"No," Sevannah said, calmly. "No." She jumped off the sofa and went upstairs, leaving Georgia sitting between their parents.
Elizabeth watched her almost-seven-year-old go, then met her husband's eyes over their other daughter's head. Fred cleared his throat. "Do you have questions, Firebolt?"
Georgia looked thoughtful, then reached over and touched her mother's stomach. "How did it get in there?"
Fred chuckled. "Well…"
"Mummy and Daddy wanted another baby," Elizabeth explained. "And we wished very hard, and loved each other very much, and one appeared. But it has to grow inside Mummy, just like you and Sevannah did."
"When will she come out?"
"In the summer," Fred said. "But you know, the baby could be a boy."
Georgia thought about that, and then shook her head. "It's okay, but it can't be a boy. They're dirty."
Fred laughed. "That may be true." He kissed his daughter's head. "I'm going to go have a talk with Sevannah. You stay here with Mummy."
Fred knocked on his quieter daughter's door, but she didn't answer. He went in, but she wouldn't talk to him. No matter how much he cajoled or bribed or joked, his stoic child continued to shun him. Finally he decided to let her six-year-old mind calm down, and went back downstairs, shrugging at Elizabeth's questioning look.
When Severus arrived at the dinner table and saw Sevannah's empty place, he raised an eyebrow at his daughter. "We're missing someone."
Elizabeth grimaced, but Georgia piped up. "Mummy's going to have a baby. Sevannah's pissed."
"Georgia Ann Weasley!" Fred scolded. "Who taught you to talk like that?"
"Uncle Ron said it," Georgia defended.
"Well, you shouldn't," Elizabeth said, putting peas on the younger witch's plate.
"Uncle Ron is going to get a piece of my mind tomorrow," Fred grumbled. "Or maybe I'll just teach Rose—
"Wait," Severus said, Georgia's non-profane comment finally dawning on him. "What about Mummy having a baby?"
Elizabeth smirked at his expression. "I thought maybe you were tired of this set," she said, ruffling Georgia's hair.
Severus grinned and shook Fred's hand, then sobered. "So where is Sevannah?"
Elizabeth sighed. "Upstairs. She won't talk to anybody."
"Do you want me to try?" Severus stood, putting his napkin on the table. Without waiting for an answer, he strode out of the kitchen and up the stairs, to his granddaughter's room.
"Sevannah?" He knocked on the door.
"Grandpa?" Sevannah's small voice came back, and he pushed open the door.
"You're missing dinner, my girl." Severus sat on the edge of the bed and uncovered the little head that was hiding under the covers. "What's going on?"
"Mummy's giving me away," Sevannah said sadly.
Severus was glad the little girl couldn't see him smiling. "Why do you think that?" He asked, trying to keep the laughter from his voice.
"Evan says people can only have two babies," Sevannah explained.
"Who is Evan?"
"A boy at school," Sevannah said miserably. "He said when his mummy had a baby, that they had to get rid of his brother."
Severus couldn't imagine the scenario that the boy was misunderstanding, but he had to put a stop to the nonsense.
"Sevannah, how many uncles do you have?"
Sevannah thought for a moment. "Three."
Severus ignored the fact that the child had miscounted. With that many family members on her father's side, how was she supposed to keep track? "Do you think that your other grandparents broke the law to have those children?"
Sevannah peeked out of the pillow where she'd buried her face. "No."
"Okay then. So, could we, perhaps, think that your friend Evan is, at best, ill informed, and, at worst, a dunderheaded idiot?"
Sevannah giggled, not completely understanding her grandfather's question, but sure that Evan was wrong.
"You are not going anywhere, understand?" Severus put his hands under Sevannah's arms and pulled her out of bed to stand in front of him. The redhead nodded, looking down at her feet. "Well then," Severus tilted her face to look at him. "Are you hungry?"
Sevannah nodded again.
"Good, because your mother has dinner on the table." He picked her up and put her on his hip. She secured her arms around his neck. "Just out of curiosity," Severus said conversationally, walking out the door with her. "Where did you think they were going to send you?"
Sevannah shrugged. "I dunno."
Severus snorted. "The idea that your daddy would ship you off somewhere is ridiculous," he said. "And the idea that I would let him is even more ridiculous. You are a ridiculous girl." He tickled her ribs until she giggled again.
"We're hungry," Severus said, when the arrived in the kitchen. "Tell them, sweetheart."
"We're hungry," Sevannah repeated as Severus set her in her chair.
"Well, then we should eat," Elizabeth said, looking at her father, who shook his head slightly.
Georgia turned to Sevannah. "Happs?"
Sevannah shrugged. "Gr ix."
Georgia laughed. "Gr…" she rolled her eyes.
Elizabeth sighed. "Girls, use real words, please."
Fred shook his head. "Let them go, Betsy. You can't fight it."
"Their teacher is going to think they were raised in a cave," Elizabeth said, pouring milk into Sevannah's glass.
"They'll grow out of it," Fred assured her. "They don't talk to other people like that."
"I'm talking to your mother about it," Elizabeth said decidedly.
Fred snorted. "Okay. But she's going to tell you that they'll grow out of it."
"So," Severus broke in. "When am I becoming a grandfather again?"
Elizabeth smiled. "June. No one has heard any crazy June prophecies, right?"
Severus shook his head. "Not that I know of."
Kretcher glared at Snape. "Mistress is late."
"Yes, well. Deal with it," Severus rolled his eyes. "She's going to need help now, with the baby."
Kretcher busied himself gathering the twins' toys. "Looked after Miss Georgia and Miss Sevannah just fine," he grumbled. "Traitor thinks Kretcher can't take care of a baby. Little nuisances, babies."
"You are delightful," Severus said dryly.
The front door opened, and Fred came through, holding a baby in a carrier. Elizabeth followed, with Ron holding the door. "Oi, Fred. You don't need to act like you had a near death experience."
"No, not near death," Fred shook his head, putting the carrier on the kitchen table. "I am never getting in a car with you again."
"You shouldn't be mean to me in front of the baby," Ron said, kissing Elizabeth on the cheek. "Good luck, the two of you. I've got to pick up Rose and Hugo from Mum."
Severus pulled back the blanket. "He's in one piece," he smirked. "That's a good sign."
"We've done this before," Elizabeth smiled tiredly. "Kretcher, what are you doing?"
The usually dour elf was standing on the table, looking at Orion with what could only be described as reverence. "Master Regulus."
Fred frowned. "What are you talking about, Kretcher?"
The elf glared at the wizard. "Master Weasel doesn't know anything about taking care of boys." He lovingly patted the baby's head.
"Welcome home," Remus appeared at the bottom of the stairs, Sevannah, Georgia, and Teddy in tow.
Georgia sprinted to the table and stood on one of the chairs to see in the baby carrier. "He looks like Grandpa," she giggled.
Elizabeth smiled, steadying her daughter on the chair. "Actually, Kretcher is right," she said softly. "He looks like Sirius."
Kretcher scoffed. "Master Regulus."
"Probably passed through the Weasley line," Fred said, picking up Sevannah. "Do you want to see your new baby brother?"
Sevannah nodded slowly, and peeked into the carrier. "He's little," she declared, looking at Elizabeth for confirmation.
"You were smaller than that," Elizabeth said, pulling Georgia's hands back from where she was poking Orion. "You and Georgia put together were only a little bigger than him."
Sevannah laughed and shook her head. "You're silly, Mummy."
"It's no laughing matter, my girl," Severus ruffled Sevannah's hair. "You were so tiny, your father would forget where he put you."
Fred snorted. "Don't worry, Georgia was always too loud for us to actually lose either of you."
Teddy pulled himself into the chair behind Georgia. "Dad?"
Remus raised an eyebrow. "Yes?"
"Can we have a baby?" The ten-year-old looked at his father expectantly. "I'll look after it and everything."
Severus smirked at Remus, who was obviously struggling for words.
"Now's not a great time, Ted," the werewolf finally managed. "Why don't you get down from there and go grab your stuff so we can go home?"
The younger Lupin looked disappointed, but jumped down from the chair and went upstairs.
"He'll take care of it and everything," Severus said to Remus, badly hiding his mirth. "Why won't you just get the boy a baby?"
Remus rolled his eyes. "Shut up."
Sevannah looked at him, her eyes round. "Uncle Remus said 'shut up'," she said accusingly.
"Okay," Fred said, sensing the situation rapidly spinning out of control. "Sevannah and Georgia go outside for a while." He set his daughter on the floor and gestured to the back door. "I am taking the other Mr. Weasley upstairs," Fred picked up Orion and settled him against his shoulder. "You should rest." He kissed Elizabeth.
"I'll get right on that," Elizabeth said, pulling the baby blanket out of the carrier and tossing it into the laundry room. "After I get dinner in the oven."
"Kretcher can do that," Severus said, "You should rest. You just finished growing a human."
Elizabeth laughed. "Child's play after growing two at once." But she let Kretcher start dinner while she went into the living room. "I'm not sure what to do with free time."
Severus snorted. "Don't worry, it won't be free long." He sat on the sofa and opened his arms. "Sit down and enjoy the few minutes you have."
Elizabeth rolled her eyes and sat beside him, leaning on his shoulder as his arms closed around her. "I'm a little old for cuddling, Dad."
"Untrue," Severus said decidedly. "You have given me three beautiful grandchildren. Your mother and I…" he pulled her a little closer. "We had many dreams for you. But I never… I always assumed that I wouldn't be around for this part." He smiled. "You've always made me happy, hatchling, but the babies are quite a bit of icing on the cake."
Elizabeth shook her head. "Orion was eight pounds of icing," she grimaced. "I should have married Colin Creevey. He was tiny. We would have had tiny babies."
"You would have been hard pressed to have children at all with a dead man," Severus raised an eyebrow. "And I think you did just fine."
Elizabeth closed her eyes. "Life is pretty good, isn't it?" she murmured.
Severus smiled into her hair. "Beyond anything I could have dreamed."
HOGWARTS SCHOOL of WITCHCRAFT and WIZARDRY
Headmaster: Severus Snape
(Order of Merlin, First Class, Potions Mastery)
Dear Miss Weasley,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.
Term begins on September 1. We await your owl by no later than July 31.
Sevannah carefully tucked her acceptance letter back into the envelope, looking at the carefully scripted green address.
Sevannah Rose Weasley
The Bed Closest to the Window
32 Primrose Lane
"Daddy?" Georgia was standing beside her father's chair, one arm around his shoulders, looking at him with her brown eyes opened wide.
Fred smirked. "Yes, manipulator?"
Georgia put her head on his shoulder. "I can take my broom to school, right?"
Fred laughed. "You read the letter, Firebolt. No brooms for first years."
Georgia frowned. "I'll ask Grandpa."
"You do that," Fred snorted. "What are you thinking about over there, Angel?"
Sevannah smiled softly. "Can we go get wands? Please?"
"Wand!" Lily screeched from her highchair.
"That's right, petal," Fred ruffled his youngest daughter's red hair. "We'll take the babies to Grandma's," he said to Sevannah. "And then you can come to work with me. We'll get your wand today."
"Me too, right?" Georgia said, bouncing on the balls of her feet.
"Of course, silly," Sevannah declared, standing on her father's other side.
"What's all the commotion about down here?" Elizabeth appeared, holding Orion.
"We have two new Hogwarts first years," Fred said, gesturing to the twin's letters.
Elizabeth smiled. "Let me see," she said, holding her hand out to Georgia. She skimmed the letter. "Deputy Headmaster, hmm? The man is going to be insufferable."
Fred grinned. "What is Minvera going to do with her retirement?"
"Harass Dad with reckless abandon, I'd imagine," Elizabeth smirked. "Girls, did you eat?"
"Daddy says we can go to Diagon Alley today!" Sevannah said, not answering the question.
"Did he?" Elizabeth looked at her husband. "No school?"
"It's a special day," Fred said, standing to kiss her. "Miss Clearwater will understand." He danced her around the kitchen for a few steps. "We'll write a note."
Elizabeth laughed at his exuberance. "Okay, okay. Girls, go get dressed, we'll eat in London." Georgia sprinted up the stairs, Sevannah hot on her heels. Elizabeth watched them go, then turned back to Fred. "You are a bad influence," she said, lacing her fingers in his hair.
"I'm a maverick," Fred grinned, spinning her around.
"Garrick is in the back," Thomas Elder said, when Elizabeth and Fred ushered the girls through the door of the wand shop. "Doesn't come out much anymore, but he'll want to see you."
"If I was nearly a hundred years old, I'd retire as well," Fred said, looking around. "It hasn't changed much in here."
"People come for the nostalgia. And the brand," Thomas said. "I was maybe the luckiest apprentice in history. Now I just need him to stay around for another twenty years." He looked at the twins. "Misses Weasley and Weasley, hmm?"
Georgia grinned. "I'm Sevannah."
Fred rolled his eyes. "Stop it, or you'll get the wrong wand," he threatened, knowing that the wands wouldn't be fooled by his twins' antics.
"This is Georgia," Elizabeth said, putting her hand on the louder twin's head. "And this is Sevannah." She put her other hand on the other girl's shoulder.
"Let's get started," Thomas said, pulling out his tape measure. "Wand arms, please."
Sevannah and Georgia solemnly held out their right arms, letting the wand maker measure.
"Be honest," Elizabeth said. "The measuring is just for show, right?"
"The measuring is very serious business," a voice came from the doorway to the back room. "So is taking care of your wand, but you wouldn't know anything about that, would you, Miss Evans?" Ollivander moved slowly toward the family.
"I didn't break it on purpose," Elizabeth defended. "At least the first one."
"The second should have been broken," Ollivander nodded sharply. "However, I'll never say that again," he looked at the younger Weasleys. "You'd do well to be more responsible than you mother. Or your uncle."
Fred laughed. "It's Georgia we have to worry about. There's no sort of anti-breaking charm for wands, right? Maybe a protective coating?"
Ollivander scowled. "Which one is Georgia?" he looked at the girls again.
"She'll be careful," Elizabeth said, putting an arm around her daughter as Sevannah shrank behind her father. "Won't you?"
Georgia nodded seriously, which seemed to pacify Ollivander, who nodded once, and then limped back into the back room, throwing his goodbyes over his shoulder.
"Alright," Thomas said, pulling wands off the wall. "It's time for the moment of truth. One at a time, please, we don't need to blow up the place."
True to form, Georgia took her wand first. Elizabeth used to be concerned that her quieter daughter was going to be trampled in the wake of her sister, but Fred had assured her that the world wouldn't come to an end.
"George was always more exuberant," he'd told her one night, as they lay in bed. "I swear I got in more trouble because I was following his lead. I never would have had the guts to start the shop on my own, and he never would have had the patience to actually build a business without me. They'll be fine."
Georgia waved the wand, but nothing happened. Nothing happened on the next. Or the next. Or the next. It took a dozen wands before sparks flew and Georgia, who had rapidly been losing her confidence, threw herself into Elizabeth's arms in her excitement.
"Nine inches, willow, dragon heartstring," Thomas declared. "Good for charms."
Sevannah looked critically at the wand Thomas held out to her. After a moment, she shook her head, surveying the others he'd pulled from the wall. "Can I try that one, please?" she asked indicating a long, thin wand.
"Of course," Thomas handed her the wand, and she flourished it, sparks emanating from its end almost as soon as she touched the handle.
Sevannah turned and smiled expectantly at her father, who returned her grin, clearly prouder than he'd ever been by the wand-selection process.
"Seventeen inches," Thomas crowed. "Dragon heartstring, ebony. Excellent for defense."
"Not very many people use a wand that long," Ollivander said, reappearing in the doorway. "It shows a certain decidedness in a wizard. Or witch, in this case."
Fred looked at Elizabeth. "My wand is 12 inches."
"Men always exaggerate those things," Elizabeth smirked, embracing Sevannah.
"Can we show Grandpa?" Sevannah asked, holding up her wand.
"We have to pay the man first," Fred laughed, handing over a stack of galleons. "How my parents paid for seven of us, I'll never know," he said to Elizabeth.
"You didn't have a new wand until you were 17," Elizabeth said simply, shooing the girls outside.
Fred grinned. "Uncle Marty's wand got me through quite a bit," he said, looking at his own wand. "But there really is nothing like your own."
Elizabeth nodded. Her new wand was fine, but sometimes she felt like it was just a little off from her original, destroyed wand. "I'll take them to Hogwarts for awhile," she said, taking Fred's hand in hers as they walked behind the girls. "Let them show off."
Fred nodded. "Take the floo in the shop," he said. "I don't want you walking that road from Hogsmeade, it's too deserted right now."
"That's fine," Elizabeth leaned her head against his shoulder. The twins were scrutinizing their wands as they walked ahead. "Do we have stomach soother at the shop?"
Georgia had inherited her mother's distaste for magical travel. Unfortunately, along with disgraceful floo exits, the more lively twin was violently ill every time they traveled by fireplace. The effect was so dramatic, they had never tried to side-along apparate with her, knowing that Elizabeth had been slow to develop a tolerance to that method. Elizabeth and Fred taken to driving into London when they had the girls, and going through the Leaky Cauldron to avoid the floo.
Fred grimaced. "I'm not sure. We'd better stop at the Apothecary."
"Don't tell Dad," Elizabeth grinned. "Only dunderheads buy easily-brewed potions."
"Betsy?" Fred came through the floo. "Why is it quiet?"
Elizabeth emerged from the kitchen, kissing him hello. "The girls are staying at Hogwarts tonight, because, apparently, it is very important that they become acquainted with the place." She rolled her eyes. "I think my father is trying to steal our children."
"Well then, it's a conspiracy," Fred said, picking her up and spinning her around. "Bill and Fleur are in town, and my mum thinks that Orion and Lily would benefit from spending time with their cousins."
"I'm sure Victoire will love hanging out with toddlers," Elizabeth said, laughing as he spun her again.
"Do you know what this means?" Fred deposited her on the floor. "We have no kids. None. For the first time in 11 years, we have no children."
Elizabeth rolled her eyes. "We've been alone since the twins were born."
"Okay, for the last few years, then," Fred said grabbing her around the waist and dancing to imaginary music. "I am alone with my wife. My beautiful, amazing wife."
"Flattery will get you many places," Elizabeth said, kissing him again.
"Will it get me… out to dinner?" Fred asked, a slow grin spreading over his face. "Maybe with you in that green dress?"
"Sweetheart," Elizabeth nestled into his shoulder. "I love you. But we have four kids staying away from home tonight. We need to prioritize. 'Mummy and Daddy are just a fire-call away' is dangerous to our evening."
"You're right," Fred nodded, scooping her up and heading for the stairs. "First things first, I always say."