Author's Note: I'm starting a new story and promise to finish it. I have no idea the ultimate length or my posting regularity (or irregularity as it may be). I do like to post frequently so the story is fresh but I can't promise a certain day to expect updates. I can promise that it will be a journey for this family and will contain love, flashbacks, family, friends, heartache, and a look into present day and all of Severus' 62 years. It is, as always, a Severus/Hermione pairing and one that I am quite interested in exploring a little differently. It's rated M because there will be sex and violence. If you are underage, don't read any further.
The title That's All He's Done For Me comes from Dostoyevsky's The Brother's Karamazov. Here is the quote that applies if you are interested: Do you suppose, gentlemen, that our children as they grow up and begin to reason can avoid such questions? No, they cannot, and we will not impose on them an impossible restriction. The sight of an unworthy father involuntarily suggests tormenting questions to a young creature, especially when he compares him with the excellent fathers of his companions. The conventional answer to this question is: 'He begot you, and you are his flesh and blood, and therefore you are bound to love him.' The youth involuntarily reflects: 'But did he love me when he begot me?' he asks, wondering more and more. 'Was it for my sake he begot me? He did not know me, not even my sex, at that moment, at the moment of passion, perhaps, inflamed by wine, and he has only transmitted to me a propensity to drunkenness- that's all he's done for me... Why am I bound to love him simply for begetting me when he has cared nothing for me all my life after? Oh, perhaps those questions strike you as coarse and cruel, but do not expect an impossible restraint from a young mind. 'Drive nature out of the door and it will fly in at the window'.
I apologize for the crazy long author's note at the start, and if you've read any of my other work know that this is quite the exception to my author's notes (which are usually short).
Please let me know what you think as I love reading reviews and respond to most (if not all) of them. Reviews also encourage me to write more so more reviews=more writing. This is a very different sort of story for me as I always like to challenge myself.
Last bit: The characters are JK Rowlings, I make zero money from this and do it for pure enjoyment.
On with the show!
Severus Snape deftly walked through his dark home knowing each obstacle by heart. The only unforeseen issue could be the luggage that was still piled up at the doorway, but he needed to get to the loo not the entry. He'd refrained, in a moment of sleepy thoughtfulness, from using the one upstairs in hopes he wouldn't pre-emptively wake anyone.
As he relieved himself he thought back on his vacation and smiled. It had been both relaxing and interesting. Visiting the ruins in Greece had been a trip he'd wanted to take for a while but the timing was essential. You needed to be a certain age to appreciate the history and you needed to be of a certain mindset to be awed by the accomplishments. Beaches had never really been his thing, but, he had found himself relaxed and enjoying both the swimming and the peacefulness on several secluded ones they had found.
Severus tucked himself back into his boxers and started to wash his hands.
All in all, he thought, it had been as close to perfect a vacation as possible. He'd had a fortnight of relaxation spent with...
"What?!" Severus snapped at the owl that was pecking on his window.
The owl hooted in reply and looked at him almost perturbed he was being kept waiting.
Severus quickly dried his hands and opened the window. The owl offered its leg and Severus, none too gently, removed the scroll from it.
He sighed before opening it. He wasn't due back at work for two days. Something pressing must have happened and they needed him in immediately. He knew the look he was going to get when he quickly dressed and left. It was a look he hadn't seen in a fortnight and one he wasn't looking forward to seeing again so soon.
He dismissed the owl and wandlessly turned on the low lights in their washroom so he could read the scroll. His eyes took a moment to adjust to the light before he could properly read.
I hope this scroll finds you well. I have attempted to reach you for the last two weeks but have not had any luck getting this owl to you. Unfortunately I am writing you about your father. He is currently in hospital in critical care and...
"Dad?" A voice said quietly from the other side of the door.
Severus, startled, crunched up the scroll in his hand and looked toward the voice.
He opened the door and saw the sleepy face of his eleven year old daughter looking up at him.
"I heard an owl," Miranda said by way of explanation.
"Why are you up so early love?" Severus asked as he guided the bleary-eyed child down the hall and towards the stairs.
"I thought it might be my book list," Miranda explained with a yawn.
"It'll come in a week or so," Severus explained with a small smile. She'd talked about nothing but her first year at Hogwarts most of the summer.
"Okay," Miranda said quietly as she slowly started up the stairs. "Aren't you going back to bed?"
"In a moment love," he offered as he felt the scroll still mangled in his hand.
Miranda merely nodded and trudged down the hall toward her bedroom.
Severus gazed into the dark empty hall for several moments before he looked at the scroll bunched in his hand. He idly thought that he could burn it now, before he read anything further, but knew that would not take away the issue. He needed to know what the problem was before he destroyed the bloody thing.
"So I can fly over to Walter's?" Theo asked anxiously as he shoved bacon into his mouth.
"First you can chew with your mouth closed," Hermione said as she put two eggs in his plate. "Then you can unpack and..."
"Mum!" Theo protested.
"I am not your servant," Hermione said as he placed the pan back on the stove. "We've had a great fortnight Theo, please don't start now."
"Fine," he said as he scowled over his breakfast.
"I've already unpacked," Miranda said with an air of superiority.
"Of course you have," Theo said sarcastically.
Hermione looked at her son and saw his father, in all his sneering glory, in that moment. Theo was, through and through, Severus' son. Quiet and cautious around new people, fiercely loyal to family and friends, sarcastic and intelligent, and loving, despite what he liked to project to the rest of the world. At fourteen Hermione saw what her husband once was and, in some ways still is, a boy looking to please, but not wanting others to know it. He even looked like Severus; tall and lanky, dark hair and eyes with striking features he despised. She thought he was beautiful, like his dad.
"Good morning," Severus said as he shuffled into the kitchen and, coming up behind Hermione, placed one hand on her hip and kissed her cheek lazily, the front of his body leaning into her back.
"This is a rarity," she smiled. "You sleeping beyond all of us."
"He didn't," Miranda explained as Hermione felt Severus tense behind her. "He got an owl early this morning. I thought it was my book list, but dad said it'd be another week or so."
"An owl?" Hermione asked with a raised eyebrow as she turned slightly to see him. "They know you are still technically on vacation until Monday, don't they?"
"Yes," he said softly. "It was...something else."
"What?" Hermione asked as she sensed his hesitancy.
"Later," he said softly into her ear.
She looked at his face carefully and then leaned forward and placed an egg on Miranda's plate breaking their contact and showing him she was not pleased with the secrecy. They had enough secrets in their marriage; they didn't need another.
"Theo's gone to Walter's on his broom and Miranda is outside reading in the garden, are you going to tell me about the owl or do I have to guess?" Hermione asked as she walked into the study where he was looking at some papers.
"Hermione, I would like to never tell you what was in the owl," he grumbled as he read a paper carefully.
"Severus, please," she said as she flopped into a chair opposite the desk. "It doesn't involve work?"
"No, it..." he started and then sighed and looked at her.
The look of confusion on his face scared her a little. He husband, in the 19 years they had been together (fourteen married), had always been, or at least projected, a certain amount of sureness. Confusion was rare with Severus and she could recall with great clarity the other times she had seen that look on his face. It made her nervous.
Severus leaned forward slightly and pinched the bridge of his nose with his fingers.
"Severus, please," she said quietly.
"Read it," he said as he pushed a scroll across the table and toward her.
Hermione carefully picked up the scroll and read.
I hope this scroll finds you well. I have attempted to reach you for the last two weeks but have not had any luck getting this owl to you. Unfortunately, I am writing you about your father. He is currently in hospital in critical care and may not be around much longer. His liver has failed him and...
"You're father?" Hermione gasped.
Severus closed his eyes and nodded.
"Is this from..." Hermione reached in her mind for his cousin's name, the one that was the squib.
"Terry." Severus supplied.
Hermione nodded, knowing that was the name she had been searching out.
"Keep reading," Severus said, still not opening his eyes.
His liver has failed him and, because of his history and age, he's not a candidate for transplant. The hospital contacted me because Tobias said I was his next of kin. I know it has been a long time but...
Hermione scoffed at the words before her. Tobias Snape had walked out on his 17 year old son the day of his mother's funeral and never looked back. Forty-five years was not a long time, it was a lifetime.
I know it has been a long time but I cannot be responsible for your father as well. Bridget's mother is living with us and requires a great deal of care. I cannot visit your father in the hospital as often as is needed, nor do I feel it is my place to make decisions about his health in such a critical circumstance, when you are his son.
I urge you to contact the hospital immediately or his case will be handled by social services. I know this is not news you want Severus, and I can enlighten you on some past history if you would like to meet. The hospital is St Pancras and he's in ward sixteen, room 3.
You can send a return owl to Matilda who will get word to me. I'm sorry to have to tell you this news Severus.
"Your father, after all these years..." Hermione mused as she rolled up the scroll.
"He can't even just bloody die like a normal person," Severus said flatly.
"Severus, we need to..."
"We don't need to do anything," Severus supplied. "I was looking into the legalities and..."
"He's your father," Hermione said softly.
"He's a bastard," Severus said as he looked through the papers before him.
"He's dying," Hermione said as she got up from her chair.
"Not quick enough, apparently," Severus said as he went to hand her a paper and, noticing her walking toward him shook his head. "I'm not getting involved, so you can stop with that look."
"He's an old man Severus, probably only has a short time," Hermione said as she sat on the edge of the desk uncaring of the papers beneath her. "Don't you think it would be good to..."
"Never see him again? Yes. I think that would be wonderful," Severus said as he dropped the paper and turned to look at her.
"I think you need closure and this is an opportunity," Hermione said as she placed a hand on his shoulder.
"I don't need anything from him, I haven't for most of my life," Severus said softly as he looked down at his lap.
Hermione reached out and lifted his chin so he could see her. She held his cheek in her hand and looked at him carefully. His eyes were as she had always known them; deep and filled with more than anyone ever seemed to see.
She loved him with all her heart and wanted to convey to him all the reasons he needed to do this, but there weren't words. How are their words in a situation such as this? How can she tell him that the man who treated him atrociously deserved something from him? That Severus needed this closure from the history he shared with his father? A moment of...something. Something indefinable that she wished would come from this.
When, after a long time, he turned his face and softly kissed the palm of her hand, she knew he'd be contacting the hospital.