|Serenus Snape (serenus_snape) wrote in snark_n_bark,|
@ 2009-12-01 21:14:00
|Entry tags:||complete, gaius, regulus, remus, serenus, severus, tybalt|
A New Addition
Characters: The Snape clan... plus one
Summary: The clan gets a little bigger.
Serenus was drowsy from the pain potion he'd been given soon after he arrived at St. Mungo's, but he was still awake and determined to remain so until the nurse brought in their daughter. He'd been feeling twinges in his lower back since the night before, but all the discomfort and warning signs hadn't escalated into full blown labor pains until that day. Tybalt had been playing with the twins in the sun room when Serenus waddled in and said it was time for him to go to the hospital, trying to sound calm so he wouldn't frighten the boys. They had clamored to know why Papa had to go to the hospital, and when he explained it was to get their baby sister, they protested being left in their uncles' care, not because they didn't want Papa and Daddy to fetch their sister, but because they wanted to be there when "theirPuddin'" arrived.
Tybalt had whisked Serenus to the fireplace and bellowed for a Healer as soon as they arrived at St. Mungo's, and Abramowitz arrived shortly thereafter. Then it was simply a matter of minutes before Serenus was prepped, and Serena was safely delivered. They barely had a chance to look at her before she was whisked away to be examined, and Serenus was comfortably settled in a private room, where it was a matter of waiting for their daughter to be brought in - and the rest of the clan to descend.
The wait was pure agony for Tybalt, and he sat by Serenus' side, holding Serenus' hand tightly. He'd had only the briefest glimpse of little Serena before she'd be hurried off, and he couldn't remember if the wait for her to be returned had been this long with the twins or not.
"You did so well," he said, lifting Serenus' hand to his lips and pressing a fervent kiss to Serenus' palm. Alongside his anxiousness for their daughter was his pride in Serenus and his pleasure in knowing that their long-awaited little girl had finally arrived. He stroked Serenus' arm with his other hand. "Are you in any pain? Do you need anything? How long do you think they'll be?"
"I'm fine," Serenus assured him, sounding drowsy even to his own ears, but he had the strength to squeeze Tybalt's hand firmly. "Believe me, I'm feeling no pain, and I don't need anything right now except you and our little girl." He could tell Tybalt was growing anxious, and he gave Tybalt's hand another reassuring squeeze. "It shouldn't be much longer. She'll be here any minute, I'm sure."
"I hope so," Tybalt replied, sighing softly. Fortunately Serenus' prediction turned out to be correct, for at that moment the door opened and a Healer from theObstetrics department entered, holding a tiny bundle in a pink blanket.
"So, were the two of you waiting for someone?" she asked with a wide smile. Crossing to the bed, she placed the bundle into Serenus' arms carefully, then stepped back. "I'm happy to report that she's perfect - ten fingers, ten toes, and as beautiful a little girl as any of us has ever seen. Congratulations!"
Tybalt rose to his feet, barely hearing the Healer. All his attention was focused on Serenus and the pink blanket, and he hovered over Serenus, almost dancing with anticipation like one of the twins when they were expecting a treat. "Let's see her," he murmured close to Serenus' ear. "Let's see our little girl."
Beaming happily, Serenus cradled Serena close and carefully nudged the folds of her pink blanket aside so Tybalt could see her clearly. "She's beautiful," he murmured, gazing down at her scrunched-up face with awe.
"She's perfect." Tybalt stared raptly into Serena's face, feeling his heart melt in his chest. He reached out to brush a finger over her soft cheek, admiring the dark fuzz that adorned the top of her head. Then she opened her eyes, and it was like looking into the bright blue eyes of the twins. "Oh, I think she's going to look like her brothers, don't you?"
"Oh, yes," Serenus said, pleased to see that Serena was going to have dark hair and blue eyes like her brothers, which he considered a striking combination in both genders. Bending his head, he pressed a kiss to her forehead, and then he glanced up at Tybalt. "Would you like to hold her?" he asked, already offering her, because he knew what the answer would be before he even asked.
Chuckling, Tybalt reached down to take her. "Of course," he replied, cradling her against his chest. "And how is daddy's little girl? Is it big and bright out here? Well you don't have to worry about a thing, sweetheart. You have a daddy and a papa and two big brothers and uncles galore to take care of you. We're glad you're here - we've been waiting for you a very, very long time."
Serena blinked up at him, then turned her face toward his finger, making little huffing noises. "Oh, I think she's hungry," he said, glancing at the Healer. "Where can I get her a bottle?"
"Ah, I anticipated the need," she replied, reaching into a bag slung over her shoulder and removing a capped bottle. She twisted off the cap and passed it to him. "Already charmed to the right temperature, so you don't have to test it. I brought diapers, too, and a few other things. HealerAbramowitz will be in shortly to check on you, Mr. Snape. But since this isn't your first delivery, I'm sure you know the drill!"
"I do indeed," Serenus replied, smiling at her. "After having twins the first time, this was a cake walk in comparison. Thank you very much for the supplies. I didn't think to pack anything myself before we came here."
Tybalt offered Serena the bottle, and she latched on and began sucking greedily. He watched for a moment, then grinned at Serenus. "From what Remus and Severus say, the birth may have been a cake walk, but if she's anything like her oldest cousin that will be the only easy part. But we'll love her no matter what, won't we? Daddy's sweet little baby girl is perfect any way she chooses to be."
Serenus laughed, seeing that Tybalt was already owned completely, which was fine with him, since it meant he was guaranteed years of amusement and the potential of taking endless embarrassing photographs. He loved their daughter already, and he knew he would create his own kind of connection with her, but he was fine with her being a Daddy's girl; there was no need for jealousy when he knew Tybalt had a heart big enough to love all three of their children - and him, of course! - and he had already seen how special father-daughter bonds could be with Severus and Cymbeline, which he wouldn't dream of depriving either Tybalt or Serena of.
"I'm curious to see who she'll take after in terms of temperament," he said, watching them with fond affection. "With any luck, Etienne got all the Snape for our side of the family, and she'll be one of the more mellow ones, but yes, we'll love her no matter what."
"I can't wait to get her home and start spoi... taking care of her," Tybalt said, his eyes dancing with amusement. "And I'm sure even Etienne will be wrapped around the fingers of 'hisPuddin'. At least we won't have to go through what Severus and Remus did with sibling jealousy, thank Merlin!"
"Speaking of Professor... er, Mr. Snape, he's in the waiting room with Mr. Lupin, and two other men," the Healer said. "Would you like to see them for a short time? Not too long, HealerAbramowitz was quite firm that you weren't to get over tired."
Serenus smiled, pleased and not at all surprised that their family had arrived. "Yes, please let them come in," he said. "I'm sure they won't over-stay their welcome. Severus has done this twice before, too, so he knows how it feels."
"All right." The Healer placed the bag close by Tybalt's chair, then smiled at them before departing.
Tybalt settled back down in the chair positioning himself so that Serenus could see Serena. "Time for her to meet more of her adoring fans," he said. "Hopefully she won't mind being passed around like a sack of potatoes!" He wasn't keen to release her, even to her adoring uncles, but he told himself that they were only staying a short time, then he'd get to hold her all he wanted.
At that moment the door opened, and Gaius breezed into the room, holding an enormous stuffed black cat, one that was at least ten times larger than Anubis. "So, can I kiss the baby?" he asked, eyes sparkling as he crossed to Serenus. "Oh, and the newborn, too."
"You may kiss whomever you like," Serenus replied, holding out one hand as Gaius approached, and his dark eyes danced with amusement as he looked at the toy cat. "I see the spoiling has commenced!"
"Of course it has," Regulus said as he followed in Gaius' wake, carrying a small bag that contained a delicate pink gown made of the finest Egyptian linen and a tiny baby bracelet engraved with hieroglyphs for luck, health, and protection. "He brought a toy. I brought clothes and jewelry," he added, holding up the bag.
"I brought diapers, spit-up cloths, and a pacifier," Severus said as he swept into the room, robes billowing. "Practical items."
"And much needed, too," Serenus said soothingly. "Although I doubt Tybalt will argue that it's too soon to start draping her in finery," he added with undisguised amusement.
"Thank you, all of you," Tybalt said, beaming at them happily, grateful for the care of all the members of their family. "Luxuries and practicalities are both needed and appreciated!"
"How about indulgences for the new parents?" Remus asked, slipping into the room after the others and closing the door behind himself. He kept one hand behind himself, hiding something as he crossed to the bedside and leaned forward to kiss Serenus. "If you're anything like Severus, and I know you are, the food here won't suit you a bit. So I made a very quick trip somewhere, and..." he moved his arm, showing a plain brown bag. "Serafina'salfredo, still warm from her stove and just for you!"
Serenus reached for the bag eagerly, already salivating from the scent wafting to him. "Brilliant! If I wasn't medicated to the gills, I'd offer you the sexual favor of your choosing right here on the hospital bed for this." He noticed Regulus sputtering at that and smiled beatifically. "What? I'd let Tybalt and Severus watch."
Regulus turned bright red, but didn't comment, ignoring Serenus' wicked grin, and Serenus abandoned the pleasure of teasing him in favor of digging into the bag. Not only had Serafina packedalfredo - with a plate, fork, and napkins - but she had added some spell-chilled tiramisu and a small wrapped box. When he opened it, he found an antique lace cap inside with a note explaining that it was one that had been in her family, but which she hadn't been able to pass on because she hadn't had any daughters or granddaughters so far, only sons and grandsons, and she was pleased to give it to a girl in the family at last. As he held up the cap for the rest of them to see, he couldn't help but sniffle a little, blaming it on his hormones.
"It's beautiful," Tybalt said, touched that Serafina would make such a wonderful gesture. "We'll have to visit her soon so that she can meet Serena."
"And what about the rest of us?" Gaius asked.
Tybalt chuckled and moved so that the rest of them could get a look at their niece. "So, Uncle Severus, would you like to hold her?" he asked.
"Of course." Severus moved closer to Tybalt's chair and accepted the small, pink bundle from him, and then he returned to stand near Remus so Remus could get a good look at her, too. Severus held her carefully as he scrutinized her, noting that she appeared to share the twins' coloration, and he touched her cheek lightly. Holding a newborn again reminded him of the births of his own children, and it gave him a little pang of longing, but only for a moment. As much as he had enjoyed being pregnant and the possessive pleasure of carrying Remus' child, he was satisfied with his decision to stop at three so that they would be able to share time as a couple before they were old enough to risk breaking a hip every time they had sex. She yawned and blinked owlishly up at him, coaxing a small smile from him as she latched on to his finger. "She's very pretty," he said, a note of approval in his voice.
"Yes, she is," Serenus agreed, not bothering to hide his parental pride in their newest addition.
"She'll be a heartbreaker, that's for certain," Remus said, beaming fondly at his new niece. "Just like her brothers, and her cousins. I have a feeling we'll all have our hands full with this lot in a few years. Especially if their, um, appetites are as healthy in that area as the rest of us."
Tybalt choked. "Not my daughter!" he said, scowling darkly. Just the thought of some boy being after his little girl was enough to bring out every protective instinct in him. Then he realized what he'd said, and looked at Severus sympathetically. "And.... I think I just had a taste of what you must feel about Cymbeline."
"It only gets worse," Severus said grimly. He would be quite happy if all three of his children took vows of celibacy, and he certainly wasn't ready to think about any of them dating, much less having sex. That was one area about which he intended to remain in denial for as long as possible. "Here, your turn," he added, offering Serena to Remus. As nice as it was to hold a newborn again, he knew there were others in the room who wanted a chance to coddle the new arrival before they were shooed out by the Healers.
Remus accepted her, grinning and enjoying the sensation of holding a baby again. He didn't regret their decision not to have more children, but from time to time it was nice to be reminded what it was like to have an infant around again. Cymbeline, Lysander, and Gaia were growing so quickly, and holding little Serena Remy brought back reminders of all the joy he'd felt in their own children.
"Well you'll definitely have plenty of people to protect you and spoil you," he told her. "I suspect Gaia will have to be convinced you aren't her own living baby doll."
"If Etienne and Serafino let her get close enough," Tybalt said, chuckling and shaking his head. "The boys are quite ready for their baby sister to come home. Or theirPuddin', as they insist on calling her."
"Nothing wrong with nicknames," Gaius said, smiling at the baby over Remus' shoulder. Remus grinned, then turned and put her into Gaius' arms.
"Your turn, Unca Kitty," he said.
Gaius held her carefully, as though she were a piece of spun glass he was afraid he might drop. "I don't know how you all have done it with newborns," he said, marveling at how tiny and delicate she was. "They're pretty sturdy by the time they are walking, but at this age... I don't know, it always feels like they'll break!"
"As long as you don't do anything stupid with them, they won't," Severus said tartly. "Babies are sturdier than they seem, and if I can raise three children through infancy without causing any damage, you have nothing to worry about."
"You do look quite natural holding a baby," Serenus chimed in, trying to maintain an innocent expression as he teased Gaius. "Maybe you have some latent maternal instincts."
Gaius flushed at his brother's teasing. "You're awful, both of you," he complained half-heartedly. "There is nothing at all maternal about me! And don't you dare make any jokes about my preferences!" He looked at Regulus. "Here, why don't you hold her so that they can tease you and let me off the hook?"
"Thanks," Regulus said dryly, but he reached out and took Serena from Gaius' arms nonetheless. He held her carefully, feeling almost as uncertain about it as Gaius had been; the twins were past infancy when he moved into Azoth House, and he'd never had much experience with babies, thus Serena was a source of fascination for him, despite his concern about breaking her with a mere touch. He stared down at her, and she seemed to stare back, albeit owlishly so, and he stroked her cheek lightly, marveling at the softness and delicacy of her skin. He'd never considered himself terribly paternal, but at the moment, he found he rather liked the idea of having a baby of his own.
"Uh-oh, looks like Regulus is smitten already," Serenus said, grinning. "Gaius, you may be in trouble now!"
"Perhaps I ought to take the blue pot over to Azoth House," Severus said, smirking.
Gaius mumbled something that might have been either a curse or a prayer, but he had to admit that the sight of Regulus with Serena touched something inside him. Regulus had spoken before about being the last of the Blacks, and he thought that deep down Regulus might want a child of his own - of their own. It was something he was going to have to think about, and that the two of them would have to talk about, but he wasn't certain that he was ready just yet to give up the freedom they enjoyed. He would wait for Regulus to bring it up when he was ready, and at that point they could talk about what might be done, but until then he was content to be an uncle, enjoy the children and then be able to go shag Regulus anytime they wanted without having to be worried about who was minding the children.
"Ha ha," he said finally, giving his brothers a look like a cat who'd had its fur stroked the wrong way. "I'll thank you to leave such decisions to Regulus and me, if you please."
Remus smiled wryly. "Fate often has a way of making such decisions for you, we've found," he said. "Isn't that right, Severus?"
"Indeed it is," Severus agreed, sliding one arm around Remus' waist. "Neither Remus nor I expected to find ourselves pregnant the first time around, but I would not change our fate in that respect. If it had been up to me to decide when we began having children, we would still be waiting. I had too many doubts about my own parenting abilities."
"Which were all unfounded," Serenus said with a firm nod.
"Sometimes, things happen when they should, not when we want them to," Regulus said as he returned Serena to Tybalt with some reluctance.
Gaius watched Regulus, reading what his body language was saying, and he moved to put an arm around Regulus' waist, pressing close to him, lending him silent support, smiling and letting Regulus see how much he was loved. He didn't want to say much more in the presence of the others, because he knew they would pry, and as much as he knew they meant well, it was definitely not a topic for group discussion.
Fortunately at that moment Healer Abramowitz came in. "Well, the gang's all here," he said, smiling at Severus and Remus, nodding to Regulus and Gaius, before crossing to peak at Serena before turning his attention to Serenus. "How are you holding up? Any pain? Everything feeling all right?"
"I feel fine right now," Serenus replied, smiling at the jovial Healer. "The pain potion is still working. I'm just a little tired, that's all."
"Well we can fix that," the Healer said. "All right, all of you, visiting time is over. With luck Serenus can go home tomorrow, but only if I can determine he's in good enough shape."
Remus nodded, understanding quite well why Serenus was tired. "We should get home to the children - they'll have a million questions about the new baby." Leaning over, he kissed Serenus' cheek. "Enjoy youralfredo. We'll take good care of the boys until you get home, I promise."
"Thank you, I appreciate it," Serenus replied, returning the kiss, and then he beckoned to Severus and Gaius to give him a good-bye kiss as well.
Severus rolled his eyes, but he approached and bent to kiss Serenus' cheek, not wanting to shock the Healer, and then he returned to Remus' side. "We'll see you tomorrow, one place or the other," he said as he and Remus departed.
"Absolutely," Gaius agreed, giving Serenus a kiss as well. Then he stopped next to Tybalt and kissed his cheek, too. "Take care of them both."
"You know I will," Tybalt replied, nodding firmly. He smiled and put a hand on Regulus' shoulder. "I'll be staying here tonight, so if you don't mind watching out for Etienne? He's particularly fond of you."
"Of course." Regulus nodded, pleased to be given both trust and responsibility. "I'd be glad to."
"Thanks," Tybalt replied, grateful for Regulus and all the members of their family. "We'll see you all tomorrow!"
Gaius big them goodbye, and then he and Regulus departed as well. The Healer watched them go, then turned back to Serenus, drawing his wand and doing a quick diagnostic spell.
"You're doing fine, but you definitely need rest to get back your strength. And food." He looked pointedly at the bag containing Serafina'salfredo , but his eyes were twinkling. "Eat, then I want you to go to sleep, at least for a while. If Serena starts crying, we can take her to the nursery."
Serenus smiled sheepishly, grateful that Abramowitz didn't mind that he had smuggled-in food. "Don't worry. I'm sure that even if I was inclined to misbehave, Tybalt would keep me corralled," he said, giving Tybalt an impish look. "Good luck on trying to pry Serena out of his arms, though!"
Tybalt gave Serenus a wicked smile in response. "I'll do what I must to make sure he gets rest - even if it means pacing the halls with the baby to soothe her," he said.
"Good man. I'll be back in the morning to check in with you again, but as long as you're doing well, I don't see any problem with you going home." Abramowitz smiled then took his leave.
Tybalt looked down at Serena, who had stuffed her small fingers in her mouth and fallen asleep. "You'd best eat that alfredo while it's still warm," he told Serenus. "I'd hate to have to tell Serafina it had gone to waste!"
"I will," Serenus replied, but he paused to watch Tybalt cooing over Serena for a moment longer, filled with fond affection at the sight of father-daughter bonding. He knew Severus would accuse him of being unbearably soppy, but he didn't care; this was one of life's better moments, and he wanted to savor it while it lasted. Only when the scent of thealfredo became too tempting to resist any longer did he tear his attention away and begin unpacking the bag. "If you're very good, I'll give you a bite," he said, giving Tybalt a teasing look. "I may even give you somealfredo."
Tybalt grinned. "I'll be a very good boy, then," he promised, relaxing back in the chair and watching Serenus. He felt tired, but pleasantly so, and very content - or as content as he could be in a hospital where he couldn't share Serenus' bed. "At least until we get home and you're all healed - then I plan to be a very bad boy, so that I can show you how much I appreciate you giving me a perfectly beautiful little daughter."
Serenus mirrored Tybalt's grin as he opened the container of alfredo and dug in with renewed appetite, savoring every bite. "I look forward to it," he murmured huskily. "Believe me, I'm appreciative too, and I can't wait to be home and healed so we can show each other how happy and grateful we both are."
"Good, then we're in agreement," Tybalt replied, the tone of Serenus' voice sending a pleasant shiver down his spine. Tomorrow they'd be home, and their family would all be together again. Their large, crazy, loud, noisy, and utterly wonderful family, who would tease and torment and laugh with them, until they went up to their room and created their own kind of magic between them.