I Don't Remember

Special Importance

Severus

Tonight was a night of special importance.

It was two weeks after the day I'd walked out of Hermione's childhood home and asked her to marry me. Somehow, we'd managed to survive the streams of questions raised by those who wondered how it happened and those who'd had no idea it was coming. A large part of it was owed Harry and Ginny, who helped navigate everyone among planning their own wedding reception and proven themselves so trustworthy as to now be members of my new extended family. Honestly, without them it couldn't possibly have been taken care of, because I was well in the middle of my own work; helping them behind the scenes to make sure Hermione's "surprise" party got of the ground.

I'd long since told my betrothed that the whole thing had been made up on the top of my head to avoid spilling the beans too soon about my love for her, but I still wanted to make this event happen. Something about the idea of throwing a party felt so… normal. I wanted to give it a try.

I was dressed to what I was told was "the nines". My vest was a swirl of silver and black lined with midnight stitching that changed from a deep blue to black, depending on the angle of light. The same threadwork wove its way into my black trousers and long cloak. My shirt, the little that was visible, was white. My hair, which I had styled for the occasion, lay two inches longer than the line of my shoulders and was pin straight. My underwear was- actually you have no business knowing that.

I vaguely played with the longest layer falling just beside my face as I looked in the mirror. The letter I'd sent to Lucius saying I was officially offering him the job was so far without reply, but the bird returned looking pleased so I knew it had been received. Unable to know how else to take it, and with no other plan, I assumed the answer was for the positive. Though the thing I hated most was waiting, it seemed in this instance I must. I sighed. My hope, my only real wish I had for the affair, was no one killed him off before term started.

I looked at my eyes in the mirror, the only thing about my person that had stayed the same… and changed. Before, they had been hard, dark; emotionless. Today they looked… not quite warm, but more open. Like the person on the inside was not so closed off as he had been, and no small wonder why. A fiancé! I never would have guessed it of myself. To be fair, though, I also wouldn't have ever guessed to have my life back.

The fire in the hearth blazed suddenly, drawing my attention away from my thoughts. It turned a shade of green, and a message flashed in front of my eyes alerting me to Harry Potter wishing to speak to me. I nodded my head, flicked my hand, and acknowledged. His face appeared in the fire, grinning.

"Ready, Severus?" he said, sounding far more excited than anyone had a right to be.

"You be the judge. Am I… fit to receive?"

He took my clothes into account, looking me over as only a man can do for another man- mercilessly, and trying not to make it awkward. "Your outfit is good. Is it warded though? We are gonna be partying."

I rolled my eyes. "My clothes are prepared for any kind of spill or stain yes, thank you." I paused a moment, considering my words. "I… was actually more concerned with… I'm still not used to…"

He seemed to understand. "She'll appreciate it, don't worry. I know enough about women, and Hermione, to know that."

I nodded, thinking of something else. "The outburst the other day… I've done everything I know how to make sure it doesn't happen, but have you talked to him?"

He shook his head, looking troubled. "No. Ron's not spoken to me, or his family, since. You worried?"

I frowned. "No. I don't care if he makes a scene again. I'm not going to say I wasn't upset with he decided to charge into my house and start levying threats, but if he's that mad…" My words trailed off, and I brought up another point. "Are… you doing okay? Ron's still your best friend."

He smiled thoughtfully. "Yeah. Thanks. Really, thanks. Besides, you've gotten to be a pretty close friend, too." He looked at me, searching, and seemed to find what he was looking for. I looked down for a moment, trying not to feel awkward, then met his eyes.

"I won't say I'm prepared to say this but… You've become close as well. You've really been there for me recently… Friend."

Harry smiled wider for a moment and shook his head slightly. "Don't worry about it." He looked down, then back at me. "Just checked the time. You'd better get over here."

I nodded. "Move aside then." The fire became blank, and I walked through it like I owned the world.

Hermione

I stood in the drawing room of 12 Grimmauld Place, trying to pretend that nothing was going on. So what if I was wearing my best dress? So what if my hair had been straightened (a particularly harrowing task) and was falling over my shoulders in soft waves that breezed like the ocean? I was just doing a bit of honest book reading. No party happening here.

Ohmygosh would the surprise just start already?

I had arrived roughly ten minutes earlier, under the guise of "you have a book I don't no it's fine I'll read it here" and swore I could hear sounds outside. Recently, they had begun to quiet, and with nothing to distract me from being distracted, I had begun to get irritable. Previously unknown traits like tapping my toes, biting my lip, and flicking my hair over my shoulder and back were suddenly making themselves known in gratuitous amounts.

Finally I could take it no longer and slammed the book shut, huffing. The flash of light accompanying the motion caught my eye, and my gaze fell to the ring on my hand. I felt my shoulders drop as my arm relaxed, a smile touching my lips. It was beautiful. Everything about it, the small simplicity of it, the way it fit my finger…

I felt my chest swell, and I fell back into the couch with a sigh, holding my arms around my chest and giggling in a very silly, love-sick way. I had begun to relax and just be in love. And it was so easy… sooo easy to be in love. Much easier than I'd thought possible, possibly because before the only 'love' I'd known had been Ron. Love with Ron took work… cooperation… understanding that there'd be differences between us that might never be worked through, and that was just how it was. With Severus, the man I knew, the man I loved… We both loved books. We both loved learning. We both would sit up late, sitting on a couch in front of a fire with a thick tome in front of us sipping tea, or else talking about something, laughing about something else.

And when we kiss…

A knock at the doorframe caused me to look up. Harry was smiling at me, black hair everywhere. "Hey 'Mione. Wanna come outside for no particular reason what-so-ever?"

I grinned back at him.

"Love to."


Harry

There was a drink in my hand, and thank God for it. Not that I really like drinking, just, how many times to you really get to be properly sloppy at your reception/best friend's party? Not really a birthday party anymore though, I thought, watching Hagrid (back from dealing with giants again) draining a whole keg all by himself. More of an engagement party…

My eyes wandered lazily around, to my own beautiful girlfriend. I grinned, catching myself. No, my wife. How had I gotten so lucky? How had the pieces of my life managed to fall into such perfect arrangement? Then I shook my head, realized I didn't really care, and took another big gulp.

Coming up from the firewiskey I looked around for Hermione. Ah, there she is, with Severus. His arm was around her, and he was leaning his head on the top of her head. He saw my look and raised a hand. I raised my glass in return. He put his arm back around her. A friendly gesture that I was pleased was also becoming familiar.

It had been… well, a really great day. Hermione had somehow feigned surprise for her family, who had come one and all to congratulate Hermione on finishing school. Severus had prepared a wonderful speech, followed by an amazing show on the dance floor. Her family had met ours, all the Weasleys and the surviving members of the order (including the people still around from Dumbledore's Army and Tonks and Remus's baby son carried by Andromeda). There had been lots of food, more cake, songs, games, and, the stage we were at now, drinking. And while it was hilarious to watch burly uncles try and drink a half-giant under the table, when I wasn't looking at Ginny I only had eyes for the couple of the hour. I had never, never, seen Hermione this happy, let alone Snape. And this time, as Severus, the happiness wasn't darkened by a sick joy in the misplaced rage against, well, me. Here was a pair that had been through hell, and had managed to pull each other out of it. Would it be a storybook marriage? I didn't know, but the more I saw, the more I thought… yeah. The major problems that had troubled (respectively, family background, hero worship, and Voldemort) had all but diminished or else could be handled by banding together. The way they acted, the way they looked together, it seemed like their biggest problem would just be not being awkward in the bedroom.

I heard a door slam, and remembered the other, other problem. Before even turning I swallowed my drink, trying to be prepared for an angry Ron.

I swirled around ready to do damage control to see my position already filled. Molly Weasley and Mr. and Mrs. Granger had stopped him, and were talking to him in frantic, low tones. I considered going over anyway and stopped, gathering myself as I saw Severus Snape walking quickly and calmly across the yard, Hermione standing a few feet away looking put out. I met her eyes, and she rolled hers, looking at Ron and then the sky. I understood, and walked forward to catch what was going on.

"-my friend's party!" Ron was screaming across the lawn, luckly mostly drowned out by music and drinking sounds.

"And that would be fine, and you would be perfectly welcome here, if I thought for an instant you felt like celebrating. Your style of entrance, slamming doors and waving your wand in the presence of people who are being peaceful-"

"It's my family's house and I can do whatever I want here!" Ron replied hotly.

"Ron, son…" Molly Weasley began gently, placing a hand on Mrs. Granger's shoulder. "It's my house, too, dear, and it would really show a lot of respect to Hermione's family if you just calmed down."

"Oh, respect." I saw his mouth tighten into a line I was familiar uncomfortably familiar with. I walked forward, intent on stopping the fight before it got started. "You wanna talk about respect? What about the way he treated me and Harry, huh? What about that?"

"Ron I've apologized for that-"

"Don't call me that! You don't know me nearly well enough to call me that!" He rounded on Severus, and I managed to reach the group.

"Ron, mate, you've gotta stop this." I knew I sounded tipsy, but that didn't mean I wasn't right. "You know we love having you around but if you're gonna act this way you need to stay away for a while."

"Oh, so you choose him over me now, huh?" He glared. "Fine then. Whatever." He looked at Mrs. Weasley. "See you later mom."

He stormed back into the house. Mr. and Mrs. Granger looked shocked. Molly rushed in after him. After a moment, I did too. Molly was sitting at the kitchen table, crying. I didn't have to ask why. When Severus showed up a second later with a worried looking Hermione, I explained to them in low tones, "It's just like when Percy left…"

We watched Mrs. Weasley cry, all of us lost on what to do. We knew it had happened too fast for anyone to have noticed, and while we were glad about that how could we cheer her up on our own?

Suddenly Hermione walked over, and sat next to her. She spoke in whispers, looking at Molly Weasley's downturned face. Finally the mother of seven looked up, her eyes drying slightly. She smiled at Hermione and reached out to touch her face. Then, suddenly bright, she rushed out the room.

Hermione got up a moment later, making to follow her. We jumped her. "What did you ask?" We said in stereo.

Hermione grinned. "I told her I would be getting married soon, and knew she and Mr. Weasley had a big family… I wondered if she could give me any tips."

With all I'd had to drink, it took me a minute to get what she was saying. By the time I had, Hermione had grinned and run off, leaving me in the kitchen with a very red Severus.



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