Disclaimer: The characters here and the world they inhabit are the creation and property of JK Rowling and her assigns.
Severus Snape never expected that there would be some teary-eyed family reunion between Septima, their daughter, and himself. However, he never expected that Septima would simply go on as she always had. When he asked her about it, she had shrugged and said that it didn't seem right, when she didn't really remember. He would have pressed her on the subject, but she had that look in her eye. He really didn't want to hurt her emotional stability, not with the baby taking its toll upon her. Perhaps it was too soon. There was more to uncover in Septima's mind, after all.
Instead of whatever ideas of developing mother-daughter relationship he might have had, Severus was forced to watch the growing friendship between his daughter and Viktor Krum. This he did with frustration and annoyance. It was one of those puppyish romances, he was sure, but the boy was a student of Durmstrang, where blood purity was a requirement for all but the most qualified of students. Whenever they had been seen speaking together in the hallways, Igor had frowned and made threats. What did that mean, and why on earth would she attend the ball with that infernal boy?
On the night of the Yule Ball, he tugged the collar of his dress shirt into place with a snap. Why couldn't she have gone with Potter or Weasley? Either of them was at least a known quantity. Severus paced in his room as he put on his dress robes, fuming about his daughter's Yule Ball date. “The boy is too damn old for her,” he growled through his doorway, into the lounge, and across to the other bedroom. That door was shut.
“She's fifteen and he's seventeen. It's just two years,” came the annoyingly calm reply.
“It's not just two years and you know it. He's an adult. He has an adult position on a Quidditch team, and he's been out in the world doing who knows what, and now he's going to do it all with our daughter!”
“Whatever you think he's done, I hardly think he'll have the opportunity while dancing in a room full of their peers and ours.”
Why couldn't Septima see the situation for what it was? Severus stood in his doorway, thrusting his shirt stud at its hole and fuming. “I don't think you care about this.”
The other door was silent.
“She's your daughter.”
“So you and the numbers say.”
“You don't feel any emotional attachment to this at all?”
The door was silent.
The other door opened and a very white face looked out of it. “You think I'm a bad mother.”
He snorted. “Don't be ridiculous.”
“How should a mother feel?”
He stopped fuming and walked toward her. “How did you feel when you stormed into my office and swore at me?”
“I was angry. You had been so terribly cruel and hurt—her.”
A familiar lost expression started to cross her face. He decided to pursue it. “Who did I hurt, Septima?”
“Her.” Now her hand was over her chest.
“Who is she, Septima? What is Miss Granger to you?”
Her eyes finally met his. They were full of recognition. “My child. All I could think about was that you had hurt my child, and I needed to confront you with it.”
He was close enough to touch her, now. “Septima, I've never seen you so angry with me before. Even all those years when we had that horrible misunderstanding, you were never so angry. If you were any good at defense I would have feared for my life that day.”
“Right now, I don't know what I feel toward her. I love her as an excellent student, certainly.”
“It's whatever happened to your memory. You know you're her mother, but you don't feel it, do you?”
She looked up at him, clearly unable to respond.
“We'll fix this. We're well on our way, now that we know for sure she's really ours.”
“She has a mother. Rose Granger, according to the records. She doesn't need me.”
“You will never be replaced by a Muggle dentist named Rose. Somehow she knows who you are. Who did she come to when she was so hurt she wanted to leave Hogwarts?”
“That's just because I was here.”
“She might have gone to the head of her house or the school matron. She went to you because you're her mother and because she instinctively knows that bond exists. You instinctively protected her, too. Can you imagine another situation where you would let someone get between us?”
“Besides the obvious, you mean?” said Septima while smoothing pink crepe over her tummy. There were charms to hide the truth, and the dress was masterfully created, but they both knew what it hid.
“In both cases, it's our child, not just some student.” Severus tugged her hand and brought her into the lounge. “Are you ready?”
“I think so. Do I look too enormous?”
He took a step back and admired her dress. “No, you look magnificent.”
* * * * *
Severus found himself watching and learning many things that evening. It was a bit comical to see how awkward the son of his school enemy was. Whenever there was an occasion like this one during their own school days, James Potter usually handled himself well. Potter's son seemed to spend the evening trying not to dance, dancing horribly, or looking with worry between his two friends.
Severus's daughter seemed to be negotiating the event between her date and the Weasley she had befriended. He was mollified to see how gently she was led through the dances by Krum, who never put a hand wrong. He couldn't understand why, with such a considerate and thoughtful date, she kept looking over at Potter and Weasley, but he well understood the looks Weasley gave her.
He easily understood his own feelings at seeing Septima in the arms of Karkaroff, who likewise didn't put a hand out of place. He enjoyed his own opportunities to dance with Septima more. “It's exactly as I said it would be,” he murmured into her ear. “Do you think all these people would mind if I have my way with you just now?” He pulled her far closer than the steps of the dance allowed.
“Severus!” she gasped. Her eyes betrayed her, though. She wanted him as much as he wanted her. There was only one thing to do.
They found a secluded spot in the rose garden and made out like teenagers, complete with heavy breathing and petting. “Why did we come here instead of going to the dungeons?” Septima asked.
“In just a few minutes, I need to return to my duties.” He lowered his face to hers again and there was no interruption until Karkaroff found them.
“Severus, I beg to interrupt!”
With some disappointment, Severus sent Septima away with a promise for later. He turned his attention to his former comrade in the Death Eaters. Karkaroff wanted to continue his constant whining about the Dark Mark. Severus wasn't willing to commit to anything. He walked away and started looking for students in compromising positions.
“She's pregnant, Severus.”
That stopped him in his tracks. What had Karkaroff learned?
A/N: Thank you, as always, for reading and reviewing! Thank you also to Owlbait and Kyria of Delphi for beta reading!