Author : smirkingcat
Word Count :4.773
Notes:thanks again to the all-mighty themightyflynnfor her amazing beta
used for hp_bunintheoven october prompt 1: I feel enormous!
Summary:Blaise goes through some rather dramatically self-introspection. Not that it gained him much truth anyway.
Disclaimer: Harry Potter characters are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No profit is being made, and no copyright infringement is intended.
For better understanding, go and find Chapter one here: lj / dw
The first time Blaise had the undeniable urge to throw up right now did not happen in the morning like he was expecting, as it was called morning sickness, but in the evening. At the first gala he had attended in more than a week.
He had to hurry to the loo at a brisk walk that he would deem undignified, not that at the moment he had the option to care. In fact, he found the whole ordeal quite undignified and annoying. He couldn’t even say what exactly happened. One moment he was in a rather boring conversation with some sort of chairman looking for a donation to some cause from him, and then there was the smell of the peach pastries with the nuts - alone the memory of that smell made his gut wrench again. No more thinking about that.
After he refreshed himself and made himself presentable again, he took out his pocket watch to check the time, then sighed. It was too early for a polite exit, but he had no desire to go back there, so an impolite exit it would have to be. He walked casually past the ballroom to the floo to go home. Arriving at his small London flat, he had to sit down right on his sofa first thing because something about the flooing- experience just made him nauseous again.
Oh, if this was going on for long, he would barricade himself in his flat and never go out. How did people deal with behaving so unbecomingly?
Then again he might prefer to hide himself away anyway, because he already had a slight pauch. At the moment it was still covered in his cleverly cut trousers, but there was no denying its existence. And soon his friends would notice it too, especially once he started to refuse to wear anything else but robes. If he was honest, the mere thought of losing his shape made him have a minor panic attack.
He had known it was going to happen from the start, but knowing didn't save him from his vanity. He'd always been a good-looking man. Hell, that was an understatement, he was looking fabulous, and he'd known it even before he turned sixteen. The fact that this would change in the next months - something inside him did not like the idea of that. And then there was the worry of what Severus would say. Or even worse, wouldn’t say.
Of course it was ridiculous that he worried about what Severus would say when it came to looks. At least, that would be the opinion of most of his friends and from people in general. They saw his nose and his greasy hair and that was it.
But, while the hooked nose was very hard not to see, the way Snape carried it made it rather fascinating. Especially with those deep, black eyes, which pierced though one with a mere glance.
And those lips, so soft and tasting so good with the dark undertones of the man. The hair was something that could not be really helped: it was the constant brewing and having his face over different caldrons of potion nearly all the time. Though if they made plans for the weekend, Severus would wash his hair. Then it was silky and cool, smooth to the touch, and Blaise would have trouble keeping his fingers out of it.
But what Blaise really liked best about Severus was his strength. The man was strong in his movements and in his body, and it made Blaise's knees weak. Most of the time, Severus used magic for everything. If Blaise hadn’t known better, he would think of Severus as a fancy pure-blood showing off his magical power - which he possessed in abundance - for everyone to see. But that only made it better when he picked Blaise up effortlessly, or held him down, so that Blaise couldn’t move an inch.
There were also Severus' long, lean fingers. They were strong, but always well kept. Their movement, especially when Severus was writing either on the blackboard or with a quill just sucked Blaise's eyes to them. Oh, he loved to worship those fingers; had done so on numerous occasions, had enjoyed how they got more and more sensitive under the touch of his own fingers and tongue.
With a frustrated sigh, Blaise closed his eyes, and changed the direction of his thoughts. He would not see Severus tonight, or tomorrow for that matter.
The appointment with the healer, where he had once again not really listened that well, had informed him that both he and the baby were fine. Yes, he had to be careful, and that, of course, included no quidditch until after birth. The healer's voice was grating, through so he had tuned out.
Only a woman could state it so plainly.
This basically killed Blaise's social life outside of those damn galas and balls and stupid high teas he forced himself to go to. What was he supposed to do with so much free time? And the fact that he could fly carefully up to his sixth month was not helpful information.
Too bad that it had been Severus who had pointed that fact out to him again. He had just snapped at the man - because really no quidditch?! - and then went home for a sulk.
Childish behaviour did not go far with Severus, and he really should have known better. But the thing was, in the end, he had to explain to his friends how he got into this circumstance and who helped him to get there.
The truth would not go down well. Having been best man for Theo four years ago, and danced at Pansy’s wedding, and been with Draco for a lovely dinner with Harry fucking Potter, they would ask him why he never bothered telling them that he was shagging someone.
Though, no, they probably suspected that much...
The problem was they wouldn’t understand. Sure, Draco liked Severus, he was his godfather after all, and Pansy had always admired his guts, but they wouldn't understand why Blaise wanted - no needed - Severus in his life. His friends had gotten lessons taught by life, but his life had been smooth sailing as long as he did not cross his mother.
He sighed again. These thoughts were just as useless as the ones before them. And thinking now about what a prat he is didn’t really get him anywhere.
“Still want to see Severus to tell him about fucking peaches with nuts,” he said to the empty room. It was pathetic enough to fit his sulking mood right now.
Of course, there was no answer. Wishful thinking was also a habit in which he tended to overindulge.
With an angry sigh he got up and walked back to the floo.
“Severus?” he called through the house, certain that he could be heard in all crooks and nooks, while he removed the not-there dust from his white shirt.
“I am right here. And you could have announced yourself,” came the answer from slightly behind him.
“Your floo let me pass, so I thought it might be an invitation?” Blaise turned around to find the man sitting in his high back chair, reading what appeared to be a periodical.
“You are pregnant and might require some assistance at some point in the future, so until the move happens, this is the next best thing,” Severus replied.
“I see.” Not that he really saw, because if something was wrong, wouldn’t he order his house-elf to take him to St Mungo's?
“Has something happened?” Severus asked slowly, closing the magazine.
Blaise sighed before he nodded slowly. He suddenly realised that his tantrum at home had all been pretence because, really, he just wanted to see Severus.
Self-realisation was so not his thing.
He moved slowly over to where Severus was sitting, and went to kneel before him, putting his arms on Severus’ lap and his head atop of them. “I’m sorry for what I said before,” he mumbled, sounding sad to his own ears.
“Before?” Severus asked, voice soft.
Blaise felt his tension lessen. He wasn’t unwelcome.
“At the healer’s, about you not understanding and... well, calling you an ignorant old man.” Blaise cringed as he repeated the used insult. But being precise is the only way to get Severus to talk at all. Severus didn’t suffer fools, and Blaise had made one out of himself already.
“I am an old man, Blaise. If I were not a wizard it would show much more, as for-”
“I know that, but you must know that I don’t mind that at all,” Blaise cut in, because this was too important a point to let it slide.
“-as for the ignorant part, when it comes to quidditch I am mostly ignorant. While I am able to appreciate the competitive nature of the game, and do not mind watching it, and judging players by their abilities, and am known to have won more than one round of a private fantasy quidditch league cup, I never cared enough about playing it myself. Physical training was always more a mean to keep my body healthy and become strong than about enjoyment. What I fail to understand is why it came as a shock to you. Truly, you must have known that being pregnant meant no quidditch,” Severus replied, not distracted by Blaise's interjection.
“It’s not so much about the game, as about the fun and hanging out with friends, staying fit and basically not being at home,” Blaise replied and sighed again. His eyes closed without any sort of input from him as Severus' fingers combed through his hair.
“So, what happened today for you to come here now?” Severus asked again.
“Got sick from fucking peaches, or the nuts, can't figure it out and thinking about it does no good,” Blaise mumbled, hiding his face a little bit more.
“Ah, it was to be expected. In fact, it is rather interesting that it hasn’t happened before,” Severus replied, letting his fingers wander over Blaise’s neck. Blaise loved the way Severus touched him, it was so self-assured. He never worried he might do something wrong, and it always, always felt so good.
“Male pregnancies differ from female ones, as the morning sickness can be delayed up to two months because the body is not yet certain what is going on. This also means that the later months take a greater toll on the male body,” Blaise muttered.
“So, you were listening. That is reassuring.” Severus was grinning, Blaise didn’t even have to open his eyes to know the twist the right side of his mouth would make upwards.
“Knowing that isn’t making my situation any better. I have a paunch now, my trousers are growing too tight and soon enough won’t fit me anymore at all, and then it will be robes until I am in dressing hell where nothing is going to fit me and everyone will look at me like I am a monster. I was once good looking and now... after this ordeal I will be ruined.”
He was whining, there was no other word for it, and it was exasperating. Except, he felt more like crying because what was he going to do? How could he face his friends?
It took Blaise quite some time to realise that the hand was no longer moving through his hair. Only after that did he notice that he hadn’t gotten any sort of reply.
He shot up to his feet to look down at the slightly startled man. “You could at least tell me that it wouldn’t matter to you!” he huffed.
Internally, he felt like slapping his own face. This was so unlike him. He wasn't the needy person, he got the attention he wanted simply by being; this already felt all kinds of wrong.
“I am merely waiting for you to stop telling me superficial stuff that we both know is going to happen and will not change the current situation in any way, and start telling me the truth. You were much more straight forward than this when you were younger,” Severus calmly replied, staring Blaise in the eye.
“I must have picked something up from you, then. As you are the champion of never telling me anything straight-forwardly -” here Severus raised an eyebrow and Blaise scolded back at him “-outside of the bedroom.
“Can’t you see that I am in trouble? My friends- all those weddings I have been going to, how should I explain that I was sort of, kind of, dating you, only that I really wasn’t? And then you want me to find a house for us, but the thing is, I don’t even know which style you like. You only said that you are living here because it’s convenient, and at Hogwarts your chambers just looked like that of a headmaster...
"I know that I know you, and we have spent more than a decade together, I just... you are a very difficult person to get to know, and I am afraid of losing everything because I wanted to do the right thing or something like that. At the beginning, this seemed like a good idea, like it was finally my chance to... well to have some sort of hardship and not stay the same spoiled child forever. I simply haven’t thought it would be this frightening and horrifying.
"I’m not like you, I never found anything that could entertain me for months on end. I am neither good enough at potions or interested enough in magical theories. Music is nothing I particularly like, and I am very certain that I do not want to go into politics. Sucking up to people I cannot stand is not what I want my life to be about... The thing is moving, in with you will just show you how shallow a person I am.
"I know that everybody always thought of Draco as the embodiment of a rich boy, but with his family and all the expectations they settled on their only heir he's grown a spine and a personality along the way, something that never happened to me.
"And then when I think about this child... besides money, I have nothing to offer to it. I never had a family life. My mother had a banquet every night and every so often there would be a new husband, and sometimes, when the mood struck her, she took me for a shopping trip all over Europe.
"This was all totally fine because, while knowing it, it never really bothered me, and I mean I got you and you kept me from getting bored or going overboard...
"I think it hit me today, when I was heaving my guts out, all the faults in me might not only have a negative impact on someone other than me, but might also change how you see me. Since I will lose my friends before that, it means that that brat and me will end up alone and it will end up even worse than I am.”
He was fighting tears, feeling absolutely humiliated by the drama and the confession, and empty by the reality that has become his life. He truly detested introspection and self-assessment, because it never did him any good.
The silence in the room grew with each breath he took, but he had nothing else to say, and apparently Severus didn't want to say anything. He was so frustrated with the man... more likely with himself and the situation, but for now he didn’t care for the truth and it was easier to blame Severus.
He heard the rustle of clothing, but he didn't want to check what Severus was doing. He had seen Draco throw one scene after the other for so long, he always thought it must feel good and reviving. He hadn’t expected to feel so drained and empty. Maybe he should use his special circumstances and ask Draco about that.
“Drink this,” came the order, as a phial was put on the small table before him.
If he felt like he had when he had arrived here, he would have indulged some more in the prat-like behaviour and would have put up a fight, but he was too tired and anxious to fight. So, he took the phial and emptied it in one go. It tasted bitter-sweet and heated him on the way down, before a wave of warmth and relaxation hit his body.
Then there were hands, picking him up with no real effort.
It was the hottest thing to be carried by Severus. It also felt like the safest thing. All his worries seemed to fear those arms and after a rough session when something inside him changed due to his own awareness and the realisation of what he had done, and what he had allowed to be done to him, it was the only place in the universe his panic could not follow him, too.
It was also the best place to calm down, and let sleep find him.
The awareness that Severus had not said anything relating to his concerns, however, stayed with him.
Blaise woke slowly without opening his eyes. He could hear Severus heartbeat and feel the broad chest underneath his face. In fact one of the curly black locks there was nearly bothering him when he breathed, but the truth was he wasn’t bothered.
He could feel Severus' skin next to his. He had one hand across Severus' chest and Severus was holding it there, ever so softly, with his fingers stroking his elbow. However, it was Severus' other hand that was worrisome, as it was laying on his side, the fingers moving so slightly over the swelling he had developed there.
A soft rustle of a page being moved made him grin, and huff. It was so typically Severus, insomniac that he was.
“I sometimes wonder about the things you find amusing.”
“It’s better if you don’t, my sense of amusement is rather refined,” Blaise answered, opening his eyes to first look up at the hovering book, which was such a natural sight to him, and then to look at Severus. “How long was I asleep?”
“All night. It must close to half past eight.” The reply was neutral and the book closed itself and moved to the nightstand, where it found it’s place.
Honestly he wasn’t sure what he should say at this point; he had been such a mess. It was better to just not think about it. He closed his eyes again and snuggled more into Severus. Why should he bother to get up? He had nothing to do.
“I presume you have had sleeping troubles for some days now.”
It could have been a question; it could have. But there was an accusation in it somewhere, he was sure of it.
“I... I... well I was stressed, and, well... you know, stuff and things and there were parties and gatherings...” Blaise made himself shut up, because the gala yesterday had been the first he had gone to, since his freak-out after the healer. He was such a child.
“I can understand the fear and loss of confidence about declining looks, since I have experienced it myself. However, I fail to understand how you come to the conclusion that I would find you undesirable because of the fact that my child is making you temporarily lose your normal shape. Though, I must say, this feels incredibly nice, and I finally can understand what my friends meant when they told me that their pregnant wives had a different sort of sexiness to them. It is somehow very intriguing and sexy,” Severus stated so calmly that Blaise wasn’t sure if he could contain the blush that his face must be sporting. How could the man say that! Well, he knew how Severus could say all sorts of things, but still.
“Good for you, you aren’t the one struggling to fit in your trousers,” he mumbled into Severus' chest, because he absolutely had not lost his cool due to some cheesy words. He was a Zabini after all, they were not affected by sweet talking.
“I can help you enlarge yours. I never really bothered with tailor-specific charms, but they can't be too difficult.”
“Oh no-”, Blaise sat up, staring down into Severus eyes, “-do not go and research that now! My looks are only half of the problem. What about my friends, what about my character, what about us setting up a home so that our brat will have a good life, though the hell if I know how we, of all people, will manage that.”
And then the infuriating man smiled. Blaise could not believe his eyes. But it must be a smile, because a grin looks different, and Blaise has an inventory list for Severus’ different sneers.
“This reminds me an awful lot of the young man you were a decade ago,” Severus simply said before he rolled his eyes. “If you do not want to tell your friends right now, then may I suggest we start with my family,” -here Blaise raised an eyebrow- “the living people whom I consider to be my family, then.”
“The Malfoys... all of them?” Blaise asked.
“Yes, Draco too. He is my godson, and he will go easier on you, if he is the first to know. Also, having his parents there might help to keep his temper in check.”
“Is that a fact, or more of a thing you hope for? To be honest, in that situation, I myself am far more afraid of Narcissa Malfoy. I can handle Draco, if I must, but his mother- that woman is more dangerous than my mother, and my mother has twenty-six, or thereabouts, husbands to show,” Blaise said , scratching the back of his head.
“See, you are more than just your looks. Most people fear Lucius, and tend to think of Narcissa as a token wife. Though, she tends to leave him on a long leash, at least until she doesn’t...”
There was a wicked gleam in Severus' eyes, and Blaise was certain there was a joke he was missing, though he still found the information he had gained amusing. Draco always had been easy to anger, when it came to jokes about his father after all.
“As for your character... It might escape your notice, but I have known and watched you since you were eleven years old. I know about the pranks you liked to play, as I know about the cunning and scheming you are capable of, though I must say one day you have to tell me how McLaggen and Corner managed to offend you. I also watched you grow up and, in the end, I also fell victim to your charms. You are a very resourceful, strong man, and a very clever one. It is true you did not learn a trade, but I saw you research different kinds of topics to help your friends, because you were curious; because you wanted to. I do not believe that it is me who doubts your character,” Severus said, while stroking Blaise’s cheek.
Blaise had no words. No, he had words, many of them, they just didn’t fit the situation. How much exactly had Severus known about what he got up to in school? Why then had he never been punished? And what else had Severus noticed about him, that he obviously missed?
“So, let’s speak about your friends. Do you think they will resent you?” Severus asked straight forwardly.
“No, not that. It’s more that they will be hurt... it will be an issue of trust. I do trust them- but... there was simply no way of telling them that I am... well, stuck with you.” Blaise sighed.
“You are ashamed of me?” Severus asked without a hint of anger or hurt.
“NO! No, no, no, no. It’s- I got you because I wanted you, and then I was afraid someone else would take you away, and at first there was a lot of sex, but very little of actual interaction, and it changed so gradually, and we never really dated- I mean we went out yes, but ... There is never pressure when I am with you, and after five years I knew I was stuck, that no one else would ever do, but I also understand that for you it was different. Somehow, telling my friends meant naming it, and there is no name for what we had-have. It was simply easier for me to have it and be happy before I let other people mess it up... I just realised that I was afraid that in reality there would be no us; that it was all just in my head. After all, it took me more than two years to get our first kiss.”
Blaise could only stare at Severus at the realisation that he had been this insecure. He felt worse than back in his teenage years. He was a bigger prat then than now, but at least he was not this stupid.
“I shall ask Draco how I will break the news to the others. I mean, he got around introducing Potter as his boyfriend, so he must have some tips for me. And he owes me so many favours, he will be delighted to help me, after he made certain I know that this will not count as just one favour,” Blaise said after taking some deep breaths. He let himself sink back down, next to Severus.
He had not exaggerated when he said, that this whole situation will turn messy. It was just a very different sort of mess than the one he envisioned.
“What about the house? Where do you want to live, what do you need, what do you like?” he asked.
“I was beginning to wonder why you never brought that up. Blaise, how big is Zabini Manor? And who owns it, because I refuse to move into your mother’s house.”
“I- you would consider moving in with me? I mean, the house and the grounds are mine, and some of the money, but not enough to cover the whole estate, so it’s mostly mine but paid for by my mother? That is, until I take over the estate, which I could do already, I just never thought about it. And the thing is, I need to speak with my mother about this. Of course, only if you want to. I mean, it’s not Malfoy Manor, the estate is not that huge. We don’t even have a maze. We have a nice lake, and a nice library, of course also not as extensive as the Malfoy one, I mean... it never occurred to me. Why would you send me to search for a house if you were willing to move in with me?”
For a moment Blaise thought about stabbing Severus, right there and then, at least one hundred times, or until he felt less frustrated with both himself and Severus. And Severus' demise might actually mean he would stop rambling on and on, without any control, so it would be a one stone - two birds situation.
“To be honest, I was not certain you want to stay there. You rarely bring it up, and you never invited me to visit you there, we always stay at your London flat,” Severus replied honestly.
“I never even considered living there fulltime again. I mean, it is a nice house, but when you wander around in it alone, with only house-elves to keep you company, it gets awfully large. But it is a good home, with the lake and a wizarding town and a muggle town close by. We would also be rather close to the Nott estate. But, as I said before, I have to talk to my mother. But with me being pregnant and wanting to living with you, one of the topics has to be easy.”
Blaise grinned. It was such a simple solution . Why hadn’t he thought of that? Though, he had thought of very little, because he had been so vexed, and anxious and... and not totally himself... like something was off... this was unusual behaviour for him...
“Oh Merlin, I am an idiot,” he cursed out loud.
“I see you figured it out,” Severus simply said, rewarding Blaise with sneer number thirty-eight.
Chapter 3 : @lj | @dw
This entry was originally posted at https://smirkingcat.dreamwidth.org/82162.html.