ATTENTION! The sequel is now up! It is called Outrage. Well at least the first chapter. I'm sorry for the long wait but senior year in college isn't really conducive to having free time. I will be doing my best to update regularly but no promises. As a treat I will be taking the time to answer some of the more common questions that I have gotten in the comments that I haven't previously answered, or that I loved. Let's start with my favorite.
What is the right end of a stinkwart toad?
Surprisingly, it's the back end. The front end is actually the most dangerous side, and the right and left are little better. The saliva of the stink wart toad is highly dangerous. The saliva has a huge amount of bacteria, much like a komodo dragon, that is worse than some venoms and smells horrendously (giving credence to the name). The stinkwart toad can shoot its saliva up to 13 yards! The side are no better. The toad is covered in warts that run down both sides. Now the warts are not normal because depending on the attack they can change. If getting picked up they can harden into points and become as sharp as needles. If placed in a mouth (sucked on) then they can expand and eventually explode. The contents that come out are not only noxious but sticky, meant to cement the mouth closed and could lead to death. The back end, however is not nearly as dangerous. In fact, the end result of the stinkwarts digestive system is good for you as a great pain reliever (even if it contains a little bit of a hallucinogenic drug). Survivalists recommend it in emergency situations where potion making is not possible.
Do people know that Alex and Severus are married?
No. The reason is twofold in a way. First being that they don't actively tell people. Both see the benefit of staying quiet about their relationship. Despite the knowledge that Severus was a spy many people, especially immediately after the war, dislike him on principle. Plus he is under the watchful eye of the government, who pardoned him, and the survivors of the dark side, to see if he is still loyal to the Dark Lord. Both acknowledge that a romantic partner is a liability and are willing to keep it quiet. The other part is that no one really ever bothers to ask. Even if they didn't make that decision together there really would be no need since no one really cares to ask. Really, would anyone assume that Snape had a lover? A romantic partner? And Alex. Well there are many people who are friendly with him but much of it is at an arm's length. "Are you married?" "Yes I have a partner." And then the conversation moves on. SO in the end people don't know but more people would if they cared to ask.
Why did Harry still have to participate in the tournament challenges if he was trying to avoid them?
I mention earlier that fate is hard to change. You can do it but for the most part it will come to pass. In the Harry Potter Universe there is an overarching theme that even if you try to avoid the laid out future it will still happen. Even ignoring that philosophical reasoning there is another. While Harry did not want to participate in the tournament there were many people who wanted him to be in the tournament. Dumbledore and the other Headmasters expected it of him. Ludo Bagman wanted him to win the tournament so that he could win his bet. Most importantly, he was having his hand pushed by Crouch Jr. No matter how much he tried there were so many forces pushing him in that direction. He tried his best to avoid the tournament but these are far more powerful, far sneakier people. Crouch had no compunctions to using the imperious curse. If Harry had done as some suggested and just refused to enter the maze or try and shoot out sparks Crouch would have stopped him anyway. After all, he was watching from outside the maze with his eye and would have known the moment he averted his path. Sometimes no matter what path you try to take, how many times you walk off the trail you will end up where you didn't want to be. I know this frustrated some people but it was inevitable. This story was about Harrys growth mentally and not him actually being able to control things that are out of his control.
Why don't people recognize Alex (as Snape's husband, as an old student, etc)?
Alex during his school years was quite unassuming. A pleasant enough fellow, friendly but not popular. Not obviously poor but certainly not one of the pureblood elite. Not the most outstanding academically. A trickster but not to the point of being a well-known prankster. A person like Alex understands the value of not necessarily being the most memorable person in the room. He is, after all, a tax and contract lawyer by trade. In a thousand student (the estimated number at Hogwarts via JK Rowling) he would not be easy to remember, especially so many years later. He was also not friends with Snape during his school years so there isn't any reason that any other professor would connect them together.
What happened to the golden egg from the first challenge?
Harry lost it. He didn't know if it was real gold or not so he wasn't sure whether to keep it in his room. So he shrank it and put it in his school bag. Eventually the challenge passed and he forgot about it completely. One he looked into the bag and it wasn't there. Turns out (though Harry will never know) that it was found by a house elf. The house elf picked it up and put it in the room of requirements in the "room of lost things". It is where all lost items go if the house elves can't figure out who they belong to (since it was shrunk they didn't know it was a tournament egg, since they never thought to open it). It would be found 76 years later when a child was desperate to find something for his mother's birthday (his mother loved curiosities) and he passed by the room three times while he was thinking. He found a little golden egg that screamed and thought it would be a perfect gift.
Does Dumbledore know he stays in the castle with Severus?
No. Actually Severus normally returns to his home to sleep unless he is on duty to patrol or knows that there may be an issue with one of his students (he alarms his rooms so that he knows if anyone needs him while he is off school property). Dumbledore doesn't know when Alex is in the school because he enters through Snape's private fireplace which has wards that allow the school to be aware that someone came through but not necessarily who they are. Dumbledore always assumes that it is normally another potion master looking for a consultation because that does happen on occasion.
Why didn't Peter die when he was bitten by Labyrinth?
Labyrinth is a snake with a very potent bite, that is very true. But Nagini, she is also a magical snake. Now she's a constrictor, and most constrictors don't have venom. That being said. She is a magical snake, some constrictors do have venom, and she is Voldemort's snake. In my mind there is no doubt that she does. A tolerance to venom can be built up after multiple bites. Peter had to "milk" Nagini for almost a year. There is no way in hell that snake didn't bite him multiples times (whether from annoyance or just for fun). That in addition to the multiple antivenin that he had to take made him somewhat immune to heavy venoms. So while it did slow him down and it was effecting him, it wasn't working quite as well as it should. Plus, just because Labyrinth's venom was strong does not necessarily mean it was an instant death type. So there was enough time for Voldemort to get to it before he had truly kicked the bucket.
Will Alex and Snape adopt?
Honestly? I'm not sure. For now I am leaning towards no. Harry is about to turn 15 and the legal adult age in the wizarding world is 17. Considering how long it will take for all three of them to get comfortable enough to be considering adoption (they have their issues to work on) and how long a normal adoption process takes and the repercussion that would occur afterwards I don't think that would be something they truly consider as an option. Not that there may not be the feeling of honorary parents but they would all consider it too late to really be all that useful to go through a full adoption. But who knows. Things may change.
Can Harry swim?
Yes but not very well. He would go when Dudley had lessons but after the first few Dudley threw a fit and they never returned.
Where was Barty during the third challenge?
Outside of the maze watching. He had his special magic eye so he could see what was going on. When he realized that Harry wasn't going to the cup he opened the hedge a little bit (as a maze moderator he could do that) and imperiused him after confounding him (to make sure he couldn't properly resist the curse). He then led him through the maze, watching from the outside. When he saw Cedric so near the cup he used Harry to help bring along the additional "gift" for his master (spur of the moment). He stayed behind so that he could cover his tracks and misdirect anyone who may be able to tell where the portkey went.
Can it be said that the Dursleys helped to condition harry into the self-sacrificing hero Dumbledore needed?
Yes, but I don't think that was his intention. I do think that he, misguidedly, thought it was the best answer. As said before, he is expected to make all the decisions and no one really questions him. Dumbledore, I think, truly believes in familial love. While he did expect that Harry would eventually become the doom mentioned in the prophecy I don't think he purposefully left him in an abusive place to become self-sacrificing. I just think he is a bit blind to the things that he does not understand or want to believe. However, that type of household could tend to lead to a self-sacrificing, low self-worth type of attitude.
What's the deal with Dawsen and Snape last names?
They both kept their own. Both are successful in their careers in their separate lives and felt it would be easier to go without the hassle of trying to change their names and all the faff that would come with it when people asked why they changed it.