Title: Fortes Fortuna Adiuvat
Author: Sick of Trying to Guess?
Word Count: 14,076
Pairing: Harry/Severus (mentions past Harry/OMC)
Warnings: mpreg, light angst, semi canon compliant/not epilogue compliant (Remus, Tonks, and Fred are deceased/Albus, Severus and Dobby are still alive), mentions of violence, mentions of non main character death, pregnant!sex.
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Summary: Harry left the wizarding world behind to start a new life, unfortunately his old one wasn’t quite finished with him yet; neither was a certain Potions Master.
Author’s Notes: Beta’d by P.
Despite the brisk midday weather, Harry sat perched on the stone bench in the park a few blocks from his flat. Sipping from his cup of chocolate, he let his eyes wander over the people as they passed. Harry had taken to people watching not long after moving in, a habit he’d never intended to start. One afternoon he had taken a walk to relax and clear his mind. He’d wandered into the park and upon seeing an empty bench, taken a seat. The second he had settled onto the bench he’d tensed, waiting for someone to recognize him and approach him to ask for an autograph or a picture.
When neither of those things happened, Harry had allowed himself to relax. It was then he’d realized that he’d made the best possible decision to leave the wizarding world. After Voldemort’s defeat, Harry hadn’t had a moments rest, despite his wishes. It seemed as if everyone wanted a piece of him, even those he’d thought cared about him unconditionally. Despite the fact that he considered the Weasley’s family, it’d been hard for him to be around them; the guilt he felt over Fred’s death had hit him hard and though he knew Molly and Arthur didn’t blame him, he hadn’t been able to forgive himself entirely. When Ginny had begun to hang around him, dropping hints about picking up where they’d left off and making plans for the future, he’d done a runner.
He still kept in contact with them as well as Hermione, mostly by mail, but he simply felt more comfortable in the muggle world. There were no expectations, no responsibilities outside those he’d set for himself. Whomever he chose to associate with wasn’t bandied about in the latest issue of The Sun the way it would have been in the Prophet. For the first time in his life, his very existence was his own. It was a heady feeling, one he still hadn’t quite gotten used to. There were days when he missed it, not the circus that came with being The Man Who Defeated Voldemort, but his friends. The life he’d almost had those first few years at Hogwarts, the days where his dreams were filled with possibilities for the future, Auror training or a spot on a Professional Quidditch team.
“Do you mind?”
The softly accented voice broke through Harry’s concentration and he looked up to see a man, not much older than him, gesture to the empty stretch of bench next to him. Shaking his head, Harry tried to turn his attention back to the people milling about but he couldn’t help the glances he shot towards the man seated next to him. He was taller than Harry’s own 167 cm but of course, it didn’t take much to be taller than Harry. Ten years living in a cupboard had stunted his growth beyond repair, despite Madame Pomfrey’s nutritional supplement potions.
The man was also broader of shoulder than Harry was, with pale skin and dark eyes. His hair was a halo of loose black curls that just barely brushed the top of his collar. He wasn’t extraordinarily handsome, his jaw a little too strong and his nose a little too large but if one took into account his high cut cheekbones and plump lower lip he would definitely be considered attractive. His musings, instead of confusing him as they once would have, only made him grin.
Living in the muggle world had also given him the freedom to evaluate some of the thoughts and feelings he’d had as far back as his fourth year. Things he’d never felt able to express, especially not to those closest to him. He knew the Weasley’s loved him but he also knew that Molly and Arthur were a bit old fashioned, and it didn’t help that he’d once dated their daughter. He just knew that if they ever found out they, Molly especially, would feel betrayed. Hermione perhaps would have understood but Ron… well he’d learned long ago that Ron had a difficult time accepting the differences in others, especially when those differences hurt his younger sister.
“It’s a beautiful day.”
“Oh, yes I suppose it is.” Harry replied, realizing the words were directed at him.
“Do you come here often?”
“Quite often actually, I live not too far from here.”
“My name is Tomas by the way.” The man said, holding out his hand with a grin.
“It is a pleasure to meet you.”
“Likewise,” Harry replied, turning a bit to tuck his leg up onto the bench. “I’ve never seen you around here before.”
“No, I am usually too busy to stop.”
“Yes, I teach an art class at the University.”
“Do you enjoy it?”
“Oh yes,” Tomas replied, flashing Harry another crooked grin. “I enjoy all forms of creative expression, it’s fascinating to see inside the minds and hearts of others through their work.”
The conversation continued on, stilted in some areas as Harry gave only the vaguest answers in regards to his past. He never mentioned the wizarding world but he did confess to being jobless. Instead of being disgusted by his lack of ambition, Tomas seemed to only be intrigued as Harry explained his inheritance and how it made it possible for him to take some time to figure out what he planned to do with the rest of his life. The conversation ended with Tomas offering to show Harry some of his work.
As the weeks went by, Harry’s friendly feelings towards Tomas escalated and he allowed himself to enjoy their slow progression. He’d never been adept at flirting but Tomas made it easier. He never shrugged Harry off or put distance between them, allowing Harry any contact he initiated. Lingering touches became a regular occurrence as Harry built up his courage to take things further. Fortunately, his inner Gryffindor gave him the push he needed to make the first move.
One evening after an exhibition and too much wine, Harry worked up the nerve to kiss Tomas; much to Harry’s pleasant surprise, Tomas kissed back. As weeks turned into months Harry spent his days happily lounging around Tomas’ studio watching him paint between bouts of lovemaking that left Harry sleepy and sated. In those few months, Harry thought he’d finally found the happiness he hadn’t even realized he was looking for. Like many of the good things in Harry’s life, it didn’t last.
One morning found Harry hunched over the toilet, eyes still crusted with sleep as he retched. Assuming he’d eaten something off, he didn’t think too much of it. Finding himself in that same position for a week straight made him reconsider. Too afraid to go to a muggle doctor, Harry didn’t know what to do. He didn’t feel comfortable going to St. Mungo’s as he knew his picture would end up on the cover of the Prophet the second he checked in. He didn’t fancy the rest of the world knowing what bug he’d come down with before he did.
Deciding to wait it out, Harry almost did a little dance when his stomach seemed to settle. Unfortunately, that didn’t seem to be the end of the illness. He spent his days exhausted, fighting off mysterious aches and pains as his condition seemed to worsen. It even seemed to affect his magic. He hadn’t give up his little flat despite his relationship with Tomas and though he didn’t use magic in front of the other man, he had no qualms about using it in his own home. The first spell he’d botched had been Reparo; he’d knocked a glass off the counter and automatically raised his wand to fix it only to shatter the glass into even smaller pieces.
Giving his wand a look, Harry had tried again, jumping back as he managed to blast a small crater into the hardwood floor. Setting his wand down gently, he’d backed away from it, wondering idly if wands could be possessed. Deciding to try his limited wandless skills he’d raised a hand and cast. The hole repaired itself even as Harry swayed, tremendously dizzy from the effort. Clutching the counter, Harry stared down at the floor. He knew then that he had to get to a MediWitch or Wizard.
A short letter to Hermione and Harry was able to find a private practitioner willing to see him. Healer Terrington was a genial man, short and sparse he looked as though a strong wind would knock him over. Harry however was only interested in his competence. After eliciting a binding Wizards Oath of Secrecy Harry allowed the man to scan him, watching nervously as the man ahh’d and hmm’d after each pass of his wand. When he was finished, Harry was ready to tear out his own hair. He hated being left in the dark and the man didn’t look ready to speak any time soon.
“Tell me young man, are you sexually active?”
“I… what does that have to do with anything?” Harry asked, flushing deeply as he thought of Tomas. “It’s not a sexually transmitted disease is it?”
“Oh dear no, quite the opposite in fact.”
“I’m afraid I don’t understand.”
“Well Mr. Potter to put it simply, you’re pregnant.”
All the air seemed to rush from Harry’s lungs at the announcement as he pressed a hand to his abdomen. He wanted to deny it, call the healer a quack and kick his arse out the front door but he knew there were many things he just didn’t know about the wizarding world. That didn’t make the idea of giving birth any easier to accept.
“I don’t know what to say…”
“Male pregnancy isn’t common in our world but it does happen.”
“So other people… know about this?” Harry asked, wondering why no one had bothered to fill him in. The Weasley’s surely would have known considering how many children they had. Even Hermione had to have stumbled across it in one of her many books over the years.
“Yes. If you’d like I can continue treating you throughout the rest of your pregnancy if you’ve no one else in mind.”
“Yes, that’s fine.”
Later that evening, after some serious consideration, Harry decided to tell Tomas. He knew the other man was the father and he knew that as a muggle Tomas would be skeptical. That didn’t stop him from heading to Tomas’ studio. The door was cracked open when he arrived and upon pushing the door open Harry felt his stomach settle somewhere around his ankles. The place looked deserted, no paint or easels, no bed or end tables and no Tomas. Stepping inside Harry flinched as his steps echoed off the hardwood floors. Spotting a piece of paper on the kitchen counter Harry moved towards it, picking it up with some trepidation.
I am not what you think I am and I cannot be what you will need me to be in the months to come. I hope some day you can forgive me for leaving like this but it is for the best.’
Dropping the piece of paper, Harry ran a shaky hand through his hair. Looking around the empty room one last time he headed for the door, closing it softly behind him.
“Severus, it seems we have a problem.” Albus Dumbledore said as Severus took the seat across from him.
“We?” Severus replied, brows rising in surprise.
“Indeed. A problem involving young Harry.”
Severus gave a snort, completely unsurprised. Almost every problem in Severus’ life began and ended with a Potter. Far be it for the most recent to break tradition. He’d thought to be rid of the boy after his NEWTS. Hell, he’d even had a celebratory glass of firewhiskey the night the boy left Hogwarts. As Albus continued to stare at him, Severus inwardly cursed his mistake of counting his ashwinder eggs before they hatched.
“When does it not?”
“Now Severus, I’m sure you’ve realized that Harry doesn’t go looking for trouble.”
“He doesn’t have to, what with it following him around and all.”
“I’ve received some reports,” continued Albus, as if Severus had never spoken. “It seems someone has decided to bring together a group not unlike your old acquaintances.”
Severus didn’t have to ask to know what acquaintances he spoke of. Absently running a hand down his left arm, Severus frowned.
“I can hardly infiltrate this group Albus, not after your adamant defense in front of the Wizengamot as to my role during the war.”
“No dear boy, never that, but I do need you to find Mr. Potter and bring him home.”
“Don’t tell me he’s the one responsible.” Severus said skeptically.
“Oh no. He is, however, a target. I’ve heard that they intend to attack Harry as a display of their strength and I’d feel better if I knew he was here at Hogwarts where it is safe.”
“And if he doesn’t wish to come?”
“I have faith in your persuasive skills. I’ll explain more of what I’ve learned once Harry is back in the castle. I’m sure he’ll want to know and I do so hate repeating myself.”
Realizing refusal was not an option. Severus got to his feet and headed for the door.
Potter’s home wasn’t much to look at from the outside, thought Severus as he moved down the hallway towards the door marked three twenty seven. Reaching the door, he knocked sharply and waited. He’d wanted to simply floo into the flat but he’d learned the muggle building had no fireplaces. The door opening caught Severus’ attention and he blinked slowly, taking in the person on the other side. At first glance, he didn’t recognize the person but upon closer inspection, he realized it was indeed Harry Potter staring up at him. His hair had grown down past his shoulders and the oversized shirt he wore did nothing to hide the fact that he looked as if he’d swallowed a bludger.
“Pregnant.” Severus said dumbly, clearing his throat in hopes of righting his wits. “Potter.”
“Snape.” Potter said, crossing his arms over his chest. “What are you doing here?”
“I’ve come to take you back to Hogwarts.”
Shouldering his way past the boy, Severus was careful not to bump into him too forcefully. Albus would surely have a fit if he harmed the pregnant boy wonder. Potter turned, slamming the door as he followed Snape into the living room.
“I’m afraid that isn’t possible.”
“And I’m afraid it is, pack your things.”
“I’m not your student anymore.” Potter said, eyes slitting to a glare. “I don’t take orders from you.”
“The headmaster is concerned for your safety, he feels it would be best if you returned to Hogwarts and I am here to make that happen.”
“Has something happened?”
“The headmaster refused to explain until you were present.”
“I can’t just pack up and leave.” Potter protested, brows creasing into a frown. “No one knows… about the baby.”
“I assume you are aware that you are not the first wizard to become pregnant.” Severus replied with a roll of his eyes.
“I know that!”
“Then stop arguing and pack your things.”
Grumbling under his breath Potter turned and stomped off towards what Severus assumed was the bedroom. It surprised him some that the boy hadn’t put up more of a fight. He could hear Potter banging around and frowned, moving towards the source of the noise. The battered school trunk sitting on the bed was very familiar to Severus, and he stood, baffled, as he watched Potter pack it without magic.
“What now?” Potter snapped, letting his hands rest on his hips.
“Are you a wizard or not?”
“I’m a pregnant wizard.”
“It’s affected your magic.” Severus stated in surprise. He’d read that in rare cases a person’s individual magic was altered during pregnancy, he’d just never thought Potter would be one of those rare cases.
Pulling out his wand, Severus quickly summoned Potter’s clothes from various drawers. They packed themselves neatly into the battered old school trunk before the trunk itself resized, sitting atop the bed no bigger than a paperback book. Another trunk sat on the floor containing what he assumed was left of the boy’s personal belongings; he shrunk that as well. The flat had been sparsely furnished to begin with. Rather than looking grateful however, Potter simply looked annoyed.
“I could have done that you know.”
“Yes, I’m sure, but we don’t have all evening.” Severus said, grabbing the shrunken trunks and stuffing them into the pocket of his outer robes. “Is that everything?”
“Yes I think so, the flat came furnished. Are we taking the Knight Bus?”
“Of course not, we’re going to apparate.”
“But is it safe?” Potter asked, pressing hand to his distended belly. “For the baby, I mean.”
“Of course it’s safe, how else do you think pregnant witches get around?”
Once back at Hogwarts Severus led a waddling Potter up the stairs to Albus’ office. The headmaster looked delighted to see them both, his eyes widening behind his glasses as he took in Potter’s slightly rounded belly. He composed himself quickly though, ushering them forward to the chairs set out across from him.
“Welcome back, my boys. Tea?”
“No thank you Headmaster.” Potter replied, easing himself down into one of the plush chairs with a sigh. “I was hoping you could tell me why it was so important that I return to Hogwarts.”
Severus sat down beside him, tempted to chastise the boy for his cheek. Wanting to know the answer himself stopped him.
“I’ve recently received word that a group calling themselves The Hand of Pius Caedis plan to pick up where Tom left off.”
“I’m hardly in any condition to fight.” Potter said, one hand resting on the bump of his abdomen. “I won’t risk the life of my child.”
“I do not expect you to. I asked you here for your protection. Obviously Severus failed to inform you that you have become a target.”
“I felt it was best that he hear it from you.” Severus said in his own defense.
“I believe you will be safer here within the castle walls than in your muggle home.
Potter looked down at his stomach, his hand rubbing it almost absentmindedly before he nodded.
“I’ll stay but I’d like to be the one to tell my friends that I’ve returned.”
“Of course. There is one other thing,” Albus said, addressing them both. “I have asked the castle to add a room to Severus’ living quarters for your use, Harry. I know it is not ideal but I truly believe it is for the best. Severus will be close at hand should you need anything, medically or magically.”
Severus wanted to protest but he knew that it would be useless, Albus had already decided. It was obvious that Potter was less than pleased as well, if the tightening of his jaw was any indication.
After being shown to his room, tastefully decorated in varying shades of brown, Harry wondered just how he was going to tell his friends that he’d come back to the wizarding world. When he’d announced his decision to leave the wizarding world Ron had been angry, storming off before Harry had even finished speaking. Hermione had been more understanding, offering her support in whatever he decided to do. Harry figured she’d be the person to tell first. Moving towards the desk that’d been provided for him he picked up a quill and began the short missive with an invitation to tea.
When Hermione arrived, she looked only slightly different from the last time he’d seen her. In her perfectly pressed robes with her hair pulled back into a bun, she was every inch the professional until she squealed and launched herself into his arms. Holding her close Harry welcomed her warmly; relieved to know he still had at least one best friend.
“Why did you come back?” Hermione asked, pulling away after a moment. “And why are you living in the dungeons?”
“It’s a long story, you might want to sit down.”
Leading her over to the large sofa, much like the one in the Slytherin common room, Harry sat down and pulled her down beside him.
“So, tell me everything.”
“You remember when I wrote you about the healer.” At Hermione’s nod Harry continued. “My magic was off and I thought I was sick but I wasn’t… I was pregnant.”
“Oh Harry that’s… that’s wonderful!”
Hermione stared down at his stomach and he knew what she wanted. He’d seen that look in the eyes of many women since he’d begun to show. Nodding his head, he pulled his shirt tight against his stomach and waited as she caressed it gently.
“Almost seventeen weeks but it feels like forever. I haven’t used my magic in all that time, I hope I remember how once she’s born.”
“Well the healer hasn’t said for sure but… I can tell.” Harry replied, flushing a little at how he knew he must sound.
“I’ve read that it can happen.” Hermione said with a gentle smile. “I’m going to be an aunt… I am going to be an aunt aren’t I?”
“Of course, there’s no one better suited.”
“Good, now that that’s settled you can tell me why you’re back.”
“Dumbledore believes that I’ve become a target, he’s asked me to stay here, in the dungeons, for our safety.”
“A target for whom?” Hermione asked with a frown. “I haven’t heard of any thing.”
“The Hand of Pius Caedis.”
“Righteous slaughter,” Hermione snorted. “Nothing but a bunch of Death Eater wannabes if you ask me.”
“Yes, well, Dumbledore was worried. He said he’d heard that they’d decided to kill me as a show of their strength.”
“Strength? I hardly think killing a pregnant wizard who can’t even use his wand a show of strength, more like a sign of cowardice.”
“It doesn’t matter what they think, I couldn’t risk staying there.”
“Well of course not, you’ve got more than just yourself to worry about now.” Hermione said. “Have you told anyone else your back?”
“You mean Ron. No, I haven’t told him. I’m not sure how he’ll react.”
“I’m sure he’d love to see you, all the Weasley’s in fact. You’re practically part of the family.”
“I was practically part of the family till I broke things off with Ginny.”
“You had no choice. If this pregnancy is anything, it’s proof that you and Ginny didn’t belong together. Marrying her would have condemned you both to a life of misery.”
“I’m glad you see it that way Hermione.” Harry said, touching his stomach gently. “I just don’t think the Weasley’s will.”
“Give them a chance. Molly will probably be thrilled to learn she’s expecting a grandchild. You’re the first, you know.”
“We won’t know until I tell her.”
“I’ll go with you if you’d like. It’s been a while since I’ve been to the Burrow.”
“Aren’t you and Ron still seeing one another?” Harry asked, confused.
“Oh no, that’s been over for some time. He wanted to focus on his Auror training and he didn’t like how my job kept me away for so long."
“What’s it like, working with dark artifacts?”
“It can be scary at times, especially the unpredictable ones, but I get to travel and use my skill to break curses. I wouldn’t give it up for anything, not even Ron.”
“You shouldn’t have to.” Harry said firmly.
“Well, enough of that. When would you like to go to the Burrow?”
“In a day or so. It’ll give me some time to settle in and convince Snape not to change his password so that I can get back in once I’ve gone.”
“You’re living with Snape?” Hermione asked incredulously. “How did that happen?”
“Dumbledore. I’ve only been here a few days but it’s not so bad, I hardly ever see him.”
Stepping into his quarters Severus saw Potter lounging on the sofa. The sound of the Wizarding Wireless softly playing drifted throughout the room. The boy looked content with his eyes closed, one hand resting gently on the swell of his abdomen. Severus hadn’t been around many pregnant wizards in his life and so he took the time to study Potter unnoticed.
The boy looked much the same as he did after the war, hair aside. Severus’ initial confusion hadn’t lasted long once he’d gotten a good look at the boys face. Still the same smooth skin, the same verdant eyes. The only thing that had changed really was the boys figure and his hair. Once an unruly mess it now hung down around his shoulders. Many adult wizards wore their hair long, he himself had for many years but he’d never thought Potter would. Despite his upbringing, the boy seemed much attached to the muggle world and, as Severus knew, most muggles considered long hair a sign of delinquency.
Of course he could have been attempting to pass himself off as a woman, Severus thought, eyes sliding down to rest on the little bump Potter cradled so carefully. It was obvious the boy was looking forward to his impending parenthood. Severus couldn’t help but wonder who the other father was or even where he was for that matter. Potter had never struck him as the type to spread himself around, despite his celebrity. He’d been involved with the Chang girl for a while during his fifth year, a doomed dalliance in Severus’ opinion. The girl had obviously been distraught over the loss of young Diggory; she’d been in no condition to start a new relationship, especially with Potter.
When he’d taken up with the youngest Weasley Severus had been sure they’d marry. Potter had been welcomed into the Weasley family like a long lost son the minute he’d stepped foot into the wizarding world. There’d been very little doubt in Severus’ mind that they would take the steps to make it official. It had come as a surprise to many when Potter left for parts unknown. His return would shake things up, of that Severus was certain, despite how short his departure had been.
“You’re back.” Potter said, rousing Severus from his thoughts.
“Yes, I’ve finished my grading for the evening and Argus will supervise detention.”
“I was hoping to speak with you, if that’s alright.”
“I’m going to be visiting the Burrow with Hermione,” said Potter, easing himself off the sofa. “I was hoping you wouldn’t change the password before I returned.”
“Doing so could potentially put you in danger.”
“Yeah well, I figured you’d risk it.”
“Then you do not know me as well as you think.” Severus replied, striding off towards his bedroom.
The afternoon Potter left the castle to visit the Burrow Severus was called to Albus’ office after his last class. The offer of tea wasn’t as sickeningly cheerful as usual and Severus wondered if something had happened to Potter after leaving the safety of Hogwarts walls. He knew the boy had gone with Granger but the girl seemed to have no problem taking care of herself. He’d seen her cast more than a few vicious hexes during the war. She’d taken down Dolohov by herself; no small feat for an untrained witch, no matter what her intelligence level.
“Is something the matter Albus?”
“I’m afraid there is.” The headmaster sighed. “It seems that the Potter’s headstones have been vandalized.”
“Surely they can be repaired.”
“I believe replacing them would be best.”
“Was it a message?”
“I believe so.” Albus said, pushing a photograph across his desk towards Severus. “I received this from Kingsley just this morning.”
The photograph was the type Aurors used to catalogue evidence when a pensieve memory would not suffice. It was a clear shot of the headstones of both James and Lily Potter. The words ‘you’re next’ were carved deep into the stone but that was not the most disturbing thing about the scene. A severed head sat between the two stones, obviously transfigured to take on the likeness of Harry Potter, right down to the faded scar on his forehead. His mouth was distorted as if caught mid scream and his eyes, they’d been carved out, leaving empty blackened sockets in their place.
As cruel as Voldemort had been, he’d never bothered much with torture outside the Cruciatus curse. He’d left things like that to Bella, her madness giving her a taste for gore. To know that this new group had no qualms about torturing their victims told Severus that Albus had made the right decision in calling Potter back to Hogwarts. If they ever got their hands on the boy who lived, he’d surely die slowly and painfully.
“Perhaps it would be best to confine Potter to the castle until this is resolved.”
“I will mention it to him but I do not think he will agree. He is only just reuniting with those he holds dear.”
“Surely he will take the life of his child into consideration.” Severus said with a frown. “Flighty as the boy may be he does seem to love it.”
Albus’ gaze grew speculative and Severus fought the urge to sink down into his chair. He hadn’t meant to make it sound as if he was privy to the boy’s feelings, he’d simply spoken on his observations without thought as to what they could imply.
“Harry has always yearned for a family.”
“Most orphans do.”
“Even those orphaned later in life.”
The look Albus gave him left Severus with no doubt as to whom he was referring. Severus had lost both of his parent’s only months before he’d joined the death eaters. For a young man with nothing it’d seemed like the ideal solution. In retrospect, it’d been one of the worst decisions he’d ever made.
“If that is all Albus, I should like to return to my workroom.”
“Yes of course, good day Severus.”
Standing outside the Burrow Harry gripped Hermione’s hand tightly, his nerves on edge. He could hear voices on the other side of the door, voices he hadn’t heard for far too long.
“You can do this Harry, just knock.” Hermione urged, nodding towards the door.
It only took a moment for the door to be answered when he did and then Harry stood before Molly Weasley.
“Harry!” Mrs. Weasley exclaimed, moving forward to wrap Harry in a hug. “It’s so good to see you dear, it’s been too long!”
Hugging her back Harry felt his eyes fill with tears and cursed his ever-fluctuating hormones.
“It’s good to see you as well.”
“Come in dear. Arthur, Harry’s come home!”
“Has he now?” Mr. Weasley asked, stepping into the room from the kitchen as Mrs. Weasley ushered Harry and Hermione into the house. “Welcome home, son.”
Harry couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed and was grateful for Hermione’s silent support. He’d never expected such a warm welcome and he worried that once he told them why he’d come back they’d toss him out.
“Thank you Mr. Weasley, it’s good to be back.”
“Have a seat both of you, I’ll go make us some tea.”
As Mrs. Weasley bustled off towards the kitchen Harry eased himself down into a chair, ever mindful of his wavering center of gravity. Mr. Weasley watched him, brows rising as Hermione held Harry’s elbow lightly to keep him steady.
After seven children Arthur Weasley had no trouble recognizing a pregnant person when he saw one and as Molly came back from the kitchen, the tea service floating behind her, he winked at Harry, showing his acceptance the best way he could without alerting his wife of the good news.
“There’s a reason I’ve come back.” Harry said, accepting the cup of tea Mrs. Weasley had poured for him. “I don’t really know how to explain.”
“We’re your family dear, just start at the beginning as best you can and go from there.”
“Apparently a group calling themselves the Hand of Pius Caedis has decided to come after me.”
“I’ve heard of them, giving the Ministry plenty of trouble.” Mr. Weasley said with a nod of his head. “Nasty lot they are, much worse than the Death Eaters.”
“Dumbledore thought it would be best if I stayed at the castle.”
“Not that I disagree but surely you of all people could take care of yourself if they did attack.” Mrs. Weasley said, taking a sip of her tea.
“That’s the thing.” Harry replied, setting his tea back on the tray. “I can’t use my magic.”
“Has something happened?”
“I can’t use it because… I’m pregnant.”
Mrs. Weasley’s face lit up as she glanced down at Harry’s stomach.
“Did you hear that Arthur, our first grandchild!”
“I did dear.” Mr. Weasley said, squeezing his wife’s hand.
“I was worried you’d be angry with me… because of what happened with Ginny.”
“I couldn’t be angry with you Harry dear. The war changed us all; it was far kinder of you to let Ginny go and live her life than to marry her and cause yourselves more pain.”
“I really did love her.”
“But not the way she wanted.” Mrs. Weasley said gently. “I’m just sorry you felt you had to leave.”
Visiting the Weasley’s had been exactly what Harry had needed, he realized later. They’d been his family for so long and leaving them had been a hard thing for him to do. He’d just been so afraid that they would be disappointed in him for not living up to their expectations, not knowing that their expectations had changed. Mrs. Weasley had been sure to tell him that all they wanted was for him to be happy.
Back at Hogwarts, things hadn’t gone as smoothly. He’d been told about the desecration of his parent’s head stones and he’d been angry, wanting nothing more than to hunt down the people responsible. Unfortunately his condition made that impossible; yet another thing for him to be angry about. Dumbledore had sent him back to his rooms after ordering Snape to give him something to calm him down. He’d tried to argue but it hadn’t worked on either of them.
After that, he spent more time by himself, wondering how long it would take the Ministry to find those responsible and ship them off to Azkaban where they belonged. Hermione stopped in to visit on occasion, as did Mrs. Weasley. He hadn’t seen Ron but that didn’t come as any real surprise. If Ron were too busy to be in a romantic relationship, he’d hardly take time off to visit with someone he hadn’t spoken to in over a year. Especially when the last words they’d shared had been rather harsh.
Lying in bed Severus tried to clear his mind though he knew it was futile. His thoughts seemed to circle around one person in particular, the last person he wanted to think about in his spare time. The boy had been quiet since his return from the Burrow, withdrawn. Finding out that someone had been killed to get his attention had also been hard for Potter to hear. He’d taken to his room not long after.
He had his visitors though, Granger as well as Mrs. Weasley. Both women came to cluck over him like demented mother hens, asking him about his plans for the baby, if he’d picked out a name and other pointless rubbish. It began to wear on Severus’ nerves to come home expecting an evening of peace only to discover that his quarters had been invaded.
When the women were around the boy seemed perfectly fine, going about his business as if he hadn’t a care in the world. It was only when they left that he seemed to deflate, his shoulders slumping a little and his hand resting on the small of his back. When he began to hear what sounded like weeping coming from Potters rooms in the evening after he’d gone to bed Severus decided he’d had enough. One discreet Fire Call to Ms. Granger and Severus had everything he needed to summon the boy’s healer.
Severus met Healer Terrington in Albus’ office and after assuring himself that the man was not an imposter, led him down to the dungeons. The healer followed along behind him, his legs moving twice as fast to keep up with Severus’ long strides. Stepping into the living room, Severus noticed that Potter had once again shut himself up in his bedroom and moved to the door determinedly.
“Potter, come out this instant.” Severus said, knocking sharply. “Your healer is here.”
Pulling the door open, Potter looked up at him, puzzled, before looking over his shoulder.
“Because you’ve spent far too much time in your rooms, it can’t be good for the child.”
“He’s somewhat correct, Mr. Potter, and as the father it is his right to make his concerns known.” Healer Terrington said, pulling a shrunken bag from his pocket and resizing it quickly.
“He’s not the father!”
“I am not the father.”
“I apologize, I simply assumed.”
“Do not assume.” Severus said slowly. The idea that he… that they… it seemed too strange to even contemplate and yet Severus couldn’t help but do so.
Potter had matured since his days as a student; his compliance had shown that from the moment Severus had taken him from his home. He hadn’t even argued, much. He’d gone along with Albus’ request, done his best to stay out of Severus’ way and managed not to complain about his situation though Severus knew he must have found it stifling. The boy Severus remembered would have snuck out of the castle long ago, running headlong into whatever trouble he could find.
Then there were his looks to consider. Severus’ taste in men had not changed much since he had discovered he favored his own sex. He’d always preferred his men to be slight of stature and there was no doubt that Potter fell into that category. If he were honest with himself the only thing truly stopping him from considering the boy as a potential partner was the fact that he was James Potter’s son.
A steady thumping noise broke through his thoughts; Severus recognized it to be the sound of a heartbeat. Potter lay propped up upon the sofa, his jumper pulled up just enough to bare a portion of his stomach. Healer Terrington held his wand over the boy’s stomach, his lips moving though no sound emerged. An image flickered above the bump, coming in clearer as each second passed until Severus could make out the shape of a small child.
“It seems you were right Mr. Potter, you are indeed having a girl.” The Healer said, holding his wand steady.
“A girl.” Caressing his stomach, Potter stared up at the image adoringly.
Clearing his throat, Severus turned to head for his bedroom but not before allowing himself a small smile; a girl indeed.
After speaking to Dumbledore Harry made plans to visit Diagon Alley with Mrs. Weasley and Hermione. He’d agreed to wear a glamour for his own protection but refused the offer of an Auror guard. He liked Kingsley well enough but he figured it would only draw more attention to him and make the glamour superfluous.
The Leaky Cauldron was busier than usual, so much so that Tom, surrounded by other customers, barely glanced up when they exited the floo. Mrs. Weasley led the way and soon Harry found himself hustling down the sidewalk with Hermione close behind him. After a quick stop at Gringotts for a withdrawal, they passed by Eeylops and Madam Malkins; Harry was surprised to see Mrs. Weasley heading further down the street. She stopped in front of a shop Harry had never been in before, the Bonny Babe, for the little witch or wizard.
“I’m sure you’ll find everything you need here dear.” Mrs. Weasley said, ushering them into the shop. “They’ve got plenty of things for the little one, all in one store.”
The store was split down the middle, the right side dedicated solely to little witches with the little wizards section to the left. There were cribs and bassinets, prams and changing tables lined up along the walls beside the tiniest robes Harry had ever seen. As they stood just inside the store, a witch in pale yellow robes made her way towards them, a soft smile on her face.
“Welcome to the Bonny Babe.” She said with the barest Scottish accent. “My name is Fiona and I’d be glad to offer help if you need it.”
With the help of Fiona, Mrs. Weasley and Hermione, Harry spent most of the morning shopping. By the time they left the shop, Harry had more than he’d ever thought he’d need. It dawned on him as they were leaving that he hadn’t a clue where he was going to put it all. He’d only planned to stay at Hogwarts temporarily and he no longer had his flat.
“What am I going to do with all this stuff?” Harry asked.
“Set it up of course, I know you’ve a good four months left till the baby is born but you’ll want to have a place for her when she comes.” Mrs. Weasley replied.
“That’s just it, I don’t have a place. I can’t just set it all up in the dungeons.”
“I’m sure Professor Snape won’t mind.” Hermione said. “He did Fire Call your healer when he thought you were ill.”
Only because he couldn’t risk me dying on his watch, Harry thought. He knew he wasn’t being fair to Snape though. The man had been abrupt but not unkind since Harry had begun sharing his quarters. He made sure it was never too cold, that a house elf always brought a meal if Harry felt too tired to make the trip to the great hall. It was more than Harry had expected when Dumbledore told him they’d be cohabitating. It was almost… nice.
Caught off guard by the thought Harry shook his head. He’d never thought he’d consider living with Snape nice. The man was sarcasm personified, always had been. Living with him for the past few weeks had shown Harry another side, a side that he found quite intriguing. A part of it was the strong resemblance between Snape and Tomas. He hadn’t seen it at the time but looking back Tomas could very well have been Snape’s younger brother, with his dark eyes and Roman nose. That thought didn’t disturb him as much as he thought it would.
“Don’t you think you should call him Severus?” Mrs. Weasley asked. “You’re no longer his student and you live together after all.”
“We live together but we don’t live together, there’s a difference.”
“Oh yes, a big difference.” Hermione snorted “He’s changed, Harry. He even let me borrow one of his dark arts texts the last time I visited. That has to mean something.”
Later that evening, after dinner at the Burrow, Harry made his way back to the dungeons. Sna- Severus, he reminded himself, sat on the sofa before the fire. He’d taken off his teaching robes and rolled up the sleeves of the linen shirt he wore. It seemed so intimate, Severus’ bare forearms on display. He didn’t look up from his book when Harry entered the room so he headed for his own bedroom to put away the things he’d purchased. He couldn’t resize them but he was sure if he asked Severus wouldn’t mind giving him a hand.
Grabbing the miniaturized book on childcare, Harry took it back into the living room and joined Severus on the sofa. Far enough away not to encroach on the other man’s personal space, Harry set the book between them and cleared his throat.
“Would you mind resizing this for me?”
Holding his book open with a single finger Severus grabbed his wand and did as Harry asked. When he went right back to his book Harry picked up his own and began to read. He’d just finished the third chapter when his lower back began to ache. He’d been more active that day than most, trudging through Diagon Alley. He wasn’t surprised to find himself with a few aches and pains; he’d actually expected them to start earlier. Setting his book aside Harry rubbed at his lower back, cursing under his breath as the spot that hurt the most stayed firmly out of reach.
“Do you require a pain potion?”
“The healer says I shouldn’t, that a little pain is natural.”
“Then perhaps a… massage.” Severus suggested awkwardly.
“That would be nice, thank you.” Harry replied, turning his back to the other man to lift his shirt out of the way. He didn’t bother second guessing Severus’ offer or his acceptance; all he cared about was soothing the muscles in his back before he tried to go to bed. He’d learned from experience that trying to sleep when your body hurt too much to relax was a very bad idea.
At the first touch of gentle slightly calloused fingers Harry sighed, dropping his head forward as Severus’ thumbs dug into the muscles of his lower back. The pressure felt amazing as every sweep of those thumbs loosened the tautly bunched muscles plaguing him. The fingers caressing his sides felt even better. He felt Severus shift closer and bit his lip as a warm gust of air slipped across the back of his neck.
It surprised him how quickly his body responded. He hadn’t been with anyone since Tomas, and though it was safer to think that he’d react to anyone, he knew that wasn’t true. Harry wasn’t much for introspection but he could admit to always having strong feelings towards Severus. For years, he’d labeled those feelings as hatred, especially after what happened to Sirius. He couldn’t help but wonder if he’d been wrong, if his feelings had been far more complicated than his adolescent mind could comprehend at the time.
“Are you feeling better?”
“Yes, thank you.” Harry replied, a little disappointed when Severus’ pulled away. Adjusting his book, he held it in front of his lap as he got to his feet. Just because he allowed Severus to affect him did not mean he was ready for the other man to know. “Well, good night then.”
“Good night… Harry.”
Almost against his will Severus’ mind often wandered back to the night he’d touched Harry on the sofa in front of the fire. It’d been weeks but he could still close his eyes and picture it as if it’d been mere hours. It would not have been a problem if it didn’t distract him during his classes. Instead of walking around the room to supervise, he sat at his desk and lost himself in thoughts of Harry’s soft golden skin. He hadn’t seen so many exploding cauldrons since he’d had Longbottom as a student.
He’d vowed to get himself under control after a desk caught fire and he’d succeeded for the most part. Of course staying focused during his free time was a lot harder than staying focused during his double potions class. During dinner, his food often went cold before he had a chance to taste it because he was too busy wondering if Harry had eaten as well. For a man who’d once prided himself on his self-control, he found the whole thing incredibly disturbing.
Albus had noticed his distraction as well, old busybody that he was. He’d even had the gall to comment on it when he called Severus into his office. He looked smug, perched behind his desk as Severus took a seat across from him.
“How have your classes been?” Albus asked lightly.
“You know very well how they’ve been or you wouldn’t have called me here.” Severus replied with a scowl.
“Yes, I have heard that you’ve been a bit… preoccupied of late. It wouldn’t happen to have anything to do with Harry, would it?”
“I hardly think that’s any of your business.”
“But it is, I only want what’s best for the boy.”
“If you’re trying to warn me off Albus-“
“No, of course not.” The headmaster said, cutting him off with a shake of his head. “I know you care for the boy, you have for some time now I think. I only hope that you understand that his life is no longer his own.”
“When has it ever been?” Severus asked sharply. “He’s been nothing more than a pawn since the day he came into our world. His best interests were not always your greatest concern.”
“That is true. I have used him terribly, given him far too much responsibility for one so young and if there had been any other way…”
“You would have found it, I know.”
“He deserves to be happy Severus, to be loved. If you cannot give him that then I must ask you, please leave him alone.”
Severus had thought long and hard on the conversation he’d had with the headmaster. He hadn’t tried to assure Albus that he’d make the boy happy, he simply didn’t know. What he did know was that his feelings wouldn’t make a bit of difference if Harry rejected him, a very real possibility considering their past. He’d been horrible to the boy when he’d been a student, and not just because he’d been a spy.
He could understand the need Albus felt to protect Harry; the boy had spent far too many years protecting others, he deserved to be put first for once. He wanted to do that, Severus realized. He wanted to take care of Harry and his child, protect them from the world, care for them the way they deserved. It would not be easy. Their history alone made the idea of a relationship between them almost impossible, but he wanted it. All he had to do was get Harry to want it as well. Considering the looks the boy gave him when he returned to their shared quarters physical attraction would not be an issue.
After an hour of tense contemplation, Severus had finally dozed off only to be jolted awake by the sound of the headmasters voice echoing through his quarters. Tumbling out of bed, Severus didn’t bother with his dressing gown as he rushed towards the living room fireplace. Kneeling down beside it, he heard Harry’s door bang open as Albus’ face appeared amongst the flames.
“I apologize for disturbing you both but I’ve just received some unfortunate news.”
“Get on with it Albus.” Severus snapped as the older man noticeably hesitated.
“It seems that Godric’s Hollow has been burnt down. No one was harmed but the house itself is irreparable, even with magic.”
Turning to look at Harry, Severus watched as the boy clutched at his stomach and stood. Stepping forward, Harry looked at Severus pleadingly and so he opened his arms, closing them about the boy as firmly as he dared. Albus’ face faded from the fire as Severus stroked a hand down Harry’s back, realizing belatedly that he was touching bare skin.
“Why are they doing this?” Harry asked sadly, pressing his face to Severus’ chest.
“Because they can.” Severus replied, carding his fingers through Harry’s sleep-mussed hair.
“I just want to be left alone.”
“Unfortunately that isn’t an option. You will always be a person of interest in our world and because of that you will always be a target.”
“What about my baby; what if they hurt her?” Harry asked, clutching at Severus in distress. “I couldn’t live with myself if they hurt her.”
“They will not hurt her, I will not let that happen.” Severus replied firmly.
Severus knew that to make such a promise could only lead to trouble. He’d sworn to do his best to protect Harry so many years ago and he’d almost died for his efforts. To make the same sort of promise in regards to Harry’s child could very well finish him off for good, especially if he had to put himself between the Hand and Harry. Severus knew without a doubt that the Hand would not stop until someone stopped them, he only hoped they were found before they could do any real harm to the young man in his arms.
Harry slowly pulled away to let his hands rest on Severus’ narrow hips, catching him off guard as he surged forward. His lips were smooth, dry and insistent and Severus wanted to relax into the kiss, he really did. Unfortunately, his thrice-damned conscience chose that exact moment to make an appearance. Harry was in no condition for any sort of sexual advances. He’d just been told that one of the only links he still had to his parents had been destroyed; he needed comfort, not lust it screamed.
“What is it?” Harry murmured as Severus pulled away.
“It is not… appropriate.”
“I’m not your student anymore, you can hardly be punished for kissing me.”
“It has nothing to do with that.” Severus said, taking another step back. “You’re in no fit state to accept any sort of sexual advances-“
“I’m pretty sure I was the one making the advances.”
“That is not the point.”
“I think it is.” Wrapping his arms around himself, Harry turned to head back to his room. “If you didn’t want me you only had to say so, I won’t bother you again.”
Avoiding Severus was a difficult thing to do but Harry managed. He just couldn’t bear to look the other man in the eye. He felt embarrassed for throwing himself at Severus; the man obviously had no interest in him. He often wondered who would when he looked at himself in the mirror. No matter how much he loved the child inside him, Harry couldn’t help but miss the body he’d had before, lean and toned from Quidditch. Now all he saw was softened lines and curves he’d never imagined having.
Struggling not to give in to the thoughts rolling around in his head, Harry happily accepted Ron’s invitation for a drink at the Leaky Cauldron. Getting out of the castle hadn’t been difficult. Leaving during the day he’d made his way into Hogsmeade, a heavy glamour in place thanks to Dobby, and floo’d to the Leaky from there. The pub was deserted for the most part and it didn’t take him but a moment to spot Ron sitting near the door. Making his way over he almost smiled as Ron looked up at him in confusion.
“It’s good to see you Ron.” Harry replied, sitting down across from him.
“Mum said you were pregnant but she didn’t mention you went out… like that.”
“I can’t really be seen in public right now, because of what’s been happening.”
“Yeah, I haven’t really heard anything at the Ministry.” Ron said with an apologetic shrug. “I have heard that the Unspeakables are involved though.”
“I hope they stop them.”
The atmosphere shifted, only slightly less strained than it’d been when Harry stepped through the floo. Clearing his throat Harry beckoned Tom away from his place at the bar and ordered a drink.
“So… I heard you’ve been living with Snape.”
“How is it?”
“Awkward.” Harry replied, looking down at the table. “I don’t really understand him.”
“I don’t think anyone does. Hermione thinks there’s something going on between you two.”
Harry laughed as he watched Ron try not to look disgusted. Ron had never liked Severus. He wasn’t delusional enough to believe that would have changed with the end of the war.
“I don’t think so. A few weeks ago I… anyway, he turned me down.”
“He turned you down? That doesn’t make any sense.”
“To me either but he did, terribly embarrassing that.”
“Was it a misunderstanding?” Ron asked, leaning back in his chair.
“I’d just found out about Godric’s Hollow; I was upset and he held me.”
“Then he pushed you away when you tried to take it further, sounds like him actually.”
“What do you mean?”
“He was trying to protect you. I may not like the git but even I know how hard he’s tried to protect you, he probably thought you were turning to him out of grief.”
“When did you get so intuitive, I thought that was Hermione’s thing?”
“I grew up.” Ron said with an embarrassed shrug. “Not having you and Hermione around to stop me before I made an arse of myself had a lot to do with it.”
“I am sorry about that.”
“It’s fine, it took me a bit but I get that you had to leave. I’m just glad you’re back.”
“So what are you going to do about Snape?”
“Nothing. I don’t think my pride can handle another rejection.”
“It’s been a few weeks. If you go to him now he’ll know you’re really interested, not just trying to forget.”
“Just so we’re clear.” Harry said, cocking his head to the side. “You’re encouraging me to shag Severus.”
“As long as you swear never to give me any details, ever, then yeah, that’s exactly what I’m doing.”
“I’ll keep it in mind. So, are we good?”
“Of course, who else is gonna teach the sprog how to be a proper Cannons fan?” Ron asked with a grin.
Pacing irately, Severus kept his eyes on the door. Harry had left the castle, informing no one as to his destination, and Severus was torn between immense anger and gut clenching fear. If the Hand had managed to abduct Harry, harm him in any way, they would learn exactly how much Severus knew about the dark arts, unforgivables in particular. To even think that his rejection all those weeks ago might have driven Harry into the clutches of those they’d been trying to protect him from made Severus gnash his teeth in frustration.
Things had been awkward between them since that night and Severus had taken to spending as much time away from his quarters as possible, a difficult feat considering their cohabitation. He’d convinced Albus his free time was better spent outside the castle visiting old acquaintances, questioning them about the Hand. A few had been reluctant to speak but a few drops of Veritaserum went a long way in loosening a man’s tongue.
He hadn’t learned much. The Hand seemed to be far more organized than the death eaters had ever been, a bit more vicious as well. They didn’t simply terrorize their enemies; they killed them as painfully as possible. He’d discovered several instances where muggles and magical folk alike had been trapped in their own homes as they burned down around them, thanks to locking and anti-apparition charms. It seemed their lack of discrimination only made them more dangerous.
By the time Harry walked through the door Severus had worked himself into such a state he’d taken to cursing the furniture.
“Where have you been?” Severus barked, lowering his wand as Harry eyed it dubiously.
“Are you mad? You could have been seen, taken!”
“I was fine, no one recognized me and I was with Ron, you know, the Auror.”
“That is irrelevant. It is not safe for you to go out alone.”
“I wasn’t alone.” Harry protested, stepping closer as his temper began to rise. “I don’t understand why you’re acting like this.”
“Because you could have been killed you stupid boy!”
“Why do you even care, it’s not like I mean anything to you!”
“You mean everything to me, everything, and I will not lose you now!” Severus shouted, his mouth snapping closed with an audible click as Harry stared at him in stunned disbelief.
“Then why did you push me away?” Harry asked quietly.
“Because… it was not the right time.”
“What about now, is now the right time?”
In response to Harry’s whispered question Severus leaned down, pressing his lips firmly to the smaller man’s. Harry moaned, wrapping his arms around Severus’ neck. The position was awkward at best and Severus pulled back, the corners of his mouth quirking upward as Harry moaned his disapproval. Taking Harry by the hand, Severus turned to move towards his bedroom. Once inside a simple wave of his wand lit the torches along the walls before he set it aside.
“If you’re sure, strip for me.” Severus said, turning to take a seat on the bed. It left him with an unimpeded view of Harry bathed in a soft golden glow.
Harry’s cheeks flushed even as he reached for the fastening of his robes. The second it hit the floor he kicked off his trainers before moving on to his trousers, unfastening them quickly before kicking them off as well. The lightweight linen shirt he wore was practically transparent, backlit by the fire, and Severus admired the gently curved body on display before him. As Harry gripped the hem of his shirt and began to slowly ease it up and over his head, Severus eyed him intently.
Severus swallowed harshly, his prick giving a sudden jerk as he took in the delicately arched feet, shapely calves and strong thighs of the young man standing in front of him. Between those thighs, Harry’s cock stood proudly nestled in a dense patch of wiry black curls. Licking his lips Severus let his gaze wander, up over the rounded curve of his stomach to his chest. When he finally reached Harry’s face, he was surprised at the uncertainty he found there.
“Harry, if you’ve changed your mind-“
“No!” Harry said, cutting him off as he stepped closer. “I just… I’d like it if I weren’t the only one naked, that’s all.”
Getting to his feet Severus undressed quickly but calmly, flushing a little himself as Harry’s eyes raked over his body. Holding out a hand he helped him up onto the bed, breath catching as he got his first good look at Harry spread out across the smooth black sheets. Holding out his arms, Harry reached for him and Severus settled down along his side. Letting his hand rest on Harry’s hip he leaned down, capturing the soft lips he’d tasted only minutes before.
They kissed languidly as Severus explored the smaller body beneath him. Every inch of skin he could reach, he caressed, mentally cataloguing the spots that made Harry moan. Harry touched him in return, clutching at his shoulders to pull him closer and though Severus wanted nothing more than to give in to his urging hands he knew it was impossible.
Pulling back Severus worked his way down Harry’s throat; pressing kisses to the soft skin, his tongue lapped gently at the fluttering pulse at the base. Arching, Harry whimpered as Severus wrapped his fingers around his cock. Tightening his grip Severus twisted his wrist on the upstroke as he trailed his lips along Harry’s shoulder and down his chest to tease the nipple closest to his mouth. Fingers coming up to clench in Severus’ hair Harry began to pant, thrusting up into Severus’ fist with a gasp.
“Please… gonna… in me, want you in me…”
Severus groaned, pulling away to study Harry’s face. His eyes were glassy with lust, his lips swollen and he’d never looked more beautiful to Severus than in that moment. Moving his hand back to Harry’s hip Severus urged him to turn. Sliding his hand down along Harry’s thigh Severus eased his leg forward, trailing his fingers back up along the curve of his arse. Harry moaned, rocking back against his hand.
“So beautiful,” Severus murmured, pressing kisses to Harry’s shoulder.
Whispering the spell he’d learned so many years before Severus slipped his well lubricated fingers down into the shadowed cleft of Harry’s arse, teasing the puckered opening he found there. Harry whimpered, reaching down to hold his legs further apart. Severus groaned at the display as he eased first one finger into Harry and then another, twisting and scissoring gently. Another finger joined the first two and Harry whined as Severus raked his fingers across his prostate.
Pulling his hand back, Severus wrapped it around his cock, stroking quickly from root to tip before lining himself up. Harry pressed back eagerly and though Severus tried to slow his pace, he could only watch as he sank deeper inside the other man. As Harry began to roll his hips Severus pulled back only to thrust forward sharply, biting his lip as he began to thrust in earnest. He’d never felt anything quite like Harry wrapped around his prick, urging him on with wordless cries and grasping hands.
“Touch yourself.” Severus ground out, struggling not to give in to the pressure building at the base of his spine.
Harry wrapped his fingers around his cock and Severus followed his movements, matching him thrust for stroke. Suddenly Harry tensed, clamping down around Severus like a vice as he came.
“Come for me…” Harry whimpered, turning to kiss Severus desperately. “Feels so good… want you to come in me…”
The sound of Harry’s voice, ragged and pleading, pushed Severus over the edge. He gave one last rough thrust, burying himself to the hilt as he let himself go. Harry moaned, reaching down to hold Severus close as Severus clutched at him in return. When his heartbeat returned to some semblance of normality Severus tried to pull away but Harry resisted and Severus didn’t object, casting a wordless cleaning spell over them both. Wrapping his arm around the younger man, he gently caressed his distended stomach and Harry pressed back against him, resting his hand atop Severus’ as his lips curved into a smile.
“I hope you will not come to regret this in the morning.”
“Of course not, I do want to be with you Severus.”
“Forgive me for finding that hard to believe, even now.”
“When I left the wizarding world I had no intention of coming back,” Harry began with a half shrug. “I settled into my flat and tried to live a normal life. I thought I’d be just like everyone else for a change, blend in with the crowd, but that’s just not my lot in life. I met Tomas and I was happy, for a while.”
“Tomas is the child’s father?”
“Yes. He looked a lot like you though I didn’t see it at the time.”
“I’m surprised he even caught your eye.” Severus said with a snort. He wasn’t a handsome man by any means, coupled with his acerbic personality he was down right abhorrent to most people.
“Well he did. I thought things were going well, that we were happy and then I got sick. When I found out I was pregnant I knew I had to tell him, not just about the pregnancy but about everything.”
“He wasn’t aware that you were a wizard?”
“No, he was a muggle artist, a teacher actually.”
“Don’t say it.” Harry warned, nudging Severus with an elbow even as he grinned. “Anyway, when I went to tell him he was just… gone. It was like he’d never even been there at all.”
“Then I believe his loss is my gain.”
They settled into a comfortable silence and Severus had almost dozed off when Harry spoke again.
“I’m afraid for her.”
“She will be fine, you’ll see to that.”
“How can I protect her from who I am?” Harry asked, pressing Severus’ hand closer to his belly. “I’m putting her in danger just by being her father. She’ll always be a target simply because of who she is, my daughter.”
“You’ll not be alone in protecting her. She has a Quidditch team full of Weasley’s she can claim as family as well as Ms. Granger, a formidable witch and budding expert in the dark arts. She will also have me, if you’ll allow it.”
Harry turned his head to meet his eyes, a soft look on his face that made Severus’ breath catch. The moment was broken however when Harry gave a grunt of surprise. Looking down at Harry’s stomach Severus’ eyes widened as he felt another push against his palm. It seemed the littlest Potter had decided to wake up and join the conversation.
“I think she’d like that… I know I would.” Harry replied, lacing their fingers together with a smile.
The evening before his birthday, Harry sat propped up amongst a mound of pillows on Severus’ bed watching his lover as he paced before the fire. The older man was clearly agitated and Harry sighed, resting his crossed arms atop his stomach.
“This is possibly the worst idea you have ever had.”
“No it’s not Severus and I’m not going to change my mind.”
“You’re putting yourself and Ellie in danger.”
It was a low blow, bringing up his daughter and Harry resisted the urge to throw one of his many pillows at the glowering man.
“If this works she won’t be in danger, at least not any time soon.”
“And if it doesn’t?” Severus asked.
“It’s the only choice we have to draw them out. I refuse to lock her up inside the castle for the rest of her life.”
“The Ministry needs more time-“
“The Ministry is useless, you know that as well as I do. They haven’t found anything and they aren’t likely to.”
“That does not mean you need to put yourself in harms way.”
Harry could hear the worry in the other man’s voice and it touched him deeply. It proved to him that Severus had come to care dearly for not only him but also his child. He didn’t want to upset him but he was tired of hiding. The closer he came to his delivery date the more he thought about the Hand. Those thoughts moved him to take action and he resolved to put a stop to them once and for all. Climbing out of bed carefully, Harry moved to block Severus’ path.
“It’s our chance to catch them on our terms. Between the Order and the DA members they won’t stand a chance.”
“There is no guarantee-“
“There never is.” Harry said firmly, reaching out to take Severus’ hand. “If this doesn’t work we won’t try again.”
“Somehow I doubt that.” Severus replied with a snort, pulling Harry into his arms.
Cuddling close, Harry knew he’d won but chose not to gloat, despite the almost overwhelming urge to do so.
Harry hadn’t seen the Burrow so full since Bill and Fleur's wedding. Molly had gone all out and the tables groaned under the weight of all the food she’d prepared. She, along with Hermione, had taken care of all the invitations. Several people he hadn’t seen since the end of the war came over to congratulate him, on his birthday as well as the baby. Even Ginny had floo’d in, bringing along her girlfriend Elsbeth Astor, keeper for the Holyhead Harpies. Their gift had been a miniature Holyhead jersey for Ellie.
“Things seem to be going well.” Hermione said, bringing him a cold glass of pumpkin juice.
“Seem to be, Severus hasn’t cursed anyone yet.”
“He is showing remarkable restraint.”
“Yes, he’s come a long way since we were students.” Harry replied, sending a fond look Severus’ way.
“I’m sure it’s driving him mad that he can’t take house points.”
“Talk softly or he may just find a way.”
Hermione laughed, patting him on the shoulder before wandering back into the crowd. Things had been fairly calm as far as Harry could tell; no one suspicious had been seen lurking about. Only a few members of the DA had come but Harry was glad to see them, even Dean and Seamus. Ellie shifted and Harry groaned, setting down his glass of juice to make his way to the lav. Severus appeared at his side, one hand resting on Harry’s lower back as he leaned close.
“Are you well?”
“Fine, Ellie’s just made her presence known is all.”
“Would you like an escort?”
“No,” Harry laughed. “I’ll be right back, I promise.”
Drying his hands Harry took a moment to look at himself in the mirror, his cheeks glowed and his eyes were bright. Shaking his head with a grin, he turned and opened the door, jerking back in surprise to stop from colliding with the person on the other side.
“I didn’t mean to startle you.”
“It’s alright, I just wasn’t expecting to bump into anyone. I thought everyone was outside.”
“Yes well, nature calls.”
“Ah, I’ll just get out of your way then.” Harry said, sidestepping to head down the hall towards the stairs. As he reached the top of the landing, he’d only just gripped the handrail when a sharp pain surged through his skull and the world went dark around him.
Harry groaned, his head feeling weighted and fuzzy as he tried to open his eyes. He felt as if he’d been knocked off his broom and reached blindly towards his stomach. Ellie kicked firmly against his hand and he let out a small sigh of relief. Opening his eyes slowly, Harry tried to focus, his heartbeat picking up as he caught sight of a very familiar statue. He hadn’t been in the chamber for years but he’d never forgotten it. The giant columns with their twisting serpents, the weather worn stone were forever imprinted on his mind.
“I see you’ve decided to join us.”
Turning his head towards the familiar voice Harry could have cursed himself for his trusting nature. He’d been so stupid, to turn his back. Pressing a hand to his abdomen, he slowly sat up. Michael Corner stood a few feet away from him brandishing his wand, a group of unfamiliar black robed wizards behind him.
“How did we get down here?”
“Regardless of what they told you, you’re hardly the only parselmouth left in the world Potter.”
“Why are you doing this Michael?”
“Plenty of reasons but none of them matter now.”
“Of course they matter, you don’t have to do this.”
“Oh I do.” Michael replied with a mad grin. “You’ll finally get what you deserve.”
“For what, killing Voldemort?”
“For having everything. I’ll go down in history for taking it all away.”
“You’re doing all this because you’re jealous?” Harry asked incredulously. “That’s what this all has been about?”
“Don’t you dare mock me Potter. I’m the only wizard to have beaten you, I think that deserves a little respect.”
“You haven’t beaten me. My family will come for me and you’ll be sent to Azkaban.”
“I guess I’ll have to kill you quickly then.” Michael laughed, aiming his wand at Harry menacingly. “Crucio!”
Harry screamed as the curse hit, his body jerking helplessly as his nerves ignited. Struggling to breathe, he clutched at his stomach as his vision dimmed. He couldn’t fight the pain and he began to cry as he thought of his daughter, trapped inside of him.
“Please!” He screamed through clenched teeth as the pain doubled. “Please don’t hurt my baby!”
“It’s funny you should say that.” Michael said, ending the spell. “If it weren’t for me she wouldn’t even exist.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Tomas. He was one of us once, of course when he refused to follow through with our plan he had to be… eliminated.”
“No.” Harry said with a shake of his head. “He wasn’t…”
“He was.” Michael shrugged, his face forming an exaggerated pout. “Sad but true.”
The black robed wizards, their faces obscured to blurs, moved to circle around Harry as Michael stepped closer. As they raised their wands Harry curled into himself, whispering of his love to Severus and his daughter.
A chorus of voices rang out as one in a flash of bright green light and Harry braced himself for what he knew was to come. There was pain instead of peace and the very inappropriate thought that Voldemort would feel terribly cheated if he were still alive flashed through his mind. Harry fought against it with everything he had, for himself but more importantly for his daughter. It worked its way through his system, wrapping around his heart but unable to take root. It struggled then to find its place inside him and when it couldn’t he felt it move lower, towards Ellie.
“No!” He screamed, pouring every ounce of will he possessed into that one word.
A deafening boom rocked the cavern as light seemed to pour up and out of Harry’s throat. It spread, hitting each standing figure with enough force to knock them off their feet. Panting harshly, Harry curled to his side as a sharp pain shot through his abdomen. Dirt and dust continued to rain down around him as aftershocks shook the once sturdy underground chamber. Another jolt of pain made him gasp and Harry knew what he had to do despite the risk. Holding his hand out, palm up, he cast his patronus. He watched as the stag materialized from thin air, flickering weakly as it struggled to hold its form.
“Chamber… the baby… hurry…”
Closing his eyes in exhaustion Harry only hoped that Severus would find him before it was too late.
Pacing anxiously outside the infirmary Severus felt his control slipping with each step. He’d been banished from the room minutes after depositing Harry onto one of the many beds lining the walls. He’d argued of course, threatening Poppy with every foul curse he could think of but to no avail. All she’d told him was that the trauma had sent Harry into labor early and that she’d already Fire Called Healer Terrington. That had only increased his anxiety, knowing that Ellie would be born premature and the complications that could come from early delivery.
The halls were lined with nervous Weasley’s and nosy portraits, all waiting for word but Severus barely spared them a glance. His only concern was for the young man on the other side of the door. Albus soon joined him in his pacing and Severus turned to the older man in hopes of being distracted, at least for a moment.
“Is it done?”
“Yes.” Albus replied wearily. “Kingsley has taken the bodies to the Ministry and the chamber has been sealed for good.”
“I still don’t understand how he did it, he couldn’t even cast a simple levitation spell yesterday.”
“He loves you and Ellie very much Severus and I believe that love has served him well yet again.”
The shrill cry of an infant stopped Severus in his tracks before he rushed to the infirmary doors, pushing them open as he stepped into the room. Harry lay covered in sweat, obviously fatigued, as a tiny squalling figure squirmed on his chest. Stepping closer Severus held out his hand, relieved when Harry reached up to take it and tug him closer.
“Isn’t she beautiful?” Harry asked, his voice cracking as he looked from Severus to Ellie.
She was small and red, an unruly tuft of black hair covering her tiny scalp. She was also a bit slimy as well. Her fists were clenched and her toes curled as she opened her little mouth and let out the most ear splitting shriek Severus had ever heard and all he could do was squeeze Harry’s hand and gaze down at her fondly.
Stretching slowly, Harry opened his eyes and relaxed back against the pillows behind him. Despite the windowless state of the dungeon room Harry knew the sun had yet to rise. Nothing in particular had woken him, it’d simply become routine for him to wake early. Ellie waking at random hours demanding to be fed had a lot to do with it. She’d just begun to sleep through the night but Harry knew it would take him a while to get used to her new routine.
Severus slept soundly beside him, his arm thrown across Harry’s waist. He’d been exhausted the evening before, between his classes, detention and helping Harry care for Ellie he’d run himself into the ground. They’d done nothing more than kiss before sleep had claimed them both, an oversight that definitely needed to be remedied, thought Harry as his cock gave an interested twitch. Reaching over he grabbed the little jar of lubricant off the bedside table and unscrewed the cap quickly.
Dipping his fingers inside he coated them before putting the jar back where it belonged. Throwing the covers off he wrapped his hand around his prick and stroked slowly. His other hand moved to tease his nipples, still sensitive to the touch, pinching lightly as his hips jerked. Letting his hand dip lower, he tugging at his balls, the hand stroking his chest inching down to join the other and wrap around his cock. Moaning softly, he spread his legs and eased one finger inside himself.
Severus stirred beside him and Harry turned his head, meeting his eyes when he opened them. Another finger joined the first and he moaned louder, his hips hitching to take them deeper. Severus groaned and Harry pulled his hands away as Severus rolled over onto his back and shoved the covers to the foot of the bed. Pushing up off the bed Harry twisted around to straddle Severus’ thighs. Wrapping his sticky fingers around Severus’ prick, he stroked it quickly, his eyes shifting from his hand to Severus’ face as he tightened his grip.
“Enough!” Severus growled, gripping Harry’s thighs to tug him forward.
Releasing his grip on Severus’ cock Harry let his hands rest near Severus’ shoulders as he leaned down for a kiss. Their tongues tangled together and Harry moaned as his prick rubbed along Severus’ lightly furred belly. He could feel Severus reach down and grab his own cock, holding it steady and Harry wasted no time pressing back to take it inside him, pulling back from their kiss with a gasp when his arse hit the top of Severus’ thighs.
“Missed you inside me…” Harry moaned, rolling his hips in ever widening circles. “Feels so good…”
Severus’ fingers inched towards his hips, gripping them tightly to hold and lift Harry gently. Harry let himself be held, his head dropping back as Severus began to thrust. He felt Severus’ thumbs trace along the scar on his lower abdomen and leaned back, bracing his hands on the bed to give him more room to explore. Severus’ thumbs slipped down to caress the crease where thigh met groin and Harry whimpered. Every thrust of Severus’ prick struck Harry’s prostate making him gasp as he bounced astride Severus’ lap.
“Almost…” Severus groaned, his fingers digging into Harry’s hips as he quickened his pace.
Thighs tensing Harry cried out with each thrust. He could feel his balls drawing up as his toes curled and he let himself go, his back arching as he screamed out his release.
“Oh fuck… oh… Severus!”
Severus thrust twice more before coming with a shout as Harry pitched forward to collapse across his chest, struggling to catch his breath as Severus did the same. As Severus ran his fingers along Harry’s spine, he pressed kisses to the older man’s chest.
“Do you ever think of having more?”
“Children,” Severus corrected, slapping Harry’s arse lightly. Harry laughed and wiggled his bottom, making Severus groan. “Cheeky brat.”
“Perhaps, why are you asking?”
“I was just curious. We’ve never talked about having children of our own.”
“I don’t think we’re ready for another just yet, we’ve barely gotten settled with the one we have now.” The monitoring spell Harry had cast the night before chimed to let him know Ellie had finally woken and he rolled off Severus reluctantly. “Speaking of, I think your daughter could do with having her nappy changed.”
“How is it that she’s only my daughter when she does something unseemly?”
“A very good question, one I’m sure I’ll have the answer to when you get back.”
“Why I tolerate your impudence I will never know.” Severus said, sitting up to grab his wand off the bedside table.
“Because you love me of course.”
Watching Severus cast a quick cleansing charm before reaching for his dressing gown Harry settled back against the pillows, choosing not to point out the grin on Severus’ lips as he headed for the door.