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(Highlight to View) Prompt: Hermione and Severus are displeased to discover that they're expecting a Child of Prophecy.
Summary: Severus has to act quickly when Trelawney walks into the staff room and almost makes a prophecy concerning his and Hermione's first child.
Hermione eased herself down into the overstuffed armchair in the corner of the staff room and smiled at Severus when he Conjured her an ottoman in just the right spot. Her ankles were swollen again.
"Three more months," she said to nobody in particular, leaning her head back against the plush chair and closing her eyes. "Less to go than I've done already."
"You're doing wonderfully," Vector said from her spot at one of the tables, her marking spread out around her. "When I was pregnant with my first, it was nine months and three days of misery."
"The way you tell it, your first has been a misery his whole life long," Severus said dryly.
Hermione smirked, but kept her eyes shut. She was exhausted. The swollen ankles were the most obvious sign of her discomfort (besides the swell of pregnancy at her middle, of course), but she was also completely knackered. She'd been nauseous all through her last class of the day, but by some stroke of luck it had passed after dinner, leaving her without an excuse to escape the weekly staff meeting.
"Forty-two years on top of those nine months," Vector said sagely. She was constantly complaining about her eldest son, Michael, mostly because he'd gone into Herbology, exploring the depths of rainforests and caves for exotic magical flora instead of research and academia, as his mother would have preferred.
"Does he still make your ankles swell?" Hermione asked, cracking one eye open to look at Vector. The older woman grinned, shaking her head.
"I could make you a potion for it," Severus offered, just like he always did. Hermione opened her other eye so that she could mock-glare at him properly.
"No experimental potions while pregnant," Hermione said, repeating her Healer verbatim. "We've had this conversation, husband mine. Several times."
Severus scowled, first at her ankles and then at the door when it burst open like one of his old classroom entrances. Naturally, it was Trelawney. She had a crystal ball tucked under one arm and was waving the free arm around like a madwoman. Which she was.
"Your child!" she cried, bulbous eyes fixating on Hermione. She took quick steps into the room, letting the door slam behind her. "Your child is destined for greatness!"
She'd reached Hermione's overstuffed armchair, hovering close enough that Hermione had real fear of the crystal ball dropping onto her legs.
"I've been reading the omens! It is on the very wind," Trelawney said, her eyes so wide and earnest Hermione couldn't quite bring herself to scoot out of the way like she wanted to.
"Sybill, dear," Flitwick began, approaching her like he might a rabid doxy, but she didn't hear him. Trelawney's eyes rolled back in her head, and she stood stock still. Her voice was deeper than Hermione had ever heard it when she spoke next.
"On the fifth day of—"
Hermione's mouth gaped open at the horror of it. A prophecy about her child. Their child.
A prophecy had almost gotten her and Severus (not to mention her childhood best friends and just about everybody she cared about in the world) killed not so very long ago, and they'd only been involved peripherally. She'd had to live in a tent for months. Severus had been trapped in Dumbledore's ruse, forced to play the villain. Harry, the actual Child of Prophecy, had died. (He'd got better—he had children of his own now—but he'd bleeding died first.)
Trelawney's prophecy was cut off rather sharply when Severus Stunned her.
"There will be no more of that, thank you very much," Severus said, returning his wand to its place up his sleeve.
"Severus—" Hermione said, mostly because she'd narrowly escaped the dangers of crystal ball (which had landed where she'd had her feet on the ottoman seconds before), and not because she was angry with him for Stunning a coworker.
"I have had enough of prophecies for one lifetime," Severus said, jabbing the feathered end of his quill at Trelawney's prone form, "I will not have her ruining my second chance by naming my daughter a 'Child of Prophecy.'"
Hermione tried very hard not to tear up, she really did. It was the hormones; she just couldn't win against them, not when Severus was being so sweet. It always made her melt a little bit when he called referred to their life together as his 'second chance.' She loved being his second chance. He deserved a second chance, and goddammit, but his second chance was not going to involve a stupid prophecy to muck it all up.
"It's a boy, Severus," Hermione said, rubbing her pregnant middle fondly.
"It's a girl," Severus said without looking up.
"There is a simple spell to settle this argument," Flitwick said, waving his wand to stow the crystal ball out of the way, as there were an assortment of others on a low shelf near the bulletin board; Trelawney always seemed to think somebody would want their future told after staff meetings and kept leaving the crystal balls behind when nobody took her up on her offers.
"No," Hermione said quickly, putting her feet (and her poor, poor ankles) back on the ottoman. "We decided at the beginning that we want to be surprised."
"But it's a girl," Severus said.
"It's a boy," Hermione sing-songed back at him.
"What happened to Sybill?" Minerva asked, stopping in the doorway with the month's patrol schedule in one hand and all the duplicates of the agenda for the staff meeting in the other.
"I've no idea," Severus said, his quill dancing over some poor student's essay. He glanced briefly at Trelawney, and then returned to marking. "Doesn't she always look like that?"
They would never know it, since nobody ever heard it and no milky glass appeared in the Hall of Prophecy to record it, but their daughter was indeed a Child of Prophecy. Nobody knew what to expect, nobody knew what to dread. It was all very anticlimactic, actually.
On the fifth of May, when she was merely sixteen, their daughter defeated a wizard who could have been the next Dark Lord. It was very simple. It was a sunny afternoon, and she decided to read by the Black Lake instead of in the common room. With that simple choice, it was Miss Parkinson and not Miss Snape who caught the eye of one Mister MacTavish. Parkinson and MacTavish would go on to marry and have three children, none of which were particularly inclined towards megalomania. Even better, Miss Snape wasn't caught up in a prophetic romance with Mister MacTavish when she met a young Mister Adelman the following summer. They would go on to have a son, who lived his life happily unaware of what he could have been, had his father been a different man.
Hermione and Severus thought of the aborted prophecy a few times over the course of their daughter's life, wondering if this or that moment of struggle was the one they could have seen coming. Mostly, though, they didn't think about it. They taught dunderheaded children in the day and held each other in the night. They took summer vacations to sunny places and did not have sex on the beach, thank you very much, because sand is on the beach and sand gets everywhere. When Hermione was pregnant with their second child, they avoided Sybill Trelawney like the plague. During her third pregnancy, they convinced Minerva to send the Seer on a sabbatical.