Warning: Albus Dumbledore is not portrayed at only his best in this chapter.


To hopefully clear up any confusion

The birth name of Severus Snape and Lily Evans's son is Severus Evans.

His temporary alias was Ian Cummings.

His adoptive family calls him Severus.

His friends call him Russ.

His legal name is Severus Evans.

Severus Snape, and Severus Evans sat in silence at a table in a cozy alcove, nestled off the Snape's kitchen.

Albus Dumbledore had just departed with the Snape's other uninvited guests. He had them all Apparate to a small wizarding inn, near Point Michaud; where they would spend the night. He and Harry would return to the Snape's alone the next morning, to be followed by the rest of their group shortly before the Minister and his delegation were expected to arrive.

Hermione joined her husband and his son bringing steaming cups of hot chocolate with her. "Sulie is sound asleep," she informed the men. "But, I cast a one way silencing charm, anyway. She won't hear anything we say." Hermione sat beside her husband on the half-circle window seat, across from Severus Evans.

Severus Evans shifted nervously and smiled at the pair. "Hermione, you've called me Ian for so long that it almost seems like a name of mine. But, my friends call me Russ," he offered congenially, "and my family calls me Severus, of course. You can call me whatever you like," he turned and looked Severus in the eye, adding, "as can you."

Severus spoke, "I admit that I would find it odd to call another by my name."

"And think of the confusion when I say, 'Severus'." Hermione laughed.

"Do you want to call me Ian?"

"No, no. That's not who you are," Hermione replied.

"Perhaps, I could simply call you 'son'?" Severus suggested.

"I'd be honoured to be called son by you, sir," he agreed, as his green eyes lit with joy.

"I realise you grew up with a man you must call father, so what will you feel comfortable calling Severus?" Hermione asked the young man.

"Actually, I didn't call anyone father as a name. I had a wonderful childhood and a loving home. My family still loves and supports me in, well, everything. But, I never called them Mother and Father. They were always Papa Bill and Mama Jenny when I was young. Then they were just Bill and Jenny. I think Albus may have been behind that, but of course I never realised that until recently."

Only Hermione could tell how uncomfortable Severus was as he smoothy interjected, "You may call me Father, if you wish."

"Thank you, I'd like that." It looked like a weight had been lifted off Severus the younger's shoulders, and Hermione noticed that Severus the elder relaxed slightly, as well.

"That just leaves, what I shall call you," Hermione said. Adding as an afterthought, "Oh, and Sulie, as well."

"I don't mind if you call me Russ," he replied. Then looking to Severus he added, "That is, unless you do, sir."

"If it is what you are comfortable with, I certainly have no objections. Your mother would have appreciated the diminutive."

"Oh?" Russ prompted, as he sipped his hot chocolate.

"Yes," Severus said, "she was always trying to shorten my name, but I would not allow it."

"Will you tell about my Mother, and what happened. Albus told me all that he would, but, he insisted on leaving the rest for you to tell; for when 'I found my way to you', is how he put it."

"I shall not reveal any of the more... personal details," Severus told his son, a bit too harshly. "However," his tone softened slightly, "I will tell you anything else you wish to know."

"Of course," Russ concurred. "Albus told me only the bare minimum. He was forever saying that it was your tale to tell. So if..." he hesitated, "if you'll tell me all you want to, from the beginning?"

Severus folded his arms over his chest and considered the young man before him. His son. He nodded. "Your mother and I became friends in the beginning of our fifth year. Our potions professor pushed us together. He thought the sun rose and set on your mother. He wanted to give her a potions partner who would challenge, if not rival, her. I was the only choice. Our house affiliations were an obstacle, but, somehow we did become friends as well as partners," Severus's lips quirked up briefly as he added, "rather quickly, actually. We began meeting twice a week, in the evenings. Before we knew it we were meeting every evening that we could, and at the weekend; but, we kept our friendship a secret. No one in her house would have understood. She would have been ostracized. I would have been... well, let's just say Slytherins are a bit more creative than Gryffindors when they think they have been betrayed."

A hard look came into his eyes as he confessed, "Harry Potter saw one of my memories. In it I was being cursed and hexed by his father. Your mother lost control. She confronted her housemate in defence of me. I called her a horrible name, to snap her out of it, before she got into serious trouble with her peers. It worked, she realised what she was doing and ceased her public defence of me. Everyone attributed her defensive outburst to her sense of fair play. No one suspected that we were friends, or more."

"More?" Russ asked.

"Severus," Hermione said softly, "it's fine. You know that. Tell him."

Severus reached over and took his wife's hand in his. His thumb gently began rubbing the back of her hand, as he started to speak again. "Our first Christmas, as friends," Severus said, a scowl forming on his face as he divulged personal memories, "your mother and I kissed beneath the mistletoe. After that we spent the best part of our times together - more..." Severus trailed off.

Hermione smiled sympathetically at her husband's discomfort. "What Severus is trying to tell you is that after their first kiss under the mistletoe; and, it was his very first kiss, you know; they spent a lot of time snogging."

Severus sneered at his wife, "Snogging?"

"Snogging," she echoed, unrepentantly.

"If I may continue?" Severus asked with a disdainfully raised eyebrow. His question was met with a respectful silence. "As my wife so delicately put it, your mother and I grew closer. We even managed to meet a few times during the summer after fifth year. The only other member of her family that I met was her sister Petunia."

"I have an aunt?" Russ asked, keen interest glowing in his bright eyes.

"A more horrible woman, I could not imagine," Hermione contributed acerbically.

Severus's voice had a harsh edge as he too responded, "If you want to know about her, I suggest you make nice with Potter. He grew up in her house."

"Her magic hating, Muggle house," Hermione appended.

"You still don't like Harry Potter much, do you, sir?"

"Not particularly, no," Severus replied in clipped tones.

"Harry's father," Hermione interjected, "led a gang of young men who tormented your father mercilessly throughout their youth, and and they never grew out of it. James Potter was in the lead as far as torturing your father was concerned, however, his best friend Sirius Black took that honour when he attempted to murder your father."

"The werewolf incident," Russ said knowingly. "Albus did tell me about that."

"He swept it under the rug, for what he saw as the greater good," Hermione said, in a resentful tone. Greater good indeed! Albus could have punished them, without getting Lupin expelled if he had tried," Hermione said furiously.

"It is past," Severus said calmly.

"I know. It's just that - "

Severus ended his wife's tirade by drawing her hand to his lips and kissing it reverently, as he looked deeply into her eyes.

Severus turned to look into the eyes of the young man before him once again. "You mother was a kind and good person. She was intelligent and thoughtful. You resemble her, in looks and deeds."

"Severus, he looks like you," Hermione said with a smile. "Except for his eyes."

"A dominant trait of Lily's, or so it would seem," Severus said evenly. He couldn't decide if he hated it because of Harry Potter, or if he was happy to see some of Lily in his own son.

"What happened?" Russ asked quietly.

You could hear nothing but the swinging of the pendulum in the antique Muggle clock while Severus thought.

"I cared for your mother, more than most young men were capable of," Severus said quietly. "I was devoted to her, despite the fact that our relationship had to be hidden. When we met over the summer it was too brief for both of us. We wrote to each other every day. Sometimes more than once a day. It is regrettable that we had to burn the missives to ensure our secret. I would like to be able to give some of them to you, so that you would understand."

"You were still together when you returned to school for your sixth year?"

"Yes, yes. It was that reunion that..." Severus looked at his young wife, and she nodded encouragingly. "That September your mother and I became... intimate - " Severus faltered. He hated talking about personal things, and was battling the urge to rage that it was no one's business. Instead, with a concerted effort he divulged a bit of himself. "Your mother was more experienced than I was." Severus looked decidedly uncomfortable, and it was obvious to Hermione that he was making an effort not to cover his discomfort with venom, as was his wont. "I lost my virginity and my heart," he said abruptly.

Russ cleared his throat. "So, my mother, she wasn't - "

"Your mother," Severus said forcefully, "was good; and kind. She was pure in all the ways that mattered." He glared at his newfound son.

"It's better that way really isn't it?" Russ said conversationally, blatantly attempting to lighten the mood. "I mean if no one knows what they are doing, then it can be a real disaster. It's better for one person to have experience."

"Indeed," Severus's mouth quirked at the corners, "your mother was able to... teach me. I shudder to think how pathetic it would have been if we were both virgins." Severus's expression hardened, "However, I think that is quite enough detail."

Russ nodded in agreement.

"Your mother and I were separated only by classes and sleep. Every free moment we spent together, until the Christmas holidays. She went home to her Muggle family and I returned to my home. When the holidays were over and we met again, we were carried away. The time apart, it took all sense out of our adolescent heads. We thought of nothing, save each other, the nothing we thought of included the casting of a contraception spell. I see now, before me, that the result of that is a fine young man." Severus looked into his son's eyes and asked, "I gather that you were born prematurely?"

"I was only a month early. Albus told me that he had my mother induced so that she would be free to return to school in September. I was not dangerously early. Albus's Healers made sure I was practically fully developed before they induced my mother."

"Albus again!" Hermione spat.

"I did not know that your mother was pregnant. Nor did I know that you existed after you were born. Albus had other plans for me. They did not include a family."

"Yes, he planned for you to become his spy."

"When we returned to school for our seventh year, your mother surrounded herself with Gryffindors who hated me, and she avoided me entirely. It was after a few months of this, that I turned to the Dark Lord."

"She didn't avoid you knowingly. Albus told me."

"Yes, well, be that as it may; the last contact I had with your mother was a letter on the thirty-first of July. Then nothing. When we returned to school, she refused to speak to me. At all."

"I am so sorry that all of this happened," Russ said.

"It is in no way your fault," Severus responded, almost kindly. "What has Albus told you?"

"He told me that you are my father, of course. He told me my mother's name." Russ looked thoughtful. "He said that my mother went to her head of house when she discovered that she was pregnant. He said the two came to him. He said my mother was a brilliant witch, and he agreed to create and cast a charm to conceal her pregnancy, so that she could continue in school."

"I never noticed a pregnancy, and I was... close to your mother," Severus said curtly.

"Albus said that even if you," Russ's eyes went wide and he rushed on, "he didn't mention you specifically, he said if anyone touched my mother they wouldn't even feel her pregnancy. He made her swear not to tell anyone else that she was pregnant while she was in school that year. Not even you."

"That explains quite a bit," Severus bit out.

"Albus said when the school year was finished, your sixth year, that he approached my mother again. He asked her what she planned to do." Russ's eyes grew wistful as he continued, "He said my mother told him that she was going to tell you about the baby as soon as you both got off school grounds. He said that she said you loved each other, and that, although it would be difficult, you both would make a home for me."

"We would have," Severus assured his son.

"Albus said he asked my mother to wait until he visited her in August to tell anyone, including you. He said if she were to be allowed to attend her seventh year, that she had to keep her pregnancy a secret that much longer. He admitted to telling her that if she didn't, she would not be allowed back into school, and neither would you. He told her that we would live in squalor, and be shunned by respectable society if you didn't finish school because of an unwed pregnancy."

Hermione spluttered incoherently in outrage.

Russ gave her a wan smile and continued, "Albus said my mother exclaimed that she cared more for you and I than for her magical education. She said that she had no doubt that you would, as well." Russ smiled ruefully at Severus. "Which I have been told is quite a lot; considering how much you both valued your magical education."

"Indeed, we did value our education above almost all else. However, your mother was correct in her assertions. She was, and you would have been, more important to me."

Russ nodded and went on, "She told Albus that you would both live in the Muggle world to support me if that's what you had to do. Albus said he told her that I would not be allowed to attend Hogwarts if you were to choose such a path. He said that she cried for hours. He claimed that he earned himself the wrath of my mother's head of house; but, he held firm with what he had told my mother. In the end, my mother agreed to wait until August to tell you."

"She never did tell me," Severus informed Russ.

"No. Albus told me that he took her to his home on the first of August. During August she had no contact with anyone except Albus. After he had her induced, he cast a targeted Obliviate. He said that she agreed because he told her that you had been consorting with Voldemort. That this was the only way to keep her baby safe from Voldemort."

"He outright lied," Hermione gasped.

Russ smiled. "Yes, but it wasn't easy for him. Albus admitted that my mother didn't believe him. My mother insisted that my father was no more into the Dark Arts than she was." Russ looked at Severus. "She said that you both studied and worked with the Dark Arts; but, that your goal was to understand them; and to fight evil." Russ's eyebrows drew together in consternation."

"That was the intention of our experiments. To learn from them, not to use them," Severus said quietly. "But, please, continue."

"It was then that Albus confessed to tricking my mother. He told me that he showed her a pensive of you and Voldemort. In it you were talking with Voldemort like old friends, and laughing over your use of the Mudblood Evans. She saw you tell Voldemort that you had 'gotten a child on her'; as Voldemort had requested of you. She saw you tell Voldemort that she didn't know you knew she was pregnant, so, it would be easy for you to take the child away from her, and bring it to Voldemort to sacrifice in a Dark ritual. A ritual designed to give him infinite power and immortality." Russ looked at Severus apologetically. "Albus said it was necessary for him to lie to my mother, to secure the safety of all three of us."

"He faked a pensive memory?" Hermione asked acrimoniously.

"Easily enough done for him," Severus answered. "Being a master Legilimens would give him the discipline to create an in depth... day dream, if you will? He would then extract that as if it were a real memory. There is a charm to detect such a deception, but, I doubt that Lily was even aware that a false pensive memory is possible."

"Albus was sure that she wasn't," Russ agreed. "Even so, she initially protested. She did not believe you capable of such a heinous thing. She did not think you would ever do anything to hurt her. Albus said it took a while to convince her. After he showed her the memory, and she vented her protests, he convinced her that the pensive could not lie, and that you had been deceiving her from the beginning. That you were never her friend, and that you never loved her. Then he told her that she needed to give me to a safe, loving family, far away from you and Voldemort. He promised her that I would have a good home, and that I would be in no danger from either of you. He convinced my mother that if she were to keep me, you and Voldemort would find me. He told her even the Fidelius Charm would not even ensure my safety. He said it might hold you off for a bit, but, that the sacrifice of a toddler would be just as effective for Voldemort's purposes. He assured her that you and Voldemort would find me, and sacrifice me for Voldemort's gains, if she kept me. My mother was in her eighth month of pregnancy, she was totally isolated from everyone except Albus Dumbledore, and she was terrified. She agreed to give me up for my own safety. Albus told her that you would be told that I was stillborn, so that you and Voldemort wouldn't look for me. She agreed to be Obliviated afterwards, because Albus said you would use Legilimency on her and discover that I lived, if he didn't take her memories away." Russ's voice dropped to almost a whisper. "Any memories of you, and her pregnancy, were wiped from her mind. When she went back to school, she wasn't rejecting you. She had forgotten you, completely. Albus admitted to enlisting the Marauders to distract her, to give her the impression that she didn't like you. That she felt about you as they did, and that you had an unrequited crush on her."

"Why that manipulative, conniving, - "

Russ raised his voice to drown out Hermione's colourful name for Albus, as he continued, "Albus didn't Obliviate you because he wanted your mind sharp, to serve him and his Order. He placed the enticements to Voldemort in your path. He knew that if you took the mark, and then discovered Voldemort's true nature; you would come to him."

"And so I did," Severus said simply. "Albus did know what he was doing; to an extent. I will never forget your mother's suicide - "

"Suicide?" A shocked Russ interrupted.

"Russ," Hermione began, "Lily Evans gave her life to save the life of your half brother, Harry."

"Yes, I've heard that often enough, both the Potters did."

Severus Snape snorted. "It was your mother's sacrifice of her life that saved Harry Potter, and nothing else. James Potter was dead before the Dark Lord approached Lily.

"You were there?" Russ asked.

"Indeed," Severus said. "I arrived after James Potter was dead, just as your mother gave her life for his son. Albus had sent me to the Longbottom's believing that the Dark Lord would attack them. You see, Lily and her family should have been safe. They were supposedly protected. I must have been on my way to the Longbottom's when Pettigrew gave the Dark Lord their location. While I was securing the safety of Neville Longbottom, the Dark Lord went to your mother's house and murdered her."

"What did you do" Russ asked, "at my mother's house?"

"By the time I got to the room where your Mother was; it was too late to save her. As far as I could tell, the Dark Lord was gone. I put Potter," Severus spat, "Harry," he clarified, "in his cot. Then I went to your mother." Severus's eyes took on a far away look. "Even though I believed she had left me without so much as a goodbye; and for James Potter no less; I still loved her. I held her body and stayed with her. Dumbledore found us that way some time later. He sent me to Hogwarts, and he sent Potter to the Dursley's. That is your maternal Aunt: Petunia, her husband Vernon Dursley, and their son Dudley."

"If it weren't for Albus - " Russ began, while Hermione nodded her agreement with him vehemently.

"No, son," Severus said, easily getting the attention of Hermione and Russ, as he intended. "Albus did what he thought was best. For everyone. I do regret not knowing you; but, you had a good childhood, did you not?"

"The best," Russ agreed quietly.

"Your mother died, and that is a loss that many will always feel," Severus said solemnly. "However, Albus never intended her death. He did the best he could with what he had to work with. He saw to it that you had a good life. A safe life." Severus looked at Hermione, "Yes, he put me in danger, but, I made it through. Without my intelligence, I daresay the Dark Lord might be ruling the entire wizarding world right now."

"I know Severus," Hermione said. She turned to look at Russ. "Your father believes wholeheartedly in Albus Dumbledore's infallibility - "

"I have never said he is infallible, Hermione," Severus admonished gently.

"You may as well," Hermione said.

"No, I know he has made mistakes," Severus said, as he brushed the back of his long fingers down his wife's cheek. "I know he will make more mistakes. I merely contend that he usually knows what is best; and that his intentions, however manipulative they may seem, are always for the good."

"You know I can not abide what he did to you. The danger he put you in for all those years. You could easily have been killed, or worse, at any moment," Hermione plead.

"I went of my own volition."

"But he manipulated you into the position in the first place," Hermione persisted.

"He believed it would be best for all, and indeed, had James Potter not changed secret keepers, we would have all been in perfect positions," Severus reminded her. "As it was, it was my information that allowed us to win this war."

"I know that," Hermione huffed. "I just don't think the end justifies the means, nor do I worship Albus Dumbledore."

"And if the end had been different?" Severus asked. "If we were all subjects of the Dark Lord?"

Hermione quietened.

"Sulevis would not even exist," he whispered. Severus and Hermione looked deeply into each other's eyes.

"I am thankful to Albus for that," Hermione whispered emotionally, "so very thankful, that I have you and Sulie." Hermione closed her eyes and whispered, "My life would be utterly empty without you, Severus. You are the best thing that has ever... that could ever, happen to me. I just wish you could have been spared the pain."

Russ cleared his throat. "I think I've been enough of an imposition for one day."

"Russ," Hermione said quickly, opening her eyes and smiling at the young man as he made to leave, "we'd both love it if you'd stay here. I know Sulie would be pleased as well."

"I can easily Apparate home, and - "

"Just for tonight?" Hermione persisted.

"It is best to capitulate. My wife will not back down when she is determined," Severus added smoothly.

"All right," Russ agreed.

Hermione beamed. "I'll show you to a guest room." She gave Severus's hand a squeeze as she rose to take Russ upstairs.

Finally alone, ensconced in their bed, Severus knelt beside Hermione and cradled her in his arms. She looked into his face with open expressive eyes. No words were necessary. Severus's lips descended to hers with tender affection. He didn't deepen the kiss, instead he moved his thin lips across her skin slowly; kissing each corner of her mouth, her cheeks, her eyes; he trailed tender kisses to her ear, and behind; down her throat to her shoulder.

Hermione wrapped her arms around Severus's thin, broad shoulders. She arched her throat to give him more access; and, held on to him, reveling in the love her husband was bestowing upon her.

Severus buried his fingers in her curls as his mouth returned to hers. She parted her lips and his tongue brushed hers softly. His hands came up to lightly hold her face, his fingers a whisper on her skin. He pulled back, but not far, his lips almost touched hers. In this moment they shared breath, pulse, life. His deep dark chocolate voice bathed her face with his confession, "I have never loved, as I love you, my Hermione."

She shivered in the face of his emotions. It was not often that her taciturn husband bared his soul. She closed her eyes and the minute distance between them, her soft full lips caressed his. The love between them was almost a tangible entity. The very air around them was warmed with the depth of their feelings. "Severus, my love," she whispered between sweet kisses, "how I love you. You are everything to me."

She pulled back and looked into Severus's eyes. The intensity of the feelings she saw there; the adoration; the devotion; the passion; the love; was overwhelming.

Her eyes spoke to him of reciprocation, and more. Desire flared between them. She drew him to her fiercely and he did not resist. He matched her desire with his own. He caught her lips without hesitation, and she returned his kiss with abandon.

This kiss was borne of a long enduring passion; yet, it was new in the raw emotions that were being given and taken this night. Neither held anything back, nor gave a thought to affectation; they simply drank of each other with intemperance.

Hermione shifted restlessly beneath Severus in an attempt to get even closer. This caused him to press his angular planes into her curves; which in turn elicited a delightful whimper from her throat. He shuddered, and moaned into her mouth in response, his deep tones seeming to vibrate through her entire body. Hermione drew in a sharp breath, as she marvelled anew at the sensation of making this powerful wizard tremble in her arms.

She opened herself to him, all welcoming heat; and he filled her need with his own, fusing their two bodies into one.

Theirs was a well practiced and cherished intimacy, but, this time it was somehow more. It was an agonizingly slow, and exceeding powerful physical expression of their deep and everlasting love.


Severus and Hermione had a son. They named him Ian, a name favoured by his half-brother.

The Snapes returned to Scotland when it was time for Sulie to go off to school. They had not wanted her to have to attend any school other than Hogwarts.

Severus Snape and Harry Potter never became friends. However, they each gained more understaning of the other as the years passed.

After Ian left Hogwarts, Severus and Hermione returned to their home in Nova Scotia; where they settled in for a quiet life together.

The year Hermione turned ninety, she and Severus were surprised out of thier quiet existence, by the unexpected arrival of a change-of-life baby.