I am just playing with the characters. They are not mine. I am not making any money.
Down the back of the proverbial sofa, I came upon a couple of stories I had forgotten about. I decided to dust them off and post them. For those of you that remember my stories, this is one of the Severus, Hermione and Isabel series. The pink, fluff bunny alert is now flashing and I do mean flashing.
The fire crackled, bright and cheerful, in the hearth. The candles, in their mirrored sconces, threw points of shimmering light around the room, and on the mantelpiece, an entwined group of fat, tartan cherubs capered in a circle. The candle in the middle of them flew their shadows around the room in a flickering, and slightly rotund, Hibernian ballet.
Severus glanced at them, grimacing at the latest festive acquisition. He had a sneaking suspicion that Hermione had given the gift pride of place not because she liked it, but because she was teasing him. Either that or he had been grossly mistaken in the amount of taste, and possibly sanity, she possessed.
‘Lovely, aren’t they?’ Hermione asked, exceedingly sweetly, knowing only too well how much Severus loathed the decoration.
‘Oh, I can honestly say that the ability to find the appropriate adjective, to describe the pirouetting, plaid host, utterly escapes me. You must remind me to find Minerva something equally delightful in return,’ he drawled. ‘A puff adder, perhaps,’ he added sotto voce.
She giggled in a manner that Severus found much to his liking and his relief. During the past few months, their daughter had undergone the checks all newborns did. No one had yet said the word Squib to him or her, but, so far, no magical signature had been detected. Not that the checks were infallible, and Severus knew that even if his daughter was without magic, it would not change how much they loved her. Nothing would change the fire in his heart for his daughter, but both he and Hermione were growing slightly anxious. If Isabel had magical ability it would make her place in the magical world so much easier for her to bear, than if she had none. The possibility that she might never feel magic singing in her veins was one that filled him with sorrow for her potential loss.
Hermione giggled again, and Severus caught her glancing at the hated decoration. He realised that she knew exactly how he felt about it, and she was, indeed, teasing him. He reached out and pulled her to him.
‘Laugh at me, will you, witch? I’ll show you I am not to be trifled with,’ he said in a mock menacing tone.
His method of punishment was to kiss her in a fashion that left her breathless, rumpled and quite aroused. She giggled again.
‘Such impudence,’ Severus growled, and he pushed her back onto the sofa to inflict some more corrective measures.
The gurgling of their not quite six-month-old daughter Isabel disturbed them.
‘I thought you said she was asleep,’ Hermione said.
‘She was. Obviously, she has woken up.’
Hermione poked her tongue out in a witty riposte, and she walked to their daughter’s bedroom. She stopped at the open door, and a soft ‘Oh Severus, they are beautiful,’ escaped her lips.
‘The lights you charmed.’
‘I had no idea my kisses could reduce your mental capacity to that of a flobberworm. I have not charmed any lights,’ Severus said. He stood up and walked across the room to join his wife and see what she was talking about.
Nonplussed, he gazed at the tiny, softly glowing lights that hovered and dipped around Isabel. She gurgled happily, her fists snatching at the elusive lights. Severus and Hermione exchanged a look.
‘But if you didn’t,’ she said.
‘And if you did not,’ he mused.
‘Then Isabel must have,’ they both finished at the same time.
They both looked at their daughter as she happily burbled nonsense to herself and grabbed at her lights. Hermione smiled broadly and hugged Severus.
‘Oh Severus, this is wonderful.’
He hugged her fiercely in return, and he kissed his agreement into her hair. He gave a gentle wave with one hand, and a scattering of silver moons joined the dancing lights. With one more pass of his hand, a menagerie of golden animals joined the chase. Isabel giggled with delight, and her hands snatched at a diving otter.
‘You big softy,’ Hermione teased.
‘More impudence,’ he drawled with mock severity.
‘Sentimental? Besotted? Soppy? I don’t know how best to describe it. I think I will just have to consult Minerva about it,’ she added, drawing one finger down a row of buttons before poking him in the chest. ‘Right now.’
‘I rather think that will prove quite impossible, Hermione,’ he stated simply.
‘Oh, and just how…’
Her words were cut off rather abruptly as Severus resorted to practical measures in silencing her, and in a small, locked tower, a long, faded quill dipped into a silver inkpot and began to write a name in a peeling, dragon-hide bound book.