Disclaimer: The characters here and the world they inhabit are the creation and property of JK Rowling and her assigns.
Severus kept a physical distance for a couple of days, although he came and helped her with the baby in the evenings. They parted for the night with a soft kiss and a touch of their hands. Based upon the way Dumbledore's eyes twinkled when he greeted her at meals, Septima was sure he knew there was a problem between Severus and herself. She lay in her lonely bed and wondered if this would be her life for the foreseeable future.
Somehow what they had always done best was now what they did worst. Obviously the problem was Septima. She simply couldn't make love the way she had before. She knew Severus was attached to her, and now they were even married. Yet she couldn't fool herself. Sex had held them together all this time. How long would it be before he searched for what they had with another witch? Her worried eyes followed him at meals and around the corridors of the school. The Beauxbatons professors were so pretty. How could she not have noticed that before?
Severus followed her to her classroom after breakfast on Friday, shutting the door and locking it so that he could lean down and kiss her.
“I don't know why you bother. It seems hopeless,” she said.
“It's not hopeless. We just need to change the way we do things.” Severus kissed her again and ran his hands up and down her body. “Pack yourself and the baby a bag for the weekend. We'll figure something out.”
That afternoon, Septima stood nervously near the front door. She remembered feeling like this on her first Hogsmeade Weekend, worried about whether her parents had properly filled out the permission slip and whether her name was on the list.
“I'm not sure I can spare two professors, Severus...”
“It's simply necessary, Headmaster. The situation is dire.”
“Whatever is the matter?”
“The witch requires a well and thorough shagging.”
Septima could feel herself blush, and a look of sick annoyance passed over Dumbledore's face. “There's no need to be crass, Severus. What are you really doing?”
“I'm taking my wife off for a weekend of romance. She's tired lately.”
“How long will you be gone?”
Severus looked at Septima appraisingly. “We'll be back by our first classes on Monday. I couldn't say how soon before then. We might find that we enjoy each other's company.”
Dumbledore simply sighed as they walked out the door. Septima huffed a little and finally asked, “Why did you have to make me sound like some sort of nymphomaniac?”
“Because sex between us seems to disgust him and get us away from him faster than any other discussion. Besides, it's true.”
“I'm a Nymphomaniac?”
“No, but you do need to be properly loved, I think.”
“You plan to do nothing but shag me all weekend?”
“I'm going to make love with you in every way that strikes our fancy this weekend.”
“What are we doing with Nicky?”
They arrived at the front gate. “We're leaving him with my mother,” said Severus. Before Septima could say another word, he put his arm around her and turned.
Septima nearly balked at the idea of leaving Nicolas with Eileen. Severus kissed her and insisted. “She's a midwife and knows what to do for him as well as you do. She's wanted to see him since you came back to Hogwarts. She's his gran, and she loves him.”
“I know she'll do wonderfully... but his feedings!”
“I've got all the bottles you made before in this bag, and you can make more bottles and send them from time to time.”
“Is there any sense in arguing?”
At least he picked a place to go that offered some measure of normalcy and comfort. After walking her through the process of kissing the baby goodbye and leaving in near tears, Severus brought Septima to her apartment near the university.
“I'm not sure I can do this,” she said.
“Of course you can.”
“But I'll miss him!”
“I'll try to fill your time,” he said dryly.
He dropped their bags by the door and pulled her into his arms. She trembled with all the emotions going through her, and he simply held her. After a moment, their breathing started to keep time together and they seemed to be swaying. She couldn't be sure, but perhaps she could feel the beat of his heart matching hers.
He kissed her gently, and then started pushing her toward the bath room.”Let's start with a nice, hot bath.”
She thought he would get in with her, but instead he conjured himself a low chair and sat next to her as she reclined in the tub and breathed in the combination of salts and oils he put into the water. They didn't say much. He read a journal, occasionally reading excerpts aloud. At some point, she gave a contented sigh, and he said, “Are you ready for what's next?”
“I think I'm done with the bath, anyway. Have you got this all planned out?”
He assessed her over the top of his journal. “Stand up, then.”
As she stood, he got a bath sheet. When she stepped out of the bath, he wrapped it around her. Then he pulled her close and kissed her. “Are you feeling relaxed?”
“A little,” she admitted.
He pulled her closer and kissed her again. She sighed and leaned up into his body as something stirred deep within her. He pulled back and touched her nose. “Not yet, love.”
She let him guide her toward the bed. He turned down the sheets and positioned her, sitting, on the bed. He sat behind her and Summoned a hair brush. “I've always loved your hair,” he whispered as he started to draw the brush through it. “It's always been a bit forlorn and unappreciated, yet it gleams and shines when it gets the slightest bit of attention.” He finished one side and smoothed it over her shoulder, making her skin tingle at his touch.
Severus acted a little too disinterested and worked on the rest of her hair. “It's like you, really,” he said. “With the slightest bit of attention, you become alluring, beautiful, even.” Her hair slid over her other shoulder. “I've forgotten, if I ever knew, that you deserve more attention than I give you.”
“It's fine, really...”
He put a finger over her lips. “Lay down,” he said as he pulled the towel away. Her body hit the bed, and he started kneading her shoulders. “You've been taking care of the baby and your students, and no one has taken care of you lately.”
“I know Dumbledore has you busy.”
“He's wasting my time. All the plans are made and there's nothing to do until the Dark Lord makes his move, if he actually does so.”
He rubbed her shoulders, taking his time about it, but eventually moving down her hips to her legs and feet. There was a lovely smell in the room as he used some sort of lotion on her back. As he rubbed, he spoke, and Septima wasn't sure exactly what he said. It may have been the story of Babbitty Rabbitty for all she knew or cared. Marvelous things danced in her head. Runes and numbers worked together in a joyous scrum that became a waltz and then a reel until they were in straight rows in her mind.
A/N: Thank you to beta readers Kyria of Delphi and Owlbait!