Title: Garments and Critters
Summary: Severus is tortured by his husband, Harry Potter, and their son on their anniversary with gift exchange and puppies.
Notes: Thank you, Katie of Gryffindor, for doing a fine job beta-ing.
Severus Snape had spent half his life surrounded by stomping, screaming, whinging, wearisome children. Everywhere. Always. During meals, in his workspace, around the corner, within the walls, under his very nails. Children. He'd never liked them. They got in the way. They took joy in making racket at all hours of every day of every week of every…thing. But there was no way to get rid of them. More children equaled more teenagers equaled more hormones equaled more children. He thought of what his late grandfather had always told him.
"If yeh can't beat 'em, lad—join 'em!"
So he did.
He contributed to the world's supply of irritants. He spawned with Harry Potter.
Severus didn't have time to shield his stomach from the head of fluffy black frizz that collided with it. "Oof!" was his inelegant reaction.
"Papa, papa, papa, papa—"
"I'm not hard of hearing, boy."
What was its name again? Ah, yes—Porter Potter-Snape. He cringed, thinking of Potter's reasoning for the name.
"Doesn't it sound nice?"
"We could sing him nursery rhymes, Severus. Wouldn't it be fun?"
"It's an easy name to make nursery rhymes out of. Would you like to hear?"
"Porter Potter picked a purple, plump, and perfect grape
To put into a potion made by picky papa Snape—"
"Shut your mouth so we can actually get down to making the…thing."
So they did get down to it. The result was catastrophic.
"Papa, papa, papa, papa—"
A large hand over the spawn's scrawny head muffled the noise. Unfortunately Potter had somewhat of an attachment to it and chose to bustle into the room at that moment.
"Severus! I told you—no smothering the baby!"
"He's four years old. If he can't defend himself now he'll never be able to."
Potter made a huffy noise and rescued the spawn from his clutches.
"Presents, daddy?" said the little lump of drool.
"Yes, when your papa finishes up his potion…."
Papa. Well, Severus certainly hadn't been the one to initiate that title. Still, it was better than Potter's bedroom name "Greasy-kins," he supposed.
When Potter and his look-alike had gone away, Severus exhaled. It wasn't incredibly torturous, domestic life. Once he had retired from his Potions master position at the age of fifty in order to pursue more productive things (like reproduction, for instance), he and Potter had moved into their little flat in Hogsmeade, tied the knot, and settled into routine. Severus had at one point liked routine; however, now a part of his routine was—and he rolled his eyes—their wedding anniversary, the dreaded day in which he was forced to be the center of attention, albeit with Potter in the spotlight as well, albeit with Potter deliberately making Severus' spotlight bigger in order to make him feel "special" for once with meat and bread and cakes and presents and—argh! He was going to have a heart attack. And he didn't want attention. Well, at least not that kind of attention. Potter was just as thickheaded as he had been as a child.
Severus had been working for an hour before he realized that he would be sleeping on the sofa for a week if he didn't get into the sitting room right away. He swept out of his lab, only stopping to un-stick his intimidating robes from Victor the Velcro Monkey. Dratted child! Potter and the spawn were playing Wizard chess from the looks of it—Potter, of course, letting the spawn make every illegal move in the books because it would "enhance his self confidence"—so he sat quietly, hoping to avoid whatever horrific gift he was to be given this year.
"Oh hello, Severus."
Damn that Potter and his young ears.
"Papa! Papa, papa, papa—"
Severus shut the bugger up with a glare.
"Be nice," said Potter, swatting Severus with a purple-enveloped card. "Open it."
Sighing very loudly, Severus ripped the envelope and slipped out a glittery card decorated with pastel colors. And puppies. Lots and lots of puppies.
His annoying spouse grinned. "Porter picked it out."
On the inside, the card read, "You're a great pawpaw"—oh, the nerve—"and Husky-band"—kill me now—"and we bow-wow-wuv you!"
Severus aimed an unpleasant expression at Potter. "We're getting a divorce."
"You've said that for the past five years."
"And I've meant it. Let's go. Right now."
"Sit down! You're opening your present."
Severus Snape was being held hostage by a height-challenged man with over-large spectacles, a hyperactive toddler, and a puppy card. He should have stayed with Voldemort. At least he would be dead now.
A box was placed onto his lap—a squirming box with holes all around. Dear God, no.
He tossed the lid across the room to reveal the head of a mangy, black, big-brown-eyed mutt. It looked at him as though to say, "So, you're my new daddy?"
No. There was no way. He would burn and writhe in Satan's fiery underworld. He would be nailed to a piece of wood, dragged around Antarctica, and be left to twitch until the end of time. He would declare his undying love for Minerva McGonagall. But there was no way he was having a third nuisance in his home.
"Can we keep him, papa?"
"Severus? Isn't he great?"
"Papa? Papa, papa, papa, papa…"
"…It stays out of my lab!"
"Eeeee!" squealed the spawn.
Potter took the creature from Severus' lap, scrunching his face as it tried to drown him in its slobber. "He looks just like Padfoot."
A daily reminder of his nemesis' existence. What good fortune Severus had.
"I wanna play!" The spawn commenced in some sort of hopping ritual, hands above its head. Potter seemed to take that as a sign to hand over the mutt.
"Don't make a mess before dinner!" Potter called as the spawn ran off, clutching the yelping demon in its arms. Turning back to Severus, Potter stared at him for several moments, gave him a disapproving look, and moved away to pack up the chess pieces. Now what had that been all about? He let the little monster keep the littler monster! What was Potter so touchy over? Severus checked off tasks in his mind.
"Put your dirty socks in the clothes hamper, Severus!" Check.
"Give Porter his bath, please, Severus." Check.
"Did you wash your hair this month, Severus?" Yes.
So what had he…oh. He suddenly noticed the square lump in a pocket of his robes. He stood up and dug around, trying to find the entrance to the dreaded things—so many folds, so many ripples and tunnels—while he eyed Potter, who made clinking sounds with the pawns and the knights and the bishops. Or whatever they were. Severus had never liked chess. Finally he found it: a thin box, which contained a piece of clothing. Hmm. Housewives liked clothing; he concluded that househusbands should be no different.
The brat ignored him.
Potter whirled around. "What? Did you forget our anniversary agai—?"
He noticed the box. Severus thrust it at him. "Open it before I change my mind."
Potter wore a terribly attractive smile that made Severus think of good things like cauldrons and ingredients. Bat wing…newt bile…duck tongue. Did ducks have tongues? He made a mental note to find out.
"Oh Severus…" He was using that dreamy, loving voice he only used when Severus did something particularly endearing (like scooping up the neighbor's cat's poo when the beast felt inclined to leave it on the doorstep). "It's great."
Ah. Admiration. Severus' chest puffed up.
"But what is it?" asked Potter. "I mean, it's so…glittery."
Severus' chest sunk in. "What do you mean? It's an outfit."
"It's a…" Potter held it up to get a better look at it. "It's a thong!"
"Well, Potter," Severus murmured, rubbing the back of his neck in embarrassment. "I'm sure I could—erm—you could have much more fun with it than with, say, a dirty mutt."
"Mm. Well, the puppy was more for Porter than for you, I should admit."
"Oh? I hadn't guessed." Severus rolled his eyes. Yipping and laughing sounds came from the next room.
Potter looked up from the yellow sequins he had been examining to slide his arms around Severus' body. "Be kind for once," Severus heard from somewhere around his chest. "He's our first family pet."
"Much more entertaining than a thong."
Severus begged to differ.
"So…what do you say we"—a quick nip to Severus' earlobe—"have a quick celebration for the arrival of a new member of the family?"
"The thong or the dog?" With Potter's hand slipping into his robes, his words didn't make much sense. But he grasped the concept once Potter grasped something else. Something of…larger importance.
Potter gave it a good squeeze and then sauntered away, swinging the thong on his finger. "What do you think, Severus?"
And there was only one thing Severus could say to that.