Chapter 6: The Historic Wedding
“Hermione, it’s time!”
Hermione ignored Harry’s desperate whisper that came from the other side of the door. She was aware that the wedding ceremony was due to start in less than ten minutes and that her future husband was most probably already waiting for her. But perhaps this was the reason why she couldn’t make herself open the door.
A sudden desperation to stay in the dorm room seized Hermione.
“H-Harry, go without me...I’ll come later,” Hermione hiccupped nervously so low that Harry most probably didn’t hear anything.
But Harry, it seemed, had his ear firmly pressed to the thick wooden door.
“The heck you will!” he shot back.
“Can’t y-you understand, Harry? I’m ner-nervous!” exclaimed Hermione a little louder but still lacking her usual surety.
Hermione heard a snort on the other side of the door.
“Nerves? It is fear, Hermione. If it had been nerves you would have had a nervous break down by this time,” he corrected.
“Fear?! I have nothing to be afraid of, Harry Potter!”
This time Hermione’s voice was much clearer than it was before. Fortunately, she couldn’t see what a satisfied grin appeared on Harry’s face behind the door. Only her two best friends possessed the knowledge that anger was the only thing capable of chasing away all of her other emotions; negative and positive alike.
“Then why are you still hiding behind the door?” asked Harry with a barely concealed smile in his voice.
It was the last comment that made Hermione bang the door open and angrily stare at Harry who wore a very pleased grin upon his face. That grin, however, slowly evaporated as a very wide eyed Harry stared at the young woman standing in front of him.
He visibly gulped before disbelievingly exclaiming;
“Hermione? H-how...I mean...Wow!”
She raised her eyebrow questionably at him.
“And who is having a nervous break down now?” she asked looking at the rapid change of emotions on her friend’s face.
Harry just couldn’t accept that it was his best friend of six years who stood in front of him now. During all these years, Hermione never wore anything but casual types of clothes. Only during the Yule Ball she had made an exception and dolled up for the evening. But that was over two years ago and her ball dress did not reveal anything that counted as vulgar in public.
Hermione’s dress tightly hugged her figure, especially in the chest and hip area. Two thin straps seemed to prevent it from revealing her chest while a very deep cut in front appeared to compensate for the ‘mistake’ and flashed a generous amount of cleavage for public gaze. The dress both appeared simple and complicated with its material freely flowing past her hips ending just above the knees. It all might have yet appeared harmless if not for the cut on Hermione’s side that revealed her pale skin right up to her hip.
The dress itself was the color of such a deep red that it looked almost black. This color however, only highlighted Hermione’s skin pureness that could have rivaled only with the best of pearls.
Harry never could have dreamed that Hermione possessed such curves that he saw displayed before him now. As far as he could remember, his best friend always distinguished herself with a rather flat body. It appeared that the summer holidays gave Hermione something else apart from extra time for her studies.
“Well?! Are we going or not?”
Hermione’s irritated voice broke Harry from his reverie. He had to actually shake his head so that he could remember why he stood in front of Hermione’s dorm room.
“Yes, yes...let’s go then,” muttered Harry, trying to look at anything else but the young woman in front of him.
But he had the ultimate chance to feel all those curves right beside him as Hermione and he finally started their descent towards Hogwarts’ entrance doors under his infamous Invisibility Cloak.
The sunset at Hogwarts’ grounds, for some reason, always looked more mesmerizing than on any other place on earth. An idealistic picture was formed by the enchanting colors of the lake as it reflected the setting red sun. The darkness of the east rapidly chased the light from the sky that grew dimmer with every passing minute.
Severus Snape watched the beautiful horizon of the west unblinkingly. Deep within he felt a pure tranquility taking over his body at witnessing one of the wonders of nature, but he was sure that none of his emotions would reflect on his face. The long years of practice in schooling his face to the one he wanted never failed him.
“She’s going to be late, that silly girl!”
Severus knew only too well about whom Professor McGonagall was talking, but he never missed a chance to tease his former teacher of so many years ago and innocently asked;
Professor McGonagall gave him an angry glare before restoring her face to its usual stern mask. In addition to them, six more people surrounded them, the people who would act as witnesses that evening. As it might have been expected, all six of them were adults and belonged to the teaching staff of Hogwarts. At present, all of them kept silent, looking like they were asked to attend a funeral instead of a wedding.
And Snape had a suspicion that it was not he who was being mourned.
“Miss Granger, of course,” said the Headmistress, answering both of his questions at the same time. “Or have you forgotten that you are supposed to get married in exactly four minutes, Severus?” demanded McGonagall not quite succeeding to mask her sarcasm.
Professor McGonagall rarely used his first name, but when the occasions came, Severus knew that the woman wasn’t in a joyful disposition towards his persona at the time.
As a result, he just gave a hint of a shrug and looked back towards the west where the sun was just mere minutes away from disappearing behind the lake for the night. Even though Severus wouldn’t have admitted it even to himself, now he felt something else in addition to the slowly departing calmness. He was nervous.
Well, it is not as if he gets married every week.
“We are sooo sorry, Professor McGonagall! We ran as fast as we could!”
Severus whirled towards where Potter’s voice was coming from, but his eyes did not find anything except for empty air.
Professor felt his lips stretch instinctively into a smirk as he said into the space;
“How biased of you, Potter, to come here wearing your famous cloak. It seems that nowadays you cannot go anywhere without it anymore, you have chickened out so much.”
Potter appeared first and Severus felt an unexplainable delight in seeing the young man’s angry red face. It seemed that one of the joys he got from life for the past six - or it was more correctly to say five years - was from seeing how far he could stretch Potter’s nerves.
“Dear Merlin! Why didn’t you dress up for this happy and unforgettable cerem-,” Severus suddenly stopped in mid-word when the rest of the Invisibility Cloak slid onto the grass revealing the person who stood beside Potter.
He felt his jaw drop open as he stared at the illusion before him that was supposed to be Granger. It seemed that the years of practice in schooling his emotions at that moment proved useless.
Severus let his eyes rove over Granger for mere seconds, but it was enough to give him a perfect picture of what stood in front of him. Unlike Potter, Granger’s cheeks were faintly flushed by the running and Severus could not but notice the way her chest rose with every panting breath she took. Thanks to the dress, Severus was free to observe Granger’s full breasts that looked as if, any minute now, they were ready to spill out of the dark cloth. The temperature was rapidly falling with the departure of the sun and the hugging dress couldn’t conceal the way Granger’s nipples hardened behind it.
All of this display was enough to make Severus close his mouth with a snap and a wince. It seemed as if all of his blood suddenly rushed between his legs and the sensation was far from a pleasant one. Only his cloak kept everyone from noticing a bulge that had appeared inside his trousers.
“Well, come on! We have exactly two minutes until the sunset so hurry up and stand right here in front of me, Miss Granger,” exclaimed Professor McGonagall who did not seem to have noticed either Hermione’s outfit or Professor Snape’s perplexed state.
Hermione obediently moved to stand where Professor McGonagall was pointing and was closely followed by Professor Snape who took his place on her left hand side. Even though Hermione had read a lot of books that mentioned a traditional wizarding wedding, she unfortunately never had a chance to visit a non-muggle wedding and for a few months now wanted to attend such a ceremony.
Well, they always warn you by saying, ‘Be careful what you wish for,’ she thought.
“Fellow witches and wizards, we have united here on the brink of sacred darkness to tie these two...,” Professor McGonagall started the ceremony addressing all of the few people present. Hermione tried to concentrate on the Headmistress’ words, but her concentration kept slipping by an urge to glance at the man standing beside her. For an unexplainable reason she wanted to see how Snape was taking this ceremony.
As cautiously as she could, Hermione shot a darting glance at the tall man standing beside her. But it was almost immediately followed by a second one for she thought her eyes had made a mistake.
They however, were proven unmistaken.
Snape kept staring at her as if he had never seen her before and Hermione could have bet a galleon that he did not hear anything that McGonagall was saying either. Hermione felt her body give an almost unnoticeable shiver at the look Snape was giving her now. For some reason, Hermione felt that this look was the most dangerous that Snape had ever given her but in what danger she was Hermione had no idea.
“Would you or would you not, SEVERUS SNAPE?!”
Professor McGonagall, it seemed, had tried to catch Snape’s attention for some time now and her patience was starting to wear thin for the night.
“I do what?” he asked calmly, finally tearing his black eyes away from Hermione.
McGonagall’s nostrils began to flare a bit, dimly reminding Hermione of a Hungarian Horntail.
“Would you or would you not accept Hermione Granger as your wife on the terms of the wizard world, Severus Snape?” repeated Professor McGonagall as calmly as her voice could allow.
Snape stayed silent for a few seconds but this silence caused the Headmistress’ right eye to visibly twitch in a rather nervous manner.
“Yes, I would,” he replied finally without looking in Hermione’s direction.
Professor McGonagall actually sighed in relief and turned her attention to Hermione next.
“And you, Hermione Granger, would you allow yourself to be accepted by Severus Snape as his wife on all wizarding terms?”
Hermione found the phrasing strange and, thanks to her previous curiousness towards Snape, she did not hear what these ‘wizarding terms’ were. But as a true Gryffindor she inwardly pulled herself together and locked her determined gaze with Professor McGonagall’s and said;
For a long time afterwards Hermione wondered if what she felt after these pronounced words was true or just a consequence of her nervousness. As the words left her mouth, the young witch felt the wind circle around her and the man standing beside her. But this wind seemed to possess a mind of its own for it began to push her towards Snape, silently urging them to stand as close as possible. Snape probably also got this effect for, as a result, Hermione found herself firmly pressed to his side and unable to move against the force that held her there.
Snape’s face appeared to be even paler than it usually was as he stayed rooted on the spot with all these soft curves pressed to his right side. The other part of his mind that wasn’t clouded by Granger’s body was furiously racing. He might not be an expert in weddings, but even he had heard of this wind. But this was wrong, it shouldn’t have appeared here! Not in the circumstances he was in with Granger.
It was absurd.
“Before the judge of twilight and sacred witnesses, seal the holy ceremony with a kiss,” McGonagall’s voice seemed to be coming from very far away to Hermione’s ears.
She tilted her head backwards and met the dark gaze of her Professor. The two were so close together that a part of her face was brushing his black cloak. Nevertheless, the panic that she saw projected in Snape’s eyes gave her a sense of satisfaction and knowledge that she was not the only panicking person there.
Snape must have noticed some of her thoughts pass through her eyes for the next second he dropped his shields yet again around himself. The usual cold mask stared back at Hermione and she found herself missing the slip of emotion that he had accidentally allowed her to witness. With that panic in his bottomless eyes he seemed more vulnerable more...alive.
“The kiss,” reminded McGonagall with desperation.
Hermione had a moment to witness Snape’s eyes turning into two slits before he, for the first time in his life, followed McGonagall’s order.
The lips that touched Hermione’s were surprisingly warm and seemed very inviting in the chilly air. She found that there was barely anything intimate in Snape’s embrace that at the moment presented more duty than sensuality. It was a true formal seal of the ceremony and when he hastily lifted his mouth from hers barely three seconds later; Hermione felt another inexplicable emotion slipping into her.
“With my righteous power I proclaim you husband and wife.”
Hermione found herself unable to look away from Snape and his blank gaze, even McGonagall’s last fateful words did not bear any effect whatsoever upon his posture. Without a word to either of the people surrounding him, Snape turned on his heel and headed towards the castle. Even then Hermione kept her eyes locked upon the lone dark cloaked figure until the nearby trees hid him from her view.
Her married life has begun.
Sweet Surrender by witch