How To Live Happily Ever After
by Darth Stitch

Harry and Severus

The business of living happily ever after is not as easy as it looks.

Harry Potter never expected to live "happily ever after." Ever since his unasked-for Grand Destiny was unfolded before him, complete with The Malevolent Evil Villain and the Unavoidable Prophecy of Doom, he had slowly become resigned to the fact that he just might end up Dying Heroically To Save The Wizarding World And The Rest Of Humankind.

That kind of resignation to his fate didn't come easily. He raged and raged against it for quite a long time when he found out. He didn't want to die and he never thought of himself as some kind of Magnificent Hero. He didn't even want the job in the first place.

All he ever wanted was to get away from his horrid relatives and well....find some place where he was wanted, some one who would love him just as he was, plain, freaky, oddball Harry Potter - scar, ugly glasses, messy hair, knobbly knees and all.

Severus Snape never expected to live "happily ever after" either. When he was younger, he dreamed of being respected and admired by his peers and the rest of society. He'd been awkward and ugly, with a nose far too big for his face. All he had was his brilliant, razor-sharp mind and his skill at Potions and defending against the Dark Arts. He wanted to get away from his miserable home and from his poor excuse of a sire and he wanted revenge against the gang of Gryffindors who insisted on bullying and humiliating him as a sort of perverse amusement.

And then, he'd made the worst of all mistakes and became one of Voldemort's Death Eaters. He thought that he would find the respect he craved there and more power and knowledge that he had ever dreamed of. And indeed, he learned much under Voldemort's service, how to wreak death and destruction and suffering with consummate, almost artistic skill.

What they didn't teach him was how to ward his dreams from being haunted by blood and screams and pleas for mercy. They never taught him (or perhaps he could not learn) how to kill off his conscience and humanity so effectively that he could do all the atrocities Voldemort bade him do without a second thought. And so, Severus Snape found himself at Albus Dumbledore's door, trying to find a chance, however infinitestimal, of atonement, of redemption, of forgiveness. He rather thought that he might as well end up Dying In A Hopefully Successful Attempt To Save Dumbledore Or Harry Bloody Potter and find his salvation there.

So it was quite unexpected to both men that they were alive and Voldemort was finally, definitely, dead (and no coming back from beyond the grave this time!). And it was quite unexpected that after years of animosity that were colored with point-taking, detentions, shouting matches and serious hexing, that Harry Potter and Severus Snape would fall in love with each other.

Severus never expected to find love, fall in love or be loved by anyone, much less Harry Bloody Potter. He'd loathed Harry's father for being an arrogant, bullying prat and he'd fairly much expected that the son would be just the same. Also, Harry was his student, old enough to be Snape's own son. Never mind that Harry was quite over the age of consent; Professor Snape did NOT think of his students in THAT way. Ever. It was practically obscene.

And yet, he'd ended up loving that daft, exasperating, reckless, wild-haired boy, who'd grown up and become this wonderful, courageous young man right in front of his eyes and who, quite inexplicably, loved him right back.

Harry never expected to find love, fall in love or be loved by anyone just as he was, just for himself. He knew that the Great Hero Harry Potter loved by the Wizarding World bore little to no resemblance to his actual self. And while he loved his two best friends and the second family that had practically taken him in as another son, he'd wistfully dreamed of finding just that One Person, that One True Love he could have for his very own. He just didn't expect that this One True Love was actually Severus "That Greasy Git!" Snape, who he'd been at odds with practically the first time he stepped into Hogwarts.

And yet, he ended up loving that snarky, arrogant, bitter, sarcastic, brilliant man, who protected and taught him even as Harry felt the sting of his harsh words and who, quite inexplicably, loved him right back.

So there it was, finally, the two of them together after more snarking, misunderstandings and arguments which ended up with a rather heated first kiss and much much later, a first night of lovemaking that left them breathless and sated and complete. Which led to more exquisite nights of making wild passionate love or perhaps, just snuggled together in bed, safe, warm and content. Days were spent in what Severus termed as "blessedly ordinary, sweet domesticity" and what Harry called "utter bliss."

Of course, there was great fun in enjoying the thunderstruck expressions on the faces of their friends and the sly twinkle in Dumbledore's eyes (because, in fact, he'd won a very large amount in the betting pool). And Severus prized the issue of the Quibbler that announced, with very large block letters, his marriage to one Harry Potter - breaking the hearts of witches all over the Wizarding World. Harry had it framed and hung over their mantel, especially since the major scoop scored by Quibbler reporter Luna Lovegood made that bitch Daily Prophet reporter Rita Skeeter so angry that she'd blown herself away into the Bermuda Triangle, never to be seen again, only leaving behind her high heeled shoes.

And then came Katerina.

They thought Hermione had inadvertently witched Harry with her symptoms of pregnancy at first.

That happened sometimes, but usually the witch directed that to the father of her forthcoming child and not the hapless best friend who was quite excited at the prospect of becoming a godfather.

Harry never expected that he would, quite literally, father a baby into this world. Male pregnancies were rare, although not unheard of, in the Wizarding World. Still, Harry never expected that he'd be that one-in-a-kazillion wizard who could conceive and bear a child of his own.

Then again, everything tended to happen to Harry - what with odd abilities, unusual powers and yes, that pesky Grand Destiny - so he really shouldn't have been surprised anymore.

Merlin, it was ridiculous - a pregnant man? He looked awkward and ungainly waddling around with that distended belly. He did, however, treasure the look of rapt adoration Severus had in his eyes whenever he saw Harry - although Severus would heatedly deny that he was capable of such "maudlin behavior."

But both fathers were quite hopelessly sappy the day Katerina came into the world, falling under the spell of the little girl's beautiful green eyes. They settled into their roles as fathers with a minimum of fuss - Harry was "Daddy" and Severus was "Papa" - and they were prepared to give their precious little girl the happy childhood they never had.

Of course, Severus didn't expect that he would be the next one-in-a-kazillion wizard who could conceive and bear a child of his own seven years later. Perhaps Harry's tendency to attract Weird-Ass Strokes of Fate was beginning to rub off Severus as well. Severus did NOT take kindly to that notion.

Little Katerina was pleased at the prospect of having a baby sister though. And all three of them thought that the name Waverly would be perfect for this new little person.

And then, since Severus was so unhappy at having to put up with this "Absolute absurdity!" of being pregnant, he went and got Harry pregnant as well.

And this accounted for Arthur, who came along two months after Waverly.

Which brings us to the next part of living happily ever after.

Katerina

Katerina was firstborn and there was a certain magic in being this first precious child born to her parents who had assumed that she would be the one and only child. She had Harry's green eyes and Severus' high cheekbones and her features were a rather pleasing mix of both parents. And Severus noted with relief that she was spared the Snape nose.

However, the little girl had taken quite well to the notion of having siblings and she had quickly taught her younger brother and sister the rather challenging task of raising their sometimes silly parents.

When she was old enough to attend Hogwarts, the Sorting Hat placed her in Gryffindor, shocking Harry, who had been quite sure that his devious little kitten was meant for Slytherin. But then, he kept forgetting that cats had their own kind of cunning and this young Kat made her mark in Gryffindor, stepping quite easily out of the shadows of her rather famous parents.

Katerina was Seeker for the Gryffindor Quidditch team and Gryffindor practically had the Quidditch Cup glued to their mantel for the next six years. She did quite well in whatever subject she turned her hand to (except Divinations) except that sometimes she was found neglecting her homework to write all these little stories and poems in her favorite and somewhat battered journal.

Katerina loved stories and she badly wanted to write some of her own. Ideas came into her head and the words would pour out of quill and ink and onto parchment.

And perhaps it wasn't a wonder that The First Great Tale that she was finally able to publish told the story of a boy wizard and his adventures, loved by Wizarding and Muggle children alike.

Waverly

Waverly looked much like Katerina did, except that she had red highlights in her dark hair. And like her sister, she was sorted into Gryffindor and was not half bad at Quidditch either - she was a good Chaser.

However, the similarities between the sisters ended there.

All three children had a knack for getting into and attracting trouble, an ability they came by honestly, considering their fathers. (Or one father, as Severus would claim with a disdainful sniff.) However, Waverly took that affinity for trouble to new heights.

Because, of course, it would be Waverly who brought the baby basilisk home.

Fortunately, this baby basilisk didn't have that ability to turn one into stone with its mere look - a lucky defect of birth. According to Severus, perhaps it was the infamous Potter luck, because anyone who had a love of Dangerous Magical Creatures that Waverly did definitely needed it!

At least, Severus didn't have to worry about getting basilisk skin for his potions ever again.

Hagrid was delighted to have someone to share his affection for the "wee beasties" and Waverly took them all on with a wink and a grin - blast-ended skrewt, dragon and hippogriff, caring for them with a gentle hand.

But Waverly loved dragons best and if her father spoke the language of snakes, it seemed that Waverly knew how to speak to dragons, who apparently regarded her as one of their own.

Like her Daddy, Waverly loved to fly - it was just that she preferred flying on the back of a dragon than zooming around on a broomstick. And fly on them she did.

Arthur

Arthur was the only child who had inherited Severus Snape's rather prominent nose.

He was also the only child who not only managed to inherit Harry's green eyes but his shortsightedness as well.

Harry loved this little replica of his husband and often, the little boy, who was so serious and solemn around other people, was usually seen smiling whenever he was held in Daddy's arms.

Arthur and Papa however were often engaged in long, serious conversations (Severus absolutely refused to speak to any of his children in "baby talk"). Perhaps this explained why Arthur, at the tender age of one year and six months, called Severus' unruly class of Slytherin and Gryffindor first years "dunderheads" and Albus Dumbledore as "a meddlesome old coot" in clear, precise, ringing tones.

It was the first time in the history of Hogwarts that the Headmaster fell off his chair keening with laughter.

Arthur grew up to be far quieter and far more reserved than his two sisters. While he was a fair hand at Quidditch - he made a good Keeper whenever he and his sisters played the game - he preferred curling up in a sofa to read or to watch his Papa work in his laboratory. The Sorting Hat debated whether to put him into Ravenclaw or Slytherin but in the end, decided to put the young man in the House of the Snake.

And of course, Arthur's passion was for Potions. Of course, that was until he met Francesca.

The Business of Falling In Love

When Katerina reached that interesting age when girls began to notice boys, Harry and Severus seriously considered sending her into a convent.

Actually, Harry entertained that notion for a full five minutes before giving it up with a rueful laugh. Severus was seriously considering it for a full month before Harry finally managed to cure him of that absurdity.

Of course, both fathers firmly believed that no one was good enough for their beloved firstborn.

However, Katerina convinced them otherwise when she came home and introduced them to her fiance, Lucien Charles Malfoy - son of Draco Malfoy and Ginny Weasley. The young woman was very persuasive, as Draco himself could attest.

And of course, leave it to Waverly to fall in love with a vampire prince.

Severus took out the Vampire Repellant Potion and Harry had busied himself with sharpening wooden stakes and looking up the best spells he could use against vampires. However, Waverly and her prince, Alexis Nikolaus Alyardi, managed to make the overprotective parents put away the wands and the weapons.

Prince Alexis was a rather charming fellow, who convinced the anxious fathers of the sincerity of his love for Waverly. And that of course he wasn't about to turn her into dinner. Indeed there had been much angst between him and his beloved before they had finally resolved the issues between them.

When Arthur turned thirty, he was already established as a Potions Master of good reputation and he taught at the Wizarding University of Oxford. He was alone and quite driven by his work, which made Harry worry over his son endlessly.

Severus knew that Arthur's temperament was fairly close to his own and he was sure that his son would lay all their worries to rest....eventually.

When Arthur finally fell in love, it was with a freshman university student named Francesca Morgan. Francesca came woefully unprepared for her class, which annoyed Professor Arthur James Potter-Snape to no end and when it turned out she wasn't even in his class at all, annoyance quickly went up to extreme vexation. There was much snarking involved, in which Francesca gave as good as she got, which was rare since no university student wizard or witch dared to trade verbal blows with the feared Potions Professor.

Of course, all this animosity developed into a serious case of unresolved sexual tension and eventually, Arthur found himself with an even worse case of unrequited love. At least that was what he thought at first since she was a good ten years younger than him and a student besides, even if she was not, technically, his own. Francesca was a rather intelligent and determined young woman who quickly disabused Arthur of that notion.

When Harry and Severus heard the news, the two fathers exchanged eloquent looks which ended with Severus burying his face in his hands.

Harry gently rubbed soothing circles on his husband's back. "Love, you have absolutely NO ground to stand on with this one. Absolutely none."

Words To Live By

Arthur and Severus were the ones who knew, with absolute certainty, that they were they only sane ones in the family. So it was not much of a surprise that Arthur approached his father on the night before his wedding, to talk about that "daft bint" who had completely taken over his heart.

Severus gave his son one of his own rare smiles and said, "That's why we adore them, you know. They're daft and impossible and one day you wake up and you realize how in sweet Salazar's name did you get along without them?"

And then, that smile turned to a classic Snape Death Glare, one that Arthur had learned to use with terrifying effectivness on his own students over the years. "And if you EVER tell your father or your insane Aunts that I've actually managed to say such a ridiculously maudlin thing, I will have your hide."

Arthur laughed and being the dutiful son that he was, did as his father asked.

-end-