Vespertine

Got Love? Whether it’s unrequited, extramarital, obsessive or completely otherworldly, this fic’s got it covered. Contrary to public opinion, Severus Snape didn’t die at the Battle of Hogwarts. Although he’s not exactly “alive,” he is on a mission to possess the very thing that eluded him in life: love. While love might be the best revenge, it’s never easy. When murder and madness are part of the mix, desire has teeth—and this kind of love really bites!

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15. A House Divided

Molly Weasley dried the last of the dishes and put them in the cupboard. There weren't as many for tea today as she would have liked. Despite all her attempts at reconciliation, all her pleas for him to reassign the Malfoy case and reconnect with his family, the number of place settings for at the Burrow remained a stolid, Disappointment: Table for One. Day by day, as the cold fire in Arthur's eyes blazed brighter and his speculations grew more fevered, she saw her hope spreading as thin as a daub of butter over too large a slice of bread. She dried her hands on her apron, untied it, and hung it on a hook by the sink. Their marriage had survived two wars, a house fire, a French daughter-in-law, and one son's preference for dragons over damsels (distressed or otherwise). She looked up at the clock, at the wound that went too deep for even time to heal: the golden hand forever stilled over "Lost." 

For all the good it would do, Arthur could hijack the moon and hunt the sun. It wouldn't bring Fred back. Although she hated what she was about to do, he'd given her no choice. She daubed her eyes with a corner of her shawl and glanced at one of its larger hands. She only hoped it would be enough. Head held high, Molly strode out of the kitchen, grabbed the leather suitcase waiting at the threshold, and vanished.

"How did you get—oh, never mind. I should know better by now." Arthur shut the door and drew the shade over its tinted glass window. "But you should be more careful," he said to the pair of acid green stiletto heels propped on this desk. Trying his best to avoid gazing at the dainty ankles atop those shoes, and the long, shapely legs showing just a hint of garter before they disappeared in the shadow beneath a short, green skirt, he threw himself back against the door. "If someone were to see you like this—"

"A look is all they'd get." The legs crossed, one slowly rubbing against the other. The soft purr of silk against silk a come-hither siren no man could resist. "Sorry to barge in, Arthur, but I'm just dying to hear about your latest meeting. Dig up anything interesting? She giggled.

"More than interesting," he said, sliding one hand up her leg and into the folds of her skirt, "utterly damning."

"Marvelous! Do tell!"

"Everything's strictly off the record for now. I know how I'm going to catch him, but can't afford to tip him off." His hand stopped and then, quickly withdrew. "Merlin's beard, Rita!"

"Beard isn't exactly the word I would choose." She wriggled in her seat. "Still, I find your prudishness quite refreshing. I never dreamed I'd ever be attracted to someone who stood on such morally high ground," she said, swinging her legs off the desk and using the momentum to launch herself into his arms, "or a blushing redhead, at that. Do you realize, right now, I can count five shades of red on you?" Her hand began teasing his hair, but moved sinuously over his skin, her body pressing closer against his as her list progressed. "Ginger hair, crimson cheeks, russet freckles, a mulberry scar right there," she kissed his cheek, "and then, those lips. Those luscious, rosy lips..."

"Working hard, I see." Molly Weasley glowered at them from the doorway. Eyes flicking to Skeeter, she said, "Now I see what's been keeping you here so late." Skeeter skirted the front of the desk and tried to edge through the doorway but Molly blocked her path. "Don't leave on my account, Rita. Since you two love birds have already made such a comfy nest, I'll leave you to feather it together!" Before Arthur could protest, she threw the suitcase at them.

Shrieking, Skeeter ducked, lunged, and pushed past Molly, but Arthur, not as quick on his feet, caught it in the chest. He toppled backwards, screaming, "Please, Molly, it's not what you think!"

"Spare me," she said, slamming the door in his face.

 

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