Disclaimer: All previous disclaimers apply.

Chapter 5

There was sudden, uncomfortable silence at Toby's sudden assertion.

Severus stared at his plate, unable to think of anything to say.

It was Lucius that finally broke the silence. "You know, Toby, that's an idea worthy of a Slytherin. Simple, but cunning."

"Why thank you, Luc," Toby said grinning as he kicked Severus under the table.

Severus looked at him, his eyebrows raised and Toby nodded at Lily.

"If you were bonded at marriage," Narcissa added. "There's no way Dumbledore could force you to marry Potter even if he used an Imperious or a love potion. The bond would repel them."

"These are all good ideas, but it's up to Lily," Eileen pointed out. "I'm sure she doesn't want to marry just to throw a wrench in Dumbledore's plans."

Lily didn't know what to say. Both Toby's and Narcissa's ideas were good. The only one she'd ever thought about marrying was Sev. They'd been best friends since the age of nine and she'd been in love with him since fourth year and she suspected he felt the same about her, but would he be willing to marry her under these circumstances?

Audra decided they needed a change of subject and asked Severus, "How is it being Head of Slytherin House when you're not much older than the seventh years, Severus?"

"It's been okay so far. I haven't had any trouble with the students. A lot of the older ones remember when I was a Prefect and then Head Boy and they remember that I tried my best to protect them from the headmaster and the Marauders."

"Severus sits at our house table as do I and Narcissa rather than at the head table," Lucius replied. "Our house really appreciate it. Slughorn always sat at the head table and his friendship with Dumbledore came before his duty to his house."

"I do remember he was only interested in the students he felt could do something for him too," Eileen said.

"I believe Hogwarts has gone downhill since Dumbledore became headmaster," Tiberius added. "There are of course still many excellent professors, but a few of his more recent hires have been somewhat dubious."

"If you mean Potter and Black, Sir," Remus said. "I fully agree. Neither of them has a master's in their subjects. James is a failed Quidditch player and Sirius a former Auror."

"Not to mention that idiot, Gilderoy Lockhart," Narcissa added. "I can't even imagine where Dumbledore found him."

"Both Potter and Black came to the Yule Ball intoxicated. They must have drank a bottle of Ogden's Finest each," Lucius said. "Minerva suspended them for three days when school starts again."

"I've known Minerva to hoist a few, but never around the students," Tiberius said.

"I understand you are teaching Wizarding Etiquette," Audra said to Narcissa. "A course such as that has been needed for a long time, I must say."

"Yes, and I enjoy teaching it and I do agree it has been needed for a long time."

"The course was Narcissa's idea," Lucius added. "She proposed it to Dumbledore."

Severus wasn't looking forward to the evening ending. He had absolutely no idea what to say to Lily after his father's rather blatant suggestion. He didn't know whether she'd been offended by it or not. He was so deep in thought he didn't even object to his grandfather lighting up one of his stinky cigars.

It was practically eleven thirty by the time the party broke up. Eileen and Toby said goodbye and promised to come back on New Year's Eve. Toby nudged Severus. "Hoping for some good news then."

Severus rolled his eyes and muttered, "Dad!"

"I'm just saying, Sev," Toby said as Eileen practically yanked him into the floo.

Audra and Tiberius thanked him for their gifts and said they would see him on New Year's Eve. Remus left with them, clutching the new defense text he'd gotten from Severus.

Lucius and Narcissa thanked him for inviting them and for their gifts. He'd given Lucius a bottle of the finest wine from the DeLuca-Prince Vineyard and Narcissa a gift certificate to a new wizarding spa that had just opened. They wished Severus and Lily a 'Happy Christmas' and returned to their quarters.

Severus got up and began to clear the table and take things into the kitchen when Tita popped in and stood glaring up at Severus with her hands on her hips. "Mr. Severus, you knows this is Tita's job and you is not supposed to be doing it."

"I know, Tita, but I thought since there was more of a mess than usual, I'd help out."

"There is no need. Tita will summon Blinky and we gets everything set to rights again. You go and sits down, Mr. Severus and Tita will bring you and Professor Lily tea and cookies."

Severus sat down on the couch next to Lily with a grimace. "I've just been ejected from my own kitchen by my house elf. Sometimes I think I've given her too much authority."

"Well, they do take their duties seriously," Lily replied waving her wand and casting a freshening charm to get rid of the cigar odor. "Ninnia, my elf won't even let me make my bed in the mornings."

"I suppose it is their way of doing things." He looked at Lily. "I'm sorry about what my dad said. I know it must have embarrassed you, but he means well."

Tita popped in with a tray holding a teapot wrapped in a Christmas themed cozy and a plate of cookies and then popped out again. Severus poured them each a cup of tea.

"It's alright, Sev; I wasn't embarrassed …a little surprised maybe, but not embarrassed."

"You know dad though; he has a habit of saying exactly what's on his mind with no frills or subtlety." Severus grinned then asked Lily, "Do you want your Christmas present now?"

"Yes!" Lily said and then summoned her purse. "I have yours too."

Severus summoned a large package from under the Christmas tree and gave it to Lily. She tore it open, scattering paper, ribbons and the bow all over in her excitement. She lifted a deep sapphire blue velvet cloak out of the box. It had a hood and was heavily lined to keep her warm and had a silk lining over that for comfort. "Oh Sev! This is the most beautiful cloak I've ever seen! Thank you!" She put it on and fastened it and then twirled around. "What do you think?"

He stared at her for a few seconds before finding his voice, "You look beautiful." He'd had it specially made for her at Twilfit and Tattings.

Lily sat back down beside him still attired in her cloak. She gave him her present and he opened it to find a picture that Violet had taken of them right before they had gotten on the Hogwarts Express for their first year. They both had their arms wrapped around each other with big smiles on their faces. The Hogwarts Express could be seen in the background of the picture. "Merlin! I'd forgotten these," Severus laughed. "I recall when your mum took this photo. Thank you!" In fact, Mrs. Evans had taken the same photo of them each of their seven years.

"I found mum's picture albums when Tuney and I were cleaning out the house. She didn't want them except for mum and dad's wedding picture so I took them."

"Good thing you did because Tuney probably would have tossed any pictures to do with Hogwarts into the dustbin."

Lily sighed. "She still very much resents the fact that I'm magical and she isn't."

There was an awkward silence then Severus cleared his throat and said hesitantly, "I've been thinking all evening about what dad said …"

Lily sighed to herself and then without warning took Severus' face between her hands. "Sev, do you love me?"

Severus took a deep breath and decided to go for it, consequence be damned! "Yes, probably from the first moment I saw you when we were nine."

"I've been in love with you since fourth year. Why didn't you ever tell me?"

"Because if you didn't feel the same way; I was afraid it would have destroyed our friendship and I'd rather have you for my best friend if nothing else," Severus confessed. "Why didn't you tell me?"

"For the same reason," Lily admitted. "I wanted to ask you so many times in the following years, but I was too afraid."

"What do you think about us getting married?"

"Are you asking me, Sev?" Lily teased.

"I guess I should do this properly," he muttered and got down on one knee. "Lily, will you please do me the honor of becoming my wife?"

"I will, Sev," Lily said without hesitation.

"Damn! I don't have a ring!" Severus exclaimed. He looked around and then spotted the gold band that had been around his grandfather's cigar, snatched it up and slid it on Lily's left hand. "That can be a substitute until we can go to Diagon Alley."

Lily tapped it with her wand to make it fit tighter so she wouldn't lose it. "It's perfect, Sev."

"Well, I still intend to buy you a traditional engagement ring."

"That's fine too," Lily assured him. "Shouldn't we let your parents know?"

"I think we should decide when to get married and how first," Severus said, frowning.

"I think it should be as soon as possible before Dumbledore comes back. Minerva told me he won't be back until January 2nd. How about New Year's Eve? But who can marry us?"

"That's fine with me. My grandfather's barrister, Reginald Winchester, is authorized by the Ministry to perform weddings and bond us if the we wish to be."

"I do want us to be bonded, Sev."

"Me too," Severus agreed. He knew that Lucius and Narcissa were bonded.

Severus went over to the fireplace, tossed in the floo powder and said, "Snape house, Manchester," and stuck his head into the fire.

His parents fortunately hadn't retired yet and came over to the fireplace. "Sev? Is something wrong?" Eileen asked in concern.

"No, Mum, quite the opposite actually. I asked Lily to marry me and she said yes."

"Congratulations, son," Toby said. "I knew you wouldn't let Lily slip through your fingers."

"And you were right, Dad."

"When are you and Lily planning on being married?" Eileen asked.

"We want to be married before school starts again so we're thinking New Year's Eve. I know its short notice, but we don't want to give Dumbledore, Potter, or Black the chance to pull anything hinky."

"And they probably would too," Toby replied.

"Don't start fretting, Mum. We don't want anything fancy. I thought we could have it here because I know some of the professors will want to come. I do need to get in contact with Mr. Winchester though. I thought he could marry us."

"I don't think it will be too hard to plan a wedding in that short of time, Sev since you want to keep it simple," Eileen said. "Reginald's office is located on the top floor of Gringotts, but you can fire-call him too. He's most usually in his office."

"I'll do it tomorrow, Mum. Let me know if you need anything else."

"I will and congratulation. We're both thrilled you and Lily are going to be married."

"Thanks, Eileen and Toby," Lily said. They had always been like second parents to her.

"You'll need a wedding dress, Lily," Eileen said.

"I thought I'd maybe look for one this week."

"Why don't we go to Twilfit and Tattings tomorrow?" Eileen suggested. "I'm sure Madam Twilfit can design and sew a beautiful wedding dress the same day."

"I'd like that, Eileen," Lily replied getting a bit teary, thinking of her own mum.

"I'll floo over to Sev's quarters at ten tomorrow then."

"Alright and thanks."

"And congratulations to both of you!" Toby said.

"Thanks, Dad," Severus replied and ended the call. "Well, I guess our wedding is official now."

"I want to tell Minerva, Pomona, and Poppy about it," Lily said. "I know they won't let it out."

"I'm sure Narcissa will insist on having a bridal shower for you." He figured his dad would insist on having a bachelor party for him too. He turned back to Lily. "Do you want me to walk you back to your quarters?"

"No, Sev," Lily said taking his hands into hers. "Since we're engaged now and all your snakes went home for the holidays …" she held out her left hand with the cigar band on it for emphasis. "Is there any reason why I can't stay here tonight?"

Severus gulped and replied, "Umm … none that I can think of, Lily."

"Good!" Lily said, leading him in the direction of his bedroom.

Page ~*~*~*~*~* Break

James and Sirius were lounging in James' bedroom at Potter Manor. James on his bed and Sirius stretched out on a squashy red couch. The room was decorated entirely in red and gold and there was a large tapestry of the Gryffindor crest hanging over James' bed.

"I'm stuffed!" Sirius exclaimed patting his stomach. "I probably shouldn't have had that last piece of mince pie, but it was just too good to pass up. Besides I couldn't have your elves getting insulted."

"I wonder what Dumbledore is talking to my parents about?"

"They're probably drawing up a marriage contract for you and Evans."

"I wonder what it will be like being married," James said musingly.

"It probably mean the end of anything fun," Sirius grumbled. "You'll have to ask the wife's permission anytime you want to leave the house.

"No way, Padfoot. I'm going to be the head of house and what I say goes. If I want to go see or Quidditch match or go out with you and Peter, I can do it. If Lily doesn't like it, tough!"

"Speaking of marriage, Padfoot; have you ever shagged a woman?"

James snorted loudly. "Of course, Padfoot! When I was with the Wasps I had lines of beautiful women waiting for me after the match." He thrust out his chest. "All I had to do was crook my finger and they came running. Who do you think I am? Snivellus?"

Sirius held up his hands. "Don get offended, Prongs. I'm just asking because I'm guessing Evans is probably a virgin."

"Well, it won't matter if she is. If I'm giving her Amortentia, she'll be so hot for me I won't have to even consider that."

"Dumbledore's considering doing that?"

"He has a very important reason for doing it; it's for the greater good."

"Okay." Sirius shrugged. "Remus sure turned out to be a disappointment. No loyalty at all and hanging around with Snivellus to make matters worse! Whatever made us think he was a real Marauder?"

"Snivvy's probably controlling him. He brews his Wolfsbane after all and that makes Remus dependent on him. He may not have a choice about kissing up to Snivellus," James pointed out.

"I can't figure why Dumbledore would trust Snivellus with something as important as that. I wouldn't trust him to brew me a gas relief potion!"

"I asked him that and he said the Wolfsbane potion was extremely hard to brew and there were very few potion masters that could brew it correctly, but Snivellus happens to be one who can."

"So Remus is stuck in other words?"

"Yeah, unfortunately he's dependent on Snivvy to brew it."

Sirius folded his arms behind his head. "What we going to do with our three extra days off, Prongs?"

"We could go to a Quidditch match. The Kestrals are playing the Magpies. It's not the Wasps, but it should be interesting." The Wimbourne Wasps were James' and Sirius' favorite Quidditch team.

"Yeah, anything's better than being at Hogwarts with McGonagall giving us the stink eye all day long."

"She's sure turned out to be a disappointment. You can't even have a small Christmas libation without her starting to shriek," James complained.

"And then Dumbledore says he can't reverse her suspension because it will look like favoritism. He never had a problem with reversing our detentions when we were students so why's it such a big deal now?"

"Because of the Board of Governors, he's got to watch his P's and Q's. They're just looking for any excuse to toss him out on his arse especially those slimy snakes and that would be a disaster!"

"Right! Those snake board members might finally manage to appoint a Slytherin headmaster," Sirius groaned. "I sure wish I could have arrested Malfoy's blond arse and thrown him in Azkaban while I had the chance and Snivellus' too. But I had to be partnered with Frank Leadbottom who did everything by the book. I'll bet he even takes a crap by the book!"

"What I can't figure is why everybody was so impressed with Snivellus' credentials at the first staff meeting. It's not like he had been an Auror or a famous Quidditch player like us and what in the hell is the worshipful society of apothecaries or whatever?"

"Got me, but if they accepted Snivellus; it must be some kind of dark arts league."

There was a knock on James's door. He got up to open it and found Albus and his parents. "James, we have just concluded your betrothal to Miss Evans. I acted in Miss Evans stead and signed the betrothal contract for her."

"Does this mean she and I are going to be married?"

"It does indeed," Albus assured him.

In the background Sirius wondered how Albus could sign a contract in Evans' name when she clearly hated James' guts. He liked to be a fly on the wall when Albus told her what he'd done.

Page ~*~*~*~*~* Break

Severus woke up at 8:15 in the morning. He blinked realizing that Lily was snuggled up against him. He kissed her bare shoulder then tapped it. Lily stirred and opened her eyes. She smiled. "Good morning, Sev."

"We'd better be getting up. Remember you've got a shopping date with mum at ten."

Lily stretched and pouted. "I don't want to. I want to stay right here."

"As much as I would like that I do have some errands to do myself, but we can always pick up where we left off when we get back."

"Promise?"

Severus grinned and held out his pinky. Lily laughed and linked her pinky with his. It was something they had always done as kids whenever they made a promise. "Okay, now it's official," Severus said.

Lily threw back the covers and got out of bed and hurried into the bathroom to shower first. She gave the cigar band to Severus to hold until after she was finished. When she was done, Severus took his turn. Lily put on her 'engagement ring' again, got dressed and wandered into the kitchen. Tita and Blinky were setting breakfast out on the table as she came in. "Good morning, Professor Lily," Tita called.

"Good morning, Tita and Blinky," Lily replied, smiling. She sat down at the table and poured herself a cup of jasmine tea. Severus came in dressed in black jeans and his Slytherin House sweatshirt. He sat down at the table and poured himself a cup of coffee from the pot on the table.

Lily wrinkled her nose at it. "I don't know how you can drink that stuff."

"It is an acquired taste," Severus said with a grin.

When they finished breakfast, Lily went back to her quarters to change for her trip to Diagon Alley with Eileen. She changed and arrived back at Severus' quarters just as Eileen was stepping out of the floo. "Good morning, Eileen," Lily said.

"Good morning, Lily. I can't tell you how pleased Toby and I are that Sev finally popped the question."

"Mum!" Severus groaned with a roll of his eyes. "You're almost as bad as dad! He kept kicking me under the table last night."

Eileen laughed. "Your father is insistent about getting his point across." She looked at Lily. "Are you ready to go?"

"Yes," Lily buttoned her coat, wrapped a cashmere scarf around her neck, and pulled on a matching cashmere tam and leather gloves. She stood on her tiptoes and gave Severus a kiss on his cheek. "See you later."

"Count on it."

Severus waited a few minutes and then fire-called his grandfather's barrister, Reginald Winchester to make arrangements for their wedding. Reginald said he would be happy to marry and bond them. After the call, he got on his black knee-length wool coat, wrapped his Slytherin scarf around his neck and pulled on black leather gloves. He flooed to Gringotts and went outside to the jewelry store on the other side of Gringotts. The goblin who owned it was a cousin of the goblin who took care of the Prince vaults.

"Professor Snape," the goblin owner whose name was Gretkon said as he entered the shop.

Severus bowed and said, "May your riches and those of your family increase every day." He had been taught the ancient greeting by his grandfather.

"And may your wealth and the wealth of your family increase sevenfold, Professor Snape," Gretkon replied with a bow. "How may I help you today?"

"I'm looking for an engagement and wedding ring set."

"We have many different stones and sets," Gretkon replied. "Please follow me."

Severus was a bit stunned by the amount of stones and styles of settings there were, but after looking and asking questions for a half-hour, Severus picked out three settings he thought Lily might like. He asked Gretkon to set them aside until he was able to bring Lily into the shop. He'd let her decide on the setting and what kind of stone she wanted in the rings.

"Thank you, Gretkon. I will return shortly with my fiancée." Severus went back to Gringotts and flooed back to his quarters at Hogwarts.

He muddled around in his lab until he heard the floo sound. He walked out to see Lily and his mum stepping out of the floo talking animatedly. "So was the shopping trip successful?"

"Yes," Lily replied. She and Eileen had flooed to her quarters first where she had hung her wedding dress in the closet and then went back to Severus quarters.

"And you're not seeing Lily's dress until New Year's Eve either," Eileen warned him.

"I wouldn't think of peeking at it," he answered.

"Well, I'd better be getting back home. Your father is working at the store in Manchester today and he's coming home at lunchtime."

"Thanks, Eileen for helping me find a dress this morning," Lily said.

"You're welcome, Lily," Eileen replied giving her a hug. "It was my pleasure."

After she left, Severus suggested they floo back to Diagon Alley. "I picked out three ring settings I thought you might like and had Gretkon set them aside for me. I left the type of stone up to you."

"Okay," Lily replied and took his hand. They flooed to Gringotts again and went to the jewelry shop. Severus once again exchanged the ancient greeting taught to him by Tiberius.

Lily carefully looked over the settings Severus had picked out, but one stood out that she absolutely loved. She decided on emeralds and diamonds for the stones.

"The ring will be ready tomorrow afternoon," Gretkon said.

Severus thanked him and told him to take the price out of his Gringotts vault and then he and Lily returned to Gringotts where Severus had Zort, who took care of the Prince vaults, add Lily's name to his vault and Lily closed her vault and added what was there to Severus' vault. After finishing up there, they flooed back to Hogwarts and Severus kept the promise he'd made to Lily that morning.

Severus returned to the jewelry shop the next afternoon to pick up the rings. The goblins had created perfect rings. The engagement ring had a platinum twining band with a round emerald in the center surrounded by 14 diamonds and with ten smaller diamonds decorating each side of the twisted band. The wedding ring was a plain platinum band that fitted neatly under the center emerald. When he returned to Hogwarts, he went up to Lily's quarters on the fourth floor and knocked on her door. She opened it and smiled when she saw Severus. He came inside and took the small, square box out of his pocket and gave it to her.

Lily opened it and gasped when she saw the rings. "Sev! They're so beautiful!"

He took her left hand, slipped off the cigar ban and slipped on the ring. Lily took the cigar band from him. "I'm going to keep this so I can tell our grandchildren about when grandpa proposed to me," she teased.

Severus grinned. "Yes. You can tell them that granddad proposed on the spur of the moment and didn't have a ring so he used that instead."

She held up her left hand, admiring the ring in the light. "It sparkles beautifully when it catches the light. You've really got good taste, Sev."

They spent the rest of the week moving Lily's things into Severus' quarters. As he had predicted, Narcissa threw Lily a bridal shower. Eileen, Minerva, Pomona, Alice Longbottom, Poppy, and Aurora Sinistra all came. Severus and Lily also attended the wedding of his friend, Sarah Worthwick and her fiancé, Peter Mullings. Reg had also been invited and Severus got to briefly catch up with him and let him know about his own upcoming nuptials.

The night before New Year's Eve, Toby coaxed Severus to the Hogs Head where Luc, Remus, Frank Longbottom, Filius, Reg, and Larry Fleinhardt waited at the Hogs Head. "I don't know about this, Dad," Severus said as they walked through the accumulated snow to Hogsmeade on the 30th of December.

"It's tradition, Sev," Toby said. "Beside it doesn't mean everybody has to get stinking drunk. We can celebrate with some of that Butterbeer."

"Well, I've brewed and brought along Sober-Up and Hangover potions just in case."

The party turned out to be fun for Severus. Filius and the owner, Aberforth who turned out to be Dumbledore's younger brother, were good friends. Reg also knew him quite well.

"Albus and I have not gotten along and seldom agree on anything," Aberforth said. "I told him years ago that favoring his own house at the expense of the other houses would only earn him a load of trouble especially with Potter and Black. Between the three of them I wonder how many Slytherins gave in to the lure of You-Know-Who because they believed there was no other choice for them."

"I knew of at least a dozen who were sitting on the fence and seven of them decided to jump off onto You-Know-Who's side," Severus replied sadly. "They were convinced by what had gone on that they would get a better deal as a Death Eater."

"Yes, it's sad that Albus tars all the Slytherins with the same brush and hold them all responsible for what You-Know-Who became," Filius said.

"And Merlin knows Slughorn didn't help anybody," Lucius added. "He didn't even know half the time what was going on in his own house!"

"Well, Albus has always has needed a battle to fight and if he couldn't find one, he'd make one up," Aberforth declared. "You-Know-Who probably wouldn't be as powerful as he is if my brother hadn't made him into practically a legend. That's why I refuse to join that group of his he founded to fight You-Know-Who. He calls it the Order of the Phoenix and I call it the Order of the Gryffindors because that's practically everybody who's in it."

Remus shook his head, "Dumbledore let James and Sirius run wild from the moment they set foot in Hogwarts, bullying, hexing, and jinxing anybody they decided they didn't like for whatever reason."

"Yes, and they even went after me," Reg said. "I was short for my age when I started Hogwarts. They would have pounded me into the ground if it hadn't been for Sev showing me a few of those boxing moves."

"Yes, dad taught them to me to protect myself from those two because Dumbledore refused to stop their bullying," Severus said.

"And Dumbledore's still protecting them even though they're professors now," Remus added.

"Eileen and I saw Dumbledore numerous times about those so-called Marauders bullying Sev, but he wouldn't listen to us. He said they were harmless, boyish pranks. Pranks that put a person in the hospital aren't harmless," Toby said. "I had to stop Eileen from jinxing Dumbledore on more than a few occasions. Your mother has quite the temper! That's when I decided to teach Sev how to box. I boxed when I was in the Royal Marines."

Severus grinned at the thought of his mother attempting to jinx Dumbledore. He knew that his grandfather had taught her a few good jinxes to keep her more persistent suitors at a distance.

Larry shook his head. "Our headmaster has a great mind and why he has taken up with this foolish so-called 'prophecy' I don't understand."

"Are you sure he's not getting senile?" Toby asked bluntly.

Lucius chuckled and clapped Toby on his shoulder. "Exactly what I've been asking myself since the beginning of the term."

After that the party lightened up considerably so much so that Severus, Toby, and Remus had to hand out Sober-Up and Hangover potions to Professor Fleinhardt, Professor Flitwick, Frank, Reg, and Lucius.

"It's a good thing you had the foresight to bring these potions with you, Severus," Lucius said as he tossed back the Sober-Up Potion. "Cissa would be very displeased with me otherwise." He followed it with the Hangover Potion.

They made their way back to Hogwarts where everybody returned to their individual quarters. Eileen was waiting with Lily for Toby and Severus. She and Toby flooed back to their home in Manchester and Severus and Lily retired for the night.

The next morning at breakfast, Severus told Lily about his bachelor party. "Dad, Remus, and I had to give Larry, Filius, Reg, Frank, and Luc Sober-Up potions and Hangover Potions both," Severus laughed.

"I cannot imagine Professor Fleinhardt intoxicated," Lily replied with a shake of her head.

"He was quite amusing intoxicated actually and has rather an odd sense of humor," Severus chuckled. "Aberforth took quite a liking to him. He may be going to the Hog's Head more often with Filius."

"Is that where you guys went? I thought you were going to the Three Broomsticks," Lily said, wrinkling her nose.

"Filius and Aberforth are good friends so we decided to go there instead. Did you know Aberforth is Dumbledore's younger brother?"

"Really?" Lily said in amazement. "And he runs that shady inn and bar?"

"It's not so bad and I suspect he's got way stronger morals than Dumbledore has. He said he and his brother have never gotten along. He said he warned him about favoring Gryffindor over the other houses would end up in a bad way and it did. I think dad might have invited him to our wedding too."

"Well, I guess if you say he's okay; I don't mind. Speaking of which," Lily said getting up from the table. "I'd better get going as I have a lot to do today before our wedding."

"Okay, I'll see you later tonight," Severus replied giving her a quick kiss. Their wedding was set for seven o'clock. By then the students who had stayed over would be done with dinner and back in their common rooms.

Severus spent the day brewing potions for the hospital wing to calm him. He was really nervous since it wasn't every day you were going to marry the girl of your dreams.

At five o'clock his parents flooed over. Toby was going to help him get ready and Eileen was going to help Lily get ready along with Narcissa, and Minerva.

Luc flooed to Severus' quarters to help Toby, figuring Severus would be a wreck and would need somebody else to keep him calm as he was Severus' best man. He remembered how nervous he was on his wedding day even though he and Narcissa had been betrothed since they were nine.

"Alright there, Severus?" Lucius asked as he came into Severus bedroom. "I've got our boutonnieres."

"Thanks, Luc," Severus answered as Toby was attempting to help him with his tie. "Stand still, Sev! You're squirming worse than you did when you were one and had your first haircut."

"Now that I would have liked to have seen," Lucius said chuckling.

Severus flipped Lucius off, but waited patiently as his dad finished and pinned the boutonniere on his lapel.

Toby stepped back. "There, Sev, looking good!"

The floo sounded in the living room, letting them know the first guests had arrived. It was Tiberius and Audra dressed in their finest.

Severus gave them a hug. "I'm glad you're here."

"You don't think we'd miss our grandson's wedding, Severus?" Tiberius replied. He tugged at his collar and Audra slapped his hand and then straightened his collar again. "Now leave that be," she ordered.

"I hate formal dress," Tiberius muttered.

"Not fond of it myself," Toby replied with a smile.

The guest began to arrive. First Pomona and Poppy arrived then Remus. Larry arrived, escorting Aurora. Filius was waiting outside in the hallway; he had agreed to stand in for Lily's father and give her away. Reg, Aberforth, Frank and Alice Longbottom arrived last.

Eileen, Minerva and Narcissa came in and Eileen nodded at her mother who waved her wand and the Wedding March began to play.

The door to Severus' quarters opened and Lily came in led by Filius. Her gown was made from champagne crepe back satin, and also lined in crepe back satin. The double layer underdress had a side zipper and a train. The overlay fabric was lace fabric fully beaded with pearls, sequins and beads. There was scalloped edging all around the neckline and bottom of the dress, including the beautiful drop sleeves. The lace overdress laces at the front waistline, and the back of the gown has a low-cut V-back with trim and lacing. There was a large matching scalloped lace around the train. Lily wore her hair up in curls and a long crepe veil the same color as her dress floated behind her.

Severus was so stunned by how beautiful she looked that Luc had to give him a nudge so he'd take Lily's arm.

The ceremony was short. "Do you have rings and vows you wish to exchange?" Reginald asked.

Severus nodded as he took Lily's ring from Luc and slid it on the fourth finger of her left hand. "Lily, from the moment I first saw you, I knew you were the one with whom I wanted to share my life. Your beauty, heart, and mind inspire me to be the best person I can be. I promise to love you for eternity, respecting you, honoring you, being faithful to you, and sharing my life with you. This is my solemn vow." As Severus finished saying his vow Reginald waved his wand and a golden flame shot out of it and entwined itself around their wrists

Lily took her ring for Severus from Alice. "Severus, today I take you to be my husband. Together we will create a home, becoming a part of one another. I vow to help create a life that we can cherish, inspiring your love for me and mine for you. I vow to be honest, caring and truthful, to love you as you are and not as I want you to be, and to grow old by your side as your love and best friend." A second golden flame shot out of Reginald's wand and entwined itself around their wrists.

"I know pronounce you husband and wife, bonded in love and magic," Reginald said as a third golden flame shot out of his wand and wrapped around Severus and Lily's wrists. "You may kiss your bride, Severus."

Severus flushed and gave Lily a kiss. Everyone clapped and moved forward to congratulate the new couple.

A wedding dinner was served immediately afterwards, the wedding cake was cut, and wedding presents opened. It was nearly midnight before the guests left. Severus grinned at Lily. "We're all alone now, Mrs. Snape."

"Exactly what I've been waiting for all day," Lily said taking his hand and leading him into their bedroom.

The next day passed quickly, too quickly as far as Severus and Lily were concerned. On the morning of the 2nd, Severus checked the common room and the dormitories to make sure they were ready for the returning students. He had to be outside at five-thirty to meet the carriages. It had been snowing heavily all day and he wasn't looking forward to standing outside in the freezing cold. He and Lily spent as much time as they could together and Severus had to run from the dungeon, putting his coat, scarf, and gloves on as he raced up the stairs, into the Entrance Hall and outside. Breathing heavily, he took his place next to Filius and Pomona. Minerva grinned and leaned forward. "Did you forget you had to meet the carriages, Professor?" She teased as Severus' face flushed with embarrassment.

The carriages came up the driveway and through the gates. They pulled up two at a time to the entrance and the students jumped out and went inside. There was no pushing and shoving from the Gryffindors this time. When the last carriage had trundled away, the heads of house went back inside and to their tables or to the head table. Minerva sat at the head table as she didn't feel it was appropriate as Deputy Headmistress to sit at the Gryffindor table. Remus sat there instead.

Severus sat down at the Slytherin table next to Lily and across from Luc and Cissa. Pomona sat next to Charity at Hufflepuff's table and Filius next to Larry at Ravenclaw.

Hagrid lumbered into the Great Hall after seeing to the carriages and the Thestrals and took his place at the head table. He noticed the two empty chairs next to Albus where James and Sirius normally sat. "Where's James and Sirius? Wern't they due back today too?"

"Professor Potter and Black earned themselves another 3-day suspension for coming intoxicated to the Christmas Ball," Minerva said.

Dumbledore came into the room last from the entrance behind the head table. He stopped for a moment and then walked over to the Slytherin table. "Professor Evans, if you would kindly visit me in my office when you're done with your meal," he requested.

"Is this about anything to do with my teaching, Headmaster?" Lily asked. She kept her left hand in her lap.

"Why no," Albus replied, surprised that she would be concerned about her teaching abilities which were excellent.

"Then whatever you have to say, you can say right here."

"Well, I'd rather not discuss …"

"Sev, Cissa, and Luc are my friends so you can say anything in front of them."

"If you wish," he replied nodding. "Over the holidays I worked out a betrothal arrangement for you and James with his parents. They're looking forward to meeting you as soon as possible to plan your wedding.

"You did what!" Lily shouted, jumping to her feet.

Everybody in the room stopped talking and turned to look at the Slytherin table. The Slytherins smiled. It looked as if Professor Evans was mad enough to turn the headmaster into a pile of turds!

Severus got Lily calmed down and reseated. He started to chuckle and was joined by Lily, Luc and Cissa.

"Well, I don't have any idea what you think is so amusing about a betrothal arrangement," Albus snapped.

"Only that Lily and I were married two days ago," Severus said holding up hers and his' left hands and showing Albus their wedding rings.