Disclaimer: If I owned Harry Potter, why would I publish it here?
Disclaimer 2: Weslandia belongs to Paul Fleischman.
A/N: This takes place two years after "Let's Have a Baby", when Severus and Hermione's daughter Lily is three months old. I tried to keep things realistic time-wise, but if I'm a little off then don't get mad.
A/N p.2: And for all of you wondering why they didn't have a baby right away, why they waited more than a year to have one, the answer is this: they didn't. See, in the real world, far beyond the realm of fanfiction, it takes time to get pregnant and have babies. It's not just "And then the almighty author decided that it would be wicked awesome if Severus and Hermione had a little Snapelet, so nine months later there was a baby." These things don't just happen overnight, especially when the man involved is forty-something.
Is that it? That's it. On with the story!
"Let's have another," Hermione said.
Severus gaped at her for a moment, all exhaustion briefly forgotten, before growling out "You're mad." He returned to the formula he was brewing and tried to ignore the dopey smile on his wife's face.
"Probably," she agreed, cradling their fussing baby. "But more than likely just tired."
The couple was up for the midnight feeding, something they had been trying to wean their daughter off of for several weeks now. Harry and Ginny's daughter Hermione had stopped waking up in the middle of the night at six weeks old. Little Lily was going to be three months old soon, and she still demanded the attention of both her parents to take care of her appetite. Neither Severus nor Hermione had gotten a full night's sleep since she had been born, and while Minerva was very understanding of Hermione taking time off of her teaching, she was far less sympathetic of Severus.
Perhaps it was because no one could tell the difference between his exhausted-beyond-all-reason behavior and how he normally acted. Or maybe it was a kind of punishment for him flaunting the Slytherin's winning the Quidditch cup again, something they had accomplished nearly every year since Ginny Weasley had graduated and gone on to a professional career with the Holyhead Harpys. Hermione scoffed this theory, saying simply that it would be enormously difficult to find someone as experienced as him to fill in on a temporary basis until Lily was old enough to not need both their attention at two in the morning.
Whatever the case was, Severus had a full load of course work and grading to do, classes to teach, a baby to take care of, a wife to dote on, and an infirmary to keep stocked with potions.
To even think about adding another baby was madness, as he had informed Hermione. And she agreed with him. He hated it when she agreed with him. It made him feel like she was humoring him. He secretly suspected that she was.
Well, he wasn't going to be humored. Hermione was just going to have to be content with Lily, because Severus wasn't ready to be a father twice.
-----Six months later-----
"Aww, look at the little Lilykins!" Hermione's mother cooed. "She knows her Gram-Gram! Yes she does! Yes she does!" Lily smiled and gurgled back in baby-talk to her grandmother as Severus quietly tried not to gag.
He liked Hermione's parents, he really did. They were intellectual and respectable and very understanding of his relationship with their daughter. Add that to the fact that they didn't read the Daily Prophet and they were downright perfect. Severus got along with them quite well, and had expected to always continue to do so… until The Baby.
The Baby, apparently, was an event that the Grangers had given up hope on when their daughter married Severus. He couldn't understand how he had known them for years and had never once caught on to their great disappointment and longing for grandchildren. All that changed the day Hermione phoned her mother to tell her she was expecting. Severus could hear Mrs. Granger shrieking over the telephone from the next room. He was fairly certain that she wasn't actually Molly Weasley's long-lost sister, but that was how it felt on their next visit, as he was smothered with hugs, tea cakes, and general good will.
Mr. Granger was actually more reserved than he had ever been with Severus on that visit, but Severus suspected that that was mainly because The Baby was indisputable proof that he had, in fact, slept with Mr. Granger's daughter, something which Severus secretly suspected that Mr. Granger had tried to pretend didn't happen. However, Hermione's father greatly warmed up to him after the baby was born, and things were very comfortable between them after that, despite leaving Severus with the distinct impression of having been forgiven of something.
Since then, they'd been to visit the Grangers frequently. Hermione maintained a very close relationship to her parents, something Severus found almost completely foreign, and since the baby came they visited more than ever. Severus wasn't one to complain, he enjoyed the conversation with intelligent adults, the old family recipes Mrs. Granger was so fond of cooking, and of course the experienced child-watching that the Grangers provided.
He liked Hermione's parents. He really did.
But if the sickly-sweet cooing and baby talk didn't kill him, the hints for more grandchildren would.
------Three months later------
"…Happy Birthday to yooouuuu!" sang the small crowd that was grouped around Lily's high chair.
She laughed and jabbered and began to demolish the piece of cake that was set before her, while the adoring crowd looked on with amusement. The rest of the guests were served their cake, and everyone scattered around the Snape house to chatter and take turns cooing at the now-one-year-old Lily.
"So, Severus," began Arthur Weasley, and Severus knew, he KNEW, what was coming, but it was far, far too late to avoid it…
"…thought about having any more?" Arthur finished. And with that single sentence, he both opened the floodgates and moved to the top of Severus's "Most Hated" list. A difficult feat, considering the list also contained both Voldemort and Sirius Black, but Severus felt that Arthur deserved the promotion.
"Ohhhh, wouldn't it be wonderful to have another little darling toddling around the dungeons?" cooed Minerva. Severus was stunned into silence at this, both because he never believed Minerva capable of "cooing" (until The Baby), but also because he was under the impression that she had hated the fact that he continued to live and raise his daughter in "those drafty, icy caves you call living quarters." He didn't have time to ponder on what other disturbing things he could find in her statement, because just then Tonks chimed in.
"It would be absolutely wonderful if you two had another baby! But don't rush Hermione into anything," she said, suddenly turning stern. "She just had Lily last year, and we don't want you tiring her out with your need for more children."
"But if they're going to have another, wouldn't it be best if they had one soon?" Molly asked. "After all, neither of them is getting younger."
Severus stared with something akin to horror as more and more people began to add their opinions to the growing debate. It was like something out of a nightmare, or one of Hermione's schemes…
Severus turned to look at his wife. She, noticing his glare, smiled with bemusement and gave him a shrug.
"Don't look at me, I didn't tell them to do this. And would it really be that bad if we had another baby?" she asked sweetly.
Severus would have answered, if he hadn't right then been splattered with cake thrown by a very neglected-feeling Lily.
----Nine months later----
"…Happy Birthday to yoooouuu!" sang the large crowd that was grouped around Albus Potter's seat. The grinning boy took a look at the people around him, then turned his attention to the cake. He took a deep breath, scrunched his eyes closed, and blew out the five candles with one blow. Everyone cheered, even Severus. He found himself surprised at his good spirits, but standing at a birthday party for a boy named after him, surrounded by people who actually seemed to accept his presence, decided that he might as well enjoy himself.
Hermione brought over a piece of cake for him, and Severus, noting the absence of their daughter, looked over to where the other children were seated on a picnic blanket. Sure enough, she was right in the thick of things. She sat squeezed between Teddy Lupin and James Potter, neither of whom looked particularly bothered by the little girl trying to eat their cake, mainly because they were too busy fighting over whose piece was bigger. Hermione, following his gaze, chuckled at their antics.
"There's not going to be anything to argue over if they don't pay attention," she remarked, taking a bite of Severus's piece.
"I thought you weren't going to have any," he said. "You said the sugar was bad for your teeth. Now stop stealing mine."
"Lighten up," she replied, used to his teasing. "It's a party, I figured I deserve to indulge a little."
"Well, between the birthdays we've had for Lily, James, Albus Severus, Little Hermione, Teddy, Victorie, Hugo, and Rose, your teeth must be ready to stage a revolt," Severus countered.
"Goodness, it does sound like a lot of children when you list them all like that," Hermione said with some surprise.
"It is a lot. Between you and I, Harry and Ginny, Bill and Fluer, and Ron and what's-her-name, we've got seven children. Add in Lupin's brat and that makes eight." Severus was quiet for a moment, wondering when he started counting himself as a "we" with Potter and Weasley. Oh, yes. When his angel was born. He wondered if Hermione had thought about having another recently. She had stopped asking for one several months earlier, but judging from the wistful look on her face as she watched their daughter play with the other children, she had not lost hope.
Severus almost said something. He really did. The traitorous thought was right on the tip of his tongue. He managed to thwart it in time by shoving a bite of cake into his mouth, smothering whatever it was he was about to say. Hermione didn't notice, to busy smiling at the little ones.
Severus finished his cake in silence, reminding himself of the vow he made shortly after Lily was born. He would never let anyone pressure him into having another child again.
Now, if he could only stop trying to pressure himself.
-----One year later----
"…In September, Wesley returned to school. He had no shortage of friends." Severus ended the story and closed the book, smiling as Lily yawned. "Alright, Lily, time for sleep," he said firmly, signaling the start of their nighttime ritual.
"Hug!" Lily said, beginning the sequence.
Severus hugged her and put the book away while she climbed under the covers of her bed.
"Tuck!" she said, and with a small smile he tucked the blanket around her.
"Kiss!" was her final demand, and received a peck on the cheek.
"Goodnight, Daddy," said the sleepy girl.
"Goodnight, angel," replied Severus.
"I love you, Daddy," said Lily.
"I love you too, angel."
Severus watched as his little girl snuggled down for sleep, content in her father's undying love for her. He closed the door softly and walked back to his own bedroom, where Hermione was reading in their bed. He dressed for bed and settled in next to her, but didn't reach for his own reading material. Hermione noticed this after a moment, and quizzically looked at him. He was silent for a moment, then turned to his wife.
"Let's have another."