After Dinner Diversions
Miriam Snape stepped out the door of The Three Broomsticks into the cold night air. She gave a slight shiver as she finished buttoning her black wool cloak and slipped her hands into her dragon-hide gloves. Miriam sighed and wondered when the weather would stop being so uncooperative; even as Scottish winters went, this one was proving to be particularly bitter and damp.
A firm hand settled onto her lower back. Miriam gave a slight turn, and found her cool gray eyes looking into her husband Severus' black orbs.
"Shall we?" Severus asked as he offered his left arm and motioned with his right hand towards a small stone bench a few yards away.
Miriam smiled and slipped her right hand into the crook of Severus' arm. The pair walked leisurely towards the bench, Severus' dragon-hide boots crunching the snow beneath them.
"Thank you for dinner tonight Severus," Miriam said. "It was wonderful to get away from the castle for a few hours. Oh, and I forgot to tell you earlier how grateful I am that you arranged for a school carriage so we wouldn't have to walk in this weather."
"You're welcome," Severus replied as he flicked his wand at the bench, clearing it of snow so they could sit down. "Even without this weather I knew you wouldn't be up for the walk with your penchant for frivolous footwear," he said with a slight glint in his eye as he glanced downward at Miriam's feet.
Laughing, Miriam raised the hem of her traveling cloak a few inches to reveal a stunning pair of heeled, mid-calf black leather boots. "I love these boots! Besides, I hardly ever get a chance to take them out on the town like they deserve."
"Well, their time is almost over. The carriage will be here shortly to take us back to the castle," Severus said with a slight smirk. A comfortable silence settled over the pair. Miriam scooted closer to Severus and rested her head against his broad shoulder as Severus slipped his left arm around her slender waist. Together they took in the sky full of stars as the cold winter air hung around them.
"What is that?" Miriam asked as she pointed to a moving shadow coming out from behind a large oak.
Severus cast a Lumos which revealed a large dog with black fur slinking its way towards the couple. "It appears to be a rather unkempt mongrel," Severus said with a slight sneer.
"Oh, Severus," Miriam sighed. "You're fortunate my familiar is of the feline variety, what with your aversion of canines." Miriam proceeded to draw her wand out of her cloak, pointed it at a stick on the ground and transfigured it into a bone. With that finished, she levitated the bone away from the bench towards the dog.
Wearily, the dog approached the couple and sniffed the bone. The large animal growled at Severus before it settled down on its haunches and began to gnaw away at the treat.
"Oh ho, looks like he doesn't care for you too much, Severus," Miriam joked. Severus merely rolled his eyes at his wife and pulled her closer. Silence once again settled over the pair as a light snow began to fall. Miriam held out her left hand and watched as the crystalline flakes drifted gently onto her palm before they melted away. After a few minutes, Miriam shifted slightly and turned to Severus. "You know," Miriam said, "I just realized that we need to start planning our anniversary trip. The Spring hols will be here before we know it."
"Mmmm," Severus nodded. "Since I planned last year, this year is your turn. It will be nice to get away, especially after the second task. That leaves just one more in this blasted Tournament."
"Indeed," Miriam replied. "Though I'm rather anxious with Moody 'looking after' Mr. Potter on this one. Part of me wishes that Albus had never asked Moody and I to look after him, while another part wishes it was just my responsibility. "
"You can't have your hand in everything, Mia," Severus replied. "Besides, you subtly putting the idea to Ms. Granger to help Potter practice how to Accio objects was more assistance than you needed to provide to that spoiled-"
Severus was cut off as a low growl emanated from the large black dog. As the couple looked on, the dog rose from its spot, stretched and proceeded to walk over to Miriam. The dog then sat to her left, tilted its head and regarded her with an expression that could only be described as a smirk.
Miriam surveyed the dog, her small nose wrinkled in concentration. "This dog seems rather….odd. Doesn't it seem strange the way it's looking at me, Severus?"
Severus glanced down and replied, "Perhaps. Though I think your judgment is colored by your being an Animagus. " At that statement, Miriam shot Severus a scowl. Severus held up his right hand and continued on, "I was merely implying that it is easy for you to assign human feelings and attributes to animals when they don't often need to be. "
Miriam's expression softened at Severus' words and a small smile flitted across her face. Severus slowly brought his hand to her cheek and brushed across her cool skin with his lightly calloused fingertips. Miriam's eyes fluttered shut as Severus leaned in and lowly said, "Besides, I could really care less about the dog. I'm much more interested in hearing your thoughts on where we should go for our anniversary."
Miriam opened her eyes and smiled up at Severus. She brought her hand up to press against his chest. "I was thinking that this year we might visit Spain."
"Really? What made you think of Spain?"
"Well, we've never gone there for starters. I'm also interested in visiting the Casa Navás in Reus-it sounds absolutely beautiful. "
"It sounds like it could be interesting," Severus conceded. "Although I may need further convincing that this particular trip will be worth my time. I am, after all, sacrificing all my allotted vacation days for it."
Miriam leaned in closer to Severus, and brought her left hand up to tuck back a loose strand of Severus' black hair. "Well, there will also be the leisurely days spent in each other's company…no schedules…no students." Miriam smirked at Severus and leaned in closer so that their lips were mere millimeters apart. "And with the weather being so much warmer I won't have to wear so many layers-"
Severus' eyes darkened and his arm tightened around Miriam's waist. Severus pulled Miriam closer as he brought his lips down to capture hers. Miriam entwined her fingers into Severus' hair as her right hand grasped hold of his cloak. Miriam felt a chill of anticipation race down her spine as she relaxed into Severus' embrace, but the feeling was short-lived. The intimate moment was interrupted by the sound of carriage wheels rolling across the snow covered road. Miriam gave a small sigh of disappointment as the carriage came to a stop before them.
Severus smirked and looked down at his wife. "Your carriage awaits, Mrs. Snape. Perhaps we should take this discussion somewhere more private? I think our chambers back at the castle would do nicely." Severus stood and extended his hand towards Miriam.
Miriam grasped his offered hand. As she stood, Miriam looked into his impassive face and purred, "I couldn't agree more…Professor."
Severus opened the carriage door and guided her towards the step. "Thank you, Severus," Miriam whispered. She made sure that as she climbed into the carriage her body brushed against Severus as much as possible, and took pleasure from the sharp intake of air that escaped from him.
As Miriam settled herself into the seat, Severus bounded up the step and into the dark interior of the carriage. He had barely managed to shut the door when he found his lap filled by Miriam's soft body. She had shed her cloak upon her entrance into the carriage. The fabric of her robes pooled in his lap and flowed over either side of him. Her soft scent of pink jasmine and amber wrapped around him as her body pressed him further into the leather seat.
"Shhhhh," Miriam said as she tugged the glove off her right hand and gently pressed a delicate finger to Severus' cool lips. "I'm feeling rather chilled from waiting outside for so long. I was thinking you might know how to best warm me up?" Miriam asked.
Severus stared into Miriam's soft eyes. He shifted his gaze down the graceful curve of her neck and over the brocade design on the bodice of her robes. Severus brought his eyes back to Miriam's face as his hands came to rest on the curve of her lower back. He slowly trailed his hands up her spine and removed the black wool pillbox hat from her head and tossed it onto the other seat. Severus' hands ghosted down her arms to grasp Miriam's waist, his thumbs tracing small circles on her hipbones through her dark green robes. Miriam smiled and closed her eyes, focused on the warmth that seeped through her robes from Severus' large hands.
"Take out your hair combs," Severus said, his voice low and sensuous.
Miriam opened her eyes and slowly brought both her hands up to her head and pulled out the silver hair combs that kept her hair in place. She tossed the combs behind her next to the hat and shook her head lightly. Severus' eyes glinted appreciatively as Miriam's dark brown curls cascaded down her shoulders and back, framing her heart-shaped face. Miriam kept her eyes locked with Severus' and smirked as she combed her hands through her locks.
"Come here, witch," Severus breathed as his hands tightened around Miriam's hips, guiding her down further onto his lap. Miriam leaned forward and brushed her full lips along Severus' jaw. Severus wove his hands into Miriam's curls and brought her lips to his for a lingering kiss. The carriage started off towards the castle with a jolt, its occupants oblivious to the movement, focused only on each other.