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
Chapters: 44 Completed: No
Word count: 191134 Read: 197734
Published: 08 Jan 2021 Updated: 12 Nov 2021
Chapter 19 by DesertPlanet
Waiting to meet a new employer for an interview and being stood up was such a standard part of his life that, when Snape and his son failed to show up on time, Remus nearly left The Three Broomsticks immediately having forgotten that this meeting was solely a formality and that he already had the job. It was still quite nerve wracking to be meeting Snape’s son, particularly since the last time he worked at Hogwarts he … hadn’t left on the best of terms. Particularly with Severus.
But he wasn’t truly employed by Hogwarts this time around, instead his application had been given to Severus who chose to employ him. That was a fact that was more confusing to him than anything else. Severus had never liked him much, even going so far as to try and get him fired for minor differing opinions while they taught together, so why was he willing to go against that track record and allow him to teach his son? It was baffling to say the least.
Nearly fifteen minutes after the scheduled time they were supposed to meet, Remus was beginning to worry that either something had happened to Severus and his son or that he was essentially being stood up yet again when the front door to The Three Broomsticks opened once more and in stepped the two Snapes, both looking rather worn from their journey. The elder Snape strode over to Madam Rosemerta and quietly spoke with her for a minute before she nodded in Remus’s direction to which Severus responded with a small nod of thanks before turning back to his son.
The teenager who was with Severus was obviously his son despite not being an exact carbon copy of the man. While both were quite pale, Severus’s complexion was made more sallow when contrasted with his standard black robes and hair. Elias, on the other hand, looked far more like someone who had once had a tan and but had lost it recently. His dark brown hair fell straight much like his father’s, however his was far shorter than any cut he could ever remember Severus wearing and was parted so the front was swept over a rather substantial and recent scar on his forehead. Elias’s robes were a dark midnight blue and were cut slightly shorter than what was considered normal, though not enough to be noticeable unless one were paying close attention. Additionally, Remus couldn’t help but notice the dark brown cane the boy leaned ever so slightly on when he walked.
But what really stood out to Remus was the shivering. Despite it being quite warm outside, Elias seemed to be shivering nonstop. It was nearly imperceptible, but it was still there. Even from a distance, Remus could see every visible part of the boy seemed to be constantly in motion. Even his eyes had a slight shudder to them. Occasionally a larger twitch could be seen in his arms.
Slowly sipping on his second butterbeer, he watched in silence as Severus turned back and briefly spoke to his son before they turned together and walked towards his table. Elias’s limp was quite pronounced although it was irregular, almost as though he were constantly trying to find his footing. The cane was not for show then, but rather a needed accessory.
“Good afternoon, Lupin,” Severus said rather tersely.
“Afternoon, Severus,” Remus responded calmly, not wanting to rile the man up any more in front of his son, and extending a hand to the younger Snape. “And you must be Elias. It’s a pleasure to meet you! I’m Remus Lupin”
Elias nodded politely, not trusting his voice to work properly and not wanting to make a fool out of himself in front of his "new" instructor before sliding into the seats opposite the man. He just wanted to get this over with so he could go home and take a nap. Just the ride over was a struggle as the headache he’d been having was slowly growing. While he was slightly hungry, it was nothing compared to what he was used to at the Dursley’s so he knew he could manage.
“I wouldn’t expect much in the way of verbal answers out of him right now,” Severus said, handing a yawning Elias the menu which was on the table. “Typically he would have taken a nap trying to do anything in the afternoon, but he wanted to see the library and try to get more caught up on his project.”
Remus nodded, a smile on gracing his weathered features. “Your father told me a bit about what you were wanting to focus on and I must admit, I am fascinated myself! Did you have any luck finding any information on e- il- electricity in the Hogwarts library?”
Elias shrugged slightly as he peered closely at the menu, frowning slightly as his eyes quivered and the words blurred together. He didn’t want much, just something small as his stomach still wasn’t feeling up to large or complex meals. “S-s-soup?”
“They have a fairly decent vegetable soup as well as pumpkin,” Severus answered, seemingly unperturbed by Elias’s lack of true answer to the question asked.
“V-v-veg-g,” Elias said quietly as he put down the menu and held out his hand expectantly.
“I’ll give it to you after we order,” Severus said, gently pushing Elias’s hand down. “Did you find anything interesting in the library?”
“‘B-bout s-soup?” Elias asked, his frown deepening as he tried to follow the conversation. Why was it so hard to make sense of the questions being asked? What was he missing?
“About electricity,” Severus said, gently redirecting his son’s attention back to the original topic with what seemed in Remus’s mind to be a level of grace born only from experience.
“Hmm,” Elias mumbled, biting his lip for a moment as he tried to recall everything he had read over the last three hours only to draw a blank. Maybe he had written it down?
Reaching into his breast pocket, he pulled out his small notebook and flipped it open to the last page with writing. Squinting at it in an effort to focus his eyes, bits and pieces of the last three hours began filtering into his mind. Had he had much luck? If the few entries in the notebook were anything to go on: no. In fact, in the few short hours he had been looking, he remembered one thing: there weren’t even many books mentioning the topic.
“M-m-muggle stud-d-dies is out-td-d-d-dated” Elias finally said, glaring at the publishing dates written down. “B-badly.”
“How so?” Remus asked, interest peaked once more. Surely it couldn’t be that bad, could it? After all, there hadn’t been many complaints he knew of from muggleborn students on the inaccuracies of the class.
“N-n-n-ninteen sevent-ty f-four is the m-m-most recent-t d-d-date.”
“That is quite recent,” Remus said with a gentle smile. “The muggle world has changed, but not that much.”
Elias’s eyebrows shot to his hairline in shock. It was no wonder then that the wizarding world was so out of date! True, there were thousands of years of history differentiating the two worlds, but to assume no new advances had been made in the last twenty years (or at least no major advances) was asinine. If a wizard was to try to survive in the muggle world now, they would be at an absolute loss and it was bound to be getting worse! Hell, even the Dursley’s knew this! Over the summer, they had gotten a new system installed for Dudley’s computer which, after making a god awful racket, allowed him to access something called ‘the internet.’ He had been raving about how this was ‘the future’ for weeks and all conversations he had with his friends ended in conjectures about how amazing it would be as it developed more!
Communication, information sharing, video games with friends around the world in real time, and all based on electricity which was given only half a chapter in every muggle studies book he had found! That would be like…
“P-p-potions,” Elias said suddenly, seemingly out of the blue to those around him.
“What about them?” Severus asked, curious as to the mental leap his son had just made. A quick look at Remus proved he was not the only one interested in where this was going. While Elias was knowledgeable about some potions, he was a barely adequate potions student. True, as Harry Potter he hadn’t really been given a fair chance in class, but even so his understanding on the ministry issued final tests was subpar. Even Weasley did slightly better than him on those tests, though neither were as bad as Longbottom.
“P-p-potions are p-p-potions. Th-throw thin-ngs in a c-c-cauldron, th-that’s it-t,” Elias said, waiting for Severus to immediately implode.
Severus’s nostrils immediately flared at the idea of throwing things willy-nilly into a cauldron and it took every shred of self control to not immediately launch into a lecture on how dangerous that was. Even Lupin looked shocked at the way Elias said that so flippantly, but he too paused for a moment before saying anything. There had to have been a train of thought that, while slightly derailed, Elias must have been on when he said that. Especially the way he said that.
“N-n-nothing n-new in p-p-potions since n-nineteen s-s-seventy f-f-four,” he continued, knowing full well that Severus had been fawning over a newly created composite cauldron for the past several days after it had been introduced in the latest edition of the Potioneer’s Companion as well as having created a number of potions himself within the last several weeks. One look at the man and he knew he had struck a nerve, but it put them on the right thought path.
“Is it that bad?” Remus asked, quickly catching on to what the boy was saying as Severus seemed to physically decompress as the realization at the same time.
Elias nodded once before a look of slight confusion graced his face again. He couldn’t remember if they had ordered yet, but he could tell from the lack of aftertaste in his mouth that he hadn’t taken the potion to help his swallow yet. He didn’t feel like they had eaten yet either.
“What is it Elias?” Remus asked, noting the confusion on the boy’s face come back.
“H-have w-w-w-we ord-dered-d-d?” Elias mumbled, rubbing a hand over his eyes tiredly.
“Not yet,” Severus said, flagging Madam Rosmerta over as Elias yawned once more. “Are you hungry?”
“N-n-no, j-just t-t-tired,” Elias said, staring at the table in embarrassment before resting his head on his hand in an effort to keep it up. He knew he needed to eat but … it was hard enough to focus on two questions at once, he didn’t know if he could keep up with a conversation and eat at the same time. Not to mention his head was throbbing in time with his heart making it even more difficult to focus.
“You didn’t happen to bring a draft of his theory proposal, did you?” Remus asked, looking up from the small notebook Elias had dropped on the table. “I am honestly curious now as to how behind the wizarding world is in terms of electricity if his example is correct. Have you ever looked into this?”
“I did,” Severus said, pulling the few sheets of parchment Elias had managed to put together during the short time he was coherent enough to do so. As much as he had hoped the boy would be able to explain his ideas here and now, one look at his son and he knew explanations would have to wait until tomorrow at the earliest. “He hasn’t had much time to work on it this summer, unfortunately.”
Remus nodded in understanding as he took the small stack of parchment. If anything, he could understand what it felt like to try to continue to live a normal life while dealing with health problems which seemed determined to undermine every effort you made to fight them. While his furry little problem affected his life in many ways, he really only had to deal with the symptoms of it for a few days prior to the full moon and for about a week after as his body healed. Elias had to fight that fight every day, and today it seemed the exhaustion was catching up to him.
Flipping through the parchment, it was evident to Remus that this was a very very rough draft. Had he not known that Elias was ill for most of the summer, even requiring hospitalization, he would have assumed this draft was written by someone unused to writing such proposals as it was quite scattered in its construction with far too many topics listed. He doubted Elias wrote like this consistently as even his notebook seemed to be rather meticulously organized.
“Well isn’t this a sight for sore eyes,” Madam Rosemerta said with a smirk as she came over to the table, wiping her hands on her apron. “I swear if I have to kick the two of you out for fighting, I’m making good on my threat to ban the both of you for good.”
“Rosie, that was nearly twenty years ago,” Remus said with a good natured laugh as Severus shot daggers at the woman with his glare. “Besides, Sirius started that fight. Severus finished it.”
“And you left a rather sizable dent in my bar with your fist, Mr. Lupin!” Madam Rosemerta said, wagging her finger at the man jokingly. “Now, other than a pillow for your boy, Severus, is there anything I can get for you?”
“I’ll have the cottage pie and a coffee,” Severus said before glancing at Elias only to find he had truly fallen asleep sitting up. “He’ll have a bowl of vegetable soup and a water.”
“Sure thing, dear!” Madam Rosemerta said, looking rather fondly at the sleeping boy. Poor thing looked utterly beat. “And for you Remus?”
“What’s in the stovie for the day?” Remus asked, mouth already beginning to water as delicious food smells were already beginning to emanate from the kitchen in the back.
“Lamb, potato, and onion. Do you need a refill?” Madam Rosemerta asked, looking pointedly at Remus’s mostly empty butterbeer.
“Sounds good, and no thank you, I’m fine,” Remus said with a smile before handing the menus back.
“Alright lads, if you change your mind on the pillow, just let me know!” she said before going back to the bar and beginning to berate a rather grubby wizard who was sitting at the bar for some misdeed he had done since he was in to visit last.
“Sounds like Dung is back in town,” Remus muttered, rolling his eyes as the grubby wizard tried to defend himself once more.
“Lovely,” Severus muttered back. “To answer your earlier question: no, I have never even thought to look into advancements in muggle technology. I do not spend much time in the muggle world and few of my Slytherins come from muggle backgrounds. I never even thought to look into it because many of the ‘advancements’ seem too far fetched to be real. However, after this summer, I too am curious as to what they have been able to achieve.”
“What happened this summer?” Remus asked curiously.
Severus sighed deeply and rubbed the bridge of his nose before pulling a potion’s vial from his breast pocket and turning to Elias and gently shaking him awake. “Elias, food will be here in a few minutes, I need you to take your potion.”
Blearily opening one eye and frowning in confusion for several moments as though processing what was said, Elias finally reached out and took the potion with one hand, expertly cracked the top, and downed the entire potion quickly. He then gently handed the vial back to his father and snuggled farther back in the booth before lying his head in his arms and going right back to sleep.
“It’s quite a long story, Lupin,” Severus said folding his hands in his lap and leaning forward slightly. “One which I will have to tell you at some point in its entirety, but at this point my priority is to make sure that you two will get along in spite of our misgivings.”
“Ok, so start from the beginning.”
To be continued...
Just a short little chapter to tide us over as I try to get caught up on real life things (like yardwork and chores). Enjoy!
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.