Disclaimer 1: Draco and most of the teachers 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 PegaPony 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.
Disclaimer 8: The looks of the five Slytherin girls are taken mostly from a drawing by Iremione.
Disclaimer 9: I first encountered the Ravenslyth-terminology on the Slytherin Rising e-group. I don't remember who invented it, but it's not mine.
A/N: Well, it looks like there's simply nothing I can do about those section breaks on So I'll just hope you can guess where they are.
We've come to the end of this fic now and it feels like this was my worst work to date, but then at this point I always feel like this about my fics. Next, please allow me to take a few weeks to work on Both Or Neither, which I have been neglecting too much lately, before I finally start posting The Catar.
When Severus Snape had first become head of Slytherin house he'd already been part of the Hogwarts staff for a few years. Long enough to realise that it sometimes became hard to remember a particular student once they'd been out of school for a year or two. And he'd been wise enough to realise that the problem would only increase with the years.
As a head of house, he believed it to be his duty to be able to reproduce at least some information about every member and former member of his house, so he had started to keep files to remember them by.
By now the files filled three rows of the shelf behind his desk in his office. Each of them was dedicated to an entire year of students. Some were thicker, some thinner depending on how successful the individual students had been and how much information Severus had about their further lives.
The thickest of them all would probably require him to start a second volume someday soon, he thought as he took it off the shelf. Or maybe he ought to remove some of the less important contents. It wasn't like it was that thick because of its importance, after all. It had been an average class of students. The only reason he had so much information was his close connection with them.
His son Billy had been in that year and he was still maintaining his friendship with all his former classmates supplying Severus with a regular source of news and pictures.
Yes, pictures. Pictures always helped to inspire Severus' memory which was why he liked to include them in his files.
Like any of the other files this one therefore had four pictures on its first page, each of them showing the year's first years of one house and below them was a list of the students' names.
The Gryffindor picture had been taken during a Quidditch match their house had thoroughly lost making them all look rather downhearted and small. The Ravenclaws next to them were gathered around a library table concentrating hard on some Astronomy chart. Seeing cheeky Lucinda Iterton absent-mindedly chew on her quill or accidentally smear ink all over her face and hands always brought a little smirk to Severus' face.
Below the Gryffindors were the Hufflepuffs chatting happily over a meal, Severus couldn't remember whether it had been lunch or dinner. His Slytherins were assembled in the common room, among them a face that always made Severus stop and frown in confusion for a moment before he remembered the little blond boy.
Gangolf Bartering had left Hogwarts after only three months leaving only a few faint traces in Severus' memory. Hopefully the boy had been happy at his new school. Severus remembered him being quite the outsider of the group at Hogwarts.
On the very next page he found an extra picture of a boy in Hufflepuff colours. 'Thomas Riley entered Hufflepuff house after the Christmas holidays.' the inscription explained.
Slow-witted Tommy had been an abysmal Potions student, Severus remembered, but with the patient help of his housemates he had somehow managed to pass his NEWTs. There was a picture of the Hufflepuffs and Slytherins celebrating their graduation somewhere further back in the file in which several other students often hugged Tommy in congratulation.
Next came some pictures of the Slytherin students in their various clubs. Anny dressed up as a Muggle maid for some play, Pank and Rupert waving a sheet of parchment at the camera in Riddles class. Unfortunately the picture was too small to recognise the riddle on the sheet.
Dinah doing a handstand and Danny showing off her cartwheels in Gymnastics, a picture of the school choir performing on Valentines Day. Severus always forgot that Colleen had been in Choir class for an entire year before switching to Art and later Acting.
Aterus playing a West Hogsmeade third year at the schools' chess tournament while a black girl in West Hogsmeade robes was cheering him on despite the angry glances of some fellow members of her own team. Billy conducting an experiment in Chemistry class and Tullia proudly showing off her perfect score at her first Math test.
Then there were pictures from the Sports tournament. The Soccer team in their brand new uniforms, Tullia and Danny frowning as they faced each other on opposing Volleyball teams, Colleen cheering on the Quidditch team . . .
The pictures from Draco and Cathy's wedding filled three pages. The Slytherins seemed to have milled with just about everybody except the Gryffindors on that occasion. There were pictures of them with Huflepuffs and Ravenclaws, with their teachers, with West Hogsmeade students and even one of a grinning Mike Tiller showing Aterus a hovering charm while Filius Flitwick was laughing in the background. Severus never had found out what exactly the joke had been, but it was one of his favourite pictures, a visible proof of the success of the school partnership.
Then came the group picture for second year, this time taken outside the castle. Colleen had asked Severus to take that one for her as she wanted all her classmates to be in it to show to her little brother who'd once again been in hospital after a minor heart attack.
Anny had made the main Soccer team that year and there were several pictures of Colleen showing off her finished artwork. Then Billy and Tullia as Billy showed her how to set up an experiment in Chemistry, Dinah and Anny on the stage, Danny and the boys having a picnic beside the lake while Tullia had a forbidden conversation with the merpeople . . .
Billy showing off his brand new Rakers cap which he finally received during the Easter holidays of that year. Odessa Coldon, a Hufflepuff first year, dragging her best friend Patricia Laxter over to the Slytherin table to apologise to Dinah.
Dinah had had particularly bad luck that the other twin, Alexandra had been sorted into Gryffindor where she'd been taught all sorts of prejudice against Slytherins, which she had promptly passed on to Patricia. The Hufflepuffs had had a hard time convincing her to take Alexandra's information with a grain of salt.
There was a small detail about that picture that Severus would never have guessed, though. Sweet little Odessa, who'd been one of the three best Potions students in her year, just happened to be Gangolf Bartering's cousin who'd once loved to play beautician with him.
The last page from that year held Severus' attention for a while. It was dedicated to a series of pictures taken at a party Dinah had given that summer. The guests had been mostly Slytherins and Hufflepuffs, but there also were a few Ravenclaws and one picture showed Colleen and Jorge with a wide eyed Muggle girl who was listed as 'Muggle friend of Anny' in the inscription below.
Severus frowned at that for a moment, then picked up his quill and put it in brackets. 'Sally Andersen, the future Lady Anterhill.' he squeezed in after it.
Yes, that was much better, he decided.
In third year Desdemona Anterhill had started Hogwarts and joined her brother in Slytherin. She showed up in a lot of group pictures from then on. Not nearly as popular as her brother she'd clung to him in order to gain some status.
A few photos also showed another first year, Gerry Laxter. Dinah's brother had predictably become a Hufflepuff, but he'd still come to his older sister for support a lot during his first year.
Another picture showed the Hogwarts junior Soccer team celebrating their very first victory over West Hogsmeade. Pank was beaming with pride over having scored the decisive goal. He'd finally become a member of the main team after that.
The pictures from the students' first Hogsmeade weekend mostly showed them outside West Hogsmeade Wizarding School and in the market place. Only Pank, Rupert and Colleen were shown in the only picture taken inside the Three Broomsticks, which had become rather unpopular among the Slytherins since Draco's school days.
Colleen, Dinah and Cam Weasley revising for a French test. This one had probably been taken by Anny who hadn't taken the elective class.
The last picture of the year showed Tullia and Danny eating ice-cream at the train station while waving a train good bye. That must have been the year Danny had spent the first two weeks of the holidays with Tullia, then.
Fourth year had a picture of the entire Laxter clan saying good bye to a crying little girl at the train station in Aberdeen. The crybaby had ended up in Hufflepuff with her older brother Jerry, of course. Dinah had been terribly embarrassed by her antics.
There were a lot of Soccer pictures that year as Billy had been moved into the senior team while Anny and Pank had remained juniors for one more year.
Then there was Colleen dressed up as a beggar for her first ever stage performance as she'd only just joined the Acting club that year. There were no pictures of her in Poetry, which she'd also picked up then, but there was nothing much to see in that class, so Severus wasn't really surprised that nobody had thought to bring a camera.
There was a group picture of Billy and Tullia's Alchemy class, though, the largest class Draco had ever taught. They'd been split into two groups after a rather bad explosion had badly damaged the classroom near the end of the year. Luckily nobody had been seriously hurt.
Pank had been forced back into the reserves when he'd become a senior Soccer player in fifth year and there were two pictures that showed him scowling as he watched a game from the sidelines. The scowl might just as easily have been caused by his little sister Priscilla, though, who'd been a first year Ravenclaw that year and together with her friend Miranda Coldon, the little sister of Odessa, had done everything in her power to break the Weasley twins old detention record. The girl should have been a Gryffindor in Severus' opinion and Pank had had his hands full trying, often in vain, to reign her in.
Several pictures of the students revising for their OWLs followed, then a whole page dedicated to the party they'd held in the Slytherin common room after their last OWL exam was finally behind them.
Sixth year started with a picture of Dinah bent over laughing as her cousin Deborah to her shock and surprise was sorted into Gryffindor. The only explanation Dinah had given for her reaction was that 'Andy predicted it six years ago'.
Various pairings of students showed up holding hands, talking or simply smiling at each other on the next few pages. Especially Rupert seemed to have been dating a different girl in almost every picture.
In between all the lovers' photos there was one of Danny staring incredulously at a banner mounted above Argus Filch's office door. The words 'Congratulations on your 100th detention, Danny!' flashed down at her in many colours. Severus still suspected that Argus must have been in on the prank as he hadn't even complained about the students' antics. Whether it really had been Danny's 100th detention Severus didn't know, but he doubted the students had really kept count. Argus however . . .
Another picture showed a much happier Danny and Colleen having an unauthorised broom race during Flying class, both laughing with joy while Professor Hooch rolled her eyes at their antics. It was surprising that neither of the two had ever joined the Quidditch team. Severus had even asked Colleen about it once, but she'd said that she liked her other clubs too much to give any of them up and three were quite enough for her. Danny on the other hand had tried out in second year, but concentrated all her efforts on Volleyball when she hadn't made the team right away.
In the middle of seventh year Phelippe Nocturne had started his first year despite just having turned thirteen. Albus had decided that it was best for him to start at the beginning since he was only one year older than his fellow students, though Severus suspected that the boy would have caught up to second year easily. The sorting hat had picked Ravenclaw before it had settled completely onto his head.
As Phelippe hadn't been able to play much during his childhood, he'd become a real bookworm and an excellent student. Despite his heart being completely healthy after the treatment his mother had insisted that he had to be excused from Sports and Flying classes, which might have proved more difficult for him.
Despite the Gryffindors' teasing Colleen had spent a lot of time with her little brother and almost all the pictures of her showed them together. In Severus' opinion that had probably saved Phelippe who'd been extremely upset at the loss of his father to Azkaban and had occasionally shown tendencies towards dark magic. Colleen's hatred for the magic that had nearly taken his life served as a counter weight for that.
Quite the opposite of those two's relationship had been the one between Dinah and her youngest brother Pat, who'd started his first year in Hufflepuff that year. The only picture of him in this file showed the siblings yelling at each other.
Next followed the obligatory pictures of NEWTs revision sessions and saying good bye to favourite spots in Hogwarts and Hogsmeade. As in all the files the last picture taken at the school was a shot of the great hall during the class' last leaving feast. In most of the files that was one of the last pages, but here it was closer to the middle than the end and Severus suspected that a lot of pictures were still to come as the years went on.
The very next page held the announcement of Colleen Nocturne's engagement with Randolph Montrey, which had been in the Daily Prophet less then a week after the end of the school year. Colleen had been very unhappy with her grandmother's choice of husband for her, but a few weeks before the wedding Randolph had called it off after learning that Wendy Carmey was expecting his child.
Severus had put two more newspaper clippings on the page after that dated only two days apart. The first was speculating that Randolph had shunned Colleen due to the shady past of her family and announced that Colleen's chances at a good marriage were as good as lost. The second told the news of how it was Colleen who had left Randolph in favour of the much richer and more attractive Aterus Sorrel, heir to Sorrel Manor.
Actually Aterus had only proposed to his friend in order to prove Rita Skeeter wrong, but the public didn't know that and the fact that Wendy had been both pregnant and socially beneath him ensured that the laughs were on Randolph and not Colleen.
Next followed the wedding photos once again showing all the Slytherins and Hufflepuffs. Severus remembered Billy pouting for days after Aterus' choosing Jorge over him as his best man, but all seemed well in the photo that showed Billy and Jorge sitting next to each other and eating wedding cake.
Aterus and Colleen were currently expecting their first child and happy together, even though it hadn't been a love match.
The next picture showed Dinah in her office at the ministry. She was currently employed at the office for magical transportation and fighting her way up the career ladder. Severus hoped that she'd find a husband soon as she had become rather estranged from her Hufflepuff family and seemed to be a little lonely. Starting her own family would probably help her.
A few pictures from various meetings and outings followed, then copies of Tullia's and Billy's bachelors degrees in Chemistry and some pictures of them in their labs. They were both going to take their Masters exam in Potions in a few weeks and Severus secretly hoped to soon have two more Alchemists in the family rather than one.
Several pages later Severus finally reached the end of the file and began adding the latest pictures. First he selected a picture of Pank and Sally at the altar, of course, then one of them dancing, next bride's maid Anny and best man Rupert.
Those two were doing well as well. Anny had started a little shop selling Muggle goods in Diagon Alley and was currently considering expansion while Rupert to everyone's surprise had gone into politics and was currently heading the Irish ministry of magic's foreign office. He still expected to inherit his parents' robe shop someday, but Severus wasn't that sure that he'd really run it himself when he did. He secretly hoped that Rupert would be minister by then.
His schooling at Hogwarts might stand in his way to that position, of course, but on the other hand his connections with Jorge had given him a decisive advantage in getting his current job.
Yes, Jorge too had been quite successful at the ministry, the British ministry, in fact. He was working for their foreign office where his ability to speak both Spanish and French fluently received lots of praise.
The only one who disappointed Severus a little was Danny who didn't seem to be able to settle on a career path. Right now she was working as a waitress, but had told him that she didn't like it much. It was an exhausting job and not that well paid.
She'd added something about wanting to become a professional Quidditch player, but Severus hoped that had been only a momentary idea. He didn't think she had very good chances at being accepted by a professional team after never even playing in her school days and it wasn't something she could do for the rest of her life. Sooner or later she'd get hurt or too old and what would she do then?
Well, Danny was still young. Most likely something would come up.
Severus quickly added the last pictures, picked up the supply list for the next school year which he'd originally come to Hogwarts for and walked out to return home.
As he neared the entrance hall however voices of a man and a girl talking drifted to his ear. Whatever was a child doing at Hogwarts in the middle of the summer holidays?
"But I don't want t go to boarding school!" was the first sentence Severus was near enough to understand.
'Just great.' he thought. 'Another spoiled little brat and I just bet I'll be teaching her come September.'
"Oh, just take a look at it Aphy." the man returned. Just where had Severus heard that voice before? "I'm sure you'll change your mind once you see it. Hogwarts is simply the best school in the world. Everyone loves it."
"I'm not everyone."
She wore her hair spelled green.
Not that Severus had never seen a child with green hair before. It occurred naturally in some non-humans and halfbloods and was currently quite in among the Lions as well as some older teenagers. Severus had come to accept it as a sign of the usual teenage rebellion during puberty.
This girl was too young to explain it away that way, though and there was no other hint of a possible Mermish or elven ancestry.
He finally took his eyes off the girl to glance at her father from his position in the shadow of the staircase and almost groaned. He should have guessed. Who other than Aphrodite Potter would be whining about being granted a chance to visit Hogwarts before even being officially enrolled?
"Oh, come on, Aphy." Harry pleaded. "Didn't you see the huge Quidditch field outside? In a few months you'll be flying there and in second year you can join the house team and . . ."
"There are weird lines on the grass." Aphrodite pointed out. "And ugly net-things."
"What?" Potter was obviously unable to follow the child's thought pattern.
"That'd be our Soccer field." Severus sneered at them both as he stepped into view. "Not all our students are lazy enough to let a broom do all the work for them and call it a sport. Some people prefer a game that really challenges them physically."
"I don't care what it is." Aphrodite declared. "It's ugly and doesn't belong on a Quidditch field."
"But Aphy," Potter almost whined. "Quidditch is played in the air, Soccer on the ground. The Quidditch field doesn't need the grass and the Soccer field has no use for the air space."
"Quite astounding." Severus stated dryly. "You have finally mastered the concept of basic logic, Potter."
Harry shot him an angry glare. Just why the hell was Snape still here. He'd always assumed that the snappish Professor would have gone into Potions research or simply lived off his no doubt huge fortune after the end of the war.
"We're here to see the headmaster." he informed Snape coldly.
"Do you have an appointment?" Snape demanded.
"In fact we do." Ha, take that, Snivellus!
"In that case, I suggest you try looking for him in his office." Snape declared as if to a very slow child. "Good day, Mr. Potter."
"Eww." his beloved little Aphy complained as Snape left through the main doors. "Who's the greaseball?"
"Severus Snape." Harry admitted. "He used to be the head of Slytherin, obviously, but I didn't think he'd still be here. He always hated teaching. Maybe he was just visiting the headmaster."
He took Aphy into the great hall to show her the enchanted ceiling before leading her to the headmaster's office, but she still kept frowning. It was endearing how much the girl wished to stay with her dear parents, Harry thought, but he just couldn't let his reluctance to let go of her stand in the way of her getting the best possible education.
Oh well, Albus would be able to convince her. Albus could convince anyone.
In fact, Albus was overjoyed to see them. He offered them lemon drops and tea and proudly told them of their successful school partnership with West Hogsmeade and the success of the yearly sports events they were holding.
"We're even considering contacting other schools about Soccer games." he told them. "Our team has become quite good, we believe and West Hogsmeade has been playing Muggle teams off and on over several years now. There's also talk about the London school starting a team of their own and I believe they already have one in Dublin. Severus even suggested inviting the Irish wizarding school. He apparently knows someone in their Ministry."
"I don't care about Soccer." Aphy stated. "I want to play Quidditch."
"No problem." Albus beamed at her. "We don't force anyone to play Soccer, if they don't want to. There's still the Quidditch cup and the games against the West Hogsmeade Quidditch team."
"Why don't they get to play London and Dublin?" Aphy demanded.
"Alas, one thing at a time." the headmaster winked at her. "Right now we're still just considering it for Soccer, but if we can arrange it and it is a success, we just might extend the project to other sports as well."
"Other sports?" Harry asked surprised.
"Yes, as part of the partnership we have several joined Basketball and Volleyball teams." Albus explained happily. "As well as Sports classes for all of our students. Ah, which reminds me, please don't forget to buy Aphy's sports clothes as well as her school robes. We still get a few children who arrive without them every year."
"Sports clothes?" Harry repeated incredulously.
"Yes, the uniform consists of black shorts and t-shirt with the Hogwarts crest in the front. After her sorting we will add Aphy's name in her house colour in the back." Albus informed them. "At least for those students wanting to join one of the sports teams we also recommend long pants, running shoes and a light pullover as they frequently train outside even on colder days. All in black as well, of course. All of these are available in the West Hogsmeade market as well as a shop in Diagon Alley called 'Anny's Muggle Goods'. The owner was on the Hogwarts Soccer team herself in her school days."
"Soccer, Soccer, Soccer." Aphy complained. "You keep going on about stupid Soccer."
"Yes Albus, what else has changed since my school days besides the sports?" Harry asked. "It's all very interesting, you see, but I did come here for Aphy and not myself. I have told her about my own experiences, of course, but she'd like to know what Hogwarts is like nowadays, not back then."
"Well, we have a lot more clubs, chess tournaments, Art and Music classes, a choir and school band." The headmaster cast a hopeful look at Aphy, but the girl continued to frown. Neither sports nor culture, then. "There are also new electives and we have added Muggle subjects to further students who are interested in Muggle culture and possibly wish to get a Muggle education someday."
"What new electives?" at least Harry seemed interested.
"There's French and Mathematics, but also Conjuring as an additional magical subject." Albus answered. "Physics and Chemistry are available as clubs and Alchemy, which is Severus' favourite."
"Ah yes, Snape." Harry's face hardened. "I met him outside. Didn't expect him to still be teaching."
'Bad move, Albus.' the headmaster realised. "Why ever not? I really wouldn't know what to do without him, you know. Good, experienced Potions teachers are hard to get, Potions Masters even harder, and few people manage to lead Slytherin so successfully."
"You call that successful?" Harry snorted.
Albus shook his head sadly. "Slytherins are difficult personalities. They do not follow anyone easily or act as a union much. You have only ever seen them under Severus' guidance. I however have known several heads of Slytherin in my time. Few of them managed to steer the house in any direction at all, none with the precision Severus does. Some were ignored completely, others even had to fight their own house."
"How endearing." Aphy sneered.
"Talking about the staff, there have been a few changes, though." Albus steered the conversation back onto safer ground. "We now have a much better Muggle Studies teacher, while Julian is teaching Flying as well as Poetry, Riddles and his original passion Psychology and, incredible as it may seem, we've had a steady DADA teacher for nine years now."
That obviously surprised Harry.
"Is he any good?" Aphy demanded.
Perhaps this was an angle Albus could work from. "Excellent in fact. He really knows his stuff and by now also has the necessary teaching experience to know how to best present it to the students. His name's Harald Sorensen, a Swedish wizard, wrote several books about DADA in his own language."
"But not worthy of being translated to English." Aphy concluded folding her arms over her chest. "I still don't want to go to boarding school."
Harry regarded her for a moment.
"And I don't want my daughter to be abused by Snape. I suffered enough from his 'teaching' myself." he decided. "I'm sorry, Albus, but maybe it will be better for Aphy, if she attends West Hogsmeade instead."
"What?" yelped Aphy. "But it's a public school! It must be full of dirty criminals and beggars."
"I assure you West Hogsmeade has excellent teachers." the headmaster sounded only slightly hurt. "And it isn't a boarding school. You'll be able to go home everyday."
Only two days later Harry and Aphy port keyed to just outside West Hogsmeade Wizarding School.
"It's shabby." Aphy stated at first glance.
Harry sighed, but couldn't deny the statement. The school looked very shabby compared to Hogwarts.
"It's a good school, Aphy." he tried to convince himself. "And you get the advantages of several classes at Hogwarts without having to live there as well as not being abused by Snape."
There was a man scrubbing the floor in the entrance hall who looked oddly familiar, though Harry couldn't remember where he might have seen him before. After all he was probably a Squib and Harry didn't meet those often.
He gave them directions to the headmaster's office politely when Harry asked, which was a good sign. Clearly he wasn't as grumpy and unpleasant as old Mr. Filch.
As they walked up the stairs they soon noticed that the school was anything but deserted. Apparently it served as some sort of community center during the holidays. A cardboard sign pointed out the way to the 'yearly meeting of the West Hogsmeade gardening club' and several elderly witches passed them carrying baskets filled with balls of wool. Harry wondered whether that might be the West Hogsmeade knitting club on their way to their own meeting.
Two little girls in Muggle clothes slid down the banister to stop in front of Harry and Aphy.
"Hi." the apparently bolder one greeted them. "Are you a new teacher?"
She was an adorable child. About five or six, Harry estimated, with wild platinum blond curls.
"No, my daughter's a new student." Harry smiled at her. "And you? You seem a bit young for this school."
She laughed at that. "I'm Debby." she introduced herself. "Debby Snape. My Daddy's the Potions teacher."
"Professor Snape?" Harry gasped. "I thought he teaches at Hogwarts."
"Not, that Professor Snape." the girl scolded as that was apparently obvious. "That's granddaddy. Daddy teaches here."
"He's so cool. He showed us how to split water into ... into H and ... and air with electricity." her friend declared bouncing up and down on the steps.
"O, not air." Debby corrected. "O, for Oxgen. And H for Hydrogen."
"Oxygen." Harry amended faintly as he finally made the connection between her hair colour and last name. "You're Malfoy's daughter."
"No, my parents are Cathy and Draco Snape." she insisted.
Her friend nodded importantly and straightened her blue t-shirt. "Yes they are. I know them."
"Aphy," Harry decided. "I've changed my mind. You're not going to this school."
"Great." Aphy beamed.
"You're going to the one in London."
"But that's so far away!" Aphy protested.
All her protests were in vain, however. The very next day Aphy Potter had to take a 'filthy old train' to London with her father.
Harry was determined to put her into that school no matter whether she liked it or not. He'd get her a port key to take her there and back. There simply wasn't any alternative left as despite her mother's best efforts Aphy's French remained abysmal and the only other language she spoke was English.
Aphy simply wasn't interested in learning languages and Harry had to admit that he didn't speak any foreign languages either. Besides Parseltongue, that was, but that was a magical talent, not something he'd learned.
The lack of language skills meant that Aphy was forced to attend a school that taught in English, though, and that excluded both Beauxbattons, where her mother had gone, and Durmstrang. Not that Harry seriously would have considered the later anyway.
With Hogwarts and West Hogsmeade off the list that left only London for her as the only other British school taught in Gaelic.
Well, there was one more school in Northern Ireland, but Harry had no intention to risk his precious first born being killed by Muggle terrorists.
A daily port key to Dublin was out of he question and boarding school in Australia or North America would never meet with Aphy's or her mother's approval. It simply had to be London.
"The port key will get you there in an instant, Aphy, and you won't have to suffer any Snapes." he tried to explain to his pouting daughter as they walked down Diagon Alley.
The school didn't look so bad. A high building with a wide doorway, similar to West Hogsmeade, but more decorative.
It was locked for the holidays, though, forcing them to wait until the headmaster arrived for their meeting and let them in.
Headmaster Grunner was a polite wizard with greying brown hair, who seemed very honoured to meet the famous Harry Potter, though he repeatedly expressed his surprise that Harry wasn't determined to send his daughter to Hogwarts.
"Most people like to keep up family tradition." he explained his confusion.
"Yes, but Aphy didn't like the thought of attending a boarding school and not all my memories of Hogwarts are exclusively positive." Harry returned. "The relationships I have with many of the people on Hogwarts' staff would most likely influence their treatment of Aphy."
"I understand." Grunner said in a tone that made Harry strongly suspect that he'd gotten the completely wrong message and didn't want to pry any further.
Aphy scowled at them during most of the meeting, but at least she wasn't complaining this time. Maybe they'd finally found a school she approved of.
After their talk Grunner took them on a tour of the school showing them all the classrooms, the library and even the teachers' offices.
"This one looks very uninhabited." Harry commented when they reached the Potions teacher's office.
Everywhere else there had been pictures on the walls, potted plants or other decorative items and often also small personal objects, but here there was only the naked furniture.
"Ah yes, our old Potions teacher retired at the end of the last school year and the new one hasn't moved in, yet." Grunner explained.
"A new Potions teacher?" Harry asked casually, but Grunner apparently took it as a hint of doubt.
"I assure you Professor Snape is perfectly qualified." the headmaster said hastily.
"Snape?" Harry couldn't believe it. "But he's teaching at Hogwarts."
"Oh, not Severus Snape, of course. I doubt I could ever come up with an offer good enough to lure him away from Dumbledore. No, no, our Professor Snape is his son."
"I was told that Draco Ma . . . Snape is teaching in West Hogsmeade." Harry stated.
"Oh, yes, he is." Grunner confirmed. "I've managed to hire Snape's younger son, William. I know he isn't a full Potions Master, yet, but he only lacks one last exam and he is one of Britain's best trained Alchemists. I believe that in a few years he will be just as big a figure in both Alchemy and Potions as his father and brother already are, so I'm doing everything I can to tie him to my school before the big offers start rolling in."
"There are three of them?" Harry stared at Grunner in shock.
"Four, actually." the headmaster nodded. "Perhaps even five. The mother, Sarah Snape, is a top Alchemist as well, though she doesn't teach. She specialises in medical potions and Billy's current girlfriend is studying for the Potions mastership as well. Rumour has it that West Hogsmeade's headmaster is considering hiring her as his third Potions teacher. They have a great demand for Alchemists at that school."
"That's it." Harry decided. "I give up. Start practising your French, Aphy. I'm sending an application to Beauxbattons tonight."
At least his wife would be happy to hear that her children were going to attend her old school after all.
"But I hate France, Daddy!"
Pam Briggs – Well, I think except for the Potters I'm leaving all my characters happy, or at least okay and Aphrodite will probably adapt to Beauxbattons as well. If not there's always the possibility of switching to Hogwarts at a later time. You know how soft hearted Albus is. He'll let her in no matter what. . . . I suspect Gangolf didn't like his new school much either, but he was happier thanks to being able to go home to Mummy.
Joou Himeko Dah – Well, the fic is over, but if anyone wants to write Gangolf's adventures in London (my friend PegaPony considered it for a while, but I think she won't have the time) they're welcome to do it. Like all my characters Gangolf is available for loan.
Preppygirl – Um, neither I'm afraid. I'm closing the story here, but as I already mentioned above, if anyone shoud wish to continue Ganglof's story, I don't mind. I'd even post the link on my author's page. . . . Sorry, about Tommy. He just snuck into the story on me.
Kyzara – Thanks for understanding. It's always sad to let go of a bunch of characters, but then it also means welcoming another one and those kittens have been vague shapes in my mind for way too long now. (A huge brown cat with an acorn shaped white patch on his chest snarls and swipes at Silverfox with one paw, then transforms into a man. "Who're you calling a kitten?" he demands with an obvious French accent. "Ups, sorry about that, Acornlight! Really sorry! Please don't kill me." . . . Phew! That one has a temper worse than Sevi's.)
Brink182 – Yes, Tommy was quite happy in Hufflepuff and he did indeed learn to have more respect for other people's feelings. He wasn't really a bad boy, just very thoughtless.
Blythe.Naurin – Yes indeed, a father figure, even if not his real father, would certainly do Gangolf a lot of good. He desperately needs a role model other than his Mummy. . . . Ah, but Tommy isn't a Gryffindor! He wanted to cling to the only person he knew at the school, but he'll soon make friends in Hufflepuff. He and Rupert will never be close friends, but they will get along like classmates should. As for Rupert telling about him being a bully: He's a Slytherin. He doesn't always play fair. Tommy's mistake that he let himself be talked into an unnecessary deal. . . . I'll miss them, too, but there are other characters waiting for me to write them and I know they will be fine. This fic is a lot longer than it was supposed to be, so I guess they can't complain.
Up next: The prologue to The Catar. A catar playing in the Forbidden Forest. It's actually already written, but waiting for me to really get down to the fic.