1. Prologue by TiffCutshall
2. Chapter 1 by TiffCutshall
3. Chapter 2 by TiffCutshall
4. Chapter 3 by TiffCutshall
5. Chapter 4 by TiffCutshall
6. Chapter 5 by TiffCutshall
7. Chapter 6 by TiffCutshall
8. Chapter 7 by TiffCutshall
Godric’s Hollow ~ June
“Lily, are you sure about this?” James Potter asked, pacing the living room.
“James, what do you think will happen if it was discovered that Severus and I are married and that the baby I now carry is his son?” Lily answered sadly, her hands resting over her pregnant belly.
James cursed silently. He knew what would happen, but he still didn’t like this. Severus Snape was after all his cousin for Merlin’s sake. He had been Severus’s best man when he and Lily married a year ago.
“Lil, what does Severus say about all this?” James sighed. When Lily remained silent, James looked at her. “Lily?”
“I…I felt…it would be best if…Severus didn’t remember.” Lily whispered.
“WHAT!” James cried.
“James, please, this is hard enough. When I made this decision, I went to Albus. As we speak, Albus is meeting with Severus. He will place a modified memory spell on Severus. It’s not permanent. We both know that you and I are marked for death. Should the worst happen, and Voldemort kills us, plans are made for Harry.
“Should we die, and Harry survive, the spell on Severus, as well as the charms I will place on Harry when he’s born will be removed on Harry’s fifteenth birthday. If we survive the war and defeat Voldemort, me and Albus will remove them ourselves and everything will go on as it should.” Lily explained.
James dropped heavily into the chair across from her. He never imagined when he agreed to this false marriage with Lily to protect her and his cousin that it would come to this. And why? All because of some damned prophecy. And to make matters worse, this was LILY’S idea and Severus was clueless.
“I don’t think I can do this Lily. He’s my cousin, my blood, my best friend.” James breathed.
“How do you think I feel? This is killing me, but I will NOT risk my husband and my son. I have already written two letters that will be magically delayed. One to Severus and one to Harry. Both letters explain what I and Albus have done today. I have also told Albus that if at any time BEFORE Harry’s fifteenth birthday he feels that something is wrong with Harry, he can remove the spells and charms at once. The letters are in Albus’s possession and if he removes them before he will give the letters to them.” Lily stated.
“Who else knows about this?” James sighed.
“Just you, me, Albus and Remus. I knew it would be pointless to tell Sirius since he doesn’t even know Severus and I are married. Those two still hate each other and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Do you?” Lily answered.
“No, I don’t. Alright, so here’s my stipulation to your plan. I will agree under two conditions. One, while Sirius will be publicly made Harry’s godfather, Remus will also be his second godfather but only the three of us will know. Not even Albus will be told.” James said.
“Agreed.” Lily nodded.
“And two, you will finish the spell that will remove that damned Dark Mark from Severus. I knew my Uncle Tobias was a bastard but to force his only son to join is…finish the spell and give Albus the instructions. When the spell is removed, it will protect not only Severus but my nephew.” James ordered.
“I’m nearly done with it. I figure another month at the latest.” Lily agreed.
“Merlin help us all.” James prayed, burying his face in his hands.
Severus walked into Albus’s office. He was a bit confused as to why he was being summoned. After all, the term had just ended, and he desperately wanted to get home to his wife. His precious Lily. He had not seen her since October when he and her said their final goodbyes. Only a week ago, James had written to him telling him that he had planned for Severus to spend a week with Lily. Severus pushed those thoughts away and knocked on the door.
“Ah, Severus. Please, come in my boy.” Albus said, smiling gently.
“You wanted to see me Albus?” Severus asked, taking a seat.
“Yes, this won’t take long. Lemon drop?” Albus replied.
“Ugh, no thank you. How can you stand those things?” Severus sneered.
Albus merely chuckled before popping one of the candies into his mouth. “Severus, I asked you here because Lily told me to.”
“Lily?” Severus arched a brow.
Albus sighed and rose from his seat. He rounded the desk to stand in front of his Potions Master. “Yes. My boy, we know this war is escalating and quickly. Lucky for us, Voldemort has not heard the prophecy. However, he is aware of it, which is why he has targeted your wife and cousin. It is fear for you and…”
“And what?” Severus pushed.
“Fear for you and the future you two planned that has driven Lily to this choice. My boy, when you leave this office, you will have no memories of having been married to Lily. Your memories will reflect a much different time here at Hogwarts and I am sad to say, a much…different time with James.” Albus stated.
“What the hell are you talking about? I could NEVER forget that I am married to Lily and that I love her!” Severus roared.
“I never said you would forget your love for her, merely your current situation with her. You will only remember that she is married to James.” Albus explained.
“Albus, you have finally lost it. I’m leaving.” Severus hissed, before spinning on his heel.
“I’m so sorry my boy. Please forgive me.” Albus whispered before casting the spell that Lily had created.
Albus cradled the sleeping baby in his arms as he and Minerva walked toward the house. His heart breaking even more. Just twenty-four hours ago young Harry had lost his mother and uncle, and a godfather. The baby’s father, completely unaware of the truth. All because Lily had wanted to keep her son and husband safe.
“You can’t seriously think to leave him with these people. I’ve been watching them all day. They are the worst sort of muggles imaginable. They…” Minerva stated.
“Are the only family he has.” Albus finished. ‘As far as the world is concerned anyway. Oh Lily, let us hope your plan and sacrifice were worth it.’
Severus sat in Albus’s office, still trembling from the aftereffects of the Cruciatus Curse. “To say that he was…disappointed, is an understatement.”
“Severus, why do you continue to do this?” Albus asked.
“You know why. I told you all those years ago that I would make the most of what my father forced on me.” Severus hissed.
Albus leaned back in his chair and sighed. Even now, nearly fifteen years later, the guilt at what he let Lily talk him into ate at him. How he wished that he had just told her no. “You have nothing to payback my boy.”
“The hell I don’t. I vowed to protect her son, and this is how I can. Despite him looking like my cousin, Potter, he is still half of Lily and he’s…family.” Severus said.
“Yet you are almost cruel to him. You say he is just like James, but I don’t think that is true and nor do you.” Albus pointed out.
Severus pushed himself to his feet and despite the slight tremors, he began pacing. “It hurts, alright. Is that what you wanted to hear? It hurts to even look at him. I see more of Lily than I do Potter. He has her kindness, her loyalty. Then there are his eyes. Lily’s eyes.”
Severus didn’t miss the cracking of his voice. Even now, it still hurt to remember. How he had ruined things with Lily during their fifth year with one hissed word. Mudblood. All because of Potter, Black and his father. It had been the day that his father, Tobias Snape had sent him a letter informing Severus that he was to take the Dark Mark that summer.
“If you need nothing more of me Albus, I shall retire.”
Albus merely nodded and watched as Severus left. He opened the small drawer to his left. There rested the two letters that Lily had written to Severus and Harry. All Albus wanted to do in that moment was to give them the letters, cast Lily’s spell to remove the Dark Mark, and reunite father and son. Sadly, he had vowed not to do so. Not yet.
The vow he made with Lily was that he would not send the letters until two weeks before Harry’s fifteenth birthday. Then, he was to bring Harry to Hogwarts. That was still a month and a half away. The only way he could deliver them sooner was if Harry were in danger at the Dursley’s.
Albus had long suspected that the Dursley’s were abusive to Harry but had no proof. Harry rarely spoke of his life there, not even to the Weasley children or Hermione Granger. He pushed the drawer closed again as Fawkes hopped from his perch onto the desk, singing softly.
“Oh Fawkes, how I wish things were different for them.” Albus whispered, stroking the bird’s head.
Harry scooped the eggs onto the plate just as Uncle Vernon walked into the kitchen and kiss Petunia on the cheek. A moment later, Dudley stomped in, bumping into Harry as he did causing Harry to drop the plate he had been holding.
“You clumsy…” Vernon hissed. “Clean that up boy. Now!”
Saying nothing, Harry went about taking care of the broken plate.
“How much longer must we put up with him?” Vernon asked Petunia.
Petunia sighed, “Only until he turns seventeen. Then we’ll be rid of him.”
Dumping the shards of the plate into the trash can, Harry quickly finished serving breakfast before hurrying upstairs to his room. It had been nearly a week since he returned from Hogwarts. Yet each night when he closed his eyes, all he saw were the events of the cemetery. Cedric dying. Voldemort’s return.
He had pleaded with Dumbledore to allow him to stay at Hogwarts for the summer, just this once. Or even go to the Weasley’s, but Dumbledore said no. With a heavy sigh, Harry lay on the bed, curled into an almost fetal position, and allowed his eyes to close. Hoping beyond hope that he wouldn’t dream.
Yet that was not to be the case. Within mere moments of falling asleep, Harry’s mind began to replay the events of the graveyard. Watching as Voldemort had Wormtail kill Cedric while Harry had been helpless to do anything more than watch.
“No. No, Cedric!” Harry cried in sleep, tossing, and turning upon his bed. “Please don’t! STOP!”
Harry jerked awake the moment his bedroom door was all but kicked open, groaning on its hinges. Still locked in fear from his dream, Harry barely registered the angry man filling his doorway.
“You blasted boy!” Vernon yelled. “I have put up with you for the last time! I will have no more of this!”
Harry tried to scramble out of bed but was not fast enough. Vernon had him by the scruff of the neck and was tossing him to the floor. Harry cried out in a mix of fear and pain. He attempted to curl into a fetal position as Vernon’s foot kicked foreword. No longer able to keep it in, Harry cried.
“Please, please Uncle Vernon…stop!”
“We should…have just left you…to die that night!” Vernon raged as he kicked at the boy over and over. Vernon reached down, grabbed Harry by his shoulders, hefted him off the floor and threw him at the rickety wardrobe that Harry used for his meager possessions. “I’m putting a stop to this once and for all!”
In her cage, Hedwig screeched trying desperately to get free to somehow save her human. During the struggle, Vernon had managed to knock the cage to the floor and the lock broke. Hedwig was free and about to fly at Vernon when something warm splashed across her. Hedwig flew out the open door and passed a shocked and startled Petunia, and out the open kitchen window.
“Albus! Oh Albus!” Minerva cried as she burst into Albus’s office with Severus right behind her.
“Minerva? Is…is that Harry’s owl?” Albus questioned pushing to his feet.
“Yes. Albus she just flew into the great hall extremely agitated and covered in blood. The blood is not hers.” Minerva stated.
“Headmaster, it appears…” Severus began when dozens of alarms began sounding.
“Merlin’s beard. Severus, you have your potions kit on you?” Albus demanded.
“Yes.” Severus nodded.
“You come with me. Minerva, go to Poppy and get a bed ready. I’m fear what Severus and I will find. Go!” Albus ordered as he took hold of Severus’s arm.
Moments later, Albus and Severus appeared outside of 4 Privet Drive. They could hear yelling coming from inside the house and neither wasted a moment. Hitting the door together, the charged inside. Albus spotted Dudley sitting in the living room watching television, and smirking. From upstairs, came the source of the yells.
“Vernon! Vernon stop, you’re killing him!”
“I will not have this anymore!” Vernon roared.
Severus was the first to hit the stairs. When he got to the second floor, only one door was open. He stormed over and froze. Petunia was trying in vain to pull Vernon’s meaty hands from around Harry’s neck.
A rage filled Severus at the sight. In two strides, he was in the room and was yanking Petunia off her husband. Severus then grabbed Vernon and hauled him off Harry and had the man pinned against the wall, his hands around Vernon’s neck.
“You god forsaken BASTARD.” Severus hissed. “How DARE you so much as lay a HAND on the boy.”
“He’s…a freak…deserves…” Vernon gasped.
“Deserves? Deserves!” Severus yelled. Narrowing his eyes, Severus tightened his grip on the man’s throat. “You deserve this. You deserve to feel the life ebb out of your worthless body.”
“Severus. Severus! Harry needs help!” Albus yelled, breaking through to Severus.
With one last squeeze and a glare, Severus released Vernon who crumpled to the floor gasping. Paying the man, no more attention, he turned and knelt beside Albus who was cradling Harry’s head in his lap. Severus pulled out his wand and cast a quick diagnostic spell.
The boy was hurt bad. Internal bleeding, three broken ribs, a broken wrist, a fractured ankle. Luckily, none of the ribs punctured his lungs, but his throat was severely bruised from where he had been chocked.
“Albus, you cast the healing spells.” Severus instructed, pulling out his potions kit. As Albus healed the internal bleeding, Severus pulled out the potions he would need to reduce the swelling. “I hate to do this, but he needs to be awakened. It will make it easier to get the potions into him.”
“I understand.” Albus nodded. He cast the spell and held Harry gently as the boy came to. “Calm Harry. Calm. You’re safe now.”
“Pro…Professors?” Harry groaned, looking from Albus to Severus.
“Potter, I know you hurt, but I need you to drink these potions.” Severus said calmly. “This one, a mild painless potion. Next, a swelling reduction potion. The last, a calming draught. After you take that one, Albus and I will get you to Poppy.”
“How…how did…” Harry tried to ask but moaned.
Severus reached out and gently stroked his forehead. “Sshh, calm yourself. Your owl. She flew to Hogwarts. Please, take these potions. Albus and I have you now.”
Harry nodded and calmed a little. One by one, Severus administered the potions. After the last, Harry took a slow breath as his eyes drifted closed. It was only then that Severus took a calming breath himself.
“Severus, take Harry to Poppy. I will gather young Harry’s things,” Albus paused and looked over at where Petunia sat weeping on Harry’s bed. “And handle…this. Use this portkey. To activate it, simply say Poppy.”
Severus said nothing and took the small ball that Albus held out. He gathered the boy into his arms and as carefully as he could, stood up. Moments later, he activated the portkey and was in the hospital wing in seconds. Poppy and Minerva were waiting.
“Dear Merlin!” Minerva gasped as Severus lay Harry on the bed.
“What is his status Severus?” Poppy demanded, now in work mode.
“Three broken ribs, broken left wrist, fractured right ankle. There was some internal bleeding, but Albus took care of that. I gave him a painless potion, swelling reduction and calming draught. When we got there, his…that fucking muggle…Dursley was choking him. Harry…was unconscious when I pulled Dursley off him.” Severus reported.
Poppy just nodded and went to work. Severus took a step away and shakily dropped onto one of the other beds. He buried his face in his hands as he tried to calm himself. He felt Minerva sit beside him.
“Talk to me my boy.” She said softly.
“God Minerva, when I saw…all I could see was what my father used to do to me. I would never wish that on anyone. How did we miss this? How long has Har…Potter, had to endure this?” Severus whispered.
“Severus, you cannot blame yourself. Young Harry talks very little about his home life. Though, at the end of term, Miss Granger came to me. She voiced concerns about Harry. From what little she has been able to get Harry to tell her, his life there has been unpleasant since day one.” Minerva sighed, slipping an arm around his shoulders.
“All this time, I just assumed he…” Severus breathed, lifting his head watching Poppy work. “I have failed Harry, Minerva. He is Lily’s son, my cousin’s son, and I have failed him.”
“Cousin?” Minerva questioned.
Severus nodded but said no more. “Poppy, let me know once you are finished. I need to go speak with the Headmaster.”
“I will. It will be a few hours yet. Go.” Poppy replied, not stopping her work on her patient.
Without another word, Severus turned on his heel and headed to Albus’s office to wait for his return. He would not fail Harry again. No, the boy would need him now and by Slytherin’s Bones he would be there.
Albus walked into his office, followed by Remus. After the events at the Dursley’s, Albus knew he could no longer wait. After gathering Harry’s things, he went to Remus’s cottage, gathered the werewolf and they returned to Hogwarts.
“Lupin? Albus, what is going on?” Severus demanded.
“Severus, please have a seat. I brought Remus here for a reason.” Albus instructed gently, yet firmly.
Intrigued, Severus sat, and Remus took a seat beside him. He and Remus watched Albus open a drawer and pull out two letters. Remus sat up stiffer and looked up quickly at Albus, before looking over at Severus.
“Remus, about two hours Harry’s owl, Hedwig, arrived here. Just as Minerva and Severus brought her in, the charms around Privet Drive sounded signaling that Harry was in danger. Severus and I went and found Vernon Dursley…”
“That fucker was strangling Harry.” Severus hissed.
“WHAT! Albus, you SWORE to me that night that Harry would be safe there!” Remus yelled, standing from his chair.
“Remus, I had no idea…”
“No idea? No idea! Damnit!” Remus hissed, starting to pace. “You knew full well that Petunia Evans HATED magic. She always has! I told you there was a better way….”
“But Lily made me…”
“To HELL with that!” Remus argued.
“Wait! Lily made you what Albus?” Severus demanded, standing himself.
“Albus, so help me, you had better tell him now or I will.” Remus ordered.
“Severus, Harry is not James’s son. He’s yours.” Albus sighed.
Severus dropped back into his chair in complete shock. He looked to Albus, but the older wizard couldn’t bring himself to even meet his gaze. Severus then turned and looked at Remus. “He’s…he’s, my son?”
Remus sighed and nodded. He walked over to Albus’s desk and picked up one of the letters then handed it to Severus. “Yes. This whole…mess was thought up by Lily of all people. This letter will explain it all. There is also one for Harry, but it will be a few days I gather before he will be up to reading it.”
Severus took the letter. With shaking hands, he opened it. He felt the tears almost immediately at seeing the familiar flowing handwriting of Lily. He closed his eyes and took a calming breath before reading the letter.
My Dearest Husband,
If you’re reading this, sadly I have had to implement my plan to keep you and our son Harry safe. You must be absolutely confused at reading those words. Again, I am at fault for that as well. Once James and I went into hiding, Albus placed a modified memory charm on you.
It is one I created specifically for this purpose. The spell has altered your memories of your time at Hogwarts. What you remember is not the truth. Well, the parts not pertaining to what your father did to you and what he made you do.
I am referring to your memories regarding me, James, and Remus. What you remember about Sirius is mostly true, with a few tweaks. You will remember that I left you for your cousin. Severus, I would never do that. James was your best man at our wedding four months after we graduated Hogwarts.
In fact, James was livid when I told him of this plan. He said he would only go along with it under two conditions. The first being that I complete a spell that will remove the Dark Mark and set you free. The other is that Remus be named Harry’s other Godfather. Everyone knows that Sirius will be Harry’s Godfather. The only ones who know about Remus are me, James, and Remus.
I agreed. The spell to remove the Dark Mark will be complete by the time you receive this letter and Albus has it. He is to preform the spell once he restores your memories. This letter, along with the one to Harry should be delivered just before Harry’s fifteenth birthday.
By midnight on his fifteenth birthday, the charms that concealed his true appearance will begin to ware off. I have also instructed Albus that if BEFORE that time, if Harry is placed in danger, he is to deliver these letters, restore your memories, and remove the charms on Harry.
Severus, I hope with all of my heart that you and our son can forgive me for this. I am scared for you both and this was the only way I could think of to keep you both safe. If I am right and James and I are indeed dead, Harry will be given to my sister Petunia. I hope she still has enough compassion in her to take him in and care for him.
Forgive me. I love you,
Lily E. Snape
Severus re-read the letter three times before finally looking up at Albus. “You…you AGREED to this?”
“Yes.” Albus answered softly, his voice revealing his shame and guilt.
“I want my memories back! Now!” Severus hissed.
Albus did not hesitate and withdrew his wand. Severus refused to take his eyes off the older wizard as the spell was reversed. Severus clenched his fists as his true memories bombarded his mind. He still did not look away from Albus. For nearly ten minutes, Severus’s mind rearranged itself. Once his full memories had been restored, he let out a shaky breath.
“Now…remove the Mark.” Severus ordered, pulling up the sleeve of his left arm.
Silently, Albus rounded his desk and stood before Severus. He pointed his want at the skull embedded in Severus’s forearm. With a few flicks and a few muttered words, the Mark glowed black. Severus tensed as he felt the cursed tattoo heat up then rip itself from his body. When he looked down, the place the thing had been was once again smooth and blemish free.
“Severus I…” Albus began.
“Not one word. I need to go and sit with my son. I also need to calm myself before I can be in your presence again Albus.” Severus stated.
Albus nodded. He turned toward his desk, picked up the letter for Harry and handed it to Severus. Severus took the letter then faced Remus. The two stood there facing each other for several long moments.
“Severus, I was against this, as was James, from the moment we heard what Lily was planning. By the time I got here, Albus had already cast the spell. The moment Lily told James; he wrote to me. I still have the letter and the paperwork that names myself as Harry’s other Godfather, alongside Sirius.” Remus said.
“Bring them to the hospital wing. Harry will want to see them after he is told everything.” Severus instructed.
Remus nodded and walked over to the fireplace. Severus turned on his heel and left just as the werewolf vanished. As he headed back to the hospital wing, his mind was a whirlwind with what had transpired.
‘Lily, why? Why did you do this? All this time I could have not only protected our son but raised him!’ He thought angrily.
Harry groaned as his eyes fluttered open. Where was he? He frowned, then it all came rushing back. His nightmare, Uncle Vernon attacking him, Dumbledore and Snape rescuing him. Turning his head, he could make out someone, actually two people, sitting at his bedside. Slowly he reached over and felt his glasses.
“Here, let me.” A familiar voice said.
“Professor Snape?” Harry asked as his glasses were slid on.
“Yes, it’s me.” Severus nodded. “How are you feeling?”
“Um, confused. Sore. How long have I been out? And where am I?” Harry answered.
“You’re at Hogwarts. As for how long you’ve been out, you’ve been here for nearly four days now.” Severus answered.
Harry then saw who was sitting next to Severus. “Remus?”
Remus leaned forward and smiled, “Yes Harry. Albus got me after he got your things from…from that house. Severus told me how he found you.”
Harry shuddered as the memory of Vernon attacking him washed over him. He closed his eyes and took a slow breath, trying to push the fear away. His eyes snapped open when he felt someone take his hand. He was shocked to find that it was Severus.
“You’re safe now…Harry.” Severus aid gently.
“Did…did you just call me Harry?” Harry stammered.
“Harry, there’s something that you need to be told. It involves you and me.” Severus sighed.
“Let’s get you a little more comfortable and Severus and I will explain.” Remus added, moving to help Harry sit up and prop several pillows behind him. “Harry, we need you to keep an open mind about what we are about to tell you. Can you do that for me?”
“Um, I…well, I can try.” Harry answered.
“Good.” Remus smiled. “Severus, you should start.”
Severus ran a hand through his hair. “Harry, this is…you see, the day Albus and I brought you here, I was told this. What I’m about to tell you is going to sound farfetched, so just bear with me alright?” When Harry nodded, Severus continued. “While Poppy was working on you, I went to Albus’s office.
“He returned and had Remus with him. It was then that he gave me a letter from your mother Lily. The letter said that you are not in fact the son of James, but you are MY son. Mine and your mother’s.”
“What!” Harry gasped.
“Harry, it’s true. You see, James Potter was my cousin…no, he was more than that. He was my best friend, my brother. Your mother and I started dating during our fourth year here. While Sirius wasn’t too thrilled, James and Remus were. After we graduated, we were married in secret by Albus. James was my best man and Remus was a witness. Only the five of us knew.
“To the public, Lily and James were married. It was done because of my father, Tobias Snape. He had forced me to take the Dark Mark the summer before my sixth year. James was furious and wanted to kill him for it. That was when he suggested that publicly, he and Lily would begin dating.” Severus paused, letting this sink in for Harry.
Harry sat there stunned. He looked from Severus to Remus and back to Severus. Both men were in turn watching him. It was then that Harry saw the letter that Severus was holding. Was this all true? Was he ACTUALLY Severus Snape’s son?
“I made the decision that I would spy for the Order. I had no choice in taking the Mark so I figured I would try and make some good come out of it. Your mother and I had been married a short time when there was a prophecy made. The prophecy says that Voldemort would mark his equal. That this child would be born at the end of July and would have a power that Voldemort wouldn’t have.
“What I didn’t know then was that Lily was pregnant with you. James did but had not had the chance to tell me before he and Lily went into hiding. The day it was decided, Lily made a plan of her own. She somehow convinced Albus to go along with it. Albus called me here and cast a modified memory charm that she created.
“James was livid and told Remus. By the time Remus received the owl from James, the spell had been cast and I remembered a very different time at Hogwarts. I remembered me and James being rivals and not friends. I remembered HIM marrying Lily not me.” Severus explained.
Remus decided to continue from this point. “Harry, I know this seems impossible, but I can assure you it’s true. When I got here, I confronted Albus. I was furious that he had agreed to do this. The only reason James agreed was if Lily accepted his two conditions. One, she finish a spell that would remove the Dark Mark from Severus. The second was that I was also named your Godfather along with Sirius. Lily agreed. With the letter telling me what Lily had done, there was also the formal paperwork naming me your second Godfather.
“Before you ask, Sirius knows nothing about this. He and Severus have never gotten along, and he never fully accepted them being together. He always hoped that Lily and James would get together. Anyway, when James and Lily were attacked that night, Albus said he was taking you to…to those people.
“I begged him not to. I remembered that Petunia hated magic, and I feared what would happen to you if you were left with them. Albus said that again that had been part of Lily’s plan. I tried to talk him out of it, to have him reverse the memory charm on Severus but he refused.” Remus stated.
Harry was stunned. All this time he had been told that he was an orphan when it was not true. He in fact had a father that was alive and well. Harry looked over at Severus and found the man, his FATHER, looking back at him. Harry opened his mouth to speak but nothing came out.
“Harry, I know this is hard to hear. All your life you were told that you were the son of James Potter. These last four years I have treated you…there is no excuse for my treatment of you. I know you must hate me.” Severus replied. He reached out and handed Harry the letter. “Lily wrote this for you. Remus and I will leave you to read it in private.”
Harry took the letter, his hand shaking. “I…I don’t know what…to even believe anymore.”
“Harry, read Lily’s letter. It’s seven in the evening now. If you would be willing, Severus and I can come back in the morning after breakfast and the three of us can talk some more. Alright?” Remus suggested.
“Alright.” Harry nodded.
Remus and Severus nodded and rose. With one last smile at him, the two turned and exited the hospital wing. Once more alone, Harry looked down at the letter. His name was written in beautiful flowing script. Deciding to just get it over with, he opened the letter.
My beloved son Harry,
Harry, if you are reading this, you have just been told the truth. I hope it was your father, Severus, that tells you this. You are fifteen now, and if you have this letter, that means the plan I set in motion just before you were born was followed.
You must have so many questions, doubts, and anger. To discover that your life until now has been a lie. A lie that I started to protect you and your father. I cannot even begin to imagine how Severus has treated you these past years at Hogwarts. You must not be too hard on him, seeing as how up until now, he has believed you to be the son of James and that I left him for his cousin.
My darling boy, I would give anything to have been able to watch you grow up. To raise you with Severus. He never even knew I was pregnant when the prophecy was made as James, and I were already in hiding.
You must be so angry at me, at Albus for this deception. Just as Severus must be. Harry, my son, do not blame your father. If you have received this letter, know that his true memories have been restored and that blasted Mark his father forced upon him has been removed. You must also understand that while his memories have been returned, he still has the memories of how he has treated you these last four years.
I beg you to give him a chance. Get to know one another. Let him be the father he always wanted to be. He and I talked of having a family. Had he been allowed to raise you; I have no doubt that he would have been an amazing father.
Now, onto your appearance. The day you were born I placed charms on you to conceal your true appearance. You were a blend of Severus and I, and anyone who would have seen you would have no doubt that you are his son.
You have my eyes, but you have your father’s hair. I would like to think you would be built much like Severus. Tall, lean. I suspect you would have inherited his skill on a broom. While James was good, Severus was better.
I would like to think you inherited my kindness and passion for nature. To be able to judge a person by their actions not their appearance. If you were raised by my sister, I hope she showed you some kindness, but I fear that may not be the case.
Petunia was always fearful of magic and treated me like a leper. I would hope that she outgrew that, but my heart says that is not the case. I hope you can someday forgive me for any pain you have had to endure because of my lie. Know that I did what I did to protect you and your father.
I love you and will always be with you. Please, give your father a chance and perhaps together you two can find it in your hearts to forgive me.
Harry sat there and reread the letter three times. After the final time, he felt the tears begin to fall. He felt hurt, betrayed, yet so angry at the woman who had birthed him and the headmaster he thought he could trust.
Because of them he had missed out on a possible home with the man that was a father. A man that was even now after four years a virtual stranger. Sliding down on the bed, Harry clutched the letter and let the tears fall freely. Could he forgive his mother? Forgive Dumbledore?
Severus sat on his sofa; his face buried in his hands. “Merlin Remus, what am I going to do?”
“Severus, I wish to Merlin I could have spared you and Harry this pain. I wish Lily had talked to you before she planned this.” Remus said, sitting beside his friend, slipping an arm around the other man’s shoulders.
“Lily and I talked about having a family. We both wanted children so much. Now I have a son that for the last four years I have treated horribly! How can Harry ever forgive me for that?” Severus asked, his voice cracking.
“Severus, together you and I will try to repair this. You don’t know him, and he doesn’t know you. Yes, he knows you as his professor, but now is the chance for you two to get to know each other as father and son. It’s only July. Once Poppy clears him, I say the three of us go to either my cottage or the home you and Lily shared before she and James went into hiding.” Remus said.
“What?” Severus gasped, lifting his head.
“After they went into hiding, I maintained the house. I checked on it regularly to make sure the wards stayed intact. James even set up a fund for the upkeep of the manor and property. A week before they died, he sent me the paperwork that made me caretaker of the estate. It is ready for you and Harry.” Remus explained.
“Yes. Home. Maybe there, maybe me and my son will have a chance to build something. What about his friends? Ms. Granger, the Weasley’s?” Severus asked.
“We can talk to Harry about that. On his fifteenth birthday, which is in two weeks, Lily’s charms will vanish. If they are his true friends, his parentage will not matter in the slightest. Now that you are free of the Mark, we can figure out what will happen when Harry returns to school in September. For now, why don’t you go get a shower and I will order some food. After that, try and get some rest. Tomorrow will be a long day for all of us.” Remus stated.
“Alright. Remus, thank you for staying with me. I’m glad I still have you. I don’t think I would have been able to bear this without you.” Severus said.
“Severus, you, and James were my best friends. You two have always had my back. Yes, Sirius is a friend, but you, me and James go back further than he and I. I will always be there for you and my Godson. Always.” Remus smiled, pulling the other man into a brotherly hug.
Harry stepped out of the shower of the hospital wing feeling a bit more human. That morning after breakfast, Poppy had suggested that Harry take a shower. He had gladly agreed. When he walked back into the main wing, he found Remus and Sev…no, his father, sitting beside the bed.
“Good morning, Harry. How did you sleep?” Remus asked with a smiled.
“Morning Remus, Prof…um…” Harry stuttered.
“You can call me either Professor or even Severus if you’d like.” Severus supplied.
“I think I might just stick with Professor. For now, anyway. As for how I slept, I slept pretty good surprisingly.” Harry answered, slipping back into bed.
“Harry, I know yesterday was a lot for you to take in.” Severus began.
“Yeah, it was. I mean, the last fifteen years have been what? A lie? Did my…aunt know? That you and mum were married? About me?” Harry sighed, running a hand through his hair.
“No, she didn’t. No one knew except Albus, James and Remus. We never even told Sirius.” Severus answered.
“Why didn’t you tell Sirius? Wasn’t he your friend too?” Harry inquired.
“Actually, Sirius and I have never gotten along. He and I could be civil if need be and mainly it was James that kept the peace between us. We met on the train to Hogwarts. From the day we met, he and I just didn’t…click. Much like yourself and Draco Malfoy.” Severus explained.
“You have to understand how Sirius was back then Harry. He was a wild one, well, still is as a matter of fact. James and Severus have been close since they were toddlers. They met me when I was about four. Of course, when I was about five or six and was attacked by that werewolf, they stayed at my side. I think Sirius was a bit jealous of the three of us.” Remus added.
“Oh.” Harry said. “So, you really had no memory? Of you and mum?”
“No Harry, I didn’t. Your mother was always talented when it came to charms. She was very precise in this charm. She allowed me to remember the love I felt, well still feel, for her, but altered my memories of my relationship with your cousin James, Remus, and her. She knew what she was doing.” Severus replied.
“I still don’t understand why she did it though? I mean, in the letter she said she had created a spell that removed the Dark Mark, so why was it even necessary?” Harry questioned.
“I might have an idea on the why. Harry, Voldemort, like the rest of the Wizarding world, believed that she and James were married. That was because of Severus’s father, Tobias. He was Voldemort’s right hand and a cruel, heartless man. If he even heard so much as a whisper of Severus and Lily being together, he would have killed her and made Severus watch the whole thing.
“Tobias Snape made Lucius Malfoy and Bellatrix LeStrange look like amateurs. At the time Severus and Lily married, he was still very much alive. He had killed your grandmother, Eileen, the summer before Severus’s fifth year. Though there was no proof, everyone knew he killed her. It was James that came up with the idea of publicly being Lily’s boyfriend and later husband.” Remus said.
“Is he…is he still alive?” Harry inquired, a hint of fear in his voice.
“No, thank God. Tobias was killed two weeks before Lily and James were killed. He had been sent on a raid along with a few other Death Eaters and the Ministry got wind of it and intercepted them. I believe it was Mad-Eye that killed him.” Severus answered. “Having said that, I’m not sure if Lily or James even knew that he was dead.”
Harry nodded and looked down. He was silent a minute or so before he lifted his head and looked at Severus. “Why did you treat me like you have these last four years? If James Potter was your cousin, that still made me family and you say you loved mum, so why?”
It was Severus’s turn to sigh. “Harry, I acted the way I did toward you for a few reasons. The main reason was because I BELIEVED that James had betrayed me and stole your mother from me. Lily left some memories unaltered. I do remember us dating our fourth year, but after fifth year, she was dating James. At least in my memories.
“The other reason was it was my way of protecting you. I was a spy, Harry. I gathered information to pass on to the Order to try and bring Voldemort down. I have a reputation here as being a hard-ass and favoring Slytherin. What do you think would have happened if any of the children of Death Eaters saw me treating you as family?”
Harry frowned as he thought about it. His eyes widened as an idea hit him. “I would be used to get to you.”
“Exactly. While Voldemort was gone, well in a physical sense, that did not mean that his followers were not still out there. You saw what happened at the Quidditch World Cup and again at the cemetery. You already have a target on your back, and I was not about to make it even bigger.” Severus said.
“Okay, I think I get that. So, what happens now? I mean, you’re my…father.” Harry asked.
“That’s where I come in. While you were getting your shower, Severus and I were talking with Poppy. She says that tomorrow she is releasing you. I suggested last night to Severus that the three of us take off. We can either go to my cottage or, and I think this would be better, we got to the estate that your mum and dad lived before she and James went into hiding.” Remus supplied.
“Estate?” Harry gaped.
“Yes Harry, estate. It was left to me by my mother’s parents. They died when I was sixteen almost seventeen and they left Prince Manor to me. This of course infuriated Tobias as he expected it to go to him since my mother was dead.” Severus nodded.
“We could really go there?” Harry asked hopefully.
“If that is what you want, yes. In fact, I can ask Poppy if she would be comfortable releasing you into my and Remus’s care and we could leave today. I know you must have lots more questions about the letter Lily wrote and Remus and I can do our best to answer them.” Severus suggested.
“Yes.” Harry agreed.
Harry stood looking at the house in a sort of gob smacked fascination. The manor was huge. It looked like one those Great Houses from the Victorian/Edwardian age. “Wow. This is where you and mum lived?”
“We did for the first few months of our marriage and then I started teaching at Hogwarts.” Severus answered with a soft smile.
“Um, how old were you when you became a professor?” Harry questioned as the three headed for the front door.
“I was eighteen almost nineteen. With the help of James and…the headmaster, I became the youngest potions master and professor.” Severus answered, opening the door.
Harry said nothing as he stepped inside behind Severus, with Remus right behind him. The entryway was huge. A double staircase took center stage of the room. There was an archway to his left that led into what Harry assumed was a living room. To the right there was an open door, but he couldn’t make out what the room was.
Hanging on the second-floor landing between the two staircases was a portrait. Harry felt tears in the corner of his eyes as he looked up at it. It was of his mum and Severus on what seemed to be their wedding day. To Severus’s left was James and on Lily’s other side was Remus.
“Me and James had it made for them and gave it to them just before Severus went to Hogwarts to start teaching.” Remus spoke up.
“She looks so happy, so beautiful.” Harry breathed.
“She was that day. Of course, Lily always looked beautiful to me, but that day she just seemed to glow.” Severus remarked.
Harry turned his head and looked up at the man. After Severus and Remus had left the previous night, Harry had done a lot of thinking. Yes, Severus had treated him horribly, but that was before the truth came out. Now, Harry realized that neither he nor Severus knew each other.
“Um, where is my room?” Harry asked, clearing his throat.
“Severus, why don’t you take Harry to his room, and I’ll have lunch made and brought into the living room.” Remus suggested.
Harry silently followed Severus upstairs. The second floor was large and spacious. On either side of the stairs was several doors that he suspected were bedrooms. Severus led them to the left. The carpet felt plush under Harry’s sneakers. Three doors down, Severus paused and looked down at him.
“Your mother had decided that when we started a family, this was going to be your room. It has a beautiful view of the backyard.” Severus said before opening the door.
Harry walked into the room and gasped. The room was a large common room. A polished white marbled fireplace was just to his left with comfortable looking furniture in a semi-circle before it. A sofa and two arm-chairs, with a coffee table in the center. Directly across from the door was a large bay window with a cushioned seat.
Harry walked to the window and looked out. The backyard was huge. He could see a small orchard off to the left, what looked like a hedge maze to the right. The yard seemed to stretch on for miles.
“How…how big is the property? How close are we to anyone else? Where are we anyway?” Harry managed.
Severus chuckled. “We are on the edge of Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire. We are on the west side of the forest. My grandparents took great care when they built this estate. We are about twenty minutes from the village of Edwinstone. The estate is nearly thirty acres. Our nearest neighbor is about ten miles to the south.”
“You mean THE Sherwood Forest? Like Robin Hood?” Harry asked.
“Yes. Robin Hood was born Robin of Locksley. He was a descendant of Merlin as a matter of fact. James once had an extensive family tree done up of the Potter and Prince lines. I think it’s somewhere in the library.” Severus answered.
“Wait, I was told that the Potter line was also descendants of Merlin. So, in a way I’m related to Robin?” Harry frowned.
“Yes, and not just from the Potter line. My mother and James’s mother were sisters. The Potters and Princes were old friends and have always lived close to one another. I spent many a summer here visiting my grandparents. James would come too. Once my…father’s true colors were revealed, Grandmama and Grandpa made sure I was as far from him as they could manage.” Severus nodded, stepping up beside Harry looking out the window.
“Severus? Harry? Lunch is ready.” Remus said from the doorway.
At that moment, Harry’s stomach grumbled causing him to blush a little. Severus merely smiled, and slowly slipped his arm around his shoulder. Harry’s head jerked up in surprise. Severus started to remove his arm, but Harry stopped him.
“It’s okay, Sir. I…I kind of like it.” Harry smiled a little.
From the door Remus smiled as well. It warmed his heart to see that Severus was easily stepping into the shoes he should always have worn. Those of a father. The three of them left Harry’s room and headed down.
“Albus how could you!” Minerva screeched.
“Minerva, I feel guilty enough as it is.” Albus sighed.
“As so you should.” Minerva glared as she started pacing.
Albus had just filled her in on what had happened fifteen years ago. Albus knew he had to tell her. Minerva had always been highly protective of Severus as a student and even now as an adult. Not that he was surprised since Minerva had been friends with his grandmother, Aurora Prince.
“All this time Harry could have been raised in a LOVING home. You and I both know that if he had been given the chance Severus would have been an amazing father.” Minerva said.
“And he will still have that chance. The spell that Lily created has removed the Mark. He is now free of Voldemort now that he has returned.” Albus replied.
“Thank Merlin for that. Lily always was a bright one. I just wish they had told me they were married.” Minerva sighed.
“Minerva, my dear, they were being careful because of Tobias. If it was only Voldemort they had to worry about, I doubt they would have needed James to pretend to be Lily’s husband. Sadly, with Eileen dead and Tobias very much a threat, they could not risk the truth being known.” Albus explained.
“So, what happens now? Has Harry been told?” Minerva asked.
“Remus told me this morning that he and Severus told Harry last night. The three are now at Severus and Lily’s estate and will remain there till school begins. I fear Severus may never forgive me. He has not yet turned in his resignation.” Albus answered sadly.
Minerva stopped pacing and faced the older wizard. “Albus, he is hurt and upset. Not to mention he was one of the ones to find his son nearly being killed by that worthless muggle. I warned you not to leave Harry with those people. He will forgive you, just as Harry will.”
“I hope so. I never meant any harm. I begged Lily not to go to this extreme, but she was so fearful for Severus and Harry that nothing would have changed her mind. I tried, James too and we both failed.”
“Albus, I understand all this. With time, so will Harry and Severus. For now, however, I suggest you keep your meddling in their lives to a bare, bare minimum. You hear me?” Minerva warned.
“I agree. My meddling has caused the two of them enough pain.” Albus nodded.
Harry sat at the small table in the living room that Remus had transfigured out of the coffee table. Remus and Severus sat across from him with a plate of sandwiches in the middle of the table and a pitcher of what looked like lemonade.
“I figured something light for lunch would be a good choice.” Remus said.
Harry reached out and took one. He sighed after the first bite. “Ham and Swiss on rye. My favorite.”
Remus smiled, “I remember you mentioning it that day you asked me to teach you how to defend yourself against the Dementors during our walk.”
“Harry, do you have any questions?” Severus asked, smiling a little sadly at how little he knew his son.
Harry took a swallow of lemonade, gathering his thoughts. Oh, he had questions and like his mum’s letter had mentioned, he felt anger, betrayal, and confusion. “Why did mum wait till I was fifteen? I don’t understand that.”
It was Severus who took this question. “That would be because of my family line, or at least I assume it is. At fifteen, all the males in the Prince line seem to experience a…the way it was explained to me by my mother and Grandmama, it is a type of growth spurt. In our case, it is not a physical growth, but a magical one. I went through mine a mere six months before my mother was murdered.”
“Were you home?” Harry questioned.
“No, I was at Hogwarts. My mother had written to both Albus and Minerva and explained what I would go through. The day before my fifteenth birthday, I was moved to a private suite near the hospital wing. James and Remus were allowed to stay with me.” Severus said.
“Did James go through it too? I mean, his mom was your aunt, right?” Harry interrupted.
“Yes, he did, about two months after I did. However, for some reason, mine was stronger than his. And a bit more painful. With each male, the strength is different and there is always some level of discomfort or pain. Mine was so strong that the sitting room of the suite we were in shook. Poppy and Minerva were a bit startled, as were James and Remus.” Severus responded.
“Startled? I was bloody terrified.” Remus butted in. “You were glowing a silver color and thrashing on the bed. It took Poppy, Minerva, James, AND me just to hold you down.” Remus corrected.
Harry felt his eyes widen. “Will mine be like that?”
“I honestly don’t know Harry. You are a mix of my blood and your mother’s. She was powerful in her own right. When it was over, I felt exhausted and weak. Albus sent for my Grandmama. She told me then that when I was born, she visited an Oracle. The Oracle told her that I was going to be the strongest in the family, until my son was born.
“Grandmama told me that the Oracle said I would meet a woman that would be my equal in every way. That I would father a son with her, and my son would be the balance. I told all this to Lily and…” Severus paused, and his eyes widened. “Bloody hell! That’s why Lily did this.”
“Severus, what are you talking about?” Remus questioned.
“Wait, you’re saying there’s a prophecy about me?” Harry added.
“Harry, there isn’t just one, but two. The first one was made by that Oracle my Grandmama went to see. It made no sense to me or her then. But a second prophecy was made not long before you were born. That prophecy said that Voldemort would mark you as his equal and that you had a power that he doesn’t. It also said that either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives.” Severus answered, his voice wavering.
“You mean…either Voldemort kills me, or I have…to kill him?” Harry gulped.
Severus looked at his son. He saw the fear in those green eyes, Lily’s eyes. “Harry, I…”
Harry stood up and moved to the window, looking out the window. His mind was a whirlwind now after this information. All of this, him being sent to Petunia, his father’s memories being altered and hidden, all of it was because of two prophecies. Harry felt a pair of hands resting on his shoulders.
“Son, Harry, I’m sorry…”
“Isn’t…I mean, Hermione said that Divination is a wooly subject anyway…” Harry stammered.
“Yes, that is true, but an Oracle is not the same thing. An Oracle’s prophecies are a magical gift and can be controlled. Divination, like what Sybil Trelawney does, is hit or miss. In fact, ironically, it was Trelawney that made the second prophecy. Oracles are born maybe two a generation and their gifts are not ones to doubt.” Severus sighed.
“So…I’m the one that has to kill Voldemort and what? Bring balance? What am I the wizard version of Luke freaking Skywalker?” Harry hissed.
Severus turned Harry to face him and knelt to look him in the eye. “Listen to me Harry. I will not let you face him alone. You hear me? I know which Oracle Grandmama went to see, and she is still alive. I will go to her and get more answers. I will tell her of Trelawney’s prophecy and see what she can tell me.”
“You’re…you’re leaving me?” Harry gasped.
Severus’s heart broke at the fear that laced his son’s voice. Severus pulled the young man into his arms and hugged him tight. After a slight hesitation, he felt Harry’s arms wrap around his shoulders.
“I’m not leaving you Harry. Now that we have found each other, I am NEVER leaving you again. I will go, see the Oracle, gather what information I can, and come back to you. I swear it.” Severus vowed.
Hermione sat at her window seat at home watching the sky. It had been nearly a week now since she sent a letter to Harry. The day after she came home, she and her mom were in London and Hermione had ducked into Diagon Alley to sent Harry the letter.
‘I hope Harry is alright. I know he hates going home and that his Aunt and Uncle don’t really treat him like they should.’ She thought worriedly.
“Hermione? Honey, you alright?” her mother asked, walking into the room.
“I’m worried about Harry mum. I…” Hermione started to answer when she spotted the bird flying toward her.
Hermione frown. That wasn’t an owl, but a black raven. Blinking, she opened the window to allow the bird in. The raven landed gracefully on the seat at Hermione’s knee and extended its leg.
“Thank you. Um, I only have owl treats.” Hermione said.
“I can run downstairs and grab one of the bran muffins I made.” Helen Granger said, then faced the raven. “Will that work?”
The raven squawked and seemed to nod. Helen smiled and left. “You’re not a post bird, so are you to wait for a reply?”
The bird nodded. Hermione then opened the letter. She glanced down and was shocked to see the signature of Professor Snape at the bottom of the letter. Confused, she started reading the letter hoping for some clarity.
Dear Ms. Granger,
I am writing on behalf of Harry. He is currently staying with me and Remus Lupin. There has been a…I suppose you could say a life changing event that has happened regarding Harry.
If your parents will agree to it, I would like to come to your home, collect you, bring you to my home so that Harry, Remus, and myself can explain. If they agree, I will be there at noon this Friday afternoon. Send word with my raven, Onyx.
Professor S. Snape
Hermione was floored. She looked up as her mother returned with the muffin for Onyx. Unable to speak, Hermione handed the letter to her mother. Helen Granger frowned in concern as she read.
“Mum, what should I tell him?” Hermione asked.
“Tell him Friday at noon will be fine. Your father and I have work, but you have always spoken highly of Professor Snape and if Harry is there then it must be safe. If it is late when everything is finished and the Professor does not wish to bring you home that evening, you may stay there.” Helen answered.
Nodding, Hermione pulled out some parchment and her quill and started writing. Five minutes later, she tied her reply to Onyx’s leg and watched him fly off. Hermione leaned into her mother as the older woman slipped an arm around her shoulders. A million thoughts were running through Hermione’s mind. What life altering event had happened in just the week since term ended?
Severus stood at the window of the library looking over the grounds. After he and Remus had explained more to Harry, the three had eaten their lunch. During which, Severus learned more about his son.
It turned out that Harry actually enjoyed reading and studying. Yet when Severus asked him why he did not do so at school, Harry had blushed and looked down at his hands. Harry went on to tell him and Remus that during his primary school days before Hogwarts, he was punished it he did better than Dudley. This had further infuriated Severus.
“Sev, you alright?” Remus inquired, walking back into the room.
“Where’s Harry?” Severus asked, turning around.
“Taking a nap. He’s still rather weak from what that… from what happened.” Remus sighed, sitting on the sofa.
Severus moved and sat in the armchair across from him. “I can not believe what he told us today. How could a parent or guardian punish a child for excelling at school? How? What else happened in that house that he’s NOT telling us Mooney?”
“I don’t know my friend. That has been worrying me as well. Have you received a reply from Hermione yet?” Remus answered.
“Yes. Her parents have agreed and even said if it is late once we finish explaining things, she is welcome to stay the night. I may suggest that anyway. In fact, I will suggest she spend the weekend. I think it would help Harry.” Severus said. A thought came to him then. “Why did he not ask for Mr. Weasley to come as well?”
Remus chuckled a little. “If I’m right, I believe he and Hermione have feelings for each other. Whether they are a couple or not I can’t say. That and of his friends, Hermione and young Ginny are perhaps the most level-headed. I think once he tells Hermione, he will want to tell the Weasleys. And I do mean ALL of them.”
“All of them?” Severus rebutted.
“Severus, surly you have noticed they have become a surrogate family for him. Molly and Arthur see him as one of their own. I also believe that in telling them, it could very well add another layer of protection for Harry. Molly alone is not a witch I would want to face if one of her children were being threatened. Would you?” Remus explained lifting a brow.
Severus couldn’t help but chuckle. He had seen Molly when her temper flared, and she was indeed a scary sight. “No, I would not. You are right though. I have noticed how they have taken him under their wing. Very well, after things are explained to Miss Granger, I will speak to Harry. If he wishes, I will invite Molly, Arthur, and their children here. Well, except for Percy. I have a feeling he is…”
Remus nodded in understanding. “Straying? Molly invited me for tea a few weeks ago and she confided in me that Percy is falling for the Ministry propaganda. It is breaking her and Arthur’s heart.”
Severus gave a grunt in agreement. Of all the Weasley children he had taught, Percy was the one that made him pay close attention. The young wizard was quite ambitious for a Gryffindor and seemed to have no issues throwing someone under the bus as they say, to achieve what he wanted.
“Do you happen to know any other favorite foods of Harry’s? I want to have the house elves prepare something for dinner.” Severus spoke up.
“No, but I know someone who would. Dobby!” Remus called out.
A moment later, Dobby appeared with a pop. “Yous called Dobby Sir Remus?”
“I did. Dobby, Harry is now staying here with Severus.” Remus nodded.
Dobby turned and faced Severus. Ringing his hands, Dooby spoke, “Does this means that Professor and Harry Potter knows the truth?”
Severus’s eyes widened, “How did…”
“My elf magic Sir. The first time I meets Harry Potter, I sees the glamour Sir. I sees the truth. I sees you when I was a slave to the Bad Family. I sees you in Harry Potter Sir. We elves heard of how powerful and clever Lady Lily was and I knews it must have been she who did it.” Dobby explained. “I swears Sir, I will tell none Harry Potter is yours. Harry Potter freed Dobby, I owes him everything.”
“Thank you for that.” Severus smiled. “Remus called you because I wish my house elves to prepare one of Harry’s favorite meals tonight for dinner, but I don’t know what my son likes. Remus thought you could help us.”
Dobby smiled brightly. “Oh, Professor Sir, I woulds be happy to helps. Harry Potter and mes talked abouts his favorite foods once I comes to Hogwarts.”
“You are at Hogwarts now?” Remus asked.
“Oh yes Sir. Master Dumbledore takes me in last summer and pays Dobby a knut a week. I knows the other elves thinks I am a bad elf for asking for wages, buts…”
“I don’t think you are a bad elf. No one, human or creature, should be slaves. In fact, if you wish, would you remain here for the summer? I shall pay you what…the Headmaster pays you. My son has had his world turned upside down and could use his friends. Should you agree, you will teach my house elves Harry’s favorite foods. What do you say?” Severus offered.
Dobby’s eyes filled with tears. “Oh, Professor Sir! Dobby woulds be honored! I shall go tell Master Dumbledore then return.”
“Very well. Thank you, Dobby.” Severus stated.
“I think Harry will like that. So, will you tell your elves, or shall I?” Remus grinned.
“Why don’t we both tell them?” Severus replied, standing. “Um, have they been freed? I know Lily talked about it but…”
“They have. The night Albus…the night Lily’s plan went into action I did it. I told them that you and Lily wanted to free them and pay them instead. When I mentioned pay, they got terribly upset so we came to an agreement.” Remus explained.
“Agreement?” Severus inquired as they headed for the kitchens.
“Yes. They accepted the clothes, but instead of money, they wanted to be taught to read. All fifty of you and Lily’s elves. So, I agreed. You will find all your elves much happier.” Remus answered.
“Then, lets see how happy they will be when I tell them of Dobby coming here.” Severus chuckled.
Severus looked up at the two-story home. It looked quite homey and lived in. He could not help but smile a little. He and Lily had wanted that together, to be a family, the three of them. Taking a slow breath, he started walking up the walk. He reached the door and knocked. Moments later, the door opened.
“Good afternoon, Professor Snape.” Hermione greeted, holding a small overnight bag.
“Good afternoon, Ms. Granger.” Severus replied. “Are you ready to go?”
“Yes sir. I do want to say thank you for allowing me to stay the weekend. I will admit to being quite confused as to what’s happening. Is Harry…um, what I mean, is he…” Hermione stuttered.
“I assure you Miss Granger; Harry is safe and…” Severus let out a sigh. “Let us get to my home and you will understand after everything is explained. All right?”
Not knowing what else to say, Hermione just nodded. Severus extended his hand for her bag. After shrinking it and tucking it in his pocket, her extended his arm and with no hesitation, she placed her hand firmly atop his. Severus smiled at her. Not just today, but many times over the last four years he had see the same braveness that his Lily had shown.
In a blink, they disapperated from Hermione’s home and reappeared at Severus’s. Hermione took a few slow steadying breaths to regain her bearings. She gasped at seeing the house before her.
“Professor, your home is beautiful. It reminds me of Downton Abbey or something.” Hermione said.
“Thank you, Miss Granger.” Severus chuckled taking her bag from his pocket and enlarging it again.
Hermione took her bag and schooled herself as they walked toward the front door. The home was indeed beautiful. A reminder of the days of old; the days of great houses, great families and the glamour that went with it. She nodded her thanks as Severus held open the front door for her.
“Oh Harry.” Hermione breath moments before she was wrapped in a fierce hug, her bag falling to the floor forgotten.
Hermione felt herself shudder in relief at finding Harry safe and sound. His arms enveloping her in a comforting yet loving hug. She pulled back and only smiled when Harry kept his arm around her shoulders. It was then she saw Remus walking into the main hall.
“Hello Professor Lupin. It is good to see you.” Hermione greeted.
“It’s just Remus, Hermione. Welcome.” Remus smiled.
“Violet!” Severus called out.
A POP resounded and a female house elf appeared. “Yes, Master Severus, Sir?”
“Violet, this is Miss Hermione Granger. She will be your charge for the weekend. Will you please take her things up to the Princess Amelia room? I will show her there later.” Severus instructed.
“I’s bee happy to.” Violet beamed as she levitated Hermione’s bag and hurried away.
Catching her look, Harry snickered, “Hermione, the house-elves here are very well treated.”
Hermione blushed. “I never assumed that…”
“What’s this about?” Remus inquired as the four headed for the library.
“After I told Hermione about how Dobby was treated by the Malfoys, she kind of got it her head that that was how all house elves are treated.” Harry explained.
“Wow!” Hermione gaped, stopping in the middle of the room.
“I see this room meets your approval, Miss Granger.” Severus teased.
“It’s oh Professor it’s a beautiful room.” Hermione breathed, blushing a little.
“I think it’s probably my favorite room. Well, of the rooms I have seen.” Harry spoke up, slipping his arm around her shoulders and kissing her temple.
Severus and Remus shared a knowing look as they watched the two teenagers. Severus did not miss how Harry kept his hand on the small of Hermione’s back as he led her to the small table ladened with lunch. Or how he pulled her chair out for her and helped her scoot into the table. It was a relief to see that his and Lily’s son was growing into quite the gentleman.
“Hermione, I am sure you are quite intrigued about what is going on.” Remus began, pouring them all some lemonade.
“I won’t deny that Pro…Remus.” Hermione nodded.
“Then I will start.” Severus said. “Miss Gran…Hermione. About a week ago…”
Hermione wiped away the tears as Severus finished the tale. She reached over and took hold of Harry’s hand. “Oh Harry. I am so sorry. I had a feeling things weren’t…”
“Hermione don’t do that. You tried to get me to talk about what was happening, and I refused. Yet,” Harry paused and looked across the table at Severus. “It looks like things have worked out. Right? I mean, I found a…father, haven’t I?”
Hermione looked over at Severus and saw the look in his eyes. Was that pride at Harry’s words? “Yes, yes it looks like you have.” She fully faced Severus. “Professor, you mentioned visiting the Oracle your grandmother did. When were you going to do that?”
“That is why I suggested today for this meeting. I went and saw the Oracle two days ago. I felt it would be best for you to be here when I delivered what she shared with me. Shall we move into the sitting room?” Severus answered.
The four rose from the table. Severus led them through a side door and into a beautiful sitting room. One wall was nothing but beveled glass window that looked out onto a garden, the drapes tied back allowing the summer light to fill the room. Directly across from the door they entered was a white marbled fireplace with a seating arrangement of two sofas on either side and a smaller one closing the fourth side. An oval coffee table sat in the center of them before the fireplace.
Hermione and Harry sat side-by-side on one sofa while Severus and Remus sat across from them. Waiting on the coffee table was a tray with a carafe of coffee for Remus and Severus and a pitcher of lemonade for Harry and Hermione.
“Sev, you were going to tell us what the Oracle told you and your Grandmama.” Remus began.
“Yes.” Severus nodded. He took a slow breath, as if steeling himself. “When I entered the temple, she simply smiled…”
*2 Days Ago, Somewhere in the Scottish Highlands*
Severus walked into the temple; his head held high. Yet inside, he was trying to keep himself from gaping in awe. The exterior gave no hint as to what truly lay beyond the door of the hidden building. From the outside it looked to be an old monastery of some kind.
Once one stepped through the double doors, all ideals of that sort vanished. The interior was reminiscent of an ancient Grecian or Roman temple. Tall marble pillars evenly spaced framed the black granite aisle. The smell of jasmine and something else, almost woodsy, filled the air. The scent gave Severus a sense of calm as he neared the raised dais.
Seated in a cushioned chaise lounge was the most beautiful being Severus had ever seen. She seemed almost ethereal. A glow just emanating from her. The woman’s skin was a white as the full moon. She was dressed in a liquid like fabric of the palest green he had ever seen. Her hair was a deep purple, almost black.
The most captivating thing were the Oracle’s eyes. They were hypnotic. Swirling with what seemed to be every color that could be imagined. At the base of the dais, Severus slowly took a knee, bowing his head.
“Welcome, Severus Snape. I have been waiting for you to make this journey.”
“You…you’ve been expecting me?” Severus stuttered, his head snapping up.
The Oracle laughed, “Oh yes, ever since your dear Grandmama Celeste came to me all those years ago.”
“Then, you understand why I have come? Oracle, my son…”
“Yes, I know why. Your son, Harry, is special my boy. I told this to Aurora, and I will now repeat the prophecy I told her to you. ‘Blood of a Prince and Blood of a Lily will join as one. One light, one dark. Together their heir shall bring balance.’”
“You are talking about Harry? Mine and Lily’s son, our heir.”
“Yes. Harry will bring a balance to the world, tearing down old walls built by wizards and witches of a bygone age. He will help lead the wizarding world into the modern world.” The Oracle said.
“And…what about Trelawney’s prophecy? The one she made before he was born?” Severus questioned.
“That prophecy is still true. Part of it has already happened. ‘He will be marked as his equal.’ Your son’s scar is that physical mark. As for the rest, of Harry having a power that Voldemort knows not, that is also true. It is love.” The Oracle explained.
“Love? How is that a power?” Severus frowned.
“It was Lily’s LOVE that kept Harry alive that night. It is your LOVE that has brought you here and has given him the chance you both were denied. Voldemort is no longer capable of feeling love. He has taken an irreversible path by splitting his very soul.”
Severus’s eyes widened as her last statement hit. “No. You mean he has…he has successfully created a horcrux?”
“Not just one, but seven.”
“What is a horcrux?” Harry asked once Severus stopped speaking.
“It’s…it’s one of the darkest forms of dark magic.” Hermione shuddered. “It is where a witch or wizard commits such a vile act that it literally fractures their soul. Legend says that the fractured piece of the person’s soul can then be transferred to an object or even, in theory, a person. It is considered a way for a person to essentially live forever.”
“But…but why would someone want to do that? And what act could be so vile…” Harry began, then his eyes widened as a thought entered his mind. He looked to Severus, “Murder?”
“Yes Harry. But not just murder. We are talking pure, absolute hatred and malice while committing it. Voldemort’s father and stepfamily died under mysterious circumstances. I believe this was when the first horcrux would have been created.” Severus sighed.
“Seven times. Merlin’s beard.” Remus breathed.
“The Oracle confirmed what I told you the day I brought you here son, when I told you I would not leave you to face Voldemort alone. Yes, Trelawny’s prophecy says you and he will face one another, but it says nothing about you having to do so alone. The Oracle advised that I be at your side when that day comes, and I will. I will also begin helping to train you so that when you face him once and for all, you will all the stronger.” Severus stated.
Hermione slipped her hand into Harry’s and squeezed. “I will help too. I will be at your side when that day comes Harry, I promise.”
“You will have me too Harry.” Remus added.
Tearfully, Harry looked at the three of them. His father, his Godfather, and his girlfriend. His heart filled with their love for him. “T…thank you. I have never felt like this. Like I have a family. A true family.”
Severus moved off the sofa and knelt in front of his son. He gently cupped his face. “Harry, I love you. You are my son, the best parts of me and your mother. Our own little miracle. I promise, from this day forward, I will do everything I can to show you just how much you are loved. To give you the life that fate denied us all this time.”
Harry pursed his lips as they began to tremble. Without thinking, he let go of Hermione’s hand and threw his arms around Severus’s neck. As hard as he tried, Harry was no longer able to keep his emotions at bay. The tears began at the same time as the quiet sobs. When he felt Severus’s arms envelope him, he broke down, his sobs becoming louder.
“N…no one’s…. ever…wanted me. Not…the Du…Durs…” Harry sobbed.
“Sshh. Hush now Harry.” Severus soothed. “I have you now. You are safe. You are loved. You’re wanted.”
Remus knelt beside Severus and lay his hand on Harry’s shaking shoulders. “That’s not true anymore. We love you, Harry.”
Hermione mirrored him, her own tears falling at hearing Harry’s words. “Harry, we all love you. We want you. You have a family with me, Remus and your…your father. We love you.”
“She’s right. We, the four of us, now in this moment are family. You will never be alone again, Harry. My son.” Severus whispered, his own voice hitching with emotion as he clung to his son.
Harry and Hermione sat in the backyard under a large tree. She sat between his legs, leaning against him, his arms wrapped around her, holding her securely against him. “I’m glad that Professor Snape suggested you staying the weekend.”
“Me too.” She smiled. “Harry, why do you still call him Professor?”
“Well, the day after he and Remus told me the truth, I asked him what I should call him. He said I could call him Severus or Professor. I said I’d call him Professor for now. Yet now Professor sounds wrong.” He sighed.
“Then try Severus. After all, he said you could.”
“Yeah, I think I will.” He agreed and sighed. “I…a part of me wants to call him dad, but…”
Hermione shift so that she was now facing him. She slowly reached up and placed her hand against his cheek. “Harry, if that’s what you want then you should. If you’re worried about his reaction, I wouldn’t be. He is your father and from what I’ve seen in the few hours I’ve been here; I think he would like that as much as you would like to say it.”
Harry covered her hand with his. “You really think so?” Hermione nodded. “Alright then. You’ve never steered me wrong.”
When Hermione smiled at him, a feeling washed through Harry. Taking a chance, he leaned in closing the small gap between them and gently pressed his lips to her. Both froze at the feel of their lips meeting. When Harry pressed a little firmer, Hermione sighed, and both her arms slid around his neck. After a few moments, Harry slowly pulled back as their eyes opened, locked and held.
“I’ve wanted to do that since the World Cup.” Harry grinned.
Hermione giggled, “Me too.”
“Hermione, will you be my girlfriend?”
“Oh Harry, I thought you’d never ask.”
The moment was broken by the sound of their names being called from the back door. Still smiling, they got to their feet. Harry took her hand in his as they walked toward the house. They found Severus standing there, studying them.
“I see there has been a development.” Severus stated, glancing at their joined hands, and lifting a brow.
“Um, well yes sir. Harry asked me to be his girlfriend.” Hermione nodding, blushing a little.
“Are you alright with that…dad?” Harry asked, pausing to see Severus’s reaction.
“I think…” Severus’s eyes widened as he registered what Harry had just called him. “What…did you just call me?”
“Dad.” Harry answered.
The shock disappeared from Severus’s face, and he broke into a large smile. He then pulled Harry into his arms and hugged him. “I never thought I’d hear that word. You have made me so happy. Son.”
“Dad.” Harry whispered, hugging him tighter.
Hermione smiled tearfully watching the scene unfold. She felt someone step beside her and looked up at an equally smiling Remus. The two nodded and quietly slipped out of the mudroom.
Severus released Harry and looked down at him. “As for you and Hermione dating, I think it’s perfect. I don’t think I’m going to give a talk about raging teenage hormones with you two?”
Harry laughed. “No dad, you’re not. God, now that I’ve said the word, I can’t seem to stop wanting to say it all the time.”
“I feel the same about calling you Son. I know we still have a way to go in knowing each other, but I think this moment has broken the ice.” Severus chuckled.
“Yeah, me too. So, I gather dinner is ready?”
“It is. Come on.”
Father and son walked side-by-side toward the informal dining room to find Remus and Hermione already seated. The two looked at Harry and Severus grinning like crazy. Harry chuckled while Severus simply rolled his eyes. This only caused Remus to laugh.
“Laugh it up furball.” Severus teased as he sat down.
“I’m not going to apologize at seeing my best friend and my Godson happy and getting to know each other.” Remus shrugged.
“Um Professor…” Hermione began.
“Since we are not in school and you are now dating my son, you can call me Severus, Hermione.” Severus interrupted with a small grin.
“Thank you…Severus. I have been wondering about something. You told me that on Harry’s birthday, his appearance will change. What will he look like?” Hermione asked.
“I never thought to ask that.” Harry said.
“You’ve had other things on your mind Harry. As for what you will look like, the Oracle showed me. You will look similar to myself when I was your age. Except your eyes. They will not change. You will be taller than you are now, about 5’10 or so. You will look leaner, yet a bit more muscular that you do now.” Severus explained.
“So, I’ll probably have to work on my broom skills?” Harry inquired.
“I would assume so. Severus and James both did after their growth spurt when they turned 15.” Remus nodded.
“Growth spurt?” Hermione frowned.
As the four ate, Severus and Remus explained about the magical growth spurt that Harry would be going through in about two weeks. Severus went on to tell them that the Oracle said the charms Lily had placed on Harry and the spurt would happen at the same time. Severus, furthermore, told Harry that his change would be stronger than Severus’s had been.
“Stronger?” Harry questioned, a hint of fear creeping into his voice.
“Yes. That is why I have written for not just Poppy, but Minerva as well to assist me and Remus. I sent Onyx this morning.” Severus nodded.
Hermione, Remus, and Severus saw something flicker in Harry’s eyes. Hermione was the first to speak. “What is it, Harry? I can see you’re worried about something.”
“I’m worried about the Weasley’s. I mean you’re the only one outside dad and Remus that knows. Well and…the headmaster.” Harry said, hearing the anger at even mentioning Albus Dumbledore.
“Well, when do you want to tell them Harry?” Severus inquired, not mentioning the anger in his son’s voice. Hell, he still felt anger toward Albus and could understand.
“I…I don’t know. I mean, I think Mr. and Mrs. Weasley would be fine, same with Ginny. The twins will just tease me, but they would be fine. But Ron…” Harry sighed.
“Harry, the Weasley love you. I know that Ron can be short tempered at times, but he is also your friend. I think he will come to terms with it.” Remus assured him.
“You think so?” Harry asked hopefully.
“Remus is right Harry. I think once the shock wears off, Ron will be fine.” Hermione agreed, squeezing his hand.
“Son, I will write to Molly and ask her and Arthur to come here with Ronald, Ginevra and…the twins,” Severus playfully sneered at the mention of Fred and George, causing the others to laugh. “I will ask them here for Tuesday. That way, by the time your birthday arrives, the shock will have worn off and they, along with Hermione, can come back for the day of your birthday.” Severus said.
“But won’t I be too tired to celebrate? I mean, you said you were exhausted for like a week.” Harry argued.
“I was, as was James. The Oracle also told me that while your change will be the strongest in our line, you will also feel none of the aftereffects that the rest of the males in our families have.” Severus replied.
“Cool.” Harry smiled in relief.
Minerva had just set the tea out when Poppy walked into her sitting room. “Hello Minerva.”
“Hello Poppy. I suppose you know why I have asked you to come for tea.” Minerva smiled.
“I have a pretty good idea.” Poppy chuckled as the two witches sat across from one another. “Something to do about the recently discovered father and son that we both adore.”
“Yes. Severus wrote to me this morning and has asked that I be present for Harry’s change. I assumed he wrote to you as well.” Minerva nodded.
“He did. I wrote back telling him I would be there the night before Harry’s birthday. If Harry’s change is anything like Severus’s was, I’m guessing it will begin just before midnight on the 30th.” Poppy replied, with a sigh.
“I recall Severus’s change well. I had some idea from what Aurora, but witnessing it was much different.” Minerva stated, lifting her teacup to her lips. After a sip, she spoke again. “Poppy, did you know that James and Severus were cousins?”
Poppy sat her own cup down. “I did. I wanted to tell you but figured if Aurora never told you she had her reasons. I believe it had to do with Tobias. He always hated the Potters and the fact that Eileen and Euphemia were sisters did nothing to dampen that hatred.”
“I always wondered why James but there the night of Severus’s change, but just assumed it was because he and Severus were best friends, along with Remus. But this revelation puts things into clearer perspective. Especially when he volunteered to pretend to be Lily’s husband. Speaking of that, did you know that…”
“That Harry was Severus’s son? I suspected, but when Severus suddenly had such animosity toward James, I kept my mouth shut. I couldn’t understand how he could suddenly hate the man who was like a brother to him.” Poppy sighed.
It was Minerva’s turn to sigh, and she told Poppy about Lily’s plan and what had led to the events that culminated into the situation that Harry and Severus now found themselves. Poppy stared at her friend in shock as all was revealed.
“Merlin’s Beard! And Albus agreed to go through with this? What was he thinking! Oh, that daft old man.” Poppy exclaimed.
“I told Albus as much. I even told him that in the future to leave is meddling to the barest minimum where Harry and Severus are concerned. He agreed. At least Lily had the foresight to complete the spell that would remove the Dark Mark. At least now, Severus and Harry are safer on that front.” Minerva said.
“True. And have you heard from Severus if Harry plans to tell Sirius? I mean, he is still his godfather.” Poppy questioned.
“No, I haven’t. I know Sirius and Severus have always loathed one another, but perhaps with this revelation, those two can put their dislike aside for Harry’s sake. The poor boy has been through so much and needs those that love him united.” Minerva replied wistfully.
“Yes, let us hope they can. For Harry’s sake.” Poppy agreed.
Harry sat on his balcony staring out over the moonlit backyard, thinking over the evening’s events. After dinner, he, Hermione, Severus, and Remus had retired to the living room. Severus had surprised him again when he picked up a muggle remote Harry had never noticed. Harry was further surprised when a 72” plasma screen TV lowered above the fireplace. Severus had laughed and informed him that while he was a wizard, he had been raised on the Muggle world as well. Turns out that Grandmama Aurora and Grandpa Orpheus loved many things about the Muggle world. Especially the entertainment and technology. Severus explained how just before he was born, they had renovated the manor, adding the telephone lines and televisions. That was the third time the manor had been renovated. Electricity had been added shortly after the end of World War I.
The four had then settled down and Severus asked if Harry had a favorite movie. Harry sheepishly looked down as he informed his dad that with the Dursley’s, he was not allowed to watch TV. When Harry had looked up, it was to see his dad wearing a shocked expression. Well, Remus and Hermione as well. Severus had said that they would just have to remedy that problem and moved to what looked like a bookcase beside the fireplace. It was Harry’s turn to gape as he saw a massive movie collection.
Severus had selected a movie called Hatari!. Severus explained that Grandpa Orpheus was a huge John Wayne fan and had every John Wayne movie. When the movie was finished and Severus asked him what he thought, Harry had grinned saying he wanted to see more John Wayne movies, which caused everyone to laugh. Feeling the night breeze ruffle his hair, Harry couldn’t help but smile at the way the evening, hell the day, had gone.
Harry jumped and whipped his head over his shoulder. “Dad, I’m sorry. I…”
Severus lived his hand. “No need to apologize son. Is everything alright?”
“Yeah, everything is fine. I lay down to sleep, but I just felt so…happy. I mean…” Harry broke off and sighed.
Severus sat beside him. “What is it?”
“Today has been…amazing. I’ve never felt the way I do right now. Never. I will admit, a small part was nervous about Hermione coming and me, well us, telling her everything. It’s stupid I know, but I mean, before Hogwarts I never had friends. Dudley made sure of that when we started primary school. The other kids treated me like I was a freak or something. It’s the same reason why I’m a bit nervous telling Ron, but I think Hermione’s right and it will be okay.”
“Harry, son, I…Merlin’s Beard, I wish I had known the truth. I wish that Voldemort had never been hatched. Then you never would have experienced that loneliness or all the pain.” Severus breathed, pulling Harry into a fierce hug, which Harry returned.
“I wish that too. Yet today, like I said, was amazing. I felt for the first time that I have a family. My own family. I mean yes, the Weasley’s have been great and all, treating me like one of their own, but I never fully felt like that. But today I did. With you, Remus, and Hermione. Not to mention I had the guts to officially ask her to be my girlfriend. It just felt so…normal. Hanging with her, a family dinner, and movie after that.” Harry explained.
Severus chuckled, “Harry, tonight is just the beginning. I agree with Remus and Hermione, that everything will work out when you tell the Weasley’s. I sent the letter to them after dinner tonight.”
A sudden thought popped into Harry’s mind. “Um dad?”
“What about…Sirius? I mean, he’s still my godfather, right? Him and Remus?”
“Yes, he is. While I will not deny that I am not fond of the mutt, I do know that he does care about you. He was also one of James’ best friends. Whenever you are ready to tell him, just let me know. He is welcome to come here, or we can go to him. All three of us. I just know that I will need Remus there to keep us in line.”
Can I write him tomorrow? Maybe have him come here before Hermione goes home? I mean, maybe having her AND Remus here will be enough to keep him from flipping out too much?” Harry suggested.
“You know, I think you may be right. Very well. Tomorrow morning after breakfast write him. I will send Remus to meet him in the village and bring him here. There are only five people who can apparate directly here. Myself, Remus, Minerva, Poppy and…Dumbledore. Anyone else has to be brought here. And once you get your apparition license, you and Hermione will be allowed to as well.” Severus said.
Harry nodded at the same time he let out a huge yawn. Severus chuckled. He slid off the bench and tugged Harry to his feet. Harry climbed back into bed and was quite surprised when Severus tucked him in. The older wizard smiled down gently and ruffled Harry’s hair, causing him to laugh a little. “Good night. Dad.”
“Good night. Son.” Severus smiled.
Harry let out a contented sigh as his eyes closed. As he drifted off to sleep, the feeling of warmth, love, and happiness remained. For the first time in years, Harry slept soundly and peacefully. He knew that now, he was not just safe, but wanted and loved. He had a family he could call HIS.
Harry bolted upright in bed. His chest felt as if there was a massive boulder sitting on it. He lifted a trembling hand to cling to the damp t-shirt he wore as he struggled to catch his breath. His whole body was trembling as he swung his legs over the side of the bed and placed his bare feet on the wood floor. Still trying to catch his breath, Harry recalled the dream that was the cause for his current situation. Bending over, his mind replayed the dream.
Harry sat in one of the armchairs as he finished explaining the truth to Sirius and the Weasley’s. The room was silent as the seven Weasley’s and Sirius just stared at him. He began to shift under their gaze. “Look, I know this is…”
“To think that we let you into our home.” Molly said, her voice suddenly taking on a hardened edge.
“Mrs. Weasley?” Harry asked in confusion.
“You’re the son of a Death Eater. How could we have been so blind.” Molly hissed.
“You’re no better than Malfoy.” Ron added.
“B..but, we didn’t know…” Harry stammered, looking at his dad and Remus in shock.
Sirius growled as he stood. Harry let out a cry of horror as Sirius, along with Molly and Arthur drew their wands and yelled the killing curse at Severus and Remus. Harry ran to them as the green light faded and the two men fell to the floor. Dead.
“No! Dad! Remus!” Harry sobbed, trying to hug both men.
“This is what they deserved.” Fred stated.
“Yeah. A Death Eater and his friend. They don’t deserve to live.” George added.
“They were your friends!” Harry screamed at Sirius, Molly, and Arthur.
Sirius snorted in disgust. “No, James was my friend. It’s because of them that James is dead. If that Mudblood Lily had lived, I would have done the same.”
“Time for you to get what YOU deserve. Son of a Death Eater.” Molly stated, leveling her wand at Harry.
Harry, still shaking, tried to walk to the door. The fear from his dream still holding him in its tight grip. He could feel his heart thudding erratically in his chest as he managed to reach and open his door. The only immediate thought in Harry’s mind was to make sure his dad was alive and that everything was a dream. A horrible nightmare. He made it two steps toward his dad’s room when his knees buckled, and he collapsed to the floor.
Severus closed his book and sat it on the small table in his sitting area. That morning, Harry had written to Sirius and just before dinner, Sirius had replied. Severus sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. Just before lunch, Remus was going to Nottinghamshire to bring Sirius Black to the manor. Yes, Severus still wasn’t fond of the Animagus, but he was Harry’s Godfather, and he was a good friend of both James and Lily. He only hoped that those facts would help him and Sirius, possibly, put their past behind them and stand together for Harry’s sake. Just as he was about to climb into bed and sleep, a thud in the hall stopped him. Frowning, he grabbed his wand from the bedside table and stepped out of his bedroom. With a Lumos, he looked down the dark hallway. Seconds later he saw Harry.
“Harry!” Severus cried, running to where his son lay. “Harry? Harry, can you hear me?”
“D…D…” Harry gasped.
“Remus! Remus!” Severus yelled, scooping Harry up into his arms, grateful there wasn’t a full moon for another two weeks.
“Sev? What’s…Harry!” Remus asked, in shock.
Severus barely noticed that Hermione too had exited her room as he hurried back into his bedroom. He gently lay Harry in the bed as Remus and Hermione rushed to his side. “Harry, can you talk to me? Son, I’m right here.”
“D…Dad? Alive?” Harry panted.
“Harry, take a slow breath. Slowly in.” Remus instructed softly, laying his hand over Harry’s heart. When Harry complied, Remus nodded. “That’s it. Now, release it just as slow.” Again, Harry did as he was told. “Good boy. Just breath in and out nice and slow. We’re right here.”
Severus could only watch as slowly; his son began to calm with each slow breath in and out. He looked up and shared a worried look with Remus. He noticed that Hermione stood next to the nightstand, wringing her hands, but staying out of the way. After nearly ten minutes, Harry had stopped shaking and his breathing was more normal. Severus reached out and brushed a lock of hair from Harry’s forehead. When Harry’s eyes meet his, he sees the fear in his son’s eyes.
“Harry, talk to us. What happened?” Severus asked gently.
“I…I had a…nightmare.” Harry began, sitting up slowly. “I…I dreamed that I told Sirius and the Weasleys. About you being my dad and everything that mum did to protect us. They, Sirius, and Mr. and Mrs. Weasley I mean, they pulled out their wands and…I…I watched as they…cast the killing curse at you and Remus. Then…they turned…on…me. Saying I deserved it. That I was the son of a Death Eater.”
Severus felt his heart break as he pulled his son into his arms and sat the young boy in his lap. Harry clutched the t-shirt that Severus wore. Laying his head atop Harry’s, Severus looked over at Remus, who was holding Hermione as she tearfully studied Harry. The two men had no idea what to say in that moment. When Harry’s sobs, die down again, Severus sighs and leans back a little. He gently tilts Harry’s chin up so that their eyes meet.
“Harry, Son, listen to me. I have known Molly and Arthur Weasley for a very long time. They love you and would never do anything to hurt you. Do you hear me? Never.”
“But…but they called you a…”
“Yes, I took the dark mark because my father forced me. The day after, I ran to Dumbledore as my father was away on a mission for Voldemort. Arthur and Molly, along with Minerva were there when I told him I would spy for him. While Black and I don’t like each other, he also knew what a bastard my father was and knew that I was not a Death Eater.” Severus assured him.
“Severus is right Harry. Sirius, Molly, and Arthur would never do anything that would cause you any pain. I promise.” Remus added as Hermione moved onto the bed behind Harry.
“Trust your dad and Godfather Harry. Everything will be fine.” Hermione whispered.
Harry nodded and curled into Severus’s arms, almost like a small child. Severus once more lay his head atop Harry’s and slowly began rocking him. He just nodded when Remus gently led Hermione out of the room. Now alone, Severus just whispered that everything was going to be okay. That Harry had nothing to fear in telling Sirius or the Weasley’s the truth. It was nearly ten minutes later when Remus returned.
“Sev, he’s asleep.” Remus whispered.
“God Remy, how do I help him?” Severus asked, his voice cracking.
Remus lay his hand on his best friend’s shoulder. “You’re doing it. You are comforting him. Showing him that he is not alone. That he is loved and wanted. When I go to get Sirius tomorrow, I’m going to tell him about this, in fact, I’ll tell him everything before he gets here. He will be as upset as you and I are about Harry’s nightmare, but he will make sure that Harry knows that Sirius will still love him. No matter what.” Remus said.
“If…if you think it best.” Severus agreed.
“I do. It’s late, why don’t you keep Harry here with you. I know he’s a bit old to be sleeping in dad’s bed, but…”
“I agree. I think he and I need this. So much has happened in such a short time. For both of us.”
Remus smiled and nodded. “Yeah, it has. Good night Sev. I’ll see you both in the morning.”
“Good night, Remus. Thank you.” Severus smiled tiredly.
Sirius stepped out of the alley in Nottinghamshire carefully. He tugged the muggle baseball cap a bit lower on his head as he stepped out onto the sidewalk. In about five minutes, he spotted Remus waiting for him outside the antique shop where he told Sirius to meet him.
“Hey Remus.” Sirius greeted.
“Hey Siri.” Remus smiled.
The two hugged brotherly before Remus led them toward Prince Manor. By the time they reached the edge of the village, Remus had filled Sirius in on everything. The letters, Lily’s plan, as well as Harry’s nightmare.
“Sweet Circe. Remy, get me to Harry. Now.” Sirius said, emotion thick in his voice.
Remus gripped Sirius’s arm and apparated them both to the manor. Sirius started for the front doors the moment he and Remus reappeared. Sirius pushed inside, startling two house-elves that were arranging flowers in the entryway.
“Where’s Harry?” Sirius demanded.
“M…Master Harry is ins the living room.” Squeaked one of the elves, pointing at the room to the right.
Sirius turned and hurried into the room. Pushing open the doors, he found Severus sitting in an armchair reading a book and Harry and Hermione curled up together on the sofa watching what looked to be an old American western. All three turned and stared at Sirius. Slowly, Harry stood and round the sofa. He opened and closed his mouth several times, but no sound escaped.
Sighing, Sirius, closed the distance and pulled the young wizard into his arms. “Harry. Oh, Harry.”
“Sirius…please don’t…hate me.” Harry whispered fearfully.
“What?” Sirius gaped. His hands gripped Harry’s shoulders as he pulled back. “Why on Earth would I hate you? Because you’re Sn…Severus’s son?”
“I…I know you hate him…” Harry said quietly.
“Harry, look. Yes, he and I have had our issues. But maybe, maybe it’s time he and I both grow up.” Sirius sighed, glancing over at Severus. The two shared a look before nodding to one another. “Harry, I don’t give a damn who your father is. I love you for YOU. Do you hear me? YOU are my Godson. Mine and Remus’s. You will never loose me.”
“You mean it? You’re not mad because I’m not James’s son?” Harry looked up hopefully.
“Yes, I mean it. Who your parents are changes nothing. You are my Godson and I love you and will always love you.” Sirius sighed, pulling him into a tight hug.
“Oh Sirius. I was so scared you would hate me.” Harry whispered.
“Sshh. It’s okay Harry. Everything is going to be just fine.” Sirius smiled, looking over Harry’s head to once more lock eyes with Severus.
Sirius was in shock as he finished reading the letters that Lily had written to both Severus and Harry. “Merlin’s beard. Why? Why did Lily and James not tell me?”
“Which part?” Remus asked.
“All of it!” Sirius exclaimed, pushing off the sofa and began pacing. “Hell, I never ever knew that you and James were cousins. If I had…”
“If you had what Black? Can you honestly tell me that it would have made any difference?” Severus interrupted.
Sirius stopped pacing and faced Severus. The two men stared at each other. Years of things passed through them. “Honestly…I don’t know if it would have changed anything. What I DO know is that Lily and James were both my friends. They asked me to watch out for Harry. I agreed. Like I told Harry, I don’t give a damn who his parents are, I’m here for Harry and Harry alone.”
“Fair enough.” Severus nodded. “I can only speculate as to why James never told you. I honestly believe it was because of my father. You know as well as I that he was a right bastard.”
“Yeah, worse than my father.” Sirius agreed.
“Bl…Sirius…” Severus paused a moment. “The only thing that protected Remus was his lyncropathy. As for Lily, my father never knew we were dating. And James, well, my father hated him from birth, so nothing changed. Before me and James started at Hogwarts, it was agreed by Uncle Fleamont, Aunt Euphemia, my mother, and our grandparents that the fewer people that knew of mine and James’s connection, the better. We knew that the more people who knew, the more targets my father would have for Voldemort.” Severus explained.
“That makes sense to me. So, where does that leave us now?” Sirius questioned, looking from Severus, to Remus, and then to Harry and Hermione.
“It leaves us with us standing behind Harry. Training him for what he has to do. He needs us and we must be there. Now, if by some miracle, you and I can become some kind of friends, then as far as I’m concerned, that’s just an added bonus.” Severus smiled a little.
Sirius smiled and laughed, “Yeah, yeah it would be. Alright then. Shall we talk about telling the Weasleys?”