Author's Note: Hello wonderful readers! This is the final chapter of A Marriage Full of Surprises. I wanted to thank you for sticking with this story through 44 chapters. It was so much fun to write and a I soooo enjoyed all of your reviews. I have jumped ahead in time to get the story where I wanted it to end. I hope you enjoyed Severus and Hermione's journey through the marriage law and my portrayal of them. I am going to plug Sight of the Sun story I'm currently working on for this pairing so please check it out. Again, thank you so much for your support! Please review and let me know what you thought of the ending...
Severus Snape stood at the doorway to his daughter's bedroom and felt his stomach drop. She was sitting at her dressing table fixing her hair and smiling.
He closed his eyes and remembered the little girl who used to get into her mother's make-up and look like a drag queen when she emerged from their bedroom. He remembered her clamouring onto his lap to read stories, running out the door with jam on her face to play, the skinned knees, the tears, the laughs, the broken hearts. He pictured clearly in his head teaching her to waltz before her first Yule Ball, catching her snogging a boy in a corridor, giving a young man a dressing down for spreading a false rumour about her, and shaking the hand of the man she fell in love with. Time had passed so quickly.
"Severus?" Hermione asked as she walked up behind him.
"Yes, sorry," he apologized as he moved out of the way to let her pass.
"I found them!" Hermione announced as she walked into the room that housed their daughter carrying a string of pearls.
"Thanks mom!" Liesel said as Hermione placed them around her neck and did them up. "They look gorgeous."
"Severus, do you remember when you gave them to me?" Hermione asked him as she turned to watch the serious wizard at the back of the room.
"An anniversary, I'm sure," he said as he walked toward the pair of women in his life.
"It was my thirtieth birthday gift," Hermione reminded him.
"Now I recall," he said with a smirk as he walked up behind them.
"You didn't remember at all," Hermione smiled at him.
"I assure you madam I remember everything," Severus said softly as he kissed his wife's neck. "I bought them for you while in the Caribbean with the children. You were drooling over them and..."
"I wasn't drooling," she snickered.
"Irregardless, they were a present for you, from me," he said as he looked down at his daughter. "And now they grace the neck of another beautiful witch."
"Thanks dad," Liesel smiled up at him.
"I have to go and get Etienne's tie," Hermione gasped as she scurried from the room.
"You look gorgeous honey," Severus said as he looked at Liesel's reflection in the mirror. She was a vision in her pale purple dress. It offset her raven locks and pale dewy skin; she looked incandescent.
"Any last minute advice?" Liesel asked nervously.
Severus leaned down and kissed the top of her silky hair. "You are always right."
"What?!" Liesel started to laugh. "I ask you for marriage advice and you tell me that?"
"Well, it's true," Severus said softly. "I have always trusted that your mother was right and we are quite happy."
"So Nathaniel just has to always trust that I'm right?" She snickered.
"I just told him as much," Severus grinned down at his daughter.
"Dad!" Liesel said as she smacked his arm.
"You're mother and I have been married for twenty five years Liesel, you don't think I know a thing or two about a lasting relationship?" Severus asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Tell me some more of your advice, oh wise old owl," Liesel said jokingly as she rotated to face her father.
"Have faith that the person you love, the person you are committed to, is not an idiot. They may see things differently than you do, make decisions you don't agree with, but they are not a fool. Trust that and take some time to figure out why they do what they do."
"Okay, that's nice sage advice," Liesel said with a smirk. "Better than you are always right."
"Love him with all your heart," Severus said seriously. "And don't doubt his love for you."
Liesel rose from her seat and hugged her father fiercely. "I love you dad."
"And I love you, Liesel," Severus said as he held his daughter against him.
"I hope Nathaniel and I can be as happy as you and mom are," Liesel said as she wiped some tears from her eyes.
"I do too," Severus said as he kissed her nose.
"Are we ready?" Hermione called as she waltzed into the room with Etienne following close behind her.
"Yep," Liesel said as she wiped her face again.
"Oh sweetie," Hermione said as she walked up to her daughter and hugged her. "Stop crying, Nathaniel is wonderful."
"I know," Liesel hiccoughed.
"What did you say, Severus?" Hermione asked, turning on him.
"Nothing bad," Severus said defensively. "I told her to trust him."
"You're going to look a right mess if you keep that up," Etienne chuckled as he approached his sister.
"Shut up," Liesel laughed as she pulled her brother in for a hug. His crutches went flying and he banged his mother in the leg with one.
"You're going to do great," Etienne said softly into her ear as he kissed the side of her face.
"Thanks," she whispered back. "Come visit me in Ireland all the time, okay?"
"You're going to get sick of me," he joked as he pulled away. "Hey, you're wrinkling me up...no hot young witch will hit on me if..."
"Enough," Severus said with a smirk, stopping his son's diatribe. "And stay away from Millicent, please, for the love of Merlin."
"It's not my fault she finds me irresistible," Etienne joked.
"Yes, but her father would appreciate not finding you in her bedroom tomorrow morning like the last time we..."
"I get it, dad" Etienne said as he adjusted his crutches.
"I better get out there, huh?" Liesel said as she straightened her back and stood tall.
"I love you honey," Hermione said as she kissed her daughter on the cheek. "You and Nathaniel are perfect for each other and you look gorgeous."
"Thanks, mom," Liesel smiled at her.
"I love you darling," Severus said as he kissed the top of her head.
"I love you too dad," Liesel said as she wiped her nose.
"No more crying or Nathaniel won't recognize you," Etienne joked as he held out his arm for his sister.
Liesel grabbed her flowers and her brother's arm and walked from the room slowly.
"I can't believe she's getting married," Hermione said as she shed a tear. "It seems like yesterday she was in nappies."
"I know," Severus said softly as he wiped a tear from her cheek. "And hopefully we have a few years before she's changing them."
Hermione laughed at his joke. "I know."
They started to walk from the room following their son and daughter.
"Who knew, twenty-five years ago, that we'd be here today like this?" Hermione asked wistfully.
"I knew," Severus said softly as he held the door for his wife. "Maybe not 25 years ago but at least 24 and a half years ago."
Hermione chuckled as they walked into the garden where their daughter would be married. A camera snapped and both she a Severus were caught smiling broadly and holding hands. Twenty-five years had passed, but their love had only grown with time.