So for you, I wrote a little epilogue for my snarry_games fic because I just couldn't shake the idea of Snape as a grandfather. *G*
Title: Nobody, Not Even The Rain
Author: Femme (femmequixotic)
Summary: Severus babysits.
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands.
Pride and lust, Severus was certain, would one day be his downfall.
It had seemed simple enough when Potter had asked him for the fifteenth time, a touch nervously as he shrugged into his barrister's robe and the rain beat against the kitchen windows, if he really didn't mind a few hours watching after Olivia, and Severus had waved aside Potter's concerns with a snort and a glare and yet another reminder that he had, after all, headed Slytherin House for nearly seventeen years.
And Potter had laughed and kissed him goodbye, whispering in Severus's ear exactly what his reward would be when Potter returned that evening from Ottawa.
It had taken Potter two wasted handfuls of Floo powder and a good five minutes to make it to the hearth, but Severus had finally allowed him to leave, panting and mouth swollen, with a glitter in his eye that boded well for the night's activities.
Minding the girl seemed a small price to pay for Potter's mouth and Potter's cock and Potter's arse.
After all, their granddaughter was only seven. And he had survived a Dark Lord and two generations of Slytherin House. He would send her off to play--or whatever it was that children did these days--while he perused the latest edition of the British Journal of Potion Brewing and Herbology that Emma had sent over with her daughter—with all the best articles marked for his mockery. A pleasant enough way to spend a rainy day.
More fool he.
He had, of course, forgotten to take into account that Olivia was also a Potter. With all the reckless idiocy and utter disregard for discipline that particular heritage entailed.
Three hours after breakfast, Severus had yet to open the Journal. However, he had endured one upset cauldron, a collapsed shelf and a dozen broken potion phials, and a twisted ankle and bruised hip courtesy of a tumble down the staircase caused by one Binky the stuffed bear who also attempted to bite Severus's hand when he picked the damned toy off the steps.
He had taken great delight in exploding the squealing beast into cotton fluff and chenille dust.
Olivia had been most displeased.
He had finally managed to pull the infuriated brat from his side, catching her pummeling fists in one hand and clapping the other over her mouth, cutting off her bitter accusations of murder and cruelty and unnecessary bear-killing.
Her green eyes sparked at him over his thin fingers.
And then Severus had shouted about murderous Binkys and proper justice—he rather suspected the bear had intended to send him tumbling down the stairs; the damned thing had loathed him ever since he had informed Potter three Christmases ago that it was an idiotic present for a child and that the potions kit he had purchased would be far more appropriate---and he threatened to return his furious, tear-stained granddaughter to her mother's doorstep, damned holiday or not.
Olivia had stomped off to the back garden, despite the rain, cursing her grandfather under her breath, and Severus had relaxed, pouring a cup of Earl Grey and stretching on the lounge with the British Journal and his spectacles, one of his few concessions to advancing years and deteriorating eyesight.
Engrossed in the vicious and rather cutting Letters To The Editor in which his colleagues indulged, Severus had pointedly ignored his mother's frown and Draco's smirk when he joined her in her frame and the muffling charm he used to hush them both nearly blocked out the sounds of the brat's shouts from the garden.
Until Will had burst through the door from the bookstore stairs.
"Olivia,' he had gasped out and that was all it had taken for Severus to go flying down the back steps.
Severus pinched the bridge of his wet nose and regarded the small, round face dangling upside down in front of him. A mass of rain-soaked, dirty-blonde curls hung limply beneath it, and the girl's cheeks were flushed. "What have I told you about the Venomous Tentacula?"
"To stay away from it," Olivia said meekly. She twisted, arms and legs bound tight in the plant's spiky red vines. It opened its mouth beneath her again, thick brown sap oozing from between its sharp red teeth, and she swore and kicked her feet as she dropped a bit lower. Her hair brushed the soft, red-black pulp of the mouth, sticking in the sap; the plant hummed in anticipation.
"Watch your language." Severus sighed and pushed his damp, greying hair back out of his face. He was quite certain that should he allow their granddaughter to be eaten by an irritable scrap of vegetation that Potter would not follow through on this morning's promises. And Potter had become rather adept with his tongue over the years. With a scowl he kicked the plant, crushing one vine with his boot.
The plant shook its fronds sullenly, but closed itself again and lifted the girl. Olivia eyed it suspiciously. "Well, it is a bloody damn wanker, and Mummy doesn't mind if I say that."
"Your mother also allowed you to have a Fire Crab when you were four." Severus crossed his arms over his chest and glared at his granddaughter. "Explain to me why I shouldn't allow you to be eaten?"
"Because you love me," Olivia said matter-of-factly.
"I most certainly do not," Severus snapped. "You are a pest and a fool and entirely incapable of behaving yourself for even one—"
"And you love me." The brat had the audacity to smirk at him.
For a moment Severus considered allowing the plant to eat her. However, having Potter and his stepdaughter annoyed with him might prove to be disadvantageous to both his sex life and his continued ability to be amused by the utter idiocy of the imbeciles in his field, thus denying him two of his favourite pastimes. He huffed and glared and kicked the plant again.
"Put her down," he snapped, and the vines loosened, sending Olivia tumbling to the ground. She rubbed her forehead, leaving behind a streak of mud, and grinned up at him, her curls falling into her eyes.
"I knew you did."
Severus glared at her. "Inside,' he gritted out, pointing towards the house.
Olivia opened her mouth to protest and Severus leaned down, eyes narrowing. "Now," he hissed, and she paled and flinched and scurried across the garden, sloshing through the puddles without looking back.
Severus ground his boot against one of the Venomous Tentacula's spikes. "Attempt to eat my granddaughter again and I'll chop the whole of you up for potions."
With a bitter snap of teeth and rustle of fronds, the plant pulled its vines in and curled itself into a small, tight ball.
A hot bath and a change of dry clothes later, Olivia sat silently at the kitchen table, chin in her hand, toying with her spoon. She had lined the sugar bowl and the salt and pepper shakers in front of her and had coaxed them all to march from one end of the smooth formica circle to the other.
Severus set a bowl of tinned tomato soup in front of her. "Eat."
Her lip curled. "I'm not hungry." The pepper shaker stopped in front of the bowl and peered in, sending a shower of black flecks across the steaming red liquid. Olivia brushed it away and it resumed its marching, clomping loudly across the tabletop.
"Eat," Severus snapped again. "I've no intention of explaining to Potter why you've wasted away upon his return."
Olivia stirred the soup. "In four hours?"
"There are hexes," Severus said tightly. He sat down across from her with his own bowl. His granddaughter gave him a mournful look from beneath her blonde curls as she licked her spoon and she made a gagging sound. Severus sighed. "Oh for God's sake—"
He flicked his wand at the cupboard and a bag of gingersnaps zoomed out, dropping down in front of Olivia. Her face brightened.
"You tell your damned grandfather and you'll be following Binky's footsteps," Severus snarled. "And I can assure you it will hurt you a great deal more than it will hurt me." He took a sip of his soup, grimaced, then put down his spoon and held his hand out.
Olivia handed him a gingersnap silently, crumbs at the corner of her curved mouth.
At least she had the common sense to keep her tongue, he admitted grudgingly, as he bit down into the biscuit.
Severus picked up the British Journal again. Finally. The brat had been sent to her room, rain was tapping lightly against the windows of the house, it was dark for a spring afternoon in Vancouver and he had a steaming cuppa floating next to his elbow.
His mother was dozing in her frame, and Draco was off annoying the Weasleys' portraits which would put him in excellent spirits.
Severus stretched out, content, and slid his spectacles on. Peace. At last.
His shoes were set neatly at the foot of the lounge and he'd rolled up the sleeves on his white dress shirt precisely to his elbow. Potter was always amused by his insistence of proper attire even in their private quarters--an amusement which had for the past twenty years been mocked by Draco who pointed out, quite rightfully, that Potter's favourite stained t-shirt emblazoned with the Moose Jaw Meteorites' logo did not exactly give him couture credence.
There was a sound at the doorway to the sitting room, and Severus looked up from scrawling notes across yet another of McAllister's idiotic articles on Baneberry Potion to see Olivia leaning against the doorjamb, book in hand.
"I thought I'd confined you to your room," he said with a scowl, and Olivia shifted, rubbing the spine of her book against her ragged jeans.
She took a step into the sitting room, almost hesitantly. "It's too quiet up there," she mumbled, hugging the book to her chest. "Will you read to me?"
Severus peered over the rims of his spectacles. She'd tied her unruly hair back with a ribbon, he noted, though her feet were still bare and the Muggle Einstein stuck his tongue out at him from the front of her t-shirt, and she'd washed her face and hands. An olive branch; the child was impervious to any attempt to criticise her appearance he had discovered early on, a trait of which secretly he approved.
"I am quite aware you are able to read to yourself."
Olivia just looked at him, stubbornly.
He sighed and set the Journal aside. "Ridiculous," he muttered, but the girl was already crawling over him, digging her heel into his kneecap. Severus rolled his eyes. Potter. Cock. Arse. Tonight, he told himself as Olivia dropped down into his lap. He winced and took the book from her, opening it to the first chapter.
"Not that one," Olivia said, leaning back against him. She smelled like child—damp earth and sweat and something undefinable but sticky and sweet. Severus had always loathed that scent. "I want to hear about Nagaina."
Severus sighed again and turned the pages as she curled up against him, laying her head on his shoulder.
"This," he read, 'is the story of the great war that Riki-tikki-tavi fought single-handed, through the bathrooms of the big bungalow in Segowlee cantonment. Darzee, the tailor-bird helped him, and Chuchundra, the muskrat…."
Olivia closed her eyes and smiled.
He woke when she shifted, and without thought he reached for her, pulling her back against his chest before he even opened his eyes.
Potter chuckled. "I thought I'd put her in her bed, Severus."
Severus blinked up at his husband. Olivia was heavy and solid sprawled over him, and her cheek was pressed into his clavicle. He was fairly certain she'd drooled on him at some point, and his left arm had nearly gone numb, but her breath was even and steady and warm against his skin and he was oddly comforted by it.
"Leave her be," he murmured, and he didn't miss the softening of Potter's eyes as he sat on the edge of the lounge looking down at them.
Damned sentimental old fool.
"Ottawa?" Severus asked and Potter shrugged.
"Well enough." He hesitated and Severus narrowed his eyes. Hesitation was not a good sign. Potter cleared his throat. "I think I'll have to go back tomorrow, though."
Severus looked at him in horror. "Absolutely not. Have you lost your mind?"
"Just for a few hours."
"I don't have a choice, Severus, and it seems you did well today," Potter whispered, looking pointedly at Olivia. Severus gritted his teeth. Well. Well his bloody arse. Nearly murdered by a psychotic stuffed bear, arguing with a homicidal plant, reading Kipling, for God's sake---and he blamed that thoroughly on the brat's damned mother.
"This will cost you, you realise," he hissed.
Potter grinned. "I did promise—" Severus gave him a dark look and his smile faltered. "Why am I suddenly nervous?"
"Because you have a modicum of intelligence." Severus leaned back against the lounge cushions and closed his eyes. "Wake us when dinner's ready, and you had damn well better not burn it."
Potter's mouth brushed his forehead. "I love you."
"Dinner," Severus snapped, though not as sharply has he intended. He settled back into the cushions and Olivia yawned and shifted against him, her small fingers twisting into his shirt.
He turned his face into her hair and breathed in. Perhaps the smell of the brat wasn't that appalling. More like---rain, perhaps. Fresh, clean, earthy rain that tapped gently at the windows behind them, streaming down the panes of glass in long, thin rivulets.
He smoothed his hand over Olivia's back and he almost smiled.