AN: I don't know when I'll next update since the rest of this week is going to be hectic. I know I won't post tomorrow, and I may not be able to update on Friday either.
Regardless, thank you for all the support! It is deeply appreciated!
Hermione strolled into her bedroom, sleeping draught in hand. Her husband sat on the edge of the bed. He kept his eyes fixed on the ground, the lines on his face accentuated by the dim candlelight.
Hermione cleared her throat. "There are three sleeping draughts left."
"Yes, only three."
"I will brew more tomorrow then."
"If you want," Hermione put her finger under his chin and raised his head. "I can help."
He blinked. "Why do you want to brew my sleeping draughts?"
Hermione removed her finger from his chin. "It would help me get my mind off of things, and I thought it would be nice to spend time with you doing something we both love."
"What about the children? Would you not like to spend more time with them while they are on break?"
"Rose wants to check on her laboratory, Victor needs to begin writing his speech, and Violet needs time to study for her N.E.W.T.S. Tomorrow would be the perfect day to spend time brewing while they get done what they need to do."
"If you want to brew with me, then we will do it."
Hermione sat on the bed. "Thank you."
Severus raised an eyebrow. "For what?"
Hermione answered. "For allowing me to brew and have some sense of normalcy in the midst of all this chaos."
"Believe me, I know better than to argue with you on whether or not you should brew with me," Severus smirked. "After twenty-six years I have learned that it is inevitable that you will win a conflict such as this."
"Our discussions have nothing to do with winning, but about reaching a consensus we can live with."
"True, but I also know when the general consensus is that when I prevent you from doing something you enjoy, I am being a stifling git who is in the wrong."
Hermione smiled. "Well, I would not have put it quite that way."
"Yet I would have," Severus replied.
She rubbed his shoulder. "You really aren't as big of a git as you make yourself out to be."
"Yes I am," he answered. "I just choose to treat you better than I have treated any other woman."
"You are a sweet man."
"Witch, I swear you are the worst judge of character I have ever met."
She erupted into a fit of giggles.
Severus gave her a half smile. "Yet it is one of the many aspects about you that I value. If you were not such a poor judge of character you never would have married me."
"No, I am an excellent judge of character. If I were not, then I would never have seen the man underneath all that snark."
"I suppose you are one of the few people who ever cared to know me for who I am."
"And you are one of the few people who ever cared to know me for who I am."
"I know an extraordinary witch when I see her," Severus replied. "When I was seven, I promised myself that if I ever met an extraordinary witch, I would not allow her to pass me by. I kept that promise."
She blushed as he brushed his lips against hers. Then, silence fell between them.
"Do I tell you that I love you enough?"
Hermione handed him the sleeping draught. "What do you mean?"
Severus slid closer to his wife. "I have been wondering for quite some time if you truly understood how deeply my affections for you run."
"I know you love me," Hermione answered.
Severus sighed. "Then I fear I have not made myself clear enough."
"What do you mean?" Hermione asked.
"I mean." He twisted his lower lip. "I mean that love is a word almost devoid of any real meaning."
"Why would you say that?"
Severus began. "I love potions, meaning I deeply enjoy them. They are my passion, and one of the few things which has consistently brought me joy."
"Yet if I had to give up brewing due to some health reason, I could do it. My laboratory could explode tomorrow, and I could remain the same person I am right now. With or without potions, I would still find joy in my life."
"The same cannot be said of you. While you bring me joy, you do so much more to me than you could imagine. Sometimes you walk into a room and I am rendered speechless. When I think of what you mean to me," He choked. "My emotions threaten to overwhelm me."
She took a shaky breath.
"For decades, I occluded away any emotion It would be impossible to suppress my emotions towards you though," Severus gazed into her eyes. "You are the one person who can break through all my barriers with little effort at all. No, my devotion to you would shatter any shield I attempted to put up."
She rubbed his back.
"Gods Hermione, I could say that I love you, but it seems so inadequate. The depth of my feelings towards you cannot be succinctly summarized by one book, much less three words. Yet all I can say is, 'I love you.'"
"I love you too."
He kissed her lips once more. "I shudder to think of the man I would be had you not entered my life."
"I am just grateful you allowed me into your life," she took an errant strand of his hair and put it behind his ear. "Truth be told, I shudder to think of the woman I would be without you, assuming I would even still be alive."
"You would have thrived with or without me," he answered.
"Do not be so sure of that."
"I would not have known love without you." Hermione put a hand onto his. "Never forget that. You were the one who taught me what a loving partnership was. I learned what it was like to be an equal from you. You are the man who has made me ecstatic beyond reason."
"I only hope you know how much your love has meant to me."
"I only hope you know how much your love has meant to me."
"If you must know the truth," Hermione continued. "I wish there was a word to encompass my emotions. I know I call you 'Love,' but that is only because every other pet name falls short of conveying my emotions."
"Personally I would prefer you call me 'Love' as averse to something such as 'sweetie' or 'honeybun.'"
Hermione laughed so hard she almost fell off the bed. "I…you would kill me if I ever called you 'sweetie.'"
"No, I would not," Severus replied. "I would roll my eyes and love you despite your horrendous taste in pet names."
"Whatever you say, sweetie."
"Now you are needlessly provoking me."
"Into making love to you until you can no longer see straight."
Hermione's eyes glistened.
Severus deflated. "Sadly though, we have little time before the full moon. Within a few minutes, I need to take that potion."
"True," Hermione sighed. "I suppose we will have to wait until dawn."
Severus frowned. "I deeply apologize."
"There is no need to apologize." Hermione's eyes were agleam. "There is nobody I would rather wait for than you."
His expression lightened.
"For the record," she clasped his hands. "I have always known how deeply you care for me. Never once have I felt unwanted or unloved by you."
"Then I have succeeded as a husband."
"You have not only succeeded, but have exceeded my wildest expectations."
He smirked. "Isn't that usually my line?"
Her lips curled up. "What can I say? An excellent line is an excellent line."
"You are amazing," Severus whispered.
"I have an amazing husband," Hermione breathed.
They stared at each other for a few long moments.
"You need to sleep soon," Hermione whispered.
"I suppose I do." He popped up the cork. "Goodnight Love."
"Goodnight," She stood. "I will see you in the morning."
"Excellent," he purred as he lay down. "There is nobody I would prefer to have by my side in the morning."
"I am glad to hear it," Hermione replied. "Because I do not want to wake up beside anyone other than you."
After one last long look, Severus took his potion.