I wasn't intending to do a sequel to "Secrets of an Insignificant Slytherin", but this idea has been bothering me for a while now. Some people may find Severus' conduct immoral, selfish or distasteful, but that's what we love about him, isn't it? I'm not suggesting that he is right, nor that anyone should do the same. As ever, opinions expressed by characters do not necessarily reflect those of the author x

…….

Forget about joining Voldemort, defecting to the Order of the Phoenix, starting or leaving his job at Hogwarts or any of that old stuff, this was without question the biggest decision of Severus Snape's life.

He was finally allowed to make his own choices, with no interference from anyone else, and as this was such a vitally important matter, he was taking his time. It felt glorious.

He was going to have a baby. More than that, he was consciously choosing to have a baby, after a few years of preparation – sorting out a house, finances, finding a part-time job where he could work from home – he was ready and absolutely certain this was the perfect moment to do what he wanted to do.

Ideally, he would be able to get impregnated by some random stranger and live all alone with a house elf, clutching the child (whom he already worshipped with a passion, though it had not yet been conceived) possessively to his chest and never letting anyone or anything take him of her away, or even touch them. Knowing that this was probably not the best for the baby, however, he had grudgingly accepted that it would be better for all if he knew the other father. And it would have to be a good man. Good, in ways that Severus could never be. He should be sociable, pleasant, personable, well-liked – all the things that Snape was not, in order to make sure the child would be able to fit into a world that its carrier had never understood. Also, it was not impossible that Severus would be killed by some disaffected free Death Eater or other lunatic because of his treacherous part in Voldemort's downfall, and he would not countenance the idea of his poor orphaned boy or girl being sent to live with strangers – look at the Dark Lord, look at Potter! No.

Though it was painful to admit, whomever he chose would have to be part of the little one's life, to some extent. He would not have to be particularly close to Severus, in his experience, most people went to great lengths to stay away from him as far as possible. Just a drunken one-night-stand would suffice, he hoped, then a few months later he could make a firecall and drop the bombshell, feigning shock and bewilderment. If he chose well, an honourable wizard would offer what assistance he could, then support and guide the child as it grew, taking it on fun outings and doing all the things he himself was hopeless at. But the baby would still belong to him. He was planning on loving him or her so much that the bond between them would be unbreakable, even if it had to stretch now and then through the difficult times.

Applying his scientific logic to this most emotive of issues, Severus made a list.

He will be:

1) A good person. Honourable, kind etc.

2) A person with many friends who will befriend, and socialise with the child.

3) Possessed of all the qualities which I lack (charm, wit, humour etc).

4) A wizard, most definitely (pref. not a muggleborn, but not necessarily).

5) Someone I will be able to seduce, with or without potions.

6) Intelligent (baby will NOT be like Longbottom).

7) Someone without unexpected skeletons in cupboard. I must know about his past.

Bonuses:

1) Attractive, with small or medium-sized nose.

2) Not a Death Eater, vampire, werewolf, Hufflepuff, redhead or Welshman.

3) Good at Quidditch.

4) Stop getting carried away, Severus.

A sudden attack of conscience told him he was being very selfish, but hell, he had been a puppet for other people all his life. For once he wanted to be in charge, to have his own way, to get what he wanted. The Slytherin side of his brain noted that really, he was doing the other man a favour in bearing a child for him.

But whom could it be? Looking back over the list, he realised grimly that he had ruled out everyone in the world. Oops. He was being too fussy. But dammit, he had a right to be choosy. This was his baby's other father, it was important. He must not rush the decision. What he needed was another brainstorming list.

Wizards I know:

1) Dumbledore – most powerful wizard in world, but would see through my scheme in two seconds flat. Also baby may turn out more like mad uncle Aberforth. And scratchy beard. No.

2) Flitwick – no.

3) Shacklebolt – perfect except for dreadful debilitating injuries, poss. also impotent thanks to Bella's nasty curse.

4) Draco – no, no no. Is like son to me. Could not possibly. No.

5) Weasleys – no. Mischievous, ginger, tendency towards multiple births.

6) Potter – very thought making me feel ill. But is most famous wizard in world, powerful, loyal, dutiful, young and fit for running around after toddler. Hates me as much as I hate him. No.

7) Hardtbrind – even less sociable than me. Would not tear himself away from cauldron for long enough. Geek. No.

8) Zabini – high rates of squibbage, gout and insanity in family. Has also approached me for potions to sure variety of STDs, the slut.

9) Westwood-Booth – has been chasing me for years, can't stand the freak, no.

10) Lupin – werewolf, irritating, curse of my life, reason first baby died. But loyal, pleasant, kind, well-liked, honest, no other family to cause distraction, looks at me with hint of lust near full moon, good nose, clever, charming, takes orders, loves children, powerful wizard, cute in scruffy kind of way…

Severus threw down his quill. He didn't like where this was leading, but he was running out of options. He really hated the idea of a total stranger though. He continued Lupin's attributes.

Can't fly for shit, worships the Potter brat, poor… he paused, remembering the bestselling war memoir he had written the previous year, a copy of which was now in every wizarding home and library in the country, and probably the world. Pah. He crossed out 'poor' and replaced it with 'comfortable'.

Severus had been a scientist for most of his life, and trusted that a logical set of results always lead one to a logical conclusion, however, the left hand side of his brain was jumping up and down, screaming obscenities at the right's heartless decision. The right hand side would have sneered if it could, and asked the left if it had any better suggestions. Lucius was dead. He loved no one now. Lupin would be a good father. It was the only choice.

Damn.

……