AN: Thank you for all the support! It is deeply appreciated!
"I cannot believe you said that," Hermione giggled.
"Why is that so difficult to believe?" Severus asked.
"It," Hermione could barely keep herself together. "I suppose it does sound a bit like what you would wish to say someone, but it's difficult to envision you saying it."
"Oh but I did."
"No, I do not think you did."
"Would I lie to you, Love?" Severus held up a cup of chocolate ice cream.
"You cannot," Hermione erupted into a fit of laughter. "Severus, you cannot threaten Healers with detentions if they do not give me chocolate ice cream."
"I did not threaten him with detention," Severus put the cup onto the bedside table. "I simply reminded him of how terrifying I could be when I believed someone was doing a less than satisfactory job. The fact that I mentioned the few detentions he served with me when he did not properly clean my cauldrons is incidental."
"Sure it is."
"The threat was effective. He gave you your ice cream, did he not?"
"So you admit it was a threat."
"I am simply using your terminology since I do not wish to fight over technicalities."
Hermione grinned and raised her headboard. "What am I going to do with you, Severus?"
Severus slid a metal spoon closer to the cup. "I haven't the foggiest clue."
Once Hermione was upright, Severus positioned the bedside table until it was over her lap. She picked up the spoon. "Threats aside, thank you for getting the ice cream. I feel guilty for not ordering it when they came around for lunch, but I truly was not hungry then."
"You needed to rest," Severus answered. "Nobody could fault you for that."
Hermione took a spoonful of ice cream. "I only wish I could have been conscious for more of your visit."
"You needed to rest," Severus answered as she ate the ice cream. "Besides, I was able to get some research done while you slept."
Hermione swallowed. "What did you find?"
He exhaled. "Nothing at all."
Her voice was soft. "I'm sorry."
"What do you have to apologize for?" he asked. "I am the husband who cannot provide his wife with a cure. You have done nothing but support me. There is no reason at all for you to apologize."
"I know, but I feel awful for you."
"I am not the one suffering, you are."
"Yes, you are suffering, just in a different way," Hermione locked eyes with him. "You do not need to pretend not to feel anything around me. I know how terrified and upset you truly are."
"You needn't be concerned with my emotions."
"I'm your wife. How can I not be concerned?"
"This is your illness, not mine."
"This is a family issue, and we both know it." Hermione sighed. "Merlin knows you did not sign up for this when you married me. You must have expected a healthier wife."
"Your cancer diagnosis would not have mattered to me," Severus answered. "I would have married you regardless of any hardship."
"I know, you loved Rose that much."
"True, but I also would've known in my heart of hearts that I could love you that much."
Some color returned to her face.
"If I knew everything about this marriage that I do now, then the only thing I would change is starting to work on your cancer cure soon," he continued.
"I love you, Severus." Hermione took another bite of ice cream.
"I love you too, Hermione," he whispered.
"You know," she smirked. "You can be a romantic wizard when you want to be."
"I am only romantic with you, Love."
"How did I become so privileged to see this side of you?"
"Simple," he lowered his voice, "you iron my capes."
She raised an eyebrow. "I iron your capes?"
"Indeed, I love you because you iron my capes." He kissed her on the cheek. "After spending so many years ironing them myself I am glad you could step in and do the task for me."
Hermione dipped her spoon into her ice cream. "You love me because I can iron your capes?"
"Yes," Severus answered with a gleam in his eyes.
"So if I stopped ironing your capes…"
"I would find you absolutely useless."
"What about bedtime? You seem to find lots of uses for me then."
"I did not consider that. I suppose you do make my nights more…interesting."
"Then there's my cooking. You may never admit it aloud, but I think you prefer my cooking over your own and the elves'."
"You are proficient at making spaghetti and meatballs. I will grant you that."
"Do not forget rearing the children. I think it would've driven you insane to put a seven year old to bed while mediating a dispute over which teenager got to take first shower."
Severus shuddered. "Indeed, I was more than happy to allow you to settle those issues."
Hermione chuckled. "It seems that I contribute more to this marriage than simply ironing your cape."
"Oh Love, you are worth much more than a glorified maid and you know it," Severus purred.
Hermione gave him a small grin before taking another bite.
He kissed her forehead and whispered, "Marrying your was the best decision I ever made. Never forget that."
Hermione took a gulp. "I am glad to hear it, because marrying you was the best decision I ever made."
Severus moved closer to Hermione. She whispered, "Are you certain you want to kiss me? I'm here because I'm sick after all."
"I spent all of last night with you in my arms. If that does not cause me to get ill then it is doubtful a little kiss will."
For one long lingering moment, their lips met. Severus wrapped his arms around her. Hermione pushed away the table, allowing him to shift some of his weight onto the bed.
Severus gave the intruder the most intimidating glare he could muster. Hermione's eyes bulged as she broke away from her husband.
The Mediwitch cleared her throat and cowered. "I am happy to see that you are awake, Mrs. Snape."
"I am happy to be awake," Hermione muttered before Severus took a seat in the nearby padded chair. Not once did he remove his glower from the Mediwitch. She shrunk further.
"I uh, see you're eating too," the Mediwitch glanced down at her clipboard. "That is good to see."
"Are you simply here to make asinine observations or is there a point to this intrusion?" Severus barked.
"Severus," Hermione hissed.
The Mediwitch shrank. "I simply wanted to take your wife's vitals."
"I am doing much better," Hermione answered. "Thank you for your concern."
"I am glad to hear it. Hopefully this won't take too long then," the Mediwitch approached Mrs. Snape as if she was approaching a dragon's treasure, her husband being said dragon
"If my vitals are good, will I be allowed to return home with my husband before sunset?" Hermione asked.
"Unfortunately no," The Mediwitch set her clipboard onto the window sill. "The immunity boosters take twenty-four hours to take their full effect, and they can only be administered intravenously."
"I know," Hermione deflated. "Still, if there's any hope…"
"Sadly, if you want the potions to work effectively, then you must remain here."
"If you could raise your gown."
Hermione obeyed, allowing the Mediwitch access to her chest. Hermione shivered as the cold metal was placed over her heart. For almost a minute, the room was silent as the Mediwitch placed the stethoscope in various places over her chest.
Hermione did so. The Mediwitch began placing her instrument on her patient's back in varying locations. Finally, she removed the stethoscope from her patient.
"How do I sound?" Hermione asked.
"You sound clear for the moment," she answered before reaching into her pocket and pulling out a white thermometer. "Open your mouth and place this under your tongue."
Hermione nodded and complied. The Mediwitch positioned the thermometer. After ten seconds, she announced, "Thirty-seven point five degrees, much better than the last time we checked you."
"Indeed it is," Severus answered.
The Mediwitch strolled over to the wall and removed a blood pressure cuff from a hanger. "Now if you could just stick out your arm…."
Severus watched the rest of the exam with a sense dissociation. How could these Mediwitches behave as if each patient was simply another body? Did the uniqueness of the person ever cross their minds? Would they remember his unforgettable wife within five minutes of meeting her? Given Hermione's fame, that was unlikely. Still, that only raised the question of whether or not this Mediwitch would boast that she had treated the third member of the Golden Trio, the renowned Hermione Snape.
Was this Mediwitch capable of understanding how extraordinary a woman his wife was?
"I'll be back to check on you in a couple of hours" the Mediwitch announced.
"Thank you," Hermione answered.
The Mediwitch turned to Severus. He frowned. She gulped before scurrying out of the room.
His wife may have mellowed him, but he would always be the most feared professor ever to grace Hogwarts. It would serve the Wizarding World well to remember that.
"Severus," Hermione shook her head. "You take too much delight in intimidating people."
He looked at her. "Would you have me any other way?"
"No," she answered. "I suppose I would not."
Severus allowed himself to give her a genuine smile.
He may be a greasy git, but at least he had a wife who loved him for it.