A/N: To the readers of this story: Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for taking time to read this stab in the dark attempt at creating a story. I have no formal writing experience, just a love of Harry Potter and Snape/Hermione. The polish is all thanks to Laura, my beta, whom I can't thank enough. To all of my fabulous YouTuber's … my fans I love you! I don't own anything you recognize … sadly that is all Jo Rowling's. Drink up me hearties … yo ho!


The Great Hall was busy with chatter early on Saturday morning. Hermione was quietly nibbling at her toast and observing the hall. The Gryffindor vs. Slytherin Quidditch match was today, and the children were practically busting at the seams.

"I see the dunderheads are out in full force today, Professor Granger," a deep voice said suddenly behind her causing Hermione to smile.

"Really Severus, they are just excited. Surely you remember the excitement of a Quidditch game?"

"Actually, not at all. I didn't waste my time with such pointless activities. I only learned the sport as an adult in order to referee."

"I never understood the excitement over it either. I only went to support Harry and then later Ron and Ginny." She took a sip of coffee.

"Well since everyone else seems to be preoccupied, care to join me in our rooms?" he made a motion as he got up and quietly left.

That sneaky man. Clever though, really. No one will notice our absence, she thought.

Severus and Hermione had been dating ever since they left the conference. They were able to keep it quiet from almost everyone except Minerva and Albus. Minerva had practically met them at the Entrance Hall on their return with a smile on her face. Hermione had quietly explained that the conference had gone well and that they were going to see how their relationship went – but they were going to keep it behind closed doors for the time being. Minerva agreed to keep everything a secret.

At the start of the new term Hermione became the Potions Mistress as she had promised she would. She bought her teaching robes, her supplies, and had thoroughly banished the gloom from the potions classroom. Saying the students had been shocked on the first day of class would be an understatement. She was a good Professor, firm but fair and she always kept her students safety first. Potions could be a hazardous subject - Neville had been living proof of that.

Hermione finished descending the stairs and as she stepped through the door to their rooms she stopped in her tracks at the sight of the room.

"Oh Severus, it's beautiful!" she exclaimed. There was a roaring fire in the fireplace to make the room cozy, in the centre of the living room the couch, their chairs, and ottoman had been moved out of the way and in their place was a lovely dinner table set for two. There was a beautiful linen table cloth, candles, folded napkins, plates, silverware and goblets for wine. On the floor around the bottom of the table there were flower petals scattered around.

"What on earth has gotten into you? Where is Severus – are you polyjuiced?" Hermione asked suspiciously almost chucking at the absurdity of the situation.

"Don't be daft- I thought we were long overdue for a lovely quiet meal. Come and sit down."

They enjoyed the meal the house elves had prepared for them. They were sitting and enjoying the after dinner conversation when suddenly Severus became quiet.

"Knut for your thoughts?" Hermione said casually taking his hand from across the table.

Severus was silent a while longer until he finally said, "Hermione … are you happy? I mean here… with me?'

Hermione looked surprised by the sudden question. "Of course I am happy! Why? What would ever make you think differently? Are you happy or have you finally come to your senses and grown tired of me?" She gave him a cheeky grin.

"Me come to my senses? Oh Hermione… if you had any idea. Every day you are still around I thank Merlin that you haven't left me. I … I don't know what I would do without you."

"Oh Severus". She stood up to move around the table but he stopped her.

"No … stay seated. I am a brave man but it has taken me a long time to get the courage to do this." Severus got up out of his chair and walked over to Hermione and got down on one knee in front of her. Hermione gasped and put her hands over her mouth.

"Hermione … you have been a light in my very dark life. I had never truly known love until I met you. I have had obsessions in my life but they seem pale compared to you. I can be cruel, short tempered, jealous, sarcastic, and begrudging. But, I love you with the depth of 1,000 oceans- you make me happy when no one and nothing else can. Hermione, will you stay with me forever and become Hermione Snape?"

Hermione stared in disbelief at the man before her. She was truly speechless.

"Oh, Severus," she whispered very softly. He quirked an eyebrow up at her still waiting for an answer.

"Yes! Yes, of course I will!" She leapt out of her seat and threw her arms around her neck. Suddenly she realised she hadn't paid attention to the ring. Severus took her hand and placed the small band on it.

"Oh it's beautiful. Just perfect," she said as she stared down at the thin white gold band. In the very center was a very lovely, but small diamond. The band twisted out from the center and on either side of the diamonds was a small stone- one red and one green.

"I chose this ring for its simplicity… I hope you like it" he said quietly. "I decided on the ring that represents both of us, both Gryffindor and Slytherin and we become one- the diamond in the center." She beamed up at him.

"It is the loveliest ring I have ever seen and I couldn't possibly imagine a better one."

"You know it's sort of odd … our love." Severus looked at her in an odd way

"What do you mean?"

"Well who would have ever paired the two of us together- I know I certainly wouldn't have!" Severus harrumphed at her comment

"Oh come now- you are honestly telling me you imagined ending up with me?" She crossed her arms and stared at him intently.

"No of course not," he said finally, admitting a small defeat.

"It's lovely though- we have a special love. It's sort of a gilded love isn't it?" she smiled taking his hand

"What sort of dribble are you carrying on about? A gilded love? That's absurd. What does that even mean?" he asked pulling her closer.

"It means our love is fragile and it has this odd sort of polish to it. Our love is ours, no one else's. Sure it isn't perfect, but it's ours. We don't need to be showy for each other, we are simply ourselves."

"A Gilded Love."

He smiled at her and pulled her into a tight embrace. They kissed as her ring sparkled in the firelight and their new life together began.

The End.

A:N/ Ahhh I can't BELIEVE this is over – this is crazy! Thank you so much for supporting me, reading my story, reviewing it. If you enjoyed this story please leave a review and tell someone about it. It means the world when someone says the recommended my story. Thank you so much to Laura my beta. You have been phenomenal. To you readers- you are fantastic and the reason I wrote this. I hope you enjoyed this story… it's bittersweet for it to end :D

BTW to see Hermione's ring go to .

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