Christmas, Snape nodded to himself. Yes, Christmas was bad. Well, it used to be bad. After marrying Patricia though, he ended up with a family to spend the day with. His father-in-law, George, might not be the closest thing to a friend he’d ever have, but at least the wizard never tried to hex him for defiling his daughter. His mother-in-law, Mary, might be a Muggle, but Severus held her in an esteem higher than most witches he knew.
And it wasn’t solely because she was the only American who could brew a decent cup of tea and did so without fanfare or fuss. She did it because she liked him. If he had to admit it to himself, Severus knew she loved him. And only if he had to be honest with himself (which would be under the influence of industrial strength Veritaserum), he loved her nearly as much as he did her daughter.
But today was bad. January 9th. His birthday.
He awoke in a happy mood, curled up against his wife’s curvy backside. When he caressed her breast and heard her gasp, he thought that this might not be a bad birthday, after all. However, it soon became obvious that her gasp wasn’t one of pleasure, but pain. Patricia pushed away from him and barely made it to the loo before she vomited.
She was barely out of the first trimester and had taken to nearly accosting Poppy, the school’s mediwitch to find out when the morning sickness would pass. Now her breasts were sore and Severus realized he could be looking at a long dry spell.
‘Bloody hell,’ he groused to himself. ‘I get used to having a beautiful, passionate witch who loves me and does exquisite things with her body and she gets pregnant before we have our five year anniversary.’
Patricia came out of the bathroom holding a damp flannel about her neck. “Happy birthday, darling,” she said weakly, sliding back into bed. “I’m sorry about the morning sickness.”
He bit back an impatient response. But then, looking at her pale face and the shadows under her eyes, he found it was easier to kiss her forehead and pull the blankets over her. Patricia would feel responsible and be miserable which would make him definitely unhappy.
“Perhaps you should have a lie-in this morning,” he suggested as he had most mornings since Junior decided he didn’t like his mother in the mornings. Severus was afraid his son might have his personality instead of Patricia’s.
When she opened her mouth to argue, he silenced her with a look. “You are my wife and you will do as I say in this matter,” he said autocratically. It didn’t help the day to notice she laughed.
“I will fetch some tea for you,” he continued. “It will help with the nausea as you refuse to take potions for it.” Severus’ tone was frosty. As the Potions master at Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry, it offended him that his own wife did not want to take the standard morning sickness potions. But he understood her position--she had miscarried at eighteen and was afraid that should she veer from the strictest regime of expectant witches she would lose this child.
Of course, Severus also knew that should the worst happen, Patricia would blame herself for not taking the potion. She took responsibility--or blame--for nearly everything. But he also had to admit to himself, that having her fuss over him, worry about him, and take care of him made up for the forty-odd years he had no one to do that. As a result, he was extremely solicitous of her, showing her a gentleness that few suspected him capable of.
“Would you fix mine with extra sugar and lemon?” Patricia asked leaning back on the pillows. It was a sign of exactly how badly she felt that she would accede to his wishes so quickly. At his nod, she added on the words that made him cringe, “In a glass with ice?” Her tone was hopeful.
Severus sighed. The worst part of having a wife from the American South was her insistence that her tea was to be served cold. But he merely nodded and said, “If I must,” in a long-suffering tone.
Returning a few minutes later with a glass that contained a drink that should have been served piping hot, he listened to her assurances that she’d feel better in a bit and would make it up to him.
“After all, morning sickness can’t last all nine months, can it?”
It was a question he’d been asking Poppy daily for weeks now. After seeing she was settled in, he showered and dressed for breakfast in the Great Hall. No sense in tempting Junior to revolt further by the smell of a good English breakfast.
He sat next to Poppy at the staff table. She immediately began eating faster. When he merely tried to ask her a simple question, the mediwitch snapped at him.
“Severus, she had a prior miscarriage and an allergic reaction to the standard contraceptive potion, I can’t make her take anything for morning sickness!” she hissed in a low whisper. “And I don’t know how long it will last either!” With that, she got up and stormed off, leaving her teacup half-filled.
Severus looked over at Remus, who was trying unsuccessfully to hide a smile. “Would you pass the salt?” the Potions master requested.
“Perhaps you should forgo the salt, Severus,” Albus said, twinkling. “It’s supposed to be bad for men your age.”
Severus’ hand itched to grab his wand and hex his mentor soundly. At that moment though, Dumbledore stood. “Children, I have an announcement to make.”
“Don’t you dare, old man!” Severus hissed at him.
“Today is our Potions master’s birthday, let’s sing him a happy one!” Albus proclaimed merrily and led the students who were eating into a off-key, badly-paced rendition of “Happy Birthday to You!”
As it was a Hogsmeade Saturday, nearly every third year and up student was there.
“Thank you,” Severus hissed, ignoring the amused glances of his colleagues and students. Standing, he said, “I prefer to celebrate in private.” Turning so his robes flared most dramatically, he stepped away from the table when the owls came flying in.
The wings of so many owls caused quite a breeze in the Great Hall. Students began laughing as most of them headed straight for Severus, dropping envelopes until a pile was on his plate and sliding into the floor.
Surprised, he opened one to find a singing birthday card referring to the advertisement in ‘The Potions Master’s Muse' and asking him not to feel lonely. The next envelope surrendered similar wishes as did the third and the fourth.
He knew then that Beau Ripley had gotten him.
Several years ago, their feud had started over some book Patricia had written. The “Destiny” series were romance novels for witches. After comparing notes about how these books disrupted their classes, Severus admitted he took them away from the girls caught reading them in class and assigned detentions with a heavy hand.
Beau had laughed. “Hell, Severus, I make them read them. I know where every dirty part is in each book and that’s where I make them start reading from. Out loud and to the class.”
Chagrined that Beau’s method was more devious than his own, Severus had Apparated to Roanoke High School one day and distributed his horde of “Destiny” novels… all to male students who seemed rather secure. Most of the boys thought it was a good joke on their history teacher and gladly began taking them to class. The first time a book dropped on the floor, Beau had insisted the owner stand up and read from it. The owner, one Phillip Andrews, did so willingly. In fact, he enjoyed it… as well as the females in class who threw themselves as such a ‘sensitive, caring man.’ Beau had to drop that tactic.
But Beau retaliated that fall by riding the Hogwarts train and teaching all the first year students Severus’ first class lecture. He walked in and began talking about the subtle science when he realized all the students were saying it with him.
Needless to say, their pranks became more bold. On Beau’s birthday, Severus sent a stripper to him. Of course, it was during a staff meeting at Beau’s school and the stripper was male, but Carol, Beau’s wife, sent pictures.
Severus gathered his mail into a pouch he transfigured from a water glass and stormed to his dungeon office. Dropping the bag inside the door, he pulled out the most recent copy of ‘The Potions Master’s Muse and began searching the advertisements.
It wasn’t hard to find. Beau had taken out a full-page ad encouraging everyone to send a card to Severus Snape on January 9th as it was his birthday and his wife was pregnant. It reminded everyone all that Professor Snape had done over the years from spying on Death Eaters to saving the American werewolves. At the bottom, Beau wrote that Severus was a man he was glad to call friend.
Severus sat at his desk for several minutes, thinking hard, when Albus walked in. “I did want to remind you that the staff will meet later today to give you your birthday cake,” the elderly wizard said. Severus merely snorted.
“I also brought this for Tricia,” Albus held out a small gold disk on a thin chain. “It is a charm to combat morning sickness and it’s guaranteed not to injure your son.”
That got Severus’ attention. He held it and frowned. Running his wand over it, he looked at Albus in disbelief. “This has no magical properties,” he told him.
Albus merely smiled. “It is what you believe in, my boy. You always find what you are looking for, after all.”
A small smile crossed the pale man’s face. “Thank you, Albus. You are right, of course.”
“As always.” With that parting salvo, Albus left.
After a few minutes, Severus quietly let himself into their bedroom. Patricia’s eyes fluttered opened. “Hello, love,” she said. “Is everything all right?”
He walked to the bed and gave her the charm, explaining that Albus said it would help with the morning sickness and not harm the fetus. As he slipped it over her head, he gently slid the blankets down to her stomach and laid one hand there.
Five years ago, he spent his birthday alone and thought himself happy. Now he knew what happiness was.
“Son,” he intoned, “you will stop making your mother so ill. It’s not a Slytherin trait to make your hostess feel bad.”
Patricia giggled and he gathered her into his arms and thought Albus was wrong about one thing--sometimes you got what you never dared look for.
“Honey, I think the charm is working,” Patricia said. “It’s not even lunch and I don’t feel sick.”
And sometimes you do get what you are looking for.
Her hands reached for the buttons on his robe. “I can start your day off right, now,” she purred as she kissed his neck.
Not wanting to, yet feeling compelled, he caught her hands. “Are you sure you feel up for this?”
“You can’t deny me,” she smirked up at him. “I’m a pregnant woman.”
“So I must succumb to your lust?” he purred back at her. “If I must.”
Later there would be time to plan revenge on Beau. Perhaps Veritaserum at the next family gathering. But at this moment, there was only his wife.
Severus realized that January 9th might not be so bad after all.
And it might never be bad again.
Author’s Note: I don’t own this (surprise, surprise), this is part of The Potions Master’s Muse Happy Birthday, Severus challenge which is a timed challenge. I actually wrote this in 62 minutes which is 2 minutes over the time limit, but my dog unplugged my keyboard and I know it took more than 2 minutes to figure out what the hell went wrong and why weren’t my keys typing. It’s a new computer and I’ve got extension cables on the keyboard and mouse. I know it took 2 minutes at least. Forgive me?
Also, Patricia, Beau Ripley and his wife Carol are borrowed from “A Right Bastard“ which is also here on Occlumency. I hope it doesn‘t ruin the story to realize Tricia and Severus will end up together, probably.
And, Gina, I‘m so sorry I couldn‘t work Draco in this. I know I said I‘d try, but I‘ll do it next challenge.
It’s Snape’s birthday! How will he spend the day?
· Must be written in 60 minutes or less—including editing! (Like the 30 minute fics on LJ only longer).
· May include Snape paired up with an OFC or Female from Harry Potter who is not a student (no, you may NOT pair up Snape with Hermione from the future!), but not necessary.
· Can involve his peers
· Must show how Snape spends his birthday (celebration, or lack thereof)
· Must include at least one comment from Dumbledore that Snape will find annoying
Include at least 3 of the following:
o Snape saying “But of course I’m a Capricorn. Was there any doubt?”
o A bevy of TPMM members (or similar) queuing up to wish him well.
o Snape scoffing at receiving a birthday cake, but secretly eats a piece when no one is
o Snape saying “I prefer to celebrate in private.”
o Snape saying “If I must.”
o Draco Malfoy bursting into Snape’s office at an inopportune moment
o Someone makes a joke about Snape’s age…and suffers for it
o Minerva McGonagall being a Libra
o Snape receiving an embarrassing number of birthday owls
The deadline for this challenge is January 16, 2005. After this time, a survey will be created and group members will vote for their favourite story.
Have questions? Just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave me a LJ response (http://www.livejournal.com/users/gina_r_snape). If it’s a question you think other participants might have, you can also post directly to the list.