Disclaimer: Disclaimer: I'm just playing with someone else's toys. May I be forgiven in my next incarnation... (and what you do not recognize is mine, such as the MOSSes -Ministry Officers of State Security). Flamers will be adopted by my family (if you don't believe it's a threat... too bad for you!).
Note: Parseltongue is noted like that: //----//
Readers: Mikee and Stephanie. Thanks a lot! The remaining mistakes are all mine, and I apologize for those.
Chapter Twenty-Six - A Storm in Sarina's Dream
Severus and Harry wake up when the twins tickle them. The Potter-Snape family is happily entangled in the fathers' bed. Sarina is in Severus's arms, and Harold in Harry's and the bonded are wrapped around each other.
'I've been dreaming,' Sarina says.
The little witch has that voice she takes when she's sharing some important information, the voice that her fathers have learnt to recognize.
Harold shares a special link with his twin, and he barely reacts when she announces that.
Both Severus and Harry look at her.
'But it was a dream, my Princess, not a nightmare,' Harry says.
'It was about the future, Dad. It was like a summer day, but with a storm,' she answers.
'I'm happy I'm not like you,' Harold declares, trying to bury his face below Harry's pillow.
'What are you?' Harry asks, holding Harold against his chest, and caressing Sarina's back.
He and Severus have asked her many times what is the gift that she's been given, but she's never given them a straight answer.
Sarina turns her head towards Harry and says, 'I can't tell, because I don't know the name. Maybe Jules would know.'
Severus kisses his daughter's brow and smiles at his bonded.
They've already asked Jules if he had an idea of what their daughter might be, and the priest couldn't guess. Jules had tried some simple tests with Sarina, but it had never given the expected results, and they were all at sea. It wouldn't lead them anywhere. The two fathers would have to wait for their little witch to tell them her secret.
As long as she's a happy child, neither man minds.
She's a very quiet child, and James Malfoy is the only one who can really make her act as a six year old. She's not talking much, but Harold compensates.
Severus and Harry wonder what the future holds, but if their babies are in good health and happy, they're ready to embrace anything.
What slightly bothers the fathers is that though Sarina seems to be a very strong child, she really doesn't like storms, and they're afraid that her dream might be a sign of some sort.
Before her fathers ask her anything else about her dream, she declares, 'There's nothing that can be done. The future can't be changed, and we'll have to face it.'
Severus hates it when his baby sounds like an old philosopher. He knows that she's a gift from the Above, but he wants to protect her and doesn't want the girl to be burdened at such a young age. His and Harry's childhoods had been difficult enough, and he just wants the opportunity to spoil her.
'Time for a spot of breakfast,' Harry intervenes, determined to lighten the mood of his bonded.
'Yes!' yells Harold, and the boy jumps up. 'Can we go and help Câly?' he asks.
Harry grins and nods.
Harold has reached the door faster than a Snitch. He turns to his sister and says, 'Come on, Sar!'
She pecks her fathers' cheeks and joins her brother. 'We'll send Câly when breakfast is ready,' she says.
'Thank you, our angels,' Harry says.
Harold grabs his sister's hand and runs to the kitchen with her.
Harry places one finger on Severus's brow and tries to smooth the line between Severus's eyes.
'Sarina is unfortunately right, my love, we'll have to face whatever storm she dreamt of. There's no need to add another worry line on your pretty face,' Harry says gently.
'Really, Harry!' Severus chuckles.
'Shush, we have but a few minutes before Câly pops in to tell us that Harold has massacred our toast,' Harry says, wandlessly divesting Severus and himself of their pyjama bottoms.
'Oh, you're right,' Severus purred.
They know that they don't have much time.
Wearing only a predatory grin, Harry dives onto his lover and plunders Severus's mouth.
If their children sleep in their own room tonight, they can hope to have some more fun together, but right now they can only steal a few caresses and kisses.
Harry sucks and nibbles Severus's closest nipple, while he teases the other with one forefinger.
Severus retaliates with caresses up and down Harry's back, and he finally puts one hand in Harry's hair.
Harry makes Severus gasp when he wraps his fingers around Severus's shaft.
Leila runs into their room, and both men chuckle. Their black cat is their house-elf's messenger, and they are called to breakfast in the garden.
Harold and Sarina are waiting for their fathers under the cherry-tree.
Sarina hasn't spilled too much tea on the table cloth, and Harold hasn't burnt the toast too much, so it's a good day.
Parents and children are wearing Slytherin green dressing gowns - the colour chosen this year by Albus for his presents to the Potter-Snape household.
They all settle down.
As Câly brings their plates with a breakfast worthy of Hogwarts, Matthew Apparates in the garden.
'I've got an empty kitchen,' the young wizard says, 'I thought you wouldn't mind feeding me.'
'Matthy!' the twins shout as they jump off their chairs and run to greet their elder brother.
Matthew is wearing his Slytherin green dressing gown as well, and he kneels on the grass to embrace the twins.
'Why didn't you bring Osiris with you?' Harry wonders.
'Dad! My girlfriend is a good Slytherin by proxy. She went back home to her parents yesternight so she'd be given a decent breakfast this morning. We've all been working on Templeton Hall and on our project, but Amalia and the twins left when they realized that we'd forgotten to shop,' Matthew tells Harry.
Harold and Sarina run to the kitchen to bring another plate for Matthew.
'You forgot to shop?' Severus teases his adopted son.
Matthew gives a hug to Severus and whispers in his ear, 'All right, I'm a Slytherin and it's the best reason I could find to invade your home this morning.'
Severus gently takes Matthew face in his hands and says, 'This is your home as well, silly boy!'
'Indeed,' Câly says when she reaches the table.
Something in her tone indicates that she knows something that the wizards don't know yet.
'Uhuh?' Harry says.
'The house changed again,' she says.
'What happened this time?' Severus wonders.
'There is still a guestroom, the twins have each been given a new room, and Matthew's room changed a bit,' she explains.
'What do you mean "changed a bit"?' Matthew asks.
'Well,' the elf teases him, 'it's still the same room, except that now you have a double bed.
Matthew blushes a deep shade of red.
'I love this house,' Harry says fondly.
The cherry-tree rustles its branches in acknowledgement.
'Osiris is going to love that,' Severus teases Matthew.
The young wizard hugs him, and Severus pets his hair.
'I don't want to sound like a selfish Gryffindor who would like nothing better than have you back here with us, but are you getting used to being back in Templeton Hall?' Harry asks.
'It feels a little weird after the last years I've spent here with you, Dad, but it's all right. Besides,' Matthew goes on, attacking his breakfast, 'we'll need the Hall as headquarters for what we're planning to do.'
'Does it mean that, at last, you're going to tell us everything about that big project you've been planning with your friends?' Harry wonders.
'With Osiris, Odin and Amalia, we'd like to invite the four of you for a few days. Then we could tell you what we want to do together, and we hope that you'll give us some advice,' Matthew says.
'It's a good plan that you have. It's going to work,' Sarina declares.
Harold giggles joyfully when he sees his fathers and elder brother look strangely at his twin.
'Rold, you shouldn't make fun of Sar's ability to surprise us all, or there will come a time when you'll regret it,' Matthew predicts.
The little boy pouts.
//You're being no fun, elder brother!// Harold complains.
//English, please!// intervenes Severus.
'Yes, Dād, sorry.'
Turning to Matthew, both fathers say simultaneously, 'We'll come when you want for as long as you want.'
'After all these years it still disturbs me when you do that!' Matthew confesses.
'Do what?' Severus and Harry ask mock-innocently.
They share their first meal of the day, and then Matthew Disapparates with the promise that his second family will come in three days. That's just enough time for the Quartet to do some shopping, polish their project, and check all the wards around the domain.
According to their yearly ritual, the Potter-Snape household is visited by the Synons. As soon as Susan and Thomas noticed that their favourite neighbours are back, they invade Severus and Harry's home. To be precise, Susan comes first, and she admits that she told David that she was impatient to see the twins. Her son's engagement was broken some months ago, and he came back to his parents' home. The Synons wanted to warn their neighbours that David might not be as cheerful as he used to be.
'Is there anything we can do?' Harry wonders.
'That's very kind of you, but I fear that only time will help my baby,' Susan says.
'If you stay for lunch, I'm sure Jules can find something,' Sarina says.
All the adults look at her, and Harold sits on the lawn, laughing heartily.
'It seems that our Princess is in a divination mode today,' Harry declares.
'Maybe you could indeed stay for lunch,' Severus suggests as the door-bell heralds the arrival of Thomas and David.
They all try to cheer David, but he can't forget that the one he wanted to marry has left him overnight for a bloke with a big bank account.
Harry sends Câly to contact the Odes household, but when the elf comes back she announces that Remus, Jules and Liz were planning to come at tea-time with their son. When she told them what Sarina said, they re-scheduled.
The house-elf has just enough time to bring tea for everybody before the other guests Floo in. Jules makes fun of Remus, who travelled hugging Liz and their son in his arms.
'That was very kind of him!' Liz defends Remus, who sticks out his tongue at Jules in consequence.
Even though David isn't a wizard, Jules can feel the waves of sadness coming from the young man, and he takes him in his arms. The priest doesn't need to voice his Soothing spells for them to work - it is a part of his sacerdotal training.
Of course, David is still unfortunately sad, but that feeling no longer acts as a poison on his soul.
'I think your phone is vibrating,' Jules adds, as he releases David.
'Do you mind if I ans...' he begins, and all the others signal him to take the call.
Sarina is giggling.
'Is it one of those days?' Jules asks in a whisper, pointing a forefinger towards Sarina.
Harry, Severus and Harold nod.
Sarina is still giggling and pointedly looking at David.
'I can't believe it! Uncle Robin needs someone to help him, and I can have the position if I want,' David says.
David looks at her and asks, 'Do you think it might be a good idea?'
She simply nods.
Severus tells David to go and see his uncle, and bring him back for lunch after having accepted the job.
The young man obeys.
Câly has just begun dressing the table when Albus and Minerva Apparate in the garden.
'My, my... We came to check if you were not feeling lonely without Matthew, but I see that we're not the first,' Albus says.
'Poppy! Nana!' the twins shout, and run to their grandparents.
Albus and Minerva take them in their arms.
Severus and Harry have been used to having holidays even busier and weirder than their days at Hogwarts, so the beginning of this summer doesn't surprise them much. Matthew has moved, Harold seems to understand a lot about his sister, Sarina's power - whatever it is - seems to become stronger, the Synons are still a part of their summer life - and with their connection with the Odes household through his friendship with the Stewarts, they're becoming closer with each new summer - and the happy grandparents by proxy are coming whenever they're needed.
Their lunch is rather quiet - even if Sarina stubbornly refuses to leave Albus's lap.
The Synons, the Odes and Robin Stewart leave together after dessert.
Albus and Minerva stay for coffee.
'I love you, Poppy,' Sarina says cheerfully.
Albus is beaming when he pecks her on the cheek, and he whispers, 'I love you, too, my little Princess.'
The little witch doesn't put into words her love for the one she considers as her grandmother. Sarina transforms into a tabby kitten and jumps from Albus's lap to Minerva's.
'How?!' Minerva exclaims.
Sarina transforms back.
Severus and Harry signal Câly to contact Hermione. They know that they'd better register Sarina with the Ministry.
'Can you do that as well?' Minerva asks Harold.
The boy shrugs.
Sarina takes Minerva's hand and says, 'He taught me.'
Harold shrugs again.
The adults are speechless.
Within a half hour, the Potter-Snapes youngest children become the youngest Animagi ever registered. However, a blank is left on Harold's file because he categorically refuses to tell what his form is. Hermione who came to fill in the parchments ends up telling Severus and Harry that it's not that important and that that detail can be added when Harold is in the mood to confide in them.
After Harry mentions the new transformations in the house, Albus offers to test the new guestroom if they want, and the old couple settles down in Oxford.
When Matthew contacts them through the Floo, he extends his invitation to Albus and Minerva, and that unusual family enjoys the beauties of Templeton Hall together.
All the guests can see that the Quartet is eager to share with them what they're planning to do with their lives. They've all seen them in the Great Hall, the Slytherin Common Room, and between classes, working together on something. They've seen them use miles of parchments, and they must admit that they're curious to finally know what it was all about.
Matthew looks at Amalia, Odin, and Osiris.
'It should be ready by tea-time,' Amalia says.
The four of them nod.
'We'll have something to show you after tea,' Odin announces.
The six guests smile. They can wait for a few more hours - well, the four of them who don't know what it's all about; the children seem to already know.
During their lunch together, Matthew introduces them to the ghosts of his ancestors who stayed in the Hall, and he also tells them that he's put on the nine house-elves of the domain the same spell that Alba Snape had put on Câly. Matthew told them that it would give them more freedom without dismissing them, and he also explained that he would not allow them to take care of his sister and brother if they were not speaking proper English. The little elves were so excited to have a master back in the Hall - and a master with an adopted family - that they agreed to have the spell put on them. They are quite eager to spoil their guests.
In fact, the elves spoil them so much during lunch, that the guests all think that a nap sounds like a terrific idea.
The Quartet still has some work, but they escort Albus and Minerva to a huge chestnut tree under whose branches the elves have brought beds.
Sarina and Harold decide to take their nap with the old couple.
'The four of them are sleeping,' Odin tells Harry and Severus, who are exploring the library.
'Would you mind if we took this opportunity to go shopping?' Severus asks.
'Not at all! Professor McGonagall and Headmaster Dumbledore are with the twins, and we still have to work on details if we want to show you a good version of our plan. It would be silly to ask you to stay when you could go to London,' Osiris says.
'Is there anything that we could bring you back?' Harry offers.
'No, thanks. We're caught up in the shopping department,' Matthew tells him.
'Then we'll be back just before tea,' Severus says.
He and Harry Disapparate.
'Shopping?' Odin says. 'That's what you Slytherins call that?'
'The thing is, my dear friend, that we'll never know for sure where they really went. Even if they're back in Oxford doing what we all believe they're doing, we can't be sure. Even if we'd asked them to bring us something from Diagon Alley, they would have managed to do it,' Matthew says.
'Well, even if they're having some fun as we speak, we shouldn't forget that we've got a bit of work ahead before we show it to them, and we're finally told if we're geniuses or bleeding idiots,' Amalia intervenes.
The Quartet goes back to the cellars of Templeton Hall.
Meanwhile, in Oxford, Severus and Harry have given a shopping list and Galleons to Câly so she can do their shopping in London.
She pops out of the house with a small smile on her lips.
'Alone. At last,' Harry purrs.
'Just you and me, Mr Potter. I do wonder how we could spend the three hours that we can enjoy together,' Severus pretends to ask, using his silkiest voice.
Harry laughs heartily and declares, 'I have some ideas, Severus.'
Harry takes Severus's hand and leads him into their bedroom.
'In bed! My! This is so conventional!' Severus teases him.
'Conventional?' Harry growls, his green eyes showing Severus that it had been a bad idea to tease him. 'But, it is my right to decide how you serve your detention with me!'
'Detention?' Severus almost squeaks.
The Potions master wasn't expecting some game that afternoon.
'Detention!' Harry confirms.
'Oh,' is all that Severus can manage to say.
Harry leaves Severus standing in the middle of their room, and as he walks towards the chest of drawers where they hide their book of sex spells and their toys, he gets rid of all his clothes with a spell. When he goes back to Severus, he's got a ribbon and two phials. Severus is simply mesmerized by the sight of the man he loves. Harry is fully aroused, and his shaft bobs with each step.
'If you are obedient, there will be a reward for you,' Harry says.
Severus is speechless, but he thinks that their little escapade might be really interesting.
Without using magic, Harry undresses Severus and secures his hair with a ribbon, and then he guides him to the bed. He invites Severus to sit down, and spreads his legs so he can kneel between them.
Harry puts drops of the Taste-Giver potion onto Severus's shaft, whispers "coffee" to activate the spell in the potion, and he swallows Severus's arousal slowly.
'Coffee, really!' Severus snorts.
Harry lets go of his mate's shaft with a loud "pop" sound, and he answers, 'You are not to discuss my addictions while you are in detention.'
Harry says a row of spells and charms that make Severus extremely sensitive. Harry also brushes their wedding bands together, and Severus starts speaking in tongues. A few gifted licks to Severus's shaft later, and Harry makes his mate come with a splendid yell.
When Severus opens his eyes, Harry has settled him comfortably in the middle of their bed. Immediately, Harry's lubricated middle finger breaches Severus, who gasps and spreads his legs wider.
'Good boy!' Harry teases him.
Severus only growls, but he should have known that even that was a bad idea when he noticed his bonded grin.
Severus is again fully aroused when Harry inserts a fourth finger inside of him. Severus is shaking his head from one side to the other on his pillow and clutching the sheets.
Then, suddenly, Severus is deprived of those gifted fingers that were so wonderfully tickling his prostate. He thinks that Harry is about to take him, but when nothing happens, he opens his eyes.
Harry is on his back, gently stroking his oiled shaft.
'If you want more fun, you'll have to ride me,' Harry says.
Severus reacts fast and impales himself on Harry.
Severus rides Harry as slowly as his desire allows him.
'I love you,' Harry says.
Severus holds out the hand where he's placed his wedding band, and the lovers clasp hands.
When Severus whispers "I love you", it triggers their climax, and they swoon.
Severus recovers first and rolls so Harry rests on him. Harry is still buried inside him, but with a hand on the small of Harry's back, Severus silently asks his lover not to withdraw, and Harry doesn't move.
When they wake up in each other's arms, Câly is back from London, and it's almost time to go back to Templeton Hall.
They Apparate back, and the Quartet is too excited to wonder what the couple has been doing.
They all join the four sleepers under the tree, and Matthew asks two elves to bring their tea there.
'There's no beating around the bush,' Matthew says, and Odin, Amalia and Osiris all shake their heads.
'It all began one day in Muggle Studies,' Osiris starts.
'Then we chatted about what we really would like to do about something that we don't like in our community,' Amalia goes on.
'And after some days, it sounded like a good idea for a job. You saw us working on that,' Odin adds.
'And here is the result,' Matthew says, handing to the four guests a newspaper.
It is a test version of a publication called The Magical Times.
'The first edition will be sold tomorrow. We're all working in it, and we have twenty of our friends who have joined the adventure. The idea is to be cheaper than any other newspaper, but without the crap that they print,' Matthew says.
The Quartet awaits the verdict of their mentors.
Minerva is the first to react. 'At last!' she says. 'Something that I won't be ashamed to read in the staff room!'
They all agree that they've had a very good idea.
'My children,' Albus tells them, 'there's only one thing to say "eat Merlin's balls".'
'You could have said it the Muggle way in front of the children,' Minerva scolds him.
'No, because it's a magical creation,' Sarina says.
'Oh, a stickler for traditions,' Minerva tells her.
arina nods, and all the others chuckle.
The Quartet's plan is discussed some more, and the guests wish them luck in a less magically colourful way.
On the following day, the Quartet officially begins their adventure, and their guests stay with them till they know if the sales are going well.
After only a few days, it looks as if The Magical Times is going to be a real success.
Albus and Minerva go back to Hogsmeade, and the four Potter-Snapes to Oxford.
The next day, Sarina is silent under the cherry-tree while Harry serves her breakfast.
'Did you have another bad dream, Angel?' Severus asks.
She shakes her head and whispers, 'Just the same.'
Harry is about to ask her another question when Câly pops in.
'Mistress Minerva is in the kitchen,' the elf says.
Severus and Harry leave the twins with Câly and run to the kitchen.
Yet, there is nothing to do.
Minerva is sitting on a chair, pale as snow.
Severus kneels by her side and takes her hand.
She looks at him, and the despair he can read in her eyes heralds the news.
'When he kissed my brow, I thought it was a dream. He was saying goodbye. He didn't wake up,' she simply says.
Harry crumples by Severus's side. It's the first time he's lost a mentor and a parent as an adult.
Since Severus is holding one of Minerva's hands tightly, Harry takes the other one.
'What can we do?' Harry asks.
'Stay with me?' she says. 'I can't go back to our Hogsmeade home, and our house in Edinburgh is full of too many souvenirs. Besides, I contacted Arthur, and he's taking care of everything.'
Severus and Harry offer their room to Minerva, but the elder witch refuses, and she spends her night in the guestroom. Every morning before Albus's funeral, Severus and Harry find the twins keeping their grandmother company.
Arthur comes to visit them as a friend who's worried about Minerva, and as the Minister for Magic, who needs a new Headmaster.
Minerva refuses to become the Headmistress.
Severus refuses the post as well, but suggests that Jules Ode might accept the charge.
Arthur doesn't organize a State funeral because Albus would have hated that, but he makes sure that all the true friends of the old wizard can come and pay their respects.
On the appointed morning, Severus and Harry ask the twins if they want to come, and the children make it clear that nothing, and no one, will prevent them from saying goodbye to their grandfather.
Albus's coffin is placed under the earth of the Hogwarts cemetery by magic, and a block of black marble marks the place of Albus's last residence. It simply bears his name.
All his friends come and store one memory of him in the stone so that visitors of the graveyard in the future will know how loved he was.
Minerva, as his consort, is the last to do so.
She places both her hands on the stone and kneels.
Only Albus and Minerva's closest friends are still there.
Arthur is leaning on the new Hogwarts Headmaster. Jules may have agreed to take that position, but he has just performed the funeral.
'We should take Minerva back home,' Harry says.
'Maybe we could invite her to stay with us,' Severus adds.
'The house didn't change,' Harold gasps between sobs.
'And it's too late,' Sarina declares.
'What do you mean, Princess?' Matthew wonders, tears rolling steadily down his cheeks.
Jules lets go of Arthur, who almost falls onto the ground. The priest touches Minerva's shoulder, and he understands.
She's placed all her memories of their life together in the stone, and she willed her soul to join Albus's.
'It was meant to happen that way,' Sarina says. 'They're going on towards their next adventure. We'll meet again, someday, and our souls will rejoice then.'
'That was what she saw in her dream,' Harold tells his fathers.
Sarina looks at Jules and says, 'You should Apparate her body next to Poppy's. They'd like that.'
Jules sees the sign that Sarina draws above Minerva's hands, and he finally realizes what the little witch is. He's very sad, but he knows that she's right, and he obeys.
Sarina kisses her grandparents' tombstone, and all the memories that have been placed there become visible without having to touch the stone. Harold joins his sister, and they kneel. The hearts of the adults cry as well for the loss of Minerva.
'They're still here, just in another form,' Harold says.
They're left behind for some time, till they go to the next level.
They all go to the Great Hall where they must tell the others what happened to Minerva.
There, Harry shares with them what Albus had told them at the end of his first year, and they all wish for Albus and Minerva to have great adventures together wherever they went.
To Be Continued...
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