Back to School
After a little while, Albus walked back into the house. Shacklebolt was finally getting up from the floor. Though he was still wobbly on his feet, he was standing. When Albus walked back into the kitchen, he noticed that the children were not downstairs.
“Molly,” Albus said, quieting the low voices which were talking around the table. “Might I impose on you and Arthur for Harry to stay here for the rest of the summer?”
Aberforth looked shocked by his brother's question. This was not what they were supposed to be doing here, he thought.
“But I thought...,” Molly began but was quickly cut off by her husband.
“Of course, Albus. Harry's welcome here to stay as long as he needs.”
“Thank you,” Albus said, looking over at his brother. “Well, I will not hold you any longer. Minerva.” Albus walked over towards the Transfiguration professor and put his hand on her shoulder. “Would you like an escort back to Hogwarts?”
“Thank you, Albus,” Minerva said with a small smile on her face. “But I have something to do first before I head back to school.”
Albus nodded and headed out of the kitchen, this time Aberforth was leaving as well. The two Dumbledores walked out of the house heading for the apparition spot.
“I thought you wanted to bring Harry with us,” Aberforth whispered as they walked.
“I can't,” Albus growled.
“Because he already has the protection of another. I can't circumvent it. Not yet.”
“So, what now, little brother?” sneered Aberforth.
Albus looked at his brother in disgust. “We wait for the right opportunity. I'll see you later. I must go to the Ministry. I have to meet the new Defense professor.”
“I thought you handled all new hires.” Aberforth raised a skeptical brow.
“Well, after the fiasco with Moody, and Fudge still determined to believe that Voldemort is not back, he wants to hand pick the next professor himself.” Albus shook his head.
“I'll be at the bar.” With that, Aberforth apparated away.
Albus looked back at the Burrow; then he too apparated.
Harry walked upstairs after leaving the Headmaster outside. He found Hermione and Ron sitting in Charlie's room.
“What happened?” Hermione asked as soon as she saw Harry at the door.
“He just wanted to talk,” Harry answered, sliding past her to fully enter the room.
“He wanted me to come back to Hogwarts.”
“Now?” Ron asked, opening his mouth for the first time since Harry came in the room.
Harry looked at Ron. “Yeah. I told him that I'm safer here than anywhere else.”
Ron didn't respond to that other than nod.
“I saw Sirius, Remus, and Professor Snape leave after you did,” Hermione stated.
“Yeah,” was the only response Harry gave.
The tension in the room was high. It was making Hermione uncomfortable. She looked from Harry to Ron, and back to Harry again. She could see that whatever the problem was, Harry looked remorseful and Ron looked angered.
“Okay,” Hermione said, breaking the tense silence that came across the room. “What happened between you two?”
“Nothing,” Ron ground out.
“Something had to have happened,” she countered. “The tension is just too much.”
“I'm sorry, Ron,” Harry said.
“Yeah,” Ron said, standing up walking towards Harry. “What are you actually sorry for? For hitting me? For sticking my family to the floor? Or picking that Greasy Git over your best friend?”
By the time Ron finished his tirade, he was yelling. There was a pop into the room and the twins were now standing on either side of Ron.
“Oi, calm down,” Fred said.
“What's with all the yelling?” George asked.
“Would you two stop doing that?” Ron yelled. He pushed George aside and bolted out of the room. Fred followed him. George looked at Harry as he saw the boy sit down on the bed. He looked as if he deflated. Hermione sat next to Harry and squeezed his hand.
“I don't know what's happening,” Harry whispered. “I really don't know why I'm comfortable around Snape now. But I'm not choosing him over Ron, or you. It's just different.”
Hermione let go of Harry's hand to wrap both of her arms around the boy and embraced him.
“You know how hotheaded Ron can be,” Hermione soothed. “Give him time. He'll see.”
George walked out of the room to find his twin and younger brother. It didn't take long since Ron and Fred were two rooms down, in Fred's and George's room.
“....it's always Harry,” George heard when he walked into the room. Fred was sitting on his bed and Ron was sitting on George's bed.
“You know,” George said, surprising both brothers in the room. “Your jealously will cause you to really lose the friendship you have in Harry.”
“I'm not jealous of him,” Ron fumed. His face turning beet red.
“Oh, really,” Fred said, quirking his eyebrow. “And what would you call how you acted last year, during the tournament?”
“You cannot control Harry. And you cannot control who he talks with or spends time with. You can't.”
“He's my friend,” Ron said, sounding like a petulant child.
“And if you want him to remain your friend,” Fred said. “Then you need to support him and not be jealous that he's found someone to look up to.”
“But why Snape?” Ron whined.
“Why don't you stop being a git and go ask him?” George said.
Ron got up from George's bed and walked to the door, but instead of going to Charlie's room, he went towards the stairs and headed for his room.
“Forge,” Fred said, standing next to his twin. “Your brother's an idiot.”
“I know, Gred,” George sighed. “I know.”
The rest of the summer became a routine. Remus and Sirius stayed with the Weasleys. Minerva went back to the castle a few days after the meeting. When she got there, Albus informed her that Hogwarts build her a new chamber closer to the Gryffindor common room, so she came back so that she could get settled in and begin work for the upcoming semester. Severus went back to Spinner's End so that he could complete the potion that he was working on for Voldemort. Also, he wanted no ties between him and his home in Lewisham.
It was two weeks before the start of term on a rainy morning when there was knock at his door. Not expecting anyone that early, Severus cautiously walked to the door. When he saw who were outside, he opened the door. Shock was apparent on his face as he stood aside and let the two people in his house.
“What can I do for you?” Severus asked, as he sat back down in his chair. The other two occupants sat on the small sofa.
Removing the hood of her cloak, Narcissa let her blond and black hair show.
“Narcissa,” Severus said, with a small amount of shock in his tone. “What do I owe the honor of your presence?”
“I need your help, Severus,” pleaded Narcissa.
“You can't trust him,” growled out the other person on the sofa.
“Now, now, Bellatrix,” Severus smirked. “There is no need for such a statement. Narcissa knows she can trust me.”
Forcefully removing her hood, Bellatrix stood up. “You're a spy,” she ground out.
“Yes, I am,” Severus said, coolly. “The Dark Lord wants a spy. I'm his choice.”
Bellatrix huffed in frustration and walked over to the mantle.
“Just ask him what you want, Cissy, so we can go,” Bellatrix fumed.
Severus looked from Bellatrix to Cissy, who still hadn't stood from her seat.
“I'm here to ask if you would watch over Draco.” Narcissa said. “I'm worried about him this year.”
Severus looked at Narcissa, to Bella, and back again. He narrowed his eyes, looking at Narcissa with a cold, calculating look gave his answer.
A small gasp could be heard from the sofa.
“See, Cissy?” Bellatrix yelled. “You can't trust this half blood.”
“Severus, please,” Narcissa pleaded. “The Dark Lord...”
“I know what the Dark Lord wants from Draco,” Severus said, cutting Narcissa off. “I also know why he chose Draco for this mission.” Severus looked at Bella. “It is a punishment for what your sister started. One that the Dark Lord knows that he will fail. I cannot go against the Dark Lord once his mind is made up.”
“How could you know anything,”
sneered Bellatrix, walking closer to Severus. “You're nothing.
Nothing special at all.”
“No?” Severus said, standing up in Bellatrix's face. “Well, let me tell you about the 'nothing' that I know. I know that if it wasn't for your idiotic actions you wouldn't be here trying to save your nephew's life. Your actions are the reason that the Dark Lord is punishing your family. Should Draco succeed in his quest, he would still lose part of his humanity. Why you thought an alliance with Aberforth Dumbledore was a good idea, I'll never know,” Severus tsked.
“I got very viable information from them,” Bellatrix said, her voice raising in tone, trying to show that her actions were not as idiotic as he said. “I found out where Potter was.”
“Yes,” Severus agreed, then sneered. “And what good did it do when you killed everyone in the house and still don't have Potter?”
“How do you know all this?” Bellatrix sounded defeated.
Severus just looked at her then walked over towards the sofa and sat down next to Narcissa.
“I'm sorry, Narcissa,” Severus said in a low voice. “But I cannot interfere with the Dark Lord's plan.”
“But he's your godson,” Narcissa pleaded, grabbing Severus' hands.
Severus removed his hands from her grip.
“I do believe that I lost that title after Draco's first year. I also believe that you said you would not have your son becoming a potions master. You wanted your son to follow his father. So it was you that severed that tie between Draco and myself. Which I know was hard for the child, wondering where I was. Now he doesn't see me in any way other than his professor. That was your doing. So, no, I will not interfere with what Draco has to do. Good day, ladies.”
Severus got up and walked to the doorway. He then turned and waited for his guests to get up. Narcissa was still sitting on the sofa, tears streaming down her cheeks as her last effort to save her son didn't go the way she'd hope.
“Come on, Cissy,” Bellatrix said, walking over to her sister and grabbing her arm. “Let's go. I told you he was too cowardly to help.”
Narcissa looked up at her sister. The glare she was giving her sister rivaled any that Severus would give to his students. Severus could see that this was about to get ugly really quickly and wandlessly cast Protego around his meager possessions.
Narcissa's anger was coming off her in waves. Bellatrix couldn't move her hand from his sister's arm. She could see the anger in her eyes and knew that there would be no pleasing Narcissa. The next moment Bellatrix was thrown across the room and landed roughly in the chair that Severus was sitting in earlier.
“This is all your fault,” Narcissa voice was full of emotion but strong. “I promise you this, dear sister,” Narcissa stood and strolled over to her sister's crumpled body in the chair. “If anything, anything at all, happens to my son, I will kill you. You better pray that Draco survives what he has to do. Severus is right; this is all your fault.”
Narcissa quickly turned and walked out of the room, passing Severus without saying one more word, leaving the small house. Severus looked at the door and then back to Bellatrix, who was still sitting in the chair.
“There is no reason for you to still be here, Bellatrix,” Severus said in a bored tone, walking over to the side table and picking up the book he was reading before the Black sisters came over.
Trying to save face, Bellatrix grabbed hold of Severus' arm. “Don't think I don't know anything about you. You may say that you have no ties to your precious mother, but I know different.”
Severus glare turned cold at the woman who was still sitting in the chair. She was so determined to stare the Potion master down she didn't know until it was too late that he penetrated her mind. He went to her deepest thoughts with such forcefulness that she began to scream in the chair, but she couldn't look away from the cold onyx eyes that bore into her soul.
Severus saw everything. He saw Bellatrix and Fenir go to Hagrid's hut. They killed the dog. Put the Imperio curse on Hagrid and had him kidnap his mother. He saw where they held her and Hagrid. Seeing that information, Severus retreated from Bellatrix's mind in a rush that almost had him in tears from the sensation. He then put all the information he received behind his wall of protection and put up his best Occlumency shield and looked down at the sobbing mess in his chair.
Grabbing Bellatrix's arm, Severus pulled her from the chair and forcefully pushed her out of his house. She fell to the ground by the force of the push. The rain beating down on her, she gripped her aching head. Tears streaming down her face mixed with the rain, she looked up at the sky and then apparated away.
Anger was boiling in the Potion master. His anger was turning to rage. Every attempt of calming down was not working. He needed to get out of that house. With the potion he was working on, it would not do well if he was not at full concentration when dealing with it. With a quick spin of his heel, Severus apparated back to his home in Lewisham.
Severus paced back and forth in his study, trying to calm down.
“Severus, is that you?”
“Yes,” he answered. “I'm in the study.”
Footsteps were heard in the hallway until they stopped in the doorway.
“I know who took mother and why,” Severus sighed. Now that he was talking his anger diminished and hurt and anguish filled him.
The person walked in the room, slowly, until their hands met. Slowly the hands made their way up to his shoulders and Severus was turned around and brought into an embrace.
The ride on the Hogwarts Express was a normal one. Harry, Hermione and Ron were in a car by themselves. Snuffles lay curled up on the floor in front of Harry's feet. Even though Ron and Harry weren't talking that much, it wasn't as tense in the room with the two of them. Harry was looking out of the window, Hermione was reading a book and Ron was asleep laying against the window. Things were quiet for the trio. And neither one complained. It was nice to have quiet for a while.
The train stopped and everyone got changed into their robes. The trio and Snuffles shared a horseless buggy with Neville and Luna on the way to the school. No one spoke.
In the Great Hall, and after the sorting of the new students, Professor Dumbledore stood up for a few announcements.
“Welcome to another year at Hogwarts,” he said with the ever present twinkle in his eyes. “Now before we start our most wonderful feast, I would like to warn everyone that the forest is out of bounds. Also, I would like to introduce your new Defense professor. Please welcome Professor Delores Umbridge.”
Everyone looked up at the head table. Harry could see the disgust in his Professor's face even if it was subtle. A small smirk came across Harry's face when he looked at Snape.
A high pitch noise interrupted the Headmaster. All eyes turned to the woman in all pink.
“Thank you, Headmaster, for those lovely words of welcome,” Umbridge said. Her voice had a sweetly sickening tone to it. “And what lovely children I see before me. Such wonderful witches and wizards. Now, I know that the past your Professors have been lacking in teaching you wonderful children the proper standards. I wish to convey to all of you that it will cease now. You will be taught the prescribed manner as governed by the Minister. I will not tolerate trouble makers and they will be swiftly dealt with. I hope we all have a wonderful year.” She then turned and sat back down in her seat.
“Let the feast begin,” Albus said after a few seconds.
Harry looked at the woman in pink and couldn't help the feeling that she was looking directly at him when she talked about trouble makers.
After dinner, everyone went to their respective houses to finish getting settled for the night. Hermione, Ron and Harry were sitting on the sofa in front of the fire when Professor McGonnagall came in.
“Potter,” she called out. “Come with me.”
“Man, Harry,” Ron teased. “You haven't been here a whole day yet and you're getting called to the Professor's office.”
“Shut it,” Harry shot back, happy that Ron and he were talking again.
Harry followed his Head-of-House out of the common room and towards her office.
“Have a seat, Harry,” Minerva said as she opened the door.
Harry sat down in the chair across from the desk and folded his hands in his lap. Minerva sat behind her desk and looked at her young charge.
“Let me ask you something,” Minerva started. “When was the last time you saw Severus?”
Harry looked up at his Transfiguration Professor with a little shock in his eyes. It was not something that he was expecting.
“Um, the meeting at the Weasleys. Why?”
Minerva nodded, but didn't answer his question instead she asked another one. “How have you been feeling?”
“Feeling?” Harry asked with a shrug. “Fine.”
“Alright, Potter, listen,” Minerva said leaning on her elbows on the desk. “I've been doing a little digging while I was here. After you were stuck to Severus when Remus and I got to the Burrow it got me wondering.” Harry's face began to heat at the reminder of how he acted at the Burrow. “I didn't mean to embarrass you, Harry. But I had to find out. After we all left the Burrow, how did you feel? Honestly.”
“Okay in the beginning,” Harry sighed. “Then I started to feel antsy and agitated.” Minerva nodded. “What's going on?”
“And how did you feel when you walked into the Great Hall?”
“Fine,” Harry shrugged. “Better, even.”
“Okay,” Minerva smiled at Harry. She pulled out a small piece of parchment and wrote on it. She then rolled it up and handed it to Harry. “I want you to take this down to the dungeons and put it into Severus' hands. I'm sure you know where his office is.” Harry nodded. “Do you understand?”
“Yes, Professor,” Harry said, skeptically, but not moving from the seat.
“Now, Mr. Potter,” Minerva said with amusement in her voice.
Harry, making the trek down to the dungeons, was stopped once he passed the Great Hall.
“Mr. Potter, is it?”
Harry stopped and turned to the sickening sweet voice of the new Defense professor.
“Yes, Professor Umbridge,” Harry said, turning to face her.
“A little late to be wandering the halls, don't you think?”
“I was heading down to Professor Snape's office,” Harry explained. “Professor McGonnagall told me to.”
“Very well,” Delores conceded. “I guess it's too early in the semester to start trouble.”
So she was looking directly at me, Harry thought.
“I think I will escort you down to Professor Snape's office. Just to be sure that you go straight there and not wander off somewhere.”
Before Harry could object, he was being forced down the hall towards the stairs to the dungeons, his arm held in a firm grip. Faster than Harry thought possible, they were standing outside Snape's office. Harry knocked.
“Enter,” came the command from the other side of the door.
Severus looked up just in time to see who entered. He didn't miss the slight push Delores gave Harry when they stepped through the doorway. Severus raised his eyebrow at his two guests.
“And to what do I owe to this intrusion?” Severus drawled, folding his hands over the papers of his desk.
“Mr. Potter tells me he was sent here,” Delores stated.
“Do tell,” Severus looked from Delores to Harry. “So, Potter, already making a fan of the new Professor? Hoping to get on her good side?”
Delores huffed at the remark, but didn't say anything. Harry, for some reason, wasn't hurt by the jibe. It was like he could tell there was no malice behind the Professor's words.
“Well, if you're not waiting for an autograph from Potter, is there a reason you're here?”
Delores huffed again, this time turning and storming out of the office, slamming the door in her wake.
“Good riddance,” Severus muttered, focusing his attention back to the papers on his desk. He then looked up at Harry, pointing the end of his quill at him. “I want you to not cross her, do you understand me?”
“Yes, sir,” Harry responded, still standing in the doorway.
“Well, don't just stand there,” Severus said. “Why are you down here? And where is the mutt?”
Harry walked over towards the desk and pulled out the small piece of parchment.
“Professor McGonagall wanted me to give you this,” he said, handing the parchment over. “Snuffles is in the dorm. Professor McGonagall pulled me away while I was in the Common Room. I didn't have time to get him.”
“Stupid mutt,” Severus muttered as he took the parchment from Harry. “I know it will be difficult to have the mutt walking around with you, but I would still like him close to you.”
“Now, because of the term, I must keep my true feelings at bay. So in order for that to happen, we must go back to the way things were.”
Harry looked at his Professor. Back to the way things were. He didn't want to do that. He liked how it was those two weeks. He didn't want to go back.
“Harry,” Severus voice was sharp. “Do pay attention.”
“Sorry sir,” Harry sighed.
“If you were listening, which I know you weren't you would have heard me say that I am going to schedule a weekly meeting with you so that this,” he held up the parchment. “won't be a factor.”
Now Harry was really confused. Weekly meetings?
“Sir, what's on the parchment?”
Severus raised an eyebrow and slid the parchment to the edge of the desk. Harry picked it up and read it. Magical Parental Bonding.
Harry looked at the parchment and then back to his Professor, confusion all over the child's face.
“What that means, Harry,” Severus stated, “is that night when we got to the Burrow and you stuck yourself to me, we bonded. A bond as strong as a parent and child. You are now my child in everything but blood.”
I like many of you were affected on the passing of Alan Rickman. Unlike most of you, he was the reason that I gave Harry Potter a chance. When I heard that he was going to be in the movie, did I decide to give the movie a look. After watching the movie, I completely adored the story. I went out and bought the already published four books and waited with everyone else for the last three.
Alan Rickman was extraordinary in everything he did. He was the only man I knew that could cancel Christmas. A lot of people say that he was more than just Severus Snape, and that he was, but he brought a whole new life to our Potions Professor. There will never be another Alan Rickman. His voice alone was one in a million.
Alan Rickman, you will be greatly missed.
I dedicate this chapter to the man that gave us the silky, baritone voice that everyone hears in their head when they read Severus Snape talking.
February 21, 1946 January 14, 2016