Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. I do not own his world. I do not own Hogwarts. I only own those characters that came from the dark abyss of my mind, though there are not many in these stories.
Summary: Five years after Finding the Key life has settled down in the wizarding world... and then Severus finds the solution to the problem he's been working on all that time, and people start dying again, and this time Harry Potter is unable to save the wizarding world from the trouble they find themselves in.
Closing the Door
Severus looked up from the parchment in front of him and blinked. It couldn't be that simple. After years of research the answer had been so much less complex than he assumed it had to be. It wasn't exactly normal, what he had set out to accomplish.
He consulted a piece of parchment that was tacked up on his office wall. Harry's schedule was crazy and completely without pattern and Severus sometimes wondered if Harry did that purposefully to drive him insane, knowing how much Severus hated disorder. He divided his time between the Ministry, the Romanian dragon preserve, Potter Manor, the Hogwarts Board of Governors, and the Hogwarts Preparatory Academy.
The Romanian dragon preserve was the main home for Harry and Charlie Weasley, the older brother of Harry's best friend from Hogwarts. Harry and Charlie were a bonded couple, in a ceremony designed and partially performed by Harry which literally tied their magic together. Harry had once explained the particulars, but for once Severus had gotten lost while his son explained, rather than the other way around.
At the Ministry he had more than one function as well. He was mostly working on a contractual basis as an Unspeakable, using his talent for seeing magic in some manner that he never more than hinted about, but was also on the Wizengamot and a representative to the International Confederation of Wizards.
Ten years ago Severus never would have expected Harry to become such a responsible adult. He had thought the absolute worst of the Gryffindor Golden Boy until reality had slapped him in the face... hard. Then had come the shock of his locked memories, his bonding that he had not remembered, and his son... Harry Potter.
Harry had been lying near death in the Hogwarts hospital wing when Severus discovered the memory charm and demanded that Albus reverse it. The charm had been cast by Lily Potter at Severus's request to protect Lily, James, and their unborn son, conceived with the aid of a potion he adapted and brewed that gave Harry a genetic inheritance from all three of them.
It had taken about two years, during which time Harry ended up alone and surrounded by Voldemort's Death Eaters three times, for them to come to some sort of peace and regularity in their relationship. Now, five years after Harry graduated from Hogwarts, Severus was a father-in-law and a grandfather. Almost immediately after he graduated Harry had adopted two muggle-born children whose parents were killed by Death Eaters, leaving them in a muggle orphanage, the very same orphanage where Tom Riddle was raised.
They had to use a few memory charms, and no one wanted to know about the meeting Harry had with Fudge to get the Minister to sign the papers, but the orphanage no longer knew that Carver and Erica existed, and they officially Potters. They were twenty-six months and ten months old, respectively, when Harry adopted them. Now, Carver was eight and Erica was going to be seven in a few weeks.
They had a little brother and little sister, twin four years olds, named Randolph Harold Potter, after a friend of Charlie and Harry's that died in the war and continuing the Potter family tradition by giving the firstborn son the father's name as his middle name, and Katherine Lily Potter, after Katie Bell, who was also killed in the final battle, and Lily Evans Potter. The twins were known to their family as Randy and Kat. All of the children took Potter as their last name, as Charlie had said there would be more than enough Weasleys born in the coming years.
Harry took a long time to recover from his capture by the Death Eaters and the final battle that came not long after he rescued Severus and they escaped. Carver and Erica had been instrumental in that recovery, though there had been several people who had reservations about Harry adopting while still so young. Even with the children around, Severus knew that without the bonding Harry would have become a recluse of sorts to the wizarding world, even more so than he already was. Seeing Harry Potter in public was a rare event.
The-Boy-Who-Lived got whatever he was determined to get though, and Harry had used his influence to get those two children out of the orphanage. It was rare that Harry invoked the power that his fame carried, but when he did the whole world listened. In that case it was Minister Fudge that listened, however reluctantly and grudgingly... and possibly fearfully.
Ginny Weasley carried Randy and Kat as a gift to Charlie and Harry. Their bonding ceremony was performed a year after Harry graduated, though they had already lived together all of that year. Ginny's bonding gift was the nearly complete potion, the pure form of the potion that Severus had adapted, needed for Harry and Charlie to have Randy and Kat and the offer to bear the twins for them. Unlike with Harry, Randy and Kat had only the genetic history from their fathers. Ginny was essentially a living incubator and food source.
Harry was at the Academy with Draco greeting a new class and Charlie was in Romania. That meant either Harry had the kids or they were with Molly, though it was probably a combination of the two. They were safe with the dragons, but if only one parent was there they still got underfoot. Carver loved going to the Academy with Harry. Term at Hogwarts didn't start for another two weeks, so Severus had no commitments for the next few days.
He checked his potions stores to see if he had everything he needed for the potion component and saw he was low on phoenix tears. He was probably the only Potions Master in the world for whom that was not a problem as he had two sources to go to for free phoenix tears. His colleagues outside Hogwarts envied him for his sources and connections.
Charlie teased him more than once that the only reason he hadn't objected to the bonding was because of the potions ingredients Charlie had access to as a dragon handler. Severus readily admitted it was a nice bonus to having Charlie in the family. He refused to say, but it was well known within the small circle that knew him well, that he had fully accepted Charlie into his family before the bond.
The border of the Hogwarts wards was further out than it had been even during the war. When the castle woke up during the final battle some ancient wards had sprung to life which covered Hogsmeade as well as the castle. It was no longer possible to apparate to Hogsmeade, but that was a minor price to pay. Two dozen Death Eaters had been splinched as a result, allowing the residents of Hogmeade to come to the aid of those at Hogwarts and making the final battle much easier, and the death count much lower.
Severus made sure to apparate to Harry's office, as he didn't want to startle the new students and their parents. The building Harry and Draco had converted for the school was one of many mansions that had belonged to the Black family before Harry inherited it from Sirius Black. Severus shook his head. He still couldn't believe he was doing this.
"Severus! How wonderful to see you!" the portrait that hung behind Harry's desk proclaimed.
"Hello Albus," Severus smirked at the portrait. Unlike the live version, this Albus could not offer him potion laced lemon drops or drugged tea, only irritating advice. "I did just see you at breakfast."
"Ah, but that was me, not me," the portrait declared as it popped a painted lemon drop into its mouth.
Severus groaned, wondering for the hundredth time why Harry and Albus had decided to experiment and create a portrait of the headmaster to hang before he died. It only made both versions of the old coot even more... Albus. There was a very sound reason why wizarding portraits were normally only created after the deaths of the wizards. James and Lily had created their own portraits though, so Harry had suggested to Albus that they try it as well.
"I have to find my son Albus, no time for a talk," Severus said as he walked out and closed on the door.
On second thought, there was something therapeutic about the portrait. Severus could never casually walk out on the live Albus. He could storm out, as he had on many occasions and still sometimes did, but not just walk away and ignore the man who had been like a father to him.
"Over the course of the year your instructors will cover many subjects that Mr. Malfoy here learned by the time he was nine, but I had to pick up on my own throughout my education at Hogwarts and after," Harry said from a platform at one end of the ballroom. It was the same speech every year.
"Actually, I think I was seven," Draco smirked at Harry.
Harry sighed and rolled at his eyes at the twenty-three nine and ten-year-olds and their parents, and even some siblings. Orientation Day was open to the whole family. Some of the kids laughed, and the adults all smiled. Harry already had them all charmed, with no use of magic at all.
"You'll hear more about your classes from your instructors when we visit the classrooms after lunch. We'll be dividing you into four groups by the end of the week, so classes are very small and there is plenty of individual attention..."
"Granddad!" Carver interrupted Harry's speech and ran from the platform across the room to thump against Severus's legs.
Severus lifted the boy up and kissed his forehead, "Hello Carver. Are you being good?"
Carver nodded emphatically and a few of the parents in the crowd laughed lightly.
"Professor," Draco greeted him from the stage, "why don't you join us. This is Professor Snape, Potions Professor, Head of Slytherin House, and Deputy Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry."
Severus nodded to the crowd as he joined Harry and Draco. Harry drew in the air with his hand and conjured a chair, eliciting a few gasps from the parents. Someday their children would be able to do that, though they would have to use wands. Harry hadn't used one since he was sixteen. Severus sat down with Carver in his lap.
Harry continued his speech, telling them about field trips, activities, and the special days when parents were invited, "We want you all to be comfortable with your children's newly discovered talents. My own relatives were not fond of magic and it created a rift between us that was all too common between muggle-born witches and wizards and their parents in years past. We can take any questions you may have before our morning activity."
"What is it this year?" Severus asked Carver in a low tone.
"Quidditch," Carver answered in a conspiratorial whisper. "Daddy got Aunt Jackie to get the Gryffindor and Slytherin teams to come and play. Aunt Jackie is Captain this year."
Jacqueline Gudgeon was a disaster in the Potions classroom but a superior quidditch chaser. Ginny Weasley had recognized her talent the first time she saw the girl fly and recruited her for the Gryffindor team the first day of her second year at Hogwarts, Ginny's seventh year.
She also happened to be dating the captain of the Slytherin team, quite a scandal in the school. It was the only explanation for how Harry had managed to pull this together. Despite all the efforts to the contrary there was still a strong rivalry between Gryffindor and Slytherin. It just wasn't quite as violent as it had been in years past. Severus was just waiting a few more years for the first children of Harry's contemporaries to see how the rivalry continued.
"After the tour this afternoon we have a special bus to take us all to Hogsmeade, the village where you can purchase all your supplies." Harry had learned the charms for the Knight Bus and converted his own bus for the school to make transporting the children easier. He also made the ride much smoother, but Severus had no idea how that was accomplished, only that Remus was somehow involved. "The same bus will bring you home after dinner at the Three Broomsticks. There is a branch of our bank there where you can convert Pounds. We will explain conversion rates and wizarding money on the bus."
"Where are we?" one of the parents asked.
"Very good question," Harry smiled broadly. Severus could swear that more than one mother in the room sighed at seeing that smile. Harry, to that day, would not believe the effect he had on people. "This building is located in Northumberland. We are in the Cheviot Hills." The statement was met with shock on several faces. "Our methods of transportation are very efficient."
Harry pointed to one of the new students, "Why can't I tell my friends?"
"If you broke your arm right now, I could fix it in under a minute, good as new," Harry smiled at the boy. "If your friends knew I could do that, would they want me to help them?" The boy nodded. "We currently have about two hundred Healers in all of Europe, and a population of about twenty-five thousand witches and wizards. There are over eight hundred million non-magical people in Europe. If we were to offer our talents to the general population we would not be able to help nearly as many people as need it, even we all dedicated all our time to medical magic."
Draco added the other portion of the answer that was provided to the same question every year, "There is also a good chance your friends would not believe you. You will not own a wand until you go to Hogwarts, and will not be allowed to use magic while you are away from school until you are seventeen. Doing so would result in disciplinary actions from the government, potentially including expulsion, which also means your wand would be snapped."
"You will continue to learn what is taught in non-magical schools this year, though your classes will be different from what you are accustomed to," Harry finished. He pointed to one of the parents.
"What happens if my daughter doesn't like this school?" the woman asked.
Harry smiled, "I've only a few people who actually like school." There were some laughs and Harry addressed the group at large, "How many of you have made something strange happen when you're mad, or scared, or excited?" Every new student raised their hand somewhat timidly, but sat up a little straighter when they saw the other hands in the air. Some younger children raised their hands as well, future students.
"I inflated my aunt like a balloon when I was thirteen," Harry informed them with a shake of his head. "I was upset because she was insulting my parents and I lost control of my magic. The Accidental Magic Reversal Squad had to come out to the house and deflate her. As you get older you will get more powerful. Accidental magic can be dangerous, to the witch or wizard and to those around them. Learning to control your magic is essential. When I was sixteen, I accidentally made the hospital wing at Hogwarts look like a tornado had ripped through it, twisted metal frame beds, broken glass, and all because I was angry."
That little story instantly quieted any more questions of that sort. Draco pointed to a father, who stood up for his question.
"What sort of jobs are there for witches and wizards once they graduate?"
Draco grinned, "Carver, what does Dad do?"
"He works with dragons!" Carver announced proudly, causing a wave of astonishment to spread through the room. A few people in the room remarked that dragons did not exist, but they seemed a bit unsure after all they had seen.
"He's a Curse Breaker for Gringotts."
"She's a Auror." Severus quietly corrected the boy's grammar.
"Aurors are dark wizard catches," Draco elaborated, gesturing with one hand, "kind of like special... what do you call them again?"
"Policemen," Harry answered. "What does Uncle Ron do?"
"He's the Keeper for the Kenmare Kestrals."
"They're a professional sports team," Draco explained. "Our morning activity this year is a game between two of our Hogwarts teams, the teams that Mr. Potter and I played on when we were students. There is as wide a variety of jobs for wizards and witches as for non-magical people. We do not have a problem with unemployment or poverty, as our society is so small." Severus noticed that Draco left out the prejudices still active that made it difficult for werewolves and other similarly inflicted wizards and witches to find jobs. "Are there any more questions?"
"How many aunts and uncles does Carver have?" someone called out.
Draco laughed and Harry answered, "His father had five brothers and one sister. One of the brothers died six years ago and three of them are married, and his sister is engaged, so that's a total of eight right now, and nine this spring." Severus saw that none of them had quite worked out yet that Carver had two male parents. Luckily by the time the students and parents usually discovered that tidbit they were all enamored of Harry and wouldn't think of judging him and Charlie for their relationship. Muggles had some strange views on things like that. "If you all will just follow me the teams should be here."
Harry walked over and took Carver from Severus, "Hey Dad. What brings you here?"
Both Harry and Draco were dressed in muggle attire to make the parents and new students more comfortable, but Severus was wearing his teaching robes. The Academy uniform was similar to the Hogwarts uniform, but more casual and closer to muggle school uniforms, sort of a transition to robes for the students.
"I'll tell you over lunch. I wouldn't want you to drop Carver," Severus smirked at his son.
Harry raised an eyebrow and opened the front door with a flick of one finger, "That good, huh?"
"That good," Severus replied smugly.
They circled around the school, which was really a sprawling Tutor style mansion with more rooms than Harry and Draco knew what to do with. They taught their students the basics of flying, which allowed Rolanda Hooch to teach more advanced techniques as early as first year, much to her delight. There were no quidditch games played by the students, but Draco and Harry had built a pitch anyway and there were games of amateurs, mostly Weasleys, all year long.
A girl wearing the crimson and gold Gryffindor quidditch uniform ran over to Harry and Carver when she saw them, "Harry!" She mussed up Carver's strawberry blond hair, "Hey there Carv. Hi Professor."
"Miss Gudgeon," Severus nodded at her, thankful she was no longer in his classes.
"Ready to go Jackie?"
"Of course," Gudgeon's blond braids flipped over her shoulder. "Which one of you is referee?"
"Harry," Draco said before Harry could get a word in.
Harry rolled his eyes, "Fine." He handed Carver back to Severus and kissed the young boy on the forehead, "Be good for Granddad. Accio broom!"
Draco directed the parents and students into the small stands and Severus sat down with his former student, "How have you been?"
"Good," Draco replied with a wide grin. "Anna is pregnant again."
"I swear, you are not a Malfoy," Severus shook his head. "This will be number four?"
"Four and five," Draco responded. "Anna has sisters that are twins. I think we'll stop there though. Anna threatened a few particularly harsh curses to my male anatomy when we found out."
Severus smirked and turned his attention away from the head of the Malfoy family, the only Malfoy in at least ten generations to sire more than one child. It made Severus wonder if extensive practice of dark magic limited virility... it was the old dark families that had very few children... with his latest project ending perhaps he had a new research topic.
The Gryffindor and Slytherin teams waited on the ground below them and Harry hovered right in front of the stands, his muggle suit replaced by black quidditch robes. Severus found it amusing that Harry's preferred color for robes was black, the same as his.
"You are about to witness a game of quidditch," Harry announced to the crowd. "For a brief explanation, quidditch is a bit little like basketball on brooms, but with three hoops on each side and a few more balls. The two teams playing are the Hogwarts teams for Gryffindor House and Slytherin House. We will be teaching our students to fly, but they are not allowed to join a team until their second year at Hogwarts, and quidditch is not played by the students here. Our announcer is Thomas Jennings, a member of Gryffindor House, who will start his sixth year at Hogwarts on the first of September.
"Players mount your brooms!"
The teams took their positions and Jackie tossed the quaffle to Harry. With a flick of his wrist the bludgers and snitch were released.
"Captains shake hands," Jackie Gudgeon and Graham Pritchard shook. "Let's have a nice clean game." Harry threw the quaffle in the air.
"Gryffindor has the quaffle. That's the ball they're tossing back and forth folks. Slytherin Beater Nott hits a bludger, those nasty little black balls, towards the Gryffindor chasers and Slytherin takes the quaffle," Jennings was much more appropriate with his language than normal, probably warned by Jackie. He explained the rules as the game went along, adding in some of the hundreds of ways to foul an opposing player.
There was a timeout called when one of the Slytherin chasers took a bludger to the leg, and the bone was quite obviously broken. Harry fixed the break and they both flew back into the air, the game restarted. The new students sitting in front of Severus were enthralled, though some of the parents looked uneasy.
Harry must have manipulated the snitch somehow, because it appeared just in time for the game to end right before lunch. The seekers both went into a steep dive and when they pulled up Harry blew his whistle.
"The capture of the snitch awards 150 points to Slytherin, and they win the game 160-50." Gudgeon and Pritchard shook hands again and the Slytherins flew a victory lap in formation around the pitch, fists punching the air in victory.
"We can all head inside for lunch now, and any questions regarding the game," Draco stood and announced to the group.