Continuing Tales


A Harry Potter Story
by Alexis.Danaan

Part 2 of 26

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15 weeks:

Her day had started out normally—or as normal as it could be with the secret she was hiding. It was a secret that Harry never failed to remind her couldn't be hidden forever. She hadn't gained much in the way of weight, a pound or two, but nothing especially noticeable. She had never been more thankful for the loose and rather shapeless Ministry robes all the Aurors were expected to wear, even when at the desk. It hid the slightest of bumps that could be found between her hip bones and for that fact alone she would never complain about them ever again.

Her morning meetings had gone well; she hadn't had to excuse herself in order to cast a Silencing Charm in the female loos while she retched into a toilet and she had left council room thinking that maybe her morning-cum-all-day-sickness had finally abated. She had kept herself busy at her desk, filing paper work for other Aurors and researching necessary information for ongoing cases when she got an interdepartmental memo from Lavender asking her to go to lunch.

It had all gone downhill from there.

Lavender and Hermione had not been friends in Hogwarts, in fact, they had less than subtly disliked each other. Hermione envied Lavender's ability to take what she wanted and Lavender had been jealous of Ron's devotion to his best friend. When the end of her relationship with the youngest male Weasley had been splashed all over the papers Hermione had expected to get snide remarks from Lavender when they occasionally saw each other in the lifts. It was a testament to how much they had both changed that instead Lavender had offered an olive branch and a friendly, "I'm sorry it went to the shitter". Sometimes it still came as a bit of a surprise to Hermione that their working relationship had steadily turned into a true friendship over the years but she wasn't sorry for it. She had always been decidedly lacking in the girlfriend department.

"I'm craving something different," Lavender announced as soon as she spotted Hermione leaving the lifts in the Atrium. "Can we skip the canteen and hit the streets?"

"Hit the streets?" Hermione laughed. "Have you been watching the telly again?"

Lavender blushed prettily and Hermione grinned. The other girl had never lost the rounded baby-faced look of her youth but it suited her. Combined with her short stature and her beautiful curling blonde hair, Lavender sometimes looked like she was still fourteen. It was a fact she bemoaned regularly.

"That's not the right expression, is it?" the other witch asked as they made their way through the mess of the Atrium. It was crowded, as to be expected during the lunch hour, and Hermione found herself more and more aware of the way people collided with her body as her pregnancy wore on. It was with a conscious effort that she stopped herself from placing a hand over her still flat abdomen.

"No, it's not the wrong expression," Hermione laughed, grabbing a handful of Floo powder from the canisters next to the fire places. "It's just not very typical outside of a crime drama." She threw in her handful and called out 'Street Level' before stepping in and reappearing in the women's public loo. Emerging from the stall, she quickly transfigured her clothes into Muggle attire and waited for Lavender to join her. When the blonde had changed her purple robes into a cute dress they continued on their way.

"Crime drama," Lavender repeated. "That's the ones with the Muggle Aurors, right?"

"Yes, the police," Hermione said, not bothering to explain the difference between regular police officers and detectives. Lavender had taken a shine to television and Hermione had introduced her to the world of DVDs via a Muggle rental store. Thankfully, the other witch was a quick study and had only had to Floo call Hermione twice with questions about the telly and the DVD player.

"Yeah, I've watched a few of those," she said. "They're really interesting, the way the police figure out how the crime happened and try to trace it back to the person. It's got to be a whole hell of a lot more difficult than what you lot do."

"You'd be surprised," Hermione said. "We hit as many dead ends as the Muggles do at times. It's often easier to hide your tracks with magic, especially if you know how to muddle your signature."

Lavender made a noncommittal noise and nodded her head. "What are you craving?"

Hermione tried not to look guilty at the word 'craving' and thought for a minute. "Hmm...pad thai."

"Mmm," Lavender agreed, hooking her arm in Hermione's and heading in the direction of their usual place. She was lucky that her companion didn't ask too many questions and wasn't, bless her, all that observant otherwise she might have noticed the oddities about Hermione's behaviour since she had been relegated to paper pusher. Lavender had asked questions, of course, but she had easily accepted Hermione's vague answer about departmental changes and shifts in roles. Since she worked with the Magical Liaison Office she had next to no idea how the Auror department worked.

The two young women were a scant two blocks away from the street level entrance to the Ministry when Hermione noticed a familiar head of black hair and her stomach dropped to her toes. He was walking towards them, dressed in Muggle trousers and a white dress shirt buttoned right up to the neck and down to the wrist, his eyes on the pavement before him.

Her first thought was to wonder what the hell he was doing in Muggle London, walking towards the Ministry.

Her second was to panic.

"Holy shite!" Lavender whispered. "It's Professor Snape!" She called out, "Professor! Professor Snape!" and waved her arm, as if he could miss her.

Hermione stopped, standing rigidly, and silently cursed Lavender as Severus Snape's head snapped up and his eyes roved over first her companion, and then her. His eyes widened as they locked on hers and he, too, stopped where he stood.

"How are you Professor?" Lavender asked, completely oblivious to the tension running between the two people. "Haven't seen you in a while! How's Hogwarts?"

The name of the school he had taught at for half of his life seemed to snap him out of his reverie and he closed some of the distance between them, stopping a foot or so away. "Miss Brown," he intoned, his voice deep and soft. "Miss Granger. I am well, though I am no longer employed by Hogwarts."

"You're not?" Lavender sounded genuinely sad, a fact that was not lost on Snape as his eyebrows rose slightly. "So I guess you're no longer Professor, huh?"

Snape stuffed his hands in his pockets and looked down his nose at her. "It would seem so."

"That's a shame," she said, smiling at him teasingly. "I guess we were the last ones to enjoy your rather stimulating teaching methods."

She had not meant it as an innuendo, Hermione knew this, and yet she couldn't stop herself from seeming to choke on her own saliva. She coughed and spluttered, drawing both of their attentions to her.

"'Mione, you all right?" Lavender asked.

"Yeah," she gasped, her eyes watering slightly. "We should go get lunch, before our break is up."

She chanced a glance at Snape who was watching her warily, his brow furrowed. Even from the distance between them she could see how stiffly he was holding himself and she knew that her own body mirrored that kind of subtle nervousness.

"Good idea," Lavender said. Turning to Snape she smiled and wished him a good day.

He nodded curtly. "Miss Brown, Miss Granger, take care."

Hermione's stomach was in a tangled mess of knots as they began to step around each other. She ducked her head and closed her eyes, praying to every deity she'd ever heard of to just get her out of there as fast as possible, when the toe of her boot caught on an uneven part of the sidewalk and she suddenly pitched forward.

Her eyes flew open in shock and her free hand came out to catch her fall just as Lavender yanked back on the arm still wound up with hers and another, stronger arm caught her about the waist.

She sucked in a great, deep breath and was assaulted by the all too familiar scent of her former Professor. Herbs and soap seemed to smother her and the arm wrapped around her waist, pulling her closer to his warm body seemed to trap her. She tensed in his embrace and suddenly the world toppled over.

"Oh god," she mumbled, feeling the uncomfortable wave of dizziness take her and throw her off balance. "Oh fucking hell," she closed her eyes against it and felt the first arm joined by its partner, holding her up and moulding her back to his chest.

"Hermione!" Lavender's voice was shrill and pierced her ears. Instinctively, she brought her hands up to cover them from the assault. "Are you okay?"

"No," she moaned, leaning into the support that Snape was offering. "No, I'm not."

"What are you feeling Miss Granger?" his voice was right by her ear, his breath fanning over her neck.

"Dizzy," she replied, fighting the nausea that threatened to bowl her over.

"When was the last time you ate?" he asked, shifting his hold on her.

She didn't get a chance to answer as she felt his forearm brush against her stomach and her eyes flew open. She knew, logically, that there was no way he could feel it, there was no way for him to know. She was barely showing. It was so small that someone who had only been intimately introduced to her body once wouldn't notice the difference. Unfortunately for her, she was not thinking rationally anymore.

She met his startled brown eyes for a heartbeat before turning away to throw up all over her leather boots. He held her, bent at the waist, as she brought up the light snack that she had consumed at her desk while perusing a few tomes from the Ministry library.

"I think she might be fighting a flu," Lavender said while Hermione's stomach continued to clench and force her to gag. She felt her entire body flush with the embarrassment of vomiting in front of people, especially Snape. "She's been dashing to the loo for a while now."

Hermione couldn't hold in a groan at Lavender's words. Of course, she has to become observant now. Of course.

"Perhaps you should see a Healer, Miss Granger," Snape's voice was still soft and it rolled over her pleasantly as he pressed a wrist to her forehead. "You don't have a fever, but you are slightly warm."

"I'll be fine," she gasped, straightening. With a quick look around, she pulled her wand out of her hair where it was disguised to look like an elaborate clip and conjured herself a handkerchief to wipe her mouth with.

Snape released her to quickly conjure a glass and fill it with water, which he moved into her field of vision and held until she accepted it. She took it with a muttered thanks and tried not to think about the fact that he had cupped her elbow as soon as she took the glass from him.

"Do you want to go home?" Lavender asked. "I can tell Kingsley that you're not well."

She grimaced but nodded. There was no way she could tell them that she was suddenly fine without raising suspicions and he was the last person she wanted to find out about her pregnancy. It occurred to her, suddenly, that she would probably have to quit her job before she gave birth and retreat from the public eye if she didn't want him to ever find out. The Daily Prophet would have a field day with her as an unwed mother.

"Want to Side-Along?" Lavender asked, reaching out to her friend. Hermione shook her head. She was touched, but she didn't need as much assistance as the other witch was offering.

"I'll just go back to the Ministry and Floo home," she said, without thinking.

"I would recommend Apparition, Miss Granger," Snape said suddenly. "The spinning effect of the Floo will not help your stomach or your dizziness."

"I...," she hesitated. Apparition actually made her feel worse than Flooing did, something that was apparently common with pregnant witches according to the books she had ordered. There was no way she could reasonably argue her way out of it though, not with the pair of them watching her closely.

"Yes, I suppose you're right," she said, waving her wand at the empty glass and Vanishing it along with the mess at her feet. "I'll be fine on my own, though."

"Are you sure?" Lavender asked.

"Of course," Hermione smiled weakly at her. "I'll owl you when I get home."

Lavender nodded and Hermione took a step back from both of them, forcing Snape to release her elbow. She looked at him quickly and forced herself to meet his probing gaze. He could tell something was off, she was sure, but she was equally sure that he would not guess at the truth.

"Thank you for your help, Mr. Snape," she said, forgoing his former title. She had stopped thinking of him as her Professor long before she took him to her bed but after that interaction there was no way she would ever be able to call him that again.

She discreetly cast a Notice-Me-Not charm on herself just in case a Muggle happened to look around a corner, or out of a window. With one last weak smile at the pair of them, she turned into herself and disappeared.


18 weeks:

Sitting on her squishy couch, one hand over her very firm and slightly protruding belly, Hemione finally admitted that she couldn't hide the little person growing inside of her for much longer. She had been devouring book after book, both Muggle and Magical, about what was happening to her body and yet it didn't seem to be helping her understand or cope at all.

She felt like a stranger in her own skin and it was disconcerting to a degree that she couldn't even begin to describe. She understood the science of it, that was not the problem, and she enjoyed reading about the new developments that were happening to her unborn baby; everything from the cutesy 'your baby's fingernails are now approximately the size of half a grain of rice' to the less adorable 'by 19 weeks, the foetus will be covered in a fine, downy hair known as Lanugo', Hermione read through it all at warp speed in the hopes that it would help her feel...connected to this child.

Her body was changing so quickly that, even with the books to help guide her expectations, she felt like she barely knew herself anymore. Her breasts were constantly sore and she had taken to wearing a bra at all times to alleviate some of the pain; she could barely get through the morning without making a trip to the loos at least four times—she was not looking forward to the stage where sneezing and laughing would cause her to literally piss herself—and she now realized that her dizzy spell with Snape was a result of her blood pressure changing; she had an entire list of things she absolutely could not do or eat because it would harm the baby not to mention all the things she had to do because it would help the baby.

Above everything, however, it was the fact that her emotions and her magic had gone haywire that made her feel so disconnected from herself. She knew that pregnant women were more susceptible to emotional overloads and that since a witch's magic is intimately connected with her emotions that it would be affected too but it did her no comfort. Her books told her to expect oddities and even spells that she couldn't perform correctly—or at all, really—while she was pregnant. Knowing it was a possibility had not prepared her for the reality of accidentally Vanishing her cup when she meant to Scourgify it and then promptly bursting into tears over it.

She didn't understand herself, and she didn't understand this baby. It shamed her to admit that she didn't even know its sex, though the ultrasound technician had offered to tell her. As she rubbed her hand over her stomach, her navel poking out a bit more than normal, she remembered the inexplicable terror that she had felt at the innocuous words 'Do you want to know the baby's sex?'. She knew that it was illogical but if she knew the baby's gender then she would have to start thinking about a name and that made everything more real.

"What if I'm a horrible mother?" she whispered, one hand over her tummy, the other balancing a large pregnancy book on her knee. "Maybe I should give you to someone else, someone who is ready to be a mother. A woman who knows what they're doing."

It was the one time she could admit that she had no idea where to go from here, that she was completely out of her depths, and that her books were no good. They were not helping her understand.

"How do I know that I'm doing the right thing?" she asked, bringing her other hand up and rubbing slowly over the hard curve of her small bump.

There was no answer.


A Harry Potter Story
by Alexis.Danaan

Part 2 of 26

<< Previous     Home     Next >>