Continuing Tales


A Harry Potter Story
by Alexis.Danaan

Part 13 of 26

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3 months, 1 week:

Hermione slowly woke to the brightness of the morning and stretched luxuriously in bed. She groaned appreciatively as her muscles loosened and she kicked off the covers. Her feet met with the cold floor and she smiled to think that it was the first time that she hadn't had to get up to deal with Sebastian in the middle of the night. It hadn't been planned but she wasn't surprised; with Severus kipped on a small cot in the nursery and the fridge stocked with bottles of breast milk he had clearly taken night time feedings on his own.

Slipping on a dressing gown over her white tank top and dark blue sleep pants, Hermione left her bedroom and headed for her son's. She opened the door slowly so as not to wake anyone and found that only one of the occupants was still asleep.

"Hi, sweetie," she whispered as she tip toed across the room to her son. He was awake and waiting for her; a happy little gurgle greeted her.

"Shhh, love," she murmured quietly, picking him up from his crib. "We don't want to wake your daddy."

Hermione cast an eye over her shoulder to see that Severus was still asleep. He looked so different in a pair of grey sleep pants and a white t-shirt and it made her smile to see him as others rarely got the chance to. His breathing was deep and even but his face was stiff and she wondered if he was sleeping well on that tiny cot. Quickly and quietly she gathered a few things for Sebastian from the room and tip toed back out, closing the door behind her.

"It's his first day here. We should let him sleep." She kissed Sebastian's chubby cheeks as she padded quietly down the hall.

Once there she deposited him into a Muggle seat that took up the majority of the small kitchen table when placed atop it. Normally this didn't matter since Hermione never entertained for breakfast but she thought that she might have to enlarge the table to accommodate Severus when he woke. With a shrug and a flick of her wand she turned on the radio and decided that she'd deal with it later.

"...many days in year? She woke up with hope but she only found tears..."

Hermione began humming along with the soft music as she stood on tiptoes to retrieve her teapot from a cupboard. Filling the kettle with water from the sink she placed it on the stove and jabbed the element with her wand to light the flame. Turning to her son, she found him watching her intently.

"Well, your clothes never wear as well the next day and your hair never falls in quite the same way, you never seem to run out of things to saaaay," she sang, making the babe smile. She began to dance her way around the kitchen; grabbing her tea leaves and dropping a handful in the teapot before turning to her son and giving him a little dance that made him giggle.

Singing and dancing her way through the making of toast and tea, Hermione was completely oblivious to the fact that Severus had woken and followed the sound of her antics to the kitchen. It was only as she turned, still shaking her hips to the beat of the song, with a full teapot in one hand and a plate of toast in the other that she spotted him. He stood in the entrance to her kitchen with his shoulder against the wall, his arms crossed over his chest, and a smirk on his face. With a gasp she started and dropped everything in her hands.

Her embarrassment instantly switched to pain as the teapot smashed on the floor and washed piping hot tea all over her bare feet. Sebastian let out a startled cry as she shrieked and scurried backwards, reaching for the counter behind her. She had barely hauled herself on to it before Severus had his wand out and was Vanishing the mess on her floor.

"Hermione, I am so sorry," he murmured, rushing forward to take her dripping, red feet in his hands. She let out a little cry as he touched the tender flesh and he dropped them immediately.

"You need a burn paste," he told her. He quickly scooped her into his arms, carefully avoiding her feet, and headed for the bathroom.

"Sebastian!" she said, finally gaining some clarity through the pain that was racing up her legs. "What about Sebastian?"

"I'll get him in a minute," he grunted, shifting his grip on her weight. "I only have so many hands, woman."

"Will he—"

"He'll be fine for the two minutes he'll be alone," Severus said, nudging the bathroom door open with his foot. He deposited her on the counter top and commanded her to stay before he turned and left. When he returned it was with Sebastian in his seat which Severus deposited carefully on floor just outside the small bathroom where they could both see him.

"Where is your burn paste?" he demanded, reaching over her head to rifle through the cabinet behind the mirror. She could hear the glass phials tinkling against each other as he moved them aside in search of a pot that could hold his quarry.

"I don't have any," she told him, looking down at her red and swelling feet. "It expired a couple months ago and I haven't replaced it."

"Merlin's pants, witch!" Severus snarled, closing the mirror door with more force than strictly necessary. "You have a child in the house and you don't have magical remedies? I know that you are a Muggle-born but must you—"

"Hey," Hermione warned, her anger rising. "It was a simple mistake. The paste expired and I forgot to replace it. It's not like I haven't had a lot on my mind recently or anything!"

Severus paused and seemed to visibly swallow his retort. She watched his eyes as he apparently realized that he had been a bit too harsh, especially for first thing in the morning.

"My apologies," he murmured quietly, not meeting her eye. "I should not have implied that you are incapable because of your heritage."

Hermione sighed and rolled her eyes. "No, you should have implied that I'm incapable because I'm a Gryffindor, or a woman, or perhaps too young, instead."

"You are not incapable...most of the time," he admitted quietly.

"Oho!" she snorted. "Mark it on the calendar. Severus Snape has paid me a compliment."

"It's not that rare," he glared at her from underneath unkempt and unwashed hair.

She arched an eyebrow at him. His lips thinned.

"I will see if there is anything in your kitchen that will suffice for now."

She watched his retreat and careful manoeuvring around his son's seat. "I'll just stay here, shall I?"

He didn't answer and Hermione rolled her eyes. "Your father is going to try my patience, Sebastian," she told her son. The baby didn't answer and didn't seem to care as he stared off at something that only he could see.

Hermione sighed and looked down at her feet. They looked mildly grotesque; her toes were swollen and almost comical were it not for the blisters that had developed where the skin had been burnt beyond tolerance. Her mind briefly compared her feet to that of a lobster and she was about to swear off that particularly seafood when Severus returned with several items in his arms as well as her mortar and pestle.

"What are you going to do?" she asked, shuffling sideways to give him a bit of room on the counter.

"Always full of questions," he muttered.

"Of course," she answered cheerfully. "Now tell me your ways Obi Wan."

He looked up at her as if she were mental. Picking up his wand and a mango, he asked, "Obi Wan?"

"It's a Muggle thing," she waved her hand dismissively. "Now tell me before I badger you into an early grave."

Severus' lips twitched with amusement but he set about explaining what he was doing. With his wand he skinned the mango and separated it from the core as he told her that the cool flesh of the fruit would help draw the heat out of her skin. He mixed sage and cinnamon in the mortar before he set to grinding it together into a find powder. This, he explained, would help take away the sting that accompanies tender flesh. He mixed in the mango, mashing it up with the powder, until they were well mixed.

"Give me your foot," he murmured, placing the pestle down on the counter. He propped his knee up on the counter and gently placed her heel on his thigh before taking a scoop of the goop and spreading it over the top of one foot.

Hermione hissed at how cold the mango felt against her hot skin and instinctively jerked her foot away from the pain. Severus put the mortar down on the counter and pushed up her pant leg so that he could hold her shin tightly in his large hand. He murmured soothingly as he spread the mixture over her foot and toes before gently grabbing the other and repeating the process.

When he was done he quickly used his wand to spell away the mess that he had created and picked her up once more.

"You should sit on the side of the tub," he told her, placing her there. "Prop your feet up on the lavatory lid so that the mixture doesn't slide off before I get back."

"Where are you going?"

"My home is well stocked, I have burn paste there as well as a few other potions you should have on hand," he told her neutrally.

"Like what?" Hermione asked. "I thought I was pretty well stocked."

"You are low on Headache remedy and your rash cream for Sebastian is slowly turning yellow, it will go bad soon. I have the ingredients to make more," he said as he collected the spice bottles he had nicked from her kitchen and the now clean mortar and pestle. "I will not be long. Do you wish for me to take Sebastian with me or are you capable of handling him?"

"I'll be fine," she assured him. "Just bring him closer, if you don't mind?"

"Of course," he murmured. With a flick of his fingers the seat levitated slightly and came to rest next to the bathtub. It took up the majority of the floor space in her small bathroom and Severus had to carefully step around it to leave.


He paused and looked back over his shoulder at her, his face unreadable.

"Thanks for taking care of me," she smiled softly.

He smiled slightly in response and nodded. "I will return shortly."

Hermione heard him head back to the kitchen and deposit his burden before the Floo activated a few minutes later. She looked down at her goopy feat and sighed.

"I never used to be so clumsy, you know," she told her son. He looked at her and let out a happy shriek, reaching out one chubby hand towards her. She smiled and reached out to him, making the boy giggle.

Several minutes passed as Hermione played with her son's hands and feet and waited for Severus to return. After a while she decided, since he was taking so long and the pain in her feet had been reduced to a dull ache, that she would take her morning bath. Pulling her wand out of the pocket of her robe, Hermione quickly divested herself of her clothing. Sebastian shrieked and laughed at the display of magic as he so often did. She smiled and, wanting to hear him laugh some more, turned on the taps with her wand instead of her hand. He did not disappoint and kept up a happy soliloquy as she filled the tub, added bubbles and transfigured his seat so that it stood tall enough for him to see her over the rim of porcelain.

Placing her wand on the side of the tub, Hermione carefully lowered herself backwards and into the warm water. She sighed happily as the bubbles enveloped her and her muscles began to relax. She wasn't even all that uncomfortable with her feet perched on the edge of the tub and out of the way of the water.

That was how Severus found her, almost a half an hour later, as she made the bubbles shape themselves into animals for Sebastian's amusement. The door opened and he strode in, clearly not expecting her to be naked. In his hands were several phials and an earthen pot that most likely contained the burn paste. He stopped short and his eyes widened at the state of her undress but to his credit he did not drop anything like she had.

"I—I—I didn't mean—sorry," he stammered, averting his eyes and backing out. He bumped into the counter with his hip and almost tripped over the legs of Sebastian's seat as he tried to extricate himself from the situation.

"Severus!" Hermione called, laughing as he finally managed to get out of the bathroom. "Severus, come back! It's not like you've never seen me naked before!"

"Since when did you become an exhibitionist?" he demanded from the apparent safety of the hall. "I seem to recall you being shy."

"Yes, but you've seen it all, have you not?" she reasoned. "What's the point in hiding now? Come back in here you silly man."

She heard his pained sigh but he returned and she noticed for the first time that he was dressed differently. "That's not what you left in. Were you attacked by a wardrobe or something?"

"Har, har," he muttered, placing the phials and pot on the counter top before he sat down on the closed toilet lid. "I realized that I did not have all the ingredients I thought I did at my home. I had to go to my shop and I thought it might be more appropriate to be dressed to do so."

Hermione shrugged lightly. "I suppose so but I think I prefer you in sleep clothes."

Severus pulled his wand out of his sleeve and cast her another look that clearly said he worried for her mental state. With a wave of ebony he cleared away the mango mess from her feet. "Why on earth would you prefer that?"

"Because I'm the only one who gets to see it," she admitted, smiling as a light flush crept up his neck and into his face. Instead of responding, he gently took her foot in his hand and reached for the earth ware pot. He scooped out a liberal mount of the grey paste and spread it gently over her foot. Hermione tensed with the brief pain but it didn't last long as the magic of the remedy began working on her injury.

"Oh sweet Merlin," she moaned, sinking lower into the water. "Thank god for magic."

"Indeed," Severus muttered, his head down and face obscured by hair.

He worked in silence, spreading and massaging the cream into her skin. Hermione stopped watching and instead focused on enjoying the tingling feeling of magic and his fingers on her body. She knew that the redness of her skin would be dissipating and that the swelling and blisters would slowly vanish as well so she felt no need to catalogue the improvements. She trusted Severus' brewing abilities over anyone else's.

"Have I told you lately that you're incredible?" she murmured, completely relaxed with her feet in his hands and the warm water surrounding her. Sebastian was blissfully quiet for once and Hermione could almost forget that he was in the room. "Because you are. Bloody brilliant."

"Have you been drinking?" he asked dryly.

"Nooope," Hermione grinned. "I speak only the truth."

Severus was silent and Hermione let him be. She knew that he tended to react with disbelief or silence whenever he was complimented; she had noticed it before. The only time he accepted praise or compliments was when it was in reference to his son. He nearly smiled when she had informed him that he was far better at nappy changing than Harry was and he had nodded deferentially to Lavender when she had told him that she was impressed with how easily he seemed to take being a father. Anything else was a no-go.

"I am far from incredible," he finally said, his hands still smoothing over her skin even though the paste had been worked in thoroughly. "I am a difficult man to live with, Hermione."

"It will be weird living together," she agreed quietly. He snorted.

"Weird is not the word I would have chosen," he said. "We very nearly had an argument this morning over something that was completely my fault."

"It wasn't anyone's fault, Severus," Hermione countered, sitting up a bit. She watched his eyes dart from her feet to her now exposed and soapy breasts. "It was an accident, plain and simple. It's not like you meant to startle me into dropping tea all over my feet."

"I...wasn't referring to the tea," he said, looking back down at her foot, his face almost completely hidden by his hair. "I made a careless comment designed to hurt."

"Did you mean it?" she asked. "Do you honestly think that I'm inadequate as a Muggle-born witch?"

"No," he said forcefully, shaking his head. "You of all people, no. Even if you had not studied the Wizarding world with your usual fervour I do not believe that anyone could ever accuse you of being inadequate."

Hermione's eyebrows rose in shock but she refrained from commenting on the passion that had leaked into his voice. She knew that this was probably a sore spot for him, she hadn't forgotten the memory that Harry had shared with her about Severus, Lily Evans, and that horrible word, but she had to wonder why he seemed to still be making that same mistake. No, he hadn't called her a Mudblood and she didn't believe he ever would, but he was still lashing out at people and using their perceived weaknesses to hurt them.

"I didn't think so," she said after a moment. "If I did, you would not be here."

He nodded and looked down at her feet which he still held in his hands despite no longer massaging them. "I apologise."

"Accepted," Hermione said instantly and felt his hand tighten on her ankle. "It won't be easy for us, Severus, but nothing good ever is."

He sighed. "Perhaps it was a poor judgment to move in together so soon."


"We will fight, Hermione."

"Everyone fights, Severus. Not just couples but friends as well. Do you know how many times I've argued with Harry, not to even mention Ron?"

"This is different," he insisted. "I should not have said yes. I plead temporary insanity."

"Of course this is different," she said, wiggling her toes at him. He did not look up as she had hoped. "We're intimate, Severus. We have a son. We have one hell of a history. It's different but it's not impossible, either." She paused, trying to read his mostly hidden face. "Do you want to go back home?"

"Perhaps it would be for the best," he said quietly.

"That's not what I asked you," she said, sitting up completely and reaching forward. She moved his hair out of his face with a wet and soapy hand, leaving bubbles in his dark locks. He looked up at her touch and she found his eyes unguarded.

"Do you want to go back home, Severus?" she repeated.

"No," he murmured, holding her gaze.

"Okay," she nodded, leaning back into a comfortable position now that she could see his face. "Is this why you've been so distant with me? You've been brooding over this the entire week leading up to moving in together haven't you?"

He shrugged casually, looking away from her and towards their son. The slight movement caused the cuff of his sleeve to brush against the arch of her foot still in his hands and she gasped, jerking her foot out of his grip with the instinct of someone with extremely ticklish feet. Severus, with his finely honed instincts, just barely managed to dodge her heel and avoid a broken nose but the violent movement that it required sent him tumbling from the toilet to land on his arse.

Severus gaped at her from his position on the floor, legs askew and arms holding his body up. Hermione stared back, horrified.

"Severus, I am so sor—"

The wide eyed expression on his face melted into mirth and within seconds he had thrown his head back, laughing loudly. Hermione watched him in shock until Sebastian began to join in with his father; his high pitched giggles a direct contrast to Severus' deep, booming laugh.

"Your mother is going to send me to an early grave," Severus said, gasping for breath as he looked at his son's smiling face.

"I'm so sorry, Severus," Hermione tried again, smiling slightly. "The bottom of my feet are very ticklish and—"

"It's okay, it's okay," he held up a hand, still chuckling. "You did not break my nose...this time."

"There may be other times," she admitted ruefully, smiling wider now. "I apologise in advance."

Severus shook his head and picked himself up off the floor. With a heavy sigh he sat down on the edge of her tub and scooped up some water in his hand. She watched as he let it dribble through his fingers and on to her exposed knee.

"There may be other times that I act like an arse," he said quietly, watching the droplets of water race down her elevated thigh and into the water.

"And there may be times when I over react," she told him with a light shrug. "I'm an emotional person. I tend to feel before I think."

His lips quirked slightly. "I snore."

"Oh, that I know," Hermione chortled. "I'm terrible with picking up after myself."

"I noticed," he commented dryly. "Your bedroom floor resembles a graveyard of discarded clothing."

"I prefer to call it controlled chaos," she joked and watched him roll his eyes.

"I take exorbitantly long showers in the morning," he told her, dipping his hand into the water again. This time he traced the path of the water with his finger, making Hermione shiver.

"If you use up all of the hot water I will be forced to hurt you," she told him but her voice lacked any force because her eyes were glued to his fingertips tracing her knee.

"Perhaps you ought not to live in a Muggle building then," he reasoned, watching his hand as well. "You would not have to worry about running out of hot water in a magical home."

"I could never give up telly," she confessed, shifting slightly as a warm tingle began to spread throughout her abdomen.

"That contraption is almost as irritating as listening to squabbling children," he said, his voice deep and smooth. "Especially with all the women complaining about their hair."

"Commercials can be irritating," she agreed, her voice breathless. She watched his hand slip below the water, soaking the cuff of his white shirt.

His fingers found her hip and walked up her stomach before they began to trace the bottom of her ribcage. Hermione shuddered and, letting her feet drop into the warm water, reached for him. With one hand she repositioned his fingers so that they were cupping one wet breast while she snaked the other behind his neck. He did not resist as she pulled him closer and captured his lips with hers. His thumb swept over her nipple making her arch into his touch as his questing tongue muffled her quiet moan.

She wanted to pull Severus into the tub with her, his clothes be damned, but there was something about making love in front of her son that bothered her. Sure, he may not yet understand, but that didn't mean she wanted him to literally have front row seats.

Pulling back just enough to breath, she grinned at him. "If your son were not watching I'd take you in this tub."

"Would you, now?" he replied, smiling softly.

"I would," she nodded, tucking some of his hair behind his ear so that she could see his face. He met her gaze steadily, his eyes open and calm. She smiled wider.

"We don't have to have it all figured out, Severus," she murmured. "I'm willing to hash it out if you are."

He smiled softly and leaned in to place a chaste kiss against her lips.



A Harry Potter Story
by Alexis.Danaan

Part 13 of 26

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