Song for this chapter: Fall For You by Secondhand Serenade
"Frankly," Severus said as he ushered me into his dark house. "I'd like to do elicit things to you now that I know you'd enjoy them, but you look like you haven't eaten a solid meal in several days, so I think it's best we have a bit of dinner."
My face flamed red as thoughts of what he may or may not do to me flitted through my mind, but my stomach answered him before I could, grumbling out its agreement that food was in order.
"My customers love the waif look," I chuckled as I followed him through the house into a cramped kitchen. "Besides, not a lot of restaurants available a mile up in the sky."
"There are when you land," he pointed out as he began pulling what looked to be ingredients for French toast out. "Not eating, not sleeping, where you doing anything to take care of yourself this summer?"
"I was busy pining," I pouted, slumping down into a chair at the table. "Are you going to lecture me for very long Severus?"
"I don't want to lecture you at all," he answered honestly, turning his back on what he was doing to face me. "But I don't like seeing you look like you might pass out if you stay on your feet for too long. It reminds me of a time when you really were starving to death…"
"Severus it's not as bad as that was," I said softly, reaching out to snag a bit of fruit from the bowl in the middle of the table and offering him a smile as I popped a grape into my mouth.
"I don't understand why you let it get like this," he said quietly, turning back to the counter and setting to work again. "You were the one that left."
"I left the wizarding world," I pointed out breathlessly, dropping my gaze to the table. "That didn't mean that I was happy to leave you behind. I've missed you every day since I left."
"You have no idea," he growled, abandoning the food on the counter, and nearly coming over the table in his haste to get to me.
Apparently he'd given up on the idea of French toast as he was entirely focused attacking my lips once more. He pulled me bodily from the chair, and pressed his entire body against mine as he lay me out on the kitchen floor and gave in to his desires. I certainly wasn't fighting him on any of it.
"Do I get to eat now?" I asked him as I hoisted my jeans back on with a chuckle.
"Well you've allowed me to ravage you on my kitchen floor," he smiled as he nuzzled my neck. "I think you're entitled to just about whatever you want."
"I've imagined my deflowering happening many ways, but I hadn't considered the merit of the kitchen floor until today," I mused as I ran my fingers through his messy hair. "I'd like my French toast now though please."
"You hadn't…" he questioned, pulling back to meet my gaze. "But there wasn't… Did I hurt you?"
"No Severus," I said quickly, cutting off that worry before it could settle within him, and hoisting myself up off the floor. "That particular barrier was broken a long time ago during one of the many fights I got into learning to brawl with the best of them. There was nothing for you to injure Severus."
"Still, Addi why didn't you say something?" he questioned, standing up and wrapping his arms around my waist and pulling my back against his chest. "I'd hardly have taken you on the kitchen floor if I knew it were your first time."
"Would there have been flowers and chocolates, and candle light if I had told you?" I asked him with a chuckle, leaning my head back against his shoulder. "I liked it this way, don't try to change it. Please?"
"Okay," he agreed easily, kissing my hair before releasing me and returning to his work at the counter. "I believe the lady asked for French toast."
I discovered two things during the summer spend with Severus at Spinner's End. The first was that while I had known I was in love with Severus for years now, Severus really did love me back. The second was that more than loving Severus, I was devoted to him. I would do anything for him, I loved him so much. So when he asked if I would return to the castle with him at the end of the month it wasn't a difficult question to answer. I would face the world of magic so long as he was at my side.
He had gone ahead to the castle while I showered, so he could deliver our things to our chambers. So now I was sitting in the living room, picking at nonexistent lint on my skirt, waiting for him to return. My head snapped up when I heard a crack outside the front door, and I smiled that he was the same old Severus making a point not to surprise me with magic.
"Addi, I don't know how you expect me to focus on apparating us to Hogwarts when you dress like that," he smirked as he sidled into the living room.
"What, this is conservative, I mean that was the goal, aren't we going to see Minerva today?" I said looking down at my brown skirt, white blouse and jacket. "Too low cut? Should I change?"
"Oh you're perfectly presentable," he laughed as he swept me up into his arms. "You just cut a striking figure, and your hair is begging to have my fingers buried in it. Minerva rescheduled with us anyway. I want to show you something instead."
"Okay," I smiled, nuzzling his chest. "Apparate away."
He pulled me a little tighter against his chest and then we turned to the side and the pressure set in as we moved through space leaving Spinner's End behind. I let go of my hold on him when I felt solid ground beneath my feet once more, but he kept his hold on me.
"I believe you wanted to fly," he said with a chuckle as he bent to sweep my legs out from under me and pull me into his arms bridal style.
"I take it we won't be using a broom." I chuckled as he started walking forward quickly.
There was a beat of silence where he was focused on what he was doing, but then he launched us into the air, and we were flying, and I had to stifle a squeal of excitement, as I gripped his neck more tightly.
"Come now, do you think you could sit astride a broom in that skirt," he laughed as he wrapped his arms more securely around me so I could not slip.
"Am I too heavy for you?" I asked, my eyes looking around frantically at how far away the ground was. "You aren't going to drop me right?"
"Relax Addi," he chuckled. "You are safe. Just enjoy the ride."
I took him at his word that I was safe, and watched the ground slip by beneath us as he flew us to the open window in the south tower. It occurred to me as we drifted into the open window and landed in our living room that I should have noticed before how very large the windows in the castle were.
"That was kind of amazing," I breathed as he sat me down. "Thank you."
"I'm not done with you yet," he said clasping my hand and tugging me toward the door that had led to my bedroom not long ago. "I have a proposition for you."
"Oh do you?" I asked quirking my brow at him as he pushed the door open.
I followed him in, only to discover that it wasn't a bedroom anymore, it was a lab. It was almost a carbon copy of the lab down in the dungeons, except that there was what appeared to be a regular chemistry work bench as well.
"Well this is not at all what I expected," I said as I hurried forward to get a closer look at the Bunsen burner and completely new set of vials and beakers. "Do you know how to do chemistry?"
"I know some," he said with a nod. "But I thought you might like to learn more. We may even be able to find crossovers between potions and muggle medicine."
"That is a very good proposition," I beamed looking at him as warmth blossomed in my chest.
I hadn't felt scientific excitement in several years now, but it was back with a vengeance. I could keep researching medical cures! Why had I never thought of this?
"I had hoped you would like it," he said in a deep voice as he came to stand behind me and watch me investigate the new tools.
Beside the glass beakers there was a wooden box. It was about the size of a deck of cards, except that it looked to be about four inches deep rather than half an inch. I ran my fingers over it, wondering what could be stored inside. I popped the top off, and was confused to discover that there was another box sitting inside of it.
"This is my other proposition," he whispered into my ear as he plucked the box out and I saw that it was black velvet.
He flicked the box open revealing a ring to me and I heard myself gasp as I stared at it. I had never dared to dream that Severus would want this. My heart raced in my chest, and my eye burned with the threat of tears.
"Yes," I whispered, reaching out to run my fingers over the diamond in the ring.
"You really want to?" he asked, and he sounded so vulnerable that it melted something inside of me.
"Of course Severus," I beamed, spinning around in his arms so I could plaster his face with kisses.
"You don't have to be a Riddle anymore Addi," he whispered into my hair.
And just like that, a deep ache that had been present for so many years I didn't even notice it anymore melted away. I felt free, and weightless, and so very happy. This was magic enough for me.
Well there you go folks. I realize the ending is a little abrupt, but for those of you who didn't know this story is a retelling of a dream that I had, so the ending was always going to be a bit abrupt. The proposal happened right before my alarm went off and I had to leave my little dream would with Severus Snape and rejoin the real world where they expect you to go to work and all sorts of unfun things.