Types: Art & Fic
Beta(s): dragoon811, rivertempest, diabolica, of_anoesis
(Highlight to View) Warning(s): None.
(Highlight to View) Prompt: Hermione gives Severus a kitten fathered by Crookshanks. If fic, why? If art, awww Severus with a kitten! (SS/HG.) This prompt can't be anything but happy, but just in case... Happy ending, please.
Notes: When this lovely artist produced such a moving visual piece and asked my thoughts on it, I only hoped I could honor it with a tale that immediately sprung to life surrounding the artwork./This submission was a collaborative effort by both toblass and rivertempest. Art feeds fic, and fic feeds art. It's the best way to enjoy fandom and I hope our prompter is pleased. Much love and thanks to the lovely ladies who held toblass' hand and patiently endured the late night lip wobbling.
Summaries: Hermione brings home a kitten for Severus./Severus may be the crooked man who walked a crooked mile, but Hermione's love showed him a different path, one that's still just as winding. And there's always room for one more.
Severus arched a speculative brow. "I would ask if you're happy to see me, or is that—"
A muffled sob from Hermione Granger stifled the rest of his sentence.
"Severus," she managed. "They… they were…" She was unable to finish and instead buried her face into the lump tucked against her chest.
Gone was the flirtatious mood as he crossed the room to where she stood just inside the door. "Who? Who would dare to malign you?"
She sniffed loudly and gave him a confused look. "What?" She shook her head and withdrew the mass to which she'd been clinging. "No, they were going to kill Cuddlerumpus!"
Severus paused to study the furry mess she held out to him. "Cuddle… what?"
"Cuddle RUMPUS," she reiterated with intense sincerity.
His mouth twitched with the effort to keep from laughing, but it was all for naught when Hermione narrowed her eyes, and pulled the now yowling creature back to the warmth of her skin.
"I was passing through Diagon Alley and noticed through the large front window of Magical Menagerie, that the proprietor was handling a kitten rather roughly. So, of course I was going to say something to her." Hermione hiccoughed a bit and then continued. "I was about to quote the section of the law referring to the treatment of Menagerie creatures when she dangled the poor kitten in front of me and told me to take it, that all it was good for was a meal for an Occamy." She nuzzled the mewling ball of fur. "I couldn't just leave him there."
"Of course not," Severus drawled. "Why couldn't she sell him?"
Hermione wiped her tears away with the sleeve of her shirt and handed the kitten to him again. "He's got crooked back legs; he can't walk."
Indeed, the grey and white kitten had back legs that were as crooked as his nose.
"Surely we can mend them?" He expected her to agree, but instead, her lip began to wobble.
"I asked that horrid witch the same thing, but when she tried to give him Skele-Gro, he became quite sick and then started refusing his mother's milk." She grabbed Severus' hand and plopped the frail fuzz ball onto it. "Cuddlerumpus is perfect as he is."
Needle-like claws scrambled on his wide palm, trying to find a perch. It let out a pitiful squeak and began rooting around. The kitten was no bigger than the palm on which it sat, and Severus could feel the tremble in its limbs as it sought for warmth and sustenance. One-handed, he pried open the buttons on his black coat, pushed the fabric aside and pulled Cuddlerumpus close, tucking him against his heated chest. He glanced up to see Hermione smiling widely, tears fringing her lashes once more.
Severus had to swallow several times before he could manage to moderate his tone. "Like myself, had you not intervened, Hermione, Cuddlerumpus would be in dire straits indeed. If you consider him perfect, who am I to correct such logic? It would be hypocritical of me."
She wrapped one arm around Severus' waist and pulled them close, pressing a kiss to his temple. "You're both crooked and perfect. I wouldn't have it any other way."
Neither would I, Severus mused silently.