A/N: And we've reached the end. I wrote the last two early on in the series, and despite wanting to change it at times, I have left it as written. I hope it doesn't disappoint.


The Twelve Dark Days of Christmas
by sshg316

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Three Silver Knives

"Petrificus Totalus!" Severus caught her before she hit the floor. "Foolish girl!" he admonished, his lips brushing against her temple. He returned her to the wooden chair, then took her head in his hands, staring at her intently. "Hermione, I know you are angry, but you must listen! Love potions do not create love—they merely enhance the feelings that are already present. You must remember that. I'm doing what is best for us."

He stood and walked to the worktable. His long fingers wrapped around the hilt of a silver knife. "It is time for the final two ingredients."

*******

Two Drops of Blood

He approached, the silver knife clutched in his hand.

No, Hermione protested as he gripped her wrist. Once, she had trusted him to never hurt her, but now….

Ignoring her unspoken plea, Severus eased the blade along her palm, blood flowing in its wake. "Lovely," he rasped before running his tongue along the shallow cut.

Hermione shuddered.

He returned to the potion, adding one drop of her blood to the brew before pricking his finger and adding his own. But why? Blood was not used in Amortentia.

"Yes!" Severus hissed in triumphant glee. "The effects will now be permanent—eternal."

*******

And Amortentia in a Gold Phial

He clasped her Bound form to him, his hand cradling the gold phial against her chest.

"It's time, darling," Severus whispered hoarsely. "Soon, our love will last for all eternity."

He pulled her stiffened body closer, and then….

"Finite Incantatem!" He released her as he raised the phial to his lips, consuming the pearlescent liquid in one swallow.

The potion took immediate effect, the maniacal gleam leaving his eyes and his harsh grasp softening into a lover's embrace.

"I love you, Hermione." He smiled.

Trembling in shock and despair, a tear trailed down her cheek. "I know, Severus. I know."