AN: Thank you for all the support! It is deeply appreciated!
Hermione scooted the jade marbles towards her husband. Her eyelids were as heavy, and her muscles had long since lost their strength. Still, she managed to groan out, "One more game."
Severus flicked two crimson marbles in her direction. "No."
She sat up straighter.
"We need to sleep," he continued.
Hermione yawned. "We can't go to sleep, not until we understand exactly what is going on with you."
He moaned, "Perhaps that is a mystery best resolved in the morning."
She tried to blink, but her eyes remained closed. "No, we need to understand what's happening now."
"Right now, I do not foresee anything productive coming out of observing me further."
"No, no I need to continue observing you. We need to stay awake in case something happens."
Severus stood up. "If you want to observe me then you will have to go into the bedroom. I am retiring for the night"
"Are you going to join me?"
She slumped over, as if she were a discarded doll.
He scooped her into his arms and kissed her forehead. "We will have a better idea of what ails me in the morning."
Her breathing slowed.
"I'm here, I'm listening. We just need one more game, one more…" Her body relaxed.
He plodded towards their bedroom. Not since Violet was a screeching baby had Severus felt this worn. One would think that with an empty nest would come more restful nights, but of course his health would interfere with that sleep-filled fantasy.
"Do you want a kneazle-cat hybrid?"
He stopped. "Excuse me?"
Hermione muttered, "I want a kneazle-cat hybrid."
"Why would you make such a request?"
"They're so furry and so soft. They make excellent companions."
Severus resumed trading towards the bedroom. "So they do."
"I would buy one at this moment, but my husband hates pets," Hermione muttered. "He's a git that way."
Severus chuckled as he placed her on the bed. "I suppose your husband is a bit of a greasy git."
"No, not all of the time," she mumbled. "Sometimes he's sweet."
"Be careful Mrs. Snape," he whispered. "If he ever heard you making such statements about him, he would need to silence you forever."
"His techniques are too numerous to list."
Hermione startled. "What, what did you say?"
Severus flashed her a smile. "It would be wise for you to put on a night gown."
"No," she argued. "You could have an episode and I need to be there when you do. We need to know what is wrong with you."
"Love, if nothing has happened by two in the morning then I may be in the clear tonight."
"How could you be well tonight, but not last night?"
Severus undressed himself. "That is a mystery best left for the morning."
"Perhaps," Hermione trudged to her closet and pulled out her black, satin nightgown. After stripping herself of her garments, she put it on.
"You look beautiful," Severus whispered.
Hermione stepped towards him. "Thank you."
He exhaled as she began to button up his nightshirt.
"You, are quite attractive yourself," Hermione replied as she finished her task.
"You need to get some rest, lest your eyesight deteriorates any further," Severus teased before taking her hand.
Hermione squeezed his hand before allowing him to lead her to their bed.
Ginevra shut the blinds before turning to Draco. "I almost forgot what it was like to have a quiet night."
Draco threw the blankets over his body. "I would not count on too many of them. Whatever was afflicting the aurors will reemerge at some point."
"I know it will," Ginevra mused before crawling into bed beside him. "I just hope we can get a few nights sleep before they return."
"A little sleep would be nice."
"Yes, it would be."
Draco ran a finger along her jaw. "Are you sure you're fine with me running for office?"
"Why would I not be?" Ginevra asked. "I was the one who encouraged you to do so."
"I know," Draco replied. "Now that it's becoming a reality though, I wanted to make sure you didn't have any second thoughts."
"If this is about the article," she sat up straighter. "Percy is going to make snide comments about me throughout this campaign. Knowing him, he will paint me as an easily manipulated woman who turned her back on her family because he husband has cowed her into doing so."
Draco smirked. "Anyone who knows you would know how little control I have over your actions."
Ginevra brushed his lips with hers. "Exactly."
"Besides," Draco laughed. "If we want to play the who manipulated who game, then Father should have his say. According to him, you were the one who manipulated me into marriage."
"He has said that, hasn't he?" Ginevra purred.
"Yes, he has," Draco replied. "When we first began dating he accused you of spiking my drinks with Amortentia."
"What was your response to him?"
"I promised Father than I would call Uncle Severus and tell him to make me a love potion antidote. If it worked then I would obviously fall out of love with you, but if my emotions towards you did not change then my feelings of hatred would be directed towards him."
"Clearly you never took it."
"No, after that threat Father never broached the subject again."
Ginevra rubbed his back. "I love you Draco."
"And I you," Draco replied.
"For the record," Ginevra whispered. "I would much rather be the wife of the Minister of Magic than the sister of one."
"I am thrilled to hear it," Draco replied before capturing her lips again.
The first sensation which entered Hermione's consciousness was that of a warm body pressed against her chest. She felt a toe caressing her leg, and muscular arms wrapped around her.
"Good morning, Love."
Hermione opened her eyes. Tears came to her eyes. "Good Morning, Severus."
He pressed his lips against her forehead.
"What time is it?" Hermione asked.
"It is a little past nine," he answered.
Her eyes flew open. "If it's nine, then does that mean…"
"No," Severus answered. "I did not develop an episode."
Hermione lowered her head. "If you did not experience an episode tonight, then what does that mean?"
"It means," Severus kissed her lips. "We are not getting a kneazle-cat hybrid."
"Kneazle-cat hybrid," Hermione blushed. "I thought that was a dream."
"You were sleep talking," Severus answered.
"I didn't know I talked in my sleep."
"When you are in a deep sleep you do not speak, but sometimes when you are extremely fatigued, you will speak a little."
Her face was redder. "I apologize."
"There is no need to apologize," Severus ran his fingers through her hair. "You can say the most sensual things when you are in that state."
"What kinds of things?" Hermione asked.
"Oh if I recalled what kinds of fantasies you have relayed to me while in that state, I believe you would die of embarrassment," Severus purred.
Hermione's eyes glistened. "In other words, if I want to get any information out of you, I'll need to coax it from you."
"Perhaps," Severus replied.
Hermione crashed her lips into his, determined to revel in the moment as long as it lasted.