Warnings: Slash, Mpreg
Genres: Romance, Angst, Drama, Horror, Thriller
Summary: Severus Snape walks in on a certain boy wizard in the bathroom and realises just how much he wants to be with him. He sets out to prove his feelings wrong, but ends up falling deeper in love. But Severus is a cold man, terrified of rejection - can he learn to trust the love of his life before it's too late.
Chapter 15: New Beginnings
There was nothing Severus could do but stand back and watch as Madam Pomfrey worried over Harry. It seemed that the painful cramps in his stomach had now stopped but this did nothing to help sooth Harry's emotional state. Eventually his tears had started to dry up but as soon as he'd turned his head to look at Severus, they'd all come flooding back. In the end, Poppy had had to give him a sedative to calm him down and stop him from exhausting himself with anguish.
The Hospital wing doors had had to be locked due to the large number of journalists and Ministry members trying to find out what was going on; it hadn't taken them long to figure out that Harry's absence and Severus' urgency had meant that something had happened to the boy wizard. Newspapers were going to be buzzing about this tomorrow, there was no doubt about it.
Severus' jaw tightened as he looked at the sleeping figure in the bed. If one thing about this was leaked and Harry's private life was splashed across the papers for all to see, then Severus was going to make sure that whoever was responsible paid with their lives.
He sighed and put his face in his hands, before running his long fingers through his dark hair. How had things gotten this bad? The evening wasn't supposed to end like this. Harry wasn't supposed to lying in a hospital bed.
Once Harry had fallen into a peaceful sleep, his mind and body having a well-deserved rest from the evening's trauma, Albus had insisted that Poppy go back to the party and at least try to enjoy herself. He told her that, physically, Harry would be alright; anyway, he was sleeping and would be out for some time. And besides, if anything happened, he and Severus would be here. She had been about to refuse and insist that she stay when she had stopped, looked over at Severus, sighed, and nodded. It was obvious to her that Albus wanted to talk with the Potions teacher.
When the hospital doors had shut, Albus turned to Severus.
Severus ignored the older man's gaze and kept his dark eyes fixed on Harry's face. He desperately wanted to run his hand through Harry's hair, just to be close to him, but he knew he couldn't with Albus in the room. But then, he already had a sinking feeling that the Headmaster knew something about the student-teacher relationship that had been going on.
"Can't it wait?" Severus asked quietly, keeping his back to the Headmaster.
"Can't what wait?" Albus asked politely.
Severus gritted his teeth. "Whatever it is you have to say to me."
They were both silent again, watching over Harry. A ruffle of clothes let Severus know that Albus had now seated himself on the bed next to Harry's, behind Severus. Severus inhaled deeply, silently. Why couldn't the old man just leave him in peace?
"So this is why Harry has been so distant recently," Dumbledore said quietly; "The pregnancy. You."
Severus tore his eyes away from Harry and looked at the Headmaster. "What do I have to do with any of this?" he snapped.
"You know very well Severus," he said. "Poppy said that Harry had been one month pregnant."
"I am aware of that."
"It was a month ago that you and he stopped talking to each other," said Albus patiently.
"It was also a month ago that the war ended," said Severus – he really wished he would just leave him alone; he wanted to grieve, not be questioned about his relationship with Harry – a relationship that Harry might not want others to know about. "Had it occurred to you that the reason we stopped talking was the battle?"
"But why would you do that?" he asked calmly.
"Because," said Snape, "My task was to help him. He didn't need my help after the war had finished."
"But you two grew so close to each other," he said, "You had a friendship."
Severus didn't say anything. He turned away. He felt his eyes prickle.
"Severus, you wouldn't be sat here now if you didn't feel anything for Harry."
Still, Severus didn't answer. As he was staring as Harry, it was becoming more and more clear in his head of just how dire the consequences of his actions had been. Not only had his actions hurt Harry, they had cost him the life of a baby, his baby. His insecurities had had such a massive effect on both of their lives…things would never be the same again.
After a few more minutes sat in silence, Albus sighed heavily and got to his feet. He rested a hand briefly on Severus' shoulder before moving across the room towards the doors and out into the corridor.
Now alone, Severus wept.
Even though Harry insisted he was fine, Madam Pomfrey made him stay in the hospital wing all day Saturday. This annoyed him greatly as he had packing to do; school was now officially over and they would be journeying back to London on Monday morning. He needed to make sure he had everything packed – after all, he wouldn't be coming back, not as a student anyway.
He had visits from Ron and Hermione, as well as the Headmaster, Sirius, and Remus. Hermione was a tower of strength for him, as were Ron and Remus. Sirius seemed to be holding back on what he wanted to ask (and Harry had no doubt what that was) and the Headmaster just kept looking at him as if studying him, but he spoke politely and didn't ask any personal questions and for that Harry was grateful; he didn't want to tell anyone who the father was as he knew they would both be in big trouble.
During Saturday afternoon, Madam Pomfrey had delivered to him some news. She'd said that the miscarriage had been a delayed reaction to the killing curse that had hit him. It had taken the baby's life instead of his, but because his magic had been protecting the baby at the time it had taken a while to have an effect. Harry didn't really know what to make of this. Did that mean that Voldemort had murdered his unborn baby? For some reason, Harry felt she was just making excuses. It was Harry's fault and she knew it. This wouldn't have happened if he had not considered abortion. This was Mother Nature getting her own back.
He felt he should be crying and grieving over his loss, but after all the tears he had shed the night before, he didn't really have any tears left to cry. Instead he'd settled for sitting in bed all day, not really listening to the others chattering away, but thinking about Severus. Was that a terrible thing? He'd just lost his child but all he wanted to think about was Severus.
Severus had obviously been on his way to see Harry last night, perhaps to make it up to him and apologise. Why else would Severus Snape risk entering the dreaded Gryffindor common room? And if Harry's memory served him correctly, Severus had said 'I love you'. But that didn't sound like something he would do…
So Severus had been scared. He had thought that Harry was sleeping with him for a joke. What else had been said last night? Had they made up? Were they together?
Why hadn't Severus been to see him? Surely if they were together then he would have come to visit? Maybe he was having second thoughts because of all the complications that came with a relationship with Harry? But he'd seemed so upset last night, so sorry for what he'd done…
There was only one was this was going to be cleared up. They needed to talk.
Harry snuck out of the Hospital Wing late on Saturday night and padded down to the cold dungeons. His heart was beating a mile an hour and he was as nervous as hell. But despite everything that had happened, despite what Severus had said and done, despite what it had resulted in, Harry wanted to be with him. Was that wrong? Whatever the case, he needed a few things answered before he made his mind up.
Shivering in the cold, he reached out and knocked on the door. He waited a few moments before knocking again. Finally, on the third knock, the door was opened.
Harry had promised himself that he would be calm and rational when speaking to his one-time lover; he'd told himself that the best thing to do would be to sit down and talk things through like mature, responsible adults. But when that door had opened and he'd seen Severus Snape standing there, his promises had flown out of the window.
"You bastard!" he shouted, pushing Severus into the room and slamming the door behind him, "How could you do that to me!?"
"Wha – "
"Throw me out like I meant nothing to you! How could you just use me like that?"
Harry had now backed Severus into his desk. "I told you, I panicked."
"So you said!" Harry shouted. "You thought I slept with you for a joke? For some sick revenge? To humiliate you? Why would you think that?"
"As you so kindly pointed out a few months ago, I have trust issues! I can't help but jump to conclusions!"
"You're a spy! Spies don't jump to stupid conclusions!"
"Being a spy has nothing to do with the way I act in my own personal life!" he said hotly; but then he seemed confused. "Harry…I've apologised; I thought you understood."
Harry glared angrily at Severus before storming away across the room.
"How could I ever understand something like this?" he shouted. "Last night you said you loved me; I'm just trying to figure out why you would hurt someone you love! You said some horrible things Snape."
"I know. I know, and I'm terribly sorry. I just…I have trouble understanding why you want to be with me. The only logical explanation I could think of was that you were just out to get even."
Harry whirled round. "So instead of talking to me, you decide its best if you just insult me and tell me to get out?"
"What the hell else was I supposed to do?" he snapped, "I thought you were using me; I wasn't just going to sit back and allow myself to become the laughing stock of the school!"
"You should have trusted me!" Harry yelled.
"I do trust you!" he shouted back, "I do, I really do. But that doesn't change the fact that I still had doubts!"
"What, and you didn't think I had my own insecurities?" Harry shot at him. "Just knowing that you've had past relationships and have had sex with God knows how many people makes me realise how inexperienced I am! But I ignored it. I ignored it because I like you and I wanted to be with you! When you said to me that the sex hadn't been that good…I just wanted to die."
Harry stood in the middle of the room now, looking sorrowfully at Severus. He remembered how it had felt to hear those words; he'd been made to feel so young, so stupid…he'd known he wouldn't be the best at sex – who is when it's their first time? But he had hoped that his passion and enthusiasm would have made up for what he lacked in experience. When Severus had said those words, had shot him down like that…it was almost as bad as being thrown out.
"Harry." Severus was biting his lip and shaking his head in regret. He pushed himself away from the desk and came towards Harry. "Harry, I never meant that. I was just trying to hurt you." He stopped in front of Harry and took his hands into his; Harry's stomach fluttered at the contact. "That night was amazing. It was the best sex I've ever had," he smiled. "Harry Potter, you're the best thing that's ever happened to me."
Harry smiled a somewhat teary smile and looked at their clasped hands. "You still don't fully trust me though." He looked up into Severus' face. "I can tell."
"It'll take sometime for me to be…completely comfortable. I'm not used to being so closed to someone. A small, paranoid part of may have thought that you were doing this for a joke, but can you blame me? I simply can't understand why you like me. I mean, look at me…I'm a 39 year old former Death Eater with a horrible history…and I'm not exactly the most attractive man in the World."
"You're beautiful," Harry whispered, and he reached out a hand and caressed Severus' cheek, "You'll always be beautiful."
Severus pressed a kiss to Harry's lips but pulled away to look at him. "I don't deserve you."
"I know," Harry smiled. "But you're stuck with me."
"Then I am a very, very lucky man." But just as Severus was drawing Harry to him, fully intent on kissing him senseless, Harry pulled away.
"I'm sorry to ruin the moment," he said, looking apologetic, "But I have to ask you something else."
"If you knew that men in the wizarding world could get pregnant then why didn't you use a condom or something?"
Harry felt himself blush when he said the word 'condom' and immediately felt like a foolish teenager. Luckily, Severus didn't notice.
"I just assumed that you knew about male pregnancies and had taken a contraceptive potion," he shrugged.
"But it was a spur-of-the-moment thing. Even if I'd known about male pregnancies, I still couldn't have been prepared."
Severus sighed and turned away from Harry.
"I know. I just wasn't thinking. It crossed my mind for a fleeting instant and then I just forgot about it." He turned back to look at Harry and he looked really sorry. "Forgive me. I never meant for all this to happen. This whole thing has just spiralled out of control. I never meant for you to be put through all of this."
Realising that the moment was well and truly gone and knowing that he needed to talk about this, Harry sank onto the sofa.
"It's my fault the baby is gone," he said quietly.
"What do you mean?" Severus asked, coming to seat himself next to the younger man.
"On Monday night when I found out I was pregnant…I wanted to get rid of it. I couldn't stand knowing that I was going to be having your baby. I wasn't exactly ready for one and it really wasn't the best circumstances. In that moment I wanted an abortion so much. And less than a week later, after I've decided to keep it, my baby's gone. It's all my fault. It knew I didn't want it."
"No Harry, no, that's not it," he said, grasping on to Harry's hands once more. "These things happen. Harry you mustn't think like that."
"But it's the truth." He looked at Severus, wide-eyed. "I cost us our baby."
"You didn't Harry. You changed your mind, that's the important thing. You were going to keep it." He lifted Harry's hand to his mouth and pressed a kiss to it. "I'm just sorry I wasn't there for you."
"But you were," said Harry, wiping his tear-stricken face on his arm. "In the end, you were."
The dents the giants had caused in the castle walls had finally healed themselves and the patches of burnt grass that the dragons had singed with their breath had been renewed. Except the memorial statue that stood tall by the lake, all evidence that a war had ever taken place on the very grounds of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was gone.
Harry had spent Sunday night surrounded by his friends in the Great Hall, reminiscing about all the fun times they had had; Hagrid's mad pets, sneaking out after hours, being chased by Filch and Mrs Norris. They had learnt, seen, and done so much in the passed seven years and now it was time to leave all that behind. No more wandering off into the Forbidden Forest, no more avoiding Peeves and his mad pranks.
Hermione reminded them all that there was a world out there just waiting to be explored. It was time to put everything they had learnt to the test. Hogwarts may have been a big part of their lives but it was tiny compared to what was waiting for them.
As tough as it was to leave the school behind though, Harry was looking forward to it. This was his chance to see and do everything he wanted. He was an adult now, a fully qualified wizard. The rest of his life was about to begin – and Harry knew just who he wanted to spend it with.
When Sunday evening arrived and the pleasant festivities looked set to continue throughout the night, Harry excused himself.
Severus looked up from his book when there was a knock on his door. He was too comfortable to get up so he waved a hand in the direction of the entrance and opened the door magically. He sat up when he saw who it was.
"Harry. What are you doing down here?"
"I don't know really," said Harry, looking around the room. He seemed so lost. "I was just…" he trailed off, but before Severus could say anything, Harry was speaking again. "I'm leaving tomorrow. I know we sort of went over this yesterday, but I just wanted to know where I stand. I don't want there to be more confusion."
Severus considered Harry for a moment before marking his page in his book and setting it aside. He shifted in his chair so that he was facing Harry properly.
"It's your call," he said. "What do you want?"
"I told you, I want to be with you."
"You need to think about that. I don't want you to waste your time on me because you feel you have to."
"I don't plan on wasting a single second," smiled Harry.
"You should be with people your own age," Severus pressed on, "Clubbing every night, getting pissed out of your head, sleeping with different people every other week. You know, being a youth?"
"I only want to be with you," Harry responded as he kneeled on the sofa on which Severus was seated.
"You've only ever been with me. Don't you want to experience it with others?"
"Do you want me to?" Harry asked with a slight pout.
Severus mentally cringed. The very idea of Harry being intimate with anyone else over then him was torture.
"I want you to be happy."
"I'm happy with you," said Harry, running a soft thumb along Severus' cheek; it came to rest on Severus' bottom lip."
"I feel I should warn you – I'm not a romantic person; I'm stubborn and insecure."
"You wouldn't be Severus Snape if you weren't," said Harry and he leaned in and pressed a soft kiss to Severus' lips.
"Then I guess…we're…"
"Lovers?" Harry supplied with a smile; "Partners? Sweethearts? Boyfriends?"
"A couple," said Severus. He pulled Harry on to his lap with a smile and wrapped his arms around him. They sat in comfortable silence for a while, just enjoying the feel of the other, until Harry spoke up.
"Why didn't Voldemort kill you when he found out that you weren't on his side?"
Severus looked at him, considering, and shrugged. "I assume he wanted me to suffer," he said. "He wanted me to see the war spill out onto Hogwarts' very own grounds."
They were silent again. Then Harry twisted around in Severus' arms. "Thank you for saving my life," he said, placing a kiss on his cheek.
"And thank you for saving mine," Severus said, returning the kiss. Harry smiled and turned back round, wiggling against Severus' chest to make himself more comfortable. At last he stopped and Severus rested his head against the younger man's.
"I was planning on going on holiday," Harry said. "I don't know where to yet, but do you want to come with me?"
"Yeah. It'd be nice to spend some time together. Just the two of us."
"Hmm," Severus agreed. He cuddled Harry closer to him. He was silently amazed at just how much he had actually missed Harry. True, it did worry him slightly that Harry had gotten over the miscarriage so quickly, but he figured Harry was handling it in his own, private way. For now, he was content with just being here and holding him.
"So you'll come?" Harry asked hopefully.
Severus smiled. "I would love to come," he said, and Harry chuckled.
"But what about Sirius and Remus?" Harry asked.
"What about them?"
"Well, shouldn't we tell them about us? They are my guardians after all and they care a lot about me."
"Do you think they would be accepting of our relationship?" asked Severus, dubious.
"You've got a point," said Harry. "If Sirius found out we were sleeping together he'd probably kill you, kill me, then die of shock."
"That last part isn't necessarily a bad thing you know," Severus pointed out. Harry hit him on the arm.
"Like him or not, you two are going to have to learn to get along some day," he said. "We can't keep 'us' a secret forever."
"I know," Severus sighed. "But let's hold off telling him for now. We can worry about that after we get back from…where is it you fancy going?"
"It doesn't matter," said Harry. "As long as I'm with you, I'm happy."
A/N: Don't you just love cheesy endings!
Thank you all SO much to every single one of you who have read and reviewed this! And thank you for not being angry with chapter 14! That chapter got more reviews than any other and I appriciated your opinions on the issues raised. I'm sorry I wasn't able to respond to everyones reviews as I've been pretty busy with Uni and I broke my wrist the other night (lol, don't ask!) so that's sort of slowed me down.
Sequel: I think I'm gonna call it Chasing Perfection but I'm not entirely sure yet. I already have a few chapters done but I still need to add a few things to them. I have a busy week, assignment-wise, coming up, so it may take a short while to post. If all goes well though, it should be out some time next week. The fic includes two weddings, a baby, people finding out, and just general romantic fluff! I hope you guys decide to read it!
Thanks again for your support on this fic! xx