"No," Daddy said in the voice that really meant no. "You are not bringing your sisters in for show-and-tell."
The twins pouted and pleaded in the way that so often worked, but this time there was no budging him. Time to try getting the Daddies to agree. Together, both boys turned toward the tall redhaired twins who were currently holding Jill and Dora. "Daddies?" Sabastian and Salazar asked in chorus.
"I don't think so," Daddies George said.
"Daddy said no," Daddies Fred confirmed.
"How about you bring a picture of your sisters?" Daddies George suggested.
"Yeah, you don't really want to have to change Jora's diaper while you're in school, do you, Sal?" Daddies Fred pointed out.
"Guess not," Salazar admitted. Both he and Sabastian had gotten used to the Daddies calling Jill and Dora Jora and Dill. Though, it had initially resulted in a short argument when they couldn't decide who had the "L" in her name now, thus throwing ownership into question. Daddy had fixed everything when he pointed out that Jora's name was still really Jill so she still had the "L" that made her Salazar's sister. He then tried to explain that since Jill and Dora were sisters and Sabastain and Salazar were brothers, Salazar and Sabastian were both brothers to both girls, but that wasn't the point. Jill was Salazar's birthday sister, and Dora was Sabastian's.
The twins Snape didn't really care one way or the other that Daddies Fred went interchangably by Fred and Forge, or that Daddies George was called both George and Gred. They were the Daddies, and twins, and by Daddy's account, 'odd', so they just accepted them without asking too many questions. Only about a hundred. "Why do we have three daddies but no mommy?" "Why not just two daddies?" "Why do the Daddies have red hair but all the rest of us have black hair?" "Why did the Daddies make you stop teaching?" "Why didn't the Daddies come sooner?" "How did the Daddies decide to be our Daddies?" "Did Santa give the Daddies to us?" "Were we supposed to be the Daddies present instead of yours?" "How did the Daddies make you change shape?" "If the babies are in your stomach because the Daddies put them there, then what does the stork do?" "Why do the Daddies have so many brothers and sister and you don't have any?" "How come the Daddies like playing jokes so much?" "How come people don't like that you and the Daddies made us our babies?" "How did you and the Daddies make babies?"
But not once did they ask "How come Daddies Fred is sometimes called Forge?" Both twins felt rather proud at this restraint. Instead, they had asked, "How come the Daddies call Jill Jora?"
Daddy said it was because they had red hair. "Then why doesn't Uncle Bill or Uncle Charlie or Uncle Percy or Uncle Ron or Aunt Ginny or Gramma or Pop-Pop call her Jora?" Daddy said it was because Uncle Bill and Uncle Charlie and Uncle Percy and Uncle Ron and Aunt Ginny and Gramma and Pop-Pop didn't work at Zonko's.
"Hey, Snape, you've got the family portrait somewheres around here, don't you?" Daddies Fred asked. Sabastian and Salazar were still stumped on why, of their Weasley relatives, only Gramma and Pop-Pop called Daddy by his first name. Daddy said it was because Gramma and Pop-Pop were older than him, but they were all grown-ups, right? The twins were older than Jill and Dora, but they weren't going to make their sisters call them Snape One and Snape Two.
"They are not going to school with the family portrait, either," Daddy said, looking up at the picture framed and hung on the wall behind the couch where the Daddies sat. Daddy stood in the middle, with both of the twins Snape balanced on his hips On either side of the three of them, stood a Daddies holding one of the girl twins. Everyone was waving happily except Daddy who was trying not to drop the twins he held. The Daddies were even helping Jill and Dora wave at the camera.
"Didn't you get smaller ones to give to Mum and Dad?" Daddies George asked. Mum and Dad, when one of the Daddies said it to Daddy, meant Gramma and Pop-Pop. It had only taken Salazar a few days to break that code.
Daddy went to the mantle and picked up a smaller picture where Salazar was holding Jill and Sabastian was holding Dora. He murmured a spell, and streak of blue light shot from Daddy's wand to the picture. He then handed it to the nearest twin, Sabastian. "Here, you can take this one. If you drop it, it won't break, but don't go throwing it around, understood?"
"Got it, Daddy."
"What about me?" Salazar asked, feeling left out. He didn't have anything for show and tell yet.
"Well," Daddy said, lifting him up to his hip and walking along the picture covered mantel. "Do you want to bring the Weasleys?" he asked, pointing at a picture with a lot of red-heads waving cheerfully.
"Okay!" Daddy made the blue light hit the Weasley picture, too, then he gave that to Salazar. The two boys looked at the pictures they each had, then frowned up at Daddy. "But you're not in any of them." He knelt down beside them, and turned the Weasley photograph toward him a little.
"Right there," he said pointing to one of the top corners. And there was Daddy, standing off by himself, and looking annoyed. Salazar smiled brightly, glad that his daddy was in his picture.
Sabastian smiled excitedly when the teacher called on him next. He more ran than walked to the front of the class, holding the picture his daddy had given him last night. "I have a picture of me, and my brother Salazar Snape, and my sister, Dora Weasley, and Salazar's sister, Jill Weasley." He proudly showed off the smiling foursome of dark-haired children. He felt it important to say their last names because Daddy always used them when he introduced them to people who they didn't know.
"Thank you, Sabastian," the teacher said, smiling at him. "Can you tell us why one of the girls is your sister, and why one is Salazar's?"
Sabastian nodded, pleased that he could answer this. "Because Daddy gave them to us for our birthday, and we decided Jill should be Salazar's since they both have "L"s in their name, and that meant Dora was for me."
"And why do Dora and Jill have Weasley for a last name?"
"Because that's the Daddies last name,"Sabastian explained to the best of his knowledge. He didn't really know why he and Salazar were Snapes but Dora and Jill had to be Weasleys.
"The Daddies named them, but Daddy named us," Salazar added, speaking when it was not his turn yet, but it did shed some light on the subject, so Sabastian didn't mind.
"Does anybody else have any questions about Sabastian's picture?" the teacher asked the class. When none were forthcoming, she had Sabastian return to his seat, then she called Salazar up.
"I have a picture, too," Salazar announced when he made it to the front. "This is the Weasleys." Pointing out each of his relatives as he named them, he said, "Uncle Ron, Aunt Ginny, Daddies George, Daddies Fred, Uncle Charlie, Uncle Bill, Uncle Percy, Gramma, and Pop-Pop, and this is Daddy," he finished proudly, pointing to the corner that hid Daddy's unhappy image.
One of the other kids raised her hand.
"How many daddies do you have?"
"Two Daddies and one Daddy," Salazar answered. "The Daddies are twins," he added, as if this explained everything.
"Don't you have a mommy?" Amanda asked.
"We have the Daddies instead," Salazar explained, glad he had asked Daddy this once. "Mommy died, so Santa gave us two more Daddies instead."
"Santa's not real," scoffed one of the boys in the class.
"Yes he is!" Salazar argued back, hotly. "He's the Headmaster at Hogwarts!"
Salazar caught the teacher muffling laughter behind her hand. The Daddies did that a lot, too, whenever Daddy mentioned Santa. Daddy said that was because they worked at Zonko's, but their teacher worked at Hogsmeade Pre-Wizarding School. Well, maybe she used to work at Zonko's, before she was a teacher.
"Does anyone else have a question about Salazar's picture?" No one did, and Salazar returned to his seat next to Sabastian.
Salazar and Sabastian Snape were twins, seven years old. Dora and Jill Weasley were also twins, three year old. They stood in the sunny garden of Snape Manor. The Twins Snape were theoretically doing their maths homework, but they were presently being distracted by their sisters. "Hey, Dora," Sabastian called.
Dora looked up from mound of dirt she was making of the marigolds.
"It is March, and you are three," Sabastian said, making this sound like a cataclysmic combination. Salazar nodded in such a way as to confirm that celestial bodies were heeding these events.
"Jill, Dora, a great responsibility falls to you now," Salazar intoned, and this time Sabastian nodded wisely. They had looked up the word responsibility for just this important time.
"You must go to Daddy, and tell him you want a new brother or sister for your birthday."
"We got you when we were four," Salazar added. "But it takes months and months to make a baby, and Santa's elves at Hogwarts can't do it."
"So you need to tell Daddy you want one, and the Daddies will put the tiny little babies in his stomach where they will grow," Sabastian explained the process.
"Can we ask for two girl babies?" Jill asked.
Salazar shook his head. "The Daddies get the little babies from the Stork, but they're very small and you can't tell if they're girls or boys, and you only get as many as the Stork brings you."
"Who's the Stork?" Dora asked.
"He's a bird, I think," Sabastian told them, looking at Salazar for confirmation.
Salazar shrugged his ignorance. "We didn't see the Daddies get the little you's when we asked for our birthday present."
"So, go talk to Daddy now, or else you might not get them on time," instructed Sabastian, shooing his sisters toward the door that led inside.
"And if he says no, just do the special Daddy face," Salazar added. "He told us no at first, too. He'll change his mind."
The girls nodded their understanding and ran inside.
"Think that's where babies really come from?" Salazar asked his twin when they were out of sight.
Sabastian shrugged. "Parts of it. Dunno."
"Tommy said the Daddy is supposed to put the baby in the Mommy."
"I don't think we ever had a Mommy. And we know the girls didn't."
Salazar nodded his agreement, then stood. "Let's go see how the sisters are doing."
"Then we'll watch the Daddies and see if they ever talk to a Stork."
The two stole across the house, keeping close to the walls, as the sneaky, hiding, bad guys always did in the picture books. Their father was in the library, as he often was. The girls had climbed into his lap. Good move, the boys thought to themselves. They slipped into the room and darted to hide behind the chair where Daddy sat, so they could hear everything.
"- or brother for us," one of the girls said. They were hard to tell apart by voice.
"Salazar and Sabastian got us for their birthday," the other pouted.
Sabastian shouted as a hand grabbed his arm. The hand pulled him around to face the mostly-amused face of their father. "This is one of your nefarious plots, is it?"
Daddy liked using big words on them. Sabastian and Salazar would look that one up later. But the gist had come across clearly enough. Daddy was blaming this on him. "Oh, no, Daddy. It was all Salazar's fault."
"Mine?" squeaked his twin in betrayal. Salazar came around from the back of the chair to face his father. "It was both of us," he said with a quick glare at Sabastian. "We thought it would be nice if the girls got their own brother or sister. And they'll be four in November. That's how old we were when I got Jill. They've been littlest long enough. It's their turn to be big sisters." All four twins nodded decisively at this. Then all four turned their special daddy faces at their father.
"That is not fair," Daddy complained.
"It should be downright Unforgivable," Daddies George said from the door to the library, wearing a grin. "I blame your genes. What do they want now?"
"It's March, and the girls are three. What do you think they want?"
A rather wicked looking smile spread across Daddies George's face. "Should I find Forge and the Stork, then?"
Daddy sighed and closed his eyes in that way that meant the twins were getting what they wanted. Sabastian and Salazar cheered. "Jill, you're getting a baby!" Salazar congradulated his sister.
"Can you please please please ask the Stork for two?" Sabastian begged Daddies George.
"The Stork already gave us doubles twice, Bas, we'll just have to see if he does it again. No promises, kid, sorry."
"Our apartment or here, Snape?"
"I'd rather the dangerous duo over there not try to watch, so your place."
Sabastian blinked. How had Daddy known?
"Daddy knows everything," Daddy said, and Sabastian looked at him in awe. "That, and you really shouldn't plot against people while you are standing outside the window of the room they are in." Sabastian followed his pointing finger to the open window and saw the garden where their maths books were still lying open.
"Oops is right," Daddy said setting the girls down to the floor, and standing up. "Now, you two, go on and finish your homework. Girls, you can go back to playing in the dirt, but if you kill any of my herbs, you will be helping me plant new ones. George, I'll be over in about an hour, I want to check something about that spell we use." Daddy moved to one of the library's shelves of books, and took down two.
Sabastian and Salazar watched him until he looked at them and told them again to "Shoo."
Making sure they were not right outside a window to the library, Sabastian made Salazar stop. "Want to watch still?"
Salazar nodded. "Got a plan?"
Sabastian nodded. "Go hide at the Daddies apartment before anyone gets there."
To cover their tracks, they followed the girls back out to the garden and picked up their maths books. "Going inside so you don't distract us again," Sabastian told the girls as if it were all their fault. The younger set of twins barely noticed.
The twins dumped their books off in their room and ran for the fireplace in Daddy's room. "How do we make it start burning?" Sabastian asked.
"Daddy says 'Incendio', but he uses a wand."
They both frowned thoughtfully. Then Salazar suggested, "Maybe if we wish really hard and say it together, it might work."
"Okay." So they tried it. A small wiff of smoke appeared and floated up the chimney, but it wasn't enough to use floo powder.
"We say it louder, and really mean it this time." Sabastian nodded. Both twins screwed up their faces in concentration, then at some point, without prior agreement, they both yelled "INCENDIO!" Both twins jumped back as a merry fire burst into existance. "It worked!" Salazar crowed.
"Yes," drawled a deep voice at the door. "Now I wonder what two young boys who are supposed to be doing their maths homework are doing in my room?"
The twins turned toward their father, looks of sheepish guilt readily apparent on their faces. "Um," one of them said, and even Sabastian wasn't sure whether it was himself or Salazar.
"We did magic," Salazar said, in innocent pride where only the innocent part was feigned.
"I see that." And though he was trying really hard not to show it, both twins could tell he was very proud of them for that. "Grady." The house elf popped in without delay. "See that these young wizards do not leave their room until I return."
Grady nodded many times in quick succession. "Come, young Masters." The twins shrugged at each other and followed. In three more years, they would be ten, and they'd find another way to the Daddies apartment.
"The lesson or the highlights?" Severus asked Fred and George as they entered their own bedroom to find him sitting on the bed wearing only black trousers and a black cotton shirt.
"Highlights," the twins said together, without even a glance to consult with one another.
"I expected as much," Severus remarked as if deeply disappointed. "The hermaphrodite curse always sets an afflicted man to the most fertile point of a woman's cycle. Because it was initially created to help men bear children, the thought is more is better, so chances of multiple birth are much higher in hermophrodites created by this spell than by the normal female population. Even if both fathers had no history of twins in their family, the hermaphrodite would have an almost fifty percent chance of carrying twins. Add in the Weasley family tree, as well as two pairs of twins in the last five generations on my own mother's side, and I would say the chances of Jill and Dora each getting their own sibling is very high."
"Thank you, Professor Snape," the twins said in rote unison, though Severus was fairly sure they were pleased with the findings.
"Well, students, I believe now it is time for us to do something illegal so my twins will get their birthday present on time."
"Your twins?" Fred questioned. "As I recall, Dora and Jill share our last name."
"Speaking of last names . . . " George trailed off.
"Boys, they're Weasleys, girls, they're Snapes," Fred suggested.
"The last set were Weasleys, it's time for Snapes," Severus countered. "I am not having my Weasley children outnumber my Snape children. It's bad enough the adult Weasleys outnumber me. Besides," he gave them a wry look. "It wouldn't do for a Weasley to get another Weasley for her birthday."
"Hmm," Fred hummed thoughtfully. "Giving a Snape to a Weasley does have a nice appeal, doesn't it, Gred?"
"Alright, but we have veto power over first names. No more Salazar Sabastians."
"Of course not, I already have a Salazar Sabastian," Severus told them smugly. His self-satisfied smile lasted until the twins pushed him down against the mattress and started unfastening his pants. "Spell first! I don't have the parts yet!"
The spell hit his midsection, and he hissed with the pain as his insides rearranged themselves. Only when the new configuration was completed did he open his eyes again.
"Don't know how you do it, sir," Fred remarked. "That looks painful."
"I've lived through the crutacious and ten hours of labour. I can handle a little bowel movement," he downplayed it. "Shall we begin now?"
"If you're ready, we are," George agreed.
They stripped themselves, then him. "We'd like to try it kneeling, sir, if you don't mind."
"As long as I'm pregnant at the end of this, I don't care."
They arranged him, kneeling in the center of the bed, Fred in the same position in front, and George behind. Both primed their hole with fingers, tongue, and in George's case, lubricant. Fred didn't need it. His region of endevour was well slicked by Severus's own juices. "Ready, George?"
Pricks were set at their entrances. "Set, George?"
"Set." Severus closed his eyes, tensed, and grabbed hold of Fred's shoulders.
"You a virgin, Snape?"
"Yes," he hissed, "You know full well everything grows brand new each time. Get on with it."
"Alright, then. Go!" And the two pricks slid inside, not fast, but not slow either. Severus gasped. Fred's met resistance. Both stopped, pulled back slightly, then thrust deep inside, pushing down on his shoulders as they surged upward.
Severus screamed in equal parts pain and pleasure.
"Fred, it's good I'm not a real woman," he groaned some minutes later. "I think you tore something."
The former Gryffindor looked stricken. "I didn't mean to. Are you and the babies going to be all right?"
"Ask me again after I've been to see Poppy."
"Just, next time? No kneeling."
Severus struggled to a sitting position and winced inwardly at the pressure that excerted on certain tender areas of his anatomy. With some difficulty he avoided the help the twins offered, and managed to dress himself. The walk to Hogwarts was awful, but sheer stubbornness got him through the familiar grounds and hallways to the Hospital Wing. "Poppy?" he called.
"Severus!" she cried, sounding as if she were actually happy to see him. "How are you? How are the twins?"
"Which twins?" he asked, ignoring the bit about himself for now. "Sabastian and Salazar are doing well. They've performed their first magic spell, and if they actually do their maths homework, their grades will be among the highest in their year. Jill and Dora are also doing fine. Last time I saw them, they were playing in the garden. Sprout will be quite pleased with them when they get to Hogwarts if they keep up their interest. I promised I'd let them help me replant my herbs if they killed them off. I think that would be sufficient incentive for them to identify which plants are herbs and do so. Fred and George, likewise, are well. The Wheezes continue to be a success, and I expect you know that as well as I do, particularly as their new line make people look like they've just been in a brawl."
"And you, Severus? What brings you back to Hogwarts?"
"I would like you to tell me one of two things. I'm pregnant with twins and everything will be fine. Or I'm not pregnant, the injured parts will go away, and I can try again in two days. I have already promised Jill and Dora twins for their birthday."
Several minutes and a painful examination later, Poppy stood in front of him with her hands on her hips. "I have good news, bad news, news that could be bad or good, and a Lecture for Fred and George. Which do you want to hear first?"
"You girls are not getting identical twins for their birthday."
"You'll heal. The soreness will go away in a few days. It will not affect your pregnancy in anyway."
"I'm not going to listen to Fred and George's lecture, so the good-or-bad next."
"Fraternal twins. You have one fertilized egg in the left falopian tube and one in the right."
"Good enough," Severus said in relief. "All I said was that I'd try to get one for each of them. It'll be nice for a change to not be the only one in the house without a mirror image of himself."
She handed him two vials of a thick, creamy potion. "This will help with the soreness until it goes away."
"Thank you, Poppy."
She laughed, "I see the kids have had a positive effect on your manners."
"I haven't had to snarl at anybody in two years. For that matter, I haven't had anybody to snarl at. Only the Weasleys come to visit the Manor, and I rarely leave anymore. I am getting depressingly out of practice. Well, Fred and George do warrant the occassion snarl, sneer, or scowl, but they tend to behave themselves in front of the kids. And Ron is always fair play, but I only see him when I go to the Burrow. I can't imagine why, but he doesn't like visiting me."
"You are awful, Severus."
"Ron likely doesn't understand what possible relationship his brothers and you could share."
"Every four years, we have sex in March and more twins pop out in November, it's like the Olympics, what's not to understand? It's really very simple."
"No, it really isn't. But, I'll leave it be in the interest of domestic peace in England."
Severus slipped the potion vials into his robe pocket, and stood. "If you don't mind, I'll floo back to my Manor."
"Of course. Go ahead." She waved at the ever burning fire in her office.
"They still call me Snape, you know," he said suddenly.
"Of course they do. You haven't invited them to do otherwise."
He frowned and dropped the subject. He took down the jar of floo powder from the mantle and pinched the exact amount neccessary to floo him to Snape Manor.
"Severus," she said, a note he couldn't define in her voice. He looked at her enquiringly. "Just so you're aware. If your fraternal twins decide to become identical twins, I wouldn't know it yet."
"How can fraternal twins become identical? They cannot just suddenly become the same egg split - oh shit. That can happen?"
"You have the potential for quadruplets, Severus."
"Oh dear Merlin."
"It's just that you have already borne two sets of identical twins in as many pregnancies. I thought you should know of this possibility."
"Thank you, Poppy," he said faintly, and threw the powder into the flames.
The twins - all six of them - were already waiting when he stepped through the library fireplace. "Well, it's good news for all but you two," he said nodding at Fred and George. "You are going to get at least two brothers or sisters in November. Due date is actually probably closer to December 4th but when was the last time I carried the full nine months?"
The twins Weasley the Elder caught the weasel words in this announcement. "At least?" Fred asked.
"We have bad news?"
"Poppy has a lecture for the two of you," Severus told them with more than a little smug maliciousness. He'd been on the receiving end of Poppy's lectures several times, and he hoped he never would be again.
Apparently they had already received at least one, judging by the look of dismay they exchanged with each other. "Well, that's that then, isn't it, Fred?" George asked. "We'll need to descend in force upon one of the guest rooms upstairs, barricade ourselves in, and never show our faces near Hogsmeade or Hogwarts again."
"I think not," Severus told them. "What kind of rumours would that start?"
Fred laughed. "I don't even want to imagine. They're bad enough as it is. And our own darling siblings start more than anybody else!"
"Do you know what Ginny was spreading at Charlie's last birthday?"
"No. Nor do I wish to."
George told him anyway. "She said we were still arguing about the date of the wedding!"
Had he been drinking anything, it would have spewed all over the room. As it was, his jaw did hang open in a rather undignified way. "Wedding?" he repeated in incredulious horror. "Oh, dear, Merlin. That's worse than what Poppy said."
"What did Poppy say?"
"That it might be quadruplets." Fred staggered backwards, and was lucky that nobody was sitting on the armchair he fell sideways into. George did an adequate impression of Severus after hearing the wedding rumour.
"Four babies?" Salazar asked. "We all get one?"
"Possibly. We won't know for another couple of weeks. If Daddy's belly can't hold four, it'll stay at two, or maybe even three. See, the stork gave us only one of each of you, but when you were in Daddy's belly, there was too much room, so you replicated and Salazar became Salazar and Sabastian, and Dora became Dora and Jill. But this time the Stork gave the Daddies two different babies. Each of theses new babies might decide that it wants another sibling just like it, and replicate, like Salazar and Dora did."
"Oi, George, I think that makes you my copy."
"With improvements over the original," George responded loftily. At this comeback, both Sabastian and Jill stuck out their tongues at their 'originals'.
Salazar ignored is twin as he approached his father. Severus watched him put first a hand then an ear to his flat stomach. "Are they really in there now?"
"Yes, they really are," Severus answered with a small smile.
The seven year old cupped his hands around each other, making a small tunnel to Severus's midsection. Then he put his mouth to the other end and shouted, "Make two of yourselves! We want four!" Severus looked over his head to meet George's bemused expression.
Severus ruffled the boy's hair. "They don't understand English yet, Salazar."
"Oh," he said, disappointed.
"Now, Daddy has to go lie down for a little while."
"Okay," came back the four-voiced chourus.
Three weeks into his third pregnancy, Severus climbed the hill between Hogwarts and Hogsmeade. Minerva McGonagall met him at the front doors. "Poppy said you had an appointment today."
"Hello to you, too, Minerva."
She flushed slightly. He didn't really blame her; taking manners lessons from him? "Hello, Severus."
"Yes, I have an appointment with Poppy."
"Pregnant again?" she asked with the barest hint of censure.
"Severus, this isn't proper. If you were a woman, there are names for what you do."
He sighed, and stopped walking toward the Hospital Wing to look at her. "Minerva, what I do with my body is little concern of yours."
"You were a professor here for almost twenty years. It reflects poorly on the rest of us. You even still use the school nurse."
"Poppy would skin me alive if I brought my midwifery needs to someone else."
Minerva silently conceded the point with a pursing of her lips, and they resumed walking. "You could at least marry them," she said finally. "Then at least it would be within wedlock. As it stands, it is disgraceful and scandalous."
"I am not interested in marriage, most particularly not with Fred and George Weasley. I'd sooner marry Remus Lupin."
She snorted. It was something he had never seen the painfully proper professor do before. Then, as if to make up for it, she scowled fiercely. "And yet you bear their children like clockwork."
"My children want siblings. Would it be less scandalous if I found a different mate each time? Then I really would be a slut or whore or whatever other word you were thinking before. I do not know or care if the twins find other partners between sessions with me, but I am in an exclusive sexual relationship, regardless of the fact that we are neither dating nor married."
"I can't tell if knowing that you abstain between these . . . fertilizations . . . makes the whole situation better or worse."
"Likely worse," Severus admitted, feeling no shame about the matter. The twins knew what they were involved in. If it didn't bother him or them, he didn't see why anybody else should care. Though, after seven years as a student and nineteen as a teacher in Hogwarts, the gossip capital of the Wizarding World, he knew perfectly well that people did.
"You won't at least consider marriage? You've got two more on the way, Severus."
"No. If I marry, which I won't, it will not be because a pair of fools knocked me up. Besides," he added piously, "Wizarding law prohibits poligamy, and I surely couldn't choose."
"You looked that up, did you?"
Severus scowled at her. "No, I did not look that up. Ron did." He smirked, "He was really quite knowledgable on the subject. One wonders if he had plans. Him, Potter, and Granger. Tsk. Tsk."
"Severus!" Minerva exclaimed in scandalized outrage.
"Professor Snape! It's Professor Snape!" Both Severus and Minerva turned toward the shout.
A pair of older Slytherin students stood at a cross corridor that would bring students from the library to the dungeons. With some difficulty, he recognized them as third years during his last year teaching. Mental arithmetic made them into current seventh years. "Mr. Darcy. Mr. Relic." Beside him, Minerva made a quiet, impressed sound.
"Professor, is it true, what the Gryffindors say about you? You're a Weasley now?"
Severus gave Minerva a look that meant And you wonder why I haven't married them? "No. I am not a Weasley. I remain and will continue to remain a Snape. If I happen to have poor taste in bed partners, that is my problem."
"Severus, they're students," Minerva hissed.
"They are, I believe, eighteen years old now. Your students Fred and George conceived their first children at that age. Perhaps, if you had informed them of the facts of life then, some of this may have been avoided."
"I?" Minerva spluttered, much to the delight of the Slytherin students.
"Did you know your precious twins cornered hapless Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws in various alcoves around the school?"
She was burning a bright pink. He hadn't thought Minerva could blush. "I don't think I want to know how you know that."
Severus raised a brow at her. "Pillow talk. I considered taking points away retroactively, but decided my high moral ground was shaky at best."
"Dear sweet Merlin," she more breathed than said. The Slytherins sniggered. No doubt he would be mauled worse by the resultant rumours, but she would be present to hear them.
"Though, if the subject bothers you, I have invented a rather neat story about the stork and daddies to tell my three year olds about where babies come from."
"Where do babies come from, Professor?" the Slytherins asked, attempting innocence, but not really succeeding.
Severus looked at Minerva, doing a much better job of the expression. It was no more believable, but he knew he got the look right. "They must be talking to you, I'm not a professor any more."
She scowled darkly enough to put some of his scowls to shame. "They were not, and you know it."
Bright children, his Slytherins. "Where do babies come from, Professor McGonagal?" Darcy got the curious, innocent look down this time. Severus lifted a corner of his mouth in an approving smile. He could actually see them taming back their jubaliance at this show of favour.
"I will kill you, Severus," she muttered under her breath, knowing as well as he did that this question would be popping in all of her Slytherin classes over the next few days. Including the first years, who may not already know the answer.
"I don't doubt it," Severus agreed easily.
"Professor Snape, where do babies come from, three year old version?" Mr. Relic asked curiously.
"The daddy or daddies, in my family's case, go to the stork and ask for a baby. The stork gives the daddy or daddies a tiny little baby. The daddy and mommy or the daddies and daddy then go away for a little while so that the daddy or daddies can put the baby inside the mommy or the daddy where it will grow until it is born. If the pregnant parent has too much room in her or his belly, then the baby doubles itself and becomes twins."
The Slytherins snickered a bit at the simplications and glossed over bits. Then Darcy asked, "But, sir, how does the daddy put the baby in the mommy?"
"He follows the directions the stork gave him," Severus said solemnly.
Both boys laughed. "Does the stork talk?"
"I've never met the stork. You should talk to Fred or George about that."
"We will. Next Hogmeade weekend," they promised.
Severus frowned thoughtfully. "I don't think I'll warn them. Have fun."
"Better yet, we'll have my sister do it. She's only a second year," Darcy plotted, as Relic nodded his approval of this change in the plan.
"And now I need to go visit Madam Pomphrey to see just how roomy my next children think my insides are."
"You're gonna have more kids, Professor Snape?"
"How many do you have now?"
"Have you beat the Weasleys at their own game yet?"
Severus held up his hands for quiet. Eighteen. Three. Age didn't matter. They still asked endless volumes of impertinent questions. "Yes, I'm having more. I currently have four. Mrs. Weasley had seven. I don't know how many I'll have by the end of November yet. At least two more. Maybe four."
Their eyes widened. "Four? At once?"
Relic smirked. "That'll beat seven. And you only needed to be pregnant half as much as Mrs. Weasley did."
"Well, good luck, sir," they said, not nearly as well in chourus as his kids could get, then left, talking quietly together, and shooting curious looks at him over their shoulders.
"The universe is laughing at me, isn't it, Minerva?"
"I feel like a bloody rabbit. I don't have kids, I have litters. Starting at Septimus Snape, who married Salazar Slytherins's granddaughter, the Snapes have had only children, all boys. If there were girls, they must have been killed or given away because they don't show up on the family tree. Then, for the longest time, I thought I would be the end of the line. And now! Eight, Minerva!"
"You don't know that, yet, Severus," she said, trying to be consoling.
"Yes I do. My mother was an identical twin. Did you know that? So was her grandmother. And her great-great-grandmother. Every other generation, back as far as I traced, going along the maternal line. And Fred and George are. The Weasley tree is littered with identical twins. But really, they're the least of it, despite my first thought to blame them when I found out Salazar and Sabastian were twins. The hermaphrodite spell we use encourages multiple births. And not just twins. This is the third time I've used it. It might be cummulative. This is the last time, Minerva, I swear it, no more kids after this unless Fred or George want to carry them."
"And in four years, when your eight children look up at you with those deep black eyes they all seem to have, and say, 'more, please?' What will you tell them?"
Severus groaned, "It's got to end sometime. I can't keep this up indefinitely."
"Is that what you'll say, or is that a complaint about the unfairness of the world?"
They reached the Hospital Wing then, and Poppy saved him from further questions. Minerva was distressingly right. He wasn't sure he could withstand sixteen eyes. Poppy performed her tests, after shooing the Transfigurations teacher away, then came to face him solemnly. "I want to bring in another mediwitch." Severus's eyelids lowered. "I don't know that I can handle quadruplets alone."
"Thank you for breaking the news so gently."
"Come now, Severus, this was just confirmation. You knew it was quads three weeks ago." He only nodded. "Now, the mediwitch in question works at St. Mungo's. She's very brilliant, and she is descreete. If anyone can bring your children to term, she can."
He nodded again, opening his eyes this time. "Fine. Do I know her?"
"Yes," a young woman's voice said from behind him.
He sighed internally. Of course it would be her. "Hello, Miss Granger."
"Doctor Granger," she corrected. "I have a dual degree in Muggle and Magical Medicine from Oxford University."
"I assume their's a history of twins in your family?" she asked as she guided him to lie on his back.
"Haven't you researched that already?"
She frowned without malice. "I was going to do that later today." Her fingers pressed and prodded everywhere Poppy's had. "I just wondered if you could give me a jump on which way to look."
"If the Snapes have any history of it at all, my ancestors have doctored the family tree to hide it. I wouldn't put it past them, honestly. Apparently, there has never been a girl Snape born either."
"That changed a few years back."
"No, actually, Dora and Jill are nominally Weasleys."
She nodded, accepting that at face value. "So there is possible tampering in the Snape records. What of elsewhere? Maternal branches?"
"The straight mother line has them. Mother was a twin. Mother's mother's mother was a twin. And so on, back as far as the 1600s where I gave up looking and went to read the girls to sleep."
She nodded again, and allowed him to sit up again. "Everything looks good now. Poppy and I will start coming to you in three weeks, and continue coming every two weeks after that. It's going to be a rough pregnancy, Professor. I assume you know the drill about what foods to eat and avoid?"
He nodded. "Poppy was quite insistant about it."
Both witches smiled a tyranical doctor's smile. "You can go now," Poppy said, "I'm sure the kids are waiting to know if they all get siblings for their birthday."
"What?" Granger asked, startled.
Poppy grinned in a rather evil sort of way. "Oh, didn't you know? Severus's children ask for siblings for their fourth birthday."
"Last time," Severus muttered, but Poppy just smiled indulgantly at him. "So you say, dear."
Severus was so astonished at getting called a dear, that he missed his opportunity to respond to her words.
As he disappeared into the green flames of the floo, Poppy turned to Hermione. "What do you think?"
"I'd be surprised except for the volumes that Ron writes about him and Fred and George and their kids. Professor Snape and children - despite having been a teacher - just don't really go together in most minds." Poppy chuckled, then sobered as Hermione continued, "There's an alarming tear on the birth canal. If that should open during labour, he could lose a lot of blood before they're all born. If he loses consciousness, we might not get them all out."
Poppy nodded, worried.
"We're just going to have to see to it that it heals completely before the time comes," Hermione declared as if this were a simple procedure. "Do you know if," she blushed a sudden bright crimson, "if Professor Snape, you know, with the twins, regularly?"
"Minerva claims Severus says no. I haven't been able to corner the twins lately. I think Severus warned them that I had words for them. By how much he has healed since his last visit, I would say they haven't lately. Whether that is because they wouldn't have anyway or because of the injury, I don't know."
Hermione nodded. "I want to look into his family tree and research that spell they use a bit more. I'll see you at dinner, Poppy. Tomorrow I will find where the twins have hidden themselves."
Hogsmeade Weekend. It was the time that Fred and George Weasley got to try out their latest creations on an unsuspecting public. Well, on the public. George was just handing out a Hermit Hole to a fourth year Ravenclaw when Fred noticed Hermione Granger enter the joke shop. "Bookworm alert," he muttered under his breath in warning. George looked up, picked her out, and went into the back for a batch of Wheezes created especially for Hermione Granger. Snape was an excellent test run for how she would react to them, too, though they wouldn't be able to use him again for a few months. For some reason Poppy frowned on turning pregnant men into canaries or other such things.
"Hermione!" Fred called when George returned.
She approached and didn't look terribly happy. And they hadn't even done anything to her yet.
"Lollipop?" George asked guilelessly.
She frowned at the offered sweet in distaste. "Not today. I have something important to talk to you about."
"If it's about the Stork, what he looks like, where he lives, what he sounds like, how to contact him, and all that sort of stuff, there's a question and answer sheet at the front of the store," Fred told her.
"Someone -and I'm not naming names here, Snape- let it get out that we knew everything there was to know about the Stork since we visited him so many times."
"But really, I'd think our dad would've been the better source."
"We've only been three times."
Hermione was a bright one. Their words distracted her only as long as they were spilling from their mouths. "I'd like to talk to you about the last time," she picked up right where they left off. "I spent yesterday with Madam Pomphrey and did a check-up on Professor Snape."
The twins exchanged mildly guilty looks. "Um, alright, I guess you can come into the back room for a bit." Fred told the already beleaguered sales clerk that they'd be back in a little while.
They led Hermione into the back, closed the door, and cast a no-eavesdropping spell, in the likely event that she planned to yell at them. She raised her eyebrow archly. "Guilty conscience?"
"We didn't mean to hurt him," Fred blurted.
"And we know we did because he mentioned it."
"And he never admits anything hurts."
"Is he really all right? Are the babies?"
"Is Pomphrey really planning to run our entrails out of the Astronomy Tower?"
They fell silent and looked at her entreatingly. It was an expression they had picked up from Sabastian and Salazar that tended to soften up young women and Snape. "The quadruplets are fine. The former professor is fine, for now. And yes, Poppy will string you between the Gryffindor and Astronomy towers next time she gets her hands on you."
"For now, what do you mean, for now?" Fred asked, barely hearing the threat to their own well-being.
"You left a weak spot along the lining of the birth canal. He won't even notice it between now and when labour begins. But once the first baby passes that spot there is a high likelihood that he will start bleeding and won't stop until we can get in there to patch it. And we can't do that until all four babies pass, each ripping it wider."
"Oh no," Fred moaned in guilt and horror. He rested his head on his brother's shoulder, and his brother drew him into an embrace.
"Is there anything you, he, or we can do about it?"
She blushed, "Well, I don't know how often you and Snape . . . you know-"
George shook his head. "We don't. We're pretty much just sperm donors when he wants more babies. We don't mind. It makes Mum happy that some of us are producing grandchildren for her. But we both know they're his kids first, especially Salazar and Sabastian. We might have maybe a 45% claim on the girls. But the boys? The boys are his, absolutely and without reservation. He hasn't entirely given up insisting that they used to have a mother named Melanie."
"We're really more like indulgant uncles or older step-brothers than fathers," Fred's muffled voice came from George's shirt. "Snape does the displine, hosts the parties, funds their activities and expenses, plans their education, and keeps them ahead of their studies. All the parenting stuff. The girls are three years old, but already could outscore any first year Hogwarts student in Herbology. He allows us into his home, but we're not welcome to make it our home."
"Even if we do visit every day."
"They call us by name, you know. The kids. Daddies Fred or Daddies George. Snape's the Daddy."
"Does that bother you?" Hermione asked, surprised. She had though the twins were happy with the arrangement. Of course, her source was Ron, and not exactly reliable on this sort of thing.
"No," George said quickly. "This is Snape, we're talking about. It would be too weird to be a normal family with him. This way suits us. Can you imagine us being strict, or, worse, responsible for the health and safety of a child? Snape's great. He doesn't complain that he has to do all the work, and we get to just play with our kids."
"But we hurt him. I - I hurt him," Fred corrected himself. "And if something happens to him because of it, if he dies, we'd have to step in like real fathers and we don't have the right to do that. He's the daddy. It would be so wrong."
"Sometimes I think he sees us as another set of twins he's supposed to take care of." At Hermione's face, George quickly added, "We don't mean anything incestrous by that. It's bad enough Fred and I are involved in the same relationships. But we're not equals with Snape. Not like a mother and a father are supposed to be. And the sex?" George shook his head. "It's not really fun now. There's no extra touching, except what we do. He barely touches us at all, though, honestly, he didn't before either. Just for balance and because he has to. Spreads his legs and tells us to hurry up. He finds it a chore now. A means to an end."
Fred pulled away from his brother. "We tried to make it interesting, but he just ended up hurt."
"Sorry to burden you with all this, but you did ask. Sort of."
Hermione wanted to bury her head in her hands. They needed a marriage councillor, not a medical doctor. Relationships and psychology were not her strengths. "Are you happy with your relationship - such as it is - with Snape?"
They looked at each other, then George answered, "Most of the time. It's just these every fourth Marches. We don't mind having sex with him, really we don't. We just wish we didn't feel like we were performing concentual rape on the guy."
"We've done it four times with him. It was the first two, the ones that were theoretically wrong, the ones that were illegal, that were the best. He liked it then. We liked it. There weren't supposed to be any strings, any attachments, any consequences. For four years, we thought there weren't."
"Much as Mum was furious with him for keeping it secret from us, it was really the only choice he had."
"We were kids, still are, truth to tell. We weren't ready, still aren't, for a commitment like parenthood. He knows it. That's why he keeps coming back to us."
"He knows we won't try to steal his children away from him."
"They're everything to him."
"Sabastian and Salazar will be eighty years old, and he'll still come to us every four years to get knocked up, so his previous set of of twins will have their own new sibling for their birthday."
"If not us, somebody else. As long as they're fertile. Preferably a twin or twins. The twins want twins for their siblings."
"It doesn't matter who the father is," Hermione interrupted. "His maternal line carries the Twice-Over curse. He can't not bear twins. Incidentally, his paternal line carries the Straight-Descent curse. If he were to try to father children, in the normal fashion, with a woman, he could have one son. That's it."
"That's just wrong. He makes such a great dad."
Hermione blinked. "I never thought I'd hear that about Professor Snape."
"You haven't seen him with them, 'Mione. You haven't seen him sitting in the dirt, with a three-year old girl in his lap, and another half buried in the wheelbarrow full of mulch, explaining just exactly how to plant a sprig of garlic and why people think it keeps vampires away."
"You never saw him reading to them at night."
"You haven't been in the ice cream parlor while he waits for them to decide and debate among themselves which flavor to buy while the people behind us get more and more impatient."
Hermione held up her hands in surrender, though more of these stories might have been fun to listen to. "All right. I know better than to believe everything Ron writes!"
They looked at each other again, then turned pained expression toward her. "You read Ron's accounts? I think we'll need to start from the beginning, Forge. She has no basis for understanding where we're all coming from."
Fred nodded. "Okay, it started like this. Draco turned Snape into a Hermaphrodite, you were probably even present for that part of it. We'd heard about it, but had forgotten by the time we showed up in his office later that day. Honest, all we wanted was to get his help on our Dragon Dumplings formula."
"We'd hardly stepped into his office when he told us he wouldn't sleep with us."
"We gather the Slytherins had been bugging him all day since it happened."
"We talked about the potion for a while."
"Then we were going to go. But I had to get in my parting shot. Told him something to the effect of he couldn't take two people coming inside him at once."
"He said 'How intriguing, now get out.'"
"Couldn't just leave it at that. He found it intriguing. He was the evil potions master. The vampire. The bat. The greasy bastard."
"He wasn't human."
"And he found us intriguing in a sexual way."
"It was tricky."
"Coaxing him into it."
"I played reluctant."
"As long as one of us was against it he could pretend to go along."
"It was a masterful seduction."
"Any Slytherin would have been proud."
"We got him to invite us inside his rooms."
"He barely touched us. He knew what he was doing was wrong."
"But he was curious. That's what got us as far as we did."
"And then we were in the bed and naked."
"His skin really isn't very greasy. Just his hair."
"And then we were inside him."
"And he screamed."
"Then we came."
"We all collapsed and slept for a little while."
"Then we did it again."
"In the morning, we went to breakfast like nothing happened."
"And he didn't treat us any different really afterwards."
"Mostly avoided us."
"We wondered if we dreamed the whole thing."
"We share dreams sometimes."
"We thought it was a nice dream."
"We'd proven the potions master was real."
"But nothing had changed. We'd thought he might contact us again."
"About our potions if nothing else."
"So we figured we made it up."
"Until he came into Zonko's."
"He was really, truly, afraid of us."
"We talked to him, teased him about that night."
"Then we gave the Wheeze Chocolate to the boys."
"Then we realized why he was scared."
"We were pretty terrified ourselves."
"We were twenty-two years old. We didn't want four year old sons."
"He didn't want us to have them either."
"We all wanted what we discovered to stay secret."
"He fled, with the boys hiding under his robes."
"He didn't make it back to the safety of his rooms."
"Dumbledore had suspected something for a while."
"It all came out."
"Snape was fired."
"We conceived the girls."
"Totally random. We came back to the apartment and there he was, waiting."
"Have sex with me."
"The boys want siblings."
"His exact words, swear to Merlin."
"We were up for it."
"The first times were fun."
"We teased him."
"Asked to name them."
"He agreed right away."
"We realized he didn't really want to be with us this time."
"We were quick."
"Then he thanked us and left."
"Didn't see him again until the girls were born."
"His house elf Mimi showed up at the store."
"Our daughters were born. Would we please tell her master their names?"
"We'd decided on Dora and Jill Snape."
"But when we showed up, we teased again."
"Dora and Jill Weasley."
"We were learning he couldn't tell when we were joking."
"But we didn't mention it. Mum and Dad were pleased."
"It did go a long way in bringing peace between them and Snape."
"We're not sure if he knew that would happen."
"We were allowed into Snape Manor whenever we wanted to come after that."
"To be with the girls."
"The boys were hands off."
"The boys were Snape's."
"He let us know -"
"In no uncertain terms -"
"When we were getting too close to them."
"It was scary."
"Like a threatened mother bear."
"He shared the girls well enough, though."
"For the most part."
"They don't leave the Manor without his permission, and usually not without him either."
"Like a protective mother bear."
"Years passed, the girls grew."
"Really amazing, watching your kids grow from helpless babies into real kids."
"We've got made-for-younger-people Wheezes now because of the four of them."
"Then three weeks ago happened."
"Sabastian and Salazar decided to make asking for siblings a Snape-Weasley tradition."
"So they asked."
"And Snape gave in."
"And we went to our apartment."
"The boys were planning to spy on how babies get made."
"The explanation Snape gives might be technical enough -"
"And what we did was mechanical enough -"
"That if they had seen -"
"They might have believed what they'd been told."
"All they would have asked was why the Daddies had to be naked."
"And use their you-knows to put the babies inside."
"Snape could have come up with something."
"He's very good with answering questions."
"Sometimes it doesn't really make sense."
"But the kids accept it as gospel truth."
"Because Daddy said so."
"Sometimes we almost believe it."
"We blame it on seven years of being his students. He uses his teaching voice, and we really can't help taking it at face value."
"If we seem to be buying something he made up, he'll give us this look."
"And we'll feel very stupid afterwards."
"He's been even more distant with us since the impregnation."
"And we were never really close to begin with."
"He said eight was probably enough."
"We're afraid he doesn't need us anymore."
"That once the quads are out of diapers, he'll tell us not to come anymore."
"The quads will have the Snape name."
"We wonder if he'll be as possessive with them as he is with the boys."
The flow of words stopped as abruptly as it had begun, and the sudden silence hurt Hermione's ears. She found a seat that wasn't covered in potion ingredients or notes, and sat down uninvited, rubbing her temples. "You don't call him by his first name," she observed first.
The twins shook their heads. "It would be too weird. We call him Snape normally, Daddy when talking to the kids, or one of several nicknames like Mama Bear when we tease him," Fred detailed, then added, slightly embarassed, "Even Professor or sir sometimes."
Hermione nodded. She didn't think she could bring herself to call Snape by his first name either. But then, she hadn't parented his children either. "You're not happy with the sex." She was pleased with herself that she barely blushed.
"Not with the way we have been doing it lately," George agreed. "It's not personal. And it's supposed to be. It's too rushed."
Hermione nodded and listed their next complaint. "You don't feel that you have a valuable role in the relationship or the family."
"We don't," they said together.
"Does Snape ever seem stressed or overloaded?"
They gave her identical odd looks. "He's Snape the Mum, not a new person, Hermione. And he won't take it out on the kids, so he tends to take it out on us."
She smiled. Bingo. "Now, as his doctor, I'm not sure I should be suggesting this, but if you're careful it should be all right." Their eyes widened as their often underestimated intelligence worked out what she intended. "He needs emotional support more than anything right now. He won't ask for it though. You need to give it freely." They nodded, having, perhaps, a better understanding of Snape than anyone else living. "Poppy's talking to him now about the possible effect of the tear on his birth canal. He's likely scared and overwhelmed, if he has normal reactions underneath his mask of self-sufficiency."
"If it is a mask," Fred remarked quietly.
"Join him in bed." She looked at each of them, watching for signs of reluctance but finding none. "Make him feel safe and wanted."
"It'll be all right to . . . enter him?"
"If he starts bleeding contact me or Poppy immediately. But some - gentle - resistance against it now might actually help it strengthen to withstand the babies passing through."
They nodded solemnly.
Severus woke to warm breath on the back of his neck. Then there were hands. Hands touching him. On his back. On his face. His breasts. Between his cheeks and delving shallowly inside him. He tensed and held his breath. Still, the hands explored him. Running down his length, making him hard. Swirling around his clit, and wetting the region between his legs. He had to breathe. He took rapid shallow intakes because that seemed all his lungs were capable of.
Then the fingers were inside his girl's hole, and he gasped in pleasure, followed immediately by, "Stop, Fred."
The hands, all four of them stopped. "Hermione said it was all right."
Severus considered that as best he could with hormones thrown wildly out of control. Hermione. Miss Granger. His student. No, his doctor. Brilliant girl. "Go on."
"Let me know if it hurts at all," Fred instructed, then the hands resumed.
They touched everywhere, making him moan and arch under the gentle ministrations. He came into George's hand, then he felt the wetness traced along his abdomin, then up between his breasts, and into his mouth.
Then Fred was inside him, and George's hands went to hold him at the waist. Fred slid deeper, going mind blowingly slow, though the tiny corner of his rational brain that remained functional saw the neccessity. Severus, not being taken from two directions for the first time since becoming involved with the twins, rolled onto his back. Fred, perforce, followed, as George's hands released his hips and retreated. A moment later, his head was lifted from the pillow, and was lowered again against George's stomach. He felt the other twin's warm hardness against his neck, and he arched involuntarily, pushing Fred deeper and his neck pressed tight against the cock there. Both twins gasped.
Fred began a slow, rocking rhythm. Severus closed his eyes tightly, and fisted his hands in the blankets.
"Does that hurt? Are you bleeding?" Fred asked worriedly.
Needing more, Severus shook his head, feeling George respond to the movement. "No," he gasped out the lie, "It's just, I need you to come."
Fred grinned. "Be patient for once."
"Waiting hurts, go on."
Fred took the words as irritated impatience, as he was supposed to. He resumed his slow pace. Severus felt the tear widen with each slow thrust, but this felt so good otherwise. He assured the twin kept it up with low, pleasured groaned and murmurs begging for more. He'd been hiding pain for longer than these two had been alive, and it really wasn't much, anyway.
Only after Fred finally came, and he pulled out did they see the blood.
"Oh, Merlin! George, call Madam Pomprey right now!"
"Shit! Didn't you know, Fred?" But George was out from underneath him, and running to the fireplace without even bothering to get dressed. "Hospital Wing, Hogwarts!" he called out clearly, but he was obviously terrified. Severus felt very sleepy and didn't understand what all the fuss was about.
"Snape Manor, Bedroom!" George cried out as soon as Poppy's image appeared. "Get here now!"
Fred knelt between Severus's spread legs, hunched over in guilt and crying. Poppy and Hermione Granger both stepped through the momentarily green-tinged flames and took in the tableau. "He didn't tell us he was bleeding or hurting," Fred sobbed. "We shouldn't have expected him to. I thought I felt something, but he said everything was fine. I should know better than to believe that."
Hermione took Fred by the shoulders, guiding him off the bed. Poppy took his place, casting a lighting spell. Severus realized he was completely naked in front of two witches, but couldn't summon the energy to be embarrassed. Poppy poked and prodded him, first with her fingers, then with her wand. Severus felt the bleeding slow and stop, then the tear start to mend itself again. He closed his eyes and fell asleep, content with the world.
When he woke again, he heard the breathing of two other people in the room. A half roll to the left brought him into contact with another body. He opened his eyes to get a look at his companion, and found himself looking at a George who clung to the very edge of the bed. The bump had woken him, but he pretended to still be asleep. The tenseness in his back gave him away even if his breathing did not. Severus rolled again to look at his other side. Fred was not on the bed. He slept on Severus's reading chair. Having done that on more than one occassion, he knew Fred was in for a sore day.
Fred, also, was awake, but pretending not to be. Bloody Gryffindors. Weren't they supposed to be brave? "I know you're not asleep. Both of you."
He was still watching Fred, so he saw the elder twin flinch at his voice. When he opened his eyes, Severus could read fear, guilt, and shame. Severus sat up, managed not to flinch at the aches this sparked, and looked down at George, who was doing an adequate impression of someone who had just been woken from the depths of sleep and wanted to return there.
"Explain last night," he snapped, not really mad at them, but this approach tended to work the best on getting them to talk.
"Hermione explained to us what happened, told us to hold off on any intimate relations with you until after the births," Fred answered miserably. "Then we got to talking. And she suggested, maybe, just once, it would be all right to surprise you. Because you need emotional support. But she warned us that you might start bleeding again. She said if that happened we should call Pomphrey right away."
Severus nodded, he had expected as much.
"But when it happened, I believed you when you said everything was all right and kept going. I went really slow so I wouldn't hurt you, but you were bleeding that whole time. You almost died last night from internal bleeding."
Severus blinked. He had not realized it was that serious. He had almost killed four of his children for carnal pleasure. He felt disgusted with himself.
"Don't die on us, Professor. Please."
"And try not to scare us like that, either," George added. "I had these horrible visions of the twins asking us why their daddy wouldn't wake up again."
"Of the girls asking us to fix you."
"Or replant you."
"Of the Wizarding Child Services coming to ask us why we were feeding children ice cream for dinner, then taking them away and splitting them up."
"Or one of them getting seriously hurt because we did something stupid or wrong."
"So, please, sir. Outlive us."
"At the very least, wait until the kids are all in Hogwarts or beyond."
"Preferably, you don't die."
"You're not supposed to die."
"You're the potions master."
Severus couldn't help it. He huffed a half-laugh. Then another. He began chuckling. Chuckles turned into genuine, tear-jerking laughter. Worried, George sat up beside him, and pulled him into a protective embrace. Severus found this even more hilarious and kept laughing. Eventually, he controlled himself, and escaped George's hold. Fred stood by the fire, ready to call Poppy, no doubt.
"I'm all right, honest." Fred almost called the mediwitch because of his words rather than despite them. It would have been amusing. He almost started laughing again at the thought of Poppy arriving, worried and breathless, and Fred pointing at him, declaring in alarm, He says he's all right! But Fred didn't call, and Severus kept himself under tight rein. "I don't recall the last time I laughed so hard, though."
"What was funny?"
"You two. Calling me immortal, telling me I can't die. For years, I believed I could count my remaing time in months or even days. I nearly put Salazar and Sabastian up for adoption because I doubted I would live to see their first birthday. Melanie talked me into keeping them. That's why I call her their mother. I wouldn't have them if not for her."
"Oh." They looked surprised, and he felt mildly guilty for not explaining before now why their second-parent role had been usurped. "Why didn't you expect to live?" George asked worriedly. "It wasn't because of the boys, was it?"
"No. No connection to you two at all," Severus hastily assured them. "Well, aside from the obliviate I had to cast on you the morning after."
"You obliviated us?" Fred asked, stunned.
"You saw my Dark Mark, I had to."
The twins blinked. That probably didn't fit in with how they currently pictured him. "I spied on my former compatriots for Dumbedore."
They blinked again, processing that. Then George smirked again. "See? You are immortal."
"Came out of the demon's own lair and lived to tell about it," Fred marvelled, seemingly overlooking the fact that to come out, one must have been in. But the twins were sometimes worse than Albus in their ability to let people underestimate them. Severus was fairly certain they had caught all the implications of his admission.
"I have one more question about last night," Severus said, curtailing both his own and the twins' thought on the unpleasantries of the distant past. Instead, the twins were directed to the unpleasantries of the recent past, as Severus tried to find a way to phrase his question. The twins squirmed uneasily, especially Fred who seemed to blame himself for the whole thing. Best fix that. Severus caught the elder twin's gaze in his own. "First though, I blame only myself for my near death experience. I knew the moment the tear re-opened and choose not to mention it. That won't happen again, I give wizard's vow I will tell you the next time it opens." He looked back and forth between them, making sure they understood his sincerity. He felt magic crackling down his body as the vow was sealed.
"That said," he continued, "my other question is this: How likely is that act likely to reoccur during the course of this and possible future pregnancies?"
That brought smirks back to those identical faces. "As often as Pomphrey says it is safe."
"And as often as you'd like."
Severus gave them a false scowl. "You make the children's traditional fourth birthday present even more difficult to refuse."
"You needn't be pregnant either," Fred offered.
"No," Severus refused. He couldn't explain why allowing them into him as a hermaphrodite felt acceptable, good, and even right, but the idea of letting them near his bed when he was an indisputable male felt so wrong and repulsive. It wasn't as if he had never been with a man as a man before.
The twins looked disappointed but nodded their agreement on the restriction. "Then I hope you have lots more babies," Fred told him with great sincerity.
With four likely to be born in about seven months, Fred would surely get his wish. Of course, that hadn't been what he meant at all.
Salazar and Sabastian followed their classmates out onto the playgroud behind Hogsmeade Pre-Wizarding School, talking quietly between themselves. "Tonight," Salazar decided. "We hide in Daddy's closet. Whatever it is that the Daddies are staying for happens in his room."
"You think it has to do with the babies?"
"The Daddies said the mediwitch had to come last night, and he's not supposed to leave his bed for two days. Of course it's something to do with the babies. Remember, he was always stuck in bed when he was pregnant with the girls."
"If he's stuck in bed how do we hide without him finding out?"
Salazar sighed. "Because this is Daddy, if he can still stand without help, he'll go to the library at least twice today. And he's not that big yet. 'Sides, he's got to go to the bathroom sometime."
Sabastian nodded, satisfied that the plan was possible.
"And no whispering when he's in the room. He can hear everything."
Sabastian nodded again, knowing this to be true. They weren't entirely sure Daddy couldn't read minds, but they had to work under the assumption he didn't. Otherwise, it was pointless to try.
"Hey, Snapes!" a voice called out from across the playground.
Both twins surpressed annoyance, and turned to face the 10 year old approaching them. He'd be at Hogwarts next year. This school year had only about two months left, and then they'd be rid of him. "What?" they asked in unison, keeping in mind Daddy's suggestion that keeping your own temper will just make the bad kids look dumb.
"Heard your dad's gonna have babies again," the older boy said in his taunting voice.
"Yeah," Salazar confirmed, not seeing why the school bully was telling him about facts he had already proudly told to several of his friends. "So what?"
"Dads aren't supposed to get pregnant," the bully ignorantly told them.
"Well, if your mom dies, and Santa gives you two more dads instead of a new mom, one of the dads has to have babies," Sabastian explained logically.
"Santa's not real," the bully snickered.
"He's real," Salazar said with certainty.
"His real name is Albus Dumbledore," Sabastian added, having figured out that Daddy used this name interchangably with Santa's. The difficult part had been working out that Albus was a first name and Dumbledore was a last name, not two different people's first names. Only once they got his chocalate frog card did the final piece fall into place. Funny, that didn't mention he was also Santa Claus.
"You'll meet him next year," Salazar said, then couldn't help adding, "That is, if you're good enough to go to Hogwarts." Both twins immediately ducked, and the bully's swing at them went harmlessly over their heads.
"Really, you ought to work on that," Sabstian said as a teacher swooped toward them. "Your reaction time is really slow."
"Even Dad could duck that at eight months pregnant with twins." Dad couldn't stand at eight months pregnant with twins, but the bully didn't need to know that.
"Or with quadruplets," Sabastian added. "Oh, hi, Madam Lake. We were just explaining to Tommy that Santa works at Hogwarts, and that in families without mothers, the Dad can have babies."
"Our dad is going to have quadruplets in November," Salazar told her proudly, in case she didn't know yet.
"Really? That's a lot of babies!"
Salazar recognized being patronized, but there wasn't much to be done about it, so he just nodded. "One for each of us."
Sabastian noticed Tommy trying to sneak away. "Say, Tommy, how many brothers and sisters do you have?"
Brought back into the teacher's focus, he shuffled in place, as if that was all he had been doing before. "None."
Wow. Neither twin could imagine having no siblings. They were born with one, and they could only just remember asking for the girls. "Your mom didn't get you any for your fourth birthday?"
"We have to ask for them in March, so we can get them in November," Sabastian told him, so he would know to ask well in advance.
"They take a long time to make. And Dad gets all cranky so you need to be really good and quiet all the time."
"And they're so little when they're born, even though Dad was so huge." Sabastian held arms out as far in front of him as he could reach to demonstrate just how huge Daddy was.
"And he looks so happy when he holds them."
"And we feel so grown up when we hold them."
"And Daddy's having more!" they yelled together happily, joyfully running to the monkey bars, and leaving Tommy to face judgement for bothering them.
Salazar laid on the bottom of the closet in Daddy's room. Sabastian sat on his back. "I don't see why I'm on the bottom," Salazar complained in a whisper.
"You have a view, do you want to switch?"
"Quiet, I hear the Daddies." Both young spies fell silent and neither dared move or even breathe too deeply.
"Snape, didn't Pomphrey tell you not to leave your room today?"
Daddy grumbled something they didn't catch, and didn't really want to. Both knew Daddy hated being stuck in one place all day.
The bed creaked slightly as Salazar watched the Daddies make Daddy lie down. "Is everyone already in bed?" Daddies Fred asked.
"Yes," Daddy said. "I read to the girls, and tucked in the boys almost an hour ago." Salazar and Sabastian would have exchanged a look of triumph, but that would require moving, and Daddy might hear that. They kept still and silent.
"Did you talk to Pomphrey about, you know?" Daddies George asked. The babies, Salazar guessed.
"We need to wait a few more weeks before we're allowed to try again," Daddy said, with an odd note in his voice that neither twin could quite identify.
"Pity," Daddies Fred said. From what the hidden twins could tell, this was a disappointment, but nothing that threatened the babies.
"Well, George didn't get his turn last night, and that won't hurt you, right?"
"I don't see why it would," Daddy drawled. Daddies George turned out the lights then, and Salazar couldn't see anything. So much for the advantage of being on the bottom. As his eyes adjusted to the dim light, though, he could make out the dark shapes that were the Daddies and Daddy. They seemed to be putting on their jammies. Well, taking off their day clothes. Apparently, it was warm enough to sleep without jammies now if you were a grown-up.
It was too dark for Salazar to make out who was who on the bed now, and it didn't help that they kept moving. It was evidently exhausting, because they started breathing hard. And gasping. And talking too breathlessly to make out the words. He frowned slightly as one of the shapes rose up above the others, his pee-pee thing held against the shape he throught was Daddy. Then the upper Daddies went lower again and one of grown-ups gasped again. Salazar didn't think they'd hear him now, so he twisted enough to exchange a confused look with his brother. Sabastian shrugged. He couldn't see anything, so he was even more lost.
Then Daddy yelled, and Salazar snapped his eyes back to the bed. He couldn't tell what was going on. There were too many arms and legs involved. Daddy yelled again, louder, and Salazar wasn't sure if he should jump to his defence against the daddies, but Daddy didn't sound hurt or angry and it didn't look like he was trying to fight them off. Best to stay hidden unless Daddy called for help. Sabastian was sitting tensely, able only to hear Daddy's cries, and Salazar shook his head no.
Then everything on the bed stopped, and all three crashed to the pillows. "George, make sure he's not bleeding," Daddies Fred instructed, and Sabastian tightened his hands into fists.
"I'm not bleeding," Daddy told them, sounding irritated. "Go to sleep."
There was movement again, and Salazar guessed it was Daddies George who sat up and bent over. His arm pushed someone's leg aside. "Not bleeding, Fred." Then Daddies George laid down again.
Daddy growled something, and the pile of bodies moved as the middle one rolled over. Nothing happened for a long time.
Sabastian leaned over and whispered, "We should go," very quietly into Salazar's ear. Didn't matter. The darkest haired lump on the bed sat up so fast, Salazar could have blinked and he would have missed the transition.
"Out of the closet!" Daddy's voice demanded, sounding not at all happy. The daddies stirred in the bed, but did not sit up.
"We are out of the closet," one of the Daddies complained.
"Both literally and figuratively," the other added drowsily.
"Not you. Salazar and Sabastian get out here this instant."
"Shit. They were in there this whole time?"
"Watch your language, George."
"They saw us doing . . . that, and you want me to watch my language?"
"Yes. Any day now, boys."
With a sigh, Sabastian climbed out first, managing to step on Salazar's hand, making the elder twin cry out, "Ow! Watch where you're walking."
"How? It's dark." Then Sabastian was out of the closet, followed shortly by Salazar.
Daddy frowned horribly at them. "Would you care to explain why you were in my closet?"
They shuffled their feet nervously. "We wondered why the Daddies started sleeping here."
"We thought it was about the babies."
"How long were you in there?"
"Since you went in to read to the girls," Sabastian answered.
"Sh-" the sound of a hand clamping over a mouth was clearly heard.
"I said, no swearing, George. Could you see anything?"
Sabastian shook his head, butSalazar said "It was dark, I could only see shapes. A lot of arms and legs."
"Dear sweet Merlin."
"What, Salazar?" Daddy asked, sounding on the edge of patience.
"Did one of the Daddies peepee on you?" At this question, Daddies Fred groaned and pulled a pillow over his face.
"No, Salazar," Daddy answered sounding resigned. "Come, sit," he ordered pointing at the foot of his bed. The daddies pulled their covers up nearly to their chins, but Daddy just sat in the bed with the sheet resting over his waist. "Now, I hadn't planned to give this lecture until you were twelve or thirteen, but now's as good a time as any."
Daddy gave Daddies George an annoyed look. "You may leave if you don't wish to hear this." Both daddies grabbed a pair of underwear and a robe, then fled the room. "Cowards," Daddy muttered under his breath, then looked at his sons. "Babies don't come from storks," he began.
"It's safe, they've gone to sleep. You can come back up now," Severus told his partners in crime, when he found them hiding in the kitchen.
"How'd it go?" Fred asked nervously, not meeting his eyes.
"Fine." Severus frowned and crossed his arms. "No thanks to the two of you. 'Why did the daddies run away?' 'Why were the daddies embarrassed?' It becomes difficult to explain the process as a straightforward, natural, biological procedure when you two act like you got caught doing something Unforgivable. I had to go into how it is socially considered by most of wizarding society to be a subject too crude to be discussed in front of women and children. Then I had to explain what crude meant."
"Did you talk about when it is acceptable to have, um, sex?"
He arched an eyebrow at Fred. "I rather thought that discussion could wait until age twelve or thirteen. I summarized by saying they are not yet old enough."
"Do you know what you will tell them then?" George asked carefully.
Severus gave him a medium level glower. "I can hardly insist they be married, can I?"
Fred grimaced, "Nor even out of school."
"Perhaps I should have your mother give that lecture."
George snorted. "Look how good we turned out."
"From what I understand, her and Dad were quite the Astronomy Tower residents in school," Fred added.
The twins burst out laughing. "That'd do it," George wheezed.
With quadruplets on the way, Severus found he would need twice as much baby furniture and clothes as he already had. Deciding, for once, to get it himself rather than sending the House Elves, he apperated to Diagon Alley (done correctly, apperation has no more detrimental affect on the unborn than walking). He had taken no more than two steps towards Gringott's when he heard a familiar voice call out, "Professor Snape!"
Severus turned, smiling tightly, uncertain of his reception from his former favorite student. "Mr. Malfoy."
Draco was, by and large, doing well for himself without his father's influence to get in the way. Word from Hogwarts was that he had inherited most of his father's legitimate businesses when the elder Malfoy was imprisoned. "I haven't seen you since graduation, sir. You never come out to the Manor anymore." He sounded mildly disappointed about this, but not heart-broken.
"I have been . . . rather busy of late, Mr. Malfoy."
"Oh, things have been beyond insane ever since Lord Voldemort died around us, too. First, Father was trying to get rid of all evidence, then there were the criminal trials, then the inheritance and property trials, then convincing everyone that I am not Lucius, then Mother wants me to get married, so I've been courting Pansy again, even though we've been betrothed since before we were born. We've set the date for May, next year. You should get your invitation in September or October."
"Thank you, Mr. Malfoy."
He grinned, "Oh, I wouldn't. The whole former Death Eater lot - the ones who weren't initiated yet, or were only married or related to one, or weren't high enough to get caught - how did you manage to avoid imprisonment, anyway, sir?"
"Dumbledore thought I was his spy rather than the other way around," Severus answered ironically, seeing no sense in revealing the truth now.
The young man's grin turn into a smirk. "He would. Anyway," his expression sobered, though he still looked amused by the ridiculousness of his peers, "the lot are just waiting for you to show up somewhere for them to get their claws into. Rumour has the most awful things going around about you. Mother expects, if you rsvp, that everyone on the guest list will come, and possibly some not on the list, just so they can draw your blood. The wedding will be secondary. Mrs. Parkinson wants to add a note to the back of the invitations that you were invited."
Severus lifted an eyebrow. "You don't believe the rumours?"
"Certainly not, sir. You wouldn't ask if you had heard them. Where have you been hiding these last few years, anyway?"
"Just at Snape Manor. I was dismissed from Hogwarts and found little interest in looking for another job. The Snape vault holds enough for another twelve generations, even at the rate I'm going through it."
Draco nodded, well familiar with the idea. He could do the same if he chose. "So what are you spending your time and money on?"
Severus gave him a gauging look. "The children."
Draco blinked, as good at covering his emotions as a Slytherin is supposed to be. "The children," he repeated. "Yours?"
Severus inclined his head, careful not to let his amusement trickle into his dour potions master bearing. "Mine."
"I hadn't heard you married, sir."
"I would be horrified if you had, as it would be news to me."
Draco blushed faintly, it showed clearly on his light Malfoy skin. "You've illegitimate children, sir?"
"Currently four, but the next are on their way."
"Are?" Draco picked up, letting some of his dismay show.
Severus decided not to be cruel, and only said, "Yes."
"May I ask who the unfortunate woman is?"
"You may always ask, Mr. Malfoy. I do, however, reserve the right to remain silent or lie."
Draco grinned up at him. He had not grown since seventh year, and so the top of his head only came to about the tip of Severus's nose. "Understood, sir. Who is the unfortunate woman?"
And here lies the difficulty. "Who have you heard it is?"
Draco groaned. "And that, I'm taking it, is an example of excersizing your right to not answer?"
"Or lie, depending on who rumour put me with."
"Fred and George Weasley?" Draco more asked than said, wincing slightly as if expecting a blow for saying such nonsense.
Severus lifted his brows as if this surprised him. "At the same time?"
Draco laughed nervously. "So they say."
"Who is 'they'?"
"'Most everybody. Zabini said he heard it from Flint who said he heard it from Jacobs, who said his little cousin told him years ago."
Draco nodded, relieved that Severus didn't seem upset. "Patrick Jacobs, he went to Durmstrang. His cousin is about seven now, I'd guess. He goes to Hogsmeade Pre-Wizarding School, theoretically with your oldest kids."
A short enough chain for verification. "Sabastian and Salazar, yes. They go there."
"Jacob's cousin says they say their siblings are twin girls with a last name of Weasley."
"Have you looked that up in the latest geneology records? Anything published in the last three years should have them. You should know that."
"I looked," Draco admitted.
Severus lifted a brow inquiringly. "They why do you ask?"
"Because I didn't want to believe what I saw," the young man mumbled like any third year caught doing something wrong.
Making a disapproving sound, Severus shook his head. "I suppose you thought it was the twins idea of a practical joke?"
"I had hoped so," Draco said before he could stop the truthful words.
"Their talent runs toward unusual and juvenile potions and harmless escapades, not forging official documents."
"You sound quite the authority on the Weasley twins."
"They have impregnated me on three different occassions over the last eight years. Ours is not a single night's acquaintance."
Draco tried to conceal the revulsion this image created within him. Severus gave him credit that he did do better than Ron at it. This, however, was not a difficult acheivement. To Severus's knowledge, the youngest Weasley boy was still not on very friendly terms with his twin brothers, though as far as he could tell, the twins had far worse grievance against him than he had against them. The twins never spoke of Ron's sexual life. Nor lack therof, for that matter.
"Is something the matter, Mr. Malfoy?"
Draco took a step away from him, widening his personal space without obvious conscious thought to do so. The motion stabbed an emotional knife through Severus's gut, though he couldn't say why Draco Malfoy's opinion mattered to him. "How, sir?"
Severus raised his brows in false surprise. "How did I wind up in a more or less stable relationship with not one, but two, Gryffindors?"
Draco nodded, failing in his attempt to not blush again.
"It is really rather complicated, and I feel I should mention that it is your entirely fault."
As expected, Draco's eyes widened and he exclaimed, "My fault!"
Severus gave him his best don't-be-a-dunderhead look. "If your stupid little hex hadn't missed Potter and hit me instead, nothing would have happened."
Malfoy blanched, knowing exactly which hex he meant, then he reddened as his pride woke up and told him he'd been falsely accused. "I might have made it possible for you to carry children, but you didn't have to go and fuck -" he stopped.
"Students," Severus finished for him when he saw that Malfoy would or could not. "Had they been Slytherins instead of Gryffindors I would likely be in prison now. Arthur and Molly Weasley chose not to prosecute, though Albus would have, had I abused my position of Head of House that grossly. Fred and George, at least, had no reason to trust me. What did happen was wrong on so many levels, the Headmaster just fired me and left it up to Molly and Arthur how to procede from there."
"And how did they?" Draco asked, half curious, half reluctant to know.
"They, fortunately, did not require an official marriage. They did, however, demand the appearance of the children at the Burrow, and required that Fred and George be allowed to know their sons. The boys asked for siblings, and, they being young Snapes, their wish was naturally granted. A little over a month ago, the kids made the same request, and it will be granted in November. What this evolved into roughly resembles a dysfunctional family."
This, strangely, eased most of Draco's discomfort. "So, stupidity - no offense, but it was - followed by blackmail," he summarized.
It was not how he would have put it. Chance and indescretion, followed by love of his children was closer to the truth. But it did essentially cover most of the points. "Something of the sort," he agreed. Then he smirked. "You would have appreciated Ron Weasley's reaction to the news."
Draco snickered. "It must have been priceless."
"Oh, it was," Severus assured him. "It almost made the whole of that first visit to the Burrow bearable. Even four years later, his looks of hatred continue to be the shining beacon of amusement in my association with that family. And of course the twins delight in shocking him, so one or the other of them is always at my side when he's around," Severus smirked at a memory that he probably would have related to Draco, had he not thought the idea of a Weasley twin kissing him would shock young Malfoy more than the sight of it had shocked Ron. It was all show, of course. They did not kiss even in bed. But Draco and Ron would not understand that. Draco, for all of his being a model Slytherin, might understand it less than the Gryffindor would.
Draco, after all, grew up in an environment where appearances and reputation were everything. To intentionally hex yourself in the foot for the sake of shock value was not something he would be able to comprehend. And one could not do a worse thing to shatter one's image than any public show of affection beyond a chaste kiss to one's lawfully wedded spouse or a light touch on the arm of a favoured (legitimate goes without saying) son. Allowing himself to be kissed, in a decidedly less than chaste manner, by first George, then later Fred, simply to see the colours an uncle of his children would turn would most certainly not sit well among the type of people either Severus or Draco were raised among.
Admitting to homosexuality was bad enough. Being with a Gryffidor man was worse. With two Gryffindor men was beyond bad and entering into perversion and diliquency on a similiar, if not lower, level compared to incest. He wondered where it would put him on the Wrongness scale if he ever admitted to anyone that he sometimes considered Fred and George to be another set of his twins. Less so since that night he had nearly died, of course.
Then there was the whole sex outside of wedlock issues, not that anyone in his family or any family like the Malfoys would ever accept a marriage between two men to be legal. Nevermind between three, where two of them were brothers. Add in living together (as of late) and the illegitamate children, and he was a walking social deviant. He couldn't even father children like a normal man, no, he bore them himself.
Any woman who had done as Severus did would be shunned at best. Quietly killed by disgraced family members was more likely, though. Fortunately, he was the last remaining Snape (discounting his own children), so he could draw his name through the mud all he liked with impunity.
The children, unfortunately, were fairly well damned. If they ever learned proper social behaviour it would not come from the example of their parents. He could almost imagine Percy's lecture: If any of your three fathers do it, it's probably wrong.
"I will see you at your wedding, then. Good day, Mr. Malfoy."
"Good day, Professor."
After he ran into no less than three other former students, and managed to move perhaps twenty feet nearer the Wizarding Bank, he decided that Saturday was possibly not the best day to have come. Without the threat of house points or detention, and with the curiousity of gossip mongers, not even Hufflepuffs shied away from approaching him.
Severus made no effort to answer any of their questions, and after a few moments of silence with a potions-master glare leveled at them, they did melt away and cease bothering him. When he left Gringotts, the ratio of former students to total strangers had dramatically risen, and he could feel their eyes following him, though not one approached. Feeling mildly self-conscious, he went into the apothocary's shop rather than the baby needs store. He wondered what had possessed him to make this trip.
He bought several ingredients he was running low on, and was careful not to handle or even approach the shelves he knew had ingredients that were bad for a pregnancy. Dropping his purchaces on the counter in front of the propetier, he nodded in greeting. "Roderick."
"Been awhile, Severus," he returned, sorting though the vials and bottles by eye. "Two galleons, four sickles."
He turned over three coins. "Haven't been to the Alley lately."
"Haven't been to the Alley lately, either, I hear. I'm impressed."
Severus accepted his change and did not rise to the bait. "Good day, Roderick."
"Be well, Severus. Good luck with the family."
Stopping half way to the door, he did not turn around. "My parents are dead, Roderick, you know that."
"Yes, I do. Good day, Severus." He left the shop much more calmly than he felt, and appearated home immediately. He'd have done it from the shop, but he wasn't certain that Roderick didn't have anti-apperation barriers on it. The elves could get the bloody baby things.
"Are you sure, Snape?" Fred asked uncertainly, propping up on an elbow to look down at him. The bedroom was dark except for the moonlight from the window. The closet had been check for seven year olds, as had every other nook and crany that the twins could find. And them being Fred and George Weasley, Snape felt confident that every possible hiding place must have checked.
Severus sighed. "It's been two weeks, and my promise still stands. I will tell you if I start bleeding when it happens." During those weeks, they had made full use of his arsehole, and George had even been generous enough to give Fred a go at it one or twice. But something was missing, and Severus wasn't sure if it was just the overabundance of estrogen and other female hormones in his system, or if he was overly used to having sex with a girl's parts, despite the fact that he had only done so five times. In any case, he itched for Fred to resume his normal place.
The twins had suggested a couple of times that he could have a go at one of them, for variety, but that had seemed wrong. He stopped himself before telling them that he couldn't do that to a student, but it was a near thing. He had filed away the unspoken objection for future analysis, then managed to convince them that with the pregnancy, he was better off on the bottom, and insisted that being filled from behind was a perfectly satisfying experience.
Tonight, though, he wanted to be filled from the other direction.
"Did Pomfrey or Hermione say it was alright?" George asked from his other side.
Severus rolled onto his back to give the twin behind him a glare. "Would I have suggested this if they hadn't?"
There was some obvious doubt on this point, which, Severus had to admit to himself, was completely justified. But he waited them out until Fred agreed hesitantly, "If you're sure."
"I am," he said testily. The irritation was short lived. Once they committed to doing something, the twins wasted no time, and it was not long before he was writhing on his back under their touch. After what felt like both an eternity and no time at all, Fred slowly and smoothly entered him. Severus closed his eyes with from the sheer pleasure of it. "Stay," he whispered.
Fred stopped, and asked worriedly. "Are you bleeding?"
Severus didn't answer right away, trying to memorize the exquisiteness of this feeling of . . . completeness. "No," he whispered, "It's good. Just savouring, in case I bleed later."
"Oh." Fred was not a very patient man, particularly not in these circumstances. It was only a few moments before he asked, "May I move now?"
Severus gave him a wicked smirk. "No."
Fred appealed to his twin, "George, didn't he promise not to torture us?"
"Hmm, yes, he did," George confirmed. "Roll over, Snape, Fred." Curious, Severus wrapped his legs around Fred and allowed himself to be turned onto his side. "Do as he says for now, Fred, you'll feel this too." Slicked fingers began to prod into his other hole with great delicacy and skill. Severus arched involtarily against them, Fred stationary prick sliding out a little, the light friction wonderful.
"Oh," Severus gasped. George pulled his fingers out and gave him a gentle shove towards Fred. Understanding the hint, Severus pressed against the twin he was already impaled on, sliding him in deeper. Fred echoed his gasp, but Severus hardly noticed since George took that moment to begin pressing himself into the former professor. "Oh, Merlin," Severus cried out as his own prick spurted in waves between himself and Fred. The tremours brought out pleasured moans from them both.
He hadn't been taken two at once since the kneeling debacle just over two months ago. With them both inside him, he could hardly breath from the orgasm and anticipation. Fred kept to his orders and stayed still, though it was obvious from his expression this was an effort for him. George too just laid there a moment once he had finished buring himself hilt deep.
"Who should move, Professor? You, me, or Fred?" George asked, his voice rough but with a very definite teasing quality to it.
Severus didn't care. Just someone had to. "You," he managed to gasp, since that was the easiest to articulate.
He could almost hear the twin's broad grin. "As you wish." The man behind him began a slow thrusting rhythm very unlike the nights from the last few weeks. But each withdrawl marginally pulled him off Fred, and each thrust pushed both twins deeper. It was excrutiating. In a good way.
"Merlin," he breathed again. "More."
George complied, his pace speeding up, though he was still a far cry from 'fast'. Either on purpose or by accident, George hit the prostrate for the first time that evening. "Ooh," Severus moaned, wrigging on both of their cocks, drawing answering noises from them. "George, if you don't finish this agony, I will make you regret it," Severus threatened.
"You the one who wanted to savour the feelings," George returned, his playful tone only slightly strained. "This is what you get for torturing poor Fred."
"Don't bring me into this," Fred protested weakly, "I want you to hurry up as much as he does."
George's pace picked up again, relatively faster than it was, but still not enough to satisfy Severus's raging hormones. "Faster," he groaned, and was echoed by Fred.
"Not yet," George denied cheerfully, enjoying this entirely too much even though Severus knew it must be a colossal effort to retain the self-control for it. Not even Fred had gone this slowly that night Severus had nearly bleed to death. He hadn't thought either twin could be so bloody patient.
It seemed hours before George picked up the pace enough to finally come, the release sparking another ejaculation from him, and the invitation to "Okay, Fred, go." Only three deep strokes later, and Fred filled him with his own come. Severus collapsed bonelessly, already on the verge of sleep.
"Check him Fred," George said drowsily. Severus vaguely recalled something about blood and death and sex being all linked together. He thought he should probably be irritated by something about this. But he couldn't quite recall the details.
There was some movement and disentanglement going on that Severus was peripherally aware of, then a relieved and happy "All clear, George. We've made him all slimy and gooey down there, but not bloody." Severus was too tired to care about the cleanliness of his nether regions and simply fell asleep, assured that he wasn't in immediate danger of dying.
"George, if I could move, I'd kill you."
George considered the words and decided they weren't an entirely normal thing to wake up to. Then he recognized the voice and revised his opinion. "Good morning to you too, Snape. How are you feeling?"
"I have never tried to imagine what ground beetles feel like, but I believe I now know. Beyond that, I am sticky and glued to the blankets, so would somebody kindly cast a cleaning spell?"
George promptly found his wand and complied with the request. "Are you still plotting my death?"
"Plotting, yes," Snape confirmed. "But Fred will likely remind me of my promise before I can carry through."
Fred laughed, giving away that he was awake. "It was one of the stipulations, you know."
"At the time, I had believed I only had to deal with you in potions class and only for three and a half more months."
For the first time, George realized what an earth shattering discovery Snape's first pregnancy must have been to him. By the time he and Fred had found out about it, Snape had been more than accustomed to fatherhood. In the four years since then, he had not once been given to understand that Snape did not enjoyed every moment of it. There had been the barest hint of it when he spoke of the girl Melanie and the adoption agency the night after he nearly died, but that had been overshadowed by other worries at the time.
"You must have hated us," he observed. "When you found out, I mean, about the boys."
Snape gave him an odd look he couldn't really decipher. "I hated Lucius more, actually."
"Malfoy Senior?" Fred asked, surprised. "What did he have to do with it?"
"Very little, but he was my scapegoat for the Headmaster and Poppy. Besides which, I hated him already."
Of course the Headmaster and mediwitch must have know Snape was pregnant. Of course they would have asked him who the father was. It just hadn't occured to George that these things were going on behind him. But, um, "If you hated him already, why did you say Sabastian and Salazar were his? That sort of implies . . . a certain relationship with the guy."
Snape looked at him with inscrutable black eyes, looking intimidating despite lying on his back. "George. I would not say I had 'a . . . certain relationship' with the two of you the first three times we had sex, would you?"
George blushed. "Well, no, but, you didn't hate us."
Snape raised a black eyebrow. "As far as Lucius knew, I did not hate him either." He shrugged indifferently. "The occassional tumble kept him convinced I was on their side." George's eyes widened and he exchanged a stunned look with Fred. He could tell his twin was just as started as he was that Snape was actually volunteering information about his past life, and more impressively, his past sex life. George wondered just how well-fucked the man must be feeling to become this open with them.
"So you let him . . . just for your cover?" Fred asked, making sure he understood it right. Ron would have been disgusted, George was certain, but the twins were merely curious.
Snape arched the other eyebrow to join its companion in an expression of wounded innonence. "Is there something wrong with that?"
"Nah," George answered. "No worse than for curiousity. Damn sight better actually, since it's a sacrifice to the Light." Fred nodded.
Snape looked genuinely astonished. Then, he rolled his eyes and spit out a disgusted, "Gryffindors."
Both twins burst into laughter. "Are you kidding? We'd be unique in that interpretation."
"Might get a handful of optimist Ravenclaws or Hufflepuffs to agree with us."
"Some Slytherins, possibly."
"Most would find it disgusting."
"Like Ron or even Percy."
"The rest would pity you."
"Like Mum or Dumbledore or Hermione."
"Some would do both."
"But noble sacrifice?"
"Gryffindors define sacrifice as giving up their life permanantly."
"Or their freedom indefinitely."
"Not their body temporarily."
"Especially when it's not to directly rescue anybody."
"Especially if there's even a chance you might enjoy it."
"And most Gryffindors will see sex as enjoyable unless you label it rape."
"Which how the Gryffindors who would pity you would see it."
"Even if it's not."
"Either way, it's dirty and shameful, not noble."
Snape's eyes had darted back and forth as they spoke. When they fell silent, he stared in astonishment at Fred for a long moment, as he was the last to have spoken, then shifted it over to George. "The pair of you are insane."
They smirked. "So we've been told," Fred thanked him.
"Our theory is we inheritted it from our father," George added solemnly.
"Fortunately, we're just us, rather than muggle obssessed."
"His thing for plugs is really somewhat disturbing."
"I fear for the children," Fred continued in a lamenting voice.
"Us for one father, you for the other."
"Dad for a grandfather."
"Percy and Ron and Charlie and Bill as uncles."
"They haven't a chance."
"Maybe Ginny could make them see sense?"
"Hardly. She's the one who spread the rumour about our impeding wedding."
All three grimaced or shuddered.
"You're right. I forgot about that. She's the worst of the lot."
"Well, of course."
"Insane," Snape repeated.
"That's why you love us," Fred told him facetiously. George barely dared to breathe. In the four years that they had coexisted with Snape, the word 'love' had never come up. The unspoken agreement was to not mention it. Ever. Even as a joke. Because, really, none of them knew where they stood on that subject. It was fine and perfectly acceptable for any of the three to love the kids, and that Fred and George loved each other went without saying, but either of the Weasley twins and Snape? That was not to be explored. That was too murky. Too dangerous.
Snape's expression closed. "You have to be at Zonko's soon."
The subject remained closed and unknown.
It was better that way.
Exploring those feelings could rip apart the already fragile ties of family between them. And it would be Fred and George who lost the most. While the thought of marriage continued to disgust them all, it just wasn't a safe topic. Particularly, George thought, since that might draw attention to the intentionally overlooked fact that they had already been wed, in all but name, on the day after Snape almost died. They hadn't exactly declared undying devotion and commitment to one another, but they did express the understanding that they would be in each others lives until death. And they did make Snape's bedroom into their bedroom. And they did consummate that not-quite-a-marriage, and had definite plans to continue regular marital-ish relations with their not-quite-a-spouse.
And Weasleys were brought up not to marry people who they didn't love.
But then again, they were also brought up not to have illegitimate children or blow up toilets. George made a mental note to teach the girls proper bathroom exploding techniques when they got older. They should also be informed that toilet seats are perfectly acceptable get-well presents. The Weasley twin reputation must be upheld after all.
By September, Severus was nearly as big as he had been in November with the twin girls. He stayed mostly in his bed, and the twins, all six of them, had taken to eating in his room to keep him company. He read to the girls from there as well, then had Fred or George escort them to their room and tuck them in. The boys had taken to doing their homework in the master bedroom, and house elves were kept busy with fetching him books, or parchment, or whatever it was that he currently needed.
The nursery had long since been redone to accomodate four babies, so that was settled and waiting. The house elves had done a fine job. The children would be utterly mixed up when it came to House selection, since Severus had insisted on a green and silver and snake motif, while the Weasleys insisted on a lion and red and gold theme. The resulting compromise was startling to someone with a Hogwarts background, but they did mesh surprisingly well together. Albus would have been pleased.
Likely they'd all become Ravenclaws or Hufflepuffs just out of spite.
Fred and George continued to sleep in his bed, though they confined themselves to actually sleeping nowadays. He'd occassionally awaken to find one or the other snuggled up close or with an arm draped over him, though he never commented on it.
By October, they had threatened to move to another room on several occassions after his temper had flared.
By November, they had.
By November, in fact, most of the family including the elves, avoided him unless needed. The exception remained the girl's nightly reading, which all six twins had begun to attend.
On November 6, the boys celebrated their 8th birthday, with cake and presents, and friends from school invited to attend. Mostly the party stayed away from Severus's room, but with the help of Bill and Charlie, he was able to make it down the stairs and into the dining room for the cake and presents. The entire Weasley clan, along with Harry, who was not quite a year married to Ginny, and Hermione who had come as Ron's guest, were also there. Penelope Clearwater, Percy's fiancee was also present. Apparently that couple had been dating during their seventh year, lost contact, and had recently reunited.
Severus imagined his children would probably start getting cousins soon. Molly was ecstatic, though she still continued to harp on Bill, Charlie, and Ron about finding themselves a wife. The twins, though without a wife, received no such treatment. While Fred and George directed the pin-the-horn-on-the-unicorn game one the cake had been devoured and before the presents were to be opened, Bill had tried to explain it, "Me and Charlie, we're the big disappointment so far. Ron's still young, and he's been off again, on again with Hermione for years. Once she settles into her job at St. Mungo's, or wherever else she might end up, I imagine, we'll be planning another wedding. Charlie's married to his dragons, though I hear a new witch recently joined his research team. If that doesn't work out, he won't have another chance to find a girl until another one does. Me, I doubt, unless she breathes fire, he'll even notice her. As for myself, I just haven't found the right girl yet. Wizards live well into their hundreds, I'm in no hurry. But Mum's had a taste of grandchildren and she wants more now. It's kind of funny, Ginny, the youngest of us, tied the knot first. But then, she's had a crush on Harry since before she even started at Hogwarts. And then there's Fred and George. Mum leaves them alone about it, since their whole situation embarasses the hell out of her. No offense. Best as I can tell, she's rationalized in her own brain as they are pretty much the same person so they only need one wife. Um, namely you, Professor."
Severus raised a half amused, half offended eyebrow. "I am nobody's wife, Mr. Weasley."
He shrugged, then glanced down at Severus's impossibly large belly with a smirk. "You're doing damn fine job of giving her grandchildren though."
Giving his former student a half-hearted glare, Severus said nothing.
"Any idea for names yet?"
"Sylvia and Sabrina for the first set of girls, Severin and Sildore for the first set of boys, Samantha and Sheryl if there are two sets of girls, and Stanley and Simon if there are two sets of boys. There are a remarkably limited number of decent wizard names that begin with S. Then the kids insist that each set should have one and only one name with an L in it. I would not have chosen Sildore or Stanley otherwise."
Bill laughed. "I can't imagine Fred and George are terribly impressed. How are they supposed to swap first letters, if they are all the same?"
"The quadruplets will be Snapes, so they get names beginning with S. If Fred and George have a problem with that they can deal with it on their own time. I did allow them to veto Septimus, and the only reason they accepted Severin is because they consider him to be named after me. They accepted Sildore only after I pointed out there were no dark wizards with that name and it shares five letters with Dumbledore."
"Why the L?"
Severus sighed. "My children are divided into two subfamilies. The Ls and the Noels. Salazar considers Jill his, and Sabastian is convinced Dora is his. Salazar and Jill both want a sibling with an L in their name, while Sabastian and Dora want one each that don't. They are still arguing over whether Salazar and Sabastian split a set of twins or if Salazar and Dora split."
"Salazar and Dora?"
"So each set of twins gets one of each set of twins. While keeping to the L and not L subfamilies."
"What's the current standing of the fight?"
"Jill wants a girl. Dora wants a boy. Both Salazar and Sabastian want boys, since they've already got girls. But since I got pregnant for Jill and Dora, Dora believes she should have first dibs over the boys. If I have two sets of girls or two sets of boys, they'll split between sets of twins, but if it's one each, the current plan, as I understand it, will be Dora and Salazar get the boys, Sabastian and Jill get the girls. Jill and Salazar are happy no matter what. Both Jill and Sabastian have been trying to convince Dora that she wants a girl, too. At first she was adament about getting a boy, but now she's starting to change her mind. I've tried to make the compromise position that whomever gets born first goes to Dora, second goes to Jill, third goes to Salazar, and fourth goes to Sabastian, but they don't like that idea."
Bill laughed. "That is entirely to random to be appealling."
"Hmm. I imagine so. Salazar has gone so far as to lay claim to Sildore. He finds it amusing that his personal siblings are Jill and Sil. Jill is complaining because she wants Sildore if there are two sets of boys because her twin's name is Dora. Neither like the name Stanley, but they didn't like any of the other boy names with Ls in them that I came up with either. They liked Salvadore a little better - well Jill did - but neither I nor Fred and George much cared for it."
"And if it's two sets of girls?"
"Salazar wants Sylvia. Jill and Syl again. Jill doesn't mind Sheryl, but Dora's fairly heart-set on getting Sabrina. I won't insist Sabrina and Sylvia be a set, though, so that won't be a problem."
Bill chuckled and shook his head. "I hadn't realized coming up with names was such a challenge."
"Sabastian and Salazar were quite simple to name. Of course, I didn't have to coordinate with six other people."
The eldest Weasley brother burst into laughter that lasted a good minute. "Snape," he gasped when he could, "see what happens when you don't have help?"
Severus looked and felt offended. "What's wrong with Salazar and Sabastian?"
His water broke at one thirty in the morning of November 9th, waking him up. Three weeks early. As far as Severus was concerned, there was no such thing as too early. Even if it did come in the middle of the night. He summoned the house elves first and requested Grady to get Fred and George while Mimi got Poppy and Hermione.
The tear didn't open until the fourth head passed it, but by then it was almost all over. All four were born healthy, if small. Two girls, followed by two boys. Jill's shout of joy could be heard even over Severus's cursing when Fred brought the news of the birth of their next sister to the young twins waiting anxiously in the girls' room. The second girl was born nine minutes later, and once they were cleaned up and wrapped in blankets, George and Grady brought them to meet their older siblings. Dora fell instantly in love with the one George had put into her waiting arms, and after that it was easy to convince her that she wanted a girl.
Almost an hour after that, Fred's shout of joy at the successful breech birth of the third child was echoed by Salazar's shout of joy at the news of their next brother. About seven minutes after that, George's shout of joy resounded when the last baby was born and Severus's bleeding could be fixed. Once the boys and Severus were cleaned up, Mimi collected Sylvia Sabrina from Dora to be the first to suckle from their mother. Sabrina Sylvia went next. One normally male body with two breasts was not enough to satisfy four hungry babies, so Severin Sildore and Sildore Severin took bottles which Sabastian and Salazar were allowed to give them, under close supervision.
Later that night, with the babies in the nursery, with wards to wake the house elves should one of them start crying, Severus lay in bed between Fred and George. He had slept most of the day once he had run out of milk, but he surfaced into to drowsy awareness as the twins climbed in beside him. "I see you're sleeping with me again."
"You lost some weight today, we figure we can fit again," Fred returned.
Severus snorted, and they fell silent for a short while. Then George asked, "Snape?"
"Will there be more?"
He considered his answer for a long time before answering honestly, "I don't know. At the moment, I say no, but that might change in three years time."
"And us?" George asked.
"What about you?"
He could hear the twin swallowing. "Um, we've been wondering for a while. Where do we stand?"
"In regards to what?" Severus asked, confused by the question.
A long hesitation, and for a moment he wondered if they had decided not to ask after all, whatever it was. Then Fred whispered. "In regards to you, sir."
In regards to him? What? Surely they weren't asking . . . "Do you want to know what I feel about you?"
"No!" George exclaimed far too quickly, and almost in alarm. "What role or roles do you want us to play?"
"The same you have been playing. Be the children's daddies."
"In regards to you."
Severus blinked, a reaction lost in the gloom of the unlit bedroom. "To me," he repeated, somewhat dumbly.
"Do you want us here, the other bedroom, or back in Hogsmeade?"
"And if here, do you want . . . um, pleasure, or do we just sleep together, platonically?"
Severus closed his eyes, mentally reviewing the options, discarding Hogsmeade and regular sex immediately. Then, feeling entirely too much like he was proposing, he asked, "You believe you can handle platonic?"
They looked at each other, then nodded.
"If you try anything not platonic, you're back in your other room, understand?"
"Perfectly," they agreed.