12

Troubled Blessing

Part One

Harry sat on the edge of the examination bed in front of the healer. She was short and very old with a halo of frizzy white hair surrounding her head.

"What seems to be the problem, Mr. Potter?" she asked, pulling out her wand. Harry smiled nervously at her. "It's Harry, ma'am." He said. The healer smiled back. "I'm healer Miller." She replied.

Harry nodded. "I've been really nauseous in the mornings for the past week or so. I'm constantly tired, I'm getting dizzy spells and my magic is very erratic." He said. Healer Miller lifted her wand and waved it in an intricate pattern up and down Harry's body, doing a Diagnostic Spell.

She suddenly frowned and started over. "Oh my…" she murmured a moment later. Harry felt a flood of worry. Maybe it wasn't just the Wizard's Flu as he'd suspected.

The healer was muttering to herself, writing frantically in her notes. "Only seven known cases in history… complications… nutrient potions…"

"Healer Miller?" Harry asked. She looked up with an unreadable expression. "Mr. Potter, Harry, I have some good news." She said. Harry frowned. Good?

"You're pregnant." She said with a smile.

Harry felt the room tilt. His vision tunneled and he couldn't breathe properly. "Harry? Harry!" The healer's voice was muffled and far away.

Harry had known that male wizard's could become pregnant. But it was so rare and the conditions had to be just right that he had never really thought about the possibility of it happening to him.

Harry felt himself being maneuvered onto the bed, lying him down. The healer was speaking but Harry couldn't hear what she was saying. He was being bombarded with too many emotions.

Harry was happy; so very happy. Harry knew he was gay. He'd given up the hope of ever having a family; children of his own. Fear was present as well. He knew male pregnancies were very high risk. Two of the seven had died in childbirth.

The last was an unknown feeling to him. Harry, though gay, had only had sexual relations with one man and they'd both been drunk.

The man had been on Harry's mind since sixth year. That one night was the best Harry had ever had. He had felt so loved. But the next morning the man had said it was a drunken mistake and kicked him out. That had hurt terribly and it was only in the past few days that Harry had felt himself recovering from the emotional hurt.

He had to tell him. He had to know.

Sound came rushing back and he sat up quickly. He was surrounded by healers, all wands trained on him, monitoring his vitals.

"Mr. Potter, you've been in shock for nearly an hour. Are you feeling alright?" Miller asked. Harry nodded, surprised that it had been an hour. It hadn't felt like that long.

The healers filed out, leaving Harry with Miller. "Mr. Potter." She said, all business. "You'll need to take many nutrient potions and an energy replenesher. I'm sorry to say that stomach settlers would harm the baby so you can't take those. You'll just have to deal with the morning sickness. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids. Preferably water." Harry was nodding, wishing she'd hurry up.

"They typical male pregnancy doesn't last as long as a female's. They are only about six months. The baby feeds heavily off your magic, speeding up the process. You're about four weeks along so you'll start to show very soon."

She spoke to Harry for nearly an hour before she finally let him leave. When he did he had an arm-full of potions and a strict schedule for taking them.

He made it back to his apartment with no problems. Harry put the potions away after taking one. He stood in his living room, just thinking. He suddenly felt a wave of panic overtake him. He ran to the fireplace and quickly flooed to Malfoy Manor.

Upon arriving he stumbled and fell to his knees in the library. He looked up, seeing both Lucius and Draco staring at him from their chairs.

"Draco!" he breathed. Draco quickly rushed over and crouched down in front of him. "Harry, what's wrong? What's happened?" he asked briskly.

"I-I-Draco I'm-" he couldn't bring himself to say it. "Harry, come here." It was Lucius. He took Harry by the arm and gently guided him into a plush chair.

"Calming breaths, Harry." He said, leaning over him. Draco was standing on his other side, a comforting hand on his shoulder. Harry began to breathe deeply, filling his lungs.

Lucius called for a house elf and ordered tea, chamomile for Harry to calm his nerves. Harry continued his breathing exercises until the house elf returned with the tea. Harry took his cup and took a long sip, savoring the warm liquid sliding down his throat, warming and calming him.

Harry looked up to find both Malfoy's sitting on a loveseat in front of him, holding their cups, watching him. Harry took a breath.

"I'm pregnant." He said. Both Lucius and Draco's mouth's dropped open. "Excuse me?" Draco cried. Lucius just leaned back in his seat, stunned.

Draco's mouth finally closed. He took a sip of his tea. "Who's the father?" he asked, nonchalantly.

Harry's face turned bright red. "Uh…" Draco's face showed shock. "Do you not know?" he asked, incredulously. Harry shook his head.

"No, I know who it is. I'm just embarrassed and terrified of telling him. He'll go ballistic and kill me." Harry said, drinking from his cup again. "We were both drunk when it happened and he kicked me out the next morning saying it was a mistake."

"Who is it?" Draco asked. Harry ducked his head. "Snape," he murmured. Lucius choked on his tea and Draco dropped his cup.

"You had sex with Snape! When?" Draco yelled. Lucius just looked at Harry gravely. "He's going to kill you." He stated. Harry dropped his head onto the arm of the chair and moaned.

Harry apparated to Snape Manor, coming in just outside the warded gates. He tapped a ward to signal the occupants of his arrival. He waited until a house elf came and opened the gate for him.

"You is being Harry Potter!" the elf exclaimed upon seeing him. Harry nodded. "I need to speak with Severus Snape. Is he at home?" Harry asked. The house elf nodded and turned to the manor. "You is following Dizzy, Mr. Potter, sir!"

Harry had waited nearly two weeks to finally confront Snape. He was surprised because he already had a little bump between his hips. The baby was growing quickly.

They entered the manor and the house elf, Dizzy, lead Harry to a brewing lab. Snape was standing at a table, brewing a noxious looking concoction in a large cauldron.

"Master Snape, sir! You is having a visitor!" Dizzy said, upon entering. Snape looked up and Harry's breath caught. He was just as beautiful as he remembered. Snape scowled.

"What do you want, Potter?" he sneered. "I thought I told you to never bother me again." He was sneering at Harry's manor of dress. As usual, when Harry wasn't at work he wore muggle clothing.

Harry wore tight black jeans that hugged his well-muscled thighs and showed off his strong Quidditch legs. He had a black long sleeved shirt too, though this was a little looser, to hide the already apparent baby bump.

Harry took a breath. "Professor, we need to talk about that night." Snape's sneer turned even more malicious.

"Potter, I thought I told you that it was a mistake. I was drunk and so were you!" he growled, advancing around the table to stand in front of Harry, arms crossed over his chest. Harry took an involuntary step back.

"Well, Professor, we have a… situation." Harry fumbled. He was ill inclined to call his baby a 'problem'. It felt wrong. Snape's face grew hostile. "What problems," Harry winced. "could we have, Potter?" Snape sneered.

Harry took a shaky breath, preparing to answer, when the room spun and his stomach lurched. He was going to throw up.

"Snape- bucket-" he choked, quickly covering his mouth with his hands.

Snape took in Harry's green face and backed away, reaching for an empty bowl on his table but he was too late. Harry leaned over and regurgitated his breakfast all over the floor.

Snape sneered in disgust. Harry straightened up but the room tilted and he stumbled and fell to the floor. Snape waved his wand, vanishing the mess on the floor. He walked to Harry and pulled him to his feet.

Harry stumbled again, clenching his eyes shut, trying to get the room to stay still. Snape led Harry to a chair and pushed him roughly down into it. He left and then returned a moment later with a potion in his hand.

"Here Potter, a stomach calming solution." He growled, thrusting the bottle into Harry's hands. He shook his head, pushing the bottle back. "I can't," Harry muttered. "Why ever not, Potter? You're obviously sick."

"No, Snape. I'm not. I'm pregnant." Harry said, lifting his head to stare at Snape. Snape stared dumbfounded at his former student. Harry felt his face growing red, reflexively placing his hand over the slight bulge in his stomach.

Snape's eyes darted down and watched the movement with a critical eye. "So you're pregnant, what has this got to do with me?" Snape asked quietly. There was no venom in his voice, for once.

Harry swallowed, not believing that he was about to say this. "Snape, you're the only man I've ever had sex with."

Snape's eyes widened and he stumbled backwards, hitting the table. "It's mine?" he asked in a strangled voice. Harry nodded.

Snape slid down the leg of the table until he was sitting on the floor. His eyes were blank and his face full of emotion; fear, confusion, disbelief and, to Harry's surprise, happiness.

Then his face went curiously blank. He stood back up and dusted off his robes. "I supposed you're going to get rid of it?" he sniffed. Harry stared up at the man in horror.

"Are you serious?" he asked. "You think I'd get rid of it?" Harry felt sick again but managed to keep the rest of his breakfast from making another entrance. Snape didn't bother to answer. He turned his back and said, "It'd be best if you left. I have much work to do and you're just in the way."

Harry felt as if he'd been kicked in the stomach. He stood without another word and left.

Harry was in shock. Snape has just brushed him off and even had the audacity to ask if Harry would be terminating the pregnancy. He couldn't believe how heartless Snape was being and he couldn't understand why the man's actions had such a profound effect on him.

He stood outside the gates for the longest time, staring blankly off into space. It was a while before he moved. When he finally did, he twisted and apparated to Malfoy Manor.

It was raining but Harry didn't notice. The only thing he could think of was Snape's voice asking if he was going to kill his child; their baby.

He sat down in the mud, hands cupping his stomach and just waited. It was nearly an hour before the inhabitants of the manor noticed Harry sitting outside their gates.

Lucius and Draco came sprinting down the path to let him in. Draco crouched in front of Harry and put his hands on the shaking Gryffindor's shoulders. He peered into his face.

"Harry?" he asked. Harry was soaked completely through and he was shivering uncontrollably, partly from the cold and partly from pent up emotion.

"Draco?" his voice was small and very weak. He looked up into the worried faces of the Malfoy males. They were alarmed to see tears streaming down his face.

"I went to see him." He murmured. Draco looked anxiously at his father who swore; a thing he rarely did.

"Draco," Harry brought the attention back to him. "He thinks I'm going to kill the baby." Then he slumped into Draco's waiting arms.

Lucius was absolutely livid. He knew Severus was stubborn and sometimes oblivious, no matter how good of a spy he was in the wars, but how could he say something so boneheadidly stupid to Harry?

Lucius was one of the few people allowed through Snape's wards without an escort so he barged right into Snape's lab with a loud bang.

Snape, startled, dropped an ingredient into a potion too soon and the potion curdled on the spot.

"Danm it Lucius!" Snape spat. "What is it now? This was an important potion I've been working on for three weeks!"

"I don't care, Severus!" Lucius hissed. Snape looked taken aback. He opened his mouth for a retort but Lucius cut in.

"Harry has pneumonia!" he barked. Snape felt himself grow cold. "The muggle sickness?" he asked. "How did the brat manage that?" he asked, effecting indifference.

"He sat outside my manor for nearly an hour in the pouring rain!" Lucius said.

Snape felt a rush of anger flush through his body. "Why would that stupid brat do that? Does he want to kill his child? Is he completely mental?"

"He was in shock!" Lucius interrupted. "After YOU heartlessly asked him if he was going to get rid of your child!" Snape suddenly felt sick with apprehension. "Has he… did he lose…"

"No, Severus. He hasn't lost the baby." Lucius snarled. "But it was a close call!" Snape felt a rush of relief and he collapsed back into a chair. He leaned forward, putting his elbows on his knees and resting his face in his hands.

Lucius stared at Snape in surprise. "Severus?" he asked. Snape shook his head. "Why would what I said effect him so, Lucius?" Snape asked, voice muffled.

"He's very sensitive. You two have more alike than you realize, Snape. Harry had a very rough childhood, living with those vile relatives of his. He was constantly told he was worthless and he was never shown any love." Lucius explained.

"Harry never thought that he'd be able to have a child, him being gay and all. But it happened and he was so happy. Then you made that heartless comment and it hurt him terribly."

(A/N: Lucius is so OOC! I don't mean him to be but it has to be done for Snape to understand…)

Snape suddenly stood. "I must see him."

Harry woke in a large soft bed. He felt completely drained of emotion and energy. It was hard to keep his eyes open but after a few moments he managed to push himself up against the pillows.

"Potter?" Harry froze. He turned his head and saw Snape standing in the doorway. He quickly glanced around and saw that he was in one of the many guest rooms in Malfoy Manor.

"Potter." Snape brought Harry's attention back to him. "I wish to apologize. What I said was absolutely rude and inappropriate."

Harry couldn't believe his ears. He opened his mouth to ask why the man wanted to apologize when his small frame was suddenly wracked with deep, chest-wrenching coughs.

Snape flew forward, robes billowing, and pulled a potion out from an inner pocket and thrust it at Harry. "Drink this." He demanded.

Harry, both hands covering his mouth, shook his head violently, still coughing. "Don't worry, it's safe to take. Nothing in it will harm the baby." Harry gingerly took the potion and tipped it back.

It was cold and tasted strongly of mint and parsley but he managed to swallow it. As soon as it hit his throat he immediately felt his throat sooth and relax and his aching chest loosen.

"Thank you." Harry croaked. He looked up at Snape, absent mindedly stroking soothing circles on his softly rounded belly.

"What are you doing here, Professor?" he asked. Snape's eyes, which had been riveted on Harry's hand, snapped back to his face.

Before he answered, Snape conjured a chair and sat beside the bed, staring intently at the tired figure in front of him.

"Potter, he paused. "Harry," The Gryffindor's eyes widened in surprise. "I want to discuss the baby with you."

Snape saw hurt fill Harry's face before he turned away. "Harry, my own father was, you could say, not the best a boy could have." Harry nodded. He remembered the glimpse of Snape's memories during the Occlumency lessons during fifth year.

"I never imagined that one day I would be a father myself." He stopped to gather his thoughts.

"Harry, I know you and I don't love each other," blood rushed to Harry's face and he felt a rush of sadness. "But I'd like to have the chance to be a good father to our child. I'd like a chance to take care of it… and you."

Harry felt suddenly overwhelmed. Snape wanted the baby? He wanted to be a father? He looked up at Snape, staring at him with nothing but sincerity on his face.

Harry was contemplating what to say. "I'd like you to move in with me at Snape Manor, Harry. I would be able to take care of you more readily there. If you wanted, because I know how hard it is for a child to be moved from house to house, you could live there after the baby is born as well."

An inkling of an idea wormed its way into Harry's mind. Maybe, just maybe, if he moved in with Snape, he could get the man to fall in love with him. It was a long shot, but Harry knew he had to try. For his sake, and for the sake of the baby.

He had to restrain himself from smiling. He looked at Snape, still staring at him and saw that Snape looked a little apprehensive. Was he nervous?

"Ok. I'll move in with you." Snape looked taken aback. "Are you positive, Po- Harry? You don't have to if you don't want to."

Harry shook his head. "No, I want to, Professor. It would be good for the baby and it'll be good for me too." Snape nodded.

"Very well. Once you're over your pneumonia, I'll come collect you." And with that Snape swept out of the room.

Harry slumped back against the pillows, fatigue taking over. He fell into a deep sleep, planning how he was going to get a Slytherin to fall in love with a Gryffindor.