Fic: Just Like the First Time - for choosetolive Title: Just Like the First Time Author: Professor Vector Giftee:choosetolive Pairing: Severus/Harry Rating: PG-13 Word Count: 3934 Warnings: *Mention of mpreg* Summary: What happened on the way back from the infirmary? Disclaimer: All characters owned by JK Rowling. I just play with them. No profit made on use of characters. A/N: Written for ChooseToLive for the third round of Snarry Holidays, using prompt 2. During the dangerous birth of their third child, Severus attempts to distract and reassure Harry by sharing memories of their courtship, marriage and first two children. Doesn’t follow exactly, but I hope it comes close. Thank you to Fidelius, Kyrie_Snape, Quill Lumos and the Snarry Hols mods for all the beta help. The text which is indented and in italics is a flashback.
Just Like the First Time
He lay there, pale and unmoving except for the slight rise and fall of his chest as each breath entered and left his lungs.
After a quick look around to ensure he was alone, a quiet whisper could be heard. "Please, Harry, you have to come back to me. You wore down all of my walls, and I can't do this alone."
It was so peaceful.
Harry wasn't sure where he was, but he was warm, and a sense of peace surrounded him, and then he heard a couple words drifting by. "Please...back…my walls...alone."
That voice I know that voice, why do I know that voice?
In his memory, Harry saw a flash of black robes, and then heard, "Mr Potter, our new celebrity." Harry didn’t know why he felt a flash of pain when heard those words, but he also felt that they were important. The voice was important.
That voice, I know that voice.
With a deep sigh, Harry realised who it was. "Severus."
With that, he passed back into the peaceful warmth.
Severus hadn't slept in three days. He had spent all of his time sitting by Harry's bedside.
When others were in the infirmary, Severus sat back in his chair with a seemingly indifferent look on his face and a cup of tea held tightly in his hands. For the select few who knew how to read him, though, the true anguish could be seen in his eyes, which never left the slight figure lying in the bed next to his chair. Periodically, he would raise the cup to his mouth and take a sip of the tea, neither noticing nor caring if it was steaming hot or freezing cold.
When he was alone with Harry, though, the control was gone. He leaned against the side of the bed, Harry's warm hand held in his left hand, while his right stroked from wrist to fingertip.
He couldn't believe this had happened. Those damn students! They know better than to use magic in the corridors, no matter the reason. And like every other time he thought about it, one thousand points from Slytherin and one thousand points from Gryffindor. He neither knew nor cared if the points were actually being removed; he just wanted Harry to wake up.
Once again, he thought back to the morning three days ago.
Severus walked into the bathroom and saw Harry, once again, kneeling in front of the toilet, one hand bracing his forehead up, and the other holding his hair back.
Grabbing a cool cloth, Severus knelt down next to his husband. Placing the cloth on the back of Harry's neck, he reached around to feel Harry's forehead.
"Your temperature is within the normal range. Have you spoken with Poppy?"
"Not yet. I told her I'd be by after breakfast."
"I suggest you have a piece of toast and a bit of tea before heading up to see her, as that calmed your stomach yesterday fairly quickly. Afterwards, please do me the courtesy of coming to my office and letting me know what she said.”
An hour later Severus was sitting in his office, a little concerned, as Harry hadn't returned yet. He was startled by his sixth year prefect, Erika Snape, rushing through the door, green eyes sparkling with unshed tears.
"Father, you need to come quickly. There was a fight outside the Great Hall...."
Fearing the worst, but wanting to console his child, Severus pulled her into a quick hug, then turning, he immediately left the room, Erika in step beside him.
"What happened?"Severus asked as they quickly walked up the corridor.
"Two first years, Jones and McMillan, were arguing and started shooting spells at each other." As Erika began to speak, Severus was again grateful she had more of his attributes than Harry’s—he was more likely to get a succinct answer.
"Dad was walking towards the dungeons, and wasn’t paying attention to where he was going."
"Jones said something that sounded like 'Petrificus Totalus', but his spell missed McMillan and it ricocheted off of a suit of armour. And McMillan shouted, what we think was supposed to be Stupefy, which also bounced off of a suit of armour. Both spells hit Dad. He's breathing, and nothing is broken, but he won't wake up."
During the recitation of the morning's events, Severus sped up to the point where he was almost running towards the infirmary.
Barging through the doors, Severus immediately spotted the dark messy hair of his husband and made his way to his side.
"He's physically fine, Severus. However, he is in a coma of sorts, and is not responding to any outside stimuli. At this point all we can do watch and wait," Poppy answered Severus’ unasked question.
"Did he make it up to talk to you this morning? He's been ill for the last few days and was planning to see you after breakfast."
"Yes, he was here, and the timing seems to indicate that he was on his way to your office when he was hit by the spells."
"And the outcome, Poppy? Were you able to get rid of his nausea?"
“As I told Harry, Severus, the sickness will go away in roughly three months, like it did the last time"
"The last time…? Does that mean…? Are you sure…? He really is…? We didn't think it could happen again, since it's been so many years.”
"Take a deep breath, Severus. Yes, Harry is pregnant. About four weeks, I'd say"
"Really?" an excited voice squealed from next to Severus.
Turning to look at his daughter, Severus took in the wide, twinkling eyes and huge smile, which briefly chased away the worry about her dad.
Madam Pomfrey just nodded her head in answer to the young lady's question.Severus was brought out of his musing when he felt a tiny pressure in from the hand he was holding, followed by an almost imperceptible, “Severus.”
Gently squeezing Harry’s hand, tears unknowingly running down his cheeks, he responded. “I’m here, Harry. I’m not going anywhere. I love you, please come back.”
Harry detected a light being introduced to the darkness, not enough to see anything, but enough to notice a difference.
He thought he felt a faint caress on his hand, but it was light, so fleeting he wasn’t sure he hadn’t imagined it. The feeling prompted a memory of slashing pain in his hand, and then a cool salve applied by strong, slender fingers. He remembered being caught by Professor Snape as he was making his way slowly back to Gryffindor tower after a detention with Umbridge.
Having expected a stinging retort and an additional detention, Harry was surprised when Professor Snape had instead taken him to his office. Then holding Harry’s bleeding appendage gently in hand, Snape had used his other to apply a cool salve made from essence of murtlap.
At that moment Harry had realised that the “greasy git” persona was a mask, and he had decided he would do whatever was necessary to see beyond it, to the quiet man before him.
The memories faded away and with a whispered, “Severus,” Harry descended back into oblivion.
Another day passed and Severus awoke to find himself in a bed, and realised Poppy must have slipped him a sleeping potion before placing him in the bed closest to Harry to rest.
When he heard the murmured, “Severus,” he leapt from his bed and hurried to the one that held his heart and soul, and taking Harry’s hand in his, he repeated his new mantra: “I’m here, I love you, I’m here, I love you...”
The slight rustling sound of robes passing over the stone floor caused him to look up at the mediwitch who was pulling her wand from her pocket and casting what Severus recognised as a diagnostic charm as she joined him at Harry’s bedside.
With a glare for daring to give him one of his own potions, Severus queried, “How is he, Poppy?”
“He’s still hanging on, not quite in a coma, but deeper than sleep. His heartbeat is strong, though, as is that of the little one, and his nutrient levels have stabilised, so we know that he is absorbing the potions we are giving him.”
Severus’ relief that things hadn’t grown worse was tempered by concern that Harry’s progress seemed to have stalled.
“I do believe,” Poppy continued, “that he is now feeling and possibly hearing what is going on around him.
“Continue as you have been, Severus. Hold his hand and talk to him.”
“Thank you, Poppy,” Severus replied to his colleague, “I’ll do that. I would like to move him to the private ward. There have been students in here at all hours trying to get a glimpse of him, and I fear that it is just a matter of time before someone snaps a picture that will soon grace the front of that rag the Daily Prophet. ”
“Of course, Severus, I should have thought of that earlier.”
As Poppy turned to levitate Harry to the next room, Severus stopped her and carefully picked Harry up. After walking to the other end of the ward, he gently placed his husband on the bed.
He was moving, and yet felt only comfort and safety, as if he were lying in the arms of one who held him in the highest esteem.
He could remember feeling this way before, and suddenly the memory burst through his befuddled mind. It had been at the end of the final battle. He had cast a spell that would seal Voldemort’s soul to the physical body it inhabited, thus preventing it from escaping the curse that would finally remove him from the world once and for all.
After quickly casting Avada Kedavra, he’d paused long enough to watch Voldemort’s red eyes open wide as he realised what was happening before falling to the ground in a heap as the curse hit him. The look of surprise had still been evident on the lifeless face, and it had been the last thing Harry had seen before collapsing to his knees as his strength had left him.
Aroused from his unconsciousness, he had recognised that he was being carried towards Hogwarts and presumably the hospital wing. The feelings of safety, comfort and care combined told him that it was Severus holding him close, as if to protect him from the hungry vultures that were the inhabitants of the castle.
Harry was carried away by his memories as he remembered what had happened after the final battle. He thought about the days he’d lain there, slipping in and out of consciousness while he recovered from casting the two spells which had ended Voldemort’s reign of terror. Each time he had awoken to find the silent form of the Potions master sitting at his bedside.
The first time Harry opened his eyes, Severus reacted like an avenging angel when the Weasleys became too rowdy. It was then that Harry realised that the silent regard—and the crush—he’d had on the Potions master since that day in fifth year had blossomed. And he knew that he would love this man until the end of time.
This time, before slipping back into the darkness, Harry muttered, “I love you, Severus.”
Severus lost track of the time he spent waiting for Harry to wake. The diagnostic charms that Poppy cast every couple of hours told him that Harry was fine physically. However, other than the sporadic movement of his eyes under his closed lids, and the random squeeze of the hand held gently in his own, there was little to help diagnose or cure any mental problems that Harry may have incurred by the miscast spells.
Being in the private ward permitted Severus to feel comfortable enough to transfigure the small hospital bed into a larger one, allowing him to lie with his husband, holding him close.
When he heard the whispered, “I love you, Severus,” that fell from the barely moving lips, he gave a small smile and pressed a kiss to the top of the dark hair as he remembered the first time he’d heard that from Harry.
It was a couple of weeks after the final battle before Harry had been released from the hospital wing. A few days later he sought out the Potions master and asked him to dinner that night.
Hearing a knock on the door to his chambers, Severus had opened the door to see the Man-Who-Defeated-You-Know-Who-- whom Severus simply thought of as Harry-- standing in the corridor, smiling. Harry had been dressed casually in a pair of dark trousers and a deep blue button-down shirt and carrying a large hamper, which offered the tantalising smell of roast chicken.
“Come in, Harry,” Severus had offered.
“Thank you, sir”
“Please call me Severus. You are no longer my student.”
“Okay, Severus. Thank you,” Harry had replied, a silent thrill running through him at finally being able to call the man out loud what he had been calling him in his mind for the last four years. “I had planned to take you to a nice restaurant,” he continued with a shy smile, “however, the vultures-- I mean, the press-- won’t leave me alone. And knowing how you value your privacy, I felt that a quiet dinner in your rooms would be a better idea.”
“That would be acceptable, Harry. Why don’t you place your basket on the table so we can see what delicacies you have brought to tempt my palate,” Severus had replied.
Placing the basket in the centre of the table, Harry had waved his wand, causing the various containers to spread out. Pointing at the covered dishes Harry explained, “Since I’ve been hiding out at Grimmauld for the last few days trying to avoid the crowds, I’ve had plenty of time to cook. I made roast chicken, steamed broccoli, mashed potatoes, and fruit salad. Then for desert, I made chocolate mousse.”
“Delicious,” Severus responded, trying to quell the desire that arose with the thought of what they could do with the chocolate mousse.
After dinner they had relaxed on the sofa with a glass of wine. And Severus had been pleased with the tranquility he felt sitting with Harry, watching the flames flickering in the fireplace. And because Severus felt Harry turn toward him, he wasn’t surprised to hear him speak; however, what Harry said had amazed him.
“Severus, since I first saw past your mask of hostility, I have been watching you. I’ve seen how much you care for your Slytherins, and the work you’ve done for the Order.
“I know you still make the Wolfsbane potion for Remus every month, even though you hate him and he can’t afford it.
“I know you allow everyone to believe you hate me and think I’m just like my father… but you don’t, really.
“And you are the only one to see me as just Harry. I don’t know if you know how much that means to me.
“I’ve been a freak and a criminal to my relatives. I’ve been hoisted atop the highest pedestal and knocked to the lowest of lows by the wizarding world, but you’ve always been there with your silent regard and hidden support. I know I wouldn’t have survived the final battle without your training and research skills.
“And I know the wizarding world expects me to marry some witch --probably Ginny-- and have loads of little Potters, but it’s time I proclaim what I want.
“You. You, Severus, that’s what I want. You in all your black-robed, hooked-nosed, sarcastic glory.”
Severus could only stare at the young man in front of him. He hadn’t known how to tell Harry that Harry was everything he’d always wanted, but never believed he would get. So he’d done the only thing he could think of: leaned forward, placed his hands on either side of Harry’s head and kissed him.
What had started out as a gentle caress of lips, soon exploded in a hot hungry kiss of desire and passion. With every stroke of a tongue and clash of teeth, with each gasping moan and whispered plea, they’d risen higher and higher until finally the wave crashed over them, leaving them shuddering through the most fulfilling climax either had ever achieved.
With foreheads pressed together, trading soft kisses of wonder, green eyes had gazed deep into the dark, coffee-coloured eyes and whispered, “I love you, Severus.”
Pulling his mate closer, he whispered, “I love you too, Harry. I love you, too.”
Harry couldn’t remember the last time he felt so cocooned in safety and warmth. The scent of potions ingredients invaded his senses, and took him back in time to one of his happiest memories.
After the war, Harry had gone back to Hogwarts to work as an apprentice healer under Poppy. He had moved into Severus’ rooms and for the first time, Harry’s life had meaning. Sure, they had their differences, but mostly they found that they were quite compatible.
One afternoon Harry found Severus in his lab brewing potions for the infirmary. Without needing to ask, Harry stepped up to the counter and began to help Severus by preparing ingredients. He was chopping flobberworms for burn paste, when Severus walked up behind him, encircling Harry in his arms, and gently took the knife from Harry’s hand.
Releasing the knife and wiping his hands on the nearby towel, Harry turned in Severus’ arms and, after placing a gentle kiss on the thin lips of his lover, Harry looked deep into the dark chocolate gaze and said, “I love you, Severus.”
“I love you too, my brat,” Severus answered.
Severus had surprised Harry when he stepped away from him, dropped to one knee and pulled a small black box from one of his many pockets.
“For many years I was a lonely, cold, bitter man. Then you came and wore down the walls I had erected around my heart. I can’t imagine spending another day without your presence in my life. Harry, will you marry me?”
Overcome with emotion, Harry threw himself into Severus’ arms, and through Harry’s tears Severus heard, "Yes, Severus. I love you and want nothing more than to spend the rest of my life with you.”
Feeling the emotions as if for the first time, Harry felt tears rolling down his cheeks as he slipped back into sleep.
Severus woke up with Harry’s head resting on his chest, and felt a wet spot growing on his pyjama top. He felt a moment of panic until he looked down and saw the wide smile that graced his husband’s face.
Pulling Harry closer and pressing a kiss to the top of his head, Severus drifted back off to sleep.
Harry didn’t know how much time had passed, but he felt a new presence near him. It wasn’t the safety and comfort of Severus, but felt more childlike, as if it was seeking reassurances from him as well as easing something inside him.
Child? I have a child? How is that possible?
Then Harry remembered:
“Well, Harry, everything looks good. You’ve been experiencing nausea lately because you are about two months pregnant,” Poppy explained to the shell-shocked young man.
“Pregnant?! How in Merlin’s name could I be pregnant? I’m a man!” questioned the expectant father. Turning to look at his husband of two years, “Sev?” he questioned.
Severus looked at his spouse with what could only be described as extreme pleasure and awe. “Harry, while it doesn’t happen often, it is possible for a man to get pregnant when he is both very powerful and in a relationship with his soul mate.”
“I’m really pregnant? We’re going to have a baby?” Harry asked as the confusion and fear evident on his face transformed into one of delight and contentment.
Taking Severus’ hand and placing it on his stomach, Harry looked up at him with tears of joy forming in his emerald eyes. “This is our child. I never thought we’d have a baby. I love you!”
After that memory had come and gone, Harry smiled and in a soft voice said, “Erika.”
Severus walked into Harry’s room and saw his daughter sitting in the chair next to the bed holding her dad’s hand with tears quietly falling from her green eyes.
She looked up when he entered and explained, “He said my name. It was like he knew I was here.”
“I believe he knows when we’re here. I’ve heard him murmuring when I talk to him or hold him. That’s when he seems to respond most,” Severus told her.
“I’m so scared, Father. What if he doesn’t wake up?”
“He will, Erika, I feel that it won’t be much longer.”
Saying that, Severus sat on the bed next to Harry and motioned Erika over to sit with him.
Erika lay down and wrapped her arms around her dad in a hug, and then Severus reached around Harry, wrapping his long arms around not only his husband, but his daughter as well. With Harry literally surrounded by his family, Severus told him, “We’re waiting, Harry, whenever you’re ready. Erika and I are right here and we have our new little one to get ready for. Come back to us.”
It was as if those were the magic words. Harry’s eyes fluttered open and he looked directly into the dark, hypnotising eyes of his husband. With an innocent little smile, Harry whispered, ”Hi.” Then, wrapping his arms around his daughter and snuggling into his soul mate, Harry said, “I love you both so much.”
“Harry!” “Dad!” Severus and Erika exclaimed in unison.
“You’re finally awake,” Severus finished and hugged both of them to him once more.
“What happened? Last I remember I was walking back to your office...” Breaking off, Harry’s eyes grew wide and with an excited look, he finished his thought by saying, “I’m pregnant. Did Poppy tell you? We’re going to have another baby.”
Suddenly, Harry got a frightened look on his face. “The baby… Sev, nothing happened to it, did it?”
“No, Harry, nothing happened to our newest little miracle. The baby is fine and seems to be thriving despite your week long nap, brat.”
“Dad, it was so scary seeing you there and you wouldn’t wake up. Jones and McMillan, the first years who were fighting in the Entrance Hall, managed to not only miss each other with the hexes but they both hit suits of armour, causing the spells to bounce into you. Not only that, but as neither incantation was pronounced correctly, no one knew what exactly you had been hit with. I’m so glad you’re okay now,” Erika explained before Severus had a chance.
“I’m fine now, honey. Everything will be okay now,” Harry replied as he gave her another hug. “I love you so much.”
“I love you too, Dad,” Erika answered before her exhaustion overcame her, and she fell asleep holding on to her dad like she had done when she was six and had had a nightmare.
Gently running his fingers through her long hair, Harry turned to look at Severus. “I love you, Severus, so much.”
Placing a hand on either side of Harry’s face, while being careful of their sleeping daughter, Severus leaned in and whispered, “I love you too, Harry, just as much.” Then Severus slowly closed the gap between them and proceeded to kiss Harry like it was their first kiss all over again.