Disclaimer: Not mine and never will be. Sigh.
A/N: This story is an entry into a challenge set by the Lovers of the Potions Master facebook group. The prompt was as follows: Sev and an oc (your own or borrowed if you never made one or create one if you like) are in an established relationship. An argument ensues based on an unresolved issue (feelings for Lily, lack of proposal, whatever) it's up to you what they fight over. It causes them to almost break up (one side or the other thinking this). Angst is what we are shooting for,and romance. Try to make it as angsty as you can without over doing it. As this will be our Halloween challenge as well, feel free to add in that as an element.
For those of you following my other stories, I am nearly done with an update for Rumored in Love and am working on Bound to Him whenever I have a few moments to myself. Unfortunately, lab rotations, two class presentations, and a massive fellowship application due next week are making me quite the antisocial little girl. My apologies.
I look forward to your reviews.
Rhiannon Ross frowned at the glow emanating from the tip of her wand. Maybe if you try it again…
Clinging desperately to that sliver of hope, the witch tucked a chestnut-hued lock behind her ear and looked back down at the book propped up on the bathroom cabinet. Tracing her finger across the weathered page, she focused on the depicted wand motions until she was fully confident in enacting the charm. When the second attempt yielded the same result as the first, she flung the book off the edge of the counter and ran her hands through her hair.
"Fuck, fuck… fuckity fuck!"
With tears stinging at her eyes, Rhiannon sank down to the floor, hiding her face behind her hands. This can't be happening.
"Oh gods," she moaned. "He's going to kill me."
Chop me up into tiny pieces, light me on fire, and toss the ashes into the middle of the ocean, kill me. After a minute of clunking the back of her head against the cabinet door, the woman sighed and closed her eyes.
Get a hold of yourself, Rhee. He isn't going to kill you. He'll probably throw you out, but he won't kill you. A hysterical laugh escaped her mouth as she hauled herself to her feet. Feeling suddenly light-headed, the tall witch stumbled back into the bedroom and mournfully collapsed onto the bed.
It was no great secret that Severus Snape disliked children. In fact, it was public knowledge. Anyone who had ever had him as a professor knew that he detested them. After the War, upon recovering his health and being cleared of any criminal charges, he outright refused to resume the post. Instead, he had gone into seclusion, ultimately starting a mail-order potions business to continue to avoid people as much as possible. He was meticulous with his brewing, and his products were impeccable. No better potioneer existed within the British Isles, which was why St. Mungo's had spared no expense in recruiting him to manage their laboratories.
It was also why he trusted no one else to brew his personal draughts, and he insisted on doing the same for the witch with whom he had regularly shared his bed for the past two years. He was the one who brewed her supply of contraception, and he was the one who explicitly asked whether she had remembered to take it.
He did not want children. They were whiny and needy and demanding. They were messy and sticky. They broke things. They required flexibility and patience – two things of which he was in short supply. He was quick to temper, incredibly rigid in his daily routine, unbelievably tidy, and liked things done his way. He had spent far too many years toiling under everyone else's thumb; but now he was the one in control of his own life. He enjoyed finally being able to hold his own reins.
Yet here his girlfriend lay curled into a ball on the middle of his bed, unexpectedly, yet undeniably, pregnant.
How could this have happened? Rhiannon stared blankly at the wall, trying to process it. She had never forgotten to take the contraceptive potion – or if she had, Severus had reminded her to do so. Touching one hand to her stomach, she could not tell that there was anything out of the ordinary there, so she doubted that she was very far along.
She had been periodically nauseous over the past day or two, which had prompted the wizard to leave her a few potions on the bedside table before he left for the St. Mungo's laboratory. The witch glanced at the now empty bottles and sighed. The anti-nausea draught would likely help, but the Pepper-Up Potion derivative stood no chance of putting her back to rights.
It's a derivative of the original, because the original…
"Fuck!" she hissed, slamming her eyes shut and pulling on her bangs with one hand. The standard recipe for the Pepper-Up Potion – thanks to Severus and a colleague at St. Mungo's– had been shown to significantly decrease the efficacy of most contraceptives due to some sort of ingredient interaction. She knew this, of course, but it had not crossed her mind the month prior when she had been feeling run down at work and Rosmerta had dug out a bottle from behind the bar.
With a disheartened groan, Rhiannon begrudgingly rolled off of the bed and trudged out into the hallway. She highly doubted that Severus would appreciate the bitter irony of the situation. Had it happened to someone else, it would have been entertaining, but since she had been the one oblivious to the life sprouting in her womb, she was far from amused.
Reaching the top of the staircase, she wrapped her arms about her waist before slowly descending. With each squeak of the steps, it seemed another question churned in her mind. How am I going to tell him? Will he insist on getting rid of it? Do I want to do that? Do I want children? Am I even cut out to be a mother? And what about us? Are we meant to be together? How long could this possibly last?
That final thought hit hard as she came to the bottom of the stairs. Fear niggled at the back of her mind as she glanced about the empty sitting room. The space was undeniably masculine, with heavy leather furniture and dark wood. The bookcases were full, but orderly. Nothing was strewn about on the floor, and even the journals on the coffee table were tidy. Everything about it screamed 'Severus Snape'.
Of course it would. It's his house. He just lets you sleep here a few nights a week. Rhiannon frowned as she stared at the end table which held the only visible evidence of her presence in his life – besides her cloak, which he had picked up off of the couch and hung upon the rack near the door – a framed photograph of them at her godmother's birthday dinner two weeks prior. He had protested both when it was taken – the picture-Severus scowled often and looked put-upon the rest of the time – and when she had dared set it out after she received it in the post. He had not stopped grumbling about it until she had sufficiently distracted him by undoing his trousers and dropping to her knees. After that, he did not seem to mind it as much.
To be fair, it was a horrid photograph, but it was the only physical object she had to commemorate the second anniversary of their relationship. There had not been any flowers or candy or gifts – just supper with her godmother in Hogsmeade followed by a rather thorough shagging – against the front door, the wall at the top of the stairs, and again upon their finally making it to the bedroom.
But what if that's all he wants? Mind-blowing sex and a warm body at night? She even doubted that the last bit was true since it had taken an entire year before he agreed to spend the entire night with her, and even then it had to be in his bedroom on his terms. There had even been nights in the past when he had flatly refused to let her stay, explaining that he was tired and needed more sleep than he obtained when she was snuggled up against him.
The witch had always taken him at his word because that's who Severus Snape was – a man of his word. But he was also a master of occlusion. What if he's just been putting up with me all this time, and those nights he was too tired to pretend?
What if I've brought this all on myself? Rhiannon covered her face with her hands. Her step-mother had cautioned her against taking a man to bed on the first date, and her godmother had strongly advised her to never be intimate with someone until she was certain she loved him. It had always seemed eye-rollingly obvious to her, but at thirty-two years of age she had stupidly ignored both of them. Why didn't I listen?
Damn it! Why am I thinking like this? The witch sniffled loudly, blinking away the tears threatening to form. Though she had not felt her best physically, she had been so looking forward to accompanying Severus to the International Medicinal Potioneering Society symposium that was being hosted in Norway in a few days. She was not a member of IMPS, so she could not attend any of the sponsored events, but there was bound to be downtime during the week-long conference that they could spend together exploring the northern Norwegian countryside.
She had been so excited about the trip, yet now all she could think about was how Severus had not even invited her on his own. Her many hints had fallen on deaf ears, and when she finally gave up and asked him point blank if she could go, it had taken nearly two days before he agreed to it. There was also the fact that they would be travelling via portkey, which would require her to declare her pregnancy to the Portkey Office.
The longer she thought on it, the more it seemed the walls were closing in on her. It was not even noon, and she was already exhausted. If this was due to her hormones wreaking havoc on her system, she was not looking forward to the months ahead.
Not wanting to stay any longer than she already had, Rhiannon accioed her cloak from the rack and crossed over to the Floo. She had a few hours before she was supposed to meet her godmother in London, and she damn well was not spending it here.