Disclaimer: The characters here and the world they inhabit are the creation and property of JK Rowling and her assigns.
Severus found his mother trying to soothe an inconsolable baby. “He woke up a couple of hours ago and refuses to take a bottle. I don't think anything but his mother will help him.”
“I'll take him straight away,” said Severus.
“Unfortunately, you can't Apparate with a child like this. He's likely to get himself splinched.”
Severus pinched the bridge of his nose. Nothing was ever easy. “There's a place we can Floo that's near the apartment.”
Fifteen minutes after arriving at his mother's house, he was walking across the university campus with a whimpering infant. It wasn't a long walk, but he'd already been gone longer than he had wished.
He could hear some sort of commotion inside the flat.
“Stop! I told you I don't want it!”
“You'll give me what I want, or you won't get your degree.”
“I already have my degree!”
“You've been dreaming, my dear. Now just give me what I want.”
Severus opened the door and entered the apartment to see Septima struggling with Richard Erwin. What would he need to do to get rid of this pest for good?
Septima's robe had been ripped open. Erwin pressed his arm across Septima's chest, pinning her against the wall while he fumbled with the fastening of his trousers. Septima squirmed and struggled, but she couldn't push him away. As soon as she heard her son's cries, however, she turned her head.
“They're here. Let me go!”
Severus spoke quietly but firmly. “Take your hands off my wife.”
“Not until I get what I came for,” said Erwin without turning around.
This time it was too much. Severus shifted Nicky into one arm while pointing his wand at the other man's back. “Sectumsempera!”
Thin lines appeared in the wizard's robe, and then thin streams of blood began to show. Severus now had Erwin's attention. “What did you do to me?” he asked while trying to look over his shoulder. The pain made him wince.
“It won't be permanent if you get to St. Mungo's on time.”
“What did you do?”
“Step away from my wife. The wounds are shallow, but I assure you I can use that spell to remove your head, or,” Severus's wand dipped down, “other parts...”
Erwin looked down to his crotch and considered the pain in his back. He let go of Septima and stepped away from her. She had no balance and slid down the wall. Erwin glared at Severus. “After they fix my back, I'll have you arrested.”
Septima rubbed at her chest for a second and then put out her arms for the baby. Severus was only too glad to hand him over. “Take him into the bedroom, love. He's as eager to see you as you are to see him.”
They barely heard the click of the door over the sound of the fussing baby. After a moment, even the whimpering subsided. When quiet was restored, Severus looked at Erwin and spoke in an undertone. “I thought we went over this, Dick. You were supposed to leave the witch alone.”
“Dumbledore doesn't speak for me or for Septima.”
“He said I could have the witch.”
“He's wrong. The witch loves me and she's mine.”
“She's—Dumbledore said I could have her.”
What exactly did Dumbledore say? A little Legilimency was in order. He'll leave the apartment at some time, and then you'll have her. Her mind's a bit fragile these days; you should be able to convince her that it's still 1980 and that everything since then was only a dream...
Severus felt sick. Why did Dumbledore hate Septima so much? At the moment, it didn't matter as much as getting rid of Erwin, hopefully for good. He reached into a pocket and took out a card and a pencil. After scribbling a note on it, he stood a pasty-looking Erwin on his feet.
“You'd better hurry to the hosptial, Dick, you're not looking so well.”
“What did you do to me?”
“It would take too long to explain. Just give this card to the Healers, and they'll know what to do.”
“I'm going to press charges.”
“I'm sure it will be a fascinating trial, since Septima would be well within her rights to press charges against you for attacking her. I have merely done what any husband would do, protecting my wife and home.”
“Hurry along, Dick, or you won't be doing anything. Those cuts are shallow, but you will continue to bleed until they're properly healed.”
The other wizard finally left, and Severus surveyed the apartment for damage. Breakfast was a bit cold, but otherwise in good shape. There were some things to clear up after the struggle, but it wouldn't take long.
Septima was sitting cross-legged on the bed. The baby was nursing contentedly, and she seemed contented to hold him close and hum to him. Severus felt something odd within himself. It had been one thing to see Septima with their child in her memory; the reality drew him close to the bed.
“I don't think I've ever seen you this happy.”
“I should have worried, I suppose, but I knew you would handle him. Somehow I can't be anything but happy when I'm feeding Nicky.”
Severus sat close to her and lowered his face to that spot in her neck that belonged to him. “Did he do anything to you?”
“He tried to get me to think he'd been over just the other day, that everything you and I have done together was just a dream.”
He kissed her earlobe. “You didn't believe him; good girl.”
“I didn't want to believe him, but he just laughed at me and kept saying it. Then I saw my wedding ring, and I knew for sure.”
He put his arms around her, careful not to disturb his son. “That's yet another reason I'm pleased about our marriage.”
A/N: Thanks as always to Kyria of Delphi and Owlbait!