Letters, Truths and Hopes

A Harry Potter Fanfiction

By animealam

Disclaimer: Harry Potter and Co. are not mine, I only borrow them for a while.

Author's note: To avoid confusion this chapter starts after they arrive from OoTP. I won't be using anything from HBP, and decided that I will be writing AU stories for a while.

I had promised in Potions and Snitches Yahoo group to have this up sooner, but it took me a bit longer than expected to correct it, and there are probably still errors as this is not beta'ed'.

I haven't abandoned my other stories, even if it has been a long time since I last updated. I will finish them sooner or later. I would like to thank everyone that have reviewed this and my other stories, I'm grateful for your comments and your patience.

Warnings:

THIS IS AN AU STORY (AUAlternate Universe). I personally believe all Severitus Challenge responses are AU, but who knows what is in J.K. Rowling's mind.

Not a native English speaker writing.

Characters might be Out Of Character (OOC)

There might be spoilers for the first five books.

If you are a James and Sirius fan then probably part of this story is not for you, no flames will be accepted on this. Constructive criticism is welcomed though.


Chapter 07

Don't you DARE snort Severus Antoine Snape!

Severus Snape was just entering his rooms at Hogwarts after brewing none-stop for about seven hours, and was about ready to take a relaxing bath and go to bed, when an unfamiliar black and copper owl swept into his chambers. It circled his head a couple of times, to draw his attention, before landing on his cluttered desk and extending a leg that carried a bulky envelope. He sighed and after collecting an owl treat from his kitchenette he untied the package. The black and copper owl, with intriguing and actually familiar emerald eyes accepted the treat, hooted in gracious thanks and flew away to deliver the other letters it carried.

The Potions Master was curious about the sender, he did not receive much correspondence, but at the moment he felt too sweaty and grimy from brewing potions almost all day. Whatever it was did not seem to be urgent, so he decided to take his bath, a light dinner, and then see what the package contained. It was addressed to him in a familiar tidy handwriting, but at the moment he could not remember where he had seen it before, or who it belonged to. Although he had the vague feeling that he should recognize it.

Once he was clean, and wearing a warm house robe –the dungeons were always cold, even during the summer- he settled comfortably on his favorite chair by the fire, tired feet propped on an ottoman and a glass of Ogden's fire whiskey on hand. He then picked his thick reading glasses.

Due to some spells and rituals he went through in his youth; he was practically blind as a bat in lighted places. Although at night his vision was as sharp as an owl's. To be able to function he had used glasses for a while until he heard a muggleborn talk about contact lenses. The concept had intrigued him and he had gotten himself a pair. In his opinion, they were the best invention muggles ever created. But after a day in front of a cauldron he needed to rest his eyes and for that he used his glasses.

When he had everything he needed Severus proceeded to sate his curiosity and opened the package. There was a letter and a small green leather journal that was not very thick. He decided to start with the letter. The familiarity of the handwriting and the purple ink was nagging him to remember who it was from.

Dearest Sev

The letter started like that and he almost dropped it in shock. There was only one person who had ever started letters to him that way, and she died a long ago, Lily Evans Potter. It could not be, not after so long. So he performed several identifying spells on the letter, all confirmed the authenticity. It came from her, she had written it roughly fourteen years ago, which meant it was done before she went under the fidelius charm, but not much. This had to be a delayed owl -seers especially used them- and he always suspected Lily was one, but he never expected receiving anything from her.

I know this package must come to you as a shock, but you shouldn't be surprised my beloved friend. I always told you we'll be able to talk again no matter what happened to me. You know I do my best to keep my promises, even after death. Especially to you who were my strength, my most trusted friend, one of the most important persons of my life. You and my son had that place, never forget it Severus, NEVER.

You always suspected I was a seer, and you were right, I was. This letter and the journal are in your hands because of my visions (Don't you DARE snort Severus Antoine Snape! I'm not like Trelawney. By the way, she isn't a fraud just very unreliable). Some things had to happen before this letter could reach you. They are not good things, but if you're reading this then they have worked for the best, and the tragedy I foresaw was avoided.

There were a few things I needed you to know, and now it's time for me to say all those things I wanted to while I was alive, and that I could not because of the fidelity clause in my marriage contract to James.

First and foremost, I love you, as in, I was in love with you when I was alive.

"Please Lily, don't do this to me. Not after fifteen years, not when you're gone!" he almost begged closing his eyes and taking a deep breath. He had loved her more than his life once he got to know her; he still did even after so many years since she was killed. But she belonged to that bastard Potter, and because of that damned clause he couldn't do anything but be her friend, be there when she needed him; use all his knowledge to sneak into her house after Potter's rages to heal her.

It's not my intention to ever hurt you Severus, but I believe it's fair to let you know I returned your feelings. I knew, I could see it in your eyes, in the way you treated me, even in the way that glorious voice of yours would have a 'special' tone just for me. I fell in love with you the night you decided to go to Dumbledore for help… yes that brunette was me.

That was the best night of my life Sev. You made me feel so special, so… loved. Sometimes the memory of your caresses and kisses was the only thing that kept me going on those nights James claimed his husbandry rights (thank all the Gods that wasn't often). I wanted so much to tell you it was me, especially when I found I was pregnant.

This is going to be hard for you, but there is no easy way to say it. Harry is your son Severus, not James.

"Dear Merlin, no! No, no, no, it can't be! He can't be my son, there's no way Potter is my son!" He stood up; the letter had fallen from his trembling hands. He began pacing in earnest his mind refusing to believe what he just read. "He's a carbon copy of James Potter, this is a sick joke, it has to be. That boy can't be my son, he just… can't be mine," he was in shock muttering to himself on and on.

Slowly, his intellect began to take control again, analyzing what he read so far. No one save Lily would be able to speak of what was written. No one knew James was abusive, or that he went to Lily to help her. And not even Dumbledore knew it had been that one nightstand that had helped him decide to betray his Dark Master. So the letter was authentic, and that meant the spoiled brat, that was the splitting image of James Potter, was his son. He had a hard time accepting that, but he knew there must be an explanation about the boy's looks. After pacing some more he sat on his chair, picked the letter and began reading again.

Back with me again?

I am really sorry Sev; I never wanted to keep this knowledge from you. I even tried to tell you several times, but the fidelity charm wouldn't allow me to. The words would simply fail to come; I could not speak or write about it.

You may be wondering how I managed to tell you now, and it's because of an odd loophole in the charm. You see, this letter won't be read while either James or I are alive. The contract is null once one of the parties is dead. Because of that, now I can tell as many people as I want about James not being 'perfect', and about our son.

Knowing you, you're wondering who else I have told. Not many I assure you, only those that needed to know; Harry, my ADOPTIVE sister Petunia and probably her son, Dumbledore, Remus and Hermione Granger.

"What? Dumbledore and Potter are logical, and I can understand the werewolf; he wasn't like the others. In fact, I remember he once confronted Potter and Black about the way they treated Lily, but why Granger?" He thought out loud.

Are you through with questioning my judgment?

He could just imagine her standing with her hands on her hips, assuming an offended pose only to start laughing with mirth and mischief in her eyes. This letter was so vivid, so much… Lily, that he could picture her there beside him, almost as if she was reading it aloud herself; he made a point to read it through without further interruptions. He needed some answers and he would not get them any sooner if he stopped at every paragraph.

Good, I'm sorry there are so many people that know you're my son's father. I know you haven't changed much, and you were always a very private person. You probably wanted to keep this a secret. But that can't be Sev. There are a few reasons for it that I'll explain.

You know I was good with charms, transfiguration, and arithmancy. When I found out I was pregnant (by the way a witch always knows) with your child, I knew there was going to be trouble. So I began researching ways to protect you and our baby from James wrath. You know he, along with the mutt, would have tried to kill you both.

The best solution was to pass Harry as James's son. So after a lot of work, I managed to create a glamorie that couldn't be detected and that would last long. Sixteen years to be exact. On July 31st -Duncan's sixteenth birthday- (that's what I named him by the way, Duncan Harold Evans. You and mother suggested the name. It required a bit of tricky charms to pull off the birth certificate but I managed it), the glamorie would begin to wear off. By the start of term he will look like he was supposed to all his life. Which is nothing like he did the last time you saw him; except for the height and thinness. He owes that to being malnourished since he was fifteen months.

I know (I saw it in a vision as I did everything else), that you believe our son to have been spoiled and pampered, much like James was. Let me disabuse you of that notion Severus. Petunia and I were not in good terms, though I still love and have forgiven my sister. She, at the time, was unable to see beyond her jealousy; Harry represented what she was missing, magic. She took it out on him, and her husband did the same. Our son was verbally and emotionally abused by them, he was also occasionally beaten for no reason.

Life wasn't easy for him Sev. Vernon -my sister's husband- hates magic and magical people as much as the inquisitors did long ago. Petunia was jealous of my magic and believed my parents would love her less, first because she was adopted, and second because she did not have magic. I am happy that she has finally seen the error of her ways. She now wants to make it up to Duncan, it might take some time but they will become a family. Our son needs it Sev; he needs all the love he can get if he is to survive the fight against Voldemort.

Duncan was never loved, never pampered or spoiled while he lived with my sister and her family. He is not arrogant, and his disregard for rules is not rebellion, as you seem to think. He just believes he has to be the one to do everything. That no one will be there for him, even though he now has people willing to help him, he still believes deep down that he is on his own. That is the way he grew up; there was no one to depend on but himself. There was no adult to help him, to listen to him, or offer support; he was always alone, and had no friends until he arrived to Hogwarts. Your son actually considers himself a freak, an anomaly, a burden to those close to him, useless, and unworthy of affection. He heard it enough times in his life to believe it's true.

I saw so much of his life since he was conceived, and it broke my heart to know our child, my little snake, was going to have such a difficult life. The worst thing was knowing there was nothing I could do to avoid it, to keep him safe, loved, and reassured that he is worthy of affection; that he is not useless. I had to wait almost fifteen years (much too long) until the time was right. That time has finally come.

You probably don't believe my words and you'll want proof. The best I can give you right now is this letter. To get the others you will have to talk to Petunia, and she will tell you what Duncan's life was like, under Veritasserum if need be (I know you rarely take things at face value).

I left this letter and the others, as well as some potions and things that they would need in a charmed chest in Petunia's care. The chest could only be opened if several conditions came to pass. I saw all of those things happen in my visions. That's why I made them the condition for the chest to open.

1. - Vernon had to loose his job, and be unable to get another one.

2. - Vernon had to start drinking heavily and blame Duncan for all his misfortunes.

3. – Vernon believes Petunia and I were related by blood, so he blames her too. Their arguments get quite bad.

4. - Vernon finally reaches the point of no return and become violent, he always was, but never with Petunia or his son. He began beating his wife.

With those conditions fulfilled the chest opened and allowed Petunia to read her letters. I made my peace with her through them. I was really angry at first when I saw her abusing our son, but I had a long time to come to terms with that; and I know she finally understood me, Duncan, and the magical world. When the chest opened she was able to use the healing and pain potions I stored in it. My sister needed them at the moment, and so would her son and ours later on. There were also more things in the chest that a muggle could not use, for that a wizard was required. So I added another set of conditions for the letters and other objects to be removed.

1. - Vernon attacked Duncan and almost killed him. I saw this happening Severus. I am unfortunately a very accurate seer.

2. - Petunia and her son helped our son. I promised in a letter to help her escape Vernon, and the proof that she was repentant was this (I did not tell her, the fact that she did it on her own was proof enough that she is changing). They never lifted a finger to protect Duncan before that… that man started drinking.

3. – Duncan, my sister and her son were hurt, but not seriously, yet.

4. – I left a letter for Duncan, he must read it. I explained everything to him there and left some instructions so they can leave the house safely. I also told him how to remove the glamorie I put on him to disguise his true identity. He is too easily recognized, but looking as his real self no one will know who he is. I also found a nice arcane charm to hide that scar too.

5. - All three must be away from Privet Drive, and safe at the Leaky Cauldron in a room booked under the name of Duncan Evans.

6. - Hermione Granger must be in the same room as Duncan.

You might wonder what Miss Granger's doing there. It's a long story, and up to her to tell you, be KIND and POLITE to her. Believe me Sev; she will open up if you are. She's in need of a safe place to stay and supportive people by her side, and Duncan needs her. She's his closest friend, and will help him come to terms with all the changes in his life. It is also the other way around; she's going through hard times and needs him.

As you can see, I made sure that the conditions I saw in my visions were fulfilled, so don't doubt my words Sev. If I hadn't gotten Duncan out of there Vernon would have killed him and probably Petunia and Dudley too. Knowing you, you still have doubts, ask Dumbledore he will confirm this, just don't tell him where Duncan is yet. You need to talk to him to decide what you're going to do. I did tell the Headmaster he is your son though.

Our son needs you Sev, he needs the support and love only a parent can give. I also know you need him too; you have been without family and people that care for you too long. No more Severus, you made a mistake in your youth. He told you and others so many lies… and you believed them in your attempt to please your father. You have repented enough, done enough, and risked your life enough. It's time to allow yourself some happiness and love. Don't reject your son and the chance to finally have the family you wanted.

You are probably thinking I'm barmy and have no knowledge of how things are fifteen years in the future, especially since I've been dead that long. Well, it's true I don't know all about Voldemort, his Mark or the war. But I saw enough to give you some pointers to what you will need to succeed, so consider carefully ALL my words.

You both are already in danger, keeping Duncan at arms length (or farther if I know you) won't make him or you any safer, even without the glamorie. He is a pureblood and you know He wants all pureblooded families on his side. Voldemort will try to sway Duncan into his group, especially when word gets out that he is the heir of both the Evans and Connell families, and believe me it will become public knowledge. No one knows I was the first magical heir, so naturally He will believe Duncan was the first wizard born to the line in several generations, and will want to have him among his followers. Our son will never join him, and that means he will be targeted for death.

His resistance will draw the attention of those that are undecided which is good for the cause of the light. No, he doesn't like the attention, from what I have seen he hates it with a passion. Believe it or not, he's as private as you are, and actually very shy. He can't be anything else with his background. But… he can't help it Sev. Notoriety is part of his destiny, and he will have it whether he wants it or not. So you see, you have no excuse to keep your son away it won't protect either of you.

The Wizarding world has placed a burden on his shoulders that would crumble grown men. He has been coping on his own to the best of his abilities, but he is only a boy, and sooner or later it will become too much. I'm not sure you know of the Prophesy Voldemort wanted, the one he only knew a bit and led him to kill us and his Death Eaters to drive the Longbottoms crazy. It is about the both of them, I won't tell it complete, but in case you were not aware of it you may ask later either the Headmaster –he witnessed it- or Duncan to tell you.

The one to vanquish the Dark Lord was born as the seventh month ends; Duncan was born on July 31st minutes before midnight. The Longbottoms' child was born the same day, although earlier. The Dark Lord would mark him as his equal, Duncan's curse scar; this is what discards the Longbottoms' child. One of them must die because neither can live while the other does. This is not the whole of it, but you see why he needs you?

Duncan is destined to kill Voldemort, I know you don't have any faith in prophesies, but much of this one has already come to pass by the time you read this letter. I REFUSE to believe that evil monster will kill our son. I have seen his future and there is more than a chance that he will be victorious. But he can't do it alone Sev. Headmaster Dumbledore has wasted too much time. He loves our son dearly. I have no doubt of that. He delayed because he wanted him to enjoy a childhood my sister's family made sure he never had.

Severus, Duncan needs to be trained, and only you as his father can demand and insure that he get the training he needs. I am no longer there to protect him and see to his interests, I can only hope that you will do so in my place. Harry James Potter no longer exists, he never really did, and the moment he took off the glamorie even his magical signature changed. In his place there is only Duncan our son.

He inherited the Snape's magic, that mixture between human and vampyr magic that has been running through your family bloodline for centuries. He also inherited the Evans-Connell power (I later learned that there were some vampyri in my family tree, not just yours though they were not enough to turn any of our descendants). Which as you well know was concentrated because of so many generations without magic. He is one the heirs of Godric Gryffindor, just as he is one of Salazar Slytherin's (from both your line and mine. More than that maniac can claim).

Contrary to popular belief, there has never been only one heir of the founders. Salazar Slytherin for example never married, and has no recorded bastard offspring. His heirs were the children of his many siblings, and I found a vague mention that he might have taken care of a few orphans but none were his flesh and blood.

You see Sev; it wasn't only my love that saved Duncan, though it was necessary for my plan to work. I was going to die; I knew that for some time, saw it in a couple of visions, so I was forewarned and was able to prepare for the event. What saved our son was a combination of the things I did in advance and something that I did that Halloween night.

First, I forced Duncan into his full power on October 24th. I know that it should have come naturally to him when he reached adulthood, but in order to live he needed it then. There were several books in my family's vaults that had the information I needed for that and the rest. Second, I called onto our bloodlines strengths. I know what you're thinking: 'Foolish Gryffindor! Didn't she know better than to even try? Didn't she LEARN anything from MY experience?' Believe it or not I did Severus.

I knew it was dangerous and something very few ever attempt and are successful at. You were, and so was I on Duncan's behalf. Don't Forget I knew of the Prophesy and that our child would be chosen. The bloodlines rite brought forth the vampyr survival instinct, but without the bloodlust as the amount of vampyr blood running through our veins is too diluted. Duncan is still fully human, just as you are. You know 'Avada Kedavra' does not affect a vampyr or one that has called forth all their vampyri ancestry to them. Also once the rite is performed the strengths gained remain. I managed to do all this in the days before Voldemort's attack; I can be sneaky even with James at home. The last part required to be performed an hour or less before I died.

As I said, there was no way I could survive a confrontation against Voldemort. So while he dueled against James, I had the time to cast the third and final spell on myself. It made sure that my magic would not be lost when He killed me. Instead my magic went to Duncan, enhancing what I had already set loose. My love and my sacrifice ensured that he would be protected later on, and able to retaliate with something that Voldemort did not comprehend, love. He survived the killing curse by absorbing it, and in instinctual defense his own magic, along with my own, lashed against his attacker with love and Voldemort's own curse. That maniac literally did not know what hit him. If our son had been older and trained that would have indeed been his end.

Duncan would have died too that Halloween night, had I not done what I did. So please, please don't blame him for surviving while I did not. You're prone to do that, don't deny it. It was my time to go Severus. Understand that it was important to me that he lived; no parent in his or her right mind (your father doesn't count) wants to see their children die. I believe that now that you know about him, you'll be able to understand what I mean.

You are an extremely powerful wizard Sev, although you rarely let people know just how much you are, very Slytherin of you. You are a Master at wandless magic, have been since before you left Hogwarts, even if you keep that a secret. I cannot think of anyone better to train Duncan. You might believe he has no potential, but remember how adept Duncan was when he was little. All that power I have told you about was unconsciously locked away because of his upbringing, so now he can only access a small part of it.

At a young age he learned magic was bad. He was told it did not exist, and was denied his heritage, mostly by Vernon, although Petunia is not free of guilt. When we, in the Wizarding world, would praise him and encourage him for doing magic, he was instead starved and punished severely for using it. He was too young to understand what he did, and after being told repeatedly that it was bad and abnormal he believed it. He still does to a degree.

To bring his power out he will need you to be patient (yes, I KNOW you've never been a patient man, but I also know you can do it), gentle (YES you can be gentle when you want to, don't deny it. You even rocked him and SANG him lullabies when he was restless) and understanding (again YES, you can be that too when you set your mind to it). He needs to trust you and harsh words will never earn you his trust. He already has had enough of those from Vernon to last him a few lifetimes.

Take the time to get to know your son with an open mind and heart Severus, and let him get to know you. Believe me you will be pleasantly surprised. You both deserve happiness. This is your chance at your own family, you had that dream secreted in the farthest corner of your heart when I was still alive, don't let it pass you by.

There is not much more I can say on this letter, but I believe you are going to have many questions. For that reason I sent you a journal; it has a part of my consciousness. Just write on it and I shall respond. It was the best I could do to keep in contact with you. Duncan has a larger one; he will let you use it.

I must leave you now, but just in case you want to see your son before you approach him, go to Gringotts in the morning. He, Miss Granger, Petunia and her son are going to be with Cavedweller (if I remember well he also handles your financial affairs). I left instructions about my vaults with him, then I sent them shopping for necessities.

Love

Lily

P.S. I know you always complained about this. But I can't seem to write a letter without having to add extra bits at the end that I forgot to include in the body of my letters.

My nephew is a wizard, ironic isn't it, when his father hates magic so much?

Dudley would have attended Hogwarts at the same time as Duncan, but I blocked his magic. Vernon would have killed them if he knew his son was one of us. The block should be gone now, but if it's still in place you will need to perform the spell to remove it. In Duncan's letter there is a list of helpful spells, charms curses and hexes. The counter-spell is there. Duncan is not yet strong enough to perform it, but you are.

My nephew needs to learn what he should have learned since he was eleven. I wrote a letter to Remus asking him if he would assist him with that. I'm not sure Dudley will be ready to be a sixth year student at Hogwarts come September 1st, even with the 'pearly' potion (remember you created this one for me?). But I hope you can give Remus a hand, he did well in potions at school, but it was never his forte. Remus is not a bad person Sev and Sirius prank hurt him as much as it did you. Try to find it in your heart to forgive him; he might become a good friend.

Severus just sat there watching the fire for long hours pondering what he had learned, a part of him wanted to dismiss everything; it was too much of an effort to make a readjustment of his established beliefs and opinions. Ignoring Lily's letter was really a temptation, life would be simpler, but he knew he could not. Even now he was curious to know how his… son looked like. Was he a carbon copy of himself? Merlin he hoped not! One ugly Snape in the world was enough. Was he more like Lily? Or was he a mixture of the both of them?

He ended re-reading the letter at least three more times, almost committing it to memory. He then analyzed it in as many ways as he could until he reached the conclusion that it was indeed the truth. He could never go back to his ignorant bliss, not even if he obliviated himself; and it was an extremely tempting option at the moment. But Dumbledore, Lupin, or worse, the boy himself would remind him that he had a son, and it happened to be the-bloody-boy-who-lived.

He had to give credit to his Lily. She had displayed some of her Slytherin traits in that letter by refraining to address the boy by the name he knew him. She had done her best to disassociate their… son from the 'supposed' son of his arch nemesis, James Potter. He would not have been able to see past the reminder of her husband, if she had called him Harry. All this time he had accused the boy of being like Potter, of having inherited his father's traits. But the boy was not related to Potter at all; and he could not possibly remember the man to try to mold himself after James. Had he really been that blind to only see James Potter?

Going through his memories of the 'Gryffindor's-Golden-Boy' as objectively as he could –and it was no small feat with how much he hated James- a young person that was almost the complete opposite of his arch-nemesis began to unfold. Harry… no, Duncan –he was more comfortable calling him that- was actually a very quiet and private boy. He was rarely the first to speak to an adult and with one exception –his 'greasy git' of a potions Professor- was extremely polite to his elders.

Most of the staff had initially complained that the boy was smarter and magically stronger than he let on, and they could not understand why he restrained himself only doing better than the Weasley boy on occasions. Pot… Duncan –damn it- was rarely the one to start a fight, an argument or a prank. It was Weasley who did it, on his own, or in retaliation to Mr. Malfoy's taunts. Of course he could be aggressive or disrespectful, but it was only after being goaded mercilessly, when one of his friends was unjustly punished or attacked and when either James or the mutt were slandered'. He worshipped them, but Severus had to admit the boy didn't know better. Everyone painted those two bastards like saints for him. No one really knew those two were cruel bullies.

The signs of neglect were also there for those who knew what to look for to see. But he had to agree Duncan hid them well from untrained eyes. Why hadn't he noticed? He'd seen his share of troubled children in his years as a Professor, but then Minerva, Albus, Filius, and Serena (Sprout) had too. Spotting that kind of child was almost second nature to him; hell he came from an abusive home himself! And now his… son had gone through a bad and possibly painful childhood too.

When he was younger and still allowed himself hopes and dreams, he had wanted children –preferably Lily's- and he had vowed to himself not to be like his father. He would be loving, kind and would not beat them, or tell them they were useless or a disgrace. In other words he swore to never be cruel to them. Oh how the fates and Gods most be laughing at him now! Because he had done everything in his power to be as cruel as he could to one Harry Potter. He made the boy's life as miserable as possible; only to find out this boy was his son.

Did he have the guts to face Duncan? Would his son want to see him or even admit they were related? More to the point would he –Severus- be willing to recognize the boy and try to be a father? Could he? He was at a loss because for the first time in years he had no clear idea of what to do.

No, obliviation was not an option, he owed Lily that much. Severus would not tell Dumbledore where to find… Potter as she requested, and he would talk to the boy. He would go to Gringotts in the morning and observe from a distance. Depending on what he saw he would decide when to approach him.

Severus would wait to tell Albus his son's whereabouts until he knew where the both of them stood. He would pretend ignorance and wait for the Headmaster's summons. If Po… Duncan had run away from Privet Drive, then the Order would be out looking for him, and sooner or later they would contact him. Albus was sure to want him on the lookout for the boy once they realized they could not find him by normal means. With Harry no longer looking like James Potter's carbon copy and no one knowing what his real appearance was like the boy would be very hard to find. He doubted that Dumbledore would reveal the child's true parentage to the Order members, at least not without his permission.

Only the old coot knew Severus had performed the 'Bloodlines Rite' and he had his full vampyr senses despite being completely human; unlike the werewolf, who had only half of his wolf senses while human. On more than one occasion the Potions Master had been sent to track their missing people, or even escaped prisoners. If what Lily wrote was to be believed, Duncan Evans would not smell or feel -magically speaking- the same as Harry Potter, perhaps slightly similar, since Lily was the common link, but not enough to assure them of his identity. Not enough for him to have a good lead if he 'forgot' about his connection to the child. This could be a good excuse to delay finding Duncan until he knew what they were going to do.

He supposed the Headmaster would be aware of the change, but that really wasn't a guarantee. She had not told him if she had informed Albus of the glamorie Duncan had been wearing since he was born. It did not give him enough information to plan a better excuse, and since the Headmaster was always so cryptic it was better to assume that she did inform the old man. The only proof would be the scar, and according to Lily, she had found a way to hide it. She never did things by halves, so he must assume that the charm used was not easily countered or detected.

After a whole sleepless night Severus stood from his chair and went to get ready for a day of spying. He would go to Diagon Alley and observe his son. Perhaps that would give him a clue about how to deal with the situation and how to best approach the boy. It would also give him time to adjust to the idea that he had a son, and that he was also Lily's child. He had adored Duncan when he was little, and pushed those feelings to the farthest and most obscure corner of his being after Lily died. The Potions Master knew the feelings were still there, that was why he kept protecting the boy. If Duncan was willing to forgive, and at least be on speaking terms with him, then perhaps he could let some of those feelings come to the surface again.