Thank you all who read my first story and reviewed it and even placed it on their favorite list which really blew me away! I was overwhelmed by the experience. Below is my second installment of what I call my "Simon Series". There is one, maybe two more installments before it is finished.
Sorry if my Severus and Hermione are a bit OOC; my copy of Deathly Hallows seems to be missing the epilogue and a certain other chapter...funny my husband didn't notice that when he purchased it.
I still don't own the Potter series, J.K. Rowling does, lucky lucky woman that she is.
Severus entered the nursery to find Hermione standing at the changing table fastening the final snap on Simon's little sleeper. He heard her crooning softly to the baby as she picked him up and turned placing Simon against her shoulder.
"What is it, love?"
"It's time for me to head to my first class. I just wanted to wish you a good day." Severus reached for his two month old son and plucked him off of Hermione's shoulder. He turned the baby around in his hands so that he was holding Simon by his underarms, his long fingers wrapping around the baby's back and supporting his small head. Severus enjoyed holding Simon like this. The weight of the baby from his hands was precious to him and he loved to watch Simon curl his legs up toward his body in a reflexive action. "You'll be a good boy for mum, won't you?" he asked Simon. Severus' baritone rumble caused Simon to focus his eyes at his father's face. He scowled a bit and then yawned. Severus pulled Simon to his chest and placed his nose on his head to inhale the boy's scent and kiss him.
Hermione watched the little scene with a bemused expression. Simon had his daddy wrapped around his wrinkly, tiny fingers. She smiled and wished Severus a good day. He leaned in to kiss Hermione and place the baby in her arms. "Time for breakfast?" he said to his son. Hermione replied, "More like his third breakfast this morning. He seems insatiable today."
"Is this normal?" Severus asked.
"If he weren't a preemie I would say no. I will ask Poppy later this morning to make sure he is all right. I thought I studied up on new babies, but I didn't prepare for a premature baby."
"No, we didn't. Severus scowled as he spoke remembering the events surrounding Simon's sudden birth two months earlier than expected. "I am sure Poppy will be able to guide you in the right direction. And, if my little know-it-all has her way, she will research the answer if she is not satisfied with the one she gets." Severus sneered but spoke kindly to Hermione. He gave her another kiss and left for his classroom.
Hermione sat into the rocking chair and settled Simon to her breast. With her free hand, she stroked Simon's head in an attempt to flatten the black mass of hair. "I hope this isn't a sign of things to come, Simon. I hope you get your dad's straight hair and not my bushy mess." Hermione spoke softly to her son. She gazed at the boy who suckled languidly at her breast. He did seem to want to feed quite a bit, and she renewed her decision to seek Poppy's guidance. She and Severus had certainly prepared for the birth of their child and the months of care required afterward. His early birth sent them a bit off kilter and only now did they feel comfortable with the fact that Simon was here and so very tiny. The healers at St. Mungo's assured his parents that with time he would grow and be healthy.
Hermione looked back at that awful day in January….
She was on her way to see the Headmistress to discuss the upcoming Hogsmeade weekend she and Severus were to chaperone. As she made her way up the entrance hall steps from the dungeon corridor, she was lost in her thoughts about the shopping she would do in Hogsmeade. Having just reached her 7th month of pregnancy, she and Severus had started to prepare the nursery. Hermione was listing in her head the clothing she wanted to purchase this weekend so she failed to notice that the steps near the top were wet (it later turned out one of the students had lobbed a snowball he smuggled into the castle at another student where it fell short and was forgotten in the rush to get to class). Hermione hit the wet spot and lost her balance, falling all the way to the bottom.
A 7th year Slytherin student, late for class and rushing up from the dungeons found her. He immediately told a nearby portrait to find the Slytherin head of house and the headmistress. He furtively began to ascertain if Madam Snape was all right, but could tell by the blood pooling from her head and the awkward angle of her limbs she was not. In addition, to his horror, he noticed blood soaking her robes between her legs. The entire school was aware of the DADA professor's upcoming fatherhood. The Snape's were to have a son and Professor Snape was very protective of Madame Snape during her pregnancy.
Although it seemed like hours, it was actually only moments when the student heard running footsteps. He turned to see a billow of black robes flying toward him. "Hermione!" Severus yelled. "What did you do?" He had grabbed the student by the neck of his robes.
"Nothing, I did nothing! I found her like this!"
"Severus put him down!" The headmistress had also arrived. She took one look at Hermione and sent her patronus to Poppy. "We must take care of Hermione"
Severus had dropped the pupil and turned to his wife. "Oh, gods!" He dropped to his knees grabbed her hand and placed his other on her belly. "Hermione! Hermione!" he implored at his wife as he took in her bloody form.
Madame Pomfrey arrived and quickly cast spells. "We must get her to St. Mungo's now. Her uterus has ruptured and the baby's heartbeat is dropping fast. Her right leg and arm are broken; she has a fractured skull." Before Severus knew what happened Poppy disappeared with Hermione, Minerva following in their wake. He turned toward the Slytherin student who was huddled on the floor.
"What happened?" Severus barked.
"I was coming from the dungeons; I was running late. As I turned to go up the steps I found Madam Snape. I then alerted the portraits to find you. You can see some blood on one of the steps. Perhaps she fell?"
Severus eyed the steps looking at the location the student pointed to. "How could she have fallen? Could she have tripped on her robes?" he thought to himself as he rubbed his face in frustration.
The student was going carefully up the steps. "Sir, come here, " he called back down from the top. "Look this step is wet. Perhaps she slipped on the water?"
"Perhaps. Go to my class and tell them to go to their common rooms. I must go to St. Mungo's. 50 points to Slytherin."
Hermione switched the baby to her other breast. As much as she tried, she remembered nothing of the next several days. Severus explained to her afterward what occurred. She was unconscious when she arrived at St. Mungo's and was taken immediately to surgery for a C-section. Simon was not breathing when he was born and they worked feverishly for several minutes as Severus stood by, frightened more than he cared to admit. Relief washed through him when the wails of his son were heard; however, he was then ushered out as the healers worked frantically on Hermione. She was bleeding profusely and her own heart rate was dropping.
After one-half hour, the healers came to the waiting room to talk to Severus. Minerva and Poppy were still with him. "Professor Snape?" Severus stood along with Minerva and Poppy.
"Madame Snape and the baby are fine." Severus slumped into his seat, Minerva and Poppy sat with him and rubbed his back whispering soothing words of thanks. "However, we were unable to save her uterus. It was so badly ruptured. We have never seen anything like it before."
Severus answered, his voice rough with unspoken emotion. "During the war she was tortured. She had so much damage to her organs it was a wonder she conceived in the first place." He knew she would be devastated to learn that she would not be able to bear more children. This made his only son all the more important to him. He spoke again, "My wife is alive and we have a son. I could not ask for more now."
Hermione shifted Simon to her shoulder to burp him. She remembered Severus' concerned voice when he related the sad news that they would not be able to have more children. She was despondent for some time afterwards. When she and Severus final talked about it they agreed they were blessed to have their son, and now was the time to focus on his survival and her healing.
"Oh Simon, I wanted your dad to have a son and a daughter. I will always mourn not being able to. But your father is the best and bravest of them all. You will grow up to be quite proud of him, despite how he was when he was younger. I remember the first day I met your dad." Hermione smiled down at Simon as he looked at her face. "I remember the day he told me he cared for me, but even better the day he told me he loved me." Hermione rocked Simon and began her story.
"Dad and I had been working together for about eight months. He had to train me to teach potions and he was not happy. He would grumble about having to set his own curriculum for DADA as well as teaching a bushy-haired know-it-all how to teach potions. He had two moods; grumpy and snarky. I learned when to keep quiet around him and when I could ask him questions. With careful questioning, I was able to learn a little about when your dad was a student. He began to talk to me more about potions and defense and he asked about the time I went with Uncle Harry and Uncle Ron on the Horcrux hunt. I began looking forward to our brewing sessions and the time spent in the classroom as he helped me outline a timetable for classes.
We even had to go shopping so I could learn to buy potions ingredients." Hermione giggled a bit as she remembered the time she got Severus to go into Madam Pudditfoot's with her. "Just for some tea, honest!" she had said. Severus had given her a thorough dressing down afterwards when Lavender Brown and Pavarti Patil ambled into the shop, eyes goggling at the pair.
Hermione moved Simon from the crook of her arm to lie on her legs. He looked around at the new sights in his line of vision. Hermione arranged his sleeper more comfortably around him and continued her story. "One night we were having some tea in my classroom finalizing one of the 7th year schedules when Daddy suddenly blurted out an invitation to dinner at the weekend. I was stunned to say the least and could barely get my lips around a response! We went to muggle London, to a pub that was quite good and wizard free. As we ate and talked, I was very surprised when Daddy told me that he cared about me and wondered if I could feel the same way. My answer came very easily because I had begun to like Daddy very much. We started to go on dates when we could find the time, and it wasn't until the Christmas hols that we got to spend some quality time together."
Hermione stood and placed Simon on her shoulder. She picked up a blanket and a book and left the nursery. As she walked into the sitting room and settled on the couch, she covered the baby and spoke again. "It was in this very room, on this very sofa that your daddy told me he loved me for the first time. I was not going to be at the castle for Christmas day as I was going to see Grandma and Grandpa Granger. We had decided to spend Christmas Eve together for dinner in Dad's quarters and exchange gifts afterward. As he handed me my gift," Hermione brought her hand up to the Slytherin green, s-shaped pendant that always hung around her neck, "He said 'I want you to have this to remember me with while you are away because, against my better judgment, I've fallen in love with you'."
Simon was asleep now so Hermione wrapped him more snugly in the blanket and laid him on the couch near her. "That was also the night we first kissed, but there's no need to tell you that story." Hermione mused. She looked into the fireplace to see the flames dancing merrily as her thoughts made her blush. "Nope, not telling that story to you at all."