Disclaimer: If I was Jo, the HBP would've been a very different story. Since I'm not, I'm grateful that this is the sequel to 'Simply Irresistible', a fic based on an alternate sixth year, where Snape is a sexy, sardonic Potions Master and Dumbledore lives. In this story, Severus deals with a pregnant wife and fatherhood, experiencing romance and a happy ending!
Don't Call Me Daddy
Chapter 1- The Omen
A grey hair was not an omen.
Severus Snape leaned forward to scrutinize the offending strand more closely in the mirror. His lean, clever features tightened with irritation. Stygian dark eyes contemplated hair that was just as deeply black, falling to his shoulders. All save a single exception. Last night, toward the end of the Welcoming Feast, the Potions Master had caught Minerva eyeing him oddly. When he'd looked at the woman inquiringly, she'd cleared her throat before stating,
"Beg Pardon, Severus, it's just that…you've got a grey hair."
"I'm surprised that I don't have a head full of them, after all those years of teaching dunderheads and thanklessly helping Potter retain his title of The-Boy-Who-Lived."
McGonagall's dignified mien had softened into a slight smile at the mention of the savior of the Wizarding World. Harry-Bloody-Potter had survived to finish his seventh year at Hogwarts. Voldemort was no more. The end of the Dark Lord's reign of terror had wrought several changes in Snape's personal and professional life. No longer was he required to remain behind Hogwarts' walls. If he had chosen, any one of a dozen corporations and foundations would have offered him their highest position. Instead, the youngest and most brilliant Potions Master in the world had decided to teach Advanced Potions for the few sixth and seventh years meriting his instruction. The rest of his valuable time was spent researching and developing potions of his own choosing.
"Did Harry send…er…you a post card from Romania too?"
A satiric eyebrow had risen, causing the Head of Gryffindor House to murmur, "Oh" and turn toward the Headmaster, who immediately asked her opinion of the new Associate Professor teaching History of Magic under Binns. The ghost had decided to retire from daily teaching in order to assist another spirit in re-organizing the Room of Records. Severus' glance had briefly rested on the young man who would probably become the most popular professor in the history of the school- at least to the female population. Draco Malfoy, elegant in custom-tailored black teaching robes, lounged in the last staff chair. Ignoring Hagrid's conversation, the blond's grey gaze remained fixed on the Gryffindor Table. Not needing to see a certain fiery haired girl to know who the History professor was looking at; his gaze had shifted across a Hairy Oaf to rest on the woman who had received a post card from Potter. His wife…
Lorelei had been chatting animatedly with her friend, the Defense Against Dark Arts professor Tonks. The metamorphmagus sported dark purple hair that night. His smirk over the woman's choice of eggplant parmesan for dinner had relaxed into a half smile upon meeting a sparkling midnight gaze. As usual, the now full-time Potions Professor had given him a look that Dumbledore once puckishly claimed 'reheated his coffee'. Married in a secret ceremony during Easter Holiday over a year and a half ago, they'd only made their true relationship public knowledge after Voldemort's defeat. Gossip had rapidly spread like wildfire throughout the staff, and from what he'd seen; the student grapevine had already made the news common knowledge.
Due to his distaste for providing the rabble with food for speculation and his spouse's enjoyment of Tonks and Hagrid's inane conversation, the couple sat apart at the Staff Table. That didn't stop Lorelei from flirting outrageously with her husband. Maybe it was the woman's siren blood that made her enjoy slanting covert looks his way. His dark gaze had flickered over the lovely features of her face before narrowing on the full red lips that smiled widely after she perceived his gaze. Snape had hastily twisted his own lips- to conceal a smile.
"Hey, admiring your sardonic splendor is my job."
In the mirror, his eyes met Lorelei's. She stepped beside him and raised a hand to stroke his cheek. Severus' grimace transformed into a wry smile,
"I was not contemplating my reflection out of vanity, woman. I was looking at this…" Pointing to the offending strand, he admitted, "I have never had one before, and Sybil making a rare descent to the Hall to announce that someone would receive a grey omen has…disconcerted me."
Why the admission resulted in his wife practically melting all over him was a mystery. It was illogical…but enjoyable. The soft, loving gaze made feelings of unease fade. They'd overcome ghosts of the past and obstacles that had arisen in the present. He'd let the future take care of itself. Their mouths met in a kiss that caused him to gently shift Lorelei in order to deepen the embrace. Masculine fingers slid long, black tresses to one side. Trailing kisses down the smooth skin of her neck, Severus' eyes opened. The image in the reflective surface made thin, mobile lips curve.
After his last morning class, the Potions Master dismissed the small group of seventh years worthy of his intensive instruction and deliberated whether to partake lunch in the Hall or ask Slinky to deliver a sandwich to his private laboratory.
Looking up in calm inquiry, he drawled,
"Yes, Professor Malfoy?"
Flashing a grin, the young man strolled into the room,
"I'm still not used to hearing that…wasn't long ago that I was a mere Prefect."
"Slytherin are never simple…it is not in our nature."
A laugh echoed in the dungeon chamber. He didn't show it, but the sound made Snape smile inwardly. The evidence of Draco's adjustment to his father's death and the events surrounding it was most welcome. There was an unspoken accord between the older wizard and the young man he had mentored. His pride in Malfoy's accomplishments and concern for his welfare was almost…
"I'm in need of your counsel." Hopping onto a table and swinging long legs in a way that reminded the watcher of the Slytherin's youth, Draco explained, "Malfoy Enterprises is running fine under new management, but one VP has accused another of misappropriating funds. I've got to floo to London this afternoon and sort the matter out. Which would you advise I use, Verisimilitude Serum or Mentitiri Potion?"
Leaning back in his desk chair, Severus tapped his fingers together and mused,
"Verisimilitude is effective in forcing a truthful answer, but the serum ensures only one honest response per dose, which hampers interrogation. If you use Mentitiri, the suspected thief can be questioned closely, and if he blushes, the lie will be known. Was that what you wanted to hear?"
Impeccably coiffed platinum hair shifted when the other man nodded,
"Yeah…a wise man once told me that a second opinion costs nothing but time, and can be discounted if not proven valuable. Would you happen to have a flagon of Mentitiri on hand?"
Standing, Snape led the way toward his private lab and the personal stores that held, among a myriad of other potions, Mentitiri. Lips twitching, he queried dryly after assenting to retrieve the flagon,
"Did this wise man also tell you that flattery is a useful tool in achieving your goals?"
Grinning, Draco answered,
"Why yes, you did."
Inclining his head in gracious acknowledgement of Malfoy's thanks and promise to inform Lorelei that her husband would be occupied below during the noon meal, Severus turned his attention to the new potion he was working on. To be more precise, the old potion that he was attempting to brew in a new way… Currently, Wolfsbane Potion had to be made fresh and ingested a week before the full moon for the drinker to retain his mind and transform into a wolf instead of a were-wolf.
The Potions Master had readily consented to assembling the complicated formula every month for Lupin. His analytical mind, however, had been piqued by the thought that if the Potion could be stabilized to a point where it would remain viable when placed in a stasis chamber, then a lycanthrope would be able to keep a supply of Wolfsbane on hand, and management of his condition would be much less stressful.
A voice in the back of his mind mocked,
What do you care about lessening another's stress? Oh, I forgot, you and Lupin are friends now, having dinner with your partners and playing darts in the pub. Maybe Remy will ask you to be his best man if he ever takes that final step into insanity and marries the metamorphmagus. Then everyone will know that hell hath truly frozen over…
Grimly shoving thoughts that sounded too much like his late, un-lamented father for comfort into a mental vault and slamming the door, Snape concentrated on the experiment at hand. Carefully pouring the finalized solution into a goblet, he waited with unconsciously bated breath for steam to rise. No vapors appeared. He fought the urge to throw the goblet against a wall.
"Severus, come quick!"
The urgency in Malfoy's voice stopped the professor from snapping, 'Don't call me Severus.' It was readily apparent that Draco had meant no disrespect. Immediately heading toward the doorway, Snape demanded,
"What has happened?"
Shaking his head, the young man confessed,
"I'm not sure. Lorelei told Hagrid that she was feeling dizzy, stood, and then fainted. I carried her to the infirmary and then ran here as fast as possible."
Placing his hand for a moment on Malfoy's shoulder, he said, 'Thank you' before striding quickly toward the hospital wing, black robes billowing. Severus heard Draco's steps following, but didn't turn and dismiss the man. The feeling of dread that had plagued him ever since Trelawney had made her prediction was threatening to become something vaguely resembling panic. If Malfoy accompanied him, it would be easier to remain calm and collected. Opening the infirmary door, the concerned husband wanted to rush down the chamber toward the curtained area at the end, but he forced himself to take deliberate steps, only slowing when Poppy's brusquely sympathetic voice carried,
"Had you never considered the possibility before?"
What possibility? Lorelei's voice was faint,
"No…I've been trying a new monthly potion…" She mentioned a specific name, "It's supposed to be fail-safe."
Snape's hand froze in position to open the curtain when the mediwitch said decisively,
"I'm afraid that's not the case. You make it yourself, so I don't expect you've read the fine print on the commercial product. It becomes less effective if the magical properties are…put into use…more than twice…"
The woman's voice drifted off embarrassedly. Sounding contemplative, Lorelei finished,
"…a day? Yes, that sounds about right, except for the weekends, or holidays when we have more time, aren't so busy."
Severus' eyes closed, even before the simultaneous exclamations,
Pomfrey's tone was shocked; Tonks' disbelieving. Black strands fell forward when he shook his head upon hearing,
"What had you meant?"
After a short pause and a muffled answer, Lorelei interjected,
Hearing Draco's muffled snort of amusement propelled the older man into action. He swept aside the curtain and moved to his wife's side. She exclaimed,
"Severus! You're just in time. Poppy's about to do a test to see if…" Clasping his hands tightly, her face lit up, "…we might be having a baby!"
The corners of his mouth turned upwards. Quietly, he asked,
Looking askance at the smirking former student, the mediwitch proceeded to disregard both the blond and the purple haired DA professor to lift a blue glass bottle off a shelf and uncork it, saying,
"Don't ask me the whys and wherefores, but after I place a drop of blood into the solution, vapors arise in a way that indicates expectancy." Briskly matching actions to words, she concluded, "If the shape of a rabbit forms and hops around, there is no pregnancy, but if the rabbit manifests, and then dissipates…"
Five sets of eyes watched the vapors twist into the shape of a rabbit and then dissolve. Snape and Lorelei looked wonderingly at each other. Draco said humorously,
"The rabbit died."
Slanting the young professor a look that caused him to hurriedly offer his congratulations and leave, unfathomable dark eyes returned to shining ones. Tonks hugged his wife enthusiastically, himself hesitantly, and rushed away. Pomfrey bustled out, murmuring that she had to go get something…somewhere. Alone with his wife, Severus was filled with conflicting emotions. He'd never allowed himself to envision having a child. Even after his marriage. In the depths of his soul, the man felt that he didn't deserve one. Apparently, the cosmos, or fate had decided otherwise. He was to be a father. The knowledge filled him with humility, and elation.
"I love you."
Tenderly kissing the lips that smiled even while his wife cried those paradoxical 'happy tears', Snape repeated the words back to Lorelei before bending down and impulsively kissing the abdomen that would expand as his child grew. Almost inaudibly, he whispered,
"I love you too…but don't call me daddy."
A/N: I've always wondered about the 'rabbit died' pregnancy test saying, but I'm too busy writing (i.e. lazy) to look it up, so if any of my brilliant readers know off hand and can explain, I'd love to know. Even if you don't, Review and make my life worth writing:D
Since this is a sequel, I don't think anyone would mind if I thank the wonderful readers that have reviewed the final chap of Simply Irresistible so far: Autumn9265039:; Catalyst:; cato'nine:; Demon of Doom:; Embellished:; Ezmerelda:; FNP:; Funnykido;: GraceRichie:; Hermione Weasley 192:; Inari no Kitsune:; Jedi Knight Padme:; Kagura no baka:; LadyLuck321:; LadyZymurgy:; madmissymel:; Mew Katherine:; Midnight Walker:; mothproofrhubarb:; NazgulGirl:; Queen of the Sacred Flames:; Severusgirl:; Slipknot-3113:; Slythchick:; Sunny9847:; zafaran:; Your kind words made parting from the story more sweet than sorrow. Muah! If anyone does mind, well, I'd rather ask for forgiveness than permission. LOL