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The Heart of the Forbidden Forest

Severus Snape, Potions Master and Head of Slytherin at Hogwarts, leaned against one of the largest and oldest trees in the Forbidden Forest. He was standing in the Heart of the Forbidden Forest and the tree he leaned upon was believed to have magical powers by the centaurs living in the forest although not many wizards knew this. In fact, there were few wizards who were told the truth lest of all been shown this place by the centaurs. Severus Snape just happened to be one of them.

Severus allowed a faint smile to grace his lips as he thought about the day that the centaurs had shown him the Heart of the Forbidden Forest.

It had been a warm spring day although Severus had not been enjoying it. He had been brooding as he stomped ferociously through the Forbidden Forest searching for potion ingredients. It had been a very long day so far and he could only hope it would end soon. Albus had been trying his last nerve with his manipulations and the other teachers always made him feel so alienated. It had been a trying day with the extremely long staff meeting and he had been forced to socialize with the others. He didn't mind conversing with Minerva due to the verbal spars they had but she was the only one he could tolerate for long periods of time.

Suddenly he was brought back from his musings by the sound of hoofs. He looked around him and saw he was surrounded by centaurs. He immediately noticed that they were not brandishing any weapons and quickly relaxed his posture. An elder of the herd moved to stand in front of Severus before he started to speak. "Hello Potions Maker," the elder greeted. "I am Saturn and am the leader of this herd. My herd and I have watched you for many years. You have turned your back on your dark ways and yet your herd does not welcome you back."

Severus snorted before sarcastically commenting, "Your herd turned their back on Firenze when he went to Hogwarts to help Albus out."

Saturn's golden eyes turned glassy then he spoke, "There are several herds in the Forbidden Forest and I am sad to say Firenze is not a part of our herd. I am ashamed of what his herd did to him but our herd would proudly adopt him into our herd if he chooses to do so."

"I did not realize," Severus quickly apologized, not wanting to upset the leader of the centaurs.

Saturn nodded his acceptance and then continued his reason for this particular visit, "My herd came to visit you for a reason Potions Maker. We have something to show you that few humans have heard about lest of all laid eyes on. If you will climb on my best warrior's back, we will show you what you need to see momentarily."

Reluctantly, Severus climbed onto the back of the centaur that moved towards him and went with the herd. He silently reasoned it was better to go willingly with them than to have them drag him against his will. They went further into the forest than Severus had ever been and came upon a small clearing. The herd stopped at the clearing and Severus cautiously dismounted while looking around the clearing with interest. A small brook ran through the clearing lazily, it was clear and filled with a variety of fish. Rare plants and flowers were abundant. There was a large tree in the middle of the clearing, he had never seen that type of tree before, and was pretty sure that it was not in any of the books in the library either. He was in awe of his surroundings.

"Young Potions Maker," Saturn said. "This clearing is known as the Heart of the Forbidden Forest. It is from this plant-life that the forest was born from."

"It's spectacular," Severus breathed in wonderment as he continued to look around the clearing, his curiosity silencing his uneasiness with the situation.

Saturn smiled before continuing, "The tree in the center of the clearing is the oldest tree in the Forbidden Forest and very rare. Humans have forgotten some of the knowledge that this clearing protects but it is our hope that you will write about this knowledge so that it will not be entirely lost."

"Will I be able to collect samples from here," Severus asked as he bent down to examine an odd pink flower, his overactive brain wondering which potions he could attempt with it, what cures lay forgotten here.

"Yes young Potions Maker; however, you will not be allowed to bring anyone to the Heart of the Forbidden Forest. You are the only human still alive that knows of its existence. It must remain a secret," Saturn explained. "You can say that the samples you collect are from the Forbidden Forest but never reveal the Heart of the Forbidden Forest. Others will not be able to find their way to the Heart of the Forbidden Forest without a guide."

"Albus doesn't know of this place," Severus asked confused. He assumed that Albus would know of it since he knew everything else.

"No young Potions Maker," Saturn replied. "The Headmaster silently battles with his own issues and is unworthy to have the Heart of the Forbidden Forest revealed to him."

"I swear I will protect the Heart's secret," Severus said honestly, amazing the herd trusted him so much then asked, "May I ask why you choose me to reveal this place to?"

The herd moved closer to Severus, not in a threatening way but more a reassuring motion, as Saturn motioned for Severus to sit by the eldest tree. "You are not like most humans. They go through their lives thinking of how to make their lives, their existence, somehow better. Occasionally they do something to help the greater good but only when it coincides with their wants; however, you live your life differently. You made a terrible mistake in your youth but once you realized it, you have strived to repent for it. You live your life without any comforts but to help redeem yourself. You still do not realize you have already redeemed yourself, and other selfish humans wish to exploit you and do not allow you the proper respect in which you are deserved."

Severus made to protest but a female centaur moved next to him and startled him into silence. She settled down next to him then said, "My name is Twila and I have had many visions of you Potions Maker. I have seen your fears, your regrets, and your deepest desires, ones known to you and those still unknown to you. The stars have seen your plight as well and now are aligning to give you a bit of happiness for all of the good you have accomplished in your young life."

"I do not deserve happiness in this life," Severus grumbled, his never ending self doubt creeping into existence once again.

Twila smiled sweetly before saying, "And that's the reason you shall receive it," before she left his side.

Saturn drew Severus' attention once more and continued his story, "The Heart of the Forbidden Forest has ancient magic flowing through it and is capable of many different things but we will discuss that on your next visit."

"When will that be?"

"Soon young Potions Maker," Saturn answered. "Now follow me so that I may show you the easiest way to travel to the Heart of the Forbidden Forest so that you may return whenever you like."

That had been exactly a year ago today and Severus had decided to spend the entire day in the Heart. He had chosen to forgo his normally constrictive clothing for a simple button up shirt, trousers, and a pair of loafers that he had already discarded along with his socks. He picked up his sketch book and pencil he had bought in Muggle London and started to sketch a purple flower near the brook. Hoofs pounding startled Severus and forced his attention from his sketch pad to the dirt path directly in front of him.

Twila came into sight with none other than Minerva McGonagall sitting upon her back with a black cloak wrapped around her complete with a hood. McGonagall was laughing almost musically while Twila merely smiled. Twila wondered up to where Severus was leaning against the eldest tree and helped Minerva dismount from her back who was looking at Severus with interest. Twila motioned for Minerva to move next to Severus which she did without hesitation. "Hello young Potions Maker," Twila greeted friendly. "I must ask you to assist the Emerald One back to Hogwarts later today. Saturn is calling me and I do not have time to take the Emerald One back to Hogwarts. She doesn't know the path yet."

Severus stood up before replying, "Of course Twila."

"I will speak with you soon," she said as she playfully jerked a strand of his dark hair causing a genuine smile to appear on his chiseled face.

She then turned her focus on Minerva. "I am sorry dear friend for abandoning you here in the Heart of the Forbidden Forest but I have no choice at this moment. I am needed elsewhere but the Potions Maker will ensure your safe passage back to Hogwarts."

"I understand Twila," Minerva said, her Scottish accent pronounced more than usual. Minerva quickly hugged her friend before watching her trot off through the dense forest foliage.

"I did not realize that the herd had shown the Heart of the Forbidden Forest to another in the castle," Severus mused as he offered his hand to the witch in front of him.

Minerva gripped his hand with her own delicate one as he helped her up the small embankment and settle on the blanket he had spread out in front of the eldest tree. She leaned against the trunk of the tree before answering, "The herd has only recently shown the Heart of the Forbidden Forest to me; however, I have known Twila my entire life."

"Really," he asked truly interested in her answer. He had came to admire the herd especially Twila who seemed to have a soft spot for him.

Minerva nodded her head yes. "My grandfather was friendly with the herd of centaurs she belongs to although he never knew of the Heart of the Forbidden Forest. On the day I was born, he brought me into the forest to meet with the herd for some unknown reason. My mother never could understand his reasons and my grandfather would not explain his actions to her, it still remains a mystery."

She shifted a bit on the blanket before continuing her story, "My grandfather said that Twila immediately plucked me from his arms when she first saw me and pulled me close to her heart. She told my grandfather I was the child with the emerald eyes she had seen in her dreams. She told him I was destined to witness many years of hardships and battles but I would be a fierce warrior throughout it all. After all, I was destined to fight for the light, to be a stronghold for the young. She also said that I would eventually find a love so great that all of it would seem worth it in the end. That I would be blessed with more love than any one person could possibly dream of."

"Was she correct Minerva," he asked curiously.

Minerva stood up and turned her back to Severus. With nimble hands, she removed the hood of her cloak to reveal her hair. She was not wearing her everyday, strict bun but her hair was hanging down her back. She turned back around to face him and then unclasped her cloak. The dark thick cloak slid down her body and pooled at her feet. A short silky emerald gown covered her body. It fell mid thigh and had a plunging neckline that revealed an ample amount of her cleavage. The bottom half of her gown was made of green lace and revealed her skimpy green panties. Severus swallowed hard, several times.

Minerva slipped her feet out of the black fur boots that she wore and slowly sauntered over to Severus. Silently she straddled his lap then answered, "That depends entirely on you Severus. You see, Twila told me earlier that I would meet with the one I was destined to be with today. I choose to forgo my normal robes for a more intimate appearance hoping it would sway you into action more quickly than your normally strict person would allow." She moved her body closer still to him before whispering, "I happen to love you Severus but am not certain how you feel about me."

His dark eyes showed his lust, his admiration, for her as he placed his hands on her hips. "I care deeply for you Minerva, I have for some time now, but I know nothing of how love is suppose to feel," he answered honestly, completely out of character for him. Severus had long ago given up on hiding his thoughts while at the Heart of the Forbidden Forest; it seemed it was a part of the magic of the place was to keep communication with others and one's self truthful. "I know I have never felt this way about anyone else before now. My chest tightens when I see you or hear that Scottish voice especially when you are emotional and it is even more pronounced. Anything green reminds me of your brilliant emerald eyes. When you are sad or upset, I find myself wanting to take you into my arms and comforting you. I find myself longing to make love to you each time I happen to see you."

He moved his hands from her hips to her back and pulled her closer to him. His luscious lips met her smaller cherry lips in a loving first kiss which quickly turned into a passionate kiss that left both breathless. Minerva looked deep into his chocolate eyes and teased him, "So you do love me."

"Apparently," Severus whispered as he trailed kisses down her throat and shoulder.

Minerva laughed delightedly before moving her hands to his white shirt and unbuttoning it. She shifted back slightly so she could unbuckle his belt and unfasten his pants. She quickly stood up and reached for his hand. "Stand my lover to be," she commanded huskily, eager to have him completely.

Severus grasped her hand with his larger one and stood up as she requested. She gripped his white shirt within her hands and drew it off his shoulders and down his arms. She discarded it carelessly to the earthen floor. Her hands skimmed over his broad muscular chest and down his taunt stomach until she reached his hips. She kissed him quickly on the lips before gripping the waistline of his tight pants and underwear in her hands and pushing them down until gravity took them the rest of the way to rest at his bare feet. Severus stepped out of them and embraced her once again. "In a hurry Minerva," he whispered as he nipped at the pale skin on her shoulder.

"Yes," she answered honestly before pushing him against the eldest tree and falling onto her knees in front of him. She grasped his firm member with her delicate hand and stroked him tenderly yet firmly. He was quite large, larger than she thought possible, but she wasn't about to complain about it. She smiled up at him, into his dark brooding eyes, before she took his manhood into her mouth.

Severus tangled his hands into her raven hair to hold her in place and watched in fascination as she pleasured him with her mouth. It was quite erotic to him as she allowed his shaft to slide in and out of her deliciously wet mouth. Her hands joined in her mission to bring him to his release and he shivered in unexplainable pleasure. He gently pulled her head back by her raven hair so that his member slipped from her wet and willing mouth. Her emerald eyes met his chocolate ones, their gaze so intense neither wanted to break it. "I want to find my release while buried deep in your center," he said honestly, emotions whirling in his ever darkening orbs.

Minerva nodded her understanding as Severus kneeled down in front of her on the blanket. He grasped the hem of her silk gown and slowly pulled it up her body admiring her lovely skin as it was revealed to him. Once the garment was over her head, he carelessly tossed it to the side and pulled Minerva into his arms. "Make love to me," she whispered frantically, her body feeling as if it was on fire and nothing but Severus would be able to put out the flames.

"Always," he answered automatically then carefully laid her down on the blanket. He admired her body for a moment or two before commenting, "You are glorious."

Minerva grinned mischievously, "Care to see just how glorious I can be?"

Severus raised an eyebrow in response, surprised by her suggestive question. He moved his hands to her hips, slipped his fingers underneath the elastic of her panties and removed them from her body. Minerva raised her hips slightly to help him but remained quiet as he lustfully took in her naked body. He moved over her and kissed her passionately then boldly whispered in her ear, "I plan on tasting your glorious body before I find out how glorious it is joined with mine."

Minerva shivered in anticipation as Severus trailed wet kisses down her body leaving no place untouched. He suckled her ample breasts until she was purring like her cat form would and then cried out in frustration when his mouth moved away from her tingling skin. He pacified her by applying more kisses to her flawless skin, determined to taste her unique flavor. When he reached her womanly folds, he gently applied open mouth kisses and caused Minerva to moan from her want of more. She spread her legs apart more, offering herself to him completely, trustingly. He dipped his head and drank from her source greedily. He ravished her womanly folds with his tongue and skillfully long fingers until she shrieked his name twice before he eased his ministrations and allowed her to catch her breath.

"You are entirely too skilled at that," she panted as she pulled him to her and kissed him affectionately.

Severus offered her his trademark smirk and moved over her. He interlocked his hands with hers and pinned her hands above her head and against the blanket. He grinded his firm manhood against her thigh before confidently announcing, "I am skilled in other areas as well."

She moaned wantonly before uttering, "I certainly hope so."

Severus kissed her passionately while he aligned his quivering manhood at her womanly entrance. He broke their heated kiss to gaze into her emerald eyes seeking permission to go any further. She smiled fondly before spreading her legs even wider in invitation. He quickly kissed her tenderly on the lips before returning his gaze into her emerald eyes and then entered her. Minerva bit her bottom lip to keep from crying out in pain but she refused to break their intense connection. Severus saw her pain shining in her eyes, tears welling in her emerald eyes, and was intelligent enough to realize the cause of it. "You're still a virgin," he whispered in awe as he stilled his movement down below.

"Yes," Minerva replied, her voice shaky, "Twila had expressed the importance of saving my virginity for you, for this moment, when I was a preteen. She never really explained why it was so important but stressed that my virginity needed to be intact when this moment came. I have come to trust her word on everything."

Severus released her hands from his and managed to slip his forearms underneath her shoulder blades to cradle her in his embrace. He dropped a kiss on her button nose then said in his incredibly sexy voice, "Minerva the gift you are giving me is precious and I am delighted to know I will be your first lover and hopefully only lover. I will be as gentle as possible but I must warn you of the pain you will experience."

Minerva smiled and stroked his cheek tenderly before responding, "I will be fine lover."

Severus kissed her lovingly before beginning his movements down below once again. He whispered sweet words of affection in her ear until their hips met and he stilled his movements once again to allow her to grow accustom to his invasion of her virginal body. Her breathing was shallow as she lost her battle with her tears and they spilled onto her porcelain face. He bent his head and sweetly kissed her tears away. Touched by the tenderness he was showing her, she laid her palm on his cheek and gently stroked it. Minutes passed by and neither broke their intense gaze, chocolate met emerald. Feeling the pain in her womb ebb away slightly, she slowly raised one of her knees up and caressed his hip indicating her readiness to continue. He pressed another kiss to her cherry lips than started a slow pace down below.

They lost track of time, their surroundings, as they made love, slow, unhurried, and absolutely perfect. They were only aware of each other, heated skin, labored breathing, intense gazes. The only sounds that penetrated their lustful brains were each others' moans, sighs and gasps. Tender caresses, passionate kisses, and playful nips were exchanged. When they finally found their release, it was a shared one, intense one.

Ancient magic swirled around the two lovers in their moment of bliss, brilliant streams of green, gold and white. It lifted them from the blanket and binds the two impossibly closer. They met each other's gaze, shock, confusion, disbelief, clearly written on their faces yet neither utters a sound. Both desperately trying to comprehend what was happening to them but still they remained oddly silent.

"Do not be frightened," a female voice stated prompting the lovers to look to the source of the sound. A female unicorn stood a few feet from them, unearthly white with devastatingly beautiful silver hair with a magnificent horn coming from her forehead. "My name is Truth and I am the guardian of the Heart. I have been its guardian from the start and will remain so for eternity. I feel each magic that flows through the Heart and know the purpose of it."

Truth slowly moved towards the strangely silent couple before continuing her speech, "The magic that flows around you is very rare, I myself have only seen it twice before. It is a binding magic designed for soul mates. The magic will permanently bind the two of you as man and wife. And since the Emerald One saved her precious virginity for her soul mate, the magic is doing something I have never witnessed beforehand. It is blessing her womb. The magic has made it impossible for all forms of birth control to work on the Emerald One. The Heart demands that you produce children, many children, and has basically guaranteed the Emerald One will be with child yearly until it becomes too hazardous for her health. The Emerald One will birth a child created from your previous mating today, a truly blessed occurrence, a child born to soul mates, and its mother saved her innocence for its father. What powers will it wield?"

Severus and Minerva looked at Truth momentarily before seeking out each other. Emerald met chocolate, their emotions were shared, disbelief, uneasiness, and utter bewilderment. Severus took it upon himself to ask what Minerva could not find the words to ask, "Why? Why bind us together permanently? Why bless Minerva's womb for the sole purpose of childbearing? What is the purpose of it all?"

Truth smiled motherly at the couple before answering, "The Heart of the Forbidden Forest contains all magical abilities, those known to wizard kind and those unknown. For centuries, the Heart has been awaiting for you two to find each other, to give yourself to each other, to your love. It was foretold by the Heart that the children born of your union would be the ones to finally rid the Magical world of all evil and the Heart has been expending itself to ensure it."

"Expending itself," Minerva finally found her voice and then questioned the Heart's ability. "How are you even sure that we are the couple you seek?"

Truth smile grew larger as she studied the fierce expression on Minerva's face, questioning yet curious at the same time. "Emerald One, I visited your grandfather in a dream before your birth and requested that he bring you to met with the centaurs, to met with Twila. I was confident she would be able to determine if you were the child we were waiting for. And if you were the child, I knew it would be important for you to met Twila as soon as possible in order to save your virginity. Potion Maker, you were destined to have a dark past so you could return to the light and to repent for your sins. It is the joining of the Once Dark One with the Innocent One that will create a greater existence for both the Magical and Non-Magical communities. You have ensured the vision foretold by the Heart and with it have guaranteed the continued existence of the Heart and its knowledge for the benefit of others."

Slowly the ancient magic swirling around the couple faded into nothingness and the couple was eased back on the ground. Minerva felt slightly embarrassed now that the colorful rays of magic weren't swirling around her and revealed her nakedness to Truth so she quickly moved to stand behind Severus. He merely chuckled at her antics before he interlaced one of his hands with hers to offer her his comfort. "There is no need to be embarrassed about your nakedness," Truth stated, amusement evident in her beautifully golden eyes. "It is simply nature, your nakedness, and what rules mankind make do not apply in the Heart."

Minerva nodded slightly before stepping out from behind her lover's figure. "Truth I apologize for my lack of confidence," the Scottish witch said humbly, "I do not mean to offend you but I struggle with my body appearance. I will work more on my lack of confidence."

"You are exquisite, simply delectable," Severus said passionately as he turned and pulled Minerva flush against his body. He crashed his lips against hers and kissed her fiercely, lovingly. His chocolate eyes gazed intensely into her emerald ones then adamantly stated, "Do not doubt it Minerva."

Tears welled in her eyes and spilled onto her flushed cheeks as she kissed him once again. "Thank you," she whispered, unable to say anymore due to her emotions.

Truth smiled at the couple as they embraced in yet another embrace. "Have you noticed your wedding bands yet," Twila questioned before turning to leave. "Your marriage certificate is in your sketch book Potions Maker. I will see you both soon."

A startled Minerva and Severus watched the beautiful unicorn known as Truth trot away, going further into the thick foliage of the forest. They met each other's gaze before looking at the matching wedding bands adorning their ring fingers. They were made of titanium beautifully designed with designs unfamiliar to either; however, they both were determined to find out what they meant. "I guess it would be pointless to attempt to hide our marriage since we will not be able to hide your pregnancy," Severus said matter-of-factly, "The only pressing question is do we use your chambers or mine?"

Minerva smiled at his offer to give up his beloved dungeon chambers to make her comfortable. "I will give up my head of house position and stay in your chambers with you," she said then added, "I have more than enough duties with teaching and my Deputy position."

Severus nodded his acceptance before whispering a spell to cloth them. He silently adjusted Minerva's silky gown into a cloth dress that properly covered her body, he didn't want anyone else to see her body. He packed up his belongings and grasped Minerva's hand with his free one. He kissed her tenderly on her cherry lips before suggesting, "To Albus' office?"

Minerva nodded her head in agreement before stating, "He will need to start thinking about a replacement Gryffindor head of house as soon as possible. I believe he will be completely surprised by our marriage and maybe even have a few doubts but he will just have to keep them to himself. I believe we should keep my pregnancy a secret for as long as possible."

Severus smiled at her devotion to their marriage, no matter how sudden and unexpected it was, she was going to make the most of it. His heart swelled with love for her and his soul rejoiced that it had found its mate. He smiled a genuine smile as he led her back to Hogwarts, to start their new life together. He silently thanked the Heart of the Forbidden Forest for helping him to realize he had been redeemed of his past sins. Twila had showered him in love as a beloved aunt would and helped him slowly to believe in his worth. He had started to make an effort to be more kind to the students and socialize more with his co-workers due to Twila's wisdom. Minerva had managed to bring love and passion into his world, first as a mentor, then a friend, and now as his soul mate. The Heart of the Forbidden Forest had truly managed to heal his own shattered and cold heart. Severus Snape was now looking forward to the future, his future with Minerva and their future children. But that is another story.