Songs for this chapter: I'm Coming Home by J-Cole and Hands of Time by Rachel Diggs
Severus and Hermione left London without looking back. They walked into an airport and boarded the first flight that was leaving, and that was how they found themselves in Northern Ireland. They had stopped running from one another, but in a way they were still running. From their lives, and the horrors that had existed in them.
They moved into a small cottage amongst green hills where wild flowers grew and they settled into a different life. A life that didn't have dying children or wounded marriages. They tried to forget what their daughter had looked like bundled in a pink blanket with a tiny pink hat hiding what her head looked like. The tried to forget that a roaring had ever existed in their ears, and a time where either of them had been so depressed that they ceased to function.
They could not turn back the clock, so instead they learned to live with the mistake they had made in their lives. Hermione learned to turn to her husband when she was afraid instead of running from him. Severus learned to trust himself as well as the woman that he loved. Together they learned how to make their marriage work and that drew them even closer to one another.
Years went by in which they stayed away from any other soul. They gardened to grow their own food as well as any potion ingredients they might need to take care of their medical needs. Hermione began to paint and in such she decorated their home and purged her soul of lingering demons. Severus returned to his music, now playing on a guitar that he had made himself from wood he had cut himself.
Severus and Hermione lost contact with the outside world, but they had traded it for a much deeper contact with one another so they were not sad. They were ever so grateful to find such a soul bond, and spent their days nurturing it until the scarcely had to speak they knew the other so well.
Many many years passed and the couple began to age. Severus was transformed into a much lighter man as his black hair turned white, and a smile lit up his features for more frequently. As Hermione aged lines began to encroach her face, but they made her smile each time she looked at them. Soon she was old enough that her scars were impossible to decipher from her wrinkles and she let go of the tiny bit of her soul that had still been haunted by her past.
Where once there had been a young couple that was broken by sadness sitting quietly in a house there was instead a blissfully happy old couple that tottered around their yard chasing their chickens with laughter falling from their lips. Severus Snape forgot how to scowl and Hermione Snape remembered how to really smile. Only once did Hermione paint a picture with humans in it, and it was of an elderly couple sitting on the edge of a flower garden. It was the closest thing there would ever be to a picture of the Snape family.
Still years and years passed, and the old couple knew they were reaching the end of their days, but they were not dismayed. They had built a happy life with one another, and in their very old age they looked forward to crossing in to the next great journey with one another. The spent less time tottering around the yard as the grew older, but they spent more time sharing their love with one another with a touch of the hand of a whispered affection.
One day, nearly a century after they had settled in their little Irish cottage that old man and old woman went to sleep with happiness in their hearts. In the morning they did not wake, but there was no sadness in their passing. The people of the village not far away knew that the couple had living a happy life, and they celebrated their departure with a proper wake.
And just like that their story in this world ended.