: Altered StatesAuthor
: Snape/Lupin, McG, Tonks, Kingsley, PoppyRating
: Sex magic, see cut-tag under Kinks for moreKinks chosen
: Squick the mods!
Mpreg, pregnancy, and even a moment of cross-dressing zenWord Count
: 4000 Summary
: The Dark Lord had one last, desperate plan, and it's up to Remus and Severus to circumvent it.Author's notes
: This story is dedicated to ellid
. It was started for her birthday and I'm happy to finally finish it for her here. scribbulus_ink
gave this story beta in an earlier stage. Any mistakes you might find are all my own. Con-crit accepted and encouraged, as well as any other comments you might have.
"Remus! You're not going to like what you find down there." Kingsley grabbed his friend around the upper arm to hold him back, but Remus easily shrugged the Auror off and marched grimly on.
They could both hear screams and shouts coming from the other side of the dungeons, where a team of Ministry enforcers was still clearing out Death Eaters from the caves and crumbling passageways they had retreated to when Voldemort fell. It didn't matter where they holed up - anti-Apparation wards were in place on that side of the keep and the remaining loyalists would either be taken or die from dehydration.
Remus felt it as he passed through the obscurement wards the Order set up on this part of the catacombs. It wouldn't do to have a zealous Auror stumble upon the scene unspooling before him.
Severus Snape held his wand out from his body, moving it from one target to another to keep everyone at bay for fear of getting hexed. His free hand clutched the covers of the bed he was laying on up to his chest, but there was no hiding the distinct bump
that occasionally tented the shifting blankets. The man was either protecting a beach ball or he was very, very
Minerva was hoarse from speaking, trying to get through to Severus from the moment the Order breached the wards on the room. They knew. The other Order members all knew Severus had been compelled by older vows, that at least three Horcruxes were destroyed with his covert help, and that Harry wouldn't have survived the day if not, in part, for the innate protections that came with loyalty from an enemy. Minerva told him they had saved every scrap of evidence that they could to prove his actions, and she swore she not leave her office again until she found the proof Albus left behind, if only his portrait could remember where he put it. Severus' arm trembled then, but he did not lower his wand.
"We found him laying in here asleep, like some fairy tale...er, prince," Tonks murmured as she moved to Remus' side. "He woke the second Kingsley touched him. Fast little bugger, nearly cut Kings' ear off."
Remus was still standing in the doorway, his over-loaded senses trying to process what his mind was fighting to accept. The room was clean, cut neatly out of the rock as opposed to the surrounding inlets and natural storage rooms of the catacombs. Inside, the furnishings were serviceable if not comfortable with only a bed, table, chair, chamberpot and water basin at-hand, and the air was stale. Severus must have been under a magical sleep for a long time - at least a month, by Remus' estimate, considering that was when the last of the Order's "anonymous tips" came in.
He took a deeper breath and was able to detect Severus' earthy scent and the sweet tang of pregnancy as well. A strong cloud of Voldemort's ozone stench came to the forefront next, and Remus ground his teeth in an effort to maintain his composure. Tonks placed her hand on Remus' arm to gain his attention again.
"If there's to be any hope of exonerating him, we need to get him out of here now, before-"
Severus moaned loudly then, and Minerva stopped talking.
"Kill me or cut it from me," the dark man said barely above a whisper, but with the same edge of command that he had used in the classroom. "Now."
Minerva paled, but spoke firmly. "Severus, no matter how it happened, a baby is a wonderful-"
Putrid ozone rose up strong again, and Remus felt a twist in his gut. He began thinking fast, sifting through years of research locked in his memories, a frantic plan forming in his mind even as a subconscious growl rumbled deep in his chest.
"Listen to Minerva, Severus, she makes a lot of sense." Arthur Weasley had stood by quietly all this time, wringing his hands and nervously watching the bump come and go.
Severus' arm was trembling constantly now, fatigue and a month under some form of magical stasis getting the best of him. "You have no idea - I am dangerous to you all-"
"Come off it, Snape, you heard Prof- Minerva," Tonks said, stepping forward. She still had to remind herself of her own adulthood sometimes. "So some Death Eater knocked you up. We can fix-"
Pressing his wand into his temple, Severus finally met Remus' eyes from across the room. His mouth was set in a grim line, but the black depths were dull with sadness. "Weaklings. I'll do it myself. Ava-"
"Get out. All of you." Remus spoke in clipped tones and sent a stinging hex at Severus' hand.
Tonks turned, shocked. "You can't-"
" he roared. Arthur jumped, but Minerva gave Severus one last withering glance before primly moving toward the door. Remus touched her arm as she passed. "Keep everyone out, at all costs, if you value either of us." She narrowed her eyes at him, but nodded just the same.
In the time it took the others to exit, Tonks' hair had gone brown, her entire physicality appearing to droop. "What do you think you're going to do?" There was a pleading note in her voice that Remus had grown to despise because he knew he had created it. "Please, let's take him to St Mungos, let others-"
"Just go, Nymphadora." It was the dismissal he'd been trying to give her for almost two years. Ungentle as he was, Remus still felt Tonks' magic reinforcing the door after she closed it behind her, and for that, he would always be fond of her.
Severus had watched everyone leave with his hands folded in front of him, all pretenses of hiding his enormous stomach gone. Remus set soundproofing, privacy and a host of additional protective spells on the door and room before the spy spoke again.
you think you are going to do, Lupin?"
Remus unzipped his scorch-marked leather jacket and let it fall to the ground. He began to shed the rest of his clothes as he approached the bed. "We don't
have much time, do we?" he asked. Shirt followed jacket and trousers came off after the shoes.
"I believe I had the first contraction while Minerva was talking." Remus removed his pants and Severus could look nowhere but at the pale, scarred flesh presented before him. The werewolf was not an unattractive man, as Severus had long known, but he tamped down on the thrill that went through him at the sight. There was too much at stake.
Tugging at the blankets, Remus's nostrils flared again as he said, "Tell me how he did it and why." Severus had to untwist his fingers from the covers to allow them to slide off his body. He was unsurprised by the intimation that Remus knew who had orchestrated his current state. The words, when they came, were delivered with clinical detachment, as if Severus were speaking of a research case and not his own ordeal.
"Minerva said it was July thirty-first?" Remus nodded. "Over a month ago, then, using the Solstice energies as a focus." Severus mused. When he spoke again, it was with renewed focus.
"The Dark Lord had been growing weaker by the day. He suspected me again, but had held me up to the others as such a shining example that he couldn't kill me out-right. When Bellatrix, Alecto and incidentally Wormtail were killed in the explosion at Spinner's End - I am impressed by whoever put together the clues, by the way-" The other man inclined his head and Severus continued. "He chose me
to make his last bid for immortality, honouring and neutralizing me at the same time."
Remus vanished the shift Severus wore and suppressed a cry, not because he was surprised by the pregnancy itself, but at how angry and distended Severus' stomach appeared. "Used a hermaphrodite spell, I see. Good."
Giving the werewolf a sharp look, but realising he had little left in the way of dignity and, therefore, refusing to attempt to hide his nudity, Severus continued. "Once the Dark Lord had learned Potter was essentially a seventh Horcrux, that his soul could be put into a living
being, he decided the soul he retained would be stronger in a purely human body. He reasoned that a child that was half-his would have an even stronger connection with his soul. He sped up the gestation, put me in stasis - he claimed it was a mercy because my body would be changing so rapidly but we both knew better - and let the Malfoy house-elves attend me. Now tell me what you think you are doing!"
Severus tried to scoot back on the bed as Remus climbed between his legs, but his unwieldy body refused to move with any speed. The werewolf was emitting a low growl that seemed to be wired directly into Severus' cock, because he hardened before he could consciously give the organ permission to do so.
Remus had listened to Severus' tale with as much neutrality as possible, but to hear the other man used so thoroughly made it difficult to tamp down his natural instincts. He reached out and picked up a tendril of moist hair, rubbing it between his fingers as a gesture of affection. Severus flinched away, causing it to pull before Remus let go.
"I smell Voldemort in the child. Did he-"
"No." Severus spoke quickly, before Remus jumped to more conclusions. "I'm not even sure he used my essence to create the embryo."
Leaning over Severus' stomach without touching it, Remus inhaled deeply, making a wide arch with his neck as he did so. "Now that I'm closer, I do smell something else that isn't you
. It will make this harder." The pregnant man swallowed, praying Remus would ignore his reaction to the wolfish behaviour. However, Severus' prayers always seemed to be answered by demons, because his belly rippled, marking his second contraction, a half-hour after the first and still barely painful. With wonder in his eyes, Remus reached out to touch the taut skin, but Severus shrank away.
"Please let me touch you," Remus whispered.
"Why?" Using his own version of a growl, Severus tried to gain some control over both Remus and himself. "You should be taking a knife to me, or using magic to abort this child. I cannot allow it to be born. Even if the Dark Lord's soul died with him, the foetus is still a part of him." He knew he would feel empty to the end of his days, but the idea that he could damn the world again over sentimentality was unbearable. Severus was used to emptiness, regardless.
"It's going to be all right. We can make
"How can you say that, you great prat? I'm about to push a madman's baby out of my vagina
!" Severus squirmed, and Remus captured his cock, holding it against his own hard length, which only made the spy gasp and squirm more.
"He's dead, so he won't be able to use it," Remus argued.
"It's still His
"Not for long."
Through narrowed eyes, Severus regarded Remus, tempted....
"Go on," Remus said. "You have to do it anyway to quickly learn the spell I want to use." With permission granted, Severus was not about to pass up the opportunity to examine the werewolf's mind. Slipping in effortlessly, he began to sift through surface thoughts and imprint into his own mind the chants and Latin that Remus shoved to the forefront. Moments of Remus expressing his doubt of Severus' betrayal, of his own image being lingered upon, of regret and interest flitted in and out of focus until Severus jerked completely out once the full scope of Remus' desperate plan became clear to him.
"Are you insane
?" Severus railed. "Did Greyback's depravity transfer into you? This is dangerous and dark
Remus squeezed their cocks together, cutting off Severus' tirade by causing a moan instead. "Pureblood families have been using the spell against infidelities for centuries. It is not uncommon."
"One misstep and you will lose us both. Possibly yourself as well."
"It's worth it to give the child a chance at living free, isn't it? Besides, I won't lose you." Remus' free hand drifted up to cradle Severus' chin in his fingers.
"It will still be tainted by Dark. The spell, your curse, me
-" Severus locked his jaw. He could not give in.
"It will have a family and a damn sight better care than either of us ever had."
"You assume I want...it." The dark man held his breath.
"I want you. The wolf wants you both." Remus let his eyes flare with a feral glow to prove it. "I don't want to see another innocent life torn apart by that filth. Not one more," he said firmly.
"You want-" Severus shook his head in one last denial, then relaxed back against the pillows. He had seen Remus' mind, knew their long-simmering attraction could no longer be denied. Like called to like and a child was at stake.
The spy mustered a haughty look and glanced down to where Remus still held them in his grip. "You had better put those to use then, or the baby will come before we do."
Cleansing spells were cast until Severus' hair practically floated from being stripped of grease - the less pollutants on their bodies, the better to make sure the spell worked. Pillows were shifted into supportive places, during which Severus had his third contraction. He said it felt more like a cramp that was about to happen than a labour pain, and for all he knew the baby was still days off. Remus argued that he didn't want to take any chances with Aurors claiming Severus before he did, to which Severus raised a doubtful eyebrow.
The kiss Remus delivered then was thorough, clinging and sticky sweet for all of five seconds before he deepened it, fingers buried in Severus' hair and tongue slicking into the back of his mouth. Severus had been with others before today, but this first kiss left him feeling more thoroughly shagged than twenty years of prior shagging.
"I waited too long for that," the spy said faintly, his eyes having gone a bit glassy. Remus ran his hand down Severus' cheek and settled back between his legs, the baby now making the other man's lips out-of-reach. "Wanted to get that out of my system. We need to concentrate. Do you know the spell?"
Severus glared, reciting the chant in a clear, strong voice that already caused a magical tug deep in Remus' body. He began reciting the words as well, falling into Severus' rhythm as he used his fingers to test the other man's readiness. The folds of Severus' lips were moist and warm, but he could only spare a few moments on foreplay, pressing into the upper part until he found the little lump of nerves that made up one-half of Severus' pleasure as a Hermaphrodite. Severus shuddered and Remus could feel twitching skin surround his fingers, but the spy's chanting continued to be steady, if somewhat strained in tone.
When Remus got the sense he should proceed, he sank into the other man slowly, their cadence adjusting as Severus did, words now at counter-point to one another to draw out the best of each. From within each of them, a glow began suffusing their entire forms. Remus took up a steady rhythm, leaning in on each down-stroke to be sure to capture Severus' hard shaft against his stomach, as well as rub his clit in the folds of his own lips. Severus arched and his hands trembled, searching for purchase on the bed until Remus took them and held them with his own on the slope of Severus' stomach. Remus was afraid to look anywhere but into Severus' eyes for fear he'd miss an important cue.
Severus was finding it difficult to hold back, being stimulated in so many ways at the same time. He hadn't know before now what intensity his altered form could produce and he found himself increasing the volume and speed of their casting every moment. Remus gratefully adjusted with Severus - the slick, deep heat was unlike any he had ever known, and the knowledge of what they were attempting to do caused his innate wolfishness to rise and drive mindlessly forward into the man it had craved for so long. The glow peaked, momentarily blinding them both, and then began to draw in on itself, concentrating downward, Remus' in his pelvis and Severus' in his stomach, where the baby lay. Around them, the room grew dimmer and the pulling sensation became so great, Remus could barely pull out of Severus before he was slamming back into them again. It was as if the space around them was drawing in on their bodies.
Sweating profusely, Remus pulled out one last time, pushing against Severus' braced hands to be able to do so, and when his hips snapped back in, he couldn't hold on any longer. Chants became shouts, his light shot into Severus and there was an incredible pop as the atmosphere in the room sizzled across their skin and then returned to normal. Severus had come in two places at once and had barely croaked out the last words of the final chant. Remus took over, using their still-joined hands to rub Severus' essence into the skin of his belly until it seemed to sink into him like glitter and join the glow Remus had sent into him.
He used a silent spell to slit both of their hands open, and began the final component of the spell alone as Severus lay dazed and over-sensitized beneath him. The words were Dark and ugly, speaking of purity and unity, but in terms of rejecting taint and corruption. Their commingled blood slithered down into the belly toward the light, and that was when Remus started using the variant he had devised on the fly. Severus' voice joined his again, and the light within him dimmed, then winked out from the blood they had sent in, but then a sort of dark glow replaced the light. The dark man struggled while the wolf in Remus howled as they shouted a spell component about love purifying the Darkness and with the last of their words, a final orgasm ripped through Severus, holding Remus tightly within him. Their bodies shook helplessly as the spell reached its final stage and the glow faded away to nothingness.
Remus felt the contraction, slumped over Severus' body as he was, and this time the spy felt significant pain as the clenching reached its height. "I believe the labour has begun in earnest."
They didn't speak about whether the spell worked or not. They had done all they could and the rest was in the hands of fate. Remus cleaned them up, put their clothes back on and took down the spells for protection he had set earlier. Minerva immediately burst into the room.
"You shook the entire keep! Take this-" She pressed a handkerchief into Remus' hand and now he could hear Kingsley's baritone and Tonks' high-pitched chattering mingling with angry voices he didn't recognize. "The trigger is sherbet lemon-" Severus moaned, obviously feeling another contraction. "It will take you straight to Poppy. Now go, we'll handle things here." Remus opened his mouth to speak words of thanks, but Minerva looked momentarily pleased and cross at the same time as she ordered him to make haste. Remus snatched a kiss on the cheek and ran to Severus, uttering the trigger just as a fight seemed to break out in the doorway. He didn't think they were seen, though
In the time it took Remus to convince Poppy not to hex Severus purple, the man had another contraction, which was all it took to send the healer into work mode. As the labour progressed, Remus explained things, including the magic they attempted to use.
"You did what
?" she yelled, wand hand twitching with the urge to curse Remus with an Ever-Slap spell. "That's extremely dangerous, trying to replace the genetic material of not only one parent, but both! You're lucky the child is still alive! Well, so far-" Severus was cursing his way through another contraction. Once Remus explained who the original parents might have been, she relented, and when the baby finally popped free of Severus, she was as joyous as Remus to see that it indeed lived and had all ten fingers and toes.
"It's a girl!"
Poppy placed the baby on Severus' chest and as Remus cut the cord, the exhausted man whispered, "She's ours. Lupin, this child is ours."
"I know Severus. No matter how the tests turn out, even if she's still half His-"
"No, you imbecile, I mean this girl is our
child and no other's."
Remus ran his fingers over the sticky tuft of light-brown hair crowning the baby's head. A good sign, but- "You can't know that for sure."
Poppy interrupted, performing gentle cleansing charms on the child and Severus to clear away most of the gore. "In or out?" Remus blinked stupidly, but Severus said "In," and Poppy performed an Umbilicus
spell to leave the girl with a perfect, round navel.
"This is your last chance to bow out, Lupin," Severus said while holding the baby up, staring into her scrunched-up face. "I will not hold you to-"
"You were saying why you were certain she's our child, even before Poppy can prepare the cellular tests." Remus' heart was hammering in his throat, and he fought to suppress a growl at the sight of his cub cuddled against his chosen mate. He was done wandering, done being alone, DNA be damned.
Severus was watching Remus now, a calm stealing over him once he realised the other man wasn't about to move more than two feet from them. "You are more powerful than I gave you credit for, Lupin."
"Just tell me!"
"You do not think the Dark Lord would have planned all this just to put the remainder of his soul into a female body, with all its monthly
distresses, do you? Especially not when he had intended to age the body rapidly."
In the middle of raucous laughter, Remus leaned in and kissed Severus hard, then turned and brushed his lips over the top of their girl's head with equal gentleness, feeling Severus' hand steal up to rest on his back. A family at last.
"Gentlemen." Poppy reluctantly cleared her throat to end the moment of peace. "The Ministry will come calling eventually - we need to move you to more private quarters until Minerva can straighten them out. I'd also like to run those tests right away. I believe your work dispelled any aging magic infused in her, but I'll test for that as well." She scooped up the baby and ignored Remus' grunt of protest. "When she begins to cry again, I'll bring her back for feeding." The older woman gave Severus' chest a significant look and swept across the hall into a small examination room with a window so the new fathers could still see their child, but not interrupt her work.
Remus was only human - mostly - and looked down at Severus' chest, which did appear slightly swollen. "Don't get your hopes up, wolf, I believe I will only lactate a few weeks. The Dark Lord intended to use several wet nurses to accommodate the accelerated aging process. I plan on reversing all this-" Severus gestured at his lower body, "-just as soon as I am able to do the research."
"Bollocks, I rather liked having all
the bits to play with."
Severus' haughty expression faltered a moment, but he regained his confidence when a scarred hand brushed across his stubbled cheek. "And go through what she's
in for every month? I think not. You
are welcome to play the mother in this eccentric little group we're putting together.</i>"
Remus sat down on the edge of the bed and gathered Severus up to hold against his chest while he rested against the backboard. It gave them both a clear view of Poppy casting spells, nodding and smiling more often as she progressed.
"A role I will be happy to fulfill and am, perhaps, better suited for."
"And why is that?"
"My legs look great in a pair of stockings and high-heels."
Severus smirked. "Miss Tonks never stood a moment's chance, did she."
Poppy leaned her head out the door and called out. "I need a name."
Without hesitation, Severus locked eyes with Remus and drew him into his mind to communicate his thoughts and feelings within heartbeats.
Remus' eyes were suspiciously glassy bright when he turned back to Poppy. "Her name is Brianna."fin.