Chapter 11 : The First Cry
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Severus had lost count of the amount of times he had passed the hallway outside his bedroom, by the morning there was sure to be a thick strip of dark carpet several millimeters thinner than the rest of it in the hall.
A shrill, painful scream and a muffled sob ripped through the old bedroom door. He stopped and stared at the ebony wood for a moment, then bowed his head and carried on in his melancholy pace.
He was aware of others in the hallway, at the end of the hallway by the window sat Arthur Weasley in an old armchair and smoking a pipe. On the floor beside him, playing with a pack of cards was George.
Harry too, was in the hallway, looking just as pale and anxious as Severus. He sat on the floor with his back pressed hard against the wall beside the door. His fingernails were digging into his knee caps, and his teeth were clamped down so hard on his bottom lip that Severus was surprised he had not yet drawn blood.
Severus laid both his hands on the banister of the hallway, he looked over the railing and down to the bottom floor. He saw the dark steps, lighting every so often with flashes of lightening through one of the first floor windows.
Another scream seemed to rattle the door.
Severus had forgotten how long he had been stood outside his bedroom, he was filled with the sight of Hermione sweating and screaming on their bed and nothing else. No other image of her sprang to his mind, and this was what scared him. Births were generally successful in the wizarding world, far more successful than ones in the Muggle world and he knew this for a fact. But the worry in his head still seemed to knot his stomach up and clench up all of his muscles from head to toe.
‘You should think yourself lucky’ Harry said stonily from the floor, Severus turned and shot him an icy glare. Harry was staring at him, clenching his knee’s even more.
‘You just wait, in a couple of weeks this is going to seem like the easy bit’ he finished with a smirk.
Severus curled his fist against the banister and turned away from Harry, jest was the last thing on his mind, and it was most definitely the last thing he needed now.
‘Do not try to lecture me, Mr. Potter, on the sufficient ways in which a man should handle childbirth… you are both insufficient and feeble in the knowledge yourself’ he bit.
‘And I suppose having a child already is to be ignored completely’ Harry said, getting to his feet stiffly, his eyes were narrowed now. Severus turned and saw the etching of anger around his eyes and in the corners of his mouth.
‘Yes’ Severus hissed ‘seeing as your first child was so close to a fatal disaster… perhaps if Miss. Weasley and yourself had stuck to the roles of the Careful Pre-Natal Parent James would have been on time and in no distress at all’ while Severus spoke these words Harry and himself had moved closer to each other venomously, another scream echoed out of the door and a shiver ran down Severus’s spine.
‘Severus, Harry’ Mr. Weasley’s voice came from the end of the corridor ‘This isn’t really the best way of letting out your frustration… just calm down, everything should be over quite soon’ he spoke in a tone expected from a father of seven, an easy voice with the tiniest hint of shakiness that gave away his nervousness.
Severus glared at Harry, his hands curled into fists at his sides, he would love to take one swing, one punch at Harry’s smirking face… but he knew he would regret it in the morning. In the morning when Harry comes in to see Hermione and the baby and looks on with a purple shiner around his right eye.
‘You know Severus’ Harry whispered ‘if you had shown a little more propriety and took a bit more precaution we wouldn’t even be here right now, you wouldn’t have to hear her screams through brick and wood’ Severus gulped. He suddenly remembered the look on Harry’s face when Hermione had told him she was pregnant.
He had glared at Severus as if his eyeballs were protruding daggers ready to slice him from collar bone to belly button.
Harry had stormed in that morning and swung a well aimed fist into Severus’s face, and Severus stood there with arms open for the blow. But now he just stood there angry and tired and had no cure for getting rid of it.
Severus grabbed Harry by the collar and pulled him roughly, Harry just stared at him with frosty eyes.
‘Sooner or later Potter you are going to have a few more brain cells knocked loose from that hot air pumped head of yours. We may bite our tongues every minute of the day to keep back our respective disgust for each other, but insult me again and you will be blown into next week with the amount of hexes stored in my head’ Severus pushed him away, and he could see Harry breathing so deeply that he could have sprouted fire from his nostrils.
‘You remember this Potter, if it wasn’t for the three of us sacrificing the happiness of our deaths for life than we wouldn’t be here at all. None of us would be here; none of us would see a new child in our midst, Hermione’s child, my child’
Another scream, the loudest of them all, seemed to splinter through the wood. But then there was another scream, quite unlike anything Severus had ever heard. It was not in pain, screams of pain were the ones he was most accustomed to. This was different; it seemed to swell within his chest until every beat of his heart became a painful throb.
Harry and Severus still stood dangerously close to each other, they were still glaring at each other even through their delight at the sudden little sound coming from the bedroom.
The bedroom door opened, and Molly Weasley came out, her cheeks flushed and wet with tears. She gave the two men a stern look before she smiled at Severus.
‘Severus’ she hushed ‘would you like to come and meet your daughter?’ she asked. Severus’s breath seemed to catch oddly in his throat, and Harry moved out of his path, breathing heavily with his fists pressed against his thighs.
‘Congratulations Severus’ Arthur exclaimed.
‘Yeah, well done mate!’ George smiled ‘Bloody Hell… good old Professor Snape having a baby’ Severus did not appear to hear him as he walked towards the open door and stepped inside.
The first thing he saw was a pile of bloody sheets at the foot of the bed. Severus had seen blood before, massive quantities of blood, too much blood for one lifetime. And yet the sudden sight of smeared blood on the white bed sheets made his stomach churn. Ginny picked the pile up as she smiled at him, she squeezed the top of his arm when she approached him and then walked out of the room.
He shifted his eyes away and let them rest at the figure in the bed. Hermione was pale, tired, there were heavy bags under her bloodshot eyes, her hair was wilder than it had ever been and there were several strands plastered to her forehead from the sweat.
She looked up and smiled, and Severus was sure he had never seen her look more beautiful. Her eyes turned down to the little bundle in her arms, and Severus noticed a tear fall down her cheek.
‘Severus’ she whispered, her voice course from the screaming ‘this is Aurora’ she moved the child so Severus could see her clearly; he stepped closer to them both and stood in awe at the beautiful baby in Hermione’s arms.
‘Aurora’ he hushed, and stroked a finger over the little ones cheek gently ‘Aurora Snape’ the baby stirred as Severus sat on the chair next to Hermione, he was staring at them both, a wide smile spread over his face, a smile that hurt his cheeks.
Quite suddenly, before he could stop her Hermione had reached over delicately, with a little groan of pain and placed Aurora in his arms. He stiffened, his back straight and his arms seized in an awkward position as Aurora stirred in her blankets.
‘Is this-’ he stuttered ‘is this right, am I, am I holding her right’ he started frantically at the baby, as if she might fall from his grasp. Aurora stretched out an arm blindly and unknowingly grasped her little fingers around her father’s thumb that stuck out clumsily around her blankets.
Severus stared at his daughters curled hand, he was in awe at her strength as she clutched a hold of him. He sat back then, forgetting about the rigid stance of being absolutely terrified. He sat back, and was surprised to feel a tingle beneath his eyes, and a tickle run down the sides of his nose. He licked his lips and tasted salt.
‘She’s beautiful’ he whispered softly, he lifted his gaze from his baby girl and looked at Hermione, her eyes had closed and her chest moved up and down gently as she fell asleep.
He kissed his daughters head and held her close. George’s words suddenly seemed to echo in his head.
Bloody Hell! Good old Professor Snape having a baby!
Severus smiled, and laughed a little before leaning over to Hermione, to kiss her sleeping head. Another little flashback, I hope you all liked it! I would love to know what you think so please leave a comment or suggestion. Thank you!
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