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Beware Wizards bearing gifts.
Sunday, April 29th ~*~ Afternoon




Daphne clutched the two wrapped gifts tightly to her chest as she moved across the short walkway to Snape's front door. She could see a dark shadow slowly start to detach itself from the side of the house, and that was her cue to stop and drop down to one knee. With a bit of juggling, Daphne shifted both gifts to one arm, and pulled a tart wrapped in a napkin out of her pocket.

"Hello, Claudius. Remember me?" She waited until the dog cocked its head to the side to unwrap her bribe. "Treacle. I know you like that one."

Suddenly the formerly cautious guard dog was all flopping tongue and wagging tail, and Daphne laughed as she tossed it the tart.

"If only it were that easy when we're dealing with Mister Snape."
 
 
 
 
 
 
Raising his hand to knock on the door, Harry chuckled.

"I'll let you in on a little secret. If you'd brought another one of those along and waved it in front of Snape, he'd drool almost as much as Claudius does."
"Claudius does not drool," Severus protested even as he pulled the cottage door open. "And you two make enough noise to wake the dead."

His glare softened slightly when he looked at Green - Daphne, but it was back in full force when he turned back to Potter. "If this is about the Friday forms at the school, I'll do them on Monday, and no, I did not 'sneak' out the back, no matter what Doris may have told you. It is not my fault she happened to be extremely busy when I left and didn't notice." The Disillusionment Charm hadn't hurt, either.
Doris hadn't said a word to Harry about Snape not turning in Friday forms, but then when he'd seen the out-to-lunch flipped over on her door, he'd done just what she'd predicted and breathed a sigh of relief after making it out the door. Hanging around to ask her any questions on a Friday was asking for it.

But he doesn't know that.

One of Harry's eyebrows rose and he couldn't resist playing the teacher taking the student to task for negelected homework. A small frown formed on his brow as he nodded his head.

"Uh-huh. Next thing I know you'll be telling me Claudius ate them. If she's in a sour mood on Monday it's all your fault and I'm pointing her in your direction."
"When is she not in a sour mood?" He held the door open wider and reluctantly gestured for them to come in. "Just don't act surprised if one of my classes ends up with a live demonstration for an unforgivable one day. I believe I could claim it was self defense as long as we found someone on the Wizengamot who knew her personally."
It was odd to see Mister Snape joking - He is joking, isn't he? - and Daphne couldn't help a shocked giggle at the unexpectedness of it.

She hadn't really been inside the cottage since Ginny had moved in, and while the place was still obviously Snape's, there were definite touches that made it apparent there was a female in residence. "Is Ginny here? We've brought you both gifts from our honeymoon."
"I think I'm going to be sick," slipped out before Severus realized what he was saying.

Narcissa was ... Greengrass was ...

"Doesn't anyone bother to read the instructions on the damn bottles anymore?" He glared at Potter. "Is this from the incident the day after your wedding, or did you suddenly come to your senses and realize you had been wrong all along and wanted children." Sarcasm dripped from his words, then Severus grimaced and dropped his head into his hands, the fight suddenly leaving him.

"Fuck it all, why did I get out of bed today?"

He peeked up at Potter over the cover of his hands. "Why this sudden change of heart? Is there a change of heart?" Or are you biding your time until you come up with some sort of plan?
Unsure at first if Snape really was going to become ill, Harry was quite glad they were in Snape's front room and not his.

Not my rug.

"I wouldn't know about Mrs Malfoy's intentions. Draco turned a bit green just mentioning the fact there had to be sex involved," Harry added for good measure to see if Snape would really become ill.

"There's been no change of heart on my part. I never said I didn't ever want a child. Only that I thought it wasn't a good idea. The fact is - we're having one no matter how it came about and I plan to keep it quite safe."
"Of course Draco looked green. The very thought of a man and a woman having sex is enough to make him ill, add to it that the couple in question are his parents and I'm surprised he was able to tell you without falling into convulsions." Severus didn't look so good himself, but for completely different reasons.

Miss Greengrass was pregnant and Potter - didn't seem upset. He thought back to how she had looked when he'd opened the door. Miss Greengrass had been smiling and happy, nothing there to suggest that she displeased with her lot in life.

"So you are alright with this? The pregnancy." He did lower his voice out of consideration for - someone, he wasn't sure which of the two other people in his house he was attempting to protect.
As much as he wanted to tell the other man he was completely fine with it - there might come a day when he'd need help protecting that small life residing in Daphne's body.

"For the most part I'm very happy about it," Harry replied in an equally quiet voice. "But then there are days I'm worried every moth-eaten, discontented leftover Voldemort sympathizer will dance in joy when they find out there's a way to get some type of revenge if they can get their hands on the baby."

He snorted quietly.

"Which is exactly why I fought against having a family from the first. Daphne's a bit stubborn in case you haven't noticed so I lost - but I still win so it's good."
Potter had a very good point about the "Voldemort sympathizers" who may want to seek revenge. If Ginevra ever got it into her head that she wanted children - and Severus didn't think that would happen anytime soon - he would have to remember that, only he wouldn't limit the revenge seekers to those that supported the Dark Lord. Snape hatred seemed to be a universal thing.

The way Potter worded the comment about losing bothered him. "I thought this was an accident, from what you two said that morning. You don't think she tricked you into the pregnancy, do you?"

If he did, Severus would be forced to hex him in the arse, which was obviously where Potter was storing his brain.
"Will what? I have tea. And biscuits."

Daphne returned with a loaded tray. She carefully set it down on the low table next to the gifts they'd brought. "Took forever to find your biscuits. Almost as if you'd been hiding them."
He had. Damn it.

"Lucky for us you found them. Behind the tin of dog treats in the bottom cabinet."

Severus snatched several of the beloved biscuits from the plate she'd brought out before Potter could get his hands on all of them. "Tell me again why you're here?"
Play time again, Harry thought with a grin before he leaned over, grabbed Snape's gift and held it protectively.

"Daphne, I think we've been insulted. We go to all the fuss and bother to make sure we found something we thought he'd really like and this is the thanks we get," he said in his best imitation of Molly Weasley - only she never had a large smile on her face. "A special thank you for standing in for your father is treated with disdain before it's even opened. I don't think he deserves it. Think your mum would like it in addition to the Irish linen?"
Daphne looked from the gift to Snape, her expression turning sad. "I think Mum will like it well enough, but we did pick it out with Mister Snape in mind."

Her lower lip wibbled just the tiniest bit. "Excuse me, must be hormones kicking in. The doctor warned me there might be mood swings. It's just, well, when we found it I pictured, it up on your mantel and I knew it would be perfect, and I especially wanted to get you something as a thank you for everything you did, and - and..." Daphne took a deep breath and forced a disappointed smile to her lips. "But if you don't want it, Mum will, I'm sure."
Bloody hell. He suspected that if he wasn't very careful, she might break out into tears. A crying Miss Greengrass would mean a very annoyed Potter and an over-protective and highly irate Mrs Greengrass.

"I never said I didn't want it. Whatever it is. I merely questioned -" Another look at her face had him shaking his head in defeat. "Never mind, I'm sure it's a lovely gift and I would be honored to have it. If I may?"

He could always burn it after they left.