Disclaimer: Not mine.
Severus sat in front of the fireplace reading the latest book that compared the different types of Chinese cauldrons and the effects they had on brewing times when he heard a crash come from the kitchen.
"Severus Snape get your arse in here now!"
He sighed as he put down his book and pulled off his glasses to save Hermione from another catastrophe in the kitchen. He stood slowly and smirked as he heard another yowl of anger come from her.
He leaned against the doorframe and folded his arms. "Hermione, I have told you before that she is just not controlling her magic. It is normal."
"Normal?" she asked from her seat on the floor, a bowl of oatmeal running down her face, her chair smashed beneath her and her hair bright green. "This is not normal!"
"You have never been around magical children." He smirked as he pushed off from the wall and picked Elaine up from her highchair, first releasing the ropes that Hermione had magicked to hold her.
"Don't you dare reward her for doing this again." She scrambled to her feet and held her arms out to him. "Give her back Severus."
"Da." Elaine's tiny hand reached out and grabbed Severus' nose. She giggled and squeezed with her thumb hooked firmly into his nostril hard enough to bring tears to his eyes. She then made a perfect O with her mouth and blew enough magic into the air to bring his hair forward, over his face.
"Still think she's cute?" Hermione took her from his outstretched arms.
"Yes," he drawled, making no attempt to push his hair back. "I find her more like her mother each day."
"Prat!" she spat at him.
"Bint!" he smirked as Hermione reached up and pushed his hair back. "Did you find someone to tend her this evening?"
"No, Ginny won't do it. She says Elaine is a bad influence."
"She is only eight months old, how can she be a bad influence?" he asked as his face darkened.
"Even Molly says she is too much to keep up with, and Minerva won't answer the floo any more." Hermione's eyes began to flood. "Am I such a bad mother? Is it something I've done?"
"You mean other than giving birth?"
"Severus, I still know that spell." She angrily pointed at his genitals. "If you value what you have I would suggest not saying what you think all the time."
"She is fine, she is just a little high-spirited," he frowned, as a gob of oatmeal hit his cheek and a gale of laughter came from the dark haired child Hermione had slung on her hip.
"So tell me Daddy, any more suggestions?" Hermione glared at him.
"Surely there is someone out there that has not tended her before that we can trick… that we can ask to tend her." Severus frowned at his daughter. "You are sure she is mine, are you not?"
"As I remember it was your constant practicing that did it," she sniggered at him.
"Well, we did get it right. Of course you seem to get it right at least three times before I do these days."
"Severus!" she chided. "Not in front of Elaine."
"What? The act or the talk?"
"So what do you…?" She turned to see an owl tapping at the window.
Severus lifted the window, letting the owl in and unfastening the small missive tied to its leg, unrolling it and smirking.
"The Longbottoms are back in town and want to visit this coming Saturday."
"And, this makes you happy why?"
He looked at Elaine and raised his eyebrow.
"Oh Severus, no, not Luna. My god you can't be serious."
"Are you worried about our delicate little angel or your loony friend?"
"Severus, you never want to go out. Why now? Why is it suddenly so important that we go out tonight?" She pushed Elaine back into the highchair and pulled her wand to repair the chair. Scowling at Severus, she tapped her foot until he sighed and began to clean the oatmeal from the walls and ceiling. She returned to repairing the furniture and cleaning the cupboards and counters.
"You know this lecture is important to the business, Hermione. The wives are all invited. I think it important that you accompany me this time."
"Fine." She worried her lip and looked at Elaine who occupied herself blowing spit bubbles. "I guess Luna could handle her for an hour or so."
"Just make sure she carries her wand and does not turn her back," Severus said seriously as he suddenly thought to check his pocket for his own.
"Poppy said she is still too young to hex. If I just had a few hours at the library with her I bet I could find something."
"Right, when you get ready to take her let me know. I may have to leave the country. They will think the Dark Lord has come back."
"Severus Tobias Snape!"
"She is my daughter. What do you think would happen if you took her someplace she could really damage?"
"I'll floo Luna. Maybe a night out will do us good," she sighed heading for the floo as the tea cups on the table started to spin and Elaine clapped her hands in delight.
Severus glanced over his shoulder, making sure Hermione was out of sight, then crossed quickly to the high chair, leaned over his daughter, and gently guided her hand to stop the teacups.
"Good girl," he beamed and patted her on the head. "Now, see how to move them up."
He helped her curl her fingers, pointing one to the cup and then held her hand as she forced the tiny pointing finger to flex and the cup to rise. He beamed in pride and patted her on the head again, then stood up before catching sight of Hermione standing in the doorway tapping her foot.
"What?" he said sheepishly.
"What do you think?" she hissed. "Honestly Severus, you need to help me out here."
"Don't change the subject. I saw you."
"I was merely showing her how to control herself." He crossed his arms and looked down his nose at her.
"Give it a rest." She shoved him aside and grabbed the teacup from the air, then turned and shook it at Elaine. "Bad Daddy, bad teacup."
Elaine put her head down and shoved her thumb in her mouth, peering up through her eyelashes at Severus.
"Hermione, do you not think that is a little harsh?"
"Harsh my arse, you sit with her all day."
"Did you contact Mrs. Longbottom?" He quickly changed the subject seeing her on the verge of tears.
"Yes, she will be here at six. I just feel so guilty over this."
He crossed over to her and pulled her to him, lifting her chin and kissing her. "Maybe we can put her down for a nap."
"Yeah right, last time we tried that she shattered her window and blew the door off its hinges."
"She stayed in bed," he chuckled as she swatted his arm.
Luna came at six as promised, prepared with a bag of children's books and toys.
"So where is the dear?" she asked after the usual greetings were over.
"Dear?" Severus smirked. "Hermione, why don't you get the little dear for her?"
She shot him a disgusted look before retrieving Elaine from her room and carrying her into the sitting room.
"Oh my, Hermione, she is just beautiful. Doesn't look like you at all Professor." Luna smiled dreamily and walked over to Hermione holding out her hands to Elaine.
"Oh my," Luna laughed as a puff of white smoke emitted from the laughing child's mouth. "She has a lot of magic doesn't she? I bet she's a handful."
"Umm, yeah you might say that," Hermione stammered. "Listen, I just need to slip into my dress would it be okay…"
"Sure, it will give us some time to get to know each other." Luna smiled digging into the bag of toys she had brought with her, pulling out two thick furry hand puppets. Sliding them on Elaine's hands, she tightened the wristbands to keep them from falling off.
"Is she always so happy?" Luna tilted her head and smiled at Elaine.
"Mrs. Longbottom, may I ask what those are?" Severus scowled at the pink bunny and purple dragon that now adorned his daughter's hands finding them most unappealing.
"Oh, they used to be mine. Mum said that when I was little I could not control myself so she made me these."
Severus raised his eyebrow and picked up his daughter's hand, looking at the thick heavy padded fabric then back at Luna.
"Dragon's hide." Luna nodded.
"Mrs. Longbottom, I must apologize for anything I previously thought of you."
"Severus?" Hermione walked up to him, peered over his shoulder and then back at Luna. "They work?"
"Oh yes, of course it works better if you refrain from teaching her."
Hermione slapped Severus on the head. "Told you."
"You two just run along now." Luna laughed at Elaine who was shaking her hands and frowning. "We will be just fine."
Severus pulled Hermione over to the floo and pushed her in.
"Hurry," he hissed, "before she learns to take them off."
"You didn't have to be so rude," Hermione said as she brushed off her dress and looked around. "Severus, where are we? You said we were going to the Ministry."
He stepped behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her back into his chest. "This is their new home. They just moved in today."
"Severus?" She pulled against him. "Who?"
"There." He leaned down to her ear and pointed to her parents who stood in the doorway waiting for her. "Go."
"Mum?" she whispered as his arms slipped away from her. "Dad? You… You remember…"
They ran to her and engulfed her in their arms crying and talking at the same time. Hermione hugged her mother so tightly she thought she would never be able to let go until she heard her father sob and turned to throw her arms around him instead.
"Baby," he said, "You are all grown up."
She held his face in her hands, cried, and laughed as she looked at him. "And you are grey and wrinkled and I love you more then you know."
"Hermione!" Her mother wrapped her arms around her waist. "Your Professor says that the war was bad, and that you did this to save us."
"Professor? No Mum, he is…"
"Miss Granger!" Severus stepped forward and gave her a warning look. "They have just returned. Perhaps new information should be given slowly."
"Miss Granger? No, not this time, not about you, I won't lie about you," she stammered and looked at him oddly. "Mum, Severus is my husband. We have really been married for years now, we have a daughter together."
"Him?" Her father turned to look at Severus. "Isn't he the one you always complained about?"
"Dad, don't," she muttered and blushed. "That was a long time ago."
"But, he is old enough to be …" Mrs. Granger started.
"Mum, don't do this," she said as her eyes began to sting. "I told you we have a daughter, we have been married since about a year after you left."
"Hermione." Severus clenched his jaw. "Time has passed differently for them. They are aware of what has happened, but they do not feel the time lapse the same as you. It is as if they are waking from a dream."
"We are right here, don't talk about me as if I am deaf," Mr. Granger said angrily. "Why didn't you tell me about this before Professor?"
"Because of this. I am not surprised by your reaction. I had only hoped that your daughter would be able to visit before this began," he spoke to her father as he watched Hermione's face crumble.
"Dad, please, not now."
Severus saw her eyes fill and turned to the floo.
"Don't you dare run off." Hermione ran to him and grabbed his arm in alarm. "Don't you dare."
"I am not running off my dear," he said with a smirk, then leaned forward and kissed her cheek. "I need to collect something we should have brought."
He flooed home and brought back Elaine, thrusting her at Mr. Granger and looking at him evenly.
"This sir is the rest of my family. A family that you are welcome to join or leave as you see fit. The decision is yours. However, know that you will not take it apart. I have waited too long and fought to hard for it to throw it away."
Hermione's father looked at Elaine's hands and grinned, then looked up at his wife seeing her trying to contain her own smile.
"My God, Hermione, she is just like you. Except the hair of course."
Severus snapped his head to Hermione and smirked, "I told you it was your fault."
Hermione clenched her lips together and glared back at him.
"Quite a handful I bet." Mr. Granger threw his head back and laughed as his wife took Elaine from him.
"Oh yes, indeed. We didn't know about magic then. We just thought you were possessed."
"I still think that," Severus quipped. "Did you ever have the theory tested?"
"The gloves may work for a while, but she'll learn other ways," Mrs. Granger smiled at Elaine as she hugged the sleepy baby and laid its head on her shoulder. "So when are you due?"
Hermione blanched and looked at Severus, swallowing hard and saw his pallor grow even shallower.
"How did… I mean … I am only… ummm"
"Hermione?" Severus felt his knees weaken thinking of two like Elaine at once.
"I have never seen you wear a dress like that, it is rather unbecoming in the way that it hides your figure," Mrs. Granger laughed. "Is it a maternity or a witch's dress?"
"Severus?" she said weakly, glad when he crossed the distance to her and put his arms around her.
"Maybe this one will be easier." He tried to reassure her but did not know what to say and couldn't believe his own words. He laid his hand on her stomach and smirked. "We really don't need to practice anymore. Of course it may be a little late to stop the morning sessions I find I quite enjoy them."
"Oh good lord you two." Mr. Granger shook his head misunderstanding the type of practice Severus was referring to. "You have help now."
"Help? Sir, I hardly need help." Severus looked hard at him only to feel Hermione punch his arm.
"I should say so, leave this one with Grandma tonight," Mrs. Granger said kissing Elaine's sleeping head as tears filled her eyes.
Severus pulled Hermione to the floo wanting to be alone with her, but knowing she had just reunited with her parents and may want to stay. He was glad to feel her hand slip into his and squeeze firmly. He threw down the floo powder with his free hand, taking his wife home.
"It will be better this time, won't it?" she asked him as they stood in their fireplace at home.
"It is good now Hermione. It is more than I ever thought I would have. It will only be better."
"You don't mind? About the baby, I mean. I wanted to have two close in age, and I was already pregnant when Elaine started to throw things around, then I kept thinking that you…"
He laid his finger on her lips to quiet her. "If you want a dozen we will have a dozen. If you want more we can take them off the streets," he said as he smirked at her. "Just know this is forever, and whoever leaves first takes the kids."
Thanks for all the kind reviews during the posting of this story. I hope now that it is complete any new readers will continue to give me their input. Sequel is up. See Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig.