Disclaimer: Disclaimer: I'm just playing with someone else's toys. May I be forgiven in my next incarnation... (and what you do not recognize is mine, such as the MOSSes -Ministry Officers of State Security). Flamers will be adopted by my family (if you don't believe it's a threat... too bad for you!).
Note: Parseltongue is noted like that: //----//
Readers: Mikee and Stephanie. Thanks a lot! The remaining mistakes are all mine, and I apologize for those.
Chapter Twenty-Five - Adding and Subtracting
After Severus's silly blunder, life was rather uneventful for some time - years even.
Well... Uneventful by Potter-Snapes standards, that is.
In their world, things changed slowly.
The new Minister for Magic kept his word and started changing the laws concerning underage magic.
There was a new division at the Ministry, which was created to deal with those kinds of cases.
When magical children found themselves in really dangerous situations, they no longer were prosecuted by the Ministry if they used spells or charms.
When first signs of magic were shown in front of Muggles, there were Aurors who still took care of the Memory charms that had to be performed. However, if parents were lazy and didn't properly watch their children amongst Muggles, the Minister had decided to be less lenient than Fudge had been. A warning was given first, and if the offence re-occurred, the parents had to pay a fine; if that was not enough, a new law was passed that allowed the Aurors from that division to put a spell on the parents that deprived them of their magic. It worked marvels on the few parents who had been relying on the Aurors to erase the memories of the blunders of their children (one week of chores done the Muggle way was usually enough to have the lazy parents finally take their responsibilities).
That last measure allowed the Minister for Magic to strengthen the relations between his men and the Muggles.
Minister Weasley was particularly happy to have his daughter-in-law and her MOSSes join his efforts to get closer to Muggles.
Without revealing the existence of their community, some witches and wizards agreed to help Muggles with some difficult cases. They helped to catch some criminals or to find some lost or kidnapped children.
It was truly the beginning of a new era.
Arthur also revised some laws with Albus's help so that magical beings would no longer be bothered. The centaurs and merpeople didn't really give a damn, but there were many werewolves and vampires who breathed more freely thanks to the new laws.
Arthur also worked to get a new budget so that the werewolves, who couldn't afford Severus's new potion, could get it nonetheless. Severus found himself giving a series of lessons to grumbling Healers and Potions experts, who were to be taught to brew the potion.
After a dinner with their friends - the happy Lupin-Odes, Severus and Harry - who had nothing to do with the creation of the potion, but had nonetheless been included in that particular discussion - agreed that the potion that made the werewolf sleep on the full moon must have a name that would remind them all that the condition of the werewolves had been relegated to the bottom of the list of priorities of the doctors and that it was through friendship that a solution had been found. They christened the potion Lupinata.
Among their friends, new couples formed.
Fred and George had got rid of their curse. The curse of Star-crossed Lovers to be precise. In a prior incarnation, Fred and George had been in love, and the couple they were at the time couldn't make love. Their love was so strong that it made sure that they would be allowed to be together by incarnating as Fred and George. As long as they did not satisfy the carnal desire of the couple they had been, they could not reach orgasm in this incarnation. Severus helped them to find a solution, and after incantations, research and the brewing of a delicate potion, Fred and George found themselves freed of the curse.
They started dating adorable witches who worked together and were providing them with some of the ingredients they needed for the shop. When they wished to visit Andora Irin and Verena Tylm, Draco was always ready to take over at the London shop.
After six months, Andora and Verena became Weasleys.
Percy and Bill took advantage of the day of Fred and George's weddings to ask Jules, who was becoming the priest for the family, to use the Conjunctus, like Hermione, Ron and Charlie had years before.
Percy linked his life with Bartholomew Bithda, the MOSS who was working near Percy's office at the Ministry. From an irregular date, Bart had become a steady boyfriend and then he became a husband.
Bill had slithered into the bed and the lives of a couple of his fellows and friends. A sex role-playing game had turned bad, and the three of them had fallen in love - Bill even wondered if it were not a Weasley trait to live in clusters. Meriem and Idris Al'datjah welcomed Bill into their relationship.
It was a happy day for Jules, who performed all the ceremonies. He loved to see people happy.
Some weeks afterwards, Jules and Remus were invited into Severus and Harry's quarters. It turned out that the Muggle Studies teacher, Nicolai Vlad, intended to marry one of his former students. It was because of his love for Helena DeWinter that Niki had been spending so much time with Harry. The young man didn't want to betray his deontology, and flying with Harry was the only way he'd found not to allow the love he felt for his student to make him do something that would have him fired, and her expelled.
The moment Helena became a certified witch, Niki wooed her. Severus reflected that Albus's small smile the first morning of the holidays, when they saw Niki run to Hogsmeade to his first date with Helena, showed that the Headmaster had known all along what kind of struggle his latest addition to the Hogwarts staff had been going through.
Jules got to bless the union of Nicolai and Helena.
Besides those additions through weddings or bondings, new babies were born - or adopted.
Faithful to his promise, now that his condition was stabilized, Remus let his rejoicing husband fill in all the parchments they needed to adopt a child. There had never been many orphans in the magical community, because there was almost always a distant relative to take in the child. Even after the War, the orphans had all been sent to their families, or adopted - like Emma Rettin, who had joined the home of James and Frederick, Amalia Rettin's uncles.
It turned out that a young witch had been abandoned by her Muggle companion the day she told him her secret. She didn't want to raise her child all alone - the few relatives she had had been killed in the War. She offered her child up to adoption, on condition that she could meet the future parents. Remus and Jules were torn. They wanted a family, but the mere thought that the mother of their child would not see the baby grow up made them sad beyond words.
They offered to adopt her child and let her live with them. They agreed to a contract that bound the three of them as a family, so that she could never take the child away from them if she found another companion and wished to move away from them. She accepted happily.
Elizabeth Acorn gave a son to Jules and Remus. They named him Hadrian Ode.
Jules hoped that he'd be a Slytherin, Liz hoped for a Hufflepuff, and Remus for a Gryffindor. Hadrian's godfathers - Harry and Severus - pointed out that the boy might make a splendid Ravenclaw.
Both Hermione and Ginny became pregnant again. They'd had boys the first times, and then they gave birth to witches.
Ginny had a daughter, who made Draco even happier than he already was - maybe because James would not be a lonely only child like he'd been. Truth be told, if Ginny agreed, he had no objection to a Weasley-like family.
On that path, Hermione beat Molly with her second pregnancy, for she bore again two sets of twins.
Even Fred and George became the fathers of adorable daughters.
Meriem Al'datjah-Weasley used a particular spell which allowed her to give a child to each of her husbands, and she had two sons who became the pride of their fathers.
In their extended family, Mrs Vlad joined the fun and gave birth to a witch. Helena had started helping Ginny with the children at Hogwarts. Soon, a crèche was created. Harold and Sarina now spent their time with James Malfoy and his sister Elinor, with Evangeline Stewart (Ginny went to the Stewarts' home each morning to fetch the baby witch before Floo'ing to Hogwarts). It was thanks to the Stewarts that Arthur had decided to create yet another division which aimed at informing Muggle parents of magical children.
When Ron, Charlie and Hermione were too busy, James, Alexander, Terrence, Remus, Sophia, Lily, Serenity and Mary were brought to Hogwarts as well.
Percy and Bart were the only ones who were planning to quietly enjoy marital life for some additional years.
Quiet and privacy were words that Severus and Harry forgot, but they were happy, and didn't care.
The twins are six now, and the Potter-Snapes are happy that their children are fine, healthy, happy and quietly growing up.
There's no major demonstration of power or magic from the twins.
Matthew is becoming a fine young man, and Osiris Stewart, his girlfriend now, is making sure that he's getting good grades.
Harry and Severus are awfully busy, but they're not complaining. Severus even had to buy a bigger vase for Harry, because the roses keep multiplying - which never fails to make Jules chuckle when he comes to their quarters in Hogwarts.
Over the years, some of the students have become so fed up when the Quartet speaks Parseltongue, that other students started learning the language. Silk sometimes complains that their accents are not very good, but she likes being given milk and having humans to chat with, but that's a secret she shares only with Harry and Severus, who were such good friends of her father.
Finally, the Quartet started preparing revisions for the final exam, and Severus and Harry wonder at night, when they're holding each other, where those years flew by.
One day, a Pureblood was helping two Muggleborns, and they were adopting an orphan, and the next they're listening to seventeen year olds who are planning to work together after their N.E.W.Ts.
Severus and Harry feel as if they've been seized by a tornado of some kind.
Before they know it, Matthew is given his heritage, and he prepares his life at Templeton Hall with the help of his friends.
This summer, Severus, Harry, Harold and Sarina will be visiting him in his new home.
The twins are devastated to see their elder brother leave Hogwarts. Even if Matthew promised to give them plenty of Floo powder for their birthday, the twins have difficulties accepting that loss.
Just before Matthew leaves Hogwarts to take the train with the other members of the Quartet - a first since he's been adopted (minus the Fudge episode)- both his fathers take him aside and make him promise that he won't hesitate to Floo to Oxford - day or night - if he feels lonely.
Severus and Harry don't go with Matthew to the station, not to embarrass the young man in front of all his friends and schoolmates, but when they hear the whistle that heralds the departure of the Hogwarts Express, they clasp their hands.
Their eldest child is gone. They should be happy that they've put him on the right path and that they've helped make him such a fine young man and competent wizard, but their hearts ache for their baby.
Matthew is not theirs by blood, but the summers will have a different flavour from now on.
Kâly brings their possessions to their Oxonian home, and they do their best to entertain the twins.
When Harold and Sarina beg to spend the night in their fathers' bed, they agree.
Looking at their babies quietly sleeping between them in the four posters, they don't need words to know what they're thinking: in twelve years, it's Harold and Sarina who won't be coming to Oxford with them.
Just when a wave of emotion was about to wash over Harry's heart, he looks at his children and smiles. They will leave, just like Matthew, but Severus will always be with him, and it won't be the end of their adventures.
Severus pointedly looks at his husband. He wants to know why Harry is now practically grinning.
Harry mouths a single word. Grandchildren.
Severus grins in his turn and whispers, 'Osiris Templeton-Snape is a good name.'
Harry nods enthusiastically.
With the perspective of some new adventures, the wizards fall asleep.
To Be Continued...
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