I Don't Remember

Unfair, Unexpected


I didn't say anything the rest of the walk to the Shrieking Shack. I exchanged only the barest of courtesies to the Minister, Arthur, and Minerva. I was silent, only nodding or shaking my head, as we made our way through the passage, over the grounds, into the castle, and up to the Headmaster's Office. I waited until Hermione was on her way to her parents with some Ministry workers to remove the Obliviate spell. Then I yelled.

"What exactly is the meaning of this?" I slammed my hands down on the desk in front of Minerva. She looked shocked. Albus, behind her, merely closed his eyes then lifted them.

"I might be asking the same of you, Severus." came Minerva's stern reply. "I don't see any reason for you to be losing your temper in my office with barely a hello first."

I was still angry, but the remark about losing my temper cooled me a bit. "I am remarking to the fact that I was De-Aged and then not notified! I wouldn't have had the slightest clue had Granger not let it slip; or did you intend for me to not be aware until I was in the middle of shaving?"

"Is this really necessary Severus?" Minerva stayed sitting, but folded her hands on front of her. "After the war, the fighting, the whole wizarding world thinking you were a traitor and simultaneously discovering you've been a double agent for near to 20 years and the first thing you raise objection to is a positive change in your appearance?"

I nearly screamed. Just managing to keep my voice low, but nevertheless crackling with rage I spoke. "I think I looked just fine before this 'positive change'."

"Minerva, if I may." Albus interjected from his frame. Swiftly she stood, and then stepped aside, so the portrait of my old friend and college could look at me in the eye. He looked slightly amused, but when he spoke his voice sounded serious.

"Severus, why do you think it was that we decided to put you in the Time Room?"

Even with his tone, I was still fuming, and my manner of speech betrayed me. "I'm told it was to help 'integrate me back into society'."

"Severus, please do not take offense at what Miss Granger said to you. Surely you know that she would not know the reasoning behind our motives? I imagine she made an educated guess that, not far from the truth, is still incorrect in its entirety."

I frowned. "Why would Granger try to do that?"

"So many things have been happening recently, to everyone. Even aside from finding out your our world's hero as much as anyone," my frown deepened, "and you and Harry making peace, she's probably more than willing to try and put the past behind her and start as friends. More than likely, this was her way of trying to help, give you an answer to the first question you'd asked her; the first question she wasn't sure of."

I wasn't moved. "I can't be friends with students."

"Minerva and I managed quite well to be friends with those we taught, and the respect given never lacked."

Fine. "I won't be friends with students."

Albus sighed and closed his eyes. "Well, people don't change overnight. But I digress, Severus, we didn't do it to help you integrate back into society; that, and the speed it happens, will be almost entirely up to you. We thought it would be doing you a favor."

My anger came back, full force. "What kind of favor do you think removing my ability to tell my reflection is MY reflection?"

His voice remained level, even as mine rose. "The kind that gives you a second chance at life. We were careful, Severus. We made sure your memories weren't lost, that your abilities and experiences your body and mind had gained would remain intact. The only things that changed were your muscles, your skin, your bones. Time regained. Time that you spent under duress and fear. You now have a chance to live your life without having to play double agent, or worry that anyone you learn to trust will end up dead if you fail."

I paced for a few moments, then sat down, mulling over his words. Lily was long dead. I would always feel guilt and remorse over that memory; it had colored my actions for the past 18 years. But Albus had been the one who started me on that path, and now he was freeing me. The same feeling of desperate hope I'd felt realizing I was alive in the aftermath of battle returned. A real chance at freedom. I'd be a fool to pass it up.

Suddenly I became aware that the whole time I'd been thinking, Minerva and Albus had been starring at me, looking anxious. I rose, almost managing a smile, but settling for a nod and an attempting an apology. "I... Forgive me. This isn't something I'm used to, so I didn't expect it."

"Not at all Severus." Minerva answered with a smile, taking her seat at the Headmaster's desk as Dumbledore's portrait again grew dormant. "But since you're in such a good mood now, and since you did decide the best way to greet me was to yell at me for no reason, perhaps you could do me a favor?"

I tensed. "What kind of favor?"

She smiled. "Nothing that would require much from you, Severus. I'm not sure if you're aware yet? Miss Granger returned to school this last year; she wants to finish her education to work at the Ministry."

Merlin's beard no. "Yes, I had heard that."

"Good. Well it seems many of her friends, Mr. Potter and Weasley included, will not be returning- at least as of yet. Seeing as you are coming back yourself, and were among those close to her previous years, I was hoping you could be her council and endorse her for her internship at the Ministry next year?"

I gasped, then nearly exploded. "I have never been close to her! And if it's a ministry job she's interested in, why not Arthur? Or Kingsley? Or ANYONE else?"

"Good, then it's settled." I have absolutely no choice here, and am completely out of my league. "Thank you so much Severus. It's good to know one of our prized students will be in the hands of such an admirable man."

I nodded curtly, but nothing more; I knew I was beat. "May I take my leave then, Headmistress?"

"You may, Severus. Oh, one more thing. Be sure to remember to be a bit more resereved in your displeasure with decisions next time, and give my best to Miss Granger when you see her."

I nodded once more and left, heading for my office and a quick cure for a splitting headache.

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