"Happy Ending"

Oh dear, readers. So much drama. The battle was over; the Light had won the war. But Hermione had been hit by a mysterious curse, something only one person could reverse…

Slowly, Professor Snape walked to the bed. Abraxas frowned up at him.

"What are you doing, Snape?" he asked.

"I believe that I have the solution," he said, and he bent over.

There was a touch again. This time it was her cheek. The warmth spread right through to her toes. It had to be Professor Snape!

Oh gods! She recognised his lips on hers, as loving as ever.

And then came the light…


"Hello, Miss Granger," a deep voice murmured. Hermione blinked up at her saviour, and smiled.

"Hello, sir," she said. "Am I dead?"

"No." He sounded amused. How strange.

"Oh, good. So you're not dead?"

"No," he replied, stroking her hair. "We're both alive."

"Not for long," someone growled. Both looked up. Abraxas, Lucius, Sirius and Regulus were all glaring at Professor Snape, who tensed when he saw that their wands were out, and all pointing at him. It was Sirius who had spoken.

"Don't hex him," Hermione said, grabbing her teacher's hand. "I love him."

"He must love her as well," Luna said, holding up the book. "Otherwise it wouldn't have worked."

"Yeah," Ron piped up. Everyone looked at him. "Uh, congratulations, `Mione, Professor."

"Thank you, Ron," Hermione said. She could tell that he was trying to get back into her good graces. "That's very kind of you."

"Thank you, Weasley," Professor Snape said grudgingly.

"Mind explaining how this started?" Lucius asked. "And how far it has gone?"

"Um…" She looked up at the professor. "Well, we danced at your ball…"

"And ended up in the Prophet the next day," Narcissa said. "Don't you remember?"

"I had had my suspicions, but then I thought that Rita Skeeter was simply stirring up trouble."

"There is no smoke without fire, dear."

Hermione giggled, but then stopped when her brothers and father looked at her. "Uh, then on Christmas Day…"

"Miss Granger," Professor Snape said warningly.

"I told him how I felt," she said, blushing. "He said we had to wait until I graduated. That's it, really."

"This was while he was still your teacher," Sirius said, clenching his hands.

"I wasn't at school. I'd run away, remember?" she asked dryly.

"It was inappropriate," Abraxas said, and he glared at Regulus. "Where were you when this was going on?"

"That was after lunch, wasn't it?" Regulus said. The potions master nodded, but Hermione was staring at her father.

"When did you start caring anyway?" she asked. "You never have before." She looked at her clenched hands, feeling the tears forming. Damn, damn, damn, damn, damn! "I thought that you would – and I quote – 'never accept her as a daughter'." She didn't see Abraxas wince. "I thought I was a 'gold-digging little witch', trying to 'ingratiate herself' with you!" She drew in a shaky breath, and Professor Snape placed his hand on her shoulder. She grabbed it, and rested her head on his arm. "A 'bushy-haired brat' as well. Am I right?"

"No," Abraxas said. "I was wrong." He took a step forward, and frowned at the potions master.

"I. Am. Not. Moving," he said. Abraxas raised an aristocratic eyebrow.

"Very well," he said softly. He returned his attention to his daughter. "Hermione, I never should have hurt you. I…" He looked at his feet, placing his hand in one of his pockets. "I always hoped for a daughter. That is why I was so hard on Lucius. I wanted a girl to love and protect, not a boy who would follow in my footsteps. For that, I must also apologise to my only son." He glanced at Lucius. "I am sorry that I failed in raising you."

"I forgive you, father," Lucius said, looking uncomfortable with the conversation.

"Thank you." Finally, Abraxas stood by Hermione's side. "I had wanted a daughter so very much that my actions caused me to lose the only one I ever had, one I didn't even know about." He ran the back of his hand along Hermione's cheek, and felt tears fall onto his skin. "You have made me so proud, and now my only wish is that you could give me a second chance."

Hermione let out a loud sob and then threw her arms around his waist. Abraxas held her close, one hand on her back and one stroking her hair. He bowed his head, attempting to control his emotions. They stayed like that for several minutes, until Hermione stopped weeping. She pulled back, sniffling.

"F-father," she said. He dragged the chair to the bedside, sat down, and took her hands in his.

"Say it again," he begged.

"Father."

He rested his head against her hands. "Thank you," he whispered. He took her present out of his pocket and held it out. She untied the black ribbon and ripped open the gold paper. A little box tumbled out. She looked up at him, but he just continued to watch her. Trembling, she opened the box, almost afraid to see what was inside.

She gasped, and pulled out the locket. It had been preserved well, not that she knew how long he'd had it. She opened it up and silently read the inscription.

To my little girl, forever your loving father.

She bit her lower lip. "How long have you had this?"

"Since Prunella was pregnant with Lucius," he said. She handed it to him, and his face fell.

"Can you…?" She turned her back on him and lifted her hair. "Please, Father?"

His expression lit up in understanding. Shaky hands hung the chain around her neck and fastened the clasp at the back. Hermione tugged it into position so that the locket was resting against her chest just above the neckline of the hospital robes. She swallowed.

"Thank you."

"You're welcome," he whispered.


Hermione knocked at the door. The potions master answered.

"Hermione," he said, standing back. "Come in."

"You're leaving," she said, not moving. Sighing, he brought her into his office.

"I must."

"Did someone demand your resignation?" she asked, her voice hardening.

"No. But it was inappropriate of me to kiss you," he held up his hand to stop her from speaking, "and even more inappropriate that I want to keep kissing you. Every time I see you I want to drag you off to a nearby alcove and render your senseless. Hell, I would even ravage you in public to show that you are mine, only I cannot. I would be fired for misconduct with a student, and it would be even more difficult for me to find work than it is for Lupin. And it would ruin your reputation." She gazed up at him, and his expression softened. "Can you not see how difficult this is for me?"

"I could stop taking Potions," she whispered.

"No! You are far too talented to give it up," he said.

"It was potion-making that got me into this trouble in the first place," she said, referring to the family tree brew. He chuckled.

"You wonderful witch," he said. He cupped her face and pressed his lips gently against hers. She threw her arms around his shoulders, and he pulled her close.

At least half an hour passed. They savoured the time, knowing that they could only write until the holidays.

"I wish I was in my seventh year already," she said. "Then I wouldn't have to wait so long."

"After you graduate we will marry," he said, and she gasped. "If you are agreeable to the suggestion."

"Oh, very agreeable," she said, and they kissed again.

Before Hermione left, she asked one important question.

"Who's going to become the Potions professor now?"

He smirked. "Who have I been teaching unofficially all these years?"

Her eyes lit up. "Regulus?"

"Professor Black to you."

"Brilliant," she said, and she giggled. "He's been 'dead' for so long, and now he'll be teaching."

"He and Binns will have a lot in common."


More than a year later…

"…received highest marks in the school, of course, is Hermione Granger!" Dumbledore said. There was wild applause as Hermione walked up onto the stage. Head Girl, school dux, and receiver of all her NEWTs, she had had several job offers. She still stuck to it, in her cynical fashion, that she would never have been offered so many positions had she been a Muggleborn, and especially not connected to the most powerful pureblood families, no matter her illegitimacy.

Her parents and her father were in the front row, along with Lucius, Sirius and Severus. Regulus was with the other teachers. All were bursting with pride – she could tell from the big smiles on their faces, and the tears on her mother's cheeks.

Yes, she considered herself to have one mother and two fathers. Thinking of Abraxas, she touched the locket she always wore now. She'd cast extra protective charms on it so that she didn't have to take it off, even when she was showering or sleeping.

After the ceremony she hugged her family and friends.

"Well done, Aunt Hermione," Draco said. She laughed and pulled him close.

"Thank you, nephew." She pinched his cheek. "I'm so proud of you."

"Sod off," he said, pushing her away gently. But he was smiling and accepted a pat on the back from his father. "Are you coming to the manor for dinner?"

Hermione saw Severus watching her. "No," she said. "I'll be elsewhere. See you all later."

Then she ran straight into her fiancé's arms. There were some scandalised looks and whispers, but both ignored them. She pecked him on the lips and he lowered her to the ground.

"Hello, my love," he said, and he pushed her hair behind her ears. "You look so beautiful."

"Not going to compliment me on my academic prowess?" she asked, eyes twinkling. "Or on the number of job offers I've had?"

"No time to accept work at the moment," he said, and he knelt in front of her. "Allow me to make it official. You deserve an actual proposal."

"Oh, Severus," she whispered, her heart swelling as he pulled out a little box. Everyone was silent as he opened it, once again ignoring their audience.

"Marry me, Hermione," he said, holding out the box. He flipped it open so that she could see the ring inside.

Too choked up to answer, Hermione just nodded frantically. He removed the ring and placed it on her finger. Then he kissed her hand, stood up, and pulled her into a tight embrace.

"When were you going to ask permission for her hand in marriage?" Abraxas asked. "Of either of her fathers?"

Severus scowled at them, and then looked at Mrs. Granger. "Do I have your permission to marry your daughter?" he asked her.

"Of course," she said, grinning.

"Thank you." Suddenly he spun Hermione around, making her squeal. "That is most kind."

"Severus?" Hermione said. "Can we go to Grimmauld Place?"

"Yes, my darling." He pulled her close, and then steered her out of the hall.


A year later…

"All this time it's taken you the courage to face her," Hermione said, gently admonishing her father. He nodded and followed her into Number Twelve.

"I was afraid…"

"Who's there?" Mrs. Black asked, the curtains of the portrait opening. She no longer did her purity tirades, but she still remained unwelcoming to whoever entered the house. Of course, Regulus had taken possession for when he wasn't at Hogwarts, and Sirius had – funnily enough – taken over the old hideout. Severus was glad to be rid of the bad memories associated with it.

"Uh, Mother?" Hermione said. Walburga looked at her in surprise, and then at the baby bump.

"You're getting bigger," she said. "Seven months along now?"

"Almost eight."

"Good." She nodded. Then her gaze wandered, and her painted eyes widened. "H-hello, Abraxas."

"Wally," he said. "I'm so sorry. I wish you had told me."

"Why didn't you come?" she asked.

"Because I was afraid. I only knew you as a person, and to see you as artwork… It is difficult."

"Don't you know what I wouldn't give to be alive?" she said. "To be standing there beside you, breathing the same air, having the same heartbeat?"

"My heart already beats the same as yours," he said quietly. "I ceased to live when you died. I do not know how, or why, I am still living."

"You are living for our daughter," she said, looking at Hermione. Abraxas looked at her, too.

"As beautiful as her mother," he said.

"And her father."

"We'll leave you to talk," Hermione said, and she took her husband's hand. She kissed Regulus on the cheek. "See you later, okay?"

"Of course," he said.

"Let's go home," Severus said. Hermione nodded; and the last thing she saw before the door of Number Twelve Grimmauld Place closed was her father stretching out his hand to touch the painting of his former lover.

THE END


Was it a peculiar ending, my dears? Ah well. We can't have everything. (That statement applies to either answer.)

Now, I was surprised how popular this fic was. So, in the interests of research, could ALL of you please review and tell me your favourite aspects of the story, plot twists and so on? I mean, with an average of 30 reviews per chapter, more than three times my usual average, I must have been doing SOMETHING right.

If there are any unanswered questions, please ask them and I'll do my best to answer. Some replies will be posted at the end of this author note if I feel it necessary, but everyone will receive personal replies as well.

Thank you for enjoying it so much, and adieu!