Chapter 44

AN: Thanks for reading, reviewing, favoriting this story, and for putting me on alert! I appreciate it! Also, if there are some inaccuracies in the birthing scene...well, I never claimed to be a doctor.

I own nothing you'd recognize.

"Okay Luna, just a few more pushes and he'll be out!" the doctor shouted.

Luna grimaced and squeezed Harry's hand. "Come on baby," he whispered.

She grunted and pushed again. "I can see the head!" the doctor replied.

"You hear that?" Harry replied, unable to hide his excitement.

Luna winced and nodded. After another push, they heard a piercing cry. "One more!"

She shut her eyes and pushed as hard as she could in her weakened state. When she opened her eyes, she saw a bloody baby screaming in the doctor's arms. Her face lit up. "Baby!" she yelled as her pain faded away.

"Congratulations! He's a boy," the doctor answered. Then he turned to Harry. "Would you like to cut the cord?"

Harry's face lit up at the request. He grabbed the scissors from the table as the doctor indicated where to cut. With a snip, his son was free from the cord. "Would you like to hold him first?" Luna asked.

"Really?" Harry asked.

Luna nodded. The doctor wrapped the baby in a clean blanket and handed him over to Harry. His son stopped screaming and looked up at Harry. He settled down as Harry held him closer. "Hello James," Harry whispered.

The baby remained silent as he glanced around the room in curiosity. "It's a little different out here than it was inside your Mummy, huh?"

James continued to look at his father, as though he was trying to determine exactly how to feel about this individual. Finally, he seemed to make up his mind and shut his eyes. Harry laughed. "He's beautiful Luna! He's just beautiful!"

She smiled and asked, "May I please hold him now?"

"Sure," Harry answered.

He handed him over to Luna. She beamed as she held her son. "Hey beautiful boy," she whispered.

James opened his eyes and gazed up at Luna. He seemed to recognize her from the womb, and appeared at peace with her. "I'm so happy to finally see you," she continued. "I've been waiting forever to meet you. I'm so glad you're here."

She smiled as James yawned. "I love you," Harry whispered as tears clouded his eyes. "I love you both."

Luna looked up at him and kissed his cheek. "We love you too."

"Did you see Severus?" Lucius asked as Draco entered the house.

The children ran in ahead of Draco, eager to change into their costumes. "Yes," Draco answered.

"Was Hermione there?" Lucius asked with a smirk.

Draco glared at him, which only caused Lucius' smirk to grow. "Don't say a word," Draco growled.

"What were they doing?" Lucius asked not bothering to hide his excitement at being right.

Draco gulped and tried to settle his stomach. "Hermione was sitting on his lap, and he was feeding her chocolate."

Lucius laughed. "I didn't know Severus could move so fast! I'm rather impressed."

"Father! This isn't some romance novel or some sleazy daytime show! She could be disbarred and Severus could be sued for sexual harassment! He's lucky I managed to obliviate the guard!"

"Perpetua saw it!" Lucius shouted above his new bout of laughter.

"Perpetua saw what?" Narcissa asked as she entered the hallway.

"Tell her," Lucius chuckled.

Draco rolled his eyes. "Severus was holding Hermione in his lap feeding her chocolate."

"The guard saw it," Lucius laughed.

Narcissa began to laugh along with her husband. "I would've paid a small fortune to see that!"

Draco smirked. "I suppose it was funny, until Scorpius opened his mouth about his mother and me."

This caused them all to laugh in unison. When they finally settled down, Narcissa asked, "Did she seem as though she had feelings for him?"

"Unfortunately, yes," Draco answered.

"Why unfortunately? If Severus has finally found some one who loves him, then why should it matter who it is?" Narcissa asked.

"She's a know-it-all who punched me in the nose!" Draco answered.

"Are you ever going to get over that?" Narcissa asked.

Draco sighed. "You have to admit, Severus can do better."

"He can also do much worse," Lucius answered.

"Worse than what?"

Everyone turned around and watched as Ginny entered with a smile.

"Nothing," Draco answered. "We're just discussing something Severus is doing."

"I didn't know he was doing much of anything in jail," she answered.

"He's not," Draco replied then smiled. "Do you need help with the kids' costumes?"

She shook her head. "I actually came down to tell you that Pansy flooed me."

"And?" Lucius asked.

"Apparently she was trying to reach you, but when I answered it she decided to just tell me the news."

"Which is?" Draco asked.

"Harry just had his son," she answered in a nonchalant voice.

"Oh," Draco answered.

"How do you feel about that?" Narcissa asked.

Ginny shrugged. "I honestly feel nothing one way or the other. I'll never forgive him for what happened with Ron, but at the same time, I've moved on. I have nothing to do with him, and it suits me just fine."

"Probably a good attitude to have," Lucius answered.

Ginny raised her eyebrow as she examined Lucius' expression. Lucius was hiding something from her, and whatever it was he considered it juicy. "Yes…," she answered slowly.

"Mummy!" Margarita yelled from another room. "I can't get this costume on! Can you help me?"

"In a second!" Ginny hollered back.

"I can help you with her," Narcissa answered.

"It would be nice," Ginny sighed as she rubbed her belly. "I forgot how exhausting pregnancy can be."

Narcissa smiled and left to help Margarita. "Would you like a foot massage?" Draco asked with a gleam in his eye.

"That sounds divine," Ginny answered.

He smiled and held her hand. Together, they walked up to their bedroom. Lucius smirked and chuckled, still wishing he'd agreed to go with Draco to the jail.

Hermione sighed as she gazed out her window. Trick or treaters scurried around the town searching for candy and other treats while Aurors patrolled the streets, keeping them safe and preventing any mischief. She wished she was among the children collecting candy, being satisfied with the smallest morsel.

Her thoughts then turned to Harry. According to the evening paper, Luna had given birth to a son, James Xenophilius Potter. She smirked as she remembered promising herself over a decade ago that the day Harry Potter had a child would be the day she'd get so drunk she could barely see straight.

Oh, the urge to drink was still present. If anything, it was more intense than the day Harry had humiliated her in the courtroom. Still, she couldn't bring herself to walk down to the nearest bar. Maybe it was the fact that all the reprobates were out or that she didn't want any reporters to see her plastered. No, the more she thought about it the clearer her answer became.

Severus Snape.

If she drank, she would fail him, which is something she couldn't do. He needed her, and she needed him. Then, she had an urge to go see him, but she was afraid if she left her hotel room tonight her growing pain would become too much and she would find herself in a bar drinking to her heart's content.

Hermione looked around her room. She could always watch the security footage, but she didn't have the strength to see Harry at the moment, even if he was muted. Then, her thoughts drifted to earlier that day when Severus had held her so close in his arms. His body had been so warm yet muscular, as though he could protect her from all her pain and fears. His eyes had betrayed his concern, but there was no judgment. Rather, he was simply helping a friend by holding her and feeding her chocolate.

Her mind then drifted to the kisses they had shared. As much as she hated to say it, she couldn't stop thinking of either one. Knowing Severus, he'd laugh and call her silly if she ever told him that. Then she sighed and remembered he was a client. What was between them was strictly professional. No matter what her body and heart wanted or needed, the reality was that she could not risk her job for him.

Then again, if she was happy, wouldn't it be worth it?

She screamed as the urge to drink flared up again, this time more intense than it had been all night. She shook her head and decided to retire. Granted, it was only nine, but hopefully in sleep she could flee from her demons, even if Severus would haunt her dreams.