Disclaimer 1: Draco, his parents and teachers all belong to JKR. (As if you didn't all know that.)

Disclaimer 2: Severus Snape owning a raven belongs to J.L. Matthews. (Go read her story everybody. It's great.)

Disclaimer 3: The gang name Sharks is borrowed from the musical West Side Story of course. I don't remember where I found the name Rakers, but I know I read it somewhere.

Disclaimer 4: The idea for Snape having a family comes from Al's fic Time of Trial.

Disclaimer 5: The Glizzard family and Gringolf Glizzard belong to my friend Pega Pony and so do all of Gringolf's songs. Thanks for letting me borrow them!

Disclaimer 6: My friend Edmund owns himself and his horse Apollo.

Disclaimer 7: Old Joe and Tess' Joe belong to Zebee.

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A/N – Yes, it's true, this time it didn't take me over a year to get down to writing the sequel. This will be short, though. Only three or four chapters.

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A Letter to Mr. William Snape

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Chapter 1: Unwelcome News

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Minnerva McGonagall had taken over the library. She enjoyed working there when it wasn't full of students who eyed her oddly or approached her with questions. Now in the holidays it was much more comfortable than her office. A charmed quill was flying over a piece of parchment to her left, another to her right, while she was addressing the envelopes by hand.

Sharpe, Mary-Anne was the next name on her list. A Muggle address in Leeds, England.

She cast a look at the quill to her right. Indeed, it had stopped writing and was waiting for her input.

"Miss Sharpe." she informed the quill and it began to write furiously again.

It might be time to check the other quill as well. A quick count confirmed her suspicion. She already had two more first year book lists then required.

A wave of her wand stopped the quill and she erased the text it had memorised. A glance at the time, no, it wasn't likely that she'd get started on the second years' letters today. No use writing the book lists, if she was only going to leave them lying around until tomorrow anyway.

She put the quill away and picked up her unenchanted one again.

To Ms Mary-Anne Sharpe, Acorn Street 15...

The quill had stopped again. Minerva paused and checked the book again. Snape William.

"Mr. Snape." she told the quill and turned to note the name on the students list she'd read out on the first day of term and returned to Ms Sharpe's address.

Wait a minute! Snape? Could it be ... No, she'd taught Professor Snape's little Draco less than a decade ago. The boy was definitely not old enough to have an eleven year old son. A two or three year old, perhaps, but not eleven.

She finished addressing the envelope, folded up the letter and a book list and put them inside.

"Mr. Sorrel." she told the quill, before starting on the next envelope.

To Mr. William Snape

Maybe Severus had a younger brother? No, she'd have taught him then. A cousin? But she didn't remember any cousins of Severus either.

Merlin Park 5/218

Merlin Park?! How did a Merlin Park child get onto Hogwarts' students list?

West Hogsmeade Hogsmeade

Minerva shuddered. Poor child, but this might explain why she didn't know his father. If the man was a Squib, it was no wonder she'd never taught him. And if he was Severus' brother or cousin after all, that would explain how the boy had gotten on the list.

She hadn't expected Severus to allow a relative to have to live in Merlin Park, though.

'He must be as proud as Severus.' she decided. "Determined to make it on his own.'

To Mr. Aterus Sorrel Sorrel Manor...

By late afternoon all the first years' letters were finished and Minerva carried the stack into the owlery cursing the many steps under her breath all the way.

The school owls blinked at her tiredly when she entered. It was still a little early for them. The sight of the stack of envelopes quickly woke them up, though and they fluttered closer.

"Whoa, calm down." Minerva ordered. "There'll be a letter for each of you. If not today, then tomorrow. Now, let me see. This one goes to Ireland."

She looked around for a big, young owl. Crossing the sea required a strong flyer in case he didn't find a ship to rest on when he tired.

"You." she decided noticing a big eagle owl. She tied the envelope to his leg. "That's just outside Dublin. Don't get lost. I'll need you back soon."

An old owl hooted at her in disappointment and nipped at her finger. "No, my dear, this one goes far to the south. I'll need a fast owl for this." Minerva declared and picked a young barn owl.

The old owl booted again and looked miserable. Minerva suddenly felt sorry for her. She glanced at the next Letter. London. That was rather far for such an old bird as well. She shouldn't send her out of Scotland. Something in the immediate vicinity would be best.

"I know. I have just the letter for you." she told the owl as she searched through the stack. "Here it is. This one goes to a boy in West Hogsmeade. A bad neighbourhood, so you'll have to be careful, but I'm sure an experienced bird like you can handle it."

"Hoot!" the owl eagerly held out her leg.

She probably hadn't had a chance to deliver a letter since last year. The students usually picked the young, strong owls to send their letters.

Minerva gently stroked her wing before letting her take off. She'd be back in time for the second years' letters so Minerva decided to make sure to have the letter with the closest address already prepared when she came to the owlery.

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The old owl soared up into the air happily. West Hogsmeade was an easy task, not much of a challenge, but she liked the route. She'd flown it before. In fact she'd even been to that same house before.

The headmaster himself had sent her with letters to the dark haired teacher and once, in her youth, she had delivered a letter to a witch for the dark haired teacher when his raven had been away. She was quite sure that it had been a love letter considering how important it had been to the teacher that nobody knew he'd sent it.

This letter's recipient had the same name as the teacher, the witch and the boy, but it was a different window. Either that boy didn't belong to the teacher or they had moved their nest.

Well, it had been many years. They probably had moved their nest.

Indeed when the owl knocked on the window her magic told her William Snape was behind, it was the witch who opened.

The owl hooted her thanks and a greeting at her and fluttered in. The family was having dinner. The teacher and a dark haired boy were sitting at the table. A third plate of food showed where the witch must have sat before the knock.

A dog sat on the floor next to the boy's chair wagging his tail and hoping for scraps.

The blond boy wasn't around. Maybe he'd gone to stretch his wings, or maybe he had found himself a nest of his own.

The magic said to take the letter to the boy, so she carefully landed beside his plate.

"Hoot!" she stretched her leg out as elegantly as she could manage with her aching old joints.

The boy stared at her wide eyed.

"For me?" he asked incredulously.

"Hoot!" the owl confirmed.

The boy hesitantly touched the letter with his hand.

"Hoot!"

He got more courageous and gently untied the letter. The owl turned to leave.

"Mum, Dad, I got an owl!" apparently this was the first time the boy had gotten mail of his own.

"Then feed the owl, Billy." his father ordered sternly. "You must never forget to reward the bird."

The boy blushed and quickly spooned up some vegetables from his plate then held the spoon out to the owl.

Vegetables? She almost refused, but a glance at the boy's plate informed her that he might not have anything more appropriate available. Unless he carried owl treats in his pocket this was the best he could do.

The dog barked at her and wagged his tail.

She decided to pick a pea and leave. Dogs were weird creatures and she didn't trust them no matter how friendly they looked.

Billy watched the owl fly out, secretly dropped another pea for That Dog and finally opened the letter.

Dear Mr. Snape!

You have been accepted into Hogwarts ...

"Hogwarts?" Billy exclaimed.

Only this morning he and his big brother had searched though the old school books in the basement to find which ones he would be able to use in his first year at West Hogsmeade. They'd also put some aside that they'd decided to sell to have extra money for new books. And now he was supposed to go to Hogwarts?

"Show me that letter." his mother ordered and Billy obediently handed it over.

Sarah Snape read the letter through twice.

"Severus?" she pressed out behind clenched teeth when she was done. "What is this about, Severus?"

Severus sighed and reached out for the letter. "Let me see."

"Why is our son being invited to that place?"

Severus retracted his hand when it became obvious that Sarah didn't intend to give him Billy's letter. "I don't know. Believe me, I had no idea." he shrugged helplessly. "Maybe they assumed that because Draco graduated from Hogwarts, his brother would go there too?"

"They're not even supposed to know about Billy's existence." Sarah reminded him. "Even if Draco mentioned him to one of the teachers once, that is no reason to put him on the waiting list right away."

Severus sighed deeply. "Albus."

"What about Uncle Albus?" Billy asked eagerly. "Is he coming to visit?"

Uncle Albus was Billy's godfather and very rich. He always brought Billy a wonderful gift when he came. Most of the time they were toys, absolutely new never before used toys.

Thanks to Uncle Albus Billy had the biggest and newest toy collection in all of Merlin Park. Ten stuffed animals, fifteen plastic toys, a soccer ball, a few board games and a Muggle toy car.

Well, okay so the toy car had been second hand when he'd gotten it and it hadn't come from Uncle Albus either. It had been a Christmas gift from his brother, but it was still one of his favourite toys.

"No, Uncle Albus is definitely not coming." Billy's Mum declared. "It's his fault you got this letter. You are not going to Hogwarts. Forget that nonsense."

"But Mum, I don't even want to go to Hogwarts." Billy laughed. "I don't know anybody there and Miracle Melly will never accept me, if I'm in boarding school all year."

It was Billy's biggest wish to impress the leader of the Rakers and be invited to join the gang. At eleven he was finally old enough. Primary school kids rarely got into a gang, because they were considered too young. Now that he was going to start wizarding school in a little over a month, though, Billy was sure that Melly would notice and invite him at any moment.

"Indeed, this must have been a mistake. I'll go to the school tomorrow and clear it up with Minerva." Billy's Dad decided.

"Who's Minerva?" Billy asked.

"Minerva McGonagall, the one who wrote that letter." Severus explained. "I'll just tell her that we're not interested and you want to go to school with your friends."

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The second year's letters had been much easier to write. All these students really needed to know was when term started and what books to buy.

Minnerva had started writing the letters at seven in the morning. At ten she'd finished and finally allowed the house elves to bring her a quick breakfast.

After that she had started the third years' letters. Those were more difficult. She'd started by setting one quill to write Hogsmeade permission forms and the other the students' letters. The more problematic book lists she kept for after she was done with the envelopes.

The book lists weren't named, so she ran the risk of confusing them, if she didn't put them in the envelopes right away. For first and second year that made no difference as all students required the same books. The older students however each had different electives and therefore required different books. She would have to add the elective books by hand once the quills had finished writing the standard books. Resetting the quills for a different text for each combination of subjects was even more work, than that.

Minerva was just finishing the fourth envelope when the library door swung open and Severus Snape burst into the room scowling in a way she'd rarely seen since the death of Voldemort six years ago.

"Good morning, Severus." She smiled hoping to calm his anger by acting welcoming. "If I'd known you were coming. I'd..."

"Is this supposed to be some kind of joke?" Severus demanded and slammed a piece of parchment onto the table.

The two magical quills jumped from the sudden jolt and left ugly black stains on their parchments.

"Severus, please." Minerva chastised. "I need to finish these by the end of the week."

Severus frowned at the parchments on her desk. "You would be faster, if you didn't write any unnecessary ones."

"Unnecessary?" Minerva looked down at the crumpled parchment Severus had slammed under her nose in confusion. It looked familiar.

"Billy wouldn't even want to attend Hogwarts, if we could afford it." Severus hissed. "He has been looking forward to attending West Hogsmeade Wizarding School for years. All his friends are going there, all the older kids he admires, all his classmates from primary school."

"West Hogsmeade?" Minerva gasped. "But why? What do you mean afford it?"

"Yes, West Hogsmeade." Severus nodded. "That's where we live and children who live in West Hogsmeade go to a school that's called West Hogsmeade as well. Is that so hard to understand?"

"But.... but... but..."

"But nothing." Severus continued. "I expect you to take my son off your list right now. We never put him down for Hogwarts in the first place."

"But Hogwarts is the much better school." Minerva finally got out. "William will have much better chances."

"Billy." Severus corrected. "His name is Billy, not William."

"Billy!" echoed the raven on his shoulder.

Weird kind of bird, Minerva thought. The animal's name was weird too. Something from a Norse myth. Hugin? No, that had been Draco's bird. Odin's other raven ...

"Just think of the tradition!"

"My wife's family has a very long tradition of attending West Hogsmeade." Severus smirked. "A tradition Billy is going to honour."

"But Draco..."

"We didn't feel it was right for Draco to switch schools just before taking his OWLs and let him stay in the same school for the two last years as well, but that might have been a mistake. Looking back now Draco would have been happier at West Hogsmeade. He'd have fit in better there and could have been with his friends. I am not going to make the same mistake with Billy."

"Mistake?" Minerva was frantically trying to order her thoughts.

"Mistake." confirmed the raven.

Severus had her completely unbalanced and she knew perfectly that the only way to win an argument against Severus Snape was to convince him with well founded, clearly stated facts. Whole sentences and logical argumentation were absolute musts, if you wanted Severus to take you seriously.

Unfortunately that usually required being prepared for his arguments and having given the matter at hand a lot of thought in advance. Minerva however was completely unprepared for someone, especially Severus, turning down Hogwarts.

"Yes, mistake. You may consider this our answering owl. Good day, Minerva." and before Minerva could find her voice again, he had already rushed out the door.

Munin. That was the raven's name.

Ravens cost barely anything in wizarding pet shops. A cheap pet for a wizard from a cheap part of town.

Whatever had possessed Severus Snape to raise a family in Merlin Park of all places?

His wife's family had a tradition of attending West Hogsmeade? A cheap pet and a cheap school.

Hogwarts' wages weren't that bad, were they? Minerva got by fine on her own with a little house in the eastern part Hogsmeade. Would she have financial problems, if she had a husband and two children to support in addition to herself?

The quill writing the students' letters made an impatient beeping noise. Right, it required the next name to continue. Where was her list again?

"Mr. Brown." she told the quill, then went to count the Hogsmeade forms.

Ten. Thirty-two to go.

She picked up Billy's crumpled letter and tried to flatten it.

Maybe Severus's wife had demanded they live in Merlin Park out of tradition? Maybe Severus just loved her too much to leave her for a better part of town?

She remembered Draco's old backpack and his torn hand me down books. The old sewn robes he'd worn in seventh year. That ugly old goose feather quill and the Muggle pen he'd used to take notes in class.

So William, no Billy, Billy Snape would not go to Hogwarts.

She smiled a little at the name. Billy. It was an endearment as much as a name and the way Severus had insisted in its use ... Whatever else he might lack, Billy certainly had his father's love.

But he would not go to Hogwarts. The son of a Hogwarts teacher and head of House was not going to go to Hogwarts.

If the Daily Prophet ever got wind of that, they'd probably turn it into proof that even the teachers themselves didn't trust in the quality of Hogwarts' education.

Or would they blame it on Albus? They could claim, that clearly the headmaster had refused to accept the boy in a heartless act to prevent any suspicion of corruption, should Billy Snape happen to do well in school.

BEEP!

Minerva started and dug for her list again. She should go back to addressing envelopes, before all the letters were written.

"Ms Carter." she read out to the quill.

It didn't matter what the Daily Prophet wrote. Billy deserved a good education. Maybe Draco could help out with some money for his little brother. He ought to have his own income by now.

Or maybe Albus could be convinced to grant Billy a scholarship? He'd always liked Severus.

But she had no idea where Albus was or when he'd be back and in the meantime Billy was getting ready to attend that hell hole of a school in West Hogsmeade. She had to save the boy somehow.

But how?

BEEP!

"Huh? What already?" Minerva sighed. "Mr. Cooper."

She really had to get back to those envelopes and the Hogsmeade forms were almost done as well. Minerva decided to set the second quill to writing book lists rather than student letters. She was too far behind with the envelopes already.

So where was the address of Mr. Brown again?

Ah, yes, right there. She managed to address three envelopes, before she had to start that second quill on the book lists.

She wondered what it was like to live in Merlin Park. She had been living in Hogsmeade for almost as long as she'd been teaching at Hogwarts, but in all those years she'd never even seen Merlin Park.

She'd been to West Hogsmeade, yes. She'd walked past the school Billy was supposed to go to. What an ugly building it was! No hint of the romantic atmosphere that welcomed the students at Hogwarts.

Occasionally she'd even visited the market, though she usually left the grocery-shopping to her house elf. The market was quite an affair. It was the only wizarding market in all of Scotland and therefore visited by witches an wizards from all over the country. The fruits and vegetables were usually fresh and of excellent quality and the meat was really worth the trip, but there were also a lot of stands Minerva had no use for at all.

Muggle items and second hand clothes were on sale as well as divination supplies. Second hand books were something she could only frown at and the shabby old bookshop didn't tempt her much either.

She wondered whether all the shops in West Hogsmeade looked like that.

What might the houses in Merlin Park be like? She knew that they each housed more than one family, had been built big and cheap. They probably looked just like that school, big, flat and ugly.

How anyone could actually want to live in such a place, she'd never understand.

"Beep!" the still working quill protested once again.

At this rate she'd never get thought the third years.

Minerva forced herself to concentrate on her task. She gave the first quill the name of the next student, set the second quill on record and wrote the first book list, then let it loose among the fresh parchments.

By that time the first quill was beeping again and then Minerva returned to her envelopes. She made good time until she reached the address of a student from Hogsmeade.

The girl was a Slytherin, she remembered. She didn't live in West Hogsmeade, but Minerva still wondered whether she knew Billy Snape.

It wasn't likely. The girl lived only a few streets from her own house and Minerva hadn't even known. Why would she be any more familiar with the people of Merlin Park than Minerva was?

But she was a Slytherin. If she knew Billy, what would she think when he didn't show up to be sorted on the first of September? What would Severus tell her, if she asked?

Another BEEP reminded her that that wasn't important and she'd better get back to work.

She managed to address half of the third years' envelopes that afternoon, but since their book lists weren't complete, she only took the second years' letters with her when she went to the owlery that evening.

There weren't that many owls available anyway. Only eleven birds had remained behind yesterday and most of the others would not be back, yet.

Indeed she found only fifteen owls sitting on their perches and one of them looked so exhausted that she decided to let him rest.

Her friend the old owl seemed fine, though and the small town just outside of Aberdeen, one of the second years lived in wasn't that far. Minerva reminded herself to reserve a certain third year Slytherin's letter for this owl's next trip.

"There you go, girl." She tied the letter securely, but gently to her leg. "No need to hurry with this. Feel free to take two days for the trip. I'm a little behind with the writing of the next batch."

The owl hooted at her and flew out.

"Next I need a bird to go to Wales." She picked a quiet barn owl who hadn't gotten a letter the day before.

A dark feathered eagle owl screeched a protest, but Minerva just smiled at him.

"No, no, I need you to take this to Iceland. Can't send one of the small owls that far across the ocean, can I?"

"Hoot!" the eagle owl agreed and stuck out his leg majestically.

He refused to be petted good bye before he took off.

The owlery looked very empty by the time Minerva left. With the single exhausted owl fast asleep in the back comer it was hard to believe that this place was usually filled with movement and noise.

On the way back into the equally deserted school Minerva crossed the empty Quidditch pitch. Even Hagrid's hut looked deserted. She didn't know where the half giant was spending his holiday.

For a moment she hoped to meet Argus Filch, or maybe even Albus in the halls, but not even a house elf popped into view. Had they already gone to bed?

It wasn't likely. Perhaps they were already cleaning the castle in preparation for the start of term. The summer holidays were the only time they cold do any truly thorough cleaning of the common rooms.

She returned to the library one last time and finished addressing the envelopes. Tomorrow she'd match the book lists with them and seal the letters.

Tomorrow afternoon, that was. Tomorrow morning she had something else to do. She just couldn't allow little Billy to be sent to that horrible place when he was meant to go to Hogwarts and she would see to it that he didn't.

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Arwen Black – Sorry about missing that review. This computer is acting up again and occasionally losing mails (or was that the server's fault?) and ff.net had some problems back then as well. As for your problems understanding everything in English, I'm sure Daga will translate the fic as soon as she can. (I'm hard work for her, I guess. Posting something almost every week ... Translating is harder than writing, so you'll have to give her a little more time.)

kateydidnt – Six times is lucky. I got two, that I got about ten times a day for three or four days. First no alerts at all, then the same ones again and again and in the end there still were a few lost ones. ... If you take a look at the epilogue of MNS, you'll find that the head of Gryffindor is Sabrina Potter. She just wasn't mentioned in the Double O epilogue.

Pam Briggs – Actually it was Ron and Percy themselves who changed their last name. None of their descendants ever was a Weasley.

Keika no Kaiyou – I've actually thought about that before, but right now I have too many other projects running and the plot hedgehog for that one is still rather tiny. Maybe if the little fellow grows ....

EriEka127 – Actually, I'm usually rather sad when one of my fics ends, but I have so many other ones I want to write. I have to end them sometime and the next one usually does console me once I really get into it.

asdfghjkl – The plot hedgehogs aren't big enough for another 55 chapter fic, I'm afraid, and then there are the Catar-fic plot hedgehogs who've been sniffing around over here since I finished MNS. They're getting a little impatient.

Iremione – Not every Lestrange is related to Bellatrix, strange as it may seem. ... Unfortunately Althea didn't understand Konstantin and still feels sorry for him. But then, maybe Konstantin will come to his senses and turn out to be a nice boy after all once he gets older. Maybe he's just been brainwashed by his parents. ... Now, now, that's not what I said. Don't send JKR after my fur, yet! Actually phoenix feather isn't very powerful for Longbottoms as it doesn't suit them well. (Harry probably wouldn't do very well with a dragon heartstring wand, while the owner of a dragon heartstring wand would not be happy with Harry's wand's performance at all.) That doesn't mean phoenix feather is any less powerful than any other type of wand. ... Konstantin was hoping to become a Slytherin like his hero Voldemort. ... Of course Hermione would, but it would cause her some inner conflict and it didn't absolutely have to be her. ... How much do I know about Santiago? Almost nothing. It must have come up in Geography once (Or maybe it could have been History? I remember hearing the word after all!), so I know that it exists, but that's about it. ... Voldemort? Get out of here Waldi, no evil dachshunds allowed in my reviews! I want to talk to Iremione again! ... Well, Luci always knew how to get out of these messes.

kalariah – Thanks!

Lady-Bookworm17 – Everybody has many different sides depending on the POV and few characters remain harsh once you try to get into their skin. At least that's how it is for me.

Laureselde – Maybe. I don't have a big enough plot hedgehog to write the story of Althea and her friends at this time and I have a lot of other projects that need writing. If the plot hedgehog grows, I might write it someday, but don't hold your breath waiting. Right now this is the fic I need to get out.

Lady Hemlock – Sorry to disappoint you, but I like Neville to much to do that to him.

Alia5 – Thanks for not expecting FA spelling quality from me. I doubt I'd get any of my fics up there now. The ones that already are there went up right when the site started when their rules weren't so tough, yet. ... Really? Well, I used to have a coworker called Alia. Maybe that's why I thought of the name. ... Believe it or not, but I do like Harry. I can't see him putting much effort into Potions studying, though. He hates the class (due to Sevi hating him) and has no family that cares and presses him about his grades. As long as he passes I can't see Harry worrying too much about his Potions grade. As for Ron, I meant for him to go through a phase of teenage rebellion against his mother (You know: Not like Percy, no. I'm Ron, not Percy.) Unfortunately I'm not very good at comebacks myself and having to come up with them in English makes it even harder, so I sometimes just give up the search for a good one. ... Damn hes and thes! I was so sure I'd caught them all! ... I considered adding Dean, but I didn't think Draco would think to ask him right away. He probably joined the group of his own accord once they had learned the basics, though.

Mayya – Well, hope you liked the sequel as well. You finished MNS just in time when the sequel was finished as well, so I'm not sure if or when you'll find this. Yes, Snapes are totally respectless ... of the head of Gryffindor.

Drunken Brawler – Thanks.

the14milo – Actually I got a betaed version of the first chapter of MNS now, but I still haven't had the time to go over it. Everything that's currently posted is indeed edited only by myself, though my best friend sometimes spots and points out mistakes.

Lady Dagger914 – Thanks!

Weasleylover1 – No, particularly not fond of Ron. As for Percy, I think that he is destined to be misled. He isn't evil per se, but has problems with independent thinking and that makes him the perfect tool to manipulate. ... How's this for fast service? Your review almost didn't make it in time to be answered here.

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- A/N: Will Minerva ever finish those letters? Will Severus change his mind about what school Billy should go to? And will Billy become a Raker?

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In the next chapter: Minerva meets the Lions. Draco has a big announcement and Sarah wants Albus to stay out of her family's life.