Disclaimer: JKR owns them all. I'm merely playing with them for a while. Oh, and I own Sandrine, Daniela, and any other things you don't recognize from the books.
This is a response to the Master and the Wolf FQF. Challenge: 19) A slight variation on the mpreg Snape/Lupin fics - this time it's Lupin who ended up pregnant. Perhaps at the same he found out that Snape was a DE, without realizing he also worked for Dumbledore?
A/N: "Sandrine Raïssa" is, at least by my French book, pronounced "Sãd-rin Rai-sa." I picked a French name for her, because Lupin is a French name (and was also found in my French book. ) I know it's kind of a cliché to have Remus French or half-French, but hey, maybe he's English and just happens to like those names!
This fic doesn't have separated chapters. But, as it'd be rather long for a one-shot, I'm just cutting it off whenever I see it fitting.
To Be a Father
"Yes?" Andromeda Tonks asked, raising her eyes at her husband. "What it is, Ted?"
"I just wonder..." Ted sighed, then let the Daily Prophet down from his hands. "The full moon was the day before yesterday. Have you heard of Remus yet?"
Andromeda paled immediately. "Oh, sweet Merlin," she whispered. "You are right, Ted. He hasn't owled us yet."
"And he always does," Ted said. "Every day after the full moon, he owls us. He's never failed to contact us before."
"What do you mean?" Nymphadora, their daughter asked. "Who hasn't owled yet?" She had just come down in all her fifteen-year-old glory. Today, she had fair blonde hair and bright green eyes. She'd been really good-looking, if only there hadn't been chocolate stains on her white blouse and wrinkles on her skirt. She should have been in Hogwarts by now, but she'd somehow managed to catch a disastrous magical flu just in the end of the summer, so she was still staying at home for recovery. She'd return to school after a week, though.
"Remus hasn't," Andromeda replied her. "And we're worried something might have happened."
"Why don't you go and check on him, then?" she suggested.
The adults exchanged glances. "Well, you see, Nymphadora... We've promised him not to check up on him," Andromeda said uneasily.
"Right," Ted said, and sighed. "I don't know if anybody has truly seen him ever since the Potters' death. He's only owling us, regularly once a week, and always on the day after the full moon."
"Why he keeps owling you?" the young witch asked curiously. "At least, why so regularly? Is there some reason or something?"
"In fact..." Ted looked thoughtful. "There indeed is a reason, now when I think more about it. Your mother, you see, wouldn't let him just live alone, not when anything might happen. Especially the full moons made her worried."
"So I made him make a promise," Andromeda continued, now remembering herself the years-old events. "We would stay away as long as he'd owl us. An owl each week, and one on the day after the transformation." She turned towards Ted, a smile on her face. "So we can go and check on him," she realized.
"So we can," Ted replied. "And we will. I'm worried now, too. He's never missed a single owl. He's, at least, kept his promise."
"You go ahead, don't worry about me," Nymphadora said happily. "I'll just make some tea, I'm not going anywhere."
Andromeda rolled her eyes towards the ceiling, again exchanging glances with Ted as they both stood to Disapparate. She'd left her wand to the sitting room, so she walked there. Just as she grasped on her wand on the little table, she heard a loud crash and Nymphadora's voice, "Oh, Mum, I'm so sorry... But you never liked that tea pot anyway, now did you?"
Chuckling slightly, she grasped on her wand and murmured the words required for moving with magic. With a loud, "CRACK," she Disapparated.
A moment later, Andromeda and Ted both stood in front of a little cottage. They watched around themselves for a while, taking in the unfamiliar surroundings.
It all looked quite good, actually. The tiny garden around the cottage was well cared, a couple of late flowers still blooming in the flower beds. The cottage itself, although seemingly old, had a tidy, white paint to its walls, and was seemingly in a good condition. All in all, it looked like Remus took care of his home.
Worried about the werewolf himself, they walked to the door. Andromeda raised her hand and knocked on the door, loudly.
For a moment, they heard nothing. Just as they prepared to open the door, it was opened from the inside. They stepped forward to look at Remus.
They stared at the little girl in front of them.
She had the familiar amber eyes of Remus, and the same round face and pale skin. Even her slightly pointy nose was the same as they'd so many times seen in their friend's face. But her long hair wasn't brown; it was the darkest, most silken raven hair they'd ever seen, and it fell on a braid to her waist. She was wearing a tiny blue robe, and for her size she looked about five years old.
"Who... Who are you?" Andromeda managed to ask at last, after getting over the worst shock. "And what are you doing here?"
"My name is Sandrine Raïssa Lupin-Snape," the girl said, her voice blank like she'd been repeating some memorized speech. "My Mommy was hurt at full moon, and my father is Severus Snape. Mommy left you a letter. Can you help me?"
At this, their staring didn't at least lessen.
The girl became uneasy under their gazes. "Come and help Mommy," she pleaded. "Mommy's sick and I can't help him!"
Stunned, they followed the little girl when she walked through the little apartment. When the girl then opened the door of a little bedroom, they stepped inside after her.
"Mommy, they came!" she exclaimed. "Just like you said! They came!" She ran to the bed, where lay an almost motionless form.
"Remus?" Andromeda breathed, shocked. She looked at her old friend. The werewolf was lying on his bed, looking halfly unconscious. He had deep cuts on his face, he was deathly pale, and he looked as if he'd been starved, he was so thin.
Remus raised his eyes at them. "Andromeda," he said, his voice raspy and tired. "You remembered..." Then he closed his eyes and didn't speak anymore.
"Mommy?" the girl said, distress in her voice. "Mommy? Mommy, wake up!" She looked at the two adults, tiny tears shining in her amber eyes. "Help me, please?" she asked. "Mommy's sick. He always wakes up when I ask him!"
Andromeda crouched down and reached her arms to the girl. "Don't worry, little one," she said, her own voice hoarse with tears. "We will help your mommy. Promise."
Ted walked beside Remus's bed and tried his pulse. "Alive," he said. "But unconscious. I don't think it'd be wise to move him - we don't know what happened to him."
"He was hurt at full moon," the girl said, not coming to Andromeda's arms. She fiddled nervously with one raven lock of her hair. "When he was a wolf. The wolf hurt him."
"The wolf?" Andromeda echoed, shocked. "He was a wolf? How come the wolf didn't harm you?"
"I'm his cub," the girl explained with a tone one uses when telling something very simple to some very little child. "A wolf never harms its cub." Then she glanced again at Remus. "Are you able to help him?"
"I hope so, little one," Andromeda said, not even trying to stop the tears rolling down her cheeks. "I really hope so." She reached her arms out again, and this time, the girl stepped in nearer her. She hugged her tightly, trying to calm down herself as much as the child. Then she let her go a bit away and smiled as calmly as she could. "So what was your name?" she asked.
"Sandrine Raïssa Lupin-Snape," she replied, pronouncing the name the French way. "Lupin is for Mommy and Snape is for my father, but he doesn't know of me."
"I understand," Andromeda replied, despite that she didn't understand at all. "You said something about a letter?"
"Oh!" Sandrine exclaimed, her expression lightening again. "Yes! Mommy left a letter to give you."
"He knew we were coming?" she asked. This fact was a bit shocking. Remus, in his current condition, was really unable to write anything. Therefore, he had had to write the letter before the full moon.
He had been predicting something like that.
"Of course," Sandrine replied carelessly. "He said that if he gets hurt or dies, two people will come here and those people are nice and I should trust them. And I should tell them who I am and give them a letter, and you came, just like he said." Then she pulled away from her and ran out of the room.
Andromeda and Ted exchanged glances.
"Well?" Andromeda asked nervously as Ted finished his examination.
"He'll live," Ted replied briefly. "If we get help immediately. I'll go and get others here as well, you take care of the girl."
"Right," she nodded. Then, with a wondering tone, she said, "You know... What she said about her father..."
Ted nodded. "Figures," he just said. "Remember how Remus seemed to get better along with Snape than anyone else did?"
Andromeda could nothing but agree. "I only wonder why he didn't tell anyone."
"He had his reasons, I'm sure." With these words, Ted Disapparated.
"Where did he go?" Andromeda heard a little voice from the doorway.
"He went to get help for your mommy," she said, smiling slightly. Then she noticed something in the girl's hand. "Is that the letter?" she asked.
Sandrine nodded. "You should read it," she said, then climbed to Remus's bed and sat on the foot of the bed, very careful not to touch her werewolf father.
Andromeda unfolded the parchment.
"Andromeda, Ted, if it is you," the letter read. "Or anyone else. If you're reading this letter, it means that I've been hurt or died during the transformation at full moon. Therefore, I ask for your help.
"The girl who gave you this letter is my daughter, Sandrine. Sandrine Raïssa Lupin-Snape. She was born 6th of June, 1982. For the grace of Merlin, she's not lycanthropic. Her father, like she's already told you, was really Severus Snape, whom I am asking you to inform of the case."
She blinked. Obviously Remus had indeed been predicting something like this. Most probably he had written this letter ages ago, as well as taught his daughter how she should behave when "the two people," Andromeda and Ted, came. She also realized that the girl was almost seven, not five, like she'd thought - she was simply as small and light-build as Remus always was.
"If I'm dead or I die to my injuries, I ask Severus to take care of the child, or in the case he's unable or unwilling to do so, Andromeda and Ted Tonks, who are her godmother and -father. She'll attend Hogwarts 1993, for she's already shown signs of magic. I leave everything in my possession to her - not that it was very much. The key of my vault in Gringotts, 113, is in the top drawer of my nightstand.
"I can only ask that you help me and my little daughter.
"What it reads?" Sandrine asked as soon as she let the letter down from her hands.
"Not much." She shook her head. "Just who you are, when you were born, and who you'd live with if something happened to him." She looked at the girl. "Has he left this letter to you every full moon?"
Sandrine nodded. "He's told that when I was too young to give it he fastened it on my clothes." She studied her carefully. "What's your name?" she asked suddenly.
"Andromeda Tonks," she replied. "You can call me Andromeda. And my husband, he who left, is Ted."
"Okay." Sandrine nodded. "Dad said that I should trust you, and I think he was right. You are nice."
"Thank you," she said, smiling slightly.
Suddenly, they heard the door opening. "Where is he?" a female voice called.
"He's over here," Andromeda called back. She was relieved. She recognized the voice of Daniela Smithson - a member of the Order, yes, but also an experienced mediwitch. She'd surely be able to help Remus.
Soon Daniela rushed in the room. She raised an eyebrow as she saw Sandrine, but didn't ask anything - Daniela was never one to show her curiousity. Instead of that, she fixed her eyes on Remus. "Uh-oh," she murmured, shaking her head. After a brief examination much similar to the one Ted had done, she snapped her tongue. "We have to get him to St. Mungo's."
"Is it safe to move him there?" Andromeda asked suspiciously.
"I think so," Daniela replied, brushing a lock of her golden hair behind her ear. "But we have to wait until Ted returns, he told he'd go and get Mark and Louis."
"Mark and Louis?" Andromeda couldn't help but chuckle. "And how, pray tell, they're going to be of use in this case?"
Daniela eyed her sharply. "They maybe aren't mediwizards, but they can be of use," she said. "Remember that Mark is allowed to create Portkeys whenever he sees it necessary - a real benefit of having a Ministry official for husband - and Louis is strong enough to carry Remus during the Portkeying and not fall or drop him when we arrive to the hospital."
Andromeda nodded. "I'll take the girl to our place," she said. "If Remus is going to hospital, somebody has to take care of her until we inform the other father."
Daniela nodded briefly, but still didn't ask anything - something she was very grateful of. If Daniela had asked something, she'd soon ask questions Andromeda didn't have answers for - like how and when and why.
"Are you hungry?" she asked Sandrine.
"A bit," the girl admitted. "I ate chocolate in the morning, but then I've been helping Mommy and didn't have time to eat anything else."
She nodded. "Show me to the kitchen and we'll get you something to eat, okay?" she smiled. "Don't worry. Daniela will take good care of your mommy."
Sandrine nodded and slid off the bed. She followed Andromeda to the kitchen, not saying a word at the whole time.
"We now know what's wrong with your friend," said the mediwitch whom Andromeda had just questioned about Remus's current state. "Seemingly, as he transformed the last full moon, there was a scent of a stranger in his house. As the wolf's not used to the scent of anybody but he and his cub, he went practically mad. Trying to reach the stranger but not being able to, he bit and clawed himself much worse than usually, as well as flung himself against walls several times. He has not only deep cuts and wounds, but also severe internal injuries."
Gasping in surprise, Andromeda pressed her hands tightly together. "Will -will he recover?" she asked, desperate for an answer.
"Hopefully, yes," the mediwitch replied. "He has all the possibilities for full recovery, if everything goes all right." Glancing at her papers, she then asked, "Is there anybody who's able to take care of the child during Mr. Lupin's time in hospital?"
"Yes," she replied firmly. "I and my husband will take care of her, like Remus wished, if nothing else helps. However, like Remus also asked in his letter, I'm first going to contact the girl's other father."
"Very well." The mediwitch scribbled something to her papers, then said, "Do you want to send the owl now? Sandrine's currently under the care of one of our mediwitches, you need not to worry about her."
"Yes, I do believe that'd be the best."
Severus Snape frowned as an owl pecked on the window of his personal quarters. Getting up from the couch, he walked to the window and opened it, allowing the bird inside. The owl flew inside, dropped a note to the table, then flew away again, seemingly not having been instructed to wait for a reply.
Frowning again, Severus picked up the piece of parchment. "There's somebody in St. Mungo's who'd like to see you," he read from the little note. "He's in the room number 237. Arrive as soon as possible. - Andromeda Tonks" He snorted. Whoever might require his presence? Even less, anybody who'd get Tonks to contact Severus instead of sending an owl himself? He turned the note around to see if there was any kind of explanation there.
Seeing the other side of the note, he froze. With the same, neat handwriting, there was written on the other side of the note, "P.S. If you ever loved Remus, you'll come. - AT"
Severus remembered all those quiet nights, lying next to his lover, his arms wrapped around the narrow waist, Remus's head pressed against his shoulder. Also, he remembered all whispered promises of love, all quiet, warm assurances of caring they'd exchanged on those long nights, as well as the days that had flew past whenever he was with Remus, but crawled painfully slowly when he was separated from his only love. He remembered every moment of every day he'd spent with Remus, every wave of warmth flowing through his body from a simple touch by the werewolf, every quiet moment of shared love.
But more than anything, he remembered the hurt look on Remus's face as he'd told the werewolf that he didn't love him anymore. And he remembered the guilt and hurt in his own heart for lying to his lover.
He'd had to do it - at least that was what he kept telling himself. Voldemort liked nothing more than using people's loved ones against them. If his relationship to Remus had been discovered, Remus would have been hurt as a punishment to him every time he failed the Dark Lord. Or, even worse, the werewolf would have been forced to turn to the Dark, and that was a fate he'd never wish to his lover.
When Voldemort then had been defeated, only a couple of days after their break-up, he had been relieved - nothing could harm Remus now. But, he'd also been disappointed, for Remus hated him by now. There was no backing up once he'd said those words.
He hadn't forgotten his love during the years. He'd grown a thick, hard cover, true. He never showed any feelings to anyone. But sometimes, he hoped it could have been different - that maybe he could have lived with Remus. The worst the ache for different was when he saw children - not the annoying brats he had to teach every day, no, but little children with big eyes and adorable smiles. Whenever he saw them, he dared to think that they could be his. He and Remus's. He wanted nothing as much as their child; a little piece of the perfection that was Remus, even tainted with his own darkness, was more than he could ever ask for.
But, he'd loved Remus. He still did.
Severus Snape left his dungeons. Once he reached the outside of the un-Apparating wards of the school, he immediately Disapparated, just to Apparate to an alley near St. Mungo's Hospital.
Room number 237. There it was, right in front of him.
Severus thought about the possibilites still one time. He assumed it was Remus who'd asked the Tonks woman to contact him. But what could have happened to Remus?
'Try again,' he thought bitterly to himself, 'what couldn't have happened to him?'
There were so many possibilities. Maybe something had gone wrong during the transformation? Maybe some werewolf-haters had found out what he was and attacked him? Or maybe he'd just got an illness, something that his werewolf's immune system couldn't fight down?
Whatever it was, there was only one way to find out. And that way was to step inside. With a deep breath, the Potions Master opened the door, entering the hospital room.
Severus stared at the two people in the room. On the hospital bed lay indeed Remus Lupin, looking extremely thin and sickly and weak. On a little chair next to the bed sat a little girl, maybe around six, doodling on a piece of parchment. She was wearing a green robe with blue linings, and her long, black hair was fastened on a ponytail. Other than the black hair, she looked like a miniature replica of the werewolf.
"Who are you?" the girl asked, raising her glowing amber eyes at him as he had stood there for a moment, too stunned to say anything.
"Me? I'm Severus Snape," he replied, forcing himself to snap back to reality.
"Really?" The girl's face seemed to light up. She dropped the parchment and quill on the floor, got on her feet and ran to him. "My name is Sandrine Raïssa Lupin-Snape," she said cheerfully. "You are my father."
"Err... Excuse me?" He merely stared at the girl. He had misheard her or something. This couldn't be true, this was too bizarre to be true.
The girl - Sandrine? - smiled. "Mommy told that you don't know," she said, "but you are." Then she turned around. "Isn't he my father, Mommy?" she asked loudly. She skipped to the side of the bed and asked again, "Isn't he?"
There was no reply.
"Don't play with me, Mommy," she moaned. "Mommy, say something!" She turned her head to look at Severus, who was still too stunned to move. "Say something to him," she commanded firmly. "He was just awake. Tell him to stop playing and reply me!"
Severus forced himself to walk forward. He stopped beside the bed and looked at the motionless form laying on it. "Um... Lupin?" he asked uncertainly. "Lupin? Wake up!"
Still, the werewolf didn't reply.
Feeling slightly nervous, and feeling the girl's intense gaze fixed on himself, he reached out a hand and tested the pulse. It was there, but it was very weak - almost non-existant.
Without hesitating a moment, he pressed the button that was used to call a mediwitch on the place.
"What now?" Sandrine asked, sounding worried. "Is something wrong with Mommy?"
"Nothing is wrong," he said, faking a smile. "Your... mommy... is just a bit tired. I called a mediwitch to take care of him."
"Good." The girl still didn't take her gaze of him.
"What's bothering you now?" he asked, feeling slightly nervous under the gaze of those amber eyes.
"Mommy said that if something happens, somebody has to take care of me," she replied. "He said that if you don't want to, then Andromeda and Ted will. Do you?"
"Do I what?" Severus hadn't felt nervous for many, many years. Not even during his trial. The last time had been... The last time had been when he had had to dumb Remus in order to keep him safe.
"Do you want to take care of me until Mommy gets better, of course."
"Well..." He hesitated for a moment, then sighed. "Yes," he said with a very quiet voice. "Yes, I do."
The next chapter:
Sandrine is introduced to people in Hogwarts, Dumbledore messes up Severus's careful plans, and Andromeda meets someone surprising.