Snape's Invisible Friend
Disclaimer: I am not J.K. Rowling, I am not a multinational bookselling company, nor am I a multi-million dollar movie company, so I don't own anything that you recognize. I am a retired former teacher with a bizarre sense of humor, who likes to twist plots and play with characters' minds, so enjoy.
AN: Thanks to everyone who has read and reviewed, I appreciated the time you have taken to send me a note, good or bad. I hope that you have enjoyed this light hearted tale as much as I am enjoying writing it.
Chapter 11: Endings and Beginnings
With Remus tutoring Shaun each day while Severus taught potions and the other professors filling in as needed for the times Remus was unable to work, life settled down. The inter house cooperation continued, apparently turning it's attention to other subjects now that the mystery of Professor Snape had been solved once and for all.
Shaun had been an avid learner when he was teaching himself, but now he became almost rabid in his quest for knowledge. Poor Remus was running himself ragged keeping the lessons fast paced enough and interesting for the energy and curiosity of the now four and a half year old.
The Wolfsbane potion helped somewhat with Remus' transformation in January and was even better in February, but it still needed a lot of refinement. Since a werewolf craves human flesh in it's uncontrolled state, when Moony had been confined he would turn his claws and jaws on himself since he was the only available creature and sometimes it would take many days or even a week for him to recover fully, and each time he would loose weight.
The staff of Hogwarts took turns watching Shaun during the three days of the full moon that Remus was indisposed, plus any additional days he needed to recover, though those were less each month. The second half of the year, the potions classes, especially those from the fourth year and up, handled increasingly difficult and even dangerous ingredients and potions, so it was impractical for Shaun to stay with his daddy when he was teaching. And Poppy was still worried about Shaun's lungs after his dual accidents and illnesses, she simply did not want him exposed to so many fumes or staying so long in the damp dungeons!
It was the March full moon when Professor Flitwick sat the boy down in the corner of his classroom with a supply of toys and books while he taught his first years' variations on the levitation charm he had introduced to them just before Halloween. The eleven year old Ravenclaws thought it was cute when they watched Shaun behind the tiny professor, one finger pointed out like he had a wand, mimicking the wand motions and saying the proper incantation, 'Wingardium Leviosa!'
Flitwick noticed his students were no longer paying any attention to his lecture about using the charm to move the large pillows into the boxes he provided and turned around to see what they were obviously watching. Little Shaun, still too skinny and short, but looking much healthier than even a month ago, had his face screwed up in concentration, little tongue stuck out of the side of his mouth, green eyes blazing, tiny index finger pointing at a huge blue pillow, carefully levitating it toward a large cardboard box.
Flitwick squealed and clapped his hands in glee, "Oh my, good job, good job, Shaun!" Unfortunately he startled the child who turned to look at him, finger still pointed straight out. The tiny professor was levitated off of his chair and floated a good half a meter over the stone floor before Shaun realized what he had done. He lost his concentration and dropped Professor Flitwick like a rock, knocking him unconscious when his head hit the unyielding stone. Several of the students started screaming in panic, Shaun looked horrified and his image shimmered momentarily before vanishing.
Several students thought they heard a very soft whoosh of sound before Tobias, one of the first year Ravenclaws took charge. He had four younger siblings and was used to taking charge of them. "Priscilla and Anthony go and fetch Madame Pomfrey; Terry and Juliana go and tell Professor Snape that his son has gone invisible again and we don't know where he is. The rest of you, leave your things and go in twos and call for Shaun, we need to find him; he looked really scared."
Tobias had meanwhile grabbed his handkerchief and was pressing it against the back of Flitwick's head where it was bleeding profusely. He applied all the pressure he could to make it stop bleeding as his mother had when his brother fell out of a tree last year and cut his cheek. The other students responded to the authority in their classmate's voice and sprang to obey.
Madame Pomfrey was three floors closer than Professor Snape's classroom, but he still managed to arrive only moments after she did. She had just finished healing the cut on the back of his head, casting an 'Enervate' she looked up as Severus slid into the room, almost at a dead run.
"Poppy, what happened, the two sent to fetch me were so out of breath and panicking that I just got some message about an accident in here and bleeding all over, what happened to Filius and where's Shaun, he's supposed to be here this period."
Poppy was helping a groggy Filius sit up enough to drink a blood replenisher and a pain potion before looking up and seeing the distraught face of the potion's master. "My students were not much better; I really don't know what happened myself. I arrived to find Filius unconscious and bleeding, Tobias White was applying first aid, you might ask him, and Filius won't be really coherent for a few more minutes until his concussion heals more."
Severus turned to the small boy that had moved to the back of the classroom, out of the way of the adults. He went over to him and sat at a desk in front of him so that they were sitting almost eye to eye. He used a tone that he had learned was soothing to Shaun when he was upset and gently asked, "Mr. White, you did a very good job, you kept your head and responded adequately, but I have a few questions for you. Exactly what happened?"
Tobias looked over at Poppy and Filius who was managing to sit up on his own now, though he still looked pale and his robes were blood streaked and disheveled. "We were listening to Professor Flitwick explaining about using Wingardium Leviosa for larger and heavier objects than the feathers we did before and we saw your son with his finger pointed. He was moving a pillow over to a box just like we were supposed to and then Professor Flitwick saw him and startled him. Shaun turned at him and somehow, then Professor Flitwick floated off of his chair and then Shaun got scared and I guess he dropped him. The professor hit the floor with his head, and it sounded awful and then Shaun just kind of, shimmered, I guess and disappeared. I sent Anthony and Priscilla to fetch Madame Pomfrey and Juliana and Terry to get you and the others out in twos to search for Shaun. I told them he was scared and probably crying and they should be careful to be nice to him. Did I do right, sir?"
Severus reached out and patted the boy's shoulder, "You did exactly right and twenty points to Ravenclaw for keeping your head and helping your professor and my son. Thank you, Mr. Wright."
Severus thought for a moment about where Shaun might have gone in his panic, 'hmm, I wonder if I will be able to see him this time, since he probably thinks I will be mad at him, how in the world did he manage that spell, wandless and powerful enough to pick up Filius?'
"Nippy, I require your assistance." Severus knew that the house elves would be able to see Shaun even if he had made himself invisible to everyone else.
"Yes, sir, Master Snape, how can Nippy be helping you, sir?" Nippy was so eager to help that his head and ears were waggling like a bobble head doll.
"There was an accident here and I'm sure that Shaun thinks I am going to be mad at him so he disappeared and popped somewhere. Can you sense him and find him for me?" Severus was curious as to how much Shaun being invisible would affect the bond between Master and elf.
"Nippy is sorry sir, but when Master Shaun is totally invisible, Nippy cannot sense him unless he calls to me, that is why Nippy couldn't find him in the snow. But Nippy and the other elves can still see him if we find him! Do you want the house elves to search for Master Shaun, Master Snape?" Nippy looked ashamed at having to admit he couldn't sense his young master. It was a good thing that Nippy was expressly forbidden to punish himself without a direct order to do so, and in the twenty years that he had been bound to Master Snape, he had never once received that order, or he would be ironing his hands now.
"Yes, Nippy, and report back to me as soon as you know where he is. Be sure and tell the others to reassure my son that no one is mad at him! I'm sure he's very upset and worried."
Nippy nodded, his ears touching the floor and with a pop he disappeared. Severus went back over to the two still sitting on the stone floor and knelt down beside them. "Filius, can you tell me what happened, I heard from Mr. Wright about the wandless levitation spell, is that what really occurred?"
"Yes, Severus, it was most remarkable, young Shaun was concentrating on moving a pillow over to a box and I'm afraid I clapped and shouted a little loudly in my excitement. It was absolutely stupendous, I have never heard of such control and power in one so young. Has he exhibited such magics before now, Severus, I would be more than happy to help Remus with him if I might?" He was so excited, he was almost babbling in happiness, head wound already forgotten.
"Yes, he has shown such power before; remind me to have him juggle for you, but do you know where he went?" Severus persevered.
Filius looked down, and admitted, "I'm sorry no, I just remember being levitated and then startling the poor child. He dropped me then and that's the last I remember."
Poppy stood and reached down to help Filius stand up, "That's enough here, I'm taking him to the infirmary for the night, Severus. I'll floo the Headmaster if you like from there, shall I?"
Severus nodded dismissively, his mind already turned to finding his frightened son. He didn't really even know where to begin to search by himself; and between the students and the house elves, they were already searching and he didn't want to duplicate their efforts.
"Shaun; child are you here? No one's mad at you; everyone knows it was an accident, Shaun?" he called out to the apparently empty classroom but received no indication that there was anyone else with him and he was sure that Nippy would have told him if the boy was still here. He sat down and put his head into his hands in frustration.
To Severus it seemed a lifetime but he supposed it was only fifteen minutes that he paced up and back, up and back. Nippy popped into existence right in front of Severus who jumped back in alarm, clutching one hand to his chest as his heart pounded. He quickly clamped down his reaction and asked, "Have you found him, Nippy, is he all right, where is he?"
Nippy bowed to his agitated master and replied, "Yes sir, Master Shaun is sitting on a crosspiece at the top of the ceiling of the Great Hall. Nippy is not knowing how young master reached there, we elves is not able to reach him, so Nippy is bringing your broom to you sir." Nippy handed Severus his broom.
Severus didn't hesitate, throwing one leg over the handle, he shot off, flying rapidly down the corridors, shooting down the middle of the staircases, and not even caring who saw him or what they thought about the sight of the 'bat of the dungeons' on a broom zooming through the castle at full speed. He said a silent thank you to the founders for making such high ceilings and spacious corridors, luckily the classes hadn't let out yet or he would have a lot harder time.
He tried not to think about how he had always wanted to fly through the halls of Hogwarts when he had been a student here, no that had nothing to do with his decision to fly to his son, rather than walk to the Great Hall and then fly, no, that had nothing to do with his decision.
Severus was already scanning the ceiling when he swooped through the doors to the Great Hall, there, up above the head table; a small form perched precariously on a narrow timber, almost twenty feet above ground. Severus heaved a sigh of relief, he could still see the boy then he silently cursed; this child would give him heart failure before he was ever old enough to even attend school! He forced his emotions behind his mind shields and slowed his flight as he floated slowly and carefully up beside the sobbing and nearly hysterical child.
"Shaun, my child, everything's all right, Professor Flitwick is just fine and he's not mad at you and neither am I. He's sorry he yelled and made you loose your concentration. He wants you to come see him so he can tell you he's sorry. Can I come up there too, Shaun?"
Shaun had his head buried in his arms; his skinny legs straddled the ceiling joist as he sobbed in fright. "I'm sorry Daddy, I'm so sorry. I won't do it again, please don't be mad at me, please don't send me away, I'm sorry, I'm sorry…" he mumbled between great hacking sobs.
Severus felt his heart ache in pain, after all this time, his son still felt he would be sent away if he made a mistake. "No child, remember I told you I might be angry at something you did, but I would always love you no matter what you did! And today, no one is angry at you, we are just worried because you disappeared and no one knew where you were! Come and I'll fly you down and we can talk if you like."
Shaun finally looked around and saw exactly where he had popped to, he really hadn't known where he went; he just wanted somewhere no one could find him. He looked over to where his daddy floated mere inches from him. He launched himself at his daddy's neck without thinking about how high above the ground they were. Severus grabbed quickly as his now over two and a half stone son turned himself into a human projectile. He grabbed the broomstick between his knees, wobbling dangerously as he fought to lose the boy's momentum without flipping them over the side of the handle.
Severus managed to keep the madly shaking child on his chest with one hand as he used the other hand to bring the swinging broomstick under enough control to safely land on the floor of the Great Hall. He dropped the handle as soon as both feet touched, burying his head into the clean scent of the child's hair as his arms tried to squeeze the boy even closer, with one hand cradling the boy's head as he sobbed into his shoulder. "Shaun, do you know how much I love you? My heart almost stopped when you were missing and then to find you perched twenty feet above the ground. Oh child, I would never send you away, you are my Shaun, my gift and I will always keep you close to me." He repeatedly kissed the soft head, then reached under the round chin, happy the boy was finally getting a little baby fat on him, and tilted up the tearstained face. "I love you, child." He gently kissed his boy on his baby soft cheeks and then wiped away his tears with a calloused thumb.
Shaun buried his head in his father's robes, drinking in the familiar smell of sandalwood soap and potions brewing, his small voice quavering, "I love you too, Daddy!"
Severus had cancelled the search, arranged for Albus to cover his class for the afternoon and then put the now exhausted boy down for a nap. He sat beside his son's bed, just drinking in the sight of the boy sleeping. Shaun's breath still hitched in his sleep, a remnant of his hysterical crying. He looked up at the sound of a knock on his chamber door and went to go answer. Albus stood there, eyes twinkling and a broad smile on his face. "I have just come from Filius and I daresay I have never seen him so excited. Poppy has threatened to drug him into a stupor if he doesn't calm down, so I promised him I would ask you to bring Shaun to visit. It seems you have promised something about showing him Shaun's juggling?"
Severus just rolled his eyes at his mentor and opened the door the rest of the way to let him in. "Shaun was exhausted from his ordeal so I put him down for a nap about two hours ago. He should be waking soon. Did they tell you where he was found? I swear I am going to be bald before term ends in June!"
Albus just smiled even broader, "Yes I did hear about that and a wonderful tale about someone riding a broom through the corridors and down the staircases as fast as if he was chasing a snitch. Do you have any idea who that could have been? My witnesses all claim that it was so fast that all they could recognize was a blur of black robes as the person flew past!"
Severus snickered and rolled his eyes again, "Yes it was me, but I had been told that Shaun was balanced on a rafter at the top of the Great Hall, what would you have done? I was afraid it would take too long to get there and he would have fallen before I could reach him."
"Ah yes, child, I understand completely, though I must say, I am the slightest bit jealous. I always wondered how it would be to fly through the castle. In fact one muggle born student described it perfectly, he said 'it looked like a bat out of hell!'" Albus could no longer contain himself and laughed heartily at the disgusted and insulted glare he received in return.
Shaun had awoken hearing the voices of his daddy and grandpa. Grandpa was laughing and daddy wasn't yelling. He remembered his daddy hugging and kissing him, so they must not be mad at him, he thought joyously. He skipped out of his bedroom and leaped into his daddy's lap, wrapping his arms around the man's neck and kissing the scowling cheek. "Grandpa, why is Daddy mad at you because you are laughing at him?"
Severus couldn't help himself, he couldn't maintain the glare as he laughed softly, "I'm not really mad at Albus, Shaun; he just said I look like a bat when I fly."
Shaun looked puzzled, "But you do Daddy!"
Albus laughed until tears leaked out of the corner of his eyes, Severus was almost snorting as he tried very hard not to laugh, failing miserably and Shaun just looked at the two, puzzled and confused.
The two men were still smiling as they walked Shaun down to the infirmary to visit Professor Flitwick. Shaun had one hand in each of his daddy's and grandpa's hands and was using them to swing himself into the air, feet tucked up and dangling. The two were swinging him back and forth, delighting in the gleeful squeals of joy. Shaun's feet actually touched the floor about once every six or seven feet as the students they passed looked on in astonishment at the headmaster and the usually glaring potions professor.
Poppy looked up at the three wizards who burst through the hospital wing doors, still swinging Shaun between them, all of them laughing before stopping at her sharp glare. Filius just sat up and burbled in excitement. "Ah, Shaun, I am so sorry for startling you, child, I was just so excited about you doing that charm so well. And I admit I was very surprised you could do such fine magic at your age."
Albus conjured up two comfortable chairs and sat in one while Severus sat down and pulled Shaun into his lap, his arms affectionately encircling the small waist, pulling the boy's back against his chest in comfort.
He leaned down and whispered, "Show Professor Flitwick how well you can juggle. I'll bet you can surprise him again, and when he gets surprised, he always squeaks. I bet you get a squeak out of him!"
Shaun got a conspiratorial expression and began to concentrate, the tip of his little pink tongue creeping from between his lips. He held his hands out, waist high; palms up and a small glowing blue ball appeared on his left hand. He tossed it to his right hand and quickly conjured a larger red ball, followed by a tiny yellow one and a very large green one as he deftly juggled the four differently colored, brightly glowing balls of energy from one small hand to the other.
Filius was hopping up and down on his hospital bed in excitement, a rapturous gleam on his shining face, Albus, Severus and Poppy were surprised that Shaun had been able to change the color and the size of the balls in such a short period of time with absolutely no instructions.
"Oh I say, most excellent, those are spectacular, Shaun! I have never seen anything like that, I am so happy you shared those with me, child!" Filius looked up at the three adults who were watching with amazement, "You told me about his juggling, Severus, why are you looking like that?"
Severus turned his son's head up to face him, the balls disappearing immediately as his concentration changed focus. "When did you learn to make them different sizes and different colors, Shaun? When we saw them at Christmas, they were all small and all just white."
Shaun screwed up his face in concentration again and made one huge ball of energy appear between his outstretched and slightly cupped hands, he then closed his eyes and split it into five parts, two large blue ones, a medium sized yellow one and two very tiny balls, one red and one purple. He opened his eyes, the balls all disappeared and he grinned, showing his straight white baby teeth. "I figured out how to make five, Daddy!"
His daddy hugged him and then pulled back to look in the small face looking at him with such trust and love, "Yes you did, child, but how do you make them different sizes and colors?"
Shaun just shrugged his shoulders in confusion, "I want them to be, and so they are!" Pure four year old logic precluded any more questions, as far as Shaun was concerned that was all the answer there needed to be!
Albus, Minerva and Severus were meeting with Kingsley Shacklebolt in Albus' office to discuss the ongoing investigation of Petunia and Vernon Dursley. They had been found living the high life in Vancouver, Canada and the Canadian ministry had them under surveillance. Their agents reported they had seen no sight of Harry Potter in the over five months the couple and their horribly spoiled brat had been living in their country.
Albus was leaned forward towards the other three, his elbows on his desk, fingers interlock, index fingers steepled in his favorite thinking attitude. "Unfortunately, our brand new minister is no longer willing to listen to reason. It is lucky that he had just been elected last July when the custody and adoption of Shaun was finalized in September or I'm afraid that Shaun would have wound up in some ministry orphanage. He has begun to be influenced by more and more of the old families, particularly those old families with money and influence. He seems to lose more of his common sense every day as he becomes more interested in the social standing and power he can gain by handing out favors and granting petitions."
"Luckily the matter of Harry Potter was magically sealed and bound after sixty days and he can never break the binding and divulge what he knows about it. I don't know if we can keep the news of the Dursleys trial from reaching the wrong ears, perhaps we would be best to pursue that matter in the muggle courts? What do you think, Severus?" Shacklebolt added.
Severus looked murderous, "I don't want what they did to Shaun to go unpunished, but I also don't want anyone to know that Shaun and Harry are one and the same. He would always be on public display; always that bloody 'boy-who-lived' nonsense and I don't want that for him. He has enough issues with overcoming the abuse, his becoming invisible and the phenomenal amount of magic he displays. I will do everything I can to keep him grounded, but you have to admit, he's not exactly what anyone would call normal!"
Everyone in the room chuckled wryly at the frustration evident in the poor father's voice. Minerva looked thoughtful, "Albus, the adoption is totally sealed, it cannot even be mentioned to anyone not already knowing about it except by Severus; am I correct in how that works?"
"Yes, that is how the magical binding on adoption works. The paperwork is sealed and filed and only becomes available when the child comes of age unless the adoptive parents divulge the information to another."
Minerva got a feral gleam in her eyes, "Why don't we allow the aurors to proceed as if the Dursleys killed and disposed of Harry's body. It will be up to them to prove that they didn't, I can't imagine they would want to take Veritaserum, they would have to completely acknowledge the treatment they gave the boy if they did that. We have abuse, abandonment, failure to notify the authorities, and whatever else they can think up. I think that would get them more than enough years of prison, don't you Severus?"
His evil grin matched hers for the menace implied, "Excellent as always, Minerva, let them try to explain exactly where their nephew went and how they had treated them. No one can connect Shaun and Harry unless I tell them, and I'm sure not going to, especially to the idiots at the Ministry! Albus, let's do it!"
Remus was back teaching Shaun after the March full moon when he began thinking ahead to the next year. He had been concentrating on muggle subjects as most wizarding children were before attending Hogwarts, but a staff meeting was called to discuss how to best teach Shaun magic. It was decided that the staff would merely be there to advise Remus until the summer holidays when they would have much more time to work individually with the child. Since there was so little of the school year left and it might be easier on Shaun if he simply got to know the staff and trust them more before they began any more formal arrangement.
Remus approached Severus over the Easter holidays. "Severus, Shaun is progressing remarkably well, except in socialization, he has no one his age in the castle. I am afraid he knows nothing about getting along with peers. I am able to keep up with him at this age, but by next year he really should have some playmates, and perhaps someone to learn with so he knows how to relate to other children. I am more than willing to teach more than one child, perhaps Albus knows other children his age that I could teach each day with him, I'm sure the elves could expand my rooms to whatever size we need."
Severus sighed, he had been thinking about the boy's growing dependence upon adults and his isolation from other children. "I suppose you are right, but I don't want him to leave the protection of the castle. After my public trial and acquittal when the Dark Lord fell, I still have quite a few death eaters that would like nothing more than the opportunity to either kill my son or use him to get to me."
"I agree with you, but I think we could have several children of the right age floo in each day and then return home at night without difficulty. I know that several people that were in the old Order would appreciate a safe place for their children each day. Would it be all right if I approach Albus about perhaps meeting some other children over the summer and then maybe inviting some of them to classes here next fall?"
"I agree, perhaps we could leave Shaun with Minerva and go discuss this idea with Albus, now?"
Minerva was happy to watch the boy and the two former enemies walked up the moving staircases to the headmaster's office, talking comfortably and familiarly along the way.
They explained their concerns and suggestions to Albus who agreed that it would be good both for Shaun to have some friends and schoolmates, and that he really shouldn't leave the safety of the castle. They still didn't know how he became invisible, but he would still completely disappear from view if he felt threatened in any way, he had even disappeared from Severus' view when he thought his Daddy was going to spank him after he spilled ink all over the essays his daddy was grading. It was the first time that Severus had experienced the disorienting occurrence of not seeing who he was talking to and he had to admit it was rather unsettling.
The thirteenth of April would always merit a circle on Severus' calendar, that was the day the governments of both Great Britain and Canada got off their bums and allowed Shacklebolt and two other aurors to apprehend the Dursleys and bring them back for trial before the Wizengamot. The entire trial took less than two full days between the abandonment and the fact that they couldn't provide any evidence of where Harry was now. Surprisingly they had been convinced by their attorney that by allowing the administration of Veritaserum they would be able to prove that they knew nothing of where their nephew was. They did prove that, but were totally unprepared for the prosecution's questions about the boy's treatment and downright abuse that they were also forced to admit to. They were both sentenced to ten years in Azkaban and Dudley was obliterated of any knowledge of his cousin and placed with the muggle social services, it being determined that his Aunt Marge would be an unsuitable guardian for anyone.
It had taken multiple formulations, exhaustingly long brewings and many complicated equations but the Wolfsbane potion was declared a total success after the May full moon. Remus had transformed with a lot less pain, curled up on a warm rug and slept the full moon away, no self inflicted injuries, and a greater sense of dignity and humanity than he had felt since he had first been bitten as a young child.
Severus and Poppy both hoped the poor man would finally be able to gain some weight on his skeletal form and actually get reasonably healthier. Severus had also formulated a special nutritional potion for Remus in addition to the one he was still brewing for Shaun who was finally catching up in height and weight to where he should have been. And Severus had actually flavored the potions, something that Poppy could never remember him ever even trying to do
The Ministry had been most impressed and quickly granted a patent and licensure for the potion in what for them would be record time. Severus felt immense pride and a sense of accomplishment he had never thought would be his as three different journals vied for the privilege of publishing his study. Not to mention the apothecaries clamoring to pay him for the formula to produce and sell the miracle potion.
At the end of May, Severus took Shaun's small hand in his and double apperated into the atrium of the Ministry of Magic. He stopped to straighten his son's robes before picking up the boy and striding toward the elevators to take them down to the courtrooms. Madame Bones had conducted a formal investigation and decided there was enough to charge Healer Smythwick from St. Mungo's with overstepping his authority to command a team of aurors to apprehend Severus Snape without due investigation and care. He was also being charged with assault and child endangerment.
It had been determined that the aurors were only following Smythwick's orders and they had no actual culpability since they were told to stun him without announcing themselves. They had been told that as a spy among the death eaters and a Dueling and Defense Master that he was considered armed and dangerous and was delusional enough that they would not be able to bring him to treatment any other way.
Madame Bones smiled at the small boy being carried by the formidable potions master, trying to reassure the nervous looking child. Her smile faltered and disappeared as the child vanished from view before her eyes. She had read the reports of course and knew that the child had been invisible, but it was definitely more disturbing to actually witness the event!
"Ah, Professor Snape, your son…he…disappeared." She didn't stutter, but it came close.
Severus glanced up at her, a wry smile twisting his lips, "Yes, Madame Bones, I have instructed my son that if he is in an uncomfortable situation where he doesn't feel safe, that he may still turn himself invisible until he feels safe again. He no longer disappears for long periods of time; I assume he will become visible when he gets more familiar with the surroundings." He looked down at his chest, "Won't you Shaun?"
Even though she expected it; she was still a little startled when a small voice came from nowhere answering, "Yes, Daddy, I don't like that man over there, he scares me!" Severus looked over in the corner to spot Mad Eye Moody among the contingent assigned to guard the courtroom today. Madame Bones followed his glance and laughed conspiratorially, "That's okay Shaun, he scares most people at least a little; he even scares me, and I've known him for years!"
Her easy laugh and the comforting squeeze from the man holding him allowed Shaun to relax enough to flicker back into view. Severus was so proud of his son, who remained clearly visible for most of the trial. The defense attorney's plan actually backfired when he bent too close to Shaun while questioning him about what had happened while he was building a snowman with his daddy, and questioned if he had actually even been there at all.
Shaun whimpered at the man's accusing tone and invasion of his personal space and vanished from view. Even Severus couldn't see him and was calling frantically to him despite the uproar in the courtroom. Shaun reappeared just as he launched himself at his daddy's chest and hid himself in the comfort of his robes. Shaun kept his head buried as the nice Madame Bones yelled at the scary man just like daddy did his dunderhead first year students!
Severus had inherited a sizable fortune from both his parents and his grandparents so the two thousand galleons damages that was awarded to him wasn't nearly as satisfactory as the three months in the ministry holding cells followed by a demotion and two years of probation that were also imposed. He felt vindicated and validated after winning his case so handily.
Severus sat at the farewell feast, his son sitting proud and visible on a raised seat between him and his Grandpa Albus. In just two short weeks, it would be the anniversary of Shaun's appearance in his lab. Severus reflected as he looked around the Great Hall, reflecting on how much his life had changed in such a short time, and all because of the one small precious soul sitting beside him. Life was good.
Remus looked out at the first place he had truly felt was home. He had gained weight and looked healthier than he had in years. The miracle of the Wolfsbane potion made sure he didn't spend any days recovering from the damage of the full moon. He was tutoring a bright child, he had made friends with someone he had once called an enemy and he would be living and working in the castle through the summer and the next year. He was not living from hand to mouth, always looking for employment and a place to stay for another month. Life was good.
Albus smiled down at the students, pleased with the progress they had all made, the house cup going to Ravenclaw, even though each house had more points than they had accumulated in a century. After Christmas he had allowed the students to float between the tables for breakfast and lunch and had been surprised and pleased to find all four houses mingling and losing more and more of their fanatical competition as the year progressed. He toasted his cup to the room at large and dismissed them, already looking forward to the Welcoming Feast for the next year.
Life was good.
There will be a sequel, I haven't decided if I want it to begin at age five, nine, or eleven. I am open to suggestions, and thanks for sharing my weird plot bunnies.