Electric Avenue by DesertPlanet
Summary: Following the disasterous Third Task, Harry begins to notice two things about himself. First: his appearence has begun to change. Second: something is very very wrong. The Cruciatus shouldn't continue to be causing him pain this far out from having received it, should it?
Categories: Parental Snape > Biological Father Snape > Severitus Challenge Main Characters: .Snape and Harry (required), Draco, Remus
Snape Flavour: Kind Snape
Genres: Angst, Family, Hurt/Comfort, Mystery
Tags: Disguised!Harry, Injured!Harry, New Identity!Harry, Physical Impairment
Takes Place: 5th summer, 5th Year
Warnings: Neglect, Out of Character
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 44 Completed: No Word count: 191134 Read: 200952 Published: 08 Jan 2021 Updated: 12 Nov 2021
Chapter 18 by DesertPlanet
Paperwork was the worst part of the job bar none. It was a part of everything they did. Every investigation, no matter how minor, required gobs of paperwork. Go on patrol? Paperwork. Conduct an interview? Paperwork. Go to the loo? Paperwork.

Ok, it wasn’t that bad, but when you go through several inkwells in a week, you know things have gotten out of hand.

While it was a pain to deal with, occasionally the paperwork was a blessing in disguise. If you needed to reference something like a case that had happened years ago, there was paperwork that could be found if you had the right clearance. Granted you needed to have the paperwork proving you had clearance, but that was besides the point. There was always a trail of paperwork that would lead you to where you needed to be. In theory, anyways.

In working under the likes of Kingsley Shacklebolt, she didn’t need to worry so much about getting the proper clearance all the time. So long as she was able to provide him with a good explanation as to why she needed to access certain bits of information, he was willing to assist her through the most tedious of paperwork to access the paper trail that she needed in order to be one of the best up and coming detectives in the Aurors.

It was always thrilling to get a new job and start digging into it. Patrols were great and all, but finding that one piece of evidence that tied the entire case together was so satisfying. Creating the map of who had done what and where and why and finding all of the missing pieces: so much more zen than just chasing down a perpetrator and interrogating them.

This case, however, was different.

When Dumbledore had initially put out the call that Harry Potter was missing, she had assumed that it would be a simple case of a runaway teen. Hell, she herself had done the same thing on several occasions. You get sick of the rules your parents set, you try to talk to them only to be shut down and treated like a child, you run away. Simple as that. But there was something off about this case from the get go, and it wasn’t even the lack of parents to argue with.

There was a distinct lack of paperwork. No medical records outside of a few required vaccinations prior to the start of primary school. No trips to an optometrist despite the fact it was known that Harry Potter wore glasses. Sure, there were school transcripts, but it was almost as if Harry Potter barely existed within the muggle world. And the more she pushed, the less she found.

Alarm bells ringing in her head, she couldn’t help but join the attempt to find the missing teen. If there was something more sinister going on than a simple argument and a runaway teen, she would be damned if she didn’t figure it out. Harry Potter or not, no child deserved to be left in an uncaring, neglectful, or abusive situation. And the more she dug, the more that seemed to be the case. Even his medical records from Hogwarts showed he was significantly underweight and under the normal height curve for children his age despite both his parents having been of average height and weight.

Upon conducting interviews of the neighbors, she found the majority of them to believe Harry to have been going to St. Brutus’ School for Incurably Criminal Boys despite this certainly not being the standard “muggle appropriate” name for Hogwarts. The longer they had lived in Little Whinging, the more they believed of his apparent crimes. Crimes of which there was no record in either the wizarding or muggle worlds. In fact, there was no evidence of Harry Potter having committed any crime whatsoever outside of two incidents of magic used in the muggle world after having started at Hogwarts. One of which he had insisted was a house elf performing these acts and the other was reported as accidental magic.

No, this was not a child who would be sent to a school for the incurably criminal.

Of all the neighbors she spoke to, only one had anything remotely positive to say of the boy. During the school year, a new set of neighbors had moved in a few houses down from the Dursleys. They had reported hearing of Harry prior to his return from school and were wary of the boy, but the child they described who came home was not what Harry Potter had been described as looking like. Dark haired, yes, but they couldn’t corroborate that the child they had seen had the tell-tail scar on his head. Nor could they say if he had green eyes. All they knew of his appearance was what they had seen in the few instances he was seen outside. Tall, extremely pale, thin, and perpetually worn was how they described him.

Then they mentioned seeing him have a seizure.

“So I called the ambulance,” the husband admitted. “His relatives weren’t around and no one else in the neighborhood was looking for once. I had to do something!”

But that admission was weeks ago. She had spent the better part of the first week of Harry Potter’s disappearance scouring through local hospitals in search of a boy who fit his known appearance and had come up dry. She even asked if there was a boy with these new characteristics mentioned by the neighbors, but to no avail. The closest she got was a child transferred from St. Peter’s Hospital to Children’s Hospital in London, but he had apparently given the wrong name while recovering from his own seizure. An issue which was corrected when they found his father, into whose care he was later discharged.

As it stood, she was at a loss and wasn’t quite sure how to proceed.

With a sigh, Nymphadora Tonks leaned back in her chair, stretched her back, and yawned. It had been a long and useless day filled with fruitless searches and worthless information. The only thing this entire investigation had turned up was that Children’s Hospital needed to be put on the list for warding. How it had been missed for warding she would never know, but that was well and truly out of her jurisdiction. Besides, it wasn’t like she could have done much while she was there. She had immediately gotten weird looks when she came in in her Auror robes with bright pink hair asking about ‘Harry Potter’ and had been promptly told to leave when no one by that name was found.

The one weird thing that she couldn’t get out of her head about that visit, however, was the fact she could have sworn she saw Professor Snape leaving the building with a teen who looked oddly similar to him.

“Severus Snape, how dare you!” Poppy Pomfrey said, scolding the young professor good naturedly. “All these years and you never once told us you had a son?! If I didn’t know you any better, I would swear he just fell from the sky!”

Severus raised an eyebrow before turning to watch as his son slowly and methodically removed his shirt and trousers, folded them, and put on the gown laying on the bed in front of him. For all the changes and upset to the routine he had somewhat set over the past week, Elias was doing surprisingly well today. While he seemed much slower and more unsure of what he was doing over all, he was still managing to remain focused and complete most tasks with minimal coaching.

Honestly, it was a great relief to him that Elias had kept that independent streak he had been known for as Harry Potter and continued to find ways to adapt to any difficulties he came across. Where he had once found this behaviour to be a nuisance he now found solace in knowing his son wouldn’t need a caregiver around at all times as he had initially feared.

“No, Poppy,” Severus said with a small smirk on his face as he handed over the large file Healer Shannon had sent him. “Elias certainly did not fall from the sky.”

“Sweet Merlin,” Madam Pomfrey muttered, eyes going wide as she viewed the size of the file Severus was handing her. “Why didn’t you bring this to me earlier?”

“I apologize,” Severus said, turning back to Elias and helping tie the gown behind his neck and motioning for him to sit on the bed when he looked at the two of them bickering in mild confusion. “We were waiting on the translation to come through. Sit on the bed Elias.”

Madam Pomfrey nodded her head, though her frown only deepened. She would have liked more time to peruse his chart before trying to complete a physical on him, especially since his chart seemed quite extensive. Sitting on the bed opposite where Elias was sitting, she opened his chart and lay it on the bed so she could quickly glance at it to verify if any of her findings were new. Thankfully, it seemed Elias’s physicians had kept rather detailed reports of his comings and goings from the hospital and appointments, despite it all being translated from… was that Russian?

“Elias? Are you able to understand English?” Madam Pomfrey asked, looking at the thin boy sitting across from her, hoping she wouldn’t have to rely on a translator. Severus seemed to not have any issues speaking with him, however there was always a chance that Severus was using a translator spell.

“Y-yes ma’am,” Elias said, looking at the woman rather wide-eyed.

“Good, good,” Madam Pomfrey said, flicking her wand at a piece of parchment. “Are you having any pain right now?”

“N-nothing unusual f-for me,” Elias said, blushing and shoving his hands under his thighs to help cover the slight twitch they still had. “M-my l-legs and b-back mostly.”

“Any headaches right now?” Madam Pomfrey asked, eyebrows shooting to her hairline as she continued to peruse his chart. Migraines, fatigue, seizures, muscle spasms, memory problems; it was no wonder he hadn’t come to Hogwarts or had a transcript from Durmstrang

Elias blushed even brighter red and picked at a hangnail that had gotten stuck on the bedding when he put his hands under his legs. He hadn’t wanted to admit to his father that his head was still hurting despite the potions he was on. It was nowhere near as bad as the first migraine day he had had, but it was still annoying to have a headache lingering on constantly. “Yeah, j-just a n-n-normal headache though!”

“Elias,” Severus said gruffly. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“It's n-not that b-b-bad,” Elias muttered, embarrassed at the mere thought of admitting something as minor as a headache. “I’ve h-had worse.”

Severus sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose. Of course Elias wouldn’t want to admit something as simple as a headache; he had already admitted at least once to Draco that he hated feeling like a burden. He had spent the majority of his life caring for himself and at the very least the first part of the summer trying to cope with the pains and muscle spasms on his own; having someone actually care for him and truly want to know about how he was feeling must have felt so foreign to him. That didn’t make it any less frustrating for him as a father, however.

“Please tell me if you’re having a headache or any increase in pains,” Severus sighed, looking sternly at his son.

“If you don’t feel comfortable talking to your father, you can always come speak with me,” Madam Pomfrey interjected softly. “Or any of the professors here. I’m sure I can speak for everyone on staff, if you are struggling with something, we are all more than happy to help you with whatever problem it may be.”

Elias nodded and resisted the urge to snort. What a load of bollocks. They hadn’t really cared when he was Harry Potter, why would they give a damn now. He had been allowed to wander into a Basilisk's lair as a twelve year old with only a friend of the same age and a borderline incompetent professor. He had tried to tell Professor McGonagall when someone was trying to steal the Philosopher’s Stone. Then there was Professor Dumbledore who routinely encouraged behavior such as this. Had Dumbledore actually stood up for him, he never would have had to compete in the Triwizard Tournament, Hermione never would have had a Time Turner, the school would have been evacuated as soon as the threat of a Basilisk on the grounds was discovered, and the Philosopher’s Stone never would have been on the school grounds. Had anyone actually paid attention to him, he would never have been sent back to the Dursley’s.

“... on the bed?” Madam Pomfrey was saying.

“Sorry, could you repeat that?” Elias asked, having missed the first part of the command.

“Could you lay back on the bed?” Madam Pomfrey asked, motioning towards the bed he was sat on. “I need to perform just a few diagnostic spells on you, just to confirm there have been no changes since your last exam… last week… This is just a formality, I can assure you.”

Elias nodded, wincing as his back protested the movement and his legs twitched violently when his foot made contact with the cold metal frame of the bed. Thankfully the twinges weren’t nearly as bad as they had been prior to starting his current potions regime, but certain actions still served to remind him that his nerves were quite frayed and in a very literal sense. Thankfully the spasms seemed to stay located in his legs only this time rather than racing into his arms as well. Progress was progress!

“Oh my!” Madam Pomfrey gasped as she looked at the results of her scan briefly before grabbing his chart and quickly thumbing through it. “How frequently do you have those spasms?”

“All the t-time,” Elias answered truthfully. “They’re m-much b-better though!”

Madam Pomfrey looked wide-eyed at Severus who nodded rather tiredly. The poor boy! He must have struggled so much, it was any wonder he managed to make it to fifteen! She was honestly afraid to complete the rest of her scan but knew now to expect the most abnormal scans she had seen in her entire tenure as school nurse. In some ways she was glad to have never seen a case like his, however she felt wildly out of her depth with even being a point person on his case. The amount of spell damage she was seeing was something she hadn’t seen since the first war.

A few more spells and some frantic searching through his charts to corroborate her findings and she was done. It was a surface level examination, after all, nothing too in depth. Not that an in depth exam was necessary; he had just had a rather complex and complete physical done not even two weeks ago, judging by his chart.

“Alright laddie,” Madam Pomfrey said, extending a hand to the boy and helping him sit up. “I’m all done.”

“Are y-you sure?” Elias asked, looking surprised at how quickly the exam was over.

“I only needed to verify what was in your files,” Madam Pomfrey said, handing the boy back his clothes. “I do the same with all of the students that come in. You aren’t used to such short exams are you?”

Elias shook his head while looking at her in confusion. “Are you s-sure you’re d-done?”

“I’m positive,” Madam Pomfrey said with a smile though saddened by his disbelief. Visits to the healers must have been long, drawn out, and frequent endeavors for the boy.

“Awesome!” Elias said, throwing on his shirt and trousers as quickly as possible. Though he had great respect for Madam Pomfrey, he had no desire to stay in the hospital wing for any longer than he needed. He had spent enough time there over the past four years, he didn’t need to spend any more time there!

“Shoes,” Severus smirked, stopping his son from immediately running out of the hospital wing once clothed.

“Right,” Elias said, grabbing the proffered item and struggling momentarily to slide his feet into them before trying once more to push his way out of the Hospital Wing. He was finally back at Hogwarts!

“Hold on,” Severus said, grabbing Elias by the back of his shirt. “We are not ready to leave yet.”

“Thank y-you, Madam Pomfrey!” Elias said quickly, trying to pull away from his father’s grasp.

“Close,” Severus said with a smirk as he handed the anxious teen his forgotten cane from where he had left it and handing yet another piece of parchment to Madam Pomfrey. “The timings and frequency of each of his potions is listed following each potion. I have been given permission from his primary healer to brew all of his potions and have them stocked in our quarters.”

Madam Pomfrey quickly looked over the list of potions nodding as she went along until she got to by far the most controversial of the potions on the list.

“Fulgur? Severus thats….”

“I am aware,” Severus said with a sigh. “I am acutely aware. However he has seen some of the most significant improvement in his condition since he started taking it.”

Poppy sighed before placing a small hash mark next to the potion in question. “Is the Headmaster aware?”

“I… have not informed him yet,” Severus said, a rather pained look on his face. “I was hoping to keep that under wraps.”

“What’s wrong?” Elias said, eyes flicking between the two adults, panic evident in his voice.

“Elias, do you know what Fulgur is?” Severus asked, honestly curious as to how much Elias knew about the potions he was on.

“It’s a c-c-class eight p-poison with p-potentially therap-peutic effects,” Elias said as though quoting a textbook. “I t-take eight d-drops in the m-morning and f-f-four in the evening if I’m h-having a b-b-bad afternoon.”

“And as it is considered a poison, especially one which is classed so high, it is not technically allowed within the school,” Severus said uncomfortably. “Or at least not in liquid form within areas where students are allowed.”

Elias’s shoulders fell as the realization of what his father was saying sunk in. He had honestly been hoping to have at least one of the major meals with the other students in hopes of forging friendships before he was allowed to audit classes. He was already aware that he would be struggling to make friends simply because of his last name and that he wouldn’t be able to attend classes. He had had dreams of at least being able to sit with the general populace of Hogwarts for meals so he could get to “meet” the other students again.

“C-couldn’t I t-take it b-before breakfast and after d-d-dinner?” Elias asked, eyes full of hope but already resigned to what the answer would be.

“I’m sorry,” Severus said quietly, knowing how ostracizing this would be for his son. “It has to be taken with food. Perhaps there is something I could work out with the headmaster so you would be able to eat with the other students, however.”

“I d-don’t think he l-l-likes me very m-much,” Elias muttered, shifting awkwardly in place.

“You were just confused at the time,” Severus said, eyes glimmering as he tried not to laugh at the memory of how flustered the headmaster had been with his apparent ‘confusion.’

“I’m sure he will forgive you and find some way of working around the existing regulations,” Madam Pomfrey said in an effort to reassure the boy in front of her. “I wouldn’t worry too much about it at this time. There’s still a week before school starts, dear. I’m sure we can get something figured out for you so you get to have time to socialize.”

Elias nodded, a small smile growing on his face. Despite the desire to hide from the headmaster and the need to protect his identity both for his safety and for his father’s, she was correct. Dumbledore was one for stretching the rules when it came to things that either shouldn’t be allowed or were flat out dangerous (like housing a werewolf in a boarding school prior to the advent of Wolfsbane). He, at the very least, wasn’t a danger to those around him; he was just a danger to himself. It was only one potion after all, and not even a strong dose. It wasn’t like he was bringing dangerous or untested contraband into the school like the Weasley twins did every year.

Speaking of dangerous contraband...

“H-how long do w-we have b-before we m-meet my t-t-tutor?” Elias asked, suddenly changing the topic, eyes sparkling with curiosity.

“Several hours,” Severus said, pulling a pocket watch out of his robes and checking the time. “In our brief correspondence, we discussed meeting and having an early dinner so you could get to know each other.”

“Ok,” Elias said, nodding in agreement at the plan. “D-do I have t-time to go to the l-l-library? I d-d-didn’t have time t-to finish m-much of my theory p-project p-prop-p-p-posal b-before I got sick.”

“I am aware,” Severus said bluntly, crossing his arms over his chest. “I have informed your tutor that your proposal is not very well fleshed out but he seems to be … quite lenient. Though I don’t know how much information you will be able to find here. Are you sure you still want to focus on that?”

“Yes, sir,” Elias said, unintentionally mirroring his father’s actions and tone of voice. “I am p-p-positive.”

“Enough,” Madam Pomfrey said, shooing both of them towards the door. “If you Snapes want to argue, don’t do it my wing. I’ve barely got it set up as is! Whatever your project is, I don’t want to see you in here because of it! Either of you!”

Elias nodded and snickered before limping out of the hospital wing, into the hallway, and stopping. While he knew how to get to the library from the hospital wing like he knew the back of his hand, he didn’t know the way to the library. It would be extremely difficult to explain how he knew his way around a castle that he had never been to before, especially one as confusing as Hogwarts.

“I thought you wanted to go to the library?” Severus said, closing the door to the hospital wing behind him.

“Yes, b-but I don’t know where it is,” Elias said, looking around at the portraits on the wall who were occasionally looking in their direction.

That was the thing about Hogwarts, the walls literally had eyes and ears. One wrong step and the portraits would begin gossiping and it wouldn’t be long before the gossip made its way to the headmaster’s office. Not only that, but there were also the ghosts who would routinely fade through walls and meander down corridors. Nearly-Headless Nick was a known gossip amongst the Gryffindors; it wasn’t much of a stretch to believe he would happily pass along anything he found strange to the other ghosts just to have something interesting to talk about.

“Oh… of course,” Severus said, happily surprised Elias was remembering to keep such details as to what he did and did not know at the forefront of his mind. “Come along then. I’ll give you a little tour on our way there…”

“Elias? Elias!” Severus called, wandering through the stacks in search of his wayward son.

He had placed a monitoring spell on him once they got to the library so he would be able to leave momentarily and speak with the headmaster regarding the ‘incident’ earlier in the day. It had been a rather boring meeting simply confirming the reasoning behind why he would not be able to attend normal classes for now as well as ‘explaining’ the poor reaction he had to the floo. They had also discussed, albeit briefly, the problem with his potions and the desire he had to eat with teens his own age so as to make friends. Albus agreed it was a problem, however he only said that he would ‘think about it’ and left it at that.

“Elias, we need to go! I told Lupin we’d meet him there at half four, and it’s nearly four now!”

Farther down the stacks, he heard a rather heavy book slam shut and the flurry of books being frantically shoved back into their rightful places all at once. A few moments later, the rather dusty head of his son poked around the corner of one of the shelves and looked at him in shock.

“D-d-d-did y-you just say L-l-lupin?!” Elias stammered, eyes wide as he frantically brushed his robes off. “L-like Remus L-l-l-lupin?!”

Severus groaned. He had been hoping to discuss this on the carriage ride to Hogsmeade, but in his frustration at the time crunch they now found themselves in he had blurted it out. A rather uncharacteristic blunder, if he did say so himself.

“The same,” Severus growled. “I just hope he doesn’t bring his mutt with him. That would… not end well.”

“Why not?” Elias asked honestly as he pocketed his ever present notebook. As excited as he was at knowing his favorite professor was now going to be his personal tutor, he couldn’t help but feel a bit uneasy at the way his father was saying things. There was being purposefully evasive and then there was whatever this was to his father. He knew Severus and the Marauders had a bit of a history, but he made it sound almost as though it were a death threat.

“Lupin’s dog does not care for me,” Severus said, leading the way out of the library and towards the grand entrance where a carriage was waiting for them to take them to Hogsmead. “In fact, I would even go so far as to say he loathes me and the feeling is mutual. I’m concerned he may feel the same way about you.”

“Oh,” Elias said, watching the ground carefully as he walked. Cobble was much more difficult to keep his footing on than the nice, flat, wooden floor they had at Spinner’s End. He had already tripped and nearly fallen several times on a piece of uneven flagstone. “I don’t like dogs that much.”

“Then you’re in for a treat,” Severus said with a snort. “The one thing you have to look forward to is an extra day or so off classes a month.”

Elias shivered at the memory of Professor Lupin’s transformation. The light of the full moon rising as Moony took hold of the man and forced his way out, unchecked by the wolfsbane potion. The entire night had been a disaster from start to finish. Ron had been injured, Wormtail had escaped, Sirius had nearly been kissed, and, if it hadn’t been for Hermione’s penchant for education, he may very well have died as well.

Despite everything that happened, Sirius had continued to reach out to him and gave him something to look forward to. Up until the potion had worn out of his system and the owls couldn’t find him anymore, he and Sirius would write occasionally. It was mostly banter, but the letters had helped keep him sane whenever things were getting bad either at school or at home. As happy as he was to have a father and a new, non famous life, certain aspects of his old life he did hope to retain. His friends and his relationship to his … James’ friends being prime examples.

“What if he d-does b-bring his dog and his d-dog d-doesn’t like m-m-me?” Elias asked solemnly.

“Then we request he be muzzled and removed,” Severus said firmly as they came upon the main staircase.

“And w-what if I w-w-want to t-tell him?” Elias said, voice barely over a whisper. “I d-d-don’t want t-t-t-to lose anyo-one else.”

“We shall deal with that when and if the time comes,” Severus said, offering his arm as Elias hesitantly started down the wide staircase. While the cane helped his balance on the flat, going down stairs was still a rather daunting task. Severus had no doubt in his mind that over time Elias would get better at managing the stairs of Hogwarts, but, for now, they were a force to be reckoned with. “Are you still feeling dizzy?”

“A little,” Elias admitted, gratefully taking the offered arm in one hand and the stair rail in the other. “I’m g-g-getting a little t-tired too.”

“I can tell,” Severus said, noting the increase in tremors in his son’s hands. “Are you going to be able to make it through dinner?”

“I think so. I d-d-don’t know how w-w-well I will b-be able t-to follow the c-convers-sation though,” Elias admitted with a frown. He was already beginning to feel the small waves of confusion licking at his consciousness. By far it was the most frustrating thing he had found of his current condition: get tired and trying to follow a conversation was a struggle; get too tired and everything became a struggle. He was getting better at staying awake for longer, something he credited the potions with, but still there were times where he would exhaust himself trying to stay up to be normal only to find everything was becoming more and more confusing as he began to forget what he was even trying to work on.

“This is only intended to be a short meal and a ‘meet and greet’ session,” Severus said, pausing for Elias to sneeze as they exited the castle into the bright summer sun.

“Ok,” Elias said, rubbing his nose vigorously before continuing down the stairs to the waiting carriage before stopping suddenly. He’d never seen the carriages be pulled by something, let alone whatever one of those things! What even was that thing at the front of the carriage?

Severus stopped when his son did and looked at the boy’s rather pale face. “Elias, are you alright?”

“Wh-what is that-t thing?” Elias said quietly, staring at the rather terrifying looking, skeletal, winged horse which was harnessed to the front of the carriage.

“It’s a thestral,” Severus said softly. “They are invisible to those who have never seen death but themselves are quite harmless. I take it you’ve not studied them?”

Elias shook his head as visions of the cemetery flooded in. Cedric lying there, dead, his spirit begging to have his body taken back to his father. The smell of wet grass, blood, and burning flesh filling his nostrils as Voldemort’s voice ordered Wormtail to kill the spare. His heart began to race as Voldemort raised his wand and cast the cruciatus curse on him…


“Hmm?” Elias mumbled, heart beginning to slow.

“Elias, talk to me!” Severus’s voice cut through the fog of his panic. “Can you hear me?”

“Yeah… yeah…” Elias said, wiping his eyes with his hand and sneezing once more as a bright light was shone in his eyes. “Will y-you stop d-d-doing that?!”

“What happened?” Severus asked, waving his wand over his son once more to confirm whatever it was wasn’t a seizure.

Elias blushed and pushed himself up off of the stairs. “N-nothing.”

“Nothing doesn’t end up with someone hyperventilating,” Severus said, handing the fallen cane back to its owner.

Elias blushed bright red as he took the offered cane before pushing past his father and rushing down the rest of the stairs as best he could before launching himself into the carriage, making sure to not be facing the thestral which was pawing impatiently at the ground. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to talk about that night, it was that he didn’t want to discuss this right now. He was fine, a little panicky, but fine. Besides, he was already shaping up to be a rather lousy son; there was no way that Severus Snape, dungeon dweller of Hogwarts, would want to keep a weak son like him.

True, he had been surprisingly level-headed about the whole thing, but how much longer would he be able to keep up the act? How much longer would he be willing to put up with having a spastic freak of a son? He was not known for his patience after all, and pretending to have a son as needy as Elias must have been so taxing on him. Maybe he was just going to foist him onto Professor Lupin and be done with him?

“Elias, talk to me,” Severus said firmly, climbing into the carriage and signalling to the driver to go ahead. The carriage slowly lurched forward causing both occupants to momentarily lose their balance before both settled back into their respective seats.

“N-nothin’ t-t-t-to t-talk ab-b-bout,” Elias said, cursing how easily his stutter gave away his state of mind.

Severus raised an eyebrow and sighed. He seemed fine now, but what on earth could have made him react like that to the thestral? Surely he had been able to see them since starting Hogwarts, having witnessed the death of his mother at such a young age! Whatever it was, he had gone from walking surprisingly well down the stairs with only minimal assistance to seemingly having a panic attack while looking at the thestrals. Had it not been for the spells he had placed on the boy to alert him if he was having a seizure, he honestly would have thought that was what was happening. Elias had suddenly gone extremely pale, a cold sweat appearing on his brow as his knees began to buckle under him.

While a good proof of concept for why Elias wouldn’t be allowed to roam the school unattended, it was still a worrying occurrence.

“I will respect your wishes to not discuss this topic at this time, however we do have other things to discuss,” Severus said, relaxing back into the rather plush cushions of the carriage. “Your educational background being one of them.”
To be continued...

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