Severus supposed he should have discovered Draco's condition sooner than he had.
Still, the horrifying realisation that washed over him as he watched his husband stumble to the bathroom and release the contents of his stomach for the ninth morning in a row hit hard.
Originally, he'd thought it the flu – and had treated it as such, brewing the younger man a potion to reduce nausea and get him back to normal health. (Not that Draco wasn't fully capable of doing it himself, having specialised in healing potions, of all things – there was just less whining if Severus did it for him). It had achieved nothing, with Draco running to the bathroom not twenty minutes after he'd swallowed the foul liquid. The failure of such a simple potion should have been a tell-tale sign that perhaps Draco's new morning sickness was linked to other things. But then, that would involve Severus actually acknowledging and entertaining the thought that Draco had fallen pregnant – which was a completely idiotic notion and absolutely not possible at all.
Except it was.
And he had.
It wasn't that male pregnancies were uncommon in the Wizarding world, it was just that it didn't happen every day.
Especially not to Severus Snape.
The sound of Draco coughing in their shared bathroom drew him from his thoughts, and although every protective instinct in his body was screaming for him to go help his boy, Severus found himself too shocked to move.
Or do anything but sit up in bed, mouth slightly agape.
Because, really, this could not be happening.
Draco exhaled slowly, watching as the colours of the pregnancy potion turned from a murky brown to a soft, pale pink.
Draco looked to his husband, who looked so incredibly uncomfortable he would have laughed had it been any other situation. “So....”
“It's positive,” Severus said, voice and face giving nothing of his emotional state away.
Draco sent him a look, the one that managed to scare him just a little, not that he'd ever tell anyone, and sighed. “You will not make me get rid of it.”
Severus' eyebrows went to his hairline as he stared at the young Malfoy, a shocked look gracing his features. “Draco,” he started, taking a moment to carefully form his words. “I would never, never,” he repeated, making sure Draco kept eye contact, “do that to you. I may be the father, but it is your body, and therefore your choice.”
His husband smiled, softly, but the worry remained, “Thank you.”
Severus replied with a single curt nod, and a semi awkward silence consumed the room.
Neither man really knew what to do.
“Severus,” Draco called, walking into his partner's office and moving to sit on the older man's lap.
“Mmm?” he hummed, eyes remaining on the journal he had been reading.
“How big do you think I'll get?”
Severus let the journal drop to the desk and carefully wrapped his arms around Draco's still slim waist. He knew the man well enough to know that concerns regarding his physical appearance were to be treated with the same concern as any other significantly important issue.
“Judging from your mother's pregnancy, rather big,” he responded, knowing that while Draco would have preferred a lie, the truth was better – it wouldn't be thrown back at him in seven months’ time when Draco would hardly be able to walk without help. His husband glared at him, but Severus paid it no attention. Rather, he moved his hand to gently rub at Draco's abdomen, still not completely believing that a child containing half of his genetic make up was growing inside.
A month had passed, and he was still no more ready to be a father than he had been when they had originally found out.
“What?” Severus asked, alarmed. He turned to face Draco and couldn't help but smile when he noticed the grin covering his husband's thrilled face.
“Kicking!” Draco answered, bouncing in excitement. He hurriedly grabbed Severus' hands and pressed them against his stomach. “Can you feel it?”
Severus laughed a little, amazed at the feeling beneath his hand. He still wasn't sure about everything, but Draco had taken on the parental role with unprecedented determination, and it was starting to rub off on the other man.
Shopping with Draco had never been easy. The man's ability to work his way around stores was, to Severus, frankly ridiculous.
Baby shopping was even worse. It reminded the older man of the time he'd allowed Narcissa to drag him along in search for the perfect wedding dress – which had been a futile act; the blonde had declared everything unfit and demanded a custom made dress, ensuring she looked nothing short of perfect for the special day.
Draco had been rather the same.
Severus watched on as Draco compared the fabrics of two different jumpsuits, light blue eyes examining the stitching. “Is this really necessary?”
“Yes,” Draco replied instantaneously. “I had nothing but the best when I was a child, and I intend it to be that way for my child.”
Severus sighed, knowing the argument was a lost cause. “You've spent two hours searching through pink garments. What if it's a boy?”
“Then he'll wear pink garments,” Draco responded, as if it were obvious. He put back the clothes he was holding and turned to his husband. “Look, Severus, I don't particularly care about the colour of my child's clothes, and you shouldn't, either. It's hardly a big deal if my son wears 'girls clothes', or vice versa. My mother practically had me in dresses from ages two to five, and I've turned out perfectly fine, if a little feminine.”
Severus repressed a smile at the last comment, “And I grew up in hand me down clothes intended for a teenager,” he paused. “I don't care, I just thought perhaps you might.”
“Nope,” Draco said, the 'p' making a popping sound. He turned back to the shelves filled with clothes, laughing as he heard his husband mutter something about the time and his mother.
No matter how hard he tried, Severus would never be able to wash the blood from his hands.
He had killed, countless times, in cold blood. He had tortured, all kinds of people, often for no good reason. He had allowed others to kill, to torture, to rape. He had seen the destruction of countless lives, had done nothing to stop it, and the horror, the guilt, had never, would never, be erased from his mind.
Sometimes, Severus stares at his hands until his sight starts to blur, until reality is distorted and all he can see is the guilty conscious reflected back at him. When he stares at his hands, Severus sees red. He sees blood, and sorrow, and horror.
He's tried, countless times, to scrub the grime and death off, yet every time he stares, the red remains.
He cannot fathom how he could ever hold a sweet, beautiful, innocent child with the hands he has.
The bed dipped as Draco, now seven months along, sat next to him. He covered Severus’ hands with his soft, manicured ones, and Severus sighed, “How are you feeling?”
Draco ignored the question, choosing instead to bring the calloused hands to his mouth, placing soft kisses to each palm. “You're going to be an amazing father, Severus, but only if you let yourself.”
Severus moved his hands to cup his husband's face, answering his statement with a slow, soft kiss.
“Push, Draco,” the family healer called, for what must have been the thirtieth time in five minutes.
“I am pushing,” Draco growled out, his hand tightening its grip on Severus'.
Severus would have laughed at the scene, but he'd spent the last three hours ready to throw up from nerves. He knew he was supposed to be the calm one in this situation, but he couldn't help freaking out, just a little.
Or a lot.
“Oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck, fuck, FUCK, Seeeeeeeeev, make it stop,” Draco whined, eyes squeezed tight and face sweaty.
Severus used his free hand to push Draco's sweaty hair off his forehead, tracing his fingers through it in a bid to help his husband relax. “What do you want me to do?”
Draco groaned, and it really did hurt Severus to see his lover in so much pain. “Cut off your cock,” Draco grunted. “You are never fucking touching me ever again.”
Severus heard their healer laugh, and honestly, the woman was starting to piss him off. He knew Healer Petrov had dealt with the Malfoy family for generations, but it didn't make her any less annoying.
“Not long now, sweetheart,” the woman said, trying to soothe the couple. “Just a few more pushes.”
“She looks like she's trying to swim,” Severus murmured quietly. He and Draco had spent the last forty minutes holding their child, staring, with very few words passed between them.
It had been a girl, much to Draco's delight, and she had inherited aspects from both her parents. Her eyes were a beautiful light blue, holding an uncanny resemblance to Draco's, her skin baby soft and pale, and her face seemed to look more like Draco, rather than Severus. Her hair, however, appeared the same dark black as Severus', much to Draco's chagrin, (“You do realise, don't you, darling, that my parents are likely to demand another child to carry on the traditional looks?”).
Severus didn't care, really. He hadn't known how he would feel once he saw their young one, but the overwhelming sense of love and pride he felt while watching his husband cradle their baby girl seemed, to him, a good sign.
“What will we name her?” Draco asked, voice quiet. He tore his eyes away from their daughter to look at Severus questioningly.
“I doubt I get a say,” the other man replied. “Merlin knows I don't want to disrupt your family's naming traditions.”
Draco laughed softly, turning back to watch as the baby wriggled in his arms. He gently traced a finger across her cheek, smiling, “How about Hydra?”
“The Water Serpent,” Severus said, nodding appreciatively. “And a middle name?”
Draco leant across the newborn to place a kiss on his husband's cheekbone, “Does Hydra Severus Malfoy sound okay to you?”
Severus looked to him oddly and stayed silent for a moment, before responding; “Barely an hour old, and we've already embarrassed her,” he said, smiling as Draco laughed.
“Poor child,” his husband agreed, and Severus could not remember ever feeling as happy as he did in that moment.