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Valora closed the door to her hotel room. Sirius was next door, unpacking himself. It hadn't been fun to wake up so early to travel by portkey, but it had been worth it to see the sun rise over the water. The way the sun glistened and lit up the incredibly blue waters. It was too beautiful to put into words. After her clothes were in the drawers she pulled out her picture of Severus. She had refused to leave it behind. Placing it on her nightstand she felt the babies kick, excitedly. Valora patted her stomach.

"Yes, that's daddy." she told them.

When she was finished unpacking and changing she and Sirius went down to the beach. White sand, hot air, blue water, and nothing to do. Valora was seriously loving her vacation.

"I knew you would." Snape said smugly in her mind. Valora fought down a smirk.

"I can't remember the last time I saw you in a bathing suit, Pardus." Sirius said, glancing over at her. She was wearing a black, full piece and a red wrap around her waist. Black sunglasses shielded her eyes from the brightness of the sun as she turned to smile at her friend.

"I think we were seven." she reminded him with a smile. Her hand rested on the swell of her stomach and she rubbed the bump absentmindedly.

"What if I can't do this?" she asked quietly.

"What? Tan?" Sirius asked playfully. Valora shot him a look.

"No. This!" she said pointing to her stomach. "There's two little people in there who are going to grow up without a father and their mother is known for being one of the deadliest witches in the war."

"Well, someone certainly thinks very highly of themselves." Sirius said, trying to make a joke, but Valora just sighed, wishing for once he'd be serious.

"Relax, kitty cat. Enjoy your vacation. Try not to worry so much. We're in paradise. What could go wrong?" he asked. Valora could have strangled him. You NEVER ask what could go wrong. Fate almost always gives a reply. As if on destiny's cue, a shrill 'Yoo hoo!' was sounded from farther down on the beach.

Bleach blonde burls and mauve lipstick came closer into view as Rita Skeeter, dressed in an emerald green bathing suit with a few choice peacock feathers here and there, walked over to them. Valora reached down and tightened her hand on her wand.

"Valora, darling, how are you?" Rita asked. Valora arched a brow.

"I'll be much better if you leave." she said flatly. Rita giggled girlishly.

"I'm sure that's just the hormones talking. From what I hear you're running on a double dose. Did twins run in Severus's family?" she asked, her quick notes quill taking copious notes as the women spoke.

"I'm sure I wouldn't know." Valora said stiffly.

"He never took you home to meet his family. Tragic. The two of you coming from broken homes, only to find each other and then be savagely torn apart by the choices you made, and yet," she continued, pointing to Valora's belly, "here you are."

Valora fought to keep her rage at a minimum. She didn't want to give birth in Azkaban.

"I don't know what you're talking about."

"I'm talking about the love between you and Severus Snape."

"Lie. Bluff. Get her away from my children." Severus hissed from deep within her mind.

"Love? Between me and Snape?" Valora burst into laughter as both Sirius and Rita stared at her. "I don't know who your sources are, Skeeter, but you really need to find new ones if they're feeding you rubbish like that."

"Poor thing. You must have blocked all those painful memories of your forbidden affair. I'll just ask a few questions about the late Professor Snape and then be on my way." Rita said. Valora's eyes flashed.

"What could you possibly want to know that I could tell you. Your book is about Snape, not me. I've nothing to do with it." she argued. Rita laughed again.

"My dear, you have plenty to do with it. There's going to be a whole chapter on you in the book." Rita informed her, as if it were some kind of award. Valora ripped off her sunglasses to properly glare at the blonde woman.

"I won't be letting that happen." Valora said, her voice a threat in and of itself.

"The quill is mightier than the wand, my dear."

"Care to test that theory?" Valora said, shoving her wand in the woman's face. Rita sighed and scribbled something into her notebook.

"You're so quick to defend yourself with magic. Was it your relationship with Severus that made you so paranoid? Did he make you defensive? Did he hit you 'Lora? You can tell me." Rita said.

"I'm not going to let you publish lies about him." Valora hissed from between clenched teeth. Rita smiled and walked away.


They hadn't seen Rita Skeeter again and Valora was thankful for it as she and Sirius had lunch one afternoon. A pretty, young woman with dark hair and gold eyes walked by and smiled conspiratorially at Sirius. Valora raised a brow.

"Making friends already, Padfoot?"

"Very good friends." Sirius said, staring after the girl as the wait staff cleared away their empty dishes. "There's going to be dancing tonight. Do you want to go?"

Valora smiled. "Not really. I was thinking of going upstairs and taking a nap. Besides, it looks like rain." she said, glancing out at the quickly darkening sky.

"Did you want me to come with you?" Sirius offered. Valora shook her head.

"Go flirt with the girls, Siri. I'll be fine."

Sirius kissed her quickly on the cheek before he and Valora separated, the pregnant brunette taking the stairs back up to her room.

Once inside she changed into a long, gauzy black nightgown and looked in the mirror. The pregnant swell of her stomach was obvious in some of her tighter outfits, but in all actuality she still had a long way to go. Pretty soon she would be a balloon, so she had best enjoy herself while she could still see her feet. On hands and knees she climbed into the huge bed the room provided and fell back onto the pillows.

As usual, the minute she closed her eyes she was in the Headmaster's office and Severus was scribbling away at the desk. Valora walked over and dipped her head to kiss his cheek, squeezing his shoulders lightly. Severus pushed the papers aside and turned to wrap his arms around her, pulling her onto his lap. He buried his face in her shoulder and inhaled deeply.

"You smell like the ocean." he said quietly. Valora smiled to herself and adjusted herself on his lap.

"How am I not crushing you to death?" she asked with a wry smile. Severus leaned back and raised a mocking brow.

"I'm dead. It's not as though you have to worry about killing me. Besides, you're not that much heavier than usual yet." he told her. Valora frowned and punched him in the arm for mentioning his being dead. It wasn't as though she didn't know, but she still didn't like being reminded of it. Severus only laughed and inclined his head to kiss her but when their lips met an electric shock jolted them both apart.

"Ow!" Valora said, putting her hand to her lips. It was as though she had been doing the moonwalk in woolen socks on a thick carpet. That shock had packed a punch.

"What did you do that for?" Severus asked bitterly, rubbing his mouth. Valora frowned.

"I didn't do anything!" she replied defensively.

A loud bang jolted Valora out of her dream and back into her hotel room. The wind had kicked open the doors to the balcony. Outside the sky was practically black and she could tell any minute the skies were going to open up and let out a downpour. She was wide awake now and a little sad about missing out on her time with Severus.

Valora ran a hand through her curls as she stood in the doorway. Her skin tingled in a strange way, probably picking up all the electricity in the sky. Suddenly, as if someone had turned on a faucet, the rain came, pouring buckets down onto her private stone balcony and splashing against her bare feet. A blot of lightening shot across the sky accompanied by a deafening crack of thunder that sent shivers down her spine. Valora took a step back to close the patio doors when she heard a voice.

"Leave them open." Severus said. Valora froze. Something was different. She braced herself and then spun around and found herself staring right into familiar grey eyes.

"Sev?" she asked, both horrified and thrilled. Reaching up to touch his face he grabbed her hand fiercely and then leaned down and kissed her. Valora kissed him back and hugged him tight.

"Did I fall back asleep? Why aren't we in the-"

"I don't know." Severus said cutting her off. Valora disentangled herself from his arms and backed up into the downpour outside.

"Is this a trick? Cause if you're not him I swear on his grave I will kill you where you stand." She threatened. Severus groaned and followed her into the rain.

"This isn't a trick, Valora." he said.

"Tell me something only Sev would know then."

"You're a pain in the ass."

"Nice try. Everyone knows that." she said. Severus took a step closer to her.

"Well my mouth is still sore from the shock you gave me a few minutes ago. Also you have a little freckle right beside your-"

"SEV!" Valora said, jumping into his arms. "How? HOW?!" she asked.

"I have a few theories, but they can wait." he said, brushing her wet hair away from her face.

"But you're dead. You should be a ghost, but I can touch you and you're solid." she gaped, using the opportunity the run her hands over his chest.

"I can't explain it. I don't know what kind of magic this is." he admitted quietly.

"I don't care." Valora said breathlessly.

"Neither do I." Severus told her, leaning down and kissing her softly on the mouth. Valora pulled back quickly.

"Can you visit all the time?" she asked excitedly.

"No. It was something about the storm that let me through."

"I knew I loved storms." Valora said reaching up and kissing him fiercely.

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