Prologue: Godric's Hollow

The door to the little home in Godric's Hollow blasted open and Severus Snape looked down at the woman he loved lying lifeless down on the polished floor. His black eyes normally so cold and sharp like that of a shark swam with unshed tears. Even in death the hat muggle-born looked so beautiful. Red hair splayed out, eyes closed, lips curved and slightly smiling, if one hadn't known what had just happened here she might have been asleep by her son after playing a game. But sadly that was not the case, pale and gaunt she was not asleep but dead. He had seen the flash of pale green light before he could get there and knew all was lost.

He had heard her cry of, "not Harry, please not Harry! Take me; kill me, but not Harry!"

Severus heard nothing after that save for one word no. That was all he heard after that, the repeated denial and the pounding of his heart. He had burst through the door into the house when the light had died down, looking frantically about the room. He ran through the house, knocking down the furniture as he went on his way. The wizard smirked as the wedding photo of James and her toppled to the ground. His mind screamed at him as he picked up the picture and stared at the fractured glass and sliced his finger painfully, the blood dripping over Lilly's beautiful face as his beloved's image became tainted.

His smile faded as he called out, "Lilly! Lilly!" but it was to no avail. Then in one broken shout, "Rosebud!" still no answer, he ran on, "Lilly! Rosebud! Please!" he tried again.

He had always called her that, his rosebud the only woman he had ever truly felt anything for. The one woman he would die for, if he found her hurt but that was impossible because he had been promised by Dumbledore that, in return for his betraying Voldemort he would keep them safe. Dumbledore was a man of his word and so nothing would happen to her, he had hoped. But that was too good to last, for it seemed that even a promise meant nothing to him. Dumbledore was not a man of his word for here lying before him was the love of his life. She was dead as a doornail and he had given up his place in the world order for nothing.

Severus dropped to his knees and gathered her close, "oh no, no…rosebud not my rosebud." He cried out, "Open your eyes Lilly… please…"

Her hand twitched in his from a reflex movement and for a moment he looked down at her with hope in his black eyes. He shook her in his embrace, desperate to wake the woman he loved, praying that the old wizard had kept his promise. But nothing happened save for the opening of her lifeless eyes from the movement. Severus tried every form of resuscitation that he could think of whether it be muggle or wizardry, anything to revive her. It was no use; his love was as lifeless as the people he himself had helped the Dark Lord kill.

"Gone…dead…" the wizard stole a kiss from her lifeless lips, "Lilly my lovely Lilly…" his grief turned to anger, "He promised you would be safe!" he shouted.

The beauty was limp in his arms, looking at him through her sightless emerald eyes; he had always loved those eyes. So charming and beautiful, so alight with the warmth of a heart too big for her, he remembered her husband had often called her Lilly-flower, or Lil and it made him sick to the stomach. That man had no concept of the beauty that his wife beheld, her innocence, her purity everything that she was. Rosebud was the only name that suited the beautiful redhead and Potter should know that! Hell that stupid git did not have the brains to realize how much she should have been loved!

Speaking of Potter, where was he anyway? Didn't the bloody fool know that his wife was lying here dead in the arms of his arch-rival? He did not want to go look for him; he hated Potter with every fiber of his being. That bloody git tormented him in school and took his rosebud from him and married her to boot so that he had nary a chance with her. Snape sighed and released her, going over towards the door he stumbled over something thick and heavy and entirely stiff.

He took out his wand, the black stick of wood shaky in his hand as he raised it to point down at the object he had stepped on. "Lumos," He whispered and the tip lit up.

The man let out a cry of terror as he looked down at the once-handsome James Potter. The antagonists of his boyhood years, dead just like his wife. He was bloody and his face was twisted, it seemed like the Dark Lord had used a sectumsempra curse on him. His shirt was cut up and blood flowed everywhere, some had dried already and was powdered and grainy. It seemed that someone had used the torture-curse on him too and Merlin what a mess! Snape grimaced at the gruesome sight, true he had hated the man but still this was just brutal.

Severus pulled the blanket from the double bed and draped it over him out of respect for the dead. Sighing, he rubbed the bridge of his long nose as he bent down and began to clean up just to have something to do. Just so that he could think of something else besides Lilly, he cleaned by the muggle method, summoning a mop and bucket. He knew it would take more time than if he did it by magic, so he kept his mind blank as he cleaned. The wizard worked until the next morning when the greying son peaked over the horizon.

By the time he had finished he was so tired that he slumped down against the wall, the mop clattered to the floor and his eyes closed. The wall was soft to him, obviously covered in a thick smooth owl-wallpaper. He was breathing deeply in no time and when he woke again, the sound of a baby crying pierced his eardrums. Snape sat up and looked at the crib where a one-year old toddler was standing in his crib. Harry James he remembered his name, he remembered the day when Lilly had invited him to see the boy. Snape remembered well how proud she was and how tearful when James denied her allowing him to be Godfather.

The Potions Master sneered at the memory as he closed his eyes and for a moment was back at St. Mungo's in a room with the three Potters. Hiding in the shadows until Lilly motioned for him to come over to the bed and make a cradle with his arms. He did and she placed little Harry in his arms, much to the annoyance of his father. James had never liked Severus and he really did not like that his son was so comfortable in his arms, but that was just it Snape loved to tork the stupid git off. He had held the little green-eyed boy tightly in his hands but not tight enough to harm him, James Potter scowled at him not liking how comfy the child was.

When he closed his eyes it flashed before him, the last time he had seen his beloved alive in the summer exactly one year ago. He could see the day her child was born, the memory was sharp and clear as a bell. The room the baby and the realization that his world had changed forever in a way she had forbidden him to speak of. Their secret, the secret her marriage forbid and one that only the two of them knew and the one that must have haunted Potter to the core of his being. Because he and his Lilly knew that no matter how beautiful James Potter was Snape would always have one thing he would not.

He had a son and he remembered the day he was born perfectly…

Severus had appeared in the pristine white room of St. Mongo's hospital in a puff of smoke that sunny day in July. The nurse telling his rosebud that she must do exactly what she is told—exactly or else there would be trouble. Lilly was agreeing of course, because really what woman in that state wanted trouble of any sort? James for his part was muttering the encouraging words that were required of the male spouse as his wife lay tired, weepy and pale against the pillows of her bed gripping her husband's hand and screaming as another pain hit her.

"You can do it Lilly honey, you can." Said her husband .and glared when Snape came out of the shadows.

"Potter…" he acknowledged with a curt nod.

"What you doing here Snivellus?" sneered the handsome wizard.

"I am here at Lilly's request." He told him coldly, "Not that it's any concern of yours."

"Bollix!" he snarled, "Get out before I…" but Lilly interrupted him.

"Sev…You came…" Lilly sounded relieved and reached for his hand with a watery smile that tugged at his heart.

"Wouldn't miss it…" he told her gently.

She smiled and hugged him weakly before giving him her other hand. Snape smirked at her husband a little smugly he had to admit and gripped her hand in his long crooked fingers. The birth went on for what felt like an eternity with both men telling her what a wonderful job she was doing and that she needed to keep pushing for a little while longer. Always a little while longer until at last with a great cry and one final shove the little boy was in the arms of the nurse who was grinning and held him up to the light in joy and pride at doing her job well and successfully.

"It's a little boy!" she said proudly, and then handed him to a rather stunned Severus assuming by her relief that he was the father.

"Harry James Potter…"James boasted proudly.

Little Harry curled up in his long slender arms and sucked on his thumb closing his eyes, he had not had even a hint of the Potter hair and the good-looks but then he had that beguiling charm his mother possessed. Severus had to smile at the baby as he dropped slowly off to sleep and made tiny noises at him. Lilly smiled and placed a companionable hand on his arm, causing her husband to growl irritably. Snape held the baby to his chest his heart skipping a beat as he looked down at the child in his arms.

"He's beautiful." She said sleepily.

Her husband may have missed the note of realization in her voice but Snape did not and he gave her a nod and she paled. Shaking her head rapidly she pleaded with him to be silent with her eyes and he nodded allowing Potter to kiss her and revel in stolen joy. He had half a mind to shout that it was his baby and to hell with the consequences of his actions. No he couldn't do that he promised Lilly so he had to settle for the lamest most generic response he could think of.

"Indeed he is." Snape replied, sadness at the situation abating his joy he felt all to quickly..

He placed the little boy back in his mother's arms and he started to wail, refusing to be quiet until she asked Snape to hold him again. The other not being able to deny her anything nodded and picked him up again and then the child was quiet. He smiled again and James stepped into the room looking positively flustered as he yanked Harry from his hold, causing the child to whimper. Snape made shushing sounds, feeling envious at the man for giving Lilly the husband he always felt he should have been.

"Hands off my son, Snivellus!" he fumed.

My son, thought the other but said nothing as the child was torn from his arms and held by the other man. Snape laughed when the boy cried, not because he enjoyed the sound of children crying but because he had been quiet when he had been holding him. Now in his father's arms he wailed and whimpered. Snape knew why and the pain in his heart shot like a torture-curse, because that was his son not James' his and he had only just gotten to hold the boy for the first time.

"But Jamie, he's my best friend." Lilly protested, "And Godfather to my son."

"No, Padfoot is!" James shouted, "Snivelly will not be Harry's Godfather! "James turned to him, "Stay away from my family Snivellus!" he said and coldly punched him.

"James!" Lilly snapped.

"No Mrs. Potter, I'm leaving. Goodbye." He said and left.

She had wanted him to be Godfather but not father to her child; she wanted to pretend what they had done one night meant nothing. But he knew otherwise, he knew the reason Harry's father was so defensive. Severus knew as he walked into the nursery that he was not looking at James Potter…but at himself. James must've known too when he looked at Harry's long nose and slender form when James himself was built like a Greek god but of course he did not question his wife because what man would want to think of that.

He wouldn't, that was for sure and the thought that there certainly was a chance that she might have birthed the Potter boy was painful as it was. Snape knew that the night she had come to say goodbye to him before her wedding day was just one time…one encounter her first though it might have been. That was another thing he had that his rival did not, the woman's innocence. But that meant nothing because she had not meant to, or so she said but he had known she was trying to convince herself.

But the fact that he would see his son grow up as Harry James Potter and never know him was just too much. She had called after him but he had been too angry at the time to even say goodbye to her in a gentle way and God he wished he had. The last thing he had said was out of anger and now he had to live with it for the rest of his days. All he could do was know that he had a son and someday maybe she would tell him the truth, about who he was and then maybe the boy would come home to him someday.

Because despite their denials Severus was sure that he and Lilly had not been able to ignore the reality as it stared them straight in the face. Harry was no Potter and now as painful as it was he could claim what was rightfully his. It had only been once but that boy was his, and par Lilly's wishes he had kept it quiet but now he could do what he had longed to since that one night a year ago. He, Severus Snape could claim his flesh and blood and that was exactly what he intended to do.

He went into the room and picked up the boy who had soiled himself and was weeping and calling for mama as little boys were wont to do. Snape noticed that the boy sported a lightning scar on his forehead, but when the child buried his head in the man's neck Snape felt tears coming. His son, his and Lily's son knew that daddy had come to take him home and so he kissed the child on his head. The baby gurgled and shut his beautiful green eyes, beginning to snore even at his age. Snape reached down and pulled off his beloved's cloak, wrapping the baby in it to keep him warm and sitting down in the rocking chair.

Despite the urgency of escaping before his former master saw him he just wanted one moment with the child he had brought into the world. The only child he would ever bring into the world and so he watched Harry sleep. Marveling at both his beauty and his resemblance to his birthfather, the skinniness, the long nose and the greasy, messy black hair and how pale he was besides. But those striking emerald eyes, the eyes of his mother that had at one time looked at him so adoringly and now had been given to his son. Of course, that name would have to be changed; no son of his would be named after James the lazy arrogant swine.

He leaned down over the boy one hand behind his head the other under his chin in thought. The first name was fine, Lilly had often talked about wanting a son named Harry but the middle name no... His son would have his name, middle namesake and last name to match. The wizard bent down and kissed the boy again and this time little Harry woke and blinked up at him making a soft gurgling sound as all babies did and the man slowly swept to his feet. Holding the child close he leaned down into the crib and picked up the stuffed owl laying in the crib.

Harry squeaked happily and reached up for the toy with the eager curiosity of infants causing Snape to smile as he handed it over and the child nursed on its head drooling. Gathering the child close he allowed the world to fade around them and the two faded into the night sky and then to spinners end where he lived. As he stepped inside he transfigured one of the four couches to a baby bassinet, complete with rocker. He laid the infant down and covered him; putting his owl in beside him before making sure his mother's cloak was snug he kissed his flesh and blood again.

"Good night Harry Severus Snape."

This is my first story so tell me if I should keep going...