Based on Hallelujah, by Leonard Cohen (though I particularly love the Rufus Wainwright cover).


Hermione stood at the kitchen counter, slicing tomatoes for lunch. Her messy, sandy brown curls were pulled back but stray pieces had sprung out and framed her damp face. She brushed them back in a practiced motion, and looked up and out the window.

Outside there were men playing as if they were still boys, playing Quidditch. A slight, red-haired young woman joined them, and their raucous laughter floated in through the open window. The heat was almost stifling in the kitchen, despite the paper fans that had been charmed to flutter about the room. Her light blue sun dress clung to her damp skin.

Severus watched her, sitting at the kitchen table, pretending to read the Daily Prophet. His eyes always followed her, whenever they were in the same room. He was beyond captivated by her movements, the way her skin had changed from white in the winter to ruddy brown with the summer sun.

They were at the Burrow, though both lived at 12 Grimmauld Place. They were spending the summer there, so Hermione could help Ginny with her new baby and Mrs. Weasley with the chores. Severus was there because she was. He wasn't sure why he needed to be near her all the time, but he felt a primal instinct to keep watch over her. When she was gone he could get on with things, but there was distinct feeling of discomfort that he carried with him until she returned.

She walked towards him with two bowls of ice-cold chicken salad, as well as a bowl of tomatoes balanced precariously on her thin arm. She slid one bowl towards him, and settled herself on the bench across from him. She picked up a book that was laying on the table, and they read in silence.