Thank you all for you wonderful reviews over the course of the last few days as I've posted my story. I am so glad you read along!
Thanks to my twin sister and to Onecelestialbeing who got to read this first and offered the most wonderful of suggestions. Hugs from me and virtual Severus hugs to you both!
This almost didn't get posted tonight. Our internet went down, and we were told it would be 24 hours before it came back, but TA DA!
JK Rowling owns the Harry Potter universe.
Life has a habit of offering a drowning man a lifeline if he is willing to take it. Severus Snape, not a stupid man by any means, grabbed the lifeline he was thrown in the form of Hermione Granger. He loved her, and he told her so daily. He was not a stupid man.
Together they began to repair the little house. It took Hermione quite a bit of coaxing to get Severus to help and there were several arguments that were not pretty, but in the end, they apologized, learned how better to communicate with each other, and grew closer. The make-up sex was fantastic, Severus had to admit, and he would sometimes pick a fight just to make up.
In the midst of redoing the house, they started a small potions mail order business, both agreeing that her fame as a member of the Golden Trio would be the selling point, even if he were the brains behind the brewing. It was a very Slytherin thing to do, but Hermione was okay with that.
However moderately successful their mail order business was—they could pay their bills easily enough—their true passion, aside from each other, was literature. In the first six months of their relationship, they had had to magically expand the sitting room of Spinner's End twice to hold all the books they owned.
They enjoyed their life together. Many evenings were spent beside the fire, drinking wine or tea, eating light meals and chatting. They learned many things about each other.
One surprising realisation they discovered about each other was that neither one of them was very enamored of the magical world anymore. After much discussion, they decided to leave Wizarding Britain and a totally magically life behind. They knew exactly where they wanted to go; a small village in Ireland they had once visited, staying several weeks their first summer together.
The locals liked the couple, and Hermione and Severus enjoyed being welcomed into their homes and shops; well…Hermione enjoyed it, and Severus found he didn't mind it so much. The couple decided if they were going to become part of the Muggle world, this was where they wanted to do it. They sold the house for a ridiculously paltry sum, added it to their Gringotts savings and bid England goodbye.
Once settled, they discovered the owner of the little bookshop they had frequented had died. The family had decided to sell it and in no time, the aptly renamed Prince Book Shop was up and operating, both selling and lending books, since the nearest library was twenty kilometres away. Their mail order business continued from the back of the bookshop however, they scaled back on the number of customers.
They did not abandon magic altogether. They used it freely within their home and shop. They kept trips to the Wizarding world only for obtaining what they could through owl post.
Of all her friends still in England, Hermione only kept in contact with Harry, and occasionally, he visited the couple. It wasn't that they forgot about their friends, they were just happy where they were, and as anyone knows…out of sight, out of mind.
Severus found it continuously amusing to see Hermione interact with the children that wandered in and out of the bookshop. She had created a wonderful corner of the shop completely dedicated to the little brats, and if it was raining outside, he could count on tripping over several as he manoeuvred around the shop stocking shelves or pulling orders for customers.
Tripping over a third child one day, he wondered if Hermione wanted children. He assumed Hermione was taking a Muggle contraceptive since neither of them cast a contraceptive charm, nor did she ask him to brew a potion.
Later that evening, he asked Hermione about the idea of having children; did she want them? Hermione, stunned for a moment because she too hadn't thought about contraception, explained that because of the battle at the ministry during fifth year, she sustained extensive damage to her uterus and was unable to bear children.
She asked Severus if this was a problem, to which he answered it was not. He didn't think he was father material, anyway. Besides, Hermione had said, there were enough children in the neighbourhood who frequented the shop to keep her motherly feelings sated.
Every once in a while, some of their new friends asked why they hadn't married yet. Marriage was a subject they never talked about. Life was good for the couple just as it was, and they needed no paper to show their level of commitment.
Ironically enough, however, it was Ron's sudden death at the age of thirty-two during an Auror raid that led to their getting married at all. Ron had been in a long-term relationship with Lavender, but never married her. They had two children together but according to wizarding law, as an unmarried couple, she was entitled to nothing; not the house, not the money, nothing. It all went to his parents, who of course, ensured Lavender and the children received everything they needed.
Severus was startled to know that all of what he and Hermione had worked hard to accomplish together could be taken away from her. He was determined to make sure she would be well cared for in the event of his death. The proposal was sweet, and to the point. The marriage took place less than three weeks later, and the honeymoon…well, the shop was closed for nearly two months as the couple traveled wherever their desire took them.
Decades later, when the couple died within months of each other, it was no more than a blip at the bottom of the obituary page of The Daily Prophet. Their only legacy in the Wizarding world was the deeds and bravery as recorded in Hogwarts: A History and other books. As individuals, they were forgotten; their lives and the people they influenced long dead before they were.
However, in their long time home in Ireland, their deaths were genuinely mourned. Severus and Hermione Snape loved each deeply, it was said. No one ever saw the one that the other wasn't far behind. In this Muggle town, their deaths were not blips at the bottom of the obituary page. In this Muggle town, they were not forgotten. Their deeds and their generosity were remembered far and wide.
And for a man who wanted to end his life, and the woman who saved his sorry ass, that far exceeded any event that could be recorded in any dusty Wizarding book anyway.
The inspiration for this story was the song 'Sorrow', off the Momentary Lapse of Reason album by Pink Floyd. Google the lyrics and you'll see why I thought they so fit Severus Snape and his life after the war. But, sloppy, romantic sap that I am, I couldn't let him end his life. I had to give him a chance at happiness.
Thank you again for reading!