Twice the Fun

by Drake of Dross

Summary: In response to the story/challenge 'In a Delicate Way' by JayKay. Severus finds himself pregnant after spending a night with Fred and George Weasley. FW/SS/GW, SS/LM suggested
Disclaimer: Snape, Weasleys, Hogwarts, etc are JK Rowlings', not mine.
Warning: R rated, MPreg (obviously), threesome, slash (obviously)

"Congratulations, Professor, you're pregnant," Madam Pomphrey told him, changing his life and world by those four words.

Severus blinked. Once. Twice. Three times.

No. That wasn't true, he corrected his inner dialogue. His life and world had been changed before the words. She had just vocalized it, discovered the problem. But it had existed before that. He considered blaming Potter. The curse was supposed to have hit him, after all. He considered blaming Malfoy. He'd been the one to cast the blasted thing. He considered blaming Zabini and the three other Slytherins who had propositioned him and been turned down. He wouldn't have made that thrice damned remark if not for them.

He considered blaming Fred and George Weasley. Fred, most particularly. He was the one who answered back. He was the one who trapped him between his own words. He was, above all, the father.

But it wasn't Potter's fault. Nor Draco's. Not Zabini's, Flint's, Peasegood's, or Ransler's. Not George's. Not even Fred's. No, this was his own royal screw-up. His own fault for letting his guard down and agreeing to be, of all things, helpful. His own fault for not just throwing the pair of Gryffindors out of his office and good riddance to them. They'd been so close to leaving, too, when everything took that 780 degree turn for the worse. George had made it outside to the hallway, even.

Now was not the time to think about it. He was with child. Knocked up. Pregnant. Severus blinked. Four times. Five. Six.

The blame would have to fall to Lucius. There was no way in the seven levels of hell he was going to admit to having sex with not just one student, but two at once. His family was black haired, dark eyed as far back as anyone would care to trace, a look-alike blood curse no doubt followed the Snape line. Any child of his would have those characteristics. He need not worry that the infant would have red hair to give him away. Other features would be far less distinctive, no one would notice such things as bone structure or eye shape. All they would check would be whether or not the poor creature was cursed with its . . . bearing parent's . . . nose.

Generating the circumstances for the encounter with Malfoy would be fairly simple, even though there hadn't been a meeting since the curse had occurred. Having an excuse to hide the pregnancy would be inherent in the identity of the so-called father. He counted off nine months. Mid-November, the kid would be born. A term off and away from the school next autumn, and concealing charms until the children left in early June. He would have the last four an a half months alone. Fred and George would be gone by the time he returned, but best to be rid of the child, in the chance they hear of it and make unwelcome connections.

Abortion was out. Far too risky with magically enhanced wombs and conceptions. It was as likely to drain his magic as it was to successfully abort the child. It could also leave him a permanent hermaphrodite, which was something he dared not risk. At least birthing the little bastard was likely to either end the curse or kill him off cleanly. That left keeping the wretch or giving it up for adoption. Ha. As if he would keep around Fred Weasley's offspring.

He'd do adoption center research over the next few months. That settled, all he had left to do was inform Albus.

"Very well then," he said calmly. No need for her to see his turmoil. "Best I tell the Headmaster. I'll need a leave of absence next term."

She blinked twice in quick successsion. "That's it? No bout of fury or denial?"

Was the woman disappointed? "There is little point, unless you lied to me about my prognosis." Which he had far too little cause to suspect, she'd been too surprised, embarrassed, and even evilly delighted at his predicament, for it to be anything but honest.

She shook her head. "No, you are pregnant. I just didn't expect you to accept it so easily, Professor."

He turned over a hand, his version of a shrug. "I am aware of how a child is created. I am aware that I currently have the proper organs for conceiving and carrying a child. What you suggest is not outside the realm of possibility."

"Oh." She gave a small, embarrassed laugh. He really didn't see what she had to be embarrassed about, but she clearly was. Mediwitch or no. It couldn't be sex in general that bothered her. Just sex in conjunction with himself, in all likelihood.

He stood. "I will now inform the headmaster. Good day, Poppy."

Still blushing faintly, she nodded her farewell. "Good day, Professor Snape."

Truly, it was not a good day. He wouldn't go so far as to say it was a bad day. After all, there had been no Voldemort, no Lucius, no killing or torture. No fifth year Gryffindor-Slytherin potions class today, either. But it was far from a good day. Neither was it an indifferent day. Indifferent implied nothing significant had happened. Nothing good enough happened to be called good. Nothing bad enough happened to be called bad. In fact, on indifferent days, nothing much happens at all. Today, and the day of the curse for that matter, were none of these: good, bad, or indifferent. Just important. Cataclysmic. One of those days that shake the world as one knows it, but on a personal scale. Like the day he realized he really did not want to be a Death Eater any longer. Though, that had been an otherwise bad day as much as today was an otherwise indifferent day.

This contemplation brought him to the Headmaster's gargoyle, where he said the password and stepped onto the spiraling staircase. "Albus," he greeted the headmaster as the office opened before him. Past headmasters looked to him, then immediately lost interest. Fawkes, looking minutes away from its death, gave a miserable warble, then returned to whatever was occupying its attention beforehand. Albus himself sat behind the desk, his moccassined feet crossed at the ankle and resting on a pile of paperwork as he leaned dangerously back in his chair, a cup of tea and a cauldron cake balanced precariously on his beard. "Ah, Severus! So good to see you! What brings you by here? Tea?"

"No tea."

"Lemon drop?"

"No," Severus declined firmly. "I request next term off."

Blue eyes regarded him from behind half-moon spectacles. "An entire term? Why, dear boy?"

"I find myself in a rather awkward situation. Taking that time off will help resolve it." He knew he should probably just spit it out. All in all it would be quicker and more painless that way. But he found he could not.

In truth, the headmaster's eyes had begun to twinkle, most definitely never a good sign. "And what, dear boy, or child rather, is this awkward situation?"

He'd gotten it already, Severus was sure of it. And yet the insufferable man was going to draw it out. "You know of the curse Mr. Malfoy intended to use on Mr. Potter?"

Albus just twinkled at him. "Yes."

"Well, you know also that it hit me instead."

The man had the gall to actually smile at that. "I'd been aware. I imagine Mr. Malfoy regrets ever learning the spell?"

"I'd see to it he regretted it even more, but I don't intend to let anyone know what happened next."

"And what did happen next?" Albus asked. If those eyes twinkled any more they'd have to apply for a spot in the nighttime sky.

"Like a imbecillic adolescent girl, I failed to take precautions." Albus waited, looking smug and amused. "The curse will not wear off for another nine months, which is when my body will be done with the extra bits." Severus finished with all the dignity he could muster.

"What a telling number, Severus," Albus said quietly.

Where nothing Pomphrey had done had any affect on him, this soft murmur did bring a light flush to his normally pale cheeks.

"May I ask who the father is?"

Here is where nearly two decades of spying came in useful. Lying was second nature to him, and Albus could no more tell when he did it than Voldemort could. Severus dropped into his usual chair, and rested his forehead in his hand. "It was Lucius, Albus. I went out to the manor the night after it happened. If you found out and asked, I was going to say it was to ask about how Draco learned about that particular curse. In light of what happened, I'll admit I was curious. Obviously, I couldn't experiment with any of the students or staff, and I knew Lucius wouldn't turn me down if I asked. He didn't, and we did, and in nine months I will be a father. Or, perhaps, a mother would be more accurate." Before those eyes could light up again or Albus could make any kind of remark on that, he quickly added, "And if you, the brat, or anybody else ever calls me a mommy, a mum, or anything of that sort, I swear to Merlin, that person will die, slowly and painfully."

Albus, wise man that he is, did not say anything. But his eyes twinkled madly, and it was more than obvious that he was literally biting his lip to keep a comment in.

Severus glowered at him, and chose to try to distract him. "Obviously, I can't tell Lucius, or even let it get back to Lucius, what happened."

It worked, the headmaster's wild twinkle diminished noticably. "Why is that, Severus?"

"Because I would rather not let Lucius Malfoy have any say on the upbringing of my child," Severus snapped.

"Understandable," Albus said consolingly, patting the air in front of him as if that could soothe Severus's temper. "So you will keep the child, then?"

Severus sighed. Here was the real question. "I don't know. I will research adoption, and we will see if Voldemort is still unchecked. I will not be a spy and a father."

He looked up sharply, and caught Albus opening his mouth. The headmaster closed down on whatever mother jibe he was going to make. Instead, he nodded. "You may have next term off. Have you any suggestions for a substitute?"

When he returned to his rooms, he sank slowly and comfortably into his favorite chair, closed his eyes, and leaned his head back against the firm but soft cushion. Just how did this all happen? he complained silently to himself, perhaps unwisely, for it drew up memories from the day of the curse.

He had left Poppy's care, and gone up to the Headmaster's office, where the events leading to the curse were hashed and rehashed. Finally, Potter was let go, and Malfoy was turned over to his tender mercies. Fifty points off Slytherin and a full month of detentions. It was perhaps a bit harsh for trying to curse Potter, but it had, after all, missed Potter and hit him, a professor and Malfoy's Head of House, instead. Malfoy did not complain, and neither would Lucius. A Slytherin and a future Death Eater should not miscast curses like that. Draco had even gotten a howler to that effect, minus the Death Eater bit, at breakfast the next morning.

After sending the young Malfoy off to talk to Filch about his assignments over the next month, Severus had returned to his office to work off steam by grading Gryffindor essays. Zabini had been the first to show up. He had obviously been nervous as he made his proposition, setting it out as if he were offering to do a business deal. Severus had sent him away, only barely refraining from docking Slytherin another fifty points.

Of the three that followed, only seventh year Marcus Flint was remotely worth listening to. Peasegood and Ransler, sixth years both of them, had made their presentations with even less decorum and decency than Zabini had. Zabini had at least been moderately polite and discreete about what he was suggesting. All three were told to scram with the same alacrity as Zabini.

When Fred and George Weasley darkened the threshold of his office door, he had immediately snapped, altogether too bluntly, that he held no interest in bedding any worthless Gryffindors. They had looked properly taken aback, as, for once, they had not come to be nuisances. George had looked at his twin, and asked, "Maybe another time, when he's not so testy?"

But Fred just sauntered in, and dropped about ten inches of parchment on his desk. "We have a problem."

Severus took full advantage of the comment. "There is very little I can do about the size of your brains."

George had taken offense, as he expected, but Fred was determined to be in a good mood, and he just grinned. "Asked for that one, didn't I?"

Severus had smirked, and said, "Rather."

"Well, our other problem is this potion, and we were hoping you'd take a look at it." Severus looked down at the paper, and found himself surprised by its complexity. "It's supposed to turn the drinker into a green-scaled dragon. We only tried it out on a mouse, but it died, and we don't understand why. Nothing in it is poisonous."

George put down another parchment. "This does the same, only the drinker turns into a canary. This one works."

Telling himself he was doing this so none of his students would die from the side effect of one of the Weasley's creations, he started looking over the formula entited "Canary Cream - Base" and the one called "Dragon Dumplings - Base". They were truly fascinating potions, and the twins had a much better grasp on potions than he would have suspected from their performance in class. When he mentioned this, they admitted to trying to get the most spectacular explosion they could without causing permanent damage to their cauldron. Sometimes the proviso worked, and sometimes it didn't. He made a mental note to keep a closer eye on the pair.

The discussion lasted almost three hours, Severus finding the fatal combination early on, but suggesting several refinements to both potions. The twins brought out a few other recipes, and he looked those over, too. It was, to his great surprise, an almost enjoyable time. But then he pointed out that if they stayed much longer, he would need to take off points for breaking curfew. So they had risen to leave. George had made it to the hall. Fred turned back. Severus now wondered if the older twin had spent the entire three hours coming up with the rejoinder to Severus's own opening remark.

"We wouldn't have just bedded you. We'd have taken you and made you scream. One in your front. One in your back. Can you imagine? Two people coming inside you at once?"

He should have deducted points and told them to scram. He should have made a cutting remark about George's blush and sent them scurrying back to Gryffindor Tower. Instead, he raised an eyebrow, and said, "How intriguing. Now, beat it." He made a dismissive gesture, which Fred ignored. The blasted boy had gotten all the encouragement he was going to need.

Fred retreated from the doorway, returning to stand across his desk from him. George, perforce, closed the door again and joined his brother, hissing in his twin's ear that this was not a good idea. Fred ignored him, too.

"Do you think you could handle it, sir?" Severus could not remember the last time maintaining eye contact with a student had been so difficult. He was surprised to find that Fred's eyes weren't smouldering with passion or lust, just burning with determination. The seventh year wasn't set on getting Severus into bed. He was set on getting Severus to agree to go to bed. His Slytherin mind recognized the difference. It would be an interesting challege to meet the later and avoid the former, but he decided to try. That had been his third mistake.

Two days and a pregnancy later, he cursed himself for a fool; playing word games with Frederick Weasley wasn't wise.

George had been Fred's weak point. The other twin was having obvious and vocal doubts about the whole thing. But a remark in his direction, meant to encourage that type of resistance, backfired. With both twins against him now, and their determination shifting by the moment from getting his agreement to getting his bed, he had stood little chance. His opportunity to throw them out with anything resembling dignity had passed. And he himself was more than a little curious, and more than a little aroused.

As a final gambit of reverse psychology, which, to be honest with himself, he had known was doomed to failure, he had opened the hidden door at the back of his office that led into his private quarters. "Well, are you coming or not?" And they had come. Both of them. Eagerly.

They had promised to make him scream with sensation overload. With Fred taking his hermophrodite virginity, and George coming in where Severus was more familiar with, they succeeded admirably. He had felt split in two and filled inside with only Lucius. That didn't come close to how packed inside he was with the twins. He thought he must explode. There surely wasn't room for both of them and his organs. Then they had thrust deeper, pushing in at the same time, and he had screamed as advertised.

He had awoken afterwards to movement behind him. "Oi, Fred," George had whispered.

"Wha?" the groggy voice in front of him responded.

"Think we should beat it before he wakes up and realizes he just had sex with two students?" Shit. George was right. He'd done that, hadn't he? He couldn't work up the energy to care, yet, though.

"Nah, better to face his wrath now than in class," Fred decided, more awake now. "'Sides, he'd probably wake up as we were leaving, then we'd really get it."

"Good point."

Severus tried not to react as fingers slid into his vagina.

"Fred? I think he's awake, his breathing changed."

"No kidding, your breathing would change, too, if someone put their fingers inside you," Fred replied casually.

"Fred! We're trying to get out of being killed!"

Severus moaned in pleasure as the skillful fingers played about inside him. This was really an excellent way to wake up. "You, too, George, backside," he murmured.

He heard the grin in Fred's voice as he instructed his twin, "You heard the Professor. It's time for round two." Despite being lazier and more subdued, round two produced a scream, too.

The next time he woke, it was morning. Fred and George still slept on either side of him. George had buried his face against his back, he could feel the nose with every breath either of them took, and Fred had draped an arm over both of his bedmates. Severus closed his eyes, then opened them again. They were still there. He shifted his position, waking both of them. "Will your dormmates notice you never came in last night?" he asked the important question first.

They gave identical groans as they pulled themselves to consciousness. "They'll notice," Fred started.

"But they'll assume we went someplace quiet to enjoy each other," George finished.

"We don't, you know," Fred hastened to add, though Severus could care less what type of relationship the twins had with each other.

"We've usually got a Ravenclaw or a Hufflepuff between us, a Gryffindor once," George clarified with far too much information for Severus's peace of mind. "Oi, Fred, we're an equal house opportunity. We've done a Slytherin, now."

Severus groaned and buried his face in his pillow.

A hand rested on the bare skin of his shoulder, reminding him that he was still naked between two students. "Get out of my bedroom," he said into the pillow.

"A couple things first," Fred insisted. Severus wondered if he was always the leader and the greater annoyance, or if they had decided he should take most of the blame and the brunt of any anger this time, while next time it might be George making a nuisance of himself. It probably didn't matter.

Severus sat up, and bit back a painful groan from the ache and soreness inside him. A potion would fix it, but he had to deal with the twins first. "What things?" he asked, directing a glare at Fred.

The boy just gave him an impudent grin. "You're not nearly so intimidating when you're sitting naked in bed, sir." And the galling boy had the nerve to reach out and run a finger along a slightly swelled breast. Severus stiffened, though he wasn't entirely sure if it was in fury or to keep himself from pulling the Gryffindor on top of him. He said nothing.

"I just wanted to bring up a few topics," Fred continued, "Like, oh, loss of house points, expellment, detention, torture, and murder. I'd like to talk about those in conjuction with the words blackmail, sacked, illegal, and student-teacher relationships."

"Fred," George warned nervously. Fred just shook his head and held up a quieting hand, his surprisingly hard green eyes holding Severus's own black ones.

Severus felt an unpleasant sensation in the pit of his stomach, and he knew he was well and truly at Fred's mercy on this one. Though the twins had pressed, he had been in full control of his mental facilities, and as their teacher it had been his responsibility to see that last night had not happened. "I'm listening."

"If the first set of topics doesn't happen to us because of this, the second set won't happen to you. That's all."

Severus breathed again in relief, and said, more to himself than Fred, "And that, Mr. Weasley, is why you are a Gryffindor and not a Slytherin. I promise, no loss of house points, no detention, no expellment, and I will not torture or kill you either. I reserve the right to take house points and give detentions for other misdemeanors, however."

"Just as long as you don't make them up or exaggerate them, like you do with Harry," Fred countered. Then he hesitanted, not out of nervousness or discomfort, but because he was allowing enough time to seperate his next comment from his previous. "A Slytherin would have asked for more?"

Severus sighed, but did not elaborate more than the single word, "Yes."

Fred grinned, "Then what was your problem with taking Gryffindors to bed? Seems Slytherins would have been worse."

"Clearly, I did not have enough of a problem with taking Gryffindors to bed."

They caught the warning in that, and began fishing along the floor for their discarded clothing. George was at the foot of the bed, and came up with Severus's over robe. "Here, sir," he said passing it. Fred turned around just in time to see Severus reach out with his left arm. The twin's eyes widened in fear. Severus noted the hitch in his breathing, then followed his gaze. To the Dark Mark. Shit.

He dropped his arm as if it had suddenly tripled in weight, and held it against his stomach, hiding the Mark from view once more, but far too late. Fred's face was paler even than his own, and freckles he had never noticed before stood out plainly against the white skin. He drew his wand from the robe lying on the bed, and pointed it at Fred. The boy's eyes widened in terror. "Obliviate." For good measure, he did the same to George. He waited for the disorientation to take hold then snapped, "Well, what are you waiting for? Breakfast will be in twenty minutes!"

Severus was careful not to move his left arm from his stomach until they were clear of his rooms. If they thought he was in pain from last night's activities, they weren't far wrong.

The first weeks were easy. Aside from the continued existence of the extra parts, and his self-imposed restrictions (under Poppy's orders) from such things as alcohol and potions with certain ingredients, he hardly noticed he was pregnant. He modified his syllabus to avoid anything that would bother the fetus should he breath the fumes or spill it on himself. But that was all just in theory. He hadn't been heart-set on doing those potions.

Thus, it wasn't until the morning sickness hit that his condition really started to interfere with his day-to-day life. The first day it happened, he'd attributed it to something he ate. The second day, he realized what it was, and he glared down at his own flat stomach. "This is your fault, you little brat."

The bastard offered nothing in its defense.

He made his first appointment with Poppy for that afternoon. That had gone as well as could be expected, until she smiled at him and said, "They're doing fine, Severus."

Correcting her grammer, he had said, "It is doing fine. Unless you know its gender, in which case, you say he is doing fine, or she is doing fine."

Poppy just smiled at him indulgently. "They are doing fine, Severus."

"Twins?" he asked in horror.

"Twins," she confirmed happily.

There was only one conclusion to be drawn. The wretched woman hated him.

Oh. And this pregnancy was going to be twice as fun as he had anticipated.

And, should he keep the misbegotten beasts, he was going to need twice as much stuff.

It was just as well he had made that promise to Fred. Else the twins would have suffered horribly after that news, and Dumbledore might have come to suspect something. The Pregnancy Itself was Severus's fault, he could admit that. But twins? That was obviously Fred's input into the equation. He conviently chose not to remember his mother had been a twin herself.

It was fourth year Slytherin-Ravenclaws when they first kicked him. A quiet class, one of the calmest he taught. The Ravenclaws knew what they were doing and the Slytherins didn't bother them. There were no less than three teams in the class that were voluntarily cross-Housed. He was sitting behind his desk, when the kick came. Just once, and not very strong, either. But he had felt it, and he knew what it was. His hand drifted to his stomach, as a feeling of awe welled within him. It was his first tangible proof that there was something alive growing inside him.

He was suddenly afraid.

He was really bringing two children into the world. This was real. It wasn't just a joke Poppy was pulling on him and he was playing along with. It wasn't just a prolonged illness. There would be results from this thing. Two of them. Twins. Babies. Children. Real People. And he was their father, and would be for the entirety of their lives and his. It was damn daunting. He would look up the adoption agencies tomorrow. He couldn't do this.

He was jolted back to the present when one of the Slytherin students called out, "Professor! Why's this green?"

Madam Warbuck's Wizarding Children Adoption Agency was one of the more respected organizations of its kind, or so said the latest edition of the Who to Trust With Your Children When You Can't Trust Yourself publication. Severus stepped through the floo and into a busy reception area. After fifteen years working at a school, he did manage to cross the chaotic room without running into anyone or being run into. Two steps from the reception desk, he stopped short to allow a very small child on a wheeled platform to whizz by in front of him. Would his own children . . . ? Best not to think of that. He took the remaining two steps. "Severus Snape. I have an appointment."

The receptionist made a mark in a ledger and pointed the the crowded room he had just navigated. "Take a seat. We'll call you in a few minutes."

With some difficulty, he found an empty chair between a crying, young, and very pregnant woman and an older lady who was watching two little girls playing quietly with dolls. The younger witch sniffled, and looked at him. "Looking to adopt, sir?" she asked tearily.

He sneered at her. "No. I am here on behalf of my ex-girlfriend."

She burst into tears again and refused to speak to him anymore. This was perfectly acceptable as far as Severus was concerned. The older woman, who couldn't have had many less years than Dumbledore, frowned at him. "It is men like you who make places like this necessary. That young girl's man left her when he found out about the child, poor thing, and she can't affort to keep it."

"So some sterile couple will get a new baby," Severus remarked, with neither malice nor pity.

He watched the girls play with their dolls for a little while, before curiously made him ask, "What about them?"

The woman's eyes misted with tears, and spoke too softly for the girls to hear. "Poor dears. Their parents went out to the theatre, and had me watch them for the night. Next day, I looked across the street to see if they were up yet, and saw the dark mark hanging there! Imagine! If the dears had been home, they'd be dead now."

Severus fought the urge to touch his own dark mark and said nothing.

"Much as I'd like to, I can't keep them, and they haven't anywhere else to go."

Across the room a boy's voice rose over the babble, "No! No, no, no, no, no! I want my real daddy back!" More than half the children, the two girls in front of him included, suddenly started crying from similiar wishes.


The sobbing young woman suddenly punched him. Startled, he looked at her in astonishment, too surprised to even hex her. "What was that for?"

"Your own kid will never call you daddy, you jerk! How do you think your baby will feel, knowing its own father didn't want it?" Then she burst into fresh tears, and cooed to her stomach that "Mommy loves you, little one, yes, she does. Your daddy's just a big old fat awful meanie. But Mommy loves you."

Severus sighed and leaned his head back against the wall.

The old woman with the girls was called shortly thereafter. "Eliza, Isabelle? Let's go meet your new mommy and daddy."

One of them looked up at her, and asked innocently, "Why didn't our old mommy and daddy want us anymore? Why'd they leave us here when they went to a better place?"

The woman did not answer, too close to tears to be able to speak, and just ushered the girls away and out of sight. Severus watched them leave. Another woman soon took her place, and a sullen looking boy dropped onto the floor where the girls had been. He looked around again and noted that he was one of only four men in the crowded room. The new woman leaned forward and smiled sadly and sympathically at him and the sobbing woman. "Why can't the two of you keep your baby?"

"We are not together," Severus was quick to explain.

"No," the crier sobbed, "this jerk at least took some responsibility for his actions."

Feeling unfairly put upon in regards to his children's welfare, even if he had concocted a jerk's cover story, he said, "I am taking full responsibility for my actions. The twins will be adopted into a happy family, which is more than can be said if they stayed with me or their mother. Particularly with our high-risk jobs."

"Twins?" the woman wailed, "You were blessed with twins and you're still giving them away?"

"And if I die in ten months, a year from now, two years, they'll be here then, with less chance of adoption together for every day I wait."

"But if you don't die?"

"Everybody dies."

The woman looked annoyed, then nodded, a way to use that cynical attitude to her advantage occurring to her, "Exactly. Who's to say you wouldn't outlive the adoptive parents?"

"It seems unlikely. I work for Dumbledore."

She blushed suddenly. "Sorry I called you a jerk." Then she turned away in embarrassment.

Severus sat still, stunned, and wondered if he had made a mistake by saying that. It looked like she might be planning to retell this story. "I'd rather you not mention that to anyone," he said, more tentatively than he normally did. But it was all part of the Dumbledore's employee routine. "I don't want word that I have children on the way getting back to Voldemort, even if I don't plan on keeping them." Both women sitting next to him startled, and several others looked his way. He cursed himself for using Voldemort's name in public. It was all well and good at Hogwarts, but here it drew attention.

The crier nodded quickly, "Yes, of course. I understand that."

The newcomer spoke up then. "They're a blessing, you know. Kids. I could never have any." Severus's gaze darted to the boy in her company. "Timmy's my adopted son. We're here for his annual prove-to-the-real-parents-that-he's-happy-with-me meeting. Ain't that right, boyo?"

Timmy nodded, sparing a small smile for his mother. He turn large brown eyes to Severus. "Keep your kids, sir. If you die, at least they won't know you'd rather live without them."

"At least make a clean break. It's depressing for him to meet his folks like this."

"Have you felt your girlfriend's stomach while they kicked, yet?" the pregnant one asked.

"She's only four months along. She says they kicked once so far."

"Wait a while yet, before commiting to an adoption. She might not want to before long. All rational reasons to the contrary." The woman smiled sadly and rubbed her own swollen waistline. "I used to be as determined to give my baby away as jerk-o the sperm donor."

Timmy and his mother were called away next, and Severus frowned at the fact that they had waited much less time than he had. And he probably wouldn't be called until after the girl beside him, who seemed to be in a similiar boat to his.

"I take it you and your ex are still on speaking terms then?" she asked, seemingly just to make conversation. She had warmed up to him, and as long as she was talking, she wasn't crying or randomly punching him, so Severus saw this as reason enough to talk back.

"We broke up amicably before we learned she was pregnant. We saw little reason to retry a failed relationship just because of a pregnancy. We value our friendship too much." It was really somewhat disturbing that he could spin these tales off the top of his head. When had he become such a pathological liar?

"I take it back, you're really not a jerk at all," she told him. Either the twins agreed or strongly disagreed, because one of them chose that moment to give a strong jab to his insides. He hissed in a breath, and his hand jumped to the spot he'd been assaulted from the inside. But the twins grew quiessent, and did not kick again.

He opened his eyes (when had he closed them?), and found his companion watching him. "Did they kick?" she asked.

He had nodded before he realized what she had deduced. His eyes widened very slightly.

"I'm eight and one quarter months pregnant, sir. I know the signs. You don't have a girlfriend, do you?"

He marginally shook his head.

"Wow. I feel like a complete heel now. Did yours dump you, too?"

"He doesn't know. We were never dating. One night stand." Severus shrugged, wondering why he was gossiping about himself like a village fishwife.

"Oh, that's rough."

"Better that way than someone I thought I could trust turning on me." Where had this friendly commiseration come from? He was supposed to be Professor Severus Snape, feared potion master and suspected Death Eater, not someone's embittered girlfriend out for a chat with her friends.

"Melanie Dreyer!"

The pregnant girl stood. "That's me. Don't give up on the twins yet, I swear, you'll regret it."

Severus followed her through the crowd and cancelled his appointment when he reached the receptionist, then flooed back to Hogsmeade. At his check-up with Poppy later that day, she asked how his appointment at the adoption agency had gone.

"Fine," he told her, "The twins will have a good family." He blamed the whole day on hormones.

Concealment charms carried him through finals and the end-of-term ceremony. Once all the students were gone, he relocated to Snape Manor, and immediately set to turning one of the rooms there into a nursery.

His two house-elves, of course, did most of the work.

Poppy came to check on him every two weeks. He otherwise had no other visitors. He had told Albus it would be too risky for him to come in case Death Eaters were watching the Manor. Starting in his seventh month, he stopped responding to Voldemort's summons because he could barely stand under the weight of the twins anymore. Before that, the combined power of concealing charms combined with overlooking and protection spells had got him through the meetings without notice. They had known he was there, but not even Voldemort could pay attention to him for more than a few moments: not quite long enough to attract a crutactious to himself.

An owl the next day, and a very strong glamour cast by one of the elves for Lucius's visit convinced the Death Eater that Severus was seriously ill, and had been for some time. By that time fall term had begun, and Draco had informed his father that Severus was no longer at Hogwarts. There had been no excuse stated, just simply that 'Professor Snape would return after Christmas.' Poppy had reluctantly admitted that some students had cheered at the news of his absence.

He had assured Lucius that he would recover, but not until December, according to the mediwizard he had hired. He had also suggested he was mildly contagious at this stage, so Malfoy had left rather quickly after that.

The twins were born two weeks premature, on November sixth. Poppy had not been on hand, and she did not answer her fireplace. He found out later there had been a Quiddich game that day and Draco had been knocked off his broom by a bludger. The new Raveclaw beater was reputed to be one of the best Hogwarts had ever seen.

The house elves were a great help. Fetching him water, wiping the sweat from his brow, and calling Poppy every ten minutes until she finally got the message that she was needed at Snape Manor now. Even once she arrived, the female elf, Mimi, never left his side, and held his hand through the entire ten hours of labour. Her fellow elf, Grady, had to perform three spells to turn her hand back to its proper shape and mobility afterwards.

Even in the throes of labour, Severus refrained from cursing out Fred and George. Draco, Potter, Zabini, Flint, Peasegood, Ransler, and Lucius came up with great regularity, though. Lucius most of all. He was the father, after all, as far as any Hogwarts personel were to know. If anything, he could lie better when he was in pain. People didn't expect that, after all.

Eventually, they came out. Twin boys, identical. Six minutes apart. Seven pounds, three ounces, both of them. Black hair, deep blue eyes, though Poppy said the eye colour would likely change. They were cursed with his nose, something he mentally apologized for, but secretly felt pleased about. One less feature that could be compared to find the father. One more reason to keep them. After all, what was the point of giving them up for adoption when anyone who looked at them would know whose children they were?

He held them in his arms, feeling sweaty, exhausted, and the luckiest man alive. When they suckled from his breasts (which were smaller than those of a nursing mother, but very defintely larger than any man's should be), it was like nothing he had ever experienced before. It was simply . . . magic. Poppy had fussed with him and them, until he told the house elf Grady to throw her out. She went back to Hogwarts with the story that the adoption people would be coming to pick up the twins the next day, and that Severus had not named them.

When she was gone, he smiled at his first born son and said, "Welcome to the Snape family, Salazar Sabastian." He turned the smile to his youngest child. "And same to you, Sabastian Salazar." No doubt their other father would not appreciate his children's names, but Severus did not overly care. Fred Weasley did not even know he was a father. Nor would he, if Severus had any say in the matter.

He had Mimi the house elf label them until he could tell them apart.

He returned alone to Hogwarts in late December. He cleared all paintings out of his rooms - the blasted things reported everything to Albus - and set up strong wards that would keep out everyone. Students, staff, headmasters, and house elves. Then, under cover of night, he brought in Grady, Mimi, Salazar, and Sabastian. He resumed teaching and spying, but spent all of his spare time in his quarters, playing with his sons, feeding them, changing them, carrying them about, reading to them, or just holding them and talking to them. When they slept, he read child development books as often as he did potions books.

The dungeons were not as nice as their nursery at the Manor, but the elves brought in most of the baby furniture from the Manor over the first two days. His bedroom was rather crowded, and was used only to sleep and change in. His sitting room was child proofed and it was here that the boys were given free range to crawl and play as they got older. Should any of the staff enter, they would wonder about the blocks, the bells, and the soft, fuzzy balls scattered about. But the staff almost never wished to enter, and Severus refused to answer the door when they did.

He never spoke of them. Most of the staff didn't know they existed, and Poppy and Albus believed they were given away. Both the mediwitch and the headmaster noticed his withdrawl from his usual midnight stalking, and even more pronounced than normal social avoidance among the staff, but all efforts to talk him out of his supposed depression failed.

Spring term ended, and he cloistered himself in his dungeon rooms except for staff meetings and Death Eater meetings. Grady cooked and Mimi cleaned as they had all term, only now Severus ate with them and his sons. Albus had evidently been keeping tabs on his food intake because after only three days he knocked on Severus's door bearing a very large picnic basket. Perforce, Severus joined him outside for a 'staff picnic,' though Minerva was the only other teacher to show up. After that, Severus was careful to be seen taking enough food from the kitchens to sustain him.

Despite spying, that summer was by far his best to date. The boys took their first crawl, said their first word ('no!' and 'dada' for Salazar and Sabastian, respectively), managed their first assisted and unassisted steps, and grew. They grew a lot.

September first came, and opened a new term. Severus attended the welcoming feast, and breakfast the next morning, so that he could distribute his students' timetables, but after that, he contined to take meals in his rooms. Now that the twins were almost ten months old, they knew when he was gone.

On their first birthday, Grady made them a cake, and Severus helped them open their presents and blow out their candles. He'd had a tight moment on the previous Hogsmeade weekend when a student had noticed him holding a bright green happy-looking stuffed dragon. He had returned it to its shelf as if it were curious but disgusting, then sneered at the child. When he was alone again, he had quickly bought two of them.

By the end of that school year, Harry Potter had defeated Voldemort, and finished Hogwarts. Severus was mildly surprised to find himself still alive, but whether that was because Voldmort hadn't discovered and killed him, or because his one and half year old twins hadn't run him ragged yet, he wasn't sure. They still couldn't walk, but they were very good at running. Severus generously called it running because he was their father. If they had been anyone else's children, he would have called it 'barely controlled falling'.

They laughed a lot. It was the most beautiful sound in the world, though the word 'daddy' was a close second, and the phrase 'Voldemort is dead' was pretty high up there, too.

Lucius Malfoy was arrested and tried. With Harry Potter's testimony, he was even found guilty and sent to Azkaban for life, despite all begging and bribing and protestations of innocene. Sirius Black, foul beast that he was, received a new trial and was found innoncent in light of Pettigrew's capture and Dumbledore's vouching for him. Pettigrew found himself the lost love of a dementor. Which is to say, one Kiss and he was lost. Good riddance to him.

Severus considered bringing out the twins into public, but decided to wait at least until Ginny Weasley had left Hogwarts.

Their second summer saw the boys potty-trained, eating real meals (messily), developing a preference for certain books over others. After having read "Little Jack the Wizard" to them for the third time in as many hours, Salazar looked up at him with his large black eyes. "No Mommy."

"No, Salazar, you don't have a mommy. Mommy died a long time ago," he lied sadly and solemnly, running a finger along his son's satiny cheek.

Miss Weasley's last year of school passed uneventfully, compared to the previous seven. Scratch that, the previous nine. No school year with Fred and George Weasley in attendance had been 'uneventful'.

His twins continued to grow in size and vocabulary, and they got into everything. He still wasn't sure how they had opened his locked and warded potions cabinet and got themselves covered in powdered unicorn horn. Fortunately they had doused themselves in one of the least reactive substances there, and a lifting charm followed by a purifying spell returned the ingrediant to its vial. The twins had gotten a lecture after that. Thereafter, they avoided the cabinet as if it would bite them if they got within five feet of it. That was fine with Severus, he just hoped he hadn't forever scared them away from potions in general.

On the few occassions when they got sick, he brought them to a pediatrician in Hogsmeade, but mostly they were happy and healthy, if somewhat sun deprived.

Two days before the beginning of the first term he had ever taught without a Weasley in residence (Bill's first year had been his first teaching), he turned to his children, and asked, "Do you want to go outside today?"

Both had looked up at him with bright smiles. "Yes!" the chorused in unison, and Sabastian had continued, "We see the sun?"

"And the sky?" Salazar questioned.

"And birds?"

"And grass?"

Severus held up his hands for quiet, "Yes, all of those things. But first we're going to eat." He had never seen them run so quickly to the the little table that had served them for almost two years. Severus smiled. "Not there. In the castle."

Four black eyes looked up at him in delight. "Out there where Daddy goes?" Salazar asked, pointing at the door. The boys had never, in their memory, passed its threshold. Visits to the doctor had been accomplished by floo.

"Out there where Daddy goes," Severus confirmed.

They had screamed and danced around each other in excitement, but as soon as they stepped into unfamiliar territory, they both grabbed onto their father's robes, and fell quiet. Severus would never have guessed them to be shy before. He reached the door that led into the Great Hall without meeting anybody. An idea occurred to him. "All right, boys, sit on my feet and hold my legs, alright?"

This was a game they knew, and complied quickly. The thick overrobe falling around them and draping them in darkness was new, though. He heard giggles come from beneath the folds. "Shh," he whispered, and the one on the left buried his face in Severus's leg to keep quiet. Severus opened the door, and walked in, much slower and less gracefully than normal. Two almost-three-year-olds clinging to one's ankles would have that affect on anybody.

Some of the other teachers looked up at him, then returned indifferently to their lunch. Others smiled a polite greeting before doing the same. Albus smiled brightly, and almost in relief. "So good of you to join us!" he carolled merrily.

Severus thumped several more steps closer to the table, and Albus's expression turned worried. "Is something wrong, dear boy?" At this, many of the teachers turned to look at him again.

"No, nothing wrong, Headmaster," Severus said. "I just thought today would be a good day to introduce a couple of people to the staff."

"Who?" Albus asked, curiously, not having been informed that anybody needed introducing. All of the professors and staff were watching him now.

One of the twins sneezed then. Many eyes dropped down to where the sound had come from, then back up to Severus's face, confusion and curiousity in their expressions. Severus could almost see Albus's mind clicking away at the possibilities, then the old wizard broke into a wide smile. "The twins! You have the twins!"

Severus actually smiled in public. "Salazar, come on out now." The one who sneezed wiggled about, and then stuck his head out from between the folds of Severus's robe. "This is Salazar Sabastian Snape," he frowned a little at the boy, "Come on out, nobody's going to hurt you. Daddy and Santa won't let them." The head immediately turned to the head table and latched onto Albus.


"Yes, now get out of the way, so everyone can meet your brother," Severus told him, his voice gentle despite the words. Salazar emerged from the robe, but he did not let go of it, and did not move very far from Severus's side. "Sabastian, your turn." The other twin stuck his head out just as Salazar had done. He, too, looked for and found Albus.

"Is that really Santa, Daddy?"

"Why is he wearing blue? Doesn't Santa wear red?" Salazar chimed in.

"Well, it's not Christmastime, now, is it?"

When they both shook their heads, he finished his introduction, "And this is Sabastian Salazar Snape." He looked at the table for reactions. Most were astonished. A handful were bemused. Hagrid and Albus were delighted.

Poppy was shocked. "You kept them? You told me you were putting them up for adoption!" Both twins jumped and hid under his robes again as she jumped up from her seat and bore down on him. She stopped. "Have they been seen to by a doctor since their birth?" she asked accusingly. "You weren't keeping them holed up in that dank dungeon of yours, have you?"

Severus almost unconsciously held his arms protectively between the twins and their perceived threat. "They have been to the pediatrician in Hogsmeade, Poppy, and there is nothing wrong with my dungeons."

Poppy opened her mouth again, but Albus was there, touching her shoulder. "You may chew out Severus later, Poppy. Now, let us all meet the boys." The nurse gave him a look that promised she would do exactly that, and retreated to her chair.

"Santa just saved us, like I said he would," Severus told the twins quietly, bringing a quirky smile to the Headmaster's lips. "It's safe to come out again."

"Sure?" asked one, while the other said, "Promise?"

"Yes, now come out here and say hello." Together, they stuck their heads out, as if not really certain they could trust that it was really safe. Severus did not really blame them, these being the first people outside of the doctor that they had ever met.

"How old are they, Severus?" Minerva asked.

"Three in November."

"Where'd the li'l tykes come from?" Hagrid asked, making a ridiculous face at Salazar. The twin giggled and shyly hid his face in his father's robe.

"The usual place," Severus answered vaguely, then added, in an lie obvious to all but the twins, "The stork brought them."

"Oh," chuckled Hagrid, "O'course. The stork." Most of the other staff were equally amused by the remark. Only Filch rolled his eyes, and Poppy sighed.

Before anyone could ask after their mother, he ushered them toward the table, "I promised you could go outside, but you've got to eat first. Poppy will really kill me if she thinks I'm starving you." He accio'ed over two chairs from the Slytherin table and transfigured them to have much longer legs. He put one of the tall chairs on either side of his own empty spot. Then he hoisted each twin into one of them, with little comments like, "Up you go." and "Into the chair with you."

Poppy, and most of the others for that matter, watched with interest as he made up plates for both of the twins. He was careful to chose foods that were both healthy and that the twins could eat with relative neatness. "Thank you," both boys said when their plates were put in front of them.

"Well," Hooch said, just a little too loudly to be casual, "They've better manners than their father."

Severus gave her an unpleasant smile. "Hmm. Better than yours as well. Not only was that a rude thing to say, but you still had peas in your mouth," he told her in his best you're-in-trouble-with-daddy voice. The twins looked at each other and took this opportunity to give identical and recognizable smirks to the person who daddy yelled at.

"Oh, dear," Minerva said, watching them.

"Severus, dear boy," Albus chuckled, "between their names and that expression, you are guaranteeing they get into your house, aren't you?"

He arched an eyebrow, "And why shouldn't my sons be in Slytherin?"

The Headmaster's eyes just twinkled. "Oh, no reason at all."

The boys finished eating a bit slower than they would have in their dungeon home. There was so much new here to look at, and strange new people to watch and listen to. But finish they did, and then they turned their pleading eyes to their father. "Outside, now?"

He pushed back his only half empty plate, and laughed genuinely. "All right, you little devils. Outside." He stood and lifted them both back down to the ground, and led them out of the Hall without a good-bye to the other teachers. The twins, though, had learned their manners well from the House Elves, and turned back to wave. "Bye-bye!" The Head Table burst into gossip the moment they stepped through the door and it started to close behind them.

Severus sat in the Headmaster's office later that day, theoretically listening to Poppy lecture him about the proper health care of children, including the importance of sunlight and other people besides their father. He nodded at the appropriate places, and answered the non-rhetorical questions she posed, but really was only suffering through this so that he wouldn't have to the first time he escorted a student to the Hospital Wing.

Eventually, she ran out of steam, and left him alone with the Headmaster. "They have been living here for almost three years, haven't they?"

He nodded. "Since the day after their first Christmas, yes. My house elves, Grady and Mimi, watch them while I teach."

"And if something had happened to you, Severus?"

"The house elves had their instructions if I failed to return after ten days." It almost would have been worth becoming a ghost to see Fred and George's expressions when Grady and Mimi arrived at their store with infant twins.

"Why bring them out of hiding now, instead of when Voldemort was killed or Lucius imprisoned?"

Because Ginny has left now. "I was allowing sufficient time to pass in case Lucius's appeal went through or he escaped. Also, I was aware of the distinct possibility that some suspicion may have fallen on myself. Should I have been brought to trial again, I did not want news of their existance plastered all over the wizarding world and sullying their names."

Albus nodded, then met Severus's gaze without any twinkle in his eyes at all. "I leave you with only one observation. Your children look nothing like Lucius Malfoy, Severus."

His mouth went dry, but he only cocked his head curiously, "Blond hair and grey eyes are recessive, Albus."

Blue eyes that were cold as stone held his. "So are all other combinations, compared to your coloring, Severus. I will not investigate, and I will not ask, but if suspicion arises, I will ask you for a paternity test on your twins. I do not expect I will like the results."

He did not say that he had nothing to hide. He did not say Albus's suspicions were unfounded. He did not say anything an innocent man would say, for, in this case, a lie was too easily disproved. So he said nothing. The headmaster closed his eyes as if the silence was a painful thing, which, Severus supposed, it was. It confirmed the old wizard's worst suspicions.

"Leave, Severus," he said, and the disappointment in his voice hurt worse than any curse or insult.

"Yes, Headmaster."

Over the next term, he felt the Headmaster watching him. When the twins came out of the dungeons, he watched them, too. The boys were surprisingly popular among the students. Slytherins adored them because they were their Head of House's children, and obviously destined to join them. The other three houses initially groaned at the news that Hogwarts hosted two Junior Snapes, but when they saw their potions master crack real smiles at the small children, they decided that maybe, possibly, the young Snapes might succeed in making their teacher nicer. It was worth hoping for anyway, or so Severus overheard one third year Hufflepuff tell another.

The staff and the first year Slytherins were invited to the twins' third birthday party. This year, Grady helped the Hogwarts house elves with the cake, and the party took place in an abandoned classroom. The twins seemed to enjoy it, but Severus found it uncomfortable, since almost every teacher on staff felt the need to point out to him that it was a pity the boys didn't have any friends their own age. As if there was anything Severus could do to fix that. Besides, they had each other, didn't they?

The next spring, Severus took the twins to Hogsmeade with him as he chapereoned the students. They got tired quickly as they walked down from the castle, so he sat one on his shoulders, holding onto his hair for balance, and the other piggy-backed, clinging around his chest and waist. It was decidedly undignified, but the boys were whooping with delight, so he pretended to ignore the looks he was getting from the students. They'd be less cheerful on monday, that was for certain.

He was tired and sore when they reached Hogsmeade, but he hid it as well as he ever did, letting the piggy-backed one slide down to the ground first, then swung down the shoulder mounted one. "I get shoulders going back!" Salazar laid dibs as his brother's feet touched the ground.

"Ok, you can have shoulders going back," Severus promised. "Where to?"

"Honeydukes!" nearby students suggested, others advised, "Zonkos!" A few Ravenclaws even recommended, "Briar Anne's Bookshop!"

The twins listened to the suggestions, and followed pointing fingers to look at the nearby shops. "There!" Sabastian decided, pointing at the brightly colored display windows of Zonko's Joke Shop. Salazar nodded his agreement. The kids who had recommended that store cheered the choice.

"Very well, lead on." He followed behind them as they made their way to the trick store. He hadn't been inside since he was a student, but from what he recalled, he'd need to keep a close eye on them.

"Fred and George work there now," Sprout told him, sidling up alongside him. "Just so you know."

Severus stopped, grabbing hold of each twin to keep them in place. "I thought they were opening their own joke shop?"

"They were, but then Zonko made an offer to come into parnership with him. They work in the shop during Hogsmeade weekends, and work in the lab out back looking for new products the rest of the time. They even distribute their Wheezes to Gambol and Japes in Diagon Alley and a few other joke shops in both America and England. It really is quite a success. When Zonko retires, they'll get the store, too."

"Can we go in now, Daddy?" Salazar asked, starting to sound impatient.

Severus looked to Sprout almost desperately. She laughed. "The Weasleys won't hurt your twins, Severus."

"It's not my twins I'm worried about," he muttered, and she laughed again.

"Go on in, Severus, nothing inside is fatal."

"The dragon dumplings killed a mouse once," he disagreed.

Sabastian pulled on his robe. "Come on, Daddy."

He screwed up his courage and nodded, "Let's go then." It couldn't be worse than spying, could it?

"You'll do fine!" Sprout called her encouragement after him.

He followed the boys in, and for a minute, he thought everything would be all right. Fred and George looked busy behind a veritiable wall of students, crowding in on them for the lastest jokes. He steered his twins down to the common tricks that have been sold for generations. They were duly impressed by the falling planks, and bouncing rubber balls that will never go out of style.

Then the familiar voices called "Professor Snape!" from far too close by. He looked up from the handprint Salazar had just made in a bed of blunt nails, and nodded to his former students. "Mr. Weasley. Mr. Weasley."

Identical grins sprouted on identical faces that had not changed much in the past four years. "Betcha he forgot our names, brother mine."

"Nah, he just can't tell us apart anymore, and he doesn't want to let on."

That required disproving. "Fred, George," he nodded at each of them in turn.

From about three feet above the ground, an excited whisper said, "Twins!"

Severus and the Weasleys looked down in time to see Sabastian nod enthusiastically at this discovery.

George's grin turned wicked, "Gee, Snape, we'd heard rumours, but we hadn't really believed them till now. You procreated."

Fred dropped down on one knee, bringing himself to their level. "Hey, you know what you want your daddy to get you?"

The little traitors looked interested. "What?" Sabastian asked boldly. Since their introduction to most of the school, their shyness had quickly evaporated.

George dropped down beside his twin. "Well, the dragon dumplings will definitely bring back memories for him."

Fred pushed him, making the other grown twin fall sideways and end up sitting on the floor, rotated ninety degrees. "Gred, let's try not to enrage the customers." Then he flashed an impudent grin that Severus dearly hoped his twins would never try to emulate, "Even if it is Professor Snape. By the way, we're both still double, so if you -"

This time George made Fred sprawl on the ground. "Forge! I thought we were going for a no murder policy in the store!"

Fred shrugged, obviously not considering the threat serious, "He already promised he wouldn't."

"Now, boys, I want this to be a model of how you do not act when you grow up and get a job at the same place," Severus told his twins sternly. Then he smiled mockingly at the pair of sitting twins. "Of course, Fred and George haven't grown up yet."

"How old are they?" Salazar asked curiously. "Eighty?"

"Close. Twenty-two," George answered proudly.

"Going on twelve," Fred finished in the same tone.

Severus snorted. "I don't doubt it." He waited while both Weasleys returned to their squatting positions. "So what do you have that three year olds would like?"

"Seriously -" George jostled his brother. Fred corrected himself, "Honestly, canary creams are very popular and pretty harmless. Most of the newer stuff wouldn't go over well with kids so little. We cater mostly to the 11-17 range."

"Zonko's got the usual culprits if you want stuff you don't eat," George added, nodding at the shelf of things he and his twins had already discovered.

"Oh, and here," Fred dug in his pockets and pulled out three lollipops. "Try these out sometime, they'll just change your teeth colors. They can eat lollipops right?"

Severus frowned uncertainly. "Probably not yet." The younger set of twins' faces fell in disappointment.

"Oi, Fred! That new chocolate bar! The one that changes people's hair."

Fred's grin flashed brightly. "Perfect! I'll get some!" He was on his feet and out a back door before Severus could say 'don't bother.' He returned a few moments later with three free-sample sized chocolate bars with wrappers proclaiming them to be 'Weasley Chocolate Wheeze.' "Mind trying them out now? We haven't tested on anyone with such dark hair yet. It should only last a day."

The boys looked up pleadingly. "Can we, Daddy?"

Severus sighed. "You two will be the ruin of my reputation. Fine. Half a bar each." They grinned and held out hands expectantly as Severus unwrapped one of the chocolate bars, and placed equal pieces in each waiting hand. They immediately gobbled the chocolate down, somehow managing to smear it over their faces and get their hands all sticky. Being a prepared parent, he pulled out a hankercheif and cleaned them off.

"It should turn any minute now," Fred said, shifting eagerly from foot to foot. "Here, you can watch," he pulled a mirror out from a hidden pocket in his robes. Severus expected that was a product of working in a joke shop rather than a symptom of vanity. The twins Snape crowded around the little mirror and made faces at their reflection.

"Salazar," Severus chided gently, "Do not make any face you do not wish your muscles to freeze in."

The twins Weasley grinned at each other, and George spoke their thought, "Salazar? You named one of them Salazar? That is so appropriate!"

"Glad you approve," Severus said dryly. Then the hair started to change, lightening at first to dull brown, the brightening to Weasley red. Severus froze and barely continued breathing in his horror. With the hair changed, they no longer looked like baby Severuses, but more like a mix of Snape and Weasley characteristics.

"Works!" Fred crowed.

But George had gone pale. "Oi, Fred?"


"Give them the antidote. Now."

Fred gave his brother an odd look, "Why?"

"Or people will figure out who their father is." Bright one, George. Severus had never given him enough credit as a student.

"Who they're -?" Fred turned confused eyes on the confused twins, and except for the shape of their nose and the color of their eyes, the three looked very much alike. "Holy cr-"

"What your language," Severus snapped, more out of teacher's habit than anything else. It had the unfortunate side affect of turning the twins' attention to himself.

"Are they -?" Fred started but couldn't finish. George, for once, did not pick up his slack.

"Timing's right, Fred," George concluded, giving away the reason for his lapse. "You guys were born in the fall, right?"

Sabastian nodded. "November sixth," he told them, proud to have remembered his birth date.

"Antidote, Fred, before someone sees!" George hissed.

"I think that old lady yesterday used up the last of it," Fred hissed back. "I looked for it while I was back there. Figured Snape wouldn't like the effect."

"Well, you were right there, brother mine."

Sabastian tugged on Severus's robe, "Is something wrong, Daddy? Salazar and I like it."

"Not for forever, though," Salazar qualified.

"No, nothing's wrong," Severus said, sounding much calmer than he felt. "We just need to get back to the castle now. Sal, I know I promised you could ride my shoulders, but Daddy's tired, and I want you to both ride my feet, okay?"

"And you'll hide us and we get to jump out and scare people?" Salazar asked, latching happily onto this idea.

"Yes. I'll tell you when you can jump out, okay?"

"Kay." They took their spots, and he closed his cloak around them.

The twins Weasley nodded in approval. "Neat trick. Too bad our dad never let us hide in his cloak."

"Dad just didn't have the right kind of robes for it, dimwit," George told his brother with a swat to the back of his head. Then both turned serious - or as serious as the twins Weasley ever turned - and Fred asked, "Is there anything you need from us?"

"Only your silence."

They nodded. "It's just - well - " Fred shrugged, unable to express what he meant.

"Good day, Mr. Weasley, Mr. Weasley."

"Bye," they chorused, sounding downcast.

Severus tromped out of the store, and back up towards the castle. Walking with two boys attached at the ankle is quite exhausting work, and he had to stop several times to catch his breath. The third time he did this, he heard someone calling his name. He looked back and saw Sprout huffing and puffing up the hill. "Severus!" she called out again.

"What?" he asked.

The twins evidently took this to be the signal, because they jumped out yelling, "Boo!"

"Did we scare ya?" Sabastian asked eagerly. But Sprout didn't look scared. She looked . . . surprised, then considering, then concerned, then she lifted her gaze from the twins, and speared him with accusation. "Who was their mother?"

"It wasn't Ginny, if that's what you're thinking. Merlin, Candice, what do you take me for? She'd've been . . . eighteen minus four . . . only fourteen. Fred and George gave them a piece of chocolate that makes them look like a Weasley. That's all. Their mother's name was Melanie. You didn't know her, and now she's dead, so you never will."

She blushed, "I'm sorry, Severus. They just look so much like one of the Weasleys, and it's not just the hair."

Severus just wanted to get away, back to his dungeons where nobody else would see them until the chocolate's effects wore off. "It's all right, was there some other reason besides accusing me of pedophilia that you were chasing after me?"

"Oh! Right. Since you're going back to the castle anyway, could you send Minerva out here, a couple of Gryffindors got in a fight at the Three Broomsticks."

"Not a problem."

"Thanks." She turned around and started walking back to the village.

"Under the robe again, boys," Severus instructed the twins, and resumed his journey back to Hogwarts. The front steps were, by far, the hardest part of the trip, and after only three of ten stairs he gave up. "Alright, you're climbing the stairs without my help, kids. Out!" They swarmed up the stairs with all the energy of their age, and Severus followed more slowly. He opened the door, hid them under his robe again, and debated between seeking out Minerva or dropping the boys off first. He decided the prudent course of action would be the latter, and turned his feet in the direction of the dungeons.

Fortunately or unfortunately, he met Minerva as he passed the Great Hall. "Candice needs you down at the Three Broomsticks. Your precious Gryffindors were causing trouble again."

"Ryan and Jason, probably," she sighed. "All right, I'm going."


"Did we scare ya?"

Severus closed his eyes and prepared for something like what had happened with Candice Sprout. "Before you accuse me of relations with a fourteen year old girl, Minerva, Fred and George gave them a candy to make them look like a Weasley. I already had this conversation with Candice."

Minerva glared at him, "I'll talk with you later. I need to see to my Gryffindors." She turned on her heel and stalked away.


Severus closed his eyes. Albus. He tried to steady his breathing and heart rate.

"Daddy? Are you in trouble?"

Breathe in. Breathe out. "Yes, Sabastian, I believe your Daddy is in a great deal of trouble," Albus answered for him.

"Santa's mad at you," Salazar observed astutely. "You're gonna get coal this Christmas."

"May I have Grady come fetch them before we have this conversation, Headmaster?"

Albus nodded, "That would be for the best, I think."

Grady popped in immediately at his signal and ushered the twins away. Severus dared not look at Albus. The old wizard approached, and it was all Severus could do to hold his ground. A vice-like grip clamped onto his arm, but Severus felt the radiating fury more than the pain of the hold. "A student, Severus."

He swallowed.

"I thought maybe Voldemort. I thought maybe Draco."

"Draco was a student, too," he whispered. "And you already had elimated Malfoy as an option. They don't look like Malfoys."

"They look like Weasleys," Albus's voice wasn't supposed to be able to cut like that. "I've been trying to place who besides you they look like for months. Now I know. Which one was it, Severus?"

"Can we not discuss this here?"

"We will discuss this here and now!"

Severus breathed. His eyes were closed, because he was too afraid to look at Albus, and too ashamed to see if anyone else was present.

"You slept with a student, Severus. A Gryffindor student."

"This would be less wrong if it were a Slytherin student, sir?" The defence of his house came without consideration. He'd been doing this so long it was reflex.

Albus sighed, and it expressed extreme disappointment more than anger now. "It would be worse if it were a Slytherin student."

In his surprise at this admission, he did look at Albus. It was a serious mistake and he instantly squeezed his eyes closed again and turned his face aside. He had never seen the Headmaster look so furious, disgusted, or betrayed.

"You are the Head of Slytherin. They look to you to watch after them. I am actually relieved it was not one of them, because I feared it might be. However, I never imagined it was a student from one of the other Houses." He sighed. "I did not expect a Weasley. Who will the paternity test turn up, Severus?"

Severus backed up until he found a wall, he needed the support. "You're going to run one?"


His knees buckled. He remembered being in this exact position, minus the angry Headmaster, almost exactly four years ago, right after the curse had turned him into a hermaphrodite. "Fred Weasley," he whispered quietly. "He recognized it, too, at Zonko's, today. He knows."

"Only Fred? Not George?"

"Only Fred's sperm could have reached my egg."

"And George's sperm?"

"I hardly think that is any of your business."

A rustle of fabric, then a finger tilted his head toward where he guessed the Headmaster was. "Open your eyes, Severus."

He did, and found them only a foot from a pair a bespecticled blue ones. Furious blue ones. "I am the Headmaster of this school. You are a Professor. Fred and George Weasley were seventh year students in my school at the time of your impregnation. This is very much my business."

"Fred took my girl's hole, George took my boy's hole, Headmaster. At the same time, if you're curious."

Albus released him and stood. "Go to your dungeons, Severus. I need to write to Molly and Arthur."

Severus lowered his head into his arms and listened to the Headmaster's steps fade away. When he looked up again, he found Filius Flitwick staring at him. The little charms teacher squeaked and fled. No doubt the whole staff would know in a few hours - he'd say minutes, except Sprout and McGonagall were in Hogsmeade. He had best be well hidden before they swarmed in to gawk.

The twins were waiting nervously when he arrived. "Daddy's in trouble?" Salazar asked.

Severus nodded. "Daddy is in serious trouble."


"Is it because we have red hair? The people said it would go away."

"We're sorry, Daddy."

He shook his head. "It is not your fault, you two. Don't think that it is. Daddy did something very bad a few years ago and Santa just found out."

"Oh. You got a present when you should have got coal, Daddy?"

"Daddy got two presents when he should have got fired."

The twins exchanged grins. "Daddy tricked Santa," Salazar concluded, as if this was something to be proud of, while Sabastian asked, "What did you get, Daddy?"

"The best presents in the world. Twins."

It took a moment for them to work that out. "Us? You got us when you should have got coal?"

"Will Santa take us away from you now?" Sabastian sounded worried. "Cuz we like being yours."

Severus took a seat in his favorite chair. The twins climbed immediately into his lap. "Santa probably won't take you away from me, but he might make me share you."

"We get a Mommy?"

"You get two more daddies."

"Do we get more brothers?"

"Certainly not!"

Sabastian and Salazar made identical pouts.

Severus frowned. "You want more brothers?"

They nodded. "Don't want to be littlest anymore."

"It might be a sister," Severus warned. Then he wonder just what exactly the twins would hold him to for that remark. He was not going to go through another nine months as a hermophrodite so Sabastian and Salazar wouldn't have to be the littlest. Well, he supposed, he could always adopt.

"Sisters are good, too."

Severus had always considered Molly Weasley a formidable woman. Now, he was ready to modify his opinion of her. Voldemort was less intimidating. The knock came on his private room door the day after the Hogmeade disaster. "Severus Snape, you open this door this instant!"

He nodded for Mimi to open it, which she did, thus allowing a whirlwind to fly through the entrance, grab a fistfull of his robes, and shove him uncermoniously into the nearest chair. She stood over him, for once looking tall to him - well, big anyway - and she bent over him, supporting herself on the chair's armrests. "Albus tells me I am a grandmother," she opened. "He tells me my twins were one parent, and you were the other." Her eyes flashed dangerously. "He tells me this all happened four years ago, when my twins were seventeen year old students."

"Eighteen. It was March of their final year." Her eyes flashed dangerously, telling him further interruption would not be wise.

"He tells me, my first and only-to-date grandchildren are being raised as Snapes. He tells me that it is up to Arthur and I whether we want you brought to trial."

"Do you?"

She straightened. "Where are my grandchildren?" Only then did Severus notice that Arthur had entered behind her. Noticing he was under observeration the male Weasley frowned sternly.

"Boys!" Severus called, sitting up straighter in his chair. Molly stood too close for him to stand. The twins tumbled out of the bedroom, which they continued to share with their father, due to lack of other rooms in the small dungeon apartment. They slept in the full bed, he slept in the twin that had replaced their crib.

"Molly, Arthur, these are my sons, Salazar Sabastian Snape, and Sabastian Salazar Snape."

The Weasleys frowned at the names. Obviously, not ones they would have chosen. Which had rather been the point. Who would think of the Weasley twins when faced with a pair of children whose names both include 'Salazar' and 'Snape'? Sabastian, as anyone who knows Slytherin history could tell you, was Salazar Slytherin's father's name.

"Salazar, Sabastian, these are your grandparents, Molly and Arthur Weasley."

"We have grandparents?" Sabastian asked, amazed.

"I thought, you said, yours and Mommy's, mommies and daddies, were dead?" Salazar asked, pausing frequently during the question to mentally check with himself that he was saying it right. Severus was proud of him, it was one of the more complicated and thought-provoked sentences either twin had said so far.

Severus ignored the dark looks he was getting from the Weasleys. "Remember how I said Santa might make me share you with new daddies?" They nodded. "Molly and Arthur are the new daddies' mommy and daddy."


"We can call them Gramma and Pop-pop, like Little Wizard Jack does?"

"Unless they have objections," Severus granted. Then he looked at Molly and Arthur, "Most of their knowldege of grandparents comes from the Little Wizard Jack books," he explained. "If you don't make cookies, build birdhouses, or knit sweaters, you should tell them now."

"Bird houses?" Arthur asked, "I think I could make a bird house. Do you suppose they need plugs, Molly?"

The woman gave a long-suffering sigh. "I don't think so, Arthur."

"Oh. Right then. Pity."

"And don't you go distracting us," she told Severus, resting her fists on her hips.

"Daddy's in trouble with Gramma," he heard one of the twins whisper to the other.

"Daddy's in trouble with everyone. He tricked Santa." This was now a grave offense as far as the twins were concerned. An impressive feat, but a very very bad thing to get caught doing. And Santa always finds out, eventually.

"Remember me not to ever trick Santa. Never ever." At least the twins were learning at an early age that crossing Albus was a very bad idea.


"Three things, Molly," Severus said, drawing her attention back to him. She frowned and narrowed her eyes. Severus stared right back. "First, I am not giving up custody. Second, their names stay. And third, I am not going to marry either Fred, or George, or both."

"You don't have the right to dictate terms."

"I have every right!" Her scowl deepened, and Severus hissed angrily, "I'm their mother!"

She blinked and even retreated a step. He heard the twins whispering to each other.

He saw his best chance: a mother to mother appeal. "I carried them inside me for eight months and two weeks. I laboured for ten hours, five of those without a doctor or nurse because I had the poor timing to give birth during a Quiddich match. I named them and I breast fed them. For almost three years, I raised them without another living soul knowing I even had them anymore. And I did it all alone except for the house elves. The twins are mine and I will fight for them."

Some of the fire left Molly. "We ask that you acknowledge that they are Weasleys."

"They are Snapes."

"By blood they are also Weasleys."

Severus frowned, not wanting to admit any such thing. Still, he ground out, "Acknowldege how?"

"Invite us to their birthday parties. Come to the Burrow for Christmas, or any time, really. Treat us like family. But mostly, let the twins get to know their sons."

"And if I do this, I won't have to go to court?"

"Right," Molly and Arthur said together.

"Fine then. Their birthday is November sixth. Obviously, it still being March, nothing is planned yet."

Arthur smiled, "Quite understandable, son." Son? His confusion and astonishment must have showed because Weasley's smile widened. "Well, you are the, eh, father of our grandchildren. That makes you a son. I suppose you prefer being a son to a daughter, yes?"

"Quite so," Severus said faintly.

When the Weasleys left shortly after that, the twins swarmed up into his lap. "So we get new daddies?" Severus nodded.

"And new grammy and pop-pop?" He nodded again.

"And new brother or sister?" He didn't nod.


"For our birthday?"

Severus closed his eyes. If he got himself pregnant right now, it might be born in time. He mentally shook his head. What was he thinking? He was not going to -

"Please, daddy?" they asked in chourus, giving him their big eyes and half-pouts, that, even with red hair topping their heads, he couldn't say no to.

He leaned his head against the back of his chair. "I'll think about it."

"Thank you, Daddy!" they yelled together, and jumped back to the floor, swinging each other around, "We're gonna be big brothers! We're gonna be big brothers!" Severus sighed.

He stood up, and they looked at him expectantly. "I'm going to talk to your other daddies about that birthday present."

They smiled beautifically. "Okay, Daddy."

"One condition, Snape," George said, his eyes dancing in amusement.

"We name it," Fred stated. "We've seen what kinds of names you come up with."

A curse, a silencing charm, and a few minutes later, the Hogsmeade apartment bedroom where the twins were living was rent with a scream.

Poppy frowned at him as he entered the Hospital wing, her eyes dark with disapproval. "I thought Albus confined you to the dungeons."

Severus nodded. "I had to go to Hogsmeade to pick up a birthday present for the twins."

"Severus, it won't be they're birthday for months."

"Eight of them, I know. I hope it gets delivered early." He looked away. "Poppy, could you see if I'm pregnant?" He braced for an explosion.

It never came. He cracked his eyes open, and stole a glance at her. Surprise, disapproval, and . . . pleasure?

"Well, do you want me to do the test or not? On your back, spread your legs." He had forgotten how invasive and undignified this was. He wordlessly beared it though, because he had actually sought this out, this time. After a minute, she straightened. "Yes, you are. Congratulations, Severus." He noted that she no longer called him Professor, and swallowed at the implications. "May I inquire into the paternity of your new child?"

"Not a current student."

"But a former one, right? Or two?"

He nodded marginally, not meeting her gaze.

"You know this isn't going to help your case."

"I haven't got a case. I had sex with two students, then lied to Albus about it to keep my job. I did not admit to it until it I could no longer believably deny it, and even then I tried. No, Poppy, I am well and truly fired, even if I haven't been told yet."

Severus was back in his apartment when Dobby popped up right in front of his. "Sir is expected in the Staff Room, Mr. Snape sir!"

He left his dungeons immediately, and entered the Staff Room a few minutes later. Everyone was there, including Poppy, Filch, Hagrid, and Pince. The level of hostility coming from them was comparible to what he'd felt at his Death Eater trial. Dumbledore stood, looking solemn and defeated. He pointed at the chair across from him. A glass of water and a crystal vial of a clear liquid sat at the spot.

"Dose your water with the Veritaserum, and drink, Severus." He did as instructed. He could pinpoint the moment the potion took effect. He did not fight it.

"What is your name?"

"Severus Sabastian Snape."

"Who is the father of your twins?"

"Frederick Weasley."

"Did you have intercourse with any other students while you were a professor of Hogwarts?"

"George Weasley."

"Any others?"


"How many times did you, ah, perform with the Weasley twins, singly or together."

"Three times. Twice as students, once today."

"Did you intentionally lie to me?"


"About what?"

"The identity of the twin's father. That I was going to keep them. That I wasn't ready. That my Slytherins were truly at fault for a number of infractions that I convinced you to let them off for. That I am allergic to lemon drops. That I wanted Potter expelled. That the Hospital Wing scares me. That I killed and tortured people to keep my cover as a spy. That -"

Albus held up his hand. "Stop." Severus closed his eyes, thankful that Albus had ended it there.

"Why did you lie to me?"

"Because you would have been disappointed or angry. Because you didn't want to know. Because it was my duty to my House."

"Duty to your House?"

"In the cases of the Slytherin students' exploits and getting Potter expelled." After all, anybody with eyes and ears could tell that Slytherin wasn't going to win the House Cup while Potter was a student here.

"In the case of Fred and George Weasley, why did you lie?"

"Because I would have been fired. Because actions taken in response to my indiscretion may have upset my role as spy. But mostly, because I knew you wouldn't have liked the truth. The only way I could have betrayed you more is if I had gone back to Voldemort."

"Why did you do it?"

"I cannot justify that to myself or to you. Simple curiosity, pride, and human weakness. But, I find I cannot regret it. Salazar and Sabastian are the best things that ever happened to me."

"It was unforced in every way?"

"Yes. Well, George was initially reluctant. However, my attempt to encourage that type of thinking had the opposite effect. Bloody Gryffindors. Additionally, I remain convinced to this day that Fred's goal was less to get me into bed and more to get me to break like any other mortal and hear me scream." The vicarious voyeurs who called themselves Hogwarts staff waited expectantly. "He succeeded."

"Once you finished . . . activities, what happened?"

"Fred brought up their excellent blackmail position, but all they wanted was that I promise not to expel, torture, or kill them, nor find exaggerated reasons to remove house points from them or give them detentions. Which I did. Then, as they got dressed, Fred saw my Dark Mark, I obliviated them, and then they left for breakfast. Once I discovered I was pregnant, I tended to avoid them as best I could. In class, they had never been afraid of me beforehand, and they were even less so afterwards. Their classmates called them suicidal fools when they thought I couldn't hear. But they only got one detention and that was for intentionally exploding their potion. George knew I was watching, too. The school year ended a few weeks later, they moved on, and I more or less ignored the fact that they were still in England or had anything to do with my children until yesterday."

"And your intentions now?"

"Towards Fred and George, or for a new job?"

"Fred and George."

"To bear them another child. I am already pregnant. I promised they could name this one, something I begin to regret already. The twins Snape and I have been invited to the Burrow for Christmas. The whole Weasley clan will be at the twin's fourth birthday party. I expect my twins and I will move out to Snape Manor once I am officially sacked. The twins Weasley will be allowed visitation rights whenever they wish."

"You are certain you will be . . . sacked?"

Severus nodded. "I don't see why you wouldn't. This was my second chance. You have been given very little reason to trust me."

"Unfortunately, you are right. This is not something that can be overlooked. I expect your resignation papers by the end of the term."

Severus blinked. "End of term?"

"The crime was four years ago, a few more months will hardly make a difference. OWLs and NEWTs have not been given yet, and I doubt I could find a potions instructor at such short notice. You may take the counter agent now." Albus pulled out another crystal vial. Severus accepted it, and drank it down. "I believe Minerva had a few words she wished to share with you, otherwise we are done here."

The room quickly cleared out except for Severus and Minerva McGonagal.

"You are getting off far too lightly, you know."

Severus only nodded as she circled behind him and sat next to him.

"You'll not teach again, you know that, right?"

"Do you think I enjoy trying to pound knowledge and wisdom into hopelessly thick skulls? I stayed here because Albus expected it of me. I considered it penance. Believe me, a school is not where I will look for a job. If I look for a job. The Snape fortune is large enough to not require it, and it looks frightenly possible that I've already taken the first few steps toward being the mother of another Weasley brood. The twins asked for a sibling, Minerva, so they wouldn't be the littlest anymore. What if the next makes the same request and is as good at getting his or her own way from me as Sabastian and Salazar are?"

She just looked at him for a long time. Finally, she smiled faintly. "Perhaps you are getting your just desserts, after all. Welcome to parenthood, Severus." She patted his arm then got up and left.