JK Rowling owns the characters...I own this silly bit of fun plot.
"Simon! Hurry up…we need to leave if you're going to get to school on time!" Hermione walked down the short hall that separated the main quarters from the bedrooms of the dungeon she called home. "Severus?" she called. "Do you have Sasha ready?"
Her answer came in the form of her giggling three-year-old in the arms of her father. Said father was attempting to get the little girl's fingers out of his nose. "Was there anything in that book on parenting you have that referenced the 'discovered nostrils' stage? If it's not her own nose she has her fingers in it's yours or mine."
"Nose, daddy, nose!"
"Yes, Sasha, I have a nose. And," he booped her nose with his finger, "you have one too."
"Mama has a nose? Simon has a nose?"
"Yes, love, we all have noses."
Hermione laughingly replied, "Oh Severus, she's just being curious! Just be thankful she doesn't want to put her breakfast up there. I had to pick toast out of the tea kettle the other day."
A small splash of water hitting the floor and a quiet "oops" drew their attention to Simon, who was struggling to carry a goldfish bowl with a rather depressed looking fish, floating about.
"Mum! I need to feed my goldfish, and will you watch him while I am at school?"
"Simon," Severus interrupted, "you need to put that fish down and get moving. You'll be late for school!"
"But I nee-"
"I will feed the fish for you." Severus handed Sasha to her mother. "Get your bag and grab your sister's bag as well." Severus leaned over and dropped a kiss on his son's inky hair, and then pressed a kiss to his jabbering daughter's forehead. "You'd better move along, Hermione. Classes start in an hour."
Hermione leaned up and quickly pecked Severus' cheek. "Okay, let's go." She grabbed a pinch of floo powder. "Simon, hang on tight. We're off to Grandma's. See you in the Great Hall in a bit, love!" The trio stepped into the fireplace.
"Byeee, Da!" Sasha sang and waved.
"Have a good day, both of you!"
Severus was seated in the Great Hall, eating breakfast when Hermione entered in a flurry. "Phew!" she said. "Sasha decided to throw a fit as I was leaving. She was not happy to be left with Grandma today"
"Simon had days like that, if you remember."
"Yes, but she seems to have more than he did. Speaking of Simon, he implored me several times before he would go into the school not to forget to feed his fish."
"He has been obsessed with that thing since the fair. Why your parents ever took him..." He shook his head bemusedly.
"Severus! My parents always took me to the fair when I was little." Hermione poured herself some tea. "I had a whole string of goldfish when I was younger. It was better than those horrid plush toys you could win. At least when the fish died, there was no wondering what to do with it when you lost interest in it."
"We will feed it when we break for lunch. I must go now; I have a test to proctor, and I must get the ingredients ready. I will be watching the dunderheads massacre either the Calming Draught or the Pepper-Up today." Severus' hand slipped under the table to squeeze Hermione's leg, dropping his voice so only she could hear, "I'll meet you in our quarters for lunch. I love you."
"And I, you." She squeezed the large, warm hand on her leg. Severus got up imperiously and left.
The morning flew by and soon it was lunchtime. When the pair met at their quarters, the simple kiss of greeting quickly turned into a frenzy of clothing removal and passion. Despite the regiment of teaching at Hogwarts and the business of family life, Severus and Hermione always made time for each other. Usually it was once the kids were asleep, when they would ward their bedroom door and place a charm to alert them if the kids needed something. A little afternoon diversion helped keep things fresh, different and passionate.
However today, passionate was also a little athletic, and they didn't really stop to notice what it was they were knocking to the floor. Good old magic would clean things up in a trice.
As they tidied up and talked about what lay ahead for the afternoon, Severus stopped short to stare at something lying on the floor. "Damnit."
"Severus, what is it? Are you all right?" Hermione asked.
"We knocked over Simon's fish bowl. His fish is…"
Hermione gasped as she neared Severus. "Are you sure?"
"Well, unless this is not a typical British goldfish, and is able to survive out of water, I am pretty sure."
"What do we do? Simon will be devastated."
Severus, ever practical, said, "This is part of life….the death of things….we will just tell him."
"No! We can't do that."
"Then what do you suggest we do?"
"Get another fish."
"Hermione, where am I going to get another fish in the next," he cast a Tempus charm, "three hours before Simon comes home? I have a class to teach in one hour."
Hermione cast an Evanesco on the remnants of Simon's fish saying, "Well it won't take long to apparate to the Magical Menagerie; surely they'd have something there."
"Hermione! It's MAGICAL for a reason. I doubt they sell ordinary gold fish there," Severus said, frustrated, as he knew his wife would be handing him his orders, however impractical. She was tenacious when it came to the children.
"Well, you'll find out when you get there, now won't you?"
Severus glared at his wife, her pretty brown eyes staring up at him. He knew the lip bite was next. That damn lip was his downfall, and she used it whenever she wanted her way. I must be strong, he told himself.
"Please, love." Lip bite commenced. "Please… for Simon? He really does love his goldfish."
Severus gazed at her face. Must…not…fall…for…trap, his mind told him. Her lip popped out from between her teeth, and then she had the audacity to lick them…very slowly and carefully. His will snapped. "All right, I'll do it."
Hermione launched herself at him, peppering his face and nose with kisses. "Oh, thank you! Thank you, Sev. I love you!"
"Yes, yes, you love me," he said sarcastically. "Just like you loved me the time you wanted me to tell your parents we weren't going to go on vacation with them to America. They didn't talk to me for weeks after." He walked over and grabbed a bit of floo powder. "I'll floo to Diagon Alley. I hope this will not take long."
Just as he spun away, he heard Hermione's last comment..."looks just like the other one! With the two smallish dots on the bottom side of the left fin!"
As he appeared at the Leaky, he was confused. What was that about left fin and dots? He turned back and made a quick floo call to Hermione. When he was finished, he was furious. Not only had the witch conned him into finding a stupid new goldfish, he had to find one that exactly matched the one that died. Two dots on the left fin? This was going to be impossible!
And impossible it was. The Menagerie didn't sell goldfish, at least the ordinary kind, just as Severus suspected. He transfigured his robes into something resembling Muggle attire and spent many precious minutes Apperating around to London's pet shops looking for a fish with two dots. Finally, when he realized he needed to be back at school, he just bought one from the next shop he found. He would magic the damn dots on the fish before Simon came home from school.
Hermione was in their quarters when Severus flooed in with the fish. "I am late. Here," he said, handing her the cup containing the fish. "I couldn't find one with dots on it. You're handy with the charms; see what you can do." He billowed out the door on his way to the classroom.
Hermione was gobsmacked. She had not the least idea of how to charm markings on a fish. After a bit of fiddling and combining two charms she did know, she managed to transfigure the fin so that it looked like the other fish. "Not bad," she said, wiping her hands against each other. "Not bad." With a quick dribble of food across the top of the water, she left for her office to do some grading.
Two hours later, she popped her head into Severus' office. "Want to go pick up the kids with me? My mother mentioned staying for dinner tonight."
Severus' ears perked up. His mother-in-law's cooking was fabulous. "What's your mother cooking?"
"Nothing extravagant." By now Hermione had plopped herself on Severus' desk. Placing her fingers under his chin, she pulled him toward her for a kiss. "Just a simple roast pork with the potatoes cooked around it like you like. Some peas. She was going to make a chocolate gateau for pudding."
Severus' eyes lit up. "I think we can stay. Let's go get changed and head off." He pulled Hermione into his arms and swooped her up, both laughing as he did so, and carried her bridal style to their chambers.
The family arrived home after a happy evening spent with the Grangers. Severus, holding a sleeping Sasha, offered to put her straight to bed while Hermione chivvied Simon into doing his homework, bath, and bed.
Simon, however, was not in the mood to be chivvied and took his sweet time with everything. Having finished his homework and heading to the bathroom, he diverted from his route when he remembered his fish. He scampered over to the bowl and let out a howl of dismay. "THIS ISN'T SLAGATHOR!"
Hermione stopped grading a paper to look up in confusion. "Slagathor? Who is Slagathor?"
"My fish. This is NOT slagathor, what happened?"
"Keep your voice down, Simon. I just put your sister in bed," Severus said, coming into the sitting room. "What's all the commotion?"
Simon had his hand in the fish bowl attempt to catch the fish that was swimming frantically out of reach. Finally snatching the tail fin, he pulled the fish out. Hanging upside down, the fish gasped for breath and looked resignedly at Severus and Hermione.
"There. See, it's got the dots on that fin there," Simon poked the fin in question, "but it's missing the little cut in its tailfin there." Again, he poked the fin in question. He plopped the fish back into the water and turned to his parents, hands crossed over his black shirt and scowling.
Hermione jumped behind her husband so Simon wouldn't see her laughing. He looked exactly like his father in miniature while in full dudgeon. She poked Severus in the back to start talking. "Well, you see, son...Oh, isn't getting late? Shouldn't you be in the bath?"
"Dad….what happened.?" If Simon's voice were deeper, it might have sounded frightening, but Severus did all he could to not burst out laughing at the boy's attempt at parenting the parents.
"All right, Simon. There was an accident at lunchtime and the fish bowl fell. Slagathor died. Your mother," Severus reached behind him and pulled his giggling wife—who instantly sobered—in front of him, pointing at her," told me I should replace him so you wouldn't notice. I felt it would have been kinder to tell you the truth instead of replacing the fish."
Hermione gave Severus the 'you will pay for that later' eyeball and said to her son, "Simon, I am sorry, Perhaps I should have listened to your father."
"Too right," he said under his breath.
Simon's countenance slipped back into that of little boy as he looked at his parents. "Oh. Well," he looked at his new fish. "I must admit, this one does look a little healthier than Slagathor. How did you find one with the same dots?"
"Um, we didn't," Hermione said, pulling out her wand. "I charmed them on." A quick wave of her wand removed the dots.
Simon said no more and fed the fish a little food. "I am going to have my bath now."
"All right. When you're done, we'll tuck you in." Hermione said.
Simon retreated, but his father called after him. "Simon, you're not going to let us forget this, are you?"
In his most haughty voice Simon replied, "Why Father, what kind of Son of a Slytherin would I be if I did that? A grin grew across his face ending in a dimpled cheek as he scampered off, leaving his parents shaking their heads in amusement.
A/N: Okay, Worrywart Jr. had a fish. In a one gallon tank. And good care of little fishy he did keep. Except, Worrywart Jr. missed one little fact about fishes…they don't do well if you fill the freshly cleaned tank with boiling water. I tried to work the story that way, but I couldn't reconcile the scene as I wanted with the time factor…. Hermione and Severus could not have found a dead fish still in hot water several hours after hot water did its job, even in the magical community (Simon doesn't know about stasis charms yet and can't use magic yet anyway).
Worrywart Jr. still has the tank with the label Mr. Worrywart put on it as a joke a week or so after demise of fishy…."death chamber".