"Headmaster, you wished to see me?" Harry asked with a puzzled smile, entering the Headmaster's office.
"Yes, yes, please have a seat my boy." Taking a seat and declining the nonverbal offer of a lemon drop, he looked at Dumbledore with expectant eyes. "Well, my boy, we are just waiting for Severus and Sirius to join us." Dumbledore said, twinkle in his eyes.
Harry nodded silently and made himself comfortable. Even though the war was over for nearly six months now, Dumbledore still was as infuriatingly close lipped as ever. Harry knew he could do nothing else but wait for everyone else to show up, before he would get any information out of the old coot. He was happy Dumbledore survived, though he was still a bit pissed about the deception – using a golem to make everyone believe he died, he mourned the Headmaster and nearly killed Snape in his grief, for christs sake – and Dumbledore's tendencies to plan everyone else's lives got old after some time.
He jumped slightly as the floo's fire flashed briefly,
letting first Sirius then Severus into the Headmaster's office. After
they took their seats he sneaked a glance at their faces, seeing the
grim lines around their mouths did nothing to instill any kind of good
feelings into him. Something was going down, and it looked like Harry
Potter was going down with it.
"Well, Harry, we wanted to talk to you as a matter of importance has come up recently. Arthur send an owl as soon as he became aware. Have you ever heard of Rebecca's Law?"
"No, should I?"
"Well it is an old Law from the 17th Century named after Rebecca Pasini, an Italian pureblood who -"
"With all due respect Headmaster" Snape interrupted sharply "I do not think he needs a history lesson. Just tell him."
nodded magnanimously, "Yes, yes of course, you're right." and folded
his hands on his desk, leaning slightly forward. Harry eyed Sirius, who
surprisingly sat still with a blank mask on his face. His jaw was tense
and his hands gripped the chair in a white knuckled grip. He didn't like
this, at all.
"You see, there are circumstances in which a pureblood can claim another pureblood as husband or wife", alarmed Harry sat up straighter, "if the claimed pureblood is the last of his line." Oh no no no, this was not going where he thought it was going. Another quick glance at Snape and with a chocked grunt he asked "Do you want me to marry Snape? Because he is the last Prince?" Please god no.
his head towards Harry in surprise Snape shook his head slightly.
Before his relief could settle in though, Sirius finally joined the
"No Harry, it is you that is the last of the Potter line. And someone has claimed you."
"What? Why? WHO?" Harry's heart rate accelerated with panic, he was barely legal and so not ready to marry. Especially not some unknown pureblood for the sake of traditions that had nothing to do with him. Why did he destroy Voldemort again? Oh yeah, so people could finally live their lives in peace.
"I am sorry my boy", Dumbledore frowned slightly, "but it is the law."
"You cannot just marry me off to who knows who! This isn't right!" Harry's anger had finally sat in. "Sirius, why are you just sitting there?"
"Oh pup, there is nothing we can do, you will need to marry. The only thing we can do is give you the choice of who." Sirius' eyes looked at him sadly, then gave Snape the stink-eye.
"Oh god, you DO want me to marry Snape. But for my sake, not his. Oh god, this is not happening."
is not perfect for me either, Potter." Snape sneered "I am the only one
who has a claim to an old pureblood line as well as the strength to
"MALFOY? Bloody Malfoy wants to marry me?" he needed air, he needed to breath and think and get the fuck out of here.
"Yes, though not Draco, who is already in a marriage contract, but Lucius." Snape looked at him with pity in his eyes.
Taking a few calming breaths he stared off into space.
"So what are my options?"
"Well by law you need to have someone champion you who you think can defeat the one who claimed you first in a duel." Sirius sighed "If your champion wins, you have 28 days to finalize the marriage. Anyone else eligible, and there are quite a few criteria, can try to defeat your champion during that time in a duel, but must give a 48 hour warning. Therefor most would marry their champions, if they win, before those first 2 days are over so no one else can try to duel him for you."
"And if they lose?" Harry asked Sirius with a frown.
With a grimace Sirius rubbed his forehead "Then the first claim would be directly acknowledged, result in an instant marriage and you'd be Harry Potter-Malfoy."
"And nobody thought to tell me this could happen beforehand?"
"My boy we didn't think-" Harry sprang up from his seat, interrupting Dumbledore.
"Yes exactly. You didn't think! I know I am not well versed in wizard laws, but I would've thought any of you would've mentioned something that could influence me this much. You've all had pureblood training you must've know about these laws beforehand!"
Shaking slightly, his hands curled into fists, he tried once more to bring his temper down.
"Sirius, Headmaster, I think it would be best if I discuss this with Snape in private."
The twinkle returned to the Headmaster's eyes whilst Sirius let out a long drawn breath and grimaced in resignation. "You know where to find me if you need me pup."
"Yes, thank you Sirius."
Giving him a quick
hug before Sirius left through the floo, he then looked at the
Headmaster. He hated that damn twinkle. He just knew that this was
somehow something the Headmaster wanted to happen, though he wasn't sure
why. "If you excuse us."
He looked at Snape who stood up slowly, inclined his head towards the old coot and then they took the stairs out of the office. They stayed quiet all way down to the dungeons, into Snape's private quarters. With a quick wave of his wand, Snape secured the door behind them with both a silencing and a locking charm, before he and Harry both took a seat.
"Well?" Snape's eyebrow rose imperiously.
Harry just stared at him for a moment. "What would happen if Malfoy took the claim back?"
"He never would. He needs you to gain a better standing in society and he is after all a Malfoy, they always try to look superior to everyone else."
"Yes, but there must have been instances where the claim vanished for whatever reason."
"Even if you could make Malfoy back off, that would still leave you vulnerable to anyone else."
Harry pondered that tidbit. He knew that he could take Malfoy out of the equation, but Snape was right. That still made him a target for other purebloods intend on marrying him, for whatever reason. A thought came to him "Well, how about you marry me then."
Snape stared at him with an unreadable face. "Isn't that what we already discussed?"
"But I mean, I could make Malfoy back off without you needing to duel him. Because there is a slight chance he wins and that would result in an automatic marriage. But if we married anyway, beforehand, he had no claim anymore."
Snape sighed "We can't. Not now that there is already a claim. It wouldn't be legal."
Grumbling to himself he slumped down in his seat. Then he had another thought, sitting up sharply he stared at Snape ignoring the once more raised eyebrow and amused head tilt of his. "What if … what if I am no longer the last Potter?"
Surprise flashed across Snape's face, then intrigue settled in. "Is there something you wish to tell me, Potter?"
"What?" he startled "Oh no, I don't have a bastard child somewhere Snape, but we do have blood adoptions in the magical world. I could adopt someone – or you could." They stared at each other. Snape blinked slowly, took a glass from his cabinet, filled it with what looked like bourbon and sank back into his seat. "Huh. I am not sure that would work. You'd still be the last Potter."
"Yes, but I'd also be the Prince heir – though not the last Prince. It would give you immunity to the Rebecca Law as well as put me under your guardianship, so any and all marriage proposals would need to be signed with your approval. At least until I am 21."
Twirling his glass a bit Snape looked at him with a weird look on his face. "You wouldn't mind me being ..." he hesitated, putting his glass down," me being your father? You know that's what I'd be with a blood adoption. The potion would not eradicate anything from James Potter, it however would add certain things from me, making me your third parent. Biologically."
Harry knew that, contrary to popular belief he wasn't a total dunce in potions. And he really didn't mind that. He knew how Snape felt about his mother and – oh! That was it. That was why Dumbledore's eyes were twinkling like mad, he wanted him and Snape to become family. "Do you think this is why the Headmaster wanted us to do this? Because he knew you loved my mom?" Startled Snape snorted at that idea. "Truthfully Potter, as much as I loved your mom, I was never interested in her that way. She was my best friend, my sister in all but blood. I think the Headmaster wanted us to marry, because he knows I am more inclined towards my own gender and he believes having a piece of Lily like this would make me happy." A sigh left Snape's lips.
Harry didn't expect that. "With all due respect Sir … that's a bit
sick. I am not something to be gifted, to be a replacement, without any
thought towards my own happiness." Dumbledore's meddling once more left
him with the shorter stick. Always, always was he the one to make the
sacrifices for the happiness of others, he came always second to anyone
else. He hated it. He deserved to be someones first priority. "He didn't
even ask if I was gay."
"Are you, Potter? I have never seen you with a boy, now that I think about it, but sexual preference matter not in this particular law. Thanks to blood adoptions the continuity of the bloodlines is secured either way, and with some magical creatures procreation between males is also possible." That made Harry blanch. "Oh god, I can get pregnant?!"
"No, no, the other must be partly a
magical creature, such as a Veela, to carry offspring – you yourself
have nothing that could facilitate a pregnancy. Don't worry Potter,
there is no such thing as a true male pregnancy, even with magic and
potions." Snapes lips twisted in an amused smirk at seeing the boy's
white face, properly thinking about the logistics of a male pregnancy.
"You neither have a womb, nor the ability to lay eggs. You're quite
"Well thank god for small favours. Anyway, no I am not gay, though there were some guy's I found fit over the years. I don't really care about gender, as long as I am in love."
"How very Hufflepuff of you, Potter."
They sat in relaxed silence for a bit.
"You know Professor, I wouldn't mind having a real Parent. I mean, I am old enough to not needing looking after, but I wouldn't mind having someone who's always in my corner, who thinks about me first." Harry's quiet voice tugged at something deep in Snape's chest. He knew how the boy grew up, and though due to his position as Spy he couldn't help him much, he always regretted that he never checked up on him before his arrival at Hogwarts. Equally quiet he touched the boys knee lightly and grumbled "I would be proud to call you family Harry. As I said, your mother was like a sister to me and I would always try to do right by you."
Harry's knee twitched at the unfamiliar touch, he wasn't used to the Potions Master being this nice to him. He stared into his dark eyes, searching for any lies or deception in them. Only finding a quiet strength and conviction he nodded jerkily, blinking the wetness out of his eyes. How embarrassing. He was already 17 years old, an adult by wizarding standards, yet the idea of family, real family not like the Dursley's made him want to brawl like a newborn and cling to the black robes in front of him.
Clearing his throat he patted the hand still on his knee awkwardly before shuffling around a bit. "So can I call you Daddy" he asked cheekily. The consternation on Snape's face was worth it, laughter bubbled up in his throat before he collapsed laughing on the floor. "Oh do shut up Mr. Potter." disgruntled he snagged his hand back and clutched his Bourbon glass again. With a sigh Harry righted himself, a new lightness on his shoulders. "Well, do you want to tell the old coot we're gonna be father and son instead of married or do you want me to do the honours?" By the devious look on his face he knew Snape- no, Severus, he decided - couldn't wait to shred the Headmasters plan into tiny tiny pieces.