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Severus Snape glared down at the Witch Weekly article. He'd confiscated the offensive magazine from a giggly first year who couldn't keep her eyes off it. Throwing it on his desk during class, he'd forgotten about it... until now. He stared down at the witch blowing kisses at him. The main headline on the cover proclaimed Bring your love to you with a simple drawing! His eyes narrowed at the headline.
These articles are a bunch of bunk, he thought as he flipped to the article.
"Gads, it's covered in hearts!" He frowned as the hearts swelled and popped in succession. At least they didn't repeat their annoying popping. Quickly he skimmed the article.
"Balderdash," he muttered to himself before snorting and looking away. "Utter nonsense!"
His eyes were drawn back to the article. Frowning, he read it through, this time very carefully. "Inconceivable..."
His fingers drummed his desk. His eyes shifted from the article to a pad of paper in the corner of his desk and back to the article.
"What would be the harm in trying it?" he asked himself finally. "I will prove the damn thing wrong."
It was almost midnight on the night before Valentine's Day. Having decided to give the article a shot, he was ready. The foolish magazine had hyped a true-love spell. It promised that if you drew a picture of your secret love and kissed it at midnight, your soul mate would find her way to you by midnight on Valentine's Day.
He sneered. "Good luck with that!"
Eyeing the stick figure he'd drawn, he took a crayon and colored her eyes green.
"There. She's perfect."
The little stick figure barely looked like anyone, but Severus knew who it was.
"Lily..." he said as he placed a kiss on her lips as the clock struck midnight.
Severus sat smugly at dinner. He had carefully documented his actions the night before and was eager for midnight to come so he could prove Witch Weekly wrong. He gazed down the table and saw Hermione Granger staring at him wistfully. He felt a stirring within him and frowned. Rising, he stalked from the Great Hall and worked his way down to the dungeons and his room.
As he entered, he stopped short and gaped. Striding farther into the room he stood before a shadowy apparition. He rubbed his eyes and blinked at the form of Lily Evans standing before him.
"Merlin, this can't be."
Lily smiled at him. "I'm not here for what you think, Severus. You wanted to summon your soul mate." She pointed to herself. "I am not that."
Severus frowned. "Of course you are!"
She shook her head. "You know who I belong to. I am James' soul mate."
Severus turned and stalked to the fireplace. "So, you came here to rub it in my face?" he spat.
Lily's shadowy form turned and floated over to him. She tried to touch him, but her thinner substance simply went through Severus' shoulder. Nonetheless, he turned slightly at her touch.
"You have someone better suited as your soul mate..." she murmured.
"No one could possibly..."
Her finger touched his lips, and he stilled.
"You're a man now, my friend. Give up your fantasies of youth and recognize what has been staring you in the face for a long time now."
"Lily, what are you talking about?"
Lily began to shimmer in front of him.
"No! Don't go! You've not been here very long!" He reached out for her, but his fingers went straight through her smoky form.
"I need to go, my friend. She will be here soon. Don't mess this up."
"Lily!" Severus cried as she disappeared from view. He let his hands drop as he stared at the place where she'd just been. The expected pain didn't swell up within him. He felt no intense sense of loss. He felt peaceful.
He hadn't had much of a chance to mull that over when there was a knock at the door. He turned and stared at it, finally approaching it warily. Reaching out, he turned the knob as a wave of trepidation swept over him. Who would he find on the other side?
He opened the door slowly. His eyes grew large when he saw Filius Flitwick standing there.
"Hi, Severus," Flitwick said. "Erm, I was told to give this to you." He extended a letter. Severus stared at it, frowning, before snatching it out of Flitwick's hand.
"Well, I'd best be off..." Flitwick said with a sly smile. He wiggled his eyebrows as he turned and walked away. Severus stared after him with his mouth agape. Gazing down at the letter distastefully, he closed his door and looked down at it again.
He wasn't sure whether to read the letter or incinerate it on site. The only thing that made him pause was the fact that Flitwick said he was told to deliver it. Surely it wasn't from him... Right?
He unfolded the parchment gingerly and quickly looked to the signature. He sighed in relief as he realized it was from Hermione Granger, not Flitwick. His eyes drifted to the beginning of the letter, and he read it in its entirety.
I know that Valentine's Day isn't a favorite holiday of yours, but I'm hoping to be able to change that.
I have a confession to make; I find you irresistible. I'm not sure if you have any interest in me whatsoever, but if you do...
I'll be waiting outside your door for the next half hour. If you would like to explore a relationship, then please feel free to let me in. If you're not interested, just don't open the door. I won't mention this again.
Whatever you choose, I hope you have a wonderful evening knowing that someone cares for you.
Severus read the letter three times, then looked to the door. Lily's words rang through his head. Soul mate... Don't mess this up... Now that he thought about it, Hermione Granger seemed the perfect match for him. He shook his head slightly to clear it and bounded to the door. Flinging it open, he found her standing there looking like a scared kitten.
"You... fancy... me?" he asked eloquently.
She nodded just as eloquently.
He stepped back and opened the door wider. Extending his hand, he grasped hers and pulled her in, all the giving her an intense look.
"Do you think this can work, Severus?" Hermione said as he pulled her into his arms.
"There's only one way to find out," he answered before kissing her. Pulling back, he looked into her eyes and found home. He thanked heaven and earth that he confiscated that magazine, opening his life to this new relationship.
"Yes, this will work nicely."
A/N: This is for Droxy... who hatez da fluff.
Prompt by HermioneDiggory: A silly magazine article claims that if you draw a portrait of your secret love and kiss it at midnight on Valentine's eve, your soulmate will find his/her way to you by midnight on Valentine's Day. Who decides to try it out and what happens?
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