Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
A special thanks to The Lonely God With a Box for beta'ing my story.
A/N: I hope you enjoy this chapter. :)
Severus, Sirius and Harry were walking up the path that led to the Burrow. Harry was a few steps in front of the older wizards. He was actually excited to see everyone. He hadn't talked to any of them since the ride home on the train. Harry was so caught up in his excitement that he didn't even hear the conversation between Sirius and Severus behind him.
“So,” Sirius had a small smile on his face. “Snape-McGonagall, huh?”
“I don't want to discuss it,” Severus retorted.
“So how long have you been a Gryffindor?” Sirius snorted, trying to keep from laughing.
“I am not a Gryffindor,” Severus sneered.
“You are a lion in snake's clothing,” Sirius shaking his head. “Or well, bat's clothing.”
Severus pinched the bridge of his nose. He could feel a headache already starting to come on. There was already a lot on his mind and now he was now suffering Sirius' mocking. This day just couldn't get any worse.
“Seriously, Snape,” Sirius sobered. “I'm really happy for you. I'm glad that you have someone on your side.” Sirius left a shell-shocked Severus standing in the same spot while he caught up with Harry.
Severus stopped, shocked, and watched a man that in the past two days surprise him over and over. He was completely dumbfounded by Sirius' declaration.
He's happy for me, Severus thought. Since when had Sirius Black, the man who made my school days hell on earth, pretty much told me that he was happy for me?
“Professor,” Harry called out bringing Severus out of his musing. “Come on.”
Severus walked on and caught up with Sirius and Harry.
After Severus, Sirius and Harry left, Remus stayed with Minerva. There was a comfortable silence between the two. After a few minutes Remus cleared his throat and Minerva looked over at him.
“So,” Remus smiled a little. “Snape-McGonagall.” A shy smile came across the Transfiguration Professor. “When did you adopt him?”
“Oh, I think it was when you all were in the seventh year, but I've been there for him since his mother died.”
“May I ask, why?”
Minerva looked at her former student.
“You know, Severus is a very quiet, personal man. He doesn't like to put his business out there. Yes, he can be unapproachable and stubborn, but deep down he has a wonderful heart. He's had a hard life. And you boys did not make it any better for him. To be tormented at school and then when he got home....” Minerva trailed off.
Remus was beginning to feel uncomfortable at the way the conversation was going, but he couldn't stop the questions since she started down the path that led to Severus' past.
“What happened at his home?” Remus found himself asking. “Forgive me,” he quickly said. “It is none of my business.”
Minerva settled into a comfortable spot on the bed and looked at Remus.
“No, maybe not,” she began. “But if things are going to be clear, maybe you need to know.” She paused before continuing. “I'm sure that since you've now started working together that Severus has disclosed what has happened to Harry in his lifetime while with those Muggles?” Remus nodded. “Well, Severus' past is really no different than Harry's. Maybe even worse than Harry's.”
Remus' eyes got as big as saucers. He couldn't believe what he was hearing. Severus was abused. That couldn't be possible. He was a git during school, but he never seemed withdrawn or a loner.
As if reading his thoughts, Minerva broke through the werewolf's musing.
“If you haven't noticed by now, Severus was, is, a very prideful man. He's always been like that and will continue to be that way. Up until his seventh year at Hogwarts, Severus would come to school after the Summer holiday and sneak off to the Potions Lab so that he could fix himself up so that he would go unnoticed with teachers and students. Because he knew that once he stepped inside of Hogwarts, his housemates, the headmaster and four Gryffindors would torment him while he was there.”
“I never did anything to Severus,” Remus quickly defended himself.
“Maybe not,” Minerva shrugged her shoulders. “But you stood there and watched. You're right. You may not have lifted a finger against Severus, but you didn't even lift a finger to help him. In my eyes, that's worse that what Potter and Black could ever do. You had the power to stop it, but you didn't.”
“How was I suppose to stop Sirius and James?” Remus said, feeling like a small chastised child under the scrutiny of his elders, still trying to defend his actions. “Once those idiots got something on their minds they stuck with it. Of course, I tried to stop them. Tried and failed. They would not listen to me. Do you think I liked being part of their prank? I didn't find out that they brought Severus to the Shrieking Shack until the next day.” Remus was shaking in the chair by the end of his rant.
Minerva blinked at her former student, then narrowed her eyes.
“I'm not blaming you for the Shrieking Shack fiasco. You, sweetie, had no control over what happened there. You didn't know.” She saw that Remus began to calm down by what she was saying. “But,” her voice low. “what about at the lake? What about in the halls? No, you may not have participated. Maybe you even hated what they did. But I think things would have been a whole lot different if you did not just stand by and watch it happen. Maybe you would not have been popular with Potter and Black, but you might have gained a friend with Severus. And you would have seen what a truly remarkable child he was.”
When they started this conversation Minerva did not mean to go into a rant or really to upset Remus, but these things needed to be said. She cared for her Gryffindors. Still did, but if they were going to work together for a common goal, then they would have to let go of bad blood between them. She knew she could never be able to talk to James Potter or Peter Pettigrew, but she still had Remus and Sirius and she would not let this hang over her and her former students.
She looked over at her student and saw that he was in a true state of remorse and dejection. Remus sat with his head down and his shoulders slumped. She did not want to leave it to where Remus thought that she only blamed him for what happened. It wasn't completely his fault, but he did need to own up to what he did, or rather didn't do.
“Remus,” Minerva called out, holding out her hand. “Look at me.”
When he lifted his head, she couldn't help that her heart clenched in her chest for her student. Remus had un-shed tears in his eyes.
“Come here,” Minerva opened up her arms.
Remus stood up and walked over the few steps to her. She grabbed his hand and pulled him down till he was sitting on the edge of the bed and she brought him towards her in an embrace.
“Listen to me,” Minerva soothed in the werewolf's ear. “It's over with and done. But this needed to be said.” She rubbed his back soothingly as he slightly shook in her arms. “It will be alright.”
Flitwick sat with Hagrid for the last few days as he waited for him to wake up. After Filius found Hagrid in the entrance way, he levitated the giant and brought him to his room. Since his room was closer than the Infirmary, it would be easier to stop there and bring Poppy to him than try to take Hagrid up to the Infirmary. He was later disturbed that Poppy was no where to be found. He knew he was not one to take care of the sick, but he just couldn't turn a blind eye to the Gameskeeper so he just kept watch over Hagrid and hope that he would awaken when he was ready. His wait finally ended when the half giant began to stir. The Charms Professor was at the giants side when he heard him waking up.
“Hagrid,” Filius quietly called his name.
“Where...where am I?” Hagrid asked, looking at the short wizard.
“In my chambers. You've been unconscious for three days.” Filius levitated his high back chair and sat next to the giant. “Do you remember what happened?”
Hagrid blinked a couple of times. He tried to remember the last few days. Then it came back to him. His beloved dog was dead. Tears began to pool in his eyes.
“Fang's dead,” Hagrid sobbed.
Filius knew how much Hagrid loved his dog. As a matter of fact, he knew how Hagrid loved all his animals that he took care of, but Fang held a special place in his heart. The Charms Professor reached over and tried to give the gentle giant some comfort. He patted his shoulder as Hagrid cried. He sat in silence as he watched Hagrid morn the loss of his beloved dog.
After some time, Hagrid began to calm down, Filius called down to the elves to order up some tea. When the tea came, they sat in a comfortable silence. Hagrid was very grateful for the Professor sitting with him, and being there for him. While they sat, Hagrid began to feel a piercing ache behind his eyes. Filius looked up at Hagrid and noticed that he was squinting.
“You alright there, Hagrid?”
“I'm okay,” Hagrid pinched the bridge of his nose. “I'm fine. Just a small headache.”
“Well, let me know if there is anything that I can do for you.”
The piercing pain continued to hurt more and more. Hagrid was not scrunching his face from the pain. He dropped his tea glass. As it shattered on the floor, images began to flood the games keeper's mind. He began to remember more than walking aimlessly through the Dark Forrest.
Hagrid had just finished feeding Fang when there was a knock on his front door. Fang began to bark.
“Coming,” Hagrid called out. “Quiet, you mangy dog.”
When he opened the door, he saw three hooded people standing on the other side. Fang's barking did not stop.
“Can I help you?” Hagrid asked.
The one closest to the door quickly pulled out their wand and pointed it at the dog. “Avada Kedavera.”
A green jet stream flashed past the giant and hit the boarhound on the head. The barking stopped instantly.
Before Hagrid could even react to what just happened, the other person standing in front of him pulled out their wand as well.
All the fight left Hagrid's face the instant the Unforgivable was cast. The last ounce of free will left Hagrid as a lone tear streamed down his cheek.
“You will bring Professor McGonagall here,” ordered the hooded intruder.
With a slight nod, Hagrid made the trek towards the castle. With determined steps he walked through the castle and made it to his destination. He lightly knocked on the door and waited for it to open.
When the door opened, Hagrid was greeted with a warm smile from Professor McGonagall.
“Oh, hi. Come in.”
Hagrid did not return the smile. Before she could ask if everything was alright, Hagrid slammed Minerva into the door frame, knocking her unconscious. He then picked up the Transfiguration Professor and walked back to his hut.
Hagrid opened his eyes and quickly stood up, upsetting the side table that held the tray for their tea.
“Hagrid, careful,” Filius admonished trying to save the tea tray and his table.
“Professor McGonagall,” Hagrid called out not paying attention to Filius.