Disclaimer: The characters here and the world they inhabit are the creation and property of JK Rowling and her assigns.
They sat in the lounge of Septima's apartment. A fire worked to dispel the gloom that disuse had left while soft cooing sounds came from their son as he nursed. Severus's arm around Septima was initially rock-hard around her, but softened as the tiny wizard worked a charm of wonder upon them both.
Severus groused, “He's an interfering old—”
“He's not entirely wrong,” said Septima. “We would be a distraction.”
“I want you in my arms as I sleep.”
“Nicky doesn't have a very good schedule yet. He's often up at night.”
“I need you when the Mark aches.”
She didn't have an answer for that. “I'll come to you whenever I can.”
He buried his face in her neck and whispered, “I want to make love to you.”
“I can't now, anyway. Your mum says I haven't healed enough yet.”
He made a sound between a groan and a squeak. Then he whispered, “How long?”
“She checked right before you came to get us. She said probably two weeks, but not longer than a month. I need to see Poppy in a couple of weeks to check again.”
He took a deep breath and let it out. “Have we gone longer than this?”
She smiled and put a hand along his face. “Yes, much longer.”
“I don't believe it.”
Septima awoke later in Severus's arms. He must have carried her in and put her in the bed. A quiet fuss in the corner suggested that he had put Nicky in his crib as well. Severus wouldn't be able to sleep with her overnight, but at the moment, they were a family.
She looked at the clock and saw that several hours had passed. No wonder the baby was fussing again. He was ravenous lately. She gently got up so as not to disturb Severus and went to change the baby's diaper. Then she brought him to the bed and snuggled close to her husband before feeding her son.
* * * * *
The next two weeks went by in a flurry of diapers and feedings. Septima gradually gained some control over Nicky's schedule and then started teaching her classes again. First she managed the seventh-year seminars, which required less of her direct attention than the lower classes. Then she slowly absorbed the younger classes until she was working with all the O.W.L. and N.E.W.T level students.
Severus stopped by her lounge every night and helped give the baby a bath, gradually taking over the process so that Septima could grade essays and problem sets. A homey sort of ritual developed, albeit a sad one when they kissed goodnight at the door and Severus left.
“This has to end soon,” he grumbled.
“It won't last forever,” she agreed. “I'll see Poppy soon.”
“Not just that,” he said. “I want to be together, again. I'm used to it now.”
She would give him a sad smile and one last kiss goodnight. It wasn't until after he left that she let her anger at Dumbledore vent itself, in tears, in whispered curses, or in broken glassware. She wouldn't burden Severus with her frustrations, for that would prove Dumbledore right.
* * * * *
Visits with Hermione became one of the joys of Septima's life. Several days a week they got together to ask questions. Septima learned about the life her daughter had led as a small child while describing the various members of her own family, people who were gone now and that Hermione would never meet. Severus occasionally entered into these discussions and asked his daughter about Viktor Krum. He was assured that the Durmstrang student was a perfect gentleman, but he remained unconvinced.
The second task of the Triwizard Tournament came, and when Septima heard what Hermione was expected to do, she nearly went spare.
“We can't allow it, Severus!” she said in his office the night before the task.
“You can't hate it any more than I do. Not only is she going to be part of this, but Krum is supposed to rescue her. Yet, my hands are tied. On what grounds can we complain?”
“You're her father! I'm her mother!”
“Septima, think for a minute. We can't afford to show that we know our relationship to her. I'm trying to find out what happened when she was born, but if we show that we know anything, we may lose our chance to find out the rest.”
“I can't watch.”
“You have to come as a member of the staff.”
“I can't. I'll fall to pieces and it will be obvious that she's more than my student. Tell them the baby is sick or difficult. I can't go.”
Severus pulled her into his arms with a smile. “And you were terrified of being a bad mother. You were convinced that you had no maternal feeling for her. Now we see the truth.”
* * * * *
Hermione herself came to Septima's lounge after the task was over. “You didn't come! It was so exciting... oof...”
Septima crushed her daughter close. “I was too worried about you to go. I was sure everything would be out in the open if I had to watch you in danger, and Severus thinks we need to keep things secret at least a little longer.”
The girl pushed far enough away to look up shyly. “I love you, too.”
A/N: Thank you to Owlbait and Kyria of Delphi for beta reading!