Warnings: Slash, Mpreg, OOC
Pairings: SS/HP and SB/RL
Genres: Romance, Drama, Angst
Summary: Sequel to 'Life, Love and Everything in Between.' Back from their Holiday, Harry and Severus decide its time to tell Sirius and Remus about their relationship and Sirius is not happy. Harry decides he wants more from their relationship, but can Severus provide what he needs?
Chapter Eighteen: Happy Families
Harry woke up the next morning to the smell of bacon and eggs wafting deliciously through the small house. His stomach grumbled in delight at the promise of a full breakfast and he stretched his arms and legs before throwing off the bed covers.
But when he stood up and reached for his dressing gown, the events of the day before came rushing back to him and the hungry grumble in his stomach was quickly replaced by nerves. His knees gave way and he sat back down.
Harry had apologised last night and it seemed to him that Severus had accepted it. Did that mean everything was alright between them again? Or was Severus perhaps expecting him to grovel? It had, after all, been a quick apology and Severus Snape was definitely the type to hold grudges.
He put his head in his hands and cringed as a wave of nausea passed through him. He took a few slow, deep breaths and looked up through his fingers. He didn't want to think about how this was all his fault – he'd done enough of that last night and he lacked the energy to do it again. But if Severus wanted to talk, then Harry would talk – he owned the man that much at least.
He stood up once more and reached again for his dressing gown. He was just tying it gently around his bump when the door to the bedroom opened.
"Good morning," Severus greeted him, "I was just coming to wake you. Breakfast is ready."
"Yeah," said Harry nervously, "I can smell it. It smells nice."
Severus smiled at him.
"Once you've eaten, I want you to get washed and dressed and ready to go out. I have a surprise for you."
Harry frowned. That wasn't right. "A surprise? Do you really think I deserve a surprise after the way I've been acting?"
For a moment, Severus just stood in the doorway, considering the man before him. Harry thought he looked rather relaxed just leaning against the frame, arms folded casually across his chest – the total opposite of what Harry was feeling; his stomach was still a bundle of nerves and his heart ached as if there were something crucial missing. He looked up into Severus's face and their eyes met. Then he felt a slight push against his mind and for a few brief seconds, Harry panicked.
But then he realised that he had nothing to fear; that this was, perhaps, the best way. Why try to explain his thoughts and feelings when they were there, waiting to be viewed? No lies, no games, no confusion – just the honest truth.
And so he allowed the connection and he felt Severus's mind touch his. He saw flashes of their argument at Ron and Hermione's wedding, saw his conversation with Remus, heard Severus telling him that he was going to visit his ex-girlfriend; he felt all kinds of emotion run through him as he witnessed each scene – love, hope, loss, anguish.
The connection broke and he found himself shaking in Severus's arms. He tightened his grip around his waist and buried his head into the safety of Severus's chest. He felt drained and at a loss, but there was no denying that he was relieved.
"I didn't go and see Penelope, you know," Severus said at last, breaking the silence.
"What?" Harry looked up but didn't detach himself from his lover.
"The prostitute I used to date," he explained. "Penelope, that was her name. I didn't see her last night. I haven't seen her since she left and I doubt I'll ever see her again."
Harry considered lying and saying that he hadn't been worried, but he knew Severus would see right through him, especially as he'd just seen the truth in Harry's mind. Instead, he settled for saying nothing at all.
"You apologised to me last night and I accepted it and that's the end of that," Severus went on. "I expect that one day we'll need to talk about it, but right now we have more important things to focus on – like this baby in here." He put a hand on Harry's belly. "So, do you think we can carry on?" he asked. "Put all this behind us and just carry on? I promise I won't ignore the subject of marriage when you next bring it up. Just…give me some time, OK?"
Harry pulled away from Severus and smiled. "I can do that," he said.
"Good." Severus placed a kiss to the top of his head. "Now, let's go and eat breakfast before it gets cold."
After breakfast had been eaten and they had both showered and dressed, Severus placed a spell on Harry so that his pregnancy bump wouldn't be visible to muggle eyes. Before Harry had a chance to ask any questions, Severus had grabbed his arm and apparated them out of the house.
They reappeared in what looked to be a small woodland area. Birds twittered away happily up in the trees and Harry thought he saw a few squirrels running along the branches. High above, sunlight shone through the leaves and somewhere off in the distance was the sound of running water.
"Where are we?" asked Harry, but Severus just smiled and started walking. Glancing around, Harry followed and soon enough he saw a street up ahead. As he grew closer, he realised that they were in a neighbourhood – a muggle one, if the garages were anything to go by. He stepped out onto the pavement and looked around.
Now that they were out of the trees, Harry had a proper view of the area. Large houses on each side of the road were surrounded by trees, providing each property with enough privacy, but not so much that they were secluded and left in the dark. Shiny cars sat in driveways, glinting in the rare February sun. All around, the gardens were trimmed to perfection, the flowers closed for winter but getting ready to bloom.
"Where are we?" Harry asked again as Severus began to make his way down the road.
"Springwater Lane," he said, "Named so for the stream that flows through the woods behind these houses;" he nodded to the houses on their right-hand side.
"We are still in England, aren't we? I mean, you haven't apparated us out of the Country illegally or anything, have you?"
"Of course I haven't," he said, amused. "We're in Cheshire. Ah, here we are."
He came to a halt outside a large modern house. It was surrounded by a fair amount of trees just like the others had been, although the sun still managed to shine and bounce off the windows. A fancy black gate opened onto a gravel driveway which led to a double garage attached to the side of the house. Although no flowers were growing in the garden, the grass had been cut meticulously short.
"Nice," Harry said, looking around in appreciation. "Are we visiting someone?"
"No," said Severus. He turned to look at Harry. "If you like it, it's ours."
Harry's eyes grew wide and his mouth dropped open. "What? Are you serious? This house, this huge house?"
Severus smiled and held up a key. "Would you like to look around? It has a swimming pool."
Harry beamed, speechless.
Chuckling to himself, Severus made his way up the driveway towards the front door. As Harry followed on, gravel crunching nicely underfoot, his eyes darted to everything in sight. This was amazing but it was too much – they'd been arguing like crazy yesterday and now Severus was presenting him with a house! OK, so he loved the little balcony over the front porch, and he loved how huge the garden was and how impressive the driveway was and the gate, and the walls, and the trees, and the very material the house was made out of and he couldn't wait to see the swimming pool and…what was his point again? Oh yeah, he didn't deserve this, he totally didn't deserve this…
"When did you do this?" Harry asked, finding his voice. "How did you get the key?"
"I had to use a bit of magic on the woman in the office," he told him. "It was a muggle Estate Agent, but I did some research and there are actually quite a few wizarding families living near by. And as for when…I was out for a pretty long time last night."
"You did this last night? But everywhere would have been closed."
"Again, a little magic goes a long way." He grinned and stopped at the door. "You ready?"
Harry fell in love with the house instantly. Four bedrooms (one of which was en-suite), three bathrooms, two living areas, a kitchen, and a dining room; it was his perfect – if somewhat expensive – family home he'd been looking for. He'd turned into an excitable child when he'd seen the size of the back garden and the pool! He could just imagine himself teaching his child to swim, or else having a picnic on one of the lazy days of summer. They could do the gardening together and hold barbeques and have water fights…Oh! Maybe they could get a pet dog! They could call it Bonny!
After his third tour of the house, Harry had decided that this was it, this was where he wanted to live. Severus informed him that there were nice muggle Primary Schools just a bus ride away, that there was great shops, great restaurants, great parks – everything! It was perfect. The only thing it lacked was a basement for Severus's potions lab, but when Harry had pointed this out his lover had waved it aside and said that the garage was more than enough space and, since neither of them knew how to drive, that would do him nicely.
"This place is incredible," said Harry with a wistful sigh, "But are you sure we can afford it?"
"We went through this months ago," Severus reminded him. "And besides, the exchange rate is fantastic when converting the wizarding Galleon into muggle Pound."
"I'll take you're word for it," Harry said. "But how did you find this place? We looked for ages and didn't get anywhere."
"We were looking in the wrong places," he said. "We were looking in the wizarding brochures because we wanted somewhere with a dungeon. But last night when I saw a picture of this house in a window, I realised that a muggle garage would work just the same – not to mention be a lot cheaper. And I know we initially stopped looking because we didn't want to move house too far into the pregnancy, but the fact still remains that we can't bring a baby up in a one bedroom house. And I'm sure you can get some of your friends to help with the decorating so you don't overdo yourself." He crossed his arms and looked expectantly at Harry. "So, what do you think?"
Harry stood in the middle of the empty living room and looked out into the garden. He wanted it, he really did. But perhaps it would be wise if they went for somewhere less extravagant. Even after paying for the house, they would still be left with a large sum of money but…food, clothes, furniture, bills – it would all add up and sooner of later one of them would need to get a steady job.
As if he knew exactly what Harry was thinking, Severus came over to him. "I figured it all out last night. It was only a rough estimate, but we should be able to last up to six years with the money we've got. I'll be working at Hogwarts again before that time and my salary, once put through the exchange rate, will be more than enough to let us live comfortably." He bent down and kissed Harry fondly on the mouth. "I told you, money isn't an issue. So?" Severus looked at him eagerly.
"Well, in that case…let's do it. Let's buy a house together."
Even though he'd promised Severus that he wouldn't overdo himself, Harry couldn't help but get excited whenever they went shopping for new furniture. He hadn't realised that there was so much they would need – if it hadn't have been for Severus, he would have been at a complete loss for what to buy. Nonetheless, that didn't stop him from picking up random items whenever he came across them – who would have thought that a bunch of squiggly lines would be considered art? Or that a big, fat boulder would be considered a sculpture? Still, he just had to have them!
Choosing the colour scheme of each room had been the hardest task of all. They'd bickered endlessly over the wallpaper and carpets. Whilst Severus had wanted to keep the grey and dusty-green look from their old home, Harry had insisted that it was time for a change – a new home, a new beginning. Harry wanted light colours downstairs; the sun shone so brilliantly through the windows that it would be a shame to spoil it with dark colours. In the end, it had taken Harry three blowjobs to make Severus see sense.
The stress and excitement of moving house was a definite blessing. He and Severus were getting on so well again and the flame of passion between the two had been rekindled. The desire to get married was still there and he knew that it would never go away, but losing Severus, and then being forgiven by him, had made him realise that he had never been happier.
Things with Sirius weren't any better and he'd decided that he would have to do something about that. Although Harry had finally seen in his godfather what Severus had been able to see for years, he still felt the hole caused by his absence. Harry had been in contact with Remus, who had told him that Sirius missed him dearly and that he was sorry for the way he had behaved. Harry knew that if they were ever to get along again then they would need to have a serious talk. He fully intended to go and pay him a visit, but for now he wanted to enjoy what he had.
Towards the end of February, Ron and Hermione came back from their honeymoon and with their help the basic decorating was soon finished. One month after purchasing the house on Springwater Lane, Harry and Severus were finally ready to move in.
"Where'd you want this going?" asked Ron, who was currently holding a box marked 'kitchen'.
Harry laughed at the look on Ron's face as he received an annoyed glare from Severus.
"I was just kidding," Ron muttered, "God…he takes everything so seriously…"
"Are you sure I can't help with anything?" Harry asked, once Severus had returned to unloading the van. His lover, ever the cautious man, had decided that the muggle way was the best way to do this. Even though most of the items in the house had already been floo'd in, or else shrunk down in size and carried in, Severus had insisted that they at least look like they were doing something – they didn't want their neighbours to get suspicious about the lack of furniture being moved and first impressions were everything. Since they had purchased the furniture in their old home fairly recently, it had seemed a waste of money to throw it all out and so it was these belongings that they had loaded into the back of the van, to be driven up by Hermione's father who had generously agreed to help them with their 'ploy'. Their old bedroom furniture would be going in one of the spare rooms and the living room stuff would be going in the smaller sitting room at the back, overlooking the garden.
"No," said Severus, pulling down a few more boxes. "You just sit there and look pretty."
"I'm not just a pretty face, you know," Harry complained from the sofa which was currently sat in the driveway. "I do have skills and stuff."
"Oh, I know," smirked Severus.
"Know what?" Ron asked, joining Harry.
"Nothing," Harry muttered with a blush.
Ron chuckled. "You guys never stop, do you?"
"So," said Harry, casting around for a change of subject, "How's married life treating you?"
"It's good, yeah," he said, nodding. "It's a bit weird when we get a letter in the post addressed to 'Mrs. Weasley' though. I keep thinking to give them to my mum but then I remember that I'm married."
That sounded like typical Ron, thought Harry. "Surely it's not that hard to forget?" he said.
"Well, it's no different to not being married really. I mean, apart from the name change and the ring on my finger. Oh, and the huge dent the wedding left in our parents pockets. But…I love her and it just seemed to be the thing to do really. Although, to tell you the truth, I'm dreading the moment she says she's ready to have children. I mean, she says it's gonna be a few years yet but boy, am I dreading that! No offence," he added, looking down at Harry's stomach.
"None taken," he smiled.
"So, do you know if it's a – "
"Oi! Ron!" Hermione's voice rang out. "Less chatting and more lifting."
"Yes dear," he said with a sigh. He moved to get up but when his wife disappeared inside the house, he sat back down again.
"As I was saying, do you know if it's a boy or a girl yet?"
"Not yet. Severus wanted to know but I preferred to wait."
"Does it, like, kick and move and stuff?"
"Yup," said Harry. "It's kicking now if you want to feel."
Ron looked a little nervous at the idea, but he leaned forwards and placed his palm on Harry's large belly. When he felt the baby kicked, he pulled his hand away quickly. Harry laughed.
"That's well weird!" Ron said, staring wide-eyed at Harry. "I'd be so freaked out if there was something kicking the inside of me! Doesn't it hurt?"
"It does after a while," he admitted, "But it's more of an ache."
"Weasley!" Severus's voice shouted. Harry and Ron looked up from the sofa.
"Give me a hand with carrying this to the house," he said, pulling their old bed to the edge of the van.
"I'm not touching that. You've had sex on that!"
"It's not just the bed we've had sex on," Harry said with a grin. "We did it on this sofa too."
Ron jumped up so fast that anyone would have thought he'd been electrocuted. He bumped right into Hermione, knocking her to the ground. Harry just sat where he was and laughed, watching the two of them struggling to get up.
"Harry," said Severus in exasperation, "Please do behave."
Harry smirked. "If I don't, will you punish me?"
"Right, that's it!" said Ron, "I'm out of here!"
At last, at long last, the moving was finished and Harry and Severus were able to relax for the first time in their new home. Even though their tastes had clashed numerous times, they were both more than happy with the end results.
The main living room was a homely blend of reds, whites, and light browns. It was very warm and welcoming, with the pine cabinets and tables, white walls and cream sofas, and the large red patterned rug that covered most of the wooden floor.
The kitchen was the typical fitted kitchen with all its pine cupboards and modern appliances. It was a room that focused on the more lighter colours, unlike the dining room, which was much more formal and elegant with dark rosewood chairs, cabinets, and table and cream carpets, cushions, and curtains.
Upstairs, they had two spare rooms – one with their old things in and one with new – as well as the nursery for the baby. They had chosen a light green and yellow wallpaper for this room, with a ducklings pictured on the border. The cuddly white owl Severus had bought months ago was already sat in the corner of the cot, waiting to become the baby's chew toy.
But Harry's favourite room was the bedroom he shared with Severus. A rich combination of blacks, whites, and golds, the room oozed seduction
It was in this room that the happy couple could now be found celebrating.
Harry's lips planted a trail of soft kisses down the side of Severus's neck, his fingers brushing ever so gently over a peaked nipple. He felt himself grow hard and he wriggled his hips, hating that his belly restricted the contact between them. He whined against Severus's skin, wanting more, and was rewarded when his lover turned his head and captured Harry's lips with his own.
Out of all the things to do with a lover, kissing was Harry's favourite. To him it seemed a more intimate act than sex itself as it required so much love and care to be just perfect. He moaned when he felt a warm tongue brush over his lips and as he opened his mouth, his hand moved to tighten in Severus's long hair, pulling him closer, never wanting it to end. He lay on his back, gladly letting Severus take charge. Harry stroked his tongue against Severus's and another deep moan escaped from the back of his throat.
He couldn't get enough of this. Those lips…so sweet, so gentle. And when that hand slid down his stomach and took hold of his cock…God, it was heaven. But just has Harry's body began to arch off the bed, Severus pulled back and Harry almost sobbed at the loss. However, those lips quickly busied themselves with other things and Harry was back in paradise again as Severus's mouth brushed lightly across his jaw, down his neck, his shoulders, his heaving chest, his stomach. Harry's hands fisted in the mans hair and he couldn't help but push Severus in the direction he so needed him to go. He heard a deep chuckle but then those lips descended and Harry saw stars.
Life at number 22 Springwater Lane was everything Harry had imagined it to be. Each morning, he and Severus would take turns cooking breakfast before getting ready for a nice, relaxing stroll in the woods. After their walk they would return home, where Severus would prepare a few sandwiches for lunch. Harry would then settle himself in front of the television for a couple of hours and Severus would work on his book. It was usually at this time that their new neighbours would knock on the door to welcome them to the area.
Harry had thought this a really thoughtful gesture, but Severus had insisted that they only did it in order to take a peek inside the house. Still, Harry had delighted in the introductions and, in an unwise move, Severus had left it up to him to come up with plausible stories for what they both did for a living – Severus was a novelist who published his books under a different name, and Harry was a gardener. Their hobbies included football, camping, and hiking. Harry was a great cook and loved to play in the amateur band he and his friends had set up. Severus was a great surfer and liked to breed fish.
Over all, their first month in their new home had been enjoyable. All the people they had spoken to had seemed really nice and most of them hadn't even batted an eyelid on learning their new neighbours were gay, (apparently there was a lesbian couple living a few houses down), so Harry had made sure to inform them all about the baby that was on the way, via surrogacy of course. The pregnant Mrs. Everingham from across the street had already made plans for their children to be best friends and had recommended some of the best schools and colleges in the area.
As the weeks went on, and the arrival of the baby drew closer, his friends and neighbours started bombarding him with gifts. By the end of April he had received so much stuff that Severus had had to go out and buy another chest of drawers to store it all in. Teddies, toys, clothes, bottles – they had thought of everything; even Dumbledore had stopped by to drop off bright purple and yellow bobble hats and mittens. Mrs. Snape also paid them a visit, bringing with her more hand-knitted accessories, and by the time Harry's due date finally rolled around, he was more than ready to welcome his baby to the world; he'd had enough of his food cravings for jam and butter and he'd definitely had enough of his wild hormones. All he wanted to do was sit and hold his baby in his arms.
Unfortunately though, his due date came and went and with it went Harry's sanity. Whereas before he had been thinking about what a joy it would be to finally have his baby, his mind was now stuck on one thing – the birth.
He'd taken to sitting in the baby's room, rocking back and forth in the chair and flicking through all the books he had obtained on male pregnancy. With each page he turned, and with each unpleasant picture he saw, his nerves would flare. Did people honestly expect him to do that? And was he really supposed to stay in pain for that long?
A few days in to Harry's mood, he'd started having a go at Severus, snapping at him for every little thing. Did the man have to eat so loud? Did he have to keep everything so damn clean? Harry's skin had begun to crawl whenever the man touched him and it bugged the hell out of him when Severus kissed him goodnight.
By the end of the week, they were both sleeping in separate rooms and Severus was spending as much time out of the house as possible, something which annoyed Harry to no end – Didn't the stupid man know that Harry needed him there? Who else was supposed to make him his dinner? Didn't Snape care about him?
Poor Severus just couldn't win.
Harry bid good evening to Mrs. Everingham and closed the door. That was the fourth time she'd been round in just as many days. She was a lovely person, very happy and animated, but Harry suspected she was lonely. Her husband Conner worked in advertising and was hardly ever home and her eldest son, Robert, had just gone off to University. She also had a daughter, Megan, and another son, Maxwell, but they were forever at their friends' homes.
Harry enjoyed her company very much but, at nine months pregnant, he was finding it extremely difficult to get around the house and having a muggle present didn't help matters – even though she couldn't see his bump, he had to do try to do things like walk without a waddle and sit down without taking his time.
He put the latch on the door and returned to the living room, fully intent on leaving a pile of chocolate wrappers all over the floor for Severus to clean up later on. He'd only just sat down when the doorbell rang. Grumbling to himself, he got up and made his way back into the hall.
He opened the door and came face to face with the last person he'd expected to see.
All grudging thoughts about how to make Severus's life hell were quickly torn from his mind as he looked out at his godfather. He was stood outside in the gentle rain, casually dressed in jeans and a jacket. His long, wet hair was tied back in a ponytail with a few stray strands falling down to frame his haggard face. He smiled nervously at Harry and stuffed his hands into his pockets.
"Hi," he said. "Remus told me you'd moved. I asked Ron for the address…I hope you don't mind." He looked up at Harry and when it became apparent that he wasn't going to respond, he asked, "May I come in?"
Automatically, Harry stood aside and let Sirius through.
It had been three months since they had last seen each other; three months since he'd punched his godfather in the face. He honestly hadn't meant to leave things so long, but somehow the whole issue had just slipped his mind.
He closed the door and led the way into the living room.
"Drink?" Harry offered.
"No thank you," he said. "I have something that needs to be said and I don't want anything to get in the way of that."
Harry bit his lip and nodded, seating himself down on the sofa. Sirius sat opposite.
"You look good," he said, smiling at Harry. "Isn't the baby due soon?"
"A week ago," he told him shortly. "It's late."
"So any day now. You must be excited."
Harry grunted. "I'm mostly scared actually," he admitted. Sirius went to say something but Harry jumped straight to it; "So why are you here?"
Sirius looked down at his knees. His hands were in his lap and he kept fidgeting nervously. "To say sorry," he said.
"No," he stopped him, "I need to say this."
Harry nodded and waited.
"I'm not very good at apologising," he started slowly. "I don't tend to do it that often. It's something I like to avoid." He fell quiet again and Harry waited calmly.
"I know I was out of line when I said those things about Snape," he said. "I just didn't understand. I didn't trust him with you. After hearing that he'd slept with you at school, my opinion of him went way down…further than it had already been. And when you thought that it was over between you both…when you thought that that was it, the end…that Snape had left you…I wanted to say 'I told you so.' It didn't matter to me that you loved him, just as long as you were away from him."
He paused and looked up.
"So what changed?" Harry asked.
"I imagined my life without Remus," he said. "Remus, who I love so much; Remus, whom I'm trying to have a baby with. And that's when I realised how you must have felt when you thought you'd lost Snape. That emptiness…that sheer panic. It was terrifying." He broke off again and looked directly at Harry. "You mean a hell of a lot to me. I've said some stupid things – some terrible things – and I'm so sorry. You obviously know Snape better than I do so it should be enough for me that you trust him. And I'm happy for you. What do you say? Can we be friends again? But before you answer," he added quickly, "You should know that I'm not saying I'll be nice to Snape – my issues with him are something else entirely. But I will accept that you both love each other. I'll respect your relationship." He finished and took a deep breath. "So?"
Harry looked over at his godfather, already knowing his answer. He appreciated that it had taken a lot for him to say all that, but it still remained that he shouldn't have been so quick to judge in the first place.
"The things you said really hurt me," he told him. "Telling me that Severus was using me, calling my child the spawn of the devil…"
"I am so sorry –"
"But I'm willing to let all that go if you can just make an effort. I know you'll never get along with him…but please just try. For me? No more negative talk about our relationship. And you can't make any snide comments about him either. You have to try to be…if not friendly, then polite. Civil."
Sirius was nodding. "I can do that," he said. "I can do civil."
For a moment they just sat and looked at each other. Even though Harry was relieved to have Sirius back in his life, the things he had said wouldn't be forgotten. But for now, however, he was willing to let it go; he had faith in Sirius – the man looked so pleased to have his godson back that it was hard not to.
"So," Sirius said cheerfully, "Can I have a hug now?"
Harry smiled brightly and started to struggle to his feet. Laughing, Sirius went over and helped him up.
"It's so good to be talking to you again," Harry said, hugging his godfather. "And I'm sorry about the punch."
"Don't worry about it," he said with amusement. "I deserved it." After a while, he let Harry go and looked about the room. Harry could see curiosity dancing in his eyes.
"You want to go snooping around, don't you?" Harry guessed, smiling up at him.
"Go on," he said. "I'll go make us some sandwiches."
Laughing to himself and thinking about how nice it was to have Sirius Black around again, Harry waddled into the kitchen and pulled open the fridge. They'd had chicken for dinner last night so there was some left over, ready to be eaten. He grabbed the plate and set it on the side just as Sirius's voice rang through the house; "How big is your bathroom! Bloody hell!"
That set Harry off chuckling again and he made to fetch the bread. But as he reached out, he felt something strange and a second later a gush of fluid was running down his leg, soaking his trousers.
For a whole minute he just stood there, staring down at the floor. Images of Severus flashed through his mind and he put a hand on his stomach.
"Shit," he muttered.
Even though he wanted his baby more than anything, this was the moment he'd been dreading for days. The very thought of giving birth had been enough to wind him up so much that he'd managed to wage his own little vendetta against Severus all week; so much so that Severus actually preferred going food shopping to being in the house with Harry.
Even though there wasn't any pain, he felt himself begin to tremble. Surely he could do this? He had to! He'd faced down a Dark Lord for crying out loud – surely child birth would be a walk in the park after that! Right?
"Sirius?" he called out. "Could you come here for a minute?"
He heard footfalls on the stairs and a few seconds later, Sirius appeared in the kitchen. When he noticed the wet patch on Harry's jeans, he stopped in the doorway and his eyes bulged.
"Oh my God," he breathed. "Oh my God! Is it happening? Are you OK? What should I do? Does it hurt?"
"Sirius, its fine," he assured him. "My water just broke, that's all."
"What do you mean, 'that's all'? Are you in labour? Have you had any contractions?"
"Just because my water broke doesn't mean I'm about to go into labour," he told him, trying to remember back to what he'd read in the books. "I could have hours yet. Sometimes it takes people days before they feel anything."
"Yeah, and sometimes it doesn't! We need to get you to the hospital."
"Not without Severus."
"Harry, you need to be seen to! A contraction could be just around the corner!"
"And if it is, I'll just deal with it! Sirius, just go and get him!"
"Fine!" he shouted. "Where is he?"
"He's at the supermarket. It's near –" But before Harry could finish giving him directions, Sirius disapparated.
In the Maternity Ward of St. Mungo's, Severus Snape made his way into the waiting room. A lot of people looked up as he entered but he ignored them and made his over to the reception desk. Behind him were Harry Potter, Sirius Black, and Remus Lupin. Amid stares, the three of them took their seats in a secluded corner.
As Severus waited in the small queue, he felt excitement bubbling up inside him. It was hard to believe that there had once been a time where he had never wanted to become a father. The thought of raising a child and providing a loving home for it had once been a nightmare. But then along came Harry and, God, how everything had changed. Feelings had been awoken in him that he hadn't even known existed.
Harry's behaviour of late had been very trying, but he didn't hold it against him for second. In fact, he'd been rather amused at Harry's incessant whining. And now here they were, about to have their lives changed forever…
And Harry was coping with it all so well so far. From the moment Severus had returned home with Black, there hadn't been a word of complaint from those precious lips.
"Can I help you, Sir?" a woman at the desk asked, smiling up at him.
"Yes," he said. "I'm here with my partner, Harry Potter. His water has just broken."
"How long ago did it happen?"
"Twenty minutes ago," he informed her.
"Ok," she said, checking a file on her desk. "I believe he's a week late, right?"
"That would be correct, yes."
"And have his contractions started yet?"
"No," said Severus, but, of course, Harry choose that exact moment to voice his discomfort.
"Son of a bitch, that fucking hurts! Christ! Fucking hell!"
"Actually, yes," he amended, "I believe they have."
After the witch had checked Harry in, Severus turned to make his way across the room. As he went, he noticed that pretty much every head in the room was turned to in Harry's direction, scandalised looks on all their faces. Next to Harry, in fits of giggles, were Black and Lupin.
Severus smirked and took his seat.
"OK, Harry, I need you to push. On three, OK? One, two, three!"
Harry's scream rent the air and his grip on Severus's hand tightened painfully. Beads of sweat trickled down his brow as he sat up, pushing with all his might. Tears were leaking from behind his closed eyes and he was red in the face from all the effort he'd been putting in. He finished pushing and fell back against the bed, sobbing and panting for breath before doing it all over again. And all the while, Severus's head was spinning.
It had been 8 hours since the first contraction and it had been nothing but torture for Severus. Watching Harry experiencing so much pain was possibly the worst thing he had ever had to do. He'd felt so useless at not being able to do anything and so guilty at the thought that Harry was still so young (a feeling he had thought he'd quashed months ago, but apparently not.) The only thing that had kept him sane was knowing that they would have a beautiful baby at the end – the only baby they would have, as there was no way he was letting Harry go through this ever again!
"You're doing great, Harry," said the witch, "You're almost there. I just need to give one more push, OK? One great big push."
Severus felt nails dig into the back of his hand but he ignored it and tightened his hold around Harry's shoulders. He placed a kiss to the top of his messy head and closed his eyes as Harry put all his energy into one last push. They then snapped open at the sound of a crying baby.
Harry sagged against him as he fell back, exhausted beyond anything. He looked down at Harry and saw that he was smiling. Severus smiled right back and kissed his sweaty forehead.
"I love you so much, you know that?" he said, sweeping his hand through Harry's hair. "So very much."
"I know," Harry replied weakly. "I don't know what I'd do without you."
They both looked up as the witch approached them. In her arms she carried a tiny, crying baby wrapped in a soft blue blanket. She smiled warmly down at them and held out her arms.
"Would you like to hold your son?"
Harry starred with wide eyes at the baby in wonder. He looked at Severus and bit his lip.
"Go on," Severus said kindly.
Harry shook his head. "You go first," he said. "Please."
Smiling softly, he stood up and as his son was placed carefully in his arms, Severus knew that nothing would ever compare to that moment.
The next day had been almost as exhausting as the one before. Word of Harry's delivery had spread like wild fire and it hadn't taken long for the hordes of red-headed Weasley's and doting friends to come pouring in. The room quickly filled up with flowers, balloons, and cards and everyone was soon cooing over how cute the baby was and how happy Harry and Severus's lives were going to be. Everyone from the Weasley twins to Albus Dumbledore had offered themselves up as babysitters and Molly Weasley was already planning on knitting the baby some special Weasley jumpers. Harry and Severus took it all in their stride, politely thanking each of them for visiting.
The day after that, the healers at St. Mungo's allowed them to return home where again they had been treated to a steady flow of visitors. It had taken some time for Harry and Severus to get into a routine but by the end of the first week they had everything under control.
Apart from Harry, Tristan James Snape was the best thing that had ever happened to Severus. He didn't care about the sleepless nights or the 3am feeds. He didn't care that he had to change dirty nappies or that the house suddenly smelt like baby sick. He didn't even care about all the screaming and the crying. He, Severus Snape, had a son and he was the most wonderful, precious little thing he had ever laid eyes on.
Sometimes he would just sit and watch Tristan sleeping, not being able to believe that he was a father. And at other times he would watch Harry and it would occur to him just how happy he actually was. He loved his life and he loved the people in it. He hadn't been able to imagine his life with a lover and a child but now that he had both, he couldn't imagine his life without them – he didn't want to.
Holding his son for the first time had given life new meaning. Himself, Harry, Tristan – they were a family, his family. Severus had a proper family.
Severus entered the living room and smiled when he saw Harry on the sofa. Cradled in his arms was their son who was gently suckling on the bottle Harry was holding.
"Hey," Harry said softly, looking up. "I didn't hear you come in." He lifted his head to receive a kiss Severus placed on his lips.
"How is he?" he asked, taking a seat.
"Wonderful," he replied. "I can't get over how tiny he is, and how beautiful."
"Of course he's beautiful. He has your genes."
"And yours," Harry smiled. "He has your eyes."
"Yes, well," he said, looking into the baby's face, "They're likely to change."
"I know," said Harry. "But I don't think they will. They're gorgeous just the way they are."
They both fell into a comfortable silence as they watched Tristan feed. Severus didn't think he'd ever seen something so delicate. It really was a wonder to him. He felt awed.
"I'm sorry about that whole marriage thing," Harry said suddenly.
"You've apologised quite enough already," Severus said. "I told you, it doesn't matter."
"But it does to me," Harry insisted. "I look at Tristan and I can't believe what I did, what I put you through. I didn't mean to put so much pressure on you. Having a baby puts everything into perspective. If we had broken up because of all that, because me…Severus, I don't know what I would have done."
Severus smiled softly and put a hand around Harry's shoulder. "But we didn't break up, did we? We're still here, aren't we?"
"Yeah," Harry smiled. "And that's what matters isn't it? That we're happy and that we're together." He paused his words and looked down at his son. "I don't need marriage," he said. "I don't want marriage. Everything's perfect just the way it is."
Tristan fed for a few more seconds before he started to fuss. Harry pulled the bottle away and set it on the floor.
"Can you pass me that towel please?" he asked, nodding towards the table and he watched as Severus got up to retrieve it.
But what Harry didn't see was Severus putting an engagement ring back into his pocket.
A/N: Ok, first of all - Sorry if any random bits worked there way into that chapter. I uploaded it just now and found pieces of a totally different story in it and I have no idea at all where they came from. Secondly - Sorry if the line breaks don't work. My friend has been having trouble getting them to work for her recently. If they dont work, I'll re-upload it later on.
Thank you all so very very much for all your reviews on this fic! I know the updates have been slow and I know how annoying that can be. So thanks for bearing with me on that.
Ok, so on to the sequel. Quite a few of you have been messaging me, asking for a summary of it. I always planned to have three parts to this (although the plot ideas for part 3 changed almost constantly.) The plot I finally chose for part 3 actually started out as a new fic altogther but the more I thought about it, the more it seemed to mould into this one, hence the reason for that evil cliffhanger (sorry about that!). Anyways, I don't want to give the full summary out just yet but I can tell you that it involves more of Sirius and Remus and their desire to have a baby which is something that gets in the way of Harry and Severus's relationship. And, of course, it will continue from that cliffy I just left you with!
Anyway, its getting really late now. Its 4:08am! I made the mistake of having a lie-in this morning and now my sleeping pattern has suffered once more. Oh well. Thats life. I also have really bad toothache lol.
Thanks again for the reviews! xxx