Disclaimer: The characters you recognize here are all the great J.K. Rowling's creations. I own nothing but the plot. Don't sue. Please?

A/N: It was 2:00 AM and I had been lying on my bed, unable to sleep, when this idea suddenly came to me and I just had to write it. It's not much but well, I have always been very fond of short scenes like this. Here we go, with heartfelt thanks to dear Drusilla Dax for her encouragement,

"Newborn"

by Coesius

He had felt many things in his life. Hate, anger, fear, grief and remorse- gods, he definitely had. Many things, even joy. Once.

But never had the proud Potionsmaster and Slytherin Househead of Hogwarts, Professor Severus Snape felt anything close to this. He was speechless. And no one, no one had ever rendered him speechless like this. Not Lord Voldemort, even when he had complete control over his body and soul. Not Dumbledore, even when Snape had sat weeping in front of him with a guilty conscience -if he ever had one-, his crimes crushing his very being. And what two of the most powerful wizards of his time had not been able to do, this little creature -his own flesh and blood- did with her mere existence.

The little newborn, barely filling his hands, peered up to the man holding her as if she was a bomb about to explode, through heavy eyelids.

Dark brown eyes, his eyes, pierced into his soul through thick eyelashes, her mother's courtesy no doubt. A gaze of such intensity that shook him to the core like no other gaze ever had. He had survived the wild, glowing red eyes of Voldemort; he had felt the piercing blue eyes of Dumbledore deep inside; he had felt the pain of the memories the clear green eyes of the Boy-Who-Lived had brought and he had been reborn with the loving bright eyes of his beloved wife gazing into his dark ones. But these eyes that were so familiar but still so different seemed to reach even the most untouched corners of his soul. He felt himself hold his breath and a fear like he had never experienced ran through his body. He wanted to run away, away from that assessing gaze.

Then a small smile lit up the chubby little face of the baby. Little fingers curled around his one finger. Eyes closed now, the newborn snuggled up to his lean body. Content.

He felt strangely relieved, as if he had somehow passed a test. A test, he was suprised to find out, that suddenly was more important to him than anything else. The sheer force of the feelings suddenly invoked in him choked him and he actually felt as if his heart would explode. Pride, Joy and Love. Feelings that were once only a dream.

He briefly tightened his hands around the baby, a new life that he had helped create. Fascination overwhelmed him. With a smile that was suprisingly no longer a big effort taking away years from his weary features and eyes oddly shiny, he thought,

"My daughter..."

A/N: Yes, the situation may be quite out of character for canon Snape but hey, this is what fanfiction is here for! I think I managed to keep Snape as in character as possible in such a situation; come on, he is seeing his daughter for the first time, you can't expect the usual cool indifference or sarcasm. Your opinions would be appreciated so please review!