Harry Potter's Serendipitous (But Quite Accidental) Guide to Happiness
Pairing: SSHP (main), mentions of HarryOC
Warnings: AU. Mpreg. Homosexuality.
Disclaimer: I do not own the Harry Potter universe.
In the many years that had gone by since Harry turned to Mrs Weasley and said, "I'm going away," Harry had never, even once, contemplated returning – or even regretted leaving it in the first place – to the world he left behind. Hermione and Ron had been off in Australia to try and locate the Grangers, so Harry had decided that now would be as good a time as any. Voldemort was dead and gone, and now someone else could pick up the reins and chase down the rogue Death Eaters still at large.
He had wanted to make a life for himself: to do something that wasn't connected to a scar on his forehead his mother was mostly responsible for. Though… He hadn't originally planned to spend quite so many years in school. Muggle school. University. Postgraduate studies. The Ph.D. programme. There was so much to do, and Harry's fascination with the subject never wore thin or disappeared – for someone who had spent so much time in the air on a broom, aerodynamics held a fascination that was, perhaps, justified when it came to answer questions such as 'how?' and 'why?'. Harry hadn't thought school without magic could be fun, but it was – it just wasn't about the actual classes but the company, the other students and the less imposing teachers.
Mrs Weasley had somehow understood what he meant at once and although her eyes had misted up, not a single tear fell as they hugged for a very long time. Harry's voice had barely been strong enough for a, "Goodbye, Mrs Weasley. You're a great Mum, you know? Thank you for letting me know."
//Harry Potter's Serendipitous (But Quite Accidental) Guide to Happiness.
My cousin, Albin, had a baby, y'know? Ron said this conversationally, as if it was…normal. Unsurprising.
Harry found himself remembering that conversation vividly in the weeks he spent throwing up. Harry found himself remembering that conversation vividly in the months he spent watching and feeling his stomach stretch and grow. Harry found himself remembering that conversation vividly in the months he spent feeling somethingelse move about inside of him.
Harry found himself cursing himself for letting that damnable gorgeous and convincing lover of his talk him into skipping out on the condoms – they were both blokes and clean, right? It didn't matter that they hadn't even known each other all that long, either. A month or two, but a great month or two of breathtaking freedom and absolutely no Death Eaters.
It wasn't that bloody funny when he was lying on a bed in a falling-apart-hospital located in a village so reclusive it was a wonder the sun ever rose there on the outskirts of New Zeeland. His hair was bleached and his eyes brown – Muggle cosmetics and contact lenses only did so much. It would only be a matter of hours, he knew, before his Identity Scroll at the Ministry began humming – just like it did every time when a child was born to a wizard or a witch. Soon, beneath his name, the name Daniel Albus Potter would appear.
Harry looked up from the red, wrinkled baby boy in his arms. Perfectly healthy and absolutely perfectly perfect. "Yeah?"
The greying witch smiled. "Congratulations."
"Daniel Albus Potter," he murmured to himself, stroking a finger, feather light, down the tiny ridge of the tiny nose. "You're not a James or Sirius or Remus at all, are you, love?" Daniel's pouty mouth made a slight suctioning movement. "No…" Harry smiled, exhausted and sweaty. "You're lovely little Danny. My little Danny."
A few weeks later, he signed Muggle adoption papers. For propriety's sake.
His boyfriend at that time – and coincidently the father of the child, hadn't been very pleased with the loud, smelly addition to their already rather cramped flat. The six months Harry had spent abroad on the other side of the planet had already strained their relationship beyond repair so Harry wasn't too surprised when, a month or two after he came back to Cardiff, Alec, the boyfriend, moved out. On amicable terms. In fact, with time he had turned out to be a rather invaluable babysitter. And he was only too happy to help and spend a few hours with little Danny.
It wasn't until later, when he was walking down the streets of Wellington, Danny strapped to his chest in a sling, soundly asleep, that he remembered. Alec was a Muggle. Muggle. Men don't get pregnant. Ever. Danny stirred little, a soft sound of displeasure sounding from the bundle. Harry rubbed the baby's back, then walked towards someplace where he could sit down and think properly.
Because Alec was a Muggle and Harry was a wizard, and Danny was his. He could say he'd adopted a baby on a whim, it was just… Sons resembled their fathers; that Harry knew all too well. How many times hadn't he heard that? Been told of how much he looked like his Dad and how his eyes were perfect copies of his Mum's? Buggering hell. Shouldn't he have thought of this before he left? Dumped Alec or something? Of course, he knew he could never have done that, but that knowledge was hardly of any use at the moment.
"Hey, darling, I knocked this bird up," he muttered to himself. "Right. Because a pregnancy only lasts for six months. And this stupid sod already booked a Trans-Pacific Portkey." A Portkey to Peking where he would board the Trans-Siberian Railway. Seven days in a cramped compartment with a baby. Perhaps not the smartest choice he'd ever made, but it'd get him home. And it would take him through Russia.
But the baby. How was he going to explain a ruddy baby? Danny shifted against his chest. Harry pulled back the cloth of the sling a bit, then traced a finger down a chubby cheek. He was so beautiful and perfect, his little son. Two weeks old, and already Harry was filled to the point of bursting with pride and love for his little creation. Lying wasn't really an option, he knew. Danny was his and he'd never be able to claim otherwise.
"I'll have to go with the truth, then. Won't I, sweetheart?"
So, when Harry was scheduled to arrive back in Wales in a month, he was going to have to tell Alec about his son, Danny, and about this girl he'd known. Exchange student, he would say, from New Zeeland. And he would tell him they'd had sex once, for laughs. And now there was a little Daniel Potter with Harry, because the mother wasn't ready for parenting.
Yeah, Harry decided, that was what he was going to do.
Danny had been five years old when Daddy told him The Secret.
The Secret. Danny had been so proud that Daddy trusted him that much – so much that Danny was allowed to know that him and Daddy weren't like the rest. Daddy said they were called Muggles and that they, him and Daddy, could do Magic. Danny hadn't doubted Daddy for a moment; Danny had seen when Daddy made things come to him when he wanted them badly enough, and Danny remembered that time he had fixed Mr Bunny – who was actually a dragon – because a mean boy had torn off one of Mr Bunny's wings. Daddy had looked so proud, Danny thought, when he told Daddy what had happened.
Then there was the time Danny had made Daddy's hair purple. Danny giggled; that had been funny. Daddy's mouth had quirked into that dry, sort of amused, smile he sometimes used.
Daddy had told him that they weren't really called Jackson, but that Daddy had taken that name because he wanted to be allowed to be himself and have a normal life. Danny didn't understand why Daddy couldn't have that before, but he didn't ask.
"Will we ever go back, Daddy?" he had asked.
Daddy had sighed and smoothed his hand over Danny's hair. "Maybe. I don't know. If…if they come for me, then I suppose we'll go back."
"Aren't we hiding?"
Daddy smiled a smile that Danny thought looked kinda sad and mischievous at the same time. "Nothing is impossible with magic, Danny. With enough determination, you can do anything." Danny just looked confused, but Daddy laughed and explained. "Will, Danny, with enough willpower and want and desire."
Harry was an assistant lecturer – postdoctoral researcher, really, with his hard-earned Ph.D firmly attained – and the students called him Dr Jackson and seemed to find it very humorous. Harry did not understand why.
Daniel was six years old, and Harry wondered when the time had sped up and zoomed past him.
Harry looked up from the thick book – tome – he was reading. His glasses rode low on his nose and his green eyes were temporarily unobstructed. "Danny?"
Daniel smiled shyly and shuffled across the room on bare feet. "Can we talk about The Secret?" He clambered up on Harry's lap and pushed away the book with the ease only a child possess. "You know?" Daniel's eyes were large and glittering. "I made a flower today, Daddy."
Harry chuckled softly. "A flower?"
Daniel nodded eagerly. "A snowdrop. Lyssa thought it was veeeery pretty!" Harry stiffened, but Daniel just smiled. "Lyssa's my friend, Dad. She won't tell. She promised." Daniel lowered his voice and whispered, "She's a snake, Dad. She said only special people like me could talk to them."
"Of all the things…" Harry groaned and shook his head. "You just had to be a Parselmouth, didn't you, brat?" Daniel giggled. Harry brought his arms around Daniel's small waist and rested his head upon the messy head – of course, Daniel had to inherit his hair, too. He cleared his throat. "People will fear and distrust you, Danny. Even the other special ones, who can do magic just like we can, will be afraid of you. They shunned me for almost a year and blamed me for something I had nothing to do with. The Dark Lord… He was a Parselmouth, too." Then he smiled at his son who smiled back with adoration and love and trust. "Of course, snakes are the perfect secret friends, too," he said conspiratorially and Daniel burst out into giggles again.
"I must confess, Dr Jackson." Harry started and whirled around; he hadn't heard that voice, that smooth, dark, silky voice in over eight years – he had in fact almost deluded himself into believing that he never would ever again. A single black eyebrow rose over an equally black eye. "I find myself somewhat surprised."
"Snape." The eyes hardened. "Professor Snape," Harry amended. He wet his lips. "What are you doing here?"
What are you doing here. Not: How did you find me. "You expected to be found."
Harry almost nodded. "I didn't expect it to be by you."
"The Headmistress requires a Defence Against the Dark Arts professor."
"I like it here."
That black eyebrow rose again, slower this time. "Physics, Dr Jackson?"
"Aerodynamics, Professor Snape." Harry raised an eyebrow of his own. "I happen to quite like it."
There was a knock on the door and one of his colleagues stuck her head inside. "Harry, Danny's on the phone."
"Really?" The woman nodded. "Thanks, Nina," he called after her as she left. He picked up the phone from his desk and sat down. "Danny? Dan—" Harry paled, and quickly at that, as Danny rapidly recounted what he had done. Entirely by mistake, if he was to be believed and the panic in his voice certainly supported that acclaim. "—oh…bugger. I'll…I'll be right there, okay? I'll just— no, don't leave the flat. Don't move. Just stay there and I'll be right there."
A sheepish child's, "Sorry, Daddy," greeted both Harry and Snape as they Apparated straight into the flat.
"…I really didn't mean to." The voice came from Harry's bedroom and Harry motioned for Snape to follow.
Danny was perched on Harry's bed with long hair in a most vivacious purple shade. The floor around the bed was filled with hissing, slithering snakes in a myriad of colours.
Daniel turned around and Harry and Snape were faced with wolfishly yellow eyes complete with slit pupils. Eyes that widened with horror at the sight of another man standing just outside the threshold – a man that wasn't Dad.
"What were you doing?"
Daniel bit his bottom lip. "Singing," he said quietly after several moments. "Then the pillows began exploding and the feathers…the feathers turned into, um. Snakes." Daniel raised his head slightly. "I didn't mean to, Dad. Honestly."
Harry blinked. "Singing? Singing did…this?" He waved his hands.
"Um. I read a book?"
"Dad, I… Who's that?" and there was the Parseltongue.
"Professor Snape," Harry said quickly. "Where's Alec?" Because really, seven years old or not, Daniel really shouldn't be home alone during the day. Daniel adopted a look of sweet innocence and just a smidgen of guilt. "Danny?"
"He went to buy ice-cream, Daddy. I'm sorry!"
Next to Harry, Snape shifted and Harry realised they weren't exactly conversing in English. "Finite Incantatem, please, Professor?"
"Can't do it, Potter?"
Harry levelled Snape with a glare. "Do I appear to have a wand, Professor?"
Snape looked disgusted. "How—"
"Is he a wizard, Dad?" Danny burst excitedly. "A real proper wizard?"
Harry turned his head from his son to Snape, a bit lost, a bit amused. "I'm a proper wizard, Danny."
Daniel rolled his eyes. "You never do anything magic, Dad!"
Harry glared. "I correct your mistakes often enough, don't I?" And he demonstratively clapped his hands twice.
The snakes melted into the feathers they had originated from. It wasn't really magic – 'real proper magic' like Danny would have said, because all Harry could do without his wand was cancel minor charms or transfigurations. So he could change the snakes back because they were made from inanimate objects. His son, on the other hand, was very much alive and animate. He'd need his wand for that.
"Honestly, Potter," Snape muttered. He drew his wand and swiftly transformed Danny back to normal. "You have allowed yourself to slip too far into the Muggle lifestyle."
Harry guiltily thought of his treasured wand and its banishment to the shoebox under his bed.
"Then I take it there is nothing I could say to convince you to return to our world?" Snape was twirling a wine glass on the table with his fingers. Back and forth he rolled it, the dark rich wine rolling along the motions in a hypnotising rhythm.
Harry stared as if transfixed on the glass. "I'm happy here, Snape. I have a son I love, a job I love, friends who never expect anything from me beyond to be the clumsy fool of a dad I am who loves his son and laughs along with his friends." He raised his gaze and looked into Snape's bottomless eyes. "One way or the other, people always expected something more of me in the Wizarding world. And it was never me, but the Boy-Who-Lived."
"Bemoaning your bittersweet fate?"
Harry started, then laughed drily. "No, no… I'm just telling you that I'm not going back. I'm happy here. That's all I ever wanted. And besides, Snape, be logical about it: I've been out of touch with the magical world for, what, seven, eight years? McGonagall doesn't really expect me to be able to teach the Defence of Dark Arts with those credentials?"
"Even that measure of incompetence would be an improvement at this point, I'm afraid. The teachers have all shared a woeful lack of skills, professionalism and knowledge."
Harry gave Snape a look. "So you don't want the position? We always thought you did."
Snape snorted. "I am a Potions Master, Dr Potter. I may have an unhealthy obsession with the Dark Arts themselves, but I would never be an appropriate Defence instructor."
"There is that," Harry mused. Then he laughed once. "Dr Potter. Sounds absurd."
"Muggles," Snape drawled. The motion of the wineglass ceased as Snape raised it to his lips and drained it of its contents.
"Refill?" Harry asked, not moving from his spot. His glass had been empty for half an hour, at least. Snape was a slow, leisure drinker.
There stood an empty wine bottle on the table. The glass in Severus' hand was empty. Harry's was discarded somewhere else in the room. It wasn't really important, though.
He'd never know Severus was such an amazing kisser. Never contemplated that the man even could kiss. His kisses were slow, devouring, hot.
"Might one suggest we depart to your bedroom, Harry?" Severus murmured in his ear, his voice a low, throaty purr.
"Birthday shag for the birthday boy?" Harry muttered in return.
Severus pulled back enough so that Harry could see the raised eyebrow, then moved back in and kissed Harry. "I had forgotten," he mumbled between deep kisses. "I shall have to be most thorough, then."
It was Dad's birthday. Twenty-eighth, Danny knew, because he'd asked Alec. So the birthday card read, in big purple letters, HAPPY 28TH BIRTHDAY, DADDY!!! Danny had written it himself, of course, and then he'd drawn a black cat under the text as well. Dad said no, but Danny thought he might…persuade, like Uncle Severus would say, Dad by reminding him that Daniel wanted a cat.
The wrapped present clutched in his hands contained a pillow that had an embroidered dragon on it that Danny had worked on every Friday afternoon in school since February. He hoped to gods that Daddy would like it. Last year Alec had helped him bake biscuits, and Dad had really liked those.
Tiptoeing, Danny eased the door to his Dad's bedroom open and sneaked inside. Dad was fast asleep on his back, mouth a bit open, one hand thrown out towards the door. Danny grinned, then launched himself towards the bed.
"Happy birthday, Dad!" he exclaimed. He landed with a heavy bounce and happy laughter. Dad's eyes shot open in surprise. Danny leaned over and gave him a kiss on the mouth; he wasn't quite old enough to find it disgusting yet. "Happy birthday!" he said again. Dad blinked, but then he smiled a brilliant, happy smile that made Danny all warm inside. He thrust the present forward. "I made it for you, Daddy! See?"
Dad chuckled. His hair was standing in out all directions and he looked a little confused, but still more happy than disoriented. "Thank you, Danny." Danny grinned.
The grin faltered when he looked down at his lap, feeling suddenly a bit shy, and he caught sight of a very much newly awakened and not nearly as pleased or happy looking Uncle Severus staring back at him. From the pillow next to Dad's. In Dad's bed.
But Dad just chuckled, then drew him forwards in a hug and settled him on his lap. "Uncle Severus just decided to spend the night. You know, like Alec does after we drink too many beers, remember?"
"Don't drink and drive," Daniel carefully recited. But Alec had never, even once, slept in Dad's bed.
"Something like that," Dad muttered. He picked up his gift again, then started to unwrap it over Danny's lap. "Let's see what treasure you have found for me this time." Daniel perked up again, the puzzle of Uncle Severus' presence in the bed temporarily forgotten. "Last year he'd baked these delicious biscuits, Severus. Really a shame that you couldn't taste them. Right, Danny?"
"We can bake them later?"
Dad mock-glared at him. "Because it's my birthday, this time, it's okay even if it is the middle of the week."
"Yes!" Danny exclaimed. "Now open your present, Daddy!"
Daniel was nine, and he had a passion for Charms and History – not necessarily of Magic. Potions were all right, okay – not terribly exciting but not death-by-boredom either. Defence Against the Dark Arts were too violent, and Transfiguration too illogical.
Harry neared, slowly but surely, thirty, and he handed in his dissertation, hopefully the last one; he was a postdoctoral researcher no more. It had been two years since his former professor, Severus Snape, had found him. Two years.
No one else had come for him.
Severus came once a month – sometimes. Twice if you counted the times he also spent the night. Harry wasn't really sure of the how and the when, but their relationship had taken on a sexual facet.
"Peter said his dad said you were a pouf, Dad."
Harry dropped the book in his hands and it landed with a soft thud on the table. Daniel stared at him with his expressive eyes that were more blue than green.
"He said you were a pillow-biter and a ponce and that bleeding pansies like you don't deserve to be alive."
Daniel was nine and was beginning to understand that he didn't have a mother because his dad liked other dads.
Harry neared, slowly but surely, thirty and he cursed himself for ever forgetting how mean children were to each other.
Danny's voice was loud, and even with the door shut and the radio on, Harry could hear him all the way inside his bedroom. "I'm in the closet, Danny!" he called back, just as loud. It sounded uncannily like that of a stampede of zebras on the savannah, but it was, in fact, merely one nine year old boy with too much energy running through the flat approaching.
"Dad!" The bedroom door slammed open. "Dad, hey, Dad!"
Harry backed out of the closet. "Yes, oh child of mine?"
Danny grinned. "I brought a friend! His name's Teddy and he lives just across the street with his Granny! They moved in just last week and today was his first day of school and guess what, Dad? He sat next to me! Me, Dad! All the others were all jealous and no one made fun of me today because everyone's trying to impress Teddy and all but he said he liked me best because I didn't try as hard as the others to make him like me and—"
Danny gulped in a deep breath. "—I said he could come home with me if he wanted to so we asked his Granny and she said it was all right as long as you didn't mind!" Danny grinned widely as he finally came to a stop. Seconds later his expression fell. "You don't mind, do you, Daddy?"
Harry blinked, feeling utterly bemused. But at the same time, he was also so breathtakingly happy and relieved that Danny – his sweet little Danny – finally had a friend. Ever since he was five and old enough to go to school – old enough that his classmates had older sisters and brothers who realised that Danny's Dad was a pouf – his classmates had begun to make fun of him. Certainly not all of them, and not at once. But enough that Danny felt hurt, sad and confused; Danny knew his Dad, after all. It was as if he were an outsider. There had always been one or two children in his class that hadn't minded to be with Daniel while in school, but their friendship had never really extended to after hours. "I… No, Danny, why would I mind? Is he nice?"
"Yes, Dad! You're the best! Come on!" And Danny's grin was back full force. He grabbed hold of Harry's arm and proceeded to more or less drag his father through the flat and back to the entrance where a shy looking boy with soft tawny hair stood.
Harry's heart stopped for a short while, and then he reprimanded himself; there were plenty of people had tawny hair. It was just so many coincidences at once, though. A boy called Teddy who lived with his grandmother?
"Teddy, Teddy! Guess what? Dad says you can stay!"
Teddy looked up and smiled. Harry's heart stopped again. Soft brown eyes. Soft light brown eyes. Just like Remus. "Thanks, Mr Jackson," Teddy mumbled and his cheeks coloured faintly. "It's a pleasure to meet you."
Technically, it was doctor but that didn't really matter right now. Because… "That's quite all right, Teddy. I…" Harry walked closer. "Your… You wouldn't happen to be Teddy Lupin, would you?"
Teddy's head shot up and Harry guessed it was most likely the surprise and fear that made his hair turn a startling shade of fuchsia more than anything else. Danny gasped, but otherwise remained silent. It wouldn't be long before he found himself and the questions began rushing out of his mouth. "How did you know? Granny said no one was supposed to know—"
Harry smiled and tried to swallow; his throat felt so thick and constricted. He placed his hands on Teddy's shoulders and said, as calmly as he could, "Last time I saw you… You were just a baby, Teddy, and your dad was so proud. To tell the truth, I'd never seen him as happy before."
Teddy hesitated barely a second. "You knew Dad?"
Harry nodded. "Your mum, too. A Metamorphmagus, just like you." Teddy smiled shyly again. "I can't believe you're so big already…"
"I'm almost ten. In two weeks."
"I know. Second of September, right?" The small smile blossomed into a full grin. Harry tried not to remember that merely two weeks later, so many had been dead. That two weeks later, little Teddy Lupin had been an orphan. That another two weeks later, he'd been gone, too.
Teddy was looking at him as if he were a great puzzle just waiting to be solved. "You look like Uncle Harry, Mr Jackson. He's my Godfather. Harry Potter." Danny gasped loudly.
Harry bit his lip, then nodded once, slowly. "I know that, too. Sends you presents and postcards, I'll bet."
Teddy blinked. "Yeah."
There wasn't really an option for Harry not to tell Teddy who he was. "How about you call your Granny over for tea, Teddy?"
Harry ruffled Danny's hair. "Let's wait for Mrs Tonks, all right?"
"How did you know she's called that, Mr Jackson?" Harry wanted to sigh, but he winked at his Godson instead.
It was a long night – it couldn't really have been any other way, of course. But it had been long overdue, as Harry came to realise. Mrs Tonks hadn't blamed him for wanting to get away per say, but… He shouldn't have just left like he did. Without a trace.
Nevertheless, both Danny and Teddy had been overwhelmingly thrilled. And Harry and Mrs Tonks had both gained a new babysitter each. All in all, it could have gone much worse.
Severus barely looked up from the Muggle newspaper he – with very little actual interest – was reading. "Yes?"
"Did you know that Andromeda and Teddy live just across the street?"
Harry blinked. "Oh. You told them to come here?"
"Indeed." Severus looked up, his eyes as emotionless as always but there was a faint curl at the right corner of his mouth. "After all, if the illustrious Harry Potter deemed Cardiff satisfying, then why not send more?"
Harry wondered how long Severus had known where he lived.
Ten and suddenly the entire world was different.
"Mmmm?" Harry moaned, the sound lodged deep in his throat. He forced his eyes open and a glance at the clock on his bedside table told him it was far too early to be awake. On a Saturday. But then, he supposed he should have learned by now that children were early risers. "What's it, Danny?"
"Do you love Uncle Severus?"
Harry felt much more awake and no longer sleepy at all. In fact, the cold feeling that had, quite suddenly, washed over him surely must have been dread? "Danny?"
Daniel climbed up on Harry's bed and shuffled in close, feet and shins tucked under his thighs. "Daddy?"
Daniel wet his lips and pushed up his glasses – yet another genetic trait inherited from Harry: bad eyesight. "Yesterday, when I came to wake you, Uncle Severus was lying there…" Daniel stretched his body and reached over to touch the pillow next to Harry's. "Mike told me that his mum and dad shared a bed – parents do that, you know."
Harry wet his lips and stared at his son, who was staring back with enthusiasm and curiosity. Hope. Harry cleared his throat, wondering vaguely what this was all really about. "Friends – very, very, very good friends do that, too, sometimes."
"Alec sleeps on the couch. And he told me you used to be his boyfriend before I existed." Daniel pursed his lips stubbornly and Harry could only sigh in defeat.
"Severus – Uncle Severus – and I have a…strange relationship, Danny."
"But do you love him? Is… Will he be my…dad, too?"
"Danny—" Harry struggled to sit up and Daniel leaned closer.
Harry pulled Daniel closer and the boy easily slid into his lap. Daniel rested his head on Harry's shoulder and Harry brought his arms around the small waist. "What's this really about, Danny?"
Daniel closed his eyes and bit his lip.
"Danny?" his father urged.
"I… It's just…" Daniel lowered his voice, "everyone's got two parents but me, Dad."
Danny is five years old and nervous. He's holding Daddy's hand with, were he strong enough, a bruising grip. Daddy said it was all right – he had been nervous just like Danny was right now when he began primary school.
Danny finds it hard to believe that his Daddy could be scared. Daddy is Batman and Batman isn't afraid of anything. Batman can do anything. Danny's Daddy is invincible.
The second time it happened Harry was rather familiar with the the…symptons.
Number one: Taut abdomen.
Number two: If by any chance you sneeze, cough or sigh too…forcefully jars will open and pillows levitate. Carpets may tremble.
Number three: Warmth will build up in your stomach similar to that of consuming hot tea during the winter.
Number four: Humming will ensue. Not necessarily from you.
Number five: If, by perchance, you have somehow failed to take note of the four previous signs, then the morning sickness that begins to take place in month two or three is a brutal reality check.
"Damn," Harry muttered.
"What's wrong, Dad?" Danny fidgeted uncertainly outside of the bathroom – actually, he was standing pretty much in the centre of the doorway.
Harry wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, only to recoil halfway and rush for the sink. He had just entered week number three of random bursts of vomiting. Evidently, it had begun to worry Danny. Harry sighed.
"Nothing's wrong, Danny—"
Danny's eyes became very large. "But—"
"Dad's just…bloody pregnant again," he muttered. Danny obviously didn't overhear him.
Harry sighed again. "I'm fine – I promise. It's just a, a…parasite in my stomach." Danny's nose scrunched up. "Do you know what that is?"
Harry rinsed his mouth while he thought. "A…parasite is a tiny, tiny, tiny animal that lives inside of you and make you ill."
"Uncle Severus, guess what?"
Severus grunted and didn't raise his eyes from the crossword spread out in front of him.
"Dad's got a parasite in his stomach!" Danny's face scrunched up. "It's so disgusting; he's always being sick and he said it was like an animal!"
Harry bit his lip, uncertainty roiling in his stomach, because, really, there was no way Severus would ever believe the parasite explanation. He knew, logically, that he would have to tell Severus at one point or another, just like he would have to tell Danny. "An animal or plant that lives on or in another animal or plant of a different type and feeds from it," he quoted; that was what the dictionary on his shelf at the University said.
Severus' eyes narrowed into slits and Harry took an unconscious step backwards. "The magic that flows through the wizard in its natural course throughout the many veins of our bodies in its effort to sustain us make the very nature of such an affliction terribly impossible." Severus' eyes hardened. "We are immune, Potter."
Harry's mouth suddenly felt very dry. "Oh." Harry ran a hand through his hair. "Well. It could still be considered to be a parasite. The, um. The classification still applies."
Severus regarded him stonily for several long moments. "Do you know why I never took a wife?" Harry shook his head.
"Aren't you gay?"
"I have always been indifferent." The black eyes almost glittered. "A man with my looks has no right—"
"Don't put yourself down, Severus. I could easily list ten ways as to why you're the most sexy man of the year." Severus snorted and Harry grinned. Then Harry said, "But, yeah, I guess I'm pregnant again," and Severus grew inexplicable still. "Last time I'll admit I might have been a bit lax when it came to convincing my boyfriend why I wanted to keep using condoms, but – and this is just a hunch, mind – I get the feeling that you haven't been."
"I never took a wife – or husband, for that matter – because I have never desired children."
"I never took a wife because boobs disgust me, but then, that might just be me," Harry said quietly and then calmly added, "I have had quite enough of killings in my life."
"As have I," Severus growled and then he stilled again. "And if you ever suggest such an abdominal, coward—"
"I won't." And Harry was at once relieved even though he hadn't been apprehensive at all. "Will I have to go to New Zeeland again?"
"I beg your pardon?"
"Last time – with Danny – I had to go to New Zeeland for about six months when I got too big to hide properly and I disguised myself as a Muggleborn Wizard who'd chosen to go back to his Muggle roots. Do I have to do that again?" Severus merely shook his head and didn't speak of it anymore.
"Would you be amendable to dining out tonight? I would quite like to speak with Andromeda."
"No, I…sure. Why?"
"I believe she was a mediwitch, once upon a time."
"Oh." But then he had to point out, "You're great with Danny, you know. It'll be all right."
Harry was rounder and more ungainly than a beached whale at the end of the third trimester. His ankles were swollen, his back aching and he was heartily tired of being pregnant. More than anything, he wanted the babies out. Because, of course, only he would ever manage to end up pregnant with twins while his lover was on one of the stronger contraceptive potions in use.
Danny took great delight in resting his head against his Dad's stomach to feel the babies kick against him.
Severus seemed in awe most of the time, and clearly not too sure about how he felt about the dual lives within his lover. Harry sort of knew what he was going thorough, though, how he felt. Because, until he was actually handed Daniel and held the baby boy in his arms, he hadn't fully believed or even understood what, exactly, was going on.
A huge ball of a stomach in no way prepared you for the sheer loveawedisbeliefohmygodI'madad that abruptly hit you with all the subtlety of a thunderbolt when that tiny, tiny new life you yourself had put into this world was placed in your arms. It was a wonderful feeling. It had been love at first sight with Daniel. Harry didn't doubt that this would be exactly the same.
Tiny red and wrinkled faces, eyes scrunched shut at first, then fighting to open. Half-closed pouty mouths, tiny ears and those perfect, perfect finger and toes…
Harry shook his head, hands stroking his swollen belly. "It feels right. Lily Eileen Potter," he murmured again. "Daniel wants to name one of them Robin, after Batman's' sidekick." At Severus incredulous glare, Harry could only defend his son by saying, "Be glad it wasn't Wolverine or Cyclops or something equally as unrealistic. Robin's at least a name."
"There is that."
Harry nodded. Rested his head on Severus shoulder. "A good name, too."
"You think so?"
Severus placed a welcome and familiar hand on top of Harry's stomach. "I think it carries great merit. But…"
"I would wish to name my son after the father I was never given, but wished dearly I had. Or, perhaps, after the closest paramour and friend I ever had."
Harry pointedly cleared his throat.
"Present company excluded, of course." Harry pressed a chaste kiss against Severus' cheek.
"Regulus?" Severus' hand rubbed slow circles on Harry's pregnant stomach.
"Because you know," Harry mused, "Regulus Robin does have a certain flow to it."
Severus snorted. "You intend to follow your son's wishes?"
"He was absolutely heartbroken when I said Replicator-Sam wasn't really a proper name for a baby girl. Besides, I kind of like 'Robin'."
"'Replicator-Sam'," Severus asked, dreading the answer but apparently still curious enough to actually ask. "Dare I know?"
"Sci-Fi show on the telly."
"I…see." Harry laughed. "Why?"
Harry just laughed louder. "Because I unwittingly named him Daniel Jackson – in the Muggle world, that is. One of the other characters is called that, apparently, and, well. So why, according to my son's sense of logic, couldn't his little sister be named after one as well? Which was when he pointed out that 'Robin' really was a proper name."
Severus shifted, stretching his neck. "In that case, 'Albus Robin' flows well, too. However."
"Yeah. Already named Danny that."
"Really?" Harry shook his head and pulled his wand out. "I'm afraid I like Lily with black hair, Regulus. Yellow just…looks like yolk." Regulus cooed happily, and Lily wasn't too far behind.
Twins though they were, they were hardly identical twins, though Harry had to wonder. Regulus was a boy, yes, and Lily girl, but they both had hair of the darkest black and their eyes were still murky blue – only time would tell, really, what shade they'd settle on. Lily was right handed – she used her right hand the most when she grabbed after something to hold onto whereas Regulus rather used his left – and it appeared Regulus wasn't. It was probably too early to tell, but it was still a little amusing to note. Thankfully it looked like neither of them had inherited his – and Danny's – disastrous hair. With a wave of his wand Lily's hair returned to its jet-black colour and Regulus clapped his hands.
Harry felt a curious warming sensation on his head and sighed. "Dear God, children, what have I got myself in on?"
All at once, whispers and excited chatter broke out in the Great Hall. Teddy had got a few glares and scornful looks from older students, but Daniel… His name caused reactions at all the tables.
"Manners, Danny," he could almost hear Dad say. He could almost see the twinkle in Dad's green eyes and the reproving lines between his eyebrows. So Danny slowly began walking, gaining speed the further away from the last Un-Sorted one left he got and the closer to the Hat, the stool and Uncle Severus.
Statistics (Danny liked statistics; they were fun and he had always enjoyed drawing tables and diagrams in the maths class):
Gryffindor: Four students – two girls, two boys.
Hufflepuff: Four students – three girls, one boy (Teddy! Danny thought with a smile).
Ravenclaw: Eight students – three girls, five boys.
Slytherin: Six students – two girls, four boys.
Where would he end up? Danny nervously bit his lip, sat down when Uncle Severus glared at him for dawdling and then everything went black.
Severus Snape had just dropped the Hat to cover his entire head.
Oh, Mr Potter! I had not expected another quite so soon… My, my…what a mind!
Danny blinked, felling utterly bemused. He had expected the Hat to talk, yes, he just hadn't expected it to be quite so…eccentric.
Yes, yes…so brave, so loyal – and such capacity for compassion! And you don't mind putting your effort down tenfold to see results! Yes, there is no other for you, Daniel Potter— "HUFFLEPUFF!"
"Surprise, surprise," a dark, silky voice muttered. Danny turned and flashed his Uncle Severus a bright grin. "Go on, you insolent imp. No doubt your delinquent father will be disgustingly proud."
Hufflepuff: Five students – three girls, two boys (Him and Teddy in the same House! Danny mentally whooped).
The large excited grin on his face was impossible to hide, though.
"Dear Dad," Harry read aloud to himself – and to calm two annoyingly fussy twins. "Guess what? Me and Teddy're in Hufflepuff! Both of us! Can you believe it, Dad? The Hat put us together and we have an entire DORMITORY alone together! There are three girls, too, but two of them don't like Teddy because his dad was a werewolf and the other one's a Muggleborn so she doesn't really care and think the other two are daft. So what? My Dad's Batman!" Harry shook his head and laughed.
Lily and Regulus cooed at the sound and Harry grinned at them. "Oh? All it takes is me laughing and you start to behave?" Harry shook his head, chuckled again, and brought the letter back up. "There are only about twenty of us First Years, Dad. Uncle Severus thinks it's because of the War, and that everyone was too afraid to have children back then. Do you think so, too?" Harry looked away from the rather tidy writing. "Do I? Of course I do, Danny – the entire Wizarding world was absolutely terrified."
By the end of September, Voldemort was no more – Harry hadn't stayed too long after that, either. But the Death Eater raids had continued, unlike last time, for so many months more. It was as if they, too, felt that his time it was for good. Voldemort was no more and wouldn't rise again. They were all going to prison for a long, long time. The terror had held fast for almost another year. Harry figured the Death Eaters had simply decided to wreck as much havoc as was possible before they were all arrested and put away. The year below Daniel would be at least three times as large.
"Since there are so few of us, the teachers decided to let all of us have classes together. We have more classes, though, than the other years because there's time for it. I don't think we have more homework, though.
"Last night, when me and Teddy were in the library (it's so huuuuge, Dad!) Professor Longbottom came up to talk to us. He says you went in school together. Was it the one with the toad, Dad? I thought so but I couldn't ask him. It'd be impudent, wouldn't it? Uncle Severus would've said it was. He is so cool, by the way! I thought I was gonna die when he taught us this morning! How can you kiss him, Dad? I'd be terrified!" Harry burst out laughing again.
Oh, he would have been terrified as well at that particular prospect when he was eleven. Danny wrote a few lines more before wrapping the letter up with a, "Miss you so, so, soooo much, Dad! I'm homesick already and kiss the twins for me, all right? Love you, Danny.
"I miss you, too, Danny. So much it hurts."
"Daniel? Daniel Potter?"
Danny looked up from the book he was reading – Ancient Civilisations of Magical Greece Before The Egyptian Invasion. He automatically pushed his glasses up and then he merely blinked. "You aren't teachers here, are you?" One of them was tall, even taller than Uncle Severus, and had red hear and lots of freckles. The other was considerably shorter and had bushy brown hair.
"No," the woman said. "But we are friends with Professor Longbottom and the Headmistress. I am Hermione, and this is my husband, Ron Weasley."
Danny blinked. "Hello," he said cautiously.
"We'd like to see your dad, Daniel," Mr Weasley suddenly blurted. Mrs Weasley smacked him over the head and he shot her a disgruntled glare. "What, 'Mione? We do want to see him, don't we?"
Daniel had quietly closed his book and slid off the chair. He stood on the other side of the table with his book clutched to his chest and frowned. Dad had always told him that he couldn't 'live like he wanted' in this world: this world of wonder and magic that Danny was swiftly falling in love with – he imagined Dad had as well.
"You don't even know Dad," he said quietly and both of them turned to look at him. "I have detention," he mumbled and then he turned and hurried away. He didn't, actually, but how were they to know?
Besides…he hadn't been to see Uncle Severus in ages.
"Oh dear Mother of Merlin!" The gasp came from behind him and Harry immediately stiffened. "Harry Potter…!"
Almost apprehensively, Harry turned. His green eyes were wide and filled with caution. "Professor McGonagall…I—"
"Oh, you stupid—!" And then she hugged him. "Did you truly believe you would not be missed by those of us who held you dear?"
Awkwardly and tensely, Harry slowly returned her embrace. His old professor felt thin beneath her tartan-styled robe and Harry thought her hair looked even greyer than he remembered. "I needed to get away," was all he offered in return. "Severus—"
"Oh, I know." She pulled back and regarded him sternly and to Harry's consternation he discovered that she could still make him feel like an errant student out of bed after curfew. "He told me years ago that he had successfully located you." McGonagall's eyes hardened. "He steadfastly refused to tell us where you were, though."
Harry blinked. "I guess he understands better than I give him credit for… I, um. Is he still in class, then? It's after four?" he asked.
Because that was why he was at Hogwarts inside Severus' office – the man had told him to wait for him there. He'd got Alec to babysit for him again – something Alec and his partner both had seemed only too glad to do. He wondered if they still would think so after a few hours. McGonagall frowned, but the door opened before she could say anything more.
Harry's grin threatened to split his face in two, and yet it was no match against Danny's. "Danny! Oh, but look at you! You're so handsome, my little Hufflepuff."
Danny at once looked affronted. "Dad." He hurried across the room. "Don't say stuff like that, okay?" he whispered just loud enough for Harry to hear. In return, Danny graciously allowed himself to be hugged. "Why're you here, Dad?"
Harry looked away from his son and gave Severus a quizzical look. "Severus asked me to be here."
"Your presence is required in order for me to go on that 'paternity leave' you have been badgering me about."
"Merlin!" McGonagall exclaimed. "You have children, Severus? My, oh… But this is quite the occasion!"
Severus merely looked sour. "Indeed," he ground out.
Harry merely looked tired. Tired and curiously blank. "I don't know why I'm so surprised that you haven't told. Danny?"
Danny blinked and hurriedly turned away from his scrutiny of Uncle Severus and back to his Dad. "Yeah?"
"How about you show me the spectacular sight of the inside of the Hufflepuff Dormitories?"
Harry and Danny were out of Severus' office in no time.
"Going home over Christmas?" Danny nodded, a broad smile on his face. Professor McGonagall's lips twitched into a stern smile. "Give my regards to your father, boy, will you?"
"Yes, Headmistress," Danny promised. The Headmistress was temporarily filling in for the current Transfiguration Professor, who had come down with a nasty case of Wizarding Flu. "Did you know that most students like you better?" Danny flushed slightly when the Headmistress looked at him over the brim of her glasses with disapproving eyes and a stern expression on her thin face. "I mean that, that you're much more— you have more experience and your explanations make sense almost at once. Professor Frost has to explain everything over and over, you know?"
"I am well over fifty years her senior, Potter. It is to be expected, don't you think?"
Danny nodded. "Yes, Madame."
Danny had gone through many honorifics when it came to Severus Snape. The man had started out as 'Professor Snape', had quickly become 'Uncle Severus' and was now mostly – though secretly and only in his head so far – 'Dad' as well – the twins would call him that, after all, he figured, when they learned to talk. Wouldn't they? Harry was his Dad, too, so why shouldn't he call Dad's boyfriend Dad as well?
"…Daddy?" He shouldn't interrupt Dad when he was working, Danny knew that, but this had been bothering him the entire term and now it was almost Christmas. "Could I…ask you something, maybe?"
Dad sighed and nodded, but didn't look away from the computer screen or stopped typing. Danny guessed it was another one of those 'essays' he published regularly. He took forever writing them, though, Danny knew, and then it took take almost a year before they showed up anywhere. As News. Danny scoffed; how could it be news when Dad had worked on it for ages and then published an entire year afterwards?
"…um. Will… is Uncle Severus your boyfriend for real, now? I mean…with the babies and all?"
Regulus and Lily. They were currently napping and that's why it felt even worse to bother Dad.
Danny figured that meant yes and plunged ahead with a courage he didn't really have. "Could I call him…something else, maybe?" The tapping stopped and Dad's head turned and suddenly Dad was looking at him with his large green eyes. Dad's mouth opened and closed slowly and Danny blushed furiously. "…could I, Dad?"
"Like what?" Dad suddenly asked and Danny shrugged and looked away. "Danny."
Danny hurriedly looked up again and caught his bottom lip with his teeth. "I thought maybe Dad?" he blurted. "I mean, he's been here for ages and ages and then you got pregnant and—" he fell silent as Dad's hands gently clutched his narrow shoulders. "Dad?"
"You know…" Dad's eyes were soft and warm and Danny relaxed a little bit. "I'm not really the one you should be having this conversation with."
"But you're my Dad."
"Exactly," Dad said gently. "I'll always be your Dad. But Severus isn't and won't unless you ask him to be."
It was just the two of them, Danny and Severus, and they were out shopping although Danny thought Uncle Severus looked terribly displeased at the prospect. Danny had bought a large box full of different Wizarding chocolates for Dad, with help from Uncle Severus, but the man still wouldn't tell him what he had bought for Dad.
Danny had only just paid for his present to Teddy – a book called The Hobbit that Danny thought might explain why he thought it so hilarious that the doors in the Hufflepuff Dormitory were round – when he, quite by accident, blurted, "Can I call you Dad?"
Uncle Severus stilled. He turned white and his nostrils flared and when he finally turned to look at Danny, Danny was nothing short of terrified. "May," was all Uncle Severus calmly said.
Danny blinked. "What?"
"May, not can."
"M-may I call you Dad?"
Uncle Severus regarded him silently for another while longer. Then he drawled, "No, Daniel, you may not."
Danny looked positively crushed and he wasn't sure why. "…why?" he timidly asked.
"Because I am not." There was not even anything gentle about his tone.
Danny just looked confused. "But…you're together with Dad, right?" Uncle Severus inclined his head. "So…that makes you like my stepdad, right?"
"So…why can't I call you Dad, then? The twins will, right? When they can talk and all and—"
"Unlike you, Daniel, the both of them happen to be mychildren—"
"—and my brother and sister! And besides, you're like the most stable second-Dad I've ever had! Most of the men Dad dated never got over the fact that he had 'a little runt' and they always thought I was an inconvenience! But you! You taught me stuff and even talked to me even though Dad said you weren't too fond of children and…I, I would, I mean…you are like a Dad to me, you know? I…why can't I call you that? I wish you were," he finished quietly.
Danny is nine and a half and he is dying. He is sure of it. His head is pounding and his nose is stuffed – he can't breathe, not at all and the horrible cough hurts his already sore throat even more.
"Daddy…" he croaks but the sound is barely audible.
The hand that lands on his forehead is so, so cool and soft. But it isn't Daddy's hand and Danny whines. "Your Father left two days ago for a weeklong conference in London, Daniel. I am sure you remember that."
A series of harsh coughs racks his body but those hands never leave him and once he quietens, they help him sit up and then a cool, bitter fluid enters his mouth. It is disgusting and Danny almost gags but then one of those hands rub his back and he relaxes a tiny bit again. "…Sev'rus? You?"
"Indeed." Danny relaxes a bit more. "The potion will clear your lungs. I imagine it will help your breathing."
"Hullo, babies," Danny whispered to his sleeping sister and brother. They were lying close, almost on top of each other, deeply ensconced in the land of dreams. Dad and Uncle Severus both seemed to think that it was normal. Danny thought it looked kinda cute and cosy.
Daniel gently touched first Lily's head, then Regulus' as well. He tiptoed out of the room.
Dad had a smudge of flour on his nose. He'd grown his hair out since last summer, and now it was pulled back into a semblance of a ponytail. "Help your old Dad bake a gingerbread cake?"
Danny's face lit up in a wide grin. "Yeah!"
Dad laughed. "Bake one, Danny, not eat the dough. Remember last year?" Dad flicked his crinkled nose. Last year he'd eaten too much dough and ended up with a stomach ache that Uncle Severus had cured – with the nastiest potion in existence to boot, too!
"I remember, Dad."
"Good." Dad smiled. "Why don't you go ask your Uncle Severus if he'd like to help? He's in our bedroom, unpacking the last of his clothes." Daniel frowned a little at that, wondering how, after a week back home with Christmas tomorrow, Uncle Severus still had something left to unpack, then remembered that Uncle Severus wouldn't be at Hogwarts next term, because he'd be at home taking care of Regulus and Lily so that Dad could go back to work. Paternity leave, wasn't that it?
With an anticipating smile on his face and eyes bright and eager, Danny set off towards Dad's bedroom. Uncle Severus was standing in the middle of the room, directing his books and clothes around with ease as they flew to their designated places. Magic was so brill, he thought, still in the phase were he thought it absolutely fascinating. Dad never really used it all that much, not when he could do it just as well and easily with his own hands. But, Danny mused, he'd begun to use magic a bit more ever since the twins arrived. Or maybe…maybe it had been Uncle Severus who'd influenced Dad back into using it again?
Uncle Severus' smooth voice drew Danny out of his thoughts. "Dad said to ask you if you wanted to help us bake gingerbread cake! Do you?" Uncle Severus looked startled, then cautiously blank. So Danny decided to throw in an extra 'encouragement' to persuade him. Uncle Severus may have said 'no', but Danny wasn't a Hufflepuff for nothing: his determination knew no bounds. Sooner or later, something would give and Danny could only hope it'd be whatever it was that kept Uncle Severus from allowing Danny to call him 'Dad'. "Well, Dad?"
For a moment, Uncle Severus looked even more startled, then stern, almost angry. But… Just when Danny thought he might have made a mistake, the corners of his Uncle Severus' lips curled a little, and the harsh, tense lines around his eyes and mouth relaxed. Danny's eyes sparkled with an abundance of happiness, and inside his chest, his heart swelled and pumped faster. "Daniel…" Daniel gave him a wide, innocent smile.
"Please? I promise not to eat any—" Uncle Severus raised an eyebrow, so Danny threw in a hasty, "— I mean, too much dough. Honest."
And Uncle Severus sighed, but didn't look an ounce resigned. "Very well."
It was the best Christmas ever.
The shouts began almost before Danny and Uncle Severus had completely materialised in the kitchen. It was summer holiday, and for a whole ten glorious weeks he'd be home, with Dad and Uncle Severus and the little twins. "Danny! Danny Danny Danny Danny Danny!"
Danny grinned widely – and although Uncle Severus frowned Danny just knew he was rather fond and pleased anyway. "Twinlings!" he called back just as two small bodies ran at breakneck speed into his legs.
Lily grinned. "Guess what, Danny?"
"We baked biscuits!" Regulus burst, just as excited. "Daddy helped and Pa said—"
"—That we were my'cranties of evil!"
"I believe I said you were miscreants brought forth from the lowest level of hell, my brats," Uncle Severus said smoothly with that eyebrow of his perfectly arched. Danny was sometimes very jealous of his Uncle for having that particular talent.
The twins burst into excited gales of giggles. "Pa—!" Lily began, and Regulus finished, "—Daddy said he'd wash your mouth!"
"You don't want another one?" Harry asked, playfully tonguing Severus' Adam's apple, after Danny had gone to bed that night. "A little Rose or Linus?"
"Merlin, no," Severus breathed. "I am too old."
Harry kissed Severus' throat, just by the jaw. "Old?" he asked. "You, my Severus, are not old, not a single grey hair in sight. Professor Dumbledore was almost two hundred when he died." Harry pulled back from the long neck. He lay down on his side, next to Severus. Severus ran a hand over his face in a tired gestured – more heard than seen from Harry's perspective.
"Children are not my forte, Harry."
"You're a wonderful father," Harry murmured. He ran a finger down Severus' crooked nose. "Danny even asked if you would be 'his Dad' when he was ten, you know. Before you knocked me up, back when you were just shagging me on a regular basis."
"Takes two to tango," Severus muttered. Then he turned to rest on his side as well, face to face with Harry. "Is it that you desire more…whelps?"
Harry smirked, his eyes twinkling a little. "At this point, 'desire' has very little to do with it."
Severus fell back on the bed with a soft thump. "By Merlin," he cursed, "Your fertility knows no bounds, does it?"
Harry swatted Severus's on the stomach. "Your cock, you know, up my arse."
"Hmmm." Then, after a long while. "That does sound like a most spectacular way to end a glorious day, does it not? My cock up your arse?"
A low, throaty laugh escaped Harry, and he sidled closer to Severus. "Fancy a shag, my Severus?" he whispered in Severus' ear.
Severus grinned in the darkness. "I believe I do." Harry rolled on top of him, straddling his thighs. His hands rested on either side of Severus' head and, just as his lips were about to met Severus' in the first kiss of many to come, the man murmured, "Are you pregnant, Harry?"
Harry stilled. "I don't know. Maybe."
"I feel…off. Like I did with the twins and Danny. Kiss?"
Severus sighed. Ran his hands down Harry's back. Squeezed his arse. "By all means."
Danny was thirteen and the twins were three and a half. A bit too big to be carried like babies – they were riding on a hip each – but Danny would hardly deny them. "Finger-painting?"
"It's fun, Danny!"
Danny rolled his eyes. "I never thought so, you brats."
Lily gasped. "You said the naughty word!"
"Naughty, Danny!" Regulus admonished.
Danny frowned. "Pa says that all the time!"
This time, it was Lily who rolled her eyes. "Well, yes! But he's an adult! That is an adult word!"
Regulus nodded empathetically. "'Zactly! S'only for adults; Daddy said so and Pa said that he'd wash our mouths out with soap!" Regulus whispered, as if afraid of suddenly being overheard. "Just like Daddy said he'd do to Pa!"
Happy Midsummer's Eve! *Midsommarafton for the win!*