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A/N The other night, lulabelle72 and I were feeling angsty, and so we decided to write together. Her lovely story can be found on her livejournal, and here is mine. I hope you enjoy--much feeling (mostly angst!) went into this!
I remember, from those early days of secret kisses and locked cupboards and forbidden looks, I remember most clearly her hair. Swirls of curls, I used to say, whispering in her ear. She’d jab me sharply in the side for that, but—and don’t tell anyone, dear paper—but I enjoyed making her shake with anger.
Trying to commit all this down now, all of that love and anger and passion and fit it onto squares of blank white is perhaps a fool’s errand. But you see, oh empty Orb of Precisely Squared Nothingness, that she is gone now, and soon I will be.
Gone, taken from me. We were blessed, people said, blessed with sixty-five years of blessed happiness, but right now, I don’t feel so blessed.
I feel cheated.
I feel… like I should have died before her. I’m older than her. That was always the bargain, I thought.
She was buried in a pretty white tomb not far from here, and her hair was still swirls of curls, but when I whispered that in her ear, no responding sparks of anger in her eyes.
No expression. Just the unnatural smoothness of her skin, and the tang of days-old preservation charms.
But her hair. Yes, I return once more to that, her hair. Do you know back all those years ago, that is what I first noticed about her? As ridiculous as it sounds, because up until then, I’d been enamored of long, silken, auburn locks. But she was a new professor, and I watched her retreating form—mostly, those bouncing, shiny curls—and I wanted to bury my fingers in her hair and wind it about my body. In the end, that’s what happened, and I married her so she’d never leave.
Ironic then, that I sit here now alone. As ever.
Again, I stray. A memoir, that is what I intend to write, and yet I find myself in such a fucking mood.
So I will now attempt to put down all that I loved about Hermione Granger. Love, I say, though the word is inadequate. Her fingernails, always precisely clipped and squared, and sometimes she’d tap, tap them on the table. Tap, tap. If I listen closely, I can almost hear it now, can almost hear her exasperated sigh, the calming, measured turning of pages.
The lobes of her ears.
The… ah, the shrillness of her voice.
How once, she dragged me out into the garden to dance in the moonlight, threatening me with bodily injury if I so much as snapped at a firefly.
And it evolved as relationships are wont to do—a kiss at the door of her quarters, an inquisitive arm on my thigh during breakfast in the Great Hall, the soft scraping of silk against skin in her bedroom one night.
It was by the lake I asked her to marry me—she threatened to feed me to the Giant Squid if I wasn’t serious. We were married in a month.
Those years were difficult—I had never before really lived with someone, and she was always, always around, but in the end, it was worth it, because she went to bed with me every night and sometimes held me in her arms and curled her fingers through my hair.
We tried to have children, and I saw the misery in her eyes when we found out she was barren, a result of her disastrous fifth year foray into the Ministry. That was the only moment I thought she might leave me. For two years, I would find her crying in the garden by the vines ripe with red tomatoes. Until one night, she crawled beneath the warm bedclothes and sniffled against my chest and spoke to me. “Severus, let’s sleep in tomorrow.”
The next day was spent entirely, deliciously in bed. And she laughed again.
Another thing I learned about her—this woman who became such a part of me that even now when she is dead and gone I cannot distinguish myself from her—is that she is impossibly difficult. Funny, she would always have sympathetic well-wishers asking her how she did it, how she lived with Severus Snape. Fools should have been asking me how I lived with Hermione Granger, for she surely ruled the household with her shrill voice, her curly hair, that determined set of her chin, that damned scary gleam she would get in her eyes when she meant business.
A few more things, just a few. I could realistically go on forever, but I imagine people will tire of reading my sentimental scribbles. And, to be honest, time is running short.
Fifteen years into our marriage, and she found her first grey hair. She pulled it out and Incendio’d it right there in the bathroom, but she didn’t mention it until three days later when, bottom lip trembling, she said, “I’m getting old.”
I said, “And you’re fucking gorgeous, Granger, you foolish twit.”
She laughed and kissed me and never again mentioned the greying of her hair.
On our fiftieth wedding anniversary, I remember she was worried that no one would show up—after all, we had no children, no grandchildren. Who would care, really? Oh, paper, you should have seen her face when I walked her into that candle-lit ballroom, and the crowd erupted in cheers. Silly woman, she should have realised that the Weasley brood alone would account for one hundred redheaded dunderheads, at the very least.
It was that night—and she was wearing a thin, silvery dress and her hair was piled in ringlets atop her head—that I told her what I am now going to relay to you.
I told her that I never imagined that I would be one of the lucky ones, those lucky few who gets to spend their life with a partner so well-suited that happiness exudes from every aspect of life. So, yes, I guess all those sycophants were right. I was and still am blessed with her.
I miss you.
There comes a knock at my study. Even now—and here I thought I made it clear I was to be alone. Ah, it’s Potter, blabbing on and on through the door about something, sounding quite panicky. Panicky Potter, but yes, a suitable name. I try to decipher proper words out of his panicked blathering, but it's too exhausting. It’s nearly one in the morning, you know, the day after I buried my wife.
“I know what you’re going to do, Severus!” he shouts, now pounding on the door. Presumptuous boy; I’ve never given him leave to call me by my first name, and yet he has taken such liberties for the past forty years.
“Don’t!” he yells.
Ah, Potter, idiot until the end. If he can’t understand, then I won’t explain it. I quickly cast a nonverbal Silencing spell to dull the racket.
I pour myself a generous measure of whisky, sloshing the golden liquid in front of the fire. It’s beautiful, the way it sparkles, and as I augment it with a… dare I say, a dangerously potent mixture of my own creation, the darker fluid swirls and swirls within the amber.
The colour of her hair. Of her eyes.
I bring the tumbler to my lips, and the taste of the whisky hasn’t noticeably changed. Bitter.
Bitter, with a smooth aftertaste.
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The Patronus skin was created especially for The Petulant Poetess by TarahFae.