Love Is A Curse
Disclaimer: All the characters belong to J.K Rowling. The story is based on Rowling's work, but the plot of 'Love Is A Curse' comes from my own sick brain.
Summary: After a one night stand with Snape Harry got sick and went to Madam Pomfrey to confirm his suspicion that he might be pregnant. He was, but he also had a mysterious disease that was slowly killing him.
Pairing:HP/SS, mention of HP/DM
Rating: T(Should anyone think it is rated too low, please let me know and I'll change it.)
Spoiler:Maybe OOTP because Remus is the person Harry turns to. The story contains no HBP Spoiler. Snape is still the Potion Master and Dumbledore is still alive (but he isn't relevant in this story)
The story takes place six years after Harry graduated so he is 24 years old. And it's post Voldemort.
Hope you enjoy it!
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Love is a curse
It was five years after the destruction of Voldemort. Five years and two month to be precise.
Harry Potter stopped for the fourth time to take a deep breath on his way from the dungeons to the hospital wing where he wanted to get checked up for his weak condition of the last two month. He had just finished one of his counselling meetings with a group of Slytherins. And since his personal meeting with Julie Zabini had been cancelled due to a detention with Snape – who never gave his Slytherins detention except when they had meetings with 'psychopath, oh sorry, psychologist Potter' – Harry wanted to get himself checked up.
He knew exactly when these symptoms started. It had been the day after the anniversary party of Voldemorts demise. The day after this one perfect and breathtaking moment where he and his ex lover Severus Snape had renewed their love for each other. Well, for that one perfect and breathtaking moment anyway. Afterwards it was as if nothing had ever happened that day, at least for Snape.
Ever since that night Harry had problems to breath normally. After climbing the stairs he had to stop a few moments to get his breathing under control and running wasn't possible at all.
He had a suspicion what could be the cause to his condition and now he wanted to confirm it with Poppy.
He reached the hospital wing and had to sit down for a moment. Poppy came out of her office and smiled at him.
"Harry, my dear, what can I do for you?"
"I want you to do a pregnancy test for me." Harry smiled brightly but a coughing bout left him breathless again.
"How can you run all the way up here if you think you're pregnant Harry? You shouldn't run at all if your suspicion is confirmed." The nurse chided him.
"But I didn't run." Harry defended himself.
"Then why is your head as red as a tomato? And you're obviously out of breath." Poppy crossed her arms and tapped her foot as she waited for an answer.
"That's why I'm sure I'm pregnant, Poppy," Harry smiled, "For the last two month my breathing is in a really bad condition. I had to stop five times on my way up here from the dungeons."
"Well. That could be side effects of morning sickness and other typical pregnancy things."
"But I don't have morning sickness or anything else relating to pregnancy. Just the short-windedness."
Poppy frowned but didn't comment on it. "Let's just do the test and then I'll check you through thoroughly." She motioned for Harry to lie on the bed and open his shirt. Then she waved her wand over his abdomen and after a few incantations she smiled.
"Congratulations, Mr. Potter, you're indeed with child."
Harry smiled brightly and threw his arms around Poppy. "Oh Merlin, I can't believe it. I'm really pregnant. I have to tell Ron and Mione." He jumped of the bed and ran to the door, totally forgetting to button up his shirt.
When he reached the door, Harry slowed down until he came to a full stop and had to crab for a nearby table or he would have collapsed to the floor.
"Harry." Poppy ran over to him and helped him back to the bed. "I told you not to run in your condition." She looked into his beet red face and decided immediately what to do. "Lay down and don't you dare move, I'll be right back."
After Harry was lying on the bed Poppy went into her office and retrieved an apparatus with many cables hanging from it. She placed it on the bedside table and charmed the ends of the cables onto Harry's chest. While the machine worked Poppy waved her wand all over Harry's body to give him the promised all round check up.
It took more than an hour until Poppy finally put her wand away and another hour until the apparatus stopped its work.
Harry had long since fallen asleep. Poppy had observed him ever since she had finished her examination but his breathing never went back to the regular calm 'in and out' of a sleeping or even resting person.
She took the parchment that had appeared out of the machine and read it through. She gasped as she reached the bottom and the final diagnostic.
"What is it?" Harry's voice startled her. She looked down at the exhausted young man and smiled.
"I don't know yet," she put the parchment in her pocket and grabbed for her wand. "The apparatus didn't work. I will run the test again." But before she could move her wand hand and say the incantation Harry reached out for the hand and pulled it down.
"What is it, Poppy?" He asked again and looked her deep in the eye.
"Your, your heart." Poppy stammered.
"What is with my heart?" Harry asked fearfully. He'd never seen Poppy Pomfrey this afraid.
"Your heart doesn't work as it should be. It says here that it only works at 80 of a normal human's power." She stopped for a moment then looked at Harry with tears in her eyes. "And it's going to get worse."
"My baby?" Harry asked concerned.
"I don't know." Poppy answered truthfully. "I will contact a colleague from St Mungo's immediately." She grabbed a vial from the bedside table and handed it to Harry. "I want you to take this. It's dreamless sleep potion. I don't want you to get stressed in any way until we know what we can do." Harry obediently swallowed the potion and lay back down. He closed his eyes and prayed to whoever heard him that he would survive long enough for his baby to be born.
Two month later Harry was again in the hospital wing for one of his weekly check ups. After Poppy had told him the diagnosis two month ago and after many other examinations their first suspicion was confirmed, Harry's heart got weaker every day. He was dying.
The specialist from St Mungo's had told Harry that he could live a few more years if he looked out for himself. But he would have to abort his baby. Otherwise Harry wouldn't survive giving birth.
Harry had just asked whether his child would have a chance to live and whether it would be healthy and when Healer Johnson had confirmed that yes, his baby would live and be healthy Harry had decided that he wanted his child to live, even if it meant his own death.
Poppy was about to start the examination when Remus Lupin entered the infirmary.
Remus was one of the few that new all about Harry's condition and he was the one whom Harry trust the most. They shared a home in Hogsmeade and Remus would help Harry every morning up to Hogwarts and every evening back home. Dumbledore had often tried to get Harry to move back into his old rooms in Hogwarts but Harry didn't want everyone to get suspicious.
Now Remus ran up to the bed Harry lay in and spoke. "Harry, you have to come. We found Draco."
"What?" Harry got up immediately and started for the door with Remus, Poppy's demanding voice for him to come back was totally ignored.
Draco Malfoy had been on their side of the war but he had vanished on the night of the victory party after defeating Voldemort. The night Harry and Severus' relationship ended because of one stupid mistake.
Harry couldn't remember much of that night only that he had been drinking too much and Draco had pulled him into one of the empty classrooms where they had sex together. He remembered Severus' face as he opened the door just as Harry climaxed. They had locked eyes and Harry saw the moment Severus' heart broke, just before he passed out in exhaustion.
When he woke up he was alone in the room and when he went back to his and Severus rooms he found the password changed and all his belongings scattered around in the corridor.
That was the last time he had spoken a word to Severus – except their One Night Stand four month ago – and it was the last time Draco Malfoy was seen in the Wizarding World.
No one knew what happened that night but had they known they would have blamed Severus for Draco's disappearance.
But Harry knew he hadn't anything to do with Draco's vanishing. That night Severus wasn't only betrayed by his lover but also by his godson.
Now Harry and Remus were on their way to Dumbledore's office from where they would floo to Malfoy Manor.
Lucius Malfoy had been captured at last, a few days ago and today the Order of the Phoenix had gone to Malfoy Manor to look for any clues what Lucius had been up to since his Master's demise.
When Harry stumbled out of the floo, strong hands grabbed him and stopped him from falling. When he looked up he stared in onyx eyes.
"Thanks." He mumbled and turned away from Severus as he had one of his coughing bouts.
"This way." Severus said and turned around without waiting for Harry. "I just only arrived myself."
Remus helped Harry down to the dungeons and into one of the cell where they found Draco.
"Draco." Harry was breathing so irregular as if he had just run a marathon. He walked over to the young man and kneeled beside him. Severus, who had arrived a few minutes earlier thanks to his long strides and Harry slow movements, kissed his godson on the forehead and left the room. Harry swore he saw a tear running down his cheek.
"Draco, Merlin, you're alive." Harry stroked a strand out of Draco's face. Only then did he get a good look at the blond. He was only skin and bones and there was no inch without a scar. Then he noticed his breathing and he knew Draco had the same condition as he himself had. Only that he had months left, Draco mere minutes.
"I'm sorry." Draco choked out and immediately started to cough blood.
"Draco." Harry cried and pulled Draco in his arms.
"It's a curse Harry." Draco's weak voice reached his ear.
„A curse?" Harry asked confused.
"My father… he placed it upon me… together with the Impirius the day of the victory party." He had to stop at least five times before he could finish the sentence. "He caught me on my way to Hogwarts. He said to go and place the curse on you and to get you drunk and to seduce you." He coughed violently. "He knew that was my heart's desire, to be with you. I had this one perfect breathtaking moment when I was with you. That's what triggered the curse."
"You mean you have lived with the curse for over five years now?" Harry asked concerned, he himself was coughing regularly because he was too nervous to breathe slowly.
"I know you and Sev hadn't been close for a while after what we did. But I recognize your symptoms. You must be affected for two years at least, or even three."
"Four month." Harry choked and tears started to run down his cheeks. He'd made a quick math, if the curse works so much faster for him than for Draco then he won't live long enough to save his baby.
"Four month?" Draco asked. "But how?"
"I'm pregnant." Harry smiled weakly. "I hoped I'd live long enough to save the baby." Draco raised his arms and pulled Harry close to him and they cried together.
"Tell Severus he has to love you. Tell him I love him." He pulled away far enough to kiss Harry on the lips. "I love you." His lips were ice cold.
When Harry pulled away he knew it was too late. Draco was dead.
Harry choked and cried even more. His breathing got even more irregular and the last he saw before he blackened out were two onyx eyes staring at him.
Harry had to stay two weeks in the hospital wing until Poppy would let him go. His friends and family visited him and Harry told them what Draco had told him. Hermione went straight to the library to research such a curse and everyone else did the same when they finished visiting with Harry.
At night when Harry lay awake he knew someone was there and watched him and he knew who it was.
One night after pondering for a long time Harry decided what to do.
"I know you're here." He said into the darkness of the room.
"I know you know." Came the reply and Severus Snape stepped closer to the bed. He stopped at the foot of the bed and looked down at Harry. "So, you're pregnant."
"With my child."
"When did you intent to tell me?"
"Liar." Harry flinched at the spat words.
"I'm not lying." Harry snapped and started to cough immediately.
"What's wrong with you?" Severus asked without a hint of concern.
"Just swallowed the wrong way."
"Out of practice I presume." Severus smirked.
Harry blushed deeply and they were silent for a while. Then he took a deep breath and said.
"I want you to raise the child."
"I won't pretend that we are a happy little family, Potter. What happened that night was a mistake." Harry gasped. What would he do if Severus didn't take their child in? "Don't get me wrong. I want to get to know my child and I will take responsibility for my actions but there won't be an 'us' ever again." Harry closed his eyes for a moment to suppress the pain the words had caused. Then he looked up at Snape with deathly honest eyes.
"You misunderstood. I want you to raise the child, alone. I don't want the child. I don't care for it. You can have it. The moment it's born and I'm ready I will leave and you will never see me again."
"What are you playing Potter? You can't be serious."
"I'm dead serious, Snape." He turned his head to the side as he felt tears prickling his eyes. "Now leave, I have an examination tomorrow at nine and I want to get at least a few hours sleep beforehand."
The moment Snape closed the door behind himself Harry let out the pain and exhaustion this conversation had caused him. He wrapped his arms around his stomach and spoke to his unborn baby, apologising for what he'd just said about not wanting the baby.
The next morning Poppy placed a projection charm on Harry for the first time, which showed a hologram of the baby just above the stomach.
Harry looked at it in awe and reached a hand out but when he touched the hologram it vanished. He was shocked but Poppy only laughed.
"You will have to wait a few minutes." She produced the moving picture again. "Let me finish my examination and then the hologram will be strong enough for you to feel the baby's contours." She waved her wand a few times over Harry's stomach and smiled when she finished.
"Do you want to know the sex of your baby, Harry?"
"Please." Harry choked. He had tears running down his cheeks but he was smiling. His hands were dying to touch his baby and now that he would get to know what sex his little one has he finally can call him or her by name. Sebastian for a boy and Holly for a girl.
"It's a boy, Harry." Poppy smiled as she stepped back. "I'll let you alone with your son for a while. You may touch the image now."
Smiling Harry reached out carefully to trace the lines of his son's face. "Hello son," he whispered, "hello Sebastian." The tears were now running freely down his cheeks and he didn't notice as the door to the infirmary opened and Snape entered the room.
The older man walked into a corner and observed Harry for a while, a questioning frown on his features.
"I'm sorry, I won't be there for you, love, but your other daddy will take good care of you, I'm sure of that." Harry carefully pulled the image closer and cradled it in his arms. "He might be a bit grumpy at times but he will love you unconditionally. He's the best daddy you could wish for. He will protect you from any harm." Harry froze when a tiny arm reached up to him.
"Yes, I'm your other daddy, or your mummy, or whatever you will call me when you're older and I'm not there. I don't know what your daddy will tell you about me maybe not much because he doesn't like me anymore. I hurt him badly a few years ago and he has every right to hate me. I just want you to know that I really, really love you and that I'm so happy about you growing in my tummy."
"The night you were conceived was the most wonderful night in my life. For a few moments I have been the happiest man alive. Even if that means I won't be there the see you growing up I wouldn't trade this night and you, Sebastian, for anything in the world. I love you sweetheart." He closed his eyes and lay there for a while longer with his unborn child in his arms.
When he heard footsteps coming close, he reluctantly opened his eyes. "Poppy you can…" He stopped short as he saw those onyx eyes staring at him. "Severus."
"What is the meaning of this?" Severus pointed to Harry who still cradled the image of their son close to his chest. "I thought you don't want this child? And now you're playing the loving father for an image."
Poppy came out of her office as she heard the loud voices. "What is the meaning of this?" She asked and looked from Severus who still glared daggers at Harry to Harry who had his eyes locked with Severus' as he spoke to Poppy.
"You can undo the charm now. I don't want to see it any longer." He pushed the hologram back over his stomach and the moment it vanished he turned on his side to face away from Severus.
"Oh no, you don't." Severus stalked around the bed and confronted Harry with what he heard. "I want an explanation why you intent to leave your child when you obviously love that baby before it's even born."
"Go away." Harry mumbled and turned on his other side.
"I demand an answer." Severus roared. He wanted to walk around the bed to face Harry again but Poppy stopped him.
"You better go now, Severus."
"Not before I got my answers." Severus stood his ground.
"Severus, now." Poppy glared at him and reluctantly the Potion Master left the room.
"You okay, Harry?" Poppy lay a soothing hand on the young man's shoulder. Harry only nodded but Poppy felt the trembling in his shoulder that indicated that he was crying.
It had been ten weeks since their confrontation in the hospital wing and Harry and Severus had many since.
Severus had ranted, had screamed, and had threatened Harry but the young man never told him what was his real intention for leaving his son with Severus.
Then someday the rants and screams and threats stopped and the two men started to talk. Never about why Harry didn't want the child, Sebastian, but always about him.
What he should be fed, who should be his godparents, what he should learn first flying or potion brewing; the list was endless and the two had a lot of fun together.
Severus quickly noticed that something was wrong with Harry but the Gryffindor only said that he had a small pneumonia and because of the pregnancy he couldn't take a potion for it. Severus wasn't sure he should believe it but for the baby's sake he did, for the moment.
Harry was in his sevens month now and heavily showing. They still hadn't found a cure for the curse, to be honest they hadn't even found the curse itself yet and Harry's condition got worse.
Last week he'd finally moved back into the castle and now had a room across from the infirmary so Poppy was close by should something happen at night.
Today Harry and Severus were in Hogsmeade, shopping for the baby. They had already fully furnished a room in Severus quarters that was now the nursery and now they were looking for clothes and toys for their little son.
Severus enjoyed the time he spent with Harry and he secretly hoped that Harry would change his mind and stay with him and Sebastian once there son was born. Because he'd love to have the other father of his son close by, preferably lying in his arms every night.
They stopped for the hundreds time on their way back to Hogwarts because of Harry's short-windedness (luckily they'd just reached Severus quarters) when Harry felt a slight pain in his abdomen. He gasped and clutched his tummy.
"Harry, what's wrong?" Severus asked concerned. He led Harry to the couch and they sat down side by side.
"Sebastian." Harry looked up at Severus and smiled. "He's playing Quidditch again."
"May I…" Severus reached out his hand but then pulled it back again.
"Of course." Harry took Severus hand and placed it on his stomach, just when the baby kicked again.
"That must have been a Bludger." Severus laughed and looked Harry in the eye.
The world froze for a second as the two men looked at each other then their heads moved forward simultaneously and their lips met. The kiss wasn't passionate or needy or boring or wrong it just was love. And it could have become a lot more hadn't Sebastian chosen that moment to remind his parent that they weren't alone.
Harry jumped back and stood up. "I'd better go." He swayed from the lack of oxygen and had to hold onto the couch.
"No, you will stay here." Severus stood and helped Harry to lie down on the couch.
"No, I-" Harry wanted to protest but Severus stopped him.
"I need to brew a few potions for Poppy so I will be in the lab. I will floo Lupin so he can come down and watch over you and later escort you to your room."
"Thank you, Severus." Harry smiled weakly as his eyes started to close and he fell asleep.
"You're welcome, love." Severus replied as silently as he could and made his way to the fireplace to floo Lupin.
Maybe there was still hope for them.
There had been no repeat of that kiss and nothing that even promised one. Harry had avoided being alone with Severus and all attempts from Severus to talk to him about what happened had been blocked with the words 'It's for the best'.
It had been three days since their last confrontation which had earned Harry to stay in the hospital wing for the rest of the pregnancy after he'd almost fallen down the stairs after he had stormed of without anyone with him.
Severus was now on his way to the infirmary to visit as he had done the last three days at this hour. He just entered the wing when he heard Harry screaming in pain. Severus took of to the infirmary and stopped shocked as he entered the room. Harry was giving birth. Four weeks early.
"Come on, Harry, fight just a little longer." Remus was sitting next to Harry holding him up for the next contraction.
"I can't breath." Harry cried and slumped against Remus chest as the contraction passed. Tears were running down his cheeks and he was deathly pale.
"One last time Harry." Poppy encouraged him just as the next contraction hit him and he pushed for the last time. He passed out for a moment for lack of oxygen but woke instantly when he heard the cry of a baby, his baby.
He wanted to sit up but he was too weak.
"I want to see him." He choked out. He felt something wet running down his chin and remembering Draco's last minutes he raised a hand to wipe the blood from his mouth.
"Oh Harry, he is beautiful." Remus said as he walked over to the bed and placed the baby in Harry's arms.
Harry stroked the mop of midnight black hair on his son's head and gasped when the baby open very dark green, almost black eyes.
"Sebastian, Severus Snape." Harry smiled as he heard a gasp near the door. "Come and great your son." He spoke softly and handed the baby to Severus before he had to turn away as he had another coughing bout. A gentle hand wiped the blood from his mouth.
"Thanks Moony." He pulled his friend close for a hug. "I love you."
"I love you too, Harry." Remus whispered against his ear. He pulled away and reached out for Sebastian. "Let me get him dressed." Severus wanted to give the baby to Remus but Harry intercepted him.
"I want to hold him one more time." Severus placed the baby in his arms and watched as Harry kissed the small forehead. "Be good for your daddy." He gave Sebastian to Remus and waited until he and Severus were alone before he spoke.
"He is beautiful."
"Just like you." Severus took his hand. "Harry, please let's talk about your decision. Let's raise Sebastian together. I saw how much you love him. You don't have to leave. Please."
"It's too late Severus. I'm sorry." Every spoken word hurt like hell now and every intake of breath even more. He closed his eyes.
"No, you won't go to sleep now Harry. Please let's talk about it first." He raised Harry's hand to his lips and kissed it. "I love you Harry. I want us to be a family."
A tear ran down Harry's cheek but he smiled. "I love you too." His lips only slightly moved and his eyes kept shut but Severus heard him as loud as if he'd shouted in his face.
He leant down and placed a kiss to Harry's lips. They were cold as ice and didn't respond.
"Harry?" He choked. He lay his head down on Harry's chest and cried.
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A/N – That's it. What do you think? Need an epilogue? Maybe a Happy End? Or a little explanation? I added a short epilogue in the next chapter but it isn't necessary to read it.