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I offered drabbles to people who answered one of my questions; this is my last one. Thank you, eeyore9990 and chiralove, for beta'ing.

6. bethbethbeth prompted me with Snape/Minerva: rain, remembrance, and reconciliation.

Laurels Lately Given (G; Snape/Minerva; 347 or 500 words): Minerva finds a source of unexpected warmth at Severus' tomb.

Minerva had been there when they'd recovered Severus' body; she'd hexed an Auror for attempting to defile him.

It, the body, she tried to tell herself, but it didn't work; her remembrance of everything was far too clear. Him, Severus—you secretive, stupid, sullen boy!

That didn't work, either. He'd been a man when he'd left her, and old enough to know what he was doing.

He didn't trust me.

She thought this as she placed the laurel wreath on his tomb. No one deserved it more, and Severus would never have understood the gift of flowers.

I was too quick to judge. I was too quick to fall in . . . . "No matter," she whispered, rising and circling the monument to the seeming chastisement of the rain.

Cold stone gleaming in the moonlight, that's all it was, and nothing like what it should have been. People's ingratitude had made Harry so angry.

He, at least, has someone to warm his heart now, someone to forgive him.

Ginny wouldn't break Harry, not the way she'd broken Severus with her condemning looks and accusative tone. . . . Of course, she'd had no way of knowing.

I should have known.

Cold stone and no chance of a reconciliation—why had she come? And how had he stood it? How had he hardened his heart against past love and present ease and flung himself, utterly alone, into a mission from which he'd never expected to return?

Her hand caressed the marble, and she sighed at Severus' strength, her head bowed. "I'm so sorry."

Long cool fingers slid over hers then, and Minerva's heart stopped, briefly, before pounding wildly within her breast—but she didn't look up. She couldn't do that to herself. She knew that Severus would never return to her, a shade; that simply wasn't his way.

Damn him.

The storm grew worse; the stone remained cool against her palm, but slowly, the hand covering her own began to warm. It wasn't until she heard the words, however, his words, that she was able to believe.

"Laurel? Really, Minerva, it wasn't a race I was running."

~*~

Here is the original ending to the ficlet, which follows Severus' comment (and makes the ficlet 500 words):

For half a second, she thought she might hex him; this was time enough for Severus to peel her hand from his tomb and pull her close.

Shocked by the contact, she reached out to touch his hair with her free hand. "So much silver now."

Severus grimaced. "Perhaps we could continue with this maudlin examination after a pot of tea?"

"You . . . you don't deserve tea, you—"

His kisses were still as soft as she remembered.

"Tea, bath, you—these things I will have, whether I deserve them or not," Severus murmured, his lips still close enough to hers to taste.

Minerva drew herself up, favouring him with a dignified scowl. "I . . . I could slap you!"

"Save your anger for bed. I know I deserve it."

Cold stone or no, Minerva elected to show Severus exactly what he deserved.

It wasn't until after they'd watched his tomb crumble into dust that they achieved tea.

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
bethbethbeth
Aug. 13th, 2008 04:30 am (UTC)
Oh god...you've totally made me cry. I love this.
iulia_linnea
Aug. 13th, 2008 07:00 am (UTC)
Yay! I mean, *hugs* I'm glad you like it; I went back and forth with the ending for a long time, eventually cutting a chunk of the ficlet (which hurt because it was exactly 500 words). Here's what I originally had as following Severus' comment:

For half a second, she thought she might hex him; this was time enough for Severus to peel her hand from his tomb and pull her close.

Shocked by the contact, she reached out to touch his hair with her free hand. "So much silver now."

Severus grimaced. "Perhaps we could continue with this maudlin examination after a pot of tea?"

"You . . . you don't deserve tea, you—"

His kisses were still as soft as she remembered.

"Tea, bath, you—these things I will have, whether I deserve them or not," Severus murmured, his lips still close enough to hers to taste.

Minerva drew herself up, favouring him with a dignified scowl. "I . . . I could slap you!"

"Save your anger for bed. I know I deserve it."

Cold stone or no, Minerva elected to show Severus exactly what he deserved.

It wasn't until after they'd watched his tomb crumble into dust that they achieved tea.

~*~

Does it count as editing if I show you the deleted portion? *snorts at self* Shog insisted I do it; he wanted the ending to be ambiguous. Apparently, I really wanted them to achieve *coughs* tea. ;)

Thank you again for beta'ing for me (and for the answer to my question)!
bethbethbeth
Aug. 13th, 2008 08:13 am (UTC)
I like the ambiguous ending, but...okay...there can never be enough Snape/McGonagall banter for me. :) (speaking o which, I love this line: "Save your anger for bed. I know I deserve it." *g*)

And you're very welcome!
iulia_linnea
Aug. 13th, 2008 10:31 pm (UTC)
I'm putting the angry bed scene on my list of things to write. ;)
lunafish
Aug. 13th, 2008 05:25 am (UTC)
So awesome! I love how you were able to get a happy ending out of this, but not before exploring the grief and regret. Beautifully done!
iulia_linnea
Aug. 13th, 2008 07:20 am (UTC)
*blushes*

Thank you! I may have ruined the effect by providing the original ending (which I did after you commented), but it can be taken or left. :D
lunafish
Aug. 15th, 2008 03:50 am (UTC)
Well, the addition certainly made me smile. And I love Snape's insistence on being "punished," lol! "Tea, bath, you," indeed!
iulia_linnea
Aug. 15th, 2008 04:53 am (UTC)
Hee! :D
emila_wan
Aug. 13th, 2008 09:49 am (UTC)
I love this pairing, but I seldom see it done well. Thank you! This was marvelous.
iulia_linnea
Aug. 13th, 2008 10:32 pm (UTC)
*glee*

Thank you! I don't often write this pairing, but it's always interesting to do it. :D
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )