Severus could hardly believe the time that had passed since the greatest gift he'd ever been given had come into his life as more than just his student.
And his greatest gift had given him so many beautiful gifts, each one just as precious as the last.
Placing his arm around Harry, he watched their eldest, Nero Septimus Snape, in Slytherin green, smirk down at his younger siblings. His had been a premature birth, born on Valentine's sixteen years and ten months ago.
Their home at 1 Potter-Snape Grove in wizard space was perfect and decorated in Gryffindor red and Slytherin green. Here and there appeared other festive colors, including silver and gold, along with some white.
Candy canes hung on the wreaths and the blue spruce that the children were decorating.
Harry sighed, leaning into him. "They grow up so fast, Severus. Nero only has one more year to go after this. I hope they don't pick on him as badly as that group at the school still do."
"As I hope for the same, Harry. But at least Nero has always had the two of us. As our other children have us and Nero, and we have them."
No matter what House they had been sorted into, the siblings had remained close.
Harry reached up to nuzzle him on the cheek. "They're just jealous because Nero looks so much like you, except with my unruly hair. At least he had an ally in Teddy before Teddy graduated."
Their second born, Zeno Avitus Snape, who'd been Sorted into Ravenclaw, sat on the floor, reading the directions on how to put popcorn on string for a garland. He had been an April Fools baby fourteen years and eight months ago. He, too, looked much like Severus, save for his emerald green eyes and shorter beak of a nose. He was even taller than Nero and his hair already reached the middle of his back, oft worn in a horse braid.
Severus didn't care that he'd been sorted into Ravenclaw instead of his beloved Slytherin.
Harry smiled. "Do you think Zeno will ever notice the ladies, or even the gentlemen? Or will he always and forever have his nose stuck in a book?"
"I rather think he has his eye on a younger classmate."
"One of my godson's children."
"Does that upset you?"
"No, but it does startle me."
Severus smirked. His gaze turned toward their third born, Petronius James Potter. Loath as he'd been to name any of his children after James Potter, he was even more loath to cause his bonded any hurt. But he would not accept it as a first name. Although many called his third born by his middle name, he himself refused to do so. Although he knew his Petronius, born the fourth of July twelve years and five months ago, preferred not to be called by his surname, he still allowed Severus to call him such. Of course, Severus thought the names "James" and "Potter" together were forever cursed to be Gryffindor. For that was where Petronius had been Sorted. He would still never fully get over the fact that Petronius James Potter looked more like James Potter than did his son, Harry James Potter. But therein the resemblance ended, save one.
Harry whispered, "Do you think Petronius James will like the Neo-Firebolt?"
Severus would have rolled his eyes, but refrained. That was for young brats and his husband to do. "I am certain he will. Although I am loath to give a member of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, particularly their Seeker, anything that might help them, I am a father first."
Their younger children had not yet been Sorted. But when September came around again, Severus knew that their fourth born, Julian Constantine Potter, would be a Slytherin. He was a sneaky little thing with great ambition. Not to mention that he was always trying to imitate Nero.
He was far more quiet. His hair was a deep auburn rather than black, his eyes a hazel brown. A pale complexion gave way to a more than generous sprinkling of freckles. Even when the boy had been a baby, Severus couldn't count just how many freckles Julian had.
Harry murmured, "You're right. Julian Constantine is definitely going to be Sorted into Slytherin. He just stole all of his brother's popcorn and replaced it with slugs while Zeno wasn't looking."
"I suspect Julian is hungry, and his favorite snack has always been stovetop popcorn."
There was yet another son of theirs—fifth born and the only child he had ever himself carried, due in part to the very few times he had ever allowed Harry to top as a reward—that he believed would be pure Slytherin through and through. Maximinus Albus Potter had been born upon the Ides of March, eight years and nine months ago.
Maximinus looked like Harry, but with Severus' horribly long nose.
Beside Maximinus sat his younger brother, whom Harry had called Slytherin even before his first birthday. Tiberius Tacitus Snape had been born on May Day six years and seven months ago. His hair was a fiery red and his eyes the color of his bearer's. He looked so much like Lily, save for the shorter and far more unruly wild hair. Many times he'd been able to talk his siblings out of their share of the biscuits. At least when Harry wasn't there to keep him from doing so.
Harry whispered, "Maxi and Rius won't make as much trouble as the girls."
Severus shuddered at the very idea of his daughters ever being old enough to even attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
The pair of them, Lily Lucilla Potter and Eileen Sabina Snape, twins with long, fiery red hair and chocolate brown eyes, were inseparable. But he and Harry both dreaded the day they'd be Sorted. For surely Lily would be Gryffindor and Eileen Slytherin. Eileen had been born fifteen minutes after Lily on August thirteenth, four years and four months ago. Lily was their only left-handed child, mirror image twin to Eileen.
Harry whispered into Severus's ear, "We should go to our room, use silencing charms, and work on making a Hufflepuff."
Severus quirked a brow. "I thought you wanted no more children after finally getting the girls and outdoing the Weasleys?"
"Well, now that they finally found a way to heal Fred so that he can walk, he said he was going to have a dozen kids with the young man that won't leave him alone."
"Then I suppose we'll need to try for quadruplets."
Standing up, he took Harry's hand and led him off to their rooms.
Nero watched them leave the room, and Zeno smirked. "We'd better start preparing the nursery for four little Hufflepuffs, don't you think so, Nero?"
Nero nodded. "Perhaps we'll get a Clodius Cedric, Hadrian Hagrid, Decius Draco and Silvanus Flavius. That is, if they're all boys."
Zeno arched a brow, closing his book. "Do you think Father will be able to talk Dad into letting him use Draco on one of them?"
"Maybe." Nero looked out the window, a smile lighting him up, for outside the window was none other than Teddy Remus Lupin and Victoire Weasley. And with Teddy, his half-sister Aludra Black and half-brother Altair Black.