Actions

Work Header

Confusing Christmas Eve

Work Text:

~~*~*~~

Harry hurried up towards the hospital wing, his heart pounding so hard he could hear the blood flowing through his veins. When Kreacher had popped into his office to report Severus had collapsed in the Great Hall during lunch, Harry’s heart had stopped for a moment. He’d Apparated to the front gates and had taken off at a dead run, dodging the few students who weren’t at lunch as he took the stairs two at a time. Luckily, the moving staircases seemed to feel his anxiety and behaved for him as Harry skidded to a stop at the double doors leading to Poppy Pomfrey’s domain.

Taking in a deep breath, Harry tried to get his heart rate under control, as it wouldn’t do to have Severus see him so upset. Harry might be deeply in love with Severus, but Severus only thought of him as a friend and Harry was loath to do anything to damage the relationship. Another deep breath and Harry ran a hand through his hair, before pushing open the doors. The large room seemed empty, until Harry heard a murmur of voices from near the matron’s office. As he moved closer, Harry could see a pale Severus, clad in a hospital gown, in the last bed, his arms crossed defiantly over his chest as he glared at Poppy.

“Severus?” Harry moved closer. “What happened?”

The fierce scowl on Severus’ face would have quelled anyone else, but Harry had been at Severus’ bedside from the end of the Final Battle, through his exoneration, and reinstatement as Headmaster of Hogwarts. Harry had grown immune to the terror these expressions invoked in students and adults alike, but he could read the anger and fear which lay behind it. Harry knew every expression Severus was capable of, had learned to dispel the man’s temper through careful trial and error, but this particular scowl was new. Madam Pomfrey shot him an equally unreadable look as she patted Severus on the arm and headed into her office.

“It seems that I am the victim of a crime,” Severus snapped, his eyes not quite meeting Harry’s, as he sat down in the chair beside the bad.

“What!”

Studying his hands for a moment, Severus seemed to take a calming breath. “Poppy informs me that my lightheadedness in the Great Hall was due to being three weeks pregnant.”

For the second time in less than an hour, Harry’s heart froze in his chest. He swallowed the lump that formed in his throat as he clamped down on the emotion threatening to overwhelm him. He didn’t notice Severus glancing up to study his reaction.

“I have not consented to sexual intercourse in—a considerable period of time,” Severus bit out. “Therefore, someone must have perpetrated an assault on my person and erased my memory of the act, as improbable as that seems.”

“I’ll kill him!” Harry growled, reaching to take one of Severus’ hands. “I will track him down and make the bastard regret the day he ever forced himself on my—you.”

Severus arched an eyebrow at him. “You may have successfully completed the Auror Academy prior to deciding on your current career path, but I doubt you would be more effective at tracking the bastard down than a tenured Auror.”

“I don’t car—”

“—especially someone with the skills to Obliviate me!” Severus continued, his voice raising as he talked over Harry. “And Poppy states that we will be able to do a paternity test in about three weeks, which will provide us with the identify.”

“I don’t even remember you dancing with anyone else,” Harry told him. “In fact, I’ve haven’t been able to remember anything past the last dance that night, until I woke up in one of the guest rooms.”

Severus narrowed his eyes. “What do you mean, you can’t remember?”

“I just thought I’d got a little tipsy and one of the house-elves had put me to bed.” Harry's cheeks heated with embarrassment.

“And you didn’t think to say anything to me?” Severus frowned. “Perhaps I’m not the only victim here.”

Harry snapped his mouth closed as he took in Severus’ words.

“Poppy tells me the child should be born around the start of the term next fall.”

“You’re having it?”

Severus’ eyes narrowed at him. “It’s a magical pregnancy, Potter! Being a pediatric healer, you should know what that means to the bearer!”

The words slapped Harry in the face and for an instant, white-hot jealousy consumed him, but he pushed it away. His feelings didn’t matter in this situation; he would support Severus and his child to the fullest.

“My apologies, Severus, I wasn’t thinking,” Harry said calmly. “As your friend, I was just concerned about how you were dealing with the circumstances.”

His face relaxing, Severus nodded. “It is certainly not the way I would have wished to bring a child into the world, but a magical child is a gift and I will welcome this one into my life.”

Harry kept his facial expression neutral. “And no one understands better than I do what a difference a loving, stable home makes in a child’s life.”

Severus gave him a shrewd look. “What are you trying to say, Potter?”

“I will move in with you to make sure you—and the baby – are taken care of.”

“I think it’s a splendid idea!” Poppy’s voice drifted from her office.

Glaring, Severus drew his wand from under his pillow and Harry stifled a smile as he felt a Silencing Charm cast around them. “Interfering old biddy!”

“It would benefit both of us, Severus,” Harry told him, reaching out to put a hand on Severus’ arm. “I would be there for you, we could finally collaborate on that line of children’s potions, and you’d have a live-in pediatric healer at your disposal.”

“And you would get to eat regular meals,” Severus added with a sneer. “Something you haven’t done since you sent that blasted house-elf of yours to spy on me.”

Harry grinned. “Then it’s settled! I’ll move in this afternoon as the office is closed, starting now, for holidays.”

“Foolhardy Gryffindor sentiment,” Severus responded but there was no rancor in it. “I’m not decorating for you.”

“I think just a tree in the corner will be fine,” Harry said, ignoring Severus’ frown. “Maybe a garland on the mantel. Oh, and fairy lights! I love fairy lights!”

“I detest fairy lights!” Severus snapped back. “I’ll not have you cluttering up my rooms, Potter!”

Grinning, Harry sat back and continued the lively debate until he needed to leave. He was thrilled to see the color back in Severus’ face and his prickly disposition return. This was the Severus Snape that Harry had fallen in love with, the man Harry couldn’t imagine living without. If friendship was the best he could get, Harry could live with that. And he would love Severus’ child as much as if he were his own.

~~*~*~~

Severus watched as Harry headed towards the infirmary doors, admiring the way the well-cut robes clung tantalizingly to the fine arse beneath them. He smirked as he thought about Harry’s maneuvering his way into becoming Severus' roommate. If Severus’ plans went the way he hoped, Harry wouldn’t be occupying the empty guest room for long, but instead would be residing in Severus’ bed.

“I will kill the bastard, Severus!” Harry’s voice rang out just before he disappeared through the double doors.

Carefully laying a hand on his flat abdomen, Severus concentrated and was able to feel the tingle of magic from the developing child within him. As puzzled as he was by this situation, Severus knew instinctively that he had not been violated. This child was the result of a consensual act, he was sure, but someone had Obliviated the memory, the equivalent of raping his mind. Harry’s reaction had reassured Severus. Harry had responded just the way Severus had anticipated, in true Potter fashion, by demanding he move in to protect Severus. It was up to the Aurors to deal with the perpetrator, as Severus would insist on Azkaban for the perpetrator.

Perhaps with them living in close quarters, Harry would begin to return Severus’ regard. Their friendship had become close in the eight years since the defeat of the Dark Lord, but Severus had realized he was in love with Harry several years ago. It was encouraging to him that, despite many invitations, Harry hadn’t really dated since he left Hogwarts. Even the youngest Weasley, happily married with two children, tried to set him up, to no avail. In fact, instead of accepting the invitations, Harry began to spend more time on his studies, graduating from his healer’s course and apprenticeship early.

“Severus, if you are feeling better, I believe you’re—”

With a flick of his wand, Severus returned his clothing to his customary black robes and canceled the Sticking Charm Poppy had cast on him to keep him in the bed. He was careful, standing up slowly so he wouldn’t experience the same lightheadedness which sent him to this purgatory. There were preparations to make before Harry returned.

“I’m quite well, Madam!” Severus swept out of the room without a backward look, intent on making his escape before the woman could think of any other reason to detain him.

Using secret corridors and passages known only to Hogwarts Heads, Severus made his way back to his office without seeing a soul. Minerva would be full of questions that Severus was not yet ready to answer, plus someone from the Ministry should be appearing to interview him after Poppy had Flooed Shacklebolt. The mediwitch shared Severus’ distrust of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement since Dawlish was made Head Auror. While Harry never really give Severus the true reason for leaving the Corps after graduating at the top of his class, Harry had said enough for Severus to determine he’d been the subject of continual hazing.

Severus had no more than settled back in his chair with a tea tray left for him by the house-elves, when the Floo activated and a figure stepped out. Severus arched an eyebrow as Kingsley Shacklebolt brushed soot off his sleeve.

“Minister,” Severus said, not bothering to stand. “Just in time for tea.”

Kingsley inclined his head, his expression uncharacteristically grim as he sat down across from Severus and accepted a cup. “Thank you, Severus, I just wish I was here under better circumstances. Are you all right?”

“I am physically uninjured, except for discovering that I am pregnant.”

“Highly suspicious, that. Not to worry, I asked Dawlish to send over two of the best he has in that particular field.” Blowing across his tea to cool it, Kingsley pinned Severus with a look Severus suspected he’d perfected during his years as an Auror. “I must ask, Severus, whether there is any chance you could have had an, ah, encounter without remembering it?”

Severus frowned, biting his tongue not to fire off a scathing retort about his sex life, or the lack of same. He instead concentrated on his activities surrounding the time period in question, examining his memory. He was able to reconstruct every day, until he got to the night of the Malfoy’s Winter Soiree on the first of December. It had been a small gathering, by Malfoy standards, with about a hundred in attendance, and Harry had accompanied him, as usual. They’d had a lovely dinner, drank Lucius’ aged brandy, and even danced—then nothing.

Attempting to stay relaxed, Severus tried to remember what had happened after he and Harry had danced, both a bit tipsy, just about the time they’d agreed to leave the gathering. It was a complete blank. Severus frowned. This shouldn’t have happened to him, with the strength of his shields. However, the next thing he could remember was waking up in a bed in the guest room assigned to him for the party. Despite the amount of his host’s fine liquor he’d had to drink, Severus had felt fine, as if the alcohol had been purged from his system, but he certainly didn’t recall consuming a Sobering Potion. Although the end of the evening had been an absolutely blank, Severus still hadn’t felt anything else was amiss, initially putting his inability to remember down to the brandy.

A soft chime announced the presence of someone walking past the gargoyle guarding the entrance to Severus’ office. Frowning, Severus stood to lock the door when Kingsley held up his hand.

“That should be the Aurors from the Assault Unit,” he said, reaching for a chocolate biscuit. “I believe Poppy invited them to use her Floo.”

“Ahh.” Severus reseated himself and allowed his face to settle into a neutral mask.

He opened the door with a wave of his hand when the knock sounded, sitting tall behind the massive desk which had been Albus Dumbledore’s before him. An older witch, her scarlet Auror robes clashing with her cooper-colored hair, strode in with a brisk step. She was followed by a younger witch, with mousy brown hair and a nervous smile. This Auror stepped hesitantly into the office, looking around nervously. Severus recognized her as having only completed school four years prior as she looked around the office with an expression of awe. This was one of the professionals the Department of Law Enforcement had sent?

“Do come in, Miss Murchison, and shut the door,” Severus snapped at the former Gryffindor. “I’d rather not announce my victimization to the whole school!”

Kingsley wiped his mouth with his serviette and stood. “Aurors Stanley and Murchison, I expect a thorough investigation and I will be requesting an Unspeakable to assist you.”

“An Unspeakable, Minister?” the older woman asked, frowning heavily.

Severus remembered her as a Ravenclaw who went through Hogwarts two years ahead of himself. The Hermione Granger of her era, Severus thought, but at least Granger had turned out to have some socially redeeming qualities. Severus didn’t know whether Viola Stanley had developed any of those qualities since she’d left school. By her demeanor, Severus doubted it.

Kingsley obviously didn’t think so either, as he gave Stanley a hard look. “I suggest you begin your investigation and ask the right questions, Auror Stanley, then you will realize why an Unspeakable is necessary to finding the perpetrator!”

Pivoting on his heel, Kingsley disappeared into the fireplace in a swirl of robes. Severus was fairly impressed with the exit, but schooled his features as the two Aurors stepped towards his desk. He knew they would have picked up Poppy’s statement already and he needn’t go through what had put him in the hospital wing to start with. Sitting down, he crossed his arms over his chest and waited for the questioning to begin, refusing to invite them to sit.

“Our understanding, Snape—”

Headmaster Snape!” Severus hissed, his eyes narrowing.

“Yes, Headmaster Snape, we understand this crime was perpetrated approximately three weeks ago and that you have denied—”

“I’ve not denied anything,” Severus snapped, his temper rising.

The Floo activated and Severus was incredibly thankful to see Harry stumble out of the fireplace. A flick of his wand took care of the soot on his lime green robes as Harry swept the room with an assessing look. His eyes met Severus’ and, in that moment, Severus was reminded of just how powerful a wizard the young man was.

“Hi, Harry!” Murchison gushed, batting her eyelashes.

Severus rolled his eyes, even though he knew Harry probably didn’t even remember her, as she would’ve only been a second or third year when he finished his schooling at Hogwarts.

“Hello, Miranda.”

A tendril of jealousy curled in Severus’ stomach at Harry’s easy greeting as Stanley, ignoring Harry’s arrival, continued with her questioning.

“And what were you wearing the night in question, Headmaster Snape? Is it possible that you invited this to—”

“Enough!” Harry’s voice reverberated through the room, his magic rattling the windows. “That isn’t the line of questioning you were taught at the academy, Auror, and I plan to file a formal complaint with the Head Auror if you don’t cease immediately.”

Stanley sneered at him, clearly unimpressed. “How about I arrest you for interfering with an investigation, Potter?”

“Arresting a victim isn’t the idea, Debby,” Murchison said quietly.

Stanley bristled as Harry moved to stand beside Severus. “I’m trying to gather information critical to the case—”

“Neither of us can remember anything from the end of dancing to when we woke up the next day, Auror Stanley. My lack of memory has nothing to do with what my dress robes looked like, nor what I drank that night.” Severus was done with the questions.

“You are accusing someone of Obliviating your memory of the evening, Professor?” There was an underlying sneer to the Auror’s tone. “That’s akin to using an Unforgiveable.”

“Absolutely not, Auror,” Severus answered in a silky voice. “Had you done any preparatory work, you would have found that I am a master Occlumens. No witch or wizard should be able to Obliviate me. So I can’t fathom what was done to me.”

“Is Potter an Occlumens?” Stanley crossed her arms over her chest.

“Not like Professor Snape, but I can shield my mind.” Harry spoke for himself.

“Did you attend the party together?” Murchison asked eagerly, a quill and scroll of parchment in her hand.

Severus frowned. “We did.”

“And you were together the entire time?”

“As best as I can remember,” Harry answered.

“Then I could use Legilimency to check whether Harry has been Obliviated,” Murchison declared, a bit too enthusiastic for Severus.

“I don’t—”

“Unequivocally not!”

Severus and Harry spoke at the same time, both shuddering at the idea.

“Minister Shacklebolt mentioned requesting an Unspeakable,” Severus pointed out. “Perhaps it’s someone who is an expert in Legilimency.”

As if on cue, the Floo flared again and Draco Malfoy stepped gracefully out.

~~*~*~~

Already furious at the antics of both Aurors, Harry became enraged as he watched Malfoy immediately headed towards them, all but pushing Harry out of the way to get to Severus.

“Severus! What happened? Is it true? Are you all right?”

Malfoy made to throw his arms around Severus and Harry could feel his magic swirling around him. The feel of Severus’ hand on his arm grounded him as Malfoy reined in his exuberance, no doubt awestruck by the power of his magic, Harry thought smugly.

“I am fine, Draco; however, both Harry and I seem to have been the victims of a Legilimens,” Severus told him, glaring at the Aurors. “And we don’t seem to be getting anywhere with the investigation.”

“Whatever happened, happened while we were at that ball your parents put on!” Harry growled, hoping Malfoy took the threat he was making.

Malfoy rolled his eyes and, if it wasn’t for Severus, Harry would have hexed him into next week. Huffing out something under his breath, Severus quickly explained the situation to Malfoy as Stanley scowled and Murchison eyed the new arrival with a glint in her eye. Harry took several deep breaths, attempting to get his anger under control. It wouldn’t do to have Severus think he had a hair-trigger temper, especially with the baby coming. He closed his eyes for a moment, centering himself and bringing his magic back under his iron-willed control. Only the Aurors who had tormented him, and Severus, knew exactly how powerful Harry’s magic was when he lost control.

“Then perhaps Malfoy needs to give us a list of the guests who attended this party,” Stanley was saying as Harry opened his eyes.

“That’s Supervising Unspeakable Malfoy to you, Auror!” Malfoy bit out, no question about the authority in his voice. “I have no idea who was on my parents' guest list.”

“Regardless,” Stanley snapped. “I will need a copy of that list.”

“Why don’t we just have Unspeakable Malfoy do what he came to do?” Severus’ voice was deceptively soft.

Harry tensed, but he would agree with just about anything to get this interrogation over with. He didn’t know when they went from being the victims to having to prove they were actually victimized.

“What is he supposed to do?” Murchison asked, looking between them.

“I am an expert on mind magic, Auror. I am here to try and identify who might have Obliviated Potter and Headmaster Snape,” Malfoy sneered at them.

“You said you were a Master Occlumens, Headmaster,” Stanley challenged, “how is he going to—”

“Healer Potter is not,” Severus interjected. “Draco will make his determination with him first.”

For a moment, Harry almost panicked and only Severus’ hand tightening on his arm stopped it. Slowly, he turned his head to meet Severus’ eyes and, swallowing his misgivings, nodded slightly.

“I don’t suppose we can do this in private?” Malfoy surprised him by asking.

“We’ll need to witness the exchange for our investigation,” Stanley told him with a smirk.

Severus tugged on Harry’s arm, directing him to lean against Severus’ desk as Malfoy moved to stand in front of him. Harry met the cool gray eyes, wondering how he was going to hide his secrets. Malfoy had been decent after the war, one of the few who had spoken up for him when most of the Auror Corp felt Harry had to prove to them that he was powerful enough to have defeated Voldemort. They had even managed a friendship, of sorts, encouraged by Severus, until Harry figured out about six months ago Malfoy was in love with Severus.

“Harry?”

Severus sounded concerned and Harry gave him what he hoped was a reassuring smile. He remembered all too well those Occlumency lessons in his fifth year and how bloody painful they had been. In the academy Harry had finally managed to erect adequate barriers, but they wouldn’t withstand someone like Severus or Malfoy. Taking a deep breath, Harry drew the memory of the Malfoys’ party to the forefront of his mind and relaxed his barriers.

“I’m ready.”

Malfoy met his eyes with a neutral look on his face and slowly raised his wand. “Legilimens!

The harsh intrusion Harry feared never came. Instead there was a persistent nudge at the edge of his consciousness before the night of the soiree flashed through his mind. His reaction to how Severus looked that night flashed by and he shoved Malfoy out of his mind. Harry found himself on his knees, Severus crouched down beside him.

“Are you all right?” Severus asked him softly, hands on Harry’s shoulders.

Resisting the urge to lean in to Severus, Harry allowed himself to be helped up from the floor. Malfoy was sprawled in the chair in front of the desk, his face paler than usual. The two Aurors had edged closer, apparently not wanting to miss a thing, Harry guessed. Severus kept a hand on Harry’s shoulder as he helped Harry into his own chair behind the desk.

“So?” Severus snapped when Malfoy remained silent.

“It’s—” Malfoy cleared his throat. “The memory is gone.”

“Gone?” Stanley asked, making a note on her parchment.

“Gone, erased, excised, whatever you want to call it, the memory of what happened that evening, from the time of the final dance until the next morning, has been removed from Potter’s mind.”

Harry’s head throbbed at the temples and he leaned it back against the leather back. “Bloody hell!”

“Do you feel up to Legilimizing me, Draco,” Severus asked.

“Will you be able to relax enough to let me in?”

“I believe so.”

Harry watched, apprehensive, as he watched Malfoy cast the spell on Severus as he stood next to Harry’s chair. It seemed as if it took much longer this time, but Severus stayed on his feet as he and Malfoy came out of the spell. Malfoy again collapsed into the chair in front of the desk, while Severus seemed unaffected by the intrusion. Harry started to stand, only to have Severus wave him back. Stanley and Murchison were looking from one to the other, as if watching a Quidditch match.

“Well?” Harry asked when the silence dragged on.

Malfoy shook his head as though to clear it, before answering. “The exact same location in your memory has been obscured, Severus. I believe your shields protected you from a complete excision as with Potter, but I don’t believe there is any way to bring that memory forward.”

“Then we were attacked by the same person?” Harry asked, fingers massaging his temples.

“Yes, in my professional opinion, both these attempts to obscure your memories were done by the same person, but—” Malfoy hesitated, rubbing his own forehead. “The magic isn’t like I’ve ever seen before.” He shook his head.

Severus swayed and Harry was on his feet in an instant, guiding him into the chair. As he poured a fresh cup of tea for him, Harry was aware of three sets of eyes on him. He looked up, meeting Malfoy’s with a clear challenge before turning to frown at the two Aurors.

“What are you two waiting for? Don’t you have an investigation to conduct?” Harry snapped at them as they looked at each other.

“I believe we have everything we need from you, Har—Mr. Potter,” Murchison said as Stanley glared at Malfoy.

“We will expect your report, as well as the list of guests by the end of the day, Unspeakable.” Stanley didn’t wait for an answer, pivoting on her heel and marching out the office door.

Murchison threw one last smile Harry’s way before following her partner out the door. Malfoy snorted and quickly covered it with a cough as Severus glared at him. Harry started to shake his head, only to have it start pounding again. A vial was pushed into his hand and Harry smiled as he recognized the Headache Reliever, downing it in one swallow.

“Thank you,” he said quietly as he handed the vial back to Severus.

“I will also take my leave,” Malfoy announced as he stood up. “I’ll will have my report to the Aurors by this evening.” He moved around the desk, waving off the potion vial Severus held out to him. “No, I’m fine and I want to be able to put both these memories into an evidence Pensieve without being under the influence of a potion, even an analgesic. Severus, I trust you will accept Mother and Father’s invitation to Christmas Eve at the Manor?”

Harry whipped his head around to stare at Severus, who was nodding his head and giving Malfoy a fond look.

“Of course, Draco, we’ll be there at half six.”

The hot stab of jealousy once again hit Harry in the heart and he closed his eyes, not wanting to Severus to see how the exchange had affected him. He couldn’t fathom why Severus would want to go back to the place where he’d been raped. Closing his eyes, Harry took a deep breath and had pasted a smile on his face by the time Severus was done seeing Malfoy off through the Floo. Harry would be damned if he let Severus know how upset he was, but one thing was certain, he would never let Severus go back to Malfoy Manor alone.

“Head still hurt?”

Severus’ voice was warm and Harry let a smile curve his lips. “No, the potion took care of it, thanks.”

“Then you’ll have no objection to assisting me with the Solstice preparation for those of the staff who celebrate.”

Harry gave him a genuine smile as Severus led the way out the door.

~~*~*~~

Severus frowned as he opened the door to his private quarters. Harry followed him, like a silent shadow, as he’d been subdued all evening. It was understandable that Harry was upset over what had happened to them, but there was something more. Something to do with Harry's reaction to Draco’s involvement. In watching Harry when the two interacted in his office, Severus almost thought Harry had been jealous, despite how hard it was to believe. Could it be possible? Did Harry actually harbor deeper feelings for Severus?

A wave of his hand brought up the lights and the flames flared in the fireplace. Harry’s head snapped around as fairy-lights glowed from a large evergreen tree in the corner. Warm candles glowed from tastefully woven garlands of holly and ivy, and two stockings, one green and one red, hung from the mantle. Severus narrowed his eyes, taking in the wonder on Harry’s face as Severus furled his brow in a scowl. He sincerely hoped this worked.

Moving to stand in front of Harry, Severus snarled. “Are you responsible for this, Potter?”

Harry glanced around, bemused. “I, um, may have said something to Kreacher—”

“And this?” Severus gave his wand a surreptitious flick, then pointed up at the sprig of mistletoe now hovering over their heads.

“I—”

Taking advantage of Harry’s surprise, Severus reached out and drew Harry close. He wasn’t about to lose his advantage as he swooped in, bumping noses before covering Harry’s lips with his. It was awkward and invigorating, Severus reangling his head as he pulled Harry against him. He deepened the kiss, devouring Harry’s sweetness as they explored one another. It was heavenly, the feel of Harry against him, hard and needy, and even their magic seemed to reach for each other. The feel of Harry’s arms around him, one hand sliding into up Severus’ shoulder to cup the back of his neck.

Severus pulled back, resting his forehead on Harry’s as he tried to get his breathing under control. “Harry?”

“Yes! Please, Severus!”

Not wanting to waste any time, Severus maneuvered Harry into his bedroom. At some point, Severus would have to admit that he didn’t really have a spare bedroom, but as he planned to keep Harry in his bed forever, there wasn’t a pressing need. Harry already had his robes off and was unbuttoning his shirt and Severus sank to his knees. He undid the fly on Harry’s jeans and pushed them down, leaning forward to run his nose down Harry’s still clothed cock. Harry gasped above him, his hands dropping to Severus’ head.

Carefully, Severus peeled down Harry’s pants, drawing them over the impressive erection to shove them down and out of the way. He swiped his tongue up the length of the cock, smirking as it twitched and Harry moaned. Sucking the tip into his mouth, Severus savored the first taste of his love, lapping at the slit even as the fingers in his hair tightened painfully.

“Severus! Please!”

The breathy plea stoked Severus’ desire and he rose to his feet. Too impatient to deal with the rest of their clothes, Severus Banished them to the hamper in the corner of the room and then set his wand on the nightstand. A push sent Harry tumbling into the middle of the bed and Severus followed, prowling hungrily up Harry’s lean length. A groan escaped him as their cocks brushed together and Severus paused to kiss Harry hungrily. Harry’s hands were everywhere, fingers exploring and stroking wherever they could reach as they traveled down Severus’ body.

Pulling back, Severus straddled Harry’s thighs, feasting his eyes on the delicious body spread in front of him. Harry squirmed under his gaze, a red stain spreading from his chest to his cheeks, and Severus suddenly had a suspicion this was Harry’s first time. A thrill of delight went through him as Severus grabbed Harry’s hands and held them over his head. He traced Harry’s jaw and throat with his tongue, pausing to suck on his Adam’s apple, before continuing. He paused again to nip at each nipple as Harry bucked beneath him. Severus couldn’t believe how responsive Harry was or how achingly hard his own cock was.

“Please, I’m going to—”

“Oh no, you aren’t, Mr. Potter!”

Severus Summoned his wand as he sat back on Harry’s thighs. Panting heavily, his body quivering with arousal, Harry stared back at him through glasses that were askew.

Somehow they made Harry even more debauched looking. Casting the necessary cleansing and lubrication spells on himself, Severus rose to his knees and spread his legs a bit wider.

“Have you done this before?” Severus asked as he slid a finger into his hole.

Harry shook his head, swallowing hard as he watched with wide eyes. “Fuck! Severus!”

“Think of something unpleasant, Harry, Hooch in her bloomers or Sprout naked in a field.”

The grimace that flitted over Harry’s face made Severus smirk and he prepared himself quickly. Leaning over, he slicked Harry’s cock with excess lubricant, being careful not to overstimulate him. Harry was perfect: slightly longer than average and thick with a tapered tip just made to slide inside Severus. It had been a long time for him and Severus hoped he’d be able to impale himself before he came prematurely.

Positioning himself, Severus slowly sank down as he willed his muscles to relax.

“Bloody hell! Severus,” Harry gasped, reaching to grab his hips. “Is it safe for the baby?”

Harry concern touched someplace deep inside Severus and he was able to slide down further as Harry’s arousal flagged a little with his worry. Leaning down, enjoying the tingle of magic everywhere their skin touched, Severus kissed him thoroughly, feeling Harry’s cock swell inside him.

“Yes, the baby is protected, my—Harry,” Severus purred as he sat up and snapped his hips forward.

Harry’s fingers tightened on his hips and he arched upward as Severus slowly lifted and dropped down. It took a few strokes to establish a rhythm, but once they had, Severus rode Harry hard. Holding on with bruising force, Harry bucked, meeting Severus stroke for stroke. Neither of them lasted long, Severus wrapping his hand around his cock when he felt Harry stiffen and the flood of warmth fill him. It only took two tugs for his climax to explode through him and Severus slumped forward, ignoring the mess.

It took several minutes before his breathing was under control and Severus repositioned them on the bed, casting a wandless Cleansing Spell before he covered them.

“Sev’rus?” Harry’s voice was sleepy. “Can I stay?”

His arms tightened possessively and Severus couldn’t resist pressing a kiss to Harry’s temple. “If you must,” Severus murmured with a smile.

Harry snuggled closer, if that was possible, an arm banding around Severus’ waist as if he might escape. “Always taking away everything I love—no one’s gonna take you…”

Severus’ heart skipped a beat as Harry’s breathing deepened. Could it be that he was getting his heart’s secret desire? Vowing to never let Harry go, Severus allowed sleep to take him.

~~*~*~~

Harry couldn’t seem to stop grinning. The past few days had been amazing, filled with warmth and companionship, discovery and deep affection. Severus was a thoughtful and thorough lover, who seemed determined to accept Harry fully into his life. Obviously not a morning person, Harry had already learned a blowjob was the best way to wake Severus and to not attempt conversation until after his first cup of tea. For his own part, Severus was very tolerant of Harry and his sometimes annoying habits, including singing holiday songs as he cooked. He had even overlooked Harry shouting out his love last night as he came.

Diagon Alley was crowded with shoppers and Harry made sure the cap on his head was pulled low over his forehead. He’d even worn the Muggle contact lenses that made his eyes itch in an effort not to be recognized. The behavior of his fellow Aurors had been bad enough when he’d worked there, but the number of people who crowded around a crime scene just to get a look at him had been unnerving. Harry would do anything to avoid recognition, even naming his practice that specialized in healing abused children, The Cupboard. His name wasn’t even listed on the sign.

Harry had spent the morning at a party for the children at Sirius’s Place, an orphanage for magical children, including Squibs, funded by the Black fortune. His profits from Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes provided presents for all the children, as well as those from homes needing a bit of help. Instead of flying with the older children as he normally did, Harry spent all his time in the nursery helping out with the babies. It had been an eye-opening experience and Harry couldn’t wait until Severus gave birth.

Ducking into the same shop specializing in clothing and toys for babies, Harry picked up several things he thought Father Christmas might want to leave beneath their tree. He’d already stopped by Gringotts on business and visited the Potter vault for the set of bonding rings Kreacher had insisted all the ancient families had. He’d brought a rare book on potion making that he’d found as a gift for Severus. Knowing that they were expected at Malfoy Manor this evening, Harry had bought several gifts to take, particularly for Narcissa, who had become a friend since their encounter at the Final Battle. Despite Draco and his feelings for Severus, Harry was going to try his best to get along to keep the harmony he knew Severus needed in his first trimester.

Harry knew he would do anything for Severus and the baby.

~~*~*~~

“Severus?”

Severus stood from his desk when he heard Poppy Pomfrey call from the fireplace. “Yes?”

“Will you come through, please?”

Sighing, Severus flicked his wand to straighten his desk before he stepped into the emerald flames. The final staff meeting had been that morning and there were only a few students staying for the hols. Harry had appointed himself the entertainment coordinator for them, so they were well tended to. The hospital wing was empty as Severus stepped out and Poppy was there to greet him.

“Come over here, dear, and sit on the stool.” Poppy directed him into her private exam room and cast a Silencing Charm.

Severus arched an eyebrow as he watched her. “Is there a problem? I’ve not had a repeat episode and Harry watches me like a hawk.”

She nodded, smiling, as she drew her wand. “I’ve been researching an alternative spell which will allow us to read the magical signatures of the two people who created the child in a magical pregnancy. This one will work based on the theory that it would take an extremely powerful wizard to have impregnated you.”

Something clenched in Severus’ chest. He wasn’t sure he was ready to hear the child he carried wasn’t one that he and Harry created. The last few days, Severus had been able to able to fantasize what the future might hold for them, as a family. The truth could be devastating to both of them.

“Severus, I am bound by law to determine the identity of the father, you know that.”

Severus sighed. “Yes, I know, but Harry—”

“Harry will still be here, Severus!” She gave him a stern look. “He is devoted to both of you, as you well know.”

“Very well,” Severus told her. “What is it you need me to do?”

“Either stand up straight or lie down, Severus. I just need you to keep your hands out from in front of your stomach.”

It took several minutes of Poppy chanting in Latin under her breath, her wand drawing complex rune-like shapes over Severus’ abdomen. A series of fiery letters trailed out of the end of her wand in a line before fading. The mediwitch frowned and Severus shifted his weight from one foot to the other as she recast the intricate spell. The letters coming from her wand looked the same to Severus.

“Poppy? What is it?”

The frown had deepened as Poppy met his eyes. “Severus, the other magical signature belongs to Harry Potter! It is possible—”

Severus felt a wave of lightheadedness as his mind processed the information Poppy was giving him. Elation filled him at the news and he placed a hand over his abdomen, fancying he could actually feel Harry’s magic within him.

“Severus! Did you hear what I said? The Aurors are going to think Harry is the one who did this to you!” Poppy snapped angrily.

Holding up his hand to halt her tirade, Severus felt confused more than angry. “As you did the exam yourself, you know for a fact that there was no evidence of an violent rape or force, Poppy. I have always believed whatever happened that night was consensual, I just hadn’t given thought to the power necessary to create a magical pregnancy. What I find disconcerting is the motivation behind whoever Obliviated us.” Severus began to pace the room. “Was I the main target or was Harry? Is this someone who didn’t want us to be together or is their grudge against one or the other of us?”

“The Aurors aren’t going to look at it that way, Severus!” Poppy reminded him. “And I am duty bound to report my findings to them.”

Severus shook his head. “It’s Christmas Eve, Poppy, surely the report to the Department of Magical Law Enforcement can wait until after Boxing Day.”

Poppy eyed him. “Will you tell Harry?”

“Yes, of course,” Severus assured her. “Perhaps we can flush out the culprit at the same time, as we will be at Malfoy Manor this evening.”

“Do you think it was someone there?”

“It is where we were originally attacked.”

Poppy laid a hand on his arm. “Promise me you will be careful, Severus, for both of your sakes.”

Meeting her eyes, Severus nodded. “I will protect those I consider my family with my life, but I need to know who would go to the extent of wiping our memories without taking into consideration that there might have been ramifications from our actions.”

“It is said that magic is at its most powerful when love is involved, Severus.”

~~*~*~~

Severus was not in their rooms when Harry Flooed back from his shopping. There was a warm welcoming glow from the candles and there seemed to be even more fairy lights flittering around. It was a scene out of his dreams, the setting for a perfect Christmas. Shaking his head at his own silliness, he quickly hid the new presents behind the tree and started to get ready for the evening. Taking care with his appearance, Harry wanted to look his best so any comparison between him and Malfoy would have him coming out on top.

“You look good enough to eat.” Severus’ arms slid around him and a hand parted his robes to cup his cock through his trousers.

Harry leaned back into Severus’ warmth, trying not to rock forward. “I’d love to, but then we’d be late and look mussed when we got there.”

A sigh brushed his cheek and the hand withdrew as Severus turned Harry in his arms, swooping in to kiss him thoroughly. A hand carded through his meticulously combed hair and Harry groaned. Severus pressed closer and Harry forgot about everything else but the hard body pressing against him. He wanted nothing more than to stay in and have Severus all to himself.

They were both breathing hard when Severus lifted his head, dark eyes searching his face intently. “If we don’t arrive in a timely fashion, Narcissa will come for us herself.”

Harry winced. He knew the formidable witch would do just that if they didn’t appear on time. With a sigh, Harry pressed close for another minute before stepping out of Severus’ arms. The dark green robes edged in gold suited him, Harry thought, as he brushed a hand down the front of his own robes, a companionable dark blue with green threads running through it.

“Minerva’s influence, I see,” Severus said dryly, making Harry smile.

“Narcissa, actually, and you’re right, we’d better go before she decides to see what’s keeping us.”

“Indeed.”

Sending Kreacher ahead with the gifts they had, Severus Flooed in first with Harry close behind. A tendril of apprehension made his chest tight and Harry was determined to not let Severus out of his sight. This was where Severus had been assaulted and they’d both been Obliviated just weeks before. His hand was on his wand as Harry stepped out into the family parlor.

The elegant room had been transformed into a warm and inviting space, with a tall Christmas tree decorated in crystal and silver ornaments, green and red ribbons, and spelled candles. It went perfectly with the dark furniture and the white carpeting, the colors of the red berries in the holly garland adding a bit of color around the windows. The mantel was lined with exquisite figurines of Father Christmas, some dating back to several hundred years. Numerous presents were lined up in front of the tree.

“Ah, there you both are!” Narcissa Malfoy glided into the room, her scarlet robes a perfect match to the ribbons on the tree. “I’m so glad you could make it tonight!”

Harry stepped away from the fireplace to stand beside Severus as Narcissa greeted each of them with a kiss on each cheek. “Make yourselves at home. Lucius just returned home from the continent and will be joining us momentarily. Draco seems to be running late—”

A house-elf popped in with a crack and set a tea tray down on a side table just as Lucius Malfoy swept into the room. Harry almost rolled his eyes as he saw that Lucius’ robes matched the green ribbons on the Christmas tree. As Lucius stopped to kiss his wife, Harry barely contained a laugh at the sight the two made in front of the tree and elbowed Severus when he snorted.

“You two are quite colorful this evening,” Severus said in an amused tone of voice as Narcissa moved to pour tea.

“I’ve put you both in your usual room, Severus, especially after your tirade at the soiree.” Narcissa handed him a cup and saucer.

“My tirade?” Severus seemed to freeze. “What do you mean, tirade?”

“Oh, you recall.” Lucius Summoned the brandy decanter from the sidebar. “Your pronouncement about Harry being your Chosen One and how you would be sharing the room.” Lucius smirked. “You were disgustingly besotted, old friend.”

Severus looked at Harry, who automatically took the tea Narcissa passed to him. “We shared a room?” he asked carefully.

Lucius leered. “You did indeed and this time, please remember the proper Silencing Charms. Although, you both may have been feeling the brandy by then.”

Harry saw Narcissa watching them, taking in Severus’ refusal of the brandy Lucius offered. “You both appear to be doing well and, if I were to be honest, Severus, you are positively glowing.”

While Harry enjoyed the blush that blossomed on Severus’ cheeks, he was more than confused. “Have you spoken to the Aurors in the last few days, either of you?”

Lucius and Narcissa exchanged a look, clearly puzzled. “Lucius has been gone for the past week but I’ve not been contacted. Why?”

Severus cleared his throat. “Neither Harry nor I can remember the evening of the soiree, we’ve both been Obliviated.”

“What!” Lucius was horrified. “This happened here?”

“Apparently,” Severus told them. “There’s also the issue of my pregnancy—”

“You’re pregnant?” Narcissa’s eyes widened, but it was the smirk on Lucius’ face that set Harry off.

“Severus was assaulted! He—”

An arm encircled his waist and Harry took a deep breath, reining in his magic as he felt it whip around his head. Severus grounded him with a touch and Harry leaned into him, ignoring the knowing look on both the Malfoys’ faces.

“I had planned to surprise you when we were alone, but Poppy was able to detect the father’s magical signature— "

“And you, Potter, are the father of Severus’ baby,” Draco Malfoy drawled as he walked into the room, his blue robes more formfitting than conventional. “It’s obvious to anyone.”

Harry’s heart felt as if it was going to explode as he turned to Severus. “Am I?” His voice was a whisper, his hope warring with his horror.

“Yes.” Severus gripped his arm, as if he could feel Harry’s underlying emotions.

“But that means I forced myself on you.” Harry felt sick.

“You know better than that, Harry Potter!” Narcissa snapped at him. “I’m assuming this is a magical pregnancy and, if you knew anything about them, you would realize they are only achieved if the two wizards share a deep love for each other.”

A loud crack startled everyone as an ancient house-elf popped into the room, next to the side table.

“No!” The over-large amber eyes seemed a little cloudy to Harry as they fixed on him. “Youse not getting Master Draco’s Dark One! I be making you forget again!”

“Mimi! Stop it!” Narcissa stepped forward. “What are you doing?”

The house-elf was wringing her hands as she looked around the room. “Master Draco be pining for his Dark One! He moans and be crying out during the night!”

Harry’s eyes narrowed as he saw Draco’s face flush. “I knew it! You’re trying to take Severus away from me!”

Malfoy and Severus both rolled their eyes at him, but Harry jutted out his jaw and pressed closer to Severus. Malfoy would have a fight on his hands if he tried anything.

The Floo activated suddenly.

“Malfoy Manor! Draco?” A familiar voice called out.

Malfoy - Draco - was on his knees instantly. “Come on through, everyone else is here.”

The house-elf seemed ready to flee but Narcissa stopped her with a look as a tall, dark figure stepped out of the fireplace. Harry felt his jaw drop as he watched Kingsley Shacklebolt embrace Draco before turning to the rest of them. Severus had a smirk on his face, both elder Malfoys looked as though they had been Stupefied, and even Mimi was frowning.

Relief flooded through Harry so forcefully, he thought his knees would buckle. “Kingsley? Kingsley is your Dark One?”

Mimi started to bang her head on the side table, sloshing the tea in the pot all over the tray.

“Mimi! Stop it!” Lucius’ voice cracked like a whip and the house-elf stopped immediately. “You will tell us what you did to Master Severus and Mr. Potter!”

Draco leaned towards Severus. “Mimi has been a nursery elf since my father was a child and has always been a bit attached to me. She’s the mother of that house-elf who Potter freed—”

“I was being careful, Master, I only be making them forget being happy!” Mimi was trying to explain. “For Master Draco to be happy!”

Harry’s head swiveled to and fro, trying to hear all the conversations at once. He was trying to process all the information presented in the last few minutes, but his mind kept coming back to the most important: he was the father of Severus’ baby. Their baby was his!

“Enough!” Harry didn’t even raise his voice, his magic still swirling around him. “Kingsley, can you make the investigation go away? There wasn’t any crime, really, and Mimi was under the misconception that she was protecting Draco. Although, Narcissa, you could free Mimi so that we can hire her, as it looks like we will be needing a nanny elf.”

Kingsley inclined his head as Narcissa and Lucius exchanged a glance before nodding.

“That just leaves the missing memory,” Severus added as he pulled Harry into his arms.

“I believe we will just have to keep recreating that memory every Christmas Eve for the rest of our lives,” Harry told him. “I have the Potter bonding rings in my pocket to make it official.”

They ignored the reactions of the others in the room as Severus gave Harry his answer in a searing kiss.

After a fine dinner and an exchange of gifts, Severus Apparated Harry to the guest room and they thoroughly recreated the memory they were missing. Complete with forgetting to cast Silencing Charms.

~~*~*~~

Four Years Later:

Severus signed his name to the document in front of him with a flourish as his son watched curiously. The scroll curled up and disappeared in a flash of golden light.

“Papa, where did it go?”

“To the Ministry of Magic, Aiden,” Severus lifted the boy onto his lap. “It will record our patent for the Fertility Potion Daddy and I created.”

“The one Uncle Draco used?” Aiden asked, his fingers toying with a button on Severus’ robes.

“He’s a little sponge, love, soaking up everything he hears and, apparently, he has acute hearing skills.” Harry came into his office, carrying their year-old daughter, Lily. “He overhead Draco’s Floo call last night.”

“I hope his cravings are every bit as bizarre as yours were,” Severus muttered as he reached to add Lily to his lap.

“I wasn’t nearly as bad as you were!” Harry said with a grin as he leaned down to kiss Severus. “And you realize this means Draco is going to want Mimi back.”

“We will leave it up to Mimi to decide, she is a free elf, after all.”

“Daddy, look! It’s snowing!” Aiden pointed out the window, where Severus could see the large flakes swirling from the sky.

“Yes, Daddy, I believe you promised to build a snowman if it snowed on Christmas Eve.” Severus arched an eyebrow at his husband, a hint of challenge in his eyes.

Harry grinned back. “So I did, and I never go back on my promises.”

“I’m holding you to that.” Severus allowed his eyes to show his desire.

Severus helped Aiden get down and then followed Harry towards their quarters, carrying Lily. The last four years had been the happiest of his life: each row ending in spectacular lovemaking, each obstacle overcome as a team, and their relationship flourishing. The children had added depth to their love and challenges they had never envisioned. And Severus wouldn’t have it any other way.

~~*~*~~