Title: The Wizarding Fathers' Guide to Difficult Conversations (revised edition), Chapter 14: "You and Your Child of Male Pregnancy!"
Summary: joanaseta asked for "after Ten Aprils: Erasmus and adolescence". . . and it just so happened that I had written the very thing a few days ago. Kismet!
"My other real dad would have let me," Ras said, and Severus winced.
"Tell me you didn't say that to Remus."
Ras' chin – and the horrible patchy bit of beard – rose further. "The both of you treat me like a child. A particularly stupid child."
Severus rubbed at his forehead and wondered what to do first: try and ease Remus' pain or deal with the teenager. He supposed doing the latter might lead to the former. Damn it. He took Ras' arm and side-alonged them both away.
"You bastard," Ras said, ripping his arm out of Severus' grasp and shivering in the shock of cold.
"Watch your mouth," Severus said evenly. "For starters, you don't know where you are, and you've no wand. Not to mention the fact that I'm far more your father than the sorry gene donor in there." He waved his hand to the barely-visible stone walls of Azkaban, beyond the cold, foaming sea.
Ras stopped rubbing his bare arms and stared out over the ocean. Severus was disconcerted to see Ras' face slide from angry young man to wounded child. He cast a warming charm over them both.
"I thought he was dead," Ras said, his voice cracking.
"No," Severus said. "But he'll die in prison if I have anything to do with it." He paused. "He comes up for review every five years. Umbridge wants him released on license. I've testified against him every time."
"I want to meet him," Ras said, defiance building up in his shoulders again. Identifying with the supposed underdog, Severus thought: he understood the impulse, misguided though it was.
"When you are seventeen no one will be able to stop you, if that's what you want," Severus said with a negligent drop of his own shoulder. "He's a nasty piece of work – a murderer and a rapist." Severus caught the emotion that flashed across Ras' face. "I have been very, very careful to hide the fact that you're his genetic child from him, and from the media and the world."
"Of course." Severus crossed his arms. "You are not a nasty piece of work. You have Remus' knack for languages and his intelligence, as well as his accursed sense of humour. For some perverse reason you have my temper and pride. From him – " he tilted his head at the prison – "you have eye and hair colour and a projected adult height of just under two metres." Ras let out a shuddering breath. "The mistakes he made were ones of weak judgement," Severus continued. "Nothing genetic. We never had any fears that you'd emulate him. Remus was more worried that you'd emulate me. Which you did. Damn it." He looked straight at Ras; after a moment, Ras met his gaze. "Did you really say that to Remus?"
The sea wind had eroded the warming charm, and Ras was shivering again. "Might have done." He shifted, rubbing his legs together for warmth. "Did he. . . he make dad pregnant? Is that what I am?"
"What you are," Severus said sharply, stealing Remus' words without a qualm, "is a miracle. I know you studied Scaeva's work with Remus last year. You know you were conceived through magic, not sex."
Ras blew out a breath. "You and dad, you've been giving me pieces of this all my life, haven't you? Like a puzzle. Only I was too thick to put it together."
"We are even more cunning than that," Severus said dryly. "We planned to not give you the final, crucial pieces until you were sixteen, so you'd have a year to sort through your thoughts and feelings before coming of age."
Ras snorted and shot Severus an amused glance. Severus relaxed, a little. "That's either very cold or admirable parenting strategy, I don't know which."
"Both," Severus said. "Good parenting requires both cold-hearted practicality and passion."
"I'm freezing, you know," Ras said.
"There's a pub down the hill." Severus pointed out the path. On the way, Ras studied him sidelong.
"I'm clever enough to make educated guesses," Ras said. "About what you're not telling me. About my dad."
"Remus is a survivor," Severus said, his hands clenching in his pockets.
Ras gave him another of those little-boy looks. "He'll know you told me. I won't know what to say."
"Or where to look?" Severus said slyly. "It all happened before you were even a zygote. Your dad is still the same person he's always been, with the same godawful taste in music and clothes. If your feelings towards him have to change, it'd be nice if you respected him more. He takes things to heart, and he loves you more than is healthy, considering that you're a teenager."
"Oh, fuck you," Ras said amiably, and Severus held the pub door for him as sarcastically as he could, considering that both he and Ras knew that Severus was guilty of the same love.