Characters/Pairings: Hermione, Severus, Rose, Hugo, OMCs
Warning (highlight to view): Implied magiceutical usage.
Word Count: 2366
Summary: Severus and Hermione live a hectic life, and one worthy of popcorn… if one's tastes run to popcorn, that is.
Disclaimer: This work of fan fiction 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 from (and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended by) the posting of this fan work.
Author's Note: Written for the 2020 run of the sshg_promptfest. Movie summaries courtesy of Seventh Sanctum's Action Film Generator. Thank you, Shog and delphipsmith, for beta'ing.
"I'll get the popcorn," called Hermione.
"—oesn't even make sense!"
Hermione brandished her wand at the Boggart. "I know, Severus, but—Riddikulus!—it doesn't have to!"
"You're right. It is ridiculous!" Severus shouted. "How could anyone hope to control…"
Hermione, certain that Severus' rant would continue, tuned him out so that she could sweep the Boggart-cum-glitter back into its box before the popcorn burnt.
"How did you get out?" she murmured, bending down to catch the last of the shiny bits.
There, under the table, she saw the reason.
"Just LISTEN to this rot!" thundered Severus, then.
"I know, I know," Hermione said, wordlessly Summoning one of the treats Rose had made for the "babies."
"Yes, that's righ—"
"Did you hear, Hermione?"
"What was that?" she called, as softly as she could.
The kitten took the treat and approached her; she picked him, er, her up.
Severus answered her. "'In an empire of confusion, in an era of lies and insanity, four heros and a duchess search for fame and battle a band of assassins intent on controlling the universe'—it's too long! Too vague—"
"Too dunderheaded for words!" Hermione soft-shouted in time with Severus' voice. "I know, baby. You're all right. Go on back to your mum, there's a good kitty… Accio popcorn!"
Suddenly, Severus appeared in the doorway. "Mocking me, are you?"
"I'm doing no such thing. Here," said Hermione, rising to shove the bowl into his chest. "I'm going to check on the fish—"
"Don't you mean the 'Potions ingredients'?" interrupted Severus.
"—those, too, and then," continued Hermione, moving towards the back staircase, "we'll get back to picking a movie."
"They didn't even spell 'duchess' correctly," groused Severus, following her.
"How'd they—seriously, go sit down—and put a warming charm on the corn."
Severus sighed. "But I like walking behind you."
"You like staring at my ar—"
Hermione abruptly stopped speaking as a huge Bubble of water began slouching its way towards her.
Thank goodness Severus didn't see this!
No, no, no, no, no! Severus thought, sending the now-charmed popcorn to the sofa before partially Stupefying the intruder.
He and Hermione hadn't had a day off in weeks—at least, not one together—and nothing was going to interrupt their day.
"Who the fuck are you?" he snarled.
The scent of piss met his nose.
"Oh, for fu—Scourgify! Is that you, Edward Taylor?"
"Y-y-y-yes, yes, s-s-s-sir."
"You have three seconds to explain yourself."
"I left some, er, medi—"
"'Medicine'? Is that what we're calling Firebright Elixir these days?"
Taylor, Muggle-born though he was, had quickly learnt all there was to learn about illegal magiceuticals.
And he took to the worst of the lot, the gormless twat. Severus waved his wand. "Get out. Don't return. And if I catch you using illicit substances—or involving my stepchildren in their usage—I will end you."
Taylor made no response in his haste to leave.
"Damn it," muttered Severus. "Now I'll have to figure out which of the brats got him through the wards."
"Hugo did that."
"Problem?" Hermione called.
"Stubbed toe!" shouted Severus. Turning to Rose, he hissed, "How the hell did he manage that?"
"Why not ask him?"
"He isn't here, is he? Why are you—"
"And why would he do that?"
"They might be fucking?" Rose suggested.
Severus blinked. "You've been spending far too much time with me. Go back to your fa—"
"—ather's and tell him that Taylor's been using Firebright."
"But Dad'll kill him!"
"Yes, and then your brother won't be fu—"
"Rose. You're home. Is every—"
"Everything's fabulous, Mum!" Rose cheerfully interrupted. "Just forgot a notebook is all. Mwah! I'm off."
Click! Click! Click! Click! Click! Click! Click! Criiiick! Snick!
"How she walks in those heels, I will never know."
Severus grunted and drew Hermione towards the sofa. "Popcorn's still warm. Movie choices, still dreadful."
Hermione giggled. "What? You don't want to see the one about, er, let's see…"
While considering their choices, Hermione felt herself relax against Severus. That was close.
It was most likely Hugo's doing, modifying a Bubble-Head Charm to contain all the water the bathtub could run into it so that his Plimpies could have more space to swim.
And then he forgot to turn off the water, of course.
It could have been bad, but she'd caught it and sorted the problem.
I'll just have to remind him to be more care—
"—'iverse of mystery and blood, in an era of prophecy, a bodyguard and a demonologist quest for freedom'—a bodyguard and a demonologist?"
"What's wrong with that?" asked Hermione, unfazed by Severus' interruption. "I'd imagine demonologists might need protection."
Severus gave her a squeeze. "Not that one. Its title's stupid, too."
"Agreed. What about, 'In a dark galaxy of enchantment, a prospector and a teacher seek the freedom to combat evil'?"
"Where do they get these combinations?" Severus asked. "Ridiculous!"
Hermione laughed. "We've been at this for so long, we'll never pick a movie."
"One moment," Severus told her.
"I'm starting on the popcorn!"
A thudding sound was never welcome in their household, especially when the children were not at home. Severus cast a sound-dampening charm of his own invention on the cellar's door to prevent Hermione from becoming curious about it as he went in search of its cause. Upon descending the cellar stairs, however, he realised that he was wrong.
That's coming from the subcellar.
He and Hermione—who thought that the issue with the subcellar had to do with an infestation of Bundimun that Severus had hexed into so much green ice—had agreed that the subcellar was to remain warded firmly closed until such time as they could afford to properly deal with it. Unfortunately, it wasn't a fungal matter that had caused Severus to close the area to his family.
Sodding vampires. Carefully unwarding the door, he said, "You told me that you wanted a long nap."
"Yes, but I'm peckish. Be a good lad?"
"I am not your 'lad'."
"You could be, Severus, if you wanted to be."
"You are Bound to remain in the subcellar."
"Yes, and so I must inconvenience you to have my… needs met."
"I'll get your blood."
"Yes, of course, warm!" Severus snarled, stomping back to the kitchen.
"Unnature calls! Be right there!" Severus called to Hermione, Disillusioning his emergency blood at the back of the fridge and heating it up with a warming charm.
"Did you say…"
"Bannerworth!" hissed Severus, anxious to return to Hermione. "Here you are!"
"That's 'Sir' Bannerworth," insisted the vampire, snatching the thermos from the air. "Such niceties you observe. No crystal?"
"I'm in the middle of something with my wife, man!"
"Ah, the intimate congress between man and—"
Creak! Thwap, thwap, thwap! Snick! Shweerp!
Locks in place, wards, reset, Severus rushed back upstairs.
Hermione greeted him with an empty bowl and a question. "How's Marmaduke, then? Still an inveterate flirt?"
How did she—"You ate all the popcorn!"
"You took too long."
"You know about—"
"The vampire in our subcellar? Of course I do! When were you planning to tell me that he came with the house?" demanded Hermione. "Children live in this house!"
"I warded the subcellar, myself. He's not getting out, and—"
"Kittens live in this house! And Plimpies! And Crups, and fish, and—"
"Doxies! Did I mention the doxies in the attic curtains?" Severus interrupted.
"What? Damn, I—don't change the subject—and make me popcorn!"
"Poof! You're popcorn," Severus replied, before he could stop himself.
Hermione's expression was worth it.
"I love it when you come over all stormy and—"
Hermione's sofa cushion interrupted him, knocking unpopped corn kernels from the bowl.
"Violence is never the answer, woman."
"I will kill you, you insufferable man!"
Before Hermione could make good on her promise, Severus Summoned another DVD to hover before him. "Listen! 'In a terrifying land, five treasure-hunters try to find love and fight a horde of assassins intent on summoning an evil god'. How does that sound?"
Retreating to the kitchen, Severus told Hermione, "Oh, all right. I'll make more popcorn!"
"Hugo Weasley, stop tip-toeing around and join me, this instant!" Hermione stage whispered, as she heard the front door open.
Each member of the household had a unique creak. Hermione was, as an often frazzled mother, particularly proud of the idea. She wasn't a Spellcraftre for nothing.
"Mum, look, I—"
"You're not getting any Hogsmeade weekends until next year."
"When I went upstairs to deal with the bathroom-Plimpy situ—"
"—ation, my wand glowed the glow of your emergency Portkey activating, but there was no emergency. There was only Eddie Taylor skulking about looking for what I can only assume were illicit magiceuticals. Is that right?"
"Oh, no, Mum. It's very wro—"
"Am I correct, young man?"
Hugo hung his head and whispered, "Sorry, Mum. Wasn't my idea. Didn't know."
"Do I have to speak to his parents?"
Hugo's head shot up, his eyes wide. "Pleasedon'ttalktoEddie'sparents!"
"Is that because you're going to do it, Hugo?"
Hugo's face turned scarlet.
Hermione crossed her arms. "Go back to your father's. I don't want to see you until noon tomorrow unless it's a genuine emergency. Is that clear?"
"And I expect you to bring Eddie with you."
"Well, in addition to the magiceutical usage, I want to make sure that you two are using the appropriate lubrication char—"
"Oh, my fu—I mean, we're not. Fucking. I swear!"
Relieved because she could tell when Hugo was lying, Hermione said, with more irritation than she felt, "If Severus hears you…"
Hugo ran for the door.
Severus cleared his throat. "We could ward them out, you know."
"Give me the popcorn," Hermione replied grumpily, relieving him of the bowl.
Immediately, another bowl levitated into the room and Severus' hands. "Don't get any ideas, woman. This is mine."
"Come on, we only have so many hours left to enjoy a movie."
"How is it you think we're going to enjoy any of these?" Severus asked, picking through their choices. "Horrible. 'In a cursed kingdom, a rascal and a gigolo quest for revenge and battle crime'—I see enough of that in the Department Which Shall Not Be Named."
Hermione giggled. "The Unspeakables have truck with rascals and gigolos?"
Severus blanked his expression. "Can't Speak of it, I'm afraid."
"Don't make me throw another pillow at you, hus—husband."
Wondering what idea had suddenly occurred to her, Severus set aside his bowl. "Strike away, wife. I dare you."
"Do you? Do you, really?" asked Hermione, her grin suddenly rather too stretched and full of teeth.
"Your pupils are dila—"
As Hermione lunged at him, popcorn flew everywhere before freezing in place in response to Severus' wandless magic. "Fuck!"
"Well, at least you caught it before it could take full effect," murmured Hermione, shivering hard in Severus' arms.
"I. Will. Kill. Him. He left an improperly stoppered phial of Firebright stuffed in the sofa cushions!"
"You won't, Severus. You can't. You'd lose your job, and you know you didn't enjoy your time in Azkaban."
"That menace hurt you!"
"No, he didn't. But I am going to speak to his parents, now."
"Let me, Hermione. Let me."
Hermione shook her head. "You can't hex bad parenting away."
"I can try."
"Hand me another DVD before the charm wears off."
However temporary, the charm she'd created to allow Muggle technology to be safely used in a magical household was one of which she was also proud.
"Let me read it," Severus said, continuing, "'In a city of horror, a scientist quests for freedom'."
Hermione frowned. "That's too vague to be useful at all."
"Ron is an idiot."
Hermione snorted. "Agreed, but why? Oh!"
"Yes, 'oh'. He's responsible for these."
"Part of his Christmas gift boxes," replied Hermione. "At least the movies aren't as bad as the, er, food."
"I grew up destitute. Even I wouldn't have eaten that so-called 'cheese'."
Hermione sighed sleepily. "I don't know that I'll make it through a movie, now, my love."
She felt the warmth of Severus' smile suffuse her body.
Against her hair, Severus murmured, "I like it when you say that."
"That's it!" Severus exclaimed, excitedly leaping up.
"Sorry, but it's been ages!"
"You couldn't have just Summoned Empire?"
"'Summoned'? Of course, not! It's very old!" Severus insisted, pulling the movie in question from the shelf and showing it to Hermione. "Yes?"
"Well, that solves—"
"What is it, Severus?"
"Where's Dumbles? I haven't heard a peep out of him for hours."
Hermione threw the blanket off herself and made to rise. "Dumbles? Dumbles, come! Dumbles?!"
"Don't panic. I'll find him," Severus told her. "Please, don't get up. You've had a day… Dumbles, where are you?"
"That was faint. Could he be in the cellar—in the subcellar?"
"Stay here, Hermione," Severus told her, drawing his wand.
"Like hell I will!" she shouted, throwing herself onto her feet. "Dumbles, where are you, boy? Dumbles?"
The barking was coming, she decided, from the kitchen, even though there was no sign of their fuzzy white Crup.
"Dumbles!" Severus shouted.
Woof! Wooo, ooo, ooof!
"The refrigerator's shaking!" Hermione exclaimed, throwing open its door to reveal a happy looking, butter-snouted fuzzy white Crup.
Woof! Woo ooo oof!
"Oh, Dumbles, you poor thing! I'm so sorry. How did you—"
"Oh, Severus. Didn't you check when you got the butter? You know how he is!"
"I'm sorry. I didn't mea—"
"Oh, disg—good dog! That's right, I missed you. Good boy!" Severus told Dumbles, as the Crup enthusiastically jumped into his arms and licked his face.
"Butter," Hermione said, wiping it away. "Come, Dumbles. Walkies?" she asked, giggling as Severus pulled her up for a kiss.
They are never going to consummate this day, thought Marmaduke, reclining on his cushions. Why do mortals permit themselves so very many… distractions?
In his days, all of them, he had always commanded enough respect to prevent the interruption of his activities.
Perhaps I've slept long enough, he thought, casting his mind's eye towards the sound of purring higher up in the house.
Concentrating, he saw the little fuzzy faces of the mistress' kittens, pressed though they were against their own mother's belly.
Oh, dear, he thought, at the growling of his stomach. Now look what you've done, you impatient fiend. Perhaps it is time to rise.
He'd drunk too much blood for a "snack." He was hungry for more… or was he? He concentrated more deeply.
Ah, yes, perhaps it is you, little life, he thought, as he saw Mother Cat staring up at a tank full of fish. Is it your belly?
He was old, was Marmaduke, and sensitive to all forms of life around him, which made the new owners' presence oft most vexing to him, particularly the mistress' spawn.
But here is compensation, he thought, as he felt a twitch with which he'd again become increasingly familiar.
They were clearly never going to see the thing they called a 'movie', which appeared to him as a flattened seer's orb in his mind's eye. It confused him, this idea of 'movie', but the movement in which Severus and his lady were now engaging was far more familiar, even after all these years.
"In a world of never ending complications and messes, two once lonely souls come together to—aha, ahahaha!—come together!"
At once, Marmaduke found himself grateful for the earlier infusion of blood…