(Highlight to View) Warning(s): Fecal Stuff, Kids Being Disgusting.
(Highlight to View) Prompt: A slice of life. It's Saturday night at the Snape household (SS/HG).
Summary: Hermione is exhausted after a long day of thankless child-care. Severus comes home and makes things better.
"Mummmmmmmmmm. Hugo hit me."
The crying started immediately, to the chorus of "She wouldn't pass me the scissors!" and Hermione rolled her eyes, put down her inelegant mug of tea, and stomped over to the miscreants disturbing her in the midst of trying to just have a quiet cuppa. She needed to fortify herself in advance of starting dinner, and she hadn't had five minutes to herself since they bounded up this morning at a quarter to seven. She just wanted some damn peace.
"Hugo," she groused sternly, and marched into the living room where they were supposed to be working quietly on cutting out some cute little pictures to glue to paper to make into a birthday card for their gram. "You know better. How do we solve things in this household?"
Hugo, age 8, pushed his glasses up his nose and rolled his eyes in imitation of his mother. "With words, not wands," he grumbled, though he clearly didn't believe it.
"That's correct," his mother said, wrapping Rose, age 6, up in a warm hug that felt like it was draining the last bit of her energy from her soul. Rose immediately perked up, though, and practically jumped out of her arms like a cat that'd fallen in a pond.
"Da!" she exclaimed, and for one horrible, exhausted second, Hermione felt a familiar dread pool in her stomach.
But then she took a breath and reminded herself, no, Ron wasn't coming 'round anymore. He hadn't seen the children since that fateful night three years ago, when he'd left for good. Apparently having a stable full of young ones wasn't his life's ambition after all - it cramped his high-flying pro Quidditch player lifestyle far too much.
At least he sent child support, sporadically but generously.
Instead, she plastered a more neutral smile on her face and stood to greet her new husband, who stood awkwardly on the threshold, in the middle of shaking the snow off his boots while Rose climbed him like a playset.
He wrapped his arm around her to hold her like the enormous baby that she was. "There's my beautiful darling," he murmured, and press a kiss upon the girl's cheek. "Have you been good to your mum all day?"
Rose nodded vigorously, then she happily strangled him and climbed onto his shoulders, where she could touch the ceiling of their little country house.
Hugo approached them, pushing his glasses up his nose thoughtfully.
"You said you'd be home to help me with my aeroplane after lunch," Hugo said in an. accusatory manner, as punctilious as a Gringott's goblin.
(Hermione took this moment of diverted attention to try and pry up a bottle of glue that had fallen on the floor and set into a sticky mess.)
"My sincere apologies," Severus uttered, prying Rose's grubby hands off his face where she was trying to grab his nose. "The lab erroneously received a delivery that couldn't wait to process until Monday." With a bit of a snarl, he added, "I thought I told Barnaby - my weekends are sacrosanct."
"What's that mean, sack rit ant?" Rose asked, bending her head down and looking at Severus like a monkey taunting a tiger from a tree.
"It means precious," Severus said idly, wandering over to his wife and offering her a hand. He crouched down next to Hermione, Rose still atop him, and he pressed a tender kiss onto her cheek. "I can't leave your poor mother all alone with you heathens all day without reprieve."
Rose took this opportunity to scurry off him and run to grab her little creation. "See what I made for gram?" she insisted, her dark brown hair shining in the light of the living-room lamps. "It's a unicorn."
"Ah, I can see that," Severus observed, standing up with Hermione. "It's very… sparkly." He pronounced the word in three parts, spar-kul-lee, and Rose giggled and twirled with the dripping mess of glue and paint and paper, smearing glitter across the front of his cloak.
He pinched the bridge of his nose. "Rose."
She didn't notice or seem to care, and threw down her craft on the table face-down and ran off to where her brother had turned on the television. "Let me pick, mum, Hugo's watching telly without permission."
"Thirty minutes," Hermione announced, gratefully accepting Severus' wand-waving to clean up the mess with Mary-Poppins-style precision. "Thirty minutes and then you need to wash up for dinner."
Dinner wouldn't be for an hour, but the children typically needed a half-hour to do the basic task of washing their hands. Such was the nature of children younger than ten.
"I do not envy you this day," Severus groaned, pinching the bridge of his nose fretfully. "You seem exhausted."
"I am," Hermione responded, drooping into his arms like a plucked spring violet. "I just want to sit for a minute."
"Then that's what you shall do," Severus answered with a warm honeyed rumble. "Let me wrestle them the rest of the night. Are we making the roast, or should we just have the frozen pizza?"
"What do you think," Hermione responded with a sigh. "I don't have energy to make anything substantive at all."
"I see," he said, and smiled at her in that soft, shy way of his. He took her hand and began to walk towards the kitchen. "Come and sit with me, and we'll see what I can do."
Practically melting at the idea of just getting to sit and finish her tea, Hermione flopped after him like a rag doll.
"When are you going to fire Barnaby?" Hermione asked once they were seated in the kitchen. "He's next to useless, in my opinion."
"Where else would a squib with seven children find work enough to feed his family?" Severus responded, shaking his head as he plopped the roast in a baking pan.
"Oh, right," Hermione chuckled, "I forgot that Severus Snape is a soft touch since the end of the war."
He glared at her fiercely for that, but couldn't rightly fault her for the accusation. It was fairly true.
"Just trying to make up for some of the karmic damage I've done," he responded sotto voce, getting some carrots out of the fridge.
They sat there in silence for a bit, Hermione feeling sad and a touch regretful. She forgot sometimes how thin-skinned Severus could be about his past and present identities, and she didn't want to send him spiralling into one of his darker places.
"I just hope," Hermione offered, a glint of humor in her voice, "that you don't see me and the children as one of your causes."
The absurdity of the supposition made Severus pause mid-slice. Holding the carrot down and still tautly grasping the knife, he turned his head to give her a smouldering, offended look. "Woman."
She began to giggle, and he stared down his nose at her.
"Drink your tea."
"Yes, Professor," Hermione responded in a giddy, ridiculous way, and Severus just shook his head as she laughed outright.
"You'd better be glad you're so pretty," Severus murmured, carefully continuing with his paring work. "Or else you mightn't know what could happen."
"Hm," Hermione asked, the humor in her voice still present. "Whatever could you mean?"
Clearly displeased at being interrupted, he laid down the knife and vegetable and walked slowly up to her, his eyes roving up and down her body in the predatory way that always drove her bonkers.
"Shall I explain to you in detail?" he purred, placing one finger under her chin and pushing upwards in a deeply intimidating fashion.
She couldn't help but giggle again, and he, in perfect stoic smugness, just raised one eyebrow.
"If I must," Severus said, and leaned in to place a seductive, powerful kiss at the place her jawbone met her neck. "You see," he went on, curling around her like sultry steam from a kettle, "when I encounter a fetching, plump little dove like you, my dear, I find myself unable to resist.
"The temptation to… have my way with you… becomes ever stronger despite my efforts to restrain myself."
His tongue was licking, and his lips were sucking, and it was all so delicious. Hermione felt the urgent vibrations of need begin to wrestle with her sex, like a far-away doorbell that kept ringing.
"Oh, gods, Severus," she murmured, and before she could say another word, she felt his hand unbuttoning her jeans and sliding into her underwear.
"I've been… so needy all day, my love," he responded, flicking at her clit and pinching gently at her labias to tempt them open. He was dropping the play-acting and entering a more vulnerable state, and she absolutely adored that transition. He seemed to melt into a different person entirely - one that was shades away from the man who had occupied her sexual fantasies as a teenager.
"Then let's get us upstairs," Hermione urged, but instead Severus shoved her against the table and began to stretch her open.
"Not yet," he rasped hoarsely, his eyes closed and his other hand was toying with her nipple. "Later. Now, just you."
This final word, with all the power and energy behind it, made her fade into orgasm. She squeezed her eyes closed and her mouth tight to keep the joyful noise from emerging.
"There," Severus panted, and pressed a hot kiss upon her lips as he gently withdrew his fingers. He began to button her denims, but Hermione waved his hand away and took care of the business herself.
"Thank you, love," she answered, feeling an overwhelming sense of gratitude. "Now, let me help you with those carrots."
He smirked at her, clearly pleased with himself, and dragged the kitchen stool over to his side. They had just gotten themselves situated when they heard a shriek from the living room.
Dropping the vegetable unceremoniously, Hermione raced out to the children. Rose was standing over Hugo, who was smeared prostrate upon the floor, eyes wide with horror. Rose was outright cackling, holding a small clear jar that had formerly held glitter. Now, all Hermione could see was something brown and wet-looking inside…
"Oh bloody hell!!!" Hermione screamed, and grabbed Hugo by the legs and yanked him from the range of fire. "Rose! Did you really put your own shite in a jar?"
"She made me smell it," Hugo was sobbing, and Rose started laughing even harder.
"That's what you get for not letting me watch Ninja Tor-tle!" Rose pronounced, looking not the least bit scared of whatever punishment laid in store for her.
"Rose," came Severus' voice, stern and uncompromising. He stood in the kitchen doorway and had both eyebrows raised in shock. It was only then that Rose's joyful grin ran away from her face. "What. The. Hell."
"Ahhh!" Rose threw the jar on the ground and ran towards the stairs. Thankfully it was closed, so it simply rolled across the floor. Severus bent and picked it up, looking furious but thoughtful.
Hermione continued to comfort Hugo, and watched with relief as Severus chased the precocious six-year-old. He didn't run, but his strides were almost twice as long as normal, and he disappeared up the stairs in a whirl of black cloth.
Once Hugo had recovered enough (a few pumpkin pasties did the trick), Hermione snuck upstairs to overhear Severus' lecture.
"While human faeces are a common ingredient for optimal dung-beetle husbandry," she heard him saying, sedulous and precise in word choice, "it is also an elementary task for any potions mistress to practice transforming them into drinkable water."
"Eww!!!" Rose screeched. The two of them were sitting with her toy potions kit she'd gotten from Christmas. It was about the most expensive toy potions kit on the market, and Hermione's heart had filled with enormous joy when the little girl had opened the unremarkably-wrapped gift from Severus.
He cared for her little ones as his own, and despite being three years since they got together, and two years since they'd married, this was still wonderful to her.
"Now take the ingredient," Severus instructed carefully, "and put it in the cauldron. Add some of the blue ingredient and stir it together, then turn on the burner."
Careful to heed every instruction in order, Rose did so. She screamed in excitement after a moment, "It's turning clear!"
"Exactly," Severus murmured, "and once it is completely transparent, then we add some of the green ingredient."
Hermione pushed the door open a tiny bit. Severus glanced back at her and smiled, shy, and waved her away. So Hermione went back downstairs to finish the roast.
It wasn't a perfect life, of course, she thought to herself as she resumed slicing the carrots alone, but she was immensely grateful for the little family she had.
Particularly when her husband came back down, whispered reassurances that Rose was occupied for the next quarter-hour, and helped her finish making dinner, all the while chuckling over Rose's ridiculousness.