Chapter 12 : Part XII: March/April - Little Nymph
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Nymphadoara sat in the corner as Severus rattled off his account of what had just happened. The house had been buzzing with activity for the last three hours. It stated with his dark arts sensory alarm going off, and then everything just got crazy from there.
She had just spent over forty five agonising minutes sitting in the hidden dungeon waiting for Severus to tell her it was safe to come out. She couldn’t even begin to count the times she felt on the verge of tears. She knew that there was hardly anything out there that he couldn’t handle but all the same, she would have preferred to be there fighting along side him than locked away hidden like some weakling.
She looked at him with her arms folded and her brows knitted, trying to convey what was going trough her mind. He hardly glanced at her. She listened as he told the minister about him hiding her away, and then apparating outside to see who the intruder was. She listened to him describe how he was attacked by an enraged and deranged Bellatrix Lestrange form beyond the pine trees. He then described how he averted any injury and how he eventually retrieved the piece of seven that she was crazy enough to have on her person. The end resulted in Bellatrix lying in the dirt petrified.
That was the one redeeming factor about how he handled the incident. She had specifically asked him not to kill her if he did find her and he didn’t. It wouldn’t have been that difficult or him to.
By the time everyone left the house it was well after three in the morning and he looked tired and stressed. He closed the front door and looked at her. “Tomorrow will be a nightmare; you should get some rest while you can.”
She looked at him and raised an eyebrow. “Why should I rest? I’m not really tired at all.”
He seemed too tired to deal with her attitude so he just sighed and walked past her in the direction of his bedroom. She walked after him still firing words at his back. “How dare you ask me to hide away like that?”
He pushed open the door and walked in and slumped in the bed. “Didn’t we have an agreement a couple of months ago that you would do just that?”
“Well that was when I was powerless. I could have helped you Severus.”
He tilted his head lazily to her. “Believe it or not Nympahdora I don’t really need your help in that department.”
She stared at him in shock. “I know you don’t need my help but if I offer it then you should have the decency to accept.”
He sat up and looked at her. “Are seriously angry with me about this?”
She put her hand on hip. “Bravo Severus, you really are bright aren’t you.”
“Well what were the alternatives Nymphadora. Did you want me to say that you could assist me when I myself didn’t know who or what was out there? What if something had happened to you?”
“What if something happened to you?” She shouted.
He stared at her in silence for a moment. “If you want me to say that I was wrong to protect you...”
“Why do you feel like you have to protect me, I’m not a child Severus.”
“I’m well aware of that but what sort of man would I be if I knowingly placed you in the line of danger?”
She looked at him and shook her head. “You don’t get it do you. Do you think I liked sitting there wondering what was happening, if you were dead or alive."
When he remained silent she turned around and headed out the door. “I’ll sleep in my room,” she said walking out the door.
She walked in the old room that she used to call hers and lit some candles. She waved her wand over the bed and cleared the dust that had gathered on the sheets. When she sat on the bed she buried her head in her hands. She felt a tear running down her cheek. He had no idea how it tortured her to be worrying about him like that. Her body felt that same sickening feeling she would get whenever she was worried about Remus. It would always make her heart break to pieces again and again. She had gotten in a relationship with Severus because she was finally over Remus now it was like he was making her relive it all over again. She wondered if that was what love was about, sickening worry and unappreciated heart ache.
She wiped her tears away slowly and crossed her hands around her waist. It was weird because she didn’t want to see his face but at the same time she wanted to wrap her body around him and never let go.
She sighed and pulled the sheets away and crept under it.
She was halfway between being asleep and awake when she felt his arms wrap around her. She felt her body wake out of the sleepiness immediately. She turned her body to face him and looked at him. “I don’t know if anyone ever told you but when someone is angry with you it’s generally not a good idea to come and cuddle with them.”
He looked scandalized. “Cuddle, don’t be silly, I DO NOT cuddle. I’m holding you, it’s something completely different.”
“It doesn’t change the fact that I am angry with you”
“You’re not angry me Nymphadora.”
“Really, enlighten me,” she said not making any attempt what so ever to move away form him because she liked the feel of his hands on her.
“Well, when you really think about it,” he said sleepily, “you are angry because I care about you and that’s hardly a good reason to be angry with someone.”
“Why do you always try to simplify everything I say?”
He responded by pulling her closer. “I’m not trying to simplify what you are saying, surly you realize by now I am a smart man, I know exactly what you are saying.” When she was silent he continued to speak while running his long fingers through her hair. “You didn’t like not knowing if I was safe, I get that and I appreciate your concern but do you think it is my wish to loose you.”
“No but it isn’t my wish to loose you either,” she whispered, tears running down her cheeks once more. "Besides, I don't have to die doing some heroic feat, people die doing the most natural things."
“Please, don't speak of death so much. You may be surprised to know that in many ways I believe you are stronger than me.” She couldn’t begin to process the fact that Severus Snape was admitting that he had a weakness to her, admitting that she was superior to him in some way. “You have a grieving period then you heal. I wish I could say the same for myself. It took me more that twenty years to get here... I think...In fact I know If I loose you I will die... I cannot loose you because I will loose myself.”
She was sitting up in bed reading some outrageous article about Harry and Ginny’s wedding when Severus came in the room. He had been locked in his study for a few weeks after their second argument but he assured her that it was nothing to worry about she couldn’t help but wonder why he was spending so much time in his study and refused her help when she offered it. He only took a break to attend Harry’s wedding. When time came for his speech the guest were reduced to tears. He told stories about what a horrid child he thought Harry was and how he always broke the rules but then he added that he was surprised to learn that he was wrong and that Harry was a decent enough person. She didn’t know if he intended it be humours but it certainly was, everyone was laughing so much at the times he recalled when Harry thought that he didn’t know he was lying like a salesman selling flies. He was a success even if he didn’t intend to be.
Nymphadora looked up at him and smiled. “You’re talking a break.”
He shook his head and sat on the bed. “I’m finished.”
“With what,” she asked with her eyes still scanning all the inaccuracies in the paper.
He took a journal sized book and held it up to her. “My book, I just finished binding it.”
Her eyes opened wide and she dropped the paper she was reading and snatched it out of his hands. She felt a actual sense of joy for his accomplishment. She was genuinely surprised that he was able to finish it. He had only a few chapters at Christmas and after that they really didn’t focus on work that much. She took the book in her hands and passed her palms over the cover. The book didn’t have a title; it just had his name written on it. She turned the page and the other page had a dedication and it was to her. It read: To my Little Nymph. She looked at him with water coming from in her eyes. She couldn’t believe that he would share his private name for her with other people. “You dedicated it to me?”
“Well yes, who else is there,” he whispered. “I wrote it for you, it’s a letter to you.”
She turned the next page and realised that the book he handed her was not the book he was working on before. “Severus this isn’t the first chapter you showed me before.”
He rested his hand on her leg that was covered by the sheets. “I decided that you were right. Although I wrote this solely for your benefit and it is a gift for you, you may do with it as you please. If you want to share it, and I sincerely hope you don’t, you may.”
“So it’s a biography?” she asked flattered that he had taken her advice to heart. There were some things about him that truly surprised her.
“Like I said, it’s a letter to you, a vey long one but it has everything that you could ever want to know and some things you maybe don’t want to know about me.”
“Oh,” she said staring down at the page, a smile coming across her face. She leaned closer to him and kissed him softly on his lips. He pulled apart and stared at her in her eyes. “Something wrong” she asked.
“Not yet,” he said. She thought that was an odd sort of thing to say after giving her such a personal girt and started to wonder exactly what had been in the letter he wrote her. “I’ll leave you to it,” he said. “It shouldn’t take more than two days to finish I suspect.”
“I have a deadline.”
He shrugged while getting up. “I will prefer to get your...ah...reaction in a timely fashion.” He looked at her with eyes that suggested worry and walked out of the room.
She got to it right away. He started off by explaining what he was doing and how he came to the realisation that she had to know everything about him to truly love him. He then went on to explain about his life, he started at as far as his memory allowed him to go back, when he was three years old.
By the time she got around to when he was nine, she cried so much that she found that she had a splitting head ache. It was dark by then and she was wondering if he was coming to bed. He never did. She noticed that it must have been difficult to share his every thought and weakness with her and it would be sometime before he could face her, so she allowed him his space.
When she resumed she found that his life hadn’t improved. There were some parts when things got so dark that she was actually scared. The only interlude was when he was talking about his feelings for Lily and she could understand from the way he wrote with such passion that he did truly love her.
After those moments came to a screeching end when he ‘loosed her’ his life went back to it black abyss of depression and self hate that plagued his life. There were some parts when he spent his years with the death eaters when it was difficult to read and she wanted to stop and she willed herself to go on. What he did was not nearly as bad as she thought it could have been but what he was forced to allow to happen is what caused her to worry. The way he described the effect it had on his soul. He compared himself to lifeless thing that had been torn to pieces and talked about how he wished for suicide but didn’t have the courage to do it.
He made a lot of references to wanting to end his life but they were even more frequent after Lily died. They were times when she would read and she was certain that it hadn’t been just a thought infecting his brain but something he actually attempted. His description and desire sounded so realistic. She was scared once again. When the night fell she didn’t stop, she read on.
For the years following Lily, his feeling remained the same but she started to understand why he had that level of respect and devotion to Dumbledore.
There was a page worth of material about her and when she was at school but he latter admitted that she was not of consequence to him and he could hardly remembered her from those years. He then went on to say that he was thankful for this because it would have made their relationship ‘weird.’ That was only time she laughed. She never thought he would use that word.
When Harry came to Hogwarts his life got complicated again. He described his problems with Harry; how he had difficulty setting him apart from his father and why he felt the need to protect him because of his failure to protect his mother.
When Voldemrot returned things changed again. His life had adopted the dark tone from his previous death eater days. However he wasn’t confused anymore, he was clear and focused and he knew his gaol and how it was to be achieved. Despite the dark tone it actually sounded hopeful.
She was brought back into the picture again. He talked about his initial reaction when Dumbledore told him that she was joining The Order. He said his first reaction was that she was too young. This didn’t come as a surprise to her. She noted that he was convinced when Dumbledore told him about her eagerness to join.
He mixed his feeling about her with his activities with the death eaters. It surprised her to learn that he started to detect that she had feelings for Remus before she noticed she had those feelings herself. He only described being slightly disappointed in her choice. He explained that it only started to worry him when he saw that her patronus had changed. He talked about how he spent and absurd amount of time thinking about it and not coming to any conclusion as to why he cared.
He talked about how relieved he was when the war was over. How he actually felt like he was worth something for the first time in his life and how the death of Dumbledore affected him.
When the book had a couple of pages left she realised that the sun had gone down. She continued to read on.
The last few pages documented how he slowly began to realise that he had fallen in love with her. She didn’t know when he actually started to have feelings for her but now that she knew it seemed like a much longer time than she initially thought.
The times he spoke about their relationship and how she made him feel felt like something from a different source. His personality had changed so drastically. It was almost like he was a new person. But he described it best. He explained that he only started to live when she was with him.
The last paragraph had the same feel as the first. He explained again why it was important for her to know all these things about him before she could truly love him. He pressed the point about him being so imperfect until the very last word of the letter. She closed to book letting everything he wrote to her sink in for the first time. She knew that he had a hard life but she never even imagined that it was that bad.
There were times when she was reading it and she found herself angry with him and then there were times when she wanted to drop the book to seek him out to wrap her arms around him and comfort him but most of the times she wanted sit and cry alone because she was afraid, sometimes of him, but mostly of their relationship. However all that melted away when they were together. She felt like she could wash away his bad memories and make everything better. There was no point in being afraid that she would make him unhappy, she knew just from the way he wrote about her that she was the only one who could make him happy.
She laid in bed thinking. She and resigned the idea of finding him as it was well into the morning by then and he would have been asleep somewhere else in the manor, she would talk to him in the morning.
When the morning came she put on her best pair of trousers and a bodice that hugged her in all the right places. She spent an extra ten minutes making her hair perfect. She felt like she should look special for him since she hadn’t seen him in three days.
She walked out the room and into the hall and down to his study and knocked, she got no answer so she pushed the door open. It was empty. She was not in the mood to search his manor for him so she called for the Pince who apparated by her side soon after wards.
“Yes Miss Tonks?” asked the elf taking a bow.
“Pince, do you know where Severus is?” she asked.
“Dungeons miss, been there everyday.”
She nodded. “Okay thank you,” she said and the elf vanished once more. She walked over to the book case and pulled on the red book. Just as always the case collapsed to reveal a doorway. She remembered how unpleasant the last time she was there had been. It was more than a month ago and a lot of things had changed since then. She climbed in the hole and the case shut behind her. The entrance way was dark as usual since he neglected to put lights there as she requested. She made a count in her head trying to remember the trick step. She managed to evade it and landed on the bottom of the flight free of injury.
He looked up at her briefly and went back to looking at a cauldron that was simmering on the floor.
“So what are you up to?” she asked him sitting on the other side of the table.
“I’m making a draught of the living dead,” he whispered.
His eyes hadn’t met hers since the time she walked in and she couldn’t help but think that he looked even more pale than usual. He must have been so worried about what she thought about the book. “I suppose you want to know what I thought of the book?” she said, with her hands on the table leaning slightly forward.
“Oh no, it’s only been three agonising days,” he said a little louder but still not looking at her.
“Sarcasm is not necessary,” she said teasingly. She tried to catch his eyes but he refused to look at her. “Will you look at me, I look awfully pretty today?”
He took a moment to add some ingredient to the potion and then stir clockwise and anticlockwise and then he looked at her. She could tell that he was worried about her reaction.
She sat on the stool and placed her elbows on the table to prop her head up. She stared at him. “You are very scary to me.”
He said nothing. His brows just began hugging each other.
“There were times when I didn’t want to continue, sometimes I wanted to run and hide from you. You were a very scary man in your early twenties. It was not nice.” He remained silent but bowed his head. She could tell it was hurting him to have her say those words to him but she felt like she had to be honest. “But you never did anything really... you just watched quietly. I know now why you feel you have to protect me, you can’t not do anything when it comes to me.” She still got no response. “I can accept that. I can also accept that you volunteered to put your life on the line to save a woman who did not love in return, that was very admirable. But there is something I can’t forgive you for.”
He looked up slightly, his eyes not meeting hers. “What’s that?” he asked.
She looked at him and smiled softly. “That you not only did not return my affections in school but you hardly noticed me at all. There I was pining away and you were merely trying to avoid giving me remedial potions.”
He looked up at her and met her eyes. He put his hand over his mouth and sighed. He sounded so relieved there. It seemed like he really believed that there was a possibility that she would just drop everything and leave him. “Is that it,” he asked.
She took her hands off the table. “That’s it.”
“Nothing has changed?”
“Nothing has changed,” she said simply. “Although I am slightly jealous that just the thought of her could make you happy." She got up from the table and walked over to where he was standing. She wrapped her arms around him and buried her head in his shoulders. “I want to make you happy Severus.”
He pulled her close to him, not leaving a space between their bodies. “You already do my Nymphadora. I realised that I was happy to be around Lily but when I’m with you I’m happy with myself. Now I can give myself to you entirely. Are you happy with me?”
She reached up and kissed his neck as it was the closet thing. She felt him tremble by her touch. “I have pink hair Severus how much more do you need than that.”
“Do you want to have pink hair forever?” he whispered breathlessly.
She almost laughed at the question because it sounded so silly but she realised that wasn’t what he was asking. “Yes,” she said taking a moment to answer.
“Then be my wife.”
She stopped and pulled away and looked at him. “What?”
“Marry me and I will make you happy everyday your life.”
She let the enormity of the situation sink in. There was Severus Snape, a man no one thought was capable of love asking her, a woman whose friends thought would never love again, to spend the rest of her life with him. Somehow this brought on a giggle in her throat. “Are you serious?” she asked.
He looked worried but calm at the same time. “I have a ring Nymphadora” he whispered looking at her in her eyes as if trying to determine what she was thinking.
“Can I see it,” she said.
He looked slightly surprised that she asked to see it but he unwrapped his arms from around her and dug in his pants pocket and retrieved a black box. He handed it to her and she took it with trembling hands. “How is it that no one reported you in a jewellery store?”
“I asked Harry to get it” he added looking at her as she slowly opened the box.
She looked down at the crystal clear gem stone that shined up at her. Her hands reached out and pulled it form the grove that kept it in place. She looked at the white gold metal that held the jewel in place, carved so small that the eye could hardly see was the words ‘Nymphadora Snape’. She took it and placed in on the finger next to her baby finger on her hand. She looked up at him and wrapped her arms around him. “The very first thing I have to do is chuck out that dragon skin couch. This is not some kind of swanky bachelor pad.”
“Does this mean that you’re saying yes?” he asked cautiously
“Oh heaven, Yes.” She said laughing and pulling him into a tight hug. He pulled her close to him and wrapped his arms around her. They stood there holding each other for what seemed like eternity but she didn’t mind. They were giggling like little children at first and somehow the complete happiness that she was actually able to describe as bliss caused tears to flow form her eyes.
They were only brought out of it by his cauldron hissing. “Severus your potion,” she said laughing at the cauldron that had melted to rubbery blob and was oozing purple liquid.
“I don’t need that anymore. I was prepared to put myself into a permanent dreamless sleep if you said no.”
She laughed at him and kissed him on his cheek. “You really do have a flair for the dramatics you know.”
A/N: I took forever to update this story, I know and I'm sorry. So there's a Epilogue to go... he he fun. I can't wait to get a whole bunch of angry messages... he he. HINT HINT.
NEWS: As of right now it is no longer possible for me to update my other story Beautiful Summer. I will have to leave it as it is. It's a shame because all 16 chapters have been written. Sorry... but I just can't... and if I did, it would be so dramatically different that you wouldn't even want to read it. If you have any questions... I have a meet the author page.
But good news: I plan to post another story for people who like this (S/T) ship, I have it all in my head.
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