Here it is; the first chapter of the last Simon story. I think...
J.K. Rowling owns the wonderful stories and allows us to tinker with them, and I am thankful she does.
A few weeks passed since the conversation between Severus and Hermione about the possibility of another child. Simon had started a wizard primary school at the same time Hogwarts started the new term in September. The school was in Hogsmeade and taught by Lavender Weasley and Padma and Pavarti Patil. Ginny continued to watch Simon after school hours and would until the new baby arrived. Ginny was determined that after the newest baby was settled in she would return to watching Simon and in the meantime, she was certain that George's wife, Angelina, would be willing to come to the castle and keep an eye on him.
Hermione owled Angelina about taking care of Simon and received a response. She was scanning the letter when Severus came back from patrol, shortly before dinner.
"Severus, Angelina Weasley would be willing to watch Simon here at the castle until Ginny can again."
"Yes, that will be nice and convenient won't it?"
"She would be willing to floo him to and from school?"
"Yes. Here, read the letter." Hermione handed Severus the letter and he quickly skimmed it.
"Well, I hope she doesn't smuggle any WWW products into the castle. We don't need that mess!"
Hermione laughed at Severus. "I am sure she won't. Do you want dinner here or in the Great Hall tonight?"
"Great Hall I think," replied Severus, kissing Hermione on the cheek.
The Snapes called Simon from his room and they made their way to dinner. Chatting with several of the other teachers, they enjoyed their meal and then decided to take Simon for a walk. The nights were getting shorter and soon they would be inside all winter. Once outside, Simon scampered ahead with an admonishment from his father to 'keep away from the lake!' Severus took Hermione's hand and placed it in the crook of his arm.
"Hermione, have you thought any more about our discussion of a couple of weeks ago?"
"I have tried to be sure my thoughts were rational and not fueled by envy. I wrote the pr…."
"Pros and cons down," Severus interrupted with a laugh. "Why am I not surprised?"
Hermione nudged Snape with her elbow. "You know list making helps me organize my thoughts. You must admit I've solved quite a few potions problems that way."
"Yes, but this is not a black and white potions ingredient list. This is about changing our family."
"What about you? What are your thoughts?"
"Believe it or not, Hermione, I think I would like to adopt a baby." Hermione stopped in her tracks. Severus turned to look at her and continued. "I know that I have always stated that I'd be a fool to want for more after nearly losing both of you at Simon's birth. But when I think of those days when Simon was tiny and how much we learned about him, I miss it. I miss holding that tiny bundle in my hands and smelling him fresh from a bath. For as much as we hated getting up at two-thirty in the morning to tend to him, they are some of my most favorite memories. I loved watching his first steps and his face when he learned new things. Gods, those little baby belly laughs!"
"Who are you and what have you done with Severus Snape? " cried Hermione.
Severus snorted. "Tell anyone I said those things and I'll hex you into next week." He rubbed her hand as it lay on his arm. "Seriously Hermione, what do you think?"
"I also would like to adopt a child. Would you be all right if we adopted a girl? Do you have a preference?"
"Yes, a girl would be agreeable."
They looked at each other and embraced. Hermione spoke. "So, what's next?"
"I imagine we contact someone at a wizarding adoption agency. I am sure Arthur Weasley knows someone in the Ministry who could help us as well."
Again they looked at each other. Emotions flitted across both of their faces. "What are you afraid of, know-it-all?" Snape asked softly.
"What if we don't love another child like we love Simon? How could I possibly take any of the love I have for him and give it to another child?"
"Hermione. Do you think that Harry and Ginny or Arthur and Molly do not love all of their children equally?"
"Yeees, I suppose they do. What about you, Severus? I saw something in your eyes a bit ago." She placed her hand on his chest at his heart.
Severus took a moment before he spoke. "Please; please know-it-all, do not take what I am about to say as anything than the words I am speaking. When you were pregnant, it was the most spellbinding time of my life. Each week you grew rounder, and I was so proud that you had my child growing inside you. I so loved rubbing your belly and feeling the child moving within. You also were so beautiful; you radiated life every day and to know that I was the cause of that was quite an ego boost. I am surprised you couldn't see me strutting about." He laughed a bit and looked at off toward the Black lake. "I will miss that," he finished quietly.
Hermione was crying at this point. For all Severus said that he did not blame her for being unable to have another child, she felt to her very soul the desolation of being unable to.
"Oh, love, please don't cry. You know I do not blame you at all for this."
"I know Severus," sobbed Hermione. "But I will forever feel as though I were a failure because I couldn't have another baby. You remember that I spoke with a medi-therapist after Simon was born about this, and she said that I would always carry some sort of deep seated remorse for what happened. I know with all my heart you do not blame me. It's just this decision has brought these feelings to the surface."
"Does this make you unsure of the decision to adopt?"
"No, I want this. I want another child. Can we please just wait a while for our decision to sink in and for me to sort out my feelings?"
"Of course." He pulled Hermione to him and rubbed her back.
"Mummy! Daddy!" Simon called for his parents. He did not notice Hermione wiping her eyes as they turned in his direction. Severus answered, "What is it son?"
"Can we go see Hagrid?"
"What do you think?" Severus asked Hermione.
"Yes, I think that would be fine."
"Simon go ahead, we'll be along," called Severus. Hermione finished wiping her eyes when Severus cupped her face. "I love you Hermione. You are my heart and soul and nothing you do will change that. We won't go through pregnancy together but we will experience the joy of another child in our life, and isn't that ultimately the reason you get pregnant?"
"Of course. But please, give me a few days to deal with this; when it isn't so raw we can contact an agency."
Severus kissed her forehead speaking loving words against it. "All right, little witch. Now let's go see what horrid thing Hagrid is feeding our son."
A week later Hermione told Severus that she was at peace with herself again, and they sent off a letter of inquiry to the ministry adoption agency. The agency owled back and set up an appointment with the Snapes for an interview. They filled out numerous forms about themselves from where they lived and what they did for a living to why they felt adoption was a good fit for them.
After reviewing the application, the agency worker discussed a few items regarding adoption and how this may take a while to happen.
"Mr. and Mrs. Snape; I want to warn you that finding a child for you to adopt may take weeks even months. As you are aware, out of wedlock pregnancy in the wizarding world is practically unheard of. There aren't even any war orphans available. However, we do have a muggle liaison so that if there is a child placed for adoption in the muggle world that had a trace of magic, we will be notified." Hermione and Severus thanked the agent and headed back to Hogwarts each feeling optimistic.
Christmas came and went with no news regarding an adoption. While Severus and Hermione were anxious to increase their family, they were not as yet disheartened. The adoption agency did warn them that this could take a long time.
The new year started and Severus' birthday was upon them. Hermione always made sure to honor this day for Severus since for most of his life, it was not. She did; however, keep things low key as Severus had a profound dislike for spectacles of any sort. She had invited the Potters, Minerva, Neville and Luna Longbottom, and a few of the other teachers to their quarters for drinks after dinner. Severus appreciated this sort of celebration very much. Simon and the Potter children presented him with small tokens and then skipped off to Simon's room to play. Winky, one of the Hogwarts house elves, was asked to keep an eye on the rambunctious group.
Once the children were settled, the adults gave Severus his gifts and quite a few jokes and barbs were traded as he opened them. Thanking them sincerely, Severus quietly told the gathered adults about their decision to adopt. They did not want this widely known and asked the guests to please keep it to themselves.
Ginny, just weeks away from giving birth, exclaimed happily for them. "Oh, Hermione when do you expect to hear?"
"We filed paperwork in October and have yet to hear. We are not yet losing hope. We want to change our family but are willing to wait as long as we need to."
"Yes," replied Severus. "Waiting is sort of like the pregnancy part only without the pregnancy." He went and stood next to Hermione and put his arm around his shoulder.
"Have you told Simon yet?" asked Harry.
Severus answered. "No. He is his mother through and through and would be very impatient, continually pestering us with questions. We have decided to tell him when we know there is a baby available."
The talk turned to other subjects including Simon's birthday at the end of January. Another hour passed and the gathering broke up. Severus put Simon to bed and then went to bed himself. There he found Hermione waiting for him dressed in not a whole lot and most of it very lacey. She came closer to him.
"This is what I got you for your birthday, love."
Severus looked her up and down. "I like it very much." He stepped toward her and pulled her to him. "Very much indeed." He bent to kiss her. Hermione moved even closer and put her arms around his neck. Severus moved his hands down her sides as he deepened the kiss. Hermione moved from his lips and began to kiss his neck gently sucking on the spots she knew were most sensitive. As she did this, Severus started walking her backwards to the bed. "Now," he breathed, "Let me unwrap my present."
There are at least two more chapters to come. They are just in need of editing as I seem to be heavy handed with the commas and my proofreader is busy weeding them out. Kindly review!