AN: Thank you all for the support! It is very deeply appreciated!
"You need to go now."
"No, I cannot leave you, not like this."
"Yes, you can and you will."
"No, I will not."
Hermione squeezed her son's hand. "You need to go home and get some sleep. Tomorrow is a big day."
"I can sleep on the chair," he argued.
She shook her head. "You will sleep horribly in that thing."
"Then I'll transfigure it into a comfortable bed." He released his mother's hand and pointed his wand at the aqua green padded chair across the room.
"The Mediwitches will come in and disrupt your slumber."
"If I can sleep through Violet's three AM refrigerator raids, then I can sleep through a Mediwitch coming in and running a few tests on you."
She lowered his hand. "You are going to get some sleep and you are going to do it at home in your nice, comfortable bed."
"How can I do that?" Victor choked. "How can I leave you alone given what happened last night?"
"What happened last night will not occur again."
"How do you know that?"
"There is extra security in the hospital…"
"It did not save your earlier."
"The security guards were unaware of what could go wrong."
"But now we all are aware of what could happen to you."
"I do not think what happened last night will happen again though."
"How can you guarantee that?"
"For one, Molly and her sons are incarcerated."
"What if other amnesiacs discover you and use you to draw out Dad?"
Hermione considered telling him that she would defend herself, but something told her this was the last thing he needed to hear. Instead she picked up a golden bell from her bedside table. "I will ring this if I run into any trouble."
"Because that served you so well last night."
She set it down. "In the Mediwitches defense, I never rang it."
"Things happened so quickly, and I did not consider asking for help."
"See," he aimed his wand at the chair again. "This is why I wish to remain with you. This way there will be someone who can defend you."
She grabbed his arm again. "You are not responsible for my safety."
"Yes, I am."
"No, you are not. You are responsible for your own life, not mine."
"How can I not be responsible for your physical well-being?"
"You are my son, and I am your mother. I am meant to take care of you, not vice versa."
His voice was softer. "I owe you so much though."
"No," she rubbed his arm. "You owe me nothing. Never forget that."
He smirked. "I will remind you of those exact words when you begin complaining about how much money I spent on chocolate frog cards as an adolescence."
"Okay, perhaps I wouldn't mind the fifty sickles you spent on a Harry Potter chocolate frog card back, especially since I thought it was going towards a new suit."
She gave him a small smile. "I will rest better knowing my children are well, which includes them getting enough sleep."
"I know," Victor sighed.
She gestured for him to come closer. Victor lowered his head, allowing his mother to kiss his cheek. "Good night, my favorite son."
Victor kissed her on the cheek. "Good night, my favorite Mum."
"Don't ever forget who your favorite mum is."
"Don't worry," he chuckled. "I will not."
Hermione watched her son exit the room. She took a deep breath and stared at the ceiling. Before now she hadn't had time to count the tiles. Now she was curious as to how many there were. One, two, three, four…
Her heart skipped a beat.
"Hermione, are you still awake?"
She sat up and turned to the doorway. "Severus?"
He crept into the room, staring at her as if he didn't trust that she was real.
Her lips curled up. "Hello again."
"Hello," he paused.
She ran her fingers along her sheet while he continued to approach her.
"They, they were not lying," he clasped her hands. "You truly are here and healthy."
Her voice cracked. "I am."
Severus dropped her hands. "I only wanted to see for myself that you were safe. I needed to see if you were as well as the attorneys told me you were."
"I am very well."
"I am glad to hear it." Severus took a step back.
"There's no need to leave," Hermione pat the bed. "Please, stay with me."
"No, I must leave."
"Where do you plan to go?"
"Back to Australia I presume, assuming your parents will still welcome me."
"My parents would welcome you with open arms," Hermione swallowed. "But they and I would rather you stay with me."
"Didn't I make the answer clear last night? Isn't it obvious how in love I am with you?"
"You make it very clear how deep your love ran, but after last night, why would you so recklessly put yourself in danger for someone like me?"
"Because you are worth it."
"I know you believe that."
"I believe it with all my heart."
"Thinking with your heart may not be the most advisable course of action though," Severus argued. "It is not even clear if they're taking any extra precautions with your safety."
"There is increased security. The Mediwitches, Healers, and non-amnesiac security officers are all aware of what occurred."
"Are they protecting you?"
"As best they can."
"Regardless," he took another step back. "I should not needlessly endanger you. I only wanted to see how you were faring."
"I would do better if my husband were at my side."
"Hermione," he choked. "All I have done throughout my life is cause trouble and hurt those I love. I am still at a loss as to why you would want to be in my presence."
Hermione sighed. "Must I show you my memories and the photo albums again?"
"No," Severus dug his foot into the ground. "On an intellectual level I understand our life together, but on an emotional level I am still amazed that a witch such as yourself could find anything valuable in me."
"If it makes you feel better, sometimes I wonder how a wizard such as you can find anything worthwhile in me."
He approached her. "How could you ever have those thoughts?"
"Because we are flawed people with deep insecurities," she gave him a small grin. "We came to each other broken and abandoned, both convinced we were unworthy of love. From those circumstances we were able to build a loving family together."
He brushed a tendril of hair behind her ear, ignoring the strands which fell out. "I must say Love, you never cease to impress me."
There was a spark in her eyes. "What amazing thing have I done now?"
"You persuaded the man who vowed never to love again to fall madly in love with you." He kissed her forehead before whispering, "that my love, is the most impressive feat I have ever beheld."
The spark in her eyes grew. "Funny, when I married I vowed never to love again too. I believe I told you that if I never loved again, I would be the happiest witch alive."
"You, never love? Perish the thought."
"It is true, I never wanted to love again." She leaned closer to him. "Yet you changed my mind just by being yourself."
"We truly are quite the pair then."
"We are, which is why we're perfect for each other."
"I hope," he took a shaky breath. "I hope my non-amnesiac self lets you know every day how worthy you are to be cherished."
"He does that and more," Hermione brushed her lips against his.
"I am glad to hear it," he purred.
Hermione smiled before yawning.
"You appear exhausted," he murmured.
"Perhaps I am somewhat fatigued," she admitted, the light from her eyes now extinguished.
She swallowed. "The last time I awoke from sleep I almost died of magical overload. It is an experience I do not care to repeat."
"I would imagine not," he answered. "Though staying awake for the remainder of your life is hardly a viable option."
She yawned again. "Indeed."
"I have an idea," he pointed his wand at the bed. After muttering a spell, it expanded until it could accommodate two.
"Are you certain of this?" Hermione asked as Severus kicked off his shoes and took off his cape.
"There are fewer things in life I have been more sure of than this." He folded the cape and set it on a nearby chair.
"The Mediwitches may come in and awaken you."
"I do not plan to sleep," Severus slid onto the bed. "Instead, I intend to stand guard over you."
"You need to sleep though."
"I need to know you are well taken care of."
He put two fingers over her lips. "I will stay awake all night wondering if you are well if I am not here."
She moved her fingers away from her lips. "You could always take a sleeping draught."
"Or I could remain with my wife and ensure she is taken care of myself."
She relaxed. "I suppose I cannot win every argument with you."
"No, you cannot."
She spooned into him. "Fine, but if you are exhausted please do go to sleep. You will feel better."
He wrapped his arms around her. "Do not worry about me, my beloved."
"Ooh beloved." She closed her eyes. "You usually only call me that when you're in a particularly romantic mood."
He snorted. "I would imagine that is not as often as you would like."
"Actually it is quite often."
He massaged her back. "Good night, Hermione."
The tension in her muscles evaporated. "Good night, Severus."
After a few moments, Hermione's breathing slowed. Severus gazed upon her, knowing for the first time that he was worthy of a love such as theirs.