Disclaimer: All recognizable characters and settings belong to J.K. Rowling.
A/N: Hope you enjoy the update! Has anyone else had trouble posting a new chapter and had it say error 1? I've never had it happen before lol
Bella took over the next couple of detentions, having the boys' first finish their essays on dragons and then prepare ingredients for Severus's classes. For one of the detentions she had them come to her own classroom to do some cleaning and organize the books she kept in there. She now understood why Severus was so miserable when he returned with Kaiden in the evenings after detention. The boys' weren't allowed to talk to each other and Bella hated seeing the sad, resigned looks in their eyes as they completed their tasks. She also knew that many students in Slytherin were still upset with the weeklong Quidditch ban and would glare at Kaiden when he walked by them.
Bella was sitting on the sofa sipping a cup of tea when Severus arrived, after a meeting he had had with Dumbledore. "How was their detention?" Severus asked.
"Fine. They worked hard, as usual," Bella answered. "Kaiden was especially quiet this evening, no doubt thinking about the match tomorrow as well as the quiz he is re-taking."
"He has studied hard all week, he will pass that quiz and then he will be able to resume with Quidditch practices." Severus said as he sat down next to her.
"Yes, he has studied hard all week," Bella said slowly. "He's also kept up with all of his homework and has not tried to get off his grounding at all."
Severus looked at Bella suspiciously. "True."
Bella stared at her cup. "So…perhaps we could end his grounding one day early." She said quietly.
"He's learned his lesson, he's sorry for what he did," Bella continued, lifting her eyes to his. "You read the essay." The essay on dragons that Kaiden had turned in had finished with a heartfelt apology and a promise to try and make better decisions in the future and to never lie to them again, as he had learned that one lie lead to another until it was like a web he couldn't get out of.
"I did read it," Severus nodded. "I'm very proud of him, I told him that. However," he put his hand over Bella's. "He has to know that we mean what we say. He has to trust that we will always follow through and keep our word. I know it may not seem like a big deal, but I believe if we let him off his punishment early, it could have a detrimental effect."
Bella looked away in annoyance. "I hate it when you make sense," She huffed. She shook her head. "I cannot believe that I am such a softy. I can hardly handle my son being on restriction for a mere week." She gave a sad laugh.
"I feel the same way and this is from a man who has made first years cry with a mere look and assigned countless detentions without a second thought," Severus chuckled ruefully. "Let's face it; we're being punished along with our son. In fact, we may be even more miserable than he is."
"Maybe the three of us could do something this weekend," Bella said thoughtfully. "The weather is supposed to be fairly nice, we could all go flying. There is a stream not too far where we could have a picnic."
"Flying?" Severus made a face.
"Oh Severus, you can handle an hour or two of flying with your family," Bella gave him an innocent smile. "We'll fly slowly for you," She offered.
Severus narrowed his eyes. "That is not necessary; I will be able to keep up."
"Of course," Bella nodded, enjoying teasing him. She grinned broadly as he scowled her.
"You are cheeky," He informed her.
"You are also insolent," Severus continued.
Severus leaned in and kissed her gently. "Don't ever change," He said softly.
"Never," Bella whispered, kissing him back.
Kaiden had gone to Professor Binn's classroom after his last class to take his make-up quiz. He tried to keep his mind on everything that he had studied but his mind kept wandering to the Quidditch game that was due to start soon. Don't think about it, he told himself as he sat down and began his quiz. To his relief the first part was easy and he finished it rather quickly. It was like the original quiz he had done except this time he knew the answers. The next part was new however, and there was an essay portion followed by harder questions. He groaned to himself but began writing.
Professor Binn's blearily looked up when Kaiden approached his desk to finally hand in his quiz. "All done Mr. Snape?"
"Yes sir," Kaiden said, biting his lip. Would he have to wait to find out the results?
"Your parents requested that I score this immediately," Professor Binn's said as he began grading the quiz.
Kaiden waited, fidgeting nervously.
Several minutes later, Professor Binn's handed the quiz back. "Congratulations, full marks!"
Kaiden grinned in relief. He would be allowed Quidditch privileges again! His face fell as he wondered how the team was doing. He wished he could go out and at least cheer them on. After thanking Professor Binn's for the second chance, he made his way to his quarters. He brightened when he saw his mum waiting for him.
"Look, I got full marks!" Kaiden showed her the quiz.
Bella gave him a big smile as she looked at the parchment Kaiden was holding out. "Oh snakeling, you did it!" She drew Kaiden in for a big hug. "I'm so proud of you baby." She murmured into his hair.
"Thanks Mum. And thanks for helping me study this week," Kaiden said sincerely.
"Your father and I will always be available to help you with your studies," Bella said seriously. "Don't ever be apprehensive about asking us for help. We want to help you if you need it."
"I know," Kaiden sighed. "I won't get so behind again." He assured her.
"I know you won't," Bella said, squeezing his shoulder.
"Um, do you know how the Slytherin team is doing?" Kaiden asked hopefully.
Bella regarded him for a moment. "Last I heard Slytherin was ahead by twenty points," She said.
Kaiden sighed. "I hope Zelena catches the snitch," he said worriedly. "But that she waits until they are up by a lot."
"Don't worry, I'm sure our team will do fine," Bella said soothingly. "And since you passed this quiz and kept up with your homework, you'll be able to attend the next practice."
Kaiden nodded happily. "And tonight will be my last night in detention," he said with relief.
Bella ruffled his hair. "You've handled your punishment very maturely. Do you have homework to do this weekend?"
"Why don't you get started on it?" Bella suggested. "That way your weekend will be free for you to enjoy yourself."
Kaiden decided that was a good idea and worked until dinner and then he and his mum entered the Great Hall to see the Slytherin table looking excited and happy while Ravenclaw was looking morose. "I guess we know who won," Bella said with a smile.
Kaiden grinned and hurried over to his table and slid into the seat next to Draco. "You guys won!" He said excitedly.
Marcus looked very pleased. "I'll say, we won 230 to 40."
"Congratulations!" Kaiden said, feeling relief that the points he and Draco had lost and been regained and then some.
"We're celebrating in the common room after dinner," Marcus said as he served himself a large helping of roast duck.
Draco made a face. "Not for us, we'll be in our last detention."
"I'm really happy that you guys had a good game," Kaiden said to Marcus. "And I'm really sorry that I got in trouble and couldn't be a part of the team." He glanced at Zelena, a third year who was looking very tired. "Maybe Zelena should be the main seeker and me the reserve." He said quietly.
"What? Don't be ridiculous," Marcus scoffed. He looked at Zelena. "No offense, you did great today." He said quickly.
"No I didn't," Zelena sighed. "I almost lost the snitch to the Ravenclaw seeker. I'm not as quick as you are, Kaiden. I'm happy to stay the reserve seeker." She said honestly.
Marcus pointed his fork at Kaiden. "You will be able to attend the next Quidditch practice right?"
"Good," Marcus said and returned to his dinner.
"So you passed your quiz?" Draco asked as he buttered a dinner roll.
"Yup," Kaiden said as he served himself some roasted potatoes.
"And our last detention," Draco sighed happily. "After this week, I never want to clean or polish anything ever again."
"Like you ever did before," Kaiden teased.
"True," Draco smirked.
"I'm just happy that this whole mess is over," Pansy sighed as she served herself some carrots. "When I think of how things could have gone, with Norbert's poisonous bite and the fire…" She shuddered.
"Have you two visited Hagrid?" Kaiden asked. The last time his friends had gone to visit the gamekeeper, he hadn't answered his door.
"Yesterday we tried again and he did open the door," Pansy said.
"He invited us in for tea and began blubbering about how bad he felt about putting us in danger, how he missed Norbert and that he had offered to resign –" Blaise sighed.
"What!" Kaiden set down his glass of pumpkin juice. "No, he shouldn't have to do that!"
"He isn't," Blaise said. "Hagrid said that the Headmaster refused to accept his resignation."
"Oh good," Kaiden said in relief.
"He was wrong to have a dragon," Draco said superiorly.
Kaiden gave his cousin a withering look. "We were wrong to get involved. We were wrong to not let an adult know. We were wrong to lie about Neville's injury. We were wrong to follow him into the forest."
"Geez, okay. I know that," Draco grumbled. He looked thoughtful for a moment. "Actually, the whole thing was Blaise's fault."
"You're blaming me?" Blaise frowned.
"You're the one who noticed Hagrid carrying a dragon's egg," Draco shrugged.
"You just never want to accept responsibility for anything," Blaise snapped. "You were excited about it."
"We all made the wrong decisions," Kaiden interjected, not wanting a fight to break out. "Pointing blame isn't going to help anything so let's just drop it."
Draco and Blaise glared at each other but both nodded in agreement.
Severus folded his arms and regarded his son and nephew as they entered his classroom for their final detention. He was grateful that this was the last one and had been very pleased to hear that Kaiden had passed his quiz. Attending the game which he had restricted Kaiden from attending had not been pleasant for him. Even the fact that his House had won the game hadn't helped; his thoughts had been with his son.
"I have some ingredients' that need to be prepared for potions that are needed for the infirmary," Severus said. "Before you begin on that, however, I would like you to write down your thoughts on what you have learned from this whole experience. What would you do differently if faced with a similar situation? You can make your essay as long or short as you like, as long as you get your point across. Once I have looked over your essay and deemed it acceptable, you may start on preparing ingredients for some potions I need to brew. The Bicorn Horn needs to be crushed into a very fine powder and the daisy roots need to be chopped evenly."
"Yes Sir," Both Kaiden and Draco said as they sat down to start on their essays.
Kaiden had touched on this subject once already, in his apology he had written at the end of his dragon essay so he expanded more into it. He made sure to empathize how knowing his parents were disappointed in his actions was a major deterrent to making the wrong decisions. Once he was done, he got up and handed it to his dad. He waited while his father read it over, fidgeting slightly.
Severus looked up from the essay, his eyes warm. "Very good Kaiden. Thank you. Would you begin crushing the Bicorn Horn for me?"
"Yes sir," Kaiden gave him a smile and went over to the work bench. He heard Draco hand in his own essay.
"Thank you Draco. I'll send this to your parents, I think they will enjoy reading it," Severus told his nephew. "Go ahead and begin chopping the daisy roots."
"Yes sir," Draco stood near Kaiden as they both worked, not talking as they were not allowed to. They worked silently for the duration of their detention until Severus called for them to stop and clear the work bench.
"I'm proud of you both, you handled your punishment this past week very maturely," Severus said. "And after reading your essays, it would appear you understand what you did wrong and how you could have handled the situation differently." He paused while both boys nodded. "You have to understand, your safety is of the upmost importance to us. And we also need to know that we can trust you, which is impossible if you lie to us." He looked at both of them sternly. "So, no lying and no putting yourselves at risk. Am I understood?"
"Yes Sir," Kaiden and Draco said in unison.
"Good. You are dismissed," Severus said with a small smile.
"You want to fly tomorrow? Celebrate our freedom?" Draco asked with a grin.
Kaiden nodded eagerly.
"Are you coming to the Slytherin dorm? They might still be celebrating," Draco said.
"I'll return tomorrow," Kaiden told him, thinking he would rather celebrate his freedom with his parents. Probably that would be considered odd to most of his friends, especially as his parents were the ones who grounded him but he couldn't help it. He loved being with them and it was a relief now, to be off restriction and not have that hanging over him. He had felt so bad, so guilty and while his parents had not wavered in his punishment, they had reassured him that he was loved and not a disappointment as a son. When he was younger he had always wished for parents and now he had them and they were even more wonderful than he had ever dared to dream.
"All right, see you tomorrow," Draco waved as he left the classroom.
Severus gathered the papers he had been grading and gestured for Kaiden to follow him. "Perhaps you would like to play a game of chess?"
"That would be great," Kaiden said as he followed his father to their quarters. "So was the game fun to watch?"
"I did not enjoy the match as I usually do," Severus said as he opened the door and let Kaiden enter their quarters first.
"Really? Even though Slytherin won?" Kaiden asked in surprise.
"I missed watching you play," Severus said, laying a hand on Kaiden's shoulder. "I am pleased that you will play in the next match."
"Me too," Kaiden grinned.
Bella sidled up to them as they were setting up the chessboard. "Have you told Kaiden about our plans?" She asked brightly.
"Not yet," Severus said.
Kaiden perked up. "Plans? What plans?"
"Hmm, should we tell him now or make him wait?" Bella teased.
Severus pretended to look thoughtful. "Well…"
"Tell me now," Kaiden pleaded. "Please?"
Bella laughed. "All right. Sunday we thought the three of us would go flying and have a picnic at a stream that is not too far from here. What do you think?"
"Really? That would be brilliant!" Kaiden said excitedly. "We each will be flying on our own brooms?"
"Yes," Bella answered.
"As long as you don't do any crazy stunts, otherwise you will fly with me on my broom," Severus warned.
"I won't," Kaiden huffed.
"I wasn't talking to you," Severus said with a wink.
Kaiden giggled while Bella put her hands on her hips, looking insulted.
"Yeah Mum, no risk taking," Kaiden wagged a finger at her, a cheeky grin on his face.
"You two are impossible!" Bella threw her hands up in exasperation before breaking into laughter.
"Ah, sweet freedom!" Draco sang out as he and Kaiden walked to the Quidditch pitch with their brooms.
"Who knew a week could feel so long?" Kaiden said. He grinned when he saw Pansy, Blaise, Hermione, Neville and Ron standing on the pitch. "Hey guys!"
"Hey Kaiden!" Blaise said. He held up his broom. "Thought we would fly with you guys," He glanced at his friends. "Well, not all of us."
"I don't care for flying," Hermione shrugged. "You all know that."
"I brought Gobstones, want to play?" Neville asked her.
"Sure. Pansy, are you going to fly?" Hermione asked.
"Yeah, I thought I would," Pansy said, holding one of the school brooms.
"Woo-hoo!" Draco was already flying in the air.
Kaiden laughed and hopped onto his broom, zooming high into the air. Ahh, it felt so good to feel the wind in his face. He felt so free, it felt wonderful. And tomorrow, he would get to fly with his parents. He was so excited and so happy that the dragon incident was behind him. He did a flip and flew next to Draco, pulling out his practice snitch he had brought with him. "Catch!" He said as he threw it.
"All right!" Ron bent forward and shot after the snitch.
"Keep dreaming Weasley, it's mine!" Draco raced towards the snitch, which was heading towards the empty bleachers. He shot past Ron, practically knocking into him.
"Hey!" Ron protested.
"If you can't handle the sport, get out of the air!" Draco called over his shoulder. When he faced forward again he pulled his broom to a stop. Kaiden sat smugly on his own broom, holding the snitch.
"Gotta keep your eyes on the prize Cuz," Kaiden grinned.
"Ha!" Ron began laughing.
Blaise and Pansy had been ignoring the snitch; instead they kept pretending to fly straight down into Hermione and Neville. Neville kept flinching back each time and falling off of the seat he was sitting on while Hermione just rolled her eyes although she was laughing.
Ron pulled his broom next to Kaiden's. "Your Dad talked to me about…you know," He said quietly. "I'm glad he explained it to you and um, I just wanted you to know that I haven't told anyone."
"Thanks," Kaiden said. "So you don't think I'm a dark wizard anymore?" He tried to sound like he was joking but at Ron's frown, could tell it didn't come off very well.
"No I don't," Ron said slowly. "I did, or thought I did but I was wrong. I don't know why you can speak Par, um, that language but obviously it isn't a language only dark wizards have."
"It's just a rare ability," Kaiden shrugged, watching as Draco and Blaise chased down the snitch. "I thought it was kind of cool."
Ron looked thoughtful. "It would be pretty brilliant to be able to talk to a creature nobody else could talk to," He agreed. He grinned mischievously. "If I could do it, I would ask a bunch of snakes to scare the twins." At Kaiden's disapproving look he shrugged. "They would deserve it!"
Kaiden couldn't help but grin as the twins were always playing pranks on people. "I wouldn't do that though, I wouldn't use them like that."
"You really are too nice," Ron said shaking his head.
Kaiden was walking back to his quarters with Draco coming with him when he suddenly stopped walking.
"What's wrong?" Draco asked.
"Did you hear that?" Kaiden asked, his eyes darting around.
Draco paused and tilted his head to the side. "I don't hear anything," He said.
Kaiden strained his ears trying to listen but he didn't hear anything else either. "I must have imagined it," He shrugged. He had thought he had heard a voice but now he didn't hear anything. "Guess it was nothing."