Vixen: The Epilogue.
Due to the wonderful response I received about Vixen and that even now I still get reviews from people telling me they loved it I felt I owed you another little glimpse at the story. I will never write a sequel but thought I could at least give you an Epilogue.
Thank you all.
A lot had changed in the last 3 years, so much so that it took her breath away to think on it all. She was Professor Granger, Head of Gryffindor house and Transfiguration Professor, though she knew she would never fill Professor McGonagall's shoes she certainly did her best to uphold her strict teaching methods and to protect her students from the over enthusiastic point taking by Slytherin's head of house.
She also emulated her late head of house by watching her class study in her animagus form, it was a good way to introduce them to that specific type of magic and also catch students misbehaving, her senses were always much keener in fox form and she could hear whispering at the back of the class as though they were right next to her, pretty soon after her appointment students learnt not to toil with their Professor.
She was just clearing her classroom making it ready for the start of term and the new students she would soon have filling it, one of which would be little Michael Pomfrey, though not so little anymore, he had grown a lot in 3 years and she could tell the boy would give Severus a run for his money as he grew in height.
She looked up as the door to her classroom opened and the blonde head of the very boy she was thinking about popped around it.
"Hermione! Could I maybe talk to you please?" He smiled at her and the dimples in his cheeks became more pronounced.
"Of course, come in!" She waved him through the door and leant against her desk at the front of the classroom. "How can I help you Michael?"
The boys grin faltered as he looked at the stone under his feet, his blonde hair fell before his eyes as he cleared his throat. "I was wondering… About which house you think I will be put in? Mum says she'll be proud of me whatever but…"
"But you don't want to be in Slytherin?" She finished his sentence for him, feeling almost disappointed in the young boy before her. After all he had been through and the friendship he had managed to force upon Severus she couldn't believe he would hold the same views of the Slytherin house as everyone else.
He surprised her by shaking his head vehemently. "No! The opposite actually, I'd quite like to be there.. Or Gryffindor."
Ah, she finally understood. He was scared of the other heads of house and how they would treat him. Michael had always been a bright child and since it was Severus who taught him about the elemental magics he obviously wanted to continue learning with him, which would be much easier with him as his head of house. With regard to herself she had loved Michael since she saved him from the Malfoy Manor dungeons; he was just a scared 11 year old boy that only wanted to fit in but still needed a parental figure he trusted.
She knelt before the child and poked him in the tummy, making him giggle as he looked up at her. "You listen to me young man, you are a clever, well behaved, talented young wizard and any of the houses of Hogwarts would be grateful to have you. Severus and I will always be here for you, though you must remember to address us as Professor." She reminded him, not wanting to have him alienate himself anymore by calling them by their given names.
It had been a double edged sword for the boy living in Hogwarts, most of the students knew who he was as he ate dinner at the teachers table with Madam Pomfrey and wandered the castle freely. But the wonder of Hogwarts, whilst not lost on him had all but worn off in three years. He still loved the castle and grounds and occasionally you'd still find him simply watching the stairs changing but this was his home, he had been here longer than the first years that would be joining today and therefore was likely to be alienated because of it.
"Wont Sev'rus hate me if I'm not a Slytherin?" Her heart melted at the way he still spoke Severus' name, he could pronounce It properly now of course, but this was a type of endearment. One Severus had eventually accepted as he had become a father figure to the child, the only one he had as most male teachers here were old enough to be his great grandparents.
"Severus will never hate you, but you must call him Professor Snape in front of others or he will have to take points from you Michael. You need to remember he's also your Professor now." She hated the way he nodded sadly and traipsed from the room, looking rather dejected. She sighed as she watched him go, resigned that all she could do was get Severus to speak to him and ensure him that nothing had changed.
She could see him from the head table shuffling from foot to foot nervously, ringing his new robes in his white knuckled fists; the poor boy was absolutely terrified. She supposed it didn't help that as Deputy Head Severus was the one reading the names from the parchment and placing the sorting hat upon the heads of the first years.
"Milificent Abernackle." The sneer with which he pronounced her name had the poor first year trembling with fear as she approached him, she looked like she might faint. Instead she just froze in front of him, clearly having heard the stories about him. Severus looked down his nose at the girl and rolled his eyes. "Well sit down girl, I haven't got all day!"
The girl scrambled to the stool almost hyperventilating as he placed the hat upon her head. He then glanced up at Hermione who scowled at him in rebuke, he only rolled his eyes at her too as the hat shouted its verdict.
The Hufflepuff table cheered and the girl practically sprinted away from Severus to sit next to her peers.
"Michael Pomfrey." This was said with much less venom and only those who knew him very well could see the pride in his eyes as the blonde boy stepped forward and sat on the stool. Severus placed the hat on his head gingerly, almost as eager as Michael was to find out which house he would be in.
Hermione leant forward as the sorting hat began to talk.
"Hmm, let me see… You're very brave, but not foolhardy; you're loyal but have very little patience."
She smirked as Severus snorted, they'd both seen Michael's lack of patience during his elemental training, he had gotten so frustrated with it all at one point that he'd managed to drain the entire lake by holding all the water over Hermione and Severus' heads. They'd learnt that day whilst getting soaked as he dropped the water that Michael didn't appreciate the Earth element very much, he definitely preferred water, to which he had a natural affinity.
"You are intelligent, remarkably so but I believe your special gift will thrive not in Ravenclaw… but SLYTHERIN!"
She was slightly stunned for a moment as the Slytherin table roared its applause and Severus smirked down at his new student, who was beaming back at him. Well bugger it, she now owed him 10 Galleons. How on earth had Severus known?!
Then she remembered something Harry had told her, the sorting hat took choice into account, it had almost placed him in Slytherin until he begged to be put elsewhere.
"Well I'll be damned" She mumbled under her breath as Michael walked to the Slytherin table where he was thumped on the back and draped with a serpent green tie. It seemed Severus had rubbed off on him.
"Ohh my boy!" Poppy Pomfrey sniffled wetly next to her and Hermione patted her on the shoulder, handing her a second handkerchief.
"He'll be alright Poppy, Severus will look after him." That she was sure of, Severus was very fond of the boy.
"Oh I know that, I'm just so proud of him!" She smiled wetly and applauded absently as the next student was sorted.
The first time Michael called either of them by their first name in front of students had been in his first potions class, it had entirely been an accident of course; he had been used to calling Severus by his first name since he came to Hogwarts.
Severus had took points off the Gryffindor's for laughing as Michael had turned bright red, but otherwise ignored the incident completely, she supposed it could have been worse. Though a week after when one of her own first years accidentally called him 'Mum' he gave her detention for a week. She'd scolded him for that but he had replied rather acidly that he wouldn't allow anyone to call him 'Mum' no matter their age and that if they couldn't tell the difference between him and their mother he felt sorry for the woman. Hermione had tried explaining that it was a slip of the tongue by a child simply missing her parents, but he'd have none of it. The poor girl had been teased for weeks by her fellow students after the incident.
Severus had been very proud the Michael had been sorted into his house, and Michael had been equally ecstatic, though as time went on she could see him picking up more and more Slytherin traits.
His childlike smile with dimples and all was very rare now and only seen in private, he had however developed a rather familiar smirk, one that made her laugh more than anything. He had grown his hair and now kept it tied out of his face with a leather cord, something that had been a gift from Severus on his 13th birthday.
Once he had even lied to her in his 4th year! He proclaimed his innocence when one of the more troublesome and hard-headed Gryffindor's happened to end up hanging upside down, by a rather familiar spell created by his own head of house. She knew her Gryffindor had teased Michael mercilessly about his close friendship with Severus, but thought he knew better than to hex other students. He had flat out denied any knowledge of the Levicorpus spell, though she was certain Severus had taught it to him. When she had confronted her fellow Professor he had only smirked at her and kissed her protests away, also annoyingly avoiding any knowledge of the incident she was talking about.
She was proud of Michael though, after all he had suffered he had finally found a place within the Wizarding world. Even she had to admit Slytherin suited him, he was kind hearted and loyal but his cunning, wit and intelligence rivalled even that of Severus' and he had a good mentor to ensure he kept his head.
And now here she stood at his graduation, holding Poppy as she sobbed proudly into her shoulder as Michael shook first Dumbledore's hand, and then Severus'. He had grown up into a handsome young man, many young ladies drooled over him frequently but Michael had kept his head, ensuring his grades came first and considering he passed with all Outstanding's he had done a very good job. Though who could have expected any less from Severus Snape's protégé?
Soon the young man would be Best Man at their wedding, something they had waited for until Michael had graduated. The engagement had been a long one and she realised that was partly because Severus had wanted to make sure she knew what she wanted, she had only been young when she agreed to exchange her necklace for a different piece of jewellery and she knew he doubted her conviction. Perhaps thinking she wasn't quite ready and she did agree with him. To her marriage was a foundation to build upon with a family, and at nineteen she just hadn't been ready for that, but now as she beamed at Severus and Michael she knew she was ready and that he would make a wonderful father to his own son or daughter.
It seemed her little secret wouldn't remain a secret for much longer; she couldn't wait to tell Severus.
Soon they would be their own little family and she would be Mrs Hermione Snape.
And there you have it my friends, the story is completely finished, there is nothing else I can possibly wring from this! I hope you've enjoyed my little gift to all of you faithful readers, Merry Christmas!