Snape's Worst Nightmare
(15th August, 1999. The Burrow)
"Say cheese!" said Molly Weasley.
"Cheese!" came the combined voices of her daughter and six daughters-in-law.
There was a flash of light. A picture was taken.
"I can't believe it," sniffed the emotional Weasley matriarch. "All my daughters are pregnant at the same time."
Her husband put his arm around her shoulders and hugged her tightly, a massive, joyous smile on his face. He held up a glass. "To the new members of the Weasley family," he toasted.
"Let the Weasley plan for world domination begin!" shouted Fred.
Amid cheers and laughter, all present drank to the toast. The party had just begun.
(1st September, 2011. The Burrow)
Arthur Weasley rolled over and draped his arm over his slumbering wife. His arm landed on an empty bed.
Arthur was used to Molly getting up before him; she had been the first to rise in the household for decades now. But it was very early, even for Molly. He threw on a dressing gown and slippers, groaning slightly at the creaking in his knees as he stood. Quietly, he slipped out the bedroom door and down the stairs.
The Burrow had been relatively quiet for years. Each of the children had married and moved out not long after the end of the last Dark War. Even now, over a decade later, Arthur still found the silence a little gloomy. Not even the periodic shrieking of the ghoul in the attic could make the old house sound as though it was still full of children, full of life.
From the base of the stairs, Arthur could make out the silhouette of his wife, sitting at the kitchen table. Judging from the pile of tissues on the table, she had been crying to herself. Again. She was looking at a framed photo, one that had become famous in the Weasley family.
With a smile, he made his way over to the table and sat next to her, wrapping his still strong arms around her quivering shoulders. "Molly. Come back to bed. It is too early to be getting up, even if it is September the first."
With a sniff, she replied, "I'm sorry, Arthur. I just miss them. I'd be getting up now to make sure they would all reach the station on time."
With a soft chuckle, Arthur hugged his wife tightly and placed a kiss on top of her head. Without letting go, he tilted his head to look at the photo, one that he already knew so well.
There was only one born Weasley in the frame, his little Ginevra. She had a glowing smile, one of her petite hands cupping her six months pregnant belly, the other waving at her doting father. To her right was Ron's wife, Hermione, one arm around Ginny, the other around Angelina, Fred's wife. Since they were both two months pregnant at the time, they didn't appear too different. The pair just kept looking at each other and laughing with obvious joy.
Katie Bell stood on the other side of Ginny, gently rubbing her very swollen stomach. She would later be the first to give Arthur and Molly a grandchild, well, grandchildren. She had married George soon after the birth of her twin boys.
A serene Penelope calmly stood with quiet grace and elegance, looking over the other girls in the picture before smiling back at Arthur.
Alison, Charlie's wife who he met while working in Romania, was kneeling in front of them all, only just showing signs of her pregnancy. She kept giggling, her calloused hand held up to her mouth, but she had the same mischievous glint in her eye that Arthur saw in his twin's everyday. Behind them all was the unearthly beautiful Fleur, who had married Bill just hours after he helped Harry defeat Voldemort. She had been five months along at the time. Even through the photo, her gentle movements were almost hypnotic when combined with her part-Veela charms.
It had been the announcement by Hermione and Angelina that they were both expecting that caused the famous photo to be taken. It meant that each and every one of their daughters (and both Molly and Arthur felt such about them all) were pregnant at the same time.
Arthur's chuckle grew into a low laugh as he remembered the celebration they had.
(15th August, 1999. The Burrow)
"I'm going to be a dad," said Ron vaguely, still blinking in shock. His wooden face had been a source of much hilarity and jokes by the twins. "A dad. Me."
Harry laughed and pushed a butterbeer into Ron's unresisting hands. "Just think. There will be a Potter and a Weasley together at Hogwarts again."
A look of mild alarm crossed the features of Albus Dumbledore as he realised something that had escaped the others present. He quickly counted on his fingers. "It would appear that there will be at least six Weasleys and a Potter in one year level."
George leapt and landed on the couch next to the ancient wizard, making the old piece of furniture creak loudly. "Hey, that's right! Well, I think that the Gryffindor Quidditch team is organised for at least six years."
"Yeeeessss," said Dumbledore distractedly, his mind obviously on something else.
Arthur was desperately trying to coax Fred down from the kitchen table where he was doing a rather impromptu dance of joy at his impending fatherhood. Fleur, Katie and Hermione were all laughing at the spectacle.
Ginny's deep brown eyes sought out her husband's brilliant green ones. His unruly and impossible hair still bounced around, inviting her hands to run through the silky strands. He turned and locked his emerald eyes on her. They shared a special smile of perfect contentment within the blazing chaos around them.
(1st September, 2011. The Burrow)
"Come on, back to bed Molly," Arthur said, gently urging his wife from the chair.
"I miss them, Arthur. I miss them all terribly."
Arthur checked the watch Harry had given him last Christmas. "You only saw them seven hours ago. Remember?"
"Of course I remember! I just envy those girls the chaos in their lives." Molly sniffed again and reached for another tissue. "They all grew up so fast. Why couldn't they have stayed small for a little while longer?"
"Molly, let's--" He stopped, his mind thinking about a surprise for his wife.
She looked up at him. "Let's what?"
With a grin reminiscent of the twins, he looked down at her and gently kissed her forehead. "Let's go and get some sleep. Then I can take the morning off work and we can go down to London and say goodbye to them. Again."
Molly's eyes lit up with joy. "Oh, I married the best man in the whole world," she said, and gave her husband a kiss.
(1st September, 2011. Platform 9 & 3/4)
Harry stepped through the barrier to platform nine and three quarters. In his arms was his baby girl Margaret, her bright red hair already as wild as medusa's snakes. Two seconds later, Ginny stepped through herding the rest of their family.
"Grandma!" their eldest son shouted and ran off into Molly's arms. Harry smiled ruefully at the sight.
"What's the matter Harry?" his father-in-law asked, leaving Molly to her hugging.
"I owe Hermione a lot of money," he said. "She bet me that Molly wouldn't be able to stay away from Kings Cross today."
"I told you that you were throwing your money away," Ginny said from behind him.
Harry smiled fondly at his wife, then looked around the platform. "I remember seeing this for the first time. It hasn't changed much at all."
Ginny nodded and also looked. The polished, scarlet steam engine was still gleaming, the carriages still looked as comfortable as ever. One thing stood out though.
"Were there as many carriages when we were students?" she asked.
Harry shook his head. "This is the first of the baby-boomer generation. A record intake for Hogwarts in the last sixty years. Almost a hundred students."
Ginny looked mildly concerned. "Will you be able to handle that many?"
Harry nodded. "I've had a fair amount of experience over the last decade. I think I can control them."
Ginny noticed a gleam in his eye. "What?" she asked firmly.
He gave her a look of dismay. "How do you do that?"
"Aunty Ginny know you too well, Uncle Harry," came a voice from behind.
The Potters turned to see the arrival of Percy and Penelope's family. The Head of the Department of International Cooperation smiled at his daughter. "Yes, she has been watching him for a long time now."
Ginny blushed, still embarrassed at her past. "Shoo, you little pest," she said fondly to Percy's daughter. "Go bother your grandmother."
With a shout, the young girl streaked towards Molly and joined the hugging session.
"Good you see you, Perce. How's things?" asked Harry, shaking Percy's hand.
"Not too bad. Though last week there was a shocking display of immaturity by the Belgian Minister of Magic towards the French Minister. Things threatened to get quite out of hand before I stepped in."
"Managed to bore them into submission, did you Perce?"
Harry and Percy turned to face the new arrivals. A red haired man and a beautiful blonde woman herded their own children through the entrance. "Bill!" they said together.
Once again, for the first time in over a decade, Platform nine and three quarters turned into an informal Weasley family reunion. Wild children ran amok, all but a handful with flame red hair, terrorising the other families with their sheer numbers.
"Molly couldn't resist coming down to see them all off," Arthur told one of the other parents, who was looking vaguely ill at the scene. "Imagine sending twelve of your grandchildren off to Hogwarts in one go."
The muggle parent gave Arthur a wild look before making his apologies and beating a hasty retreat.
"I think you should leave them alone, Dad," said Bill, his long hair starting to go grey at the temples.
"Yeah, I think he felt a little concerned about sending his only child to a distant school with a dozen uncontrollable kids from the same family," came a voice from behind them. Both turned, an apprehensive smile on both their faces.
"George!" exclaimed Bill.
The twin rolled his eyes. "It's Fred, Bill."
"Sorry. You are looking fine!"
"Thanks," said Fred, turning to model his new clothes. "Acromantula silk, dragonscale fibers and Yeti wool for warmth." He smiled at his father. "Business is booming, George and I are opening our one hundred and twenty-fifth store next week. In Tokyo."
"Are you still competing against Zonko's?" Bill asked.
Fred rolled his eyes. "Please. You are so behind the times. We performed a hostile takeover of Zonko's business last year. We own all his stores too."
"How did you manage that?"
Fred grinned. "Our esteemed sister-in-law, one Hermione Granger-Weasley, has been our head corporate lawyer for the past year. She is frightening in the negotiation phase.
Bill and his father gave the twin identical smiles. "We can guess."
(1st September, 2011. Great Hall of Hogwarts)
Harry sat at the Head Table, looking out over the impatient students sitting at the four house tables. Dumbledore, still sitting in the massive chair in the middle of the table, gently cleared his throat to get his attention.
"You know, since you have kept your family under the Fidelius Charm, no one here knows that your children are starting at Hogwarts this year," Dumbledore said to Harry as they waited for Hagrid and McGonagall to bring the first years to the Great Hall.
Harry nodded, but several other teachers overheard the headmaster's comment.
"Congratulations, Harry. I didn't realise it was so long ago that you had your first child," said Professor Flitwick. "How are you going to handle teaching your own children?"
Harry gave the diminutive Charms professor a wry smile. "To tell you the truth, I've already started teaching them. They are probably at a mid-third year level in Defence. I wanted to make sure they had a better chance should our location become known to 'unsavory' types."
The teachers nodded somberly. The doors to the Great Hall were thrown wide open and Professor McGonagall led the largest group of first year students Harry had ever seen.
From this distance, it was impossible to make out the identities of individual students, but it was easy to see that several had red hair.
McGonagall produced the traditional three-legged stool and Sorting Hat, and everyone in the Hall silenced to listen to its song.
Half the students had been sorted before Harry's first child was called.
Harry watched as his eldest son strode forward and sat on the stool. At one end of the staff table, Professor Snape spurted wine through his nose at the announced name. He carefully dabbed at himself with his napkin, his glare daring anyone to even smile at his action.
Professor Sprout leaned over and whispered, "He looks just like another scrawny kid we taught here recently."
Harry smiled and nodded. His son was the spitting image of him at eleven. The Sorting Hat was placed on James' head, and Harry held his breath.
Hm, what do we have here? A Potter and a Weasley. Most interesting. Plenty of bravery, plus a stubborn streak a mile wide. Now, where shall I put you?
'I'm a Gryffindor,' James thought at the Hat.
You're sure, are you. Never doubted it for a minute?
The Sorting Hat sounded almost amused. Indeed you haven't. Well, I can't argue with that, better be Gryffindor!
The Gryffindor table burst into applause. James calmly took the Hat off and handed it back to Professor McGonagall before taking his seat at the table.
Harry's second son walked forward, more nervous than James. Professor Snape glared at Harry before returning his attention to the sorting.
"Twins?" asked Professor Sprout. Harry shook his head with a smile.
The Hat settled on Remus' head.
Well, well. Another one. Your brother has a certain streak of stubbornness that you lack.
'I know,' Remus thought nervously.
Not a bad mind, and your gentle nature would see you do well in Hufflepuff. But your ambitious side, though you've hidden it well, would cause difficulty there. Perhaps Slytherin is the place for you.
Remus snorted to himself.
No, I guess not. You are as difficult to place as your namesake.
'Uncle Remus was hard to place?'
Oh, yes. Eventually, I had to put him where he would be supported if his secret was discovered. Yes, I think I'd better put you in Gryffindor!
Once more, the Gryffindor table burst into applause. Remus joined his brother with relief.
"How can they not be twins?" Professor Sprout asked Harry. "They look absolutely identi-"
"Triplets?" gasped Professor Sprout. Harry nodded and smiled down at his youngest son.
Professor Snape looked as though he had swallowed something sour. Even those not near him could see him mouth, 'Three Potters!' in disgust.
Once more, the Sorting Hat settled on a Potter's head.
Oh, please. Another one? Well, your father certainly named you all well. You definitely have your namesake's mischievous side.
'Thanks very much,' Sirius grinned.
Yes, I'm sure you hold him in awe. His death was a massive blow to your father. Well, the few differences aside, you are too similar to be put anywhere but Gryffindor!
A third time in a row, clapping erupted from the Gryffindor table. Harry breathed a sigh of relief.
"How on earth did Ginny manage to carry those three ruffians?" asked Professor Sinistra.
"Hey!" Harry protested under the cover of the applause. "Why would you think they are ruffians?"
"Probably because of whom they are named for," suggested Dumbledore, not looking at Harry.
Harry couldn't think of a rebuttal to that.
The sorting dragged on and on. Not a few stomach growls could be heard from the students waiting for their dinner. Finally Professor McGonagall got to the first of the flame haired students.
Harry leaned over to Professor Sprout. "Fred's youngest."
It took a few seconds for Harry's use of the word 'youngest' to sink in to the rest of the staff.
Aha! For some reason, I didn't think it would be too long before a Weasley graced this school once again.
'What about James, Sirius and Remus?'
Believe me, they are Potters to the bone, no matter who their mother was. You on the other hand, hmmm, at least you have more sense than your sire.
'I have more sense than my dad?' thought Alex unbelievingly.
Oh, yes. Your father and his brother swapped their turns with me. I knew then that they would be trouble, so I thought to keep them together.
Alex thought this revelation about his dad and Uncle George was fascinating.
I'm sure you do. Well, there is nothing for it. You definitely belong in Gryffindor!
Again the Gryffindor table clapped loudly.
Harry looked to the other heads of houses. Professors Sprout, Flitwick and Snape all wore varying degrees of relief on their faces.
"Brace yourselves," Harry said.
They all looked at him curiously.
"Fred's eldest," said Harry.
The three house heads suddenly looked nervous again.
Yes, I rather thought you'd be next.
'That didn't take a great deal of logical thought.'
Hmmm, a Weasley with wit instead of a temper. Unusual.
'Hmmm, a dilapidated piece of haberdashery giving personality advice. Unusual.'
Oh, you are brave one, my boy. Only one place for you. Gryffindor!
Amid the applause, some concern from the staff table was evident. Young Arthur Weasley sat down at the last available space at the Gryffindor table. Professor Dumbledore looked at the full table, then at the other houses, noting that there were several spaces free on each. He then looked at the remaining dozen students, noting the number of red heads.
With a sigh, Dumbledore waved his hand and the Gryffindor table extended itself. A number of faint pops and some elves rushed to set places. Seconds later, they vanished, their task complete.
With that small interruption out of the way, the sorting continued.
A thin, lanky girl with long wavy copper hair walked forward with a calm, but determined expression.
"Ron and Hermione's daughter," said Harry to head off the inevitable question.
"Ah, I'm looking forward to teaching that one." said Professor Flitwick.
My dear, you are the result of a most remarkable union. Your mother was most difficult to place, though your sire had only one possible home here.
'I don't mind where you put me. I'm sure you'll put me where I belong.
Yes, most intriguing. Ravenclaw or Gryffindor. Well, with the five thugs I've already placed there, I think I'd better put you there too, as a balancing influence. Gryffindor!
It was obvious from McGonagall's expression that this was one Weasley she was glad to accept into her house.
Harry clapped with enthusiasm. Ron and Hermione would be over the moon.
The tallest first year since Hagrid stepped forward to take a seat. Even at eleven, he was almost six feet tall.
"Bill's son," Harry informed the teachers. Snape looked venomous.
Charles looked almost comical sitting on the small stool, his knees up around chest height.
What's this? Another Weasley? Well, I can't say it's a surprise.
'Can I please go with my cousins?'
Perhaps, you certainly have the innate nobility for that house. But your gentle nature and determination certainly make you suitable for Hufflepuff.
'I'd like to be with my cousins though, sir.'
My goodness. A polite one. Well, I'd best put you in the same house, if only so you can protect the others from their pranks. Gryffindor!
Some snickering followed this announcement at another red head joined the scarlet and gold table.
"Weasley, Christopher," said McGonagall, her voice a little strained.
Professor Flitwick looked down the table at Harry. "Just how many Weasleys are joining us this year?" he asked.
Harry just smiled wickedly. "That's George's eldest."
Several smiles on the staff table vanished as the Sorting Hat settled down again.
Another one. Ah, but what is this? Burning ambition, oh yes. I haven't seen anything so bright as this for a long time. A desire to prove yourself is there too. A truly unique mind as well, my goodness. Where am I going to put you?
'Not Slytherin. Anywhere but there,' Chris thought determinedly.
Are you sure? Your Uncle was sure too, and he turned out all right. The deputy headmistress isn't going to like this but, Gryffindor!
The snorts of amusement were louder this time, McGonagall's face had paled spectacularly. Compared to her, the Bloody Baron looked as though he had a tan.
Harry looked down at Snape and noted that the potions master looked ill. "I guess the thought of controlling all those Weasleys is a bit daunting," he whispered.
The teachers who heard him nodded their heads in total agreement.
The laughter got louder as Percy's daughter walked to the chair and sat down.
"Percy's daughter," said Harry. "Truly her father's daughter."
The idea of another Percy Weasley at Hogwarts brought mixed reactions from the teachers.
What on earth is going on? Was the world taken over by Weasleys and no one informed me?
Heidi huffed to herself.
Ah, yes. You definitely have your father in you. Gryffindor!
A groan spread throughout the Great Hall, and several murmured conversations started. It was obvious that the topic was the Weasleys and their domination of Gryffindor.
Professor McGonagall's hands shook slightly as she continued to read the list of new students.
The open laughter at another Weasley being called soon hushed, as Fleur's daughter gracefully drifted to the chair, her long straight golden-red hair gently swaying with her movements. She turned and daintily took a seat.
"Bill's daughter." supplied Harry, but no one was listening to him.
Isabella's Veela charm was obviously working to perfection. It was only her large twin brother's cracking of his knuckles that forced attention away from her.
It's a plot, I'm sure of it.
'I beg your pardon?'
Never mind. You don't have the infamous Weasley temper, so I think I need to put you where your brother and cousins can deter any unwanted attention. Gryffindor!
The groan that came from the other three tables was one of despair. McGonagall visibly swallowed to clear her throat.
Harry glanced at Snape. The man looked almost defeated.
McGonagall's voice almost cracked when she continued.
The only word that could describe the noise from the students was... sniggering. As one, the teachers turned to Harry. He shrugged. "Charlie's boy."
Snape had his face in his hands. "Another one. Not another one," he muttered.
They have got to be kidding!
What do they need me for? Any Weasley goes straight into Gryffindor!
A groan of amusement swept through the Great Hall, and the students burst into laughter. Even the Gryffindor students joined in, applauding loudly to welcome Charlie's son.
The Hall finally fell silent, as everyone waited to hear the name of the next student.
Professor McGonagall paused not for dramatic effect, but to calm herself enough to finish.
The laughter rose again. This time none of the teachers looked at Harry as he said, "George's other twin."
Rabbits. You're all rabbits.
A stamping of feet and a cheering from the Gryffindor table signaled the arrival of the last Weasley. A chant of WE GOT THEM ALL, WE GOT THEM ALL went through the ranks.
Harry sat quietly clapping on the staff table, the only teacher looking at the proceedings. All the others had covered their faces with their hands.
Professor Snape was shaking. "Nine. Nine of them. And three Potters. I can't handle this."
Harry noticed that seemed to be a common complaint of all the teachers. Dumbledore alone smiled to himself.
"What are you so happy about Albus?" asked the Charms professor.
"Why Filius! Nothing, except that I'm not teaching any classes this year."
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