Chapter 1 Dumbledore's Decision

The Headmaster of Hogwarth's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry shook his head. He had decided that there would be absolutely no way to make him change his mind on the subject, even so he admitted to himself, that the Potions Master's arguments were logical and to the point.

Severus Snape gave a deep sigh. For the better part of an hour he has kept himself under control, sitting on an armchair in front of Albus Dumbledore, sipping a cup of tea and defending his position in a unemotional and soft voice. But this last stubborn refusal of the Headmaster simply was to much for the younger man. He put the teacup down and lifted his slender lean frame, clad in wide black robes from the chair. With Dumbledore still saying 'No, no, and no!' behind him, he started to pace the Headmasters Office with long, energetic strides, the floating wide and dark robes giving him the appearance of a huge, menacing bat:" The Potter boy,' he almost spit between clenched teeth," after that damned, silly Triwizzard tournament ,Diggory's death and all the other terrible things that happened this year...Albus I cannot and will not accept your decision." Angrily Snape flung his dark frame onto Dumbledore's divan. The old piece of furniture squealed, while the portraits of Hogwart's Headmasters long gone bay frowned in disapproval at the Potions Masters behaviour. Meanwhile the dark high-collared and heavy robes had become to much of a burden for Severus. He felt handicapped for performing his next outburst with all that warm heavy fabric around. His right hand impatiently fumbled the multitude of buttons open.

Dumbledore observed the younger man with an amused smile on his face and prepared for what would be the last stage in their habitual pre-summer term holidays discussion about Harry Potter. He'd seen it by now often enough. When calm arguments and wild aggressiveness would go to nowhere, Severus had the particularity to go for muscle play and bullying his furniture. The younger man, now delivered of his wizards robes and displaying washed-out muggle blue jeans and a grey tee-shirt had already built up his lean frame behind the wooden armchair in front of Dumbledore's table, intending to snatch the poor piece of furniture by its wooden back and smashing it violently into the ground. The armchair in anticipation of its trial moaned.

"Severus, can you destroy another one please?», the Headmaster said mockingly", That one already had its account last summer, don't you remember!" In fact, Dumbledore thought, they'd all had had their account twelve years earlier, when he had pronounced his decision to make Harry Potter , 'The-Boy-who-Lived' stay with his muggle relatives in Privet Drive 4, after his parents had been assassinated by Lord Voldemort. That terrible night Harry's godfather Sirius Black had simply bent to the old wizard's decision, while Severus Snape had gone mad and ravaged his innocent furniture not with spells or hexes, but muggle-style with naked hands.

"Severus, he'll go back to the Dursley's and by now you should understand the reason why. How often shall I repeat to you that I will not allow him to France and to the Chateau. How often must I tell -especially you- that this is the only way to ensure that we'll get him back unharmed and in one piece on September 1st?" The armchair's wooden back was released. A dangerous smile floated on Snape's lips:» What do you imagine, Albus? I take him straight to Avalon and throw him right into the Cauldron of Ceridwen..." The Potions Masters pitch black eyes sparkled," I simply speak about giving the lad a break, getting him out of that loveless hands of his silly unfeeling relatives, where all he can expect is kicks and humiliation. How shall he ever grow up to become a self-assured and balanced personality, when these Dursley bunch does nothing else but mistreat and starve him? How shall he ever start to behave normally, when all they do is torment him, for being a wizard? Albus, that simply cannot work," he added with a calm voice,» haven't you realized by now, that all those stupid things and hero-playing he's doing is simply an effort to attract other peoples attention, admiration and affection. If the lad continuous, he'll kill himself one day or another, before finishing school!"

Dumbledore stood up and went around the table. He put his hands on Snape's shoulders almost soothingly:" You have more then a point in what you say, Severus! You brought all these arguments forward twelve years ago and I never ever told you, you were wrong. I understood always, that your family would have taken the boy happily, your mother and father bringing him up as one of their own, having spoilt him with love and affection and toys and pets and whatever a child can dream of...but you must also admit that we would have run a great risk to do that!"

Snape wanted to snap on the Headmaster that life is full of risks anyhow, but then decided against his hot temper and simply nodded.

"Imagine what could have come out, if we allow 'The boy-who-lived' to be raised in the old religion. Do you know exactly, what Harry absorbed, when his mother's Amatus Spell repulsed his Unforgivable Death Spell? He's a Parslemouth! The twin of Voldemort's wand has chosen Harry! He has powers beyond his age...If Voldemort's energy has overpowered his mother's love, we'll find ourselves one day with something far worse then Voldemort....a Dark Druid!"

Snape sighted and started to rub thoughtfully the raven brand mark between his eyebrows. The sign of the old religion was visible only to those initiated and to those of the old bloodline, descending directly from Merlin and Viviane. "The ancestors and the Old One would have told us, Albus! Anyhow, today I do not ask you to give me the boy to have him raised in the old religion but simply to allow him spend his summer holidays in a better environment and without these bullying Dursleys!"

"And you can guarantee me, my friend, that young Harry will not come in touch with anything the old way, the Order or the Power?", Dumbledore replied softly.

Snape nodded. Harry would only see, what everybody else, including muggles, could also see: An ancient, imposing Fortress, one of the most beautiful forests of France, endless green prairies full of horses and cattle and a large, boisterous family...It would perhaps somewhat come as a shook to Harry, that the ditty old bat of Potions Master of his was not booked in for 24 hours of sour faces, black robes and spiteful words, but he was sure that he could handle the issue without blowing his cover or giving away an inch of one of the best guarded secrets of the Magic World. "Well then, have your will and do as you please!" The Headmaster said, "I will talk to Harry and inform his relatives that he is not going to spent the summer holidays with them!"

Snape turned away from Dumbledore, picked up his black robes and transformed back into the ditty old bat the students where used to see around Hogwart's. "Thank you, Albus!", was all he said before leaving the Headmaster's office.

- Chapter 2