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Chapter 37-Sweet Merlin
"I believe that is all you need to know." Severus answered. "And now that you do know… do you still love me?"
Turning to look at him, Hermione opened her mouth but no sound came out. He was looking back at her waiting patiently for an answer. Despite the seriousness of the question he had just asked the Potions Master seemed calm.
Had the situation been reversed, Hermione was sure her heart would be hammering, her palms sweating and her bottom lip quivering as her eyes brimmed with tears. But Severus was not one to wear his heart on his sleeves. His face was annoyingly impassive and Hermione found it frustrating that she had no idea as to what the man was thinking.
Since her early childhood, Hermione loved to read books, but Severus was no charming fairytale for her to lose herself in. He did not come with pretty words and illustrations. For the most part, he was a closed book hiding away on a dusty shelf, but when the pages were eventually revealed, they were filled with the tellings of gruesome tales and horror stories.
He wasn't Prince Charming upon a horse of white, but she was no Cinderella so it didn't really matter. Severus wasn't the typical Romeo-like character that most young girls dream of marrying. He wasn't perfect. He was a man with a dark past, a villain almost. He had flirted with evil, succumbed to the seduction of sin and then he'd managed to escape before the jaws of immorality had trapped him forever.
Yes, he'd tortured and murdered countless people, but he saw the error of his ways and had since striven to make amends for his evil deeds. That didn't bring any of the man's victims back to life, nor did it excuse his past actions but surely it meant something. It took a spineless coward to turn to the darkness and become a killer, but it took someone of great courage to step out of the darkness and back into the light.
Although Hermione had known from the start of their relationship that Severus was a death eater, it had never truly occurred to her that he was a killer. The more she thought about it, the more foolish she felt. Of course he had killed people, that's what the death eaters did. Then there was also the fact that there was a war all those years ago. Severus certainly wasn't the only person to have killed. Professor Dumbledore must have turned his wand on his fair share of death eaters. Then there were people like Remus Lupin and Mr. and Mrs. Weasley. They were involved in the war first time round and no doubt had to kill in order to survive then.
The only difference was that Severus, to begin with, had been on the wrong side of the war. But he was on the right side now and the man before her today was not the same lost soul who had joined the ranks of the death eaters. He was just somebody who had made a mistake, as all humans do.
She had no idea what Severus might have been like in his younger years when he had first become a death eater, but whoever that boy was, he was long gone now. Hermione had not met that side of her professor and she would never have to for that part of him was in the past, he no longer existed.
Hermione only knew the Severus that was sitting beside her now and that was the man she had fallen in love with. The past did not matter, it was only ghosts and memories and they should not let it haunt them.
It was then she realised that he was still waiting for an answer. However, rather than give it to him, she asked a question of her own.
"Do you love me?" Hermione asked.
He blinked in surprise at her words then his mouth became a very thin line.
"I asked you first." Severus pointed out.
"So childish." Hermione muttered under her breath as she stood to her feet and placed her hands on her hips. "I'm not some silly school girl with a crush on her professor." She told him. "I've told you before that I love you. When you love someone you don't just fall out of love whenever times get hard and rough."
"So, you do still love me?" Severus asked as he stood up meaning that she had to look up at him rather than down. "You're not disgusted or afraid?"
"I'm terrified…" She began to say and Severus looked away, a flash of pain crossing his usually impassive features.
"I understand." Severus forced himself to say as he turned his back to her and crossed his arms over his chest. "If I were in your position I'd be terrified of me too."
"You don't terrify me." Hermione scoffed and he turned back to her almost looking offended. "
"Then what is it you're afraid of?" Severus enquired.
"I'm scared…" Now it was Hermione who crossed her arms over her chest and turned her back. "I love you Severus… but I'm scared that you don't love me."
"Hermione." He sighed quietly as he stepped behind her winding his arms around her waist. "You're such a silly girl."
He moved one arm up and brushed her brown curls away from her neck before dropping light kisses on her throat. He then turned her in his arms so they were facing one another and pulled her into a slow kiss.
She kissed back for a few moments before stepping away when her mind registered that he still hadn't told her if he loved her or not. All he'd done was call her 'a silly girl' and that did not please her in the slightest.
"I take it I've said something wrong." Severus drawled as he took in her icy expression.
"It's more to do with what you haven't said." Hermione replied. "Severus, do you love me or not?"
Like a shadow, Severus covered the young woman bringing their lips together again, more passionately than before. Once again, he found himself being pushed away.
"Stop trying to distract me and answer the question." Hermione snapped at him.
She looked at him expectantly waiting for his response. He was standing to his full height, arms by his sides with his hands balled into fists. His charcoal eyes were boring into her but Hermione could not begin to decipher the meaning in those dark irises.
All she could really focus on was the silence that was stretching on and becoming increasingly more uncomfortable. He wasn't saying anything. Did that mean he had nothing to say? Did that mean he didn't love her?
"Severus?" She whispered in a pleading voice. "Say something… anything."
"That day you jumped into the water," Severus commented. "That was the day I realised how deeply I felt about you. Even with all the horrific things I've seen and done over the years, that day I saw you drowning was far worse than anything else I've ever witnessed. When I jumped in after you, I didn't even think before acting, I just did what my head and heart screamed for me to. Gryffindor behaviour almost." He let out a single chuckle before turning his eyes back to Hermione, the irises looking a shade lighter. "Surely you know how I feel for you."
Hermione shook her head at him causing the professor to frown. Although Hermione understood what the man was trying to say, it wasn't enough for her, she needed to hear the words.
"Say it." Hermione half-begged, half-demanded. "All I want is three words."
Clucking his tongue, Severus waved his wand and the words, 'I love you' magically formed in the air, green in colour.
"Not good enough Severus." Hermione told him.
She shook her head again before turning out of the shack and leaving. She made her way slowly back to the trunk of the Willow but Severus did not follow her. He stayed in the shack and watched the magically formed words fade into nothingness.
That night, Hermione crawled into her own bed in her Head Girl dorm. She tossed and turned unable to find sleep. Moving out of the bed, she crossed to the window and threw it open looking out into the night sky. Fiddling with a curl of her hair, she waited, hoping to see Severus fly towards her in his raven form.
For a long while she stared at out at the moon and the stars but the raven did not appear. Closing the window she turned back to her bed and let out a soft gasp when she found Severus stood leaning against her bedroom door with a smirk on his face.
"How did you get in?" Hermione asked him tiredly.
"I've been a spy for many years Hermione." Severus reminded her. "I have my ways."
"How long have you been there?" She asked.
"Since you first opened the window." He answered. "Is it ok that I'm here, or would you like me to leave?"
"Stay." Hermione said simply as she pulled back the covers and waited for him to join her on the bed.
To begin with, Hermione kept to one side of the bed with her back to Severus but it wasn't long before she silently admitted defeat and rolled over to curl up by Severus' side.
"I love you." Severus whispered so quietly that Hermione wasn't sure if she'd imagined it or not.
She pulled her head up to stare at his face in the darkness. A rare smile formed on his lips and she returned it full force before melding their mouths together.
"Thank you." She breathed. "I love you too."
"Just don't expect me to go on double dates with Draco and Potter because I can promise you now it's never going to happen." Severus replied.
"Agreed." Hermione laughed and she leaned down to kiss him again.
She shifted her body and rested herself on top of him. His hands moved to rub gentle circles on her hips before travelling up to her bottom and squeezing. Hermione moaned softly and rubbed her pelvis downwards.
"Hermione." Severus gasped. "If you kiss me again tonight I won't be able to keep my hands to myself."
"I don't want you to." She replied before kissing him again.
In an instant, Severus had flipped her onto her back and he was now looming over her whispering words in her ear in that silky voice of his.
The following morning, Hermione had a huge grin on her face and a slight tint of pink to her cheeks as she ate her breakfast, occasionally letting out a soft giggle or two.
"Are you ok Mione?" Harry asked her looking at her oddly.
"I'm fine, why wouldn't I be." Hermione replied.
Harry cast a questioning look to Neville, Seamus and Dean but all three looked as clueless as he felt.
"Ginny?" Harry asked looking to the redhead for an explanation but she simply shrugged.
A short while later, Draco swaggered over from the Slytherin table to join his boyfriend. He sat in Harry's lap and quirked an elegant eyebrow at Hermione when another laugh sounded from her lips.
"You look different." Draco observed with a suspicious note to his tone.
"I don't know what you mean Draco." Hermione told him with a smile before looking past him towards the teachers' table.
The blonde twisted his neck round and followed her gaze. His eyes landed on Severus who had a smirk plastered across his pale face.
"Sweet Merlin!" Draco exclaimed in a very loud voice as he turned back to face Hermione. "You've lost your virginity!"
Hermione's cheeks flamed as red as Ginny's hair as the entire student population turned to gawk at her.
"Severus, my boy?" Dumbledore asked from beside the Potions Master. "I do hope you had sense enough to use contraception last night."
The smirk slipped off of Severus' face and he turned paler than normal.
"Ah." Dumbledore said realising the answer was no.
(Yes, I know it's a lame place to end it but I've honestly lost all enthusiasm/motivation/inspiration for this fic and I just want to be done with it, so there it is. Sorry if it's a disappointment but I really lost the magic with this story)
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