Four Years Later
"Justin!" Hermione let out a chuckle as she heard a tell-tale giggle from the hall. "You butterball!"
Justinian Alfred Snape let out a squeal and a giggle as his mother caught him around his chubby belly. He squirmed but did so in order to turn himself so he could kiss his mother's cheeks with matching wet smacks. Kisses that Hermione happily returned as she put him down, patted his rear, and steered him into his bedroom.
Justin, as he was called by his mother, and his big sister, was wearing only a long t-shirt. Chubby legs and a little moon white bottom was free and arid. Justin was in the process of trying to remove the t-shirt but only managed to get himself tangled up in it. Hermione took the chance to tickle the exposed belly and he squealed again.
"Madame, whatever are you doing to my child?" demanded a stern wizard from the door of Justin's room. He glared askance at his nearly nude son.
Hermione untangled Justin from the t-shirt and curly, black hair and a cherubic face with very dark brown eyes lit upon the stern figure (sans robes and frock coat) standing in the doorway. "DADA!" Justin ran full tilt to his father and Severus scooped the boy up into his arms.
"You are not dressed, Justinian," scolded Severus mildly. He trailed the fingers of one hand over his son's belly making him giggle.
"I wanna wear my Dada Robes but mummy keeps tryin' to make me wear silly shorts," Justin explained as he caught a lock of his father's hair in his hands.
Severus glanced over at his wife - my wife! "It is a special occasion, Hermione," he cajoled softly.
"You'll be hot, Justin," Hermione replied to her son.
Severus replied, "Are you or are you not a witch, wife? Cooling charms will be the order of the day."
Pretending to be miffed Hermione put her hands on her hips, scowled, and snipped, "Then you dress your son, Severus." Flouncing out of the door she did not escape the swat to her derriere from her husband. Hermione yelped and Justin clapped his hands in approval and giggled.
Severus waggled his eyebrows at his son, set him on the floor, and Summoned from the wardrobe a set robes, a white shirt, a vest, trousers, shoes, and socks, all in black. This was Justin's "dada robes". A set of robes and a suit that were just like his father's dress robes; robes that Severus would finish dressing in.
An hour later, Hermione sitting on the green tapestry divan in the sitting room, and wearing a pair of silver wire-rimmed reading glasses, was interrupted in her reading as her husband and son entered. Both were dressed and matched beautifully. Justin broke away from his father and skipped over to his mother so he could hug her.
"I look like dada, now, mummy. I'm hamdson now!"
"You certainly are, Justin. You're just as scrumptious as your dada." Hermione kissed her son and he pulled away to stand in front of the Floo.
Hermione closed her book and was joined by Severus who slipped an arm around her waist. He whispered into her ear, "Scrumptious?"
Severus' wife smiled and quickly kissed his nose. "Didn't you know you were scrumptious, Severus?" She then whispered. "Yummier than a pastry."
Severus growled and kissed his wife. At the Floo he grabbed a handful of floo powder, set the flames to burning, and threw in the powder and called out a destination that took them to Hogsmeade Station. Once at the station they were exposed to the Summery day in June Severus cast silent Cooling Charms on each of them.
Justin was bouncing on his feet at the sight of the beautiful red and gold train that was the Hogwarts Express. He tried to skip away, but Severus had deftly caught a portion of Justin's robe in his hand to stop him.
"I wanna see da train!" Justin blurted. Justin tugged impatiently upon his father's hand. "Pwease! Pwease, Dada!"
"Justinian Alfred Snape!" growled Severus. "Settle yourself at once."
Justin settled, but pouted mournfully at his father. Hermione sighed as she looked down at her son. "Oh, Severus, why don't you take Justin over to the train. I'll wait here." Before Severus could object, Hermione knelt down by Justin, tugged the lapels of his robes so he would face her, and she warned, "Don't let go of daddy's hand, Justin. All right?"
Justin nodded and smiled. "Less go, Dada!" He grasped his father's hand and tugged; not moving an inch. Throwing a very Snape-ish scowl up at his father, Severus chuckled and followed.
Minutes later, as Hermione proudly watched her son being escorted around the outside of the shiny gold and red Hogwarts Express, she felt a shy tapping on her back. She turned and her smile lit the entire station as she greeted her twelve year old daughter.
Rose stood just below her mother's collarbone. Her hair was long, unfettered, and shone like golden strawberry curls in the Summer sun. There was a splash of freckles across her nose and cheeks that had arrived on her eleventh birthday. She had spent one year with her mentor in learning the skills of magical portraiture. It would not be until her majority that she would learn the full magic of that process, but until then Master Dalrousch passed on all his skill in drawing, painting, and so on. Rose had blossomed under her mentor, but there remained that sweet girl who still loved bread and pastries.
"Rosie Athene!" Hermione drew her daughter tightly into her arms.
"Mummy!" Rose breathed out. Still hugging her mother she drew in the scent of her mother's shampoo and felt herself transported to their little cottage. She was suddenly so very homesick.
Tumble, now a full-grown silver fox had appeared and he jumped up on Hermione's forearms. He squeaked as he licked her cheek.
"Tumble! How are you, you furball!" Hermione greeted.
"ROSIE!" Justin's shout was loud enough to carry up and down the platform. Seeing that his son was safe, Severus let Justin go and he ran towards his big sister. Justin's robes fluttered behind him as he ran.
"Justin!" cried Rose as she caught her little brother into a great big hug.
"Dada an' me saw the train, Rosie! It's so neat!" the child gushed. "I want one!"
Rose giggled. "Well, Justin, maybe I can paint one for your room. Would you like that?"
Justin's eyes widened. "Oooooo! My own train!"
"Miss Rose. I trust your trip was to your satisfaction?"
Rose turned to see her father, Severus, standing behind her and Justin, and beside their mother. Rose let go of her brother, and without preamble ran to Severus and threw her arms around him. "Oh papa! I missed you so much!"
Severus embraced Rose tightly, and into her ear he chuckled and whispered, "Methinks you missed my jam pastries."
Rose leaned back and nodded facetiously. "Oh yes! Those too!"
Severus smirked. "Well then, is it not a coincidence that I made a whole batch of blueberry pastries for all of us?"
Both Justin and Rose shouted 'yippee'. Severus draped a heavy arm over his daughter's head and walked her away from the train. Hermione laughed and grabbed Justin's hand, bringing him along to follow father and daughter.
Briefly, Hermione's hand ghosted over her belly. She could not wait to tell her children that in a few months they would have a brother and sister to dote upon. And, well, Severus? Hermione smiled. She was certain Severus would be shocked, but then he would be entirely delighted!
A/N: And sadly this is the end for A Fine Romance. I do hope you have all enjoyed it. I know the epilogue is a bit quick, but I wanted it written and posted before I was unable to type. Which happens, lately. Anyway, for the moment I am feeling a lot better and hoping that I might be able to finish Daddy Long Legs despite my supposed abandonment of it. Thank you all for sticking with me. ~Jayne d'Arcy