Severus patiently waited for the right moment to talk to Molly. That moment arrived on a Sunday afternoon, when the Snapes were at the Burrow. Arthur, Ginevra, Harry and Julia were going to the shed to play with a Muggle remote control helicopter that Arthur had bought, and Molly announced she would go to the kitchen and make tea. Severus offered to help her.
"What is it?" she asked, as soon as they entered the kitchen.
Realising she hadn't been fooled by his act, Severus decided not to waste any time. "I want to talk to you."
"Oh, it looks serious. Would you care for a cup of tea?"
Molly laughed. "I know you're partial to Darjeeling."
Severus sat at the table while Molly prepared tea.
"You can talk while I work. I'm used to it. I can think better when I'm working," she said.
Severus took a deep breath. "You know about Ginevra, Harry and me. I know you do."
"You've finally realised I'm not a complete idiot!" she exclaimed sardonically.
"I have never considered you an idiot. However, my experience tells me many clever people tend not to see what is in front of their eyes. I'm glad you have noticed it, because that will make our conversation easier."
"Oh, stop beating about the bush! I'm dying of curiosity here. Are you going to have a triple marriage or something like that? I don't think it's a good idea."
"No, it's not that. If you let me speak -"
"I'm not gagging you, am I?" Molly asked, quirking an eyebrow.
He had to fight not to laugh at the image her words evoked, and decided that going straight to the point was the best strategy to force her to listen. "Ginevra is pregnant."
Molly's eyes lit up. "That's wonderful! Oh... Wait a minute... you know who the father is, don't you? It's not Harry, is it?"
"Not exactly. We have performed an ancient Greek ritual, the Amphitryon. Ginevra will give birth to twins: one from me, and the other one from Harry."
Molly flashed an ear-to-ear smile. "Twins! From two fathers! You are unbelievable. But why didn't Ginny tell me? I want to hug her and -"
Severus held her by the arm. "Calm down. Have a seat and drink your darjeeling. Do you suppose everyone will react as enthusiastically as you have?"
"Hmm... I see. Yes, it's an... uncommon situation. I don't even know how Arthur will react. Of course I have my methods for convincing him, but you're right. We need to think things over."
Molly waited until Arthur was tucked up in bed to raise the subject:
"Harry gets along very well with Ginny and Severus. Don't you think they form a lovely family?"
"Harry? Oh, it's true. They get along so well that Harry seems to be married to them, too!"
"Arthur, would you be shocked if you found out that... well, let's speak hypothetically... that they are a couple of three?"
"What? What nonsense is that? Why are you saying that?"
"Please, dear, think about it and tell me how'd you feel."
Arthur propped his elbow on the bed and his head on his hand, facing Molly, and lit up a candle. "Molly, I know you. There's something you're hiding from me."
Molly sighed and didn't say anything else. She saw understanding slowly dawning in her husband's face.
"Oh... This is... weird," he said.
"Yes, dear, it's weird, but it's not bad. They are happy together."
"I don't know. I'll have to get used to the idea. Ugh... Just thinking about it makes me -"
"Don't think, Arthur. Or rather, think of the good side of it. Ginny is pregnant."
"Pregnant? Again? Oh, God. And... oh, no! Who's the father?"
"She'll have twins. One will be Severus's, and the other one will be Harry's."
Arthur frowned. "How?"
"They did an ancient Greek ritual. Think, Arthur: Ginny will have twins. And one of them will be Harry's. Isn't it wonderful?"
"Yes, it is. I'm glad. But I don't understand."
Molly turned off the light and pulled Arthur back under the blankets. "You don't understand because you're like me: completely monogamous."
Arthur snuggled up to her. "Yes. I wouldn't want to share my Mollywobbles with anyone else!"
"What?" Bill widened his eyes. "Severus and Ginny sleep with Harry, and Ginny will have twins from both Severus and Harry? What kind of insanity is that?"
"Please calm down, chéri."
Bill and Fleur were having dinner in their house, in Ottery St Catchpole, just three miles from the Burrow.
"Was it my mum who told you that?"
"I've told you eet was," replied Fleur, slightly irritated.
"I can't believe my mum agreed to such a thing."
"What's ze problem? Zey are 'appy togezzer."
"Ah, you and your veela ideas!"
"Oh, Bill, but you are not prejudiced eizzer. I 'oped you would understand."
"Hmpf. I have nothing against alternative relationships. But... with my sister?"
Fleur laughed. "You Eenglish men are very weird!"
Clara was closing The Simmering Cauldron when Ginny entered by the inner door.
"Clara, I'd like to talk to you."
"Oh, then I'll close the door so that we can talk more freely," said the old woman, who had already grabbed her bag to leave.
"Er... I hope you don't get shocked at what I'm going to tell you. It's about Harry, Severus and me."
"What is it?" said Clara, shutting the door and turning to Ginny again.
"Do you remember that day, when Severus got infected by the Pogrebin powder?"
"How could I ever forget?"
"Well, that book contained a recipe for a potion that allowed me to get pregnant with twins. By both Severus and Harry."
Clara widened her eyes. "You are the most incredible people I've ever met!" she finally exclaimed. "Let me see if I understand: you will have twins from two different fathers."
"Yes. That's it."
"This is really extraordinary. I hope Professor Snape will tell me more about that potion later..." Suddenly, Clara seemed to wake up from her thoughts, and opened her arms to Ginny. "Congratulations!"
Ginny embraced her. "Thanks for being so understanding. Please don't tell anyone our secret. We will need your help."
"Oh, I like the three of you very much. I won't tell anyone, don't worry. And you may count upon me."
Arthur decided to tell the news to Remus and Tonks, and the best place to do that, in his opinion, was the pub where they used to go after work. However, after more than one hour of indecision and procrastination, his two friends were impatient.
"Spit it out, Arthur. What's the problem? Is it something with Bill?" asked Remus, always concerned about Bill's condition.
"No, Bill's all right."
"Then it's Ginny," suggested Tonks. Arthur's hesitant silence seemed to made her more confident. "I was suspecting something. I haven't seen her these last days. What's the problem with her?"
"Well, you know that Harry lives with them, don't you?"
"Of course we do. He left them a couple of weeks ago and came back a week later... That was very strange," said Tonks.
"How do you know these details?" asked Arthur.
"Robards ordered me to watch Severus, don't you remember?"
"Oh, it's true. Didn't you notice anything... different about their relationship?" asked Arthur.
"You mean, something between Severus and Harry? Indeed, I... Er... Why are you asking me that?"
Remus sighed loudly. "All your roundabouts are making me dizzy."
"I'll tell you everything," said Arthur. "But you have to promise to keep it a secret."
"On Merlin's beard," said Tonks.
"I promise," said Remus.
"All right. The problem is... Ginny, Severus and Harry have a triple relationship," said Arthur, finally.
Tonks beamed. "That's fabulous! I was concerned about the direction this conversation was taking, because I had already noticed sparks flying between Harry and Severus. If they are a triad, it's all right. I'm relieved and happy."
Remus frowned, looking pensive. "Poor Harry. He has always longed for a family. I think he ended up adopting Severus and Ginny. But I'm afraid this is not going to work."
"Oh, it will have to work," said Arthur, determined. "Ginny is pregnant by both of them."
"How come?" asked Tonks.
"She's going to have twins. Severus is the father of one of the children, and Harry's the father of the other one."
"Is this possible?" asked Tonks.
"Severus discovered an ancient Greek potion that enabled them to do that," explained Arthur.
"Then everything changes," said Remus. "In this case, the problem will be how the Wizarding World is going to react to that, and how the three of them are going to react to that reaction."
"That's exactly what worries me," said Arthur.
"We'll do what we can to help them, won't we, Remus?"
"Of course," said Remus.
Harry met Hermione in The Leaky Cauldron after she had finished the work for the day. She had been working as a trainee in the Department of International Magical Cooperation and was kept very busy in the office.
They had barely sat down at a table with the two butterbeers they had ordered, when Hermione asked, "So, what's your problem?"
"Er... it's not exactly a problem."
"What is it, then?" she insisted, a charming and merciless smile on her lips.
"It's about Severus, Ginny and me."
"Hmm. You've decided to come out of the closet."
"What? You already knew it?"
"Harry..." She rolled her eyes. "I've known you three for more than ten years now."
"Oh, God. So you know. What do you think?"
"About your coming out of the closet?"
"No, it's not that. We're not coming out of the closet... yet. I mean, what do you think of... everything?"
Hermione shrugged. "This is something personal. It doesn't interfere with my friendship with you or with Ginny. Neither does it interfere with the respectful relationship between me and Severus. My only concern is -"
Hermione gave a sardonic smile. "Yeah. Ron."
"Hermione, that's not the whole story. Ginny is pregnant."
"From both Severus and me."
Hermione arched both eyebrows. "How come?"
"Heteropaternal superfecundation," said Harry, trying to impress her.
She frowned, as if trying to remember something. "I read about a potion, once. Amphitryon, if I'm not mistaken. Yeah, Amphitryon."
"Yeah, that's the one. Severus found the recipe, and we performed the ritual."
"This is fantastic. Absolutely fantastic! Oh... so now you're in big trouble, aren't you?"
"Just for a change," said Harry, ironically.
Hermione smiled. "Harry's going to be a daddy! How wonderful. Congratulations!"
"Thank you. But... how am I going to tell Ron?"
She became thoughtful. "I suppose you want me to tell him."
"Would you do that for me?"
"Oh, the things I have to do for you!"
Later, in the sitting room of Hermione's flat in London, Ron met the news with a very predictable reaction. "Ewwwww! Harry's sleeping with Snape? That's gross! And my sister is sleeping with both of them? Don't they have any sense of shame? Decency? Taste?"
"Ron, don't be a bigot!" exclaimed Hermione.
"A bigot, me? Oh, I'm not a bigot. It's just that... well, it's Snape, you know? I have nothing against Harry being gay. I mean, it's a bit weird, to think your best friend is gay, but -"
"Is it a threat to your masculinity, your best friend being gay? " she asked, nagging him.
"Of course not. It's just... weird."
"Anyway, it's their problem. I don't think we should judge them."
"But Ginny's my sister!"
"And so what? She's an adult woman."
Ron shrugged. He was clearly unconvinced, but apparently didn't have any arguments left.
"Wouldn't it be sweet, to have nephews or nieces that are twins?" she asked, changing tactics.
Ron smiled. "I hope they'll be boys."
"Well, they already have Julia. I love Julia, but I reckon I'll get along better with boys," said Ron, thoughtful.
"Are you sure you're not gay?" asked Hermione, and had to dodge the cushion Ron had thrown towards her face.
Ptyx, November 2006