The air pulsed with heat on a warm summer's night. Hermione shifted her bare toes in the sand, the wind blowing her brown locks back in a gentle breeze. Waves lapped at the beach, the water a deep blue due to the darkness of night. She looked up, gazing at the stars that twinkled overhead without a care in the world as she shifted the sleeping child in her arms.
Two years after the defeat of Voldemort, she had finally regained control on her life. The battle had tired her out, and seeing a countless number of friends fall at the hands of the Death Eaters had thrown her into a depression, one that would have been impossible to escape, had it not been for one man...
Now, nearly seven years after the fall of the dark wizard, her life was one moment of bliss after another. She wouldn't exchange her world for anything. Life was perfect.
"Mummy!" Aras called, wading his way through the water toward her. "Come in! Come in!"
She smiled at her son, her voice ringing of a gentle reminder. "I can't, Aras! Remember, Lucy can't get wet," she pointed out, gesturing towards the sleeping infant in her arms.
"Have Daddy hold her!"
Hermione glanced at her husband, an amused smile crawling onto her face. How she had ever been so lucky as to end up with Severus Snape was beyond her. The fact that he'd predicted his death and taken potions to prevent it, thus ensuring his survival was a surprise in and of itself. But Severus also was the one that changed her life, that stopped her from continuing the downward spiral the final battle had placed her in. He was the only one she had let in, the only one who truly knew her.
Though a little unconventional, Hermione loved her husband with all her heart. From his sarcasm and cynical nature, to the way he would soften upon glancing at her, she wouldn't change one thing about him. She had fallen for him, and fallen hard once she realized he was good. If it wasn't for her newly discovered love for fire-whiskey after attending so many funerals for friends, she would have approached him sooner...
"I most certainly will not," Severus scowled back.
"Please Daddy? There is fish in the water!" Aras pleaded.
"There are fish, sweetheart," Hermione admonished. "Why don't you come here now." Aras complied, trailing slowly out of the sea.
"Always the know-it-all," Severus said, wrapping one arm around her swollen belly. She grinned as Severus moved his hand along what would soon be their third child. He kissed her on the cheek. "Must you be so insufferable?" he whispered in her ear.
A pang of longing filled her heart as she recalled the stone walls of Hogwarts and all the damage Voldemort inflicted there, but she pushed it away. "Would you have it any other way," Hermione murmured, turning her head slightly so she could gaze into his eyes: two bottomless pits that dragged her in and held her tight...
"Mummy look!" She turned to see that Aras was in front of them, his mouth open in wonder as he pointed off into the distance.
Hermione followed the direction of her son's finger, looking out back toward land... There, flying merrily by the Snape's summer cottage, were fireflies. "Oh my," she whispered, watching the dance in the moonlight. They twirled and twisted this way and that, lighting up the porch and the trees that surrounded the modest two-story house through pirouettes and jetés.
"There's got to be a million bazillion!" Aras said in awe, grabbing onto his father's hand as he did so.
"They're so pretty," Hermione sighed, leaning back into her husband.
"Just like you," Severus said softly, picking Aras up despite the water that dripped from his clothes, and he seized his wife's hand. "It's a superb night."
"It's always a superb night when I'm with you," Hermione whispered back, leaning her head on his shoulder.
And so they stood together, the four (soon to be five) of them playing the role of a quintessential family, as if there had been no war. As they watched the carefree dance of the fireflies, the stress and pain of their past lives could melt away, and Severus and Hermione could just be, with Aras and Lucy by their sides.
Yes, Hermione reflected. Life really is perfect.
The fireflies continued to dance in the night long after the Snape family retired to bed.
Just a quick oneshot I had to do! I love Severus and Hermione as a couple, and this idea would just not leave my head! I hope you all have a Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays!
For the few of you out there wondering: Don't worry; I have not abandoned Stupid Little Devil! I have just had sooo much to do recently. Hopefully, the next chapter will be up by the weekend, if not than it will be up for sure by Tuesday! I hope everybody is having an awesome break! (If you live in the US, anyway).
Please do me a favor and RER: Read it, Enjoy it, Review it... And I Love it!