Eileen was by no means a certified healer, and only knew a few household healing spells and potions; nevertheless she did, as promised, have look at Rose and Petunia's injuries. Rose's injuries were mostly simple breaks, and bruises, which were easy enough for the witch to mend. Petunia, however, her spine was too far damaged for her limited medical knowledge to be helpful. Severus, who had been no stranger to injury over the years, did have a bit of knowledge concerning the field of healing; however, he was leery to acknowledge this. It would be much too suspicious for a twelve-year-old, even a gifted one, to know advanced healing techniques. Plus, in retrospect, he doubted what he did know would help the Muggle girl much, anyway. Spinal injuries were very tricky to mend, even in the magical world.
The summer continued at a slow pace. Mr. Evans' funeral had been on a Saturday; the weather was overcast and seemed to fit the solemn occasion. Rose spoke a bit about her husband, and even Lily said a few words. Petunia hadn't even wanted to go. She blamed herself for his death. She had insisted on going out for ice cream instead of straight home. She was the reason her daddy was dead.
Lily had spent much of her time at home with her sister and mum, which was completely understandable considering the circumstances. Severus continued to work on things around the house, and truth be told, he was actually enjoying fixing up the old house. He found a great sense of pride in doing the work the Muggle way, something just a year ago he would have never thought possible. His parents' relationship continued to flourish and in so went about "enjoying each other's company" and on a quite frequent basis.
"They never stop going at it; they're like rabbits," he commented to Lily one sunny Sunday afternoon as they made their way over to the park.
"That's really not a picture I want in my head, Sev."
Severus just laughed. "Sorry. So, how's your sister?" Severus hadn't been over to the Evans house much lately. His parents would go over to help out, but when he met with Lily, it was usually at the park or his house.
"Okay. She's actually managed to leave the house a few times."
"Yeah. Only to the back garden, but I suppose it's a start."
There was no denying that Petunia was in a deep state of depression. Rose had suggested they all see a therapist to try and help them heal over Harold's death, but even Lily refused to go.
Severus had received a letter from the Black family sending their condolences over the loss of a family friend, and Lily had received a similar letter from the Lupins. The news of Lily's father's passing would no doubt be known by the entire student population by the time the new term started.
It was now a week before the start of term, and Eileen had offered to take Lily to Diagon Alley with Severus to get their supplies. What was surprising – no – shocking, really, especially to Severus, was that his father was coming as well.
No good could come from this.
A very Muggle Tobias Snape in a busy, crowded, wizarding shopping district, full of witches and wizards dressed in clothes Muggles had not worn in public in centuries… And what if he saw a goblin, Merlin knew what would come out of the opinionated man's mouth if he happened across of them. Plus, there was the simple fact that he would be surrounded by magic, seeing people use their wands to do everything from levitate their purchases to tie their shoes.
No, absolutely no good could come from this.
No, Severus had serious reservations about this. "Mum, are you sure bringing Father is such a wise idea?" he whispered, motioning his head towards his father as they exited their car, which was parked just down the street from the Leaky Cauldron.
"Severus, you father is actually making an effort to better understand the world we come from; I think we owe it to him to give him the benefit of the doubt, don't you?"
Severus didn't answer, but simply shrugged. He supposed they would find out soon enough if his father could truly handle being within the uniqueness of the wizarding world.
Tobias smiled at his wife before taking her hand, and she quickly smiled back, their eyes locked for a brief moment before they headed down the street, Severus and Lily trailing behind them.
Tobias, though he was trying very hard not to show it, was incredibly anxious. He had never, in the fifteen years he had been with Eileen, been to Diagon Alley, or any other wizarding place for that matter, but he had resolved himself to showing a strong interest in his wife and son's magic, and that included magical shopping trips. Entering the pub, he noticed it seemed a bit old fashioned, as it clearly hadn't been updated, at least not in the last hundred years or so, but it did have a cozy, comfortable feel to it.
The patrons were a mixture of adults and children, who Tobias assumed were there to purchase their school supplies as Lily and Severus were. He also noticed that most of the kids were dressed normal. What was it that his wife had called him…oh, yes, Muggle; they were dressed more Muggle. Most had on jeans and T-shirts and simply had their school cloak clipped on, just as Sev and Lily did. Eileen led them all into a small brick courtyard, where nothing more than upturned rubbish bins were.
"Um, love. Dead end." Eileen, Lily, and Severus couldn't help but snicker. The Muggle's brow rose in at their reaction. "Something funny?"
Eileen placed a soft kiss on her husband's cheek before pulling out her wand. "Watch."
His eyes practically doubled in size as the brick wall suddenly began to pull apart, and in so, opening into the entrance of Diagon Alley.
"Well, that was different," was all he could really think to say as he walked through the space where the brick wall once was.
"Okay, Severus, why don't you take Lily to Gringotts, and your father and I will meet you in Flourish and Blotts?"
Severus took Lily's hand, and they headed toward the wizarding bank. Eileen, not wanting to introduce her husband to goblins just yet, decided to first take him to the book shop.
The shopping district was just as his wife had described it, very…16th century. "Is that the shop that sells things for that flying sport?" he asked his wife, pointing to a broom which hung over a shop door, the words "Quality Quidditch Supplies" painted on the handle.
"Yes, it's called Quidditch."
"Hum, does Severus like the sport?" He knew his son didn't like any normal sports, but maybe if he were into something other than potions and books, he could relate to him a bit better.
"I know he likes to fly, and he did go to the Quidditch World Cup with the Blacks, but I don't recall him ever mentioning a serious interest in it."
Tobias scratched his chin, still eyeing the sign. "He doesn't have a broom of his own, does he?"
"No." Eileen smiled up at her husband, hoping he was thinking was she thought he was thinking. "You want to get him one?"
He nodded. "I think, considering how well he's doing in school, that he deserves a reward, don't you?"
Eileen nodded before kissing her husband on her cheek and then whispering in his ear, "I love you, Toby."
Tobias blushed at his wife's use of his nickname, a name she normally only used in private. "Let's get it for him first, before he finishes at the bank."
Severus never did care for the roller coaster ride that accompanied the trip to the vaults, but he put up with it rather than pay the goblins' outrageous retrieval fee. Just as he and Lily reached the large metal doors to exit the building, they opened, and in walked a face Severus had rather not see at the moment.
James Potter sneered at Severus; obviously he was still upset at him for defending Sirius at the Quidditch World Cup. The boy's hazel eyes quickly went from Severus to Lily. "You should watch out for Snape. He hangs around Dark wizards." He gave another nasty glance to Severus before quickly passing him.
"What was that about?" Lily asked as they left the bank.
"We had words concerning…stereotyping." Lily still looked confused. "It's a long story. I'll tell you about it when we get back home."
As promised, Severus found his parents waiting for him outside Flourish and Blotts.
"Everything go alright?" Eileen asked. Severus simply nodded, not seeing the point in mentioning Potter. "Great. Before we go inside, Sev, your father has got something for you."
Severus looked up at his father in, well, not surprise, really, but perhaps more curiosity. He couldn't recall the last time his father had gotten him anything, let alone without there being a special occasion. Tobias smiled before turning around and grabbing something from behind him.
Severus gasped in shock, as in his father's hand was a broomstick.
"It's a Comet 250," Tobias said, looking at those very words that were etched onto the top of the handle. "It's not the newest or fastest, but it's fairly popular, at least according to the shopkeeper."
Severus gently took the broom into his hand, holding it as if it were made of porcelain and could break easily. He had gotten him a broom. A brand new broom.
Severus gently ran his hand down the smooth brown surface, and reaching the top of the handle, he traced his fingers across each letter, which spelled out Comet 250. "I-I don't know what to say."
"A simple thank you will suffice," Tobias said, smiling, happy with his son's reactions to the gift.
"Thank you. Thank you so much."
Tobias could tell his son was completely – well - shocked at the gift, but he was also, as the boy's words relayed, thankful. "Well, you deserve it." He put his arm around his son's shoulders and pulled him into a sort of half-hug. It had been years since he had hugged his boy.
"Come on, you lot," Eileen interrupted. "We should get a start on shopping." And so, the Snapes and Lily headed into Flourish and Blotts, and throughout that store and every other they visited, Severus refused to put down his broom. He could have shrunken it and put it in his pocket as he did the rest of his purchases that day, but it wouldn't have been the same.
Severus hadn't had much of a chance to try out his broom, as living in a Muggle neighborhood made that kind of difficult. Once his father was off at work and his mother busy in the garden or over at the Evans home, Severus, who had begun to feel much like his twelve-year-old body would indicate, flew carefully around the house. Yes, it was rather juvenile, and he knew if he were caught, he would probably be punished, but you only live once. Or twice.
The time had finally come to head back to school, and Lily was having doubts about going back. "Maybe I should stay here. My mum's going to have to find a job soon, and Petunia will be home alone." Lily sighed as she sat down on the edge of her bed, and Severus quickly sat beside her.
Petunia still wouldn't leave the house, let alone go back to school, so arrangements had been made for her to participate in an independent study program. Although the Evanses had a substantial savings and some money left over from what they had collected from their life insurance, Rose knew that if she didn't have some income coming in soon, things would start to get tight.
"Lily, I know this is hard for you," Severus began, his voice soft and comforting, "but you need to go back to school; you need to continue to develop your magic. You know that. You know how important that is, right?"
Lily gave a small nod, and her head dropped to her best friend's shoulder. "Oh, Sev, this is all so…hard."
Severus gently wrapped his arm around her, then kissed the top of her head. "I know, Lily, but I'm here for you, and I always will be. I promise."
She had cried when Eileen came to pick her up to take her to King's Cross. She really did not want to leave her mum and sister. They needed her, and she needed them. The pain was still so fresh, and sometimes she would start to cry simply because something reminded her of her dad, and then she would remember that she would never see him again. He wasn't on a business trip or on holiday; he was gone, dead, forever, but at least she had her Sev, and Mr. and Mrs. Snape said that they would continue to help out. Eileen even offered to help Petunia with her school work. She knew, eventually, things would be okay - at least in some sense - that life, though it would never be the same, would return to some sort of normalcy. But when? When would at least some of the hurt go away?
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