Win The War: Consanguinity by Luna Carmesi
Summary: Petunia finally has an excuse to get rid of Harry, who finds himself in another abusive home. But then there is Severus living nearby, who - at first reluctantly - will try to help the boy. Will they find common ground?
Categories: Big Brother Snape, Healer Snape, Snape Equal Status to Harry > Comrades Snape and Harry Main Characters: .Snape and Harry (required), Original Character, Other, Sirius, Theodore Nott, Tobias Snape
Snape Flavour: Canon Snape, Comforting Snape, Kind Snape, Overly-protective Snape
Genres: Action/Adventure, Angst, Drama, Family, General, Hurt/Comfort, Mystery
Tags: Adoption, Injured!Harry, Snape-meets-Dursleys
Takes Place: 5th summer
Warnings: Abusive Dursleys, Alcohol Use, Bullying, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Violence
Challenges: Tobias' care
Challenges: Tobias' care
Series: None
Chapters: 21 Completed: No Word count: 120467 Read: 82571 Published: 09 Sep 2012 Updated: 30 Jun 2022
Chapter 6: Sirius by Luna Carmesi
Author's Notes:
I would like to thank VAspera for beta reading this chapter and Jasmin Kain for working with me on the plot.

 

Friday, July 7th 1995

Severus Snape seldom took the easy way. On the contrary, if he was about to make a choice, it was the bumpiest way. Now it would be easiest to leave everything as it was. He did his duty and went to the headmaster with his doubts. The situation was delicate—he couldn't deny that. By meddling, he could lose a lot—his position as a teacher, the headmaster's trust (if Potter would end up in the Ministry's care), and even his role as a spy—his input in the war that could save many lives. Besides, the kid has already refused his help.

As usual, Dumbledore probably had everything under control. If there was anything wrong, he would undoubtedly react. And even though Severus has some doubts about it, he tried to dismiss them. Albus Dumbledore was the light side leader; he wouldn't let somebody hurt his beloved Golden Boy, would he?

So why couldn't he sleep that night? Potter's situation was clearly bothering him. He couldn't stop thinking about it. Of course, this had nothing to do with the indication that Potter might indeed have been his younger brother. His feelings towards him hadn't changed—Severus still hated this self-righteous, arrogant whelp. And even if their consanguinity turned out to be true, which he doubted, there was no chance that their relationship would have ever changed. As the Muggles say, only on photographs would your kin look nice.

He was entirely indifferent to Potter's living arrangements. But when he thought about the bruise on his face, he wanted to strangle Tobias.

Severus was deeply averse to violence against children. Partly because he had been hit more than once in his childhood—often undeservedly. He remembered the pain of endless blows perfectly well. The mere mention of them got him goosebumps. That time, he had no one to turn to for help. The only person he could complain about the situation was Lily, but she, too, was just a child who couldn't do much. Besides, in the fifth year, because of his own fault— the inability to control his emotions—he lost her as well.

In the case of Potter, he was sure that soon the Tobias' belt won't be used only to keep the trousers in their place. Unless it has already happened. The boy always managed to get into something. Unlike Severus, a quiet swot with his face permanently in a book, Potter was impulsive and mouthy. He was like a magnet for the troubles. Even for a moment, he could not sit still in one place. There was no way Tobias would not lose his patience and self-control with him. Maybe Severus was a bit of a hypocrite because he wanted to skin the kid himself more than once. Especially after his actions with the Philosopher's Stone, a flying car or the Chamber of Secrets. But he knew he would never do that.

The second reason the Potions Master resented the harm to children was the Death Eater attacks during the First War. Now the Dark Lord tried to keep his head down until he fully recuperates from getting back his body. However, Severus was sure the terror would start anew soon. Due to his status, he usually did not have to actively participate in it. Too frequent missions might have exposed him. But sometimes, he had to take part in their games—attacks on the houses of both Muggles and blood traitors—that were usually played only to spread fear. Fortunately, he was never forced to torture children; he didn't even know if he would be able to bring himself to do so. But he had witnessed his companions doing it. The worst part was that it was impossible to save these kids.

And consequently, it kept him feeling guilty. To atone, if only partly, he did everything in his power to improve at least a little the fate of some of the teenagers he met. More than once, he has managed to do something for the outcasts at Spinner's End, but since joining Hogwarts, he hasn't had too many opportunities to do so. However, as the Slytherin's Head of House, there were many occasions to help. As soon as the Sorting Hat yelled out, "Slytherin!" Severus was given another ward for whom he would be responsible for the next seven years and help if necessary.

Of course, no one would accuse him of coddling his snakes. He tried to choose the most caring and loving Slytherins as prefects. It was their job to take care of the youngest ones who were crying over homesickness or other trivial reasons. On the other hand, Severus tried to counterbalance the unfair treatment of the Slytherins by his colleagues and the other houses' students. Therefore, he ensured that the Slytherins knew they could always count on him, both for school problems and private matters.

He sighed, and his thoughts drifted back to the Potter business.

If he was indeed Severus's brother, Dumbledore would do anything to give Tobias a second chance and then probably a third and a tenth. The leader of the light side would try to convert Voldemort himself if possible. Yes, the old man had a great heart, but he was often ignorant of what might go on within the family. He thought consanguinity was everything. Dumbledore didn't even allow himself to believe that blood ties didn't automatically mean decent treatment, let alone love.

Perhaps it was also a mere plot that the director came up with. Maybe he wanted a spoiled whelp to finally get a little firmer treatment. Perhaps he was hoping it would somehow increase Potter's loyalty to the good-natured old man. Simultaneously, he would change Tobias and improve the relationship between Severus and the kid by lying about their relations. He had been nagging Severus to bond with Potter since the boy came to Hogwarts. Dumbledore loves manipulations, and it doesn't matter how good his intentions are.

Therefore, even though he had a doubtful desire to visit Number 12 Grimmauld Place, Severus decided to talk to Black first of all. He had to make sure all of this wasn't a lie and at the same time get the mutt to push Dumbledore hard enough to let him take in the boy. Even though the man hasn't been the sanest since he escaped from prison, Severus was sure the boy would be much better off with Black than with Tobias. And he would have one problem less.

HPHPHPHP

Severus entered the house quietly, taking care not to wake the Walburga's painting. He found Black in the attic. The man held a half-empty bottle of whiskey and was talking to a hippogriff. Apparently, the kid was not really lucky with adults as they liked alcohol a little too much.

He decided to take advantage of Black's numbness and, trying not to offend any of the Potters or the mongrel himself, found out as much as possible.

"Black," said Severus entering the room.

"Well, well, well, Isn't it Snivellus himself?" Sirius asked, drawing the vowels in a way that immediately reminded Severus of young Malfoy.

However, the Potions Master wasn't going to let these infantile insults anger him. Looking contemptuously at the man, he replied: "It's about Potter. He knows..."

"Leave Harry alone. Isn't it enough that you bully him at school?" Black interrupted him impatiently.

"Did he come to you, crying like a little baby, complaining that his nasty Potions teacher doesn't kiss the floor he walks on?" How dare Black to accuse him of abusing the teenager. Especially since his visit was to prevent just that. Just because he was the only teacher at Hogwarts who tried to balance spoiling the boy, it didn't mean that he bullied him. He was just trying to correct the pedagogical mistakes of his colleagues. Pampering could be just as harmful as mistreatment. Severus believed that even though he did not like the brat, he treated him quite professionally.

"No, Ron Weasley told me how you treat them.

"Weasley is drama queen," Snape snorted.

"Just lay off them," growled Sirius. "Say what you were going to say and get out. You're not welcome here".

Snape just smirked. True, he hated Black, but he had no intention of getting into verbal skirmishes with him now. He really did not enjoy being in this place, so he wanted to get it over with as soon as possible.

"Did you know he is my brother?" Severus decided to ask directly, hoping that Black, being intoxicated, would be too surprised to try to lie.

"What? How do you know that?" asked Black looking completely dumbfounded.

Hearing that, Snape winced, displeased. Black didn't even deny it. He was too stupid. Or too drunk. It doesn't matter anyway. "Why you've never told anybody?"

Black looked as if he was wondering whether to answer the question. Seconds later, the Potions Master heard something that he definitely did not like. "Actually, I even wanted to tell you, maybe you'd treat him better, but Lily had made us take the Unbreakable Vow so no one would find out. And you in particular." A twist of pain crossed Snape's face, but he tried not to interrupt the drunk man's monologue. He knew that you could learn a lot of relevant information this way. And such an opportunity may not repeat itself. "She had a strange… obsession with you." Or maybe something more like paranoia. I had an impression that she was convinced that if you found out he was your brother, he would automatically become a Death Eater. She met your mother while she was pregnant, and somehow, Lily managed to persuade her to give up the baby. I have no idea why she'd agreed. Your mother, I mean.

"And Potter didn't mind?" Severus asked, surprised, struggling to keep himself from commenting on mutt's speech disarray.

"Are you kidding me?" Sirius laughed bitterly. "He got so mad. They argued quite a lot about it. But you knew Lily when she made up her mind about something, it was impossible to dissuade her from that idea. And James would do anything for her. So, she gave him an ultimatum that he would either consider Harry as his son and make amends ... or something like that ...for his bad deeds, or she was going to divorce him. Lily told him that she didn't know if she could live with a man who has such a tainted conscience—as she called it."

"Since she forced you to be a godfather..." Snape guessed that Black must have to redeem himself in her eyes as well. 'Merlin, what a… no. Lily must have known what she was doing.' "...Why do you care so much about him?" He finished, slightly bewildered.

"She didn't force me to do anything I didn't want," growled Sirius. Nobody can choose their own family. Just look at mine. So I don't care that he has a slimy bat, like you, for a brother. Besides, James didn't want to take me as a godfather. He wanted Peter. He said I would be the godfather of his baby, not this one. Honestly, James wasn't even approaching too close to him for the first few months.

When Lily left for work, I took care of him. It took a while for James to stop ignoring the baby and start playing with him. And I pretended he was mine," Sirius smiled to himself. "I'd get him out of there if he has been hurt. Luckily, later on, James really started to care for him. I cannot imagine Harry being brought up in a family where his father hates him and where his mother treats him as the object of his partner's redemption. I'd just take him and run away. But, fortunately, they were good parents." Black really had to be pretty drunk or very lonely to spill it all. And on top of that, it was Severus, his enemy, that Black was talking to. The Potions Master never thought that he could have such a civilized conversation with Black.

"Listen, Black, why won't he live with you?" The Potion Master cut the mutt off as Black started telling him how he would take the boy to every Quidditch match.

"You think I didn't ask Albus for it about a million times? He says it's too dangerous to bring him to the Headquarters. And legally, I can't do anything, I'm a fugitive; if not for that, I would have hired the best lawyers," he said bitterly. "But at least because of my nagging, he moved Harry away from the Dursleys. Somewhere safe, where he's happy."

"He wasn't happy with the Dursleys?" Severus raised his brews.

"No, " At this point, he looked at Snape a little more soberly. "But if I had known, I wouldn't have told you anyway because you're a Death Eater," Sirius said; however, his voice was neither accusing nor suspicious.

Severus ignored the last comment. "He lives with my father. Convince Albus to spend the rest of his vacation here. As far as I can tell, the Weasleys will be living in the headquarters for a while, too," Snape said, but Black wasn't listening anymore.

"Do you think he hates me? " Sirius asked, concerned.

" Who?" Snape was surprised.

"Harry," he whispered. "You know that I didn't tell him about it."

Severus clenched his jaw in irritation; he wasn't going to comfort drunk Black.

"If you invite him, you'll find out," Snape said, turning on his heel and leaving.

Going down the stairs, he heard a loud thud and soon after, Mrs Black began her tirade. He hurried downstairs and saw Tonks lying on the ground.

"Nymphadora, I could have expected this." He rolled his eyes. He walked over to the painting and, with a great effort, pulled back the thick curtains. "Careful when you walk, klutz," he sneered, turning to face the exit.

"Why don't you at least pretend to be a gentleman and help me up?" Tonks gasped, rolling over on her back.

"I don't see any woman for whom I would have to pretend, Nymphadora," he accentuated the last word and, without turning, left.

"Don't. Call. Me. Nymphadora," ground out.

Severus just smirked.

HPHPHPHPHP

Looking in the mirror, Harry tried to figure out a way to hide a nasty green and purple bruise on his cheek. Unfortunately, despite staring at it angrily, it remained on his face.

The bruises never went away right away.

He hated when people have seen him like this. When he came to school a little battered before Hogwarts, some of his peers openly stared at him. Some of them were whispering and sniggering. He still remembered the feeling of humiliation. A couple of times, Harry's aunt or uncle were called to the school, but they explained that he was clumsy or had fought with other hooligans from the streets.

He had no friends because all the kids preferred to avoid him. He knew it was because Dudley had threatened them, but… sometimes he wondered if it wasn't because he was such a weakling who let his uncle push him around a bit. Maybe it was his fault. Perhaps he just wasn't likeable? After all, it wasn't often that the closest family hated someone that much?

Harry closed his eyes

He hoped that when his new friends see him like this and realize it's Tobias' fault, they won't ignore him, or worse, despise him because he was such a wimp. He had no idea what he was doing wrong, but apparently, he should have fought harder for the man's acceptance. He couldn't let Tobias treat him the way the Dursleys did. Of course, he knew it wouldn't be easy. When Harry was a child, he tried his best to please Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon, but he never succeeded. And yet, he still had no idea where he was making mistakes.

The day before, when they had met the Potions Master, Harry really had been scared that the man would take him back to the Dursleys. Fortunately, Tobias wouldn't let him do that. Harry decided that his foot would never cross the Privet Drive 4 threshold again.

Never.

And it wasn't because the Dursleys were abusing him. Because it wasn't true. They didn't hit him particularly hard… or too often. And while he had to admit that he had too many chores and sometimes too little food, it wasn't about that either. Or that they closed him too often. Without food. Or even about the cupboard under the stairs, which he has never mentioned to anyone, because he was simply ashamed of it.

That wasn't the point.

The point was, they just didn't want him. They didn't like him. And when they didn't tell him to do something or yell at him for what he did wrong, they just ignored him completely. That was probably what hurt the most about the Dursleys.

And it's not like he hasn't questioned the whole adoption situation, even though even Tobias has confirmed the version. He would find out exactly what it was all about, but as they say, don't look a gift horse in the mouth. And although Tobias was far from perfect, at least—though perhaps it was selfish—Tobias showed some interest in him. He was trying to get to know Harry and get closer to him in some way. Sometimes the man played cards with him, watched TV or cooked. He showed interest in his school, friends, whether he ate anything and how he slept. It felt… nice. Harry had no illusions that it would be like in the Burrow. But he hoped that he might establish a relationship with Tobias at least a little bit similar to what Ron had with his father. He loved the Weasleys but knew that they would always put their children first. And, of course, it should be like that. But he liked the prospect of having an adult just for himself, who would always stand up for him.

HPHPHPHPHP

To Harry's surprise, during training, no one laughed at his bruises. He did notice a few surreptitious peeps, but even Dredd had left him alone that day.

Only on the way home, when Harry and Oasis left, the latter one asked:

"Who smashed your face like that?"

"What? Nobody," said Harry.

Oasis raised his eyebrows and looked at him with eyes that said he had to try harder if he wanted to pull his leg. "If it was Dredd, he is already dead meat."

"No, it's not him. I… I just tripped and fell on the table." It wasn't until he said it aloud, he realized how stupid it sounded.

"Uhu. This table must have had quite big fists."

Harry just shrugged.

"That's your old man, wasn't it?" Oasis asked after a pause but didn't even wait for an answer. "Fucker. The fella is almost six feet high, he's fuckin' workin' on the construction site, lifting breeze-block every day, and then he goes home and throw fists at the wispy kid. If he'd hit you a little harder, he'd break you. This is fuckin' a little lousy." He finished his tirade angrily.

"Back off. You don't know what you are talking about." He replied, irritated, turning red and looking away.

"Cut loose. It's not like you're the only one in the world getting fucked up by his folks."

"So you too..."

Oasis burst out in hoarse laughter. "Oh, come on! I am bigger than my old man." He looked at Harry and added after a moment: "He used to. Before he went to jail. Well, but that's not the point. Just you know if you ever need something, you can come over. I can put you up."

"You don't have to."

"Cut it out. It's not like I've never run away. I know how it is. It's good to have some options. There's a barrel behind my house. You can jump on it, then on the annexe and from there, you will get to the window of my room. I am not suggesting a door coz my old man can blow the gaff to yours."

"Look, thanks, but I don't want you to get into trouble for me."

"Are you kidding? Look at me. Your old man won't fuck with me. "

Suddenly Oasis stopped Harry with his hand. Harry looked at him. "Hold on. Have you ever tried to spit a game to a chick?

"What?" Harry asked, completely confused, having no idea what it was about.

"You know, have you ever hit on girls?"

Harry was surprised at a sudden change of the topic, but recalling Cho replied: "Yes. I mean, kind of, but I'm quite hopeless at it."

"No worries, this can be learned. You hit on them one by one. Just not the ugly ones. You've got to keep the high level; otherwise, all the babes will not want someone who has been with a moose before."

"Well... it does make some sense, despite being somehow twisted," snorted Harry. "But don't you think it's a little… nasty?"

"Don't look at me like this. I don't make the rules. Well, and then when the right one appears, you already know what to do and how it works. Oasis pointed towards the park bench where the two girls were sitting. Can you see those two?" When Harry nodded, he continued: "The one on the left is called Mary. I met yesterday. She's a babe, isn't she?"

Harry snorted in amusement. "Yeah, quite pretty," he confirmed. The girl was shapely, with a pretty face and long dark hair.

"I made a fucking master plan yesterday to get her," Oasis said, proudly sticking his chest forward."

"What kind of plan?" He asked, smiling, completely forgetting about the previous topic.

"You will see. I just need your football. Come on, let's get it."

"You have one as well, and you live closer. Let's take yours!" Harry shouted, running after him.

Oasis looked at him as if he had asked the most ridiculous question ever. "But mine is old and shabby," he said indignantly. "I can't hit her with an old, shabby ball. It's fucking unromantic, and ladies are only into the romantic stuff."

"Then why do you want to hit her at all? It's not exactly romantic either," Harry asked, now completely lost.

"Eh, Shortie, you really need to learn a lot." My fantastic plan is that we'll play football a bit near the girls while they sit on the bench. I'll kick football a little stronger, and it hit that chick in the leg. But you know… not too hard. But hard enough that I can take her for a coffee or something as an apology." Oasis looked at Harry, waiting for admiration.

Harry looked back and grinned. Yes, it really made sense. Maybe the next time he knows such tricks, asking the girl out will go more smoothly than with Cho?

Oasis tugged his sleeve, and they ran.

When they entered Harry's house, Tobias had already come back from work. He was standing at the kitchen counter, slicing the bread. There was a beer next to him, which has recently been his inseparable attribute. Harry's stomach tightened at the thought that the man might say, or worse, do something in front of Oasis, but he just greeted them.

"Hi, Harry." He looked at Oasis. "Noah."

"Hello."

"Are you gonna eat dinner?"

"No, I'm not hungry. We still have something to do with Oasis." Said Harry, and after a moment, added: "Hope that's okay?".

"Yeah, sure. Just try not to be back very late."

Harry ran to the room for the ball and ran downstairs as quickly as possible, then they went to where the girls were sitting.

Oasis, in his brilliant plan, however, did not foresee that the girls would go home.

HPHPHPHPHP

Saturday, July 8th 1995

As soon as he opened his eyes, he felt a pain in the back of his neck. He shouldn't be surprised as he slept all night on the wooden floor. He tried to sit up, but he moved too fast, and it made him dizzy.

He groaned.

'It is my fault. It was all my fault. Harry… Regulus…'

He went downstairs to the kitchen, poured himself a glass of cold water, and drank it in one gulp. After a while, the door opened, and he saw his friend.

"What happened to make you wake up so early?" asked Remus.

"Harry hasn't written back yet?" Sirius asked, ignoring his friend's sarcasm.

"You know, Dumbledore asked us to give him some space. He's been through a lot lately, and he has to sort it all out. Mourning takes time."

"And you think loneliness will help him do that? I am sure he is sitting alone, feeling sorry for himself. We could somehow distract him from unpleasant thoughts. Remus," he looked at his friend. "I have to help him. He's all I have left," he finished quietly.

Remus looked at him searchingly.

"I think if Harry really wanted to, he would stay in touch." You know he's as stubborn as a mule, and so are you. If he wanted to, he would write you back.

"I just need to make sure he's not getting hurt. And he is not depressed."

"Just like you?" asked Remus, but when Sirius again ignored his comment, he continued: "Albus said Harry was fine."

"Yes. But it was also Dumbledore who left him with the Dursleys who treated him despicably!" Sirius blurted frantically.

"You're talking nonsense. The headmaster wouldn't leave him in a family that abused him."

"Do you think if that house was fine, he would want to move in with me because as soon as I turned out not to be a murderer?"

"And did you take into account that maybe Harry didn't want to live there because they're just Muggles? I don't know; maybe he thought that they were a little too strict with him. Arabella Figg had an eye on him all the time. If something were wrong, she would have notified Albus right away." Remus took a deep breath and continued: "Besides, if you had taken Harry in, he'd have everything even before he would dream about it. You would spoil him. You wouldn't give him any responsibilities, and he wouldn't have to do anything at all. He sensed it. Which child would not like to be treated like a prince? You spent twelve years in Azkaban. You escaped from there, which is something that has not been done by anyone yet. You impressed him, so it was obvious he wanted to live with you. Harry is still a child. Every child would like it."

"You are wrong. Harry didn't even know me. If he hadn't been hurt by the Dursleys, he wouldn't have agreed. At least not right away." Sirius didn't know why his friend wouldn't understand it.

"Kreacher! Bring me a pen and parchment! "

"Sirius, you can do whatever you want. You can write to him and delude yourself that he cares about you as much as you care about him. Just to let you know, both of us, Albus and I think Harry needs time. And so do you. Azkaban did its job. You need potions and time to recover. It will take a while before you can think logically. For now, you're blinded by your emotions."

"It's been two years now," Black chuckled bitterly. "I'm better."

"Stop kidding yourself. The mood swings would only make it harder for you to come to normal," Lupin sighed in frustration. "And dealing with an emotional, capricious teenager is not easy." Lupin looked at him sadly. "Please, you need to understand, Sirius, teenagers, do not behave rationally. They are going through a hormonal storm. One day they love you; the next, they will scream that they hate you. In your state, you can't afford that. You know the war is coming. You need to recover as quickly as possible. And the stress of being responsible for a kid who gets in trouble all the time won't make it any easier for you."

"Stop it. You're wrong about Harry... He's not like that. Anyway, I'm his godfather, and that's my damn duty. I swore I would do anything so he would have a long and happy life. Kind of life that neither you, nor I, nor his parents had." Sirius looked at Lupin, whose face was impassive. "Besides, he is… Besides, he is the heir of the Black family, and I, as the last of the Blacks, have to teach him the traditions, rights and duties of the heir of The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black."

"Sirius, but you don't care about traditions or laws, let alone your responsibilities to your family."

Sirius shrugged. "But that's another argument. Quite strong, I may add."

Lupin just shook his head. He walked over to him and handed him a few bottles of potions.  "I'm just asking you not to do anything stupid. I cannot lose you again."

After Remus left, Sirius drank his potions for the effects of prolonged exposure to the dementors.

He felt relieved immediately. A wave of warmth spread over his body, and a mist of respite clouded his mind. It occurred to him that he really was worried about nothing. Remus was probably right as usual. Harry was certainly happy, well-cared-for, and had a good time somewhere in the quiet suburbs. The Death Eaters had no chance of finding him there. He blended in the crowd and had his freedom. And Sirius was stupid that he tried to lock him up at Grimmauld Place. Even though he wanted to keep an eye on him to make sure the boy is safe, he couldn't be so selfish.

He felt calm, at least for the next few hours.

HPHPHPHPHP

Severus impatiently paced the living room. A glance at his watch made him realize there were still fifteen minutes left. He had doubted he could convince Nott Sr. to let Theodore study his potion-making skills under Severus' watchful eye if he would be aware that Severus lived in a Muggle neighbourhood. If all goes according to plan, the boy will be able to stay with him until the end of the summer vacation. Not that the prospect of babysitting a teenage boy was something he really looked forward to.

On the contrary, he would definitely prefer to brew potions alone, without the kid's constant presence. And although the Slytherin was one of the more tolerable and calm teenagers, with his nose constantly hidden in the book and, above all, with a potions' talent, he was still just that—a teenager. However, despite not being exactly pleased with the whole situation, Severus decided to sacrifice his summer peace. Theodore was one of the few purebloods in the Slytherin House who could actually use his help.

Nott Sr. was one of the more zealous Death Eaters. Those who placed the Dark Lord much higher than the family. His father put a lot of pressure on Theo about Voldemort, and Severus knew the boy didn't feel any inclination to join him. This was the reason for the latest tensions between Theodore and his father. Fortunately, the Dark Lord made sure Nott Sr. was kept busy this summer, giving him some task to do abroad. Thanks to this, after a lengthy discussion, Severus managed to persuade him to let his son stay with the teacher and learn potions over the summer.

He was about to arrive any minute.

Potter, who lived in the neighbourhood, complicated the situation. It would be best if the boys hadn't met, but he knew it wasn't possible, especially since he was going to keep an eye on the other one too. Even though he did not like the boy, he knew what Tobias was like when he fell into a drinking binge. And no child deserved it—even Potter. Therefore, Severus just needed to make sure what happens at Cokeworth stays in Cokeworth. He couldn't let the news of his newfound relationship with Potter spread through Hogwarts.

His thoughts were interrupted by a green flash in the fireplace, and a moment later, Theodore Nott was standing in his living room.

"Good morning, professor. You kept your word. Thank you," said the Slytherin, smiling gratefully.

Even though Snape wouldn't admit it to anyone, this kind of smile always gave him satisfaction.

"You're welcome, Mr Nott," Severus replied, the corners of his mouth curving slightly upward as well.

 

To be continued...


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