"You nervous?" Asked Sam.
"No, just anxious for things to get underway." Severus replied.
"Hmm.. I would say you're nervous."
"Fine, I'm nervous! Tell the bloody press why don't you!" He snapped.
"And Snarky too, don't get me wrong! It's a good sign! I think there would be something seriously wrong if you weren't nervous."
"I... I don't understand why I am though. I mean, I know she loves me, she's already consented, but this damn feeling wont go away!" Severus tugged as his collar, fixing it for the nineteenth time already. He wore his finest suit, he and Hermione deciding that a tux would've been over the top for such a small and private ceremony.
"Ok, I'm ready; if you would Sam."
Sam nodded and headed out the door, he could hear Cindy whispering something and almost immediately; Hermione walked in.
Words could not do instances such as these justice, but if there were a word to even begin describing the way Hermione looked when she walked in with that gorgeous smile and that irresistible twinkle in her eye; breathtaking would be the closest one. She was absolutely breathtaking in her ivory suit. It was simple yet very elegant.
Severus seemed to think it necessary to stay standing like a statue, his mouth opening and closing in disbelief until she wrapped her arm tightly around his and guided him towards the smiling old man who looked at them both and announced loudly: "Let us begin then."
She said she wouldn't cry, promised herself she wouldn't cry. Crying is what you did when you were upset, when things went wrong; and this was the happiest day of her life. Despite that, her tear ducts had a mind of their own today, and seemed to be working excessively despite her efforts. Her makeup was surely ruined, her smile watery, but when it came time to look her future in the eye and say "I Do." All other thoughts quickly vanished.
She was no longer Granger, she was now Hermione Snape, someone else's' half, his half.
Everything else passed as if in a blur. Papers were signed, Sam and Cindy also signed as witnesses, and then it was done. She looked upon her friend, her lover, her soul mate, seeing the love and happiness in his eyes, causing her to start crying yet again.
"It's ok my love." Severus whispered as he lowered his lips upon hers, sealing the marriage pact.
Some time had passed however, and the kiss seemed to intensify, it was as if they had forgotten that other people were also in the room.
"Alright you two love birds, get on out of here, see you in a month or whenever it is you decide to actually come back!" Sam waved at them.
"Where did you all decide on going after all?" Cindy asked curiously.
"Well, we're going to hop around a bit, since we couldn't decide." Hermione declared happily.
"Lyon, France first; where we went the first time we traveled together." Began Severus.
"Then we're going to this bed and breakfast in Tuscany. It's within an estate where they make olive oil." Continued Hermione.
"And then we're going to Chania, Crete where we became engaged."
"That sounds absolutely wonderful; I know you'll both have a great time." Cindy said meaningfully.
"Well, what are you guys still standing around here for? Go catch that plane!" Sam shooed them away, which they happily did. They watched as Severus led Hermione to the pearl colored limo. Watching in awe at their obvious happiness. She doubted that she would ever be that happy but she would settle for just a fraction, it was that profound.
Once they were gone, Sam and Cindy stood there awkwardly looking at one another, they had not spoken since the day he had come to her flat.
"So... Do you.. maybe..." Began Sam.
Cindy smiled, deciding to not let the poor guy suffer unnecessarily. "Do you want to grab a bite to eat Sam?"
His eyes lit up. "Yes! My thoughts exactly!"
"Good!" She replied, "I know just the place."
They were staying Château D'lancreaux, and while they had food there, they opted to dine at the small bistro that they had been to that last time. Severus still had a hard time believing that he was actually a married man now. He found himself staring at his left hand constantly to verify that everything had not been a dream. The feeling of knowing that you belonged to someone else was more satisfying than he imagined, having been a loner for the majority of his life, he did not think it would gratify him as much as it did.
He watched as Hermione slept, the smile never leaving her features. It had been a long day, as it was the first time they had actually ventured out of their room since their arrival. They only had three days left before they flew out to Tuscany so they decided that they were actually going to do some sight seeing before they had to leave.
Tuscany had been more charming than Hermione had even imagined, and the food! If it weren't for all the walking and bike riding, they would've had to grease the sides of the door to get her out!
Creamy tomato covered gnocchi, wines, gelato's of every flavor she could think of!, Stuffed cannelloni's, it was a foodie's dream come true. One night, the owners at the bed and breakfast they were staying at actually roasted a pig out back since early morning so by the time evening had come, the whole place smelled of delicious roasted pork. When they finally ate, the meat was so tender that they didn't even need a knife to pull it apart, it was absolute heaven.
She laughed at how Severus would pull out a notebook and jot down what he thought was in the dishes to try a recreate them when they got back home. In some places they actually gave him the recipe to some of the dishes, but others did not, claiming that it was a family recipe passed down from previous generations. He said he would figure it out anyway, and knowing him; he probably would.
Crete had been more of a culinary adventure as well since they managed to get the same exact villa from those short months ago. They again cooked everything outside on the grill and it had all been freshly caught that same day. They walked along the beach during the sunsets, spent most of their nights doing everything but sleeping, and most of their mornings catching up on sleep.
When they finally got back, it had taken some time to get in the swing of ordinary life again but they found that it was manageable so long as they had each other.
Hermione didn't suffer from her anxieties anymore as the medication proved to be extremely effective, but sometimes she had to wonder if it actually was the medication in itself or the combination of that and having him in her life. Having found love and no longer worrying about being alone had taken a huge burden off of her shoulders. In either case it didn't matter, they were both content. Severus had at last found love and happiness; while Hermione had at last found her cure.
AN: I wanted to stall as much as possible, really I did because it pains me to see the end of this story. I had so much fun writing it, and I loved watching Hermione and Severus grow as a couple as well as the twists and turns caused by other characters. I may write an epilogue but am unsure at this point; I might just leave it as is.Thank you all who reviewed and stuck with the story since it's beginning, much appreciated.