Title: Meant to Be?

Author: Requiem of a Dream

Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters.

Seven Years Later

Severus' POV

"Love how are you feeling?" Harry asked me..

"You know exactly how I'm feeling, you've been through all of this." I said getting up from the bathroom floor. Harry gave me his hand and helped me up.

"Yes but that was a little more than seven years ago." He said.

"You're telling me that you can't remember all of the aches and pains of being pregnant with the triplets." I asked, somewhat sarcastically.

"No I'm saying that it was seven years ago and that it's not as fresh in my mind as their birth is."

"The birth, Harry I forgot about the birth."

"How could you forget, about the birth? I mean did you think 'Poof' and our daughter would be here?"

"No I just wasn't thinking ahead. How did I let myself get into this predicament?"

"Because you can't resist me." He said.

"I wouldn't be so sure about that." I said. Harry pouted and I gave him a quick kiss on the cheek, then walked into the bedroom.

"I was thinking that we could go for a walk today."

"You know that Poppy didn't want me doing anything while she is gone. She's afraid that I'll go into labor early with any prolonged exercise."

"It's just a small walk around the lake. Besides it's June and our daughter isn't due until August. I was going for walks up until my eighth month."

"Yes but you weren't a 43 year old male who wasn't supposed to conceive a child."

"Whatever. I know that you're going stir crazy because you have to stay in. But if you don't want to go out I wont make you." Harry walked out of our bedroom and walked into the children's play room.

"Children do you want to go for a walk with me?" I heard Harry ask.

"Where are you going dad?" I heard Isadora ask.

"I want to take a walk around the lake. Would you like to come with me?"

"Yes dad. Is father coming with us?"

"No he isn't feeling very well. Jamison and Cael are you coming as well?"

"Yes we'll come."

"Ok well be ready in ten minutes and I'll pack a lunch for us." Harry walked out of their room and into the kitchen to pack a small lunch for all of them, so that they could have lunch across the lake. I came in and stood behind him with my arms wrapped around his waist.

"So are you trying to leave me all alone down here in the dungeons?"

"No. You still have the dog here with you."

"You know I don't like that animal. What are you making?"

"Lunch. I can make you some if you're hungry."

"No not right now, but maybe after we stop on the other side of the lake I'll be a little more hungry."

"You're going to come with us?"

"Yes I will. I hate being down here by myself. I'll go get the kids." Then I turned around and called the kids as I walked down the hall.

"Daddy are we leaving soon?"

"Yes Isadora, we're leaving now. And father is coming with us."

"Yay! Jamison, Cael, father is coming with us." Isadora said running into the common room. Harry just laughed.

"I told you before she was born that she was going to be my little girl." I said as I watched how happy she was that I was coming on the walk with them.

"And I didn't believe you. I guess I was wrong; but at least I have my little boys. Are we all ready?" Harry asked me. I nodded and so we walked into the common room and left with the children.

Harry's POV

We walked along a path that Albus made when I was pregnant. It was about ten feet away from the lake shore and it wound in and out of the trees and at time went somewhat deep into the forest. It was a beautiful day, about 80 degrees, and the children were delighted to be far from the school. After about a half hour of walking we came to a spot that Severus and I had found a few years back. It quiet and easy for Severus to get to. We sat down and I pulled out a blanket and set out the lunch.

After the children were down eating we let them wander down to the lake and play a little in the water. I watched as they skipped rocks and played fetch with the dog. Cael had insisted on bringing him so that he could play. Severus started fidgeting and then he got up and walked down to where the children were. A few minutes later I joined him.

"Severus are you feeling ok?" I asked.

"Yes it's just that my legs were beginning to cramp up. But I am feeling a bit tired, shall we head back up to the school?" He asked.

"Yes I think we should. Children put the leash back KJ, and we'll head back up to the school." I said, and then I packed up the remnants of the lunch and we were on our way.

We walked for about ten minutes when I noticed that Severus had slowed down. I kept my pace with his incase he started to collapse or something. I didn't expect him to double over and fall to the ground.

"Severus what's wrong?"

"I . . . I don't know. I've be . . . been feeling an ache i . . .in my lower abdomen and . . ." He stopped mid sentence.

"And what, Severus?"

"And now this, a pain ripping through my abdomen."

"Why didn't you tell me about the ache?"

"Because," He stopped and caught his breath, "I didn't think it was important." At that point I called the children over to us.

"Is father going to be ok?" Isadora asked sniffling.

"Yes honey I'm going to be just fine. Do you remember when I told you that there was baby inside of me?" She nodded her head. "Well it's time for the baby to come out." Severus finished.

"Now children, I need you to go to papa Albus and tell him to get Poppy back to the school now. Tell him that father needs Poppy. Now run up there." I commanded. And with that they took off at full speed.

I helped Severus move and sit with his back against a tree. I sat in front of him and held his hands through each contraction. I don't know how calm I looked on the outside but I was a nervous wreck on the inside. Severus was in labor, two months early, in the middle of a forest, and with no medi-witch even on the school grounds. But I managed. Fifteen minutes later the children came back with the worst news I have ever heard.

"Dad Albus wasn't in his office." Cael said. I looked at Severus for a minute then I looked back at Cael.

"Go to Albus' office and floo over to Aunt Molly's house. Make sure to say 'The Burrow' and say it clearly. Now run up there quick." I said, and they took off again.

"Harry I don't know if I can make it that long."

"You have to try. Concentrate on me, don't think of the contractions or the pain. Take deep breaths and relax." I said trying to calm Severus down. It was working for a few minutes until I realized that the contractions were one after another.

"Harry the contractions are closer." I looked into his face and said,

"Ok, then we'll start the delivery here. I'm going to pull off your pants and bring your robe up to your knees." Severus just nodded his head. I pulled off my shirt and laid it across Severus' stomach so I could use it to wrap the baby in If I needed to.

"On the next contraction push ok? Take a deep breath and hold it until I count to ten. Use that breath to help you push." I instructed.

Severus listened and when the contraction hit a minute later he pushed. It seemed like it took forever for our baby to be born. He pushed on every contraction and finally on the 6th or 7th push her head was out. He pushed two more times and then he had her out and I put her on his stomach. I magically cut the cord and then I heard her give just a small cry. I hurried and wrapped her up in my shirt and handed her to Severus, then I proceeded to cast healing spells and close up the birth canal.

"Harry are you sure that you are doing this right?" He asked while I was casting the healing spells.

"Yes I am. I haven't been training as a medi-wizard for no reason. How is she doing Severus?"

"Ok I think. But she isn't crying like others did."

I took her from Severus and conjured a blanket, wrapped it around her, and then handed her to back to Sev. I muttered, "I hope Molly gets here soon." Severus held his daughter close to his chest and started talking to her, telling her that everything was going to be ok. A few minutes later Molly came running with the children behind her. She came directly to Severus and took the baby from him and started saying many different spells.

"Harry we need to get both of them up to the infirmary. Can you carry Severus?" She asked.

"Yes I can."

I walked over to Sev and slid one hand under his knees and another around his back. Then we set off to the infirmary. As soon as we got there I set Severus down in a bed and helped him to get his clothes off and change into a hospital gown and then helped him lie down comfortably on the bed. Then we sat there and waited. Molly had taken our baby into a separate room and shut the door. I was holding Sev's hand and we were both staring at the door that Molly had disappeared behind. Severus was startled when he heard Isadora sniffling. We looked at the children and saw the looks of concern and fear on their faces.

"Isadora, Jamison, Cael, come here." Severus said softly. They slowly made their way over to us. Sev motioned for them to sit on the bed with him. "What's wrong? Why are you crying?"

"Because it's our fault that the baby was born early. If we hadn't insisted on father coming he would still have the baby inside him." They said in unison.

"It's not your fault, you didn't do anything. None of this is your fault." I said.

Severus' POV

I reached up and wiped away a tear from Isadora's face. I hugged them and then they hugged Harry. We all sat there in silence waiting for news from Molly. It seemed like forever that she was locked in that room. Then about three hours later she came out with our baby in an incubator.

"Is . . . is she alive?" I asked.

"Yes she is, but she'll need to stay in the incubator for about a month unless Poppy says otherwise. She has very weak lungs and her heart beat isn't as strong as it should be. I did all I could for her. There is a warming spell placed on this incubator and you're allowed to touch her but not very often. And if the children are going to touch her make sure they wash their hands first. Now I'm going to fire-call the ministry and have them track down Poppy, then I'll be back to check you Severus."

She placed the incubator next to the bed and left to Poppy's office. I sat up, opened the cover to one of the holes and placed my hand inside of the incubator. I held her tiny hand in mine and just stayed there like that watching her breath. At some point Harry gathered the children and took them down to our chambers. When he came back I was talking to our baby.

"I'm sorry little one. I was supposed to protect you and keep you safe. But I didn't, instead I went and did something that put you in danger and now you're stuck here in this cage for a month or more hardly able to breath and hardly enough power to make your own heart beat. It's my fault, I've done this to you, I almost killed you." Harry wrapped his arms around my waist and stood there for a moment.

"Love, it's not your fault. You protected her to the best of your ability and in the end things didn't go as planned." He said.

"How can you say that? If I hadn't of gone out she would still be in the womb. If I hadn't of gone on that walk she would have gone full term."

"Sev, you told me that you had that ache in your abdomen for a while. That was the birth canal forming. If you hadn't of gone with us you would have still given birth and with no one around to help. Our daughter would be dead and you probably would have died too. I'm glad that you were selfish and came with us, otherwise I would have lost two very important people in my life."

"But Harry look at her."

"She's going through a tough time right now, and I wish that there was something that I could do for her; to stop her suffering and struggle, but I can't. Blaming yourself isn't going to make her any better. Now please come lie down." Harry said pulling me down onto the bed. I sat there for a long time not moving or saying anything.

"Sev, she's going to be alright." He said. Harry moved around the bed so that he was sitting in front of me. He laid his head in my lap.

"I know." I said softly. He looked up into my face and saw a tear fall down the left side of my face. He reached up and wiped it away. We heard a noise from behind Harry and we looked over. Molly had Poppy with her.

"Severus I'm sorry that I wasn't here. I should have stayed, I knew that you were at risk for premature labor." And she went on just rambling, while she was performing many spells and tests.

"Poppy it's fine. You had no way of knowing, and we told you that we would be fine. Just don't let it bother you." Harry said. She nodded her head and asked me to lay down. I did and she slowly waved her wand down the length of my body.

"Well your body is coping well, as it should be. The womb is disappearing and the birth canal is closed all the way. Your magic level is still unaffected and the hormones in your body are leveling off. You are in good health. Now I'm going to check your daughter." She said a spell and many different screens appeared. Each one she looked at and then would write a few things done. Finally when she was done she banished the screens, and turned to us.

"She seems to be healthy for a two month premature baby. She weighs 4 pounds 7 ounces, she is 19 inches long, and her heart beat and breathing rate have picked up from what I understand. I'm going to agree with Molly and say that she'll have to stay in the incubator for a month, but I will continue to check her progress daily. If she is well before then, then I will let you take her out of the incubator. Once again I'm sorry that I wasn't here, I may have been able to stop the birth." She walked into her office with Molly and left us with our daughter.

"You told me that you had a name picked out for her a few months ago, what was it?" I asked Harry.

"Demeter Ayska. How's that sound?" He asked looking at me.

"Wonderful." I said sleepily. Harry kissed me on the forehead and let me get to sleep. He went down to our chambers and calmed down our other three children.

One Month Later

Demeter's health picked up gradually. She got better day by day. Finally one month after her birth Poppy allowed me to take her out of the incubator. Harry and I were supposed to go up to the infirmary at the same time but he ended up having to go to the Burrow, for some reason. I went up there by myself and went into the room that Poppy was keeping Demeter in, but she wasn't there. Poppy saw me go in there and she walked into the room from her office.

"Severus I was just trying to call you." She said innocently.

"Poppy where's my daughter?" I said a little panicky.

"She's in my office, why don't you come in." She opened the door and I walked in and saw Demeter laying in her incubator. But the top of the incubator was off.

"Poppy why is the top off of the incubator?"

"Because she is well enough to go home. Why don't you pick up your daughter."

She said pushing me closer to Demeter. I was too shocked to just reach out and pick her up, so Poppy picked her up and put her into my arms. She started to get fussy and then started to cry. That's what brought me out of my stupor. I immediately lifted her up to my shoulder and began to bounce her. She calmed down and began to make little baby noises.

"I can take her home?" I asked.

"Yes you can, but first I want you to dress her in something a little warmer. I had Harry bring down something yesterday. I'll go get it."

She walked behind her desk and pulled out a jumper that we had used for Isadora when she was born. She handed it to me and let me put it on Demeter. After I was done dressing her Poppy told me that she wanted me to bring Demeter back up in a week. I told her I would and then I walked down to my chambers. When I got there Harry opened the door and just smiled when he saw that I was holding Demeter.

"You knew that Poppy was going to let me bring her home." It was more of a statement than a question.

"I knew. When she asked me to go back up there yesterday I asked her why she wanted clothing for Demeter. She wouldn't tell me but I knew why."

"So you let me go up there by myself to get her."

"Yes. You needed that moment with her. You did that for me when I had Cael, Isadora, and Jamison." Harry took me to the children's playroom and we let each of them hold Demeter. Afterwards Harry and I took her into the nursery and Harry laid her in the cradle. She went to sleep immediately. Harry snaked his arms around my neck and pulled me down into a tender kiss. We were in for long happy life.