Chapter 23: Mind Your Own

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any recognized characters

Severus hovered over the prone form of his son lost in thought. They would have to be much more cautious. Yes, the rings had worked, but his son was still lying here badly injured. What If Harry hadn't had the time to alert him? He could be mourning over his newly recovered sons dead body. One thing was for sure, this could not happen again. . . ever! And now that Nott was being expelled certain Slytherins would want revenge, yes Slytherin would not be safe enough for his son at this tentative time. Never mind that he was the victim.

Severus had woken early, before Poppy even. He had gotten a restless three hours of sleep before giving up and descending the stairs from the private ward to settle at his sons bedside. For the past two hours he had shifted between trying to read his monthly issue of 'Potions on the Precipice,' and pacing about the wing.

Severus sighed as he stood up again and moved to look out the window where the sun was now rising. He felt like a student again, he did not want to attend his classes today. However he knew it was prudent that he show the students that he would not abdicate his duties. In addition he needed to send a clear and concise warning. His foul mood was going to be known by Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin alike. By the end of today any fool who did not know already would know not to cross one, Severus Snape.

Around 6AM the medi-witch made her appearance. Her first call of duty was Harry. She acknowledged Severus with a curt nod and checked all of Harry's vitals with a wave of her wand. After she was appeased that he was stable she flashed a grim smile at Severus and answered the question she knew he would ask.

"He is stable Severus, but just. I am very afraid of memory loss as this point."

"So he's worse then?" Severus sighed running a hand through his yet unwashed hair. "Why?"

"I would not say worse necessarily, but we do need to prepare for the possibility of him not remembering at least the past few months,let alone possibly years."

"And what is that supposed to mean?' Severus asked menacingly. Madame Pomfrey, ever used to delivering bad news, did not flinch at his tone. She quickly switched into lecture mode.

"Severus, when someone loses their memory the best thing to do is to surround them with familiar things. Depending on the extent of damage you need to be prepared that he may not remember you as his father."

"But if you say he needs to be surrounded by familiar things, certainly his father would be pivotal."

"Severus, you know better. I know you don't want to acknowledge the possibility, but it is there. Certainly you understand that the familiarity you share with him is not nearly the same as the friends he has known for the greater part of six years. To be blunt Severus, if he wakes up and does not remember you our first task will be to familiarize himself with that which will be easiest to remember. If he does not remember you the shock of 'learning' he has a father may be rather traumatizing. Do you understand what this means?"

"Yes, that if he wakes I must act as if these past few months have never happened." Severus collapsed into a chair holding his face in his hand.

"Precisely, Severus. This is very important! You will need to have patience. There is no guarantee that he will remember, but that doesn't mean we can't reacquaint him to the fact you are his father. We will first need to stabilize him though." Breaking her usual professional air she placed a hand on Severus' shoulder and said, " I truly am sorry Severus. I think it best you prepare yourself for this outcome."

"I understand Poppy." Severus said, "Now if you will excuse me I have classes to attend. You will of course inform me if his condition is to change in any way?"

"Of course, you will be the first Severus." Severus nodded his thanks and retreated to his dungeons to get ready for classes.

Xxxx

All eyes were on Severus when he stormed into the Great Hall. He was quite hard to miss when he threw open both of the huge doors and sent glares every which way. Not everyone knew what happened, only upon rumor did the majority guess at what had taken place, but everyone could certainly tell that this was not the usual Snape glare. It was deadly number ten Snape glare.

At the Gryffindor table Ron was fixed with a particularly nasty glare.

"What's his problem?" Ron asked disgusted turning to face Hermione across the table.

"Really! Ronald, don't be so thick!." Hermione exclaimed. " His son was just put in a coma! And as his supposed best friend you would think you would have more sense that to insult his father." Hermione added leaning over to whisper across the table.

"Oh come on, Hermione! He can't possibly care about Harry already! He doesn't have feelings."

"I really would have expected better from you Ronald! You're mother would be incredibly disappointed in you."

"Really, Hermione. My mother. You can leave her out of this thank you!."

"No, I don't think I can! In fact I think I may write her. I'm sure she would love to hear how supportive you have been. You would think you would be happy that Harry has family now."

"You wouldn't!" Ron said fixing her with an angry leer. " Maybe I would be happy for him if he wasn't brainwashed by the dungeon bat."

"You are so daft sometimes, honestly brainwashed." Hermione scoffed. " and I very much will write her if you don't shape up." Ron looked at her appalled, but not being able to give up his breakfast quite yet just returned to eating, this time with more vigor.

Xxx

Up at the staff table Severus could not help but fixing all the little miscreants with terror inducing glares and sneers. After several minutes of Albus watching his esteemed Potions Master, make several first years run out of the hall in tears, he subtly leaned over to whisper in his ear.

"You'll want to be careful Severus. Such anger is not a good look on you."

"And when have I ever cared about my looks, Headmaster?" Severus said fixing Albus with a glare as well.

"There was a time, when a certain which named Lily was around." Severus stood up and slammed his goblet down.

"Are you trying to anger me further Albus?"

"Severus, perhaps you should not attend to your classes today, I do not believe you are in control of yourself." Albus stated in his infuriatingly calm way as he continued to eat his eggs.

"And I believe you should mind your own business old man. These cretins will learn not to mess with my family."

"So you will punish them all for the fault of one?" Albus tuned from his meal fixing Severus with his old and wizened gaze.

"No, Albus they will not be 'punished', but they will not mess with me again. His fate lies in my hands and I intend to make sure he is safe. Now if you will excuse me, I have to attend to my classes." He said and sent one last glare at the student body, who returned to their breakfast as they realized they had been caught watching the scene at the head table. Severus scoffed and turned on his heel to exit behind the staff table.

Xxx

Hermione had witnessed everything at the staff table and regardless of not being able to hear the conversation it was easy to guess the topic. Harry. Now, Hermione could understand the Professor's rage, but was not looking forward to her double hour of Advanced Potions. At least she was always prepared and would not be the one to push the Professor over the edge. With one last glance at Ron she sighed and made her way to the dungeons.

She was earlier than usual today so sat quietly in the back reading. She had hoped to catch the Professor before class to inquire about Harry. After only a few minutes of her silent reading the Professor stormed in. Hermione cleared her throat to make her presence known and carefully made her way up to his desk.

"Excuse me sir." Hermione said delicately, she knew the man was in no talking mood, but had to know all the same.

"Yes, Miss Granger, I was actually wishing to speak with you. Sit." He commanded motioning to the seat in front of his desk and waving his hand to lock the door.

"Yes, sir." Hermione sat and ran her hands over the pleats in her skirt by natural habit.

"I assume you are here to inquire about Harry?" He said fixing her with his steady gaze.

"If you wouldn't mind, sir." Hermione looked up from her lap to meet Severus eyes. She realized in that moment he was in control of himself more than he let on. She understood now. Of course he was really angry, but he was purposely trying to set an example. She wanted to smirk at how deeply he had grown to care for Harry, but knew it would be inappropriate at this moment.

"Not at all, Miss Granger. Although you must be aware that the situation is not ideal in any way at the present time. I spoke to Madame Pomfrey this morning and she said the risk for memory loss has increased. If that is indeed the case it is quite possible that he will not remember our relationship as it is still so new. In this case it is prudent that when he awakes he has strong support. I can only assume he would not forget you and Mr. Weasley so easy. I know I can count on you Miss Granger, but have you made progress with Mr. Weasley?" Severus studied Hermione over his steepled fingers as she thought about her response before speaking.

"I'm sorry, Professor he is being rather difficult. I will of course keep trying. I haven't had much time to speak with him, but I'm fairly confident once he understands he will come around."

"Yes, understanding has not been one of 's strong points these past years." Severus mused more to himself. " However if Harry wakes up and is at odds with his best friend it will not benefit his recovery."

"I understand, Professor." Hermione promptly answered.

"Well I will leave him in your capable hands, Miss Granger. Now return to your seat and prepare yourself." He said with an evil glint in his eye. Hermione smirked, nodded a quick, "Yes, Sir," and did as told.

Severus waved his hand to unlock the door and the students assembled there filed in quietly casting nervous looks at the Professor. It was customary that he storm in to the room each class. Anything out of the ordinary was unnerving at best.

As the students filed into their seats, Severus surveyed them all with equal disdain. No words had to be spoken to understand their Professor was in a foul mood. Word had spread quickly enough about Harry's encounter and rumors were confirmed as the students realized Harry was not in class.

"Now, for today's assignment, which I expect to have completed perfectly by the end of this lesson, the Draught of Living Death. At your level you should be able to follow directions to a tee, any potion that is so much as one dragonfly eye off will receive a zero for the day. You will all work on your own silently, any noise or talking shall cost house points and many miserable detentions with yours truly. Now begin!"

The students, knowing better than to cross one Severus Snape in any mood let alone one so foul, quickly and quietly retrieved their potions ingredients from the storage closet and began to brew.

One cauldron explosion, two hospital wing visits, one hundred house points later for the noise that followed the explosions, and twelve zero's later class finally ended. A very frazzled Hermione made her way out of the classroom, she saw the looks of terror on the students that were assembled outside the Potions classroom for the next class. A couple looked as if they wanted to skive off as they watched the remaining students leave, but thought better of it knowing the Professor would seek his revenge.

While rather harsh Hermione couldn't deny that the students would think twice about defying him now. She cast a quick freshening charm on herself and turned as the door was closing on the last student entering to see that same dangerous look on Severus' face that had preceded her lesson. She smiled to herself and then continued to her next class, thinking it was worth it all as long as Harry was kept safe.

A/N: Haha! Finally! I hope you all enjoy and anyone that is still with me I thank you! As always reviews are very much appreciated! I have already started on the next chapter. Any comments, questions, or ideas are always greatly appreciated as well.

Review Responses:

Rori Potter: Here you are. Not as soon as I would have like, but here nonetheless!

DTDY: Thank you, I rather like Severus like that. I hope you enjoyed this chapter as well.

StarlightWonderer23: Thank you so much! I think that is what I am leaning towards right now!

TheWarriorQueen: Next chapter is going in a different direction, but I hope you enjoy it all the same. I think I can thicken the plot more this way!

SoGrey: A lot more Hermione in this chapter, I am trying to make her true to character. Glad you like it!

As always please review and let me know what you think. It definitely inspires me!