AN: Well here it is, the bittersweet final chapter of Objection. I have thoroughly enjoyed writing this, as well as reading your reviews and comments. Again, thank you so much for reading, reviewing, putting this on alert, and for favoriting! It has truly meant a lot ot me! All of you readers are truly awesome!
I don't own anything you'd recognize. I didn't own anything in the beginning and I still don't own anything today.
"I win!" Clarice announced as she laid down her last card.
Severus chuckled. "It seems as though you have."
She leaned over the coffee table and collected the cards. "Do you want to play again?"
"Maybe later honey. Right now I need to wash off the foul stench of my defeat," Severus answered with a playful smile.
Clarice laughed. "It's not my fault you're horrible at Go Fish."
"Let's just say that I was better in my youth," Severus answered before kissing his daughter on the forehead eliciting a giggle from her.
"Maybe we can play Crazy 8's instead," Clarice suggested.
Before Severus could response they heard a soft noise from the other side of the room. Severus glanced over at a bundle of blankets as Clarice huffed. "Lucas always ruins the fun."
"Now honey," Severus began as they approached Lucas. "You were once just as young as he is."
"I didn't interrupt things like him," Clarice answered.
Severus chuckled as he unwrapped Lucas from the blankets and picked him up. "Trust me, you did."
Clarice gave him a look and shook her head, causing Severus to chuckle again. "What did I interrupt?" she asked.
Severus gave her a blank look. He swallowed and answered, "Just alone time with your mother."
"But all you two do is talk," Clarice answered.
"Sure," Severus answered before looking down at his increasingly fussy son. "Are you hungry? Do you need me to find Mummy for you?"
Lucas answered with a scream. Severus carried him up to their bedroom, where Hermione was sitting on the bed peering over a file. She looked up when she heard Lucas' cry. Her face lit up. "It must be lunch time, huh little boy?"
She undid her robes, allowing Lucas access to her breast. He eagerly latched on and began to settle herself. Severus beamed as he watched his son nurse. Like Clarice, Lucas had Hermione's eyes, but unlike Clarice, Lucas' eyes were shaped just like Severus', though only time would tell if they turned black like his.
"That owl hasn't come yet," Hermione began.
"It'll be here soon," Severus assured her.
"I know, I just wish it would hurry up. I mean, I'd really like the first book on your American trial to be written by the person who was actually there, not some, uh, person like Rita Skeeter," Hermione answered.
"Trust me, the truth is interesting enough without embellishments," Severus answered.
"I suppose so," Hermione replied as she looked down at her son and stroked his hair. Unlike Clarice who was blessed with straight and fairly orderly tresses, Lucas was already developing curly hair like his mom's. Hermione thought the curls made him look especially handsome, but then again she was openly biased.
"Yes?" Severus asked.
"Master Lucius Malfoy is here along with Narcissa and their grandchildren," Filbert announced.
"Julius is here?" Clarice asked as she peeked out from her bedroom.
Filbert nodded. Clarice ran from her bedroom down the stairs. Severus sighed as Hermione smirked. "It's sweet to see them together."
"I know," Severus answered with a small smile. "Just as long as he doesn't decide to play the games with her that we play."
"Severus," Hermione gasped as he smirked. "They're only four."
"They won't be four forever."
"Don't remind me," Hermione answered. "I still sometimes think of her as that little baby I held."
Before Severus could comment, they heard loud voices from the stairway. Clarice was eagerly relating a new idea for a game while Lucius threw in a few comments every now and then. "Here, I think Lucas is almost done. Could you shut the door until then please? I'll yell when I'm ready to come out."
"Certainly," Severus answered.
He gently shut the door behind him. Lucius stopped when he saw Severus. "Is Hermione busy?" Lucius asked.
"She's finishing up with Lucas' lunchtime," Severus answered.
"Oh," Lucius answered.
Severus examined the others, but his eyes stopped on Scorpius who was in his Hogwarts Slytherin uniform. "Don't you have school today?" Severus asked.
"Grandpa gave me an excuse to leave," Scorpius answered.
Margarita nodded. "I miss Scorpius, so I'm glad he got out."
"Yes, but as soon as we're finished here we're going right back to class aren't we?" Lucius asked.
"Only because I want to be a Potions Master and I can't miss Potions if I want to be one," he grumbled.
"I'm ready!" Hermione announced.
Severus opened the door. Hermione stepped out as she patted Lucas on the back. Her surprise at seeing everyone was evident. "What is everyone doing here?" she asked.
"Well, I have very important news?" Lucius asked.
"What?" Hermione asked.
"As you know I have many contacts, some within the British and American publishing industry," Lucius continued.
"And?" Hermione gasped.
Lucius' lips curled up. "Congratulations! They've decided to publish Severus Snape: Guilty until Proven Innocent."
"Really?" Hermione exclaimed, causing Lucas to raise his head in surprise.
"Would I lie about something as important as this?" Lucius asked.
Hermione squealed before handing Lucas over to Lucius. Then, she embraced Severus as joyful tears fell from her eyes. "Congratulations," Severus replied.
"Thank you, thank you for supporting me," Hermione answered.
"Thank you for everything you've done for me," Severus whispered back.
"It's expected to come out sometime in April," Narcissa began.
"Can you teach me to read so that I can read your book Mummy?" Clarice asked.
Hermione turned around and looked down at her daughter. "How about at bedtime your daddy and I tell you the story?"
"Okay," she answered.
"Can you tell us a part of it now?" Julius asked. "I've never heard this story before."
"I'm kind of fuzzy on some parts too!" Scorpius replied.
"I wouldn't mind hearing it again!" Margarita chimed in.
Hermione looked over at Lucius who simply shrugged. "I suppose they can stay for a while longer."
Hermione looked over at Severus who nodded in agreement. "Okay then kids," Hermione replied. "Let's go sit in the living room and I'll tell you the story of how Severus and I fell in love."
The children followed in excited anticipation as Lucius congratulated himself for making it all possible.