Severus sat in an armchair across from an average sized woman with reddish brown hair and blue eyes. This slight woman held Harry's future in her delicate hands. Taking a deep breath he prepared himself for the worst.
"Thank you for seeing me so quickly, after seeing Harry I believe its best we get this taken care of as quickly as possible."
"Is he alright?" Severus found him self asking before the thought had completely filtered through his brain. The woman looked startled, as if she hadn't expected him to ask, he hadn't expected himself to ask either.
"He is fine." She said, leaning back in her chair. "I'll will how ever feel better once he is moved somewhere where he not only feels safe but some where that the minister has no sway over." She turned to the headmaster then. "I need to ask why child services were not informed of Harry's change of residence? If we had known we could have avoided this entire mess."
"If we had informed you my dear, then Harry would have been put in danger. As it is now he is still in a great deal of danger. He has very special security needs that very few people can offer."
"We would have taken that into account headmaster, you are his primary guardian in the magical world, if you had told us the circumstances we would have worked with you to make accommodations."
"My apologies Ms. Bernstine, I have not had such experiences with your department in the past, and was hesitant to entrust the safety of young Harry to your care." The headmaster sipped his tea while he traded verbal barbs with this woman.
Judith was flabbergasted by the headmasters response. She had dealt with people like him before, the ones who thought that they knew best for everyone. What she didn't understand was why Severus Snape had gone along with the man? From everything she had heard about the dark haired man he was no push over, so why would he go along with the headmaster if he knew what the man was doing was against the law. "What about you Mr. Snape? Why wouldn't you go to the authorities after your findings?"
"I went to the headmaster as I would with any student I find is being abused."
"Did you know that he wasn't going to report it?"
"I never had a thought on the matter one way or another. I too have not had good experiences with Child Services madam."
"Up until recently you haven't had good experiences with Harry Potter either. Why should he be allowed to stay in your care, how can I be sure that you aren't treating him the same way as his relatives?"
"He has been in my care for the last month. I would never harm a child in my care. Especially not the child of a very dear friend." Severus growled, clenching his jaw as he realized the information his emotions had caused him to give away. He closed his eyes taking a deep breath through his nose. He could feel Albus looking at him, clearly surprised with his outburst.
"A friend?" The irritating woman questioned.
"His mother and I were friends when we were young." He said slowly, forcing himself to look the woman in the eye.
"Do you think she would approve of you taking in her son?"
"I have no way of knowing how she would feel about the situation. I would hope how ever that she would see that I am doing the best I can to look out for him and to guide him through the trials he must face."
"Hm." Ms. Bernstine, started scratching away with her quill. "Now were is Mr. Lupin? I understand that he has applied as secondary guardian for Mr. Potter."
"He was on a shopping trip with Mr. Malfoy when all this happened he should be here shortly." Dumbledore replied.
"Has Mr. Malfoy been staying with you as well Mr. Snape?"
"I was under the impression that he and Mr. Potter didn't get along."
"The formed a tentative friendship a week or so after I took Harry from his relatives."
"Does Mr. Malfoy visit you often over the summer holiday?"
"He used to when he was very young." Snape answered wondering why it was important.
"But not since he started school?"
"I fail to see why this is important, but his father didn't like the influence I had on his son." Snape said with a sneer. Severus was spared anymore questions from the woman as two surprisingly welcome forms burst through the office door.
"Uncle Sev!" Draco cried rushing to the man as soon as he had a clear path. He found strong arms wrapping themselves around him when he reached the dark-haired potions master and felt reassured that his godfather was alright. "Where's Harry? Is he alright?" He asked pulling back.
"He is at the ministry." Severus said and Draco could read the mans agitation, his aura was snapping around him like the tail of an angry cat, in volatile reds and purples.
"Is he alright?!" Draco asked again, who knew what the minister was doing with his friend.
"Mr. Potter is fine Mr. Malfoy." The woman who was sitting across from his godfather informed him.
"I don't believe I was asking you ma'am." His cold Malfoy demeanor slipping into place.
"Draco that's enough." Severus interrupted before the boy could show any more of his fathers haughtiness. "Harry is alright." He confirmed. "They haven't hurt him, and we have someone trustworthy with him." He knew that Draco would read between the lines and understand that Harry was less than ok, but would have to manage until they could work this out.
Watching the exchange between the blond boy and his godfather Judith cleared her throat. "I would like to speak with Mr. Malfoy and Mr. Lupin. Perhaps Mr. Weasely and Ms. Granger as well."
"Yes, of course." Dumbledore said. "I will send for Mr. Weasely and Ms. Granger now if you like." He rose from his chair.
"Please." Judith agreed, rising as well. "I would also appreciate if you would direct me to a room that I am conduct these interviews in private."
"Perhaps Remus could show you to the staff room." Remus shot Albus and inquiring look before turning to the auburn haired woman.
"This way ma'am." He said leading her out of the room.
"Have you known Harry long?" Judith asked as they walked.
"I would say since he was a baby but in all honesty only a few years." Remus replied.
"And you feel qualified to look after him if anything were to happen to Mr. Snape?"
"Wether I feel quilified or not is not the point, Harry needs me and I will help him in any way that I can." Remus stated simply pushing open the door to the empty staff room.
"Am I to assum the only reason you haven't petitioned for custody before now is because of your status as a warewolf?"
"It is, though I have been taking the wolfsbane potion regularly since coming back in contact with Harry."
"It says in your file that their was an indecent while you were teaching in Harry's third year." Judith inquired.
"An oversight on my part. As you surely know Sirus black had taken young Mister Weasley, Harry and Miss Granger had chased after them. I followed, in my hast I forgot that the full moon was that night and that I had not taken the potion yet."
"It is quite miraculous that non of the children were bitten or hurt."
"My transformation happened on our way back to the school. Thankfully Severus had gone to my office to deliver the wolf bane potion, I am still not quite sure how he knew where we were but thankfully he is quite capable of taking on an adult warewolf."
"So he protected the children then."
"Yes, of course he did."
"And this was when he and Mr. Potter still weren't getting along?"
" And Mr. Potter, he wasn't afraid of you after seeing you transform."
"No I don't believe, he was."
"So you've never talked to him about it?"
"Of course I have, he and his friends call it my furry little problem..." Remus said, causing Judith's lips to quirk slightly at the corners. "He seems to be more concerned about after the full moon." Remus continued. "If he is near by he tends to fuss."
"The last full moon was on monday, you seem surprisingly healthy after only a day?"
"Living with a potions master has its advantages."
"So you were with Professor Snape and Harry."
"Yes, Severus has set up a room for my transformations."
"It is surprising that a man who cost you your job thee years ago would go to such lengths to help you now."
"People will do much for the people they care about and we both care greatly for Harry." Remus stated calmly.
"Very true." Judith agreed. "I think that will be all for now, I may have some questions for you later though."
Remus nodded his understanding and rose to shake Judith's hand. "Shall I send one of the children down to you?"
"I think perhaps this room may intimidate them. Perhaps there is some where a little less formal where I can speak to them."
"They should be eating about now supper, so lets head down to the great hall." Remus replied leading her out of the staff room.