A/N: This story is sorta based on, or at least inspired by those by Strega Brava...imho just about the greatest Harry Potter writer out there. I'm warning you now, there's Severus/Hermione in here, which disgusts some people, so if you don't like that idea, please leave now, instead of giving me a nasty mean review (as my feelings are very delicate. ;) ) I know that I am assuming they are already together, and I didn't cover that particular even because it has been so skillfully explained so many times already. ::cough:: Strega Brava ::cough cough:: This is a stream-of-consciousness story, something I've never attempted to write before, so be kind, s.v.p, because I'm nervous about letting people read my stuff as it is... ::shy smile:: Constructive criticism is always welcome, but flames are never appreciated and will be used to roast those who light them.

Dedicated, as always, to my family, my friends, my God, and to my heart, Andy.


I remember the day I learned of your existence.

You were little more than an idea then, distant and vague, and yet I could feel you with me. I looked at your mother and smiled (Smiled! Surely that was a site many thought they would never see) as I moved my hand over the place where you had already begun to form. The fear that had at first overtaken me was overshadowed by the happiness I saw in her eyes, which were bright with unshed tears.

Our lives would never be the same, but it did not matter. I finally understand what it is to have my life "ruined for the better."

I never thought of having children. The truth is, I had never expected to be loved at all until I found her, and I would not bring a child into the world without love.

No, not even a soul as dark as mine could commit a sin so grave.

When she came into my life, I was lost. Pulled in two directions, walking a fine line, always alone, and never trusted. When she was a child she forced my respect as one of the most intelligent and dedicated students to ever pass through my classroom. As a young woman she intrigued me, for I could sense that she, like myself, had always felt she had something to prove. And as a woman, a fellow teacher, she haunted my dreams. She was one of the few, perhaps the only member of the faculty...of humanity...who felt I was worth a little kindness.

I was worthless, hopeless, useless...and I'll never understand why she loved me.

But she did.

Now she is mine, and I can hardly remember the time when she was not. Our lips touched that fateful night and we have never been the same.

And now we have changed again. You have come, impossibly small and helpless, to leave nothing as it was.

I have never been needed by anyone, and suddenly I find there are two in the world who rely on me.

Only a few moments ago I almost hated you for causing your mother pain, but now that I hold you...now that I have you in my arms...now that you are gazing at me with shocking intelligence out of those neutral, dark blue eyes (will they be black like mine? Golden brown like hers? Or something completely different?) I know what it is to love someone more than I love myself.

I cannot believe that I played a part in the creation of something so beautiful.

Perhaps I am not so hopeless after all.

And suddenly in you, and in your mother, I see my redemption. I look up into the eyes of my soul; she is tired, but smiles at the vision of you in my arms.

Just as I wept at the image of her holding you.

I feel the tears sting my eyes once more.


It's something that was once so foreign to me. Now I find myself overwhelmed almost constantly.

She holds out her arms invitingly, and I move to sit next to her on the bed, one arm around her shoulders, the other supporting you. She snuggles into my embrace, and reaches out to caress your silken cheek. You have fallen asleep in my arms, trusting, and innocent. What a strange and wonderful thing, to be trusted, to touch innocence.

"Are you happy, Severus?" she asks, barely more than a whisper.

"Oh yes, Hermione," I reply, equally as soft. "I have never been happier."

She turns her faced to mine, smiling, and I lean down to kiss her gently. She looks at me dreamily for a moment before settling her head again in the hollow of my shoulder.

For a long time we do not speak. There are no words.

They are unnecessary anyway.


A/N: I did not specify the gender of the child on purpose...personally, I think he'd be ever so cute with a daughter, but I'd rather leave it up to you.