Potions and Snitches
Snape and Harry Gen Fanfiction Archive

Chapter 20
Bar none, this had been the strangest summer Ron had had since starting Hogwarts. He had thought the summer they had to break Harry out of the Dursley’s house and ended up flying the car to school was a strange one, only to have it topped by having a family vacation to Egypt, which was then topped by getting to go to the World Cup and getting attacked by Death Eaters. It seemed every summer tried to be progressively more strange than the one before, but this one was certainly trying its hardest to top them all.

It had started as a nice, normal summer: degnoming the garden, playing Quidditch with his brothers, trying to avoid being the guinea pig for the twin’s new products, things like that. Then one day Hedwig showed up with a letter from Harry, just a normal letter, but that seemed to be the spark of the weirdness. Ron had written a letter back and sent along a few cauldron cakes to make sure his friend was getting at least some sort of nourishment through the summer, but, two days later, Hedwig returned with the letter and the cauldron cakes untouched. Concerned, Ron sent Pig to see if he was able to get a letter through, but Pig returned with the new letter intact.

Concern continuing to grow, he asked his dad if they could go visit Harry, just to check up on him, only to be told that Dumbledore had Harry’s house on continuous observation with both wards and members of ‘The Order’ physically there. If anything had happened to Harry, Dumbledore would know. Ron resisted the urge to scoff as Dumbledore had routinely put Harry into harm’s way or at the very least didn’t prevent him from being a part of dangerous activities, but at least Dumbledore did always know where his friend was. Or at least that’s what people thought.

Only a day later, Hermione wrote him asking the same things: had he heard from Harry, was Harry staying with the Weasley’s, why wasn’t Harry responding. Again, Ron asked his father if they could at least swing by the Dursley’s to check on him. This time, Arthur agreed to ask Dumbledore if it were alright for them to go by and at least have a little visit with the boy. Perhaps the new wards were what was preventing the owls from finding him?

Something continued to niggle the back of Ron’s brain about the situation, however. Something wasn’t right. Even the year Dobby was preventing letters from getting through to Harry, the letters were at least taken. Once more he sent Hedwig out with a note for Harry; this time with a tracker stuck on the letter so he could follow her location. It was a wonderful invention created by the twins and inspired by the oft admired Marauder's Map. With their help, he modified a map of England so they could track Hedwig’s movements.

As expected, she flew south to Surrey and towards Little Whinging, but then she began an inexplicable circling pattern. It was almost as if she knew where to go but once she got there couldn’t find the person she needed to find. After circling for a day and a half, she returned to the Burrow, note still firmly clasped in her talon.

At this point, even the twins agreed that something needed to be done whether their parents agreed or not. Since they had their apparation licenses, they would apparate to Little Whinging, walk to Harry’s house, talk to him, and rescue him if need be. It was a good plan, but they knew they couldn’t go apparating into a muggle town in the middle of the day, especially into the one where Harry Potter lived. That was just asking to be arrested and would be very hard to explain.

It wasn’t an hour after they made their plan that Harry’s hand on the family clock shuttered briefly, which was more movement than it had done the entire summer, flicked to ‘mortal peril,’ then fell from the clock. Molly had barely had a chance to register what had happened despite being in the room with the clock when the hand fell from its face when the headmaster’s patronus appeared and made the announcement that Harry Potter had left the wards. Immediately she and Arthur jumped to their feet and apparated to Little Whinging, caring very little for the secrecy laws they were breaking. One of their children was in danger, possibly even dead, and they were nowhere near him.

The rest of the Weasley house was left in shock, shock which deepened even further when their parents returned highly upset and empty handed. No evidence of foul play other than a few drops of blood on a wheelbarrow. No signs of magic being used. Nothing to even show he had been there. He had disappeared into thin air.

Every day for a week, Molly and Arthur would join the search when they could. Sometimes they were gone for an hour, sometimes several, but they never returned successfully. Frustrations continued to grow and every letter they tried to send him kept getting returned unopened or touched. The entire situation was bizarre.

Shortly after Harry’s official disappearance, Death Eater activity ramped up. According to a spy for the Order, even You-Know-Who had no idea where Harry had gone to. While this was some sort of relief in Ron’s mind, the question still remained as to where he had gone. He didn’t have much time to worry, however, as several Death Eater attacks close to Ottery St. Catchpole forced the Weasley family to briefly evacuate their house for the first time in any of the younger children’s memory. With all of the Weasley family being known close friends of Harry’s, it was in their best interest to go to a safe house for the remainder of the summer.

Grimmauld Place was a terribly dreary building which seemed to act almost like a Dementor in and of itself. The dark, shabby walls seemed to suck the happiness out of everything around them and the entire building absolutely reeked of Dark Magic. After seeing his childhood home, it made sense that Sirius had managed to survive Azkaban with no effects on his mental wellness. It was baffling, however, how a man as vibrant and full of life as Sirius had ever grown up in a building as stifling as this.

And his mother! Her portrait screamed day and night about blood traitors and how they were defiling her house. If it wasn’t her screaming, it was Sirius shouting profanities back at her while struggling to shut the curtains over her portrait and yelling at the house elf to do his job. All of the Weasley’s, including the twins, took to slowly creeping around the portrait so as not to bother her lest the shouting begin again. Everyone agreed this was far more the house they pictured Snape growing up in than what they expected Sirius to live in.

Sirius himself was a wreck. Anyone who opened the door was immediately accosted by the man as he demanded to know any information about the location of his godson. Anything at all. He had even been caught several times sneaking out of the house as a dog to try and track down his godson. Every piece of mail was taken with shaking hands in hopes it contained some sort of information about Harry’s whereabouts. Outside of yelling at his mother, Sirius had taken to remaining in his dog form and lying miserably outside of the room he had made up to be Harry’s. Even Remus was struggling to get him to leave the area, though it did keep him out of the way.

It wasn’t more than a week before Hermione was also pulled to live in Grimmauld Place as well. While no Death Eaters had been seen in her neighborhood, there were concerns for her safety as she didn’t live in a magical community, nor did she have magical parents to help defend her. When she arrived, her homework was already completed, but that surprised no one. What was far more shocking was what she had found while she had been at home.

Molly had noticed something was amiss when she went to give Hermione her customary tight hug and the poor girl winced away from her stating that her back was a bit bruised still despite the stock of bruise balm she had been using on it at home.

“Hermione, dear, what happened!?” Molly asked gasping as she raised her shirt briefly to look at the damage. Ron immediately came over as well after hearing his mother’s alarm. The bruising extended all along her back, stretching from one side to the other and even onto her shoulders. Contained within the larger bruising was an almost lightning like pattern which wrapped around to her chest.

“You aren’t going to believe this,” Hermione said as she pulled her shirt back down.

“Dear, I’ve raised seven children, I highly doubt that,” Molly said as she summoned a large tin of bruise balm from the medical supply closet. “Do you know what curse hit you?”

“I don’t really know,” Hermione said, gratefully taking the tin and putting it in her pocket.

“Where were you that you could’ve been hit by a curse like that?” Ron said, eyebrow raised.

“Like I said, I don’t think you’re going to believe this,” Hermione said, sitting at the kitchen table. “So, I told you I had decided to try volunteering at a hospital to see if I liked healing more than administration? I don’t, but it was a good opportunity to learn and it helped me keep my mind off of everything that happened at the end of last year.”

“Ok?” Ron said, frown deepening as he looked at his mother who appeared equally confused by this turn of events.

“Last week I was working on a unit I hadn’t been on before and asked what I could do to help the staff out. They sent me into this ‘strange kid’s’ room to help him get dressed. Apparently he was going to be leaving the hospital that day and they wanted him to be ready to go but something about him was a bit ‘off putting’ as they put it,” Hermione said, a look of mild disbelief washing over her face as she recalled the events of that day. “From their description of him, he sounded a bit like he could be a wizard, and it turned out he was.”

“Wait, what was a wizard doing in a muggle hospital?” Ron asked, holding up his hands in shock.

“How old was he?” Molly asked at the same time as Ron. “Was he a muggleborn?”

“That's just it! Like I said, you’ll never believe this. He was like sixteen or so and said that he ended up in a muggle hospital because he had had a seizure. Apparently he worked for a muggle company and when he collapsed they called an ambulance for him which took him to a muggle hospital,” Hermione said in a rush. “But that’s not even the weirdest part! Did you know Snape has a kid?”

“What?!” Ron yelled. “Snape has a kid! That was Snape’s kid?!”

Molly frowned but nodded. She could vaguely remember Severus saying something to Dumbledore after the last Order meeting about ‘Elias,’ but she hadn’t put two and two together at the time. He was an intensely private person who tended to keep personal information private. He could be married and have a whole brood of children and no one would know.

“Mum, did you know?!” Ron said, noticing the nod.

“I’ve heard him mention his son briefly but I didn’t realize that’s who he was talking about at the time,” Molly admitted. “Did he do this to you?”

“All I was doing was asking questions,” Hermione said, blushing. “He had asked what my blood status was then was getting more and more upset and I didn’t realize it. Then he yelled at me to get out after I helped him get his shoes on. I tried asking him why, but then I got blasted out of the room and into a wall.”

“Oh my!” Molly gasped, covering her mouth with a hand as Ron’s eyes went wide.

“The nurses thought he had thrown me out of the room and sent me down to A&E for an exam before I was allowed to go home. I don’t know what happened to him after that, but I looked him up the other day when I went in for my last shift and he wasn’t a patient any more, so I guess he went home.”

Despite their obvious worry about Harry’s location, finding out more about Snape’s mysterious son took precedence. The members of the Order were working on locating Harry; the idea that Snape had a son was something the children could use to distract themselves from the fact their friend was missing. Anything to keep their minds off the fact no one knew where Harry was was beneficial as the stress of the situation was making even the most stoic of the teens begin to lose their cool.

Who was this boy? Where did he come from? Who was his mother? Where did he live? Where did Snape live? Did Snape keep him in a dungeon? All of these questions were the topic of nearly every conversation for the following week with even the adults pitching in theories until one day Professor Lupin showed up in the late afternoon just prior to an order meeting to speak with Professor Dumbledore.

The twins had already laid out their extendable ears to listen in on the meeting in hopes of hearing some information about their wayward friend as well as hear any of the juicy information about the ongoing missions the order was performing. As soon as Professor Lupin and the Headmaster walked into the kitchen and were seated, it became obvious they were going to be discussing something interesting as Professor Lupin pulled out a rather small stack of parchment and began discussing things with the headmaster.

Running upstairs, each of the twins grabbed one extendable ear and listened.

“-outdated,” Professor Lupin was saying. They could hear him tapping on the table with his finger.

“I shall mention this to Professor Burbage,” Dumbledore said, the twinkle in his eye evident even in his voice. “But at this point I don’t think there is enough time to change the entire curriculum of one class.”

“I believe he may want to go off grounds for further research,” Remus said, continuing to rifle through the parchment he had. “Would it be possible to get a portkey through the Hogwarts wards to Edinburgh? Or Inverness if distance is an issue.”

“After the events of last year, I am afraid I will not be issuing any portkeys which can exit the wards, Remus. Nor will I issue ones which can come directly onto Hogwarts grounds,” Dumbledore said sternly. “I will be more than happy to get you one which will be usable once the wards have been left, however I do not want a portkey to be snuck in and used for the purpose of getting a student off the grounds.”

“Understood, though I am concerned about Elias’s ability to walk long distances.”

“I’m sure Mr. Snape will be able to manage,” Dumbledore said rather flippantly before turning to greet some of the other order members who were coming in for the meeting.

Both twins put their extendable ears down and looked at each other with glee. They now had a name for the mysterious Snape, and it seemed Professor Lupin was going to be back at Hogwarts, though in a very different capacity. And apparently the Snape boy would be at Hogwarts this year, though with Lupin as his tutor.

What a year this would be!

“Do you think Harry’s going to be here?” Ron asked, peering over the crowd in search of his wayward best friend as the students quickly climbed onto the various cars and found a compartment in which to sit. “Maybe he’s already shown up and is on the train.”

“Ron, I’m sorry,” Hermione said, looking sadly at her friend before also looking around the station in hope. Aurors were standing against all the walls and had even been seen on the muggle side of Kings Cross. “I don’t think he’s coming.”

Ron sighed sadly and wrapped his arm around Hermione’s shoulders in a side hug to which she responded by doing the same around his waist. It was strange not having Harry there with them as they boarded the train. Strange knowing they wouldn’t have someone to share their candy and horribly dry sandwiches with. Strange knowing he wasn’t there to talk Quidditch to or discuss what this year’s DADA professor would be like.

A warning whistle sounded; the students still on the platform started hurrying onto the train.

“Be good… write… We’ll send anything you’ve forgotten… Your brother is not a test subject…” Molly said, hugging each of her children and giving them a quick peck on the cheek before ushering them to the train. “We’ll tell you if we hear anything about Harry.”

“Thanks, mum,” Ron said before hurrying to the train, Hermione quickly following behind him.

The twins were waiting just inside the door discussing something before momentarily pretending to shove Ron back out of the train as it began to pull forward. A few moments of struggle and some good laughs later, the twins finally let him go saying they needed to find Lee to discuss ‘business.’

Ron initially started heading towards the back of the train to sit in one of their normal spots before Hermione grabbed his arm and reminded him that they needed to sit in the prefect carriage. All of the stress and worry about Harry’s disappearance had greatly overshadowed the announcement that both she and Ron had been given the title of prefect for the upcoming year. Had it been any other year, they both would have been quite excited for the opportunity granted to them, but this year that excitement seemed dampered by the fact they were missing a friend.

The prefect carriage was set up quite differently from the other carriages. Unlike the majority of the train, this carriage was set up without individual compartments, thus allowing the prefects to talk amongst themselves without having to shove everyone into one compartment. This also allowed for any announcements to be made to the carriage as a whole and facilitate an inter-house prefect meeting.

“Alright, alright, are we all here?” the Head Boy, Articus Noster, said once the train had fully pulled out of the station while rapping on the table in front of him. “Hufflepuffs?”

“Here!” a group of teens clad in yellow and black said from the far front of the carriage.


A smattering of “here”’s were heard throughout the carriage followed by a bit of laughter when one Ravenclaw realized several seconds late that his house had been called because he had been focused on reviewing his Runes textbook.


Another smattering of affirmative answers were heard, one of which drew Ron’s attention immediately. There was no mistaking him: Draco Malfoy was one of the Slytherin prefects.

As per usual, his hair was greased back and robes were made of fabric that was certainly more expensive than anything anyone else in the room was wearing, but there was something different about him this year. The previously unblemished skin of his hands had a slight tint to it, an almost yellow stain which covered the entirety of both palms and had stained the undersides of his fingernails a dark brown. Even from a distance, Ron and Hermione could tell the previously unworked hands had a few new calluses to them as though he had been working a more labor intensive job over the summer.

“And lastly, Gryffindors.”

Shouts of “here,” “hi,” and one very loud “woo” were heard from the Gryffindor prefects as Noster winced and rolled his eyes at the response. He was just glad he hadn’t been the Head Boy the year before as the Weasley twins had somehow managed to get in and rig the seats with Gryffindor themed smoke bombs which were triggered by loud noises. All of the prefects and the Head Boy and Girl ended up nearly being late to the feast as they had to quickly figure out the proper cleaning spells to get the red and yellow stains out of their uniforms.

“Fantastic,” Noster said after waiting a beat to see if there would be any explosions this year. “A couple quick announcements and then I’ll let you all enjoy your ride. First: we have a new DADA professor this year. Apparently she is a ministry appointee and is a real hard ass, from what my mum told me. Please pass on to your houses to stay on her good side.”

At this, Noster looked around the carriage and made a point to make eye contact with each of the Gryffindors. Hopefully, maybe, one of them would be able to help keep the Weasley twins in line. The last thing they needed was for the ministry to come swooping in and make all sorts of new rules and regulations simply because those two couldn’t keep their act together.

“Second,” he continued. “Quidditch is back on. Please make sure first and second years are aware of the rules regarding play, practice, and usage of the pitch. Madam Hooch doesn’t want any of them believing that the pitch is for flying fun at all times and end up getting hit with a bludger.

“Passwords are going to be changed on a biweekly schedule. Please make sure your housemates are not writing them down. While there have been no attacks from Sirius Black in the last two years, please remember that he has used that as a tactic to enter the a house before in an effort to murder a student and is still at large.

“Prefects will be given their patrol schedules tomorrow morning by either myself, our lovely head girl over here, or your head of house. If you do not receive one, please let any one of those people listed know.

“And finally,” Noster said, pulling a letter he had received out of his pocket to make sure he was relaying the information correctly. “This year we have another new face who will be joining Hogwarts. I wasn’t given his name, but he is apparently the son of one of the professors. He will not be attending classes with us, however I did receive this letter from Madam Pomfrey that she wanted me to read to you all:

Please read this letter to all prefects in attendance at the annual, Beginning-of-the-Year meeting:

How to Assist a Person Who is Having a Grand Mal Seizure

1: Ease the person to the floor
2: Turn the person onto their side to help them breathe
3: Place something soft under their head
4: Clear the area of anything hard or sharp they may run into while seizing
5: Remove eyeglasses and loosen anything that is tight around the neck
6: Time the seizure (call for help if lasting longer than 5 minutes)
7: Notify a professor or other adult of the event

Remain calm and remain with the person until they are alert and able to communicate.

1: Try to hold the person down
2: Put something in the person’s mouth
3: Give mouth to mouth breaths
4: Offer food or water until the person is fully alert

Noster folded the letter and placed it back in his pocket before continuing. “I believe it is safe to say that our mystery guest has seizures. If any of you would like a copy of these instructions, let me know. Otherwise: welcome back!”

Ron looked at Hermione and very nearly burst out laughing. Her jaw had nearly hit the floor when the realization sunk in over who it was that was coming to Hogwarts. Everything he had said she had taken with a slight grain of salt and had honestly assumed that she would never be seeing him again. He wasn’t even a student at Hogwarts by his own admission! How could he come here?!

“No. Bloody. Way!” Hermione said under her breath.

“What is it, Granger?” Malfoy said with a smirk. “Afraid of a little medical emergency? A little too stressful for your muggle loving heart?”

“Not at all,” Hermione said, recovering from her shock rather quickly. “I think I know who it is that’s coming though.”

“Really?” Malfoy said, cocking an eyebrow in disbelief. “Who is it then?”

“Snape’s son,” she said bluntly, not even looking in his direction, choosing instead to re-tie her shoe.

Malfoy’s silence pulled her from her task, however. Looking up, she saw that his eyes were wide with shock. Blinking a few times, he pulled himself together enough to process what she had said. Where had she met Elias? Surely she hadn’t also been working with the muggle gardening company? Perhaps Elias had been working in her neighborhood? Or she had come across him while he was living in the muggle world?

“How do you know Elias?” he finally managed to sputter out.

“How do you know Elias?” she responded, equally shocked. Certainly Malfoy would have bragged about being friends with the potion’s master’s son at some point had he known of him!

“I asked first!” Malfoy said, crossing his arms rather childishly.

“Fine,” Hermione huffed. “I was volunteering at the children’s hospital this summer and he was a patient.”

“Wait, that was you?!” Malfoy laughed. “He mentioned ‘accidentally blasting a muggleborn across the room,’ but I never would have guessed it would be you! What idiotic thing did you do to get on his bad side?”

“What does it matter to you, Malfoy?” Ron said, standing up and leaning over the other boy threateningly.

“Elias wouldn’t hurt a fly. He spends most of his time with his nose in a book or following anyone he trusts around like a lost puppy,” Malfoy said, chuckling at the memory of Elias desperately wanting to help in the lab so he could be around other people despite his shakes being so bad he very nearly sliced a finger off.

“And how do you know this?” Hermione said in disbelief.

“I was given the opportunity to assist Professor Snape in his personal lab over the summer,” Draco said, chest swelling with pride. “After Elias got out of the hospital, he came to live with us.”

“What kind of potions were you working on?” Ron asked, eyes narrowing in suspicion. If Malfoy and Snape were working together, the chance of Malfoy being a Death Eater had risen sharply. He was fairly sure Snape was a Death Eater, but Malfoy was still a bit too young.

“That is none of your business,” Malfoy said, mind racing to all of the poisons they had worked on. “Though if you must know, I made most of the burn paste for the Hospital Wing for the year.”

“Remind me never to get burned,” Ron muttered, throwing himself back in his seat in disgust. That answer was too innocuous for his liking. He was still fairly sure Malfoy was going Dark, but finding proof would be hard.

“So what did you do?” Malfoy pressed, leaning forward in interest.

“He asked me about my blood status, I helped him get his boots on, then I asked him a few questions and he blasted me from the room,” Hermione said, crossing her arms over her chest and glaring at the Slytherin. “I’m not surprised you two are friends.”

Draco scoffed before turning away from Granger and Weasley. That didn’t sound like Elias, or at least the Elias he knew. Granger must have done something else to make him angry. Why would someone who was as interested in muggles and had even worked with the muggles care in the slightest what someone’s blood status was?

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