Disclaimer: I own any characters, spells, or objects not previously mentioned in the Harry Potter series, as well as the plot. Anything else is property of JKR.
Pairings: Sirius/Severus, Kingsley/Remus, Remy/Samantha, Harry/Hermione
Warnings: Slash (male/male relationships), original characters, AU (OotP and HBP do not apply to this universe), random plot twists. Occasional bad language, violence, and/or death may occur. Consider yourself warned.
Summary: The troubles of family Snape did not end at the death of Voldemort. Remus doesn't show any signs of waking from his coma, Hermione gets problems from her Wizarding relatives, and Samantha's health causes worries. Of course, the life in Hogwarts in general is far from normal, especially as a new Dark threat raises its ugly head.
A/N: This is a sequel to Like Father, Like Son, which is by far my most popular fic ever by any measures. While I'm writing this note, it has well over 14 900 hits, 400 reviews, and 100 favourite marks, and it is contained in 17 c2s. I'd like to thank my readers for all these, and present to you this second part of the story.
If you have not yet read Like Father, Like Son, do so. It will greatly help you understand the characters, situations, and relationships in this story. For instance, there is a Harry Potter in this story, but he is not the Boy Who Lived -- that title belongs to Remus Snape, formerly known as Harry Potter. Therefore, knowing the first part is essential to understanding this fic.
Apple from the Tree
A Lovely Summer Day
"Snape, catch!" called a cheerful voice. The teenager turned quickly around but was not fast enough to catch the beach ball thrown at him. The ball hit him on the chest and bounced into the water.
"That's it, Potter!" he shouted in mock anger although he was all the time struggling against laughter.
"I'll have your hide for that!" Then he started to rush through the water towards Harry, who cackled evilly before starting to run away from him. The girls giggled and moved out of the way.
"Well, they do seem to be happy," Sirius commented from the balcony where he and Severus were standing. "I mean, even Harry is behaving like a little kid. Just look at those two!" He again glanced down at the beach and the teenagers there. Remy and Harry were trying to force each other under the water, and Hermione and Samantha were watching from the side, giggling in amusement.
"It is rather understandable," his husband replied. "After all, it is easier to pretend that everything is all sunny and bright than to admit the real problems. As long as he is like a child, he doesn't have to concentrate on his father's condition." His expression darkened for a moment at the mention of Remus.
On his side Sirius sighed. "At least Remus is still alive," he said quietly. "Although I can't help thinking that maybe it would be better if that wasn't the case." He stepped closer to the Slytherin.
Not saying a word, Severus wrapped his arms around his husband. Even though it had been quite some time and there was nothing wrong with Sirius anymore, the pain he'd felt when he thought he'd lost him still returned fresh from time to time. Especially eagerly it showed up whenever Remus was mentioned.
Although it was now the beginning of July and the summer holiday, the werewolf still hadn't shown any signs of waking up from his coma. Severus and Sirius had convinced Harry to stay with them, Remy, Hermione, and Samantha. The second Snape Manor, left to Severus by his uncle while his parents lived in the original one, had a beautiful garden and a wonderful beach, and was the perfect summer place for a few teenagers. Harry had eventually agreed, although he was intent on visiting his father regularly. This, of course, the Snapes wholeheartedly agreed with.
Sirius sighed then. "I'd better get going if I'm going to leave at all today," he said. "Look after the brats." Giving his husband a quick peck on the lips, he then disappeared inside. Severus, however, remained on the balcony for some time, still watching the teenagers' play.
Severus raised an eyebrow as he saw the four younger occupants of the manor coming down the stairs. They had all changed their swimwear to jeans and T-shirts. Hermione and Harry both had their hair on a ponytail, Remy on a braid, and Samantha on two pigtails. "Are you perhaps going to go somewhere?" the Potions Master inquired, interrupting their cheerful chatter.
"Well, yes," Remy replied, shrugging a bit. "We thought we'd go to the town to get some ice-cream. Is there a problem with that?" He flashed a broad grin, for a moment looking exactly like his Dad. His facial features were indeed from Severus, making him resemble Harry more than most brothers resembled each other. However, his body was all the time developing more and more towards the muscular build of his carrier's. Whenever he smiled -- which was often nowadays, despite the worry about his "uncle" Remus -- he looked exactly like Sirius. The Snape smirk was still there, and the glare was just as effective as always when in use, but they didn't show up even nearly as frequently as they'd once used to.
"Of course there is no problem," Severus replied. "Just don't get into any trouble. And remember, no magic -- not even you, Harry. It's a Muggle village, and there are no excuses for breaking the law."
"Fine, Uncle Severus," replied the young man with a grin. "Is there anything else you'd like to warn us about? Remind us not to play on the road?" The others snickered at this behind their hands.
"Of course, Harry," Severus said calmly, not baffled by this smart-arse response. He was married to Sirius, after all. "And while you are at it, remember that girls have cooties. Stay away from them."
"Hey!" exclaimed both Hermione and Samantha. Then, however, they both laughed, following their equally amused boyfriends outside. The sound of their laughter and cheerful chatter lingered for a moment after their departure, teasing Severus's ears. For a moment, he hesitated, not sure about his decision.
Then, however, he went to the open window and leant outside. "Stop right there, brats!" he shouted. "I'm coming with you as soon as I get some Muggle clothes on... And yes, Remy, I do have Muggle clothes."
Miraculously there were no audible protests. There wasn't even a single comment when he emerged from the house in a T-shirt and jeans. Severus did feel a bit self-conscious about his short-sleeved shirt, but he constantly reminded himself that there was no need for such a feeling. After all, he was no more carrying Voldemort's mark -- and anyway, not everybody could be as muscular as Sirius. And his arms weren't skinny, they were just slender. If they had been skinny, Remy would have most certainly told him so.
"What is this, Father?" asked the teenager instead of commenting on his appearance. "Don't you trust us enough to go around by ourselves?" He even managed a small pout, fluttering his eyes.
"It's not you that I don't trust," Severus replied dryly. "However, as you should well know, there are still some stray Death Eaters running about, ones that would be more than happy to take down all of you. Harry hardly can protect you all by himself, and if any of you others have a wand with them, I'll be very upset. Therefore, it's better that I'm keeping an eye on you." After a momentary pause, he then added, "And besides, nobody has ever said that I'm not allowed to eat some ice-cream every now and then, too."
At that, everybody laughed. However, Severus noted a small difference in the tones of laughter. Very smoothly he added, "I will treat every minor without a wand to an ice-cream." And then, without another word, he drew and pointed his own wand and said, "Expelliarmus." Catching the wands flying towards him and returning Harry his, he pocketed the other two and said calmly, "Ice-cream, Samantha."
Hermione and Remy both pouted, while Samantha snickered and Harry laughed at them both. Severus merely smirked, not even bothering to mention that neither of them had any legal reason to carry a wand.
They continued their way to the small Muggle village with happy chatter and laughter echoing around. The day was so lovely that none of them wanted to spoil it by being on a dark mood. Even Severus found his moods lifted by the teenagers' incessant cheerfulness. Had he been at school and heard the students making noise in such a way, he would have most probably been just annoyed. Here, however, he didn't have to carry the stress of work, and could instead just relax. Therefore, even this noise didn't irritate him, rather made him want to join in, like he did, occasionally.
"Where's Dad, anyway?" asked Remy suddenly, shaking him out of his thoughts. "I've only seen him from the distance after breakfast. He didn't mention anything about going anywhere, either."
"Sirius? He went over to the Ministry to take care of some things," Severus replied. "You see, he has to present a clean bill of health to be able to teach next year, and he wanted to get it out of the way before he forgets." At the doubtful glances he got from them, he corrected, "Well, okay. So I told him to get it out of the way before he forgets. But let's just say that my wish is his will so my first statement still stands, right?" He flashed a smirk at his younger companions, who all laughed at that.
"Who is going to teach DADA next year, anyway? Will Kingsley continue to teach it?" asked Samantha. "Assuming that Remus doesn't wake up before then, of course," she then added quietly.
"Yes, I do believe Kingsley is going to continue on his post," Severus replied, "if Remus doesn't wake up before then." Remus would wake up, of course. He had to.
"Actually, that's not true," Harry announced lightly. "I am going to be the new DADA teacher."
"What!" exclaimed Remy. "You must be kidding! Substituting in Charms is one thing, but this..."
"Tsk, tsk, dear cousin," the golden-haired young man said teasingly. "I am only going to be a substitute until Father wakes up. Therefore, I do not have to be a DADA Master; the Headmaster's evaluation of my skills is quite enough to make me qualified for the temporary post."
"What about student-teacher relationships?" Remy pressed on. "Surely you'll get trouble for that!"
"Oh, no," Harry replied. "As long as the student is over the age of consent, there is no rule in the Hogwarts rule book that would prohibit that." At this, he flashed a grin at Hermione. "Kingsley is going to teach, though," the pony-tailed wizard added, "but not DADA." At the questioning gazes of the others, he continued, "And as for Kingsley, well... the Headmaster is going to start an Auror Education class. It's meant for those who are going to become Aurors or are simply interested in it."
"Well, trust Albus to come up with something like that," huffed Severus. "I do hope that doesn't interfere with the students' other studies, though." At that, he turned to look at Hermione and Remy. "While we are at the topic," he said, "just what are you two going to do with your lives, anyway?"
"That depends on my OWL results, of course," Remy replied. "Originally I was going to become a Potions Master like you, but now I'm considering becoming an Auror and just specializing on Potions. That would mean a narrower part of the field of Potions, yes, but otherwise the work'd be even more exciting."
Severus shrugged. "Whatever suits you," he said. "Of course I'm glad that you are working on Potions, but I do not require that of you. Neither your dad nor I are going to place any expectations on you. As long as you do your best on whatever it is you choose to do, nothing else matters to us."
"Really?" Remy asked, raising an eyebrow. "What if I want to become the world's greatest Dark Lord?"
"Well, let's say, 'whatever you choose to do'... within the boundaries of law and good taste," his father responded dryly. "And yes, that does mean that you cannot become a strip tease dancer."
"And how exactly are you going to stop me if I do decide to become that?" the darkhaired young wizard asked, a smirk on his lips. Oh, yes, he was indeed a dangerous mix of his both parents.
"Then I am going to exploit an ancient law," Severus told him calmly. "It is indeed ancient and probably long forgotten, but it does still have full power. If a child has been adopted and then returned to their original family, their biological parents can, should they choose to, extend their time of custody over the child. At maximum they can stay as the child's legal guardians exactly as much time after their coming of age as the child spent adopted. So, unless you want to be grounded until you turn thirty-two, you stay put."
"Ouch," Hermione commented with a tiny smirk. Then she smiled happily. "I am going to become a mediwitch," she announced. "I'm heading more to the research side of the field, though."
"Well, that is certainly not surprising," Severus commented, a tiny smile tugging at his lips. "It is much easier to imagine you looking for new cures for some unknown diseases than helping some disabled patient to their bed. And this is meant as a compliment, nothing else," he added calmly as the girl looked at him.
"Does it really matter right now?" asked Samantha lightly. "Unless you managed to miss it, we're almost at the village now. And I do believe that somebody owes me an ice-cream!"
It was quite some time and several ice-creams later that the party started to return to the Manor, the younger ones still laughing and Severus listening to their chatter with a faint smirk on his lips. Remy had also earned himself a free ice-cream, courtesy of Harry. His older... well, relative had dared him to go around as a skunk in exchange for a portion. The darkhaired boy, of course, had done that, and the very wary salesman had watched in fascination as a spotted skunk had neatly eaten ice-cream seated on a small girl's lap. The girl had even talked to her pet -- and, which was even more astonishing, the pet had seemed to not only understand but also answer, in a way.
Now, however, he was again in human form, thanks to the abandoned alley that he had used to change into his animal form in the first place, providing him with some privacy from the prying Muggle eyes. If possible, he was the one laughing loudest and most. "Thanks for the ice-cream, Harry," he said cheerfully, winking at the other young wizard. "It was truly delicious. Or was that because of my form?"
"Maybe you should eat as an animal more often," Samantha suggested lightly. "Not that I was too fond on skunks in general, no, but you are very cute in skunk form. Not to mention very pettable."
"Is that even a word?" giggled Hermione. "Hey, Harry! Have you ever tested your Animagus form?"
The ponytailed young man looked down at her, looking surprised. "Do you mean I haven't told you?" he asked, sounding genuinely astonished. "I'm already an Animagus! I am James Potter's son, after all," he then added as an afterthought. "There's really no way he could've let me grow up without learning it."
"WHAT!" exclaimed Hermione. "How come you have never told me about that! Oh, and Samantha's almost got it, too. Am I truly going to be the last one to master the transformation? Why me?"
"I think it does some good for you to not be perfect in everything," Remy commented, serious for once, then, however, he again grinned. "And now, Harry... What exactly is your animal form?"
Sirius frowned as he pushed the door open only to find the hall unlit and quiet. "Severus?" he called out. "Hey, Severus, brats, where are you?" His hand moved towards his wand as he took a step forward.
No matter how many times he called out, he didn't get any response. Searching through all the rooms in the first floor he found none of the other inhabitants of the manor, not even a single house-elf. Growing more worried by every passing moment, he finally headed towards the stairway, now his wand at ready. Something was definitely wrong now, and he was going to be prepared.
Suddenly, however, his wand flew out of his hand and up the stairs. Turning his startled gaze to the stairs, he didn't see a single human in the dim stairway. Instead, he saw a pair of glowing eyes attached to an unclear, light form. And then, that form leapt forward, baring sharp fangs as it reached for his throat.
The next second Sirius fell on his back, a huge animal pinning him down to the floor. The large beast growled, then lowered its head and... licked his face.
Hey, wait a minute here.
"Really, my dear," he heard Severus's dry voice from the stairs, and the next moment, the lights were on. "You truly let yourself be disarmed dangerously easily. If we truly had been Death Eaters, you'd be dead by now." Behind him were Remy, Samantha, and Hermione, all snickering at him.
"But... What..." Sirius was confused for a moment, but then realization hit him. "Harry!" he exclaimed, pushing the animal off himself. The huge golden cougar moved aside without a complaint, then transformed into a grinning young wizard. "Since when have you been an Animagus?"
"Since I learnt to do it, of course," the younger man replied with a broad smirk. "I don't know when, exactly; when the Adoption Charm was lifted, I was able to transform."
"James's son. Of course," muttered Sirius. "I really should have expected that."
"But you didn't," Remy said cheerfully. "Now, get up. The house-elves will freak if nobody goes to eat!"
They all happily made their way towards the dining room. However, although nobody noticed the difference, Sirius was not quite as cheerful as everybody else.
A/N: Let's keep up the traditions... The not-happenings of the last story are included in the list, as well as some "interesting" suggestions from my eldest little brother. Remember, the first one to guess the right three will get the next chapter dedicated to themselves.
Three of the following will NOT happen during this story:
Samantha starts weakening
Hermione loses somebody very close to her
Remy ensures Samantha will not die of her illness
Samantha is told she only has a year left at best
Sirius sings a love song to Severus in the middle of the Great Hall
Remus is declared a lost case
Neville is in love with a basilisk
A cactus with a flower-patterned sombrero returns to Hogwarts
Hermione gets married
Sirius pulls a prank
Weasley tries to sabotage Remy's potion
A group of commando sheep appears on the roof of Hogwarts
Remy and Samantha's first time
Hermione completes her Animagus transformation on a very inappropriate moment
Severus faces his worst fear
Voldemort is not dead
Remus wakes up
Remy gets a little sister
Remy gets a little brother
Hermione skips a lesson
The Student-Eating Horrid Monster of Ravenclaw Tower makes a comeback
Severus becomes a Potter again
Carnivorous squirrels cause problems at Hogwarts
Samantha faints in class
Lucius Malfoy isn't really evil
Narcissa Malfoy isn't really evil
Draco Malfoy isn't really evil
Severus almost dies in a Potions accident