Author's Note: Okay, so I made a correction here. I got the name of Percy's fiancée wrong. Pps, but, you know, it's been a while . . .
Baby, Oh Baby!
"You know, you're a real piece of work," Harry commented lightly as he tossed several empty Chinese food boxes into the trash. Just a few minutes earlier, Hermione and Ron had finally gone back to their own home, but only after devouring half the food that Harry had ordered. Now Harry and Severus were left to clean up the mess. Harry didn't really mind—he was still a bit high from receiving the approval of his two best friends, and was in a pretty good mood.
"Am I now?" Severus replied with an eyebrow raised. He leaned back on the counter and sipped his tea nonchalantly, secretly admiring the way the younger man's jeans fit his backside. "Is it my fault that it is so easy to embarrass you in front of your friends?"
Harry didn't answer. "What have you got planned for Ron's dinner?" he asked instead, suspicion rampant in his voice. He was still surprised that Severus had volunteered himself to spend an evening with a pack of Weasley children and Sirius and Remus.
The older man managed to look as innocent as a newborn baby. How, Harry had no idea. "Ms. Granger said she wanted entertainment . . ."
Harry gave him a look. "You mean Mrs.Weasley."
Severus snickered. "After five years of teaching that boy, and from what I witnessed here today . . . I honestly cannot imagine why she would do such a thing to herself."
"Severus! I swear . . . any of that at Ron's party and I'll kick your ass six ways till Sunday," Harry warned as he began to hand wash the dishes. "I'm serious."
"Six ways till Sunday? Idle threats, Mr. Potter will do you no good," he practically purred.
That voice . . . "Idle?" Harry scoffed, forcing back a shiver and telling himself to remain focused. "The Weasley's are practically my family, so you'd better be on your best behavior. No more noodle stunts! I'm warning you." Harry launched a handful of soap suds in Severus' direction and laughed with they landed on the other man's head. "Is the soap trying to tell you something about your hair?"
Severus scowled. "Oh, you think that's funny?"
With just an evil look from Snape, Snitch-shaped bubbles began flying from Harry's mouth and buzzing around the room. He let out a squeak and covered his mouth . . . which just caused them to pop out of his ears and smaller ones from his nose. Harry's eyes grew big before narrowing into a glare.
Severus just chuckled and placed his cup of tea on the counter before approaching Harry. He took Harry's hands from his mouth and replaced them with his lips.
Harry's knees went momentarily week from both surprise and the tenderness of the kiss. He stumbled back a bit, but found that Severus' hand was there to support him. Snape moved closer and used his tongue to ask for entrance into Harry's mouth; it was instantly granted. The older man's hands wondered down to Harry's backside, which he cupped and squeezed. He growled softly, pleased to find it as nice as he'd imagined.
Harry was so lost in the kiss that he didn't notice Severus' free hand reaching into the soapy water, finding a glass full of the sudsy liquid and lifting it from the sink. His focus instantly returned, though, when Severus quickly stepped back and the glassful of cold soap water was dumped over his head. Harry let out a shriek and went after Snape, who was busy making a hasty exit from the kitchen.
Neither man noticed as the Snitch bubbles floating around the room turned into hearts with wings before popping in a brilliant explosion of sparkling pink and red dust.
"Look at this! Just look at this! We are never disappearing like that again, do you hear me, Sirius?" Remus stared at the pyramid of parchment that sat haphazardly on his kitchen table, hesitantly to breathe too heavily from the fear that the owl letters would come crashing down the other floor.
His entire house was a mess. Evidently, without anyone around to receive the letter, many of the owls had taken it upon themselves to either fly around the house in search of a human or take up temporary residence wherever they saw fit. Whichever choice they'd taken, the end result was the littering of bird droppings and feathers all over the place.
"Shoo! Shoo!" Sirius waved some lingering birds away. "Found one from Harry. The clean version of it basically says 'contact me when you get this or else.' One's from Ron. We're invited to a party!"
"Great," said Remus. "Let's go contact Harry before we find out what 'or else' means."
The two went into the living room and sat before the fireplace. A minute later they saw Harry's head in the flames, and he looked less than happy.
"Oh! Ahh, Harry, is this a bad time?" Remus asked hesitantly.
Harry's face lit up instantly. "Remus! Sirius! Where the hell have you two been?"
"We just took . . . an impromptu vacation," said Sirius quickly, grinning devilishly. "We'll tell you all about it later."
"You'd better. It was very irresponsible of you to just go off without a word, you know," Harry chastised lightly. "I was worried."
"Sorry Harry," replied Remus, seeing the genuine concern on Harry's face. It had been a bad thing for them to do, to just run off without letting anyone know, especially no that trouble appeared to be stirring again.
"What happened to you?" Sirius demanded. "You look all wet."
Harry laughed, amusement replacing worry. "Oh . . . oh, yeah. That was Severus, acting like a child, that's all." Seeing that Sirius was getting upset, and was about to question him about Snape, he changed the question. "You guys are back in time to go to Hermione and Ron's party. Are you going?"
"Sure, we'll be there," said Remus.
"Good, because . . ." Harry looked a little nervous. "Because I'll be making a very important announcement there, and I only want to have to say it once."
Remus and Sirius shared a look, and the same thought. "It must be about the baby," Remus whispered. Sirius nodded.
"What are you two whispering about?"
"Oh, nothing. Sirius and I also have something that we need to say."
". . . uh, okay." Now Harry was insanely curious about what the couple was to reveal the following night. Maybe some clarification on the reason they vanished without a word to anyone? "So . . . I'll see you later, then."
"Of course." Once Harry was gone, Remus lay back on the floor and stared at the ceiling with a sigh, his mind preoccupied with Harry and his baby plans. "So Harry's done it. Snape's going to let him have the baby. I was so sure . . ." He glanced over at Sirius, who had a strange look on his face. His mouth was twitching ever so slightly, as if he were holding back something. "I'm surprised that you don't have something to say about this."
". . . well . . ." was all Sirius managed to say as he tried to keep a straight face.
Remus regarded him suspiciously. "You're okay with this?"
"Well, then, what are you going to do? I'm not going to let you ruin Ron's party by exploding at Harry, so you'll just have to wait and speak to him in private. You'd better be on your best behave—what is wrong with you?" Remus demanded as Sirius dissolved into a fit of giggles.
"I'm laughing because . . ."
". . . because if I don't, then I'll scream!"
Once Harry was dry and felt that he'd properly reprimanded Severus for his childish stunt, it was off to Diagon Alley for a bit of shopping, much to the older man's dismay. Snape would have returned to his dungeons and left the boy to his own devices but for two things— the obvious being the nagging threat of a Death Eater uprising and possible attack in the near future, and the other . . .
"I'm satisfied with what you've done with the place, but I definitely think the place needs a bit of Harry-fying," Harry said cheerfully, internally laughing at the horrified look on Severus' face.
. . . and the other was that he would not allow Harry to buy anything gaudy to put in his home.
Maybe . . . but just thinking about that possibility made his head hurt. He'd consider that a little later.
"If you call what you did with your apartment 'Harry-fying,' then I think I can live without it, thank you very much," said Snape.
So despite his desires to return home, Severus accompanied the younger man. The sun was beginning to set and the Alley's shopkeepers were beginning to light their store, but despite the advancing time the streets were thick with shoppers. Severus was sure now that he'd made the right choice— with so may people around, one could never be too careful.
Harry poked Severus in his soft spot and grinned as Snape's face contorted as he attempted to suppress a batch of giggles. "Let's go in there," he said, pointing to a store selling home accents.
Out of the corner of his eye, Severus spotted the lights in Gringotts spring to life, and with them, an idea formed in his head. One side of his mouth lifted up and he turned away from the store and faced the bank. "Gringotts first."
"Oh, don't worry, I have mon--"
"I have something I need to do. Come on."
Curious, Harry followed him into the bank without another word and up to one of the goblin tellers. Was he going to get a chance to see Severus' vault? The one that contained enough riches to rival the Malfoy's?
"I need to get into my vault, please," Severus said, producing the key.
The goblin looked it over, eyed him carefully and nodded. "Right this way."
This time, when Harry moved to follow him, Severus shook his head. "You stay here."
Harry frowned. "But you made such a big deal about coming to Diagon Alley with me! I--"
"Ah, there's Mr. Weasley. I believe he can keep an eye on you."
Harry looked behind him and indeed, Bill Weasley was making his way over to him. "Bill! What a surprise! How long has it been?"
"Too long," the red-headed man replied with a grin, giving Harry a hug. "What are you up to?"
"Oh, Severus wanted to stop in for something—where did he go?" Harry turned back around to find that the potion's master was already gone without him. "Damn! Sneaky bastard!"
Bill shook his head, concerned. "I've been hearing a lot about you and Snape lately . . . most of it I'm hoping isn't true."
Harry grew defensive. "I like Severus. He's not that bad."
A bushy eyebrow rose. "Not that bad? Do you hear yourself?"
"You just don't understand. No one does," Harry replied softly, staring down at the floor.
"Understand what? This infatuation you have with Snape?"
"Anything about me!"
Bill winced, aware that the younger man was close to either boiling over with rage or breaking down into tears, neither of which he was eager to see. He'd heard about Harry's infamous temper too many times to count, and crying people made him nervous. "Okay, I'm sorry!" he said hurriedly, awkwardly patting Harry on the back. "I mean, if he's what you want . . . although I can't imagine why you'd want him, then I suppose . . ." Bill gave him a weak smile. "Just, er, don't tell my mother I said that."
Harry laughed and smiled. "Thanks, I won't mention it, I promise. So . . . I'll see you tomorrow night at the party?"
"Of course. I wouldn't miss out on the chance to watch little Ronniekins squirm."
"Neither would I." Harry looked around, then down at his watch. What on earth was Severus doing in his vault? "Say, when Severus comes out, tell him I went to that store. He'll know what I mean."
"Sure. Tomorrow then."
Bill watched as Harry left. Why did he get the feeling that there was much more going on than he was aware of?
"So I'll assume, by the sound of your voice, that things didn't go too well with Draco," Harry said sympathetically as he charmed his cell phone to float near his ear. Shopping, he found, was a lot easier with two hands, especially when everyone was competing to grab the best merchandise before it was all gone.
"No," Oliver moped on the other end. "Apparently, I've done something wrong according to him, and apparently it has something to do with you."
"Damn, doesn't everything?" Harry snatched the last bundle of luxurious, blood red silk bed sheets from beneath the nose of an elderly witch who'd been eyeing them. He gave her an apologetic smile. She glared back. "What'd I do now?"
"How the hell should I know? I mean, it's not like I told him I wanted you to join us in bed or anything."
Harry blushed and ducked behind some floating tapestries. "Merlin, Oliver, I should hope not!" As a group of giggling young witches approached, eyeing him as much as they were eyeing the tapestries, he quickly moved away, scooting over to a shelf of vases.
"Where are you anyway? It's pretty loud . . ."
"In Diagon Alley, getting some stuff to liven up Severus' place a bit . . ." Opps! "Er . . . um, just forget I said that, okay?"
". . . wait . . . fuck, you're living with the snarky bastard?" Oliver demanded.
"Ah, well . . ."
"I'll just take that as a yes. Harry . . ."
"We're not talking about me. We're talking about you and how you screwed up with Draco," Harry reminded Oliver in a sweet (but fake) voice.
Oliver swore. "How serious are you two getting? Don't tell me you're sleeping with him."
"Oliver, you can't ell me what to do," Harry said angrily. He set the sheet set on top of a pile of books sp that he could pretend to wring someone's neck with his fists. "I'm tire of everyone telling me what to do, that I can't do this, or that, and-- hey! Get back here!" Harry watched helplessly as the old woman he'd snubbed earlier grabbed the sheets and ran off into the crowd.
Harry was ready to start ranting again when someone came up behind him and plucked the phone from the air. He whirled around, ready to fight, but instead squeaked. "Oh, Severus . . ."
The man glared down at him and put the phone to his ear. "Listen, here, Mr. Wood. I put up with enough of you at Hogwarts and I do not appreciate the that way you continuously try to interfere in my personal affairs--"
"AFFAIR?!" Oliver bellowed, instantly misunderstanding the word.
Severus smirked. If the foolish boy was dumb enough to take the word out of context, why not have a little fun? "Yes, affair," he purred. Next to him, Harry gapped, a chill racing up his spine. That was one voice he'd like for Severus to use more often . . .
"Now leave Harry alone, and mind your own damn business!" With a wave of his wand, the phone disappeared.
"Oi! I paid a good amount of money for that, you know," Harry said crossly. He was still ticked at both Bill and Oliver for treating him like a child, and was therefore most certainly not in the mood.
Severus could see this and, much to the surprise of both of them, he placed a hand on Harrry's cheek, the touch gentle and brief. "It'll be back in a few hours," he assured the younger man. "Did you find anything?"
This sudden and unexpected public display of affection startled Harry. He placed his own hand on the very spot that Severus had touched. "No . . . some old lady stole the most luxurious sheets I've ever seen right from under my nose . . ." Harry pouted.
"Poor thing," Severus muttered sarcastically. "Come on, let's go home."
Harry smiled, realizing that home was now with Severus. The thought both pleased and frightened him. He had no illusions about domestic life with Severus Snape—it wouldn't be a walk in the park by any means, but to finally be able to have a family of his own . . . any troubles would be more than worth it.
"Yes, let's go home."
Oliver scowled down at his phone as the signal went dead. "Fuck," he muttered, burying his head in his hands. Harry was getting himself into a world of trouble by involving himself with the former Death Eater, and there didn't seem to be anything that he could do to stop him from ruining his life.
"Fuck," he said again, this time with more passion.
Then there was this whole issue with Draco he had to sort out, too. What had he done that made the blond so upset? It was driving him up the wall. With few clues from the blond himself (just that it had something to do with Harry), how could he possibly figure out what his error had been and fix it?
He would have to take care of the Draco problem first. The longer he let it go without any resolution, the worse things would get.
So a few minutes later he found himself standing outside of Draco's house again. He looked around, this time really taking in his surroundings and was amazed at how . . . well, Muggle everything looked. A regular house made of brick on an ordinary block of houses built in a similar fashion, a fancy sports car in the driveway, normal looking plants. . .
Not like Draco Malfoy at all, Oliver thought, going up to the door and knocking. He shifted his weight nervously as he waited for someone to answer the door.
What the hell was he doing? He had no game plan, no idea of what he was going to say when he came face to face with the other man. He couldn't let things happen the way they did the last time, or else he'd never get anything out of the other man.
No, he had to approach the situation gently and cautiously—
The door opened.
Oliver stared. "Who the fuck are you?"
"Really, Ron, you should've told me that your mother turned into a Nazi when it comes to these sort of things!" Hermione hissed at her husband as they began to set the table together in preparation for that night's dinner. "Then I wouldn't have asked her to help us set up."
Ron, still groggy and angry from being yanked off of the couch and out of his peaceful slumber just minutes before by his mother, gave her a glare. "And just where were you when we planned our wedding? Oh, wait, you were one with her! I guess you wouldn't know."
Hermione placed the last plate on the end of the table with a sight. "You know, I'm not quite sure how I feel about being bossed around inside my own home. The party isn't for hours, and she's already got us slaving away, cleaning the place up and everything. Can't you do something?"
Ron gave her and incredulous look as he jammed a bunch of roses he'd conjured up into a crystal vase. "Why would she listen to anything I have to say? Although, technically, I shouldn't have to lift a finger since this party is being thrown for me, you know."
"You, Ronald Weasley, should be throwing this party on behalf of your brother," Molly chastised as she came into the room with her wand out. She eyed the table settings and gave a sharp nod. "Good. Hermione dear, you set an extra place at the table."
"Oh, no, Harry's bringing . . ." Hermione drifted off, pursing her lips and looking anywhere but directly at Molly. Ron began to snicker.
"Bringing whom?" Molly demanded.
Ron laughed, no longer tying to hide it. "A guest, mum. A very . . . special guest.
". . . oh. Oh! Is it that nice young man, Oliver Wood? He's such a wonderful young man. I wish Harry would consider him."
Hermione sighed and shot her husband a harmless jinx, which he easily dodged as he continued to laugh. "Ron, I swear, one of these days I'm going to tell Harry that you were the one who spread that rumor about him and Oliver!"
"Rumor? What rumor?" he replied innocently. "Besides, I was just looking out for his best interests. He was supposed to fall for the guy, okay?"
Molly was curious. "Then who's his date?"
Hermione smiled at the way 'guest' had turned into 'date.' "It's a surprise." Payback for making them slave away! She glanced at her husband who, she could see, was having similar thoughts. Ron must be rubbing off on me.
"You'll just have to wait and see."
The door opened.
Oliver stared. "Who the fuck are you?"
A tall, muscular blonde attractive man, but most definitely NOT Draco, stood in the doorway frowning at him . . . with just a tiny towel around his waist. At first Oliver was quite angry that Draco was . . . entertaining another man so soon after their argument, but as he examined the stranger a more closely, Oliver realized that he could see a bit of Draco in the man's face. A relative?
Oliver relaxed a bit. Yes, a relative. Not . . . a boyfriend.
"And just 'oo are you?" the stranger asked in a thick French accent.
"I . . . ah, I'm here to see Draco. I'm a business associate," Oliver neatly fibbed.
The man looked confused, scratching his head. "Ah, okay. Come in, I will go and get 'im."
Oliver stepped into the house, closing the door behind him. He watched as the French man went up the stairs and into a room, leaving him alone downstairs.
Once again, the place's interior was quite normal, gleaming hardwood floors, modern style furniture and, what Oliver found strange, on the wall hung paintings in which everything was stationary. Except for the faint smell of boiling potions ingredients that lingered in the air, everything was completely ordinary-- he wouldn't have guessed that a wizard lived there.
"Oh, it's you," Draco said dully as he came down the stairs, suspicion in his eyes. "What do you want?"
"Who was that?" Oliver asked, trying to keep any hint of jealousy out of his voice. "The French bloke, I mean."
Draco rolled his eyes and crossed his arms over his chest. "Just my favorite cousin that I like to screw when it suits me. What do you want?"
Oliver chose to ignore the screwing part, deciding that it was by no means true and was only said to piss him off. Or so he hoped. "I think we should talk. I really, really, really do not know what I did wrong that night. I'm sorry, I was a bit drunk."
"And that's supposed to excuse what you did?" Draco asked crossly, sitting down on the bottom step.
"Well, I—hell, did I hurt you or something?" asked Oliver, truly perplexed.
Draco studied him for a while before answering softly, "Not physically, no."
Draco just stared blankly.
Now Oliver was getting mad. Why was he the only one here making an effort to fix the problem? "Will you just work with me here? I'm trying to find out what I did so that I can apologize, damn it! And I'm telling you the truth that I don't remember doing anything wrong that night!"
Still the blank stare.
"Merlin's balls, what the hell did I do, scream out Harry's name?"
The narrowing of Draco's eyes spoke volumes. Oliver paled.
When the first guests began to arrive twenty minutes after the time listed on the invitation, Molly hurried to the front door and was there before Hermione could even get up from the sofa in the living room where she sat with Ron and his father.
All day Molly had been contemplating the identity of Harry's mystery guest. If not Oliver, Harry's supposed sweetheart, then whom? Of course, Ron, who apparently had nothing better to do with his day (he could've been at work earning his promotion, she'd pointed out), found it a good idea to tease her with the bit of information that she desired. She smacked him on the back of the head every time he teased her. He just laughed.
Molly eagerly opened the door, hoping that it was Harry.
"Oh, it's just you," she said out of disappointment.
"Gee, nice to see you too, mum," George said with a grin. "I could go home, you know, if I'm not welcome . . ." He sounded hopeful.
Molly gave an exasperated sigh and yanked him into the house. "Oh, just get in here!" She shut the door behind him.
Hermione came into the foyer to greet her guest. "Hullo, George."
She gave a startled yelp as the twin swept her up in his arms and hugged her, spinning her around. "Hermione! It's amazing how you manage to look so gorgeous despite all of those extra pounds you've gained!" exclaimed George sweetly.
"I ought to--!"
He just giggled as he dodged Hermione's fist.
"Oi, where's Fred?" Ron asked as he joined them.
"Fred? Fred? Why do I always have to be with Fred?" George asked, sounding offended. "What, are we--"
"—joined at the hip or something?" finished Fred as he Apparated into the room. "Hello, dear family. Well, George and I, the most important guests tonight, have arrived, so now the party can start! Where's everyone else?"
Hermione gave them a satisfied look. "Actually, you two are the first to arrive."
The twins looked stricken and devastated. Hermione and Ron shared a laugh.
Molly pursed her lips. "G o and sit with your father, you two! Shoo!"
The young adults shuffled back into the living room, leaving Molly to tend to the door.
After a few minutes, more and more Weasleys began to trickle in—Bill and Charlie appeared together, Percy next with his fiancé, then Ginny followed by Sirius and Remus.
However, Harry and his mystery guest were nowhere to be found.
"I say we start without him," Fred declared to the rest of the group. "I'm starving."
George nodded and sent his younger brother a sympathetic look. "He's probably too busy snogging Oliver Wood to show up. Sorry Ron, I guess getting a bit of arse is more important than friendship."
Just then there was a knock at the door. Molly jumped to her feet and was there in a flash. She could hear voices on the other side before she even opened it.
"I can't believe we're an hour late! You promised Hermione that you'd have me here on time and-" That, she could tell, was Harry.
"Oh, so this is my fault? I think most certainly think not." That voice . . . smooth, silky, sarcastic . . . she knew that voice!
Molly yanked open the door and there stood Harry with Severus Snape, of all people, at his side.
"Harry! Severus . . . what a surprise," she said, not knowing to make of their appearance together.
The two came in, Harry looking flustered, his face pink. Severus, however was just as cool as ever, his own face blank.
As Molly took their cloaks, she gave Harry a warm, motherly smile which he returned. "You look good dear. Your shirt is very nice. Is it new?"
Severus snickered rather loudly, causing Harry's face to light up even more. "Um, yes, it is new. Thanks. I am so sorry Mrs. Weasley," Harry gushed apologetically. "I tried to be on time, but--"
"It's quite alright," Molly said, avoiding looking Severus in the eye. "Let's go to the dining room. Everyone's ready to eat."
The group took their seats and anxiously began passing the large bowls and plates of steaming food around and began conversing amongst themselves. Harry, who was sitting to Severus' right, sat stiffly in the chair, aware of the curious looks that he was receiving from the Weasleys. Suddenly he was having second thoughts about revealing his plans to them . . . he couldn't even begin to imagine their reactions.
Distracted, Harry passed every plate full of food that he received to Severus without taking anything for himself, not noticing that his plate was quite empty. He returned to reality when Severus began shoveling food from his own plate onto Harry's. Their eyes met, but Harry could not read the other man. No surprise, when had he ever been able to?
Ron noticed and smirked. How cute. "So, mate, do you mind telling us why we had to starve for an entire hour while we waited for you to arrive?"
Harry blushed and stared down at his plate. The entire table went quiet. "Well . . . you see . . . Severus didn't like the shirt I wanted to wear."
"The shirt was ugly," Severus replied with a straight face as he sipped his tea.
"It wasn't ugly!" Harry insisted, glancing around the table. "It was red-"
"So he banished all of my shirts and I had to go to the store to get another one."
George grinned. "Looks good on you though. I bet Snape picked it out . . . since you have no fashion sense whatsoever."
Several members of the table laughed. Harry just mumbled under his breath, clearly not amused. Severus' long fingers slid over the table to cover Harry's reassuringly. The younger man just pouted.
Molly cleared her throat, eyeing the pale, thin hand covering Harry's that remained there for, in her opinion, a few more seconds than was appropriate. "Okay, now that that is settled, let's eat."
"Finally!" exclaimed the twins as they dug into their plate which we overflowing with food.
The rest of the meal went rather peacefully. Severus was indeed on his best behavior as he'd been instructed by Harry, ignoring the death glares that Sirius was giving him and maintaining a civil conversation with Arthur, Bill and Charlie about their work at the Ministry, pausing every once and a while to ask Harry if he was okay.
So . . . I DID tell him to be on his best behavior, but he's practically being an angel! Harry frowned down at his plate as he picked at his food. Severus had to be up to something . . . but what was it?
When all of the food was devoured and the plates magically cleared from the table, Percy cleared his throat and taped the side of his glass with his fork before getting to his feet. The twins made faces at him, but their antics were quickly put to an end by one look from Molly.
"Ah, I'd like to say something if I could," Percy said, glancing down at his future wife. "Er, I'd like to thank my family for being so understanding about my . . . surprise engagement. You too, Harry for . . ."
"Rescuing you from the tree?" Ron suggested.
Percy blushed and Harry laughed. "It's okay. Anytime."
Percy gave him a gratefully look and nodded.
"Are you done?" demanded Fred, only to have his ear's flicked by his twin. "Way to spoil the moment," George said with a grin.
"Well, I'd like to say something," Remus said hesitantly.
Harry perked up. He'd almost forgotten about Remus and Sirius' announcement. "Go on!"
"Um, just a few days ago, Sirius and I took little trip to the Bahamas . . ." He drifted off, blushing.
Sirius teasingly poked Remus in the arm. "Don't try to sugar coat it! Tell them what you did."
"They don't need to know that part!" Remus insisted frantically.
Now everyone was interested, even Severus.
"Ohhhh, do tell, Sirius!"
"Fine, Remus, you leave me no choice. I'll tell them!" Sirius turned to the rest of the table, looking quite scandalous. "So we went to the Bahamas, and on the first night--"
"—he got me flaming drunk--"
"Sirius!" Remus pleaded as Severus grunted, "Do I want to hear the rest of this?"
"—and tricked me into eloping with him!" Sirius concluded with a cheesy grin. Remus just looked embarrassed.
"YES!" Harry exclaimed. "Way to go Remus!"
"It was the only way," Remus replied solemnly. Everyone except for Severus, who just rolled his eyes, laughed.
"You don't look upset Sirius," Charlie remarked.
"I'm not. I guess I was just afraid of nothing. I feel the same way I did before we got married." Sirius turned to Percy and said, "You've got nothing to fear, don't worry."
Ginny bounced in her seat. "Oh, let's see the ring!" All of the women leaned forward to get a better looked.
Sirius looked sheepish. "Um, you see . . ."
Remus held up his hand and childishly stuck his tongue out at his husband. "You know what they say about payback . . ."
The table went silent, and then Ginny let out a sudden peal of laughter. "A rubber band?! That's your ring?!"
When Remus nodded in confirmation, the room erupted in laughter.
Severus was in heaven. "Oh, this is rich, Black! A rubber band?"
"Shut up, you." Sirius held his head high. "I didn't have anything else."
"Why didn't you just transfigure it?" asked Arthur.
"Sirius was too drunk," Remus said simply. "He couldn't have cast a spell if his life depended on it."
"Not my fault! Besides, you thought it was cute," Sirius said. "Tomorrow I'll take you down to the Gringotts family vault and you can pick out any ring you want. There's enough of them."
"Speaking of Gringotts . . ." Severus said suddenly.
Harry watched curiously as Severus withdrew a suede box from his pocket, opened it and placed it on the table in front of him. "Sweet Merlin . . ." was all he could say.
Severus looked extremely smug. "If we are to be wed, then we'll do it correctly."
It took a while for Snape's words to register with the group, but when it did, all hell broke loose.
"Now wait a minute!" shouted Bill, Charlie and Percy at the same time, coming to their feet.
Sirius' face turned purple as he croaked, "Y-y-you two are . . . GETTING MARRIED?!"
Now everyone was talking at once, asking Harry to explain, cursing Snape to hell . . . Ron, however, was just sitting back in his chair, enjoying the spectacle, and Hermione was quietly sipping her tea. It didn't really matter, though. Harry and Severus were quite oblivious to the commotion.
"You . . . yesterday, you went to Gringotts for this?"" Harry carefully removed ring from the box and stared at it, wide-eyed.
"Holy shit," Ginny swore loudly. Her eyes went as wide as saucers as she gapped at the ring in Harry's hand.
"Ah, yes," murmured Snape as the table quieted down and they all stared. "A bit better than a rubber band, isn't it Miss Weasley?"
"A bit," Harry agreed. The band was cleaned and polished silver and on it were three precious stones- a large diamond with two smaller emerald stones to it's left and right. "Beautiful . . ."
As Harry moved to put it on, Molly quickly spoke up. "Harry, are you sure about this? I mean, you two don't really know each other."
Harry paused and looked up. "I think so. I've known him since I was eleven."
Arthur frowned out of concern. "Surely you haven't liked him since then."
A loud gasp came from one end of the table, catching everyone's attention. "That play!" Molly exclaimed, looking horrified. "Oh, so it was true!"
Harry was momentarily confused, but when he finally caught on, he laughed so hard that he could not manage a reply.
Severus glared at the red-headed, red-faced matriarch, who was fanning herself furiously with a napkin. "I'm insulted that you'd believe such a thing about me," he said angrily. "I can assure you that nothing inappropriate occurred." Severus glared down at the giggling young man next to him. "Besides," he began loftily, "he wasn't much to look at back then."
That shut Harry up. "Oi!"
"Wait a minute! What are you talking about?" demanded Sirius with fire in his eyes.
Arthur placed a hand on his wife's arm and shook his head to stop her from telling the others about the play. No need to incite a riot. "Nothing of relevance, I assure you. Just Dumbledore up to his old tricks again."
Molly still looked suspicious. Harry and Snape's relationship made no sense to her. "So why, then? Why are you two getting married?"
Harry glanced up at Severus, who nodded slightly. "Well, Mrs. Weasley, we came to realize that we . . . well, we both wanted something similar. Um, well, we've decided to have a baby together."
Most of the members of the table were dumbfounded. Sirius was confused. Harry was supposed to take Snape's . . . stuff and have nothing more to do with him.
Then what Remus had said about his Hogwarts girlfriend popped into his mind. Uh, oh. Severus wasn't willing to part with the child, so Harry's forced to live the rest of his life with the slimy bastard to get what he wants. Damn! I knew this was a bad idea.
Karen hesitantly spoke up, breaking the silence. "Oh, Harry, this is so wonderful!" she said with a smile. "When you came into our office to talk to Jackson, I was more than curious about who the other father was going to be. What a surprise, my boss will be pleased."
"Excuse me," Severus said, his voice low and filled with something dangerous. "Did you say Jackson? As in Jackson Edwards?" he demanded.
"Um . . . yes," the young lady squeaked.
"Why? What's going on? You knew about this?" sputtered Percy, glancing between his fiancée, Harry and Severus.
"Jackson Edwards?" Hermione asked curiously. "Say, Ron, didn't we get some kind of invitation from him for something or other?" Ron nodded, confirming her suspicions.
"Er, Severus." Harry said slowly. "Is everything alright?"
"The bastard," Severus muttered underneath his breath. Then he spoke louder, addressing the rest of the table. "Jackson Edwards is my cousin, who has apparently created a way for two men to have a child and apparently, Percy's fiancée works for him." He turned to Harry, giving him a blistering glare. "You didn't tell me he was involved."
"Well, how the hell was I supposed to know? His last name isn't Snape . . ." Harry thought back, then swore. "Wait . . . now that I think about it, he did have a similarly hooked nose . . . but I thought Sirius gave you that."
"Who fucking cares?!" roared Sirius furiously. "What I care about is whether, Harry, being with Snape, a greasy, thin, bean-stalk of a man who just happens to be twice your age will make you happy, and Snape, if you're going to do your damn best to make sure that he is."
"I assure you, Black, that I have no intentions of harming your godson," Severus said coolly. "I wouldn't hurt the father of my child."
"Just so you know," Harry added, "you guys aren't going to change my mind, no matter how much you yell and scream and kick. You're just going to have to deal with it."
"Well!" Ginny exclaimed with a sigh as she got to her feet. "What an exciting night this has been, but, you know, its getting late and . . ."
"Oh, oh, yes," Molly said, eyeing Harry and Severus. "You all are free to go, I suppose."
"Great. I'm leaving before the hexing starts," George said and vanished with a pop. Fred followed suit.
Remus gripped Sirius' arm as they got up from the table, keeping him from leaping over it and choking Snape with his own greasy hair. "You two," Sirius grunted, "had better be at my place first thing tomorrow morning. We are going to have a talk."
"Er . . . okay. Fine," Harry said, sighing with relief as Remus led his angry husband away. He then turned to Molly, who still wore a look of concern on her face. "Goodni--"
Harry didn't have a chance to finish his sentence. Severus grabbed him by the waist and Apparated out.
"That was so rude!" Harry said disapprovingly as they entered Snape's dungeon. "Well, I guess that's okay, because you were civil for the entire evening--"
"So, Jackson is the doctor in charge of this?" Severus demanded.
"Yes. Is that a problem?" Harry stared at the man as he poured himself a glass of wine. "Wait, you're not backing out, are you?"
"No," Severus reassured him. "Jackson is . . . a good man. I think we can trust him to maintain a good level of confidentiality."
"Confidentiality? You were worried about that?"
"Yes! With the Death Eaters on the move again, they could use that child . . ." Severus drifted off, not wanting to think about it.
"Oh. Yeah. It would be a good idea to keep our plans within the family."
Severus sat on the couch and with the flick of his wand, a fire started in the fireplace. He stared at the flames, occasionally sipping from his glass.
"Severus, let's go to bed. You can worry tomorrow when we have to face Sirius."
The older man grunted and set down his empty glass. He headed towards the bedroom, taking Harry by the waist on the way, dragging him along.
"Well, Sev, if you were that eager to take me to bed, all you had to do was say so and—umph!"
A searing kiss shut him up for the rest of the night.