Title: Echoes

Author: Cosmic

Email: bananacosmicgirl@hotmail.com

Disclaimers: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by J.K. Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

Rating: PG-13 for one swearword and a bit of snogging

Pairing: HP/SS

Summary: "The cries of a young child echoed through the corridors." Snape has a daughter but few know the secret behind her existence. Harry is confused and Hermione decides to step in.

Warnings: Slash, Mpreg

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Echoes

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Chapter one: Sandra Mirari

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The cries of a young child echoed through the corridors.

Up until a year ago, students would have turned around in surprise at the sound, but by now, everyone was used to it. They knew who was crying and they also knew that the child would stop crying soon, as soon as her father picked her up. Instead they continued walking down the hallways, chattering happily between themselves. No one even bothered to look up when Potions Master Severus Snape strode down the hallways with a baby in his arms.

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Minerva McGonagall

Looking back, I can remember when he showed the first signs of being pregnant. He didn't know back then, at least I don't believe he did. None of us on the staff would ever have been able to guess – after all, he is a male. We do live in a magical world, but the ways to conceive are, usually, the same the Muggles do it.

It was right after Voldemort's defeat.

I should start by saying this: None of us, neither on the staff nor of the students, ever believed that Severus was ever a happy person. When Voldemort had been defeated, we didn't think he would suddenly start smiling at students, nor did we think that he would stop favouring the Slytherins (which I am most aware that he does). But we didn't think that it would get worse.

Oh, how wrong we were.

Looking back at it, I think that it was obvious that it was the mood swings that accompany any pregnancy. At the time, though, I was barely even aware that there was such a thing as male pregnancy.

The memory that stands out the most is, as I said in the beginning, when the idea of pregnancy first hit me.

We were having a staff meeting – or at least that was what we were supposed to be doing. Of course the Albus, being the person that he is, refused to start the meeting until all of the staff was present. And for the first time since Severus began teaching at Hogwarts, he was late.

When he finally did stride into the room, his robes billowing as they always do behind him, he looked pale and rather sickly. No one would ever try to mother Severus, but at that instant, I wanted to. Of course, he made us all forget that particular idea very quickly.

"What are you all staring at?" he snapped, his glare boring into our skulls.

"Sit down, Severus," said the Headmaster, his tone calm but cheerful. I'm not sure if it's possible, but that twinkle in his eyes was even stronger when he eyed the Potions Professor.

Severus' glare landed on me. I only raised an eyebrow in response. I was long since used to the way he acted and thought that the others should be used to it as well. Some of them were – Hooch had never been afraid of Severus – but others – the newcomer of the year, Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher Daray Ganit, for example – shrank back, shaking like a leaf and looking like a student rather than a fellow Professor.

Severus continued to stare at us until we all turned to the Headmaster instead. I cannot recall what we were speaking about; I've been to too many meetings in my career at Hogwarts.

I do remember, however, that I glanced over at Severus every now and then. He looked – odd. An urge to ask if something was wrong came over me, but I wisely fought it back. If I had asked, I would only have gotten a biting remark back, interrupting the meeting in the process. Perhaps the latter wouldn't have been so bad, as it was about to get interrupted anyway, but still.

Severus suddenly shot up from his chair, his face ghostly white – he was pale to begin with, but now he looked like death – and mumbled, "Excuse me," after which he ran out of the room in the direction of the bathroom.

The meeting was cancelled and the Headmaster told us all that we were through for the evening. We all knew the way he spoke meant that we should not ask about what was going on. Either we would find out when the time was right, or we would not.

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"Hush."

No one who knew the Potions Professor would have thought it possible for him to speak so softly. But in the safety of his chambers, Severus could speak in whatever tone pleased him. If he wanted to get his daughter to quiet down, he would have to be gentle; he'd learned as much after nine plus months with her.

She did stop crying and very quickly at that. She was never one for never-ending screaming sessions, at least not as long as her father was there with her.

One of her fathers, at least, the Potions Master thought grimly.

The baby fell asleep in his arms, exhausted from a day spent in the classroom with him. He couldn't very well leave her alone in the dungeons during the day. Sometimes he would leave her with Madame Pomfrey, the school's nurse, and other times Minerva or Hooch would take her, but usually, she just got to come with her father to class. She was normally a quiet child and if she fussed, he would let the class read or get them started on whatever potion they were working on. She didn't fuss very often – she'd learnt that her father didn't like it.

Sandra Mirari Snape.

His daughter.

How had it come to be this way? He didn't know – well, all right, he did know how it had happened, but then there were those other questions. Why? And yet again, how? Why had the result of one night been this little miracle before him?

He put her down in her crib. Sandra found her thumb and began sucking greedily.

~~~~~

Hermione Granger

I remember when I first found out that Snape was pregnant. I had seen the signs for weeks – months, even, I guess – but I didn't really want to see it, just like the rest of the school seemed, and seems, to be blind to the obvious.

He'd gained weight. I guess that should have been the very first signal that something weird was going on. Still, with Voldemort's defeat still pretty close in our minds, we didn't pay much attention. Perhaps he'd been eating better lately, 'cause he didn't get fat – he only "filled out" a bit more. Less sallow skin, more colour… more health, I guess.

He always wears robes; big, billowing robes. Those robes are as much trademarked Snape as his Glare is. Robes are very good at hiding anything and everything you want hidden, whether it be your wand or your body re-forming. The latter was, obviously, what happened to Snape, but none of the students could see it. I'm guessing he also used some sort of spell – perhaps a Notice-Me-Not spell on his stomach, or a hiding spell? I'll have to go look it up… It would be interesting to –

Anyway. None of us noticed.

I know that there were strange rumours going around school at the time, saying that the Professor was sick. He would suddenly turn very pale during class and excuse them all early – something he never did unless it was a class with only Slytherins.

I didn't believe any of the rumours. I had no reason to do so. Well, at least not until that class…

It was the middle of April, a nice and sunny day everywhere but in the dungeons. Snape was teaching us a potion that would, if done correctly, turn your hair red and give you freckles.

"No need to give it to Weasley," Draco Malfoy sniggered as he heard what the potion was supposed to do. Harry and Ron both glared at him. I put a calming hand on Ron's and then I turned my attention back to the Professor.

He was walking around the classroom as we started on the potions, reminding us in his usual biting style not to forget to add the Ivoideroot before the Bayardhairs. I was paired with Neville Longbottom, whilst Harry and Ron worked together. 

"Potter!" I heard Snape say in that unpleasant tone of voice that he adapted whenever he was around the Boy Who Defeated Voldemort. "Do you think you are going to be able to walk through life without even the most basic knowledge of potions, just because you are famous?"

I saw Harry grit his teeth, but answer, "No, sir."

"Then why are you adding the Braith without making it a powder first?"

"I –" Harry began, but then wisely stopped.

"Twenty points from Gryffindor, Potter, and see to it that the rest is correct or you'll lose another fifty," Snape snarled at him before continuing his stride down the aisle.

If it were at all possible, Snape had been acting even more horribly towards Harry since Voldemort's defeat. He couldn't so much as look at Harry without some nasty remark.

I had lost myself in thought for a brief minute; something one should never do when paired with Neville. I only heard Snape's cry of, "No, don't add that –" before the explosion had happened. Green and red flames shot up three or four feet in the air from the cauldron Neville and I had been working on, before the cauldron shattered. Pieces of clay shot through the air and all I could do was to pull Snape – who was standing right next to me at the time – down with me as I dove for cover on the floor.

We landed with an, "Oof!"

The room was filled with green smoke when I picked myself off the ground. The Professor lay still, not moving at all. For a moment, I was afraid the man was dead. Then I heard him moan.

I turned to my shocked classmates – although why they were still shocked after all the times similar accidents had happened in, I couldn't understand.

"Is he – is he okay?" Neville asked. He was covered with green and red soot.

"I think so," I replied, "But go up to the Hospital Wing and tell Madame Pomfrey anyway."

Neville nodded and fled. I turned to the rest of the class and told them that they could go. Malfoy glared at me, but then he shrugged and left as well, his two big thugs close behind him. I found out later that he already knew what I was about to find out. He told me that if he'd stayed, it would have looked suspicious to the others. Besides, Crabbe and Goyle didn't know, and still don't, as far as I know.

Ron and Harry were still there though, just like I expected them to be. On the ground, Snape was waking up, but he still didn't seem completely coherent. He kept running his hand over his stomach and mumbling to himself. I remember wondering if he'd hit his head and gotten a concussion.

I bent down next to him. "Professor?" I asked.

He didn't seem to hear me, only mumbled, "It's not moving… it's not there… I can't feel it… It's not moving…" It was barely more than a whisper and I only heard it because I was so close to him. Harry and Ron stood like question marks above me.

"What's up with him?" Ron asked but I barely heard him.

Suddenly, all the pieces of the puzzle came together and I realized what was wrong with my Potions Professor. All the things fit together perfectly well, except of course the how, but that was the least of my worries at the moment.

Snape was telling me that he couldn't feel the baby anymore.

"He's probably hit his head a bit," I told Ron. I don't know why I lied to him that first time, but I did. There was something about the whole situation that told me that Snape didn't want anyone to know that he was pregnant. I wasn't about to be the one who made the whole school – and inevitably the whole Wizarding world – aware of the fact. 

"Should we do something?" Harry asked me. There was a note of worry to his voice.

"I sent Neville to the Hospital Wing to get Madame Pomfrey," I replied to him. "She should be here any –" there was a pop and the nurse stepped out of the fire "– minute."

Madame Pomfrey conjured up a stretcher and placed the semi-conscious teacher on it. "I told him this would happen," she muttered under her breath. "But did he listen? No. He just had to continue…"

She was just about to leave the same way she came when she turned to me. "Ms Granger, please come up to the Hospital Wing as soon as you can." She looked over at my two best friends. "Alone."

"Yes, Madame Pomfrey," I answered obediently.

Ten minutes later, I was in the Infirmary. I would have been there sooner, if Harry and Ron hadn't insisted on coming. They wanted to tell Madame Pomfrey that I wasn't the one responsible for the accident. I told them that I would be fine. I expected that Madame Pomfrey didn't ask me to come because she thought I was responsible.

I was right.

Headmaster Dumbledore was in the Infirmary as well. He called me in to one of the smaller, private rooms. Madame Pomfrey was still tending to Professor Snape.

"Ms Granger, please sit down," Dumbledore said to me.

I did.

"I expect you know now," the Headmaster continued. I always wondered how it was possible for him to sound so serious and yet so happy, at the same time.

"If you are talking about Professor Snape being pregnant, then yes, I came to that conclusion in the classroom," I said, hoping that my assumption was correct. If it weren't, the Headmaster would certainly get a good laugh at my expense.

The Headmaster didn't laugh. He only nodded slowly at me.

"I trust you to keep this secret safe?"

I nodded, knowing now that lying to Ron and Harry had been the right thing to do. "Yes, sir," I said.

"Good," replied Dumbledore. "You may return to class now."

"Professor?" I asked. "May I ask – is the baby all right?"

The Headmaster smiled and his eyes twinkled in that Dumbledore-ish way. "The baby is fine," he replied. I smiled and made my way out of the Hospital Wing.

Just outside the room where they kept Snape, I stopped briefly, curiosity getting the better of me. The door was open, but Madame Pomfrey was standing with her back against me and Snape seemed to be sleeping. The spells to keep anyone from seeing Snape's pregnant belly had been taken off and I saw the quite impressive swelling.

He looks about to burst, I thought, before I continued out.

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To be continued…

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