Disclaimer: The characters here and the world they inhabit are the creation and property of JK Rowling and her assigns.
“Severus?” It was a soft whisper into the night.
“Do you think something is missing... in my mind?”
He pulled her tight and released her slightly. “No, you're whole, but I do think your memories were modified.”
“What do you think is changed?”
“Something is modified during the six months after our breakup at the university.”
Suddenly she was worried. Just the idea made her feel... anxious. “Is it really that important?”
After a moment, he sighed. “I suppose not. Let's not think about it right now.”
Did they sleep? Did it matter if they did? She knew he could never resist her kisses, and that once she wriggled her knee around his hip, he lost any resolve he might have had. At some point later that night he tightened his arms around her. He kissed her head and whispered, “I love how determined you are to be with me.”
She smiled. “Severus, you know I lo—”
He put his finger over her lips. “I do indeed, but you shouldn't say it when I can't answer.”
“You just said...”
“I told you long ago that there are many things I love about you.”
“I said at the time that it would take a lifetime to tell you all of those things. I've realized that I better get started.”
* * * * *
They took their time in greeting the New Year. Septima's bed proved to be a festive spot, and they were reluctant to leave, yet they knew they had tasks to attend around the castle. Severus took a shower, put on the dressing gown that Septima kept for him, and went out to her sitting room.
When Septima came out of the shower, she put one towel around herself and then used another to dry her hair. She walked into her sitting room and straddled Severus's lap. “How about one more go-round before we check in with our students?” The towel around her fell open as she wriggled herself around, trying to interest him.
“Septima,” he murmured. “We have company.” He nodded at her easy chair.
She turned and saw her erstwhile date from the night before. She quickly wrapped the towel back around herself. Remus wouldn't be able to miss the implication, but she couldn't help that.
He was already glaring, but his face was even darker as he stood. “Septima, the Headmaster wants to see you as soon as possible this morning. If it was me, I wouldn't hesitate to find out what he wants. Severus, I must admit it's been illuminating.” He stood up and looked at them both for a long minute. Then he left.
Septima looked at Severus. “What do you think?”
He patted her behind. “There's plenty of time for more of this. Why don't you go see what Dumbledore wants?”
* * * * *
“Headmaster, you wanted to see me?”
“You needn't sit down, Professor Vector.” He didn't look up from some parchment he was writing. “I simply wanted to inform you that Hogwarts will be taking a different direction with Arithmancy next year, and after the spring term your services will no longer be needed.”
“Sir?” She couldn't believe her ears.
“Your work this year has been a complete failure and a disappointment to me.”
“I haven't done anything different than since the first year I was hired.”
“I don't wish to discuss it, Professor. You haven't managed to fulfill the tasks I wished of you this year.”
“You mean with Remus? I tried, honestly I did.”
He finally looked up. “If you had really tried, you would have succeeded.”
“Are you willing to try again?”
She couldn't say anything, but her head involuntarily indicated the negative.
“I see. Well, that's that, then.”
Septima was shaken to her core, but there was one small bit of brightness to it. “Yes... that's that." She smiled to herself.
Dumbledore was immediately suspicious. “What are you thinking?”
“I—” It was too dear, too precious to just tell him.
His gaze was demanding. “Tell me.”
A light caught in his glasses and dazzled her. “It's just that... if you're going to fire me anyway... Severus and I can start a family. I can have his child.” She finally tore her eyes from his glasses and looked at the floor. She waited for him to respond, but he didn't say anything for a few minutes.
The moment lengthened, and Dumbledore finally sighed. “All right then, you win. You will remain at Hogwarts, Professor Vector.”
She looked up, scarcely able to believe him. He looked a little green in the face, and he was definitely furious. “Headmaster?”
“You will remain at Hogwarts, and there will be no more thought of a child between you and Severus. Is that clear?”
She hid her smile and nodded her head. “Yes, Headmaster.”
He snapped his head at his door in a signal of dismissal. Septima turned and smiled as she left. She'd won. He wouldn't interfere in her life with Severus again.
A/N: Thank you to Owlbait for beta reading!