Title: The Tie that Binds
Author: A Secretive Snowflake
Word Count: 12,500
Warnings: Chan (16/17), MPreg, hermaphrodite, rimming
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Summary: An affair between Harry and Severus holds unexpected consequences and dangers
Author’s Notes: Thanks to BB for beta and suggestions, helping make this fic 1000 times better than it was. Sorry, Evanjames, but I just couldn’t write a Harry/Snape/Lucius threesome—just didn’t have it in me.
The Tie that Binds
It had taken undreamed-of cooperation, but in the end, they had done what many had deemed impossible: Severus Snape and Harry Potter had simultaneously cast a complicated mélange of spells that had killed the Dark Lord. Extinguished him completely. A thirty-seven-year-old man and an almost seventeen-year-old boy had taken down the most powerful wizard of an age.
A rank bog had been Voldemort’s choice of locale for the battle, and thus, his final resting place. Fitting, really.
For the first time in months, Severus smiled. He herded Potter away from the Great Hall. Away from the throng of healers and Ministry officials. He guided him, without fuss, to the dungeons and locked them in his rooms.
He’d been waiting for this. He’d been waiting a long time for just this.
Besides, victory was proving to be a powerful aphrodisiac.
The boy ran a hand through filth-matted hair. “Thanks for getting me out of there, sir. I don’t think I could have answered another question.”
“Neither of us needs an interrogation.” He raised an eyebrow and sniffed the air. “Although clean clothes wouldn’t go amiss.” He reached forward, hesitantly at first, and when no move was made to stop him, his hands darted out to yank a fetid Muggle sweatshirt off Potter’s body.
“Clean clothes. Right. Except we’re in your rooms and none of my clothes are here.” Potter’s gaze held his own, daring and tempting.
“Tell me if I’ve been reading you wrong, Potter. All these months while we’ve been training…” Extending a single finger, Severus traced a line of dried, dirty sweat down the boy’s chest and stomach to where it disappeared into the waistband of his jeans. “I believe you’ve wanted more from me than perhaps I should give.”
Potter inhaled sharply, but made no move to halt the proceedings. Even when Severus popped open the button of his jeans, the boy only stared at him, mouth moving around unsaid words.
As he pulled down the zip, Severus glanced at Potter. The boy’s Adam’s apple bobbed. He nodded. Consent enough, then. Severus tugged the jeans and boxers down in one go, leaving them pooled around Potter’s feet. He stepped back and admired lean muscles, pale skin, and a heavy cock standing erect. His mind filled with images of that prick pressed against his own. Slipping. Sliding…
With a flick of his wand, Severus divested himself of his own filthy clothing.
The move seemed to release the boy from a trance-like state. He gaped for just a moment before almost toppling to the floor in an attempt to remove his shoes so he could untangle his legs from his pants. His lovely cock slapped against his firm abdomen.
Severus so enjoyed the view.
Scourgify wouldn’t clean them as thoroughly as a hot bath, but it was enough for Severus’s intentions. He cast the spell and then stepped forward to graze a hand down Potter’s neck to a nipple.
The boy’s skin prickled in gooseflesh.
Still trailing a hand against warm skin, Severus slipped around until he was behind Potter. He tugged the boy to him, back to chest. He was surprised at how well they fit, Potter’s head reaching perfectly under his chin. “If you don’t want this, Potter, say so now. Once we start there will be no turning back.”
Potter’s head dropped back onto Severus’s shoulder. He wriggled against Severus’s cock. “Want this… Wanted you for so long.”
Ah, so he’d been right. The Golden Boy wanted him. Severus ran his hands down Potter’s belly and then further, flitting over silky skin and wiry muscle, searching for heat and hardness. When he found it, Potter whined deep in his throat—wonderful sound, that. “Has anyone ever touched you like this? Are you a virgin?” Severus continued to stroke.
Potter’s breath came in short gasps. He reached up and back, wrapping his arms around Severus’s neck, arching into the touch. “Vir… virgin. Never… nngg… never been touched.” He shuddered when Severus squeezed his cock. “Ohhhh, sir. Are you going to fuck me?”
“Not tonight.” Severus didn’t have the patience for a long, thorough stretching of a virgin hole. Later, when the intensity of his need abated a little, he would indeed take Potter’s virginity if it was still on offer.
Potter seemed too far gone in his own pleasure to comprehend Severus’s words. His hips writhed, rubbing a bony lower back against Severus’s erection. Severus growled and swung Potter around to face him. He needed to feel the boy’s prick against his own. But Potter’s smaller stature proved vexing. To remedy the situation Severus lifted him to perch on the very edge of his tall desk. He fit himself between the boy’s thighs and found Potter’s cock now at an equal height to his own. He wrapped his arms around the boy’s lower back, pulling them together as tightly as he could, and began to rut.
Ah, he had almost forgotten how good—how animalistic and freeing—this felt. He wasn’t sure which sensation was more intense: the ridges of Potter’s prick sliding over the head of his cock, or their spongy heads meeting and then popping past each other with almost unendurable friction. He grit his teeth and ground harder against the boy.
“Fuck, Sir! Don’t stop.” Potter’s hips joined Severus’s in a lustful dance. Sweat and pre-come mingled, providing minimal lubrication where none had been before. Potter’s head fell forward to rest on Severus’s shoulder, but his hips continued pistoning. Grunts and moans issued from the boy’s lips until he cried, “I’m going to… I’m going to… Oh, Gods…” Potter’s voice broke on a sob when he came, his release shooting up the length of Severus’s cock.
The extra lubrication felt like warm, wet, nirvana as Severus’s cock skimmed through it. He shifted position so his erection dragged through the crease formed from Potter’s leg and groin, cockhead hitting hipbone on each upthrust. Severus thrust against the boy, throwing his head back and moaning when his balls tightened and he released.
He may or may not have called out Potter’s name as he came. He didn’t remember doing so, but Potter insisted otherwise.
In the three days before the Hogwarts Express whisked the students away to summer celebrations, Severus and Harry (he chose to use the boy’s given name after their third—or was it their fourth—go ‘round) took every opportunity to be naked and sweaty in each other’s arms.
Severus did finally fuck the boy. He laid him on his ornate wooden bed and stole his virginity just as surely as the Dark Lord has stolen his innocence, their innocence.
It was heaven, and he was lost.
Part II. Harry
That summer, spent entirely at the Burrow, was the happiest Harry had ever known. Not worrying about a murderous madman tended to free one’s mind and time for happier pursuits. And, if that wasn’t brilliant enough, he had lost his virginity to a man he had lusted after for months, and had every reason to believe his affair with Professor Snape would carry over into the fall term. Severus had taught him more in three days than someone less experienced could have taught him in three months.
He couldn’t wait to get back to Hogwarts.
As summers do, lazy days piled one on top of the other until it was time to go back to school. Once returned to Hogwarts, Harry knew enough not to make his intentions toward Severus obvious. After all, the man would insist on secrecy. He tried to keep the old vitriol in his public dealings with Severus while he impatiently waited for some private time. Finally, after a week in school, seven days in which Harry felt he would go crazy if he didn’t feel Severus’s hands on him, a barely perceptible nod had Harry making excuses to Ron and Hermione and heading down a seldom-used corridor.
It had taken Harry longer than he’d have liked to ditch his friends, so when he entered the hallway, he saw no sign of Severus. He swore under his breath. Would he have to check every room along the way? Of course, maybe Severus didn’t stop in this hallway, maybe he had ventured into one of the corridors that crossed it. Maybe Severus was waiting for him down one of those. Yes, that sounded better than checking every room. Harry strode down the hallway, anticipation building with each step. He had made it only a quarter of the way down when a sound behind him caused him to turn. The door to the classroom he had just passed flew open. Harry was grabbed and yanked inside.
Thrown and pinned against the stone wall, Harry writhed against Severus’s body. This was what he’d been waiting for. He groaned and tried to stretch up to capture Severus’s lips.
Severus put a hand on Harry’s chest to stop his movement. “I am quite discouraged, Mr. Potter.” His voice was cold and hard.
Harry struggled to switch from desire to rational thought. “What? Discouraged? Why?”
Severus’s hand pressed harder into Harry’s chest, his other hand bit into the skin at Harry’s shoulder. Severus’s face was tight, his voice too controlled. “No smoldering looks. No careless attempts to gain my attention. No late-night wanderings into the dungeons. If you didn’t want to continue our liaison, you should have had the bollocks to tell me.” Severus’s hand twisted Harry’s robe at his chest, tightening it uncomfortably. “What’s the matter, Potter, did you find a younger lover? Someone more desirable, perhaps?”
“What? NO!” Harry tried to let the truth show in his eyes. “I want you. Of course I want you. I thought about you all summer.”
Severus pulled Harry from the wall and then tossed him back against it, letting his hands then fall to his sides. “But not enough to make a move? Not enough to show any desire…”
“I thought…” Harry struggled for the words to fix this. “I was trying to be mature. I didn’t think you’d want anyone to know about us—since you’re a teacher and… well, older. I was waiting for you to give me some signal or something. I thought I’d go crazy with the waiting.”
Severus’s hands were on him again, this time framing Harry’s face. For a long moment, Severus searched his eyes, and then crushed their lips together.
Harry groaned and responded, inviting Severus’s tongue into his mouth and reveling in the heat of it when it entered.
Pulling back for a moment, Severus whispered, “I’m going to fuck you, Harry. Right here. Right now. I am going to fuck you.”
“Yes, please,” Harry murmured, his eyes on Severus’s lips, willing them back to his own. “Fuck me. Want you so bad. Need this. Need you.”
Severus crushed Harry against the wall, spelling their clothes off and grinding their bodies together. After one kiss, so brief Harry whined at the loss, Severus spun him around to face the wall and clutched at his arse, spreading his cheeks wide. Breath caressed across Harry’s ear. “I am going to taste you. You will hold absolutely still while I prepare you with my tongue.”
Harry moaned. They hadn’t done that before. Severus’s body slid down his and Harry heard the man’s knees hit the stone floor. Hot breath puffed over his entrance, followed almost immediately by the wet warmth of Severus’s tongue. Harry had never felt anything so sexy or dirty in his life. He dug his fingers into the wall, knowing he needed to obey Severus’s orders or the man would withdraw that wicked tongue.
After circling and lapping noisily at Harry’s hole, Severus’s tongue stiffened and began assaulting the center, demanding entrance. Harry focused on relaxing into the invasion and gasped when the tongue breeched through and began fucking him. The feeling was strange, but wonderful. Harry only just stopped himself from pushing back, from forcing more into his body. His knees wobbled and his arms shook. His breath came in pants, and half-formed words of need fell from his lips.
In that moment, he was sure the man was a god.
Too soon, Severus’s tongue withdrew and he pulled away from Harry’s arse. Before Harry could bemoan the loss, one long slicked finger plunged into his entrance, skewered him twice and then was removed to be joined by a second. “You may move now, Harry. Fuck yourself on my fingers. Show me how hungry you are for me.”
As if Harry’s hard, aching prick wasn’t proof enough.
But since fucking himself on Snape’s fingers sounded
brilliant, Harry thrust his arse back, forcing those fingers deeper. He loved
the feeling of each knuckle as it slid against his inner walls. His muscles
tightened as he pulled away, as if his body wanted to trap part of Severus
within. Harry rested his forehead against the cool wall and grunted as he
bucked back over and over again, changing his position every so often until his
prostate was finally found and hit. When a spark of electricity shot through
him from that little gland, he shouted, unable to keep safely quiet under such
Behind him, “Silencio,” was whispered.
“Look how badly you want me, Harry. I can see how greedy you are for me.”
“Yes,” Harry whined. But he wanted more. “Your cock, sir. Please. Need you.”
Severus must have stood because his body was suddenly pressed against Harry’s and his fingers slid from Harry’s hole. “You’re a little too short for this to work.”
In his haze of need, Harry didn’t care what spell Severus had just cast, he only let Severus guide him to stand on a small wooden pallet that had materialized next to his feet. Severus’s hands caressed down Harry’s sides and traced their way to his arse, parting the cheeks once more. “That’s better. Much better.”
Without preamble, Severus lined up his cock and shoved in. Harry gasped. Even with the lube Severus must have conjured from somewhere, it was still a tight, hard slide. His fingers scrabbled against the stone. For a moment, it was too much. Harry was glad for the silencing spell Severus had cast as he wailed and begged and keened. Severus stilled for the barest of moments, allowing Harry only scant time to get used to the invasion before he began thrusting his hips, rocking against Harry.
“Can’t stop. I need you too much.”
Severus’s words washed over Harry. If he didn’t have a cock up his arse, he’d have turned to make sure it was really Severus Snape at his back and not some fantasy conjured from his own mind.
Harry took a few shuddering breaths, willing himself to relax and accept Severus’s invasion. If the man needed him this much, he’d be damned if he didn’t try to give him what he wanted. With each thrust, the pain lessened, until it morphed to fullness, and then fullness changed to bliss. Then, Harry bucked back to meet each of Severus’s thrusts. When his prostate was rubbed, he howled. “Faster. Harder. Please!”
Severus’s breath was coming in gasps. He grunted with every plunge into Harry. He reached around their bodies and grasped Harry’s cock, pumping it in time with his strokes. It took an embarrassingly small number of pulls before Harry was writhing, screaming, and shooting his seed onto the wall. Severus milked the last of Harry’s orgasm and then grasped his hips tightly with both hands, fucking Harry’s arse deep and hard. After several minutes, Severus stilled and then shuddered.
Harry felt his channel being bathed in warm fluid. Severus slumped against him, pressing him yet harder into the wall. When Harry’s oversensitive prick scraped against the stone, he pressed back onto the man and whispered, “Not comfortable.”
Severus groaned, but pulled back, steadying himself with his hands against the wall on either side of Harry’s head. Harry turned and looked at his lover. Severus was disheveled and sweaty. His eyes were closed and his jaw slack. Harry loved it that he was able to put his usually dour professor into this state. A slow grin spread across his face. “That was fantastic.”
“Mmmm…” Severus opened his eyes. He stood straighter and removed one hand from the wall to grasp Harry’s chin. His eyes were dark and burned into Harry’s. “While you are at this school, you will be mine. Do you understand?”
Harry nodded. His heart stuttered. He’d wondered how long Severus would keep him, and now he knew—they’d be together until Harry left Hogwarts. They had until June.
Part III. In Sickness and in Health
After that, Harry surreptitiously threw heated looks at Severus as often as he dared. He sneaked down to the dungeons to surprise his lover at least once a week, and he’d even left notes and naughty drawings tucked safely inside his Potions homework. Severus seemed pleased.
Within two weeks, Harry began to think about the possibility of being with Severus even after he’d finished school. After three weeks, he felt pangs of jealousy when he imagined Severus with any other lover. A month into their reestablished tryst, Harry was falling in love.
His friends began noticing a change. “Why do you look so happy all the time?” Ron prodded Harry in the ribs as they walked down the corridor.
Harry grinned and shrugged.
Hermione mock whispered, “I think he’s found someone special.” She nodded knowingly. Harry’s heart stuttered for a moment until he realized she couldn’t possibly know who he’d found.
“Is that it?” Ron swung around to face him, stopping their forward progress. His eyes darted around the corridor. He shook his head and pulled Harry down a less crowded hallway. “So, is it a girl or a guy?”
Sometimes Harry wished he hadn’t told Ron he was bisexual. He held up a hand. “I’m not answering that.”
“But there is someone, isn’t there?” Hermione smirked, happy as always to be right.
Harry nodded. “But don’t tell anyone. I don’t want people wondering.”
“We’re your best friends, Harry. You’ve got to tell us who you’re seeing.” Ron turned to Hermione for confirmation, only to look disappointed when she shook her head.
“You’ll tell us when you’re ready, right, Harry?”
Harry smiled gratefully as Hermione pulled Ron out of the corridor and toward their next class. He really wasn’t ready to tell them he was being fucked by Severus Snape.
But fucked he was. He was taken in every room of Severus’s quarters, not to mention his office and private lab. Harry was sucked off in the Quidditch broom shed and frotted against in a dungeon alcove. And one especially memorable night, he fucked Severus in the man’s bathtub. To have Severus Snape under him was almost as amazing as the sex itself. Almost.
So it was bitterly disappointing to Harry when he came down with the stomach flu that was infecting most of the school. Madam Pomfrey liberally dispensed a mint-flavored potion that had most of the sufferers better within a half hour. Harry wasn’t so lucky. The first time he begged off sex with Severus, the man scowled, but said he didn’t want to catch the dratted virus anyway. The second time, Severus pushed a bony finger into Harry’s chest and reminded him that Severus had ownership of Harry for the duration and Harry had best not be seeing anyone else.
The man had a jealous streak as wide as the Hogwarts grounds.
Finally, Harry just pretended to feel better. He avoided kissing Severus by dropping to his knees in order to lavish attention on a needy cock. Unfortunately, once Harry had sucked Severus off, the semen hitting his stomach aggravated the virus and he vomited.
Severus pulled him to his feet. He dragged him to his bathroom, rummaged through a cabinet, and pressed a vial into Harry’s hands. “Drink this and go see Pomfrey again.” He peered into Harry’s eyes, pulling the lids apart as if performing his own perfunctory exam. “Return here as soon as she’s done with you.”
Madam Pomfrey frowned when Harry told her he still had the flu despite three doses of remedy potion. She had him dress in hospital garb and lay down on an examination table. “I’m going to run a basic health scan,” she explained as she ran her wand inches over his body from head to feet. A line of multi-colored tracings hung in the air in the wake of her wand. Even Harry could see there was an odd looking jumble of colors and shapes in the area of his abdomen.
“See, I told you my stomach’s still not good.”
Madam Pomfrey stared at the tracings for several moments before shaking her head and banishing them. “I’m going to perform a more thorough scan, Harry. If you can’t lie completely still for ten minutes, I can stupefy you.”
“I think I’ll be okay.” Harry quickly scratched an itch on his nose and stretched his legs before settling back down.
“Please close your eyes.” Madam Pomfrey placed the tip of her wand over Harry’s forehead and waited for him to comply.
“Why do I have to close my eyes?” Harry asked. “Is this going to hurt?”
Madam Pomfrey smiled. She patted Harry’s arm. “Of course not, dear. I’ll be scanning just as I did earlier, but it will be a slower scan that will show your insides much more in-depth. I find it’s easier for people to stay still when their eyes are closed.”
Harry nodded. He didn’t mind really. He was a little tired anyway. He closed his eyes and let his mind drift, trying not to let his mouth bow into a smile when he thought about Severus.
He wasn’t sure how much time had passed before he was being shaken awake. He squinted one eye open to see Madam Pomfrey peering down. “Sorry,” he slurred, his tongue heavy. “Must’ve fallen asleep.”
Madam Pomfrey helped Harry sit up. “You weren’t restless, so it turned out well. I was able to take a nice long look at your insides.”
Harry grimaced at the thought. He stood and wavered on the spot for a moment, reaching out a hand to balance himself on the wall.
“Dizzy?” Madam Pomfrey put a hand on his arm. “Come. Sit down. We need to talk.”
Her tone of voice scared Harry. “What… what did you find? Is there something really wrong?”
“It’s… well, you’re not really sick.” Madam Pomfrey led Harry to a chair. “I have some news for you, however, and I’m not sure how you’ll take it.” She tapped her lips with her finger. “Perhaps I should call the Headmaster. He’s going to need to know.”
Harry almost jumped back out of his chair, but a wave of nausea stilled him. “Know what?”
“Are there any adults here you trust, Harry? Anyone you would feel right about sharing secrets with?”
Without thinking, Harry blurted, “Severus… erm… Professor Snape.”
Madam Pomfrey raised one eyebrow. “Yes, well, I had wondered…”
Harry swallowed hard, only just realizing what a terrible mistake he’d made. “Wondered what? We trained together to kill Voldemort. He’s… well, Professor Snape…” he trailed off, not knowing where his mouth might lead him since his brain didn’t seem attached.
“And the Headmaster? Would you mind if I called him in also?”
For a moment, Harry considered demanding that Madam Pomfrey give him the news alone, but if it were really horrible it might be best to have others with him. Well, at least Severus. But that could appear odd, just him and Severus. Like a couple. He nodded. “Yes, the Headmaster, too.”
Severus burst into the Infirmary. His eyes flitted from Harry to Pomfrey and finally to Dumbledore. “Is there a problem?”
Dumbledore shrugged. “I don’t know yet, my boy. We were waiting for your arrival.”
Madam Pomfrey indicated a chair for Severus, the one next to Harry.
Severus narrowed his eyes, but sat, glancing toward Harry for a second before turning back to Pomfrey.
“I have some news to tell Harry and he indicated the desire to have you both here.” She focused on Severus. “He will need all the support he can get, and since he indicated you two are now—friends, is it?”
Severus nodded curtly. “I suppose. I am assuming there is something wrong with the boy.”
Madam Pomfrey sighed and pulled a chair into position directly in front of Harry. She sat down and pulled his hands into hers. “Harry, do you know what a hermaphrodite is?”
“Part man, part woman, right?”
Pomfrey nodded. “My scans show that you are a hermaphrodite, Harry. Did you know?”
Harry shook his head. “I don’t have any female bits.”
“Inside you do. Inside you have all the reproductive organs of a female.” She cleared her throat. “Your cervix, the opening that leads to your womb, is attached to your rectum.”
Severus shifted in his seat. All eyes focused on him for a moment. He glared and they turned back to Harry.
Harry knew his face was red, he could feel the heat in it. How could he be part woman and not know it? He forced down the urge to vomit.
“Have you menstruated, Harry? Have you noticed blood from your anus?”
“What? No! You must be wrong about all this.” Harry moved to stand, but Severus put a hand on his shoulder, forcing him back into his chair, and then quickly snatching his hand back away.
“I’m sure Poppy has re-checked all her findings, Harry,” Severus murmured.
Madam Pomfrey went on as if there had been no interruption. “When females go through major stress, sometimes they don’t menstruate for months, even years, at a time. I am positive that’s why you’ve seen no blood.”
Dumbledore stroked his beard. “So Harry should expect to begin menstruating soon?”
“It’ll be at least eight months before anything happens,” Pomfrey said. She cut her eyes toward Severus.
Severus shot out of his chair. “Are you saying Potter’s pregnant?”
Harry barely heard Pomfrey’s affirmation over the blood rushing through his ears. This was too much. How does a boy keep his sanity when he finds out he’s part girl and pregnant in the same day? His hands slipped from Pomfrey’s, darkness danced at the edges of his sight. A hand came down on his shoulder, warm and familiar, grounding him.
When Harry again focused on the room, Dumbledore was standing. “We’ll need to know who the other father is, Harry. We’ll have to know so we can keep you both safe.”
Harry only just kept himself from glancing up at Severus.
Madam Pomfrey cleared her throat.
“I… I don’t think I…” Harry stuttered.
In a voice so low it was barely audible, Severus said, “I’m the father.”
IV. Some Truths Must be Told
Harry was glad Hermione had been appointed Head Girl. It meant she had her own rooms and loads of privacy. The small sitting area in her suite consisted of two chairs and a shared ottoman. Harry gestured Hermione and Ron into the chairs and sat stiffly down on the footstool. His mind raced over all the ways he had imagined telling his friends that he was even more different than the scar on his forehead had forced him to be.
“Harry, whatever it is, you can tell us. You know that, right?” Hermione reached out and patted his arm. “Is this about whoever it is you’ve been seeing?”
Ron shot out of his chair. “If it was some bloke and he hurt you, I’ll take care of it.” He rolled up his sleeves and curled his hands into fists.
Hermione laughed and pulled Ron back into his seat. “I’m sure Harry can take care of himself.”
Harry, caught up in the moment with his friends, chuckled. “Yeah, Ron, it’s not like I’m a…” He stopped short before he could say ‘girl.’
Hermione pointed a finger at him, but continued smiling. “You best not finish that sentence, mister. Girls can take care of themselves, thank you very much.”
“I sure hope they can…” Harry muttered. When Ron and Hermione gave him a questioning look, he squared his shoulders and amended his declaration. “I sure hope we can.”
Hermione narrowed her eyes.
Ron raised one eyebrow. “We can what?”
Harry’s face flamed. This was harder than he thought and he’d thought it’d be murder.
“I don’t think he meant we as in us three,” Hermione said slowly. Her mouth moved silently as she replayed the end of the last conversation. “Harry… did you just include yourself as a girl?”
Like a jack-in-a-box, Ron launched out of his chair again. Harry would’ve laughed if he wasn’t so nervous. “Some bloke did hurt you, didn’t he? If you’re well… heartbroken or something, that doesn’t make you a girl.”
Harry stood and placed his hands on Ron’s shoulders. He watched Ron’s eyes closely as he spoke. “Yes, I am seeing a guy. And yes, this has something to do with him. But it’s nothing like what you think.” He pushed Ron back into his chair, but remained standing, looking down at the two best friends he’d ever had. He finally settled on concentrating on Hermione, knowing she’d be quicker on the uptake. “I called myself a girl, because I am. Partially.” He watched her eyes and knew the moment she reached her conclusion. At that point he nodded. “Hermaphrodite.”
Hermione’s eyes widened almost impossibly.
Harry flicked his gaze to Ron.
It was a few seconds later that Ron’s mouth dropped open and he shook his head.
Before either could get their wits together enough to speak, Harry plowed on. “I just talked to Madam Pomfrey. She says I’m the rarest type of Hermaphrodite. My… erm… genitalia are completely male, but internally I’ve got all the female parts. She says my plumbing’s wonky, but it’s all there.”
“Wow, Harry,” Hermione whispered.
“So are you a guy or a girl?” Ron asked.
Harry sank back down to sit on the ottoman. “Both. Neither. I’m just me, I guess.” Now that the first part of the story was out, Harry found he couldn’t look his friends in the eye. He lowered his head into his hands, expecting to hear Ron pop out of his chair again, this time heading directly to the door and out of his life.
A large, warm hand came to rest on Harry’s knee. “I guess now I won’t feel quite so weird when I hug you. After all, it’s not like I’m hugging a bloke.”
Harry looked up to see Ron quirking a lopsided grin. “Git.”
Ron laughed. “You’re still Harry, right? It’s not like you’re suddenly going to go all female on me or anything.”
Hermione snapped to attention. “We have loads of research to do. I’m sure the library has hermaphroditic references.” She rubbed her hands together. “We’ll have to find out all sorts of things… if it’s hereditary, if you’re fertile… did Madame Pomfrey mention whether she thinks you can father a child? You do make semen, right?”
Ron choked. “What a thing to ask a bloke!”
Harry laughed freely for the first time since he’d found out about his condition. It was a relief that Ron and Hermione were still, well, Ron and Hermione. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad after all. He rolled his eyes and said, “Of course I squirt, Hermione. If I didn’t I’d have figured out sooner that something’s wrong.” He sobered a little. “But Madam Pomfrey did tell me my… well, my sperm isn’t viable. I can’t get a woman pregnant.”
Hermione’s face fell.
Ron said, “Sorry, mate, I know you wanted a family some day.”
“Maybe you can adopt or something,” Hermione offered.
Harry took a deep breath. It was now or never. “About that. You know how I said I have all the internal female organs?”
“Well, I guess they work and they’re connected to…erm… some of my other plumbing.” Harry ran a hand through his hair and looked at the floor. “I’m pregnant.”
This time, Ron didn’t jump up or even jump to conclusions. He simply sat in the chair, hands balled into fists.
“How far along?” Hermione asked.
“Only a few weeks.”
“And the father?”
“I don’t think I…”
This time it was Hermione who stood. She loomed over Harry, hands on her hips. “I supported you when you wouldn’t tell us who you were dating, but I draw the line here. You’re our best friend, Harry, and we need to know who got you pregnant and if he’s going to help take care of the baby. Have you told him?”
“Sit back down and I’ll tell you, but I’m warning you, this might be too much for Ron to handle.” He glanced at Ron who remained stone still. Harry was about to check if his friend was breathing when Ron took a gulp of air.
Ron nodded. “I can handle anything, Harry.”
Hermione sat on the very edge of the chair, hands twisting in her lap.
“I’ll tell you two, but no one else can find out, okay?”
“Why the secrecy?” Hermione asked. “Everyone will know soon enough—when you start showing.”
“Well, you know how the Aurors are still rounding up Death Eaters, right? Well, Dumbledore’s always saying I have to be careful because some of Voldemort’s old cronies might try to kidnap or kill me. He thinks the pregnancy might incite some of them to try harder, especially because of who the father is.”
Ron slid down to sit on the floor, his back to his chair. “Blimey, Harry, who the hell’d you let fuck you, anyway? What bloke around here would the Death Eaters care about?”
Before Harry could answer, Hermione whispered, “Severus Snape. The only one they’d really care about other than Harry is Professor Snape.”
Dumbledore requested that Harry and Severus stop seeing each other until Harry left Hogwarts. After all, even though rules had been broken, it was never too late to begin following them. But Harry and Severus weren’t deterred. On the contrary, they saw each other as often as they safely could.
If Harry had thought the man would be gentler because of his condition, he was mistaken. In fact, Severus’s desire seemed fueled by the fact that Harry was carrying his baby, and his possessiveness multiplied. Harry could have done without much of the overprotective looming, though it did give him hope for a future with Severus.
A future they never talked about. Outside of his appointments with Madam Pomfrey, they didn’t discuss the baby at all. They didn’t plan how the child would be raised, whether they would be a family together, or even names. Harry felt it was as if they were poised on a brink, each waiting for the other to take the first step into the unknown.
But, since neither seemed courageous enough, they went on as if their progeny wasn’t growing in Harry’s womb. They went on as ever before, except for Severus’s stalking.
Finally, one day, Harry cornered Severus after Potions class and hissed, “You have to stop following me around school. People are starting to talk.”
Severus scowled. “No one could possibly guess the truth. Besides, I cannot leave you unprotected against Death Eaters.”
“I can protect myself. In case you’ve forgotten, I’m a powerful wizard.”
But Harry was beginning to wonder how powerful he truly was. He wasn’t about to admit it to Severus, but he was having trouble casting even the simplest of spells. It was as if the pregnancy was draining him of magic.
The first time it happened, Harry was four months pregnant. A small tingle traveled through his body. He didn’t think much of it. The second time, it was more of a sharp sting. Harry yelped.
Professor Flitwick looked up from the papers he was grading. “Is there a problem, Mr. Potter?”
“No, sir. Sorry.”
The third time, Harry couldn’t pretend it was nothing. That time, an electric current fairly ripped through his body.
He went to Severus first who accompanied him to Madam Pomfrey.
As they entered the Infirmary, Severus pulled Pomfrey aside and hissed. “I believe it’s happening.”
Madam Pomfrey dropped the tray of equipment she was carrying. The sound of metal on stone echoed through the room. “Are you sure?”
“Yes, from what Harry has told me.”
Several moments of hushed explanations, and Harry was left dumbstruck. “Why didn’t anyone tell me about Errant Fetal Magic?”
“As strong as your magic is, we didn’t believe it would be an issue.” Madam Pomfrey led him to a bed and urged him to lie down. “Let me check on the baby.” She ran her wand over Harry’s midsection and smiled. “The little one’s fine.”
Harry sat and focused a glare at Severus. “ You should have told me there could be a problem.”
Severus shrugged. “As Madam Pomfrey said, your magic should easily contain that of the growing baby. I saw no need to add to your burdens unnecessarily.”
Flopping back down onto the hospital bed, Harry threw his arms over his face and said, “Fine, tell me what I’m up against now.”
In the end, he almost wished he didn’t know.
Madam Pomfrey went into Nurse-Lecturer mode. “You see, Harry, magical beings have powers from the moment they’re conceived. Normally the magic is so slight before birth that the mother will seldom feel any more than a tingle of power from the fetus. Particularly strong babies, however, can cause a bit of a problem during the pregnancy. In such cases, their powers are enough to cause discomfort for the mother, or in very rare cases, harm to the baby itself. By the time the baby is born, the magic will have stabilized and gone mostly dormant until the child is older.”
“So, you’re saying this baby,” Harry laid a hand on the small swell of his belly, “is giving off magic and that’s what I feel?”
Madam Pomfrey nodded.
“And the baby could hurt itself? How?”
“A strong enough surge of pre-natal magic could sever the umbilical cord or physically harm the baby.” Madam Pomfrey looked from Harry to Severus.
Severus, his mouth held in a tight line, nodded.
“You will have to learn to keep some of your magic always focused as a buffer around the baby, to absorb errant magic. I believe Severus can help you with the spell.”
“Of course.” Severus reached a hand out to help Harry off the cot. “We will begin immediately.”
Harry let Severus help him to a sitting position, but then squeezed his hand and shook his head instead of standing. “One problem, though. I seem to have lost most of my magic.”
That put everyone into a frenzy. Harry’s magic was tested and found severely lacking. Dumbledore was called to the Infirmary, but could offer no concrete advice. The consensus was reached that the fetus was extremely powerful and had been draining Harry’s power as he unconsciously contained the errant magic being released.
But now, his own magic was nearly depleted and the baby’s magic was strengthening. Everyone looked dour… or scared. When nothing more than muttering and complaining was being done, Harry asked that Hermione and Ron be called to the Infirmary.
When Hermione poked her head in the door, Harry beckoned her in. Ron followed on her heels. “Good, you’re here,” Harry began. “Hermione, would you please research Errant Fetal Magic and how it can be contained? If anyone can come up with information, it’s you.”
Hermione’s brow furrowed. “Fetal magic? Is there a problem, Harry?”
It took Harry only a moment to fill his friends in on his predicament. When he was done, they looked as uneasy as everyone else in the room. Harry knew it was time to take charge. He scooted off the exam table. “So, Hermione will research. Madam Pomfrey, can she have access to your medical journals?”
“Of course.” Madam Pomfrey pulled a notepad from the pocket of her robes and began scribbling in it. “And I’ll help with the process. I could also check with the St. Mungo’s maternity ward. They may have had cases such as these.”
“I doubt there are any other such cases, unless you care to go back to the time of Merlin’s birth,” Dumbledore said.
Before Harry could do more than open his mouth, Severus said, “Yes, Harry, the magic of our child seems to be immeasurably stronger than any we could have imagined.” He turned to Madam Pomfrey. “Unless you can devise a believable reason why you are asking St. Mungo’s such questions, it may do more harm than good to seek their advice. Stirring up curiosity right now, on what is probably a fruitless venture, would be asking for trouble.”
Harry nodded at Madam Pomfrey. “If Hermione and you can’t dig anything up, we’ll consider going to them, but until then, I’d rather no one other than those here know anything.” He turned toward Severus. “Have you heard of any potions that could safely dampen fetal magic?”
The Headmaster nodded. “Maybe there is something, Severus. It is worth a try.”
“I will, of course, research. But I doubt I will find much. Potions Masters have always been reticent to administer any but the most benign potions to the pregnant. However, I do have some ideas of my own I will work on.” He tapped a finger to his lips as his eyes lost focus. Harry knew his lover was already mentally in his potions lab.
Dumbledore looked from Severus to Harry and chuckled. “As for myself, my boy, I will assist on both fronts.”
Ron looked apologetically at Harry. “I’d really like to do something to help. I don’t know how much good I’d be at anything, but everyone else has something to do.”
“Oh, I already have plans for you.” Harry smiled. “You’re going to stick close to me in class and help me cast spells. If people start noticing how weak I am, I’ll be an even bigger target.”
As the impromptu meeting in the Infirmary broke up, Severus addressed Ron and Hermione. “Please tell the other Gryffindors that Harry is spending the night in the Hospital Wing.”
“What? I’m not staying here tonight!”
“Of course you aren’t. You will be staying with me. But that certainly cannot become common knowledge, now can it?”
Harry’s heart stuttered. He’d like nothing more than to spend an entire night with Severus. To wake up next to him in the morning….
Dumbledore cleared his throat. “I think not, Severus. I cannot knowingly allow a student to spend the night with a teacher.”
Severus shrugged. “I suppose I could Obliviate you.”
“You are well aware that is not what I meant.” Dumbledore’s usually mild expression hardened. “But, if you need me to make myself clear, I will not allow Harry to spend the night with you.”
Severus stepped closer to the Headmaster. “I must insist. Harry is carrying my child. He has had quite a shock today and, I believe, is in need of comfort. Comfort only I can supply.”
Dumbledore opened his mouth to speak, but Severus continued, “Besides that, Harry and I need to discuss a few matters.”
The evening in Severus’s rooms didn’t start out quite the way Harry had envisioned. The fact that he had hoped for cuddling showed how hormonal he truly was. His lover was Severus Snape, for Merlin’s sake.
Severus sat Harry down in a chair and handed him a glass of water. “Madam Pomfrey omitted an important fact. Trying to save you worry, I assume.” Severus settled himself in another chair, the fire crackling merrily in the hearth between them.
Harry’s hand tightened around the glass. Wonderful. What else could go wrong? “What is it?”
“With the depletion of your power, you will be unable to protect yourself from the baby’s errant magic. Your life, in fact, is as in danger as that of our child.”
Harry chuckled. “Oh, is that all?” He shrugged, trying to show nonchalance where none actually existed. “My life’s pretty much always been in danger, now hasn’t it?”
Severus tipped his own glass toward Harry in acknowledgement. “Yes, but you weren’t my lover before. That changes things.”
Severus's dark eyes flashed. “I would very much rather you live.”
“And before? You certainly saved me enough. I suppose I thought you didn’t want me to die then either.”
“Of course, I never desired your death. But now, my desires are much more personal.”
Harry swirled his water, watching as the ice cubes circled and tinkled against the glass. “I appreciate that, Severus, but we’re doing all we can. I suppose finding a way to temper the baby’s magic will also protect me.”
Severus stood. He picked up the fireplace poker and dug about in the ashes, stoking the fire. It wasn’t lost on Harry that magic could have done the same job.
Finally, Severus straightened, looked at Harry, and said. “There is a quick solution. A way to protect your life.”
Harry was immediately on edge. “Only mine? Not our child’s?”
Severus nodded. “You could abort the baby. No one would think worse of you for the measure. With your powers dwindling so dramatically, the child has virtually no chance of survival anyway.”
Harry jumped to his feet. “I will not kill our baby, Severus! I will not give up hope.”
“At least think it over, Harry. You shouldn’t martyr yourself for a life which is most likely already forfeit.”
Harry turned away, taking steps toward the door. His mind reeled. Did Severus truly care so little for their child he was willing to sacrifice it at the first hint of trouble? He needed to get away. He needed to be alone to digest all he’d learned in the past hour. He made it halfway to the door before a hand clutching his arm stopped his progress. He closed his eyes, tension coiling his every muscle.
“It’s better if I’m not here right now. Maybe we both need some time alone.”
Severus’s grip loosened, but he didn’t let go. “I’ve had all the time alone in this life that I can stomach.” His hand moved up to grip Harry’s shoulder, forcing him around to face him. “You are right. I will not mention abortion again. I only thought to save your life.” Severus pulled Harry to him, pressing their bodies together. “I only thought of keeping you safe. Keeping you for myself.”
Harry relaxed against his lover. “I wouldn’t be the same person again, if I killed our baby.”
Severus sighed. “Come to bed, Harry. I meant what I told Albus about comforting you.”
Severus’s brand of comfort consisted of a warm mouth stretched around Harry’s cock. Severus’s tongue swiped along the head with every up-stroke, his cheeks hollowed in suction on the down.
Harry’s hands threaded through Severus’s hair, grounding him, reminding himself not to buck up and choke the man. Strands of long, dark hair brushed Harry’s thighs, raising gooseflesh. “Gods, Severus, yes. Need this so bad. Need you…”
Severus’s strokes sped up. His head bobbed over Harry’s erection.
Harry’s hands fell to his sides. Unable to stop himself any longer, he thrust up into Severus’s mouth. Groaning when his cock hit the back of the man’s throat.
Harry gasped. His balls tightened. He scrabbled once again at Severus’s hair. “I’m going to…”
Severus pulled up and then shot back down, forcing Harry’s cock into his throat once again.
Another swallow and Harry was lost in the sensation of his orgasm, rocking his hips and groaning.
Severus kept him trapped within his mouth until the last weak pulse subsided. He pulled off Harry with a slurp and a lick, slid up his body, and wrapped him in his arms, just as a violent burst of energy radiated from Harry’s abdomen to sting them both.
After checking that Harry and the child had both survived the wild magic unharmed, Severus frowned. “I believe the baby may feel and react to any of your heightened emotions.” He caressed Harry’s cheek. “So, unfortunately, I believe sex is out of the question until the child is born.”
“It’s not too late to call this off, my boy.” Dumbledore squeezed Harry’s shoulder. “Poppy tells me you’re exhausted.”
Harry smiled at the Headmaster. “I’m a little tired is all.” He glanced through the doorway and took count of the number of reporters sitting in the Great Hall. He hadn’t expected so many.
Another month had passed. A month in which Hermione was so busy researching, Harry barely saw her. A month of sitting quietly in Severus’s lab while the man tried to concoct a potion that would help. A month of no sex, but plenty of bouts of unrestrained pre-natal magic.
But it was also a month of watching his stomach slowly expand, and thirty days of learning to love, more and more, the life growing inside him. His baby. Merlin, how he loved the sound of that.
Harry, already skinny to begin with, looked gaunt now. He still had trouble keeping food down and the baby took a large share of the calories he was able to consume. “A powerful one, it’ll be,” Madam Pomfrey liked to say. “Its magic needs nourishment just as surely as its body.” That’s why Harry was always tired, always dragging. And people were starting to notice. Headlines screamed about his mystery terminal illness. Other students treated him like he was made of spun glass.
He was grateful that at least his school robes covered the bump of his belly, but even that wouldn’t be the case for long. So, today he would put an end to the hype. Today he would tell the truth.
Dumbledore smiled over Harry’s head. “Severus! I’m glad you decided to join us after all.”
Simultaneously, Harry’s stomach plummeted and his heart thumped. Severus had made it quite clear that he did not agree with Harry’s decision to expose his condition. They didn’t fight, exactly. Severus seemed afraid to actually argue, afraid to cause Harry’s adrenaline to surge and affect the baby. But his whole demeanor of late spoke of how opposed he was to Harry’s plan.
Harry slowly turned to face his lover.
Severus's eyes grazed over Harry’s belly before settling on the Headmaster. “I am not joining this farce. As I told you, Headmaster, I believe addressing the press is sheer folly. If you think they bother Harry now, they won’t give him a moment’s peace when they learn the truth. And any Death Eaters…” He shook his head.
“Most of the Death Eaters have been rounded up, Severus. You know that. But even if they weren’t, Harry won’t be able to hide his condition much longer. Sometimes it is best to go on the offensive before your opponent even knows there’s a game afoot.” Dumbledore’s attention was caught by a flurry of activity in the Great Hall. “If you’ll excuse me, gentlemen, I believe I am needed. Harry, you will not be alone in this.” The Headmaster smiled and winked before stepping through the door and into the fray.
Severus’s eyes darted up and down the hallway. “It’s not too late to change your mind. Walk away, Harry. Do you think those vultures will leave you alone after this?”
Harry shrugged. He carefully avoided looking at Severus. “It can’t be any worse than the rumors of my impending death. Once they know the truth, some of them may give me my privacy. ”
Severus snorted. “Privacy? Those people aren’t your friends.” He gestured toward the awaiting media. “They’ll be after your blood.”
“You’re a bit paranoid, Severus.”
Severus touched Harry’s chin, tilting his head so their eyes met. "I think you are the opposite of paranoid, Harry, I think you go around with the delusion that everyone likes you."
Harry leaned in to Severus’s touch. “I don’t really. I do know the truth. But I feel I have to do this. Now, if there’s nothing else, I have a press conference to give.” He smiled sadly. He didn’t want to fight with the man, but some things had to be done Harry’s way. This was one of them.
He tried to step away, but Severus grabbed his arm. Warm breath puffed across Harry’s ear. “I cannot be part of this.” He waved his free arm toward the Great hall. “I simply cannot participate in something that could cause harm.”
Harry only nodded as Severus released him and stalked away.
Dumbledore was almost immediately at Harry’s side. “We’re ready for you.”
Harry peered around the door. “Will I have to stand at a podium or something?”
“No. You will sit at a table with a few others. There has been a localized Sonorous charm placed over the area, so as soon as you sit down, be sure to say nothing you don’t want the reporters to hear.” Dumbledore placed a gnarled hand on Harry’s shoulder and began to guide him into the Great Hall. At their entrance, the murmur of voices died down until the room was silent.
Harry’s eyes sought out the table at which he would sit. He let out a relieved sigh when he saw Madam Pomfrey. He’d been afraid of not knowing the correct terms for any medical questions. Even more gratifying, however, was the sight of both Arthur and Molly Weasley. Other than Ron and Hermione, the Weasley parents were the only people Harry had told of his pregnancy, although they didn’t know who the father was. They might not have any questions to answer during the press conference, but they would offer great moral support.
Harry made his way to them and was wrapped in a tight hug, first by Molly and then Arthur. Arthur, especially, seemed reticent to let Harry go, he cradled him against his chest and rubbed his back. “We’ve been so worried, Harry.”
When Arthur finally did release him, Harry took his seat next to Dumbledore. He scanned the crowd. Most of the reporters were people he didn’t know, but a few were filthy maggots he steered clear of under ordinary circumstances. One friendly face stood out amongst his peers, Xenophilius Lovegood sat in the second row, smiling benignly.
After Dumbledore introduced him, Harry took a deep breath, ran a hand through his hair, and then sought eye contact with Mr. Lovegood. He would talk like he was telling his story only to The Quibbler. That would be easier. “I have an announcement to make. After the initial statement, you can ask questions, but I may refuse to answer some of them. After this press conference, however, I ask that you all leave me alone.”
In his seat, Xenophilius nodded.
Harry cleared his throat and then took a drink of water from the glass sitting next to him. “I found out recently that I am what is known as an Internal Hermaphrodite.”
Several hands rose. Harry held up one of his own to quiet an onslaught of murmuring. “Madam Pomfrey can give you the medical details after I finish, but there is one other bit of news first.”
The reporters quieted, but many of them squirmed in their seats as if barely able to keep from lunging.
“I found out I am a Hermaphrodite only after I became pregnant.”
The room erupted in a swell of shouted questions.
Dumbledore stood and called for silence.
Most of the reporters remained standing, but quieted. Harry tuned out for several minutes while Madam Pomfrey discussed the medical side of Harry’s condition. He snapped back to attention, however, when she spoke of the problems he faced during the pregnancy. In truth, he was proud that his baby was to be a powerful witch or wizard, if only he could contain that magic long enough to see the child born.
Madam Pomfrey’s voice trilled through the room. “This baby seems to have a wealth of pre-natal powers. Unfortunately, Harry’s body and magic have to absorb any errant magic the baby casts. Therefore, Harry is suffering from exhaustion and should not be hounded by reporters.”
Harry smiled down the table at the Mediwitch. He often thought she was as protective of his baby as he was. It was then that the question was asked that Harry had been dreading.
A screechy-voiced, anorexic witch stood. “Who’s the other father, Harry?”
Several voices rose in a chorus to join the questioner. When they didn’t quiet, Harry rose and held up his hands. “In the interest of privacy, I am unwilling to answer that question.”
A voice shouted from the back of the room. “It’s a Weasley boy, isn’t it? You stayed with them over the summer, didn’t you?”
“I don’t care to answer any questions about the baby’s other father,” Harry reiterated. “But in this case, I will tell you that, no, this baby will definitely not have ginger hair.”
A few of the reporters sniggered, but the same screechy voice from the back overrode all others. “Come on, Harry, why else would Arthur and Molly Weasley be with you unless they were the grandparents-to-be?”
Harry’s answer was cut short by a scraping of chairs at the end of the table. He looked down to see Arthur starting to stand, but Molly pulling him down and rising instead. She pointed in the general direction of the voice that had posed the question. “Arthur and I are here because Harry is a part of our family, so in reality, we already are grandparents-to-be. But we are only here to give him any support he needs. Merlin knows, I wish Harry’s baby was fathered by one of my sons, at least then he’d have a spouse’s support behind him, not all this secrecy.” Molly clapped a hand to her mouth.
Arthur looked apologetically toward Harry and pulled Molly into her seat.
“Is the father denying the baby, then?”
“Were you raped?”
“Is he married?’
“Do you, in fact, know who the father is?”
“Harry, are you feeling well?” This last was asked by Mr. Lovegood.
Harry fought to quell the buzzing magic that was engulfing him. Finally, when it became too much, all went dark.
V. Fighting for their Lives
Severus was with him in the Infirmary when Harry regained consciousness. Harry half expected to be berated for putting himself in a tense situation, but Severus only shook his head and grimaced. “While you were out, we tried an incantation Granger found in an old spell book. The magic is meant to transfer some of my power to you until the baby is born.”
Harry nodded. “You don’t look pleased, so I assume it didn’t work.”
“Unfortunately, no. The baby treated my magic as an invasion and fought against it.”
Harry closed his eyes. He really didn’t know how much longer he could fight.
“The potion I’m working on does appear promising, however. If only I could be sure it wouldn’t cause more harm than good.”
“At least it’s a hope,” Harry whispered. “So what harm do you think it could do?”
Before Severus would answer, he called a ‘summit meeting’ of all those who had been trying to help Harry and the baby. Madam Pomfrey was, of course, already in the Infirmary. Ron and Hermione showed up together, but it took Dumbledore a bit of time to join them. Harry was surprised when the Headmaster arrived short of breath.
Severus jumped to his feet. “Albus? Has your magic not returned?”
Albus put a hand on Severus’s shoulder and smiled. “Not to worry, my boy. My powers are returning, they’re just not reliable as of yet.”
Harry looked from Severus to Dumbledore, unsure of what they were talking about. “Have you been ill, Professor?”
Dumbledore shook his head. He gestured toward Severus.
“It is part of what I would like to discuss with all of you,” Severus said. Everyone settled into chairs or, in the case of Ron, perched on the edge of Harry’s hospital bed. “Albus was good enough to allow me to experiment on him with a magic-tampering potion. I had hoped it would be the answer to our predicament.”
“But?” Hermione asked.
“But the potion seems to steal power for longer amounts of time each time it is ingested. I am afraid if it is used long-term it could cause irreversible magical depletion.”
“So I could end up a Squib?” Harry asked.
“And the baby?”
“I have no way of knowing.” Severus sat down on the bed beside Harry.
Ron shifted away slightly.
“The ingredients wouldn’t be physically harmful to an adult, but to a fetus…”
“So the cure could kill.” It was a statement, not a question. Harry felt ill. “So this is our best hope?”
“Other than you being able to hold on until the baby is born, I’m afraid it’s our only hope,” Severus said.
Harry nodded. He chewed his bottom lip for a moment, thinking. “We’ll go on as we have for now, then. But if I feel I can’t hang on anymore, or if I lose consciousness or something, then we will try the potion. What other choice do we have? We have to save this baby.”
Severus nodded. “If it comes to that, it will be safest to keep you in a magical coma until the baby is born. That way, you won’t be further physically depleted.”
Two months later, Harry doubted he could save himself, much less the baby. He was so exhausted it took all his energy to get to class. And his magic was so low he might as well have none. He waddled when he walked and spots were breaking out on his face, but at least his hair seemed tamer than it’d ever been. Hermione said it was the hormones.
Severus was being quite a gentleman, at least. Sure, Harry noticed how the man looked at him, desire nearly burning behind his eyes. But for Harry’s sake, and the baby’s, Severus hadn’t even mentioned sex since the night Harry had spent in his chambers. It was for the best, really, as Harry couldn’t even imagine sex right now. Not the way he felt. Not the way he looked.
Some days the only things that kept Harry going were those looks from Severus, and a tiny fist or foot swiping across the inside of his swollen belly. When the baby was most active, Harry would laugh and talk to his child, and for the moment, there was hope.
At least there had been no attempted attacks from Death Eaters. It looked like Severus’s concerns had no basis after all. Most of the reporters, however, were acting as Severus thought they might, like sharks in chum-filled waters. Even if he’d had the energy, Harry wouldn’t have dared visit Hogsmeade. Reports were that at least fifty reporters were camped out there, waiting for any news on Harry.
As for the other Hogwarts students, most of them took Harry’s pregnancy in stride. He’d always been different, after all. Girls, for the most part, tried to smother him, thinking he’d want to discuss every particular of the pregnancy. Most found out soon enough that wasn’t the case. The boys generally fell into two categories: those who looked at Harry as if he was a curious alien species, and those who saw Harry beyond the swell of his growing child.
Ron, of course, was one of the latter. He still treated Harry as his best mate, but had taken to helping with everything from casting spells to carrying books.
Harry was normally so exhausted he allowed the pampering.
Hermione barely studied, preferring instead to research prenatal magic with Madam Pomfrey. Unfortunately nothing they tried worked.
“You only need to hold on six more weeks, dear,” Madam Pomfrey assured during one of Harry’s check-ups in April. “By then the baby should be strong enough to be delivered.”
Harry nodded. It was easier to agree than to admit he was worn to the point of fraying.
Harry had let his guard down. Most of the Death Eaters had been captured, and those who were still on the run were fringe followers, those who didn’t show much devotion toward Voldemort, or weren’t strong enough magically to worry overmuch about.
So, when the attack came, it took Harry completely by surprise.
At least he was in the dungeons on his way to Potions. At the very least, he was close to Severus.
They had been guarding against an outsider breaking into Hogwarts. They had expected that if danger came, it would be in the form of a rogue Death Eater. They were ready for such occurrences. The Hogwarts wards were set to defend Harry against an outside enemy, not an inside threat.
So when a student, a younger student, a Ravenclaw student, attacked, it was completely unforeseen. Harry passed the fourth-year classes coming from Potions, paying them no more attention than he paid the portraits on the wall, when Orla Quirke stepped out of the line of students and leveled her wand at Harry. “We don’t need another all-powerful witch or wizard in this world!” she shrieked. “That baby cannot be allowed to be born.”
Ron shoved Harry behind him and drew his own wand. But before a spell could be cast, a streak of pale skin and blond hair flashed in front of Harry’s eyes, knocking Orla to the floor and wresting her wand from her hand. Harry’s heart stuttered in his chest, adrenaline caused his hands to shake. Before he could even think to calm his body and mind, the baby shifted violently and magic sizzled out from every pore of his body.
Harry’s head was spinning. He heard shouts and crying. He heard Malfoy barking out orders, but could make no sense of them. Children ran past, adding to Harry’s vertigo.
He sank to his knees. It took everything he had to keep consciousness. Ron turned to him, stooped, and grabbed his shoulders. “Harry! Come on, mate. You’ll be okay, really you will.”
Harry vaguely wondered how bad he must look for Ron to appear so frantic. He knew one thing for certain. He had no more energy and possibly no more magic. No way was he walking out of this hallway.
“I need Severus,” Harry rasped.
“Malfoy!” Ron called. “Malfoy, go get Professor Snape. Malfoy. Snape. Now!”
Malfoy’s voice carried to Harry. “Blaise, watch her. Don’t let her get up.”
Footsteps retreated down the corridor.
It seemed ages before Severus was kneeling next to Harry, wrapping him in his arms, and lifting him. “Mr. Weasley, run ahead and tell Madam Pomfrey what’s happened. Mr. Malfoy, Mr. Zabini, escort Miss Quirke to the Headmaster’s office. Carefully.”
Harry relaxed in Severus’s arms. He laid his head on his lover’s chest.
“I do believe there will be no question as to who fathered our baby after this, Harry,” Severus murmured. He began walking, his long strides eating up the distance between the dungeons and the Infirmary.
“I’d like everyone to know,” Harry said. “Does it bother you?”
Severus pulled Harry closer to his chest. He chuckled, the sound vibrating along Harry’s skin. “Who wouldn’t want to be known as Harry Potter’s paramour?”
“I’m more trouble than I’m worth, I think.”
Harry smiled. “We never talked about the future, Severus. We never even picked out names for the baby.”
Severus pushed through the Infirmary doors and followed Madam Pomfrey to a bed. He paused before he laid Harry down. “What names do you want?”
Harry pulled away from Severus’s chest so he could see his face. “Save this baby and you can name him or her anything you want. Deal?”
Severus lowered Harry to the bed. “It’s a deal, Mr. Potter.” Severus pulled his arms out from under Harry but remained leaning over the bed.
“I guess it’s time for me to go to sleep for a few weeks, huh?” Harry smiled weakly. He used the last of his energy to reach up and stroke Severus’s cheek. “Promise me you’ll do everything you can to save the baby.”
Severus leaned in further and kissed Harry chastely on the forehead. “I will.”
Madam Pomfrey came to stand on the opposite side of the bed from Severus. “I’m ready to cast the spell to put you in a coma, Harry. Are you prepared?”
“Almost.” He looked at Ron and Hermione, smiling lightly at them.
Ron shook his head and turned away.
Hermione wiped at her eyes with the back of her hand.
Harry flicked his gaze to Severus. “I realize this isn’t great timing, and maybe you’d rather not hear it, but I love you.”
“And I admit to being fond of you.”
Madam Pomfrey flicked her wand over Harry and incanted. Harry’s sight went first, darkening around the edges and then blinking out altogether. For a couple of seconds he could still hear, hear well enough to pick up Severus saying, “Sleep well,” and then he was gone.
VI. The Tie that Binds
His muscles were terribly stiff. He stretched his legs and then his arms. Everything felt heavy and unused. Harry wondered idly how long he’d been asleep. If it had been days, then the baby had most likely not survived. Weeks, and there was hope. He tried to open his eyes, but they weren’t ready to work, so instead he focused on his other senses. He smelled antiseptic and heard a nearby rustling. Further away was a murmur of voices.
When he shifted to bring feeling back to his bum, Harry realized how light his midsection felt. His heart thumped. Slowly he reached a hand to his stomach. So it was really over. Of course, he’d known it was, but still… for better or worse, he was no longer pregnant.
He tried to take a deep breath, but it was cut off by a weight pressing against his chest.
“Perhaps this is what you are looking for, Harry.” Severus’s voice came from above him.
Harry wrenched his eyes open, it seemed to take ages for them to focus, but he knew what was lying warm and heavy on his chest even before his vision cleared. “The baby,” he breathed. “Severus, you saved the baby!”
Severus chuckled. “Harry, meet our son, Tiberius Ceasar Prince.”
Harry’s sight had cleared. Severus lifted the baby enough so Harry could get a good look at the boy. Tiberius was raven-haired with pale, creamy skin. His eyes were still baby blue. Harry wondered if they’d turn emerald or ebon. His mouth was shaped like Severus’s, but his nose, thank Merlin, was Harry’s. With a weak, shaky hand, Harry caressed the baby’s cheek. “We made a beautiful baby, Severus.” He reached up and mimicked his actions on his lover, running a hand gently down Severus’s face. “But, Tiberius Prince? No Snape? No Potter?”
Severus raised one eyebrow. “You did give me permission to name him, did you not?”
Harry nodded. “But I expected he’d at least have one of our surnames. Why Prince?”
“Potter is famous, Snape infamous. Neither would lend itself to a normal childhood.”
Tiberius fussed. Severus picked him up and tucked him into the crook of one arm. The baby calmed.
Harry felt a stab of envy. Tiberius knew Severus, not Harry. Severus held the baby tenderly, but hadn’t so much as touched Harry. “You two look pretty comfortable together. How long ago was he born? How long was I asleep?”
Severus placed a hand lightly on Tiberius’s chest and sat on the bed. “Seven weeks. We kept you in the coma for seven weeks, Harry. Tiberius was born eight days ago. We didn’t wake you immediately as we hoped, with rest, you would regain your magic. You have.”
“And Tiberius? Does he have his magic?”
“In spades.” Severus grimaced. “I believe we’ll have our hands full with this one.”
Harry smiled. He remembered what else Severus had told him. “Wow. Seven weeks, huh? So much must have happened while I was out…”
“Well, we did have a child.”
“Obviously.” Harry struggled to sit up, managing to push onto his elbows. “But what about us? Is there still an us?”
Severus’s brow furrowed. “I certainly assume an us. Did we not confess our feelings?”
“Yes, I believe I said love and you came back with fondness.”
“Ah… I see. I will append my declaration to deep fondness, then.”
Harry knew he probably couldn’t expect a more sentimental statement from the man. “You… you haven’t touched me since I woke up.”
Severus’s eyes momentarily widened. He smirked. Leaning in toward Harry, he placed his free hand on Harry’s chest and a kiss on his lips. “If you had your strength, I would give Tiberius over to the care of Miss Granger, and ravish you right now,” he murmured.
When Severus pulled away, Harry flopped back down on the bed. “That’s more like it, then. But, where do we go from here?”
Severus stood and bounced Tiberius lightly on his arm. “As soon as you are strong enough, I will take you to my chambers… to our chambers. We will remain at Hogwarts, of course, raising our child.”
“So we’ll be a real family, then?” Harry knew his grin was goofy, but he really didn’t care.
“Indeed. In fact, I believe we should bond next week.” Severus raised an eyebrow as if in challenge. “We will both take the surname Prince, as sharing a last name will benefit our son.”
Harry’s mind was having trouble keeping up with the conversation. It was too much to process so soon. “Bonded?” he finally blurted. “But neither of us even proposed. I’m still in school!”
Severus’s lips pressed into a thin line. “I assumed when you professed your love, you wouldn’t be averse to being bonded.”
“I’m not! It’s just… oh hell.” Harry scrabbled for the right words before finally hitting on them. He smiled. “Severus, would you do me the honor of becoming my husband after I finish Hogwarts?”
Severus let out a breath. “Indeed, I would.” He unsheathed his wand and cast wards on the curtains surrounding Harry’s bed. Then, with one arm, he pulled Harry up to sitting and balanced him until he could settle in behind his lover. Finally, when he was sitting against the headboard of the bed, he pulled Harry to his chest and placed the baby over Harry’s heart, encircling them both in his arms.
Harry smiled as Tiberius squirmed against him. He closed his eyes, ready to sink back into sleep. “Tiberius is such a big name. I’ll call him ‘Tie.’”
As Harry drifted back to sleep, his intended strong against his back and his child warm on his chest, he heard Severus mutter, “Where were we, Tiberius? Oh yes… Mandrake root is a powerful restorative…”