Disclaimer: The characters here and the world they inhabit are the creation and property of JK Rowling and her assigns.
Severus was uplifted when he returned to his lab. His arm ached, but he had pleased the Dark Lord. What's more, the Dark Lord promised that he would get everything he wanted. Severus would have power, he would be recognized, and he would have Lily. Regulus had been sent to fetch her on the pretext of speaking with his brother. Everything was working out.
The only problem was Septima, but she was understanding. She knew Lily existed. He hoped that once he explained how he planned to take care of the baby, she would be all right. There would be no more nights of studying and working out theory until he got so hot that he shagged her on the table or the couch, but they were almost done with their collaboration, and there would be Lily. She would be—He didn't know what Lily would be, but it would be wonderful.
Following the note he found when he got back to his office, he went to St. Mungo's.
“She had a hard go of it for a few hours, but she's resting comfortably now. She's going to stay here for a day or so, and we'll see how it goes,” the Matron told him as they walked toward Septima's bed.
She looked completely washed out and mousy. He would talk to her about Lily at another time. It wouldn't do to have that conversation now. It could wait.
“How are you?” he asked.
“You're one of them now, aren't you?”
His arm tingled, and he twitched. “Yes.”
“You're going to leave me.”
She seemed to know. Perhaps she'd been using those equations again. In the hands of a witch with her native talent, they could be surprisingly accurate. “We weren't exactly together, were we?”
“You bastard,” she whispered, “making sure I knew every moment that you were just with me until you got what you really wanted. I know that last night you were getting everything you wanted and I'm—” She winced and her body seemed to fold in on itself.
The Matron suddenly appeared. “Hush, dearie. The pains will ease if you can relax. You must try.”
Septima nodded and lay back against her pillows. “Go ahead, Severus. There's no baby for you to worry about any more.”
His arm started to hurt. He realized that Regulus must have come back even at the same time he realized what Septima was telling him. “That's sorted then,” he said aloud.
Through the haze of physical pain that commanded his attention, he saw the shock and anguish in Septima's eyes. “Go to hell,” she said.
He couldn't wait to go, so he left. He found Regulus at the Death Eaters' meeting place and she was with him. “Here's your Mudblood. It was pretty easy to find her. She's been Confounded so that I wouldn't have to listen to her.”
Severus put his arm around Lily and Apparated to his apartment. He gently reversed the charm on Lily and sat down near her. “If you only knew how much I've wanted this,” he said.
“Clearly, if you've sold your soul for it,” she said. “You're really one of them, now, aren't you?”
“Just this afternoon.”
“I knew it would happen all along. What's supposed to happen now? Are we supposed to do it on this sofa? Do I have to pretend to like it?”
He stood up. He didn't know why, but it couldn't happen where Septima had—“We're going to be together forever now. I want to marry you.”
“You must be kidding. Are you sure it's me you want?”
“Why would you say that?”
“I've seen your little lab partner, Severus. I've heard that you can't keep your hands off her. You're the father of her baby, aren't you?”
“Septima was just... we were just having some laughs together. At any rate, there's no complication there. I've just been to see her. The baby... is gone.” For the first time, he suddenly realized what happened. That warm bump in Septima's belly, the squiggly movement he'd just felt this afternoon, it was all gone.
Lily stared at him in horror. “That's pretty ironic. You became a Death Eater while your own child was dying?”
Suddenly Severus couldn't stand the sight of her. “Go,” he whispered.
“Lord Voldemort—” He stiffened at use of the name, but she didn't notice— “obtained me for you. Won't there be a problem when you get rid of me so soon?”
He shrugged. “I'll tell him you displeased me. He tried to convince me to take a wife who was of purer blood anyway and not some Mudblood...” Now it was Lily's turn to stiffen. “I want you to stay, Lily. I've loved you since I was ten years old, but I can't do this now. If you can't be happy with me... I release you.”
“You're too good for this,” she whispered. She kissed his cheek as she passed him. “Good luck, Severus. I'm sorry that James or Sirius will probably end up killing you.”
He went back to the hospital, but she was already gone. The Matron said a great many things about young women who didn't know any better, before he could get away. He went and knocked on the door to her apartment. “Septima, I need to talk to you.”
The door opened a crack. “I'm not supposed to be up.”
“Then let me come in and talk.”
“I can't anymore. It's over. Let me mourn in peace.” The door shut.
There was nothing left to do but go back to his own apartment. There was a picture from an early ultrasound on his bedroom dresser. He looked at it, and—for reasons he couldn't understand—tears began streaming down his face.
A/N: I think this might be the saddest chapter of the story. I hope you'll all forgive me for it. Thank you for reading and for the reviews. Thank you especially to Trickie Woo, who beta reads.