She stopped mid page turn. “Eyes up here please. And move your hands, I can’t concentrate.”
Severus dutifully obeyed, a smug smirk dancing on his lips as he removed his wandering hands from where they had briefly settled on her stomach. “Yes, dear.”
Hermione huffed good-naturedly before continuing where she left off. “Obviously red is out.”
“Quite.” An unspoken comment about Gryffindors hung in the air.
“So are most shades of green.”
He snorted in response. “Pray tell, what shades are acceptable then?”
She hummed and squinted at the walls and their peeling paper thoughtfully. “I think… maybe a pastel green or a soft yellow. It’s a pretty common color in Muggle homes.”
“Too Hufflepuff,” he declared. “Blue would favor Ravenclaw in the same way.”
“And heaven forbid we come across as favoring any one house above another!” Hermione crossed her arms with a huff.
“Such…cheek,” he purred as he moved his hands to her bum and squeezed. She shrieked and smacked his shoulder with the magazine she held.
“Behave! I want to get the color decided today!”
He swept his gaze around the nearly empty room, only a few pieces of new furniture were scattered about. “I suppose you may do lavender or pink if you must.”
“I’d rather it be gender neutral. I’ve actually read that grey inspires intuitive and emotional growth, but would that be too…dungeon-like?”
“Grey is fine.” Severus plucked the Muggle design journal from her hands, using his wand to change the colors in the picture to broad grey and white stripes. “But add white. It’s too dark and dreary in this house for a solid grey room.”
She peered at the changed picture, comparing it to the room around them. “Hmmm, I like it. But white stains so easily.”
He arched a brow. “Pardon me, I must’ve been thinking of my other wife. She’s a witch you know, able to clean with a wave of her wand. It’s rather spectacular.”
She stuck her tongue out. He pressed his lips to hers in chase, carelessly letting his wand and the magazine clatter to the floor. He guided her back to the new overstuffed chair in the corner, sitting down and pulling her onto his lap. When they finally broke apart she was panting and his hair was mussed.
“So…um…” She absently tried to sooth his hair down. “Did we actually decide on a color?”
“Yes, white and grey. “ He leaned back and guided her down to tuck her head under his chin. “That should be a gender, and house, neutral combination.”
“I like it. Is it still alright for my mum to come and paint it? She was really excited about seeing the house and decorating.” Hermione fingered the buttons at his throat.
“I dare not disappoint my mother-in-law,” he murmured. “But let me provide the paint magically. I’d rather not have you swoon from Muggle paint fumes.”
“I wouldn’t,” Hermione protested half-heartedly, stroking his chest almost hypnotically.
He ran his hands over her curves, once again letting his hands rest on her stomach, just this week beginning to bulge visibly. “It'll be a girl, you know,” he murmured.
“How do you know?”
“I just know.”
“Are you guessing?” She frowned at the shake of his head. “Then tell me! I have no idea, and the mediwizard said I won’t know the gender until after my next appointment.”
Severus smirked as he guided his wife into a more comfortable position on his lap. Wrapping his arms about her and ignoring her huff of “snuggling” as he rested his head against her wild hair.
“Well, if you’re wrong and it’s a boy then you’re going to be the one in charge of toilet training him.” Hermione sighed as her fingers absently began to unbutton the collar of his robes, gently stroking the scar tissue beneath.
“What do I get when I’m correct?”
She hummed. “Hmm, how about the honor of explaining how you knew the gender so early?”
“So be it.” He pressed a kiss to her forehead with a small smile and a contented sigh.