Beta(s): Amortentia in my Veins and brenamarie
(Highlight to View) Warning(s): None.
(Highlight to View) Prompt: When Severus and Hermione inadvertently look into the Mirror of Erised together, this is what they see (SS/HG).
Note: Thanks for a prompt that was so intriguing I couldn't pass it up!
Summary: Severus and Hermione stumble upon the Mirror of Erised while making rounds at the school. What do each of them see, and why does Hermione stroke the mirror's reflection?
Severus stormed down the corridor, a grimace on his face. This was the third night in a row he'd had hall duty as Filius had been sick, and Aurora had asked him to cover her shift as she was away visiting her family. Over the past three nights he'd broken up a countless number of couples, given seven detentions, taken fifty points and almost hexed two children. He considered them lucky.
Pulling aside a curtain, he was actually relieved that there were no snogging students behind it. This night couldn't end soon enough. He still had three floors and his favorite area, the Gryffindor common room and hallway, to do. He rolled his eyes. How he wished the little fools would just stay in their dormitory for one blessed night.
He opened a classroom door and stepped within, shining his lit wand around, making sure no one was there before exiting and closing the door behind him.
"Oh, there you are Severus," Hermione Granger said as she approached him with a smile.
Severus sighed. "Granger." He looked her up and down. "What brings you out this late at night? I would think you'd want your beauty sleep."
A small frown came over the woman's mouth before she turned it into a toothy grin. "I thought you might like some company. I know you've been doing rounds for three nights now."
Severus harrumphed. "Really, Granger, I can patrol the halls without your company."
"Oh, I know that, Severus. I just thought a little company would make you less grumpy."
Severus looked at her crossly. He lifted himself up on his toes, then rested back down again quickly as he mulled over whether to let her join him or chase her off with his scowl and coarse words. Part of him wanted to scare her off, but the other part… the larger part if he were to be fully honest… wanted to spend some time with her.
Scowling, he finally said something. "Fine, but don't get in the way."
Granger smiled, and Severus could swear the hallway lit up.
"Come along," he said as he moved down the hallway to the next room and opened the door.
They entered one after the other, looked around the room and left. They moved down the hall towards the next classroom.
"I heard that the International Alchemy Guild wants to have you as the opening speaker at their convention," Granger said to him.
Severus frowned. "How did you hear that?"
"Minerva may have mentioned it."
They opened the next door and quickly examined it before moving on.
"Minerva is a busybody," Severus growled.
"Oh, Severus. She was just excited for you!"
"She needn't be, as I'm not doing it."
Granger turned and gaped at him. "Why not?"
"They're nothing but a pompous bunch of know-it-alls. They refuse to accept any form of potion creating that doesn't involve spells and magicks."
"But Severus, think of the prestige in opening for them. You have to do it!"
"Granger, I don't have to do anything."
"Ugh, I know that, but this is a huge honor, and you're just throwing it away!"
He frowned. "It's not throwing anything away if I have no desire to be involved."
"You need to do this, Severus!"
"Don't tell me what to do, Grang…"
He had opened another classroom door, and they had stepped in while arguing and looking at each other. As he turned his head, he realized just what room they had entered. This was the room with the object in it. Taken by surprise, he was unable to tear his eyes away from what was harbored in the classroom. He looked directly into the Mirror of Erised.
His lips thinned as he stared at what he saw. All the faculty knew the mirror was housed in this classroom, and he'd been very careful not to look into it during previous rounds. This time, however, he'd been arguing with Granger and hadn't even realized they'd come upon the Erised classroom. Now he stared into the mirror… a reflection of his deepest desire. He frowned as he admitted to himself how ironic what he saw was.
There he stood in black ceremonial robes, holding hands with his bride. He was smiling and obviously happy. They turned to one another and kissed each other lovingly.
His eyes narrowed at the mirror because he knew that it was just torturing him. The beautiful woman in the flowing wedding dress that he was kissing was the same woman who was at his side right now… Hermione Granger. Anger filled him at the absurdity of what he saw, and the knowledge that there was no way in hell that desire would ever be fulfilled.
He glanced at Granger. She had a shocked look on her face as she stared at the mirror. Her shock turned to a small smile. She left Severus' side and moved to the mirror. Reaching out, she caressed whatever she saw in the mirror. His heart lurched at the sight of her being so enraptured by what she was seeing because he knew it couldn't involve him.
Severus felt rage course through him. The witch at the mirror was who he wanted but she would never be his. She was too good for him. He was broken from everything that had happened during the war years. She deserved someone who was whole. In any case, she could never see him as someone desirable. He would forever be alone. The unfairness of it all made him furious.
"Granger!" he said menacingly.
She turned and met his eyes. She blushed profusely. Severus sneered at her.
"Are you done gawking at that infernal mirror? With that mess of hair atop your head, I hope you saw a vision of it tamed?"
Granger's eyes widened and filled with hurt. She rushed past him and out the door. He heard her heels clacking on the stone floor as she rushed away from the mirror and him. His hands balled into fists but something deep within him felt foolish for his actions, especially since it had made her upset.
Granger didn't look at him or talk to him for a week. She sat at the opposite end of the High Table instead of her usual place at his side. Whenever her gaze did stray to him, Severus noticed she went beet red and averted her eyes, looking anywhere but at him. He should have been happy she wasn't bothering him. He should have been enjoying the peace and quiet, but now that he didn't have her constant chatter, he found he missed it.
He found he missed her. They usually spent a good deal of time together. She was a brave wisp of a thing, not fearing his acidic temper and attempts at brushing her off. He glanced at her as she ate and chatted with Longbottom. She should be chatting with him, discussing, and sometimes arguing, about the latest published article. He closed his eyes and sighed. He was lost. His feelings for her went against everything he tried to be. She made him feel like he was better than he truly was. She made him feel… whole.
No matter how he tried to push her away because she deserved better, she always came back. That alone made him respect her. He scowled as he looked into his teacup. He was mostly done with his breakfast, but it was a lazy weekend morning, and he'd wanted another cup of tea before heading to his rooms. He glanced at Granger again. His mood grew even more sour because she'd frowned and looked away from him after turning red. He supposed he should apologize to her. She was much easier to take when she wasn't scowling.
His eyebrows knit together. Maybe he should stop lying to himself. He knew deep down that he just wanted her to be there… be his friend… be close to him. Sadly, it was hard for him to admit that to himself. His prickly persona wouldn't let him. It was a defense mechanism, but it was failing him. Thinking negative things like he'd just done about Granger was part of that persona. It was the lie he told himself so he would feel okay… so he would not have to feel at all, really. Maybe it was time to start feeling again, even if the feelings weren't easy to experience.
He was tired of blocking out anything that could possibly hurt. His relationship with Granger was a surprise to him, and precious as well. He feared losing it. He feared losing her. He may never have her in the way he truly wanted, but he wanted her in his life in some way.
He frowned into his tea as he continued to think about his attitude and how it was affecting his relationship with Granger. Lying to himself was just isolating him from her. Deep down, he wanted to be friends with her. He wanted to be so much more with her. He missed her.
Noticing her getting up and heading out of the hall, he swiftly got up and followed behind, walking quickly so he could catch up with her.
"Granger!" he said loud enough for her to hear him.
She stopped but didn't turn. He caught up to and moved in front of her, turning so he could see her.
"Granger… I…" His lips thinned. "I was very rude to you the other day. I wanted to apologize."
Granger looked at him in annoyance.
"If I were to be completely honest," he continued, "I like the wildness of your hair."
She studied him for a little bit. "You do?"
He nodded. "But if you tell anyone I just gave you a compliment, you will be sorry."
She blushed… again. He was beginning to enjoy the redness that would come upon her when she did. He thought about bat spleens to slap his wandering mind into submission.
As he controlled his thoughts, Granger's face went from pink to mildly annoyed.
"If you like my hair, why would you say such a thing to me?"
Severus cleared his throat. "I… I honestly don't have a good reason, Granger. I'm an arse, you know that."
Hermione chuckled. "Well, you're not wrong." She studied him. "Look, Severus, I know you can be prickly, but if you insist on treating me like that whenever you feel like it, we can't be friends."
'We're friends?' Severus thought. He felt a warmth within him at her words. "I said I was sorry, Granger."
Hermione closed the gap between them. "Prove it, and don't treat me like that again."
He studied her for a while before answering her. "I won't," he said softly. He nodded to her before turning and heading toward his classroom.
"Severus!" Hermione called after him.
He stopped and turned his head so he could see her out of the corner of his eye.
"I know that wasn't easy for you. Thank you for apologizing."
Giving a quick nod, he continued on his way. His brows furrowed as he continued down the hallway. He was puzzled as to his reaction to the woman. He'd never run after anyone to apologize about something. And what was that crack about him being an arse? He knew he was an arse, of course, but he'd never admitted that to anyone… until today.
He glared at several students as he passed them, then headed down the stairs to the dungeons. As he reached the base of the stairs and headed for his classroom, his wool gathering resumed.
'She thinks we're friends.'
'Are we friends?'
'I want to be friends.'
He huffed. 'I obviously want to be more than friends.'
He knew that would never happen, so he quickly conceded that just being friends was better than not being friends at all. But he would need to be less of an arse. No more lying to himself that she was annoying him. She never did. No more making their relationship less than what it was. He wanted them to be friends. This last week had been torture, and he never wanted to have to go without her company again.
Finally, classes were over for the day. It had seemed that all the children were out to blow up their cauldrons. At least one student had achieved that feat in every single class. He'd spent more time in the infirmary than in the classroom today.
He looked around his room, flicking his wand here and there. Everything took its rightful place on the shelves and several cauldrons that hadn't been cleaned sailed over to the sink and settled in, waiting to be washed.
Sighing, he turned and left the classroom, making his way to the Great Hall. He was starving, as he'd missed lunch because of all the cauldron explosions. He noted Granger sitting in the chair next to his as he entered the hall. She'd returned to sitting next to him since his apology. He'd felt relieved at her return.
Seating himself, he grabbed some roast and mash and began to tuck in. Hermione turned to him.
"Hello, Severus!" she said enthusiastically.
"Granger," Severus replied with a frown.
"That good of a day, hmm?" she asked.
Severus put his fork down and sat back. He looked at her as he settled into his chair.
"You've no idea."
"I think maybe I do. I don't know if it's something in the air, but the students have been wild all day. I never realized that a craft derived of numbers could cause such hysteria in the classroom."
Severus arched an eyebrow. "Do tell, although I doubt it will top the day I've had."
Hermione chuckled. "Well, I thought I'd engage the fifth-years a little by trying to predict the results of the next Quidditch match between Gryffindor and Slytherin."
Her brow furrowed, and she said almost to herself, "Thinking back, it was a foolish idea, really."
She stopped her personal musings and continued filling Severus in. "After creating the problem and studying the numbers, the class determined that Gryffindor would win. Suddenly, I had a gang war going on between Slytherin and Gryffindor, with the Slytherins saying that the numbers were faked and the Gryffindors taking offense to being accused of cheating. Harold Bilsby and Jaron Duvain, who sit next to each other, started throwing hexes at each other, and I had to stupefy both of them to get them to stop. Needless to say, they've got a mountain of detentions."
She huffed and took a bite of mash. "Honestly, I understand house loyalty, but they went way too far."
Severus harrumphed. "At least your issue was only in one class. I had cauldron explosions in every class today. The third-years exploded five just during their class. I'm knackered and starving because I missed lunch. I can't remember the last time I've had such a horrid day."
Granger gave him a sympathetic look. "You win, definitely. I'm sorry it was such a bad day."
He grunted and moved forward to eat some more of his dinner.
"We should do something to let off some steam," Granger suggested.
"Will it involve alcohol?"
Hermione laughed. "It can if you want it to. How about we head over to Hogsmeade and have a drink at the Three Broomsticks."
He eyed her, trying to figure out what possible motive she had to ask him out for a drink. He couldn't think of any reason why she would.
"What's the catch?" he asked as his eyebrow arched.
Hermione shrugged as she took a sip of pumpkin juice. She placed the glass back on the table and looked at him.
"There's no catch. I just want to get out of here, and you've had a worse day than I have. We could both use escaping from this zoo."
Severus gave her an incredulous look, which caused her to laugh out loud.
"We are friends, Severus," she continued.
"Friends…" Severus said to himself quietly. He replied a little louder. "Yes, I suppose we are. Shall we meet by the main doors in an hour?"
"Why don't we just go now?" Granger asked.
Severus looked at his almost full plate.
"They do have food at Rosmerta's," Granger said teasingly.
"That's true, and I have been craving fish and chips for a while now."
Granger pushed back her chair. "Then it's settled. I'll meet you at the doors in ten minutes."
Without waiting for an answer, she quickly moved out of the hall. He watched her disappear and fought the smirk that was threatening to take over his mouth. He rose and made his way to his rooms to get his cloak.
Before leaving he looked over at his dresser drawer. Gliding over, he opened it and removed a silken cravat. It was the nicest one he owned. He rubbed it, feeling how soft the fabric felt as he pulled his current piece off and tied the nicer one around his neck, tucking it into his robes. He huffed. He didn't even want to think about why he'd just added the cravat. He rolled his eyes and left his room.
Bounding up the stairs, he saw Granger already there waiting for him. He nodded quickly at her, noticing her noticing his cravat. All of a sudden, he was very glad he'd added it to his attire. He opened the door and followed Granger out into the night.
They walked quietly out the gates and down the road towards Hogsmeade. Severus didn't feel self-conscious with the silence. It seemed they were both comfortable with it. Severus' mind wandered to the last time they walked together, when they'd come upon the Mirror of Erised. Granger's reaction went through his mind, and he wondered once again what it was she had seen.
"It's a clear night. You can see more stars than usual," Hermione said, breaking into his reverie.
He looked up as they continued walking. "It is rather lovely." He pointed up. "Orion is very clear."
"Oh, and there's Andromeda," Hermione replied while pointing into the sky.
They continued on, looking up frequently to study the sky.
"I've always loved star gazing," Hermione told him.
Severus nodded as he looked up again. "I enjoy it as well. As a kid I would sneak out of the house and go to a nearby playground and lie on my back for hours watching the stars."
Hermione looked at him. "That sounds heavenly. Didn't your parents figure out you'd been sneaking out, though?"
Severus snorted. "They were too busy arguing to notice anything around them."
"Oh." Hermione was quiet for a few seconds before continuing. "I'm sorry to hear that."
"Don't be. It was a long time ago, and I have come to terms with their lack of parenting and my father's abuse."
Severus' brows knit together. He hadn't meant to mention his father being abusive. He looked over to find that Granger had stopped on the path. He turned and looked at her.
"Coming?" he asked.
The woman looked furious.
"Your father beat you?"
"I thought that was common knowledge between you and your friends. Didn't Potter tell you all about the memories I left him?"
Granger moved back up to him. "He said some things, but was very vague. He wanted to protect your privacy. All he said about your childhood was that you came from a poor family."
Severus snorted. "We were poor because my father was an alcoholic. When he wasn't drinking he was picking a fight with my mother and me." Severus hesitated. "Let's just forget about this."
He turned and started to walk away, but Granger's hand grasped his arm and tugged at him.
"It's okay. You don't have to talk about it if you don't want to. I certainly don't think any less of you for being abused as a child. I am your friend, Severus. I respect your privacy, but if you ever want to talk about it, I will be here, and I will tell no one of what we discuss."
His eyes came up and met hers. He studied her, trying to decide if she was being truthful or not. He chastised himself internally. He'd known her for a long time, and she was a lot of things, but untruthful was not one of them.
"Thank you," he said finally. "I appreciate your offer, but at this time, I'd rather not talk about it. It was a long time ago, and I'd rather keep it in the past."
She squeezed his arm. "Okay, but I'm here if you need an ear."
He nodded curtly and softly pulled from her grasp. They spent the rest of the walk quietly once again, each buried in their own thoughts. As they approached the pub, the sounds from within broke their mood, and they both perked up and entered through the large doors.
They quickly found a table towards the far wall and settled in. Soon the waiter came up to take their order.
Severus began. "I'll have the fish and chips and a fire whiskey."
Granger looked at the waiter. "May I have a sticky toffee pudding and a butter beer, please?"
The waiter nodded and turned, leaving them alone as he went to fill their order.
"Well, I ate more than you did at dinner, and their sticky toffee pudding is divine."
Granger huffed. "Don't give me a hard time Snape. I'm here to unwind, and if that means eating copious amounts of sugar, so be it."
Severus let a smirk emerge onto his lips. "You're feisty when you're craving sugar"
Granger laughed. "Ron says I'm scary when I'm craving sugar." She paused for a moment. "Actually, he says I'm scary in most circumstances."
Severus chuckled. "You were rather scary when those students planted some dung bombs in your classroom."
"You'd have been just as irate, Severus. Especially with all those volatile ingredients around."
"That is true."
Severus sat back as their meal arrived. He watched Granger dig into her pudding and put a spoonful into her mouth. She savored it and gave a low moan, which caused his insides to constrict within him. He stared at her as she took another bite before forcing his gaze to go down to his plate. He needed to calm himself down.
Taking a sip of his fire whiskey, he let it settle him as he swallowed it. Finally, he felt levelheaded enough to eat. They worked on their meals silently for a bit. Severus was deep in thought about his feelings. Looking at Granger, he caught her looking at him. She blushed furiously. Once again his thoughts were brought to her reaction to the Mirror of Erised.
He cleared his throat. "What, exactly, did you see in the Mirror of Erised?" he asked.
Hermione's mouth dropped open. "Um…" She looked down at her plate. "I'd rather not say."
He arched an eyebrow at her. "Whatever it was, you seemed enraptured by it."
"Well, of course I was. That stupid mirror does show one's deepest desire, doesn't it?"
Severus leaned forward. "So, what's your deepest desire?" he asked huskily.
Granger huffed. "That's none of your business, Severus Snape."
"Were you reunited with that infernal cat?" he asked.
She looked wistful. "No, Crookshanks wasn't in the mirror. I do miss him."
Severus sat back. "I apologize for bringing up something upsetting like that."
Hermione looked at him. "It's okay."
She looked back down at her pudding, and Severus felt the need to change the subject from her dearly departed Kneazel.
"So, then what did you see in the mirror?"
She frowned. "I already said that's none of your business."
The blush was back. Whatever she'd seen, it made her self-conscious. Involuntarily, his mind reached out to hers. Granger's eyes narrowed at him.
"Don't you dare use Legilimency on me, Severus Snape! How dare you invade my mind like that!"
Severus quickly withdrew from her mind and looked to his plate. He usually didn't reach into people's thoughts, but he really wanted to know what she'd seen. That didn't make it right, though.
His eyes snapped back to hers. "I'm sorry, all right? It was an impulsive, stupid thing to do, and I should have controlled myself."
Her eyes narrowed at him. "You don't sound sorry."
Severus grit his teeth. "Did you want me to get on my knees and kiss your feet?"
Granger stood and glared at him. She threw her napkin over her dessert. "I expect you to really mean it! You didn't think I'd notice, so you went ahead and entered my mind. Then when you were caught, you just thought that you could talk your way out of it. You violated my trust, and you don't seem to understand that at all!"
She moved away from the table and out the door. Severus was shocked that she'd run out on him. Should he go after her?
'Well, that's a stupid question. Of course you should go after her.'
He rose and threw some Galleons down at the bar in front of Rosmerta and hurried from the pub. It seemed that lately, all he did was race after the Arithmancy professor so he could apologize.
"Granger, wait!" he called.
She kept walking, causing him to sprint after her. He caught up with her at last and grabbed her arm, forcing her to stop. She wouldn't turn to him.
"You're fast when you're angry," he mused.
"It probably has to do with how scary I am when I'm mad," she huffed.
He chuckled, causing her to glare at him, which wiped the smirk from his face.
She finally turned fully towards him. "No! Don't give me your excuses, Severus! What you did was…"
"Unforgivable, I know." He looked down at the ground.
All the steam seemed to escape from Granger's ire, and her shoulders sagged.
"That's not what I was going to say."
He turned away from her. "Granger, as we've previously discussed, I'm an arse. You said you can't be friends with an arse, and I've just proven that I am one once again. Our friendship was pleasant while it lasted."
He began to walk away. This time Hermione reached out and grabbed him.
"I was going to say your actions were unacceptable. Friends usually work through disagreements like this."
He pulled his arm from hers and continued to walk away from her.
"Don't you want to work through this?" she asked.
He stopped and turned. "Just five minutes ago you were stalking off like the world had ended. I assumed you don't want to continue this friendship."
Hermione huffed. "I was mad at you. That doesn't mean that I wanted to end our friendship, I just wanted some time to cool off."
"We should just give up now. We're too different to be friends."
"Nonsense! We're too much alike not to be friends."
"We are!" Hermione insisted. "We have a lot of the same interests."
"And I am old enough to be your father."
"Stop it right now! Our age difference means nothing to me. Unless…"
His eyebrows knit together. "It means nothing to me either," he conceded.
"Good," Hermione continued.
Severus moved toward her and reached out, then thought again and dropped his hand. "Granger, I did something foolish, and I'm sorry. Please don't lose trust in me. I would never do anything to harm you. I should have never tried to see your thoughts. I am not one to sweep into people's minds willy-nilly. It will never happen again."
Hermione held his gaze for a bit before finally responding. "Okay," she said.
Her finger came up and poked his chest. "Just be sure that never happens again."
Severus sighed in relief. "I promise it won't."
Severus was in the room with Granger again. She neared the mirror and caressed it. With her touch his eyes were opened, and he could see what she could see. He was with her at the shore. He wore a loose white pullover, and his hair was blowing in the wind. He pulled Hermione to him as his lips descended on hers. He pulled back and looked at her as if she was the most precious thing in the world, then pulled her to him and clung to her.
Suddenly he could see no more except Hermione stroking the mirror lovingly. His eyes opened, and he was now staring into the darkness. He breathed heavily. How he wished that was what was making her caress the mirror. In his heart, though, he knew that was too good to be true. He was an arse, after all. Yet, in the back of his mind, a very, very small voice spoke out of turn.
'What if she did see you? What if she wants you like you want her?'
He huffed at his little voice. That voice had been right before, though. It had said not to take the Mark. It had said to keep the prophecy to himself. It had said a number of things that he should have listened to. Its track record was pretty good, but he was stubborn and didn't like anyone telling him what to do, including his little voice.
'She blushes when she sees you.'
He sighed. That could mean anything. Any of it could mean anything. What all this came down to was would he take the risk and let himself be vulnerable? Being vulnerable was the one thing a spy could never be.
'But you're not a spy any longer.'
"Oh shut it!" he said to himself.
The voice was right, though. He hadn't been a spy for a while now. He was trying to be less of an arse. He was trying to keep Granger as his friend. Maybe he should give up living like a spy.
He turned, lifted his head, and fluffed his pillow. This was absurd.
The vision from the mirror came into his mind again, and then he pictured his own vision; the two of them holding hands… kissing… starting a life together. He wanted all of that. The question was… did she?
Severus knocked on Granger's door. He stood there nervously with a yellow rose. He shifted back and forth then forced himself to stand still while he waited for her to come to the door. Finally the door creaked open, and she was standing there. He held out the rose for her. Granger looked down at it in shock.
"Severus! Is that for me?"
She smiled and stepped aside so he could pass through into her room. He did and handed her the rose. She smelled it and smiled even wider at him.
"What's the occasion?"
His eyebrow arched at her. "I'm trying to convince you I'm not as much of an arse as I truly am."
Hermione pulled the rose to her chest and laughed heartily. "You'll probably have to bring me a flower every day if that's the case!" she said cheekily.
"That thought did cross my mind," he said with a smirk.
Hermione moved past him and transfigured a small bowl on her table into a vase. With a quick Aguamenti it was ready to hold the flower he'd given her. She carefully placed it in the vase and stepped back so she could view it.
"It's lovely, Severus. Thank you again."
He tilted his head slightly in recognition of her words. Granger motioned for him to take a seat, so he made himself comfortable on the sofa. She settled in next to him. Things got a little odd then. She seemed to be very nervous, and he didn't really know what to say. He noticed the back of her neck going red. He watched the redness go from the back of her neck around to her front and up to her cheeks.
She looked at him, her pink cheeks and neck on display even more.
"Please tell me what you saw in the mirror."
Her eyebrows knit together. "Did you come here just to pester me? You thought a flower would soften me up?"
"Yes… no!" His lips thinned. "I just… you were so enraptured by what you saw. I just wanted to know what it was."
"Well, what did you see in the mirror?" Hermione asked him haughtily.
"Ah, ah, ah." He wagged his finger at her. "I asked first. I'll tell you after you tell me what you saw, Granger."
Hermione grumpily looked at him. "I guess I can live without knowing."
He regarded her curiously.
"Well, you said it wasn't your cat. What else could it be?"
Hermione stood up and gave him an exasperated look. "Just let it go, Severus!"
She wandered to her window looking out on the lake and folded her arms as she gazed out of it. Severus rose and came up behind her.
"Was it you sitting on a mountain of books?" he asked teasingly.
"Severus!" she said with a little turn to him. She turned back trying to hide her smirk. "Of course it wasn't that."
"Thank heavens." He studied her back for a moment. She was really tense. What could it be? He wouldn't… couldn't… bring up his suspicion that it might have been him.
"Were you the Minister for Magic?" he asked.
She snorted inelegantly. "Hardly."
"Granger, tell me what you saw!"
"No!" Her arms closed around herself as she gazed out the window. She refused to turn and look at him again.
He studied her some more. Suddenly, something dawned on him. She'd never been able to restore her parents' memories after the war. Could it be?
"Granger," he said softly. "Was it your parents?"
She took in a quick breath. Severus couldn't help but place his hand on her arm.
"Did you see them, and they remembered you, Granger?"
She was quiet for a while before quickly nodding.
Despite feeling crushed that she hadn't seen him, his heart broke a little for her. "I'm sorry. That damn mirror never shows anything that can possibly happen, does it?"
She shrugged. "I think it does sometimes," she said quietly.
He dropped his hand from her arm and stepped back a little. "I'm sorry," he said again.
She turned around to face him then. "It's all right."
"I'll… I'll go." He turned to head for the door.
"Oh, no you don't! You haven't told me what you saw yet."
Severus stopped. "Certainly, you don't…"
"Severus Snape, you said that you'd tell me what you saw after I told you."
"Yes, but that was when… I mean… you…" He turned back to her and narrowed his eyes. "You didn't tell me who it was, I guessed."
"That's semantics! Tell me what you saw!" she laughed as she placed her hands on her hips and made a demanding stance.
Severus' heart constricted within him, and his chest tightened. "It's not important."
"You didn't stop until you got an answer from me, Severus. It's only fair that you tell me what you saw!"
She came up to him and gave him an amused look. "Snape!"
"I… I don't remember." He looked away. He could tell his cheeks were growing red. He never blushed, dammit. Never.
Granger huffed and stepped closer. "You don't forget anything. What was it?" She stopped short, and her eyes grew wide.
"Oh," she said as she swallowed. "It was Harry's mum, wasn't it?"
"Lily? Good God, no!"
She looked puzzled. "But I thought you…"
"I did. Long ago. I'm not that pathetic, Granger. Give me some credit!"
"Right," she said as she looked to the floor. "Right. I'm sorry."
He gave a curt nod and turned to leave, hoping he would be able to escape without her pestering him more.
"Wait!" Hermione cried as she reached out toward him again. "Tell me what you saw!"
He continued walking, which caused Hermione to bound up to him and grab his arm.
"Severus, tell me!" She tugged at his arm. "Tell me!"
He stiffened and pulled his arm away from Hermione. She grabbed it again.
"Severus, you need to tell me."
"I don't need to do anything!"
It was her plaintive request that got to him. He turned and gave her a measured look. He knew this was foolish, and that she'd probably never speak to him again, but he couldn't help himself. Deep down, he had a tiny hope that somehow his revelation would not ruin his friendship with her.
"Do you know what I saw?" he said as he grit his teeth together and gave her a sour look. "I saw you… and me… together…"
His lips thinned as he debated telling her all. He might as well put the nail in the coffin. "It was our wedding day." He saw her shocked look and chuckled mirthlessly. "I know, impossible, right?"
He turned and quickly fled her rooms, moving swiftly down the hall. His mind was racing.
'Why did I tell her anything? I should have made something up. Now I look like a besotted fool. Could my life ever be simple?'
He continued to stalk down the halls, not really noticing where he was going. To his surprise, he eventually found himself at the room that housed the mirror. He snarled at the door. Walking up to it, he swung it open and moved into the room.
There it stood, mocking him. His image along with Hermione's smiled back at him. They were holding hands as before. They turned and kissed, leaving Severus to gasp at their passion. They pulled apart, and Hermione looked at his image with such love, the real man couldn't breathe for a moment. If only she would look at him like that… would love him like that.
He neared the mirror, and like Hermione had, he reached out and caressed it, trying to touch Hermione's hair. He smiled ruefully at the vision, trying to hold back his emotions. His image pulled Hermione to him and kissed her again. It was reverent and yet passionate all in one. How he wished the witch could feel anything like that for him. He stroked her hair once again.
"Severus?" Hermione's voice called out from behind him. He tensed as his hand dropped from the mirror.
"You really see me in that mirror?" Hermione asked.
He kept looking at the mirror, watching the image of Hermione smiling happily and gave a curt nod.
"And we got married?"
Severus sighed. "Yes."
She came up behind him. "That's your deepest desire?"
He didn't say anything.
Her voice was shaky as she asked again. "I'm your deepest desire?"
"Just go, Granger."
He felt her hand on his shoulder. "Look at me, Severus."
"Leave me alone."
Hermione gently tried to turn him away from the mirror. "Please turn and look at me, Severus," she asked quietly.
He let her turn him, but kept his eyes downcast, unable to look at her. He knew what he'd see, and he didn't want to see it.
"I didn't see my parents in the mirror, Severus," she said softly.
He peeked up at her from under the hair that had fallen in front of his face.
"I was afraid to tell you what I'd really seen. I thought you would belittle me."
His eyes met hers. "What did you see?" he asked tentatively, not even wanting to hope that she could have seen him.
It was her turn to look at the floor. "I saw you and me."
His eyes registered shock. "Truly?" he asked in a whisper.
She nodded. A tear trickled down her cheek. "I've wanted to be with you for a long time now. I just didn't think you would ever want to be with me! Then when I saw us in the mirror, my heart broke, because I knew that vision would never come true… that you could never feel like that for me."
"I didn't think you would ever feel like that about me either," Severus mused.
His hand came up, and he caressed her cheek. "May I see what you see?" he asked.
She studied him before nodding. "Can I see what you see too?"
He arched an eyebrow at her. "I suppose that's only fair, but I go first."
"Okay," Hermione said as she shook her head slightly as if to get ready for his mental intrusion.
Severus looked into her eyes. "Legilimens"
He saw her as she reached out and caressed the mirror. All of a sudden, he could see what she was seeing, and it made him take in a breath. His image, dressed in fine black robes, held Hermione in his arms, her back facing the onlookers. She wore a draping floor-length hunter-green robe. Severus held her hand in his and kissed it, their wedding rings sparkling in the light. She turned towards him and wrapped her arms around his neck. She pulled him in for a kiss. Severus was amazed, but then his vision drifted down and was shocked at what he saw. Her midsection was extended… she was pregnant.
Joy filled his heart as realization dawned. His image lowered himself to his knees, and he wrapped his arms around her and lovingly kissed her belly.
She… she wanted his baby! His!
He pulled out of her mind and stared into her eyes. "You want children… with me?"
She nodded shyly.
His throat felt thick, yet he forced himself to speak. "You want me?"
"I already told you I did," she replied.
He reached out and cupped her cheek. "I've pushed you away so my heart wouldn't be hurt, but seeing you in the mirror made me realize my heart was already beyond repair."
"Let me see what you saw, Severus."
At his nod, she uttered the spell and was in his mind. He showed her the two of them bedecked in wedding garb. Hermione gasped before withdrawing from his mind.
"Oh, Severus! I never thought…"
She was interrupted by his lips crashing upon hers. He kissed her wantonly, begging her to open for him, and when she did, he plundered her mouth, trying to show how much he wanted her. Finally, he pulled his lips away from hers before pulling her closer, resting his chin on her head.
"I'm sorry I've been a prat about this. At first I was embarrassed that I saw you when it was hopeless. Then I thought that possibly you might have seen me, and then I thought I was mad for thinking that."
Hermione giggled. "I will admit I thought I was mad too, but I fell in love with you anyway."
He pulled back and looked into her eyes, hoping he would find sincerity in them. Despite her declaration and seeing her vision from the mirror, he was still amazed to see love shining in her eyes. Real love. His voice was filled with emotion when he finally responded.
"I love you, too."
This time, Hermione pulled him to her. She worshipped his mouth, and he groaned with pleasure at her ministrations.
"Hermione…" he murmured as he kissed her again.
The woman in his arms pulled back and looked at him in wonder.
"What?" he ground out as he noted her amazed look.
"You called me Hermione."
He arched an eyebrow at her.
"You always call me Granger…" she said quietly before looking to the floor.
He reached out and gently lifted her chin so she was looking at him again.
"I can no longer call you Granger if I'm going to kiss you like this all the time."
He didn't wait before his lips were again on hers. He marveled at how she softened against him and returned his kisses eagerly. His hands came up and tangled in her curls, making him groan as he pulled her closer. He couldn't get enough of her as his heart filled with love and passion for her.
"Gods, Hermione, you are magnificent."
She quirked her lips at him before kissing him more. Her lips and tongue caressed his, and he felt he had never been truly happy until that very minute. He pulled her closer as they continued to lavish kisses upon each other. His heart filled with love for her and he held her reverently as he continued to kiss her. At long last, they pulled apart, each a bit breathless.
"I love you, Hermione. I can't wait for you to be my wife."
She smiled at him. "I love you too. I can't wait for you to be my husband. And besides… How can my mirror reflection come true without yours coming true first?"
He smirked at her before his lips descended upon her once again. This mirror thing had turned out all right in the end.