Title: Memory and Choice.
Word count: 772.
Disclaimer: I'm making zero dollars off this story.
Author's notes: Inspired by a post by accioslash and a conversation with atypicalsnowman, which involved quite a lot of her poking me.
And it's a bit AU, so work with me here.
I know I have not done this justice by a long shot, so forgive me.
Thanks to snow for beta-reading!
Severus remembered the sex. They were on the run, bedraggled and tense, and Draco was insistent. He was a well-built young man, if a bit waif-like, and he knew what he was doing.
He hadn't said no. Not that time. He had given in to his baser instincts, closed his eyes and enjoyed it. He might even have repeated the experience, if not for the way Draco fawned over him and trailed after him like a bloody puppy.
No. He did not want that.
He remembered the diagnosis, the way his fists clenched automatically. The anger and shame and wonder bloomed in him unbidden. He had walked around with a hand over his abdomen for an entire day, trying to get his bearings.
The decision had been easy. It was not something he had ever wanted, had ever considered, and he was in no position to see to the needs of another human being. It was barely a decision at all.
Besides, it was making him sick, the one thought running through his mind over and over and over again.
He remembered the conversation with Albus, if it could be called that.
"Severus, I simply cannot allow this!"
"I am not seeking, nor do I require, your permission. I am merely alerting you to the fact that I will be indisposed for a few days."
"But, Severus! You can't… you can't…! You would really kill your own baby?"
"It is not a baby. It's a fetus."
"But to deny it life?"
"Can you imagine the life it would have? Child of the notorious Death Eater? There is still no certainty that I won't go to Azkaban! Can you not see that this is hardly the time?"
"What of the father? Surely you – "
"A mistake, nothing more. I will not discuss it further with you!"
And that had been that. Almost.
He remembered the eyes on him. He had not thought Albus capable of it, but everyone in the castle seemed to know his secrets.
He had brewed the abortifacient and taken it without delay. He hadn't really considered how much the cramps would hurt.
He stayed in his quarters for two full days, curled up in pain, grieving. Yes, he grieved. He grieved for the possibilities, for the necessity, but he could not bring himself to regret his actions. When he finally came to grips with himself again, he had emerged.
Everyone had stared. They pointed and whispered and laughed. They scowled and gave him lectures he paid no mind. They sneered and told him he hadn't deserved it anyway. They said they should have expected this, from someone like him.
He saw Draco once, before they took him for trial. He had smirked, but Severus was certain he seemed relieved.
Albus barely spoke to him. He couldn't say he was terribly upset about that.
And Harry. Harry had come over, brow furrowed, and started to lay a hand on his arm. He hadn't, but he had wanted to. He stood close and spoke softly, "Are you all right?"
After staring at him for a moment, Severus answered, "Yes. I'm fine."
Harry nodded. "Good," he said, and that had been the end of it. Well. The end of that.
He remembered their first kiss. It had been awkward and sloppy and he should have hated it. He should have, but he hadn't. He'd loved it. He wasn't certain, but it was possible that by the end of the night he'd begged for more of those awful kisses.
He and Harry had fallen together like they had planned it all along. There were more awkward bits, but eventually they'd settled, nestled close together, an ideal fit.
"If I ever want us to have a baby together, some day," Harry had asked casually, and Severus knew that their future did not hinge on his answer, "could we talk about that?"
"Of course. We would, indeed, need to discuss it, but I believe I could be persuaded," he'd answered, angling for more sticky kisses.
He remembered when he had finally forgiven himself. Well, no. Not precisely. But he knew that one day the feelings of guilt and shame and being dirty had faded. He no longer felt that his actions twelve years ago meant he did not deserve a child, that he had wasted his one chance, that he was unworthy.
Harry had never brought it up again. He hadn't not brought it up either, and that felt even better.
He didn't know when, he had not planned it, but Severus knew that one day soon he would bring it up himself.