“Making the decision to have a child—it's momentous. It is to decide
forever to have your heart go walking outside your body.”
“Harry! It’s so great to see you!” spoke a bundle of brown, bushy
hair atop a pair of arms that were currently squeezing the breath out
“Hermione! Give the man a chance to breathe!” Ron grinned,
coming up to the door and pulling his wife away.
“Hullo, Hermione, Ron. It’s great to see you both,” Harry said,
giving them both big hugs. He dropped his bags, lifting his voice. “So,
where are my darling godchildren?”
Rose and Hugo, five and three years of age, respectively, ran to Harry
to be swept up into his arms. After much tickling, kissing, and
laughter, he turned to his oldest friends. “I’ve really missed
all of you so much,” he sighed.
“You could see us much more often, if you really wanted, Harry James
Potter! Why must you live so far away?” Molly Weasley said,
bustling into the room and giving him a big hug.
Harry shook his head ruefully. The Weasley matriarch would never
change. She wanted her family around her, no matter what the
circumstances. That scenario, however much he loved her and the
rest of the Weasleys, would never include Harry.
After his defeat of Voldemort, he had rushed back to the Shrieking
Shack where he had left Severus Snape with a bezoar down his throat,
and a crude bandage stanching the flow of blood from his neck.
Within 72 hours, he had shown the Wizengamot Snape’s memories, had
testified on behalf of the misanthropic spy, and had copies of the
official exoneration published in the most-read wizarding papers.
Harry Potter had made a contingency plan in the extremely unlikely
event that he’d been victorious over Voldemort. Cleaning the
living room at the Dursleys’ the summer after his fifth year, he had
caught glimpses of a travelogue on the telly when Dudley had fallen
asleep. It showed the Olympic Peninsula in the United States, and
the unspoiled lakes and rivers, the tall stands of ancient trees, and
the towering mountains had captured his imagination. What had
most impressed him, though, had been the miles upon miles of land
uninhabited by people.
Within 120 hours of his defeat of Voldemort, Harry had all of his funds
transferred to the Seattle branch of Gringotts, made his goodbyes to
everyone with whom he’d grown close, and left the wizarding world
forever, or so he’d thought. He’d set himself up in a former
hunting lodge outside the small town of Sequim, WA, and began
The teen had felt as if he knew nothing of the Muggle world, which was
true. The Dursleys had kept him so isolated that he’d experienced
very little of Muggle life. Well, any life, actually. Even
once he’d discovered the wizarding world, he had found himself often
isolated from that as well.
Harry had read all the subjects he’d missed by not attending Muggle
schools, only coming out of his lodge to hike the mountains, sail his
small boat, Bay Rover, around
the Dungeness and Sequim Bays and the Puget Sound, and to eat in the
many fantastic restaurants dotting the Peninsula. After
discerning an ‘inner scholar’ in himself, he found himself rereading
the many books he’d only read enough to get by in his Hogwarts
schooling. Upon finally getting a decent sense of the content of
his schoolbooks, he’d been interested enough to look up a number of
other books, ordering them from the local Seattle magical bookstores by
owl mail order.
The area in which he was primarily interested had been warding and
protective magic. The many years of having very little privacy in
the magical world had made him prioritize his ability to keep that
world away from his new life. He had perfected his own version of
the Fidelius charm on his home,
and had developed a name (not
Harry Potter, but Evans
Jameson—not exactly the most inventive choice, but serviceable
nonetheless) over the years in the Americas, Africa, and Asia as a
warding consultant. In the ten years since he’d left, he’d
ventured into Europe and Great Britain only on rare occasions,
primarily those concerning his friends like weddings and births.
Smiling, Harry returned the hearty embrace, then picked up his bags,
preceding his friends into the sitting room. “I really like my
life without the drama of the British wizarding world, Molly. If
it means I have to live halfway around the world, I’ll deal with it as
a small price to pay for peace and quiet.”
“And here I’d thought that you would wither and die without the fervent
adoration of your long-time fan base, Potter,” a silky, sardonic voice
Harry set his bags down with a small grin. “Master Snape,” he
said, with a respectful half-bow.
A shocked silence, then, “Mr. Potter.” A tall figure emerged from
the shadows in the corner of the room. “Or should I say, Master Potter?”
“Master Potter? You have your mastery?” Hermione exclaimed,
“You never told us, Harry!”
“Master? Of what?” Ron asked, surprised.
“Well, it was just recently, actually,” Harry said,
self-deprecatingly. “I had been warding for years before it
occurred to me to get my mastery. I’d already developed a reputation
without it, but clients were always so surprised that I worked so
effectively without it, that I’d decided to just go and take the exams.
It just makes things more official.”
“Well, congratulations are in order, then aren’t they?” Arthur,
who had been sitting with Snape, said.
“I think more than congratulations are in order, this calls for a
celebration!” said Molly, bustling back into the kitchen. They
all chuckled as Harry placed a bundle on the table next to Snape.
“Here you are, Master Snape. M. melanotarsa, commonly known as
the dark-footed ant-spider, fresh back from my trip to Africa.
Arthur didn’t tell me what form you wanted, so I brought several of
each. You have egg sacs, embryonic and larval stages, male and
female spiderlings, and male and female adults. I also have extra
legs and eyes in dried form.” Harry indicated each as he removed
them from the environmentally secure carrier.
“Many thanks, Master Potter. And while I had indicated quite
clearly to Arthur that I required adult spiders,” here he cast a dark
glance over at the Weasley patriarch, who smiled sheepishly, “I am
certain that I can use all of these ingredients at some point in my
experimentation. What do I owe you for all of this?”
“Nothing at all,” Harry said, waving a hand. “I was going to Lake
Victoria to do some warding for an Ugandan wizarding compound, and I
knew I would be coming back to England for a bit to visit Ron and
Hermione, so I really didn’t have to go out of my way. It took
just one morning out in the bush to get the spiders.” He looked
around at the gobsmacked expressions on the faces around him.
Apparently, they had been expecting a flare-up of the old animosity
between the Harry and Snape. He sighed inwardly. Couldn’t
people understand that everyone, including the two of them, grew up at
some point? He turned (and said,) “And please, call me Harry.”
“Then, Severus, if you please.” A dark head inclined towards
“So what exactly is this experiment?” Harry asked, picking up
Rose and settling with her into one of the commodious wing
chairs. “Are you working for someone in particular, or is this
general research?” At his meaningful glance, the others in the
room gathered themselves, and conversations resumed.
They had been talking for a while, surprising even themselves with
their amicability, when Molly entered the room, bursting with
self-importance. “Arthur, we have a Floo call from Luciana
Bivarque, of the ICW, she wants to talk with you.” (1)
Harry stood quickly, eyes narrowed. Putting Rose down, he said
quietly to Severus, “This may have to do with me, so I may be leaving
suddenly. Someone from the ICW has been trying to reach me for
weeks, but haven’t been able to get through my wards.”
“You?” Severus asked sharply, his voice similarly lowered, “The
British liaison with the ICW has been endeavoring to communicate with
me as well. Like you, I have had few positive relations with any
wizarding administration, and also preferred to avoid any contact.”
Arthur returned quickly, apologetic, but determined. “Severus,
Harry, I am really sorry for this. Members of the ICW have wanted
to talk with you two for the past several weeks on a matter of
international security. I understand that you may not want to
meet with them, but as a member of the Ministry of Magic, I beg you to
at least give them a half hour of your time.”
Harry asked, bitterly, “So, knowing that we would both be here, you set
“No, Harry! I only mentioned that I would talk to you.
Madame Bivarque only called to ask if I had talked with you yet.
Please, since she is available, would you talk with her, for me?”
Sharing glances, amazed that they seemed to be thinking the same thing,
Harry and Severus nodded reluctantly.
“What? You mean to say that you’ve been containing a demon for
over fifty years?” Harry was appalled.
“Grindelwald summoned it during the last moments before he was defeated
by Albus Dumbledore,” Lo Yunshan, the Supreme Mugwump of the ICW,
said. “It was his final weapon, an extremely powerful, high-level
demon that survives by extracting and absorbing living energy—the
source of magic and the essential element of all life on Earth.
Theoretically, the rites Grindelwald had used to invoke it would have
controlled it. However, we will never know.
“Upon the defeat of its summoner, the demon could only be contained by
a magical chamber hastily conjured by the members of the ICW that
called upon all of the extant free magic in the atmosphere. The
containment chamber was designed to be self-maintaining, but over the
years, the demon has acquired minuscule infusions of power from the
chamber itself. The chamber then had to call upon ever greater
amounts of magic to keep the demon controlled. It began to draw
on not only free magic, but wild magic as well, and soon after—”
“Wait a minute, isn’t free magic and wild magic the same thing?”
Hermione interrupted, then paled as she realized her gaffe.
Gamely ignoring the horrified glances from Arthur and Ron, she said,
more quietly, “My apologies, Mugwump Lo.”
“Not to worry, Mrs. Weasley,” the aged Chinese wizard responded
kindly. “Free magic is that energy that pervades the troposphere
surrounding the earth, while wild magic is that emanating from witches
and wizards with poor control over their magic, usually children or ill
Lo slowly took a breath then just as slowly, let it out. “We have
since discovered, to our horror, that over the years, the containment
chamber has even begun to draw upon the energy that sustains the
magical cores of those who use their magic regularly. Our magical
detectors have noted a 9% decrease in the magical power of citizens of
every magical country in the past year, with a 12% decrease in those
living in Germany, the country in which the demon is actually
contained.” He sat back to silence.
Harry looked around at occupants of the room. The ICW members had
originally demanded to speak with Severus and Harry in private, but
Harry had told them that they would speak in front of his family, or
they would not speak at all. There was Lo and two other members
of the ICW, Luciana Bivarque of Brazil and the Kenyan Esyei Mindogno,
as well as Arthur and Molly and Hermione and Ron. Everyone looked
grim. “So essentially you’re saying that, in time, the
containment chamber will absorb all of the magic of every witch and
wizard in the world, leaving those dependent upon their magic
powerless. Then, once there is no longer any magical energy to
sustain it, the chamber will collapse, and loose a demon upon the earth
whose very existence is antithetical to life here.”
Almost helplessly, Bivarque shrugged, then nodded. “When I joined
the Confederation five years ago, we’d just discovered our supposed
‘solution’ was doomed to failure. We have had our best
researchers trying to solve this since then, with little success.
We had no hope of there being anything else to try until recently.”
“Recently.” Severus echoed, deadpan.
“Yes. We realized that there was another source of information
with the publication recently of the rather embarrassing expose written
by Rita Skeeter about the relationship between Gellert Grindelwald and
his vanquisher, Albus Dumbledore.” Bivarque looked around at the rather
red faces of the Weasleys, who had worshipped Dumbledore, and the
rather amused expressions on the faces of Harry and Severus
Snape. “We thought that Dumbledore would have some insight into
the mind of his erstwhile friend and lover. We have gone to
interview his portrait on a number of occasions, and he refuses to talk
with us on the matter.”
Harry was confused. “So why have you been trying to talk with
“Dumbledore says that he will only talk with you two, and only if you
both come to see him together,” Mindogno said, his eyes willing them to
appreciate the gravity of the situation.
Both Harry and Severus sprang from their chairs.
Harry, indignant, slipped his wand into his hand in preparation for
Apparating. “I’ve been controlled my whole life by that scheming
old sod—sorry Molly, but it’s true, and you know it. I don’t care
if he’s dead or alive, I will not be manipulated by him into attempting
to save the world yet again.
“I can’t even stand to be in the magical world for any longer than it
takes to ward my clients’ homes—why would he think I would lift a
finger for it?” He turned to leave. Every time he came
back, he was reminded why he was justified in keeping a great deal of
distance between himself and wizarding Europe. The combination
was just a recipe for imminent disaster in his life.
“Harry,” Hermione burst out desperately, “What makes you think it has
anything to do with you? Maybe he only feels safe discussing it
with you two. You were
the ones who ultimately
carried out his plan to defeat Voldemort—oh, for crying out loud, Ron,
he’s been dead for over a decade!”
Surprisingly, Severus responded quickly, “Mrs. Weasley, I believe that
Master Potter knows Albus Dumbledore enough to recognize that the only
reason he would need to see the two of us would be if he plans on
tasking us with yet another ridiculously involved mission. While
I would rather not see the demise of the wizarding world, nor that of
life on Earth in general, I cannot allow myself to be drawn into
another of his soul-destroying plots.”
Molly stood with a no-nonsense air. “Your soul looks quite all
right to me, Severus. Besides, it cannot hurt to just find out if
he has a solution, can it? Then you can pass it on to the ICW,
and not worry about it anymore.”
Severus raised an eyebrow in Harry’s direction. “I am certain it
will not be as simple as that.”
Harry, ignoring the interaction behind him, had gathered his bags, and
was preparing to say his goodbyes when little Hugo toddled into the
“Uncle Harry, are you leaving? We didn’t play yet!” he demanded
Harry turned back, and picking up the little boy, gave him big hug and
kiss. Holding the boy tightly, he asked in a strained voice,
“Madame Bivarque, how long before the chamber totally fails?”
“By our estimates of the drain on our magic,” the stately woman said,
“The people of Germany will be virtual squibs within three years,
followed by Europe a year later, and the rest of the magical world the
year after that. However, the chamber will fail sometime before
that. The released demon will absorb any remaining magic along
with the life energy that sustains human and animal life, causing the
collapse of life on earth within four to four and a half years.”
Harry turned to Severus, eyes beseeching. Harry knew that he
couldn’t let anything happen to his sweet godchildren, nor any other
children, sweet or otherwise, not if he could help it. Severus,
however, had no such Gryffindor self-sacrificial instincts. He
also had no friends or relatives that would cause him to overlook the
loathing he’d felt for Dumbledore’s machinations. Harry knew that
they had left the old acrimony behind. But Harry had nothing with
which to convince the other man if he really didn’t want to deal with
this mess. Still, the Boy Who Lived Twice would try.
“Severus,” Harry began.
“No need, Master Potter. Heroes need a wisecracking sidekick on
their heroic quest. I will accompany you on this fool’s errand,”
Severus said, with an unreadable glance.
Harry breathed a sigh of relief. He’d convinced Severus Snape to
help him. The next step was trying to get the elusive truth from
the portrait of Albus Dumbledore.
Smiling sloppily, Harry Apparated onto his porch and automatically
checked his wards. The intricate network of protection,
fortification, and security wards that he’d designed was the fruit of
many months study of architecture, arithmancy, defensive runes, and
shielding charms. It was this study that had prompted the
educational journey that had resulted in his warding mastery.
Assured that his wards were undisturbed and at full strength, he sat in
a sturdy glider and gazed out at the view from his lodge.
The view was one of the selling points of this lodge. From his
commodious wrap-around porch, he could see luxuriant forests dominated
by Douglas fir, western red cedar and lodgepole pine. There was a
glint from the one part of the Dungeness River as it curled through the
forest, and the majestic Olympic mountain range rose behind him.
He could see the flashing of the historic lighthouse and the dark bay
beyond. It was a magnificent view, and gazing at it often put his
petty problems into perspective for him.
He was a bit drunk, he knew, and that made him sentimental. Even
knowing that, he had to admit that one of the best ideas of his life
was to leave behind an insular, backwards British wizarding society and
forge out to find his own way. He had made a name for himself
that was totally separated from that of the Boy Who Lived, he had found
a friendly, welcoming way of life that was grounded in the mutual
respect of diversity and privacy, he had found peace with himself, and
he had found a home.
He really missed Hermione and the Weasleys at times. However, he
knew that while they really loved him, they were incapable of
protecting him from or teaching him to negotiate the madness of the
wizarding world. Its obsession with him, which swung crazily
between lauding and vilifying him and its feeling that it was justified
in prying into his every thought and move was one of the primary causes
of his insecurities. He was well rid of it.
The other cause of his insecurities, his upbringing—actually, the role
that Albus Dumbledore had played in its misery—was the reason he had
been drinking this evening. He’d gone to the elegant Belmont, his
favorite restaurant in Port Townsend, trying to forget his conversation
with the former icon. As anger at his old suffering was layered
on the newer, almost unthinkable demands of him, he had downed his
drink and quickly ordered another, then another. The dinner was
excellent, as usual, but in his fury and resentment, he could barely
Well, this time, he told himself, he wasn’t going to give up his life
for ‘the greater good’! He’d done enough. Harry was
preparing to work himself into a royal rant when the faces of little
Hugo and Rose floated past him. Realizing that even if he wasn’t
going to accede to Dumbledore’s latest outrageous scheme, Harry would
have to come up with some way to defeat the latest developing
disaster. He sighed and prepared to make a Floo-call to Severus
“Wizards can get pregnant?” If the circumstances were not so
dire, Harry would be highly amused to see Hermione so
flabbergasted. Not as inhibited as Harry, Severus snorted.
“Yes, Hermione,” Harry answered quickly. He knew that Snape had
mellowed a bit over the years. However, the chances of the older
man responding caustically were too great, and Harry didn’t want to
alienate Hermione when they could really use her help.
“Apparently, when the wizards involved are extremely powerful and
really feel strongly for each other, they can conceive, though it is
very rare. The last officially documented male pregnancy was in
1767 in Korea.
“After the death of Dumbledore’s sister, Grindelwald had fled when he
discovered that he was pregnant. He’d toyed with the idea of
exposing the pregnancy as a bid to demonstrate his strength and
supremacy, but realized that he was too young to implement many of his
plans. So, he sacrificed the child soon after its birth, using
its blood to power the ritual that summoned the demon
Ghastigloer. He bound the demon, and released it back to its
plane, knowing that the binding would force the demon to return at
Hermione’s eyes widened with realization and horror. “And he
summoned it during the duel with Dumbledore?”
“Yes, and according to Dumbledore, a demon thus summoned can only be
vanquished by the blood of a child ritually conceived by two people as
magically powerful as the original pair. According to Dumbledore,
Snape and I are that pair.”
“He wants the two of you—” Shuddering, she brought her hand to her
mouth, her eyes darting from one to the other.
Severus ended her sentence for her. “He wants the two of us to
conceive a child, carry it to term, then when it is sufficiently old
enough to endure it, use enough of its blood in a ritual to banish the
demon. It is his opinion, after doing a great deal of study
through visiting a number of other learned wizards’ portraits
that the child would not have to die. He said that Muggles ‘do it
all of the time.’
Hermione was both aghast and incensed. “Muggles do not ‘do it all of the time.’ Some Muggle
couples, when they have a child that needs a blood marrow transplant
and haven’t been able to find a compatible donor, might have another
child to provide the closest possible match. In most of those
cases, however, they are already married, theoretically in love, and
potentially would have had another child anyway, I might add.
They are not just having a child and taking the chance it might die!”
Severus responded, his voice grim. “I assure you, Mrs. Weasley,
that while our present danger is certainly grave, I have no intention
of bringing a child into this world solely in an attempt to ameliorate
“Wait, Severus,” Harry interjected, “You know more than anyone that
there is no love lost between me and the wizarding world.
However, we know the demon will not stop until every single iota of
energy—magical or otherwise—has been consumed. The devastation
will kill every living plant, animal, and human on the planet.”
“You cannot possibly be thinking of implementing that madman’s plans,
Potter!” Severus said, shaken.
“Of course, not, Severus! That’s why I asked Hermione to join us
here at Grimmauld Place. I want to go through the Black library
to see if we can devise any alternatives to Dumbledore’s theory.”
Severus snorted. “Alternatives that have not been sought by the
best and most knowledgeable minds in the wizarding world?”
“Well, since they hadn’t talked with Dumbledore, they didn’t even know
where to start, did they?” Harry answered, playing his last card.
Silence. “You do have a
“Wow, I’ve impressed Severus Snape, I can die fulfilled!” In
spite of the severity of their situation, Harry threw a small grin in
the direction of his former professor.
One brow lifted, Severus snapped back, “If this demon is freed, that
will happen a lot sooner than you would have expected.”
“What I don’t understand,” Hermione said slowly, “Is how Dumbledore
found out so much, and why he hadn’t said anything sooner.” She
looked at Harry, who shrugged.
“It is an example of the speed of the former headmaster’s thinking that
we know as much as we do, Severus answered. “I surmise that he
learned of this during that final duel. There are eyewitness
accounts that they had fought long and hard, with neither managing to
overcome the other. It was then seen that Grindelwald began to
taunt Albus, who first faltered then quickly began to fight with a
hitherto unseen fury. Members of the ICW began to appear, and
just as Albus overcame and bound Grindelwald, a barrier fell between
onlookers and the combatants.”
Severus began pacing, his voice low and mesmerizing in its
intensity. “It is my belief that Grindelwald told Albus of their
child during the duel. That information caused Albus to flounder,
as his mind rapidly assimilated several incredible truths. First, to
conceive a child through male pregnancy, he and Grindelwald had to have
been the most powerful wizards of their time. Second,
the depth of emotion that initiated the child’s conception had to be
incredibly profound. Third, that depth of emotion, and the man to
which it was connected, was forever lost to him. And finally, he
had had a child.”
Severus stopped at the window, looking out, but his eyes did not seem
to be taking in the view. “If Grindelwald had stopped there, with
Albus Dumbledore at his emotional nadir, he would have triumphed, and
the history of European wizarding society would have taken a dramatic
turn after 1945. Instead, he probably then shared the information
that he had used their child as a sacrifice to invoke the thralldom of
“That knowledge incited Albus to muster the rest of the ICW,
acknowledging that the situation could rapidly get out of hand.
When Grindelwald began to call the demon, that also pushed Albus to
bring every weapon in his dueling arsenal to bear, defeating
Grindelwald handily then binding and Banishing him to a cell in
Nurmengard. The ICW members shielded the onlookers and hurriedly
created the containment chamber.”
Severus turned from the window, gloomily. “Albus told them that
Grindelwald had summoned the demon, but omitted the details about the
child and their relationship, and probably assured himself that no one
else need ever know. They had no way of foreseeing the flaw in
their design of the chamber.”
Harry snorted. “And for once, I suppose we have the persistence of Rita
Skeeter to thank that we could even be pointed in any direction at
all.” He sobered, taking in the other man’s forbidding
As Hermione and Snape began to debate which books would best commence
their search, Harry’s thoughts whirled madly. The man had seemed
exceptionally desolate at the mention of Dumbledore’s loss. Could
it be that he mourned the lack of such emotion, however fraught, in his
own life? Over the years, Harry had come to terms with the
exceptionally rancorous dealings between him and Snape. He knew
the man would never like him, but after Harry’s
testimony before the Wizengamot and the respect he’d shown the older
man, they had reached an accord of sorts.
Now, Harry realized that even when he
was the focus
of Snape’s obsessive bitterness and spite, there was always an
unbelievably highly-charged quality to their interaction. Harry
could only imagine the fervent passion with which he would have thrown
himself into an amorous entanglement.
Wait, Harry asked himself, had he just thought of Snape in a sexual
way? Harry shook his head and looked up to see Hermione and Snape
staring at him with bemused expressions.
“I’m sorry, what?” Harry asked.
“Harry,” Hermione said tentatively, biting her lip. “I’ve started to
look at these books, and most of them are really dark. I mean, I
knew they would be, to be in the Black library. And anything that
had to do with summoning or banishing demons probably wouldn’t really
be pleasant, after all, but I….”
“Is it a bit too much?” Harry asked soothingly.
“I want to help, but I can’t do this!” She looked close to bursting
“That’s really okay. Actually, there is something else you could
help research. Dumbledore’s thought about using the baby’s blood for a
sacrifice presupposes quite a bit,” Harry said slowly.
“You’re not actually thinking of the two of you—” Discomfited, she
broke off, her eyes averted.
“Actually, even though neither Severus nor I wish to contemplate it, we
should investigate all of our options.” Harry caught Snape’s eye
over Hermione’s head and shook his own slightly. “We should
really know, before we consider or dismiss it, how much blood can be
drawn before endangering the baby’s life, the effects of
Blood-Replenishing Potion on babies from one month up through one year,
transfusion procedures, if we can draw blood over a period and store it
to be re-administered, etc. Could you undertake that research?”
“Oh, Harry,” Hermione said, eyes gleaming, “I will get right on
it! I’ll need to get home to use my parent’s computer, and I’ll
need to reference some of my potions books….” Muttering, she began to
gather her things, gave Harry a quick kiss, waved a distracted hand at
Severus, and quickly left.
“Good, she’s off, then,” Harry said as he took up her position at
the library reading table.
“You knew that she wouldn’t have helped us here?” Severus
“I didn’t think she would have been able to handle it. Besides, I
really wanted her expertise on the Muggle transfusion techniques and
the baby care information, but if I had asked her to investigate that
initially, she would had a fit, claiming that I was being sexist and
patronizing. This way, she was included, and made her own
decision to do what I wanted her to do from the beginning.” Harry
waved a hand, Banishing the books they’d already examined back to the
shelves. He thought for a moment, wrinkling his forehead, and a
number of other books began to glow on the shelves. Again waving
a hand, he Summoned the glowing books, and set them between the two
Hearing no response, he turned to see Snape staring at him, face
inscrutable. “Is something wrong, Severus?” Harry asked,
“I—you—your wandless magic has become quite impressive,
Pot—Harry,” Severus said, his voice rather soft. Before
Harry could answer, however, the older man shook himself and continued,
“I was simply going to say that your handling of Mrs. Weasley was quite
“Why, thank you, sir,” Harry teased, grinning at the other man’s
surprise. “The Sorting Hat originally wanted to put me in
Slytherin, but having met Draco Malfoy, I begged for any house but that
“I shudder to think of the havoc you would have wreaked in the house of
the snakes, Potter,” Severus drawled, settling himself with
several of the Summoned books, a quill, and some parchment.
“You’re not the only one,” Harry agreed.
A few days later, Harry heard the sound of the Floo. Knowing that
it was only open to Snape, Hermione, and the Weasleys, he summoned a
pot of tea, accompaniments, and the crumpets he’d made earlier.
“How goes the research?” Severus asked, entering the
library. Harry held up a hand, finishing up a sentence before
closing the book with disgust. “That well?”
“Well, I have more information, but as for a solution, it goes not at
all.” Harry turned thoughtful eyes to the other man. “I got
another owl from the Supreme Mugwump. They want to know what
progress we’ve had with Dumbledore.”
“You haven’t told them that he gave us a supposed solution?”
Severus asked, surprised.
“Well, I’m holding out until I have something more concrete to tell
them. Even if we do not come up with an alternative to
Dumbledore’s plan, I certainly will not tell them his suggestion.
They will find some way to legislate our mating, or something, for the
‘good of wizardkind,’ or some other bullshit.”
“You said you had information,” Severus stated, smirking slightly
at Harry’s cynicism.
“I placed a Floo-call to several associates regarding some work we’d
done in the past. I agree with Dumbledore that the demon is
probably Ghastigloer. It’s frightening to contemplate, given his
destructiveness, but he is actually only a mid-level demon.
However, he has the most curiosity about humans, and consequently
allows himself to be summoned a great deal. He had not been seen
since the early part of the century, and now we know why—he’d been
imprisoned all of that time in the ICW containment chamber.”
“How do you know so much about this demon?” Severus asked.
Harry moved over to the small tea table, sat in one of the wing chairs,
and poured tea into cups. “One of the establishments I’d warded a
couple of years ago in Bali had been regularly terrorized by a number
of imp bands. As with most demons, they cannot be killed by
humans; the protections can only keep them from harming us. I had
to do a bit of research into demonology to eradicate their portals, and
there were several experts with whom I consulted.”
Severus looked impressed as he sat in the other chair. “How much
work do you do in Asia?”
“Quite a bit, if I do say so myself,” Harry replied with
satisfaction. “Until I’d left England, I hadn’t realized how
insular English wizarding society is. It really is just a small,
rather insignificant part of the magical world, yet it has such an
inflated sense of self-importance. Even Voldemort was rather
shortsighted in his plots and schemes, thinking that conquering England
was a major step towards conquering the world. I thought that
leaving England meant that I was giving up, but I had to go, because I
was suffocating there.”
Harry put his cup down, and turned to Severus with enthusiasm. He
didn’t know why, but he’d never wanted someone to understand his
choices as much as he did right now. “I quickly learned that I
could have a happy life away from England, and all that is associated
with the English wizarding world. There is a diversity of people,
viewpoints and lifestyles out there that British wizards can’t even
imagine! I developed quite an extensive network of contacts and
friends without stepping into Great Britain for years. Most of my
work is in Asia, Africa, and the Americas. I’ve struck out for
myself, on my own, with no one’s assistance. And I love my
life, and love every minute of living it!”
Severus sat back, cradling his cup. “That’s understandable.
Life in England did nothing but assail you on every front.” He
stared into his tea. “You didn’t let the British wizarding world
define you. That took strength of will. Everyone just
assumed that you would settle down with a redhead like ‘Mum’ and
produce several Weasley/Potter hybrids.”
Harry grinned ruefully. “Well, that depends on which redhead. At
Hogwarts, I thought I liked Ginny, but that was more proximity and the
desire for a normal life with a normal girl. You can imagine my
surprise when I found myself actually more attracted to Bill or
At a raised eyebrow, his smile widened. “What about you, did you
have a picture of what your life would be like with a family?”
Severus said, deadpan, “Do I look like I like children, Potter?”
Harry smirked. “Well, often one dislikes other people’s children, but
finds that they love their own. You’re saying that if you found
the right witch—well, one that will put up with you and your,
erm—idiosyncrasies,” Severus snorted again and Harry laughed aloud,
“you wouldn’t have a couple of little Snapes?”
“It would appear that we share the same predilections, Potter. I
have no intention of settling down with a witch, no matter how
forgiving.” Severus paused then continued, “But we have digressed
greatly from our point. What else can you tell me about this
Harry frowned, remembering his insight from earlier. He’d have to
think about Snape’s sexual preferences later. “Ghastigloer is one
of the few of the demon pantheon that voluntarily deals with humans,
basically out of curiosity, but that doesn’t mean that it is a
sympathetic creature. It is curious more to find the quickest and
most efficient way to use us to strengthen itself than to learn about
us. If it was invoked through the sacrifice of a newborn, and promised
our magic as a boon, only a similar sacrifice can be used to banish it
permanently. I haven’t completed my research, and I would ask you
to double check my conclusions, but Dumbledore may be correct.”
Severus pushed his cup away, seemingly having lost his appetite.
“You’ve been unable to find another alternative?”
“Severus—” Harry began.
“Damn you, Albus!” Severus spat out, leaping from his chair and
whirling away to begin pacing. “And I will damn myself before I
sodomize a former student who is the son of a former childhood friend!”
Harry tried to inject a bit of humor into the moment, “Hey, mate, I top
exclusively. If anything, it will be me plundering your delightfully-hidden ass during
this ritual. In fact—”
His voice caught in his throat as Snape froze mid-stride, face paling
as a strange expression crossed his face.
Harry could have smacked himself. What an idiot he was! In the
flurry of collegial activity, jokes, and shared confidences, he had
forgotten just that quickly that Snape wasn’t yet a friend, hell, he
was just barely not an adversary. They had been getting along so
well, and Harry had to put his foot in it! “Severus, I’m so
sorry, my mouth runs away with me sometimes. Please accept my
After a moment, Snape nodded, looking away. “Of course, I accept,
but I am not offended.”
“Good,” Harry began slowly, “Because, all joking aside, I have to ask
you something. If we can’t—I mean if this is…. If there—”
“Merlin save us from blundering, babbling Gryffindors. Potter,
just spit it out, man!” Snape muttered, dropping back into his chair.
Harry decided that he wasn’t a Gryffindor for nothing. He’d have
to think of the ramifications of his question later, but it seemed
right now that this path upon which he was about to tread was his only
option. “Severus, if there are no other alternatives, would you
help me to banish this demon?”
“You are asking me to have sex with you, father a child with another
man, partially drain its blood, and conduct a ritual to expel a demon
back to its plane forever,” Severus asked blankly.
Harry looked at him with steady eyes. Once he’d realized he was
gay, he’d thought he would never have children. Even in his
wildest imagination, he’d never thought he’d embark on having a family
like this. But like other horror-fraught times in his life, it
seemed he had no choice. “Yes.”
The other man stared. “You do realize that for our ritual to have
as much strength behind it as the original, we would have to duplicate
the situation as much as possible. Dumbledore and Grindelwald were real
lovers, not just sexual partners. They discussed magical theory,
politics, government, their hopes and dreams at every
opportunity. We do not know each other very well, Potter.”
Heart pounding so loudly he could barely hear his soft voice over it,
Harry said, “That can be changed, Severus. We can take some time
to get to know each other before the baby is conceived. We have
so much in common, that I think it will be rather painless. You
would just have to put aside your almost instinctual reactions to me.”
“Why should I have to?” Severus spat bitterly, “Why should
you? Why should we have to do this for a world that will never
accept us for ourselves, Po—Harry!”
Harry put a hand on Snape’s shoulder calmly. “I don’t have
to. Neither do you. All you have to say is ‘No,’ and I will
never ask again, nor will I hold it against you. You have my
“We can spend the next few weeks continuing to search for alternatives,
and while we’re doing that, we can see if there is any way we can grow
to care for each other enough for this to work. Let’s say that if
no other options have been discovered, we revisit this in a week or
two?” Harry held his breath. He was pretty certain that
there were no other options. However, he knew what it felt like
to have to give his life to ‘save the world,’ and after all the other
man had been through, he was not going to put him in that same
Snape had that unreadable expression again as he nodded his head
sharply, once, saying, “Very well. We will revisit this topic
once more in two weeks. Do I have your word that will be the only
discussion on the subject?”
“You have my word.”
It was exactly ten days later that a voice was heard at the Floo.
Harry’s heart sunk, recognizing it was Luciana Bivarque, the ICW
representative from Brazil. He sat in a chair before the hearth,
gesturing to the other chair as Snape entered the room.
“Good morning, Master Potter,” Bivarque said in her musically-accented
English. “Have you been back to see Headmaster Dumbledore?
Were you able to get any more information from him?”
“Good morning, ma’am. I do have some information, but I am afraid
that I had to swear a Wizard’s Oath of secrecy to get it from him,”
Harry began, lying through his teeth. He saw Snape’s startled
expression, and raised a supercilious brow at him. Two can play
“First of all, there is very little about his suggestions that I can
share with you. Your suppositions about the demon are correct,
though I can tell you little more than that. I can say that of the suggestions he
gave regarding solutions, the
majority of them are unusable. I have spent the last couple of
weeks trying to research them.”
“What? Dumbledore gave you some solutions, and you haven’t told
us? We could have had our experts working on them!” Bivarque was
livid, and Harry knew that if he didn’t start talking quickly, some ICW
Security Aurors would be gearing up pretty soon. They couldn’t
get to him at Grimmauld Place or his home in Sequim, but they could get
to the Weasleys, and he knew that with the wizarding world’s future at
stake, the ICW would not be above some serious blackmail.
“Erm, ma’am, I swore a Wizarding Oath, remember?” Harry asked, thanking
every god he knew of that he’d finally managed to learn
Occlumency. “Even if I wanted to, my magic would do its utmost to
keep me from breaking it.”
“You said that the majority of his solutions are unworkable,” the ICW
witch bit out, furious and frustrated. “Are you suggesting that there may be a workable solution?”
“Ma’am, it will take weeks before I will know that. If
it is workable, it can only
be done by me.” Harry
left Snape out of it, not wanting the ICW to put pressure on the other
man as well. “And it can only be done over the period of a year
before the final stages can be conducted.”
If Bivarque could have come through the Floo, it was obvious she would
have. She almost screamed, “A year? Have you taken leave of
your senses? The magical drain will be noticeable by then.
What do you suggest we tell the people of our respective countries?”
Harry was enjoying this. If nothing else, those many contretemps
with Snape over the years had given him a mental image of how to be
intimidating. His voice cold, he replied slowly, “Quite frankly,
Madame, that is none of my concern. And I would suggest that if
you need or <i>want </i>my help, you refrain for alienating
your only hope for a solution. Good day.” With a wave, he closed,
locked, and warded his Floo. Let them stew!
“Impressive, Potter—Harry,” Snape said, inclining his head as he
corrected himself. “To what purpose are you stringing them
Harry smiled, leaning back in his chair and stretching. “Well, I
want a couple of special considerations from them. I want a
Confederacy Declaration that if I succeed in this, they will never call
upon me again. I will also demand that they set a Media Taboo on
my family and me. Unless some eager reporter is willing to lose their
magic, and their newspaper its charter, I will never have to see my
name in the wizarding papers of the world again.”
“Family, Harry?” Severus raised a brow.
“I’m still holding out for you, Severus.”
A few days later, after repeatedly refusing calls from Bivarque and
Mindogno, Harry had won his concessions from Lo. It was on that
day that Hermione came over, and walking into the room, caught the last
part of the conversation with the Supreme Mugwump.
“Harry, that sounded suspiciously like blackmail,” she said mildly,
shaking her head. Harry was delighted to see yet another example
of them growing up. The old Hermione had been slavish in her
deference to authority. He supposed he was a bad influence on
“Actually, it was giving them a little of their own back. Join me
for tea?” Harry motioned to the table he’d set for himself and
“Just you?” Hermione looked around. “Where is Prof—I mean
“Severus is meeting with a mediwitch who specializes in obstetric and
pediatric medicine. We had some questions about the
Blood-Replenishing Potion that we wanted answered.” Harry
summoned the sandwiches and scones, and poured the tea.
“Harry! You two haven’t decided to go ahead with that insane
idea, have you?” Hermione asked, dismayed.
“No, not yet, even though it looks like the only viable option we’ve
manage to discover,” Harry said soberly.
“But Harry, you two don’t even like each other, how can you even think
it would work?”
“Hermione, we respect each other and value the other’s contributions
over the years. That is at least a first step, isn’t it?
And wouldn’t ‘saving the world’ be worth the time it would take to make
that more?” Harry demanded.
“But Harry, you’ve already given up so much for us all. To have
to give up your future, yet again—don’t look at me that way, that’s
what you would be doing!” Her anger dissolved as she gazed at him
gently. She brought a hand up to his cheek. “A child isn’t
something that you can put away when you are done with this mission.
You would be stuck with a man and a baby you hadn’t planned for.
The child would be your responsibility until is grown up, and the
child’s other father would be a part of your life until that happened,
“And we haven’t talked over the past few days, so I don’t know if you
realize this, but children become a part of everything you will
consider for the next twenty to thirty years. They are an
important part of your life, something you may not appreciate right
Harry leaned into her hand, smiling gently, but resolutely. “I
know that, Hermione. Severus may not know all it means to have a baby,
and even if he agrees to this, he may not be able to take it once the
baby is here. But I’ve seen you and Ron with Rose and Hugo enough
to understand the enormity of what I’m considering. It is still what
will need to be done, and afterwards, if I have to raise the baby
alone, I can assure you that I know that this is more than just for a
“Before you decide what I can or cannot take,” Severus spoke from the
door, causing Hermione to start up and slosh her tea in her lap, “why
don’t we hear if this is even possible? I believe that Mrs.
Weasley was going to report on the viability of Albus’s plan.”
Between mopping up the spilt tea, and spelling her lap dry, Hermione
managed to report her findings. They learned that they could
administer the Blood-Replenishing Potion to babies from the second day
after birth. If the baby was on a Blood-Replenishing regime, it
was possible to draw an eighth of a pint of blood every other
day. If any more that that was taken, the baby would begin to
“And from my calculations, for the purposes of a ritual requiring the
blood of a baby, we will need draw up to a pint of blood from him or
her. We can then immediately replace that with stored blood that had
been taken over the course of two weeks, with the only side-effect
being exhaustion on their part.”
Hermione bit her lip. “Theoretically, yes.”
No one looked at each other. Hermione drank down her remaining
tea, and leaving her notes on the table, gave a Harry a big kiss and
left, reminding him that he promised to come to Sunday dinner at the
Weasleys. He returned to the room to see Severus reviewing
Hermione’s notes, cross-referencing them with several potions journals
and his own voluminous comments. He took a book, Quintilian
Trapbridge’s Rituals, Rites and
and sat on the sofa to read.
After almost a half hour of silence, Severus turned to Harry, who put
his book down and looked up expectantly. He knew that Severus was
a good man, but he also knew that he was asking a lot. Would
Harry do it, if the roles were reversed? If he didn’t care what
happened to the world, and was sick of demands being made of him?
Harry didn’t know. He did know that he had grown rather fond of
Snape’s snarky conversation, of his brilliant, incisive mind, and was
actually growing fond of the taciturn man himself. It wouldn’t be
so hard living with him.
“Yes,” Severus said, pouring himself a brandy with a rather shaky hand.
Harry, bemused by seeing Snape drinking so early in the day, almost
missed the one word. “Erm, what?”
“I said ‘yes,’ you vexing little twit! Yes, I will do what I can
to rid the world of this new threat.” Severus snarled.
“Did you just snarl at me?” Harry asked, amazed. “I mean,
I’ve read it in books, but didn’t think that was physically possible
for a human.”
“Potter—” Severus warned.
“I’m sorry, that was pretty amazing!” Harry enthused. “At
any rate, thank you, Severus. You won’t regret this, I
promise. I’ll even—I mean, I’ll let you—” he stammered.
“What exactly are you trying to say, Harry?” Severus asked.
Harry took a moment to gather his thoughts. “We hadn’t talked
about the logistics of our plan. I was simply trying to say that
since I am younger, and my body will adapt more readily to the changes
necessary, I will carry the child. That means, in terms of the
“Mating?” Severus asked, amused.
“Yes, well—yes, the mat—conception of the child, I was going to
say....” Harry spluttered to a halt, watching a strange expression take
over Snape’s face. It was calm and tender, an unusual combination
for Severus Snape. “Severus, is everything all right?”
The older man shook his head and turned his gaze on Harry.
“Hmmm? Oh, yes, what were you blathering about?”
“I was going to say that since I will be the bearer, you will be on top
when we have sex.” Harry didn’t want to say what a concession
that was for him. It had never been about the power implied in
the positions, but the few times he’d allowed his partner to penetrate
him, Harry had never enjoyed the sex as much as when he was in
control. He wasn’t sure why—it was possibly the mindset of the
men he’d been with, in which they were more concerned about their own
pleasure rather than that of their partners—but he often felt used,
rather than cherished, as his
lovers said they felt
after their lovemaking.
Lost in his thoughts, he failed to notice the silence. “I’m
sorry, Severus, did you say something?”
“No, nothing,” the man said, and then took a breath. “Actually, I had said something.” Lifting his
head, he looked up,
and in his eyes Harry saw some of that courage and strength of will
that had sent Snape back to spy time and time again. “I said that
I never thought I would actually have a child.
“I overheard part of your conversation earlier with Mrs. Weasley, and I
know that you are concerned that I will not be a good parent.
Quite frankly, I am even more concerned than you could ever be. I
can promise you that I am not just interested in conceiving this child
simply to eliminate the threat to our world. However I can, I
would like to help with it after we have performed the ritual and
banished the demon.”
Harry beamed. “I thought you would, and I would happily let you
participate in the sprog’s life in whatever way you feel comfortable.
Now come here, you.” He gestured towards a spot on the sofa next
“What?” Severus asked suspiciously.
“Well, if we are going to conceive a child, don’t you think we should
get comfortable with each other?” Harry asked soothingly, as he
got up and pulled the other man to the sofa.
“Well, I thought we were going to get to know each other better,”
Severus responded stiffly. He did follow Harry, albeit awkwardly,
to the sofa and sat down.
“And we’ve been doing that, don’t you think? But I have to admit,
Severus, I’m not on bottom a lot, and I have to be really comfortable
for that to happen. So maybe we could practice a bit?”
Harry said reasonably. He lowered his voice. “I wasn’t
joking about your ass; it really is quite delightful, from what I can
He moved his hand to the buttons of Snape’s robes, but found it halted
by the other man’s. “Come on, Severus, we’ll have to explore
“Perhaps, but I’ve given this more thought over the past couple of
days. There are potions that can be used to the make the
prospective bearer’s body more receptive to the possibility. It
is a relatively easy potion—” Severus gasped as Harry silently Banished
“And I’m confident that you will make it flawlessly, and I will happily
take it,” Harry interjected, his hand rubbing reassuring circles on
Snape’s back. “But as you said a couple of weeks ago, Dumbledore
and Grindelwald, both powerful wizards, were also in love with each
“Now, we can’t hope to duplicate the depth of their emotion, at least
not immediately,” he said with his confident, Gryffindor grin, “but we
can make sure that our lovemaking—and I do mean lovemaking, not sex,
Severus—is as pleasurable as possible for both of us. And that
will only happen when we are comfortable with each other sexually.”
“It almost sounds like you want to have sex with your greasy, old
potions professor, Potter!” Severus sniped, pushing Harry’s
hands—which had been roaming quite freely—away.
Undaunted, Harry moved closer, smiling to himself when his growing
erection met an answering bulge in the other man’s groin. “Nice
alliteration, Severus. As to the sex, no, I hadn’t been
fantasizing about you all through my Hogwarts days—” he grinned
cheekily at the explosive, ‘I should hope not, the very thought is
“But now that I’ve allowed myself to think about you as a potential
partner, Severus, I have to say that I could do much, much worse.
You have a way about your walk—all that swooping and whirling is really
hot, you know? Your voice could make custard hard, (2) and I have
always thought your hands, in their efficient movements, were like
watching a potions-brewing ballet.”
“A potions-brewing ballet,” Severus echoed expressionlessly.
“Potter, you really have to get out more.”
Harry chuckled joyously. “I know, but not tonight, all
right? Can I please
kiss you, Severus Snape?”
He didn’t wait for an answer. The moment the other man’s mouth
opened to respond, Harry plunged his tongue in. He shivered as
sparks skittered up his spine as the two muscles slid against and
stabbed at each other, taking turns being sucked and exploring the
other’s mouth. Harry’s hands moved restlessly over the small of
Severus’s back, until he reached those delicious buttocks. He
grabbed one in each hand, squeezing and pressing them with
enjoyment. He thought he couldn’t find that moment any more
pleasurable, until he heard a rumble that resolved itself into a moan
spilling from Snape’s mouth.
Panting, his hand slid into the crease between those taut globes,
stroking gently as Severus seemed to melt. He maneuvered the
other man on top of him as he lay back on the sofa, but slid his groin
up, gliding slowly and steadily against the other man, relishing the
sounds of sighs, grunts, and groans as they moved more and more rapidly
against each other.
Severus froze for a moment then sighed inaudibly against Harry’s
lips. As he felt the moisture seeping through their trousers,
Harry fell into his own climax, stilling for a moment before thrusting
his hips rapidly for several pulses with a long groan.
Murmuring nonsense, Harry cast a wandless cleaning spell, and pulled
Severus closer, nuzzling the skin in the crux between his neck and
shoulder. He spelled a soft blanket over them and heard Severus
sigh. Well, that was at least a start, he thought as his eyelids
Sitting on the sofa, Harry rolled his eyes as he drank yet another
Strengthening Solution. Citing his general ‘scrawniness,’ Severus
had been brewing them to build up Harry’s constitution. He had
also insisted that they would not undertake impregnating the young man
unless he was under the care of a mediwizard or healer.
“Aw, I knew you cared, Severus,” Harry had said, delighting in watching
the muscle in the older man’s jaw twitch.
“I am simply trying to deal with the details, particularly those that
could go wrong. Reviewing every step and trying to account for
variables allows one to plan efficiently. I realize that as a
Gryffindor, such cautious preparation is well outside your usual type
of planning, most of which usually consists of ‘On the count of three,
ready?’” Severus sniffed. Harry howled, taking no offense
at the snub to his house.
They’d suggested and, for various reasons, eliminated many of the most
well-known, discreet healers. Finally, they decided that
since she was aware of the former headmaster’s foibles and quirks, as
well as some of the situations and dangers they had both been a part of
over the years, they would just take Poppy Pomfrey into their
confidence and ask her to oversee Harry’s pregnancy.
When she arrived, she reiterated her vow of confidentiality, and asked
them for the particulars. She was properly horrified at
Grindelwald’s actions, she rolled her eyes at Dumbledore’s machinations
of the ICW and them, then she proceeded to smother Harry with
suggestions and advice, all the while conducting numerous diagnostic
procedures, humming and clucking her tongue the whole while.
“Well?” Severus spat out, impatiently.
“Hmm? Oh, yes, Harry’s fine,” she said, recording her findings in
a notebook. “He’s actually healthier than when he was at
Hogwarts, up to his proper weight and all muscle. Though I agree
that the nutritive potions are a good cautionary idea, Severus.
The pregnancy will wreak all sorts of havoc on his system, and prenatal
is imperative in these cases.”
She asked, without any sense of embarrassment, when they planned on the
conception, and suggested a fertility potion geared to Harry’s
chemistry. While she and Severus discussed various potions, Harry
looked at the man with whom he was going to create a child.
Severus was standing stiff-backed and intent, conferring with Poppy
over some ingredients to which she thought Harry might have developed
sensitivity. His alert, black eyes snapped as Poppy teased him
about some aspect of the pregnancy, and his thin lips twisted as he
shot back some biting comment. Having seen him without his robes
on a number of occasions, Harry knew that the tall man’s body was lean,
lightly muscled, the long expanse of pale skin broken up only by
thinly-scattered black hair. He was not classically attractive,
but he was intense, resourceful, and capable. Once committed to
an undertaking, he would expend all of his energies to make it
Now that he had allowed himself to think of Snape as a possible
partner, now that he’d begun to think of him sexually, Harry realized
that he wanted the man, all of him. Harry didn’t want Severus to
‘be a part’ of his child’s life. Harry wanted them to be a
Right now, however, Harry was daydreaming about that body. He had
slowly divested Severus of his clothing, and was nibbling and licking
his way down that slender chest, giving some attention to the nipples,
teasing and tickling a belly button, following the happy trail to—
“Potter!” Harry leaped to his feet, wand out, only to see Severus
staring at him. Smiling apologetically, he saw that he’d been so
absorbed in his fantasy, he hadn’t even noticed Poppy Pomfrey
Oh, sod it! Harry moved to the other man, and sliding one of his
hands up Severus’s back, cupped the man’s head, guiding their lips
together. Their lips met with an explosion of tingles, and both
men moaned, violently crushing their mouths together, tongues and teeth
sliding and crashing, gnawing and tearing at each other. Harry’s
other hand, as if drawn to a magnet, slid to cup Severus’s ass, drawing
a long groan from the older man.
Harry knew that he had to bottom to conceive their child, and he knew
that he should start out as they needed to go on, but he couldn’t help
it. He wanted Severus, he wanted to feel his erection sliding
into the man, he wanted to feel that tall, dark, intense man come on
their bellies while Harry came in his ass. He knew that wouldn’t
happen, but he still couldn’t control his desire to feel Snape’s ass,
to caress and hold it, to perhaps play with that pucker.
And if the pants and groans he was getting from Severus were any
indication, he was quite receptive, as well. Every time Harry
squeezed the man’s buttocks, Severus would respond with a moan, grunt,
or a guttural whimper. Harry pushed the man back against the
wall, undoing Severus’s trousers with a greedy whine, and pulled out a
long, dripping erection.
Harry’s tongue thrust between those thin lips that usually framed a
tart remark, but now opened in a piercing keen. At the same time,
his hand gripped Severus’s cock firmly, stroking the length, teasing
the tip with his thumb, stroking in the other direction, and then
lightly compressing the man’s balls.
Severus’s head drooped, making it easier for Harry to keep up his
punishing kisses, all the while sliding his other hand between the
man’s buttocks, searching for that tight pucker. He could feel
the tension building in the other man as he slid closer and closer, and
when a fingertip slid in, up to the knuckle, Snape’s knees buckled, he
gasped loudly, and long ribbons of hot cream spurted over Harry’s hand.
Gentling his kiss, Harry continued to stroke the highly-sensitized
flesh soothingly, casting a cleaning spell and tucking it away.
With his other arm, he supported Severus’s weight, guiding them to the
sofa. Laying the older man down, Harry continued kissing with
gentle touches on Snape’s neck, chin, eyelids, and with a big grin, a
big, loud smooch to the prominent nose. The nose snorted, and
bottomless black eyes opened, gazing at Harry in something like wonder.
Harry closed them with another kiss. His own erection was raging,
he had most certainly not
gotten into the proper
mindset to allow himself to be impregnated, and he had pretty much
attacked his soon-to-be-fellow parent, but right now, he felt like
everything was right in his world. Severus Snape didn’t know it,
but he needed cherishing, and Harry was just the right man for the job.
"Potter, you are deliberately sabotaging our mission!” Severus
hissed. Underneath the irritation, though, Harry could hear his
concern. This was the third day he had been administered the
fertility potion, and it was the third day that he’d sicked it
up. He lay back against his pillow, sipping his Stomach Draught,
waiting to see if the ginger and chamomile would settle his
nausea. He could feel the long, cool fingers first against his
forehead probing for a fever, and then sliding under his sleeve to
check his racing pulse.
“If you keep going down a bit, you can check to see if something else
is elevated,” he joked. All right, it was weak, but having just
heaved up both his breakfast and lunch, he wasn’t at his best.
“Your juvenile humor will not help you avoid this, Harry,” Severus said
as he sat on the edge of the bed. “You are certain that you are
not allergic or sensitive to the ingredients of the fertility potion?”
“I’ve never been before. This could be a new development, or…”
Harry paused in thought.
“Or?” Severus prompted. “For the sake of our task, I need you to
be honest. What’s wrong?”
Harry thought he knew what the problem was, and he wished he didn’t
have to tell Snape. He’d promised that he would keep this as
trouble free as possible for the other man, and he knew his speculation
would not be received well.
He took another gulp of the Stomach Draught, and swinging his legs over
the side of the bed, stood up. “I’ll tell you, but you won’t like
“I already don’t like it, Potter! What more can you say that will
further aggravate the situation?” Severus almost shouted.
Harry moved closer to the door, the better to make a quick exit when
Snape blew up. “Apparently, my preference for being on top is
compelling my body to reject the potion. My mind is telling my
body that I want to make love
to you. That I want to
cherish and care for you,
and by extension, the baby.”
Watching Snape’s face grow more and more unreadable, Harry took a
breath and continued, “I guess subconsciously, I want you to carry the
child.” Figuring he’d come back once Snape had the chance to cool
down a bit, Harry Disapparated.
Harry spent the afternoon at Ron and Hermione’s. When he appeared
at their door, he warned them, “I don’t want to talk about it.”
Taking him at his word, they laughed and joked over lunch, and Harry
played all sorts of games with Rose and Hugo. After the two
children had been put down for their naps, after great delays and pleas
of ‘One more game, please Uncle Harry?’ Harry sat down with his two
“So, is everything all right?” Ron asked, his calm blue eyes gazing
warmly at his friend.
Harry shrugged and said, “Yeah, things are okay.” Ron had never been
very comfortable with his friend’s homosexuality, preferring to just
pretend it didn’t exist. Harry had always ensured that Ron was
never confronted with it, and with the situation so undefined between
Snape and himself, there was no satisfactory way he could discuss it
with the two of them.
“Would you rather I clear out so you could discuss it with Hermione?”
his friend asked shrewdly.
Harry smiled at Ron. No one would have imagined it as they were
growing up, but Ron had a sensible head on his shoulders. The
quick-tempered redhead had not only grown to recognize when a situation
was beyond his ability, but had also learned to accept those times
graciously. Harry couldn’t have chosen a better friend if he’d
Unfortunately, Harry had also learned over the years that there were
things that he had to handle himself. Dealing with the man that
Harry had convinced to father a child with him was one of them.
“No, I really just needed to spend some time with you, Hermione, and
“Harry,” Hermione said, her voice earnest, “You know that you can talk
to us anytime of the day or night, whenever you need to, right?”
He gave them both fervent hugs. “Yeah, I know. And when I
need it, I promise I’ll take you up on your offer. Until then,
you know I love all of you?”
Hermione murmured, from deep in his embrace, “Yes, we know.”
“Good. I have to go and get a ‘make-up’ gift.”
Opening the door to the library of Grimmauld Place, Harry levitated his
bundle into the room, and then waited. At Snape’s exasperated,
“Get in here, you infuriating little dunderhead!” Harry plastered
on a confident smile and entered the room.
“Ah, it sounds like you’re talking to me, at least,” he said.
“Only you would consider insults the indicator of a conversation,
Potter. What is this?” Severus asked, holding up the package.
“A ‘sorry-I’m-a-selfish-asshole’ make-up gift?” Harry ventured,
“You were not an asshole—well, no more than you had been before,”
Severus said dismissively. He opened the bundle, pulling out all
of the protective padding, and then put it down on the reading table in
bewilderment. “Is that a Mongolian Jeweled Jade plant?”
Some of his vaunted Gryffindor bravery deserting him, Harry suddenly
became deeply interested in his shoes. “Well, I knew that it
could be used in a variety of potions, and it was often given in
Chinese wizarding diplomatic circles as a token of peace, so I thought
it was appropriate for us.”
He looked up and said, “I am sorry that I’ve been mucking up our
plans. I wish I knew how I could have such control over my body
at times like this, but I couldn’t manage to do more at other
times.” He left unsaid what those other times had been—the many
times in the war when lives were at stake, and he was unable to save
them—but he knew that Snape understood.
Severus nodded. “The answer to that is quite simple. You
have such power now because you triumphed over a very powerful wizard.”
“You think I am more powerful because I vanquished Voldemort?”
Harry asked, distressed.
“No, you imbecile, because you triumphed over Albus Dumbledore!”
Severus retorted. “Remember, since you are the Master of the
Elder Wand, that means that you have prevailed over all of its previous
holders. You have a little of their power underpinning yours, and
that is one of the reasons your wandless and wordless casting has grown
to be so effective.
“It also means that of the two of us, you are the most magically
powerful.” Severus added, thoughtfully.
“So I’m—” Harry stopped, stunned. Did Snape actually acknowledge
someone as being more powerful than him? Why were there never any
witnesses to something like this?
Severus cocked an eyebrow, smiled slightly, and in a softly velvet
voice, warned, “You only have more raw
than I, Potter. It seems I need to remind you, however, that I am
more experienced, talented, capable, and ruthless. Do not begin to
“No, no, of course,” Harry rushed to assure his companion. This
was no time for a pissing contest, which they both knew Snape would win
“However,” Severus continued inexorably, “remember that male pregnancy
is a magical construct, and is not under the control of human
agency. Regardless of what we wanted, if the magic considers you
the stronger of the two of us, it will never accept you in the position
of the bearer. If there was an emergency, and magical power was
necessary, you would have to be free to protect the bearer, who would
be hampered by the pregnancy.”
Harry gazed at the plant, though he was focused on the implications of
Snape’s statement for their mission. “So, if your speculation is
true, Albus Dumbledore was magically stronger than Grindelwald, who
bore their child. And since I overcame the person who defeated
Dumbledore, I am stronger than him. That means any ritual
involving our child would have to be more successful than
Grindelwald’s!” Harry finished, jubilantly.
“Wait a moment, Harry,” Severus cautioned, “Remember that Grindelwald
actually sacrificed his child. It wasn’t necessary for the
effectiveness of his ritual, but he did it anyway. We will have
to be careful to complete each step precisely to compensate for the
lack of an actual bodily sacrifice of the baby.”
Harry couldn’t believe his ears. It sounded as if Severus had
accepted the fact that he would be the one to be pregnant. As if
he actually would allow Harry to— It couldn’t be true, could
it? He needed to know, but just having gotten out of one mess,
how could he ask without getting hexed senseless?
Shaking his head, Harry decided to just rely on his much-vaunted
Gryffindor recklessness—uh, bravery. He asked, “Does this mean
that you will be the bearer?”
The dark head inclined. “Yes, it would appear that I would have
to for our undertaking to succeed.”
Harry was skeptical. “And you won’t mind letting me be on top?”
“I….” Eyes looking anywhere but at Harry, Severus paused before
concluding his reply, “… believe that I would prefer it.”
Harry knew that he had to consider trading his ears in for a better
set. Snape preferred to be on the bottom? Harry was
dumbfounded, yet intrigued.
From what Harry could see of the wizarding world, sex was more than
just the physical experience, so frequently was it tied into individual
self-image, power, and control. Homosexual wizards were so
defensive about their manhood and authority that regardless of their
personal preferences, they would often insist on taking the dominant
position in bed. And male braggadocio aside, Snape had always
seemed to have such power issues that Harry just imagined the former
spy would demand to be on top. That was the reason Harry had
volunteered to bear their child, hoping to eliminate one objection
Snape might have had to the plan immediately.
But now that he found that Snape’s preferences were so closely aligned
with his own, the man became even more desirable. The thought of
pleasuring and possessing him made Harry’s knees weak, and he leaned
back against the table, snatching Snape by the waist and pulling him
into demanding, fervent kiss.
He was glad he had the support when Snape’s hands came up to card
through his hair, making the already tousled mop even more
unruly. He couldn’t believe that just the feel of the man’s
fingers in his hair made Harry’s penis blaze from interested to
painfully hard in seconds. He groaned. He’d wanted so much
to take this slowly, savoring every touch, every sensation, but that
wasn’t going to happen, not this time. He muttered a spell, and
opened his hand to let the vial of lubricant that came flying from his
bedroom slap into his palm.
“Wait!” Severus’s eyes had snapped open at the sound, and those
black orbs grew deeper with lust. He picked up the jade plant and
carefully put it on a sideboard, then whirling back to the table,
promptly swept their notes, books, quills, and ink onto the
Harry’s gasp of dismay at the peremptory treatment of their research
turned into a lusty growl when Severus dropped his trousers to the
floor, kicked them out of the way, and bent over the desk. The
younger man deftly removed his own trousers, the blood pounding in his
ears as his body seemingly screamed, ‘At last!’
Panting, Harry took a moment to gaze at the magnificence of the vision
before him. Though thin and sinewy, Snape’s rump was gleaming and
pale perfection. His arched back made the older man’s ass jut out
proudly, and his legs were spread, exposing that wrinkled orifice that
had been the subject of Harry’s fantasies.
His viewing was curtailed by Severus, who said between gritted teeth,
“Stop staring like the empty-headed clod I suspect you are, and get to
the task at hand immediately,
or I will give you an
impromptu lesson in unhexing yourself!” Gulping, Harry quickly poured a
thin stream of spice-scented liquid onto his fingers, and stepped up
Harry slid his slick hand slowly up and down the crevice between those
luminous buttocks, taking delight in how even that slight touch set
Snape’s flanks aquiver. His left hand stroked the man’s back, but
just as his middle finger slipped in, Harry bent over and bit a cheek,
causing Snape to moan and shudder violently, while a little
pre-ejaculate dripped from his needy cock. Adding a second finger
into that pulsing sheath, Harry twisted them until he found that mound,
pressing against it again and again.
God, the man was tight! Just thinking of how that hot, tight
passage would feel around his penis, Harry almost swooned.
Closing his eyes, his fingers sliding in and out of Snape’s ass, trying
not to listen to the sighs, gasps, and moans pouring from the normally
self-possessed man’s lips, Harry tried to think of something, anything, that would keep him from
coming before he
even got a chance to enter the man. Minerva McGonagall in a
slinky nightdress began to slow him down; he threw in Binns giving her
a backrub, and he was confident he could last a bit longer. He
started to add Dumbledore to the vision, but was afraid he’d get soft.
“Potter,” Severus whined, he
actually whined, Harry
thought triumphantly. “Potter, unghh, please, in me, now….”
“All you have to do is ask,” Harry muttered, pulling out his
fingers. He poured more of the lube onto his fingers and slicked
it onto his cock. Taking a deep breath, he slid into tight heat,
into the stuff of his fantasies. He was someplace the young
Harry, or even the more mature Harry Potter of a few months ago would
never have been able to contemplate: he was having sex with
He was in no position to think about how he got here, but he
incoherently thanked Grindelwald, the ICW, even the demon Ghastigloer
for the opportunity to plunge into that slick, hot, overwhelmingly
irresistible channel. What was humbling was how right, how
natural it felt. Harry reached around to gather that long, beautiful
cock in his hand. The older man began to push back to meet
Harry’s thrusts, then jerk forward to pump into Harry’s hands.
“Yessss, Severus,” Harry hissed. “That’s it, fuck yourself on my cock,
hmmm, yes, fuck my hand, oh, yes!”
At those words, Snape flung his head back, his black hair quivering
slightly as he trembled. He opened his mouth, gasping and
grunting, uncaring at the spectacle he made, focused only on his
pleasure, dropping any similarity to the poised, guarded persona in
which Severus Snape habitually enclosed himself.
Harry marveled at the abandon engulfing them. He felt his
individuation sliding from him as they moved in glorious
synchronization. It was almost as if they were riding the same
decadent, pleasure-drenched waves cascading over their senses, like
they were feeling the same lack of oxygen, and they were sharing one
surging, pounding breaker as it threatened to crash them against the
They were both panting, groaning, grunting, muttering stupid, senseless
sounds, and Harry knew that this was a moment that he would remember
always, this sense of being so perfectly in harmony with another
person, this feeling of impending climax of their bodies, but more
vitally, of their emotions and spirits.
Oh, too soon, Harry thought, he could feel the gradual tensing in his
groin, could sense his toes starting to curl, and his hips picked up
their speed, setting a lightning pace, slamming into that tight, hot
ass. He bent over, licked up Snape’s back, then shoulder, then
neck before whispering harshly into his ear, “Come for me,
Severus. Come for me now!”
Tightening his grip on the man’s cock, Harry felt hot, thick streams of
fluid flowing from Severus over his hand, up on the man’s belly, down
onto the desk. Yes, he
exclaimed inwardly before his
own body spasmed several times, the growing tension burst into bright,
slicing spangles of pleasure. He loved this, loved the feeling of
two men united in pleasure, loved how he met his partner’s needs and
took him on their journey of mutual sexual exploration.
This was one of reasons he enjoyed being on top so much. He felt
the responsibility of directing their activities, but he also relished
the opportunity to make his partner, Severus, feel treasured and
adored. Because Harry adored what they’d experienced, but he was
also beginning to adore how he felt when he was experiencing anything
with Severus Snape.
Straightening, he felt his softened penis slip out of Snape, and he
turned the man to face him. The air of transcendence surrounding
Severus was dazzling, and Harry felt his own bearings break into dozens
of pieces at the peace and beauty on the other man’s face.
Cursing his lack of height, he pulled Severus down to meet his mouth,
and they stood there, languidly exploring each other with lips and
hands, tasting and touching everywhere they could reach.
Taking Snape’s arm, he warned, “Hang on,” and Apparated them into his
bedroom. It was Cherish Severus Snape Time. This was the
part of lovemaking that Harry enjoyed almost as much as the sex
itself. He had gotten them into his bed, under the duvet, had
tucked Snape in his arms, and was nuzzling the man’s hair before he
realized the man had yet to speak. Suddenly concerned, he gazed
intently at his lover and asked, “Is there anything wrong,
Holding his breath in preparation for the type of sarcasm for which
Severus was known, Harry was surprised when the man sat up suddenly and
grabbed one of the vials of Strengthening Solution on the end table,
tossing it back with a grimace. He sat back against the
headboard, still not speaking, but seemed to be focusing intently on
something, so Harry waited, though with little patience.
He’d opened his mouth to repeat his question, when Severus said, “Well,
it would appear that our hypothesis was correct. Our magic seemed
to respond to me being the receptive partner.”
Bewildered, Harry asked, “That’s good, but how can you know for
certain? I mean it was certainly good, and I could feel how the
two of us were responding to each other, but we won’t really know until
“That’s right, Harry. But unless my perceptions about there being
more than just the two of us at the end of our physical encounter are
drastically flawed, we have
indeed conceived a baby
Harry was speechless. Just like that? One time, and they
had conceived? Exactly how powerful were they? He got his wand—he
didn’t want to inadvertently
miscast the pregnancy diagnosis spell and get an erroneous
conclusion. He cast the spell Poppy had taught them, and watched
in awe as a light surrounded Severus, then coalesce into a small,
bright glow that hovered over his abdomen.
Severus smiled indulgently, “Wow, indeed.”
“We did it, we’re going to be parents! We’re going to be
parents!” Harry murmured, blankly, before his eyes rolled
back into his head and he fainted back into the pillows.
Footsteps careened down the stairs, and Harry felt two bundles of
energy crash into his midsection. Harry dropped his bags, and
lifted his armfuls of toddler up into the air. It was only
because Rose and Hugo got there first that Hermione didn’t do the same,
he could tell. She stood at the door, slightly disgruntled, with
Ron’s arm on her shoulders.
“Rose! Hugo! Give the poor man a chance to breathe!” she
scolded, while Ron and Harry shared a fond glance of understanding.
“Uncle Harry, I’m going to be four tomorrow!” Hugo said. “I’m
going to be a big boy!”
“Yes, I know, champ, that’s why I’m here, for the big boy birthday
party.” Harry said, smiling. He walked into the kitchen
with them, listening to the children babble with one ear, smiling at
the sound. He sat down and accepted a plate of bacon, eggs, and
toast, sharing small talk until everyone had finished.
After the children were sent out to play with instructions to ‘Play
nicely’ and ‘Share!’ the adults were left alone to clear
up. Immediately, Hermione cast several privacy spells, and
pounced on Harry. “So tell us, how are things going?” she
Harry smiled knowingly. He was amazed Hermione had held out as
long as she had, one of the reasons he'd chosen to arrive during
breakfast, to allow himself a moment to breathe before the questions
began. “Everything is going well. Severus is pretty far
along, and Poppy has scheduled the surgery for next month.”
He took another sip of tea, trying to think of what they would consider
important. “We still don’t know the sex of the baby.
Apparently, there is so much magic involved in a male pregnancy that it
impedes most of the diagnostic spells. He or she is definitely
healthy, though, if the activity level is to be believed. It’s
like a wrestling match inside of Severus!”
“This is amazing, Harry!” Hermione exclaimed. “I wish you could
be closer, the whole male pregnancy concept is so understudied. I
would have loved to be able to document the steps with Severus.”
Harry grimaced, and leaned forward intently. “The study aspects
I’m sure are fascinating, but you know that our primary goal is the
security around our mission. If anyone were to see Severus, and
word got around to the wrong ears, the notoriety would be disastrous!”
He didn’t want to add that one of the situations he and Severus had
wanted to avoid was his best friend’s insatiable curiosity and her
questions about the pregnancy.
“I know, Harry!” Hermione was quiet. “I guess I thought that with
everything going on with the ICW, you might be around more.”
“I know, Hermione,” Harry said soberly. He wondered, if he and Severus
were unsuccessful, would he regret not having spent more time with his
friends before the end? He sighed, because even if he knew their
time was limited, he would never regret carving out the time he’d made
for himself and Severus. England would never be the home that his
lodge in the Olympic Mountains had become.
After much discussion, he and Severus had moved to his lodge.
They both agreed that its wards were unassailable, and they believed
that if the ICW were to know the nature of Dumbledore’s
‘solution,’ the two of them would have little control over how the
demon was to be battled. The ICW had lived up to its part of the
bargain; there was a media blackout regarding Harry Potter. To
keep them from becoming too impatient, Harry let it drop to Bivarque
that a solution was in the works, one that they felt had a great chance
Severus had quickly adapted to the rustic, isolated location.
He'd established a potions lab in one of the scattered outbuildings on
property and proceeded to ‘nest,’ as Harry teasingly called his
proactive brewing. He had brewed every prenatal potion
potentially useful in a male pregnancy, nutritive potions for himself
and the newborn, versions of the Blood-Replenishing potion for the
newborn that were based on the unique combination of his and Harry’s
chemistry. He also began to research and stockpile newborn
versions of all of the common wizarding childhood potions.
They also took walks in the forests surrounding the lodge, and before
Severus began to show, Harry took him to many of his favorite
restaurants and out several times in the Bay Rover,
reveling in Severus’s appreciation of his adopted home.
They spent their evenings talking, often sitting in Harry’s best-loved
spot, his wrap-around porch, with cups of cider or tea. They also
often took advantage of their sexual compatibility, after Poppy had
informed them that they could have sex up through Severus’s seventh
month. After that they would have to employ ‘adaptations,’ as she
delicately put it, to their sexual routine.
Shaking his head, Harry returned to the conversation. “Well, I’m
here now, for Hugo’s birthday. If all goes to plan, we will be
free of this terror in time for Rose’s.”
“I’m all for that,” Ron chimed in. “So, Severus will have to have
surgery? I guess I hadn’t thought about how that was all going to
“Ron has spent the last few months studiously avoiding thinking about
it,” Hermione said dismissively, rolling her eyes.
Harry laughed. He loved the predictability of his friends.
“Yes, the surgery is scheduled for about two weeks before the baby is
due. Poppy didn’t want there to be any danger of Severus going
into labor, because that would complicate things.”
“Labor? You mean he could actually have the baby the natural
way?” Ron asked, not really sure he wanted to hear the answer.
“Supposedly, the baby would come out the same way it got in,” Harry
said carefully. “But Severus’s body would go through a lot for
that to happen. Since it is possible to avoid that, plus we need him operating at full
capacity as quickly as
possible, Poppy said it would be simplest to just surgically remove the
baby. He would heal from magical surgery much quicker than from a
magical male childbirth.”
“I would imagine so!’ Hermione contributed. “A woman’s body
is pretty much constructed for childbirth. I shudder to think how
Severus Snape must be handling all of the changes!” And she did
Harry grinned. “Severus has adapted remarkably well, but there
are some things about pregnant wizards that took some getting used to.”
“I bet,” Ron said, nudging Hermione. “Hermione had some pretty
drastic mood changes. Has Snape? Or rather, can you tell?”
“Oi, watch it, mate! That’s my baby’s father you’re talking
about!” Harry laughed. “Well, for the most part, he has
mellowed a bit, but yes, there were some really scary days.
Severus Snape dealing with raging hormones is not a sight for the
Ron was fascinated. He was obviously having some difficulty
imagining the bane of Gryffindor as pregnant. The models
presented by the motherly Mrs. Weasley and loving Hermione were so
dramatically different that they were not helpful.
“So tell us, did Severus have morning sickness?” he asked.
“Yes, during the first trimester, it was every single day, and that
‘morning’ nonsense was simply that: nonsense. He was
nauseated for 15-18 out of every 24 hours,” Harry said.
“You mentioned the mood swings, what about cravings?” Hermione,
in spite of herself, was also curious.
“Yep,” Harry said, nodding emphatically.
“What kind of foods does he crave?” Ron asked, spellbound.
Harry almost laughed in their faces.
Severus never had any of the food cravings, no, not his lover. Short and simple,
Severus craved sex.
During his second trimester, he became insatiable. His demands on
Harry would have been incapacitating if Harry had been older or less
hungry for physical intimacy. He would go down on Harry at the
breakfast table, call Harry over to the potions lab to return the favor
during the morning, hunt down the younger man at various other points
during the day for kissing and fucking, to be wanked or sucked.
What blew Harry away was the abandon with which Severus dedicated
himself to their pleasure. No position was beneath his dignity,
he seemed to no longer care about such societal constructs, allowing
the needs of his burgeoning body to dictate his behavior. He ate,
drank, and gave himself over to sex with the same zest.
Harry’s mind drifted to a wondrous example of that new Severus
Snape. Once, Harry had gone over to British Columbia for the
day, doing an assist on a consultation with a woman with whom he’d
worked on several jobs. Steffi Kindlmüller was a brilliant wards
mistress, particularly adept at using many of the old-fashioned rituals
that had fallen into disuse. They were incredibly effective and
powerful, but extremely finicky, and they required a level of knowledge
and precision that few could boast. She had been very helpful on
his Bali job, proving to be well informed on the more arcane practices
of demonology. She was also one of the people he had called upon
for some opinions on summonings and had pointed him to some useful
books for his research.
Kindlmüller had the contract well in hand, but needed Harry’s
opinion on the rune array she had devised. He had developed a
reputation among the younger generation of warding masters for the
quality of his rune warding and his arithmancy computations, and was
often called upon to collaborate with a number of his colleagues.
He looked over her designs, and based on his ideas, they had rearranged
several patterns and shifted the range of one more, but on the whole,
it was an easy day’s work for him.
She had invited him to join her assistant and her for dinner after
they’d finished for the day. He'd said that he had tentative
plans, but would call and see how firm they were. He pulled out
his cell—to which he had added several ‘modifications,’ privacy spells
and the like which would have been totally illegal in Great Britain—and
“Hi, Severus,” he began.
“Potter, thank you for calling. I was just preparing to dial
you.” The dark voice on the other end said. “Please
remember to pick up the sequoia charcoal that I’d ordered.”
“Got it already,” Harry said, cradling the phone between his shoulder
and ear while he looked through his parcels. “I also got more
rattlesnake fangs and rattles, since the supplier had a fresh
“Good. Did you have more planned to do today?” Severus
voice sounded a bit strained.
“Not really, I was trying to decide if I should grab a bite with Steffi
and Tomi, or come straight home,” Harry said.
“Come home, if you please.” The voice was firm.
“Is everything all right, Severus?” Harry asked, concerned.
“Now.” And the connection was severed.
Harry quickly made his good-byes, and Steffi gave him a date on which
his share of the commission would be deposited in his Gringotts
Apparating to his living room, Harry called out, “Severus, where
Harry found himself embraced tightly by Severus, who kissed him
passionately, thrusting his tongue deeply between the younger man’s
lips. Harry groaned at the forceful handling, each thrust sending
electric sparks to his cock. He was flung into a side chair and
Severus dropped to his knees in front of it, working madly at the
opening of Harry’s trousers.
As his rapidly hardening erection was exposed to the cool air, Harry
hissed, blown away by the sight of Severus, eyes glittering with
undisguised desire, panting and grunting before swallowing the cock
before him. Harry’s eyes rolled back at the incredible feeling of
that mouth sucking in the head, teeth lightly scraping the sensitive
ridge on the underside, the tongue darting out to slip into his
urethra, causing him to scream, “Severus, my gods, yes!”
It seemed only a moment when the mouth was removed, pulling a
inconsolable keening cry from him as his hips thrust spasmodically up
into the empty air. Opening his eyes, he saw Severus spelling off
his own and Harry’s trousers, muttering a spell, then flinging his wand
away before straddling Harry’s lap.
Harry had only a moment to gaze at the gentler, softer look to
Severus’s body. He was six months pregnant, and was carrying
their child high in his abdomen, but the sight of his rounded belly
over his red, angry-looking cock made Harry’s mouth dry. Then, he
realized Severus’s intent. Mouth open in unbelief, Harry
whimpered at the sight as unbelievably, with no preparation other than
a hurried spell he’d presumably cast on himself, Severus positioned
himself, lining up his dripping hole over Harry’s erection, then
without a word, dropped down heavily, spearing himself with Harry’s
They both screamed. Severus ducked his head into the nook between
Harry’s neck and shoulder, shuddering with the pain. Harry’s
murmured, “Oh, love, sit still, let me hold you,” was shaky. He
himself was quivering with the effort to keep still with that glorious,
tight sheath on his cock. What he wanted was to stab upwards,
forcing himself even deeper in Severus’s ass. He wanted to slam harder
and harder, faster and faster, but he waited, feeling as if he would
fly apart if he had to tarry much longer.
Slowly, Severus opened his eyes. Staring deeply into Harry’s, the
man lifted himself, then dropped again, Harry whispering nonsensical
encouragement, lightly holding his lover’s head. Their eyes
locked, Severus picked up speed as his body adjusted. His thighs
were quivering with the effort, but he continued to lift himself and
drop back down on Harry, both men grunting with each plummet.
Harry was mesmerized, captured, held by their stare, by the sensations
scurrying over his nerve endings, by the sounds of flesh squishing, the
chair creaking slightly, and their guttural moans. He was caught,
his heart was captured by this ugly, beautiful man, this cantankerous
misanthrope who had willingly volunteered to carry Harry’s child.
Severus dropped his head, all of his energy going into keeping up his
punishing pace. Harry lifted it to his, licking and kissing,
sucking and biting any part of Severus that he could reach. His
hand snaked down between them, and began pulling, stroking, slapping,
and pinching the other man’s cock, causing the rhythm between them to
His tongue thrusting, Harry grabbed Severus’s hip with his other hand,
holding the man still. He shifted a bit in the chair, getting his
hips directly under Severus’s loosened hole, and slammed upwards,
again, again, and again. As he quivered, thrusting his tongue and
his cock into the other man, he chanted, “Yes, gods, yes, so good, fuck
Severus, you’re so perfect.”
At those words, Severus’s head snapped up. His mouth made an ‘O’
and his eyes, blazing with some unknowable expression, locked on
Harry’s as ropes of thick cream spattered onto their chests. The
slick contractions accompanying Severus’s climax squeezed Harry’s cock,
and coupled with the feeling of inexpressible connection between them,
the sensation pushed him over the edge. His world shattered as
flashes of desire, need, pain, beauty, and love sliced through him,
piercing his skin, smashing his mind, and lifting his heart.
Severus kept his head down, but Harry could feel hot drops (sweat,
tears?) drip over his chest. He murmured soft, soothing words in
Severus’s ear, nuzzling and kissing the sensitive spot below it on his
neck. When his head came up, the former spy’s expression was
painfully open and vulnerable, with something that looked like love
shining out at Harry.
“Harry? Earth to Harry!” Harry sat up as Hermione nearly
shouted in his ear.
“What? I’m sorry, what did you say?” Harry asked
Ron howled. “You were miles away. Wherever it was, the
smile on your face made it seem like a nice place to be!”
Hermione smiled, too, casting an exasperated glance at her two favorite
men. “Harry, Ron had asked what kind of cravings Severus had.”
Harry shook his head wryly. “You don’t want to know.”
“Oh, come on mate, it couldn’t be worse than the sour cream, olives,
and licorice that Hermione wanted!” Ron crowed.
“How about sex, anywhere from four to ten times a day? How about
getting sucked off while I’m eating breakfast, wanking him while I’m on
a conference call with a client, how about my begging him for a couple
of hours of peace so that I could rest?” He looked around at
their stunned expressions, and laughed softly in the dead
silence. “I thought not.”
A few more seconds of silence, then, “Wow, mate,” Ron said with
grudging respect. “You certainly won that pissing contest.”
Harry’s cell phone rang, cutting into their uproarious laughter.
“Severus, hi! We were just—”
“Come home, Harry, immediately, and bring Poppy. There’s
something wrong with the baby.”
Harry returned home with Poppy, doing a Side-Along Apparition in three
leaps of incredible power. Even the woman who had seen Harry grow
up at Hogwarts was amazed that he not only was able to Apparate across
the Atlantic, but to do that transporting another person. Harry
gave it no thought, his anxiety over Severus’s well being the only idea
on which he could focus.
They found Severus in bed, trying to perform his controlled breathing,
but the sheets were soaked with blood, and his forehead was
clammy. Poppy immediately took control of the situation,
directing Harry to bring supplies from her bag, and setting him to
cleaning up the area.
When they had gotten him stabilized, he managed to tell them that he
was just brewing when the contractions started, and he called
immediately, but the situation deteriorated rapidly. Poppy, in a
matter-of-fact voice, told them that they were alerted early enough
that she could still perform the surgery. Severus look stricken,
almost begging, “Isn’t there a way to stop the contractions? This
is too early for the baby to be born; he won’t be able to breath or eat
properly.” Harry took Severus’s hand to reassure the older man, but he,
too, looked for Poppy’s answer.
Poppy tried to reassure them. “I know it’s early, Severus, but when the
baby tries to come early, there is usually a reason. If he or she
is in distress in the womb, it would be better to have them where we
can control their environment. It’s not too very early; many
children born up to six weeks early have adjusted quite well and were
Severus appeared to be both frustrated and guilty. “What could I
have done to ruin this? Was it my brewing?” Unspoken, was
the thought Harry could almost read in the other man’s eyes, Was it the sex?
“Nonsense, Severus. We have no idea how long a normal male
pregnancy lasts. And even with normal female pregnancies, more
than half of all first pregnancies begin labor early. We can
handle this, but only if you relax.”
“Shush, Severus, Poppy is right; you’ve done absolutely nothing
wrong. We’re going to take the baby out of you, and we can take
just as good care of it together.” Harry said soothingly, his thumb
rubbing calming circles on Severus’s hand.
Poppy gave Severus a Calming Draught. She said that they would
wait for about an hour, to allow it get into the baby’s system as well,
then she would start the surgery. She set up the room so that Harry
could alternate between assisting her and calming Severus. She then had
Harry prepare extra sheets and sets of clothing for both Severus and
After an hour, she started the surgery. She’d given Severus
potions to dull the feeling of the incision, and he was able to talk
with them both. Harry wished he had a Pensieve, so he could call
up these images of Severus, relaxed and joking. He looked over at
Poppy, and she seemed quite unruffled about the whole process.
Once she make the incision and began to withdraw the baby, however, she
paused in shock, “Oh!”
“What?” “What’s wrong with the baby?” They exclaimed, their
voices shrill with fear.
“I didn’t think it was necessary to mention earlier, Severus, but
another reason a baby comes early,” she said tranquilly, handing Harry
a gorgeous baby boy to clean, “is when someone is carrying
twins.” She then removed another baby, a girl.
Harry slumped to the side of the bed, gently cradling his burden.
Severus seemed as surprised. “Twins.”
“Yes, you are the proud parents of a baby boy and a baby girl.
At long last, their plans of the past year were about to come to
fruition. While Severus cared for the babies, Harry walked around
the ritual room. They had chosen the lodge, figuring it was the
most comfortable for the babies, and if they failed, it didn’t matter
if the integrity of their home was compromised. They had both
memorized the ritual, going over it until they could have performed it
in their sleep. It was a modification of the one Harry believed
Grindelwald used, or it was close enough for their purposes.
Considering its significance to the further functioning of the world,
it was actually rather simple.
The most complex aspect was the set-up for the ritual. For the
ritual they had a perfect circle about thirty feet in diameter outlined
in pure sea salt. Within the circle, drawn so that its points
touched the circle, was a five-pointed star drawn in sands found in the
oldest of pyramids. Then within the center of the pentagram was a
triangle drawn in a paste made of ground unicorn horn and the waters of
the Well of Kildare, outlined so that its points touched the outline
made by the interior lines creating the star’s points.
In the center of the triangle was an altar made with an ash foundation
and comprised of adamantine with obsidian tracings. On it Harry
had affixed two candles made of beeswax from hives of bees fed solely
on saffron crocus. On either side of the candle were the two
goblets, each of which would hold almost a pint each of blood donated
by their beautiful babies. They framed the small clear crystal
that was the containment chamber’s main operating mechanism.
While the chamber itself was in Germany, the crystal would function as
a remote, opening the chambers at the moment that Harry began the
He checked the circle and pentagram again, ensuring that the sand or
salt had not been disturbed. There was a table set up with the
equipment for the blood transfusions so that the blood used in the
ritual was freshly drawn. Immediately after, Severus would then
take the babies back into the house, though they both knew that would
be no protection if Harry failed.
Taking a breath, Harry returned to the house. He couldn’t see
them, but he knew that all around the perimeter of the massive wards
around the lodge was stationed the major portion of the ICW Security
Force in the event that he failed. Severus was sitting on their
porch, holding the babies in his arms. Harry picked up Matting,
leaving Amaigraine on her father’s lap. The babies had Harry’s
green eyes, but they both had silky black hair, much closer to
Severus’s than Harry’s. Both were pleasant, laughing babies,
accepting the frequent blood deposits taken from them with
equanimity. Neither suffered side effects from either the
procedures or the Blood-Replenishing Potion. A month after their
birth, they were almost as developed as they would have been if
delivered later in Severus’s pregnancy, for which (Severus and Harry)
were both thankful.
“Everything is ready,” Harry said after a moment of silence.
Severus nodded. Without a word they stood and made their way down
to the ritual room. The babies gurgled in their matching rompers,
gifts from Ron, Hermione, and the Weasleys, along with a roomful of
toys. Harry and Severus had insisted that no one visit yet,
perceptive enough to realize that no one would let them go through with
the ritual if they actually met the beautiful pair.
Moving to the tables, careful to not disturb the sea salt, they lay the
babies on the table, and Severus cast the spell that would keep them
calm and immobile. He and Severus looked at up at the same
moment, the barely masked panic matching that in the other’s
eyes. Harry cleared his throat, and Severus said, hoarsely,
“Don’t say it, Harry. It will be impossible for me to do this if
“Severus, I have to say at least this much. We entered into this
because of necessity, but we now have so much more—”
“I know, and I want many more years of it, Potter,” Severus
interrupted, his voice reminiscent of the years of teaching. “So
might I suggest we attend to the matter at hand, and you can get your
pathetic hide back up to the house to help put the children to bed at a
Harry smiled gently, and leaned forward to kiss Severus. They
paused a moment, their foreheads pressed against each other. The
light of the full moon outside cast a silver gleam over Severus’s silky
soft hair, and Harry drank in the sight. His smile broadened and
he said, “Sure, then maybe I can make love to their father without
A snorted, “It is my fervent wish that we can stay awake long enough
for that, Harry,” was his answer.
They moved to the cold cabinet in which the stockpiled blood was
stored. Severus got out the bottles, labeled with each child’s
name, and took the two goblets from the altar. He inserted the
tubes, one from the stored blood into the carotid artery, the other
tube which led to the goblets he inserted into the jugular vein.
He checked for any air in the carotid tubes, and when assured that all
was well, opened the jugular tubes. He cast several spells to monitor
their vital signs.
The blood began to flow into the goblets, and they could hear the
babies’ heartbeats quicken. When the goblets where half full,
Mattin began to writhe, followed by Amaigraine a moment later.
Harry’s heart sped up to match and he kept glancing up at
Severus. “How much more?” he asked anxiously.
Severus said nothing, shaking his head slightly, and at some sign that
Harry couldn’t define, opened the tubes from the stored blood, allowing
the blood to flow back into the babies. Harry relaxed, only to
start when both babies cried out, their bodies jerking. He would
have interfered, but stopped at a sharp glance from his lover, his
heart aching at the sight of their dear children in pain.
Severus cast another relaxation spell over the babies. Then, with
a keen eye on the level of the blood in the goblets, he finally tapped
the jugular tubes to stop the flow, removing the tubes, and casting a
spell to heal the insertion points. He handed the goblets to
Harry while keeping his eye on the levels in the storage bottles.
After they were finally drained, he quickly removed the tubes, spelled
the insertion points, and gathered up the two children. Turning
to Harry he opened his mouth, but Harry interrupted him. “I know,” he
“Hurry up, Harry. We have children to feed, bathe, and put to
bed, and hopefully some lovemaking for ourselves,” Severus said simply,
but his eyes were more revealing. Harry saw determination, faith
in their plans, strength, and most importantly, love, for their
children and for him. They kissed briefly, lips cold and dry,
then Severus turned without looking back, and left the room.
Harry placed the goblets on the altar. He lit the candles, then
removed all of his clothing, having taken a ritual bath earlier in the
evening. He banished the clothing and the lighting taper to the
outside of the circle, then took his silver dagger, dipped into each of
the goblets and then used it to make deep slices along his arms, the
blood dripping on the altar and into the goblets.
Stepping before the altar he lifted his arms, staring intently at the
crystal. As it began to heat, growing darker and smoky, he
envisioned the demon Ghastigloer imprisoned in the ICW containment
Lifting his voice, he called out firmly, “ I summon a demon from plane
of origins and destructions. I summon through the sacrificial offering
of the energy of pure life. I summon Ghastigloer, of the second
Hierarchy of those who travel between the planes. By the blood of those
I have sired, and by the blood of my own power, I summon, and I
call!" He released the containment power of the crystal, and
repeated the summoning.
Standing before the altar, Harry’s skin began to crawl as the energy
began swirling in the room. His hair lifted and flapped around
his face. The candles fluttered madly, but neither the salt nor
the sand moved in the slightest. In the rising winds Harry could
smell something horrid, like the scent wafting from an abattoir on a
hot summer day. A thickening gray mist with bright flashes
darting around within it began to coalesce before him. It
acquired form and matter, gradually resolving into a large creature
about 10 meters high, with three pairs of arms ending in pincer-type
appendages capped with razor sharp claws, a vicious-looking pointed
tail, and long horns, all covered with thick scales. Its face
wore a sinister smile that was belied by the scowling brows, and the
sly, insane eyes.
“You dare to summon me, mortal? Do you imagine you have the power
to make demands of me?” The voice, less a tone than a rumble in
the ground and rafters, blew his hair away from his face, and finally,
the candles blew out, leaving him with just the light from the moon
silvering the room.
Harry almost swooned at the immense power that slid around its essence,
tickling out towards him. He was protected in his triangle, but
he could still feel the drain on his magic even so, and quickly set to
his task. He levitated one of the goblets to the demon, which
sniffed it before turning to him.
“Acceptable, incredibly pure. You sacrifice the blood of your own
children? Interesting. What do you want of me?”
“Simply to return to your dimension.” Harry tried to keep his own
voice resolute, difficult as he could feel himself desiring only to
sleep. Something seemed to be sapping his energy. Standing
straighter, he remembered his mission, though it was becoming more and
“And why should I do so?” The being laughed, the sound like the
screams of tortured souls.
Harry raised his voice over the din. “Because I have a sacrifice you
require, and I have the power to bolster it.” He could feel a
force crushing against him, forcing him to bow or perhaps to kneel
before Ghastigloer. He fought back, his magic rising like a
shield to push the force away. The demon’s eyes narrowed.
Harry could feel the skin on his body drying and begin to split,
peeling off in the high winds still emanating from the demon. His
bones felt softer, as if they were melting within him, and he began to
fall over. His tongue started to swell, and he could barely
breathe. The floor felt like it was covered in shards of glass,
slicing and piercing his bare feet. His guts were churning, and
he thought they might have been swelling as well. The windows in
the room suddenly shattered, showering him with glass from above as
He was starting to think that he didn’t have the power to defeat
Ghastigloer, but he thought back to all of the people who were counting
on his victory. They were not nameless, faceless inhabitants of
the wizarding world, but people who had also sacrificed and suffered to
vanquish evil. He called on the strength that allowed him to walk
to Voldemort and meet his death. He remembered the power of his
mother protecting him when he was a baby just a year older than his
twins. He invoked the will that kept Severus alive during those
terror-filled years in Voldemort’s service. He pulled into
himself the beauty of his babies as they laughed on the living room
floor between Severus’s legs as the older man drifted off to sleep,
exhausted by his parenting duties. He absorbed all of the
passion, intensity, and emotion of his relationship with Severus over
the years: the hatred, the bitter battles, the budding respect, and the
growing love between them.
Harry shouted, flinging back the demon's force with such might that it
pushed the colossal creature back a few paces. Ghastigloer roared,
snapping its pincers, and small sizzling fires burst out in the corners
of the room. Harry levitated the goblets to the demon, as he
heard a cracking sound, and looked up at the exploding rafters just in
time to leap out of the way. He could feel his wand grow hot, and
dropped it on the ground, summoning his Elder Wand.
The demon flicked an arm, and the goblets flew back towards, but Harry
righted them before they spilled their precious contents. He
screamed, “NO! You will
accept the damned
sacrifice, and you will accept my task!” The winds had reached gale
force levels, and Harry could hear trees being uprooted and tossed
about like matchsticks. He started to lose his footing, and held
onto the altar as the wall behind him burst into flames. It
quickly consumed the tables on which Mattin and Amaigraine had
lain. Harry was glad he wasn’t wearing clothes, as they would
have caught aflame easily. As it was, he kept batting out sparks
that landed in his hair.
Harry flicked the Elder Wand, and concentrating on his magic, he
gathered it into a narrow column that he banished towards the
demon. It batted it away, but Harry narrowed his eyes, thinking
that it seemed to be moving slower than it had before. He created
another column, but before he could fling it at his adversary, it held
up an arm and said, “No! I accept the sacrifice!” It grasped one
of the goblets and drank the blood from it. Holding the second
goblet it said, “I have one question. What happened to the one
who summoned me before?”
Harry answered, “He was defeated by one who was defeated by the one I defeated!” It was convoluted, but
he hoped the
demon could follow it; Merlin knew Harry didn’t have the strength to
parse it better.
“Very well,” Ghastigloer said, shrugging. It gulped down the rest
of the blood, and said, “I return to the Chaos plane, mortal, until
another of your pitiable race has the hubris to call upon me
The demon’s body gradually lost its integrity, turning to mist, then to
smoky wisps of vapor before finally dissipating. Harry cast
dozens of detection and analysis spells. After almost a half hour
of tracing what was left of the demon, he was satisfied that it was
indeed gone. He sent a Patronus to Severus and another to the ICW force
to stand down, then dragged himself wearily up to the house.
Severus met him at the door, taking in his blackened skin, hair burnt
off in patches, the limp, and the way Harry was protecting his
abdomen. Without a word, he sat the young man down, giving him a
number of potions, and casting as many healing spells as were safe and
wouldn’t counteract each other. Severus rubbed a healing salve
into the burnt, raw, shredded skin. Harry began to drift off,
only to jerk awake when Severus led him into the bedroom. Under the
bedcovers, he curled around Harry’s battered body, kissing and nuzzling
him until he fell asleep.
“Harry! Severus! It’s so great to see you!” Ron said,
opening the door wider to let the men enter with their children.
“And this must be Mattin and Amaigraine!” He took a baby in each of his
long arms, smiling widely at their giggles and waving hands.
They entered the room filled with Weasleys, as well as old friends from
Hogwarts and the Order. This was the first reunion that Harry and
Severus had attended, and people were agog at the news that not only
were they together, they had two children through a male
pregnancy. Many of them, recognizing Harry’s reasons for living
elsewhere, tried to control their curiosity, hoping to get the full
details from Ron and Hermione later, and were surprisingly cordial.
Near the end of the evening, Harry looked over and saw Severus on the
other side of the room, discussing something with Arthur Weasley.
Severus looked up, and their eyes locked, deep black and intense
green. They both looked around at the clamorous gathering and
smiled ruefully. They could spend these few hours surrounded by
people because they knew they had their sanctuary awaiting them in the
They had sacrificed much for these people, and looking back, they
wouldn’t have done anything differently. Even their children had
sacrificed. But it didn’t matter that they gave a bit of
themselves here. They knew that they could always replenish their
hearts at home with each other and their children, those precious bits
of themselves that taught them to let their hearts walk.
(1) The International Confederation of Wizards, a governing body
overseeing the various individual nations' councils and ministries.
(2) I wish I could take credit for this lovely phrase, but alas,
I read it penned in "Dandelions" by ac1d6urn and sinick
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