This is a one-shot to follow up on the ending of Black Phoenix. It will not make much sense if you are not familiar with that story.
Harry looked up from his work in the herb bed and wiped the back of his hand across his brow. As he bent back over and continued to turn the dirt by hand a small voice spoke beside him,
"Use my wand , Da. Use my magic!"
He smiled around at the little girl that had appeared at his side, a toy wand clutched in her fist. "Can't, little love. This soil has to be done the dirty way or it won't be right. Magic will interfere."
"Oh," came the disappointed murmur, followed quickly with, "I help, then!"
Before Harry could stop her, Liliana was elbow deep in the dirt beside him, happily twisting her hands this way and that and flinging up more dirt than she actually turned. Harry flinched back with a grin.
"Whoa there! Does Papa know where you are and that you came to play in the greenhouse?"
"No, he does not and if Miss I-Can't Stay-Put knows what's good for her she will come away from there immediately." The deep stern voice got an instant response from both of them.
Liliana gave a shriek of surprise as she turned around, flinging even more dirt. Harry felt a warmth flood through him at the sound of his husbands voice. It never ceased to amaze him that he could still be this affected by the bond they had. He turned and watched with amusement as their daughter tried to hide her dirty hands behind her back.
Severus advanced and knelt down to nearly her eye-level. "You were told to stay with Dobby. We are having a guest and you were to stay clean."
He held out his wand and she reluctantly held out her grubby hands. A few moments later and after a thorough cleaning spell, Liliana was again quite the beautiful young lady.
All of four years, she was a tiny petite child with raven wing hair and almond shaped deep brown eyes. The long straight hair fell heavily over her shoulders, only a blue bow holding the sides back from her little round face. She looked up at Severus with her most soulful expression.
"I very sorry, Papa. The dirt was calling my name and I had to help Da."
Harry laughed while Severus tried to look stern, but it was a lost cause. Liliana had obviously overheard Harry say the same thing about the dirt calling to him a few too many times. Her earnest face caused Severus to crack a smile as he scooped her up into a hug.
"Nice try, young lady. But your Da is the only one the earth calls to. You just like to get dirty, in this case, at a most inopportune moment."
Severus looked down at Harry as he still knelt beside the planting bed. It was difficult to hide the response his younger husband inspired in him, but he had grown used to having to in front of younger impressionable eyes. He allowed a smouldering sweep of dark eyes over the form of the sweaty man before him knowing it would cause Harry to feel the same way. A small victory now to cause the discomfort he knew Harry would be feeling for the rest of the day. But a larger victory would be the result later tonight after their daughter was safely asleep in her room and the silencing charms were erected to shield her from their often vigorous and noisy love making.
Harry was blushing under his scrutiny, but he stood up and cast a tempus with his hand. Seeing the late hour of the afternoon he turned to Severus and shrugged. "Sorry. I got carried away as usual. I'll clean up and be right in."
"I'll get you 'carried away', you brat. See that you hurry. Olivander will be here shortly." Harry blushed again at Severus's double meaning. The man always managed to get him into a lather early in the day when he had hours before any reasonable chance at relief.
Liliana joyfully latched onto her own interpretation and threw her arms around Severus's neck. "Carry me away, Papa!"
Severus smirked at Harry behind her back and Harry stretched his arms up over his head in a pose that caused his sweat covered torso to ripple sensuously. The heat in Severus's eyes went up a notch and Harry felt vindicated by the earlier behavior of the Potions Master.
After Severus swept away with Liliana in his arms, Harry quickly finished turning the soil before covering the bed with a web of acromantula silk. A visit to the stone water basin in the corner and a cleaning spell later, and he was ready to head into the castle.
He was looking forward to seeing the old wandmaker Olivander. Severus and Shaiming had collaborated until a potion was created to bring the man back from the insanity caused by Voldemort's wand. After he had made the wand demanded by the Dark Lord, it had been turned on him to test its merits. The results had been a man afraid to face the world, locked into a nightmare where everyone he saw was a Deatheater.
Olivander had come back out of madness and just now had begun to make wands again. He had a special gift today and Harry knew Severus would be cross if he was late. He wouldn't be cross on his own account, but cross because if Harry was late, Liliana would be whining about wanting some of the cakes and biscuits set out for tea. It always irritated Severus that he gave in so easily to her pretty pleas and he would later complain that if Harry had been on time their daughter would not have twisted him so neatly around her little finger again.
Sure enough, Harry walked into the sitting room and found Severus bending down to speak to Liliana, in a cajoling tone that he used only for her.
"Lili, Da will be here soon and then you may have a small sandwich. Only then may you have a cake or biscuit."
Harry hurried to the two and bent down to kiss Liliana. "There you are, beautiful girl! Have you been patiently waiting for your Da?"
"She has not," remarked Severus. "Thank you for finally gracing us with your presence, Harry."
Harry stood on tiptoe to reach the man's cheek where he kissed him while whispering, "I'll grace you with my presence later…"
He ignored the heated blush that crept up from under the neck of Severus's teaching robes and turned to the sofa where Olivander already sat.
"Mr. Olivander! I'm so glad you were able to come. How are you, sir?"
Oivander stood up, but he was still a half head shorter than Harry. He peered up with his strange watery grey eyes and smiled. "Harry Potter-Snape… I have looked forward to this day for awhile now. I never had the chance to congratulate you on defeating Tom Riddle. Thank you for that." He grasped Harry's hand in a tight hold for a long moment as he gazed into Harry's green eyes.
After some seconds went by, he let go and sighed. "As I thought; there are still great things to come from you, Mr. Potter. Great things indeed."
Harry smiled in bemusement. He knew that the old wizard could not have seen into his mind. His shields were too strong for that. If he knew anything, it was just a guess. Severus had set the tea service down on the table in front of the sofa and two chairs. Olivander sat down and accepted the cup Severus poured for him, as well as a biscuit from the hovering tray.
Liliana was sitting up as straight and as proper as she could on the sofa beside Olivander and she had her legs crossed and swinging as she eyed the sweets on the tray. Harry gave her a nod as he put her own little cup in her hands. It was more milk and sugar than tea, but Liliana liked to pretend hers was just like Papa's tea. The liking for sweets she got from Harry.
Olivander waited until they had all been served before looking down at the little girl. "Well, well, Miss Snape… I hear that you are a very special young lady."
Liliana stared up t him and politely swallowed her bite before responding. "I am special because Papa and Da chose me to be their little girl. They saw me and loved me right away in China and then they brought me home."
Olivander smiled and looked at the other two men. "She's very charming, and if I read her magic correctly, she will grow up to be a force in her own right."
"Yes, I believe that to be true as well," Harry said. "Have you heard her story, sir?"
Olivander shook his head. "I've only heard the snippets that one gets from the gossip mongers. If you are sharing, I'd like to hear it straight from you."
Severus looked at Harry and without hesitation he began their tale.
When we were in China, with Harry recovering from his ordeal, the Black Phoenix hatched. It immediately seemed to choose Harry to be his wizard and Harry called him Caruso. You know, of course, about Harry's memory loss at that time?"
Olivander nodded. Severus continued. "To make a long story short, it was the combined tears of both Fawkes and Caruso that brought back Harry's memories. They also helped him regain a part of the magic he had lost."
Olivander peered at them knowingly. "Only a part? I've been sensing your amazing strength since you walked in the door Mr. Potter. I haven't felt anything like it since I first met Albus."
Harry was grateful that he hadn't compared him to Grindewald or Riddle. Once or twice those names had come up when the legend of Potter was being discussed. Harry and Severus would always wave it away as nonsense and Albus always backed them up. It helped that the quarterly examinations by the Ministry Unspeakables never turned up more than the magic Harry let them see, an amount that was well with the 'normal' parameters of a mildly strong wizard.
Harry put his cup down carefully to hide the sudden trembling in his hands. Severus leaned across the space between the two chairs and took his hand, squeezing it briefly.
Olivander seemed to become aware that Harry was uncomfortable and he said quickly, "Forgive me… I did not mean to cause upset. I see that you have a very big secret that you would rather not be made public. If anyone deserves their privacy, it is you, after all you have been through."
"Thank you sir," Harry said quietly. There was a period of silence while all in the room gathered their thoughts. Liliana looked between her Papa and Da and jumped off the sofa to climb up into Harry's lap.
"Da is sad?" she asked as she put her arms around his neck.
Harry held her close and breathed in the floral scent of her hair. He could feel her magic trying to cross their touching skin to try and calm him. "I'm alright Lili. Mr. Olivander is just bringing up thoughts I'd rather not have." He sat her back and looked into her eyes. "But, if I was not so powerful, we wouldn't have you, would we?"
Liliana smiled at that and turned to sit leaning back against his chest as he held her loosely. Harry noticed Olivander observing them and the older man nodded. "So, you did not set out to adopt a magical child in China?"
Harry shook his head. "It was not in the plan. I remembered that Severus and I wanted to discuss children at some point in the future, but the fates had another plan in mind…"
Severus took over the story.
"Harry had been exhausted by all the events of that day. The Unspeakables had come, expecting to see the next dark lord and Harry had managed to prove to them that he was not. The phoenix tears restored his memories and magic, during which there were rather violent earth tremors all around us. I had put Harry to bed to recuperate. When we woke up, the whole compound was in a state of upheaval.
"The magical compound was kept hidden from the locals by strong notice-me-not spells, similar to what is used here at Hogwarts. They do not see anything but ancient burial grounds that are sacred to them, so they are avoided. However, those spells did not keep them from feeling the earthquake. The nearby villages are particularly superstitious and believed that a sleeping dragon had awakened. They immediately came to the conclusion that the dragon must be appeased or they would lose their crops, their villages, and their very lives. Families from the villages began to bring their babies and lay them against the base of the stones they could see. They were giving sacrifices to the dragon."
He stopped and took a drink of his tea. Olivander was sipping his while Liliana nibbled on a biscuit as she listened to the story. She had not heard so many details before and she was fascinated by what Papa was saying. Harry had his eyes closed and his cheek pressed against her hair.
"The apprentices and Master wizards in the compound had changed into the dress of the monks who lived up the mountain. They conjured carts and they had begun to gather the infants to take them to orphanages. They had to work quickly, as most of them were very young and needed food and attention. Shaiming saw Harry's distress that all of it had been caused by his magic and he was quick to assure him that it was not the first time such things happened. It was not uncommon for the poorer families to use events such as these to rid themselves of female children so they could try again for a son. In fact, most of the infants were girls.
Harry insisted that we help with relocating the infants to safety. He felt a strong responsibility and would not be dissuaded. While we were helping place some infants on one of the carts, Harry found Liliana. She was a little older than the rest, already sitting up. She had been crying, but as soon as Harry picked her up, she stopped."
He looked over to his husband and daughter and saw Harry's arms tighten around her. She had leaned her head on his shoulder, biscuit forgotten in her lap.
"Harry could feel her magical signature. While the others were doubtful, I knew that he could feel it. He had felt the signatures of the Weasley babies while they were still in the womb. Shaiming and the other masters tried to insist that she would be better off with the orphanage and raised as a muggle, perhaps adopted by foreigners. Harry refused to relinquish her to the cart, and took her back to our rooms. The cart left without us.
"I was torn between doing what Shaiming and his colleagues said was the right thing and wanting this for Harry. It seemed too quick on the heels of all that had occurred for it to be possible to add one more major change to his life. But I looked at them together… he held her so gently and they were looking into each other's eyes as if they knew exactly what the other was thinking. I conjured a bottle and Harry gave her to me, saying, 'She's so full of happiness at being here. She knows where she belongs now.'"
As soon as I had her in my arms, it felt right. I had no experience to base having a child on… and yet as soon as we touched there was a connection. I knew we would never give her up and we would do whatever we could to keep her with us."
Liliana sat up and slid out of Harry's lap and climbed up into Severus's. She laid a small hand on his cheek before snuggling in to lay her head in the crook of his shoulder.
She yawned and murmured, "Love Papa…love Da…" and fell asleep cradled against his chest. Severus looked over at a smiling harry, Seeing the suspicious brightness in his eyes.
He hugged the little girl and whispered into her hair, "We love you too, angel."
Harry took over the story.
"Shaiming and the other Masters were finally convinced that we wanted her and they helped make all the arrangements through the orphanage. We didn't want any loose ends that might come back later and tear her from us. She is legally our daughter, both in the muggle courts and the ministries of magic in England and China. She is the light of our life."
He looked at Olivander as he looked at the sleeping child. "She will be very strong. You should see her throw a tantrum. The sparks fly all over the room."
Olivander smiled and stood up. "That brings me to the main purpose of my visit. I wanted to thank you both, of course, but I also wanted to give you a late gift for the new addition to your family."
He pulled a long box out of his pocket. Opening it, he held it out to Harry. Nestled in the folds of black velvet were three wands. "I am embarking on a new venture… family wands. With the Black Phoenix tears you so graciously gave me, I made this set for the Potter-Snape family. I realize that you, Harry, don't really need one, and you, Severus, have had yours for as long as you've been a Potions Master. You are used to it and it responds readily to your needs.
"These wands will work in tandem with one another. The smallest can be tuned stronger as little Miss grows. Perhaps they will be useful when you all wish to do things together, like family outings, certain types of work, etc. They are especially useful if you should become separated and want to easily find one another. The tears binds them together so that they are as close as the three of you."
Severus had leaned forward while holding Liliana to get a better look. "The handiwork is extraordinary, Olivander. Thank you."
The old wizard smiled benevolently and then sighed. "Well. Tea has been delightful. Thank you for sharing the story about how the three of you came to be a family. It is a lovely tale."
Harry stood up. "Shall I walk you to the gates, sir?"
"No need. I am due to go up and have a game of chess with Albus before I floo home from his office. I find apparating still a little tricky after my illness."
He left out the door and Harry shut it softly behind him. He leaned his back against it and stood watching his two beloveds.
His own family. A family full of all the love he had missed as a boy growing up. Having this made everything he had ever been through worth it.
Severus stood up with Liliana in his arms and Harry followed as he carried her to her small cot. They both kissed her forehead after Severus gently removed the bow from her hair and smoothed it across her pillow. Harry drew her favorite pink blanket up and tucked it under her chin.
They knew it was only a nap, so they didn't waste any time shutting her door and making their way to their own room.
A/N: Just a peek at what happened after Harry regained his memories and his magic! I intended no disrespect to Chinese culture. I researched it only a little bit and exaggerated some facts to suit this small story. Adopting a little girl from China was one of my biggest desires, but it was not to be. This way, my Harry and Severus do it for me!