Continuing Tales


A Harry Potter Story
by Alexis.Danaan

Part 6 of 26

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38 weeks:

By the end of her first week of confinement, Hermione was bored to tears.

Everyone had been extremely busy, even her mother, and so her visitors had been few and far in between. Not that she had had many to begin with as only Harry and her mother—and now Snape, she reminded herself—knew where she was staying. She finished up all of the research she had been working on and sent in her final reports before her maternity leave, she read the several books she had been meaning to look at and even started keeping a journal.

Still, she found herself with ample time on her hands when she wasn't allowed to get up to make dinner, or walk to the sitting room, or the...anything. Hell, she would have rejoiced at the opportunity to clean the bathroom.

Despite being bored out of her tree, she did not go batty as everyone thought she would have and for that they thanked the mild Calming Draught. She went through her days with a very relaxed feel about things; it didn't cloud her mind or alter her judgment but rather made her a lot more accepting and indifferent to things she couldn't change—like her confinement. Harry thought it was bloody brilliant.

When, towards the end of her first week, Harry finally made time to see her, she was ecstatic—as much as she could be from her bed, at least.

"Harry!" she beamed at him. "Thank god you're here, I was about to start charming Crookshanks into different colours just for the entertainment value of seeing him in bright purple."

Harry eyed the very relieved looking cat as he scampered out the now open door and laughed. "With the way your magic has been, you'd probably turn him into a Pygmy Puff. Poor animal. Remember when Ron tried to turn Scabbers yellow?"

"Sunshine, daisies, butter mellow, turn this stupid, fat rat yellow," Hermione intoned dutifully, a grin on her face despite the mention of her most likely ex-friend. "I don't know why he ever thought that would work, especially for a Pureblood wizard."

"It's Ron," Harry shrugged as she sat down on her bed, as if this explained everything. And it did.

"Come sit," Hermione patted the bed beside her small mountain of pillows that served as her back rest. "Tell me everything."

"There's not much to tell," he laughed and began relaying stories about the English National Quidditch team and the practices they had had over the week. She was content to listen to little anecdotes about people she didn't really know and smile at all the appropriate times because it was a break from her mundane routine. By the time Harry wound down, she was slouching in her pillows, watching him gesticulate with his hands as he explained a complicated move with a small smile on her face. She missed the days of Harry and Ron trying to make her understand Quidditch.

"Sounds like you guys have been keeping busy," she said softly, tucking a pillow under the side of her belly as she rolled over to face him. "So what brings you by today if you've got so much going on?"

"Well, I wanted to see you. Do I have to have a reason?" he asked, avoiding her eyes.

"Harry James Potter, you're a bad liar. You're worse than I am. Spill, what was your mission?"

"Ah...well," he ran a hand through his hair and looked at her warily. "It's about Snape."

"You would think that after so many years you would be able to call him Severus," Hermione said calmly, surprising Harry when she didn't immediately bite his head off. He remembered the Calming Draught and grinned.

"You call him Snape," he pointed out.

"Only because I'm unsure about how I feel about him," she admitted. "In my head, he is Severus."

"I guess that's a relief, considering our little guy there," Harry said, pointing to her belly.

"Our, eh?" she grinned at him.

"Damn right," Harry said with a mock fierceness. "That's my nephew in there, I'll have you know."

She smiled lazily and rolled her eyes at him. "Yes, yes, I know. You're excited to be Uncle Harry, aren't you?"

"You have no idea," he beamed at her. "I can't wait to be a father, so this is like...almost there, you know? That doesn't really make sense, does it?"

She smiled and shook her head. "It doesn't matter, I know what you mean. I've been adept at translating your blathering for years."

"Why thank you," he said wryly as he reached over and ran his hand over her belly. "Your mother is very mean to me, little Sebastian."

Hermione rolled her eyes. "I haven't decided on that name, yet."

"Have you asked Snape about names?" Harry asked, not taking his eyes off his hand. "I'm sure he'll have an input."

"I'm sure he does," she sighed. "I just don't...know how to approach any of this. And part of me, a big part, really doesn't want him involved. I know that's selfish and probably wrong on several levels's how I feel."


Hermione blew an errant curl out of her face with a huff of frustration. "I guess I'm afraid of how he's going to react to everything—to me getting pregnant. Will he even believe me when I tell him that it wasn't planned? I wasn't taking a contraceptive potion at the time, so he probably has a legitimate reason for thinking I got up the duff on purpose. And even if he doesn't, I don't want or need his pity, or his anything, really. He's got a temper, you know that very well, and I don't want it turned on me yet again. I had enough of it when he was my teacher, thank you very much."

"Ah, but now you can hex him for being snooty," Harry said, taking his eyes off his hand long enough to flash a grin at her.

"I don't think anyone would have the balls to describe Severus Snape as snooty," she laughed. "A vindictive git? Yes. Snooty? No. You're thinking of Percy Weasley—which now that I think of it, I'm sure he'd kill you on the grounds of comparing him to Perce anyway."

"I can take him," Harry winked and patted her stomach. "Ain't that right little man? Uncle Harry can take your long as it's a fair fight."

Hermione snorted. "All is fair with Slytherins Harry, and for the record?" she waited until he looked up at her before she continued. "I think he'd trounce you."

"Such faith," he muttered as the baby nudged at his palm, almost as if it agreed with his mother. "Oh, not you too? You're not even out here yet and you're siding with her? I don't care if he's your Da, you need to side with Uncle Harry now and then, you hear me?"

"So," with one last pat, Harry withdrew his hand from her belly. "You don't need him...but do you want him?"

Hermione looked away, feeling unaccountably guilty at his questioning. "I don't know," she admitted softly, looking down at the enormous swell of her belly. It really did look like she was carrying an oversized beach ball under her shirt. Only the outrageous changes in her body and the feeling of him doing summersaults in her negated that theory.

"I don't know...I just...I don't know if what I want is him or if it's just to not feel so alone in this, so out of my depths," she admitted. "I'm terrified of letting him in, but at the same time...I want him to share this with me. I just...I want him to want it as much as I do but I don't want to take the chance that he doesn't. Maybe I'm crazy, Harry, maybe it's just the hormones talking."

She sighed and ran a hand through her unruly hair. "At the same time I don't want to commit to something with him and then one day I'll wake up next to him and realise that I don't love him. I couldn't do this if I didn't, Harry. I know that—well, someone came to give me advice about the whole situation and she basically said that I should marry the father of my baby, no matter what, but I just can't do that. It's not fair to him, or me, but it's especially not fair to our son. My child will not grow up in a house where his parents obviously dislike, or even hate, each other."

Now that she had started, it seemed like she couldn't stop and the words poured out of her as she wrapped her hands around her son. "Could you imagine, Harry? Weekends and part of Christmas with Daddy, or the 'Mummy has a boyfriend, no, he's not your Daddy' talk? Merlin, no. Wouldn't it just be better if there was no Daddy, Harry?"

He sighed and ran his hand through his hair, making it stand on end. "Children need father's Hermione," he began and, seeing her open her mouth, he held up a hand to stop her. "I'm not saying that single mother's can't do it on their own and do it bloody brilliantly, or that those children are somehow deficient because they grew up with only one parent but this isn't a situation where the father is dead, or where he doesn't want the kid, someone who grew up with no parents I can tell you that there will be a hole in his heart that only his father can fill."

"And what if he doesn't want to fill that hole, Harry? What if he decides halfway down the road that this isn't his cup of tea? He's not exactly well known for his love of children, or is your memory that short?" she asked, struggling to sit up.

"Give him the benefit of the doubt Hermione," Harry said impatiently. "Listen to yourself! You haven't given him a chance to decide if this is what he wants. You didn't even do him the courtesy of telling him that he's got a kid, I had to do that for you."

"He doesn't, dammit!" Hermione snapped and it seemed that the effects of the Calming Draught were at an end. "This is my child, and I swear to god Harry Potter, I will kill anyone who tries to take him from me!"

Harry was silent for a second as her outburst sunk in and the proverbial light bulb turned on in his head.

"Is that what you're afraid of?" he asked softly. "That he'll take your son away from you?"

"I don't know," she whispered, looking away as tears began to fall down her cheeks. "I don't know Harry, I don't know anymore. I don't know anything," she began to cry harder and let him pull her into his embrace.

"I don't know how I let this happen," she hiccupped. "Or how I'm going to do this once he's born. I'm terrified, Harry. I've never felt so fucking alone, so unprepared. All I know is that I can't live without him anymore. I thought, before, that I could give him up when the time came, give him to someone who knows what they're doing, but that's not possible anymore. I'll kill them all first."

If Harry was shocked at the promise in her words, he didn't show it. Instead he rubbed his hands up and down her arms, soothing her silently with his presence. "No one is going to take him away from you," he whispered eventually, "and certainly not...Severus. I highly doubt that is what he wants. You said it yourself, he's not exactly the first person you think of when you imagine a father figure, do you? I think he knows it, too. If he cares enough to want to be part of this child's life, I can't see him wanting to take him away from you when he probably knows how ill equipped he is to raise a baby on his own. He has less of a clue than you do," Harry chuckled softly. "And that is definitely a first."

Hermione sniffed wetly but she cottoned on to his humour. "Are you saying Severus is smarter than me, Harry?"


"Good answer," she gave him a watery grin.

Harry rolled his eyes but continued on with his point. "I don't know if you realize this, but Wizarding law won't let him take the baby unless you're deemed to be an unfit mother, and we both know there's not a chance in hell of that," he gestured around the guest room were packages upon packages were waiting to be installed into her flat once she figured out where she was going to put a nursery. "Not that this necessarily makes a fit mother," he added quietly to himself, thinking back to his own childhood.

"I'm afraid I'm being stupid but...what if he doesn't want this baby, Harry?" she asked quietly. "What if he sneers at me, calls me a foolish little girl for getting knocked up and then walks out in all his robe flapping glory?" she made little hand flapping motions with her hands as she said this, making Harry burst into laughter.

"Oh, Hermione," he pulled her closer and planted a loud kiss on the top of her head. "I'm glad to see you've retained your sense of humour." Hermione snorted. "I think that if he ever hears you say that he will walk out."

"No," she shook her head softly. "He'll just find some terribly clever and roundabout way of calling me stupid and then we'll start sniping at each other like children."

"You said it," Harry chuckled. "Not me!"

Hermione smiled and Harry gave her a gentle squeeze around the shoulders. "I know you're right Harry, I do," she admitted. "And I feel like an asshole for throwing him out of my room when he bloody carried me into the hospital but I...I don't know. Maybe I can blame it on the hormones but every time I think about having this inevitable conversation with him I think I just might be sick."

"I think that Snape is used to inspiring that kind of terror," Harry said, trying to keep the conversation light. "He's made it into an art form."

Hermione shook her head but she didn't smile. "I was never scared of him Harry, not even when he did his best to make us shit ourselves in class. I didn't always trust him," she admitted softly. "I'm not one of those idiots who looks back and says 'I always knew he was loyal' because I didn't. I doubted him, just like I was supposed to, and maybe it's because we spent what should have been our Seventh Year far away from him that I was never exposed to the things he had to say and do, to allow, in order to keep his cover but even when I thought he was a traitor, I didn't really fear him."

She paused, thinking over that time, long enough gone that it no longer hurt to think about. "Maybe I was just too stupid to be properly afraid."

Harry shrugged behind her. "I dunno about that, I kind of agree. It's hard to be afraid of someone when they have knowingly and willingly put their body between you and a werewolf—then again, I spent the better part of my adolescence hating him too much to fear him."

"Do you still hate him?" Hermione asked. "Especially now? With what you know"

Harry seemed to think his answer over before he opened his mouth. "Hate him? No. Dislike him? Sort of. We'll never be friends, I don't think, and I'm not sure it's something he wants. I respect him, admire him even, he's a powerful wizard and an honourable man but hecan be quite an arse, eh?" He grinned at her. "I suppose that's on purpose, though. Recent events don't really change my opinion of—No, actually they do. I was shocked when you confirmed my suspicions about little man's father but it's seeing him freaking the fuck out while you were in that hospital room that's really made me think differently of him." Harry looked down at her with a small smile. "I can't speak for him, obviously, but I really do think that he wants to be part of this boy's life. You didn't see him 'Mione. That man never loses control of his emotions, he never shows them at all really, but he lost it in the hallway when that trainee, or whatever, told him that he wouldn't give us any information on you or the baby without your permission."

They sat in a comfortable silence as Hermione tried to picture it. Part of her mind used the image that she had glimpsed briefly of Severus halting abruptly in order to stare into her room as the door opened and it was only then that she recognized the look on his face: panic.

"Give him a shot, Hermione," Harry murmured, sitting up and sliding to the edge of the bed to stand up. He met her eye squarely as he straightened and asked, "Or are you going to take away his right to choose now, too?"

Hermione didn't say anything as he left the room quietly but he knew that she was deep in thought. He slipped out of the room and gently closed the door behind him, nodding his head to the tall, dark haired man standing in the hallway looking rather uncomfortable with where he was.


A Harry Potter Story
by Alexis.Danaan

Part 6 of 26

<< Previous     Home     Next >>