, Molly stepped in and started explaining. "Harry, when two souls mate it is very strong magic; it causes what you are seeing a blue aurora to form when they touch. The aurora is magic's way of telling everyone that they are mated. This is amazingly strong magic, I only know of one other couple and their aurora was not nearly as strong. They had to be totally wrapped in each other's arms to even see a slight blue cast. What Hermione and Severus have is amazingly strong, their aurora is so blue." Molly took another look at Severus and Hermione, she sighed slightly, "I hope Hermione can handle this Severus is not an easy person to be around."
Soon everyone was talking at once, Hermione for her part just wanted to spend some time with Severus and eat her breakfast. She knew that Severus was much like her in that he hated to be subject to this type of scrutiny. Minerva reached over and touched Hermione's hand as she reached for her tea, "Hermione I'm happy for the two of you, and you will make an amazing couple."
Hermione smiled at Minerva, the two of them had become friends in the last year, "Thank you Minerva, I truly am very happy I just hope we can live through what is coming."
Severus bent over and whispered in her ear, "I was going to explain to you what the blue meant this morning; I hope that you are ok."
Hermione smiled and reached for Severus's hand, "I knew when it surrounded us last night; you forget I'm the resident know-it-all." She laughed when she saw the surprise in Severus's face, then she reached up and gave him a soft kiss on his cheek.
As everyone finished eating Minerva stood up, she had placed wards so that she would know when people began appearing in the forest and glens near the school. "Can I have your attention?" Everyone quieted and turned to hear what Minerva had to say. "My wards are warning me that a lot of people are beginning to enter the area around the castle; I'm sure it is Death Eaters. I would ask that everyone prepare themselves for battle."
Just as Minerva finished they heard people running down the stairs, everyone drew their wands wondering how they got in. What surprised them even more was the fact that those running down the stairs were 6th and 7th years from other houses and their family and friends. Hundreds of people had managed to sneak into the castle through the Hogs Head and the Room of Requirements they were there to help defeat Voldermort.
Minerva quickly arranged for them to help with the battle, several of the 6th years weren't of age yet so Minerva ordered them to the hospital ward to help Poppy. The rest of the group moved throughout the first floor to watch for the Death Eaters to start the final battle.
Severus, Hermione, Harry, Ron, Neville, Lupin and Sirius were all stationed near the entrance door. Sirius had his arm slung around Harry's shoulder and was talking quietly with him, Severus had Hermione leaned against him holding her tight and Ron and Lupin were talking quietly to them.
Harry seemed to be strung tight, "I hate waiting! I would much rather get this done and over with."
Severus snarled, "I wish it didn't have to be done at all, people are going to die today and there is nothing any of us can do about it."
Lupin nodded, he just prayed that Tonks would be ok; he looked at Severus and realized that him and Hermione had never had a chance to be together. He actually felt sorry for Severus, he knew he had never had an easy life and just as he found his soul mate he was taking the chance of losing her. Lupin stepped over to Severus, "Severus I ummmm just want to tell you that I consider you a friend and I want to apologize for all that the marauders did to you over the years." Then he stuck out his hand to Severus.
Severus looked at the werewolf for a few minutes before taking his hand, "Thank you Remus, that truly means more to me then you will ever know. I hope when this is over that I can finally find a cure for your little problem."
The two mean nodded to each other, Hermione reached out and pulled Remus into a hug. She then quietly whispered in his ear, "Thank You."
As they pulled apart they heard Voldermort call out to the castle. Slowly Sirius opened the door so that they could hear well. "If you in the castle will turn over Harry Potter to us we will let the rest of you go and return to your lives. I will give you twenty minutes to turn him over; if you don't turn him over in that time we will attack."
Everyone in the castle knew that now was the time to take the potion that would help block curses. With all of the extra people fighting they would each only have one vial, they had given their second vial to the newcomers.
Hermione turned to Severus as she drank her vial of the potion when she finished she reached up and kissed him. Severus pulled her tighter into his arms and kissed her like he would never let her go. When they finally pulled apart both were panting and those around them were teasing them about getting a room. Even Harry and Ron were showing that they could accept the Snarky Potion Professor as their best friends mate.
In just moments everyone in the castle felt the trembling of Hogwarts wards as they were attacked. Everyone in the castle readied them self to start the battle, they were all planning on trying to pick off as many as possible before subjecting themselves to being in the open. Severus was doing a tracking spell trying to find out where the Dark Lord was. It was his responsibility to help find him and for Harry to take him down. Finally as the wards dissolved and the Death Eaters came streaming through the gates he got a trace of his magic. Severus nodded to those gathered around him, "he's at the edge of the forbidden forest."
Minerva had joined the group, "let's wait and see if he comes further into the grounds. I would feel better if we can pick off a few of his followers before the group of you show yourselves."
They all agreed and took position at some of the slits and windows to throw some of their own hexes and curses at the approaching death eaters. Unfortunately their wait wasn't long soon the giants were pounding on the walls of Hogwarts and the doors were being brought down.
The group that was to get to Voldermort worked their way through the broken doors and fought their way to where Voldermort was near the Whomping Willow; they had a long fight just to reach him. Then when they got to him he was surrounded by his inner circle, Lucius was the most vocal especially when he saw Severus with the group. "Well Severus the traitor how kind of you to show up, it is going to be with great pleasure that I get to torture you and eventually kill you."
Severus was ignoring Lucius words he was trying to make sure that Hermione was safe and that the Potter boy could face Voldermort. Lucius threw a couple of curses that bounced off of Severus and one rebounded on Lucius and caused boils to appear all over his body. Lucius started to howl as the boils painfully erupted and his skin began falling off his body.
Voldermort rose and walked near Potter who was fighting Goyle Sr.; Voldermort ordered him away and began to duel with the boy, soon the sounds of the battle faded into silence as everyone watched as the two wizards battled.
Voldermort hissed as one of Harry's curses burnt his shoulder, not only was he having to shield the spells Harry was throwing but also most of the hexes and curses that he himself was throwing. Voldermort threw the killing curse at Harry; it narrowly missed and almost got Hermione as it flew by. Severus grabbed her at the last minute. Severus looked around Lucius was still on the ground with boils continuing to grow and pop, Goyle Sr. was watching the battle so Severus quickly stunned him. The others seeing what Severus was doing and trying to be as sneaky as he was they all slowly worked their way around and stunned and incapacitated those around them while Hermione and Ron continued to help shield Harry from Voldermort.
Once the inner circle was incapacitated Severus and Lupin along with Sirius stepped closer and added their shield to the trio's and then Hermione and Ron put their hands on Harry's shoulder and pushed their power into him. Severus and Lupin were the only two that had seen what the trio could do; Hermione had found a vague reference to this ability in a book. She had searched and eventually found the spell that would unite their power and they had tried it twice. Each time the other two were totally drained of their power after doing it, but they knew that with their combined power Harry would be able to kill Voldermort.
As Hermione cast the spell the glow from the combined power was almost blinding, Harry feeling the power of his two friends cast the killing curse, even with a shield in place Voldermort could not block the power. In a great explosion of black and a terrible scream Voldermort was defeated.
Soon everyone that carried the Dark Mark was on the ground clutching their arms, Severus was in extreme pain and Hermione quickly broke the spell with Harry and ran to him. She could feel his pain through their connection and it along with the depleted magic caused her to faint.
Severus was able to pull himself together enough to crawl to Hermione, Harry, Lupin, Sirius holding Ron up went to the two that were down. Harry picked Hermione up Lupin and Sirius pulled Severus up and supported him along with Sirius supporting Ron and took them all towards the Castle. As they all looked around they realized that the battle was over, all of the Death Eaters were bound or dead the Order and others that had came to fight were helping the wounded to the hospital.
Harry hurried ahead of the others to get Hermione to the hospital, he didn't know what was wrong with his friend but he was worried. He was used to her being exhausted after giving him her power, but she had never collapsed.
Severus for his part was starting to get his strength back, his arm still was on fire but he was more worried about Hermione than himself. He eventually was able to stand by himself and hurried to catch up with Potter so he could check on his witch. When he entered the hospital ward he found Hermione laying on a bed slowly coming around, Poppy was shooing everyone out of her way as she ran diagnosis spells on her and sent Ginny Weasley for Pepper Up Potion. Severus glared at Poppy, "Is she ok, what's wrong with her?"
Poppy glared right back, "She is fine Severus she's just magically exhausted, what did you do to her?"
Severus realized that Poppy was worried for his witch sighed, "She bound her magic with the Weasley boy to Potter and then when the Dark Lord died I was in excruciating pain, we are soul mates she felt my pain and it was too much for her."
Poppy stopped what she was doing and took a long look at the man she thought of as a son, "Soul Mate?"
Severus nodded and touched his hand with Hermione's, Poppy stared as a blue glow started between their hands; and then she smiled. Poppy knew that Severus would not take kindly to her hugging him but she did reach out and squeeze the two hands joined together. Then she had Hermione drink a dose of Pepper up potion and handed one to the Weasley boy at the same time. Both were soon steaming from their ears but the effect was instantaneous both felt much better.
Poppy then took Severus's arm and ran a spell on the weeping red sore where the dark mark had been. She sat him down on Hermione's bed and went for a salve that would help heal the wound. Harry was standing with his arm around Ginny while they waited for Severus to be seen to.
Just as Poppy finished with Severus's arm and told the group they were free to leave Minerva stepped into the room. "If you are all ok, I would like to have a meeting in the great hall. Poppy if your patients are stable enough we would like to have you involved. If they aren't I will come up and fill you in after the meeting."
Poppy looked around her infirmary, "I think I should stay I am sure I will have more come in and there are several I'm not comfortable leaving alone."
Minerva nodded and the rest moved to follow Minerva to the Great Hall. Hermione looked over the hall counting red heads making sure all of the Weasley's were safe then she looked for others that she cared about. All of the Weasley's were accounted for she couldn't understand why Molly was crying so much; Hermione went to sit with the Weasley to try to find out what had Molly so upset. Severus still couldn't stomach the youngest Weasley boy he knew that Hermione needed the family, so he followed her to the table with them.
Quietly approaching Charlie, Hermione put her hand on his shoulder and sat beside him. "Charlie why is Molly crying so?"
Charlie looked at his mom and then slowly turned to Hermione, "Percy was a Death Eater, and he was one of the ones that were captured when Voldermort was killed because of the pain from his mark."
Hermione shuttered, she had felt the unbearable pain that Severus had felt, and she couldn't imagine Percy being a death eater. She knew that he had turned from his family but it was more then she could take in that he had joined such an evil man. Hermione turned to Severus with tears in her eyes and a question in her eyes.
"I didn't know Hermione, he must have been a fairly new recruit or he stayed away when I was around. If I had known I would have done everything possible to get him out so that Molly and Arthur wouldn't have had to deal with this."
Hermione nodded she knew that Severus was a good man and would have done all that was possible. Soon Minerva walked to the teacher's dais and asked for quiet. "I want to first thank all of you for your support through this war; I am sorry to say that we have lost a few of our friends. I would ask that those of you able to go out and help with the removal of the dead and wounded, I will have the house elf's provide meals for everyone within the next two hours. Until then if you need healing please go see Poppy and the rest please help with the clean up."
Minerva stepped down and walked over to where Harry, Hermione and Ron were sitting, "I would like the three of you to stay in the castle and safe. Please don't go any place without the Weasley's, Sirius, Lupin and Severus. I am sure we missed some of the Death Eaters and I don't want to take any chances."
Hermione leaned into Severus and he wrapped his arms around her, "So my beautiful witch what do we do now?"
Hermione shook her head, "I want to get my NEWT's but after that I don't know. I wonder if the school will open on time. There is a lot of damage to the castle, a lot of repairs to be made."
Severus turned Hermione around so that he could face her, "Hermione I want you to finish your schooling and to do your apprenticeship." He thought for a few minutes and then turned to Charlie Weasley will you have your family stay with Hermione and will you walk to the dungeon with me?'
Charlie nodded and spoke to Bill who nodded, Severus looked at Hermione; "Stay here with Bill for just a minute I need to do something and I'll be right back."
Hermione nodded, she couldn't figure out what in the world Severus was doing but she knew she wasn't letting him go without a fight. So he was just going to have to realize that he was going to marry her and live rest of his life with her.
Charlie had to almost run to keep up with Severus, "Hey Professor do you mind slowing down just a little, if I had to help you fight I wouldn't have any breath to fight with."
Severus stopped and turned, he had forgotten that his legs were much longer then Charlie's and that he covered ground much faster. He was also a man on a mission, he had his family's engagement ring in a safe in his quarters, and he was going to get a ring on his witch's finger before the day was over. If he had his way it would be a wedding ring but he knew that Hermione deserved her dream wedding and he was going to see she had it.
Charlie was watching Severus's eyes as he drew close to him, he had a feeling that the Professor was plotting. "Mind telling me what you are plotting to do?"
Severus looked at the Weasley boy, Charlie and Bill were the two that he liked the most, and they were also the closest to his age. "Well if you must know I am going to get myself engaged to the most beautiful witch in the world."
Charlie snickered just a little, "Hermione is a beautiful girl and she's smarter than most, but I don't know if she is the most beautiful."
Before he could finish Severus had Charlie up against the dungeon wall, "You will never insult Hermione!"
Charlie raised his hands up, "Hey truce! I wasn't insulting Hermione she is my little sister, I love her to death. But, I also know that she's not perfect, wait before you take a swing at me; she is pretty and I'm sure in your eyes she is the most beautiful witch in the world. But, you have to realize to me she's just my little sister."
Severus cooled his temper; he realized that Charlie was right, "Do you think your family will accept me being with Hermione?"
Charlie realized that this was Severus's way of apologizing, "Yeah I think they will, you know that since her parents were killed dad and mom consider her one of us?"
Severus nodded and Charlie continued, "If you are planning on marrying her I think you should pull dad off to the side and ask his permission. I know Hermione is of age and all, but mom and dad have both taken their responsibility to Mione pretty seriously. I think it would mean a lot to them even if it doesn't mean much to you or Mione."
Severus nodded and then took down the wards to his quarters. He strode into his bedroom and approached his safe; he said several non-verbal spells and then pricked his finger and laid it against the wall. The wall melted away and a large area appeared in the wall, Severus reached in and pulled several green velvet boxes out. The first a ring box he opened and it showed a large square cut emerald surrounded by twelve perfect square cut diamonds. The second box he pulled out contained a necklace and earrings that was a perfect match to the ring.
"The ring is my family engagement ring and the necklace and earrings are given to each bride on their wedding day to wear with their gown."
Charlie whistled as he saw the jewels, "wow that is some fancy jewelry!"
Severus nodded, "My mother never got to wear them she married a muggle, and my grandparents never accepted the marriage. When my grandmother Prince died she passed all of the family estates and jewels to me as the only remaining heir. I've not been back to the Prince estate in over twenty years; my solicitor has taken care of it and saw to everything. I guess it might be time for me to step up and take the responsibility on."
Charlie had never known that the Professor was from the Prince family, it was one of the oldest Pure Blood families. To think that soon one of the most well known families would have not only a half blood in charge of it but he would be married to a muggle born. Charlie started laughing and Severus gave him a strange look.
Finally Charlie got his laughing under control, "I was just thinking that the Prince name has for years stood for pure blood and the continuing of tradition. Now you and Hermione will be the head of the Prince family, you as a half blood and Hermione as a muggle born. I'm sure your ancestors are turning in their graves."
Severus joined in Charlie's laughter as he closed up the wall and rose to walk out of his quarters. "I'm sure you are right, my grandmother had a very hard time accepting that she had to turn over the family estates to me, can you imagine her horror at finding that a muggle born would be the next Dame of the family."
The two men returned to the Great Hall and Severus asked Arthur if he could have a word with him while Charlie joined Hermione at the end of the table. Hermione noticed the smile on Charlie's face and asked, "What are you smiling at and why is Severus talking to your dad?"
Charlie just shrugged his shoulder and grinned at Bill, who raised his eyebrows in question. Charlie looked over where Severus and his dad were talking and then nodded his head towards Hermione. Bill smiled he understood that Severus was asking their dad permission to marry Hermione. The whole Weasley family had adopted Hermione back in second year when she began to spend time with them, but when she lost her parents she truly became one of them.
Hermione was watching Severus and Arthur closely, she couldn't figure out what was going on at first Arthur looked a little angry but now he was smiling and shaking Severus's hand. Severus walked back over to the table and sat down next to Hermione. He took her hand and kissed her knuckles, "Are you feeling better?"
Hermione nodded, "I'm fine the Pepper Up potion helped a lot just still a little tired. It takes a few hours to get back to normal after giving Harry all my power."
Severus nodded it always scared him to see the two of them connected like that, he could tell that Hermione gave him everything without a worry for herself. Severus turned Hermione around to him, "Hermione I want to ask you something."
Hermione nodded she had never seen Severus like this; he wasn't his normal over baring self. "What is it you seem upset?"
"Oh no I'm not upset I'm just not sure how to ask this, ummm Hermione will you do me the honor of becoming my wife." With the end of his words he pulled the box out of his pocket and opened up the lid on the ring.
Hermione gasped she never would have guessed that Severus was going to ask her to marry him. She thought she would have to ask him! "Oh yes of course, I love you!"
Severus let out the breath he had been holding and slipped the ring out of the box and onto her finger, then he taped it with his wand and it sized down to fit her small slender finger. "I love you Hermione and want to make you my wife as soon as you are ready to set a date." Then he bent down and took her lips with his, the blue aurora flared into life and surrounded the two of them in a pulsing blue light that actually pushed Charlie back away from the two of them.
Everyone of the Weasley's except for Ron cheered for the couple; Ron had always thought that he and Hermione would end up together. He knew it wouldn't happen as soon as he realized that Hermione was the Professor's soul mate but it still didn't make it any easier. He watched as his family one by one congratulated the couple eventually he got up and went over and hugged his friend. "I'm glad that you found each other he said to the two of them."
Harry still wasn't sure about his best friend and the Professor but from what Ginny and Molly had told him Hermione would be fine. And he could tell that the Professor would do anything in his power to take care of her. He waited for Ron to walk away and walked over to the couple, "Mione you know you are the sister I never had, all I want for you is to be happy. From what I can see you and the Professor have a very special bond so I wish the both of you nothing but happiness"; then he turned to walk away.
Severus realized that the boy was worried about his friend, "Mr. Potter I promise you that I will take care of Hermione she truly is my soul mate I would die before I let anyone hurt her including myself."
Harry finally turned and really looked at the Professor for once he wasn't hiding his feelings they were open for all to see. Harry realized that he meant everything he had said, "Thank you Professor all I truly care about is Mione's happiness and safety."
Severus nodded to the boy and wished he could take Hermione to his quarters and spend the day with just the two of them. As Severus was getting lost in his thoughts Arthur stood up to get everyone's attention. "We need to get the castle secured for the night and Minerva also asked the Professor's that were responsible for the wards on the grounds and castle to meet her at the front door. She is going to try to get all of the wards back up and a few more for more protection.
Severus asked Bill and Charlie to keep Hermione with them inside while he went out to reset the wards and help set up new ones. Bill and Charlie both promised to keep Hermione with them and drug her with them and Fleur to start working on fixing the front door and charming it back on its hinges.
While Severus worked on the wards; Bill, Charlie, Fleur and Hermione charmed and transfigured the front entrance doors back on their hinges. Then they started repairing the windows that had been broken and blown out of the first floor. Molly, Arthur and the twins were working on repairing the ceiling and stairs; while others worked their way around the castle fixing what they could fix.
At dark Severus, and the other Professors along with Minerva came back into the castle, the inside crew had made a lot of headway and had managed to fix all of the blown off doors and windows. In the morning crews would need to get on brooms to repair the roof and the upper walls that were in need of repairs.
Everyone was exhausted but Hermione and Ron more than most, not only had they fought and repaired like the others but they had also fused their power to Harry during his duel with Voldermort. Severus took one look at his witch and picked her up and carried her into the great hall. Hermione was grey she was so exhausted and Severus was furious, he rounded on Bill as soon as he caught up with them. "What were you doing letting her exhaust herself like that. She was already magically depleted and then you let her work all day?"
Bill held up both hands he knew Severus was close to hexing him, "I tried and tried to get her to sit and rest instead of helping. The only time I could get her to sit down was when Fleur needed to rest and then she argued. Holy Merlin Severus you should know Mione well enough after six years that she does what she wants and be damned about what anyone else says."
Severus realized he shouldn't have yelled at Bill, "I apologize; I should have known not to have let her out of my sight. You are right she is very hard headed." But, as he said it he was kissing the top of her head and pulling her even closer. "Hermione please rest, I couldn't bear to have you sick you can't do this to me."
Hermione nodded she was truly so tired that she felt ill, "I promise I'll eat my dinner and go to bed."
Soon the hall was full of hungry people and the elves out did themselves. The tables were groaning with food; Hermione picked at hers until Severus threatened to feed her.
Severus wanted Hermione in his quarters tonight he did not want her away from him, at the same time he knew that she wanted to wait for their marriage for anything to happen. Finally he came up with a plan he turned to Bill who was sitting to his left; "I need help."
Bill looked over at Severus in surprise, "What do you need?"
"I am very uncomfortable with Hermione up in Gryffindor with me in the dungeon; I have a spare room in my quarters. Would you and Fleur stay in the spare room as chaperons while I let Hermione take my bed and I sleep on the couch?"
Bill was shocked that Severus would let a Weasley invade his quarters but was more than willing to help him out. On top of that it meant he and his wife could have some seclusion also. "I think that can be arranged but have you talked to Mione about it?"
Severus turned to his future wife, "Hermione, Bill and Fleur have agreed to stay in my spare room so that you can stay in the dungeon with me. I'll give you my bed and I'll sleep on the couch. I would feel much safer with you in my quarters with my wards around you. Would you please agree to this?"
Hermione smiled, "We don't need Bill and Fleur to chaperon and you will not sleep on the couch, I'll conjure myself a bed for the living room so that you can sleep in your own bed."
Severus grinned, "The chaperon's are coming, Arthur would not let you stay without them and you my beautiful witch will take the bed!"
Bill watched his adopted sister and her fiancé and felt at peace for the first time in a long time. His wife was pregnant and doing well, all of his family but one had made it through the war in one piece and he would soon have a new brother in the family.
After dinner Severus went to Arthur and Molly and explained the arrangements he had made, he also promised them that nothing would happen. Then the two couples went up to the tower and retrieved the Weasley's and Hermione clothing and went to the dungeon.
Severus set the wards so that the three other people could enter the rooms, he then showed Bill and Fleur to their room and bathroom and cleaned our drawers and cupboard space for Hermione. Seeing that Hermione was so tired that she couldn't keep her eyes open he pushed her towards the shower and then offered Bill a drink.
The two men sat in front of the fire and had their first real talk. Severus actually opened up to Bill, he told him that he wanted to quit teaching and open his own potion business. But, he also told Bill that he would remain at the school as long as Hermione needed to be here. He explained that Hermione wanted her NEWT's and then wanted to apprentice in Arthimancy; so her needs came first.
Bill told him about wanting continue to curse break but would rather be able to do something close to home. They talked about the baby that would be born in the late winter and how much Hermione was part of their family.
Bill looked up when Fleur walked in she curled up on his lap in her robe and listened to the two men talk. Finally she decided she needed to let Severus know something, "Professor I know from what I've seen and what I have been told of you, you are a very private person. Mione is very much a part of the Weasley family is you prepared to be part of such a big and loud family?"
Severus thought about what Fleur said for a few minutes, "Yes, I am willing, Hermione is my life and I do enjoy Arthur and Molly's company as well as the two of you and Charlie. It's just the younger children that I don't enjoy being around; I love Hermione and I will be more than happy to spend time with the family."
Fleur smiled and then said that she was going to make sure Hermione hadn't fell asleep in the shower. A few minutes later a very pink and clean Hermione came through the bedroom door in a green silk robe and purple slippers. Severus couldn't help but laugh at the purple kitten slippers, and Hermione's face turned very red in embarrassment.
Severus grabbed her hand and pulled her into his lap in front of the fire. Hermione curled into his chest with a tired sigh and watched at Fleur did the same to Bill. The couples sat there for over an hour just relaxing and watching the fire. When Severus realized that Hermione had fallen asleep in his arms he excused himself and carried Hermione to his bed.
Bill and Fleur followed the two of them through the door to their room, just as they walked through the door to their room Bill stopped. "Severus I know that Hermione wants to wait till your married, but I wouldn't say anything if you slept with her. I know you are an honorable man and I also know that you will both sleep better together. I promise if mom or dad asks that I'll swear you slept on the couch.
Severus nodded to Bill and went to shower and transfigure a pair of boxers into sleeping pants. He would not do anything to lose Bill's trust, he also knew that the night before was the soundest he had slept in many years. He looked forward to another night of restful sleep.
Hermione stirred awake the next morning feeling very warm and like she was tied up in her sheets. Trying to roll over she discovered that it wasn't the sheets tying her up it was one very sound asleep Severus. He was also what was generating all the heat in the bed, when she finally got her arm untangled and out from under the covers she discovered that the room was very cold for it being summer.
She couldn't figure out how they both ended up in the bed together but she did know that she wasn't going to crawl out of her nice warm cave to brave the cold of the room. Slipping her arm back under the covers she turned over so that she was facing Severus and watched the peaceful look on his face. Just as she began to drift back to sleep she heard the door open that lead to the room Bill and Fleur were using. Being terribly embarrassed she looked over at Bill; Bill grinned and then winked at her. Hermione blushed bright red and Bill whispered to her, "I told Severus that I wouldn't tell dad, he promised me nothing would happen."
Hermione nodded and Severus turned over and looked at Bill, "Nothing did happen and it won't till we marry. Now will you and your wife please go floo the kitchen and order a pot of coffee, tea and some breakfast."
Bill laughed and tugged Fleur by her hand into the living area. Severus turned back to Hermione and pulled her into a searing good morning snog, and then pushed her away and threw the covers back heading to the loo. Hermione gasped and tried to get her head screwed back on straight after the heat of the kiss. She felt like her whole body was going to go up in flames; talking to herself, Wow who knew you could combust from a kiss.
Gathering up her robe Hermione pulled it on and went on the hunt of the loo that connected to the room Bill and Fleur were using. Then she went to the living area and got a cup of coffee to help with her morning fog. Severus came in a few moments after her and poured himself a cup of very strong black coffee and sat down on one of the chairs and pull Hermione down on his lap. The four of them watched bleary eyed as an elf popped in with a tray of breakfast food and then popped back out.
Severus pulled a plate over to Hermione and then one to himself, no one said a word the only sounds was the occasional sip of coffee or tea and the clatter of silver ware on china. When breakfast was finished Fleur got up and grabbed Hermione's hand and pulled her to the bedroom, "you two stay out here while we make ourselves magnificent. "
Hermione looked back at Severus like save me; he just smiled and waved her off. Bill and Severus both poured themselves another cup of coffee and moved over to the wing back chairs in front of the fire. Severus was still tired; he couldn't believe that he was up at 6:30 in the morning. If Bill and Fleur hadn't woke him up he was sure that he would have slept till at least ten. "Why in the name of Merlin did you get up so early this morning?"
Bill groaned, "Fleur never sleeps in she is always up by now. I love when we stay at the Burrow she has mom to keep her company and I get to sleep in."
Severus growled," tomorrow morning tell her to sneak out and go visit with your mom. I was having a wonderful morning curled up with Hermione in my arms."
The two men slumped into their own thoughts while sipping on their coffee and watching the fire; Hermione came out of the bedroom first. Severus gave her a kiss and went to the bedroom to get a shower and change. When he came out Bill was still waiting for Fleur to finish; Severus grinned told him to use their shower and lead Hermione out the door.
The next two weeks were a series of highs and lows; Hermione learned that she could return to school or take an accelerated course and take her NEWT's in December. The lows were the fact that they had several funerals to attend; the Order had been blessed they only lost a few members. But, even a few members were a few too many.
After the last funeral the Weasley's packed up and prepared to go back to the Burrow. Hermione really didn't want to go back she wanted to stay at the castle with Severus. She had gotten used to waking up in his arms and going to sleep in his arms. Molly was insistent that Hermione return to the Burrow, Arthur was trying to stay out of it. He knew that if they insisted too much that Hermione would rebel and never return to the Burrow. He also knew that with Hermione being a legal adult in the wizarding world and almost an adult in the muggle world that they really couldn't tell her what to do.
That afternoon Molly stomped down to the dungeon and hammered on Severus's door. Severus and Hermione were in his private lab working on potions for Poppy. Since Severus was in the middle of stirring she went to answer the door. Molly stomped into the room and demanded that Hermione gather up her trunks and get ready to go back to the Burrow.
Severus hearing Molly yelling at Hermione placed a spell on his potion and came into the living area. "Molly what in Merlin's name are you yelling about?"
Molly stared at Severus when he raised his voice to her. "I am telling Hermione that it is time for her to get packed and come home. It isn't proper for her to stay here."
Severus looked at Hermione and could see the anger and fire building in her eyes. "Molly, Hermione and I are still discussing how she is going to handle her NEWT's once we decide on that we will make plans for getting married. In the mean time she is going to remain here with me, where she is safe."
Molly was furious, "She will not stay with you it is not proper for a young girl to stay with a man she's not married to. I will not have it, Arthur and I had promised her family that we would watch out for her and we are going to do that."
By this time Hermione was so angry that sparks were starting to sizzle around her. "Molly, I love you like a second mother, but I am an adult and I will not be talked to like a three year old. I am staying here with Severus! We will decide as a couple when and how I will finish my NEWT's and also when and where we are getting married. Now if you want me to remain a part of your family you will hold your tongue and walk out of here."
Hermione gave Molly one last nasty look and turned and walked through the door that led to the private lab. Molly looked at Severus and then started crying, Severus was totally lost with how to deal with Molly's tears; so he patted her shoulder and let her cry them out. When she finally stopped crying Severus escorted her up to main entrance and told the Weasley's that Hermione would be by in the next few days to see them.
Several evenings later Hermione, Minerva and Severus sat in the Headmaster's office and discussed what options Hermione had. Minerva didn't want Hermione being a student and living with Severus so she suggested that Hermione spend the rest of the summer revising and set her NEWT's at the Ministry just before school started. Since Minerva knew that Hermione wanted to do an Apprenticeship in Arithmancy she had talked with Septima Vector and if Hermione passed her NEWT's she could start an Apprenticeship with Septima in the fall.
Severus wasn't happy with Minerva pushing Hermione; he wanted her to enjoy her last year of school. She had never in six years had a year of school that didn't have the worry of Voldermort hanging over her. On top of that they still needed to testify against all of the Death Eaters that had been captured. He knew that she wouldn't be able to stay in his quarters once school started but she would be head girl and their floo's could be connected. They had decided last night to do a binding engagement to satisfy Molly; if they decided to wait until the end of the school year to marry.
Hermione listened carefully to Minerva; she knew that Severus had agreed to stay on at the school one more year to give her time to find a new Potion Master. She honestly had wanted to finish out her last year of school; she was tired of the fighting and war and wanted one more chance to be a kid before she married. But, it seemed to her that it wasn't going to happen and she would be better off to start revising and sit her NEWT's just before school started.
Hermione took a chance to glance at Severus his face was closed up and she could see and feel the anger brewing. She didn't know what Minerva had said or done but he was close to blowing. Feeling that it would be better for all involved she thanked Minerva for her time and asked to have a day or so to think on everything. Then she touched Severus's shoulder to get his attention and nodded towards the door.
Once they were out in the hall Hermione took Severus's arm, "Severus what has you so angry?"
He looked down at the witch that had stolen his heart, "It makes me angry that Minerva is trying to force you to give up your last year of school. If I thought it would help I would resign today but I know it won't. There is no sense in her pushing you to do your revisions now and complete your apprenticeship next year."
Hermione smiled, it totally amazed her that this man loved her so much that he was willing to do anything for her. "To be honest I think I would like to do my revisions this summer, if I could sit my NEWT's two weeks before school started we could get married that weekend and then have our honeymoon. We could make it back to school the week before school started."
Severus was amazed, he really thought that she would want to be head girl and enjoy her final year of school. "Are you sure Hermione, I want you to have the fun that has been denied you for the last six years. You will be in the position of having to correct your friends and classmates as a teacher; you won't be sitting at your house table you will be at the staff table. When your friends have a dance or Hogsmeade weekend you will be a teacher or supervisor on those trips!"
"Severus I realize that but it really won't be that different then what I do already with them. I have been a prefect and I've been Harry and Ron's boss for years. Now Ginny will get to be the one that has to deal with them. And I will have the best of both worlds I'll have a husband I love more than life it's self and I will get to start my new life as an Arthimancy apprentice. The only thing that scares me is if I can learn enough to set the NEWTs."
"You have no worry with that, I know you can breeze through the Potions portion right now, I also know you are the same with Arthimancy I've seen your competence in it. I'm sure you have already read and memorized your other class books; you will do fine."
The two of them continued to discuss what for sure Hermione was going to do. They looked at dates and when the Ministry was offering NEWT testing's they also looked at what would work for them as far as a wedding date. Finally it was decided that Hermione would take her NEWT's in August and that they would get married the following weekend. That way they had time to take a short honeymoon before they returned for the start of school.
On Sunday morning the two of them dressed and flooed to the Burrow for Sunday dinner. Molly was in the middle of chasing Fred and George around the kitchen with a broom when they stepped through the floo. Ginny was standing back against the mantle when they stepped out; Hermione asked what the boys had done and then chuckled when Molly finally wacked Fred on the butt.
Severus quickly got out of the house and hunted for the older men; he found Bill, Charlie and Arthur sitting under the trees in the back yard. Charlie was talking to his dad about returning to Romania to the compound he worked on; he wanted to go back the following week. Severus broke in before Arthur answered, "Charlie will you be able to get off and return to England between the first and second week in August?"
"I don't know why would it matter?"
"Well Hermione and I are planning on doing our binding that weekend and she wants her whole family there."
The three men jumped up and started congratulating Severus; Arthur finally calmed down and asked about her schooling.
"Hermione is revising so that she can sit her NEWT's the week before our wedding, that way she can start her apprenticeship in the fall. I told Minerva I would give her one more year of teaching so that she can find a replacement. It also will give us time to get the manor opened back up and get settled in it."
Meanwhile in the kitchen Hermione was telling Ginny, Molly and Fleur almost the exact same story. Molly immediately pulled out a piece of parchment and started making notes on what needed done. Before she could get too far into her planning Hermione stopped her; "Molly we are having a very simple binding. I will have Ginny stand up with me at Hogwarts and we will have a small reception with family afterwards. The only people attending will be our family and the Professors; we have already talked to Kingsley and he will be doing our binding."
Molly sighed, "I wanted to help you plan your wedding and do it up like your mom and dad would have wanted."
"Molly I love you but Severus and I neither one want something fancy; even if my mother was here I would not want anything else."
Molly nodded, "I understand, I guess I just wanted both of my daughters to have the perfect wedding."
"Well I'm still going to have that, and you along with Ginny are going with me Monday to find my binding gown."
Sunday afternoon went on as Sunday's at the Burrow had a tendency to do, the guys were in the orchard playing Quidditch, the girls sat and visited and company flowed in and out of the house all day long.
On Monday Hermione meet Molly and Ginny at Diagon Alley and found her binding gown, and Ginny's attendant gown. Afterwards Hermione took Molly and Ginny to the Manor house so that they could see where she would be living when not at school. Molly was amazed; she never knew that Severus was part of the Prince family. They were a very wealthy and very old wizarding family and her daughter was going to be part of the family.
The rest of June and July flew buy with Hermione revising and Severus trying to get the Manor cleaned out of dark objects. Because of all of the dark objects Severus offered it to Kingsley for Auror training; Kingsley was thrilled and Severus got his the house cleaned out.
The first Monday in August found Hermione sitting in a room at the Ministry with a few other students, she knew one or two but most were older then her. The first test of the week was Potions, Hermione felt very comfortable with taking the Potion written and practical. The only test she was worried about all week was Ancient Runes; everything else she had been lucky enough to get a copy of the Professor's revision notes.
At 8:00 a.m. an instructor walked into the room, flicked her wand and test papers appeared on the desks along with quills. "You will find the test and cheat proof quills in front of you, when I tell you to begin turn your test over and start, you will have two hours to complete the written part of this test.
At one hour and forty minutes Hermione was sitting at her desk finished. The witch that was watching the students walked over to Hermione; "are you finished Miss?"
The instructor took Hermione's test and told her she was excused until 10:15 when she needed to be in the room across the hall to do the practical potion of her testing. Hermione took the time to go to the loo and get a cup of tea; then she walked to the next room and sat down at one of the desks. When the instructor came in this time it was a Potion Master that Hermione recognized from meetings with Severus. He nodded to Hermione as he came in; and then told the students that the instructions were on the board. Hermione carefully prepared her ingredients and began her brewing. The Potion master walked around checking each caldron as he walked; he quietly asked questions. When he got to Hermione his question was what potion are you brewing. Hermione knew the potion very well it was the Wolfebane potion she brewed it every month now for Lupin. He was surprised that she knew what the potion was; Hermione explained that she brewed it once a month for a friend. The potion was a complicated potion but it didn't require much time to brew and by 11:30 Hermione was completed and had bottled her sample. The instructor was so impressed with her potion that with the full moon coming the next day he bottled the rest of her potion to be used at the Ministry for their new program.
Hermione took a few minutes and walked outside so that she could send her Patronus to Severus and let him know she was finished with her Potion's exam and did very good on the practical and would do Charms during the afternoon.
Since she had plenty of time Hermione went to the cafeteria on the main floor and got a bowl of soup for lunch. While eating Hermione was interrupted by Draco, he had changed so much in the last few months. He told her that he was taking the charms test with her and would be taking several other tests with her. He was going to be apprenticing with Professor Flitwick next year. The only class he would be taking was Potions he didn't feel like he could pass it with an O unless he took his 7th year.
The two of them talked till time for the Charms testing, Draco knew that Hermione and Severus were getting married on Saturday he and his mother were both attending the binding. Draco sat in the seat next to Hermione in the charms written exam, he had several of the people in the testing give him dirty looks but he ignored them. When they finished their written exam Hermione took Draco's arm as they walked out to wait to be called for the practical. This stopped a lot of the dirty looks Draco was receiving; Hermione was part of the golden trio so if she showed people that he was her friend she hoped they would accept him.
The rest of the week went very similar to Monday by the time Friday came Hermione was exhausted; but very happy each morning when she had returned to the ministry she picked up the previous days exams. Today she would be picking up her last results and if her Ancient Runes was an O she had aced all of her NEWT's. So at eight in the morning Hermione and Severus were walking to the front gates of Hogwarts, they were going to pick up their marriage license and her last NEWT result.
Severus had made arrangements with Kingsley to get their marriage license in his office and to seal it. Rita Skeeter was stilling stalking Hermione and trying to cause problems because of that they entered the ministry separately, Hermione went first to pick up her NEWT results and then meet Severus in Kingsley's office.
The secretary in Kingsley's office didn't realize who Hermione was she first walked in; she told Hermione that the Prime Minister was busy and she would need to make an appointment she wouldn't let Hermione even tell her who she was. Severus was beginning to get worried so stuck his head out the door, he found Hermione trying to get a word in to the secretary. He walked out and took Hermione's arm and took her back into the office; when they finished Kingsley went out and told the secretary that any time Hermione or Severus came in they were to have immediate access to him. Hermione actually felt a little sorry for the girl Kingsley was not the least bit happy with her.
Hermione and Severus walked out of the ministry with Kingsley so it just looked like they met there. Several of the newspapers had reporters that stayed in the ministry all the time. As they left the elevator they were swarmed by the reporters. Of course the first thing was what were they doing there together; Kingsley told them that Severus had came in to look over some paper work for him and Hermione had picked up her last NEWT score. Of course this had the reporters asking Hermione why she took her NEWT's early. Hermione told them she was going to be apprenticing with Professor Vector the coming year in Arthimancy and then quickly threw a handful of floo powder in the closest fireplace and flooed back to Hogwarts.
Because Hermione and Severus were having their binding on Saturday, the Weasley's were all waiting for them when they arrived back at Hogwarts. Hermione was excited to see the family but at the same time she wasn't happy about Molly insistence that she stay in Gryffindor tower the night before her binding. Ginny insisted also that Hermione couldn't see Severus until her wedding that it would bring bad luck.
That night the Professors and Weasley's shared dinner in the great hall and then Fred and George charmed a radio to play music and they all partied and danced till close to midnight. Just before midnight Ginny made Hermione tell Severus good night and drug her up the steps to the tower. Hermione was angry because she knew that she would never get to sleep; she was too used to sleeping against her personal fire place by the name of Severus.
By three in the morning Hermione still had not had the first bit of sleep; since everyone else in the tower was asleep, she quietly slipped through the portrait and headed for the dungeon. When she slipped into their quarters Severus was sitting on the sofa watching the fire die out; Hermione smiled at him, "not able to sleep?"
Severus was shocked to see Hermione standing in the door, "what are you doing down here?"
Hermione laughed, "I couldn't sleep without you, I'm going to set my wand to wake me up at 6;00 and go to the Great Hall, they will never know that I slept down here."
Severus didn't complain he grabbed her hand and led her to the bedroom and soon they were both sound asleep. The only problem with Hermione's plan was that when her wand went off she just rolled over and curled tighter into Severus's warm body.
At eight when Ginny woke up she found that Hermione was gone. Not thinking much about it Ginny figured Hermione was in the Great Hall having breakfast. When she got down to the great hall and no one had seen Hermione or Severus she knew where Hermione was. Now Ginny didn't just have her red hair for looks, she also had the red head temper that went with it. She was big time angry by the time she got down to the dungeon and started pounding on the door.
Hermione was so far asleep that she didn't even understand that someone was pounding on the door. Severus got up and answered the door and found a very angry red head screaming and demanding that Hermione get out of the room. Because Severus didn't want to fight with Ginny, he grabbed his clothes and headed for the shower and let Hermione deal with her. Needless to say by the time the two of them finished both of them had thrown some hexes. And of course then the two girls hugged each other and apologized after all was said and done. Hermione got up and showered quickly and met Ginny in the great hall.
Molly was just as frustrated and angry as Ginny; when Hermione approached the table she glared at Hermione. "What in the world do you think you were doing? You are jinxing your chance of a happy marriage. I can't believe you let Severus see you on the day of your wedding."
Hermione rolled her eyes, "Molly I don't believe that stuff and on top of that I couldn't sleep. I've slept in the dungeon long enough now that I just can't get comfortable any place else." Thinking to herself Hermione was glad she hadn't said what she started to; I've slept with Severus long enough I can't sleep without him curled up next to me.
Hermione sat down and ate her breakfast and then followed Ginny and Molly up the stairs to the tower. Ginny sent Hermione back to the bathroom with orders to fill the tub with hot water and soak in her favorite bath salts. Hermione huffed and puffed a little but eventually gave in and headed to the tub; just as she was getting really comfortable Ginny came in and made her get up and wash her hair.
By this time Hermione was really getting tired of Ginny bossing her around. She just hoped that she could hold her temper because she knew with how nervous she was it wouldn't take much to put her into a towering rage.
When Hermione finished washing her hair, Ginny lead her into the room and sat her down in front of a mirror. Hermione watched and Ginny took both of their wands and began drying and styling her hair. For the next hour and a half Hermione watched Ginny pick a strand of hair up wrap it around her wand and then cast a spell with her own wand. When Ginny was finished Hermione had a head full of soft silky curls. Then Ginny picked up some pins with crystals on the end and began pulling up bits and pieces of Hermione's hair and styling it in an amazingly beautiful hair style.
As the day wore on Hermione started to get nervous especially when she stepped into her binding robes. Severus wanted a traditional binding so she was dressed in a white silk gown with gold embroidery along the edges of the over robe. The over robe was made of cashmere and was so soft that it felt like she had nothing on. Since they were having a traditional binding her feet were left bare and Ginny had given her a pedicure with her toenails painted a beautiful gold the same as her fingernails.
At dusk Hermione walked out of the main entrance of Hogwarts and towards the lake where Severus was waiting for her. Ginny and Remus were in place along with Severus, Ginny was holding Severus's ring and one of the binding cords and Remus was holding her ring along with the other binding cord.
As Hermione reached the chair all of their friends stood up, once Hermione entered the circle their friends moved into a circle and clasped hands to create the circle needed for their binding. Hermione was intent on Severus's face that she missed seeing the golden glow that formed when their friends and families joined hands.
When Hermione reached Severus, Kingsley Shaklebolt had them join their left hands then he went through the binding ritual at the end he had the them share their own vows and give and receive their rings. Then he had Ginny tie her binding cord around their left hand and then Remus did the same. Next Kingsley said the spell that would bind them magically together. When Kingsley said the last word of the incantation there was a flash of white light followed by a golden glow and then the binding cords flashed a rainbow of colors and each of them had a Celtic knot tattooed onto their inside wrists.
For a few minutes after the light faded there was total quiet then everyone started talking at once. Kingsley asked to see the binding tattoo he had only seen one other binding that caused a tattoo and it was just a simple black spot. He was amazed to see the perfect Celtic knot that was on both of their wrists. Even Molly and Arthur who he knew were soul mates only had a small spot.
Minerva finally was able to get everyone's attention and led everyone up to the great hall for the reception. Severus and Hermione were both stunned with the feelings they had gotten when the binding was completed. Severus pulled Hermione into a dance so that he could quietly talk to her; "did you feel the sudden surge of power when the binding happened?"
Hermione nodded, "It was like an electrical jolt; and what I have often thought that (blushing bright red) it was what an organism would feel like."
Severus loved when Hermione blushed like that, "Yes, I'm sure it will be very much like that when we finally get to make love."
Hermione smiled up at Severus and licked her lips, Severus groaned and reached down and pulled his wife in to a fiery kiss. By the time Severus sat Hermione back down on her feet she couldn't even think!
Minerva got the two of them to cut their cake and shortly after that Severus grabbed Hermione's hand and pulled her out of the Great Hall and down the stairs to their quarters. Hermione started laughing and finally pulled her hand free, "Severus if you don't slow down I'm going to fall face first down the stairs. "
Severus realized that Hermione was out of breath and that with her short legs there was no way she could keep up with his long strides without running. "I'm sorry Hermione I just wanted to get you away from that crowd so that I could have you to myself. "
The party for Severus and Hermione went on late into the night or maybe it was early into the morning. By the time the party had wound down Hermione and Severus had made slow and intense love to each other at least three times and was fast asleep in each other's arms.
The wedding guests slowly started coming around in time for a late brunch, Ron looked around and like his normal self asked "Where is Hermione and Severus?"
Everyone laughed at him and finally Minerva decided to let the poor boy out of his misery, "I doubt we will see them before the opening fest."
Ron blushed bright red and stuffed his mouth full of food trying to hide his embarrassment.
Three years later Severus had retired from teaching and was running his own Potions business that was very profitable. Hermione did freelance Arthimancy work for the Ministry and several private corporations.
They were both very happy and had just finished putting their 1 year old twin boys to bed. Terrin had just shown his first magical ability that day and his identical brother Jerrin had shown his the day before. Both of them had called their favorite toys to their beds with them.
Hermione had more news for Severus; she just wanted the boys asleep before she sat down and gave his the news.
Severus had felt the tension radiating off of Hermione all day; they were so in-tune to each other that they could feel almost anything the other felt and many times knew what the other was going to say before it was spoken. Severus watched as Hermione picked up the toys that the boys had been playing with; "Hermione when are you going to tell me that you are pregnant?"
Hermione looked at her husband and smiled, "It looks like I don't need to tell you I see once again I couldn't keep a secret from you."
Severus laughed, "I never get to keep any secrets from you either."