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The Conference by Melvacaea [Reviews - 3]

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Thanks to Trickie Woo, Grey_Eminence, and niklars for the wonderful reviews!
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Chapter Twenty: Day Four

Mara looked down at the Charms schedule and sighed. While one of the shortest parts, it was one of the most interesting. Hermione had come to her more than once for a clarification on a certain Dominance Charm, a legal variant of the Imperius Curse. It was only vaguely described in books. Mara didn't want to know what she had used it for and she was still averse to gaining that knowledge. The students trickled in and the Charms professor entered with a nice, round stomach and a husband supporting her and leading her to a chair.

Hermione looked over at Mara and a visual signal passed between them. The conversation on werewolf genes was not forgotten; Hermione wanted her today after the presentation. She gave the pregnant woman a short nod before starting off her 'class' with a cheery introduction and a cheeky joke on werewolf submissiveness that made Remus scowl. In a corner, a dark shadow saw the exchange between the two women and pondered on it during her talk.

****

Mara looked down at her watch and entered the Hospital Wing just after Hermione. She was seated on a bed and Poppy looked over at her, lips pursed.

"I'm going to need Severus, Hermione, do you mind?" she asked her quietly and Hermione shook her head. Mara stuck her head in the Floo after calling the Potions Master. "I have need of you in the Hospital Wing, Severus. Come up." After a moment, he Flooed in and she thrust a list of ingredients at him. "Would you mind terribly? I have to tend to Hermione."

He rolled his eyes and fetched the ingredients – oregano, water laced with cranberry juice, crushed beetle eyes, ground up crystal, what on earth is this girl making? – afterwards heading back to the Hospital Wing, where Poppy showed him to a small cauldron. A recipe lay next to it and Severus followed the instructions to the letter, not recognizing for the first time in his life the potion he was making. He gave her the instructed amount that she asked for and watched her dose Hermione with it.

After a moment, Hermione's stomach started to glow blue and it burst into light. When the light disappeared, they could see inside Hermione's stomach. Severus raised his eyebrows as he stood in the doorway. He watched the two women mutter and trace figures on Hermione's stomach, who was looking vastly irritated.

"It's a boy, but you already knew that didn't you?" Hermione blushed.

Mara was frowning and then a smile burst through her features. "Well, he'll have a lot of hair on his head, but that's it!"

The three women smiled and Hermione burst into tears, to which Mara was prompt to sit her up against her and soothe her, the smile still upon her lips. Then, Severus cleared his throat and they looked about.

"Congratulations, Hermione," he said in a low voice. "Alexandria, I'll see you after class. You should go and prepare for tomorrow."

"I know. I'll see you as soon as I can, okay Herm?"

Mara left the Hospital Wing and Severus watched her softly curved figure leave before Flooing out. Hermione and Poppy shared a knowing look.

****

Mara picked up her notes and, after slipping on a pair of comfortable and warm shoes, walked to the dungeons, shivering in her jacket. The cold November air whisked through every hole it could find and Filch had gone on a binge to find them all and rid the castle of the breeze that froze every living creature. When she entered his office, she wasn't surprised to find him bent over a parchment, destroying it with red ink.

"Glad to see your vigor hasn't left you in spite of the weather."

"On the contrary, it grows more ferocious." He looked up and gazed at her feet. "What, no bare feet? In this lovely weather?" he smirked.

She scowled at him and plopped into what had seemed to become 'her' chair. "Let's see if we can at least figure out the bloody base potion, shall we?"

Any half-wit would realize that the sexual tension in the room that was barbed with sarcasm and professionalism was at an exploding point. The two-month limit was almost up and they both knew that they would probably have to marry. But, being Severus and Mara, they refused to recognize it and continued their lives doggedly, acting as if the ring on Mara's finger was merely an inconvenience that would soon go away. How wrong they were...

****
Hm. Let me give you a hint as to the next chapter: Dreams
He, he, he.
-Mel

The Conference by Melvacaea [Reviews - 3]

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