A/N: This chapter demanded to be written, so I happily obliged. Thank you for sticking with me. I hope you truly enjoyed it.

Into the Light

Severus drew in a slow albeit shaky breath as he stood in front of the mirrored cabinet in the Headmaster's office, inspecting his appearance once more before he was to leave. He had taken his fifth shower that day just to ensure there was no greasiness in his raven locks, but there was still a shine to it—healthy he hoped. He wanted it to be perfect. Oh, hell. Whom was he kidding? He needed a damn miracle to make this work.

"Your nervousness is only going to delay you further, my boy," one of the portraits—Albus's he noted a second later—said. Meddlesome coots who didn't have anything better to do with their time.

"Or worse," another portrait quipped a moment later.

"Or worse?" Severus repeated before he rounded on the portrait. "What does that mean? What do you know, Phineas? Tell me!" He looked downright murderous as he glared at Phineas Nigellus's portrait. Felix Felicis, had she already cancelled and he didn't know it? Found someone else?

"Calm yourself, Severus." The least popular headmaster shook his head slowly. "I'm merely stating that if you continue to exhibit your nervousness, you're going to find yourself suffering from some form of attack, whether that is panic or cardiac. Take it from me. I'm dead."

"I'm not nervous," Severus snapped, glaring at him.

"And Gryffindor and Slytherin have been dating for a year now," Phineas Nigellus said dryly. "It's perfectly acceptable to be nervous considering. You just need to ensure that you don't end up in the Hospital Wing before your date even starts with Miss Sinistra, though. By the way, may I tell you that she looks positively radiant today? I think you'll like the—"

"Quit spying on her!"

"She's family. I can spy on her if I'd like thank you very much."

"Family?" Severus frowned as he stared at the portrait. She was related to the Blacks?

"Yes. You heard me. She's family. She's my great-great-granddaughter. Granted, Ursula and I disowned our son for his ridiculous views on Muggle rights, but she's family regardless. She has a portrait of me and Salazar—the same one as you have in fact—in her rooms. Speaking of which, I wonder how old Sal is taking this. We always used to say you two would end up together, you know?"

Severus clenched his teeth, shaking his head. Why had he come to his office? Honestly. He brushed off his black robes once more, trying to rid the invisible fuzz pieces from it. Best robes? Check. Clean hair? Check. Breath mint? Check. Bottle of wine? Check. He had everything then.

"Good luck," several of the portraits called out as he stalked across the room to leave.

As he pulled his office door closed behind him, he heard Phineas Nigellus remark, "I give the boy a year." Severus only growled before he slammed the door shut. A year? Ha! He'd teach that portrait a thing or two.

His boots clicked against the stone floor as he headed towards the tallest tower. His mind kept returning to Phineas's words. Phineas had thought he'd like what? He grumbled in his mind. Why had he cut the damn portrait off? It was going to drive him up the wall now not knowing.

"Severus!" Minerva called out behind him as she quickly ascended up the moving staircase.

He closed his eyes. "Yes, McGonagall?" Can't you see that I'm busy?

"Severus, have you finished the—OH—oh! Is that today? I apologize. I didn't realize."

He slowly turned around, just barely keeping from snarling at her. Did everyone know? He drew in a deliberate breath to calm himself. It didn't work, though.

"Can this wait by chance, Professor McGonagall?" he bit out, his nostrils flaring slightly.

"Of course, Headmaster." The older witch smiled widely at him. "I hope you and Aurora have a wonderful night, Severus."

He clenched his hand into a fist before he whirled around, his robes billowing slightly. He took the stairs two at time then, hoping to avoid the rest of his staff. He stalked past the group of students who watched him and instantly whispered fervently with each other. He growled in annoyance. Did she tell the whole damn castle after he had asked her?

By the time he reached the Astronomy tower, Severus was fuming. He had been accosted by half of his damn staff who congratulated him. It was merely a first date for goodness sake! He wasn't asking Aurora to marry him. Again.

He rapped his knuckles against the door, seething inwardly and outwardly. Why had he even asked her? Honestly. He knew how it'd end up. Severus Snape didn't do dates, especially first ones. He growled when she didn't answer her door. He slammed his palm against it to make the sound louder then, reveling in the feel of the sharp pain. Still, she didn't answer the door.

"Dammit, Sinistra! Open the goddamn door before I blast the damn thing down!" he yelled. He glared at her when the door finally opened. He didn't even glance to see her outfit.

"My, aren't we in lovely mood tonight?" Aurora said with a soft laugh, unfazed by his anger. She quickly stepped aside to allow him into her rooms, which he did by sweeping past her.

"You told the whole damn castle about tonight!" He glared at her, clenching his teeth and tightening his hold on the bottle of wine in his hand. Her beautiful smile was not helping matters tonight. "So, of course I'd be in a mood tonight, witch!" He opened his mouth to snarl more, but was cut off by her lips on his. He tried to push her back away from him. Only his hands pulled her closer, so his lips could quickly deepen their kiss. Merlin above, he had missed her.

They pulled back several moments later, oxygen deprivation close to setting in. He pressed his forehead against hers and sighed heavily. The tension easily rolled off him. He inhaled the familiar raspberry scent that intoxicated him worse than elf-wine.

"Better?" she asked with a smile. Her arms wrapped around him, holding them close together.

"Insufferable witch," he grumbled.

"Irritating wizard," she replied with a soft laugh.

"Remind me why I asked you of all people."

"Because I'm a good shag," she answered grinning. She laughed openly when he glared at her. "Because you care for me, silly."

He made a non-committal snort. Three months they focused on themselves instead of rushing like fools into a relationship. Tonight they had decided to focus on them as a couple, to heal the wounds and move on finally. "No." He saw her immediate frown. "It's because I love you, Aurora." Together, they marched out of the darkness, and into the light.

A/N: I'll leave the rest to your imaginations, my lovely readers. Many thanks again.