Disclaimer: Not mine.
Severus and Kingsley arrived in London later that same day. Severus had decided that they would stay in the safe house that Harry Potter still kept in the city. Once used as the headquarters of the Order, Severus still had a hoard of Muggle clothes that he kept there. He rifled through them and found something appropriate to wear, albeit a little outdated.
Harry had done some shopping for Kingsley who had nothing Muggle, and no idea how to dress. After the wizards had arrived and changed, they presented themselves in front of Harry for inspection.
"Well, Kingsley," Harry laughed, "Other than the wand hanging in plain sight, the stars on your fez, and purple shoes no-one would notice a thing."
Kingsley tucked the wand up his sleeve after changing his shoes to black, and tossed his head covering onto the table.
"I feel naked." He frowned and ran his hand over his head.
"Don't worry, you look great," Harry laughed leading them to the door. "Remember, if you get in a Muggle situation that you need help with send me your Patronus."
Severus nodded as he stepped outside with Kingsley.
"Arrogant twit," he sneered. "I grew up as a Muggle every bit as he did."
"Yes, but at your age one tends to forget."
"It is you that has dementia."
"It is you that let the witch get away."
Together they walked down the street toward the busier shopping district.
"How do we plan on doing this?" Kingsley asked. "The city is rather large."
"I figured to ask the first 5 million if they had seen her, you take the next 5 million," Severus sneered.
"Snape, we need a plan." Kingsley snapped.
"She has only been here a few days and she has no money," Severus was thinking aloud, "She will need food, and knowing Abigail, someplace very dark to hide. Someplace underground."
"That will make it harder," Kingsley said softly. "If it can be harder then impossible. Ten million people and you think she is underground. Tell me again why am I doing this?"
"I did not think it would be easy. Nothing about the witch has ever been easy."
They searched the train stations, the undergrounds of all the roads they passed, and they showed pictures of her to everyone that would look. The street people attracted them as possible links. Severus knew with no money, no friends, and no place to sleep that this was the group most likely to know her. He and Kingsley slowly became familiar with the city and narrowed their search to the areas known to have a high concentration of Goth inhabitants, that and homeless.
After a month of searching and no leads, Severus was growing despondent. He paced the kitchen at Grimwald Place as Harry prepared dinner and Kingsley sat patiently at the table, his arms folded across his chest.
"You are free to return Kingsley." Severus sat down heavily. "I have kept you from your job long enough."
"I promised to help you find her, not to help you look," the dark wizard scowled. "Are you giving up already?"
"No" Severus spat. "I need to find her. This is just going to take a lot longer than I had thought."
"Have you tried the police?" Harry questioned. "Sort of like the Muggle Ministry."
"Great idea, Potter." Severus sneered. "What do I say to them? I lost my witch?"
Kingsley's deep chuckle filled the kitchen. "We could check all the papers for stories of strange happenings. I am sure if she is out there we will find a story of a strange woman screaming at waiters for not bringing the food fast enough."
Severus glared at him as Harry put dinner on the table. Taking his own plate, he sat down to join them. They sat at the table and ate in silence. Severus pushing his food around his plate and not eating until Harry stood and began cleaning the table of the half-eaten plates of food.
"I only spoke to her that one time," he said in an offhand manner. "At the last battle, you know, in the Shrieking Shack. Well no, I guess I saw her in the hospital wing when she was sitting with you."
"I would not expect you to know where she is Potter," Severus said wearily rubbing the bridge of his nose.
"Strange, I remember when you were in the hospital wing an owl brought her a book." Harry shrugged, "Of course I thought it was a Potions book, but when she opened it, it was a Fourth Year History of Magic."
Severus and Kingsley looked at each other.
"Did she go to Hogwarts or one of the schools further south?" Harry asked not noticing no-one was listening. "I was just surprised that she had not taken History."
"Snape, your accounts have been unfrozen," Kingsley said slowly.
"Fuck," Severus yelled running for the floo with Kingsley right behind him.
"Gods man, could it be this simple?" Severus asked as they left for the Leaky Cauldron and then hurried down to Flourish and Blotts. Kingsley's long-legged stride having difficulty keeping up.
Severus entered the shop first, rushing up to the counter and pointing at the clerk that had helped Abigail that first day.
"You, come here now," he demanded. "The witch, when was she here last."
"About a week ago sir," he said weakly, "she wanted her next text book, you know the Sixth Year History of Magic."
"How often does she come?" Severus' eyes bored into the clerk's.
"Oh she is doing a lot better, she finished the last one in only two weeks," he grinned. "I already have the next ready for her as well as a couple of books from Hogwarts suggested reading list."
"I will pay you 1000 Galleons to notify me when she arrives." He thought about it, "No, I will pay you 2000 Galleons to bind her and keep her here. You do know the spell do you not?"
"Severus, I don't know if that is a good idea." Kingsley reached over to lay his hand on Severus' arm. "I am sure that would not be necessary."
"He doesn't know her very well does he?" The clerk asked Severus smiling. "I can send an owl. My Patronus isn't strong enough to make it all the way up to school."
"That would be fine," Severus said, turning to Kingsley. "Now we wait."
Kingsley returned to work, demanding to know as soon as the owl arrived from the bookstore. He promised to smooth over any Ministry action against the clerk for the binding should she press charges, and told the clerk to speak to no-one until he arrived. Severus spent the next week pacing. He walked the halls and glared at anyone who came near him, wishing students were in residence so he could assign detentions and deduct points.
Everyday he flooed Molly and Arthur to ask about the children, and to tell them that there was no news. He would then floo at night to watch as Molly lifted them to her hips and carried them off to bed. She objected when he took to coming in the mornings. Four am was a little early she insisted and told him to go home before she broke the floo.
He was afraid to leave the castle for even a moment more than he spent at the Burrow, fearing that he would miss the owl. He berated Filch for closing the main doors. There was no need, he insisted, for slowing an owl with unnecessary tapping at a window. He took his meals in the Great Hall with the rest of the staff that had stayed behind to help repair the school watching the ceiling for fluttering wings.
At lunch on the Tuesday of the third week, a small brown barn owl flew in and landed in front of Severus. Without waiting to read the missive, he ran to the main gates, sending out his Patronus to Kingsley as he went.
"Well, I suggest after lunch we all go down to the dungeons and get his chambers ready," Minerva smiled. "We can start by knocking a couple of walls down and adding space for the babies."
Poppy sniffed her disapproval and glared at Minerva.
"Get over it Poppy. If they get married we will have the ceremony here at Hogwarts." She looked down at the Medi-Witch. "If they don't, then we will just have to change their minds."
The staff nodded in agreement, as they all headed for the dungeons to help. They enlarged the main bedchamber, adding a closet for the witch and then adding a chair at the side table. They connected Abigail's old quarters to Severus', changing the bedroom and living room to two larger bedrooms. Decorating one in pinks and purples, and the other in blues and gold tones. They readied for the children by moving all magical items high on shelves, and warded the books against small hands.
Minerva straightened up and looked at the clock. She smirked and turned back to the work at hand knowing he would not be long.
Severus rushed into Flourish and Blotts and ran to the counter. Not seeing the clerk, he looked around and found him standing at the storeroom door.
"Did she give you much of a problem?" Severus looked at his black eye frowning.
"I had to move her out of the main store." The clerk spoke slowly and nasally. "She headbutted me."
"Broke your nose too?" Severus asked as Kingsley's laugh came up behind him.
"Here, a little extra for the Healer." Severus handed the clerk a bag of galleons.
"No sir." The clerk stood back shaking his head. "Just take care of her. She doesn't look good."
Severus placed the bag back in his pocket, knowing he would find a way to thank this young wizard another day and walked into the storeroom.
If he had not known the witch in front of him, he could never have connected her with any of the pictures they had passed around London. She had cropped off her hair, and coloured it black. She wore heavy makeup, streaked and running down her cheeks. She was dirty, unbathed and dressed in tattered Muggle jeans and a tee. She had dark circles under her eyes, and swiped at her nose with the back of her hand. Severus thought she was beautiful.
"I can see why you fell for her." Kingsley laughed loudly. "Just by looking at her I can tell she is for you."
"Shut up you nit-wit." Severus hissed at him as he walked to the witch and squatted down next to her.
"Abigail, calm down," he said softly.
She looked up at him angrily, leaned forward and spat at his face.
Severus clenched his jaw as Kingsley laughed, until tears spilled from his eyes.
"She has your temperament," Kingsley wheezed between gasps of breath. "And to think, you searched for this."
Severus reached up to wipe the spittle from his face and glared at Kingsley. Setting Kingsley off on a new gale of laughter, Severus sighed and looked back at Abigail.
He took his wand and removed her make-up, cleaning her face. He then tipped her chin up and looked into her eyes. He saw fear and anger.
"Abigail, if you promise not to run, we will free you," Kingsley said speaking over Severus' shoulder.
"We will not," Severus stated flatly pulling her to a standing position. "She will run as soon as she can."
Severus bent over putting his shoulder into her stomach, and lifted her up until her feet hung in front of him, her upper body over his back. He walked to the apparation point ignoring the looks he got along the way.
Seeing the dour Potions Professor carry off a witch was an unusual sight, even for Diagon Alley. By the time they reached the apparation point they had acquired quite a crowd. Severus nodded politely to all, and then turned to Kingsley.
"With any luck you will splice yourself," he sneered, then turned on the spot and spun them back to the castle.
He marched with her still over his shoulder all the way to the dungeons. Once there he looked around at the activity going on and shouted at everyone to get out.
"Oh," Minerva exclaimed, "I see you two made it back."
The rest of the staff filed out the door, none daring to comment on the witch slung over his shoulder.
"So nice to have you back Abigail," Minerva said patting the witch's bottom as she passed.
Once the doors closed, Severus set Abigail on her feet, and then proceeded to lock and ward the doors, disconnect the floo and move all glass from the witch's reach. He removed the locks from all inside doors, and thinking again removed the hinges. He took time took to walk through the chambers double-checking the premises before turning to her.
"Now, I can undo the ropes and let you free, or I can keep you tied up." He smirked down at her.
"Undo these damned ropes," she snarled.
With a flick of his wand, she was free. He then put his wand on a high shelf that she could not reach and stood looking at her.
"Why did you run?" he asked folding his arms across his chest.
"Poppy spoke the truth."
"You said you … you said you loved me," he said walking closer to her.
"Yes," she spat at him.
"Fine," he sneered, closing the distance to stand in front of her.
"You need a shower. I cannot abide your smell." He looked down his nose at her.
"Fine," she sneered back at him and stomped to the bathroom.
He sat down to wait for her not daring to watch. He sat and paced then sat again.
Eventually she came to the door, wrapped in a towel.
"I need clothes."
He stood and went to his closet and took out one of his white shirts. Handing it to her, he remained standing as she went back into the bathroom and put it on.
"I don't like your hair," he stated flatly, when she came back in.
"I didn't cut it for you," she said lifting her chin.
"I want to fuck you," he said flatly.
"Why?" She looked him in the eyes for the first time.
"Because I love you," he admitted, "I told you once I did, have you forgotten?"
"No, I have not forgotten." She began looking around, licking her lips nervously.
He knew she was looking for an escape, he had seen her go through this before. He stepped closer, until they were almost touching.
"I said, I want to have you," he whispered.
"I asked you why," she repeated not meeting his eyes.
"Because," he cupped her face and raised it to his, "you want me to."
His lips met hers softly, brushing against them and feathering to her ears, He kissed the place where her neck joined her shoulders, and worked back up her throat to capture her lips more firmly. She stepped backwards, he followed, pressing against her lips, sucking and nibbling until she opened her mouth to give him more access.
When she could move back no further, he reached down and freed himself, bringing one of her legs up over his hip, then he reached under her knee bringing her leg higher.
Positioning himself at her centre, he waited to hear her say his name, and then pushed into her slowly. Bending his knees before each thrust, he slowly brought her higher up the wall until she gasped in pleasure. He buried himself deeply in her, seeking bottom he felt her arms go around his neck as she lifted her other leg. He pinned her to the wall with his body, and placed his other arm under her second leg, lifting her higher.
Her head pushed back against the stone wall, as his name fell from her lips. She clenched around him, he felt her walls grip him, pulling him in. He met her in her orgasm and he exploded inside her, feeling her accept him and knowing he could never do without her.
Resting his head on her forehead, he sighed.
"I have missed you witch," he panted. "I only want this with you."
"I want you to do that again," she said, still out of breath.
"Why?" he asked smiling.
"Because I still want you, I'm not done." She took his face and kissed him as he lowered her to the floor.
"First witch, we have things to do." He frowned at her.
"First Severus, you finish what you started." She flung her arms around his neck and lifted her legs around him again. "I need you, I need to know this is for real and won't go away. Please, do it again."
Laughing he held her tightly and carried her to the bedroom. First, he would sate his witch, and then he would finish what he had planned.
Later that day, when Severus and Abigail were again dressed and presentable he unwarded the doors, and reconnected the floo. Going down on his hands and knees, he called to Molly.
"Severus, I talked to you four times yesterday," she said wiping her hands on her apron. " What do you think happened between now and then?" .
"Any number of things."
"They are quite fine, sleeping I might add. And no, I will not wake them for you."
"Would you do so for their Mother?"
"Yes, but since she is not in evidence, I …"
"Then I would suggest that your services are no longer needed. I would ask you and Arthur to step through," he stood back from the floo and waved Abigail over to join him. He waited impatiently knowing that Molly would be running up the stairs and screaming for Arthur to help her. He glanced at the clock knowing in only a couple more minutes his family would be together.
When Molly and Arthur brought the children through the floo, Abigail fell to her knees and wrapped her arms around them, sobbing into their heads and thanking Molly, Arthur, Severus and the gods for their return. She looked from one to the other, kissing them and laughing at their squeals of laughter. She sat on the floor unable to stand on her own and looked through her tears to Severus as he scowled at her.
Molly ordered tea and served it up while Abigail fought to regain her composure, watching her as Arthur slipped his arm around her shoulder.
When at last Abigail could stand, she carried the children, one on each hip to the sofa and sat holding them on her lap. She could not stop smiling as she looked around at the three in front of her.
"Is it really over? Is the war over, and the rest of us safe?"
Molly nodded, her eyes tearing up a little at the memory of what they had lost.
"There is just one last thing to do." Severus said seriously.
"What is that Severus?" asked Molly.
"Either Arthur gives you up, in which case I am willing to fulfil my promise, or this witch here must marry me." Severus smirked at Arthur.
"I am not sure Severus," Arthur looked up at the ceiling, "She keeps saying she is going to hex my bits off, but since she has not, I do think she rather enjoys them."
Molly turned red and slapped her hands at Arthur's arms that were sneaking their way around her waist.
"Then it would appear Arthur," Severus spoke to Arthur but looked at Abigail, "it is to be this witch."
"Severus, we can't," Abigail looked to Molly for help. "You know the terms of the bindings, you know I can't do this. The binding won't hold they …"
"Nonsense, you don't have to be a virgin. You just need to pledge to him now, and that he was the first. Wizarding laws apply and anything that happened against your will won't count. As far as the magic is concerned you were pure when you went to Severus," Molly covered her mouth turning red. "At least I think you were."
"Molly," Abigail blushed as Severus and Arthur looked on. "It's more then just that. I do not think the traditional rites will even work. I am no longer a witch, and …"
"You think I would not want you as a Muggle?" Severus asked.
"Severus, please, not now."
"Yes now," he stormed.
Molly and Arthur took up the babies and made an excuse to see Minerva, hurrying out the door and down the hallway.
"Severus, please," she pleaded. "I have no magic. Your children will be treated like squibs."
"And you as my whore?" he demanded of her.
"I don't care about that. I can live in London, you can visit…"
"Visit?" Severus felt everything spinning out of control. "Abigail, decide now. If you do not want to stay with me, I will understand that. I will provide for the children and I will leave you alone. However, by the gods woman, if you love me then you will marry me. I will refuse to have you as a Mistress."
"I need your answer," he whispered. "But know this, I have never pretended with you, from the first time I took you, I have not pretended."
"Severus, what of my magic?"
"It matters not," he lifted her chin. "If it mattered I would tell you. I do not lie about this, you should know this."
"If you can swear to love the children as they are I will, but if ever you change your…"
"No," he put his finger to her lips, "this marriage would be forever. It will be a full wizard ritual."
"Oh I almost forgot." He stood up going to the fireplace and removing the potion. "I have your magic, here is this bottle. Did you want it back?"
"You bastard." she yelled jumping up. "You had that all the time, and you made me go through all this?"
"It kept you safe. If I had given it to you sooner your magic could have been seen as a threat. I wanted to keep you safe," Severus said with a smirk. "And now I needed to know if you were willing to marry me, despite everything."
"Severus?" she said softly.
"Yes?" he looked at her raising his eyebrow.
"Make love to me?" she asked. "I don't think we finished earlier."
They were married two days later. Molly stood with the bride, Arthur with the groom. Minerva and Poppy each carried a baby.
They had a full wizarding ritual, complete with binding and fidelity charms. They had the ceremony in the small circle of stones on the Weasley property. A golden orb appeared over the heads of the couple as the ribbons snaked around their hands. The orb disappeared as they raised their joined hands skyward for the blessing. Both bride and groom were barefoot, and singing stones sang as Draco and Lucius spun the disks.
The reception was held in the Great Hall. A special table of honour was set for those that could not be with them. Albus' plate at one end of the table, Rodger Haley's at the other.
Abigail laid a single white rose on the plates of not only Albus and her father, but on Remus' plate and that of his wife Tonks. Walking slowly she laid one on Molly's son's plate. She looked down the long table of empty seats and then up at Severus.
Severus reached around his neck and removed the Order of Merlin he had received from the Ministry for his service as a spy and his actions in the final battle. Walking up to the table, he laid the golden medal of honour in the middle. Shacklebolt nodded his agreement, and did the same.
Harry Potter and Ronald Weasley walked together, then joined by the third of the trio, Hermione Granger, they too placed their medals with the others. Many more came through the evening to lay flowers and leave their medals to honour the dead and fallen.
At the end of the night, the flowers and medals were gathered up and taken to the small cemetery on the grounds of Hogwarts. Together, Severus and Abigail buried the reminders of war near a small plaque honouring the dead.
And having at last put the war behind them they walked home.
AN: The first time this was posted it had a total of 12 reviews, so I am pleased that this time it is where it is. "Thank you" to the loyal readers who took the time to review and of course to HebeGB for her work as a Beta. Hope it did not disappoint.