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Title: Faith without Prayer
Author: iulia_linnea
Pairing: Severus/Hermione (with appearances by Mr Granger and Eileen)
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 1227
Summary: With Severus, Hermione knows that everything will be all right.
Disclaimer: This piece is based on characters and situations created by J. K. Rowling, and owned by J. K. Rowling and various publishers, including but not limited to: Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books, Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended by the posting of this fic.
Author's Notes: I took Snermione prompts, and my third "drabble" ran away with me. sassy_cissa prompted me with legitimate.



Given what he might have said to her, her father's blathering about the necessity for a "proper wedding" is unexpected, and it hurts Hermione almost as much as her mother's continuing refusal to speak to her, even under the circumstances. This pain is nothing, however, to her father's parting shot: "After everything else you've done, you might at least have given us a legitimate grandchild."

It feels as if it's the last thing that he will ever say to her.

~*~

She's still wondering how her father could have said it at all as Severus leads her into his mother's home. Hermione has wanted to meet the lady for some time, which is the only reason she's keeping this meeting after having had such an awful visit with her parents. She still doesn't understand, not really, why Severus hasn't wanted her to meet his mother before today.

There's nothing special about today, after all, she thinks, feeling wistful and furious and nervous as the door closes behind them.

Eileen doesn't smile for the introductions, and it feels as if her eyes never leave Hermione's. When she finally speaks, it's to Severus.

"Get out for a bit, boy. I need a word with my daughter."

Hermione blinks, twice; once at Eileen's words, and once at Severus' leap to obey them. "We're not married," she says, as Severus closes the door.

"You are in the only way that matters."

Hermione fidgets. She's not usually unable to think of something to say, but her father's words still sting, her mother's silence continues to eat at her, and her tears are threatening to fall.

"Look at me, Hermione."

She does, understanding something of how Severus learnt to be so commanding. Eileen's face isn't friendly, but there is nothing of condemnation in her features.

"Do you know why you're here?"

"To meet you, of course."

"Yes, but so soon after the argument. Don't you think that my boy might have spared you the difficulty of a social call after what your father said to you?"

"How can you know about that?"

"No matter, I do. What's important, is that he's not one for giving comfort, and he wanted you to find some."

Hermione's hands still at this. Severus hadn't said a word, leading her away from her parents' house, but the arm around her waist . . . .

"You love my boy. He loves you. You're not a religious girl, at least, not anymore, yes?"

"It was difficult to . . . I mean . . . ." Hermione looks at Eileen and reminds herself that she isn't being judged. "No, I'm not."

"Your parents, I expect that they aren't so much religious as angry. You did take away their choice—but," Eileen continues, holding up a hand, "they love you, as well. The child you carry will cure most of what ails them. The rest, well, what can you do with betrayal but weather it? They'll forgive you for it in time."

Hermione isn't sure what to make of Eileen Snape. How can she know so much? It's not as if she's a Legili—

"Where do you believe he learnt it?"

Oh. "I still don't know what you meant, about Severus' having brought me here for comfort?"

"My boy was born here, but he wasn't conceived in this town. I'm more Prince than Snape, but it was easier to take Tobias' name than answer any impertinent questions. Folks talked then. They talk now, of course, but it's not the same. In any case, you're your own witch. You needn't follow any superstitious traditions on your parents' account. That babe you bear will be legitimate enough by virtue of first breath, you know, and you'll raise a happy family, unmarried or not."

"But . . . but I never said that I wouldn't marry!" Hermione objects, finally realising what Eileen is trying to tell her.

"Didn't you?"

Eileen's eyes are hard, piercing; Hermione can't lie, looking into them. "I was angry. My father had no right to say what he did. He called Severus a—"

"You'll want to ask him to give you away, then, so he knows that you're still his daughter," Eileen says, turning towards the door. "Severus, bring the tea!"

They speak of other things until the pot is dry, and then it's back to Spinner's End on the other side of town.

~*~

"Your mother's . . . very decisive."

"Indeed."

"And talented. Did she really teach you?"

"Legilimency? Yes, at least, the rudiments of it."

"It's disturbing, being read so thoroughly."

"Yes," Severus says, taking her hand. "She's one of the reasons that I learnt Occlumency."

Certain that Severus won't be elaborating on his comment any time soon, Hermione replies, "I'm sorry about father."

Severus traces Hermione's fingers. "You feel real enough to me."

"We feel real," she replies, leaning into him.

"And our family will be legitimate."

"Yes," Hermione says, feeling her ring finger tingle.

Looking down, she's almost not surprised to see the large opal, surrounded by its court of small diamonds, glittering up at her. In her ear, Severus' voice is warm and low.

"I would be . . . so pleased if . . . you'd agree to become my Mrs Snape, but for . . . for real."

Hermione flashes on her earlier fury, at the way her stomach clenched as she began to set her mind against ever marrying in the face of her father's anger. She dismisses the memory and cranes her neck so that she can kiss Severus' jaw, and he adjusts his position and presses his mouth to hers. When they break apart, she sees that he's smiling, but that his smile is slight, hesitant.

"To please us both, I say yes."

A grin, something that Hermione rarely sees gracing Severus' features, spreads across his face, and Hermione realises something else: it wasn't she whom Eileen read; it was Severus. Severus had wanted to propose to her but hadn't thought she'd accept after what she'd said to her father.

That's why he didn't just take me home. He needed comfort, too, and trusted his mother to provide it for him.

In a way she didn't know before now, she understands that it's important for Severus to feel legitimate, for Severus to have a normal life, so becoming legally married and giving birth in wedlock . . . . Well, for Severus, Hermione can't bring herself to mind being conventional. All right, for herself, as well; she's never wanted to be anything but, really, and she thinks that Eileen is probably right about her parents.

"When did you decide?" she asks him.

"To propose to you?"

There is a happiniess lightening the timbre of his voice that Hermione likes, especially because it's her acceptance of him that has caused it. "Yes."

Severus shifts again, and Hermione is once more leaning back into his chest. "I suppose not long after you admitted to me how you took steps to save your parents. It was . . . ."

"Slytherin of me?"

Severus snorts. "It was gratifying to know that I wasn't the only one who'd done something so 'decisive'."

"For want of a better word," Hermione whispers, feeling pleasantly sleepy and safe as the stresses of the day melt away.

She raises her hand to the light and watches how the gems shine in their settings.

Severus' voice carries a promise with it as he says, "We'll want for nothing, Hermione."

Such is her faith in Severus that Hermione doesn't need to pray that he's right.

Comments

( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
brinian
Jan. 11th, 2009 11:14 am (UTC)
Love the title! I'm still terribly remiss in catching up to my reading and will likely remain so for a very long while. However, since this was nice and short, I snuck it in and I'm glad I did. It's lovely. Especially this:

That's why he didn't just take me home. He needed comfort, too, and trusted his mother to provide it for him.
iulia_linnea
Jan. 11th, 2009 06:51 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :D It's still a pretty long fic for a "drabble." ;) Snape and his mum are always so interesting; I'm glad you enjoyed the fic.
bethbethbeth
Jan. 11th, 2009 12:01 pm (UTC)
What a tender story and what a believable one (which...given our boy Snape should be a contradiction, but...isn't). Lovely work.
iulia_linnea
Jan. 11th, 2009 06:57 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad that you find it so; thank you. :)
xanthophyllippa
Jan. 11th, 2009 01:52 pm (UTC)
Can I ask something dumb? I'm wondering if by "mother's continuing refusal not to speak to her" you mean "mother's continuing refusal to speak to her" - because if you don't, I don't get what you mean, here. (I confuse easily.)
iulia_linnea
Jan. 11th, 2009 06:49 pm (UTC)
That "not" is a typo; thanks for pointing it out. :)
xanthophyllippa
Jan. 11th, 2009 11:19 pm (UTC)
Oh geez. And here I was thinking it was some sophisticated usage that my peabrain just couldn't wrap itself around. :D
iulia_linnea
Jan. 12th, 2009 12:06 am (UTC)
Hee! Nope, it was just me, posting without a beta. *snorts*
xanthophyllippa
Jan. 11th, 2009 11:22 pm (UTC)
p.s. And I did, of course, love this; I especially like how Eileen is comforting without being comforting. Any chance of her appearing in another fic?
iulia_linnea
Jan. 12th, 2009 12:08 am (UTC)
Thanks! I love Eileen, but she tends to burst forth when she wants to be written, not when I want to write her. I know she'll be back eventually, just not when. ;)
xanthophyllippa
Jan. 12th, 2009 12:35 am (UTC)
Goody! I think your characterization of her is pretty perfect, given what we know of Snape.
iulia_linnea
Jan. 12th, 2009 01:14 am (UTC)
And now I'm feeling smug. :D
sassy_cissa
Jan. 11th, 2009 02:50 pm (UTC)
Oh this is perfect! I love how you used the prompt. The visit to Eileen was wonderful.

*smishes you*
iulia_linnea
Jan. 11th, 2009 06:53 pm (UTC)
Yay! I'm so pleased; thanks for prompting me. :D
fodirteg
Jan. 11th, 2009 06:37 pm (UTC)
Very moving. Eileen is quite wise.
iulia_linnea
Jan. 11th, 2009 07:00 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)

*loves Eileen*
lalaith_niniel
Jan. 11th, 2009 07:38 pm (UTC)
I love Eileen! The interplay between her and Severus is wonderful. Severus' proposal had me grinning from ear to ear; I read the line several times, becoming happier each time.

I love when your drabbles get out of hand!
iulia_linnea
Jan. 11th, 2009 07:56 pm (UTC)
Oh, yay! Thank you. :D I'm not sure how often I've written Severus proposing, but I like how quiet this one is and am glad it makes you happy (and the drabbles getting out of control is a good sign for the fic you may still be waiting to beta if I'm lucky). ;)
iulia_linnea
Jan. 11th, 2009 08:20 pm (UTC)
Lalaith, if you were to categorize this story, into what genre would it fall?
lalaith_niniel
Jan. 11th, 2009 08:38 pm (UTC)
I would say romance. It's a story very much about the relationship between Severus and Hermione and, given the length, it contains a great deal of character development.
iulia_linnea
Jan. 11th, 2009 08:42 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I'm awful at genre-picking my own fic. ;)
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )