Author Notes: Disclaimer at the start. I'm really in the debt of Mad Madame Me, who has been a brilliant beta for more than half of this fic, and who has seen me through to the end.
It was a normal Saturday. Ginny and Luna sat across from me at the small table Severus had begrudgingly fixed a week beforehand. Still a little rickety, but strong enough to hold three mugs and the paper bag of pastries that Fleur had baked and sent along with Ginny.
"Harry and I are so happy now," Ginny gushed, "you have no idea how wonderful honeymoons are!"
I gave her a baleful stare across my tea. She'd been wheedling and prying and offering helpful hints since the memorial dinner. It had been months of wedding planning, guest lists, and happy mother stories.
"I can't wait until you and Severus can..."
"Ginny..." Luna trailed off. We'd both grown sick of trying to explain things to her. As Ginny's friends, we would just have to wait out her joyful obsession with all things matrimonial.
"We won't, though, Ginny."
"Oh, but if you spoke to him, I'm sure he'd propose."
"No, he wouldn't. Neither of us go for that sort of thing. Marriage, engagements, none of that suits us."
"But think of your extended family, of how happy everyone in Wizarding society would be! We haven't had enough good news this year. Even the fall of Voldemort wasn't enough to outweigh all those deaths..."
"I agree that is sad, but really, Ginny. Think of my extended family. Of yours, since you'd be invited. Think about the happiness of Wizarding society!"
Ginny blinked, innocent of understanding in her rosy daydreams. It was Luna who finally broke through to her.
"Think about Snape. It'd be his wedding, after all..."
Ginny's happy expression fell, and she looked down at her own drink. "Well, yes. I suppose that could be one problem. Given his history with his parents, I suppose. And his general distaste for pink roses. Well, flowers of any sort..."
I nodded, glad that Ginny was finally seeing reason. "And think about me. I'd be the bride."
Ginny sighed heavily. "I just want to be able to see you, and maybe one day Luna, as happy as I am."
Luna took a small sweet pastry for herself, and chewed it thoughtfully. "I think you've shared a lot of happiness with me, Ginny. Especially these flibbeterwhatsits."
I heard something bang, loudly, then clatter against the floor. Crooks screamed in an indistinguishably furious yowl, and burst his way out of Severus' workroom. Smoke curled through the open door after him. He vanished in the direction of the stairway, and Ginny watched him with wide eyes.
"I don't know how on earth you can live in a house that has all those twisty bits in it, Hermione."
I shrugged. If I had paid closer attention, I would probably have been able to hear Severus swearing. Insulting his cauldrons and burners. I wondered what he was working on. It had to be interesting, if he hadn't remembered to check the room for Crooks first. "Each to their own, I suppose."
We sat back, and were silent for a short while. I felt very much at peace. In my house, with my nutty friends. Crooks licking his wounds upstairs, and Severus probably on the verge of storming out here and yelling at someone. I glanced quickly at my bare ring finger, and knew that there could be nobody, anywhere, who was more content with their life than I was.
I began writing this fic when I had just finished a degree, had just got a new casual job, and was generally blissful. Then I was fired, things faltered. As I wrote the final chapters, I was a little concerned that the changes in my life might affect the continuity of tone in the story as a whole. I've been told by my beta and a few test readers that I've pulled it off. But if the pace does falter, or things seem a little off, I apologise profusely, and please do let me know the where and how of it either by review or PM. Thank you for reading to the end of Memories, and hopefully for enjoying yourself.