Snape, Trelawney. After a potions accident, Uncle Remus and Nanny
Tonks watch over Severus and Sibyll.
Disclaimer: The characters belong to JKRowling. I'm just having fun playing with them.
Occurs during holiday break in Order of the Phoenix.
THE MOUTHS OF BABES
The Dungeon, Slytherin
Severus Snape poured the tea with a flick of his wand, although his tone of voice belied a less than friendly demeanor toward his guest. "Sibyll, will you stop this whining? Showing any weakness will only enhance your being a target for Umbridge."
Sibyll Trelawney sniffed and took several sips of her tea. She was dressed simply in a gray shift and had left her jewelry behind. Even her eyeglasses were missing which served to reveal her soft blue eyes. She took a big gulp, barely noticing the taste, then bit her lip before asking, "But what if I do get fired, Severus? Would--would you not be affected at all by my dismissal?"
"Merlin protect me from weepy women," muttered Snape under his breath. He just shook his head at Sibyll and tossed the tea down his throat as he considered what to say that would send her on her way without any more crying. But as the tea hit the back of his throat, he recognized a novel taste. He swallowed automatically before saying, "An adulterant!"
He looked across the table as he tried to stand up and it confirmed his worst fears. "Sibyll!"
"I can't believe how adorable they look," murmured Nymphadora Tonks she looked at the two four-year old children sitting on the bed at the far end of the infirmary at Hogwarts.
The boy had large, dark eyes, a sleek head of dark hair, and a nose that would eventually be a distinguishing trait. He sat sullenly with eyes downcast. The little girl had a mop of curly brown hair, blue eyes, and cute dimples as she smiled shyly while she chattered at the boy. Someone had seen fit to dress them in matching gray flannel running suits.
"Do you know how they managed to ingest the Youth Potion?" asked Remus Lupin.
Madam Pomfrey shook her head, but said, "Snape mentioned that he found Umbridge snooping around his ingredients just before the Christmas holiday. Somehow the tea they were sharing got contaminated with Panax parvulus."
"Trelawney was down in the dungeons for a cup of tea with Snape?" asked Tonks. She couldn't prevent the knowing glance she exchanged with Lupin.
Pomfrey merely shrugged. "They've been teaching together at Hogwarts for sixteen years. Sometimes odd habits develop among the faculty, like Saturday afternoon tea."
"Or the never-ending game of Wizard's chess McGonagall and Dumbledore have," added Lupin.
"Quite," agreed Pomfrey. "Luckily Umbridge is gone this weekend, but the question is, what to do with them until I can finish the aging potion? It won't be ready until tomorrow afternoon. We can't leave them at the castle; they're much too young to wander about on their own."
"They seem to be fine here in the infirmary," began Lupin.
"I'm in the middle of a major cleansing of the wing," said Pomfrey with a wave around her. "Students get back from their Christmas holiday in a week, so it's imperative everything is back in its proper place by then."
Tonks wrinkled her nose, knowing full well from her days in detention what Pomfrey considered a good cleansing. "So you need babysitters?"
"My preference would be Molly and Arthur, of course, but that's impossible. We needed a good team and you fit the bill."
Tonks and Lupin looked at the children. Their innocent demeanor revealed a vulnerability hidden by the adult. The girl Sibyll clearly yearned for acceptance and that led to her talkative nature, but she was not discouraged by her taciturn companion. As she used her hands to act out some bizarre story, Severus actually let a fleeting smile touch his features. Obviously her constant attention was making some impact.
"Well, Uncle Remus, what d'you say?" asked Tonks.
"This will only be for a day," began Lupin as he surveyed his partner. "We've done enough preliminary work on our current case to know the Werewolf won't come out until full moon on Monday. So, I suppose we can only say yes, Nanny Tonks."
Tonks had a light smile on her face as she nodded and peered at the children again. "Do the tots realize who they really are?"
"They know their names, but their minds operate as if they were indeed four years old, although Severus was always mature and rather serious for his age," explained Pomfrey.
"Where do you want us to stay with the children?" asked Lupin.
"You'll be at a cottage at the edge of Hogsmeade," said the nurse as she pulled out the key. "Everything you need should be there. Just keep them safe until noon tomorrow and the potion should be ready."
"Good, then, we'll--" Lupin stopped talking as he noticed Tonks suddenly wincing and looking pale. "Tonks? What's wrong?"
Tonks scrunched her face and just shook her head.
"Time of the month, is it?" asked Pomfrey as she looked at the two of them speculatively.
"My cycle's been shifting a bit," admitted Tonks through gritted teeth. Normally she didn't get it this bad. What was going on?
Lupin was looking between the two women in confusion. "Cycle? What cycle? I'm the one on a monthly..."
Lupin's voice dropped off as he realized what a dimwitted male he was being.
"Of course, your cycle is coinciding with the full moon now, is it, Tonks? Interesting." Pomfrey said.
"Oh, bloody hell, I'll be back in a bit." Tonks scurried off in the direction of the loo.
Once he heard the door closing, Lupin asked, "Poppy, now review this for me. I'm facing the upcoming full moon with two little ones in tow and a woman with menstrual cramps. Can anything else go wrong?"
"Just keep plenty of chocolate on hand, Remus," replied the nurse with a sympathetic look as she offered him two chocolate frogs. "Consider it a learning experience."
"It's been a year for them," admitted Lupin as he ran a hand through his hair, reminding the nurse of the man as a student at Hogwarts.
But Lupin was now a grown man and obviously had decided to lead a normal life now that he had Tonks. Pomfrey tapped her lips as she commented, "You know, no one has ever documented this before. A lycanthrope and a metamorphamagus, I mean."
"Lucky me," murmured Lupin. But then Pomfrey's implication hit home. "Poppy, Tonks and I aren't, I mean, it wouldn't be a good idea if people knew--"
Pomfrey said, "That you and Tonks are lovers? I'm not interested in gossip, Remus, but have you thought about the effect a physical relationship with a lycanthrope might have on a metamorphmagus?"
Lupin frowned for a moment. "Why would it be different than any other woman?"
"Because her body can shift, Remus, and this shifting cycle could be nature's way of ensuring you can't conceive during the days around a full moon."
"Children aren't something we've discussed, other than we know now is not a good time."
"It may never be a good time, Remus," sighed Pomfrey. She had always been direct with Lupin about the limitations he could expect on account of his lycanthropy. "It could be that that Tonks' body will do whatever it can to prevent conception. Any other woman would likely be inert, but a metamorphmagus, well, their bodies adapt automatically to certain threats."
"And conceiving a child with a lycanthrope would fall under the definition of threat?" asked Lupin.
"Only time will tell, Remus, but I'll see if I can slip into the library to research this when I'm taking a break from cleaning," said Pomfrey. She patted his shoulder. "I'm just glad you never set your heart on having your own children."
Lupin merely nodded. No, he had never expected to have sexual relations with a woman, let alone father a child. But what did Tonks want? Had he doomed her to a barren relationship?
"Children, you're to go along with Remus and Tonks," directed Pomfrey as she helped them don their coats and scarves once Tonks had returned.
The boy looked up and gauged the two new adults rather suspiciously. He crossed his arms over his chest and firmly said, "No."
Tonks and Lupin exchanged a glanced that clearly said they weren't letting a four-year old control the situation. Tonks then bent down and asked a bit peevishly, "And why not?"
Severus stared at her for a moment. "Your hair."
"Is that all?" asked Tonks. She scrunched her face and it changed from pink to a midnight green.
Severus sat back in surprise at the sudden change while Sibyll clapped her hands. Then she happily hopped off of the cot and skipped toward Tonks. She lifted her hands in expectation of being picked up.
Tonks felt her eye tear at the thought of such a trusting child. Her hormonal shift was obviously unfettering her emotions. But, would she ever have her own daughter? She was a career woman, after all. Then there was the question of Lupin's lycanthropy and her metamorphmagus status, and of course, she wasn't getting any younger...
A single tear was slowly trailing down her cheek before Tonks grabbed little Sibyll and rubbed her face into the curly locks saying, "Let's go, Remus."
"Tonks? Are you all right?" asked Lupin. He wasn't quite sure why she was crying.
"I'm bloody fine, now let's go. The tots are depending on us." She walked away quickly so that all Lupin could see was the curly headed tot waving happily back at him over Tonks' shoulder.
Lupin looked at Pomfrey who patted his shoulder and used the opportunity to stuff two more Honeydukes bars into his pocket. "Welcome to the real world, Remus." As she walked off to resume her cleaning, he could swear he heard her muttering, "And it's about time."
The two males were left to consider each other, both with a bit of suspicion. In fact, it amused Lupin to find that they crossed their arms in synchrony and stared at each other for a moment.
This was a child, Lupin told himself. Let the man be just a boy for the day. He gently asked, "Severus, do you want me to carry you?"
The boy said nothing; he merely jumped off of the cot onto his feet and began walking out the door.
They heard Sibyll's high pitched squeal calling, "Look, Sevewus, I'm tall!"
Tonks had stopped to wait for her companions, but at least had gotten her emotions under control. She chimed in merrily, "That's right, Sibyll, you are."
The boy stopped in his tracks. His head was bobbing up and down as he assessed the situation, then swerved his head in synchrony with Lupin to meet his gaze. The tot thrust up his arms a bit stiffly, but his expression seemed to expect the gesture to be ignored.
"With your permission," said Lupin as he quickly picked up the boy and put him on his shoulders. "I don't think Tonks can top this."
"Why, Sibyll, I think we've just been challenged," said Tonks as she deftly swung the giggling girl around and onto her shoulders.
Severus seemed to have a smug look on his face since he still had more altitude than Sibyll. Until Tonks scrunched a bit to extend her legs. Soon he was eye-to-eye with his colleague.
"You going to be all right?" asked Lupin with a note of concern. He didn't want Tonks taxing herself--and leaving him to tend the two alone, he thought guiltily.
"Bet we beat you to the cottage," said Tonks as she took off at a quick dash. Sibyll was squealing in delight.
"Don't worry, Severus, she'll give out in about ten meters. Slow and steady wins the race," said Lupin with a pat to the boy's leg as he assumed his normal, long stride.
Actually, it only took eight meters before the cramps slowed her down.
"Look! Pretty lights!" called Sibyll from atop Tonks' shoulders. They were approaching the cottage when the girl's attention was drawn to a mist of lights that seem to hover just above the snow covered ground.
"Snowflake fairies," said Tonks in wonder. She hadn't seen them since she had been a child. She knelt and let Sibyll hop off of her shoulders to wave a hand through the lights.
In the falling dusk, the lights were as bright as fireflies on a summer day. Sibyll looked up with large sad eyes when the lights swarmed away from her.
"Gently, Sibyll, you don't want to disturb their harvest. Just stand still and they'll ignore you," cautioned Lupin as he also knelt to let Severus off to inspect the fairies. ""They collect the snowflakes and preserve them as a mating token."
"Really?" asked Tonks. "I thought they just played in the snow."
"Each snowflake is unique, so they gather them like jewelry. They have a twenty year cycle. I'd bet you haven't seen them since you were a girl." Lupin settled comfortably to watch as Sibyll and Severus let the fairies skim the air around them.
"You're right. Pops and I wandered off on one of his walks, but we forgot about being lost when we found the snowflake fairies," said Tonks. Then she giggled, "Mum sent Sirius out looking for us. I didn't realize it at the time, but he found us just after a big black dog scared away the poor things."
Lupin was smiling at the thought of Snuffles running through the snow chasing fairies when he heard a scream.
Severus was obviously upset. The fairy that had been buzzing near his nose vanished in a sparkle.
"Severus, what's wrong? The snowflake fairies can't hurt you," assured Lupin as he put his hands on the boy's shoulder.
Severus was standing with his eyes crossed as they focused on the tip of his nose. He shook his head and asked, "It's mine?"
Tonks was biting her lip to keep from laughing at the child's discovery, so she murmured to Sibyll to keep her from being upset as well. Lupin had more experience in this department.
"It's just your nose, Severus. You've never noticed it before?" asked Lupin.
Severus now had his hand over his nose, and threw a suspicious glance at Tonks. Lupin read his thoughts perfectly.
"No, Tonks can't make people around her change faces; it's her talent alone. Nature just saw fit to provide you with a memorable profile," said Lupin. He took the boy's hand off of his nose and tapped his own with it, "See, you're not alone."
Lupin managed not to groan when Severus gave his nose a good tweak. Considering all the times he'd just stood by and watched his friends tease Snape, it was acceptable payback.
Severus gave his own nose one last rub before he shrugged. Then Sibyll approached him with obvious intent to also rub his nose, but Severus ran behind Lupin. Soon Tonks was chasing Sibyll around Lupin's legs as Severus kept trying to evade her advances.
"Oh, Severus, just let her get in one quick touch. What can it hurt?" pleaded Tonks, who was starting to cramp again.
Lupin managed to hold the boy's shoulders, so Severus stood there with his arms across his chest and rolled his eyes. Sibyll squealed in delight, but instead of tapping his nose quickly, she leaned forward and touched her lips to him in the barest of kisses.
Then she skipped merrily to the front door of the cottage, clearly satisfied with her success. In the meantime, Severus just stood there frozen as if he didn't know whether to get mad or--or? He looked up at Lupin with a clear question in his eyes.
"Don't think about it too hard, Severus. Sibyll is obviously attached to you," said Lupin. "And even when you get older, you may never really understand why."
Severus leaned in closer to Lupin a bit. It was obvious that females were an unpredictable lot.
Uncle Remus was cooking dinner while he watched Nanny Tonks at work. Both children were sitting beside her as she read a storybook about the Six Wizards of Fortune. Although the illustrations moved, nothing could compare with Tonks' ability to morph into the face of each character and literally speak in the corresponding voice.
Lupin leaned against the doorsill for a moment as the story came to a close. Sibyll had her thumb in her mouth, a gesture of the inherent insecurity that plagued her as she grew. Severus, who had not spoken again, seemed absorbed in the story, carefully watching the shifting faces of Tonks. He had sat stiffly when the story began, but had relaxed so that at least he was peering over at the book, although not in the crook of Tonks' arm as was Sibyll.
The Werewolf felt his heart tighten for a moment as he remembered Pomfrey's words. He needed to talk to Tonks about the nurse's suspicions. Maybe he'd have that opportunity once the children settled for the night.
"Dinner's ready," he called.
The group was soon seated around the dining room table. Things seemed to be fine until Lupin looked toward Severus to find the boy clutching at his throat and making a gagging noise.
"Severus! Oh no, he's choking!" called Tonks.
Unfortunately, she and Lupin had the same idea and moved to the boy. And that's how Tonks' head managed to butt Lupin on his nose. Whack!
Lupin blinked at the sharp pain only to hear Severus speaking quite clearly as the boy pointed to the beets on his plate, "I don't like that."
Tonks was rubbing her forehead as she sat back down, "You know what? I don't like them either."
Lupin sat back down with a sigh and flicked his wand at the beets. "How about this?"
Sibyll poked her fingers into the red mush and sucked the red mush. "Mm, strawberry jam!"
"Use your spoon, please, Sibyll," reminded Lupin. Thinking that everything was settled, he was about to take a bite of his food when Sibyll suddenly emitted an ear-piercing shriek.
Tonks noticed the boys at the table were both covering their ears and wincing, clearly looking to Tonks to deal with the situation. She quickly covered Sibyll's mouth then asked, "Sibyll, what's wrong?"
"Mm ffl hnm mmm."
Tonks removed the hand, but noted the boys still quickly put their hands over their ears again. "Say again?"
"My potatoes. They're touching the string beans." Sibyll turned to Tonks with watery blue eyes.
"Oh, but that's not potatoes, Sibyll," said Tonks quickly. She had everyone's attention now. She made a couple of adjustments to the plate and explained, "See, that's her hair and this bit is a necklace and, of course these are--"
"Earrings!" squealed Sibyll in delight.
Severus leaned over to quickly peer at his partner's plate, then he turned to Lupin with a clear demand in his expression.
"Well, we men are feasting on dragons, not fairies," assured Lupin as he quickly shaped the elements of the meal on Severus' plate. Amazing how well string beans could look like dragon scales.
Severus gave a satisfied nod and ignored the, "Mine's prettier," comment from Sibyll. The meal proceeded without further incident, so Lupin pulled out the chocolate frogs to offer the children.
"Do you think that's a good idea?" she asked. She wondered if the children would be able to catch the bouncing confections.
"We can't eat ours unless they get theirs," said Lupin as he offered a bar of Honeyduke's chocolate to the Auror.
For some reason, the chocolate frogs had decided to leap toward Tonks and landed in her hair. She soon found two tots climbing onto her lap, all elbows and knees, and madly waving their arms as they tried to grab their morsel.
"Immobilus," called Lupin.
All parties, frogs and humans alike, were suspended for the moment. Lupin quickly wrapped a little fist around each frog and sat the children into their respective chairs before ending the spell.
Tonks sagged in place as soon as the spell wore off and her pale face indicated another round of cramping. "Why don't you read them a story and I'll see to the dishes?"
Lupin quickly agreed. While he didn't have Tonks talent for changing faces, his ability to mimic voices was quite good. Tonks was feeling better once the dishes were done, so she sat on the floor, offering her lap as a footstool for his long legs as the next story unfolded. Babysitting wasn't too bad, she thought wistfully.
But the story was over all too soon and that meant time for bed. But before that, time for a bath.
"But I cooked dinner," reminded Lupin as Tonks revealed her plan regarding the baths.
"You didn't have either one of these tots as your professor at Hogwarts and I had them both--for seven years!" said Tonks.
"I had them as classmates for seven years," said Lupin.
"Yes, but they never sent you to detention," said Tonks. "There is no way I am giving Severus Snape a bath."
She had him there, admitted Lupin. "Fine, I'll make sure the cots are made while you tend to Sibyll."
"Come on, Sibyll, it's time to get cleaned up," called Tonks.
The little girl skipped to the bathroom, but then as she came to the full-length mirror on the door, Sibyll pointed and screamed.
The males had again ducked for cover by grabbing cushions from the sofa to cover their ears, leaving Tonks to deal with the current crisis. She practically tripped as she reached Sibyll and covered her mouth to stop the noise.
"Sibyll, I'm going to let go of your mouth now and you're going to calmly tell me what's wrong? Okay?"
The little girl nodded.
Tonks removed her hand from the child's mouth and she could see Lupin and Severus cautiously peering at them over the cushions.
"Am I going to die?" Large blue eyes were filling with tears as the girl asked her question.
"Die? No, why would you think that?"
"I'm bleeding," said Sibyll as she pointed to her cheek.
At this point, Lupin had approached the females with Severus as his shadow. He knelt by Sibyll and explained, since Tonks was covering her face and her body was shaking.
"It's strawberry jam, Sibyll, not blood," said Lupin calmly.
Sibyll blinked, then rubbed at her cheek and tasted for herself. "Oh."
With that, her smile was back on her face as she skipped into the bathroom, "I want bubbles..."
Lupin helped Tonks stand, kissed her forehead lightly and asked, "Got control?"
Tonks' eyes were bright, but a giggle escaped her. She just called to Sibyll, "Bubbles are my speciality!"
Severus and Lupin looked at the closed door of the bathroom, heard two sets of giggling females, then turned to face each other.
"It's No Man's Land for now, Severus," offered Lupin. "Let's go see to the beds."
Lupin was surprised to find how helpful Severus was in getting the beds made. The tots would sleep in the room across the hall from their own. Lupin was anxious to get the children to bed so he could have a talk with Tonks, but the girls were still not out when they finished their task.
"Maybe we should check on them. Wouldn't want anyone to drown," said Lupin as he and Severus approached the bathroom. Giggles confirmed that the girls were indeed, not dead.
Lupin knocked and called, "Tonks? Aren't you finished yet?"
Tonks opened the door with a bright smile and a foaming beard. Behind her a bubble-bearded Sibyll was giggling a song about Michael Finnegan. "...he had whiskers on his chin again..."
"They grew out and then grew in again..." added Tonks as she dabbed a bubbled mustache on Lupin.
Severus looked a bit bewildered at the whole scene, until he heard Tonks and Sibyll singing in unison, "Poor old Michael Finnegan, begin again! There was a man named Michael Finnegan..."
"Oh, no, not the neverending song?" pleaded Lupin as he wiped away the foam.
"Just let me get Sibyll rinsed off and it's your turn," assured Tonks as she regained her composure.
The door shut as the men stared at each other. Girls.
The bathroom was eventually emptied of feminine habitation with Tonks carrying away Sibyll clad in yellow pajamas with little badgers all over them. Severus then insisted he would bathe himself once Lupin ran the bath.
"I do it. Alone."
The dark eyes were resolute, so Lupin merely said, "I'll be right by the door if you have any trouble."
Click. The door closed. Five minutes later, Severus stepped out dressed in his pajamas covered with little green serpents.
Lupin touched the top if his head, "Severus, I don't think you spent enough time in the bath."
"I did." The boy crossed his arms over his chest.
"Then why is your hair dry?" asked Lupin.
Severus scowled. There was something about the water that frightened him, but Lupin had kept his promise and remained outside the door.
"A full bath, Severus. Now if you need my help--"
"I do it," said the boy sullenly.
Ten minutes later, Lupin was rubbing the boy's hair dry with a towel. "See, that's not so bad."
Severus remained silent, but allowed himself to be tucked into bed.
"Good night." Tonks and Lupin closed the door and assumed their day's work was at an end.
The little cottage was quiet as Tonks made her way to bed. She promptly tucked a pillow against her stomach, but soon felt Lupin's hand rubbing her back soothingly.
"I'm sorry you're suffering on my account," he began. "I never thought how our physical relationship could affect you."
Tonks turned her head to peer at him. "I'm normally not so uncomfortable, but I don't think it's you. It's the fact that I'm a metamorphmagus. Pomfrey warned me about my body responding to changes in unexpected ways."
Lupin was silent for a moment as he kept gently stroking her back. "Nymphadora, have you ever thought about children?"
Silence. Sobbing? Oh, perfect, he'd mucked it up by being so direct. "I'm sorry, I didn't--"
"I never realized sniff before today sniff," said Tonks. "I'd probably be a poor mother anyway."
"No, I don't think so," said Lupin. He closed his eyes and held her tightly. "Pomfrey thinks your body will see my lycanthropy as a threat and that we won't be able to have children." He gave a wry laugh, "Looks like we didn't have to worry about contraceptive charms."
Tonks fell quiet. Her voice was a bit muffled when she finally asked, "So with any other woman, any normal woman, you'd be able to conceive?"
Lupin pulled back to look at Tonks. "I never even thought of it like that. You're not the problem--"
"Yes, I am." She wiped at a tear and met his gaze. "Lycanthropes are completely normal except during full moon. Me? I'm always a metamorphmagus. It doesn't turn off. Don't you see, Remus? I am a magical creature, not a human."
"Don't you ever say that!" How could this beautiful woman believe that? But he knew of the suspicions she had faced when she began Auror training. Lupin had even defended her against Order members who had thought shape shifting automatically put Tonks on the head of potential traitors list.
"Nymphadora Tonks, you are very special woman with unique abilities, not some soulless creature. No one has ever made me feel more alive and human than you can. You are a blessing, one I don't deserve. You could be throwing away your chance to have a family someday because you bound yourself to me."
Tonks reached out to trace the vestiges of the Wolfshadow amulet that hung around his throat. When not activated, the two amulets reverted into a wooden bead strung on a length of black leather.
"Invito venus," she whispered. The amulets changed into the moonstones set in silver. She looked at the shadow of the wolf cast against the wall. "I love you, Remus. I'm where I belong and I accept the consequences of my decision."
Lupin cupped her face in his hands and whispered, "I love you."
He kissed her gently and let the fear sweep away as the sense of union filled him. How could her body let her respond so passionately to him if he was a threat?
Lupin and Tonks drew back as they heard the shriek. They turned their heads to the door to find Severus with his hand over Sibyll's mouth to prevent another yelp. Sibyll's eyes were darting from Severus to the two adults in bed.
"Sibyll, did you need something?" asked Tonks, having surmised the shriek was an expression of distress at having caught the two adults kissing.
Sibyll nodded as solemnly as she could with Severus' hand over her mouth. The boy clearly had no intention of letting another shriek pierce the air.
"Severus, would you release Sibyll so she can tell us what she needs?" asked Lupin.
The boy seemed to consider the wisdom of this act, but cautiously dropped his hand.
"I want a drink of water," said Sibyll quietly.
"I'll see to Sibyll. Why don't you take Severus back and wait for us?" Tonks was already getting out of bed.
Once they finally got the children in bed--with two glasses of water by their nightstand, they turned off the light.
"Is kissing nice?" asked a little feminine voice.
The adults could hear a groan from the other bed and saw the blanket being pulled over Severus' head.
Tonks cleared her throat and said, "With the right person, yes, kissing is very nice. You kissed Severus on the nose earlier, right?"
Sibyll giggled, "I wanted him to turn into a Prince."
"Silly girl," came the muffled comment before Severus covered his head with the pillow.
"Kissing doesn't make a boy grow up," said Tonks. "You'll just have to wait. Muggles say a girl has to kiss a lot frogs before she finds her prince."
"If I kissed the chocolate frog, would it turn into a prince?"
Lupin sighed, and another groan from Severus could be heard before Lupin answered, "No, chocolate frogs are just candy. And no one has used the ranna pippiens spell on a man since it was outlawed in 1345."
"Oh," said Sibyll. "So you weren't some nasty creature before Tonks kissed you?"
Lupin was caught off guard by that observation. He noticed the sideward glance Tonks threw his way and said, "Well, maybe some women can change a man with a kiss."
"You'll just have to find your own frog some day, Sibyll," said Tonks as she kissed the girl's forehead.
"Oh," said Sibyll in the middle of a huge yawn. "Will you remember me when you have your own babies?"
Tonks leaned over to smooth the hair away from the girl's forehead. "Of course I'll remember you. I don't have to have babies of my own for that."
"Mm, but you will..." sighed Sibyll. But her comment died away as the child suddenly fell asleep.
The adults could see Severus cautiously peering at her cot from under his pillow. He slowly moved so that his pillow was tucked under rather than on top of his head and closed his eyes. The soft breathing of the children soon filled the room indicating they were finally asleep.
Lupin wrapped his arm around Tonks' waist as she leaned back against him as he stood against the doorsill.
"Sometimes I wish Sibyll Trelawney wasn't such a fraud," whispered Tonks. "Do you think--"
Lupin squeezed her waist. "It's something we won't know until it happens. But with the imminent war, there will be enough young lives for us to tend to whether the children are our babies or not."
Tonks squeezed his hand and let Lupin lead her to bed.
"You know, I'd hate the thought of going through puberty again," grimaced Tonks.
"At least it will be faster this time," muttered Lupin.
"You think that's a good thing?" asked Tonks.
They had delivered the tots to Pomfrey who had promptly isolated Sibyll and Severus before giving them the remedy. She walked to Tonks and Lupin now with a satisfied smile. "They'll sleep for the rest of the day, but they don't seem to be worse for wear. Thank you for helping."
"It was enlightening," said Lupin.
"And how are you doing, Tonks? Any better?"
"Don't feel like a bag of soggy rags," admitted Tonks. "So, you think my body is adjusting to Remus?"
"Yes, and I did find similar a case history for a metamorphmagus. The witch did have a child eventually, so I wouldn't throw out the contraceptive spells if I were you."
Lupin couldn't hide the surprise at her comment. "But I thought you said--"
"There are always alternate interpretations of the data, Remus. Think about it. This shifting cycle means that any activity during the most fertile period of Tonks' cycle will happen when you're at your peak level of health and your body shows little if any sign of your lycanthropy. Maybe it's nature's way of ensuring the healthiest outcome possible."
Tonks and Lupin looked at each other, but neither could prevent the grin that appeared. Pomfrey quickly added, "Of course, it's still likely to be a challenge for you to conceive."
"That's fine, Pomfrey. It's just nice to now there's a realm of possibilities," said Tonks. And although he didn't say a word, the way Lupin squeezed her hand conveyed that Lupin felt the same way.The End
Author Note: Real life demands have prevented me from finishing this earlier. I must admit I only have a few more stories to take us through the Order of the Phoenix. I want to get those posted before Book 6 comes out.
I wanted Remus and Tonks to have a glimpse of family life without rushing several years ahead, so Severus and Sibyll became my guinea pigs. Chibis anyone?
Regarding Tonks' fertility. Children is something that other authors have speculated about for our favorite lycanthrope. This interpretation isn't meant to be anything deep.
Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed it. If you are new to this series, just hit Queriusole and you'll find the rest of the stories, but you can read this as a stand alone.