Give Severus a chance
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Severus and Hermione have spent weeks assuming the worst of each other until one evening everything changes. Finally, Hermione makes a surprising demand. This could either go really well or completely backfire.
His face softened as he slowly reached out and cupped her cheek. "It's too hard, Hermione."
Though taken aback by his gentleness and his touch, she managed to ask, "What's too hard?"
He studied her for several moments, softly stroking her face the whole time. Finally, he removed his hand and said, "Having you... yet never really... having you."
His enigmatic answer told her almost nothing. However, his eyes… Oh, gods, why is he looking at me like that? "You have me, Severus. I'm your wife," she said, hoping to get some clarification.
*Though this story is based in a 'marriage law' it is not the focus of the fic*.