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Valora was stretched out on her couch with a book in her lap and a mug of mint tea on the side table. Her crazy dreams last night had been shoved into one of the compartments of her mind where she kept unpleasant things. Harry and Ron were at training and Teddy was asleep in his crib, napping. Sirius had just taken a shower and walked into the living room, leaning in the doorway with a towel slung low on his hips. He ran a hand over his wet hair.

"Where's Teddy?" he asked. Valora took a sip of tea and didn't glance up, very much aware that for some reason his presence lately had been annoying her even though she had no reason.
   
"Napping." she said, putting down her mug and and turning the page of her book.

"What are you reading?" he asked, tightening his grip on his towel. Valora rolled her eyes and held the book up so he could read the cover. 'The Magic of Motherhood'.

"For once it's not Hamlet."

"I don't read Hamlet that often!" she said, sounding exasperated. Sirius looked completely taken aback. He raised an eyebrow at her.

"What? Who said you did?" he asked, confused. Valora tucked a piece of hair behind her ear and realized she had just heard Severus again.

"You do too read it that often." Severus said to her. Valora tried to keep calm but could feel Sirius's eyes on her.

"Never mind. Just go put some pants on." she told him. Sirius laughed nervously and left to get dressed. Valora put her book aside and tried to rationalize this insanity. It was the grief. It had to be. She missed Sev so much he was manifesting in audio hallucinations? Even explained it sounded crazy. Valora downed the rest of her tea and grabbed her wand to float the empty mug into the sink. As soon as the spell left her lips the mug slammed into the wall and shattered. Sirius, thankfully now in pants, came running.

"What the hell was that?" he asked. Valora looked somewhat stunned.

"I don't know. I just tried to put the mug in the sink." she said, confused. Sirius raised an eyebrow.

"So you felt the need to throw it?" he asked. Valora rolled her eyes.

"I didn't throw it, Padfoot. I used my wand and instead of floating it slammed into the wall." Valora said.

"Since when do you mess up simple spells?" he asked, bending down to pick up the ceramic pieces.

"I don't know! I don't know what's happening, okay?" Valora snapped. The baby began crying from the other room and Valora went to grab him.

"I'm sorry, sweetheart." she mumbled as she picked Teddy up. He quieted a bit as she began to rock him and hum.

"Chapter six." Severus's voice said.

"What?" Valora asked quietly.

"Did you say something, Pardus?" Sirius called from the living room.

"No." Valora called back, making a face her friend couldn't see. This was getting complicated.

"The book. You skipped chapter six." Severus said as Valora closed the door to her bedroom.

"So? It was about pregnancy complications. I'm in perfect health." she said. Except for the talking to herself and hearing the voices of dead people thing.

"Just go read it." Severus said, sounding annoyed. Valora bristled at him tone and ignored Teddy's head, swiveling around trying to see who she was talking to.

"What are you going to do? Yell? I'm really scared, Sev." she said with a mocking laugh.

"Stop being difficult and read the damn thing." he snapped. Valora sank onto the bed with tears in her eyes. This was becoming too much to handle.

"Why is this happening to me? I can't deal with going crazy right now." she moaned, resting her lips against Teddy's head. Severus sighed.

"If you go and read that chapter, I'll be quiet." he told her. Valora scoffed.

"When have you ever been quiet?" she said, standing up and wiping away the tears. Keeping the baby cradled on her shoulder, Valora checked her make-up in the mirror, making certain that no evidence of her momentary weakness was visible. When she walked back into the living room, Sirius had completely cleaned up the broken mug.

"You didn't have to do that, Siri. I'm sorry for snapping at you." Valora said, resuming her seat on the couch. Sirius walked over to her and kissed the top of her head.

"Not a problem, kitty cat." he told her as he took the seat beside her. Valora used her free hand to pick up the book she had left on her coffee table and handed it to Sirius.

"Flip to chapter six for me, will you?" she asked him, as she stood to grab a bottle for the baby. Sirius dutifully did as he was asked and raised an eyebrow at the chapter title.

"Are you sick?" he asked, nervously looking back at her. Valora tested the heat of the bottle on her wrist and deemed it temperate enough to give the baby.

"I don't think so, but I did have that fainting spell and my magic is being a little erratic, so I just want to double check. Does it say anything about uncontrollable force in spells and charms and what not?" she asked as she fed the baby. Sirius began to scan through using his finger as a guide. Valora sat back down beside him and waited for the verdict, part of her hoping there was an explanation for the strange things that had been happening and another part stubbornly hoping to prove Sev wrong. Even though he was dead Valora had the urge to be right.

"Well, damn." Sirius said quietly. Valora looked up nervously.

"What?" she asked. Sirius cleared his throat.

"It says 'Many women from a slight loss in magical control during pregnancy. The results of this are possible blackouts, stronger spells, and sometimes magical reactions to bad moods. Do not get these women angry or you may find yourself in a hospital. This condition is hereditary, occurring mostly in undiluted bloodlines. However, it is not a common problem usually only happening when the child is the result of two very powerful parents or when the mother is carrying multiples.' " he quoted. Valora frowned. It sounded as though Severus had been right.

"Dare I say I told you so?" his voice chimed. Valora merely growled in response to which she heard laughter.

"Did you just growl at me?" he asked. Valora shook her head.

"No, I just...this sounds like it would be it, doesn't it?" she asked. Sirius shrugged.

"Well, I don't know. I guess. Are you carrying twins?" he asked. Valora narrowed her eyes and shook her head.

"What the hell?" she asked.

"Well it says it only happens with really powerful parents or multiples. I don't happen to trust Snivelly's power so I guessed twins." Sirius told.

"You're an ass. Do I look like I'm carrying twins?" she asked, standing up as if to prove her point. Sirius furrowed his brow as if he was worried before meeting her eyes.

"Is this a trick question?" he asked. Valora gave him a swift kick to the shin.

"Go put on a shirt and grab the stroller." she told him, grabbing her coat and a blanket for Teddy. Sirius stood and dropped the book onto the couch.

"Why?"

"We're going to Mungo's so I can prove you wrong." she told him flatly. Sirius let out a quick laugh but Valora's stone face made it clear that she wasn't kidding.

"Twins?" whispered the terrified voice of the father. Valora rolled her eyes.

"I am not having twins! I already had an ultrasound and there was only one itty bitty baby inside me. I don't think I've sprouted another one since then." she said. Sirius sighed and went to get his things.

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Valora was lying patiently on the table, while Sirius held Teddy and Dr. Huber ran the ultrasound over her stomach again. Valora fought the urge to say something smart to Sirius who was tapping his foot incessantly.

"Oh my." Dr. Huber said, peering closer at the screen. Valora's eyes widened and she heard an audible gasp though she was unsure whether it belonged to Sirius or Severus.

"What?" Valora asked nervously.

"It seems that we did miss something on your first visit. Sometimes one baby will eclipse the other on the screen, so you see I didn't realize you were carrying twins. How remarkably observant of your friend to notice. Most women who have this happen don't find out until much later." Dr. Huber said. Valora shook her head.

"I'm sorry. So, what you're telling me is that I'm having twins? As in two babies?" Valora asked, stunned.

"I am. Congratulations." the blonde said.

"How is this possible? Twins don't run in either of our families. I can't believe this is happening." Severus muttered nervously. Valora ignored him.

"So does this explain my magic acting haywire?" Valora asked.

"Partly. I pulled up your mother's file and it appears that you, Ms. Nox, gave her this same problem. Also, if the father was as powerful wizard as you are a witch that could contribute as well. I'd say you have the trifecta right now." Dr. Huber told her handing her a tissue to wipe off the goo from her rounded tummy.

"Lovely." Valora said sarcastically. "Any advice?"

"Try to stay as calm as possible, avoid stress and anger. You had best warn people to watch themselves around her." She told Sirius. He shrugged.

"I've been warning people about her my whole life." he said with a small smile. Valora shot him a scathing look.

"Is that supposed to be funny?" she hissed.

"Oh no, she's got her angry face on! Protect me Teddy!" Sirius cried in mock fear as he held the baby in front of his face. Teddy giggled happily and held out his arms to Valora. Valora took the baby and held him on her hip.

"Thanks for everything Dr. Huber but I think it's time we go home." she said quietly. Severus was still babbling on about how insane this was, and how it seemed impossible, blah blah blah.

"Of course, Ms. Nox. You know if you need anything you can reach me at any time."  Dr. Huber said with a smile. Valora nodded and left with Sirius in tow.

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Once they got home Harry and Ron were already there with Hermione and Ginny. Valora rolled her eyes and felt herself sneer. She shook her head quickly to shake the expression from her face. It hadn't felt like her.

"Guess what?" Sirius said excitedly as he closed the door. The four teens looked up at him.

"Mummy's having twins!" he squealed in a high-pitched, little kid's voice. Valora handed Teddy to Harry.

"Wow, really?" Harry asked, taking the baby from her.

"That's wonderful, Valora." Hermione chimed in. Valora forced a smile. She couldn't say what she was thinking. It was twice the pain. Twice the sacrifice. As if having one child without a father was bad, now she would have two.

"I'm going to bed." she said softly.

"It's only five." Ginny said, confused.

"Yes, Miss Weasley. I can see that, but thank you so much for the keen observation." Valora said stiffly. Everyone stared at her and Valora's own jaw hung just the smallest bit slack.

"I'm sorry, Ginny. I'm just tired. I didn't mean to snap." she apologized. Ron shifted.

"That was creepy. You sounded like..." he began to say, trailing off when he noted Hermione and Harry's warning looks.

"Like who, Ron?" Valora asked, her voice dangerously low. His gaze flickered nervously between her and Harry.

"You know who you sounded like, Pardus. Don't make him say it." Sirius told her. Valora's eyes shot up to lock with her friend's.

"I want to hear it." she said.

"I don't." he replied. "I can't."

Valora let out a breath and without another word, went to her room, locking the door behind her and putting a silencing charm on it. She pulled off her boots and collapsed onto bed.

"This sucks." she whispered.

"Oh, calm down. It could be worse." Severus said.

"How? Triplets?" Valora asked scathingly.

"I'm sorry." Severus said softly. Valora rolled onto her side.

"Don't apologize to me. It doesn't change anything." she said and closed her eyes. Severus stayed quiet and soon Valora found herself asleep

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Valora found herself standing in front of the stone gargoyle that lead to the Headmaster's office. This was how so many of her dreams began, though oddly this didn't feel like a dream. Still, it couldn't be anything else, so she sighed and gave the password.

"Dumbledore."

"Yes?" came a familiar voice from behind her. Valora spun around and came face to face with twinkling blue eyes behind half moon glasses.

"Dumbledore!" she said, throwing her arms around the old man's neck and squeezing him tight. He chuckled and hugged her too.

"I never dream of you! This is great!" she exclaimed, feeling genuinely happy.

"Yes, my dear it is. Shall we go upstairs?" he asked, gesturing to the now visible staircase. Valora shrugged.

"Come now, there's nothing to fear. I promise this isn't a nightmare." Dumbledore said. Valora nodded.

"I know, but Severus is up there. I know he is. I can feel it. So I'm going to see him and when I wake up I'll know it was only a dream and it will hurt that much more. It's like I lose him again every morning when I open my eyes, and it just...it makes me want to sleep forever." Valora admitted. Dumbledore frowned.

"But you have people counting on you to wake up. Two little ones in particular." he said quietly.

"Yeah, I know, but that doesn't make it easier." she said. Valora forced her shoulders back and shook her hair. "But, I love Severus and if dreams and voices in my head are all I have left, so be it."

Dumbledore smiled and gestured for her to climb the stairs first. Valora walked confidently, not pausing to rethink her decision, because though it hurt like hell, the thing that nearly killed her was the only thing keeping her alive. When she reached the door she didn't knock and instead strolled right in. Severus was standing by the window, and he turned as she walked in. Valora felt her heart break again and she closed her eyes to keep the tears from falling. When she opened them, Severus hadn't moved and was staring at her, as if still stunned by her presence.

"I'm dreaming." he said flatly. Valora scoffed.

"No, I'M dreaming. You're dead." she said, plopping down in a yellow/brow chair that reminded her of a corn muffin. Severus frowned.

"That's not what you're supposed to do. You usually come over and tell me I'm not dreaming and just..." he paused, glancing at Dumbledore. Valora rolled her eyes.

"Well, sorry to break you're fantasy." she said, and then shook her head. "Wait, I'm not sorry, this is MY dream. You shouldn't be so annoying. Normally you're sweeter and well, not so annoying." Valora said, picking up a quill and spinning it between her fingers. Now, Severus stalked over.

"Normally you don't nag so much." he said bitterly. Valora dropped the quill and turned to stare at him.

"Oh, I'm nag now? Maybe I'm a nag because I have to cart two of your children around for twenty-four hours a day! My ankles have disappeared and I've gotten fat! So excuse me if I'm not in the best of moods!" she screamed.

"You know, this almost makes me happy I'm dead. If I had known pregnancy would make you whine this much I would never have..." he trailed off again when he noted Dumbledore's amused expression. Valora raised an eyebrow.

"Wouldn't have what? Slept with me? Well I guess you're in luck, cause after this we're done, and even if you weren't dead I STILL wouldn't have sex with you!" Valora yelled before crossing her arms and plopping back down into her seat. Severus fumed and slammed himself into the seat a few feet away.

"Well, this is interesting. Here I thought this was going to be a heartfelt reunion and instead you're both at each other's throats. I can only assume this is making up for lost time." Dumbledore said, chuckling to himself. Valora tapped her foot angrily.

"Will you please stop that?" Severus said sharply, nodding towards her foot. Valora stilled her foot and laughed darkly.

"For once, I'm looking forward to waking up." she said bitterly.

"Same here." he told her with equal venom.

"For the last time. You can't wake up. You're dead!" Valora screeched.

"ENOUGH!" Dumbledore said, commanding the attention of both. He turned his gaze to Valora. "I have only been on this plane once before, with your godson. Right after Voldemort killed him and he insisted that this was all in his head, and it was, but that didn't mean it wasn't real, and the same goes for the both of you. Severus lives inside of you, and though he is, technically dead his mind is still at work. You've heard him." Dumbledore said. Valora shrugged.

"Hallucination." she said. Dumbledore shook his head.

"No, dear it's not. You've trusted the love between you for so long. Why are you questioning your connection now?" Dumbledore asked them both. Then he stood. Severus's frown deepened.

"Where are you going?" he asked.

"I have tea with Ariana. I hope you two sort things out." Albus said, before walking out the door. Severus turned to Valora at the same time she turned to him.

"This is confusing." she said quietly.

"That's an understatement." he agreed. Valora moved her chair closer to his.

"Do you think it's real?" she asked, her voice laced with hope. Severus raised an eyebrow.

"The truth?" he asked. Valora nodded, smiling. Severus sighed. "No, I don't," Valora jumped up and threw her arms around his neck.

"Yes! It's real! This is incredible!" she squealed, kissing every surface of him she could lay her lips on. Severus pushed her back by her shoulders and held her at arms length.

"How do you figure that?" he asked, skeptical. Valora laughed.

"You're always wrong about us." she said. "Besides, even if it isn't real, I don't mind being crazy. This is the most realistic dream I've ever had of you. If the rest of them are like this, well damn, hand me a straight jacket." she said lunging forward again. Severus didn't move, neither pushing her away nor pulling her closer. Valora leaned up and purred in his ear. "Don't you want to be insane with me?"

"If I must." he said softly, and Valora felt his mouth curve against her cheek. Valora stood and pulled him up by his collar.

"Kiss me." she demanded. Severus complied immediately, his lips crashing down on hers. She noticed the little things her usual dreams missed, like how he smelled, the way he would trace her bottom lip with the tip of his tongue. He had a way of almost owning her in a kiss that she had forgotten. She reached her arms around his neck and he wrapped his around her waist pulling her in tight. When he came into contact with her belly he stopped and looked down, moving his hands so that they were cradling her stomach.

"I still can't believe it's twins." he said. Valora smiled.

"Just our luck, really. It takes forever to start a family and when we're finally ready, you die and I get stuck with two kids. Fate's funny like that." she said, shrugging as if it weren't a big deal. He raised his dark grey eyes to hers.

"I'm so sorry I'm not with you." he whispered, hugging her close. Valora sighed.

"You're always with me, Sev." she told him, squeezing him tightly. Severus scoffed.

"You know what I mean." he said, pulling away. Valora raised an impish eyebrow.

"You can make it up to me." she said, seduction coating her voice.

"The babies?" Sev checked. Valora nodded.

"They'll be fine." she promised. She tugged at his hand, and inclined her head towards the bedroom but Severus grabbed her and with one arm cleared almost everything off the desk, knocking over a vial of ink among other things. Valora nodded, impressed.

"Have you been practicing that?" she asked dryly.

"Come here." Severus growled. Valora's face spread with a feline smile and she let him tear off her nightgown and toss it to the floor. It took only seconds for his clothes to follow and soon they were on top of the headmaster's desk. Foreplay was thrown to the wind and Severus was quickly inside her.

"Good thing they're aren't portraits in this dream." Valora whispered. Severus laughed, which was a rare treat in and of itself but in they're compromising position it make things all the more interesting.


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Valora woke up in the morning and didn't feel as sad as she thought she would. She could recall every last detail from her dream about Sev. How they had made love on the desk, then the bedroom, and how they had lain there and talked until they had fallen asleep. It was wonderful and she wished it were real. She wished she could believe now what she had believed in the dream, but in the cold light of morning she felt utterly disenchanted. That was, until she caught her reflection in the mirror. Her jaw dropped in astonishment.

"Merlin's trousers." she whispered.

She had ink stains all over her.

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