"Half of what I say is meaningless
But I say it just to reach you, Julia."

(John Lennon)


December 1999

Julia, who is only two months old, stops crying as soon as Severus takes her in his arms, but she is still sobbing. Severus takes her upstairs and enters the bedroom which used to be Ginevra's, on the third floor of the Burrow.

"Your mother asked me to stay with you a little while. She said you like my voice and calm down when I talk to you."

Julia flutters her tiny arms and starts cooing. "Oooooooooooh...."

"Your voice is beautiful, too, except when you cry like you just did."


"Yes, I know. There were too many people downstairs, and all of them were speaking to you, pinching your cheeks, making all those hoochie coochie noises... A bunch of dunderheads. Even I was losing my patience. You did well: because you cried so loud, your mother asked me to bring you upstairs, and I had a good excuse to take my leave."

Severus sits on the bed to settle Julia on his lap. "You seem to like your godfather, though."


"I believe he likes you too. He was the one who gave you that pretty overall with a little cauldron stamp. Oh, and your clock, too. You don't remember, because you weren't born yet, but Harry gave it to you about two weeks before you were born. Harry and I put the clock together. It was a very pleasant experience..."

Julia is calm now, and stares at him intently.

"Don't look at me like that, it was your mother's idea. Now we will spend a few days here, until New Year's Day, and Harry will be here, too. You will have a lot of time to be with him. He looks lonely... It's a good time to talk to him, don't you think?"

Severus holds his daughter's small hand. She grabs one of his fingers and holds it tightly.

"Julia, I never thought I would have a daughter. Life is an intricate web of joy and pain, but if there's anything that makes me happy is to have you and your mother by my side. One day you will understand. I hope I can be with you when you are all grown-up and able to understand such things. I want you to have everything I didn't have when I was a child. Especially a stable and caring family."

Julia looks at him with dark sleepy eyes. Julia resembles him a lot - except for her nose, which is, at least for now, small.

"Everything will be all right, Julia. The trick is to savour every moment together, instead of making big plans for the future. Enjoy every single moment. Just like now, when you are on my lap, cosy, safe and calm."

Julia closes her eyes and falls asleep, still holding Severus's finger in her hand.

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Ptyx, August 2006