Chapter 120

AN: Sorry this is so late! I got home from Illinois pretty late, so I really didn't have time to edit and update! Thanks for sticking with me through all of this! Hopefully this chapter will be worth the wait ;)

I don't own anything you'd recognize

Severus let the warm water soak his skin as he slid down into the tub. He stared up at the ceiling, smiled, and tried to guess what his little witch could possibly have in store for him. After the Malfoys left, Hermione had insisted that he do something to occupy himself while she prepared his present. Despite his best efforts to elicit so much as a hint from her, she wouldn't budge. He'd finally given up and decided to take a bath in order to relax his muscles.

After some time, fully relaxed and comfortably warm, he stretched and stood to step out of the tub, beads of water trickling from his hair onto his shoulders and down his back. He cast some drying spells, applied a little cologne, then dressed himself and descended to the living room.

He gulped when he saw the three elves sitting on the couch, all of them looking extremely unhappy. "What's going on?" Severus asked, trying to mask his surprise.

"Mistress won't let us in the kitchen!" Amy replied, her anger evident.

"What?" Snape snapped.

"Mistress says that she wants to give you a present, so she made us stay out here," Filbert explained.

"Mistress needs to learn the rules around here," Sparky grumbled.

"Hermione can do whatever she pleases," Snape replied, still trying to wrap his head around the situation.

"Severus!" Hermione exclaimed as she stepped into the room.

"Hermione, why are the elves so upset?" Severus asked.

She shrugged. "I thought they'd enjoy a night off."

"We like working," Sparky grumbled louder.

Snape hissed at him, causing the elf to jump and quiet himself. "I will give you an Oreo for obeying Hermione," he replied.

Severus then looked at Hermione and noticed that she'd changed from her day robes into a black sleeveless dress flowing down to just above her ankles. It made her look regal, completely striking, and ultimately desirable. The elves smiled and nudged each other when they saw the gleam in his eyes. Severus approached Hermione, but didn't trust himself to touch her. "You're beautiful," he whispered.

"Thank you," she answered with a seductive smile. Then, she became serious and continued, "Your surprise is ready."

"My surprise?" he asked in a silky voice.

She nodded, trying to keep her mind off the scent of his cologne and her body's reaction to it. She gulped and nodded, afraid that if she opened her mouth it would be to kiss him until they were breathless and panting on the floor…

"Are you going to show me this surprise?" Severus asked.

"Yes!" she exclaimed louder than she intended. She blushed, which caused Severus to flash her a small smile. "Follow me."

"Lead the way," Severus replied.

Hermione took his hand, deciding that relatively safe gesture would be innocent enough. She was proven wrong however when Severus pulled her into an embrace and kissed her with all the passion he'd been suppressing. He released her and reveled in the flush he had brought to her cheeks. "Let's go," Hermione whispered.

Hermione led him into the kitchen, their hands still intertwined. Severus gasped when he saw the table. Hermione smiled. "I know that we could've gone to a restaurant, but with the trial so close, I didn't want the press to harass you… so I decided to bring the restaurant to you."

He examined the table. It was candlelit with a vase full of arranged black roses. On the table was his favorite beef dish with mashed potatoes, and he could smell a chocolate cake from the other room. "You, you made all this?" he asked.

"Well, I fudged a little," she admitted. "I ordered the chocolate cake."

"Cheater," he purred.

She smirked. "I also got you this," she answered as she pulled out a flat red velvet box.

"Hermione," he whispered.

"Open it!" she replied, her eyes sparkling with anticipation.

"Okay," he answered slowly.

He took the box from her and opened it. "Hermione," he whispered as he removed a gold wristwatch.

"I saw it in a muggle store at Christmastime, but I didn't want to give it to you in front of everyone in case, well, you thought it was too much that I bought you two material gifts," she answered.

"It's beautiful," he answered as he put it on.

"I'm glad you approve," she answered with a smile.

"Thank you. Thank you for everything," he answered in a sincere voice.

"No, thank you," she answered.

They kissed again, more tenderly than before.

Hermione pulled away. "I'm going to feel really stupid if we don't at least try to eat some of this."

"Agreed," he answered. "You've gone to so much trouble."

They sat across from each other and ate while they chatted about potions, transfiguration spells, and the Malfoy children. When they'd finished their dinner, Severus ordered Amy to bring out the cake. While Hermione gave him a glare, Severus merely smirked. "You know they'd never survive being free," he commented.

"I know," she conceded with a grumble before flashing him a playful smile.

He smirked in return, wondering if she had any idea what kind of fantasies he was having about her. "Cake!" Amy announced.

"Thank you Amy," Hermione replied as the elf set the cake on the table, then served them.

"Thank goodness there are no more candles… and no more singing!" Snape began in his snarkiest voice.

"I think you just don't want to admit that you've had a good day," she answered.

"Well, it was a decent day," Snape admitted with a playful smile.

She smirked in triumph before taking a bite of her piece.

They finished their cake in a comfortable silence. When they had finished, Snape stood up and announced, "please come with me, Hermione."

"Where?" she asked.

He smiled. "You'll see."

He led her to the living room and told her to stay where she was. She nodded, wondering where he'd run off to. He soon returned with a small item which he set down and enlarged.

"A radio?" Hermione gasped.

He nodded. "This is actually much nicer than the ones in Britain because you can pick up both muggle and wizarding stations. I keep it in Scorpius' room because he's somewhat afraid of storms, and the music calms him down. I don't often listen to it, but I thought maybe you'd enjoy it tonight. After all, it is hard to dance without music."

"Dance?" Hermione asked as her eyes lit up.

He nodded sheepishly. "I didn't know if you liked dancing but I figured it was worth a try. If you'd rather not…"

"Well, I haven't done it in a while, and I may be out of practice…." She grew quiet and smiled as she extended her hand. "Turn it on," she whispered.

Gaining confidence he complied, finding an Atlanta muggle station that set just the mood he was looking for. He took her hand, kissed it, then held her close as they swayed to the music, basking in their limited intimacy.

"Thank you," Hermione whispered.

He kissed her on the head. "I love you."

She lifted her head to gaze into his eyes. "I love you, too… and you're a wonderful dancer."

He smiled, enjoying the sensation of her body moving in time with his. "You aren't so bad yourself."

She chuckled and nuzzled against, eager for the day they could do more than dance fully clothed.