Dedicated to my lovely xpage394x and my sister. Both of whom help me be better than I am. Love to both of you!
JK Rowling is the owner of the Harry Potter Universe. That wonderful woman allows us to play with it.
September in Scotland was a beautiful month. The balmy days of summer were gradually becoming distant memories, but the beauty that the colours of autumn presented could not be overlooked. Where once lush greens had blanketed the landscape, flashes of golden yellows, browns, and fiery reds adorned the scenery foretelling the arrival of the looming depths of winter. As the leaves died, they tumbled to the ground falling prey to the Potion Master's boots as he crunched his way along the path to the school gates. Even on a fine day, the air was crisp in the morning before it grew milder in the afternoon sunshine, and as Severus waited at a few minutes before 10.00 a.m. on September 21st, the air was still unequivocally bitter.
Severus paced nervously by the gates as he waited Hermione. He had prudently worn a warm cloak over his dress robes to ward off the chilly morning breeze. Little puffs of air could be seen leaving his flared nostrils as he breathed, a bit more rapidly than usual, attributable to his current state of anxiety. Glancing up to the entry doors of the castle, he saw his witch making her way towards him, her normally bushy, bouncy curls tamed into a smooth, knotted chignon. She wore a plain school robe, but he caught a glimpse of cream as the hem of her dress robes fluttered teasingly into view from the bottom of her cloak.
"Have you been waiting long, love?" Hermione asked as she closed in on her soon to be husband.
"Only a few minutes," he responded, his eyes drinking in the sight of the woman before him. "You look remarkably lovely."
"You haven't even seen my robes!" Hermione exclaimed.
"You are glowing with happiness, Hermione," Severus smiled.
"I am nervous. Your colour is a bit high as well," she responded, a knowing smile itching to break forth on her lips. "Are you all right?"
"The air is cool," he sniffed. Severus Snape would never admit to being nervous, although he was sure that if Hermione had run her hand along his thighs, she would feel them shaking slightly. He leant down and quickly pecked Hermione on the lips. "A good nervous, I hope?"
"A very good nervous," Hermione smiled more fully in response. "Let's go." She placed her arms around Severus' waist, and he pulled her closer giving her a quick, reassuring squeeze before apparating them to Gretna Green.
A quiet pop was all that disturbed the quiet of the main square at Gretna Green. The witch and wizard who had suddenly appeared upon the grass took a moment to smooth their cloaks before heading to the smithy where, for hundreds of years, many couples had stood on either side of the ancient anvil to become husband and wife. As they opened the door to the shop, a bell rang overhead. They removed their cloaks and Severus smiled broadly. "As I said, you look lovely. The robes become you, Miss Granger," Severus said appreciatively with a devilish quirk of his eyebrow. He stared in admiration as he took in the cream robes Hermione wore. He even twirled her around to see the back of her garment as well.
The robes were quite simple; crushed velvet in a warm cream colour with long, form fitting sleeves encasing Hermione's slender arms. The sleeves were topped with capped shoulders. Her neckline was trimmed in a wide satin hem that scooped down in a pleasant arc from her left shoulder just allowing some cleavage to show before arching back up to the other shoulder. The bodice clung firmly and nipped in to accentuate her waist before falling gracefully and semi-fully in wide pleats to the floor. Gold embroidery work marked the edges of the sleeves and neckline and richly embellished her skirt's hem.
"Your robes become you as well," Hermione smiled as she took in the midnight black robes of her fiancé. Silver fastenings were the only trim on the impeccably cut robes; they accentuated Severus' broad shoulders and cut in at his slim waist.
The couple were quiet as they waited when a thought suddenly struck Hermione. "Severus, how will the smithy know that we need a wizarding ceremony? "
"Credit me with a bit of sense, my dear," Severus smirked. "This particular smithy is a wizard."
"How did you know?"
"Did you notice the sign hanging above the door?"
"Of course; I am not blind," Hermione replied cheekily.
Severus tapped her on the nose. "I know you are not blind, don't be cheeky. Did you notice that the letters 't' and 'h' in the name of the shop were slightly higher and off centre than the other letters?" He chuckled quietly as he saw Hermione's eyes widen as she realized she had noticed the sign was slightly off kilter. "Much like travelers in the Muggle world used symbols mark homes where they can get food or water, wizards in small villages used a similar system to alert other magical folk that an establishment is run by a witch or wizard. This helped maintain the statute of secrecy. This particular forge has a smithy who is authorized by the ministry to perform marriage rites."
Hermione began to respond when a small, bald-headed man in a leather apron with a smear of soot across his cheek bustled into the room. "Aye; you here to get married?"
Severus answered bluntly, "Of course."
"You'll be wanting the traditional bondin? The fidelity bond?"
"What is the difference?" asked Hermione.
Severus cut across the smithy to answer, "The traditional bonding is the most common. The fidelity bond is used mostly by purebloods to ensure there is no adultery in the marriage. Typically, it involves a further spell placed on the couple so that there are painful consequences if either strays. I trust we do not need this," he finished with a slight smirk.
"Of course not; the traditional will be fine."
"Right then!" the smithy replied jauntily. "Step ere' to this counter n' fill out the certificate."
Severus and Hermione quickly filled in their names and then signed at the bottom. When the smithy reviewed the form, his eyebrows shot up. Severus Snape and Hermione Granger were household names in the Wizarding world; to be marrying them would bring notoriety and free drinks to the little man at the pub at lunchtime. Severus glared at him as if daring him to say something.
Clearing his throat, the smithy said, "Let's be heading into the forge then, the anvil's there." He led Hermione and Severus through a door into a dark, low ceilinged room. In the centre was an anvil; the only light came from the enormous fire burning in the fireplace along the wall. A door in the far corner opened and a young man and woman quietly entered. "They be the witnesses," the smithy replied when he saw the couple turn to look. He then reached up to a rafter and pulled down a slim book, flipping it open. "You, Miss, stand on the left side and you, Sir, on the right." They moved into position. "Now, join your left hands over the anvil.
"Very good. Now," the ironworker turned a page. "Today we will join Severus and Hermione as husband and wife." Taking his wand out, the man placed it on Severus' right hand. "I must first ask that on wand oath, if you, Severus, know of any reason why you cannot be bound to this woman?"
"There is no reason," Severus replied quietly.
"And you Miss," he touched the wand to Hermione's right hand, "Do you know of any reason why you cannot be bound to this man?"
Hermione answered firmly, "No."
"Very good! Do you, Severus, take this woman to be your wife? Will you protect her, cherish her, give her all your worldly goods, and love her for as long as you shall remain on this earth?"
Severus cleared his throat and answered, "I do so vow to take this woman to be my wife. I will protect her, cherish her, give her all my worldly goods, and love her for as long as I remain on this earth." When he finished, he squeezed Hermione's hand.
"Do you, Hermione, take this man to be your husband? Will you protect him, cherish him, take care of all that he bestows upon you, and love him for as long as you shall remain on this earth?"
Hermione answered, "I do so vow to take this man to be my husband. I will protect him, cherish him, take care of all that he bestows upon me, and love him for as long as I shall remain on this earth." She smiled as she finished her vow.
"Are there rings?" asked the smithy. Severus fished into the pocket of his robe and pulled out a box. He opened it and handed it to the officiator. The man then waved his wand over the rings and said an incantation, "Sé a thabharfaidh an fáinne seo agus tá sí cé a fháil; beidh sí a thabhairt an fáinne seo agus é a gheobhaidh déanfar é a cheangal ó anseo chun báis." He tapped the rings and they glowed.
"Right then, lad. Place the ring on her finger." Severus held Hermione's left hand with his and slipped the slim platinum band onto her finger. Hermione took a moment to appreciate the delicate filigree pattern engraved into it.
"Now Miss, place this ring onto his finger." Hermione took Severus' large hand into hers and slipped on a plain platinum band. Their left hands joined, the officiator spoke. "You are now man and wife, bound from here to death. Kiss your bride, and then I'll perform the final bonding rite."
Severus growled slightly at this inane bit of custom, especially performed in front of a complete stranger, but he knew Hermione would be pleased if he did so and thusly leaned over the anvil and kissed his new wife briefly. When she pulled back, her eyes were shining. Severus smiled a small smile and squeezed her hand again.
"Ceangal mé dhuit, ceangal mé dhuit, ceangal mé dhuit. Beidh na fáinní an siombail an bhanna, ó anseo chun báis."
With a final swish of his wand, a white flash filled the room. When they could see again, the binding tattoos stood colourfully on their wrists. All three were surprised to see that instead of the expected Celt runic symbols, both Hermione and Severus had a lion and snake lovingly wrapped around each other with their foreheads touching. The animals were their natural colours, not in any Hogwarts house colours (much to Severus' immediate relief).
A stunned silence filled the room broken only by the crackling of the forge fire. "That's never happened before," the smithy spoke. "I'd be havin' them looked at if I were you."
"We will", said Hermione.
Severus said, "If that is all, we must depart. We have a few people we should see before we leave for the wedding trip." With that, the newlyweds left the forge and were soon outside in the street. Blinking a little bit to accustom their eyes to the sunlight, they stood and looked at each other, shy smiles on their faces.
"Well, Mr. Snape, where to first?" Hermione asked running a hand up her husband's arm.
"No doubt this will make the headlines in The Prophet tomorrow. The smithy was an honest enough fellow, but I've no misgivings about his ability to chat amongst his cronies in the pub this afternoon," Severus drawled with a defeated roll of his eyes. "Also, all marriages here are automatically registered at the ministry." Severus, in a rare moment of public affection, rubbed Hermione's cheek. "I believe, Mrs. Snape, we should see Minerva first; we'll want to rearrange our time off and then I believe we should," Severus visibly swallowed thickly and with a rather high pitched nervous timbre said, "see your parents."
Hermione laughed. "Oh, Severus, don't be worried about my parents. They love you and are certainly happy about our plans to marry. I'll admit my mother will be disappointed she didn't get a huge ceremony and reception out of me." Hermione laughed again as she decided to divulge a secret to her husband. "I'll tell you a secret; my parents never married until I was three years old and even then, they went to a magistrate's office. So they've no room to be angry at us for eloping."
"My, my," Severus teased with a hint of laughter in his voice. "Just what other little naughty secrets do you hide, Miss Granger, hmm?" His eyes gleamed at the thought of just what naughtiness his lovely wife was hiding.
"That's Madame Snape to you, and I do have a few others; you'll find them out soon enough. Now," Hermione pulled Severus to her, "Let's go tell Minerva and head to Spinner's End." Reaching up to kiss him, she apparated them to Hogwarts.
Hermione and Severus arrived back at Hogwarts as lunch was being served in the Great Hall. Just outside the staff entrance, Severus told Hermione to wait while he went to get Minerva. Quietly making his way along the staff table, he approached Minerva. Severus leant down and spoke quietly to her. She wiped her mouth with her napkin and said to the others, "I will be back shortly."
The three adults made their way to the Headmistress' office and were soon seated. "What is it you needed to speak with me about?" asked Minerva, her upper lip twitching. Asking was merely a formality at this point as the astute witch had spotted formal dress robes peeping out from beneath their plain cloaks.
Severus cleared his throat and spoke, "Hermione and I apparated to Gretna Green this morning and we-" A delighted squeal interrupted the rest of his sentence.
"Aye! I knew it!" Minerva happily exclaimed happily, clapping her hands. "I knew the red-headed league of wedding planners had driven you round the bend! Hooch owes me 20 Galleons! Oh, you're both glowing from the ceremony. What style did you pick, let me see your rings, take your cloaks off so I can see your robes." Minerva was beside herself with happiness at seeing these two adults, for whom she felt motherly affection, finally wed to one another.
Severus and Hermione moved to comply with all of Minerva's demands. In the midst of hugs and a brief review of the ceremony, Phineas Nigellus and Albus Dumbledore expressed their congratulations to the couple, Phineas for once toning down his usual remarks about Muggleborns and Gryffindors.
When the kerfuffle over the marriage died down, Severus asked Minerva for two weeks off for their trip. She readily agreed stating that she would find professors to cover their classes; Hermione's apprenticeship could resume when they returned. "Where are you going anyway?" she asked.
"We have decided to spend the time at Spinner's End. All we need is there, and we can make day trips if if the mood strikes," replied Hermione animatedly, glancing up at her husband in excitement.
"Well, then be off children. Shall I announce it to the staff?"
"You may as well," stated Severus. "I am sure the smithy has blabbed it to the Prophet already. Although if you could keep our whereabouts for the next two weeks a secret, it would be most appreciated."
"Of course. Now go! Shoo!" Minerva ushered them out of her office happily as tears of joy came to her eyes.
After escaping the castle secretively, Hermione and Severus made their way down to the gates again and apparated away to Spinner's End to enjoy the first two weeks of the rest of their lives.
Hugs and kisses and cookies to xpage394x for the translation of the blessing of the rings, and the bonding vow. Below is the English; the translations are in the order as they appear in the story.
~He who will give this ring and she who will receive it; she who will give this ring and he who will receive it shall be bound from here to death.
~I bind thee, I bind thee, I bind thee. These rings shall be the symbol of the bond, from here to death.
If you just found this story, please visit my main story, A Raven's Story, to read how two people went from student and teacher, to friends and, finally, husband and wife. That story is still in progress. I hope you enjoy it. Let me know if you like this one as well!