Disclaimer: The characters here and the world they inhabit are the creation and property of JK Rowling and her assigns.
Septima woke to the sensation of something squeezing her. She lay in Severus's arms, vaguely aware that it was now full dark. She had the lovely feeling of satiation within herself that always followed particularly good lovemaking. She rolled toward her back. Severus groaned and fondled her.
Pain brought her eyes and mouth wide open. She stared unseeingly into the bedroom as her mouth made a gasping sound indicative of being unable to breathe. Her arms started to flail.
“Ow!” said Severus as her hand caught him on the chin. He quickly sat up and found a light. “Are you all right?”
The pain faded, and Septima sucked in her breath in huge gulps. “Hurts!”
He stood up and looked around for his clothes. “Do you want me to get my mother?”
She looked blindly in his direction, unsure what she was seeing. “Hurts!”
“OK, love, just give me a minute.”
He hadn't returned when the next one hit. Suddenly, Septima was all alone in a cold room. “Sev—er--us,” she whispered without much hope.
“I'm right here, love.”
And suddenly he was, and it was now a warm room.
Eileen was there, too. “There you are, dear; you're half-way gone. It won't be long before he's outside of you.”
After that, the pains came and were as intense as before, but Septima didn't mind them as much with Severus beside her and Eileen to encourage her. Time lost its meaning as she clung to him. She had an unreasonable fear that if he left her side, she would never see him again.
A clock somewhere in the house was tolling midnight when Eileen finally said, “Lean up and hold your legs, now... and... push!”
Severus held her in place and whispered endearments into her ear. Eileen stood at the foot of the bed and said more encouraging things. Septima could only do as her body directed. She bore down upon the bundle that was working through her body.
After an interminable amount of time that Severus later averred was less than a full hour, something inside shifted. With a loud groan on Septima's part, the head came out into Eileen's hands. In less time than it took to say it, first one shoulder than the other worked out. Septima fell back into Severus's arms, exhausted, as Eileen studied her grandson.
The sweet words didn't stop. “I don't know what to say to you,” he whispered. “He's a miracle. You're... a miracle.”
Over at the other end of the room, Eileen Snape was crooning to the bundle in her arms and crying.
“Mother?” said Severus softly.
“I never thought I'd be so happy to see someone who looked so much like Tobias Snape. He's so beautiful.” Eileen handed the wrapped-up baby to her own son and moved down to check on Septima's progress with the afterbirth.
There were more pains and some light pushing, but nothing like before. Eileen gave her directions with a smile and teary eyes.
She looked up at Severus, and there were tears in his eyes as he looked at his son. “He's perfect. I can't understand... I already love him, and I love that you gave him to me.”
* * * * *
An hour later, Septima held her son and looked in wonder as he stared back up at her from her breast. A moment later, a hand cupped the back of the tiny head as Severus sat next to her on the bed. “Will it hurt you if I join you here?”
“No, I've been hoping... Severus, is this really all right with you?”
“I don't think I've ever wanted anything more than I want what we have right here right now.”
“But I'm not the witch you had in mind.”
“You're the witch who put all the pieces together.” An arm slid around her, supporting her and comforting her. She nestled into him with a small sight of content.
“What about Dumbledore and You-Know-Who?”
“What about them?”
“What you and Dumbledore were talking about on Christmas... Is our child in danger?”
“I'm not worried about it any more than the parents of my Slytherin students are worried about it. The Dark Lord considers all such children to be his own.”
The child pulled his head back and started rooting around, looking for the other breast. Septima switched him around, and he continued his feeding. “This is so easy. Somewhere inside me is the thought that it was supposed to be much harder.”
He nuzzled her head with his own. “Your memories indicate that feeding our daughter didn't come that easily.”
“Have you really watched that whole thing?”
“I'm not sure how you got to the hospital, but I've watched every labor pain and every minute you had with her before she suddenly disappeared. It was two full weeks. People came to your hospital room to tell you about it, but you didn't hear anything they said.”
“And you sketched what you saw?”
“It was beautiful. I just wished I could have held her.”
“I wish I could remember it.”
“Some day you will.”
A/N: Thank you to Owlbait and Kyria of Delphi for their beta reading work!