Friendly Beasts.

Minerva McGonagall looked at the young man across from her desk, smiling gently at him.  "You do still have a choice, dear boy," she offered gently.

He shook his head.  "I can't be like that.  I'm a normal guy, I'm not like Greg."

"While that is something to consider, you could go in for the other change he wanted to do.  It would make you appear human."

"But I'd know," he said firmly.

"That is true."  She nodded, smiling at him again.  "That's fine, whatever you wish in this matter."  She picked up her wand and stood up, walking around to haul him to his feet.  "Come, let's get you up to the infirmary, that way any and all pain medicines can be administered if you need them.  We've worked out a quiet corner for you to rest in.  It shouldn't take more than a day but you'll still want to rest."  He nodded, following her out.  "Did you take the time to enjoy it?"

"I did.  It's been like a fantasy vacation," he said happily enough.  "I know I couldn't live this way but I do appreciate the chance to get to see it and everything I did see was fascinating.  So was flying around and being so small.  I just can't.  I'm not like Greg."

"I understand.  Now, he did tell you that if you have children, there's a chance that they could be wizards anyway?"  He nodded.  "Did he mention this shouldn't increase that risk any?"

"He did, but then again I don't plan on having kids.  I don't like kids.  Greg's kids freak me out sometimes just by being normal kids.  Not even the magic stuff where Cassandra turned one of her brothers blue and the other one purple so she could tell them apart."  She chuckled at that.  "Seriously!"

"I believe you. It's one of those innate magics we often see in children.  Especially the strong ones."  She led him into the infirmary, letting him settle on his special bed.  "Get comfortable, dear.  It's going to be a few minutes' work and you'll ache some."  He nodded, laying down and closing his eyes, his hands over his stomach.  "Good boy."  She raised her wand.  Then sighed and shook her head.  "Last chance?"

"No, please."

"Of course."  She cast the first transmutation spell.  It was going to be a long day for both of them.


Greg was sitting beside the bed when his buddy woke up.  "You owe Cassandra a story," he said in greeting.  "Promising you'd read her one when you were better and came back meant that she quit trying to turn the younger Weasley twins into something she could cuddle and pet."  He looked at him.  "Don't try to will the change, it could pop back unexpectedly."

"It didn't work?"

"It made it retreat back into a genetically dormant gift," he offered. "For you it's like being latently psychic.  It could come out if you need it but there's no promising."

"Why?"  He sat up, looking at him. "You can't figure out how to remove it?"

"Nope.  Sorry."  He gave him a long stare.  "I'd say that somewhere back in your history was either someone who slept with one of the faerie or a changeling child.   Most of those happened about a thousand years ago in this region, which is well before comprehensive parentage records were kept," he offered dryly, smirking a bit.  "Therefore someone in your family's past got muttered about a lot."

"So, I'm what?"

"Human, fully normal, but you *could* *possibly* change again if the situation was dire enough and you wanted it hard and long enough."

"Aren't you going to memory wipe me?"

Greg shook his head. "Won't work even if I was so inclined, which would be mean of me."

"Why not?"

"You can't erase things that deeply, Hodges.  You can't erase the fundamental truths of who a person is.  Sometimes we can get a rebuilt persona to crumble, but the fundamental basis of who you are isn't something that we can obliviate away.  It's too ingrained and too deep to do that too.  Now, some of the strongest and most power have changed attitudes, and if I had wanted to do that, I'd have done it years ago.  You'd be singing Beach Boys at karaoke bars most nights and lovin' the PBS stuff if I had."  Hodges snorted and Greg grinned.  "Then again, I'm not usually that mean.  Like you said, it was a fun, fantastic, fantasy vacation where you got to see things that most people won't and never dreamed of doing.  Tomorrow night, you get to go back to being a normal guy in the normal CSI way and I'll still let you see the catalogs I get from the Weasleys."

"Thank you."

"Welcome.  But you still owe 'San a story."

"Why does she like me?  I'm not the nicest of people, even to her."

"She likes Snape too," he said dryly, smirking at him as he stood up.  "She apparently likes the meaner and snarlier people in her life.  I had to disinfect her when she hugged Ecklie the other night.  He looked so shocked and she giggled at him for it," he said proudly.  "You should rest."

"I should, but I need to use the bathroom."

"Ah.  This way."  He walked him over to it, tapping first then letting him inside when he didn't get an answer.  "Only one in this wing."  He winked and walked off, leaving him there. "I'm in the dungeons and I'll see you in the morning.  Get some rest."

"Yes, Greg."  He went into the bathroom, looking at himself in the mirror.  He saw a white hair and grimaced, but he didn't touch it. It could be the reminder that this hadn't been a really odd dream due to someone drugging him.


Emilia answered her phone, smiling at the voice on the other end.  "Detective Brass.  What's wrong?"  She listened and then nodded.  "I understand.  We were told he was on his way to see Blair.  Darryl?  Yeah, it's me," she said fondly, smirking at Blair.  "No, he's asleep again.  We just knocked him back out.  Have the detective take you to our new place, clean up, get some rest, eat us out of house and home, and I'll be by there tonight to pick you up, okay?"  She smiled.  "I know, kid, and I agree.  Did you yell at your father?"  She beamed at Remus and Philip, nodding.  "At the station even.  I'm impressed, man.  Sure.  Tell him I said that and I'll be by to pick you up later tonight.  No, he'll be okay, we think.  We think we found the key to make him stabilize.  No, he's a bit less mentally strict at the moment," she sighed.  "What Jim did to him broke their sacred bond and it drove him nearer and nearer to the edge of his mind.  So he's here now, but not all there if you understand.  Yeah, we think we do."  She listened, then nodded once.  "That'd work, but is there one?"  She raised an eyebrow.  "Really?  Where might his wife be?"  She snorted.  "Figures.  No, you first.  We'll see how that goes first.  Thanks, Darryl, see you soon."  She hung up.  "Darryl ripped his father a new one at the station and then stomped off."

"He was here, but we made him go back," Remus offered.  "I thought it might hurt Blair more."

"It probably won't.  He said he thinks he found another one.  Oh, and Jim's wife left him.  He's been zoning and did it during sex so they're having a trial separation."

"Yay," Philip said bitterly.  "Do we care?"

"We might have to care," she noted patiently.  "I'm not sure yet. Only Blair will know.  So I'll get Darryl in a few hours and bring him back here.  Where is Stanley?"

"At work," Remus said with a grin.  "He had to pull a double tonight."

"Ah.  Good enough.  We'll do the stabilization spell and hope it works, then I'll rest before getting Darryl and bringing him back here."  The men nodded.  "Good deal. Our guards?"

"Spike's outside smoking in the hallway, leaning against the door.  He knows to only let Stan in."

"Fine," she agreed, coming over to take her spot.  She turned off her phone and took Philip's hand, anchoring him as he started them off.

They'd have to wait to see if it worked.  It was a desperation move but hopefully the old Blair would come back again.


Professor Armwrench came back from his little trip and looked at the two young women waiting on him, giving them gentle smiles.  "I did find her, she's fine, she'll be home probably within a few days.  I pointed out that she's worried the piss out of you and she said that was a nasty thought, but nice in some ways.  She's got a few loose ends to wrap up first I believe.  She'll have to make a choice but I'm sure she'll make one that suits everyone the best."  He gave Dawn a hug, then gave one to Luna.  "She's fine."

"Where is she?" Dawn asked quietly.  "Just between us."

Loki smirked.  "She is looking after some equine beings, but for a very special reason.  She'll be home soon.  She promised."  Dawn sighed and nodded at that.  "Now, would I lie to you?"

"Hell yes," she snorted.  "The same as Professor Snape would."

"Point," he offered with a wicked grin and a wink for her.  "But you know I'm not."

"I should have kept my big mouth shut."

"He'd have wondered about her when he saw her, even if you or I hadn't said a word about her," he said gently, tipping her face up.  "I promise, she's a feisty little thing and he likes girls like her."  He kissed her on the forehead.  "Now, about this snake or dragon, whatever it is?"

"It's still about," Luna reported.  "We nearly lured it last night but it ran off when it smelled Hagrid cooking dinner. We're using a second year Hufflepuff with delusions of heroes and knights be the pure and innocent bait for us."

"You told her about this dragon?"

"Yes, sir," they replied in unison.

"She thought it'd make a great story for her grandchildren some day," Dawn finished with a slight grin.  "So we're trying again tonight and making sure Hagrid is going to be eating up at the head table.  With you back, I'll be the bait and it'll come for my energy."

"That's fine.  Let me get cleaned up and changed."  He looked at her uniform, then shook his head.  "You two change as well.  Luna, wearing something comfortable, not that dratted leather outfit I spied you wearing the other night.  I don't need to see it slip again."  He headed inside, passing by the Headmaster on his way to his rooms.  "We'll get that dragon tonight."

"That's fine.  I'm sure you three can handle it and it will keep Miss Summers out of more trouble."

Professor Armwrench looked back at him and snorted.  "Dawn?  Trouble?  Why ever for?"  He continued on his trek to put up his bag and change clothes, plus get a bit of downtime.  He hated visiting Valhalla.  But Ginny had been quite funny while he watched her.  Family reunions sucked all his energy and spirit though.  Not even Dawn was enough of a pick-me-up yet.


Dawn wandered around the pasture in her favorite outfit of hip hugger jeans and a belly t- shirt, whistling softly.  She could feel the dragon staring at her, could almost feel it snorting its warm breath down her neck.  She glanced behind her but it wasn't really there.  She pulled her wand and did some flashy illusions, and felt it move closer.  She created a flashy Chinese dragon illusion, dancing it through the night sky.  It backed off so she created lights instead, making them dance and twirl with her.  She looked up, moon dark.  She still didn't understand what Alex and Draco went on about during this time of the month, but it was a pretty night.  She nodded at Professor Snape as he wandered out of a side door to the castle.  "Be safe tonight, Professor," she called softly, making him jump.  "It's almost like there's something out here watching me."

He stared at her.  "When you're released for the night, come see me, Miss Summers.  I believe we should talk."

"Yes, sir.  Where?"

"Cast a location charm, you are that good, are you not?" he asked coolly.

"Yes, sir."  She smiled at him. "Happy revel, sir."

"Have fun yourself.  Try blues and greens.  They were woods and water peoples."  He walked off, going to touch the magic as it stopped and restarted the world for another month.  He paused at the edge of the woods to turn to look at the young woman.  She was still dancing the illusions around.  It was in contrast to the magic however. He could see the currents around her and frowned, sending a silent prayer to Armwrench to help her see them.  It'd only attract the beast more on this night of reformation.

Armwrench walked out and brushed the back of her neck.  "You're out of touch with the powers," he said gently.  "Close your eyes, Dawn."  She did so and relaxed, like she knew he'd demand next.  "Now, drop your shields totally. *Feel* the magic, feel it dance and sing around you," he whispered in her ear, watching as the illusions changed, following the trailing wisps moving around her.  "Feel the end of the month power," he hissed in her ear, moving around her.  "It should sing to you as brightly as summer clouds across a night sky."  She took a breath and shook her head slowly so he put a hand on her forehead, connecting his palm to her skin.  He showed her what he could feel, what the rest of her family already knew, watching as she moved with it, just gently swaying for now.  He nodded as Holly walked past them, headed out after her mate.   She could feel it and knew it to be part of her and the usual lunar cycle of power.  Dawn let out a soft moan and he let her go, watching as the illusions danced in time now.  He smiled.  "This is why Alex and Draco celebrate this time of the month, Dawn Summers.  This power that they feel.  It is part of them, part of their family.  Most celebrate the full moon and reap the harvest of joy at it's fullness and pause at the pregnant feeling of waiting, but very few feel this at lunar end.  Very few feel the dance as the magic calls to mate and births the next month.  Tonight, you shall."  She nodded and started to move around.  He looked at Luna, who was staring at them.  "You can try."

"No I can't," she said quietly.  "I have in the past.  I've never felt either one."  She moved away, getting into position.  She could smell the dragon, it was very close by.  The professor moved back with her, waiting and watching Dawn as she moved around the pasture.  The dragon slunk out and watched as she danced, his head and body swaying gently in time to her movements.  She looked at the professor, who shook his head.  They could wait until it tried something.  It would be criminal to interrupt Dawn's celebration of the night and the power.

Dawn shivered, the magic was whispering around her, showing and telling her what her family and friends were doing.  She could see as Holly forced Snape to dance a waltz with her, staring in each other's eyes as they moved to the music of the power threads around them.  She could see as Xander and Draco moved together in a more primitive and primal dance, but the lack of civility suited them.  It made Draco seem even more like a veela, even more like a primal sexual power, and it made Alex seem darker, but more steady and more content.  Like the magic moving through and around him completed him in ways Draco could never fulfill, but only tempt to come to the surface.  She saw them give in to the first kiss, and saw as they fell to the sand to complete the monthly mating, the fierce finish that made her shiver and the gentle touching that restarted a few heartbeats after the magic and the world restarted.  She had to turn away or cry.  They were so in tune, so in love, that it made her ache for her Ron.  She flashed back to the professor and his wife, smiling as the content and sleepy couple lying together in the mossy bed they had put together in their little grove.

The magic faded and she looked up at the dragon, moving forward to pet it.  It pulled back and she crooned the tune she had been dancing, letting her magic flow around it.  "I won't hurt you," she promised, "but you're in the wrong spot, dear one.  It's dangerous here.  Others wish to hurt you."  She reached out and stroked his nose, earning a purr and being grabbed to cuddle.  Luna yelped and started to move but she held up a hand.  "I swear, great one. I would not hurt you.  We would only move you.  Well, Professor Snape would love it if you gave him a few scales and a toenail or something," she offered with a grin.  "But we'd only like to move you to somewhere safer, where no one would hunt you."  He crooned at her so she started to sing again.  He hummed along, purring into her hair, and she pulled the magic together, moving them gently to where she knew Charlie was waiting on them.  She stroked his nose and summoned Charlie out of bed, letting him land beside them in his boxers.  "Great One, this is Charlie.  He's my brother-in-law, kinda, and he protects great ones like you.  You're power and stealth, but you can't live at the school," she said at his hurt look.  "You scare the littles and someone would end up hunting and killing you. I'd hate that."  He crooned and she smiled, going back to humming for him.  They stayed doing that with Charlie watching until the light started to turn less black and more blue, then he shivered and let her go.  She kissed him on the nose, making him purr some more.  "Are you shedding anywhere?"  He leaned down and nudged her head, then licked her face, turning to look at Charlie.  "Take good care of him.  He's an ancient one."

"I can see that," he agreed gently, bowing to him.  "We're not of your original people, but there's plenty of lesser and younger dragons here, Great One.  We'd be happy to host you while you cared to reside here."  The dragon leaned over to sniff his entire body, ending up nuzzling his hair.  "Thanks."  He stroked his chin, earning his own purrs.  "Let's find you a nice spot.  Want a cave?"  The dragon followed him into the woods, following the nice smell of the man who obviously cared for them.  "Thanks, Dawn."

"Welcome.  Professor Armwrench's father wanted him captured but he doesn't deserve to be hunted, I think he's a bit lonely."

"Well, I'll gladly come talk to him whenever he wants," Charlie promised. "Even with some of the fledges if he wants to teach them."  He grinned up at the big, ancient dragon.  "Whatever you want of course."  The dragon sniffled him again then nudged him.  "Sure, food and a cave first, then you can see who's about."  He led him off.  "Thanks, Dawnie."

"Welcome.  I'll try to come visit really soon, Great One."  She gathered the magic and disapparated back to Hogwarts, having to head up the path back to the school.  She passed by the glade and woke the professor and his wife, smiling at him.  "He's with Charley but he left a cave with some shed skin and some spit poison pools."


"The other side of the forest."

"I'm coming."  Dawn walked out of the woods, finding her professor and Luna waiting on her.  "Charlie's got him, he's safe.  Charlie even said he could play with the fledges if he wanted.  He's got a cave."

"That's fine, where?" the professor asked, seeing Snape coming out of the woods.  "We'll share.  Odin only wanted some of his poison for something."

"Sure."  She led them off, going into the woods on the other side of the school.  It was denser here, but there was a track.  They found the cave by lunch and Professor Snape stared at the shed skin and the pool of spittle before hugging her briefly and heading inside to gather his ingredients.

Armwrench smiled and went in to gather a bottle of the spit poison, but otherwise it was all the professor's for all he cared.  He sent the vial off then came back to help him and Holly gather, teaching Luna and Dawn what they were doing.  The girls were really quite handy at this part.  By dinner, they were back at the castle with packs full of the shed skin and conjured bottles full of the poisoned spit and the pure poison where it had been floating on top of the pool.  Snape disappeared down into his dungeons, while Dawn and Luna went to dinner with their favorite professor in tow.  Luna smiled as they walked in and nodded at McGonagall.  "We're done."

"I can see that," she offered with a small smile. "Is it safe?"

"It's with Charlie," Dawn assured her.  "He's a very ancient one and he needed to be protected and have some attention. I think he was lonely."

"Well, Charlie Weasley will surely be good company for him," she agreed.  "Professor Snape?"

"We found some shed skin," Luna offered, winking before going to her usual seat at the end of her table.  "Scoot down the bowls, I'm starved.  Haven't eaten since last night," she complained.  Her housemates stared at her in shock and horror.  "Now please," she requested.  "We did just spend the day gathering remains of shedding and poison spittle."  One of the second years shakily passed her the meat and she smiled.  "Thank you, Hermond.  That's very kind.  May I have the potatoes as well?"  He pushed that down and the other vegetables as well.  Luna liked her vegetables, they had noticed that.

Dawn sat down with her friends and grinned.  "Feed me?" she pleaded.  They stared and passed down things.  "Thanks, guys.  I need this.  I danced with the magic and helped the dragon, plus helped move him and helped gather leftover stuff."  She dug in, eating heartily.  She was not a woman who nibbled.

"You, um, danced with the magic?" one of her roommates asked gently.  "Why?"

She looked at her.  "Alex has always had this thing about moon dark, the same way a bunch of you guys have this thing about the night of the full moon."  They nodded, getting that.  "Well, last night I got to see why he liked moon dark for a bit and I got lost in the magic for a few hours.  So we danced with the magic."  She ate another bite of vegetables.  "It's really pretty cool.  I never got the point of either but now I'll have to pay attention during the full moon to see if it calls out to me.  Last night wasn't quite exactly right for me, but I'm sure there's a part of the lunar cycle that will call my name and be my friend."

The upperclassmen all nodded at that, having been told about Dawn being very powerful.


Professor Snape came out of his floo two days later and dusted himself off, walking the envelopes in his hands up to the Great Hall.  It was nearly dinner and his cohorts would be up there.  He found Luna Lovegood and silently handed her one of the envelopes.  She gave him an odd look.  "For the help."

"Ah.  Thank you, sir.  Are we having class as usual tomorrow?  I haven't done my paper yet and wanted to know if I should rush through it tonight instead of Herbology."

"Yes, it will be collected tomorrow and I will expect something extraordinary and completely competent from you this month," he said firmly.  "Base it on your former research."

"Yes, sir, incubus blood and incubus pubic hair it is," she said fondly, heading in to eat.

He shook his head. That girl was just odd.  He had meant the dragon skin but if she really wanted to do an obscure topic, he'd grade it like he had her others on demonic parts.  He went to find Professor Armwrench, finding he and Dawn on the front steps chatting.  He handed them envelopes.  "Your part."

"Thank you, Professor," Armwrench said with a slight smile. "I take some people were quite pleased?"

"And then some," he agreed dryly.  He looked at Dawn, who looked up at him and sniffled. "Do not do that," he warned.  "I do not allow crying women in my presence."

"Then I'd warn Holly she's pregnant and not very secure, sir," she sniffled. "I just saw her.  She really needs to see someone."

He nodded, heading to find his wife and drag or carry her up to the infirmary.  He trusted Dawn's vision on this.  He found her wandering that way anyway and picked her up, carrying her up the stairs.  She gave him an odd look.  "Dawn said there might be a slight problem with our baby," he said dryly.

"Baby?" she squeaked, eyes wide.  "No!"

He nodded.  "She said so."

"My father cursed any child of ours," she hissed.  "The child will be just like him."

"Then I'll ask Lovegood to have Ethan eat him and remove it for us," he said simply, carrying her into the infirmary.  He put her on a bed, weathering the amused look the nurse was giving him.  "Dawn Summers said she saw her being pregnant and having a slight problem."

"Really?  Since when is she a seer?"

"She can see power flows," Holly said weakly, putting a hand on her stomach. "How?"

"A certain waltz perhaps?" he suggested with a hint of a smirk.  "This will be the only one.  I will not have a horde like a Weasley or like Gregory."

"Good!" she said firmly. "I'm not sure I could handle one!"

The nurse tutted and clucked her tongue but did check her over.  "There's the problem," she offered.  "There is a curse so she cannot carry."

"Lovegood!" Snape bellowed.  She came trotting in a few minutes later.  "Kindly remove this curse."

"That's Dawn, sir.  I play with demons, she removes curses."

"Her father did it."

"Ah.  Then we'd best get the best for her.  You should call Alex."

"It is his grandchild," Holly said weakly.  Dawn came trotting in and hugged her around the stomach, muttering into it.  She felt something snap and looked at the nurse.  "Tell me I'm not miscarrying the baby I've had for three whole days."

She checked her again and shook her head.  "No, not in the least.  The curse did snap however.  It appears it's been reset against your next one."

"That's what I was going for," she agreed.  She looked at them.  "Professor Flitwick and I can work on how to eliminate it after the birth, Professor.  I'm happily nearly out of research materials to deal with at the moment."

"That would be most thoughtful, Miss Summers.  Thank you for warping the curse."

She smiled.  "Not an issue.  But I get to babysit now and then."  She beamed at them.  "You should tell Alex, he'll be jumping up and down because this means he doesn't have to have another one."

"Fat chance," Holly snorted.  "There's got to be another Dumass to carry on the line.  Even if his father gives him more brothers or sisters, there's got to be more Dumasses than there currently are."

"Then we've got to find a way to make Draco pregnant," Luna said plainly.

Snape stared at her. "Miss Lovegood, you've just given me nightmares for the next month.  Kindly do not speak again for a bit."  She smiled.  "I will take points," he warned.

"If it makes you happy, sir," she said happily, beaming at him. "Can we help with the baby shower?"

"Sure," Holly agreed.  "Dawn, go tell everyone."  They ran out together and she looked at Severus.  "He really will have to have more since you don't carry his name, but I would tell him before he hears it from Ron."

"Hmm."  He touched his tattoo, getting Alex, although he did sound quite sleepy.  He gave him the news in his most bland and general tone, and about the curse being worked on just in case an accident happened and a second baby came to be.  The shout he got back could have been physically next to his ear.  He felt deafened. "He's swearing.  He thinks Cordy will make him have one now."

"Probably," Holly agreed with a grin.  "Tipsy and Emilia suggested Catherine Willows have it for him."

He considered it.  She had one witch already.  She knew his family and friends and what the dratted boy did for a living.  She had a support network outside of his family because they had all banded together over Gregory's children.  "She could do I suppose," he admitted finally.  "The family might not care that she's not of a blooded line."

"He's related to too many blooded lines," she reminded him.  "The same as you are."

"Good point," he agreed, patting her stomach.  "Should I take any precautions?"

"Don't drop her as you carry her back to your rooms to celebrate," Poppy said with a smirk of her own.  He raised an eyebrow and she smirked harder.  "All first time parents do I'm told."

"Why did you never marry?" he asked dryly.  He helped his wife up and walked her back down there more sedately and properly.


Dawn ran into the Great Hall and up to the head table, jumping up on the dias to lean over and hiss in McGonagall's ear quickly, making her beam at her.  She smirked and winked at her, then went over to hiss at Flitwick about the curse, getting a nod and a suggestion of where to start from him.  She looked at McGonagall, who was tapping her glass and went back to her usual seat, staring up there.  The students looked back and forth so she waved a hand, still grinning brightly.

McGonagall stood up.  "Students, I have just heard some wonderful news."  Everyone stared at her and her bright, happy smile.  "I was just informed that Professor Snape and his wife are expecting their first child.  As such, we shall be quite gentle with his wife and quite careful around the both of them until the child is born."  Everyone broke out in cheers for that news.  She smiled at the Slytherins, who were already plotting, a few sneaking off to owl their parents.  She sat back down, looking at Flitwick.  "A problem?"

"Her father cursed the child but Dawn warped it so it would hit the next one.  We're going to work together to figure out how to remove it once this one is born."

"Excellent news.  Let me know if you need my help," she said.

"Me as well," Professor Sprout said happily.  "Oh, we must throw a baby shower, Minerva.  The first one born to the staff."

"We'll plan it for when she's about five or six months along, dear, that way we know what the baby will be."  That got some nods.

Armwrench looked down at them.  "Unless I'm mistaken, it's a girl," he informed them.  "A spell should be able to verify that within a month."  He smiled at them.  "I'll do the food for the event."

"That's most kind, Professor," Professor Sprout agreed.  "Thank you.  I'll start a list tonight and put you down for that."  They beamed at each other. "Will she be like her father?"

"Probably," he agreed. "Possibly not potions but definitely his other areas.  I foresee her being very good in Defense and going to save her grandfather's life some day."

"Wonderful!" Methos agreed.  "Then I'll turn the class over to her when she's ready."

McGonagall smiled at him.  "You're staying that long?"

"If I don't, it's been made clear someone like Lockhart will be taking my place," he said dryly.  "I'd rather wait for a good replacement.  So either his child or Alex."  Flitwick giggled at that.  "He would know."

"He would," he agreed.  "Oh, I must write Remus tonight."

"He's in Chicago from what Miss Summers told me.  "He's teaching defense there."

"Excellent news," he agreed.  "Professor Methos, you should probably spread the news to the rest of the group."


In Las Vegas, Greg pulled out his desk drawer and found the book he was looking for, attaching a note to it and sending it through the floo to Snape's private rooms.  He'd be needing it.   He went to check on Hodges, finding him oddly silent and not in the least bit upsetting or snarky.  "Hey," he said quietly.  Hodges looked up, raising an eyebrow.  "Snape's wife's pregnant."

"Tell him I said congratulations.  How far along?"

"Three days," he said smugly.  "He and Alex both like to go revel at moon dark.  Apparently his wife joined him this time."  Hodges did smirk at that.  "You okay?"

"I"m fine, Greg."

"Good.  Remember, I'm here to be yelled at and ranted at if you need me."

"I remember.  Thanks."

"Any time."  He disappeared, going back to his very empty lab.  He sighed and sank down into his animagus form, going to bask under a heat lamp for a few minutes.

Jim Brass walked in and looked at the lab.  "Greg?" he called.  No answer.  "Sanders."

Greg sighed and moved, then changed back.  "What?  I was working on my tan.  It's chilly in here tonight."

"Were you just an iguana?" he asked, looking very confused.  Greg beamed and nodded. "I don't want to know," he said, shaking his head as he walked off.

Greg shrugged and shrunk back down, going back to his getting warm.  He really was chilly.  The air conditioning was working overtime tonight. Then again, so was he.  He was probably just tired.  Maybe a nap under the heat lamp for a few minutes. Someone yelling for him would wake him up.

Catherine and Warrick looked in, spotting Greg under his lamp, then looked at each other and sighed.  "Sanders!" they called in unison.  They heard a snore and laughed, closing the lab door and making sure no one thought anything about it.

"What's Greg doing?" Grissom called from a lab.

"Taking a nap," Warrick called back.

"He said he was cold earlier," Hodges offered as he came out into the hall.  "Is he all right?"

"Probably just the start of his annual cold," Catherine offered.  "Are you okay?"

"I"m fine and he said Professor Snape was three days pregnant."

"I'll have to send them a practical book on childcare," she said happily.  "One with *good* advice, like how to soothe some of the colic."  She went to order one since she was on break at the moment.

Nick backed out of Greg's lab, closing the door.  "Why is there a lizard in there?"

"It's an iguana and it's Greg's," Hodges told him.  "Don't ask. I don't understand that stuff."

Nick nodded once and wandered off, deciding he didn't need to be in there at the moment.  Grissom would start yelling in a few minutes about lab contamination and he decided his last treatment had made him too tired to listen to that lecture again.

Grissom got up and stuck his head in Greg's lab, finding the iguana under the heat lamp.  "Greg, don't do that.  I know you're not touching anything delicate, but really.  You just made Nick go home."  The iguana got up and picked up a dry erase marker, working the cap off with his teeth before using his tail to write on his wall about Greg being tired and Nick needed the rest anyway.  Then he went back to his rest under the lamp, leaving two last words: too cold.  "I'll find you the cold medicine that worked last time," he agreed, going to find that for him.  He had kept a dose in his desk, just in case. He also called someone to turn down the air conditioning in Greg's lab, it was really cold in there tonight.


To Part 19

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