Disclaimer: All characters you recognize belong to JKR. I am only playing with them in the Harry Potter Universe she has created. I make no money on this story. I have also made good use of Harry Potter WIKI for things I have forgotten over the years. If anything sounds familiar with any other posted story on this or any other fanfiction site I assure you it is pure coincidence.
AN: English is not my first language, so if some of this sounds a little strange, especially when it comes to grammar, please forgive me. I know I have said in the first 'Saving Severus' that I have no Beta but ended up having my wonderful husband read the story after posting the first chapter, and he weeded out the bugs. He is however a Mechanic not an editor, so please be gentle. ;-)
AN2: This story is the second part of a two part story and will not make the slightest bit of sense if you didn't read the first part of 'Saving Severus' because it picks right up where the other one left off.
AN3: This is a WIP and won't be up within a couple of weeks as it was with the first one, which was already written before I started posting it.
SAVING SEVERUS - A new Life
When Bobbie woke up in the morning and saw the time on her phone she jumped out of bed. "Shit, 9:30! Harry is going to be here in an hour."
Severus wasn't fully mobile with the soreness in his neck from Naginis bite, so Bobbie helped him with his shower. After he was done she took one herself. Severus wanted to dress into his normal school robes but Bobbie talked him into wearing a black t-shirt and black jeans, telling him he wouldn't be able to close the buttons around his neck anyway. "I don't think Harry will mind seeing you in something a little more comfortable after your ordeal," she added.
Bobbie handed Severus a nourishment potion but he insisted he wanted to try normal breakfast consisting of items which would be soft enough for him to swallow, like scrambled eggs and some porridge. Bobbie had Millie bring her some breakfast, and eggs and porridge for Severus. She watched him eat with difficulties and said, "You don't have to be such a tough guy around me. Poppy gave you those nourishment potions for a reason."
"While those potions don't taste too terrible I much prefer something real," Severus said in a horse whisper.
"Why not both? You can handle a little more meat on your bones," she suggested.
He opened the vial and toasted to her with a smirk. "Cheers!" He downed it and went back to slowly eating his eggs.
They were still sitting at the table when Harry knocked on the door. Bobbie let him in and asked him if he would like some breakfast. He declined but said he wouldn't mind having a cup of coffee.
"Sit down Mr Potter and wipe that grin of your face," Severus said with difficulties.
Harry said, "Well sir, I have never seen you in anything but your school robes."
"And you wouldn't have, if it wouldn't be for Dr Carter," Severus smiled at Bobbie.
Harry, who noticed the smile Severus gave Bobbie looked from one to the other, then cleared his throat and said, "I would like to thank you for all your help, Professor. I know I couldn't have done it without you and a few other people. But especially your help was the largest contribution."
"I owed your father a life debt. I think we are even now," Severus croaked and then felt a kick on his shin under the table from Bobbie. When he looked at her she scowled at him. He knew instantly that she was referring to his acerbic professor mode he had fallen into with the boy.
In the meantime, Harry was a little taken aback but he obviously knew his teachers moods and didn't let it get to him. After a little while he said in a rueful voice, "You don't owe me anything, but I do owe you an apology for leaving you in the Shrieking Shack to die."
Severus, still remembering Bobbie's scowl said, "You did what you thought was right at the time. Rest assured I won't hold it against you. I would have done the same thing in your situation."
"Thank you for saying that, sir. I also want to apologize for calling you a coward after you... after you killed Professor Dumbledore," Harry said in a meek voice.
Severus was overcome with emotions thinking about that day. He swallowed the lump that had formed in his throat and quietly said, "Thank you, Mr Potter. It means a great deal to me hearing this."
Harry nodded and before things got any more awkward he said, "Well, I guess I better go..." and started getting up.
After a glance to Bobbie Severus thought better of it and said, "Mr Potter, wait!"
After Harry sat back down Severus said, "I realize I wasn't the most forthcoming teacher. Part of it was the stress of having to deal with the Dark L... Voldemort, being a servant for most of my life, never having the luxury doing what I wished. Another part was that I was unhappy with myself for getting into the situation in the first place by being stupid enough to become a Death Eater and finding out later there was no way out.
"The unfortunate circumstances, that I had to look at the boy who looks like James Potter every day, didn't make things any easier. I am sure you now know from my memories that I was the marauders punching bag. You will also know that I fancied myself being in love with your mother, and having her run off with my archenemy didn't improve the situation any further." He looked at Bobbie and thought about how far he wanted to let Harry Potter look into his private life, but he finally reached across the table taking her hand with a smile and continued, "You may already have suspected that my life has finally taken a turn for the better."
Harry smiled at the two of them and said sincerely, "I am happy for you, Professor and wish you all the best."
"Thank you, Mr Potter. I don't know what the future will bring. I may end up in Azkaban but congratulations for getting rid of the bane of my existence for us. I will relish the evidence of it every day." With this Severus pushed his left sleeve up and showed Harry his unmarred arm where the Dark Mark used to be. Then he held out his hand for Harry to shake.
Harry shook it and said, "I couldn't have done it without you, Professor. I promise I will do my best to help keep you out of prison. You don't belong there."
"We will have to wait and see but I will appreciate any efforts in this direction," Severus said. Then he smiled and said, "Hopefully I will have the opportunity to continue torturing you here in Hogwarts for the rest of the school year."
"I will hold you to that, professor." Harry grinned and then said, "Oh, before I forget..." He rummaged inside his pocket and came up with a vial of a white cloudy substance and handed it to Severus. "I meant giving this back to you."
Severus looked at it and recognized it as the memories he had given Potter in the Shrieking Shack when he was dying. He said, "Thank you Mr Potter. I appreciate having those back."
Harry nodded. "They are yours and nobody's business. You have a good day." He walked to the door and before Bobbie let him out he turned around and said with a smirk, "By the way Professor, I couldn't resist telling Voldemort before he died that you were never his servant and that you were Dumbledore's man." Harry then turned and walked out the door.
Just when Bobbie was about to close the door after Harry's stunning confession, Minerva came around the corner and saw her. "Bobbie, wait."
"Oh, here you are. Harry just left. Perfect timing," Bobbie said and let her in.
As soon as Minerva saw Severus sitting at the table she went to him and sat down beside him taking his hand. "Severus, I am so very sorry about the way I treated you. I should have known better. I suspected by your actions that you were protecting the children from the Carrows but I was too blind with my rage about you killing Albus, that I couldn't look passed it."
They both looked at each other with eyes that were suspiciously shiny for a while and then Severus nodded. "Thank you Minerva!" Then he said in almost a whisper, "I am just glad you are able to look passed what I did now that it is over..."
"What you had to do," Minerva interrupted. "You did nothing wrong, Severus. We all know about the hare brained ideas Albus sometimes had. I'll have to admit, most of them worked but at the time there were a few where I had some misgivings. I also want you to know that I do not approve of what he made you do. If I could just get my hands around his scrawny neck..."
Severus put his hand on her forearm and said in a somber voice, "It is done. There is no point dwelling on it."
"You are right!" Minerva agreed and had a sip of the tea Bobbie had Millie bring. Then after a pause she asked, "What are we doing about the school?"
Severus asked, "I don't know. Why do you ask me?"
"You are the Headmaster. We had a meeting last night. Harry explained the situation and we would like to reopen as soon as possible." she said.
"No Minerva! I am not the Headmaster. I never felt like it. It was dreadful standing in Albus's place. That is why I never took possession of his rooms. I felt out of place even in his office. You are the next one in line. It is your rightful place. If you still want me as your deputy, provided I don't go to Azkaban for my sins, I will gladly accept but I can't take Albus's place. Not like that...!"
Minerva looked at him long and hard and finally nodded and said, "I understand! I want you to know that the whole staff is behind you and so is Harry. Alone his name will hold some weight with the Ministry of Magic. Then again, if Kingsley hears the real story he may pardon you right away."
"Kingsley Shacklebolt?" Severus asked.
"Yes! You haven't heard? He is the new Minister of Magic," Minerva said.
"Good for him! It seems we finally have a competent Minister. Speaking of the Ministry... how are the Weasley's?" Severus asked tentatively.
"As can be expected with losing one of the twins. It was a shock. Those two boys always seemed to be invincible." Minerva shook her head.
"Up until I maimed one of them...," Severus spoke in a somber voice.
"It was an accident, Severus!" Bobbie finally interjected in their conversation.
"Listen to Bobbie," Minerva said. "Harry told us already that it was. He is going to speak to the Weasley's tonight. I am sure they will eventually forgive you."
"I hope so...," he whispered, more to himself than Minerva.
Bobbie finally had enough of his somber mood. Minerva would eventually find out about her relationship with Severus anyway. She got up and went to him cradling his face in her hands and turning him to look into his eyes. She quietly said, "Hey, you have to snap out of it. You are holding that guilt for months now. How can they forgive you, if you don't forgive yourself?"
Severus wrapped his arms around her waist pulling her into his lap saying, "I know it was an accident but it doesn't make it any easier."
Minerva looked at the two of them with her mouth agape and she finally made the connection. "You! It was you, Severus...! You were Bobbie's informant and you are also her mystery fiancé...! I'll be...!"
Minerva shook her head. "I'll have to say you two are pretty sneaky. Nobody ever suspected... Well, I guess Albus knew. That old weasel...! Well, congratulations! I am very happy for you. When is the big day?"
Severus hugged Bobbie to him and said, "As soon as possible. We were hoping Filius would be willing to do it."
"Well, I don't know if his license is still valid. I will find out. You set the date and I will do the rest," Minerva said excitedly.
"We only want a very small wedding. Just with a few friendly people," Bobbie said.
Minerva got up and said, "And you'll have it!" Then she asked, "Am I allowed spreading the good news to the staff?"
Severus who picked up on her excitement said, "Suit yourself."
"I'll see you two later." She waved and was out the door.
Severus grinned and said, "I don't think I have ever seen her that excited and I know her for over 25 years."
Two days later, while Severus was brewing potions, Minerva, Harry and Bobbie went to the Ministry of Magic to meet with Minister Shacklebolt. They didn't tell Severus about their little excursion because they didn't want to give him hope when there could be a chance that they wouldn't be successful in getting him exonerated.
They Flooed from the Headmasters office which would be Minerva's in a few days, after she was done moving everything. The newly instated Headmistress signed them in at the front desk inside the atrium of the Ministry. The witch behind the counter informed her that the Minister was expecting them in his office.
When they arrived the door was already open and Kingsley waved them in, "Headmistress it is great to see you."
Minerva inclined her head, "Minister Shacklebolt!"
Kingsley shook hands with Harry and Bobbie. Then he smiled and said, "Well, now that we got all the pleasantries squared away, how are things going at Hogwarts, Minerva? Do you think we can open the school soon, at least for the N.E.W.T's?"
"I think so! We sent all the schoolwork out to the students and we hope they are doing it at home until we can let them come back. There won't be a lot left of the school year though." She cleared her throat and continued, "Unfortunately this is not why we are here, Kingsley."
With a glance at Bobbie he said, "I suspected as much. Arthur Weasley has told me a few things about Snape. My guess is he is the reason you wanted to talk to me." He continued after sending a glance in Harry's direction, "Something about what Mr Potter had told him. Arthur said Albus asked Snape to kill him?"
Harry spoke up, "Professor Snape gave me his memories before he thought he was going to die. I watched them in Professor Dumbledore's Pensieve."
Harry told Kingsley Shacklebolt what he had seen. After he had relayed his story the Minister asked, "Who else knows about this? No offence, Harry but the whole thing would have more weight if there would be someone who could back it up."
"I knew that Severus was helping us keep the children safe when he was headmaster. Voldemort wanted the students to be punished by the Carrows. They were torturing them, tying them up in chains and even using the Cruciatus Curse on occasion," Minerva cut in. "I just couldn't look past the killing of Albus."
"I realize that, Minerva. Unfortunately, despite being the Minister of Magic, I am not the only one who is making the decisions," Kingsley reminded them.
"I can vouch for Severus," Bobbie finally spoke up.
Kingsley looked at her and said, "You are the granddaughter of Albus's old war mate, if I recall. You have been at a meeting at Grimmauld Place."
"That's right! I was the one with the informant in Voldemort's inner circle," Bobbie said.
"I see! So you were the one who was leaking the information to Tonks," Kingsley said. He looked at her for a while and continued, "Let me guess, Severus Snape was the informant...?"
Bobbie nodded and told him about how broken up Severus had been about the task Albus had put on him, that Albus was dying anyway, and Severus had prolonged his life by making potions for him.
Then Harry piped in, "If you want to convict Professor Snape for Professor Dumbledore's murder you have to convict me too. I fed him poison in an inferi infested cave in order to get to a horcrux we needed to defeat Voldemort."
Kingsley finally said, "I see what you are saying. Unfortunately the public won't see it that way. Severus Snape was a Death Eater. He had done things before he became a spy. I personally know what he has done for us. If it would be just me, it would be a different story."
Bobbie spoke up and got more and more frustrated the longer she spoke. "Albus had Severus exonerated for what he did before he was a spy. Severus never enjoyed the things he had to do for Voldemort like the true Death Eaters. You also need to look at the lives he saved with his spying. Hell, Lucius Malfoy is running around out there, just because he renounced his association with Voldemort in the last second. He has done things far worse than Severus. Of course he has deeper pockets than Severus and knows the right places to distribute his..."
Minerva stopped her from going any further by laying her hand on Bobbie's arm. "Since you brought up the public Kingsley, there may be a way to use it to our advantage. We could get the right newspaper involved. Put Severus into a new light. Let people know that he is a hero."
Bobbie said, "You know that Severus is a very private person. I don't think he would like that."
Harry said with a grin, "I know just the person for the job. There is a reporter who owes me a favor. I can just give her enough information about how Professor Snape helped us with finding the horcruxes, giving us the sword to destroy them and how he kept me alive during my school years. Maybe we could smooth the thing with Professor Dumbledore over a little. After all, the only people who saw it were Draco Malfoy and I, and some Death Eaters who either are dead or in Azkaban. I don't think Draco is going to say anything since he was supposed to be the one who was to kill Professor Dumbledore in the first place."
Bobbie sighed. She knew Severus would really rather stay under the radar but she also knew it would be the best method. She was just about to give her go-ahead when Minerva said, "What about the Death Eaters who are still on the run? Severus would be hunted by them for being a traitor."
Kingsley said, "My guess is that they know anyway, Minerva. Malfoy is a traitor in their eyes now also. I think Severus would be better off being accepted by the light side. Maybe he could help us find the rest of Voldemort's minions."
Minerva looked at Bobbie. "What do you think?"
"I agree with Minister Shacklebolt, that the Death Eaters know by now where Severus's true loyalties are." Then she looked at Harry and asked, "Would it be possible to read the article you want to have put into the newspaper? One thing is for sure, I do not want a picture of Severus in it. He hated it when they published the article of him becoming the Headmaster. If anyone wants to see what he looks like they can go to that old newsprint."
Harry said, "I think that can be arranged. Let me talk to Hermione."
"Hermione? Miss Granger?" Minerva asked.
"Yes, she has a..., connection - so to speak to that particular reporter." Harry smirked. Then he said to Bobbie, "I will owl the article to you, so you can read it before it gets printed."
They all said their goodbyes to Minister Shacklebolt and left his office. A second later Kingsley opened the door and called after them, "Harry, could you come back in for a minute?"
Minerva said to Harry, "Go ahead, we will wait for you in the atrium."
Bobbie and Minerva slowly strolled to the atrium looking at some portraits and pictures on the way. By the time they reached the atrium Harry had caught up with them. He was very excited and said, "It looks like I won't be going back to school after all. Minister Shacklebolt has offered Ron, Neville, Hermione and me to start the Auror programme right away. I don't know about the others but I have accepted.
Minerva said, "That is marvelous. Congratulations Harry! That is what you always wanted."
"Yay, how cool is that?" Bobbie said and also congratulated Harry and after a little while she and Minerva said goodbye to Harry who was going to see Hermione right away about the news article. After that the women located a free fireplace and Flooed back to Hogwarts.