Persephone's Promise

Chapter 1: Summer Queen

Disclaimer: I own none of these characters, I'm just borrowing them to play pretend.

I remember the feel of your hand, soft heated velvet, coasting over the tops of my fingers as we whispered sweet nothings into the humid days of July. Those days seem so far away now, vague snatches of a memory unfinished, a story started at once upon a time with the ending ripped out. I half wonder if I dreamed them up, drunk on the closeness of your presence, high on our stolen glances and carefully plotted brushes. But I remember the nights, those glorious nights of half broken whispers and unspoken promises hidden between the rustle of silk sheets.

I cling to them, like I clung to you so long ago my face buried in that sweet place where your shoulder joined your neck begging you to stay just a few minutes longer. But, unlike you, my memories let me hold them closer they do not gently kiss each fingertip, each eyelid, each worry line etched in my face, nor do they lay me gently on the bed and wait until I feign sleep to leave. My memories are so much crueler. They fade slowly; I begin to forget what you whispered in my ear when I fell into you on accident. I begin to forget what your lips tasted like after we had drunk too much dandelion wine and lay sprawled out on the grass underneath the stars.

I do remember, fiercely, possessively, the first time you told me you loved me. It had been only four weeks into our courtship of brief touches, heated glances and fumbled words. You handed me a piece of parchment, covered in ink with a tea stain on the right hand corner, clenched your fists and released them slowly as you blurted out, "I- appreciate your work Ms. Granger." Right as you said my name, your voice caressing it gently with inflection, your lips working around it slowly, I knew. Our eyes met over that flimsy parchment that shook with the violence of my hand. Gulping, gasping, I nodded, head bobbing up and down, jaw slack. The echo of your office door slamming is still etched in my memory. I wonder if you knew, that I stood outside that door and traced the wood worked seams, etching each and every dip and sway into my memory fearful that it would be the last time I saw it. The last time I saw you.

It was only two weeks later that you found me, covered in dust, consumed with the desire to arrange each and every specimen in your storage room. I thought that if I did, then perhaps I could slide my every feeling for you into careful predetermined slots. Without speaking, you took the parchment and quill away, brought my hands before you. Turning them over slowly you caressed my palms with the pads of your thumbs pausing only to dab a bit of lotion into the center and slowly, meticulously you covered every centimeter with your sweet smelling remedy to paper cuts and calluses. When you were done you let out a long, tortured sigh that broke in the middle and I grabbed your hands to pull you closer. You stumbled, your foot catching on air, your lips crashing into mine. I think you mumbled something about Gryffindor courage paying off as we left the storage room, righting bits of clothing and pressing gingerly against swollen lips.

Three days, three days of unbearable torture lasted until we gave in. Our wayward glances, and brief interludes locked in your storage room could not compare to the night we shared, devoured by our own desires. I could still taste the tang of the night's air on my lips as I memorized each ragged breath and broken whisper you kissed into my ear. I woke the next morning, to the smell of fresh roses laying next to me on your pillow and breakfast lying on the side table. You told me, later on, that you had been terrified that I would wake up and realize everything had been a horrid mistake in the light of day. I hope that I convinced you that you were wrong, that my only mistake was loving you too much.

Those summer months passed sluggishly, like the sweet honey we drizzled over our pancakes as we ate breakfast in bed and wasted the day away memorizing each dip and curve of each other's body. But, summer could last for only so long until reality began to intrude again.

That is one memory I wish I could forget. Watching you pace the small confines of your storage room, bright patches of pale pink on your cheeks as you shouted and waved your hands about. I begged you to listen, fell on my knees to entreat you, but you would not stop pacing. You demanded to know why I had to leave so abruptly, demanded to know why I a witch of my ranking and intellect would wish to quit her apprenticeship nine months early. I could not tell you, even when you lifted me from where I knelt, placed me on a stool and kissed my knees, my hands, my face. Then you, you damnable man sank to your own knees, kissed my hands again and begged. You, Severus, you begged me to at least tell you why I was leaving. I began to cry; hot rivers of tears, but you simply hushed me and wiped each one away with your thumb. Even after all of this I could not tell you, I could not explain why, I could only promise you to return. I promised I would return nine months later. I still remember the sound you made as you sank down on your heels and buried your face in your hands. I tried to reach out for you, to comfort you, as I so often did when you awoke from your nightmares but you flinched away from my touch. You pointed to the door, and gave me a strangled smile as you choked out, "Honor Persephone's promise." I left you there, kneeling upon the floor, and as I clicked the door shut I heard the sound of a thousand pieces of glass splintering against the doorway.

It's been nine months since I last saw you, nine months since I kissed the dimple that appears on your right cheek when you smile. Nine months since I heard you speak my name, slowly softly. I have honored Persephone's promise, and I return to you, as she returned to Hades. But instead of plunging the world into winter, I come with the beginning of summer, I come with the spring time and I come with the reason why I left so abruptly. She's almost a month old now; her eyes are a beautiful hazel that shine brighter then the sun in the right light. Her hair is a soft, wavy black, and she has the ten most perfect fingers and toes. She loves when I tell her our story, and giggles when I say your name aloud.

Her name is Persephone.

A/N: Inspiration for this story came from a poem I wrote in memoriam for someone I once loved, who passed away recently. I found the first stanza fitting for this pair and decided to write a story that had a happier ending then ours ever did. The next chapter shall be a reply letter to Hermione from Severus and overall this story will have three chapters.

Please leave a review, I'm not too sure about this story.