Chapter ten

'Daddy,' Marisol cried.

'Daddy's fine sweetheart, his just relieved and used a lot of his power,' Severus helped Harry to a seat then took his daughter, 'Sorry we never told you Neville.'

'Don't be, after believing that Harry's best friends could do this I understand completely, especially hearing everything over the last day.'

'It wasn't about trust Neville, we knew we could trust you but we were not sure you could act like her friend if you knew what she was really up to,' Harry said wearily.

'I knew something wasn't right with Hermione. But I asked her outright if she was upset that you didn't trust her or because of Ginny, it was the trust, she felt betrayed. But look at what happened, if you ended up in an argument with Ron like you did during the triwizard tournament they could have turned on you, like Ron did then.'

'We did have a fight when we were away, Ron deserted us but Hermione stayed. That is another reason I kept so much from them, Ron's temper and the fact Hermione always liked him. I know they kept my secrets even when Ron and I had that fight but like yesterday and today, sometimes you just don't know what anyone will do.'

'No, you don't. But when I spoke with Hermione she couldn't or didn't bother trying to hide how upset she was. I wasn't sure why but I decided to stay in here and watch Dobby and I admit I wanted to make sure she didn't poison anything even though I find it hard to believe she would have.'

'I noticed Neville, you were very good though, You never gave yourself away. If you ever want a career as an auror you will make an excellent one. Add that to the fact you knew something was wrong so you trusted your instincts,' Severus said.

'Thank you and I do want to be an auror. But to hear a compliment from you is still a bit strange.'

'It will take a while for everyone to see the real me, the real Severus Snape, but they will.'

'Sev's right, you do have good instincts Neville. Sev and I spoke yesterday right after we went to bed. We knew if you saw anything or were just cautious you would do the right thing. Our only concerned was how you would act and if she might go as far as use the imperius curse on you if she thought you suspected her.'

'She didn't think I suspected her she just looked at me like I had no idea what was going on when I defended what you did, what any parent would do. I also said you never actually did anything, it was Ginny's spell, not yours. But what parent wouldn't protect their child with anything they could. Like your parents in a way Harry, died to make sure you were safe.'

'I know, and I would die to protect this flower. But your parents did the same Neville, they kept you hidden when Bellatrix and Crouch attacked, they wanted to keep you safe from that curse or death.'

'How do you know I was there?' Neville asked sounding choked up.

'I was there as well Neville, I tried to shield them but Bellatrix was a powerful witch and when she was angry her power seemed to expand and she would just lose control. She found out that your parent's almost killed her lord, so even without orders she went after them. I am sorry about this, but she was never going to kill them, she wanted them to suffer, forever. Harry has told me he would prefer his parent's dead than living like yours do and I feel the same.'

'I would prefer death to that, but as the healers keep telling me they will never give up hope that something can be done. I sometimes wish that we had a way to let people like that go peacefully. I hate thinking that, like I'm giving up on them, but I know they wouldn't want to live like that. You're a potions master, do you believe that something can be done for them, maybe even ten years from now?'

'Potions get invented every day, but I believe it will be a charm that will help them.'

Harry felt Severus' knee bump his, 'I've been working on a charm to help your parents Neville. Right now I could help a little but I would rather wait to see if I can perfect it. I started working on this right after I found out about your parents from Dumbledore, before you mentioned them in the DA. I would be down in Sev's rooms trying different wand movements, different words, I wrote everything down. Now he's dead and I don't have to concentrate so much of my time on him I believe I will perfect it, I just need a bit of time.'

'So they could be normal?'

'I believe they will, naturally I can't promise anything, but I can say they will have better lives, lives worth living.'

'Oh Harry,' Neville sat there staring at his friend and didn't even realise tears were falling down his face.

'Daddy, why is Neville crying?'

'Neville's parents are very sick; they have been for a long time and live in a hospital. But I am going to help them very soon. But papa and I want a bit of time to spend with you and relax for a little while then I will work on the spell needed.'

'I don't mind you working if it's to help Neville, he's nice and pretty.'

'Oh no,' Harry groaned, Severus moaned as well, 'I do not want to think about my daughter checking out boys.'

'Thank you for thinking I'm pretty little lady, but sorry to say that I'm like your daddy and papa, I like boys. But you will have the perfect boy for you when you're older, your father's will make sure of that, but so will I.'

'I believe we found Marisol's godfather Harry, what do you say?' Severus smiled.

'I believe your right love. How about it Neville, want to be Marisol's godfather?'

'Oh wow, um, yes, of course I will, she's one special little lady and I can't believe how much I care for her in such a short space of time. Would you like that Marisol, for me to be your godfather?'

Marisol climbed off her papa's lap and climbed onto Neville's, 'You're my uncle Nev. Daddy is good with spells, papa is good with potions, can you teach me stuff?'

'I happen to be very good at herbology, some plants or parts of plants are used in potions but you have to know how to grow them, which I can. Would you like to learn about plants?'

'Yes, plants are pretty, like lilies. Papa uses all these weird plants in his potions, some move and snap at you, it's funny.'

'Some can be, you just have to be very careful around them as they can hurt. But we won't let that happen to you.'

'Okay, do you want to swim with me?'

'I would love to.'

'How about we all go for a swim, give Mrs. Casey some time to herself and we get to see how good you are since the last time we saw you sweetheart,' Severus smiled at his daughter, then the three men and the little lady all headed towards the other end of the house where there was a large swimming pool. Harry helped Marisol into her bathing suit while Neville transfigured his jeans into short, Severus changed into his shorts and Harry into his.

'You were so skinny, but you're not and you're full of muscles, was that part of this potion Dumbledore gave you?'

'Yeah, our story was I lived with muggles who hated me, so naturally they would not give me a lot to eat.'

'Eyes off Neville or I just might bring out my Professor Snape persona.'

'I admit Harry's cute, but not my type, I like blonds. There is one blond I would not mind asking out, if he doesn't end up in Azkaban.'

'Are you talking about my godson?'

'I never knew Draco was your godson, but yes. He actually helped a lot when Harry was away, part of your plans?' Neville raised his eyebrows.

'Yes, he would listen to what the other Slytherin's were saying about which children were taken down to the dungeons, he would tell me so I could keep the Carrow's occupied then I would get him to whisper to you as you passed each other. That is part of our statement we need to give the minister, how Draco was like me, had to keep up appearances or he would have been killed. Draco and I have proof he never wanted to take the dark mark, his father forced him to.'

'So Neville Longbottom and Draco Malfoy, who would have thought,' Harry smirked then walked down the stairs into the pool with his daughter in his arms. They stayed in the shallow end, Marisol swimming between her two fathers and occasionally swimming to her godfather. Her legs would be kicking continuously as she went from one man to the other. But right now the three men and the little lady were relaxed and having fun, for the first time in a long time.

The war was over and now was the time to have a life that didn't involve dark wizards, death eaters or death. Neville thought about being able to reunite with his parents and maybe dating a cute blond, Harry thought he could finally have that normal life that he had been after since he was a baby, he was almost there, he had the love of a wonderful man, to Harry Severus was the love of his life, Harry also had a beautiful and talented daughter who had him wrapped around her little fingers. Severus also realised he could have a normal life, no more acting, no more pretending to be cold and heartless. He had Harry and his had his daughter and maybe within the next year they might have another child.

Harry watched Neville play with Marisol and knew then that his friend would protect his flower even with his life. He watched his husband as he watched their daughter, the look on Severus face was contentment and Harry knew how he felt. So for the boy who lived who was now the man that survived, he finally had everything he wanted, family.

The end: