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Life Out of Balance

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Disclaimer: see previous chapters
Thanks for all the reviews they kept me going even when the block was so thick I was beginning to give up on LOoB, but I'm back now and this will be finished no matter what!!!!
Erieverde you are the best beta ever!!

 

Chapter 13: We must not say every mistake is a foolish one.

 

A sense of dread filled the potions master as he stood in between his children, Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore. He knew he must have done something wrong but his muddled mind couldn't quite grasp what. The cheers of his youngest son made no sense.

He? Kiss Harry Potter? Impossible... right?

Yes, yes, impossible--but he could still feel the warm skin on his lips...

He must be hallucinating; there was no possible way Severus Snape had just kissed Harry Potter...

Maybe going out was not such a good idea...

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Harry was in shock, unable to say or do anything--except to be really glad Julian was not a baby, because he had almost dropped the kid when he felt the hot lips of his professor right besides his scar. Just a bit to the left and the man would have smacked one right on the scar. Harry didn't know what to feel. It had been the first time, he assumed, since his parents' death that anyone had kissed his forehead. It was oddly comforting and for just a minute he had felt a part of a family, not a borrowed one like the Weasleys', but a family in which he had a real place where he belonged.

He was brought out of his musings by a groan that came from the Potions Master.

Albus sensed his discomfort and, holding Severus by the forearm, helped him to the couch.

"Well, Severus, maybe young Harry is right and you should stay home. You seem very ill." He couldn't keep the mirth from his voice and Harry could see his eyes twinkling like mad.

At least someone was having fun from his abject humiliation. As for Harry, he could just hear the screams when Snape started thinking again and realized what he had done. He would hate Harry all over again and this thought made the young Gryffindor very sad.

The headmaster could read the distress Harry was in and decided to put the Gryffindor out of his misery.

"I believe you, Harry; Professor Snape is indisposed. Come now Severus, there's no need for you to get worse just to attend a meeting." It was testament to Snape's condition that he didn't even try to protest the fact that he was sick.

Dumbledore took Severus back to his rooms and helped him to bed. When he came back, he saw that Harry was still standing by the door with Julian in his arms. Evan had already made himself comfortable on his side of the couch.
"Come along Harry, let's allow the professor some rest. Take the children to your common room. I believe there is a large number of girls enchanted by them, yes?" Harry snapped out of his stupor and followed the Headmaster out.
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It was an eventful night in the red and gold Common Room. With two young children running around, well actually one toddler running around and one older child quiet on a couch, it was quite a busy place. But if Harry had been asked later to describe what went on there that night, he would not be able to tell you what happened at all. His mind was on other things, like a certain kiss a certain professor had given him. It was a good thing there were girls like Ginny Weasly with a maternal instinct a mile long and enough energy to run around after the younger Snapes who were present that night.

Hermione noticed Harry's withdrawn state and proceeded to, in her very subtle and feminine way (that is, bluntly and to the point), make him get it off of his chest. He was sitting with her and Ron in their private little corner of the common room in such a way that Harry could still pay attention to what the children were doing.

He didn't really know how to say it, so in true Harry fashion he just blurted it out.
"Snape kissed me."

Now, had he been less out of it, he would have seen the hideous shade of red Ron had turned. Unfortunately for Harry, he missed this sight.

He then received a "Come again?" from Hermione and a "He did what?" from Ron. It might have been the tone, or perhaps the volume, that finally made Harry snap out of it.

"No, Ron it's not like that... he's feeling ill and he was saying goodbye to his children and I guess I was just in the way... Besides, Dumbledore was there."

"He was?" Hermione looked confused.

Ron didn't look too convinced but Hermione's question caused him give her control of the conversation.

"Yes, he was there, he saw everything. And then Julian starts screaming, 'Daddy kissed Harry, Daddy kissed Harry!' and can you imagine how embarrassing that is to experience, and how Snape's going to react once he remembers what he did?"

 

He was interrupted by a very excited little voice that by now he knew very well.
"... And then, daddy kissed Harry..."

The silence in the Common Room was complete. Not a sound was to be heard, that is, until Harry regained his bearings and ran over to Julian, who was in the middle of a group of fifth year girls.

"Julian!" He picked the boy up from his comfortable position on Ginny's lap and turned to the girls, "It's not like it sounds, really," and ran back to his corner of the common room, followed by whispers and the beginnings of rumours.

He sat Julian in his lap and took a series of deep breaths, trying to calm himself and not scream at the child. He turned to Hermione and asked her to bring Evan over to them as well to stop any more catastrophes from happening.

When she came back he sat them both on the floor in front of his chair and looked them in their eyes.

"Julian, you have to stop saying that your daddy kissed me, it was a mistake and as soon as your daddy finds out that everybody knows he's going to be very upset."

"Why?" That seemed to be Julian's favourite word.

"Because, Julian, your dad's a professor in this school and I'm a student and it wouldn't be proper." Just by the look the child was giving him, Harry knew Julian didn't quite get it.

"Because your daddy could get in a lot of trouble and even lose his job and I could be expelled. And that means I would have to leave the school and I'd never see you again."

Maybe that was a little harsh seeing that the kid now had tears in his eyes and his pouty lips were trembling.

"I'm sowwy Hawwy, I don't wanna stop seeing you ever!"

Harry gave him a long hug.

"You're not going to lose me, the Headmaster knows it was an accident, but you can't say anything about it again, ok?" Julian nodded. Harry turned to Evan
"Do you understand, too?" Evan nodded and climbed up to join his brother on Harry's lap. It was a bit crowded with both children there but the three of them needed it.
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Later that night when the children were asleep, Harry, Ron and Hermione were sitting in the common room once again, though it was empty now.

"You know, Harry, I have a theory of what happened?"

"You always have a theory, Hermione."

Harry swatted Ron on the back of his head.

"Let her speak Ron, need I remind you of how many times her theories have saved your hide?"

"Uh, no, go on, go on, m'lady."

"Humph, anyway, it's like this, you know those conveyor belts in doll factories? Where the conveyer belts carry all the doll bodies to the machine that sticks on the heads?"

The boys clearly had no idea what she was talking about but knew there was a point there somewhere so they just nodded dumbly.

"That's what happened to Professor Snape, he put Harry on the belt and ended up kissing him. You know, he kissed Evan, then Julian and then your forehead was just there and he was confused, and you've spent so much time over there taking care of the children that it just came naturally to give you a kiss too. It was just a production line error." She sat there looking very proud of herself.

There was silence for a few moments and Harry had a pensive look on his face.
"So, I'm just the defective doll?"

"Oh Harry, don't be silly, you are not a defective doll, you were just there..."

"Hermione, I don't think you are doing any better now..."

"No, it's ok Ron, I get it, and it makes sense. He's really feeling sick, you know."

And they left it at that. Soon the three friends retired for the night, although sleep came late for Harry; he couldn't help a sort of uneasiness that filled him.

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The whole "production line error" theory was thanks to tinkering done on a review left for chapter 12 so kudos to tinkering!!

Ah and the title is a quote from cicero