AN: Well, here's the most bittersweet chapter for me: the epilogue. On the one hand, I'm thrilled that I actually finished a fanfic, but on the other hand I feel sad because I loved writing this one. I do have another fic that I just started posting called, Objection. I know that several of you have begun reading it, for which I'm grateful.
My biggest thing that I want to say is THANK YOU! Thank you for allowing me to entertain you everyday! Thank you for sticking with me through this chaotic journey! Thank you for giving me a chance on my first fic! The support has been amazing! Thanks to all those who've been with me from the beginning, and those that came in the middle, and those who found this a few days ago! Thanks to everyone!
I own as much as I did 50 chapters ago, which is zelch, nada, nothing.
Three months later, Snape lay in bed holding Hermione close to him. She moaned in delight and yawned, "Morning, Severus."
He kissed her forehead. "Morning, sweet Persephone."
She looked up and smiled. "We missed breakfast again, didn't we?"
He nodded, then smiled, "I couldn't care less."
"In theory, I should go upstairs in case one of my students needs me."
"Why? They all know to come down here," Snape replied.
"That poor Smith girl almost walked in on us last month. I think she was traumatized!" Hermione exclaimed.
"My smile tends to do that to people," he quipped.
Hermione smirked and kissed him on the lips. "Your smile is lovely. I still wish I could see it more when we're around others."
He moaned, then resumed kissing her. Before they could continue, they heard a pounding on the door. "Stupid dunderheads," Snape growled.
"Severus, what have I told you about being nicer to the students?" she teased.
"What have I told you about students needing more discipline?" he teased back.
"Hermione!" a voice called.
"Shit," she moaned.
"Please tell me that…"
"No," Hermione groaned. "She only knows that I have a new boyfriend."
"Shit," Snape moaned.
"Hermione Granger open this door!"
She sighed, put on her robes, and gave Severus one last lingering glance before leaving his chambers. With a sigh, she opened the door. "Hello, Molly," she began.
"Oh 'Mione! It's been so long! I was worried sick about you! You must be devastated over Ron!" Molly began.
"Actually, I've been more than fine," Hermione answered with a smile. "No offense, but breaking up with your son has really been the best thing to happen to me."
Molly looked confused. "I'm not talking about the break up. I'm talking about his latest Quidditch accident!"
"Oh," she answered. "I hadn't heard."
"It was horrible 'Mione! He's broken both his legs and his collar bone! He's asking for you in the hospital! He says that he's really sorry he treated you so poorly! He needs to see you!"
"Molly, that's terribly upsetting, but I'm afraid that I can't see him right now. We're in the middle of a school year and the lycanthropy potion still needs perfecting."
"Please 'Mione! Seeing you will help him feel so much better!" Molly begged.
"I'm afraid that will not be possible," a deep voice growled behind them.
Hermione's eyes filled with amusement as Snape appeared behind her. "Severus?" Molly gasped.
"Hermione has made her decision. She has no intention of seeing your ill-mannered son," Snape replied as he put his arm around Hermione.
"It's you?" Molly sputtered, for once at a loss for words.
"Thank you for stopping by. We'll try to send Ron a card, though I'm sure my writing isn't half as eloquent as his." Snape deadpanned as he showed Molly to the door.
A year later, Snape lay on his bed staring at the ring around his finger, remembering the previous few months. Never had he imagined he'd be married, or that so many people would be supportive of the union. He and Hermione had been wed in a small ceremony on the Hogwarts grounds. All the teachers, Harry, and his new fiancée Parvati had been in attendance.
Soon after their wedding, they had finally obtained the patent for the lycanthropy potion. Now it was being used all over the world. His heart swelled with vicarious pride for the witch who had created it.
His thoughts were interrupted by the opening door. Hermione strutted in, wearing one of his shirts and a mischievous gleam in her eyes. "Severus?" she purred.
"Hmm?" he asked.
She crawled onto their bed and grasped his hand. "Remember when I told you that I wanted something special for our three month anniversary?"
He nodded. Her head dipped close to his ear. "I want a baby," she whispered.
His stomach dropped. "What?" he asked.
She sighed. "I want a baby, maybe two because I don't want our baby to be lonely."
"A baby?" Snape repeated, still recovering from the shock of her announcement.
"I've had dreams about us as parents! I think that we'd be wonderful! You'd be so gentle with them, and I know that living at Hogwarts, they'd have lots of love surrounding them!"
"Hermione, most of my experiences with children have been… well… less than positive for both sides. I mean, I would do anything to make you happy… but… a child?"
"If I didn't think you'd be a good father I wouldn't have asked. It's natural to be afraid, but our child wouldn't see the grumpy potions master that everyone else sees. He'd see the loving man that I do! He'd adore you Severus, and if he fell out of line, I'm sure you'd rein him right back in," Hermione replied.
Snape smiled. "Well, I suppose creating a baby would be enjoyable enough. I'm not changing diapers, though."
"Deal," Hermione whispered before kissing him. "Let's start now."
A year later, Hermione gave birth to a boy, Orion Severus Snape. A year after that they had a daughter they named Perdita Minerva Snape, followed by another, Selene Eileen Snape.
"She really is beautiful," Hermione whispered as she positioned Selene to nurse.
Snape crept onto the bed beside Hermione and kissed her on the cheek. "She's beautiful because you're beautiful."
Hermione smiled. "She has your hair, and your smirk, you know. She'll be just as snarky as you someday I'm sure."
Snape smiled. "Imagine having four snarky Slytherins in your house."
"I keep telling you that Orion is either going into Gryffindor or Ravenclaw. Perdita, well I'm not sure about her."
"Wherever she goes, I'll be proud of her. I'm proud of them both."
"Speaking of your darling children," Hermione began. "Isn't it their bedtime?"
He nodded. "I'll take care of them."
She sighed. "Thank you."
He got up and shuffled towards Orion's room. "No Perdita! You can't put the baking soda in yet!" Orion scolded. "You have to let me put the vinegar in first!"
"Why? It's still gonna explode," she replied.
"Because I like it that way," Orion replied as he poured some vinegar into a toy vial that his father had given him for Christmas.
Snape smiled as he watched his children play, happy that sibling rivalries were not yet an issue. While he was still unsure how they'd react when Selene was older, for now there was peace. "Now, but don't pour in too much," Orion began.
She smiled and added the baking soda. They watched in amazement as the concoction bubbled out of the vial onto the floor. When it was over, Snape began, "What did your mother say about doing messy experiments in your room?"
Orion sighed while Perdita blushed in shame. "We were gonna ask you to help us clean it up," Orion answered.
He sighed. "The moment you get your wand I will teach you every cleaning spell I know so you can clean all the rooms in the house and make up for the times your mother and I have done it for you."
"Wasn't it a good potion though?" Orion asked.
Snape flashed him a small smile. "Of course it was, and I'm very impressed with the consistency. Still, I wouldn't be a good dad if I didn't at least scold you for making a mess.
Snape cast a few spells to clean the area. Then he looked at Perdita. "You're getting better at adding just the right amount of baking soda. I didn't see much left over when I cleaned up."
She glowed at the compliment. He smiled back at her. Of all his children, he could relate to Perdita the best. At her age, he'd been just as reserved as she was, always lost in thought over something or another. "Thanks Daddy," she replied.
She went over and hugged him. Orion rolled his eyes and began setting up a new potion. "Can we make one more before bedtime?" he asked.
"Please?" Perdita asked.
"Well, I thought you two wanted to hear the rest of the Odyssey, but if you'd rather make a potion…"
"No!" they both exclaimed.
"Then you need to crawl in bed," Snape replied.
"Can we at least say goodnight to Mum?" Orion asked.
"Yes if you can be calm and careful around her. She's feeding Selene right now," Snape answered.
Orion and Perdita ran off to their parents' bedroom. Hermione looked up and smiled as her children scrambled onto her bed. Both of them looked just as they had in her dreams. "Goodnight Mummy," Orion whispered.
"Goodnight my little moonbeam," Hermione answered as Orion rolled his eyes at the nickname. She grinned.
"Night Mummy," Perdita whispered.
"Goodnight my darling," she replied as Selene clucked. "If you two are gentle, you can give Mummy a kiss on the cheek and she'll try to give you one."
They nodded and approached her, Orion to her right and Perdita to her left. They kissed her, then she turned and kissed Orion first, then Perdita. Satisfied, the children left her bed and returned to Orion's bedroom. Orion climbed into his bed while Perdita sat on Snape's lap.
"Okay," Snape began. "Which part were we on?"
"The Sirens!" Orion exclaimed, now bouncing in excitement. "They were singing!"
There was a Scy, Sicilian," Perdita answered equally as excited.
"Scylla," Snape replied. "They've landed on Helios' island haven't they?"
They both nodded. He smiled and began telling them the story of Odysseus landing on the island where his men ate the sacred cows… They fell asleep just as he reached the part about Calypso. He kissed them both and carried Perdita to her room. When he came back, he saw Hermione standing in the doorway to their bedroom. "I wish I could tuck them in. I miss doing that."
"You will soon enough," Snape promised. "Just give me a moment to say goodnight to Selene."
He went into his younger daughter's room and paused to watch her sleep in the moonlight. Like her siblings, she had Hermione's nose and Snape's eyes. They were darkening, but it was too soon to determine their color. Selene did have his smile, something which made her all the more endearing. He kissed her on the cheek and left her room.
"What are you thinking?" Hermione whispered as Snape walked into their bedroom.
"How wonderful everything is," he answered.
She put her head on his shoulder. "I was thinking that too."
They looked at each other. Snape captured Hermione's lips in his, and she returned his affection. He then swept her in his arms and into their bedroom, where he wordlessly showed her just how deep his love ran.