Disclaimer: All recognizable characters and settings belong to J.K. Rowling.
A/N: SwordofSlytherin (Guest) – To answer your question, Severus and Bella dealt with the Dursley's in chapter 14 =)
Severus headed to the Gryffindor Tower, stopping in front of portrait that guarded the entrance. The Fat Lady raised an eyebrow when she noticed him.
"What are you doing here young man?" She asked haughtily.
Severus rolled his eyes. "You do know I am a Professor here, not a student, don't you?"
"Yes, I hear the students talk about you," The Fat Lady sniffed. "According to them, you are extremely strict, scary and give too much homework."
"Really? I'm glad to hear it," Severus said in a pleased voice. "I need to talk to one of the lions."
The Fat Lady now rolled her eyes. "Oh, him. Yes, the rest of the students are most displeased with him. He in trouble with you now?" She asked curiously.
"No," Severus answered impatiently. "I just need to talk to him for a second."
Severus grimaced. As if he had nothing better to do than keep track of the other Houses passwords. "Open up." He ordered.
"Nope, that's not it," The Fat Lady said airily.
Severus growled but before he could do anything, the door opened and Oliver Wood started to step out. He froze at seeing the Head of Slytherin standing in front of him.
"Get me Ronald Weasley," Severus instructed.
Oliver made a face. "He didn't lose us more points did he?"
"Not that I know of although you will lose points for your House if you do not go and retrieve him," Severus threatened. "Now."
"Uh, yes sir," Oliver paled and quickly went back into the Tower. A minute later he was pushing Ron out the door.
"Thank you Mr. Wood," Severus said. He stared at Ron and then began walking. "Follow me."
Ron nervously followed the professor down the stairs and into an empty classroom. He watched as Professor Snape waved his wand around them and then tucked it back into his sleeve.
"No one can hear us. Kaiden told me you heard him talking to a snake in the forest," Severus said, getting right to the point.
Ron nodded. "Yes Sir. Um, I could tell he didn't know about Parseltongue. I was going to explain it to him but I haven't had a chance to yet." He looked at the professor nervously.
"Ah," Severus said snidely. "Going to tell him that he is a dark wizard?"
"No, no sir," Ron stammered, flushed. "If I had found out he was a Parselmouth earlier, I would have," He admitted. He had spent much of last night thinking about this. "But he's been decent to me lately and he fought You-Know-Who before Christmas…" he trailed off. "He saved me in the forest. Sparks from the fire were about to land on me and he pushed me out of the way."
Severus rubbed his hand over his face. Thoughts of Kaiden being in such danger made him angry, angry that he didn't follow his intuition that something was going on with his son. If he had, none of the boys' would have been in such danger. "Have you mentioned his ability to anyone yet?"
"No Sir," Ron said softly. "I haven't told anyone about it, not even Hermione or Neville."
"I see," Severus said, masking his surprise that Weasley was protecting Kaiden. "I would appreciate it if you would continue not to talk about it to anyone. If Kaiden wishes to discuss it with you then that's fine but it should be up to him."
Ron nodded, though he looked curious. "Why is he able to though?" He asked.
"It's a rare ability that pops up every now and then," Severus said dismissively. "But due to how others perceive it, it's best to keep it under wraps." He looked at Ron sternly. "I appreciate that you seem to have had a change of heart concerning my son and are even looking out for him but…if you are trying to trick him and end up using this knowledge to hurt him, you will be a very sorry boy indeed. Do I make myself clear?"
Ron paled and nodded. "I won't do that, honest," He said quickly. And he meant it, he thought of Kaiden as a friend now. He still didn't care for Malfoy however, but he could put with him.
"Good. You may go back to your Tower," Severus dismissed him.
Ron hurried away. Merlin, that man could be scary.
"He's a Parselmouth?" Bella asked with wide-eyes.
Severus nodded, staring at Dumbledore. After the boys' detention had finished, he had walked Draco to his dorm and Kaiden to their quarters. Kaiden had been so tired he had fallen asleep immediately. Severus had set a charm to let him know if Kaiden woke up and then had brought Bella up to the Headmaster's office.
"Most interesting," Dumbledore said thoughtfully.
"Only Draco and Ronald Weasley know and they won't say anything," Severus continued.
"Are you sure Weasley won't?" Bella asked skeptically.
"I'm sure," Severus said. "I told Kaiden that what he has is rare gift. I also told him that because there have been some dark wizards that had that ability, many believed it to be something only dark wizards had."
"Yes, many do believe that," Dumbledore said somberly.
"I told him that being a Parselmouth is not dark, that it is how on uses the gift," Severus said.
Dumbledore looked pleased. "That is true Severus."
"I agree it is true but if the students and even the staff find out, I doubt most would think that way," Bella worried. "I don't want him hurt or shunned just because he can do something that is rare."
"Something that Voldemort can do," Dumbledore said. "Yes, I expect if the school found out, Kaiden would face some prejudice against him."
"My Slytherins face that as soon as they are sorted," Severus said bitterly.
"I'm sorry for that," Dumbledore said quietly.
"I do not believe Kaiden inherited this gift from us," Severus said. "I could be wrong; you never know if hundreds of years ago there wasn't a Parselmouth ancestor."
"It's possible of course," Dumbledore nodded. "However, I agree that he most likely did not."
"Are you saying Voldemort gave it to him?" Bella asked tensely.
"Yes, I believe he may have unintentionally transferred some of his powers to Kaiden when the killing curse backfired," Dumbledore said gently. "It is hard to say for sure as no one has ever survived a killing curse before."
Bella grabbed Severus's hand as she thought about the killing curse being cast at her baby. "Kaiden is not dark," She said.
"No, he isn't," Dumbledore agreed. "He is exceptionally caring and compassionate, though apparently it does get him into a little trouble."
Severus snorted. "A little?"
Dumbledore chuckled. "Now if Kaiden does worry about having this ability, have him read up on Paracelsus, who was a noble physician and medical genius. He also discovered Parseltongue. So no, not only dark wizards can speak to snakes. Actually, I think it would be fascinating to be able to speak to an animal like Kaiden can."
"Even snakes?" Severus asked snidely.
"Yes, why not snakes?" Dumbledore frowned. "There is nothing wrong with snakes nor is there anything wrong with being sorted into a House where the symbol is a snake. I'm sorry if you ever thought I believed otherwise."
Severus rubbed his temples. "I apologize; it has been a stressful couple of days and will stay that way for the week."
Bella smiled sympathetically. "It's not fun having to enforce your child's punishment and give him detention every evening."
"Of course not," Dumbledore said. "If it helps, Kaiden and Draco can serve detention with me to give you a break from it." He offered.
"And do what? Spend the evening deciding what sweet your new password should be? Taste testing sugary treats?" Severus asked sarcastically.
"Ah, you wouldn't approve of that?" Dumbledore asked innocently.
Severus rolled his while Bella laughed.
Kaiden woke up to the sound of his stomach growling. He peeked at his clock and saw that it was almost midnight. He sighed and got out of bed, deciding to get a snack as he hadn't had any dinner. He put on his dressing gown and padded out, making his way to the kitchen after grabbing his wand and casting a Lumos. He quietly began looking through the cupboards and pulled out a box of biscuits. He just needed something to make his stomach stop growling. He put the box on the table and using his wand to see, went to grab a cup so he could have some juice. His wand on the counter for light, he reached up to grab the glass, wishing he was a little taller like his friends. The glass slipped out of his hand and crashed to the floor, bits of glass scattering.
"Oh no!" Kaiden groaned. He knew there was a charm to repair things but Professor Flitwick hadn't taught them that one yet. With a sigh, he bent down to pick up the larger pieces.
Suddenly the lanterns on the wall lit up and Severus and Bella entered the kitchen. "Kaiden, don't move!" Bella said in alarm when she saw her child surrounded by shards of glass. He wasn't even wearing slippers.
Severus flicked his wand. "Reparo." The glass shards flew back together and landed on the counter.
"We're supposed to learn that soon," Kaiden said, watching with interest.
Bella noticed the box of biscuits. "Are you hungry? Did you not eat enough at dinner?"
"I didn't eat dinner," Kaiden admitted.
Severus stared at him. "You didn't?"
"I wasn't hungry then," Kaiden explained.
"You should have told me you hadn't eaten anything," Severus scolded. "I assumed you had since you said you were ready to go to your detention. You were doing physical work; you shouldn't have done that on an empty stomach."
"But I wasn't hungry," Kaiden insisted.
"Okay, why were you not hungry?" Bella asked calmly.
Kaiden sat down at the table and pulled the box of biscuits towards him. "I don't know...everyone was mad at me and Draco. Marcus was really upset about Quidditch and scolded me and then Nott said," He hesitated, not wanting to tattle like a baby.
"Nott said what?" Severus asked. When Kaiden didn't answer, he narrowed his eyes. "I can ask your peers if you would rather."
"No," Kaiden said in alarm. "Nott said that you two must really be disappointed in me, that as professors you were humiliated to have me as your kid."
"Kaiden Phoenix, you know that that is not true!" Severus said, appalled. "Didn't we go over this? We love you no matter what."
"Yeah, but I embarrassed you," Kaiden argued. "The other professors probably wonder how you could have such a horrible –"
"Enough!" Bella held up her hand. "I don't want to hear you finish that sentence, do you understand me?" She walked over to Kaiden and looked right into his eyes. "Don't you dare put yourself down. You are our son and we could not be prouder of you. We will tell you that as many times as you need to hear it."
"We think the world of you Kaiden," Severus said. "You continue to astound us with how big your heart is." He folded his arms. "Now, I am sorry that your classmates are upset with you but it is to be expected, it is a consequence of the actions you and Draco took. It is just something you will have to ride out. However, being cruel to you about it is not acceptable, which I will make sure Mr. Nott understands."
Kaiden nodded slowly. "So, you two forgive me?"
"Of course we do," Bella leaned down to kiss the top of his head. "Did you think we didn't? I'm sorry we didn't make that clear to you, Kaiden. We will always forgive you." She stood back up. "Forget about those biscuits, let me make you something."
Severus sat down across from Kaiden. "This is the first time you've really been in trouble and punished by us," He said quietly. "The detention you got from flying during your lesson was more of a token punishment." He reached across the table to grasp Kaiden's hand. "It is not easy for me, or your mother, to ground you and give you detentions. It's the last thing we want to do but we would be doing you no favor if we didn't draw boundaries and hold you accountable to them. Let's just say, all three of us will be happy when the week is over."
Kaiden smiled faintly and nodded. "That's for sure. Hey, is it true you charm the cauldrons to be extra filthy for detentions?"
Bella began laughing as she brought over a large bowl of potato soup and a warm loaf of bread, she began filling three small bowls and cut slices of bread to go with them.
"How do these vicious rumors get started?" Severus smirked.
Kaiden grinned as he dove into the delicious soup. His mum filled their cups with hot tea and sat down to join them in their late night meal.
"So is it true?" Kaiden asked as he dunked a piece of bread into his soup.
"I didn't do it to you or Draco," Severus replied, an amused glint in his eyes.
Kaiden snickered. After he had had his fill of soup and tea, he felt sleepy and relaxed. He was practically already asleep as his mum guided him to his room and into his bed.
A few days later and Kaiden was quite sick of being grounded and having detention. He missed studying in the library with his friends or hanging out outside by the lake. He really missed flying and couldn't help notice the glares he got in class on the day they had practice scheduled. He also had wanted to visit Hagrid who he hadn't seen since the fire. All he knew from his parents was that Norbert had been safely taken to Romania and Hagrid was sad but doing fine. He had redone his Transfiguration essay and handed it in and was keeping up on his current homework while studying for his History of Magic re-take quiz which Binns had scheduled for Friday. Kaiden's heart had a sunk a bit when he realized that while he was taking his quiz; his Quidditch team would be getting ready for the game. Classes were even ending a little early for the match, as games were normally scheduled on Saturdays. At least Friday was the last day of his restriction and by Saturday hopefully he would have his flying privileges back.
"I wonder what the torture will be for today," Draco complained as he entered the potions classroom where Kaiden was already waiting. So far they had scrubbed cauldrons, cleaned and polished the tables and chairs, and disemboweled frogs.
"What you have done so far is hardly torture Mr. Malfoy," Severus said dryly as he entered the room. "But if you need more of a challenge…"
"No sir," Draco said quickly. "Actually, I think we should sit with our heads down and think about what we did."
Kaiden bit back a grin.
"Hmm," Severus said thoughtfully. He nodded. "You and I are thinking along the same lines Draco. You will be sitting for this detention."
Draco brightened and threw Kaiden a victory grin.
"You won't have your heads down though. You will be writing me an essay, a nice, long and detailed essay on dragons. You will pick four different breeds and write about their physical characteristics, what they eat, their social behaviors, what parts of them are useful in potions and the dangers of trying to handle one and why the breeding of them is illegal. The only breed you may not pick is the Norwegian Ridgeback as I know you have done extensive research on that particular breed already," Severus said sarcastically.
Kaiden exchanged a pained look with Draco.
"If you do not finish during this detention, which I doubt you will, you will return to it during tomorrow's detention." Severus gestured to the thick books on the front table. "You may use those to research, begin now and no helping each other."
By the time Severus and Kaiden returned to their quarters, Kaiden never wanted to even hear the word dragon again. He had managed to get a good start on the essay, determined to do a good job.
"Hey snakeling, want a snack?" Bella asked, putting aside the papers she was grading.
"I want to never read or write again," Kaiden mumbled as he picked up Snidget and cuddled him close, flopping on the sofa and closing his eyes. He let Snidget's purr soothe and relax him.
Bella looked questionably at Severus, who explained that night's detention assignment. She gave Kaiden a sympathetic look. "Ah, I don't blame you. You've been doing a great job of studying and staying on top of your homework."
Severus couldn't help feeling like an ogre, holding his son to his punishment and not going easy on him or Draco during detentions. He was already dreading the day of the Quidditch match, knowing how much it would bother Kaiden not to be able to play or even watch the game especially as Severus would have to attend the match as Head of House.
Bella walked over to Severus and pulled him into the kitchen. "Do you want some tea?" She asked after he sat down at the table.
"Yes, thank you love," Severus rubbed his eyes.
"I can oversee their detention tomorrow you know," Bella said. "You don't have to be the one to do it every night." She pointed out lightly.
Severus nodded. "All right," He agreed. He did have some work to catch up on and he could use a break from seeing his son's unhappy face during detentions. "They are to finish their essays tomorrow. If they finish early, they can prepare some ingredients for the next day's class."
Bella set a cup of tea in front of him. "You're using their detentions for personal gain," She teased.
"But of course," Severus responded with a wry grin.
Bella put some biscuits on a plate and then called for Kaiden, who came in a moment later. "Do you want tea or juice?" She asked.
"Tea please," Kaiden said as he sat down. Once his mum had set a mug in front of him, he dunked a peanut butter biscuit in it accidently splattering the hot liquid on the table. "Sorry," he said through a mouthful of delicious biscuit.
Bella cleaned the mess with a flick of her wand and handed Kaiden a napkin. "Try not to choke, if you would," She said with an amused twinkle in her eyes. She loved these moments, when it was just the three of them spending time together. In these moments, she knew there was nothing they could not get through as long as they were together.
"So, do you feel you will be ready for your History make-up quiz Friday?" Severus asked after taking a sip of tea.
"I hope so," Kaiden said. He really hoped so otherwise he would have to wait even longer to play Quidditch. "I just wish that class wasn't so boring."
"Kaiden," Severus admonished lightly.
Bella rolled her eyes. "Oh please Severus, you hated that class we were in school. Took naps in them most of the time," She winked at Kaiden.
Severus sniffed. "Nevertheless, I always kept up on my homework and scored well on the quizzes," He gave Kaiden an amused look. "But yes, that class is particularly boring."
"I'm nervous since the quiz will be harder," Kaiden admitted. "Plus the Soap Blizzard of 1378 is not very interesting to study. But I'm trying hard," He assured his parents.
"We know son," Severus said warmly. "We're very proud of how hard you're working and not complaining. Too much anyway," he teased.
Kaiden laughed and finished his snack, intending to do more studying before it was time for bed.