Final chapter of 'Still Alive!' Let me know if anyone might be interested in a sequel. If the response is overwhelming, I might continue this story as Harry & Snape get to know one another as Father & son, while keeping it a secret from most of the world.
Thanks to juliedecarson for correcting/editing my mistakes.
Chapter 41 the father
Harry rushed down the corridor trying to make it to 'detention' on time. Even if it wasn't a real detention Harry was pretty sure that Snape would still deduct points or something if he was late.
"Mr. Potter, do come in and sit down," Severus invited after hearing the boy's knock.
Harry looked at his professor, the clock, and back at his professor before he followed those instructions. Why didn't Snape say anything about him being late? Maybe Hermione was right, Harry thought, perhaps Snape was treating him differently. Harry sat quietly in his chair waiting for Snape to say something. This time, Harry thought, he would follow his professor's lead. He didn't want to risk say something and ruining everything. After a few moments of silence, Harry took his books out of his bag, deciding to start on his homework.
"Not tonight, Mr. Potter," Severus interrupted, putting an end to Harry's actions. "I realized the other day that we never finished our game of twenty questions."
"Doesn't matter," Harry stated, "Besides, we were playing it wrong."
"But I for one found it highly educational and entertaining. And one should always finish what they start, do you not agree?"
"I guess so," Harry stated, puzzled over his professor's attitude. For a brief moment Professor Snape sounded remarkably like the headmaster.
"Fine, now that that is settled, why don't you go first?"
"Oh, no sir," Harry stated, "I went first last time, you begin this time."
"Very well," Snape stated as he began to pace around the room. "What do you really want to do after graduation?"
"I don't care," Harry answered honestly. At the look of disbelief Snape sent him, Harry continued, "I really don't. I'm just hoping that there is an 'after graduation' for me."
Snape stood still and stared at the boy who just uttered those words. He never thought that Harry might be thinking that he wouldn't survive till graduation.
"If by chance I do survive, though, I'm not sure I want to be an auror. After spending the last five years and probably the next two defending myself against Vol-Riddle, I imagine that it would be something I would tire of." Seeing the look on his professor's face and feeling as if a lecture was forthcoming, Harry quickly continued the game, "When did you become an animagus?"
Severus decided it was best to answer the question. There would be plenty of time later to talk with Harry about his concerns, for now, he was on borrowed time. "Not until after I agreed to spy on the Dark Lord. We decided it might be beneficial if I had some means to disguise myself and escape in case my true loyalties were ever discovered."
"Oh, that would explain why you aren't registered." Harry stated. He started to wonder if maybe he should try the transformation. Merlin knew that he often had to find ways to escape Voldemort.
"Quite." Severus smirked, before clarifying, "If the Dark Lord knew of my ability, he wouldn't hesitate to use it to his advantage. Have you or your friends broken this rule?" Severus wouldn't have been surprised if Harry and his followers had become illegal animagus. After all, Black had much influence on the boy.
"I wasn't aware that becoming an animagus was against the rules," Harry smirked. At Snape's glare, Harry continued, "Oh, all right. I cannot speak for my friends, but I'm not an animagus. I haven't even tried it. Actually, I never really thought about it. How long did it take you to become an animagus?"
"About six months," Severus replied.
"WOW!" Harry exclaimed, "It took Sirius and my da-James a few years."
"First, let me say that they were trying to learn in secret. As such, their time and resources were limited. I had the full support of the headmaster, as well as the benefit of other wizards and witches who had successfully performed the transformation, assisting me.
"Secondly, James Potter was your dad. It is a dishonor to him not to refer to him as such."
Harry's gaze hit the floor as he tried to hide the tears forming in his eyes. He knew Snape didn't want him as a son. Why did he let Hermione raise his hopes again?
"Mr. Potter, look at me."
When Harry shook his head, Severus advanced to Harry's side. Immediately, Harry turned around, trying to bring himself back under control. Snape reacted by turning Harry around and lifting up his chin.
"Regardless of whom your natural parents are, James and Lily Potter loved you and cared for you as if you were there own. They did as any parent would; they protected you, even though it meant their own lives. To not acknowledgment them as your parents is an insult to their memory. Do you understand?"
Harry nodded, speechless as Severus released his hold on the boy's chin.
Harry wasn't sure how to react to what his professor just said. His professor proclaimed that he hated James Potter, yet he wouldn't let Harry betray the memory of the man who cared for him. Maybe there was hope for them.
Harry hoped that Snape wouldn't ask any questions about what just happened. He really needed the time to think about it. Of course, Harry smirked, he wouldn't mind asking his professor a few questions about what just happened. Maybe he could find out how his professor, his father, was really feeling about everything.
Snape stared in shock as he released the boy's chin. He never knew he could be so paternal. He was almost proud of himself.
While he didn't like James Potter, he did owe the man a debt of gratitude. Not only for saving his life when Black's joke got out of hand, but also for taking care of Harry. That was something Severus knew he could never repay, even if Potter was still alive.
Snape glanced around the room. There had to be something he could have the boy do. He did not want to open himself up to questions right now. Merlin knew what the boy would ask after that little display.
It had been a long time since Severus had opened up to someone about what he was feeling. It might be fitting that he would do so with a boy suspected to be his son, yet Snape was still uncomfortable discussing emotions, let alone admitting that he felt them. Best to change the topic and distract the boy, he thought, as his eyes fell on a list of potions Madam Pomfrey asked that he supply.
"Madam Pomfrey is running low on some potions. This might be an opportune time to brew them. Why don't you work on the top two and I'll work on the rest," Severus said as he showed the list to Harry.
The two worked quietly together, side by side as they each contemplated how this night had changed things.
"See you tomorrow, Mr. Potter," Snape said as Harry walked towards the door.
"Yeah, tomorrow," Harry repeated sadly as he exited the potion room. Tomorrow was Halloween. The potion would be ready and he would find out the truth about his parents. The question was did he want the truth? Oh, Harry knew that he would complete the potion. He would even look at the results and keep them. What he didn't know is what he would do with them afterwards.
When he first decided to brew the potion on his own, Harry told Hermione and Ron that he wouldn't share the results with Professor Snape. Now, though, Harry's conscience was bothering him.
Harry never suspected that he would be reconsidering his idea of keeping the results from Snape. However, after his conversation with Hermione earlier in the day and the detention with Snape tonight, Harry knew it wouldn't be fair not to share them.
If the potion proved that Snape was his father, Harry thought, what right did he have to keep the information from his professor. Yet part of Harry wasn't sure if he could handle his father rejecting him once the truth was revealed.
Harry knew that if the results did not show Snape as his father, he would still have to share them with his professor. The only problem was the potion master would probably decide that this all was a joke after all and would hate Harry more than ever. Snape would probably even petition to get him expelled, Harry thought.
Either way, Harry knew he would be running a great risk of losing someone who had become so important to him.
During the last few weeks, Snape had been like Dr Jekyll & Mr. Hyde when it came to Harry. With the results disclosed, could Harry risk Snape hating him after the truth was revealed?
Snape stared at Harry as he left. Now what could possibly have happened in the last few moments to make Harry sound so sad? All he did was mention seeing Harry tomorrow.
Tomorrow. Halloween. Anniversary of the attack on Godric's Hollow and the death of James and Lily Potter. Snape sighed. Most likely the boy was still coming to grips with the fact that James and Lily weren't his parents. He probably felt guilty that they died to protect him, when it could've been avoided if people had known about the adoption.
Well, Severus decided, his first act as a father would be to help Harry understand that none of this was his fault. He would do what he could to make sure that didn't focus on the deaths of his adoptive parents that day.
Perhaps he should move the 'detention' to tomorrow afternoon, Severus thought. He and Harry could begin work on the potion as they discuss why the boy shouldn't blame himself. Yes, he decided, that seems to be the best course of action to take.
"Mr. Potter," Snape said after cornering Harry in the Hallway. Due to tonight's activities, you will report to my office directly after your last class for detention."
Harry stared at Snape in horror. The final ingredient of the lineage potion had to be added this afternoon. He couldn't be late and risk ruining the potion.
"Don't worry, Potter," Snape sneered, as he nodded at one of his Slytherin's walking behind Harry. "You will be able to attend tonight's feast."
"But, sir," Harry began to protest, not sure how to continue since he didn't want Snape to know about the potion.
"Potter, I think you'd better hurry along to class now. You really can't afford any more detentions," Snape said before pivoting on his heel retreating back to his dungeons.
Harry stalked to class, barely making it into his seat before the professor started class.
After class, Harry was still fuming as he strode towards the room of requirement to check on the potion before continuing on to the great hall, scowl on his face and robes billowing behind him. Apparently he was wrong about last night's detention changing things. Snape was still the same snarky git he had always been.
It never failed, Harry thought, just when he thought things might be working out for him, something happens. Snape must have been pretending last night. Probably channeling the headmaster or something, Harry snorted, as he entered the great hall. He should've known better than to believe that Snape would act so paternal to Harry Potter.
He dropped his bookbag on the floor and slumped into his seat.
"Harry, what happened? Is the potion okay?"
"Why are you in such a bad mood?" Ron asked at the same time. "You do know that you look a lot like Snape right now, don't you?"
"Don't mention that git to me," Harry snarled.
Hermione and Ron exchanged glances before Hermione ventured forth and repeated her question, "What happened? What did he do?"
"He moved my detention to this afternoon so that I could attend the feast without having to rush."
"That doesn't sound too bad," Ron asked. "At least he didn't cancel it again."
"I think I would've preferred it if he did. I need to finish the potion this afternoon. I won't have three days of work ruined!"
"Don't worry, Harry, we'll think of something to get you out of detention with plenty of time to finish the potion," Hermione said, thinking of the possibilities.
"If I didn't know better," Harry said after acknowledging Hermione's words, "I would think that he did this on purpose so that I couldn't complete the potion."
"Why do you know better?" Ron asked.
"Because he doesn't know that I am trying to brew the potion on my own." Harry stated as he started to eat, not noticing the looks of horror that flashed across Ron's & Hermione's faces.
Harry's mood hadn't improved much by the time his last class ended. The only 'plan' they could come up with was for him to become sick. Unfortunately, that plan had been quickly discarded since he would then be stuck in the infirmary since Madam Pomfrey was often reluctant to dismiss a student until after they spent a few hours in the hospital ward.
"Mr. Potter, take a seat," Snape invited as Harry entered the potion lab.
Harry was resigned as he followed his professor's directions. He hoped Hermione came up with a workable plan soon, he thought as he noticed the time. He had less than half an hour before he had to add the final ingredient to his potion.
"I decided that we can continue our game of twenty questions. I believe there are only a few more questions remaining before we reach twenty.
"In keeping with tradition, you will start."
Harry sighed, "How long do you think this will take?"
Severus stared at Harry, was his son that eager to leave?
"As long as it does, and not a minute more or less. Now, ask a question."
"That was a question!" Harry protested.
"You originally came up with this as a way to get to know one another. That question is regarding the activity and gives no insight whatsoever into my character. Now, ask a question."
"Fine," Harry said grudgingly, not really caring what he asked. "Where did you grow up?"
Severus looked at Harry in surprise. The boy hadn't asked such superficial questions since the first few rounds of the game. Severus had been positive that Harry would have asked about last night's detention or about brewing the potion. In fact, Severus had been counting on Harry asking about the potion. He had his answer all planned out, ending with the suggesting that they start on it.
Merlin, Severus thought, why couldn't the boy cooperate with him at least once?
Severus debated whether he should refuse the question, since this one didn't really help Harry to learn much about him. He decided not to push Harry too far, after all, it was the anniversary of his adopted parents' death; it was bound to cause the boy to be a bit off-kilter.
Severus quietly answered the question before asking his own, "who is someone you admire and why?"
Harry just looked down at his feet, not answering.
"Mr. Potter? Did you hear the question?"
"Yes, sir. I'm just not sure how to answer it."
"Honestly, Mr. Potter. Answer it honestly."
"Yes, sir, I know that. What I'm not sure of is who I admire, much less why. It seems like in the last year I have discovered that all my role models/idols have feet of clay."
"Come now, Mr. Potter, surely there is one person you admire? What about the headmaster, James, the wolf or the m-your godfather?"
Harry stood up and turned away from Snape. How honest should he be, he thought.
Harry paused for a moment in his deliberation. If Snape didn't want to get to know Harry then he probably wouldn't ask such personal questions. Of course, if the potion master didn't want to get to know him, he wouldn't have suggested that they resume the game either. As Harry felt a brief glimmer of hope well up inside him, he decided to be as honest as possible with his answer.
"How can I truly admire them? None of them really thought about what was best for me." After uttering those words, Harry started to pace.
"First there's Sirius. He was the first father figure I've ever known. I spent most of my fourth & fifth year afraid that he would be caught and captured by the ministry. He however, never thought about that. He never thought about me, Harry. Looking back, I realize that when he looked at me, he saw James. Not Harry. He knew I was adopted, so he didn't confuse me with James as much as everyone thought, but he still was more concerned with being my friend than being the parent I needed.
"Dumbledore. I don't know what to say about him. Since my first year, I had looked up to him. He always seemed to know the answers, even if he didn't share them," Harry snickered. Last year, though, last year was different. He didn't talk to me, didn't look at me, and he didn't tell me why. I was so hurt when he ignored me. I mean, he was at headquarters the night before my trial, but he didn't ask to see me or talk to me, do you know how much that hurt? I was afraid of being expelled and the one person I thought I could count on had decided that I wasn't important enough to see. I thought it was something I did, that I had messed up so badly, that I wasn't worthy of having him or anyone else care about me, after all, before I came to Hogwarts no one had cared.
"Remus, well, he's been great these last few months. But where was he before then? I didn't even know he existed until third year! And once Sirius escaped, I never heard from him again. If I had been so important to him, why didn't he keep in touch, even after Sirius was there? Once he had his old friend back it was as if he didn't need me any more, at least not until that friend was gone again.
"Jam-my dad, well, everyone kept telling me how great he was. I was proud when people told me I took after him. Then I saw that memory in your pensieve. I was ashamed. I couldn't believe that the 'great wizard' I heard about did that. I don't know what provoked that attack, I'm certain that you weren't 100 percent innocent, but nothing, nothing warranted that.
Severus stared at the boy in front of him in shock. He wasn't sure how he felt about what he was hearing. Unfortunately, Snape did not communicate what he was thinking very well and in keeping with a habit he had formed years ago, he cut the teenager off mid-word. "You, Mr. Potter are acting like the spoiled selfish brat that I have accused you of being for the last five years.
"I believe that what you have discovered, Mr. Potter, is that the people in your life are human. As such, they will make mistakes. That, however, is no reason to-"
"SHUT UP!" Harry cried, "Just shut up!
"You asked the question! Why won't you listen to the answer? I never said that I didn't still care for them or admire them. I was just trying to explain what I was feeling. I wanted to be honest with you. I felt that I needed to explain things to you so that you would understand my final answer."
Harry let out a deep sigh as he slumped his shoulders in defeat.
"You know what? I don't care anymore. I don't care what you say, or what you do, or even what you think about me. I don't even care anymore that I might be your son!
"You don't know anything about me or what I've been through! One moment you say you want to get to know me better, the next you ignore me and pretend I don't exist. You're just like everyone else.
"And I'm sick and tired of the fact that the people that should care for me don't; while the people that said that they do, just ignore me or leave me when I need them most.
"I can't handle it anymore. If you don't want to know the truth, then fine! No one's going to make you; certainly not me. You just leave me alone and I'll just leave you alone. And neither of us will mention anything about this again, regardless of the truth."
Snape stared at Harry as the boy turned around and ran out of the room. After gathering his senses, Snape left the room, intent on tracking Harry down to explain. After closing and locking his door, he quickly strode down the corridor.
Albus and Minerva exchanged surprised glances as the blue and pink words faded from view.
"This is certainly a surprise," Albus stated, eyes twinkling brightly. "And a pleasant one at that. Yes, this is welcoming news. Certainly eases my fears about Harry's parents."
"Severus and Sonja Snape? Severus is married? Why didn't he tell us?" Minerva asked.
"That I do not know." Albus replied, eyes twinkling. "It certainly explains much of what has been happening around here this year. I believe it is time I have a talk with Severus. If you will excuse me?"
"Of course," Minerva replied, still in shock, calling Albus back as a thought came to her. "Albus, could that spell be wrong? I mean, Severus as a father. And to a Gryffindor, no less."
"Shocking isn't it?" Albus stated, eyes twinkling even brighter. "Perhaps this will help unite the houses, in some way."
Whistling cheerfully as he placed a lemon drop in his mouth, the headmaster headed towards the dungeon to congratulate a member of his staff on becoming a father.
"Get out of my way, you fool," Severus cried as he ran into someone blocking the corridor.
"I do apologize, Severus. I hope I didn't cause too much damage."
"Albus," Severus said, head snapping up as he recognized the voice. "No, no damage. And I apologize. Now if you'll excuse me."
"Severus, whatever has you in such a rush? Surely you can spare a moment to talk?"
"My apologies, headmaster, but I really can't. Now if you'll excuse me, I really need to go find Har-someone."
"Very well," Albus said, eyes twinkling brightly. "However, I must insist that you join me in my office at the earliest possible moment. There is much we need to discuss."
"Of course, of course. Now I really must find my son, er, my someone."
"On your way then, however, might I suggest the Room of Requirement?"
Severus stared at Albus in shock. What does he know? "Albus-"
"Later, my boy. It will keep, now you best hurry."
Severus nodded as he tried to pick up Harry's trail. Was there anything in the castle that the headmaster didn't know after all?
Shaking his head, the potion master decided to follow the older wizard's advice and headed to the Room of Requirement.
Harry ran into the Room of Requirement. He quickly measured out two drops of his blood and poured it into the cauldron, stirring counter clockwise. He knew he was cutting it close, but hopefully he made it in time. Now all he could do was wait.
After the prescribed amount of time passed, Harry peered into the cauldron and let out a scream.
"Ruined!" Harry cried as he looked at the results of the potion. "I was too late and it's all his fault! He had to go and move the 'detention' to this afternoon. He probably did this on purpose…just because he didn't want to know and couldn't handle the truth, he ruined it for me. I still need to know….I want to know," Harry cried out in frustration.
The more he thought about it, the angrier Harry got. He glared at spot on wall across the room, imaging that Snape was standing there. He quickly grabbed some pillows off of the chairs and started to hurl at that location, wishing it was Snape.
"You wouldn't even let me finish answering the question! I was going to say 'YOU'. I thought that you were someone worthy of my respect, and not just because you might be my father! I can see now that as usual, I was wrong."
Harry continued to rant and rave until all the pillows were flung at the wall; he then walked over to the wall and talked as if Snape was standing there.
"Just because you don't care that doesn't mean that I shouldn't. I understand that you don't like me and that it has nothing to do with James Potter. But I still needed to know the truth. I still want to know the truth! Why can't you understand that? I just wanted a family, was that so wrong?" Harry cried as he sunk to the floor and put his face in his hands, glad that he was alone in the room, and that no one would witness his breakdown. "I know that I'll never have the family that I want, and even if you don't love me and never could, I would have liked to know that I had someone in this world that I could call family."
Harry stared at the spot where he imagined his professor was and slowly banged his head against the wall. "Why don't you want me? Why don't you care?"
Snape had arrived at the doorway to the Room of Requirement just as Harry started to yell at the cauldron. In disbelief he watched as the sixteen year old threw a tantrum that would make any two year-old proud.
The disbelief quickly turned to shame as the tantrum subsided and he heard the words the distraught boy released.
He quietly muttered the same words that the headmaster had uttered hours before and watched as blue and pink letters spelled out his and his wife's name before slowly disappearing.
He tapped his foot lightly to attract his son's attention.
Harry looked up, startled to find the potion master in the doorway.
"Mr. Potter, I am thinking that after an outburst like that, you should be banned from attending the Halloween feast. Instead you will spend the evening in the lab with me."
Snape said as he turned and started to walk out the door.
Harry didn't move as he looked at his professor. That's it? Snape followed him to the room of requirement just to give him detention and ban him from the feast? Harry groaned as he remembered some of the things he said. He wondered what his professor heard. Most likely enough to torment him for years, Harry thought.
Not hearing any sounds behind him, Severus glanced back. Upon seeing the boy-who-lived staring at him in shock, he continued, "Come, Mr. Pott- Harry, we will spend the remainder of the evening in the dungeon, I believe we have a potion to brew. It's time I told you about your mother."
END Chapter 41 the father….END fanfic 'Still Alive!'
And so ends my first fanfic. Please let me know what you think…High points, low points, favorite parts.
Myself, I love the conversation in this chapter between Snape & Dumbledore (Snape calling Albus a fool)
Thank you to everyone who has been reading this fic. An extra special thanks for everyone added me to favorites or alert; and an extra extra special thanks to everyone who reviewed;
Once more, thank you juliedecarson for editing the last few chapters & for allowing me to 'bounce' ideas & scenarios around for discussion.
Oh yeah, once again, let me know if you would like a sequel (a few people mentioned it in previous reviews; Trinity 101 even suggested a prequel about Snape & Sonja-I hadn't thought about that)