CHAPSTICKS: A HARRY POTTER FAN-FICTION STORY
Word Count: 1383
Rating: PG-13 for mild sexual content and thematic elements
Summary: Severus Snape and Hermione Granger, having been married under strange circumstances during the last days of Voldemort’s reign, discover the many uses of chapsticks.
The tall, dark-haired man watched in quiet amusement as his young wife frantically dug through boxes and suitcases. Finally, she looked up in annoyance at him sitting quietly, watching her.
He inwardly held his breath. Face flushed, hair wild, and eyes sparkling—the young witch was beautiful. Once again he lowered his eyes, wondering how it had come to this. How he had come to be married to someone that lovely.
“Don’t just sit there,” the object of his musings snarled in not so lovely a manner. “Help me!”
“I would, if you would inform me what you require assistance with,” he retorted.
“I’m looking for my sleeping bag!” she exclaimed, holding a box upside down in frustration and watching as the contents dropped to the floor.
“Hermione, dear, you do realize we are supposed to share a bed, don’t you? You don’t need a sleeping bag. What does it look like, anyway?”
The witch glared. “It’s red. And I do need it. I distinctly remember rolling my chapstick supply in it. Come on, Severus, help me out, or I…I…I will tickle torture you!”
Her husband rolled his eyes, but he very nearly smiled. Their marriage had not been performed by mutual consent. In the final days of the war, Voldemort had captured Hermione, and at the same time, found out he was a spy when he tried to save the young witch from the dungeons.
In a perverse ceremony they were forced to join as husband and wife, with Voldemort gleefully looking on. He had planned, Severus knew, to keep them captive for a while so they would start to care about each other. And then he would kill them, slowly.
Severus had tried, those first days in the dungeon, to stay away from the young witch. To ignore her. To make her hate him, for both their sakes. Hermione, however, had her own ideas.
“How long do you plan to ignore me?” she had finally asked after a day of silence.
“I prefer my own thoughts, thank you very much,” he sneered.
“You are afraid,” she had bluntly stated.
He looked at her. “I cannot afford to…to talk to you. You are supposed to be so clever. Figure it out.”
“I already have,” she said softly “He wants us to start caring for each other. Then he will kill us, causing more pain because we would have to see each other suffer.”
“Exactly. The most logical route would be not to start caring.” He closed his eyes, feeling the hurt deep inside of him, assuming the conversation was over.
Instead, she had come to sit next to him.
“That would be the most logical thing to do,” she agreed, “but not what I want. I don’t want that for me, or for you, for that matter. To die alone and unloved.”
“Love…love is for sentimental fools like A-Albus,” he whispered.
“But you love him,” Hermione softly responded.
“I can’t afford to.” He slowly opened his eyes, looking at her with a world of pain in the dark orbs. “I’ve fought against it for so long. And he doesn’t understand…he keeps trying, like you do now…”
“Because he, too, does not want you to die unloved,” she stated calmly, and took his hand.
“What pain do you fear more, the pain we will suffer if we do not give in to caring, or the pain we will suffer if we do?”
“Hermione…” he gasped, “please. I…I only want you to survive and be happy. He will leave us alone for longer if we ignore each other, giving Harry more time to find you.”
“Us, you mean. Harry will come for us both. He might well be too late,” she admitted, “and I would rather die as your wife, which legally I now am.”
“It can be dissolved should we get out of here,” he said dismissively.
“Fine. It can. But that doesn’t change anything. I have a lot of respect for you. I would like to get to know the real you, not the hateful potions master. If that kills me, then so be it.”
He looked at her forlornly. “The hateful potions master may be all there is to me.” For the first time in years, he felt a tear run down his face. Hermione softly brushed it away.
“Talk to me….Severus.”
They had talked. For hours and hours. About their childhoods, about their lives at Hogwarts, about the war, about…about everything.
Their marriage had not been consummated. Hermione had stated that she had no problems at all dying a virgin, and a dark, damp dungeon was not the place where she wished to lose her virginity. Privately, Snape had agreed with her.
When the door had slowly opened, a week into their imprisonment, they had both expected to see the robes and masks that would take them to their deaths. Instead, Harry had peeked around the door.
Severus had suddenly blushed. In the long hours talking, Hermione had shown him a different Harry than he remembered. He had started respecting the young man, but in seeing him through Hermione’s eyes, he finally knew the real Harry Potter. Both he and Hermione, weakened but still determined, had hugged the young man fiercely.
“What’s so funny?” Hermione now asked, digging through another suitcase.
“I was thinking of the look on Harry’s face when we hugged him…you know, when he came to get us out…”
Hermione giggled. “Yes, that was priceless. He nearly hexed you because he thought you were a Polyjuiced…anything.”
“It was funny when he threw that Finite on me because he thought I was under the Imperius curse,” Severus grinned.
He opened a box and took out the official papers of their marriage. His eyes misted over, completely without permission. He’d have to brew a potion for that.
Once out, they had been taken to Hogwarts. There, they had asked for a private conversation with Albus, explaining what had been done to them. The old wizard had looked very serious and performed a few charms. Then he had told them that the magic still considered the marriage legal, no matter how perverted the ceremony or how unwilling the participants. The only thing he could offer, Dumbledore had said, was a second ceremony, performed by himself, which would help them erase the memory of the first.
To his eternal surprise, Hermione had not protested at all. She had simply nodded and thanked the headmaster. When she had gone, to shower and finally get some fresh clothes, Albus had hugged him and told him with that infuriating twinkle that he was happy the young witch loved him. LOVED him! He had scowled at the old man.
But it was true. Hermione did love him, and he did love her. They had become close friends. And now they had moved from Hogwarts to his new home. Despite their closeness, they still had not shared more than a chaste kiss. He was afraid to admit to his wife that he was as inexperienced with the physical aspects of a relationship as she was.
“Hermione?” he interrupted his own thoughts suddenly, “is this what you were looking for?”
He held up a red sleeping bag in a satchel.
“YES!” his young wife cheered, and quickly unfolded it, sending about a dozen small plastic containers rolling over the floor.
“What are THOSE?” he asked, eyebrow raised.
“Chapsticks!” Hermione answered. “All that week in the dungeon I kept wishing I had one.”
“But…what are they?” her confused husband wanted to know.
“They’re for your lips, to moisten them so they won’t chap,” she said. “They come in different flavors.”
Severus picked up one. “Orange.”
“That’s my favorite.” Hermione smiled and undid the cap, applying it to her lips. Then she leaned over to him.
“It tastes quite good,” she said with a mischievous glance, and slowly ran her lips over his.
Severus’s eyes opened wide.
“Of course, there is also strawberry.” She put it on. “I know you love strawberry,” she teased.
Severus let out a soft moan when her lips touched his, and hesitatingly parted his lips. He was not disappointed.
“I think,” his wife breathed into his ear, “that we could use that sleeping bag after all, with the bedroom so far away…”