Disclaimer: Nothing you recognize is mine. It mainly belongs to the goddess JKR or an awfully long list of people... (the MOSSes -Ministry Officers of State Security- are mine). If you like it, review and feed my soul. And since we don't need to hurt each other, if you don't like it, don't tell me! Flamers will be adopted by my family (if you don't believe it's a threat... too bad for you!)
A/N: Parseltongue is noted like that //……//
Rating: from U to R18 [G to NC-17]
There were betas injured in the process of creation: eccentric_femme, Venus4280, SilentG, Miranda, Starkindler, Stephanie, Joyce, and Mikee. All remaining mistakes are mine, and mine alone.
This fic is about Harry Potter and Severus Snape falling in love and, in the end,
in the same bed. If you do not like the concept, do not read further...
Chapter Thirty-Two - The Spirit of the Marauders
Severus is reading a book on their sofa in their quarters at Hogwarts when Harry stomps in.
The Potions master hides behind his book and chuckles.
'This is not funny, Darling!' Harry growls.
'You are quite mistaken, Professor Potter,' retorts Severus.
Harry growls and sits next to his husband.
'I can feel it in my bones. I'm sure he's up to something,' Harry insists.
Severus laughs softly.
'What?!' Harry barks.
'Now you know how I felt when I was keeping an eye on you, Hermione and Ron,' Severus says. 'How long has it been going on, now? That wild goose chase to discover what Harold is doing?'
'Well, in their first year, I thought that I was just, as you so elegantly put it at the time, an insufferable mother hen who couldn't bear to have his son a hundred feet away on the other side of the corridor. Mind you,' Harry says, changing his position on the sofa so that he can face his husband, and tucking one leg under him, 'it allowed me to keep an eye on the three Weasleys sorted into Gryffindor. In their second year, I began to see a pattern in what Harold was, or wasn't, doing, but how can I keep track of what he's doing when my students are so interested in learning more, when Jules does nothing to help me, and when Sarina remains silent?'
'I remember a time when I had to deal with the spawn of a Marauder, a certain Albus Dumbledore and a witch called Hermione Granger,' Severus says his nose buried in his book.
For the first time in a long time, Severus has to fight not to laugh heartily.
Harry keeps growling and resumes his statement. 'In their third year, I know that I was close to discovering what he's hiding - for I know he's hiding something, after all, he is our son.'
Severus glares. Harry chuckles.
'I've been trying to follow our son throughout the castle since we came back in September, and I can't determine what's going on,' Harry admits.
'Thirty seven months in all.'
'Yes,' Harry grumbles.
'I think I'm going to send a parchment to the Hogwarts Headmaster to complain about the DADA teacher,' Severus says.
'Maybe I should ask questions about the Head of Slytherin,' Harry adds.
Severus laughs again. He closes his book, and puts it on the sofa just as Harry straddles him.
They share a tender kiss.
Harry rests his brow against Severus's.
'I'm lost, Honey!' Harry whispers.
'So am I.'
'But you agree that there's something going on.'
'At least, we're certain that he's not chasing a Dark Lord, and that he's not trying to become one,' Severus says, caressing Harry's back.
'Sarina is not acting her age, only Harold shows that he's a Stork child.'
'Sarina has a different calling, and she has James to ground her to reality,' Severus adds.
'The Weasley Quartet acts their age, but Harold... It's as if he were more mature than them all, as if the date of the first time we wished him and that we chose for his birthday makes a real difference,' Harry says, nuzzling up against Severus.
Both men turn towards the door that leads to their bathroom.
Sarina is in her fuchsia dressing gown (the colour Albus had chosen for this year, and which her fathers shared with her and her twin), a huge Slytherin-green towel on the head. Her hair is too long now for her to comb it easily, and she always asks one of her fathers to help her and braid it.
Harry stands up, and takes the comb from his daughter's hands.
She sits on Severus's lap, and Harry begins his task on her raven black locks.
'I would certainly be like 'Rold if it weren't for James,' Sarina says.
'My Angel?' Severus says.
'I...' Sarina's voice trails off.
'Darling?' Harry gently says, caressing her damp hair.
'When we were being wished, I remember the birth of the Quartet, because you were there, and you wanted to have 'Rold and me. When we almost lost James,' Sarina pauses. 'I remember how afraid I was of spending this life without him. Now, I enjoy each moment I can spend with him. It's different for my brother. We came to you after the Weasleys and before James, but we are Stork children. I couldn't explain how it works, but I know that 'Rold is not like the other boys.'
'I won't ask you what he's doing, but he's not doing bad things, is he?' Harry asks.
She shakes her head. 'No, Dad.'
Harry takes a deep breath. He's tempted to ask his daughter what Harold is doing, but it wouldn't be fair to ask her to betray her brother.
Harry kisses Sarina's cheek, braids her hair and dries it with a quick spell.
'Dad! It'll be all curly now!' she protests.
'You seldom untie it,' Harry says, smiling.
She jumps off her father's lap, launches herself at her other father and tickles him.
Harry manages to land on the sofa near Severus. The Potions master decides to join his daughter's side and they're both playing with Harry when someone knocks on the door.
Sarina swiftly retires to her room.
'Come in!' shouts Severus.
Jules enters their quarters.
When he sees Harry crying with laughter, the Headmaster is forced to chuckle.
'My husband and my daughter tortured me, Jules!' Harry pretends to whine.
'Oh! Poor Harry!' Jules pretends to pout.
'What can we do for you?' Severus asks, patting the sofa next to him.
Jules sits down and smiles benignly as he tells his friends that he needs a Quidditch referee for the next game, that Irma practically jumped out of her skin when she came nose to nose with the black snake in the Restricted Section, and that Niki needs help with some shopping in Muggle Edinburgh.
'There must be something either in the position, or in the castle,' Severus says, looking at his best friend, 'but you are transforming into a new version of our dear Albus.'
Harry looks at Jules, at Severus, at the door of his daughter's room, and he hits his brow with his hand.
'Jules, may I borrow your husband for a mission? Fathers to fathers?' Harry asks.
'He must be with Hadrian, or maybe he's helping David with Samantha and Stuart. Liz is in Hogsmeade with Hermione, Helena and Ginny,' Jules says, completely at sea.
Harry stands up, and says, 'I'll try to have a chat with the black snake as soon as I can locate it. If you want, I can referee the game. I'll pass on the trip to Edinburgh.'
Harry pecks his husband's lips and adds, 'I've solved the mysteries. I need one piece of information from Remus, and then I can show you, Darling.'
Harry leaves their quarters.
'Do you want to go with Niki?' Jules asks Severus.
'I'll pass, thank you, and you won't find out what's going on until Harry tells you,' Severus says.
'All right, can you prove that you are a Potions master and brew me a cup of tea?'
'That's all you've found to justify your joining tonight's reading?' Severus adds.
Severus snorts. He calls Dobby, and he'll ask his friend how he knows that he and Harry are beginning to read the latest Pratchett's novel to their Slytherins.
Severus gets his answer, and Harry is back just in time to join the Slytherins in their common room.
The Slytherins have become more comfortable around one another over the years, and the reading now takes place after they've all dealt with their various assignments and trainings. They all come to listen to their night tale in their night clothes, so that when the younger ones surrender to sleep, their elders can directly pilot them to their beds.
Even Harry and Severus find that it is a good idea.
Their colourful dressing gowns allow them to keep Albus in the hearts of the Slytherins.
That night, after a good session with all their children - and their Headmaster - Harry and Severus go back to their sofa.
Sarina is asleep.
Settled in each other's arms, they're sharing a brandy.
'So, my Love,' Severus whispers in Harry's ear.
'We had the answers right under our noses, but it is so farfetched that we never added the clues together,' Harry says, leaning against his husband.
'Will I get to know the solution?'
'If you are a good boy,' purrs Harry.
The following second, Harry finds himself kissed with passion.
'I think that will do, Professor Snape,' Harry says, licking his lips.
'So, do you know what's going on with Harold?'
'I have suspicions. I need your help to make sure that I'm right, but I want you to help me as Harold's father, not the Head of Slytherin. Promise?'
Severus blinks. He wonders what Harry can possibly mean, but he agrees.
During the following month, Severus and Harry check that Harry's theory is correct.
June comes, and the two professors have to deal with exams.
After they've dealt with the last potion and the last counter-curse they have to check, the fathers decide that all this has been going on for too long.
Harry takes the new map that he and Severus have spelled à la Marauders.
Severus has promised not to use it against any of the other students. They use it to monitor where Harold goes.
All their Slytherins are in bed. All but one.
Harry and Severus go to Harold's dorm, and when James Malfoy opens one eye, he knows that his friend is in trouble.
The fathers follow their map.
The "Harold" dot on the map is in the Muggle Studies classroom, but when they reach it, they find the telly on, and no one in the room.
Severus's instinct allows him to spot an intruder in the room.
The little black snake is trying to hide behind Niki's desk.
The fathers look at each other.
There is only one logical explanation to all this.
When Jules paid them a visit, two months before, Harry finally understood the pattern with Harold's appearances and disappearances, with Muggle things, and with the sightings of the black snake.
When Severus spoke of transformation, there was only one possibility.
//You can transform back// Severus gently says to the snake.
Harold resumes his human form.
'I'm sorry, Dād,' the adolescent whispers. Then he looks at Harry, and he starts crying as he says, 'Sorry, Dad.'
Both men gather him in their arms and they kiss him.
'We're not angry with you, Harold. We just want to know why you transform, and why you go to the kitchens, this room and the Library,' Harry says.
'Sarina is waiting for us with James. He told her you were looking for me,' Harold says, sniffing loudly.
Severus and Harry don't question his link with his twin, and they walk Harold back to their quarters.
When James got out of his house, Peeves saw him and thanks to him, Jules and Remus are waiting with James and Sarina.
'Merlin!' Harold wails.
'They're going to understand,' Sarina says.
Severus and Harry tell the Headmaster and Deputy Headmaster what they have just discovered.
'Beside surprising our dear librarian and being out of your house after curfew, I guess that you broke no other rule, Harold. There's not one of us who could judge you for that, because your fathers, Remus and I have all been wandering in the corridors. I'd like to know what you're doing when you go out,' Jules says.
Harold looks at his sister. A single nod from her is enough.
'I'm learning things. I read books in the Library, I chat with the house-elves - they have seen incredible times, and I watch television. I'm sorry, Headmaster,' Harold says.
Jules takes Harold in his arms and declares, 'We didn't come officially, my dear child, but I'd like to know why.'
'We grew up here,' Sarina intervenes.
'Our teaching is not enough, is this what you mean? Do you need more?' Remus wonders.
'That's just Sarina and Harold,' James says.
The adults look at the eldest Malfoy heir, then at the twins.
'Harold is not what I am, and yet he knows as much as I do, and sometimes he was the one to teach me,' the young witch says.
'We still have a lot to learn, but...' Harold's voice trails off.
'But we could have sat for our N.E.W.Ts this year, and we would have obtained top grades,' Sarina points out.
'N.E.W.Ts?' Remus gasps.
Harold blushes and shrugs.
Jules takes his husband's hand and says, 'They are Severus and Harry's children, and they are Stork children. I guess that I was half-expecting something of the kind.'
'I'm sorry,' Harold says again.
'Why should you be sorry for not being able to resist and learn?' Jules says.
Jules scratches his head.
'Do you mind if Headmaster Ode-Lupin joins us?' Jules asks.
'I knew it was too good!' Harold growls.
Sarina giggles, Jules winks at her.
'Your fathers may decide to punish you, but I guess that you brought a new mystery to Hogwarts. Decades ago, we already had Animagi, but they did their best not to be seen. As long as you promise not to use your gifts for silly pranks, I won't forbid you to gather more knowledge. What kind of teacher would I be if I did that? Do you promise to go out only to learn more?' Jules asks.
'Yes!' Harold shouts joyfully.
'Oh, and do try not to surprise Irma!' Jules adds.
'I promise, Uncle Jules!'
Remus holds out his hand, Jules takes it and says, 'We'll go back to our quarters; our little Samantha is teething.'
Harold looks at his fathers.
Harry takes his son's face in his hands and kisses the tip of his nose.
'You nearly drove me crazy!' Harry says. 'I was wondering what was going on with you.' He puts one finger on his son's lips and adds, 'There is no need to apologize, now. When I was your age, I was running after Voldemort under your grandfather's Invisibility Cloak. We just need to keep you occupied with enough challenges in your quest for knowledge.'
'Speaking of which, we might start with a twenty-foot essay comparing the poisons found in vampire and werewolf blood,' Severus says.
'That's apprenticeship research!' James exclaims.
'If potions aren't enough, we'll combine disciplines,' Harry says.
Sarina pecks the cheeks of all the wizards, and she goes back to sleep.
James and Harold are escorted back to Slytherin by Severus.
When he walks back into their quarters, Harry is waiting for him in bed.
Severus divests himself of his clothes with a quick spell, and he joins his husband under the bedcovers.
'Congratulations, Mr Sherlock Potter!' Severus says.
Harry chuckles and says, 'I wonder what we're going to do with him.'
'Either a cricket professional, or the greatest Healer of our time.'
'Do you remember what we said when we got them?'
'That as long as they're healthy and happy, whatever they are is not important? Yes, I remember. I think those two are really going to change our world,' Severus says.
'We're not objective, Darling. They're ours!'
'One has been Called, the other is a genius of fifteen who has been granted permission to roam freely inside Hogwarts and who might do some important research before the end of his school years. You are right. We're not objective!' Severus teases him, between tender kisses.
'I guess we'll have to find something challenging for this summer.'
Sarina spends July with the Malfoys in Provence.
Harold works with Ron and Charlie, and while he's staying with them, he discovers that he can understand some of the words the dragons use.
Severus and Harry work on their curricula and the yearly update of their textbooks.
In August, the family goes to Egypt, where they spend time with Bill and his cluster.
In the small village where they settled, they meet tourists from Australia: Arthemis Ally and her daughter Seraphina.
The witch is from Australia, but her husband is British. She tells them that they moved back to Australia after their daughter's birth, but Arthemis has been offered an interesting position in London, and she took it. Her line is a true matriarchy, so she's bringing her family back to Europe. The twins are delighted to discover that Seraphina is going to join them at Hogwarts. They won't be in the same year, because she's already sixteen, but they'll have fun together.
The Potter-Snapes offer to explain the differences between the four houses, but she tells them that her father has already told her all there was to know.
'Where was he sorted?' Harry asks.
'Gryffindor,' the girl answers.
'Mind you, he doesn't speak much about what he did before I met him. After the end of the War, he spent months in a hospital. He wasn't even there when Seraphina was born! That's one thing I allow him to keep secret from me,' the matriarch says.
The two fathers are deeply interested by her approach to life, and it seems that Harold is fascinated with the matriarch-in-the-making.
On a sunny morning, Severus wakes up when his husband begins to suck him eagerly.
'I'm going to worship your body until you have the feeling that you can grasp the entire universe,' promises Harry.
That programme suits Severus perfectly.
Harry is about to close his mouth on his husband's shaft when they hear a shout coming from the house the Allys rent next to theirs.
They grab their wand and use a spell to put robes on.
They can hear a man shouting.
Actually, it's Seraphina's father. He Apparated to join his wife and daughter, and found a boy in his baby's bed.
Maybe it wouldn't be such an issue if Seraphina had not spent the night with Harold Potter-Snape.
Maybe it wouldn't be such an issue if Seraphina were not the daughter of Sirius Black.
To Be Continued...
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