Love Everlasting

Chapter 17      

Disclaimer: Jo Rowling owns all of these characters.

            Hermione woke up the next morning at her usual 5:45am. It may have been Sunday, but that didn't mean that she could let her schoolwork fall behind. She moved to get up and found herself snugly wrapped up in Severus' arms. Smiling, Hermione snuggled closer to him and went back to sleep. They slept for a few more hours, cozy and warm in each other's arms. Severus was the first awake this time. He lay next to Hermione, lightly stroking her tummy which still perfectly concealed the child growing inside her. After a few minutes, Hermione woke up and looked up at Severus, smiling. She covered his hand with hers and squeezed his hand softly.

            "Good morning, Severus."

            "Did I wake you?"

            "No, but I can't think of a better way to wake up."

            "Nor can I, Hermione."

            Hermione got up and dressed in a long shirt and bathrobe; Severus got into a pair of black silk boxers. They sat at the small table near the study to eat the lovely breakfast that Dumbledore had sent them. When they were done, Hermione found her latest issue of Witch Weekly, which also happened to be the bridal issue. They flipped through the magazine, noting things they would like in their wedding.

            "I want Professor Dumbledore to officiate; all the professors should be there, along with Harry, Ginny, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley….what about your family?"

            "My mother is in Azkaban, my father was given the Dementor's Kiss, and my older sister lives in France. She is a Potions Mistress at Beuxbatons. I shall owl her to see if she would like to come. But other than Jocelyn, I have no family. I don't need a large family, because I have you."

            "I do believe that I have turned the feared Severus Snape into a softy!"

            Severus attempted to glare at her, but was unable to keep a small smile from creeping through. Hermione started laughing at his poor attempt at a trademarked Snape glare. Severus stood up and got dressed, heading for the door. Hermione chased after him, thinking that her laughter made him leave.   

            "Please stay, Severus. I didn't mean to hurt your feelings. I'm sorry."

            "You did nothing of the sort, dear. I am going to London to get something for a very special someone."

            "I don't need anything if you mean me."

            "Who else would I mean, Hermione?"

            "Fine, but nothing too expensive if you're insisting on getting me something."

            "Whatever you say, dear."

            Severus left and Hermione knew that he had no intention of heeding her words. She made their rooms look homier while he went to Gladrags Wizardwear in London. He entered the store and headed straight to the rack containing the dress robes Hermione wanted the most. Picking up the robe, he felt that it was light as a feather and flowed like water. No wonder Hermione fell in love with it. He bought it right away along with a new formal robe for himself; it was a very very dark purple color, almost black, and matched the slightly lighter shade of Hermione's new robe. Paying for the packages, he apparated back to Hogsmeade. Then he went back to their rooms and hid the packages. Seeing that Hermione was nowhere to be found, Severus sat in an armchair and lazily flipped through his latest copy of Potions Monthly. After about an hour, Hermione came back and told him all about going to Hogsmeade with Ginny and Harry and how they looked at wedding robes and other wedding related stuff. They then went to dinner in the Great Hall; Hermione was calmer when she saw Ron sitting with the first-year Hufflepuffs. She sat down next to Harry and they devoured their dinners. Afterwards, she, Harry, and Ginny hung out in the Gryffindor common room, talking playing chess and just being friends. When it started getting late, Hermione headed back to her rooms and found Severus sleeping at the table, trying to grade papers. She brushed away the hair that had fallen in his face and softly kissed his temple. He opened his eyes and sleepily looked at her.

            "Come to bed. If you sleep all night on top of those parchments, you'll get ink all over your face."

            He mumbled something about being tired as he got up and undressed. Hermione changed into a long nightgown and crawled into bed next to Severus. They quickly fell asleep, happy to be together.

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            The months before the wedding flew by in nearly a heartbeat. Hermione was really showing her pregnancy, but everyone just accounted that to her small frame. Hermione, however, felt that something was amiss. So with the wedding in just 3 days, she went to see Madam Pomfrey. Sitting on the bed in Poppy's office, she removed the robe Dumbledore gave her so that Poppy could see just how big she was. Poppy came into her office and sat next to Hermione and began performed a few simple spells and a puzzled look crossed her face. Hermione began to get worried.

            "Madam Pomfrey, what's the matter? Is there something wrong with the baby?"

            "You're not having one child, Hermione. You're having twins. I don't know how I never noticed it. Their heartbeats must have been synchronized until now. Congratulations. Would you like me to get Severus?"

            "No thank you, Madam Pomfrey. I'll tell him tonight. Wow! Twins. Are they both alright?"

            "Yes, dear, their heartbeats are good and strong. And they also appear to be approximately the same size, which indicates they are growing just fine. I must let you know, however, that you most likely will have them early and I would also like you to plan to take the NEWT's soon after the winter break ends because it would be risky for you to wait until the end of the year."

            "Alright, I will take care of that. Thanks a lot for seeing me today."

            "Anytime, Hermione. See you at the ceremony, dear."

            Later that night, lying in bed next to Severus, Hermione decided to tell him the good news. She was resting her head on his shoulder and he was rubbing her back. Hermione propped herself up on her elbows and looked him in the eye.

            "Severus, I have some news for you about us."

            "What is it, Hermione? Is there something wrong with the baby or is there a problem with the wedding?"

            "There's no problem. But I think that we will need a bigger room for the babies," she said with a mischievous smile.

            "Babies, wait a minute! You said babies. Are you having twins?"

            Hermione nodded and Severus enveloped her in a big bear hug. As he held her, Hermione made a tiny gasping noise and held her hand to her tummy.

            "What's the matter? Did I hurt you?"

            "No, nothing like that at all. One of the babies just kicked. Would you like to feel it?"

            Severus nodded and Hermione placed his hand over the spot where the baby was kicking. A smile mixed with awe and pure love spread across his face as he felt the tiny movement. Hermione slipped out of her robes and into a nightgown. They both slipped under the covers, talking as Severus held her. They discussed various names for the babies. After talking for a long time, they fell asleep, exhausted, but happy.

            Over the next 3 days, Severus and Hermione barely saw each. They were very busy getting ready for the wedding. Hermione was with her parents in one of Hogwarts' guest suites and Severus spent much of his time with Professor Proteja, his best man. Over the first half of the school year, Severus and Gorge had nearly become friends. The ceremony was at 3pm and at noon, Ginny went to do Hermione's hair. She brought with her a gift to Hermione from Severus. Hermione had sent Harry to check on Severus and give him her gift.

            "This is from Professor Snape. Open it please! I want to see what it is."

            "Okay, Ginny, I'm opening it." Hermione untied the ribbon and lifted the lid from the box. On top of the tissue paper was a note from Severus.

My Dearest Hermione,

I love you so much. No gift can well represent my feelings for you. You are my sun and moon and I never want to spend a day without you.

Love Always,

Severus

            Tears filled Hermione's eyes as she read the note. The tears streamed down her face when she removed the tissue paper and saw the robe. Her robe. Ginny's eyes grew wide when she saw the shimmering beadwork on the flowing robe. Hermione hung it up and hugged Ginny tightly.

            "Wow! That robe is amazing, 'Mione. You are so lucky. I never thought I would say this, but Professor Snape is a really great guy."

            "You have no idea how wonderful is it to hear you say that, Gin. Now come on and fix my hair. We only have two hours."

Meanwhile, Harry was in Severus' and Hermione's rooms, making sure that Severus was almost ready. He, Gorge, and Severus were all wearing black tuxedo pants, cream dress shirts, and black ties. Their long black robes were hanging in the bedroom. Harry handed Severus the small black box wrapped in shiny green paper. Severus opened the card; leaving the room so no one would see him should he start to cry.

Severus,

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would be marrying such an incredible man. You are everything I ever wished for and I can't even begin to think what my life would be like without you. I love you with my heart and soul and I thank Merlin every day for letting me love you.

All my love,

Hermione

            He unwrapped the box and opened it. Inside it was a gleaming silver charm on a beautiful chain. It was a small tiger, Hermione's animagus. They had figured out what she would be over the summer. He took it out of the box and carefully put it on. Now he would always have her close to his heart. Severus finished getting dressed and went to the Great Hall with Harry and Gorge. They stood next to Dumbledore and watched the entrance doors. It was a small ceremony; only the Professors, the Weasley family (excepting Ron who was at home), a few members of Hermione's extended family, and Jocelyn Snape were there. Jocelyn brought her girlfriend, Alyssa, as well. No one knew that she was gay, but Severus was glad that his sister had found happiness, in whatever form it took. A soft Celtic tune filled the air and Ginny walked down the aisle in pale green dress robes that accentuated her eyes. Harry smiled brightly as he watched his beautiful girlfriend come towards Dumbledore. When she reached her place, Hermione and her parents began coming down the aisle. Everyone was in awe when they saw Hermione. She was simply radiant wearing a long, cream colored robe detailed with sparkling embroidery. Hermione hadn't charmed it to conceal the fact that she was pregnant and that just made her look even more beautiful. When she reached the front of the Hall, her parents hugged her and kissed her cheek before sitting down. Severus took her hand and they looked at Dumbledore.

            "Friends and Family, Honored Guests, we are gathered he today to witness the holy marriage of Hermione Marie Granger and Severus Isildur Snape. We will now witness their exchange of the sacred vows of matrimony. Please repeat after me."

            Severus took Hermione's other hand and they stared into each other's eyes. They repeated their vows after Dumbledore, meaning every word.

            "I, Severus, take you, Hermione, to be my wife and these things I promise you:

                        I will be faithful to you and honest with you;
                        I will respect, truth, help and care for you;
                        I will share my life with you;
                        I will forgive you as we have been forgiven;
                        and I will try with you better to understand ourselves, the world, and Merlin;
                        through the best and the worst of what is to come as long as we live."

            "I, Hermione, take you, Severus, to be my husband and these things I promise you:

                        I will be faithful to you and honest with you;
                        I will respect, truth, help and care for you;
                        I will share my life with you;
                        I will forgive you as we have been forgiven;
                        and I will try with you better to understand ourselves, the world, and God;
                        through the best and the worst of what is to come as long as we live."

            "The wedding ring is the outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual bond which unites two loyal hearts in endless love. It is a seal of the vows Severus and Hermione have made to one another. Bless O Merlin these rings that Hermione and Severus, who give them, and who wear them, may ever abide in thy peace. Living together in unity, love and happiness for the rest of their lives."

            Severus slipped the gleaming silver ring on Hermione's finger and spoke "Hermione, I give you this ring as a symbol of our vows, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you. In the name of Merlin, with this ring, I thee wed."

            Hermione did the same, saying "Severus, I give you this ring as a symbol of our vows, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you. In the name of Merlin, with this ring, I thee wed."

            Dumbledore would now end the ceremony. "Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for the other. Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other. Now there will be no loneliness, for each of you will be companion to the other. Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you. May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead and through all the years, may happiness be your companion and your days together be good and long upon the earth.
            Treat yourselves and each other with respect, and remind yourselves often of what brought you together. Give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves. When frustration, difficult and fear assail your relationship - as they threaten all relationships at one time or another - remember to focus on what is right between you, not only the part which seems wrong. In this way, you can ride out the storms when clouds hide the face of the sun in your lives - remembering that even if you lose sight of it for a moment, the sun is still there. And if each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your life together, it will be marked by abundance and delight. With the power invested in me by the Ministry of Magic and the grace of Merlin, I now pronounce you husband and wife. Severus, you may kiss your bride."

            Severus wrapped his arms around her waist and she wrapped hers behind his neck. All the pain, sorrow, and anger that they had felt over the past 6 months disappeared in that one kiss.

A/N: I'm sorry that this chapter took so long, but I hope it was worth the wait. Oh, and 50 points from Dumbledore to whoever reviews telling me the "Lord of the Rings" reference before Friday!