I Don't Remember

What Were You Thinking

Harry

I sat at the table and lifted the cup to my mouth and sipped, sighing in appreciation. The blend was something called "kona", a type of coffee from an island state many, many miles from here. My adoptive family teased me about it often that I had recently switched to coffee rather than the usual beverage of tea. I gave them grins and smiles and silent acceptance, but in the quiet of the night I told Ginny the truth; after what felt like a million meetings drinking tea and being told bad news, I simply couldn't stomach the stuff anymore.

The morning was a fairly standard morning. I'd had a shower punctuated by firecrackers going off inside the house followed by a loud "sorry!" from somewhere downstairs, and Ron had popping his head in to let me know he was heading out. I hadn't thought twice about it- he was always ether here or at the Burrow. I remember kissing Ginny as she slept in and pulling on some jeans and a button down before traipsing downstairs to greet Kreature. The Unfailable Messenger had caught me putting eggs on my plate and nearly caused me to drop the whole thing until I realized what was going on. When I did and read the message, smiled, and then sat down for some breakfast and finally going over the letter I'd recently received from Hagrid. I had managed two paragraphs and one piece of toast when a loud door slammed, followed by another door, yet another, stomps up and then down the stairs, finally resulting in Ron running into the kitchen looking messier than I'd ever seen him.

"Ron! What-"

"I can't believe she did this Harry!"

"Who did… A girl did this to you?"

He stared at me like I was the crazy one. "What? No! No I did this to myself!"

I slowly straightened up, putting a hand on my wand. "Ron… are you feeling all right?"

"Of course I'm not feeling all right!" He slammed his hand into the door frame, causing the house to creak. "And I don't know how you're being so calm about it!"

I tilted my head, trying to think. "What are you…" A light bulb blinked on. "Oh! This is about Hermione!"

"Of course this is about Hermione!"

"Well, don't worry about it." I said, straightening out my letter once more and playing dumb. "The party was managed to be re-scheduled, and once Ginny's done getting house ready we'll be able to go ahead and throw her 'surprise' party as planned."

"You've got to be kidding Harry."

"No no, not at all. You as well as anyone know girls can be crazy about decorating; I'm sure Ginny will have the house done in no time."

"I'm not talking about that." Ron spat through clenched teeth. "I'm talking about a wedding."

"What wedding?" I asked innocently.

"Hermione and Snape!"

"Ooooh, that's what you meant." I responded, as though it had never occurred to me. Nodding gravely, I put down my letter and folded my hands on the table. "Ah yes, yes… Now that you mention it I did get that Unfailable Messenger just now saying something of the sort..."

"Can you believe that?" He asked, more of a yell than a question.

"Honestly? No, but I'm glad for it."

"How can you be glad? She's marrying the biggest creep we ever-"

"Yeah yeah I know, he was a mean teacher to us while we were in school, but Ron that's in the past." I sighed and turned my body to follow him while he paced around the kitchen. "She's our friend, and this is up to her, don't you think?"

"I still don't get why she couldn't have just stayed my girlfriend and be done with it." He growled.

I sighed again. This had to have been the thirtieth time we'd gone over this. "Ron you know the answer to that! You wanted both wanted different things. I can't blame her for going after someone who wasn't gonna try and change her."

He swerved, his hands in the air. "I wasn't trying to change her! If she had been a little more patient-"

"Ron get serious. Hermione is too independent to just stand by and hope you come around all the time. She might have put up with this five years ago, but I think she's tired of crying of you. And, not to be a prick here, but I'm getting tired of holding her hand when she does."

"You really think that's fair, mate? Throwing that on me?"

"I think it's fair to let Hermione be with who she wants. And apparently, that's Severus."

"How can you call him that?" he asked, both hands on the table.

"What?"

"Severus."

"I don't know, because I'm not a 12 year old?"

"After everything he-"

I slammed my hand down, knocking my breakfast off the plate and tipping my glass of milk. I didn't even notice. I hated losing my patience like this but I'd had to go over this too many times. "Damn it Ron, do not turn this into a replay of what happened in our Fourth year! Yes, Ron, after everything he did; all the detentions, punishments, House Points deducted, threats, insults, murders, and inadvertently causing the death of my parents, I'm cool with it. He saved our lives. He helped us save the world! What the hell kind of excuse do you have for not being fine with it also?"

"He's going to marry Hermione!"

"Oh well of course." I threw my hands in the air. "Let's just call him up and we can knock his teeth out right here cause he's gonna marry Hermione!" I pointed a finger at him. "Look, you wanna be jealous? Fine. Be jealous. But think about this: You moved on. She may have pulled the plug but you got a girlfriend first. So you can be jealous, but don't think you'll get any sympathy from me."

Ron stood staring at me, less than an inch of space between my hand and his face. We squared off like that for about two more minutes, no one blinking, until he finally growled and stormed out of the house. A heard a faint pop of an Apparation spell.

Sighing, fighting to calm down, I looked at the table covered in my breakfast with milk starting to drip onto the floor. For a moment, I just looked at it, gathering my thoughts. Then I grabbed a towel off a near-by counter, bent, and started cleaning it up.

Hermione

"So… You really like the color gold? Is that what I'm supposed to get from this?"

Ginny didn't even look up from the piles of cloth-of-gold napkins we were intricately folding, one by one, with a swish of a wand and flick of the wrist. Growing up a Muggle I appreciated not having to do it all by hand, but somewhere around the 173rd golden napkin shaped like a duck I'd become disenchanted with the whole thing. She, however, seemed as gung-ho as she ever had, and her brows were furrowed with concentration.

"Gold isn't a color I like, Hermione. It's a color that fits."

I was resting my head on one hand, the other holding my wand in the air making the monotonous gesture. My face lifted slightly when I rolled my eyes. "Fits what, exactly?"

She sighed, turning to look at me with a motion of obvious annoyance. "The theme. It's all in this book, A Million and One Things To Say on Your Special Day. Gold means forever."

"Oh. Really?"

"How should I know?" She replied, her voice impatient. "But this is going to be perfect. This party will be the trifecta of you graduating, Harry cementing his career in the Ministry, and the wedding reception I didn't have time for. Nothing is going to stop me."

Two-hundred fourteen napkins now. I sighed. Another wand flick. "No wonder Harry isn't here."

"Actually I point blank told him to get out…" Her eyes were searching the piles of fabric, pulling bits of lace and velvet to her to make flowers with after we were done here. "Didn't want him interfering with the busywork."

"Ah." I nodded, feeling a bit put out. "So I'm good for busywork?"

"Well we all knew that Hermione." I scowled. Two- hundred thirty-two. I heard her fabric scrapping for a few minutes while I finished up the last ones, and then she paused. When she spoke she was grinning so huge I could hear it. "Actually… I also wanted to talk about the Messenger you sent out today…"

I blushed, the duck pausing in the air mid-fold. "I made everything very clear in the announcement."

"Yes, you did." She said matter-of-factly. "But you didn't seriously think that I'd invite you over to help me with party preparations and not poke you for answers about yours?"

I bit my lip. "…Kind of?"

She grinned, throwing the fabric down to look at me from across the floor. "Couldn't be more wrong." Hands clapped together. "Spill it!"

"Spill what?" I exclaimed, dropping my own wand and facing her.

"How'd this get started? What have you two done? All the details right now right here go!"

"Calm down calm down!" I held up my hands for emphasis, then sighed, thinking. "I guess the day we first really started talking was the day Ron and me broke up."

"Oooooo, little rebound action." She rubbed her hands together. I threw a napkin at her head.

"Oh stop it was nothing like that!" I dropped my shoulders and looked at the ceiling. "It was more like… We'd been talking before, and I'd struck a few nerves, but this was the first thing that could be passed off as 'general conversation.' This was open, honest feelings and talking about those open, honest feelings. And we had a few moments after that, him carrying me home from Hogsmeade one night, that sort of thing… Ohhh…" I blushed, remembering something.

"What?" Ginny grinned, seeing my look.

"Oh ummm… There was this one time, when we almost ran into Malfoy."

"Lucius Malfoy?" she exclaimed. I nodded. She cringed.

"Exactly. Well, we were talking next to his office getting ready to go upstairs, when Severus stops and says Malfoy's coming. I didn't know what else to do, so… I jumped into his arms and he Vanished us." She made a giggling sound and I shot her a dirty look. She quieted immediately. I started talking again. "Malfoy comes down the stairs and I started mentally comparing the two, and, well… It was really easy to notice the fact that Severus had the softest, palest skin and smelled amazing."

"You dirty tramp." She laughed as I threw another napkin at her head, missing by a yard. "But come on! What have you two done?"

"We haven't done anything!"

"Awww, you can tell me Hermione."

"No I mean really, we haven't! We kissed once…"

"Yeah I heard about that. It was apparently a really steamy one in the lake that your folks walked in on, which is why your party was re-scheduled and by all reports Snape had the reddest cheeks anyone had ever seen the remainder of the End of Year Ball."

"Yes, thank you." I threatened another napkin, and she flew herself down to dodge the hit. It never came. "Well, that's all we've done."

"That's completely unacceptable though!" She threw her arms up in protest.

"Why are you saying this to me?"

"Hermione you're engaged. You've got to do stuff."

"Ginny, I've only been engaged for about a day and before then I wasn't aware that I was dating."

"Not the point at all. This is a fun time, and you've got to have fun. Go out, have dinner, see a show, spend a night together, spend a night together."

I ignored the elbow motion she made at my ribs. "Ginny just because you and Harry are at that point in your relationship doesn't mean we all are."

"Hermione, it's really great. And not just the bedroom part of it; being able to be really close with someone that you trust 100% and talk and be yourself away from everyone else is wonderful, too."

"I can do that without being in bed, Ginny."

"The bedroom part is fun though!"

I slapped my forehead. "This isn't the conversation I wanted to be having with my friend and best friend's wife."

"Why, because you're afraid of doing it yourself?"

"No because I don't want to think about Harry" I stopped, blushing, and lowered my voice, "cleaning your cobwebs."

"I get that, believe me! I felt the same way when Ron dated Lavender back at Hogwarts." I let this slide; I was long over Ron and it didn't faze me. "But it's worth talking about since you're going to be there soon."

I sighed, hunching my back; a visual sigh of defeat. "All right." I looked up, eyebrows lowered. "But I don't want any of this going outside this room."

"Deal." She picked up and waved her wand to cause the piles of papers, cloth, and buttons around us to go sailing into various piles, clearing up a small circle of space around us on the floor. She scooted in closer to be next to me, taking on the air of a very serious and professional council member. "Now then," her fingers were pointed, touching the edge of her mouth. "Why haven't you pushed your limits with your new fiancé?" Her fingers moved to point to me, and I thought about my answer.

"Well… I don't know if it's just that I haven't had the time… Or, more likely… I have never been in a serious relationship before and didn't expect to be in one so soon. But I do love him!" I added quickly, clarifying. "I don't regret this at all! I just… I'm new to all this."

She sat there, nodding her head to what I was saying. "Well, I was new to it all, too. You wanna know what I did?"

I nodded, tilting my head to the side.

"I asked him about it."

I slapped her shoulder. "Get off it."

"No, honestly! I broached the topic one day, and we just… talked about it."

"Oh so, what? 'Hey Severus, mind if I go a bit past kissing right now? Maybe take things to the bedroom?'"

"I'm not saying ask for permission before you do anything, Hermione!" She huffed, crossing her arms. "I just mean… Ask him what he likes. Find out if he'd want you to run your hands over him, or if he's a fan of having his neck kissed, something like that… Then just do it sometime."

I thought about that. I thought about sitting down and talking about what our experience with intimacy was, finding out what each liked or didn't like or wanted to try… Then unbuttoning his shirt slowly... I shivered and blushed, hiding my face with my hands. "I don't know if I can do this Ginny."

She sighed, then patted my shoulder. "Think about it this way, Hermione." I looked up to see her smiling reassuringly at me. "You love him, he loves you, so whatever it is you're thinking, trust me… He's thinking it too."

Severus

For once, I was nowhere near my office.

I was at Spinner's End in my old bedroom on the second floor looking out the window. On my desk was a mass of papers, the one on top a letter from Hermione's parents letting me know were definitely in to come to the party. The ones scattered about, everything from bank statements to the upcoming school year's lunch and dinner menu needing my approval.

Oh, and one very low-key letter from Lucius Malfoy, inquiring as to whether or not I still wanted him to replace me as Potions Master.

The question, asked so pointedly, had my mind in a mental battle. I didn't know what answer to give.

On the one hand, Lucius had obviously lost his mind to some extent. From what I had witnessed a few days ago his hatred of Muggle-borns possibly ran too deep for him to be trusted teaching students from all walks of life. On the other hand, the fact that he'd had the courage to send me a letter after our last meeting showed promise. It was entirely possible he was actually humbled, really ready to turn over a new leaf. On the fourth finger finger of my left hand hand, I had a new fiancé to think about and I was having a hard time caring about any of this. I was in love, dammit!

Hermione really was occupying most of my thoughts, a past time I thought I would have gotten used to by now, but had only multiplied since she'd said yes to my proposal. Right now, somewhere, she was wearing the ring I gave her, my ring, and living her life. Just as easy and care-free as ever. Like it was no big deal to be engaged to me, Severus Snape. The whole notion made me so giddy I felt like I could jump around the house laughing all day.

But the world hadn't stopped, and there was business to attend to. Like right now. Lucius Malfoy, for all he was and ever would be, had finally been brought down to Earth and I didn't think he liked it. People had told me he had walked of slowly, and left so immediately he wasn't aware of the events that transpired at the lake. Whether he knew now was doubtful; the incident had been handled gracefully, and the few who did know outside those involved saw no reason to go blabbing even without being bribed. Even if he didn't, the change in my relationship status to engaged with Hermione Granger was getting to be well known. She and I were together, were going to stay together, and he was going to have to come to terms with that and so much more.

I paced back to the table, rifling through to find the letter he'd send. It seemed… dull. Lackluster. Bland. Had he truly lost his spark? Or was this his way of turning down the job without turning down the job? If he was still worried about keeping up appearances (and I wasn't ruling anything out yet) then there was no way he would ever openly turn down a position of power. If I was wrong and reading the wrong thing out of this letter, then he was honestly depressed and a changed man, and this was my moment to give a man who was previously beyond salvation a second chance. Everything hinged on my ability to deduct the true meaning and respond accordingly.

Mmmmm… I wonder if I can learn to do the same thing with Hermione's body language.

I stopped short of slapping myself in the forehead, before smiling softly to myself. Months of keeping myself, my wants, was something that was hard to be. Months? Let's be honest here… Years. Recently it had been my feelings about Hermione, but my habit of burying myself went way beyond that. No longer. Everything was breaking free for me, and my mind soared with the chance to truly be limitless.

At the same time, my pulse raced with the knowledge that I could reach for her, kiss her, hold her, and it would be alright...

I wasn't stopping to worry in that moment about how to do it right, what if I would do it wrong, or if I would be able to please her as her husband as well as her friend. I simply let my mind wander, rejoicing privately that it could wander, and then slowly pulled myself back out of my head to stare, sullen and sure, at the blank piece of paper before me.

I reached for a quill, dabbed it with ink, and then began, narrating aloud as I did.

"To… Lucius… Malfoy…"



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