Title: Resetting the Wards
Age-Range Category: Four
Character(s)/Pairing(s): Hermione/Severus, Luna/Rolf, Minerva
(Highlight to View) Warning(s): Mention of public sex.
Summary: Shortly after Severus's 40th birthday, he gets called by the Castle to help reset the wards.
"I'm not the Headmaster, Dipsy, contact the Headmistress."
"The Castle doesn't thinks she's up to the jobs. Its be needing yous, sir."
Severus shook his head. Two years past the Battle of Hogwarts, and he couldn't get away from duties he hadn't signed up for. He walked determinedly up to the Head's office.
"What seems to be the problem, Minerva?"
"The wards are falling, Severus. Between what Albus had done to try to 'rehabilitate' people and what you were forced to do to allow the Carrows and Tom to do damage, they need to be reset. We had thought the rebuilding would do, but both Septima and Hermione have said that there is a variable missing." The Headmistress paced.
"I understand asking Septima, but Granger?"
"She spent quite a bit of her time on the run studying, Severus. She came up with a couple of solutions to problems that had the Unspeakables salivating after her NEWTs were scored," Minerva replied.
"Isn't she working as an Undersecretary to someone?" he asked.
"Don't they all?" said Minerva.
"Ah," he said. "One of THOSE."
"You should have been one of THOSE, Severus. But instead, Albus and those lost boys pushed you into something else. Lily should have been one of those. Sirius almost was. But yes, she is one of THOSE, Severus, and we are the better for it. Who do you think gave us the equation and spells to rebuild the towers?"
Severus just nodded. He remembered the beginning of his recruitment, until the Department head realized he was Marked. The Unspeakables are the visible ones. The Unthinkables, well, they all have something else to do and somewhere else to be, but they ultimately work on the foundations of British wizarding life. They created new spells, and corrected issues, and they found solutions to problems that should have never existed.
One of the reasons Tom and Albus had such a public and devastating war was they knew too many of THOSE and could either quiet them or confound them or just plain ignore them. As it was, the newest recruits apparently all had to swear oaths keeping them from taking sides. He believed it was similar to the oaths MACUSA swore and that their Muggle counterparts called The Hatch Act… but he was starting to go off on a tangent.
Minerva smiled. "Severus, you know we can only mention that because of our connections."
"Yes, Minerva, and if I could ever get rid of this stupid Mark, I'd be one of THOSE," he replied.
"Are you two done reminiscing? We need to get this done before the wards fall entirely," a familiar voice said.
"Molly?" The chorus of voices made the woman smile.
"Who did you think the head was, Arthur? He certainly has his place dears, but so do I," the witch replied. "Now, Hermione and Luna here have worked together to get a ritual in place. But since tomorrow is Lammas, we need to get it set up as soon as magically possible."
Severus looked over the ritual that Hermione and Luna had come up with. "The three of us suit for the three houses, it seems. Who shall represent Hufflepuff? And who will comprise the coven?"
"Luckily, I'm married to a Hufflepuff," Luna said. "And he quite understands the difficulties of this sort of thing. His grandparents had to find a set of unusual people to complete such a ritual in the Grand Canyon, once. It was how he was conceived."
"That was one of the variables, actually, Luna. When you said Rolf was the child of a ritual it made the numbers add up," Hermione said.
"You realize you will have to have sex with me, Miss Granger," Severus said, reading through more of the ritual.
"Yes, we are setting the wards similarly to what was done originally. Although we aren't quite sure if it was two pairs or the founders were polyamorous. In any case, two pairs work here, although Luna was quite willing to share," Hermione smiled. "I have no problem with it, Headmaster."
"You call me that as though I still hold the position. The Board of Governors would disagree," he responded curtly.
"And the Castle would stick its tongue out and blow a raspberry at them if it was at all possible," she replied. "It accepts Minerva on behalf of the Board and considers her equal to you in power and position. Tell me you don't feel the wards," Hermione replied.
"I was blocking them out," Severus said.
Minerva gasped. "Oh, that explains so much! No, laddie. Please, drop that block. I need your help. There were four to start with. The reason so many things have gone wrong with Hogwarts is the wards are too much for one person. They go a bit mad," Minerva said. "The two of us, we are strong enough to hold them. It would be better with four, but the Board won't pay."
"If this ritual works the way it is written, the pairs will be bonded to each other and to Hogwarts. The High Priestess will as well," he said. "Miss Granger, you will be my WIFE at the end of this! You can't seriously be willing to tie yourself to me."
"There are rumors of a Marriage Law being passed. Not based on bloodlines, but on fertility. Seeing how much spell damage I've been through, my fertility is questionable. If you are willing, then so am I. We can either keep to ourselves or attempt to make a relationship work. You are easily as intelligent as I am and although I haven't quite had the life experience, I have lived quite a bit in my 23 years," she said.
"Shouldn't you only be 21?" he asked.
"That is what you noticed from what I said? I overused a Time Turner. I've added approximately eighteen months to my age. Luckily, I was recruited before I permanently started to age at 2 months per month," she answered.
Severus bowed his head. He closed his eyes and reached out to the Castle, who glowed reassuringly. He looked up. "Miss Granger, if I may?"
Hermione walked right up to him and let him look in her eyes.
Severus gasped. "I see. Well, then, Hermione, I accept."
She nodded. Luna clapped her hands and danced around, joined by Rolf, who had shown up at some point during the discussions. Severus watched them with a raised eyebrow.
Minerva smiled. "I shall convene the coven. Please be ready by the standing stones at dawn tomorrow."
Severus turned to Hermione, "Would you please come down with me to my chambers?"
"You still stay in the dungeons?"
"No, down the hall to the Deputy's chambers. Every time I tried to move my things they ended up there, so I gave up. Even the ruddy Castle thinks it knows better than I," he grumbled.
Hermione laughed. "They made me run numbers for this proposed law. But I added some equations for myself. My best matches of anyone I knew were you, Malfoy Sr for some reason—I'd rather become a Catholic nun than marry him—and Neville. When the numbers for the ritual here named the two of us as the best power combination to aid Luna and Rolf, I jumped at the chance. I hope you don't mind," she said, the words falling out of her mouth quickly.
"Seeing as we are to be either at the whim of the Castle or the Ministry, I agree with you, Hermione, I also would take the Castle."
"Severus. Sev-er-us. Sev'rus."
"Just trying it out. Seeing as we shall be married tomorrow, if all goes well," she said.
"And if it does not go well?" The eyebrow rose again.
"We shall be scattered to the wind, so I doubt we would notice much," she said.
"And how do you propose we spend the time before the ritual?" he asked.
"Strip gobstones?" Hermione replied.
She looked at Severus's face and laughed. "Severus, if that eyebrow goes any higher, you will have a new hairline. We both have scars. Maybe it would be best if we saw them before tomorrow."
"You have a point, Hermione. But I believe I'm far better at poker than gobstones," he said.
"My dad played poker as a hobby. You may have met your match," she answered.
A few hands in and Hermione was in her bra and pants, her robes having been gone along with her blouse, socks, shoes and trousers. Severus had lost a similar number of clothing items but still had his shirt, socks and trousers on.
"You have almost as many scars as I do," he said, noting all the ones she had picked up during the fight at the Ministry and during that fated seventh year.
"I'm going to have to win a few rounds or I will be here starkers and you will still be dressed for me to see," she said.
A few more hands and Severus was down to black silk boxers and Hermione was in her pants.
"You know the mathemagics of this ritual," Severus said. "Would it behoove us to rid ourselves of this sexual energy or not?"
"Not," she replied. "If we can manage to get to the point of panting for each other out there, that would be best."
"Will that be a problem for the others?" he asked.
"No, Rolf and Luna are quite happy to have sex just about anywhere. We were all at dinner at the Three Broomsticks, in a private room a few months ago, and Neville made an offhand comment about wishing he knew more about cunnilingus. Well, less than a minute after that, Luna was sprawled on the table, with Rolf showing him how to do it. I'm not certain what goes on in the air around those two but a few minutes after that Hannah was on the table next to her, and I had to go home to a cold shower," she muttered.
Severus threw his head back and laughed.
"What's so funny?"
"There are rumors that Rodolphus couldn't get it up and that was why Bella went so insane, her proclivities could have easily been taken care of by someone as carefree as Rolf, it sounds. Some witches are just more open with their sexuality. Luna is a bit fey, and they have different rules," he said.
"Ah. That does explain that," Hermione said. "Are we going to have that problem?"
"Look here, witch" he said gesturing at his lap. "Between your lovely tits, the wetness at your crotch and that story, I'm escaping my pants. Do you think we shall have a problem?"
"Can you restrain yourself until tomorrow?" she asked.
"The dawn is in less than six hours. Yes, I can. But let's go to bed so that we can get as much rest as we can," he said.
They cuddled into his bed, leaving their pants on, and amazingly enough, slept.
The morning dawned, and Severus and Hermione walked out to the standing stones, dressed in very simple white linen shifts that the Hogwarts elves has provided.
They met up with Luna and Rolf, who were dressed similarly, then went over to greet Minerva in her role as High Priestess for the coven she had convened.
Hermione looked around at the six witches and six wizards who made up the coven. "Oh, well done, Minerva! Three of each house. How did you manage?"
"Easily, lassie. This type of ritual not only strengthens the wards but the magic of the coven. Once I got word out of what I wanted, I had scads of volunteers. I tried to get the married ones, but only those that aren't of the same house."
"Oh, right, Molly, you were a Hufflepuff. Harry and Ginny weren't upset?" Hermione asked, as they all got into their positions.
"Harry had no clue, the poor dear. Ginny was more upset about that, and has set about rectifying it," Molly replied. "Now, time for the ritual, so get into place!"
Severus took a deep breath, before taking Hermione's hand and walking into the center of the circle of stones.
As the coven began to chant and the magic began to swirl, it caught the couples in the center up into it. As they melded into each other over the ley lines, the others could sense the power reentering the wards surrounding the Castle.
When the ritual ended, all of the people involved collapsed, exhausted. Before anyone could say anything, they were popped back to their rooms by the extremely happy elves.
With the wards recharged and both Hermione and Severus effectively off the market, the Ministry lost interest in the proposed Marriage Law.
After a visit to Hogwarts ostensibly for Severus's forty-first birthday, Lucius Malfoy was seen running down the road hands on his rump, being chased by flying birds and—
"Severus, call off the vampire bats!!!! I promise never to try to proposition your wife again!"